Attendees Digitally Schmooze Before Microsoft Forum - Event Marketer

Attendees Digitally Schmooze Before Microsoft Forum

Microsoft Social Hub Forum ETA 2014
Brand: MICROSOFT
Agency: IN HOUSE
Awards: EVENT TECHNOLOGY AWARDS — BEST DIGITAL+LIVE CAMPAIGN (B-TO-B)
Year: 2014

The Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) is the premier, annual event for Microsoft’s Partner Network. Through keynote addresses, sessions and networking events, partners have the opportunity to hear Microsoft’s vision for the year, learn industry trends and best practices, meet with Microsoft representatives and—hopefully—form profitable connections with one another.

The goal for this year was to augment the in-person experience with a digital strategy that would connect attendees to the show, the show’s content and to each other earlier and more frequently before, during and after the event. The brand did this through a combination of social media and digital engagement strategies. The most complex of these digital strategies was the custom social media network, Connect. On this partner-focused platform, partners were able to connect digitally with one another well before the conference started in order to get a jump-start on networking. It also allowed them to plan ahead and build their schedules. This way, attendees walked into WPC with their schedules planned and with potentially profitable relationships already germinating. After the conference, Connect was where partners could access session resources, including viewing on-demand videos. The brand knew that attendees wanted to have information at their fingertips, so the features and functionality of Connect came through the mobile app.

In addition to the Connect features, Microsoft also leveraged more traditional social channels, including Facebook and Twitter, which the brand managed with a tool called Sprinklr, used to engage in conversations live at the conference with attendees. A team of four used the tool to listen and respond immediately, whether that response was a simple thank you or a trouble-shooting escalation. One of the most important parts of WPC is the Vision Keynotes, so the brand streamed the keynotes live on its website DigitalWPC. In addition to the live streaming, Microsoft brought the keynote experience to the digital world through live tweeting of quotes, key announcements and posting live from the press box. For an exciting technological touch, the brand brought online conversations to the real world with a Live Wall that displayed a living infographic of social feeds, statistics and presentation decks.

In the end, Microsoft’s digital additions helped transform its annual conference into a year-round conversation capped off with a better organized and more networking-friendly live experience. Connect brought together many vendors, tools and features into one seamless experience for attendees to help augment their event experience. The app brought more than 8,000 users into the fold and almost 90,000 total app opens. Thanks to the brand’s careful social management, it increased its Twitter reach by more than a million over the year before, 61 percent of messages sent by the brand team were retweeted and mentions increased 219 percent. Not to mention the live streaming that had three times the viewership for the Vision Keynotes over 2013 with more than 20,200 viewers and from more than 100 countries.

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