Enthusiastic employees are integral to the success of internal and proprietary b-to-b events. And it’s up to the event team to get them stoked. Here tips for building the excitement.
Keep the branding consistent. Most folks remember faces but not names. So giving an event a face—or an image—can have a greater impact emotionally. For the Microsoft Dynamics CRM sales event in Toronto the message and image couldn’t be more on the money. Every branded item contained a picture of a Ferrari.
Build in incentives. (Translation prizes!) Microsoft tied its branding into its incentive for the Toronto event. The rep that signed the most customers in the two months leading up to the event won a luxury weekend package: a three-day Ferrari 355 Spider rental two nights at a boutique hotel spa treatments for two and $500 in spending money.
“The branding piped back to the prize and we were racing to the end of a quarter in terms of trying to hit new targets ” says Frank Falcone senior product manager at Microsoft Dynamics CRM. “Everyone wanted to participate in it” (Agency: Starshot Toronto).
Give employees ownership. To make sure its employees had a stake in its sales summit in Seattle last year Avanade a global IT consulting company gave each region a chance to show off its tech skills by creating three-minute videos that explain how they influence the sales process. They were shown in between presentations at the event.
“[These events] can be very disconnected if you don’t generate excitement ” says Nicole Koelsch national events manager at Avanade. “If people don’t feel invested they don’t put their energy into what’s going on.”
Avanade also added an evening session called Diligent Solutions. Each department had a chance to build out its own display to illustrate how it helped with the sales cycle. The evening mixed business and pleasure with cocktails and a digital city-themed décor (Starshot handled).
Communicate constantly. Giving employees updates keeps the event top of mind. At Informatica a software and data integration company the buzz for its Informatica World event in June was created via email blasts. Those were followed up with internal webcasts so that reps were fully aware of what was new in order to sell the event and get customers to attend.
“It’s about constant communication selling the value of the conference and providing incentive programs ” says Candy DeSantis senior director-global marketing communications at Informatica (Agency: Jack Morton Worldwide New York City).
Avanade also used web-based and internal face-to-face meetings to get its message across. It organized a steering committee with members from each department to make sure all employees were represented and reflected at the event. So that everyone was on the same page it created a website with frequently asked questions and the most up-to-date information.