Enterprise security company MobileIron each year brings together IT professionals for an annual conference on getting more value and better usage out of its mobile security platform. While in the past the event involved several hundred attendees in a hotel convention center, this year the brand shook up the format with an unconference and more intimate approach: a roadshow that activated in three beautiful homes in regions with concentrations of customers.
MobileIron LIVE!, formerly MobileFirst, took place in a townhouse in New York City, at a lake-side home in Austin and in a mansion in Bel Air, with each hosting between 65 and 81 customers, and between 25 and 33 employees and partners leading content. Breakout sessions took place in bedrooms with seating and a/v equipment, keynotes took place in center hall mezzanines, partner activations took place in common areas, networking took place by the pool. And overall, the format leant itself to more meaningful interactions as attendees let their guards down, and enjoyed the comfortable and luxurious surroundings.
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“The goal was to create a new experience that would be really amenable to learning so that people leave feeling not just like ‘Wow, I had a great experience that was cool and that was unique,’ but because of that, that they had deeper connections with MobileIron engineers and deeper connections with their peers and most importantly, that they left having learned more than they would otherwise,” says Ojas Rege, chief strategy officer, MobileIron.
The format gave MobileIron opportunities to market the show differently and engage new or potential customers. By choosing venues in hubs of customer activity, attendees were more likely to invite colleagues within the organization as a department training experience, because it was happening locally and, thus, friendlier on the budget.
The venues inspired a range of design and engagement moments, too. Like the red vinyl skins on refrigerators and on the front doors of the homes featuring only the “Planet M” logo and no other branding, or the commemorative pins made for each session that put a gamified spin on attendance—or, in Austin, the “coffee shop” in the garage, sponsored by a local coffee company. Or in New York City, the bathtub in the master suite stocked with branded rubber duckies. For this techie crowd, the homes themselves offered Easter eggs like whole-house custom apps and other features that these particular attendees could appreciate.
“We wanted to make it more of a family type of environment, where it’s not just a vendor talking,” Rege says. “It’s partners figuring out how to be successful together and actively involved in discussions about the future of technology.” Agency: The Michael Alan Group, New York City.
See How MobileIron Brought the Unconference Experience to Life: