Category: BDI Blog

Tip of the Month: Michelle Moran

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Welcome to BDI’s Field Marketer Fridays where we interview a new marketer every month with the goal of sharing lessons learned, insights, and perspectives about the ever-changing landscape of field marketing. This week, Michelle Moran of Avetta joins us to share her 10+ years experience in event marketing.

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What is your role and summarize the number and specific types of field marketing programs you are leading
My role at Avetta is to execute the Avetta event strategy, which directly contributes to lead generation and relationship building, driving pipeline growth and ultimately impacting revenue. I am responsible for all global net new lead generating events – from event conception to execution, evaluation, and reporting on event success metrics. Avetta participates in over 50 events globally ranging from industry tradeshows, thought leadership conferences, networking events, smaller regional conferences, roadshows, and seminars.

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How do you measure and track your field marketing programs?
We work closely with our Marketing Operations Team to measure the success and effectiveness of our programs. We utilize Marketo for marketing automation and Salesforce as our CRM to manage and track our campaigns. We track our leads based off of a scoring mechanism – A leads (MQLs or Marketing Qualified Leads) are sent directly to sales versus those B leads that we will funnel to our nurture programs. We work closely with sales and welcome their feedback to ensure the quality of leads are being met and as such alter our programs as needed.

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What are your top 3 lessons learned about Field Marketing?

  • Communication is the foundation of an event’s success. As an Events Team we do all that we can to set up our events for success – we design a compelling, eye catching booth in an ideal location on the tradeshow floor, stock the booth with informative, engaging collateral provided to us by our amazing Content Manager and come up with exciting giveaways and promotions to grab attention. However, no matter how great our preparation might be, none of these investments will ever pay off unless our sales team shows up prepared. The Events Team will organize a mandatory event kickoff call, onsite huddle and post event recap for every single event we attend – no matter how big or small. We want to ensure our sales team understands our event goals and KPIs, that they review the attendee list to pre target prospects, they need to know where to be and when. The more information our sales team has before arriving onsite, the more success we find at our shows. [push h=5]

  • Sales is our customer. We use a very customer centric approach here at Avetta, with Sales being the Marketing team’s customer. For any event we attend, we get buy in from sales to ensure we understand their pipelines needs and goals. Once they have bought into a program and feel invested in the success, they are more willing to drive creative thinking and offer strategic input.

  • Details, details, details. Great events don’t just happen by accident. They take lots of planning and careful work to make sure everything goes off without a hitch. Being meticulous and paying attention to all the little things — everything from ensuring our attendees have the proper hotel accommodations, the correct spelling of our guests’ names to making sure all dietary restrictions have been communicated — is probably the most important skill. We want to be able to answer any questions quickly and with the most up-to-date information.

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ABOUT MICHELLE MORAN

Michelle Moran has over 10 years of event marketing experience in the tech sector. In addition to working on the Marketing team at Avetta, Michelle enjoys spending her time exploring her new town of Park City, Utah. When she’s not hitting the slopes or the hiking trails, Michelle can be found spending time with the fur balls over at Nuzzles & Co Rescue Center.

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Tip of the Month: Delivering Value to Attendees to Maximize Sales

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Welcome to BDI’s Tip of the Month, where we share lessons learned about field marketing events. We’ve been at this since 2001 and have learned most lessons the hard way, so you don’t have to!

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[push h=10]We get it. Sales leaders pressure field marketers to produce a targeted audience to be sold to. However, field marketing leaders need to first and foremost deliver value to the attendees. It’s focusing on what’s in it for them, not what’s in it for us that will produce the best results in terms of new pipeline opportunities. At BDI, we run over 100 field marketing events per year for 20+ clients.

[push h=10]Regardless of geography, function, or company size, attendees want three basic things: to learn, network, and have a good experience. So how do we deliver that?

[push h=10]Answer #1: Use a format that is interactive and provides a peer-to-peer learning environment. A roundtable room setup works much better than classroom or theater style. Allow time for attendees to interact with each other. Feature industry panels on relevant topics to deliver thought leadership content instead of an infomercial-style company/product presentation.

[push h=10]Answer #2: Pick geographically convenient venues with a strong brand. We tend to use private rooms in well known restaurants that have great reputations for food, service and ambiance. Trust venues that have a proven track record to take care of your guests, because an attendee’s experience at your event helps form their impression of your organization.

[push h=10]So it’s just another example of you must give to get. Happy, satisfied attendees are more likely to turn into new customers.

[push h=10]We hope these tips and tricks help you strengthen your field events!

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ABOUT BDI

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Business Development Institute (BDI) is an award-winning ABM event marketing agency specializing in producing custom, thought leadership driven, client acquisition roadshows called Accelerate Events. Using an ABM approach, we are able to successfully brand our clients as thought leaders in their industry while simultaneously generating qualified leads thorough our Accelerate Events. As a turnkey partner, BDI handles all of the heavy lifting from conception of the program content, to recruiting our client’s qualified buyers, to executing the event day of.

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Tip of the Month: Minimizing Attendee Attrition

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Welcome to BDI’s Tip of the Month, where we share lessons learned about field marketing events. We’ve been at this since 2001 and have learned most lessons the hard way, so you don’t have to!

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[push h=10]We all know the feeling – it’s 10 minutes before the event kicks off and there are too many empty seats in the room. We take deep breaths and tell ourselves people tend to arrive a little late as we periodically glance at the door in hopes of seeing a big group enter. When they don’t, we scramble to pull chairs and force the perma-smile and pretend everything is fine.

[push h=10]Over the years we have learned how to answer the ever-important question, “How do you minimize attendee attrition?”

[push h=10]Answer #1: Know your audience. Not just the personas and industries, but know your audience down to location. BDI uses a data-driven approach in every step of the planning process. We not only know that the IT function tends to have higher attrition than, say, marketers and HR folks, but we also know that the average attrition rate for a New York City event with a senior IT audience is 35%. But in Denver it’s 25%. With this data, we know that if the goal is 25 senior IT leaders in the room for a NYC event we need about 40 people to register in order to meet our goal. Gather data on location, personas, industries, and topics; turn that data into actionable insights and learn from it.

[push h=10]Answer #2: Create and execute a post-registration communications plan. Now that you got ‘em, how do you keep ‘em? Some of the same incentives you use for attendee invitations that originally got people to register will come back into play to keep these registrants, and ultimately have them show up day of. One week before the event day, send an email to re-confirm their participation, and include attendee incentives: peer-to-peer learning, high value networking, and a fabulous meal. In this same follow up, be clear that if they no longer plan to attend, it’s important that they let you know at their earliest convenience so you can free up their reserved seat, and offer their seat up to others on the waitlist. Additionally, we recommend picking up the phone the day prior to the event for a friendly confirmation call – this personifies you and creates a more substantial commitment. Lastly, always send a quick “see you today” email in the wee hours of the morning as a final reminder.

[push h=10]We hope these tips and tricks help you strengthen your field events!

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ABOUT BDI

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Business Development Institute (BDI) is an award-winning ABM event marketing agency specializing in producing custom, thought leadership driven, client acquisition roadshows called Accelerate Events. Using an ABM approach, we are able to successfully brand our clients as thought leaders in their industry while simultaneously generating qualified leads thorough our Accelerate Events. As a turnkey partner, BDI handles all of the heavy lifting from conception of the program content, to recruiting our client’s qualified buyers, to executing the event day of.

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Tip of the Month: Invitation List

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Welcome to BDI’s Tip of the Month, where we share lessons learned about field marketing events. We’ve been at this since 2001 and have learned most lessons the hard way, so you don’t have to! This month’s tip is all about building the invitation list of prospective attendees.

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The first step is to work with your sales team to make sure you have the right accounts for the city you are targeting. Aligning the goals of the event with sales is very important – for example, do you want to recruit net new logos for your top of funnel or will it be a mix of prospects and current customers? Once your account and event strategy is in sync with sales, the next step is to research specific contacts for the accounts.

[push h=10]We build a new, organic invitation list for each event we produce at BDI. We don’t purchase lists or rely on past attendees, although we will invite past attendees if they are still a fit. By using a combination of B2B tools such as DiscoverOrg, Data.com and LinkedIn, we identify specific contacts based on their company, location, function, seniority, title, and often specific keywords. For example, if we are doing an Internet of Things event, we will use IoT as a keyword. The result of this ABM-targeted research is a list of potential buyers from named accounts that are located in the event’s specific city.

[push h=10]We share the list real time with our clients’ marketing and sales teams so they can confirm the list is on track and modifications can be made. LinkedIn is a valuable tool to verify people are still at the company and their geographic location. People self-maintain their LinkedIn profiles so often we find it to be the most useful tool when it comes to verifying location, company, and seniority, plus you can do keyword searches on LinkedIn.

[push h=10]Happy hunting!

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ABOUT BDI

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Business Development Institute (BDI) is an award-winning ABM event marketing agency specializing in producing custom, thought leadership driven, client acquisition roadshows called Accelerate Events. Using an ABM approach, we are able to successfully brand our clients as thought leaders in their industry while simultaneously generating qualified leads thorough our Accelerate Events. As a turnkey partner, BDI handles all of the heavy lifting from conception of the program content, to recruiting our client’s qualified buyers, to executing the event day of.

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Field Marketer Friday: Haley Martin

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Welcome to BDI’s Field Marketer Fridays where we interview a new marketer every month with the goal of sharing lessons learned, insights, and perspectives about the ever-changing landscape of field marketing. This week, Haley Martin of AvidXchange joins us where her goals include generating demand for all areas of the business including new business, partner sales, and existing customers.

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What is your role and summarize the number and specific types of field marketing programs you are leading
I’m the Director of Marketing at AvidXchange, responsible for leading our team of Campaign Managers. My team quarterbacks a variety of programs consisting of educational webinars, lunch and learns, roadshows, tradeshows, email marketing, direct mail, customer appreciation events, and more. We support 8 different sales teams across the United States and produce over 100+ events per year, including our large annual users conference for customers, partners, and potential customers.

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How do you measure and track your field marketing programs?
We partner with our Marketing Operations team to track and measure the effectiveness of our programs. We use HubSpot as our marketing automation platform and Salesforce as our CRM. Our team is really focused on delivering quality leads to sales, so we have a very high barrier for Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs). We then filter those through our Market Development team before they even get passed along to sales. We meet weekly to review the effectiveness of our programs as a demand gen team and then make real-time adjustments as needed to make sure we’re achieving our goals.

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What are your top 3 lessons learned about Field Marketing?

  • Overcommunicate. Like George Bernard Shaw says “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” When you’re a fast-growth company, things can change almost every day. It’s so important to make sure that all the stakeholders know what’s going on and exactly what’s expected of them. To help with this, we hold pre, on-site, and post event meetings to make sure everyone knows what’s going on, gets all of their questions answered, and has a forum to give us feedback and suggestions. We also send out event overviews prior to the meetings so sales can review and come prepared. They are great documents to reference afterwards too![push h=5]

  • Be proactive. Our team of Campaign Managers partners with our Events Team to pull off over 100 events per year. We couldn’t do this successfully without being proactive. Before the calendar year begins, we create a list of every event (tradeshow, roadshow, lunch and learn, etc.) that we are interested in hosting or sponsoring. We get feedback from all of our stakeholders and then prioritize based on expected return on investment. We do add “pop-up” events throughout the year, but having a proactive plan has really minimized that and enables the team to spend more time being creative and innovative, instead of being reactive.

  • One team with one vision. One of our company’s core values is to “Win as a Team.” We incorporate this into everything we do. Marketing doesn’t win without Sales and vice versa. We hold each other accountable in a respectful way and know that we are all in the same boat, striving towards the same goals. I think this mentality really helps us all to work well together, trust one another, learn from each other, and continuously get better together.

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ABOUT HALEY MARTIN

Haley Martin is a highly ambitious and performance-driven B2B marketing professional with an unparalleled work ethic. She takes pride in providing the best demand generation campaigns possible, while managing a team of A+ players. She attended the University of South Florida where she graduated magna cum laude with a B.S. in Business Marketing and went on to receive her MBA from Gardner-Webb University with an emphasis in Marketing. While campaign development is her primary job function by day, Haley also enjoys spending time with her family, being a mom to her 1-year old son, throwing elaborate parties, spending quiet time with God, and drinking really good lattes.

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Tip of the Month: Topic

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Welcome to BDI’s Tip of the Month, where we share lessons learned about field marketing events. We’ve been at this since 2001 and have learned most lessons the hard way, so you don’t have to! This month’s tip is all about choosing the right topic for your event.

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Last month’s post was how to pick a venue, now it’s time to strategize on an event title and topic. The right topic is one of the most important ingredients for success. Too often, we see enterprise tech and services companies using their product as the genesis of the event content. Product marketing does not equate to effective event content marketing because product marketing is about you. It’s also about prospects or customers who already demonstrate interest in your product. When trying to get net new prospects in the top of your funnel, your ability to fill a room with qualified senior executives is based on your ability to communicate the promise of what’s in it for them, not you. Here’s how we do it for our clients at BDI.

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The first step is to understand the most important topics your audience is interested in. There are many ways to do this. Talk to your best sales and accounts team members, they know what’s on the mind of your targets. Read industry publications. Research competing events. For the IT audience, here are examples of successful topics we have been using: Enterprise Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, and Internet of Things. The art of crafting event content is about focusing on the needs of the audience while picking a topic that is related to your product and company. Many failed events lead with a product topic vs an audience topic. It needs to be the other way around.

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The next step is to craft an event title that differentiates your event from its competition. For example, we have been using Enterprise Blockchain – Beyond Cryptocurrencies. Note the focus is on the “Enterprise” and the point of differentiation is “Beyond Cryptocurrencies”, which drives most of the media hype on the topic of blockchain. This topic resonates with a senior technology leader for a Global 1000 company who is very interested in learning about how blockchain technology may impact his organization, not the latest hyped cryptocurrency that everyone is talking about.

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After the topic comes the abstract. A good abstract will briefly describe the opportunities and challenges associated with the topic followed by specific examples or use cases that will be covered. It will also provide a promise to the attendee about what they will get out of the event – benefits such as interactive peer-to-peer learning, high value networking, and a great meal in a private room at a Michelin-starred restaurant. Provide photos and videos of what they can expect. Don’t overlook the attendee experience in the abstract, it’s just as important as the topic. Click here to view an example of a BDI abstract for our upcoming Enterprise Blockchain for Insurance & Banking – Beyond Cryptocurrencies.

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ABOUT BDI

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Business Development Institute (BDI) is an award-winning ABM event marketing agency specializing in producing custom, thought leadership driven, client acquisition roadshows called Accelerate Events. Using an ABM approach, we are able to successfully brand our clients as thought leaders in their industry while simultaneously generating qualified leads thorough our Accelerate Events. As a turnkey partner, BDI handles all of the heavy lifting from conception of the program content, to recruiting our client’s qualified buyers, to executing the event day of.

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Field Marketer Friday: Melissa Narvaez

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Welcome to BDI’s Field Marketer Fridays where we interview a new marketer every month with the goal of sharing lessons learned, insights, and perspectives about the ever-changing landscape of field marketing. This week, Melissa Narvaez of Mulesoft  joins us with over eight years of senior management experience in the tech industry.

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What is your role and summarize the number and specific types of field marketing programs you are leading:
I’m part of the North America Field Marketing team at MuleSoft, responsible for the Eastern region. I support the Eastern sales team with different programs, from hosting educational workshops to customer appreciation events and conferences. Our team supports five regional sales teams, divided into North, South, East, West, and Federal. We produce around 40+ events per year, including trade shows, and our 9 main regional conferences which are in New York, Boston, Chicago, Toronto, Atlanta, Dallas, Seattle, Los Angeles, and DC. Our audience is very technical so our events are more tailored to product education and opportunities to have hands-on experience with our platform. We partner with the sales team and corporate marketing team to identify topics and use cases that are relevant to our customers and prospects based on their initiatives.

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How do you measure and track your field marketing programs?
We work closely with our digital & marketing ops team to track and measure the effectiveness of our programs. We use Marketo for marketing automation and Cvent for event management. We use different metrics to measure success, from number of registrations, attendees, email click-through rate, but overall we focus on measuring opportunities sourced and influenced. Today, we’re focusing our efforts on mid-funnel mostly, so moving opportunity conversion, vs. generating new leads or contacts. These opportunities can be both net new or expansion in existing customer accounts.

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What are your top 3 lessons learned about Field Marketing?

    • Over-communicate with your sales team and make it easy for them.
      Salespeople are busy people, we all know that. It’s not enough with sending them emails telling them about your programs, you need to talk to them, remind them, literally market to them. Keep it top of mind, give them templates, cheat sheets, 3 bullet points highlighting the value of your event, so they can easily consume and share it with their customers.

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    • Customers want to listen to other customers, not you.
      Although we’re great at talking about our product and the value it brings, no one does it better than actual customers.

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    • Understand the business.
      A Field Marketer is not only an event planner, we’re tightly aligned to the sales team and work with them on a day-to-day basis, so it’s critical we understand what’s going on in our region, with our customers, and in the sales cycles. Be part of sales calls, team meetings, even joining an Account Executive at a customer meeting, there’s a lot you can learn!

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ABOUT MELISSA NARVAEZ

Melissa has over 8 years of experience in the tech industry. She started in sales and after majoring in Public Relations transitioned into Marketing. Before her current role, she led global marketing efforts for MuleSoft’s training & certification in San Francisco, building training marketing from the ground up. Her passion for customers brought her to Field Marketing (and New York!) where she’s leveraging her cross-functional experience to test out new programs. Melissa is from Venezuela and lived in Argentina, so she knows a thing or two about wine, salsa, and soccer. She is a photography enthusiast and enjoys traveling the world with her husband, who she met on Tinder— long live technology! Check out her profile on LinkedIn and be sure to follow her travel adventures on Instagram @melinarvaez.

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Field Marketer Friday: David Dolnick

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Welcome to BDI’s Field Marketer Fridays where we interview a new marketer every month with the goal of sharing lessons learned, insights, and perspectives about the ever-changing landscape of field marketing. This week, David Dolnick of GoodData (formerly of Skillz Inc.) joins us with over ten years of experience in senior management and event and field marketing within a range of industries from IT and computer software to publishing and renewables.

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What is your role and summarize the number and specific types of field marketing programs you are leading:
I am the Events Manager at Skillz and in charge of all lead generation events. As the first event hire at Skillz, I am tasked with building our field marketing program which we will be rolling out at the end of Q3 and throughout Q4. The field events will be lunch-and-learns as I have learned these are optimal in terms of getting the highest turnout.

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How do you measure and track your field marketing programs?
Although we have not rolled this out yet at Skillz, I will measure my field marketing programs the same way I have throughout my career – MarTech stacks. At Skillz that will be via Salesforce and Marketo.

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What are your top 3 lessons learned about Field Marketing?

    • Build a great relationship with your SDRs and SDR managers.
      Because the SDRs are so critical in helping build the target lists and making the invitations, their efforts and quality of work is a big factor in your success. Creating Spiffs and excitement are really important. I also like to build attendance into the reward. For example, the SDR who confirms the most attendees gets to attend the event.

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    • Reason to call!
      When I was an SDR (many years ago), I loved it when I had something new to call about, instead of my same old pitch. In the case of field marketer, it’s a program that is free, informative, and social. Making sure your SDRs are excited about this program and the pitch is critical and it gives them another reason to call their prospects and a fun one as well. “Are you free for lunch next Tuesday?” is a lot better than, “what is your identity and access management strategy for 2019?”

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    • Restaurants that are closed at lunch.
      This is a great strategy for lunch-and-learns as you no longer need a private room, the entire restaurant is your private room! You get even more laser focused staff, your food is the only item being cooked, you can put signage wherever you want (usually), and you get the parking lot to yourself which feels so exclusive!

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ABOUT DAVID DOLNICK

As Senior Event Manager at Skillz, David leads all lead generation events. Prior to Skillz, David held event marketing positions at Oracle, SolarCity, Sitecore and OneLogin. He’s a huge foodie who loves cooking, especially BBQ and pizza. David is also a huge sports fan with his fandom and heart directed to the San Diego Padres, Los Angeles Chargers and Clippers. Check out his profile on LinkedIn and follow him on Twitter at @dolnicksays.

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TopicPulse: Enterprise AI

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Welcome to TopicPulse, a blog series about the intersection of Account Based Marketing (ABM), Field Marketing, and Content. Since 2016, BDI has produced 160+ B2B events for 36 clients in 33 cities which have attracted 4,000+ leaders. Needless to say, we’ve learned a ton about which topics attract attention from business and technology executives. The objective of this blog is to simply share insights so others can benefit from our experience.[push h=10]

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My inaugural post was on Enterprise Blockchain – Beyond Cryptocurrencies. You can check that out here. Today, I’d like to focus on Enterprise Artificial Intelligence (AI). Enterprises are currently exploring how to use AI to improve decision-making and customer experiences. While the media hypes the promise of wide scope AI, smart enterprises embrace very specific opportunities consisting of narrowly focused machine-learning solutions that target a particular task. Large organizations are experimenting with cognitive services that use deep learning algorithms to deliver insights from massive amounts of structured, semi-structured and unstructured data. This is happening across all industries.

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As Field Marketers, we need to connect our content to important hot topics like Enterprise AI to attract the attention of senior decision-makers. Ask your senior leaders and product teams to explain how AI relates to your product roadmap. Get their insights on how your product and company are positioning themselves with artificial intelligence.

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Let’s put ourselves in the shoes of a Fortune 1000 CIO for a minute. Think about how many invitations they get to events. How are you going to differentiate your invitation vs the others? At BDI, the data is clear. The hottest topics- such as AI or Blockchain- will receive more response and more event registrations than tired topics- such as digital transformation or cloud. The reason is simple. These leaders are responsible for setting their company’s strategy, and they’re looking for valuable educational and networking experiences that will help them do so. Our job is to provide events with programming that will help them achieve this goal. Then they will be warm and give permission to sales to build relationships and eventually sell to them. It’s all about their needs, not ours.

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Please comment below to let us know if you agree, disagree or have any questions.

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ABOUT BDI

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Business Development Institute (BDI) is an award-winning ABM event marketing agency specializing in producing custom, thought leadership driven, client acquisition roadshows called Accelerate Events. Using an ABM approach, we are able to successfully brand our clients as thought leaders in their industry while simultaneously generating qualified leads thorough our Accelerate Events. As a turnkey partner, BDI handles all of the heavy lifting from conception of the program content, to recruiting our client’s qualified buyers, to executing the event day of.

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Tip of the Month: Venue

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Welcome to BDI’s Tip of the Month, where we share lessons learned about field marketing events. We’ve been at this since 2001 and have learned most lessons the hard way, so you don’t have to! This month’s tip is all about choosing the right venue for your event.

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So you figured out the best location for your field event (see last month’s post on how to pick a location). Marketing and sales are aligned on producing an event to attract new logos and position your company as a thought leader. Next step is to select a venue.

[push h=10]At BDI, 99% of the venues we use for our clients are private rooms, located within best restaurants in town. These are the restaurants with strong local brands that senior leaders already know and in many cases, love. They dine at these restaurants with their significant others, as well as business colleagues. Having an attractive venue is one of the several main ingredients to producing successful field events. While throughout the years we have built an internal venue database in just about every major metro area, we find Yelp to be the best publicly available tool to perform location-based research of the best quality restaurants with private rooms to meet our venue requirements.

[push h=10]The next step is to reach out to the list. Most restaurants have a private event section on their website with an online form and contact information for event managers that specialize in corporate events. If they don’t, that’s a red flag that often disqualifies them. While we complete their online inquire forms when possible, we also send them an email with our own form, asking questions that are often not covered or addressed on their websites and/or their common responses. The list of questions we ask is quite long but here’s a taste:

  • Do you host multiple events at once?

  • Are you open to the public at the same time as our event?

  • Is the room truly private separated by walls and doors? Please provide photos and dimensions of the room.

  • Are there any obstructions within the room that may block line of site during a presentation?

  • Is there any renovation in progress at the time of our event date?

  • What is the location of the kitchen to the room selected?

  • Where does the serving team exit/enter the room from?

  • Does noise filter into the room when this occurs?

  • What is the maximum seating/capacity of the room?

  • What type of tables do you offer and what is the maximum seating per table?

  • Can you offer a three-course plated meal? Please provide lunch menu options.

  • What A/V is built into the room?

  • What type of parking is offered at lunch? Valet? Self-park? Street parking? Third party lot?

  • What is the food/beverage minimum and is there a room rental fee?

[push h=10]After you select the best venue, it’ time to move into contract with them. I can write a separate blog post about contract negotiation best practices so I will save that for another time. Once signed, we send the contract back to the venue and ask for them to complete a Venue Prep Questionnaire. This document has additional information needed for the planning stages, such as the need for barstools for the panelists, table numbers, printer on-site for name badge printing day of, if needed, shipping information, address to use for parking, printing of menus with logo, and more details specific to the room selected. We are proactive throughout the planning stages about communicating with the venue when needed. Two-three weeks prior to the event, we provide a menu selection to our client. Once confirmed, this and the logos for the menu are shared with the venue. At this time, you begin to work on AV needs as well.

[push h=10]As you get closer to the event date, a final count and room set up is required. Be mindful that each venue has their standard requirement of time when this is needed. When providing this, we also include pertinent information necessary such as the amount of barstools needed, room set up with amount of tables with specific number of place settings, pre-poured water in glasses by 12pm, request a registration table, ask for table numbers to be provided (when applicable), provide the flow and timeline of the event with number of panelists so their entrees/desserts be held until after the presentation, parking solution decided upon, and a reminder to use client logos on the printed menu. This is requested to be on the Banquet Event Order (BEO) to be received and reviewed for accuracy. Things like the menu, non-alcoholic beverage options, if AV is set up by the venue are also listed on the BEO. Every venue offers their version of a BEO, so have your own checklist to compare and confirm information. The BEO is more important than the original contract in making sure everyone is clear on the expected needs for the event.

[push h=10]On the day of the event, we arrive no less than 2 hours prior to the start of the program to give ourselves plenty of time to make any last minute adjustments to the room setup, meet with the A/V staff, and perform set up activities. Remember that the entire venue staff is part of the success of your event. Work collaboratively and enjoy the event!

 

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ABOUT BDI

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Business Development Institute (BDI) is an award-winning ABM event marketing agency specializing in producing custom, thought leadership driven, client acquisition roadshows called Accelerate Events. Using an ABM approach, we are able to successfully brand our clients as thought leaders in their industry while simultaneously generating qualified leads thorough our Accelerate Events. As a turnkey partner, BDI handles all of the heavy lifting from conception of the program content, to recruiting our client’s qualified buyers, to executing the event day of.

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Field Marketer Friday: Marc Hansen

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Welcome to BDI’s Field Marketer Fridays where we interview a new marketer every month with the goal of sharing lessons learned, insights, and perspectives about the ever-changing landscape of field marketing. This week, Marc Hansen of Workfront joins us with nearly ten years of experience in digital, event and field marketing within the enterprise software and engineering industries.

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What is your role and summarize the number and specific types of field marketing programs you are leading:
As Senior Marketing Manager at Workfront, I lead the North America Field Marketing Team which encompasses event and webinar programs. We run approximately 40 live webinars, 18 conferences, and 30 regional field marketing events per year. Our team supports seven sales teams across four major territories with an emphasis on New York, Boston, Atlanta, Chicago, Minneapolis, Dallas, San Francisco, and Seattle. We partner with our internal marketing teams, sales leadership, and external partners to identify the right content to impact the right accounts within the right locations. Our “go-to” field event format is a thought leadership panel over lunch but we also put together networking happy hours, industry dinners, and suites at pro sports games when it makes sense. Our Creativeworks series with BDI has been quite successful and a lot of fun.

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How do you measure and track your field marketing programs?
We partner with our Marketing Operations Team to measure our success. The main KPIs we review are number of registrants, actual attendees, new new leads created, account qualified leads (AQLs), marketing influenced qualified sales opportunities (QSOs), and total pipeline coverage ($).

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We use Salesforce and Marketo to manage and track the campaigns. Then, we report on the data using Tableau dashboards.

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Much of our focus recently has been on an account-based land and expand strategy. Each account executive has a set list of “targeted accounts” which informs the invite list for an event. We often design incentive programs for our account development reps and measure the number of targeted accounts they recruit for an event.

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What are your top 3 lessons learned about Field Marketing?

    • Let your customers do the selling for you. No one wants to attend an event and be sold to the entire time by the host. Focus the content of your event on thought leadership around common pain points and involve your customers, partners, and industry thought leaders in the conversation.

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      A typical pitfall for event marketers is to focus so narrowly on the target list that they forget to invite (or intentionally block) happy customers. Design your event in a way that allows your champions to network with- and influence -your key prospects. That’s where the “magic” happens. Just last week, I sat at a table in Los Angeles with an important prospective buyer and an experienced customer. They talked throughout the event about their similar challenges and discussed ways to solve those issues by using our product. Our customer even gave a live demo of our mobile app! I didn’t have to say a word.

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    • Get buy-in from sales and over-communicate. For any field marketing event to be successful, you’ll need to get your sales team on board first. It’s vital to partner with sales leadership early on in the planning process or you’ll risk a lack of engagement when the event comes around. Ultimately, your event could flop.

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      I hold monthly planning meetings with the sales leaders. We also sit on bi-weekly calls with the sales teams to provide updates on upcoming events and understand their pipeline needs. When an event launches, we send out a kick-off email to all the stakeholders involved and provide weekly summary emails from there.

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      In general, we seek to over-communicate using a variety of tools such as a centralized Google Doc with all the necessary links, a shared Google Calendar, a dedicated #FieldMarketing Slack channel, and a formal monthly newsletter. It’s probably overkill but somehow there’s always that one individual who is unaware of what’s going on.

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  • The details matter. A great experience is built on little details. Take the time to build your invite list, create a solid promotional plan, and write good content. Think about the pre-event, onsite, and post-event experiences.

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    Is the registration process easy and effective? Have you tested your links? Do your confirmation emails have the correct info? Could a pre-event survey help you gather important insights?

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    What about onsite? Have you thought about parking? Seating assignments? Leave behinds or giveaways?

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    Check and double-check your to-do list. Then, build a project template in Workfront and repeat.

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ABOUT MARC HANSEN

As Senior Marketing Manager at Workfront, Marc leads event and field marketing strategy and operations for Workfront. Prior to Workfront, Marc held digital marketing and automation roles in the enterprise software and engineering industries. He’s a music junkie, avid traveler, and enjoys spending time with his wife and three young children. Check out his profile on LinkedIn and be sure to follow him on Twitter at @marcrhansen.

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Tip of the Month: Location

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Welcome to BDI’s Tip of the Month, where we share lessons learned about field marketing events. We’ve been at this since 2001 and have learned most lessons the hard way, so you don’t have to! This month’s tip is all about choosing the right location for your event.

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So, great news- you’ve decided on a specific city for your field marketing event, in a region where you want to drive new leads for your sales team and brand your company as a thought leader. Before you can research the best venues, you need to pick the right location. The ‘right location’ in this case is simply the most convenient area or neighborhood for most of your target accounts in that particular city.

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At BDI we roll up our sleeves to help our clients pick the best locations by plotting target companies on a map and analyzing them spatially.

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The first step is compiling a target account list built specifically for the city you are producing the event in. Most of our clients have national target account lists, which are a good place to start, but won’t cut it for a field marketing event. Working with your sales team, filter the office addresses of your target accounts to produce the local target list.

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The second step is to plot those addresses on a Google map so you can visually select the most central locations- those that would be most convenient for the strongest clusters of target accounts.

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Finally, consider things like access to major highways, traffic patterns, where most people live (not work) and how attractive the neighborhoods are.

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Now you are ready to research venues in that location!

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ABOUT BDI

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Business Development Institute (BDI) is an award-winning ABM event marketing agency specializing in producing custom, thought leadership driven, client acquisition roadshows called Accelerate Events. Using an ABM approach, we are able to successfully brand our clients as thought leaders in their industry while simultaneously generating qualified leads thorough our Accelerate Events. As a turnkey partner, BDI handles all of the heavy lifting from conception of the program content, to recruiting our client’s qualified buyers, to executing the event day of.

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Field Marketer Friday: Tim French

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Welcome to BDI’s Field Marketer Fridays where we interview a new marketer every month with the goal of sharing lessons learned, insights, and perspectives about the ever-changing landscape of field marketing. This week, Tim French of Equinix joins us and brings over seven years of marketing experience ranging from social media and digital marketing on the agency side to field marketing in the tech sector.

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What is your role and summarize the number and specific types of field marketing programs you are leading:
I am a Field Marketing Specialist for Equinix’s Americas Field Marketing Team, West Region.. This includes a territory west of Denver including Western Canada and consists of five sales teams in total. The major cities in our team’s region are Denver, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Seattle, but extends to other metros such as Portland, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, San Diego and Vancouver. We produce around 40 field marketing events per year and our team is also responsible for two large trade shows, one in Hawaii and one in Vegas. Our team partners with global marketing teams to identify key topics/content and incorporate those programs into our field events, which include networking happy hours, professional sports games, thought leadership lunches for customers and new prospects with BDI, C-suite conferences, executive dinners, executive race car experiences and more.

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How do you measure and track your field marketing programs?
The majority of field marketing activities we do are events. Key performance indicators include number of registrants, actual attendees, leads generated, and new contacts created. More specifically, our team is interested in the number of customers and prospects that attend the event. We use an Account Based Marketing (ABM) approach for our field marketing strategy and our team has named accounts called Star Accounts. There is a major emphasis to recruit and involve Star Accounts in all of our field marketing activities.

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We track everything using Salesforce. Each activity or event has a unique Salesforce code and that’s how ROI is measured for our team – we look to see what type of influence marketing had on the overall outcome. Today, we are more focused on pushing qualified leads down our funnel vs. top of funnel. Our Sales team is measured on their ability to add new logos while our field marketing team is also measured on the number of customer references created annually.

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What are your top 3 lessons learned about Field Marketing?

  • Be flexible. We work with a lot of different stakeholders, both internal and external, which involves working with many different types of people. Adopting to change is required for this type of role as well as the ability to set and manage expectations with everyone I work with.

  • Communicate effectively with sales teams, vendors, stakeholders, and other members of marketing. Communication is our secret sauce for maximizing our partnership with sales. We schedule weekly or bi-weekly calls with sales teams either in-person or on the phone. We use this opportunity to provide a general update and summary on marketing programs, events, and anything else that should be on their radar. We also meet with the Regional Vice President of Sales on a bi-weekly basis. Here we discuss any challenges with the sales team, plan how field marketing and sales can become more closely aligned and any upcoming events or activities the team needs to be aware of. Additionally, we send out a monthly update that breakdowns everything the sales teams in our region need to know. It includes the event schedule, partner schedule, update on customer references, sales content, partner content, and any new products the team can push to the market. It is essentially a one stop shop for all things happening in marketing that sales team needs to know. We encourage them to review it, and we do our best to keep it short and sweet with quick hyperlinks. Ultimately, communication is at the heart of everything we do with sales.

  • Be organized. We’ve created with everything the sales team needs to know. It includes event lists, email invites, sales content, folders specific to customer references, invites to global event – and everything is specific to each team. Organization is the foundation for all of our team’s success.

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ABOUT TIM FRENCH

Tim French has over 7 years of marketing experience ranging from social media and digital marketing on the agency side to field marketing in the tech sector. In addition to working on the Field Marketing team at Equinix, Tim enjoys playing sports, fantasy football and exploring all the Bay Area has to offer. He lives in San Francisco with his wife, Lucy, and his 6-month-old Portuguese Water Dog puppy named Humphrey (be sure to follow him on Instagram @humphreyfrench). Above all else, Tim is a shareholder of the 13-time World Champion Green Bay Packers.

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ABM in the Field NYC 2018 Tips and Takeaways

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Date: Friday, March 9th, 2018

Author: Alyssa Downing

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Business Development Institute (BDI) kicked off our ABM in the Field series for 2018 in New York City on March 1st. In business since 2001, BDI has learned tried and true methods for producing successful, invitation-only, custom roadshow events for prospects. In an effort to share this knowledge with other bright minds, ABM in the Field was born to promote idea-sharing amongst marketers. ABM in the Field has been hosted across the country 6 times since 2017 and is expanding throughout 2018. For those of you who couldn’t attend, here are some highlights from the New York City event:[push h=10]

Smaller scale, personalized events are becoming more popular: A topic of discussion at this meet up was the movement away from large trade show, conference style events to more customized, targeted and private events. The no show rate of these more personalized events typically tend to be lower. Individuals are more likely to turn out for an event that they feel is tailored to them and their professional development, than a general conference style event that they can find plenty more of to attend throughout the year.

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Direct mail is not dead: Believe it or not, many of our attendees were in agreement that a great direct mail campaign can yield stunning events. You could really wow someone and make them want to reach out and learn more just from being impressed. Never underestimate the power of a creative, thoughtful, unique piece of mail made just for your audience!

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C-Suite outreach: Utilize your CXO or higher level professional’s influence to help event recruitment and build brand awareness. One of the tactics BDI personally employs and that other ABM attendees agreed to using is sending out emails on behalf of the CEO. This message has a more personal touch and attendees will be impressed. Even if your company is not well known, a personal email from the CEO may be just what it takes for your audience to reach out and learn more.

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Emphasize the experience: Companies that are smaller, tend to have less brand awareness as they fight to expand. If this is the case for you, your marketing needs to be all about the event experience. People won’t register for your event just for the brand, like they would for Fortune 500 companies, so you need to market these events in a way that resonates with your attendees as a memorable experience they won’t want to miss.

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Don’t be afraid to follow up: Following up with your registered attendees shows that you care about their absence. Throughout our marketing campaigns, BDI follows up with event reminders one week and one day before the event, confirmation calls and see you today emails. This helps reduce our no show rates and allows us to better prepare for who will turn out at the event. Other ABM attendees felt this tactic is very important as well and some companies go as far as to call attendees with an Uber code to ensure they can get there smoothly. By doing these follow ups, you are also ahead of the game on being able to pull those name badges that you know won’t show, which gives attendees a more realistic view of how many people they will meet.[push h=10]

We hope that these highlights can give you and your company something to think about the next time you are planning an event. Thank you to all of our attendees for coming out and sharing their thoughts with us, it’s always a pleasure learning from you. ABM next stop: San Francisco, April 18th![push h=20]

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TopicPulse: Enterprise Blockchain

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Welcome to TopicPulse, a blog series about the intersection of Account Based Marketing (ABM), Field Marketing, and Content. Since 2016, BDI has produced 160 B2B events for 36 clients in 33 cities which have attracted 3,657 leaders. Needless to say, we’ve learned a ton about which topics attract attention from business and technology executives. The objective of this blog is to simply share insights so others can benefit from our experience.[push h=10]

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For my inaugural post, I would like to focus on a very hot topic for both IT and business leaders from large organizations: Enterprise Blockchain – Beyond Cryptocurrencies. While cryptocurrencies make up most of the media hype, blockchain has the potential to offer a new method for enterprises and customers to transact. Enterprises are exploring how to utilize the underlying distributed ledger technology to achieve business objectives. Organizations like Microsoft, IBM, HPE, Oracle, SAP and many others are offering Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) to help enterprises by providing an architecture, infrastructure, and resources to maintain and deploy blockchain initiatives.

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The potential impact of blockchain is significant across multiple industries including banking, insurance, healthcare, government, manufacturing, logistics and others. One of the key applications of blockchain is to reduce cost and time related to reconciliation and disputes, resulting in simplified operations. Enterprise-specific challenges to implementing blockchain include integration with data/systems, regulatory issues (especially in financial services and healthcare), auditing/logging, and authentication/authorization.

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As field marketers, we need to get better at the art of using hot topics to attract the attention of our prospects. Instead of leading with the products and services of our companies, smart field marketers are connecting the dots between the most relevant industry topics and their own marketing and sales initiatives.

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At BDI, we have clients who push back when we suggest using blockchain as a field event topic because their current product doesn’t have anything to do with blockchain. While this is understandable, if your company provides enterprise technology products or solutions and you’re not thinking about how blockchain relates to your product pipeline, I’d strongly encourage you to reconsider. Quality field events are not solely about your company and your product. Successful field events are about driving value to your audience AKA your prospects. If you create a forum where you are educating your audience on trending industry issue and providing them with a high value networking experience, your sales team will be in a much better position to build relationships. This approach more potential to result in conversations about solving their business problems with your product, which can ultimately convert them to new customers.

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Here’s the bottom line: topics like Enterprise Blockchain get more of the right butts in seats than fatigued topics such as “digital transformation” and “the cloud”. Our job as field marketers is to attract the right quantity and quality attendees to our events. Successful sales people just need the right circumstances to start relationships and great topics maximize that opportunity.

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ABOUT BDI

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Business Development Institute (BDI) is an award-winning ABM event marketing agency specializing in producing custom, thought leadership driven, client acquisition roadshows called Accelerate Events. Using an ABM approach, we are able to successfully brand our clients as thought leaders in their industry while simultaneously generating qualified leads thorough our Accelerate Events. As a turnkey partner, BDI handles all of the heavy lifting from conception of the program content, to recruiting our client’s qualified buyers, to executing the event day of.

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Tip of the Month: P³: Plan Perform Post-Event

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Congrats, you just had a great field marketing event with the right quantity and quality of registrants!

BUT…

The real work begins after the event if you want to maximize ROI.

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Your job doesn’t end just because you filled the room with the right people, delivered compelling content, and ran a flawless event.

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It’s critical to create and execute a post-event strategy that clearly outlines how marketing and sales will effectively partner to make sure all leads are captured, tagged, assigned, and contacted after the event.

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How to successfully wrap up your events:

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Immediately after your attendees leave and before your on-site team disperses, schedule a mandatory post-event debrief. The objective of the debrief is to capture as much new information that was learned about the prospects in attendance.

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Hopefully your event embraced an interactive format that allowed your sales reps and execs to be a sponge and absorb your attendees’ questions, feedback, and insights. Discuss each and every attendee, what was learned collectively, and outline a plan of action for next steps. These notes should be taken formally, using a laptop so you can easily transfer the data into your CRM system.

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As the adage goes, “you can’t manage what you don’t measure”. This is especially true with event ROI. When you enter each lead into your CRM system it’s important they are tagged properly so you can claim credit when the opportunities move throughout the pipeline and hopefully convert into a new revenue producing customers.

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Unfortunately, the emotional shelf life of happy attendees that experienced a quality event is very short. We recommend immediate follow up within one business day. Every day that goes by decreases your sales rep’s chance of being effective. It goes without saying that a thoughtful “thank you” email with relevant thought leadership content links should be sent also within 24 hours.

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Tip of the Month: Prep Your People

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So you are ready to host a field marketing event with the right quantity and quality of registrants. Great job!

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BUT…

To maximize ROI, your sales team needs a plan.

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It’s not enough for you to fill the room with the right people, deliver compelling content, and run flawlessly through the program.

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Prepping your sales team is what turns your event into new revenue opportunities. You need a detailed plan that spells out how the sales team will prep before, act during, and follow up after the event, making sure roles, responsibilities, and expectations are crystal clear.

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BEFORE THE EVENT, communicate clearly the time commitment you expect from your sales team. For example, each sales person should arrive at least 30 minutes prior to the event start time and plan to leave at least 30 minutes after the event ends. “I need to leave during the event to catch my plane” is not acceptable! In those 30 minutes following your event, the entire sales, marketing, and thought leadership teams should formally meet in a debrief where each attendee is discussed, notes are taken, and followup activity is agreed upon. Do not settle for a meeting the following week – it’s human nature to start forgetting the details of conversations that may be the key to personalized followups. All of this fresh data needs to go into a CRM system such as Salesforce.com and be coded in a way that you can track and measure results over time.

Prior to traveling to the event, the sales representatives should recieve a full registration list so they can analyze the individuals, the represented companies, and any existing relationships. This way, they can easily research the registrants and attending companies (LinkedIn or Google both work well) so they are better prepared for introductions and conversations during the event.

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DURING THE EVENT, the sales team should be actively networking with attendees, not talking with each other. Instruct them to actively listen, and be a sponge- the more the attendees share, the better prepared you are to focus on their needs and convert them to new customers. Take care to set boundaries with your team- during the event, they shouldn’t spend too much time talking about your company or your products. Instead, it’s a valuable time to listen and learn- they’ll soon find themselves armed with more than enough business development intelligence to build real relationships.

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AFTER THE EVENT, it’s critical that followup is done within 24 hours, so the attendees’ experience is fresh in their mind. Our data proves that the success rate is greatest within 1 day of the event and goes down as time goes on. It’s also important that any and all followup activity is logged in your CRM/Salesforce system so that both the marketing and sales team can measure and quantify the results and ROI of the event.

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Tip of the Month: Registration Communication

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So you’ve got a strong response from people interested in coming to your event? Awesome!

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BUT…

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You may be surprised to learn that the need for registrant communications increases after folks have RSVP’d yes to your event. It’s not enough to have a strong response from folks interested in attending your event, you have to keep the line of dialogue open in order to maintain engagement and minimize the dreaded no-show rate. Keeping your registrants engaged ensures that your event is top of mind.

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At BDI we use proven methods to confirm all registered attendees prior to the event in order to minimize the percentage of no-shows. Advance cancellations are preferable to day-of no-shows because you can best equip your team with all the information you need to have a killer event! In the weeks prior to the event, we take steps to re-confirm all registered attendees and cancel registration for those who can no longer attend.

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Having accurate registration numbers puts us in the best position on the day of the event for two significant reasons: the venue can prepare the meeting space based on the most accurate head count, and the client is made aware so they have realistic expectations of the number of final attendees.

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This is how we pull it off:

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  • Immediately after a guest registers: send a calendar invitation with all relevant event details.

  • Two weeks prior to the event: send an update featuring the speakers and sharing the registration list in order to garner excitement about the upcoming event and networking opportunity.

  • One week prior to the event: send an invitation to all registered guests encouraging them to bring a colleague. In the event that the registration list is full this becomes optional.

  • Two days before the event: make personal phone calls to every registrant to further confirm they’re still planning on attending. Leave enthusiastic voicemails for any registrants that cannot be directly reached.

  • Day before the event: send a final confirmation message and include the updated registration list and request that if they are no longer able to attend to please let us know. Additionally, we request that if/when possible and, if possible, to send a colleague in their place.

  • Morning of event: send an enthusiastic “See You Today!” message reigniting their interest in the event and including any last minute details (e.g. notices about traffic, directions, valet instructions, etc.)

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