Four years of running the CzechDreamin conference, it is time to look back at our marketing efforts, what we tried and what were the results, as the other conferences might appreciate it as well or share their approach. And call for help at the end 🙂
The plan was clear – we have a lot of connections on LinkedIn as individuals, just sharing that the event will happen will do a magic and the conference will be full. After all it worked pretty well with the community groups before, why not with something bigger and unique?
Outcome: failure (not surprisingly)
I do understand why marketers say that people need to hear about things three times ideally in three different forms to react. And that’s the approach we try to apply since then.
We asked Salesforce employees to help us as well and share the message, a few retweets on LinkedIn, but it was still fight to get the attendees.
Year 2 & 3
These two years were – due to Covid – somehow related. We canceled 2020, made 2021 virtual (and for free) and rolled all the tickets all the way to 2022, which made it challenge as people changed companies in the meantime, but still allowed us to make the audience over the years.
Back then, in 2020, we run ads on Google, Facebook and LinkedIn. No PPC specialist hired, I tried to do it myself also to see how it evolved over the years, how Google Adwords became almost way to simple to configure with just „give me a page and text and I’ll do the rest“.
The campaigns ran for a few months, with a few dollars spent per day, meaning the reach was super low. Still we spent a few thousands on it and … nothing.
No buy we could clearly link to it. Maybe it worked from the branding perspective, maybe it was important touch #2 but …
Salesforce cooperation – while officially declined – I was still able to persuade a few people to send an email to some set of customers (have no clue to how many or who they were), which to me was additional touch the people might needed to attend.
Also PR person helped us to get some articles published on different sites on the internet, but it wasn’t as heavy as I hoped for.
At the end we made it to 380+ on the day, which was pretty awesome achievement.
This year we decided to go super aggresive and spam (I still didn’t find a better word for what I decided to do) half of the LinkedIn. And we’ve got professionals to do it for us, which was awesome, as they really drove the whole thing and all I had to do was to approve the thing, pass my login details to LinkedIn, pay a few invoices and gave up on my idea that I have network only from people I know and can say a few words about.
Combo of Sales Navigator and LinkedHelper allowed us to search for all people with „Salesforce“ listed in their experience based in specific market, connect with them and once they accepted the connection send them some messages over a few days.
You have a great brand (in the Czech Republic)
That was one of the feedback from the agency, as the acceptance rate of my connection requests was almost 50 %, way above the average they usually see. When we went abroad it significantly dropped.
Surprisingly we’ve got only a few negative feedbacks, mainly from people who ran around Salesforce 10 – 15 years ago, still have it listed on their profile, but sadly (I’ve been told) when doing the segmentation it isn’t possible to limit the time frame, when Salesforce should be listed on their profile. So we had quite a few misses in the targeting, but it didn’t really result in a lot of negativity (uff). Obviously people outside of Czechia have been more surprised and we’ve got a lot of „why should I travel from (name any place in Europe) to Prague, you realised it is far away?“ Yes, we did and still found it beneficial to you 😉
Was it worth it? This should be easy to track as at the end we’ve got a list of people they reached out to and we had a list of people who bough the ticket. There have been a surprisigly lot of matches, but after some cleaning like removing previous attendees, possibly removing people we know just were not connected yet, the list of matches went down. Still, maybe it was important touch in the relationship to make it happen, it also broaden my network and we gained a lot of new followers for our LinkedIn page.
We also got a few retweets for our posts from Salesforce employees, sadly we weren’t able to persuade them to send any email this time.
At the end we had around 500 attendees, sold out the event but … I’m still missing something and that’s where I call for help.
Call for help – Year 5 is ahead
Ok, next year already in planning (May 17, 2024) and I want to change the structure of our audience a bit.
Out of these charts, which we’ve got from the attendees on the day, I like to change at least two of them. You can check the whole stats in our brochure.
I like the international mix of attendees and want to keep it. I also love to catch up with all my friends from other companies, BUT I do have a feeling the event is the most beneficial to all those small/medium customers, who most likely don’t have Salesforce partner and do all the customization themselves.
Those admins/power users/accidental admins can benefit the most from all the more practical/technical sessions we have (compared to any event run by Salesforce) and can be the heroes of the company the days and weeks after the conference. Also they rarely know about the community groups (sadly) so they struggle themselves and only some of the figured out that there are plenty ways (such as Trailblazer Community) how to get help or do things in a better way than they are used to.
My wish for next year is to let them know about the event and explain the benefits, enable them to connect with the community and feel being part of something wider (saying family might be to weird for them).
The challenge is, how to get to them as:
- most likely they aren’t on LinkedIn (at least here in Czechia tons of people are not there at all or not active) and they might not even have Salesforce as part of their job description;
- Salesforce is the only one who knows about them, but isn’t legally allowed to let them know;
- I’m not sure how the market with (paper) magazines is these days and whether people still read things like Softwarove noviny, ComputerWorld or Chip. Or if they pay attention to some internet magazines where they will notice us (but that would be a weak touch #1);
- I have no idea what can be the other surprising way to catch them and get their attention.
So we – as CzechDreamin – officially call for help with the marketing effort. Looking for someone who can help us with reaching to new audience, handle all the PR related things, thinking out of the box with a very limited budget, better engage with our partners and other Salesforce partners on the (European) market to reach out to their existing customers as well and remove the feeling of fear that they would lose the customer would they bring them to the conference.
We prepared intense entry interview consisting of one step where you will say „I’m here to help you and can do this for you“ and then most likely you are in. Are YOU that person? Get in touch with me, please.