Our guest speaker was Hillary Foster, who is the Global Events and Sponsorships Lead at Cloudsmith, a SaaS tool for developer teams.
Hillary brings a wealth of experience to the table. With a rich background in event planning and logistics, including stints at the Grammys and The Washington Post, she knows what it takes to create an event that resonates.
Recently, Hillary orchestrated Cloudsmith’s inaugural global virtual conference on Zuddl - Unpacked ‘23, which garnered over 1,200 registrations. We caught up with Hillary to get some insights into the inner workings of Unpacked.
Here are our top four learnings from that conversation that are sure to help you run better virtual conferences.
Measure event success by quality and relevance
Hillary emphasizes the importance of defining clear objectives for your virtual conferences and measuring relevant metrics. She says, "To measure the success of an event, it goes beyond just saying, 'Oh, we had 10,000 registrations.' If the 10,000 people registered aren't relevant to your business, then that doesn't really matter." This insight underscores the need to focus on quality over quantity when it comes to event attendees. It's not just about attracting a large crowd, but attracting the right crowd.
Amplify your efforts with internal marketing
According to Hillary, fostering community engagement and promoting your event internally are crucial for its success. She states, "Internal marketing is as important as external marketing. Talk about your events, so people are on track, and you know, I imagine that also helps with employee advocacy."
This approach not only ensures that everyone within your organization is aware of and excited about the event, but it also encourages them to spread the word within their own networks, amplifying your reach.
Have long-term goals for your event content (beyond the event itself)
Hillary highlights the importance of a deeper vision when it comes to your event content. She points out, "Having things that can be captured in the virtual space live on forever on our YouTube or behind gated content is really important."
This highlights the value of virtual event content as a long-term content resource. In an increasingly on-demand world, the recordings from your virtual conference can be invaluable video assets that can be put up on your website or Youtube and continue to engage audiences and drive value long after the event has ended.
Personalize your promotions - it pays off!
Finally, Hillary advises event marketers to personalize event promotion efforts and focus on reaching the most relevant audiences.
She says, "You want to target the people in your industry who are going to attend the events. What newsletters are they reading? What websites are they going to? What forums are they on? Those are the ones you want to target and use your paid media spend there." This approach ensures that your promotional efforts are focused and effective, reaching the people who are most likely to be interested in your event.
You can also watch the whole conversation here - it’s 100% ungated!