At Evolved Media we write about enterprise technology, but recently realized that we were hiding our analytical skills under a bushel. We create content about products that transform #Big Data, perform analytics, create better clouds, or improve security. And we deliver that content to marketers of all stripes who use it to raise awareness and find new customers.
But did we ever point our analytical brain at the technology used by those marketers? We decided it was time to launch a series that reviews the technology B2B marketers need.
Event Farm – A Way to Manage Events from 500 to 4,000
To understand Event Farm, I spoke today with Alexandra Gibson, the CMO and a ferocious content marketer in her own right.
Event Farm’s SaaS Platform:
- Manages the invitation, registration, check-in, on-site registration, payment, and activity tracking for events of about 500 people to 4,000, or even higher. (Program schedule of the event is NOT managed in Event Farm).
- Allows attendees to be equipped with an NFC or RFID credential that can be used for requesting content, tracking preferences, or many other things.
- Is licensed on an annual basis at intro ($5,000), pro ($15,000), and premiere (negotiated).
Gibson said that this software is not for the mega events like SAP SAPPHIRE, Oracle World, which are the targets of companies like Cvent and others.
Rather, Event Farm is for the smaller event where you are targeting a specific crowd of VIPs or a certain type of practitioners. For example, Event Farm allows you to restrict the invitation so that it can only be accepted by a specific person. At the VIP-heavy Cannes Lions film festival, Event Farm is powering events for 10 different organizations.
The EFX capabilities allow the most fun. By giving everyone an NFC or RFID credential you can do stuff like:
- Allow attendees to tap on a wall display of various content or offers and then get those sent via email. Event Farm did this at its own event, the Offline Summit, held on June 2, 2016.
- Control access to specific sessions.
- Allow attendees to bookmark sessions or products for later follow up. The NYC Wine and Food Festival has a great story along these lines.
Gibson says that it is all about the data.
It doesn’t make sense to spend a large amount of money to get people to an event, and then not learn as much as you can about them. And once you know, you must take action.
Gibson says the best way to create a relationship is not just by collecting data in the background, but using opt-in points based on an exchange of information for content, access, a prize, a discount and the like.
After an event, Event Farm will then load the detailed history of the activity of a person into the CRM you are using so the sales staff can make use of the information. This sort of process is obvious but is so often neglected, which dramatically reduces ROI on events.
Increasing Event ROI Through Content Capture
I couldn’t agree more that the ROI on events needs to be higher through systematic monitoring and experimentation. In addition to tracking the interest of attendees, I have always thought that events should be used for capturing content. Evolved Media did this for five years at SAP’s International Research Forum, where we designed the program in such a way that the ideas were captured from main and breakout sessions. Evolved Media then developed those ideas with further research and ended up publishing a series of five books that addressed many topics such as the IOT way before they hit the radar of the larger market.
A successful event should always have a content capture element. It’s easy to interview people and capture knowledge while you all have them in one place. Then you can use capabilities from Event Farm to track who is interested in what, so you can identify the coalition of the willing at most events to develop more content. If used properly, events can drive the cost of creating content down and also improve quality and customer engagement.
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