Take a look at these 10 real life event ideas that will help you strategize your next customer training events.
It's 2019 and customer education is a big deal. The more your target audience knows about the products your company sells and how to use them, the better. That's why we suggest hosting customer training events. In this article, we cover what customer training events are, why they're beneficial, and 10 ideas from leading brands you can actually use to make sure your next training is a success.
What is a Customer Training Event?
A customer training event is exactly what it sounds like: an event that trains customers to use a company's products. They're also known as workshops, bootcamps, and seminars (depending on the company hosting them) and serve as a solid bottom of the marketing funnel content type.
Many well-known companies have and continue to hold these kinds of conferences including HubSpot, Amazon, and ServiceTitan. Why? Because they're incredibly valuable! Let's dive deeper into that:
Why are Customer Training Events Valuable
Customer training events are valuable for many reasons. For example, they allow you to interact with your company's customers and learn more about them. When you understand your target market, you can work on delighting customers, improving customer satisfaction, and achieving the flywheel effect over time.
Customer training events also tend to boost customer retention rates, which makes sense. Customers who understand how to effectively use a tool are typically less inclined to switch to a different solution — a solution they probably aren't as familiar or proficient with.
Customer Training Event Ideas
Now that we know what customer training events are and why they can be so beneficial to your company, let's look at a few ideas you can use to make your next customer training event a smashing success.
Customers love certifications. Why shouldn't they? A certification is proof to a current boss, a future employer, and to one's self that product proficiency has been achieved. So try to add a certification element to your next customer training event.
That's what Google did with their Google Cloud Next event in April 2019. The conference was loaded with tons of keynote speeches and breakout sessions. But Google also made sure that attendees could take certification exams if they wanted to.
Where you host your customer training event is very important. It needs to be big enough to fit your attendees comfortably. It also needs to be a space they'll enjoy being in for hours at a time and that includes having access to the proper technology requirements. Projectors, wireless internet, and plenty of electrical outlets are a must for most trainings.
Many of the ServiceTitan Bootcamps are hosted at the ServiceTitan Headquarters in Glendale, CA. This makes it easy for them to ensure every little detail - from room decor to technology specs - is perfect for their training events. But don't worry if your office isn't suited for hosting customers. Just make sure that the space you choose meets your unique needs.
The instructors and/or speakers you book to teach your customer training events matter. You need to select people who have an intimate knowledge of your industry and products. Your instructors should also be people that your customers respect and want to learn from. That doesn't mean they need to well-known. But they do need to have something — credentials, experience, name-recognition, etc. — that will get your target audience excited to attend your event.
The team over at IHS Markit does a great job with this at their Petrochemical Industry Fundamentals events. These one-day trainings focus on the very niche industry of petrochemicals. As such, IHS Markit makes sure to bring in qualified, industry veteran speakers that those in this field will feel comfortable learning from.
This tip may not be feasible for every company. It costs a lot of time and money to host even just one event. So we understand if hosting multiple trainings in different cities around the world is unattainable for you right now. But if your organization has the resources and an international customer base, this tactic is an excellent way to reach more of your audience.
Think about it: unless you own or manage a local company, you likely serve many customers outside of your own city. If the customer training events you plan always take place in your town, there will be a large portion of your audience that won't be able to attend due to travel restrictions.
Hosting workshops closer to their area eliminates this issue for them. That's why big companies like Amazon host event series in various cities. AWSome Days is a good example. These free, one-day events are hosted in many cities around the world and teach attendees how to use the AWS cloud.
Speaking of free events, why not host a training workshop and get rid of the price tag? After all, the point of these gatherings is to educate customers not to make a profit, right? So explore the possibility of a free event. Can your company swing it? It may take extra effort and planning. But if you can pull it off your customers will definitely appreciate it and more of them will try to attend.
A good example of this strategy in action is the Today at Apple event series hosted at Apple retail locations everyday. If you're not familiar with these events, they're free in-store trainings that teach attendees how to use Apple products or how to accomplish specific tasks using Apple tech. For instance, the Photo Skills session teaches attendees how to take better pictures using their iPhone devices. Imagine what this kind of free event would do for your customers and how much new business you could get from even one of these trainings.
Who says all of your customer training events have to be live and in-person? Online and virtual events have grown in popularity over the past few years and there's no reason why you can't host a successful digital training.
These kinds of workshops have multiple benefits. First, more of your customers will be able to attend because they won't have to worry about travel arrangements. Second, they're generally cheaper for companies to host because they don't have to rent a venue. And third, it's very easy to record digital trainings and then repurpose the content down the road. The lessons can be added to a training library, used as an incentive to help sell additional products, and more.
If you're looking for a great example of a digital customer training event, look no further than Slack Sessions. The SaaS company offers many live trainings throughout the year on topics related to their product. Customers can tune in and watch these trainings from the comfort of their own homes or offices. Slack also records each session and makes them available as on-demand trainings after the event has concluded, an evergreen content strategy that goes a long way towards building their SEO.
When looking for corporate event ideas — including ideas for customer training events — we always recommend taking a look at Salesforce. The company behind mega conference Dreamforce knows a thing or two about hosting a successful gathering. So it's no surprise that its Basecamp event series makes this list.
Basecamp is a successful customer training event because it focuses on a specific topic (customer success) and how Salesforce products can be used in this industry, rather than just the company's products themselves. It's a subtle difference but an important one.
What problem does your company's offerings solve? When you have your answer, plan an event around that issue and how your products remedy it.
The best customer training events almost always have a prominent hands-on element. This probably isn't a surprise. If you want to teach somebody how to use a product — whether it's a piece of software or a new, high-powered vacuum cleaner — the general consensus is that putting the product in their hands and walking them, step by step, through the operation of it is the best possible way.
That's what industry titan Microsoft does with its Microsoft 365 Training Day. Each event focuses on a specific topic related to Office 365 (one of Microsoft's flagship products), and teaches customers how to use the software in different scenarios. The event's registration page stresses the need to BYOL (bring your own laptop) so that customers can get first-hand knowledge of the tool and how to use it effectively.
When planning your next customer training event, do your best to add hands-on elements and give your customers the absolute best opportunity to learn to use your company's products successfully.
So far in this article we've talked a lot about convenience and how it would behoove your organization to ensure its customer training events are easily accessible by their target audience. You can do this by hosting workshops in multiple locations, recording them and making them available online, and by eliminating admission fees.
Or, you could follow HubSpot's lead and offer to send your instructors to your customers rather than having them come to you. The HubSpot Classroom Training series has this option. For a set price, a company can host a private classroom training with a certified HubSpot instructor who will travel to their location and teach them how to use the HubSpot suite of services.
Customers appreciate having this option because it makes things easier for them; they don't have to travel, rent hotel rooms, or spend extra money at restaurants. Instead, they can show up to their normal place of business, learn from certified instructors, and return to their everyday lives afterwards.
And finally, there's nothing wrong with going all out and making your customer training events a big deal. In fact, if your company has the resources to do this, it may be the best option. If you're able to make your training workshops fun, exciting, and/or something your customers can't wait to attend year in and year out, you'll see more B2C and B2B event marketing success!
That's why we love Hitachi Next, a large data conference that delivers information on how to better use Hitachi's products along with general details on the state of the data industry. The company spares no expense and brings together well-known speakers, plenty of networking opportunities, and top entertainment — for the 2019 conference, the internationally famous band Fitz and the Tantrums will be performing.
Key Takeaways: Customer Training Events
Customer training events are important event types and your company should definitely consider hosting them. Here’s what you should keep in mind when you do:
1. The Customer Always Comes First: We are talking about customer training events after all. So always keep your customers in mind when planning a training event and ask yourself, "Will this workshop benefit them?" and "How can we make this event more valuable to our customers?" The answer may be to host events online rather than in person. Or maybe you send instructors to your customers rather than the other way around. Whatever you do, put the customer first and you can't go wrong.
2. Don't Get Too Attached to a Specific Spot: As we saw in the section above, different companies take different approaches to event location. Some send their instructors to their customers. Others host trainings in different cities around the world. And still others post their trainings online so that their customers can consume the content on their own time. The point? Don't get too attached to a specific location. Host your customer training event where it makes sense for your customer base and don’t be afraid to change locations if needed.
3. Typical Event Best Practices Still Apply: Just because you aren't hosting a mega conference with thousands of attendees, platinum sponsors, and different ticket types doesn't mean you can neglect typical event best practices. Your speakers, content, and event venue are just as important as ever — so choose them wisely!
New York is known as the city that never sleeps, and rightfully so. Hundreds of millions of people come to the city every year to attend events and do business. There are plenty of great venues for event planners to explore in the city, ranging from the small and simple to the large and elegant. But finding the perfect New York City venue for your next event can feel overwhelming.
If you’re wondering what principles you should apply as you search for venues in New York City, first read this free 16 page guide on choosing innovative event venues. Then come back to our list of New York City venues to find the few that really interest you. If you’re interested in adding a venue to our list, please email us here with a high resolution image of the venue attached to the email.
Located on 90 Washington Street, Clinton Hall is a beer hall and courtyard garden in the Financial District. Clinton Hall offers 20 draught beers and ciders on rotation for your guests. Clinton Hall could be the perfect venue for your next private party or corporate event, especially if event attendees are interested in good beer and a relaxed atmosphere.
With 7,500 square feet of usable event space, 404 NYC can be transformed into the New York venue of your dreams. The multi-level space is just 2 blocks from the Jacob Javits Center, making it a perfect getaway from those attending large conferences or convensions. Some of 404’s famous clients include Facebook, Twitter, HBO, YouTube, HGTV Magazine and QVC.
The Ramscale studio, located in the West Village, near the Highline. It’s an ideal space for for product launches, fashion shows and corporate retreats. Your guests will have stunning views of lower Manhattan, the Hudson River, and New York Harbor. With natural light flowing through its windows at all times, the space feels modern, airy and refreshing.
The Loft in Flatiron on West 23rd Street, was originally a members-only club, but is now open for select, private events. This space has its own theater and media room, making it a good location for screening and presentations. This New York event venue provides organizers with A/V Equipment, WiFi and is handicap accessible.
Enjoy a modern, full-service event venue at Space 530. Located in the Fashion District, Space 530 is perfect for press events, speaker panels, and corporate meetings. The venue features state-of-the-art audio visual equipment, lounge seating, a built-in LED bar, conference rooms and passenger elevators. This event venue seems ideal for a swanky networking event!
Looking to enjoy cocktails with your guests at your next event? The Raines Law Room at The William may be your ideal event space. Located on 24 East 39th Street, Raines Law Room at The William is just steps away from the hustle and bustle of Grand Central Station, but it feels as though you’ve entered a speakeasy in the 1920’s.
Enjoy beautiful skyline views as your host your next event at Stage 48 in Hell's Kitchen. This New York venue has four unique spaces that can host from 100 to 1,400 guests and offers catering services, valet parking and coat checking services.
Rooftop 760 is a multi-level event space with an outdoor patio that overlooks the Theater District. The space provides event planners with state-of-the-art A/V and sound system and high-definition TV screens. Plus this the venue is just blocks from Times Square, famously called The Crossroads of the World.
Enjoy 30,000 square feet of event space at Three Sixty°. This venue can host up to 700 guests and is located in the center of Tribeca, a part of the city that Jay-Z and Beyoncé, Gwyneth Paltrow and Taylor Swift call home. Executive Chef, Joseph Jenkins will help you create a custom menu to fit both your guests tastes and your budget.
Escape the office and host your event in one of Hudson Terrace’s event spaces. Host up to 500 guests on the rooftop, garden terrace or in the salon.This full-service event destination overlooks the Hudson River in midtown Manhattan.
Located on South Street, Pier 36 is a state-of-the-art sports and entertainment facility. Have a lot of supplies and props? Pier 36 offers easy access for commercial and large vehicles loading and unloading on its 55,000 square foot lot. Take note event planners, not all New York City venues feature such easy access.
The Parisian-inspired NoMad Hotel on Broadway offers event planners both indoor and outdoor spaces for their events. Your guests can relax on the rooftop, dine in the restaurant or meet in a private dining room. NoMad provides catering services with food by Chef Daniel Humm, to help you create an elegant and delicious affair for guests.
Considered a quintessential New York City Venue, the Rainbow Room sits 65 stories over Rockefeller Center on Rockefeller Plaza. The Rainbow Room accommodates 300 guests for dinner and 270 guests for dinner with dancing.
Host exclusive screenings, executive presentations, panel discussions and private parties at The NYIT Auditorium on Broadway. The 262-seat auditorium features a platform stage and is equipped with modern technologies like Surround Sound, video conferencing capabilities and wireless broadband internet.
Host an event for up to 300 guests at 3 West Club. This venue is located in Midtown Manhattan and boasts over 7,000 square feet of meeting space. 3 West Club also offers overnight accommodations to meeting groups. You and your guests can choose from 27 main hotel rooms and 2 suites.
Make your guests feel at home at your next event at The Farm Soho. This trend venue has two event spaces: the Main Event Hall and the Multi-Purpose Lounge/Catering Area. Both spaces are decorated with rustic bespoke furniture and can be arranged to fit most event themes.
Not a fan of competing with other events in the same venue? Gotham Hall Events only hosts one event at a time, which means your event will steal the show (since it’s the only one inside). Celebrities like Britney Spears and the Bachelorette have come to Gotham Hall Events because of the stellar service of its event management team, and because unlike other New York City venues, Gotham Hall Events can truly impress attendees.
la. venue is located inside the famous “Terminal Stores” and can host up to 300 guests. The venue is equipped with modern day technology but features stunning exposed brick and wide-plank wood floors. It’s a great venue for organizers interested in combining the old with the new.
This venue recently underwent a major renovation and is now equipped with a state-of-the-art audio/visual system. The glamor of this space has made it a popular choice among organizers planning galas, and award ceremonies.
Host your next event in Capitale’s 15,000 square foot Grand Ballroom. Capitale’s ballroom can host up to 700 guests for a seated dinner or 1,500 for a standing reception. Organizers can also utilize one of the venue’s private rooms on the upper level for more intimate gatherings.
Learn how to find a venue as stunning as the ones on our list. Click button to grab a free eBook on innovative event venues!
The Glasshouses is located in the Chelsea Arts Tower and is available for a variety of corporate and private events. The Glasshouses consists of two event spaces: Glasshouse 14 (3,600 square feet.) and Glasshouses 21 (3,400 square feet). The two levels can be rented together or separately and each space can accommodate up to 200 guests for cocktail parties and 150 guests for sit down dinners. Floor to ceiling windows provide event attendees with sweeping skyline views, it’s a great space for a sophisticated gathering.
Enjoy panoramic views of the NYC Skyline and the Hudson River at Penthouse 45. The venue boasts 2,500 square feet of indoor event space and 1,750 square feet of outdoor terrace space. Penthouse 45 offers multimedia amenities like a Bose ControlSpace Audio System and Sony BluRay/DVD/CD Player. Plus it features a professional kitchen for caterers to work comfortably, multiple built-in television monitors and a grand fireplace.
Famous for its intimate atmosphere and amazing acoustics, The Town Hall is a 1,500-seat historic venue located on West 43rd Street. Designers McKim, Mead and White got rid of Box seats and eliminated all obstructions of view, making the saying "No bad seat in the house” completely true at this event venue. The Town Hall is available for daily and weekly rentals, rental periods include set-up, performance and load-out.
The Wythe Hotel is located in Brooklyn along the Williamsburg waterfront. The luxury hotel boosts six event venues perfect for corporate events, workshops, or networking events. Choose from rustic indoor hall, a loft space overlooking the New York skyline, screening room, or a picturesque garden terrace. The venue can support events of up to 120 attendees.
OFFSITE is Midtown Manhattan’s exclusive creative meeting venue. Your guests will have access to OFFSITE’s whiteboards, large-screen TVs, smart boards and 50-foot display wall. This stunning event space will surely help organizers to increase event registrations once attendees realize how inspiring this space is!
Lightbox, NYC’s first immersive events and interactive arts venue, provides event planners with technologies that create virtual reality experiences, and immersive video mapping. Some of Lightbox’s clients include: MTV, Vimeo, Nike, Vine, Lancome, HP, L'Oreal and Ralph Lauren. Take advantage of event technology and wow event attendees using the amazing new tools Lightbox offers organizers!
The Palace on Madison Avenue is the first five-star, five-diamond hotel in NYC history. The Palace offers over 30,000 square feet of event space across four expansive floors and contains several individual spaces for smaller meetings.
Ready to host an event in Lisbon? These 20 venues are the best the city has to offer!
Lisbon is a beautiful city situated on the banks of the Tagus River. It's the capital of Portugal and it’s the largest metropolitan area of the country with nearly three million people calling it home. And while the city has been enjoying the international spotlight lately, its roots reach back thousands of years. Ancient religious and funerary monuments from the first millennium BC can still be seen today.
In this article, we'll look at the 20 best event venues that Lisbon has to offer. Whether you plan to host a business meeting, small wedding reception, or international conference, one of the spaces listed below will suit your needs perfectly.
SUD Lisboa is a relatively new venue on the Lisbon events scene but it has quickly asserted itself as one of the city's finest. The space offers stunning views of the Tagus River, state of the art A/V equipment, and excellent entertainment options. And we can't forget to mention the food! Chef Angel Reyes is internationally respected and ready to cook up delectable dishes for your next corporate mixer, wedding ceremony, or private shindig. Book SUD Lisboa today and wow your guests with either the Terrazza (an outdoor space with a pool) or the Hall, complete with luxurious wood floors and sparkling chandeliers.
The Convento do Beato was originally constructed in the 16th century as a monastery. Made with Portuguese white marble and red jasper, the building was both sturdy and visually unique. But after a fire partially destroyed the Convento do Beato, it was sold and restored to be used as a manufacturing plant until 1984. Since that time, it has been used to host events by both local residents and mega companies like Microsoft, Lexus, and Mercedes. You can host your next event at the Convento do Beato too and get access to its beautiful architecture!
Altice Arena is the biggest Lisbon event venue on this list and perfectly outfitted for rock concerts, large orchestral performances, as well as other big productions and entertainment shows. But don't worry, it's also able to host intimate gatherings as well.
The Arena features a few different small spaces. There's the Moche Room, which is ideal for meetings of 50 people or less. There's also the Business Center. A collection of 11 different rooms, each Business Center venue space is able to accommodate up to 20 people. No matter what kind of event you plan to throw, the professional events team at Altice Arena will help you every step of the way. Plus they will provide you and your guests with WiFi, comfortable furniture, and other amenities too.
Marriott Hotels — no matter which country they're located in — make for excellent event spaces. And the Lisbon Marriott is not an exception. Event planners have access to 16 different rooms (the largest of which can host parties of up to 500 people) as well as specialty catering options, high speed WiFi internet, and state of the art A/V equipment. From product launches to wedding receptions, host your next event with ease and class at the Lisbon Marriott Hotel.
Looking to paint outside the lines and do something different and interesting? Then host your next event at the Jardim Zoologico and treat your guests to a memorable evening surrounded by beautiful nature and entertaining creatures. The Zoo has five different locations for you to rent: the Auditorium (which has seating for 96 people and A/V equipment), the Avenue (a long, open outdoor space recommended for product launches), the Bandstand (located near several restaurants), the Rose Window Stone (a beautiful stone greenhouse with stained glass windows), and Nature's Teatrinho (an open air theater with a lake). All you have to do is pick the right spot for your next corporate picnic or private party and enjoy all the zoo has to offer!
The Flat is a four story house that's been turned into one of Lisbon's latest and greatest event venues. The space is equipped with a full bar and kitchen, an outdoor terrace with amazing views of the city, and a relaxing vibe your guests are sure to love. We recommend this venue for private parties, team bonding sessions, and wedding receptions, but just about any smaller gathering can be hosted here with success.
The Lisboa Story Center is a fascinating museum that uses interactive equipment to tell the story of Lisbon from past to present. But it can also be rented and turned into an amazing event venue. The space's location is hard to beat; it's right on the river and delivers extraordinary views of the Atlantic Ocean. The building's architectural design and the grandeur of the space is also a plus for event planners. Whether you plan to host a fundraising dinner, birthday party, or small conference, The Lisboa Story Center will be happy to partner with you and provide plenty of catering options and unique gifts for your guests.
The Lisbon Congress Center is another Tagus River front event venue offering stellar views to all guests. The venue is comprised of 52 (yes, 52!) unique spaces. It has multiple auditoriums, pavilions, rooms, and foyers to rent - each with its own perks and benefits. For example, Auditorium 1 (pictured above) is versatile and offers remarkable acoustics. But Pavilion 2 is a large, open indoor space free of columns and perfectly equipped to host fairs, exhibitions, and even sporting events. Any event big or small can be held in one of The Lisbon Congress Center's many spaces. The possibilities are nearly endless!
Many of the Lisbon event venues on this list offer great views of the Tagus River. But only one of them allow you to actually set sail on the river and see it up close. Veltagus Cruises offers many different options to event planners. Hosting a corporate meeting? Book a high speed catamaran and enjoy drinks while you plot your company’s next move. Need a unique wedding ceremony spot? The Sailboat Príncipe Perfeito has three masts and can accommodate 200 people. No matter which ship you choose, you'll have access to catering options and comfortable furniture for your guest to lounge and relax on.
The Village Underground Lisboa may be one of the most unique co-working spaces and event venues in Portugal. Its architectural structure is made from shipping containers recycled into office spaces and two double-decker busses transformed into a restaurant and conference room.
The venue also includes a recording studio and halfpipe for skateboarding. Wild right? Well, it’s working; the space was voted the 10th best co-working space in all of Europe in 2019. And if you're worried that a venue made of shipping containers and old busses won't have the amenities your event needs, don't be. The Village Underground Lisboa has electricity, water, and nine toilets. Plus it's fully licensed and insured. So if you want to make an impression on your guests, book The Village Underground Lisboa for your next event.
The Estufa Fria Municipal Green Houses, also known as the Lisbon Greenhouse, is one of the most important parks in the city. It's also one of its most visited. The park features a variety of different plants, lakes, waterfalls, babbling brooks, and statues. It's a gorgeous living museum that event planners can use as the backdrop for their next conference, wedding, or reception. If you're looking for beautiful scenery and a relaxing atmosphere, Estufa Fria Municipal Green Houses is an excellent event location.
Casa do Alentejo is a restaurant housed in a 17th century palace and located in the heart of Lisbon in the Portas de Santo Antão. The actual building has an interesting history. It was originally built as the dwelling place of an aristocratic family. In the early 1900s, it became the first casino in Lisbon, known then as the Majestic Club. Then, in 1981, new owners purchased the property. Today, the restaurant's two halls can be rented for events. Specific amenities include nearby parking and free WiFi. But the real draw is the exquisite architecture and the luxurious outfitting. Wow your guests at the Casa do Alentejo and book this venue for your next business or personal gathering.
When it comes to Lisbon event spaces, palaces are definitely in. The Pestana Palace Lisbon is a restored 19th century palace that now operates as a one of the world's leading five star hotels. It's internationally known for its exceptional service, luxurious accommodations, and close proximity to the city's top attractions — all great things for both a hotel and an event space. Book the Pestana and gain access to the Old Stables, which offer fantastic views of the river; several lounges which are perfect for fashion shows, cocktail parties, and receptions; and numerous meeting rooms that offer privacy as well as free WiFi. The Pestana Palace Lisbon also offers 100 private parking spaces for you and your guests.
Patio da Gale is one of the more versatile Lisbon event venues on this list. It offers both indoor and outdoor spaces so event planners can configure the layout in a myriad of ways. Whether you plan to throw a cultural celebration, a private cocktail party, or a catered corporate dinner, Patio da Gale can host it with ease.
The Gremio Literario (or the "Literary Guild" in English) is a private club that promotes intellectual activity via the teaching of courses and the hosting of conferences in Lisbon. The Guild takes its residence in the Loures Palace which you can rent for your next business meeting, seminar, or private party. The premises include a great hall, full bar, dining hall, veranda, library, and garden. The crown jewel of the estate is the Louis the 15th Room, which is decorated in the neo-baroque style and offers views of the Tagus River. Book your next event at The Gremio Literario, get access to this exclusive club and the beautiful Loures Palace, and treat your guests to an evening they'll never forget.
Adega Machado is "where you can taste and sing secrets." It's one part delicious, upscale restaurant, and one part fado music house. If you're not familiar with the genre, fado is a Portuguese music style that follows a specific structure and is characterized by mournful melodies and lyrics. Adega Machado was originally founded in 1937 and features three floors of comfortable and private space for you and your guests to eat and listen in. The building also has a rooftop terrace and serves wine and snacks. For intimate events, we highly recommend Adega Machado.
The beginning of Quinta da Bellavista can be traced back to the late 18th century. These days, the refurbished building is a hotspot for events — especially weddings — because it offers views of both the Tagus River and Old Lisbon alongside well-kept grounds. Event planners can book one of many outdoor spots on the property's 10 hectares of land, reserve the transparent tent by the pool, or take their party inside and use the main building. The location even has a heliport and parking for 500 cars, so just about any potential transportation issue is taken care of. Don't let the quick 15 minute drive deter you from booking this amazing location for your next corporate or personal get-together!
Located right in the middle of Historic Lisbon, the Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon is a luxurious event location that provides many conveniences to event planners. For instance, the ruins of the 14th century Convento de Carmo are nearby and would make for an easy entertainment option for your guests. The venue's event team can also cater a memorable al-fresco dinner for your each of your conference or cocktail party attendees. And when the evening ends, your guests can quickly retreat to their rooms to relax on their private terrace overlooking the Tagus River. And we haven't even mentioned the grand chandeliers and hand woven tapestries in the Pedro Leitão Ballroom yet! All in all, the Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon is an excellent venue and can accommodate just about any event strategy with ease.
Choosing the right event venue is hard. Luckily, you can't go wrong if you book Oceanario de Lisboa, one of the world's highest rated aquariums. There are three rooms available for rent: the Sophia de Mello Breyner Room with magnificent views of the Tagus River; the VIP Room which offers open, versatile space; and the Mar da Palha Auditorium with advanced AV equipment and enough seating for 117 people. Plus, you and your guests can get access to all the amazing aquatic exhibits that the aquarium offers. Kids birthday parties to business powwows, book the Oceanario de Lisboa.
Pateo Alfacinha is a great location for any kind of event. It offers multiple indoor and outdoor spaces including a brewery and garden, excellent cuisine, and state of the art AV equipment. The venue also has turnkey event solutions. Want to host a great party but can't seem to find the time to plan it? Pateo Alfacinha will take care of every detail, you just have to invite the guests. Keep things simple and book your next get-together at Pateo Alfacinha.
Wrapping Up: The Perfect Lisbon Event Space
Lisbon is a vibrant city with a score of quality event venues. Now it's your turn to choose one of the 20 spaces listed above and host a business meeting, private party, or mega conference that your guests will remember for a long, long time. Just don't forget to invest in event management software after selecting your perfect venue! This tool will help you keep track of all the tiny details and ensure your next gathering is a big success.
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Looking for ways to optimize your marketing funnel? Check out how events can play a leading role in your conversion strategy. Here’s the scoop.
As B2B sales cycles grow longer and less linear, marketing and sales teams are working more in tandem generating awareness, educating, and forging relationships that move prospects into customers.
We know it can be tough. Refining your messaging or marketing strategy is the name of the game as prospects covert or exit the different funnel stages. Thankfully, when 84% of tech leaders agree that live events are critical to their success, we know events can help solve conversion blocks.
Let’s look at the intersection of the B2B marketing funnel and event marketing. We’ll define goals and potential roadblocks and how events can optimize the capture and conversion of quality leads.
What is the Marketing Funnel?
The marketing funnel is quintessential to B2B SaaS. The stages may vary from team to team, but ultimately the goal is to guide the right buyers through the funnel so that they can make the right purchase.
In the past, marketing teams may have focused on the wider opening of the funnel to convert web visitors to leads. Sales teams may have looked at the narrower end of the funnel—where parallels to the sales funnel and sales forecasting are uncanny—to determine their next opportunity. Now, both marketing and sales professionals are wholly invested in conversions at every stage of the funnel.
Technology and SaaS companies are constantly thinking of ways to iterate on the marketing funnel. The flywheel is a new take on the funnel first coined by Amazon and then revisited by HubSpot where customer referrals are the fundamental driver of closing new business.
At the end of the day, the marketing funnel is a visualization of the customer purchase journey. Prospective customers move down the funnel at specific turning points to making decisions that determine if they’ll become a buyer.
A quick recap—the marketing funnel is commonly divided into three stages:
The awareness stage at the top of the funnel
The consideration stage at the middle of the funnel
The decision stage at the bottom of the funnel.
Below, we’ve highlighted more granular stages starting with website visitors, leads, marketing qualified leads, sales accepted leads, opportunities, and finally customers.
Events are a great way to interact with prospective customers. In fact, 68% of B2B marketers use in-person events for lead generation initiatives while 51% of marketers believe one-on-one interactions and relationship building at events furthers an organization’s business goals.
You may be wondering, which events inform which stage of the funnel?
What we’ve learned is that each event type can complement any stage of the marketing funnel. Consider this: A whopping 80% of event attendees said a live demonstration and free samples informed their purchase decision.
Let's take a look at how events can nurture every step of the marketing funnel.
1. Events for Top of the Funnel Marketing
The Top of the Funnel represents the awareness stage for potential customers. Top of the funnel (TOFU) prospects are most likely discovering your brand for the first time. This is why 64% of marketers believe trade shows and events are a key source for new business and new prospects. Your goal as an event marketer is to leverage events for building awareness as visitors interact with your brand.
Just like a blind date or a left swipe in a dating app, a lot can ride on a first impression. The goals of this stage are to generate awareness, bring brand visibility, and angle your messaging based on the type of customer or account you are targeting in an ABM strategy.
A key challenge at the awareness stage is not providing the right message to the right prospective customer. This is a purely educational phase of the game. Steer clear of pushing product demos or introducing in-depth conversations with your sales team until a prospect shows clear interest.
Networking events are a fun way to start generating awareness for your brand or product with the relevant industry. At this point, you’re focused on attracting the right people to the right event venue, promoting your event brand, and providing valuable content.
Networking events are all about connecting with people on a human level. You’re looking to understand what gets your prospect excited, what their biggest pain points are, and ultimately where they want to be next. This will help you further in the funnel as you refine your messaging to each target persona.
Teach for America is a nonprofit with over 55,000 alumni and current corp members. Events at TFA play a key role in building community for networking, recruiting, and leadership development.
Obtaining speaking spots for your executive team is key to developing your thought leadership brand during the awareness stage. Covering topics relevant to your prospective customers helps them associate your brand with authority, provocative and engaging thought, and ultimately a leader in shaping where your particular industry is heading.
For International Women’s Day, leaders from IBM, Dow Jones, Yext, and other leading brands participated in EMPOWER. Over the course of the half-day event, they discussed high-growth cultures, diversity & inclusion, marketing best practices, and experiential marketing—building both their company and personal brands in the process.
Award ceremonies are another great top of the funnel event strategy that builds industry recognition and generates great press coverage. By hosting or sponsoring an award ceremony, you help position your brand as an expert in the space.
Award ceremonies attract highly visible industry leaders in one place, which is great for those event marketers utilizing an ABM strategy. Recognition at award ceremonies is a great way for leaders to gain more visibility and build a connection with your brand. Recipients are also likely to share their achievements in posts on professional and personal social media networks, on company emails and even press releases—all of which further elevate brand visibility and brand association.
The Hubspot Impact Awards recognize outstanding inbound marketers who are either Hubspot agency partners or customers. The awards are given quarterly and yearly to allow multiple opportunities for the Hubspot community to engage, celebrate, and recognize their peers.
2. Events for Middle of the Funnel Marketing
The middle of the funnel represents the consideration stage and usually takes up most of a prospect’s time with research, education, and evaluation happening simultaneously. For brands and potential customers, this stage signifies a mutual discovery process to determine if your solution helps solve the prospect’s pain.
Typically, the middle of the funnel (MOFU) is where your sales team is introduced to potential buyers. Marketers play a key role at this stage, too, as over 79% of event marketers generate sales through events. Sales and marketing are in the thick of it at this stage and alignment is absolutely critical for success.
As you're prepping for your events, keep in mind that your sales team needs enough information about prospective customers to start a conversation and build relationships. Providing a detailed list of attendees and contacts at your events will tee up your sales team up for success. Contact information prior to the event enables your sales team to book appointments ahead of time.
Aside from the discovery and evaluations happing during MOFU, another big challenge is competing vendors vying for your prospect’s attention. That's why events are crucial at this stage: events provide you with a platform to differentiate your messaging, your product, your authority, and your vision in the space.
Exhibit at trade shows
Attending relevant trade shows is a must for placing your brand where your customers are. Prospective customers attending trade shows and conferences already have a grasp of the industry and potential problems your solution solves and are therefore more likely to engage in a demo of your solution. Setting up a booth, demoing space, and a giveaway is a fun strategy for connecting prospective customers with your sales team.
IMEX is one of the biggest events for the meeting and event industry. It’s a great place for vendors to find prospects who are already familiar with the event industry and are evaluating different solutions in a fun and energizing environment.
While trade shows are all about commerce, event sponsorships give you and your company the opportunity to more organically gets your brand in front of the right customers and target accounts. A strategic sponsorship opportunity keeps your brand top of mind for potential customers—which your team can then capitalize by having a booth and a sales team on-hand in the exhibit hall.
Critical here is arming your sales team and field marketers with a brief of target prospects that are attending the event so they can continue to nurture those relationships.
Similar to networking events, VIP events attract the right industry leaders who are influential in buying decisions. They tend to be more exclusive and are hosted in smaller, upscale venues.
The key is to make connections with different executives, make intros to peers, and gradually introduce your brand’s message when it’s relevant to the conversation. This means speaking to the problems your product solves rather than discussing what your product does or evangelizing your solution explicitly.
Cari Goodrich Senior Director, Global Marketing Programs at Looker describes her field marketing strategy as a two-pronged approach: the first phase is a face-to-face meeting with sales and marketing for a meet-and-greet while the second phase is a private event with the executive team.
This VIP approach is more strategic as Cari mentions, “You’re keeping it really intimate, the cost point is a lot lower, and you’re getting the right people in the room to connect with each other. And this has been performing really well for us.”
3. Events for Bottom of the Funnel Marketing
At the bottom of the funnel (BOFU), prospects have already invested time evaluating your solution and have spent time building a relationship with your team. They are now determining when to buy. At the BOFU stage, it’s critical to have a solid relationship in place. As prospects evaluate their last apprehensions outside your vantage point, events can open lines of communications and accelerate sales.
Influence can make or break a deal. Events are key to the bottom of the funnel because they not only help enable a closed opportunity for your sales team but also set up your customer success team with a warm hand-off and the right expectations. Business leaders agree that their marketing dollars are going to the right place. 84% of executive leadership believe events are critical to business success.
The challenge in the final sprint of the funnel is understanding how your solution aligns with your prospect’s loftier and long-term business goals. If you can identify the relationship between your solution and your prospective buyer’s goal you can help sway the decision-making process in your favor.
Surprise! As mentioned at the beginning of this article, events can work anywhere in the funnel. VIP events at the BOFU stage are critical in engaging your key sponsors who are budget holders, executives, and leaders within their organizations. Just like in the MOFU stage, the emphasis is on bringing thought leaders and executives together to discuss top of mind issues and networking with peers.
VIP events helps your marketing and sales team gain visibility on the larger vision of your target audience directly from the people who steer those organizations. Your final messaging and product positioning at this stage should align with the business goals of your influencers seated next to you at dinner.
For INBOUND 2018, Bizzabo staged an exclusive, after-hours event. Select guests were invited out for a night of drinks, networking and a closer look at how Bizzabo powered INBOUND.
Post-opportunity user conferences are a great way to excite your new and legacy customers, connect them to peers, and launch new product releases to your core audience. Conferences are also the most popular event with over 62% of event organizers planning conferences. Just like the MOFU stage, your sales team and your customer success team should be available at user conferences to help users learn best practices, answer technical questions, and help them continually engage with your product.
Gainsight’s annual user conference, Pulse, has been a staple for customer success leaders since 2012. Over the years the conference has grown from 300 to 6,000 attendees and works to build the Gainsight community and help accelerate sales opportunities with one-to-one interactions with prospects, customers, and sales.
When you deliver a knockout thought leadership message at your user conference, it might be time to take that message on the road. Roadshows are a great way to connect with prospects who can’t make your larger user conference as well as potentially connecting those prospects with local customers who are solving problems they’re looking to solve.
After participating in a large trade show in San Francisco, it dawned on InsightSquared that they were the only vendor providing content around “revenue operations.” Because this content was relevant to different teams they decided to do roadshows across major cities where their prospects were located—Austin, San Francisco, New York City, and Chicago—and provide relevant revenue operations content prior to RAMP, their main user conference.
Key Takeaways for Optimizing your Marketing Funnel with Events
In-person connections from events can make a huge impact on conversion numbers in your marketing funnel. While no single event can make or break a sale, incremental conversions powered by events can get your team closer to those long-term sales goals.
Identify the key challenges of each stage of the funnel and deliver event content that’s specific to your prospect’s challenges.
Shift your perspective to see each individual event as a new facet of your relationship with your prospect rather than a magic bullet.
Funnels and flywheels aside, no event can be puzzle-pieced into a specific stage. Events are always relevant to marketing conversions.
Need more inspiration on building your next in-person event? Check out Bizzabo's IN-PERSON podcast and learn how leaders from SXSW, Yext, and Dow Jones are raising the bar building the biggest professional events.
Salesforce and its subsidiaries are known for producing incredible events. Take a look at these 12 examples and learn how you can supercharge your own event strategy.
Salesforce is the trailblazing company behind some of the world's most innovative cloud software solutions. Founded in 1999 by current co-CEO and former Oracle executive Marc Benioff, the company has exploded in the last 20 years and now has a value firmly in the multi billion dollar range.
But Salesforce is more than a money-making, software-producing powerhouse. In 2018, Forbes named it the best company to work for and the organization is regularly commended for its support of women in the workplace. It's also known for hosting incredible events and experiential marketing.
In this article, we'll look at 12 imaginative event marketing examples from Salesforce (and its subsidiaries) and discuss the key takeaways we can learn from each. Sound like a plan? Then let's dive in!
12 Imaginative Events From Salesforce
You knew this one was going to make the list. Dreamforce is one of the largest and most recognizable events in the world. The 2018 event welcomed over 170,000 attendees, well-known speakers (like former U.S. Vice President Al Gore and NBA superstar Andre Iguodala), and worldwide rockers Metallica for a post-event concert.
No matter what field you work in or business interest you have, Dreamforce has event content for you. They also have a virtually endless amount of networking opportunities and some of the best event entertainment options ever assembled. What started in 2003 as a small sales and software trade show has steadily grown into one of the most popular can't miss events of the year.
Key Takeaway: Dreamforce is a perfect example of the motto, "Go big or go home." Everything about the conference is huge and well done. Follow its lead and think about ways that you can offer your audience more — more value, more learning opportunities, more fun — and focus on growing your events year after year. That's what Salesforce did with Dreamforce and it seems to be paying off!
The Salesforce World Tour is exactly what it sounds like: an event tour (also known as a roadshow) that visits different cities around the world and gives attendees a peek behind the Salesforce curtain. Event goers hear from top speakers, engage in networking sessions, get access to hands-on training sessions, and more. Oh and did we mention that the entire conference is free?
According to the Salesforce website, the World Tour is set to visit two more U.S. cities in 2019: Dallas, Texas and Los Angeles, California. Both events will be held August but don't worry if you can't attend. Salesforce is sure to schedule more dates next year in multiple cities around the world.
Key Takeaway: Unless you work for and/or own a hyper localized business, your company likely has fans, customers, and future buyers in multiple cities around the world. And while many of these folks would love to attend you events, not all of them will be able to for one reason or another. So why not be like Salesforce and meet your audience where they already are?
By hosting an event series or roadshow, you'll give your company the chance to connect with more people and build stronger bonds with them. These relationships will likely pay dividends down the road.
MuleSoft, a Salesforce subsidiary, is an integration software company. As such, it's not surprising that the brand's flagship annual event is called "Connect" and operates under the motto, "Connect anything. Change everything."
MuleSoft Connect attendees get access to hands-on training sessions as well as cloud, API, and security expert consultations, along with opportunities to get certified in the use of MuleSoft products. They also get the chance to learn from the leaders at companies like McDonald's, WeWork, and Ebay. In 2019 the conference series will visit six cities: Atlanta, San Francisco, Sydney, Chicago, New York, and London.
Key Takeaway: Want to make your next event more attractive to potential attendees? Bring in well-known and respected speakers to educate your audience. It much easier to rationalize spending hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars on event tickets, accommodations, etc. when you know and like the main keynote speakers because you trust them to deliver career altering information.
Tableau was acquired by Salesforce in June 2019, which means the company's conference (aptly named "Tableau Conference") now falls under the Salesforce events umbrella. The popular event, held in Las Vegas, brings together the data community for four days of learning, inspiration, and fun.
The conference also offers attendees the chance to frequent hands-on training workshops, take certification exams, and network with other data peeps.
Key Takeaway: We really like Tableau Conference's approach to event sponsorship. The event makes sure to secure reputable sponsors, which lend it extra credibility. They also do a great job of offering different sponsorship levels so that more companies can participate.
Event sponsorship is a great way to help ensure positive event ROI. Look for companies to partner with and offer them something valuable in exchange for sponsoring your conference. And don't forget to give companies different sponsorship levels and options to choose from.
Salesforce Basecamp is an event series that's dedicated to customer success. The events take place in many different cities throughout the year and give those who attend an excellent opportunity to learn about Salesforce tools, network with peers, and exchange ideas.
This is another free event series and we encourage you to checkout the Salesforce events website (linked above) to discover when a Basecamp event will be held in your area.
Key Takeaway: Networking is an important event element. Yes, people attend conferences to learn, but they also want to meet new people and give themselves new opportunities. So make sure networking is a priority at your next event — especially if it's a more localized shindig like the Salesforce Basecamp gatherings. People who live in the same area will be able to collaborate more often which is something they’ll really appreciate.
In collaboration with Swinburne’s partner @tableau, teams of students are participating in Tableau Test Drive - an opportunity to experience data visualisation in a fun and hands-on capacity. pic.twitter.com/cJOLS91lrr
The Tableau Test Drive event series is "all about making analytics fast, easy, beautiful and most importantly, useful." It's basically a collection of training seminars that happen in various cities around the world. Attendees learn how to use the Tableau platform from experts and get hands-on experience with the tool.
Key Takeaway: Tableau Test Drives teach us a valuable event lesson: feature product training sessions at each of your events. You could even go a step further and completely dedicate some of your events to teaching attendees how to use your company's offerings.
Corporate event ideas like these tend to increase product sales because attendees have the chance to use solutions and discover for themselves if they like the tools. They also foster goodwill because attendees appreciate knowing how to better use the products they invest in.
MuleSoft Summit Toronto is a MuleSoft conference held in (surprise!) Toronto, Canada. The event features speeches from inspiring thought leaders, customer sessions, and product demonstrations. It's an information packed event but unlike many other conferences, expos, and trade shows, this one won't cost you an arm and a leg to attend.
We should note that MuleSoft also hosts similar Summits in other cities around the world including New York, Los Angeles, and Sydney.
Key Takeaway: Earlier we mentioned the benefits of hosting events in multiple cities so that more of your company's fans can attend. This event strategy makes your brand much more accessible. To really boost the accessibility factor of your events, do your best to also make ticket prices affordable. If you're worried that lowering entrance fees will affect your bottom line, event sponsorships can help offset expenses.
The Salesforce Women's Networking Event is a special event that happens each year during Dreamforce. As the name suggests, the event allows women to network with each other while learning from and being inspired by great female leaders. Salesforce is a great supporter of women in business and this unique event is proof.
Key Takeaway: Not everyone of your company's events needs to cater to your entire audience. Consider crafting conferences for select demographics within your customer base — especially if said demographics are underserved. The folks who attend will really appreciate your company reaching out to them specifically and will likely become greater fans of your organization.
Tableau Conference Europe is another great example of the Salesforce event brand meeting its audience where they are and expanding its reach. This event is very similar to the Tableau Conference already listed. The main differences? TCE is hosted in Europe rather than the U.S. and features a different slate of keynote speakers.
Key Takeaway: How can your company grow its event branding and expand its reach? Perhaps a roadshow is the answer. Or, like Tableau, maybe you decide to host a second flagship gathering in a different city, state, or country. No matter which option you choose, always look for ways to push forward and reach more people with your events.
MuleSoft API Workshops are small, highly targeted events that feature hands-on training sessions and teach attendees how the MuleSoft platform can be used to design, develop, deploy, and manage APIs. Much like the Tableau Test Drive series we already mentioned, many different MuleSoft API Workshops are held in varying cities around the world.
Key Takeaway: Whether you host an entire training event like a MuleSoft API Workshop or simply allow event attendees to demo your company's products, it's important that event goers have the opportunity to see first-hand how your offerings work and what problems they can solve.
Salesforce Live isn't really an event, it's a collection of over 2,500 videos that represent the best keynotes and trainings that Salesforce has ever hosted. And every video can be watched on-demand — at the exact moment that works for you! There's so much to be learned and that's why we had to include it in this list.
Key Takeaway: While Salesforce Live technically isn't an event, it does teach us a valuable event lesson: in-person events aren't the end all be all. As technology continues to push forward, virtual and on-demand conferences are becoming more and more popular. They allow companies to reach a wider audience and are generally much cheaper to put on.
Consider hosting virtual gatherings for your audience. Or, at the every least, record your live, in-person sessions and make the videos available on-demand after your conference has concluded. Your fans and customers will love the access to information, guaranteed.
Data Culture was a joint venture event between Tableau and AVADO. It took place in London and explored, "one of the hottest topics in the data industry - how to successfully build and scale a data culture." Attendees had the opportunity to learn from leaders in their field and network with each other.
Key Takeaway: Consider partnering with another company for your next event. It will allow you to share the corporate event management burden and reduce the financial strain that event hosting can put on an organization. We recommend partnering with companies that serve a similar customer base but don't directly compete with your organization.
Main Takeaways: How to Host Events Like Salesforce
As we've just seen, Salesforce and its subsidiaries have an incredible b2b event marketing strategy in place and consistently produce conferences (and trainings) that their fans can't wait to attend. Your company can do the same! Just keep these three things in mind:
Always put your audience first. No matter what kind of event Salesforce and its subsidiaries are putting on, their audience always comes first. Most of the event types mentioned in this article are held in multiple cities so their fans have a better chance of attending. They also cater to specific demographics and those interested in niche topics.
Get the basics right. It may seem elementary but you can never go wrong by hiring top-notch speakers and securing well-known sponsors. Both of these things will help you sell more tickets to your events and ensure a positive event ROI.
Don’t be shy about promoting your company’s products and services. Many Salesforce events give attendees the opportunity to experience the products the company sells and learn how to better use them. This strategy is a perfect, low-key way to promote your organization's offerings without looking "sales-y."
Each month we interview an events professional who is breaking the mold. This month we spoke with Elina Jutelyté—the senior events manager at Showpad—about accelerating event growth, scaling a global events strategy, and identifying and building events that bring the best ROI.
The Belgium-based tech company, Showpad, is leading sales excellence with a powerful sales enablement solution. Across Europe and the US, Showpad is creating impactful events with content curated for their specific audiences. Recently, Showpad rebranded its user conference Showtime to TRANSFORM with the goal of building an industry-leading event for sales and marketing professionals.
Elina Jutelyté is the senior events manager at Showpad. She has 17 years of professional event experience and has launched events across the globe in the US, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. With an international relations and affairs academic background, Elina provides a uniquely global perspective on scaling a successful events brand.
Topics discussed in this Event Heroes interview include:
Note: This interview has been edited and shortened for clarity.
BRANDON: You are currently Senior Events Manager at Showpad. Before that you worked in a number of event related positions—and before that you earned a degree in International Relations and Affairs from The London School of Economics. What led you to where you are today in your career?
ELINA: My career was an evolution of event management positions in various sides of event industry: I worked for a venue, an event agency, a PCO, associations and corporate organizations. I started with events 17 years ago, working for an association that dealt with globalization issues in the software development industry where I was doing global conferences and exhibitions in different parts of the world—China, Middle East, Europe, US, and Russia.
Back then, it was a very immature industry, but despite that, we had an in-house event management system that handled online registrations, online payments processing, hotel reservations and speaker proposal collections. We worked closely with in-house developers to create it.
Having a degree in state and public affairs, and being busy with an international job, I felt that I needed to learn more about international relations because when you deal with international cultures and markets, you need to have a good understanding of what's happening in the world.
BRANDON: Could you tell us a little about Showpad?
ELINA: Showpad empowers modern sales teams to scale sales excellence and optimize marketing impact. With a flexible and complete sales enablement solution, Showpad powers better sales content management, onboarding, training, and coaching to empower sellers, engage buyers, and win more deals.
More than 1,200 global enterprise and mid-market customers, including Johnson & Johnson, GE Healthcare, Bridgestone, Honeywell, and Merck, rely on Showpad to drive faster sales cycles, increase win rates, and close bigger deals by providing a better buyer experience.
Showpad is the sales enablement platform for sales and marketing professionals. Sales Enablement is an emerging industry and to explain it in a few words, I would say that it is the ability of an organization to empower sales with the right content, context and coaching when it is needed. It provides content personalization for sales people when they approach a customer prospect and helps to create unique buying experiences.
At the same time it provides very powerful insights into how an organization’s marketing content is actually being used and how it influences a customer’s buying journey.
BRANDON: How do events help Showpad achieve business outcomes?
ELINA: Events play a significant role in driving lead generation. We run many events across Europe and the US where our customers share sales enablement best practices. We also participate in a small number of trade shows and collaborate with partners on producing co-hosted programs.
With our own events, we also carry an important mission of educating sales and marketing industry. Just as marketing automation about 5 years ago was not so familiar to many organizations, so is sales enablement at the moment.
Right now, almost every organization is busy working on marketing automation processes to stay competitive. The most progressive companies however are talking about sales enablement. This is an overarching approach that ties together both marketing and sales processes, which is paramount to achieving sales and marketing efficiency.
BRANDON: How does your team measure the success of these events?
ELINA: We have very deliberate system for measuring ROI on events because if we don't measure, we won't repeat a specific event or even pursue events at all. Of course, the final denominator is always how much business an event brought to us.
We've run an enormous analysis of the trade shows that we’ve participated in the past and came to the conclusion that, actually, some trade shows do not work for us. They may be good for awareness, but awareness would need to have a specific measurements in place. We primarily focus on measuring dollars that are generated.
We decided to diminish our investment in trade shows and produce more of our own events, focusing not only on the top of the funnel, but also on the middle and bottom of the marketing funnel. Now, we do lots of smaller event series that highlight our customers and provide insights on sales enablement.
Regardless of the type of an event, each event attendee—whether they are sourced by marketing or by sales—passes through our marketing technology stack, which assigns specific scoring to the lead.
At the end of the day, we’re able to see how an event has influenced that particular person in closing a deal. We can say, for instance, that an event has sourced 50% of the revenue for a deal. We then run an analysis on a quarterly, monthly and—sometimes annual—basis to compare event expenses and revenue.
BRANDON: As mentioned, Showpad is based out of Belgium, but has a global presence when it comes to both customers and events. For instance, Showpad’s flagship conference, TRANSFORM, is staged both in London and Chicago. What challenges has scaling globally presented, and how has the Showpad team met them?
ELINA: While Showpad got its start in Belgium, we’ve expanded throughout Europe and have developed a very strong US presence as well.
We’re still working on scaling the process.TRANSFORM is soon to become the flagship sales enablement industry event like INBOUND, DREAMFORCE or ADOBE SUMMIT for sales and marketing communities. While it’s an event that’s very valuable to our customers, we really put it on for the industry. With TRANSFORM, we’re fulfilling a larger mission of consolidating sales and marketing, and educating the industry on what sales enablement is and why it is so important. In turn, it strengthens our position as an industry thought leader, drives change and provides the opportunity to demonstrate best practices.
As with any event, but specific for TRANSFORM, we’re challenged with how to bring the right message though the content that we build, yet stay relevant with the audience’s needs, especially because there are two editions of TRANSFORM happening within a month – in London and Chicago.
Scaling globally also means that you need to build a strong and dedicated team who is on the project 365 days a year and not only a few months when it gets closer to the event. The event cycle is so much longer, taking sometimes a year or more and your event marketing and communications do not stop typically.
Showpad Sales & Marketing Success Summit London - YouTube
BRANDON: What factors have been instrumental to the growth of TRANSFORM?
ELINA: Event growth is accelerated when you know who your audience is - and TRANSFORM is no exception. Audience profiling is so important, but it is so rarely used to grow events. You can go as deep as you want in terms of segmentation and personalization of your audience, and producing specific content for each cohort. Once you become relevant and speak the language and address that particular group of professionals pains, the reaction will follow.
For TRANSFORM, we know that there are many different types of sales and marketing professionals based on industry, role, seniority, organization type and region. When you start segmenting those audiences and creating specific content for those personas, that's when you start growing your conference.
Brand recognition is something that I would like to mention here as well. TRANSFORM is a new name in the event industry - in past years, this event was known as Showtime. Showtime has its own character and specifics, which we are hoping to replicate and build upon its success with TRANSFORM this year.
BRANDON: Outside of Showpad, you are the President of the MPI Belgium Chapter. How did you get involved with MPI and how has the experience proved invaluable to your career?
ELINA: I believe that many things happen if you really want it. I was following MPI for a long time and one day I had the pleasure to meet the previous president of MPI. This meeting inspired me to later submit application to the board. To my delight, it was accepted.
I'm on my second term right now. I have to say it's been a great pleasure and a great challenge. MPI is the largest meeting professionals organization with 60,000 community members. It has an enormous amount of resources: be it information or people. It has opened many new doors for me and for many members that I know. It is a great community of professionals, and everyone is willing to help and provide input. However, its challenge consists of actually running an organization of volunteers. All six of the board members, including myself, are not paid.
Leading the volunteers and motivating them to take on a project takes a lot. It’s also really rewarding when you see the results of your work. Whatever you put in, you get back. It's not living by itself. You need to put in energy.
BRANDON: If you could give an earlier version of yourself one piece of advice, what would it be and why?
ELINA: Dare to do things. Because nothing is impossible. I still have to keep reminding myself about it everyday.
BRANDON: I understand that in your free-time, you enjoy photography. In fact, you have an on-going series on cemeteries across the world. Spooky. What inspired you to start this project and what have been some of the most rewarding moments?
ELINA: Yeah, that sounds very creepy. When I started sharing this project, my friends were like, "What? Are you totally mad?" If you think about it, cemeteries are such a concentration of everything: history, culture, traditions, emotions - love and tragedy, all in one place.
Every time I visit a different country, I go and check the cemetery because they are just so different. And so beautiful. That peaceful moment when you stroll along the graves...you focus on what’s important in life and get all of the nonsense away.
BRANDON: What was the first cemetery that you photographed?
ELINA: Interesting question. I don't remember right now, frankly.
However, I think I first started thinking about it when I was 15, or something like that. My father is Lithuanian and my mom is Russian. I was born in Russia. We have our own very dramatic way of going through burial ceremony. Then when my grandfather died, who was Lithuanian, we had the Lithuanian burial ceremony. Everything was white. I was thinking, "Why white?" Because white for us, Russians, is a happy color, for weddings, for example. So since then, I started thinking: Where do theses traditions come from and why are they so different?
BRANDON: What do you think doesn’t get talked about enough when it comes to events and event marketing?
ELINA: For events, professionalism. There’s still a lack of formal, high-quality education for event professionals. I, myself, trained in political sciences, but always do my best to stay up-to date on event management matters and learn from the network. And every day is a discovery.
Another topic, which is rarely discussed, but very damaging for the business, is the lack of transparency in vendor relations. That's one of the things that we're actually trying to focus on at MPI in Belgium. The global impact of event industry counts 1.7 trillion USD in direct spending (based on MPI research), but there are lots of hidden costs and ‘gray’ business practices of back-payments that are still practiced by some vendors today.
For event marketing, there is a lots of buzz about creating content, but what frustrates me is when the content turns into noise of unnecessary information that nobody cares about. I believe event marketers should be serious about understanding their audience profiles and their interests in order to be very specific with personalized content.
Social media use is perhaps another topic that’s worth additional attention. Everyone understands that it is a valuable marketing channel. Nowadays, everyone is on social channels—but not everyone is successful in creating a dialog and building relationships. The corporate style of communication is outdated and has to change. It’s time to spotlight the interests of the audience versus talking about what a company does.
That's all for this Event Heroes spotlight, but you may be interested in checking out these other Event Heroes:
Elevate your next field marketing event with targeted emails, beautifully designed landing pages, and an on-site experience that will wow attendees. Here’s the full story.
We've recently released a set of tools that are tailored to helping you curate beautiful field marketing event programs with ease.
Maximize your event registrations and conversions by creating pre-scheduled email campaigns and building beautiful landing pages with our enhanced website editor.
Deliver an on-brand and engaging field marketing experience for your attendees with Bizzabo's Ultra Branded App and built-in branding tools.
Here it goes..
Create targeted campaigns and pre-schedule email sends for maximum conversions.
Scheduled emails enable you to prepare your email campaigns in advance. By gathering the content ahead of time and automatically scheduling the invite sends based on event criteria, you’ll save valuable time and resources. You'll also be able to clone your emails to duplicate your campaigns from one event to the next, without having to replicate work over and over again.
Design beautiful event landing pages
Utilize the new custom element to design advanced modules and add built-in call to action buttons. Create clean and easy as pie landing pages that simplify your visitor journey with the new website navigation bar capabilities.
Make your future events discoverable with an events calendar
Get a fully branded events calendar that shows off upcoming events and drives registrations. Our new module allows you to display all your events or a select group of events under one roof. Visitors can easily search and register for events based on event names, dates, and locations.
The module automatically grabs the information from your Bizzabo account so there's no need to invest time in maintaining the list of events after the initial set up.
Build a simple highly converting RSVP flow
We’ve re-imagined our registration builder allowing you to create a simple and beautiful registration experience for your attendees.
The new design is clean, the setup is simple, and the experience is flawless.
Bizzabo's Advanced Onsite Check-in Solution elevates your event right from the start. Boost attendee experience, personalization, and streamline registration management processes.
The solution offers cutting-edge technology; from self-service check-in kiosks, custom branding options, to white-glove technical support.
Bizzabo's onsite solutions provide organizers of any event the power to enhance the attendee experience with robust technology that integrates with our secure cloud. Our solutions remove the need to employ additional vendors by furnishing equipment that functions even in the event of a network outage.
Further, valuable data is safeguarded as it is transmitted to the Bizzabo Cloud for post-event analysis. We handle everything and eliminate the stress of making a good first impression.
Get granular with advanced reports and analytics
Bizzabo now offers improved cross-event reporting for analyzing event performance across a series of events and data points. Measure your agenda sessions, speaker ratings, ticket sales and more. Arm yourself with data to create an optimized prospect experience that yields the highest registration conversion, attendance rates, event engagement, and post-event business outcomes.
More on the Horizon
The Bizzabo team is cooking up some great features this summer. Expect enhanced features for session reporting so you can take a deep dive into your return on event numbers and more tools for building that perfect RSVP event. Stay tuned!
We’re excited to announce the official launch of IN-PERSON, a new podcast that tells the stories behind the world's most daring events and the people who make them happen.
Events have long been a staple in business strategies but they are arguably growing in prominence. A recent study found that 84% of C-suite level executives at leading companies believe in-person events are a critical component of their company’s overall success. Meanwhile, 41% of marketers believe that events comprise the single most effective channel for achieving business goals.
So the question is:
Why isn’t there more frank discussion about what it takes to plan and execute a successful event marketing strategy?
Why is it so hard to find candid glimpses into the challenges that organizations face as they scale upward and the lessons learned in the process?
Why aren’t there more resources about what it takes to build a resilient events team?
In launching IN-PERSON, we’re aiming to speak directly with the leaders who are working behind-the-scenes to bring these topics to light.
What You Can Expect
In our first three episodes of IN-PERSON we spoke with individuals from diverse industries about three pillars that are instrumental to the success of professional events.
With Lindsay McKenna (VP of Revenue Marketing at Yext) we zeroed in on sales and marketing alignment—an especially important subject given the rising popularity of account-based marketing. (Listen here.)
Speaking with Kira Willner (Executive Producer of Brand Experiences at Barron’s Group, a Dow Jones Company) we discussed how event organizers can provide attendees with rewarding personalized experiences, while also pleasing sponsors and partners. (Listen here.)
In our conversation with Hugh Forrest (Chief Programming Officer at South by Southwest), we spoke about curating strong event content. We also dug into what it takes to maintain a connected event community in the wake of exponential growth. (Listen here.)
Now is the time to give professional events the public forum they deserve.
That’s not just our take, it’s what our guests believe, as well.
“At SXSW, we are passionate about bringing together people and communities,” said Hugh Forrest, Chief Programming Officer at South by Southwest (SXSW). “It’s great having the opportunity to share our values and our approach to events in the hope that it may provide inspiration to others. Given that there are so many more events today than there were 30+ years ago when SXSW launched, I think now is the right time to engage in more conversations around best practices in this industry.”
“Podcasts like IN-PERSON are a great resource for professionals in the global events and media industries,” said Kira Willner executive director of Brand Experiences at Barron's Group, an investment and luxury lifestyle publishing unit within Dow Jones. "In-person experiences are shaping the media and marketing landscape, and it's an honor to have been one of the first guests on the show.”
Hosting an event in the City of the Saints? Here are the 20 best event venues that beautiful Salt Lake City has to offer.
Salt Lake City (also known as the City of the Saints due to its ties to the LDS religion) is the largest metropolitan area in the state of Utah, boasting approximately 1.3 million residents. The city was originally founded by Brigham Young and his followers in 1847. Since that time, Salt Lake City has grown into a hotbed for new tech companies, talented musicians, and famous festivals.
Are you planning to host an event in the Great Salt Lake area? Then you've come to the right place. In this article, we list the 20 best event venues the Salt Lake City area has to offer. Whether you're looking for a large stadium setting, an intimate dining locale, or something in between, this list has what you need.
The Depot is Salt Lake City's premier live music venue. But don't write this space off just because you aren't planning the next great rock show. Corporate events, product launches, fundraiser galas, and even weddings have been hosted at this location as well with great results. The Depot's talented staff is at your disposal to help ensure that your entire soiree goes off without a hitch. The venue is also equipped with state of the art lighting and sound equipment. Plus custom food and drink menus can be prepared. No matter your event type, The Depot can host it successfully.
The Salt Mine Productive Workspace is an upscale co-working space that also doubles as a classy event location. In the past, the venue has hosted successful conferences like Con-Tech and Techstars, as well as smaller gatherings like company client meetings and business brainstorms. Your event will feel right at home here too. The whiteboard walls, jumbo screens, breakout rooms, AV equipment, and full service cafe make for a prime location — no matter what kind of event you plan on hosting.
Wanting to host your next corporate dinner or private party at a truly unique location? The Hogle Zoo might be just the perfect spot for you! Event planners have the option to rent one of nine venues which include the Events Pavilion, on open air space with a private entrance; Asian Highlands, a popular exhibit that features rare cats from Asia; and Rocky Shores, which offers unprecedented views of the polar bear, sea lion, and river otter exhibits. Can't decide on a single spot? No problem. Rent the whole zoo — all 42 acres of it — and have enough room for a large gathering of up to 4,000 guests. All zoo rentals include basic AV equipment and access to catering options.
Housed in the architectural wonder known as the Rio Tinto Center, the Natural History Museum of Utah offers stunning views of beautiful Salt Lake City, flexible layout options, and access to incredible exhibit galleries. Event hosts are also encouraged to take advantage of the museum's guest parking options, dedicated event and IT staff, high-speed wireless internet, and an assortment of different tables and chairs. Whether you plan to throw a private party, host a wedding ceremony, or entertain corporate clients, the Natural History Museum of Utah is a fantastic event space.
Wasatch Brewery has been crafting delectable, award-winning brews since 1986. It’s the very first brewery in Utah and one of the first craft breweries in all of the U.S. Being the first doesn't necessarily mean you'll be able to stick around for the long haul, though. But Wasatch Brewery continues to satisfy thirsty customers year after year because they really do make great beer. They also happen to host great events too. Their Sugarhouse location features guest favorites like exposed ceilings and modern barn wood accents. For small, intimate events, you can't go wrong with Wasatch Brewery.
The McCune Mansion is a beautiful and historic event venue that perfectly blends old world luxury and modern convenience. Originally built in 1901 as railroad tycoon Alfred W. McCune's family estate, the mansion has retained its most unique features such as its 400 year old English Oak wood panels and gold leaf hand gelding. But it has also been updated with every modern amenity an event planner could hope for. Book your next business meeting, wedding ceremony, or filming session here and enjoy access to the professional event staff, customizable catering menu, and WiFi.
The Salt Palace Convention Center is a great option for any event, large or small. The professional event staff is available to event planners and will help them make sure their conference, expo, or private investor pitch goes smoothly. The Palace also provides top of the line AV equipment, in-house catering options, WiFi for over 10,000 devices running simultaneously, and access to 1,000 underground parking stalls. No matter what your event needs are, The Salt Palace Convention Center can accommodate with ease and professionalism.
The Grand America Hotel is one of the classiest Salt Lake City event venues. It features three unique spaces: the Grand Ballroom, a 23,000 square foot location with a premier AV system; the Imperial Ballroom, which features Richelieu furnishings, Murano glass, and nearly 13,000 square feet of usable event space; and the Grand Salon, a 4,500 square foot space that includes a private patio area. But no matter which venue you choose for your business party or private get-together, The Grand America Hotel always delivers exquisite Rocky Mountain views and access to an experienced events team. Treat your guests to a taste of the high life and host your next event at The Grand.
Plan on hosting hungry guests? Then you should move Log Haven to the top of your Salt lake City event spaces list. This one-of-a-kind restaurant, nestled in the Wasatch National Forest and surrounded by wildflowers and waterfalls, is fine dining at its finest. It has won numerous awards for its tasty dishes and continues to serve some of the best food in all of Utah year after year. Forbes also named it one of America's most scenic restaurants. That's right, an event at Log Haven will wow guests with both great food and stellar views! All the technological details are also taken care of. For example, you will have access to AV equipment and projector screens. If you're planning to host a small gathering, plan to take a serious look at Log Haven for your event venue.
The Eccles Theater is a beautiful building and an excellent choice for your next event. It was built in 2016 so you can be sure that it has all the modern amenities your corporate or private get-together needs. The five story structure features two theaters, a grand lobby, outdoor terraces, and private lounges. As an event planner, you're free to pick the space that suits your event needs best or rent the entire theater - the choice is yours. But no matter which you choose, your event is guaranteed to be memorable.
The State Room has been voted Salt Lake City's best live music venue. If you plan to host a band or DJ at your next gathering, The State Room will provide you with a first class sound and lighting system. But what if your event isn't musically inclined? No problem! The State Room is also one of the area’s most unique venues for cocktail style receptions, office holiday parties, silent auctions, and more. It features catering options, two full bars, and affordable group parking rates. From concerts to bar mitzvahs, The State Room does it all.
Does your perfect event strategy amount to feeding hungry guests delicious food in a classy environment? Then Fleming's Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar would be a wonderful location for your next personal get-together or client luncheon. The seasonal menu is always expertly prepared. The bar is constantly stocked with locally selected wines and hand-crafted cocktails. And you could just show up with your guests and snag a table. But if you're after something a bit more private, Fleming's offers three different rooms for rent, each featuring a Cisco conferencing system for video connection.
Salt Lake City loves its live music and Soundwell is another entry on this list that regularly hosts touring bands. But just like the other venues mentioned earlier, Soundwell also excels at events of all kinds. Want to host a holiday party for your entire office? Book Soundwell. Looking to throw your significant other a bangin' birthday bash? Book Soundwell. No matter the occasion, your guests will love the polished concrete floors, raw wood beams, exposed brick walls, and good vibes that Soundwell offers.
Rodizio Grill, a Brazilian Steakhouse known around the country for its award-winning dishes, has a location in Salt Lake City that would be a great venue for your next event. From small social gatherings to large family celebrations to corporate events, Rodizio will tastefully host your next get together (pun intended). Beyond the delicious food, every event at Rodizio also includes AV equipment and access to breakout rooms.
The Leonardo, named after the famed Italian Renaissance artist, is an incredibly fun museum that invites guests to "come and discover your inner genius." The museum has played host to some of Utah's largest corporations, as well as countless birthday parties and weddings — why not your next event as well? Book this location and get access to 10 different event spaces with packages that include entertainment, catering, and professional planning services. If you're looking to host a unique and memorable night, look no further than The Leonardo.
At the Willow Creek Country Club, your guests will enjoy breathtaking views of the Wasatch Mountains, catered gourmet meals, and access to a championship golf course. As the event planner, you'll enjoy the convenience this location provides you. WiFi, AV equipment, and customizable room setups are all available with every rental. Host your next business or personal gathering where beauty and relaxation meet.
Red Butte Garden is really seven event venues in one. There's the Rose Garden, which features rose arbors, an expansive lawn, and a picturesque waterfall, making it an ideal spot for wedding ceremonies. Then there's the Richard K. Hemingway Orangerie, a spacious indoor garden with great mountain views. And we mustn't forget about the Amphitheater, the perfect venue for concerts or company picnics. Depending on which space you choose to rent, you may have access to AV equipment and catering options too. All in all, Red Butte Garden offers event planners natural beauty and plenty of options.
If you don't mind a short drive to Draper, UT, the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium is a fun event venue that will wow your guests with beautiful aquatic exhibits and a 300,000 gallon shark tank. You'll also have access to AV equipment and catering options. From children's birthday parties to corporate dinners, book the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium for a night you and your guests won't soon forget.
What can we say about the Kimpton Hotel Monaco? Well, it certainly has an interesting history. The site where it sits was originally occupied by a modest hotel and restaurant named the Delmonico in the mid 19th century. The building, along with a few adjacent lots were purchased in 1870 and a larger hotel was erected. The current Hotel was established in 1999 after serious renovations and quickly became a popular destination for travelers. It's also one of the best event venues in Utah. The decor is sophisticated. The catering services are unrivaled. And the multimedia equipment is state of the art. Whether you plan to host a business meeting or an upscale fundraiser dinner, one of Kimpton Hotel Monaco's three spaces will fit the bill.
And last, but certainly not least, we have the Vivint Smart Home Arena. By day it's the home of the Utah Jazz, an NBA basketball team. And by night, it's one of Salt Lake City's largest venues, hosting big-ticket concerts by worldwide superstars like Carrie Underwood, Ariana Grande, and the Jonas Brothers. But you don't have to book celebrities to enjoy the Arena. It also caters to smaller, more intimate events. Rent one of the meeting rooms (which vary between 400 and 10,000 square feet) for your next business brainstorm session or personal party. You'll love the catering options and professional AV equipment you'll have access to.
Wrapping Up: Find the Right Salt Lake City Event Venue
Choosing the right event venue is never easy — especially in an area like Salt Lake City that has plenty of new, fun, and enticing options to choose from. But now you have the information you need to make an informed decision.
Just remember, selecting the perfect space for your event is important but there are so many other details to work out if you want your gathering to be successful...
Looking to align your Revenue Operations teams with your ABM strategy? I’ve got you covered. Here’s a look at my 5 key takeaways from RAMP 2019 in Boston.Last week, I had the pleasure of speaking at InsightSquared’s RAMP 2019 conference in Boston. I had a blast wading rainy weather with great people, great conversations, and of course second helpings of lobster mac and cheese and an ice cold ale. Cheers, Boston!
I’ve been thinking a lot about ABM strategies and best practices. During RAMP 2019, I listened to some great sessions, panel discussions, and conversations. Here are my top 5 takeaways to getting your revenue operations team and ABM strategy in lockstep:
1. Focus on the strategy
Don’t let your tools and approach get mixed up. Your approach should dictate the tools you use rather than the other way around. Flesh out your ABM strategy before investing in technology. It’s always good to pilot your ABM approach and define how you are going to do inbound vs outbound before beginning to double down on the implementation aspects.
2. Align Marketing and Sales KPIs
Understand your data and how you measure your funnel first. Next, identify which KPIs are shared and which KPIs are not. Your understanding of your data and funnel measurements will help you determine if your shared and separate KPIs are maximizing team performance. This will enable you to align your marketing and sales teams towards revenue operations.
3. Embrace the challenge
Most revenue operations teams are stuck in the middle ground between sales and marketing. A successful revenue operations team knows their world of analytics exists to drive revenue and enable an effective revenue machine. Revenue operations should embrace their position as the glue between marketing, sales, and customer success.
4. Gather the A-Team
The biggest mistake a revenue operations teams can make is not including their customer success team. Prior to setting up your revenue operations department, make sure that all the relevant teams—sales, customer success, and marketing—are included.
5. Align your Target Accounts
Alignment starts with an agreement on the target account list. Without that, no matter how hard the teams work, you can never meet in the middle.
Need more inspiration? If you’re hungry to learn how top sales and marketing leaders from AWS, Greenhouse, Vimeo, and Kustomer successfully align their teams, join us at Bizzabo HQ for our upcoming RevOps event.