A campaign to increase conference attendance in the midst of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, coupled with a proliferation of travel bans, budget constraints and an all-out assault on corporate meetings. Not to mention a flat marketing budget.
Why care about conference attendance at a time like this? Because we're in an emerging market and our customers are clamoring to hear from each other (and us) to make them more efficient/productive/knowledgeable. This award submission outlines the campaign Sonic Foundry built based on a heavy rotation of online video, customer testimonials, webcasting and for the first time social media.
The campaign resulted in a 15% increase in conference attendees, and virtual conference attendees, even though it was the first year we offered this option, made up 10% of overall attendance. Bringing these people together physically and through online video, social media and webcasting resulted in a more than 10-fold conference ROI in just 4 months, based solely on opportunities that were created and closed after the conference ended.
As one attendee put it, This is, by far, the most productive conference for connecting with other users and discovering new ways to take our Mediasite program to the next level. Reaching out to the web 2.0 community will foster even more fantastic dialogue because it will be open the conference to a wider audience. With the state of the economy, the virtual pass will allow our peers who can't be there in person stay on target with the new information being shared, and create an unparalleled networking opportunity."
September 2008 - present, conference was April 27-29, 2009
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