Last week, we posted about several of the places that you’ll be able to find Pardot at Dreamforce 2015 (and there’s more to come!) — but if you’re attending this year’s conference, then you’re more than likely caught up in preparation of your own. Between planning out your session schedule (pro tip: the official DF15 Agenda Builder is live now, so make sure you’re registering before sessions fill up!), fine-tuning your booth presence (if you’re going to have one), planning out your lead generation strategy, and more, it can often feel like there’s no time to breathe between now and September 18th.
To help you streamline your planning efforts, we’d like to walk through a few ways that marketing automation can make your life easier when it comes to event marketing. If you’re already using a marketing automation tool, start thinking about whether or not any of the tips below might be useful to your strategy. New to marketing automation, on the other hand? Learn more about how automation can help, and don’t forget to sign up for Pardot’s Keynote at this year’s Dreamforce for a closer look at how marketing automation fits into your overall B2B marketing and selling strategy.
Promote your presence to prospects and clients in the area.
One efficient way to notify clients and prospects that you’ll be at an event is by sending targeted email messages during the weeks leading up to the event. Marketing automation allows you to segment your lists to reach attendees (and potential attendees) in a number of ways: by location, industry, company size, and more.
For instance, trade shows normally take place in big cities. Send out an email to a list of prospects who live near the site of the trade show so that they know your company will be in the area. Position the email as a friendly reminder that you’re stopping by, and include a note that you’d love to see them at the conference.
Set up your landing pages and forms ahead of time.
Although many trade shows rely on a scanning method to collect information from leads, having a dedicated landing page set up on a computer or iPad to collect information from leads is still an important best practice. With marketing automation, there’s no longer a need to manually input information from handwritten forms, or collect pockets full of business cards (although exchanging business cards is still good practice). Having a landing page where leads can input their information allows you to collect more information, more quickly.
Pro tip: With marketing automation, you can set your landing pages and forms to kiosk mode to prevent multiple users from getting cookied on the same device, and therefore sharing the same activities. Don’t forget to set up your autoresponders ahead of time so that your leads receive an instant response after submitting their information!
Connect with prospects using complementary products.
Are some of your prospects already users of other products or technologies that integrate with your own? For example, if you have a product that integrates with specific CRM systems, you could use your marketing automation system to segment your database and send a targeted email blast to prospects who are already using those particular CRMs. Be sure to reiterate how your product can complement their current setup, and let them know that you’ll be present at the trade show if they want to come see your product in action.
Schedule social postings before the event.
As always, social media is an effective method for reaching your audience in a way that’s cost-free and requires minimal effort. In the months prior to the event, take a few minutes to schedule out messages using your marketing automation platform’s social posting feature. Target the event hashtag (hey, you never know who might be checking out the hashtag in advance), and look for other events or discussions that pertain to your event topic, using these hashtags to expand your reach to new audiences that might be interested.
Connect with people with similar interests — before you get to Dreamforce.
While not related to marketing automation, having groups to navigate the Dreamforce experience with can really help prevent you from getting overwhelmed by all of the hustle and bustle. Check out this newly-created success community for Dreamforce 2015, the go-to place for B2B marketers to connect, ask questions, compare schedules, and make plans to meet up with each other at the event. Join today to start participating in the conversation!
We hope you’re as excited as we are for this year’s conference, and we can’t wait to see you there! Don’t forget to register for Pardot’s Keynote session, How to Market and Sell in a Buyer-Driven World: B2B Marketing Automation by Salesforce, to learn more about how Pardot and Salesforce are helping today’s B2B marketers better connect with today’s buyers.