654: 5 Mistakes to Avoid When Planning a Conference w/ Gaetano DiNardi

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode we talk to Gaetano DiNardi, VP of Marketing at Sales Hacker.

Click here to connect with this guest on LinkedIn.

There's a ton of noise out there. So how do you get decision makers to pay attention to your brand? Start a podcast and invite your ideal clients to be guests on your show. Learn more at sweet fish Mediacom. You're listening to the B tob growth show, a podcast dedicated to helping be tob executives achieve explosive growth. Whether you're looking for techniques and strategies or tools and resources, you've come to the right place. I'm James Carberry and I'm Jonathan Green. Let's get into the show. Welcome back to the BB growth show. We are here today with Guytano Danardi. He's the VP of marketing at sales hacker, and we are live at revenue summit. I tell know how you doing it, I mean Sotob, James. Has Been a great day and I appreciate it's sorry we are we are at the close of the day, so it has been a mighty crazy day for you and as we're winding on the day, I was just asking you, man like, what have you learned from planning this event? I think there are a lot of marketers...

...listening to this. They're planning, you know, their user conferences. There they're planning events, trying to get folks to show up and you just off the top of your head, were like, Oh man, we learn this, this, on this, on this. So, on the heels of just wrapping up one of your massive events, the first thing you mentioned was, man, we we got intercom on our website way too late. So actually, before or we get into that first talking point, for the one or two people listening to this and aren't from over sales hacker, give it the brief rundown. What is salestacker and then we'll dive into that first. Yeah, for Thirty Second Elevator Spiel. We provide world class thought leadership to the blog. We have webinars, ebooks, we do sales training, but we don't actually do the the training. We distribute it out people who are actually more qualified than us to do the training and we take a little bit of a kickback while we do that. And then we make revenue from sponsorships through events. Got So, in a nutshell, that is what we do.

So if you're a brand that needs up with me generation or or awareness or a product positioning or whatever, we can help you with that. Love it. So so, going back to kind of the first thing that you wish you to done different. Yeah, you said, you know Intercom, which is a like a chat bought tool. Said we put it on the website way too late. Talking. Yeah, yeah, honestly. So we were in the midst of a deal with Intercom and like we were working it out to where we get the chat bought set up on the event sites. And I was convinced immediately just by seeing case studies of other companies doing events and even not doing events, with the value of chat bots. And I already know what the value is. So for for us to set that up was a little bit of a challenge because we have a bit of a complicated text act. We use different event platforms for different different uses, basically. So we had to implement intercom and, like I would say, a piece, piece by piece sort of strategy. But long story short, as soon...

...as we did get it implement in men we learned a lot about what people want and what they really wanted was early discount. They wanted to know are the sessions being recorded and if so, do I have to pay for it? And you know, regardless or not I have to pay for it, where do I find the sessions. So that was a big, you know deal with regard. Yeah, it's a big insight and it was a big deal to letting people know like all right, if we maybe just tweak a little bit of messaging on this, paid this as you will get the free recording if you sign up. It'll drive some some ticket sales. Also, there's this qualifying feature now with Intercom where like you can give a multiple choice response. So instead of saying like hey, how can I help you, being really open ended, chat by introduction, you know thing. It will say something like what are you here for? Are you here for a discount? Are you here for more information? Are you here for, you know, the Afterparty, whatever it is like, and we did a multiple choice style and we're able to see that most people were really on the site looking for a discount. So we were able to implement that almost like automatically. We automated this. Like ninety nine percent through chat bought and skyrocketed our tickets,...

...our ticket sales, just automatically by doing that like super fast, and we're realize like, damn, this is like a month ago and we got this going. Imagine if we did this three months ago. Yeah, we could you know we could have had it wasn't so. It wasn't amazing. It's not like you guys had an SDR maiming now. It was all so we had a so to be transparent, we have a virtual assistant on top of the replies that are coming through the chat bought only on business hours, okay, because it's almost impossible have a human being out of seven unless you're super rich and you have you know, but during business hours we definitely have a virtual assistant on top of the inquiries that are coming in. And then off business hours we have this sort of automated reply that says, Hey, we're offline right now, but if you leave your email address, we will definitely follow up with you. Yeah, all right. So the second thing, as you said, you wish you would have done more direct outreach ticket sales. Yeah, explain that. So I know for sure that other companies that do events they have like ticket sales, growth hackers and stuff like that, like we just, you know, as a bootstrap start up, we...

...just unfortunately don't have that luxury. So what it comes down to is, like I will do direct ticket sales outreach from my linkedin account. Maxwell do the same thing from his and at the end of the day of the social media stuff is just kind of slow moving and for us to really move the needle fast with ticket sales, it's to reach into our network see who were the low hanging fruits are. We know who the contacts are at the software companies that are in San Francisco. Yeah, so we go in to our linkedin network, we filtered by San Francisco. We whip up a special discount for people who are in our network and we say hey, you know, I would love to have you join our event here. was like a very special, very generous discount for you, since we've known each other for so long. We did XYZ together in the past years. Yeah, and that is super effective in getting sales, but we waited too late to start doing that. We should have done that like three months in advance. We only waited like two weeks before the event starting for that. Got It. Okay. So the third thing that you talked about. We're pop ups on the website. You said that you notice all you were some specific popups worked really, really well. Can you tell us about those? Yes, I'll say...

...it doesn't work dams. What doesn't work as when you nail somebody that pop ups, since they get to your site, you give them zero time to digest what it actually is. You can zero time to digest what the agenda is. You can't zero time to see the speakers, and that's they care about. What's The authority of the speakers? Was this typical breakdown look like? Is this shit relevant to me at the end of the day? A lot of times it is, a lot of times it isn't. But you know what, the people that bounce are the people that aren't really qualified to beer anyway. It's not relevant to them. But with regards to pop up, we don't hit you as soon as you land. We wait like forty five seconds and then what we do is this exit and tent pop up. So if the mouse crosses the upper right quadrant of the page where the x button is, you will automatically get a pop up that says are you leaving? Don't leave yet. You know, here's a thirty percent off code, and that was a massive driver of sales or us. Yeah, that's exact. Practical, super super powerful exit intent we're using like UN bounced or Sumo Sumo. Sumo very easy to set up, very easy. You can modify...

...the the the way that the pop up is displayed in a number of different ways, by the URL structure, by the path of the subdomain or the subfolder of the content. So if you only want a specific type of pop up to you know, to hit when, like sales management content is displayed and you have a subfolder structure in your site where like a sales management, you know, payment comp structures, the sales management is the subfolder. So anything that is within that, that bucket of sales management content, you can customize a pop up for that and sumo is great for customization. We did that with the reps on the website. I love it. Yeah, I love Sumo. All right. So the fourth the fourth thing we're going to talk about is promotion partners. Yeah, not really working out the way that you would hold who don't? Garry starts, man, I'm gonna started with this. I would just be honest with you, man. I just keep it real. Very few Promo partners actually hold up there under the bargain.

Very few say that, like a lot of them say they're going to hit their list. Very few actually do. A lot of them say they're going to promote on social media very if you actually do. A lot of them say they're gonna, you know, extend discounted tickets to their networks and their clients and their partners. Very few of them do. The few that do, it kind of was the needle a little bit, but it's not anything like all. Wow, that really gave us a jolt. Like, you know, we had like one of the biggest sales training companies that their list for us, like for sales soccer London, for example. I did nothing. It did nothing and you guys wrote the email or you put that on them. We usually give them the copy. Yeah, we give them the email copy, be given the head of line, suggestion we have in the subject line, all the stuff, the links, all that. So they have to do very little work. But sometimes they end up tweeting it anyway just to like fit with their audience might want. But long story short, I mean it's just tough to get people to promote. Man, even like the keynote speakers with these massive networks like Google's not going to hit their emails...

...for us. Yeah, it's not going to happen. Yeah, you know, we got that. We got a speaker from Google today, like it's just not going to happen that they're going to hit their list for us. It just it just won't work. And they're certain corporate, you know. So does that mean just are at the next conference? You just kind of abandoned Promo partners all together because of the work that goes into trying to equip them, because minimal return. So it's a good question. This my take on it? My take on is this. You do it anyway and if anything happens, it's like, oh, that was an extra added benefit that I wasn't expecting. Yeah, but don't count heavily on this at all. Like don't say like, Oh, we got, you know, hub spot as a promo partner something, and I'm not saying that we do. I just threw that name out there. Don't think they're just because you got that, that you're going to skyrocket your sign up to your sales for something, because it's not the case. They could very well be a promo partner for you and not even hit their list. They might just, you know, tweet it once and like twitter's worthless. Yeah, I'm sorry to say it, but it does nothing's been nothing for me. It's nothing. That's it's nice you know, you stay kind of top of the mind for like ten...

...seconds because the the tweet atmosphere is just so add it just depletes in like two seconds. But at the end of the day, say, you know, the Promo partner's promoting or something you cannot count on, so don't put it. That's good. So this last thing we're going to talk about, and you just alluded to it a little bit, but yeah, pretty bold statement really. You said social media is useless, worthless when trying to drive. Oh my gosh, and I will say facebook adds kind to work, like kind, I would say, like that's the only thing that is worth putting a little thought into. That's the only thing, though, and of course, like the organic linkedin stuff, like the viral sort of post, some things like that. But like twitter, waste of time, instagram waste of time. Even just organic facebook is a waste of time because it gets nothing. It's pay to play and you guys have a big page and we have a big page and still does nothing. That's so because it's our organic but they don't want, you know, temp to people are going to see it. So unless you're paying to boost it significantly, it's not going to do anything, and even then there's no guarantee that somebody's going to see your...

...website for the for the conference, no matter how good the ad looks, no matter how sexy the copy is or the image or whatever. It's your in. It's an awareness playing your burning cash. So you're better off, just like putting free time into outreach on Linkedin with a discount to your targeted people, rather than guessing is facebook going to be able to mash me up with people I want and like? They're pretty good at targeting but the end of the day, not gonna move the needle. All Right, got Tina. When is the next event that you guys are putting together? See Soccer London, October twenty five in the UK. So if you want to come, head us up and we'll take care of you. Awesome. So got ton of your rocktive on Linkedin. Folks, you can find you there. Are Twitter. I guess you're not that active. Basically, what we just I do it just to be there. I'm alive, but I'm not kicking you know I'm saying. Yeah, so I gets want to have you up. Linkedin's definitely the place to search. Man on Linkedin. Gots on of Denier to you can find me on salsacer's website, Saysakercom, and if you want to find me on twitter, you can. It's a gots on on NYC. Awesome at Donna. Thank you so much, man, and really...

...appreciate the event that you put together to day. It was phenomenal. Thank you so said. Thanks, a loving thanks, James. appreciated. There are lots of ways to build a community and we've chosen to build the beadd growth community through this podcast. But because of the way podcasts work, it's really hard to engage with our listeners and without engagement it's tough to build a great community. So here's what we've decided to do. We're organizing small dinners across the country with our listeners and guests. No sales pitches, no agenda, just great conversations with likeminded people. Will Talk Business, will talk family, will talk goals and dreams, will build friendships. So if you'd like to be a part of a BEDB growth dinner in a sitting near you, go to be to be growth dinnerscom. That's be toob growth dinnerscom. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time,.

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