The Influitive team will be attending and sponsoring Eloqua Experience 2013, one of the premier B2B marketing conferences of the year, next week.
As someone who has attended all of the conferences in the past (and will be there again this year), I wanted to share my top tips to help you get the most out of your Eloqua Experience.
These are many of the same tips that I provided to Eloqua customers in the past. I hope you find them useful.
Before Eloqua Experience
Have a plan of attack
Know which sessions you want to attend and what you want to get out of the conference before you go. If you have a goal in mind for the conference, you will be more focused and get more out of the event.
You can always change that plan and attend random sessions based on what you hear from colleagues, but don’t make it up as you go. You will kick yourself afterwards for missing the sessions that you really wanted to see based on your goals for the conference.
Download the mobile app ahead of time: This will help you plan out which sessions you need to attend – mark them off in your schedule using the app.
Find out which sessions other marketers are talking about: My personal recommendation is not to miss Baratunde Thurston. He is one of the smartest and funniest digital marketers on the planet. Here are some additional recommendations:
- My Must-Attend Sessions at Eloqua Experience 2013 (Heinz Marketing)
- Our Top Five Picks for Eloqua Experience 2013 (Demandbase)
Book training sessions early
The sessions you’re most interested in always fill up, so get yourself registered ahead of time. In previous years, you could just show up and sit in the back (if there’s space), but you won’t get a good seat and you may not get the handout materials.
Divide and conquer: If you have the luxury of more than one person attending from your company, divide and concur. You will maximize your investment!
Don’t be intimidated
If you are not an Eloqua pro, don’t be intimidated! There are many marketing automation newbies out there and remember: you know more than you think you do. Just by attending, you are already a modern marketer.
Network with people before the conference
Networking ahead of time is part of having a plan prior to the conference. Post questions and join conversations about Eloqua Experience that are relevant to your conference goals in Topliners and Eloqua LinkedIn groups.
During Eloqua Experience
Follow the hashtag #EE13
There are those who will just be retweeting and those who will be leading the pack on Twitter. Look for the people who have something brilliant to say among all of the #EE13 noise and connect with them (either online or offline).
Keep an eye out for Eloqua advocates
Be sure to look for people walking around with the Eloqua Advocate pin (like the one to the right).
These are some of the most knowledgeable people when it comes to Eloqua and, not only can they help you, they will be happy to do so.
Be sure to ask them about the Eloqua advocate program as well and how you can join Eloqua AdvocateHQ.
Get your issues addressed and meet the Eloqua teamThe Eloqua team comes prepared with their best support and service peeps.
Bring your toughest questions – the items that you never had time to address – and talk to an Eloqua expert.
You may also want to connect with your Eloqua rep, or get some face time with the product management team and get them to hear your product ideas.
Take advantage of the number of Eloquans at the event. They are there to help you.
At lunch, sit with people you don’t know
Unless you planned to meet someone ahead of time, step outside of your comfort zone and sit with people you don’t already know.
Here are possible ice breaker questions: What are your biggest challenges? Where have you been most successful using Eloqua? What are you trying to get out of this conference?
Go to the partners area to learn what’s new in marketing
Marketing technology seems to be moving at a crazy pace, with new products and services that will help you maximize your marketing dollars launching all the time. You are guaranteed to come away with at least one new idea so go to the partner area and take it in. In particular, I would recommend that you have a look at:
- Social123 (cool social technology)
- Demandbase (cool technology)
- Bizo (cool technology)
- ReadyTalk (good product, cool marketers)
Of course, I hope you’ll also come to the Influitive booth to introduce yourself and learn more about advocate marketing. I look forward to reconnecting with many of you past attendees and meeting new people as well. Don’t be shy!
Don’t rely on the slides being available after the conference. Sure, they’ll have them, but no good presentation contains all of the juicy points on slides. Take notes or get notes from others. Eloqua hasn’t recorded these sessions in the past and I don’t know if they’ll do it this year.
Connect with the people you meet on LinkedIn
Build your network so you can continue the conversation after EE and leverage your network to assist you in implementing some of the items that you will come away with at the conference. You can easily do this with apps like Bump or AirDrop.
Have fun but don’t be a twerk
You’re in San Francisco, so take in the waterfront, the food, Robin Thicke and the great weather. You’re also with fellow marketers who you have a lot in common with, and who like to tweet and take pictures. I’ve been to many of these events and know all the stories (ask me). Drink responsibly and play safe. Be sure to share your knowledge with others and be open to new concepts.
After Eloqua Experience
Present what you learned at the conference to your colleagues
After the conference, you may suddenly be considering a new type of nurturing program or a new way to communicate with your customers. Schedule a meeting where you and other Eloqua Experience attendees at your company can communicate to the rest of your team about what you learned at the conference. The goal is to download and debrief what you’ve learned. Having this planned ahead of time will keep you focused.
Bonus: A good follow up presentation makes it easier to get budget to go again next year.