Advocamp Case Study: How We Created A Delightful Online Experience For Our First Conference

Advocamp started with one revolutionary idea: the future belongs to those companies that develop and mobilize advocates as their primary goal. When we say advocates, we aren’t just talking about satisfied customers. We mean cultivating raving fans who will happily promote your brand wherever they go.

As advocate marketing experts, we believe that building customer advocacy is the best way to fuel business growth. So, we knew we had to show how advocacy could help power our first industry event. Our goal was to create an interactive conference that was different from every other B2B event our attendees had ever been to.

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As the Customer Marketing intern at Influitive, I was tasked with planning and executing an online hub for the event, using AdvocateHub Experiences, that would engage our attendees before, during and after the event.

Here’s how we used our hub to promote the event, enhance the in-person experience at the conference, and collect heart-felt feedback post-event.

advocamp_conference_online_experience_2015

The roadmap to event success

My objective when creating our Advocamp Experience was to leverage our software to create a fun, engaging and informative experience for all attendees.

Attendees who signed-up online were sent an email with a join code. This allowed them to sign-up in VIP and go right into the Advocamp Experience!

To create the Experience, I first had to plan challenges leading up to the event, during the conference, and after it was over. Challenges are short activities that attendees could complete to earn points. For example, a challenge might be sharing a link on social media, following a speaker on Twitter, answering a question, or participating in a community discussion.

Advocamp_Experience

I crafted challenges that encouraged competition, offered educational insights, and some that were just fun. Although this sounds like an exciting experience by itself, I knew I needed to offer a few more incentives to get attendees hooked.

Leading up to the event, I had attendees compete with each other for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd positions on the Advocamp leaderboard. Here’s the prizes they were competing for:

1st place – Front row seat at the AMP Talks, invitation to the BAMMIES Award Ceremony, and dinner with the Influitive team after Advocamp

2nd place – Front row seat at the AMP Talks and an invitation to the BAMMIES Award Ceremony

3rd place – Front row seat at the AMP Talks

These rewards were more experiential in nature. They gave attendees the chance to compete for status and networking opportunities at the event.

The points attendees racked up before and during the event could also be used to redeem swag and goodies at Influitive’s “Tuck Shop” at Advocamp, like shirts, stickers, chocolates and candy.advoamp_tuck_Shop_2015

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Activities for engaging Advocampers

Now that I had my engagement plan and rewards in place, it was time to put together the challenges and activities for the Advocamp Experience. As a best practice at Influitive, challenges for events are generally broken down into three categories:

1. Pre-event Challenges

These are challenges that can be completed prior to the event. We started releasing challenges one month before Advocamp kicked-off. Having a steady stream of challenges leading up the event helped us keep attendees in the loop and encouraged them to promote the event among their networks. Here are a couple examples of the types of challenges that could be completed:

  • Share speaker bios and blog posts
  • Follow speakers on Twitter
  • Share your favourite camp song, camping tip or campfire story
  • Check out the schedule for Advocamp to plan your day

2. Event Challenges

During the event, challenges should compliment the experience at the event—not detract from the in-person experience. These challenges are meant to help attendees easily network with their peers and discover different facets of the event. We published only a few challenges during the event so the focus would stay on our speakers. Here are a couple of examples:

  • Take a picture with a camp counsellor (A.K.A. an Influitive employee)
  • Show off your merit badge progress by uploading a picture of your badges
  • Share a takeaway from one of the AMP Talks you attended

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3. Post Event Challenges

Following the event, you will likely see a drop of engagement. This is definitely normal. However, before you let your attendees move on, you should promptly follow up with some post-event challenges to gain valuable insights for your next event. Here are a few of the challenges we posted after Advocamp ended:

  • Take a final survey about Advocamp and the online Experience
  • ‘Do you know anyone who could use Influitive?’ referral challenge
  • Shared links to the SMART Notes that were taken during speaker sessions to refresh attendees’ memories

The Results

After the dust settled and Advocamp wrapped up, we had a lot of positive results to show from the online Experience.

advocamp_experience_stats_2015

Here are some other interesting stats:

  • 140 of 250 attendees participated
  • On average, attendees completed at least 17 challenges
  • Influitive received 24 referrals
  • 41 final survey responses out of 140 participants

Attendee Feedback

As with any adventure, the Advocamp Experience didn’t go exactly according to plan. We hit a few bumps along the road. Here are a couple pitfalls that were highlighted by some of our Advocampers:

  1. At the event, some challenges were tough to complete due to time constraints
  2. Activities or challenges in the Experience could have been more interactive and more hands on at the event
  3. The online Experience should have been integrated more into the main room setting

Many Advocampers sent a lot of positive feedback our way. Attendees said the experience helped them plan their day, stay informed, and network more easily. Pre-event challenges were also a great way to get engaged before the event.

Some other feedback included:

  • 75% of respondents said the online Experience added value to Advocamp
  • “It showed me how to better run my advocacy program!”
  • “It made me way more engaged and made me more informed.”

Packing Up and Heading Home

advocamp_mark_jim_2015The conclusion of Advocamp was bittersweet. We thoroughly enjoyed putting on our first industry event, and were sad to see it come to an end. However, by fostering networking opportunities and discussions before, during and after the event, we were able to show how encouraging advocacy can make attendees feel engaged and connected.

We can’t wait to use the outstanding feedback we received and make next year’s Advocamp Experience even better.

If you’re already an Influitive customer, ask your Advocacy Coach how you can use AdvocateHub Experiences to create an engaging online experience that will enhance your offline events.

Not an Influitive customer yet? Contact us and we’ll help you get started.

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2 Responses to Advocamp Case Study: How We Created A Delightful Online Experience For Our First Conference

  1. […] as AMP Talks, from our speakers. Attendees (dubbed Advocampers) were also invited to participate in an online experience before, during and after the event to help connect with their peers, learn more about the event, […]

  2. […] adult summer camp vibe (but without bunk beds or bug bits). Let’s just say it will be a memorable experience—and there will be […]

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