Case Study: Behind The Scenes Of Influitive’s Dreamforce VIP Experience

Each autumn, Dreamforce is the place to be for every B2B company. This year, more than 135,000 people united in San Francisco to experience the event. Sounds exciting, doesn’t it?

Well, that depends. It’s hard for any individual (who isn’t a celebrity like Marc Benioff, Hillary Clinton or Bruno Mars) to stand out at Dreamforce.

Here at Influitive, we believe our advocates deserve some of the spotlight – a little VIP treatment while they’re at Dreamforce. And that’s exactly what we gave them using a brand new events feature in AdvocateHub, our advocate marketing software.

But first, let me tell you a little bit about myself. My name is Shivani Jivan and I am a Marketing Coordinator at Influitive. I am a student at the University of Waterloo in the Honours Arts&Business, Co-operative Education Program. This is my first job in marketing, let alone in advocate marketing. However, with support from my amazing manager, Senior Marketing Manager Truman Tang, I was excited to take the reigns of Influitive’s Dreamforce VIP Experience during Dreamforce ’14.


The first-ever AdvocateHub Experiences case study

In this case study, you will learn how Truman and I rocked Influitive’s first real use of AdvocateHub Experiences at the biggest conference of the year. Trust me, it wasn’t all rainbows and smiles, but with the help of everyone on our team, we made it a huge success. Here is the inside scoop on our experience, from top to bottom.

The objective: Make our customers and other Dreamforce attendees feel like VIPs.

What: With the new AdvocateHub Experiences functionality, we created an interactive experience within our existing advocate marketing program that both Dreamforce attendees and those who couldn’t make it to the event in person could participate in throughout the week. We called this special event the Dreamforce VIP Experience.

Who: We started by inviting our most engaged advocates, of course, but eventually opened the Dreamforce VIP Experience up to anyone

Why: To engage B2B marketers during Dreamforce, encourage them to learn more about Influitive, and generate referrals so more people can experience

When: Almost a week before Dreamforce (October 8th) all the way until the end of October to let the buzz cool down gradually.

Where: In VIP, our advocate marketing program, managed here at our Toronto headquarters but available anywhere, anytime online and via mobile.

How: We created dozens of Dreamforce-related activities participants could complete before, during and after the conference. Each activity they completed earned them points and the participants with the most points at the end of Dreamforce would win big prizes.

Every competition needs its prizes, and good ones at that. To stick with our Dreamforce booth’s VIP Experience theme, we came up with some very “fancy” prizes.

The first place winner (the player with the most points at the end of Dreamforce) would receive either a $500 custom-made Indochino suit, or a $500 gift certificate to any “big brand” of their choice, such as Michael Kors. Our second and third place winners would receive free movie tickets for an entire year.

Talk about VIP treatment!


Generating engagement leading up to Dreamforce

With the help of our Customer Success team and our AdvocateHub Support portal, I created 70 different challenges to engage participants before, during and after the conference.

Here is what our online Dreamforce VIP Experience looked like to a participant. On the left, you can see our Top 10 Leaderboard. This showed everyone who had the most points at that point in time, and it ultimately helped us determine our Top 3 winners. The white tiles are challenges: individual activities that participants can complete in order to earn points, engage with other participants and provide feedback on their experience.

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The 3 stages of our Dreamforce VIP Experience

1. Pre Dreamforce

Activities to get our new players acquainted with AdvocateHub, Dreamforce and advocate marketing. We prepared 20 challenges just for the “Pre Dreamforce” round. We wanted to make sure our advocates had lots to do while they were waiting for Dreamforce to start.


Examples of Pre-Dreamforce challenges:

  • Join the Experience: Redeem a $5 Starbucks Gift Card just for joining the VIP Experience!
  • Invite a friend into the Dreamforce VIP Experience: Get a lot of points if your friend joins!
  • Event registrations: Gain access to registration codes for exclusive Influitive-sponsored parties
  • Motivational quote of the day: A daily challenge that got players inspired!
  • Download The Advocate Marketing Playbook: An informative challenge to help newbies learn more about advocate marketing.

2. During Dreamforce

Then the big event came, and our challenges seemed to created even more engagement as participants landed in San Francisco and started tweeting, snapping pics, networking and .

Slide11Really successful challenges were those that were either really simple, competitive or had BIG point offerings:

  • Again, the Invite a Friendchallenge continued to be popular due to the number of points offered and the potential of competing against colleagues.
  • Social share: Simple and easy to complete
  • Photo uploads: Posting your favorite photo taken that week, such as a selfie, a new friend you made, etc.
  • Contests: Our competitive participants loved tackling these challenges, including Tetris, how fast can you type and jigsaw puzzles, in between sessions, parties and other Dreamforce events,

There are two more challenges I really would like you to know about. They weren’t necessarily the most popular, but the people who completed them really blew us away.

  • Video testimonial: Near the end of Dreamforce, we challenged our players to create a Video Testimonial for the VIP Experience. Check out this amazing video made by Justin Robbins (our third place VIP winner):

  • Bruno Mars lip-sync: This year, the Dreamforce gala headliner was mega-star Bruno Mars. With this in mind, we created a challenge asking VIP Experience participants to lip-sync to their favourite Bruno Mars song. We were almost positive that no one would do it, so we offered 300 points – many more points than almost any other challenge – to anyone who rose to the occasion. The day before the contest for our prizes closed, we received a submission. This performance was done by our 1st place winner, Eric Lamy, who remained in second place for most of the contest until he started taking risks – like this one. He wasn’t even at Dreamforce, but he made the competition work for him. Check out this video of Eric singing “Just the Way You Are” by Bruno Mars:

That, my friends, is an award-winning performance from a true VIP! Thanks for being such a good sport, Eric. You truly deserve to be named the winner of Influitive’s Dreamforce VIP Experience.

3. Post Dreamforce

Slide12Finally, after Dreamforce had cooled down, we initiated our Post-Dreamforce challenges. We did not award any points for these challenges, but we gave away some of our custom “Influi-Vuitton” designer bags for certain challenges.

The most important activities available to participants were:

  • Refer someone to Influitive: Participants received a $15 Amazon gift card for referring someone they knew who might like to use Influitive’s AdvocateHub to improve their customer engagement and advocacy strategy.
  • Rate my experience: receive a custom-made Influitive VIP bag for giving us feedback on how the Dreamforce VIP Experience was out of 10. Here are the results:


We opened the Dreamforce VIP Experience to anyone who was interested, giving everyone a $5 Starbucks gift card just for signing up. Our invite-a-friend challenge allowed participants to invite others to join the VIP Experience, and we were pumped to see that the numbers were booming right off the bat. Until we found out that people were creating multiple fake accounts just to get the free gift cards. Bummer right? Thankfully, we caught on to this pattern of bad behavior early and added an approval stage to that challenge so we could weed out the fakes and focus on engaging our real VIPs.

Dreamforce VIP Experience results

We hate to brag, but for our first use of AdvocateHub Experiences, the results were pretty positive. But there’s always room for improvement!

Check out some of our results and feedback from participants:

“It’s really giving us good ideas on how to use AdvocateHub Experiences within our own hub.”

“Amazing and so impressed with the creative challenges you’ve come up with!”

“This was a great way to leverage the excitement and passion surrounding Dreamforce, and channel some of it towards Influitive and advocate marketing.”

What made the Dreamforce VIP Experience so successful?

1. We presented participants with a variety of fun, challenging and informative challenges before, during and after the event.

2. Our sales, marketing and customer success teams current and potential future customers who might be interested in participating. We sent out invites with personal messages, inviting them to join.

3. We encouraged participants to invite others, opening up our experience to a wider range of people. It’s not for everyone – some companies may want to limit participation to existing advocates only – but since our goal was engaging as many people as possible, it was the more the merrier in our VIP Experience!

But the real key to our success: Targeting ALL audiences

Many of our participants were not even going to Dreamforce this year, including the winner! We made an effort to create activities that all participants could complete (for the most part). They got the inside scoop into Dreamforce, met new people online, and got a chance to compete for amazing prizes! Take a look at this example. One of our challenges was to tell us about who you advocate for, and take a picture with our VIP movie slate at our booth located in the Moscone North expo hall. Check out some of our stars!







That was all fun and dandy for those who actually went to Dreamforce, but what about our friends at home? We added another option to this challenge. If players were at home, they could print out the movie slate (just like the one in our booth) and write who they were an advocate for directly on it. Dedicated players had a blast with this challenge, and went the extra mile to earn a large number of points. Check out our winner, Eric. He played the game from his home in Middlebury, Vermont.


Well, that’s a wrap!

We hope that you learned a lot from our experience with the Dreamforce VIP Experience, and that you will be even more excited to start using AdvocateHub Experiences in your own advocate marketing program. This new functionality made it really easy for us to track changes and results, personally message players, and respond to their activities. We’ll be using AdvocateHub Experiences a lot more in the future – and hopefully you will be too!

If you’re already an Influitive customer, ask your Advocacy Coach how you can use AdvocateHub Experiences to engage your biggest fans on a whole new level at your next conference, user group or other event.

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


4 Responses to Case Study: Behind The Scenes Of Influitive’s Dreamforce VIP Experience

  1. […] to bring that idea and experience to Dreamforce. After much deliberation, we finally settled on the Dreamforce VIP Experience. Think red carpets, papparazzi, flashing cameras, designer duds – everything celebs would […]

  2. […] budget to beef up their advocate marketing program. Four customers ended up purchasing more Experiences from us. Without this ask we wouldn’t have found this hidden revenue and our customers may have […]

  3. […] product features is one thing, but eventually your advocate will be excited by the opportunity for VIP access. Giving your advocate access to special events, speaking opportunities or meetings with senior […]

  4. […] So, how did we promote the program and make our booth interesting? […]

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