76 advocates. 17 countries. 7 days of intense advocate love.
This summer, SMART Technologies’ Exemplary Educator (SEE) Summit brought together the company’s top advocates from all over the world to connect with like-minded educators and share their education stories at the company’s world headquarters in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
“We really opened up the airwaves for advocates to have their voices heard, and for us to take what we heard and turn that into action,” says Deena Zenyk, Senior Advocate Marketing Manager for SMART.
With a little help from AdvocateHub Experiences, new functionality within Influitive’s advocate marketing software, Deena and her team were able to maximize their investment in the event by leveraging their advocates before, during and after the Summit.
Here’s how they did it:
Deena understands that pre-event activities, such as registration and travel, are great opportunities to begin engaging advocates. So, she used SMART’s AdvocateHub to create challenges around event registration, such as running the application needed to sign up for the event, as well as generating enthusiasm by asking advocates to post photos of their attendance at past events.
Deena’s team also posted challenges to complement travel to the event, including asking advocates to take pictures of themselves at the airport as they travelled from all over the world to Calgary.
They also ran Twitter challenges and collected logistical information, such as dietary concerns and emergency contact information – all through their AdvocateHub.
“It was nice to not have to use separate tools as we had done in the past to collect all of these different pieces of information,” said Deena. “We just had this one central point that made my planning and execution of the pre-event phase super easy and measurable.”
Activities during the event
To build on the enthusiasm generated in the pre-event phase, Deena’s team published challenges throughout the event sessions, as well as during evening and social activities.
Twitter challenges during sessions helped keep energy and engagement high, while allowing Deena and her team to make immediate adjustments when necessary.
With SMART’s social media manager monitoring the Twitter feed on the event hashtag, Deena’s team always had a handle on the backchannel, and was able to know exactly how sessions were being received.
This allowed them to course-correct on the fly during the event and gather feedback to improve sessions for future events.
Challenges to support social activities further helped to connect the large advocate group and provide a more personal experience for each and every SEE in attendance – something Deena said would not have been possible through traditional roundtables.
In order to further maximize the ROI of the event, Deena’s team sought to extend the advocate experience by posting challenges to gather feedback after the Summit, in addition to other fun asks.
For example, all advocates received white cowboy hats during the event (a symbol that the city of Calgary is known for) and were asked to share a photo of themselves wearing their hat in a specific situation each month following the event.
So, how did they do?
With thousands of challenges completed before, during and after the event, Deena said there was “complete buy-in” from advocates throughout all phases, and that the SEE Summit Experience within SMART’s AdvocateHub gave advocates a clean and easy interface to work with event-related challenges.
“Having this separate area in our AdvocateHub was really in line with our mandate to make this a totally immersive experience for our advocates, almost like closing the curtains and shutting out the outside world for the week,” said Deena. “It took them down into the rabbit hole of the event that I don’t think we could have accomplished without AdvocateHub Experiences.”
In this video, she explains the results she experienced during the SEE Summit (and in the months following):
Deena is also excited about the possibilities of using AdvocateHub Experiences for trade shows. “It will radically change how I can engage with advocates in that type of mixed audience setting,” she said. “It’s going to be awesome!”
With a passionate advocate marketer like you at the helm, Deena, we have no doubt about that!