How the Pirate Summit successfully leveraged social media, email marketing and the web to promote their event and increase event app adoption
They say habits are hard to break. That may be true, but habits are even harder to establish. Getting people to start doing something they’ve never done before is a difficult, non-trivial task, even if the new behavior is likely to benefit those who perform it. In other words, a great product sometimes isn’t enough; it often needs to be complemented by great marketing.
We recently had the privilege to be named the official networking app for the European Pirate Summit (EPS), a unique event in the entrepreneurial scene, gathering 400 of Europe’s craziest and most ambitious pirates. Who’s a pirate you ask?
“If you haven’t started a company, really gambled your resume and your money and maybe even your marriage to just go crazy and try something on your own, you’re no pirate and you aren’t in the club.” – Michael Arrington, CrunchFund.
In only 2 years, EPS has claimed a spot on top of Europe’s most popular tech events list. Being an invite-only event makes Pirate Summit even more mysterious and sought after. This year, EPS producers not only provided a hell of an experience to their attendees, but also got unprecedented Bizzabo adoption and usage!
- Over 70% of EPS attendees signed-in to Bizzabo.
- In-app interaction and networking among attendees (people lookup, agenda views, marked leads, etc) were doubled in volume than the average.
- During the event, the average attendee marked two people they’d like to meet as opportunities and sent 3 messages.
This great adoption wasn’t a fluke, but rather a methodic execution of a simple marketing plan. So what did EPS organizers do to succeed, and what can you learn from their success?
1. Maximize email marketing
Two emails were sent to attendees – the first email was sent 2 weeks before the event, and included a few updates about the event and introduced Bizzabo as the official networking app. The second email, sent on the week of the event, was focused entirely on the app and the benefits to attendees. Both emails were short and precise, and yielded high open rates and click through rates, well above industry average.
- The organizers used our prepared email templates (can be found under the ‘Promote tab’ on the organizer dashboard), which included a clear call to action – to download the app and join their event community
- The event community grew by 213% in 24 hours after the first email.
- Highest click-to-download conversion rate.
- Send 2-3 short emails, a month, a week, and a day before the event.
- Announce Bizzabo as your official app, briefly describe attendees benefits, and include a clear call to action with a link to your event mini-site on Bizzabo (automatically generated once your event is live).
- Use our templates or write something cool on your own.
2. Add a clear call to action on your event website
EPS embedded a download banner on their homepage and agenda page. The graphic create visual stimulation for website visitors, grabbing the attention of those who missed your emails.
Use banners and graphics to create a visual attraction. We prepared both online (banners, buttons and badges) and offline (QR code and roll-up posters) materials to assist existing promotional efforts.
3. Engage on social networks
EPS actively promoted their event and the Bizzabo app on their social media channels early, generating unbelievable buzz around the event and eventually turning the #eps12 twitter hashtag to a trending topic in Europe that week.
Bizzabo is designed to help you viralize your event with LinkedIn, Twitter and now Facebook integration. At EPS, 277 attendees shared the event 164 times on twitter and 187 times on Linkedin via Bizzabo. We’re talking about an amazing average of 1.27 event shares per attendee, with 64% of the shares coming prior to the event! That’s almost 90,000 additional eyeballs that were exposed to the Pirate Summit.
Promote the Bizzabo app on social media early in the game and generate some excitement around it (which the pirates did very well). Bizzabo will help you to increase the volume and reach of social buzz around your event, which in turn will increase ticket sales.
4. Add a detailed agenda
The pirates added their complete agenda to Bizzabo, including full speaker bios and photos. Drew attendees to the app and made everyone more connected to the event content.
Complete your agenda information to create value for your attendees and connect them to you and your content.
Key takeaways from the European Pirate Summit
The EPS organizers showed us the way, and now you have a simple plan to follow. If you execute the plan with discipline and enthusiasm, your attendees will maximize their networking and satisfaction. And so will you
- Send at least two emails to get the first wave of adopters and start building a community.
- Promote the event app through your social media channels as soon as your event is live.
- Update your agenda along the way to keep attendees engaged and excited.
- Add a clear visual call to action on your event website.
- In your opening speech (and throughout the day), mention Bizzabo and the event hashtag – let everyone who isn’t there yet understand what they missed!
- Enjoy your super successful event!
To socialize and mobilize your next event like The European Pirate Summit did, go to bizzabo.com/organizer today!