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29 | Erin Flannery, Lattice: Kickstarting an Event Program

  • February 5, 2020
  • 38:08

Erin Flannery (Head of Events at Lattice) shares her thoughts on prioritizing budget within a growing event program, launching a user conference, sponsorship negotiation, feels vs. metrics, where direct mail can fit into a larger event marketing strategy, scavenger hunts, and much more.

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Top Takeaways

1

LAUNCHING A USER CONFERENCE: When planning your first user conference, Erin’s advice is candidly asking your organization important questions, like why you want to host a conference and assessing available resources, staff, and budget. User conferences can be a huge lift for the entire organization—not just the events team. However, that shouldn’t deter organizations from taking a leap of faith when the moment feels right. “We went for it after asking the right questions and calculating the risks. We had the team to execute something like this, which is really important, so structurally and internally we could support this conference.”

2

NEGOTIATING SPONSORSHIPS: In the early days at Lattice, Erin remembers the key to sponsorship negotiations was always adding an additional touch. This could include throwing in a joint webinar, mini-event, or panel discussion to keep the momentum of the touch point. “As an event marketer, that's what I was focused on—creating more and more opportunities with people who were already established in the space."

3

STARTING THE CONVERSATION: Lattice has developed a great way to use direct mail campaigns. The team sent Lattice coffee mugs that said, “I heart Humans,” to key accounts across several territories. As a follow-up, the marketing or sales team would reach out with an invite to an upcoming event. “We were creating these touchpoints—not in the sense of promoting the event with a direct piece—to start that conversation and keep it going, rather than using it as a one-on-one exchange.”

ABOUT Erin Flannery

As the first Events hire at Lattice, Erin built the events program from the ground up creating a full-scale program that includes sponsorships, dinners, workshops and Lattice’s inaugural conference, Resources for Humans Live. Prior to Lattice, Erin worked on marketing teams at BrightEdge, Alteryx, and had a brief stint in higher education and law.

Episode Transcript

BRANDON:

I understand that you are a dog owner, but it's not any regular sort of dog. It is a failed service dog that you have. Tell me about that.

ERIN:

I have a black golden retriever. It's the easiest way to put it. She was born as a service dog for this organization called Canine Companions for Independence. She quickly, once she got into training, failed out and she failed out for having a lack of work ethic, so she's basically too lazy, but that was fine with us. We got her and we love her so much, but yeah, she is a failed service dog, but she does me a service.

BRANDON:

Wonderful, very relaxed, a very chill dog.

ERIN:

Very chill, very chill.

BRANDON:

Have you ever attempted to sort of respark some of that service-oriented training?

ERIN:

Now she goes to work every day in an office at my fiance's tech company. I do like to say she still has a job, but now she works in tech, so she's had a change of career.

BRANDON:

For sure. She's not doing the office lifestyle.

ERIN:

Exactly.

BRANDON:

To set the stage for the rest of our conversation, a quick overview of you, your current role at Lattice and how that aligns with the company's current initiatives?

ERIN:

I am the Head of Events at Lattice. We're an events team of two right now, hoping to be three in 2020. So at Lattice we're a people management platform and that means that we sell HR software. We're looking to grow next year and we're a company of 130 now. We were 20 when I started. Next year our marketing program is just all about moving up-market. We have 1,700 customers now and we want to just expand that even more. So in my first year doing events at Lattice, it was "do events." Now—it's get way more strategic about events and to grow this team, and so my role now is really moving from player to coach to support our event initiatives. Those are focused both on brand and on lead generation, turning leads from just top of funnel to actually sales qualified leads.

BRANDON:

So we have a little bit of background. You mentioned how you're sort of kicking off the events program over at Lattice. I know that includes a really exciting user conference that just debuted in 2019. We're going to talk about all that in just a little bit. Before we get into that too much, let's take a step back and look at your career. I know that before you ended up at Lattice, you interned for the House of Representatives, you assisted with alumni relations at the University of San Francisco and have worked in events for several tech companies all before you ended up where you are today. So could you briefly walk us through each of these steps in how they led to where you are?

ERIN:

I was a poli sci nerd in college—I still am. I thought I was going to be a lawyer, and so in college I was a history major and I interned in Congress in DC. What that meant was answering phones for a Congressman—basically answered a lot of angry phone calls from constituents and learned how to be polite and redirect things and deal with a lot of angry people, and rightfully so. I think it's everyone's duty to be connected to their Congressperson. But I was the front line intern of that for good or for bad. It translates a lot to being kind of like a business development representative in tech companies. You sort of do your best to route things. I wasn't outbounding people, but I was dealing with people who probably didn't want to talk to me and wanted to talk to someone way more important, but it was a great experience.

Also in DC there are so many events, so many young professionals, a lot of motivated people, and there was a lot of, always a mixer or a networking thing or a happy hour to go to and I think that was definitely part of it.

Moving along, after I interned, I went straight to work in a job at a law firm for two years, so I actually thought this was going to be my path, not for me turns out. I'm glad I sort of saved that investment in law school, but it led me to my next job, which was working at the University of San Francisco and I was doing alumni events for their law school.

That's how I made the transition out and when I was working in that law firm I was thinking, what are you naturally good at? What do you like to do but you don't get paid for? And I've always been an events person when I think about it. I used to have these birthday parties that were super elaborate. When I turned 18 I was like we're going to do the scavenger hunt and you have to do all the things that you can do when you turn 18. People were buying pets. What else can you do when you're 18?

BRANDON:

Buy cigarettes.

ERIN:

Buy cigarettes, no. Can you really?

BRANDON:

Yeah.

ERIN:

Oh yeah, you can. Buy cigarettes, that sort of thing.

BRANDON:

I guess that one wasn't on your list.

ERIN:

That one... I hope not. We would like try to do big scavenger hunts like that. I always love planning parties. I actually was a pseudo event planner for my sister's wedding and I was like okay, I'm really good at planning events. This is where I thrive and it's something I enjoy to do, so I wonder if I could get paid for that. That's why I worked at the college.

And I was doing alumni events, basically fundraising, which I think is one of the hardest gigs in event planning because we can think we have like hard times. You're at your current job and you work in tech and you have budget and you think things are hard. Things are really hard when you don't have budget and then you're trying to raise money at the same time. And I think that really forces you to get creative and be super organized on the back end, know how to talk right to the right donors, because you're trying to make someone's life, in this case, a student's life at that school actively better.

It's an unusual path to get in tech and I know you've had a lot of awesome guests on this show. Some people have all tech backgrounds and some people are not in tech and it can be hard to break into it when you're coming in from a traditional path. But actually I think those experiences really add to your events career of not coming from the same background every time.

BRANDON:

Looking at that education experience in particular, you said that it was a challenge to not necessarily have the budget and to be trying to produce events. That and beyond, what's maybe one takeaway you got from that experience that you are bringing with you today at Lattice?

ERIN:

I think what I bring from that is I really became more of an experiences event person, so throwing the surprise and delight experiences that will blow you away. Knowing how to do something really creative on a shoe string, that's really important. That is one side of events that sometimes as an event marketer you can lose sight of, because you're thinking about leads and demand and all of this stuff. When you're doing events in that setting, you're really thinking about the attendee experience and how can this event translate to attendees. I think that's one thing I learned a lot from there.

BRANDON:

Were there any scavenger hunts?

ERIN:

No scavenger hunts.

BRANDON: 

No. You put in some time on Capitol Hill and then you put it some time in education, which I guess is a different sort of hill. Eventually you ended up in a series of tech companies where you're able to sort of leverage that experience you'd gathered, but in a more marketing capacity.

ERIN:

I moved to London to go to grad school. I had a lot of visa restrictions basically, and I wanted to keep moving my resume forward, but you can only work so much, right? So I started working at tech companies. I sort of knew that I wanted to go into tech when I moved back to SF, because that's the thing to do. But I couldn't work full time. So I started taking these contract gigs where I would work on certain events for tech companies. One of those tech companies was Alteryx and I helped plan their first European user conference. They already had an established brand and they were doing their first one out in London. So that was something I was super fortunate to be a part of. And from there that contract position in London helped me get a full time position at BrightEdge, which is a company back out here in Silicon Valley.

BRANDON:

And eventually you end up at Lattice.

ERIN:

Right.

BRANDON:

To speak more on Lattice, could you tell us about the structure of your team? Do you have different teams for different types of events?

ERIN:

Right now our event team is just two people, but what it will be when it's three people is we're going to have one field marketing manager who is responsible for conference sponsorships. We sponsor a lot of conferences and I think we'll dive into a bit more later. We sponsor a lot of conferences in the HR space and that field marketer will be responsible just for those conferences, as well as some parts of our user conference. The other field marketer will run things like our workshop that I call Lattice owned events. Some people call that corporate events. They will do the stuff that is more of a brand experience, targeting a different part of the funnel, more mid to lower funnel events and mid to lower funnel leads. And then the whole team will come together for Resources for Humans Live, which is of like an all hands on deck effort and that is our own conference at Lattice.

BRANDON:

Lots of different types of events that are going on. This program really started when you joined and kicked it off. Could you walk us through how you worked with your team, the greater Lattice team, to decide what types of event opportunities you wanted to invest in and how you prioritize all these different initiatives? I mean you mentioned the user conference and sponsorships.

ERIN:

When I first started at Lattice, I was hired to do events and webinars in our community. And at Lattice, it's always a question on events of how many and how big can we go, which is a really good position, right, for an events person to be in, but that focus has to be narrowed. The other great thing about being in this industry is that there is a lot of demand for events. Again, great position to be in, but which one do you choose?

When I started early days of Lattice events, the main focus as a marketing team, and thus as an events person, was lead acquisition. Right off the bat, we knew we needed to do conference sponsorships. That's the most important thing, because they're just big list buys. We especially went after partner events who we knew had these big lists already established and they're the right person and how can we get more involved with that partner via events. So rather we would negotiate these conference sponsorship contracts and instead of saying, "I need to discount it, blah, blah, blah," we would say, "How can we add more value to this contract? How can we partner more?"

One of the things we did a lot in the early days when we negotiated conference sponsorships as a priority is we'd always throw in another touch. We'd always say, "Hey, in addition to this conference we're going to sponsor, can we also throw in a joint webinar or in addition to this conference we're going to sponsor, we would love to do a mini event with you guys, a panel or something in another city to keep that touch point going." As an event marketer, that's what I was focused on is creating more and more opportunities with people who already were established in the space. While the brand was one thing, but the lists and the attendees growing our database was my main focus.

And then the other thing we were focused on in our early days was community building. I think this is kind of specific to an HR buyer, but a lot of HR teams, the HR profession, if you think about it, they work as a party of one or they work in these silos that are you can't talk to other people that freely, there's a lot of confidential information going on. And so community in our industry is really big. One thing we wanted to do with Lattice events is create the sense of togetherness and community that is loosely associated with Lattice brand, but it's more about bringing everyone together and providing that service as an events team, in addition to Lattice, maybe down the line, but right now we're giving you the safe space to make connections and to talk with one another who are going through the same experiences as an HR person. All of that is to say how did we do that as an events team?

BRANDON:

Right, that's the question.

ERIN:

Yeah, it's just a small task, right? No. One of the things we did was these dinner series and I know a lot of teams throw dinners, right? But we sort of tried to approach these dinner series at Lattice through a very non-salesy standpoint, especially from the beginning, and we still do these today. They have very low agenda. They have table discussion cards. There's a welcome from a Lattice staff person. There's no pitch, right? The emphasis is the people that you meet, the connections that you're making and the nice night that you are getting treated to.

And we started doing these in New York and San Francisco and they were getting... first it was 9 people and then it was 15 and then it was 30. These sort of became a place that HR people could meet up and talk freely and also just enjoy a nice night that wasn't too contrived, right? There wasn't like you have to do this and then you're going to listen to that and then we're going to talk about this subject. What do you want to talk about? We can craft this event for you without some rigid agenda. Those are the two things that we focused on when we were just starting.

BRANDON:

Speaking about those smaller intimate dinners. How did you make the Lattice brand a part of that? It sounds like in many ways you took a back seat and let the attendees have the experience that they wanted to have, which sounds great.

ERIN:

Actually to be frank, they're not that infused with the brand and I actually think that's a good value point for these dinners. There's little things, you get a gift of course there's a logo on the menu. There's these small details, but we more position Lattice in these events as the facilitator of the community coming together. We do have a few staff members there, sprinkle of staff. There's customers. There is prospects. There are just people we've met in our Slack community. And we value that organic conversation and we always find that Lattice comes up no matter what. We don't have to say it. We don't have to be heavy handed and to be honest, I don't think that's the event to be heavy handed in. You can come to some of our other events. We're very heavy handed. So in those dinners I think the emphasis was on community and the brand followed organically.

BRANDON:

You mentioned that early on these, the partnerships were really helpful for getting your events off the ground and investing in multiple touch points, working with your partners to expand the scope of that partnership beyond just that one event, which I think is really interesting to hear. And these smaller intimate dinners as well. So when you look at either your sponsorships, these smaller intimate dinners and some of the other events that you're running, how do they sort of fit in your funnel?

ERIN:

That is actually how I mentally visualize our events program. And when you see me in a meeting talking about events to say our sales leadership, I always have my hands in this upside down triangle shape, which is the marketing funnel.

BRANDON:

Which our listeners might not be able to see, but I saw it very clearly.

ERIN:

There is a visual, it's like a why visual. I always talk about events in terms of who they're targeting to the funnel. And I think as an event person, both in an early stage company, but also in a much larger company and as we grow, it's important to target your event for the right buyers and then do that event at the right cadence. As I mentioned, we do a lot of conference sponsorships here and we really think of those as top of funnel net new leads. If you're really early on, those are going to be super important, build your database right.

As you go down the funnel and maybe as you get more experienced as a company do panels, workshop, do something that gives your mid-funnel targets, these are people who are already in your system, maybe they're at a marketing qualified lead, maybe you're trying to get them there, maybe sales has already talked to them, but you just need to provide them that extra step of value, get them to a panel or to a workshop to give them something in exchange for knowing about Lattice. So that's your mid-funnel event and that's maybe 100 people or maybe that's 70 to 150.

Going down, invite them to a dinner, have them in an intimate setting, showing them that you're willing to invest in them as a customer, or as a future customer I should say, and that you're really going to go all out for them. That's the more one-on-one experience and I would say those dinners are great for sales qualified leads or to put potential leads in front of a really good customer. And again, you don't have to be really overt about selling Lattice at that event. The nature of it being so intimate is perfect for a more mature lead. I just took you down the funnel and that's how I think about that.

BRANDON:

When you're looking at all these different events, how do you measure the success of them?

ERIN:

I'll speak back to our first year doing events, just getting everything off the ground. The success of our events program was do events. It wasn't complicated. It was start the program, build the foundation. And the second year we really rely heavily on lead scoring. I work a lot with my ops team and our demand team to decide what has had the most pipeline influenced or touched depending on whatever model we use. A lot of these events that we've been doing at Lattice have only been baking for a year and I think truthfully we're still waiting on an accurate timeline of how long does it take to prove a significant ROI besides a break even, but we're working on that payback period. I think that's okay as long as everyone recognizes that that's okay. Mostly MQLs pipeline created and then revenue attributed.

And I think the other thing we talk about in terms of success metrics, and this is what I think a lot of events people get pushed backed on, but we talk at Lattice, feels versus metrics success. So a lot of times you'll have an AE go to a conference or work at a panel and they're like, "This felt bad. I didn't have any good conversations, not the right buyer. Why did we do this?" And we wait three months down the line and that's maybe our best performing field event of the year.

BRANDON:

Wow.

ERIN:

And I think that these happen all the time, and the opposite is true too. So sometimes you're like, "This was a great event. Everyone was there, everyone loved it," and it returns nothing for us. You have to keep the feeling and the actual results of the event separate. I mean, you have to take feedback of course, but you can't just go off of this event felt good, the right person was there. Look at the numbers after, track your metrics and make sure that you're just not making a big investment decision off of yeah, that felt really nice. I liked being there.

BRANDON:

That's something that we hear a lot is, I mean, how important it is to have both of those buckets of feedback, but it's interesting to see how the data can sometimes really contradict what our gut experience might be.

ERIN:

Make the data your reality. That would be my advice.

BRANDON:

I'd love to just dive into ResourcesForHumans Live. In October of 2019 your team hosted Lattices first ever user conference.

ERIN:

Whoo-hoo. First conference. Yeah.

BRANDON:

As mentioned, it was Resources For Humans Live, or as I recently learned is RFH Live. You previously mentioned that conferences like this can be really risky for rapidly growing companies like Lattice. Why is that and why did it make sense to invest in it?

ERIN:

There is a lot of pressure in the Valley and in the events world to do a conference, right. I think Dreamforce sort of set this standard of what tech companies, especially, want to be able to do. They want to be able to bring huge numbers of people together, because that is such a feat and that whole event is just mind boggling in how well put together it is and how successful it looks, right.

But actually I think depending on the stage of your company, one of the first things you need to do is ask yourself some sort of real truthful questions to see is a conference the right thing for you? One of the first things I said in my interview at Lattice was I don't believe in throwing conferences for the sake of conferences.

Digging into that, I really would go back to what I mentioned about the right events for the right stage of the funnel. Think about what you want to have from a conference and then cross check that with a few factors. So if your leadership team is like, "We want to have a conference because we want to bring a lot of people together," you have to think do you have the resources, both staff and money to bring all those people together? Do you have a fully fledged team who can devout seven months to inviting all of those people to this conference? And if you don't, you might want to think about should you be hosting this event, because it's going to take over the whole company.

And the other thing, I think people want to do conferences because they're like, "It will make us look really big." But I think it's important to ask, "Do you want to look really big or do you actually want to be big?" Because conferences are very expensive and maybe those resources are better spent on some other activities. That's my take on people who just want to do conferences, because tech companies do conferences. I don't think that's the right way to look at it. But back your original question, why was it right for Lattice?

BRANDON:

No, but I do want to say that's really important to hear. There definitely is this pressure, I think especially in the Bay Area, but it's kind of the standard for tech companies, like you mentioned, to have events as that tent pole campaign for so many reasons, but it can sometimes be a little bit more than it's worth.

ERIN:

100% and it's going to be so costly and it's going to take a lot of staff time. And I think the staff time is something to super emphasize with any exec who's really gung ho about conferences is this is going to be a huge lift for the entire company, not just the marketing team, not just the events team.

Okay. So then why did Lattice do a conference?

BRANDON:

Yeah, why did Lattice do a conference?

ERIN:

Sometimes you have to go off the cliff. I think all that being said, be really calculated, ask the right questions, but you should go for it and so we went for it. We finally had the team to execute something like this, which I think is really important, so structurally, internally we could support this conference.

BRANDON:

You mentioned you're at a good point right now. What were some of those key hires?

ERIN:

A demand team, not only the head of demand, but someone who can help with all of the event emails, event follow up, the targeted messaging. And then a bigger sales team than what we've ever seen who can support all of the invites, all of the personalized followups. They want to take the meetings there. I think those two things are really, really important.

BRANDON:

I also know that you still are a very small team. You also brought in some additional help as well.

ERIN:

We brought in an amazing production team, MoonLab Productions. They're out of LA. And we had actually seen their work in the venue we were doing our conference in and we were like, "That is who we want to execute our event." And I think it's so important with a production team that you vibe very well together. You want them to be an extension of your events team and you want to be able to just say, "I trust you. Please make these decisions on our behalf." And that's exactly what they did. Huge shout out to Cassandra and Patty and the whole team over there.

But they also were just open to some of our nebulous ideas. We didn't have any structure to them and they were like, "Oh, you want to do something around your Praise product, how about we do this?" And they could take something that I thought was so up in the air and conceptual and then nail down an idea for exactly what we wanted to do. And I think finding a production team is key to hosting a huge event like that. You need that expertise and admit I don't know how to measure and make custom wraps for something. Let's hire someone who knows more than I do. And that's exactly what we did.

BRANDON:

Of course, and then that frees you up to take a step back and focus more on some of the strategic aspects of it.

ERIN:

Yeah. Yeah. You can take a step back and be a marketer and not that event producer. That's really important.

BRANDON:

One other thing I'd love to talk about with Resources For Humans Live is the content and the experience. Now this might be a little bit of a surprise for some of our listeners, but I think it's really interesting how you sort of differentiated the content from some other HR or people operations conferences out there and hearing what you have to say will be really applicable to others who might have a very niche topic or industry and are looking to sort of differentiate themselves.

ERIN:

One of the great advantages we have as events people is that we go to a lot of events. And I know that sometimes when you go to these other people's big conferences, the last thing you want to do is sit and listen to the content, right, because you've been to so many of these things, but it actually makes your own content so much stronger.

One thing we tried to do when we were structuring our content for this event is to identify gaps in the market. We got on the phone with industry, I'm going to say the key term industry experts, but they're really our customers and informal friends of Lattice who we were like, "What kind of conferences do you like to go to? What do you think is missing in the content from all of the HR conferences you see? What could we be doing better? Who should we be talking to?" We have such a strong content arm here, but what I really want is going straight to the source and saying, "What kind of event would you want to attend?" Because there's a lot of them out here.

The other thing we did was talk to our own HR team. Our own HR team is our buyer, right? They would be our buyer at another company and I think that's something everyone should do with their own company is use their own internal resources to bounce the ideas off of each other, if you have some department there who you would be theoretically selling to. So we went to our own HR team and said, "What kind of conference would you like to go to? What do you think is missing at conferences? Most importantly, what is overplayed?" And one of the things that they thought about is that the typical session at any event, which is how to get a seat at the table, that phrase seat at the table is such marketing fluff. And of course I have used it, so I am not... I am totally guilty of it.

So our HR team was like, "What if there was a session that was around, you got a seat at the table, what do you do with it? You made it to that point. No one talks about what happens after that point. You're just supposed to know everything." And so we had a session on that. It was called Now You Have a Seat at the Table, What Do You Do? Or something like that. That session was important, because we had a senior level attendee at the event in terms of title and so they already had that seat at the table. What are they supposed to do with all of that power and knowledge and what is the next step for them? So that was an example of a content session that we thought was really well informed from our own HR team and that didn't exist at other HR conferences.

BRANDON:

Another thing I wanted to talk about with Resources For Humans Live is how you're working with different teams at Lattice. You mentioned that now is the right time, because you had this demand team in place. Because the sales team was larger than it ever before, and working with these different teams in addition to the customer facing team as well, what were some ways that you found it effective to make the event success?

ERIN:

We love our sales team. The marketing sales team dynamic at Lattice is awesome. I think a lot of that magic with the event-sales relationship here is that I and a few of our other founding marketing team members were lucky enough to plant the seeds early to start the love of events among sales who were then sort of more junior in their career and now those BDRs had been promoted to AEs, those AEs have been promoted to managers. And so that foundation got set really early on that sales and marketing work as one and sales will go to events.

Events are part of that role at Lattice and knowing that our customer loves events, sales is always eager to extend an invite, talk to a prospect, get their opinion on this content, blah, blah, blah. They actually found some of our speakers for us for our conference. After we had sent the initial save the date out, we had people respond saying, "Hey, like I got this invite from X, Y, Z AE. I would love to actually speak." And so they're a great resource. If you have that solid relationship, it's huge for events people.

And the second thing I would say is just to align incentives. Sales and marketing are working towards the same goals and it always helps if you speak the sales language and just always reiterate why this is good for them, why it's good for you, and then why it's good for us as a company and spiff wise, we've given away a bobblehead or two, so those never hurt.

BRANDON:

Fantastic. Yeah. Bobbleheads are key, absolutely key. I think that's really noteworthy just about having that culture of events and having that opportunity to build it from the ground up. It's not always the case, but can definitely-

ERIN:

No.

BRANDON:

... be really effective, right, when you have that sort of alignment,

ERIN:

Certainly not. And I mean if you don't have that luxury to be in there at the ground level, just understand what motivates sales people. I think that's the easiest and most boiled down way that you can say it. Understand what motivates them and craft events that help them achieve their goals. I mean that sounds so obvious, but if you're working in sort of a SaaS model company, you are an events team to drive business. You're not an events team to just throw experiences willy-nilly. You're supposed to help them.

BRANDON:

One other thing I wanted to talk about in terms of promoting the event is around direct mail. I know that our listeners are really curious about this. We've received request to hear more about direct mail tactics, so how did you use this?

ERIN:

We have an interesting use of direct mail at Lattice. This past year we actually had this thing that we've been calling the Mug Campaign and we sent out these mugs, the coffee mugs that said "I heart humans" on them. We mailed them out to these territories that we had key accounts in and it was a multi-step campaign where a key account owner or someone who works at a company we're trying to sell to would receive this mug in the mail and it comes in this beautiful box and it says, I think it said, "You've got mugged," or something like that. We're big on puns here at Lattice.

Yeah. So then the next step, they would actually get an invite either from someone on marketing or maybe it's an account owner here at Lattice, so sales or a BDR who would say, "Hey, I hope you've got my mug. We actually have an event coming up. We'd love to see you there." And so we were creating these touch points that was like first you're getting a physical item from Lattice and then you're actually getting a person talking to you that says, "Oh, we actually have this other resource that we can give you. Come to this event." And then you let the funnel go on from there on. So I guess it's a direct mail, not in the sense that it's a direct piece of mail to promote the event, but it's a direct piece of mail to sort of start that conversation and keep it going, rather than a one-on-one exchange. You got some piece of mail and then the convo drops. You get the mail, then you get an invite to an event, then maybe you're going to a dinner.

BRANDON:

Again, I mean it goes back to how you're looking at partnerships as well and really taking this flexible view of all right, here's the touch point, how can we add another touch point onto that? I think that's really neat to hear how you're incorporating that with other campaigns over at Lattice as well.

ERIN:

I believe your HR team has gotten a mug. FYI.

BRANDON:

Oh, we have a mug. I have seen it.

ERIN:

Nice.

BRANDON:

It is a nice mug. It's a tall mug actually.

ERIN:

It's large, right?

BRANDON:

It's a large—it's borderline beer stein—but it's great. We're almost out of time. We have a few more questions. Final one around Resources For Humans Live, next year, what can we expect without giving away too many spoilers?

ERIN:

Next year, 2020 Resources For Humans Live. We're really excited. It'll be at least three times bigger if not more. It will be here in San Francisco. You can definitely expect more fun brand activations, incorporating the products, but sort of in an IRL experience. Great speakers, we're already sort of hunting for the best talent right now and the whole team is really excited. So don't want to give too much away.

BRANDON:

Who's someone you look up to and events, marketing or business in general?

ERIN:

I love this question and actually I've loved listening to the answers on this podcast, but someone who I look up to, her name is Carrie Goodrich. She's at a company called Looker. She actually got me that first event contract job in Europe at Alteryx and she has not only done some incredible events there and built that team out, but she's sort of moved past strictly events and into a global marketing programs role at a very senior level. And I definitely look up to her, and this sounds pretty nerdy, but I'm a huge Olympics fan. I love watching every two years. Winter, summer doesn't matter. And it's my sort of low key dream to plan the Olympics, because it's events and sports and international relations, but on a massive scale, right? If you watch the opening ceremonies, it's crazy. Whoever plans the Olympics, the opening ceremonies every year and does not only that, but that whole event is so much coordination and I can't even imagine. So that's sort of events goals for me.

BRANDON:

All right. Put on the Olympics.

ERIN:

Yes. Put it on the Olympics.

BRANDON:

Let's do it.

ERIN:

Let's do it. Sounds... it's just a small little event—just a 10 person dinner.

BRANDON:

For sure.

ERIN:

That's fine.

BRANDON:

Yeah, and it might be... who knows where it will be.

ERIN:

Yes.

BRANDON:

And yeah, when that time comes. If you could give an earlier version of yourself, one piece of advice, what would it be and why?

ERIN:

I think my earlier piece of advice would be to take more risks and then be more agile. When you're in college or when you are in your first job, your early job, you sort of think that you should stick into it no matter what, because you made a choice and choices are so hard to make early on. I think I realized one year into that law firm, I'm not going to be a lawyer and I don't like this. And just to make decisions quicker and go for it. Take more risks, make the move. Sometimes it doesn't make any sense, but it'll push you in a direction and going in one direction, even if it's doesn't end up being the right one, is going to get you to where you need to be. That's certainly the case for me.

BRANDON:

That's huge. And one more piece of advice for our listeners who might be in a similar place as Lattice, they're part of a rapidly growing company, they're just kicking off their events program, maybe they haven't even done it yet, and they're in the early planning stages, what's one word of friendly consultation you could drop them?

ERIN:

One word of consultation would be you're going to take risks and be comfortable with failure and own the failure and move on. Some of your events are not going to turn out good. Some of them are going to turn out wonderful. When you make mistakes, you're going to learn from that and you're going to move on, and have just a lighthearted attitude about it and know that no one else knows how to do this, so it's going to be okay.

BRANDON:

Perfect. I love it. If our listeners are interested in following what Lattice is doing and all the great work that you are doing, how can they do that?

ERIN:

Personally, connect with me on LinkedIn, Erin Flannery. One of my 2020 goals, not only for me but for my team is to connect with more events, people in person or over a virtual coffee. So let's hang out. I would love that. In terms of Lattice, our Lattice.com/events page coming soon. So you can follow more there. See it in 2020.

BRANDON:

Excellent. All right. Thank you so much, Erin.

ERIN:

Thanks Brandon.