- Thu, September 20 2007
- Filed under: Marketing essentials
Katya's note: My colleague Jono, who guest-starred here at the blog earlier this year when I was on a tropical island, is at Salesforce's Dreamforce meeting out in San Fran. He's sharing reports hot from the center of relationship management nirvana. Network for Good has been working with Salesforce.com to adapt its database tools to nonprofits. Here's what he's heard today.
Dreamforce is a huge event, and it's full of some great examples of good marketing. Here is one:
Yesterday afternoon, during a break between sessions, I snuck outside to get some sun. A Salesforce employee walked up to me and asked me how I was enjoying the conference, and if there was anything they could be doing better. I kind of laughed to myself at this eager employee, until I looked at his name tag and saw the words "Conference Chair." Tom Wong, Salesforce's Senior Director of Customer Marketing Programs was in the middle of hosting a conference for 7,000 people, and yet he found the time to walk around, introduce himself to the attendees, and ask if there was anything they could be doing better.
What I saw over the next three days of Dreamforce really struck me: every experience I had as an attendee was designed from my perspective, not Salesforce's. From the little things, like name badges you can actually read from 3 feet away and incredible signage throughout the convention center, to the big things like running a green conference and giving 30 minutes of free consulting to any customer that wanted it. They even had a technique for Powerpoint fatigue: every presenter had 1-3 personal photos on their title page. It made the presentations personal & memorable from the start.
The whole experience reminded me of how many events and conferences I've been to over the years where the focus was more on the host organization than the attendee. I'll never forget being at one conference presentation last year which started 20 minutes late because they were more concerned with recording the audio than whether anyone in the room could hear ok.
So how can you capture some of Salesforce's corporate marketing savvy and apply it to your next nonprofit event: audience, audience, audience. It doesn't take a big budget to let your audience preferences and needs guide your event planning.
Last night, the Salesforce Foundation took all of their nonprofit guests across the bay on a ferry to dinner. If that event had been tonight, Salesforce would have had a problem: today's wind conditions on the SF bay have grounded all ferries. What do you want to bet Tom Wong had a backup plan to get everyone to dinner last night in the event of inclement weather?