Be a Marketing Hero: Make the Most of a User Conference

Ariel Burch Novak

User conferences can be a challenge to successfully develop and failure is not an option. When clients come to our agency asking about user conferences, we are usually enthusiastic because it presents unique opportunities to engage with clients’ customers, collect real data and content, and hear customer stories in person. As PR practitioners, it’s extremely valuable to engage with and learn first-hand from industry experts and customers.

But how does a PR team support a client at a user conference? Aside from helping organize the event and get the word out to attendees and media, a PR team can help clients make for a highly-effective conference. Last week, PAN’s Alpha Software team attended our client’s Alpha Worldwide Developer Conference held in downtown Boston. Alpha allows developers to rapidly create and deploy mobile and web business apps. We had the opportunity to talk to Alpha customers and industry thought leaders about the latest trends in mobile app development, and shared our own PR expertise.

Gene Carozza, Alpha PR team leader, vice president in PAN’s technology practice and application development enthusiast, kicked off the event as a keynote speaker. He spoke to a packed room of close to 200 developers who were eager to hear how to better utilize social media and best practices on how to more effectively market their own brands.

Gene shared his insights on how developers can leverage multiple (and free) channels such as Twitter and LinkedIn to create organic, genuine conversations, showcase their knowledge and expertise, and ultimately build their personal brands. He discussed how B2B marketers need to do a better job utilizing social media to extend their brands and shared some interesting stats: Did you know that LinkedIn has more than 255 million members? And, they’re not all just searching for jobs, but could be valuable colleagues, industry experts and even prospective clients. LinkedIn also has three times higher (277 percent) visitor-to-lead conversion rate than both Twitter (.69 percent) and Facebook (.77 percent).

In another part of the user conference, Alpha PR team Associate John Pinkham was on-site to help film customer testimonials. He also moderated a briefing with Alpha experts and a leading technology journalist from IT Business Edge on Alpha’s new SaaS Framework

And I had the opportunity to participate in a VIP lunch, which gathered Alpha’s executives, industry analysts from firms like IDC, VDC Research and Sepharim Group, and Alpha customers. The roundtable meeting featured discussion on the state of mobility and the developer world as a whole, as well as lively conversations about Alpha’s latest product announcements, including its recent offline launch.

The content collected at the conference was invaluable and will feed the content development pipeline for Alpha’s PR for months to come. So next time you have a user conference, consider bringing on a PR agency to help make it a success. It’s a content-rich environment that will enhance your team’s understanding of your brand, product and customers while at the same time deliver valuable insights that can strengthen your PR program.


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Topics: Customer Experience, Services, Thought Leadership

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