Image by Sophia Jones used under CC license.
A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending my client Quanterix’ user group conference in Cambridge. After also getting the opportunity to attend my other client Alegeus’ customer conference back in April, it inspired me to write this post on how PR representatives can really benefit from attending their clients’ customer events. Here are five reasons why teams should make attendance a priority:
Talking the Talk: Spending a day or two listening to company executives and customers talk about their business offerings and future plans provides an informative, fresh perspective. We’re able to plan for potential media questions related to customer pain points and pick up on new ways in which certain solutions might be described. We’re also able to identify new ideas for press releases based on updates mentioned which might not have been as obvious to our client who is more engrained in these day-to-day discussions.
Identifying New Audiences: Having the ability to sit with customers and discuss what publications they read provides real value. Being media experts, we’re aware of the top-tier publications in each vertical, however sometimes a client in the healthcare industry, for example, might read Fortune and not Modern Healthcare every day for his industry news. This allows us to shift focus and understand what publications we need to make a priority in order to get our client’s name in front of current and future customers.
Understanding Business Goals: Our clients provide us with great visibility into their marketing and overarching business initiatives and goals, however attending their customer conference provides even more transparency and uncovers future plans that our clients might not be privy to. We’re able to make an even bigger business impact by understanding what audiences they need to get in front of (ex. investor, customer, etc.) and can tailor messaging and media outreach appropriately.
Meeting Customers: What’s more important than meeting customers at a customer conference? It’s a great opportunity to strengthen relationships with your client’s customers in order to work together on press releases, case studies, media interviews and other PR initiatives down the road. We all know that securing a customer to speak on behalf of your client is almost always a difficult task, and this is a great opportunity to help ease the process.
Plug the Technology: This is something we do on a daily basis to reporters, so we might as well put our experience to good use on customers! Tout your client’s technology, be an added resource for them and discuss different offerings that their customers might not know of. For example, Quanterix recently opened its Accelerator Lab, providing researchers and academics with access to its Simoa technology, and we were able to spread the word about this Lab to customers who hadn’t heard of it at Quanterix’s user conference. This is just another way we can show our value and act as an extension to our client’s team.
While expenses and time might come into play, both parties should really make the case that a customer conference is worth the investment. It’s an invaluable experience for PR reps, giving us access to new resources, including updated messaging, future company plans and customer feedback, and I’ve left both of my clients’ conferences invigorated with new ideas. Plus, you usually get to have some fun with your client while you’re there!