In just my first few months with Certain I started having some really interesting conversations with event professionals who saw what might be possible for their organizations and their own careers if they could do a better job of connecting the event experiences they were creating with more tangible, measurable business results. But there were a few significant obstacles that stood in their way. The first was time. Try spending a few hours with marketers and event pros. These are insanely busy people with great big hearts, tons of passion, and very little time. The other issue they faced in these large companies they worked for was a lot of bureaucracy and a mountain of a change management project that they didn’t begin to have the time to try to scale.
I saw that what they really needed most to be successful (and truthfully the same thing I needed to help them to succeed) was a combination of executive sponsorship and help leading a collaborative effort across many business units, geographies and departments. This was no small undertaking and I needed help. Besides, who was I to help them lead such an effort?
What we really needed was a tool to help educate all of these different stakeholders and most importantly to gain the support of an executive sponsor. Personally I also needed the credibility to help them trust that I should be the one to help them get there. I already had a really strong understanding of the marketing ecosystem and technology infrastructure thanks to my time with Eloqua and then Oracle, not to mention my degree in Information Technology and Systems Analysis (yes, I’m a documented marketing nerd).
When I thought about the best tool to help establish that level of expertise and trust, the first thing that popped into my mind was a book. I’d never written a book, but I have a couple of really good friends who’ve written a large number of books between them. In fact, the two that I spend the most time with, have written over 2 dozen books.
It seemed like a really daunting task, but the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, so I started outlining the book.
Once the outline was in place I realized, thanks to the help of some very smart friends and mentors, that I probably shouldn’t try to write the whole book myself. Instead, bringing together a group of experts with specific real-world knowledge and experience in each area would add way more value to what we were trying to create.
Now, just over a year later the book has been a great success and has helped numerous organizations start to develop a new vision for their event programs. The marketing and event teams in these organizations are incredibly busy and don’t always have the time to sit down and read an entire book. Personally I’ve become podcast obsessed, finding them to be a great way to learn while doing other things like working out, driving or even doing mindless chores around the house. At those times when my mind isn’t completely occupied and I can effectively multi-task and learn new things.
So after hearing some version of: “Your book has been sitting on my desk, but I haven’t had a chance to read it yet.” We decided to make it even more accessible and make it available as a podcast for anyone with a smartphone and a podcast app.
The entire book is now available with the first 14 episodes representing each of the 14 chapters in the book. We’ve also made the full eBook available for those who also want to have the text available for reference or if they’d prefer to read rather than listen: http://innovate.certain.com/making-rain-with-events.html
Why stop with just the book? We’re now extending the podcast to include interviews about every 2 weeks with successful event marketers, industry thought leaders, expanded co-author conversations and more.
Please take a minute to subscribe via iTunes or your favorite podcast listening app, and listen along to find your own inspiration and best practice ideas that you can use to take your events to the next level:
Want more information on specific podcasts? Feel free to review summaries of each podcast below.
0: Introduction – Making Rain with Events Podcast – Scott Ingram
Introduction to Scott Ingram’s book: “Making Rain with Events.” Why this podcast was created, the introduction from the book and what the future of the podcast holds after the first 14 episodes which represent the entire book.
1: Content, Connections, and the Customer Experience
Chapter 1 of Scott Ingram’s book: “Making Rain with Events.” This chapter explores the two biggest reasons why people attend events in the first place: Content and Connections. Then explores how delivering great event content and helping people connect creates better attendee experiences.
2: Adding the Final Link in the Integrated Marketing Chain – Peter Micciche
Chapter 2 of Scott Ingram’s book: “Making Rain with Events,” written by Certain’s CEO, Peter Micciche. This chapter begins to look at what could be possible if events were part of a fully integrated marketing approach that leverages marketing automation, customer relationship management (CRM).
3: Beyond Logistics and Planning – Allison Saget
Chapter 3 of Scott Ingram’s book: “Making Rain with Events,” written by event marketing consultant and the author of “The Event Marketing Handbook: Beyond Logistics & Planning” Allison Saget. This chapter discusses why event leaders need to collaborate across the organization to drive results. Working with sales, marketing and the executive team are extremly important. We also learn about Saget’s EventBLT (R) approach which consists of Brand Recognition, Lead Generation and Thought Leadership
4: Content for Conversion – Matt Heinz
Chapter 4 of Scott Ingram’s book: “Making Rain with Events,” written by Matt Heinz, President of Heinz Marketing. This chapter discusses content marketing in the context of events.
- Tracking ROI from events
- Reasons to prioritize content marketing at events
- Pre-event content marketing best practices
- At-event content marketing best practices
- Post-event content marketing best practices
5: Setting the Tone for Connecting – Thom Singer
Chapter 5 of Scott Ingram’s book: “Making Rain with Events,” written by Thom Singer, The Conference Catalyst. This chapter discusses the importance of networking at events and what it takes to create an environment for your attendees to connect.
- Why the intangible matters
- How speakers set the tone
- Clique crushing
- External social parties
- Being inclusive of vendors
- Continuing the culture and making the commitment
6: Want a Bigger Return on Your Big Event? Mobilize Your Advocates – Mark Organ
Chapter 6 of Scott Ingram’s book: “Making Rain with Events,” written by Mark Organ, CEO of Influitive. This chapter discusses advocate marketing in the context of events.
- The power of customer advocates
- Tapping into the power of social proof
- Mobilizing advocates before, during & after events
7: Leveraging Events as “Mobile Moments” to Drive Sales – Tim Hayden
Chapter 7 of Scott Ingram’s book: “Making Rain with Events,” written by Tim Hayden, VP of Marketing for Zignal Labs. This chapter discusses mobile marketing and mobile strategies in the context of events. You’ll learn how to apply mobile tactics to your events – before, during and after.
8: Sponsors and Sponsoring – Frannie Danzinger
Chapter 8 of Scott Ingram’s book: “Making Rain with Events,” with Frannie Danzinger. This chapter explores how to leverage sponsors in your events, and how to be a more effective sponsor of events.
- Being proactive
- Setting expectations
- Coaching and maximizing the experience
- A supplier’s perspective
- Pre-event planning
- On-site activity
- Post event follow-up
9: Trade Shows – Shawn Lacagnina
Chapter 9 of Scott Ingram’s book: “Making Rain with Events,” written by Shawn Lacagnina, Marketing & Design Consultant with Skyline Displays of Houston. This chapter discusses tradeshows in detail.
- Why trade shows work
- Exhibit space design
- Booth staffing
- Execution process
- Handling sales leads
10: Webinars – Anita Covelli
Chapter 10 of Scott Ingram’s book: “Making Rain with Events,” written by Anita Covelli (Wehnert). This chapter discusses webinars in detail.
- Why webinars work as part of the marketing mix
- Effectively planning webinars
- Targeting by persona and buying stage
- Promotion beyond email
- Driving registration and attendance
- Building and preparing your webinar team
- Designing webinar content for engagement and reuse
- Leveraging interactivity tools to engage and qualify leads
- Driving higher conversion rates by following up fast
- Recording and repurposing your webinar
- Tracking and sharing success metrics
11: Improving Event Marketing with Predictive Marketing – Brian Kardon
Chapter 11 of Scott Ingram’s book: “Making Rain with Events,” written by Brian Kardon, CMO of Lattice Engines. This chapter discusses predictive strategies can you incorporated into event marketing.
- Predictive analytics in action
- Applying predictive analytics to marketing
- What is predictive marketing?
- Measuring the success of predictive marketing
- Making your event marketing strategy more predictive
12: The Revenue Marketing Journey… As an Events Maturity Model – Debbie Qaqish
Chapter 12 of Scott Ingram’s book: “Making Rain with Events,” written by Debbie Qaqish, Principal and Chief Strategy Office for The Pedowitz Group. This chapter discusses revenue marketing and event marketing maturity.
- The revenue marketing journey model
- The events capability model
13: The End… Is a Beginning – Scott Ingram
The closing chapter to Scott Ingram’s book: “Making Rain with Events.” Key takeaways from the entire book. Plus a brief discussion of what you have to look forward to with this podcast. Thank you for listening!