A growing trend among successful mobile first companies is holding a customer summit conference featuring notable industry speakers, esteemed customers, and valued partners. Hosting a customer marketing summit filled with an afternoon of presentations followed by cocktails and hors d’oeuvres is a valid excuse to put decision makers in a room together.
Organizing a conference or any customer facing event is not an easy undertaking for your marketing department. The first task any experienced events coordinator planning a summit would enact is having top level company commitment. Start internally with a pitch of a good old fashioned customer loyalty experience combined with the opportunity of adding new revenue lines from customer referrals and product upsells. Picking up a new customer or doubling the right line item can reimburse summit expenses and provide an actual ROI.
Although customer summits are fine branding opportunities, they’re not derivatives of Google I/O #IO13 and the mega WWDC Apple Developer conference. An intimate event is an opportunity to host great discussions and gather overwhelming feedback on new product launches. Always focus on the customer first and then building out your own platform ecosystem. Use the event as a forum to provide paying customers additional expertise by staffing knowledgeable employees who may not always have customer facing roles.
A customer conference also offers many quick win benefits for attendees beyond the opportunity of hearing from mobile industry leaders and distinguished speakers. Putting in face time with potential partners is more than a vetted networking event, face time closes deals. Listening to presentations of product demos, attendees at least understand the internal directives behind each narrative speaker. Even simple benefits such as syncing up on industry lingo and better than average swag offers key takeaways. Leaving understanding of how new products fit in market and hearing outside perspectives on the mobile industry can lead to new marketing initiatives for your company.
Pricing attendance for an invite only conference could be a small nominal fee or otherwise made free through co-sponorships. Putting on a positive experience that you can be proud of will leave both your customers and your internal marketing team with some of their favorite memories while in office.