What 43 SaaStock Sponsors Want
While conferences are mainly made for attendees, they are impossible without sponsors. Ask any event organiser and they will confirm that. At SaaStock, we are fortunate to be supported by the big guns and the small startups alike. We are grateful to both, because that support makes what we do possible.
Someone like Nick Franklin, the CEO and founder of ChartMogul, says that it’s almost the duty of a SaaS company to give back to the community by sponsoring a SaaS dedicated conference. Nick was the very first one to believe in us.
In turn, we want to help those who make this conference possible for us and this year we have geared up our efforts to make sure each sponsor gets the most from their commitment to SaaStock.
We've asked each of them what are their needs and what they want to achieve. We now have 51 days of preparation and 3 days of conference to deliver on those needs.
If you are already a sponsor or thinking about sponsoring, what are the actions you can take to maximise your return on investment?
Branding and Exposure
Sponsoring any conference brings the opportunity to generate awareness, boost (or change) the image of the business and gain exposure in front of a targeted and highly influential audience. SaaStock brings together an array of top level executives from the SaaS world, from speakers to attendees, all the way through to other sponsors. When your brand is associated with a relevant, informative and fun experience such as SaaStock, your brand awareness will increase among influential peers who understand your product.
There are novel ways to maximise that awareness such as hosting an independent satellite event. Hold a workshop or host official opening and after parties. Some of our sponsors are already doing that.
But there are simple things you can do too.
Use your booth to it's best advantage. On the day you have just a second or two to stand out from the crowd and make that impact. Decide to keep to one promotional message for the event and focus on that. Less is more, and that goes for the design of your stand too. We have a professional production theam that can advise you on that.
The primary reason companies want to sponsor events and conferences is to generate high-quality leads. SaaStock attendees are people who know SaaS and are on the lookout for the next tool to expedite scaling their business or fix a problem that they’re dealing with. In an ideal world, they will just turn up at your booth and ask for it, however, that is rarely the case.
Give them a reason to drop by. Think about competitions, discounts and offers. Think about engaging experiences, such as demos, lightning talks, or simply some refreshments, any opportunity to chat and find out more.
A great example of engagement happened this year at Tech Open Air. Typeform had one of the busiest booths. They had artists customising Typeform t-shirts by inserting the blank in “Typeform: making [BLANK] a little more human”. Creative outbursts from the attendees spanned from job titles to Kanye West! Not only did people end up with great branded swag (fantastic for a social media boost), but it also meant that the Typeform team had a great conversation starter and an excited audience queueing up.
Make it easy for people to approach your booth. Give them something memorable to keep. Get them talking to a well-briefed and empathic sales team. Go a step further and reach out to them before the conference, invite them to visit your stand. We will help you do that. Qualifying leads and ultimately closing deals will become much more achievable if you've done the ground work.
Connecting with customers
Sales leads are necessary but in SaaS the key to long term success is nurturing relationships with current customers. They are your lifeblood and after all, we all love to feel loved.
Krish Subramanian, the founder of Chargebee, told us that SaaStock had been a rare opportunity to have many customers in the same room. Nick Franklin confirmed it. You might find your customers among the 1500 attendees.
Use the conference to reconnect and get valuable feedback on your service or product by speaking face to face with current clients. Prime them for new launches. Start the conversation on upcoming changes or releases. Make it easier for your Customer Success team to help your customers post the event.
A focused conference such as SaaStock is action-packed with content and many things to do, so it's easy for your customers to be busy, or distracted and miss you. Tell them you are coming to Dublin, that you want to meet them at SaaStock. Hit them with an email or two before the conference, and invite them to come see you. Even a clever social media marketing plan will help drive the buzz and make sure that your company's name is at the forefront of customer and attendees minds when they arrive at the venue!
Being part of the community
Building a healthy and supportive SaaS global community is one of the main reasons we started SaaStock. We are delighted that many of our existing sponsors share those ideals. Being present at SaaStock17 and part of the biggest SaaS conference in Europe, they want to help create a hub of connections and growth for all attending.
When all is said and done, SaaStock is not just about SaaS or about tech, it's about people. People buy from people. Don’t just stay at the booth, get on the floor of the expo hall, get to the heart of the conference; go to the satellite events; celebrate with the other 1499 like-minded people at the official parties, get to know your SaaS peers a little better. In short - use every opportunity to talk to as many people as you can. There is always something new to learn, and you never know who you’re going to meet!
For more on brand exposure, sales leads, connecting with existing customers or being a more prominent part of the European SaaS community, please talk to us.