The Sales Engagement Podcast
The Sales Engagement Podcast

Episode · 3 years ago

Eight Simple Steps to Events Greatness w/ Andy Mowat and Dan Murphy


Just try to imagine organizing 300+ events all over the world--every single year.

(You’re dying a little bit, right?)

For Andy Mowat and Dan Murphy at Culture Amp, that’s reality.

And they’re loving it.

And they want you to be able to explode your ability to offer and organize events, too, whether that’s an intimate 10-person dinner or a flagship event with 2,000 people.

“Events are a core part of our community offering,” Andy said.

Andy’s the Vice President of GTM Operations, and Dan’s the Director of Global Sales Development. They’re on fire with how they turned events, which was a big deal before they arrived, into an absolute machine.

That’s 12 different types of events.

With over 300 events per year.


Ranging from 10 to 2,000 people.


So, how do they do it?

Welcome to the sales engagement podcast. This podcast is brought to you by outreach dot ioh, the leading sales engagement platform helping companies, sellers and customer success engaged with buyers and customers in the modern sales era. Check out sales engagementcom for new episodes. Resources in the book on sales engagement coming soon. Now let's get into today's episode and everyone, welcome back to another episode of these sales engagement podcast. I'm your host, joving, a little senior content managing editor over at outreach, and today we are joined by Andy Mo and Dan Murphy from culture am are we going to be talking about interesting way of doing events, how they do it over at culture imp. It's really revolutionary and they're going to go step by step on how they execute over there. But before we get into that, I'm going to toss it over to Andy, who can introduce himself, and then Dan, who can introduce himself, so we can get into this. Thanks for being on the show, guys. Yeah, thanks, Jo, appreciate Nice to talk to you. Yeah, I'm just creep back around on myself. On vp of go to market operations. We think across sales marketing and the entire REVENUE STACK CO operations. So we're deep partners with each of the business leaders. My team runs kind of systems, the processes, the operations and the strategy, and over here next to me I've got damn Murphy. Your runs are sales and a sales development team. Yeah, Dan, director self developing here. How we've got for office is London, Your San Francisco and Melbourne, with Stas in Gout now found in each of those, along with food markers, and partner heavily with end in the OPS team to make it all happen. Fantastic. And this events thing that you guys are talking about today, it seems to be pretty, pretty interesting, pretty revolutionary. Can you tell me kind of about how you put it all together? Tell me about your events? Yeah, absolutely. So events are huge for us. It's a real powerful channel that was existed before I got here, but I think Dan I both really amped up in a ton of ways and really turned it into a machine. You know, events, Miss I'll talk a little bit later on, are really a core part of our community offering. We see the community of HR professionals is critically important for our success and they are constant ferring people, but we run or are participating in, I estimate, over three hundred events per year. They're we've categorize all those. We have twelve different types of events and they range anywhere from a two thousand person conference to a ten person into a dinner. That's incredible. I mean I'm freaking out helping put together unleash. That's one event and you're doing, you know, three hundred plot all over the world, all over the country. How do you actually execute on all of that? How do you do it? Yeah, absolutely, and I'll kind of talk to I think we've got any steps stand and I'll detail here. I'll talk to some of the more technical aspects and then Dan'll really get into the outreach component of it. You know that we do have a corresponding blog on linkedin that you can share out with this podcast. That provide some links on some more tips and if people were really keeping out on it, we're happy to talk. So you know if we started off, I mean first is really like how do you get capture registrations, and what we're going to focus here on is the owned events. We also in that three hundred events number. We have plenty of events. We attend as well to we won't go as deep into those, but those work prety simily. So the first is you've build an amazing registration site. So we've worked with we have two vendors. One for like events, is slash and then for Webinars, which falls under events banner, is Bright Talk. The splash in particular is really well integrated. We work on the bright talk side, but splashes it's hosted on our website. You can build beautiful pages in a couple minutes and it integrates directly into our entire system stack. So that's first. Next is, you know, you got the place for them to go register, but you got to get the people. So we promote it heavily to our community and Dan man's additional plots here, but we've got about fortyzero people in our community. We do there's all of the classic promotion ways right of like putting it..., digital marketing, advertising it, giving those events information to your teams and letting them kind of promote them with the customers and their prospects, and so we do all those. We really see the community is this huge referral engine and you know, both preferrals into our community into events but also when people move companies, they also get reinvigorated and come back and buy us again. Some of the other ways we distributed in the community are we've got a newsletter goes out I think it's thirty or Fourzero people and people love it and read it. We have a ton of other community assets. So we write a lot of content on employee engagement to employee effectiveness, feedback, and then we another thing that we've just recently done was inspired by our friends of game sites. We have a hur career up. So if you are looking for people operations, people analytics or people partner or diversity inclusion or any of those types of jobs, you can go to our website and see tens of thousands of jobs untils are down and find a new region. So you know, we put a call to action right next to that. We engage people really early in the community and then we start to get them involved in our events. So those are just some of the ways that we promote the events and get people to them. Quick Crisis Point. Yes, you how big of an aspect is social for you? I know that for us, when we promote events, we really have into our employees networks and have them promote things. Is that something that you're doing? Yeah, it is, absolutely is. I think our, I mean as part of our community, our social huge. I think we've got like twenty and thirty thou followers on Linkedin. We've got we've got a person that's purely focused on social. I think we can do even more there, but it's a powerful channel for us for sure. Very cool, cool. So, so I did derail you there for a thing and you've got another step coming. No, no words. So, yes, the next stup that we do is like so now we've got the place where they can register, we've got how we promoted it. Then we get in and we basically we collected so soon as they register of the site, they basically we're going to sink that directly into sales force and in addition, if it's a tentive event, will take that list and import it in. As soon as we do that, it tags into the campaign and it's cool. For some event, some of our bigger ones, we actually slack a man using troops and celebrate all the winds and like registration by registration, which is amazing. Once they're into the system, what we do on the back end is as soon as they get created, we go down and take a look and, well, I think this is strictly important, rather than just jumping a huge list of the event, we start to assign those thank yous. So the first thing we do is, you know, if it's a duplicate, we're not even creating those. We're going through the lean data and and wrouting those things. Then we have our territory, so we make sure it's assigned to the right account. And then, finally, we know we have multiple different types of roles that can work these and so we basically that the system processes is says, if it's a customer, send it to our the account manager. They will be the point. If it's a prospect any certainly by buying cycle, will send the AE. Everything else goes to the damn tea in the sales of out in the REP which I'll talk about in a minute. But even then we split those. We say, listen, when they registered, did they ask for a demo? That's something that's on every one of our forms. If they didn't ask for Demo, was this an account? That one of our str just chasing outbound for adm. and then finally, there's just everything else right. So we're really kind of like triaging that list of those two hundred, two thousand people. So they were being intelligent about it before we go at it. And then, you know, the final thing we do, before we kind of really get dance team involved this, we notify the teams. So for you know, oftentimes for like specific events where we want to get our internal teams pumped up, will slack everyone into an event channel. But most of the time we'll just slack the account managers and account executives because they need to know on individual ones and those are less frequent. But then dance team, I think we've realized that if we slack them it's just going to overwhelm them. So instead we send him to a dashboard where they can prioritize the reach out for those folks and then you get dance tea in the works, the magic in terms of engaging people. So Dan, you want to talk about that? Yeah, it totally I'd love to do set back a little bit. I think just you know, as we kind of talked through this, I know any...

...just talked about assignment and all really cool stuff he's doing with in reaching the data, but it's easy to kind of gloss over that and how important will I how how that is and that kind an amazing job. But they like how important that is at scale. I think as we switch from you know, with this was a team of two people, it's now tams the things, seven New People and as you step up with reps golibally and you studying that number of round fifteen or so, things get super complicated and something you of just like following them a bunch of people from from a least from it event, which would be pretty simply just upload. It's outreaching the way you go. So we, I mean like any of any but the crane to post. So it's like you've got a couple of the count exacts who are going to attend to find it in person, and it's it's really on our side. It's ESCR WHO's bodied up with those accunt of executives who's going to look at the territory and basically just do a campaign which is like hey, you coming to the event or let's get coffee, let's meet before off, that we find it during the event. It's kind of tough. People are busy, but trying to organize things around the event, especially if they're a local, you know, if they leave in the area, that's a really nice way to get their time and head space or out in front of squeeze it into it to an actual conference. So that's the pre event action and that's really being done by outbound or territory base stas who are working in pods with the accounting, the account exacts for it. And then on the post side, well, there's said yeah, we'ven tie post to maybe a cool shut up to our field marketing team and the people that really run the events themselves. So Nina See ony was the original events person that's called tramps. She built this whole machine that Dan and I have then just kind of taken to a scale level. And then so mina runs our big kind of flagship events, and then Michelle Pack Lewis and the field marketing team run all of the kind of the inmarket events as well too, and they are making sure that the experiences on the ground at these events are absolutely amazing. So if anyone less is in the HR space and you haven't been in one of these things, make sure you make sure you attent and I think it's going to say I love that you have an inhouse team and if you're running this many events, it's good to have the people kind of sitting right next to people who are attending, people who are reaching out to customers and prospects. You know, we just brought in a field marketer and director field marketing for our team and it's, to me, a world of difference instead of, you know, going out and contracting events companies. Yeah, we got we got eight people dedicate to this in house between the flagship events team and then the field marketing team as well too, and it's a core investment for us. Awesome, awesome, and I think that's the trier right. If you want to make this successful as you need strong field ash, you need strong arts and you need strong cells development. That trio is what makes events work really well for us on the post side, pretty simple to me. It's all about sweet don't tell anyone I say this, but a lot of old people actually don't come to our events to until out field markets. You know, the team goes on no and turned us like great calm all like. You know, tell them what I mean. Stout on. It's often the best uncle will ever make because everyone, like I, love to go to leave a tunnel. Then Seri at San Francisco. Our reach runs a bunch of events modern sales pros. I love to go to the wall. They've got some great content and great people, but often my situation at home with, you know, young baby one that means I can't, unfortunately, but I want to hear the content. So someone called me or offer to reach out of the cliff notes, I'd probably take a call, to be honest, like I'd love to chat about it, you know, during work hours when I've got the time. So slit the list people who did attend, didn't attend. All things are good. Follow up by always view events and anything really from marketing is a reason to reach out a now the contact point. So that's any quints on that? Any that I've missed you think? Yeah, I mean I think we definitely kind of do the the peel marketer along with your team's kind of the quarterback that you sit down post the bank, particularly for the bigger ones, and say, you know, where are we?...

We got everybody, somebody seeings you may have on the ground and a meet somebody and then maybe an Sdi was reaching out to. But just at the course of the event. They did. So we kind of just do a quick regroup and make sure that we're chasing the right people and the right order and that the right people on the teams of Goden, because sometimes, like the person that was painting about the conference made out of a person preached them. So I definitely see that a live totally. I think that point of how your quarterback and some folks who don't, we're not from the US like me, you know, somebody's like running point on the event that's really taking on issue from the place, and that can mean to people it's a Bil market all right, but sometimes they can be the sci who's like maybe a little bit more experienced or they like they really they'd been here for nine months or twelve months. But you really want some res owning the number for the event of the success of it, because there's a lot of people a counties that kids are busy selling and you want need to write them in make sure they've done their follow up and that's what stuff so it's important to have that event point. But it's so that's really key to secess cool now and so now you have you've done all your outreach right, you've hopefully had a successful event, but how do you actually measured that success? What's next? That's a great question, Joe. It's so like in every previous company on that where the people measured by, like I had a lot of the people tend or this much a rr or this much typeline attended my event. But we're or look at all the business cards I collected right or any that stuff. I think all that stuff is vanity metrics for events. You know, if I mean attendees, it's not of endy metric. If you get people there, that's great because you've engaged them in your content. And you know, Sam says, well, we the no shows are actually valuable, like the people that have gone and that both registered and attended. This phenomenal. But like I've always I think deal marketing themselves is always struggled with how do we quantify our think, our engagement? I remember box get the same thing, which is like hey, great, like I had, in fact, this much. I are but the same time, like what happens if those if we've also had digital touch points for them and like other calls, like you can't give all the credit rus this one thing and you can't double count credit. So we use this. What we're big fans of the the kind of raw data we capture every touch point in their entire journey, so we can see, on any given op and you get to lead any given contact, like how many marking touch points across are like, you know, thirty channels? How many at that? How many people are we touching with those touch points, and then what pannels of they engaging? And then we can attribute like the real attribution to the event. So we kind of look at two types of attributions. One is like creation, so we basically look at all touch points before the creation of the opportunity. Opportunity and that really matters for like what is driving opportunities, and there we use the classic w shape model, and more than happy to talk about that or just scritch. I got physible's website. The other thing we look at is, which is secondary but it's important, is the acceleration of opportunities. So there you're looking at like the number of touch points during the between the opportunity creation and the opportunity close, and you can really start to understand us in that being a lot of times feel marketing may not be the first touch point in the journey they they may somebody may come in, they may find your website or hear about you. They may click around, they may even click on a digital add for an event. So the first touch point is often maybe more a digital field, is really that intermediate step engaging people and, you know, potentially somewhere earlier in the buying decision. But they also, like you, often try to get people to events when they're in the prospect phase as well too. So overall I think we are really, really smart about you know, how much attribution do we give two events versus are other channels? And then that helps us to the end determined like where do we put more dollars? So, in a nutshell, that is our events strategy. They happy to take any more questions you've got, but it's it's been a real pleasure work with Dan's team, mean as team and the shell seam on this. fuckwise. Yeah, so I have a question for you, and maybe this is something the listeners are thinking about. To write. Events, if you look at them, are usually high resource. There's a lot going into it there. They can be expensive and yet you know, you lump in Webinars into...

...your event strategy, which are relatively low cost. How do you convince a sales manager, a VP of sales or marketing manager out there who's like well, if I had to choose, you know, why not go with the cheaper option? Like how do you get them or how what would you say to them to convince them to invest in, you know, real events, meetups, dinners, things like that? Yeah, I mean I think both are great, right, like you can start with a with a Webinar strategy. I mean I think you can saturate the Webinar channel. If you look at our buyer, we're selling an HR Barre. They don't probably don't get sold to. They're not buying as many tools as a sales or marketing fire where the I think we talked about like seventy five hundred tools in the marketing stack probably quite one of the there. So, like, honestly, like as a sales and marketing leader, like I'm saturated with Webinar offers. I probably get like upwards of ten or fifteen a week. And then if you think of a specific like if you think of a specific company and they send more than x number, you just you're going to cap out with a number of webinars. You can do so I think webinars is a great way to get in and get your toe in the water on events eventually. And there's different types, like I mean the small group dinners are fun now and I talked to a lot of CEO's are like how do I start to engage like my hot leaders, and some really high end prospects of small group dinners are great and you can do a lot of these smaller meetups, Geek ups, which we've done since like literally are founding with very little costs, where you start to make the big investments, you know, and you're talking about the million dollar investment for your first flagship events. Those ones you really you got to take your bests. I mean I remember box. They started small and you kind of see these conferences every year at more and you know, we were what were we seven hundred last year? will be like thirteen or fourteen hundred people this year at one of our flagship events. And and then we're testing out a new types of flagship events as well too. So I guess my comment would be it's not an either or. I think they all work together and you got to understand how the different types of events work. Does that make sense? Yeah, absolutely. I think that was a good, good explanation in a good way too. As you say, dip your toe in. I know it, I'll reach. Is a much bigger company than the one that I would said previously. In the one that we had said previously, webinars were our bread and butter, not we did one at least once a week and you know, we always had this aspiration of doing a live event and we never got around to it. So I think that's a good tactic to try and just tested out see how it goes. I was wondering what your thoughts are on these digital events. So Webinarre, you know, it's you sign up for it, you tend and it's usually a couple slides and talking from a few presenters. But these all day, maybe to day, digital events which are essentially webinarre strung together and usually live. Do you feel about those or have you, you know, tested those at all? At box we did, we did like a virtual day. It was actually surprisingly successful. We have not done one here. I think it's an interesting one. It takes a lot of energy and invest in to me personally, so I'd say, like I I was not super optimistic when we did it, but I think it was a pretty big successive box. I remember taking a look at it and just seeing the number of registans and engagement. Personally, as a buyer, I would never attend one of those things. I just I don't have that kind of time to blow up my whole day for it. And I don't know who does, but you know it's for me. It's like getting off psite, getting away from email, getting away from slack. Is is like that's when I go all in on a conference. But like there's no way I'm going to clear my calendar and let people not attack. It's on a normal week. Yeah, that makes that that's I appreciate your honesty. Yeah, honestly, I think like if you do it, like you said, up all week and I'm like yeah, you know, I just need you differ this half an hour and they just are and then all of a sudden my attentions deviated and I'm not focused on it. So like my jury is still out on those. Like I'll be curious to get our Michelle and Nina's perspective on it and think if we ever do test one. But I kind of I don't understand how they can be successful, but they seem to be. And then I got a question for you. So you're sending reps to to these events that you're holding, to two events of you know, you're sending your team to what some like boots on...

...the ground and advice or tactics that you give your team to make sure they're getting the most out of an event, typically the attendees or the account exists or a sales team. So I had out the sales development team. So probably probably a little lighter and adviser, but I think from the sales development perspective I think it's really just we've ideally got, you know, accounts in territory that were nurturing. I think the big thing, starting to jump around this question a little bit, but might just debuted towards sales development drop. The big thing we were seeing just changing to any before this call. A big win is alignement between our events and outbound strategy. When those two start looking at WHO's attending eventsal who has attended events that we've been at our events for a third party and they've had some interaction with us, that first call is so much easy for our bound team and they can fill out the account with more contacts and go deep on it. I was seeing a lot faster, like you know, time to actual opportunity. Just building on that, we have we have our win form every time of wind comes and one of the questions in the wind form is is this person people? He could they ever attended one of our events before? And like more often than fifty percent of the time are wins have attended an event. Yeah, so it's powerful. Yeah, so I think your question was a boots in the ground advice. My responses I don't have an answer because I'm not any excepted. All right, yeah, we might. As a buyer, I find it really engaged to me when I go to these conferences, as people, you know, set up a coffee with me or a time. It's kind of hard because you're running around a lot. But, like you know, first off, like when they do that, I generally like we get each other smobile numbers and we're kind of texted back and forth and we'll find time to be up in fifteen minutes. You put a face to the name and then they kind of follow up afterwards and then if for some you know, like I say, thirty percent of the time, like we don't end up actually meeting at the conference, and then that's an excuse for them to pick up the phone as well too. So I find those kind of engaged me. So like my whole goal and I really I think we're working doors. This is like before, when you're going to the conference, you know a specific person at culture imp that's like looking forward to meeting up with you. Whether that happens or not as less important than the fact that, like, you've made a personal connection before it. No, that's great and I think that's I like the fact that that you are willing to hand out your your cell phone number and kind of just text back and forth with with reps the conferences. I think some people are usually reluctant to kind of open themselves up to that, that very personal channel you. I don't actually pick up my phone, we never do that, but I definitely I will give out my cell phone. Nice. Nice. If there was one take away from from this entire episode and Andy that our listeners could take right now, what would that be? If you don't have culture amp, go to GOCOM. Our Target Marquis anybody that employees, anybody that has employees. We help people collect, measure act unemployee feedback. If you're listening to this podcast and your employees are not, insanely happen, go buy our product. Do it now, but before you go any further, you would the first person to do that. It with that question to insert the plug right there. That's that's fantastic. You thought your shot and you took it. That's because every single company should be using culture. We have over two million employees that we survey every year. We Are we can help your leadership team get smarter about your employee engagement. It's not a plug. I believe it. We used it a bust. Dan. Any follow up, I will. I mean, I think, just on the topic giving of events and whatnot, I think for me it's just that a tree or field office, you know the data and n St all following on until about coordination, and that's where the magic happens. I think a lot of times, and we've had it here in the early days, like you just joined it, people running in an event, then looking at cells development, going cool, there's the least in a site. Okay,..., and it's just like a little bit just disconnected and didn't really work. But now we've got this point and I think it's really all an obs to be honest. Like you guys, have now at it and it's just happening fast and it's we're falling up the right people at the rock time and we getting results. Yeah, it's just to the partnership between OPS and sets. Development is critical, like it. Sales Development is in play supported there. They're on a lamb and they're just going to start to rating on stuff. And you know, middlely, we have holes in our vent process. Like I mean, this is complicated. So, like Dan and I are, were chatting about one before the call. Like you, there's always ways to make it better and, you know, sometimes to be like crap, I can't but figure out. So, like you know, when our teams listening this, we are not perfect, but we I think we're running a better events process than anybody I've ever seen this and and and my old devices get culture and now nice book in there. Well, you already said it, but if people wanted to get ahold of you and ask you some questions about your events process, how can they do that? I'd say, personally, for me, I love idea sharing with other offs folks. Odds are we know somebody in common have them make an intro on linkedin and I'll connect and dance linked it's good for me. Dan If he awesome, awesome with the guys. Thanks so much, and check out COL tramp. Thank you so let's for being on the show. Really appreciate it. Glad we could do this and I want to thank all of our listeners are tuning in once again and we will see you next time on these sales engagement podcast thank you. This was another episode of the sales engagement podcast. Join US at sales engagementcom for new episodes, resources and the book on sales engagement coming soon. To get the most out of your sales engagement strategy, make sure to check out outreach die I oh, the leading sales engagement platform. See you on the next episode.

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