Insights | Marketing

5 Ways to Make a Splash at Dreamforce On a Budget with Tami McQueen (SalesLoft)

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Loren Straub

January 05, 2017
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Last week the Bowery Capital team was joined by Tami McQueen, Director of Marketing at SalesLoft, to discuss how to make a splash at Dreamforce on a budget. SalesLoft is one of the leading platforms used for sales development and one of the simplest ways to conduct outreach to prospects in order to ensure quality leads and set up qualified appointments. In our podcast, Tami and I discuss her experience participating in Dreamforce the last two years, and how she and the SalesLoft team ultimately came up with one of the most memorable booths at Dreamforce, on a very small budget. Everyone from startups to Fortune 500 companies attend Dreamforce, so having an impactful and memorable booth takes time, strategizing, and real creativity. We spoke with Tami about many unique marketing strategies at Dreamforce that SalesLoft has used and ultimately enabled them to make their time at Dreamforce a success. Here are 5 simple tips to make a splash at Dreamforce on a budget!

1) Set your goal for the conference.

A marketing director needs to know what her team is hoping to accomplish at the conference. This is essential to ensure that you can not only make a splash at Dreamforce on a budget, but that your splash is aligned with your goals. Before you decide to set up a booth, Tami recommends that you and your team understand exactly what your goal is and what a successful Dreamforce would look like for you. Is your goal to generate leads? To set up meetings? To establish presence or brand awareness? However, before you can answer these questions you have to first find out if there is an audience for your product at the event. Before you exhibit, you should go as an attendee, and speak to as many people as you can as well as visit every booth. You have to find your competitors and figure out what they are doing. You have to speak with prospects to figure out their needs. Only after you understand your team’s goal and if your target audience will be in attendance can you begin to prepare for the event.

2) Prepare well before the event even starts.

Your Dreamforce marketing strategy should begin even before the event. To prepare for the event you have to identify your core group of prospects attending the conference that can lead to successful deals. You also have to work with the budget you are given. Tami recommends booking hotel rooms, and airplane tickets far ahead of time, because prices will sharply increase as the event nears. You should understand that coordination between you and your team leads to a successful marketing strategy. Both the team that you bring with you to the event and the team back at the office should be aligned on objectives, and understand the mission.

3) Make sure to establish your presence and generate leads.

At the event you and your team have to have a presence, to say “hey we’ve arrived and this is our product”. Speak with as many people as possible, and be acutely aware of your time. You will likely not close a deal right on the floor. If the prospect does not match your ideal account, end the conversation as quickly as possible. You will have to set up meetings immediately, because everyone else will be exchanging business cards and sending emails too. Lastly, take advantage of this booth by listening to your prospects and current customers, find their needs and wants, and take that feedback home to your engineers.

4) Have a story to tell.

Tami and her team made sure their story was heard. At the first year of their event, they decided to hire a Marc Benioff impersonator to walk around their booth. News of this spread quickly at the event, and left the SalesLoft team with a story to share and expand their presence. Having a story is also essential from a marketing strategy perspective. By having a story, you will have created something that you fans and customers can share, without you having to do anything.

5) Just because the event is done does not mean you are.

After the event is over, the marketing team’s job is not over, but rather just beginning. Now is the time to both promote your presence at the conference, via blog posts, social media and more, and also to assess and quantify the impact your campaign had at the conference. You need to see if there is an increase in visits to your site, as well as an increase in engagement on your social media platforms. You have to share your story (blog), as well as make sure you lead gens you acquired at the conference are not lost. Take your leads, begin qualifying them, and then connecting with them to close the deals for your team.

If you found Tami’s 5 tips for making a splash at Dreamforce on a budget interesting, listen to the full episode with Tami here and subscribe to get a new episode of the Bowery Capital Startup Sales Podcast every week.