March 1, 2024

Gifting Drives Event Marketing Success


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Since 2011, HubSpot’s Inbound event has been an annual opportunity for brands, marketers, and sales teams to network, share ideas, and develop their expertise. Because Inbound is one of the biggest marketing conferences of the year—not to mention an effective way to generate leads—Sendoso goes all-in with memorable speaking engagements and a must-see booth.

With 2022 being the first year Inbound was back as an in-person conference, Sendoso VP of Partnerships Cory Snyder knew we had to make a splash. He and his team carefully orchestrated a strategy that would engage prospects before the event, ensure they interacted with Sendoso at our Inbound booth, and prompt follow-ups after the conference.

Success is in the details

To drive successful event ROI, we had to start with a solid foundation. Cory and team created a day-by-day breakdown of activities and their scheduled times, each of which was mapped to certain team members. This strategy meant everyone knew their responsibilities and expectations well before the event and could arrive feeling prepared and confident. Having such a detailed schedule also guaranteed our booth would have someone present ready to talk gifting at all times.

With the logistics covered, we then focused on the marketing side of our pre-event efforts—reaching out to HubSpot agencies and partners plus existing prospects, inviting them to the booth or making appointments to meet 1-to-1 and discuss how Sendoso can help build or improve their gifting strategies. We also planned ahead for our Inbound speaking engagement and shipped piñatas to the event space. Don’t worry—more about those later.

Everyone loves Plinko and piñatas

We put a lot of thought into our booth. It needed to be eye-catching and engaging, but also help bring to life the Sendoso value prop and drive questions from attendees. In short, we needed to steal the show.

Cory and the team decided to include something everyone who has ever stayed home sick from school as a kid knows: Plinko. The booth’s visitors could drop a token into the top of a display and watch as it bounced around an array of pegs. Depending on where the token settled, the player could choose one of eight gifts, including Starbucks gift cards, Still succulents, and Otherland candle sets, to name just a few. Leveraging the Sendoso Marketplace, team members would walk the prospect through our gifting workflow in real time, helping them choose their prize while demonstrating our technology.

This was a deliberate four-step approach: the visitor would have the exciting experience of playing a game, the positive outcome of winning a prize, the opportunity to see the exact gifting process Sendoso offered marketers and sales teams, and finally, a reminder about Sendoso once they received their gift. We also made the experience easy for us and for prospects. We didn’t go through the cumbersome process of ordering, shipping, and stocking prizes at the booth. Instead, we loaded our virtual swag store on iPads. Winners simply entered their email addresses to receive their items, which meant they didn’t have to worry about packing and getting their prizes home safely.

Although plenty of attendees noticed our booth—and the crowds of people watching the Plinko chips bounce around—we had our team approach people and invite them to “come on down” to the booth to play to maximize our exposure. Cory also used the old school approach of going from booth to booth asking if the other brands were leveraging Sendoso or if there was an opportunity to form a partnership.

Meanwhile, we hosted a speaking engagement. At the end of our session, we told attendees to look under their seats where they’d find the piñatas we’d shipped ahead of time. This surprise gave them a taste of how they could deliver some unexpected fun to their own clients.

Sendoso Gift Box

Turning gifts into leads

After the event, the attendees who played Plinko received their gifts in the mail and we had a list of pre-qualified leads (the giftees). The list helped Sendoso account executives and SDRs easily follow up with sales efforts or 1-to-1 conversations while the memorable gifts—from succulents to sweets—kept us top of mind.

We received great feedback about our presence at Inbound, with much of it specifically about the game. Attendees told us that’s what attracted them to the booth, and having a variety of the gifts on display helped convey the value gifting with Sendoso can provide.

Our approach led to Sendoso ranking among the top five in booth scans for the entire Inbound event, and we saw a 27% MQL-to-opportunity conversion rate. All told, we achieved an event ROI of 500%.

Start your own gifting strategy today

Our participation at Inbound 2022 was a big win in terms of event ROI thanks to extensive planning and creation of a compelling through-line at each step of the event process. Any business that invests in event marketing can find similar success with their gifting strategy.

Sendoso makes events like Inbound easy for field marketing teams. We eliminate the hassle and expense of having to order, ship, and stock inventory, and our personalized gifting strategies drive registration and attendance at scale. Gifting in the pre-event stage can help improve attendance. During the event, leveraging our platform engages attendees. And post-event efforts can lead to new conversations and sales wins. With built-in tracking and analytics, Sendoso offers marketers complete transparency into the timeliness of gifting and the ROI of sending strategies at each stage of an event or conference.

Book a personalized demo today to explore a corporate gifting strategy with Sendoso.

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