12 Mar Are You Ready to Host a User Conference?
One of the best ways to get to know your customers better is to host a user conference. Before you dive in, there are a few key steps to take to make sure this is the right venue to reach your goals. Whether the user conference is for vendor partners, a diversely located workforce or a conference that you hold to strum up excitement for a new or existing product, a user conference can help to bridge the gap between dragging everyone to one physical location and communicating instantly.
User conferences can:
- Build brand awareness.
- Create and build customer networks.
- Increase sales.
- Create excitement.
Now, you want to do the same: Create a user conference that can do all of those things, while also fitting within your company’s culture. However, how do you know if your users are ready for a user conference? How do you know if the time is right?
Ensure that your company is ready to host a user conference
Before you begin the process of organizing a user conference, you need to ensure that your company has the means to do so and is prepared.
Prepare for the conference like you would any meeting: Identify the purpose, develop an agenda, decide who the key participants are, notify stakeholders and decide your target audience concerning external invites. If your company has a large, dedicated user community; large customer service division; potential new product or service coming soon; or access to subject matter experts to bring in as speakers, then you could be ready for a user conference! Additionally, if your product benefits from highly skilled and experienced users, then hosting a user conference would be a good idea for your company.
Make sure your user base is right for a user conference
Just making sure that your company is ready to host a user conference might not be enough to have a profitable and successful user conference. You also need users, or customers, who will be taking part in it. If your users:
- Request one in a significant quantity.
- Want to learn to become experts in your product.
- Will be able to extract more value from your product by attending a conference.
- Commit to your product.
- Will benefit from some face-to-face conversation.
Then a user conference is right for your company. Your company should be ready to embrace the opportunity! However, your in-person or virtual user conference doesn’t need to be some huge, blow-the-budget affair. Ease into one by hosting a small gathering for your top users or customers.
Tips for success
Hosting a user conference is an investment in the success of your product. While there are a lot of ideas on how to make user conferences better, here are just a few tips to ensure yours gets off to a great start:
1. Keep it about the product.
Services matter, too, but users are there to learn more or become more knowledgeable about your product. Make sure it is the focus of the event.
2. Speakers matter.
You need to have an excellent motivational speaker that inspires the group, and who is already an expert in your product and can speak intelligently about it.
3. Have a demo ready.
The people coming to your conference want to be able to touch, see, feel, interact with and, in general, know more about the product. Have something hands-on and ready for them.
4. Give plenty of time for networking.
Many of the people who will be attending your conference are very passionate about your product. Therefore, it’s crucial for them to be able to meet each other and network.
5. Make sure your attendees “feel the love.”
Add a level of humanity to your brand and go out of your way to make your attendees feel heard and valued.
5. Secure the right sponsorships.
One measure of a successful user conference is the support shown by the host companies’ partners. This is expressed in both participation and financial support by way of sponsorships.
6. Partner with a specialist.
ESG can help to deliver an original experience with high-impact results. When you partner with a specialist like ESG, your company will put on more than just a user conference – it’ll be an event that delivers stellar impressions, lasting memories, important business relationships, new connections and so much more. Get in touch, we’d love to hear from you!