How We Booked 100+ Meetings at 3 Events in 3 Weeks

Mary Wang
October 3, 2022
min to read

Instead of badge scans, we prioritized booked meetings — with pretty incredible results.

How We Booked 100+ Meetings at 3 Events in 3 Weeks

Mary Wang
October 3, 2022
min to read

Instead of badge scans, we prioritized booked meetings — with pretty incredible results.

Event follow-up is broken. 

For everyone involved.

It’s broken for attendees, who are bombarded with generic marketing emails after each conference: 

Event attendees email inbox after a big conference

It’s broken for operations teams, who often have to go through lists and manually assign qualified leads to reps. 

And it’s broken for reps, who are tasked with following up with a huge list of people who stopped by the booth (even though they might not be in buying mode… yet). 

Event follow-up is broken. One week removed from SaaStr2022 and I have yet to receive a good email
-Matt A., Sr. Performance Marketing Manager at tray.io

Everyone loses.

But do you know what’s not broken?

The actual events. Events are BACK! 🙌

So when we attended three events in three weeks, we didn’t prioritize badge scans. 

We prioritized booked meetings.

Marketing focus on the wrong KPI at conferences: Badge scans.
Arthur Castillo, Head of Dark Social & Evangelism at Chili Piper

And we ended September with more than 100 booked meetings.

Here’s how we did it:

1. Ungate your swag

We had our swag at the front of our booth so people could see what we were giving up front. And then we could start a conversation from there. 

A lot of booths were holding their swag hostage, like they were guarding it for their real ICPs. 

That’s just not good business. 

Part of the reason you have swag at your conference is to start conversations. You give someone a present, and then they feel more inclined to stay and chat.

The second part of this is having cool swag that’s tied to your brand. People always line up to get our hot sauce and spicy margarita mix!

Chili Piper's swag is fun and tied to their brand

2. Book meetings on-site

Here's our 41-second marketing hot take on an escalator about why booked meetings > badge scans: 

If badge scans are your main KPI, you’re starting from square one after the conference. 

Marketing needs to be tied to revenue. Events especially are a key influencer for deals. Which means your main KPI should be booked demos. 

Of course, it was easy for us to book meetings on-site, because booking sales meetings is literally what Chili Piper does.

qualify, route, and schedule meetings when your prospects are most engaged

We even had reps booking meetings on their phones at our offsite events.

Chili Piper automatically checks to see if a lead is already owned when booking the meeting. If it’s a new lead, we had managers on standby to reroute them to the rep who booked the meeting. 

We also sweetened the pot for reps attending the events… 

If any booked meeting became a Qualified Held Meeting (i.e. a qualified prospect showed up for the meeting), they got a $200 bonus. 

3. Optimize your space

There should be multiple places for people to see demos. We had two iPads, a monitor where the laptop is mirrored, and laptops on standby for longer demos. 

And, of course, everyone’s phones. 😉

We also had a table set up where people could sit down for longer demos. 

Another part of optimizing your space is branding yourself. 

All us Pipers were decked out in sweet gear: Black pants, Chili Piper bomber jacket, branded t-shirt. And to top it all of — bright, orange shoes. The orange shoes especially were a huge crowd pleaser.

So before even talking to us, people knew we worked at Chili Piper.

The Chili Piper team branded ourselves from head to foot

4. Go offsite (and please make it fun)

There are a lot of people at these conferences that will be working the booth all day. 

…which means they won’t all be able to stop by your awesome booth. 

There are also plenty of people living in the cities where these conferences are hosted that don’t have tickets.

So we went off-site.

Over the course of INBOUND, Saastr, and Dreamforce we hosted the following events:

  • B2B SaaS Awards at Trillium Brewery 
  • B2B Comedy Roast 
  • Press Club Happy Hour
  • In-person dinners

All of our off-site events exceeded attendance goals. And they were SO. MUCH. FUN. 

(If you didn’t get to go, sorry to bring it up again. FOMO is so real, I know.)

The key to a good offsite event? 

Good location. Great food. Lots of drinks. Networking. And something special — whether it’s prizes, a comedy show, or quizzes.  

Bottom line: Don’t settle for basic. Upgrade to that location with an Instagram-worthy backdrop (because then your guests will almost definitely get you on Instagram).

Your event location should be beautiful and fun

5. Tap into your communities 

There are so many people in online communities these days. 

Use those forums as a place to promote your event! 

We also invited sponsors to co-sponsor our off-site events, then our sponsors also helped promote our events.

And it snowballed into cross-promotional greatness.

Here’s where we give a big thank you to everyone who sponsored all our events over the last few weeks: 

PandaDoc, Reachdesk, Mutiny, 6Sense, G2, WebMechanix, Clearbit, Spiff, Madkudu, Syncari, Reprise, Superside, and Stack Moxie

… phew! 

What’s next?

If you’re attending any events in October, the big takeaway is to prioritize booked meetings, not badge scans.

Check out this video for more tips on how to do this: 

Or... make things even easier for yourself.

By scheduling a demo of Chili Piper to see how you can book meetings with prospects right at the booth

And kiss follow-up emails goodbye. 😘

Event follow-up is broken. 

For everyone involved.

It’s broken for attendees, who are bombarded with generic marketing emails after each conference: 

Event attendees email inbox after a big conference

It’s broken for operations teams, who often have to go through lists and manually assign qualified leads to reps. 

And it’s broken for reps, who are tasked with following up with a huge list of people who stopped by the booth (even though they might not be in buying mode… yet). 

Event follow-up is broken. One week removed from SaaStr2022 and I have yet to receive a good email
-Matt A., Sr. Performance Marketing Manager at tray.io

Everyone loses.

But do you know what’s not broken?

The actual events. Events are BACK! 🙌

So when we attended three events in three weeks, we didn’t prioritize badge scans. 

We prioritized booked meetings.

Marketing focus on the wrong KPI at conferences: Badge scans.
Arthur Castillo, Head of Dark Social & Evangelism at Chili Piper

And we ended September with more than 100 booked meetings.

Here’s how we did it:

1. Ungate your swag

We had our swag at the front of our booth so people could see what we were giving up front. And then we could start a conversation from there. 

A lot of booths were holding their swag hostage, like they were guarding it for their real ICPs. 

That’s just not good business. 

Part of the reason you have swag at your conference is to start conversations. You give someone a present, and then they feel more inclined to stay and chat.

The second part of this is having cool swag that’s tied to your brand. People always line up to get our hot sauce and spicy margarita mix!

Chili Piper's swag is fun and tied to their brand

2. Book meetings on-site

Here's our 41-second marketing hot take on an escalator about why booked meetings > badge scans: 

If badge scans are your main KPI, you’re starting from square one after the conference. 

Marketing needs to be tied to revenue. Events especially are a key influencer for deals. Which means your main KPI should be booked demos. 

Of course, it was easy for us to book meetings on-site, because booking sales meetings is literally what Chili Piper does.

qualify, route, and schedule meetings when your prospects are most engaged

We even had reps booking meetings on their phones at our offsite events.

Chili Piper automatically checks to see if a lead is already owned when booking the meeting. If it’s a new lead, we had managers on standby to reroute them to the rep who booked the meeting. 

We also sweetened the pot for reps attending the events… 

If any booked meeting became a Qualified Held Meeting (i.e. a qualified prospect showed up for the meeting), they got a $200 bonus. 

3. Optimize your space

There should be multiple places for people to see demos. We had two iPads, a monitor where the laptop is mirrored, and laptops on standby for longer demos. 

And, of course, everyone’s phones. 😉

We also had a table set up where people could sit down for longer demos. 

Another part of optimizing your space is branding yourself. 

All us Pipers were decked out in sweet gear: Black pants, Chili Piper bomber jacket, branded t-shirt. And to top it all of — bright, orange shoes. The orange shoes especially were a huge crowd pleaser.

So before even talking to us, people knew we worked at Chili Piper.

The Chili Piper team branded ourselves from head to foot

4. Go offsite (and please make it fun)

There are a lot of people at these conferences that will be working the booth all day. 

…which means they won’t all be able to stop by your awesome booth. 

There are also plenty of people living in the cities where these conferences are hosted that don’t have tickets.

So we went off-site.

Over the course of INBOUND, Saastr, and Dreamforce we hosted the following events:

  • B2B SaaS Awards at Trillium Brewery 
  • B2B Comedy Roast 
  • Press Club Happy Hour
  • In-person dinners

All of our off-site events exceeded attendance goals. And they were SO. MUCH. FUN. 

(If you didn’t get to go, sorry to bring it up again. FOMO is so real, I know.)

The key to a good offsite event? 

Good location. Great food. Lots of drinks. Networking. And something special — whether it’s prizes, a comedy show, or quizzes.  

Bottom line: Don’t settle for basic. Upgrade to that location with an Instagram-worthy backdrop (because then your guests will almost definitely get you on Instagram).

Your event location should be beautiful and fun

5. Tap into your communities 

There are so many people in online communities these days. 

Use those forums as a place to promote your event! 

We also invited sponsors to co-sponsor our off-site events, then our sponsors also helped promote our events.

And it snowballed into cross-promotional greatness.

Here’s where we give a big thank you to everyone who sponsored all our events over the last few weeks: 

PandaDoc, Reachdesk, Mutiny, 6Sense, G2, WebMechanix, Clearbit, Spiff, Madkudu, Syncari, Reprise, Superside, and Stack Moxie

… phew! 

What’s next?

If you’re attending any events in October, the big takeaway is to prioritize booked meetings, not badge scans.

Check out this video for more tips on how to do this: 

Or... make things even easier for yourself.

By scheduling a demo of Chili Piper to see how you can book meetings with prospects right at the booth

And kiss follow-up emails goodbye. 😘

Mary Wang

Mary Wang runs the events team as the Head of Field Marketing at Chili Piper. She is passionate about creating events and experiences that drive revenue and create brand awareness. When Mary is not at her desk building out events 9 months in advance, you can find her planning adventures, finding kittens to foster, and eating delicious food. For more field marketing tips, connect with Mary on LinkedIn.

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