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The 10 Commandments of Call To Action Conference 2016

Call To Action Conference is coming. For a lot of Unbouncers, CTA Conf is one of the most anticipated events of the year, and with good reason. We’ve gathered 20-cream-of-the-crop speakers to cover a range of digital marketing topics, set up pre-conference workshops to directly educate our awesome customers, and of course, have a healthy range of after-parties as well! The conference has been steadily growing since it started, with the inaugural year hosting 200 people, and 400 attendees in 2015. Now, logic would say we’d keep doubling and host 800 marketers this year, but that would be too obvious, right? Instead—*trumpet fanfare*—we’re going to have 1,000 people in 2016!

Have you ever seen 1,000 people together in a group? If you haven’t, just cue up an episode of Game of Thrones to a scene with the Dothraki Horde for a visual, except without the arakh battles. Organizing a conference for 1,000 attendees requires a fair bit of planning, and the Marketing Events team consists of just two peeps: Joel Popoff and yours truly.

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Every day, our focus can jump from “hey, have you seen this dope swag?” to “how many tickets have we sold?” to “HOLY TOLEDO, DO WE HAVE THE BUDGET FOR A T-SHIRT CANNON?”. With all this context switching, at times we can have the attention span of Dug, the dog from Up, and it can be just a wee bit tricky to stay on target.

How do we keep on track? How convenient that you (read: I) asked, in the interest of moving this narrative forward. Well, this isn’t the Joel & Dustin conference, it’s put on by all of Unbounce, and we get by with a lot of help from our friends (shout out to all my Unbouncers who bust their butts with us daily!), and also, by heeding THE 10 CALL TO ACTION CONFERENCE COMMANDMENTS.

These 10 Commandments were created so attendees can experience the most amazing three-day conference they’ve ever attended. We really want to blow some minds here, and in order to truly impress, we have to make sure we have all of our basic items covered first.

Let’s get right into it:

1) THOU SHALT HAVE FULLY FUNCTIONAL WIFI FOR ALL ATTENDEES

We’re starting off with one which should be fairly obvious. To a digital marketer, Internet is lifeblood. Take it away and you may as well just cancel the whole affair. We’re committed to having rock solid Internet for all of our attendees, cause #tweetersgottatweet.

2) THOU SHALT HAVE MORE UNBOUNCE BRANDING AND VINYL

It’s pretty darn cool that Call To Action is gaining a great name as a leading digital marketing conference, but does anyone know who puts it on? We noticed we had a lot of room to improve Unbounce’s presence at CTA Conf, especially after a few attendees straight up asked for “more Unbounce” last year! By filling this gap, we’re ensuring Call To Action Conference’s reputation continues to grow, AND there’s no question about who puts it on!

Oh, and vinyl? Well, custom cut vinyl decals are just really cool, ok?

3) THOU SHALT HAVE THE SMOOTHEST OF PRODUCTIONS

CTA Conf has brought to light an interesting fact point: Even with the massive bank of knowledge possessed by our marketing, CS, operations and IT teams, none of us are experts in large production A/V. This year, we’re bringing in the big guns, and we’ve hired a world class production team to make sure everything runs smoother than… what’s the other kind of peanut butter that isn’t crunchy?

Anyway, this team will be running a high-resolution projection on a 50 foot wide screen(!), perfecting the audio, and keeping the whole event on schedule.

4) THOU SHALT HAVE A FULLY FUNCTIONING APP

This one is a little similar to #3. We make a landing page platform (and a damn fine one at that, wink*), not event apps. We’ve partnered with DoubleDutch this year to provide an app that truly enhances attendees’ experiences, not distracts from them.

5) THOU SHALT HAVE SPEAKERS AND TALKS WHICH ALIGN WITH UNBOUNCE’S CODE OF CONDUCT

At Unbounce, we work to make everyone feel welcome, and firmly believe that no one should feel uncomfortable or forced to do anything unwanted. These ideas are represented in our Code of Conduct. This is essentially an extension of our company’s Core Values, carried over to our conference. We’re working together with speakers to provide actionable content that is respectful to people of all backgrounds, orientation, genders, and races.

6) THOU SHALT MAKE SPEAKERS, SPONSORS, AND UNBOUNCERS FEEL APPRECIATED

We are extremely grateful to everyone involved with the event, and want to show them how much we respect and appreciate their time. Our Co-founder, Oli Gardner, has spoken at many events around this good Earth, and brought back a book, nay, a tome filled with suggestions on how to take care of conference speakers. We’re taking it two steps further and extending that hospitality to our awesome sponsors and everyone who helps out.

7) THOU SHALT HAVE PLENTY OF SEATING FOR ATTENDEES

For Call To Action Conference 2016, we’ve gone ahead and rented the largest theatre in Western Canada! This place is so big, we flew a drone around the auditorium!  We’ll have seats a- plenty for everyone attending, and our Unbouncer crew as well, ‘cause no one should have to miss out on all the marketing gems.

Attack of the Drones

A video posted by Dustin Bromley (@dustinjbromley) on

8) THOU SHALT NOT HAVE A CHAOTIC REGISTRATION PROCESS

My love for watching slapstick comedy runs deep. My love for 8am slapstick comedy at an event we organize? Not so much. The registration process will be streamlined by separating registrants into alphabetical lines and zipping them through using Eventbrite’s mobile app.

On top of that, any attendees of our Sunday Pre-Conference Workshops, Funday activities, or Welcome Reception can register ahead of time and cruise right into the venue on Monday morning like they own the joint.*

*Struts are recommended and encouraged.

9) THOU SHALT NOT HAVE DISORGANIZED, CONFUSED, OR UNHAPPY UNBOUNCERS

Jumping back to the theme in #6, we are hugely appreciative of our coworkers Unbouncers who are stepping away from their roles for a couple of days to learn an entirely new temporary position working the conference. The best way to show this appreciation is to set everyone up for success. We’re building more of a leadership structure within CTA Conf workers, to coordinate everyone toward the same goals and maximize efficiency through communication.

10) THOU SHALT HAVE PLENTY OF ORGANIZED NETWORKING OPPORTUNITIES

Sure, our speakers have a ton of knowledge bombs to share, but let’s not ignore the fact that you do too! During our breaks, workshops, and after parties, we’ll have dedicated networking areas with activities and subjects to inspire new conversations and friendships! We don’t want to see anyone sitting in the corner alone, unless, of course, that’s your thing. In that case, carry on.

Welp, now it’s all on the table. If you haven’t picked up a ticket yet, use the code “10commandments” for $200 off the regular price and see firsthand how we do (or show off your CRO skills for a chance to win 2 free tickets and an all-inclusive trip to Vancouver, to boot). 

This list is based on our previous experiences and areas we want to concentrate on moving forward. That said, I’d love to hear what you think! Have you coordinated a conference, and do any of these hit home? Do you have any other commandments you live by in the wacky world of event organization? Let me know in the comments! And if you have any questions about #CTAConf, feel free to tweet ’em mine or Unbounce’s way.  

  • http://unbounce.com/ Oli Gardner

    Great job team. I love this approach, and can’t wait to see how well we all deliver on these promises.

    • http://iam.dustinbromley.com Dustin Bromley

      Thanks Oli! I’m excited to see how we do too!

  • Duke Vukadinovic

    This sounds interesting! I couldn’t agree more with you that organizing a conference for 1,000 attendees requires a fair bit of planning. Let’s see if you could deliver these promises :)

    • http://iam.dustinbromley.com Dustin Bromley

      Hey Duke! We’re definitely in agreement there! We’re pluggin away to make Call To Action go down in history as the most amazing experience anyone has ever had at a conference! I’m really looking forward to rating ourselves on these commandments after it’s all over and I’ll try to follow up with another blog post too! :)

      • Duke Vukadinovic

        I’ll definitely check out that post too when it comes out! Best of luck with a conference Dustin :)