Introducing Unbounce Meetups
Online social networking allows us to expand our community exponentially and for the past year I was on the front lines, helping our community of eager online marketers learn and grow by talking to them through our social channels and managing the content on our blog.
I learned first hand the excitement behind building & being part of an awesome online community, but also personally believed that these communities could be strengthened through in-person encounters. These past few months, my role shifted from building our online community to spearheading events for our community offline.
No one can deny the power of a truly personal, face-to-face connection. A smiley-face emoticon is cute, but it still can’t replace that real life ear-splitting grin.
With that being said, in the works since December, I am super excited to announce one of many event initiatives on tap: Unbounce Meetups. And the first meetup will be hosted in our very own hometown: Vancouver, Canada (and where better?!) on Wednesday, February 5th.
The Planning & Vision Behind Unbounce Meetups
While our customers fall on a broad spectrum of size from small startups, freelancers and web agencies to marketing teams and large international enterprises, they all share a common thread: a desire to create awesome online campaigns and deliver a targeted, relevant online experience to their visitors.
Unbounce meetups will allow our customers & community to learn how others are marketing online, in real life.
Before I hit the ground running, I reached out to several experts in the space to soak in their knowledge on Event strategy & execution as a whole. Learning from those that have been there before is so valuable and I cannot thank these standout individuals enough for their time and insight. Cristina Bravo Olmo, whom I met on Little Corn Island while traveling Nicaragua was kind enough to jump on a call to share her experience as the Senior Manager – Head of Customer Marketing at ZenDesk. Lauren Sanders, Special Projects Coordinator and Executive Assistant at Vancouver-based startup, Clio was so helpful in talking to me about the strategy, planning and execution surrounding the annual Clio Cloud Conference. Our call was literally bustling with energy and great conversation. And last (and certainly not least) a big thank you to Charlene Inoncillo, Events & Sponsorship Strategist at Moz for sharing her lessons learned from events like the infamous MozCon and annual Mozcations.
After soaking in expert insight, reflecting back to my meeting with Ryan and rifling through my notebook & barely legible handwriting, the vision for an Unbounce Meetup went something like this:
- Customers teaching Customers; Marketers teaching Marketers. Not just team Unbounce speaking to our customers (one-way dialogue) but rather our community sharing their experiences with one another. But how do we facilitate this? Read on.
- Concise & fast-paced multi-speaker events. A PechaKucha (lightning talk) style speaker series featuring our customers **customers being the keyword. Some will say that short presentations will prevent the speaker from really diving into a topic. Although this is true, a shorter presentation-style will allow for a greater number of speakers and a diverse set of topics, industries, examples, angles etc. And the short length will hopefully spark questions so the conversation can continue afterwards in a two-way dialogue.
- Different Customers across different industries. Oftentimes, innovation can be sparked by looking across different industries and applying their methodology to yours. Selecting a wide variety of speakers across different industries will ignite conversation, questions and ultimately learning and growth.
- Everything else that goes along with a kickass event. Some tasty bites, casual beverages, the perfect venue and a few surprises ;)
- Everything else that goes along with promoting these meetups, both pre & post event. Professional photos, videos, blog posts, event invitation emails, social campaigns (psst – the hashtag for our meetups is #ubmeetup)
- Drink our own champagne: Build & use an Unbounce Landing Page to promote the Meetup. This page will serve as a click-through-page to an online ticketing service. Using a dedicated event landing page will not only showcase our product for our own meetup, but will also allow us to visually showcase the speakers and city.
The First Unbounce Meetup…So Far
Having no previous benchmark for these meetups, I imagined it would be an intimate gathering of 50 or so marketers. Through one email and a couple of social shares, 200 people registered for our very first Unbounce meetup (now sold out). Yowza! Big thanks to Denis for crafting a snazzy landing page and to Ryan for his copywriting wisdom.
We were going to host the event at Unbounce HQ, but it became obvious we’d have to move based on numbers. The Profile (same building, 2nd floor) offered to sponsor our event. And what’s even better? They are an Unbounce customer themselves, got in touch with us soon as they received invite email and wanted to get involved. The stars aligned.
The real test will be the event itself and I’ll be back on ‘Inside Unbounce’ to report back. Like Rick said – wins, fails and most importantly learning outcomes. Carving out unchartered territory is exciting and a tad terrifying all at once and I can’t wait.
To Infinity and Beyond: The Bigger Picture and How You Can Get Involved
We’re planning to hit the road and host meetups in a few cities across North America (stay tuned), but that doesn’t mean Unbounce Meetups should stop there. In fact, they most certainly shouldn’t and that’s where you come in. Our goal is to spread these Unbounce meetups across the globe, but we need your help!
So if you’d like to host an Unbounce Meetup in your own city, please get in touch with me by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Introduce yourself, say hello, tell me which city you’d like to host a meetup in and why. I’d love to help you!
Over & Out,
Stefanie Grieser (but the folks around here call me Stef, so you can too :)