24 hours in Seattle: Unbounce Meetup at Mozplex, Speakers’ Corner with Oli Gardner & Lessons Learned
Earlier this month, Ryan Engley, Oli Gardner and myself hopped into my small Dodge Neon and hit the road. Destination: Seattle, Washington.
When the friendliest border guard we’ve ever encountered asked us why we were headed to Seattle, we simply replied: to hang out with a few of our customers. And that’s exactly what we did.
With one quick pit-stop for cheaper, American beer we headed to the shiny, new Mozplex. The place is a dreamboat – stunning, spacious and the perfect spot to host events. We can’t thank Charlene & Moz enough for hosting us. This was the first time they’ve open their doors to the public too! We felt honoured and our attendees were over the moon as well. Cue, Emily Thousand.
It was a whirlwind trip as we spent less than 24 hours in the city itself. And in those 24 hours we arrived, hosted a customer meetup, tacked on a lunch & learn with Cardinal Path, one of our new conversion ecosystem partners, turned around and went home.
Quick & Dirty Event Recap With Presentation Slides
Danielle Prager (seen on the right) is an Unbounce customer who’s written on our blog several times (read her most recent post here). At the meetup she spoke specifically about how the RivalIQ team uses dedicated landing pages in their content marketing, social media marketing and even hiring efforts. Check out her slide deck here.
Mark Kelly, CEO & founder of Chair 10 Marketing, spoke specifically about Performance marketing, having a dedicated page for a number of different performance marketing channels, which channels worked best for his clients and how to track & what to track. He encouraged people to try new acquisition channels and ultimately open doors to new revenue streams. You can check out his slide deck here.
Ryan Engley, our Director of Customer Success, spoke about how our team uses landing pages to generate leads & educate customers through monthly marketing webinars and weekly Customer Success webinars. Check out his slide deck here.
And last but not least, Oli Gardner, who will share his presentation experience in his own words…
Speakers’ Corner: Oli Gardner
Editor’s note: Oli has immersed himself in Public Speaking literature, watching as many TED talks as he can, and his hard work paid off: he truly looked like a natural on the Moz stage. And this isn’t just my opinion. The feedback from our survey validates my thoughts. Here are what some attendees said:
- “I could have listened to Oli talk and dissect pages for twice as long (and I think that’s why most people showed up and wanted to hear).”
- “A couple more customer profiles focused on different ways to use Unbounce (like for sales) and at least 4 more landing page reviews by Oli!”
Over to Oli to share his experience at our Seattle meetup from the Moz stage…
There were a few fundamental differences between this second meetup, and the first. The size of the room, the size of the stage, the reduced number of people, having double the amount of time, and the memory of the technical and delivery mishaps from the first meetup.
All of these things played on my mind when trying to figure out how to do a more interesting and entertaining presentation. The main pressure coming from the fact that I don’t have another gig booked between now and HeroConf in Austin in April. So I really had to get it right, and try to learn/grow as much as possible in those 15+ minutes.
I like to move around on stage, so the MOZplex setup was perfect. There were two giant screens, about 30ft apart, so I could bounce between them, splitting up the attention I was giving to either side of the audience.
And of course, just before we started, my phone decided NOT to connect to the laptop to control the presentation slides with the Keynote App. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as we all had to use the physical “clicker”. The main difference was the lack of notes in my hand (you get notes on the mobile app).
If you look at the photo of me from the first meetup (on the right), you’ll see that I’m staring at my phone. Without this crutch I was forced to remember all of the finer details and just wing it in any situation where I couldn’t recall them. Stef pointed out that this made my presentation much better, and I agree 100%.
The best part was really being able to make people laugh, and enjoy the session. To quote someone after my session: “He’s like the Russell Brand of marketing!” << That was really awesome to hear.
An interesting takeaway was that some people thought I went a bit too easy on the critiques. I was harsher at the first meetup, which was also noticed, and this time too soft. The middle ground? I don’t really know. Perhaps I should do the friendly style for customers in the audience, and then rip the shit out of a page from a company who isn’t present. :) Time will tell how I change that type of thing. Austin is next, and I will be critiquing landing pages too, so I have a lot of great insight as to how I should structure that session so stay tuned.
Now back over to Stef…
Takeaways & Post Meetup Survey Results
Seattle was the very first time we’ve held an event outside of Vancouver. Naturally, we have a built-in network being based in Vancouver and saw huge turn out. In Seattle, we had less registrations which meant that Ryan, Oli and myself had more conversations with customers. We also cut the number of speakers giving more time for speakers to dive in and this time we really focused on one main theme: How to use and improve your landing pages.
The day after every meetup, we send a short survey that includes a net promoter score-type question to gauge overall success.
The net promoter from the first survey was pretty low – 12.5 to be exact. The net promoter from this meetup however, was over double: 31.6. The survey result confirmed our gut instinct: this meetup was more defined and much better overall (and most importantly we improved). Why? The content from this event tied to our product, we had fewer speakers and the venue was hands-down awesome. We also had more time for questions, two-way dialogue & networking.
In addition to a higher NPS in relation to the meetup, we also saw a higher response rate on our post-meetup survey itself: 30% of attendees answered the post Vancouver meetup survey, whereas 54% of attendees answered the Seattle post meetup survey, meaning attendees were not only satisfied, but also highly engaged.
Survey Results: What do people want to see at the next #ubmeetup?
In addition to the NPS quantitative-question, we also asked attendees what they’d like to see at the next meetup, or what they would like to learn from a potential Conference hosted by Unbounce.
Here at Unbounce we avoid to push our product on someone. This is imbedded in our organization: we don’t have a sales team or any aggressive sales quotas, our marketing content is benefits-driven versus tool-focused and in general we want to give people the information & education they need to make a decision on their own without any added sales pressure. I took this approach when mapping out our customer meetups: Although our meetups are centered around Unbounce, we wanted to ensure the meetup was educational versus Unbounce-centric.
Taking this perspective into account, the feedback from the survey from both meetups asked us to speak more about our product. Perhaps a quick product demo will make an appearance at the next few meetups.
Attendees also noted that they wanted us to dive even deeper, include case studies and numbers. And we’ll work on that. Especially for our upcoming conference in September.
The Double Edge Sword: Free events
Free events are the ultimate double sword. On one hand they are free, which eliminates any buying decision based on price. However, they are also an event planner’s worst nightmare. The main question being: How many people will end up showing up? The folks over at Zendesk have been running their user groups for quite some time and they have a formula based on city and country. As of now, I always cut the registration list right in half, but as these events go on, I too, will be calculating a simple formula, judging cities on their registration versus attendance ratio. So far, attendance has been roughly half, but we also have a few tactics to remind people about the meetup: we create a twitter list of attendees. This allows us to see who exactly is coming and also allows us to send a personal tweet prior to the evening meetup.
Outreach & telling people we’re in town
I noticed closer to the event, more people started tweeting about the upcoming meetup and some people were even surprised to learn that we were coming to town. Although I did some initial outreach, I kept it simple with one simple email and a handful of tweets. Lesson? I need to do more. With our Toronto meetup, I reached out to some influencers in the space and sent a ‘last chance’ email, titled: ‘Last chance! Join us next Tuesday at our meetup in Toronto.’ This one email generated 50 more registrations and we are now well over 100 people registered. Live in Toronto and want to come? Save your spot here.
#ubmeetup love <3
Sorry Molson, Unbounce are my new Canadian best friends. Sorry again. #ubmeetup
— Zach Rains (@zt_rains) March 14, 2014
— Lauren Hall-Stigerts (@hallstigerts) March 14, 2014
A cherry on top of the cake: Cardinal Path Lunch & Learn
— Ashleigh Bunn (@AnalyticsAsh) March 14, 2014
Cardinal Path is one of our latest conversion ecosystem partners. When Ashleigh Bunn, Trainer & Course Curator at Cardinal Path, Liesl Barrell, our Senior Biz Dev & Partnership Manager and I hopped on a call last month, I realized that they were in Seattle teaching their advanced analytics course the same time we were in town for our meetup. Timing was just too good to let the opportunity pass us by, so we invited their class to our meetup and also decided to stop by and teach them about landing pages and conversion optimization. The feedback that Ashleigh provided was all and all positive and we’re looking forward to doing more with Cardinal Path, especially when they are in Vancouver next month for their AdWords & Analytics course.
Now I want to hear from you…
- Where would you like to see Unbounce host a meetup?
- Is there anything you’d like to see or learn specifically at an Unbounce meetup, event or conference?
Thanks for reading and I’ll see you in the comments
PS – We’re hosting a #ubmeetup in Toronto tomorrow! And it’s not too late to sign up.