Event Management Doing More With Less & Getting Results

It’s the same statement most managers and executives hear from staff, “we don’t have enough time” or “we’re under resourced, we need more people”. You can take a Six Sigma approach and refine your business processes to remove redundant steps, but you can only do that for so long.

For marketing teams, there are tools available to support them in their digital marketing or marketing automation activities. Various platforms from a range of companies can offer specific and in some cases, industry specific solutions.

We use the Oracle Eloqua Marketing Cloud platform for all our digital marketing campaigns as well as the registration and reminder processes for face to face and online events.

As a marketing team of 1.5, the Managing Director and I, Eloqua enables me to create templates and with no HTML, I can create a range of emails, landing pages and forms for a wide range of campaign types.

As I meet with our clients in my capacity as Customer Success Director, I help them get more from Oracle Eloqua Marketing Cloud to ensure they’re also able to save time and do more with less. The platform has an extensive and deep level of functionality which generally means even following an introduction training workshop, new users are barely scratching the surface of what can be done.

EXAMPLE: A Basic Face to Face Event Registration Process

A face to face event can include up to 14 unique assets e.g. emails, landing pages, registration forms, dynamic content and images. The table below provides an example of the assets used for a face to face event and provides an example of a naming convention:

Asset TypeNaming Convention / Unique Asset CodeAsset Description
 Campaign Canvas20140517 SYD Product X LaunchThe Eloqua Campaign Canvas is an over arching visual, drag and drop interface designed to bring together all of your various assets.
 Email20140517 SYD Event InvitationA personalised invitation to your known contacts.
 Email20140517 SYD 2nd Event InvitationA reminder email based on those who did not register (i.e. did not submit the registration form) from the first email. You can track opens, click throughs etc, but at the end of the day, you want people to register, so I’d suggest it’s about form submissions.
 Landing Page20140517 SYD Registration Page The registration page includes the registration form.
 Form20140517 SYD Registration FormThe form can capture whatever information you need. We’d encourage you do this as an “RSVP” v’s a “Registration”. An RSVP implies that people who cannot make your event can RSVP no which enables you to capture their information and engage with them after the event by way of a “Sorry we missed you” email.
 Landing Page20140517 SYD Registration Confirmation PageYou can use this page to provide a summary of the event details as confirmation to registrants of what they submitted as well as the event details.
 Email20140517 SYD Registration ConfirmationThis email is generally a summary of what was shown on the registration confirmation page. It can be a chance to talk further about event partners and provide links to their websites etc.
 Email20140517 SYD 2 days before
Event Reminder
Email reminders have an impact on attendance. Using SMS plugins from the Eloqua AppCloud is also a great way to deliver reminders. 
 Email20140517 SYD Day of ReminderEloqua allows you to be very specific about when you want an email to be delivered. If you have an event kicking off at 1:00pm, you may want to provide a “day of” reminder a few hours beforehand. 
  The event takes place.
Make sure you capture who did and did not attend so you can send a relevant follow-up email following the event. From a lead nurturing point of view, it’s largely irrelevant who did or did not attend. You have a valid reason to continue engaging with people if they registered for the event.
 Email20140517 SYD Post Event EvaluationIt’s always a good idea to seek feedback from attendees about the event. Try to offer an incentive, perhaps access to event slide decks and other valued added resources once the evaluation has been submitted. 
 Landing Page20140517 SYD Post Event Eval Landing PageKeep the questions simple and short, no more than 7 questions. 
 Landing Page20140517 SYD Post Event
Eval Thank you Page
You can either direct people to a specific thank you page or direct them to an existing page on your website or perhaps another Eloqua Landing Page e.g. a special offer as a thank you for completing the evaluation form as mentioned above. 
 Form20140517 SYD Post Event Eval FormThe form sits on the Post Event Eval Landing Page. Using Eloqua’s Contact pre-population in combination with hidden fields you can reduce the number of questions to the most critical questions.
 Email20140517 SYD Eval Thank You EmailBesides being an obvious courtesy to thank people for completing the survey, thank you emails are a way to share links to other resources you believe they may find helpful or to existing promotions you’re running.

5 Tips for Oracle Marketing Cloud End Users:

1. Create & Implement A Naming Convention

The naming convention used above is simply the date backwards. I’d encourage you to use the same date across all assets. The date used may be the date of the event or it could be the date you started building the campaign, it doesn’t really matter. What you’re after is a unique numbering system.

In larger organisations you want to append the number with your initials or a department ID or an employee number.

2. “Begin With The End In Mind” The Campaign Canvas

Basic Eloqua Campaign Canvas

When you start to think about how you event registration process will be delivered, start with the Oracle Marketing Cloud Campaign Canvas.

The campaign canvas is a great visual tool using a waterfall graphical representation of each step in your campaign. CLICK HERE to see an example of the campaign canvas.

 3. Don’t Underestimate Eloqua Forms Processing

The submission of a form by a contact can drive many actions and/or business processes. Use form submission to update the person’s contact record, use it to send them a confirmation email of their registration, use the form to direct them to a specific web page once they click on submit as well as send notification emails to the sales person who “owns” that contact.

In addition, you can have Oracle Marketing Cloud pool all registrants into a “Shared List”. You can always use Segmentation to do this yourself following the event, but why not get Eloqua to do it for you while the campaign is running. As an example, this shared list can be the starting point or trigger for another campaign set to launch a fews days after your event.

4. Create a Campaign Template to Save Time

If you start your campaign design on the campaign canvas and discover you’ve captured everything you need. You can “Save-As a Template”. It’s a best practice approach to do this before you add you assets.

It’s always a little dangerous to take a fully built campaign with assets included and simply “Save-As” and type over the old copy. The last thing you want to do is send an email which includes dates, times and locations from last month’s event. What looks like a time saver can turn into a nightmare very quickly.

5. Catchy Headlines Make All The Difference

Setting aside the mechanics of how to build an event registration campaign in Oracle Marketing Cloud, you need to put thought into why people are going to open your email in the first instance.

Eloqua provides easy personalisation of the subject line of the email. Smart selection of specific data points can help the recipient feel connected to the message. It also acknowledges to the prospect or customer that you know who they are and you are able to deliver a personal message based on the profile data you have.

To read further about why some headlines fail, CLICK HERE to read a white paper we recently found that explores the psychology and neural impact of word choices as questions or statements. It’s a fascinating 10 minute read, let us know what you think.