Tips for Leveraging Oracle OpenWorld 2012 From Pythian Marketing
Sep 29, 2012 / By Vanessa Simmons
With Oracle OpenWorld just around the corner & MySQL Connect already underway I can’t believe yet another year has passed. This is my third OOW and I must have a following as folks are already reaching out to me on twitter @pythiansimmons (log buffer lady seems to be a handle I can’t seem to shake). Not having deep technical knowledge I can only comment so much on technology announcements. However, as the maestro Pythian’s team of 18 at the show this year, I can comment on how to get the most out of your OOW participation & experience (and how to stay in the good graces of your peers!)
Take care of yourself and your staff
People first. Employees first. That’s a mantra of ours at Pythian. Everyone works very hard throughout the year, culminating into a week long event that is exciting and exhilarating but that can be draining and physically exhausting. Keep an eye on your staff. Keep ‘em hydrated (with water). Include everyone in social events and activities so no one gets lost in the shuffle. While we’re all adults, OOW can be overwhelming at the best of times, especially for first timers. There are a lot of late nights and early ams (especially with last minute slide preparation for speaking sessions). Generally be aware of where everyone is and what they are doing. @pythian we work hard and play even harder while here but the entire team contributes. I am so adamant about this that my nickname among our staff is “Mother” and I don’t have kids of my own! Be sure to take an hour or so to yourself every day to get lost – regroup, re-energize and refocus.
Divide and conquer
To my point above the entire team at Pythian contributes. In Marketing we’re busier than anyone at these shows, working behind the scenes to to make things happen as smoothly and seamlessly as possible (with the goal of course – ROI on show spend!). We carry, organize, schedule, set up, tear down, run, run and run, party, organize some more, meet & greet, smile, network, develop business, & entertain among a myriad of other activities. We are only one person (even though I consider myself 2-3 at times). Ask for help. Delegate. Get your team involved. It takes the load off, and gives everyone more time for the fun stuff in the end.
Maintain some semblance of control
It’s usually marketing dollars that are spent on this type of event. Make sure you’re tracking activities, leads and can quantify the spend into some type of ROI for your organization (whether direct or indirect). Collect cards, take notes on new relationships or those made stronger as a result of your participation. It goes without saying all leads should be tracked and followed up immediately. It’s amazing after my 20 or so years as a marketing professional I still see this as being the number one source of where ROI tracking falls down. Your budget, your call. I’m blessed at Pythian to have the full support of the Executive & Leadership team on “ownership” of folks at OOW. I track who goes where, who they meet with, what they do and essentially own the entire team while they are onsite. It works well for us (right team?) ;)
Have a voice on social community channels
In my entire career I’ve never known an organization so community-oriented and involved than Pythian. With an entire company of 200+ tweeting, blogging, facebooking and on LinkedIN, we easily amplify our voice at an event such as this. Use proper hashtags and twitter handles (not sure which are important? – ask Oracle Marketing) Member of the Oracle PartnerNetwork? (#OPN). Leverage their communications channels too. @oracleopenworld @mysqlconnect #OOW12 are good places to start. Your team should be providing commentary throughout the event (speaking sessions – promote them, keynotes? comment based on relevance to your org., see something cool? – snap a pic and tell the world, find a short line or a tip other attendees could use? share it!)
Oracle fosters a hell of an ecosystem that we all benefit from. Be thankful to your Oracle contacts, Oracle PartnerExchange team, other partners, community connections, staff, customers and all the folks working behind the scenes that you cross paths with during the week. It’s good karma, and it will return to you in spades.
Stop to take it all in. Step back and watch the crowd and feed of the buzz and energy. The vibe is amazing when you’re right in the middle of it.
Need more ideas? Send me a note at email@example.com – happy to share my tips.
Wishing you all the best of Oracle OpenWorld 2012!