In May, XANT hosted its annual Sales Acceleration Summit (SAS), the world’s largest virtual summit for sales and marketing leaders.
The event featured more than 80 top sales and marketing influencers and generated 30,000 registrants from 11,000 companies.
The expectations for SAS were ambitious. We knew we’d need to be creative if there was any hope of reaching the numbers we did.
In order to be successful, XANT encouraged each of our presenters to double as promoters.
Turning presenters into promoters
Influential thought leaders bring a lot to the table, namely years of experience and deep insights.
Their fame also means they have large followings.
Start with an incentive
What’s true in economics is also true in business. People respond to incentives.
Our speakers are wonderful people, but if we expected them to help us, we needed to offer them something in return.
The trick is to figure out which carrot to dangle.
“Some people are motivated by cash, while others are driven by competition and cachet,” said Mike Taylor, who oversees virtual events at XANT. “We’ve found that when it comes to sales, leads are the currency that seem to produce the best results.”
In exchange for their participation, we promised our presenters they would receive all the leads from their speaking session.
On top of that, we offered additional leads if speakers were willing to actively promote the event to their networks.
The more promotions they sent, the more leads they could earn.
Make it as easy as possible
Offering leads as an incentive is only part of the equation.
We knew if we wanted presenters to actively engage with their networks, we would need to make it as easy as possible.
To do that, XANT provided each SAS presenter with a promotional press kit. Each kit included prewritten messages and templates for social posts, blog posts and emails.
Given the busy schedules and time constraints of our speakers, having templates and messaging they could simply copy and paste made the entire process much easier for them.
On top of providing speakers with material, we also assigned each of them a point of contact. This person was responsible for answering questions, and reminding presenters to engage with their networks.
Depending on the event, each promotional packet may be a little different. Some may be geared more toward social, whereas others might include blog posts and press releases.
Before building your kit, make sure you’re not only thinking about what will be easiest for participants to share, but also what will resonate best with your intended audience.
To give you a better idea of how these templates work, we’ve included a few items from our SAS press kit.
XANT wanted an active presence on social media to promote SAS. To facilitate that, we created a specific hashtag for the event and created simple tweets our presenters could quickly share.
Tweet # 1: Join me and 80+ top sales and marketing influencers for the Sales Acceleration Summit: May 7! INSERT LINK HERE #salessummit
Tweet # 2: Watch the top sales and marketing influencers (including me) share their methods to increase revenue: May 7! INSERT LINK HERE #salessummit
Tweet # 3: Join me May 7th as I speak on XXXXXXX, you don’t want to miss this #salessummit INSERT LINK HERE
Given the professional nature of LinkedIn and the huge number of connections our influencers have, we made sure to make this a key area of focus.
I will be at the “Sales Acceleration Summit” on May 7th to speak on XXXXXXXXX. Join me and the top sales and marketing influencers as we share our methods to increase your revenue.
You won’t want to miss this event. Reserve your spot today! INSERT LINK HERE
Graphics and Banners
Along with messaging for social, we also gave our speakers branded graphics and banners they could include with their posts or upload to their profile.
Email remains one of the best methods of business and sales communication, even in our age of social media.
We knew that many people subscribe to reoccurring emails from our presenters, and thought this would be a great way of expanding our reach.
Text-Based Email Template
Subject Lines (feel free to use what works for your audience):
80+ sales experts. 1 amazing online event.
[Online Sales Summit] Learn from 80+ experts
Sales Acceleration Summit – May 7th, 2015
Over 80 leading experts. 1 incredible online event.
Last year 20,000 people registered for this free online event. Even if you’re busy, you’ll want to register because you can listen later. Registration is free [INSERT HYPERLINK]—sign up today!
Featured speakers include:
- Steve Young, Co-Founder, HGGC and Hall of Fame NFL Quarterback
- Your Name, Your Title (YUP, that’s me!)
- Grant Cardone, CEO of Cardone Training Technologies
- Jill Konrath, author of SNAP Selling
- Jim Steele, XANT President of Worldwide Sales and Chief Customer Officer
- Art Sobczak, author of the best-selling book Smart Calling
- David Elkington, CEO and founder of XANT
- Stan Slap, author of Under The Hood
Reserve your spot:
[INSERT CUSTOM PROMO LINK]
I’ll see you there.
The key is to make things as simple as possible. It needs to be intuitive, or it won’t happen.
Remember to clearly highlight where your presenters need to fill in their own information, and provide them with a custom tracking link so you can see who is responsible for driving registration.
Wrapping things up
Without question, using influential speakers as promoters was instrumental in helping XANT pull off this record-setting event.
Those looking to host similar events should start building promotional kits they can distribute to exponentially increase their reach.
Just remember to be selective about what you include in these kits, focusing on what makes sense for the event and what your speakers and their audience will respond best to.
Finally, make sure to provide an incentive to encourage participation.
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Feature image credit: ashley.adcox
Image credit: nist6dh