I wanted to dedicate this blog post to sharing the best practices from three of Cisco’s social programs which were recently awarded the 2011 Event Marketer Technology Awards. Cisco Live and the Cisco Event Mobile Application were honored for their excellence with events integration and custom app creation, respectively, while the Global Sales Experience (GSX) campaign was noted for delivering content that was both educational and entertaining. In introducing you to the strategies implemented by each of these award-winning hybrid programs, I hope you find them interesting and useful to apply to your own social campaign, event, or mobile app!
CISCO LIVE EVENT
The annual Cisco Live event was recognized for their exceptional combination of event technologies to increase both the breadth and depth of engagement with their community. During the event, the Cisco Events team significantly intensified their involvement in their various social properties such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Ustream, and YouTube. With around the clock monitoring, the team immersed themselves in the conversations, actively participating with comments, replies, amplification and acknowledgement within the attendee conversations. The team also promoted key activities to Cisco social media contacts through tweets and Facebook posts.
In terms of monitoring the event, the team used the Radian6 tool to report on social media volume, sources, and activity. In addition, the Cisco SocialMiner tool played an influential role to help the team not only keep track of social media conversations during the event but also respond to and resolve issues. Actively engaging in social media conversations with event attendees increased attendees’ feelings of being “seen” and “heard” by Cisco and greatly enhanced their overall experience. The event’s efforts resulted in overall positive social media sentiment, high volume of traffic throughout the event, and a boost in their total number of fans on Cisco social channels (e.g., 120% increase in Twitter followers, 300% increase in Facebook fans, and 400% increase in LinkedIn group members). The team also managed to achieve increased brand awareness and advocacy, a move towards better global social media integration, and positive attendee feedback.
CISCO EVENTS MOBILE APPLICATION
The Cisco Events App has been widely used in numerous Cisco events including Cisco Live. This is a first-of-its-kind hybrid mobile application that integrates social media components (e.g., geo-location tagging, Facebook, Twitter, photo uploads) with static program details about different Cisco events. The mobile app’s many unique and interactive features transcended the barriers of physical proximity and time differences which naturally encouraged users to participate more avidly in Cisco events.
Its features were designed to allow users to social network, participate in games, and reference event materials. App users noted some aspects that they found especially useful: capability of finding and collaborating with other business professionals who have similar interests, connecting with Cisco subject matter experts, receiving rewards for participating, and easily accessing program-related materials. Cisco employees were able to actively monitor real-time dashboard feedback in addition to user evaluations, reviews, and comments to provide the most optimal mobile user experience.
CISCO GLOBAL SALES EXPERIENCE (GSX)
Cisco’s GSX, the company’s annual week-long sales meeting, was awarded the Gold Award in the “Online and Offline Event Campaign” category. Contrary to the FY 10 event which was a completely virtual experience, the FY 11 event introduced a hybrid engagement to constitute a balance between online and live components. Its content was delivered online in the virtual platform and in person to over 160 locations around the globe with the objective of reconnecting, rewarding, and reenergizing the sales team.
GSX leveraged social platforms to allow meeting attendees to network and interact with each other. A plethora of Cisco products and solutions (e.g., WebEx, TelePresence, Live Chat, Enterprise Content Delivery System) were used to deliver keynote presentations, exhibitions, performances, and more. Throughout the event, the GSX team collected the results from surveys and other forms of evaluation to gather real-time insight into the event’s performance. In total, GSX hosted 85 sessions in 1,100 conference rooms, in 168 locations, in 69 countries, covering 240 time zones over 101 event hours and seven days. I think you can conclude that the Cisco GSX successfully exploited thorough and in-depth engagement with its sales teams through this event.
Congratulations on the superb job that the Cisco Events and Cisco GSX teams have done, and I hope everyone has a Happy New Year!
To learn more about these and other Event Marketer award winners: http://www.eventmarketer.com/sites/default/files/EventTechAwards.pdf