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2 May 2013 

How Marketo Used Bizzabo to Engage the Marketing Nation

Guest Author

Guest Author: Heather Watkins, Senior Manager of Customer Communities and Programs, Marketo

How Marketo used Bizzabo to Engage the Marketing Nation:

The Marketo Summit is a yearly user conference where customers, prospects and partners come together to learn marketing automation best practices, take hands-on training, and find new solutions to drive customer engagement and revenue growth. This year’s theme was centered on the theme of the “Marketing Nation.” We really wanted attendees to walk away feeling like they are a part of an interconnected network of best in class marketing– from their peers, to partners, to thought leadership.   When planning how we’d bring this theme to life, we partnered with companies and technologies that supported this message.   When selecting a mobile application, we found that Bizzabo was really forward thinking in creating a platform for a “nation” of peers to network with one another.

We used Bizzabo for 3 main purposes – to engage the Marketing Nation, to aid in lead generation for sponsors, and for agenda management.

Engage the Marketing Nation:

One of the most unique features for Bizzabo was the ability for attendees to find people similar to them and connect immediately via LinkedIn or instant message.  We had 800 people sign up for the Bizzabo app, 850+ LinkedIn invitations sent between attendees, and 850+ instant messages sent between attendees.  We also had a tremendous amount of social lift on the event as Bizzabo alone created 500,000+ impressions on Twitter, Facebook & LinkedIn which included the name and #MUS13 hashtag for the event.

My top tips in making networking successful:

    • Explicitly call out the benefits for connecting before and after the conference in your marketing materials.  Also equip your customer facing teams with verbiage to encourage the interactions.
    • Send out an alert to the Community before the conference encouraging them to connect.
    • Communicate with sponsors the networking benefit of the application before the event.

Lead Generation for Sponsors:

Bizzabo launched a new sponsor package right before our big event that we immediately took advantage of, as we saw it as a great value add for our event sponsors.    The application allowed us to upload contact information and a special offer for all of our sponsors which resulted in ~300 additional engagements from attendees and ~3,000 app page views.

Knowing what we know now, I’d suggest the following when rolling out the benefit to your sponsors:

    • Promote the application and best practices to all event sponsors before the application is launched so the sponsor content is loaded when people start connecting.
    • Encourage sponsors to create offers specific to the mobile app.  (ie – Contact us via Bizzabo and  get entered to win Google Glasses!)  This just increases their engagement, as some people might not make it to the booth.
    • Send out an alert to the Community before the conference encouraging them to engage with the sponsors, possibly even giving out a prize or VIP status for those that do connect to sponsors before the conference.

Agenda Management:

Since I was in charge of content for the conference, one of my favorite features was the ability to upload all of your sessions and speakers into a full conference agenda and have customers add the sessions to their calendars.  This functionality was highly utilized by our attendees, as they saved or favorited sessions 8300+ times!  In the future – I’d really love to see the ability for customers to comment on a session (fingers crossed that functionality makes it on the roadmap!)

Things to keep in mind when using Bizzabo for agenda management

    • Agendas change and sessions move, but make sure to keep your website and Bizzabo synced at all times.
    • If changes do happen – send out an alert to all members communicating the changes.
    • Invest in uploading the speaker details and contact information for each speaker.  This is an extremely simple way for attendees to connect with speakers and engage after the event.


Overall, Bizzabo is a great, low cost tool that gave our attendees and sponsors a lot of added value.  My favorite tweet about Bizzabo that came out during the event:


Heather Watkins


Heather Watkins
Senior Manager of Customer Communities and Programs, Marketo


Heather Watkins has been running the customer marketing department at Marketo for the last 2 years.  Her team owns online & offline customer communities, all customer programming, references and content.  Heather has been involved in the community and social media space for the last 5 years and received her BA in Accounting from Arizona State University.

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