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Event orchestration | 6 December 2019

12 Imaginative Events from PTC

Jacob Thomas

Learn how the PTC events team implements its winning event strategy through these top 12 conferences, trainings, and experiential marketing initiatives.

PTC is a Boston-based software and services company that was originally founded in 1985. Since that time, the tech organization has amassed an impressive resume that includes over 6,000 employees, 1,150 technology partners, and more than $1 billion in revenue.

They also happen to have a killer event strategy, which we’ll analyze and explore in this article. Keep reading to learn how PTC hosts such amazing events and the key takeaways you can use to supercharge your own event marketing efforts.

1. LiveWorx

LiveWorx - PTC Event Marketing

Source: PTC

LiveWorx is billed as the “definitive event for digital transformation” and takes place in Boston, MA every year. What started as a relatively small user conference for PTC customers has exploded into a one-of-a-kind event for 7,000+ attendees. Event-goers are taught about new technologies such as augmented reality, IIOT, Robotics, and more. They also have the opportunity to network with both peers and industry experts.

Key Takeaway: LiveWorx is a shining example of strategic, sustainable event growth. Every year, the conference gets a little bigger, a little better, and a little more anticipated by attendees. We encourage you to grow your conferences the same way. Always look for ways to improve the attendee experience and aim for continuous, sustainable growth.

2. The Thing Event

The Thing Event - PTC Event MarketingSource: Ovation

PTC’s The Thing Event was unlike any other the company has ever produced. Its purpose was to introduce the Vuforia AR Enterprise Suite to PTC customers and educate them on how augmented reality can impact manufacturing processes. To do this, PTC partnered with Ovation Events to create a conference that had 3 sound stages, was broadcast to over 10,000 people in 132 different countries and generated 3,400 social media interactions.

Key Takeaway: Technology should never be underestimated, especially by event planners. Modern tech can enhance the attendee experience in a myriad of ways, help your gatherings reach more people via live streaming, and even become an integral part of your event branding. From event software to virtual reality, do your best to utilize the tech tools at your disposal.

3. BIOMEDevice San Jose

BIOMEDevice San Jose - PTC Event MarketingSource: MDDI Online

BIOMEDevice San Jose is the event to attend if you’re a medical device designer or engineer, or hold a leadership position at a medical device manufacturing company. The two-day conference provides a wealth of information about moving Medtech projects from “first thought to the final stage.” The best part? The event is incredibly affordable! Qualified registrants can get in for free. All others are required to pay a small fee of $179.

Key Takeaway: Let’s be clear, PTC does not host BIOMEDevice San Jose. But it has exhibited at the expo in years past. The PTC events team understands that a proper B2B event marketing strategy includes many different event types and initiatives. Consider exhibiting at other conferences and expos in addition to hosting your own company branded gatherings.

4. PTC/USER Benelux Event

PTC/USER Benelux EventSource: Savaco

The PTC/USER Benelux Event took place on November 29th, 2019 at the Hotel Eindhoven in the Netherlands. At the user conference, attendees were taught all things PTC related including how to use its products, important industrial innovations, and rule-based color coding. Event-goers were also able to get hands-on experience with new PTC offerings and network with other attendees. All in all, it was a successful event that was thoroughly enjoyed by all.

Key Takeaway: Teaching your customers about how to use your products will always be a winning strategy. Customers that understand the ins and outs of your offerings are much more likely to continue using them. If you’re looking for new corporate event ideas, try hosting a user conference. You’ll be able to give your customers hands-on training and get to know them on a deeper level. In other words, it’s a win-win scenario!

5. CREO Product Launch

CREO Product Launch - PTC Event MarketingSource: SolidSmack

For the next event on this list, we have to travel all the way back to 2010, when PTC launched a highly anticipated new product named Creo. It was a perfect example of experiential marketing. The initiative included a live event launch, viral teaser videos, and user engagement strategies. The result, according to PTC’s CEO, Jim Heppelmann, was “the most successful launch in the company’s history.” 

Key Takeaway: Most people think of events as educational opportunities. A company brings in a few highly-regarded speakers to teach on relevant topics and then charges attendees a fee to access the wealth of knowledge provided. This is all true. But your events don’t have to be so one-dimensional. Take a page out of PTC’s book and plan events completely dedicated to the launching of new products! This will create excitement for your company’s offerings and (when done correctly) will dramatically boost sales.

6. PTC Global Partner Summit

Source: YouTube

The PTC Global Partner Summit is a special gathering that happens during PTC’s flagship conference, LiveWorx. The 2019 summit welcomed more than 800 people from 45 different countries to learn from 5 keynote sessions and network with other partners.

Key Takeaway: Here’s a wild idea: instead of planning and budgeting for an entirely separate event from the ones your company is already set to host, why not schedule a special gathering during your flagship conference or training seminar? This strategy has multiple benefits: it will allow you to reach specific demographics and provide them with hyper-relevant content, and it will enable you to do so for much less than if you were to host a stand-alone affair — i.e. your event ROI will definitely go up!

7. Digital Transformation: The New Reality World Tour

Digital Transformation: The New Reality World Tour - PTC Event MarketingSource: Business Wire

Digital Transformation: The New Reality World Tour is a roadshow that extends the excitement of the annual PTC LiveWorx event (mentioned earlier) and is hosted in conjunction with FT Live, the live events division of the Financial Times. The first-ever tour hits multiple major cities including New York, London, and Tokyo and aims to educate attendees on the future of industrial innovation.

Key Takeaway: A roadshow is a fantastic way to reach more of your company’s target audience. By traveling to your tribe and hosting an event in their backyard rather than forcing them to come to a single location of your choosing, you’ll ensure that more people are able to attend your gatherings. You’ll also garner the goodwill of your target audience who will appreciate the fact that they can attend your conference without splurging on flights and hotels.

8. Envision for Manufacturing

Source: Twitter

Envision for Manufacturing was a free event hosted by Microsoft, a PTC partner. Attendees included CIOs, CFOs, COOs, and other executive-level professionals, who all gathered together to learn real-world strategies in the manufacturing industry. PTC was asked to speak at Envision for Manufacturing about connected factory and field services integration.

Key Takeaway: Earlier we said that exhibiting your company’s products at events hosted by other organizations was a winning idea. Well, as it turns out, delivering keynote speeches (as PTC did at Envision for Manufacturing) is a great strategy as well. This tactic will also allow your company to reach a new target audience and build relationships with them.

9. Executive Exchange Utah

Executive Exchange Utah - PTC Event MarketingSource: PTC

Executive Exchange Utah was a “manufacturing event like no other” and saw PTC partner with one of its top customers, Browning, to discuss how Browning uses PTC’s industrial IoT and Augmented Reality products to transform factory operations. The event featured plenty of educational content, live demonstrations, and a post-conference reception.

Key Takeaway: PTC regularly partners with other companies to help host their wide range of events. This is a wonderful corporate event management strategy! Rather than shouldering the event planning and execution burden alone, find relevant partners who serve a similar audience but don’t directly compete against your company. Then host a conference with them. This will allow you to share event responsibilities and reach new audiences while halving the workload. Win!

10. Boston New Technology Augmented & Virtual Reality Startup Showcase

Boston New Technology Augmented & Virtual Reality Startup Showcase - PTC Event MarketingSource: Boston New Technology

The Boston New Technology Augmented & Virtual Reality Startup Showcase is the perfect place to learn about AR and IoT tech from PTC experts. Attendees also benefit from new product demos and networking events with their peers. Side bonus: the Showcase serves tasty treats during networking times and offers free headshot photos to all attendees.

Key Takeaway: As of this writing, the Boston New Technology Augmented & Virtual Reality Startup Showcase hasn’t actually happened yet. But after taking a look at the event agenda, we felt we needed to point something out: networking opportunities are important when it comes to business-oriented events. Your attendees don’t just come to learn new information and demo upcoming products. They also want to meet new people who can help them move their careers forward. Give them the opportunity and schedule regular networking times during your conferences, training seminars, and trade expos.

11. Influencer Marketing Campaigns

Influencer Marketing Campaigns - PTC Event MarketingSource: Tendo

We’re going to zag a bit here and talk about an event marketing strategy that PTC uses, rather than a specific event. That strategy is influencer marketing. The truth is, PTC rocks when it comes to implementing influencer campaigns. By partnering with notable technology influencers, PTC is able to better promote its products and events for a relatively low cost.

Key Takeaway: How can your company jump on the influencer marketing trend and partner with thought leaders in your industry to promote its events? Maybe you can hire one of them to post social media updates leading up to the conference. Perhaps you invite another one to attend your gathering for free and write a post-conference blog once they return home. There are plenty of ways to cash in on influencer marketing. The key is to get creative and craft a campaign that your target audience won’t be able to ignore.

12. PTC University

PTC University - PTC Event MarketingSource: PTC University

Last, but certainly not least, we have PTC University, an online training program that teaches Creo, Vuforia, Windchill, and Thingworx users how to better utilize PTC’s applications. The price of each course varies, but many of them are free. For PTC customers, PTC University is an amazing, must-have resource.

Key Takeaway: PTC University reminds us that online events are on the rise. Although in-person conferences and training workshops aren’t going anywhere, if you take advantage of the amazing technology solutions available today you can host digital gatherings that are both easier to produce and much more likely to be attended by large audiences.

Main Takeaways: How to Host an Event Like PTC

As we’ve just seen, PTC has an amazing and diverse event strategy. There’s plenty to learn from this company when it comes to hosting successful conferences, training seminars, and trade expos. But here are a few of the main takeaways:

  1. Always Look to Push the Envelope: PTC is always on the lookout for new ways to expand its conferences and reach its target audience. Your company should do the same. Find ways to creatively grow your event offerings.
  2. Consider Partnering With Other Companies: Experienced event marketers, like the PTC crew, know that their company does not have to host every event it participates in. By speaking or exhibiting at events hosted by other organizations, you give your company the chance to reach a new target audience and expand its customer base.
  3. Keep Your Customers and Their Needs In Mind: Last, but certainly not least, always keep your customers at the forefront of your mind. Just like PTC, look for ways to better serve them, whether that means hosting user conferences, investing in online events, or some other initiative entirely.

If you enjoyed this post, make sure to check out our In-Person podcast with PTC’s VP of Experiential Marketing, Devin Cleary to learn more about the PTC event strategy.

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