IQPC’s Autonomous Vehicles Event named in the ‘best of the best’

At IQPC, quality is important, it’s part of our name after all! So we are understandably quite proud when this is recognized by the industries and clients we serve.

IQPC’s Autonomous Vehicles Conference which runs in Silicon Valley this February has been named 4th out of Motion U’s Top 100 Car, Motorcycle and Wheeled Events in the US for 2018.

MotionUMotion U is an automotive specific event listing website that highlights 175,000 US specific Automotive events of all types including B2B and B2C conferences, tradeshows, races and car shows.

Every year from this huge number, they shortlist  their Top 100 ‘best of the best’, not to be missed events!

Not only does this achievement showcase the brilliant work of our team, but it shows our devotion to putting on the best quality events possible for our vendors and delegates. We truly value bringing businesses and people together to discuss the most up-to-date trends in their  respective fields, and we bring this mentality to every event and conference we produce!

We are grateful to Motion U for this recognition and a well deserved congratulations to our conference team.

Check out this link below to read more about what they had to say or this link to learn more about our conference.

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Introducing the latest edition to our SSON Portfolio…

This week saw the launch of SSON HARDtalk, our new online interview series that cuts straight to the chase and asks the questions that no-one else dares

Presented by Deborah Kops, who is recognized as the true First Lady of Shared Services & Outsourcing, SSON HARDtalk discusses the underlying issues that everyone is thinking, but few will actually voice, with the most influential executives involved in Shared Services and Outsourcing.

 

SSOn Hard Talks

Fintech Connect – an exciting exhibition division of IQPC

After more than 40 years as a market leader in the events industry, we’re constantly diversifying our offering.  In 2014 Fintech Connect was born – the business was created to provide a digital hub and meeting place for the global fintech sector, allowing start-ups, scale-ups, incumbent tech providers, investors, financial institutions and other stakeholders to connect and do business through a free membership based community platform. The FinTech Connect division has the energy and dynamism of an entrepreneurial start-up, seamlessly blended with the footprint and infrastructure of an internationally renowned conference business.

‘What I love best about working for FinTech Connect is the opportunity it provides you with to be innovative and creative. There are no boundaries to what you can bring to the table, if you can make a difference you are encouraged and supported to pursue it. You don’t have colleagues; you have friends that together strive for a common goal. Everyday is a fun day in the office. 2017 is a year of big things as we watch our leading project ‘FinTech Connect Live’ vastly expand into a leading Global event of its kind. Watch this space….’ Kayleeann – Marketing

Launched in July 2014 we already boast successful global portfolios of finance specific conferences which are sponsored by huge blue chip technology providers and attended by the World’s biggest financial institutions. 2017 is a key year for FinTech Connect Live as the event continues along a fast track towards significant scale.

It’s a close knit team who have original ideas and embrace new product concepts – our team adapt and operate fluidly at all times.  All team members are accountable for creative and commercial input, this is one of the many reasons we stand apart from so many events organisers in the market place.

If you are interested in joining our Fintech Connect division, please visit our careers page for current opportunities

CMO Jason Romain on marketing automation, digital natives and value based content at IQPC

Jason HeadshotFor the past 11 years Jason Romain, CMO of IQPC has helped shape our global marketing strategy, essentially revolutionising the way we interact with our customers and prospects. Here Jason shares some of the changes he’s seen in that time and his view on what’s coming next.

 

ES: Hi Jason, thanks for taking the time to meet with me today. I wanted to start this interview by asking what you think are some of the biggest changes you’ve seen in marketing strategy over the last 10 years

JR: Wow, yes it changed a lot in the last 10 years. 10 years ago I remember and I’m sure you do as well, marketers sitting around in groups, putting stamps on envelopes and handwriting addresses; essentially trying to personalise packages that went out.

ES: I remember choosing the different colored envelopes

JS: Yep those too, the big brochures, all that kind of stuff and even faxes, we used to line up at fax machines! Apart from the major technology changes, I also think the customer has changed, trying to reach the customer has become harder and harder. It wasn’t just about direct mail and fax; the phone was a key part of our strategy too. Our outbound delegate sales essentially cold called prospects and drove 50% maybe 60% of revenue, now it’s harder to get someone on the phone, so we do as much work on trying to nurture leads as we do on other marketing mediums. Linked in, Facebook, You Tube none of this existed; and these changes have affected consumer behavior as much as they have marketing strategy.

ES: Has the customer become more discerning about how they are approached?

JR: Maybe, they certainly have more filters in place, there are more barriers to entry, most people don’t have secretaries anymore but they have automated phone systems, they use email and social media to connect; it’s just not as simple as picking up a phone and calling someone anymore. Social selling is on the rise and consumers interact with brands and products in a really different way.

ES: So what does that mean for us? How has IQPC’s strategy changed to adapt to all this?  

JR: We definitely spend allot more time on online marketing then we ever did before, whether that is pay per click, looking at google analytics, communicating through social media channels, or trying to craft a compelling message. But certainly the generation of content and how we leverage it is the biggest change. We no longer focus on just the brochure and a sales letter, now we want to produce value based content, white papers, info-graphics, videos; more formats to reach people in an interactive way and drive inbound leads which we work hard to nurture. We post the content on multiple social media channels and a wide variety of channels, including some of our own online communities like PEX Network or the Shared Services and Outsourcing Network (SSON). To reach people we have to cut through the noise. We talk about fishing where the fish are, trying to reach people where they are already interacting in groups so that we don’t have to interrupt. We also try to find key influencers, the people who lead those communities and engage with them and we work hard with some of our speakers and sponsors so that they also shout about our events.

ES: There seems to be allot of chatter on the social channels about storytelling, is that important for us?

JR: Yes I think storytelling is important, we talk allot about the customer journey at IQPC. Storytelling is in essence a modern way of saying copywriting; but it’s also about how you can communicate with your customer by adding value. For us that used to be about crafting a compelling ‘main mail’ sales letter, now its about creating meaningful pieces of content for our customers, content that is relevant for each individual or skill or sector that we are targeting for a particular event. Content that “adds more value than we can capture.”

ES: Can you give me an example of a recent content piece we’ve used?

JR: We just did some really interesting stuff on process excellence called ‘My Pex Journey’. It was about how different customers have interacted with our Process Excellent Summit over time; so the first time they came to the event, what they learnt, what they took away, how they applied it. It’s about getting those customer stories to come to the forefront rather than constantly saying here are our features and benefits.

ES: So getting our customers to do our storytelling for us?

JR: In essence yes.

ES: Can you tell me about DART, does this move into Data Analytics also play a part?

JR: Yes, absolutely! DART or SSON Analytics combines all our internal event based data and new external data sources to create a powerful story about various aspects of the Shared Services and Outsourcing industry. It’s very exciting, but we are only at the tip of the iceberg when it comes to data and it’s potential.

ES: So what’s coming next in marketing?

JR: For IQPC its marketing automation and that means more work on lead scoring and automated responses to behavior, so if the customers interact with our marketing in a certain way they get a certain response. And it’s all pre-programmed ahead of time so we can just watch the results and tweak the communication to make sure its working. This is all driven by the Oracle sales and marketing cloud software that we’re implementing and some very smart thinking by our marketing teams! The system will help us understand customer behavior better, for example how people interact with our website will now be incorporated into our lead score and this should have dramatic impact on inbound marketing. I also think we will continue to see allot more leads being generating, huge increases in volume which means we will be able to focus our sales team on the higher scoring leads, We might not even call some of the lower ranked leads and instead put them into lead nurturing campaigns, so that will be a big change internally as well.

I also think we are going to see ongoing proliferation of social media channels, there will always be new channels coming up that we are going to have to deal with. I can imagine one of our genius marketers is adding a pokestop to their event as we speak!

I think we will also see big changes in email which will be extremely challenging, not just regulatory but also how companies filter emails. We will also see the continued rise of re-marketing, which I hope will also become more intuitive and effective.

ES: So how is this affecting the type of people we look to hire? What qualities do we look for in a new marketer? Do they need to be extremely tech savvy?

I think the younger generation of marketers that are coming through are already allot more tech savvy because they study it at university, but they are also mostly digital natives, they grew up with it. In fact they are introducing the skills to us, which is to be honest the most exciting bit. But I think underlying all this is that more than before, you have to be passionate about marketing. It didn’t matter before if they had a degree in English or the Arts of whatever, and maybe it doesn’t matter, but I think it helps to have a specialist degree in marketing and at a minimum they have to show that they’ve self learned allot of these different skills, whether it’s SEO or pay for click, social media etc. Allot of this stuff has to be self taught so they have to have that passion.

I think all the same skills like time management, copy writing, analytical ability; these basic core skills have to be there too, but an over-arching passion for marketing and specifically digital marketing is probably more important than it’s ever been.

ES: And what about our existing marketing team, what are we doing to continually develop them?

JR: That’s a good question, we have two levels. We have the local training and the global training. I think at a local, office level we are talking about standard stuff, how to use the systems, how to build basic marketing plans, how to execute those plans, how to work with the teams. All this plan strategy and execution training is done locally. Then at a global level its talent identification, where we take all the up and coming talent once a year through a 12 week management development course that involves internal leaders and external trainers. It’s also not all one way, they have to do some work!

But above and beyond all that the best marketers these days are the ones that are always self learning; you have to keep up to date with this stuff. So we’ve tried to create a culture where people are constantly sharing things. So I’ll have a Marketing Manager in Dubai email me and say hey have you heard about this new thing and quite often I won’t have. There’s such a proliferation of channels and technology, some of which doesn’t require a massive instillation like the Oracle CRM system, so allot of this stuff they can just implement tomorrow. So it’s about staying aware and constantly testing. That’s why I think if we can hire people who are passionate about marketing and constantly interested in learning they will also drive this learning journey for themselves and for us.

ES: Thank you Jason


Find out more about Life & Work in Marketing at IQPC…

 

Explore Current Marketing Vacancies at IQPC…

 

 

IQPC is proud to support industry collaboration in the FPSO sector

At IQPC we are extremely proud of what we do. Our events deliver timely and relevant information; they help foster collaboration and the partnerships that are critical to business growth and survival.

But don’t just take out word for it, meet three members of the FPSO World Congress 2016 Advisory Board: Curtis Lohr, Thyl Kint and Chris Brett, three of the industry’s most experienced business leaders. Hear why they chose to support us this year.

The employee benefit of insight

One of the many benefits of being in the conference industry is the incredible amount of smart people we meet and the sheer wealth of knowledge we get exposed to.

The opportunity to learn from the cutting edge leaders who grace our event stages is such a privilege.  A privilege our clients pay good money for. Yet it’s also a privilege our staff can access every day, as part of their normal working life.

Being surrounded by so much insight is inspiring and it’s impossible to live and work in this environment without feeling its affect. It helps us develop as individuals and as teams. It affects our culture and our business processes.

So talk a walk in our shoes and treat yourself to just 2 minuets of self development! Sit back and enjoy insights from one of our favorite speakers Gerald Yerardi, Associate CIO at UC Berkeley as he talks about how a positive, no fear culture is key to both customer service and business success.

IQPC moves into Data Analytics

Dart Logo

For the last 20 years SSON, a subsidiary of IQPC, has been a one-stop shop for shared services professionals, offering industry-leading events (over 50 a year), training, reports, surveys, interviews, white papers, videos, editorial, info-graphics, and more.

All that work has yielded huge amounts of data and so in May 2016 with the growing recognition that in today’s digital world data adds real commercial value, we launched The Dart Institute.

It’s purpose; to collect and analyze streams and streams of proprietary and public data and turn it into visual, digestible insights that help our customers understand the future of their industry and ultimately make better business decisions.

As well as offering this data to our subscribers via the Dart Institute website, we also incorporate the Visual Analytics Workbooks into the marketing campaigns of SSON events, in order to generate leads and increase event attendance. We then present the findings of Dart’s analytics at each event offering attendees insights into the shared services landscape in their region that they simply can’t get elsewhere.

To achieve this we’ve had to recruit a team of specialists with skills that sit outside of our core conference roles; research analysts, data scientists, solution architects and developers. And with the help of this elite team we’re developing something we’re really proud of, something that’s quiet unique. Essentially we’re finding a way to monetize our existing data while providing increased value for our current conference customers. It’s a true win-win and a great example of how IQPC is always searching to evolve and innovate.

www.dart-institute.com