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7 Steps to Conference Planning: Our Journey to Adobe Summit 2023

Torey Hunt

By Torey Hunt

Updated Jan 31, 2024

Published Mar 10, 2023

7 Steps to Conference Planning

Summary - Master conference planning with Knak's 7-step guide: From audience targeting to post-event networking, excel at Adobe Summit 2023 and beyond.

We are thrilled to announce that we are a gold sponsor of Adobe Summit 2023, or as we internally call it, our Superbowl!

Knak’s team of amazing marketers and I have finished preparing for Adobe Summit 2023! To say I’m excited about this event would be an understatement!

As Knak’s Senior Demand Generation Manager, one of my primary responsibilities is to create and execute end-to-end strategy and management for events, aligning with our annual pipeline and revenue objectives.

Let me walk you through the steps I take to set Knak up for success at events, like Adobe Summit. I hope my process can help you level up your next event!

Step 1: Identify your target audience, and create your marketing strategy

Any time I’m evaluating an event like Adobe summit as part of our broader marketing strategy, I first consider our annual marketing objectives and targets, and how the event will help accomplish them. I then evaluate against our target audience; will they be attending this conference, and does the event topic and focus align with our strategic goals and product offering?

Step 2: Scope and identify goals and objectives

The second thing I consider when I’m scoping an event is to identify the objectives and goals. This means researching and evaluating various conferences based on the target audience, budget, and theme.

Things I like to include in my evaluation:1. Who is sponsoring?2. Will our competitors be there? (Hint: it’s not a binary evaluation if they are sponsoring or not, sometimes you find a hidden gem where your competitors aren’t)

In the case of scoping Adobe Summit, the sheer number of clients and prospects attending makes it an ideal event for Knak, and frankly a no-brainer when one of our core integrations is with Marketo Engage. Oh, and I can’t forget the long-standing history our CEO Pierce has as a Marketo Champion!

Last, but certainly not least, is the sponsorship packages. What do they include? Does the value we can extract from the event justify the cost, and are there other benefits to the business outside of Demand Gen tactics?

Thought leadership and brand awareness can’t be ignored! The long-term impacts compounded over time will pay dividends.

My recommendation: Ensure you make your goals measurable. We set a target for the number of Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) we expect and the specific number of attendees we need at each of our various events and activities while in Vegas.

Step 3: Team buy-in and communication (AKA Get everyone on board!)

Our Adobe Summit Gold Sponsorship includes many elements, like a booth and a sponsored speaking session. This level of sponsorship has A LOT of moving pieces, so team buy-in and communication are crucial. It ensures that everyone involved in the process is committed to its success.

My recommendation is to over-communicate. Weekly meetings, a Slack group, and executive touch-bases are key to ensuring everyone is in the loop.

Step 4: Plan and organize EVERYTHING!

Using the right programs and tools has helped me streamline the planning and organization process. For example, project management tools like Asana and Notion are what we use to keep our team on track. 

We also use Knak to create all of our emails and landing pages. Yes, we actually use our own platform! It allows us to quickly collaborate and streamline the approval process for our email marketing campaigns.

By putting in the time and effort to carefully plan and coordinate every aspect of the event, I can ensure that everything runs smoothly and that our attending team has a memorable and enjoyable experience.

Step 5: Develop a content strategy

Once you have identified your organization’s goals and target audience, the next step is to develop a content strategy that supports those goals. I have a lot of fun working directly with the creative and content marketing teams to create compelling and relevant content that engages the target audience.

Step 6: Promote, promote, promote

Now, if you were to ask me what makes a successful event I would tell you that it’s not acceptable to just show up and exhibit. What you do before an event like Adobe Summit will determine how successful you are.

For me, the next step is to develop a comprehensive promotion plan. This plan should include a mix of marketing channels like social media marketing, email marketing, paid advertising, and more. All these marketing channels should be aligned, and have consistent messaging.

One of the most fun and creative parts of planning Adobe Summit has been the conversations with the marketing team which led us to some great marketing initiatives for Adobe Summit.

Adobe Summit Sponsored Party

One of the most exciting things we have planned is that we are hosting an EXCLUSIVE party with current and potential customers, and we co-sponsored the event with a few partners – 6Sense, Chili Piper, Revenue Pulse, and Goldcast.

For this, our primary method of promotion was an email sent to a segment of our house list and one-to-one sales engagement. All our promotions then drive to our landing page (no surprise, we built the emails and landing page in Knak – click the CTA above, and you’ll see!) followed by various confirmation pages, follow-up emails, and email invitations to our VIP customers.

I know this is going to sound like a shameless plug… and it is, but creating all these in Knak – with the team to review, collaborate, and edit – enabled us to get these out quickly and easily.

Step 7: Network and nurture

Finally, when all the pre-event work is done, it’s time for the fun part – the onsite engagement!

During Adobe Summit, our team will be working to engage as much as possible. This means, attending sessions, engaging with event attendees, and making connections with other sponsors.

After the event, the work doesn’t stop for us either! I’ll be working with the sales team to follow up with leads generated at the event. I work with our Marketing Ops and Content teams to develop a lead-nurturing strategy that includes personalized email campaigns, targeted content, and ongoing engagement to move leads further down the sales funnel.

Being a sponsor and speaker at a conference like Adobe Summit takes time and effort, but it’s a fantastic opportunity to promote your business, establish yourself as an expert, and network with other professionals in your industry.

Be sure to follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter, to enjoy the ride as we take you through our journey in real-time at Adobe Summit. It’s going to be amazing seeing all our hard work in action, and we can’t wait to share it with you!


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Torey Hunt

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Torey Hunt

Knak

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