Sunday, March 23, 2008

Meetings In Profile: Attendee Feedback Spurs Tech Co. Meeting Changes

The Deltek annual user conference - Deltek Insight '08 is coming up May 19-22nd in Nashville. BTNonline has an article on how Deltek analyzed feedback from the conference last year and made changes for 2008 working with Maritz Travel (disclosure: I once worked for Maritz' local St. Louis smaller competitor Meridian)
Deltek late last year implemented a customer evaluation strategy to increase the return on investment of its annual user conference.

Deltek reassessed its annual Insight event for users of its enterprise management software after implementing third-party meetings management firm Maritz Travel's Meetings Effectiveness approach, which surveys meeting stakeholders and attendees to ascertain goals and determine the type of event that would provide the best return on investment (Meetings Today, Aug. 13, 2007).

"We were looking to figure out how we could continually make our events more effective and more appealing to our audience," said Deltek chief marketing officer Bill Clark.

Deltek started working with Maritz in August and within one month developed a 20-minute survey to send to its customers, "working very closely with the Maritz team to figure out the right questions to ask," said Caroline Proctor, vice president of corporate marketing. Survey questions covered customer preferences for the conference, including speakers, breakout session topics and time devoted to networking.

"It was very helpful to us to understand precisely what the customers like and what they don't," Clark said. "It's always helpful when you have real data as opposed to comments."

The survey results led to changes in this year's program, to be held in May, including more advanced topics for breakout sessions.

"We found out that those who tend to come to our conference have between three and 10 years of experience with our products, and tend to rate themselves as intermediate or advanced users," Proctor said. "We looked at that and said, 'We need to offer a lot more intermediate and advanced sessions versus entry-level.' "

She added that while many conference planners thought that attendees overwhelmingly would be new customers, "we find it's the customers who have been with us a few years who come in greater numbers, so we've changed the mix of sessions."
Customers also indicated that they wanted to meet with Deltek product specialists at the conference, so Deltek invested in a "meet the experts" area where customers can do so.


Post a Comment

<< Home