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How We Relied on Eloqua for an Outside-The-Box Event Solution

Alexandra Marta

How We Relied on Eloqua for an Outside-The-Box Event Solution

Events are an essential component of the marketing mix.

But don’t take my word for it: a survey conducted by Forrester Research shows that in 2019, B2B marketers allocated, on average, almost 15% of program spending to event marketing, and 55% of respondents said they planned to increase this spending in 2020.

From product launches to conferences or tradeshows, events contribute to brand growth, giving companies the chance to spread their message across easier, capture new leads, and build loyalty among existing customers. And people genuinely enjoy attending events: staying true to their social nature, appreciating networking with peers who share the same interests, learning first-hand about the latest developments in their field of business, and simply spending a day outside of the usual office routine.

In these pandemic times, however, companies had to adapt their 2020 plans to the new normal quickly and find solutions. Without completely giving up live events, they had to move what would have typically happened in an offline environment into the online world while delivering the same enjoyable experience that’s bringing attendees to the yard.

Putting at work new tools or using creatively tested and proven ones, companies sparked a real momentum for virtual events and event-related tech, continuing to show its benefits even in a post-Covid era, leading to more fluidity between online and physical experiences.

Eloqua is one of those key partners supporting any event, so read on to find out how we helped a client organize a raffle as a fun branded experience in the context of a prestigious B2B summit.

The Challenge

When interacting with remote audiences, any extra incentive can increase enthusiasm, retain attention, and build additional bridges for further communication.

Our client wanted to organize a raffle available to all its virtual summit booth visitors with this idea in mind. Any visitor could enter the raffle multiple times, but here’s the catch: only one time per day. If they wanted to increase their chances of winning, they had to return daily, keeping our client’s booth top-of-mind during the three-day event.

At the end of the summit, the winner would randomly be selected and contacted about the prize.

The Method

First, we needed to figure out a method that would prevent participants from making multiple submissions within the same day but allow them to return the following day and re-enter the raffle.

After some brainstorming and testing, we came up with a solution that perfectly matched the client brief, using Eloqua tools and assets.

Our ingredients were a landing page, a form, a Custom Data Object, and two programs; all sprinkled with a bit of scripting to make the puzzle pieces work in sync.

Outside-the-Box Event Solution with Eloqua

The landing page we created was double-branded, cohesively connecting visual elements belonging to the event and our client’s brand. To ensure a non-disruptive user experience, the registrants didn’t need to leave the event environment to enter the raffle.

When accessed, the form landing page would simply pop up in the virtual booth and, after completing the submission, the registrants could carry on with their other summit activities.

Even though the summit website was not hosted in Eloqua, it accommodated our landing page in an iFrame setting, making it possible for all raffle registrants to enter the marketing platform without effort.

We kept in mind that our form should be short enough not to intimidate the visitors from entering the raffle but long enough to collect valuable information about who the participants are. Since the summit was very industry-focused, we already had a clear perspective on the audience’s profile but still wanted to harness this touchpoint for future marketing initiatives.

We only used a few primary fields that would pre-populate when a known contact returned and the opt-in option at the end. We made things even more fun and time-saving: the email address was the only form field displayed when entering the landing page.

If the visitor could submit, the other fields would further appear. If not, a “please come back tomorrow” kind of message would greet the contact after hitting the submit CTA.

No one can get too upset when dealing with such a polite form!

All submissions were sent to a specially created CDO, automatically emptied at the end of each day to allow new submits coming from past registrants. A web data lookup was added on the form page to check if an email address was already in the CDO.

If the address were to be found, a script added at page level would block the new submit. Since it was meant to be cleared and refilled daily, the CDO was never regarded as the database of our raffle, being only a temporary container that would help us disseminate between contacts who can and can’t enter the raffle at a particular time. Instead, we used a shared list as a permanent database for all the entries.

The overnight CDO clearance was possible with the aid of two programs: after activation, the first one would evaluate the CDO once a day, bringing contacts to the canvas and sending them further to the next program. Once entering this second CDO-based program, all contacts would be automatically erased, allowing the whole raffle set-up to function as expected.

The random winner takes it all

When the event ended, we counted around 40 raffle registrations, mostly coming from returning visitors with multiple submissions.

We decided not to over-complicate things when selecting the winner, so we brought random.org into the game for a touch of genuine randomness, as they call it, that would seal the deal.

No matter the pandemic status, virtual and hybrid events are here to stay, so the support Eloqua can offer through its powerful tools is invaluable. Whether it’s a straightforward event-related campaign or a rather customized outside-the-box solution like the one discussed here, Eloqua is a partner that can surely come to the rescue.

If you’re interested in the technical side of events and want to learn more about how we approach an end-to-end webinar experience using Eloqua, this article might be right up your alley.

Alexandra Marta

Marketing Automation aficionado during the week, happy-go-lucky photographer as soon as the weekend starts, always eager to learn more and do more.

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