Case Study: When the Devil’s in the Details

SMA’s total event management services help Siebel Systems capture high-quality leads.

The trouble with event marketing is, it’s resource-consuming… and risky. Who can afford to stage an event without highly motivated and influential people showing up?

When the Canadian operation of Siebel Systems decided to use events across the country to generate qualified sales leads, it turned to SMA for flawless planning and execution.

The result has been better-than-anticipated attendance, positive evaluations, and plenty of revenue opportunities. Best of all, Siebel has been able to focus its resources on its business and leave the logistics to SMA.

SMA’s turnkey service has included: sourcing venues, negotiating and managing outside suppliers, recommending menu options, organizing site set-up and audio visual requirements, managing mail house and 1-800 services, sourcing gifts/giveaways, teleboosting/promotion, confirmation/reminder emails and phone calls, and all onsite details including registration and venue liaison.

SMA has been managing events on behalf of Siebel since 2000. They have ranged from intimate and prestigious golf and hockey outings to solution seminars and large user group meetings. And while Siebel has targeted various verticals with different solutions – and different vendors with sponsorship opportunities – the chief objective has remained the same: get senior-level decision-makers into the seats. At the same time, direct mail and telemarketing services have carried Siebel’s message farther afield, raising awareness of Siebel’s offerings and prompting spin-off interest.

“Our job is to take the event from start to successful finish,” says Terry Stevens, Client Services Specialist. “That means thinking through every possible scenario and catching mistakes before they happen. It’s not our client’s job to make sure there are topic signs on the discussion tables, for example. That and a thousand other details are our job.”

“Terry Stevens and SMA are part of the Canadian operation’s ‘secret weapon’,” says Gail Peterson, Group Director, Global User Group Programs, who is responsible for Siebel’s worldwide event marketing. “I received tremendous service and professional assistance from start to finish. They are amazing! ”

For Siebel’s first-ever user group meeting in Canada, Siebel wanted 80 to 100 attendees, but with SMA’s help, was able to attract 160 delegates. The post-event evaluation showed that 95 per cent of attendees ranked the event as good, very good or excellent. More than 90 percent of attendees said they wanted more information by e-mail.

“This was a super successful event thanks to SMA’s diligence and hard work,” says Siebel’s Suzana Correa, Manager, Field Marketing. “The response from our customers has been tremendous.”