Delivering a tech event to help Oracle build leverage with HR's top dogs
Event sponsors can be a bit samey in the way they go about maximising their presence at shows.
And software giants aren’t usually the ones to break the mould.
But all that changed when Oracle stole the show at HR Tech Europe.
Oracle was determined to earn the lion’s share of conversation around the event. The challenge was that they weren’t the lead sponsor, didn’t have a big budget, and – with the event just five weeks away – didn’t have the luxury of time either.
What they did have was Chloe Payne’s phone number. And Chloe, Experiential Manager at Earnest, would be Oracle’s secret weapon.
Our main man Earnest had a chat with Chloe to find out all about it…
Hi Chloe. I hear you helped Oracle get 60% share of voice at HR Tech Europe with£57K. How marvellous! Tell me how you made it happen.
I don’t think you have to be the biggest sponsor, or have the shiniest stand, to dominate an event. You just have to make yourself more interesting and more relevant than anyone else.
That’s always been my maxim for cocktail parties. But how can you be scintillating at an HR Technology event?
It’s not so different from being charming at a social do. You have to understand what really interests the people you’re talking to, and focus on that. We began by creating and sharing online and social media content that gave Oracle’s view on the biggest topics on HR professionals’ minds.
We invited HR bloggers and thought-leaders to a dinner where they could discuss ideas that came up at the event. And we live-tweeted and created content inspired by the insights shared at the event. That way we kept delegates engaged throughout the two days and well after they went home.
And how did you make sure Oracle shone at the event itself?
As a sponsor, Oracle had the chance to run its own session. But rather than just shouting about Oracle’s products and solutions, we wanted to give delegates something useful. So while other sponsors made their way through hefty product presentations, we ran a fast-paced breakout session where a panel of Oracle customers and experts had 20 minutes to answer 20 of the most pressing questions in HR.
That sounds like fun
It was. We wanted to be entertaining as well as informative. There’s a lot of information to take in at big events like this and sometimes people want some light relief! One thing that really boosted our social reach over the event was a selfie booth. People could use different props, take photos of themselves and share them straight to their social media accounts.
A ‘selfie booth’? How jolly. And Oracle’s event stand? I heard it was rather unusual.
Yes, it did get a lot of attention! Instead of designing a traditional open stand, we created a big red box that we could use both inside and out. On the outside, we ran interactive employee journey-mapping sessions with delegates, plastering the walls with post-it notes as the ideas flowed. This attracted loads of people throughout the event and by the end of each day the walls were covered with post-its. Lots of people stopped to take photographs of it all. Inside the big red box, there was a calm space where delegates could book a one-on-one demo with an Oracle team member, collect digital content, or just recharge (themselves and their phones) over a coffee.
Or tea, I hope? Some people still prefer a pot of tea, you know.
Of course, yes. Tea was available too.
Splendid. And how were the final results? Did everything go to plan?
The hard work definitely paid off. Oracle were really happy and said it was one of the most successful sponsorships they’d ever done. The results were really impressive, if I say so myself, but there are quite a lot of them – see for yourself...
£16.5m pipeline generated
54m estimated twitter impressions
60% SOV and dominated the social conversation around the event
“Earnest really delivered on the brief, going way beyond our expectations to create a truly memorable event.” Hugo Whicher, Marketing Director, Oracle