People spend months to prepare for such global events as Atlassian Summit. There is no secret that marketing materials are complicated to order, costly to create and uncomfortable to transfer. Thus a marketing team works as hard as possible in order to figure out a perfect angle of the logo showing up on a cup or choosing the correct side for a shadow on a T-shirt print. And it is not only about marketing – the whole preparation for the conference involves a great deal of organizational acumen. Not so visible at first sight, these efforts might play a crucial role later on in the course of an event.
Atlassian Summit is organized to provide vendors and partners with the opportunity to have a live communication and interaction instead of emailing each other non-stop. This is a great chance for those who want to find a business partner, elevate your brand exposure, drive new leads, or simply win a T-shirt. That being a reason, many companies care about their expo hall booths and so do we. The conference is about to end in several hours but we would like to share a piece of our story with you when we are still under emotions.
It’s been our first time at Atlassian Summit in a role of a vendor. We had an opportunity to choose from various sponsorship packages offered by the conference organizer. An Innovator sponsorship package fits us perfectly in our goal of expanding our brand and spreading the word about our solution. Compared to Diamond, Gold and other booths, an Innovator turnkey kiosk exhibit booth allowed only standard graphics that is strictly regulated by Atlassian. So, our main weapon in the battle of attracting people’s attention during the summit was a creation of 2 roll-ups with the face hole for a photo to entertain people coming by. Besides, the location of our booth was directly near the lunch area. And by the way, it’s not just a happy coincidence. This is a well-deserved advantage that Sasha, the CEO of StepShot, got due to being the first one to book the desired booth during the first minutes of a booth reservation period.
When getting ready for the event we defined the main 4 stages of roll-ups preparation. First of all, we had to make sure the graphics were funny enough for people to stop by; secondly, we had to order and print them out; thirdly, we had to bring them with us on the plane, because ordering a transfer directly to the summit venue for 2 items seemed ridiculous; and last but not least – we had to roll up the banners when the event starts. In the beginning, everything went fine and conference visitors were genuinely enjoying the attraction of making a photo, standing behind funny roll-ups with their face in the hole. But soon after the start of the first day, we have faced the row of issues that were crucial in getting our marketing ambitions satisfied.
Our main mission was to be extraordinary and that’s exactly how we’ve got our fingers burnt… It appeared that our sponsorship package didn’t allow us to place any standalone marketing material nearby. And guess when we found out about that rule? Of course, it was on the last stage, when we had to just roll the banners up… After few hours of drawing visitors’ attention, the organizer representative approached our team and told us that we cannot occupy any room out of our booth area. Of course we got upset, however, we’ve moved the banner as close to the booth as we could and continued engaging people… This was actually how we’d interpreted the lady’s request, but she showed up one more time in half an hour with another request. And it was literally “to take off the roll-up completely”, since it didn’t follow the vendor rules at Atlassian Summit.
People usually think that Ukrainian mentality shows up when we are trying to bypass the system. Perhaps, they would be right at some point, but in our case I would call our perseverance a `newbie effect’. It means that you are so inspired by the things happening so fast and successfully that you don’t want to realize that you are actually breaking the rules. Taking off the banner was frustrating since we’ve invested our time, money and efforts. And now all of this seemed to be in vain….
But, we haven’t given up, mainly because StepShot team strongly believes that there is a solution for every business problem you encounter. We’ve figured out the way to implement our idea following the rules. And that what we came up with.
As we grow, we learn and this situation was a lesson for us as well. To conclude, we have a tip for you: always read rules BEFORE you come to a conference and contact a support representative as many times as needed to clarify every little detail. It is always better to know as much as possible in order to avoid such adventures as we had… or just be more prepared for these. 🙂