I’ll be honest, when I realised we had three weeks to arrange the Nottingham HubSpot User Group, I was a leeeetle bit scared. Three weeks to have our designer create the event page, arrange guest speakers, source catering, AND invite everyone? I’d never arranged a business networking event before, and we could have easily given ourselves three months to arrange it instead. But where's the fun in that?
With the Salesforce User Group planned for the 17th August, we decided to plonk the HUG the day before. Who doesn't want to have that Christmas eve shopping rush feeling smack-bang in the middle of August?
Sourcing guest speakers
We wanted this session to focus half on general inbound marketing tips, tricks and stories, and half on using video for marketing. So, Paul contacted Shauna from Hubspot to see if she could help. Luckily, she had arranged to be UK that week already, and said she'd love to do a talk on inbound marketing and HubSpot for us.
We then contacted our client Sarah from IOQ to see if she'd do a user story, and asked Vidyard to do a scheduled demo for the group on the day. Our pals at Skeleton Productions then helped us fulfill the second video talk of this event with their expert insights.
Creating the event page
I managed to steal some time from our busy head design man, Colin, who created the beautiful event page and email templates for us. Emily then wrote the page and email copy. All of this, from brief to creation, was done within roughly two days. Now that's some speedy design work.
HubSpot helped by sending out an email to all the local HubSpot users and agencies leading up to the event, but I’m not one to rest of my laurels. So I decided to pick up the phone, source a number of Marketing Managers from local businesses, and give them a call. These were all the people I felt could get real value out of the event.
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Of 12 companies I spoke to about the event on the phone — nine attended, not bad! And of the three who didn’t attend — two contacted me on the day to let me know they couldn’t attend but would be at the next event.
In total, 27 people attended the event, a number we weren't going to sniff at for the first ever Nottingham HUG event! Especially considering we had a minimum target of 20.
After the event, I had chance to talk with a number of marketing professionals from various sectors over food, beer and wine. One of which was Chloe, a marketer from Nottingham Forest. As a lifelong Forest fan this invite was a little bias, but I was happy to hear from Chloe that the event was really interesting and helpful, and that she'll be attending the next event. Score!
What did we learn?
From arranging this event in such a short space of time, I've learnt to just pick up the phone and call people! If phone conversations had a ‘click through’ rate, it would have been 75%! It also helps to have a bunch of amazingly helpful connections who would be happy to collaborate with you with such short notice...
All in all, our first HUG event was a great success. We had speakers from HubSpot, Institute of Quarrying, Vidyard and Skeleton Productions. All the slides from the event can be downloaded here.
I have no doubt that it'll be bigger and better next time (which also involves us ordering more donuts!) To register for November's HUG event, follow the CTA below.
We hope to see you there!