Last month we canceled the MarTech conference that had been planned for this week in San Jose for, well, obvious reasons. We have now set our sights on hosting an in-person MarTech Conference in Boston in early October, when we’re all hoping things are looking better for everyone.
In the meantime, the team at Third Door Media, the producers of MarTech, have organized a virtual “Discover MarTech” event that will happen next week, Tuesday through Thursday, April 21-23, for a few hours each day starting at 1:00pm ET.
It’s free to attend, but I do have one small ask, which I’ll make in a moment. First, let me tell you a bit about what we’ll be covering.
I’ll do my keynote in three parts: opening 30-minute segments on Tuesday and Wednesday at 1:00pm ET each day, and then a 25-minute closing segment at 2:35pm ET on Thursday. I’ll share with you several big projects we’ve been working on for months — the latest marketing technology landscape, research data about marketing technologist roles, and several great marketing stacks entered into The Stackies (which have now been extended to September 18).
We’ve got an exciting announcement for you about this year’s martech landscape too.
But these were all major initiatives that were in flight before the pandemic struck. Of course, we now have to look at marketing and martech through the lens of changes — short-term and long-term — that will ripple from this current crisis. I genuinely believe that a number of those changes will turn out for the better over time. But getting there from here will be a bumpy ride.
I can’t predict the future, but I’ll give you the best analysis I can.
My good friend Tony Byrne, founder of Real Story Group, will also do a 30-minute keynote on Thursday at 1:00pm ET, on “the right way to buy marketing technology.” Tony is a pure buy-side martech analyst, and his unbiased perspective on evaluating martech vendors is candid and insightful. I’m a fan.
The rest of the presentations, a mix of 30-minute sessions and 15-minute lightning talks, are from sponsors who were originally slated to present in-person at the MarTech Conference in San Jose. They’re covering amazing topics — CDP architectures, privacy-first personalization, decentralized workflow management, etc. — and sharing a ton of real-world case studies. There’s a lot you can learn about the state of martech solutions from these presentations.
So we’re almost to my ask. But bear with me for just a little more context.
In canceling MarTech in San Jose, Third Door Media gave sponsors 100% credit toward transferring their sponsorship to a future MarTech.
This was the right thing to do — although it meant Third Door Media absorbed the entire cost of their overhead in preparing for San Jose for the past six months. Having learned what goes into producing events, I assure you, that was a significant expense for them. Other conference producers weren’t as generous, with some canceling their events and just keeping the money anyway, as technically permitted by industry standard contracts.
I admire Third Door Media for their choice, but I admire them even more for what they did next.
Those sponsors who were originally slated to speak at MarTech in San Jose had another problem. Even with a full credit on their financial investment for a future event, they’d been counting on MarTech as a key source of qualified leads for Q2.
So the team at Third Door Media created this Discover MarTech virtual event as a way for those sponsors to still generate leads this quarter — a super tough quarter for everyone — from the content they’d prepared.
And here’s the thing: Third Door Media did this completely for free for these sponsors. They’re not paying anything and this doesn’t count against their credit.
Tony and I, the two editorial speakers, are not being paid anything for this event either.
This virtual event is for the benefit of the martech community, including the martech vendors who have supported the MarTech conference.
Now, this affects you, so let’s talk about how leads are being handled with Discover MarTech. The list of everyone who registers for the event will be shared with the six title and presenting sponsors.
For the rest of the 25 speaking sponsors, they will receive leads of anyone who attends at least one session on the same day that they’re presenting (even if it’s not their session).
So, if you attend at least one session on all three days — as I hope you will — you will be shared as a lead with a total of 31 martech vendors.
Here’s my ask of you: be okay with this.
Yes, this means you’re likely to receive a wave of nurturing emails over the following week or two. But by the odds alone, at least a few of them will be genuinely interesting to you. You might get some offers you really appreciate. And at a meta level, you could even think of it as an anthropological study of B2B demand generation — what patterns do you see across them? Which work well? Which don’t? What can you learn from them for your own email marketing efforts?
Of course, you can then unsubscribe from the ones you don’t want to hear from anymore.
I know, under normal circumstances, you would almost certainly balk at this. But these aren’t normal circumstances. By opting to do this, you’ll be supporting the sponsors who help make the MarTech Conference possible. They’ll appreciate it. Third Door Media will appreciate it. And I will appreciate it.
We’ll all do our best to make it worth it for you.
I hope you’ll join us next week.