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SQLAndy

I'm Andy Warren, currently a SQL Server trainer with End to End Training. Over the past few years I've been a developer, DBA, and IT Director. I was one of the original founders of SQLServerCentral.com and helped grow that community from zero to about 300k members before deciding to move on to other ventures.

Building the SQLSaturday Orlando Marketing Plan–Part 2

Our attendance number for last year was 285, so we’re going to aim for increasing that by 20% to 342. Our registration count was 343, so we’ll need to increase that by at least 20% as well to get the corresponding gain in attendees – I’m going to round that up and say that our core metric is to get 500 people to register. That’s the number we can measure as we go – attendees, well, that depends on our messaging and the weather!

As I’ve been thinking about this I find that I’m mixing marketing with messaging with calendaring. Certainly all related, but distinct items.

Karla is about to send out our first ‘custom’ message to sponsors and we already have our sponsorship plan done – definitely a win to have that ready early. We don’t have a firm goal for sponsors yet besides ‘get as many as we can’. Trying to go just a little more, I think it is:

  • Retain 100% of sponsors from last year
  • Get more (all) of the local staffing companies
  • Review the PASS list of sponsors to make sure we’re approaching them all
  • (Note: PASS, why don’t someone land Dunkin Donuts as a national sponsor?)
  • We don’t have a dollar goal because we work with what we have, but I think we need to think hard about a goal to set aside to support operations next year

We’re very lucky that we always get a great assortment of sessions and speakers, so we should be able to meet our goal of delivering 48 sessions (and we know that we may flex up or down by a couple) without any additional marketing besides the initial auto announcement. We didn’t set any goals for new speakers or new content. Almost too late for the latter, but we should go back and look at the oPASS/MagicPASS list to see who we can inspire to give speaking a try this year. We’ve already picked our two seminars for this year, but candidly the process was not great. We need to have guidance/expectations ready when we launch next year – I’ll wrote more about this separately soon. We spent a lot of time discussing our goals for the seminars as far as how many to have, we originally planned to have only one but as things worked out we did two (more on that later as well).

  • Our attendance goal is to have 20 paid in each

That’s a first look at goal setting for attendees, speakers, sponsors. I think we’ll leave volunteers as a tactical/management topic outside of marketing, though I’d love to see us have more volunteers and do more with them too.

Thinking on it, that goal setting needs to come early, earlier than we did this year. Not hard to run through the list, look at last years goals, decide to stay the same or adjust up or down. That becomes a todo item for  before the event is announced.

Current todo list:

  • Email template (most urgent on the list)
  • Call for local speakers
  • Write about seminar guidance
  • Budget for operations for next year
  • How to get more registrations – need a plan

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