Dreamforce is the biggest tech conference in the world and a major business driver for the entire salesforce.com ecosystem. How does a small company make the most of Dreamforce sponsorship? That’s a question we’ve always heard, but the frequency is increasing as the partner ecosystem grows and Dreamforce gets bigger.

Full Circle CRM is a young company that bet big on their Dreamforce 2012 sponsorship and saw great returns. They made some smart moves that companies of any size can put into practice at sponsored events. I had a conversation with Bonnie Crater, CEO of Full Circle CRM to dig a bit deeper into their success story and uncovered some great tips and tricks on maximizing of your Dreamforce sponsorship.

To find out more about Full Circle CRM, check out their AppExchange Listing: Marketing Campaigns, Lead and Response Management for Salesforce

 Q: What were your expectations for your first Dreamforce sponsorship? Did you get the results you wanted?  

A: Our bronze sponsorship was a massive investment for our early stage organization, so it was business critical for us to make the most of every dollar spent. The results we achieved were beyond our highest expectations, and even some of our wildest dreams.

Our top four goals and results included:

1) Buzz about our company and product launch

  • Countless visitors to our booth said they’d come to find us because of seeing our AppExchange listing, reading our launch press release, hearing our CTO in the DevZone, or hearing great things from another attendee. That’s exactly the type of interaction we were looking for.
  • Business Cloud9 wrote an awesome article about Full Circle CRM, “Dreamforce: The Children of the Salesforce.com Revolution.This article wouldn’t have happened without our Dreamforce sponsorship!

2) Leads and closed business generated from Dreamforce and post-Dreamforce marketing

  • Dreamforce leads accounted for more than a third of our open pipeline following the event (including half of our open opportunities),
  • We closed more than 50% of our Dreamforce-generated opportunities.

3) New Partnerships

  • Dreamforce interactions helped us start 80% of our ISV and SI partnerships, which are critical to our business growth strategy.

4) Credibility in the Ecosystem

  • Our presence in the Expo helped position us as a real player in the marketing space.  By the end of Dreamforce, attendees were bringing their bosses back to the booth to see what we were up to, so we knew our message was resonating!

Q: How did your team spend their time at Dreamforce?

We had a small team of seven onsite at Dreamforce –almost the whole Full Circle CRM team at the time!  We had to be very thoughtful about dividing and conquering so we could take full advantage of all the incredible learning and networking opportunities.

  • 2-3 teammates staffed the booth at all times. We always had at least one sales leader and one marketer at the booth, while the rest of the team attended sessions or walked the Expo floor.
  • Our executives had various meetings with customers, prospects and analysts. We also had an internal contest to see who could book the most meetings onsite.
  • Our CTO Dan Appleman, spent a lot of time in the DevZone. He was a presenter and 5,000 copies of his book, “Advanced Apex Programing for Salesforce.com and Force.com”, were given away to the developer community.

Q: Did you do anything interesting to engage the audience?  

A: We gave away branded pedometers and asked attendees to track their Dreamforce distance, then share their final step count with us for a chance to win a $100 or $250 Zappos gift card. We gave away hundreds of pedometers and had dozens of entries to the contest – so we call that a success on all fronts.

The winner walked nearly 15 miles! Here’s a snapshot of his pedometer.

Q: What’s your top advice for new sponsors?

A: 1) Walk the expo, check out what other people are doing and take advantage of the environment around you. There are a lot of companies there and everyone is really friendly and willing to talk.  This is a great way to find new partners or solutions, figure out what is new in the industry, and get ideas for effective, engaging marketing. 2) Make time to check out the keynotes and sessions.  This is a great way to learn secrets to success from a variety of experts, and find people with issues your company can solve.

Want to learn more about how to get involved? Check out the Dreamforce ’13 Prospectus and email us at partnersuccess@salesforce.com to connect with the sponsorship team.

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