Once more, let’s have a look at an event that caught our attention — Webisland. For the past couple of years, this day of web marketing conferences found a way to stand out from other professional events in Nantes, France, thanks to a unique content offering.
Laura, organiser of Webisland, details below how she and her team prepare these conferences. You’ll find a lot of valuable tips and tricks, whatever the type of event you are planning.
Hello Laura! Let’s get straight into it — Can you please tell us what Webisland is?
Webisland is a full day of conferences dedicated to web acquisition and conversion. We talk about web marketing, UX, data, and more. This year, we welcomed 300 attendees including marketing professionals, agency and client-side employees, freelancers and students. Our audience is a mix. Attendees mainly come from the larger Nantes area but this year we also had people from Paris, Reims and Bordeaux. We are mostly known locally due primarily to the fact that this is only our second year of running this conference.
What did you do to stand out from other web and marketing events?
We thought long and hard about this, particularly because Nantes already hosts a huge event called Web2Day gathering 7,000 people. So, we decided to adopt an editorial approach based on tangible actions. In our guidelines to speakers, we ask that they present recommendations that the audience will be able to apply in their job as soon as the next day. This is very important to us. This is what attracts a very targeted operational-minded audience.
After the event, is there anything you implement to increase customer loyalty?
We always send an email containing the speakers’ presentations because that’s what the attendees ask for. We also include a feedback survey to understand their experience and recruit volunteers, etc. This is very important to us because it enables us to improve the following conferences. Even if we receive feedback at the event itself, the survey is a good way to keep a record of it. We can then go through it a couple of months later and use the feedback as a basis for what to do next.
Did it allow you to improve the conference in year 2 compared with year 1? And does it give you ideas for year 3?
From the 1st to the 2nd conference, we decided to change venues. The first venue could welcome 150 people — it was a school that we could use free of charge. We decided to increase capacity and upgrade the venue so we organised the event at the CCI, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry. We also contracted a caterer. And in terms of content, we invite new speakers each year. We have a few ideas for the next conference but it’s still too early to really say what we will improve upon.
Let’s move to a more tangible element — online ticketing. What criteria did you use to choose yours?
We saw that other events used your solution, including Web2Day that I mentioned earlier. So we thought that Weezevent must be a good solution…and it is! It allows us to do everything we need: various ticket types and quotas, exporting data on attendees, statistics. And the price is attractive. 99p deducted from each ticket, for us this is not a very high fee.
About the ticketing, do you have specific requirements? Do you have custom settings in place for your event?
One new element this year was our “Corporate” package. We wanted the event to run on a Friday rather than a Saturday to see if we could convince advertisers to attend. Thanks to Weezevent, we could create batches of 5 tickets. Companies could therefore purchase one or more batches of tickets to allocate to their employees. We also wanted to know who buys which tickets or batches and create simple forms with custom fields. For us that was critical.
At the same time, we customised the ticket design to offer a user experience tailored to each audience from start to finish. This was mostly the case in year 1. We had several food menus, and each person could pick up their food according to their ticket. It was very useful to have custom tickets.
I would also say that being able to add the ticketing to our website is fantastic because it’s effortless for us. And the T&Cs are included in your solution. Accounting-wise everything is automated, I just need to export the info and I’m done! And statistics about the audience are very useful to us. For instance, knowing at what moment in time people purchase their tickets. We saw on the purchasing curve that attendees book their tickets just before the event so next year we will be able to adjust our communication strategy accordingly.
Any last words for our readers, event planners like you?
We are a small organisation so we don’t necessarily have a lot of advice to give, but one thing is for sure — we could not organise our event without Weezevent. Having an all-in-one tool that includes bookkeeping, sales and more is a must. And considering the price, we don’t even hesitate and we already know we will use Weezevent again next year!
Thank you Laura and have a great preparation for year 3 of Webisland!
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