Last week, our teammates Sarah and Alex were repping Mautic at the MarTech West conference in San Jose, California. We asked them some questions about their experience at the show, and here’s what they said.
What were the main themes in the conversations you had with marketers?
Alex: There was a big focus on integration and consolidation. A lot of the marketers I spoke with were expressing frustrations in terms of trying to tie all their different tools and systems together, and it was fun to see them get excited hearing about Mautic’s ability to integrate with homegrown systems and applications in addition to the expected third party plugins.
Sarah: It’s funny, we always expect to get hammered with tough questions about the more advanced elements of our platform, and a show like MarTech offers a great reminder of just how many marketers and companies there are at earlier stages of growth, too. I had so many conversations with folks that are just getting started in digital, but they were still really knowledgable about marketing automation and they were emphatic that it needs to be a priority for them.
What were some good swag or booth experiences you saw?
Alex: Percolate created a “coffee bar” with four computers and a barista, serving lattes and such. That was cool – I think people appreciated the pick-me-up. I can neither confirm nor deny if I helped myself to a beverage one afternoon. Also Grow.com was giving out fidget spinners and tech deck type skateboards (tiny ones you use with your hands. Maybe only I find this cool?).
Sarah: I also have to give a shout-out to Grow.com. But not for the tiny skateboards (sorry, Alex, you’re on your own there). They had a wall of monitors to show all of their reporting dashboards. It looked very hi-tech and attracted a lot of people. They didn’t even have any signs or posters explaining what they did – their dashboards basically explained it all. I also think I saw individually packaged, branded cookies. That was pretty cool, and tasty (I mean, uhm, I heard they were tasty. Yeah. Next question?)
What did the show handle really well?
Alex: There was a charging station in the hallway near us which I thought was a great idea. It’s always funny when you see people at other shows – or at the airport – sitting in a heap with all their stuff in the corner of the room just because that’s where the outlets are.
Sarah: I thought the scheduling was smart. Having workshops the day before and then a networking session early on day 1 was great. It gave everyone a chance before the show to chat and schedule time to meet at booths later in the week.
Anything about the show that could be improved for next time?
Alex: I’m always so impressed with big shows like this. I give a lot of credit to the organizers and operations people. Things seemed to go pretty smoothly all around from my perspective.
Sarah: I agree with Alex’s comment above about the charging station – that was definitely cool and one of the reasons we chose that booth location – except that most people had their backs turned to us while they were charging. I wonder if anything could be done next time to help encourage more engagement near the charging station.
Anything else you want to comment on? A funny story or anecdote? Something that shocked you? Made you laugh? Made you cringe?
Alex: People seemed kind of annoyed to have to ask about GDPR. It’s obviously an important issue right now, and everyone knows they need to cover their bases, but I heard and talked with more than a few people who were complaining about but how “excruciatingly boring” it is to learn about. BTW, Mautic will be publishing a blog post next week on how we’re enabling our customers to be GDPR-compliant.
Sarah: I don’t know if this is funny necessarily, but a bunch of the people who stopped to talk with us complimented us and said “you actually said hi to us as we walked by.” It’s definitely easy to go into ‘sales-mode’ at these shows, but it’s nice to know that it still pays to be friendly! Lastly, the “OPEN” sign was an awesome idea. The blinking lights caught a lot of people’s attention and they said they came over to learn more about “what open is and does.” We obviously love answering that question.