Between webinars and live events we have thousands of individual campaigns for invitations, confirmations and thank you campaign flows. We handle a large volume of web-based and live events, and even with templates, setting up a new event can be extremely time consuming.
One of the first actions we took was consolidating our forms. Rather than create a registration form for each individual event we created a single master form that appears on every landing page. A query string value identifies the appropriate event and then writes into the Event module from the Update Event Registration Processing Step. Instead of tracking what was once hundreds of forms we now maintain a single list of event codes applied to a single form. This change alone has saved us hundreds of work hours.
Additionally, instead of managing hundreds of processing steps from the stored query string value – we maintain a picklist of the query strings to direct the submissions to the correct event. The B2B Prioritize & Process course, especially Advanced Editing and Form Processing: Form Processing class, was instrumental in improving our registration process and keeping it scalable. Just an additional quick note – tying conditional processing steps to a picklist is beneficial for any form – for example dynamically linking to assets based a returned query string value. Having a one to many form is not as intimidating as it initially appears.
Getting back to events, the next step is leveraging the Event Actions. (I’m not sure the Luminary courses Make sure you have field merges created from the Event Session fields otherwise the emails won’t have the critical event information when an email is sent to a recipient. And remember to enable each event action! We send webinar emails upon registration, a reminder email 24 hours prior, a final reminder 15 minutes prior to the event and a 24 hour post event email with a recording link. Your business needs may vary so feel free to adjust as necessary.
By writing registrations into the event module and defining the event action steps we have eliminated hundreds of campaigns moving forward. That’s time our Eloqua users can now spend elsewhere. This also makes adapting changes to our events’ process flow significantly easier and scalable. I found the coursework on Custom Data Objects extremely helpful – the Event Actions are slightly different than the Custom Object Services (with the CDO Services you are limited to new and modified objects, whereas) but the functionalities are similar. You could of course build a flow within Programs/Program Builder to make a complete event flow and in some cases you may want them for additional flexibility but I prefer to contain as much as possible within the Event as possible. It limits the error for potential in the event different users are creating and updating new events.
In 2019 we will explore in more detail how to automate registration and attendance data from an external activity standpoint – this also implies improved campaign alignment – our goals in 2018 with events were more operationally focused. This will give sales better visibility into actions their customers are taking – via Profiler.
I would strongly recommend that anyone with a heavy emphasis on events explore the Events Module in more detail.