See you at the conferences!

We are again sponsoring the Summit on Customer Engagement. This year’s summit is next week. Attendees are professionals involved in customer engagement programs.   One of our managing partners, Helen Feber, is a speaker at the event. She’ll be hosting a session for people new to advocacy work. Interestingly some of our clients are speakers as well!   We’ve been sponsoring for several years. It’s always a great opportunity to connect with colleagues, share best practices, and collaborate.   It’s an event we look forward to every year. If you will be there stop by our booth and say hi! RSA is the same week. We like to attend industry shows to stay current on major issues.  RSA is a great opportunity to learn about advances in technology and IT, especially security trends. It’s expected that security issues raised by the pervasive use of mobile devices will be a major topic this year, as will implications of the Internet of Things, the safety of personal data – there’s no shortage of security topics of great importance to businesses today.

It’s not often we have two major shows at the exact same time. We are lucky that both are local. It makes it easier for more of the team to participate, while of course continuing to support our clients. We have a busy week ahead, if you’ll be at either event we hope to see you!

Collaboration - not just transactions

We had one of our clients visit this week and another is scheduled to spend a day in our offices shortly.   These meetings really point out how our relationship with our clients is more than the traditional vendor to client relationship.  We’re true collaborators.  We just spent an afternoon with one client brainstorming how to improve processes, better measure impact, and provide even more value.  The end result was a much improved plan for the year and renewed energy and enthusiasm across the team. The next meeting will be an update on another client’s new strategic initiatives, a primer to quickly align our priorities and even language.  By combining the product and strategy insight of our clients with our expertise in advocacy we’re able to help them realize the full value their customers can bring – strong advocacy programs with highly engaged participants.  That’s very powerful in the marketplace, even more powerful as we leverage our strengths and forge partnerships, not transactional relationships.

Tradeshows - what, if anything, to give away

We are about to gear up for one of the annual trade shows we sponsor each year, the Summit on Customer Engagement. Still deciding if our booth (really it’s a table) should have a giveaway.  One year it was mood pencils, when you held them the pencil color changed from black to bright blue.  Quite a conversation starter!  Another year it was a booklet of post its.  One year we put sharpened pencils with our logo and url on the tables in the main conference room, a way to get our name out to everyone, even those who didn’t stop by our table. We want to avoid the give aways that are just fun toys for the kids, we’d rather have something attendees keep and find useful, and of course at a reasonable cost.  Pens, lanyards, business card magnets are just a few of the items that come to mind.  We do know who we’ll order from, we’ve had great success with 4Imprint, we’ve like the ordering process and quality of the products.   Do you see company value in tradeshow giveaways?  If so what’s your favorite?

Back From the Summit

Another successful conference!  We were one of the sponsors for the Summit on Customer Engagement which was held earlier this week.   It’s always a great opportunity to meet people, learn about new programs, plus share best practices.  It’s a very collaborative environment, with everyone willing to share ideas.  There was plenty of time in the agenda for deeper discussions and many left with a long list of actions they can immediately implement to improve their programs.  We look forward to seeing many of our clients at the summit each year.  In our dispersed and virtual world a face to face meeting is a pleasure.  One of our clients stayed additional days and used our offices for meetings, instead of coffee shops.  Our conference rooms sure came in handy!  If you're in the Bay Area and need a place to work or meet people keep our offices in mind!

Promotional Items - We're Repeat Customers

You’re bound to need something. Maybe you want to send a gift to your customers at the holidays.   Often companies give away a ‘memento’ when they exhibit at trade shows.  We’ve also needed large quantities of collateral printed, more than we can easily handle in house.  Thanks to the good old web it’s easy to do research and we end up going back to the same company.  We’ve order samples on several occasions – there’s nothing like seeing the color in person rather than on a screen and knowing you’re ordering something made with attention to quality.  We’ve also had a few times, like right now, where we need items quickly.  Feeling confident in delivery matters.  I did just get notified an order placed yesterday won’t ship today – weather means an early shutdown, but we’ll still get things in plenty of time.  And it’s good to know they’re keeping employees safe by sending them home before the weather gets worse. 

As you know we’re repeat sponsors at the Summit on Customer Engagement, which begins February 25 nearby in Redwood City, CA.  Last year we had fun mood pencils, hold them and the black pencil magically turns bright blue.  Stop by and see what we have this year.  Thanks to 4Imprint.com we’re once again very happy with our choice, and are sure you will be too!

We're Sponsoring the Summit on Customer Engagement

We’re again sponsoring the Summit on Customer Engagement.  The event is back at the Sofitel Hotel in Redwood City, California.   We’ll see you February 25-26, 2014! The event is for everyone active in customer reference and advocacy.  If you’re new to the field you’ll have access to experts through formal presentations and informal discussion sessions.  Even the experts will learn something new.   The workshops often provide tools and forms that you can put to use right away.  The summit also provides perspectives from experts in related fields such as social media, advisory boards and councils, demand generation, and other topics customer reference program managers need to be informed about.  It’s a great opportunity to meet others in the field and share ideas.

We hope to see you there, make sure to stop by our display.  For more information on the event itself see www.customerreferenceforum.com

Winning Visit

Referential, Inc. was a sponsor of the recent 2013 Summit on Customer Engagement.  At the event we had a drawing for a customer reference program metrics review and one of our winners came to our offices last week. It's always nice to get to meet face to face.  Tom and Jen from Acutate, who you see here, visited.  We got to know each other a bit better over bagels and coffee and since they're metrics pros we held a strategic planning sessionActuate_Tom and Jen receiving their award.  Here they are with their winner's certificate.  Congratulations Acutate!

We have winners

We have winners for the customer reference program metrics review service we featured at the Summit on Customer Engagement. Winners have been notified so put on your thinking caps for how best to utilize the free consulting time. If you weren't a winner (or weren't even able to enter as you didn't attend the summit) but still need help; give us a call. We can talk through your needs and our services to see how we can help you be most successful.

Tired feet and voices; glad to have met everyone

2013_3_CRF Day 2_Abby from Infor visiting our  sponsor table We survived two hectic days of sessions at the Summit on Customer Engagement and chatting with all the practitioners. Three interesting themes surfaced: First, programs should now span voluntary advocacy engagement methodologies as well as the more traditional invitational reference program formats. Second, voice your customer’s customer’s story; the reader/viewer will understand how your solution has impacted this bottom line experience and will align with it far better. Thirdly, infographics are the leading way to get information quickly digested and embraced at the C-level. There's Helen, Lynn, and Abby from Infor at our table.

At the Summit

We'll be at the Summit on Customer Engagement beginning at the networking event tonight. Stop by our table and if you're 'hot' for references you'll love our giveaway. Be sure to enter our drawing, we're awarding a free customer reference program metrics review. We know metrics are a complex area but they are a core expertise for us, so let us help you. We’re looking forward to seeing everyone!