It was bigger. It was better. And sadly, it’s now over for another year. GatorCon2018 has been and gone, and what an event it was. With keynote talks from PR Smith (SOSTAC), Martin Turner (Brakes), Charles Abel (ThirtySeven), Jason Miller (LinkedIn), and Katie Hart (Rhetonic), our industry knowledge shot up, and we got a real insight into how the CommuniGator platform can influence every aspect of the marketing strategy. And of course, GatorCon traditions didn’t disappoint. Lee overran the very first talk, leaving us 30 minutes to catch up throughout the rest of the day. And the GatorCon quiz returned with just as many impossible questions as previous years.
With alligator sweets decorating the tables, and more Gators than you’ve likely ever seen in one place, GatorCon18 kicked off with a mix of networking and agenda planning for the delegates. With over 35 sessions to choose from, there was a hard decision to be made on what to attend. Our breakout masterclasses covered everything from website blunders, to Excel for marketers, to email deliverability.
Keynotes to take note of
With everyone together, our keynote speakers delved into their areas of expertise to inform, inspire, and engage their audience with practical advice and usable tips. Day 1 saw PR Smith first to take the stage, covering the state of marketing automation and its direction in 2019. Martin Turner took us through his hugely impressive, monstrosity of a workflow. Involving over 100 elements and 64 exit groups, it shows what can be achieved with the CommuniGator platform with a little bit of persistence and a lot of planning! Trust us, if you saw it, you know the scale we’re talking. It won the coveted ‘Best Planned Customer Journey’ GatorCon award last year after all. Our final keynote of Thursday came from Charles Abel. A journalist and content editor, Charles took us through creating compelling content to drive revenue. Based on his journalist experience, he really got us thinking about the perfect headline!
Slowing down on day 2 is not the GatorCon way, and so we had two more keynote talks lined up for Friday. Our penultimate talk came from Jason Miller, Head of Marketing at LinkedIn. Jason divulged the secrets behind how LinkedIn use LinkedIn for marketing. Discussing the benefits of thinking away from the norm, breaking down your content, and switching up your marketing materials. Our final keynote talk didn’t slow the pace. Katie Hart answered what you knew all along: men and women are different. Katie gave us hard evidence to prove the truth behind this statement and offered advice on how, and why, you should be marketing to each gender differently.
Our breakout masterclasses offered a choice of 4 sessions so every delegate could adapt their conference to suit them. We heard from Gators and industry leaders alike. Discussing best-practice advice on getting the most from landing zones, SEO and Lead Generation. To discussing social media use, data management, and the psychology of colour in marketing. With strong commendations, these sessions offered a way of considering the marketing strategy from an alternative angle. Or getting up to speed on how to get the best results from your campaigns.
Gator-fuelled best practice
Our customer conference wouldn’t be complete without advice from our very own Gators on how you should be using the product. Direct from those who use it daily, our product specialists, designers, marketers, technicians and developers all gave insights into their product of choice. Shortcuts, inspiration and teaching were given out in plenty. But we know you don’t just want to hear how the creators use their own product, which is why we brought our customers into the mix. Detailing methods used in practice, and learnt from the hands-on experience of the product. Meaning our delegates can learn from their past mistakes. Better than everyone making the same blunder over and over!
The Roadmap: Looking forward and back
Our roadmap brought excitement into the mix. Whilst Aaron looked back at everything the development team had achieved since GatorCon2017, including drag&drop, landing zones, GDPR compliancy, bot detection and much more, he also took a look at the future. Announcing the launch of a mobile app, AI incoming and a new website pop-up feature coming soon. Lots to look out for in the coming months.
Delegates getting their hands dirty
The delegates didn’t get to sit back and relax in talks the whole time though. No, no, no. We got the delegates involved in our product workshops, where customers took the time to build a workflow, landing zone, survey or web form. With the help of the supporting Gators, it was the perfect time to answer all the pressing questions or get stuck in for the first time.
The Marketing Maestro revealed
A new addition to GatorCon18 came in the form of the Marketing Maestro Game. Testing our customers’ skills and knowledge on their marketing phrases, they had the chance to compete for the top spot. With the winner to be crowned The Marketing Maestro. Whilst things did get heated, no punches were thrown.
And to top the whole fantastic event off, we threw in an evening of dinner, drinks and entertainment. A black-tie event saw everyone glammed up in their finery, testing their coordination at line dancing…
A 3-course dinner was interspersed with the famous GatorCon Quizzes return. With many an impossible question and a music round which had everyone scrambling to identify a song in under 3 seconds, the GatorCon quiz ended in forfeits for both the losing and winning teams. Lesson learnt: always put a team name down for your quiz team. Before the renowned GatorCon Awards ceremony took place, a sea of green appeared, as every customer, speaker and Gator alike donned a very dashing green cowboy hat, unknowing of what that meant was to come.
Impressive marketing results gave Iconic Digital (most form fills), Greenblue Urban (most engaged audience), Shaw Trust (best subject line), Russel Publishing (most cookied contacts), Adroit (best average CTR), Brigade Electronics (hot chill award) and Aspermont (best planned customer journey) their well-deserved prizes. Another, more reliant award saw FD Centre pick up the best client in a support(ed) role, i.e. they logged the most support tickets!
And finally, the evening entertainment finished off with, you guessed it, line dancing. A surprisingly synchronised performance ensued of attendees getting in the swing of things.
It wasn’t only the Gators who had a good time, our delegates were raving about GatorCon18 too. So here’s a snippet of what everyone thought:
Ignition Technologies: “Had an amazing time at GatorCon2018 these last 2 days. Learnt bucket loads about CommuniGator as a B2B marketing automation tool but also learnt a huge amount about B2B marketing, whether it be by industry professionals or the CommuniGator team.”
HAS Technology Group: “A great 2 days at GatorCon2018 learning from expert speakers, sharing best practice and networking. My highlight – LinkedIn’s Jason Miller keynote! Thanks for the inspiration!”
Anders Electronics: “A big THANK YOU to CommuniGator for organising a memorable conference! Very good vibes, energy, interesting workshop and fantastic people: your team and your clients! Looking forward to practice what I’ve learned in these two big days in our Marketing activities!”
Having completed the biggest GatorCon to date, we were all left with a lot to consider. New approaches, new ideas and new friends to bounce ideas off of. If you did miss anything, you can see the keynote talks here. Or perhaps just take a look at the video to relive the fun of GatorCon2018.