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Event Strategy: Q&A With Paralee Walls of Kapost

July 25, 2017 | By Drew Zalucky

  • Kapost creates solutions that help b-to-b organizations manage every aspect of the buyer’s journey
  • Paralee Walls is Kapost’s director of content marketing, focused on digging into the best content strategies for clients and prospects, thought leadership and the educational component of content marketing
  • At this year’s Summit in Las Vegas, we got a chance to chat with Paralee and ask her about how Kapost approaches its event strategy

Editor’s note: This post is part of the seventh issue of our B-to-B Marketplace Newsletter, a resource for marketing and events professionals from leading technology and services providers. Go here to learn more and subscribe.

Kapost creates solutions that help b-to-b organizations manage every aspect of the buyer’s journey from a content marketing perspective. It guides organizations through content ideation, workflow channels and the analytics used to measure content performance.

Paralee Walls is Kapost’s director of content marketing, focused on digging into the best content strategies for clients and prospects, thought leadership and the educational component of content marketing. At this year’s Summit in Las Vegas, I got a chance to chat with Paralee and ask her about how Kapost approaches its event strategy.

What are the hallmarks of a great event for you to sponsor?

First and foremost, we want to meet our customers and future customers where they are. There are so many emails and paid ads now, which makes face-to-face time invaluable. I want to make sure my sales and customer success teams have the opportunity to meet with the people they are building conversations with. Second to that, I would say, is getting my team educated, making sure they have an opportunity to better their own professional development. That educational piece, and being able to attend sessions, is one of the main reasons Kapost had a few unused booth passes for Summit, because everyone wanted the full conference pass to be able to go to the sessions and build on their own education foundation.

At this point in our business development, we’re not trying to do everything at every conference. We focus our event selection and sponsorship activities on the ones that align with our ideal customer profile. That means a focus on b-to-b, enterprise and organizations with an advanced content operation and marketing strategy, and create opportunities to hang out with them, talk content, talk strategy and make sure they have what they need.

What factors do you consider when mapping out your event strategy?

Certainly the variety of organizations that are going to be there. It’s a good opportunity for us to meet people we already know and talk to as I mentioned before, but there is a lot of value in getting our name in front of people who may not have seen us before. So if the same people are attending certain events every year, we tend to cut those events from our schedule.

So that you’re not drawing from the same pool all the time.

Yes, exactly.

How do you optimize networking opportunities with delegates at an event?

We reach out far in advance. Like I said, in the digital age, face-to-face meetings are priceless. Everyone is cramming so much into a very short event. Even a whole week is a very short amount of time out of the entire year. So being the first one to say, “Hey, I’d love to grab coffee with you and talk” is critical. Dinners are great, but everyone’s having a dinner, and with only three available nights, I like to get creative with coffee, breakfast, lunch, happy hours, shared sessions to optimize my time during the entire day.

You're back from an event. How do you inspire sales to connect with leads after the show?

I don’t think we have any problems inspiring our sales reps. They’re hungry to reach out because they know that the leads we capture at our premium events are going to be great leads. They want to reach out in a very smart way. One thing we’re going to do right after the show is get the marketing and sales teams together in the room and see what we can do besides sending leads the standard “Hey, thanks for meeting us at the event” email. They’re going to get dozens of those emails. That’s not going to move any dials.

You want to put together a more comprehensive nurture strategy.

Absolutely, and see if there are opportunities for some fun account-based marketing activities that will help us target the right accounts.

Drew Zalucky

Drew Zalucky is an Editor at SiriusDecisions and has nearly 10 years of professional experience in editorial, publishing, management consulting roles and independent journalism.

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