How to Market Cloud Services at a Conference

With 700+ registered attendees, 40+ exhibitors and 60+ speakers, Cloud Fair finished its first conference with success.

It offered three days of workshops, tutorials, keynotes and breakout sessions, all focused on giving business and technical information to meet the needs of the attendees.

One lesson that I learned was how to effectively market Cloud services. Since the Cloud computing market is full of new services, it’s very important to have a marketing strategy to differentiate your services from those of your competitors. The effective marketing I observed was as follows:

Use plain English to explain technology

I found it worked well when the representative in the booth was able to carry a conversation with either a business or technical audience. Both are important.

Have a speaking session

Speaking will have an impact. When a speaker shows the knowledge he has about the service, he gains credibility. An audience will tend to check out the service with confidence.

During the Cloud Expo 2011, some vendors chose to present mini sessions in the exhibition area to an audience who could not afford to attend the conference. I think that’s a smart move.

Provide hands-on workshop

Developers like to have a hands-on experience. To guide them using a step by step process encourages interest and participation. The Cloud Workshop served the purpose.

In the Cloud Expo, the Cloud Bootcamp provides the opportunity for the vendors.

Provide a free trial

No one wants to commit a Cloud service without extensive testing. A free trial attracts usage. Amazon, Microsoft and Red Hat are all practicing this strategy.

Be part of the audience

When sponsoring an exhibit, have a person be with the audience. The opportunity to interact with the audience and answer questions during the sessions provides a better chance to stand out.

In the competitive market, it is important to have a clear focus. Providing information raises awareness, advertising invites adoption and understanding the users needs provides insight. The traditional marketing strategy that focuses on hosting a booth is not enough for the Cloud Computing market.

What has been your experience? What techniques have proven to be especially effective in exhibiting for you? We look forward to getting your comments.
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