We sat down with Shane Maddox, Vice President of Branding at Offbeat Productions, and a Boundless affiliate for over 5 years, to learn more about his efforts servicing one of the largest technology conferences in the world: Dreamforce! He was presented with a unique challenge from a huge client and was able to leverage Boundless technology to pull off the biggest event of his career. In this week’s blog, read his story and learn a few tips of your own.
Q: Can you tell us how the opportunity came about?
I have been working with Salesforce for a few years now on smaller projects, but nothing ever on the scale of the project I took on this year. Last year I worked with their third party event management company on several items for their trade show, Dreamforce. I was really disappointed this year when they went a different direction and I lost out on that sales opportunity. Later, the Salesforce group I had previously worked with on several smaller projects came to me asking if I had the capability to create a website where their partners could order promotional products that Salesforce would use for their co-branded marketing efforts. That led to an opportunity to not only work with external partners, but also grow my internal orders exponentially and service their largest event of the year, Dreamforce!
Q: Once you got the account, what were some of the initial hurdles you faced?
Salesforce is a massive organization and the project at hand was very complex. When they first approached me with their request, I immediately knew they needed a solution that went beyond a traditional portal store. So, I worked with the Boundless technology team and let them know the parameters for the project. I really thought Salesforce’s request was something we were never going to be able to pull off, but I decided to give it a shot. They needed a platform that performed several functions: It had to be user friendly and not require a login, and the store also needed to allow the users to upload artwork for co-branding purposes. On top of that we were working with a tight deadline and the products were all being drop shipped before the event.
I worked directly with the Boundless technology team on the project and had numerous conference calls with the client and their creative team to make sure we were all on the same page. From the very beginning, I was blown away with the solution that Boundless was able to offer. Don’t get me wrong, veering away from the typical portal store made the task at hand more challenging, but Salesforce had a very specific goal in mind for their internal and external efforts for the event. The creative team would ask for additional parameters and I worried that the new requests would be the one thing that would break the deal from going forward. But that never happened! We were able to deliver every step of the way and in the end the client got exactly what they wanted.
Q: Can you tell us a bit about the event itself?
Every year, Dreamforce takes over San Francisco for a week. 175,000 people come from all over the world to learn the latest tips and tricks to using Salesforce, network, and have a lot of fun along the way. They pull out all the stops, blocking all the hotels, rerouting traffic throughout the city, renaming venues and bringing in top acts to perform for the masses. This year the headliner was U2 playing at a private event. In terms of where I fit into all of this craziness, I was tasked with providing a lot of one-off items like hot sauce, buckets and filtration backpacks, but the primary focus was on t shirts, hats and pins. That may sound simple enough, but they picked five different shirts with five different designs; 5 different hats with 5 different designs; and 60 different pin designs. All had to ship to various locations to arrive on a particular date, be tracked every step of the way, and be color coded so it arrived in the right location.
The logistics were as difficult to manage as the production. In the end, everything went smoothly without a hitch. I attended the event and was able to see all of the hard work come to fruition. After the event I scheduled a post-event call with my contact to review the good and the bad. She gave all positive feedback and said I had the business again next year as she couldn’t imagine pulling off the project without our team. I dug deeper thinking there was no way she had ZERO complaints. Not a one. The event could not have gone better and the products provided on the customized store were not only handed out to the masses, but the founders were also throwing the t-shirts out to the crowd from the stage at their main event. We could not have been more front and center with our presence at the event!
Q: What were some of the results of your campaign?
While I grew my relationship with Salesforce internally, I was also fortunate enough to pick up 60 new leads from the event as well. I was able to meet with several of them face-to-face at Dreamforce and received great feedback. I look forward to growing my relationships with these folks next. Some are smaller accounts and some have very big pockets, so there is a lot of opportunity to grow my business from the connections I made this year. Without the introduction by Salesforce, I doubt our paths would have ever crossed. An opportunity like this rarely comes along and I am already looking forward to Dreamforce next year!
Interested in learning about other creative projects like this one? Read them here!