B2B events for the IT industry are typically cold, transactional, and extremely cluttered. Hewlett-Packard Singapore needed to breakthrough the clutter to reach out to the C-suite personalities with its range of HP Elite family of business products without being deemed as yet another boring B2B IT event.
The key objective was to increase awareness amongst the target audience on the HP Elite family of business products, and generate leads for potential sales. It was important for HP Singapore to champion and celebrate the success of the target audience in association with the HP Elite products. This target audience is an extremely discerning group, used to luxurious networking sessions and do not wish to be sold any product in a hard-sell manner.
While it was important to promote the Elite family of business products to this target segment by means of an experience, it was important that the products not be reduced to a glorified glass box display box – tucked by a corner of the room that no one cares to look at.
An in-depth influencer audit was conducted of the C-Suite personalities. The following key insights were identified:
1. Been there, done that: The target audience is accustomed to receiving exclusive invitations to the nation’s most desired events. Delivering an experience that will surprise them is the key challenge.
2. Feeding the ego: With an entire corporation in their care, they have influence that few possess. The event must celebrate and champion their status.
3. Social Philanthropists: The target audience are active contributors to the society. They derive satisfaction from the opportunity to share their expertise for the greater good.
The blueprint of the pitfalls of a B2B IT event was drafted in detail, taking into consideration how the target audience may think:
1. I feel like I’ve just walked into a live broadcast of your commercial. You should’ve just emailed me your brochure and not waste my time.
2. I’ve only managed to fiddle with your product for 5 minutes. What makes you think I’d even make an order for my company?
3. Frankly, I’m not here for the event organiser. I’m here to network.
More often than not, the client’s objectives become secondary and the event becomes a little more than a networking session among the attendees. It was important to weave the HP suite of products into the experience or otherwise fall into the trap of being a networking event sponsor.
With the insights in place, the concept – THE ELITE ASSEMBLY, was conceived to answer the objective: A secret gathering with 30 of the nation’s finest corporate leaders in an exchange of intellect and experience, THE ELITE ASSEMBLY was the first B2B event in Singapore that delivered an UnConference and deliberately did not disclose the venue location until hours prior to the event.
The publication, The Peak, was engaged as a media partner to reach out to the discerning C-Suite personalities. Upon confirming on each guest’s interest in the event, a personalised engraved oak wood invitation was hand-delivered.
To drum up curiosity and exclusivity of the event, mere hours before the event commenced, it was revealed via SMS to the guests that the event was to be held at the 10,000 square foot Mon Jervois showroom, tucked in the prestigious District 10 residential enclave in Singapore.
Upon arriving at the event, each guest was introduced to their personal digital butler; the HP Elite Pad.
A web application was created to allow the HP ElitePad to serve each guest with their own individual programme for the night, in addition to the profiles of their fellow guests present. The approach allowed the target audience to sample the HP ElitePad product for 2 consecutive hours.
Each topic is decided on the spot at the event, placed up for voting, and the most voted for topic is to be conducted in five minutes flat.
The UnConference invited the target audience to share their knowledge and experience in a dialogue session. Notable speakers and their topics of expertise include:
1. Irene Ang (CEO and Founder, FLY Entertainment)
Topic: Tales from the limelight: The art of managing celebrity-size egos
2. Keith Png (Founder and Director, Hide & Seek)
Topic: The difference between bespoke and tailored
The calculated risk to deliver a less-than-conventional B2B invitation paid off with an unprecedented success rate of 100% RSVP to THE ELITE ASSEMBLY event with zero wastage – only C-Suite level guests were invited (CMO/CFO/ CTO and above).
It achieved 99% attendance rate, with only one out of 60 guests in total not able to attend the event as a result of unforeseen circumstances.
Some of the notable guests who have attended the event include:
• Chia Ngiang Hong, Group General Manager, City Development Limited
• Dellen Soh, Chairman, Thai Express Concepts Pte Ltd
• Terrence Phung, Managing Director, Sony Music Pte Ltd
• Ho Tuck Chuen, Group CFO, Jurong Town Corporation
• Irene Ang, CEO and Founder, FLY Entertainment
• Keith Png, Founder and Director, Hide & Seek
As a result of the clever way in having the HP ElitePad serve as the personal digital butler, each guest experienced the product for 2 consecutive hours at the event.
Approximately 50% of the guests who’ve attended requested for the B2B trial offer for themselves and their businesses.