“Let’s hit it.”
With that certain undeniable conviction, we entered the Email Evolution Conference’s networking event put on by Message Systems this past March.
“Follow my lead.”
These words rang true for Marketing Manager Josh Nason as he attended his first conference repping the Dyn brand. Director of Email Mike Veilleux was also outside the friendly confines of 150 Dow Street with VP of Worldwide Sales Josh Delisle and myself for the very first time. It was time to hustle and pull the value and ROI we needed out of the show.
Back in the day when the sales & marketing team was small, it was easier to ensure our efforts were integrated so we could make the most out of each show. With scaling, this has been one of my many challenges. It’s still entirely my responsibility, but not being in the flesh everywhere, I realize the need to better train and mentor our Dyn street team. There are few things I take more seriously than ensuring all of our staff genuinely embodies our brand.
With over 70 shows on the docket for 2012 and a dozen or so new employees traveling for Dyn for the first time, I thought it would be worthwhile to provide a summary of why events are such a huge part of our strategy. Outside of our people, travel and entertainment is the largest piece of the budget I maintain, so I’m a psycho when it comes to making serious noise and turning these disruptive efforts into both short term and long term revenue.
We categorize our event attendance four ways:
- Feet on the ground: You’re attending the show to hustle. This includes setting up meetings, wearing the latest Dyn t-shirts, handing out collateral and swag, walking the expo floor, snagging business cards, attending sessions & keynotes, making noise and perhaps even hosting an impromptu DynTini event. All events are an excuse to be in town, so we pack the schedule with meetings. “You can’t teach hustle,” Delisle always says.
- Speaking gigs: We’re at the show to lead a session or to give a keynote presentation with one goal: build awareness for our technology, our products and our brand. These slots are not easy to attain, so we must capitalize by being engaging, energetic, compelling and memorable. We must give the audience a reason to want to stay in touch and align with all that we do.
- Exhibiting & events: Of the 70 shows on our world tour, we only exhibit or throw an event at about five of them per year with Interop Las Vegas & NY, Velocity Santa Clara & EU and SXSW leading the pack. These are our biggest ticket items of the calendar year and our “we have arrived” shows. There is nothing more legitimizing next to our public competition than an undeniable presence where our clients and prospects aggregate. There is pride shared across the board.
- Sponsoring: Sometimes we’ll want to get our name or current campaign out there in the big, bright lights. You probably have seen some Dyn lanyards or t’s, witnessed a birds of a feather session, attended a DynTini, listened to Dyn sponsored jam sessions, seen our swag in your bag or witnessed our logo on all the signage. It might even be how you learned about “DNS is Sexy” or “Break Free.” We use very selective sponsorships to display our strong commitment to the show and for the attendees to get more and more familiar with the black and gold.
Our bootstrapped legacy leads us to think differently about how we grow. Events have and will always be a way for us to be disruptive and stand out from the crowd. No one attacks them quite like Dyn. Just ask our competition. I’m pretty sure they’ll admit we’re a little nuts.
Whether you are in sales, marketing, engineering, client services, network operations or business operations, you are an advocate for the Dyn brand so wearing our gear and repping our name with the swagger we’ve instilled is an absolute must.
“Let’s hit it. Follow my lead.”
To find us and join in on the hustle, follow us on Twitter or check out our always growing event schedule with full details on what we’re doing and where.
Kyle York is Dyn’s Chief Strategy Officer and has led the corporate growth, branding, communications, demand generation, positioning, business development and overall go-to-market strategy behind Dyn’s rapid and aggressive scaling since 2008. Outside of Dyn, Kyle is an angel investor, entrepreneur, and advisor in several startups. Follow Kyle on Twitter: @kyork20 and @Dyn.