DEMO: Keeping the Granddaddy of Startup Showcases Relevant into the 21st Century
CHALLENGES AND GOALS
At the beginning of 2011, SocialRadius became the social media partner of the DEMO Conference, and in 2014, the conference’s public relations agency. In the years since its first edition over 20 years earlier in 1991, IDG-owned DEMO had become the stuff of legend in Silicon Valley, providing the very first launchpad for huge technology brands such as Palm, Salesforce, WebEx, TiVO, Picasa, GrandCentral (which later became Google Voice), VMware, Fusion-io and many others. More important perhaps was the permanent influence it had on the format of demonstrating early-stage technology companies, forever changing the way startups announced themselves to the world and launching a thousand hackathons and “battlefields.”
However, being the venerable startup showcase in Silicon Valley presented DEMO with the same kind of double-edged dilemma anybody over the age of 20 in the Valley faces: experience trumped by the exciting glow of youth. In addition, DEMO’s own conference management was moving away from VentureBeat editor Matt Marshall, with active promotion of presenting companies on that blog and its audience of hundreds of thousands of technology fans and influencers, to former TechCrunch editor Erick Schonfeld, with no guaranteed outlet for coverage. In its bid to remain relevant as a startup symposium, DEMO needed to take its social media engagement to another level, while continuing to remain a “must-stop” for technology press centered in the Bay Area and elsewhere.
RECOMMENDED STRATEGY AND TACTICS
- Pre-event promotion across nearly every relevant social network and platform, including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and StumbleUpon .
- Content creation and promotion around the conference, as well as community management and outreach.
- Engagement and leveraging of existing agency relationships with the “usual suspects” of Silicon Valley and other technology press for conference attendance and write-ups.
- Social media engagement with on-site attendees, remote viewers of conference livestreams and technology influencers to increase awareness and participation.
- SocialRadius grew DEMO’s already significant Twitter to over 24,347, more than doubling the number of followers the account had when the agency was first enlisted.
- SocialRadius also grew DEMO’s Facebook likes over the same amount of time to 5,414, a nearly 50% increase.
- The DEMO Conference has received over 28.3 million impressions during its live events since 2012.
- Transform PR’s traditional public relations engagement for the DEMO Enterprise conference in spring 2014 generated coverage from the likes of the Wall Street Journal, CNET, Bloomberg Businessweek, Barron’s, VentureBeat, Fast Company, Inc., PCMag.com, PC World, PSFK, Network World, eWeek, the Chicago Tribune, Examiner.com, SiliconANGLE, and the Silicon Valley Business Journal. This effort represented over 100,000,000 unique monthly views for a publicity value of $2,568,139.