Work Stories

Quarry: How we hacked BMA15 with a sharpie

#B2B, #Conferences, #ContentMarketing, #SocialMedia

Of course you’ve heard the saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. Do you know the related fact that the human brain can process images 60,000 times faster than text! This amazing simple truth might be the reason that content marketers are relying more and more on visual ways to capture people’s attention and convey big ideas faster.

Knowing the power of images, our team recently set out to create a distinctive event experience to engage one of the most critical and hard-to-reach audiences, North American B2B marketers. Our concept was part visual content marketing, part event hacking and all about the social media amplification. And the end results of this hybrid assault were mind-blowing. Here’s an overview:

“Our concept was part visual content marketing, part event hacking and all about the social media amplification.”

The event: The Business Marketing Association’s annual conference in Chicago. It’s a gathering of 1000+ key prospects for our modern marketing offering.

The hack: Quarry was a basic room-key sponsor of the event (so we got to custom brand the hotel room swipe cards for attendees.) But we wanted more.

Hotel keycard envelope and keycard with Quarry branding on one side and Keynote Inks branding on the back.

Leveraging that sponsorship, we sold event organizers on the idea of bringing in a “Graphic Recorder,” Kelly Kingman of Kingman Ink, to capture the top talks live from stage side, effectively creating an infographic to capture each talk in real time. These Keynote Inks—our name for the giant 4ft-x-4ft hand-drawn illustrations—summarized 15 of the most inspiring presentations, including those of Jonah Berger, Joe Pulizzi, Laura Ramos, Scott Brinker, Andrew Davis (as seen in the video below) and others.

Once Kelly completed each Keynote Ink, event organizers displayed them in a high-traffic area in the lobby. This created a takeover effect for the Quarry brand, giving us disproportionately high exposure (240 square feet of exposure in fact!) among attendees relative to other sponsors—a huge win for our brand.

But the real win came with the social amplification that followed. Attendees flocked around the Keynote Inks to take photos, posting them to Twitter & LinkedIn using the hashtag #KeynoteInks and sharing the Quarry brand along with it. Even the speakers themselves joined in, proudly sharing images of their Keynote Inks with their large audience of social media followers who are, you guessed it, primarily B2B marketers.

“This created a takeover effect for the Quarry brand, giving us disproportionately high exposure among attendees.”

Quarry also created a Keynote Inks landing page where we posted high-res images of the Keynote Inks within an hour of each talk. The landing page enabled easy social sharing of each Keynote Ink image to various social channels. Page visitors (both attendees of the conference and those who didn’t attend) could also subscribe to receive a high-res compilation of all 15 Keynote Inks in PDF format following the conference.

Keynote Inks turned out to be some of the most shareable, buzz-worthy content to come out of BMA15. Hashtracking estimates that the hundreds of tweets that used #KeynoteInks reached over 490,000 Twitter users. And the impact for Quarry was significant—we received the equivalent of 3 months’ worth of social media mentions in 3 days. @Quarry attracted over 100 new (and very high quality) followers plus more than 100 subscribers to our email list. Downloads of the BMA15 Keynote Inks compilation continues today.

It’s kind of become our thing. We’ve started replicating the experience at other B2B-focused events including the CEB Sales & Marketing Summit and, soon, at Content2Conversion 2016.

Ask Richard Hill, Naheed Somji and Gayle Lankowski about the facts, fun and frenzy that went into this hack.