Special D Events’ client, a leading software solution provider, hosted a 1,200-person annual user conference. The 3 ½ day conference featured more than 70+ sessions including general sessions, content tracks, breakout sessions, hands-on workshops, peer exchange sessions and a demonstration experience lab featuring exhibitors. Special D Events was brought on board to support registration, housing, conference mobile app, the exhibitor showcase (Experience Lab), off site events, food and beverage planning, on-site support and overall project management.
The goal of the event was to bring people together, to provide an engaging space for networking and best practices, to celebrate customers, to provide a learning environment so customers can interact and receive demonstrations on site. Success was measured by registration revenue, positive attendee feedback, sale leads and industry coverage.
Upon arrival in the Motor City, participants were invited to Welcome Reception inside the main conference headquarters, the beautifully renovated Cobo Hall. The reception took place in the “Experience Lab” a space dedicated to 20+ exhibitors, an area branded as “the heartbeat of the conference.” Special D Events worked in tandem with the client and show decorator to create a space that allowed participants to network with exhibitors while learning and affording them an opportunity to perform hands on demonstrations.
The second night the group headed to Detroit’s Ford Field for a one-of-a-kind football stadium takeover. Greeted by a drumline, participants were offered tours through the official press room and locker rooms. They listened to Motown bands and feasted on everything from Detroit’s famous coney dogs to Greektown gyros. For many, the thrill was walking on the actual field where the Detroit Lions play while others were entertained by playing on-field games. The highlight of the night was the halftime show, a private performance by one of Motown’s original acts, The Contours.
Day 3 of the conference featured more educational tracks and learning. Throughout the conference our staff was on hand to offer restaurant suggestions, tour ideas and advice on popular places in the Motor City. When evening fell, participants were given an open evening to play in city of Detroit. Special D Events arranged for continual transportation in Detroit’s hottest neighborhoods.
On departure day, participants were presented one more opportunity for deep dive sessions. After a networking breakfast and final walk through of the Experience Lab participants departed Detroit with a truly unique experience behind them. They came, they learned and they made memories.
With the help of Special D Events, the conference experienced a notable increase in attendance from the prior year. The client was thrilled to have surpassed both registration and revenue goals. In addition, the project came in under budget. Overall, participants raved the event delivered excellent value in both time spent and money invested.
Image credits: Bryan Mitchell Photography