CASE STUDY: 'EMEA User Conference '08' highly commended best live initiative for ESRI

ESRI (UK) is part of the ESRI global business network, holding the single, largest pool of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) expertise in the UK. Their solutions and products meet a range of business needs in markets including local and central government and telecommunications and cater for system integrators and public developers through the ESRI Developer Network.

Challenge and solution
A flagship event was planned to promote new product releases, case studies and solutions to a wide variety of audiences, including EMEA customers, prospects and the media. GIS technology is becoming more of a mainstream IT tool, widely used within the public, private and charitable sectors - so to reflect this the event was built around the theme of 'GIS for everyday life'. This was supported by sub-themes, such as 'GSI 24/7' and 'GSI 360', which were designed to enhance the communication of the conference messaging and understanding of the main theme. The themes became part of the conference tone of voice used by keynote speakers and delegates.
The 'everyday' theme gave rise to a number of initiatives that supported the event - from securing free teabags to getting local restaurants to offer discounted rates to delegates. Direct mail, trade press advertising, promotional and conference literature, a microsite and e-bulletins were all underpinned by a PR campaign to promote it.

Results
Sixty five sponsors and exhibitors were attracted, plus over 1600 delegates  - 33 per cent ahead of target. Ninety-five percent of those rated the conference useful.