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Laurel Ganzel

Senior Manager of Event Marketing

ServiceTitan

Laurel describes her method of building an events strategy during a pandemic while working with clients eager to return to in-person events.

Good morning, Laurel Ganzel, withServiceTitan, Senior Event Manager with them. I've been there about three and a half years. My history and how I got to where I'm at. A friend got married very early in my college career, and I was like, "I could do that." So I decided to take my creativity and my organization skills and went into the event business, went into hospitality and tourism as a major. Switched over from Art, and from there, I was in the hotel business, I did weddings for quite some time, and then fell into the startup world, was with a toy start-up for awhile. Loved mission-based companies, so I've always looked for that, whichServiceTitan as well is very mission-based. And I always just found myself in events. I've done everything from trade shows, toys fair, licensing show, enjoyed helping design those booths, Christmas parties, things like that. But yeah, with ServiceTitan, I worked in their trade show department for quite sometime. We do about 130 trade shows a year and now focus more on our user conference for about 3000 folks annually.

 

Logistical execution in the events industry 

Logistical execution, I mean it's everything from walking into an empty ballroom and then walking in the day of... With your client and just being like, "See that table? I had to design everything on that. See that microphone over there? We had to order that. The lights, we had to order that." So everything from the ground up, you know, especially in today's world, it's virtual, thinking about your registration, probably a year in advance, what you need to ask, what data you're trying to collect. So it's just all the little things that go into an event. So our team is very focused in the trades, we work with a lot of owners for... A lot of plumbers, a lot of electricians, and so we go to a wild amount of trade shows a year, 130 trade shows a year. We're always getting into new verticals though, pest control is one of the new ones. So we're finding new trade shows all the time, searching where these folks are going, where can we go to talk to them. Same with field events, like, especially now, people are just starting to get back into in-person and they're hungry for it. Especially these folks, they're essential workers if you will, you know, they're still continuing to go into people's houses through the pandemic.

So they're ready to get back and see each other and learn from each other. So also we do field events, so trying to find places where people want to get together so we can bring them together. Put some of our prospective customers in with some of our happy customers, and kinda just let our software sell itself, but... Yeah, bring people to places like Napa or like this for instance, would be a great opportunity to bring people. Somewhere they wanna go and gather.

 

How to grow your own events and know which events you want to attend

So Pantheon is our annual user conference,I've done... This will be my fourth Pantheon now, coming up on... We went...Yeah, from 1500 when I started with the company to... We're looking at about3000 attendees this year. We had to go virtual obviously in 2020, like everybody did, which was a learning experience for all of us. We had about a four-month pivot, if you will, to virtual, and we pushed this year's to the following just to be safe. But it's something that our customers look forward to. It's something that we look forward to. 

I just came from the Experiential MarketingSummit, and I love going there, it's so inspirational to bring back some of the wow factors that some of the big dogs are doing, you know? "What is Adobe doing? What's Circa doing? What's Salesforce doing?" And bring some of those experiential things back to our folks that wouldn't normally see something like that. And then just the training, the networking honestly, is what we hear in and out everyday that there's not an opportunity for these folks to get in front of some of their peers, but also their mentors, and somebody they look up to. You know, got a five truck shop? This guy's got so many more. I wouldn't in walking life normally be in the same room with this person. I get to just watch this guy's Keynote and go sit with this woman and have coffee. So it's just kind of grown itself honestly, word-of mouth people continue to come, and so we're happy to provide it for them, we're really excited to get back in-person. Virtual, we had a great attendance, but nothing like in-person...