This past year, the Cockroach Labs marketing team introduced a novel way of collecting leads at large events. Instead of giving away swag (socks, tshirts, pens, etc.) to every person we met, we donated money to a non-profit. Our “contacts for charity” program was wildly successful, and at AWS Reinvent and KubeCon North America last year, we more than tripled our lead capture goals and donated over $14,500 to Women Who Code, the largest and most active community for technical women in the world.
As the 2020 events season approached, we had planned to double-down on our “contacts for charity” program, continuing support of organizations who are working to change the world.
Then last week, the in-person event industry basically imploded due to precautionary measures taken to slow the spread of COVID-19. On Monday morning, we wondered aloud what would happen with Kubecon EU, Google Cloud Next and RedHat Summit. And then, 24 hours later, we had our answer. A major portion of our strategy for the quarter was wiped out, and with it went our strategy to roll out our “contacts for charity” program at our spring events.
At first, we were a bit shocked to see conference after conference cancel or postpone, but these cancellations inspired creativity and a new idea was born… the virtual badge scan.
Today we will launch the “virtual badge scan” and will use it as a method of collecting leads for the myriad of virtual events that have popped up in the wake of all the canceled events. For every person who volunteers to give us their email address (lets us “scan” their “badge”), we will donate $3 to Women Who Code. It is a two-step process where we have inserted email validation so we can ensure a valid “badge scan”. We will promote this program around all of the virtual events upcoming, at additional meetups, and everywhere else we can go with it.
We are super excited to get our program up and running and already have a few additional ideas designed for a phase 2!