by Alex Palmer | October 03, 2017

This past May, software firm Citrix turned its conference into a global marketing event. Citrix Synergy 2017, held at Orlando's Orange County Convention Center, drew in more than 5,500 employees, customers, partners, and industry leaders for three days of training, roundtable discussions, and networking that explored "the workplace of the future" and how technology could help drive it forward. But some of the greatest value came from the connections the event created outside the conference itself.

Partnering with Sonic Foundry's Mediasite Event Services, Citrix captured more than 100 of its conference sessions across 10 different rooms. Together, they created a customized online experience complete with a registration portal, live chat, a custom video portal, and project management to power what it dubbed Citrix Synergy TV.

Meri Summers, Citrix

"Sessions were streamed live, and then updated to be available on demand, often the same day and by livestreaming the keynotes and breakout sessions," says Meri Summers, senior manager of corporate events at Citrix. "We turned the in-person event into an online, live, and on-demand destination that lives beyond the conference and generated more than 100,000 views."

Those who weren't at the three-day event in person, or who stumble on the Citrix Synergy 2017 page through a related web search, can still watch a high-quality Vision Keynote from Citrix President and CEO Kirill Tatarinov or the Technology Keynote, which included live demos and a discussion of workplace technology, as well as dozens of other speakers. The content helps to entice viewers considering signing up for Synergy 2018, taking place at the Anaheim Convention Center May 8--10 next year. But it also serves as a marketing tool for the Citrix brand, positioning the firm as a leader when it comes to workplace technology.

The way that Citrix Synergy is leveraging its conference to produce additional marketing value reflects how technology is allowing planners and brands to expand the footprint of their events. From using content as Citrix does to gathering more nuanced data about attendee and customer behavior, to engaging attendees before and after the event itself, meetings tech is allowing events to become more important than ever to organizations.

"Meetings have become central to an overall marketing scheme," says Corbin Ball, longtime meetings technology expert, speaker, and consultant. "They've always been important, but you haven't had the capabilities on site at an event to do it. Now you have this wealth of sensors essentially, where every touch is trackable."