George P. Johnson

IBM BusinessConnect 2015. It’s time to enter the cognitive era. 

IBM is unique. It’s the only company in the IT industry that continues to reinvent itself through multiple technology eras and economic cycles. Today, it’s much more than a ‘hardware/software/services’ company. IBM is emerging as a cognitive solutions and cloud platform company. 

IBM BusinessConnect is an annual event. And although 2014 was a success, feedback dictated a new format; a new style of content and a more personalised targeted approach. There was a need to regain momentum, revisit, refresh and reinvent the concept. It was the perfect opportunity for IBM to invite its prospects to join their ‘new cognitive era of thinking’.

After interviewing sales people with strong connections to IBM’s customers - and partnering with relevant media associations - a multi-day format event with highly personalised content was agreed. 

Seven days. Seven audiences. Seven agendas. Seven (naturally) obsessive clients. Seven media partners. Seven sets of high-profile speakers. Seven ever-changing demonstrations. All for the same client budget.

It all added up to seven times the challenge.

Personalisation was key. Each day a specific role or industry was targeted with a strong focus on addressing the issues of that particular audience. And a BusinessConnect legacy was also carefully thought-out with six experiential assets remaining as permanent installations for use at future IBM events. 

The result? We received a 98% client satisfaction rating across the 2 weeks. The event doubled its year on year attendees and IBM is on track to treble their previous years’ business pipeline results. And all for the same budget.

The clients’ reaction? “We smashed it! And we look forward to the success being replicated in 2016.”

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