Marriott International has long held a presence in Canada, but for the first time ever brought together their Canadian financial personnel under one roof to form the Canada Region Finance Conference. The event’s 88 attendees gathered for a four-day event centered on Marriott’s Canadian business operations. Because of proven successes in past partnerships like Marriott’s 2015 General Manager’s Conference, Bonfyre was selected as the official team communication platform for the event.
Overall results for the Marriott Canada Region Finance Conference community:
- 6,800 total community opens
- 86.05% engagement rate (posted or liked content)
- 550 total chats, photos, and videos shared (23.6% from hashtag campaigns alone)
Marriott wanted to bring their corporate event to life with a resource that could house important conference information while also facilitating the networking opportunities and camaraderie that would lead to a memorable experience. But to underscore it all, Marriott wanted attendees to know the digital event space was a place to have fun and delight in the festivities.
You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression, and Marriott knew that a powerful introduction was the best way to sustainably engage attendees during the short event window. Bonfyre worked hand-in-hand with Marriott to leverage the team communication platform’s social features for an ice-breaker strategy that set the stage for the conference’s spirited atmosphere.
Bonfyre’s hashtag feature was the perfect tool to break the ice and build anticipation for the conference. Attendees were encouraged to make initial posts in the Bonfyre community through two hashtag campaigns: “On My Way” and “Buddy.”
The “On My Way” campaign launched the day before the conference. Marriott employees were encouraged to post chats, photos, and videos of their travel preparations using “#onmyway.” Whether they traveled by plane, train, or automobile, attendees had the event and the colleagues they would meet there at top of mind.
The “Buddy” campaign was created to help attendees network and navigate the digital and physical event spaces. Each attendee was paired with a buddy once they arrived to the conference. The pairs were encouraged to post selfies together using “#buddy” in the Bonfyre community. The selfies helped remove the pressure and anxiety that often comes from networking, connecting attendees to a community of friendly, smiling faces they could recognize on the conference floor.
Each hashtag was searchable and filterable, so attendees could click a tag and see their colleagues bonding through similar event experiences.
The hashtags were an overwhelming success, laying the foundation for a spirited social experience in both the physical and digital event spaces. Nearly every event attendee was introduced to the Bonfyre community using the “On My Way” and “Buddy” hashtags. The “On My Way” campaign got the conversation flowing as new attendees joined, generating 83 posts and comments.
Later, the “Buddy” campaign fueled the fires of the event’s networking functions, providing the first new connection of many that attendees would make during the conference. Buddy pairs made a total of 47 posts with the hashtag, bringing selfies of nearly every conference member into the team communication platform. Relationships flourished beyond the initial posts as many of the buddy pairs stuck together throughout the course of the four-day event.