Generating a pipeline
of €51 million from
virtual meetings at Sibos

Each year thousands of the world’s financial leaders descend on Sibos. In 2020 the largest annual financial technology gathering across the globe was due to take place in Boston, but like many other events was moved online in the wake of COVID. For one Fortune 500 software company, Sibos is a pivotal point in the year where face-to-face meetings with clients and prospects are held, meetings that drive revenue and establish strong relationships. Going fully digital posed challenges and concerns.

The challenge of creating face-to-face value with a virtual only experience is one many have experienced in 2020. Over the last 10 years, Metia has worked closely with a leading software company on demand generation campaigns that result in revenue-driving meetings. It was clear from the start that this would be no normal meeting generation exercise, but the goal of setting up meetings with high quality targets remained the same as any other.

We faced the all-too familiar challenges that come with a digital-only event:

Attendance exploded, going from 10,000 in-person senior delegates to 30,000 virtual delegates, with more junior than senior attendees. The haystack got a lot bigger while the needle stayed the same.
Attendees were expected to register a lot later than usual, some even signing up mid-conference.
Commitment would be lower without the emotional urgency of getting on a flight, booking a hotel and physically attending an event.
The approach to overcome these challenges – finding quality in the quantity. Much easier said than done. And how could we create a highly engaging experience that would encourage high-quality, senior attendees to sit on yet another virtual meeting?

Addressing the challenges of a virtual conference

The first challenge was whittling the 30,000 attendees down to a few hundred of the most relevant individuals. Using Metia’s micro-profiling techniques we were able to identify a list of “most wanted”. This built the foundation of all execution, so it was crucial the correct targets were selected, or we’d be wasting a lot of time.

Next was directly engaging these targets with highly personalized communication. And by personalized we mean finding out exactly what each individual really wanted to get out of Sibos and their organizational pain points – a far cry from anything automated outreach could achieve. The most relevant subject matter experts from our client’s team were chosen to reach out, selected based on who would best be able to genuinely address customer needs directly.

With registrants leaving sign up to the last minute, we had to be agile. Taking a highly individualized approach meant having the team on-call to ensure all conference delegates went through our identification and communication stages promptly – all without sacrificing the quality of outreach.

Finding success in adversity

The campaign exceeded initial targets by almost double. We whittled down a whopping 30,000 delegates to 204 prospects, generating 92 MQLs and 63 SQLs.

Our early deep dives into key prospect pain points allowed our client to send only the most highly relevant people to each meeting, including the most senior members of the Financial Services team within the organization where needed. This diligence resulted in over €300,000 direct revenue, within 12 weeks of the conference, and a pipeline value of €51 million.

We were able to arrange meetings with titles such as: Group Chief Digital Officer, Global Head of Trade Finance, Global Head of Digital Channels, Head of Intelligence Development and Head of Commercialization and Strategy at some of the world’s leading financial organizations. Critically for the client, these were all business-related titles rather than IT.

Our client, a global software company have since agreed to another year of Sibos, an event we predict will be a hybrid of virtual and physical, as well as a mid-year campaign.

We run hundreds of tradeshows each year but Sibos is in a league of its own when it comes to generating business and not tech prospects. We set Metia the challenge of engaging the banking business community who are notoriously difficult to engage and usually unlikely to commit to meetings, during a time where engagement and commitment are exceptionally challenging to achieve. The results of this campaign truly exceeded our expectations.

Director of Global Tradeshows
Fortune 500 Company