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How SaaStr Built an Energized Community of Evangelists from Scratch

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SaaStr began in 2012 as a simple attempt via a WordPress blog and a few answers on Quora, to help share Jason M. Lemkin’s learnings of going from $0 to $100m ARR with the next generation of great SaaS and B2B entrepreneurs. Since then, it's become the largest community of SaaS founders and entrepreneurs on the planet.


Gretchen DeKnikker, COO of SaaStr, will discuss why live events are a core part of SaaStr's strategy of cultivating a community of enterprise software enthusiasts and how they measure event success and ROI. In this session, you will also learn how SaaStr grew its flagship event, SaaStr Annual, to a mega center of gravity for SaaS professionals - projected at 10,000+ attendees in 2017.

Veröffentlicht in: Marketing
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How SaaStr Built an Energized Community of Evangelists from Scratch

  1. 1. How SaaStr Built an Energized Community of Evangelists From Scratch GRETCHEN DEKNIKKER, COO / SAASTR
  2. 2. WHAT IS
  3. 3. SaaStr is definitely the largest community of people who like enterprise software on the planet. It’s a great community of people trying to build companies and learn from one another. It’s pretty amazing to see.” AARON LEVIE CEO, COFOUNDER & CHAIRMAN / BOX “ @saastr #liveMKTG@gretchende
  4. 4. VPS EXECS VCS @saastr #liveMKTG@gretchende FOUNDERS WE ENTERPRISE SOFTWARE
  5. 5. About us FOUNDER / ADVISOR Jason is a 2x founder, 1x VC, and constant SaaS enthusiast Started SaaStr as a simple blog in 2012 Jason Lemkin @saastr #liveMKTG@gretchende
  6. 6. COO Startup junkie, 1x founder, 5x early employee Joined SaaStr in 2014 Gretchen DeKnikker @saastr #liveMKTG@gretchende
  7. 7. TWO YEARS OF GROWTH
  8. 8. 2014 2016 10,000 3M VIEWS/ MONTH 1M VIEWS/ MONTH TRAFFIC 25,000 500 SUBSCRIBERS 30,000 5,000 FOLLOWERS 2,000 SAASTR ANNUAL @saastr #liveMKTG@gretchende
  9. 9. WHAT IS SAASTR ANNUAL?
  10. 10. 2015 2016 2017 10,000 attendees 3 days, 4 stages 200+ speakers 5,000 attendees 3 days, 2 stages 100+ speakers - and a dance crew WHAT IS SAASTR ANNUAL? 2,000 attendees 1 day, 1 stage 20 speakers @saastr #liveMKTG@gretchende
  11. 11. Learning via blog - but one voice, one direction1 Gathering in person - more voices, connecting with others2 @saastr #liveMKTG@gretchende 3 Education platform - packaging lessons for every stage of journey HOW THE CONFERENCE INTEGRATES
  12. 12. HOW DID WE DO IT?
  13. 13. Measure E V E R Y T H I N G HOW DO WE DO IT? We have no idea what we’re doing1 2 3 4 @saastr #liveMKTG@gretchende Most importantly… The community
  14. 14. HOW DO WE DO IT? Pick an outcome and work backwards @saastr #liveMKTG@gretchende 4
  15. 15. WHAT WE’VE LEARNED… SO FAR
  16. 16. Single owner/single metric - or disaster The details really matter It ain’t software Process, but not for process sake WHAT WE’VE LEARNED, SO FAR… @saastr #liveMKTG@gretchende 1 2 3 4
  17. 17. HOW DOUBLEDUTCH HELPS
  18. 18. HOW DOUBLEDUTCH HELPS We can’t trust our opinions…1 2 3 4 @saastr #liveMKTG@gretchende There’s soooo much more we can do We need to do speaker prep …but we can’t necessarily trust theirs either
  19. 19. HOW WE MEASURE EVERYTHING
  20. 20. METRICS @saastr #liveMKTG@gretchende A good metric… A GREAT metric also… 3 4 Has an object basis 
 attendees per company, returning attendees by month Aligns individual goals with overall plan 
 single owner, everyone has a number 1 2 Begins with a number 
 # of ticket sold, % of speakers confirmed Has a time basis 
 per week, by October 10th *adapted from LUXr Lean Startup Workshop
  21. 21. HOW WE USE THE DATA
  22. 22. WHAT DO WE DO WITH THE DATA? HOW DOES IT SHAPE DECISIONS? Agenda - attendee profiles shape content Expenses - what we can add and when Revenue - scenario planning, fixed vs variable costs Attendee Experience - managing venue constraints Hiring - who we’ll need when @saastr #liveMKTG@gretchende
  23. 23. HOW WE MEASURE SUCCESS
  24. 24. HOW WE MEASURE SUCCESS AND ROI A mix of quantitive… • Sponsor renewals - closed $1m in sponsors within 60 days of the event - but also new 40% were new logos • Return attendees - 1000 tickets within 90 days - but also new, 35% return/65% new (only 50% can be return) … and qualitative feedback @saastr #liveMKTG@gretchende
  25. 25. …AND QUALITATIVE FEEDBACK @saastr #liveMKTG@gretchende
  26. 26. WHERE DO WE STILL NEED TO IMPROVE?
  27. 27. WHAT CAN WE STILL DO BETTER? Diversity - have to be committed. Processes - the right-sized tools that scale Advisory council - speakers and sponsors Editing ourselves – a year to plan is a long time @saastr #liveMKTG@gretchende
  28. 28. SAASTR WHAT’S NEXT FOR
  29. 29. WHAT’S NEXT? Academy
  30. 30. WE’REHIRING! jobs@saastrinc.com

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