Hewlett-Packard's APAC events strategy

Technology corporation Hewlett Packard (HP) Asia Pacific holds a few big events in the APAC region but several small localised events in the countries the brand has a presence in.

This is part of the brand’s strategy in building long term relationships with its retail partners and media through technology, on top of increasing its sales, said Anurag Kontu, regional trade marketing lead, HP Asia Pacific, printing & personal systems, Asia Pacific & Japan.

For instance, the brand organised a HP Consumer Partner Summit 2013 earlier this year, a conference where the brand met with over 400 retailers and partners during the four-day event at Sheraton Macau Hotel and Macau Tower.

In Singapore, it also launched an event called The Elite Assembly. This was a B2B event for the IT industry where the brand reached out to the C-suite professionals with the range of HP Elite family of business products.

The key objective was to increase awareness amongst the target audience on the HP Elite family of business products and generate leads for potential sales.

To drum up interest ahead of the event, the venue was disclosed only hours prior to the event to drum up curiosity and exclusivity of the event. The location was revealed via SMS to guests.

The brand engaged The Peak as its media partner to reach out to guests. A personal telephone script was crafted for The Peak team to initiate the first communication touch point via telephone. Upon confirmation for each guest’s interest in the event, a personalised engraved oak wood invitation was hand-delivered to all guests.

Upon arriving at the event, each guest was introduced to the HP ElitePad, a HP tablet where a web application was created to allow the HP ElitePad to serve each guest with their own individual programme for the night, in addition to the profiles of their fellow guests present.

The HP ElitePad was engineered such that it served as the guide around the showroom.

The approach allowed the target audience to sample the HP ElitePad product for two consecutive hours.

At the conference, each topic was decided on the spot at the event and which was placed up for voting. The most voted for topic was to be conducted in five minutes.

The event saw the audience sharing its knowledge and experience in a dialogue session. The guests were also invited to contribute their topics and vote for the speaker and topic they wanted to listen to most, through the HP ElitePad. A voting application was specially created within the HP ElitePad to strengthen the product engagement.

The event saw a 100% RSVP with a 99% attendance rate. There was also a 50% trial offer pick up where guests were offered a two-week trial with an option to purchase the HP ElitePad they had experienced for the last two hours at a discounted price.

As a brand that manufactures IT products and gadgets, it is also turning to technology to reach out to its partners.

Kontu said that the use of technology in HP events enables its partners to share and voice out their feedback digitally. It also regularly holds bootcamps (training workshops for its in house sale team). HP also sends out event videos to partners following an event.

As a result of these initiatives, the brand has seen an annual revenue of SG$4 billion, said Kontu. HP has also received feedback from partners who asked when the next HP event is.

The brand has also seen an increase in HP’s accessories business from 2% to 3%.

In December, the brand is also facilitating an incentive trip for its partners in Dubai where it will fly selected partners to the country on an all-expense paid trip. This is part of the brand’s strategy to build up its long term relationships with partners, Kontu added.