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DEMAND 2021 & 2022

Content so good, we wouldn’t blame you for charging for it - and yet, it’s 100% free and on demand. 

That was something Metadata wanted to provide with their DEMAND events. Truly ungated, value-led, relevant content provided by thought leaders and experts during their free online events. 

And it doesn’t stop there. The content continues to live forever more, completely ungated on their website. 

If anyone needs a lesson in ungating content for demand generation, Metadata is here to blaze the trail. 

We’re not lying, you can take a look through all the talks from their past events here!

But what was the idea behind the DEMAND events? Why did Metadata offer all this free content for no obvious trackable returns?

The idea 💡

Metadata calls itself a demand generation platform. It allows B2B marketers to use a single tool to launch their paid campaigns across Facebook, LinkedIn and display. 

The idea of creating an event was born from the team's disappointment they had felt about other industry events. They felt there was always an undercurrent of an agenda to sell something, and Metadata wanted to reinvent the game. 

Mark Huber, Director of Growth at Metadata, said:

“We really wanted to give B2B marketers in the demand gen community access to some pretty unbelievable speakers. People who had been through the process, done the work.”

“We also wanted to give some of the smaller, more ‘up and coming’ B2B marketers - who really know their stuff, just aren’t that established yet - a platform.”  


The first-ever DEMAND event was in some senses the MVP. 

Marketing for DEMAND didn’t mention specific speakers until right before the event. 

Mark shared:

“We had to start promoting the event before we had the speakers finalised. It was scary but I needed to get over that feeling and just get things done.”

A brave attitude, but as we all know, it’s better to get something done than to never start at all!

Mark went on:

“We want to be transparent, we want to attract our buyers as much as we want to weed out the ones that don’t fit. We always try to say ‘this is what we are, and this is what we aren’t.”

“I think this theme of transparency was what led us to announce the event before all the details were finalised.”

And this approach received a lot of positive feedback from people, praising their openness and honesty. 

Mark added:

“I think because we had been so nervous announcing the event early, it was all the more special for the team when the event went so well.”


The Vision 👀

Metadata was not the first to do online events. However, they wanted to do them better than ever before. 

They felt there was a gap in the market for a truly value-led event. This wasn’t a sales campaign, this was a brand awareness mission. The goal was to build a community. 

And the main idea behind it was ‘Let’s create an event that we would like to attend ourselves’.

They decided to forget everything they knew about how to run an online event and start again from scratch. 

The team got together to map out the things they loved about events they’d been to, and the things they didn’t like quite so much… So they could build something better.

And they started with something that most companies don’t - the topics. 


Mark said:

“We figured if we started with the topics, we could curate the content our audience is interested in and would find most helpful.”

“Once we’d locked down the topics, we could then go looking for the best people to speak on those subjects. The biggest names, the most qualified, the up-and-comers in the industry.”

Matching the speakers to the topics gave Metadata control over the subjects that they felt would be best suited for their ICP. 

And ultimately, if they didn’t have their headline speakers announced yet, their audience would still be interested in attending the event based on the chosen topics. 

Another key area of focus was ensuring this event wasn’t about pushing Metadata. Instead, the focus was on the content. 

They wanted it to be no fluff, completely actionable and comfortable for attendees to enjoy, without feeling they were being sold to. 


The Results 📈

The first year of the DEMAND event had 4,495 registrants; the original target was 4,000.

Mark said:

“I told my boss I thought 4,000 was an insane target for year one, but we were happily surprised that we ended up surpassing that figure.”

Mark believes one reason they had so much success in generating registrations was using their own employees' personal branding, network and reach. 

Not just people in the marketing department either, no - the whole team could get involved in promoting the event on their LinkedIn.

Mark said:

“Our CEO and leadership team realise the impact of having your employees active on LinkedIn can have - it’s a weapon most SaaS companies don’t have or don’t use.”

One important factor here is that Metadata didn’t give their employees a script for what to say when posting about the event. They knew their employees were excited to share their plans with their network, so they wanted them to use their own words for added authenticity. 

Another reason for the high volume of registrants was due to the snippets of speeches teased as the event got closer. 


Mark explained that because over half the talks were recorded, the team could pick out the key moments. They used these to dangle like a carrot in front of a rabbit to encourage last-minute registrations. 

He also revealed how Metadata utilised the speakers as marketing channels:

“We had built strong relationships with our speakers over the previous year or so, so we were able to tap into their networks, getting them to promote the event. Many of the people who spoke had much larger networks than we did.”

The marketing team at Metadata understood the value of getting people hyped and excited ahead of the event, so their efforts to get people talking didn’t end there. 

They also held a competition, rewarding people for sharing the talks they were most looking forward to. Around 105 people entered, writing their own LinkedIn posts about the event. This meant DEMAND was shared amongst attendee networks too. 

Not only did these marketing efforts impact the number of people registering for the event, but they also helped generate demand.

As a result of their work on DEMAND, Mark’s team had generated eight opportunities and one closed-won deal before the event had even taken place.

Mark says:

“It was really amazing to see we had measurable positive business results happening to reinforce what we were doing.”

And after the event, the opportunities and deals just kept rolling in. 


Mark and his team were thrilled by the number of registrants coming inbound as they’d specifically told their salespeople not to do the usual day after outreach campaign - as that was a part of online events they disliked. 

This only proved their theory that by being less pushy, and communicating ‘if you want to talk to us, great - but we won’t be selling to you’, prospects would approach them, not the other way around. In other words, they were creating genuine demand. 

The positive results don’t end there. 

Mark shared that from the first year's event alone, even if they stopped all their other content production work (which they weren’t stopping), they produced at least five months' worth of content to reshare post-event. 

Justin Simon, a Content Marketer for Metadata, shared a similar outcome as a result of the recent DEMAND 2022 event:

And again, this repurposed content isn’t selling Metadata. 

It’s truly insightful content from experts in the B2B marketing space that can add value for their audience.

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