How a LinkedIn API Solution is Helping Skyrocket Dreamforce 2013 Free Registrations

November 18, 2013

Last spring, right after joining the Marketing Solutions team at LinkedIn, I partnered with Keara Cho, online marketing manager at, to meet an incredible challenge: Boost free registrations to Dreamforce 2013,’s annual — and extremely popular — conference. This year, the event will take place in San Francisco the week of November 18.

Our goal was immense: Exceed last year’s record-breaking 90,000 registrations, and support a knockout event headlined by iconic speakers such as Sheryl Sandberg, Marissa Mayer, Deepak Chopra, and Wayne Dyer. Additional entertainment includes a concert from Green Day at AT&T Park. I was jazzed; what a great way to start my career at LinkedIn!

It took a few months, and a lot of work from a really fabulous team of people, but we did it. Here's how:

Phase 1: Brainstorm

After a few strategy discussions, we decided to create a Custom API Solution that uses LinkedIn’s data to engage registrants and offer relevant content to pump up excitement. We also planned to marry these strategies to a robust media campaign.

Phase 2: Create the Custom API Solution

Creating the Custom API Solution was no small task. First, we brought in LinkedIn’s partner, Friend2Friend, to help on the creative side. They came up with the super-innovative idea of tying a personalized interactive infographic to a sweepstakes offer. LinkedIn API solutions consultant Adit Gupta took the lead on the technology, working with the and Friend2Friend teams to make sure requirements were met and that everything worked together correctly. Recalls Adit:

It was a pleasure to work with the Dreamforce marketing team at Salesforce. Dreamforce is one of the largest events in the tech community, and we are thrilled to be a partner in it. This is a unique marketing application, combining LinkedIn data with Salesforce insights, and we are excited to see how this application performs.


This program offers some incredibly inventive elements. From calls-to-action (CTAs) on the Dreamforce website, LinkedIn’s Sponsored Updates, and other display media, visitors sign in with their LinkedIn information for free registration for Dreamforce. In doing so, they’re automatically entered for a chance to win two Virgin Atlantic airline tickets and free Dreamforce expo passes.

The resulting integrated infographic has several modules, as you can see below, including two that promote speakers and expo partners. There’s even a module that populates members’ current LinkedIn connections and estimates how many more they’ll have after four days at Dreamforce.


Step 3: Build and Execute the Media Campaign

We recognized early that to attract a stampede of registrants, we’d need a robust media campaign that was just as innovative as the API Solution, and that would yield extraordinary results. LinkedIn Sponsored Updates was the perfect product for this kind of effort. Along with supporting display media, Sponsored Updates have played an important role from mid-October to mid-November, featuring updates that highlight each module on the infographic that are most relevant to LinkedIn members when they sign into the platform. The updates target LinkedIn users in much the same way that the infographic itself does.

All of us on the LinkedIn team are confident that Salesforce will meet or exceed its Dreamforce goals this year. I talked to the Salesforce and Friend2Friend teams the other day, and they feel the same. Says Roger Katz, CEO of Friend2Friend.

LinkedIn is a perfect platform to market professional events, and through the API (Solution) we are able to help brands like Salesforce find, engage and convert on this unparalleled network of business professionals. The LinkedIn API allows us to help brands navigate an incredibly powerful network of profiles and data to deliver visitors a personalized experience, and give professionals access to content, services and products to help them do their job better. We're delighted with the launch, and we're glad to have been a part of the campaign.

Keara and her team have been such a pleasure to work with, and this LinkedIn API project was the perfect way for me to get to know LinkedIn's offerings right out of the gate.

Make sure you check out the LinkedIn Dreamforce API Solution yourself.

You can also learn more about LinkedIn API Possibilities on Slideshare. And be sure to Contact Us if you want to start customizing your own Custom API Solution powered by LinkedIn API. I'm ready to start the next project!