At RD Station, SC’s “nearly unicorn”, occasions are the brand new frontier of promoting

At RD Station, SC’s “nearly unicorn”, occasions are the brand new frontier of promoting

Small business marketing and software company, RD Station has been organizing the RD Summit for almost 10 years; 2022 edition should bring together 12,000 people to discuss the future of marketing

The foray into niches outside their areas of expertise can be a shot in the foot for many companies. The most common scenario is that of unsuccessful tests that result in products and services that usually do not take off, and a few successes resulting from a desire to venture into areas outside the comfort zone. This second narrative is all too familiar to the RD Stationmarketing company for small and medium businesses.

Specialist in creating software as a service (Saas, in the market acronym) for SMEs, RD decided to anticipate a trend considered by the company as indispensable in the marketing and startup market as a whole: innovation and technology events.

From this perception was born, in 2013, the RD Summita technology and marketing event promoted by the company.

When did the RD Summit come about?

The idea, at the time, was to educate a population still unfamiliar with marketing concepts, those applied in practice by RD. On the other hand, there was also the idea of ​​disseminating good practices and making success stories in the sector popular, especially those that took place within the technological cradle of the South of the country.

Since then, the event has grown at a rate that not even RD itself had expected. The audience jumped from 250 people to more than 13,000, the number of visitors from the last in-person edition, in 2019. Today, the RD Summit has become the largest event of its kind in South America.

“We saw an ecosystem developing, but no meeting point for those personalities who were developing in the middle”, says Eric Santos, the company’s CEO, in an exclusive interview with EXAME on the eve of the eighth edition of the event.

In 2022, the expectation of RD is to receive about 12,000 people. In short, executives with some relationship with the marketing areas in large companies, founders of startups and employees of marketing agencies willing to discuss what is most unprecedented for this market.

“This spirit and desire to keep the ecosystem active is what drives us to continue promoting the RD Summit, only on an even larger scale”, he says.

Why bet on events

From a content point of view, the idea is to bring the latest, with discussions of “hot” topics to the marketing and sales market as a whole. On the list of hot topics this year are partnerships between brands and influencers and issues related to video production — a trend fueled by the pandemic and viral apps like TikTok.

Some topics that are even outside these themes, but which are relevant to the routine of entrepreneurs — RD’s target audience — are also on the agenda. These include fundraising and diversity and inclusion.

Lectures on conversational commerce are also expected, a marketing vertical that takes place through the exchange of messages, often via WhatsApp. It is a topic with strong appeal, including in DR. In 2022, the company bought Tallos, a startup in the segment, for R$ 6.7 million, as a way to enter the universe of messages once and for all.

If, on the one hand, the expectation is to keep everyone updated on what is expected — and created — by the market, on the other hand, there is the ambition to abuse networking to expand the customer base. The logic lies in signing new contracts and partnerships based on the connections made during the programming days. “Many companies feel so impacted during the event that they end up becoming customers after that, it’s a virtuous cycle”, he says.

“It is difficult to measure the benefit of the RD Summit for us, but I can say with certainty that it is a smart investment, as the event is practically self-sustaining”.

A boom in the local economy

Currently, the RD Summit is one of the biggest entrepreneurship and technology events taking place on the Santa Catarina island of Florianópolis. In the 2019 edition, the event brought together 13,000 people.

In the wake of this success and the definitive resumption of major events, other conferences began to adopt the city as their main meeting point and headquarters for large-scale meetings. The most recent case is the Startup Summit, an event organized by Sebrae, the Santa Catarina Technology Association (Acate) and the Florianópolis Commercial and Industrial Association (ACIF), which brought together at least 5,000 people in August this year.

“It’s a side effect that we would never have imagined having”, says Santos. “This is perhaps our main contribution to the local ecosystem. Fostering business tourism, outside the high seasons, is something huge and that Florianópolis has been trying to do for a while”.

From the door in, the intention of the RD Station is also to be able to generate some impact. For this, everyone involved in the organization of the event, from accreditation to the assembly of stages, are direct employees of RD — a team of 800 employees.

Source: Exam

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