Back in September, we introduced Piktochart’s first user event series, which we dubbed #PiktoTour. Since we first shared the news, we’ve added Palo Alto, India, and Australia to the growing number of stops for this series.
We wanted to shed light on a particular #PiktoTour that was one-of-a-kind. Inspired by brands like Hootsuite and WordPress, who empower their users to host events called “Hootups” and “WordCamps,” our team decided to do what some would consider to be a huge gamble.
At #PiktoTourShillong, a local Piktochart user took ownership of our brand to share the Pikto love and bring people in his community together – with no Piktochart team members present.
Meet P. Karan Jain
P. Karan Jain is a student at Rajiv Gandhi Indian Institute of Management in Shillong, India. Early in their education at the school, Karan and his classmates learned that presentation skills are an important part of management studies.
“What separates IIM graduates from the rest of the pack is the fact that we pride ourselves on our presentation skills,” he said.
“We are always on the lookout for awesome presentation and data visualization tools. Piktochart is head and shoulders above anyone else in this area. I have been using Piktochart for the past year and I couldn’t be happier with it.”
When Karan realized that other college students might want to use Piktochart too, he emailed our team to learn more about becoming an ambassador and hosting a Piktochart event on his college campus.
“Consider [our running of] this event as an extremely satisfied customer doing some word of mouth for one of his most favorite products,” he wrote to us.
But, here’s the catch.
Our team doesn’t have an official ambassador program in place yet. We don’t have an in-house attorney to weigh the pros and cons of letting a user run with the brand. We don’t have a team of PR professionals to vet each user to make sure that ambassadors understand our brand guidelines.
But we liked Karan and his ideas.
And so we chose to respond like the startup we are. We put all our cards on the table and told Karan that his event would be our first user-led #PiktoTour. We’d be learning alongside him – and we were excited to get started!
Armed with Piktochart swag, some extra promotion on our social channels, and a team of fellow student organizers beside him, Karan hosted #PiktoTourShillong on September 23, 2015.
“You guys went beyond the call of duty to help us out with promotion related to the event,” said Karan. “Since we are such a close knit family in IIM Shillong, the organization of the event was carried out very smoothly and without any speed bumps along the way.”
Karan said the students’ reaction to the event was outstanding. Many of them were unaware of the fact that a designing tool could be so easy and simple.
Karan credits Piktochart’s clean user interface as the thing that really impressed them. After seeing the reactions to the session, he knew what he had shown his fellow students would give them an edge over students from other institutes.
“At the end of the event, one of the audience members came to us and thanked us for helping him improve his designing skills during the one hour session,” recalled Karan.
“In an institute like IIM Shillong, you wouldn’t think students would need help with respect to designing skills, but the fact that we have been able to add some value to the participants was extremely satisfying. The biggest success was the exceptional reception we received from the audience at the end of the event. It further reinforced our notion that the effort we were putting in the event would be adding some value to the participants.”
Karan and his event organizing team knew the Piktochart product inside and out, and he credits this as one reason why the event succeeded. Furthermore, they understood the needs that the product fulfills for those who want to visualize and present data in a new and beautiful way.
Although Karan was the face behind the event, he’s quick to give credit to his fellow student organizers on the ground. The team included Social Media Manager Kailash Chandrasekar, Operations Manager Manjit Sahu, and Marketing and Promotion Manager Sumon Chaudhuri.
“An event of this magnitude can never be executed alone,” said Karan. “One needs to always build a strong team for efficient event management, like we managed to do this time around.”
What’s next for user-led #PiktoTours
We couldn’t have been happier with the way #PiktoTourShillong turned out. Of the 100 students in attendance, nearly every single person redeemed a free product code. This helped us to get Piktochart in the hands of those who would benefit from using it. Karan was easy to work with and shared Piktochart perfectly with those at IIM Shillong.
Right now, we are working with four ambassadors to see how they can bring #PiktoTours to their campuses. Content ideas range from a demo like Karan and his team delivered, to a panel on how to make next-generation resumes using tools like ours.
In fact, Karan is still on our radar. Right now, he and his team are planning #PiktoContest, which is an online infographic creation contest across several college campuses!
If you’re interested in how you can be part of our event series, we’d love to hear your ideas! Email me at [email protected] and let’s bring #PiktoTour to your campus!