2016

Creating The Highly Energized And Engaged Conference Participant

Velvet Chainsaw

Are 50%-80% of your conference attendees in your programming at any given time? Or are they filling the hallways, hotel spa and lounge, local restaurants, coffee shops and bars conversing with others? Or are they visiting the local tourist attractions?

2016 425

Is paid influencer marketing ethical in the event industry?

Conferences that Work

Paid influencer marketing is spreading to the event industry, and I doubt that it’s an ethical practice. Last week I received the following voice mail (identifying details have been bleeped; transcript below.). link].

2016 334

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Event Technology: The Strongest Driver for Change in the Event Industry

EventMB

Technology has allowed us to become more efficient and paperless but it has also altered attendee expectations. Meeting planners are no longer simply coordinating details. They are now offering personalized, engaging experiences. Are you ready?

2016 240

6 Essential Event Rules From an Associations Pro

BizBash

2016 228

Game-Changers 911™: How to Change the Event Game in 2020

Speaker: John Storm, President, BrainStorm Network

In this webinar, we’ll use a sampling of case studies, tools, techniques, and strategic stories to help you identify game-changing opportunities within your company and the world of events, and then brainstorm ways to capitalize on these ideas. Get ready to change your game in 2020!

5 Things To Avoid When Running a Successful Roadshow

Event Farm

Event Farm just wrapped up our inaugural Tour d’States Roadshow event, a six-city series of educational sessions, panels and networking events that traveled across the United States to give event professionals an opportunity to network with industry peers and hear from experts about what they see for the future of the business of offline. We’re very pleased to report that the roadshow was, overall, a remarkable success! Our executives’ keynotes were forward-thinking and visionary, the panels with local experts informative and engaging, and the quality of the attendees and the conversations throughout the event top-notch and inspiring. While most of the Tour d’States events went smoothly, we encountered some minor (and a few major) bumps along the way, as is to be expected with producing any major event. To help you plan for your next B2B-oriented educational roadshow series, we came up with a list of five things to avoid that we wish we had known when kicking off our six-city tour. While we were able to implement these changes as we traveled from one city to the next, if you keep these in mind when gearing up to run a successful roadshow, you'll be sure to avoid some major snafus. PS – if you weren’t able to attend our roadshow, but wanted to check out one of our panel recordings, you can click here to access our Future of Event Marketing series for 2016. 1. Don’t invite anybody and everybody; make sure that your guest list is targeted. Because of the small size of each of our roadshow events – we aimed to have 30 to 40 high-quality marketers in the room for each city – we had to be extremely targeted about who were inviting and why we wanted them in the room. Our marketing team started promoting the roadshow by targeting MQLs (marketing qualified leads), SQLs (sales qualified leads), Opportunities, Customers and Evangelists in our marketing automation platform based on their home state. This helped us ensure that we were both inviting people who were important to our business’s bottom line and likely could attend based on their geography. From there, we had our sales and customer success teams reach out personally to their VIP prospects and clients located close to each of our host cities. This personal touch was key in generating our goal number of registrants, and once they were confirmed on our list, many of our sales reps reached out again shortly before the event to verbally confirmed their attendance. In addition to boosting our numbers, this strategy helped our reps establish a deeper personal connection with each attendee, making conversations more personal in nature and easier to establish and carry on the day of the event. Make sure your own sales team employs this tactical approach when running your own roadshow to get the maximum impact for your event’s registration and attendance. 2. Avoid relying too heavily on outbound campaigns for attendance. From a new lead perspective, one of the great things about running in-person events is that it gives your sales team a chance to reach out to potential prospects with a valuable offer – in this case, attending a free educational roadshow – without asking for anything in return (besides their attendance). Our SDRs, or sales development representatives, did a FANTASTIC job running outbound campaigns targeting event professionals with certain job titles and working for specific companies and inviting them to attend our roadshow events. Their efforts generated a substantial amount of new, hyper-targeted top-of-funnel leads, meaning people who may never have heard of Event Farm before that opted into our event and other marketing efforts, making marketing to them down the line a very straightforward process. While we were very fortunate to have amassed a sizable list of registrants to whom we could market down the road, we found that the registrants who came in from an outbound campaign were less likely to attend the roadshow come game day compared to our existing high-value prospects and customers who already knew us, our brand, our software, and likely had a personal relationship with one or more of the Farmers who would be in attendance. Of course, we found a lot of value in our outbound campaigns in terms of the quality of the leads it generated, but when running one of these campaigns yourself, make sure that your end result – your guest list – favors those prospects and customers who already know you for the best attendance results. 3. Don’t commit to paying a venue’s high rental fee before you’ve explored other options. Off the bat, we knew that one of the higher fixed costs that we could potentially rack up in each city was that of the venue rental. Rather than handing over the company credit card to the first venue that piqued our interest, we took a look at our list of customers and other industry friends in each city who might have an office or event space that we could use to host the roadshow event for a few hours. In addition to providing us with a venue, we pitched this as an opportunity for local event marketers and marketing executives to see their space first-hand, which could lead to venue rentals or potentially bigger business partnerships for the host down the road. When it made sense, we also offered a spot on our panel to one of their executives to give them some additional thought leadership and exposure to those in the crowd. We’re lucky to have some amazing customers and friends in the industry who stepped up to the plate and let us use their gorgeous offices and event spaces so that we could pull off our series without breaking the bank. Special thanks to our #DCtech friends Social Tables for letting us use their HQ, as well as DigitasLBi for lending us their great MainStage space for an afternoon! 4. Don’t rely on conventional catering and bartending providers if their services don’t fit your budget. We were expecting between 30-40 people for our first event in Chicago, and set out to find a catering service that could create a snack and drink menu that would both fit with our Tour d’States theme and enhance our guest’s overall experience during the last part of our event, the networking happy hour. When we received quotes from the caterers that our venue recommended, however, we were pretty shocked to find that none of them could get below $2,500 for a relatively small, 60 minute mix-and-mingle networking happy hour. As that quote would have eaten up about half of the budget for each city’s event, we had to get creative and think beyond the norm to come up with a solution. Fortunately, one of our teammates suggested looking at Whole Foods’ catering menu, which turned out to be an excellent and affordable option. The menu came in at about 1/3 the cost of what traditional caterers could offer, and was packaged and delivered to our venue for an extra $20. The Chicago spread ended up looking and tasting so great that we opted to use Whole Foods for the rest of the roadshow series, and while the catering menu varied slightly from city to city, we were quite happy with the reliable, high quality product that they provided across the country. We also used this opportunity to get creative with our drink offerings as well. Alexandra, our CMO, came up with the great idea to create a local craft beer tasting experience to offer our attendees a little something different than the norm at your standard B2B networking happy hour. To accomplish this, we got in touch with craft beer stores in four of our six cities, and had them send their favorite local beers along with a cicerone (the official term for a sommelier of beer, we learned) to provide some details to the crowd about what they were drinking. In California, we were fortunate to team up with Lagunitas Brewery directly, and they were so kind as to provide us with some of their product in exchange for a sponsorship, which helped to keep costs low. 5. Don’t be afraid to pull the plug on an event if all hell breaks loose. Sometimes, the perfect storm hits on the day of your roadshow event, and absolutely everything that could go possibly wrong, does exactly that. We were scheduled to have our San Francisco roadshow event on a crisp Monday in October. While the weather in the city itself was totally fine, there was fog at SFO that canceled and delayed hundreds of flights that day, leaving three of our team members that were supposed to arrive before noon stranded at their home airports, including our CEO, who was slated to deliver a 50 minute keynote presentation to kick the event off. Once it finally started to look like our LA-based team would be able to fly out in time for the event, President Obama made a surprise landing at LAX, causing a ground stop that lasted almost two hours. It was looking less and less likely that our team would make it to SF in time for the roadshow. To make matters worse, I wasn’t able to get in touch with the venue owner that day. Even though he had been extremely responsive to my texts, emails and phone calls prior to the event, we weren’t able to get into the venue until 2:30 – an hour and a half past when we were supposed to begin setting up, and 30 minutes before our guests were due to arrive – when one of his crew members happened to open the door. He was surprised to see us, and had no clue that the theater was hosting our event that afternoon, and as a result, nothing had been properly set up. We went through every possible option to pull this off, including finding a backup venue to host the event, an alternate keynote speaker, and other minor logistical configurations in order to make the event a success. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t possible. We wouldn’t have been able to deliver the top-notch event and experience that we had promised to our invitees, especially with our team operating at just 25% of capacity. Although it really pained us to do so, we had to cancel the event last minute. While nobody was more disappointed than I was to make this call, our team still believes that we made the right decision, and look forward to making the mishap up to our SF-based prospects and customers that were looking forward to the roadshow as much as we were. Event pros – especially field marketers – what tips do you have to share with your peers who may be gearing up for their first roadshow series? Let us know in the comments below, or Tweet us @eventfarm to keep the conversation going. Conferences

2016 222

More Trending

Integration Is The New Secret Sauce For Event Organizers

EventTechBrief

Archived Story. Archive

2016 189

What If Attendees Remember Nothing From Your Event?

Velvet Chainsaw

Yes, what if they remember nothing from your event? Meetings are often so overloaded with material that learning may be hurt more than it’s enhanced,” says Andrea Driessen, Chief Boredom Buster, No More Boring Meetings. Read her article for seven ways to boost learning.).

2016 421

Our Increased Distrust Of Institutions And What It Means To Your Association, Conference

Velvet Chainsaw

“I’m done with !”. Go ahead and fill in that blank with any type of institution. Big business, conferences, education, government, medicine, membership associations, nonprofits, professional societies, religious organizations, trade organizations, etc.

2016 406

We Must Stop Promoting Conference Fast-Track, Artificial, Butt-In-Seat, Surface Learning

Velvet Chainsaw

How are your conference attendees learning? Yes, of course we should ask, “What are they learning?” More importantly, we need to ask, “How are they learning?”. We’ve got to confront the ineffectiveness of our conference education approaches!

2016 392

A Practical Guide to Measuring Event Success

Can you measure event ROI? 3 in 5 marketers can't. Learn how with this free ROI model.

Your Conference Needs To Focus On Providing 4D Experiences

Velvet Chainsaw

Conferences need 4D experiences: deep learning, deep play, deep reflection and deep connections. You probably recall a time in your life when you viewed a 3D movie. You wore 3D glasses and the images looked like they popped out of the screen. Your conference needs more than the gimmick of 3D glasses.

2016 391

Embracing Otherness for Conference Uniqueness [Webinar]

Velvet Chainsaw

Think about the last time you approached a stranger and asked if you could help them? Now ask yourself; Did that person look like me? Robert Putnam , Harvard Political Scientist claims that when most of us are faced with diversity, we retreat and close our doors.

2016 389

What’s the best learning model for conference sessions?

Conferences that Work

We don’t usually think about the learning models we employ during conference sessions, and I believe our events would be better if we did. Conventional conferences assume a ready supply of experts to whom we listen while they cover the learning that has been advertised at their sessions.

2016 302

20 Guerrilla Marketing Tactics to Promote Your Next Event

EventMB

Guerrilla marketing involves low-cost options that make bold statements and make you memorable so that you don’t have to worry about splashing out big to be trending on social media. Have you spent all your event budget already and are struggling for ways to promote it without the cash?

2016 240

Effortlessly Interact with an Entire Audience from Any Location

1,000 Participants. 75 Locations. 1 Solution.

Meeting Must-Haves: Why Planners Are Choosing All-Inclusive Venues

BizBash

2016 228

5 Trends for Experiential Marketing in 2017 and Beyond

Event Farm

Thanks to the rapid development of new technology, the event and experiential marketing field is constantly in flux.

2016 217

Supporting conference speakers

Gallus Events

I took to the stage as part of the content, curated by Julius Solaris and his team at Event Manager Blog at IBTM in Barcelona, in December. Julius had spoken for me before, so it was great to be able to return the favour. I actually spoke twice! So I think it’s back to Julius to do me a turn?

How To Monetize The Attendee Experience

EventTechBrief

Archived Story. Archive

2016 186

Blow-The-Bugle-Awesome 21st Century Conferences Emulate These Core Beliefs

Velvet Chainsaw

Your conference-slip is showing! I once worked for a Texas elected official. I quickly learned to tell her if her slip was showing, she had a run in her pantyhose or she had lipstick on her teeth—especially before she went on stage or met with the public.

2016 383

Great Questions Define Great Conference Experiences

Velvet Chainsaw

It is much more effective to provide opportunities for conference participants to solve their own problems, then telling them how to solve it. Paraphrase Dr. A. Gidget Hopf, President & CEO of The Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired—Goodwill Industries.).

2016 383

Many Organizational Leaders Prefer Dysfunction

Velvet Chainsaw

Your organization needs to change because it’s broken! Or is it? There is no such thing as a dysfunctional organization, because every organization is perfectly aligned to achieve the results it currently ge ts,” says Jeff Lawrence. The Illusion Of A Broken Organization?

2016 359

Common, Yet Hazardous, Conference Planning Thinkholes That Inhibit Uniqueness

Velvet Chainsaw

Why do so many people rate the conference experience as stale, predictable and average at best? Why do conference leaders miss the mark at preparing their own unique DNA conference experience?

Getting More Value from Conference Keynote Speakers

Velvet Chainsaw

Not long ago, becoming a professional speaker was a third step in a thought leaders career path. Many built their expertise in an industry or function, shifted to consulting and then wrote a book to launch their speaking career.

Guaranteeing audience engagement at your events

Conferences that Work

Most people won’t ask questions at meetings. So how can you get authentic audience engagement at your events? In a thoughtful article “ Audience Engagement – at the Heart of Meetings “, Pádraic Gilligan writes: “…We all want audience engagement so why doesn’t it take place?…While

2016 299

The Next Biggest Thing In Events

EventMB

What’s the next biggest thing in the event industry? Hint, it may not be what you are thinking about. I get this question at every event, interview, webinar, guest post I participate in. It’s a question I hate. I hate it because it forces me to make predictions.

2016 200

What Event Trend Will Take Off in 2017?

BizBash

2016 228

7 Questions to Ask Yourself When Purchasing Event Marketing Software

Event Farm

Events are consistently cited as one of the most effective marketing channels , and event marketing software platforms make it possible for your events to become even more successful.

2016 212

Using events to bring your brand to life

Gallus Events

Events are powerful things. For an increasing number of organisations “live communications” (events to me and you) are becoming the number one way to enhance brand value. So in this post I thought I’d look, in detail, at how you reflect your brand at your event.

2016 200

Exhibitor Priority Points System that Rewards Loyalty

Velvet Chainsaw

Your Points System Should Influence Current Spend Decisions. Like any storefront business, exhibitor booth selection is heavily influence by three factors: location, location, location. Most trade-show organizers use a priority-points system to help determine the order of booth-space selection for next year’s expo and their system has been in place for quite a while. Over the past couple of years, we’ve studied dozens of priority-point models to formulate best practices for progressive expos.

2016 299

Your Trade Show Attendees: What Do They Really, Really Want?

Velvet Chainsaw

This is the first in a series of posts on the findings of reports published by the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) based on research recently conducted on attendee retention strategies.

When Your Conference Planning Process Eclipses Your Purpose

Velvet Chainsaw

Did you ever play the board game of Chutes and Ladders? The object of the game is to get to the end of the path first. You avoid landing on a chute, which makes you slide backwards. And take advantage of the ladders which help you climb ahead.

Four reasons why traditional conferences are obsolete

Conferences that Work

Previously, I’ve described three major trends that make traditional conference formats obsolete: No longer knowing in advance what attendees want to learn ; The rise of online ; and. The massive change in how we learn what we need to know to do our jobs. Here’s a fourth.

2016 283