Wednesday, 09 January 2019 / Published in News

New AI Solution Slashes Planner Workload, Drives Attendee Engagement

NORWALK, Conn., Jan 09, 2019 – Event professionals can enrich the attendee experience, while saving time and money, thanks to new capabilities announced today by Aventri and Sciensio.

The partnership combines Sciensio’s artificial intelligence chatbot technology with Aventri’s enterprise software. The result is the industry’s first end-to-end event management solution that leverages EventBots to provide quick answers to thousands of common event questions.

Where should I park? How do I get to the convention center? What’s the dress code? Can I get gluten-free meals? Do meeting rooms have Wi-Fi … Using Aventri, planners can now get instant answers to these and countless other questions 24/7/365. Sciensio’s conversation design engine delivers millions of answers to everyday event questions with an average response time of less than three seconds.

Previously, attendees have had to log onto a computer and search a website, download an app, contact a call center, or send an email and often wait hours or days for answers. Organizers, in turn, have had to devote a great deal of time to responding to repetitive questions. Many of these inquiries pour in all at once when planners are busiest, the day before the event.

“As consumers, attendees are used to getting immediate answers on their smart devices about weather, news, sports, directions, recipes … you name it,” explains Brad Langley, vice president of channel and partner management at Aventri. “EventBots use AI and text to drive richer event experiences. They enable attendees to get answers in a way that’s in tune with how they receive information in the rest of their lives.

“One of the beauties of an EventBot is you can have hundreds, even thousands, of participants receiving answers to different questions at the same time,” Langley continues. “You can’t do that with other communication channels. This frees planners up to focus precious time and energy on the other responsibilities that go into creating successful events.”

EventBots are available as an add-on to the Aventri product suite. Set-up is easy. Now, organizers can access EventBots directly through the Aventri dashboard. The integration ensures a seamless experience and eliminates the need for redundant data entry.

EventBots in Action

EventBots work best on mobile devices and go hand-in-hand with event apps, websites, social media and other channels. They deliver information through SMS, WebChat, Facebook, Messenger, Twitter, WhatsApp and more. But the most popular channels by far are SMS and WebChat, according to Bob Caldwell, founding partner and chief revenue officer at Sciensio.

“Not all attendees read event emails and printed material,” Caldwell explains. “But text messages have a 98 percent open rate. On average, people read them in less than five seconds. That means attendees actually read the important things organizers send them. Attendees have the technology in their hands and know how to use it. If they can text, they can use EventBots.”

With the new Aventri/Sciensio chatbot technology, attendees simply text their questions to a phone number the organizer provides. The EventBot’s AI analyzes the text and responds with the exact information the customer needs. Since potential attendees often have questions before committing to an event, the EventBot helps drive registration.

Sciensio’s award-winning EventBots have a 95+ percent correct response rate, exceeding even a call center industry average of 80 percent. When necessary, they can easily refer complex questions to another customer support option, so the attendees needs are met quickly.

Event profs gain a powerful message delivery tool and real-time view of EventBot interactions with participants. So they can use the power of AI to drive engagement and improve their events.

Push/Pull Solution

Organizers can customize EventBots with a name and personality to match their brand.

The solution not only answers questions, but also serves as a powerful tool for sending targeted notifications like greetings, feedback requests and reminders. What’s more, the technology plays a key role for event emergency preparedness, by providing a fast, reliable tool to alert attendees of changes and emergencies.

Of course, attendees, sponsors and speakers have different priorities. Aventri/Sciensio EventBots lend a friendly voice to event data. The technology can customize communications by participant roles, interests, educational tracks, sessions and more to further enhance the attendee experience.

“We’re delighted to partner with an industry leader like Sciensio,” Langley says. “Our customers have engaging new technology that strengthens their brand and radically reduces their workload and costs, while adding value throughout their events.”

EventBots improve customer service at large-scale events. They also work well for smaller, single-day meetings and conferences of 30 – 300 attendees or more.

For additional information, visit Aventri.com.

About Sciensio

Sciensio is one of the leading pioneers of AI ChatBots for customer support and the global leader for EventBots. The company’s award-winning solutions have been deployed for events from 10 to 100,000+ attendees and can be used for any type of meeting, conference, festival or gathering. Sciensio has won more than a dozen industry awards, including MPI WEC Tech Showcase 2018, National Sports Forum Tech Tank 2018, IMEX America #IMEXpitch 2017, SISO Innovation Battlefield 2017 and IBTM World Technology Watch 2017. The company also was named to CIO Review’s 2018 list of the 10 Most Promising Conversational Platform Solution Providers. Learn more at sciensio.com/eventbots.

About Aventri

Aventri is a global leader in cloud-based analytics and data-driven end-to-end event management and venue sourcing solutions. The award-winning, open-source platform delivers innovative technology solutions to streamline the event process, providing real-time data and analytics on event performance, customer engagement, and increasing measurable event ROI. Founded in 2008, Aventri has assisted more than 25,000 event professionals in planning, executing, and measuring their events. With a focus on event sourcing and hospitality, registration, marketing, logistics, engagement, mobile, and data analytics, the company serves more than 1,300 customers, including leading corporations, associations, agencies, and educational institutions globally. Headquartered in the United States, Aventri also has offices in the UK, Belgium, Australia, Singapore, India, and UAE. Aventri is a portfolio company of private equity firm HGGC. Learn more at aventri.com.

Thursday, 03 January 2019 / Published in Business

What would it look like if you pushed off all the self-doubt and pursued the exciting dreams you have for yourself and your business?

Wednesday, 02 January 2019 / Published in Business

It seems that everyone is obsessed with the words “influencer” and “thought leader”. Buzz words, yes. But a new concept? Absolutely not!

Since the beginning of time, people purchase things from people they know, trust, and believe will do the job. They hire event planners who come highly recommended, which is why most of us get the majority of our business through word of mouth. They hire vendors based on a mix of research, reviews and recommendations.

In short, people hire people they trust. So becoming a thought leader is important for 2 reasons:

  1. It establishes you as a trustworthy person because they see your work, get to know your personality and learn to trust that you do what you say.
  2. The power of social media expands your reach and helps you become that trustworthy thought leader to a MUCH larger audience.

But when we hear these words, we think of the people with thousands of followers and a big, visible brand. We feel unworthy. We think we don’t have what it takes to be the expert yet. We feel like imposters and can always count a million ways why we aren’t “ready yet”.

But here are a few key FACTS about thought leadership you need to embrace so you can make your biggest impact yet in the coming year.

  1. You don’t have to be an expert to be an influencer. People relate to your journey and are more likely to become attached to you as you wade your way through the muck of life. They will appreciate your road to becoming successful rather than loving you once you’re already a know-it-all.
  2. Even with that said, you are more of an expert than you give yourself credit for. Have you ever been able to teach or help someone with something you know? If so (and I know you have!), you have expertise. You don’t have to be the biggest expert on a topic to talk about your journey, but you do have things you know that could be helpful to others.

I’ve been listening to the work of Dr. Valerie Young on a recommendation from one of my mentors, Carolyn Herfurth, about Imposter Syndrome – why so many people (especially women) often feel like we are imposters as we build our brands, even though we have plenty of experience. This podcast that Carolyn did with Valerie is a great listen and I highly recommend if you’re just starting this journey of building your thought leadership and you hesitate because you don’t think you have what it takes yet.

The truth is that the world needs to hear from you. 

They need to learn from you. And you don’t have to be rated #1 in your industry to have something to say. Put yourself out there as you are – be authentic – and share your journey and I bet you’ll be surprised to see how many people care!

——————

If you’re ready to step into your light as a thought leader to grow your business and could use some help, there are a few ways I support entrepreneurs like you!

  1. FREE PODCASTS: The “I’ve Been Thinking” podcast is a 3-5 min. series I’ve been doing to inspire you in your thinking as an event business owner. You can listen at the gym, in the car, or anywhere you have some time to challenge your thinking about your business!
  2. MEETUPS: Sometimes you need to get out of your office and swap war stories with other independent planners who are going through the same things. I’ve found there aren’t many resources for independent event planners so I created a space for us to get the networking we need – planners only so you won’t spend your night being pitched by vendors. Instead – you’ll be able to share war stories and best practices that arm you for success.
  3. DEFINE YOUR BRILLIANCE: One of the things I’ve noticed is that so many independent event planners have a hard time defining their unique value. And if they know what it is, they’re scared of “niche”ing. But this step is SO CRITICAL to growing your business. In this one-on-one short consulting, we’ll work together to find YOUR brilliance – so you can see the ripple effects of defining your value throughout your entire business.
  4. IGNITE: If you’re ready to really dive in and uplevel, this year-long mentorship and consulting program is a life-changer. The eventprofs who have been through this course have seen a dramatic difference in their perception of their businesses, but more importantly, so have their clients. We work on defining your brand, up-leveling your business, raising your prices, finding the right clients and bringing in more revenue by leveraging thought leadership. This takes you from the roller coaster of entrepreneurship and puts you on the path towards sustainable revenue and a growing business.
Wednesday, 26 December 2018 / Published in Event Planning, Event Technology
event planning construction

Are you planning an event? Do you need to attract more people to your business, make your company stand out and get noticed? If so, a good event goes without saying as a major prerequisite for that. Of course, it’s easy for big companies to host events. Well, it’s not that easy but it’s certainly better when you have loads of money at your disposal, right? Well, if you belong to the less fortunate group here, where you have to allocate each buck carefully, take a look below and you’ll find useful tips that will help you do just that.

Timing is important

You know how hotels located in mountains charge less when it’s autumn? That’s because fewer people visit highlands when there’s no snow which means less revenue. In turn, hotels lower the prices to attract people to still consider making a short escape from the city life and relax in the mountains. When it comes to events, the concept is quite similar. Since you’ll hunt for a venue, it is good to learn about seasons. Venues often share bookings with other events such as weddings or receptions. If you go for that season, you’ll be paying a lot. Instead, schedule wisely, see if you can pick out a date when there are no other events. Pick a ‘cheaper’ date, you could save a lot of money.

Look for volunteers

Every event planner needs staff for their events. Without your own people helping with everything, there can be no event. It’s plain and simple. However, that doesn’t mean that you have to spend through the roof and hire contractors or something like that. Work with what you can get. Consider younger people who need experience in events to help manage things. Of course, you have to give something in return. But it doesn’t have to be money. Experience is a valuable asset too.

Partner up

Finding a partner or a sponsor oftentimes isn’t easy. However, if you’re tight on cash, you need to try and look for sponsors or partners. Consider theme and purpose of your event and then look for organizations that might want to align themselves with your particular theme. Remember that both sides need to benefit from this. For example, if you’re hosting an event and you are a small tech company, try to figure out what other company (a partner or a sponsor) would benefit from having their logo displayed at your event. Many companies see sponsorships as a form of marketing. Take advantage of that. Also, if you can find a renowned partner/sponsor, that could help you with event experience. Your attendees will respect you more if they see logos of other giants besides yours. That means that your business is in good company. 

Consider going digital

Back in the day printed material was everything. People needed it to plan, promote and basically do everything event-wise. Nowadays the situation is different. A great alternative that will save you money is technology. You can use e-mail to send invitations, promotional material, schedules and general info about the event. Also, you can even create a website for a fairly small sum of money. A simple website that has everything your attendees need to know about your event can go a long way.

Always keep an eye out on your budget

The budgeting process needs to start early. That’s because you want to know whether your event is going to be feasible. However, many planners forget to keep an eye out after planning a budget. That’s why updating it regularly needs to be a priority. Make it a habit to dedicate 10 to 20 minutes on a daily basis to updating your budget. That’s a good way to stay on top of new developments in real time and anticipate additional costs.

Conclusion

Having a tight budget can be a real pain in the neck. However, every single event planner had to make it work with small amount of money at least once in their career.

inbound marketing strategy

Events are there to let people hear about what you have to say. Events serve as a great way to reach out to your current customer/client base, they can be used to pitch a new idea to the world and of course, to close deals. And it’s safe to say that events can be quite useful. However, getting the desired number of attendees isn’t an easy job. Getting people hyped about your event requires a few tricks and at least one marketing maestro. Fortunately, with the help of social media, things can be a bit easier. Let’s see how you can take that to your advantage.

Easier organization

No matter what you plan to organize, know that you should never underestimate the power of social media. Facebook is without a doubt the most popular social network and it is followed by Twitter and Instagram. Considering this fact, it is no surprise that more and more event organizers plan to increase use of social media for this purpose in the future. Social networks save time and effort while creating a collaborative environment but still manage to reduce endless email exchange. Surely you’d like to reduce email volume and all the fuss that goes along with it. Also, you can easily collect RSVPs with various platforms, consult the attendees and even find suppliers.

Promotion has never been easier

Yes, social media helps here too. There are social media such as LinkedIn, Eventility and LinkedIn Events that really do wonders when it comes to social media event promotion and the whole promotion itself. The first step would be for you to create an event listing. This way you will make your event more discoverable and you’ll have the insight into your potential attendees. Another great thing would be to integrate social media with registration. Do not be too assertive but ask attendees to share the event once they’ve registered. That’s how you get free promotion. More and more companies come up with witty hashtags which makes it easy for everyone to follow the buzz around the event. Last but not least, use video marketing to build up excitement and anticipation before the event. Videos do not require loads of money and they are easily shared online.

Get them engaged through social media

The story about social media doesn’t end as soon as the event starts. There are things that you can do to enhance the live experience. Introducing prizes is one of them. This is a popular way to encourage discussion. Reward the most engaged attendees by awarding them with a prize for tweet of the day or most retweeted or most tweets. This is just an example but you probably get the idea. Also, if you can live stream your event that would be awesome. Through these streams you can reach out to a potential audience of millions. Encouraging your guests to ‘check-in’ at different locations around the venue is also a good suggestion since it motivates the others to visit various booths. Of course, in order to make the event experience great, provide customer support. Attendees post questions and comments on social media so make sure that you’re present there too.

The lifetime value of your event

Just like the role of social media doesn’t end at the start of the event, its role doesn’t end by the end of the event. Extend the lifetime value of your event by posting online. For example, video the whole event and upload the highlights to YouTube. That will remind attendees of how awesome your event was and that will encourage them to attend your future events. Share your presentations and post pictures on popular networks such as Pinterest and Instagram. Also, ask for feedback. There is always something that can be done better. Last but not least, maintain the community, keep them engaged. Use social media to check on your attendees and don’t let them forget you.

Conclusion

Don’t forget to enjoy your event! Following each tip is important but don’t get lost in the process. Appreciate what you’ve done and enjoy.

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