Bizzabo recently published an article featuring yours truly! Check it out here: 7 Event Industry Leaders Share Their Planning Advice
Wedding cakes – one of the simplest and yet most beautiful part of a wedding. How do you find a cake that’s innovative and showcases your client’s personality? I’ve found that the best solution is to look through a ton of beautiful cakes and get inspired so this week we’re making that easy for you since we’ve compiled a whole Pinterest board with looks we love. Some incorporate the colors of the year, others are personality inspired and a few others are just simply beautiful. Enjoy!!
1. Reduces Negative Environmental Impact
Take a relatively small event with just 1,000 attendees and 100 sheets of paper distributed per attendee. The damage to the environment and to our planet is:
- 12 trees wasted
- 75 tons of CO2 emissions into the atmosphere
- 1 million liters of water wasted
Simply put, mobile event apps are Earth-friendly.
2. Cost Savings
For an event with 100,000 printed pages, it can cost $20,000 just in printing costs (at 20 cents per page). Additionally, there are costs for shipping, packaging and preparation pushing the costs into thousands of dollars depending on the event. Eliminating paper can result in incredible savings after going mobile.
3. Updated Information for Attendees
Ever been at a workshop where you showed up a minute late and saw a sign on the door redirecting you to a new location a five-minute run away? Yes, us too. It’s embarrassing and preventable due to a mobile app feature called “instant publish.” It allows organizers to publish any changes they make to their event app to the attendees’ phones instantly.
4. Headache and Hassle Reduction
Spending too many hours stuffing agendas into totes, running to the printers and constantly updating confusing spreadsheets or documents? Superhero app to the rescue! Develop an app in minutes, continue to update it with details as they flow in, and finalize the app as late as the day of the event if you’d like.
How to go mobile at your next event
You can easily transition your event programs from print to mobile. To learn how, get a free eBook filled with tips, tricks and best practices to convert even the naysayers at your event into mobile event app fans.
I’m a guest blogger on EliteMeetings.com. Here is one of my recent contributions.
I think that creating a niche in our industry is incredibly important. Most people tend to think that offering a wide variety of services will bring them more opportunities, but while that sounds intuitively correct, it’s actually the opposite. By narrowing your market to a very tiny segment, you’re more easily able to market yourself and be branded. It’s important in a very competitive industry to be as niche as possible, so here are a few tips on how you can find and brand a niche that works for you.
Find what you love
One of the great things about the events industry is that every planner is so different. We all have different passions, strengths and skills. Something that might be really interesting to me is probably a drag to someone else. For me, this interest is technology. I have a very unique interest in how technology impacts events and how it can be used throughout the event planning process, but clearly this is not the same passion for everyone in the industry. For some, it’s design. For others, fundraising. Whatever the thing is that you love, you’ve got to find a way to hone in on that.
Market that niche
The reality is that marketing a niche is far more simple than marketing broadly. If you are a technology focused event planner, all of your content, social media and marketing can circle around that. If you’re trying to stretch yourself too thin, you have to market weddings, corporate events, Bar mitzvahs, birthday parties and more. It’s simply stretches you too far. Instead, make sure that all of your marketing collateral and social media/content marketing is about this one thing.
They say that your brand is not what you say it is, but what other people say it is. And how does a user identify your brand? It’s through their experience with your brand through your marketing. The more consistent you are with your marketing, the easier it will be for your target audience to pick up on your niche. You can always decide to take events that are outside of this niche for the money or the experience, but you may choose not to showcase them as prominently on your website or in your social media.
If you have trouble believing me that you will get more business by marketing more narrowly, just trust me for six months. Dive into a single category and see the impact you can make!
Photo credits: Shutterstock.com
It was such a hit at this year’s techsytalk LIVE that we’re putting the tshirt back on sale through July 5th, 2016. We need a certain number of people to tip the campaign and make it so that we can all get tshirts so don’t hesitate – buy today! We’re using teespring so you can choose your own style and size and it will ship directly to YOU. Join the #eventprofs movement!
I’m guest blogger for Elite Meetings and last month I shared my thoughts on Event Reminders.
Ahh – event marketing. The world of email marketing, social media engagement and follow up, follow up, follow up. When I talk to planners in the industry, it seems that we all still heavily rely on email marketing as a primary channel for getting the word out about our events. But the fact that we are all using this marking tool means that our audience is being bombarded by email marketing and email reminders. So how much is too much? And what email campaigns really capture attention? Here are a few tips.
It’s no secret that the key to our audience’s heart is content that engages. I think it’s a smart idea to hire professional copywriters to craft messages that get their attention and make them interested in attending your event. I’d also recommend thinking about the value that your email marketing brings to them. Not only are you pushing an event, but what can you give to them in addition? Perhaps a recap of helpful articles from your website that they may have missed, a summary of trends that will be interesting to them, or other ways of providing value so that your audience clicks and engages.
Engaging subject line
You can have great content, but if no one opened your email, you only get so far. The art of subject lines is more complicated than ever, but definitely an art worth learning. I would recommend doing some research on engaging subject lines. You can try personalizing the subject line so that your attendees first name is in that prominent location. Many brands are also using emoji’s in their subject line to help them stand out in a full inbox.
I think it’s very important to email people who register for your event frequently. The key is segmenting and specializing. Don’t send the same confirmation email over and over to the same attendee. Take them through a pipeline – ask them to download your app, highlight some of your speakers, introduce them to other people will be attending. And, segment your list so that the content they receive is customized for them. Perhaps you have one email confirmation going to speakers, a different one for sponsors, one for longtime supporters, another for people who are coming to your event for the first time. This, of course, is a lot more work on the writing side, but it allows your emails to be much more personalized and will help your attendees find the value in repeat communications.
Photo credits: Shutterstock.com
If you’re anything like me, and by that I mean cheap and love freebies, you would relate marketing events and fairs to a shopping trip for practical stuff you’ll need for the coming year or so. When I’m at such events, I’m usually also on the lookout for freebies I can get concrete use out of. Swags such as pens, notepads and T-shirts are very common at events and for good reason – they’re things everyone needs on a daily basis. In other words, they’re practical. But practical as they are, you don’t always have to go for the same old pens and T-shirts. If you prefer to stand out, you could opt for more creative giveaway ideas.
The basic aim of a swag is to lure event-goers to your stand. That’s the very first step to getting people interested in what you’re offering. Hook them in with a good freebie and proceed from there. From the point of view as a freebie-consumer, you could have the most mundane and mainstream product/service and your stall could be the dullest one in the entire event hall. But if you’ve got an attractive-enough giveaway, I’m making a bee-line for you.
The last event I’d gone to was a work fair some two months ago and while I was looking forward to seeing what job offers there were out there, I was personally more excited about the freebies. They definitely fulfilled their aim of luring me to the different job stalls as I managed to score a number of interviews. But I was perhaps a little over-excited about the freebies which may have compromised my composure during the interviews!
When it comes to choosing the perfect giveaway, you could always go safe or go for something less conventional. With so many options for you to choose from, it can be rather overwhelming. Here’s one easy tip to follow – swags needs to have swag. Given that I’ve never had a green thumb nor been a fan of flowers, a great example of what your giveaway (from my point of view) shouldn’t be like is a flower pot. The best swag should satisfy the basic criteria of being practical, light, small and easy to print on and cost-effective. A flower pot is simply the exact opposite of these.
What the perfect giveaway should be
A flower pot sits in the corner of the room and serves no purpose besides taking up space. Plus, I’d have to water it every day – what a chore!
This is key. Items such as personalised t-shirts, pens and thumb drives (they could only be 512mb and I’d still take them in a heartbeat) fair well as popular giveaways for this very reason. They’re items people can use over and over again. I’ve been using pens I got from such fairs for as long as I can remember and in fact don’t even remember the last time I actually bought one.
Light & small
Imagine lugging a flower pot all around the fair and on the bus/train home. Sure, it could make for a good conversation starter but I’d very much just prefer a photo of it, thanks.
Nobody, not even freebie-loving me goes to an event with a huge bag with which I can fill freebies. That’s just a tad bit too excessive. That being said, a giveaway needs to be small and light enough in order for it to be practical enough to be taken away.
Easy to print on
Hey, let’s print our logo on this petal and have it wilt and fall! No.
If you haven’t already figured this out, your primary purpose of having a stall at a marketing event is to – duh – market your brand! The whole purpose of giveaways is to *drumroll* give away an item by which event-goers will remember you. And if your brand or logo isn’t indicated on the giveaway, chances are that nobody’s going to remember where they got the swag from.
Forget the pots, flowers are expensive enough – ask anyone with a girlfriend.
You’re guaranteed to be the most popular stall in the event hall if you’re giving away a trip for two to Las Vegas as a promotional item. But unless you’re also harvesting bills or Bill Gates from your pots of flower, that’s obviously unfeasible. Since you’re going to be giving away these items for free, you have to consider the trade-offs. It’s important to not go overboard. Set a strict budget and stick to it.
Another great example of a good giveaway is food. It’s practical in the sense that it satisfies hunger, is a light snack and small enough to fit in your stomach. That’s unless, of course, what you’re giving away is free steak in which case does not satisfy criteria #4. I remember being so hungry at the job fair that I was absolutely famished by the time I got to the PepsiCo booth. I needed to satiate my hunger and drown out the dreadful melodies being churned out by my stomach juices. That resulted in my shameless munching on Doritos as I was speaking to the PepsiCo representatives – probably why I didn’t get the job. But hey at least I got a free bottle of Mountain Dew after – score! Kinda.
Other items I picked up from the fair include this four-coloured-inked pen and heart-shaped notepad. They do satisfy the criteria of a good giveaway but given that I already have loads of pens and notepads lying around at home from previous fairs, I haven’t had much use for them just yet.
Hands down my favourite giveaway from the job fair is this tote bag from Estrella Damm’s stall. Given that many supermarkets are now charging consumers for plastic bags, this is an extremely handy item. You’re saving money as well as the Earth! Plus, it can be used to carry all the other freebies from the other stalls, unless someone inadvertently picked up a flower pot. It’s also simple and versatile enough design that I’d carry it on a regular day out as well. In fact I loved it so much I took a second one when everyone had their backs turned – or so I thought. Suffice to say, I didn’t get this job either!
In a nutshell (just FYI nutshells don’t make for good giveaways), the main purpose of a freebie is to market your product/service. You want your presence to be felt everywhere. Think of a marketing event as a point where you disseminate information regarding your brand. You’re there to promote yourself and besides networking and chatting with event-goers, another way to do that is through these freebies.
Have you ever seen anyone give away a flower pot as a freebie? Have you ever shamelessly stuffed your face with food giveaways? What’s the favourite giveaway of yours that you’ve taken? What are some of the most unique freebies you’ve seen around? Do share some of your freebie stories with us!
You got to fill seats for your upcoming event; otherwise, you’ll have a half-empty venue. To maximize ticket sales, you have to involve social media in one form or another.
As an event planner, it’s highly recommended that you acquaint yourself with some of the lesser known features of the primary social networks. These can be used to help get the word out about your event.
Create User Generated Content After the Event
Continue to use social media after the event. Within 24 hours after the event, encourage attendees to upload some of the posts and selfies taken during the event. Collect the images and post them all to a single website, which you promote through the event hashtag. Attendees that sent photos that get the most likes or comments will win a prize, so in a way, it’s similar to a social media contest; it’s just done after the event.
Red Bull did something similar during a summer promotion. It took all photos from followers from Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram that were sent with a #shareyourwings hashtag and uploaded them into an all-new website. Those who participated received free products.
Add a Social Media Wall
Social media is not just about getting butts on the seats. It should also be used to generate engagement during the event. Strategically place a few social media walls where people tend to cluster. Encourage attendees to share their own thoughts and submit selfies while the event is in progress.
All posts, of course, should include the event hashtag. This keeps the event alive for those in attendance. It also encourages those not present to chime in. All the posts, tweets, and selfies can later be used to create a collage, as was described in the previous point. Plus, having a social media just creates a real “techy” atmosphere and adds to the cool factor.
If you have been encouraging attendees to tweet, then you should have plenty of posts that you can sort through using Twitter’s RT button. Just enter your event hashtag to look through the tweets and share the ones that are positive and paint your event in a good light.
Here’s another tip: as the event is coming to a close, encourage guests to send a final tweet summarizing their experience. You can also do the same with selfies. Pictures, after all, are worth a thousand words, and a group selfie of smiling guests says a whole lot. This is all material that can be used for hyping the brand and the next event.
Make Use of YouTube
Remember, YouTube is very much a social network. All those tweets, selfies, and testimonials can be used to create a highlight reel that sums up the event. Show this video when it’s time to promote the next event; show new attendees what a blast previous guests had.
You should have more than one video; others can include behind-the-scenes footage of the planning phase or something similar. Embed annotations to encourage viewers to watch other videos on your company channel. You can also encourage those who attended the event to add comments; this is especially the case for guests whose testimonial makes it to the final edit.
Social Media Is Your Friend
Social networks are versatile, so they’re use extends beyond making a few friends and establishing contacts. Learn the tools available for each social network and use them for every step of the event planning process.
Spring is just coming to the New York area, but I’m already thinking about summer. And there’s no better way to kick off the summer than with a great BBQ. But how do you avoid hosting a party that looks like everyone else’s? Opt for the bacon and beer bbq! Chances are, your guests love both of these items and with some delicious recipes and creative styling, you can really have a great event. Check out the ideas below that merge sweet and savory, fun and exciting!