We’ve all experienced the six degrees of separation in work and in our personal lives. We’ve seen jobs offered, deals made and business exchanged because of connections. Who you (may) know is the basis of LinkedIn and most social media. In conference and event world, we pride ourselves on the necessity of networking. After all, it’s all about who you know, right (or hopefully, who you meet at a conference)?
Or is it? A connection might get you a phone call answered or a meeting arranged. But what happens next comes down to relationship and results.
I thought public relations epitomized the who-you-know philosophy, but I’ve quickly realized sealing the deal goes far beyond an initial connection. You can make something happen on a cold call, but if you haven’t established a relationship with that reporter, client or business partner, it will be short-lived. The same is true to get attendees to return, maintain great service at convention centers or nab the best speakers at your event.
It’s actually all about how you treat those you know:
1. Be authentic. When the focus is what we can get from someone, the relationship will always be transactional. Never walk into a business meeting again. View appointments as an opportunity to get to know someone—whether it’s helpful for business or not—and both your perspective and his receptiveness may change.
2. Over deliver. The bottom line is still the bottom line. Relationship or not, if you don’t exceed expectations and deliver results, you’re just friends in the end (hopefully, if you started with step No. 1).
3. Be honest. Be upfront about expectations and disappointments. Respond quickly when things don’t work out and a real relationship can withstand good and bad times in business.
How have personal relationships within your industry been beneficial to you? What rules do you live by to keep them from becoming transactional?
If you’ve invested in an event app, the quickest way to demonstrate a return on that investment is to use it to drive sponsorship revenues. Here are five arguments you can make to sponsors.
1. It’s extremely popular with attendees
The more complex the agenda, the more people use an event app: at Expos, around 30-50% of people will download the app: at conferences, app uptake is between 60-80%. At corporate events, where delegates may be instructed to download the app, usage is typically 90-100%.
2. A list attendees are most likely to be using it
The attendees whose attention exhibitors are most anxious to attract are the ones using the app.
- Planners who want to maximize the value they get from an event;
- Social attendees who tend to be natural networkers and are invariably agents of influence;
- Event regulars for whom events figure prominently in the buying decision process; and
- Serious buyers who have money to spend and an urgent requirement to meet.
Clearly, sponsors need to use the app to get their brand and message in front of these people.
3. The app is what delegates use to help them decide what to do
Delegates use the app at breakfast or on their way to the venue; during sessions or breaks; or when navigating through the venue. Sponsors should take advantage of the app’s ability to deliver access to these delegates when they are actively planning their next move.
4. It’s most frequently used to access exhibitor information
Users access the app, on average, between 10 and 15 times per day! And more than two thirds of enquiries concern exhibitor information. An app banner makes it easy for delegates to find sponsors.
5. It’s at the heart of an attendees engagement with an event
Delegates use exhibitor and session info for research and the customized agenda to plan their time. They use interactive floor plans for information and directions; and scheduling capabilities to set up the meetings. The app should be the centerpiece of sponsors’ engagement with attendees.
In conclusion, app banner space is real estate every bit as valuable as physical space on the exhibition floor and is a huge opportunity for sponsors to: create multiple touch-points with the most important attendees; engage with them when they are most likely to be planning their next appointments and; increase the value of their participation at the event.
To find out more about how an event app can drive sponsorship revenues, sign up for our webinar.
Part of being an event planner it’s not only important to be organized and detailed but to also be prepared for the worse at any given moment. Part of the worse possible scenarios is not only the big stuff such as losing power, weather problems or even catering mishaps. What about mishaps with your centerpiece or setup/event or your guests or staff feeling ill, getting a stain or having a wardrobe malfunction. I’m sure many of us have experience one of these!
Many things can go wrong but you can eliminate much of the stress and frustration by preparing ahead. As I prepare for my clients event whether corporate or social a big part of my preparation is making sure I have everything I need in my Emergency Kits. Yes Kits! I keep 2 different types of kits one which will save my event details and one which will save my client, myself or my staff!!
The fist step to creating an emergency kit is finding a carrying solution for your items, this can be a large Tupperware or hard shelled suitcase. As well you might want to even think about having a hip back to store small needed items you can carry at all times. Now it’s time to go shopping for all the items you need but now you’re wondering what do I buy? When preparing your shopping list start thinking through some of the many mishaps that can happen. You might want to consider: What can happen to my decor or event setup? What might your client/guests need in case of an emergency or what have they forgotten?
Here are some suggestions of things my client may need that we continue to add as different scenarios happen:
- Small first aid kit
- Toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss and mouth wash
- Mints or gum
- Hand sanitizer
- Contact solution
- Tide Sticks or Clorox bleach pen
- Lint Roller
- Charger with different charging tips
- Safety Pins, double sided tape
- Hair Goods: hairspray, bobby pins, hair ties, brush or comb
- Travel sewing kit
- Static cling spray or dryer sheets
- Bites: granola bars and water
- Feminine hygiene products
- Spray deodorant
- Baby wipes
- Unscented bug spray (for outdoor events)
- Nail clipper
- Baby powder
- Dr. Schols foot pads
- Hand lotion or body spray
- Pills for ill guests: Advil, tylenol, tums, immodium
- ear plugs
- Nail polish remover/cotton balls
As you prepare for the big event day, it is always important to have everything you need to get your day going. Items such as your timeline, floorplan, agenda and clients agenda readily available as well as multiple copies for any and all parties involved. Now it’s time to prepare your second emergency “working” kit. Keep in mind that your emergency working kit can change due to project or client needs but these are typically the core items I need to keep my sanity.
Some items to include are:
- Screwdriver, pliers, wire cutters
- Blades or pocket knife
- Different types of tape: scotch, electrical, masking, gaffers tape and double sided tape
- Paper clips, binder clips
- Power strip, extension cords, converters
- Twist ties, fishing line, zip ties
- Sharpies in all colors
- Measuring tape
- Adhesive hooks and tape
- Floral tape
- Paper Towels
- Flash drive
- Flash light
Last but not least it’s always important to carry your patience, sanity and a smile!
We would love to hear what is in your emergency kit.
Any corporate event will have considerable impact on the host’s brand, yet, event organizers often select their app vendor without reference to the larger considerations that will determine the success of the outcome. Asking yourself these five questions will help to ensure that you make the right app vendor decisions.
1. Is there sufficient breadth of functionality?
Are you able to configure the look and feel of your app to conform to your brand guidelines? Are you able to enhance engagement through pre and post-event surveys and live polling?
2. Is your vendor appropriately resourced to offer the support you need?
A robust Implementation Methodology will minimize problems. If anything does go wrong, a dedicated Account Manager will quickly understand and respond to issues while local support is essential for rapid problem resolution.
3. Are appropriate security measures built into the solution?
If the content at your event is confidential, ensure your systems are inaccessible to prying eyes in a manner that is compliant with your existing information security policies. It might also be helpful to segment materials based on e.g. seniority in the organization to restrict access to more sensitive information.
4. Are analytics and post-event evaluation part of the package?
You’ll want to know what worked best – which sessions were the most highly attended, which speakers the most highly rated, and which topics generated the most engagement. An experienced Account Manager can sit down with you after the event to evaluate its success and share best practice.
5. Are multi-device and multi-platform capabilities built into the solution?
Event attendees will be bringing tablets and smartphones which might be running Windows, Apple’s iOS or Android. You’ll want to be sure you can support all of these devices and platforms – or you’ll have some very unhappy attendees!
The app is a critical part of the attendee experience and, if you bear the above in mind, you will make an informed choice of app vendor providing you – and your attendees – with a rich and rewarding experience. Choosing an app vendor can be a long and time-consuming process and asking yourself these six questions will ensure that it is not an experience you will have to go through again anytime soon.
Congrats! Your event is over, the guests are gone, and the dust has settled. As your own personal party favor, you now have the privilege of sorting through the attendee and event data. Hopefully, you had enough foresight to align your registration platform and data collection with your overarching goal to help determine that elusive event ROI.
Now that you have your hands on this massive spreadsheet file, how do you tackle it? Here are some nifty things you can do with your event data report:
If you’re using a registration platform that also sends your invitations and communicates with guests, you can track the email deliverability and open rate down to a specific domain. Why is this important? This will better your understanding of where and how you can most effectively communicate with your audience, helping you deliver future messages in the right way.
On to the next one:
One of the greatest benefits of examining event data is that it helps you better prepare for your upcoming events. Let’s use staffing at check-in for an annual event as an example. Analyze your past report to see the # of guests that were added at the door, # of guests that declined but still showed up, what the busiest time frame was, etc… Use this knowledge to appropriately gauge the needs of your events. Thanks to your data, it’s no longer a guessing game.
Build a 360 view of your individual event attendee by using the data acquired pre, during, and post event. Registration is the foundation for collecting basic attendee info. During the event, the way a guest interacts with your event is indicative of an individual’s interests and preferences. Post event, measuring your social media presence will help measure guest engagement. These insights will help you create more successful events that cater directly to your target demographic.
What worked… and what didn’t:
The ability to innovate and take risks is the best part of being an event professional. However, it is important to acknowledge what was a success, and what was a bust. Sure, the clown you hired ended up scaring people, but everyone loved the photobooth! While you may love an old fashioned hard copy guest list… check-in really went much faster with a mobile solution. Evaluating strengths and weaknesses helps you fine tine your events into amazing affairs.
The bottom line:
Events are thrown for a reason. Whether you’re trying to raise funds for a campaign or generally foster goodwill towards your brand, your event has a purpose. How can you know if you accomplished your goal? Your event data measures ROI while simultaneously giving you insight into the “who, what, when, where, why” that you can put to good use for future events.
These are just a few of the benefits you reap from event data. Pretty crazy right? Take a good look at your report and use it to transform your events!
Want to learn more about turning your event into a data collecting machine? Contact the experts at Event Farm now!
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because no one expects me to buy them crap. It’s a time where we can take a break, reflect on what matters and count our blessings. So in the spirit of Thanksgiving, here are some things I’ve been thankful for this past year.
- Face-to-face meetings. I can surf the Web all day for cool stuff, but it’s only in conversation with people that I truly discover anything useful. At PlannerTech, I stumbled upon some interesting tech tools. At IMEX America I finally got face time with people I’d been social media dating for years. At SoMeT there were brilliant ideas about connecting and activating your social communities. At PYM LIVE and the many events I educated at I got to talk with my audience and find out what challenges the meetings industry faces and some of the possible solutions. Even the big fat turkeys — the stinky, creaky, old-school events I suffered through — were worth going to because of the conversations I had and connections I made there.
- The power of communication. Whether it’s spoken, emailed or typed up and hung on a wall, words are incredibly powerful. They can educate, set a mood, affect behavior, get people excited, piss them off, close a sale, comfort someone in grief and make a friend for life. I’ve always valued it. But this year more than any other, I’ve realized how difficult honest communication can be for some people, especially those in leadership positions. And that’s made it easier for me to be compassionate, patient and willing to help people articulate their thoughts and plans of action, both internally, at home and in the field.
- Obsession with content. In marketing circles, this has been the year of “content marketing,” which means that people are now trying to sell you things with stories. As annoying as that is, it’s great for self-educators because there’s a wealth of free material, including fantastic case studies and how-to guides floating around for you to consume on topics ranging from using hybrid meeting technology, to creating social media calendars to, yes, developing your own content marketing strategy. If you stop and think about why you sign up to receive what you want to read and how you stumbled upon it, it will give you fantastic ideas on how to bring potential attendees to your events using little breadcrumbs of content.
- Rise of the storyteller. From the world of event marketing, the importance of having a story for your brand and your public experiences is bleeding into the everyday world of meeting planning, which is very exciting for me to watch. Because it means that in addition to dates, rates and space, everyday planners are beginning to think about the experience people will have at their events and how to weave that storyline through their communication strategy, meeting design and execution.
- My health. Not to be maudlin, but many family friends have passed away this year. More are battling cancer. And most shocking of all, a meeting planner I knew recently died of pneumonia in her sleep while on-site at an event. From what friends told me, she had bronchitis but didn’t take the break she needed to rest and recuperate. The result: an annoying cough turned into something fatal. I don’t take my mobility or my health for granted any more. And now I’m obsessed with taking frequent breaks to de-stress and recharge. I hope you do the same.
Are you counting your personal or professional blessings? Share them with me in the comment section below.