Conference Giveaways: Why They Are Important and How to Use Them to Reach Your Goals
by Sarah Hill on

giveawawys

According to experienced corporate event planners, the most important aspects of conference planning are:

  • setting result-focused goals;
  • starting early with promotion;
  • having the tools for exchanging information;
  • establishing connections quickly.

However, while those aspects are important, you still need a way to get people to your booth or area.

Standing out from the crowd in a conference can be difficult. So, experienced conference organisers know that using conference giveaways to incentivize attendees can be very useful.

But how exactly can conference giveaways help?

Well, there are many reasons why it is a powerful tool if used the right way. Let’s explore some of them below.

Benefits of Conference Giveaways

A well-executed conference giveaways campaign can draw attention and leave a lasting impression for your audience.

But how exactly can they be beneficial?

Below, we’ll go over some of the most important advantages.

Increase Interest in Your Company

The primary goal of corporate event planners is to drive attendance and increase interest in the company. Corporate giveaways can help you drive traffic to your booth and reach and engagement goals for the conference.

The reason why giveaways work so well in driving traffic to your booth or section is that they are the most powerful incentive.

People love getting free stuff, especially if it’s something relevant and useful to them.

If you have promotional products that draw attention and get people talking, you’ll be well on your way to becoming the centre of attention in the conference.

Help with Brand Recognition

During trade shows and conferences, one of the main goals for any company is to get their brand remembered in the eyes of the target audience.

Growing your company can be difficult if your brand isn’t recognized in your marketplace. Therefore, you must use conferences as the perfect place to draw attention to your brand and become more visible.

If you can put together an effective conference giveaway campaign, you can draw attention to your company during the event. You can also generate a response on social media, as people start sharing the promotional products that they received.

This way, you can reach an audience much bigger than the one attending the conference itself and propel your company’s growth.

Positive Experience for Your Audience

Finally, you can’t underestimate the power of sharing positive experiences with the people that you want to reach.

Even if it’s a relatively simple conference giveaway, you are still offering a gift to your prospects. That will help them remember you in a positive light and might also have a reciprocal effect in the future.

Instead of being a company that the prospect has never heard of, now he will not only be familiar with your brand but will also remember the nice gesture.

He might even keep the gift for a long time if it’s useful and relevant to him.

How to Create an Effective Corporate Giveaway Strategy

We’ve gone through the main reasons why conference giveaways are so effective.

So now, let’s explore some of the more effective strategies that experienced conference organizers use in their campaigns.

Figure Out Who You Want to Reach

The first step of putting together a giveaway campaign is determining your target audience.

It won’t matter how expensive or impressive your promotion is if:

the products that you choose aren’t relevant to the people that you want to reach; they don’t make sense for the environment that you are engaging them in.

Take the time to understand who you’re dealing with and think about how you can match the theme and mood of the conference with what your brand can offer.

That way, you can create a cost-effective giveaway campaign that will draw attention to your brand and help your booth or section stand out.

Think About Your Goals

Once you know who you are dealing with, the next step is establishing your goals.

You need to specify what reaction you are trying to entice from your audience and then base your decisions on making that happen.

Companies often like to dream big with their giveaways, but that’s not always the right approach. Sure, it would be nice to give away something that the prospect will use for months or even years. But that’s not very realistic if you’re operating on a limited budget.

However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t leave a lasting impression.

The main goals of a giveaway campaign are:

  • to draw attention to your company;
  • cause an initial positive reaction;
  • make sure that the prospect remembers your brand, even if they don’t use the giveaway that often.

Even if the giveaway gets thrown out in a few days, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the campaign is a failure. After all, you already made an impression by getting the prospect to take it.

Prioritize Quality

Once you know who you want to reach and have established your goals, it’s time to figure out the exact product that you’re going to give away.

We already discussed the importance of choosing something that:

  • fits with the theme of the event;
  • is useful or has a perceived value.

But another crucial aspect is ensuring that the product is of high quality.

Obviously, the biggest issue when thinking of products is the budget. You don’t want to overspend on a free giveaway, as it’s tough to measure the effectiveness of the campaign.

However, you still need to ensure that the products you use in the campaign are reliable and do not break easily. Otherwise, it could form negative associations with your brand, even if the giveaway didn’t directly relate to what you can offer.

It’s always a better idea to go with a smaller and simpler product that you know is of high quality. If you become over-ambitious, you may leave a bigger initial impression but end up disappointing your prospect later on.

How to Host Your Own Music Festival
by Dakota Murphey on

party

Music festivals are a real staple of the British way of life. However, with ticket prices on the rise for some of the more major festivals, many people are being either priced out of attending or are opting to spend their money elsewhere. Running your own music festival can be an incredibly fun and rewarding venture. Not only will you have control over literally everything – from the line up to the venue – but you will also provide your friends, family and locals with a fantastic event that could live long in their memory. If you’re not sure where to get started with planning and hosting your own festival, don’t worry – using our helpful guide, we will point you in the direction. Follow these six simple steps and you’ll be well on your way to hosting your own music event.

Step 1: Nail the Venue

The venue you choose can make a big difference to how successful your event is. Think about your target audience and find a venue to match the numbers that you expect to attend. Also, consider the transport arrangements – ask yourself, for example, is there a car park available or a train station nearby? Are you wanting your guests to camp, or will it be a one-day festival? And how will your venue guard against any potential weather issues?

Once you know the answer to each of these questions, you will then be able to move forward with the venue choice. One popular option is a marquee tent, which can be erected more or less anywhere – whether it be in a field or at the back of a stately home. Choosing this type of venue can also be highly cost-effective, as many providers will fully decorate their interior, taking the stress out of needing to do it yourself. You could even think about hiring a few of them if you wanted to have multiple stages for artists to play on simultaneously.

Step 2: Nail the Music

Probably the most important part of a music festival, the line-up has to be great. However, deciding on who you want to play will depend on a number of things. From your budget to the genre of music, you will also need to think about how many artists you want to book in total, and calculate how long you would like each of them to play for. Likewise, you’ll want to make sure you don’t overpay your artists – think about your attendance and operational costs when working out which acts you can and can’t afford.

Once you’ve chosen your acts, you’ll need to think about the running order you want them to play in. Generally speaking, acoustic acts fit better earlier on in the day, whereas DJs and more well-known bands are better off saved until later on in the evening. Also, headliner acts should be booked as soon as possible so that the event can be marketed towards a wider audience. Find your perfect acts using websites like ReverbNation and The Unsigned Guide.

Step 3: Nail the Marketing

Organizing the perfect festival is one thing, but attracting people to it is another. In order to get people through the doors, you need to rely on marketing – whether that be handing out paper flyers in the street, or through an effective search ad campaign.

Put yourself in your audience’s shoes – what would attract you to a festival? Utilize social media channels to reach a wider audience and keep interested attendees regularly updated using videos, photos, line-up announcements, accommodation details, and so on.

Also, consider using a targeted advertising campaign, but make sure you use your budget effectively. If your festival is only going to be a local event, for example, there’s not much point advertising to audience members across the globe – think about the best ways to reach your target audience specifically.

Step 4: Nail the Décor

OK, so you’ve got the venue, line up and marketing nailed – now it’s time for the event itself. As we’ve already mentioned, some venue hire places may do the decorating for you themselves but, if not, it’ll be up to you to think about how you want the festival to look. This will very much depend on the style of event you are running, the location it’s based in, how sustainable you want it to be, and what time of day it’s taking place.

For example, if you are organizing a more general festival with marquee tents in a field somewhere in Devon, decorating your venue with solar-powered fairy lights, comfy seating options, and a neutral color theme could work well. Similarly, if you’re running a day-long death metal music event in a Shropshire-based town hall, a darker theme with innovative lighting options and more standing space could be a better fit.

Step 5: Nail the Event

When it comes to the day of the festival, you will need to ensure it runs as smoothly as possible – otherwise, it could affect how well your guests enjoy their time at your event.

Take it step-by-step: first, make sure that the transport and car parking arrangements are clearly signposted and well-organized. Second, make the check-in process as streamlined as possible, using a dedicated security team to organize queues and check bags. Third, ensure the line-up order runs successfully and that you and your team are well-equipped to deal with any last-minute changes.

Also, consider your event’s health and safety protocol. Ask yourself questions like, how do I want my guests to respond in an emergency situation? Or, what procedures and personnel do I need in place if a guest suddenly falls ill? Having a risk assessment and emergency plan is vital to ensuring your attendees stay safe during the festival, and will also reassure them that you’ve got everything under control.

Step 6: Do it all Again!

Once the festival is over and the dust has settled, it’s time to think about doing it all over again! While the event is still fresh in people’s minds, utilize social media to post relevant video highlights and photos to ensure it lives long in their memory. That way, when you come to marketing a follow up festival, your previous guests will respond favorably.

The more you build up a relationship with your guests, the more likely they will be to want to attend your festival. Analyze what went right and wrong at your previous festivals, and learn from them for the future. If certain acts went down better than others, for instance, think about getting them back again in the future. Or, if you spent a large portion of your budget on bespoke seating options, but found via a feedback form that nobody used them, save money on them next time around by implementing less of them.

How to Infuse Comedy Into New Areas of Your Conference
by Charlie Nadler on

comedy

Conferences and comedy are made for one another. It is the perfect symbiosis of engrossing content and engaged crowds. Hilarious keynote speakers and breakout session leaders are a frequent highlight of the conferences I’ve attended. But while their speeches and presentations are the traditional and dependable method of humor delivery, there are many other outside-the-box areas that can be mined for jokes. Funny speakers enhance your event no doubt, but here are 9 additional areas to elevate your programming from funny contributors to funny conference.

1. Email Marketing

email marketing

A date is set and it’s time to pack the house. One of the major ways you’ll do this is through your nurturing list, and nothing nurtures an audience like strategically placed email humor. I recommend starting as early as your subject lines:

Ex: Get your ticket now for our nutrition conference - Your order takes just 2 minutes and burns 3 calories!

2. Social Media

social media

This one is more obvious, but important to include. Tweets, grams, snaps, and any other short form marketing content is your best friend in getting your word out. Easy to create, these tiny posts can be “the little engine that could” when it comes to exposure for your event. Punch these posts up!

Ex: How will we make this year’s yoga conference the best yet? By bending over backwards!

3. Hashtags

hashtags

Within social media, hashtags in particular help build your community and can be built stronger with comedy. Like any memorable content, a funny hashtag will see greater engagement by your participants.

Ex: Can’t wait to see you at our upcoming carpentry conference. #IfYouBuildItYOUWillCome

4. Conference App

apps

Unless it’s a convening for World War II Veterans, it’s likely you’ll have a conference app! Menus, push notifications, chat features, all of it can be enhanced with laughter-inducing language.

Ex: Attention attendees, please take a moment to locate your emergency exits. To make this memorable for you, we have marked each one with a keg.

5. Badges and Titles

badges

Whether an employee or an attendee, everyone has to wear one of those self-identifying lanyards. All eyes will be on these everywhere you go, which makes them the perfect medium for a one-liner or gag.

Examples:

  • (title): Logistics Legend
  • (gag): Make your employee badges MASSIVE. What’s more hilarious than a sandwich board name tag?!

6. Signage/Area Names

signage

Your conference has a lot going on in many different locations. These places all need names. These names are ripe for riffs!

Examples:

  • Dining Hall -> Hunger Haters Haven
  • Main Ballroom -> Keynote Cave
  • Coffee Station- > The People’s Republic of Caffeine

7. Food

food

Don’t just name the dining hall, what about all of the signage within this space? There are a lot of restrictions out there, which means a lot of material to work with!

Examples:

  • Gluten Free -> No Gluten, No Cry
  • Dairy-Free -> Wary O’ Dairy
  • Nut-Free -> No Nuts (sane items only)
  • Vegetarian -> Plant Slaughterers

8. Social Activities

social activities

Your conference program often starts very early and runs well into the night with many social activities. Just because these are formal, does not mean their descriptions can’t be funny!

Ex: Tonight’s group dinner is sponsored by the Networkers Association of America, and tomorrow’s breakfast is sponsored by Networkers Anonymous.

9. Awards

awards

Peer recognition is a fulfilling and important practice in any sector. Prestigious awards may frequently culminate at your yearly conference(s). Spice up those accolades with some fun new names!

Examples:

  • Top Performer -> The ‘Serena Williams of Sales’ Award
  • Lifetime Achievement -> The ‘Goldtimer’ Award
  • Outstanding Leader -> The ‘Actually Likeable’ Award

3 Key Ways To Promote Your Conference
by Dakota Murphey on

promote

Running a successful conference comes down to two key things: planning and promotion.

Without thinking about your marketing strategy before the event starts, you could leave yourself doomed to fail – after all, how are you going to get people through the doors if they don’t know the conference is even on?

The best way to get people interested and booked to attend is by utilizing promotion channels. In essence, the more people hear about your conference, the more likely they will be to come along. Here are three keys promotion methods to think about:

1. Start early

A bit of a no-brainer really but make sure you don’t leave your conference promotion until the very last minute. You need to ensure that people have time to come across the event, so the earlier you start implementing your promotion strategy, the better.

One great way of getting guests on board early is through an early bird ticketing system – offering a cut price ticket to those attendees who book in advance. Doing so will not only help keep track of your guest numbers in advance but, through word of mouth, could lead to an increase in numbers as well.

Similarly, old-fashioned print-based methods can be equally effective at advertising your event. By designing, printing and distributing bespoke adverts, such as flyers, event leaflets or posters, this will help ensure your event is seen by as many people as possible. Many printing specialists, such as YouLovePrint, offer free online software which automatically checks for areas of concern in your design and will warn you if the picture quality is low before printing. Just make sure that each advert you print has a call-to-action on it – make it easy for potential attendees to know how they can pick up a ticket.

2. Utilize social media

Social media should be your best friend when it comes to promoting your event. With the world becoming more and more technology-obsessed and interconnected than ever before, the way in which people find out about events has forever been changed. If your event isn’t published and promoted on social media, you could miss out on A LOT of potential attendees.

Here are some of the main ways to utilize social media in your promotion strategy:

Facebook

One of the easiest and best ways to promote your conference comes via Facebook. To do so, there are two key methods to think about: first, create an event through your business’ page and promote it to your followers. Second, set a budget for a Facebook advertising campaign, so that you can target and attract interested people to your event, who may not have necessarily known about your business before.

Video Marketing

One of the most powerful content tools out there, video marketing is predicted to drive 82% of the global internet by 2021. Therefore, utilizing it as part of your promotion strategy can make a huge difference, by greatly increasing your event’s exposure. Whether you produce a teaser video before the event, a Q&A session with the main speaker, or something else entirely, videos have the potential to connect with people on an emotional level and make it easier to understand who your event is aimed at.

Create a #hashtag

By creating a hashtag for your event, your conference will receive more and more exposure each time somebody Tweets, shares a post, or uploads an event-related video. However, to do this effectively, there are a few golden rules you need to follow. These include:

  1. Keep the hashtag short and memorable.
  2. Make it fun.
  3. Don’t overthink it.
  4. Use acronyms (where possible).
  5. Encourage people to use it!

3. Blog, blog, blog

Another sure-fire way of promoting your conference is by blogging about it before, during and after the event has happened. Not only will this help keep your attendees updated, but it will also validate your expertise in the industry you work in, which could encourage more people to come along.

For each speaker you book, blog about it. For any updates related to timetable changes, blog about it. To express an opinion on industry-related matters, blog about it. In general, the more you can blog, the more likely it’ll be for your event to be seen by somebody. It all comes down to three things: exposure, exposure, exposure.

Summary

So, there you have it – three fantastic ways of ensuring your event gets seen and, hopefully, attended by the masses. The key things to remember are to plan early and utilize the heck out of social media – Facebook in particular. Blogging can also be a fantastic way of keeping attendee’s updated and ensuring your conference gets the exposure it deserves.

Don’t let those months of planning for your event go to waste – nail your promotion strategy and help ensure you get those guests through the doors.

Common Event Management Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
by BusyConf on

woman-planning

It is no secret that planning an event, regardless of the type of event or the size of the event, is incredibly stressful.

Not only are there plenty of things that you can get wrong, but there are also of things that you are going to need to think about and keep in mind. Making a mistake can not only make things a lot more stressful and challenging for you, but it can also have a huge impact on the success of your event too.

So, to help to make sure that your event is as successful as it can be, we have put together some of our top tips on the most common event management mistakes and how you can try your best to avoid being trapped in them.

Not being prepared for everything

It is great to think positively about your event, and try to keep in mind that everything is going to go just the way that you want it to. But of course, it is never a good idea to ignore the possible risks and issues that can pop over during the course of planning and running an event. Things can and do go wrong at any stage of the process, so preparation for this to happen is key. Not only will it help you to identify areas that could have an issue (especially those that you might not have already thought of) but it will also help you to figure out what to do should those things go wrong.

Not estimating the size of the event right

Whilst you never know what is going to happen on the day itself, any event planner will know that estimating the size of your event is one of the key parts of the process. You might think it is better to be modest than to be over the top on the amount of people that are going to attend, but this really isn’t the case. It is much better to think big when it comes to your event. Think about the best case scenario when it comes to numbers and that way you can be prepared for any chances of overcrowding that could occur.

Not being aware of the changes (or making others aware)

Despite your best planning, there is always a good chance that in the run up to any event, things will change. These changes may seem minor, but if they are not dealt with, or if no-one else in the planning team is made aware of them, then this could cause a problem. Any changes, no matter how small they are, need to be shared with the team.

Not having the right equipment

It is all too easy to forget about important things like equipment when it comes to planning an event. However, forgetting something as simple as pens and paper could have a much bigger impact on the event then you realise. Have a checklist of all the things that you are going to need on the day and make sure that you have plenty of it all.

A great way to signpost for your event has to be roll-up banners. Make sure that you get your roller banners right and you won’t have to worry about your event again!

5 Comedians that Make Great Celebrity Speakers
by Paige Smith on

microphone

The celebrity speaker can often be the highlight of an event, therefore, when choosing your speaker, you want to make sure that they are going to make an impression and have people talking for ages after the event.

A good keynote speaker will, lighten the mood, have excellent public speaking skills, be engaging and entertaining and have the audience laughing. So, who better to have at your event than an acclaimed comedian?

If you want to add a little funny to your event there are a range of comedians that are known for their sketches on Saturday Night Live or their famous standup routines that are ready to inject some humor into your event. Here are just five celebrity comedians that you should consider:

James Acaster

James Acaster’s popularity has soared in recent years. Since 2008, when James first started performing standup comedy, he has made multiple appearances at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and has featured on BBC’s Mock The Week and other TV Comedy shows countless times. His most recent show won him the most outstanding show award at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival Award 2019.

As well as being one of the finest UK standup comedians he’s also hugely popular at events with his whimsical wit winning over all audience types.

Chris Addison

If you’re looking for a comedian with a huge amount of experience, then you should consider Chris Addison. He has appeared as a panelist on shows such as Would I Lie To You, Mock The Week and Have I Got News For You numerous times. He has performed his solo shows at theaters all over the country and has been a headliner at some of the most prestigious comedy clubs.

He’s a comedian adored by many and his confidence, intelligence and comedy mean he’s the perfect entertainment for any sort of event. If you want to bag Chris for your event though, you’ll have to be quick as he’s a man in demand.

Alexander Armstrong

If you want a familiar face to host your event then comedian, actor and television presenter Alexander Armstrong would be an ideal choice. He’s often a guest host on BBC’s Have I Got News For You, he presents the popular BBC game show Pointless and has appeared in a number of films.

His recognizable face puts everyone at ease and his versatile, amusing and relaxed character makes him the perfect event presenter.

Jo Brand

She may have started off in psychiatric nursing but she’s now one of the best female comics in Britain as well as an established author with lots of awards under her belt. She’s made appearances on many prime time comedy shows and even hosted The Great British Bake Off: An Extra Slice, all contributing to her popularity.

Her unique style makes her highly sought after and she’s been dubbed an outstanding corporate speaker and fantastic event host.

Jimmy Carr

Take your event to the next level and invite one of the biggest selling live acts in UK comedy, Jimmy Carr. He’s the host of a range of television shows including 8 Out Of 10 Cats and Big Fat Quiz Of The Year and his solo standup shows are constantly sold out.

He’s an extremely versatile presenter and can adapt easily whether it’s hosting, presenting or giving awards. His charismatic and ultra-cool character will be sure to win over the crowd. He’s a busy guy so if you want to invite him to speak at your special event make sure you book far in advance.

So, why not spice your event up with a comedian celebrity speaker to inspire, motivate and entertain your audience?

How Technology is Changing Event Security
by Dakota Murphey on

security

Both large and small events and event venues that involve gatherings of people are increasingly vulnerable, which means that event planners and organisers need to take great care in terms of issues relating to safety and security. Thankfully it is becoming easier for organisers thanks to the use of new forms of technology.

No matter whether you are organising a summer fete, a sporting event, a concert, or a market, any event that involves multiple members of the public needs to be planned adequately. Here we take a look at how technology is changing the way that we look at event security and safety.

Conducting risk assessments

Whenever you consider any aspect of event security you should first consider a risk assessment. Carrying out a risk assessment should be the first priority in the safety and security of your event, and any decisions should be made by consulting the assessment.

It is much easier to carry out an assessment (and easier to access the results) if it is created and stored digitally. Evaluating threats and weaknesses can be most easily done when utilising a wide range of technologies. It may even be necessary to work with external specialists in risk assessment to ensure that you are carrying out the work properly.

Brief your attendees with an app

If you are looking to prioritise safety and security at your event then the most important thing that you need to is to distribute information. If you create an app for your event and then encourage attendees to use it, you can provide them with information about how to keep safe while attending your event. This could include details such as acceptable items to take into the event, as well as maps and other details.

Security checkpoints

Bag and body searches have become common practice at events to ensure that no-one is bringing in any forbidden substances or anything else banned by the organisers. This undoubtedly has contributed to events becoming safer. But one of the challenges that this brings is the amount of time that it takes to search each person and bag individually.

Thankfully this is one area that the events sector can learn and benefit from the advances in the air travel industry. Airport security has been consistently ramped up in recent years, and this has led to the development of many fast security scanning technologies. There are now devices such as walkthrough scanners and handheld metal detectors that can be used by event staff to speed up the process.

Provide emergency plans and procedures to staff

It is vital for event organisers to come up with detailed security and safety plans, and contingencies in the event of an emergency. Of course, it is also necessary to provide staff with training on what to do if any kind of emergency situation was to occur. However, technology has made this easier as it is now possible for all members of staff to have immediate access to the plans via any device.

This can either be achieved by using an event management app that all staff will be logged into, or simply by distributing plans to individuals.

Have traffic management plans distributed

At larger events it is often necessary to plan for traffic management. If your event requires access for vehicles, these vehicles can pose a danger to any pedestrians at the site. This means that you need to have a plan in place.

When you have created a traffic management plan you should ensure that it is available in the form of digital document so that it can be shared across devices with any parties that need it.

“We have provided concrete barriers for traffic management at many events,” said Jim Treacy, General Manager at civil engineering contractors Maltaward “and the operation always runs most effectively when the event organisers can provide us with detailed plans for the placement of barriers.”

Monitoring cameras

To provide the best possible security for your attendees and staff it can be very valuable to have CCTV cameras in place. Better still, these cameras can be monitoring from applications on smart devices – this can be easily managed now that these devices and applications are so easily accessible on smart phones and tablets.

10 Useful Tips for Event Managers
by BusyConf on

armsup

Managing an event successfully can be an extremely stressful task, even when you’re at the top of your game and things are going swimmingly. The difficulty can lie in the uniqueness of each event—they’re all so different and require fresh thinking every time. A great deal of flexibility is needed to be successful in this field. You also need a reliable set of contacts and places to source from, like Expocart, if you’re after quality banners for your stand. Let’s take a look at 10 tips you will not want to miss when organizing a terrific event.


1. Begin Planning Early

It’s never too early to start. If you can confirm the event date and venue early, the better it will be. Even calling a year in advance is a good idea if it seals the venue. You may not have exact details on participants at this stage, though there should be some flexibility. There is a chance you may save some money too, by booking early. Getting your stands to look the part is key; here are another two sites which are reliable and will help immensely.

2. Make Lists for Everything

Keep a record of absolutely everything that needs to be done and organized for the event. Create checklists with actionable items, and dates on when items need to be finalised. This also makes things clear when delegating work within your team. Any overdue items should be flagged up as early as possible.

3. Find a Trustworthy Venue

The venue you find could have a huge impact on how smooth or stressful the whole process is. Even though you may be always on the lookout for a unique venue that will give participants something to remember; you also want one that will be dependable and not give you the hassle. If a place already comes with lighting and seating, won’t that make your job a lot easier?


4. Be Clear on Your Objectives

Be sure to work with your event planner or client on the concrete goals for the upcoming event. The objectives should be specific and try to work with numbers where possible. Such as how many awards are being presented, or the number of questions you can fit in at the end of a session.

5. All Contracts Should Be Clear and Detailed

To avoid any misunderstanding or unexpected alterations, make certain that the initial contracts contain as much information as possible; whether the contracts are drawn up by you or partners. The small print should always be read, no matter how time-consuming.

6. Attract People With a “Green” Event

Organizing an eco-friendly event will be a massive selling point. It’s our collective responsibility to do good for the environment. If you can organize an event with green event programs and other sustainable alternatives, it’s a real win-win for your event and the world. Make sure you promote your idea of a green event.

7. Take Advantage of Social Media

The great thing about social media is the participants can help promote your event by spreading the word. It doesn’t mean you can just sit back and let it happen, however; you need to be proactive with this approach. Each social media platform can be used strategically to post clever pictures, videos and messages. Hopefully, the public will get sharing—a massive help with your marketing.

8. Do a Practice Run

Every event you organize should be put through its paces prior to the real thing. No matter the size of the event; a practice run is always a good idea. It should include as many of the people who will be involved in the real thing as possible. This gives you a great chance to see if anything is not up to scratch, so you can put it right.

9. Ask Those Who Attended

By talking to people, seeing their reactions and using feedback surveys, you get a good picture of what it’s like being in their shoes. What did they like about it? Was there anything commonly disliked? A lot can be learnt from this.

10. Make Changes That Count

After all the feedback from the last event, there should always be lessons learnt. No event is perfect, and your job is to constantly make changes for the better. You should make it a point to change something in a positive way after each occasion. Examples can be to axe any overly expensive vendors or juggle your teams around to rectify inefficiencies.

Keep Learning, Improving, and Enjoying

As you can see, there is a lot that goes into organizing a successful event. Although it can be hugely demanding; you will feel an immense sense of pride and satisfaction when the last guests have left and you’ve reflected on your achievements. Whether you’re still new to managing events or have many under your belt already, there are always ways to keep improving and take your reputation as an events organizer to new heights. By following the advice given above and some hard work, you will get there soon enough. Stay organized, plan well and learn from every occasion.

6 Social Media Tips to Sell More Event Tickets
by Dan McCarthy on

tickets

So you got an impending conference to plan; where do you start? Social media is a good place to begin to start selling some tickets. Your social network channels, in fact, are a more valuable resource than you realize. If used right, you just might be able to fill every seat. That means more awareness and consumer conversion for your brand.

1. Facebook Ads

Sure, Facebook ads cost money, but as the saying goes, you have to spend money to make money. Facebook Ads is one of the best places to start. For best results, really take advantage of the “interest” setting, which is a great way to confine your ads to your demographic.

Your ads can be further confined based on factors like work, language, gender, and so on. The narrower you can tighten your demographic the better. It also means you are more likely to get more clicks that result in a conversion. This is very important since you are being charged by the click or by the impression depending on the option you choose.

2. Create a Memorable Hashtag

Why use hashtags at all? First of all, they ensure your tweets and other social media posts become a trend. Those unfamiliar with the hashtag can also click on it to see all other posts containing the same hashtag, thus learn about your event.

Your hashtag needs to meet two requirements: it has to be clear and short. A bit of compromise might be required to strike a fine balance between clarity and brevity.

Take the hashtag #MalibuRealEstateConference2016. Is it clear? You bet. Just by looking at it, you know immediately that it’s a conference about real estate in Malibu. However, the hashtag is also awfully long. How might you shorten it?

How about #MREConf? It’s just the right length, but it’s not clear, is it? Most people won’t be able to determine what it is just by looking at it. So how about #MalibuRealEstateConf? It’s just right. Find the middle ground between length and being concise.

3. Start a Contest

Start some form of social media contest with plenty of giveaways. Contests are effective because they promote engagement through a fun activity. There are various social media contests you can hold, though it’s recommended that you keep it simple. Here are a few ideas:

  • Supply an existing pic related to your event and have participants come up with a funny and promotional caption.
  • Have participants submit their own selfies, which they will then edit using a number of company and event-related images.
  • Word jumbles using phrases pertaining to your event
  • A short response contest. If your company is a hotel, for example, then participants can, in 100 words or less, explain why they would choose your lodging over the competitors.

Be sure that everyone who participates gets a prize, such as a higher value swag item available for pickup at the event. Winners and top performers, though, should be awarded with a free ticket or two.

4. Get Your Sponsors Involved

No, it’s not out of the way to request your sponsors to get involved in the marketing. Sponsors, after all, benefit just as much as you do from a successful event. Sponsors also likely have a larger social media following than you do. Make it a joint effort.

Consider collaboration work, such as guest posting for each other’s blogs and extending the same offers to one another’s social network followers. Consider, for instance, extending the same early bird sales offers, buy-2-get-1-free deals, or whatever special offer you have for your own followers.

5. Implement Referral-Based Rewards

Why do all the ticket selling yourself when you have an army of followers that can help you along the way? It doesn’t have to be a one-man job. Your followers will be happy to help along if there’s something in it for them. This is why you should have an affiliate program with a reward system in place. Utilize a tier-based system to encourage participants to reach higher milestones.

An example of a tier-based rewards program may include:

  • 5 referrals – free 6-month magazine subscription
  • 10 referrals – free 1-year magazine subscription
  • 20 referrals – free VIP ticket for you and three members of your party

6. Use the Scarcity Tactic

Emphasize that tickets are limited and can be sold out any minute. Also point out that it’s a first-come-first-serve basis, so attendees should immediately purchase their tickets right away to guarantee their spot.

To really make your point, add a widget on your main social media event page that shows the number of remaining tickets, which changes in real time whenever a ticket is sold. You can also routinely send out tweets letting followers know the number of tickets sold and how many remains.

This will convey a sense of urgency especially for procrastinators. You should also encourage sponsors and affiliates to push the same scarcity narrative in their posts.

Social Media Is Your Biggest Ally

Social media provides a wealth of tools for selling your tickets. You just have to take advantage of these diverse resources rather than just treat social networks as a place for reading and exchanging short posts.

5 Tips for Organizing a Successful Interactive Conference
by Dan McCarthy on

The conference is basically the bread and butter of the whole event. The conference is what most of the attendees came for. If the presentation or lecture bombs, then you can expect negative feedback and potentially a decreased turnout the next time you have an event.

For a successful conference, you have to make it interactive rather than just having the speaker talk the whole time. Here’s 5 ways to ensure the audience becomes active participants rather than passive listeners.

1. Don’t Leave Out the Q&A

Lectures hardly end as scheduled. It’s common for speakers to go a few minutes over, resulting in the Q&A session being curtailed or canceled altogether. It’s very important that the speaker takes questions from the audience. This gives attendees the sense that the presenter is accessible and not just some speaker that’s just doing what he’s paid to do.

Set aside at least 15 minutes to take questions from the audience. If the conference is being streamed, and it should be, then you should also answer questions from a remote audience submitting enquiries via social media.

Also keep in mind that Q&As don’t necessarily have to be held off until the end. In fact, it’s recommended that you divide the Q&A into two sessions. If the lecture is particularly long, like an hour or more, then have a 10-minute Q&A at the 30-minute mark and another at the end.

2. Make It an Edutainment Session

hans rosling

Photo: McMaster

Who says learning moments can’t also be fun? Even if you have a charismatic speaker, if the conference drags on for hours, then even the most attentive listeners are going to zone out. A good way to keep the audience engaged is through a comedic speaker that can provide educational material while also eliciting laughter.

It can be tricky to find a speaker that is knowledgeable in your field that also has a propensity for making people laugh, but it’s worth the effort to find such a person. When an audience is engaged, they’ll be more inclined to ask questions, volunteer for demonstrations, etc.

Here’s a video of business speaker and edutainer Mark Sanborn during one of his leadership conferences.

3. Hire a Professional Moderator

There should be a moderator to keep the speaker on track. The moderator’s role is more important than most people realize. The person assigned this role has big responsibilities that include but not limited to:

  • Introducing the speaker
  • Making sure the speaker stays on schedule
  • Informs the speaker to move onto the next topic
  • Facilitates the Q&A
  • Collects questions asked via social media
  • Announces intermissions

A good moderator also interjects when audience members are speaking over one another, or calls for a brief break if the audience appears listless. The person needs to be cognizant of attendee reaction and act accordingly.

The role of moderator is tougher than it looks, which is why you should consider hiring a professional rather than designating the job to a staffer.

4. Incorporate Technology

Technology is always a good way to encourage participation in more ways than one. One way is to incorporate an event app where the audience can take a poll, in which the results will show up on a slide as it’s presented in real time.

Another method is to add a social media wall. Encourage the audience to tweet their questions, which will appear on the wall. There will likely be some questions that come up more than once. These are the questions that can be taken and answered in detail.

If the conference is being streamed, then you can ask those watching remotely to submit their questions in the form of a video. This adds a bit more depth to the Q&A as you can associate a face with the question.

5. Campfire Sessions

Campfire sessions are ideal for smaller groups and is recommended if there’s less than 20 people. These are more informal with the speaker taking more of a facilitating role rather than that of a lecturer. These can also be set in a more laid-back environment like a lounge or outside the venue. With these type of sessions, the speaker kick starts the topic to get the ball rolling. Others will then freely jump in to add their own input. Even if you have a large audience, you can opt to hold multiple campfire sessions divided into smaller groups.

Alternatively, if multiple presenters are available, and there’s enough venue space, then you can eschew the conference altogether and instead hold the campfire sessions in a workshop setting. If the session is being live-streamed, then you can even have several members join the discussion through a tool like Google Hangouts. Just be sure that the total number of attendees – both live and remote – doesn’t become too large.

Make It a Two-Way Interaction

There will be a sense of separation between speaker and audience if all the former does is speak nonstop. There has to be an outlet for the attendees to become active participants in some shape or form.

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