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.
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.
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.
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
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!
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!
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.
4. Conference App
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
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.
- (title): Logistics Legend
- (gag): Make your employee badges MASSIVE. What’s more hilarious than a sandwich board name tag?!
6. Signage/Area Names
Your conference has a lot going on in many different locations. These places all need names. These names are ripe for riffs!
- Dining Hall -> Hunger Haters Haven
- Main Ballroom -> Keynote Cave
- Coffee Station- > The People’s Republic of Caffeine
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!
- Gluten Free -> No Gluten, No Cry
- Dairy-Free -> Wary O’ Dairy
- Nut-Free -> No Nuts (sane items only)
- Vegetarian -> Plant Slaughterers
8. 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.
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!
- Top Performer -> The ‘Serena Williams of Sales’ Award
- Lifetime Achievement -> The ‘Goldtimer’ Award
- Outstanding Leader -> The ‘Actually Likeable’ Award
Running a successful conference comes down to two key things: planning and promotion.
Without thinking about your marketing
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
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
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.
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:
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
so that you can target and attract interested people to your event, who may
not have necessarily known about your business before.
One of the most powerful content tools out there, video marketing is predicted
to drive 82% of the global internet by
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.
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:
- Keep the hashtag short and memorable.
- Make it fun.
- Don’t overthink it.
- Use acronyms (where possible).
- 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
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.
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.
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!
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’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
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.
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.
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.
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 unique style makes her highly sought after and she’s been dubbed an
outstanding corporate speaker and fantastic event host.
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
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.
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
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.”
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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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