Posted: March 25th, 2013 | Author: Don Munro | Filed under: Best Practices, Events Industry, Strategic Meetings Management | Tags: Active Network, attendee management, attendee registration, event coordination, event management technology, event planning | No Comments »
We work with a variety of customers from small to mid-sized businesses to global organizations with thousands and hundreds of thousands of employees. But each customer – no matter how large or small – has very similar questions when it comes to buying event technology. As a group, we brainstormed the top 10 questions that we believe smart companies should ask before buying event management software. In this blog, I’ll spotlight the importance of each of the questions – and their answers – in a series of 10 posts.
Doing My Event Management Job More Efficiently
The first question we address is “How will event tech help me do my job more efficiently?” CareerCast.com recently named “Event Coordinator” to its list of the “10 Most Stressful Jobs of 2012. So, event management software can pay off big because it increases your efficiency in taking care of event administration. That gives you more time to focus on creating the best content for your event, engaging your audience and strategically managing costs.
When sourcing for event tech, ask if the technology will help you simplify:
- Attendee registration – by setting up a website that enables attendees to register with speed and ease
- Attendee engagement – via mobile apps and social media, so you can easily distribute updated event material and build attendee communities
- Event coordination – Managing hotel room blocks, the call-for-papers process, exhibitors, speakers, demos, setting up 1:1 meetings
- Data analysis – by providing online reports on metrics as varied as event spend levels, exhibitors visited, sessions attended, new leads generated.
What are some of the ways that technology helps you simplify event registration and other event administration tasks? What would you do with the time you save?
Stay tuned for the next post: “How will event tech help me improve ROI?”
Check out all 10 Questions Smart Companies Need to Ask before buying event management technology!
- The Connected Event – an analysis of technology use, best practices and benchmarks.
Written By: Don Munro
Posted: September 25th, 2012 | Author: Irene Coghlan | Filed under: Engagement Marketing, Uncategorized | Tags: Attendee engagement, attendee management, community tool, Engagement Marketing, event marketing | No Comments »
Written By: Guestblogger, Tara Barnes, Marketing Director at Pathable
You may be feeling smug because you’ve got your attendee engagement strategy ready to roll, but the real work has just begun. While having that roadmap in place is a crucial jumping off point, you now need to think about the measurable goals you want to achieve.
The key word in that last sentence is measurable. Numbers tell us a concrete story. What exactly are you measuring? In what increments? During what time period? While you may think “I want my attendees to interact with my speakers more,” how will you judge if this is happening, and if it is happening successfully?
Here’s an example of the importance of measurable, concrete goals: Let’s say that you want to increase the open rate on your event marketing emails. If you increased your email open rate by 0.005%, would that feel like you’d really met your goal? Creating realistic and measurable goals has to be a top priority for your event and organization.
While the goals for every event will be different, I wanted to help you get started with four of our favorite attendee engagement goals.
- Increase traffic to your event website by 25% in a 30-day time period – You can’t measure this without knowing your starting point, so if you’re not currently tracking website statistics, hop to it! Google Analytics is a powerful, free tool.
- Grow event community adoption rates from 70%-80% over a two year period – We recommend comparing a community for the same event. As you approach year two, be sure to note what you’re doing differently to try and grow those numbers.
- Increase the number of session feedback survey completions by 15% – This can be slightly harder to measure if you’re gathering data from paper surveys. A tool like Survey Monkey can simplify the recording and measurement process.
- Increase your event marketing email open rate by 1% per email – Again, tracking is essential here. Consider sending your marketing emails through a program like MailChimp that allows you to easily segment, target, A/B test and track things like open and click through rates.
The above are simply meant to be suggestions and ideas as you shape your own event’s attendee engagement goals. Remember to measure! I touched briefly on some tools above but stay tuned for a follow up post on more suggested tools for attendee engagement throughout your event’s life cycle.
Tara Barnes (@PathableTara) is the Marketing Director for Pathable, Inc. In addition to a background in event planning/management, Tara has extensive experience in marketing, social media, communications and public relations strategy.
Written By: Irene Coghlan
Posted: May 12th, 2011 | Author: Cece Salomon-Lee | Filed under: Events Blog, In The News | Tags: active network events, attendee management, attendee management software, chicago, Engagement Marketing, event management software, Event marketing summit, event organizer, event technology, events marketers, hybrid event, mobile communications, online registration system, regonline, social media, social networking tools | No Comments »
We’re happy to announce that we will be exhibiting at the 2011 Event Marketing Summit in Chicago (May 16 – 18), one of the world’s leading experiential marketing conferences.
Here is where you can find us – and if you haven’t signed up yet, register today as our VIP Guest with the code “AseVIP”:
- Technology & Events Workshop presented by Anthony Miller, Strategic Director, Active Network, Events: Monday, May 16th at 8:30 am
- Event Technology Roundtable – Wednesday, May 18 at 8:00 am – Open Discussion
- Exhibit Floor, Booth #415 – Schedule an Event Technology Audit with us, and stop by to enter to win a Microsoft Kinect in person! Click here to request a technology audit.
Hope to see you in Chicago!
Enterprise Marketing Manager
Active Network | Events
Written By: Cece Salomon-Lee
Posted: May 5th, 2011 | Author: Cece Salomon-Lee | Filed under: Engagement Marketing, Events Blog | Tags: active network events, activeevents, attendee management, audience engagement, blog, community tool, customer feedback, e-newsletter, email marketing, Engagement Marketing, event management software, events marketers, events technology, knowledge hub, online community, online registration software, online surveys, social media, two-way communication, web 2.0, web optimazation | No Comments »
Two days ago we talked about the importance for organizations to engage with their audience beyond the physical event. Social media is an extraordinary tool to drive on-going awareness for your community, to receive valuable feedback, and to start conversations around different topics and trends.
Today we will focus attention on two other important tools within the marketing communications mix to increase audience engagement:
2. Email Marketing – Target your audience with tailored messages and reminders
Use your existing database to send highly targeted emails to your contacts. Email marketing tools give you the ability to target specific audiences and allow you to drive traffic to your website or social network activity. Invite your audience to register for your event or to join your online community. Use automated features to send reminders and registration confirmations to keep attendees informed at every stage of the event life cycle. It’s important that you remember not to inundate people with information, but instead target, personalize and always add value!
One of the best ways to do this is to send out a regular e-newsletter, containing information about your event, supported by key related insight that your audience will find valuable. This adds value to the email, making potential delegates more receptive to it, while also encouraging them to sign up to receive more. It also acts as a regular reminder to register for the event, while at the same time acting as a countdown to it.
3. Website – Provide your audience with a year-round event destination
With almost 2 billion people now using the internet (World Internet Usage and Population Statistics, 2010), it pays to give your event a strong web presence through an engaging website. Make sure it’s optimized, so that it can be found easily on search engines and ensure that the registration button for your event is placed prominently on your home page.
Remember that your website is the best marketing tool you have and should be more than just a shop window. Think of it as an information hub and provide regularly updated insight and comment for your target audience – this creates real value when they visit. You can then use this knowledge base as a source of content for your e-newsletter and social media activity. Plus all your social media messages and emails should include links that direct people to your website.
Blogging is another element that can be added to your website to help engage with your online community as it is a two-way communication channel, which allows you to announce news, start discussions and receive critical feedback. Today, thanks to easy-to-use content management systems, it is possible to publish and edit content on a regular basis without the help of IT experts.
In next week’s blog post, Five Tips to Increase Audience Engagement with Events – Part 3, we will discuss about Mobile and Virtual Events.
Active Network | Events
Written By: Cece Salomon-Lee
Posted: May 3rd, 2011 | Author: Cece Salomon-Lee | Filed under: Engagement Marketing, Events Blog | Tags: active network events, activeevents, attendee management, audience engagement, community tool, conference facilities, conference management software, corporate event planning, Engagement Marketing, event management software, event marketing, event organizer, event registration system, events industry, events technology, facebook, hybrid event, ipad technology, LinkedIn, mobile event app, online registration, social media marketing, social networking tools, Twitter, web 2.0 | No Comments »
In 2010, the mainstream event industry started to embrace the idea of enlarging the scope and reach of an event. Events are planned and delivered through a combination of physical and virtual elements, often known as the ‘hybrid approach’. When marketing budgets were slashed, communication technology became a powerful tool in the event marketing industry because they offered cost-effective solutions to maximize the value of the event. Mobile apps and social networks are examples of “virtual elements” used before, during, and after the event.
The biggest challenge for the industry this year is how to combine these trends with our traditional event management solutions in order to reach and engage the audience, while guaranteeing tangible business results. Today, the communication between event organizers and their audience helps develop the event content and ensures the attendees’ positive impression. Event organizers need to listen, engage and understand the needs of the event stakeholders to deliver relevant content and generate further interaction between the delegates.
There are two key factors relating to your audience that are critical to the success of any event and, therefore, the return on investment of the event. First is the number of attendees it attracts, and second, is how engaged those delegates are.
These two factors are also directly related, because the more engaged your prospective attendees are, the more likely they are to attend. However, the key to effective engagement is not simply sending out one-way messages, such as invitations or direct mail, but striking up a two-way conversation with your target audience, before, during and after your event.
This not only helps you maintain persistent and regular contact with your audience, but also allows you to carry out research into what they want, which can help to make the content of your event more relevant and therefore more attractive. Indeed, the more in-depth the engagement with your audience, the more receptive they will be and, therefore, the more they are likely to absorb your content.
The good news is that the latest online innovations mean it’s easier than ever to engage with your audience. The key is to look at all the tools at your disposal and take a strategic approach. Here is the first tip that you can use to increase the audience engagement – in the next days we will post all the other four tips!
1. Social media – Drive consistent, ongoing awareness for your community
If you want to raise awareness of your event beyond your current attendee community, then social media holds the key. Facebook passed the 600 million user mark last year, while 200 million Twitter members are sending 110 million tweets a day and LinkedIn hit the 100 million sign-up mark in March this year. This gives you a vast community in which to spread your message, and developing and maintaining a presence on one or more of these platforms well before your event can really build awareness. The key, however, is not to sell your event through these channels, but to instead to share relevant insight relating to the content to attract interest from the right people.
Regular and consistent tweets will build a Twitter following, while including links for more details on the insight you’re tweeting will direct users to where you want them to go – ideally to your event’s website. A regularly updated knowledge base on your website with key insight into your sector, provides not only a good source for tweets, but also a point of interest for Twitter users when they are directed to your site.
Twitter can also be used to guide people to a Facebook page or LinkedIn group dedicated to your event, where they can interact and debate issues related to the content. Meanwhile, you can interact with Facebook and LinkedIn group members through these respective channels, and post up key information about your event. The result is a growing, active online community around your event, which you can maintain before, during and after the event takes place.
Active Network | Events
Written By: Cece Salomon-Lee