Posted: November 14th, 2012 | Author: Eric Olson | Filed under: Engagement Marketing, Events Industry, In The News | Tags: Active Network, Association technology, associations, Attendee engagement, audience engagement, Engagement Marketing, event intelligence, event management technology partner, events technology, Jason Paganessi PCMA, PCMA | 2 Comments »
When Jason Paganessi, VP of Business Innovation at the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) talks association technology, he speaks with the unguarded enthusiasm of a child talking toys. Yet his technology strategy is serious business.
Today, he and PCMA announced ACTIVE Network as their exclusive event management technology partner to power most of PCMA’s global events—from annual conferences such as Convening Leaders to worldwide chapter events.
“We sat back and said, ‘we really need to know more about our members’…And that’s the situation a lot of associations are in right now.” – Jason Paganessi
Without good technology, many associations have bad data. Data is often scattered across several systems or, even worse, buried in excel spreadsheets. So, associations rarely have a persistent view of a member’s behavior – or even that person’s most basic information. Read the rest of this entry »
Written By: Eric Olson
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: July 15th, 2011 | Author: Cece Salomon-Lee | Filed under: Events Blog, In The News | Tags: active network events, association congress, association congress 2011, attendee management software, audience engagement, business design centre, community tool, Engagement Marketing, event management software, event technology demo, events technology, membership retention, online registration system, social networking tools, technology seminar | No Comments »
We’re happy to announce that we will be exhibiting at Association Congress 2011 in London (July 18 – 19), Europe’s largest association conference. The event will be held at the Business Design Centre, 52 Upper Street, Islington – London N1 0QH.
Here is where you can find us:
- Technology Seminar presented by Banks Holcombe, Head of Sales EMEA at Active Network, Events on Tuesday at 9:15am.
- Exhibit Floor, Booth #45 – Schedule an Event Technology Demo with us or stop by to have a chat with a member of the Active team. Click here to request a technology demo.
Hope to see you in London!
Active Network | Events
Written By: Cece Salomon-Lee
Posted: July 7th, 2011 | Author: Cece Salomon-Lee | Filed under: Events Blog | Tags: active network events, audience engagement, blog, community tool, digital content, digital trends, Engagement Marketing, event mobile apps, events technology, google, hybrid event, ipad technology, mobile communications, social media, two-way communication, user generated content | No Comments »
People are digesting more and more media through the internet, so providing interesting and valuable insight on your website that’s relevant to your customers’ needs is an effective way of increasing engagement.
It also drives web traffic, builds kudos through the knowledge and expertise it demonstrates, and boosts loyalty by adding value to the online customer experience. Growing the customer-focused content on your website also helps increase search engine optimisation as it confirms relevance to search engines like Google, which view it as an online resource.
The first lesson for anyone planning a digital content strategy is that the information must be engaging and relevant to their target market and not just sales focused. For many marketers, this may require a shift in mindset.
Why do you need a content strategy?
Having a content strategy helps brands focus on what’s important to them and their target market. It means avoiding wasting valuable time and resources on content that may or may not appeal to internet users and customers. To do this, it’s important to study the target audience in question to determine what information it finds important and valuable. This can be done through a range of activities, from trial-and-error (publishing content and then tracking how many people read it), to audience surveys/focus groups and feedback through existing social media channels.
As well as making sure digital content is appropriate, a good strategy can also help with audience conversion (transforming people from being simply website visitors to customers) and so drive sales. By understanding and catering for the needs of its target audience, a website becomes relevant and appealing to customers and prospects. What’s more, using keywords that relate directly to a website’s digital content creates a more targeted resource that will optimise the visitor-to-customer conversion rate.
Understanding customers is nothing new, but being able to drive them directly to the information they want and answer their questions quickly and easily is a key benefit of digital communications. But doing this requires marketers to learn more about their target audiences than simply basic demographic data. The aim should be to develop a comprehensive picture of their interests and desires to inform the creation of a key online resource. Howard Schultz, Chief Executive at Starbucks, which has been extremely successful in social media, describes this as “breaking a code”, in order to give people opportunities to feel good about themselves. He also considers the experience of ‘discovery’ to be very important for communicating content (Harvard Business Manager Special, Oct 2010, “Managers need to reveal weaknesses”). This suggests that people are likely to be more loyal when the make their own ‘discoveries’ on the internet during the process of searching for information using a search engine like Google, than simply being directed to it.
Importantly, if a brand or business is already active in a range of social media channels, then any relevant digital content it produces – from written articles to applications and video – should be used to feed this activity, increasing and broadening audience engagement and driving more web traffic.
How can marketers do this?
Producing this kind of customer-focused digital content is not something that marketers are traditionally accustomed to. But to really engage customers and drive brand awareness, it’s important to create regular new content that promotes and encourages two-way dialogue with your audience. Doing this successfully requires techniques more usually associated with journalism. Indeed social media makes it possible for organisations to become publishers and so the line between these disciplines is becoming increasingly blurred.
It’s crucial that any content produced must also be tailored for publishing on the required channel – whether that’s a blog, Facebook page or Twitter. Employing a one-size-fits-all approach will not work in this situation, as each channel requires a different approach. Furthermore, the relevance of the topics will be a deciding factor in whether information will be shared further, or disappear without being noticed.
Tone and style also need to be clearly defined. It’s not about broadcasting advertising slogans. Building a successful content strategy revolves around creating an entertaining form of brand and sector-related reporting. It is important to remember not everyone will react to a brand, so in many cases it is better not to appear too polished and corporate.
Beyond simply generating the content, the brand’s ‘editors’ also need to ensure that they encourage community members to participate in groups and social media channels, promoting feedback. After all, the whole purpose of modern communication channels is to encourage discussion and interaction. From this feedback, brands can not only gain valuable customer thoughts and opinions about their existing products and services, but also use obtain key information that can drive future product development.
Written By: Cece Salomon-Lee
Posted: June 23rd, 2011 | Author: Cece Salomon-Lee | Filed under: Engagement Marketing | Tags: digital media, Engagement Marketing, Generation Y, mobile apps, new media, smart phones, two-way communication | No Comments »
Our society is witnessing the rise of a group of people who have grown up with the internet, and been the catalyst behind the dramatic transformation of the way we communicate today. Not only are they very much at home in the digital environment and highly active online, but they are also driving our adoption of social media. This group is known as Generation Y.
Who are Generation Y?
As a demographic classification, Generation Y first appeared in 1993. It refers to anyone born after 1981 – the successors to both Generation X and the Baby Boomers. This group are the workers and wealth generators of today, and are a highly influential target audience for marketers and brand owners.
However, their drivers and motivators differ distinctly from previous generations and their consumption psychology is one born from the new media age. This psychology affects both the way they consume media and how they are motivated to buy into a brand proposition.
“Generation Y’s acquaintance and aptitude with technology in all its forms, from an early age, sets it apart from previous generations,” says Professor Rob Davidson from Greenwich University. “This is the first demographic to grow up with the internet and it is clear that its members view the web as a two-way communications tool. This has led a shift in media consumption towards the internet, social media and mobile phones. As a group, Generation Y also demands more honesty and engagement from the brands it buys from, meaning organisations need to think beyond conventional marketing to make an impact.”
Crucially, they are a critical and difficult audience to communicate with in conventional terms and with conventional media. As a group, they demand transparency from a brand, and to be valued and treated with respect. What’s more, in an environment of ‘social advocacy’, any brand that tries to, or inadvertently, misleads them will potentially find itself damaged.
So having established this fundamental ground rule, brands also need to consider how Generation Y respond to media. They react best to communications that understand their uniqueness, and their particular way of receiving and processing information. The key is to use as few words and as many strong images as possible.
Telling the brand story
It’s vital to be aware that the balance of power has shifted, and to understand that rather being directly sold to, Generation Y want to be engaged. Marketers need to consider whether they are still telling stories about their brand or whether they are helping their customers to tell theirs. Brands should be encouraging customers to ask: “Where do I feature in this story?” In short, Generation Y do not buy the brand or the product, they buy what that product does for them.
Generation Y buy on emotion and justify purchases with logic. Social currency is emotional, but conventional research and focus groups generally only return logical responses. So marketers need to understand the emotive effect of their brand or product on this sector of society and deliver two key drivers of behaviour: the need to belong and the need to be significant. You cannot buy the attention of Generation Y, you have to earn it!
Get it right and Generation Y can not only be a tremendous source of new ideas for a brand to evolve itself, and at the deepest level of engagement can and should be involved in the evolution of products, services and brands.
Written By: Cece Salomon-Lee
Posted: June 16th, 2011 | Author: Cece Salomon-Lee | Filed under: Events Blog | Tags: active network events, attendee management software, audience engagement, community tool, digital trends, Engagement Marketing, event management software, event mobile apps, events technology, facebook places, foursquare, gap mobile 4 u, geo location, geotagging service, gowalla, ipad technology, loopt star, mobile communications, mobile marketing, social media, waze, web 2.0, yelp | No Comments »
This week we continue our series of digital trends with a blog on Geo Location. Please leave your thoughts in the comment area, we want to hear your opinion!
One of the biggest growth areas for the internet over the past 12 months has been mobile. Having flattered to deceive for some time, mobile platforms, whether tablets or smartphones, can now play the role in our lives that many have envisaged they would. Current market penetration for smartphones stands at 25-30% in the UK and US, and that figure is predicted to grow to around 50% in the next 12-18 months in America. This means mobile devices will continue to play an increasingly important part in our lives.
There have been many technological developments in mobile recently, but probably the most powerful for brands and marketers is the growth of geo-location-based services and how these can be used to boost customer loyalty and sales.
What is geo-location?
Geo-location is the process by which your mobile phone can pin point your location using the built-in GPS (global position system) functionality that most smartphones now offer. The power for marketers comes in people’s ability to broadcast this information to their social network of friends through mobile-based applications such as Foursquare, Gowalla, Loopt Star, Facebook Places, Yelp and Waze. This process is known as ‘checking in’. But this is not just a social phenomenon, as anyone searching on Google on a mobile will be aware. By using your current location, Google can tailor its search results to wherever you are, making them more relevant to your needs, particularly if your search is ecommerce related.
How can it benefit brands?
With the check-in platforms listed above continuing to grow in popularity, consumers are sharing more location data than ever. With so many people broadcasting information about where they are, marketers can target customers when they are in the vicinity of certain shops with special offers. This allows marketers to move beyond the ‘glorified spam’ of some text and email marketing campaigns, and deliver much more relevant offers, increasing effectiveness and delivering serious return on investment.
Big brands such as Starbucks, MacDonalds, Apple and Ikea are already exploiting the potential these platforms have to offer, with the former generating up to 150,000 check-ins per week, according to research by Trendrr. Indeed, Starbucks is one of the leading lights in this arena. When the company celebrated its 40th anniversary in the US, it ran a campaign on Foursquare, which randomly awarded US$40 gift cards to customers checking in via the platform. As a further indication of how important this technology could be, Nike is currently investing more money in this channel than into its bricks-and-mortar shops.
But it’s not just the big brands that are starting to see the business benefits of geo-location. Foursquare has also been working with smaller businesses to give customers special deals and credits at their favorite merchants through their mobile phones.
Ecommerce is also set to be turned on its head by geo-location technology. With the mobile acting as the bridge between virtual and real-world shopping, the implications of geo-location are massive. Imagine being able to take a photograph of a product in a shop, submit it to Google and then be able to not just read reviews of that product, but also be directed to where else you can buy it locally and at what price. All this technology is now available for mobile searching, and it’s just a matter of time before it reaches critical mass and becomes an accepted part of our everyday shopping experience.
However, there is a key issue that marketers need to overcome concerning privacy. A survey of mobile subscribers conducted by research firm Nielsen targeted consumers who had downloaded an application within the previous 30 days, showed that more than half of them were worried about their privacy when using location-based services and check-in apps.
The key to overcoming these concerns is to offer a clear value exchange. A good example of this comes from clothing retailer Gap, which partnered with Visa to deliver Gap Mobile 4 U. Gap customers agreeing to join the programme receive text alerts of dedicated deals at their nearest store when they make a Visa card purchase within the same area code. Here there are no privacy worries, as the individual has already opted into the programme, and there is a very real exchange with consumers being offered special deals.
For many, targeted location-based interaction is the missing element in email and mobile marketing. Without it, over 90% of advertisement impressions are wasted on people who are outside a brand’s geographic area. But the real power of location-based services is that they enable brands to reach the on-the-go user, who is already in the buying mindset.
However, there are still challenges that need to be overcome on the technology front, with battery life being a key problem for location-based services. GPS can be a major drain on your mobile’s power, so phone manufacturers are likely to play a crucial role in this environment. Furthermore, a recent study by youth communications specialist Dubit revealed a lack of awareness of geo-location services among young people – the next generation of consumers.
“Britain’s young people are known for their attachment to social networks and mobile phones, so it’s surprising that only 48% of the 1,000 11 to 18-year-olds quizzed in our Direct to Youth Digital Omnibus have heard of Facebook Places, Foursquare or Gowalla,” said the company’s Head of Research, Peter Robinson.
So although work needs to be done to raise awareness among this demographic group, it also represents a great opportunity for those that can lead the youth engagement process.
What’s clear, though, is that through geo-location technology and the likes of Foursquare, social networking has finally become something valuable for bricks-and-mortar businesses. This real-world connection to social media can mean more footfall and profits for business owners, and location and mapping is likely to be one of the key mobile battlegrounds of the future.
Written By: Cece Salomon-Lee
Posted: June 9th, 2011 | Author: Cece Salomon-Lee | Filed under: Events Blog | Tags: active network events, audience engagement, bejeweled blitz, community tool, customer engagement, digital trends, EA sports, Engagement Marketing, events technology, facebook, farmville, future of social gaming, in-game advertising, information solutions group, mafia wars, social games, social gaming, social marketing, virtual events, web 2.0, wimpole farm | 1 Comment »
Today an audience wants to be engaged by brands, rather than simply sold to. Over the next few weeks we will look at five key digital trends that are driving customer engagement to the front of the marketing mind set and discuss why marketers and business leaders need to be taking them seriously.
In this blog we will look at the growth of social gaming.
As with most social media innovations, the concept of social gaming was initially considered a gimmick. But as more and more people have bought into the concept, so brands have increasingly come to see it as a viable and potentially powerful marketing channel. Indeed, according to Facebook, over 40% of its users play social games – that’s more than 200 million people. And Facebook only represents 28% of social gaming activity globally. In fact, a recent report by Inside Network, entitled Inside Virtual Goods: The Future of Social Gaming 2011, predicted that the social gaming industry will be worth US$1.25 billion in 2011.
So what is social gaming?
Social games are played on the internet by several people simultaneously, allowing real-time interaction and sharing of information online
Social networks have transformed gaming from a solo activity, to a global social experience that can be shared with family and friends. The competitive element associated with sharing achievements publicly has also been a key driver.
Social networks have allowed gaming to enter into the mainstream, and brought non-gamers into the space, crossing the gender age divide. Research by Information Solutions Group (ISG), which was conducted in 2010 among 5,000 consumers, demonstrates that social games are also played by people of all ages, with the most popular demographics in the UK being 22-29 (22%), 30-39 (25%) and 40-49 (22%). Even the over-60s are getting in on the act, accounting for a surprising 8% of UK online gamers. In the US, the situation is slightly different, with most the popular age groups being 30-39 (20%), 40-49 (20%) and 50-59 (26%). Here the over-60s account for a staggering 20% of the market.
Tapping into people’s passions to create these games is key to introducing non-gamers into the space, but the popularity of some games may be more surprising than others. Sports games are an obvious choice for developers, but few industry commentators could have predicted farming games to be as popular as they have become. The top three social games, according to ISG, are Bejeweled Blitz, Farm Ville and Mafia Wars.
At it’s peak in March 2010, Farm Ville had 83.7 million users, and in 2009 the New York Times published an article claiming that its users in the US outnumbered real-life farmers by a staggering 60:1. Demonstrating a trend like this can be used to a brand’s advantage. The National Trust in the UK, for example, is offering 10,000 Farm Ville gamers the opportunity to try out their social gaming skills for real at Wimpole Farm in Cambridgeshire (www.my-farm.org.uk), for an annual fee of £30. Every time a major decision is to be made, the farm will go online and explain what needs to be done, and the community can then vote on the outcome. This is a great example of the digital world’s growing influencing on real-life events.
So what are the opportunities for marketers?
In terms of hard, tangible metrics, social gaming has been shown to be highly profitable, thanks to the substantial revenues reaped from the sales of virtual goods and currency – 28% of game players have spent real world money on virtual currency according to ISG, with 32% purchasing virtual gifts. On top of this revenue stream, social gaming enables brands to interact with communities that are guaranteed to have a high level of engagement. Other monetisation options available include: branded content, virtual goods, in-game advertising, display advertising and lead generation.
Over the next 12 months, there’s likely to be further growth in the sector. Social games are becoming more and more sophisticated, and will continue to grow in popularity among consumers. The newest versions will see a blurring of the line between the virtual and real worlds, as developers look to create unique social experiences that tap into users’ interests and hobbies.
We are also likely to see games developers increasingly partnering with relevant brands. For example, in 2010, Playfish and EA Sports joined forces with FIFA to create football game FIFA Superstars. More recently, the developer also launched the American football game Madden NFL Superstars on Facebook. And there’s plenty more innovation in the pipeline, including a trend for brand and product placement in top-end gaming products, such as X Box and PlayStation, which through their live connectivity are becoming powerful social gaming platforms.
Written By: Cece Salomon-Lee
Posted: May 19th, 2011 | Author: Cece Salomon-Lee | Filed under: Engagement Marketing, Events Blog | Tags: active network events, audience engegement, community tool, Engagement Marketing, event lifecycle, event management software, event mobile apps, events industry, events technology, facebook, hybrid event, ipad technology, LinkedIn, mobile communications, mobile marketing, online communities, online surveys, social media, Twitter, virtual events, web 2.0, webinars | No Comments »
This week we will look at two more marketing channels which help event organizers increase the engagement with their audience before, during and after the physical event takes place.
In the first post, we examined how social media can be used strategically to connect attendees and to start discussions which can provide useful insight and feedback for the creation of relevant content.
In the second post, we looked at how more ‘traditional’ tools such as email and websites allow an organization to communicate more personalized messages and to provide the visitor a year-around knowledge-hub.
Here we examine the pivotal role mobile devices and virtual events will increasingly play within the events industry.
4. Mobile and tablet apps – Take engagement to the next level
For those attendees who have signed up for your event, the mobile phone provides a quick and easy way to distribute key information before, during and after the event, as well as encouraging interaction with key social media and web channels.
You can now deliver your event information directly to any smartphone – of which there are now more than 170 million users across the globe – or any internet-enabled device through web-based or native applications. The Active Network Events mobile apps are not only a way to plan and administer the personal journey for your delegates with program agendas, interactive site maps and session schedules, but they are also the natural extension of the online engagement provided by social media websites.
Today’s mobile and tablet apps give delegates the opportunity to build personal profiles, join communities, send direct messages to other attendees and connect to Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Furthermore, with our technology attendees can give their feedback in real time through online surveys and audience polling, which will be automatically stored and ready to use for insightful reports.
What’s more, by creating a unique hash tag for your event and using a moderator, your delegates can tweet comments and questions during sessions to increase interaction, involvement and therefore, engagement. Organizers can even commission bespoke mobile and tablet applications to do the same, but in a more controlled and functional environment.
5. Virtual events – Grow your audience and sustain the conversation
Not everyone will be able to make it to your event. By adding a virtual element to your live experience you can share it online with those who cannot attend. Using virtual event technology has shown that creating a virtual component to a live event does not reduce audience numbers, but widens the audience, and shows people what they’re missing.
With the latest technology innovations, virtual experiences are becoming more and more rewarding. However, rather than replacing the live element, these virtual platforms should enhance it.
Virtual events, like webinars and podcasts, can be used to turn live events into 24/7/365 audience engagement experiences by making keynote speeches and seminars available on demand online once the venue has closed its doors and delegates have returned home. This allows attendees to reacquaint themselves with the content after the event, and those who couldn’t make it can enjoy it for the first time at their leisure. You can also produce new content tailored to the demands of your target audience, keeping them involved, engaged and ready to be informed of your next live event.
There is no doubt that the digital event is and will continue to grow its symbiotic relationship with the live event. It is critical, though, that this relationship is considered at a strategic level to ensure appropriate and targeted audience engagement to deliver the ROI demanded of every part of the modern day marketing and communications mix.
Although our channels to communicate have diversified through technology it is essential that today’s event organizer seeks to converge communications with their audience through technology with the live event being the focal point or even, one might say crucible, for fundamental one-to-one personal interaction.
Active Network | Events
Written By: Cece Salomon-Lee
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