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: June 4th, 2012 | Author: Cece Salomon-Lee | Filed under: Event Technology Seminar, Events Industry | Tags: #eventtech, Active Network, Business Solutions, event experience, event marketing, Kevin Iwamoto, PCMA, SMMP, strategic meetings management | No Comments »
From June 10-13, PCMA will be holding its annual Education Conference. This year’s education is centered around how to get the best bottom line out of your events from attendance buiding, saving money on your events (both face-to-face and virtual) to leadership and business acumen.
Event Technology Tours
As a partner of PCMA, our Active Network, Business Solutions team will be in San Antonio. We will once again bring our popular event technology tour to PCMA Educon. The tour will highlight how PCMA is leveraging event technology from registration and session scanning to real-time data and mobile applications to deliver an engaging event experience. Sign up today for one of two tours at http://bit.ly/Educon or even suggest a time to meet one-on-one:
- Monday, June 11, 9:30 – 9:50 am
- Wednesday, June 13, 9:30 – 9:50 am
In addition to our event tech tours, we’re expanding our tours to include suppliers – how you can leverage technology to expand busines revenue, win more business and drive efficiencies for your properties. To participate in these tours, join one of the two groups at http://bit.ly/PCMASupplier or suggest a time to meet one-on-one:
- Tuesday, June 12, 9:00 – 9:20 am
- Tuesday, June 12, 2:15 – 2:35 pm
The Battle Between SMMP and Event Marketing: Myth vs. Reality
On June 11, 2012 from 3:00 – 4:00 pm, Kevin Iwamoto, an expert on Strategic Meetings Management and Vice President with Active Network, Business Solutions, will be particpating on a panel to bridge the gap between SMMP and event marketing. Kevin will provide the SMMP perspective with Elizabeth Lathan, Event Marketing Director, Dell | Global Event Marketing providing insight from event marketing.
Learn how SMMP can complement and integrate with you event marketing strategy.
We look forward to seeing you at PCMA, either in person at our kiosk located behind the registration area or on Twitter at @ActiveBusiness.
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
Posted: March 28th, 2011 | Author: Cece Salomon-Lee | Filed under: Engagement Marketing, Events Blog | Tags: active network events, customer feedback, email marketing, Engagement Marketing, event management software, event marketing, event mobile apps, events industry, events marketers, events technology, hybrid event, ipad technology, mobile communications, online communities, online registration system, regonline, social media, virtual events, web 2.0, webinars | No Comments »
As a Marketing professional, I’m always looking to refine how I do things: change my processes, evolve my practices, and improve my results. Whether you’re a Darwinist or not, there’s no doubt that, in marketing, evolution is a step forward. Marketers thrive by adapting to change in our environment, so with nearly 2,000 million people across the globe now using the internet1 (that’s nearly a third of the world’s population), it should be no surprise that events are evolving, and so is event marketing. Online and virtual technologies are extending the reach of events. We’re evolving from a single, live activity taking place in a moment in time, to hybrid events without boundaries.
But this is just the beginning. In addition to the pressure for organizations to go online and create hybrid events, there is also a demand from customers to be engaged by the businesses and the brands they choose to buy from. Bombarded with more marketing messages than ever, they have become tired of the “sell.” They want to be understood, valued, informed, treated with respect, and engaged in a two-way conversation rather than a traditional marketer’s one-way monologue. And so a select few companies are responding to this pressure by evolving their event marketing strategies even beyond hybrid events, and into something called engagement marketing – the creation of a persistent, mutually beneficial relationship between a brand and its audience through digital and live interaction.
This involves using traditional marketing channels, as well as online and virtual technology, social media and mobile communications (let’s not forget that 5.2 billion people (77% of the world’s population) now have mobile phone subscriptions2) to launch an ongoing conversation with your target audience. With respect to a live event, this starts well in advance by engaging the target audience through traditional channels, the internet, social media and mobile communications. This conversation continues during the event, where mobile technology can enhance the attendee & delegate experience and the audience can be extended virtually. Post-event engagement carries on through (for example) elements of the event being available on demand, online for those who wish to reacquaint themselves with key content or who missed it live. This continuous dialogue provides customer feedback and data on preferences, which can help inform future event content and even overall product development.
Although engagement marketing is not a new concept, the new global marketplace and the emergence of Web 2.0 technologies mean its time has come for event marketing specifically. Understanding the engagement marketing evolution puts any marketer or business leader ahead of their competition. But the next evolutionary step in this discipline is harnessing the new rules of customer engagement for mutual benefit. Using tools that encourage customers to interact with each other and creating a collaborative community around an event gives customers – and organizations – the power to influence and evolve a brand together, provides a real sense of mutual ‘ownership’, which in turn drives stronger advocacy and continuous engagement.
If you want to know more about Engagement Marketing please read the white paper: “New world, new rules of engagement”
Enterprise Marketing Manager (& Engagement Marketing Advocate)
Active Network | Events
2 International Telecommunications Union (October 2010)
Written By: Cece Salomon-Lee