Posted: November 18th, 2011 | Author: Michelle Nikolayevsky | Filed under: Event Technology Seminar, Social Media | Tags: Event Technology Seminar, facebook, LinkedIn, social media, Twitter | No Comments »
Guest Post By:
Justin Gritzmacher, ETS Coordinator
Active Network| Events
Our Event Technology Seminar Coordinator, Justin Gritzmacher, is our guest author for today’s blog post. From traveling around the country running our Lunch and Learn series, Justin has had the opportunity to frequently interact with Event Organizers and learn more about their needs. One big trend he sees for 2012 is the impact of social media as a tool to engage attendees, even during the event off season.
Traveling around the country hosting Active Network’s – Event Technology Seminars, I am fortunate enough to meet a wide variety of event organizers. I get to hear about ideas that have worked…and some that have not.
Looking back at 2011, I have seen a few trends in the Events Space. Using Social Media is one trend I suggest you try to incorporate into your events as we head into the New Year.
Social Media has changed the way we live our lives. Using sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter provide an outlet to engage attendees year round with good informed content, while keeping them aware of information relevant to your events. Many event organizers I’ve talked with are capitalizing on these technologies to help run larger and more successful events.
By creating communities for your events you can pass information to all your attendees, and potential attendees, year round making interaction more constant, instead of only during the time surrounding your event.
Social Media will allow you to find out more about the types of people interested in your events, and what they are hoping to accomplish while at your event. With this information organizers can make effective changes as simple as changing start time or venue, or more complex changes like adding new content or even changing the event scope.
When you are not running events, keep your attendees engaged with white papers or links to interesting articles about topics relating to your events, or even short informational webinars. This way, attendees never have a chance to forget about you or your events. Year round interaction will help plan events that directly meet the needs of your audience.
Once you have created a steady stream of interaction, you will begin to have a “captive” audience that is a perfect group to send your first round of invitations when the time comes. The people in these groups will be more excited and educated about your event, and will be much more likely to sign up. Channel the excitement and energy generated by these attendees to help increase your registrations. If your attendees are excited about your event, they will become your ambassadors, promoting your event for you. In this respect, social media can be a cost effective way to branch out your marketing efforts.
As we close out 2011, I hope that these few tips make you optimistic, and help your events reach new heights in to 2012.
Written By: Michelle Nikolayevsky
Posted: September 19th, 2011 | Author: Kyle Rose | Filed under: Social Media | Tags: facebook, LinkedIn, social media, Twitter | No Comments »
This week we will be dedicating our Blog to ‘Did You Know Topics’ about RegOnline. These will include tips and tricks on how best to use RegOnline, enabling the product to make things easier for you!
To start things off, Did you know there are multiple ways to stay informed on new features, best practices, and news regarding RegOnline?
The RegOnline blog is our hub to spread the word about product releases, feature updates, key bug fixes and more.
Our LinkedIn Event Technology group has recently become open to the public. This is a great resource for event organizers to engage in discussions surrounding best practices, technologies and tips for events. Join the group today to start engaging with others through discussions.
We’re also on Facebook and Twitter, so check in on what is happening there.
Customer service is our highest priority and we love hearing from you. Feel free to connect with us on any of our social media outlets and don’t hesitate to call (888) 351-9948 or email us (email@example.com) with questions.
Written By: Kyle Rose
Posted: September 6th, 2011 | Author: Michelle Nikolayevsky | Filed under: Best Practices, Features, Social Media | Tags: promote, social media, Twitter | No Comments »
Did you know that Twitter can help create buzz around your event?
Through the RegOnline event promotion tools, it is quick and easy to push your event to a number of social networks including LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.
Since we have enabled the promotion to the Twitter feature, we have seen a significant increase in reach to customers. From 1,040 mentions in July alone, replies have reached nearly 10,700 followers with nearly 7,000 re-tweets. Never underestimate the value of a tweet; as clearly illustrated, a single tweet can multiply exponentially beyond your current target audience.
Be sure to make your event hashtag prominent on your event website and in your communications with registrants and prospects (ex: #regonline). When attendees complete the registration process, they receive a confirmation email with links to reach out to friends, family and co-workers about your event. The screenshot below displays the promotional links to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Email on the confirmation email page.
When you select the Twitter button, a new window will open prompting you to log in to Twitter. Once you have logged in, an instant dialogue box opens up generating your tweet. Remember, on Twitter you have up to 140 characters, so if you have room left, add a personalized message further promoting the event.
And once you hit Tweet, there it is! You have officially promoted your event on Twitter.
Remember, when an event is in “testing mode” within RegOnline, you are able to run multiple test registrations without being charged. The moment the event is activated, payment processing and related service fees are also activated, so make sure to do some initial “test tweets” while still in testing mode.
Written By: Michelle Nikolayevsky
Posted: August 30th, 2011 | Author: Michelle Nikolayevsky | Filed under: Events Industry | Tags: Twitter | No Comments »
Network Innovation Sandbox, during Event Camp Twin Cities. By scanning the RFID code attached to the back of a participant's badge, photos were uploaded directly unto the participants Facebook page.
Last week, a handful of team members from Active Network| Events had the distinct opportunity to attend EventCamp Twin Cities in Minneapolis, Minnesota. After significant anticipation, we were headed to discover the design and innovation of hybrid events.
Hybrid events are starting to change the event landscape. They combine real life attendees with virtual participants connected through remote “pods”, while incorporating new technologies, social media and much more. Together, these elements are “tested” within EventCamp, making the experience more of an “innovation lab” rather than a traditional conference. This two day summit brought together a diverse crowd including event organizers, industry thought leaders, social media experts, even software developers. Learning sessions on mobile, virtual and social media helped attendees understand deeper value of these emerging forums for events.
As a sponsor of EventCamp Twin Cities, Active Network| Events conducted interviews with speakers and participants surrounding event engagement. We gathered a plethora of great content about participant driven conferences, gaming, hybrid technologies and more that we will repurpose for whitepapers, case studies and podcasts. Our own Eric Olson and Justin Ramers also conducted learning sessions on “Technology Mixology: How to Choose the Right Technology Mix for Your Events“ and “Social Media Measurement and ROI” respectively.
The most admirable part of EventCamp, was the fearless nature to try something new. From streaming Twitter feeds, to live conversations with virtual pods in other cities, to a built in game, the events envelope was continually pushed. While some elements of this strategy worked, and others simply didn’t, the environment was organic and supportive to this new medium. There is a lot that we can create from the innovation of EventCamp, and we look forward to it!
A big round of applause is owed to the creators of EventCamp Twin Cities, for their hard work in creating such a dynamic event. There are many EventCamps taking place throughout the United States and Europe. The next EventCamp will be taking place in London on September 9, 2011.
Written By: Michelle Nikolayevsky
Posted: August 25th, 2011 | Author: Kyle Rose | Filed under: Features, Social Media | Tags: facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter | No Comments »
On Tuesday we discussed RegOnline’s Charity Challenge and the multiple events we are racing in to raise money for this year’s charity selection, Activity Inspired Rehabilitation, Inc.
Today, we step back and discuss tips for fundraising events using RegOnline.
Create a Donation Form
You can use RegOnline to create a specific registration form that is catered to Donations. The Donations form type collects donations online, and is an easy way to have registrants directly donate to your fundraiser.
If you have a separate donations website, consider adding the link to both your RegOnline event registration website and to the confirmation page. If your event lends itself to allowing participants to create their own fundraising web pages on your behalf, consider having participants create a sub-account and build their own donation pages*.
*Be sure to review terms and applicable service fees.
Use Theme Designer to create an appealing event page
RegOnline’s new Theme Designer makes creating a professional and great looking event website easier than ever. You can match the appearance of your event to your existing website using logos, importing images, and customizing colors. Further customization can be achieved using the site’s CSS code to match the look and feel exactly. Build a custom theme that looks clean, professional and striking. Or, simply choose an existing design from our library to get your website up and running quickly.
Promote your fundraising event through Social Media
It can be tough to actively promote your fundraising events and efforts, especially if you have more than one event per year. Asking people in person or over the phone to attend or donate to your fundraiser can be intimidating. This is where using social media outlets to promote the fundraiser event can be very useful. One of the benefits to social media is that you can easily identify people with similar interests to that of your fundraiser and connect with people you know personally through their Facebook wall, a Twitter Tweet, or a LinkedIn comment.
For public events, RegOnline’s Promote tab allows you to push your event listing out to social media channels to expand your marketing reach.
Have you used RegOnline to create a fundraising event? If so, we would love to know what worked, and what areas can use tweaking. Give us a call or hit us up on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or the Blog to share your event anecdotes.
Written By: Kyle Rose
Posted: August 22nd, 2011 | Author: Michelle Nikolayevsky | Filed under: Features, Social Media | Tags: Event Camp, facebook, social media, Twitter | No Comments »
This Thursday and Friday, August 25-26, we are headed to Event Camp Twin Cities. Born from the Twitter handle #eventprofs comes a two day conference about hybrid technologies, social media and collective collaboration. This will be a truly unique event with in person attendees working directly with virtual attendees connected through remote pods.
Our General Manager Eric Olson will be speaking on “Technology Mixology: How to Choose the Right Technology Mix for Your Events”. Justin Ramers, Director of Online Marketing, will be speaking on Social Media Measurement & ROI.
We will be posting news and updates during Event Camp on our Facebook page, as well as a recap of the event next week on our blog.
Make sure to to visit the Event Camp homepage to learn more about their event and corresponding pods for virtual attendees.
Written By: Michelle Nikolayevsky
Posted: August 16th, 2011 | Author: Kyle Rose | Filed under: Social Media | Tags: facebook, LinkedIn, social media, Twitter | No Comments »
Social Media is becoming increasingly important, especially when it comes to event promotion. Yet, do you know the Social Media: 101 basics? Having a good understanding of the basics of social media (Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn) can help you successfully meet your event goals, whether it is promotion or simply connecting your attendees. This is the first in a series of posts this week to learn, or get a nice refresher, about social media.
Today we will focus on Twitter. At first glance, Twitter might seem like another way to let the world know what you had for breakfast this morning in 140 characters or less. However, Twitter is a great social media outlet to help promote your brand and your event. Below are 4 steps to help you get started with a Twitter Account.
Picking the Right Twitter Handle
The first step to getting started is creating an account and selecting a username, also what is known as a Twitter handle. It’s very important to create a Twitter handle that will allow people to find you when searching. The name can be your personal name, company name, or even the name of your most popular event. Your choice of name is a reflection on how you wish to brand yourself.
Creating a Bio
The next step is creating a bio for yourself or your company. Leaving your avatar (Twitter profile picture) blank, leaves your Twitter profile looking empty and unwelcoming. Use this area to upload a brand logo or a picture of yourself. Next, take time to update your bio with relative information. Include your location, a homepage or blog that is relative to your brand or event, and a bio that briefly describes your company/event.
Next you will want to start tweeting at 140 characters at a time. Your Tweets will be one of the best advertisements to gain followers, so actively tweeting throughout the week will keep people interested and following your tweets. Use your tweets as a way to advertise your brand/event, but also feel free to add a personal touch to let followers know, you’re a real person tweeting real ideas.
Create a Plan to gain Followers
Just because you create a Twitter profile, doesn’t mean you will acquire followers overnight. Create a marketing plan to gain new followers and reach out toward your targeted audience. A Mashable blog lists a number of elements to help increase followers, including: adding Twitter to your email signature, adding your Twitter account in a presentation slide and networking on Twitter.
Twitter can be confusing at first, but with time can become a great way to increase attendees at your events. Check out our past blog posts for tips on how to market towards your specific audience and let us know how you have used Twitter in your Events or to create brand presence.
Written By: Kyle Rose
Posted: August 10th, 2011 | Author: Michelle Nikolayevsky | Filed under: Best Practices, Social Media | Tags: social media, Twitter | No Comments »
We’re headed to the Twin Cities!
General Manager, Eric Olson (@Eric_Ols) and Director of Social Media, Justin Ramers (@JustinRamers) will be speaking on event mobile marketing strategy and social media ROI at Event Camp Twin Cities. This two day event will be held in Minneapolis, MN, August 25 – 26.
What’s Event Camp Twin Cities (ECTC)?
ECTC was born from the Twitter community, #eventprofs, in 2010. It aims to teach and inspire event professionals on new ways of creating and planning events through the use of technology and new media.
One interesting characteristic about event camp is its hybrid nature. Attendees in different locations are connected to main conference attendees in Minneapolis, through remote “pods” (or satellite events). If you are interested in attending the event and cannot travel to Minneapolis, there is the opportunity to join a pod and participate ‘remotely‘ in the following cities: Philadelphia, Toronto, Vancouver, Silicon Valley and Amsterdam.
5 New Ideas for Event Camp Twin Cities
The 2011 Event Camp will introduce 5 new elements: integrated gaming, social learning at the campfire, full throttle content, new ideas in the event innovation sandbox and Podapalooza. These elements will continue to build upon last year’s elements of presentation style, business games, mass collaboration exercises, story slam, alternative seating and two-way engagement for hybrid meetings. Read more about each of the new ideas on the ECTC blog.
View the Event Camp Twin Cities Detailed Program 2011
Stay tuned for more updates about ECTC, with more details to follow!
Written By: Michelle Nikolayevsky
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 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