How to Evaluate Speaking Opportunties
There’s no doubt that well-placed speaking opportunities can offer excellent platforms to reach the business community. Not only do you have the chance to deliver your message to a captive audience, there is also the opportunity to be seen in the thousands of mailed brochures as well as the potential media coverage.
Conference Production Tips for Entering a New Market
Having well-researched content in order to produce a winning conference agenda can be an onerous task – especially when you are launching an event in a new market.
Event Trends for 2013
Work in events? Wondering what’s coming up this year in your industry?
Take a look at Event Manager blog‘s 10 Event Trends for 2013 slide deck below. They’ve published this for the last few years to great success and I’m sure this will do equally well.
There are ideas for consumer and business event planners with plenty of interesting new technologies and ideas on the way. I’m particularly interested in how to ramp up engagement and activity at events and tools like Noodle Live look really interesting.
Well done Julius Solaris and team for another good set of slides.
Is Pinterest Right for my B2B Marketing?
I was asked to deliver a workshop at the B2BMarketing Annual Conference yesterday in London all about Pinterest. Thanks to Joel, Gemma and Saba for inviting me along. It realy was a great conference, lots of good sessions, most of which centred on the idea that B2B marketers need to get better at telling stories. Less what, more why.
Any thoughts, questions, comments, start a conversation in the comments below.
The Benefits of Public Speaking
A week or so ago I was interviewed by fellow marketer Jon Buscall for his Online Marketing & Communications podcast. Jon was interested to hear about my experiences with public speaking; both from the point of view of how speaking at events has benefitted our business, but also how our managed speaking opportunity programs work for clients.
Thanks again to Jon for having me on the show. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting the full Jontus Media team – listen to the interview to hear Jon’s Basset hound Aggie (sic) joining in.
Effective Market Research Strategies for Generating New Conferences
Topic generation is crucial for the success of an event and there are many elements to developing a good conference programme – primary research, secondary research, the angle of your topics…..
Everyone has their own generation methodology to develop speaking sessions, panel discussions and brainstorming workshops. During the research phase, key topics are usually generated through in-depth phone interviewing with key stakeholders and experts.
There are some basic rules that you should follow when conducting conference topic research:
- Always back up your desk research by picking up the phone to re-confirm whether you have the right issues / topics in place to be covered in your conference.
- If your event is held annually, it’s no point doing research too early as you will find topics becoming obsolete closer to your next event – 3 to 6 months beforehand should be enough to keep topics fresh and current.
- Pay attention to what is talked about at your actual events – one of the best ways to develop new topics is during an event i.e. talking or listening to the delegates – you will discover potential future topics that came from the event.
- Sometimes you have to be patient – it could be a year or more before new areas develop.
- Bear in mind that events can be cyclical – an event that may have died in terms of relevance or popularity can come back or morph into another event.
However basic rules aside, what is paramount is to pay attention to what is going on in the industries you specialise in – as whenever there is a new development in those industries, especially one that companies are dedicating time and money to – there is your new topic!
Pay attention to the timing of your research of your chosen topic too.
There are essentially three research phases for your chosen topic, like a graph with a parabola ascending and then descending:
- The topic is new and so possibly people will not pay to attend at this moment in time;
- It’s the perfect time to develop a conference or seminar on the topic;
- The theme begins to decline and possibly becomes opportune to training or dies.
The most burning issues and topics will be generated with the support of industry professionals. In this fast moving and challenging industry, as producers we get side tracked with generating as much revenue as we can and can lose sight of what is important – to focus on the quality and adding value to the professionals.
If you have any top tips for how you have undertaken effective market research strategies for generating new conference topics, please share them in the comments below.
Mastering Email Marketing for Events
We were asked recently to talk to an audience of event marketers all about email marketing. How can you best use email as a platform for driving event registrations. You can see the slides below which might tell you some of the story, otherwise get in touch and we’ll happily answer any questions you have on email marketing best practice.
10 Principles of Successful Conference Management
Successful conference management has its challenging requirements – you have to be able to manage limited budgets, time and personnel.
In this blog we discuss 10 key principles for successful conference management. As a summary of best practice experiences, you will not only learn about the importance of streamlined conference marketing, but also about ways to improve the overall conference experience for your delegates.
1. Diligently plan your conference
Effective forward planning helps to run an improved conference. You need to include all the relevant information when planning your event – note the important stages of your event timeline (working back from the event date), define your goals for the event i.e. how many attendees to obtain a breakeven, and look at sponsorship and exhibition ideas to accompany the conference to add additional revenue streams. Have a proper plan for the entire project with a proper timetable – create and share your schedule with everyone involved.
2. Improve time management
Excellent organisational skills are fundamental to reduce the number of systems in place – systems such as delegate registration and post conference analysis; keeping information on attendees in a central easily accessible place; and having a good team around you to share information when needed.
3. Make your conference marketing work more efficiently for you
A professional CRM tool is essential to support your marketing efforts and sales team – it will help define strategy groups; create profiles of attendees and speakers; filter data so that you can identify easily who attended the event last time if it is a repeat; directly send out campaigns using the software; and keep track of campaigns at various stages e.g. premail, email, follow-up email.
Bring marketing and sales in as early in the process as possible and keep them in the loop. Think of them as part of your team, not as a separate service – great teams make great events.
4. Use of social media
Use it for your marketing activities and to converse with your delegates on a personal level prior to the event – set up social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin. Consider using social media before, during, and after your event.
5. Pay attention to the importance of event details
Keep refining your operational tasks at the various conference stages as the event approaches. Set up a detailed function sheet for the conference including the exact dates / time / location / contact persons; integrate this stage of the conference planning with any exhibitions being held alongside; store these in a central place for the team to access; and set up automatic diary reminders where needed – this will ensure everyone works as a team and knows who to go to if any problems.
6. Brand your conference
Make sure you conference has a strong positive brand within the sector it is targeting by making it synonymous with the target market. Make sure you align corporate, product and internal brands. Successful event branding involves more than just slapping your company logo on the brochure / website – it’s about creating a unique experience for the attendees, one that keeps them engaged while also consistently reminding them of your brand.
7. Online presence
Make sure the conference website has a consistent look and feel – it should include all information about the event e.g. programme, speakers, how to register, how to submit papers and make sure online registration is easy to use.
8. Add value to your conference service
For example, introduce a mobile attendee app – where you can publish at short notice information about changes to sessions, speakers, venue etc. Attendees can create a personal conference agenda online, use self-registration and check in.
9. Keep an eye on key metrics of defined goals
By this we mean quick reporting tools for delegate lists, registration numbers to events; real time analysis of cost and revenue generated per event; comparisons against a benchmark event; and looking at the actual performance versus the original budget.
10. Evaluate your performance
Continually evaluate your performance with qualitative and quantitative feedback from all parties concerned with the event i.e. delegates, speakers, exhibitors and the internal team. Never lose sight of the end goal/event objective. Frequently take a step back and re-evaluate your direction. It is easy to get swept away with the planning and then post event realise that you went off-track.
So to recap, in order to improve your conference experience for the attendees and ultimately deliver more value to them:
- Learn tools to brand your conference through improved online appearance
- Discover methods to improve time management
- Create better reports for conference analysis
Above all, keep control of all the various conference stages and involve all of the team.
Image courtesy of Xtrashot.
SharingEconomy – The Commercial Reality Throwdown
It was Social Media Week last week and it was a hell of a week. Packed full of fantastic events.
I had the pleasure of speaking, organising, attending and chairing a session and thoroughly enjoyed myself. One event, the Sharing Economy – Commercial Reality Throwdown was streamed live and you can see the full recording below. If you want to learn more about the Sharing Economy, watch this fantastic debate and click on the selected other reading below too.