Events Archives - Klaxon

It Often Pays to Look Back at your Event Marketing Strategy

Event production and marketing in London

Picture the scene. You’re running an event and it’s about six weeks out. You look at the registration list and your heart sinks a little. You have about half the number delegates you forecasted at this stage. By now you were hoping to be a lot closer to your double point. You start to get that nagging feeling: maybe it’s time to call it.

You look at the cancellation policy with the venue, AV and catering suppliers and realise you have another couple of weeks before you have to make this difficult decision. You resolve to press on and get those bums on seats.

Do you:

a. send out another email campaign to your database

b. call up your telesales agency and get them fired up

c. review your strategy and define a new plan of attack

In all likelihood the answer has to be all three, but for goodness sake start by reviewing your strategy. There may still be time to make a fundamental change that will have a greater impact.

First of all look at your actual product: 

• Is the agenda compelling enough?
• Do you have the right blend of speakers: big brand case studies, leading suppliers, sponsors and consultants?
• Is your keynote speaker worth the price tag?
• Is the venue a pull factor?

Then look at your promotional mix:

• Do you have a compelling message that explains why a delegate should register?
• Is the messaging told consistently across your communications?
• Is your website easy to navigate and is the registration page working?
• Do you have a large enough and well targeted customer database?

Then review your pricing:

• Are you inline with the competition?
• Was your early bird generous enough?
• Have you adequately motivated and incentivised your partners?

Once you have reviewed these factors, you can define where your strategy needs some work. Perhaps it’s the core proposition that’s not resonating. Maybe the website is just not that easy to use. Perhaps your database is not as fresh as it once was.

Iron out the bumps in your strategy first, and then get on with the tactical execution.

Emails and TM campaigns can be organised quickly, but remember these wise words: “if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”

If you don’t change the strategy up a notch, the chances of your tactical manoeuvres making a big difference are pretty slim.

Look at your strategy and assess what has worked, what hasn’t and make a strategic change. 

Event Marketing Successes

We have provided event marketing services for Digital Health Live, a large event in Dubai designed to demonstrate how technology is being used to revolutionise the provision of healthcare.

The client is a start-up organisation called Nuviun whose aim is “to play a significant role in raising awareness, educating, and driving emerging industries towards the tipping point from ‘hot and upcoming’ to ‘mainstream’.” They are an exciting and high growth company who approached us to work on the event.

They were looking for a multidisciplinary team to support on conference production, branding, design, and email marketing. We worked with the Nuviun team over the entire production cycle of the event and we are proud of what was achieved.

Here is a highlights real of the event to give you an idea of the scale of Nuviun’s achievements:

Congratulations to Nuviun for a remarkable and ambitious event.

techmap: Overcoming Content Shock


Save the date: April 27th.

The content revolution is on!

The next techmap Meetup has landed. In the second of a new series of techmap events we will be discussing all things content marketing related.

We are producing ever-greater volumes of content to satisfy our customers’ need for information. At least that’s what many marketers believe. The sad fact is we produce far more content than our audiences could ever possibly consume; blog posts, white papers, infographics, videos, podcasts… and the list goes on and on and on… Too much content means just one thing: “content shock.”

A little teaser for you.. Gareth Case from Xchanging will be throwing himself into the conversation as he makes up part of our speaking panel. Further speakers to be announced shortly so keep those eyes peeled and ears open!

Registration is now open, so why wait? Register now and make sure you have reserved a place for an evening of content natter. Its going to be good ‘un!

My Highlights From This Year’s TFM&A Show

Technology for Marketing and Advertising 2015.

I’ve just returned from our second day at TFM&A 2015. Want to know what we got up to? Read on.

photo (1)

First stop, the Tech of Today and Tomorrow Theatre where Keynote Speaker, Dave Chaffey, CEO and founder of talked about how we should be ‘Managing Digital Marketing’.

Chaffey noted how it’s now “26 years since Tim Berners Lee developed the web.” And yet: research clearly shows businesses struggle to get to grips with the fast-evolving digital world.

Digital prophet Mary Meekers had pinpointed 2014 as the tipping point where mobile traffic would eclipse that of desktop PCs and Chaffey said she had probably been proved right. “We’ve now past the tipping point of mobile.”

Mobile first? Not so fast..

A Comscore study showed that focusing too much on mobile to the detriment of the desktop experience was a particular folly in retail; it’s a simplification. People who use smartphones only are in a minority; most people are multichannel and a third are even PC-only when it comes to retail. “If you’ve degraded the desktop experience,” warned Chaffey, then you’ll suffer.

Strategy and planning

Does your organisation have a clearly defined strategy? Half don’t, revealed Chaffey – think of the wastage, the waste of resources, the lack of vision resulting from its absence.

When asked what they felt most deficient in those polled, most commonly cited the tracking and measurement of interactions and data. “Although digital is the most measurable medium ever,” said Chaffey, “we’re not exploiting all this data – and volume is one reason. They also often lack the time or skills.”

Social media backlash

Moving on to a comparison of various channels Chaffey wondered whether many businesses were “spending enough on mobile targeting? Maybe not.” It might be as old as the internet itself but the humble email is still the top marketing channel.

By contrast the much more fashionable medium social media is subject to something of a “backlash – perhaps we concentrate too much on it. “In most businesses it [accounts for] less than 5% [of leads]. Search and affiliate can drive much more.” Social media, revealed Chaffey, has actually declined as a contribution to sales in the last two years. Customer acquisition via email, meanwhile, has quadrupled in four.

Enabling the Data Driven Organisation

Second stop, Marketing University 2 where speaker Terry Hogan (not Wogan, Hogan) from Golden Orb, focused his talk around enabling the data-driven organisation.

What is the data-driven organisation? Where everyone who has to take a decision as part of their job has access to tools and data to make the best possible decisions.

Many companies like to think that they are data-driven – and, of course, all businesses are, to the extent that they look at their sales reports to understand how they are performing. However, there is a vast gulf between companies for whom data is an integral part of the way they conduct their business and those who merely use data to monitor their performance.

Terry examined the strategies for enabling data to inform all aspects of the business, including identifying and removing roadblocks, breaking down silos and empowering employees with the necessary tools to take full advantage of all the company’s data to take the best possible decisions.

Terry highlighted the 6 key silos which require breaking down:

  1. Silo problem – different systems are used within different departments to utilise / produce data
  2. Gatekeeper problem – there is usually one particular department which an employee must go to, to authorise the use of data; this makes for a time-consuming ordeal
  3. Excel problem – excel is a spreadsheet, not a database and so is not an ideal repository for company data
  4. IT problem – data is not owned by the IT department, it is owned by the business; IT departments should support not control data
  5. Parallel universe problem – different departments create different forecasts, there is no relation between them
  6. The promised land problem – don’t delay, computers won’t solve anything. Think through the issues and produce clarity over them

By breaking down these silos, Terry argued you can achieve a truly data-driven organisation.

How to Master Metrics

Third and final stop, Marketing University 3, where Ray Coppinger from Marketo talked about how to master your metrics.

So, your click-through rates are off the charts and you’re often heard bragging about how incredible your webinar attendance numbers are. The question: do you know how those programs are impacting your bottom line? Are you confident that you’re interpreting your data correctly? If not, you can’t justify spending the money of those programs in the future and you may be dooming their future success.

Ray highlighted where, oh so often metrics go wrong:

  • Vanity metrics – look and sound good but don’t measure impact or revenue
  • Activity metrics – focus on what you do instead of what results and impact you have on generating revenue or pipeline
  • Cost metrics – in terms of cost and spending instead of results and outcomes

He went onto explain the right metrics we should be utilising,

  • Revenue cycle (funnel) metrics – referring to Tofu, Mofu and Bofu (top, middle and bottom phases of the funnel)
  • Program performance metrics – highly useful but often difficult due to multiple touch points and multiple influencers being present

That’s my day in a nutshell! TFM&A 2015 was definitely a worthwhile event for us at Klaxon! If you visited on one or both of the events days, tell us what you learnt in the comments section below.

Klaxon Appointed to Provide Event Marketing Consultancy

Event Marketing for b2b company Genie Connect

We are delighted to announce GenieConnect has appointed Klaxon to provide event marketing consultancy services.

We are often asked by clients to help them with event marketing and speaking opportunities, which is exactly what GenieConnect has appointed us to do. We are initially researching and planning a roadmap of events taking place around the globe that reach GenieConnect’s core target audiences. From this initial roadmap we will be guiding the client through which events we consider worthwhile targeting for free speaking opportunities, sponsorship and exhibitions.

We are delighted to be appointed by GenieConnect, a company with an innovative and impressive technology product.

If you are new to GenieConnect and you are a marketer with an event remit, it’s well worth checking them out. Essentially GenieConnect has built an event app product that makes good events better. You can add networking, personal scheduling, exhibitor info, mapping, notes or live polling to your event via its mobile app. Check them out online here.

A big hello to the GenieConnect team from all at Klaxon. 

Next Generation Research Conference 2014

We produced the Next Generation Research conference which ran in London last week.

Next Generation Research panel session

It was a really interesting look at the impact of technology on market research and what this means for insights teams at brands an in agency. I would say it was “really interesting” since I organised the speaker line-up, but also the feedback we’ve received so far has been great.

We covered the following topics at the conference:

> What the digitisation of insight means to market research professionals
> Big Data
> Fusing data from different sources to create insight
> Using online communities
> Neuromarketing
> Mobile market research
> Storytelling

We also had two new session formats to explore the next generation of market research…

> Start-up Ignite: six technology start-ups told us how they planed to revolutionise market research

> Meet the Rising Stars of Market Research: five young research professionals introduced their ideas for how the market research industry needed to evolve.

You can read a solid write-up of the key themes from our keynote speaker Edward Appleton here. You can also see our photographs from the event on flickr here.

The conference was produced for and ran by our client Warc, publishers of Admap. To find out more about Warc’s future conferences click here.

If you work in advertising, brand marketing, market research or media, you really need to be taking advantage of the huge resources available at

Events and the Importance of Planning

I was reminded yesterday of how the tiniest mistake can cause a great deal of trouble in life as well as in business and especially in event planning.

Car keys and even planningAfter a lovely morning with a friend – spent drinking lots of tea and watching our various offspring play – I decided it was time to go home. I strapped my youngest son into his car seat at which point he grabbed my keys and started jingling them around.  Thinking I’d get them from him when I came back with my eldest son, I duly closed the door.

I expect the forward-thinking amongst you can already see what was going to happen next, but I just hadn’t foreseen the chain of events.  I prised my eldest away from the train track he was playing with, got him into his shoes and off we went to the car.  I went to open the car door and….oh. It was locked.  My youngest had managed to click the central locking button and was now locked in.

He must have sensed my rising panic as he went from 0 to 60 on the baby-in-distress scale. At which point we went through the rigmarole of trying to get him to repeat his clever button clicking with the other button.

Of course, the problem is that 18 month olds are just that bit too young for coaxing and bribery, those oh-so-useful tools of parenthood. We tried the exaggerated miming of button pressing and nearly succeeded until gravity took over and he dropped them.  Game over.

An hour later, my knight in shining armour arrived with a spare key. No harm done.

But I couldn’t help but think: if I’d just stopped and thought the consequences through for a second, I  would not have made such an error.

Taking my frazzled mum-of-two hat off for a moment, when it comes to running conferences and events, the logistics involved in getting everything to run smoothly involves a whole multitude of elements that could go wrong. So many behind-the-scene factors have to come together to make that event a success, and the tiniest error could potentially ruin people’s perception of that conference and ultimately damage your reputation.

Here are a few tips to try to avoid that happening:

Make checklists

The way I make sure I have everything covered is to make lists under headings (AV, speakers, delegates, refreshments, cloakroom, signage etc) , so that when I am getting everything in place for an event, I can tick them off as I go.  It sounds obvious, but it works and has saved me in many situations.

Think of a contingency

No matter how thorough your list, some things will always remain beyond your control. For some of the more major potential issues, it might be worth conceiving a quick contingency plan in advance.

I once put on a conference in Warsaw where a minister who was due to speak first thing dropped out that very morning. Luckily I’d had an inkling that that might happen from a Polish contact of mine, and managed to prime the chair to give a longer introduction to cover the gap if it did indeed happen.

Certainly not ideal, but I like to think the smooth professionalism in the face of such a glitch reflected well on our organising company…whilst it was the minister who looked bad for his lack of consideration.

Modern day glitches

OK, so I can’t blame locking my child in the car on modern technology – central locking has been around a long time after all. However there are definitely more outcomes to think about these days.

My colleague will attest to this; when giving a presentation at an event recently, his audience had a bit of a surprise when his mum popped up on the big screen calling via Facetime. He’d simply not considered that if his phone was switched off, she would pop through to his laptop.

Being prepared in 2013 means thinking through things that may never have existed a few years ago.

If all goes wrong, don’t panic

Screaming trapped toddlers aside, there is no need to panic if something does go wrong. If you remain unflappable you will not only look professional, but will also be able to think much more clearly and hopefully come up with a solution.

My colleague who’s mum dialled in during his presentation kept his cool, let her give a little wave to the audience and she ended up being the star of the show! People understand that accidents can happen.

With just a little foresight and clear thinking you can hopefully avoid errors, and if and when they do happen, deal with them swiftly and professionally.

But then hind sight is a wonderful thing.

Next Generation Research

I’ve been producing the Next Generation Research conference recently which is shaping up to be a very interesting day, even if I do say so myself.

Next Generation ResearchThe conference is essentially all about the intersection of market research and technology, which is a fascinating space at the moment.

Advances in mobile, online communities, increasingly useful applications of social data, greater scalability of neuroscience and a lot more, are making the insights profession much more strategic and influential.

It’s a transformative time to be a market research professional, but only if you keep up to date with the technology.

Of course you need to be able to translate what you find into real insight for your board too. Thankfully there’s a helping of story telling  too. Click on the image or here to go and book yourself a ticket – as usual there’s an early bird rate that’s worth grabbing (before 6th December).

Here’s some of the highlights of the day if you need convincing:

1. Hear Edward Appleton from Avery Dennison on why insight teams are changing the way they seek out information
2. Discover how Betfair are responding to the age of the customer with insights professional Saurabh Bahadur
3. Learn about who owns our data and what we can do to control it with our panel of experts
4. Understand how advanced neuroscience can drive insight and marketing performance with Neuro-Insight and MEC
5. Explore how CBS Outdoor leverage the power of insight communities
6. See how storytelling can deliver impact from your insight
7. Find out about the future of mobile market research with Google Consumer Surveys and Research Now
8. Learn from the next generation of insights professionals in a Pecha Kucha session on the future of market research
9. Hear about how six of the latest tech start-ups plan to revolutionise the world of market research
10. Meet with over 100 market research professionals and share your experiences.

I’m looking forward to being in the audience for this one that’s for sure. 


Interview with a Marketer: Mitch Joel on Life in a Digital World

I thoroughly enjoyed interviewing one of my marketing heroes last night.

Life in a Digital World with Mitch Joel

I felt a bit like a cross between Seth Godin and Michael Parkinson – all be it with a fraction of their wit and intelligence – when I had the pleasure of interviewing Mitch Joel at the London Bloggers Meetup. We had an audience of 50 or so bloggers, marketers and comms professionals all keen to get the lowdown on everything and anything digital.

Mitch is a well known personality in the digital marketing world. He’s President of digital marketing agency Twist Image, a frequent blogger and podcaster at Six Pixels of Separation and now an established business book author too.

Mitch joined us as the London Bloggers Meetup to talk about ‘Life in a Digital World’ and to introduce his latest book Ctrl Alt Delete. It was far from a book pitch, in fact it was much more thought provoking and inspirational than that.

Mitch shared his perspectives on everything and anything we threw at him to do with digital, fielding questions for an hour before he was whisked away to a client dinner.

Early on in the interview Mitch set the tone of the conversation by saying ‘marketing is a function of digital’. This nicely elevated the conversation above social media marketing which is surely by now a rather hackneyed topic.

In Ctrl, Alt, Delete, Mitch gives an overview of his ‘five movements’ that are changing the face of business. You’ll have to read the book the get the full story, but essentially:

1. People want direct relationships with brands

2. Consumers want utility and value from marketing

3. There are passive and active media channels to explore and a right and wrong time for both

4. Data is fundamentally changing how brands interact with consumers

5. We are entering a one screen world

These make a lot of sense to me. However the data story particularly resonates. Having recently produced a conference on the theme of ‘next generation research’ I’ve had my eyes opened considerably as to what information is available to marketers and what this means from a marketing optimisation point of view.

The digital data trail we leave behind as we navigate our lives online is really quite staggering. I’m in two minds as to whether this is a good thing or a bad thing, but as consumers we all have to realise there’s nothing free on the internet. If you want to use Facebook, twitter or any social network without charge, the trade off is you give them a licence to use your data. Get used to it, or get off the net.

You can read a much more in-depth review of Mitch’s thoughts and ideas from Phil Szomszor here. This is one event where I would have liked to be in the audience as well as being the interviewer.

Mitch was everything I expected of a marketing maven, but to my surprise and delight he was also really quite self-effacing too. No diva behaviour at all and this only heightened my admiration for the man.

Following on from Mitch I chaired a panel session with David Keene (Head of Enterprise Marketing UK & IE, Google), Phil Szomszor (Head of Business and Digital at Firefly PR) and Rob Wilmot (Entrepreneur and investor) where we embellished on the topic and discussed the Google stories du jour: G+, Hummingbird, authorship, how enterprise is using G+ and more.

We also had a chance to play with Google Glass which was an experience. I’m not convinced I’ll be a customer when it launches, but you have to admire Google’s innovation.

Overall a truly great evening. Hat tips to all of our speakers and to Google UK who hosted us at their splendid offices in Central London.


How Not to Run an Exhibition Stand

Exhibition stands are not cheap. In fact they are generally very expensive. This means it’s important for any b2b marketing pro to get a good return on their investment.

Exhibition Stand Tips

What’s wrong with the picture above then?

Despite this being a very busy exhibition overall, there are hardly any customers on this stand. I count six exhibitors in this picture with only two customers. Odd given the exhibition was very busy.

This photo was taken at the IP Expo exhibition at London’s Earls Court yesterday. The stand alone would have cost £60,000 (give or take). When you factor in all of the extra costs associated with this stand, I’d bet the ROI will be very poor.

What then could they do differently? Here’s a few ideas:

1. Get the right staff on the stand

I find it very frustrating to see people on exhibition stands facing inwards, talking to each other as above. Let’s get one thing straight, your stand staff are there to engage with attendees, start conversations and capture contact details for sales follow-up.

For a big stand you need two types of people:

> those who can engage with passers by, bring them onto the stand to qualify for a more detailed conversation. This is typically a marketer, or someone comfortable with making eye contact and starting conversations.

> those who can take the conversation forward and into more depth about your product, typically a pre-sales or sales manager.

For smaller stands make sure your team are trained not to loiter at the back of the stand. Checking emails and chatting amongst themselves is not the reason they are on the stand. That’s a sure fire way to turn people off from engaging with you.

2. Make your stand interesting

Yes I know this seems obvious. But it’s easy for a busy marketer to book a stand and assume that just turning up with a bowl of chocolates and a prize draw is enough to get people on to your stand. Guess what. It isn’t.

At IP Expo yesterday I saw fruit smoothie and coffee bars, a dancing robot, small presentation theatres, all manner of games and a lot more. These extras made those stands attract attention and get busy.

And no, that attractive young lady with a big smile and a badge scanner is not good enough. You might collect a bunch of contact details from unsuspecting passers-by, but they will not be at all qualified for follow-up.

Don’t make the same mistake as the exhibitor above. Next time you book a stand get in touch and we’ll help you to make your stand much more engaging and ultimately increase your ROI. 

Oh and before I forget, although the picture above is of Riverbed Technology’s stand, there were at least half a dozen or so more stands just like this.