Events

Goodman Lantern ties up with Startup Grind Conference to Offer a 47.5% Discount

LONDON and SAN FRANCISCO, 24th October 2016. Goodman Lantern, one of the UK’s most prolific new market research and content development companies, has recently announced an exciting new partnership with the Startup Grind Conference to offer attendees a 47.5% discount on tickets to the event. Goodman Lantern works with  SME and enterprise customers helping facilitate conversation between the two.

Startup Grind is powered by Google for Entrepreneurs and is a global startup community designed to educate, inspire, and connect entrepreneurs connecting 400,000 founders in over 200 cities. The Startup Grind conference is one of the highlights of the entrepreneurial sphere, offering budding business owners a chance to rub shoulders with industry leaders and pick their brains on pertinent topics. Past speakers include the co-founder of Twitter (Biz Stone), Airbnb (Nate Blecharczyk) and Slack (Stewart Butterfield).

We at Goodman Lantern believe that the best way to connect is face-to-face.  For this reason, they have arranged an exclusive 47.5%* discount for the Startup Grind Conference held in San Francisco on 21st Feb 2017 using the code Code12345, expiring on 14th November. For further information email startupgrind@goodmanlantern.com.

Professional conferences are a great platform for training and peer-to-peer interaction. These events are the number one place for entrepreneurs to learn new and more effective ways of conducting business. The actionable tips and statistics that business owners are able to collect from industry leaders are invaluable. It is just as important to note that attending these conferences can lead to viable solutions for fundraising efforts as well as an opportunity to sell to both enterprise and startup customers.

* The total discount on one full price ticket when buying 2 for 1 is 47.5%. Applying the code gives attendees a 5% discount on all tickets available until 14th November.

 

Survey on 'Why top level executives attend conferences'

In an effort to learn more about the conferencing behaviours of Fortune 1000 executives, Goodman Lantern conducted a survey featuring 191 top-level panelists. Our main aim was to discover why these executives choose to attend certain business events, how they research upcoming conferences, and what motivates them to participate as exhibitors or sponsors rather than attending in an observational capacity.

Download the entire presentation (free)

Determining the “Worth” of Attending an Event

An overwhelming 62.6% of respondents choose to attend conferences based on the quality of marketing and communication received before the event. The second-most popular method, ranking in at 41.3%, of decision-making in this regard is learning about these events from peers and colleagues.

Reasons for Attending an Event

One of our main motivators in conducting this survey was to discover why Fortune 1000 executives attend certain conferences and events. Most of our panelists, around 68.9%, claimed that these events presented a wealth of networking opportunities – clearly a driving force behind making their decisions. The runner-up reason for attending events was to meet experts and speakers face-to-face, a motivating factor for nearly 31% of our panelists. At least 21.1% of the executives interviewed stated that they saw event attendance as a way to invest in themselves and their professional endeavours.

Motivation for Sponsoring or Exhibiting at an Event

According to 51.3% of our participants, industry reports and knowledge produced at the event form the bulk of their motivation for exhibiting at or sponsoring an event. The next-highest motivator, 39.9%, for our panelists was the quality of attendees. Additionally, 22.6% of our survey participants stated that a speaking slot was motivation enough for attending a conference.

Produce industry reports and knowledge for your conference via Zero Cost Content via Goodman Lantern's research platform.

Speakers Market Beyond the Event Itself

As a professional you need to be able to see the value in your event speakers beyond the session itself. Quite obviously, speakers play one of the most important roles in the success of your event. You may wish to harness their infinite charisma in order to market your event more effectively. When they're on the stage, speakers are the living embodiment of the event itself. They engage with the audience and share their passion for the topic at hand. They keep people entertained for an hour or so, hoping to stay in the audience's mind for long after the event is over. Additionally, they have full control over their content - an enormous responsibility, all things considered. Surely, their responsibilities could (and should) extend a little further.

Turn your Speakers into Marketing Machines

Event organisers often make the mistake of shouldering the burden of marketing all on their own. The fact of the matter is that your speakers should be generating buzz about your event. After all, their success depends on the success of the whole shindig too.

If your goal is to have your speakers market the event from day one, you need to be completely honest with them. If they want the gig, they need to uphold all of the responsibilities laid out for them. Tell them that they need to raise awareness. Get them in touch with your marketing team so that all of your efforts are synchronised.

Your speakers should be doing exactly the same things you are to promote your event. Posting on social media, blogging, and reaching out to influencers are three vital steps in generating buzz.

Stay Updated on Important News and Trends

Research is incredibly important leading up to your event. While your event may be set up and ready to go, you need to keep track of your audience and attendees in the months and weeks before the date. Your speakers will find a wealth of information that will enable them to reach out on social media and connect with the people that matter.

 

 

How to Attract Millennials to your Event

Millennials are a highly educated generation, with 61% of them attending college, that are a valuable addition to any event. With the oldest millenials in their mid-30s, they are guaranteed to shape the event landscape for quite some time.

Get your Mobile Friendliness in Check

If there's one thing your website needs to be, it's mobile friendly. Many internet users do their searching, researching, and browsing on mobile devices. With lifestyles that seem to centre around being on the move, it comes as no surprise that mobile device usage has increased exponentially over the last few years.

Encourage Peer Engagement

Most millennials love to interact with each other. The fact of the matter is that they're more likely to attend an event if their friends are going. By adding share buttons to your website and offering group discounts, you're almost guaranteed to attract more millennial attendees.

Get Used to Social Media

Millennials are particularly keen on social media. It fulfills their inherent desires to be heard, to compete, and to cooperate on a large scale. With so many social media platforms at your disposal, there is no earthly reason NOT to employ social media marketing tactics. Offer your social media followers special discounts and competitions. Do whatever you can to boost engagement.

While social media is great prior to your event, it's even better onsite. Promote live commentary, videos, and photos. You'll be generating a buzz that lasts well beyond the event itself.

Understanding Social Attendees

While the event industry might be constantly growing and evolving, one thing is certain: social media is here to stay. Event profs are working in an age where social attendees are the major target. Understanding the psychology behind this phenomenon enables people to plan better events. Social media has an effect on the way events are planned, marketed, and hosted. It has such a huge impact on the event as a whole that it simply cannot be overlooked. Traditional marketing may not be dead but it certainly has taken the backseat.

Learning to Embrace Social

The complexities in our social lives are what make our existence so exciting. Social media provides access into the thoughts, experiences, and insights of other people in a way that is entirely new. Before the Digital Age we had to rely on information provided - edited information. Now we have access to information in its raw unedited form. It makes a huge difference.

Event profs now have access important tidbits regarding social attendees regarding the two "big C's" in human nature: competition and cooperation. Social media enables people to connect and observe from afar. It's a remarkable tool.

Who They Know and Who They Want to Know

When attending an event, one of the first things people do is check their network to see if they know any other attendees. Cleverly designed event apps enable people to connect with their peers in a safe online environment. Hosting live pre-event discussions is one of the best ways to get people talking.

On the other hand, people also want to know who they can meet or get to know better at an upcoming event. For attendees with this particular networking goal, social media provides the perfect medium for breaking the ice. Live Q&A sessions are a great tool and should be used as much as possible.

 

 

Online Marketing for Events: Tips for Event Profs

Many event professionals hit a roadblock when it comes to online marketing. Of course, with a few handy tips and tricks you needn't feel like online marketing is such a huge challenge. With your event planned perfectly, including fantastic speakers and tantalising catering, the only obstacle you really face is getting the required attention. Essentially, online marketing is a gift rather than a burden. It truly does make your life that much easier...if you know how to use it.

Be Smart - Get Other People to Do your Marketing for You

Perhaps the best thing about online marketing is the fact that you can, without too much effort, get other people to do your marketing for you.

Contests are a great way to generate buzz about your event. Consider launching a competition where entrants can win tickets to the event by sharing the news. You would be surprised at how far information will reach when there's a prize to be had.

Influencer marketing is another fantastic way to generate interest in your event. It can sometimes be difficult to connect with the right influencers due to the fact that they're usually bogged down with hundreds of requests. Try to get noticed by the right kind of influencers by doing some noticeable legwork. Reach out to them by sending personalised requests instead of flooding them with generic posts that are clearly targeted at a large group.

Offering referral discounts is another fantastic way to generate buzz. Send a message to your attendees letting them know that they will be able to receive a partial refund on their ticket purchase should they refer a friend (or two).

Use Social Media Wisely - It's One of Your Biggest Assets

The most important thing to remember about social media is that it is in a constant state of growth. While Facebook and Twitter may have once have been the only bigwigs worth considering, other social media platforms have now joined their ranks. Spend a little time doing research on what's trending online, and use that knowledge to your advantage.

Create an air of exclusivity by creating a closed Facebook group for VIP guests. There will always be those people who crave exclusivity and "special treatment" - this could be a great way to get them to mention your event on social media in a completely positive light.

If you're going to invest in social media, you may wish to consider creating an awe-inspiring video. At the moment, video content is the biggest trend. Audiences crave entertainment in the form of a teaser. They want to feel as though they have something absolutely magnificent to look forward to.

Event Catering Trends: Keeping it Local, Fresh & Sustainable

Amidst the hustle and bustle of your event, attendees will need to satisfy their craving for delectable sustenance. Event catering is more important than many people think. It's a really simple equation that looks a little like this: happy taste buds = happy people. Of course, it's important to keep track of food and beverage trends when taking care of your event catering plans. Gone are the days where mass-produced sausage rolls and fruit skewers would do. Your guests are looking for something more.

Local, Fresh, and Sustainable Ingredients

Farm-to-fork cooking is a huge trend at the moment. People want to enjoy well-prepared food that highlights fresh, seasonal ingredients from local farms. It's an extension of corporate social responsibility - supporting sustainable farming practices is a pretty big deal.

Events are becoming more experiential in there nature. The food should be no different. Peoples' tastes are evolving and that presents event managers with a fantastic opportunity to showcase local ingredients and local chefs or caterers. Find someone who has a creative spark when it comes to food preparation and you'll be amazed at the positive feedback your event will receive.

Portable Bites are a Super Trend

Consider the growing popularity of food trucks around the globe and it becomes clear that grab-and-go food is trending. Of course, we're talking about more than your average hot dog. People want takeaways with flair and pizzazz.

Snack foods that are portable and easy to eat are popular because of the flexibility they provide. At an event where attendees are intensely focused on networking, they'll want something delicious they can quickly pop into their mouths while they consider their next move.

Reinventing Comfort Food

There are certain classic foods that people can't help but love. Think about your ultimate favourites; that gooey bowl of mac and cheese or that crunchy plate of fries. When the craving for something comforting hits, there are certain go-to options that everyone loves.

Reinventing the classics is a major trend at the moment and it's easy to see why. Everyone loves an exciting new take on the dishes that fill them with a sense of nostalgia.

Hosting an event means making sure that guests are satisfied. A significant part of that means providing food and drinks that are exciting and tasty - something memorable that keeps people talking long after the event is over.

You Don't Always Need Event Speakers

Innovation is a huge contributor to the success of an event. During the planning process, most pros will spend a significant portion of their time looking for event speakers to engage with the audience. Events are moving in a different direction. It's more about engagement than it is being "lectured". Co-creation is one of the biggest trends in events at the moment. The crowd itself is often the source of knowledge and wisdom rather than just the speaker himself.

Participant-Guided Interaction

There's an almost schoolyard feel about speaker-guided interactions. Basically, there's no earthly reason for participants to be instructed by an official representative when they can guide themselves and each other.

Consider the impact of handing the show over to the crowd, rather than one particular speaker. After all, it stands to reason that the combined knowledge of the crowd far outweighs that of a single speaker. Dividing attendees into discussion groups is a great idea. Or, even more exciting, is the possibility of turning the presentation around. Turn it into a proper Q&A session where the crowd dictates the direction of the topics.

Compelling Video Content

When done properly, video is often more effective than a live speaker. There's something undeniably engaging about "showing" rather than "telling". Video offers a fantastic balance between storytelling and eye-catching visuals.

In many cases, you'll want the professional input of a particular person but realise that one of their pitfalls just happens to be public speaking. After all, we're only human so it shouldn't come as a surprise that some of the most knowledgeable and insightful individuals struggle with being in front of a crowd. A video interview with integrated footage and animations can work wonders.

Make Room for Entertaining Art

There's so much more to storytelling than simple words. Why not harness the power of the creative arts instead of the usual string of event speakers?

It may be worth your while to consider telling a story through music, dance, or acting. The concept works effectively in so many other settings, there should be no earthly reason why a conference would be any different. At any rate, you'll have a talking point that none of your attendees is likely to forget.

Pop-Up Events: No Need for a Permanent Structure

There's been a long-standing misconception that dictates all events should take place in brick and mortar structures. Event pros will be pleased to note that a new trend is steadily taking hold: the pop-up event. Temporary structures are a great way to fit a large number of people into your event without struggling to find a space for hire.

A  Big Top's Not Only for the Circus

You could easily fit over 100 attendees into a big top for your event. Utilise the space in such a way that it fits with your theme - make it more comfortable by bringing in soft cushions, a few extra tables, and some gorgeous decor. You'd be surprised at how affordable this option can be, especially if your local circus is in hibernation and could use the extra funds from your rental.

Transparent Marquees can Extend your Event Space

If you've planned an event at a historical venue but have no way to accommodate your dinner guests comfortably, consider hiring a transparent marquee.

You would be amazed at the amount of banquet-style table space available inside a marquees. Your guests can enjoy their dinner in comfort, whilst being able to meander leisurely through the building at your chosen location.

Stretch Tents are Trending

If music festivals are anything to go by, stretch tents are a huge hit. Stretch tents are ideal for pop-up events because they work well on any terrain. They offer protection from the elements as they come in virtually any size. And, of course, they look absolutely spectacular.

Without the linear, rigid feel of most other structures, these tents offer a sense of freedom. Event attendees will no doubt experience something akin to that summer vacation feeling - a nostalgic feeling that event organisers so often try to replicate.

Another great feature of stretch tents is the fact that they attach so easily to existing structures. This makes them the obvious choice for smaller event spaces that need cohesion between permanent and existing structures.

 

 

How to Find the Ideal Event Venue

The event venue you choose is the foundation for the success you hope for. Finding the perfect venue, whilst still attempting to offer attendees something unique, can be challenging. An out-of-the-box venue is often the number one headache event profs deal with during the planning process. Many event planners are taken by surprise when they see new venues popping up all over town. Of course, it always seems as though a new venue pops up just as you manage to get to grips with the details of your upcoming event.

Staying updated on trending local event venues is of the utmost importance for any event professional. Here's how best to do that:

Get Real with Your Clients, Be Humble

The most important thing to do when trying to source event venues is to remember that you are not all-knowing. This is something you need to admit both to yourself and your clients. As an event professional, you need to come to terms to the fact that you will never know everything. This is a career that requires constant learning and constant improvement for the simple fact that everything around you is constantly changing.

The Concierge is Your Number One Source of Info

Finding out what's happening inside a hotel is as simple as having a chat with the concierge. This is where you'll find honest feedback, as well as information regarding the goings on at hotel events. You need to know how well a particular hotel venue performs, and what sort of feedback is received from guests their way out.

Conduct a Few Online Investigations

Over the last few years there has been a significant increase in the presence of websites that showcase event venues and all of their pros and cons. In general, you'll probably find guest reviews as well. Word of mouth is invaluable in this industry; so take heed of the general chatter if you want to stay informed.

Keep Track of Popular Events and Festivals

The organisers of popular festivals are constantly searching for new and exciting venues. These popular events span over various categories including food, music, and theatre - and all of them require fairly large event spaces with a range of attractive amenities. Because these event organisers work outside the realm of corporate functions, they tend to think more creatively. Take the time to chat with them and pick their brains a bit; you may learn something incredibly valuable.

 

 

Moving on up with Digital Swag Bags

We recently did a post about event goodie bags and how they need to be adapted for a better attendee experience. Virtual event bags are a step up from the traditional, physical “swag bag”, and marketing gurus predict that these may be the way forward. We are smack bang in the middle of the Digital Age, after all – why not use this to your advantage? What is a Digital Event Bag?

Digital event bags help sponsors and exhibitors connect to attendees through a more modern version the classic tool we’ve all become accustomed to over the years. It’s finally time to kiss printed materials goodbye and opt for a more user friendly, eco-friendly, and experience friendly approach.

People love digital content that makes them tick. There is always a market for great content that people can relate to, connect with, and share with their friends and peers. The possibilities for creating digital goodie bags are virtually endless – it all depends on the audience you want to reach and the impact you want to make. It’s a revolutionary marketing tool that packs a serious punch.

Attendees can open their virtual bags from their smartphones and tablets via text messages or emails that link to the event organiser’s website or app. Once opened, guests have access to discount codes, free offers, contests, surveys, video content, articles, and so much more. It’s a veritable smorgasbord of marketing opportunities in one handy little package – and there’s no chance of attendees forgetting this particular goodie back under their seats once the event is over.

Popular Perks for Organisers and Marketers

Perhaps the greatest perk of handing out digital goodie bags instead of the traditional, tactile version, is the fact that sponsors have the ability to track useful consumer behaviour. Whenever coupons are used or content is viewed, sponsors can track the information in order to better their own marketing campaigns in the future. Trackable data, in this industry, is pure gold.

Of course, it certainly helps that putting together a virtual event bag is much more economical than the traditional version. There’s absolutely zero waste, and sponsors are guaranteed to connect with attendees on a more substantial level.

 

Evening Events: Why they Matter

Evening events at conferences often get a bad rap. Most event planners find themselves wondering whether hosting an evening event is worth the trouble at all. After a long day of meetings, talks, and manning exhibition stands, attendees may question whether or not they have the resilience to stay after hours...unless the experience is worth it.

An Opportunity for Networking

In general, huge conferences are often a little too bustling for any real networking opportunities. Evening events present attendees with a space to relax and unwind; to mingle with their peers and perhaps find a chance to fit in some relatively "chilled" networking, should the opportunity present itself.

For instance, many attendees who spend their day scrambling through busy conference hall look forward to some down-time. They enjoy a scheduled evening event which provides a much-needed chance to chat to vendors, sponsors, speakers, and industry leaders.

Emphasis on Personal Brand

While the main conference is centered around the vendors and sponsors, an evening networking event presents attendees with the opportunity to showcase their personal brand. These business networking events are an amazing way to keep abreast of any important trends in the industry.

Foster Professional Relationships

Personal and professional growth should be the end goal of every event attendee. Of course, walking away with a number of useful contacts is an absolute must. Evening events present the perfect opportunity to build new relationships. They offer a chance to focus on maintaining existing relationships. All in all, there is no doubt that an open and relaxed setting is better suited to forming new acquaintances.

Education without Boredom

Conferences, as a whole, are designed to educate and hopefully inspire. Unfortunately, the massive nature of the main event can lead to an impersonal feel. The fact of the matter is that people absorb information better when there is a personal feel to it.

Evening events present the opportunity for vendors and attendees to connect on a one-on-one basis. In fact, nothing boosts the ability to absorb information quite like a simple face-to-face conversation.

 

Event Aftermath: An Event Manager's Work is Never Done

Your event was a raging success. Exhibitors left feeling as though their ROI was well worth it. Consumers left feeling like they really found a few gems. Everyone managed to fit in some fantastic networking. All in all, your job as an event manager is well done. Right? Wrong. In this highly competitive industry, there really is no rest for the wicked...or for event professionals either. Once your event is done and dusted, the real work begins.

Recognize the Event-Cycle as a Delicate Process

As an event manager, one of the most important things you need to realise is that events are cyclic in nature. The aftermath of your event is just as important as its conception and launch.

At the completion of your event you have the opportunity to collect invaluable feedback and data. Essentially, these post-event details help you to iron out the creases for your next event. You have the chance to learn from your successes and mistakes in order to greatly improve your skills.

Mind your Manners

Thank-yous are an important part of the post-event procedure. After a strenuous, busy, and challenging event, Fatigue may try to convince you that thank you notes are overkill. Ignore that little voice. You need to thank everyone who participated in the event. It helps to keep the memory of the event fresh in their minds.

Better still; go the extra mile and personalise those thank-yous to make sure your good impression last even longer. Acknowledge every single person involved in making the magic happen from your side as well; it's not just about attendees and vendors.

Reach Out on Every Platform

Social media is your greatest friend in terms  of post-event tasks. In most cases, event manager's place a heavy emphasis on social media engagement in the period before the event. During the event this engagement reaches a plateau. After the event, there seems to be a distinct lack of conversation aside from the cursory "thank you for attending" update.

People love to talk about their experiences. So, encouraging online conversation after the event is a great way to build an audience that will be interested in the next one. Share content from the event. Encourage vendors, sponsors, and attendees to tag themselves and share your tweets and updates. Engage as much as you can.

Maintain your Website

Website maintenance is seriously underrated. Too many event professionals are only concerned about their website directly before an upcoming event. What you need to remember is this: stale content hurts your image.

Directly after your event you have the opportunity to update your website with a goldmine of content. People want to see what you've done - they want to know that you kept any promises you made prior to the event. Additionally, forgetting to freshen up your site can make you look lazy or careless; which isn't really the impression you want to give.

In addition to your regular post-event duties (balancing the books, debriefing the team, etc) the above tasks can greatly improve your event-cycle overall. Try not to take them lightly.

Creative Marketing: Displaying Logos at Events

There has to be a better of displaying logos at events. Gone are the days where marketers and event profs can get away with taking the easy way out. Consumers tend to bristle at in-your-face, lacklustre, or slapdash efforts at making branding memorable. Event managers need to think outside of the proverbial square when figuring out how to display company logos. Try a subtle approach, give something more fun a try, or use technology to your advantage. Your options are virtually endless if you know where to look.

Give a Photobooth a Bash

The verdict is in: people love photobooths. There's an undeniable element of nostalgia involved in taking an instant photo. It conjures up a person's favorite memories and positive emotions. Hire one of these fabulous devices and you've added that sought-after personal connection. Logos can not only be displayed on the outside of the booth, but they can be printed directly onto the photos as well.

Hire a Street Artist

Watching an artist at work is an almost magical experience. There are so many talented street artists out there - most of them working with completely unique materials. You can really bring your event to life by hiring one of these creative geniuses. By incorporating company logos into their art, they create something memorable that will really stick in an attendee's mind.

Edible Logos Aim to Please

Basically, the aim of your event is to ensure that everybody leaves happy. Nothing makes people happier than a snack or two. Try to find innovative ways to offer attendees edible logos. Molded chocolates, beautifully iced biscuits, refreshing ice pops, branded drinks... The opportunities are amazing if you really think about it.

Digital Caricaturists Exist to Amuse

Caricaturists have gone digital - and it's a good thing too. People love to laugh. Really great people love to laugh at themselves. Bring in a digital caricaturist to entertain people and give them something to share on social media. Company logos can easily be worked into digital caricatures, making a lasting impression.

It's amazing what you can come up with when you take the time to think about it. Originality is so important in terms of marketing at an event; use your intuition and imagination to come up with something truly great.

Colour Matters in Event Design

Colour choices in event design are more important than most people realise. There is almost no way for an event to be 100% successful if the design is not up to scratch. The correct colour palette is the very foundation of your decor; and event attendees' experience begins with the eye.

The Emotional Connection

Whether you choose to believe it or not, the colours in your surrounding environment can have a very real effect on your mood. Certain bright colours inspire high energy buzz whilst others have a more soothing effect. You need to think carefully about the core concepts behind your event, and the kind of vibe you're hoping to generate.

Don't Clash with your Venue

When choosing your colour palette, you need to remember that you're not starting with a completely clean slate. Your venue already comes with an array of its own colours which will need to work in cohesion with your choices.

A single colour can look completely different depending on its surroundings. Some colours compliment each other whilst others are in complete contrast.

Play it Safe, Go Monochromatic

If you're worried about a colour clash, you have the option to choose a monochromatic palette. It almost seems as though monochrome will never go out of style - and that's a real stroke of luck in terms of event design. Choose a single colour and work with varying shades (darker and lighter) thereof. You can go two ways with this: subtle or dramatic.

Keep it Simple with Neutrals

Neutral colours are quite often the favourite for people who aren't fully acquainted with the ins and outs of design. There's a very real sense of comfort in neutral colours - it feels a bit like home. Neutral tones lend an air of relaxation and calm. You can add an accent colour here or there for that bit of pizzazz if you feel the need.

Snapchat Finds its Footing in the Event World

Snapchat_Logo_Goodman Lantern Blog Social media continues to take the world by storm. Despite the fact that it may feel as though the current “big bosses” in social media are the only ones that matter, the fact is that social media really is in its infancy. It will continue to grow and evolve at a remarkable rate - after all, that’s the nature of the concept in its entirety.

Whenever a new social media platform is established, it is adopted by younger, more techno-savvy users. As the user base expands to include previous generations, these new brands begin to dip their toes into the realms of highly competitive B2C marketing. At this point, influencers, celebs, and advertisers throw themselves into the mix; and then its just a matter of time before event organisers find a way to get in on the ground floor of the action.

This is where Snapchat is at the moment. At the precipice of popularity.

What is Snapchat? Is it Just for Kids?

Until recently, teens have been the epicentre of the user-adoption rate for Snapchat. The messenger aspect of the app seems to be its biggest selling point. It’s all about image-sharing kicked up to a new level. The instant messaging aspect of the app is also what attracts teens, like AIM did a generation ago.

Snapchat messages disappear after 24 hours. This ghost-message effect is what put marketers off the app initially, and it is probably responsible for the app’s slow growth over the last few years. Quite obviously, marketers want their messages to stick around for a good while - after all, that’s the entire point of engaging with your audience, right? Well, perhaps marketers could find a way to spin this ghostly feature in their favour.

Don’t Fall Behind

Employing the FOMO (fear of missing out) tactic is something that event organisers have been doing for decades. In essence, Snapchat uses FOMO to create somewhat of an addiction. Users crave the knowledge of trending news and posts that won’t be around forever. There’s a delightful edginess to it that other social media apps are lacking.

Most social media platforms are a constant stream of identical calls-to-action. Users are beginning to find these constant ads fairly tiresome - there’s nothing new to keep their curiosity piqued. There is a growing cynicism that prevents users from developing an interest in event posts that they have seen a hundred times and will continue to see a hundred more.

Event professionals need to market the most exciting aspect of their industry: the fact that it’s all temporary. If you only have one chance to view content before it disappears or attend an event before it’s all over, chances are you’re going to invest more of your time and interest. This is the magic that apps like Snapchat are able to capture.

Virtual Event Trends and Livestreaming

Virtual events are growing in popularity for so many reasons. In addition to reducing overhead costs, virtual and livestreaming events are the epitome of efficiency, enabling organisers to repurpose content whilst reaching a much broader audience. Frankly, what’s not to like? It’s all about bringing people together without the pitfalls of a traditional, live event. What Counts as “Virtual”?

There seems to be a misconception regarding the relative “age” of the virtual event. Truthfully, the concept has been around since long before Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg hopped on the bandwagon. Event organisers have been toying with various degrees of varying degrees of virtual reality for years. The only difference between then and now, is the fact that we are rapidly overcoming any boundaries that may have existed before.

Livestreaming, similarly, isn’t such a new concept either. It’s been almost a decade since Netflix was launched - somewhat of a shocker in most peoples’ personal timelines. Since 2007, so many other companies have joined in on the streaming and livestreaming action, proving the popularity of the concept. In fact, there is a growing number of people who are cancelling their TV subscriptions in favour of Netflix and similar services.

In order to keep up with the trends, mobile companies have had no choice but to ensure that all mobile phone users have the opportunity to connect to any stream of their choice, irrespective of their location. People seem to have a need to be connected to the action in some way, for fear of missing out on the action.

Using the available technology to create more entertaining and interactive events is of the utmost importance - particularly when considering the fact that bloggers and influencers are using the same technology to share their opinions of events while they are in attendance. It’s all live, all the time.

Ever-Changing Event Social Media Strategies

Social media is constantly in motion. It’s an ever-growing, ever-evolving communicative medium that has a mind of its own. Due to its sometimes unpredictable nature, event organisers should be aware of the fact that their social media strategies require regular adjustments, deeper insights, and frequent research. Over the last few months, even social media kingpins like Twitter and Facebook have announced a new array of features and changes in algorithms that will affect the way these platforms are used by individuals and businesses alike.

Eliminate the “Anti-Social” Aspect of Social Media

Due to the enormity of social media as a whole, it can feel a little impersonal when interacting with brands online. Many social media users have reported feeling as though they’re dealing with a big machine, rather than actual human beings.

“There is increased interest from our membership regarding interacting via Facebook and Twitter, so we definitely want to build on that momentum. I’m still working on goals and execution, but I would like to use social media to create more buzz around our events, not only with members but prospective members and attendees,” says Adrienne Bryan, database manager for the Association of Florida Colleges.

One of the best strategies is to find volunteers to collaborate with creatively on social media. Something that has turned out to be quite popular is the ‘Instagram takeover’ during which the company in question surrenders their event page to the volunteer for the entirety of the event. It adds some unexpected spice to the brand - you would be surprised at the difference a change in tone and pace can make.

Step Outside of Your Comfort Zone

One of the most important things to consider when working on your social media strategy, is realising that this is no place to establish a comfort zone. In terms of social media, you always need to be on your toes.

Don’t stick to the same old platforms you’ve gotten used to over the years. Keep yourself open to the possibility of using new tools and applications as and when they become available to you. New social media platforms pop up all the time, and each one creates its own community as it grows. In order to become a successful social media strategist, you need to get in on the ground floor of every new opportunity when it comes along.

 

Distraction: The Downfall of any Event

It doesn’t come as a surprise that distraction is the slow death of any event. Attendee interaction is the top requirement for a successful live event - happy, engaged guests are one of your biggest marketing tools. Word of mouth, whether via an online platform or in person, is still the best way to measure success. If your guests are bored, you can pretty much expect those live tweets to do some serious damage to your brand. If your guests are entertained and amused, they’ll take to social media in the aftermath for a storm of positive feedback. Who’s to Blame for Attendee Distraction?

Organisers across the globe are blaming mobile devices for attendee distraction; hoping to find a way to ban electronic devices from their events. Unfortunately, in the Age of Technology these event professionals don’t have a leg to stand on. As a modern event organiser you have two responsibilities: - Keep attendees engaged enough that they aren’t desperate to use their mobile devices for salvation. - Ensure that attendees can engage on their mobile devices with virtual goodie bags and entertaining media.

Organisers are in no position to shift the blame. With so many different ways to keep engagement levels high, it should be impossible to have throngs of disgruntled attendees leaving the event ahead of time.

Mobile Devices are Here to Stay

While roughly 40% of respondents in a recent survey agreed that it would be ideal for attendees to turn off their mobile devices before the onset of any meeting, the fact of the matter remains the same: we don’t live in an ideal world, so keep dreaming.

Most people own more than one mobile device. They need to remain online for work and personal reasons. Mobile devices are slowly but surely becoming a lifeline that most people are not happy to live without. Banning devices at events is risky for one simple reason; you run a high risk of alienating your target audience.

Use Mobile Distraction to Your Advantage

Instead of fighting mobile devices, it is in your best interests to use them to your advantage. Use effective engagement techniques via popular mobile apps to get the right kind of conversations going. Live polling is a major plus, especially when you consider the fact that you’re almost guaranteed to get more feedback than you would during a regular Q&A. People tend to be more comfortable interacting in their comfort zone (via mobile device) than they do when they are put on the spot.

 

 

Periscoping - Live Action Streaming is Here to Stay

Goodman Lantern Blog Periscoping Periscope is taking the live events sphere by storm. The app was launched earlier in 2015, and since then “Periscoping” has become one of the biggest event trends of this year. While live video certainly may not be a new concept, there’s something about Periscope (and its competitor, Meerkat) that has the world of social media spinning just that little bit faster. It’s all about accessibility – knowing what’s happening right then and there. Periscoping goes hand-in-hand with the transparency that modern consumers hanker after so much. There’s a rawness to it that people seem to crave. It’s the unedited rawness of live streaming video with none of the touch-ups or filters that the media world has come to rely on so much over the last few decades. This is what globally conscious consumers are moving towards; they want to connect over the truth.

Online Video is a Long-Term Phenomenon

Online video content is popular and according to Articulate it is here to stay:

  • By 2018, video content is expected to account for 79% of all consumer internet traffic
  • In emails, the word ‘video’ boosts click-through rates by 65
  • YouTube is the now officially the second largest search engine in the world
  • Video is shared more than all other types of content

No More FOMO

The “fear of missing out” is one of the things that drives modern consumers more than they would like to admit. We do, however, live in a world where trends matter. People want to be a part of something bigger, something better – and when they can’t have that they will settle for being a part of the live action in some way. It’s all about interconnectivity. People are fuelled by the desire to connect with other human beings over shared interests and experiences. That is what event organisers need to hone in on.

Not only do app users have the ability to view these events live, but they can also provide feedback in real time. This makes the experience all the more real. People want to have their opinions heard. It’s that simple. A Peek Behind the Curtain

Periscoping offers users the chance to get a behind the scenes view of events. Smart marketing is all about showing viewers something unexpected; something that makes them feel like a part of the bigger picture. Brand transparency is going to keep growing as one of the most important factors in a consumer’s decision-making process, so it’s really about time that event organizers get with the program.