Thursday, 17 November 2016

How to Plan a Event for Generation Z

Here 5 specific tips for designing meetings and events that are effective and engaging for Generation Z participants.

1.Design collaborative, project-based, interactive learning, especially those that provide the opportunity to use technology and social media.

 Generation Z classrooms emphasize mainstreaming, collaboration, and win-win outcomes

2.Use general sessions to provide executive summaries of breakouts where deeper dives that are "hands-on," focusing on "real-time" challenges and opportunities can be explored.

 With shorter attention spans when in passive listening mode and the ability to filter a high volume of information, this approach will help participants determine what's most relevant and how they want to allocate their time.

3.Leverage online and computer-based learning components.

  • 25.2% of teens reported using computers for 3 or more hours daily
  • 34.7% of teens reported watching TV for 3 or more hours daily


4.Embrace gamification to attract Generation Z male attendees.

  •    51% of teen males and 66% of 6-11 year olds reported that gaming is their main entertainment


5.Incorporate CSR initiatives.

The opportunity to give back in a meaningful way is an important Generation Z value. •The U.S. Department of Labor reported that 26% of 16 - 19 year olds volunteer  studies reported that Generation Z respondents in 4 countries had a high level of concern about social issues:
  •   hunger (78%)
  •   children dying from preventable diseases (77%)
  •   human impact on the planet (76%)

Monday, 14 November 2016

How to Design Multi-Generational Meetings and Conferences

bookmystall, Conferences, event guide, event management, event organization, Event Planner Skills, Event Planning, event tips, Multi-Generational Meetings,

It is important to design conferences and learning programs with the recognition that participants may be in various phases of their careers and lives. An emerging professional is not going to have the same needs as someone who is nearing retirement. Employees with young children won't have the same priorities as empty nesters.

The fastest way to alienate any audience is to deliver generic content that is not customized or relevant to their needs.

Here are 6 strategies for designing more relevant multi-generational meetings.

1.To ensure that content is relevant and targeted, customize the following questions and include them on registration forms or participant profiles:

  • What specific challenges are you facing in taking your career to the next level? (Alternatives: What specific challenges are you facing in growing your business? or What specific challenges are you facing as a single parent?)
  • What roadblocks and obstacles are you facing in advancing your career (or growing your business)?
  • What support or feedback would be helpful?
  • What other programs have you attended with a similar focus and what were the key take-aways?

2.Offer parallel, multi-track sessions. 

For example, offer a senior professionals roundtable and a session on launching a career for emerging professionals. 

3.Transform basic content for experienced participants:

  • Career Development: Definitely, individuals can face challenges at any stage of their career. Instead of just covering career planning basics, offer a targeted session for experienced participants focusing on career stallers and stoppers and how to overcome them.
  • Networking: Don't waste time by covering the basics of how to network. Instead, design a high powered networking session that gives participants access to key influencers in their field.
Life-long learning is important and there is value in refreshers, however, one way to alienate boomers is to make basic, introductory sessions mandatory.

4.Provide opportunities for practice and feedback from experts.

5.Use the experienced professionals as coaches.

6.Give Millennials or Generation Z an opportunity to hone their leadership skills through reverse mentoring or acting as coaches in areas in which they are strong (e.g. social media, the use of apps.)

Carefully analyzing who will be attending a meeting or conference and delivering targeted content has always represented "best practices." With workforces increasingly consisting of multiple generations, it's more important than ever to remember that one s

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

7 Tips for Effective Content Marketing

bookmystall, event guide, event management, event organization, Event Planning, event tips, Content Marketing,

Content marketing is a powerful tool for event planners, corporations and associations. It has many benefits and can be used to:

  • Stay in touch with prospective and existing clients, members, sponsors, and donors
  • Establish yourself or your organization as an expert
  • Convey expertise
  • Reinforce branding
  • Underscore key marketing messages  and, ultimately, generate leads or attract new members,     sponsors, and donors.

Content marketing works by delivering highly valued information (content) to specific target audiences. Here are 7 tips for effective content marketing.

Content Marketing Tips

To design an effective content marketing strategy, it is important to:

1.Identify your target market.

2.Clarify their needs, opportunities, obstacles, and even areas of pain with laser precision.

3.Analyze the demographics of your target market

4.Uncover the needs of your target market including opportunities, challenges, questions, concerns, and burning issues: A SWOT Analysis will give you a clear picture.

5.Keep your eyes and ears open for relevant content both offline and online: I am often asked how, as a blogger who writes at least 5 times a week, I come up with so many ideas. Ideas are everywhere. If you're alert, just take a walk around the block or down any city street, and ideas that are relevant to your target audience will pop out at you. It's a matter of keeping your antennae finely tuned.
 Here are some tips:
  • Capture ideas you spot on-line on a Pinterest board.
  • Keep a notebook in your pocket or purse at all times (or start a note page on your smart phone.)
  • Keep a notepad to record ideas beside your bed. It's amazing how often people wake up with ideas that are forgotten by the morning if they don't jot them down
  • Keep a master "bright ideas" file on your computer or tablet desktop and regularly transfer to it the ideas you've picked up "on the fly."
  • Use brainstorming tools to build on your ideas and generate new ones.

6.Select the right medium based on the preferences of your target audience.
 When people hear the words "content marketing", blogs are often the first medium that comes to mind, but content marketing can take many forms. Think:

  • CDs
  • DVDs
  • videos
  • books
  • e-books
  • podcasts
  • blog posts
  • magazine articles
  • YouTube pre-roll
  • webinars
  • seminars and workshops
7.Select the right channel.

 One of the important keys to successful target marketing is to match the medium to the target audience, and market your content on the channel(s) that are frequented by their demographic.
Offline (including face-to-face):
  • Courses
  • Seminars
  • Workshops
  • Trade Shows
  • Conferences
  • Networking Events
  • Association Meetings

  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google+
  • YouTube
  • Google Hangouts
  • Skype Group Calls
  • National Public Radio

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Unwritten Rules of Event Sponsorship Success

bookmystall, event guide, event management, event organization, Event Planning, event sponsorship, event tips, Rules for event sponsorship success,

Securing sponsors for an event can be complicated — especially with shrinking marketing budgets and heightened competition.

Rule #1: Sponsorship is a numbers game

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is being focused on that one “perfect” sponsor for your event.

If you run a large, established, and well-respected event, you might be able to start getting a little choosier about working only with your dream sponsors. But if you’re just starting out and looking for sponsors to make your event viable, then you shouldn’t be too picky.

Create a long list of potential sponsors, and move through them one by one
Wherever possible, be direct. Yes, you are looking for ‘partners’ to help make your event a success, but you are also looking for financial support. Try to make that clear as early as possible. Confusing brands and setting out expectations that no sponsorship fee will be involved isn’t a good strategy, particularly if you’re on a deadline and don’t have months to develop a relationship.

Remember this: “no” is the second best answer after “yes.” What you want to avoid is a long, drawn-out process where a potential sponsor never commits. This ultimately wastes your time, because the longer it goes on for, the less likely it is to close. This is especially true if you’re talking relatively small money. Of course, if you’re asking for six or seven figures then negotiations are likely to take longer. But if your ask is relatively small, they’ll likely know if they can (and will) sponsor or not pretty quickly.

So push for a “no” if you can’t get a “yes,” don’t take it personally, and move on until you get the answer you’re looking for. Sponsorship is a numbers game.

Rule #2: Understand value before talking price

Another common mistake with pitching sponsorships is that organizers treat them, and present them, as commodities.

Sponsorships shouldn’t be sold like fast food, asking potential sponsors to pick off a pre-set menu. Instead, you should think about each sponsorship as a custom, specially tailored chance for a brand to enjoy high-engagement, long-form interaction with pre-qualified prospects.

As such, don’t send a pre-written sponsorship rate card to potential sponsors; this will earn you a lot more “nos” than necessary.

Instead, once a potential sponsor has shown interest in your event, insist on having a call with them to understand their objectives.

Establish what it is they want from the event, what kind of deal size they would get from winning customers there, and try to gain insight into their budget and decision-making process. Once you’re armed with this information, you can write a completely bespoke proposal for them.

This type of proposal makes you look more professional — and gives them something they’re much more likely to say “yes” to.

Rule #3: Find out if your potential sponsors are driven by ego or ROI

During that initial conversion, try to establish if their interest in sponsoring is being driven by ego or ROI.
Some companies will sponsor an event — oftentimes a sporting or cultural event — just because they want their name associated with it. This type of sponsorship is a way of showing the world that their company is doing well. It’s primarily driven by ego, with less of a focus on ROI.

When negotiating a sponsorship driven by ego, you should focus on imagery: how their brand will look at and around the event; how often it will be seen and heard, and how being associated with your event will elevate them in the eyes of their peers (and potential customers).

To help close these deals faster, play on scarcity, and the fact their closest competitors are also interested.

But more and more, sponsorship decisions are driven by ROI — and determined by the budget holder’s ability to prove the economic value of that sponsorship to their boss. When negotiating a more ROI-driven sponsorship, you’ll want to focus more on metrics, how you’ll help them measure their return, and what you’ll do to help them achieve their goals.

To help close these deals faster, explain that the value of their sponsorship compounds over time — so the earlier they commit, the better the ROI they’ll enjoy.

Rule #4: Understand the message

It’s important to remember that sponsors want to convey a message. Find out what it is, and how you can help them tell it without being disruptive to the attendee experience.

If a sponsor can’t quickly explain what message they want to convey, this should set off alarm bells. If they have nothing to say, it’s unlikely they’re going to pay you for the privilege of not saying it!
Sponsorships are often easier to clinch with companies that have recently rebranded, launched a new product, got new senior leadership, or have some other significant shift in brand/strategy they want to show to the world.

Once you understand what it is they want to tell the world, shape your sponsorship proposal around that core message, and how it will be articulated to your audience.

Rule #5: Don’t forget about those “no’s” you accumulated

Too often, organizers take a short-term view of their events.

But if you’re in it for the long-haul, and plan on running your event again in the future, then it’s worth keeping all of your potential sponsors engaged — even if they said “no” to you this time.
In fact, you shouldn’t just forget about them until you’re planning your next event. You should actively encourage them to attend your upcoming event, and wow them with what a great job you’ve done.

There’s no better proof that you can deliver on your promises (and that they’re missing out) than by having them there to witness it.

Of course, you don’t want them to think they can attend all of your events for free and reap the benefits; But as a one-time offer, it could be the key to sealing a deal for your next event.

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

How to Use Facebook Live at Your Event

bookmystall, event guide, event management, event organization, Event Planning, event tips, Facebook Usage

What is Facebook Live?

Facebook Live lets you broadcast video in real-time to your followers, as well as directly to an event page or group—all from your mobile phone (or tablet). As you broadcast, people tune in and engage with you through comments and likes.

For you and your events, Facebook Live is an opportunity to grow.

The Benefits of “Going Live”

A common myth about live video is that it’s expensive but  “live video is a worthy investment for many types and sizes of events.”

1. Live Video is Extremely Engaging:

According to Facebook Live, users spend more than 3x more time and comment 10x more when the video is live.

2. Live Video Grows Attendance:

30% of people who watch a livestream of an event will attend the same event the following year.

3. Live Video is Cost Effective:

It’s a common misconception that live video is costly, but thanks to tools like Facebook Live, anyone can leverage the technology and see a positive return on investment.

Facebook Live is easily accessible from your iOS or Android device via the Facebook app. The way it works is simple: just head to your Facebook page, event, or group and instead of typing in text, look for the “Live Video” button. From there, you’ll be prompted to enter a description.

But before you “Go Live!” consider the limitations of your mobile device.
As with all video content, production value is crucial to success. If people can’t see and hear what’s happening, they’re likely to tune out. So refrain from using a mobile device to capture the action on stage. Instead, mobile devices are better suited for giving your audience a sneak peek of your event setup or the behind-the-scenes action backstage

Here are some tips Facebook gives for getting the most out of Facebook Live:

1. Make an Announcement:

Build anticipation by letting your audience know when you’ll be broadcasting. Facebook finds that a 24-hour advanced notices gets the best results.

2. Check Your Signal:

If you have a weak cellular or wifi signal, your live video will be unavailable. So don’t go live until you have a strong signal.

3. Don’t Skip the Description:

Facebook Live asks you to create a description before hitting the “Go Live” button. Be sure to write a description that grabs your audience’s attention and lets them know what to expect.

4. Engage With Commenters:

After your live video is wrapped, don’t forget to go back through and respond to commenters.

5. Longer is Better:

If your broadcast is too short, you won’t give people enough time to tune in. Facebook recommends being live for at least 10 minutes.

Friday, 30 September 2016

Small Business Event Planning Guide-IV

bookmystall, event guide, event management, event organization, Event Planning, event tips, Small Business Event Planning

Always underestimate turnout, for sponsors.

If you think you can get 100 attendees, base your sponsorship pitch on a lower estimate — especially if this is your first event. It’s better to give sponsors a pleasant surprise than a disappointing one.

Ask people what they think, and be ready for feedback good or bad.

Ask for critiques. If you’ve done half a decent job, you’ll get lots of kudos. Say thanks, but then ask for the CRITIQUE and be ready for it.

Have a skilled social media team cover your event.
 Don’t forget a social media team. While not imperative for every event or industry, more and more events are focusing on harnessing the viral power of their audience. If your audience is tweeting, Facebooking and taking pictures on Instagram — you should be doing the same and you will need a trained team to execute.

Look for vendors who serve your niche and are willing to get involved.

The best vendors you can work with are those who are familiar with small business culture. Look for vendors who work with small businesses frequently or who would get involved on a bigger level than their role.

Set expectations carefully – then deliver.

Ensure that the audience has a GREAT (not good) experience; and that you give them what they expected from attending.

Attitude is contagious.

Your guests in large part will play off your attitude and dynamics during the event. Lead by example and have a good time.

Let crowd reaction be your barometer.

Read the audience during the event. Ask people how they are doing. If things are going great, and if they are not, you’ll know.

Always ask yourself:

 How is this relevant to attendees?  Make sure you are offering content that is relevant to over 80% of the audience. The audience must walk away with tangible tactics to improve their business and career … and they must feel the speaker’s energy. Speaking about your business and what you do — without offering the audience what THEY need — is a waste of time and money for all.

As the master of ceremonies or a speaker – practice. 

You know your business, but do not assume that you know how to put on a presentation. Practice giving your presentation, answering questions and handling difficult and confrontational members of the audience. The more prepared you are the better.

Look your best.

Look the part… be comfortable but fashion forward. Even if you are an accountant or lawyer, choose your most distinctive suit or tie. People remember how comfortable you are in your own skin.

Imagine the event, step by step, and make a 2-column list:

 what could go wrong in one column, and your contingency plan in the second.  Be prepared for the unexpected. Maybe the sound system fails. Maybe your keynote presenter bails. Can you cope and move on?

 Be ready to lend a hand to fill any gaps.

 Although planning ahead is a great formula for success, it is never enough. Something unexpected always comes up. Thus, it pays to put in a little extra elbow grease for extenuating circumstances. This applies to catering arrangements, printing requirements, guest accommodations, weather forecasts, entertainment and more.