Will you be attending the Event Solutions Conference 2010 in Las Vegas, March 8-10th? If so, I’m going to let you in on a little secret. A birdie told me that there will be a Tweetup on Tuesday, March 9th @ 6:30pm at Bally’s Indigo Lounge.
What’s a tweetup, you say? Why only the most fantastic way to meet all of the people you’ve been developing relationships with online. It’s basically a meetup that’s planned from Twitter – and this one started with a tweet from Deb Roth of Pink Inc.
Many people attend conferences and tradeshows for the networking opportunities – a chance to meet new people and hopefully trade business cards. The mountain they climb is standing out from the throngs of other (just as worthy) people trying to do the same thing. The opportunity for those of us who have been conversing and adding value online is that we’re not ‘just another guy trying to sell me something’. We’re friends, thought leaders, change agents, mentors, proteges and everything in between. In other words we’ve had the opportunity to blast past the awkward introductions and are already on our way to building great relationships. This tweetup will finally give us the chance to meet face-to-face. If history dictates future, there’ll be a lot of business card trading going on.
Even if you haven’t been networking online, I encourage you to come out to the tweetup to meet a great group of professionals and industry leaders. Grab a name tag and tell us how we can help you get started in social networking. You may just find yourself rushing back to your hotel room to start up a Twitter account.
I really hope to see you there. Feel free to email me (see the Contact page) and let me know you’ll be coming so I can look out for you. Tweet you later!
For event planners who are constantly searching for what’s new and unique, Neurosonics Audiomedical Labs Inc. is the epitome of mind-blowing entertainment. Using a unique mixture of holographic projection, beatboxing and wicked spinning and drumming skills, there’s no doubt their goal is to entertain.
Below is a video produced by Chris Cairns from a live show with Beardyman, an infamous British musician well known for his beatbox performances, with assistance from Musion (who did the holographics).
Neurosonics Audiomedical Labs Inc. also produced this totally incredible video that’s sure to put a spring in your step today.
Event planners, where do you go to find your entertainment inspiration? What do you think of this group?
Credits: Thanks to Black Yogurt for introducing me to this group.
On March 8, 2010 event planners from around the world will descend on Las Vagas for the 2010 Event Solutions Conference & Tradeshow. The event will start with a bang…on the evening of the 8th, the Mandarin Oriental Ballroom will roll out the red carpet for the 2010 Spotlight/CATIE Awards (in association with ICA and Event Solutions Magazine). Yes, Vegas has seen its share of Trekkies, Adult Film Stars and Gadget Geeks, but they’ve never seen the likes of this bunch.
With my smartphone and my social media applications, yours truly will be reporting from the awards celebration along with Alan Smithson of Star Productions Inc, Brent Prockert of All Seasons Catering and the fabulous Ruth Moyte of Red Dandelion Creative (one of my blog sponsors – yay!). I’m very excited seeing as Ryan Hanson of Beevents (who will be producing the event), Event Solutions and many of the event sponsors have readily embraced social media and will be introducing some amazing social ideas leading up to the event and on the evening of the awards.
Over the next week and a half, the 2010 Spotlight/CATIE Awards will be asking its attendees to help shape their event using social media. In their first of three question to all of you, they ask: Which centrepiece would you like to see grace the dinner tables of this 60s themed event? Cast your vote here!
If you haven’t already, make sure you follow the conference twitter hashtag: #ESCS10. You’ll hear event stakeholders leak cool information about the event, attendees build relationships with one another and social media reporters weighing in on their event experiences.
I’ll be delivering 3 sessions at the conference & I hope to see you there. Please introduce yourself – I always love to meet my social media friends in the flesh!
MONDAY • MARCH 8 10:30am – Noon . State of the Industry: Where We are Now and Where We’re Headed
Moderator: Laura Schwartz, Principal, White House Strategies, Chicago, IL
Panelists: Branden Chapman of The Recording Academy, Steve Kemble of Steve Kemble Event Design, Lara McCulloch-Carter of READY2SPARK, Kevin Dana of CORT and Craig Bullock of TBA Global
From the A.I.G. effect to blacklisted destinations to the Great recession, the events industry has faced many significant challenges in the past year that have changed it forever. this March, join your peers and a panel of industry leaders to discuss all that we have faced as an industry and the way ahead. Leaders from diverse sectors of the event world will present their vision for the future of the industry; the top-line trends you need to be aware of; and how our industry will look one, five and 10 years from now. Whether you’re an independent, association, corporate, or nonprofit planner or a supplier, this must-attend session will give you the big picture you need to strategize your business or career for today and tomorrow. Stay tuned to learn more about the top event industry voices who will convene for this one-of-a-kind featured session!
MONDAY • MARCH 8 3:00pm – 4:15pm . Business Development: How to Turn Customers into Evangelists
Attracting and retaining customers is the age-old challenge for all business owners. In this session, explore how to find new customers, and more importantly, how to keep the ones you already have. In this ever-changing and significantly more sophisticated business environment, your relationships with your clients is vitally important to your company’s survival. You will leave with an accomplishable “to do list” for meeting your clients’ needs and having them shout from the roof tops about how great you are!
TUESDAY • MARCH 9 9:00am – 10:15am . Socialize With a Purpose: Building a Social Media Strategy For Success
Social media offers an excellent tool for business owners and marketers to expand their communities and their brand recognition – but just because it’s free doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a strategy behind it. The key to success is a clearly thought-out plan. This session will give you the tools you need to craft an effective strategy to achieve measurable results for your company.
Click here to access the conference program & event information.
I speak at a variety of amazing conferences around the world on the topic of Social Media. And although these conferences have recognized the need to educate their attendees on the topic of web 2.0, some have been slow to leverage social media for their own event. I wanted to pull together this eBook to help stimulate ideas for ‘old conferences’ to think in a new way.
I will stress, however, that before moving forward with any of these tactics, a few things need to take place:
1. Make sure you have an event worth talking about. If you garden you know that making sure you have great soil before planting is key. The same is true about have a great product or service before marketing it.
2. Make sure you’re organization is ready for social media. Culture clash is one of the most common reasons for social media upstart failure. Understanding the fundamental shifts in culture needed to make social media work is critical before starting.
3. Make sure you know what you’re looking to achieve and how you plan to measure success. Social media without a strategy is a lot like pots and pans in the hands of a baby. You can spend countless hours playing. If you take the same pots and pans and give them to a chef, they can create an amazing dish. Same tools – two totally different outcomes. Knowing how to use the tools, what you’re looking to do with them and how to course correct if you’re off track is imperative.
I hope that I’ve provided some good thought starters. I know I’ve only scratched the surface, so I welcome you to weigh in with any additional ideas on this post. How have you used social media to meet your conference objectives?
If you missed our last free ebook “Social Media in Events 2010“, feel free to download.
QR codes were originally created by Denso-Wave (a Japanese firm) back in 1994. The idea was to create a code that contained more data than the standard 10-digit bar code yet could also be decoded at very high speed. Although QR codes have been around for quite some time, they’re re-gaining a lot of buzz in large part because of mobile technology.
Build a better print ad – Why not include a QR code in your event’s print ad? This way people who are on-the-go can simply scan your code from their cell phone to be taken directly to your event registration page.
Create a contest – At Mobile World Congress, Neustar will be pairing up with Visa to showcase the power of QR codes. Using their smart phones, event attendees are encouraged to download a barcode reader application. As part of their Welcome Packets, attendees will receive a faux Visa gift card, and will be invited to scan the QR barcode on the back each day to enter a contest to win a €50 gift card. One gift card will be given away every 30 minutes between 10am and 4pm on each day of the show.
Make networking easier – UK Museums recognized the challenge with sharing business cards at events. They’re annoying to carry around, they require you to write on them to ensure you remember who gave you the card, and once you get back to the office, you have to re-key in all the information. To help their conference attendees overcome these annoyances, they added QR codes into registration badges. Attendees could scan their contact’s badge QR code with their cell phone and download their contact information. To learn more about how UK Museums did this, click here.
Get people discovering - Google IO employed QR codes at their Developer Conference by encouraging attendees to scan everything in sight. They scattered various types of codes all around the conference facility and every time a QR code was scanned, the attendee would rack up points. The top 3 highest scorers at the end of the conference got to take home some swanky Google swag from the event.
Make learning about sponsors easier – Sure, we recognize sponsors with prominent signage. But think of how much more valuable sponsorship could be if attendees could scan a QR code on their cell phone and be connected with sponsor websites, exclusive deals or more information on the company.
Make registration a breeze - Check out this fantastic idea over at Nofont on How to Build a Better Conference Experience. In it Jaan Orvet writes about how QR codes could make registration lines obsolete, allow attendees to get ahold of the presentation copies they’re looking for and make getting around a foreign city much easier for the attendee.
A new take on the Scavenger Hunt – Instead of paper clues, have participants search for QR codes. When they scan one, they’re sent a text with their next clue.
Info-rich T-shirts – Have conference employees walking around with t-shirts that say things like: Tickets to the gala almost sold out (with a QR code that will take attendees to the registration page on the back of the shirt), Want to know where the bathrooms are? (with a QR code that will take attendees to washroom directions), Vote for your favorite tradeshow booth (with a QR code that will take attendees to a voting page), etc.
Build a better presentation – How many times as a presenter have you been asked to share or repeat a website URL? Make it easy for attendees to simply scan a QR code from your presentation to be taken to the website directly.
Temporary tattoos – Want to get people networking? Create temporary QR code tattoos for attendees. Let them know that 1 other person in the room shares an identical code and have them find their matching partner.
Generate your own QR codes using Kaywa (or Google search “Generate QR Codes” for a ton of options)
Download a reader like ScanLife on your smartphone
QR codes for tracing bicycles via Springwise
If you’re a Seth Godin fan, you may have seen this video. After a 37 year-old copywriter is laid off from a large ad-agency in 2008, he starts a blog for other unemployed ad professionals. Once the site launched, he decided to create a promotional video featuring the faces and stories of other laid-off execs – and how they used their new-found time to chase their real dreams. It’s now a feature film…and a ‘soon to be’ book. Not bad for a guy who was laid off.
The video made me think about a conversation I had with my Opa this past summer. It was a lazy summer day and we were sitting on the pier enjoying the sun and the sounds of the water lapping up against the wood. I think we were both deep in thought when my Opa said something pretty prolific that has stayed with me ever since. He said, “You know, Lara, you spend your whole life planning for what’s to come. Then one day, when you’re my age, you wake up and realize that there’s not much future to plan for any more.” I’ve been told my whole life that time is fleeting and that it goes by so fast. But nothing has hit me as much as what my Opa said to me that beautiful summer afternoon. I don’t ever want to look back on life and say ‘I wish I had of…’. It was on that very day that I decided to start my own business.
So, even if you weren’t laid off, like me, the Lemonade video should resonate with you. It should make you ask yourself:
If your answers are ‘no’, make your own lemonade.
I’m in the process of working on a presentation for Event Solutions Catersource on ‘How to turn customers into Evangelists”. I’ve been immersing myself in examples of companies who have provided exceptional customer experiences – so much so, they’ve risen from the ranks of good stories to epic tales.
But alas, I don’t have a touchy-feely story to share with you. Instead, it’s probably a scenario you’re very familiar with.
On Tuesday I decided to buy a few books on amazon.ca. While I was on the site I noticed that they also offer used and new books for an even further discounted price. I found one of the books I was looking for at more than half the regular price, so I bought it. I wasn’t planning on buying the 2nd book, but it was recommended by amazon and the same 3rd party retailer was offering it for a price that was too good to be true. So I added this book to my cart (along with 3 other books bought directly through amazon).
A day later I received an email (click here to view) from amazon indicating that I was receiving a reimbursement for a portion of my order. Confused as to what “Account Adjustment” meant, I went on what felt like a wild goose chase to try to find a way to contact amazon.ca so I could get some clarification.
Their email to me the next day (click here to view) was extremely disappointing…
Here’s a few things that would have made this process so much easier:
What would you add?