Tag: corporate

How to Save Time Creating Agendas for Your Events

One of the most important jobs of an event planner is to identify the reasons why people want to attend an event and build an agenda around these needs.  But creating and managing great event programmes is also one of the most frustrating and time-consuming things an event planner has to do. Speakers change. Topics change. Room capacities no longer meet demand.  And the larger the event, the more complex these issues become.

An industry poll from Eventsforce last month found that an overwhelming 86% of event planners rely on Excel spreadsheets to build and manage agendas around their events.  Which makes sense if your agenda has a simple one-track format.  But what happens when you’re dealing with a multi-track event? What if you have a three-day conference where attendees can pick and choose which sessions they want to attend? What if a last-minute change to your keynote impacts the timings of some of your other sessions?

Excel is a fantastic planning tool for events – but in these situations, it does have its shortcomings. What organisers need instead is an intelligent programme management tool that can help them make changes to agendas quickly and easily, whilst ensuring that the information they’re dealing with (and sharing with attendees) is always kept accurate and up-to-date.

7 Ways Programme Management Tools Can Save Time Planning Events

Have a look at why a good programme management tool can do a better job than Excel when it comes to saving time in creating agendas and sessions around events:

1. Better Data Accuracy – Most programme management tools are integrated with the event’s registration system, which means any changes to the agenda can automatically be updated and published within registration forms, apps and event websites. This not only saves time in transferring data from spreadsheets and other systems, but it also makes sure that the information is accurate and up-to-date.

2. Improved Categorisation – Event planners can assign labels to sessions to identify the topic or stream each one belongs to (ex. presentations that focus on marketing only). This makes it a lot easier to track, manage and make changes to those sessions that belong in a particular category. It also helps personalise the attendee registration experience by making it easier for them to view, search and choose those sessions that are of interest to them.

3. Bulk Management – Instead of individually assigning capacity, rooms or labels to each session, organisers can save time by bulk assigning the same labels and rooms to their selected list. For example: Sessions 2, 3 and 5 can be allocated to conference room B with a click of a button.

4. Flexibility in Publishing Sessions – Event planners can choose which sessions they want to publish on registration forms, websites and apps and which they want to save in draft.  This helps them make better use of time by opening registrations for some sessions, whilst confirming details such as speakers and presentation topics on others.

5. Identifying Room & Time Clashes – Programme management tools can automatically notify organisers of potential conflicts when the same room has been assigned to more than one session at the same time.  Similarly, the system will stop attendees from double-booking, if any of their chosen sessions overlap.  This not only brings a better registration experience, but also reduces the time spent by the events team dealing with scheduling enquiries from attendees.

6. Automatic Scheduling – Intelligent scheduling in a programme management tool can also be particularly useful for events that have a defined set of presentations within an allocated session. The organiser of a multi-stream medical conference, for example, may schedule a number of oral abstract presentations within a one-hour session, but needs to make changes to the timings of some of these presentations or swap some speakers around. He or she can simply drag and drop different presentations into the agenda and the system will automatically recalculate the new start and end times of each one, as well as notify users if the agenda is running overtime.

7. Real-Time Management Insight – Event planners can save time making important decisions around sessions and agendas through the real-time data insight a programme management tool can provide. For example, organisers can get an accurate overview on how each session is doing in terms of registrations and room capacity. If a session proves to be more popular than anticipated, it can prompt the organiser to swap rooms around or assign the session to a larger room.

The Eventsforce programme management tool helps event planners automate the entire process of creating, publishing and managing agendas for single or multi-track events. For more information, click here or call us for a chat on +44 (0) 207 785 6997.


4 Ways Corporates Are Using Event Data

Do you want to know what is event technology’s biggest benefit?  Event data.  Actually, it’s actionable event data.  Data you can use to bring real value to your organisation. In fact, according to a new report from the Trade Show News Network, of all the different things that technology has done for event planners over the years, perhaps the most important is generating data they can act on. The report also goes on to say that what is needed now is understanding what that data means and how event organisers can use it to improve their events and attendee experiences.

The Growing Importance of Event Data with Corporates

The focus on data in the corporate events sector is bigger than it’s ever been.  And like the report suggests, this trend is largely due to all the different technology systems we are now using around events – from registration systems and mobile apps to engagement tools, social media and so on. For those of you interested to know which of these tools are having the biggest impact on our industry, have a look at this infographic here:  Ten Most Popular Data Collection Tools for Event Planners.

These tools are helping organisations collect and analyse data in ways that was once unimaginable.  Yet the amount of data we now have in our hands can be overwhelming, to say the least.  One of the most common complaints you’ll hear is that there simply is too much of it. In fact, a recent Eventsforce study found that 33% of corporate event planners felt the vast amount of data they have in their systems meant they didn’t have the time nor resources to do anything useful with it.  The study also found that more than half of event planners found it difficult to consolidate their data as it was spread across so many different systems.  Consequently, 72% of corporate event planners are now planning to make improvements to their data strategies.  Which isn’t surprising.  As the significance of events continues to grow for corporate organisations, so will the importance of managing all the data around these events.

Four Ways Corporates Are Using Data from Events

Event data is incredibly valuable.  The more you make of it and the more you share it across your organisation, the more valuable it becomes.  Have a look at the top four ways event data is being used by corporate organisations today, according to the findings from the How Important is Your Event Data’ study:

1. Measuring Event ROI – A vast majority of 76% of corporate event planners agreed that measuring success was the number one reason they collect data from events. The source of this data varied from registrations and attendance numbers to engagement levels and revenue.  Unsurprisingly, feedback from attendees, sponsors and exhibitors topped the list of metrics corporates are using for measuring event ROI.  Analysing and reporting this kind of data across all the different stakeholders within their organisation helps corporate event planners figure out whether or not the event met expectations and if it was in line with the company’s overall goals and objectives.

2. Planning for Future Events – After determining whether or not an event went well, our study found that 62% of corporates are using the data to identify key lessons and takeaways to determine goals, activities and content for future events.  For example: Organisers are increasingly analysing how their attendees are engaging with sessions by tracking check-in and check-out times and whether or not they used the live polling feature on the event’s mobile app.  This helps them assess popular topics and speakers for their next event. In the same way, knowing that networking was the main reason people came to their last event may push them to introduce a networking tool or have meeting rooms available to facilitate conversations with like-minded attendees.

3. Building Attendee Profiles – Personalisation is also driving a more data-driven approach to the way organisations plan and run events as attendees increasingly expect both the communication and the live experience of the event to be tailored to them in some way. So, it’s no surprise that our study found that 40% of corporates are starting to use data they have on their attendees to create more powerful and targeted events.   Using registration forms to capture attendees’ views and opinions can be a quick and cost-effective way of personalisation. For example, you can ask attendees what topics are of particular interest to them at your upcoming conference. You can then share this information with your partners and ensure the right kind of offer is included in the right delegate pack upon checking-in at the event. This is a lot more personalised than including offers from all your partners as you will almost certainly include things that are of no interest to them.

Looking for an easy and cost-effective way of personalising your attendee’s event experience?  Have a look at this article for some quick ideas: 7 Easy Ways of Using Your Registration Process to Personalise Event Experiences.

4. Generating Leads/Sales – Almost 20% of corporate event planners said they use the data collected from events to generate leads and sales for their organisations.  They know who showed up, what sessions they attended and who they engaged with – all of this data helps their sales teams stay up to date with important lead information. Some corporate organisations are taking a step further by integrating their event management systems with their internal CRM solutions so that the data is automatically updated in real-time across both systems.  The integration allows sales teams to have accurate and immediate insight into who is attending their events and how often they’re engaging with the organisation. It also helps them assess what value event activities are actually brining to the business.


The study results highlight the growing importance of event data in the corporate sector as it brings them new opportunities to engage more closely with customers, prospects and partners – as well as generate new leads for their organisation. With more of a focus on data collection and analysis, it becomes even more important for these organisations to have a clear strategy around data management when it comes to events – one that outlines exactly what data needs to be collected and how it will be used.  Not doing this effectively will almost certainly be a lost opportunity.

Are there any examples you’d like to share of corporate organisations using the data they collect from events?  Let us know – we’d love to hear your views!

Want to stay up to date on all the latest news and trends around event technology?  Sign up to the weekly EventTech Talk Newsletter here!

How to Manage Abstract Submissions for Successful Conference Programmes

As a conference planner, we know how important it is to find great topics and speakers.  It can have a huge impact on registrations and an even bigger impact on how well your event is perceived.  However, managing the abstract submissions and reviews process for your conference is complicated enough when everything goes according to plan – let alone when it’s rushed or hasn’t been carefully thought through.

How Abstract Management Solutions Can Help

Of course, there are many solutions out there like Eventsforce Abstracts, which can simplify the whole process of gathering and managing online abstract submissions, as well as helping reviewers assess these submissions quickly with little hassle. These automated platforms can help conference managers build abstract submission forms, modify submission topics, select expert reviewers to assess the merit of abstracts, as well as invite select people to present their abstracts and papers.  The presentations are allocated to specific sessions and are also automatically updated in the main conference agenda – ensuring conference managers are in full control at every stage, saving them time and supporting them with all the tools they need to manage the evolution of their entire conference programme.

But as much as technology can help – there are many common pitfalls which can create problems for conference managers along the way.  In this article, we’ll be looking at some of the important things organisers need to think about when managing abstract submissions around their events. We’ll be publishing a similar post in the next month that will focus on getting the reviewing and judging process right, which is the last step in securing great speakers and content for your next event.

Quick Tips to Improve the Management of Abstract Submissions

In order for a conference to be successful, it needs to attract the kind of speakers and content that will help facilitate discussions and educate those delegates coming to the event.  Make sure you get the process right with the following best practice tips:

Make Sure You Know What You Want – One of the most frustrating oversights in managing abstracts is kicking off the process, receiving submissions and realizing later on that there is information you need but haven’t asked. You can add missing fields to online forms pretty quickly these days but getting in touch with those who have already completed their submission forms can be a timely and frustrating process. Finalise all the information you need at the planning stage – talk to experienced colleagues and get other stakeholders involved from the very start. Everyone should agree on what you’re trying to achieve and why – this way, you’ll be in a better position to identify gaps and won’t need to make as many last-minute changes to your submission forms.

Don’t Neglect Instructions – You do need to provide a detailed guide for authors so that they can understand the submission process clearly.  Make use of the instructions section of your call for abstracts page to communicate clearly and concisely exactly what information you need from the author or potential speaker so that they know what they are expected to provide. This can cut down on a lot of confusion and wasted time for both submitters and reviewers. You could also publish a timeline that outlines important dates, including the deadline for abstract submissions, when authors need to be available, when submissions will be approved and when places in the conference programme will be confirmed.

Get the Balance Right – It’s important to provide clear guidance on abstract submissions but be careful not to overwhelm people.  We’ve seen some conferences use five pages of highly structured forms giving instructions on how to submit abstracts on one topic!  Will your academic really read through all those pages?  Probably not. The reality is that most academics submit their papers to multiple conferences and they’ll submit the same abstract to each one. So, don’t over-complicate things as you may risk losing potential speakers.  And remember, it may be someone other than the author filling in the submission form and they may not have the technical expertise to edit the text or reformat it in a way that meets the criteria of an overly cumbersome submission process.

Standardise Formatting – Make sure that your submitters have a clear idea on the format you want them to use when filling in particular fields on your form.  Using predefined formats on fields that require numbers, for example, will reduce the probability of error.  It will also make sure that the data is captured in the same way as it is captured in the databases of some of the other systems you use around your conference (registration, CRM, membership and so on). You can also structure the abstract content into different sections (introduction, main content, summary) which can be useful for typesetting.  This way, you’ll save time in exporting that information when creating abstract journals or posters as all your content is structured in one standardised format.

Ask Relevant Questions –  As a general rule, the more clicks it takes to complete a submission form, the more excuse your abstract authors have to walk away and look elsewhere.  Make sure that the information you’re asking for will either help them or help you get the content you need for a successful conference programme.  For example, you may ask if their paper has already been published in an industry journal and if a particular publication keeps coming up, then perhaps that’s somewhere you need to be targeting to get the abstract submissions you’re looking for.

Offer Flexibility – You want to make the process of submitting abstracts as simple as possible. So, it’s a good idea to allow authors and speakers the choice to edit or amend their abstract submissions prior to the deadline date.  Equally, make room in your planning on extending the deadline as most people leave these things to the last minute and it’s an opportunity for you to get more interesting content for your conference programme.

Monitor Progress – Stay on top of how many abstracts are coming in, which submissions are incomplete and what topic/category/stream areas are doing better than others – if you use an abstract management solution, then it will monitor this information for you in real-time. This will identify potential problem areas and help you assess the best way of addressing them. For example, an overwhelming number of submissions in one topic area (over others) may indicate that the topic description is too broad and that it’s not being interpreted by authors and submitters in the correct way.   So, you may decide to sub-categorise and create new sub-topics instead.


A well-thought out process for abstract submissions can have a huge impact on ensuring you deliver a high-quality programme for your conference delegates.  It also opens up the opportunity to showcase new and game-changing research with the wider community.

If managing your call for abstracts is a challenge for your organisation,  Eventsforce offers a comprehensive solution that gives you full control of the entire abstracts management process – from inviting and reviewing abstract submissions to building agendas, managing conference invitations, registrations and payments. It also provides powerful automated tools to monitor, manage and communicate with everyone involved. Click here to learn more.

Are there any other tips you’d like to add to this list?  Please let us know as we’re always keen on publishing your views!

Want to be a tech-savvy event marketer? Sign up to the weekly EventTech Talk Newsletter here and get updates on all the latest technology trends, discussions and debates shaping the meetings and events industry today.



How Companies Can Save Time and Money Around Their Events

untitled-design-72Technology is always pushing the boundaries on how we plan and run our events. From simple registration systems to sophisticated event management tools. From social media, live polling and event apps to the use of new technologies like GPS fencing and augmented reality.

All these different technologies help us collect and manage valuable data around our events. And we all know how valuable this data can be. The more you make of it and the more you share it across your organisation, the more valuable it will become.

But the value of event data isn’t just limited to what we collect and analyse from all these different systems we use around our events. As event planners, we deal with many other business systems that help us manage information and processes around our events.  It may be the customer data we have in our CRM solutions that helps us personalize attendee experiences. Or it may be the details of all the outstanding payments recorded in our finance system that can help us forecast revenue and cashflow. Or a list of all the transfer and hotel requirements we’ve recorded in our travel and accommodation booking systems.

The event data in these systems is just as important as the data we have in our registration systems or event apps.  Yet all this data has traditionally sat in silos as it has been difficult to share information between them and all the other systems we use around our events. However, recent advancements in communication tools like APIs has made the process of data sharing a whole lot easier. And event planners are starting to see that having an event data ecosystem where all the different systems automatically talk to each other can bring them all sorts of benefits.

What Our Research Found

A recent joint study by Event Industry News and Eventsforce found that 60% of event planners are already integrating their event data with their organisations’ business systems, with CRMs, corporate websites solutions and finance coming up top.

The industry seems to recognize the importance of having an integrated system with 75% of respondents claiming it can have a significant impact on the hours spent doing admin work like data entry, reporting and chasing departments for relevant information. Other highlighted benefits include better data sharing, increased revenue and improved data security.

The study also found that factors such as cost, time and issues in managing multiple IT suppliers were seen as the top barriers to this type of data integration. Yet despite these challenges, only 25% of respondents felt integration was not a priority for them moving forwards.

Key Considerations

So, how do you decide which type of integration is right for your organisation?

The key thing here is that there isn’t one type of integration that’s right for everyone.  Each organisation is different and each system is different.

What you need to ask instead is – what is my business need for integration?  Can it help solve a particular problem around my events?  Do you want to spend less time chasing updates with your finance team? Or do you want to cut out all the work you do copying data from one system to another?  Or maybe you want more synergy between your marketing and event campaigns?

All of these issues (and many more) can be addressed by integrating your event data with some of your organisation’s other business systems.

Have a look below at why companies like Schroders, Haymarket and RSS decided to integrate their event data, how they went about it and the impact it had in the way they manage their events:

schroders1. Schroders: Events and CRM Integration

Schroders is a global asset management company running hundreds of meetings and conferences each year.

The Challenge:

As most of Schroder’s events target their customers and investor contacts around the world, invitation lists were usually compiled by account managers who owned these client relationships. The lists would be put together using the company’s Salesforce CRM solution and would then have to be manually uploaded to the Eventsforce event management system, which would track and manage registrations around each event.

The problem was that as account managers had no access to the data in Eventsforce, the events team would spend a lot of time providing them with regular attendance updates and reports.  All the registration data recorded in Eventsforce needed to be manually uploaded into the CRM system – which was time-consuming, inefficient and prone to error. It also meant that the sales team didn’t have real-time visibility on which of their contacts were attending their events or which events and sessions they had engaged with in the past.

The Solution:

Schroders decided to integrate Eventsforce with the company’s Salesforce CRM system in an effort to improve data sharing between the two departments. The integration allows the events team to automatically pull invitation lists from Salesforce directly into Eventsforce, without the need for manual uploads.  More importantly, any updates around invitations or registrations that are recorded in Eventsforce are instantly updated within the CRM system in real-time.

The integration saves the events team a lot of time transferring data between the two systems, chasing responses and collating reports – helping them focus their efforts on other aspects of the events.

On the other hand, account managers have access to the most up-to-date information on how many of their contacts are attending an upcoming event. It also helps them decide whether or not they need to encourage people to register (instead of the less personal follow-up call from the events team) or if they want to arrange meet ups before or at the event.

“The integration between our event management and CRM systems has helped us see what value our event activities are providing to our organisation.  With better data sharing between the two departments, we have also saved a considerable amount of time collating reports and transferring data between the two systems,” said Viki Stapleton, Events Manager, Schroders.

haymarket-logo2. Haymarket:  Events and Finance Integration

As one of the largest media and publishing companies in the UK, Haymarket has a portfolio 120 events that gather over 20,000 attendees each year – from award ceremonies and gala dinners to conferences and breakfast briefings.

The Challenge:

The company deals with an incredibly high volume of payment transactions around its events – so having the ability to track funds was a top priority for the events team. Yet the system they had in place was inefficient and didn’t give them the financial insight they required.

Each night, a list of payment transactions recorded in the events system would be sent to the company’s accounting system via file transfer. As the data flow only flowed one way between the two systems, the events team didn’t have a real-time view of when the finance department issued invoices and when payments were actually coming in.

As a result, a lot of time was wasted chasing the finance team for the latest updates. The daily file transfer also meant there was always a gap between the time attendees completed their registrations and the time it took the accounts team to issue their invoices.

The Solution:

The events team wanted to take control of the entire invoicing process and decided to address the issue by integrating its events and finance systems together. Now, each time an attendee completes an online registration form or submits an award entry, their financial information is automatically sent to the finance system, however invoices are generated directly through the events system.

This allows the events team to easily chase payments before the start date of each event by pulling up automatic reports on outstanding invoices and contacting attendees through one quick email.  The integration has not only simplified processes but has also meant that most of its events can kick off with very few outstanding payments.

Not sure if data integration is right for you?  Get a FREE copy of the ‘Save Time & Do More with Your Event Data’ eBook – a comprehensive easy-to-read guide from Event Industry News and Eventsforce that gives you everything you need to know about integrating your event data with other business systems (CRM, marketing, finance, membership).

“The integration between the two systems has been critical to our cashflow. It has really given us the visibility we need regarding the financial situation of each event and has also helped us reduce a lot of administrative work around managing attendee payments,” said Carla Jones, head of event operations and client services, Haymarket Events.


rss-logo3. The Royal Statistical Society (RSS):  Events and Membership Integration

As one of the leading organisations promoting the importance of data and statistics around the word, RSS has an active events portfolio running around 100 meetings and events for members and non-members each year.

The Challenge:

The organisation has integrated its events and membership systems together so that it can provide automatic membership check as part of its online event registration process. The integration makes sure that RSS event attendees are going through the right registration channels and non-members are not paying discounted member fees.

The Solution:

Each time an attendee selects the ‘member’ box on the registration form, their email address is automatically checked against the RSS membership system. If the membership is valid, attendees can continue with their registrations – otherwise the system will ask them to try again.

Click to get in touchRSS Conferences and Events Manager, Paul Gentry, commented: “Without integration between the two systems, non-members could have registered as members as we wouldn’t have had the time or resources to manually check the status of the hundreds of members that attend our events each year.  But with this system in place, we are confident that the membership status of each attendee is accurate and more importantly, everyone is paying the correct registration fee.”

The integration secures a key revenue stream for RSS and it also saves the events team considerable time chasing payments from those people who may have otherwise registered under the wrong category.

It also helps RSS address queries around memberships a lot more quickly.  So, if a particular membership has lapsed, a notice can show up on the registration form advising users to contact the membership services team.

Have You Got Your Free Pen? The Power of Promotional Products

The pen is mightier than the swordDespite living in a digital age it seems that we just can’t get enough of a free pen. New research from the British Promotional Merchandise Association (bpma) shows that the number one product people in the UK like to take home as a freebie is a promotional pen. However, promotional products are often seen as an afterthought rather than an integral part of a marketing campaign.

In order to encourage companies to recognise the value of promotional products and understand the many ways of improving brand awareness, the bpma is running Promotional Products Week (PPW) from 12-16 September. Now in its fourth year, PPW aims to raise the profile of promotional products and encourage their use within the marketing mix.

According to the bpma’s research, 76% of marketers surveyed will keep a promotional item given to them while 73% of those will go on to purchase from that company. A staggering 83% will even be able to recall a branded product on their desk without having to refer to it. Also, it appears that the best gifts are considered useful in everyday life – such as a branded bag or USB stick – or indeed edible – such as branded sweets, mints or marshmallows.

Promotional Products Week - Eventsforce pensIf you want your brand to be remembered then you might need to think outside the box. Last year, almost £1bn was spent by companies on promotional merchandise with an average spend of £5 per item. Gordon Glenister, Director General of the bmpa, told Eventsforce: “Promotional products are one the most powerful advertising mediums in existence. When a branded giveaway is relevant to the organisation and is useful, recipients will keep it on average for almost three years.” The more unusual items people have received includes plants, ice creams and shoe polish while the more praised items mentioned in the research were retractable phone chargers, desktop fans and travel adapters.

A branded gift is one of the most effective stop mechanisms at exhibitions.

“IT and phone-related gifts are some of the fastest growing premiums, yet the pen and bag still remain the most popular particularly at events. A branded gift is one of the most effective stop mechanisms at exhibitions. The team all wearing colourful shirts with a call to action message creates impact and huge awareness,” Glenister continued.

What promotional products will you be using for your next event? Will you go with a branded reusable silicone tea bag, a pocket mini hangover kit, a light-up pet waste bag dispenser (all of which are surprisingly available online!) or will you be sticking with the tried-and-tested old favourite – a branded pen?

Promotional Products Week Infographic

Click to view larger image

Click to get in touchThis year, the bpma has teamed up with Pancreatic Cancer UK to raise £10,000 by encouraging companies to promote themselves using a promotional product or garment in a photograph or video, and at the same time. To find out more about PPW visit promotionalproductsweek.co.uk and to donate £3 or more, please visit justgiving.com/bpmapromoteyourselfday

How Can Technology Be Used to Create Experiences at Events?

Untitled design (50)Endlessly monotonous PowerPoint presentations are out, and experiential events are in. With better technology, enhanced creativity, and intelligent strategy, events have become highly engaging experiences. Richard Twamley, creative director at communications agency, drp, believes that with more to do and more to see,  there is an opportunity to get involved in interactive activities that bring people and ideas together.

Experiential events, or “engagement marketing” involves a strategy that directly engages consumers, as well as invites and encourages them to participate in the evolution of a brand. Experiential can add an exciting element not only to events, but also to exhibitions, large conferences and road shows. This exciting and diverse approach to events is an experience that delegates want to share and shout about, whether that’s physically loudly with their voices, or loudly online via their social platforms.

So how can technology be used to create an experience at an event?

Below we have listed 3 unique experiential events, and the tech used, which hopefully will ignite ideas and inspire event planners.

1. ‘Internal Engagement’ – Jaguar Land Rover F-PACE Launch Event

To launch their brand new F-PACE, Jaguar land Rover delivered an external PR stunt that involved the F-PACE defy gravity in a Guinness world record-breaking 360 degree loop de loop in Frankfurt Motor Show. The loops were shaped in the numbers ‘8’ and ‘0’ to celebrate their 80th anniversary. The F-PACE successfully completed the loops showcasing its lightweight design, agility, sports car speed and performance.

In line with this momentous F-PACE product launch drp delivered a record breaking internal campaign for Jaguar Land Rover employees. The internal attraction campaign titled – ‘Who’s in the Driving Seat?’ initially focussed on the mystery behind the identity of a heavily disguised driver and started with a pre-reveal film shown at Jaguar Land Rover’s offices and posted onto YouTube.

The campaign’s real impact was delivered by the experiential installation titled ‘You’re in the driving seat’ answering the previous question ‘Who’s in the Driving Seat?’, which demonstrated to the employees that they themselves are the real drivers of the business and the success of the products made. Employees were filmed wearing the racing suit worn by the driver of the loop de loop in Frankfurt, and this was then instantly edited with the original footage so that each employee appeared to be the actual driver of the F-PACE.

Image 1 - Jaguar Land RoverThe experiential solution allowed employees to feel connected to the product whilst creating a unique activity that would encourage them to share, and ultimately contribute, to overall product marketing activity.  ‘Selfie’ installations and digital signage positioned the F-PACE in front of a backdrop displaying the F-Pace logo – employees then stood in front of the car and photos were uploaded to Facebook for them to share. The video installation element combined video technology with installation art – in this case digitally stitching the loop de loop from the Frankfurt with the employees own video inside the F-PACE.

The brief required the campaign to provide a shareable communication solution that delivered a reach of 100,000 people via Facebook. The initial pre-reveal film posted onto YouTube received over 12,000 click-throughs to the embedded post and 400 shares by employees, over 91,000 content appearances and in excess of 100,00 video views. As a result of the launch activation element of the campaign there have been to date over 1 million content appearances, 264,000 individuals reached and 50,000 people have liked, commented and shared the content.

Jaguar Land Rover employees were engaged with a unique experience that was worth sharing with their family and friends. The experiential element was unique for each person, and the employees could share their experiences via social media.

2. ‘Multi-Faceted Experience’ – JCB Global Dealer Event

Image 2 - JCBJCB wanted to bring together their dealers and customers from over 40 countries to exhibit the capabilities of the full JCB product range via demonstrations, which were impossible to replicate in their worldwide dealerships. JCB was keen to ensure all 3200 international delegates, who spoke 14 different languages between them, were ‘wowed’ from the beginning.

The main experiential highlight within a series of programmes running across five weeks saw JCB’s plant machinery at centre stage. By showcasing the staggering capabilities of these vehicles, audiences experienced them first-hand and engaged with the products face-to-face. Cavernous, temporary structures were set up to allow audiences to be within an arm’s length of the stars of the show: dump trucks, excavators and industrial forklifts, scooping, shifting and lifting heavy loads. 28,000 watts of sound cranked up the atmosphere as well as 578 production lights. JCB plant machinery was also pitted against rivals’ nearest models, allowing the audience to fully appreciate JCB’s competitive edge. Hands-on testing made the experience even more immersive, as people felt, saw and heard the quality of the awesome machinery on display.

This first-hand experience enabled worldwide dealers and customers to fully comprehend the capabilities of JCB. Data was gathered before and after the event, measuring delegates’ shift in understanding around key areas of the programme, including perceptions on products and JCB’s support mechanisms. Substantial upward shifts were seen across the board. The success of the event persuaded JCB to add four further rotations for local schools to enjoy a similar experience.

3. ‘Possiblers Campaign’ – drp 35th Anniversary

Image 3- 35th Anniversary CelebrationsLast year drp celebrated its 35th Anniversary, and the company launched an integrated campaign to celebrate this milestone and connect with their clients. The event was the opportunity to introduce clients to new areas of the business, find out about the latest developments and ultimately, increase engagement and sales. Hosted at West Midlands Safari Park the event was attended by 950 guests including the drp team, friends and clients. The event consisted of park tours, workshops, a gala dinner, and showcase finale including live production show, choir, fireworks and production to rival a festival.

‘The Possiblers’ were a series of 3D animated characters created as part of the company’s ongoing integrated marketing campaign. These characters, Parker, Olivia, Sinclair, Stella, Iggy, Becca, Lance and Erica each represented one area of the organisation forming an integral part of the entire campaign and the event itself. The first initials of the characters spelled the word ‘possible’, in sync with the drp strapline ‘anything’s possible’.

The many experiential elements of the event gave delegates a chance to experience, learn, and immerse themselves in drp and their services. The digital and interactive activity workshops were run by the multiple drp departments, from digital to design, film & video, print and more. There was the chance to learn how to code, film, edit and create a video, or photoshop your face on a poster with the design team.  Delegates could also bring the ‘Possibler’ characters to life by creating their own versions.

drp exceeded their target of attendees, in terms of social, they ran and delivered the most successful and far reaching campaign. They reached a total of 112,687 accounts and hit 265,883 impressions across channels. Alongside this viewership figures reached 991,144 individuals, but conservatively drp only take 25% of this figure which is 247,786 individuals. The anniversary campaign and event proved to be extremely successful with a robust ROI, increased engagement, introducing clients to new areas of the business, from the history to the future of the business.


Click to get in touchExperiential events don’t have to include the latest gadget, VR headset or AR iPad, all that’s needed are strong aims, marketing objectives, and creative ideas. Jaguar Land Rover simply required their own products a green screen, cameras, editors, and social media. JCB needed production, fireworks, and their own products. drp utilised their departmental teams across all areas of the business, including design, print, video, and event production. Event tech is incredible, however, it’s not the only resort, there are plenty of ways to be experiential and market a brand without it.

Written by Richard Twamley, Creative Director at drp

(Winner: C&IT Awards Agency of the Year 2014)

Why Events Need a Crisis Communications Plan

Terror attacks are now a constant threat to society and consequently, security has become top of agenda for many businesses – especially for those organisations involved in running events in big city destinations.  Knowing what to do at a time of crisis has never been more relevant.

As an event planner, you may already have your organisation’s own crisis management policy that you and your team have to follow. The hotels and conference facilities you use for your events will also have their own health and safety procedures that need to be adhered to.  What is equally important, however, is a carefully prepared crisis communications plan around your events.  Knowing whom you communicate with in a crisis, as well as how and when you do that communication can mean the difference between failure or success. And this doesn’t just apply to a terrorist incident, but to any crisis situation that has the potential to disrupt an event – from fire outbreaks and flooding to any other kind of emergency evacuation.

Getting crisis communications right is not an easy thing.  There are countless stories of how organisations got it wrong – from the BP oil spill in the US to the United Airlines passenger scandal earlier this year.  The ones that have done it well are usually the ones who were well prepared. So don’t leave it to chance and don’t underestimate the consequences. Think about it now and have it as an integral part of your overall event management strategy.

Have a look at these five fundamental steps for an effective crisis communications plan around your events:

1) Find Out Who Are Your Key Audiences

GlobeThe first step is to think about all the different types of people you deal with at and around each of your events.  In most situations, the stakeholders will include your attendees, on-site suppliers (security personnel, technology, staff, venue, catering), partners such as speakers, sponsors and exhibitors, as well as journalists and colleagues (on ground and off-site).

2) Identify Audience ‘Owners’

Once you have these stakeholder groups listed out, create your internal crisis team by assigning the relationship ‘owners’ for each of your audience groups.  You need to have these dedicated points of contact – you can’t have one person managing everything if you want to be affective with your communications. Each of these relationship owners should create contact lists for their audience groups, which can include mobile numbers, email addresses and social media handles.  Collate these lists from your event management systems and make sure they are regularly updated so that you have the most current information on the day of your event.

3) Identify Your Different Communications Platforms

calcThe next thing is to determine how you will need to communicate with all your stakeholders. Quick, clear and frequent communication will be appreciated at a time of crisis.  It will also protect your organisation’s reputation on how well you manage the safety of your attendees. Social (especially Twitter) are very powerful communication tools, especially given the 24-hour information cycle we currently live in. However, it is important to note that social media does not guarantee mass reach. According to MarketingLand, about 2 percent of your Twitter followers see your Tweets. Similarly, AdWeek has stated that Facebook organic page reach stands at a fairly shocking 2.6%. Having said that, social media is key to providing information and access to media and key influencers who help amplify your message. In fact, journalists are the largest, most active verified user group on Twitter.

Aside from social media, you also have your email databases which can be created using the stakeholders lists you put together. You may have an event app, which is also a great tool to push notifications and update attendees on what they need to do.  You can also put up notices on your event website or screens you may have up around your venue.

4) Find the Best Platform for Each Audience

Notifications via event apps, emails and social media are usually the best option with your attendees. However, not all your stakeholders may be at your event.  Some may be offline and miss the notices you’ve posted online.  So think of other options too like text messages and phone calls. The management team of your organisation, for example, will probably need to be updated by phone.  Communications between your on-site team members may be better through group calls or messaging on mobile apps like WhatsApp or your own company app. Bear in mind that immediately after a major incident like a terrorist attack, mobile networks may be unavailable due to excessive demand. Sit down with your management team and identify the most appropriate crisis communications channels for each of your audience categories and have contingency plans for every situation.

5) Put Together a Communications Plan

Untitled design (32)Once you’ve identified your audiences and have a good idea on how you’ll be reaching out to them, the next step is to put together a communications plan. It’s difficult trying to figure out what you’re going to say if you’re not sure what crisis you’ll be facing. However, the last time you want to worry about on the day is putting some sort of plan together and chasing all the necessary approvals.  Have your crisis communications plan pre-approved and ready to go.  You could have a detailed plan for each type of crisis situation or you could have a more generalised one with clear action points.

Make a list of potential crisis situations – whether that be a terror attack or a power outage – and draft the key messages you want to communicate with each of your stakeholders.  Be personal, transparent and genuine and make public safety your number one priority. Explain what has happened, what actions need to be taken, what information is available and the contact details of each stakeholder ‘owner’.  Include what your organisation’s stance is on the on-going situation, as well as details on when and where they should expect another update. The more information you provide, the less chance of creating an information vacuum, which often causes unnecessary panic and false speculation.

Click to get in touchLastly, train your team members through life-like simulations of all the different crisis scenarios outlined in your plan. Make sure they don’t talk ‘at’ your audiences at a time of crisis without listening and responding to them first as this will undermine their trust in your organisation. Conduct these exercises annually or around each event.

Are there any other steps you’d like to add to the list?  We’d be happy to publish your views!  

Raconteur: Terrorist attacks are a constant threat for the events sector
Crisis Management Strategist: 3 Steps to Successful Crisis Communications
Meetings PR: Reactive or Proactive? 7 Factors for Effective Communication for International Meetings
Cision: 6 Social Media ‘Musts’ for Crisis Communications