Tag: event marketing

How Live-Streaming Events Can Help Associations Boost Revenue and Membership Engagement

Without doubt, one of the biggest issues for associations these days is membership recruitment and retention. It doesn’t matter if your association offers personal membership, organisational membership or a mix of the two; all associations face challenges when it comes to membership.

The acceleration of social media and technology over the last few years hasn’t made things easier either. Long gone are the days when associations were the ‘gatekeepers’ to knowledge and expertise as there are now all sorts of ways in which members and non-members can find information and network with one another through forums. But despite the competition, technology is also creating all sorts of new opportunities for associations to increase both revenue and membership engagement through events. In this post we focus on livestreaming.

Read: 7 Mistakes to Avoid When Using Facebook Live at Events

Top 5 Considerations for Live-Streaming Association Events

Here are five questions for you to consider when it comes to making your decision on whether to use livestreaming technology to help your association. When you answer these questions, you will need to do so against the backdrop of the overall strategy for your association. As with any other kind of tech system you can use around your events, don’t do it if it doesn’t make strategic sense.

Do you want to extend your reach?

Livestreaming (or web-casting) what is going on at your conference to people that cannot be at the physical (conference) location enables you to reach a larger audience. After all, there is only so much capacity that a physical venue can accommodate without running into capacity and Health & Safety issues.

One association has been livestreaming their annual conference for a number of years now. The overall membership they have runs to many thousands of members who are spread throughout the globe. Year on year the number of people who come to the physical event is around 1,000. This association has taken steps to engage their members through making livestreaming an avenue for members to join in. Through tracking their remote delegate statistics they have discovered what type of session works best and what subjects are popular.

Do you worry about charging remote attendance?

Delegates that attend conferences (events) understand that they will need to pay for an admission ticket. After all, there is usually food and beverage available, then you have the networking opportunities and of course speakers need to be paid.

For some reason, many event organisers (associations) struggle with the idea of charging remote delegates to attend. Of course, it could be argued that remote delegates will not be able to enjoy the food and beverage or networking. But, they are still able to access the great content of the various educational or knowledge sessions and that in itself has a value.

People are used to paying for content on line. The days of free are really behind us now.

The only thing you need to do is set a level of pricing that is easy to understand and keeps a difference between those delegates that attend physically and those that participate remotely.  Most registration systems like Eventsforce can help you create personalised registration journeys for different types of attendees (in this case, remote and live audience) – so you can easily decide which registration questions, agendas, sessions, prices and packages are going to appear to which attendee.


Is your event registration software ready for GDPR? Get your eBook: ‘The Event Planner’s Guide to GDPR Compliance’, and learn what impact Europe’s new data protection regulation will have on event marketing, data management and event technology – as well as what steps to take to get ready for the May 2018 deadline.


Have you considered using an online host to engage your remote delegates?

A mini book could be written on how to engage remote delegates but for our post we look at the role of an online host to help engage your remote delegates.

Why an online host? Well, because they can provide commentary, updates and reminders for your remote delegates. The host becomes the link or the conduit for your remote delegates. They are the voice of, dedicated to and represent the needs and interests of the remote audience.

They add a dimension that will keep your remote delegates informed and engaged with all that is happening at your event as well as conducting interviews with ‘thought leaders’, speakers or delegates. The host can also be used to introduce pre-recorded video content and to manage dedicated Q&A sessions for the remote delegates.

Why not have sponsors for the livestreamed sessions?

Some associations will decide not to charge remote delegates to attend. Some associations will decide to charge.

But, whatever the charging decision is, there is another opportunity for associations to increase their income. They can do this through sponsorship.

The beauty of sponsoring livestreamed sessions is that after the conference (event) the on-demand recording of the session is still available to be played time and again. This is great news for sponsors as they suddenly have the opportunity of being promoted every time someone plays the session.

Associations could approach existing sponsors and offer them the opportunity of having their brand in front of a remote audience as well. For an extra fee of course.

Associations could approach new sponsors and offer just the ‘livestreaming’ sponsorship option.

Associations could break down all of the livestreamed sessions and target specific sponsors per session.

The opportunities for sponsorship are endless. What will work for an association will depend on what the overall strategic goals and objectives are. Sponsorship of livestreamed session has to align.


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Do you fear technology?

Every time you take a flight on a plane, step aboard a driver-less train or make a bank transfer you are putting yourself in the hands of technology. Some people will do these things without even considering the intricacies of the technology.

Livestreaming an event means that you also need to trust in the technology. Will it go wrong? Well it could. But then so could any technology. It is no different.

Companies specialise in providing livestreaming technology and they remain in business because they are constantly developing improvements to make sure nothing falls over. It is not in their interest for your event to have a problem.

Trust in the technology and the providers of it. They do know what they are doing.

But to give you peace of mind, run through all the questions you have about failures, performance indicators and back up plans. The providers will be happy to answer all your questions.

A final word

To take you back to the very beginning of this post when the issue was raised of the challenges of membership recruitment and engagement; here are five key questions when it comes to membership.

  • How many members do you have?
  • Do you struggle to retain members?
  • What proportion of your members attend your events?
  • Are your member numbers growing or declining?
  • What are the long term aims of your association?

Take time to answer those questions and maybe you will find that using livestreaming could be part of the answer to help you boost revenue and membership engagement at events.


Whether you’re running an annual conference, educational workshops or a scientific forum for your association’s members, Eventsforce can help reduce your workload and deliver event success. Manage abstracts, sessions and registrations all in one place, with automated tools that save time and engage attendees.  For more info, please click here.

 

 

 

 

Top Subject Lines for Your Event Email Campaigns

What makes a potential attendee actually open an email about your event?  More often than not, it’s the subject line.  It’s usually the first (and possibly the last) impression of the email you send.  It’s also what often drives enough interest in people to read on and sign up. But if subject lines have the power to make or break the email marketing campaigns you’re running around events – what are the key things you need to think about when it comes to choosing subject lines and which ones have proven to work best when promoting meetings and events?

We spoke to email marketing automation experts, Moosend’s head of content, Iné Alexakis, to get tips and examples of high-performing subject lines that will put you on the right track to increasing your event email open rates.


Did you know that emails can be one of your greatest weaknesses when it comes to a data security breach around your events? Find out what you can do to prevent your attendee data from getting lost, stolen or compromised by getting your copy of ‘The Event Planner’s Guide to GDPR – Data Security’


The Thinking Behind Successful Email Subject Lines

Email marketing is still seen as one of the most effective ways of promoting an event – however, a series of promotional emails that have not been thought through properly could run the risk of making your campaigns look monotonous and uninteresting. Before you know it, you have subscribers dropping out or unsubscribing.  So, to avoid your open rates taking a free fall with a poorly designed email marketing plan launch, let’s take a look at a few safeguards first to get you on the right track!

Read: How to get more registrations with email invites

Consider your audience: What are your event participants in for? What will they gain out of your event? Craft benefit-oriented subject lines and email copy for your primary and secondary target groups. Highlight different aspects of the event that resonate with them. Run successful A/B tests to discover the content that best appeals to your audiences.

Establish your writing style: Your writing style is the way you talk about something, rather than what you mean by that per se. When writing, you must keep in mind who is your audience and the purpose for which you are writing. Align your branding and brand personality with the communication and writing style to promote your event more effectively. Remember that your subject lines must be as personable as possible.

Be wise about diction:  Diction is part of style, along with tone. Every word you have in mind could be traded in for a different one bringing in various connotations. This is why you should make sure that your vocabulary is appropriate for your intended meaning and message.

Choose the overall tone: Tone is the attitude of your writing. For your writing to serve its purpose the tone must take on a certain role; emotional, logical, funny, professional, made up of long, complicated sentences or short, simple ones, and so on.

Alongside these best practice steps for your email campaigns, there are some additional steps you can take to make your subject lines as effective as possible:

1. Predict your subject line success: Use this intelligent tool to predict your open rates, see how your subject lines stack up against the industry average and get actionable suggestions to better your performance.

2. Fine-tune your subject line length: Ensure that your subject line is viewable and readable. That’s why we recommend writing subject lines of approximately 50 characters or 6-8 words. Send yourself a test email to experience what your readers will.  Make changes accordingly.

3. Find your own voice and style: To break through the inbox clutter, you must be unique.  A good combination of “funny” and puns is a good way to get started – provided that your branding allows for you to be puny.  Another important point is to impress your contacts.  Exclamation marks may stand for excitement but if you go over the top, you could look desperate.  So keep in mind not to go too far with punctuation.

4. Be personable: Add personalisation tags to your subject lines.  In case people can register to your mailing lists without providing a first name, it is best you include a fallback option!

Read: Event Marketing Under GDPR: Consent Vs Legitimate Interests

Top Email Marketing Subject Lines for Events

Pool of event email marketing subject lines:

  • Don’t miss out this [month]
  • Your Instagram feed will be full of this in [month]
  • This event will have your LinkedIn circles talking
  • Join all major influencers of [topic]
  • Don’t miss the chance
  • Meet the speakers
  • Booked tickets yet?
  • Start packing!
  • Who are you taking along? 1+1 offer for 24 hours!

B2B/B2C events (Annual conferences, International speakers, etc.)

  • Don’t miss out this [month]
  • Your Instagram feed will be full
  • What are you waiting for?
  • Ticket sale now on:
  • Almost sold out
  • Last chance: Book your Early-Bird tickets now
  • Grab your VIP ticket and watch the official
  • First out: [speakers’ names]
  • Have a 1-on-1 with [speaker]
  • Find out all of [speaker]’s secrets!

Live performance/Celebrity performer style events (Coachella, Lollapalooza, etc.)

  • Did [performer] just put [performer B] to rest?
  • Oh no, she didn’t! Who threw shade on [performer] at last night’s concert?
  • We’re still not over last night
  • Top styles from last night
  • They smashed it

Examples of Good B2B and B2C Event Emails:

To illustrate some of the points we’ve made, have a look below at some great examples of event emails that use good subject lines and content – with all of them, keep in mind the following:

  • Determine the objective of the specific email
  • Point out the means the digital marketer/copywriter has selected to achieve those goals
  • Articulate the role of email design in the impact on and experience of the reader

 

Subject Line: “Lollapalooza Paris, Beach Parties, Coachella: Best Moments from Weekend One & More”

 

Subject Line: “Lineup announcement”

Subject Line: “Announcing RampUp 2018 speakers and more”

Subject Line: “Final call for speakers”

Subject Line: “You’re invited to MagentoLive Europe 2018”

Additional Tips to Maximise Your Email Marketing Campaign Success

Improve your deliverability rates: For people to open your emails, they must first receive it. Make sure that you check out all deliverability-related factors affecting your email marketing performance. Here’s the Ultimate Guide to Email Deliverability where you can find every single thing you must check and set up. From the benefits of segmenting your list to specific tools to clean your lists, and so many more!

Pay attention to sender-related information: While you might expect that it is your subject line that will make all the difference (and you’re not all wrong), there’s more to it. Information regarding sender reputation history, sender performance history, sender information, or sender photo can all influence a subscriber to open/ignore a campaign.

Retarget Unopened Emails: Set up “Resend to unopened” campaigns and schedule them to go off at a certain time, taking into account that this doesn’t overlap with another scheduled campaign from your email marketing plan.

Run A/B Tests: Running A/B tests to foresee open rates and click-throughs is one way to go about it. You can run A/B tests across your mailing lists or over a specific percentage of your mailing list. For more advanced users, we would recommend setting up a drip campaign for your more engaged users.

One example of that would be having your automations increase subscribers’ scores for every email they open or interact with. Once that score reaches a specific number, e.g. subscriber has opened 5 emails, they could receive a personalized campaign rewarding them with a discount. Alternative ideas would include “sending a Web hook”, granting special group discounts (to those who clicked on “Special rates for groups” links in the campaign, and so on.)

Conclusion:

Remember that all your hard work on the subject line should go as far as the email body. If all the excitement and anticipation you are building from the subject line does not make it to the email body, your subscribers will be dismayed. So, be sure that your email content rewards subscribers for their engagement.


Eventsforce can help organisations create branded, mobile responsive invitations that use personalised links to maximise registrations around events.  To find out more, click here or get in touch for a demo or a chat on +44 (0) 207 785 6997.

 

 

 

 

Infographic: Are Your Events Ready for GDPR?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is one of the most important changes facing our industry today as it is set to radically change the way events globally collect, process and protect the personal information of people in the EU.  But with just a few months to go until the May 2018 deadline, how ready are we really for Europe’s new data protection law?

Read: The Event Planner’s Guide to GDPR Compliance

Eventsforce conducted a research study with 120 event professionals earlier this month to assess the industry’s current state of ‘readiness’ for GDPR.  The study investigates where event planners stand in terms of their understanding of the new legislation, what steps they’re taking to get ready for the new requirements and the kind of challenges and opportunities they feel GDPR will bring to their organisations in the long-run.

Have a look at some of the key findings from the ‘Are Your Events Ready for GDPR’ study:

  • 2 in 3 event planners don’t understand all the requirements of GDPR despite 60% holding responsibility for compliance
  • Nearly 90% are already underway with their GDPR preparations but many concerned about meeting the May 2018 deadline
  • Creating awareness, running data audits and updating consent boxes on registration forms and websites are key steps event planners are currently undertaking
  • Data security will become a bigger priority for 81% of event planners, yet less than 30% have updated their data security practices or prepared for a data breach (Download eBook: The Event Planner’s Guide to Data Security in a Post-GDPR World‘)
  • Only 41% of event planners say their event technology systems meet the new GDPR requirements
  • 45% are concerned they will lose a large chunk of their marketing mailing lists as a result of GDPR
  • Perceived long-term benefits of GDPR include better data management, transparency with suppliers and improved reputation with attendees

For a more comprehensive look at the results of the ‘Are Your Event Ready for GDPR’ research study, please see the infographic below:


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Infographic: The ROI of Event Personalisation

Personalisation is seen as one of the hottest trends in the events industry as attendees increasingly expect both the communication of the event and the live experience to be tailored to them in some way.  At the same time, data capture tools like registration systems and event apps are helping events collect valuable information on attendees to create more powerful and customised event experiences.

But is personalisation worth the time and effort? Are we doing anything useful with all the data we’re gathering from attendees or are we collecting too much?  Are there any data collection tools that are more effective than others? And what impact will Europe’s new data protection regulation have on event personalisation from May 2018?

A new Eventsforce research study –  titled ‘The ROI of Event Personalisation’- has revealed that despite it being a growing priority for 73% of event planners, more than 50% are struggling to see how effective their personalisation efforts are in engaging attendees and building brand loyalty.  Of the 150 senior event planners surveyed, 56% don’t end up using all the data they collect for the purpose of personalisation and another 44% find it difficult to determine how much personalisation they should actually do.

Some other highlights from ‘The ROI of Event Personalisation’ study include:

  • More than 9 in 10 event planners are using personalisation around events
  • Event invites, delegate communications and personalised registration forms are the most popular methods of using personalisation
  • Top 3 most effective data collection tools include registration systems, CRM/marketing solutions, surveys and apps
  • 31% struggle to measure ROI of personalisation efforts
  • Other challenges include deciding what data to collect from attendees, getting the balance right between providing value and protecting attendee privacy and dealing with inaccurate data
  • 36% of event planners feel the upcoming EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will limit personalisation efforts in the industry

For a more comprehensive look at these results and some of the other findings from the Eventsforce ‘The ROI of Event Personalisation’ study, download the infographic below:


Eventsforce will be debating the topic of personalisation, privacy and GDPR with senior event planners from Haymarket Publishing and the British Council at the annual Event Tech Live show in London on 9th November 2017.  The session titled, ‘Event Personalisation – Finding the Balance Between Value & Privacy’ will discuss the findings of the study and provide an opportunity for the speakers to share their experiences around personalisation and finding that balance.

Those interested in attending can register for the event at http://www.eventtechlive.com or visit Eventsforce at stand 216 in the exhibition hall.

 

Ask the Experts: What Impact will GDPR have on Meetings and Events?

We’ve been talking a lot about GDPR lately.  And for good reason too.  One of the biggest shake ups in data protection and privacy laws for the past 20 years, the new EU General Data Protection Regulation will come into effect in May 2018 and completely change the way events collect and handle the personal information of European attendees.  But how important are these changes actually going to be for event planners? Is GDPR going to make things like data-driven marketing and personalisation a lot more difficult? Or will the new regulation bring on some new opportunities?


Are your events ready for GDPR? Get your FREE eBook: ‘The Event Planner’s Guide to GDPR Compliance’, and learn what impact Europe’s new data protection regulation will have on event marketing, data management and event technology – as well as what steps event planners need to take to meet the new requirements.


EventTech Talk spoke to a number of well-known event experts to find out what they think about GDPR and what kind of impact it will have on the industry.  Here’s what they had to say:

Adam Parry, Editor, Event Industry News

GDPR will have a huge impact on event marketers next year, and this in my opinion is a good thing.  As an industry we have been very lazy, relying on email marketing with outdated and uncheck cleansed data, I see it myself getting invites to events from previous roles and or having never attended the event in the first place.

We will have to work smarter as event marketers but there are tools and solutions out there to help us and not make it a case of having to work harder.  Let’s take for example retargeting technology, it’s not new but hugely under-utilised by our industry as a way of remarking our event to web visitors that didn’t sign up to attend.

Follow Adam Parry on Twitter: @punchtownparry

Michael Owen, CEO, EventGenuity

I’m surprised by how little is known about GDPR by those in business events and associations sector in the United States. Of those who are familiar with the regulation, many forego learning more, as they think it applies only to organisations based in the EU. With headlines about breaches of personal data like Equifax as frequent as the sunrise, one would think at least that curiosity would drive everyone to fully understand the ramifications.

How great will the impact be in non-EU organisations? It’s hard to tell right away. At a recent session, one gent said, “I’m not going to worry about it, because it will be hard to enforce.” Hard? Yes. Impossible? No. Once non-EU enforcement is figured out, and the first massive fine occurs, I suspect interest will spike.

Misconceptions place barriers to learning: “We don’t have offices or hold meetings in the EU”, etc. For business events and associations who host attendees have members or subscribers from the EU for whom they hold data, there is liability.

It’s not all bad news, though. There is opportunity to improve internal business processes. The requirements force organisations to become more, well, organised. Isn’t it a good thing to be more aware of what personal data one possesses, where it resides, how it is processed and protected? Compliance could well reduce financial and reputational risk, and build trust with customers, members, attendees across the board. This outcome would provide more accurate data sets and more meaningful relationships amongst organisations and valued customers.

Follow Michael Owen on Twitter: @EventGenuity


Did you know that more than 75% of event planners think that data security is a much bigger priority for them because of GDPR? Find out what you should do to prevent your attendee data from getting lost, stolen or compromised by getting your copy of ‘The Event Planner’s Guide to Data Security in a Post-GDPR World‘.


Brandt Krueger, Speaker & Consultant, Event Technology Consulting

I have extremely mixed feelings when it comes to GDPR, or for that matter, a lot of attempts to regulate the Internet. While companies clearly need to be held accountable for the securing of our personal data (I’m looking at you, Equifax), and I’m in favour of data transparency – most of these attempts at legislation are reactionary and only deal with new problems as they arise.

Much of the GDPR regulations surround consent. While noble in cause, we already give our consent to all kinds of things without thinking twice about it. We click through license agreements and software permission screens without reading them, and every website in the EU has to let me know that it’s using cookies. How many times have you stopped and thought, “Oh my, I don’t know about this cookie thing. I guess I’ll just shut down my browser and walk away.” Nope, you click on it as quickly as possible to just make the pop-up go away.

I worry that we’re going to be generating more and more of these types of screens, where people will be forced to check off 37 boxes of consent, just to find out where their next hosted buyer appointment is. Customers do need to be made aware of what information they’re providing, and exactly what is being gathered about them, but I have severe concerns about the implementation. This will be the most immediate impact on the event industry – how technology companies deal with the informed consent GDPR seems to demand. I predict lots of splash screens and checkboxes that absolutely nobody will read, along with signage next to fishbowl drawings at expos that, you guessed it, nobody will read.

On the positive side, I do think it’s important to require companies to provide a high level of transparency when it comes to other people’s data, though again I’m hesitant about the implementation. Does a dump of data into a CSV count as an accurate representation of your data? And again, the different types of data that are being gathered can be difficult to provide in a way that makes sense to the person making the request. Because it’s not just about the tangible, easy to understand, data like names and addresses – it’s often about the relationships, the links, the connections between that data that’s important. Knowing your name, address, and what magazines you subscribe to are three separate data points, but their interconnectivity can be enormously revealing in ways people would be shocked to discover.

Follow Brandt Krueger on Twitter: @BrandtKrueger

Kevin Iwamoto, Senior Consultant, GoldSpring Consulting

GDPR will have a major impact on the way companies and their event suppliers manage their events in 2018 and beyond.  All meetings and events that handle registrant-attendee personal information and the ways they handle, manage, and purge that information will have to change.  The currently liberal ways that attendee personal information is shared will also have to change.  GDPR will at least temporarily hinder how attendee data and registration lists are currently used.  The proliferation of technology platforms, mobile apps, etc. that currently use personal data for marketing campaigns and for determining things like Return on Engagement (ROE) and Return on Objectives (ROO) will need to be reviewed and changed to avoid major EU fines for GDPR violations.

Read: 5 questions to ask event tech providers about GDPR

All companies and their event supplier partners should be doing a personal data audit now to discover the multiple areas that will need to be modified to become GDPR compliant and to avoid the potential for massive fines.  Unfortunately, so many companies remain in the dark and in denial about their GDPR complicity requirements.

Follow Kevin Iwamoto on Twitter: @KevinIwamoto

Paul Cook, Writer & Researcher/Creator of Specialised Content Consultancy, Planet Planit

GDPR will have an impact on the events industry as it will on every sector. How big that impact is will depend on how many changes organisations will need to make in the way they look after personal data currently. For those companies that have strict policies in place already it will have less of an effect.

Having said that, marketing under the new regulation is a key area that will impact all businesses. Right now, the business has the power. Next May, the businesses effectively lose that power as it will be the individual that is in control. Consent to receive marketing messages will be a key challenge for a lot of companies and now is the time to sort out the data bases and work on privacy notices.  No longer will companies be able to say we will send your information to interested third parties. They will need to state who those companies are. Consent needs to be recorded and updated on a regular basis.

Does it bring new opportunities? Yes absolutely. One big benefit is that companies will be able to get closer to their clients and prospects. They will need to re-think some of their existing strategies for marketing but for the companies that understand how to make the most of the regulation they will gain trust and a bigger market share. After all, who wants to deal with a company that doesn’t care about whether your identity can be stolen or not?

Follow Paul Cook on Twitter: @planetplanitbiz

George Sirius, CEO, Eventsforce

GDPR is going to change the mindset of event planners when it comes to deciding what data they should collect from attendees, how they use that data for things like marketing campaigns and what they need to do to keep that data safe.  Current practices around getting consent in using this information and sharing it with other parties like event sponsors, for example, will land organisers into big trouble after May 2018.  The regulation is also going to force planners to play a bigger role in securing all the data they collect from attendees, as well as making sure that third party suppliers like agencies and event tech suppliers are also compliant to GDPR.   Again, not doing so can result in big fines.  And that is one of the big things about GDPR.  Compared to current data protection regulations, non-compliance comes with serious financial consequences. People aren’t fully aware of their rights yet, but they will be.  And once they are, the enquiries will start to come.  As will the lawsuits – especially if an event suffers a data breach.

Read: Will GDPR change the rights of your attendees?

But it’s not all bad news. I think GDPR will bring about some big opportunities for our industry too.  Event planners will need to think and act very differently in the way they talk to attendees – and be a lot more honest in the way they manage their information too.  Those organisations that show they’re dealing with personal data in a transparent and secure way and have respect for the privacy of individuals will succeed in building a new level of trust.  And this will be key in deciding which organisations people choose to deal with in the future.

Follow George Sirius on Twitter: @georgesirius

Corbin Ball, Meetings Technology Speaker/Consultant/Writer, Corbin Ball Associates

GDPR is a sweeping set of privacy regulations that will affect any event with European attendees or members regardless of where the event takes place. Non-compliance penalties are stiff so it will be imperative that the planners work with their IT departments and technology providers to ensure that the new regulations are met.

Follow Corbin Ball on Twitter: @corbinball

Are your events ready for GDPR? Get your FREE eBook: ‘The Event Planner’s Guide to GDPR Compliance’, and learn what impact Europe’s new data protection regulation will have on event marketing, data management and event technology – as well as what steps event planners need to take now to get ready for the May 2018 deadline.

 

 

 

 

 

10 Things Mentally Strong Event Planners Don’t Do

Have you ever wondered what makes a good event planner?  Is it good time management or creativity?  Or maybe the ability to multi-task?   Why do some event planners accomplish their goals while others don’t? It may surprise you to know that talent and intelligence doesn’t play nearly as big a role as you might think.  In fact, research studies have found that intelligence only accounts for 30% of overall professional achievement – and that’s only at the extreme upper end.

What makes a bigger impact than talent and intelligence?  Mental strength.

But how do we define mental strength?  And what are the key traits of a mentally strong event planner?

10 Habits that Mentally Strong Event Planners Avoid:

In her book “13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do,” Amy Morin, a clinical social worker and writer, reveals that developing mental strength is a ‘three-pronged approach’ that allows you to have good control over your thoughts, behaviours and emotions. And that mental strength is often something that isn’t reflected in what you do – but more often in what you don’t do.

Let’s take a look at the working habits that Morin associates with mental strength and find out what you shouldn’t be doing to become a mentally strong event planner:

1) Avoid Taking a Challenge – Mentally strong event planners deal well with change and enjoy embracing new challenges as they don’t like staying stagnant.  New technology?  Not a problem.  Changes in the organisational structure?  Not a big deal. An environment of change and uncertainty (which happens a lot with event planning) will energise them and usually bring out their best.

2) Fear Taking Calculated Risks – Cancel an event or move it to another date? A mentally strong event planner is willing to take calculated risks.  They can weigh the pros and cons of a situation in detail, and fully assess the potential downsides and even worst-case scenarios (ex. unexpected weather or travel disruptions) before taking necessary action.

3) Let Others Influence Their Emotions – Mentally strong event planners don’t let other people put them down or feel inferior about themselves. They know how to stand up for themselves and known when to draw the line when necessary. They feel in control of their actions and emotions – and they have the ability to manage the way they respond to people and situations.

4) Worry About Pleasing Everyone – Mentally strong event planners make a point of being fair and meeting the expectations of all the different people they deal with around their events. Equally, however, they are not afraid to speak up.  They understand that there will always be the possibility that a sponsor or an attendee may not be happy with something and they’ll deal with the situation, whenever possible, with grace.

5) Dread Working Alone – Big event planning projects are often done in teams because it is the most efficient, stress-free and collaborative way of working and getting the job done. Mentally strong event planners, however, enjoy and some even ‘treasure’ putting some time aside to work on their own. They use the time to reflect, plan and be more productive. They don’t rely on others to stay motivated and can work just as well on their own as they do within a team.

Read: 20 Reasons You Should be Planning Events as a Team

6) Create Dramas – Mentally strong event planners don’t make a huge fuss about things that they can’t control, like last minute agenda changes, speakers dropping out or delegates not showing up. In any of these kinds of situations, they know that what they can control is their own response and attitude. And they usually do this well. They are also known for helping defuse situations, not for creating them.

7) Waste Time on Self-Pity – Mentally strong event planners don’t spend time dwelling on past mistakes. They learn to take responsibility for their actions if things go wrong. They’re able to come out of situations with self-awareness and a good sense of understanding of lessons learned.  And when things get pretty bad, they deal with the situation as calmly as possible and respond with phrases like ‘ok – what can I do next’ or ‘well – let’s move on’.

8) Give Up After Failure – Mentally strong event planners are willing to try things again and again, as long as the learning experience from it can bring them closer to their end goal.  They see failure as a chance to improve.  Even the most successful CEOs have been willing to admit that their early efforts invariably brought many failures – so bear that in mind the next time your bright idea doesn’t turn out the way you expected it to.

9) Resent Others’ Success – Morin believes that resentment is like anger that remains hidden and bottled up.  Focusing on how much better your competitor’s events are compared to yours, for example, is not constructive and can distract you from your own goals.  Mentally strong event planners don’t become jealous and resentful when others succeed – though they will take notes in understanding what contributed to this success.  They are willing to work hard for their own chances, without relying on shortcuts.

10) Have Short-Term Vision – Mentally strong event planners know better than to expect immediate results. They apply their energy and time in measured doses and appreciate reaching milestones on the way. Ultimately, they have ‘staying power’ and understand that genuine changes take time.

Are there any other personality traits you think are an important part of being a mentally-strong event planner?  Let us know – we’d be happy to add them to the list!


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

Sources:

https://jamesclear.com/mental-toughness

https://www.forbes.com/sites/cherylsnappconner/2013/11/18/mentally-strong-people-the-13-things-they-avoid/#8b8a8f86d756

http://uk.businessinsider.com/mentally-strong-people-2015-11

http://uk.businessinsider.com/mentally-strong-people-2015-11/#8-they-dont-make-the-same-mistakes-over-and-over-8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Get More Registrations with Event Invites

Invitations are still one of the most important things to get right when planning a successful event. They help set the tone of an event and are often one of the first opportunities to make a good impression with potential attendees. A new research study from Eventsforce, however, has found that one of the biggest struggles event planners face around invitations is getting enough people to open their invites, take action and sign up.

So, what are the elements of an invite that compel people to either visit your website or register to your event?  And what are the metrics you need to keep in mind when measuring the success of your invitation campaigns?

Research Study: Power of Event Invitations

The Eventsforce ‘Power of Event Invitations’ study was conducted with more than 100 senior event professionals across the US and the UK to investigate the latest trends around event invitations.  One of the research survey’s key findings revealed the top challenges of managing invites, including:

1) Not getting enough people to click on Call-to-Action (CTA) links

2) Difficulty in measuring success of invitation campaigns

3) Creating attractive, responsive, HTML invites

4) Deciding the best times for sending out invites

5) Difficulty in using personalisation

The study also investigated the elements of an invite that event planners felt were the most effective in getting results.  Top of the list were event highlights (agenda, keynote speakers etc), followed by overall design and layout, and the main copy of the invite.  Have a look at this infographic to get a full overview of the findings of the ‘Power of Event Invitations’ study.

8 Ways to Make Event Invitations More Effective

Thanks to advancements in technology, putting together great-looking event invites are no longer something you need to give to a specialist designer.  Most event management solutions offer design tools and templates that make the whole process a lot easier for the event planner.  But the look and feel of your invite is not the only thing that matters.  You have to remember that people make quick conclusions about an event through the invitation and it’s important to make a good impression from the very beginning.

Have a look at the eight key considerations you need to make to get your event invites to work:

1) Save-the-Date Emails

Before we go into the different elements of the invite itself, it’s worth nothing the important role save-the-date emails play in the whole event invitation process.  The Eventsforce study found that 57% of event planners use them to create excitement and anticipation around their events.   They are a great way of letting people know about your upcoming event and mark it in their calendars prior to the invite.

2) Strong Subject Lines

If you’re using email invitations, then you’ll know the importance of the subject line.   With hundreds of other emails fighting for your potential attendee’s limited attention, it’s important to make then stand out to get them opened. Without a doubt, subject lines that are personally addressed, do the best. If you don’t have names handy, then the use of pronounces like ‘we’ and ‘you/your’ also appeal to readers. Subject lines that feature dates, or urgency seem to perform better than those that don’t. And while we don’t encourage the over-use of exclamation marks, a little extra energy in subject lines is known to impact the open rates of email invites.

3) Event Highlights & Value Proposition

Along with the value proposition of your event (the bit that explains why someone should sign up), details like the keynote speaker, the agenda and venue highlights are seen by 88% of event planners as the most important aspects of an invite that gets them results.  Showcase your event’s main selling point and think about that one thing that will grab readers’ attention. Get to the point quickly and always focus on the event’s key message.  Make sure that people who get your invite can scan it and quickly understand what the event is about and find out when and where it’s happening.  More importantly, they need to know how they can register through prominently displayed CTA buttons that links through to your event’s website or registration page.


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


4) Simple Design & Layout

Though a beautiful-looking invite isn’t everything, design and layout is seen as one of the most important aspects of a successful invitation campaign by 69% of event planners.  Think about the user journey and stick to a design that’s clean and simple. Given that most people will only scan your emails, it’s always a good idea to break up your invite into several small sections that address different things about your event (speakers, venue and timings, speakers, agendas, how to register etc).  This helps them better digest all the different bits of information and get excited about what’s on offer. Also, a lot of people will look at your email invite through mobile devices, so you need to think about how it’s going to look and work on different screens.

5) Attractive Visuals & Video

It’s important to use strong visuals to get the most out of your event invites. Think about the visual draw of your event that isn’t necessarily the subject matter. Use pictures of your event’s location and venue or your guest speaker. Avoid stock shots or generic images of people speaking at podiums – use images from your past events instead.  Video is another option that’s becoming more and more popular – though our research study found that only 8% of event planners are currently using video in their event invites.  Just remember that videos can give your attendees a different opportunity to learn more about your event and they also do a good job of conveying the personality of your organisation.  They’re also a lot more engaging than text – Forrester Research claims that a minute of video can be equivalent to 1.8 million words!

6) Personalisation

We touched on this a little earlier when we looked at the importance of email subject lines.  Our study found that a majority 73% of event planners personalise the content of their event invitations.   The most popular method was the use of personal names in subject lines and the main body of the invite – followed by personalised content for each audience segment.  About 22% of respondents also use personalisation based on information they already hold on potential attendees.

Personalising invitations is simple and effective.  By tailoring them as much as possible to the invitee, you can really make an impact and increase the chances of them attending. So, if you know your invitation list is largely made up of corporates and academics, then create two separate versions of the same invite with each one outlining the sessions that would be of interest to them.  Remember – both audiences have a vested interest in attending your event but have very different goals and very different ideas on why your event matters.  And if you’re inviting people who have attended some of your past events, then use the information you have on them to create personalised links within your invite. By clicking on the link, your returning attendees will automatically log into a registration form that is already pre-populated with all their relevant information.

7) A/B Testing

As great as it would be to find the ‘silver bullet’ that gets people to open up your invites and click through to sign up, the sad truth is that there is no magical formula. Enter the importance of A/B testing – the method of comparing two versions of the event invitation against each other to determine which one performs better. The study found that 36% of event planners are already doing this by using different versions of an invite to test the effectiveness of different subject lines, body copy, CTA buttons, personalised content, timings and so on.   Doing this kind of testing on a regular basis can offer important performance insight that can make or break the success of your invitation campaigns.

8) Performance Measurement

Knowing how effective your invitations have been in driving registrations for your event is incredibly important.  Whether you do A/B testing or not, it is important to look at some key metrics that will help you assess what’s working and what’s not.  Look at open rates, click-through rates and actual conversion rates (the number of people that registered as a result of opening your email invite). Our survey, for example, found that Tuesdays and Wednesdays mornings were seen as the best times for sending out invites by a majority of event planners.   The survey also found that the average open rate for invites is between 11-30% and the average click-through-rate is around 10%.  Having this information on hand can identify the areas that you can focus on improving in subsequent reminder emails or invitations for your next event.

Conclusion

Email invitations are an incredibly important part of planning and marketing an event. They are a great way of creating interest in your event, driving registrations and getting attendees through the door.  It is important to note though, what works for one event may not for the other. Don’t forget about A/B testing and always measure the performance of your results. Thinking about all these points when planning your next invite will bring you one step closer to getting it right and making your event a success.


Eventsforce can help organisations create branded, mobile responsive invitations that use personalised links to maximise registrations around events.  To find out more, click here or get in touch for a demo or a chat on +44 (0) 207 785 6997.