Category: Event Marketing

Coronavirus – How Event Planners Can Use This Time to Stay Competitive

Coronavirus_how organisers can spend their time to stay competitive

COVID -19 has impacted event planners across the globe with many cancelling and postponing – and many more making the move to virtual events. The current situation is also changing the way organisers spend their time.  In fact, a new research study has found that 70% of event planners now have more time on their hands with many focusing on education and making improvements to their planning and marketing processes.

We have seen many organisations scale back activities in these uncertain times.  But this can also be a great opportunity for people to step back, re-evaluate strategies and do things even better once the crisis has moved on.

With that in mind, let us look at some of the things you can do with your time now to improve your events in the future:

1) Make Your Communications Crystal Clear         

This is the perfect time for you to re-evaluate your communications. Take this opportunity to refresh your marketing and messaging. Discover any gaps that need addressing. Look for new ways of getting your message across. Seek new channels to use.

It is important to keep an open line of communication with delegates and keep them engaged with email comms, your event website and by using the relevant social media channels. If you have an app for your event, use the app as an engagement tool. Even though your event may be cancelled or postponed, you can still push content through the app to keep the delegates interested and let them know of your future plans.

Engage audiences with content marketing. Don’t stop creating content. Use some of your historic content, create webinars and deliver other virtual events. But, above all, keep communicating and most of all, communicate content of value.

Related read: Coronavirus – How to manage delegate expectations

2) Review Your Data     

The research findings show that more than 1 in 3 event planners are currently spending their time making improvements to the way they collect, manage and use their event data. And this is something really important.

Event data is gold dust. The more you use it in the right way, the more value it can bring to your organisation.  Yet many organisers have typically not had enough time to manage it as well as they’d like.  They haven’t been able to get insights they need or do anything useful with it.

Taking this time to ‘get your data fit’ can bring enormous business opportunities for your virtual events or your live in-person events when things eventually pick up (and they will). Use the time now to analyse past events. Dive into the data held in your event management system and understand your delegates more. Look at what worked, what didn’t work, where you made money from your events and more crucially, where you didn’t.

Event data is vital for helping you to make insightful informed decisions to develop your events strategy. Use this time to take a good long look at your data and work out what it is telling you so you can remain competitive and improve things in the future.

Related read: Coronavirus – How to manage delegate expectations

3) Segment Your Audiences  

Once the crisis has ended there will be a huge amount of competition as event planners scramble to make up for lost time and lost income. But with even more competition taking place, you are going to need to stand out and attract people to your events like never before. What will help you, however, is having a clear idea on who you will be targeting and how. And the time to start looking at that is now.

Who do you target as buyers? Are they the right buyers for your events? Is the category of buyers too wide? Should you segment them further? It’s usually a good idea to do so. For example, if you target associations and have segmented them from corporates then that is a good first step but it doesn’t go far enough.

There are hundreds of associations – so which segment are you after? Maybe it is medical associations, maybe it’s event associations or maybe it’s a completely different sector. It doesn’t matter as long as you know why you are targeting the sector. The more specific you are, the better. It will help you focus and come up with new products and services for them.  It will make event personalisation a lot easier too.

4) Evaluate Your Event Technology   

Technology is another area that organisers are currently focusing on with 37% of organisers using this time to evaluate the systems they use (or want to use) around their events

If you do happen to have more time on your hands because of everything that’s going on, then it makes sense to do this now. If you rely on event management software or any other tech solution you use around your events, you’ll know how important it is to do your due diligence and keep things in check.

For example, if investment was made to save you time and money, then you need to make sure that it’s still delivering on that promise today.  If it was meant to create a better experience for attendees, then you should have a good idea on how effective it is in doing that.  And if your management team asks if the technology is helping meet business goals set around your events, then you also need to have an answer. A good one. Otherwise, where’s the ROI?

Related read: 6 signs your event tech is NOT working for you

Whilst you should be periodically reviewing your technology, having an enforced period due to the crisis, means there is no excuse not to re-evaluate your tech. Perhaps you can now undertake those tech integrations, that you didn’t have time for previously, so you can do things even better next year.

Talk to your tech provider and get the training/tutorial on aspects of the solution that you don’t use as much as you’d like because you never had the time. Learn new ways of using the tech so that you can improve efficiency.  Maybe see what other options there are in the market or evaluate new tech you’d like to use but never had time to think about before. For example, you may have always wanted an event app, well this could be a good time to really look at making that a reality.

5) Map Out Your Event Planning Processes    

When you are super busy running events, your goal is always on making them as good as they can be.  And as everything moves at high speed, there is little choice to do anything other than complete the tasks and tick them off.

If you have more time on your hands as a result of everything that is going on, then it is the perfect opportunity for you to sit down and review your event planning processes. Why? Because events have become more sophisticated and delegates have become more demanding. And this will only become more so the case when things go back to normal. More is expected which means you cannot be running your events in the way you would have done a few years ago.  For example, think of the new health and safety guidelines you’ll need to implement at your events when things go back to normal.  Or whether you’ll always have to have a virtual element for all your events in the future.

You need to ensure that your event planning processes take into account the ‘delegate journey’ of today and beyond. What’s coming next that you can factor in now?

6) Test Your Data Management Protocols    

You could be forgiven for thinking that as businesses have closed and people have been told to stay at home, (other than for essential journeys) that other important issues have gone away or been forgotten about. However, that is far from the truth and in fact more emphasis needs to be placed on keeping those ‘invisible’ issues front of mind.

Take for example, the issue of ‘data security’ and protection. The requirements of the GDPR (in place since May 2018) have not gone away because of the coronavirus. In fact, if anything, you need to be checking just how secure the data you hold actually is. Can you still depend on the companies you were using prior to the outbreak, have any gone bust and do you need to source alternative providers?

As well as checking providers, it’s also a good time to ‘test’ your protocols. Do they need adjusting? If you received a Subject Access Request, what would you do, where would you go? How would you deal with it? Now is a good time to look at how securely you are managing your data.

Related read: 8 bad data security habits event planners should quit

7) Invest in Your Own Personal Development    

Personal development should always be on your radar of things to be done. Often it can be easily overlooked with only the minimum of compulsory training being undertaken. But now there is no excuse. Make the most of this time and ensure that you are keeping your professional development on course.

There is no single route to education, as everyone learns things in their own way. You should find the most effective way for you to acquire new knowledge and skills – some people prefer reading articles and eBooks, some prefer watching videos and listening to podcasts or webinars, while others opt for more interactive learning experiences where they can discuss new trends with other like-minded people.  The event associations offer an array of industry knowledge and qualifications to look at. If you don’t want to do that, maybe adding new tech and language skills to your CV could be useful too.

Have a look at your journey so far. What have you achieved, what skills do you have and what do you need for the next chapter of your career? Once you have made your decision, buy the book or sign up for the course, there is no time to lose.

Watch webinar: How to become a tech-savvy event planner

8) Research New Ideas    

What can you be developing right now that will improve the lives of your stakeholders? Are there new initiatives that will help them right now? If not, what will they need when the crisis is over? It’s a hard question to answer, but the reality is that life will probably never go completely back to how it was before.

Delegates, speakers and suppliers are likely to be cautious for a while at least. With much of the world in lockdown, once the crisis is over and face to face events are back in prominence, how different will the experience be? You could reduce their risk. You could look at self-service check-in to reduce queues and close contact. You could decrease the number of communal touch pads or go cashless at your events. Or you could continue to have hand sanitisers dotted around the conference rooms.

Beyond that, maybe you automatically include virtual events as part of your offering. Get in touch with past delegates and find out what they would want in the future. Call a meeting with your colleagues and brainstorm all that you are learning from the crisis. What new opportunities are there? Research new ideas and start developing them. Once the crisis has ended there will be huge competition for business and you will want to be ahead of the curve and not behind it.

Conclusion – Time for a Reboot     

Your focus right now will be on carrying out those essential tasks. Once that is done, you have a golden opportunity to crack on with those things that you never had time for and as we have shown, there is a lot of work you can do.

We are in unchartered waters, even when the global financial crisis was at its height, physical events still went ahead. You will be forced to reinvent, redefine and revitalise many things. But remember, every organisation is going through this. The ones that emerge in a strong position, will be those that use this precious time to its maximum to get ahead. There has never been a better time to thoroughly appraise your organisation and give it the re-boot needed for future success.


Considering a move to virtual events? Eventsforce can help you deliver your sessions online and engage with audiences in the same way you would for your in-person events.  Click here for more information or get in touch for a chat.

How to Use Video Emails for Attendee Engagement

 How to Use Video Emails for Event Marketing

It’s a fact. No other marketing channel can communicate as quickly and successfully as video.  We see it on websites, social media and other online platforms – and it works.  So using video in your event’s email marketing makes a lot of sense if you want to boost engagement, drive brand engagement or simply get people to click through and sign up!

After their hugely popular post on top subject lines for event email campaigns, we decided to once again speak to email marketing automation experts, Moosend, to understand exactly what are the benefits of using video in emails, what kind of tools organisers can use and what forms of video work best to boost engagement with attendees.

What is Video Email Marketing?

Video email marketing is an email marketing strategy that uses, as you might have already guessed, videos. Alternatively, you can also have GIFs (both animated and cinemagraph GIFs), static images with a play button that redirects the recipient to the actual video of the sender’s choice, and of course, HTML5 videos.

The amount of engagement this tactic can bring is crazy. And events are all about interaction and engagement.

As seen in a report by Forrester, a video in your email marketing campaign can help you increase your CTR by 200-300%. Some reports also show that just by including the word ‘video’ in an email subject line can have enough of an impact to increase your open rates! This is the first benefit you need to keep in mind.

Secondly, moving images appeal to a prospect’s curiosity and can satisfy it quicker and easier than simple images. This is why video tutorials, for example, are so popular.

Lastly, videos have the tendency to get shared around pretty quickly, resulting in a brand or company going viral.

So, increased CTR, social shares, going viral and more attention to your marketing emails? Not too shabby, especially when promoting an event, right?

Top Tools for Video Email Marketing

You can go nowhere without knowing what you can use, in order to make video email marketing work for you. Below is a list of tools we’d recommend using:

MoosendYou’ll get the benefit of including a static image with a play button in the email. If one clicks on the image, they get taken to the video. No muss, no fuss, no video code issues that could get your email into the spam folder.

TailoredMailThis platform promises to allow users to embed actual videos in their email campaigns, as well as podcasts and carousel images.

Mailchimp – One of the best-known platforms, Mailchimp uses the static image approach as well. It will get a thumbnail of your video and merge it into the content of your email with an overlay of a play button.

MixMax – With Vidyard by MixMax, you’ll be able to select a video in your camera roll or record and upload a video on the spot, and embed it in your email.

Hyperise – This platform allows you to create hyper-personalised images and embed them in emails. Combine that with the overlay of a play button and there you have it!

Lemlist – One of those platforms that use personalised clickable thumbnails to save you the HTML5 time and hassle. Oh, and it specialises on cold emails, too!

As you can see for yourself, there are not many platforms that can embed actual HTML5 videos in their email campaigns, mainly because this form is not supported by most email clients and you can’t risk to afford your email going to waste.

So, by using the personalised GIF and/or static image with a video button overlay tactic, you’re bound to entice more people, as most email clients support those.

Top Considerations for Your Video Email Campaigns

Let’s look at the first steps you need to take if you want to be sure that video email marketing is definitely what you need, the moment you need it.

1.Who Is Your Target Audience?

Defining your target audience is one of the first things you’ll need to clarify, even before you create a marketing strategy and decide on your marketing collateral.

An appealing message will make all the difference. Not everyone needs to see a testimonial video and even if they do, they don’t need to see the same things.

By knowing your audience you’ll make sure you can create a video email marketing campaign that will resonate with them and the goals you’re trying to achieve.

2.What Are Your Goals?

You need to take a good look at your data and see which segment of your audience would be interested in the message that would serve your goal at that specific point in time. And then work with what you have.

So, let’s assume now that your target audience simply loves videos and you see great results in those video email marketing campaigns. Take some time to review what you did send.

Why did it work? Was it luck or good relevant content?

3.Can You Match the Video to Your Content Strategy?

You’ll need to align your video content with your overall content strategy. The reason behind that lies in your target audience. Just take a look at some not-so-rough numbers:

(Source)

As you see, your tone of voice is one of the most important things for your brand. It makes you memorable, it builds trust and it can make your audience identify with your core values.

Remaining true to your brand’s tone will create a seamless experience and will allow your prospects to share your content around if they feel like it. This will increase the possibility of your video going viral.

Oh, and mind you, your brand’s tone includes brand colors. So, be very careful about that.

Related reading: 3 Important Content Marketing Tips for Event Professionals

4.Aim for a Clean Email List

None of your email marketing efforts will work otherwise. A clean email list is pretty much your best and surest shot at success. Why?  Have a look:

  • Reduced bounce rates. Lower bounce rates mean lower spam rates.
  • Higher deliverability rates. This will get ISPs to trust you. Good reputation gets you everywhere in life and in email marketing.
  • Hitting the inbox every time. Emails that bounce, emails that get no response and those that get delivered to inactive accounts will do you no favours.

A clean email list is your most important tool when it comes to getting your event’s message across and hitting that fantastic ROI.

Top Video Emails for Marketing Events

Okay, so you’ve decided what your brand’s tone should be, you’ve nailed your data, you’ve even set your goals and created your marketing strategy.

Now what?

Well, now you need to find the type of video that would make your audience RSVP easier. What type works best will depend on your event’s campaign and goals.

1.The Pre-Event Video

This kind of video should be a roundup of all the things leading up to your event. What was it that urged you to create it?  What are the needs of your audience that the video addresses?

This type of video in your email marketing campaign will work beautifully for first-timers. People who don’t have a clear image of what your brand is all about will be able to see why you felt the need to create such an event.

If you’re about to host an event for an online school opening, send a “How to start an online school” sort of video that will be able to show bits and pieces of the process.

This video’s aim is to inform with snippets of what’s to come, through brief, fun and engaging explanation.

2. The Behind-The-Scenes Video

In these types of videos, it’s all about showcasing the preparation process behind your event. Perhaps you can include bloopers, too!

This type of video differs from the pre-event video in one key thing: The behind-the-scenes bits can be anything. From the concept or creation of a product or an idea, to introducing one of your employees or one of the key people behind your event.

Your data will be the ones to show you the type of audience this would work best for. Use your event management software to segment your lists according to the data you have on people from registrations or past events.  Look into your website analytics too.

This video aims to inform your prospects about your own actions and brand as an event organizer and it would be, much like the pre-event video, perfect for first-timers as well as fly-bys.

3. The Former-Event-Video

A video that features snippets of former events that took place, along with the coverage of the press for the event(s) mentioned, could be one of the best means to advertise your brand and how it works.

If you’re targeting new attendees or would like to engage one-timers to become returning delegates, this sort of round-up video email marketing campaign is for you.

A former event video can showcase the end result and, combined with social proof, will definitely keep those you want to nudge gently (further) down the sales funnel, on their toes.

It will be a great way to showcase what your actions are and the quality of the events you can plan.Also, the former event video in your video email campaign can serve as an explainer video and a gentle reminder of the quality of your services.

4. The Testimonial Video

This is one of the most useful. Testimonials of attendees from previous events are the best way to use social proof to your advantage.

These types of videos can be used to engage those that have never attended and those that are not sure if they’d like to come to another one of your events.  If you combine that with influencer marketing, then you’ve got a certain win.

Check, for example, how selling on Instagram works. Influencers are constantly promoting products, services or events through videos.  Imagine how much engagement brownie points you could get from collaborating with an influencer on a testimonial video!

Related reading: How to Choose the Right Influencers for Your Event Marketing Activities

The Event Follow-Up Video

The event follow-up video will serve as a thank-you to all attendees. It will also keep them posted about future events. This particular video email campaign would be what would showcase the value of your event, after everything’s been said and done.

So, let’s assume that you’ve organised a fundraiser. By sending out an event follow-up, you can thank attendees for participating and inform them of how much money was raised. It’s important that you make clear that none of that would have happened, had it not been for them.

This format works best for those that actually attended your event. You need to thank them first. And, perhaps, urge them to share your message around.

Conclusion

Of course, video email marketing in and of itself is not the only tool that can help your efforts.  A pre-event video can be paired wonderfully with a landing page that will be optimised according to the advice of your trusted SEO services, especially for that lead-gen and sales aspect.

An online form that features a small snippet of what’s included in your video email campaign would be perfect for those lead-gen opportunities.

And our last-but never least-honourable mention should go to content that is shareable. Urge your prospects to share your email that features the video you’re trying to promote. Nothing is a better new lead magnet than shareable content and turning your prospects or attendants to brand ambassadors.


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8 Event Marketing Ideas to Boost Attendance

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Creating buzz and excitement around your events is so important as it makes it easier to convince people why they should attend in the first place. As well as encouraging them to sign up, successful event promotion can also drive people to share their experiences more and come back year after year.

Whether you’re looking for some fresh new ideas or want to go back to basics, have a look at our list of popular marketing activities that engage people and convince them to come to an event:

1) Create Exclusive Content      

Content is so important – specifically exclusive content that is not available anywhere else. The content can take any form: such as blogs, podcasts or videos. But the key point is that this is new content. It is not recycled content.

You can create interest around your event by developing sneak previews of what will be on offer. For example, let’s say that your key speaker for a medical event is an expert in Toxicology. She has written many books on the subject. Her previous talks are available on YouTube and she has presented several webinars. Many potential attendees may already be aware of her work.

What you need to do is to offer people a sneak preview of what she will talk about that is new. Promoting the fact that she will be a speaker will generate some interest but with exclusive content you can really ignite potential attendees and increase their anticipation.

Related reading: 3 Content Marketing Tips for Event Planners

2) Harness the Power of Video    

Video is a great tool for marketing events. It gives your attendees the opportunity to learn more about your event and does a good job of conveying the personality of your organisation. It also is a lot more engaging than text.  Forrester Research claims that a minute of video can be equivalent to 1.8 million words.  That is the equivalent of 3,600 typical web pages!

Mini videos can be extremely useful to aid your marketing efforts. You could create a number of mini 30-second video clips and release them as part of your campaign over a period of time, building interest in your event.

As well as previewing what is to come, you could use testimonials as part of your awareness raising. You could also get a few people to talk about why they are coming to your event.

The opportunity to use videos and tell the story of your event before it’s happened is enormous as long as you keep in mind the benefit to your viewer of attending.  For more ideas, check out this article that lists a number of ways you can use video when promoting events.

3) Use Partners and PR

Events as you know, are not produced in a bubble. There can be any number of partners involved helping to bring your event to life. Just think of possible partners that could help with broadening the reach of your marketing. Partner up with the host venue, host destination, sponsors, an association(s) or speakers and discover ways in which you can work together.

For example, when working with a speaker you could ask them to produce a blog post or a mini video clip for you. It doesn’t have to be about the content they will deliver at your event. It could be on a separate subject, but it will provide potential attendees with a glimpse of the speaker.

You could provide partners with some pre-written social media messages, including registration pages and maybe a discount code to share with their followers or members. Promote your partners and tag them on social media channels.

If you can also obtain coverage in their newsletters or LinkedIn group(s) that would also help.  It’s all about spreading the message far and wide. Don’t forget to use PR where you can. You or your partner(s) may have an agency that can help with media interviews, show previews and by-lined articles.

4) Engage Influencers and Use Word of Mouth  

People are basically social. We rely on our circle of family and friends for support and assistance. We tend to trust people we admire and often model our behaviour after theirs. This fact along with the explosion of the internet and social media has led to the rise of digital influencers and influencer marketing.

Traditionally, an influencer could be anyone from an A-list celebrity to a subject matter expert. The only criterion being that they must have a substantial following on some type of online platform.

But, let’s change our thinking from seeing the ideal influencer as someone who has an impressive number of followers, to someone who might have a smaller but more relevant following. You can use micro influencers who are immersed with your target audience. They are extremely valuable and often have highly engaged followers.

As well as using influencers, you can use of word of mouth as another technique to boost attendance. Encourage your attendees and interested parties (stakeholders) to talk about the event and inspire people to come along. Word of mouth is great for getting people who are not on your email lists, in your event management system or on your social media radar.

Related reading: How to Choose the Right Influencers for Your Event Marketing Activities

5) Get Your Email Marketing Right   

Email marketing is essential for promoting events. It is also one of those things that needs to be executed in the right way. For example: creating the email invitation, inviting VIPs and maximising email signatures are just three things that spring to mind.  If you get any of these wrong, you could be in trouble.

Invitations are one of the most important things to get right. They help set the tone of an event and are often one of the first opportunities to make a good impression with potential attendees. However, research has found that getting people to open that email, click through and sign up to the event is something most organisers struggle with when it comes to event invitations. Strong subject lines and simple design and layout of your email will help.

Related reading: How to Create Invites that Draw People to Your Events

If you decide to invite people as VIPs, then make sure that they are significant to your event. Some organisations send VIP invites to lots of people without filtering who really should be a VIP. Send your special invites to the people that really matter. A small number of well-considered invitations could make a big difference to the success of your event.

Email signatures are often overlooked but they provide a great way of amplifying your event. Include a call to action to drive more registrations. Change the email signature as you get closer to the event and highlight different aspects of it.

6) Make Your Social Special  

Social media is another effective way of promoting events.  But you will need a strategy, otherwise you will waste time and energy. Target the right social media channels for your audience – there is no point creating buzz in the wrong places.

You will need a variety of content to share and a posting schedule. You can reflect your events’ branding throughout the campaign by replacing generic background images with event logos and your event hashtag.

You can tag in people that are participating such as speakers, hosts, the planning team and maybe delegates that have registered (just make sure you don’t violate any GDPR rules). Have a simple hashtag for your event, one, that is easy to remember and spell. Incorrect spellings of your hashtag will not help your marketing.

If you have some budget, you may choose to buy advertising or sponsor content on social media channels. There is currently a trend to do more paid social as the organic reach of social media is reducing – especially on platforms like Twitter. Use search engine marketing platforms like Google’s AdWords where you can pay to have your event advertised at the top of a search results page.

A combination of paid and organic social media is likely to provide you with the best results.

7) Use Text Messaging

Messaging potential attendees is another way to boost attendance. Not all of your marketing messaging should be done through using only email or social media. There are other ways in which you can get your message across. Some people respond well to texts or messaging apps. Whilst others are happy to take a phone call (yes it still happens).

Then there are messaging apps that you can use. For example, WhatsApp and Slack are pretty good for building interest and community.

Whatever means of messaging you decide to use, it has to work for your potential attendees.  You will probably need to use a combination of methods as everyone has a preference on how they like to be contacted. You should be able to locate their contact preference information within your event management solution.  Systems like Eventsforce can also help you track this consent to ensure you’re always communicating with attendees in a GDPR compliant way (watch video).

8) Personalise Registration & Don’t Forget Discounts   

Though it has its own set of challenges and can vary in effectiveness from one event to another, personalisation doesn’t have to be as complicated as one might think. Most organisations today use some form of automated system to manage registrations around their events and it is good starting point for any kind of personalisation you may want to do.

You could use your event management system to personalise the registration journey for your different audiences to demonstrate how important they are. For example, having a unique registration path for your VIP guests will ensure the questions and prices offered to them aren’t visible to other attendees which will make them feel that the whole experience was ‘personalised’ for them the whole time.  You can get all sorts of similar personalisation ideas from this industry eBook – ‘The Event Planner’s Guide to Personalisation’.

An event management system should also provide you with the flexibility of offering tiered pricing, one off sales and early booking discounts. Using discounts is one way to boost event attendance but it shouldn’t be the one that you rely on.

Conclusion

The ideas we’ve outlined can be mixed and matched according to the individual event. Some techniques will work better for some events than others. The important thing to remember though is to adjust as needed. Make sure you have a strategy for your event marketing campaign and understand why you are following certain actions.

In all the ideas, there is a simple common thread: You have to be clear on what you are saying and why people should come to your event. If you are not clear, it doesn’t matter how many things you do or how much money you spend, your efforts will fail.

Understand who your potential attendees are, use straightforward language, offer a clear proposition and you should see the results you want.


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How to Use YouTube for Event Marketing

How to Use YouTube for Event Marketing

As an event marketer, the impact of using video around your events can be significant.  It can be a great way to generate enthusiasm amongst your attendees and equally present a good case for those who haven’t yet registered. So if you’re doing it already and doing it well, then you’re on the right track.  And if you’re using YouTube, then even more so.

YouTube has experienced enormous growth over the past decade. The site has over 2 billion monthly active users, making it one of the most used online platforms on earth.  Businesses are using it too as the importance of video content in marketing campaigns becomes more and more evident over the last couple of years.

With this in mind, we had a chat with the experts at influencer marketing agency, Billion Dollar Boy, to see what advice they would give to event professionals when using YouTube as a marketing channel and what steps they need to take to make their event video campaigns a success. Have a look at what they had to say:

Getting Started

Starting your own YouTube channel is a straightforward process. As with any other social platform, it requires a few personal details to set up an account. Once you have completed the sign-up process and verified your email, you’ll be ready to film, edit and upload your first video. It’s that simple.

Once your YouTube channel is live, your next task is to start growing your brand. With so much competition on the platform, it is imperative that you stand out from the crowd. Put together a well-thought-out strategy that is aligned with your business goals, taking into consideration who your ideal audience is and what type of content will resonate with them. Thereafter, develop a clear plan of action that will help you reach your intended audience, increase your followership and ultimately grow your event’s brand.

Creating the Right Content

There are two main avenues in which to promote your brand and events. For the purpose of this article, these can be broken down into authentic content and promotional content.

1. Authentic Content

Authentic content is a more natural, informative and entertaining approach, which tends to develop more trust among your audience. By producing authentic content you’re doing more than selling products or services. You’re creating a loyal following and building a brand for the long-term.

Read: 3 Content Marketing Tips for Event Planners

Event marketing lends itself to this kind of content particularly well because it gives you the opportunity to use real footage from a past event. For example, INBOUND has consistently produced great promotional content just by editing together clips from the past year’s event into a slick highlight-reel style video.

2. Promotional Content

Promotional content – as the name suggests – is predicated towards directly broadcasting messages about certain products, services or events. While it can be effective in its own right, excessive promotional content is increasingly viewed as self-serving and unreliable. As a result of this, such messaging is being disregarded with greater frequency in the modern environment.

Optimising Your Content with Keywords

Once you’ve settled on the best approach, it’s time for you to start posting to your YouTube channel. You need to make sure that your content is optimised for the platform, however. This will ensure your videos rank higher in search results and that they are reaching your desired audience.

1. Creating Effective Video Titles

YouTube is essentially a search engine for videos that uses complex ranking algorithms for user content. Including keywords in your video titles that are relevant to the subject matter is vital. If you’re struggling to find the right keywords, consider browsing other successful channels that post similar content for some inspiration. What keywords are they using? Are the keywords implemented naturally in a title that entices clicks? Are they related to the content? Alternatively, you can use keyword research tools to aid the process.

2. Using ‘Tags’ to Your Advantage

Now that you’ve figured out the title of your video, ‘tags’ are the next step in the content optimisation process. Tags should also include keywords that are related to your video’s subject matter to help your content rank higher in search engine results. YouTube limits the number of tags per video to below 400 characters and it is therefore imperative that you use them effectively. Consider using multiple-word tags in addition to single-word tags and broad-term tags.

For example, if your video is a guide on “how to host a world-class business event”, you will want to use multiple word tags such as “what to consider for your business event”. You can also use single-word tags like “business” or “event”. Lastly, broad-term tags you can use words relating to the subject matter, eg: “conference”, “convention”. A combination of all three will help your videos rank higher in related searches.

3. Writing a Compelling Video Description

Video descriptions are another way to utilise keywords to your advantage. They must, however, maintain a natural flow. Therefore, be sure not to stuff keywords within the text. Find the right balance between content that is optimised for YouTube’s algorithm but is also easy and enjoyable for humans to read.

Avoid Clickbait at All Costs!

In the context of YouTube, clickbait refers to the use of titles and video thumbnails designed to entice visitors to click on a video. Clickbait is extremely misleading and in some cases completely falsifies what is under the proverbial hood.

Whilst clickbait will almost certainly increase your viewership in the short term, it attracts the wrong audience to your videos. As such, visitors will only tune in to your content for a short period of time before quickly leaving to find more relevant material. This “bouncing” aspect will eventually affect your ranking negatively.

Clickbait in any capacity is not advisable, but even more so in a B2B context. It will tarnish your business reputation and should be avoided at all costs.

The Role of Influencers in Event Marketing

The ever-growing popularity of influencers – with the large followings to match – on YouTube, makes them a great resource for promoting event marketing. Collaborating with influencers who have values and standards that are aligned with your business is an excellent way to generate buzz and attract the right audience. They can extend your reach and increase your sources of traffic by exposing you to prospects who may never have heard of you before.

Read: How to Choose the Right Influencers for Your Event Marketing Activities

Working with influencers in video format presents an opportunity to be more creative and interactive to engage an audience. In 2016, SAP, a business solutions company, used influencers to conduct live-streamed interviews to promote their annual Sapphire Now conference. With these live-streamed videos, SAP were able to generate increased online conversation about their event and reach an audience they wouldn’t have otherwise reached.

Conclusion

YouTube is an extremely useful platform in event marketing. After setting up your channel, establish who your ideal audience is and what type of content they’re most interested in. With that information, you can start to develop material that your prospects will find useful and enjoyable.

When the time comes to publish your targeted content ensure that it is optimised so that more people can find you. Combine elements of authentic and promotional content in your action plan and also leverage the power of influencers to extend your reach even further. Following an informed strategy in this way will help you achieve better results with regards to ticket sales, bookings and event attendees, not just social media reactions.


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3 Content Marketing Tips for Event Professionals

To promote an event successfully, you’ll need to create the right kind of buzz.  And one of the easiest ways of doing this is using content that engages audiences – right from the start. In fact, not making the most out of the content you can create around yours events may mean missing out on a huge opportunity for brand promotion and highlighting what makes your event a “can’t-miss” experience.

We spoke to Rebecca Reynoso, content editor at leading software reviews site, G2, to find out what kind of content works best for event marketing and how that content can be leveraged to engage audiences before, during and after an event.

How to Create Content Around Your Event 

Before your event can go off without a hitch, you’ll need to make sure people know about it, are excited for it, and most importantly – are spreading the word about it. Word-of-mouth marketing is one of the core ways to get your event “seen” by the larger audience you’re targeting as the market for your event. In order for this to happen though, you’ll need to create content about your event before it occurs, while it’s happening and after it’s over.

You can’t sloppily put just anything out into the world. You have to create the right types of content in order to ensure your event stands out against the competition. Project management tools can keep you organised during the creation process and ensure that you’re covering your bases. The following types of content are not only the easiest to produce, but will be expected by your customers, clients, and extended audience following the progression of your event from start to end.

1. Write Blog Posts 

As with any company that is hosting an event, it’s crucial to have literature that can be disseminated easily. Blog posts are the simplest way to get the word out quickly and create high-quality content for your readers. Before the event, you can write articles that discuss the purpose of your event and highlight the core details readers want to know: Date, time, location, length, and event type.

Give pre-event information 

As mentioned above, all the nitty-gritty details will be the deciding factor for many on-the-fence attendees. Remember that not all of your potential attendees live down the block; some may be coming from overseas. So knowing the basics like when and where the event will be should be your priority.

Secondary information such as which speakers will be there, the topics they’ll be covering, and the overall schedule of events should be the next most important information to release to the public.

All of this information can be written in a single or series of blog posts – whichever makes more sense for your brand. Plus, once you have a blog post published, you can share it on your social platforms as many times as you’d like up until the event, including day-of.

Provide readers with a FAQ section 

Besides the where, when, and what, people will also want information on things like the venue, food and drink options, accessibility, and more. Is there onsite parking, and if so, is it free? How can I access the event via public transit? When the event is over, are there any good restaurants around to have a sit-down meal or have meetings?

Queries like these and many more will arise, so answer them before you get bombarded with emails about event-adjacent concerns. Not only does this put your attendees’ minds at ease, it shows that you know what you’re talking about, which tells people – chill, we’ve got this!

Get attendees “in the know” about speakers and their presentations 

Nobody likes going into an event blind.  Which means it is your responsibility to craft content about your event speakers, the topics they’ll be covering, and some background information so people who don’t know a speaker by name can get to know them before the day of the event.

Some easy-to-create content would be a “5 fast facts about [speaker name]” where you list what the speaker does, why they were chosen, and what value they’ll be providing to attendees. Show people your event is valuable and make them feel that missing it will leave them with FOMO (fear of missing out) syndrome.

Read: How to Create Invites that Draw People to Your Events

2. Be Active on Social Media 

You should always maintain an active social media presence – before, during and after an event. Where flyers and handouts might have been the main information source years ago, the past decade has proven time and again that social media is the quickest way to spread the word. It’s a great way to share information or even implement a social media contest to gain followers and increase awareness around your event.

Read: Top Social Media Trends for Event Marketers

It’s no secret we live in an era where if you as a brand or company are not active on social media, people tend to wonder why. If your competition is on the ‘gram and you’re nowhere to be found, chances are they’re reaching a wider audience than you could ever hope to.

With this in mind, it’s crucial to show a strong presence on social media at all times, but most especially over the course of your event. Below are three of the most crucial social media platforms to use if you want to engage a highly-social audience: Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

Live tweet during the event (and beforehand) 

Assuming your company is active on Twitter, the main account should be tweeting reminders semi-regularly to keep interested parties up-to-date about any coming changes. Did a speaker who was scheduled bow out? Let your followers know.

In fact, dedicating a few members of your social media squad or general marketing team to do the legwork of live tweeting during the actual event can take some of the stress off for the event organiser. Better yet, you can set posts to go out at specific times, e.g. when one of your speakers is scheduled, have your social media management software automatically tweet an image of the speaker with a quote from their latest novel to prep your social network for what’s to come.

Whatever you choose, make sure your company’s Twitter account is tweeting often. Something as simple as speaker insights or quick and memorable quotes that have the #EventHashtag of your choice can bring massive exposure to the event as it’s ongoing.

Make LinkedIn statuses and videos to promote your event 

To promote an event, many companies will use their LinkedIn page, and that of their employees who are involved with the event planning process, to promote the event itself. Whether that’s by sharing a new LinkedIn status as a reminder to connections or crafting a 2-minute video that’s sure to capture the attention of even casual followers. The more you post, the more attention you’re bound to receive.

For instance, in the video below, I helped my company promote our first-ever event, #G2Reach, with a simple video reminding my connections of the looming event date – and a sweet 50% off code for their ticket purchase. That was guaranteed to spark interest among people who were on the fence.

The success is in the numbers. Over 450 people viewed the video and 34 people reacted to it. Every time someone reacts to a post on LinkedIn, their connections get a notification as well. Basically, you make a short, informative video and your connections will create word of mouth promotion for you. It’s a win-win, really. And whether the views and likes amounted to direct ticket sales or not, the fact of the matter is the video drummed up talk about the event, which was its intended purpose.

Read: Why Video is a Big Deal for Marketing Your Events

Post on Instagram Stories in the days leading up to your event 

There’s probably a whole discourse around whether Snapchat or Instagram is the hotter app to have (even with TikTok creeping its way to the top), but Instagram’s Stories feature is a must-use for event promotion with 2020 on the horizon.

Weeks before the event, have your company’s VP of Marketing (or a similar high-level figure) make an Instagram Story video about how pumped they are for the coming event. They can let your Insta followers know what to expect in much shorter, more conversational form than a formal blog post.

A 30-second video clip of the VP outside of the venue a few days beforehand showing the set-up process is a fun, no-frills way to let people know that everything’s going smoothly, which should get them excited to be attending your exclusive event. You can even set up polls so your viewers engage with your Instagram Stories.

And on the day of your event, share user Instagram photos and Stories to the main company Instagram page. Whenever you’re tagged in something, it becomes accessible for you to share on your own page, so take advantage of this feature. A small action like this makes attendees feel “seen” and important.

3. Follow-Up with Attendees Post-Event 

Not only should you be sending out thank-you emails to everyone who purchased a ticket to attend your event, but you should provide them with a takeaway in the form of exclusive, attendee-only content that is gated for non-attendees, but free and accessible for those who were there. Prioritise high-quality content and ensure that your emails are deliverable so your audience can enjoy your event even after it’s over.  You can also make things easier by using an event management software that can automatically pre-schedule all the emails you want to send to people engaging with your events.

Whether it’s exclusive photos, videos of all of the speaker presentations, a downloadable mini eBook with insights about the event, or something else, giving special treatment in terms of exclusive content is one way to win over attendees and get them excited for next year’s event!

Taking Over the World One Event at a time 

Now that you have a fully-loaded toolbox to help you craft content for your event, you might be wondering how to take your event content to the next level. The key is integrating a mobile-friendly element to your events via a mobile event app platform.

Not only do your attendees get to access all of your content from their computers, but they can access and share all content surrounding your event straight from their phones. Overall, it’s something no event should be without!


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Top 10 Most Popular Stories on Event Tech Talk

Top 10 blogs on Event Tech Talk

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Event technology has fast become a critical aspect of all event planning activities over the last few years.  Knowing what technology to use and what value it should bring to events and attendees is something organisers can no longer ignore. Despite its importance, however, new research has found that only 48% of event planners see themselves as tech-savvy.

More worryingly, perhaps, is the fact that less than one in two say they have limited skills to make confident, informed decisions around their event tech investments – despite holding responsibility for it in majority of organisations.

The stats also show found that as well as limited tech skills, 75% of event planners struggle to keep up with new trends and offerings in the market. Yet when asked how they try to stay up-to-date, conversations with peers (78%) and reading blogs and news sites (50%) topped the list of activities they found most useful.

With that in mind, we thought we’d share the top event management and tech stories that really hit the mark with our readers over the past year.  They give a good indication of the kind of topics that organisers seem most concerned about too.  Based on unique page views and social media shares, have a look at our top ten blog posts from 2019:

#1 How to Organise Successful Corporate Team Building Events

Corporate team building events are on the rise – more and more companies are realising that you can’t just put random people in the same office and expect them to mesh on their own. What’s more, developing people-skills that go beyond the duty of each employee is essential as well – without communication and collaboration, even the most talented group of workers can fail to achieve their goals. For event departments specifically, running team-building events can be critical to an event’s success.  They can help team members learn new ways to work better with each other in different and high-stress situations. They can also encourage them to be more creative and showcase their unique problem-solving skills. Read more.

#2 How to Collect Valuable Data from Events

Event tech systems help organisations collect important data around their events (registration forms, surveys, apps). And yet the amount of data these systems generate can be overwhelming: from website traffic and social media engagement to registration and attendance.  From the quality of attendees to feedback and evaluation. From generated revenue to conversion rates and sales leads. So which of these data metrics actually matter to event planners and which data collection tools are seen as the most effective for measuring success? Read more.

Read: eBook – The Event Planner’s Guide to Good Data Management

#3 10 Essential Tips to Reduce Event Risk

Whether you’re organising a conference, roadshow or seminar, one of the most important considerations you need to make is the safety of your event and attendees. The bigger and more complex your event, the greater the risk – simply because where there are more people, the probability of an accident or incident is higher. Regardless of size though, event safety should always be a priority consideration. Have a look at the ten important things you need to be thinking about to reduce risk around your events. Read more.

#4 How GDPR Changes the Rights of Your Attendees

The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) first came into effect nearly two years yet many organisers are still looking for clarity when it comes to their attendees’ rights and requirements. It’s important to remember that one of the key things that GDPR wanted to address was that organisations dealing with personal data are doing so in a transparent and secure way – and always in the individual’s best interests.  For example, the regulation gives attendees the right to access all the information an event organisation holds on them – for free. They have the right to understand exactly how their data is being used. And they have the right to be notified of any breach to their data within 72 hours. Read more.

#5 How to Make Sure Your Events Show Up on Google Search

Google today acts as both the main gateway and gatekeeper to the Internet.  In fact, it controls more than seven out of every ten searches. It also stores and ranks the links of websites according to certain criteria – and this is where SEO comes in. But SEO with Google Search has changed so much the last few years, that many marketers aren’t sure what’s outdated, what’s important, what will make a difference and what is simply wasted effort. Have a look at this article to understand how Google ranks pages and what planners need to do to ensure their event websites rank well in search results.  Read more.

#6 How to Create Invites That Draw Crowds to Your Events

Invitations are 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. And yet research has found that getting people to open that email, click through and sign up to the event is something most organisers struggle with when it comes to event invitations. So, what are the elements of an invite that compel people to click through and register? And how should you look at when measuring the success of your invitation campaigns? Read more.

#7 8 Quick Ideas for Engaging Attendees After Your Event

For your event to be a success you need to be working on your delegate engagement activity at all stages of the event life cycle.  Most of us, however – whether due to a lack of time or resources – only focus on the engagement activities before and during the event. We miss the all-important phase, when the event has ended. So why is post-event engagement crucial for event planners and what kind of activities are effective in keeping up interest around your events? Read more.

#8 7 Key Steps to Successful Event Sponsorship

Sponsors can make a big difference to your event. They may even be the reason you host an event in the first place.  Yet securing and managing sponsorships is one of the biggest challenges organisers have to face. What kind of sponsors make sense for your event?  What kind of packages can you offer? How many sponsors do you need and how will you manage expectations?  More importantly, how will you ensure your sponsor will be happy with their investment and take part again the next time round? Have a look at the key things you need to think about when considering sponsors for your next event.  Read more.

#9 5 Ways Self-Service Check-In Can Improve Your Events

As an event planner, you’ll know what a logistical nightmare printing and scanning delegate badges can be. And yet getting it right is so important as it can have a huge impact on first impressions when people arrive to your event.  Attendees don’t want to start their journey feeling frustrated, standing around in long registration queues or waiting for someone to help them out. They want to show up, get their badges and start their day as quickly as possible. So what are the most common issues organisers face when managing attendance recording on the day?  And how can a self-service check-in solution help? Read more.

#10 5 Ways Tech Can Reduce Stress for Event Planners

Event planning is not easy. The constant drive to produce engaging events that delight attendees. The pressure to deliver meaningful results. Dealing with last-minute changes and delivering the impossible at a moment’s notice.  All these are issues planners need to deal with every time they create an event.  They can also be an enormous source of stress. Technology, however, can help – with event management systems offering a plethora of tools, options and inspiration to help planners along the way. Have a look at five simple ways event tech can help reduce stress for organisers.  Read more.


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Top Social Media Trends for Event Marketers + 6 Other Event Tech Stories to Read

Top social media trends to watch 2020
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In this month’s round up of top tech stories, we look at the latest trends in social media and what event professionals can do to boost their marketing activities in 2020.  We take a more in-depth look at Uber’s event service and how it can benefit corporate event organisers.  We also find out why there is a growing technology skills gap in the events industry and how events can benefit from voice technology.  Lastly, we have some cool new tech that help organisers address some of the engagement, translation and content management challenges they have around their events – including Wi-Fi in a box and a new quiz tool for attendees.

Have a look at the top event tech stories you don’t want to miss:

Social Media Today: 6 Key Social Media Trends to Watch in 2020

Social media is now such a critical marketing tool for event organisers that it makes sense to keep up with what works and what doesn’t. This article highlights some of the biggest things you can expect to see in 2020, one of which is the growth of influencer marketing. Humans are after all, social animals.  We tend to trust people we admire and often model our behaviour after theirs.  This simple fact, along with the explosion of social media has led to the rise of digital influencers – and consequently, influencer marketing. Research cited in the article shows that 59% of marketers plan on increasing their influencer budget in 2020 – with many SMBs with smaller budgets focusing on micro-influencers in the new year.

Related reading: How to Choose the Right Influencers for Your Event Marketing Activities

Stories are another big thing to watch in social media.  This was a feature that was initially exclusive to Snapchat, but then Instagram and Facebook Stories came out.  Now even YouTube has its own stories format.  Why should you care?  Stories can offer your viewers with a more authentic insight into your event, as the videos are often created on the spot. Since the content disappears rather quickly, it presents a good opportunity for event marketers to capitalise on fear of missing out (FOMO) and offer flash offers that only loyal users will learn to look for.  Other notable trends worth mentioning include more shopping on social media (ex. selling event tickets directly on social platforms), integrated AR tools and more intelligent chatbots. Read more.

Skift: Uber has an Event Service – Who Knew?

Uber knows it is one of the primary modes of transportation at events – and has designed a service around that.  Yet the company has done little to promote it, which means many planners aren’t aware of it.  Part of its Uber for Business platform, the service involves Uber partnering with planners and venues months in advance, co-ordinating with law enforcement agencies and helping design an entire transportation strategy around an event. But until now, the focus has been largely on big sporting events and music festivals.

The article suggested that Uber is now seeing the potential impact it can have on the world of business conferences and is ready to ramp up its marketing efforts.  The company has spent the past few years learning how large-scale events work and building up its event-related tech and infrastructure and can now address the needs of corporate conferences. For example, it has begun testing larger vehicles that can carry up to 50 attendees.  It is also looking at working more closely with event planners to devise event transportation strategies. Read more.

MeetingsNet: IBTM World – Tech Watch Award Winners

This year’s IBTM World show recognised six new tech tools that aim to address the challenges organisers face around collaboration, translation and content management. Among the finalists of the annual Tech Watch Award were AllSeated, a space diagramming software using VR technology; G-SMATT America, an LED technology wall displays provider; and Zenus, a facial recognition technology used to streamline check-in processes, enhance security and retrieve data analytics.

The winner, however, was Wordly, which uses voice recognition and artificial intelligence to provide live translation services on attendee devices.  Without having to hire translation personnel, the app allows attendees to access a translated version of a live speech in any of 15 languages, both in audio and text formats.  The app is able to support 2,000 users simultaneously and is compatible with most mobile devices.  Read more.

Special Events: New Research Shows Growing Technology Skills Gap in Events Industry

Is the events industry facing a technology skills gap?  It seems so. A new research study has found that 47% of event planners say they have limited skills to make confident, informed decisions around their event tech investments, despite holding responsibility in the majority of organisations.  The study also found that an overwhelming 91% of organisers say event tech is an important aspect of the job, but only 48% consider themselves to be tech-savvy.

So how tech savvy should event planners be these days? Do they have the time and skills to manage their event tech investments effectively? Or is it time for the industry to recognise the need for ‘event technologists’ – a new breed of event professionals whose job focus is exclusively on all things technology? These were some of the questions industry experts addressed in a panel debate at this year’s Event Tech Live show.  One of the take-aways was how organisers don’t feel pressured to learn and become more confident about event technology.  The other issue was data management – especially when you look at things like compliance, reporting and analytics and the increasing use of tech tools that help organisers collect an enormous amount of data on their events and attendees. Read more.

Conference & Meetings World: Slido Launches Quizzes

Slido is making audience engagement at events a little more interesting.  The company, which offers live polling and audience interaction, is making engagement more fun for attendees with the launch of a new ‘quiz’ feature. The new tool allows presenters, lecturers and trainers to gamify the learning at a conference or exhibition, making it social and competitive. Quiz questions are displayed on the main screen and can be activated one by one with a click. As the quiz comes to an end, the host is able to reveal the leader board straight away. The tool was recently used at the Web Summit in Lisbon where moderators used the feature to emphasise highlights from the morning sessions at the Startup University stage. Read more.

Event Industry News: New Wi-Fi in a Box

Organising Wi-Fi around an event is always a bit of an issue for organisers.  You need to know what connectivity is needed and how to provide it.  The Wi-Fi you have has to be in alignment with predicted attendance numbers, the number of devices and the type of broadband demands (are you streaming live video, for example?). Sometimes your Wi-Fi will require back-up or you may be required to upgrade existing systems. With all these factors in mind,  many organisations are now starting to consider pop-up Wi-Fi as the right solution for their events.

This article from EIN looks at One World Rental’s latest offering, called Wi-Fi in a box, which can be installed in 30 minutes and can provide high-speed broadband for 100 guests. Need to expand the network?  Then simply get more boxes. The product is compactly delivered in a durable case that transports easily. It includes a router which works through multiple providers. It’s both WiFi and WAN compatible and can be used in remote areas or for events in high density environments such as festivals, exhibitions, tradeshows and conferences. Read more.

Related reading: 8 Important Wi-Fi Considerations for Event Planners

TSNN: How Event Organisers Can Incorporate Voice Technology

Voice-operated technology is at its flash point. Innovations in smartphones, networked home devices, and voice recognition enable futuristic applications such as voice-operated Google search, and personal assistant software including Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri. Google, particularly, is one key beneficiary and driver of voice tech: Voice searches account for 20 percent of queries on Google mobile app and Android devices, according to their latest stats.  And according to this article, it seems event organisers are starting to take note, as voice technology allows them to deliver personalised attendee experiences in a scalable way.

Trade show marketers can increase the likelihood of showing up in Google by catering to voice searches. Google has recently introduced features such as the “featured snippet” and “people also ask” box as part of its goal to answer user queries directly on its site. Events can increase exposure and site traffic by answering questions attendees are already asking Google. The article recommends browsing the free keyword.io and answerthepublic.com to learn how people are searching for events. Google’s “people also ask” box also gives a look into what phrases people are using to search. For example, if someone asks, “What’s the closest furniture show near Chicago this year?” and you provide relevant content to that question, you are more likely to show up in voice search and featured snippets in Google. Read more.


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