Category Archives: Event Planning

Online Marketing Tools to Market Your Event

online Marketing Picture

After the initial planning of your event is complete, it’s time to start marketing. In the past event marketing was offline, using  magazines, sometimes newspapers and ads in industry publications to market your event. But today online marketing is a much more effective marketing tool.

Today, event marketing typically happens online using social media and other tools. Social media platforms allow you to talk directly to your followers. That conversation is important to keep people engaged and helps to market your event. Here is a list of potential online marketing tools.

Social Media Marketing

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and many other online venues have become tremendous marketing platforms. These platforms provide a great way to connect with potential attendees. You can share event schedules, pictures from previous events, speaker bios and white papers and much more.

The trick to social media marketing is building a list of followers that are interested in your event.  Followers receive event information in their social media accounts.   When your followers share your social media posts with their followers the reach and exposure of your event is amplified.

Group and Forum Marketing

Many online sites have online groups, for example on LinkedIn there is a online group for venture capitalists, so if your event is a venture capitalist event, that LinkedIn group may provide great marketing opportunities. Typically subscribers post questions, articles and connections in these groups and forums, so you can answer questions, post news about your event and build your list of followers and potential attendees.

Video Marketing

There are many online  video platforms but the biggest and most searched is YouTube. The YouTube statistics are stunning;

• According to Nielsen, YouTube reaches more US adults ages 18-34 than any cable network

• Over 6 billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube (source YouTube)

• More than 1 billion unique users visit YouTube each month

If you have video from a previous event or video of upcoming speakers, creating a YouTube channel for your event and posting videos to YouTube with a link to your event landing page can be a very effective marketing tool.

Paid Marketing

There are a number of potential marketing tools that require payment. Paid marketing allows you to target your audience on Google, Facebook or other platforms, have your ad displayed on that platform and drive interested leads to your event registration landing page.

One of the most targeted ad platform for professionals is LinkedIn. LinkedIn ads can target a specific audience, drive them to your landing page and provide track the conversion results.

Summary

The most effective marketing strategy is to develop a comprehensive marketing plan and leverage your event management software to get people registered for your event.

 
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Business Conference Planning Tips

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Having a business conference can bring great benefits to your business. A Conference brings industry experts, customers and others together to network, learn and  generate new business.

But a business conference requires careful planning and  organization. So whether it’s your 1st or 20th conference these tips can help make your conference a success.

Start As Early As Possible

When planning a conference, the earlier the better. If you can, plan a year out. By starting early, you have venue flexibility, budget flexibility and a host of other advantages. Remember the best of everything is booked early.

Develop a Budget

If you’ve never hosted an event, do some research. If you have hosted an event, review previous budgets. But most importantly, develop a budget and stick to it as best as possible.

Also, update the budget regularly. Make sure that your budget has accurate numbers. It’s easy to overspend when hosting an event, so a strict and up to date budget helps keep spending under control.

Put Someone in Charge.

Find someone in your organization that can be trusted to manage the budget and the details of the event. If needed hire an event  planner.  Depending on the size and scope of your event, you may need both.

Decide in advance what decisions the person can make. Can they change the agenda, move session rooms, and  hire vendors? Can they make menu changes? All of these questions must be answered,  before  the event.  But often they must be made by someone and often quickly. So put someone in charge.

Take Advantage of Technology

Technology can make hosting a conference much easier. Technology can be used to manage the entire process, from creating budgets, handling registrations and providing reports to determine the events success.

Capture your registrants cell phone numbers and social media account information to make it easier to stay in touch.

Use cloud based software so event reports and other information is available to everyone at anytime.

Use technology to make your event a success.

Hosting a  conference can be great for businesses. A conference can educate customers, expand business, create thought leaders and more. But business conference require careful planning and organization and the sooner the process starts the better.

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Event Management Software – Choose the Best for Your Event.

Technology is driving event planning and management today.  Having the right event management software is important to making managing your events easier.

Depending on the size and scope of your event, event management software features and benefits are an important part of your events success.

Here are some of the questions you should answer before deciding on an event management software solution.

Is the Software Easy to Use?

The software you choose should be easy and intuitive to use. Software elements should be easy to use and  clearly labeled. Help topics should be easy to find and read. Examples and pictures that demonstrate functionality should be readily available.

Does the software make the process of creating a registration website easy?

Registration websites are essential to event management. Your event management software should make the process of capturing registrant information easy. The software should allow you to easily manage registration data and allow you to process payments, if needed.

Can the software be easily tailored for your event?

The software should allow you to customize the colors, graphics and other properties of the event registration website to reflect your firm’s brand. The software developers should be able to customize the software quickly if you have any special needs.

Does the software work on all browsers?

Most of the time web browsers display websites properly but sometimes there are problems. It’s important that your event management software has been tested on all of the popular web browsers to avoid display issues. It is also important that the software provider has the technical skills to quickly fix technical issues that may arise if there is a problem with your site in a specific browser.

Will your registration website be mobile friendly?

Tablets and mobile phones all have browsers and mobile usage is exploding. Will your event registration website be mobile friendly? Will the site be easy to read on iPads and other mobile devices? Making sure your  registration website is mobile- ready will increase visibility and registrations.

Does the software allow you to offer credit card and other payment options?

Your event management software should make integrating credit card payments easy. The software should integrate easily with the information provided by your credit card provider. If you don’t have a credit card processor, the event management software vendor may have a process in place to allow you to process credit card payments using their provider.

Does the software allow custom emails?

Before, during and after the event, you are going to want to easily send emails to event attendees and others. The event management software you choose should make it easy for you to  customize and send email.

Is the software clearly and competitively priced?

Does the vendor provide clear pricing? Are there any hidden fees? Some event management software is free but the more robust software solutions require a fee for use.

These are just some of the questions to consider when picking event management software and an event management software vendor.

Be clear about your event production needs and have planned many of the aspects of your event before choosing an event management software vendor.

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Can you explain merchant processing?

credit cards

Can you explain merchant processing?  In order to accept payments via credit/debit cards for your event, a merchant account needs to be set up with a merchant processor. Supported processors include: Authorize.net, PaySelect, DataTrans, LinkPoint, CyberSource, Moneris, PayPal PayFlow and Elavon. Each merchant processor has different rates and terms of service. Before establishing a merchant account, you should research each processing company to determine if they are a good fit for your needs and you understand their rate structure.

Most merchant processors will charge a percentage of your transaction amounts (sales), a per transaction fee or a combination of both plus batch fees, monthly minimums, refund and charge-back fees. If your event is outside of the continental U.S., Hawaii or Alaska, ensure that you ask the merchant processor if they allow transactions from that country/state and what currencies they will accept. Once a merchant account is set up, rsvpBOOK.com will connect your merchant account to your rsvpBOOK member account. The payment gateway is a link between the registration page and the merchant account. Setting up the payment gateway has to be done by rsvpBOOK’s IT security manager. Once the gateway is established, all monies generated from sales on your registration page are deposited into your bank account directly.

The possible ways of using rsvpBOOK are endless. The system can be used for everything from a company picnic, awards dinner, employee appreciation trip to Cancun, annual conference, and registering for training/classes. Over the years we have seen creative uses of the system that include booking clowns for birthday parties, guided tours to Jerusalem, weekly webinars, movie premiers, fantasy football drafts, and block parties. You can use rsvpBOOK to conduct online registrations for virtually any type of event.

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