3 Tips for Effective Event Marketing

 

Effective event marketing can be distilled into three keys as follows.

Consistent Branding.

From event apps to brochures, consistency is key. Think about Red Bull – they not only have fixed colors, fonts and format, they also have an “extreme” vibe to everything they produce. Although your events may vary in size, theme and location, your brand should always be clear and constant.

Clear Purpose.

Scott Schenker, Microsoft’s general manager of worldwide events, included “purpose” as one of the 4 P’s of effective event marketing. “You are being relevant to their place and their purpose, and you are being relevant to things that matter to them, and that furthers the sense this was a valuable thing for them to do,” said Schenker during a webinar hosted by BizBash. Whether you are throwing a launch party or hosting an internal meeting, each event should have a clear purpose that benefits the guests.

Social Engagement.

Unless you are planning Beyonce’s highly exclusive and super private wedding, you should be promoting the event on social media. Create a hashtag and start interacting with guests even before the event starts. Answer questions on Facebook and Twitter. Share sneak peeks on Instagram. If done correctly, your social media platforms can be the most valuable tool you have to market your events… and hey, it’s free!

 

3 Major Companies Using Gamification To Boost Engagement

Broadly defined, gamification is the use of game-like thinking in non-game environments.

Incentives and motivators are one way to gamify non-game environments. Think about your LinkedIn account and the profile progress bar that was once only 70 percent complete. Although this may not seem like a game, LinkedIn uses the game-like progress bar as an incentive to complete your profile.

Want to learn more about gamification with High Attendance?

Check out a few games that are building brands and engagement now.

Nike. 

Nike’s running app is the ultimate motivator. Not only can you challenge your friends, but you also receive badges and rewards such as encouraging words from professional athletes when you complete a run.

Verizon.

Launched in 2012, Verizon Insider increased logins to their site by 30 percent. The online entertainment and lifestyle portal allows users to gain points and earn rewards by participating in contests and engaging on social media.

LinkedIn. 

As mentioned, LinkedIn uses a progress bar to incentivize users to complete their profile. However, this isn’t the only form of gamification that the business-oriented social platform applies. Think about the page that displays how many views your profile has received compared to your friends – this is a classic leaderboard tactic that sparks competition.

3 Free Ways To Gamify Your Next Event

Without incentives, there is no tangible reason for attendees to participate in your game; however, offering cash prizes and gift certificates isn’t always an option. Here are three free ways to increase engagement at your next event.

1) Leaderboard. 

Leaderboards integrate well with in-app games like trivia.The more questions the attendee answers correctly, the higher up the leader board they climb.

Pro Tip: Create an interactive leaderboard that integrates with Twitter so guests can encourage, or better yet, trash talk each other on social media – free publicity and attendee engagement.

2) Progress Bar.

Progress bars work well because most people don’t like completing tasks only 90% of the way. Much like the LinkedIn profile completion bar, reward them by boosting their position as they progress in the game. Reaching 100% may be enough for many guests to continue playing throughout the entire event. 

3) Badges.

Badges are one of the most simple and classic ways to increase participation. The Olympics use medals and the Oscars use funny-looking trophies – although both also come with fortune and fame, the gold badge is a very key component of winning.

Pro Tip: Offer an in-app virtual badge with each round of completion to encourage guests to keep playing.  (Think: progress bar + badge reward)

 

Learn more on how to gamify your next event with High Attendance.  

The Best Sources for Austin Events

From massive festivals to citywide runs, there is always something to do in Austin. Unfortunately living in such a fun city can be the root cause of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out.) Visit the sites below for a fast-acting relief if you are showing any signs of FOMO such as:

  • Not knowing what to do with your weekends.
  • Wondering why you didn’t hear about the free Willie Nelson concert at the park.
  • Listening to your friends rave about a food truck that you’ve never heard of.
  • General envy of pictures posted on Facebook after SXSW.

Do512 – Do512 is essentially Reddit for events. While anyone can list an event on the site, the ones with the most “adds” or votes will raise to the top of the feed. From happy hours to concerts, Do512 delivers the ultimate list of things to do in Austin.

Austin360 – While Austin360 acts as a guide on a range of subjects; their “Things To Do” tab covers all the major events in Austin.

FreeFunInAustin – Free Fun In Austin is pretty self-explanatory. You can take full advantage of free events in Austin with their extensive events calendar.

CultureMap – The CultureMap event page is perfect for finding last minute fun. Events are organized by the hour so you can easily find something that fits into your schedule.

Austin Chronicle – Although they are known for their reporting, the Chronicle’s aggregated events calendar has become increasingly popular among Austinites.

365ThingsAustin – 365 Things To Do In Austin is the combination of all event sites. While they offer a comprehensive events calendar, they also have a free section, as well as a “Best Of” category.

Apple Watch Review: Is it worth it for event managers?

Like many jobs today, event management wouldn’t be as nearly as functional without technology. From emails, invites, and reminders to registration and payment transactions – our phones and computers have revolutionized events. However, like many other jobs, there’s room to make event management even more operative with new technology.

Enter the Apple Watch.

By now, you have likely heard about Apple’s first bonafide new product in years (since the iPad).

While there have been mixed reviews of the Watch on various news sites, there’s been no clear message as to who the new technology will benefit the most. Will it replace the Rolex on Wall Street? Will athletes use the Watch instead of a Fitbit? Or will it be an everyday watch for the average Joe? This seems least likely with the starting price at $349.

Let’s delve into the pros and cons of the Apple Watch for event managers.

 

Pros

Reminders:

You spend weeks, if not months, planning a major event. You have meetings, conference calls and send countless emails to make sure everything runs smoothly.

Unless you are Rain Man, you need reminders.

While your phone, computer and assistant can remind you of your next meeting, the Apple Watch may be the most subtle and simple reminder. Using Taptic technology, the Watch notifies you with specific kinds of vibrations. Instead of having your phone loudly vibrate on the table during dinner, the Watch sends a subtle reminder that only you can feel.

“As you learn the taps over time, you will begin to register some of them almost subconsciously: incoming phone calls and alarms feel throbbing and insistent, a text feels like a gentle massage from a friendly bumblebee, and a coming calendar appointment is like the persistent pluck of a harp. After a few days, I began to get snippets of information from the digital world without having to look at the screen — or, if I had to look, I glanced for a few seconds rather than minutes,” said Farhad Manjoo in his New York Times review.

Apple Pay:

Why pull your wallet out when you can swipe your phone over the terminal to purchase your coffee? Why pull your phone out when you can simply scan your Watch and be on your way?

Not only has Apple Pay simplified day-to-day errands for event managers but the contact-less payment technology is also being used at the actual events.

Instead of carrying around credit cards and cash, attendees can simply tap their Watch to purchase food, beverages or any merchandise that the event offers.

“Paying with the Watch is even faster than paying with an iPhone,” said Nilay Patel reviewing the watch in The Verge.

Cons

 Messaging:

The Watch isn’t going to be a tool you use to send text messages, let alone emails. In fact, it isn’t even possible to respond to an email on the Watch. While you can respond to texts, it would be much easier to just use your phone.

“You can reply to texts using canned replies, dictate a message with Siri or send emojis. The canned choices are supposed to be smart: the Watch reads your texts and tries to figure out appropriate replies automatically. Unfortunately, this only seems to work well if the people texting you write complete questions with the answers embedded…” said Patel in The Verge review.

And although Siri is a response option, everyone with an iPhone knows she isn’t always the most accurate when it comes to understanding you.

Lag Time:

You walk out of a meeting, check your email, hail an Uber and are on your way to the airport to manage the next event.

Like many of us, event managers are busy people and don’t have time to sit around while their phone displays the circling loading sign.

This may be the biggest problem with the Apple Watch. Not only are there major lag times with location apps like Uber, there are also delays when you simply want to check the time. Unlike other smart watches that have a screen lit up at all times, the Apple Watch saves battery life by using sensor technology. In other words, you can’t see the time until you move your wrist in a “checking my watch” motion. And that doesn’t even always work.

“Many times while using the watch, I had to swing my wrist in an exaggerated upward motion to bring the display to life. Think about the way people normally look at their watches, then make it twice as aggressive. As a normal watch-wearer, the idea that I might look down at my wrist and not see the time was annoying,” said Joshua Topolsky in his Bloomberg Business review.

Conclusion.

While the Apple Watch may be the only one of its kind, it isn’t yet considered game-changing and it definitely won’t replace your iPhone or computer.

As Topolsky puts it: “It’s not going to make you a better person, or change your life, or change how you look at the world. It’s a great accessory… and maybe that’s enough.”

How To Properly Follow Up With New Contacts After SXSW

If you are a professional attending SXSW this year, chances are high that one of your goals is networking. When you attend these types of events, it’s inevitable that you will make relationships worth maintaining. Here’s a straightforward etiquette guide for following up with new contacts after the festivities are over.

If the contact is a potential friend/peer…

-Swap phone numbers and business cards.

-If you both live in the same city, suggest to meet up for coffee or lunch sometime after the events are over.

-After SXSW, follow up! Shoot over an email or a text, with a suggested time and place to hang out.

If the contact is a potential employer…

-Ask for a business card! You will want to know the person’s official title, and have a way to contact them in the future.

-After the event, send an email saying “It was great to meet you”. Explain why you’re interested in the company and mention a few points of conversation that piqued your interest. If you don’t know each other too well, you should offer a gentle reminder of how you met (i.e. “I’m so pleased that I bumped into you at ABC coffee stand at the SXSW Expo. I loved hearing more about your digital marketing strategy, and it really got me interested in your company…”) If you know the company has a position available, it’s okay to state your interest in it. If you do this, make sure you attach your resume to the email.

If the contact is a potential employee…

-Give him / her your business card. Ask for a resume.

-Hopefully, a potential employee will be attentive enough to follow up with you as well! However, we all know sometimes the good ones can be in high demand – and we advise following up with hot candidates to show them that you’re truly interested.

-Send an email. If you haven’t already gotten a resume / CV, ask for it now. State what position you think they’d be a potential good fit for and encourage them to apply for it.  If you have a job posting, this is the time to send it as well.

If the contact is a potential customer…

-Our friends at Sandler have some good advice here, teaching that it’s best to walk the line between ignoring a new sales prospect and becoming a nuisance. When you meet a contact, it’s good practice to ask what their buying timeline looks like. If they won’t be ready to make a decisions for 90 days, set a reminder to follow up with them – then, instead of pestering them with messages before they’re ready to buy.

-Engage potential customers using your social networks. Connect with them on LinkedIn as soon as possible and, depending on how your relationship began, friend them on Facebook as well.  Don’t leave out Twitter!

If the contact is a potential vendor…

-If they’re a potential vendor, chances are high that they’ll snag your contact information the first chance they get. If you’re interested in a product or service, be sure to request the business card of the representative you’re speaking to while you’re still talking in person. You will probably get better customer service down the line if the salesman can put a face to your name.

-If you want to follow up after the event to get more information, remind them where you met and then directly ask for more information about their product. If they’re a good contact, they’ll happily oblige.

And a few overall tips for following up after SXSW:

-Connect, connect, connect. LinkedIn is always a good way to keep in touch with people you meet at events, and it’s always socially acceptable to connect with new business contacts, or even friends. You should also search for them on Twitter or, better yet, ask if they have a Twitter handle (i.e., “I’d love to stay up to date on your start up’s progress… do you or your company have a Twitter account I could follow?”).

-Practice patience. If you have 25 new business cards stuffed into your briefcase, then your new connections probably do as well. Remember that most people need a few days to decompress after the huge events are over, so don’t panic if you don’t hear back right away.

-If you don’t hear back within a week or so after your first follow up, it is permissible to email the contact again. Be polite (i.e. “Hey there Bob. I haven’t heard back from you about the new product we were discussing, so I wanted to follow up to make sure my email didn’t fall through the post-SXSW cracks. Would love to discuss with you soon! Are you free next Tuesday?”).

-Bring more business cards than you think you’ll need. And when you receive a business card, take a picture of it with your phone in case you lose it later.

Ready for more SXSW advice? Check out another article here!

These Social Media Accounts Will Help You Master SXSW

South by Southwest is a different experience for everyone who attends. Follow these social media accounts, and you’ll be able to smoothly navigate the unpredictable seas of SXSW.

Instagram:

@SXSW – SXSW Official

@SWSWi – SXSW Interactive

@SXSWeco – SXSW Eco

 

Twitter:

@SXSW – SXSW Official

@SXSWPartyList – Your party navigation during SXSW

@FreeatSXSW – Guide to all things free at SXSW

@RSVPster – Helps you RSVP to SXSW events

@unofficialsxsw – Your guide to all unofficial SXSW events

@Rsvpforyourlife – Unofficial RSVP guide to SXSW

@SouthByFreeNOMS – Taking a bite out of Austin one party at a time! Your Unofficial guide to all the free food and drinks at SXSW

@CameronAtSX – News about unofficial parties, showcases, and SXSW rumors

@SXSWLineBuddies – Sharing RSVP’s and +1s to SXSW

@SXSWhoa – Reporting latest news, rumors, shortest lines,

@ChronSXSW –  Austin Chronicle’s take on SXSW Interactive, Film, Music

@Do512_free – Comprehensive list of FREE things for you to do in Austin

@360sxsw – Austin 360’s SXSW music headquarters

@360sxswi – Austin 360’s SXSW interactive updates

@360sxswmovies – Austin 360’s SXSW film updates

@sxswbaby – Unofficial Weblog and Discussion Forum for SXSW

@sxswmusic2016 – SXSW music lineup announcements

 

Facebook Pages:

SXSW – Official Festival Facebook Page

Unofficial SXSW Guide

 

Want us to feature your SXSW event or help you answer a question? Tell us in our Listening Forum!

Need A Mid-Week Pick Me Up? Here Are 6 Ted Talks to Inspire You!

Whether you’re a busy event manager or just a busy person, these TED talks are hand-selected to help you find peace and motivation during your hectic workweek. Pick one and watch it on your lunch break for expert advice that will help you find your zen – and maybe even some inspiration for your next event!


How to Make Stress Your Friend – by Kelly McGonigal

Can changing how you think about stress make you healthier and happier? Kelly McGonigal, a renowned health psychologist, shows you how to beat stress… by befriending it.


The Art of Stillness – by Pico Iver

In the busy, hectic world of event management, planes and planners are the norm. Travel writer Pico Iyer has rushed all around the world but has found that going nowhere is just as exciting as going to Tibet or Cuba. In his TED talk, he gives busy people a few tips on how to find stillness even in the most hectic of days.  

 


Be an Opportunity Maker – by Kare Anderson

Forbes writer Kare Anderson shares her story of overcoming chronic shyness and teaches us how to “become opportunity makers who use [our] best talents, more often, for the greater good.” She encourages building relationships with people unlike ourselves to create serendipitous results that benefit everyone.

 


 The Habits of Happiness – by Matthieu Ricard

Sometimes called “the happiest man in the world”, Matthieu Ricard is a molecular biochemist and Buddhist monk. Here he shares his best advice for how to train the mind to function at its best and happiest.


Play is More Than Just Fun – by Stuart Brown

Need inspiration to bring some fun into your life or your next event? This is the talk for you. If, after watching, you feel inspired to incorporate games in your next event, check out our advice for how to successfully integrate gamification into your event’s mobile app.


I Got 99 Problems… Palsy is Just One – by Maysoon Zayid

The most hilarious of our TED choices for the week, Maysoon Zayid’s talk is equally inspirational as well. If you need a weekly pick-me-up that reminds you to pursue your dreams against all odds, this talk has your name on it.


Did you find any events inspiration from one of these talks? Share what you learned below!

How Gamification Can Increase Your Event’s Success

The difference between a ‘girl’s weekend’ and a ‘guy’s weekend’ is that women drink champagne, talk about everything, go to the spa and watch romcoms while men often do not actually see each other in person. Instead, they will spend the whole weekend playing a video game, say the one called Destiny. This just proves that gaming can be very social – even from the comfort of your couch.

Playing Games to Socialize

Games are fun and most people don’t pause to consider why that is the case. One of the first to ask what drives people to play was Richard Bartle- the inventor of one of the first-ever multi-player video games called “multi-user dungeon” or MUD.

Throughout the process of building and maintaining MUD, Bartle developed a theory about the types of people who play games. He postulated that the most common type of player is the “Socializer”.  The Socializer who plays games because s/he enjoys interacting with other players and working with others to achieve common goals. According to Bartle, about 80% of people who play games are Socializers. This statistic is important because, in a very similar way, many people who attend events are there to network and socialize.

How Games Help Events

If people enjoy playing games as a means to socialize, and a majority of attendees come to events with the goal of networking and interacting with new people, then it follows that games can help better our events.  Let’s explore a few of the many ways gamification can improve your events and your event technology specifically.

 

1.  Gamification encourages attendees to interact with each other.  

One of our customers encouraged their attendees to meet each other by using an interactive leaderboard in its mobile application. Attendees received points for using the event hashtag on their social networks, and the competition quickly became fierce as attendees fought to get to the top of the leaderboard. Competitors could tap on the names in the leaderboard to find contact information and Twitter handles for other attendees, and before we knew it, everyone was interacting with each other!
 
 
2.  Gamification helps engage attendees who are easily distracted.  

Event organizers must wage a constant battle against the smart phone. It is challenging to compete for attendees’ attention when they have an easy mental escape right at their fingertips. One way to help keep your attendees focused is to bring the game to them. If you provide attendees with an engaging application that is relevant to your content, everyone wins!

Think your audience is too professional to fall into the Candy Crush trap? Chances are, you’ll actually be competing for their attention, too. In fact, game designer Jane McGonigal states in her book Reality is Broken, that 61% of CEOs, CFOs and other senior executives say they take daily game breaks at work. Additionally, she discovered that 1 out of 4 gamers is over the age of 50.

Aaron Price, the co-founder of Livecube, puts it well, stating “if you think about the reality of sitting in the audience at an event, you pick up your phone and the event organizer has about 10 seconds to capture your attention before you’re distracted by Candy Crush… Using game mechanics in the event app itself gives people incentives to stay focused, so people are adding valuable content instead of just occasionally tweeting, occasionally mentioning something, [and] probably misspelling a hashtag.”

 

3.  Gamification builds your event’s social media hype.  

In the leaderboard example above, we mentioned that gamification encourages attendees to interact with one another. When attendees begin tweeting at each other, it not only gets people who are actually at the event to start talking about it, but it also makes your event more visible to the outside world.

One way to encourage social media sharing of your event is to include Twitter integration with your event application. Then attendees can log in with their Twitter handles and tweet directly from the application. If an attendee is tweeting from the event application instead of the Twitter application itself, you can control his/her newsfeed, filtering it to include only tweets relevant to your event’s hashtag. Prevent hashtag misspellings by including the hashtag automatically for your guests. You keep your attendees focused, all while encouraging them to promote your event!

Gamification can be a powerful part of your next event. Dr. Stuart Brown, a scientist and psychiatrist who works for the National Institute for Play states that “play is not the opposite of work”.  If you still need inspiration on why game play is important, check out his Ted Talk here.

Are you wondering how High Attendance gamification can help your next event?

Tell me more about Captix!

Resources:

http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/26-elements-of-a-gamification-marketing-strategy/

http://www.brainsins.com/en/blog/how-companies-use-gamification-to-amplify-social-media/3210

http://gamifyforthewin.com/2012/08/whats-the-big-deal-about-bartles-player-types/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genesis_LPMud

http://www.bizbash.com/how-to-use-gamification-to-motivate-social-sharing-at-events/new-york/story/27713/#.VKsODYsglAI

http://www.theloyaltygames.com/gametizeblogpost/

http://www.quickmobile.com/mobile-event-strategy/gamification/what-is-gamification-and-how-can-you-use-it-in-your-next-event-app

http://www.eventmobi.com/blog/2011/12/06/using-gamification-to-better-engage-event-attendees/

http://www.eventmanagerblog.com/event-gamification#eykKl7sEwxSEDuMd.99

https://www.flickr.com/photos/all7lwa/9494705197/

Captix: 2015 Statistics

2015 was a big year for Captix. We launched a new product, Overpass and we also hit many milestones with Captix. See below for an overview of some of our accomplishments.

Thank you for being a part of our journey!