5 simple ways to supercharge the way you market your next event

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Getting the word out and capturing the attention of your attendees is never as straightforward as it should be, and the importance of event promotion increases by the day. While competing for awareness, there are several useful hacks for marketing your event that can dramatically improve its success.

1. Promote earlier!

"You start behind the 8 ball, you'll never get in front." – Harvey Spectre

You know this one – It's obvious. But it's my life's mission to stress the absolute importance of getting a head start. How early is too early? Earlier than you've been doing so far, trust me. Good things take time, and giving attendees the courtesy of planning ahead really does work. Protip; make the most of a Social Media Content Calendar – they're incredibly useful for planning event-related content ahead of time so you never miss a beat again.

 

2. 360° engagement

Don't just connect with your attendees; go deeper! So many event planners and marketers forget the various figures to engage. Converse with your delegates, make friends with the exhibitors, and become besties with the venue. They all want your event to be amazing, so make the most of it. One of my favourite ways of breaking the ice is through Twitter. Be sure to follow, retweet, DM – all to show your support. Remember: the more you give today, the more you'll get back tomorrow.

 

3. Choose the right social media platforms

Speaking of Twitter – what social media platform might be best for marketing your event? The trick is to analyse your audience. I'm talking age, gender, location, even income; all these factors determine where the party is. Here's my go-to infographic that covers the basics of social media demographics, which is invaluable for choosing where your word carries most weight. A word of wisdom: don't stretch yourself too far. It's better to master one social media platform than be average at five.

 

4. Make your event visible

What's tricky with social media is that no matter how good your content is, it quickly disappears and gets bumped down the list to make way for new content. How can we combat this as event planners? Here are some quick-fire tips:

  • Pin your most important event content to the top of your Twitter and Facebook – it will stay at the top of your page and be seen first by visitors.
  • Use an event hashtag (#YourEvent17) to become even easier to find and engage with by everyone involved.
  • Recycle and retrofit your best content – you've heard of #TBT right? What a great opportunity to reinforce your event's promotion. Consider the Rule of Seven which is the idea that prospects need to see your message at least seven times before taking action.
  • Update your website banner and email signatures. Hey, every little bit helps, and these won't get bumped down social media feeds.

 

5. Relax, experiment and explore

Never forget one simple truth; people want to have fun at your event, and you know more than anyone what value you can provide to achieve this. Make sure your event has as much personality as you do, and I can guarantee that your event will be on the right track to success. Don't forget to do your homework – a great place to start is ShowGizmo's amazing webinar: Take the Risk Out of Your Event Social Media Strategy. It's here that you'll dive into social media for events and receive our top tips on eliminating risks from your events social strategy.

Got any more hacks and ideas? Let me know! And I wish you the best of luck at your next event – I'm sure it will be a blast!

ShowGizmo welcomes new CEO, David Chaulk

A specialist in leading hyper-growth in early stage companies, Canadian-born David Chaulk has worked throughout Australasia, North America, and the UK in industry sectors from SaaS Software to FMCG to Utility in leadership positions including CEO, COO, Group GM and Director of Sales and Marketing.

David’s career highlights include launching an international music publishing business, leading sales growth of more than 300% (in 4 years) for Australasia’s largest direct response television company while building an international profile for the business and turning around one of NZ’s largest office products companies from loss to profit, then successfully leading a merger with the company’s main competitor.

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“Since completing my last project, I’ve been looking for a New Zealand-based opportunity with world class potential. The events industry is one of the fastest growing verticals out there and ShowGizmo is an amazing product. I genuinely believe we can grow this business internationally and become one of the great New Zealand success stories.” said David.

The events industry is one of the fastest growing verticals out there and ShowGizmo is an amazing product. I genuinely believe we can grow this business internationally and become one of the great New Zealand success stories.

ShowGizmo was founded more than seven years ago and David replaces founding CEO Marie-Claire Andrews who remains on the company’s board. The ShowGizmo event app has been the market leader in Australasia since launching mid-2010.

“We were pioneers in the event app space back in the days when the few people who actually had a smartphone — often a Blackberry — had no idea what an app was. It’s very different in today’s highly competitive environment and it’s great to have someone of David’s calibre in play to take us to the next level,” says Chair and Co-founder Frances Manwaring.

David is no stranger to events, having been one of New Zealand’s leading trombonists for many years, performing with iconic musical ensembles including the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra.

ENDS

Chit chat with Caitlyn

Behind all of the technology and apps is a small but fiercely passionate team of professionals who are united by their love for the magic of events. In this brand new chit chat series we'll be sitting down with different members of the ShowGizmo team and getting to know them a little better.

This week we're taking it to our Wellington office and chatting with the newest member of our customer success team. She left the world of banking for events and has her coffee with a hit of cinamon (we're not judging)...Meet Caitlyn!

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Q: Hey Caitlyn! Thanks so much for sitting down and chatting with me today...to kick this all off, tell us about an event you've been to that you loved? What was the magic that made you enjoy it so much? 

A: It would have to be talk about stroy telling I went to recently at Te Papa (National Museum of New Zealand). It featured  three incredible speakers; one from Dream Works, one from Weta Workshop and one from Pik Pok. All the speakers had great visuals to help with their speeches and were from such interesting companies. It was a real eye-opener for me.

Q: You're based in the Wellington office, so do tell us, what is the best part about living and working in Wellington, NZ?

A: Has to be the coffee! There’s such a great coffee culture here. Unbelievably, we have more cafes per square kilometre than the New York City! I also love that it’s so compact you can walk everywhere! I walk to work every day and take in the views of the harbour.

Q: So how do you like to have your coffee? 

A: Cappuccino with Cinamon. Doesn’t get much better than that!

Q: What did you do before you joined the ShowGizmo team? 

A: I worked at at Westpac, as a customer banking consultant.

Q: So you're used to working with people then? What is it about working with people that you enjoy/what do you think it is about working with people that makes you rock at it?

A: I love talking to people — possibly a little too much sometimes! and getting to know them. One thing that I love about my job at ShowGizmo is being able to talk to our clients to understand what they are trying to achieve – this is always so different from event to event — and then helping them to succeed..

Q: What has been the most interesting/surprising thing you've learned about event planners since starting at ShowGizmo? 

A: The amount of detail that goes into events. Small things, like how to arrange tables or seats to make sure everything is perfect  It's often easy to forget when you’re thinking about the more obvious aspects of events, but someone somewhere has to be making all these details, which combine to make a great experience, happen.

Q: You're hosting a dinner party with 3 guests (dead or alive), who do you invite? 

A: This is a really hard one, but I've narrowed it down to Steve Jobs, Elon Musk and Ellen Degeneres. Think that would make a lively dinner paryt?.

Now for some quick-fire questions...

iOS or Android? iOS

Dogs or Cats? 100% Dogs!

Favourite holiday destination? I guess it can't say it's my favourite, because I haven't been there yet, but the dream is Iceland. 

 Favourite app (aside from ShowGizmo of course) Dualingo! According to them I'm 5% fluent in Spanish

Favourite ShowGizmo feature? Nested Schedules, they just make it look so good and help my clients with complicated schedules simplify and break them down - I think it really does  create a better user experience for their attendees.

 

Eventing the Future partners with ShowGizmo for 6th consecutive year.

Wellington based event app developer, ShowGizmo, has confirmed a partnership with annual conference, Eventing The Future (ETF) for the 6th consecutive year. The two day conference is New Zealand’s premier conference for the event industry and the official conference for the New Zealand Event Association (NZEA).

ETF first partnered with ShowGizmo in 2012 to digitise the event experience for their attendees. Since then they have continued to partner for the conference, ensuring the kiwi event professional community is exposed to the ever evolving landscape of event technology. “ETF have pioneered all of our innovations over the years, they do an excellent job at showcasing the latest and greatest in event tech to kiwi event professionals,” said Josh Dry of ShowGizmo.

It’s always been a pleasure working with the ETF team. They are fantastic champions for our industry here in New Zealand.

“We’ve had the privilege of seeing the ShowGizmo platform evolve over the years. It’s transformed from a simple digital show guide that was perfect for the time in 2012, to a sophisticated interactive platform that allows our attendees to come away with better connections,” said event co-organiser Jeannie Dyer. “As well as providing exceptional technology, the ShowGizmo team are great to work with as a partner and a supplier too. Their mission of creating awesome event experiences is apparent in everything they do and is something we can definitely get behind,” continued Jeannie.

The partnership with Eventing the Future is one of ShowGizmo’s longest standing. “It’s always been a pleasure working with the ETF team. They are fantastic champions for our industry here in New Zealand. The partnership is so successful because it’s based on a mutual commitment to exploring new ways of enhancing the event experience for attendees.,” said ShowGizmo chair and co-founder, Frances Manwaring

4 ways to increase engagement with your members

Membership retention: something that’s at the back of any association professional’s mind. Marketing General Inc reports that over 50% of associations have reported an increase in membership over the past 6 years. With fantastic stats like these it’s not surprising that the industry is seeing to new associations that will pop up and competing for members...making it harder and more critical than ever to find ways of retaining your members year on year.

A term that has become synonymous with retention is engagement. In fact, engagement has become something of a mantra. Simply put, increased member engagement typically results in increased member retention.

In any case, all of this talk about member engagement and it’s impact on the all important member retention, got us wondering...what really is member engagement and how do we nail this thing down!? So, here are our top 4 tips to help you increase engagement in your association:

 

1. CREATE A COMMUNITY

Your members shouldn’t just be an unrelated group of individuals;  membership in your association should signify a level of belonging to something bigger. Whether you have 100 or 100,000 members, there’s huge potential to leverage from them, and that’s community.

Benefits of belonging to a community include sharing of knowledge, supporting one another and creating business connections. These are all things your association can provide at individual level, but the real value lies in instilling a sense of community amongst your members and encourage this to flourish.

Offering networking and other social events for your members throughout the year is a great way to foster connections. Quiz nights, chapter lunches, sports tournaments, and wine tastings are all different, refreshing ways to bring your community together.

Harnessing digital technology is another great way to bring your members together. Private Linkedin and Facebook groups where conversations, support, and opinions are encouraged are a great place to start. Creating your very own Association app where members can connect in an innovative way that’s branded and crafted entirely to you and your association takes this to a whole new level.

 

2. FACILITATE 2-WAY COMMUNICATION

Associations communicate with their members in a variety of ways; from providing important information about changes in their industry to hosting an annual conference. These set pieces are important and should continue to be an integral part of how you communicate with your members. However, to create truly engaging experiences your member communication should be multi-directional.

Solicit opinions from your members using digital polls about their burning issues –  we recommend engagement tools like Glisser, survey monkey, and utilising Q&A or polling features within your association app. Not only does this give your members a voice, it also provides with valuable insights into your industry.  

 

3. GET CREATIVE

Think outside the square with the content you provide to your members. It’s always important to reinforce pre-existing concepts and knowledge, but don’t be afraid to try and present new things that they wouldn’t otherwise have had the opportunity to learn about. From reviewing and adopting new technologies, to providing with case studies on different perspectives, there are many ways to inspire your members and provide them with invaluable experiences.

 

4. COLLECT DATA AND REFINE

There’s arguably no better way of achieving better engagement with your members than collecting data. Insights into their thinking means you get a better understanding of their changing needs, interests, and requirements. Take these insights and refine your content to ensure you continue to stay current and meet their needs.

Data that you collect can be passive or active. Passively collected data is often collected  through technology usage that you can draw results from. Actively collected data includes surveys, polls and questionnaires.

To learn more about increasing member engagement check out our on-demand webinar: Leapfrog last year’s member engagement with event technology.