Planning events can be glamorous, social and endlessly rewarding. But, after years of successfully running engaging, creative events you get promoted. Sounds great, but now you've got to manage other event managers and event resources.
Not nearly as glamorous but it is a necessary evil to ensuring all goes as planned and value is derived by events.
But, it doesn't have to be difficult or daunting. These responsibilities can be broken down into 3 parts: managing people's time, managing tasks and managing resources and Post-It Notes just won't cover it all.
Managing Event Managers' Time
For each event, you'll need to decide who is in charge and see a calendar overview of all your current events and who is managing each, so that you can decide how to allocate new events as they come along. This allows you to make best use of your available manager resources, whilst giving you a high level overview of each person’s capacity. If appropriate, split your team into departments or business units and view events by section.
Managing Event Tasks
Setting up tasks for yourself and colleagues will ensure that important steps in managing your event are dealt with efficiently. Each task should contain a description, a task type, an estimate of how long it will take to complete, a deadline and the person to whom it has been assigned.
To help you and your team stay on track with tasks, you can set up reminder emails; if, for example, a task has not been completed by four days before the due date, a reminder email could be sent to the task owner that includes all the task details. Further reminders can be delivered at repeat intervals until the status of the task has been changed to "completed". This makes managing tasks and your team less stressful and time consuming.
Resources are required to successfully organise and deliver your events. Resources can include people (internal or external), services, such as catering, AV or IT equipment, and physical objects such as rooms, projectors, tables, etc.
Create your own list of Resources, giving each a name and additional information to explain its purpose, special instructions etc., or in the case of a person, their expertise or contact details.
Daunted by having to manage people and a successful event? Want to reduce your managerial administration time and to leave you more creative time? Free yourself!
Use an automated event management solution, such as Eventsforce, to help you manage your team and their tasks, to ensure each event is ready on time, within budget and is perfect.
Creating a clear, concise, well-defined registration process is imperative to the success of any event. It is an extension of the event and can make or break a registrant’s first impression.
So, we’ve compiled a list of our top tips to creating a more streamlined, attractive registration process to impress even the most fickle of event registrants. Some of them are listed below.
Make sure your registration pages look sharp - don’t use a boring, plain registration template. This is a great opportunity to reinforce branding and maintain consistency.
Consider if you need the event registration process closed to public. If so, perhaps requiring a password to proceed to registration is a good idea.
Clear, Flowing Process and Questions
Allow group bookings, so one person such as a PA or office manager can book for a larger group of people at one time. It makes it easier for them to keep track of information, travel plans and finances.
If you’ve invited lists of people, assign them attendee types and make questions such as menu options or sessions, dependent based on their type (ex: VIP, Sponsors, Press, etc.)
Make It More Convenient
Consider accepting different currencies during the payment process. For attendees in different countries, it can make their experience better when reconciling expenses and make them feel more welcome.
Add flight and accommodation booking options to the process. This can save registrants time and give you even more information about their experience.
Want to learn a bit more about creating a more flowing event registration that will not only help you collect meaningful data, but that can impress your registrants before they even confirm? Get in touch! We can not only help with your registration processes, we can help you maximise the value of the data you collect to make more informed event planning decisions in the future.
The holy grail of events is developing those loyal champions who not only attend your event (every year, without fail, regardless of the cost) but who also promote the event and encourage their network to attend too. They live for your event. They are the heart of some events. They are evangelists for your event. If you don't have those attendees, you want them.
Comic-Con, the hugely popular, international convention celebrating and uniting comic book and pop-culture fans will be held in London later this month. Since 1970, Comic-Con has evolved into a pop-culture phenomenon and epitomizes what we mean by event evangelism. And actually, the event and community of attendees are inspiring.
The event has transformed into days of panels, seminars, and workshops with comic book professionals, previews of upcoming feature films, portfolio review sessions with top comic book and video game companies, and even awards ceremonies and costume contests. There is even a Comic-Con International Independent Film Festival, which showcases shorts and feature length movies that do not have distribution or distribution deals.
And, people live for Comic-Con, developing buzz for the next one as soon as each convention finishes. They Tweet, email, chat in dozens of different communities, share videos, interview, review, prepare costumes - it could be exhausting for the non-evangelist or even nerdy.
But, these kinds of attendees are the key to your success. They are out there and are easy to find – you just have to look in the right places. Give them the content that feeds their passions. Give them access to thought-leaders who drive their perceptions. Give them the platform and encouragement to tell the world about your events. May the force be with you
What are you doing to make your event as inspiring as Comic-Con? What other events have you attended that have the same type of incredible community? Let us know below.
If you send event emails long enough, you will inevitably run into spam filter issues. When using Eventsforce, or any other online tool, for sending large numbers of invitations, reminders or marketing emails, automatic or ad-hoc emails, they can get caught in the recipients’ spam filter.
Obviously, this is not intentional or ideal.
We've found that on average, you can expect 10-15% of your emails to just get lost in cyberspace, mostly due to overzealous spam filters. You don't even have to be a spammer to be spam-filtered. Innocent event marketers who send permission-based emails to people who requested them get spam filtered all the time.
Below are some of our tips for avoiding spam filters when sending event emails:
1. Be Compliant with the CAN-SPAM Act
If you are sending “any electronic mail message, the primary purpose of which is the commercial advertisement or promotion of a commercial product or service,” then you must comply with the following 7 main requirements (or face hefty penalty fines):
Don’t use false or misleading header information
Don’t use deceptive subject lines
Identify the message as an ad
Tell recipients where you’re located
Tell recipients how to opt-out of receiving future email from you
Honor opt-out requests promptly
Monitor what others are doing on your behalf
If your email contains only transactional emails or relationship content, then you are exempt from these rules; however, you must still not include false or misleading routing information but we suggest providing contact information.
Make sure the contents of your email don’t look like spam - include descriptive text as well as any clickable links to web pages. This sounds obvious but worth remembering when formatting your emails.
2. Avoid Spam Trigger Words and Phishing Phrases
Unfortunately, there is no complete list of spam trigger words (It’d probably be too long to read-through anyway). And, it is not always the case that your email will end up in the spam filter simply by using one of these trigger words.
The key thing to remember is that a spam filter is trying to prevent unsolicited advertisements and promotions. So generally, words that are common in such emails should be avoided or used sparingly. That said, here is a list of words, phrases and “-isms” to avoid, if possible:
Coloring fonts bright red or green
ALL CAPS, especially in the subject line
Too much punctuation such as !, $, £ or 100%
Lots of punctionation (No !!!)
"Click here!" or "Once in a lifetime opportunity!"
Bargain or best price
3. Include a Text Version of Your Email if You Are Sending HTML Emails
This is a common, and easily preventable, cause for landing in the spam folder. Not only is this a good practice for avoiding a spam filter, but it also covers you in the case where the recipient cannot view HTML emails.
Eventsforce converts your HTML emails to text, automatically, without having to set anything up.
If you are only using HTML, keep your HTML content to less than 50% of the total message. Spam filters love simple HTML and are much more likely to let simple rather than complex messages into a recipient’s inbox.
Want to read more tips on reducing your spam-factor?
There's still a lot of buzz about hybrid events. You know, those events that merge live, face-to-face events with virtual, online elements. So, attendees are both online and in-person.
Still not sure what makes for a great hybrid event? Here's our recipe:
1/3 cup of live attendees A live audience will always be necessary for an engaging, inspiring event. Live attendees have invested ever-valuable time and money to get to your event, so they want to be there. Make sure you wow them, encourage networking at the event and provide a platform for their conversations to continue away from the venue. Give them exclusive opportunities to meet with partners, content that is relevant to the sessions they attend, and experiment new technologies with them.
1/3 cup of virual attendees This group is a mix of past attendees and new prospects, including those who wanted to attend in person, but they couldn't get approval or they had a scheduling conflict. They still see value in your event, but they're tuning in from afar (usually at a cheaper price) in hopes of capturing just a few "aha" revelations. Make them feel like they're there - give them content, action items they can implement immediately at their desk and let them interact with each other and your live audience live.
10 oz of appropriate content While every attendee is looking for something to take away from your event, be sure to give those at the event a few perks and free access to content. What works for your live audience doesn't always translate for the virtual folks and vice versa. That said, there needs to be some aspect of the live experience that appeals to both groups. Otherwise, why go to the trouble and expense of bringing these two groups together for a few shared experiences? It's the savvy event organizer who recognizes the similarities and differences between both audiences and who serves up the right mix to each.
A dash of great AV and visuals If you think expanding your conference to include virtual attendees requires just a Twitter #hashtag, a back channel monitor, and live streaming from a camera on a tripod, think again. This not only ensures the live event runs smoothly, it ensures a great online webcast too. Clear sound and visuals will enhance the virtual experience, making them feel ilke they are there. It can encourage them to participate live. And, if recorded, can extend the life of the event for anyone who attended of those who missed the event entirely. Clips can be shared on social media and start building buzz for future events.
A teaspoon of ideal partners Having the right partners on board mean your event will be engaging for all participants. Just as they would do in person, select partners who are tech-saavy and willing to approach attendees online and engage with them. It will make everyones experience better and more worthwhile.
And a heaping spoonful of great internet connectivity Unless you have a dedicated network solution, you have no way of ensuring that you will have enough bandwidth to stream your content and handle the tons of interactions you'll (hopefully) have. Make sure you consider this from the beginning.