DARREN EDWARDS – INVISAGE EVENT TECHNOLOGY BLOG

Conference, Exhibition and Business Event Technology: Social Media, Event Apps®, Email Marketing, Cloud Solutions, Hybrid and Virtual Events.

DARREN EDWARDS – INVISAGE EVENT TECHNOLOGY BLOG - Conference, Exhibition and Business Event Technology: Social Media, Event Apps®, Email Marketing, Cloud Solutions, Hybrid and Virtual Events.

Collaboration 2.0: Death of the Web Conference (As We Know It)

This new study from Ovum and join.me by LogMeIn is based on a survey of over 3,900 full time professionals worldwide about their collaboration and meeting-related behaviours and activities. Download the report to learn more about:

• How 91% of employees are spending more time in meetings than ever before, yet the majority reports that less than half are of value

• The growth of ad hoc and virtual meetings, which are fuelled by an increasingly collaborative and connected workforce, is not sufficiently supported by traditional web conferencing tools and solutions

• Late start times, a key reason meetings fail to deliver value, are costing executives 5 days and 19 hours per year in lost time and productivity

• Frustration with traditional web conferencing tools has led 66% of corporate buyers to look for new collaboration solutions to accommodate modern workforce behaviour

Read more here >>

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Event Tech WayFinders

Due to the need to enhance the live attendee experience, the value of mobile devices for events has increased immensely. The justification for having a native Event App has now moved beyond reasons that solely benefit the event organizer (being green, going paperless, creating revenue streams or being able to communicate changes to participants in real time) to those that also benefit the event attendees, turning them into participants. Now, it’s entirely possible to build a participants experience around the benefits afforded by mobile devices—an advantage that no other event-industry technology has or can offer.

The question I often hear from clients is – “Do you have solutions to engage users without SmartPhones?” Or “We want to be totally Green, and to save on printing our maps and event guides – what can we do?”

I recently caught up with a leading Event Tech organisation, Core Apps, and this is what I discovered…

The answer is simple thanks to new technology by Core-Apps – Event WayFinder Kiosks!!! FollowMe WayFinders are a powerful engagement tool and are available in two versions; a large touch screen and/or as iPad kiosks that can be branded for your event.

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Large Touchscreen Version:

The large touchscreen version can consist of a single touchscreen or a dual screen, with the top unit displaying separate content – allowing for even more features and sponsorship placements.

The touchscreen is totally interactive, allowing event attendees to:
・ Search for sessions, exhibitors, and upcoming events
・ Build hit-lists and use them to plan their route around the event
・ Route using the interactive floor plan
・ Engage in session evaluations
・ Check-in to sessions

All search results can be printed right at the kiosk, allowing users to navigate the event with ease.
In the dual screen version, you can also include rich media applications – such as live or pre-recorded video, social networking feeds, and PPT.

Separate metrics for each unit are tracked and reported in Core-Apps real-time online stats portal.

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iPad Kiosk Version:

The iPad kiosk version is an inexpensive way to engage users when you have limited space, or a smaller budget. The iPad is mounted on a stand which minimised floor space use whilst maximizing functionality similarly to Core-Apps large screen WayFinders.

In addition to all Core-Apps Event App’s functions and features, the iPad kiosk can be customized in order to allow users to:

・ Evaluate sessions
・ Check in for CEU or CPD credits
・ E-mail handouts
・ E-mail exhibitor and session information for later use

Besides being able to incorporate all of Core-Apps Event App’s functions and features, the developer can customize devices into kiosk mode, which can then be utilized for session evaluation, check-in for CEU/CPD credits, emailing handouts, and emailing exhibitor and session information. The iPad Kiosk also contains multiple opportunities for revenue generating via sponsorship.

Separate metrics for each unit are tracked and reported in Core-Apps real-time online stats portal.

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If you’re looking for a way to capture floor traffic around your WayFinders, Core Apps have the solution; Scanalytics Mats which are designed to capture floor traffic and provide analytics for the ultimate Return on Investment.

Adding WayFinders to any event will enhance your participants experience, promote your Green initiative, and provide a reportable ROI!!

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About the author: Darren Edwards
Darren Edwards is the founder of Invisage Creative Services in Australia. With more than 21 years’ experience and knowledge in the meetings and events industry, Darren continues to drive creativity in events and the way they are run.
Contact: info@invisage.net

About Invisage Creative Services | www.invisage.net
Invisage Creative Services has been providing creative and technology products to the meetings and business events industry since 1993. Their vision is to connect people and to perfect the event experience by delivering creative, engaging, and collaborative technology solutions for meetings, conventions and tradeshows around the world. Core products include mobile event apps, collaborative technologies, virtual and hybrid events, email marketing, cloud based solutions, website development and graphic design.

Tweetwall Escalates Participation

Nearly all of our clients use # tags at their events in order to engage the audience and promote active participation. For too long event goers have been setting in plenary halls listening to speakers and watching boring PowerPoint slides. Thanks to mobile technology and Event Apps we are not turning attendees into participants.

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Once product that enhances this experience is Tweetwall. Here are just some of the benefits

Raise the Popularity of your Event
People love telling people where they are! By using your hashtag and by taking and sharing pictures, people create a buzz and raise the profile of your tradeshow or conference. New products and experiences are shared virally multiplying your reach exponentially.

Transform Q&A Presentations
Forget about selecting a few people from the audience to ask questions. Inspire all attendees to Tweet questions using the TweetWall. Using the moderation tools, presenters can select engaging questions to answer during the event, and with post event reports, you can follow up with attendees directly.

Engage External Participants
Do you live stream your events over your website or other channels to extend your audience? Well you are not alone! But, how do you invite them in to the conversation? With a web embedded TweetWall, online viewers, are encouraged to join in!

Expand Sponsorship Opportunities
A TweetWall is a great way to incorporate sponsors. Sponsor logos, messages, videos, colors or Tweets can be highlighted generating additional sponsorship activity and funding opportunities.

A very happy Event App user

We think our Event Apps are amazing but it is so much more rewarding to hear that our customers do too…

I just wanted to offer feedback that your app is amazing in transforming my conference experience from scheduling, access to abstract, note taking & emailing, rating sessions. I absolutely loved it. Thanks for producing a fabulous app, it was unbelievable as a first time user. I know many of my friends also really enjoyed the app.

I have attended many large conferences over the last 15 years with concurrent sessions and your app made it seamless from the (soon to be obsolete) paper version. As it was so easy to view all sessions, quick to bookmark with a screen tap & it appeared in my schedule. With out any doubt it enhanced my conference experience. I even knocked back the pocket guide telling the staff “I don’t need it I have the app!”

I have also expressed this to several of the conference organising committee, so I do hope they use you again in the future and spread the word amongst the healthcare industry.

I would say good luck but you have such a great product you won’t need it!

Monique Craven

Email Marketing for Business Events – Part 2

Following on from the Article published in the December edition of MiceTalk.

Email marketing is in my opinion, hands-down, one of the best ways to leverage electronic media in order to grow your event. However, you’ve got to know what to do and how to do it. While GOOD email marketing is alive and kicking, bad email marketing leaves companies rotting by the wayside with loads of unhappy readers and customers.

I would like to share a few tips that I hope will assist you when planning an effective email marketing campaign.

Consider Your Email Subscriber’s Needs
The more you know about subscribers the more relevant you can make your content. Most people have a list of subscribers that contains a first name, a last name, and an email address. It’s easy enough to add a personalization tag that gives you a subscriber’s first name if you are using email marketing software. Most people know that you should do this. A relevant email is based on a subscriber’s needs. This need could be something that is based on value such as a discount or it can be advice. If they’ve shown interest in a product of yours in the past then you can influence their purchasing behaviour by showing them the product that they looked at in the past. Jupiter Research found that showing subscribers a product they considered in leads led to immediate purchases in about 60 percent of respondents and deferred purchases in about 58 percent.

What you do with the information you collect about subscribers is more important when creating relevant content then it is when using it. This same study found that adding personalization tags in the subject lines, for instance the state a subscriber is from, led to only 9 percent of immediate purchases and 8 percent of deferred purchases. Personalization tags are useful when creating relevant content but simply adding them does not necessarily make content more relevant to the subscriber.

Making Email Content Relevant
A subscriber opens an email expecting something of value to them. This could be in the form of a discount, product information, updates, or some other need. How well you deliver on your subscriber’s expectations plays a large role in whether keep them as a subscriber and also how loyal they remain to your brand. When you fail to deliver your subscribers unsubscribe and consequentially your brand suffers. Still worse, it makes you look disingenuous and they may not only unsubscribe but also report you as spam which could get you in trouble with your ISP.

Email marketing is effective when subscribers receive targeted mailings from companies they care about. They subscribe because they are hoping to receive content that reflects things that they are interested in. As long as you keep sending content that they find interesting you’ll keep them as subscribers. Knowing who your subscribers are and when to send them mailings is necessary in order to send them content that is relevant. Relative content also increases brand loyalty. Email Marketing is all about building relationships with customers. The way you do that is by giving them what they are looking for.

The Forgotten Art of Email Testing
Because Subject Lines are such an important indicator of whether or not a mailing is likely to be open split testing a campaign to see which type of subject line gets a better response is strongly encouraged. Find two or more of your strongest subject lines and see which one of them gets the best results. If you are using email marketing software there is even a winner feature that will determine which of your subjects are generating the best response and send the email out to the rest of the subscribers using the most effective subject line. You may also want to see how the subject line appears in various email clients or even on an iPhone or a Blackberry to make sure it displays properly.

Measure the results

Check out your opens, clicks and unsubscribes
Measure and compare results over subsequent campaigns. Test different subject lines and calls to action between campaigns. Work with your client to learn what works and doesn’t work for their particular subscribers.

Tweak the template and newsletter copy based on the results
Collate your findings and make real changes to your email design or newsletter content. If one particular topic is by far the most popular in the link activity report, considering leading your newsletter with that topic for each email.

Email Marketing for Business Events – Part 1

I was speaking with a client recently in relation to effective marketing tools that can be utilised in order to promote business events. I suggested that they utilize email marketing as a tool for sponsorship procurement, delegate boosting and participant communication. I was not really that surprised to see their eyes roll backwards as they delivered the comment ‘I’m not going to spam people for my event’.

Email marketing is in my opinion, hands-down, one of the best ways to leverage electronic media in order to grow your event. However, you’ve got to know what to do and how to do it. While GOOD email marketing is alive and kicking, bad email marketing leaves companies rotting by the wayside with loads of unhappy readers and customers.

I would like to share a few tips that I hope will assist you when planning an effective email marketing campaign.

How to Write Email Subject Lines
The subject line of your email is the hook that draws your subscriber to open your email. The subject line as well as the from line are the single most important factors when it comes to whether or not a subscriber reports you as spam. 7 in 10 email recipients judge the From and Subject lines when determining whether they want to mark you as spam. For something so important, many people do not pay enough attention to the subject line. Certainly not enough attention to split test it to see which subject lines will give them the best response. Often times the subject line is written thoughtlessly and without testing before the email is sent.

How Long Should Your Subject Line Be?
The general consensus is that short and sweet works best. Most email clients can display 50 characters or less. According to Return Path subject lines with 49 or fewer characters had open rates 12.5 percent higher than those with 50 or more characters. Click-through rates for subject lines with 49 or fewer characters were 75 percent higher than those with 50 or more characters. More and more people are checking their email using smart phones and the like so as few as 20 characters may be more effective in order for proper display.

Email Marketing – The Importance of the From Address
The from address is vital for email marketing to succeed as a form of communication. Most people will not open an email unless they recognize the from address. The need for sender authentication arose because email forgeries attempted to trick mail recipients by using a from address that came from a trusted source. Most people think of the From Address as just an email address for subscribers to respond back to. If that is the only consideration you make then you should read on further. The From Address can be something completely different than the Reply to address that you configure in your email marketing software.

Email Marketing – It’s All about the Content – and not too much of it.
The content of the email should guide the subject that you give it. For that reason you might want to wait to do your subject line last. The subject line may appear to be an ideal play to let your creative juices flow. After all, you want to grab your subscriber’s attention don’t you? When it comes to subject lines it’s better to be simple and honest rather than catchy and misleading. There’s nothing wrong with a subject line that looks like this: [Your Company] Monthly Newsletter. On the other hand think of the spam you’ve gotten recently. They’re dramatic and give the subscriber a false sense of expectation: YOU’LL NEVER FIND A DEAL LIKE THIS ONE. Your subject line creates an expectation for your subscriber about what content they should expect to receive when they open up your email. Subscribers are leery of anything that closely resembles spam and telling them they’ll never receive a deal like this one not only sets up a false sense of expectation but is likely illegal.

Your subject line matches the content of your mailing. The more direct your subject line is the more likely your subscriber is to open your mailing. You can be direct and still write an engaging subject line that gets your subscriber’s attention. You just have to let the substance inside your mailing be your guide. Ask yourself what’s in it for your subscriber? If you do not have anything interesting to offer your subscriber by opening your mailing then you shouldn’t be sending it to them. It’s better to hold off on mailing to them until you can offer them something that would interest them. That way you do not lose them as a subscriber.

What you do not want to do with your subject line is make it sound too much like a sales pitch. Every possible cliché for trying to grab someone’s attention has already been exploited by spammers. People prefer authenticity over spin. If you make your subject line sound too much like a sales pitch or come off as being too needy they will assume you are being misleading. We talked about some of the things you want to avoid with subject lines when we discussed effective email marketing writing. Avoid using $ signs, all caps, excessive punctuation, exclamation points, % off, reminder, free, and help. Stay away from anything that resembles anything in your spam box.

Even though you want to get your subscriber’s attention it’s better to be a little boring than too pushy. If the subject line even resembles something your subscriber has seen in spam then this will turn them off and they will never open your mailing. Worse they will report you as spam and this will jeopardize your ability to even deliver your mailings in the future. Be simple, direct, and modest in your approach. If the substance in your newsletter makes it worth opening then the subject line should write itself.

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