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Event Marketing

Content Strategy for Event Bloggers

Hello eventprofs! Here we go with a post I’ve been waiting to share with you since couple of weeks and finally have the time to do it (these past weeks have been crazy and full of events, expect some exciting news, updates and a new destination very soon!).

If you follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter you know already that I was on a panel at an event organised by Pickevent three weeks ago at Google Campus on the topic “how to leverage event content”. I was on the panel together with Annie Byrne from Exhibitions News, Kim Benjamin from Event Magazine and Hellen Beveridge from Who’s Who in Events and Pure Rocket Science. It was a great honour to be invited as a blogger together with leading UK media outlets and share from my experience.

This time, a live question and engagement platform was there and facilitated audience questions and interaction. They even prepared an excellent Infographic post event (see attached below). The audience asked fantastic questions but unfortunately we didn’t have time to answer them all in detail. But the GOOD NEWS IS: we will discuss them on our monthly #EventBlogChat on the 3rd of November and everyone can participate!

For now, I take this opportunity to share with you some of my content strategies:

Short and long blog content

There is an ongoing debate among blogger whether we should write short or long articles and I can agree with all the arguments for both short and long blog posts.

While on my blog I rather prefer to write long articles, on my social media channels I like to share bits of information, sometimes from the blog article or something that I am not going to blog about but worth sharing with you. These small bits of information are called live blogging, or micro-blogging, which I also usually do ‘on the go’ from an event. While liveblogging is an ongoing event coverage, micro-blogging is sharing bits of information on the social channels. For short blog content I use Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and only after the event I summarise the content, sort out the photos and share with you the full blog article. Another reason I like micro -logging is that (unfortunately!) I don’t have time to blog every day and micro-blogging allows me to keep you posted on exciting events and industry news!

The power of visual

I believe that visual communication is very important for event bloggers and picture can communicate stronger than words, or compliment them. We can share the beauty of a venue or the set-up and capture a memorable moment or experience. Therefore most of the time you will see photos on this blog and that is the main reason why I love Instagram so much. Just recently I published an article on “best ways to promote events using Instagram“.

Community engagement 

The reason I keep writing and working hard on this blog is thanks to you! I enjoy meeting some of you at events, reading your comments, news, opinions and industry know-how. To keep the conversation going, three months ago I launched a monthly Twitter Chat which is called #EventPlannersTalk and every month we discuss different topic. We started with ‘how to promote events using social media’, then it was about sustainability and this month it was about ‘how to start an event planning business’. It is great to see that the conversation is still going and virtual networking happening! I am very excited and look forward to chatting with you next month about #Eventtech! You are welcome to suggest any questions on the topic in the comment section below or just tweet them to me on @themiceblog.

To conclude, this content strategy is maybe not suitable for everyone because it largely dependent on the type of events you organise and your audience. For me, being a B2B platform, I chose to focus on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram (And LinkedIn, but not as the main platform, more about it in a different post, as well as why Facebook is good for B2B). Other platform such as YouTube and Pinterest are also fantastic communication platforms to consider and I know bloggers who excel at leveraging their event content on these platforms.

I would love to hear your opinion on the topic! Do you have a content strategy for your blog and if yes how do you go about it?

© The MICE Blog

Jose from Pickevent and Maria Schuett, Marketing Manager at Central Hall Westminster present the topic

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© The MICE Blog

© The MICE Blog

Emma, Caitlin and Annie

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Event Infographic by

© The MICE Blog

Best Ways to Promote Events Using Instagram

Instagram is an excellent tool to promote events before, during and after they take place. Being a big Instagram fan I often use it at events and based on my experience, I would like to share with you why event planners should use it more actively and frequently. Here are some tips on how to better use it to interact with current and future event stakeholders.

Update your Instagram feed weekly

I follow Instagram accounts of events I annually go to and I noticed similar patterns among them. Firstly, the accounts stay dormant until one-two weeks prior to the event when they then become very busy and try to engage the audience with competitions and promotions. While it is very important to interact with attendees during the event, it is recommended to manage the Instagram account throughout the year and interact with past and future attendees, customers, sponsors and other stakeholders. Ideally content should be posted daily, but I realise that it can be very challenging so a weekly update throughout the year is enough.

Have a strategy

Before promoting your event on Instagram, decide what you want to achieve by promoting your event on this platform. Do you want to increase ticket sales and registrations, inform, educate or inspire? It is recommended that you decided upon a strategy within your organisation and assign a person or a team to manage this account. It is important to have a clear strategy so in case this person leaves the company or changes the department, the next person who takes over the account is informed what he has to do.

Call to action on Instagram

While the event takes place only over 2-3 days, throughout the year you can interact with your audience and increase awareness of your event. In comparison to other social networks, you can’t include links in the posts and have the possibility to do it only in your bio. Depending on your strategy, it is wise to add a link to your bio that fulfils it (e.g.- link to registration page). When posting your photo, you can mention that your audience can learn more via the link in your bio. Try to avoid including the link into the post as it has no value to the attendees.

Use #hashtags

Hashtags are important on Instagram and will help attendees to find your event and connect with other attendees. It is advised that you create and use your own event hashtag.  It is very individual how you would like to use them, but in my preference is to use up to max. three in the post and the rest in the comment section. Instagram allows you to use up to 30 hashtags, so why not to make the full use of them? You can include related hashtags to your event that will make it easier for others to find you, such as the city where the event takes place, the industry, the speakers etc.

How frequent to post?

It is show-time and now you want to use Instagram to communicate what is happening at your event. If you haven’t used it for the whole year, don’t start posting a photo with every quote from speakers or every booth on the exhibition floor. Try to spread your content throughout the day, posting in the morning, lunch/ afternoon and evening. Don’t overload the feed of your readers by publishing photos every few minutes, as it will get lower interaction. Good thing to do is to follow all the exhibitors, sponsors, speakers and others stakeholders on Instagram and mention them in your posts by giving them full credit.

Follow – up

After the event, first of all thank everyone who attended your event and communicate the follow up process. If you want everybody to know about the date of the next event, mention it in the post and don’t forget to update your bio with the new date and other important information.

Be ready to invest money

At the moment of writing, Instagram does not have the possibility to switch between accounts easily as with Twitter and Facebook and if you have a dedicated account to your event you will need to log-in/out between your personal and corporate accounts. When you assign an external person to manage your Instagram account, it is advised that you will provide them with a smartphone and don’t expect them to do it from their personal device.

To conclude, Instagram is not only about the filter and it requires that you invest thought, creativity, time and effort in it. Different attendees access information from different social platforms and because Instagram is one of the most fast growing ones, by using it you have the chance to reach out to new audience and increase engagement with your existent stakeholders. And, as the old adage says “a picture is worth a thousand words”, so make it memorable!

What are your best practices to promote events on Instagram?

© The MICE Blog

Eventprofs discuss effective on-line strategies and #EventTech to promote events

Today I’m happy share with you all the impressions from the event which was organised by Pickevent last Monday at Google Campus. For those of you who are not familiar with the venue, Google Campus is one of the most popular venues for the start-up community and is also a collaborative, co-working space. I’ve been there already several times before and was happy to be back in this venue. As a media partner of Pickevent I was supposed to tweet and instagram during the event but last minute was invited to be on the speakers’ panel. The topic of the evening was ‘Effective on-line strategies and #EventTech to promote your event’ and I was happy to jump in and share from my blogging experience.

© The MICE Blog

The panel included Graham Jones, a Digital Marketing Manager at Incisive Media, responsible for implementing online promotion strategy across all of Incisive Media’s brands, Lorna Charlish, Marketing Account Director at Digital Radish, Kate Shepherd, Marketing Manager of the global MICE expo EIBTM organised by Reed Exhibitions, and myself. The panel was moderated by Kevin Jackson, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at George P Johnson. Kevin started by introducing some of his questions and the audience took over and asked us what are the most efficient and effective ways to promote events online and engage with our audience. In the beginning there was a lot of talking about Twitter as we all agreed it’s one of the most powerful social media tools, until one of the attendees asked what the benefits of LinkedIn are. The panel suggested that LinkedIn is very effective in attracting the right target audience but it can get very expensive. On the other hand it was suggested that Facebook is cheaper for targeted campaigns. It turned out that while everyone is using Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, Google+ is still underused, while it has huge benefits if you want to engage with your customers, such as by using Google hangouts.

All agreed that it’s important to keep communication personal and ‘target marketing communication to each customer group, focusing on creating value and satisfying their needs’. Kevin suggested that while there is lots of excitement, innovation and expectations about event tech and social media, the organisers have to always refer to customers’ objectives and deliver meaningful engagement.

75 event professionals including agencies, conference organisers, tech companies, venues and freelancers attended the event. After the panel discussion attendees were invited to stay and network over drinks and pizza, kindly sponsored by DoubleDutch.

© The MICE Blog

Photos by: Pickevent

Popular Event #Hashtags on Twitter and Instagram

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What hashtags do you usually use when you want to connect with fellow event professionals on Twitter and Instagram to stay on top of event news, or to find the best venue or catering for your event?

In this post I decided to gather the top hashtags event professionals use to connect and gather information.

Maybe the most common and international is #eventprofs. We use it to promote events, when we tweet live from conferences, to share event jobs, events we organise, blog posts and basically everything related to events and event management.

#Eventtech is another popular hashtag, and as it indicates, it’s all about tech. Be it an event app, registration system, event management software or ticketing platform, you can find all the resources when using this hashtag. In addition, event start-ups are also using this hashtag to promote their products and events.

#Eventhour is a twitter chat for event planners, venues, suppliers, event students and everyone in the events industry. In general, the hashtag is mostly used every Wednesday between 9pm – 10pm GMT, when the twitter chat takes place but can be used during the week to interact with the event community. Everyone is welcome to ask questions and start a discussion on any event related topic. Unfortunately, some companies abuse this chat to promote their products. Personally, I rarely click on the links promoted during this hour and regard it as spam. Instead, companies shall use this hour to interact with the event community, engage and contribute to discussions.

#EventAlley is an interactive live talk show for the event industry that takes place every Wednesday at 6pm GMT. Every week they host a guest and discuss new or current topics. Participants are encouraged to ask questions on twitter and express their opinions on the topic. The show is less than an hour and all the episodes can be found on their YouTube channel.

#EventBlogChat is a twitter chat for event bloggers and planners every first Monday of each month at 9pm GMT. It’s a new chat, started three month ago and gives an opportunity to the international event bloggers community to network and share best practice. Every month there will be a topic and five questions around the topic. The chat is run by myself and Caitlin from ‘I’m a Damn Student, What do I Know?’ blog.

#Eventjobs is a popular hashtag for everyone looking for jobs in the industry and often used by event recruitment agencies or agencies to promote available positions. It’s a good hashtag to use to make research if you’re looking for a job or if you are looking for event planner.

Both Twitter and Instagram encourage using hashtags and you can even create your own hashtags if you decide to use them on regular basis (for example, I use #themiceblogrecommends on Instagram to promote venues I like and trust). Because there is a 140 characters limit on twitter, in general I will use one to two hashtags on this platform. On Instagram, on the other hand, there is a limit of 30 hashtags, so I tag the photos with all relevant hashtags.

Other hashtags used by industry professionals are: #EventStudents, #EventPlanner, #MeetingProfs,#EventPlanning, #Catering, #EventDesign, #MICE and #BrandActivation.

Do you have a hashtags to add? Please share in the comments below.

The importance of event management degrees

I the past moths I have been following the big debate on the topic of event degree vs. experience. What is the value of an event management degree in an industry that requires hands-on experience?

We all know that event management is not a rocket science and if you decide to set up your event company all you need is a phone and a computer – so basically everyone with any background can be in the events business.

I my opinion, none of the arguments is right or wrong. The question is whether you want to play in the premier league, think of FC Chelsea, or for the fun of it for your university or community teams.

To better demonstrate my argument I want to bring an example from a world I am well familiar with – gastronomy.

As event management, cooking is also not a rocket science. I am a good cook. I love to host dinner parties and invite friends and family over and they love my cooking. I haven’t been to a cooking school but I cooked already for as much as 70 people and sold it to raise money. That was a great experience and I got good feedback on my cooking. I started by trying recipes I found on the internet and cooking books. Now, think of someone who went to one of the best cooking schools in the world, Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. Looking on the website, the school offers theoretical and practical courses in all disciplines, more than 25 different courses with top professors with relevant backgrounds, expertise and connections. In addition, the school has a network of Alumni who are involved and willing to assist the graduates. So who is better- off?

Now think of the Chefs Anton Mosimann from Mosimann’s Club, one of the most prestigious dining clubs in London and probably in the world and Alain Ducasse from The Dorchester hotel, a five star property in central London. They serve prominent customers and the menu, not including drinks, starts from £ 90. Both started in an early age of 15-16 with an apprenticeship with formal education on the side, and worked their way up. To work in their service or kitchen team candidates have to have a similar background and track work record from top establishments. If we look at a more current example, I recently read an interesting article about a girl from India who introduced Macarons in India. Even though her family have been running baking business she still went to get a formal education from a prestigious institution, Le Cordon Bleu. Upon returning to India she opened a shop which expanded to three additional outlets and has celebrities on her client list.

The same is with events industry. You have to know the foundations, such as event budgeting, measurement of ROI, risk and crowd management, HR, law and sustainability practices in events and the list goes on.

Both the gastronomy and event industries require long working hours and the returns on investment are not visible until some years into the career. Yes you have to volunteer and work long hours and do the work you don’t always like (I am sure peeling potatoes for Alain Ducasse is not the dream job) but in the end the efforts will pay off.

Now I can ask the same question again:  What is the value of an event management degree in an industry that requires hands- on experience? Who do you think is more likely to charge a premium price and have two months of waiting list for their services, the student with an event management degree + experience or only experience?

It is up to you how you want to be positioned in the industry – the expert with event management education who can charge a premium price and deliver sophisticated events, those which also meet objectives and within budgets plus be the market leader organising events for celebrities? Or the amateur event planner who will take every job that comes in to break even in the end of the month?

Of course there are successful local restaurant serving the local community. But they are there to satisfy a basic need- food.  Fine dining will play on all your senses and provide you with a memorable experience. And in many cases, in the event industry, we are selling experiences.