Check out this mashup using the from Benevolent Media Festival. The mashup allows attendees to see events happening during the festival on a map. It’s complete with search, filters and is powered by the Sched.org API. The mashup of Google Maps and festival data will make it easier for attendees to navigate activities happening in and around Washington, D.C.
To learn more about Benevolent Media Festival go here.
by Marvin McTaw
I recently came across a pretty common event marketing question: how do you get attendees to register early?
Its probably too late. Selling out your event early should probably be the last thing on your mind, regardless of your role within the event. You see, selling out your event begins with one simple thing that’s hard to do…
This might sound a little weird but the best way to get people to buy your tickets early, is focus on executing an excellent event. There are tons of studies and evidence which show attendees don’t pay attention to events until they need to. Simply put, your audience of potential attendees are busy and at this moment in time, your event isn’t important enough to them.
Make your event a can’t miss gathering and you will have no problem selling out your event early. For example, C3 Presents which puts on Lollapalooza and ACL, routinely sells out their ticket inventory…before even announcing the lineup for their music festivals! Attendees have come to know and respect the quality of their festival experience which means they don’t need to know all the details in order for them to take early action.
If you focus on the quality of the event you are putting on now it will become easier every year to sell your tickets/registrations earlier. This means you won’t have to rely on discounting which rarely works and adversely impacts the events financial situation.
Finding the right venue, at the right price at the right time can be tough. MeetingsBooker.com makes it easy. I recently came across the site and was impressed by its ability to make the sometimes complex venue selection and booking process incredibly simple.
The site boasts almost 60,000 locations around the world and has particular strength in Europe. I loved the fact that while searching for venues I could find out exactly what they had available and explore alternatives I might not have considered.
MeetingsBooker.com is also free to search and has no booking fees. This means more money can go towards your event and it’s budget.
One of the other things MeetingsBooker has nailed it on is its simplified RFP process. You simply add your requirements and available venues get back to you by your deadline. It’s a pretty simple process and one most events would highly benefit from.
If you’re looking for a location for your next meeting, be sure to check out MeetingsBooker.com
Now you can directly add your Google Analytics tracking code to your Sched.org tools! Google Analytics is the premier website analytics tool used to track your website visitor’s behaviors. It’s an easy to use tool designed to provide you with objective measurement of attendee engagement with your event.
Our goal is to eliminate your event management headaches. One headache is not having objective measures of attendee engagement and interest in your event. If you don’t know what people are really interested in, then any action you take will be flawed. Google Analytics tracking coupled with the other Sched.org reporting capabilities helps to slay this particular problem.
To add your Google Analytics tracking code
Image: Add your Google Analytics Account code to your Sched.org tools to measure attendee activity and engagement with your event
Sign up for a free Sched.org site to view this and the other reporting capabilities.
All our product updates and partnerships are designed to eliminate your event management headaches and impress your attendees. We’ve now simplified the event management experience even further with our Admin Console re-design.
The specific goals of this re-design are to help you:
If you’d like to learn more or see the re-designed Admin Console in action, sign up free here.
by Marvin McTaw
Last week was huge for the business of social media with Facebook’s $100 billion IPO. The general excitement about the IPO was thrown a curveball when GM, the huge auto manufacturer, announced its decision to pull its entire $10 million Facebook Ads budget. GM’s decision was a result of what they deemed to be the low effectiveness of Facebook Ads for their business.
Many conferences and festivals feel they must be active on Facebook. They typically promote themselves in much the same way as GM: creating content and engaging Fans. The good part about a Facebook Fan page is that there is no upfront cost…but that doesn’t mean it is free. Although GM is pulling it’s $10 million advertising budget, they still spend $30 million a year generating content and maintaining their accounts. I imagine with most organizations it is the same.
Facebook Fan pages are by far and away the better choice if you’re looking to engage with attendees. Fan pages allow you to connect directly with your community and engage in conversations with them. You can also install Facebook Apps to your Fan page to engage your attendees even more.
I’ve increasingly seen conferences and festivals advertising on Facebook. While these ads may help in building awareness for events, GM’s decision throws into question the effectiveness of Facebook Ads.
While Facebook Ads can work, whether it is the best use of your limited marketing budget is an entirely different question. Ben Kunz of Businessweek Magazine summarizes it best:
Facebook can be a wonderful platform for both paid advertising and social communication. It is also extraordinarily difficult to fulfill its promise.
by Marvin McTaw
Kickstarter is the world’s largest funding platform for creative projects. It is being used in new and exciting ways every day. One of the more interesting ways I’ve seen it being used in the event space is to fund entire conferences!
Andy Baio and Andy McMillan's are using Kickstarter to fund the XOXO festival in Portland, Oregon. One of the big benefits of using this funding platform is that it allows them to leverage the Kickstarter community to raise funds. The platform also helps to reduce their event management risks by providing a gauge for attendee demand.
Kickstarter could very well be the next big thing in finding resources to help put on your conference. It helps centralize funding and determine demand for your event. The one drawback: if you don’t meet your funding goal, you get nothing. This might cause some organizers to lose large deposits for venues and payments to speakers.
UPDATE: from Andy Baio, the festival founder
50 hours after launching, we’re sold out of conference tickets! Thank you! If you missed it, you can still grab the DIY Kit to experience some of XOXO at home. Or come out to the market, which will be open to the public on September 15-16.
Our primary goal is to eliminate your event planning headaches by making easy tools for you to use and providing great services to enhance your attendees’ experience.
Today we’re thrilled to announce a brand new partnership to help even more. Contstant Contact is a leader in helping organizers make their events less stressful and more affordable.
Now you can directly import attendees from your Constant Contact account into your Sched attendee directory and schedule. Connecting your Constant Contact account helps by:
If you haven’t already signed up for a Constant Contact account, go ahead and get started. For those of you who have, login to your event on Sched and import everything in just a few clicks:
We’ve talked about the importance of Twitter chats before—specifically what they are, and how to join them. In short, they’re a great way to stay connected to people in any industry, engage in great discussions on an array of topics, and hear what the smartest and most respected folks in a community have to say.
Here are just a few of our favorite weekly Twitter chats:
Do you join in any of the chats we mentioned? If not, what are some of your favorite Twitter chats? I’d love to join!
Check out this incredible infographic on music festival technology since Woodstock
Top 5 quick links we loved to read this week:
Lists of “top tools” are not always useful, as oftentimes it would take you too much time to go through and try every tool included in the list. That being said, this list of the top 100 tools for Twitter is great. Not only is the list comprehensive, the author does a great job of dividing up the tools into categories like “Tools for Brands & Marketers” and “Measure Your Influence,” making it super easy for you to dial-in and find a short list of new tools relevant to you.
With traditional press releases falling increasingly by the wayside—particularly for smaller companies—it’s more important than ever to utilize the tools at your disposal in interesting ways to tell your story and get attention. This post over at Mashable shows some great examples of companies who have re-thought the press release and used it to their advantage.
Everyone knows that conversations about your event or brand take place on social media all the time. While a lot of folks are great at monitoring these mentions to the benefit of customer service, a lot of event organizers haven’t yet integrated social monitoring into their more traditional research (surveys, etc.) to get great insights into the success (or failures) of their events. This conversation goes into the why, how, and who’s of social monitoring for events.
This short video (less than 10 minutes) is really just a refreshing insight into how a major brand uses some of the newest in social media to connect with existing and potential customers. From how Ford uses Google+ to trends just around the bend, this video is worth the 8 minutes.
While making an event that’s memorable and relevant to your attendees is paramount, this article explains why spending some time making your event highly shareable is equally important. Though some of the ideas included aren’t something you’ve never heard about before, this article breaks down in simple terms why it’s important and how to get started. And don’t forget to provide WiFi to your attendees once the event starts.
To learn more about customization options go to Settings » Privacy in the administrative portion of your Sched.org site. And let us know in the comments, or on Facebook & Twitter: what reasons have you had in the past to keep an event private?