Map Mashup

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.

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Registrations: Selling Out Early Is Easy

by Marvin McTaw

I recently came across a pretty common event marketing question: how do you get attendees to register early?

If You’re Thinking About It Now…

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…

Create An Excellent Experience

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.

Focus On Quality

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

Discounts = Destruction

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. 

Tell Us On Facebook, Twitter and in the comments below…

What is your experience with discounting registrations? Do they help you sell out your tickets early?

5 notes Tags: event experts all registration ticketing event management

Tags: all ticketing partnerships company

Searching For A Venue? Here’s MeetingsBooker.com

MeetingsBooker.comFinding 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.

60,000 Venues, Worldwide

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. 

No Booking Fees

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.

Easy RFP’s

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. 

Check It Out

If you’re looking for a location for your next meeting, be sure to check out MeetingsBooker.com

1 note Tags: event experts tools all venue selection conferences festivals

Tags: event experts all technology festivals conferences xoxo xoxo festival kickstarter

Track That! [Google Analytics]

Google Analytics Now Available In Sched.orgNow 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. 

Objective Measures of Engagement

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

  1. Go to Settings » Google Analytics 
  2. Input your Google Analytics Account Code e.g. UA-XXXXXX-XX
  3. Click the blue “Save” button 

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.

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Sched.org Simplifies Your Conference Management Experience

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:

  • Save time by providing direct access to the most common tasks: managing participants and sessions
  • Better understand your event with objective, high-value reports
  • Engage your active and important attendees

If you’d like to learn more or see the re-designed Admin Console in action, sign up free here.

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Facebook Ads? No. Fan Page? Yes!

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. 

Facebook Fan Page Logo

Facebok Ads vs Fan Pages

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.

Goal: Engaging Attendees

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.

Goal: Finding Registrants

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

Can Facebook Ads Work?

Facebook Ad OptionsWhile 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.

Tell us on Facebook, Twitter or in the comments below…

Does your event use Facebook Ads & have they been successful for you?

1 note Tags: social media event experts all facebook advertising marketing

Forget Sponsors, Use Kickstarter!

by Marvin McTaw

Kickstarter logoKickstarter 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!

Reduce Risks

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.   

The Drawbacks

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.

Tell us on Facebook, Twitter or in the comments below…

Would you use Kickstarter to fund your event?

2 notes Tags: event experts all sponsorship kickstarter conferences

Constant Contact Registration Integration

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.

Constant Contact Event MarketingToday 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.

Why is this important?

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:

  • Continuously synchronize newly-registered attendees. Whenever attendees register on Constant Contact, they’ll automatically gain access to your Sched.org tools 
  • Take care of letting your attendees know for you. Once someone registers, they’ll receive an invitation email letting them know all the cool new tools they have access to, and we do all the work.

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:

Have you used Constant Contact for your event? Tell us on Facebook and Twitter

Tags: all event management product features Partners

Must-Attend Twitter Chats

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:

  • #EventProfs: The gold standard of event professional Twitter chats. With an awesome, large community of participants and moderators who come up with diverse interesting topics, it’s a must-attend for anyone in the professional (or amateur!) event community. Hosted by Adrian Segar and Lara McCulloch (founder). Tuesdays, 9 - 10 PM and Thursdays 12 - 1 PM (EST).
  • #AssnChat: For all members of the Association community, from members to organizers. Hosted by Kiki L’ItalienTuesdays, 2 -3 PM (EST). 
  • #EventTable: Another great event industry chat hosted by Iani Ciatti. Mondays, 3 - 4 PM.
  • #ExpoChat: One of my personal favorite Twitter chats, hosted by Traci Browne and Stephanie Selesnick. While focused more toward folks in the trade show community, I find the topics chosen and the discussion that ensues to be some of the most insightful. Wednesdays, 3 - 4 PM (EST).

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!

2 notes Tags: all event experts event-experts Twitter Chat Twitter Social media assnchat

Music Festival Technology: Then & Now

Check out this incredible infographic on music festival technology since Woodstock

1 note Tags: event experts all technology music festival

Tags: event experts all assnchat association management

Top 5 Links of the Week - 4/13/2012

Top 5 quick links we loved to read this week:

The Top 100 Twitter Tools of 2012

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.

4 Ways to Rethink the Press Release

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. 

Should Social Media Replace Your Asking Consumer Research?

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. 

How Ford Engages Customers With Social Media

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. 

3 Ways Events Can Enhance Your Brand’s Online Presence

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. 

Did you read+love any of these articles this week? Have others you think I’d love? Let me know in the comments, Facebook, and good ol’ Twitter.

Tags: all picks

Privacy & Customization

We constantly hear that one of the main reasons conference and meeting planners like Sched.org is the direct control over something that, in the past, they were only able to indirectly influence: their website’s content. One element that we’ve worked to provide even more control around is privacy, and we’re proud to announce the launch of even more granular privacy settings for events. Attendees can already make their personal accounts private and organizers have the ability to make all their Sched.org tools private. For those organizers that choose to keep their Sched.org tools public, however, we’ve released a bevy of new privacy and customization options including the ability to hide: 
  • The Attendee Directory: while your event stays public, a public list of who all the attendees are can now be made private.
  • Interested attendees per session: while knowing how many attendees are interested in a particular keynote, panel, or session, sometimes you don’t want attendees to see how many others are interested in going. Now you can. 
  • The Most Popular Sessions: if you feel like showing attendees what the most popular session among all attendees is playing favorites, you can now hide the list of most popular sessions. The sessions themselves will still appear in the overall calendar with all the others. 
  • Social sign in capabilities: Don’t want attendees to login via Facebook? Don’t let ‘em. 
  • Social Connect Features: Clicking this will disable all social features of your event, including Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, and LinkedIn. 
  • Personal schedule creation: Want to use your own login page, or limit access before your event. 
  • Comments: You can now disable comments on sessions. 

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?

Tags: all product product features

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