Keep asking ‘what’s the problem?’ for smarter meetings

problemMarketing-oriented blogs, I’ve found, often are gold mines of inspiration and general business advice transcending multiple job functions.

This week I discovered Jeffery Slater’s blog, “momentslater. ” Marketing teams, he writes in his post “Skipping to Tactics,” tend to immerse themselves in working on tactical executions before they’ve fully agreed on what problem they’re trying to solve. (more…)

Mobile apps can outlive your meetings


In a recent post (“Mobile Devices: Friend or Foe at Your Events?”), I noted the meeting industry’s debate on how to deal with attendees distracted by their smartphones. The best way to address this situation, I opined, is to use mobile as a channel that’s reinforcing the speakers instead of competing with them.

In May, David McMillin of the Professional Convention Management Association posted an excellent story focusing on a recent survey about meeting planners’ usage of mobile apps at events.  Of the meeting planners responding to the survey, 42% had never included an app in their budgets. (more…)

What you should know about “next-gen SMM”


Readers of this blog know that Omnience regularly “beats the drum” for our manifesto: make events earn their keep.Top management should require every event in an organization’s event portfolio to have measurable goals.

For example, management might require achievable ROI goals before marketing events can be approved. Likewise, approval of a training event might require the event sponsor to define how it will improve quality levels.  If a proposed event doesn’t have measurable goals and it still happens, someone isn’t doing their job. (more…)

Technology to make your event planning smarter


A few years ago, an executive of a very large company arrived at a big-city hotel to speak at a sales event sponsored by his company. Perusing the “Today’s Events” sign in the hotel lobby, he was chagrined to discover that his company was hosting two events at the hotel that day—both addressing the same issues and targeting the same audience! In effect, the company was competing with itself.

I love this quote from Alan Lakein, well-known author and time management expert:  “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” (more…)

Mobile devices: friend or foe at your events?

Mobile devices: friend or foe at your events?

Picture this: At one of your key marketing events, the speaker is building an air-tight case for why attendees need to invest in certain innovations that your company just happens to offer. Dazzling slides roll by in the well-crafted presentation. You scan the audience, expecting to see rows and rows of people eagerly awaiting the next brilliant point. But many aren’t looking at the slides, the speaker, or their notepads. Instead, they’re staring intently at – you guessed it! – their smartphones.

As mobile devices become ubiquitous, I’m seeing more articles on the problem of event attendees distracted by technology. Many of the articles suggest ways to deal with problem. Most of the strategies fall into three camps: (more…)

Does the C-suite see the value of marketing technology?


Illustration courtesy Scott Dylan

Jason Stewart, VP of Demand Generation at ANNUITAS, wrote an intriguing article discussing whether the CIO or the CMO should own marketing technology.

Marketers, he noted, are collecting staggering amounts of information from a host of technologies-marketing automation, CRM, web analytics, and the list goes on and on. But a study by ITSMA found that “only 30% of companies responding believe they are receiving value from marketing technology investments.”

Part of the problem is changed behavior of B2B buyers. “While we know more about what our prospects are clicking on, downloading, and sharing, we are still at a loss as to understanding who they are,” Stewart wrote.  Prospects research and evaluate products “in stealth mode, biding their time before (maybe) inviting us to sell to them.”

The Evolution of Event Apps

IOD app

Once upon a time, a company’s website was simply a brochure. A slightly differently-sized, scrollable brochure split into different pages. If you were lucky, you could find a phone number and perhaps an email address to contact a human. As we inched toward Web 2.0, expectations for interactivity leapt forward. Visitors expected searchable content, filter-able databases of information, live chats.

Mobile apps for events have followed a similar evolution. Once simply a static brochure of the agenda (seriously, I once attended an event where the “app” just opened a PDF on my phone!), now your mobile tools must be interactive, flexible and dynamic. (more…)

A ready-to-be true story: How RFID helped your company improve event ROI


This is the second in our two-part look into how RFID technology can add value to face-to-face events. In the last blog post, we briefly traced the history of RFID and listed some popular applications. Now let’s look at RFID’s potential for meetings and its key role in bridging the online/offline measurement gap. So let’s dive in with our imaginations open.

The scenario: Your company is hosting a big marketing event to enlighten attendees on new trends in widgeting and solutions to problems that plague widget makers.  Joe Roberts arrives at the registration area prior to the morning kick-off session to get his name badge.

What happens when a crisis “attends” your event?


Photo credit: Kelly Shur

Last week, I went to Orlando to meet clients for a pre-event site visit. I knew that with airport and car rental hassles in two cities, flying would only save me an hour over driving, so I opted to drive. Then I decided to leave at 11:00 a.m. instead of early afternoon.

During my drive from Atlanta to Orlando on Tuesday, I learned how fortuitous those two decisions were.  A snow storm hit Atlanta more directly, earlier, and with more intensity than predicted. Schools and businesses closed early, and hundreds of thousands of cars, trucks and school busses simultaneously chocked roads in every direction.  Hundreds of flights were cancelled. (more…)

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