Events: We love you, You’re Perfect…….Now Change!



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Negative evals can be an effective way to gain insight and fresh ideas to make your events even better.

Post-event everyone is high on love, loved the program, the speakers rocked, we all did so great. It’s a Kudos Fest. But let’s admit, it, not every single attendee is always completely happy. Sure, you strive for that, but it’s realistic to assume you will not please every single person all the time.  So you read the evaluations. Most are very favorable.

And then it’s pretty typical to look at those evaluations again when you are beginning to create new programming about 8 months out for an annual event, looking at what you did last year. You’ll look at the evals and your team’s notes and start filling in the educational slots and networking opportunities and dig in. When you looked at the evaluations, most were very positive. There are a few nay-sayers and a suggestion or two but in general attendees seem to have really liked you and your event.

But did they really? [Read more…]

Do the Math! A Quick Guide to Sponsorship Pricing for Events



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Do the Math! Try Chris’s 5 step guide to creating the right sponsorship pricing.

Finding the right prices for your event sponsorships can be as hard as finding a L.A. Dodger’s shirt in Carl’s closet.

But it doesn’t have to be.

A few years ago I set out to refine my event sponsorship pricing and I lived to tell the tale. Here’s what I came up with and it helps me evaluate the value and the pricing of the different sponsorship opportunities each time I do an event now. Plus if I get any questions, I am so ready with the answers.

Here’s my quick 5 step guide to pricing sponsorship of your events: [Read more…]

Carl’s Name Tag Rant — Why is it so difficult to get it right??



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Lame name tags hinder an awesome networking experience at events! Here’s Carl’s solution.

I talk about event networking strategies all the time. I always start with the basics – name tags. Generally, the subject gets very little respect and some eye-rolling. I can see you through the screen.

So if this is such a no-brainer, easy thing, why doesn’t anyone get it right?

I recently attended two events in different parts of the country. One had the typical lanyards that hung the name tag down by the belly button and 50% of the time it was flipped over so all I could see was the blank back. Am I the only one that notices these things? I decided to I ask other attendees what they thought — and they agreed with me. One attendee said, “I feel weird because it’s like I’m staring at everyone’s stomach or crotch.” Plus most of the time you can’t even read it. The whole thing is just awkward. [Read more…]

Sponsors as Speakers: Walking the Tight Rope Without a Net!



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You CAN have speakers as sponsors without sacrificing content quality at your events. Carl tells us how!

As event organizers, we’re approached constantly by sponsors to be speakers. For over 10 years I’ve ignored this inquiries and have stuck to my guns that we don’t accept any sponsors as speakers.  I don’t want to jeopardize the integrity of our program by handing over the speaker reins to sponsors.

Well — we finally altered our policy on sponsor/speakers in April……. and it ended up being a huge success. But, it wasn’t easy…it was a delicate balancing act! [Read more…]

Sponsors to Event Organizers: Where’s the Love?



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Do you really know how your vendors feel about you and your event?

I’ve heard vendors and sponsors repeat this line many times about event organizers: “Once they get our money, the organizer doesn’t care about us anymore.”    

Sponsors say they are often treated like second-class citizens — just a paid decoration at an event. This makes me so sad to hear because this is so unnecessary! It doesn’t cost anything to be nice and make event attendees, including your sponsors, feel welcome. It makes all the difference if you want to create long-term, mutually-beneficial relationships.

You know all the vendors talk to each other and compare notes. Doesn’t it make more sense to treat them well? Plus, they can become good-will ambassadors for your event!

Here’s some ideas about how to treat your exhibitors and sponsors with the respect they deserve:

  1. Keep a regular communications going with them during the lead up to the event. I send a once-a-month email with an update on who the keynotes are going to be, where the parties are taking place, our latest marketing efforts, and how we’re helping to promote THEM.
  1. For the sponsors that are good marketers — we offer them a free pass to give away through a contest for their prospects and customers. In return, they provide us a list of contestants that we send an email “thanking the sponsor” and pointing out to the contestants that even if they didn’t win the free conference pass, they can still get a big discount.
  1. On site, I personally meet with every sponsor to thank them for being incredible sponsors and to tell them how much I appreciate THEM.
  1. We have a VIP Party exclusively for the sponsors and speakers. We pick out a cool spot and they love being treated like VIPs. It really doesn’t cost much for this one-hour party the night before the event starts. Plus it’s a great way to set the tone and energy for your event!
  1. During the event, my staff and I are constantly in the sponsor area talking to them and making sure they are getting whatever they need. Often at other events, I see organizers actually avoiding the exhibitors/sponsors and just praying they are happy. If my sponsors are having a problem or a concern I want to know. Trust me, the “ostrich customer service” approach doesn’t work.

So that’s it. It’s really not that complicated or expensive to show some love and keep your vendors happy. Treat them like you would treat a friend you invited to your house for a party. This proactive approach to vendors will pay huge dividends and make you life-long business relationships.

P.S. Do not take sponsors for granted, ever!

 

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About the blogger: Carl Landau is Grand Poobah of Niche Media. He is a media/event guru, SF Giants fan and part-time blogger. His 15 minutes of fame took place in the mid-eighties when he launched his famous, “Buy an Ad, Get a Cat” ad campaign. He has long since patched things up with the SPCA.

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Niche Media has created super niched-out events specifically for magazine publishers for over 12 years. We’ve helped pave the way for the era of boutique events that connect specific audiences and provide great educational, friendly and super-fun environments! Plus, Carl Landau – Niche Media’s Grand Poobah – just a niche event all about creating and marketing targeted events – NicheEventFest.com  Check it out!

– Twitter: @NicheMediaHQ
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– LinkedIn: Niche Media Network
– YouTube: NicheMediaHQ
– Google+: +NicheMediaHQ

Image from freedigitalphotos.net

Robust B2B Event Marketing: Podcast Interview with Jim Roddy!



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Check out this month’s interview on B2B Event Marketing with Jameson’s Jim Roddy.

B2B events don’t have to be boring! Carl recently interviewed Jim Roddy, President of Jameson Publishing, on his podcast, Events: What Wakes You Up at 3AM? They explored the super-creative ways they are crafting their event marketing. Jameson started with magazines and has gone on to explode upon the IT event space with multiple, very successful events. (In just 3 years!)

The interview has tons of great tips on how to launch, market and improve B2B events of varying sizes. Jim shares his insights on speakers, creative marketing strategies, audience engagement, entertaining programming and revenue generation. Here’s 4 quick take-aways from Jim: [Read more…]

Great Advice to Get You Geared Up for 2016!



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Relevant, tried-and-true advice from niche event experts to boost your 2016.

Out with the old and in with the new? Well, maybe. Here’s the thing–some bits of advice, even if a couple years old, still makes perfect sense and continues to resonate. In case you missed these before, here are our top five most popular event posts of all-time:

Learn: Always important. Carl’s constant mantra is to urge ALL event organizers to get out of the office and Attend an Event about Events – What a Concept! [Read more…]

Let’s Freshen Up Our 2016 Events!



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Here’s to bright innovation at your events in 2016! Carl gives us 4 tips to success.

I would say the #1 problem event organizers have is…changing it up. What do I mean? Of course event organizers are hard-working group who put in the long hours and care (and probably worry too much) about our events.

But when it comes down to programing, we tend to do the EASY thing — the same format as last year. Organizers often pull out last year’s schedule and just change out the sessions, leavng all the formatting exactly the same. They usually use the same venues, the same timing, the same parties, the same speakers. With many events I attend, I can have a blindfold on and be able to know exactly what is going on at the event because I was there last year and this year is just a duplication.

That’s so lazy!

In our attendee evaluations the answer is right there in front of us, but we ignore it. Attendees want new and unique experiences!! [Read more…]

Niche Event Organizers Rocked New Orleans!



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The Niche EventFest second line parade was a blast!

We had a blast and learned tons in New Orleans a couple of weeks ago at Niche EventFest. If you couldn’t join us this year, we have downloaded all the speaker slides for you here: Niche EventFest Presentations Online  

For a synopsis of the conference, read TSNN President and Editor-in-Chief Rachel Wimberly’s blog post:  A case study in creating a fun and memorable experience

It was easy to pick up good ideas with so many creative event professionals all in one place!

Overheard:

picture-462Darrell Denny, EVP of Emerald Expositions on meaningful, renewable sponsorships: “Provide a post-show report for each sponsor that includes photos and/or video, testimonials (solicit during and after, if possible), an agreed-upon checklist of goals and commentary on progress against those goals,  ideas for improvement, survey results, headcount, beacon stats and press coverage.” [Read more…]

Niche Event Nation in NOLA!



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We’re excited to be headed to NOLA and the 2015 Niche EventFest!!

Today we’re in NOLA, at the 2015 Niche EventFest, Nov. 16-18. We put together an amazing line-up of speakers and there are tons of opportunities for peer-to-peer brainstorming, networking and roundtable discussions. We firmly believe that you can have fun and learn too!

Stay tuned for next Wednesday’s post about the conference, where we’ll share with you what niche event organizers from all over the country are buzzing about. We’ll also share with you what we learn about what works, what works well— and what doesn’t in the event world. Plus what innovations to look for in 2016.

See you next week! [Read more…]