29 4 / 2013

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By Colleen Donnelly, etouches Social Media Community Manager

Event marketers love data. Analytics provide insight into customer behavior which ultimately improves business strategies. According to a recent report by the Exhibit and Event Marketers Association (E2MA) and the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council, most respondents to a recent survey of tradeshow exhibitors reveal that shows are important to their businesses. Some recognize the need for better measurement of event ROI. Additional tools are needed to fully maximize the value of events and integrate them into the overall marketing strategy.

According to the survey, 89% of respondents find business value in tradeshows and an additional 31% recognize tradeshows as essential to their overall business objectives. The issue is trade shows and events remain disconnected from overall business strategy. 45% of respondents find it difficult to explain and justify the business benefits of tradeshows and 19% were unsure how to handle and act on leads.

Additionally the report suggests events are perceived primarily as revenue-driving opportunities. 64% of respondents use them to source new prospects, 62% hope to gather and cultivate leads, and 61% seek face-to-face meetings with clients and potential customers. 

How can event marketers improve event measurement? Developing standards for measuring ROI from face-to-face meetings and events can bridge the gap between underutilized data and business objectives. “The exhibit and event marketing medium needs to develop generally accepted practices for measuring outcomes from face-to-face marketing efforts,” said the E2MA Executive Director Jim Wurm in a statement. “It is imperative for marketers to obtain and employ exhibit and event marketing analytics to inform the value of their spend and guide them on their future investments.”

The CMO Council reports new technologies, however, are changing the game and adding to the face-to-face engagement experience at events. Personal technologies and mobile, both high on the list, were once feared to rob live events of some value.

Now is the time to begin developing better tools to better measure and track the value of events and experiential marketing.

Tell us your thoughts on this report by engaging with us on Twitter!

The report is based on a survey of 260 brand marketers between Q4, 2012 and Q1. 2013 along with interviews with 21 senior brand marketers and 11 event and trade show industry experts. The full study is available for sale on the E2MA website.

23 4 / 2013

By Colleen Donnelly, etouches Social Media Community Manager

Back by popular demand! Taking place from April 22-26, EIBTM Online Education Week provides event professionals the opportunity to virtually view some of the best-attended sessions from EIBTM, read blogs about the latest trends in the industry and even participate in Twitter discussions on a variety of topics. 

EIBTM organized a Twitter chat earlier today on hybrid events, led by Paul Cook of Planet Planit Ltd. Paul is a member of the Global Speakers Federation and he offers talks about the practicalities of making hybrid events happen and he trains people on managing risk especially in relation to hybrid events.

During the one hour session, we were excited to engage with many of our industry peers and collaborate on best practices for hybrid events. Questions varied from what exactly is a hybrid event to what are best practices to engage attendees during hybrid events.

Juan Diaz offered one particularly interesting insight regarding attendees and hybrid events: “Hybrid as the industry defines is just an electronic layer on top of the event but for attendees it has a different meeting. Attendees will rule how the experience is driven.  As I see it, events have several layers and the onsite is just one.” Content for hybrid attendees must be ripe for virtual sharing. To ensure that engagement remains high during your event, you must keep in mind which types of content attendees are likely to share.

At the conclusion of the chat, Paul Cook offered three final tips:
1. Never leave the planning of a hybrid event until the last minute.
2. Only plan a hybrid event if it makes sense in your overall communication strategy
3. Plan your program with your different audiences (on site and on line) in mind

Check out a few highlights from the Twitter chat below! And don’t forget to check out all the offerings from EIBTM Online Education Week here

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22 4 / 2013

By Lauren DuBois, etouches Event Marketing Associate

Experience is everything. Here at etouches, we put high priority on improving the customer experience by enhancing our platform’s user interface and adding key features based on customer feedback.

Next up, following the updated eMobile UI, comes eSelect: Version 2 with a whole new look and feel!

So what is eSelect? eSelect is one of the 15 event modules in the etouches lifecycle. It features its own submission capture and review system to allow external reviewers and comities to easily evaluate submissions. Administrators can then convert chosen submissions into sessions and submitters into speakers. This is a great tool to have for your event portfolio! eSelect is part of the etouches Plus Program and can be added individually to any Quad or Pro package.

One new feature offered in version 2 is the option to have more than one round of submission and review within the stages section. Currently, eSelect is distributed to the public as version 1 with a few individual customers testing the alpha program. The beta program is projected to begin around the end of April to early may. The full release is scheduled for the end of May to early June, after taking in feedback from the alpha and beta programs.

To view this webinar in full and get a sneak peak of eSelect Version 2, register here: http://bit.ly/XBnah4

19 4 / 2013

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With so many choices on the market, which event management software should you use? Solutions range from comprehensive, robust platforms to quick and easy ticketing engines. Are the larger platforms nimble enough for smaller events? How far can the ticketing solutions be stretched? Here’s your guide to get clarity on our event management software and new ticketing solution, Pinkee. Ask yourself these questions to decide which platform best matches the type, size and lifecycle of your events.

Logistics:

Do logistics represent more than 25% of my budget?
Yes = Platform
No = Ticket

Does my event require coordination with more than 3 logistic vendors?
Yes = Platform
No = Ticket

Do I need RFPs to find a venue?
Yes = Platform
No = Ticket

Do I have an accurate estimation of my attendance?
Yes = Platform
No = Ticket

Event Structure

Does my event have multiple categories interacting with each other?
Yes = Platform
No = Ticket

Is my event on multiple days with multiple locations?
Yes = Platform
No = Ticket

Does my event require managing multiple areas (budget, social media, marketing)?
Yes = Platform
No = Ticket

Do I need to handle registration and budgeting in multiple languages?
Yes = Platform
No = Ticket

Event Cycle:
Do I need to market my event?
Yes = Platform
No = Ticket

Am I managing a niche event and do I know all the contacts?
Yes = Ticket
No = Platform

Am I dealing with a recurring and/or morphing event year after year?
Yes = Platform
No = Ticket

Do I expect my audience to network during the event?
Yes = Platform
No = Ticket

Business model:
Are my attendees financing the event?
Yes = Ticket
No = Platform

Are my sponsors financing the event?
Yes = Platform
No = Ticket

Am I financing the event and expecting ROI through attendee engagement?
Yes = Platform
No = Ticket 

Whether you need a robust event management software or a simple registration platform, etouches has the solution for you. Register for the recorded version of our webinar, “To Ticket or Not to Ticket” if you are interested in learning more!

http://www.etouches.com/ehome/etouches/engage

12 4 / 2013

By Colleen Donnelly, etouches Content Marketing Associate

etouches hosted our friend and industry expert Liz King of Liz King Events for a webinar discussing ideas to better connect attendees and create a viral content sharing nature around your events. Here’s a recap of the 9 ideas to make your events the most popular and action-packed events out there!

Before delving into the nine ideas, Liz explained the three step approach to the social strategy: TAG- target, audience, gadgets. 

Target: set your goals and objectives for your event marketing campaign.
Audience: know your target audience’s social behavior.
Gadgets: decide which social tools are right for your goals and audience.

1. Create picture perfect memories

2. Create videos – and have your attendees do the same!

3. Get social – Twitter

4. Get social – Facebook

5. Get social – Blogging

6. Socialize your names badges

7. Be purposeful about content sharing

8. Get your speakers to pre-script shareable content

9. Engage remote attendees through live streaming or pre-event Google hangouts

Get more details on each tip and learn about different tools to use to enhance your pre, during and post event marketing strategy! Register for the recorded version of the webinar through our engage page: http://www.etouches.com/ehome/etouches/engage/