January 2019

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How To Encourage Event Selfies For Free Marketing

How To Encourage Event Selfies For Free Marketing

Ahh, the selfie. Whether they annoy or delight you on a personal level, they make amazing sense for business. Companies can enjoy incredible exposure by promoting event guests to take selfies. The main reason is that the selfie doesn’t stop in the subject’s camera, but takes flight on social media.

We want to encourage you to see the selfie as a part of your marketing efforts. It’s particularly valuable because you don’t have to pay for it. It also employs crowdsourcing in some unexpected ways. Let’s check selfies out.

Event Selfies For Free Marketing: Why You Want Guests Taking Selfies

When someone attends an event, they usually take some care with getting ready and often want to show off their look. This is the simplest motivation behind event selfies and one you do little to foster directly. This pretty much means that by doing nothing at all, you’re likely to get a few shout-outs on social media from event attendees.

You can do a few things to encourage more selfies, however, and also to leverage the power of them.

Once an attendee takes a selfie, they’re going to share it. This gives you a potential to reach their entire audience as well as anyone following the hashtags they use.

Make sure one of those is yours.

Event Selfies For Free Marketing: Create A Hashtag For Your Event

Before we get into how to encourage selfies, we want to give you our most valuable advice about attendee generated event photos. You absolutely should create a hashtag for your event. You should also make this hashtag well known before and during the event.

You can do this a number of ways, from including it on tickets and receipts, in your social media campaigns leading up to the event, and with signage at the event itself.

If you have the means, incentivize guests to post with your hashtag by holding a drawing after the event. Give away a simple prize that is attractive to your attendees. You can crowdsource this information through polls if you like. This not only helps you dial in your prize but it fosters guest interaction leading up to the event as well.

After the event, search the hashtag, interact with guests, ask to use their photos in your follow up campaigns and choose a winner. As you can see, this fosters a lot of interaction!

Event Selfies For Free Marketing: Create Photo Ops

When planning your event, consider what you can do to prompt guests to take selfies. Perhaps unusual artwork, displaying amusing or inspirational quotations, or even things like your tablescape can inspire guests.

If they take a photo of your ideas and not a selfie, that’s just as good for you.

To prompt people to take more selfies, think about creating a well-lit area with a stunning backdrop and letting guests know this is their selfie spot. Think back to your prom for some baseline inspiration here. If your guests are reminded to selfie and given a spot they’ll look amazing in front of, they’ll be more likely to memorialize their outfit and evening.

Event Selfies For Free Marketing: Rent A Photo Booth

Photo booths are another excellent way to inspire selfies. Although you’ll need to squeeze it into your budget, you’re nearly guaranteed to see a return on the investment through your marketing and engagement.

Photo booths let you take a backseat creatively and let your photography vendor and your guests take the lead.

Event Selfies For Free Marketing: Selfie Power For Weddings And Personal Events

Although we’ve spoken so far about the marketing power of selfies, they’re also great for creating easily accessible memories after private events. By using the hashtag trick and encouraging selfies at your wedding or family reunion, it’s easy to look back after the fact.

Imagine all of your guests being able to reminisce as easily as searching for your tag. It’s truly magical!

Event Selfies For Free Marketing: Have You Had An Event Selfie Go Viral?

How have event selfies helped you in the past? We’d love to know in the comments!

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Simplify Event Planning With These Top 3 Event Management Apps

Simplify Event Planning With These Top 3 Event Management Apps

Although we aren’t a full event management company ourselves, we work closely with event management professionals all the time. We understand it can be daunting to hit all the bases and keep everything on track when planning.

We’re talking about the top 3 event management apps today to help our colleagues stay organized because it helps you and all of your vendors as well!

The more you streamline your process, the more attention you can give to small details that make a big difference.

Top 3 Event Management Apps: What Is An Event Management App?

Event management software helps professionals organize events, stick to their timeline, and interact with donors and attendees. These apps including some marketing features and help schedule all of the things event planning entails.

They’re a great idea because they take so much pressure off you and your team. They truly prove that automation doesn’t have to be intimidating and isn’t the enemy. Instead, it frees up your time to show all the qualities you have that sets you apart from other planners.

Top 3 Event Management Apps: Whova

Whova is an award-winning app that stands out as one of the most comprehensive on the market. It will help you with management, registration, marketing and communicating with your attendees.

This software helps you create a digital world that your attendees interact with. You provide real-time information, polls to crowdsource information, and can even interact with speakers. All of your communication is organized in one place and it keeps you paperless.

Top 3 Event Management Apps: Monday

If you’re more concerned with keeping your team organized and on track than marketing, Monday is suited to these needs. This event management software is heavily geared toward project management. It excels at streamlining communication and creating a blueprint for what needs to happen when.

Additionally, it’s easy to look back and see the entire timeline of your event planning.

Top 3 Event Management Apps: Cvent

While Cvent is a bit of a budget buster and best suited for people already experienced with event planning apps, it’s functionality is excellent. It takes automation to the next level, truly tailored to helping event planners check essential steps like finding a venue and handling online registration right off their list.

Top 3 Event Management Apps: Free And Low-Cost Options

If you just can’t spring for any of the tools above, both Asana and Trello offer pretty good functionality from a team management and timeline management standpoint. Neither are specifically geared toward event planning, but both are easy to use.

If you just need a collaborative digital space to plan and set deadlines, these tools will help. You won’t believe how they free up your email inbox and save you time.

Depending on the size of your team and your needs, you can choose from either free or paid versions of each.

Top 3 Event Management Apps: Communicating With Vendors

If you use any of these tools in your event planning, offer access to your vendors! This is an amazing way to keep everyone apprised of the overall progress of the event. You can often set parameters for what each team member can see and change so you only give updates to the people who need them.

Top 3 Event Management Apps: Share Your Experience

Have you used any of these apps to organize your events? We would love to hear from you in the comments below. Make sure to share any apps we missed as well.

 

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Let’s Talk About Production Budgets: Demystifying The Money Conversation ​

Let’s Talk About Production Budgets

I think we can all agree about one thing to start with: talking money makes people uncomfortable. While some large corporations have unlimited budgets, we find that many event professionals aren’t sure how to talk turkey when it comes to production budgets. This conversation becomes even more difficult when it comes to weddings or private parties.

Unfortunately, budget discussions are one of the most vital communications you’ll have with your production team. Because we believe comfort breeds honesty, we want to demystify the situation and help you feel free to express yourself.

The bottom line is that we want to work with you. We want to provide you with awesome services at a price that fits your constraints. Furthermore, we’re realistic and know that there is only so much that you can stretch your budget to fit your dreams.

While we can’t always meet in the middle, that’s our goal. Don’t be afraid to negotiate and tell us what you need! To that end, let’s get into some detail.

Production Budgets: I’m On A Tight Budget

These words don’t poison our relationship. Instead, they’re extremely important! The sooner we know the parameters of your budget, the quicker we can get you a meaningful initial quote. If you’re looking for whatever you can squeeze out of your strained wallet, something in the middle of the price scale, or a sky is the limit premium experience, just tell your vendor!

Production Budgets: Initial Budgets And Negotiations

We’ve experienced a lot of clients who run for the hills as soon as they see an initial quote and that makes us sad for both us and you! We create our first quote with the information you give us and if we’ve missed the mark by a huge margin, just tell us.

There is usually some wiggle room in the quote. For instance, we can work with you to remove some equipment to bring the price down for you. There are also sometimes seasonal discounts available. First-time customer and non-profit discounts are also something we can explore.

The important thing is to communicate openly and directly. It’s unrealistic to assume everyone will be blissfully happy with the first quote. That’s just a starting point and opportunity to target our services to what you need.

Production Budgets: Being Clear And Direct Is Nice

Sometimes it doesn’t feel nice to bluntly ask for exactly what you want, but it saves everyone time! We won’t take offense and neither should any vendor worth their salt. For instance, telling your vendor that you need a ‘sound system’ is quite different than specifically saying you need 4 speakers and 2 subwoofers.

The better you can articulate what you want, the more accurate the quote will be. If you’re not sure, then ask the vendor about different options. Most vendors will be happy to provide different packages at different price points.

Production Budgets: Embrace Modular Quotes

A modular quote is a web page where you can select or deselect items to update the quoted price in real time. Professional vendors will be able to provide you with a high tech quote that gives YOU the ability to control the pricing and item selection in your quote.

Production Budgets: Be Realistic

Don’t be surprised if things are expensive! Bear in mind that vendors have to provide trucks, staff, insurance, maintain equipment and do many other things to support your event besides just showing up with a couple of speakers. Make sure to get several quotes from a few vendors so you can get an idea of the price and market.

Production Budgets: You Get What You Pay For

To expand on the point above, quality work will cost more money! Usually the cheapest quote is not going to be the best – or even satisfactory. We usually advise our clients to aim somewhere in the middle. The lowest priced quote will often be unreliable equipment, staff and other headaches that will make your event a pain to manage.

Good, high-quality companies will charge a little bit more but you’ll see the payoff in their professionalism, charm, and your event’s success. It’s usually worth it to invest a little bit more in a high-quality vendor! Maybe, by communicating with them, you can shave off some corners and still arrive at a price everyone feels good about.

Production Budgets: We’re On Your Side!

We hope this short article helps you feel more comfortable about discussing your budget and needs with your production vendor. You can apply these tips to most vendors you work with, regardless of their field.

Our goal is to provide you with the best services your budget allows.

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How To Brainstorm Fresh Ideas For Events: Inventing Wow Factors

How To Brainstorm Fresh Ideas For Events: Inventing Wow Factors

Whether you’re slightly stuck on how to plan your first event or feeling the burn out as a busy event professional, wow factors matter. Once you have the essential structures taken care of, you’ll want to spend time inventing a way to set your event apart.

You can accomplish that in several ways and we are here today to fire up your inspiration. This quick read will hopefully get your creative juices flowing!

Find Fresh Ideas For Events: Work With Vendors With A Reputation For Excellence

No man or woman is an island. Holding a successful event takes a team and each member of that team has insight that the others may lack. This is one reason that choosing vendors with stellar reputations is crucial.

When you select a professional vendor for your event, they have experience that breeds insight. Maybe they’ve seen the fun a photo booth can bring to a corporate event. Perhaps they know about a killer rental company with the most amazing seating arrangements for a steal. You won’t know unless you pick a leader in the field and foster an open, communicative relationship with them.

If you aren’t sure how to find these types of vendors, ask your colleagues, your venue, or even use online review systems like Yelp to narrow your search.

Find Fresh Ideas For Events: Go Beyond The First Page Of Google

While the idea behind Google’s ranking system is to give you the most accurate results for your query, sometimes it delivers the most popular results. That leaves you with the exact same ideas as everyone else who searches.

When you’re hunting for event planning inspiration, don’t be afraid to skip the first page of results. After all, you want bold ideas that are fresh. There could be something really special lurking a little further down the search page. This is a good area to be a trendsetter in.

Find Fresh Ideas For Events: Attend Events Yourself

Do you have the time and budget to attend a few local events yourself while you’re planning? This is an awesome way to get ideas! Event planners can regularly sneak in a few here and there- many are even low cost or free.

Don’t be afraid to take notes while you’re there and feel free to take contact info from vendors you see doing a great job. You can follow the event on social media to see how they campaign, too.

If you are planning your own wedding, you can still try this tactic. Ask the venue if there are any events coming up that are open to the public. For instance, wine tastings, silent auctions and charity events give you an opportunity to see how the venue ‘works’ in person and pick up all kinds of valuable tips from other planners.

Find Fresh Ideas For Events: Take A Tip From Marketers: Imagine You’re An Attendee

Marketers often create something called a customer persona or ‘ideal avatar’ to help them get inside the minds of their target audience. You can modify this tactic for your event as well.

Make a list of the types of people who will attend. For instance, “Professional Women In Their 30s” could be one group. Another could be “The Groom’s Family.”

Now, brainstorm separate interests these people have. Sure, you’ll be doing some guessing but it’s a more educated guess than a shot in the dark. Hopefully, you’ll see some patterns or easy ways to incorporate a few things from each persona that your guests will remember for months, if not years, to come.

If you’re really stuck, don’t forget what a valuable resource crowdsourcing can be! Your potential attendees can give you their own ideas for events- ones they’re likely to enjoy.

 

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