Showing posts with label events. Show all posts
Showing posts with label events. Show all posts

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Create Great Events: Podcast

Last week I ran an events workshop for sporting codes and clubs in the Australian Capital Territory.  

Those attending were planning events ranging from  Australia's national fencing championships to the upcoming hot air balloon launch for a major youth organisation.

The conversation was lively: partly because we all agreed events play an important role in the life of most not for profits. In any given year the calendar of most community groups will feature at least one event. 

That's because events provide opportunities to meet face to face with your audience and impress people with your passion. 

This podcast describes planning essentials, especially how to create innovative events that make your organisation stand out and capture attention.

Next week I'll post tips and techniques on promoting your event.  You can automatically get it by adding your address in the email subscription box to the right.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

7 Steps To Promoting Your Event Through Social Media

Here's seven ways to get social media working for you when it comes to promoting your event:
  • Set up your social media infrastructure by opening accounts on popular platforms such as Facebook,Twitter, YouTube and Linked-in. Also search for and open accounts in chat rooms, forums and other niche digital areas where potential audiences for your event gather online.
  • Monitor the conversations on these platforms to identify the opinion shapers, what content is carried, what topics are popular and how people express themselves. Generally six to eight week monitoring period is sufficient to get a good understanding of how a site really works.
  • Provide advice on your upcoming event plus educational content on the issue it is associated with. Do this through your own social media accounts, post information to others that support you as well as any forums and links you share with others.
  • Contribute information about your event on a regular basis while avoiding the perception of either dominating the conversation or appearing boring. Change the wording of your updates so content arrives fresh every time it is posted. 
  •  Be prepared to answer questions about the content you post or additional event information people may request.
  •  Link all your digital accounts so information posted to one platform automatically migrates to others. In most cases this simply involves checking the account settings sections of your Facebook, Twitter or other accounts.
Above all successful promotion means keeping the conversation going, sharing your thoughts and being open to feedback. 

Credit to the Cvent authors of the recently released Event Marketing 2.0 e-book.

5 Reasons To Use Social Media For Events

What are the benefits in using social media to promote events?
  • People on social media platforms can network before, during and after the event and build a richer personal experience.
  • Planners can share educational content on their issue in the lead up to an event on social media platforms. And after the event this content remains as an online library.
  •  You can get feedback on the planning and execution of your event to make future activities even better.
  • You can crowd source for creative ideas from friends and followers to find that 'wow' factor that makes your event different and engaging. 
  • Social media platforms provide another and cheaper way to reach people beyond advertising, fliers etc. Word of mouth through social media platforms can potentially reach anyone anywhere.
Credit to the Cvent authors of the recently released Event Marketing 2.0 e-book.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Stories: The Key Ingredient for Successful Launches

A launch of a new product, service, idea or campaign can either be just another occasion or like the launch of a rocket heading to the moon it can be an opportunity to inspire.  Too often in the hurly burly of a campaign it is easy to overlook the power and importance of a launch and fail to draw maximum value from it.

A launch provides the chance to introduce new ideas, different ways of working or even to bring forward a new CEO or team.  It can start the telling of a corporate story or continue the telling of a necessary tale.  And it can be a golden opportunity to gather, energise and send forth key supporters to promote your issue.  

Of all the different types of events the launch is one that should be as impactful and emotional as you can possibly make it.  After all if you are not excited about your issue at the outset, then why should anyone else care?  And these days just having one speaker follow another - unless each delivers riveting presentations - is hardly likely to make the grade.  Today audiences expect something novel and compelling.

I have attended two launches in recent weeks - both on similar issues.  One used a standard format with a succession of VIPs speaking in generalities.  The other got real people to share with the audience their personal stories of tragedy, triumph, failure and achievement.   The first was scripted.  The other poured straight from the heart.

Perhaps there is an old lesson to re-learned.  The art and craft of embedding personal stories into a launch should take primetime over the logistics of invitations, catering and other things that can so easily overtake our pre-launch efforts.


Friday, January 30, 2009

Internet Blackout Matches Victoria's Power Blackout

In Friday 30 January it was very hot in Canberra. Well into the evening the temperature was hovering around 82 degrees F.

But to the south, Melbourne was far, far hotter and the City was suffering significant power shortages as the overloaded power grid struggled to meet the electricity demands generated by the heat. Melbourne's rail service ground to a halt under a combination of the heat and the power outages.

A significant part of the City was affected by power cuts. And at least on 30 January the power blackout was matched by an Internet blackout.

Only two of the five power utilities servicing Melbourne had up to date outage information on their websites. Well done to those two - Jemena and SP AUSNET. For the others, well it was business as usual.

The Victorian Government Internet portal carried dated information. And the websites of the Victorian Police and the State's Emergency Service had no current news on the outages.

Although local newspapers and other media carried news, key corporate and government websites were strangely silent on an event that impacted on so many people including concerned relatives like me in other States.

Victoria gets a "could do better" grade for its effort to use the online communications to keep Melbournians updated on what was happening in their sweltering off-line world.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Not for Profit Scores Good PR for Under $100

Recently we had coffee with the ACT Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Society. The Society supports people suffering chronic fatigue syndrome and estimates around 3000 Canberra families may be impacted.

Since January the Society has attended the marketing workshops we run for community groups and has been overhauling its marketing and PR approach.

In the last three to four months it has promoted a Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Awareness Day, a theatre screening to raise funds and a self help course. Along the way it has used community radio, YouTube, Facebook and email campaigns and changed the way it stages events.

Other marketing included:

* Community newspapers

* Notices in local newsletters

* Word of mouth
* Posters on community notice boards

* Online and offline community event calendars - including free notices on ABC, ACTEW AGL Switch, Canberra Times fridge door and wotzon

* Getting pro-bono support from communications professionals.

The President reports so far the Society has spent less than $100 on the new PR arrangements yet the results have been impressive.

”Our enquiries are up 400% since March! As we haven't recorded everything this is a conservative figure. As such our staff member is run off her feet trying to answer it all. I imagine our website is also receiving more hits ... our membership is (also) up approximately 10% since March”.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

PR of World Youth Day

We know good PR when we see it ... so we take our hats off to the team organising World Youth Day.

The event management was superb ... hundreds of thousands of young people (often a tough audience) attending multiple mega-events over seven days. Things apparently running smoothly, no-one getting lost and activities synching in on time. And the most important indicator: people leaving events enthused by their involvement.
Event Management: A+ rating.

Media coverage was huge ...we know that sometimes these types of events gather a natural momentum and just take off. But you could detect someone's guiding hand (or was it divine intervention?) in the media relations planning ...every day a batch of freshly cooked stories, young and articulate clerics on hand as spokespersons and colour, sound and drama in abundance for the cameras and photographers.

Media Monitors reports 42,277 media items reporting the Pope's time in Sydney:

14,581 TV items
14,592 Radio items
11,301 Internet items
1803 Newspaper stories

Media relations for the visit: A+ rating.

And issues management ... well this one scores a C. The subject of sexual abuse by clergy was always going to be a key issue. Yet throughout the week while the Catholic hierarchy expressed regret for past transgressions, the apologies seemed wooden and at times unconvincing. Certainly aggrieved families and individuals who talked to the media regarded these efforts as less than genuine.

Without trivializing the deeply serious issue of sexual abuse and the Church, the rather average management of this issue marred a week of very good PR practice.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Saturday, April 26, 2008

7 Media Lessons from ANZAC Day 2008

ANZAC Day is the biggest and best known event in Australia and media interest in the Day is understandably intense.

This year we were privileged to help the Australian War Memorial with media relations for its ANZAC Day program.

With thanks to the Memorial's communication team, here are 7 media tips from that experience:
  • Even though an event is well known, it pays to work within specific campaign themes. This makes it easier to manage information, source images and video and identify spokespeople.
  • Media relations efforts must tie-in with other marketing, sponsorship and internal communications plans. This ensures media impacts contribute to the broader goals of an organisation.
  • Blogs can be a source of stories for journalists. Information on the War Memorial's blogs were picked up and carried into mainstream media for ANZAC Day and other campaigns. Links in media releases to blogs, wikis and on-line video (such as YouTube) can be valuable in guiding journalists to additional information.
  • We may live in a global economy but the media still want local stories. Newspapers and radio stations are always looking for local (human interest) perspectives on national issues. The first question journalists often ask is what's the local angle?
  • Approach TV producers prepared to talk in terms of images. Work with TV crews to provide the best visual opportunities and spokespersons. See this Channel Seven example.
  • Maintain a media database so you can quickly see the details of journalists and details of interviews that have been set up. In a busy campaign this helps to keep track of who to call and what's happening day by day. And when the campaign finishes it can provide good evaluation data.
  • Australian media have been reporting ANZAC Day for 92 years. Media outlets will want to report a continuing event differently each year. (See this ABC Radio's story on war time rationing). The key to continuing good media relations year after year, is to remain flexible and work with journalists to help them provide valuable information for their listeners, readers and viewers.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Should I share my event?

When you start out planning an event you can either be a solo sailor or a clever collaborator.

Solo sailors are event organisers who want complete control over how their event will unfold. They assume total responsibility for all aspects of planning, financing, marketing and promotions. They are responsible for absolutely everything and shape their event precisely to meet the needs of their own organisation.

Being responsible for everything has its merits but it also has downsides. When you work alone you can only bring a finite amount of resources into event planning and management. And you are completely responsible for generating an audience - the people who will attend - and getting media coverage before, during and after the event.

Another option is to see if you can share your event.

So scan the horizon to see who else you can work with. Be continually on the look out for opportunities to jointly plan and manage your next event. And if conditions are right, seriously consider merging your activity with another.

But be aware that sharing means you limit the control you have over processes, proceedings, timings and outcomes of what you plan.

Factors to consider before deciding to join in with others are:
  • does the other organisation share a similar values?
  • is there a demonstrable reason for us to work with them?
  • can they give us access to resources, media coverage etc we might struggle to attract?
  • will a joint undertaking allow us to get our message to more people?
  • can we agree on roles, responsibilities and financial arrangements?
  • is there potential controversy in working with a third party?

My experience is that collaborative arrangements do take longer to establish, but sharing energy and effort can take your event further and faster than sailing alone.

The power of events

Last year we helped Cricket Australia and the Australia Department of Immigration and Citizenship to stage Australia’s biggest cricket game.

Nearly 150 000 people in over 900 locations across the country showed support for the Australian values of a ‘fair go” and respect for others by playing cricket on the same day. Four weeks later, we helped the Australian War Memorial with ANZAC Day (25 April) – the event that reminds us of Australia's defining national moment, the landing of Australian forces at Gallipoli in 1915.

Both occasions reminded me of the sheer power of events to capture people’s attention. This digital age may allow us to connect with anyone anywhere, but there remains something very, very special about an event where you actually meet others face to face.

That's why events remains the classic opportunity to gather people together in one place to:
  • raise awareness of your cause, issue, service or product
  • inspire people and generate action
  • showcase your organisation
  • recognise your own or industry achievements
  • generate revenue
  • introduce new faces or ways of doing things or
  • attract new members or supporters

There is no doubt that Web 2.0 technology is great for sharing information. But events still remain among the best channels for persuasion as long as people like to share face to face experiences.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Budgeting for your next event

Most of us are creative types and find finances boring.

But when it comes to events, the budget is the one thing you simply must get right. If you are in a not for profit organisation two things are certain this year.

  • Firstly some time this year you will run an event. That’s what not for profits do: to keep in touch, attract attention or promote their cause. Your next event could be a humble cake stall at the local shops, a national conference or perhaps a gala fund raising ball.
  • The other certainty is you will not have enough money for your next event. While most of us have champagne aspirations when it comes to events, in the not for profit world we generally work with six pack budgets.

Financing events is such a critical undertaking for not for profits. Get it right and you are a hero. Get it wrong and you may well have over-spent yourself out of a job.So before any meaningful event planning starts, you must nail down the fundamental question: how will this event be paid for?

Not for profits don't have much money so every penny needs to be wisely spent especially when it comes to events. So remember: no matter how good your event is it will never be a success if it breaks the bank.