InGo

The Event World Changed Forever Last Week - “Now They Know”

The Event World Changed Forever Last Week - “Now They Know”

Last week, something happened that changed the event world for ever.  200 events successfully used InGo’s attendee intelligence feature, called Network Notifications, to notify their attendees and exhibitors which of their friends and customers were coming to the event.   This technology will change every aspect of event economics from why events sell-out, to whether exhibitors decide to exhibit at an event.  For the first time in event history, attendees and exhibitors will be notified (90 days before event, then fortnightly afterwards) who they know at an event. If you understand human nature and the business of events, you understand the seismic ramifications of this.

InGo Interviews Richard Brook, Divisional Marketing Director at Informa, About Key Marketing Challenges In the Event Industry

Informa Exhibitions, the Global Exhibitions Division of Informa PLC, is mid-way through its Marketing Transformation Program. The Program is driven by the requirement to engage with customers, buy-side and sell-side, via channels appropriate to them rather than convenient for the organizer, with targeted, personalized content. Alongside the deployment of new marketing applications across its global business to help achieve the aim, Rich Brook, Informa’s SVP Marketing, turned to InGo to help maximize reach and optimize the customer journey.

Boost Your Social Post Engagement

Advocate Marketing is a great tool to increase social engagement for your event, but how do you keep your event posts from getting lost in people's news feeds? Follow these tips to optimize the effectiveness of your InGo posts. 

Note: Click on each image below to see more detailed descriptions of each tip.

1. Your Image

Your image is so important to getting noticed. It should be clean, colorful, and clear. 

 

 

 

ad:tech New Zealand did a great job with an eye-catching image.

  1. Your image should be brand specific and if possible include the dates of the event.
  2. Clean and simple images get the best response.
  3. If you can, incorporate a person into your image.
  4. Use bright colors. 
 
 

 

 

 

InGo images should be 1024x512 pixels. It is best if text can be centered on your image. 

 

2. Your Advocacy Text

Your advocacy text should proclaim what makes your event different and keep your audience in mind.

 
  1. Mention whatever sets your event apart. 
  2. Phrase things differently.
  3. Use special codes, contests, or giveaways to increase engagement.
  4. Keep your audience in mind: is this something they would want to share or just something you'd want to share?

 

 

BDNY mentioned what set their event apart. What makes YOUR event stand out? 

 
 

 

 

Use simple and personal advocacy text.

 

Because Twitter will sometimes remove your image, you want to make sure your text is simple and clear on its own.

 

Advocates do more than just grow an event; they reach millions of people in a trusted, personal way. Make sure to empower your advocates with posts that create the best engagement. 

How to Activate Your Alumni Community

 The Hester Family at Bar Harbor on the Maine Stop on the Tour

The Hester Family at Bar Harbor on the Maine Stop on the Tour

An Interview with Karla Hester of the Christendom College Alumni Association

In 2016, as the College was approaching its 40th birthday, and with approximately 3,000 alumni around the world, a group of alumni decided it was an ideal time (long overdue) to establish an Alumni Advisory Council. Their goal - build the alumni community and provide them with the resources and support through programs promoting alumni networking and giving, and by responding to the needs of alumni in their present situations. 

Karla Hester, the Chair of the Advisory Council, having heard that InGo was known for building and expanding communities, worked with InGo to form a plan to use a series of events in major cities in the United States and Canada in June and July to build this network. The plan was a great success and Christendom is so excited by the results, they are in the process of installing InGo for their Homecoming events. Sean from InGo caught up with Karla after the Summer Tour was complete to chat about how it went.

Sean:  Hi, Karla.  Congratulations on completing the Summer Alumni Tour!  
Karla: Thanks! 26 events in 21 states and 2 Canadian Provinces, it was a great summer. 

Sean: What was your biggest challenge going into this project?
Karla: That’s easy, outdated information. At the beginning of this project, we had primarily only been doing physical mailings to reach alumni and keeping an accurate list like that is nearly impossible. Plus, our email list consisted of just a Yahoo Group. In short, our data was full of old information. 

Sean: What made you turn to InGo?
Karla: We knew that social media is the way the world communicates and knew if we wanted to get our alumni networked, that was the place to do it. But building social profiles and trying to reach our community the traditional way was just not working.

Sean: How did InGo help?
Karla: InGo allowed us to use the handful of alumni we were in contact with to reach others in their social networks. Installing InGo on our Summer Tour made it simple for alumni after alumni to share the news about the Tour and the new Council to other alum they were connected to on social. The effect grew exponentially until we had doubled our number of Facebook followers within the first month, as well as saw a 30% rise in our LinkedIn numbers! We were even able to start and grow our Twitter presence. Most importantly, the data we gained helped us to refresh our aging contact list.

Sean: What single piece of advice would you give other alumni organizations?
Karla: Don’t discount social media as an amazing tool, not just to get your message out, but to connect your community in a way other marketing methods just can’t. Use it properly and it can be your greatest asset. Sure, your entire database is not going to be on social media, but in many instances we brought members of this database into social media as well through our marketing campaign with InGo.

 

InGo Named Finalist For ‘Best Use of Technology for Marketing an Event’

Hoping to win an Event Technology Award Three Years Running

InGo is excited to announce that it has been named a finalist for an award at the upcoming Event Technology Awards. These Awards, taking place on the evening of Event Tech Live, Wednesday 9th November 2016, at the Supernova in London’s Embankment Gardens, celebrate events and suppliers developing new and innovative event technologies which are pushing the performance boundaries in the industry. 

Feel like this isn’t the first time you’ve seen this headline? That’s because this is the third year in a row InGo has been shortlisted for these prestigious international awards. Having already taken home the prizes for Best Event Software in 2014 and Best Technology for Building Event Attendance in 2015, we hope to continue our streak in yet another category.

Interested in how InGo can grow your event? 

InGo’s Event Growth Application Now Available for Consumer Events

Festivals and Cons Can Now Achieve Same Dramatic Growth and Engagement as B2B Events

Arlington, VA/London, UK - (July 21/2016) - InGo, the socially smart advocate marketing platform growing events all over the world, today launched its word-of-mouth marketing solution for festivals, Cons, concerts and other consumer event. These events are now poised to become even bigger and better with InGo. To celebrate this announcement, InGo is offering any consumer event organizer a Free 30 Day Trial with no limits on attendees or advocates.*

InGo’s award winning social growth application has revolutionized the way B2B events are marketed and will now do the same for B2C events. These events are about the shared experience of the community. InGo makes it easy for attendees love to tell their friends that they’ll be going to an event and to get their friends to join them there. This word-of-mouth marketing broadens the reach of the event organizer while giving consumers exactly what they are looking for in an event - more friends, more experiences, more enjoyment.

Festivals and other consumer events are a multi-billion dollar industry, and InGo provides the opportunity for dramatic growth and the potential to add millions in ticket sales each year. People go to a festival for a transformative, communal experience, and that’s exactly what InGo helps deliver.
— Michael Barnett, CEO of InGo

Organizers can see how seamlessly InGo integrates into the event registration process by experiencing the InGo Demo or viewing an example ticketing integration.

*Offer ends Monday, September 5, 2016.

InGo CEO Named Top 40 Entrepreneurs Under 40

As a start-up, we at InGo are always excited when our product wins another award; it is gratifying when our team is recognized by the industry for producing results for our customers. Our team, of course, is made up of individuals so we are also delighted when one of us receives recognition.

We are pleased to congratulate Michael Barnett, InGo’s CEO, who was named one of the Top 40 Entrepreneurs Under 40 in 2016 by Trending 40. Honorees are chosen for demonstrating exceptional performance in their field, and the rest of the team at InGo, as well as our partners and clients, can attest to the endless dedication (and seemingly endless air miles) that Michael has given to help make InGo what it is today.

Congratulations Michael! 

What’s new in the InGo Software Suite?

Our customers are our greatest source of inspiration when it comes to product updates, so when we hear great feedback, we love to make it a reality. You spoke; we listened! Our team has been hard at work, updating, improving and adding new features to our Advocate Marketing suite. 

Because Advocate Marketing begins with the Advocate, one of our biggest updates is focused on making the choice to advocate an easy one. Our widget now includes user feedback screens to confirm their Personal Invitations were sent and offer additional advocacy options. Here’s a peek at what this looks like.

 

 

We have added an invite confirmation popup so that your attendees can see when they’ve successfully sent an invite. They are also given a very clear call to action to invite more of their contacts to your event.  

 

 

 

When your attendees decide to personally invite a friend on Linkedin or Xing, they are now given the option of how they want to send their invitations. If they want to get a group together to attend, they can message everyone together. If they want to reach out to each contact separately, they can choose to send them individually.

When your attendees decide to personally invite a friend on Linkedin or Xing, they are now given the option of how they want to send their invitations. If they want to get a group together to attend, they can message everyone together. If they want to reach out to each contact separately, they can choose to send them individually.

These features increase the means, motive and opportunity Advocates have to spread your event across their networks, which is at the heart of what InGo does. But front end functionality is not all it takes to provide great software. Our development team has also made a series of technical enhancements to the product to amplify performance and increase speed! 

We are not stopping there. Stay tuned for more updates as we work to include more user feedback features for both organizers and attendees.

InGo Offers Full Access Free Trial; Introduces New Pricing to Serve Events of All Sizes

Arlington, VA/London, UK - (June 14, 2015) - InGo, the award winning Advocate Marketing platform growing events all over the world, today announced its new pricing structure. Recognizing that all organizers are looking for a way to grow their events, but that these events and organizers come in different shapes and sizes, the new structure is designed to allow events of all sizes access to powerful word-of-mouth marketing powered by social media, and pay only for performance.

InGo’s Software Suite helps brands inspire and enable their community to become Advocates. Empowered advocates do more than just grow an event; they reach millions of people in a trusted, personal way, creating unparalleled brand affinity by connecting their personal brand to the event’s brand, turbocharging all marketing campaigns. InGo’s new performance pricing is based entirely on how many Advocates are created.

For full details on the new pricing or to order online, click here.

In addition to performance based pricing, InGo has also unveiled a Free Trial. Now event organizers can see for themselves the amazing growth and buzz created by Advocates by trying InGo FREE for 30 days. The trial includes the full InGo Social Marketing Platform and unlimited Advocates. InGo has always offered an interactive demo but this trial will break the barriers to entry for many potential clients who can now see the results on their own events before purchasing the product. 

For more information or to start your Free Trial, click here.

“Advocates are the most powerful way to build your brand and grow your event, and our results bear this out,” said Michael Barnett, InGo CEO. “Our confidence in our product made offering a Free Trial and pricing based solely on performance a natural fit. We are so excited to take another step towards empowering Advocates at every event around the globe.”

Oliver Kinross to Integrate InGo Advocate Marketing for MICE Asia Pacific

Hong Kong (11 May 2016) – James McKenzie, Head of Oliver Kinross Asia Pacific and Richard Sarbutts, InGo Managing Director – EMEA announced today they have signed an agreement to install the InGo Software Suite on the upcoming MICE Asia Pacific Exhibition. InGo, the socially smart advocate marketing platform growing events all over the world, will be integrated into the event’s marketing strategy to inspire and enable participants to co-market for the event on their social networks.

InGo, designed to activate an attendee’s existing social network and contacts, provides more than just social login. Attendees can also post to their news feeds to alert contacts of their intention to attend an event, invite their network to attend, and discover who else is attending the event from both in and out of their network. Additionally, attendees can personally invite new contacts right from the event website.

“InGo’s track record of growing events, and their partnership with etouches, our registration provider, made the software a logical choice for MICE Asia Pacific,” said McKenzie. “Using InGo’s widgets, we will be able to offer an enhanced attendee registration experience, as well make our event more social and more valuable for all participants.”

“We are so pleased to be working with the team at Oliver Kinross,” said Sarbutts. “This partnership provides event professionals a great opportunity use InGo to get the most ROI from attending MICE Asia Pacific. We look forward to a great event.”

MICE Asia Pacific Exhibition 2016 will take place on 21st – 22nd September at Suntec Convention and Exhibition Center, Singapore. Over 30 expert speakers will be presenting at our complimentary conferences and workshops. Register for your free attendance online: http://www.miceasiaexhibition.com/

About Oliver Kinross – Oliver Kinross was founded in January 2008 with the aim of delivering high quality training, business intelligence and networking opportunities for industry. This is achieved through a portfolio of Conferences, Summits, Exhibitions and Training Workshops attended by many of the world’s largest organisations. The main industries in which Oliver Kinross operates are Oil & Gas, Construction, Energy Trading, Cyber Security, Smart Energy, International Development & Infrastructure, Healthcare, Sports & Fitness.

About InGo –InGo is the world’s leading social media Advocate Marketing company, empowering event organizers and attendees to exponentially grow their events using InGo’s unique socially-smart search algorithm. With offices in the US, UK and Italy and partners on six continents, InGo serves the largest event companies in the world such as Reed Exhibitions, Comexposium, Emerald Expositions, Fiera Milano and UBM. It has been in business since 2013 and has served over 500 events on six continents. Discover how InGo can grow your event at http://www.ingo.me/ingo-demo.

-Ends-

Press enquiries to:

Katherine Chan
katherine@oliverkinross.com

Hong Kong +852 3792 0948
Sydney +61 (02) 8006 7557
UK + 44 207 127 4501

InGo Recognized as Best Practice in Event Technology by Global Exhibition Association

This year, UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, chose digital innovation as its theme for the annual UFI ICT Awards. It set out to recognize outstanding digital tools that will bring the events industry into the future. InGo was among only 6 global companies identified by the judging panel as examples of good practices in the field of event technology.

We’d also like to congratulate InGo Partner, Info Salons Group, another of the 6 companies chosen by the UFI panel. Their commitment to innovative technology shows in the results they achieve for their customers and we are proud to have them in our Global Advocate Marketing Alliance.

“UFI is the preeminent global association of the world’s tradeshow organisers, and it’s members are the leaders in the industry,” said Michael Barnett, CEO of InGo. “Their selection of us is another sign of how the market is maturing and rapidly; last year we won awards denoting “innovation,” and now we’re being recognized as a “best practice.” We are honored to be recognized and will continue to push to evolve to unlock the power of advocacy for our customers and the industry.”

Click the button to do a demo of the product that is causing so much buzz.

New InGo Demo Shows Advocate Marketing In Action

Boost every marketing and sales campaign with word-of-mouth marketing

Arlington, VA/London, UK - (April 21, 2016) - InGo, the world’s leading social media Advocate Marketing company, announced today the release of its new demo to allow users to see the power of Advocate Marketing in action. This new demo, which takes less than one minute to complete, means that everyone can experience the deceptively simple but astoundingly powerful tech that has been exponentially growing events across the globe by creating Advocates who generate word-of-mouth marketing.

The InGo Suite of widgets have a track record of best-in-class results enabling word-of-mouth marketing and building event attendance. This product saves organizers an average of 65% on attendee acquisition costs, simply by tapping into the power of the “social” in “social media marketing.”  Attendees are encouraged to become advocates for the events they’re passionate about by being able to see and search who is coming, and are empowered to share their passion by posting to their news feeds and sending personal invitations to their most relevant personal contacts.  This unlocks the unmatched power of social networks “word-of-mouth” potential, and produces astounding results in the areas of growth, engagement, conversion and cost.  Best of all, this route to attendee acquisition is brand-enhancing, not brand-deteriorating. 

“It’s well understood that “word-of-mouth” marketing is the most effective marketing out there, bar none. The problem is you can’t buy it,” said Sean Garvey, InGo’s President. “Our new demo shows how you can tap into it by giving your community the means, motive and opportunity to advocate for your event.”

“InGo Advocates were an integral part of our marketing plan for ad:tech Australia 2016 and helped us set a new record for total paid conference passes – the most sold in our 10 year history,” said Daniel Elder, Global CDO of High Tech Events at Comexposium. “Any event looking to amplify all their marketing efforts should try InGo.”

About InGo –InGo is the world’s leading social media Advocate Marketing company, empowering event organizers and attendees to exponentially grow their events using InGo’s unique socially-smart search algorithm. With offices in the US, UK and Italy and partners on six continents, InGo serves the largest event companies in the world such as Comexposium, Reed Exhibitions, Emerald Expositions, Fiera Milano and UBM.  It has been in business since 2013 and has served over 500 events on six continents.  Discover how InGo can grow your event at http://www.ingo.me/ingo-demo.  

 

InGo Highlighted as “Best Use of Technology”

Info Salons Middle East & Turkey and ADIPEC Shortlisted by Middle East Event Awards for Use of InGo

InGo would like to congratulate our partner, Info Salons Group and customer, dmg::events, Global Energy, on being shortlisted for the 2016 Middle East Event Awards, for their use of InGo on the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (ADIPEC.) These innovative companies teamed up to seamlessly integrate InGo on the Info Salons platform to run a full Advocate Marketing campaign for ADIPEC, which resulted in over a million social impressions and engagements and contributing to its status as one of the most important and influential oil and gas events in the world.

“Though this is the ninth time we’ve been recognized by industry expert award panels, this is the sweetest win,” said Richard Sarbutts, Managing Director - EMEA. “It is very gratifying for our product to be recognized, but it is even more rewarding for it to be recognized because it had an impact our customer’s business. These companies have been innovation leaders in the industry and their results show it.”

Congratulations to Info Salons Group and dmg::events, on both their business successes and this industry recognition!   

Interested in how InGo can grow your event?

Industry Accolades Continue for Advocate Marketing Technology InGo

InGo shortlisted for “Event Tech of the Year” by the Exhibition News Awards

InGo is pleased to announce that it has been named a finalist for “Event Tech of the Year” at the upcoming Exhibition News Awards. The Awards, to be held the evening of 28 April 2016 at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge, are celebrating their 10th year of recognizing the best of the best in the industry.

This distinction marks the eighth time InGo has been a finalist or won an industry award since going to market in 2014, and our second recognition already in 2016, adding more confirmation that Advocate Marketing is the future of event marketing technology.  On behalf of the InGo global team and especially our clients, it is very gratifying to be receiving more and more industry recognition as the technology that is producing unheard of event marketing results.

“The continued accolades for InGo are no surprise to us,” said John Whitaker, Digital & Data Director at dmg::events. “This innovative tool has provided us consistently impressive results across all metrics. Congratulations to the team at InGo.”

Want to see for yourself what all the hype is about?

InGo Supercharges Global Advocate Marketing Alliance

Announces API that will provide the power of Advocate Marketing with ‘One-Click’ 

Arlington, VA/London, UK - (March 1, 2016) - InGo, the socially smart Advocate Marketing platform growing events all over the world, announced today new integration capabilities that will dramatically enhance its new partner program.  With the release of InGo’s new API, event organizers across the globe will be able to access the power of Advocate Marketing, and the 10-25% event growth it provides, with just one click when working with an InGo Growth Partner.  

The partner program has enhanced flexibility as well, with options for registration partners of all sizes and technical abilities. “We’ve always been committed to ‘ease of integration’ and platform friendliness.  This release is a giant step forward in that direction, and is a win-win for our partners and their clients” said Michael Barnett, CEO of InGo.

Along with the release of the API, the new partner program structure provides the flexibility for partners of all types and levels of involvement.  In addition to the Referral and Certified partner tracks, wherein partners refer clients and / or support InGo on their platform in an ad hoc fashion, partners now have the option to become a Growth Partner and pre-integrate InGo to be ‘one-click deployable,’ or an Advanced Growth Partner with InGo Base pre-installed for all of their events.  Each level provides a greater opportunity for revenue share. 

“Our partners can now provide InGo as a feature built right into their platforms, ensuring their clients the best performance on the most powerful event marketing tool on the planet,” continued Barnett. “We are excited by the interest we’ve already received and have begun to sign some of the most prominent event registration and management companies around the globe. Stay tuned for announcements on our upcoming individual partnerships.”

About InGo – InGo is a social media event marketing company that empowers event organizers and attendees. InGo serves the largest event companies in the world, providing event marketing solutions for varied industries such as tech, fashion, construction, media, film and more across the globe.  It has been in business since 2013 and has served over 500 events on six continents.  Discover how InGo can grow your event at http://regdemo.ingo.me.

Who sells your event to your EXHIBITORS?

by Steve O’Keefe, InGo COO
After I published my recent article, “Who sells your event?,”  I received calls from a few of InGo’s most successful customers. The theme was, “Nice article Steve, but you missed the most important part of the story.”  Not a little taken back, I asked what they meant.  “You focused strictly on audience building and ignored the exhibitor aspect of the event.”  

Turns out, one of the reasons these are our most successful customers is that they’ve trained their sales team to send all prospective exhibitors to “Who’s In” when they’re making the decision on whether to exhibit or not.

  • One of them said that he had expanded space sales by $500K over the last 3 years by doing this!!!  
  • Another said that he had 15 exhibitors on the fence because they were not sure his show had the type of buyers their company was looking for. He sent them all to “Who’s In” and viola!  $150K of more exhibitor space sold.  

Talk about missing the point.  After having been humbled by my customers knowing more about InGo than me , I am back to share the rest of the story.  The customers all agreed on three points:

  1. Real  - Exhibitors have become wary of sanitized attendee list circulated in the traditional booth sales process.  It seems like some bad actors have been known to fib a bit in supplying this list.  InGo’s “Who’s In” is real people really attending.
  2. Personal – One Oil and Gas industry customer dedicates a page on the event website to “Who’s In” and it calls it “Who’s Coming.” His sales process encourages each prospect to go to that page.  Time after time, these prospects select the Linkedin filter option and call right back saying, “Wow, you’ve got this customer, and this customer from my network coming.  Sign me up.”
  3. Most Valuable -  A fashion customer told me that when he walked the show floor this year asking exhibitors about their experience, many of them said, “It’s been a great show.  I checked “Who’s In” up until the day of the show and had many of my important meetings schedule ahead of time.”

Who sells your event to your exhibitors?  Same answer.  Your attendees do.  Advocate Marketing best practice has a new #1 – Make “Who’s In” part of your exhibitor sales process.

To learn more about how to increase value for your exhibitors, click here.

Investment Bankers to the Event Industry Tag InGo as an Innovative Event Marketing Solution

As you know from the multiple case studies we published last year, Advocate Marketing is the best, most cost effective way to build engagement and attendance at an event.  We know it, our clients know it, and more and more the industry at large is recognizing us as the technology that is changing the way events are marketed. 

The latest indication of this recognition is from Sam Barthelme, Director of the Jordan Edmiston Group, Inc. (JEGI), the leading independent investment bank for the global media, information, marketing, software and tech-enabled services. In the JEGI January 2016 Update, dedicated to the changing landscape of events and event technology, Barthelme tags InGo as an innovative solution in event marketing. JEGI has advised more event and event technology transactions than any other investment, so these guys know events.

Why has this last year brought InGo and Advocate Marketing such a flood of recognition? Because we are speaking to the major pain points felt by event organizers across the globe: the decline in returns on traditional marketing channels combined with the increasing frustration in achieving measurable results on social media. 

Read the full JEGI Update here: http://www.jegi.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/2016_January_Update.pdf

Who sells your event?

BEST PRACTICE IN ADVOCATE MARKETING

by Stephen O’Keefe, COO, InGo

Bill Lee, in his 2013 Harvard Business Review article, asks the seemingly obvious question “Who sells your products or services?”  Although most event organizers might answer “we do,” as Lee states and InGo heartily concurs, it is increasingly your customers (HBR, “How to Create True Customer Advocates.“ April 2012.) Event organizers have been historically trained in the school of command and control marketing and thus have not recognized the realities of the modern consumer. Instead of understanding the seismic shift that is social, they have increased their spend on the one-directional, mass marketing of the past, which had been declining precipitously in effectiveness for the past 15 years, or have brought these same one-directional tactics to their new efforts on social. This has been very costly as attendance at these events have declined, or at best held steady, despite a sometimes 100s of thousands increase in marketing spend. The ironic tragedy is that the increase in email, print, and ads, are likely contributing to the decline. The modern consumer wants to participate in the brand making process and the increased volume of mass marketing she receives now makes even the best campaign feel like SPAM. 

In this article, I follow on Sean Garvey’s piece in Exhibition News (click here to read), showing how leading event organizers who have recognized this paradigm shift have used InGo to radically change the way they build attendance at their event. By following InGo’s Power Ranking or best practice to create an advocate marketing campaign, they have given their attendees the “means, motive, and opportunity” to turn the event’s brand into their own personal brand. 

This is the heart of the matter. Mass marketing sceams “DO THIS!” Advocate Marketing asks, “Isn’t this part of your brand?  Shall we help you promote it?” (Many modern brands like Uber are excelling at this and their results are amazing.)

So, what is this magic formula that creates advocates to enable the most valuable marketing around? Here’s the six steps to getting the most out of your advocate marketing campaign.

Power Ranking Phase #1 - Engage the Prospects 

The first engagement an attendee, especially a new one, has with an event is usually the website. The topic of the event, if it is of relevance to her, is most likely the most important determining factor in her decision to register so should, of course, be front and center. The other factors in the decision of the attending the event are personal. Does she know anyone at the event? Are there experts and colleagues beyond the speakers whose company she covets and whose opinion she values?

The team at Comexposium’s ad:tech Brand do such a brilliant job with this type of engagement.  Their clean and inviting opening to the registration process allows a prospect to determine who from their network is going and who else of interest might be there. InGo’s “social widget” is prominently displayed, inviting maximum interaction and the attractive display invites the attendee to be engaged in the event from the first interaction.

    Possible Power Ranking points (5):  Ad:Tech Australia: 5

 

Possible Power Ranking points (5):  Ad:Tech Australia: 5

Power Ranking Phase #2 - Simple Sign-On

Now that the attendee has determined the event is relevant and she knows and respects the people who are going, she is excited and ready to become an attendee. The key aspect of this part of advocate marketing is to make a tedious activity as friction-less as possible and to focus the prospect on the positive part of the activity. As social has grown and matured, more and more people, especially millennials, have decide that they only have one identity online, their LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc. profile. The pain of remembering many logins online and the awareness that the are already “sharing” with every google user most of what they post has lead to increased demand for social as a single sign-on. With the move to social sign-on, they've come to expect the speed and ease of auto-fill. (“All of this I’ve made available on LinkedIn; why are you asking me again?”)

The Emerald Expositions marketing and operations team highlights this experience here with their serial award winning and Fastest 25 show, ICFF.

With a clear call to action and the words everyone likes to hear, “easier and faster,” Emerald always gets the highest adoption rates and least drop off. These best practices pay off big time -  ICFF has doubled in size since moving to advocate marketing as their primary means of marketing. 

    Possible Power Ranking points (5):  Emerald’s ICFF: 5

 

Possible Power Ranking points (5):  Emerald’s ICFF: 5

Power Ranking Phase #3 - Social Widget Prominently and Seamlessly Displayed

While the attendee is working her way through the registration process, InGo is busy analyzing her social network to find the most relevant and trusted peers and friends in her network to invite. This is the heart of the InGo solution: selecting for the attendee the exact people who she wants at the event. There have been other “find a friend” or “invite a colleague” solutions before, but like the music player before the iPod, the use case was onerous and awkward. The attendee should arrive at confirmation to the faces she knows and respects, pre-selected, and ready to be invited.
CeBIT, the largest and most internationally represented computer expo, does a great job of seamlessly moving the attendee to the invite screen, not surprising for a marquis brand. The confirmation page saves space for what the attendee cares about.  The preselection of the top six most relevant people based on InGo’s multi-dimensional, social search algorithm invariably produces the top hits for the attendee. Organizers like CeBIT see multiple invites per attendee due to best practice layouts like this.

     Possible Power Rank points (5):  CeBit Australia: 5

 

 Possible Power Rank points (5):  CeBit Australia: 5

Power Ranking Phase #4 - Social Emails

Now the core InGo platform is up and running. The login widget is the only call to action to start registration, “Who’s In” is prominently displayed, the social widget is as inviting as a wood fire in the winter on the confirmation page. What’s next? Social Emails.

Although social usage is large and growing in every region of the planet, for many the inbox is where they live.  The challenge here is the entering the quagmire of dismal returns which is email marketing and bringing the prospect into the world of advocate marketing.  The answer is the same one that makes advocate marketing so much superior to traditional one-direction marketing - make the email about the person.  

InGo has a suite of 5 social emails which are sent during the course of the 4-5 month leading up to the event. In this instantiation of the social email, the call to action is “Find out who’s going” demonstrated below with Fiera Roma’s gorgeous event logo, Cavilli A Roma (Horses in Rome...as it should be).

For the passive social user, one who views but doesn’t interact much, this gives them a clear motivation - events are more fun with friends - to act.  

    Possible Power Ranking points(10): Cavalli A Roma (10)

 

Possible Power Ranking points(10): Cavalli A Roma (10)

Power Ranking Phase #5 - Incentives

If you’ve done all of the above, you are going to have superb results on your advocate marketing campaign. There are two final ways to get the most out of the campaign: incentives and other paths on your event website, such as the exhibitors portal.

You have to careful with incentives when it comes to advocate marketing, as the attendees want to advocate already. The wrong incentive or one that’s poorly worded makes them feel like they are your mouthpiece rather than promoting what they perceive as their brand (an event they love.) We recommend the incentive lean more towards gamification than direct pay for press.  The folks at Fiera Milano, not surprisingly given their position as the mavens of style, do this extremely well.

    Possible points(2):  Homi Milano (2)

 

Possible points(2):  Homi Milano (2)

Power Ranking Phase #6 - Exhibitor Paths

Every major event website has multiple paths for exhibitors, different languages, VIPs, etc.  It stands to reason you want every stakeholder possible to advocate for your event. The most important path beyond the attendee path is the “exhibitor path.”  The exhibitors have the most keen idea of who they want at events.  If you give them the tools, they will ensure your event meets with their seal of approval.

ASD, one of Emerald Expositions’ jewels in the crown, is the one of the largest retail shows in the US, attracting ten of thousands of buyers. They mix gamification in with their outreach to the exhibitors to spark some friendly competition to see who is the most influential or InGo speak, the “Top Advocate.”

    Possible Power Ranking points (3):  Emerald Exposition’s ASD (3)

 

Possible Power Ranking points (3):  Emerald Exposition’s ASD (3)

Conclusion

Advocate marketing is the gift that keeps on giving as it is both brand enhancing (unlike email, ads, and telemarketing) and, when following best practices, is statistically on a different planet when it comes to results versus traditional marketing. A well done advocate marketing campaign will have a 10% acquisition rate (not open, or click, etc. - acquisition) on the low end compared to below 0.005% for email, print, tele-marketing, social media marketing, etc. Give those spam filters and voice mail machines a break and enjoy sharing your brand with your customers. They’ll love you for it.