How to Create Community at Your Events

How to Create Community at Your Events

Arriving at an event full of unfamiliar faces can be overwhelming. As our culture becomes increasingly dependent upon social media, the desire and need to seek out in-person interaction has changed. According to a 2018 study, which consisted of ten years’ worth of the American Time Use Surveys conducted by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, revealed that millennials spent 70 percent more time at home than the rest of the country.

With millennials opting for Seamless and Netflix instead of a night out on the town, business owners are being pushed to consider new strategies for targeting homebodies between the ages of 18-35. While this may sound like an event organizer’s worst nightmare, take heed in the prevailing millennial trait: authenticity.

Millennials are known for valuing authenticity and prefer to express themselves genuinely while avoiding surface level interactions. Eventbrite recently released a study that showed ¾ millennials prefer experiences over things. So, how can all this help an event organizer?

Encouraging authentic connections at your event will make a huge difference in attendance. Community is key for targeting not just millennials, but any demographic. Here’s how to create community at your event.

Create an experience

As previously stated, millennials value experiences over things. If your event is lack luster or not intriguing enough for someone who might have to travel to attend, they’re more likely to skip all together. Make an effort to create the type of experience your attendees can’t resist. Consider choosing a popular location, perhaps a city that has a lot to offer in terms of culture and nightlife. When they check to see where your event is taking place, they’ll be more likely to attend if it’s a city or town they’ve been wanting to visit. For the venue itself, look into unique spaces that make for a cool picture. It’s no secret that millennials love sharing their experiences with friends and followers, so choose a space that they will be excited to photograph and share online.

If an event is particularly attention grabbing, people are more likely to send the information to their friends or colleagues and ask if they’d like to go together. As social beings, humans want to share experiences with one another. Create an event that is so intriguing that your attendees will immediately say to their peers, “This looks really exciting, want to go with me?”

Blend business with leisure

Now a days, the lines between work and leisure are becoming blurred. Why? Because adults today are more likely to choose meaningful work and therefore don’t have a typical 9-5 cutoff. Their work is their passion and they never turn off the work “switch”. This also means your attendees will be more likely to want to network and connect with other attendees who align with their work mission.

Chances are, your event will attract attendees who are apart of the same community. Hone in on this by creating activities that allow for networking. If you’re putting up VIPs in a hotel, consider creating an agenda for them so they can meet each other. Whether it’s cocktails at the hotel bar, a walking tour of the city, or a talk lead by an influencer, the opportunity to organically meet and connect with like-minded professionals will make their experience at your event that much more enriching. Better yet, once your VIPs are confirmed to attend your event, send out an email that includes a brief bio of each VIP. This will further inspire any potential VIPs to take the leap and commit to attending.

Consider workshops per industry

If you’re aware of the types of professionals attending your event, consider holding workshops for each industry they’re in. Walking into a conference or trade show full of strangers is daunting, but if you create workshops or breakout groups that target specific niches within the industry’s community, attendees will feel a sense of familiarity and comradery. If your event is targeted towards the tech industry, hold workshops for software developers, analysts, programmers, robotic engineers, etc. Creating an environment in which your attendees will feel inspired to connect with others is key.

Encourage the sense of community online

Before your event even happens, create a sense of community on your social media platforms. Encourage your followers to share your event with their friends. Hold giveaways that require followers to tag friends in the comments section in order to participate. Have a raffle that offers special VIP services to an attendee and their friend. If your event requires ticket sales, offer a discounted rate to groups. The goal is to get across the message that your event is ideal for friends and colleagues to attend together.

Use word-of-mouth marketing

Lastly, the best way to encourage community in an authentic way is to use word-of-mouth marketing. Consider it for yourself, would you be more inspired to attend an event if a friend recommended it or if you saw an ad online? Word-of-mouth marketing is 2-3x more effective than standard marketing approaches because it’s authentic. Millennials are becoming increasingly deterred by ads that try too hard and are 115% more likely to be influenced by word-of-mouth. Word-of-mouth marketing speaks to their desire for realness by swapping ads for honest recommendations from people they already know.

When one attendee uses InGo to sign up for your event, you’re able to reach their entire network of connections in an organic way. InGo shows attendees which of their friends, colleagues, peers, and fellow industry professionals are also attending, allowing them to rekindle old connections while establishing new ones. With InGo’s new notification function, attendees are updated when someone in their network registers for the same event.*  This helps to continue engagement with the event as it approaches and creates excitement whenever the attendee receives a notification that a friend, colleague, or influencer has also registered. Instead of signing up and forgetting about the event, they’re reminded that it’s coming up and can look forward to the meaningful connections that will also be there.

Experiencing an event with fellow industry leaders can mean the difference in an attendee deciding to register or not. With the proven efficacy of word-of-mouth marketing, InGo is the place to begin your journey in authentic marketing. Try our demo today.

*Attendees must meet the necessary requirements for receiving updates. Attendees will receive up to seven updates when someone in their network registers for the same event.

How to Really Drive Your Marketing ROI

How to Really Drive Your Marketing ROI

Want to really understand your marketing ROI and drive radical growth? First, consider the number of touchpoints the average customer makes before a purchase -- some say seven, others say twenty. This is made even more complex by the constant evolution of omnichannel marketing. Last-click attribution allocates 100% of conversion credit to the last ad seen in the consumer journey, regardless of whether it actually played a part in the conversion funnel. Focusing on just one touch point of the consumer’s click journey fails to take into consideration the entire purchasing story.

The end of last touch attribution has been disputed for the last ten years. The unreliability of last-click attribution has been repeatedly reported on, yet many companies still rely on it. The pitfall many marketers fall into is emphasizing bottom-of-funnel activities while ignoring marketing initiatives at the top of the conversion funnel. Marketers who put too much value on the last click limit themselves in understanding where their efforts had the greatest effect, ultimately making the framework of their marketing approach unpredictable and unreliable.

In recent years, marketers have recognized the errors of last-click attribution, prompting the generation of more accurate, multi-touch attribution (MTA) models. Advanced MTA models determine attribution by analyzing all the media touch points in a consumer’s path. This in-depth approach is meant to give fair credit to all efforts along the conversion funnel while showing marketers which components in their campaigns are really driving conversions. Marketers are then able to understand how different marketing initiatives perform along the various stages of the funnel, not just the end. Not only does MTA allow marketers to gain better insight into their consumers, but it reveals which channels are outperforming others and exposes any gaps within their marketing plan.

Discovering the best MTA method for your organization is vital for keeping up with competitors. In basic terms, marketers must understand the mind of the consumer to understand their behavior. Anyone who’s purchased something online should be able to understand the multi-layered purchasing process. The journey to buying a product, signing up for a service, or registering at an event begins long before the final purchase. When a purchase depends upon hundreds of earlier clicks, it’s impossible to solely gauge success on the last click.

The great news is that whatever your last touch acquisitions are, you’re probably getting a ton of engagement and interest prior to the last click that you aren’t aware of. Acquiring MTA for each of your channels will open up a world of new marketing opportunities and audiences who will be more open to your initiatives. Appealing to influential people begins before the last click, so you want to make sure the efforts at the top of your conversion funnel are strong. One important method for strengthening the first stages of conversion is word-of-mouth. With thousands of marketing tools to sift through, it’s impossible to stay on top of them all. You can, however, emphasize word-of-mouth marketing, a method that is becoming increasingly important as the industry becomes more digitally oversaturated.

A recent study showed 74% of consumers identify word-of-mouth as a key influencer in their purchasing decision. The same study shows that millennials are 115% more influenced by word-of-mouth than traditional advertising. Consider it for yourself. When debating to make a purchase or to sign up for an event, are you more influenced by emails and ads scattered across your computer screen or the recommendation of a trusted friend or colleague? When you empower those at the top of your funnel by using word-of-mouth-marketing, you’re able to advance their journey and everyone they influence to the last click. Eventually, they will click on an ad or a marketing email, but you’re more likely to get them there when you influence them via word-of-mouth.

InGo and Reed Empower Thousands to Grow All Energy Australia

InGo and Reed Empower Thousands to Grow All Energy Australia

Last October, Reed Exhibitions used InGo to draw in nearly 2,000 attendees to their All-Energy Australia exhibition. Using word-of-mouth marketing, InGo allows organizers to reach the most influential attendees in their industry.

Thanks to Glenne, an energy sector adviser who registered for the All-Energy Australia exhibition using InGo, Reed Exhibitions was able to reach Glenne’s most meaningful connections. InGo empowered over 1,716 clean energy leaders who then acquired 1,986 exhibition attendees.

“InGo builds a sense of community, a social presence, an awareness of who our influencers are, and ultimately increases attendance at our events.” — Ciaran O’Connell, Group Marketing Manager at Reed Exhibitions

Ready to join the hundreds of others who have 10x’ed their marketing ROI? Click here to try a demo.

Event Tech Week: Featuring 5 Event Leaders, Including InGo CEO, Michael Barnett

Event Tech Week: Featuring 5 Event Leaders, Including InGo CEO, Michael Barnett

Event planners are inundated with new technology, making it difficult to determine which programs are best for their company. Event Technology Week was created to help organizers navigate the expanding world of technology with a free five-day digital conference. With daily webinars led by the industry’s top professionals, Event Tech Week is a shortcut to discovering which resources will benefit you most.

It’s as simple as logging in.

InGo CEO and Founder, Michael Barnett, will be leading a webinar on ‘How Member Connectivity Drives Growth, Retention, and Exhibitor Happiness’ this Wednesday at 12pm. Barnett’s extensive experience in community growth led him to found InGo in 2007 and he’s been empowering members ever since.

Tune into his talk to learn about how InGo can help you. Click here to sign up.

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7 Strategies For Making Your Show a “Must Attend”

Blurred business people at a expo hall

Attendance is one of the biggest reasons trade shows succeed or fail.

As an organizer, you know just how much time, effort, ingenuity, and preparation comes with executing a successful trade show. Now, imagine putting in all that work only to receive dismal attendance.

Low traffic can cause a ripple effect of losing money and reputation; exhibitors won’t sign up for the following year, you’ll struggle to break even and cover the location cost, and the community will begin equating your show with unpopularity. Putting on an event can be daunting, but there is no reason your trade show should fail if you employ a few strategies to guarantee success.

Here at InGo, we work with the top trade show organizers in the world. Their shows receive millions of attendees using key strategies to engage with new audiences while maintaining existing ones.

The secret to a successful trade show is in empowering your VIPs, your exhibitors, and yourself. Check out these seven major strategies for making your show a “must attend.”

7. Harness the power of social media

Each of your attendees has hundreds to thousands of potential attendees in their network. There’s no reason you shouldn’t be utilizing the power of social media to reach new audiences. There are lots of ways to create intrigue around your event; post photos of last year’s show, give updates on your exhibitors, spotlight special VIPs. Likes and follows turn into attendees and regular posts will garner attention from potential new exhibitors and VIPs.

6.Hold a competition for the best booth location

As an exhibitor, having your booth front and center of the trade show can mean the difference of thousands of dollars to their brand. Some trade show organizers charge extra for prime locations of the floor, but it may be worth it to you to hold a competition between exhibitors for the best booth spot. Make an announcement to your exhibitors, stating that whoever gets the most attendees to sign up for the trade show from their social media channels will win the highly coveted booth location.

5. Hold a competition for most impressive booth

A fun way to create friendly competition and incentive amongst exhibitors to to hold a competition for most impressive booth. Chances are, your exhibitors are creative people who love displaying their products. Challenge them to design their best booth yet. Better yet, ask them to share their progress on social media so their fans can show support through re-posting photos. During the trade show, attendees can participate by voting for their favorite booths. This will create a sense of camaraderie and support around the exhibitors. At the end of the show, crown your booth winner and award them with a prize that makes all the hard work worth it.

4. Do giveaways

If there’s one thing attendees love, it’s the opportunity to win free stuff. Ask each of your exhibitors to raffle off one or two items from their booth along with a business card and information about their brand. When attendees arrive, ask them if they’d like to put their name in a raffle for free goods. Consider holding giveaways every couple of hours, announcing the winner over the speaker system. Give each winner a swag bag with a couple prizes and information on the booths they came from.

3. Consider entertainment & inspiration

HLTH, Money 2020, SXSW are growing every year, largely by creating fun and exciting environments. Learn from their lead and set aside a space for music, food, and even talks from spokespeople that align with your event’s values. Whatever your demographic is, the industry you’re targeting has members in leadership positions. Chances are, the people attending (or who would be interested in attending) would love to come and hear someone of influence speak. Trade shows are motivated by community, so contact a person who embodies this community and who can inspire your attendees.

To keep the energy up, hire a DJ or a band to be the soundtrack of your trade show. Plus, if you hire someone with a following, they will share your event with their fanbase and draw in even more attendees.

2. Pamper your VIPs

VIPs are the lifeblood to your show and your exhibitor’s businesses. Treat your VIPs well by creating a VIP lounge where they can relax and get free food and drink. Make sure you take time to get to know your VIPs. Meet and connect with them, find out what motivates them as buyers. Allow your VIPs to tour the show before the doors open to the general public. Better yet, give them a personalized tour of each booth. Provide your VIPs with free accommodations if they’re from out of town. Allow them to invite their own connections to stay for free. Create swag bags for your VIPs and ask your exhibitors to provide products that best represent the quality for their brand.  

1. Show attendees which network connections are also going

Imagine how motivating it is for your buyers to see creative and interesting people going to your event. At InGo, we have seen significant engagement rates and increased conversion to onsite when we show attendees which individuals from their own network are attending. Your VIPs are your most influential members as they have hundreds to thousands of connections. When they use InGo, you have the ability to reach their entire network. Your VIPs will be able to see which connections of theirs are going, creating even more incentive to attend and spread the word about your show. It’s an opportunity for them to foster new connections and rekindle old ones.

Want to learn more about attracting more attendees to your trade show using word of mouth marketing in the digital era? Get your free demo today.

The 10 Best Event Marketing Tools in 2018

The 10 Best Event Marketing Tools in 2018

2018 research from Eventbrite found that 57% of organizers planned to hold more events this year than in 2017. However, with more events being thrown, companies are going to have to get more creative with their event marketing to attract guests and stay ahead of the competition. We’ve ranked ten of the best tools to market your event.

mdg and InGo to Enhance Partnership

mdg and InGo to Enhance Partnership

Two industry leaders joined forces at PCMA’s “Convening Leaders 2018” to raise the bar on event marketing. InGo, a provider of socially savvy event growth software, and mdg, the country’s leading marketing agency specializing in event and association marketing, announced that they are enhancing their partnership to help associations and event organizers inspire more valuable—and growing—event communities.

How to Champion Business Branding at Events

How to Champion Business Branding at Events

For businesses looking to promote their brand, ethos and culture, events can be the platform they use to project their voice. Branding plays a pivotal role in events, and businesses put a lot of effort into nailing it ahead of the day. Whether that’s an eye-catching, custom exhibition stand or bespoke t-shirts for team members, branding speaks volumes at events and businesses will invest big to ensure attendees listen.

Expo Logic and InGo Partner to Offer Word-of-Mouth Marketing, Making Events Better Together

Manassas, VA, Philadelphia, PA - (July 6, 2017) - Jeff Cooper, CEO at Expo Logic, and Michael Barnett, CEO of InGo, announced today the two companies have made it easy for attendees everywhere to better engage their friends and colleagues using InGo’s flagship products, EnGage and Network Notifications. 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, and more enjoyment in the community.

InGo Releases Network Notifications: Exhibitors and Participants Everywhere Will Now Know Who Is Also Attending

InGo Releases Network Notifications: Exhibitors and Participants Everywhere Will Now Know Who Is Also Attending

Whenever a business professional is attending an event, he or she wants to know the answer to an important question... “Who is going to be there?” Today, InGo can answer that question with the release of our innovative feature, an industry first, called "Network Notifications."

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.

3 Essential Ways to Grow your Email Subscriber List

3 Essential Ways to Grow your Email Subscriber List

Email marketing is an intuitive way to connect with customers and remind them of your marketing services. You can build relationships with customers, but expanding your email list can seem daunting. People who are already on your list but don't intend to buy can lose interest in your campaigns. It leads to lower ROI and lower customer engagement. You must keep your emails as engaging, but that is not merely enough. Adding fresh subscribers is important for email marketing success. You can access your fair share of customers by cultivating your list.