Monday, February 25, 2013

Seven Tips for an Awesome Event

MPI TechCon just provided a soup to nuts, A to Z, beginning to end primer about how to promote and operate an event for today’s tech savvy attendee. Did you miss it? The Chicago chapter of Meeting ProfessionalsInternational hosted a full day of education, but the education extended well beyond that one day of programming. If you were paying attention, you would have seen many valuable tips and tricks being shared in the days and months leading up to the event. Here are a few highlights:

Early promotion of hashtag (started during 2012 industry events – capitalizing on the many potential attendees who were following the conversations taking place about those events)

Early release of mobile app

Pre-event e-mails which provided many helpful tips about attending the event, including training videos on twitter for those attendees who needed the basic education before they showed up for the advanced content

Our industry’s first ever hackathon took place the weekend before the event. Attendees were educated about what it was and why these types of events are important.

Pre-event Google+ Hangout with keynote speaker

Speakers were mostly (if not entirely) presenters from outside of the meetings and events industry. The keynote speaker, Scott Stratten is one of the most well-known thought leaders on the topic of making your business awesome. He did great job of relating his material to the meetings and events industry. I have seen him speak twice before and would pay to see him again. His content is so excellent, that it easily applies to any industry he might be presenting to.

Virtual option truly reached attendees far beyond those who would typically attend this event. Highlights included: interviews in between sessions, pre-produced videos during the down-time, social media integration helping virtual audience have a presence at the event, wonderful production quality, virtual emcee, and programming which was engaging for the virtual audience.

As a virtual attendee, I can only imagine how much more innovative the on-site experience was. Check out their website to see what you can learn from them and view the sponsors who helped make it happen! 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Are You in Control of Your Brand?

I came across this post on LinkedIn and thought it fit perfectly into my Personal Branding blog. It has been awhile since I linked to another blog. This one is short and sweet.

Internet – The New First Impression

Sunday, February 3, 2013

God Made a Farmer

Most of the Super Bowl commercials that I have been giving a 10/10 to are the ones I consider to be interactive or motivating to visit the company's website or social media.

Then there was the "God Made a Farmer" ad. At first, I thought it was just pulling on my heart strings because I am from Nebraska and I have an intimate, albeit second hand account of what that life is like. And then, I started lamenting that for most of my life I have tried to escape any connection I have to that culture. Watch it here if you haven't seen it yet.

The reason this was such a great commercial is that I kept thinking about it even after it was over and I had so much to say about it that wouldn't fit into a tweet or Facebook post. Lots of people were tweeting and posting about how great it was. I think that is because the message people were relating to was having a strong work ethic. You don't have to grow up on a farm to have a strong work ethic. I always say that I got mine from my parents (one of whom did grow up on a farm).

So here's why I think kids aren't going to make that same connection: my next thought was about how I appreciate being able to have work/life balance. Whether it is a generational difference, personality type, nature vs. nurture, the idea of "working to live" is gaining in popularity over the idea of "living to work". A farmer's life is his work and his work is his life, and the same goes for the entire family.

So, have we lost that work ethic? Is that what made America great and now because we don't have it, we are losing our competitive edge? I know, you may not agree and even if you do, it isn't that simple.

As someone on twitter pointed out, what made it a great commercial was the strength of the voice and the photography. I'll let the advertising experts expand on that. I'm talking about the content and the art of storytelling. I'm making a connection for Generation X about understanding the value in it and yet, feeling distanced from it.

The website encourages you to watch the video and share a message of support in exchange for a donation from Ram to FFA. For them, it is literally about the farmers. The farmers are their target market and making that emotional appeal and charitable commitment is a great business strategy.

Tell me what your connection was and if you found yourself thinking about it long after the commercial aired.

To the farmer in all of us...