Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A Big Idea for Earth Day

Do more than just eliminate bottled water.

Get rid of the trade show.

When we convene at the Green Meetings Industry Council, we talk about a lot of ways to make our events more responsible. The trade show is consistently the elephant in the room. By the way, I'm not suggesting you stop getting people together for face-to-face interactions and business meetings. I'm suggesting you don't build an entire city within a trade show hall of materials that will get sent to the landfill when it is over.

I'm also not suggesting that it is just that easy. I took a 30 year old trade show for MPISCC (their biggest revenue driver) and I eliminated the trade show portion of the education conference. It was very successful in facilitating networking, delivering education and connecting buyers and sellers in ways they hadn't connected at an event before. Not surprisingly, I failed to produce the revenue that the event had once generated. I had all of the opportunities in place to drive the same revenue, but the suppliers hadn't all bought into the concepts I offered. Change is not going to happen overnight and I am hoping to share what I learned so that others don't have to start from the beginning. If you would like to learn more about the specific agenda and sponsorship levels I created for that event, contact me directly. By the way, I didn't eliminate the trade show just to "go green". I was responding to negative feedback from planners and suppliers on previous events and put in hours of conversations with potential attendees about how they buy and sell.

Are you willing to share your successes and failures? I'd love to hear what you think whether you have tried something innovative or if you see the need for change. Let's collaborate!

Friday, April 11, 2014

"The Business of YOU"

The theme of this blog used to be Personal Branding for Gen X and Boomers and I am still very passionate about the topic even though I've never worked in HR, recruiting or any related field. Networking offline and online has been the main reason I have had any level of success in getting jobs, getting clients... getting everything I have.

The topic of last night's LinkedOC event was "The Business of YOU: why now is the best time to build your personal brand" and a few insights from the amazing panelists stand out to me. On a philosophical level, they each discussed the reasons for building a personal brand. Learning and personal/professional development were high on the list for these guys and I would concur. I wasn't a good writer when I started blogging. I used to be very cut and dry / to the point and it took practice to expand my thoughts into longer sentences, paragraphs. If I hadn't taken the initiative to start writing with no other motivation, I would not have been prepared to be an author of the new CIC Manual when I was asked. The panelists all talked about how building their personal brands has allowed them to move in directions that may not have been available to them otherwise - and they all had very successful careers before! The thing that holds people back is they get comfortable with where they are - the job, the family, etc. They don't push themselves to expect more and they don't think about what would happen if they experienced a major change at work or at home. One of them reminded us that even if you do have a job and are happy with it, building your personal brand can help you provide more value to your company - even if you are not in sales!

The panelists talked a lot about their current projects, which social networks they are using and had some tips for all areas of marketing. They had fresh ideas, hot tips and were candid about success and failure. Check them out! (Blogger suggests the person's G+ profile when you start typing in a twitter handle so I used the two that came up here - Sneaky!)

+Chris Dyer of http://www.peopleg2.com/

@SeanEllis of https://qualaroo.com/ and http://growthhackers.com/

+Jason Lankow of http://www.columnfivemedia.com/

Because I love MadMen, I clicked on this article from my Facebook news feed this morning. One of their "habits of successful people": 11. Care for and feed your network. The author suggests you should meet one new person every day and reach out to a person who you haven't talked to in awhile.

Do you feel like you are too busy to care for your network? Do you have tips on how you do it?

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Do Social Media Contests Work?

SocialPoint sponsored the Social Bar at Catersource / Event Solutions last week in Las Vegas. We showcased our social displays, social leaderboards (displays and mobile), and photo sharing. Many attendees got into the game of climbing the leaderboard by tweeting and taking pictures. Two of our winners let me record them talking about why they were playing the social game. SocialPoint leaderboards are a simple way to incorporate gamification into your event without your attendees needing an additional app or program to play the game. They are using twitter or instagram - which many of them already use - or will start using just to play the game and receive value from the app when they leave the event.

Overall, the event earned almost 19,000 tweets.and over 2,000 instagram photos/videos. 993 individual users were incorporating the event's hashtag into their online conversations. The social bar hosted a lot face to face meetings of the various people who were communicating with each other via social media. It was a successful partnership and we were happy to be part of a new segment of the meetings and events industry.

Video featuring Sarah Lawson @Sarah_Lawson from @Hotel_Laguna and Bar Harbor Catering Company @BHCaterCo. Short Bus Catering Company @ShortBusCater also won an all access pass to next year's conference.