Compass: Guiding You To Event Success

Compass Issue-9 March 2018

We are at the end of Q1 – whoa. How do you feel about your 2018 thus far?

Welcome to our 9th newsletter, Compass ❄ Guiding You To Event Success.

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We’ve returned from our annual conference in San Diego and fun times were had by all at Social Media Marketing World 2018. By all accounts, photos and videos, our 6th annual global conference was a success. Were you there? What did you think?

We met a bunch of new friends and shared a dance, song and a smile with friends from around the globe. We learned a ton of new tips and tricks for marketers looking to stand out in a crowd.

We saw some notable and creative ideas that different companies employed to stand out. We made a list of unique tactics employed.

4 Ways to Make a Bigger Impact At Events

Are you a master marketer, adept at promoting your brand, and shining a light on others while you’re at it? We took note of a few Sponsors doing it right at our recent conference. Here’s four unique ways for Sponsors to stand out in a sea of seemingly sameness.

1. Broadcast
Go live from your phone or bring along a cameraman to help you to broadcast live on-site. Switchboard Live took the aisles of the Networking Plaza and interviewed other Sponsors. View here.

2. Share
Give a gift and contribute to the success of your fellow sponsors. Love Handle took notes on who else was sponsoring the conference and created custom branded packages for them to share their ‘brand in hand’ solution. What a great way to create new collaborations and find new fans!

3. Play
Create memorable moments where fun is involved. Host a game show, have a game of skill or chance and give away prizes. Billy Gene is Marketing had a big wheel with Billy Gene’s face on it. That really got the excitement geared up! View here.

4. Document
Smiles for miles and selfies rule! Host a relevant Photo Booth in your booth area. Give attendees a way to share it on social and via their personal profiles for maximum reach. Zoho Social had an Instagram-Style border and a photo area set up that incorporated their brand and social media – smart!

Are you making a big impact at your industry events? Have you experienced something unique that is a winning combination? We would love to learn from you – let us know what you’re doing to make your brand stand out!

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Check out The Journey, our weekly video show.

The Journey, an episodic video documentary, reveals what many will see as an impossible goal pursued by Michael Stelzner, founder of Social Media Examiner.

Mike is on a mission to grow the company and our conference, Social Media Marketing World. Watch as he inspires and mobilizes the team to take action.

Facebook Apocalypse: The Journey, Episode 17

Leveraging Breaking News: The Journey, Episode 18

Repurposing What Works: The Journey, Episode 19

The Final Ascent: The Journey, Episode 20

Training Day: The Journey, Episode 21

The Big Event: The Journey, Episode 22

TO BE CONTINUED NEXT SEASON

Subscribe to the show at http://journey.show

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Would you like an audit of your paid media and event marketing?

We have several resources and a lot of learnings to share. Let us help you discover your next best customer from the millions of marketers that tune-in, read and learn from Social Media Examiner.

Preview what’s in store for 2019 sponsors of Social Media Marketing World…

Click the bar below and fill in your contact information. We’ll contact you with 2019 rates and options.

Compass Issue-8 January/February 2018

We made it to a new year. What is your plan to make 2018 your best year ever? Please let us know how we can help make this year a success for your business!

Welcome to our 8th newsletter, Compass ❄ Guiding You To Event Success.

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This edition is a two-fer for January/February. Heading into 2018, time passed swiftly. We’ve been busy gearing up for our 6th annual conference in San Diego. So we thought we’d combine inspiration and motivation into one issue.

What is the rationale for connecting with customers in a face-to-face environment? How can you be certain that putting it all out there will deliver a return on your investment? We’ve got the top aims to help convince the boss.

Here is a list of the top 5 reasons why you should sponsor relevant social/digital/media events. And if you need ideas on where to start your journey – check out this list we curate: www.socialmediaexaminer.com/upcoming-events

Did we miss any?

The Top 5 Reasons to Sponsor Events:

1. Exposure
Gain visibility with the right target demographic in an environment that is designed for helping buyers and sellers connect.

2. Grow Your Business
Learn about the latest tools, tactics and techniques in your industry. Knowledge is power and will arm you with the information you need to expand your business.

3. Network
Spend time with your peers in a collaborative environment. Explore paths that are mutually beneficial. Help and mentor someone on the rise and share your expertise.

4. Discover Trends
Track the data and do a deep-dive. Analysis of what works now will lead you toward what will work in the future.

5. Demo Your Product or Solution
Share your industry expertise with your ideal prospect. Demonstrate how your product or solution can transform and take their business to that next level.

Have you experienced the benefits and ROI from being a sponsor at an industry event? What would you add? Please share your story…

Check out The Journey, our weekly video show.

The Journey, an episodic video documentary, reveals what many will see as an impossible goal pursued by Michael Stelzner, founder of Social Media Examiner.

Mike is on a mission to grow the company and our conference, Social Media Marketing World. Watch as he inspires and mobilizes the team to take action.

Behind the Scenes: The Journey, Episode 10b BONUS

Reforming the Pitch: The Journey, Episode 11

Leading from the Front: The Journey, Episode 12 
**Spoiler Alert: Watch Demian and Emily in this episode

Getting Things Done: The Journey, Episode 13

Crafting the Experience: The Journey, Episode 14

Email Nightmares: The Journey, Episode 15

Turning Point: The Journey, Episode 16

Subscribe to the show at http://journey.show

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Would you like a preview of what we’ve got in store for 2019 sponsors of Social Media Marketing World? Hit reply and say Yes, Please! And we’ll contact you with 2019 rates and options.

Compass Issue-7 December 2017

Welcome to our 7th newsletter, Compass ❄ Guiding You To Event Success.

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This month, we created a list of some of the biggest mistakes companies make when deciding to sponsor an event along with some fixes. Did we miss any?

10 Biggest Mistakes Event Sponsors Make and How To Avoid Them

Why are some event sponsorships wildly successful and others fail?

Do you sponsor trade shows or events for your business? Have you been working hard to pitch and present your solution at the right conferences, but it’s just not giving you the return you want on your investment?

The good news is we’ve identified the biggest mistakes event sponsors make and where you need to focus.

What follows are the top mistakes made by sponsors (and how to avoid them).

Mistake #1: You did not begin with the end in mind. Getting the most from an event requires strategic planning. Put success metrics in place and make sure your goals are specific, measurable and achievable. Nothing sets a sponsor up for failure faster than having no purpose and no plan. Map out what a successful event looks like for you. Check out this sponsor playbook we created to help you achieve your ideal event outcome.

Mistake #2: You haven’t clearly identified your ideal target. Know who your buyer is. Do the attendees truly match up with the persona you’re seeking? Are you targeting the C-suite simply because it’s convenient? Take time to really understand the complex sphere of influence that puts your product on the short list. Know your buyer and find them where they live and learn.

Mistake #3: You haven’t created a marketing plan specific to the event. Don’t skip the most important part of the entire process. To be successful you need to extend your general marketing to include activities to promote your presence at the event. That might include online advertising, printed promotion, giveaways, demos and lead capture. Hosting a party or dinner can also be a great way to get closer to customers and prospects. Put a plan together and share it with your sales team.

Mistake #4: You didn’t put yourself in the attendees’ shoes. Think in terms of what’s the most inviting way to reach out and engage at an event. Present a warm and welcoming experience can help bring people in and make your exhibit stand out. Think about creating an experience to make your booth come alive. Give attendees a reason to stop by and gain attention by having a fun contest, raffle or valuable giveaway

Mistake #5: You don’t have a clear CTA (Call To Action) for your booth. There is no actionable item for prospective customers to make. Is there a lead lure for lead capture? Do you have a planned demo of your product? Is there a live demo and a canned demo in case the wifi goes out? The key is to offer valuable information for attendees and to ask for their contact information for further nurture toward purchase. Activate with a how-to or a sample audit that showcases your value. This is where you want to make that limited time, special offer just for attendees.

Mistake #6: You expect people to buy on the spot. Conversion is complicated. And unless your product sells for a reasonable price there may need to be corporate buy-in for that sale to occur. Having a compelling offer to buy on the spot can help speed up the buying cycle, but if your product costs more than a few hundred dollars, the purchase may not happen during the event. Make sure you have a plan to follow-up with interested attendees to further cement the sale. Know the competitive landscape in which you exist, and ask what it would take to make a switch from their current solution.

Mistake #7: You aren’t using social media to amplify your presence. It’s the 21st century – customers and prospects use social media to get recommendations and also spread the word about something they love! Make sure to connect with the conference on all social channels and activate your brand alongside the event hashtag. Make a special offer with a short link and promote that to help those watching along on social get involved with your brand or special offer.

Mistake #8: The team shows up and the activation falls flat. You haven’t briefed your team on what is expected. Marketing makes the arrangements then sends sales people to man the booth. Unless that sales team finds value in hunting for new customers, they may be more interested in the purchase orders coming through their phone than engaging with real live people. Make sure the right personnel is in place and everyone is in alignment on the goals.

Mistake #9: You didn’t do your homework about the event schedule. The booth team is late to breakfast and your booth is unmanned. There are sessions you want to attend but can’t because you don’t have adequate manpower to show the demo at the booth. Make sure you study the schedule and take into account when the team needs to be on point. Also, make sure to schedule in rest, food and other breaks. Standing on your feet all day can be exhausting.

Mistake #10: You have no post-show plan. Knowing that you achieved what you wanted to achieve goes back to #1 and having a clear plan to measure success. Put an action plan in place to maximize the information you capture at the event. Ensure that sales and marketing have clearly defined roles when it comes to follow-up. Input leads into a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system for further qualification and follow up with a thank you for visiting our booth email.

For many businesses, event marketing has become an important way to generate leads, showcase products, meet influencers, and sell.

Making a plan and monitoring and analyzing your metrics will give you the data and insights to calculate success and return on your investment.

What do you think? Have you made any of these mistakes? What fixes would you add? Please share your thoughts below…

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Check out The Journey, our weekly video show.

The Journey, an episodic video documentary, reveals what many will see as an impossible goal pursued by Michael Stelzner, founder of Social Media Examiner.

Mike is on a mission to grow the company and our conference. Watch as he inspires and mobilizes the team to take action.

Falling Behind: The Journey, Episode 7
Mike deals with the realities that sales are not growing as expected.
Watch: https://youtu.be/BijVCgXu5C0

Refining the Message: The Journey, Episode 8
Mike faces the uncomfortable reality that he needs to alter his messaging.
Watch: https://youtu.be/grvbuH-9kAc

Persuading People: The Journey, Episode 9
Mike decides to collect data on why people are not buying, and works on persuading affiliates and his team.
Watch: https://youtu.be/n49Dn3e5SOg

Selling the Benefits: The Journey, Episode 10
Mike analyzes why people are not buying and begins focusing on benefits.
Watch: https://youtu.be/xxsKtGuCgJI

Subscribe to the show at http://journey.show

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Don’t miss the chance to get your brand in front of 5,000 marketers, influencers and creators – Sponsor Social Media Marketing World!

Check out all of the 2018 Social Media Marketing World sponsor options here on this page: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/smmw18sponsor

Compass Issue-6 November 2017

Are you challenged with the weight of having to staff and resource a booth at industry events?

What if you could achieve a successful ROI and still make the most of your brand exposure without having to be too hands-on?

We’ve added turnkey options to our conference, which inspired us to share ways you might participate in other industry events when you have big dreams and a small team.

10 Turnkey Sponsorship Options

1. Welcome Bag/Registration Sponsorship: Your business is there to welcome registrants to the event with an exclusive gift, offer or other item to make attendees’ event experience special. Some events have the capability to include your swag or flyer in an official conference bag. Events with an eye towards keeping things green usually have a digital bag for your special offer.

2. Coffee or Snack Break Sponsor: Let your brand be seen by attendees as they grab a cup of ‘Joe’ or a bite between sessions.

3. Charging Station Sponsor: Your brand presents a charging station at the conference where attendees go to power up their devices. Complete the activation with your flyer or a card outlining your special offer at that station.

4. Lunch and Learn/ Paid Speaking Sponsorship: Look for opportunities to deliver a workshop or demonstration pitch that is paid and opt-in during lunch or another break from the main agenda.

5. Track Sponsorship:  Imagine your brand as the ‘official sponsor’ of a relevant content session or track. Content taught by leading professionals is literally brought to attendees by your brand with a special offer or invitation.

6. Party Sponsorship: Host an intimate social gathering where you get to connect with attendees and get the community warmed up for the main event. Host the big opening night party to start things off with your brand in mind! Often a second night party is a less formal community event where attendees socialize and let their hair down with a fun activity, like karaoke!

7. Meal Sponsor: Host a breakfast, lunch or dinner. You will be kindly thanked for underwriting food and sustenance for attendees.

8. Birds of a Feather/Roundtable Sponsor: Lead a focus group or small group table talk. By participating or moderating a discussion with attendees you can find those most interested in a specific vertical, technology or business-driven topic that aligns with your solution.

9. Lounge Sponsorship: Does the event offer dedicated spaces to refresh and find some quiet? Become the “official sponsor” of a Power Networking Lounge in the center of the action where people kick back on couches and connect. Or become the sponsor of on-site massage services in a Refresh Lounge designed as a quiet break from the action.

10. WiFi Sponsor: Your business is the “exclusive sponsor” of the Internet connection. Make a special offer or put your brand message directly on the splash page. Options may include email capture or gating for lead development.

Tip: If you want to stand out from the rest, ask your event contact to help you craft a custom sponsorship to meet your goals and objectives.

We hope these inspire you with ideas to activate at your favorite event and turn a creative sponsorship into valuable business and a return on your investment.

Check out The Journey, our weekly video show.

The Journey, an episodic video documentary, reveals what many will see as an impossible goal pursued by Michael Stelzner, founder of Social Media Examiner.

Mike is on a mission to grow the company and our conference. Watch as he inspires and mobilizes the team to take action.

It’s About Time: The Journey, Episode 3 
Learn how Mike makes time for important projects while avoiding dangerous rabbit trails.
Watch: https://youtu.be/BijVCgXu5C0

Leaving the Nest: The Journey, Episode 4
Watch how Mike handles leaving the office for four days. You’ll see cameo appearances from people you might recognize.
Watch: https://youtu.be/grvbuH-9kAc

It’s Hot in Here: The Journey, Episode 5
Mike pushes his team to try new ideas and focus on refining their messaging. He also accelerates the launch of a new product.
Watch: https://youtu.be/n49Dn3e5SOg

Necessary Endings: The Journey, Episode 6
Mike faces the realities that things are not working and must embrace change in his marketing techniques and himself.
Watch: https://youtu.be/xxsKtGuCgJI

Subscribe to the show at http://journey.show

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Don’t miss the chance to get your brand in front of 5,000 marketers, influencers and creators – Sponsor Social Media Marketing World!

Check out all of the 2018 Social Media Marketing World sponsor options here: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/smmw18sponsor

Compass Issue-5 October 2017

Wondering how taking part in live events can help your business?

Interested in tips on networking and sponsorships for events?

In a recent episode of The Social Media Marketing Podcast, Mike Stelzner interviewed the team (Emily Crume and Demian Ross) and they explored tips on how to grow your leads and customers by attending physical events.

Being present at relevant events is a great way to meet people and develop long-term relationships. Events are also a great way to increase awareness of your business.

When you are ready for the next level of participation, here are ways to connect with attendees and your next best customer: 

1. Simple sponsorships like coffee/snack breaks, charging stations, WiFi, lanyards and more

2. Booth or tabletop sponsorships to demo your product and sell

3. Content sponsorships and paid speaking for contextual adjacency

4. Branding/awareness via parties, dinners or other social activities

Tip: Always do your homework before attending any event. Know whom you will meet and prepare yourself for making smart, lasting connections.

Listen to the show to hear more detailed examples of event sponsorship.

Looking for more events? Explore our curated Events page where we list relevant digital/social/marketing events.

Want your social media event listed? Email emily@socialmediaexaminer.com for details.

Do you create content around your business?

Are you telling your story to customers in a creative way, perhaps through video?

If you follow any of the teachings of Gary Vee, you will notice the current movement to document, document, document. While filmed documentary-style, snack-able content may not qualify as a full-length feature. This move toward story-worthy, episodic content could be called a docu-media strategy. And we happen to be producing one of our very own…

Check out The Journey, our new weekly video show.

The Journey, an episodic video documentary, reveals what many will see as an impossible goal pursued by Michael Stelzner, founder of Social Media Examiner.

Just Ship It! The Journey, Episode 1

Mike is on a mission to grow his company’s customer base by more than 62% year over year. Watch as he inspires and mobilizes his marketing team to take action. Watch now.

Rallying the Troops! The Journey, Episode 2

Mike mobilizes his team to achieve a difficult objective. He pushes through barriers, brings in external support, and plants seeds for future ideas. Watch now.

Subscribe to the show at http://journey.show

Want to get your brand in front of 5,000 social marketers and creators? Become a sponsor of Social Media Marketing World! 

Compass Issue-4 September 2017

Do you have a “live strategy” for your marketing and events?

Going live is a powerful way to engage with your community. When you bring prospects and customers into your world or behind the scenes of your daily work, you offer a fresh and often valuable perspective.

What is the best approach for going live at an event?

Why not give exclusive insights not available anywhere else that will attract visitors to your booth or activation? Here are a few ideas:

• Behind the scenes: Show your booth prep and what goes into making your presence exciting for attendees.

• Q&As: Conduct interviews with attendees and interesting customers. Find out their ‘why.’

• Giveaways: People love swag – show off what you are offering to attendees that stop by for a demo. Ask for contact information or a social share in exchange.

When you go live at an event, you bring your brand, and others into the story, and this is a great way to connect and create shared purpose.

At Social Media Examiner, we love to “Go Live.” And we will have a Live Stage to live stream unique segments at Social Media Marketing World 2018 in the Networking Plaza. Think exclusive content, interviews, demos, and chats broadcast to 500,000+ Social Media Examiner Facebook fans and beyond!

Details on location and all sponsorships available here.

3 Tips For Success At Live Events from Cyndi Knapic, Head of Animoto for Business

1. Share your expertise. One of the benefits of attending an event in person is getting direct access to subject matter experts. People attend conferences to learn, and as a vendor, you are uniquely positioned to offer valuable information they need.

2. Ask questions. Slow down your pitch by asking questions to get to know the person you’re talking to. Having more information about their needs helps when you bump into them again during a keynote presentation, over lunch, or at other events.

3. Take breaks. You may talk to hundreds of people while standing on your feet all day, and then there are still the networking parties at night. Take time to drink lots of water, stretch, eat, and get a good night’s rest – it’s important to stay healthy especially during multi-day events.

Do you have an upcoming conference where you want to go ‘Live?’

Key components of a successful Live strategy include planning, training and a focus on sharing the excitement of what’s happening here and now.

Tip: Take time to be educated about what is expected and appropriate for the event.

Listen and learn from the Social Media Examiner Community Managers at Social Media Marketing World as we explore “Community Management” and what happened ‘live’ at our 2017 event.

Want to get your brand in front of 5,000 social marketers and creators? Become a sponsor of Social Media Marketing World!

Compass Issue-3 August 2017

Do you know how to produce a successful event?

Event planning can be complex – and for many it is the most important part of their go-to-market strategy.
Have you spent time really planning for event success?

Event marketing is an important way to generate leads, showcase products, meet influencers, and sell. Getting the most from an event requires strategic planning.

We created a playbook designed to help you examine what you need to consider in order to achieve your ideal outcome. Events can be expensive – and your brand is worth it!

Click here to get your copy of our Event Sponsorship Playbook.

3 Tips To Have Fun And Be Successful At Live Events from Jim Pedicone, Marketing Director, Design Pickle

1. Push your table to the back of your booth. You’ll be too tempted to stay behind it otherwise. Don’t create a barrier between you and the people with whom you are trying to connect.

2. Stand up! You’re way more approachable. It’s amazing what happens when you connect with people like a human being – or a friendly mascot!

3. Create excitement! In addition to bringing swag, we designate someone to take photos and sometimes bring a videographer to capture footage to use in future marketing.

Do you have difficulties networking at conferences?

Want to learn tips to put into action at your next physical event?

The purpose of networking is to develop meaningful connections that can have an impact on your business, career, and life.

Listen and learn from Noah Stanley’s experience at Social Media Marketing World as we explore “Networking for Introverts.”

Want to sponsor Social Media Marketing World?

Compass Issue-2 July 2017

Have you ever had the chance to craft a unique event experience for your brand?

I want to share how one sponsor at Social Media Marketing World in 2017 created a unique experience that people still talk about and share. An idea that was simple and elegant in its execution.

Allow me to introduce Flipboard and the Red Couch. As the sponsor of the second-night networking party, “Underwater Wonderland,” party-goers found Flipboard’s signature red couch set for a photo-shoot with world-renowned Sports Illustrated photographer, Peter Read Miller.

A photo shoot at an event centered on a Red Couch.

Having done this at different events, it had come to signify their pure approach to content and represents their brand. A photo taken in a moment of inspiration – a moment in time destined to be shared among friends and beyond.

Create something simple and compelling, something that gets talked about for a long time afterwards. Our party attendees will always remember their time on the Red Couch. Visit Flipboard’s #SMMW17 Red Couch Magazine for more photos.

“People come to conferences for the content. They come back for the relationships that they make” – Michael Stelzner, Founder of Social Media Examiner/Social Media Marketing World

Do you know what it takes to create an exceptional experience?

Entertainment is all about fun. And fun requires planning. Plus, a little something special.

Tip: Orchestrate the experience from beginning to end.

Take a peek behind the scenes at Social Media Marketing World as we explore “Creating an exceptional experience.”

You might have some creative inspiration of your own.

Want to sponsor Social Media Marketing World?

Compass Issue-1 June 2017

Are you busy on Friday, June 30th? Join a Social Media Day near you….

Social Media Day was conceived by Mashable in 2010 to recognize the ways in which social media is transforming our lives. A global happening, it serves to celebrate and educate about rapidly changing technologies leading the future of communications and business.

Educational and casual gatherings are scheduled in cities across the nation and around the world.

Visit Mashable’s Social Media Day Hub to find an event near you, or check out one of these events hosted by our friends below:

For more gatherings #IRL, check out our Events page at Social Media Examiner where we curate a comprehensive list of relevant digital/social/media events.

BONUS: In this May 23rd article on Social Media Examiner, Mike Stelzner reveals top takeaways from the 2017 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, a survey of more than 5,700 marketers. Subscribe and get your copy now.

Do you know why we like to gather in-real-life? Business is all about relationships. And relationships require care. And, service.

Take a peek behind the scenes at Social Media Marketing World as we explore “Why we go to conferences.”

You might experience your own transformation.

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