Last week we asked you whether you were inspiring in your work. Today we give some solid tips for getting there and staying there.
Basecamp. Keep things consistent and transparent by using an online project management system like Basecamp. Basecamp lets you track projects, share to-do lists, have real-time discussions and upload files with in-house or virtual teams without sending emails back and forth. You can include everyone who needs to know about a project or event and control what they can change or access. A calendar with due dates is auto-generated for each project, participants only see the dates relevant to the projects they’re involved in and daily updates keep everyone on track and accountable.
Listen up! Stop selling and start listening to your attendees, exhibitors and sponsors. “If you talked to people the way advertising talked to people, they’d punch you in the face,” says William Bakker of Think Social Media. Rather than flipping a switch 60 days out and going into event marketing mode, find ways in which you can create an ongoing dialogue with the people who come to your event. If you build on that relationship, you can call on them to help you promote the event. And their feedback will help you improve the on-site experience for everyone.
Diversify. If half your audience expects a traditional awards ceremony but the other half feels it’s too stuffy, why not create simultaneous experiences that are formal and casual? One clever organization sold tickets to both a black-tie and a relaxed bar-centric event. When winners were announced, people at the bar got text messages, so they could celebrate, too. But then they were able to go back to their networking.
Matchmaker, matchmaker. Why not ask attendees when they register whom they’d like to meet at your event or what they’d like to achieve or learn? You could have a relationship concierge on-site who works to connect people and make sure they get the value and connections they expect from your event.
Go video. Create an on-site confessional where attendees can go to upload video commentary about what they are learning or discovering at your event. Online portals like Youtube.com make it easy to upload short videos to a corporate channel that can then be shared on social networks or embedded on websites. If you have teams of people doing video interviews on-site, be sure to collect testimonials you can use for future marketing efforts.
Ask, ask, ask. Why not ask people how they prefer to learn, what their personal or professional interests are or whether they self-identify as introverts or extroverts on the registration form? You can use that information to seat people by interests at sessions or meals, create speaker handouts for each group and customize the on-site experience for your attendees.
What have you found inspiring at a meeting or event? Please share your thoughts and experiences in our comment section below.