6 Best Practices for Promoting Events

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6 Best Practices for Promoting Events

A well planned, well communicated and well attended event can help an organization thrive and a business grow. Yet, I receive event notifications on a regular basis that are missing information, poorly timed, and offer too many reminders. Why is it so hard to get it right? Let’s take a look at a few best practices for promoting an event.

1._Create an event fact sheet. This should include all of the relevant facts such as date, time and location, as well as who should attend, where to J.R. Atkins talks about event communicationpark and who to call or email with questions. This list can be used to develop a press release and other forms of marketing communications as well as sharing with people and sponsors you are recruiting.

2. Develop a marketing communication plan at least 90 days out from the event. Your event may require more or less time depending on the J.R. Atkins on event planningevent, but 90 days is a rule of thumb as it allows time for event publication by relevant resources and printed materials. For best results, once you have confirmed the venue, develop your marketing communication plan. It is easier to deal with plenty of time than not enough time.

3. Send out a “save the date notice” in plenty of time. The bigger the event, the more notice people will need. For a major fund raiser or “annual J.R. Atkins says send out save the date noticesevent” publish the date on your website 12-14 months in advance and send out save the date notices several months in advance. As an example, an annual charity event may announce the date 12 months out but not release the theme, entertainment and other details until just the right moment to generate excitement.

4. Use “reasonable” frequency. One organization I belong to sent me 5 or more emails about the same event during the 30 days leading up J.R. Atkins warns of too many emailto it and they were the same email. Yuck! First, once a week is sometimes too often and second, the message needs to be different in every email. I wonder why I do not receive an invitation on Facebook or other mediums? Over communication often leads people to tune out and unsubscribe. By using multiple communication channels you can stay in front of people without driving them crazy. Use your website, email, social media, print and mail for really big events.

5. A picture is worth 1000 words. Make sure to use images that tell the story of the written content. This will create the best a picture is worth 1000 wordsimpact. For an even better impact, use a short video, less than 60 seconds, to promote the event. People will share your pictures and videos if they are done well and are relevant. PDF formats are often used to share event information, but remember they are an image and the details in the image are not searchable and someone cannot cut and paste the details into their calendar.

6. Use a professional online registration tool. It is common practice to offer registrations on your website or through an event registration tool. J.R. Atkins recommends eventbriteThese tools will increase your revenue and help manage the details. If your members like a hands on approach, you can still take their information over the phone or in person then enter it into the online tool. I have used cvent and Eventbrite, or check out the list by Capterra.

I could list more but I think these are the big ones I see being missed by well-meaning organizations. I welcome your comments, suggestions and success stores.

Good luck with your next event.


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Social Media Webinar @Rio Texas Conference of UMC

The Rio Texas Conference has hosted several webinars since February 2016. On April 30, 2016, Rev. Will Rice hosted a social media webinar with J.R. Atkins, author of Social Media 2.0.

 


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4 Trends to Capitalize on in 2016

To help your business grow in 2016, consider these trends and how well you execute in each area. I’d love to help you.

  1. social-media-buy-buttons-300x270Social Selling aka “The Buy Button” – In case you have not seen a “click to buy now” option on Pinterest or Twitter, get ready for them to appear on every social media platform. It just makes sense when you think about it; you see a picture of something you like, one click and you are able to buy it.

http://time.com/4075560/buy-button-facebook-youtube-pinterest/

  1. your design mattersDesign Still Matters – The look and feel, the ease of use, ease of navigation, online and in person, it’s all about the experience. The phrase “Customer Service” is so dated; it’s all about the “User Experience.” Millennial shopping habits are shaping the buying experience for all.

https://designschool.canva.com/blog/design-at-work/

  1. brand trustBuilding Trust – To build trust you must stand by your products and services, as well as communicate clearly and honestly about your brand. Your effectiveness in building trust is directly related to your online reviews and how you share and answer messages on social media.

https://agenda.weforum.org/2015/01/why-trust-matters-in-business/

  1. global and localBe Local and Global – Once you have a good online presence with your website and social media, you are ready to expand beyond your local market. With good online communication, competitive pricing and global shipping, you can do business anywhere you desire. You are only limited by your decisions.

http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/8211-expand-business-internationally.html

Update from Something Different Companies – 2015 has been a good year, expanding our business in London, ENG, Atlanta, GA, Fort Collins, CO, Cheyenne, WO, Dallas, TX, Killeen, TX, Copperas Cove, TX and Belton, TX. 2016 brings hopes of growing business in Mexico, Israel and Palestine. Cheers!


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MOZ 2015 Search Engine Ranking Factors

Every two years, Moz surveys the opinions of dozens of the world’s brightest search marketers and runs correlation studies to better understand the workings of search engine algorithms. We gather this data to gain insight into the factors that may help—or hurt—a website’s visibility in search engines.

This year, Moz surveyed over 150 leading search marketers who provided expert opinions on over 90 ranking factors.

In addition, the Data Science team at Moz, lead by Dr. Matthew Peters, ran an extensive correlation study to determine which features of websites and webpages are associated with higher search rankings. For the first time this year, Moz partnered with several data partners to enhance the study, including SimilarWeb, DomainTools, and Ahrefs.

Note that these factors are not “proof” of what search engines use to rank websites, but simply show the characteristics of web pages that tend to rank higher. Combining this understanding with both experience and knowledge of search engine algorithms can help lead to better SEO practices.

Please see the entire article, data and related information at: https://moz.com/search-ranking-factors

J.R. Atkins shares MOZ 2015 search faCTORS

 


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Books I recommend by J.R. Atkins, MBA

Every time I do a workshop or presentation I end with a list resources including a list of books. At one of my recent talks, someone asked what other books I would recommend for business owners. I have a long list on my website but here is the short list by category.

Social Mediasocialnomics

  1. Socialnomics, by Erik Qualman

“How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business “

  1. Social Media 2.0 by J.R. Atkins

“A cliff notes version of the Big 5 of Social Media “LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Blogging and Video”

  1. Inbound Marketing by Brian Halligan & Dharmesh Shah

“A guide to increasing online visibility and engagement”

Starting a BusinessJ.R. Atkins recommends a lean start up

  1. Cash Flow Quadrant by Robert Kiyosaki

“Explains your role as an employee, business owner, self-employed and investor”

  1. eMyth by Michael Gerber

“E is for Entrepreneur. Learn how to work on your business, not just in your business”

  1. The Lean Startup by Eric Ries

“Before you start your business, know what is important and what is fluff”

Building your BusinessJ.R. Atkins Recommends Blue Ocean Strategy

  1. Crush It by Gary Vanerchuk

“Shows you how to use the power of the Internet and social media to grow your businesses”

  1. Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim & Renee Mauborgne

“How to create uncontested market space and make competition irrelevant”

  1. Failing Forward by John C Maxwell

“Taught me how to convert past failures into future success”

Personal DevelopmentJ.R. Atkins recommends Elon Musk book

  1. Blink by Malcolm Gladwell

“The power of thinking without thinking”

  1. Strength Finder by Tom Wrath

“Discover your strengths, use them and surround yourself with others to cover the gaps”

  1. Elon Musk by Ashlee Vance

“An inside look at a visionary, entrepreneur and billionaire”

I’d love to hear what your favorite books are and why. Drop me a line sometime at

jratkins@SomethingDifferentCompanies.com

J.R. Atkins has been working with individuals, executives and small businesses since 1993 and on Social Media since 2008. He has a BA in Marketing from Texas A&M University and an MBA from The University of Phoenix, Dallas Campus. J.R. serves as an adjunct professor at Temple College and CTC. He has published 3 books Success Simplified, Social Media 2.0 and Road Map to Success.


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Major League Gaming, Coming to a City Near You

J.R. Atkins writes about major league gamingOn a recent trip to Atlanta, I had the opportunity to learn more about the industry of Major League Gaming. For the uninitiated, you can now be a professional gamer. All those hours in front of a screen playing Nintendo Wii and DS, Xbox, Play station and PSP, Game Boy, Atari and Pong could now equate to being a professional gamer with all the star power and perks of a rock star or professional athlete.

J.R. Atkins attends Final Round 18During the Delta flight to Atlanta, I watched a free video clip on my iPhone via the on plane Wi-Fi on Major League Gaming. (See related article in SKY) According to Wikipedia, “Major League Gaming (MLG), founded in 2002 by Sundance DiGiovanni and Mike Sepso, is a North American professional Electronic sports organization, headquartered in New York City. MLG has held official video game tournaments throughout the United States and Canada. Major League Gaming competitions have been broadcast on television, ESPN.com and other broadband sites. The company has also been involved in television production and game development. MLG’s aim is to elevate computer and console game tournaments to viable competitive and spectator events.” Although interesting, I simply watched another video on my flight and moved on with my life.

Game Stick at Final Round 18When I arrived at my hotel, I was surprised to see a group of motly dressed people with colored hair and baggy clothing reminiscent of pajamas, walking around with a gaming console they call a “stick.” Come to find out, the Final Round 18 Fighting Game Competition was being held at my hotel. Cool! I got to see firsthand what all the fuss and fanfare was all about. When my son was young, we played Mortal Combat at the pizza place and these people were still at it. The whole tournament was all about fighting games. You could watch people play in the lobby, in the main ballroom, in their hotel rooms, just about everywhere for 3 days and nights straight. Can you say “Cha-Ching?” Someone is making some serious cash here.

Based on what I learned, within the next 3 years we will probably see the following:

  • Gamer Celebrity Status like Justin Biber & Johnny Football
  • Million Dollar Signing Bonus for Gamers
  • Endorsements from games, clothing, theme parks and more
  • TV coverage by ESPN and major networks
  • Someone will suggest that gaming should be added to the Olympics
  • Stadium & Auditoriums Filled with fans to see gaming events
  • More Merchandise (coming to a Christmas near you)
  • “Fill out your bracket at work for the Championship rounds”
  • Vegas odds makers listing the likely top winners in gaming

What does this have to do with business? First, you can quit complaining about people who sit around and play games all day, it’s a profession now. Second, expect to see business applications for those with gaming skills on their resume. There could be a correlation between business intelligence, data management, coding and other workplace skills and gaming skills.

What social or business applications do you see in regards to professional gaming? I’d like to hear your thoughts.


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2015 SXSWi Recap by J.R. Atkins

Some of my friends and clients ask what the big deal is with South by Southwest Interactive or SXSWi. In short; ideas, technology and trends are introduced there that affect our lives and business. Technology such as Twitter (2006), Square (2009), Foursquare (2009), Uber (2009), Pinterest (2010), iPad2 (2011),  Microsoft Surface (2012), Google Glass (2012), Pebble Smart Watch (2013), Oculus Rift Virtual Reality head gear (2014) and see more historic trends at 22 Years of SXSWi.

At the 2015 SXSWi Festival I noticed the following 5 tech trends worth noting.

  1. New social Media App – MeerKat – Spontaneous video via Twitter
  2. Health Tech – Mobile App: Measure by Phillips Healthcare
  3. 4k TV – Samsung – 2X the Pixels
  4. International Flair – It’s a global event – Krista Hendriks, Utrecht Area, Netherlands
  5. com – It’s like UBER for overnight dog care

Please let me know if you find any of this interesting or beneficial to you or your business.

  1. MeerKat: http://meerkatapp.co

MeerKat is a new app that allows users to easily live stream video from their cell phonesJ.R> Atkins uses MeerKat via their Twitter accounts. You can “Schedule” a video and your MeerKat followers will get a notification of when you are about to begin. Or, you can create a live “stream” in the moment for those who are watching. Like Twitter, MeerKat video can be seen by anyone. It’s similar to a Google Hangout or Skype video call but much easier. Just download the app, sign in with twitter and click on “schedule” or “stream” and you’re ready to broadcast. The idea is making use of our desire to have a spontaneous connection.

Related story by David Gilbert of the International Business Times.

  1. Measure: in beta test

Nike Fit bit bits the dustPhillips Healthcare is building an online portal that will allow you to feed your data from non-Phillips devices such as a Fitbit, Moves App, Misfit Flash and Phillips devices such as Blood Pressure Cuff. Even the data from my Nike Plus (no longer supported by Nike) can be uploaded to the portal.

Moves App used by J.R> AtkinsPrior to this portal, each App or fitness solution had a separate place to store and view data. With the Phillips Measure platform, you could, in theory, import health measurement data.

During my visit, I was able to meet the developers, debug some code and gain some keen insight into the future of Individual Healthcare Monitoring. A person to follow is Hans Notenboom, Global Head of Digital at Philips Healthcare based in the Netherlands.

  1. Samsung Curved 4k TV: http://www.samsung.com/us/video/tvs

Samsung 4k curved TVI first heard of 4k in early 2014 from one of my videographer friends and I was think, “I’m just getting use to HD.” 4k means 4000 pixels vs HD which is 2000 pixels. So 4k is 2X. A 4k TV will have a resolution of at least 3840 x 2160.

Samsung took over a restaurant in Austin and turned it into an “experience” with fresh juices, snacks, a big video wall made of Samsun Tablets, a virtual reality experience and a blogger lounge.

The curved, 4k TVs were the big thing for me. Unlike the past, you don’t have to wait for the Cable and local TV stations to upgrade to 4k. YouTube, Netflix and Hulu are already broadcasting shows in 4k. So now that a 60” HD TV at Walmart id $600 or less, get ready to upgrade to 4k for $2500.

 

  1. International Flair

Meet Krista from the NetherlandsWhile having lunch at a sidewalk café in Austin, I met Krista Hendriks who was in town from the Netherlands to give a presentation on “Cuddly Drones” a project exploring the emerging surveillance culture, exploring the democratization of surveillance tools and how do teach children to critically explore this drone-filled future? Yea, you can meet people anywhere, but at SXSWi there is an instant level of trust and interest around how technology is affecting our lives.

Technology is bringing our world closer together and SXSWi is helping. Check out her profile on LinkedIn.

  1. com: www.Rover.com

J.R. Atkins uses Rover.comMy dog, Forte, travels frequently with me and he went to Austin to see the sights and keep me stress-free. Yet, I needed an overnight dog sitter so my wife and I could party on Saturday night. In steps Rover.com, an Uber like solution to help you connect with home based dog sitters. Download the app and in just a few minutes you are connecting with locals who can keep your pet overnight for about ½ the price of a Vet or animal boarding service. Send a message, confirm, and set up the drop-off and pick-up time. Rover.com covers the collection of fees. I called their customer service and had a great experience.

Events Worth Considering

03/30/15 – Principles of Social Media (CTC)
04/01/15 – LinkedIn for Success (CTC)
04/06/15 – Successfully use of Facebook (CTC)
04/08/15 – Using Video for Success (CTC)
04/10/15 – Selling in the Digital Age (CTC)
04/14/15 – Website Trends (CTC)
04/18/15 – Successful Marketing Plans (CTC)

04/22/15 – Social Media Basics – Lewisville Chamber & SCORE

04/23/15 – Your Effective Strategy Plan – Webinar


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The Strategic Planning Process by Michael Mills

My business associate Michael Mills is great at helping companies convert their strategic plans into practical processes that deliver daily results.

Check out his latest blog post:

THE STRATEGIC PLANNING PROCESS: CHAPTER #1 – WHY YOU NEED IT & CREATING YOUR VISION

Here is a very short excerpt:

Strategic planning begins with a VISION . If you’re not certain about your future, if you don’t have a clear picture of where you’re going, how do you expect to ever get there?

Studies show, and it’s quite logical, that if you have a clearly defined goal, you communicate that goal and you track your progress towards that goal, you have a 300% better chance of achieving that goal.

We speak to thousands of business owners every year and if I ask any one of them how they see their business 5-7 years from now, I almost always get a vague answer – “I want to get bigger” most will say

Business Design Corporation Blog Post

Stay tuned to hear when we will hold out next webinar on the importance of processes and how to implement them.


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What Airline has the best in flight WiFi?

Check out the following article on Quartz by  Zainab Mudallal 

Do you use Wi-Fi much when you fly? If so, more for work or entertainment?


 

Wi-Fi has become one of the most sought-after things on a flight, even more important to passengers than a reclining seat or extra legroom. The latest report from Routehappy, a website that compares airlines by in-flight amenities, finds that its availability is spreading fast.

The report, published today, analyzed flights scheduled to depart this coming Feb. 5—a “typical mid-week travel day”—and found that passengers have “some chance” (i.e. one-third or better) of getting Wi-Fi on almost one-quarter of the airline miles flown worldwide. On US domestic flights, there’s some chance of Wi-Fi on two-thirds of the airline miles—up from just 38% of them a year and a half ago.

On those flights that do have Wi-Fi, its performance varies. In the US, 35% of those flights had “good” Wi-Fi, meaning the equivalent of 3G connection speeds; 38% had “better” Wi-Fi, similar to 4G; and only 1% had the “best” quality, good enough for video streaming.

There were also big gaps between airlines. In the US, virtually all Virgin America flights had Wi-Fi, followed by Southwest and Delta.

See the rest of the article at: http://qz.com/331750/the-worlds-in-flight-wi-fi-offerings-ranked/


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Life is a Process

Author J.R. Atkins writes about Sales ProcessDuring my early days as a salesperson I participated in many training programs, yet my favorite was taught by Jim Chandler and was based on his “10 Foundation Statements”.  #7, the Process Statement, is applicable in sales, operations, accounting, manufacturing, marketing, education, theology, construction… and life; I have used it in many ways and now share it with you.

Process Statement: Selling is a process. My job, as a professional salesperson, is to create a personal selling process that is so strong, that the pressure of selling is absorbed by the process and not by me.

Wow, what a relief I felt when I discovered that if I built a strong process, I no longer had to worry about when and where my sales would originate. I could trust the process. My sales actually improved when I applied this philosophy and my sales process. I know my prospects did not feel the pressure of the sale either. They were free to choose to do business with me or not. It was ok. I was no longer emotionally tied to the sales call outcome. I had faith that the sales process that I built would deliver. And if it did not deliver enough results at the right time, it was the process that needed tweaking, not me.

Moving on from sales, I have used the same process statement in building and implementing successful Marketing Plans. I have used it to plan events for work and non-profit organizations. When I relocated, I used a strong moving process to absorb the great pressure and stress of moving. I knew I would not be dead if I did not meet a deadline because I had a predetermined contingency plan.

If you have worked in a well-organized operations environment then you are very familiar with processes and procedures. Yet other parts of the organization may not have a written process. Oh, did I forget to mention that my sales process was a 7 page typed and bound booklet?

A Written Process: When I mention writing down a process in the workshops and classes I lead, people roll their eyes like I asked them to pull their own wisdom teeth. There are two main values in writing your process (1) What you discover in creating a process (2) comparing actual results to your process.

J.R. Atkins uses coffee making as a processs exampleTake a mundane example like making coffee for your office and ask a team to write the process. You will discover many variations on the same theme of making coffee such as only use filtered water, only use true Columbian coffee and make sure the filters are environmentally friendly. Yet, once the process is developed and implemented you can trust that the coffee will taste the same every time it is prepared.

As for comparing the actual to the planned, what do you do when the coffee taste different? You start checking on who made the coffee, did they follow the process, and then discover that the wrong kind of coffee was delivered by your supply chain representative (aka, the person who shops for your break room).

Can you get carried away with having too many or too long a process? Yes. Is there a process for writing a process? Probably. Take the best and forget the rest. My hope is this article will spur you on to make some type of improvement in your personal, volunteer or business life. If so, please let me know ☺


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