How Social Media and Online Platforms Can Be Used Effectively in Event Organisation and Promotion

Our Founder, Robin Brattel recently gave a talk at the 30th anniversary International Confex show at ExCel. As an expert in his field, Robin spoke about how social media and online platforms can be used effectively in event organisation and promotion. He discussed how these platforms are currently being used in the industry, compared the different options available and vitally, measured the effectiveness of each.

It is becoming more and more evident that social media is here to stay and can be an incredibly powerful tool when organising an event. In fact, 72% of event organisers now see social media as a very important part of their job and 78% are planning to use it even more than they already do.

Exactly which platforms are those in the industry using however?

  • 84% are using Facebook
  • 61% Twitter
  • 42% YouTube
  • 42% LinkedIn
  • 36% Google+
  • 31% Blogs

If you’re not familiar with the world of social networking you may question why so many people are now using it. The most obvious answer is that with millions of people actively using these sites every day, what better way is there to reach out to people instantly, so easily and often for free?

If you are organising an event for example, social media can help you to collaborate with partners, colleagues, attendees and other people who may be interested but you wouldn’t normally have access to. Having the ability to post information and updates on these sites eliminates the need for so many emails which can be costly, it’s not intrusive because people have chosen to log-in and importantly, it enables them to share your news with others in their network.

With so many companies now realising the benefits of social media, you would struggle to find one that doesn’t have at least one online profile set up. This provides you with many great opportunities to discover suppliers, venues, caterers and any other service you may need. 61% of people now read online reviews before making a purchasing decision. This is hardly surprising when you consider that buyers can now see how companies interact with their customers and what people who have used them thought about the service.

Although social media can become a fundamental tool for event organisers, you have to work at it before you start to reap the benefits. In order to be successful, you need to become part of a community that knows and trusts you before you can activate it. There are generally six stages of online community development that as a brand, if you understand and work at, can help you to guide people from someone who simply follows you to a brand advocate.

Stage One – The Lurker – A lurker is someone who liked or followed your page  – they have taken the first step but that’s it. Chances are that at this stage they’re barely paying attention to what you’re saying and are highly unlikely to join in any conversations.

Stage Two – The Eavesdropper – Once you have said something that has captured the attention of an individual, they are likely to become an eavesdropper. This means that they’re beginning to develop an interest in what you’re saying but they are still unlikely to interact with your content.

Stage Three – The Acquaintance – Now you have said or posted enough things to catch someone’s attention, they are mildly interested in what you have to say. Just like an acquaintance in your neighbourhood, you will start to have some surface level interactions.

Stage Four – The Active Participant – As interactions become deeper and more meaningful, followers will start to comment, ask questions and even initiate conversations rather than simply just ‘liking’ things.

Stage Five – The Brand Loyalist – At this stage, loyalists will have an affinity for you over the competition, even if they are cheaper or more convenient. This is because they are buying more than a product or service – they’re buying into your mission and believe in what you’re doing.

Stage Six – Brand Advocate – Brand advocates are such strong members of your community that they will even start recruiting other members to join. They will encourage others to buy from you, share good customer service stories and willingly answer questions from people.  This is a great stage to be at because people trust recommendations and are more likely to buy from you as a result.

Stay tuned for the second instalment of Robin’s talk which focuses on getting your audience to engage with you. If you can’t wait until next week though, you can view his presentation on Slideshare.

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Honourable Intentions – New Year Resolutions and How to Keep Them

New Year resolutions have been made since the beginning of time.  The ancient Babylonians made promises to their gods at the start of each year that they would return borrowed objects and pay their debts. The Romans began each year by making promises to the god Janus, for whom the month of January is named. In the Medieval times, the knights took the ‘peacock vow’ at the end of the Christmas season each year to re-affirm their commitment to chivalry.

It’s now getting close to the end of January, and the New Year and any resolutions we may have made seem like such a long time ago. We might have promised ourselves go to the gym more often, get up-to-date with the DIY, drink less, join a club, learn a new language or even fall in love.

So, did you make a resolution and keep it, or did you, like so many other people give up after a couple of weeks?

It’s pretty common at this time of year to find people breaking their New Year resolutions.  A 2007 study by Richard Wiseman at the University of Bristol involving 3,000 people found that 88% of those who set New Year resolutions failed, despite the fact that 52% were confident of success at the beginning.

Last year, an Interflora New Year resolution survey found that just 33% said they expected to keep their resolutions for the whole year, 56% were unsure and 11% said that they expected not to keep their resolution. Those sceptical ones were proven right, of the 39% who said they made a resolution in 2011, just 5% managed to keep theirs for 9-12 months. Over a third of last year’s resolvers lasted less than three months with their New Year aims.

What kind of resolutions do people make and break?

Year on year, the top resolutions don’t really change very much and according to the University of Scranton, USA, the top resolutions for 2012 were:

  • Lose weight
  • Getting organized
  • Spend less, save more
  • Enjoy life to the fullest
  • Staying fit and healthy
  • Learn something exciting
  • Quit smoking
  • Help others
  • Fall in love
  • Spend more time with family

Why are we so bad at keeping resolutions?

According to Forbes.com, some of the reasons New Year resolutions didn’t stick were:

1. Didn’t make a plan for itA lot of people forget that a resolution is really just a goal and it requires structure, otherwise, it’s just a wish.

2. Forgot the reasons why you were doing itMotivation matters and if you don’t know why the goal is important, it’s easy to drop.

3. Didn’t plan for setbacksNo one is perfect, we all fall off the wagon at some point. You need a plan for what to do when this happens and how you’ll get back on that horse.

4. Didn’t have a strong support network – Support is important with any goal, it’s important to surround yourself with people who believe in what you’re doing and want to see you succeed.

5. Took on too much too fastMany of us get a little over-keen around the New Year, we want to make huge leaps of progress overnight, but real growth is a slow and steady journey.

6. Weren’t accountable to anyoneit’s easy to get persuaded by that nagging negative voice inside your head that says you’re not cut out for this. An accountability partner helps keep you focused and on track, even when you think you’re ready to throw in the towel.

7. It wasn’t that important in the first placePerhaps you set a goal that others wanted you to set or one you felt you ‘should’ set. It’s easy to give up on something that never really mattered that much to you in the first place.

So, what are the hints for keeping your New Year resolutions?

1. Choose a goal that matters – Don’t do it for anyone else but you. If it’s not something you truly believe in, you’ll never succeed. Take some time out and reflect upon what you really want to achieve.

2. Avoid previous resolutions – Often re-visiting a past resolution sets you up for frustration and disappointment. Choose something new or approach an old problem in a new way. For example, instead of trying to lose 3 stone in weight, try exercising more.

3. Plan aheadLook for possible obstacles and prepare for how you’ll deal with them.

4. Take it one step at a time – Often people make the mistake of trying to achieve too much. The chances of success are greater when people channel their energy into changing just one aspect of their behaviour.

5. Recognize that things will get hard  – Unexpected obstacles will get the better of you but that’s no reason to give up completely, find ways to forgive yourself and keep motivated.

6. Gather your supporters  – Let them know what you’re doing and why and ask if you can count on them to help you reach your goal. Joining a club or group is a great way to get support from like-minded people and help spur you on when you feel like giving up.

So, if you want to improve your health consider doing classes – Aerobics, Zumba, Sh’bam and Pilates are popular ways to get fit and help lose weight. There’s also the group mentality, which is perfect for that extra ounce of moral support.

Want to meet new people and try something new? Then joining an existing activity group or club could be what you need.

Why not use Eventility.com, to set up your own sports or activity club or join an existing one – you can search for what’s on in your area. Eventility is free and really, really easy to use.

https://www.eventility.com/

Social Media for Sports Clubs Infographic

Of the 6000 plus clubs, groups and communities that use Eventility.com to organise and promote their fixtures and events, sport is one of the most popular areas.  Local clubs and teams, as well as sports organisations such as the Sport and Recreation Alliance and spogo are turning to the web to help reach potential new members, communicate with existing members and organise their activities.

As our CEO, Robin Brattel, says: “Organising a team or club has always been a tricky business, frequently involving the time consuming process of emails and last minute text messages. But social media platforms like Eventility have the power to change all that by providing a free one-stop-shop for team or club organisation and promotion”.

With that in mind, we put together this infographic (below) to look at how sports clubs of all sizes are using social media platforms successfully – and some rather less successfully.

As you’d expect, the London 2012 Olympics were a huge social media triumph. There were over 150m tweets about the Games and 67% of British adults used social media to follow the action live. Spice Girls aside, Usain Bolt attracted the most mentions with tweets peaking at 80,000 per-minute following his victory in the 200m.

Of course, here at Eventility we’re especially interested in how local sporting events make use of the web. It’s encouraging to see that 76% of sports event organisers use social platforms to promote their events, but this figure is only 50% when looking at smaller events.

I’m sure this will improve throughout 2013 – and we feel we’re playing our part by offering an amazing free platform to help clubs stay organised. Just in case you missed our pitch: Eventility helps teams and groups to save time, effort and resources, and to communicate easily with members and reach out to new members.

Sport and Social Media - Eventility Infographic

Sport and Social Media – Eventility Infographic

Get Organised For 2013 With New Eventility Member Lists

Now that the new year has started in earnest we’ve released our first site update of 2013 –  Eventility introduces all new ‘Member Lists’.

This powerful feature lets you organise your club, group or community members into any number of lists so that you can communicate with them by email and SMS even more quickly and effectively. For example, if you run a team you might have lists of Managers, Players, Treasurers, Captains, Fans, etc. you can easily separate them into different list.

Member Lists

With your lists set-up it’s simple to add new members, or assign existing members to each list, then send texts or emails with a just a couple of clicks.

In addition, with you can also:

  • Add your contacts now, but send them a membership invitation later
  • Import, view and edit your contacts mobile numbers (until they become members, then it’s up to them!)
  • Send emails and texts to anyone in your lists, regardless of membership status
  • Filter your contacts by name, status or list

To celebrate this release we’re giving away Free SMS Bundles* to help you get your events straight into the pockets of your members.

This release has been eagerly awaited, and we’ll be rolling out more great features very soon.  We’d love to hear what you think of the new changes…

www.eventility.com

*To claim your free SMS bundle use the Promo Code: MemberList to receive a 100% Discount when you purchase a bronze pack of 100 SMS credits (RRP £10).