Eventility Attends the 2013 USA AAU Girls’ Junior Volleyball National Championship in Sunny Orlando

IMG_2271Our CEO Robin Brattel and our Account Director, Adam Harris were lucky enough to jet out to sunny Orlando, Florida last week. We didn’t want them coming back with too much of a tan though so we sent them off to the USA AAU Girls’ Junior Volleyball Championship to spread the word about Eventility.

We must say, they did a great job and the outcome is that there are going to be some exciting new developments for Eventility in the coming months. At the same time the guys were in Orlando, we also had a branded presence over in Texas at the National Volleyball League Texas Championships. Even better, our video was played in between games and was seen by over 200,000 people. America here we come!

Volleyball EventWe asked Adam to provide us with an insight about who they met and what they got up to whilst in Orlando and he was kind enough to answer the following questions.

1)   What was the purpose of the event?

It was the 40th Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) Girls’ Junior National Volleyball Championships.

2)   Who was at the event?

It was absolutely jam-packed full of people from all over the USA. There were 1,997 teams from 40 regions, 25,000 under-18s girls playing volleyball every single day, the families of the athletes, staff from AAU, the National Volleyball League (NVL), more than 400 college coaches, club directors, regional directors, the Junior Volleyball Association (JVA) and a whole host of vendors, including Rox Volleyball. The only downside was that it was physically impossible for Robin and me to get round to talking to everyone who was there.

3)   Where did the event take place?

The event was held in two venues. One of them, ESPN Wide World of Sports and the main venue was The Orange County Convention Centre. This is the largest indoor sports facility in the world and last year they broke world record for hosting the largest volleyball tournament.

4)   What did you do at the event?

We were certainly kept busy during our time in Orlando. We met with the NVL, networked with coaches and club directors who are interested in using Eventility and even managed to sign up coaches who were so excited about the concept that they wanted to get started straight away.

We also met with the JVA and AAU who were interested in finding out more about Eventility and attended a seminar about the future of Sand Volleyball, which is actually one of the fastest growing sports in the USA. We were also really excited about meeting the great people at Rox Volleyball and are looking forward to working with in the future.

5)   What did you achieve from attending?

We feel like we well and truly spread the word about Eventility. So many great associations and tours such as the NVL, JVA and AAU, and companies like Rox Volleyball now know about us, and lots of volleyball coaches are already signed up to Eventility.

It looks like we’re going to have to send Adam and Robin away more often after they did such a great job. Stay tuned for regular updates on more exciting news about our recent developments and progress in America.

Eventility.com is a website that helps organizers organize and people take part and we’re dedicated to bringing people together around their passions.  Sign-up now to use the powerful suite of free tools to help organize almost anything.

Eventility Supercharges BJJAGB – Case Study

bjjagb-large_755About the BJJAGB

The British Ju-Jitsu Association GB National Governing Body (BJJAGB) has been offering instruction and training in Ju-Jitsu since 1960. Located in Accrington, Lancashire, the British Ju-Jitsu Association National Governing Body has produced champions in life as well as in the martial arts.

The British Ju-Jitsu Association was originally founded in 1956 by Soke James Blundell and was later re-constituted in 1988. It included other affiliated Ju-Jitsu associations from around Great Britain. Together, these clubs and associations approached the British Sports Council (now the UK Sports Council) to establish a single Governing Body for the Martial Art of Ju-Jitsu in this country and as a result, since 1993, the BJJA has become the British Ju-Jitsu Association Governing Body.

The BJJAGB oversees all aspects of Ju-Jitsu in Great Britain:

  • Establishing codes of conduct
  • Standard practises
  • Competition formats and rules
  • Arranging group insurance policies for clubs
  • Certification of teachers and competition referees
  • Registration of new clubs

The BJJAGB Experience Before Using Eventility

The main points of frustration that the BJJAGB faced were:

  1. Out of date club listings on the website
  2. Limited data on what was happening at club level
  3. No online tools for affiliated clubs
  4. Having to use multiple tools
  5. Difficulty pulling together accurate national diary information to put on their website.
  6. No easy way to sell tickets to national events
  7. No single view for participation data across affiliated clubs

How Has Eventility Specifically Addressed Those Problems?

  • Eventility Engage solves the problems of data and membership management for associations with multiple connected clubs, groups, events and facilities.
  • Eventility gives a platform for their connected clubs and groups to organise and promote their activities.
  • Eventility provides a website, mobile apps, text and email services, range of plug-ins and website templates to organise and promote their activities and an API for the associations to manage their data.

The BJJAGB Experience Using Eventility

Eventility presented the Engage Solution to the BJJAGB National Congress in October 2012 and it was enthusiastically received with clubs signing up to use it there and then.

At the time, Eventility founder, Robin Brattel said, “We’re delighted that The British Ju-Jitsu Association National Governing Body have chosen to work in partnership with Eventility.  With our Engage products powering their website they will be able to increase the exposure of all the fantastic Ju-Jitsu clubs and events being run around the country, helping to encourage more people to participate.”

The BJJAGB are using the following Eventility products:

  • Communications Hub inc. email tracking and SMS
  • Events Hub
  • Selling tickets
  • Collecting subscriptions/dues

What Are The Top Features the BJJAGB Love About Eventility?

  1. The BJJAGB website now has the Eventility Engage plug-in which means that they have accurate contact information available
  2. Ensures that the BJJAGB website is updated in real-time with club details, training and event listings
  3. The information is also available on the Eventility website for prospective members to find
  4. Provides BJJAGB Ju-Jitsu club organisers with free tools to simplify the organisation and promotion of their clubs
  5. Helps BJJAGB understand and report on participation in Ju-Jitsu and how it is increasing across their membership

BJJAGB Map

BJJAGB Results With Eventility

  • Originally 97 clubs were listed on the BJJAGB website, that has now grown to 217 via Eventility Engage from partner aggregation and additional clubs
  • 43% of originally listed clubs are now claimed with full details updated
  • 724 club level events not previously listed are now listed
  • National Event ticket sales are now run via Eventility
  • Tracked email communications showing engagement with open and click rates
  • More awareness for BJJAGB

The BJJAGB Recommends Eventility

“The partnership with Eventility is fantastic for the BJJA.  Not only does it provide our clubs with an amazing free tool to help manage their clubs, events and members, but the Engage solution powering our website means we’ll always have the latest data for our members clubs and statistics to show participation across our sport.”

Martin Dixon, Chairman, British Ju-Jitsu Association Governing Body.

To see Eventility Engage in action visit http://www.bjjagb.com

For more information on Eventility Engage

www.eventility.com/engage

Email: robin@eventility.co.uk

How to Contact The BJJAGB

Martin Dixon

5 Avenue Parade, Accrington, Lancashire.

Phone: + 44 (0) 7850 317553

Email: chairman@bjjagb.com

How Social Media and Online Platforms Can Be Used Effectively in Event Organisation and Promotion – Part 2 – Part Two

International Confex 2013Following on from part 1 of Robin Brattel’s talk at the 30th anniversary International Confex show, here we conclude how social media and online platforms can be used effectively in event organisation and promotion.

Our first installment finished off by discussing the six stages of online community development and how you can identify them. Now, it’s important to understand the impact that guiding someone from being a ‘lurker’ to a ‘brand advocate’ can have when trying to organise and promote your event.

There are three stages of any event – the before, during and after. When used correctly, social media is an excellent tool that can be used for promotion, engagement and even extending the life of an event.

BeforeThis is the time when you are no doubt going to want to promote and raise awareness of your event. Social media can help you to:

  • Engage your audience and create chatter
  • Encourage social introductions through likes and shares
  • Target influencers you wouldn’t normally have access to
  • Increase success – people are 71% more likely to buy from a company if they have been referred to via social media

DuringWhilst your event is taking place you want to engage with your attendees as much as possible. There are a number of ways you can use social media during this time to actively encourage participation from everyone there:

  • Create a Twitter hashtag and encourage anyone tweeting about the event to use it
  • Maintain interest – good quality and interesting content is quick and easy to post and keeps you at the forefront of people’s minds
  • Go viral – competitions are a great way to encourage people to like and retweet content that will then be seen by their connections
  • Live streaming of the event can be watched by those who couldn’t attend and uploading highlights onto a YouTube video can be used for future promotions

AfterJust because your event is over it doesn’t mean that the hype has to die down. Social media is a great way of extending the life of your event and there are a number of ways you can ensure that people carry on talking about it:

  • Videos – with 800 million users on YouTube you potential audience is massive
  • Blogging – posting a write-up of your event is a great way to remind people about it, inform those who couldn’t attend and even create excitement about the next one
  • Photos – people love seeing photos and they are easy to notice and share on social media platforms
  • Ask for feedback – as well as finding out what people thought of your recent event, asking what they would like to see next time is a sure fire way to guarantee getting people through the door

By now, most people are familiar with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. However, there are also a number of other platforms available that are well suited to a number of different uses:

Flickr – this is a great place to upload photos before, during and after your event

Presdo.com – a good networking tool prior to your event

Corkboard.me – can be used for collaboration and sharing content

Sentiment140.com – one of the many sentiment tools you can use during your event

Coveritlive.com – a good way to curate content during your event

Eventility.coma great way to organise or promote your club, group, community or event. For more information about Eventility, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

The Benefits of Exercise

It might seem unlikely at the moment but believe it or not, summer is just around the corner. Needless to say, chances are that now is the time that a lot of us are starting to think about getting fit, toning up and losing a few of those winter pounds.

As well as helping you to look good, the benefits of exercise are plentiful and can have more of an impact on your life that you could ever imagine. So whether you’re a gym bunny, football fanatic or prefer throwing a frisbee around the park, here are some very good reasons why you should get started sooner rather than later.

Reduce Illnesses

Whatever your age, there is strong scientific research that being physically active can help you to lead a healthier and even happier life.  According to the NHS, regular exercise can reduce the risk of major illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer by up to 50%. Incredibly, it can also lower the risk of early death by up to 30%.

General Wellbeing

Research shows that physical activity can also boost self-esteem, mood, sleep quality and energy levels. It also reduces the risk of stress, depression, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease so what are you waiting for? Whether it’s a session at the gym, taking the dog for a walk or ditching the car for a bicycle, the benefits of exercise can be felt immediately.

Weight Control

We all know that when you engage in physical activity, you burn calories. The more intense the activity, the more calories you burn which makes exercise a fantastic way to prevent weight gain and maintain weight loss. Even if you can’t find the time to do an actual workout, becoming more active throughout the day can have a massive impact. Taking the stairs instead of the lift, getting off the tube a stop earlier and walking the rest of the way, cleaning the house and doing squats during television advert breaks are all great ways to incorporate exercise into your everyday life.

Meet New People

Taking up exercise can be a great way to meet new people. Whether you join an aerobics class at the gym, a football team, tennis club or bowling group, chances are that you are going to meet other like-minded people. With everyone feeling great from the physical activity, moods are going to be uplifted and chances are, new friendships will be formed.

Have Fun

Believe it or not, exercise can be a lot of fun. It gives you a chance to unwind, enjoy the outdoors or simply engage in activities that make you happy. Whilst going home from work and sitting in front of the television all night might seem like the more tempting option, it’s not going to send you to sleep with a smile on your face. However, going to a class or club will release those endorphins, enable you to socialise with others and best of all, leave you feeling ready for what tomorrow may bring.

If you are looking for different ways to exercise, Eventility has thousands of sports clubs, groups and communities using the website. Feel free to search for inspiration and get ready to start feeling great about yourself today.

Top Tips for Planning the Perfect Event

With so many different things to take into account, planning an event can be difficult. The key to success is careful preparation so below are a few top tips to help you organise the perfect event from start to finish.

Decide on the key objective of your event

What do you want to achieve and how do you want to achieve it? Decide on the key message for your event and ensure that the topics flow and fit well with each other. If you are planning to use guest speakers think about the benefits that they are going to offer your guests. For example, if you are organising a band night, a speaker from the music industry would fit in well with the theme whereas a sporting figure may seem a bit out of place.

Decide on a budget and stick to it

If you don’t implement a set budget, costs can quickly spiral out of control. Don’t forget to consider marketing, staff wages, collateral, venue hire, speaker fees, equipment, travel and food and drink.

The cost of running an event can seem daunting at first but if planned smartly, there are a number of ways you can reduce your outgoings. For example, a local pub may be more than happy to host your event for free during their quiet times because they know they will make money from the food and drink that people will be ordering. Additionally, a guest speaker who has something to promote may be happy to attend at a reduced rate or for free because they will be grateful for the publicity.

It’s important to keep your budget up to date and review it regularly. Allow provisions for emergencies (normally 10%-20%) because you never know when hidden costs may pop up.

Who is managing your event?

Is it just you organising the event or do you have the support of a whole team? If working in a team, make sure there are regular meetings so that the whole group is aware of any updates. Provide clear action points with names assigned to each and realistic timelines so everyone knows exactly what is expected of them. This will help to manage things in small chunks and the whole process is likely to run a lot smoother.

Decide on a venue

When deciding on a venue there are a number of things to consider. Location, availability, cost, accessibility, seating, facilities and parking. Before deciding where to host your event, it’s a good idea to know what type of people might be attending. There is no point hosting an event in a small suburban town if most of your guests will be coming from London – because it is unlikely that they will make the effort to attend if it’s too far out of their way! Make sure that you don’t formally announce your venue until contracts have been signed because people may have already made travel plans and changing locations can come across as disorganised.

Promote

Nobody is going to know about your event unless you tell them. There are so many different way to promote events nowadays from emailing, social media, adding a banner to your website, sending out text messages and even setting up online message boards to keep in regular contact with potential attendees.

Catering

You’re going to keep your guests happy and entertained for far longer if there are refreshments available. Even if it’s not a proper sit down meal, buffet style snacks can go a long way. Most venues will offer in-house catering but be sure to check the dietary requirements of your guests because you are likely to have a few meat, dairy or gluten free requests.

Rehearse

Try to have a run through of how you expect your event to pan out. From what time guests will arrive and how long speakers will be talking for to when food will be served and vitally, how long will be left for networking. Whilst it’s impossible to plan everything to the exact second, having a run through will allow you to ensure that you don’t go overboard or run out of things to keep your guests entertained.

Get feedback

The best way to assess whether or not your event was a success is to get feedback from your audience. What did they enjoy the most? Was there anything they thought was unnecessary? Did they like the venue? Was the location OK for them? Obtaining this information is crucial to the success of future events and also provides you with a great opportunity to catch up with your attendees and remind them of your product or service.

Eventility at International Confex 2013

International ConfexLast week, our CEO Robin Brattel was very excited about attending and speaking at the 30th anniversary International Confex show at ExCel. The exhibition was a massive success and it comes as no surprise that it has been recognised as the UK’s leader for the events industry.

As well as being a great place to do business and seek out inspirational ideas for events, with the aim of bringing like-minded professionals closer together,  International Confex also provides a great opportunity to get that all important face time that can be so difficult to achieve today.

A big focus at this year’s event was modern technology and the impact that it has had on the industry. From mobile phones and online videos to gamification and of course, the rise of the ever-popular social media, there certainly was something for everyone.

Our very own CEO, Robin Brattel was even there to give a speech himself. Robin proudly discussed how social media and online platforms can be used effectively in event organisation and promotion. His eager audience listened on as he discussed how these platforms are currently used in the industry, compared the various methods that can be used and vitally, looked at the effectiveness of each.

Talking to a jam-packed audience, Robin also shared all the new trends occurring in social media and explained how to implement and measure these effectively. For those of you who are interested in learning more about what Robin had to discuss at International Confex, stay tuned because very shortly we will be posting a write-up of the day’s events.

The Benefits of Learning Something New

When was the last time you did something for the first time? Chances are it was weeks, months or even years ago. Whilst some of us love to experiment and engage with new ideas, for the vast majority, we tend to go through everyday life with the same rituals and routines.

While being creatures of habit may be comforting, we often forget how much fun it can be to develop a new skill. As well as igniting your life with a bit of fun, passion and excitement, here are some other important benefits of learning something new.

Sense of Accomplishment

Do you remember how good it felt the first time you rode a bike without the training wheels? Forced yourself to go the gym and complete a good workout? Painted and decorated a room just the way you wanted to? Achieving something for the very first time gives us a massive sense of achievement, boosts our pride and can keep us smiling for days on end. This amazing feeling is what you are missing out on when you get stuck in the same old habits so why not take up boxing, join a bowling club or give that activity you have been talking about for years a go?

Better Time Management Skills

Do you think you’re too busy to add a new hobby into your already hectic life? Think again. Adding something new to your daily or weekly schedule is proven to sharpen your perception of time and time management. In fact, many time management gurus recommend this technique because in order to do the thing you want to do, you will value your time more and use it better. For those of you who use the excuse that you don’t have enough time in your schedule, chances are that you do, but there is nothing new to push you to organise yourself better.

Meet New People

Joining a club, organisation or taking up a new hobby ensures that you are bound to meet new people. Even better, chances are that you are likely to have similar taste in things which paves the way to great new friendships. Meeting new people also gives you access to new views and ideas and best of all, you are sure to meet some interesting characters along the way.

Personal Growth

Learning something new gives you the opportunity to grow and improve yourself. When you push yourself, you will find that you will grow in many other aspects of your life, and you never know, you may even discover a hidden talent you never knew you had. Whether it’s joining a sports club, art class or helping to raise money for charity, the possibilities are endless when it comes to trying something new so what are you waiting for?

At Eventility, we have thousands of registered clubs, groups and events using the website so why not search for inspiration and get ready to learn something new today!

How to Find a Great Venue for Your Event

Anyone who has ever organised any type of event, meeting or get-together will know that choosing the right venue can often make or break the success of whatever it is you’re hosting. Venue selection is often the most challenging part of the process because even the smallest oversight can cause major setbacks for attendees.

There are a number of important things to consider when deciding on a venue for your ‘event’. The first and most obvious thing to bear in mind is the location and where your attendees will be coming from. If you have a number of different groups staggered all over the country, it might be worth considering hosting a number of smaller events across  different locations. People are far more likely to make the effort to attend something if it’s easy for them to get to.

Birthday PartyThe type of event you are hosting is also going to be a big consideration when deciding on your venue. If you’re holding an evening networking event then a room in a pub could be ideal but if you’re holding a children’s party or family club, then a family friendly venue is more appropriate. Think about what is appropriate to your audience and activities.

Don’t forget to think about how many people you are expecting, if you need any special equipment, whether or not there is parking or a train station nearby and if you need any other facilities such as a bar, kitchen, dressing room or stage. There are plenty of venues in your area that can be searched for on the Eventility website. You can even put advanced filters on your search to ensure that only venues that fit your exact criteria will come up.

A lot of people forget that their group or community members can be a great resource for venue ideas. Simply send out a quick message asking for recommendations and you will be surprised how many people are happy to help. Other organisers are also another great source of information because they will have experience when it comes to finding and working with the venues in your area. You can use search on the Eventility site to find other clubs, groups and communities in your area and contact them to see if they have any suggestions for you.

Finally, a great tip when looking for a venue is to consider other businesses that could benefit from hosting your event at their location. For example, if you’re holding a wine tasting club, a small local restaurant or café may be more than happy to accommodate you because chances are that people will buy food and other drinks at some point during the evening. If the venue stands to gain from you being there, it’s more likely that they will offer you, or you can negotiate, a special rate.

If you have any questions about hosting events, clubs, groups or communities check out the Eventility Support Site.

How To Be a Great Networker

Effective networking is important to both business and social occasions, especially when it comes to hosting events, groups and clubs. As well as projecting yourself as professional and knowledgeable, it can also be vital to raising awareness and acquiring important contacts.

Here are some of our top tips for becoming a great networker and getting the most out of your events.

Get to Know People

Good networkers know that initially, networking is not about ‘selling’. Trying to convince somebody to join your club or group within minutes of meeting them is likely to put them off because you won’t have showed an interest in them and what they do. If you get to know people first, a natural relationship will develop and sure enough, opportunities will follow.

Effective networkingBe Enthusiastic

The best networkers attract people towards them without having to make much of an effort because they are the sort of people that others enjoy spending time with. Always coming across as upbeat, positive and enthusiastic means that people are much more likely to warm to you, remember you in the future and importantly, even recommend you to others. If you are excited about your club or group then other people naturally will be and as a result they will be far more likely to join.

Be Brave

People often form perceptions of others based on their position, authority and experience. It can be easy to feel intimidated by those who are incredibly successful or high up in a company but it’s important not to fall into the trap of seeing the title rather than the person. Great networkers tend to see a person for who they are and are brave enough to approach them in the first place, which can make all the difference.  No matter who it is, if there is someone in particular you want to invite to join your club or group, don’t be afraid to ask because you just never know who might be interested.

Show Commitment

When someone recommends you, gives you a referral or chooses to invest in you in some way, they want to know that you are committed for the foreseeable future. For example, if you attend a networking event and encourage people to join your sports group but then never update it or plan any events, people will very quickly lose interest and are unlikely to invest their time in you again.

Know Your Audience

In order for your networking efforts to be successful, it’s vital that you talk to the right people. Every time you sign up to attend an event ask yourself if it’s a good fit, if people you are looking to attract are going to be there and whether or not you think you will get quality ‘leads’ from it. For example, if you are looking for people to join your fitness group, a business networking event is unlikely to be the time or place to find the audience you are looking for.

Never Stop Networking

Believe it or not, you don’t have to be at a pre-planned networking event to meet the people you are looking to attract. Regardless of whether you are at a meeting, the pub or a coffee shop, it’s always worth being prepared because people often find that the best opportunities come from the individuals and places they least expect.

Do you have any valuable tips for successful networking? Why not share your tips and advice with us below.

How to Promote Your Event, Club, Group or Community

Whether you’re organising an event, creating a community or putting together a club or group, once you’ve signed up to Eventility, there are lots of different ways to promote it. Below is a quick guide to some of the methods you can use to raise awareness, create excitement and encourage people to join your group.

Social Media

With billions of people using social media sites all over the world, they provide brilliant platforms for promoting and sharing your group or event. Here at Eventility, we’ve made it really simple to share on social media sites and you can even post updates directly to Facebook and Twitter from your Promote tab.

Your Website

Your own website is a great way to let people know about your activities and if someone has made the effort to visit your site in the first place, then chances are that they are more likely to be interested in joining any groups you have created. Adding an Eventility Events Plugin enables members and any visitors to your website to see a live feed of your up-to-date events. Use the Events Plugin builder in the Promote tab of your listing to easily create the features you want to show on your website. When you’ve finished, hit Get the Code, copy the code and just paste it into your website HTML. It’s that easy!

Emails

Email marketing has become an incredibly popular and effective way of reaching out to people. Since the introduction of smart phones, users now have the ability to check their inbox regardless of where they are or what time it is. Sending out emails is a great way to thank people for joining your group, keeping them updated with events and encouraging them to alert and invite others. Simply import your email list from Webmail or an Excel file and within minutes you can send out your notification to all your contacts directly from the Eventility site with a few clicks. You can see when emails are sent, opened and if any have bounced. With new member lists you can now separate your members into different lists e.g. beginners, intermediate, advanced, and email and SMS them separately with different messages.

SMS

A study by Nokia found that the average person checks their mobile phone 150 times per day. Sending out SMS messages to your group members is a sure fire way to promote your event and ensure that your community is kept up-to-date with all your latest news. Setting up auto-reminders means that Eventility will send out your SMS reminders at the time you have specified so it’s one less thing you have to worry about.

With everything you could possibly need to organise and promote your event or group in one easy to manage place, Eventility really couldn’t make it easier. If you need any help, why not use our support site which includes FAQs, access to our forums or email support@eventility.co.uk.

So, if you organise any event, club, group or community and aren’t using Eventility yet, why not give it a try, it’ll help make your give a little bit easier.

Eventility – Group Organisation and Promotion Made Easy.