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.

The Power of Online Communities for Local Businesses Infographic

Social networks have long been seen as a ‘leveller’, enabling local businesses to compete with big brands for a decent share of customer attention. In many respects local businesses are better placed to take advantage of social media than big brands. They find it easier to create meaningful relationships with their customers – they might even be on first name terms – and, since the majority of their customers’ social media connections will also live locally, are well placed to benefit from recommendations.

As well using social networks to engage with existing customers online, businesses are also attracting new ones. The fact that there are over 1 billion smart-phone users and that 40% of mobile searches are for local businesses gives an indication of the importance of having a strong web presence and making your business easy to find.

Yet lots of small businesses are still not tapping into their online communities.

To help fix this situation – we’ve produced this handy infographic which highlights the importance of online communities and how local businesses can make the most of them.

One of the key things the infographic highlights is the sheer number of small businesses that are already using social networks and gaining new customers as a result. Almost three quarters of small businesses use Facebook and over half are using LinkedIn and Twitter. Added to that, research by Manta suggests that 78% of small businesses are gaining a significant proportion of new customers through social media.

Generation Y in particular are using social networks to inform purchase decisions, with 61% turning to social media to decide where to go when going out. Online reviews also play a significant role in this, with 52% saying that positive online reviews make them more likely to use a local business.

Promotions offer a great way to reward existing customers and to attract new ones, with 73% of consumers saying they search for discounts and promotions online. They are also a great way of increasing footfall, with research showing that 59% of consumers have gone into a store or business premises as a result of finding an offer or coupon online.

Of course, social media can’t stand on its own: email marketing is another hugely valuable tool for local businesses. There are roughly 3 billion email users in the world and 19% of all time spent online is devoted to reading and responding to emails. As a marketing tool it is clearly has value – 77% of small businesses have reported email marketing increases their revenues and as a result, 85% plan to increase their use of email in 2013.

It’s also important to consider the role that SMS marketing can play. It’s estimated that 8,000,000,000,000 text messages were sent last year (yes, try saying that number!) and 90% of them were read within 3 minutes. With such a high open rate, it’s a great way to advertise promotions to your community or to send reminders – so long as you’ve got their permission to text them.

Of course, all of this takes time and that’s why we created Eventility. If you haven’t tried us out yet – Eventility brings all of this into one easy-to-use online platform, offering an effective way to manage and promote your business.

You can manage your contacts, organise and advertise events, run targeted promotions, manage your social media engagement, collect customer reviews, add your location to online maps, deliver SMS marketing and send emails with in-built tracking – all using one powerful tool – plus we can power your website too.

www.eventility.com/tour#place

Online Customer Communities

New Eventility Scan App Checks-in Tickets and Vouchers in Seconds

Eventility is pleased to announce our latest mobile app, Eventility Scan. Developed specially for organisers to simplify the process of validating event tickets at the door and vouchers at point of sale – It only takes seconds to check-in with Eventility Scan.

FeatureGraphic2

Eventility ScanThe Eventility Scan App lets you scan the barcode on Eventility tickets and vouchers. It confirms validity, records the check-in against your account and prevents the same ticket/voucher being used twice. The app supports multiple devices and managers so you can have more than one person working the doors.

Simply press the check-in button and Eventility Scanuse your device camera to validate tickets and vouchers. The Android app automatically installs a barcode scanner if needed. Scan the QR code and within a second we’ll validate whether it’s genuine and hasn’t been used before. You can then analyse all your check-in stats online.

The Eventility Scan app is available free on Google play to help make organising and promoting any event or offer really easy.

Android App

Coming Soon

Your Events – Simplified

Eventility V3.3 Introduces a Host of New Event Features

Here at Eventility we love your feedback and are working hard to over-deliver on our promise of ‘Organisation and Promotion Made Easy’.

This week, we’ve got a treat in store when you log-in to add or edit your event. We’ve taken all your feedback and released a new version of our Events Engine with an even simpler interface!

Click the image below or this link to play the 1 minute video overview

Here are a few of the key updates

Events Simplified Video

  • New events check-list guides you through five simple steps
  • Flip from “Organiser View” to “Live View” and see how your event looks to others
  • Event descriptions can be five times longer and include rich-text formatting
  • Attendance tracking has powerful email reporting (opened, clicked, bounced, etc.)
  • Ticketed events
    • Absorb our charge into the ticket cost
    • Ask up to three questions when someone orders their tickets
    • Create promotional codes
  • Promote your event
    • Straight to Facebook or Twitter
    • As a Facebook event
    • With a button on your website
    • With a short link (http://evty.co/)

As always, we love to hear your feedback so please keep it coming. We’ve got lots more great updates in store just around the corner.

The Eventility Team

Subscriptions – Done Simply

We’ve all been there… Either you are chasing down subscription payments from those busy, or elusive, members of your club. Or you are delaying your payment because you can’t find your cheque book, or forgot to go to the cash point on your way to meet up.

Let Eventility ease the load. Our latest release integrates Club, Group & Community subscription payments via PayPal with the minimum of fuss.

Club members can pay their subscription with an existing PayPal account, or simply activate one whilst entering their Credit Card details. Even better, organisers can still collect money offline and add it to their subscription report so they can always keep a track of who owes what.

Eventility subscriptions are live now, so make you life easier and give it a whirl!

  • Integration with PayPal (Free Account)
  • Set multiple subscription types (Adult, Child, Family etc) & durations
  • Notify & remind your members of renewals by email & SMS
  • View & export subscription reports
  • Recognise offline payments
  • Absorb or pass on transaction fees
  • Low cost – just 2% per transaction* (+ PayPal Fee)
  • You receive all revenue immediately.

See how easy it is to manage subscriptions with Eventility

We can’t wait to hear what you think. Let us know in the comments!

The Eventility Team

*Min £0.25 – Max £5.00