Social Media – A Marketing Game Changer

Social media has changed the way an event is marketed for the better and modernized the evets industry. Bashar et al (2012) covers the main elements of what social media is when they say “Social media covers a significant range of applications and websites with their own purposes, these differentiate from networking publishing, discussing and sharing” and Rouse (2011) says social media is “a way in which organisations use social media networks to increase brand recognition and customer reach” which is why social media is a wonderful tool for marketing an event. I would like to use this blog as a place to advice those budding event managers on the dos and the do nots on using social media to market their event.

Social media can be a huge influence and play a massive part on an event if used correctly. As social media grows so does the things you can do with it, In this blog I would like to take the time to explain a few of the key things a event manger can do to market their event for the better using social media platforms. There are a number of simple steps you can take on any social media platform to ensure that your efforts are not in ineffective and unsuccessful.

 

1 – #TheHashtag

Used correctly hashtags can be vital in a marketing sense, this Is because a hashtag allows your message to be gathered, ordered and searched for electronically with other messages using the same hashtag. Making it imperative that your hashtag is managed correctly.

When thinking up a hashtag for your brand or event, consider the following:

Keep them #Short and #Simple – Short, humorous hashtags are easier to remember and will fit the character limit

Don’t stray from the event – Your hashtag should show the connection to your event

Be original – Use a hashtag that isn’t already in use, and that cannot be taken out of context.

Consistency is key if your hashtag is #Event1994 make sure your consistent with the date involved and the capitals and spellings always double check before marketing with a hashtag be sure its correct and then post it. This will allow an accurate and concise picture to be gathered of who is saying what about your event and it also allows you to reply and communicate with attendees.

For more on a successful hashtag please read – https://www.hashtags.org/how-to/tips/twitter-marketing-101-what-does-it-take-for-a-hashtag-to-trend/

 

2 – Track The Data

Data tracking will seem like a dull boring and daunting task, but it is totally needed to make improvements and take on bored what others have to say to improve your event next time. The whole point of using social media to aid your events marketing so reading the things said about your event is very important. As an event manager you should be using the information you read from various social media about your event and using it to your advantage to figure out and address how your audience feel about your event and how you can change the things the attendees disliked.

There is a lot of different pieces of data that can be tracked and a number of different data models it is possible to find out what your audience likes best. This is perfect in the marketing sense because it allows you to adapt to market to these people by seeing what they like and dislike. Making it possible to remove the things they dislike and enhance the things they like furthermore, and interestingly Twitter and Facebook now allow for questions to be asked to followers via a poll. This means you can pose a direct question and for 24 hours you can gauge the results and potentially change something after the results are in which in a marketing sense is ideal for an event manager.

3 – Promote your event, don’t spam it!

There is a very thin line between promoting your event and simply spamming your event online. Telemarketing and begging possible attendees to buy tickets, apps or other event related merchandise is very similar you have to be very careful how you approach doing this there are a number of laws set out by the government for this which must be followed even on social networking there is no exceptions instead build relationships with these people get them to follow your social networking by advertising and hash tagging and when they feel comfortable they will talk to you and ask you questions

The way to promote your own content (which you absolutely should be doing) and still sound human is to make some adjustments. Remember to

  1. The entire point of social media is to humanize your marketing. Don’t tweet things you wouldn’t want to read!
  2. Having more than one headline will help you in systematizing your social media updates without spamming others.
  3. What is your audience talking about? Talk with them make them feel important and wanted.

What to remember

Firstly, social media is a marketing strategy, and a means of constructing and maintaining significant relationships with the people who are most vital to your event. You have to pay attention to what is being said to and about you and provide value to your attendees whilst understanding what causes them to dislike something then change it if possible. This is the future for the events industry, it will only get bigger and more widely used for me social media is not only a game changer its a career changer as personally I would love to run social media accounts for a boxing company such as Matchroom this is why I am constantly trying to improve my knowledge and understanding in this field.

Read more at

https://www.gov.uk/marketing-advertising-law/overview

http://www.socialmediatoday.com/

http://www.danah.org/papers/JCMCIntro.pdf

 

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Alcohol at Events – A Benefit or Hindrance – A Few Hints and Tips.

As an events management student last year we were tasked with throwing our own event, our event concept was a charity evening in aid of the Royal National Institute for the Blind our event challenge was to raise as much as possible to cover the costs and for the charity itself. On the event night itself we encountered a number of issues which where believed to be caused by alcohol misuse, we had not planned for this nor taken it into consideration. There are a few tips for any potential events managers or students on the PDHU website and Drinkaware is a very useful website that will give all relevant information as to the effects alcohol can take on a person’s lifestyle and I would highly recommend having a understanding on some of these effects before attempting to hold an event on a licensed premises.

In this blog entry I would like to take the time to write up a few tips for risky proposition of alcohol sales. More often than not when the decision to sell alcohol at an event it opens the doors to a whole different crowd of attendees and a lot more legal issues. However, if the event screams out for a beer, double vodka or Jagerbomb then take these precautions!

Know your event

 

So firstly, it’s your event make sure you know it inside out. For example, how many people are going to be, at your event? Will there be more than one bar? Will your event serve stiff alcohol, and which methods will you use to reduce the access to alcohol? The most important thing you should know as a events manager is how will you deal with drunken attendees? If you have the answer to all of these questions dealing with alcohol itself will become tremendously easier. The office of substance abuse published article to help guide bars/restaurants in the right way with alcohol servings. This article can easily be turned on its head to suit events.

Are you licensed?

Now, you are fully aware of your event and how you’re going to deal with alcohol on the night. Your next challenge is to communicate with the venue manager to make sure it’s a licensed premises and the service of alcohol will comply with the law. If you are already in a licensed premise, there will be no problem and you will be able to serve alcohol using their licenses. Legal bars and pubs should already be properly licensed and insured (however I would recommend you confirm this beforehand) as Mahoney 2000 says “if its advertised as having a bar will be licensed”

Trained staff

 

Its vital to have fully trained and legal staff there is a website called how to run a pub which has brilliant with advice with the legalities in this area as Smith says “The law is there to be followed, nobody can escape it.” This is relevant to this area because those said laws are hiring responsible adults to serve at the bar who will recognise when a guest has had to much to drink and they will then refuse service. This leads me onto my next point.

Limiting how much a guest can drink

 

As a student I am probably going to sound barbaric for suggesting this but at an event an open bar is such a bad idea. We all love open bars but they are very dangerous for an events manager and before even thinking about using an open bar an event manager should check government legislations for guidance on this. If your event does involve an open bar, then set some limits. Rather than allow people just to simply order what they want at the open bar for as long as they want give them drinks vouchers and set a three drink limit with this in mind set a shorter happy hour and keep your eye on attendees. Don’t let them get to silly!

 

For further information on how to deal with drunken attendees check out Christmas and Seymour’s article Drunken nights’ out and for further reading on the effects alcohol has on the body check out the article by Kaunihera Whakatupato entitled “Alcohol – the body and health effects

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A message to Generation X and Baby Boomers

As 21-year-old representative of generation Y, I have been an energetic life learner who hasn’t stopped trying to improve my education and personal development. Generation Y are linked and associated with technology and access to the internet and are expected to have a superior understanding of these sort of technological advances. But there are problems with this as well, there are a number of places for us to hide and procrastinate online with the huge advances of social media over the last decade, we can hide in Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and a number of sites. Certain people accuse us of being impatient, ungrateful and brainwashed (Millwood, A.B, 2007Valentine, D.B. and Powers, L.T, 2013 )

 

Some academics have even gone as far as writing books on how to deal with generation Y this academics have written books on how to work with us, how to manage us and how to sell us (Myers, K.K and Sadaghiani, K., 2010), (Martin, C.A., 2005), (Harrington, R.J. et al, 2012). However, society keeps giving us more information about the difference between the generations which honestly is quiet annoying.

While most academics such as focus on the fresh things coming from the new generation, certain academics such as; Bauerlein and Twenge focus on the negative aspects in such books titled as “The Dumbest Generation” and “Generation Me” The problem with most of the papers written about us is that they are written by the elder generations, by baby-boomers or generation X-ers, and therefore, may not be accurate or a fair reflection.

Generation Y and the following generations are the generations that are about to enter the events industry and become the predominant workforce of the industry. Our generation differs because we have different standards to the previous generation and require different things this is why it is important we are understood! (Harrington, R.J. et al (2005) has written an article about Generation Y where they speak about us as consumers. But due to these changes I feel it is more important to talk about us as employees and I feel it is important to try and create an article that’ll help employers understand us more and make working relationships between our generation and other generations stronger.

 

So what will help us engage with other generations?

 

  • Less judgement more engagement

From my own workplace involvements and experiences, I can safely say that I have experienced my highest potential when a team leader/ manager has used the Laissez-faire technique of management which involves allowing me to do it my way which I feel gave me a very high amount of freedom to get the job done. So by allowing me to be involved in the decision making with colleagues and bosses and explaining how I intend to work without them saying “this won’t work, do it this way!” Unfortunately, this is not always the way and most bosses just want you to do as they say and get on with it Weyland, A. (2011)  says that actually it does not take much to understand what actually motivates us, Gen Y, and how it can be implemented by the employer. this means it is important to be inclusive not exclusive!

 

  • Don’t be bossy, everybody needs guidance

Again through personal experience I have found that when a baby boomer or generation X’er is your boss most of the time they expect you to be able to do what they can do which is not true most of the time and become bossy because they cant understand why we don’t know how to do what they can do and they say “You should know this!” “Why cant you do this? Its easy, Do it this way!” what I am trying to get at here is us Generation Y’ers are new to the industry show us how to do things and don’t ut assume we know what we are doing straight away and leave us to it. When we are guided asked questioned and coached well. (Jeanne, M.C. and Karie, W., 2010).  Says you have to ask us millions of questions, give us some advice, but then let us go into the wildness of the real world. If you want to get on with us don’t shout, be strict or give us strict instructions please! It will not help us only anger us.

 

3 – Work-life integration

My final and probably most important point is the work life intergration. We like flexable hours and we like to intergrate our work life. We do not want to keep work life and home life coplely seprate like the baby boomers or generartion X we want to socialise and intergrate one into another we want to do what we enjoy and get paid for it in otherwords if we want to answer our work emails at the weekend let us and if we want to check our social media accounts during work hours we are not doing this to spite you we are doing it because we enjoy it.

Generation Y channel on YouTube is a very good link with some very interesting things on it… have a look!

Student or Lecturer? – First Hand Experiance.

In the events industry there are a number of vital skills, presenting is one of these essential skills. with regards to its relevance to our degree. we have had to pitch business ideas, events and event investigations to lecturers and potential investors. in our final year we have had to prepare and deliver a 50-minute lecture on a subject we have chosen that has a relevant and in date contemporary issue surrounding it.

As a keen sportsmen I was very interested in the recent events of 2012, The Olympics and as a student I became very interested in the urban development of the areas surrounding the venues, especially as I am local to some of the areas that held some of the events with this in mind I decided to sign up for urban development as a contemporary issue.

As a group, we wanted to have a closer look at what events industry experts have already implemented, what the existing standards are and what we, as future professionals, can add to the industry.

I am now going to share some of the things I have learnt from the experience of delivering a lecture. below I will list some of the advice I was given and some advice I would give to students who are yet to deliver a lecture.

The Do’s

1- Objectives.

The first thing we did as a group was list our objectives. It is important to do this early this way your able to deliver on them. We put together a presentation that we felt was well structured and was going to be success. Each of us then took on a piece of material we all felt interested us so we felt confident when presenting. At the start of the lecture we set out our aims and learning objectives and revisited these at the end of the class to show how these where achieved. In the book “Successful presentation skills” written by Andrew Bradbury he says “it is important to draw up the description of your objectives in one short sentence and then make sure that you deliver it.” I feel this helped us deliver a successful lecture.

2 – Up to Date Information and Rehearsal Times

Relevant and up to date information plays a huge part in the success of a lecture without the correct knowledge there is nothing. In the lecture we discussed a number of things such as the urban regeneration of East London. However, during the lecture we did forget to mention a number of things that where of importance, this is probably due lack of rehearsal time. Without the information we left out it drastically changed our chances of getting a better grade. I would highly recommend that rehearsal time is taken seriously for anybody taking a lecture. Tim Vine does a funny video on the importance of rehearsal which emphasises how important rehearsing is in a light hearted and humorous way hyperlinked here.

3 – Visual Aids

During the lecture as a team we used graphs and other visual aids such as charts, images and videos to illiterate our points. I felt this changed the way our lecture went as it wasn’t just sitting there listening to us mutter on and it broke the lecture down into bite size chunks.

4 – Quiz

We started our lecture off with a quiz which we felt got the audiences brains and minds working productively before we started giving them the facts and figures of urban development we got positive marks from it I would highly recommend anyone who would be doing this in the future to add a quiz into there lecture. I felt the audiences participation was very good and helped us with this.

5 – Expert

After speaking with colleagues from the year above and the same year I regret that we didn’t try to get a expert from the industry in as a guest speaker this would have highly increased our grade. I would highly recommend this to others

The Do Not’s

1 -Read From the Slides.

I am aware this is pointing out the obvious but do not read from the slide it makes you look like you do not know what you are talking about and are unaware of what you are speaking about – this does not look professional!

2- Speaking

When taking the lecture make sure you speak slowly and clearly so you can be understood/ it is important to rehearse and as previously mentioned take the time to rehearse as a group so you are correctly collaborated and work well together.

When deciding which tools to choose for learning I highly recommend looking at Keith Tyler’s document “tools for learning

What have I learned that I value the most?

From the I have learnt that audience engagement is very important – keep the audience busy and entertained and encourage them to explore the topic themselves. Audience interaction is vital.