6 Marketing Tips You Need to Know

There are hundreds of blogs and articles on marketing advice, but this list is a quick reminder of some tips you can use in every aspect of your business. This list caters to marketing and advertising products as well as events, so think of them while you’re promoting absolutely anything!

  1. It’s easier to convince a current customer or repeat buyer to go to your conference than to persuade potential clients to become attendees. So, don’t forget to show some love for your current customer list; they are just as (if not more) important as newcomers!
  2. When using social media, don’t forget to add some quality content. If every post is trying to sell (direct marketing), your clients will get turned off. The “rule” is to write about semi-equal parts of general content about your niche, personal content about your company, and selling/advertising for your product/service/event. This mixture will show that you are credible and not pushy.
  3. Don’t market any ideas that are too far out of your niche. If you are a website design company, it wouldn’t be wise to post a random blog post about pants. Stay in your niche so your customers (and prospects) understand what your company stands for. Really, would you buy pants from a design company?
  4. Know your customers. Learn what they like and dislike. See what marketing strategies work and what don’t. There is always going to be trial and error in marketing and advertising, so pay attention and use what works for which group of clients!
  5. Branding is so extremely important. If you have a logo, a slogan, a spokesperson, or all three, make sure it is, or they are plastered on your marketing campaign so people recognize you quickly and easily.
  6. Customers come first. This one might be common sense, but it’s so important that I need to mention it. Make sure they are happy. If they have a question, answer it. If they have a complaint, try to help them to the best of your ability. If your attendees are content, you will be content.

I’m sure you know other great tips, so share in the comment section below!


3 Design Tips For The Perfect Meeting Space

When you’re having a meeting or event, it’s important that the set up, atmosphere, and design of the conference room caters to the needs of the attendees. I don’t mean give everyone comfy chairs and pillows, but it’s critical to have a good room flow, and a “vibe” that will spike the attention of the guests. It’s one thing to have interesting and thought-provoking speakers and activities, but it’s also extremely important to have a room in which your attendees can learn and accomplish tasks. Here are three important ideas to think about when creating your conference room!

  1. Color Psychology:  Colors have been thought to have specific affects on our brains and make people react and feel certain ways, according to this article. For example, hints of blue promote productivity, red is inspiring, and yellow is motivating. Add a small burst of color by having colored chair backs, matching notebooks and pens, and interesting (but not too eye-catching) additions. Since color is the first thing people see, add it somewhere you want your guests’ eyes to be drawn to! (Here’s a tip: Having too much color and/or too many different colors might distract your guests, so keep it clean but fun when adding color.)
  2. Seating Arrangement:  The arrangement of tables and chairs is another way to change the vibe of your event, and even change the way people learn. If you’re having a large meeting, you could choose styles ranging from theater style that accommodates the most people, and modified chevron style, which promotes attendee involvement. A smaller meeting can have a typical board meeting or U-shape setup. This is a great website that explains these styles along with other different types of seating plans for conferences or meetings…and even has pictures.
  3. Decor:  Event décor can add some fun and excitement to a room. Adding the right amount of embellishments, like flowers, banners, pictures, Bibles, and even fruit baskets or funny hats will engage your attendees and let them know right off the bat what kind of event you’re having, so certainly have fun with it! When decorating remember the goal of your meeting, you don’t add too many decorations that could distract your guests if your goal is to focus.  Oh, and don’t forget to learn the conference center’s safety rules and regulations before decorating!

Have you tried out any other design tips that worked for you?

5 Ways to Save Money When Planning Your Next Conference

When planning an event, what do you consider the most important aspects? Having fun? Learning? Growing? Okay, all true, but what’s another significant part? How about saving money and staying within your budget?

Chances are if it’s not you, then someone else in your organization sees saving money and hitting your event budget as pretty important. Therefore it’s something you should probably spend some time focusing on. To help, here are 5 things you can do to save a little cash:

  1. Plan early. Actually, plan earlier than you think you should. Not only is it usually easier to get better deals when you plan early, it’s also easier to get what you want, when you want. If you leave it all to the last minute, you run the very real risk that everything might already be booked and/or more expensive. Think ahead.
  2. Be flexible. If your dates and times are flexible, it will be much easier to save money. The venue you’re booking might be cheaper during the week than on the weekends, or if you check-in on a Sunday night, or if you book for four days instead of three, etc. Don’t be afraid to ask the hotel or conference center for their best deals throughout the year and inquire about their least expensive times of year when booking. If you’re wanting to hold your event during high demand times be prepared to pay top dollar. Flexibility to take a lower demand date will definitely help you to save money.
  3. Do your research. It is usually easier to save money if you explore multiple options instead of just booking the first one you find. Submit RFP’s (requests for proposals) to multiple hotels/conference centers, entertainment companies, catering companies, etc and then compare to see who has what you want at the price you’re looking to spend.
  4. Use connections. If you have a friend in the DJ business, see if he or she can hook you up with a deal, instead of hiring a stranger. This concept goes for anything from caterers to party planning companies to audio/visual equipment vendors to, again, venues. Friends, friends of friends, and old business associates are much more likely to charge you a fair rate, or even give you a discount. Don’t be afraid to ask.
  5. Focus on the budget. Really look at your budget at all times. Once you create your event’s expense budget, try everything possible not to spend money on something you did not budget for. This will, to no surprise, help you stay within your (probably tight) budget.

What other money saving tips have you found to be helpful? Let us know by commenting below!

4 Fundamental Steps for Budgeting an Event

One of the most critical steps in planning an event is creating a budget. Whether your organization is paying for the event, or you’re looking to cover the costs by charging a registration fee, a detailed budget is a must for ensuring good stewardship. Plan and hold an event without a budget and I can pretty much guarantee you will end up spending way more money than you could have imagined. Not good!

While budgeting for an event might seem overwhelming at first,  following these 4 budget planning steps should help to keep your stress level to a minimum:

  1. Make a list of everything you need to hold the event – Budgeting an event is similar to packing for your vacation…inevitably you always forget something and end up paying more to replace it than if you would have packed it to begin with. The same is true with an event…it’s the things you forget that end up blowing your budget! Create a list outlining all the possible cost centers for your event and then add bullet points to each main category. (click here for a sample list of categories) Now that you have your list, it’s time to move on to #2…
  2. Determine costs for all the items on your list – After doing your research, determine how much money you need to spend on each aspect of the event. Also, be sure put some money in an “emergency/contigency” category to help cover anything you might have forgotten. This will make it a little easier to stay under or at budget.
  3. Determine your program/registration fee – Whether you are planning a break-even church retreat, or a profit-generating event, determining how much to charge for the event is very similar. Simply take the total amount of expenses from step #2 and divide by the number of people you realistically expect to attend the event. (Example, $10,000 in expenses divided by 100 expected attendees equals a $100/person program fee.) In my example, the $100/person program fee would allow the event to break-even (cover it’s costs)…if expenses remained at $10,000 or less and at least 100 people paid to attend.
  4. Under promise, over deliver – You’re probably more accustomed to seeing this phrase applied to customer service, but I believe it also applies to event budgeting…just in a little different way. Instead of under promising and over delivering, focus on under estimating your attendees and over estimating your expenses. If you do this and can still show a break-even budget, chances are pretty good your event will end up in the black and not the red!

Hopefully this was helpful to you? Let us know by leaving a comment below!