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Conference Planning Tips Every Business Can Use

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Hosting a conference is a big deal for any business. To make an impression, you’re going to need to make sure your conference goes off without a hitch. Even a beginner can learn to pull off a fantastic conference with the right hints and tips. From planning the day’s activities to putting the practical arrangements in place, there’s a lot to make sure you get right in time for the big day.

Host the perfect event with these conference planning tips that every business can use!

Decide on the theme for your conference

It’s all well and good to decide to throw a conference, but it’s important that you choose a theme that people will be interested in. To fill up those spaces, you’re going to need an agenda that’s relevant and topical that will attract people from all over your industry.

When choosing the right conference theme, you’ll want to think about:

  • What’s hot in your industry at the moment – are there burning issues or trends that could be featured?
  • Who are you pitching your conference too? If it’s for others in your industry, clients or the general public, you’ll want to think carefully about the content of your conference and how it can appeal to them.
  • Think about what you want to achieve from your conference – what do you want people to take with them when they leave? This will help you think about the most important aspects of your conference.

Plan as far in advance as possible

One of the most beneficial things you can do is to plan your conference in as far advance as possible. This gives you time to notify delegates so that they can make travel arrangements, plan the agenda as well as make all of the practical arrangements.

Aim to start your planning at least 6 months in advance. This will give you time to form a conference planning checklist that you can work from. When it comes to planning a conference, or any event for that matter, working backward can help.

Start from the date of the conference and work out what you need to do and when. This will allow you to plan out when to set the RSVP deadline, when the catering needs to be ordered by and so on.

Team up with partners

Where small businesses are concerned, planning and financing a conference can be a big step to take all on your own. Teaming up with other local businesses could help you to build links within your community as well as shoulder the burden of having to plan it all yourself. Different businesses can be responsible for different aspects of the day to keep things varied and interesting.

If planning a conference with partners isn’t a suitable solution, you could always ask for sponsorship to help you cover costs. Local businesses can sponsor a portion of the day, or have an advert featured in your program.
Choosing the right location

Choosing the right location for your conference is vital, and there are some things you’ll want to consider when settling on your ideal venue, such as:

  • Capacity
  • Hire costs
  • Parking
  • Is the venue easily to get to?
  • Whether or not there’s on-site accommodation
  • What facilities are available
  • Are there breakout spaces?
  • Do they provide on-site catering?
  • Is the venue accessible?

Some common locations for conferences include hotels, colleges, conference centers, and music venues. To make sure you get a good idea of what’s out there, you’ll want to narrow it down to a few choices and then visit each one in turn. Consider the pros and cons of each location to you decide on the best one. Remember that the cheapest might not always be the best.

Arrange some must-see guest speakers

One of the things that attracts someone to a conference is the speakers. The right guest speakers will sell out your conference and guarantee a crowd. If you’ve got the budget for it, it’s worth paying for a well-known speaker, someone who knows the industry inside-out and can offer something of value to your guests.

If you’re unfamiliar with the presentation style of your prospective speakers, then you can usually find some of their work on YouTube. You can also get a feel of whether they’re the right speaker for you by attending other similar conferences and events.

There are many ways you can find speakers for your conference, and the sooner you can confirm them, the sooner you can advertise your conference.

Make it accessible to all

When arranging your conference, it can be easy to get consumed in the physical part of your conference, but why not open it up to people who can’t make it? There are many reasons why you should live stream your conference and by live streaming your content, you can still reach a lot of people who can’t physically be present.

By offering a live stream of your sessions, you can make them more interactive as well as provide useful content following your conference. You can offer the live stream as a paid-for service, providing a special login for those wishing to participate online.

Keep content varied

It’s easy to fill your conference with a day of lectures and seminars, but being talked at all day will make your attendees switch off. Break up the day with interactive conference ideas that help to keep people interested and engaged. Break out sessions and Q&As are perfect for adding some variety to the day and helping your audience to interact and share their own ideas.

Ensure your catering is top-notch

Aside from a great venue and interesting sessions, what else do people remember or look forward to the most at a conference? The food. Good catering is a must for your conference. You should consider a range of dietary requirements as well as provide food that is easy to eat. Any breaks for food should also give people a chance to network and mingle, so make sure there’s plenty of space for people to sit and socialize with other delegates.

Event Catering Tips

Take a look at some event catering tips to help you hit the right note. Make sure you’ve got all of the basics in place.

There are plenty of practicalities that you need to take into account when arranging your conference. Some things to think about include:

  • Printing all of the delegate packs in advance and making sure there are enough copies
  • Display your WiFi code everywhere – it’s one of the questions you’ll get asked the most during your conference!
  • Make sure you’re familiar with the housekeeping of your venue and communicate it to your guests.
  • Having all of the tech in place in advance can mean that you won’t run into issues during sessions and that you deliver
    presentations of high quality – ask for presentations in advance so that you can check them first.
  • Check on your speakers’ requirements in advance of the conference. Provide them with lecterns, clickers, water and anything else they need to feel comfortable. Appoint someone to introduce them before they begin their lecture.
  • Ask your guests about any access requirements they might have as they register to make sure that everyone can attend the conference without any problems.

Promote your conference

To encourage people to register for your conference, you need to promote it. An effective marketing campaign should kick off as soon as you confirm details of your conference to help you maximize the opportunities to sign up attendees.

From promoting your conference on social media to sending out a mailshot to your existing clients, there are plenty of free ways to advertise. You can also list your conference on Eventbrite to attract people who browse for local event listings.

One tip to encourage some early sign-ups is to use an early-bird deal that offers a discount on the ticket price for the first people to sign up. You can continue to offer incentives such as giveaways and further discounts if numbers are a cause for concern nearer to your conference date.

Draw up a promotion plan for your conference that will cover you from your launch to the conference itself. Devise a hashtag that you can run with throughout the whole campaign and encourage people to use it to generate a buzz around your conference.

Ask for feedback

After your conference is over, remember to get feedback from your attendees. Feedback is important to help you identify areas for improvement and to find out what worked.

Feedback can be gathered on the day or you can send a survey out to attendees in the days following the conference to thank them for attending. If your conference is a success, you can let them know the date of the next conference and encourage them to register early.

Planning a conference is hard work, but if you’re prepared and willing to dive in – you can pull it off. Make sure your first conference goes off without a hitch to deliver some great results for your business.

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7 Advantages of Web Push Notifications for Marketing

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A web push notification is a message with some text, logo, image and up to three buttons, that appears on top of a current web-page.

What follows are seven reasons why you should use web push notifications as a marketing channel.

1. Segmentation

Previously, marketers could send browser notifications only to their entire contact list. Because of this, many users received unnecessary and annoying information.

But now advanced providers allow sending personalized web notifications to different segments of the contact list.

With their help, eCommerce brands can send to website users

  • relevant and personalized messages
  • through all popular browsers
  • on mobile and desktop devices.

2. High Delivery Rates

There are only a few reasons why a web push message may not reach users:

  • a user has blocked notifications from the website,
  • the device was turned off,
  • the subscriber didn`t have access to the internet.

But these situations are not too common, that’s why the delivery rates of web push notifications range from 50% to 90%. Even if the browser was closed or the device turned off, users could receive a notification the next time they open their browser.

3. Ease of Use

Push notifications are a perfect way to quickly deliver messages and to encourage users to visit the website.

It only takes a few minutes to create a web push notification You just need to briefly formulate the main idea, add an attractive banner and a CTA button.

4. Content Personalization

Automatic substitution of personalized content in the notifications will help you capture the attention of your subscribers much more better than ordinary bulk messages.

For example, call the subscribers by their first names.

However, it is better to use more complex personalization. You can insert an image of the product that the user has abandoned in the cart or the number of the order which he or she has made.

5. Automation

Web push notifications provide a good opportunity for automating regular communications between a user and a brand. You can use them

  • as a part of your onboarding campaigns,
  • as abandoned cart reminders,
  • as transactional notifications.

In fact, with advanced marketing automation services, you can set any event that triggers the automatic sending of a web push notification.

Most often, online businesses use email or SMS as marketing channels. Push notifications don’t replace but complement them.

Advanced automation systems allow you to use multiple channels in a single marketing workflow, for instance, an abandoned cart workflow. This significantly increases customer engagement and the chances that the user will take the target action.

6. Branded style

You can design your notifications in the style of your website. Use branded colors and add your logo to the notifications. For example, this is how you can add your logo and a product image in eSputnik.com.

The branded style of the message will attract the attention of your users, and they will be more likely to perform the action you want them to take.

7. Customizable lifespan

Push notifications have an “activity time” that you can set manually. Due to this, you will not annoy your users with outdated information, for example, after the promotion has ended.

Conclusion

Web notifications can be the perfect solution for fast and reliable customer communication. They are delivered as soon as a user opens the browser, even if he or she doesn’t visit your website.

Considering all this, segmented web push notifications can become a new powerful channel in your omnichannel marketing strategy.

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What Every Entrepreneur Should Learn from these Famous Logos

Coming up with the best possible logo is very important. Many companies have struggled to find a logo that communicates the essence of their brand. If you are looking for inspiration, you need to look at some of the companies that did it right. Of course, you don’t want to outright copy of their design approach. However, you can get a sense of the approach that they took and why it worked so well.

Here are some famous logos and the lessons that you can learn from them. You shouldn’t have any trouble replicating one of these logos when you need one for your own brand. There are plenty of great logo design tools that can help you out, like this logo maker tool from Designhill for $20. This tool uses state-of-the-art artificial intelligence technology to execute the most intricate design algorithms. It can create hundreds of logos in minutes, which makes it easy for you to choose the best ones for your business.

Target

Target has a very simple logo. It is basically just a bull’s eye made from two red rings and a white one conjoining them. This is a simplified version of its original logo, which had three bands of each color.

This logo clearly communicates its message for two reasons:

  • The logo is an obvious image that conveys the theme of the brand. The company’s name is Target and the logo is it target itself. It couldn’t be clearer.
  • Target uses very few design elements in its logo. New entrepreneurs and graphic designers might think that this is a drawback. However, this is actually one of the reasons it is so effective. People don’t want to try to make sense of overly complicated designs. Simplicity is usually best.

Target’s logo has gone unchanged for nearly 15 years, because it works so well. Their own research shows that most customers recognize it at a casual glance.

“Target’s telltale logo was first revealed in 1962, streamlined in 1968 and has since evolved into one of the most recognized symbols in North America. No, seriously — a 2003 Target study found more than 96 percent of American shoppers know what that bold, red Bullseye represents.”

Apple Computer

Apple Computer’s logo has evolved significantly over the past 43 years. It has evolved in a way that you wouldn’t expect. Instead of becoming more complex, it has actually evolved into simplicity. The 1976 version of the logo was a very complicated drawing of Isaac Newton. One year later, it was a vector-based design of an apple with six different colors. Today, the logo is still an apple with the same contours that the company has used for nearly half a century. However, the logo is completely black. It no longer uses a mixture of different hues and vectors.

Apple realize that its logo was a lot more memorable if people could recognize it at a glance. This worked a lot better using a simpler logo, which is why the Isaac Newton cartoon gave way to a basic picture of an everyday apple.

Google

Google is one of the newer companies on the New York Stock Exchange. However, its logo is already one of the most famous in the world. The company has the most popular website on the planet, so a couple billion people see it every single day. Due to its high visibility, Google couldn’t afford to get its logo wrong.

Google is another company that has thrive by using a slick, simple design. Its logo is basically a text version of its name. It has multiple colors. There is one subtle difference that people wouldn’t pick up on at first glance. One of the letters is green. It is the only letter that does not have a primary color. This is meant to signify simple differences that make the company unique. Nonetheless, the overall design is very easy to understand, even if the metaphor is lost on most people.

Use the KISS Principle for Logo Design

Designing a good logo doesn’t need to be hard. You just need to find the simplest approach possible.

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Lead to Conversion Digital Marketing Strategies That Matter in 2019

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We are already nearing the second quarter of the year, so it’s appropriate to point out how fast time flies! For sure, if you’re aiming to scale your business, you will have to move fast in order to make the most of this year.

It all boils down to the strategies and approaches you are using to maximize your brand’s presence and attract new business. In terms of digital marketing, there are several approaches you should consider in order to drive quality leads and convert as many prospects as possible across all channels.

For your business to stay competitive, you will have to use the right strategies in order to drive the best possible results. Here are a few of them that matter this year.

1. Use an omnichannel approach

We all know what multichannel marketing is, but what about omnichannel? For sure, this is a new trend that has the potential to mold the digital marketing sphere into a more audience-centric discipline.

Companies using this approach are able to effectively chart client interactions across the buyer’s journey, using a more analytical approach to incorporate customer expectations across every audience touchpoint. For sure, using this strategy can effectively accomplish better results than simply creating and sharing content through as many platforms as possible.

2. Invest in integrated marketing

No doubt, managing a digital marketing campaign involves plenty of resources to pull it off. Other than that, you also need to manage all the different platforms, which is already time-consuming at best. With an integrated marketing approach, you can unify all your audience engagement efforts without spending too much time and money on repetitive activities. All it takes is sound research as well as help from an experienced company. Lead to Conversion, for one, can help you build a highly effective method of engaging leads wherever they are.

3. Enhance your site’s loading speed

Aside from creating effective content, businesses this year will have to optimize their sites and make them user-friendly to their prospects. Along with great web design, websites should also be functional and for that, it shouldn’t take them more than three seconds to load.

Sure enough, sluggish loading speeds are inimical to your specific digital marketing goals as people are unwilling to waste precious time waiting for information about your product or service. If you want to keep them from bouncing off of your website, you might want to reduce the number of HTTP requests that your site generates. You should also keep your site as lightweight as possible by compressing images and graphics, and using less code.

4. Invest in marketing automation

Automated marketing systems are nothing new but it’s clear that businesses are investing heavily in platforms that are valuable in terms of content creation and distribution. These have become more important than ever, considering the fact the businesses will need to stay vocal in order to remain relevant amid increasing competition.

There’s no better time to improve your digital marketing efforts than now! For sure, you still have months to go before your business closes out 2019 on a positive (and profitable) note!

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Digital Marketing Tips Specifically for Small Businesses

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When it comes to advertising and marketing themselves online, small businesses all have to deal with the same problem: how do they make their business seem large in the even bigger pond that is Google?

This is where digital marketing can be helpful. But there are some online marketing tips and tricks that, while wonderful for larger corporations, just don’t cut it when it comes to smaller sized companies. So here are some digital marketing hacks designed specifically for small business owners.

Don’t think big

The internet is a big place. And while this can sometimes be beneficial, it can actually hurt when it comes to small businesses. You don’t want to think too big and market to a larger audience than your geographical location, so stick to marketing to local customers.

An easy way to do this is to claim your business on the local search directory, Google My Business, which is free and operated by Google. You want your business to show up on Google results when people make relevant searches in your area.

In addition, do not forget to include geographical keywords, also known as geo-tagged keywords, on your website. You’ll want to be as specific as possible, so always include the city, state, even county you are located in. The more you have these phrases on your pages, the more people in your actual area will be drawn to your website, and the higher the likelihood that they’ll convert into business for you.

Go mobile

More and more internet users are browsing the web from the comfort of their mobile phones. In fact, 85 percent of customers have shopped online from their smartphone, so why wouldn’t you want to target this audience?

Having a mobile responsive website not only gives you access to these people, but it gives you the flexibility of reaching consumers when they’re away from their computer. So when they’re on the couch, out getting coffee, or even taking a walk, they could also be checking out your business.

Explore remarketing

Remarketing is the act of marketing to people who already know about you. This means the people who are following you on social media, who signed up for email advertising lists, and return customers. You should invest in this method simply because it is a good idea to stay on the forefront of your customers’ minds at all times.

Considering the sheer amount of digital information people consume every day, it’s a good idea to send out marketing materials to these people to ensure they remember what you offer, how you can help them, and what benefits there are by choosing your business. There are many digital marketing agencies who can help you with this, so look into Straight Marketing LLC reviews if that sounds like a possible option for you.

Create visuals

We all know that content is king when it comes to creating a digital marketing campaign. However, you’ll want to stick out from your competitors by creating visual graphics and video content to boost your strategy and stand out from your competitors. This means creating infographics, interactive blogs like quizzes, and informational how-to videos.

Customers have a very short attention span when they are using the internet, so create content that is visually appealing, attention-grabbing, and offers them a benefit for interacting and watching.

Choose one social media channel

For small businesses, there is such a thing as too much social media content. Instead of focusing on a holistic social media content strategy, focus on just one social media platform. You’ll want to choose one, such as Instagram or Facebook, and create awesome content and engagement to build up your followers and brand awareness. Only then, once that is starting to work for you, should you broaden your horizons and change directions.

With these tips in mind, any small business will be on their way to creating an online presence to rival their competitors.

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Achieving your digital goals

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The world of digital media and marketing has come a very long way in a very short time. Less than twenty years ago the internet was in a fledgling state, there were websites and ecommerce was even a thing, but penetration was low, connectivity speeds were low and overall the digital world was still very much second to more traditional approaches. But no longer.

With the rise of smart phones and advancements in the fibre optic space it is now digital that is front and centre and dominating the world of media and marketing. So, if you are looking to build a brand or market a product, digital needs to be a core part of your plan. But how do you do this? Here are a few tips to help set you on the right path.

Partner with experts

It is okay to not be an expert in everything. So many successful people get to where they are by recognizing what they don’t know and partnering with those who do. The key here is to understand enough to realise how important digital communication is and to then find a digital marketing company that fits with your mindset.

In your search, look for relevant information on their websites. for instance, view their customer reviews of service or like this one their WME case studies. Remember when working with suppliers it’s a partnership. For it to work you need know enough about them as they will need to know about you and your business, so together you can develop and implement strategies that will help to grow your brand.

Not a nice to have

A digital strategy is not something that is nice to have. It cannot be an after-thought. It needs to be front and centre and a key part of your integrated marketing plan. Your website is probably the first touch point that potential customers will have with your brand and the way you present and package yourself online needs to fit seamlessly with how you do so in print or broadcast. The old way of having multiple teams handling different platforms is a thing of the past, it is now about integrated solutions and digital is very much at the centre.

Stay up to date

Read and stay up to date with the latest developments in the space. Digital is evolving rapidly, and it is very easy to be left behind. Quite simply there is no room for complacency. An old adage suggests that if you want to stay first then you have to practice and work as if you were second. So read, attend conference, network and experiment. Think big, act fast and fail quickly. This is the way of the digital era, to move slowly and to not try hard enough is to wither and die.

Assess constantly

Digital is awesome in the sense that everything is trackable and can be reported on. So, don’t just allocate budget and watch it disappear slowly but surely if it is not working. That’s how things were done in the past. Now, you can look at what responses your campaigns are getting, you can tweak and adjust in real time and you can modify and change accordingly. If a campaign is working well spend more; if results are bad call time. These are all decisions that can be made in an instant based on the data that digital channels have available for you.

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4 Tips for Organizing an Impactful Conference or Event

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Professional conferences and events are fairly common occurrences, no matter your exact industry. But this doesn’t mean they have to be “dime a dozen” – so common and frequent they offer little unique value to attendees.

If you go through the work of organizing a conference or event, you want it to make a real and lasting impact on all who attend. Here are four tips to keep in mind during the planning stages.

Plan Around Event Objectives

Start by asking yourself: What do we want attendees to take away from this experience? Only then can you set concrete goals and objectives to make your desired outcome a reality. Your theme, goals and objectives will guide other logistics like who you invite to speak, where you hold the conference and what types of sessions you plan.

The more specific your objectives, the better. It’s possible to break a broad idea like “environmentalism in business” into subcategories, like waste reduction, eco-friendly business practices, sustainability initiatives, creating an environmentally conscious company culture, etc. It’s possible to break down these subcategories, even – with more focused topics like corporate recycling initiatives, harnessing solar power, going paperless, educating employees, etc.

Charting out ideas from broad to specific will help you assess which topics are most in line with your event goals.

Curate Your Speaker Lineup Carefully

There are many professionals willing, or eager, to speak at any given conference. But you want to do more than find people to fill slots on a schedule; you’re aiming to curate a lineup of engaging, knowledgeable presenters with valuable information to impart on an audience.

There are a few ways to go about securing speakers for your event. You can approach people directly, explaining the nature of your event and why you feel they’d be an excellent fit. Or, you can put out an open call for proposals and sift through submissions.

Whichever strategy you choose, start early. As one conference creator notes for Smashing Magazine, quality speakers get booked up far in advance.

Build in Networking Opportunities for Attendees

Furnishing a lineup of great speakers is key. But the value your conference attendees derive also depends on who they meet – the lasting connections they make. The best way to help foster these important connections is by building in networking opportunities.

Want to get people talking? Start by using an audience response system like Poll Everywhere to incorporate networking activities during and between presentations. An interactive icebreaker can help create the camaraderie people need to start talking to their neighbors. A team trivia session is a great way to help attendees bond with others in the spirit of friendly competition.

Carve out chunks of time in which people can have a snack, grab a cup of coffee, explore the venue and strike up conversations with others. This “down time” is actually very productive.

Harness Social Media Before, During and Afterward

When people have questions nowadays, it’s almost reflexive to check social media for updates and helpful links. Make sure your conference has a comprehensive social media strategy in place for marketing, providing information and aggregating user-generated content.

As Small Biz Trends points out, events are increasingly “harnessing the viral power of their audience.” People will surely be posting, tweeting and blogging up a storm. Make sure you’ve publicized conference hashtags, and are using your platforms to engage with speakers and attendees alike.

Above all, an impactful conference or event is one from which attendees walk away having learned actionable information and met relevant people. Set objectives, curate a winning lineup of presenters, make it easy for people to network and create a central communications hub across social media platforms.

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