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Why Your Next Event Needs to be a Mobile Event

We live in an increasingly multi-screen world where mobile phones and tablets are replacing desktops and laptops as the go-to source for information, shopping, navigation and more. Within events, there is an extremely similar multi-channel process that attendees use throughout their event journey and it’s one that organisers need to cater to.

The ‘mobile’ event attendee

Think of the mobile phone or tablet in the hands of your user as an extension of your event. Then think how easy and natural it is for your event attendee to use their mobile in place of a desktop or laptop, in order to facilitate the actions throughout the event lifecycle. They will probably have their ticket saved on an email, or under Passbook. They may check the weather or use a map function to find your venue and then employ Twitter and Facebook mobile apps to share details or ‘check in’ once they are there. They’ll take images, record video, possibly uploading this to channels as they go. If you have a mobile event app, this will provide them with a floorplan, or allow them predefined matchmaking with exhibitors, to ensure that the only appointments they attend are relevant ones. Post-event, they may search for tweets through the event hashtag, watch video content through YouTube or use email to send links to colleagues and follow up with people they met at the show.

If your strategy doesn’t include an element of mobile within it, how many touchpoints have you already missed where you had an opportunity to engage your attendee through this channel? The answer is hundreds.

Mobile amplification

A strong mobile strategy allows you to amplify your event far beyond the venue walls. A multi-screen strategy that allows your event content to seamlessly flow across mobile phone, tablet, desktop and screens throughout your event, provides details to your attendees whenever they want or need them.

Second screen viewing

Many events attendees use ‘second screen’ viewing to make the most of their event experience. While they watch a presentation, they’ll also be tweeting about it or using their mobile to research the speaker on stage. To make the most of this, you should ensure your content is second-screen friendly, by providing mobile apps, mobile responsive sites and easy to use information across the digital signage at your event. Screens should show live updates, timetables, live footage, event hashtags and contact details, so that they can connect to your event stream, wherever they are at the show.

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Mobile as a communication channel

Mobile is the primary source of email viewing, with 51% of opens now made on a mobile device. For many events, email is still the primary source of engagement with event attendees, so pre-show emails, followed by daily show emails and post-show follow up emails (all of which, need to be mobile responsive) are an essential tool in your marketing strategy in order to engage attendees throughout the lifecycle.

Mobile event apps as facilitators

Mobile event apps should only be employed when they can make a process at your event, easier, quicker or more beneficial to attendees. When used well, a mobile event app will create a smoother check in and a smaller environmental impact, when tickets, floorplans and more can be accessed electronically. Mobile apps bring together all of your content into one seamless hub, which can be mirrored by your event website or portal, extending the reach of your content and ensuring it gets seen by a wider audience.

Mobile apps also create a much more targeted point of reference for sponsors, where they can get right in front of the event attendees to provide direct and instant messaging with more frequent exposure than desktop alone. Push notifications and developing technologies such as Live Beacon, help sponsors and partners to gain more opportunities to connect with their audience and develop their presence at the show, through the medium of mobile.

Extending reach through mobile

Our Event TV package creates a consistent drive of content throughout every area of an event, including mobile channels. We capture video content, live interviews, on-stand presentations and more and then broadcast this across screens at the show, mobile apps, mobile sites such as YouTube and Facebook and screen networks throughout hotels and hospitality suites. Ensuring that this content strategy is integrated across screen, desktop, mobile and tablet, is crucial to the event organisers we work with, as it extends the reach of the event and ensures that sponsors and event partners are able to promote themselves amongst an engaged event audience.

Ensuring your event is current

86% of event planners will use mobile event apps by 2016. According to other research, 61% of mobile searches culminate in a phone call, leading to direct business opportunities. Are you taking advantage of the progress that mobile can present?

Buying into the power of mobile as an amplification strategy, makes it much more likely for your content to spread out beyond the venue walls and potentially begin trending in the wider world, leading to increased visibility, sales and sponsorship for the following event.  To talk to us about developing your multi-screen or mobile event strategy, get in touch today at info@smart-digital.co.uk – we’d love to help you get started.

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Exhibition News Press Release: Incredible Evolution

Darren Poultney, managing director of Smart AV, talks to Annie Byrne about the launch of IPG and growing his company organically without losing quality

In an industry where presentation is everything, companies are constantly looking to the latest cutting-edge technology to meet clients’ demands.

Priding itself on its relationships within all areas of the industry, UK-based audio-visual supplier to the live events industry, Smart AV, is already heading in the right direction. With 20 years’ experience in the events industry, Darren Poultney, owner and managing director of Smart AV, started the company in 2005, working from home, buying technology on credit cards. Ten years on, the fi rm has offi ces throughout the UK and Dubai, employs more than 40 staff, and has a turnover close to £5m. “There were a lot of people making good money offering poor quality equipment and low levels of service,” Poultney explains. “Many AV companies were owned by investment funds or people who actually don’t have an interest in the industry. “It was just a business to them.

I wanted to create better experiences for our clients where they knew they could rely on us to deliver the promises they had made to their clients.” Investment in new technology, including more creative indoor and outdoor-led solutions, helped the company grow further and launch the Incredible Pixel Group (IPG). The new group brings together the company’s four primary business divisions: Smart AV, Smart Digital, Smart Solutions and Poken. “Our evolution into the IPG is what has allowed us to extend our passion and experience into a fully-fl edged, industry-established technology solutions provider,” Poultney tells EN. The four divisions of IPG will continue to operate in their respective specialist areas, based at the fi rm’s new 3,716sqm HQ in Harlow, delivering a suite of smart, interactive, digital products, technology and services to events around the world.

“With user experience now underpinning every element of an event’s success, these divisions bring together specialist teams, new technologies and an integrated approach to servicing our clients, with a focus on helping them to use technology in a way that is memorable, measurable and profi table,” he explains. Poultney says the team has developed an indepth knowledge of client needs when it comes to technology at events (including Mobile World Congress 2015 pictured above). This has lead to further expansion with additions to the core team, including high-end project managers, content specialists, and account management. Looking ahead, he says the fi rm wants to continue to grow organically without losing the quality of service and support that Smart AV has always been based on.

“I think there will be continued acquisitions in the marketplace. “But we feel we have the edge on larger organisations because we can react quickly to market conditions, invest in technology quickly and we have always supported our clients with new kit to make their project happen. “We have been known as an expert AV company and we will continue to focus on that market in addition to offering our broader technology solutions under the IPG banner.

“I am proud of the team behind our success, and delighted to be unveiling this new identity that is a more accurate reflection of our business in 2015.

This article was first published on Exhibition News. View the full article at http://www.exhibitionnews.co.uk/featuredetails/357/incredible-evolution

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Twitter for events – how to devise a killer strategy

To generate maximum value from event content, it’s important to integrate social media communications at every step of the way. Even if you aren’t tweeting about your event you can bet your attendees are. Therefore if you want to control, review and learn from your event then you need to start with devising a killer strategy that will help you to harness Twitter as a useful tool in your event arsenal for communicating with delegates, gaining feedback and creating an even better event experience for attendees.

 

Why does Twitter work for events?

Unlike some other social media channels, Twitter moves in realtime. This makes it perfect for a live event environment, where an image, status or video from the show floor is not as relevant two days later as it is at that exact moment in time. It is also much easier to join up communications on Twitter using an event hashtag, which brings together tweets from a select group of people, creating an online event outside of the event. Twitter’s search tool is also more refined than the search function on channels such as Facebook and Instagram, so attendees can easily see what’s going on and find the conversations they wish to join.

 

Devising a killer Twitter strategy for your event

Pre-show basics
  • Pick an easy to remember hashtag and event handle and promote it everywhere you can.
  • Add a box to your sign-up form where attendees can enter their Twitter handle. Make sure you follow them.
  • Create lists within Twitter of attendees, exhibitors, sponsors and venue staff. This will help you to track attendance on the day, join in with conversations and retweet interesting insights or images.
  • Save searches in Twitter for popular terms that may surround your event during the day. This may include your event hashtag, your handle, the name of the event itself and even the name of the venue. This will help you to track down tweets that are focused on your event but which don’t necessarily tag your handle.
  • Encourage speakers to add their handle and the official event hashtag into at least the first page of their presentation. This will ensure that attendee tweets are much more targeted and feed into the correct conversation as the event is happening.
  • Consider setting up a separate channel purely for the conference aspect of your event. This can be really useful for attendees to gain information on talk times, when a talk is about to start and where they can find it. As a bonus, you can also live stream this Twitter feed around the event so that attendees are able to see the exact conference schedule without the feed being clogged with retweets and comments from other areas.

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Campaign ideas

  • Great a visual point of contact for your Twitter streams, such as a tweet wall. Get creative with this. A static tweet wall is great but one that is interactive, where attendees can select tweets to view, is much more entertaining and will draw in crowds.
  • Create competitions that will encourage higher participation. A prize for the most retweeted tweet, or a ‘caption this image’ competition are all great ways to build a buzz and get people tweeting. The more tweets you can gather, the more chance you have of your hashtag ‘trending’ outside of the venue walls.
  • Use your social media strategy to make the event more of an experience. By combining Twitter and the event digital signage you could create ‘check in’ points around the event, where a specific hashtag is showcased on a screen or totem for that particular area. Allocate points for each attendee who ‘checks in’ to that area on Twitter by tweeting using the hashtag and create a visual or online leaderboard. This will help attendees to get competitive and ensure that they visit each and every area of your event before leaving.
  • Don’t forget about your sponsors and exhibitors – chances are they will be looking to utilise Twitter as a key engagement tool too. Why not setup a competition for the most socially active exhibitor? The prize could be a 5-minute speaking slot at the end of your keynote where they can share their strategy or company info.
  • Add your key Twitter info to a businesscard with a cool design and staple it to event brochures and bags or leave some throughout café areas and toilets. This will give your attendess no excuse not to tweet and will ensure that they use the right hashtags and handles when they do.

 

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Post-show engagement 

Often, the Twitter activity finishes at the same time the event does, leaving the feeds open and empty until a few months before the event starts again the year after. This takes away an entire year where audiences can be curated and content can be shared, building buzz and increasing the longevity of the event experience to more than just one or two days. Keep your Twitter feed active by sharing interesting content, industry news and conversation with your followers. This will ensure that when the event comes round again, you will have a full feed and active followers who know what to expect, undoubtedly leading to higher ticket sales.

You should also re-purpose any material that was captured at your event for use within your digital marketing channels. Videos, images, round ups and ‘throw backs’ to your event will all extend the customer lifecycle.

Lastly, measure your digital success. You may have had 1000 bodies through the door but what about the 100,000 eyeballs on your Tweets or event video? This is where a digital campaign can make all the difference.

If this sounds a little confusing or you need help implementing a killer digital marketing strategy at your event then talk to us, it’s what we do. Get in touch here or email info@smart-digital.co.uk

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Taking your event beyond the venue: why you should consider an Event TV channel

Getting people through the doors is often one of the main challenges for event organisers and agencies. After all, more attendees means more higher advertising revenue, higher footfall for exhibitors and a chance to communicate messaging across a wider audience. So why not utilise a network that can allow you to reach beyond double the amount of event attendees, at no additional cost to the organiser or venue? These are the benefits of considering an Event TV channel for your next event….

SEAMLESS CONTENT DELIVERY

Event TV is a dynamic channel for communication across every area of your event and beyond. What we offer in our Event TV package is a flexible shopping list, where you can choose a mix of daily highlights, key event information, on-stand or studio setup interviews and integrated social media communications. This creates a seamless delivery across your entire event; from the screens that the visitors see when they enter the venue, through to the interviews they watch on your YouTube channel and the pre-conference show reel that keeps them entertained while they wait for the keynote speaker. Event TV is a comprehensive package that allows your brand to drive synergy between the content at every touchpoint of your event, to leave a lasting impression.

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EXTENDED REACH

Event TV allows you to wow audiences at your event with a network of customised, digital content but it also allows you to extend the event buzz far outside of the venue walls. Video content can be distributed through a variety of channels including local hotels, streaming on the web, mobile delivery through event apps and even during-show communications such as dynamic email newsletters. This creates an extended network that communicates all of the highlights of the event, with multiple audiences. This also gives you great collateral to sign attendees up for future shows where an image or video can do more for the perception of the event than just words alone.

ADVANCED SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

At every event, there is only a limited amount of space where advertisers can showcase their brand and where smaller sponsors can receive the recognition they need on a limited budget. Event TV provides a dynamic additional channel where you can provide sponsors with the amount of airtime that is right for them. For some, this may mean a sponsored slot or interview, for others a static logo on the Event TV shell. This allows you to customise the opportunity based on the objectives of the advertiser, rather than having a ‘one size fits all’ approach which simply may not work for some of your event partners.

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ACHIEVING EVENT OBJECTIVES

Many organisers are faced with event objectives that need fulfilling before a show is complete. This can be anything from ensuring sponsors received enough visibility to checking that advertisers saw a strong return on their investment and that enough visitors made it through the venue doors. Event TV allows organisers to fulfil many of their objectives with minimum input needed. The video content filmed is a great tool to show sponsors and advertisers, not only how recognised their success was during the show, but can also be formatted so that they receive their own showreel as an added bonus. Digital content distributed across social media and the web, can help to clock up views, impressions and clickthroughs; advanced metrics which can help organisers to show the effectiveness of the event for their key event partners, both at the event and beyond.

 

DYNAMIC EVENT CONTENT

When an event is in full swing, it can be difficult to think of anything but what is happening in realtime. An Event TV team ensures that the content you need is captured, so that you can utilise it at the right time and place, post-event. This may include capturing the exclusive insights of the industry leaders you have put together, vox pops with audiences who want to shout about their great event experience, or clips of different exhibitors who may be inspired to rebook for the next year.

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A dynamic Event TV channel could be just what you need to bring your next event to life. For more information or a no-strings chat, please send your details to info@smart-digital.co.uk

 

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Tips for producing great content at your next event

The potential for gathering content from an event is huge and makes for fantastic marketing and publicity material before, during and after the event. A staggering amount of people now ‘live online’ and sharing engaging, high-quality content with your event audience is crucial if you want to engage with them not just during the show, but all year round.

 

Tip #1:

Ensure your content is evergreen. You don’t want to waste time creating content now that won’t be relevant in a month or two months time.

Tip #2:

There are video opportunities everywhere – take advantage of them! People love to watch content that comes straight from the event floor, and the ideas below are achievable for an event of any size or capacity:

  • … a showreel that pulls together daily highlights
  • … interviews with exclusive tips and advice from professionals at the show
  • … on-stand attendee interviews
  • … feature content and vignettes
  • … timelapse footage of the days’ goings on
  • … a studio setup with recorded Q&A

Tip #3:

Use digital signage to display video content, with real-time broadcasts to really mix things up. Screens are bound to draw your audience in, so give them something relevant to watch as they make their way through the show!

Tip #4:

Utilise webcasting to broadcast your event live to audiences across the globe. Normally, remote event attendees catch just a snippet of what happened at the live show but with webcasting you can make them feel as if they’re in the moment themselves. It’s a great way to boost publicity and gain kudos from those who can’t attend.

Tip #5:

Liveblog! Tell everyone worldwide what’s happening at your event in real time. Since your blogs will stay up online for years to come, it’s a great way of creating an information archive and boosting SEO for your brand website.

Tip #6:

Create an integrated social media communications strategy. Social channels are ingrained in our lives and you can be sure that your attendees will be tweeting, blogging and posting about the show whether you are or not!

  • Use your event Facebook page to create visually enticing posts and comments about the show, as it’s happening
  • Livetweet with a unique hashtag (which you can display across screens throughout the show to encourage engagement)
  • Add photos to Instagram and regram images that your attendees share, to give them exposure while gaining additional followers
  • Create a live viewing experience with broadcasting Twitter apps such as Meerkat and Periscope
  • Create exclusive social media content for subscribed attendees through private channels such as Snapchat.

Tip #7:

Make sure your content is suited to your event demographic. Conferences, exhibitions, festivals and film premieres will all have different audiences who will want to consume content in different ways. The more you can find out about your audience’s viewing and channel habits prior to the show, the easier this will be to refine and the more success your content will have.

If you need help creating exciting content at your event – let us know. We’d love to have a chat about how we could help!