Mar 19 2018
Encore Research

Most of the conferences and networking events you’ll go to will have their own hashtag. You’ll see event planners and marketers alike splashing the hashtag on all communications leading up the event and on the event day itself. The hashtag has become so ubiquitous that it has now become odd not to have one.
As Mashable explains, the pound sign (or hash) turns any word or group of words that directly follow it into a searchable link. This allows you to organise content and track discussion topics based on those keywords. In the events world, hashtags help event attendees organise their online conversations – about panels, speakers, ideas and opinions – and stay connected virtually long after the event itself has ended. These online conversations have become an important part of the life cycle of an event. We’ve previously discussed the trend towards creating online communities to help promote your event. This hashtag will be crucial in executing this strategy. As corporate event organisers look for new ways to engage their audiences and provide rich brand experiences, incorporating a hashtag is one of the simplest and most effective tools in your marketing arsenal. However, if done wrong and without proper consideration you could be heading towards a huge #fail with no one using it or worse, facing public humiliation (remember Susan Boyle’s album launch #susanalbumparty). That’s why it’s important to choose the right hashtag so that people actually use it. The four golden rules of an effective event hashtag It’s Unique Make it memorable It makes sense Keep it short 1. It’s unique The purpose of a hashtag that’s associated with an event is to enable those at the event (and sometimes those who couldn’t make it in person) to connect to one another, share their thoughts, experiences and content, and continue to network after the event.
So if your hashtag is being used by another event or group, or is too broad, it muddies the conversation and makes it hard for your group to find each other.
The best event hashtags are those that are unique to the event at hand. If, say, your event is a travel event, you probably don’t want to choose a hashtag like #travel or #lovetotravel (too broad and not specific enough). You can easily cull unsuitable hashtags by performing a quick search on Twitter and Instagram to see what results are already there. We recommend creating a list of 3 – 5 possible hashtags that you’d like to use, run a search on them and decide from there which one to go with. If all fail, then start again! One thing to consider is dating your hashtag. You would need to decide whether you want it to be specific to that year’s event, or whether you have an ongoing event and want to build traction behind the hashtag – #SCtech15 vs #SCTech.
2. Make it memorable
It would seem only reasonable that if you’re displaying your hashtag on every piece of communication to promote the event, and throughout the venue on the event day, that audiences would remember your hashtag? Well, unfortunately this isn’t the case. If you’re organising a travel expo event in June of 2015 and the hashtag is #TravlXpoJn15, it is highly likely people won’t remember it, misspell it or can’t be bothered to go back and search for it. Was it #travelexpojune2015 #travelex15?
The best hashtags are the most memorable. They relate well to the event at hand (a travel event should probably have the word “travel” in it, for instance), and they stick in the brain either because they’re short and sweet, they make obvious sense, or they’re fun and cool.
A good example for this could be #TravelExpo15 (or whatever the name of the event is).
3. It’s intelligible
Looking back at the previous Travel Expo example the hashtag – #TravlXpoJn15 – isn’t easily readable. When you see the letters you can partially understand what it is meant to say, but not being true words we wouldn’t easily remember it. You’ll also have to consider when in practice, upper case titles often get removed or people forget to add making your hashtag even harder to decipher – #travlxpojn15 (???). It’s safer to use actual words than abbreviations unless they’re common ones such an inc. for incorporated. In this instance, a better and more sensible hashtag would be #travelexpo2015. It might be a little long, but at least anyone who sees it – whether they’re at the event or they just stumble across it while browsing social media– will understand what the hashtag is all about at first glance. Additionally, if your event attendees are not sure what the official event hashtag is, using something like the above example means it could be easily guessed.
Other things to consider: Spaces aren’t supported. Even if your hashtag contains multiple words, group them all together. If you want to differentiate between words, use capitals instead (#TravelExpo). Uppercase letters will not alter your search results, so searching for #TravelExpo will yield the same results as #travelexpo. Numbers are supported, so you can include dates to help identify your events. Only words and numbers are allowed so don’t try to include punctuation marks, ampersands or any other special characters Keep in mind that the @ symbol does something completely different. Using @ before a person’s Twitter or Instagram handle will post to them directly. 4. Keep it short and simple
Last but not least, you want your event hashtag to be short and sweet. In this example, #travelexpojune2015 might be too long. It’s 19 characters long. If someone wanted to share a link, let’s say, while using your hashtag, they’d only have about 100 characters to write their message. And if they want to leave room for a retweet, they’re down to just about 80 characters. For a little context, the previous sentence was 87 characters long.
The shorter the hashtag, the more room your attendees will have to share their thoughts. So instead of #travelexpojune2015, you might want to shorten it to just #travelexpo – much shorter, and it has the added bonus of being useable after the month of the conference, in case you want to make it an annual event.
What’s next? Encouraging interaction at your corporate event
Now that you have applied the four golden rules to an effective event hashtag, how will you promote your hashtag to get audiences using it? We’ve mentioned previously that event organisers include the hashtag on their promotional materials and often the first speaker of the day will mention it during House Rules. However, these are still quite passive approaches. How do you start the conversation and actually encourage people to post?
What if we said you could display a live social feed of all the posts tagged with your event hashtag onto a large screen for all your audience to see? Event Feed is Staging Connections social media wall which pulls in all posts from Facebook, Twitter and Instagram that include the event hashtag. Event organisers have been using it at conferences and awards nights across Australian and New Zealand and have found it to significantly increase their audience engagement and social spread of the event. Interested in using Event Feed at your next corporate event? Head over to the Event Feed page for more information or contact us to start planning your next event. Related Articles Say Hello! to Event Feed – Event Tweet has had an upgrade! How to trend on Twitter 5 Clever Ways to Use Twitter at your event 25 Reasons You’ll Love Event Poll Post orginally seen on Adweek and repurposed for events … Read More

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Audio Visual Equipment - All You Need to Know

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Encore Research
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Put the spotlight on your event with the latest in pinspot technology

Mar 19 2018
Encore Research
Think lighting your event means simply flipping on a light switch? Think again. Our event lighting experts share how you can make your event look stunning with the use of pinspot lighting. Watch video What is pinspot event lighting? A Pinspot light is an individual computerised table light that can change colour, patterns and position throughout the event. They’re a great option for gala dinners, weddings and social events and add extra wow-factor to dramatically change the look and feel of the table décor. How pinspot lighting can add drama and style to your event From a simple white light focused onto the centrepiece, to a highly choreographed schedule for each table to change colour or patterns, pinspot lighting gives you endless opportunities to get add some drama to your event. Suspended above each table is an LED light that is capable of moving and focusing to wherever the table may be placed. 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Staging Connections only uses the best quality lighting equipment and manufacturers for our events and events held at our partner venues. This is important because these products are dependable and give a far superior effect to lower quality brands offering simple wash lights which can cause problems or safety issues in the long run. Staging Connections showcase of pinspots at the InterContinental Adelaide from Staging Connections on Vimeo. Staging Connections showcase of pinspots at the InterContinental Adelaide from Staging Connections on Vimeo. ... Read More

Planning a successful Outdoor Event, safely: Part 2

Mar 19 2018
Encore Research
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The magic of Bond comes to Adelaide in spectacular gala dinner style

Mar 19 2018
Encore Research
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This area was enhanced with gorgeous fresh red floral arrangements and red dice scattered around the arrangements. A Bond style lounge zone wouldn't be complete without its own Martini bar, so our talented Adelaide event stylists created an illuminated bar with a custom printed Event Backdrop, red ghost stools and decorated in red floral arrangements and large prop martini glasses. If guests weren’t unwinding in the lounge zone or kicking their heels up on the dance floor, you could find them trying their hand at the casino gaming tables, where we positioned two poker tables and a roulette wheel with a custom designed gaming table skin in front of an illuminated Event Backdrop. The entire room was cloaked in black velvet draping with decorative gobos projecting dancing light along its walls. The culmination of all elements working harmoniously together resulted in a stunning, immersive event that transported guests into the suspenseful world of James Bond. And as a final touch - a vintage Jaguar car was positioned in the far corner of the room with life-sized black silhouettes alongside for a classic Bond feel. Staging Connections Adelaide Events Team Our local events team is based across eight key venues and is headed up by General Manager, Ashley Gabriel. The team are 100% Adelaide-proud and their passion for the outdoors makes them key suppliers to some of the city’s main summer events, including the Adelaide Christmas Pageant, Clipsal 500 and year on year sponsorship and AV for the Adelaide Crows. If you're looking to host your next corporate event in Adelaide, than we're the experienced events team you can rely on. We proudly offer Australia's largest range of event services across audio, lighting, staging, vision and extending to styling, multimedia and digital event solutions like webcasting, live polling and event social media. Get in touch with us today or call 1800 209 099 to speak with one of our event experts. ... Read More

Planning a successful Outdoor Event, safely: Part 2

Mar 19 2018
Encore Research
In the spirit of welcoming the Winter chills, we thought it only fitting to reflect on the glorious Outdoor Events that the long and sun-filled days that Summer allows us. As part of this homage we have compiled a quick list of outdoor event essentials to help you plan properly for next season. Last month we shared the first part of this blog post - which focussed on having the right people for the job, styling for outdoor events, and making sure your equipment is weather-proof. There’s no setting for an event that can compete with nature itself. If you’re organising any kind of gathering that could take advantage of the season and a beautiful natural setting, or spill from the confines of a building into manicured grounds, then you should embrace the opportunity. While getting out amongst it can add some logistical and physical challenges, this shouldn’t stop you from enjoying the beautiful natural landscapes on offer. All you need is an experienced outdoor event company to take the stress and hard work off your hands. We have the equipment, strategies and processes in place to ensure that your guests are comfortable, entertained and delighted. Magic Lantern If you’re familiar with the magic of 2D and 3D projection mapping, it will come as no surprise that this is just as deployable outside as in. In fact, many people are familiar with the possibilities of this technology because of a famous outdoor event – VIVID Sydney. VIVID sees the facades of famous Sydney buildings, including the Opera House itself, transformed by high-powered projectors beaming digitally controlled and animated images onto their giant canvasses. VIVID runs through the night, in all weather, its expensive projection technology waterproofed by housing in protective structures. This same technology is available through Staging Connections, who can not only provide the equipment but also design and create custom content for your event. It’s a creative tool whose uses are as diverse as the events industry itself. Imagine your guests emerging from a day of conferencing at a luxurious rural retreat, based in a large manor-house style hotel. Set in magnificent manicured grounds, the ballroom opens huge French doors onto a sweeping lawn area, which has been set-up with marquees for a sophisticated garden cocktail party. As the sun sets and your guests enjoy drinks and canapés, the broad neoclassical façade they look back to starts to subtly shift and change with the fading light, as a multimedia display picks out architectural features while reinforcing the subject and theme of the day’s activities. This is just a small example of what’s possible. 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Natural Beauty Staging Connections have the privilege of operating in some of the world’s most beautiful natural environments, including the breathtaking sweep of Sydney Harbour, the tropical beauty of Far North Queensland adjoining the Great Barrier Reef, the Red Centre of Alice Springs, the paradise that is Fiji and a myriad of parks and protected areas throughout Australia, New Zealand, China and Singapore. With experience across longitudes, latitudes, climates and all weathers, a Staging Connections team will know and respect their area and the environment, delivering a meaningful and thoughtful event no matter what the scale. With such a diverse range of environments available for outdoor events, think about what you can achieve for your audience over the warmer months. Enchant with a beautifully lit garden, inspire awe under a canopy of stars, bond families together with a picnic in a park or reward high performers in a tropical paradise. 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What is ‘Speakers Prep’

Mar 19 2018
Encore Research
In this latest blog our Technical Director in Sydney, Tom Wilson tells us what 'Speakers Prep' is and why you need it for your next conference. What is 'Speakers Prep' and why do I need it for my event? Speakers prep is a service which helps your conference run smoothly by looking after all your speaker needs before, during and after the event. Before the conference starts speakers are provided with a unique email so they can provide their presentations ahead of the event direct to the technicians running the conference. On the day of the event a dedicated room is set up for speakers to 'check into' when they arrive on show site. In the speaker ready room they can comfortably review their presentation, make any adjustments and practice and load their presentation at a time convenient for them. Skilled PowerPoint technicians are available in this room to assist with presentation editing and also brief the presenter how to use the technology in the presentation room, such as the remote mouse. Once the presentations are loaded they are automatically distributed to the required room via a Local Network so the speaker does not need to fumble with cords or laptops. From the speakers prep room the technicians can remotely view all the screens of all of the rooms, allowing them to see the progress of each room and if a change in room occurs reroute the presentation instantly. Why do you need it? Preparation and organisation is the secret to a successful event, in particular it benefits three stakeholders, you as the event organiser, the speaker and the event technicians. Having a Speaker Presentation room allows you as the event organiser to delegate all speaker related matters, saving your inbox being clogged up with large presentations and multiple last minute edits and changes. Event Organiser Benefits Can always find a technician to help without needing to call someone Can find out if a presenter has checked in yet Keep a copy of all presentations at the end of the conference for distribution A well managed Speaker Prep room also reduces the stress for the speaker as they can feel confident that any last minute changes will be reflected in their presentation. They will also feel more prepared as they have been fully briefed by a technical team and they do not have to worry about access or passing the presentation onto anyone else once they hit the room. Speaker Benefits Central Place to load multiple presentations Skilled PowerPoint staff to help with edits Can check their presentation against formatting errors Can Preview Videos Can get themselves familiar with Remote mouse Can check email and download presentations from the internet Finally it allows technicians in the conference rooms to concentrate on the task of operating the show and not being overwhelmed by presenters. Event Technician Benefits Remote monitoring of all rooms Can educate presenters on how to use technology Can preview videos and check speaker requirements Written by: Tom Wilson, Technical Director – Staging Connections Sydney ... Read More

10 ways our event app can manage and help plan Road Show events

Mar 19 2018
Encore Research
Event Apps - the new way to manage and plan road show events from the palm of your hand. For an event planner, road shows present their own unique set of challenges. Planning and executing an event in multiple venues at multiple times requires a great deal of organization and planning. In some instances, a road show may be scheduled to take place in multiple locations at the same time making the execution of the event all the more difficult. To help you manage and successfully execute your road show event, we’ve created Event Briefcase, our event planning app that allows you to upload important information about your event, such as location, schedule, speaker information and sponsorship information, and then share this information with all of the attendees of your event simultaneously. The beauty of our event planning app is its simplicity. It is extremely user friendly and easy to navigate meaning even the least tech-savvy attendees of your event will be able to use our app. Our event planning application is a great tool for planning and executing any road show, allowing you to instantly communicate to your attendees, wherever they may be, instantly. Here are 10 ways that Event Briefcase will help you manage and plan road show events: 1. Event Agenda Feature: Agenda With our event planning app, you can upload the agenda for your road show so that you can simultaneously share it with all of the attendees of your event. This will help your guests organise their time and ensure they are able to take in the events at your road show that they are most interested in. 2. Upload information on your key people; speakers, presenters, performers and so on. Feature: Speaker Information Our event app will give you the opportunity to introduce the speakers that are part of your road show to your audience. There is a dedicated area where you can share your speakers’ bios and profiles so that your attendees have a bit of a background on each of the key people who are part of your road show. 3. Provide important venue information Feature: Facility Overview With our event app, you can help your guests out by uploading a map of the location of your road show as well as important information about the venue where your event is taking place. For out of town guests, you can also include shuttle and transportation information to and from the venue using the Transit feature. 4. Attendee & RSVP List Feature: Attendees You can help facilitate networking at your event by uploading a list of attendees who have confirmed their attendance. Our app allows your event’s attendees to e-mail one another by clicking on a guest’s name. Our application then takes the user right to their device’s e-mail client so they can begin typing their e-mail. 5. Upload essential event information for download Feature: Downloads With every event, there are leaflets and handouts that are needed to convey useful information to your event’s attendees. With our event application, you are able to upload all of this information so that your guests can access it from their smart phone or mobile device during the event. 6. Give your sponsors exposure Feature: Sponsors With our event app, there is a dedicated sponsors area where you are able to highlight the sponsors of your road show in a new and much more engaging way. Event Briefcase comes with an area that is completely dedicated to sharing sponsor information with your event’s attendees. In this area, you can share your sponsors’ content and include hyperlinks to websites and other relevant sponsor or partner information. 7. Get your audience talking with live audience polling & social media integration Feature: Links Live audience polling is a fun way to engage your audience and is a way of garnering their participation during your road show. With Event Briefcase, you are able to share a link with your attendees that take them to your event's Event Poll where your attendees and read and respond to questions. If you're holding your road show events simultaneously this is a fantastic platform for gathering all of the responses and instantly displaying them on screens for all to see, regardless of their location. Additionally, our event social media platform is another great tactic for event planners to use to encourage social promotion of their event. Event Feed captures all social posts containing your event's hashtag and pushes them live to screen in your venue. It can be both public or private. If your event is private, you can include a link to a private Event Feed, where your attendees can upload comments and imagery to a closed social feed that only gets displayed in the venue, rather than posting it publicly. 8. Up-to-Date News Feature: Bulletins When you have important news or bulletins to share with your event’s attendees, you can upload this information and share it via the news and bulletin area of our event planning app. This is a great way to convey important information about your event and to keep attendees up-to-date. 9. Showcase engaging video content Feature: Videos A great way to engage your audience is by sharing a video. Videos are an easily digestible, content-rich source of information that conveys a large amount of information to your guests while requiring only a small time commitment from them. With Event Briefcase, we make it easy for you to share videos with the attendees of your road show. 10. Promote venue offers and deals Feature: Links / Downloads When planning a road show at a specific venue, that venue will often have promotions that the venue wants to highlight for your guests. With Event Briefcase, showcasing in venue promotions is a piece of cake. Whether it be restaurant, accommodation or hotel facility offers, Event Briefcase gives you the option to upload downloadable pdfs, upload links to videos and more. Event Briefcase by Staging Connections - a free corporate event app. Our Event planning app makes sharing information with your road show’s attendees simple and easy. Best of all, Event Briefcase comes free-of-charge when you hire our AV Services. When you choose Staging Connections, you are choosing a company with more than thirty years of experience that we can put to work for you at your event. To help you pull of a road show that will knock your guests’ socks off, we can provide you with a professional event production team to assist you with executing a flawless road show. To find out how Event Briefcase can enhance your event, speak with one of our Staging Connections representatives today by calling 1800 209 099 or by sending an online enquiry. -- ... Read More

4 ways you can increase ROI by webcasting your event

Mar 19 2018
Encore Research
It’s little surprise that brands are wanting more from events. The technological world has evolved to allow them to connect with a virtual audience in a similar way to how they would with an in-room audience. The sophistication of today’s live-streaming, on-demand downloads, and online audience participation make webcasting events not just a great engagement tool, but also a revenue raising opportunity. By delivering your event through webcasting, you’re creating three distinct forms of valuable product: Content, Exposure, and Measurement. And you’re creating an opportunity to boost your revenue much higher than you would with a one-off, one-location show. Four ways to make money from webcasting your event By broadcasting your event through a tool like Staging Connections’ Event Webcast, you’ll be able to target the key areas of sponsorship, content and marketing collateral. Here’s a little bit more on how to get the most of it. 1. Paid access to content Sometimes, there will be people who want to attend your event but just physically, or geographically, can’t be there. You might want to offer training, or have a global audience who is keen to hear what you have to say. That’s where paid access can come in handy. Staging Connections can help you set-up a pay wall to view your streamed event, so people can participate from afar and still have access to your valuable content. The branded webcast page will also be live for up to a year after your event, allowing you to continue hosting and charging access for. It’s a great tool for maximising the return from your event. 2. Sponsorship Opportunities Staging Connections’ webcast platform is the most customisable in the Australian market. The webcast skin and embedded features provide brands with many sponsorship opportunities. Below are some ways you can use the realty to attract sponsors vying for the same audience: Brand name or logo insets on the webcast skin Branded questions included in the live polling platform (available only in certain packages) In-video and pre-roll advertisements similar to what you see on YouTube Branded social media links posted on embedded social media feed Branded downloadable documents Don’t forget, you’re online with a webcast, so directing participants to a sponsors website, video content, social media or any other web-based promotion is a very simple task. 3. Data capture The great thing about giving viewers the opportunity to stream or watch ondemand is that will provide invaluable data in order to access the content. When you register for a webcast you are often asked to submit your name, company, job title, location, email address and even phone number. This information coupled with some basic web analytics can provide a lot of information about your audience. You can measure everything from who attended, their location, what device they’re using, how long they watched the video for, and even who interacted with the webcast add-on features such as live polling or social media. Once captured this data can help create audience segments and aid future marketing and business initiatives. This is especially useful for business development and lead generation. Now that you know what content the audience is interested in, and they have given you their information, you can start a conversation and follow-up with additional webcasts or cross-promote other services your brand offers. The webcast is used to start the conversation and now it’s up to you to nurture that lead and turn them into a loyal customer. 4. Marketing Collateral By their very nature, webcasts are a fantastic platform for your sponsors. Why? Because you’re hosting an event that’s capturing the attention of a very specific target audience, something traditional mediums of advertising just can’t offer for branded messages. When you webcast, you’re not just streaming live – you’re recording valuable video and audio that can be repackaged and repurposed for future use. And you’re doing it at a fraction of the cost of sourcing footage in other ways. This means you’ve already got yourself material for ads, promo videos, and branded material for you to promote on your website and on social media. It’s a saving on your marketing budget that can lead to big things. Of course, when you host material on your website you also get the added benefit of increasing your content, driving traffic to your social platforms and sponsors links, better SEO, and cementing your credibility in the market. Benefits of Webcasting your event Staging Connections has brought webcasting to events for a wide array of applications. Beyond conferencing or sales, webcasting can be used for connecting with global audiences, streaming celebrity clients for launches, and ensuring people don’t miss out on important events all around the world. We’ve helped Australian manufacturers’ webcast announcements and demonstrations for products to a worldwide network. We’ve helped companies communicate from the CBD to remote Australian towns. And we’ve helped our clients do this quickly, and effectively – so let’s talk about how we can help you do the same. Webcast your next event Not sure if webcasting is right for you? Get in touch with us and one of our experienced event directors will help you find the best products to match your event objectives. Related Articles on Webcasting The benefits of webcasting your event Opinion Piece: Making Money from Webcasting by General Manager - Digital, Tim Chapman Launching Hobart 39 - a live webcast of ship unveiling ... Read More

Audio Visual Hire - The Smart Way to Power Events

Mar 19 2018
Encore Research
Are you planning your AGM, conference, new product launch or attending an exhibition? Lighting, Sound and Vision technologies are integral to communicating with your audience so you need to be sure you have the right audio visual equipment to do the job properly. Here at Staging Connections we specialize in providing the right equipment you need for your event. Are you planning your AGM, conference, new product launch or attending an exhibition? Lighting, Sound and Vision technologies are integral to communicating with your audience so you need to be sure you have the right audio visual equipment to do the job properly. Here at Staging Connections we specialize in providing the right equipment you need for your event. Sound and image bring your message to life at your event and for this you need the audio visual equipment For most companies, the answer is no. Not only is the equipment expensive, it's also rapidly developing. That means the cutting edge items you buy now could be virtually obsolete next year. Add to the fact that your pricey AV setup will be sitting in a store room collecting dust for much of the year, you can see it's not a smart investment. Consider too that such equipment needs to be regularly tested and maintained if you want to be confident it works when you need it. And perhaps most importantly of all, using your own AV equipment means finding skilled staff to operate it. This is why audio visual hire makes such perfect sense. When you can hire your AV equipment from Staging Connections, you get the latest cutting edge technology. We constantly research new methods and tools to allow us to offer our clients the very latest options. But that's not all, you also get a host of additional services. We select the right equipment for your needs, we deliver and install it for you. And of course we provide the right people to operate it to ensure a perfect event for your company. And if you wish, Staging Connections can work with you from the beginning to plan and organize your event. That way you can benefit from their extensive experience and expertise in this field. Audio visual hire allows you to create and hold events that delight all, and present your organization in its best light. It's also economical and ensures you're using equipment that's maintained, tested and proven. ... Read More