Your business has a Facebook page, a Twitter account and a LinkedIn presence. Depending on your market sector, you might also be on Tumblr, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+ or any of the other geographic, professional or language-specific social networks. Marketing on social media might be second-nature to your organisation, but integrating social into a living, breathing real-time event adds a dimension that takes a new level of thought and management to succeed. Using social media as an integral part of your event is so much more than sending event invitations on Facebook or tweeting a URL to register. A vertically integrated social media strategy based around a live event can provide real R.O.I. before, during and a long time after the fact. What you need to be clear about is who your audience are, which networks they’re on, and what they’re prepared to do for you. 1. It's a channel thing The first thing to ensure is that you’re communicating with your audience on the right channel. Each network has its own character, which affects the kind of material shared, the kind of brands and companies people pay attention to and how likely the audience is to publicly associate with your event. When people present themselves on social media, they do so in different ways according to the tone of the network. We all know that LinkedIn is the most formal of the big social networks. This is your customer in a suit, putting their best foot forward in the workplace. Facebook has a casual air, but belies the fact that everyone is carefully managing their appearance. Depending on industry sector, Twitter can be either a work tool to reinforce a form of personal branding, or a completely informal stream of consciousness. Pinterest has a reputation for leisure pursuits and domesticity. Both Instagram and Tumblr styles themselves leaders in culture, particularly visual. Understanding your target audience and the perception of your event in the market will help identify the most likely forum to communicate successfully. 2. It's never too early to start Your social media presence is a great tool to draw people to your event. Start your promotion early to build anticipation. Build custom pages on your website that either provide a recap of a previous event or teasers about the next. Make it inviting, intriguing and above all, worth sharing. 3. Social marketing to hit the sweet spot Hit your database of previous attendees and your guest list with emails that lead to your social presence. Try to provide an incentive for people to both click through and share your information – discounts, content, and exclusivity – anything that would be perceived as a value-add. The trick to successful social marketing is very simple but very hard to get right; people will share content that makes them look intelligent, successful and interesting. Real success comes when you can identify and recruit the heavily socially connected parts of your audience to promote your content for you. 4. #iloveyourevent Make sure that all of the mechanics of your live event’s social presence are promoted way ahead of the date. This means that any hashtag, URL, YouTube channel, Facebook Page or Google+ Hangout that will be active during the show needs to be built in to all pre-event communication. Warm up the social platform you’ve built for the event in the lead-up by posting content to it and encouraging guests to do the same. 5. The medium is the message With your audience spreading their attention across at least two, if not more, social networks, it’s tempting to employ one of the many software platforms that offer some variation of a ‘post it once, post it everywhere’ cross-platform service. It’s a seductive proposition; why should you manually post variations of the same information three or four times? Surely it’s cleaner and more efficient to keep your message identical across networks?. The problem is that each network has its own style, etiquette and tone, which in turn shapes the form of content posted. It’s very common for people to link their Twitter feeds to their Facebook profiles, but these results in Facebook posts that feel too brief and impersonal. LinkedIn updates can be automatically shared to Twitter, but are too formal in tone for most of the Twitterati. Image and video attachments and links often don’t survive cross-platform posting, which will frustrate your audience. As time consuming as it may sound, shaping the message according to the style and tone of the platform will provide the best results for your brand in the long term. 6. Identify your prime time Remember that social networks are powered by human behaviour, and because of that they run according to schedule defined by our daily habits. Each network has its own audience peaks and troughs during the day, which you need to take note of to make sure you’re broadcasting your message in your audience’s ‘prime time’. 7. (Social) Access All Areas Good use of social media during an event enhances the experience for the attendees in the room and can capture the attention of your entire market. A lively event Twitter feed displayed on screens in the venue encourages audience participation, but it also gives those who didn’t attend a tantalising glimpse of what they’re missing out on. User-generated images and video posted to Instagram and Vine will capture what it’s like to be on the inside, again providing a powerful message to the social-only audience not to miss out next time. 8. Moderate for success Real-time event social streams such as hashtags, or any other event-identified channel, need to be moderated live if they are being displayed or interacted with at the event. Event technical staff in co-operation with an organisation’s marketing or communications personnel have to work together to ensure that no malicious, inaccurate or offensive content is accidentally broadcast to a mass audience. It’s the double-edged sword of social media; in exchange for the possibility of almost unlimited promotion and publicity, you must guard against the possibility of your message being hijacked. Staging Connections have extensive experience in live moderation of social streams and can assist with this aspect at your event. If you’re in doubt as to how this affects audience engagement, speak to a technical expert. 9. Capitalise on your second screening Live event engagement on social media is mobile. The audience at the event will be participating via smartphone and tablet. Make it easy for them. Ensure that there’s plenty of obvious information about, and links to, the correct app for their devices. If you have had an app developed especially for your event, ensure that you promote it in all pre-show communication and that instructions on how to install it are prominent throughout the venue. 10. Curating vs. creating Don’t completely rely on your audience to document and content-create throughout your event – make sure you’re getting material too. Capture it via event webcast, record HD video and get great photos. Do all of this with a mind as to how you’re going to continue to use the material as collateral, integrated with the social presence created for the show. Again, Staging Connections can work with you to extend the live and reach of your event. 11. Think after the event before the event If done correctly, the social channel you built for your event turns into a powerful marketing tool after the date has passed. Along with all of the pre-show teaser material and audience-created content before and during, you now add your own documentation and post-show wrap. Use YouTube or Vimeo to show off the highlights of your event, take to Twitter to brag about attendee numbers, thank everyone on Facebook for coming and poll the event audience about their favourite content. 12. Post promotion Email the potential audience for your next event linking to the social footprint of your last. If a potential customer is weighing whether or not to attend, positive social media posts are a convincing argument from a neutral third party. We are much more likely to trust a recommendation from a friend, family member or colleague than a direct communication from a brand or company. That’s the heart of the power of social media – if you can gain your audience’s trust, then they are ambassadors of your message to everybody that trusts them. Written by Tim Chapman, General Manager - Digital Event Services Tim is continuously supporting and developing Staging Connections digital event components, looking for new and innovative ways to utilise technology to take any event from stage to screen. Tim comes from a background in corporate events where he pioneered large scale video conferencing projects and global webcasting of major events. Want to stay up to date with industry trends? Browse our range of downloadable Event Insights papers ... Read More
It’s pretty clear we are all addicted to our smartphones. They are always by our side and we spend a large part of our lives staring into their screens. And why wouldn’t we? Since the release of the iPhone in 2007 we now carry around more computing power in our back pocket than NASA had available to them for the 1969 moon landing. They are indispensable for business and essential for our social lives. So if everyone at your event is carrying around a tiny touchscreen computer, why not use it to your advantage?
Be comfortable with your own device
The concept of ‘Bring Your Own Device’ is permeating quickly through the corporate and IT world. Employees already own the IT technology necessary to do their jobs and they’ve made a personal choice to invest in a particular device and are familiar and comfortable with it. Savvy businesses have realized the potential of allowing employees to use their own technology which they have spent time becoming comfortable with. Enhance your event with vox populi voices
Considering your whole audience is carrying around interactive devices, why not use them to enhance your brand and message? Any opinion, impression, suggestion or question can be collected, collated, displayed and acted on at a moment’s notice. You can gather audience data through snap multi-choice polls, geographical mapping (e.g. ‘What’s your postcode? Answers displayed on a map) and questions from the audience to a speaker or panel.
Engage your audience with BYOD Audiences that actively engage with a presentation are more attentive and will retain more information. Presenters that are adequately prepared to deal with crowd-directed structure will deliver content that is more relevant and interesting to their audience. Also you gather invaluable data for your company for either internal improvement or marketing material.
How to choose what to use for your event?
The key is simplicity. Yes smartphones can measure your heart rate while telling you what song is on the radio but the more complex the task the less your audience will engage with it. All smartphones have an internet browser and SMS capability, the quickest and easiest way of getting your audience interacting is to use those universal gateways.
Ask the right question
Again, keep it simple. Questions should have one part only. For multiple choice questions each option should be distinct with no ambiguity. Buzzwords, acronyms and any other wording that isn’t universally understood should be avoided totally.
Helpful event software
At Staging Connections we run a web-based BYOD platform called Event Poll. Delegates open their browsers log into a specific URL, vote on a question or write their own. These results are instantly displayed via a branded template on the event’s screen. Even attendees with a 90’s Nokia can still vote via SMS.
Be ready for any answer
With multiple-choice questions, you must prepare a response to each possibility. If you are doing a product launch and ask the audience how likely they are to buy this product and the answer comes back ‘not at all’, you have to be ready to do some fast-talking.
Bring your audience with you
Have you ever experienced the ‘elephant in Denmark’ mental trick? It is a classic example of how to make engagement and interactivity with your audience work towards your purpose. Make use of leading questions to bring someone to understand your point/product. Sales professionals have long used the technique of ‘yes’ questions to close a deal; Do you hate having bad hair? ‘Yes’ Is it hard to fix your hair on the run? ‘Yes’ I’ve got combs here – would you like a red one? ‘Yes’.
Solve problems your audience did not know they had
BYOD methods allow you to introduce solutions to problems that your audience may not have realized they have. Interactivity helps people internalize the reasons behind changes to processes. On the other hand it can help you gain insight into barriers or objections to adoption your employees have, which you can then address specifically.
Extend your event space People that cannot be physically present at your event can still experience and interact via webcast and social media. Twitter is a particularly useful communication tool for your event. It is free and available on all operating systems and devices. You can aggregate your event’s tweets using an appropriate hashtag. This way audience members can comment and ask questions of the presenters.
Using Event Tweet
Staging connections run a software platform called Event Tweet that integrates all Tweets to a specific account and specific hashtag with the event’ AV system and webcast feeds. A moderator controls the display within the venue and on the webcast feed of all the content, screening out any offensive or off-topic material. It has a branded, customizable framework for the Twitter content so that you can even run sponsorship images and video at specified times, turning your AV from a cost centre to a revenue generator. Use BYOD techniques for entertainment
Lively events entail a lot of probing, pushing and polling so it is important to let your audience have a bit of fun too. If you are running a gala dinner, awards night or any other less formal event, there’s a great range of playful uses for real-time polling and live Tweeting. Do you have a red carpet entrance? Poll the audience for best dressed. Are you running a charity auction? Use the app for bidding. Who’s got the best joke about the CEO? Tweet it to our hashtag – but be careful! You can even incorporate the content from your main event into the games – first prize to the person who Tweets the correct answer!
The technology is in your hands
Even with hundreds of audience members, BYOD interactivity is simple, low in bandwidth and easy to roll out in almost any venue. Tiny packets of data are required to vote on a multiple-choice question, so low network coverage is not a problem and what you gain from your audience is well worth it. Your audience will be more than happy to share information that is usually hard to get from them if you approach the use of BYOD with insight, care and attention to detail. New software and applications are being developed every day catering to this market. Talk to Staging Connections when planning your next event to find out what your audience can bring to you. Want to stay up to date with industry trends? Browse our range of downloadable Event Insights papers … Read More
Fiona Robinson is an event Project Manager at Staging Connections in Sydney. She has been part of the Staging Connections team for over 12 years and has worked across numerous roles including Production Assistant and Crew Control. In the first 'day in the life of’ blog we get to grips with what being a Project Manager at Staging Connections involves, what a normal day looks like and get Fiona’s top audio visual event tips learnt from working on over 1500 shows in her career. What is involved in being an event Project Manager? As a Project Manager I tend to work on many of our bigger events that require a lot of coordination and management of multiple stakeholders. These shows tend to have a lot of different elements to them; there is usually a stage set, some form of talent, MC’s, guest speakers, large audio visual event crew and Technical Directors. Essentially my job is to ensure all these elements are coordinated in the lead up to the event and come together smoothly on show day. There is also a lot of client, supplier and venue liaison and collaboration. What does a normal day look like? At the start of every morning I spend time prioritising and working out what needs to be dispatched or done that day. Then it varies, one day I can be sourcing the southern hemispheres largest mirror ball and heading out to site visits and the next I can be working through run sheets, floor plans and liaising with talent – making sure they have exactly what they need to perform on event day. No two days are ever the same in this job – just the coffee intake! If it is show day, my time is spent on site moving around where I am needed. I am also a stage manager for many events. This involves wrangling talent, ensuring presenters and speakers know what they are doing and where to stand. I also run rehearsals and essentially make sure everyone is show ready. I have worked with many different presenters, speakers and performers over the years but if I had to say just one, Ray Martin is one of my favourites to work with. He is such a professional and a great laugh. What do you enjoy most about being an event project manager? I love the thrill of the big shows and seeing all the months of work coming together. I especially enjoy Stage Managing – nothing compares to the excitement of being involved in a live event environment. What is the most memorable event you worked on? I’ve had many memorable events but working on Amway China in Singapore for eight weeks in 2006 was one of the special ones. Working and living in another country is pretty exciting, hard work, but so rewarding. What is the best piece of advice for someone thinking about holding an event? Access, Access and Access! When looking for an event venue always consider the access first. For instance a venue with no lift or loading dock can slow down bump in time leaving less time for rehearsals. This leads me onto my second piece of advice; the key to a successful event is leaving plenty of time for rehearsal! Written by Fiona Robinson, Project Manager, Staging Connections. My favourite thing about working in events is working with some amazing and super talented people, mostly my colleagues. We have some awesome people here at Staging Connections. Related Blogs 8 audio visual tips to create a successful event Optimise your event communication with event design and technical production The art of SHOWcraft for your events ... Read More
If you're looking to push the boundaries of your next conference, gala dinner, product launch or other event, you should make sure you consider the audio visual equipment required to meet your event objectives. The use of AV sets the mood of your event and helps present your message, brand and company in an unforgettable way. If you're looking to push the boundaries of your next conference, gala dinner, product launch or other event, you should make sure you consider the audio visual equipment required to meet your event objectives. The use of AV sets the mood of your event and helps present your message, brand and company in an unforgettable way. Many people are confused by AV and worry they may not specify all the elements required for an event. Audio Visual requirements can be complex, but we pride ourselves on providing a simple solution that is understandable. For a convenient way to incorporate audio visual elements into your event, we would be happy to discuss the wide range of AV Packages available through Staging Connections. AV packages offer the ideal way for you to choose from a range of options to get the perfect solution for your needs. That way, you get just what you need for your event and also that fits your budget. When booking your event AV package from Staging Connections, we will have an initial briefing meeting so we can find out your event objectives and then we can configure a package to fit your requirements. We offer a flexible array of AV packages ranging from full service event staging solutions through to dry hire items. This allows you to choose to rent just the equipment you need if you already have the expertise or leave everything in our hands. It's your choice! We hope you've got an understanding of what Staging Connections can do to help you bring your vision to life through AV packages. Simply submit a request for a Quick Quote and we will get back to you as soon as possible with pricing. ... Read More
When it comes to marketing budgets, the one for events is usually the first to get moved around. But don't despair, it’s the perfect time to get a bit more creative, think differently and prove the value of an engaging, interactive and successful event, no matter what budget is allocated to the audio visual equipment. When it comes to marketing budgets, the one for events is usually the first to get moved around. But don't despair, it's the perfect time to get a bit more creative, think differently and prove the value of an engaging, interactive and successful event, no matter what budget is allocated to the audio visual equipment. If you have a limited budget, your choice of audio visual equipment can make all the difference. Staging Connections has the expertise and experience to help your choose the most suitable audio visual equipment for your next event. Well positioned lighting can set the scene and add drama to any event. Think about using bespoke multimedia screen content and you can make a real visual impact, without stretching the av equipment budget. As technology develops, so does the potential to use it to make your event even more successful. As a leading AV company, Staging Connections is always on top of what's happening in the industry which allows us to bring your very latest in audio visual technology to you and your events. Of course there's much more to a successful event than just audio visual equipment. Our people are most valuable asset and we have the best people who know how to choose the right equipment and how to use it to its best advantage. To discover our range of audio visual equipment and more, call us today on 1800 209 099. ... Read More
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
When you're considering the AV equipment you need for your next event, it's important that you don’t think about what you need simply in terms of AV equipment. Think in terms of the entire audio visual solution required. Equipment is just the tool; solutions are the outcome of a carefully formulated strategy that drives your campaign and makes sure it aligns with your objectives. When you're considering the AV equipment you need for your next event, it's important that you don’t think about what you need simply in terms of AV equipment. Think in terms of the entire audio visual solution required. Equipment is just the tool; solutions are the outcome of a carefully formulated strategy that drives your campaign and makes sure it aligns with your objectives. We understand that audio visual solutions are all about ensuring the main message is clear and central to the event design, and the myriad details of any complex event are taken care of. We want to see everything from the speaker lists and bio’s right through to the menu so we can tailor av solutions to suit your event. A number of important factor make it possible for us to provide quality AV solutions. The first is our long history in the events and audio visual industry. For 25 years we've provided Australian and international organisations with the means to achieve a range of corporate objectives. These range from launching new products in a way that makes them truly memorable, to managing awards nights that are the talk of the town long after the event has finished. Another reason for our ability to provide effective AV solutions is that we're committed to the industry. You only get one chance on the night and we're determined to make every event the best it can be. We do this in a number of ways including keeping abreast of changes in the industry, we are always looking for the latest technology and emerging trends. And above all, there's our people. Technology is nothing without the technicians to operate the equipment. Our people are best asset. They bring energy, enthusiasm and a bucket load of knowledge to bring your event to life. Really effective audio visual solutions are based on a bed rock of the best in technology and the best people to maximize its value and efficiency. And that's exactly what we at Staging Connections are committed to. Contact Staging Connections today on 1800 209 099 to discover the full range of audio visual solutions for your next event. ... Read More
Today's events demand bigger and better year on year. From product launches, AGMs, award ceremonies through to conferences the audio visual event requirements are also becoming more advanced as brands look to the power of AV to communicate their message in a more visual and powerful way. Today's events demand bigger and better year on year. From product launches, AGMs, award ceremonies through to conferences the audio visual event requirements are also becoming more advanced as brands look to the power of AV to communicate their message in a more visual and powerful way. Leading public events such as Vivid Sydney and even the big awards such as the Oscars are driving this adoption of technology on a corporate level. Harnessing new AV technology such as projection mapping allows your message to be delivered with power and style. It's something we at Staging Connections are working towards every day and can help you to achieve. The power of sound and visual imagery to create an experience that move's, informs and persuades an audience is a technical and artistic challenge. It requires highly trained staff with unique talents and skills. Consider what the process entails. For one thing, audio visual events must be meticulously planned and a clear strategy developed. Taking the time to do this in a advance is an investment that really pays off. It means you can be sure that your event design and delivery is aligned to your brand and message objectives. Next, this creativity and planning must be translated into a meticulous action plan and scheduled down to the last moment. Painstaking attention to detail is a must to be sure that your event runs seamlessly. Running successful audio visual for events demands more than just setting up the necessary projectors, screens and LCD displays. This is done through clever use of lighting, rigging, and drapes. Meanwhile qualified technicians and other staff constantly work behind the scenes to keep the operation running to plan and schedule. Here at Staging Connections we have the experience and the best people in the business for all your audio visual event needs. Call us today on 1800 209 099 to discuss your event requirements. ... Read More
Using sound and images to establish mood and present information is now a well-established component of major corporate events along with more personal occasions such as Weddings and Christmas parties. Using sound and images to establish mood and present information is now a well-established component of major corporate events along with more personal occasions such as Weddings and Christmas parties. Through the skilful use of sound systems, displays and lighting, you can transform a simple get together or sales presentation into a multimedia fiesta. In the right hands, such as those of Staging Connections, AV systems can unlock the unique and valuable facets of your company and its product in a way that simple speech could never do. Remember that audio visual rental from Staging Connections is not just about getting the hardware. You also get the advice and expertise you need to get maximum value from your AV equipment. This is important, as the choice of the right AV equipment is subtle and complex. Every event is different, you have to take in account the type of event, the objectives, the venue and the kind of message you want to get across. Another must when considering audio visual rental is to hire video recording equipment along with the staff to operate it. This way you'll create a permanent record of your event, which you can use for training or just simple nostalgia. Getting the right AV setup really requires the use of a professional event company such as Staging Connections. This way you'll get the most modern equipment available with the technical support to ensure it will run perfectly. For the full story on audio visual rental, contact Staging Connections today. ... Read More
You're proud of what your organization's achieved. You want to reward those who've worked to bring success, and you want to showcase your company to the world. That's what awards nights and gala dinners are for. So how can you be sure that your events night is the success you need it to be? right. You're proud of what your organization's achieved. You want to reward those who've worked to bring success, and you want to showcase your company to the world. That's what awards nights and gala dinners are for. So how can you be sure that your events night is the success you need it to be? right. AT Staging Connection’s we have a wide range of AV event services that can help create award nights and gala dinners that will be remembered forever. Award nights and gala dinners include both a chance for you whole company to get some well-deserved relaxation and fun, and also the more serious function of making sure your staff get the recognition they deserve. This means the event has to be carefully arranged so that both the formal and the fun activities have their proper time and place. Using audio visual displays can go a long way towards bringing the activities of your organisation to life and presenting your achievements in a way that's vivid, distinguished and entertaining. By playing video clips of your staff at work or interviews of them talking about their daily life in the company, you can develop real bonding and a sense of shared values and loyalties among your staff. Other than simply supplying and operating the AV equipment, Staging Connections can take care of your entire event. We can arrange to switch seamlessly between cocktails and dinner to business announcements and speeches and then back again. Staging Connections can also ensure your event environment is tailored to suit your unique organization. This involves identifying and creating the right background themes, table designs, stage sets, and even setting up a dance floor and band in a unique way. The lighting has to create the right mood and the entrance has to be inviting and hint at the excitement to come. Then as your guest arrive, they'll feel and sense of pride and anticipation. This kind of project demands experience and a unique array of skills and talents. So for your next big corporate dinner or award ceremony, be sure to select AV event services from Staging Connections. ... Read More