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Are smartphones helping or hindering your event?

Whether we like them or not, smartphones have become an important part of our daily lives. They are used to aid with various tasks including shopping, getting from one place to another, scheduling plans and setting reminders.

People spend hours each day scrolling, checking emails and social media notifications. Wondering what this means for your event? Chances are most, if not all, of your attendees will arrive at your event with smartphone in tow. They are hard to ignore. So it might be time to address the elephant in the room – the sea of smartphones in your event space.

So are smartphones just another distraction for guests to be swallowed up by? Or can they help with your event outcomes?

The disadvantages

There is no doubt that smartphones can be distracting. They can divert attention away from your event sessions. Disengaged guests won’t experience your event for what it is, potentially harming your re-attendance rate.

If you were to have a no-smartphone policy at your event, your guests would certainly have fewer distractions and might be more engaged throughout the event. Whether this is a realistic and productive request is less certain.

The advantages

Smartphones have become a huge part of events. When it comes to event planning, there seems to be a smartphone app that can help with every aspect of organising and running an event. Whether it’s organising ticket sales, sharing your event agenda or facilitating a networking platform for guests, there’s an app for pretty much every stage.

There are several apps on the market, both free and with subscription costs, including Eventbrite and Ticketbud for ticket sales, Whova for attendee networking and Pathable for developing and sharing your agenda – just to name a few.

Smartphones also provide your event with an opportunity for marketing and promotion. Never underestimate the power of your guests taking selfies at your event, using your event hashtag online, live tweeting or checking-in on social media.

If you can’t beat them, join them

Smartphones are an integral part of everyday life. While they might be distracting and addictive, they can serve the really important purpose of helping you reach your event outcomes. They can be used to simplify logistical tasks, engage guests and build an awareness for, and at, your events.

So, if your main objective is to run a seamless event with good occupancy, it might be time to embrace what smartphones have to offer.

If you would like advice on social media for your next event, the AVPartners team can help. Contact us today.

The secrets to a successful event hashtag

Hashtags have become an important way for event planners to create a buzz around events. Think of the last conference or event you attended. Chances are a hashtag was used. So what exactly are hashtags and why have they become so popular in the events industry?

A hashtag is a word or phrase preceded by a hash sign (#), which makes it a searchable link. Most commonly used on applications and social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, hashtags give users the ability to organise or ‘file’ online conversations. When a user clicks on a hashtag, they are able to view all other discussions which use the same hashtag.

Why use a hashtag for events?

An effective hashtag can improve the reach of your event. It can help build anticipation surrounding the day, drive more ticket sales and boost awareness for your brand. An event hashtag also helps drive engagement throughout the event itself. Attendees can post about your event using the hashtag to signal that they are part of the conversation about your event.

There are 4 factors that make a great hashtag:

1. Unique

An effective hashtag will be unique to your brand and event. This will ensure that your event and brand doesn’t compete with other unrelated posts which use the same hashtag. Before settling on your hashtag, make sure to do a quick search across social media to make sure it hasn’t been used before. Examples may include #GFWS2018 or #vividtaronga which are time or location specific.

2. Succinct

Short hashtags are effective because they are memorable and get to the point quickly. They also remove room for typo errors, particularly when your event guests will be required to type the hashtag out.

3. Playful

Depending on what you’re trying to achieve, a hashtag which is playful and uses a bit of light humour may do the trick. A good example of this is Red Bull’s #PutACanOnIt campaign. The campaign used the catchy hashtag #PutACanOnIt to encourage people to take photos of their Red Bull cans in interesting locations. This strategy encouraged engagement amongst their audience and successfully created a buzz around the brand.

4. It has no hidden meaning

This is a really important one. Triple check your hashtag before sharing it. Remember, your hashtag will display without breaks between the words, so new words might form in the amalgamation. Check for any embarrassing words or messaging that may have been created. While you will want to build reach, you won’t want to bring attention to your event for the wrong reasons!

Broadcasting your hashtag

To really make the most of your hashtag before, during and after your event, it’s important to include it on all of your promotional materials, and make sure it’s in full view for guests throughout the event. Use audiovisual (AV) technology to keep your hashtag front and centre throughout your event. By projecting your hashtag on your stage, screen or even on the walls of your event space, you can encourage real time conversation about your event on social media. With your hashtag in full view, your event guests will be encouraged to include it in their tweets, live videos and other social posts.

Contact us today to set up the AV at your next event.

The benefits of live streaming your event

Live streaming has become a bit of a craze lately. If Facebook Live, Youtube live stream and Twitter live video are anything to go by, people seem to love experiencing things online in real time. The capability of live streaming has become hugely popular in recent years, especially for events that attract global attention. Live streaming offers people the opportunity to experience events, even if they can’t be there in person.

Perhaps you’ve considered live streaming your event, but you’re not entirely sure if it’s the right thing to do. Maybe you’ve thought, “Well, it could be great exposure, but then again who will purchase a ticket if it’s going to be live streamed for free?” This is a very sensible question to ask. Although there are many benefits to live streaming events, it’s important to consider whether it is right for your event. Some events thrive on exclusivity. Keeping an event exclusive might help with setting ticket prices, selling tickets, or attracting thought leaders. These events might benefit from being kept intimate instead of being live streamed. But for many events, especially ones that have an objective of broadcasting information or selling a certain product or service, live streaming can be greatly beneficial. Here’s why.

Maximise your exposure

Live streaming, especially via social media can help build exposure for your event. Your event can be live streamed to your social media audience, but it can also reach a larger audience if the content is shared and interacted with online. Live videos tend to attract more online engagement compared with other types of content. They incite a sense of urgency, compelling people to watch. When you share your live stream to social media, you also have the option of running ads in order to reach an even wider audience.

Use data to improve your events

When you live stream your event, it gives you the opportunity to learn more about your audience through online data. Bringing your event online can help you gather important information about who your audience is and what they like (or dislike) about your event. Whether you’re live streaming on your website or social platforms, you have access to data on who is engaging with your content. This information can help you make improvements on your event next time around.

Provide a channel of communication for your audience

If you’re broadcasting your event on social media, your live stream will give your event goers and online audience a platform to interact with you while the event is running. It gives them the opportunity to ask important questions about keynote speakers, products being launched or whether there are follow up events.

When you’re live streaming a corporate event, it’s important to get it right. The last thing you want is a major disruption or delay in the audio or video. When you do it yourself there are many risks involved that can disrupt the smooth running of your event. Make sure to hire a professional audiovisual team to do all the hard work so that you don’t have to. At AVPartners we have the right technology and expertise  to broadcast your event so that you can rest assured that it’s done the right way.

Talk to us today to discuss how to live stream your next event.

AVPartners event planning wrap up

We love sharing our tips and ideas when it comes to event planning, and we realised we have a lot of great blog posts that can help.

Take a look at some of our favourite topics that will help you plan your next event:

Choosing a venue

One of the most important aspects when planning an event is where the event will be held. The venue for an event can mean the difference between a successful event, and a mediocre one. Luckily, we have some experience working with awesome venues! Here are our tips for choosing the right venue for your event.

Event styling

Styling an event can be the most exciting part of event planning! This is where you get to choose the look and feel of your event. It’s an important part of the event planning process as it lays the foundation for how guests will experience the event.

Event styling incorporates furniture, decor, colour, centrepieces and table layouts, props, audiovisual and digital elements. It takes your guests on a journey, showcasing your theme, your branding and your ideas.

Budgeting

To effectively plan an event within your budget, consider the benefits of technology. Technology has an important role to play in event planning, and can be used in a variety of ways to help plan, organise, and execute an event while remaining within your event budget.

Social media

When social media is incorporated into an event, it can be hugely impactful and influential, generating immeasurable event awareness before, during and well beyond the event.

There are a number of different ways to incorporate social media into your event; such as using social media to promote your event and having a social media wall at your event to drive engagement.

Catering

Food has a special place at all events; it brings people together in a fun and engaging way, and will give your guests a culinary experience to remember. Stuck on what type of catering is right for your event style and budget? Check out these popular catering types.

The event message

There’s no point holding an event that gives out the wrong or unintended message to guests. Make sure you can effectively communicate your event message loud and clear.

Interested in finding out more about any of these topics or want to get started planning your next event with us? Contact us today!

4 great benefits of holding an offsite meeting

Considering going offsite for your next business meeting? An offsite meeting is where you bring your team together in a different location to your usual office to hold a meeting, coordinate a strategy day, or deliver training.

Here are 4 great benefits of holding an offsite meeting:

Your team will be focussed

Being offsite means your team won’t be as easily distracted as they may be in their usual work surroundings. This will lead to improved productivity and better meeting outcomes.

Your team will network and bond

There’s no substitute for meeting in person, so an offsite meeting should include time for ‘team building’ – which could be as simple as a nice break with catered lunches, or a little more involved such as morning yoga to start the day. Giving your team a chance to chat and loosen up will allow them to relax and engage in the day’s activities.

Your meeting can be tech-savvy

Holding your offsite meeting at a venue that offers state of the art audiovisual (AV) technology means that you can get creative and leverage this in your meeting. From live streaming through to enhanced projection capability, creative audiovisual can grab your team’s attention and hold it.

You encourage creativity

Whether you are holding your meeting for brainstorming, forward planning, or strategy, chances are being in a new environment will inspire creativity in your team, and encourage new ideas in a way that can’t be replicated in-house.

Talk to us today to plan your next offsite meeting!

How to plan an event that appeals to Millennials

At many events these days, the Millennial generation makes up a huge part of the demographic. A Millennial is someone born roughly between 1982 and 2004, also known as Generation Y. They have specific tastes, wants, and expectations, and catering to these successfully could mean your event and your business holds them as a long term consumer.

Here are our top ways to appeal to Millennials at your next event:

Get social

It sounds obvious, but social media is where Millennials hang out online, so utilise this before, during and after your event. You can sell event tickets through social media, get discussions started to build excitement in the lead up, encourage photo sharing and tagging before and during the event, and also get more social media followers in the process!

Impress with AV technology

Millennials are tech savvy and therefore expect the very best when it comes to AV. Utilise modern lighting effects throughout the venue, and make sure audio for presentations is clear and professional.

Incorporate digital and tech at all points – from an event app, to digital signage and image projection onto walls or other objects! Another great idea is to offer charging stations for guests’ smartphones and other devices; this will save people from leaving the event to get their charger, or disengaging due to not having their device charged.

Go green

Millennials are usually more concerned than other generations about the environment, so minimising your event’s carbon footprint will leave a good impression on them. Using more digital channels rather than paper helps immensely, as does offering recycling options during the event and promoting the green efforts you have made in planning and delivering the event.

For more info on planning an event which appeals to Millennials, talk to us today!

What style of catering should you have at your event?

Food has a special place at all events; it brings people together in a fun and engaging way, and will give your guests a culinary experience to remember. The catering at an event can make up a large portion of your budget, so you want to make sure you’re choosing the right catering style for your event type. When matched with creative audiovisual elements, your choice of catering can further enhance the wow factor.

Here are some of the most popular catering styles:

Banquet Dinner

A banquet style dinner is a more formal, sit down catering style. It usually includes a set amount of courses, for example; entree, main, and dessert. Everyone at the table gets their food at the same time and you can spread out activities such as speeches, awards, entertainment or dancing in between courses. Banquet dinners are a great opportunity to dazzle your guests with pin-spotlight lighting on their individual tables, which can also be coloured to match your brand or theme.

Cocktail

A cocktail catering style means your guests have the opportunity to mingle and network while finger food gets served around the room. It’s a great way for people to interact and network with each other throughout the event, and an optimal choice for adding music to complement the atmosphere.

Food Stations

More and more we are seeing special food stations set up in event spaces. This could mean a dessert bar, a juice station, or a tapas section. Guests make their own way to each station and choose what they like. Food stations can be set up to go along with a more traditional style of catering such as a banquet, or as stand alone catering. Creative lighting and theming can help enhance food stations, creating further appeal.

Whatever you decide, we’re sure your event will be a treat for the tastebuds! Talk to us for more ideas.

How to promote your event

Promoting your event is one of the most important factors for success. Without getting the promotion of your event right, even the most interesting and well planned events won’t be successful. Promotion is what sells tickets, increases brand and event awareness, and builds excitement.

Ultimately, you want to attract people to your event, and the best way to do so is to spread the word far and wide. These days, technology can play a big part in that, and is an extremely useful marketing tool for event planners.

As with any marketing activity, you’ll want to make sure you have given yourself enough time prior to the event to promote and advertise it. Depending on your event type, you might even start a year in advance!

To help, we’ve put together some ways to promote your event:

Social media

Social media is now a must for any event. There are many ways to promote your event by engaging with your audience and targeting your message to interested parties, through strategic paid and unpaid social media campaigns.  

Online and offline advertising

Online advertising is a great way to promote events as highly targeted ads can achieve a great return on investment. Offline advertising through certain magazines, newspapers, or even mail box leaflet drops is also a good option.

Media and publicity

A media campaign can be a great way to gain coverage for your event, driving further awareness. This approach can work well for trade shows, markets and festivals.

Local signage

Depending on the type of event and location, you may find that signs and banners, even digital signage, placed locally around the event area will spark some interest.

Website

It’s also a great idea to have a designated section of your website for your events or give the event its own website. This will assist anyone looking for more information and will also improve your SEO so people can find you through Google.

The venue

When you’ve chosen and booked the venue for the event, they may be able to start promoting your event on their website and social media channels too, along with promotions within their venue such as posters or flyers. Make sure you cover all bases when researching venues, such as catering options, venue size, and audiovisual capabilities.

At AVPartners we take great pride in hosting events of all types and sizes; using lighting, audio, and visual technology to take events to the next level! Contact us today to chat about your next event.

How to hold an experiential event

All events need an element of interaction to really give them a wow factor. An experiential event is one that offers guests a unique experience that leaves a lasting impression.

This could mean anything from 3D elements to product demonstrations, from physical activities to virtual reality experiences. Instead of just pushing a message out to your audience, an experiential event provides an immersive and interactive experience, enabling people to engage with your brand in person.

Here are our top ideas for planning your next experiential event:

Explore creativity

People come alive when given the opportunity to be creative. It reminds them of a more carefree time. Try something outside of the everyday – such as having a chalk graffiti wall they can draw on, or a photo booth where they can be silly then take home a souvenir.

Get people learning

Giving people an opportunity to learn something new makes a big impact. For example, you could try a cooking demonstration, an origami lesson, or a dance class! Have fun with it and people will be talking about it for months.

Get up close

If your event includes entertainers or dancers, allow them to go outside of the norm and showcase their talent in unconventional areas, such as among the guest’s tables or on the bar. If it’s different, it’s interesting.

Incorporate AV technology

AV technology can create spectacular experiences which resonate with guests. From virtual reality, to creating an immersive look and feel through lighting, AV can make a big difference.

Talk to us about how you can incorporate digital elements, lighting and sound at your event to create a 360 experience.

5 ways to manage your event staff for a successful event

With the many elements that go into the planning, coordination, and delivery of a successful event, it’s little wonder that success is often down to the staff behind the scenes.  

Your event team will be made up of event coordinators, AV technicians, stylists, chefs, hotel staff, food and beverage staff, servers, coat checkers, drivers, parking attendants, ticket-takers and many more – they are the backbone of any good event. The type and size of your event will determine the number and type of staff required, but big or small, all events rely on their staff to run smoothly.

When working with event teams, it’s important to keep your event outcome in mind and consider what each person can bring to the team.

With that in mind, we’ve got a few tips to help you manage your extended event team and ensure you’re all contributing to a seamless and successful event:

Meet them, brief them and designate tasks

Get to know your extended event team. Make sure they know their role, the event message and desired outcome, and what is expected of them.

Offer and accept feedback

Have an open policy for feedback, for you and them. Encourage them to provide suggestions or alert you to problems quickly, and offer them feedback on their tasks. It’s better to know about potential issues sooner rather than later!

Form processes

Create processes for tasks. This will make it so much easier to train or brief someone in that task, and enable them to complete it again and again successfully.

Encourage them to have fun

Events are fun, and just because they can also be a lot of hard work, doesn’t mean your team can’t enjoy themselves in the process. The higher their energy, the more the event atmosphere will benefit, creating a pleasant experience for event guests.

Enjoy yourself!

It is amazing the improved response you will receive if the event team get along with you and enjoy working with you. They will naturally be more inclined to go the extra mile. Which is a win-win for everyone.

At AVPartners, we know how valuable an experienced and reputable event team is to the success of your event. To find out how we can become a critical part of your extended event team, contact us.