Everything seems to be advancing at an amazing speed nowadays. Why would you prepare a grilled cheese sandwich on an actual grill when you can just throw it into an automatic sandwich maker? Why would you have your mom over to show off your new apartment when you can just jump into FaceTime for a quick video call? Why would you drop by at the library when you can visit Wikipedia or simply do a Google search?
There is no doubt that we have become far more dependent on technology. In the 21st century, technology has evolved to accommodate a more convenient lifestyle and meet every need that could possibly need fulfilling. It makes our lives easier. You could even argue that technology has made us complacent; that we have come to depend on it to solve our problems.
Of course, these advancements are not just limited to our lifestyle, but it also revolutionalizes other aspects of life including the event industry. Here are five exciting, innovative event technologies that are gathering pace and adoption, and could redefine the industry in 2018.
Event apps have taken the event industry by storm in recent years. Gone are the days where bulky, paper event brochures are handed out to participants to explain different activities, break down of the event schedule, and provide speakers’ information. Instead, event technologies like the event apps have incorporated all these aspects, while simultaneously giving participants the ability to socialize with other event participants and expand their network, before, during and after the event. The RISE app is one of such apps that demonstrated great potential during their 2017 event in Hong Kong.
Nearly all airlines have switched to use self-service check-in kiosks. This technology can also be used in the event industry whereby it allows event participants to register themselves and print out their event badges. Not only it can be integrated into the multi-functional app; it can shorten lines and reducing wait times. With the self-registration kiosk, event organizers can also cut down on human resources that manage the registration. It can also streamline the registration process such that it is paperless and data can be transmitted directly to the system for easy tracking. Cvent is one of such technology provider.
Scheduling with Push Notification
With the multi-functional app, features like scheduling can be built that allows participants to read more about the different activities in an event, register for them, and to schedule them within their account. This feature acts as a reminder to notify the participants if the activity will be happening soon, or when the activity is over. As such, participants can customize their schedule based on their needs to optimize their event experience. It also provides participants or organizers the information, if a particular activity is over-subscribed. This kind of information will feed into the big data that will be discussed later on.
There was a time when talks consisted of passive audience members. Thanks to technology, however, that has completely changed. Interactive Q&A tools such as Pigeonhole Live allows for text-to-screen and text-to-moderator communications so that moderators have control over what questions are being asked. With this technology (can also be included in the app), participants can now ask questions with ease, and moderators can quickly filter out ones that do not make sense or that disrupt the flow. Furthermore, because speakers can see the questions, they can choose when to answer the questions such that they do not get lost among the noise of status updates.
Big Data or Analytics
Big data is king in most of the industries; however, its potential remains unrealized in the event industry. Event organizers that gather data, before, during and after events, and capturing data from all sources (hashtags, social media, etc.), will be able to understand the event participants, analyze sentiments or movements within events. Some insights that organizers can derive are for example, who are the event participants, where are they from, what kinds of activity do they like, how engaged are they, etc. and these information allows event organizers to create better (or even customized) events in the future.
Bonus: Event Automation
Automation refers to the software and tactics that exists with the aim of streamlining, automating, and measuring tasks and workflows, so to increase operational efficiency and grow revenue faster. In the area of marketing, many departments have to automate repetitive processes or tasks such as social media, emails, and other website actions. The technology of automation makes these tasks easier for marketers. Therefore, the term “marketing automation” has grown to be a buzz-word, where marketers find marketing automation tools necessary for growth, including those capable of generating new leads, rolled up under the hood of marketing automation. Many might wonder what has this got to do with events?
Events also have their own kind of automation. GEVME is an excellent example of an event management and marketing tool that is dedicated to the automation of event planning processes. They are able to power the entire event lifecycle and create the best event experiences. These include website building, registration, email marketing, survey, etc.
Simple 7-Step Social Media Strategy to Dominate 2019
Let’s look at the numbers and be honest with ourselves – social media isn’t slowing down, and they don’t intend to. There are more than 1.47 billion monthly active users on Facebook on average, and this number includes an almost 17% spike in two years.
One of the primary benefits of social media is to establish trust and credibility among your customers. If the people perceive your product or service is useful, they will trust your brand, thus making them more likely to buy from you. The University of London also studied the impact of social media on consumers and discovered a positive correlation between trust and perceived value linking to sales.
A sound marketing strategy should drive every action taken on social media. For your business, brand or organization, this channel is unavoidable if you want to create dominance in your market.
1) Define your target audience and build relationships
The first step to develop a strong social media presence is to acquire highly relevant fans and followers. Regardless of the size of your company, before you start investing resources on social media, you need to know why you’re there and who is your target audience.
Solely by looking at Facebook, you have nearly 1.15 billion people scrolling through their feeds almost every day, so it’s important to focus on people who are valuable to your business.
Building trust and your brand reputation with relevant people is vital so that they buy today, return to purchase tomorrow and advocate others about your brand. This logic is the ethos behind a strong social media strategy.
If you want to invest in social media because you plan to sell a product rather than build relationships with your audience, it’s time to pause and reconsider your business model. Although you can sell a product using social media, relationship building still comes first.
2) Choose the right channel
When it comes to the different social media channels, every platform has its own established culture and audience – and they expect users and advertisers to approach their platform similarly.
Spreading your eggs across several baskets will not produce significant results for you. At the same time, you will be wasting resources like time, money and effort. Focus is the key to success.
There are dominant channels for every industry, depending on your audience, type of product or service. What you will need to know is which channels are dominant for your market and focus your resources on winning against the competition in those targeted channels.
In social media, it’s not about quantity, but quality. Doing a few channels well with consistent, highly-engaging content that resonates with your audience is what will lead to conversion or sale.
There’s no single, universal “best social media channel.” But, by understanding how each channel works and you’ll be able to maximize your investment.
3) Determine your objective (Be S.M.A.R.T.)
One of the first steps to create a social media marketing strategy is to set your objectives and goals. Without goals, there is no way to measure your success or Return On Investment (ROI).
As a guideline, each of your goals should be:
Despite this, always keep in mind that while vanity metrics like retweets and likes are exciting and easy to track, it’s hard to prove their actual value for the business. But instead, you should focus on goals such as leads generated, web referrals, and conversion rate.
By aligning your social media goals with the overall marketing strategy. It will be easier to show the value of your effort and get executive buy-in and investment for your social media strategy.
4) Create a strategy
You should always put more effort into your social media strategy to engage your audience rather than focusing immediately on getting returns. Growing the audience and brand loyalty doesn’t happen overnight.
A social media strategy defines how your organization will leverage on social media channels to achieve its communications goals and the supporting platform and tools it will use to accomplish this.
At a basic level it’s a simple statement of intent, outlining the goals and measurable objectives, and the target outcomes you hope to achieve. This strategy is done in the context of the overall business and communication plan so that social media isn’t working in a silo but working in parallel with other channels.
5) Develop valuable content
Engaging content can help your business in a variety of ways. It can set you apart from your competition and help establish you as an expert. Having generated good content also keeps your business top of mind with consumers, providing the leverage needed to keep your customers returning from time to time. Again, quality over quantity will always prevail.
Creating content for social media can be fast, but creating good content takes time and effort. In addition to written content, such as articles and blog posts, you should also consider creating tutorial videos, infographics, podcasts, and other content media to help build brand awareness.
6) Publish and promote your content
Majority of your time is spent on creating good content, but without publishing them, they are useless. When coming up with your social media strategy for 2019, consider what you can do to be more efficient. Having the right publishing schedule can help you save time and push out more content to your audience.
The ability to schedule content effectively also means perfectly timing your posts for maximum likes, comments, and shares. This ability can be easily obtained from the content consumption patterns on various platforms.
As your business embraces social marketing, your social media strategy will likely grow to include social media advertising. Advertising helps to increase outreach to more people outside of your followers based on effective targeting.
7) Track and measure the performance
The purpose behind measuring your effort on social media is to enable you to understand what you are doing that is working and to find out what you’re doing that isn’t bringing you any positive results. One way or another, tracking can help you formulate a better social media strategy.
Ongoing analytics help familiarize you with how your audience is interacting with your updates and more specifically, analytics are the way you get a feel for how your company is perceived on the platform.
Keeping an eye on your metrics also tell you how your efforts are paying off.
The best part about leveraging social media is being a part of the ever-changing technological advancements that this world has to offer.
With the opportunity to innovate at every turn and constant product development happening around the globe, there is an excellent potential for you to engage your audience in new and exciting ways.
How to Rock Wireframing with PowerMockup
Wireframe exists to allow designers to plan and design a website/application at the structural level. Whether you’re new to the industry or you’ve been active in it for years, you’ve no doubt heard of this term.
Many designers tend to dive straight into the design, from picking fonts and colors to choosing the imagery. But there are many benefits to kick things off from wireframing – although it is an additional step, it saves time, makes it easier to spot usability issues, and allows creating a solid user experience.
Essentially, a wireframe is a low fidelity layout of the design which has two primary objectives:
1. Presents the outline of structure and layout
2. Plan out the user needs and journeys
Wireframes are used in the early development process to establish the basic structure of a page before visual design and content are added. Similar to the blueprint of a building, it illustrates details of the digital product clearly and accurately. It is an essential step in translating an idea for a digital product into a reality.
Other than using wireframes to plan out a project, it can come in handy when explaining to clients on how the proposed website or application works. Merely explaining through words or writing leaves the vast majority of functions to their imagination and also room for error. Wireframes are helpful in squaring this circle, making it easier for communication between project members or clients.
PowerMockup: PowerPoint Wireframe and Prototyping Tool
PowerMockup is a wireframing tool that makes building wireframes easy. It provides a massive arsenal of user interface elements and icons made entirely with PowerPoint shapes. You can quickly build wireframes for your digital project from this library of elements right from inside PowerPoint.
The One-Click Installation
Installation of PowerMockup is effortless. Simply execute the program, and it will automatically install itself onto PowerPoint.
Familiar and Simple User Interface
When someone seeks to create a familiar user interface (UI), the objective should be to construct a simple process between the user and the product, such that it meets their needs, while providing a UI that is very intuitive and reduces the learning curve.
As PowerMockup runs on PowerPoint, the interface is basically Microsoft PowerPoint itself. It is brilliant as PowerPoint is one of the most used softwares for the majority of the professionals. Adding, removing and editing of elements is as easy as editing a PowerPoint slide.
Building a Website Wireframe
Comparing to most wireframing tools in the market, PowerMockup is considered decent with sufficient elements to construct the wireframes you need for your digital projects. Leveraging on a drag-and-drop method, you can easily choose what you need from the library and add them to the project at the desired location. No coding or training needed, you can build interactive wireframes and prototypes visually.
There are also guides/gridlines for element alignments and formatting tools on PowerPoint that can help in design consistency for your project.
If you find that the elements that come with PowerMockup is not enough, you have an option to download more shapes from its database. You can also create your own items to the shape library. Simply select a shape on a PowerPoint slide, click on “Add Shape,” and you’ve added a custom shape into the library for future use.
PowerMockup is a rapid wireframing tool that helps you work faster and smarter. It reproduces the experience of wireframe designing on a professional software, but using PowerPoint. Looking at the final product, who would have guessed that it is done using PowerPoint. It doesn’t take six years of study or a thick manual to use PowerMockup effectively. The simple UI and intuitive controls allow you to master the tool in minutes. It only takes me 15-20 minutes to re-create a wireframe for my website.
Pre-requisites: Microsoft PowerPoint 2007, 2010, 2013 or 2016 (including Office 365) for Windows
Cost: From $59 .99 to $2,099.50 (Download Free Trial)
How Can You Use Quizzes to Generate Leads? – INTERACT
The state of digital marketing is always changing. Therefore marketers have to keep up with the pressure of adapting when necessary. Digital marketers are continually finding the most creative ways of generating leads or collecting new email subscribers. With the crowded online space, it is increasingly harder for marketers to stand above the crowd. Moreover, research has shown that the average human attention span is rapidly declining. And this will mean that the method you are adopting now for your lead generation or email collection will no longer work as effectively.
There is a rising popularity where quizzes have become a recurring motif on one of the favorite method of lead generation. Quizzes are a method that is slightly overlooked but a potential pot of gold – and it honestly makes lead generation fun.
According to Steve Olenski, you can gather tons of information about your website visitors, when they are having fun answering a quiz, and it is an excellent way to generate leads.
In this article, I will recommend a tool you can use for setting up fantastic quizzes and guide you through how to create a quiz with this tool which can have a potential of growing your email list by 300%!
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