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    Social media is one of those marketing strategies that you know is important, but it probably hasn’t made it off your “nice-to-have” list just yet. If it has, I sincerely applaud you and encourage the #humblebrag. 

    However, if you’re just getting started with social media, don’t get overwhelmed or distracted trying to do it all across all of the social networks out there. Focus on what matters most—the onsite experience. Events come with a built-in audience, so even if you don’t have thousands of social media followers, you do have a captive audience of attendees at your event

    In a recent webinar series with MeetingsFocus & MeetingsNet, Kevin Yanushefski, product marketing manager at Cvent, and I shared tips and real-world tactics for boosting onsite attendee engagement and social media success. During the webinars, we asked attendees to tweet their questions on #event2pt0. We pulled the most frequently asked questions and shared our answers below:

    What makes a good event hashtag?
    Good hashtags are short, original, and easy to remember. Tweets only have 140 characters, so it’s important to keep your event hashtag short so people can still tweet key takeaways AND include the event hashtag. Do research on sites like hashtagify.me or hashtags.org to make sure that your event hashtag isn’t being used by another organization or event. If your event is recurring, considering using a hashtag that can be used year over year and extend the lifetime value of your hashtag.

    What are good prizes for social media contests? What about contest ideas that don't include monetary prizes?
    Contests don’t have to include monetary prizes. They could be rewards for services or goods that your organization provides. Select prizes that align with your audience, industry or event. Mobile chargers, selfie sticks, and tote bags have been praised as great prizes that Cvent has awarded for social media contests. Think about selecting prizes that can improve the event experience for attendees or encourage them to post more to social media.
     
    What are some tips for engaging with an older audience that doesn't really use social media?
    As a social media manager, it always pains me to hear someone say, “social media is for my kids.” It’s true that 90% of all people within the ages of 18-29 years of age are using social media, but it’s also true that the percentage of adults over 50 years of age using social media has been rising dramatically over the past decade. Regardless of age, the best way to get your attendees to use social media is to help them. Create a station where your social media team can teach people how to tweet or post to Instagram. Reward attendees for being active with prizes or even just public recognition.

    What are some quick wins that encourage more social participation onsite?
    Integrate social media into everything—the registration process, onsite signage, presentations—so that attendees are always being reminded. Collect social media handles during registration so they appear on attendee name badges. Ensure every presentation given at your event has the event hashtag on the bottom of every slide.

    How can you encourage people to be more active with comments and shares, rather than passively lurking and liking?
    Rewarding comments and shares more than likes is one way to encourage people to be more active. If budget restrictions keep you from rewarding people, engage with them directly on social media. If they liked your post, tweet back them and thank them for the like. Start conversations with attendees who like your posts by asking them questions, soliciting their feedback, or encouraging them to post their views and opinions. Using onsite tools like SocialWall to display social media posts will help inspire attendees to post and show them that they aren’t the only ones using social media at the event.

    How do you keep the conversation and momentum going after the event?
    Continue to share content and engage with your social media following. Trickle out content that recaps key sessions from your event or third-party press your event has received. Ask for event feedback on social media and respond when people provide it. If your event is a recurring event, build up momentum for next year’s event by creating a countdown as soon as this year’s event ends (or as soon as you know your event date!)

    How often should you post leading up to the event? During the event? After the event?
    There is no magic number when it comes to how many posts you should send out for your event. It all depends on what social media platform you are posting on and how engaged your audience is. You have to be careful not to spam your followers with too much content, but you also want to promote enough that you create buzz and drive engagement. Increase your post frequency as you get closer to the event date and plan the largest volume of posts for during the event. Slowly decrease the number of posts after the event, but don’t completely die off. Pay attention to how your audience is reacting and adjust accordingly.

    Which social media metrics provide the most value? 
    Whichever one your boss cares most about! In all seriousness, it will depend on your organization and the type of events that you hold. Your conversation rate and your applause rate are perhaps the most important metrics to measure. Both of these will tell you how your content is performing with your audience, and as these metrics rise, so will impressions and, ultimately, conversions.

    If you only have one hour a day for social media, what can you do to get the most impact out of that limited time?
    Focus on sharing quality, engaging content. Content is king, and when that content is exciting or interesting content, the engagement will follow. Your secondary focus should be on engaging with your followers. People want to connect with other people, not brands. So the more that you can engage with your followers as a person—not just a robot spitting out the same jargon—the more impact you’ll have on social media.
     
    Have more questions about how your events can be successful on social media? Join us for our final webinar in the series with Meetings & Conventions on July 29th. Register here: https://event.webcasts.com/starthere.jsp?ei=1065799
      
    Photo Credit: pixabay


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    The last and arguably biggest event of the year is quickly approaching – are you ready?

    Whether you’re looking for what to do on New Year’s Eve or looking for inspiration for your 2016 events, you’re in luck – the work is already done! Now you can focus on celebrating a successful 2015 and experiencing first-hand why these destinations are great for events. Check out how these top southeast cities ring in the New Year:

    Atlanta, Georgia

    Ranked 5th on Cvent's 2015 Top 50 Meeting Destinations list, there’s no doubt that Atlanta has plenty of event space to offer everyone, from sports fans to party goers, on New Year’s Eve! Join thousands of cheering college football enthusiasts in the Georgia Dome for the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl. Attend the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s annual New Year’s Eve Concert, one of Atlanta’s most beloved traditions. If you’re looking for something spectacular, head to the largest NYE celebration in the Southeast – the Peach Drop – a 16-hour event filled will family fun, entertainment and fireworks! 

     

    Ashville, North Carolina  

    If you’re the type of person who wishes the holidays would last just a little longer, Ashville is your New Year’s Eve destination. This beautiful mountain town provides a number of events that keep the holiday spirit lasting into the New Year. With or without children, The Omni Grove Park Inn National Gingerbread House Competition Display is a magical experience filled with awe, delight and wonder of these pastry pieces of art. Celebrating its 41st Annual Christmas and its 32nd Annual Candlelight Evenings, the historic Biltmore Estate embodies the wonder and warmth of the holidays on a grand scale with extravagant décor, live music, firelight and candlelight.


    Charleston, South Carolina

    Charleston may be ranked last #50 on our  2015 Top 50 Meeting Destinations listbut it certainly is not lacking in memorable event experiences for New Year’s Eve. The city offers nearly 40 special event venues and plenty of hotels & restaurants, but if you’re looking to close out 2015 at one of the most unique parties in the country, the USS Yorktown Countdown is for you. This 872’ aircraft carrier transformed inside and outside into a one-of-a-kind event with multiple live acts, bars and food stations. If that’s still not enough to overwhelm your senses, Charleston Wonderland has a meticulously styled space featuring non-stop music, entertainment and Charleston’s largest balloon drop!  

     

    New Orleans, Louisiana 

    Though it is famously known for Mardi Gras, New Orleans shouldn’t be overlooked as an event destination during other times of the year, including New Year’s Eve. Ranked #12 on our 2015 Top 50 Meeting Destinations list, this city is a vibrant scene of nightlife, music and cuisine. 49 of the over 130 restaurants in the city are participating in Reveillon dinners, a Creole tradition of serving decadent four-course holiday feasts with all the trimmings, during the month of December including New Year’s Eve. If enjoying one of these gourmet meals doesn’t satisfy your New Year’s Eve palate, the Crescent City Countdown certainly will. In truly New Orleans style, you can watch an 8-foot tall by 5-foot wide fleur de lis, embellished with aluminum ribbons and LED lights, descend with the countdown to midnight alongside a nonstop Grand Finale of fireworks over the Mississippi River. 

    Nashville, Tennessee  

    Whether you’re looking for large-scale parties or an intimate dinning experience for your New Year’s celebration, Nashville is the ideal destination.  Ranked #9 on our 2015 Top 50 Meeting Destinations list, Nashville is home to 83 special event venues and nearly 80 restaurants, many which host concerts, dinners, or parties to celebrate the New Year. The Jack Daniel’s Bash on Broadway is one of the largest events in city and offers an evening filled with live music, fireworks and free entry into Broadway bars. Get a taste of this over-the-top New Year’s Eve experience by watching last year’s event in action, where an estimated 130,000 people attended.

    Image Credits: Peach Drop ; Biltmore ; Yorktown Countdown ; Crescent City Countdown

     

     


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    Across a number of industries, the popularity of meetings, conferences, and other in-person events hasn’t slowed down a bit, despite the digital age that we live in. In fact, many corporations, associations, non-profits, and universities continue to rely on events as a core part of their business.

    But many of these organizations aren’t taking advantage of the easy-to-use online marketing tools that provide access to huge audiences, and are, best of all, free.

    One of the tools at the top of this list? Twitter!

    Sure, you’ve probably heard that you should create a hashtag and ask attendees to use it when they tweet during your event. You should absolutely be doing that. But that’s barely scratching the surface of what Twitter can do.

    Here are three out-of-the-box event marketing ideas that planners and marketers are currently leveraging on Twitter:

    Twitter Polls

    Users have been informally polling the Twitterverse for years now. In response, Twitter built in a new and native feature called Twitter Polls to make the process much easier.

    Twitter Polls let you pose questions and embed the two-answer surveys directly into your tweets. Voting stays open for 24 hours and results will be shared publicly, although you won’t be able to see individual votes.

    How can you use this feature for your events?

    • See what topics registrants are interested in learning about at your event
    • Collect research on who’s attending your event, as well as their preferences
    • Get real-time reactions to sessions, venue, food, and more
    • Ask for event and product feedback

    Here’s an example of what the results of a Twitter poll look like, taken directly from the social media giant’s product design and research team:

    Twitter Cards

    Twitter Cards allow you to enhance the look and feel of your tweets with rich photos, videos, and other media. They help drive engagement and traffic by attracting more users. Even though Twitter Cards have changed over time, there are currently four main types, all of which are useful for marketing your meetings and events!

    How can you use this feature for your events?

    • Use the Summary Card and Summary with Large Image Card to promote your registration site and other content that’s promoting your event, such as blog posts and press releases
    • Use the App Card to drive downloads of your event’s mobile app
    • Use the Player Card to embed video or audio clips that show off your event’s venue or highlight your speakers

    Here’s the Player Card in action from the advertising team over at Twitter:

    Live Twitter Streaming

    You can bank on attendees using social media throughout your event. They’ll likely share pictures, tweet what they’ve learned, and talk about their experience overall. A real differentiator for your next event is to aggregate this great content into a live stream.  With the help of products like Cvent’s own SocialWall, you can project that stream at your event for everyone to see.

    The Twitter live stream pulls in content that uses your event hashtag and makes your event much more interactive. This often inspires attendees to engage, so that their own content will pop up on the projection screen. For your peace of mind, you can also moderate the content that gets projected either automatically or manually.

    What success have you had using Twitter to market your events? And what other event marketing ideas are you currently using on Twitter? Let us know in the comments below!

    And check out these resources for more social media marketing ideas for your meetings and events:

     

     

     

     

     

     

     


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    Often referred to as “the Paris of South America” Buenos Aires is known for its cosmopolitan culture, European architecture, and of course, the tango! With 100 special event venues, 278 hotels and many more restaurants, Buenos Aires offers planners plenty of diverse venues to host their next event or meeting. However, as the undisputed tango capital, this fusion of dance and romance must be part of the event experience when in Buenos Aries! Here are 3 venues that will help you infuse your meeting with passion and give your attendees something unique to remember:

    BocaTango

    The romantic love stories of the tango are said to have orientated in La Boca, which makes BocaTango the perfect location to bring meeting attendees for an authentic Argentina experience. With 3 versatile spaces totaling 20,000 square feet with capacity for 300 for dining seating and 350 cocktail setting, BocaTango offers event and meeting planners a unique and personal atmosphere.   

    Madero Tango

    Located in one of the best and modern areas of Buenos Aires, Madero Tango offers a mix of old dock charm and classy design. The unique view of both the river and city set a beautiful backdrop for any meeting or event. Combine the view with spectacular onsite catering, diverse space that can hold 25 – 1,500 people, and a special dinner-tango show service, planners are sure to have all the amenities needed to delight attendees of all types. 

    Señor Tango

    Set in the heart of Buenos Aires, Señor Tango is the perfect blend of comfort and elegance. With two lounges and the ability to host up to 1,500 for dining seating or 3,000 cocktail setting, this famous building can make your event planning dreams come true. With one of the most acclaimed tango show in Buenos Aires, Señor Tango has the amenities, entertainment and space to make your event memorable and successful. 

     

    The tango is enjoyed in Buenos Aires year around, but if you’re looking to immerse your event attendees in a true tango experience, August is the best time to go. During this month, the city celebrates the Festival and World Tango Championship. Learn more about the South American city of Buenos Aires in the Cvent Destination Guide.

     

    Photo Credit: zabara_tango


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    Plannie AwardAre you ready to position your company as an industry leader? To prove to your executive leadership that your event planning program is second to none? Then it’s time for you to share your success story and become a 2016 Plannie Award Winner!

    The Plannie Awards Ceremony held at Cvent CONNECT is the showcase that’ll allow you to shine brightly among your planner peers. Since 2013, Cvent has been celebrating our event planning customers who've transformed their meetings and events in new and innovative ways. Attending this incredible awards ceremony is not only an opportunity to brag to your coworkers about your event planning achievements, but it’s also your chance to propel your personal career and publicize your success in Elite Meetings Magazine and Cvent CONNECT Magazine!

    We honor Cvent customers in nine different categories, or as we like to think, nine unique opportunities to become a Plannie winner. Any Cvent customer that has demonstrated measurable results from their meetings and events activities may submit for a Plannie Award. Big or small, rookie or mastermind, the annual Cvent Plannie Awards bestow the highest honor on event planners who use Cvent to innovate and excel in their unique meetings and events programs.

    You deserve to be recognized for setting the trends, forging exciting new paths in your profession, and establishing yourself as a thought-leader within the events space! And to help you understand the goals, methods, and insights that make a winning Plannie submission, we’ve compiled a short, free eBook of our 2015 winners and the submissions that undoubtedly demonstrated the keys to their success. From engaging audiences with the perfect mobile event app to maximizing your return on event, get inspired by these award-winning success stories and submit to become a 2016 Plannie Award Winner!

    Get Inspired


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    CONNECT StoryThe hashtag. Once the pound sign on your phone, it is now an integral part of social media and the way we communicate with each other online. While #selfie and #YOLO have given the hashtag a juvenile reputation, professionals and businesses need to know how hashtags work and how crucial they are to the meeting and event experience.

    So what is a hashtag? It is a keyword, acronym, or tagline made up of letters and numbers with no spaces that begins with the pound sign “#”. Hashtags are simple, yet powerful. When used on most social media networks, they become hyperlinked and searchable. This aggregates all other content that includes that hashtag and makes it very easy for users to organize and track relevant discussions. With over 500 million tweets and over 80 million Instagram photos posted daily, hashtags can really make a difference in helping your content stand out from the rest of social media. 

    And you do want your event content to stand out, right?

    Social media and events are all about having conversations and connecting with others. This is why most events have an official hashtag. In our case, #CventCONNECT is the event hashtag for our annual Cvent CONNECT conference.

    Which if you haven’t registered for Cvent CONNECT yet, do it NOW so you don’t miss out on a week of inspired learning and networking with close to 3,000 of your peers, partners, and Cvent experts! 

    But you can’t just stop once you’ve created an event hashtag, since 65% of respondents to the Event Benchmarks Study said they encourage attendees to post event-related content on social media by using the event hashtag. This means your event hashtag is a key component of your event marketing strategy and will play a huge part in the telling of your event story.

    And you want your attendees to be a part of your event story, right?

    Twitter is by far the best tool for communicating at events. The real-time nature of this social media platform plays perfectly with events, allowing attendees to post photos, videos, and messages as your event story unfolds. Twitter is a public social media platform, so even if you don’t have an account, you can still click on the event hashtag and see all the activity around the event. Whether attendees are tweeting questions at a speaker or snapping photos of the slides in an educational session, Twitter is a fantastic way to view a user-generated story about your event.

    Now we invite you to be a part of the #CventCONNECT story!

    Make the most of your Cvent CONNECT event experience by joining the conversation around the event on social media. Want to suggest a keynote speaker or night out entertainment? Tweet about it. Curious if other event professionals are attending? Tweet them and ask. But don’t stop there! Continue to shape and add value to the Cvent CONNECT conversation while you’re onsite. Quote speakers, share your thoughts on sessions, and take photos to show your followers (and the whole world) the VIP Las Vegas experience you are having at Cvent CONNECT!

    We hope online and onsite you’ll be a part of telling the Cvent CONNECT event experience and story! 


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    Convince Your BossYou know the value you’ll receive from three days of learning and networking at Cvent CONNECT, but all your boss hears is “time off” and “Las Vegas.” Getting approval to take the better part of a week away from work is a challenge, especially when asking your company to fund the trip. Break through to your boss and justify your trip to Cvent CONNECT by highlighting what matters most to him or her. Here are four key areas to focus on:


    Benefits to Specific Projects

    You’ll be learning about the latest event management trends, technologies, and methodologies that will add tremendous value to your organization, but you need to break it down further than that. Showcase which 100+ focused breakout sessions and 50+ globally recognized industry consultants, executives and influencers will benefit your projects or initiatives. Be specific. Highlight which sessions you want to attend, what best practices you are looking to learn and what actionable insights you can bring back to improve current processes. Your boss will feel more confident in letting you attend knowing that you have a game plan to focus on specific solutions and best practices to help drive the organization’s success.

    Cost Breakdown

    Every boss wants to know, “How much is this going to cost?” Don’t tip-toe around the total cost. Instead, use it to demonstrate how attending Cvent CONNECT is the most cost-effective way to ensure you’re getting the most from your Cvent investment. Here’s a sample breakdown you can provide your boss to breakdown the conference costs:  
     

    Airfare:

    $ X

    Transportation (Round trip tax from airport to hotel):

    Approx. $30- $40

    Hotel (The Venetian | The Palazzo, 3 nights):

    1 night’s hotel included complimentary ($209 per night for remaining 2 nights)

    Registration Fee:

    $999

    The Exchange Tradeshow Discount:

    Additional $200 off registration

    Total:

    $ X

     

    Don’t forget to remind your boss that the earlier you get approval, the earlier you can make travel arrangements, and the more cost-friendly the total trip will be!

    Customer Success Stories

    This is a once a year opportunity to connect with Cvent senior management, technology experts, your account manager, as well as fellow event and marketing professionals in the same place at the same time. Meetings that would normally take weeks to happen can all occur at one time, on-site at Cvent CONNECT. Additionally, you'll get to hear directly from other clients and our Plannie Award winners on how they are using Cvent to achieve success. There’s a reason 95% of attendees from last year’s Cvent CONNECT want to return this year! Play this success story from BBYO’s Sean Lynch for your boss and let it speak for itself.

    Post-Conference Reporting

    Nothing will discourage your boss from letting you attend industry events like Cvent CONNECT more than neglecting to provide a post-conference report. Show that you’re willing to bring back and share the relevant information with key personnel throughout the company. Include in your post-conference report an executive summary, key industry takeaways, best practice tips, and a set of recommendations to maximize your current investments in Cvent. A post-conference report holds you accountable for taking notes, making connections, and being an active learner at the conference. And what boss doesn’t love accountability?

    Ready to make your case? Download our “Why I Must Attend Cvent CONNECT 2016” letter template to get started! If you need additional help convincing your boss, tweet @CventCONNECT, and we’ll help you overcome any objections.


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    Since 2013 Cvent has been celebrating customers who’ve excelled at producing their meetings and events in new and innovative ways. The Cvent Plannie Awards Ceremony, held at Cvent CONNECT, is our opportunity to showcase all that these planners do to deliver unforgettable event experiences through technology, creativity and of course, hard work. There’s a reason event planner is the 5th most stressful job. That’s why Cvent takes the time to recognize event professionals and celebrate their achievements on stage, in front of close to 3,000 of their industry peers.

    So without further ado, the envelope please….

    Achiever

    Listener

    Mastermind

    Mobile

    Onsite

    SMM

    Sourcer

    Rookie

    Platform

     


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    Cvent Advocate
    There’s a bustling VIP community of enthusiastic meeting and event planners sharing their experiences and connecting with each other. Don’t be left out! Seize the opportunity to engage with these expert planners, marketers, and Cvent customer success agents. Not convinced? Here are five advantages to becoming a Cvent Advocate:


    1. Network with like-minded individuals

    By joining the Cvent Advocates program, you’ll make new business relationships with experienced Cvent customers. You’ll be able to connect with a community of industry peers who are sharing and comparing insights, best practices, and solutions. It’s much more than just networking! You’ll also be exposed to the content, success stories, and trends your peers are sharing daily.

    2. Test upcoming Cvent products

    From sneak peek webinars to forward-thinking education sessions, you can have an impact on the future of Cvent products and solutions as a Cvent Advocate. You’ll receive exclusive event invitations to preview Cvent’s product roadmap, as well as the opportunity to participate in testing! Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to contribute to Q&A discussions with technology and product mangers.

    3. It’s fun!

    Being a Cvent Advocate is a fun way to break up your day, stay engaged with Cvent, and compete with peers. And who doesn’t love a little friendly competition? The interactive challenges like sharing a success story, writing a blog post, or reviewing a product are simple to complete and worth looking forward to. In fact, one of our Cvent Advocates Julie-Michelle Davis of American Contractors Insurance Group, said “I can't imagine starting my day without logging on and doing some simple activities.”

    4. Elevate your thought-leader reputation and your events

    In addition to having access to industry peers, you’ll have top industry content and resources at your fingertips in the Cvent Advocate Hub. You’ll learn from other event professionals’ successes and challenges. There are tools and tips that you can take advantage of to help increase event ROI as well as your professional and organizational success. As one of our Cvent Advocates Allan Villanueva of Ewing Irrigation stated, “Being an advocate really enriched my planner life. I truly believe that I get more out of advocates than advocates gets from me. I love all the blog tips and opportunities that I would not have without advocates.”

    5. Get rewarded!

    Being a Cvent Advocate has perks! We say thank you to our active participants with gift cards, Cvent swag, product discounts, and so much more! Big or small, every challenge is allotted a certain amount of points. The more you participate, the more you’ll be rewarded. Once you join, expect to get hooked on completing challenges and redeeming exclusive invites to special events, speaking opportunities with Cvent, and countless rewards. We take feedback seriously, and we use your input to provide rewards that are most meaningful to you!

    Sign up for the Cvent Advocate program today then make sure to visit our Cvent Advocates booth in the Innovation Pavilion at Cvent CONNECT to get more information and exclusive rewards! 


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    IPFrom interactive demos accompanied with product experts to lounge areas designed for networking, the Innovation Pavilion is a vibrant hub where attendees can connect, be inspired, and learn new techniques for success. Directly across from the registration desk, this dynamic, multi-faceted space is the perfect place to start your Cvent CONNECT experience. Let’s take a closer look at what the Innovation Pavilion means for you:

    Event Technology Expertise
    After being greeted at the Information Desk, you’ll start your journey by seeing the entire event lifecycle in action through the Cvent platform. Whether you’re looking to improve your venue sourcing, event check-in, or attendee feedback, this section of the Innovation Pavilion is where you can discover how each tool in platform helps achieve your goals and create your ideal event. Want even more in-depth training and hands-on experience? Head to the “Ask the Experts” section in the back to have all of your account and feature questions answered by our product experts. We guarantee you’ll walk away feeling empowered to unleash the power of the platform at your next event!

    Collaboration Community
    The Innovation Pavilion is the ideal spot for exchanging ideas and creating new business relationships! In the “Collaborate” section, learn about the numerous ways Cvent users can connect with other users. These Customer Success Groups, which meet in cities around the U.S. as well as virtually, are excellent opportunities to expand your professional network and learn best practices from users with a similar backgrounds. In addition to other customers and industry peers, you’ll want to stop and engage with our event sponsors Destination By Design, The Venetian | The Palazzo, and Every TSR. 

    Loads of Learning
    One of the top reasons people attend events is for education and trust us when we say, there will be no shortage of learning opportunities at Cvent CONNECT! Stop by the “Learn” section of the Innovation Pavilion to receive information about our Cvent Certification program, as well as other training opportunities. Want to learn even more? Make sure to ask about the Cvent Community, an online environment for users to share, connect, and learn about Cvent products. In addition to fellow users and Cvent experts, the Cvent Community has a library full of official content, how-to articles, guides, and online training courses.

    Fun & Rewards
    The Innovation Pavilion is also your oasis for recharging, fun, and even some sweet swag! Come check out the “Network” section to learn tips and tricks for getting active on social media. Take a selfie at the booth or show us any of your social media posts tagged with #CventCONNECT to collect swag. Don’t worry if your phone or tablet is dying, there are plenty of plugs to give it some juice in our Charging Lounge. Want even more rewards? Sign up to become a Cvent Advocate at the “Advocate” section! As a Cvent Advocate you can connect with a community of customers and industry peers all engaging in friendly competition challenges. The more Cvent Advocate challenges you complete, the more you get rewarded. There will be some BIG giveaways prizes, so you don’t want to miss this part of the Innovation Pavilion!

    The Innovation Pavilion will be open every day of the conference starting at 9:30 AM. Don’t miss out!


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    CONNECT Checklist


    We are only a few days away from the start of Cvent CONNECT! We can’t wait to have close to 3,000 event and hospitality professionals, partners and Cvent experts descend upon The Venetian | The Palazzo in Las Vegas! Our hospitality professionals will be arrive Sunday, June 26th and will be joined by our event and meeting professionals for the CONNECT Day on Tuesday, June 28th. Before you jet off to catch your flight, make sure you review this Cvent CONNECT preparation checklist!


    What to Pack

    • Attire: For all daytime events, the dress code is business causal. Tuesday’s evening reception dares you to dream! Sponsored by The Venetian | The Palazzo and Cvent, we’ve requested attendees dress in black and white with a splash of color. Wednesday’s evening reception, pack a casual, festival-inspired outfit for the Cvent CONNECT Synergy Musical Festival!
    • Shoes: Bring shoes that are comfy and good for walking. Ladies, consider wedges and flats or bringing a pair of flip flops to switch when you walk back from the night out. Gel inserts are always a good idea for both men and women!
    • Layers: Though it might be over 100°F in Las Vegas next week, the conference rooms tend to be chilly. It’s best to bring a sweater or light jacket for your comfort.
    • Extras: Las Vegas is a hot, desert climate with very dry a dry heat. Bring lotion, eye drops, and lip balm. Don’t forget to bring any medication, vitamins, or health-related items! You’ll be meeting a lot of people, you don’t want to be sick or get sick.

    Stay CONNECT-ed

    • Download the Mobile App: Choose sessions to attend, review your personal appointments, submit session and conference feedback, and receive the latest news throughout the conference. Don’t be left out, have everything Cvent CONNECT related at your fingertips!
    • Gogo is providing a discounted roundtrip package of inflight internet for all Cvent CONNECT attendees. See if your flight is eligible and sign up!
    • Don’t waste your data plan, connect to our conference Wi-Fi throughout the week! The Wi-Fi network and password will be on your name badge.
    • Get social before you arrive! Follow #CventCONNECT on social media and start posting your Cvent CONNECT moments on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Are you on Snapchat? Find and add CventSnaps. Be on the lookout for Cvent CONNECT Snapchat geo-filters!
    • There will be charging stations in the Innovation Pavilion to keep your devices powered, but it’s always a good idea to bring extra chargers and a portable charger.

    Tips & Tricks

    • Stay hydrated! Bring a reusable water bottle to ensure you drink plenty of water throughout the day and before you go to bed.
    • Cvent staff members will have “Ask Me” ribbons so if you need anything, don’t be afraid to ask!

     

    We look forward to seeing you in Las Vegas for Cvent CONNECT!  


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    The Power of Storytelling
    It seems like every time you finally master a social media platform, an update is released or a new network is introduced. Two of the most popular social media providers, especially among millennials, are Instagram and Snapchat. With 80 million Instagram photos shared per day and more than 8 billion Snapchat video views, both networks’ users are generating content on a daily basis. As active user bases continue to skyrocket, so does the competition for their attention.

    It should come as no surprise that Instagram took direct aim at Snapchat with its newest update called Instagram Stories. This new feature allows users to take photos and videos, edit with text and drawing tools, and upload in a slideshow format that disappears after 24 hours. Sound familiar? That’s because it’s a near identical copy of Snapchat’s concept and Stories feature.

    While the debate over which platform will reign supreme is yet to be determined, one thing does remain clear – a good story, well told, can captivate the world. Storytelling has always been an effective way for people to communicate, connect, and process information. For event professionals, storytelling can be a powerful tactic for marketing their event and boosting attendee engagement.

    Here are three lessons we can all learn from this battle of social media stories:

    In the Moment
    Both Instagram and Snapchat stories focus on sharing “in the moment” scenes from users’ lives. When marketing your events, utilize these networks to showcase moments from your event planning journey. Go behind the scenes on your venue site visit or create a mini-documentary of how you developed an event agenda. Attendees will be excited and eager to peek into your life of event planning. When thinking about onsite engagement, focus on creating moments that attendees will want to capture. Whether it’s a selfie mirror or an interactive digital display, build moments into your event that attendees can’t help but share on social media.

    Informality & Authenticity
    With so much online critique, it’s easy to obsess over the idea of a picture-perfect version of our events. This is why both Instagram and Snapchat stories are a great place for even the most amateur social media marketers to jump in! There is a level of informality encouraged with both story features. Whether untangling badge lanyards or working (and re-working) room layouts, take advantage of the casualness of stories to truly showcase every aspect of your event. This will provide attendees an authentic view of everything you do to create an unforgettable event experience.

    Personal Messaging
    There has been a significant and rapid shift of users from public social media to private messaging apps according to a recent Business Insider report. Both Instagram and Snapchat stories took note of this trend and have incorporated the feature to communicate privately in addition to public broadcasting. By tapping into the existing desire to connect 1-on-1, event marketers can use mobile apps and social media to facilitate communication and increase attendee participation. Meetings are meant to be social experiences, so event marketers should make it easy for attendees to communicate instantly and personally.

    Have you tapped into the power of storytelling? Will you be using Snapchat or Instagram stories? Share your thoughts by posting a comment below! 


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    EMA

    When like-minded people get together, great things can happen. The Elite Meetings Alliance (EMA) is just that – an event where top meeting and incentive planners form mutually beneficial relationships with leaders in the luxury hotel industry. "I have been to a myriad of career specific conferences. The EMA, without a doubt, is one of the most engaging, educational, and fun conferences I've attended," Lindsey Elkin of Wikia said of her EMA experience.

    If you are an eligible corporate or association planner, here are 3 reasons you do not want to miss this unparalleled event, the next one coming up September 25 – 27 at Paradisus Playa del Carmen in Playa del Carmen, Mexico:

    Reason #1: Efficiency

    Discover Elite-Certified venues and destinations that are eager to meet your anticipated event needs for the upcoming year. As Kelly Longstreth at Exact Macola described, “I am able to meet with 15 to 20 suppliers over the course of a couple of days. I have seen, and since hired speakers that have participated in the program. I have booked hotels and vendors, all due to a couple of productive days at the EMA conferences." View the list of past attendees and ask yourself, what could you do with the extra time back from completing 50+ virtual site visits in a three-day weekend?

    Reason #2: Industry-Relevant Education

    Every event has networking and education opportunities, but what makes the EMA special is the intimate and unique activities they provide event professionals. In addition to the one-on-one appointments with luxury properties, the event agenda also includes fun evening events that encourage relationship building with your peers. Along with making important connections, you’ll learn industry-relevant best practices and solutions that will further you along your career path. Be in the audience to hear from technology experts and business visionaries like our September 2016 speakers Freddie Ravel, Meredith Martini and Larissa J. Schultz. From roundtable discussions on event technology to CMP-credit qualified sessions, you’ll walk away from the EMA inspired and equipped to take your events to the next level.

    Reason #3: Complimentary Working Vacation

    Event planning is one of the most stressful jobs and time is not something event planners give up lightly. That’s why the EMA is a sponsored event and attendance is offered at no cost to qualified planners, You only pay transportation and we’ll take care of the lodging, meals, and many fun activities. It’s our way of saying thank you for giving so generously of your time. While you are spending your time efficiently sourcing from numerous luxury properties, you can also take the time to experience and enjoy one of North America’s most elite destinations. This September’s EMA will be taking place at Paradisus Playa del Carmen in Quintana Roo, Mexico.

     

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    Take Your Events LiveThere is no denying that we live in a technology-dominated world, and, yet, the desire to meet face-to-face continues to prevail. Event producers can merge digital and in-person worlds by live streaming their events with social media. While live streaming isn’t a new concept, the traditional barriers to broadcasting have been torn down with the introduction of inexpensive equipment and software.  NBC said live streaming accounted for 225,000 to 500,000 viewers a night during their coverage of the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. People love live videos – they are one of the most engaging types of content on social media. Take your events live by incorporating any of these four social media channels into your event marketing toolbox:

    Facebook Live
    The “original” social media platform continues to evolve with the introduction of Facebook Live last August and rolled out to all users in April. As Mark Zuckerberg stated, “Live is like having a TV camera in your pocket. Anyone with a phone now has the power to broadcast to anyone in the world.” You can showcase the event experience from your perspective, field Q&A for breakout sessions, and keep a pulse on your how your event is resonating by using Live Reactions. If your audience is predominantly on Facebook, Live is most effective way to interact with virtual event attendees in real time.

    Periscope
    Before it was launched in March 2015, Twitter bought Periscope, a live streaming app that should be downloaded on every event marketer’s smartphone. It’s simple to use and you can dramatically increase the reach of your event with real-time footage and even generate new content. This could include sneak-peek interviews with speakers or behind-the-scenes backstage moments. Plus once a broadcast is over, others can watch a replay and share feedback for up to 24-hours. Make sure to save each of your broadcasts before the 24-hour mark so you can continue to promote and share online.

    Snapchat
    Popular among Millennials, and continuing to grow among other demographics, this video-messaging and storytelling app has become a social media trailblazer. At only four-years-old, Snapchat already has 150 million daily users and has surpassed Twitter’s daily active users. With Snapchat features, you can showcase the highlights of your event to virtual and in-person attendees. At the end of each event day, save your Story as a Memory and use that content in event recap emails or other social media channels to further extend the life of your event and drive future event registration.

    Instagram Stories
    Earlier this month, Instagram updated its photo-sharing app to include a real-time storytelling feature called Instagram Stories. Users can now take photos and videos, edit with text and drawing tools, and upload in a slideshow format that disappears after 24-hours (a near identical copy of Snapchat Stories). Posting an Instagram-worthy photo can be challenging, but, with Instagram Stories, the more authentic and informal the better. Event producers can keep their Instagram gallery picture-perfect while still being able to showcase and tell the real event experience through Instagram Stories.

     

    What is your favorite live streaming social media platform? Comment below and share – we’d love to hear from you! 


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    Social Media and Events

    You want your attendees actively posting to social media and using the mobile event app. These two besties can do wonders for your event marketing efforts and your onsite attendee engagement! However, finding new and creative ways to incorporate social media into your events can be challenging. As Cvent’s social media manager, I’m constantly researching new, fun ways to make social media an integral part of the event experience. So whether your event audience is full of social media novices or professional second-screen multi-taskers, I hope you’ll find these ideas helpful when planning how to incorporate social media into your next event!

    1. Networking Photo Challenge– Set tent cards around your networking event with different photo challenges. Not only does it serve as an ice breaker, it encourages attendees to get social! Make sure your hashtag is included on the challenges. Some examples to consider – “Take a photo with someone new you’ve just met!” “Take a photo with someone wearing the same color outfits as you.” “Take a photo with someone who shares your birthday month.”
    2. Larger than life hashtag – Who doesn’t love big signage? Give your attendees the perfect backdrop to their Instagram photo as well as a big reminder of what your event hashtag is. In fact, put the hashtag on all of your signage, branding and even on attendee name badges!
    3. Mirror Selfie Stations – Everyone will have to use the bathroom at some point. Bathrooms also tend to have exceptionally good lighting, perfect for taking selfies! Create removable stickers to brand the bathroom mirrors – especially full body ones – with your event hashtag, quote bubbles, or emojis.
    4. Mobile + Social = Besties – Best friends do everything together! Make sure to take advantage of all the ways a mobile app can enable the social experience. Prominently feature the event hashtag on your splash screen and banner ads. Use push notifications to remind attendees to share. Ensure all social icons are linked to your brand’s accounts as well as encourage speakers, attendees and exhibitors to link their social accounts to their event app profiles.
    5. Social Swag – Your event hashtag is almost as important as your brand’s logo when it comes to swag. Ensure it is on all swag items and consider giving out swag that encourages social behavior. Some ideas to consider – device chargers, “Tweet Me” / “Snap Me” stickers for name badges, selfie sticks, photo booth props, pens with stylus or hashtag temporary tattoos.
    6. SocialWall– Integrate the social content being generated by your attendees as part of your event design with SocialWall. This event technology displays the content on your event hashtag practically anywhere using a projection screen or TVs. Attendees sharing will get excited to see themselves on “the big screen” and attendees not participating will want to join in on the fun!  
    7. #GoodEats – Food and beverage are integral parts of your event planning process and people love to take photos of food! You can keep it simple by incorporating the event hashtag on napkins, glassware, or even on the food itself. Get more complex by hosting a “name this dish” contest or have attendees vote via a Twitter poll on what should be served at the after-party.
    8. Create Social Currency – Challenge your attendees to think of tweets as dollars and Instagram photos as upgrade passes. Set up a Twitter activated vending machine that dispenses whenever an attendee tweets a specific hashtag and username. Create a photo challenge that can only be completed on Instagram and once completed “unlocks” a pass upgrade for a VIP area.
    9. Interactive Polling – Stop asking attendees to raise their hands! Instead, launch in-app polls to instantly receive attendee feedback or facilitate a Q&A during breakout sessions. Try embedding real-time in-app poll results into presentations to create a more social event experience.
    10. #Help – Have a dedicated area where attendees can access social media and mobile experts for help with everything from stepping up a Twitter account to posting to Facebook from their mobile device. Hold an #AMA (Ask Me Anything) style in-person chat to answer questions for an audience that’s at various levels of social media savviness.

     

    Have other ideas on how to incorporate social media into your events? Post a comment below!