July 15, 2016

The best advice I ever got as an #eventprof

Posted By : Padraic Gilligan / 0 Comments / UNDER : feature friday, eventprofs

I recently received a beautiful gift. It’s a turntable or what used to be called a record player. It allows me, now and again, to dust down my precious vinyl from the 70s. I get to listen to well-worn, scratched and cracked records like Carole King’s Tapestry, Jackson Browne’s Late for the Sky or John Denver’s (remember him?) Poems and Prayers and Promises, the title track of which opens with the following works:

I’ve been lately thinking about my life’s time
All the things I’ve done and how it’s been …

Denver’s cogent couplet prompted a reflection on my own quarter of a century in the Meeting Industry and set me thinking about key milestones along the way – people who helped me, episodes that shaped my way of thinking, experiences that taught me valuable lessons.

Stock Taking

Taking stock, calculating your personal P&L, doing a balance statement on your life or career achievements all become more and more important as you get older – not unlike your new found focus on pension entitlements or your greater understanding of the need for a good healthcare package. But, of course, linking your life or career to the cold sterility of a balance sheet is unhelpful in the extreme as so much of your “value” is genuinely intangible, off the balance sheet, locked up in what the Irish poet Patrick Kavanagh called “the bits and pieces” of everyday work and life. But it’s still important to do the checks and balances.

Amidst my checks and balances a number of phrases floated to the surface. These are phrases linked to key insights that I gained over the past 25 years. Some were easy wins, nuggets of wisdom dispensed randomly, gratuitously, often unknowingly over the arc of a business life. Some, on the other hand, were hard fought insights, the result of painful experiences, embarrassing, bitter lessons. For what they’re worth, here are some:

No. 1 – Don’t look at the colour of the badge

Often in the Meetings Industry, at Association events or Trade Shows, we like to label or colour code each other as buyers or suppliers, the assumption being that it facilitates networking. And, of course, it does nothing of the sort bringing out the prowling predator on the supplier side and the rude and arrogant elitist on the side of the buyer. As someone who has played on both sides of the fence (to coin a phrase) I’ve attended events where I was either summarily ignored or savagely assailed. My own approach has always been to ignore the colour on the badge. Engage with everyone, irrespective of where they’re placed on the spectrum. Sometimes your best leads come from other suppliers. Sometimes your best suppliers become your best buyers. Look people in the eye and value them for who they are, not what they do.

No. 2 – Only do what only you can do

When @Supergreybeard and I started Delaney Marketing in 1994 we both did everything (and therein our fatal flaw as we were both useless at figures!) As we grew from 2 people to 60 people we were joined by functional experts in Finance, Administration, HR etc and needed a more focused, targeted approach. At an Advisory Board meeting for IHG hotels I picked up this brilliant piece of advice from Andrew Cosslett (now CEO of Fitness First): 

July 12, 2016

Quick Tip Tuesday July 12th

Posted By : Stefan Markovich / 0 Comments / UNDER : marketing, startup, quicktip

Being in a startup there are many things we have learned that have made our lives better and easier. Every Tuesday we will share a quick tip that has significantly affected our operations!

July 11, 2016

Motivation Monday July 11th

Posted By : Stefan Markovich / 0 Comments / UNDER : motivation, quotes

Let’s face it, it’s Monday and you’re already counting down the hours until Friday evening like “In 2 hours, I’ll only have 4 hours of work left today. Which will already be 20% of the work week!” We want to help you flip that and make Monday your favorite day of the week. Here are some things we have found inspiring or motivational.

July 07, 2016

My take on event ROI – with a focus on event apps (of course)

Posted By : Josh Dry / 0 Comments / UNDER : liveevents, conference, meetings, apps

I presented on event ROI last week with my colleagues (check out the Blab recording if you missed it!) and came to the conclusion that events don’t have ROI, stakeholders do.

And for me, the biggest stakeholder we all have…is the planet. We owe Mother Nature something pretty huge, right?! So as you can tell, I personally am a big fan of sustainable technologies. Now it may be the hippy in me, or it may be the optimist in me - but when I began working for ShowGizmo 5 years ago, I thought that pushing the fact that event apps were providing ROI by reducing printing, saving trees and the environment would be jumped at…but to my surprise, It wasn’t. Understandably event organisers need to focus on the short term, and as much as it pains me, money is more measurable than paper waste.

But, as the world's first event app to guarantee uptake of at least 50%; I’m OK about this now. Our promise means event organisers can confidently reduce their printing by 50%. This can be a significant cost saving for many events, especially those with conference handbooks handed out to all event attendees. We're now working with clients in their 4th/5th year of utilising event apps, with strong comms channels and an educated audience are getting close to 100% uptake and going paperless!

Close on the priority list, after the planet, are our event sponsors. Event sponsors are always looking for the latest opportunities to leverage their sponsorship at events; given we look at our phones on average 85 times a day it’s easy to see that event apps have multiple opportunities to offer sponsorship throughout them: Banner ads, offering sponsors the opportunity for priority listings, sending out notifications, getting their logo into sessions or full streams, on live polling results pages or on any badges or exhibitor barcodes to be scanned by the app.

All of these instances are perfectly measurable as organisers can provide impressions and clicks back to the sponsors via pulling reports from an event app’s dashboard. Not only can organisers offer these opportunities to multiple sponsors but they can cover the whole license cost with an official event app sponsor, and package together all these opportunities to get the entire app sponsored.

And now to brass tacks. Money talks. So spend less and that’s the easiest way to increase the ROI ratio! (OK, I’m awesome at events, apps, sports but not so much maths…!)

But joking aside, as the power of smartphones and subsequently event apps has increased they have now taken over all other technologies you used to see at an event (like microphones!!!). With the uploading of individual tickets into event apps, separate ticketing apps are now obsolete. At trade shows or expos, exhibitor scanners or trackers are being replaced by rear facing cameras on smartphones that an individual owns and knows how to use. No need for investing in Twitter walls or social feeds as event apps include these. Live polling handset - replaced by live polling in-app features… and now, even microphones are getting replaced. We partner with Crowd Mics, an app that allows event attendees to use the in-built mics in their phones to ask questions of the speaker over the AV system via the magic of Wifi integration.

All of these technologies have associated costs, and if working with multiple vendors, a significant investment in time is also necessary - something we all know we event organisers do not have a lot of. All of these technologies can be replaced for one event app.

So covering the monetary cost of your investment is important. But, it is not only monetary returns - there is obvious intrinsic values associated with having an event app in play for your event. When done well there are so many values being added to your event; being positioned as innovative, prestigious, sustainable as well as increasing the shelf life of your event, increasing the reach of your content and increasing interaction and engagement at your event.  If people are choosing fewer events to attend, they’re going to want to choose the best ones, that meet their need to engage and network and have fun.  They’ll want yours, the one with the event app!

Through our 5 years of providing event apps to all types of events all around the world, we have seen a titanic increase in event app adoption.  We have seen the trends move from using our ShowGizmo ‘off the shelf’ event app to wanting branded apps that can host all of a company, venue or association’s events for years at time.  This long term commitment to mobile interactions shows that the ROI potential of event apps continues to be better understood so keep doing what you’re doing! 



Josh Dry of Showgizmo, Business Development Manager

 I'm a typical easy-going Kiwi who enjoys all sport, going barefoot whenever possible and the occasional beer. I think my friends would (hopefully) describe me as enthusiastic, sociable and having a range of different skills.

I'm a graduate of Otago University with a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Marketing, Management and Psychology. During my time as a student I founded an online service for students enabling them to more easily file their tax returns (Student Tax Returns). I was then co-founder of an online ticketing company (1-night.co.nz) before joining the ShowGizmo team. My strengths are in helping event organisers make their events more engaging and successful. I also enjoy event marketing — putting together two Event Camps, one in Australia and the other in the Middle East, has been a great experience. While both were physical events, they also attracted online audiences from around the world.

Putting together social media strategies, is intuitive to me and I constantly monitor event professionals' channels to stay ahead of trends in technology and social marketing. I'm enjoying representing ShowGizmo as a speaker on Social Media, Marketing for Events and the Evolution of Event Apps.

I'm inspired by the concept of sustainable businesses and innovative technologies of all sorts, which is why I love working for ShowGizmo; a young, innovative technology, which is sustainable. I get a buzz out of being part of a young New Zealand business that's taking its technology to events around the world and proving that distance is no barrier to countries like ours sitting right on the edge of the world.

Favourite websites: Kiva, Shock Mansion, and Facebook (sadly)

July 05, 2016

Quick Tip Tuesday - July 5th (Kevin Durant inspired)

Posted By : Stefan Markovich / 0 Comments / UNDER : legacy, basketball, hardwork, quicktip, crowdmics

Being in a startup there are many things we have learned that have made our lives better and easier. Every Tuesday we will share a quick tip that has significantly affected our operations!

June 28, 2016

Quick-Tip Tuesday June 28th

Posted By : Stefan Markovich / 0 Comments / UNDER : relationship building, event, quicktip

Being in a startup there are many things we have learned that have made our lives better and easier. Every Tuesday we will share a quick tip that has significantly affected our operations! 

June 27, 2016

Motivation Monday June 27th

Posted By : Stefan Markovich / 0 Comments / UNDER : motivation, quotes

Let’s face it, it’s Monday and you’re already counting down the hours until Friday evening like “In 2 hours, I’ll only have 4 hours of work left today. Which will already be 20% of the work week!” We want to help you flip that and make Monday your favorite day of the week. Here are some things we have found inspiring or motivational.

June 24, 2016

Event Seating: 3 Reasons Why It’s Really the Foundation for Your Event

Posted By : Laura Lopez / 0 Comments / UNDER : events, classroom, educate, banquet, theater, seating, network

Seating: it’s one of the cornerstones to any event but sometimes isn’t given its due credit for helping you to simultaneously achieve both your attendees’ and event’s goals. But think of seating under this lens: imagine you’re at a gala, an association meeting, or a speaker event and they all shared a few things in common. The seats were too close together, your sightlines were blocked, or you were too far away to hear anything well. How important does seating sound now?

June 23, 2016

Throwback Thursday June 23rd

Posted By : Stefan Markovich / 0 Comments / UNDER : marketing, startup, throwback thursday, communication
A throwback photo here of when we shot our YouTube commercial. If you go to our YouTube channel and watch this commercial, you will get the impression that the auditorium is much more filled than it actually is as you can see in this photo. We want to thank all those that helped two years ago in shooting this video! You all did a great job! We are lucky to have such a great community around us. Shooting the video took longer than expected but we were more than pleased with the result of it. Hopefully next time we can hire some actors to work alongside us for the next commercial. Anyone have the contact information to Ryan Gosling or Jennifer Lawrence?
June 21, 2016

Quick Tip Tuesday June 21st

Posted By : Stefan Markovich / 0 Comments / UNDER : productivity, email, quicktip, schedule

Being in a startup there are many things we have learned that have made our lives better and easier. Every Tuesday we will share a quick tip that has significantly affected our operations!