March’s MTO Summit in Chicago still has me thinking about some of the interesting perspectives that were shared during the conference. Here are some of the ideas that made me sit up a little straighter in my chair.
- Event organizers aren’t necessarily interested in the new sponsorship opportunities (too many already) available with mobile apps.
- Organizers prefer to work with trusted advisors (their registration contractor or general contractor) even if those advisors know little about the application they are selling.
- Organizers want technology providers to partner with each other to come up with a combined solution (instead of the one-off apps and devices that do separate things).
Taking a cue from affiliate marketers, organizers can leverage existing exhibitors and attendees using badges or contextual links (with promo codes) embedded in emails specially-designed for them to send to their clients and colleagues. When the codes are used, the exhibitor or attendee (affiliate) gets credit/cash/incentives.
In a wrap-up session on attendee acquisition, R.D. Whitney of Tarsus Online Media summarized our breakout group’s findings (from an unusual camera angle because I was trapped by other group members). Check out the video where he discusses the use of complex search streams, Webinars, affiliate programs, guest passes, requiring speakers to participate in community discussions, public relations SEM, contests with flip video, Twitter, and virtual events as attendee acquisition tools.
Mark Ragan sparked a lively (somewhat controversial discussion) about mining the Internet for prospects. Using software from Broadlook, event organizers can “scrape” (not my metaphor) the Internet for contacts and email addresses and then feed prospects with daily e-newsletters (which they can opt out of). Such a practice creates brand awareness and a level of familiarity with the prospect that opens the door for future “offers.”
The data mining controversy stemmed from the idea of “pushing” information (one man’s info is another man’s spam) out rather than the social media principal of attracting interest with cool content and then creating a two-way conversation based on mutual interests.
With discussion about large events shrinking to bring a more personalized experience to the trade show and conference floor, the idea of a distributed event was intriguing. Social Media Week debuted in New York in February 2009. It is a global platform for connectivity, collaboration and learning about emerging trends and interesting social media topics, says Toby Daniels, the conference founder. Venues were spread all over the city (and later, all over the globe), with each host creating a different “experience” for attendees. Daniels explains how it worked in this clip.