Archive for Association Management

From Likes to Followers: How to Increase Engagement at your Next Event

In the fall of 2004 I was a freshman at the University of Colorado at Boulder when rumblings of a new site were first being heard. My friends started to sign up for “The Facebook”, but I wasn’t sure if this site was worth my time. By January of 2005, I gave in to the peer pressure and never looked back. A lot has changed in these past twelve years – Facebook has grown from 1.2 million to 1.75 billion users, and the entire concept of social media has changed the way we communicate, connect, and consume.

When planning events for today’s young adults, you cannot lose sight of the importance of social media. But just having a feed is not enough. Just making a post is not enough. Just picking a hashtag is not enough. In today’s social media-centric landscape, how do you truly engage your conference attendees and increase followership? Here are ten tips to raise the bar and help your event connect like never before. Some may seem obvious, but the key to successful engagement is quality execution.

  1. Go Live: Plan to go live during a few key moments! Perhaps you go Facebook Live as registration begins, the doors to the general session open, or the new officer team is being announced. This engages those not in attendance so they feel a part of the event.
  2. Social Media Wall: There are lots of great options out there, but one we have used before is Tint. Have a station setup in a prime conference location that shows a feed of all the posts from your conference hashtag. Attendees will want to see their posts on the wall, and it becomes a great focal point for your event.
  3. Social Media Shoutouts: Use your general sessions as a moment to recognize attendees who have been posting on social media. Read a few tweets and share a few of your favorite posts onstage in front of everyone. This is a simple way to make your social media shoutout more fun and exciting for the attendees.
  4. Name Badge Ribbons: Attendees love ribbons on their name badges! Have ribbons printed for each social media network your organization is on, and have your leaders hand them out to attendees who can show that they like or follow your page.
  5. Hashtags: Be sure to have an event hashtag identified early and promote it leading up to the event and during the event. Not only does it create dialogue and foster conversation, it also helps you collect great feedback and user generated content! Pick a hashtag that is easy to remember and promote it everywhere you can.
  6. Personalize Content: Think about each network and how your users interact on that network. Your content should look different on Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Think creatively and have fun!
  7. Officer Handles: Do your officers want to engage with members more? Most likely, so make it easy for them! Promote your officer’s social media handles in the program and on screen during the general sessions.
  8. Raffle Prizes: Offer prizes exclusively through your social media channels! Promote them during the sessions, celebrate the winners, and recognize those who participate. But only offer the prizes through your desired social media channels so you are driving traffic where you want.
  9. Snapchat Geofilter: This one is a must for all youth-related events. Be sure to set up a geofilter for your event. Even better, create a few for different moments in the event! Maybe you have one primary conference geofilter, and then a special one for the awards session. Think of when your attendees will want to post the most, and customize geofilters for those moments!
  10. Conference Program: This may seem obvious, but it is not always utilized! The conference program is the number one resource attendees use for information on your event. Be sure to not just list your social media usernames in the program, but include each networks icons (we live in a visual world) and promote the hashtag.

Do you have more ideas? Share your ideas with me on Twitter (@teamtri_sean) and best of luck as you prepare for your upcoming event!

 

5 Tips for An Awesome Announcement!

Planning a successful announcement – whether it be for a new product, campaign, or initiative – can be challenging. In today’s crowded digital environment, there is a very real chance that your announcement may get lost in the noise if not planned and executed correctly.

Here are 5 tips for planning and implementing a successful announcement that is sure to get people talking.

1. Plan Ahead

In business, just as in life, planning ahead is crucial to success. When it comes to a big announcement, you will find it helpful to start early and map out exactly what steps need to be taken to roll out your announcement.

One great way to do this is to create a calendar with your team that outlines what and when things need to be done. Planning your campaign in a visual way not only helps you stay on track, but can serve as a way to keep the rest of your team on the same page with deadlines and deliverables.

 

what-success-really-looks-like

 

2. Be Innovative

By definition, innovation is achieving a result in a non-traditional way. When thinking about how to capture people’s attention for your announcement, don’t look too much at what others have done before. Instead, put yourself in your audience’s shoes by asking

  1. Which platforms do they use?
  2. When do they use them?
  3. How do they use them?
  4. What is likely to stand out and grab their attention?

 

By working backwards, you can tailor your specific strategies around their behaviors, thus increasing your chance of successfully getting your message in front of their eyes. If something hasn’t been tried before, maybe it should.

 

3. Create Anticipation

When Apple makes an announcement, they don’t just decide to host an event and hope that people will show up. Instead, they sent out cryptic invitations out ahead of time in hopes of creating a sense of anticipation.

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For an announcement, consider creating some teaser content that provides your audience with details about when the big reveal is.

 

In my work in the nonprofit world, Nevada DECA did just that before announcing their state theme.

When Samsung was preparing to announce their new line of innovative smartphone, which they dubbed “The Next Big Thing,” they provided popular bloggers and other tech influencers with an opportunity to test out the new product before it was announced to the public. The result was pivotal: positive reviews flooded the Internet the day of the launch, and people were motivated to get their hands on the phone.

 

When you are planning a big announcement, get a few members and advisors in on it by providing them some details and encouraging them to help spread the news.

5. Maintain Momentum

After the big announcement, don’t let the excitement fade away! Continue creating content that not only reminds people of what was announced but also continues the hype.

 

If you announced a state theme, include that theme in your future social media posts. If you rolled out your community service project, provide updates that remind people to take action. Whatever your big announcement is, concentrating on maintaining the excitement around it.

Good luck!

Leadership Defined! Part 1 of 5

What is leadership? There have been many articles written on this subject over the centuries and still there will be more. A couple of weeks ago I was recognized for over 20 years of service with an organization. In the process, I started to think about just what leadership was and how that definition worked into how I approached each task whether I was in a leadership position or a member of a group or activity.

Part 1:  It Takes Team Work

During my acceptance remarks I talked about team work playing a big part of what was accomplished during my time with the organization. We had a paid staff of two to carry out the organizations activities while also working with another group of equal size. Without a good team of volunteers, we could not have accomplished the tasks that were required.

Teams are in every situation of life. They start with the home and family. This is the most important team as we develop and start on the road of life. There are teams in the classroom and the playground.  Teams are at work and in social activities. Teams in every walk of life play an important role in the success that we achieve.

An effective team does not just happen; they are a combination of the right individuals, a well-defined mission and good leadership. Each team must have the proper balance of members with interest and experience in the area and those that are new to the group. The purpose of the team is to determine through its collective wisdom the best solution to reach a common challenge.

In Part 2 of the series “Leadership Defined,” Mr. Hall shares about the 22 Attributes of Good Leaders.

About Larry D. Hall

For over 20 years, Larry served as the Executive Director of Oregon DECA and Oregon FBLA-PBL including service as a National Board of Directors member from the Western Region for both organizations. He is recognized as an Honorary Life Member and mentor to many in both associations. He is known as a force for good, advancement, and multiplying leaders wherever he served. Long since retired, many of the initiatives, traditions, and lessons DECA and FBLA-PBL still have in practice today originated under his leadership in the 1980’s, 90’s and 2000’s. That’s great leadership! Email Larry at: lhall299@gmail.com

Image Credit: CMU.edu