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All About Near Field Communication

Circuit Board

What’s hot on the radar these days for event technology? It’s called NFC (Near Field Communication), and it’s changing the way people interact at events. Why? For starters, it makes things more fun for attendees. Plus, it’s an incredible data management and payment tool. Interested? Let’s find out more.

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Tips to Keep Your University Top of Mind

Chairs - blog

As we move through the fall, marketers at universities and colleges around the globe are contemplating how to attract the best and brightest to their institutions. This often means different things to different schools – some may simply want the most elite scholastic applications, while others may be trying to cultivate a specific culture on campus; many will also be working to correct imbalanced student bodies by targeting specific demographics more aggressively than others.

No matter what your goals are for this year’s application cycle, there are four key tactics you can take to not only make sure that your target audience is aware of your school and what it offers, but that they have a holistic user experience that will entice them to apply – and enroll.

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Gamification: The Next Big Thing in Events

Game - blog

Who doesn’t like games? Gamification is the hottest new innovation in event planning. For those that want to engage, entertain and inform their audience, games are sure to deliver. Let’s take a look at what all the hubbub’s about.

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Your Event Content is Content Marketing: Optimize It!

CMS - blog

It’s no secret that smart digital marketing can help boost your student recruitment efforts. But how can you boost your own marketing activities from “good” to “great?”

Enter Content Marketing

The current darling of both marketers and search engines alike, content marketing is a leading way to improve your marketing and recruiting activities.  It improves your site traffic, boosts organic search rankings (SEO) and increases conversion potential. Not convinced? Consider this: content marketing costs 62 percent less than traditional marketing, but generates approximately 3x as many leads.

Actually implementing a content marketing strategy, however, can be daunting, not to mention time- and resource-consuming. You’re not alone in this feeling; 44 percent of marketers say that content production is their biggest challenge, and 64 percent of B2B content marketers say their biggest challenge is producing enough content.  If you’re already hosting events on your campus, however, you have a leg up: event content is perfect for content marketing. After all, your event IS content!  

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Ensuring Your Event Gets the Maximum Social Shares

Full screen of social media icons

Events of any kind are, by definition, a welcome break from the everyday routine. They’re special, notable, (hopefully) enjoyable and something to talk about. And where are your attendees most likely to share their experiences at your event? This should be a no-brainer in 2016: social media! If done correctly, an event can yield hundreds to thousands of tweets, posts, updates, ‘grams and snaps.

However, the amount of online buzz generated will depend not only on how much you promote your event, but how well. You’ll need to ensure that not only are the right eyes seeing your material, but that it’s presented in a way that encourages sharing – whether that relies on being funny, inspiring, beautiful or even upsetting (this last one is more likely for social causes than corporations).

Here’s how to play your cards right to make sure you max out the social media potential of your next event:

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Using Your Event Calendar to Boost Recruitment

Calendar with date circled

Let’s face it – most universities offer English 101 and Principles of Chemistry. When choosing schools, prospective students often look beyond coursework to the more ephemeral things that will impact their college experience. What is the football team’s record? How impressive are your faculty and alumni? Will there be others on campus of the same religion, race and socioeconomic status?

In the race to pick a school, your campus life and demographics are often one of the deciding factors. So how can you share a representative sample of the activity happening on campus? How can you let them explore events until they find the one that speaks to their athletic, social or academic heart?  

This is where your event calendar comes in. Your campus has its own personality and its own benefits – whether that’s diversity of student groups, top notch lectures or a social life that can’t be beat. An event calendar showcases how unique your school is, and helps you stand out from the competition. In addition, the right event calendar can help you boost site traffic, improve your SEO rankings and enable you to share or repurpose your existing content without expending the time and effort to create new materials.   Read the rest of the post →

Top 5 Trends in Experiential Marketing

Audience raises hands at concert

In the age of the experience economy, it’s become more important than ever to tell your story through action.  A 2014 Eventbrite survey found that since 1987, the share of consumer spending on live experiences and events relative to total U.S. consumer spending has increased 70%.  An experiential approach to promotion provides brands with an opportunity for creative storytelling and immersive marketing, all while allowing customers to get out and experience a brand’s personality and values for themselves.  It’s a win-win situation – participants walk away with an event to talk about, share, and reflect on (and a nascent association of a good experience with a brand), while the organizations behind each event gain customers and visibility.

But what does it mean to do experiential marketing?  Who’s on the cutting edge, and how did they get there?  Here, we explore 5 top trends in the industry.  Whether you’re new to these tactics or old-hat at experiential marketing, read on to find out how your events shape up against competitors:    Read the rest of the post →

There’s Still Time! 5 Higher Education Events Not to Miss in 2016

educause conference
Image credit: EDUCAUSE 2014

Are you still looking for that perfect conference to attend this year? Check out our top picks for this year’s events that are not to be missed.

The best news, you still have time to attend!

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Top 20+ Event Apps & Interactive Tools

event apps
Image credit: Safari Books Online

Looking for new ways to leverage your event interaction? Then check out these 20+ innovative event apps and interactive tools. Keep your audience engaged before, during, and after the buzzer sounds. Share the love!

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How to Build a Swag Bag That Converts

swag bag hero
Image credit: Columbia Fashion Week

The goal of swag is to inspire attendees of your event to make your brand a part of their life. By adding a little piece of branding to their normal routine, it’s more likely that they’ll think of your company when they’re in need of your services. It’s critical that you pick items that will not only entertain and impress, but convert.
PPAI research has confirmed, year after year, that the right swag increases sales.

But how do you choose? Isn’t it all up to personal preference? Well, not really. A huge aspect of creating a great, memorable swag bag is knowing your audience, and knowing what they’ll most likely find valuable. However, this can be a challenge, especially when compared to the average event budget, where swag bags often only get the leftovers. What’s an event planner to do?

We’re here to help; here are our top rules for creating swag bags your attendees will love, share, and keep:

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