The Localist Blog

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Virtual Reality Headset

2016 was touted as the year virtual reality (VR) would take off, and by many measures, it has. The technology was a hit at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) last January and has since trickled into almost every industry and marketing facet, including event marketing.

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Social Media Marketing

Students are on social media.  These days, that’s a given.  From the start of the college search process to daily interactions with friends and family, platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and more are a regular part of their lives.  In 2012, 72 percent of incoming high school seniors reportedly researched prospective colleges on social media, a number that has doubtless gone up in the intervening time as social networks have become more ubiquitous.

But how can you engage with students on social media once they’re already enrolled?  Believe it or not, events represent the perfect opportunity to not only speak to your current students, but attract prospective ones, in addition to furthering the goals of your event itself and boosting event attendance.

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What is the Experience Economy?

Event - blog

Back in 1998, the Harvard Business Journal coined the term “Experience Economy” in their article on how more people are spending their money on experiences instead of commodities. Since then, we’ve been barraged as a society with scientific evidence that, in order to be happy, it’s not so much about what we own, as what we do and how we do it.  

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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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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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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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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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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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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 →

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 →

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