Thursday, May 19
A big thanks goes to magazine Event Marketer for making the 2011 Event Marketing Summit a success. We look forward to next year and will share our favorite photos and highlights from the summit soon!
Wednesday, May 18
Day 3 at EMS: Cisco's keynote joins us virtually
Marilyn Mersereau, SVP, Corporate Marketing of Cisco, joined us virtually to discuss "The Human Network: What you see is what you get." I enjoyed this presentation because this was one organization that was able to visually exemplify how its internal staff used and promoted their brand each and every day, such as creating video data sheets for internal and customer use.
This presentation also reflected what EWI Worldwide talked about on Tuesday: That technology isn't intended to replace face-to-face communication or the sales process- it's there to enhance the connection between brands and their customers.
We're excited to see the Cisco brand dive further into mobile and social media, and I see the use of video technology becoming more widespread as it becomes universally accessible from different devices.
Wednesday, May 18
Day 3 at EMS: How to Create a Global Brand
Medical device company HeartWare, Inc.presented "One Voice, One Grand: Creating and Deploying Gobal 'Brand Standards.'" With locations around the world, thought this presentation would be relevant for how we create and implement international programs.
A lot of the key elements discussed were useful for any organization's brand strategy, and included the following steps: Understand, Collaborate, Develop, Deploy and Measure.
Seeking to understand is key with international audiences, and HeartWare accomplished this through surveys taken throughout the brand development process to see how images and language affected different markets. They did these surveys throughout the process to make sure the brand was headed in the right direction, which I thought was good insurance against having to change everything if it didn't work out at the end.
It also appeared that the way HeartWare fostered communication was also key to the process. Although they worked with several agencies worldwide on different marketing and collateral pieces, they took the time to truly invest in collaboration by flying people out to meet in person, and plan to reaffirm this commitment by meeting annually to do a "gut check" with the brand assets.
Most impressively, they were able to rebrand the entire company, essentially rewriting their "global playbook" in just 3 months.
Tuesday, May 17
Day 2 at EMS: Helping Innovations Come to Life
On Tuesday afternoon, Scott Belsky, the author of "Making Ideas Happen" (and #73 on Fast Company's list of the 100 most creative people in business), spoke to attendees about the key skills and work environment required to bring ideas to fruition based on interviews with the world's most innovative people and companies. Key takeaways:
- Innovation requires a balance between confidence in an idea and great project management skills, and this enthusiasm and discipline has to live within individuals, project teams and the organization's leadership team.
- The most effective teams, once an idea is decided upon, focus on a series of action items that make it possible to move forward and hold everyone accountable.
- "Incentivize innovation by tolerating failure."- Belsky
4:03 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, May 17
Our presentation has wrapped up! Thank you to everyone that joined us.
If you have any questions, please include them in the comments section- we'll be answering them LIVE until 5 p.m. CDT and after that point, will get back to you as soon as we can.
3:56 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, May 17
New key nerd term: Affordance (hint: it has nothing to do with affordability). Affordance is the human attraction to technology- how easy it is to use. It's the way technology can attract, observe, interact, focus. So important today when there is a huge gap in comfort levels with technology. It’s the house phone versus the iPhone.
3:50 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, May 17
Andy: Technology is CRM on steroids. Technology can give insight and understanding into the customer's behavior and can allow your customer to take the technology home with them- "outside the walls" of your booth or event.
3:27 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, May 17
Suzanne: When it comes to technology, think about the application. Events need to be intuitive, engaging, cross-cultural and memorable for customers/clients; technology can enhance the experience.
3:22 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, May 17
Andy Austin and Suzanne Wells Miell of EWI Worldwide have taken the stage in Columbus AB. Getting ready to talk about digital gesture technology- where it's been, where it's going and how it can form a bond between customers and brands.
1 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, May 17
Day 2 at EMS: "Authenticity, Transparency & Dialogue are Everything." –Delta/MKG
During "The Passion Point Matrix: Engage, Involve, Experience" session by Delta, they shared with the audience how, upon emerging from bankruptcy, they decided to market the airline company to the New York market and within it, high-end consumers. Through a combination of key partnerships and sponsorships (a "shopping spree" according to presenters), Delta decided to make their brand all about giving customers a better brand experience (read: Make every Delta-sponsored event that much better), starting in NYC. Delta said these key partnerships set the stage for turning intangible sponsor benefits into tangible customer results.
I thought this was a great example of how one company has targeted a very specific local market (New York) in which it could accomplish key sales (a 1 percent gain in this market equals millions) within a very specific market segment (first class fliers). Through a combination of high-end brand experiences through food and wine festivals, engaging customers and prospects during celebrity sports events and spreading this technique regionally, Delta has been working to build a high-touch, high end customer experience- on and off the ground.
8:30 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, May 17
Day 1 at EMS: Bollywood, flash mobs and one tiny car.
While I wish I could float in and out of sessions all day at the Event Marketing Summit, on Day 1 I decided to focus on two sessions that piqued my personal interest: “Full-time Digital + Live,” presented by Ford, and “Creating Flash Mobs,” presented by the Independent Film Channel and The Michael Alan Group.
While one would think that these were two different topics, they had one common denomination: The grassroots experience they provided to customers.
Starting with Full-time Digital + Live, Ford’s Jeff Eggen presented their campaign, The Fiesta Movement, where they engaged 100 social media influencers (called “agents”) to help build buzz before the Fiesta would hit American soil, a full seven months before the campaign.
A few things that I liked about The Fiesta Movement:
- Ford thought local in a big way: When you think about building nationwide buzz, 100 on-the-ground “agents” doesn’t seem like a lot. But, by bringing them together before the launch and choosing a group that had a large social media following, Ford was able to create a unique social community and extended their brand organically from 100 points of interest.
- The Fiesta Movement was multi-channel from the start. Yes, it had social media “stars” but it combined their star power with well-known brands in a big way. By bringing together artists, experiences and publications—such as Lonely Planet—they set the platform for the brand to live on beyond the shelf life social media can sometimes have.
- Social media didn’t replace the traditional product launch, and it didn’t eat up the budget. However, it showed great impact: According to Ford, the Fiesta had 59% brand awareness after building buzz for seven months.
Next session: Flash mobs and Bollywood (here is the flash mob the presenters organized). The speakers at this session took a straw poll, and it turned out that only one person in the room had ever participated in a flash mob (of 50 or so attendees). These odds are staggering. However, despite the fact that the tactic feels pretty fresh to the event marketing world, based on what the room had to say, it does have its possibilities. A few tidbits from that session:
- Flash mobs are a good way to “surprise and delight” consumers, and it’s a good way to play with prospects in their own playground... But tread carefully. The flash mobs that don’t succeed are those that try to over-brand the event or don’t tie it in organically with the brand. Simple example: A coordinated pillow fight is not for everyone.
- Flash mobs last minutes, but their reach can spread far beyond that venue and who was there. Utilize video, social media and press to spread the message and in some cases, you can more than triple impressions.
- Don’t leave it to the amateurs. Flash mobs can run away from an organizer- and quickly- if information is not controlled and sent out to the right audience.
While these grassroots campaigns had big results, it seems to be most successful in the consumer space—for now. Since flash mobs are typically geographically limited, it can only impact so many at a time, but that doesn’t mean that other industries can’t get in on the fun. Final say: Flash mobs have a lot of possibilities for brave marketers with substantial budgets and I’m excited to see where other industries—automotive, b2b, healthcare, etc.—take it.
1 p.m. ET, Friday, May 13
We'll be live blogging our experiences at the Event Marketing Summit
in Chicago, starting Monday, May 16. Stay tuned here for updates throughout the summit and during our presentation on Digital Engagements Tuesday, May 17 starting at 3:15 p.m. CDT in the Grand Ballroom (read below for more details on that presentation
and how to attend our Webinar
Thanks in advance for tuning in!