Sponsorship: From Uninspiring To Really Mattering

2014.03.21_130424 Image of Positive Mindset Affirmations on Making a Difference

When attendees interact with your sponsors, do they feel marginalized or like they really matter? Are you forcing your sponsors’ messages on your conference attendees or helping sponsors offer insights that attendees may actually value? Remember That Last Event You Attended Think back to an event that you attended. Quick: Do you remember any of the sponsors? Who were they and why do you remember them? Did you get something unexpected, participate in something memorable, or were you … [Read more...]

7 Fundamental Ways To Drastically Improve Conference Breakouts

2014.02.25_Edge Conference at Google New York

Concurrent sessions, often known as breakouts, are the meat and potatoes of conferences. They are also one of the most difficult areas for your continuous improvement efforts. In many associations, volunteers vet submissions, decide topics and select speakers for their annual meeting’s concurrent sessions. While well intentioned, volunteer committees rarely are equipped with a big-picture view of 21st-century adult-learning trends. Seven Improvement Trends For Breakouts This past summer, … [Read more...]

Proving Conference Emotional Marketing Sponsor Spend

2014.01.14_Self Portrait with Glass

Exhibit-booth footprints are shrinking across nearly every industry. The Good News There is a silver lining though: the opportunity to develop fruitful strategic partnerships. Just be ready to prove why a sponsor’s dollars are well spent on your organization. The Bad News More companies are demonstrating their products and services via digital technology rather than face-to-face events. That’s the bad news for your convention’s revenue-diversification model. Proving Sponsorship … [Read more...]

Time To Reboot Your Conference And Event Marketing


Is your event and conference marketing like this… We’d love for you to attend our open house. There will be 99 dishes, 15 colors of napkins, seating for 75, and two buffet tables. Five speakers will present 15 minutes each while you watch in amazement. I bet you can’t wait! If yes, it’s time to reboot your conference and event marketing. Marketing By The Numbers If your marketing materials stress the numerical features of your conference: how long it has been around how many CEUs one … [Read more...]

Engaging Conference Attendees At Hello Results In Big Rewards

2013.11.22_Five Fingers for Seven Notes

Are you looking for ways to improve your conference attendee loyalty? If yes, and I’m sure you are, here’s an effective strategy: Integrate a deliberate on-boarding effort for new attendees into your attendance-marketing plan. Master this and you’ll receive big rewards! First Time Attendee Trend Our industry is experiencing an interesting trend with the increase of first-timers at annual conferences. According to Exhibit Surveys Inc., the all-show average for first-time attendees has … [Read more...]

The Sponsorship Whisperer Builds Trust With Each Encounter

Path in the woods

Horse whisperers move carefully, listen intently, and earn trust through each encounter, even with the most unruly of horses. And there's a lot they can teach us about sponsorship sales. Many conferences struggle with flat or declining revenue from exhibitors and sponsors. For some, it’s because their attendees don’t have enough buying influence or authority. If your event attracts the right attendees, on the other hand, you have an opportunity to strategically grow sponsorship … [Read more...]

Three Conference Speaker Ahas You Need to Know

2013.11.06_Jess Scully  TEDxSydney 2013

How does your conference speaker selection process compare to other organizations? What’s working and what isn’t when it comes to selecting and securing industry and professional speakers? The Use Of Professional And Industry Speakers The past summer, Velvet Chainsaw partnered with Tagoras, a leading market research and consulting company for learning, to survey conference professionals about their use of speakers for our second speaker report. This research was initially conducted in … [Read more...]

Budget Benchmarking Drives Smarter Conference Spend Decisions


It's budget planning season for many meeting professionals. Many are poring over spreadsheets, as they seek out creative ways to do more with less. The burning question: What items can be trimmed without negatively impacting the attendee experience. One of the tools we like to use when we look at how to stretch a meeting budget is Convene's 22nd Annual Meetings Market Survey. If a planner is going to make cuts in some expense areas, benchmark data is critical to ground those decisions. … [Read more...]