Use YouTube to Create Pre-Event Hype

Use YouTube to Create Pre-Event Hype


There’s no shortage of ways to promote your event in the months, weeks, and days leading up to the date.  Naturally, you’ll want to create pre-event hype to attract attendees and get them excited about the event, and this could include tactics like prominent placement on your corporate website or even setting up a dedicated website for the event, email marketing, online advertising, and of course, outreach through social media channels.

If you’re not yet using YouTube, you’re missing a major opportunity to connect with prospective event attendees in engaging and meaningful ways.  Says Annie Fernandez, Director of Marketing at AMI, “They say a picture is worth a thousand words because it can convey information so much more quickly than text or verbal communication.  Video offers even greater engagement and generates over 1000% more shares than text and images combined.”

In other words, it’s important to add video content to your plan for pre-event hype, and YouTube has the advantage of offering a free platform for promotion.  Of course, you still have to use it right if you want to see results.  Working closely with reputable and experienced event management experts like the professionals at American Meetings, Inc. (AMI) can put you on the right path.  Here are just a few ways to use YouTube to create pre-event hype.

Brainstorm Content Strategy with Your Event Company

It’s important to post videos pertaining to your event, but if you want to inspire major hype (not to mention sharing) you have to post the right content.  This means brainstorming with your event company to come up with content that highlights your event, contributes to your brand image, and encourages engagement and sharing.

This is no easy feat, but there are a couple of strategies to explore.  The place to start is by using the tools you already have in place, such as notable event speakers.  With short interview segments, you could tease topics and content for your event, just for example.

From there you can work in SEO to spread and track videos thanks to hashtags and embeds.  You can ask featured personalities to share their videos through their own social media pages, hitting their followers and a much broader audience than your company might normally enjoy.

You could also go a different route and create viral video campaigns that are funny or mysterious to pique the interest of viewers.  Or you could personalize your event by featuring employees in videos.  Such tactics will depend largely on your brand image and what you’re comfortable with.  You have to strike a balance between grabbing attention and staying true to your culture and ideals.  The right event management company should be able to help you come up with a winning strategy for suitable content.

Coordinate Marketing Efforts Across Channels

YouTube is an incredible platform for promotion and hype, but getting the most out of your marketing strategy means taking a multi-channel approach that pairs video content with advertising and other social media efforts.  At the very least, you need to push your content with links, images, and teasers through your other social media channels, including Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and so on.

Coordinated efforts could go much further, though, when you create complementary content that encourages users to go down a rabbit hole, so to speak, as they are shuttled onward to additional content.  This could be as easy as adding outbound links to your website and other social media pages in your video content.  The point is to work with your event company to find ways to create immersive marketing campaigns that center on your video content.

Boost Engagement with Proper Planning and Event Management

The problem with hyping your event is that you actually have to deliver on your promises.  A great way to do this is to plan promotions that segue into event activities, as well as encourage participation every step of the way.

Consider crowdsourcing videos.  You can start by creating your own video content and then challenging viewers to make it their own, so to speak.  Take a cue from phenomena like the ice bucket challenge or the many dance challenges that have sprung up over the years (Harlem Shake, dabbing, etc.).  Get creative with ideas for videos that lead into topics or activities featured at your event, so that attendees can become engaged and begin participating in advance.

An experienced event management company like AMI can help you come up with strategies and integrate platforms to create a unique marketing plan designed to hype your event.  With the right video content and promotion through YouTube, you can get attendees excited well in advance of the actual event.

What Is Crowd sourcing and How Do You Use It for Event Planning?

What Is Crowd sourcing and How Do You Use It for Event Planning?


One of the greatest quandaries for many brands is how to get information from consumers. How can companies connect and engage with consumers in order to find out how they feel about the brand and what would make them happy, satisfied, and more likely to exhibit repeat patronage and make trusted recommendations to their family and friends?

Getting people to fill out traditional surveys can be like pulling teeth. Even though modern technologies have added considerable convenience, allowing for delivery of surveys through email or social media and providing for easy click-through to online surveys, still it can be difficult to get apathetic participants to pull the trigger, so to speak. This makes getting feedback and insight a hit-or-miss proposition.

What if there was a way for hosts and event management companies to reach and engage an audience in the planning stages of an event in order to find out exactly what attendees want? This would give you the ability to deliver a superior experience and ensure overall satisfaction with every meeting, conference, or event you host.

As it turns out, there is an option available to you that you might not know about: crowdsourcing. If you’re at all familiar with companies like Kick-starter, you’re probably aware of crowdfunding, by which startups present an idea for a product to the public and allow them to vote on its relative bankability with their consumer dollars.

Crowdsourcing is similar, except the currency of note is information. What, exactly, is crowdsourcing and how can it be used by your corporation or event company to improve future events? Here’s what you need to know.

What is Crowdsourcing?
Put simply, crowdsourcing is a means of gathering information from the public. The word is a portmanteau of “crowd” and “outsourcing”. Modern communications technology, mainly the internet, makes it easy to reach a vast audience in order to solicit input for tasks. One incredible example of this principle at work is Wikipedia. This online compendium of knowledge has been created entirely by crowd input.

Crowdsourcing Benefits in Event Management
There are plenty of ways to use crowdsourcing to improve your event, and your event management company can almost certainly make suggestions that help you meet your goals. You might ask event attendees and prospective guests to suggest and/or vote on topics of discussion, activities, and speakers for your event. You could even open up a sort of contest for attendees to suggest panel discussions, with the opportunity for those with suggestions approved by the crowd to lead the panel, just for example.

Says Josie Rubio, Director of HR and Global Acquisition at AMI “Crowdsourcing is a great way to get audience suggestions, gauge interest in topics and speakers, and increase overall participation and engagement. It can even become a form of gamification. When attendees are involved in the process of planning the event, they’re more invested in the outcome.”

Event Company Controls
You don’t want to find yourself in a situation where the inmates are running the asylum. When you introduce the concept of crowdsourcing, you should do so with the understanding that participants might come up with ideas you haven’t anticipated, and they may not be appropriate, relevant, or ultimately useful for your meeting or event.

Back in 2012, Bratislava thought it would be fun to crowdsource the name of a new pedestrian and cycling bridge, allowing the public to create and upvote names. Unfortunately, someone jokingly submitted the name “Chuck Norris”, which garnered over 12,000 votes during the 2-month polling period and won. The city ultimately chose a more suitable name (the Freedom Cycling-Bridge), but this example aptly demonstrates the potential pitfalls of crowdsourcing minus controls.

If you want to open the floor to suggestions and let participants vote, make sure you and your event company reserve the right to eliminate inappropriate or irrelevant suggestions, and ultimately, to choose the suggestions that best suit the meeting or event you’re planning. Your goal is to provide value to event attendees, and while crowdsourcing can certainly help to deliver new ideas and encourage engagement, you still have to keep a steady hand on the reins.

Let’s go back to the example of Wikipedia. Although anyone can enter information, it is open to review by moderators and the community, and when information is uncited and unconfirmed, it is noted so that readers understand it may not be accurate. Implementing the right parameters can ensure that you and your event company maintain control of your event.

When you partner with a reputable and experienced event management company like American Meetings, Inc. (AMI), you have the best opportunity to explore the strategies, technologies, and logistics that are going to elevate every meeting and event.

Get Strategic to Maximize Your 2019 NGLCC Conference Experience

Get Strategic to Maximize Your 2019 NGLCC Conference Experience

Almost 1,500 supplier diversity, procurement, LGBT-owned and other professionals will be participating in the 2019 National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) International Business & Leadership Conference, August 13-16, in Tampa, FL. The event will be hosted at the Tampa Convention Center which is connected directly to the Embassy Suites Tampa Downtown Convention Center and the Tampa Marriott Water Street via sky-bridge.

The conference is an invaluable opportunity to learn how LGBT-owned companies can help grow your business.  It’s also an opportunity to incorporate more LGBT-owned businesses into their supply chain and build their professional network. Because we’re top supporters of the NGLCC and the annual conference, we’re sharing our top five tips to help you get the most out of your conference experience this year.  As AMI proudly prepares to be the corporate advisory and procurement meetings sponsor we’d like to share ways to maximize your experience while in Tampa, FL.

  1. Prepare, Prepare, Prepare

Review the schedule of events ahead of the conference, and, where available, the companies and speakers that will be attending. Ask previous attendees in your network what they found most helpful, or check out the conference hashtag on Twitter (#NGLCC19) to see what organizers and attendees are already talking about. Set goals for what you’d like to focus on and achieve.

Also, make sure you’re bringing what you need to do some heavy networking. Do you have enough business cards, collateral, and promotional items to get you through all four days of the conference? Do you have a good way to keep track of new contacts for follow-ups?

  1. Strategize your networking plan

Introduce yourself as is comfortable before the event to attendees you’d like a meeting with to ensure that you get on their schedule during the conference. Don’t be afraid to ask LinkedIn connections to make the introduction or give a friendly cold call.

During the conference, divide your time up strategically based on what you’re hoping to get out of the conference. In addition to one-on-one meetings, put yourself in group networking scenarios to meet more people. Don’t forget about existing business connections who will attend—it’s a good time to build upon your existing relationships at the conference as well.

  1. Take advantage of all the conference offerings

There are both pre-conference and opening-day receptions that you won’t want to miss, amazing performers and keynote speakers, as well as NGLCC events every evening. Select your breakout sessions wisely—not just by the title, but by the credentials and experience of the speaker. The Marketplace Expo is a great time to visit the booths of Corporate and Supplier attendees.

NGLCC’s Supplier-to-Supplier and Corporate Matchmaker sessions are ideal for making B2B introductions in your industry, or connecting LGBT businesses with opportunities in your supply chain.

These are by appointment only, so schedule in advance.

  1. Pace yourself

Conferences can be exhausting, and no matter how hard you try or how organized you are, you won’t be able to do everything. Prioritize what’s most important and what can wait until next year’s conference. And make sure you have moments of planned downtime to avoid burnout. To keep up your stamina, consider healthy eating and drinking, and try to take part in the organized Morning Group Exercise, or Corporate/Supplier Walk & Talks.

Don’t forget to have fun, too!

  1. It’s all about the follow-up

After taking notes on a breakout session, list three key takeaways before moving on to the next presentation. It’ll be easier to scan later if you capture essential points while they’re fresh.

Keep careful track of any new connections, noting meeting context or details on business cards. Timely and specific follow-up with next steps via email or phone will be instrumental in securing new relationships after the conference.

Stop by the AMI booth in the Marketplace Expo at this year’s NGLCC Conference to meet our team and pick up a free gift that will keep you charged throughout the conference.

Enjoy the event and good luck on your networking efforts!

Contact us at to gather more information about AMI or the conference.

Find Attendees Looking for an Event Like Yours on Google

Find Attendees Looking for an Event Like Yours on Google

 If you have a mailing list that includes customers, members, and past event attendees, you have a built-in conduit for advertising upcoming events.  What about people who are not yet connected to you and don’t even know your event exists?  How do you think these people are most likely to find your event if they’re looking for something like it?

These days, the average person seeking an event of some sort is likely to start their search on Google by simply entering a query.  This means you and your corporate meeting planner have to find ways to show up in results for relevant searches, and ideally, before competing events.  How does this happen?

You’ll need to rely on search engine optimization or SEO.  When a Google user enters a search for “gaming conventions” or “food trade shows in Los Angeles”, you want them to find your event first, and this means playing into Google algorithms that deliver the most relevant and authoritative data for related terms.

Proper SEO strategies ensure that Google recognizes your expertise and delivers your links to users searching for events like yours.  Here are just a few things you and your event organizer should focus on when it comes to getting your data in front of the right users.

Nab Popular Keywords with Your Event Organizer 

As you probably know, including the name of your company is important, especially if it’s attached to the event or you’re the main sponsor.  This is not only a crucial aspect of growing brand recognition, but it helps Google to properly index for search results, linking the event to your brand and your website.

Unfortunately, most people who are unaware of your particular event are unlikely to search for it by name, or by your brand name, so you also need to cherry pick keywords most closely associated with your event, including terms related to the nature of your event.  If you’re hosting a food trade show, using keywords like “food trade show” and including other data, searchers might use like the location city or the current year of the event is wise.

Google can help you to discover related search terms, but you and your convention planner are going to have to choose the best terms, and it’s important to understand you will have to pay to use them in advertising.  However, if you’re facing competition, it’s worth paying something for prominent placement.

Keep in mind that the more specific the terms you use (such as long-tail keywords), the less competition you’re likely to have, but you’re also less likely to match up to generic search queries.  If you aren’t already aware of the growing use of voice search and how to choose the right keywords for this field, now is the time to learn.

Don’t Skimp on Meta Data

The titles, tags, and descriptions for landing pages may not be seen by readers, but that doesn’t make them any less important.  They are seen by Google search bots and used to help index your site and your pages.  By including relevant keywords in your metadata, you and your event organizer can reinforce the keywords featured in your content and help to boost relevance for related searches.

Develop a Network of Valuable and Organic Links

Link building became something of a bad word a few years ago thanks to underhanded linking schemes that helped to boost Google rankings at the expense of the user experience.  That said, back-links are still one of the primary methods Google uses to determine relevance and authority, and you and your convention planner can’t do without a strong network of valuable links.

While black hat SEO practices like linking schemes will get you delisted from Google these days, you can still build up a network of back-links by creating content that begs to be shared organically (and spreads links to your pages).  You can also work with trusted and highly-ranked websites and blogs within your industry to get valuable links that will weigh heavily in your favor.  Whether you build relationships with these online outlets or you offer content in exchange for links is up to you.

Focus on Mobile Optimization with Your Convention Planner

Says Annie Fernandez, Director of Marketing at AMI, “Google is all about mobile first, and you want to make sure you’re on the bandwagon.  They’ve said websites optimized for mobile users are going to get preferential treatment moving forward, so your SEO efforts should definitely place a premium on mobile content.”

With more and more users searching via phones, tablets, and other mobile devices, Google wants to make sure to deliver on customer expectations.  You and your event organizer can’t afford to ignore their mobile first initiative if you want the best chance to connect with attendees seeking events like yours on Google.

How to Make PR Work for Your Event

How to Make PR Work for Your Event

Public Relations or PR is a field dedicated to promoting your company and your events and creating a positive brand image – it has to do with how the public perceives and interacts with your brand.  The good news is, you have the opportunity to direct the narrative through your outreach and PR efforts.

In this day and age, with so much information available online and through social media, PR is more important than ever for companies looking to engage with customers and boost interest in upcoming events.  What you might not realize, however, is that PR is a much more expansive field.  In addition to paving the way to your event, PR efforts can help to create a positive experience during and after your event, as well.

Corporate event planning companies can help you to develop overarching marketing and PR strategies to shape the perception of your event before it even happens, and to deliver on attendee expectations once guests arrive.

Says Todd Bludworth, President and Principal at AMI “Creating the right impression, and leaving a lasting impression with event attendees, is just as important as the speakers and activities that comprise the bulk of the event.  This is why your PR strategy is so important.”

How can you and your event management services partner make PR work for your company and your event?  Here are a few things you’ll want to consider.

More than Just Press Releases

If you don’t know a lot about PR, you might mistakenly assume it’s little more than penning press releases that put a beneficial spin on whatever information you want to get out to the public.  This is only a small part of what PR professionals actually do.

Corporate event planning companies that help you to create marketing and PR strategies leading up to your event can come up with a plan that incorporates content marketing, for example.  They can create stories that make your brand relatable, speak to your audience, enhance relationships with customers, and elevate the esteem in which your brand is held.

These professionals can also tap into existing networks to ensure that your PR efforts gain traction with reputable channels such as leading industry blogs or relevant social influencers.  While companies can do this on their own to an extent, it’s better to tap into an established network to promote upcoming events, even if you’re working to cultivate your own for the future.

Ask Corporate Event Planning Companies about Drip Marketing

Creating PR campaigns is a lot of work, but once you have your assets in place, you can sit back and enjoy the ride.  Right?  Not if you want to provide fence-sitters with new reasons to pay attention.  A drip marketing campaign releases new tidbits over time to create a trail of breadcrumbs that continues to entice leading up to your event.  These campaigns are a little more complex than the average PR strategy, but they could help to sway holdouts unsure about attending your event.

PR from Inside Your Event

PR isn’t just a preparatory art – it’s also designed to clean up messes when they occur.  Suppose, for example, you had a Starbucks moment at your event, where a racially insensitive event staffer said something rude and of course, it was captured on camera and broadcast to the internet at large.

What can you do to slow the roll of negative press and get a handle on the situation?  PR professionals have got you covered with crisis management techniques designed to show your awareness of the situation and take steps to make reparations, regaining control of the narrative and using the unfortunate event as a gateway to showcase your ideas and prove you’re part of the solution, not the problem.

Barring such catastrophes, however, you can also use PR efforts during your event to promote through on-the-fly blogging and social media posts that highlight activities and speakers, as well as the positive experience event attendees are having.  With proper planning, your event management services team can segue seamlessly from pre-event promotions to live PR as your event unfolds.


Working with Event Management Services on Experiential Marketing

In a world governed more and more by virtual interactions, people are looking for new ways to feel connected, and experiential marketing allows event attendees to participate and contribute in engaging and personally gratifying ways.  Experienced corporate event planning companies like American Meetings, Inc. (AMI) can capitalize on the urge to participate in order to create situations in which attendees drive innovation and create PR fodder that speaks to peer groups.

This, in turn, can create a sense of FOMO, fuel interest in your brand and in future events, and encourage a collaborative atmosphere that sparks innovation and leads to successful outcomes during and after events.

Effective Ways to Keep Event Attendees Informed

Effective Ways to Keep Event Attendees Informed


If you’ve planned events in the past, you are probably well aware of the fact that details can change in the days and hours leading up to the event.  There are even times when scheduling and locations get shifted around during the course of the event.

This can make for a logistical nightmare as you and your corporate meeting planner scramble to figure out how to inform event attendees of changes so they’re able to make it to the activities and presentations they want to partake of.  While you’ll certainly want to post-event signage and perhaps even mail out information packets prior to the event, these printed materials can become outdated and end up providing inaccurate information.

How can you and your trusted global meeting planner effectively keep event attendees informed of the latest updates to scheduling and locations?  There are several ways to accomplish your goals and ensure attendees have the most current info available.

Create a Mailing List

The place to start when it comes to disseminating information and updates about your event is with an email list that consists of past event attendees, business contacts, and anyone who signs up for a membership or expresses interest in attending your upcoming event.

Emails give you and your corporate meeting planner the opportunity to deliver more information than you can in a tweet or a push notification, which means you can hype your event while you deliver practical information.  You can also include links to your website and social media platforms for the event in order to encourage following and sharing, and you have the chance to tailor your messaging to different segments of your mailing list.

In some cases, a name and email address will serve as the only contact information you have for the majority of guests, which makes email the primary form of communication leading up to the event.  Of course, your emails can open the door to social followers and if prospects decide to attend your event, you could gain access to further contact information, as well.

Work with Your Corporate Meeting Planner to Choose Online Platforms

Your global meeting planner has probably spearheaded a lot more events than you, which means you have an invaluable resource when it comes to proper preparation, including identifying the best channels of communication with attendees and prospective attendees.  This is good news because you’ll need to narrow down your options.

Whether you post information and updates on your business website or you create a specific event website (or both), this will serve as the main hub for information dissemination.  This is where attendees can come for comprehensive details about your event, as well as downloads (itineraries, site maps, etc.), a registration portal, and opportunities to exhibit, just for example.

You’ll also need to post information to social media channels, which attendees are much more likely to follow and through which you can push notifications to users.  Which social platforms should you and your corporate meeting planner use for your event?

Says Annie Fernandez, Director of Marketing at AMI, “There are so many social media platforms to choose from these days, it can be hard to pinpoint the channels that will show the best returns.  You really can’t afford to forego Facebook and Instagram, both of which provide ample opportunity for outreach and sharing, and LinkedIn is a must for professional events.  In terms of updates, Twitter is still a great choice.  You’ll also want a dashboard like Buffer that lets you manage all of your social media from a centralized platform.”

Ask Your Global Meeting Planner about Creating an Event App

Customization is the name of the game when it comes to modern meetings and events.  The best way for you and your global meeting planner to personalize the experience is to create a unique event app that serves as a repository of information at the fingertips of attendees, on-demand.  Everyone at professional events is likely to have a smartphone on hand, and with the right app features, you can push updates and notifications before and during your event.

An app should contain basics like venue maps and itineraries, including the latest information pertaining to scheduling.  However, you can also add practical features like in-app messaging and push notifications that ensure event attendees can be quickly and easily notified of changes en masse.  You could even send personalized updates via a mobile app.

This is the most convenient option for hosts and attendees alike.  It allows you to send out information with the assurance that it will reach attendees, and guests won’t have to make the effort of seeking out information.  They will conveniently be notified by their mobile devices whenever relevant changes occur.