Quit Engaging Millennials

Quit Engaging Millennials

Ah!  No!  We have to reach them – they’re a new market and critical to our success as a (event, business, venue, etc…)!

Stop. It.

For all the talk, print, and news that has worried employers, other generations, and the general populace like no other, the entire idea of “engaging millennials” has gone far enough.

The Story Secret

There’s an old saying in sales – “facts tell and stories sell” and anyone that has ever sold anything knows that this is so true.  Smart salespeople and entrepreneurs realized this long ago and inevitably bring “story” into the conversation when they are working with prospects. 

 Image courtesy of Engagient.com

Image courtesy of Engagient.com

Far more than just features and benefits, story puts you into a completely different place in the buying conversation – you start to envision yourself in the story and guess what?  You start making the same decisions that the storyteller made.

Before you know it, you’ve bought the item, be it a tool for the kitchen, a new phone, or a house.

Here at Nuila Events, we’re happy to share an interactive opportunity to craft your own story and learn to use it for your business! Presented by The Honest Entrepreneur, The Story Secret event welcomes expert storyteller, Michael Kass, who teaches participants how to reframe sales tactics and build instant connections using their own expertly crafted stories. Watch this short video as Michael introduces the event and shares about what you can expect to take away from the event!

Event organizers - think about your own story for a few minutes and how it applies to an event that you are putting on – be it for the holidays or for the company.  What is the story that you are telling in how the event is organized?  Is it one of success?  Struggle?  The best year ever?  

All these things need to go into your own event planning because they are all a part of the message that you convey to your guests.  In many cases, the nature of the party suggests what the expectation of the event is.  In the end, putting on a great event has a lot more to do with the feel of the event versus how good the entertainment or the food was – again – storytelling.  

We’re truly looking forward to hosting this event on March 10th, 2017.  As specialists in helping clients to create story through their events, working with an expert in actually creating the story that small businesses use is going to be a great experience.  You can find out more about The Story Secret by clicking right here; and if you've found yourself with end-of-year meeting planning that has left you in a panic, make sure that you reach out to us at Nuila Events and let's see what we can do to help you write a different ending to the story, too.

Social Proof: How Social Media Can Help Get The Word Out

 Photo Credit: www.blog.hittail.com

Photo Credit: www.blog.hittail.com

Well, good morning!

I’ve got a bit of a twist for you today – we’re NOT going to talk about event planning ... but we are going to talk about how to maximize event awareness and participation using your sphere of influence. There are a number of factors that are BIG things to consider as you go forward in creating the marketing plan for your non-profit event–especially with social proof.  Nulia Events, LLC has been managing these things for a long time, and here are some “behind the scenes” ideas that you can use no matter how big or small your next event is going to be.  Of course, we can handle all this for you, but here’s a look behind the curtain at some of the ways you can raise interest through marketing channels you are probably already using…

But social proof is more than just social media. Now, you are going to use social media, but with a twist on your usual brand of communication.  Everybody is always quick to jump on Facebook when it comes to social media, but the sheer volume of choices may lead you to Periscope, Twitter, or even Pinterest (depending on your event).  Before you do anything, you must first understand and define the target audience for your event. You may find that there are a number of Meetup groups in your area that are aligned with your cause and when you loop those folks in to what you're doing, they can market your event on their social media outlets (less work for you!). Selling a product to raise awareness? Pinterest is a good place to start.  

Without a doubt, the important thing is to build an audience that is connected through similar interests, making them engaged and open to your communications. They become the “apostles” that carry your message forward and link to it into their groups.  Social Proof.  

Let’s take a look at a recent activity that validates this phenomenon – the Ice Bucket Challenge.  Once it started, there was no stopping it, and the organizers needed only had to post a few meaningful and targeted pieces … the apostles did the rest.  It was on Facebook, in your Twitter feed, on the nightly news – everywhere!!!!

As it got bigger, the rainmakers got into it – the celebrities, the bloggers, the “movers and shakers” that made it such a big deal that everybody felt compelled to top what others had done.  And it all started with a few people putting together an exciting and strategic plan that eventually kept making news.  This is a brilliant example of how to use social influence to get others involved and create a media frenzy!

You can even start right in the Twitter feed of those rainmakers. You probably aren’t going to get Taylor Swift to answer a tweet, but if you can generate some momentum (start smaller – think Billy Ray Cyrus instead of Miley), soon you are getting into those six degrees of Kevin Bacon, and now you can get the celebrity – or just a widely-read blogger – to pick up the cause, throw your event a bone, and start to get some traction.

  www.Onlinegadgetstore.com

www.Onlinegadgetstore.com

Getting that person to buy in to your idea, though, can be a chore – and this is where posting great content – and comments – can get the feed picked up.  If your Twitter feed just says “Rummage sale to benefit fire victims” – you’re not going to get any movement on the Richter Scale.  But if you throw in a “#” into links about that fire, the news stories associated with it, and what others have done to help, people are going to take notice.  

Simply put – think of the things that you and others in that circle would respond to, and then frame your action and message accordingly. Then, take the next step - what other demographics do you want to engage? Seek those types of outlets, as well.  

Lastly – have fun and convey that attitude in your tactics.  Nobody likes the idea of child abuse, but having a good time raising money to help the victims of it doesn’t have to be a somber experience. Celebrate, don’t mourn and convey that in whatever tack you take. There is enough depressing stuff out there, so show that “attitude of gratitude” and help people look forward to what you’ve got planned. Besides – the social proof is in the pudding – when you create a new reality that is more fun than people would expect, you have brought them something that has real value – and for a good cause!

How To Get Sponsorships for Your Event

Stop right there.  Before you start thinking about sponsors and colors and times and invitations, you need to ask yourself a question.  A very simple one:

Do I have the skills to pull this off, or is it going to be a train wreck?

If the little voice in your head screams “No! No! No!” – you need to quit pretending and call Nuila Events, LLC.  Corporate or Non-profit, we can help. But before the lightning strikes the merry-go-round, get a pro to handle this event.

Now, if you’ve held an event before, you probably know how important a role sponsors play in event success. Sponsors can help with providing resources, marketing the event as well as help with overall participation of the event. But the reality is that securing a sponsor is much harder than you may perceive. Securing the right sponsor takes a mix of marketing strategy, relationship building and creative thinking.  The real catch for many sponsors, before they decide to get involved, is what exactly is the plan?  Think about it from a strictly business point of view. Any investor in a business would want to see a pro forma. In a way, your potential sponsor does too.

 

First, stand in the "buying" shoes

 

 Photo Credit To: Youtube.com

Photo Credit To: Youtube.com

When you ask for sponsorship, don’t be surprised if things don’t go your way at first. Very seldom will companies give you money simply because you’re holding an event.  Here is where having your plan for the event, and perhaps a successful partnership with a company that handles large events, will pay off.   Companies invest only when they know they’ll get something in return. Therefore, try to think from a sponsor’s perspective when pitching them. Ask yourself the following questions before calling potential sponsors:

  • What’s the event objective and event program?

  • How is my company benefiting from sponsoring this event?

  • What’s the demographic of the target audience? Is it the same with my own customer base?

  • Why is this event unique from others?

  • Does my company have an opportunity to directly engage the event participants?

  • How about brand exposure, promotion rights, or exhibit booth?

Sponsors are not necessarily expecting monetary returns, but rather wanting to leverage events to create brand awareness and interact with customers. You have to think like a marketer and come up with a sponsorship package that’s appealing to buyers.

 

Second - Know WHEN and WHO to pitch

 

 Photo Credit To: thepitchacademy.com/   

Photo Credit To: thepitchacademy.com/

 

The process of applying for sponsorship is really time-consuming, especially when you’re approaching renowned brands. So start early and make sure to have plenty of time for your sponsorship campaign. If you have an urgent timeframe, then talking to the right person can make a great difference. Smart sponsorship advocates know the importance of figuring out who makes the final decision. You are going to have to get past the “gatekeeper” to get to the decision makers, and that just takes time.  If time is of the essence, you need to figure out ways to get there quickly or look elsewhere.

 

Third - Target the right brands that suit your event "objective"

 

 Photo Credit To: gasolinelabs.wordpress.com

Photo Credit To: gasolinelabs.wordpress.com

This is so obvious we shouldn’t have to say it, but every year, as professional event organizers, we hear the horror stories.  Beer and alcohol companies asked to sponsor a carnival to help sick children. Barbecue sauces asked to sponsor vegetarian events.  It seems like common sense, but as deadlines loom, sometimes the ideas get crazier and crazier.  Simply put, don't collaborate with a sponsor that has an opposite value to the event you're hosting.  Emphasizing the “fit” between your audience and your sponsors can tighten-up the event theme as a whole. Think of your event goal and target audience first, and then match the right businesses to collaborate with.

 

Fourth - Don't forget sponsor's employees

 

 Photo Credit To: www.greenbiz.com/   

Photo Credit To: www.greenbiz.com/

 

Studies indicate that employee involvement is becoming more and more crucial to businesses. Lots of businesses also invite employees to participate in volunteering or participating in corporate social responsibility activities. Therefore, when you are securing the right sponsors, don’t forget to ask for their employees’ involvement! For example, if you’re holding a running related event, have sponsors’ employees build a team and participate in the contest. Not only will you secure more attendees, but you also provide your sponsors a great chance for internal team-building activities.

 

Lastly - Creative Thinking!

 

The chart below showcases what sponsors care about when sponsoring an event.

  Photo Credit To: www.sponsorship.com/


Photo Credit To: www.sponsorship.com/

Based on the above chart, one can see that brand exposure is definitely a ranked priority for businesses. But there is more to offer than brand exposure and a social media presence. You have to create exceptional value to your sponsors, think out-of-box, and explore every possibility. Possible choices could be guerilla marketing or even linking sponsors with event programs.  If you don’t have the answer, that’s okay.  They have a marketing department, start asking them!

 

A great example of going above and beyond for your sponsors would be Kohler, a bathing appliance company and the official sponsor of Bonnaroo, who brought a stunning shower experience into an event. Kohler provided two rows of container structures for private shower and clothes-changing. Kohler successfully promoted its products by satisfying the needs of event-goers. What a brilliant sponsorship idea! By looking at other successful venues such as Kohler’s, one can gather many great examples and ideas for their events.

 

Okay, the little voice in your head should really be working overtime now, and that’s what we’re here to do.  We’ve been saving our clients from disastrous events for years, and we know that not everyone can be an expert like us.  

 

No, seriously, we have helped clients out of some real dumpster fires.  

 

You are an expert at what you do, Nuila Events is an expert at planning and executing amazing corporate and non-profit events.  In fact why don’t you just tip –toe over to our website while the boss isn’t looking, reach out to us here, and let us help you figure out just how you are going to pull off that next amazing corporate event.  You can find us on the Social Media of your choice, and isn’t it better to have somebody to guide you through this process than to try to map it out on your own?

 

We know.  We help folks like you everyday.