Posts By: K.C. Hopson

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How to Save Tons of Time with Automated Surveys and CEUs

Continuing Education

After working very hard to put on a great conference, the nail in the coffin for the planners’ exhaustion is often the issuing and collation of meeting related surveys and CEUs. If the work is performed using paper and/or spreadsheets, the resulting toil is usually a mountain of tedious and error-prone management of forms. The work is labor and time-intensive and, consequently, unnecessarily expensive. The good news is there are some great technology tools for automating much of these processes. These tools tend to specialize in a particular purpose but can work in harmony with the right selection of products.... Read more »

kchopson

5 Ways to Generate Revenue with Your Mobile Event App

A variety of studies confirm that we are looking at our smartphones all day long. One metric says the average person checks their phone 150 times a day! When someone is at your conference, these numbers do not change much. In fact, if you have a great mobile event app, the smartphone becomes a great way to increase audience engagement at your conference. One of the fantastic side effects of mobile apps is that you can track this interaction with tools like Google Analytics. For example, you can see how often attendees look at a page and how much time... Read more »

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Conducting Surveys Using an Online Registration Form

Feedback Button

It is well known the getting a high response rate from surveys is difficult. One way to get around this is to place questions that are important to you on forms that people will need to fill out. One such place is your membership form. Another area is the online registration form. The registration form is a great place to get answers for critical data such as demographics. The registrant will already be entering personal information, so asking additional personal information in this area will already seem somewhat natural. Here are some tips to get the data you need on... Read more »

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Create a Superior Event Badge

Do you want to get your event off to a fast start with a great badge? When set up properly, badges can convey a lot of information in a relatively small amount of space. They can be crucial for networking and gaining access to sessions and events. Take care to create badges that work; review our list of tips and tricks for crafting the perfect conference badge below. Names should be printed in a large, sans-serif font, with first and last names on separate lines. Attendees should be able to glance at a badge and immediately locate the name. Make... Read more »

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Why and How to Create a Great Conference Blog

Talk to a marketing expert about your event, conference or trade show and almost certainly you will be told that social media needs to be a key component of your promotion. However, what is often missing is the advice on how to do have a great social media campaign. What do you tweet about? What should you post on Facebook? How do you get started? To answer these questions, it is important to reconsider a core principal of social media marketing. This concept involves the idea of a “spoke” – as in a bicycle tire. At the center of this... Read more »

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Hashtags: A Cornerstone of Your Event’s Brand

The ubiquitous hashtag (#hashtag) has quickly evolved from a curiosity to being an integral part of modern communication. The tag has worked its way into many marketing efforts and actually has become part of many brands. For the world of events, the hashtag has evolved past simple branding to being part of the general discussion that surrounds the interaction of attendees, speakers, exhibitors and others. Why Hashtags are so Important For a few years, hashtags were generally considered to be the domain of Twitter. This product, in particular, has become a great tool for events both in promotion and in... Read more »

kchopson

Mobile Savings: Time, Money, & The Environment

The primary reason mobile apps are hot right now are simply the ease of use. The phone is almost always in your hand, so all you need to do is look at it and touch! But mobile apps for events are event hotter because they are wins for everybody – the attendee, the exhibitors and the show organizers. The only losers may be the printing companies. Why are mobile apps for events such big wins? It’s simple – they save time and money, while saving the environment, all at the same time. Here is a look at three types of... Read more »

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Recruiting the Volunteers your Organization Needs

Volunteers are the lifeblood of many organizations. Volunteers can provide great value by helping with everything from small tasks to high level strategic leadership. However, finding good volunteers can prove to be a great challenge. To develop a solid volunteer recruitment strategy, it is useful to consider these three issues: What is in it for a volunteer? Why should they be involved in your organization? What kind of skills are needed? Make it easy for your organization’s members to volunteer Your Value Proposition Everybody is very busy these days. You need to lay out some good, concrete, benefits to volunteering.... Read more »

kchopson

Mobile App Lead Retrieval is Better for Your Show

Lead Retrieval Tradeshow App

You have probably heard frequent complaints from your exhibitors about how expensive it is to rent lead retrieval units for your show. The old fashioned way of doing lead retrieval is cumbersome for many reasons: The lead retrieval units are expensive! Some of the reasons for these high costs are described below. Buying the old-fashioned units is typically done in an old-fashioned way, such as faxing or emailing a form with a credit card. By the way, this is also a violation of good credit card security practices. The hardware is proprietary, so it is difficult to explain what the... Read more »

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Video: Using QR Codes to Improve Your Meeting

Earlier this week, EventRebels President K.C. Hopson spoke to the award-winning Georgia Peach Chapter of SGMP on how to improve your meeting with QR codes. Here is a recording of the popular presentation. Learn about the basics of QR codes, how to create great ones, and the many ways you can use them for your event.  

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How to Use Apps to Simplify Onsite Registration

Mobile apps for attendees are hot, but did you know that apps can help you, the planner, with onsite registration? While a great web-based onsite registration system can take care of most of your check-in issues, mobile onsite apps can address even more needs, including some unusual situations. These apps should work well on both Apple and Android devices, from smartphones to tablets. Here are some features a first-rate mobile app for onsite registration should have: List of attendees with at least basic contact information. Even better, you should be able to easily view what each attendee purchased as well... Read more »

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5 Steps to Collect Intelligent Annual Meeting Data

By: Kathy Benson and K.C. Hopson For many associations, the annual meeting is the organization’s top revenue source. For this bottom-line reason, planners and evaluators of this event need to be able to mine smarter and more actionable insights from attendee registration data and post-event evaluations. Evaluation of the annual meeting is an opportunity to engage with members and prospects and learn more about them and their needs. Planners and evaluators need to look at it from a strategic standpoint to gain more insight and inform their organizational strategy. By asking the right questions, there is an invaluable opportunity to... Read more »

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Craft Hotel Contracts to Reduce Attrition

Perhaps the heart of good meeting planning is the ability to write contracts that cover all potential outcomes of an event. Of all these outcomes, perhaps none is more important than avoiding being hit with attrition fees by the host hotel. As all planners know, these fees can be very costly and, in many cases, can be avoided with a tight contract. Recently I had the pleasure of attending an exciting (!) lecture on Hotel Contracts lead by attorney John S. Foster from Atlanta. The event was put on by the PCMA Chesapeake Chapter and was hosted at the brand... Read more »

kchopson

Why Would Hackers Attack Your Conference?

Hackers targeting big companies have become part of the regular news cycle. As of last year corporations such as Sony, Target and Staples have become victims of breaches involving personal information and credit cards. Even more recently, the data of 18 million current, prospective or former employees of the U.S. Government was successfully compromised in one of the biggest and most spectacular cyber attacks in history. While it might be comforting to think that hackers would only go after big name organizations, it would be wrong to think that conferences are exempt from cyber attacks. Just recently the Linux Australia... Read more »

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Trade Show Swag: What’s Hot for 2015

Design Rebel: Trade Show Swag

An intriguing thought crossed my mind as I prepared this blog on the benefits of trade show giveaways. Given the nearly universal appeal of tchotchkes I wondered whether anyone has proposed a doctoral dissertation analyzing the irresistible allure of ball point pens, pocket-sized hand sanitizers, disposable water bottles and tote bags emblazoned with exhibitor’s logos. As a veteran of scores of trade shows, I’ve seen well-dressed, affluent –looking professionals saunter over to a booth and scoop up a key chain, pencil, highlighter or a tiny box of breath mints. Generally, these items retail for under three dollars. Perhaps there is... Read more »

kchopson

Make Your Call for Papers Easy to Use!

Call for Papers

Potential speakers for your conference are busy people. One thing they do not want is to received the Call for Papers as a PDF, print it, fill in the fields and then scan it and send it back. Not much better is getting a call for papers via survey software. Since call for papers are often long, the applicant may have to leave the desk for a while only to find that the site timed out and erased their work! Even if the form is filled out in one sitting, surveys cannot be updated – so if there is a... Read more »

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Rebel Wanderer: San Diego, CA

San Diego is known for having just about the finest climate in the continental United States. But the city is so much more than great weather. With California’s vastly improved train system, it is easy to visit San Diego for a day from all over the southern basin including Disneyland and Los Angeles. Gaslamp Quarter The Pacific Surfliner train gives you a beautiful view of the coastline and drops you off at the Santa Fe depot in the heart of the Gaslamp Quarter. Loaded with dozens or restaurants and nightclubs, the quarter retains many of the elements of older San... Read more »

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Design Rebel: Marquee Lights are HOT for Your Event

Design Rebel: Marquee Lights

Nothing says excitement like Broadway and nothing say Broadway like Marquee Lights. The opening shot of the film classic All That Jazz sets the stage for what follows with a dazzling marquee light up. The eye cannot help but be drawn to the raw, pulsating and vibrant lighting that are typical of these displays. Marquee lights have an interesting history. Their appearance is very closely tied to the rise of the automobile. Before these fast moving vehicles arrived, pedestrians had plenty of time to look at signs as they strolled across. However, those signs were generally unable to draw the... Read more »

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Tech Tuesday: Put Your Contracts in the Cloud!

Nobody writes contracts like meeting planners. For any given conference, there can be dozen of contracts. These contracts are usually lengthy and quite detailed. Often these contracts are emailed or even faxed(!) to the signing party. This party then signs, copies and then scans or faxes back to the other party for countersigning – and the process repeats. This simple signing process consumes many hours for any given show. Given that meeting planners are usually strapped for time, doesn’t this seem like an easy area to improve? Fortunately, there is great software in the marketplace for making the contracts process... Read more »

kchopson

Design Rebel: Whisky Business

Design Rebel: Whisky Business

“Horse racing and whisky cocktails seem to go hand in hand, says liquor connoisseur, Lance Mayhew.   While the Mint Julep is closely associated with the Kentucky Derby, the official drinks of the other two jewels in racing’s Triple Crown are not as well known.  For the record, the Preakness Stakes’ Black Eyed Susan and the Belmont Breeze round out springtime’s annual cocktail trifecta. Each of these cocktails is made with blended whisky and are annual crowd pleasers. With the 2015 Kentucky Derby behind us, horse racing fans head north this weekend to Baltimore for the Preakness. Without question the Kentucky... Read more »

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How to Use Online Trade Show and Exhibitor Management Software

Trade Show & Exhibitor Management Software

Did you know there is an easy way to drive trade show revenue, dramatically cut labor and paper costs, while at the same time marketing your exhibitors to your attendees? This great technology uses an interactive trade show floor map to achieve all these amazing results. Here are some of the features of such software. For the Exhibitor The software produces a floor map of your show online with all the tables and booths. For booths that are available for purchase, exhibitors can simply click on the booth and buy on the spot. Anybody can see the list of current... Read more »

kchopson

Rebel Wanderer: San Antonio, Texas

Texas is an amazing state with many great cities. Certainly one of the finest towns is San Antonio, located in the heart of the south-central region of the state, also known as Texas Hill Country. Besides being home to the Spurs, one of the NBA’s finest franchises, the city hosts many memorable venues along or near the beautiful San Antonio River. The Alamo Originally a mission established by Franciscan priests in the 18th Century, the Alamo is best known for the last stand of 200 Texas defenders against the army General Santa Anna. Although the Alamo is surprisingly small, it... Read more »

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Mobile Monday: Free QR Code Apps for Apple and Android

Event Rebels Mobile Monday

You may have heard that here are many ways you can improve you meetings with QR codes. However, you may think – “QR codes sound great, but how will my attendees scan them?” Fortunately, there are many great QR code scanning apps for Apple and Android devices. Here are the general features most of these apps have: Simple point and scan functionality Uses your camera to scan QR codes Opens up the corresponding the corresponding website inside the app History of scans FREE! Warning – a lot of these names are similar, so I added the company where necessary. Here... Read more »