Tag Archives: events

Case Study: Change Congress 2015

Change Management ist eine Herausforderung, der sich viele Unternehmen stellen müssen – quer durch alle Branchen. Wandel kann wehtun, ist aber unumgänglich, um der digitalen Transformation gerecht zu werden.

Die Handelsblatt Fachmedien GmbH, eine Tochtergesellschaft der Verlagsgruppe Handelsblatt, gibt die Zeitschrift „OrganisationsEntwicklung“ heraus, die sich mit genau diesen Themen beschäftigt. Unter dem Motto „Lost in Change? Wirksame Wandel-Strategien in einer dynamischen Welt“ organisierten die Handelsblatt Fachmedien nun erstmals auch den „Change Congress“.

Die sehr erfolgreiche Erstveranstaltung in Düsseldorf im November 2015 haben wir als Dienstleister für Bewegtbild und Fotografie begleitet. Was wir dort genau gemacht haben, möchte ich hier als Fallstudie vorstellen.

Continue reading Case Study: Change Congress 2015

Mobile Apps: Native Vs Web App

This is a guest post by Tim Masterson, founder of conferencehandbook.com. Thanks, Tim, for the insight!

If you’ve done any poking around in the mobile world lately you may have heard the terms “Native App”, “Web App”  and “HTML 5” app.  They are all different ways to provide apps on your smart phone.  In the next few minutes I hope to demystify these terms a little for you, as well as share the tradeoffs of each technology.
What is the difference between Web App and HTML 5 apps?

Every HTML 5 app is in fact a web app.   But not every web app is HTML 5.  HTML 5 is basically a new set of tags that programmers can use to display your application in a web browser.  HTML 5 supports some really cool stuff like video and it also makes it easier for the developer to do asynchronous calls back to the web server.  The term “Web App” is used to mean any application that needs some form of a webserver to run.

  • Benefits:  Write once for all platforms.  Updates are server side and instantaneous.
  • Trade offs:  All logic is on the web server so network connectivity is required.  Users user the browser to access the app and not an app store icon.  Access to sensors (GPS, Cameras, accelerometers) is limited.

What is a “Native” app?

In general apps you get from the app store are “Native apps”.  A truly native app is written in a language and compiled down to an actual executable that runs natively on your phone with out a browser.  Some native apps, still connect to web servers to interact with data in the cloud or to receive updates.  In general Native apps have access to more sensors than web apps.  They also tend to run faster because more of the processing is done locally.  The draw back is in the cost to develop a native app.  To develop for many platforms you have to rewrite the app for each platform.  (Which explains why it took months for Android users to get their own version of Angry Birds).

  • Benefits:  Access to all sensors, the users address book, schedule, GPS.  Runs without network connectivity.  Graphics are cleaner due to hardware acceleration.  Available on the app store.
  • Trade offs:   Entire app must be rebuilt for each mobile platform. The user must initiate updates, unless the app is built to automatically update itself.

Some apps are in between

It is possible to write a native shell for a web app.  To do this the developer writes the bulk of the app in HTML 5.  Then they write a native wrapper for each platform that basically has an icon, and a page that holds a “Web View” the web view then calls back to the web server to get the app content.  This approach is great for some applications but still has it’s own set of trade offs.

  • Benefits:  Only the shell must be rewritten for each platform.   Users can access the app from the app store.  If use is in a place where network connectivity is good, the user will never know it is mostly a web app.
  • Trade offs:  The app is dependent on network connectivity.  The web app portion of the app will not be able to access the sensors.

The Bottom Line:

Know what you are signing up for when you pick a software vendor.  Understand how they are delivering your content and the tradeoffs associated with that method of delivery.  Make sure their method maximizes the size of your mobile audience while mitigating the tradeoffs.

About the Author:
Tim Masterson is the founder of Total Integrated Mobile, the makers of ConferenceHandbook.com.  A one stop solution for the mobile app for your next conference.

Die Herausforderungen ähneln sich: 1. Treffen privater und unabhängiger Messeveranstalter in Mannheim, 20. Juli 2011

Private Messeveranstalter gibt es in Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz in großer Zahl – aber anders als die großen “Dickschiffe” hatten diese Veranstalter bisher kaum Möglichkeiten, sich zu vernetzen und voneinander zu lernen. Sicher, es gibt Verbände, aber die sind entweder von den klassischen Messeplätzen dominiert oder sie umfassen auch andere Bereiche, so dass die Interessen der Veranstalter selbst nicht immer im Fokus stehen.

Für Initiator Alexander Petsch von Spring Messe Management war dies Grund genug, zum ersten Treffen privater und unabhängiger Messeveranstalter am 20. Juli in Mannheim einzuladen – und dieser Einladung sind rund 50 Inhaber, Marketing- und Vertriebsleiter von Messegesellschaften gefolgt. Die Teilnehmer des Treffens im Rosengarten Mannheim repräsentierten die beeindruckende Zahl von ca. 25.000 Ausstellern pro Jahr!

Das halbtägige Treffen in Mannheim hatte das klare Ziel, das Networking der Veranstalter untereinander zu ermöglichen und den Austausch über aktuelle Themen zu fördern. Denn auch wenn die Messethemen sehr unterschiedlich sind (von Jungdesignern über Immobilien bis hin zu Energieeffizienz), so sind doch die aktuellen Herausforderungen recht ähnlich.

(Fotos: Oksana Bezsmolna)

Nach einer Begrüßung durch Alexander Petsch und den Geschäftsführer des Rosengartens Michel Maugé erlebten die Teilnehmer eine beeindruckende Keynote des “Zeitmanagement-Gurus” Prof. Dr. Lothar Seiwert: Simplify your Time – Einfach Zeit haben.

Nach diesem Impulsreferat wurde die Diskussion im World Café Format fortgeführt. Dabei konnten sich die Teilnehmer vorab für verschiedene Round Table Diskussionen anmelden, die in drei Runden durchgeführt wurden.

  • Klonen von Veranstaltungen
  • Trends und Entwicklungen in der Veranstaltungsbranche
  • Entwicklung von Gemeinschaftsständen
  • Zusammenarbeit mit Messegeländen
  • Life Cycle einer Messe
  • Social Media: Facebook, Twitter und Co. für Messeveranstalter

Ich selbst hatte das Vergnügen, den Round Table “Social Media” zu moderieren. Es wurde deutlich, dass viele Veranstalter Nachholbedarf bei diesem Thema haben, unabhängig davon, ob sie bereits Social Media einsetzen oder gerade erst darüber nachdenken. Oftmals fehlt ein klares Konzept und ein Plan, welche Ressourcen man wie einsetzen möchte und welche Plattformen am besten geeignet sind. Einig waren sich jedoch die Teilnehmer, dass sich alle Veranstalter mit diesem Thema auseinandersetzen müssen – wie intensiv und wie schnell, hängt natürlich von der Branche und deren Affinität zu Social Media ab.

Nach den drei Runden präsentierten die Round Table Moderatoren die Ergebnisse der Diskussionen, und beim anschließenden Networking Dinner (mit toller musikalischer Begleitung durch Musiker der Popakademie Mannheim) wurden die Diskussionen noch vertieft.

Auf XING existiert die Gruppe Unabhängige Messeveranstalter D.A.CH – Independent fair & exhibition organizers (DACH region), die als Diskussionsplattform über das Treffen hinaus dient.

Google+: Wie wichtig ist das neue Social Network für Eventveranstalter?

Click here for English version

So wie Ihr wahrscheinlich auch habe ich in der letzten Zeit eine Reihe von Einladungen zu Google+ erhalten, also wollte ich das einmal ausprobieren und habe einen Account angelegt. Viele von uns haben ja bereits mindestens einen Google Account für irgendeinen Service. Jedenfalls war das Profil schnell erstellt, und dann habe ich mit den Funktionen von Google+ herumgespielt.

Schon nach kurzer Zeit wurde mir bewusst, welch ein Potenzial diese neue Plattform hat. Für uns als Event-, Konferenz- und Messemacher gibt es sofort 2 Dinge, die sich als Nutzen aufdrängen:

  • Das Circles Feature ist dafür geeignet, Freunde/Follower in verschiedene Kategorien einzuteilen. Daraufhin kann man Inhalte nur mit den relevanten “Circles” teilen und die anderen nicht mit irrelevanten Inhalten nerven. Das ist eine großartige Funktion, bei der man schnell das Potenzial erkennt.  Man könnte z.B. verschiedene Circles für verschiedene Konferenz- oder Messethemen anlegen. Leute in diese Circles zu bekommen und damit seine Verbreitung zu steigern ist vergleichbar mit Twitter. Man bekommt eine Benachrichtigung sobald einen jemand in einen Circle aufgenommen hat (man weiss aber nicht, was das für ein Circle ist), und kann dann entscheiden, ob man sie/ihn seinerseits in einen Circle aufnimmt.
  • Hangouts: Ich habe bereits Einsatzmöglichkeiten dieser Hangouts für Pressekonferenzen, Konzerte, Trainings gesehen… Es gibt eine ganze Menge weitere Möglichkeiten, wie man Hangouts einsetzen kann, z.B. für Aussteller-Briefings, Interviews/Webinars mit Konferenz-Sprechern etc.etc. Das ist wirklich ein großartiges Feature, das direkt in das Social Network eingebaut ist.

Wie bei Facebook und Twitter wird es nicht lange dauern, bis wir Apps sehen werden, die Google+ in verschiedenste Anwendungsgebiete integrieren.

Alles in allem glaube ich nicht, dass wir Facebook, Twitter, XING oder LinkedIn kurzfristig aufgeben sollten. Aber ich bin sicher dass Google+ sehr ernst zu nehmen ist und wir auf dieser Plattform aktiv sein sollten, zumal kurz- und mittelfristig eine Menge Aufmerksamkeit auf Google+ gelenkt werden wird.

Schaut Euch dieses lustige Video an, falls Ihr noch gar keine Vorstellung von Google+ habt:

Aktuelle Informationen über Google+ und Einsatzgebiete findet Ihr unter dem Twitter hashtag #googleplus.

Hier findet Ihr eine weitere interessante Einschätzung zum Potenzial von Google+.

Oh, und lasst es mich wissen, falls Ihr eine Einladung zu Google+ braucht! 🙂

Hier ist ein Link zu einer Mindmap, welche die wesentlichen Funktionen von Google+ darstellt:

http://www.mindmeister.com/maps/public_map_shell/103602816/google-plus-an-overview?width=600&height=400&zoom=0

Developing new markets, new audiences, new approaches: A recent presentation

The newspaper industry is in a period of transition. No stone has been left unturned, hence the worldwide industry body for this sector needs to change, too. At the recent Association Congress in London  I gave a presentation about the challenges that WAN-IFRA, the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers currently faces and what we do to develop new markets, new audiences and new approaches for our events.

The session was recorded using a technology that combines slides with the speaker commentary, and as soon as this is online, I’ll update this post accordingly. I guess without the explanation, the slides are not so useful.

The Association Congress in London proved to be very helpful for an Association Manager like me. It gives you a lot of inspiration where the non-profit industry is heading, what are new trends, and it allows you to network and benchmark a lot with peers. Obviously, social media was one of the hottest topics there, and consequently there was quite a lot going on on Twitter around the Congress.

I also liked the way that technology was used to facilitate networking among the delegates. Damian Hutt, the Congress Director, implemented a networking device provided by the supplier SpotMe, which had a bunch of features to get in touch with other attending  peers. See the video below for more information about their devices. The only problem with this technology really is that you have to carry yet another device – on top of your mobile phone or tablet if you use such a device… And of course you have to learn how to use it, which is not necessarily self-explanatory.

The session where I was speaking was professionally facilitated by William Thomson – and he particularly put an emphasis on audience interaction. As a result, the session was really a conversation rather than just speaking to a crowd – the delegates obviously appreciated this format!

Next year, the Association Congress will take place at ACC Liverpool, 15-16 July 2012.

10 Tips: How to Attract Conference and Exhibition Sponsors

Well, if only this was an easy to answer question…

One thing is for sure: Getting sponsorship for conferences and trade shows has become a lot more difficult, with so many options that potential sponsors have, and so many organizers competing for sponsorship.

Very broadly speaking, there is a basic dilemma for event organizers and sponsors. When looking for sponsorship, the ORGANIZERS typically want

  • Money
  • As  easy as possible
  • Standardized
  • Apart from that: To be left alone by the sponsors when it comes to the event programming (speakers, sessions etc.)

The SPONSOR, on the other hand, typically asks for

  • Exclusivity
  • A say as regards content (speaking opps, featured topics, case studies)
  • Individual offers
  • Preferred treatment throughout the whole event

During my time in a sponsoring and PR agency, working for brands like Volkswagen and Deutsche Post, I have learned how important those points really are for sponsors. As a potential sponsor, you immediately put aside those requests where you feel that you get a copy-and-paste template and where the organizers have not thought one second about your branding and positioning requirements.content marketing for events

Okay then, what would be some recommendations how to approach potential sponsors? Some food for thought, in the sense of a checklist of things to bear in mind:

  1. When you present a sponsoring proposal to a potential candidate, ALWAYS put their logo on the pdf or ppt! And make sure you use the correct and current one.
  2. Describe the target audience of your event – but not on a generic level, but particularly to what extent it overlaps with the sponsor’s target groups.
  3. Check on their website if your potential sponsor supports other events, and of what nature those are. What can you learn from that? Is there a particular person, decision maker or department behind those sponsorships?
  4. What can you find out about the brand positioning and brand values of your target sponsor? What bit of that ties in with your event positioning? Try to create a storyline that combines your event objectives with your sponsor’s objectives.
  5. Be creative. Develop out-of-the box offers to differentiate from your competitors. Of course, that also implies some research about what your competitors are actually offering.
  6. Be inspired by what other organizers (beyond the horizon of your own industry) have offered. Take a look at the sponsoring offers of events like SXSW, Mobile World Congress, CES, and in particular the TED Conferences. For our World Newspaper Week in Vienna, October 2011, we have created a comprehensive scope of promotional opportunities.
  7. Create some low-budget options for newcomers to your industry. We offer a simple branding sponsorship at our conferences, which is a kind of premium participation fee. A sponsor gets an entrance ticket, their logo on the website, on site, and their brochure in the delegate bags. Nothing fancy, but a good money maker.
  8. Involving sponsors in the program: Well… Why don’t you rather offer the opportunity to let a customer of theirs do the talking? That is much more credible and has a higher impact for the sponsor, too.
  9. Be flexible. You should have a clearly formulated offer when you approach a candidate, but be flexible enough to tailor it to their demands.
  10. Post-Event: Send a Thank-you-letter after the event along with a documentation (pics, facts and figures etc.).

Here you’ll find some more useful resources about how to attract sponsorship:

Why don’t you share your success stories here?

Review: ICCA Association Experts Seminar, Frankfurt, 21-23 May 2011

Last weekend, I had the pleasure to attend the ICCA Association Experts Seminar in Frankfurt. I had been to an ICCA event before, so I knew that not only are those events brilliantly organized, but they also deliver great value for an event organizer and association executive.

It is ICCA’s intention to intensify the dialogue between association meeting planners and convention bureaus and other suppliers. Such a seminar is beneficial for both sides, because it helps to improve the understanding for the needs of each party. On top of that, ICCA manage to deliver great content about trends in the meeting industry, and we even tried some quite interesting interactive meeting and event techniques (e.g. a fishbowl discussion) which are a source of inspiration of our own meeting planning.

The meeting in Frankfurt was very professionally facilitated by Gary Grimmer from Melbourne. Nikki Walker with MCI gave a presentation about the art and science of new media for association communities, a topic that most of associations are struggling with quite a bit currently. One of the take-aways was her suggestion to encourage multilingual comments on Facebook, because with Google translate, those comments can be of value and understandable for other users.

Next on the agenda was Dr. Ajay Kakar from India. This gentleman is not only the Secretary of the International Academy of Periodontology, he is also a dentist, a Cobalt programmer, a designer of his own virtual trade show tailored to the Indian market (!), an extremely nice person and a magician, too, as we could experience over the dinner 😉

We had a very good time together, and it was very interesting to share his experience about virtual events that really work. When setting the event up, he found the biggest problem was to get the exhibitors to deliver the right content in the right format. That should not be underestimated when planning a virtual or hybrid event. The main reason for him to test a virtual show at all was that his exhibitors were actually demanding it. They were pushing him to limit the number of real-life events to a reasonable amount, while at the same time offering the opportunity to reach out to an audience also in remote places in India. Ultimately, he had to take into account the limited bandwidth in rural India, and develop a system that was not too flashy and would work in those places, too. What he presented was a straight-forward, easy-to-use and easy-to-setup tool that serves the purposes in his market ideally. I’ll be curious to follow the success of this venture!

The second day featured a presentation by Elling Hamso, European Event ROI Institute. He presented the Event ROI pyramid, which is based on the concept that an event can only be successful, financially or otherwise, if it actually motivates the participants to DO something differently after the event, to apply what they’ve learned and to change behavior. Elling suggested some ways to measure this impact that are easy to implement, really. I am sure I’ll go through my event and trade show surveys to modify them accordingly! I particularly liked the stylish way how Elling sent everyone of us an email after the event with 10 recommendations how we could maximize the networking and learning experience from the seminar.

The afternoon of the second day was dedicated to interactive sessions about what meeting planners require from destinations, and what destination suppliers really want from planners to improve cooperation.

For the third day, a self-propelled session was planned, so the late afternoon on Sunday was used to prepare this. Elling came up with the great idea to create a fishbowl session, and a suitable topic for this was quickly identified: What do events have to look and feel like in the future in order to attract “Gen Y”, a totally networked and tech-savvy generation? It was great to be part of this experience, not only because it delivered great results, but also because it proved once more that these kind of interactive, un-conference-style events really work. Click on the video below to see Bruce Redor from Gary’s team explain how it works.

All in all, this weekend was a wonderful experience that I had the pleasure to share with a bunch of nice, professional and very dedicated people from the worldwide ICCA community -I look forward to taking part again in 2012! Thanks to ICCA for facilitating this exchange.