If you want your event’s marketing and social media activities to resonate with your chosen target market, you’ll need to know what makes that specific audience tick. Which all sounds simple enough – until you start taking into consideration each different generation’s consumer behaviour and technological know-how.

Baby Boomers and Gen Z’s are poles apart when it comes to their use of social media channels

Take the Baby Boomer generation and Generation Z (or ‘Zed’), for example. ‘Baby Boomer’ is the collective name given to those individuals born in the years following the Second World War – from around 1946 to 1964. Bearing in mind that the internet was only really taking form from about 1964 onwards, it’s safe to assume that Baby Boomers have been less influenced by digital technology than Gen Z, who’ve actually never known a world without the influence of the World Wide Web.

As ‘digital’ or ‘mobile’ natives (thanks to being born between 1995 and 2009), Gen Z’s engagement with using social media at events will completely differ to their older counterparts, and so it’s probably a good idea to cut your teeth on this age group if you’re wanting to learn how to target future generations with your social media marketing activities.

So, what is Gen Z’s primary engagement and learning style?

The oldest of the Gen Z’s have just finished their first three years of tertiary education. If they are attending your events, they will be there as corporate interns or in junior positions in the business. Realistically though, most of them are still at school. What do you need to know about them to sufficiently engage them at your future corporate events?

According to a Slideshare by Mark McCrindle, Gen Z’s engagement style is visual, as opposed to verbal. They like to participate in an activity (‘Try and See’) and don’t just want to sit and listen to a speaker or expert share their insights with them. They prefer to be facilitated and collaborated with, instead of merely being told what to do. Gen Z’s also value an open book approach to their learning, which makes a great deal of sense considering the almost unlimited access to information that they’ve been afforded from a very young age.

What this translates to in real-world terms is that Gen Z’s are looking for interactive, audio-visual event experiences that require them to be hands-on in their engagement. Information needs to be quickly and visually delivered to them, while being readily accessible via multiple touch points. This will have an impact on how they will be using social media at events.

What’s the best way to market your events to Gen Z?

How they shop, learn and communicate: From an interesting Marketo infographic, we learn that Gen Z are adept researchers who are skilled in using online resources to learn, collaborate and get a job done. They use mobile technology to shop online. Gen Z’s use images to communicate and are comfortable with using multiple devices at the same time, with many browser tabs running simultaneously.

Their social media habits: When it comes to using social media at events, keep in mind that this generation values their privacy more so than the previous generation of Millennials, and so migrate to social media platforms like Snapchat, Secret and Whisperer. In fact, this infographic would imply that many of them aren’t on social media channels like Facebook or Instagram at all.

YouTube and push notifications: According to a Forbes blog, they are also twice more likely to use YouTube than Millennials, emails are regarded as an outdated form of communication, and they are “three times likelier to open a chat message received through a push notification”. This is great news for marketers and should be leveraged when using social media at events to promote your corporate brand.

We love these points from the Marketo infographic on how to market your events and use social media to engage Gen Z effectively. As an marketing event manager you will need to:

1.) Use multiple screens at your event to visually communicate information to them
2.) Deliver ‘snackable’ content that is short and easy for them to digest
3.) Feed their innate curiosity with interesting facts and figures and harness their entrepreneurial spirit by involving them in problem solving and collaboration.
4.) Give your target audience choices in the way information is delivered to them (i.e. use multiple channels in your communication with them)
5.) Include live-streaming technology and collaboration at your event
6.) Ensure that Gen Z’s walk away from your event having learned something applicable and valuable to their future

You’ll be happy to know that The RSVP Agency’s Event Registration Software can help streamline the rest of your event planning processes, freeing you up to learn how to adapt your event marketing strategies to cater to Gen Z’s unique social media engagement style and approach.

For more information, download our Event Marketing Guide.

Image Credit: www.pexels.com


corporate-event-ideas.jpgCan you believe that we are well into the first half of 2016 already? For those of us in the Can you believe that we are well into the first half of 2016 already? For those of us in the Southern Hemisphere, this means that a strong winter chill has begun to set in. Almost overnight (it seems), we’ve had to start digging in our closets and storerooms for our winter woollies and appliances (scarves, coats, boots, vests, electric blankets, hot water bottles, gas heaters – you name it) as we prepare for the cold and wet months ahead. Brrrr!

As a corporate event planner, the onset of winter means it’s time to change track with your event offerings too. By now you should’ve kicked into ‘winter mode’ and started thinking about cosier venues and more winter-appropriate cuisine, décor and activity selections for your upcoming corporate events. But, just in case you need more inspiration, the following are some additional corporate event ideas for you.

So, what’s hot and happening for wintery work functions in 2016?

Because food is a great people gatherer, let’s start with corporate event ideas for tasty cuisine items that you can incorporate into your winter menus this year.

African flavours and gluten-free options rank high as cuisine ‘musts’ in the winter of 2016

Interestingly enough, cuisine and flavours from Africa are top of the list of recommended catering options for 2016. This is according to a blog by a boutique catering company, Olive Twist. A Forbes article backs this up by listing a North African, egg-based dish called Shakshuka as one trendy option, while a GoodFood post places South African dishes like Bobotie (a spicy, minced meat dish) and Melktert (a milk custard dessert) among their 2016 trendsetting favourites.

In one of their foodie blogs, Entrepreneur predicted that grilled or roasted vegetables and meat (and even dessert) options are going to be more creatively explored in 2016. Smoked flavours are in too. And, believe it or not, chickpeas, in the form of chickpea flour, are making an appearance as a trendy food item these days. One Bon Appetite blog recommends replacing wheat flour with chickpeas flour for making crepes, pasta dishes, deep fried cakes and the likes.

From a glance at most trend-orientated blogs for events this year, it would appear that guests are more health conscious than ever before, so ensuring that your caterer sources locally and organically grown food items for your event is another ‘must’ for 2016. When it comes to alcoholic beverages, artisan or craft spirits or beers are the way forward for your 2016 corporate events. And coconut water seems to be a trendy offering for a non alcoholic drink option on the menu.

Creative catering methods can be used to keep guests entertained and engaged 

Unless your venue comes with gas heaters or bonfires for entertaining guests outside, you’ll likely be limited to inside venue options for your winter events. Olive Twist reccomends playing around with the idea of strolling buffets (for mingling and networking) or interactive chef’s tables as a means of keeping your guests adequately occupied. This places food as one of the main events at your corporate function. As far as corporate event ideas for catering go, we think this approach is pretty neat.

Turning our attention to décor, which colours should you use?

A Cvent blog on the 2016 winter colour palette includes subtle tones like medium to light grey, taupe, light turquoise, mustards, a light rose colour, and light shades of purple and orange. Earth tones are also included in the mix. These colours can be incorporated into the décor as equally subtle accents, through your choice of linen, paper, artwork, dinnerware and flowers.

Some practical considerations – thanks to the winter chill

Corporate event ideas for welcome drinks naturally turn to warmer and spicier options. Consider a traditional hot cider or gluhwein (aka mulled wine) as a welcome drink at the door. Alternatively, Esquire has a creative list of winter cocktails to peruse for some recipes that are bound to please the most chilled (literally) of guests.

Because nobody wants to get caught in a downpour between their transport and your event’s entrance, be sure to select an event venue that has adequately covered parking, offers a valet service if needed and is easily located and accessible. Choose dress codes or themes that are suitable for winter and aren’t so over the top that it puts your guests off from attending entirely.

The good news is that professional Event Management Software doesn’t change with the seasons. For more information about the consistent event planning solutions that event management software has to offer, download our Practical Guide to Professional RSVP

Image credits:
Cover Photo: s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com
Shakshuka: leanitup.com
Italian flatbread: inpursuitofmore.com
Mulled wine: gimmesomeoven.com


Momentum-Wealth-event-registration-software.jpgDenise Pillay works as the Events and Sponsorship Manager at one of South Africa’s leading financial services companies,Momentum. She recently used The RSVP Agency’s Event Registration Software to help her organise a product launch for brokers and some of Momentum’s internal and more key clients.

Denise had the following to say about her professional experience with our online RSVP and Event Registration product.

What did you enjoy the most about organising this particular product launch?

The event’s concept and theme was brought to life by using various channels of engagement. These included the event invitation, registration process, audio-visual elements used at the event, and the overall flow of the day.

How did you promote and market your event?

We hosted a press conference and invited industry journalists to the event to position our product to them. This was then conveyed via their digital and print channels.

Did you design your own electronic invitations or did The RSVP Agency’s in-house designer assist you?

Our internal design team is normally responsible for the design of our event invites.

How did our Event Registration Software assist you with organising the launch?

It helped in providing input and suggestions in terms of how I wanted the onsite process to be handled. I am on site at our events to assist with any issues that may crop up; I am very involved in making sure that the process runs smoothly.

What are some of the functions that you most appreciated about The RSVP Event Registration Software?

I appreciated that the product was user-friendly and that it allowed us to manage the invitation process without having to wait for someone to assist us. I also enjoyed the various built-in functionalities that helped me facilitate the entire process. The availability and willingness of the RSVP project management team was also appreciated.

What advice would you give other event’s organisers wanting to use The RSVP Agency Event Registration Software?

It’s a brilliant invitation tool. I would highly recommend this software if you need invitations for small, medium or large corporate events. The invitation looked great; it was professional and well received by many of our clients. The back-end of the tool is simple to understand and navigate when you need to make relevant changes and manage your responses.

Request a quote from The RSVP Agency today to have someone from our team contact you about our Event Registration Software’s many useful offerings. Image Credit: www.youthvillage.co.za

Image Credit: www.youthvillage.co.za

 


We recently caught up with Lebo Motswenyane, the Managing Director of Lucky No.8, to ask her for her professional opinion of our Event Registration Software.

Lucky No.8 is a boutique events management company based in Johannesburg, South Africa, with a client list that boasts the likes of Anglo American Platinum, Corona, DSTV, AfroCentric Investment Corporation Limited, and the iconic fashion brand, Guess. Lebo, who personally heads up the running of all events and projects handled by the Lucky No.8 team, had the following to say about her experience with our RSVP software.

For which corporate event did you recently use our Event Registration Software?

I used The RSVP Agency’s Event Registration Software for the 2016 AfroCentric Achiever Awards. The awards ceremony was run as a gala dinner for AfroCentric staff and management and so was invite only. The dress code was formal to suit the gala dinner theme.

An exciting element to this event was its travel component, with guests attending from six different cities across the continent. This was the first time that I’d organised a destination dinner like this, so it was an exciting new element for me.

Did you design your own electronic invitations or did The RSVP Agency’s in-house designer assist you?

We supplied The RSVP Agency with all the design elements for this event, including the invitation & aide memoire.

Tell us about your experience using The RSVP Agency’s Event Registration Software

I find the system to be efficient and professional. It’s great that the software is able to track whether invited guests have actually opened the information sent to them or not. We were able to follow up with the people who hadn’t responded to our email invitation or opened their correspondence at all.

What are a few of the functions that you most appreciate about The RSVP Event Registration Software?

The tracking of guest responses and the survey option are key features of this Event Registration Software. This helped us to plan the gala dinner better and allowed dinner guests to ask questions and interact with us around any queries they had about the event.

What advice would you give another event organiser wanting to use The RSVP Event Registration Software?

The more information you share with The RSVP Agency, the smoother the process becomes. Your guests will interact directly with The RSVP Agency, so the more that the Agency knows about your event, the smoother the communication process with your guests will be.

Request a quote from The RSVP Agency today to have someone from our team contact you about our Event Registration Software’s many useful offerings.

Image Credit: www.luckyno8.co.za

 


online-registration-software-3It’s exactly 50 years since American television premiered the popular science fiction series, Star Trek. Those of us who are old enough will remember our first ever ‘encounter’ with Captain Kirk and the strange Mr. Spock, as we watched their thrilling, intergalactic travels in the starship Enterprise. Star Trek fans, or ‘Trekkies’, have abounded in number ever since.

Interestingly, this cult series was produced only nine years after the Soviets put the first living being – a dog called Laika – into orbit, says a SPACE.com article. This explains much of the series’ subject matter, and the intrigue around it, at the time.

Did you know that Star Trek had a role to play in the invention of certain digital technology?

While much of what Star Trek has dreamed up for the future of space travel still needs to be actualised, the series did play a role in inspiring real-life technological inventions like the cell phone and tablet computers, says both a Wikipedia article and this blog on gadgets inspired by Star Trek. How strange that modern online registration software, and its associated technology, has Star Trek to thank for just how far we have come!

In the light, and spirit, of this intriguing little fact, let’s spend some time dreaming about the future of event registration technology, shall we?

With a focus on events that are interactive and fully immersive, ongoing technological advancements have a very real role to play in the future of event management.

If the sky’s the limit when it comes to dreaming, let’s think very far outside of the box for a moment to describe the wonderful, futuristic world of events management and online registration software:

  • Currently, most online registration software makes use of digital invitations and QR codes for on-the-day access and event registration. Imagine a world where this is taken to the next level and your guests are given access to your event using their biometrical data. Visualise using iris recognition solutions via a retinal scan to register your guests, for example. Imagine that!

  • Wearable technology will likely become a norm at all events. Picture interactize eye gear (much like the failed Google Glass product) that can be used by event staff, together with online registration software, to scan event tickets. This technology could also enhance your event security, if also designed to take and store instant photographs of guests for facial recognition purposes.

  • Wearable Experiments is one company that is exploring the full potential of wearable tech by “integrating hardware, software, apparel and design”.  This means that we can soon expect our clothes to be as smart as our gadgets. Imagine a world where the clothes we wear will be involved in communicating and enhancing our experiences…

  • According to CadmiumCD, simulated 3D sound and hologram technology could soon be shaping your guests’ virtual experiences too. At the moment, research into 3D sound is being conducted by a team at the University of Maryland, says a BackChannel blog published last year. The blog author explains that, instead of placing speakers around a room to deliver 3D sound, this clever technology aims to combine headphones, sophisticated technology and everyday gadgets to immerse users in mind-blowing, surround sound experiences.

  • Event networking apps that incorporate some of that hologram technology briefly mentioned above, could also be a new ‘thing’ at events. Instead of just creating groups in apps that allow guests at different venues to network via text, video or images, futuristic networking apps could allow guests to ‘meet’ each other in real time using hologram technology.

Dreaming aside, there are some pretty great Event Registration Software packages ‘out there’ already that are technologically advanced enough to blow your hair back.

You will be happy to know that, while we wait to see how advancing technology will continue to disrupt our lives, existing Event Registration Software has already moved us far beyond the conventional pen-and-paper approach to events management.

Read our brochure to find out more about the many sophisticated features we have built into our Invitation RSVP Management Solution software.

Image Credit: images.csmonitor.com

 


Compliance-and-ethics

Have you ever been at an event that you didn’t have a hand in organising and wondered what would happen if there was a massive electrical fire? Maybe you have envisioned getting caught up in a panic-stricken stampede during an emergency (like in one of those awful scenes from an apocalypse movie)? It’s during those moments that you look around for all the venue’s exit signs, and then fervently hope and pray that the event organisers have a good system in place to keep everyone safe. Most importantly, you are also reminded why it is so important to have your own ducks in a row when it comes to health and safety regulations at your own events.

Things can, and do, go terribly wrong at events

While no one ever wants to consider that such things could happen, they can! In 2013, for example, one of LG’s promotional events in Seoul went horribly wrong when some rogue attendees whipped out knives and BB guns to get to smartphones vouchers hidden in 100 helium balloons. It wasn’t pretty: Twenty people were injured and seven eventually had to be hospitalised. We are also quite sure that LG’s reputation suffered a significant blow because of this unforeseen catastrophe.

Another sad example is the death of an avid Linkin Park fan who sustained fatal injuries outside of the Cape Town Stadium on the way to the band’s live music event. This tragedy occurred when temporary scaffolding outside of the venue collapsed on a number of concert-goers due to very strong winds. Nineteen people were injured, twelve of whom needed to be hospitalised.

This is why it’s so important that, when planning events, the correct event compliance and ethics procedures are followed and that provision is made for all potential worst case scenarios.

Event compliance procedures need to be right at the top of your event planning checklist

When it comes to event compliance and ethics procedures, it does not pay to cut corners. Are you aware of all the laws and compliance parameters for every single facet of your event?

The SABS Standards Division has developed South African National Standard Requirements for Health and Safety at events, which touches on everything from health and safety responsibilities and duties for event organisers, site and venue owners, to venue and site design and communication regulations for your next big event.

Because the relevant regulatory material is easily accessible to event planners, there is no excuse for event compliance and ethics to fall by the wayside. We suggest that you use the SABS resource (hyperlinked for you above) to double-check that all your events compliance and ethics bases are covered.

Good ethics create a good reputation, says the Ethics Institute of South Africa (EISA)

According to the EISA, ethics is concerned with “the extent to which individuals or organisations act towards others in accordance with ethical values and standards”. The EISA is correct – companies that maintain good ethical standards and prove to be consistently trustworthy tend to retain their clients and customers. Ethical practices are an important component of customer satisfaction, which is directly linked to your brand’s reputation. Think about the recent VW carbon emission scandal and how their unethical practice directly affected their brand reputation and crushed their profit margins.

Is it time to create an event planning code of ethics?

Do you have a code of ethics that you use and communicate to your event management team when planning your corporate events? Such a code could help you with the appropriate procedures and processes for protecting guest’s personal information, for example, and should include information from the POPI Act. Couple this code with sophisticated event registration software that ensures the secure handling and storage of personal data, and you will be well on your way to running events that are POPI compliant.

Event compliance and ethics are crucial. It can take only one disaster to shut down a really good event management company or department.

Want to know more about ensuring that your events are compliant? Download our Event Compliance Checklist to update yourself on the essentials.

Image Credit: www.google.co.za

 


Our RSVP service is constantly evolving and improving in order to provide our clients with the best service possible. We’ve added several new functions to our RSVP event management software to ensure that your events are better and easier to manage than ever.

  •  In order to facilitate a seamless guest-check in process, we’ve developed an iPad registration application that’s now fully integrated into our invitation management system.
  • Our event management software now features a “self-registration” feature – allowing guests to register to attend an event, even if they haven’t received an email invitation.
  • We’ve also simplified our referral process, which means that invited guests can now easily invite their valued clients and contacts to an event.
  • Our event management software also now includes a new memo function, which allows communication during the RSVP process.
  • In addition to the key enhancements above, we’ve also added the ability to decline from a “save the date”, so that guests who are unavailable on a particular date can decline before they receive an invitation.

We’ve also added a number of other minor enhancements in order to make your event planning and management process as simple as possible.

Image Credit: Crown Events and Conferences