Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Before I Leave You...

Before I Leave You...


Today is my last day here at Mulligan Management Group, and I am thrilled to have had the opportunity to work here. De-de has taken the time to train me and teach me how to be a good content creator and have a good grasp on social media strategy. I definitely still have a lot to learn, but I have received my boost into the marketing world with this internship.

My greatest concern in going for a Marketing degree was that I would do what 95% of all business degree'd graduates do- go into sales. Not that sales is bad, but I have spent the first 6 years of my young life in B2C sales and I just don't enjoy it anymore. So, when I got this internship, I became more confident that I wouldn't have to enslave myself to the Sales industry. Now, I am moving to a Marketing Co-op with General Electric as a Database Marketing Intern and I am excited to have the opportunity to learn a whole new world of marketing.

As I mentioned, I learned a lot through these months with Mulligan Management Group, and while I can go on and on about different aspects of marketing and sales, from CRM management to social media strategy and mapping out blog topics, but here is the most important thing I took away from my time here...

Just because you have something to say, doesn't mean anyone wants to hear it.

It is pretty simple, I'll admit, but I think that it is the primary thing I learned from all of this. I remember starting out my first blog and being very frustrated that they way that I chose to write out the blog was not the way that people like to receive it.

As an example, people like "list-y" articles. It allows people to skim through the article quickly and determine if it is something they want to read into further. Well, I didn't write that way, and I didn't like writing that way. So when it came time for me to write that way, I was very averse to it.

Even if your content is good and revolutionary, people will bounce right off of that page once they realize that it can't be a quick read. I found myself bouncing off of pages once I realized there wasn't a list involved...

And yes, I do realize that this is not a list article- this is the way that I write. And now I know that you may not be interested in it!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

5 Reasons Why You Need a Social Editorial Calendar


Your Company Must Have One


Have you ever gotten writer's block when it comes to social posts? Or have so much content that you aren’t sure what to write first? Or have multiple editors and writers but no plan about who is writing what, when?

You may be in need of a social editorial calendar. Just like a traditional editorial calendar, a social calendar helps plan out what will be posted on which dates and months. It gives you and your team a plan of attack.

So why a social editorial calendar instead of just jotting down ideas? Here’s why:

Content Marketing Requires Strategy

Content marketing is all about reaching an audience in places they are willing to listen to you. To reach the right audience, you have to consistently deliver relevant content your customers care about. Having a strategy on what to post, how often, where, and for how long are all important factors in the success of your content marketing.

Plan Out Content

A calendar keeps your social, content, and public relations teams aligned. Blog posts, social posts, announcements, white papers, YouTube videos and releases should be added to the calendar weeks in advance so every team is aware of what to post, when. At the end of each week, send around the topics for the following weeks so everyone can make any last minute changes before writing content.

BUT, be willing and ready to push content if something urgent comes to the forefront. You should have two posting buckets: Posts that are urgent, immediate or breaking news and posts that are evergreen.

Keep It Consistent

A well-planned out calendar keeps your message top-of-mind. It keeps you from spamming one media channel and neglecting another. It makes a tangible plan for your team to stick to and follow throughout the year. It ensures that you are posting consistently and pushing fresh content.

Many of our now clients used to post when they were able to do so. What they had for social was a "hot mess" - posting frequently for a few months and then being radio silent for months or even years on end. This is a great way to lose customers because if they see you are inconsistent with your postings, they might think you are inconsistent in other matters as well.

Make It A Team Effort

Use the calendar as an assignment for your writers. You can assign content to writers by strength, knowledge and level of expertise so you don’t have to scramble to find someone to write last minute. Hold each team accountable for their part in the social calendar. Send it out ahead of time so each team can ask questions or tweak the topics.

Engage the Audience

No one wants to read posts every day about how great your company is or what products and services you offer. Use the 70/30 approach: Make your content 70% about things your client’s care about relevant to your industry and 30% about you! Sprinkle the posts around. Post about things going on in the market, industry trends, and informational posts. Becoming a thought leader in your industry will build your credibility and show you care about more than making a profit.

About Mulligan Management Group, LLC

We specialize in social media consulting, creation and analysis, as well as social media content calendar management. Visit our website at www.mulliganmanagementgroup.com or give us a call at 330-472-7673 to learn more about what we do and how we can help you!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Why the AVExperience is Exceptional in Spain

Tourism Office in Spain - Chicago, Tourism Office in Spain, AVE Experience, i-Meet
AVE Train in Spain Runs Fast Along the Plain

AVExperience Offers Affordable Transportation 


I love traveling by train. It is so comfortable and I can easily sit with my family and friends. I can get up and stretch when I want to and there is always a dining or snack car available. In addition, I can take in the wonderful countryside and relax.

When I travel to Spain sometime in the next couple of years, I am going to look forward to the AVExperience. What is the AVExperience you might ask? It is Spain’s network of high-speed trains, coupled with a hotel reservation system, discount on cultural visits and the ability to see Spain’s tourist destinations in no time!

In addition to all of this, as meeting professionals conducting site visits in Spain, you can add an extra day or two and see more of this wonderful country!

 

Where do you go for the AVExperience?


I would suggest the first place you go is to their website.

Next, choose the location you wish to go to from the city you are in. You will have 19 cities in Spain to choose from.  Then you will need to determine your leave and return dates. If you are staying overnight, you will need to indicate how many bedrooms you need and how many adults and children are traveling in your party.

From there, you will search for what options are available and you can filter from there to include hotels, apartments or bed & breakfasts. It will give you the star rating of the venue along with the train schedule coming and going.

There is a tab for the train schedule options as well. You do not have to book accommodations if you are just going for the day and that can easily be booked through the Renfe Spain Pass which can be secured six months in advance and has great discounts on various cultural attractions. 

At this point you can book online your accommodations and train ticket and/or start your search over again.

 

What is the Network of Cities AVE?


The AVE Cities Network is the association of tourist destinations in Spain connected by high-speed trains with the aim of promoting all 20 cities under a common strategy. The goal for Spain is to promote their tourism products of the AVExperience and Spain Pass in order to have more individuals travel to the 20 cities in the network.

TheNetwork of Cities AVE presents 20 destinations together so you can enjoy the cultural diversity of Spain in a flexible offering that allows you to customize every trip.

How can the Tourist Office of Spain - Chicago Help?


The Tourist Office of Spain – Chicago is located in the heart of Chicago and their educated and experienced staff is available to help make your meeting in Spain very successful! Contact them at 312.642.1992 to get the process started!

About the Author



De-de Mulligan is a professional blogger and yearns to travel to Spain. She is a regular contributor to i-Meet, the online business community for people who plan meetings and events. Please follow her on Google+ and connect with her on LinkedIn for a portfolio of blog posts about meeting and event trends and technology. 

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Will Wearable Technology Wear Out Attendees?


Wearables Are Our Future


Google Glass.  Apple Watch. Fitbit.

What are they? Wearable technologies! And in some demographic circles they are all the rage. While they are fun and sexy, do they have the juice to run your event?

Let’s take a harder look into wearables, how they are positioned and the truth about their applicability for attendees in 2015 and beyond.

What Wearables Have to Offer


  • Their main strength is the ability to track and measure activity and record such activity with video (in the case of Google Glass).
  • Sleek designs are meant to appeal to different individuals. Depending on the manufacturer and product, they have a variety of color schemes as well.
  • Many offer phone support through Bluetooth and are compatible with certain versions of the manufacturer’s smartphone line.
  • Depending on the system, they are waterproof.
  • The battery life lasts multiple days.
  • Some have voice recognition and can use the speakerphone option.

 

What Wearables Are Lacking


The major thing wearables are lacking is the variety and depth of applications any attendee would want while at a conference. In addition, most apps are not hardware agnostic – meaning the ability to be used on multiple vendor platforms – which is a problem developers need to address pronto if wearables of any kind are going to be accepted in the event industry.

Bridget Carey, a senior editor at CNET stated, “Fitness bands track steps, smartwatches buzz with missed tweets, and wearable cameras capture every waking moment. But none of this fits together.”

In fact, most testers of this technology agree that right now, unless you are interested in one or two specific apps for the wearable, this device is just a distraction.

Ben Bajarin, a principal analyst at Creative Strategies stated, “The wearable market has been challenged. Consumers buy them, the experience is novel, but after time the devices fail to add any real value.”

 

Wearables Will Eventually Get There

 

According to a report from Transparency Market Research sales from wearable devices are expected to reach $5.8 billion in 2018. Last September, MarketsandMarkets published a report predicting this market will have sales of $11.6 billion by 2020.

What Should You Do For Your Attendees in the Meantime?


If you are interested in giving your attendees a full breadth of applications with mobile flexibility, consider a line of Apple rentals and tablet rentals offered from Hartford Technology Rental.

While HTR will be keeping their eye on wearables in the future, I believe wearables have a long way to go before they will be totally accepted in the event industry. Google Glass has the most applicability for training, but even this product struggles for acceptance due to privacy issues.

Give us a call at 888.520.5667 to learn more about our product offerings. 

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Networking in 6 Easy Steps

getting a meeting, networking, job search, mulligan management group


Networking is the only way to get a good job anymore. Working yor way up the corporate ladder requires a lot of off-the-clock time where you are connecting with other professionals who are able (and willing) to bring you up to their level. The unfortunate reality is that, it doesn't matter what you know, it matters who you know. Somewhere around 80% of jobs are filled through internal hires or referrals.

Even for those who understand that networking is of utmost importance, actually doing it is the hard part. Everyone is so busy anymore that no one has time to get to know people who aren't of an immediate benefit to them. So how do you get in front of someone who is higher up than you? How do you make them realize that spending time with you will be valuable to them?

6 Methods to Book a Meeting

Stephanie Vozza at FastCompany has some great tips for getting some networking time with that high-value contact:

  1. Find a Warm Lead. If you know anyone who knows this individual on any level, you can ask them to recommend you. If you receive a referral from someone you trust, you are more likely to view the individual you are meeting with in a positive light, and not simply someone who wants to waste your time. A good tool to determine a warm lead is social media, Facebook will give you mutual friends, and LinkedIn will give you connections out to the 4th degree!
  2. Look for Commonality. If you share a common interest with the individual you are trying to meet, it will make them want to talk to you. If you went to the same college they went to, that will help even more! Finding commonality between you and your contact will start the relationship off before you even get in the room with them.
  3. Work Your Way Up. If you don't have a warm lead already, you can make a warm lead! It may be difficult and it is a tedious process, but if you make contact with people higher and higher up, and ask them to continually refer you to the next person, sooner or later you will find yourself talking to your desired contact.
  4. Share Your Associations. If you have any kind of certifications or ever did anything noteworthy (even something like becoming an Eagle Scout), find out if your contact has anything similar. They may be devoted enough to your associations that they will make time to talk to you.
  5. Offer a Form of Currency. Make sure they know that you have something to offer them. Don't be so convinced that you are as valuable as they are to not offer them something in return. A lot of times, simply buying someone lunch is enough. For people more in the public eye, maybe it is more valuable to them to get some PR and you can offer to write about your interview with them in your blog.
  6. Know What to Ask for. A lot of people who are high value contacts have a lot of obligations. A 30 minute meeting might not sound like a lot to you, but to the person who is receiving 20 requests per week, those 30 minute sessions turn into 10 hours of talking to different people! Maybe, instead of asking for a 30 minute lunch, you should ask for a 10 minute phone interview. That will seem a lot less daunting to them.
Meeting with these people is very valuable. It can be very difficult and very frustrating, but if you are devoted, know what you're looking for, and have done your homework, you could be just a few days away from your dream encounter!

Saturday, December 5, 2015

7 Solid Ways to Make Your Next Meeting Stand Out




Without a doubt, meeting and event planners have stiff competition when it comes to getting attendees to their events. From the travel budget to the increasing workload of employees to the desire to attend other events, meeting participants need to be sold on the value of a conference.

If you are in such a quandary, don’t panic. Focus on the seven items below and you will have attendees begging you for the details about next year’s conference.

Follow this road map for success:

Content


Spend your time focused on content, developing content and aligning speakers to your content. Attendees are clamoring to learn new things from a new prospective. Figure out what your audience wants and deliver it to them.

Destination


Determine where your attendees are coming from and a location that makes sense. Think about transportation time and costs. Think about parking and accessibility. Think about desire to be there.

For example, everyone loves to go to Las Vegas or Orlando, however given the limited airlift options from a second-tier city like Cleveland, the flight can be a whole day coming and going. If your conference is 2 days long, that is 4 days out of the office. Chicago or Washington DC are quick flights from Cleveland and can make for easy attendee access.

Make your conference location desirable and accessible with reasonable transportation time and cost!

Local Amenities


Every destination has its own unique food, beverage and cultural attractions and entertainment. Use local suppliers for everything to allow attendees to really experience the area. You will most likely save money while giving attendees something new to talk about.  

Registration Fee


I am not a big proponent of free conferences or outrageously priced ones either. Make your reg fee reasonable enough that you can reach your budget objectives but not so costly that attendees are driven to procrastinate coming to it…or not making it at all.

Sustainability


Attendees are interested in two things – being “green” and doing something good for the local community.

You can replace paper with iPad rentals, iPhone rentals or Tablet rentals. Posters can be replaced with digital signage. Water pictures can replace water bottles. At every turn, event organizers can be more environmentally conscious and so can their event suppliers. Hartford Rental has a great green program that encourages recycling and re-usability.

In addition, doing something for the local community - whether it is through charitable donations or being actively involved in a local non-profit  - is a great way for attendees to give back.

Technology


Technology is not only a “green” solution but it can also help engage your attendees on a real-time basis. Choosing gamification apps can help attendees learn in a fun way on their mobile devices. In addition, many other apps can help your group share information quickly on a local and/or virtual level. Video walls can display the event’s Twitter feed, Instagram photos and the conference day highlights.

Service


Providing a way for attendees to voice their concerns, questions and input to you in an easy fashion and then getting back to them in an expedient way, is all in the name of providing excellent service. Many event organizers establish Twitter hashtags or utilizing texting to keep in touch with attendees on a real-time basis.
Your conference support staff, suppliers and you can communicate through the same method via direct messaging on social channels, texting or phone calls.

How Hartford Technology Rental Can Help


When looking for Audio Visual Rentals and Computer Rentals, look no further than Hartford Technology Rental to serve your meeting needs! We can provide you everything from projector rentals to soup-to-nuts event rentals. Give us a call today at 888.520.5667