3 Ways to Use Social Media for Events

Integrating social media into events can be invaluable in terms of promotion, engagement, and measuring analytics.  Here are 3 ways to use social media for events:

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Promotion

Social Media can be a great resource for promoting your event because it allows you to reach out to a giant audience, as well as keep attendees reminded and up-to-date as the event gets closer.

Create A Facebook Event Page

A Facebook Event Page allows Facebook user to RSVP to your event, and it provides them with all of the details about the event.  Attendees can see who else is going to the event and they can interact through the comments section where you can also engage.

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Create a Twitter Hashtag for Your Event

A designated Twitter hashtag for your event will allow you to see what guests and viewers are saying about your event during and after the fact.

Social Media Engagment

Social Media can be helpful for not only promoting your event, but also for getting people to engage DURING your event.

Hashtag

As people enter the event, provide them with a card or a flyer that has the hashtag you created for the event so live-tweeters are all using the same hashtag.  You should also have a slide at the beginning of the presentation that mentions the hashtag so people will be more likely to use your hashtag and talk about your event.

Live Stream Your Event

By live streaming your event, people who were unable to make it to your event will be able to watch it live from home, or watch it after the fact when the event is over.  This will also help people that are not present engage via Twitter and Facebook.

Social Media Monitoring Tools

There are a lot of social media tools out there that will help monitor the activity and the success of your event.  Check out these really cool and useful tools:

Crowdbooster
Conversocial
Buffer
Twentyfeet
Trackur
Facebook Insights
Google Analytics
Social Mention

These are 3 of the best ways to use social media for events, and if you decide to implement them into your next event, you can expect some really great audience activity!

What to Do After Signing a Lease?

Congratulations on signing the lease on your new office space! Now that the hard part is over, you need to start thinking about what to do after signing a lease.

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Here are some of the next steps you should be taking:

Check for damages

Give the place a good walk-through and notate any existing damages or issues.  Make sure you and your landlord both sign-off on the existence of these damages, otherwise you will be charged for them when your lease is up.

Purchase any necessary equipment

Now that you have your own office space, you’re going to want to decorate it and fill it with the necessary furniture and equipment.  Do you have a desk? Chairs? Printer? Computer? Cabinets? Think about all of the things you want to have in order to make your office the best possible work environment.

Call and schedule movers

If don’t plan on moving all of your furniture and equipment into your new office all by yourself, you’ll probably want to hire a mover.  If this is the case, you want to pick a company, call them, and schedule a date and time for when they can move all of your things.

Inform the building of your arrival plans

Give the building and the landlord a heads up before you start moving your things in.  This way no one will be surprised when a moving truck pulls up outside the building and a bunch of sweaty guys are carrying couches and desks through the building.

Call the IT guy

Call the IT guy and set up an appointment with him to make sure you are set up for cable, internet, printing, and any other sort of technology related necessity.

If you’re not sure what to do after signing a lease, consider these steps and your move-in process should go smoothly.  What else would you add to this checklist in order to ensure a successful move-in process?

Welcoming New Co-workers to Your Co-working Space

Are you welcoming new co-workers to your co-working space?  If not, you should really consider doing so!

Co-working spaces are great working environments as well as places to network with other entrepreneurs.  But meeting people in a co-working space can be difficult without a little bit of help from the existing coworkers.  Whether you are running a co-working space, or you are just working out of one, here are a few things you can do to help welcome new co-workers into the community:

Take them on a tour

When new co-workers joins your community, take them on a tour of the facility and introduce them to some people you regularly interact with.  Show them popular break hangouts, or lunch spots so they can immerse themselves into the community.  A tour will help a new co-worker become familiar with the facility as well as the people working there.

Make an announcementwelcome

If your co-working space has an email system or intranet for making announcements to co-workers, consider sending out notifications of when new co-workers will be joining the community.  Encourage current existing co-workers to introduce themselves to new co-workers and help get them situated.

Host a monthly potluck

Not only is this good for welcoming new co-workers, but it is also a great community event.  Hosting a monthly potluck gives co-workers a chance to bring in their own dishes, and it allows them to network with each other.  New co-workers can easily meet people and learn about what others in the space are doing.  A lot of connections can be made between co-workers all because of a little potluck lunch.

Welcoming new co-workers to a co-working space is important for fostering the right type of community for your co-working space.  It’s kind of luck welcoming the new kid on the first day of school, or bringing a pie over to the neighbors who just moved in across the street.  Making that new person feel welcome will make their transition into an unfamiliar place much smoother, and it may even result in a friendship!

Useful Web Tools For Promoting Events

Promoting events has been made easier and more convenient than ever with the help of social media and some really cool web tools:

promoting

Lanyrd

Lanyrd is a great tool for finding conferences near you, and seeing which of your friends are attending or speaking at events.  If you can’t make it to an event, you can always check out slides, videos, and podcasts that are uploaded after.  This tool is great for promoting events because it allows people come across your events and then remember you for the next time you have an event.

Smore

Smore is a really cool tool that lets you design your own online flyers, which you can publish instantly.  Smore provides you with a list of custom-made themes, and it also allows you to embed test, images, videos, tweets, products, and reviews.  This tool also provides you with analytics in the form of an easy-to-read infographic, which highlights incoming traffic by source (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Website, Search, Email, etc.), interactions, and outgoing links.  All in all, a pretty cool tool for promoting events.

Eventbrite

Eventbrite allows you to create a professional event webpage that allows people to register for your event.  This tool makes promoting events a seamless process by automatically listing your public events on search engines, and allowing you to send out personalized email invitations.

Plancast

Plancast is a great source for finding out about events as well as planning and promoting your own event.  This online calendar allows user to share events and plans on their calendars, and then share with friends via Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus.

Eventasaurus

Eventasaurus is a tool for promoting events on all major social networks with an extremely useful dashboard for managing and engaging with RSVPs.  Comments and RSVPs are all compounded into one manageable page.  The ability to spread an event over several social networks, and then manage all of those pages in one convenient dashboard is a luxury for event planners and managers.

Experiment with some of these tools next time you are planning an event, and see how much easier the promotion process will become.

5 Reasons to Avoid Last Minute Event Planning

Waiting until the last minute to plan an event can lead to a lot of stress and possibly a failed event.  Planning an event only a couple of weeks before the actual event is very possible, but that time crunch can make all the difference in the turnout of the event.  Here are some compelling reasons to avoid last minute event planning:

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You may not be able to find a date that works for your key players

There are a lot of people that need last minute event planning in order to make the event a successful one. Unfortunately, waiting too long runs the risk of people not being able to attend.  You need to think about your speakers, caterers, attendees, and any other sort of help you may need to run the event.  With only a couple of weeks notice, you may not be able to secure all of these important components, which would take away from the event.

You’ll explode your travel budget

Even with a 2-month lead time, many affordable seats in economy and premium economy classes are sold out on some airlines.  Finding alternate flight/travel plans last minute could potentially cost you a lot more money than you had originally planned.

It will take a lot more work to find a venue

You run the risk of not being able to find a suitable event space, especially if you are trying to hold an event during a really popular conference time or location.  You may have found dates when all key players are available, but if you can’t find a place to hold your event, you’re pretty much screwed.  Your best bet would be to try and book your event space AT LEAST 2-3 months in advance in order to secure a spot.

Last minute event planning will increase the likelihood of errors

The less time you give yourself to book an event, the more likely you are to overlook things or make errors.  A successful event requires minimal errors, so give yourself the time to avoid making any errors.  Most events will have changes in plans before the big day, and if you forget to keep track of the smallest change you can run into some serious issues.  Plan ahead and make sure you have time to check over all of the logistics.

Attendees and speakers need some time to settle down

Sometimes, especially when the event is planned last-minute, the only options for travel are the longest and most convoluted routes.  If your keynote speaker has a two layovers on his way to your event the day of, he is going to be tired from travel and it will probably have a negative effect on his performance.  If you can plan the event so your speaker or guests can arrive a day or two before the actual event, they will have time to get settled and not be so exhausted once they get to your event.

A lot of work goes into planning an event, so make sure you give yourself enough time to book event space, speakers, and travel accommodations.  Last-minute event planning can work out, but the chances of failure increase exponentially when you only give yourself a few weeks to plan.

What to Look For in a Virtual Office: The 4 C’s

In order to find the right virtual office for your business, you need to know what to look for in a virtual office.  There are a few important things to keep an eye out for when looking into virtual offices, which include: Center, Cost, Customer Service, and Convenience.

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Center

When choosing a virtual office, you want to decide on a place that will make your business seem the most impressive.  To do that, you want to find a place with an attractive appearance and an attractive location.  The goal is to ‘WOW’ your clients when they type your business name into a Google Search and they see where your operations are based.

Cost

Renting a virtual office is significantly less expensive than renting out physical office space.  Renting out office space could put a large whole in your wallet, and the prices will keep on rising when you are looking for that prestigious location.  A virtual office can be rented for around $100 per month, whereas renting out physical office space can be in the thousands.

Customer Service

When you are renting out a virtual office, receptionists will be assigned to your account and they will act as your employees.  This is extremely convenient, but it also extremely important to make sure you have a good group of people working for you.  These employees will basically be the first impression of your company for your clients, so you want to make sure the customer service team for your virtual office is a quality team.

Convenience

It is really important to be able to make the best use out of the services provided to you through your virtual office rental.  The best virtual office packages will offer you some access to conference rooms, meeting rooms, and 24/7 admission to mailboxes.  Since your mail will be sent to the address you are renting, you want to be able to go and access that mail at any time, especially if you need to after business hours.  Some packages also offer the option of having your mail forwarded to your home or another address, which can be extremely advantageous and convenient.

If you can find a virtual office that offers these 4 C’s, then you have found one that will be a great asset to your business.  Invest your money in the type of office your business deserves.

Why Coworking is the Next Big Thing

Coworking is a relatively new, yet increasingly popular idea.  Although the concept is in its early stages, I am going to tell you why coworking is the next big thing.

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What is Coworking?

Think about when you walk into a Starbucks and see people sitting in those comfy chairs, or at tables along the window.  That is co-working.  Everybody is doing their own work, but they are doing it in an environment where others are working too.

More and more co-working communities are popping up all over the place, and all you have to do is rent out a spot for yourself.  Most places offer meeting rooms, conference rooms, couches, chairs, and food and drink!

So, Why Coworking?

If you’ve ever worked from home, you know how easy it is to do everything but work.  In fact, you’ve probably never realized how many things you can do around your house until you’ve tried working from home.  Why is this?  Most people need to be in a productive environment in order to be productive themselves.  Work-life and home-life are separated for a reason, and that reason is that the two go together like fire and ice.  They just don’t complement each other and they leave you with nothing more than a puddle.

A co-working environment surrounds you with entrepreneurs just like yourself, who are trying to be as productive as possible, and the creative energy is terrific.  You will no longer be the victim of those distractions you find yourself so easily entertained by at home.

You are also giving yourself access to new people with all different sorts of skills and experience.  Networking is easy, and you are likely to find people who are more than willing to help or collaborate with you on a project.

Why Entrepreneurs Should Consider A Virtual Office

If you are an entrepreneur, you probably already know that money can be tight a lot of the time.  When you add up the costs of office rent, furniture, electricity bills, telephone bills, and Internet bills, you will probably end up with a number that makes you want to cringe.  If you find this to be the case for you, you may want to consider working in a virtual office.

virtualoffice

Renting a virtual office gives you the use of an established building’s address, phone number, limited access to its facilities, and employees who will act as your receptionists.  Here’s the real catch.  Virtual office packages usually run somewhere from $100 – $200 a month!  This can save you thousands of dollars while also giving you access to many of the services you would have if you were renting physical office space.

Not only will a virtual office eliminate expenses, it also opens up the potential for virtual staffing.  You will have a wider selection of employees to choose from because geographical limitations are no longer a problem.  As long as your employees have a good computer and Internet connection, you can hire staff from anywhere in the world!  Managing a virtual staff can be difficult at times, but just having the luxury of being able to hire the best of the best without having to worry about where they are located is really exciting.

How to Make the Most of Your Extra Space

Do you find that your office has vacant rooms that have been waiting to be put to use?  See any extra desks and chairs lying around?  Here is a great tip on how to make the most of your extra space:

emptyspace

If you have the space, you have the necessary components to put together your very own coworking space.  Coworking communities are becoming very popular havens for entrepreneurs, and they are even fitting into some office settings.  If you own some extra office space, turning it into a coworking space might be a very worthwhile investment because of how many people are turning towards coworking.  Think about the many times you have walked into a Starbucks and seen college students or other individuals sitting at tables or couches with their laptops, headphones, and a cup of coffee.  This method of working has been going on for a long time now, and it is finally becoming a solidified method of working.

With that extra office space, a few desks or tables, chairs, and maybe a couple of couches you have yourself some rentable coworking space.  Building a coworking community does take some time and effort.  Research and visit some of the popular coworking spaces in your area and see what those spaces are doing to give yourself an idea of how these spaces are usually run.

After the initial investment, opening a coworking space can be a really nice way to earn some extra money on the side and utilize your extra space.  Once a coworking community is set up and running, it usually runs itself

Choosing the Right Office Space

Choosing the right office space for your business can be a difficult process because you want to find the perfect place.  Here are 5 steps you should take if you are looking into renting or purchasing office space:

 

Establish Your Needs

Before making any serious commitments, you want to make sure the office space you are considering accommodates all of your needs.  Will you have access to copying and printing facilities? Is there a cafeteria? Is the space big enough for you business?  Will there be room for more employees if you need to hire any? Whether you are purchasing or renting office space, you are making a large investment, and you want to make sure you are paying for what you need.

Find a Killer Location

The inside of your office could be PERFECT, but if the location is wrong, you’re screwed.  Think about your customers and how the location will affect them.  Is there parking available? Is the building easy to find? Is the area safe?  You want to keep these kinds of things in mind because you want to be able to drive traffic to your business.

Evaluate the Building

OK. So you’ve established your needs and found a killer location, so the next step is to evaluate the building itself.  You want to look into the kind of flexibility you have with the space.  Can you put up new walls for offices?  Are there any recurring problems with the space?  Are there going to be any renovations during the lease?  You don’t want to rent or purchase office space and then find out that 2 months into the lease there are going to be renovations to the entire building and you won’t be able to use your space for an extended period of time. Or even worse, you don’t want to find out that the building was built buried on some ancient Indian burial ground!

Utilize Professional Help

Consider hiring a real estate professional who will be familiar with office spaces in the areas you are looking to rent out space.  A professional will know the best and worst areas and will most likely be able to direct in the right direction.

Review The Lease

Lastly, read the lease.  CAREFULLY.  You want to know exactly what you are responsible for as a tenant, and what the landlord is responsible for as the property owner.  Once you sign the lease you are stuck with whatever you get, so be careful.  Consider hiring a lawyer to be present for the signing.

Utilize these 5 steps and you will be much more successful in choosing the right office space for your business.