Social Marketing Lessons for Event Marketers from SXSW

Even if you don’t know anything about film, music or interactive technology, you’ve still probably heard of SXSW – most likely in the form of #SXSW. The social media reach of this event is staggering and is likely part of the reason why this annual event continues to grow year-over-year. According to Synthesio, SXSW 2014 had over 2,200,000 global mentions on social media in 10 days.

As a marketer, I would love to tap into what makes it such a “talked about” event, but it also conjures the question of what’s next for SXSW? This blog post dives into the history of this event and how it’s changing in terms of the audience and its offering and becoming more sophisticated in nature: http://simplymeasured.com/blog/2014/03/11/does-sxsw-mirror-the-increasing-sophistication-of-social-marketing/. This unconventional event is truly a great study for event marketers and offers the opportunity to take cues for your own social marketing programs. 

Tips for Exhibitors from Nth Degree’s Senior Account Director, Maureen Burke

Check out this article on Entrepreneur.com – Nth Degree’s Senior Account Director, Maureen Burke, offers her perspective on how you can make the most of your trade show exhibit.

Washington, D.C./Baltimore, MD Union Regulations

We know your travel schedules will be increasing in the weeks and months to come and with every new destination comes new rules and regulations for exhibitors. Some of you may have D.C. or Baltimore on your calendars with shows like AUSA in town, so this month our labor operations team has answered some common questions regarding the regulations in this market.

Take a look below for some of the basics and if you have any additional questions, feel free to comment on this blog or contact us directly and our team will be happy to help you.

 Material Handling

  • Can exhibitor carry in merchandise/items into hall by themselves? Yes, hand-carry ONLY.
  • Can exhibitor use a hand truck or dolly/wheeled cart to bring exhibit materials into the hall? No.

 Work

  • Can shop supervisor or exhibitor work in this city or supervise ONLY? Supervise ONLY.
  • Can the exhibitor install & dismantle their display? Yes – only if it is 100 sq. ft. or less and requires NO power tools.
  • Can the exhibitor use tools to set up their displays? Yes – for (10×10) hand tools ONLY. NO power tools.
  • Can the Exhibitor Appointed Contractor (EAC) set-up steel deck structures? Yes, but the structure must be pre-approved by building engineering. Copies of approval are required on-site during install.

 Electrical

  • Electrical service – from overhead or floor? Both.
  • Can exhibitor or EAC run electrical cords under carpet? No. House electricians must make tie-in to floor ports. All cords under the carpet must be provided by house electricians.
  • Can exhibitor or EAC run electrical cords above carpet? Yes, but this must be handled by the EAC only. Cords can be provided by your EAC – 14ga or lower.
  • Can exhibitor or EAC plug lights and/or other devices into booth electrical outlets? Yes.
  • Can exhibitor/shop/EAC place lights? Can exhibitor/shop/EAC insert Dura trans in light boxes? Yes.
  • Can Genie Lifts be used? Yes, but this varies depending on the general contractor and/or show association. You must consult exhibitor show book regulations.

 Other

  • Who can vacuum the booth carpet? The exhibitor can vacuum carpet (with their supplied vacuum) or order booth cleaning through the show contractor. EACs cannot vacuum in this facility.
  • Can exhibitor/shop have food/beverage brought into facility? No.
  • Is there access to local specialty vendors? Yes. Note – some specialty vendors are not available on weekends.
  • Can EAC assemble hanging signage? No. This is the responsibility of GC rigging. EACs cannot assemble any hanging sign.

 

Orlando Union Regulations

As you may have seen over the past couple months, Nth Degree has been highlighting one city a month from the largest trade show and convention markets in the country and providing information regarding working conditions and union regulations. We are doing this in an effort to inform our audience and hopefully take the guesswork out of this often complicated set of rules.

This month our labor operations team took a look at the Orlando area market and the Orange County Convention Center, and below is the information they thought would be helpful to you.

Material Handling                   

  • Can exhibitor carry in merchandise/items into hall by themselves? Yes, hand-carry ONLY.
  • Can exhibitor use a hand truck or dolly/wheeled cart to bring exhibit materials into the hall? No.
  • Work                 
  • Can shop supervisor or exhibitor work in this city or supervise ONLY? A shop supervisor or exhibitor can both work and supervise in this city. The individual must be registered with OCCC when in the facility. Will also receive day work pass.
  • Can the exhibitor install & dismantle their display? Yes.    
  • Can the exhibitor use tools to set up their displays? Yes, if not contracted with an Exhibitor Appointed Contractor (EAC); exhibitor must provide own ladders and tools.
  • Can EAC set-up steel deck structure? Yes, structure must be pre-approved by building engineering and copies of approval are required on-site during install.

Electrical                        

  • Electrical service – from overhead or floor? Floor – floor ports are used as primary tie-in. Overhead drops are available.
  • Can exhibitor or EAC run electrical cords under carpet? No.        
  • Can exhibitor or EAC run electrical cords above carpet? Yes – cords can be provided by EAC or exhibitor. 14ga or lower, no 16ga.
  • Can exhibitor or EAC plug lights and/or other devices into booth electrical outlets? Yes.        
  • Can exhibitor/shop/EAC place lights? Can exhibitor/shop/EAC insert Dura trans in light boxes? Yes.    
  • Can Genie Lifts be used? This varies depending on the general contractor and/or show association. Must consult exhibitor show book regulations.

Other                 

  • Who can vacuum the booth carpet? The exhibitor can vacuum carpet (with their supplied vacuum) or order booth cleaning through the show contractor. EACs cannot vacuum in this facility.
  • Can exhibitor/shop have food/beverage brought into facility? No – food/beverage (in limited small quantities) can be brought into facility through the install period only. From opening morning until the close of show, these items must be purchased from the house caterer.
  • Is there access to local specialty vendors? Yes. Note – some specialty vendors are not available on weekends.
  • Can EAC assemble hanging signage? Yes, EACs can assemble hanging signs in this facility.

Corporate Technology Events a Boost to Industry

Proprietary corporate events are certainly not new in the face-to-face marketing industry, but they are gaining attention in the media as high-tech companies invest in this medium regardless of the current state of the economy. In an online article, The Wall Street Journal highlighted some big events this week including VMworld, the recently-completed event supported by the Nth Degree Events team, and took a closer look at what attracts thousands of attendees to these events. Read the full article here.

San Francisco Union Regulations

We know a dull day is often welcome in the trade show industry what with traveling across the globe half the year, juggling union rules, working with various service providers each with different styles and all the while making certain your face-to-face marketing goals are kept at the forefront. I’m exhausted just writing about it.

To help ease your anxieties and hopefully make your day-to-day a bit less hectic, our labor operations team has created a list of common working conditions and union regulations for all the major trade show and convention markets. This month we are highlighting San Francisco and the Moscone Center.

Material Handling

  • Can exhibitor carry in merchandise/items into hall by themselves? Yes, hand carry only.
  • Can exhibitor use a hand truck or dolly/wheeled cart to bring exhibit materials into the hall? No

Work

  • Can shop supervisor or exhibitor work in this city or supervise ONLY? Supervise ONLY.
  • Can the exhibitor install & dismantle their display? Yes – if install requires no tools and takes less than 30 minutes.
  • Can the exhibitor use tools to set up their displays? No
  • Can the Exhibitor Appointed Contractor (EAC) set-up steel deck structures? Yes – structure must be pre-approved by building engineering and copies of approval are required on-site during install.

Electrical

  • Electrical service – from overhead or floor? Both
  • Can exhibitor or EAC run electrical cords under carpet? N0 – house electricians must make tie-in to floor ports. All cords under carpet must be provided by house electricians.
  • Can exhibitor or EAC run electrical cords above carpet? Yes – cords can be provided by EAC or exhibitor. 14ga or lower, no 16ga.
  • Can exhibitor or EAC plug lights and/or other devices into booth electrical outlets? Yes – above carpet ONLY and without the use of a tool.
  • Can exhibitor/shop/EAC place lights? Can exhibitor/shop/EAC insert Duratrans in light boxes? Yes for EACs. No for exhibitors/shop supervisors.
  • Can Genie Lifts be used? Yes – EACs can provide rental Genie Lift. However, a Teamster must be hired to operate.

Other

  • Who can vacuum the booth carpet? The exhibitor can vacuum carpet (with their supplied vacuum) or order booth cleaning through the show contractor. EACs cannot vacuum in this facility.
  • Can exhibitor/shop have food/beverage brought into facility? No
  • Is there access to local specialty vendors? Yes. Note – some specialty vendors are not available on weekends.
  • Can EAC assemble hanging signage? No – this is the responsibility of GC rigging. EACs cannot assemble any hanging sign. EACs disassemble and pack the hanging sign once the GC drops it in.

Event Technology Trends

 

Nth Degree recently received a report from the Active Network and the Event Marketing Institute that reviews and analyzes survey results conducted by these organizations to better understand the relationship between events and technology, including trends in this space. As shown in the chart above and based on my experience with Nth Degree’s event marketing clients, it makes sense that lead retrieval is currently the most important event technology to respondents’ organizations. The desire for a measureable ROI will always hold true and lead retrieval will continue to be a coveted element of event ROI.

Additionally, improvement in other highly rated event technologies from this survey, such as Social Media and Web Site Development, is allowing brands to take what’s experienced and learned during a physical event and extend the interaction period and span of an event message. Attendees are able to use the combination of websites and social media channels to share an event experience with peers that may not be able to attend like never before. These sustained interactions are sure to grow as the technology improves.

 

RSA Conference Closing Notes from Nth Degree Newcomer Matt Kuzak

As RSA Conference 2012 came to a close last Friday afternoon, attendees were sent off with some final thoughts by former Prime Minister, Tony Blair. His inspiring sentiments asked each of us to do our part in making the world a better and safer place for everyone – a key takeaway that took shape throughout the 5-day security-focused event. The closing keynote also included a hilarious and fun segment called, The Hugh Thompson Show, where bestselling author Hugh Thomson, Ph.D., interviewed political consultant, Frank Lutz, with hilarious results! You can see a video of this keynote presentation here. The packed room was fully engaged and seemed to be enjoying it very much.

After the keynotes, the crowd disbanded onto the sunny streets of San Francisco, ready to apply the practical solutions they learned during RSA into their daily lives. Looking back, it was quite an exciting and informational week-long event and I can’t wait for RSA Conference 2013!  Now I am headed to Las Vegas for Exhibitor 2012 and as I write this post from my smart phone, I am reminded again how important internet security is as we disseminate sensitive information from a variety of technologies and places. RSA Conference is and will continue to be an important platform to share and collaborate on ideas that will keep us all safe in the technology age!  More to come…

Internet Security is My Business Too

 

The other day I was at work when I ran into an old friend. We caught up on life, family, travels and he started discussing his new car. The car isn’t relevant, but the process he underwent to acquire it is. Someone had stolen his identity a few years ago and the repercussions are still felt every time he applies for a loan or even a library card. It took him countless months to set the record straight and fix the original quagmire, but by this time he’s used to dealing with it and going the extra mile to prove his identity and credit are legitimate. It’s been almost four years since his identity was hacked and the result of that incident made him switch career fields and dive head first into internet security. He didn’t want the feeling he had to happen to others and told me, “Most people don’t realize the extent the internet permeates all parts of their life. Now after what happened to me, I feel like I get to help people every day.”   

After a little more small talk we parted ways, but our conversation made me feel proud to be standing where I was that day at RSA Conference 2012. While mine may only be a small contribution, whether it is writing up an event plan, designing a space or standing behind the Information Desk to furnish directions and dole out recommendations, as I was that day, we each play an integral part. And I too now felt like I was helping contribute to keeping the internet more secure as I helped facilitate the conference.

With that I want to say thank you to my friend, all of the attendees, my colleagues and our client, RSA, The Security Division of EMC, for making RSA Conference 2012 such a success and for your continuing efforts at keeping our internet and world safer.

Notes from Behind the Scenes at RSA Conference 2012

With the last day of RSA Conference 2012 here, I have finally had a chance to reflect on all of the amazing things I have seen and heard throughout the week. As a new employee to Nth Degree, this was my first time experiencing the event and seeing directly all the work Nth Degree and the RSA Conference team put into making it a dynamic experience for the attendees. The first thing that made an impression on me was the sheer energy and enthusiasm of conference attendees. With so much to see and do at the conference, from informational sessions and seminars, to panels, keynotes and debates…not to mention the high-energy expo floor, it seemed the activities were endless. What a week! As a first-timer to the conference, I thought one of the most impressive, and highly attended activities, was the Innovation Sandbox, a half-day program where game-changing new technologies were explored. This seemed like such a great opportunity for collaboration and conversation. The other component of the conference that really struck me was the expo floor…it was amazing! The booths looked incredible and had some great design elements – feedback from the attendees was positive as well. I’m really looking forward to the final day’s activities, especially the closing keynote delivered by former Prime Minister of Britain and Northern Ireland, Tony Blair! To learn more about Nth Degree’s work with RSA Conference, click here.