Archive for the ‘David Adler’ tag

Getting Down to BIZBASH with David Adler (Part 2)

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Photo Courtesy of BizBashIn Part 2 of our Q&A with BizBash founder David Adler, we talk about the future of event marketing and he identifies 2014’s biggest industry innovations.

What are the 3 most innovative events you’ve seen this year?
The most impressive thing I’ve seen this year was the coat check line at the opening media party for the Super Bowl. It was a freezing cold night and thousands of execs were gathered at Chelsea Piers. The company coatchex.com used texting and QR codes as coat-check tickets — you took a picture of your code, then your phone number became your ticket number; this made the experience of retrieving your coat actually fun. As I was going to get my jacket, I got a text saying that my coat would be ready for me. It was one of those new ideas that gave me goosebumps.

I also liked the Summit Series, a conference started by a group of innovators who bought a mountaintop resort, turning it into a $100 million real estate deal. The event itself was a gateway into relationships that changed the world. Attendees interacted with everyone from astronauts to politicians to Internet billionaires. They also created the world’s largest collaborative dinner by hiking people into the mountains and creating a table for 1,000 people.

C2 Montreal has also been a game-changer. People who attend feel like they’re entering a whole new role of collaboration that invigorates, inspires and creates lasting relationships.

Some brands that we think are really capturing the power of the event are outlined in our Top 10 Innovative Brands of 2014 story.

How has the growth of mobile technology affected your business?
Mobile has been one of the most important developments in events. That, along with responsive design, has changed the game. Event professionals want to hold the world in their pocket, and the concept of photo sharing has changed events—because ROI can now be judged not by the people in the room, but by the application of those people.

I’m reminded of the book The Mobile Wave, which talks about going up to a tombstone, holding up your phone, and having augmented reality show every video and article about that person. Imagine doing that in a live room just by wearing Google Glass or another device.

What do you envision to be the next trend or industry shift?
An empowered attendee is the next big thing. With new technology, we are seeing more power in the hands of the attendee. Now, the attendee needs to know how to be a great guest, and use it. They need to interact with other people to get the most out of the event, and they really have to want to be there.

Previously, I was the VP of corporate communications for major companies and spent hours preparing CEOs for events. We would collect guest bios and provide strategies on how to get what we wanted from them. Now with the advent of things like event apps, attendees have more power than ever, and can use the tools created by organizers to enhance their experience.

Youve said that one of your interests is using events as a philanthropic tool. What does that mean to you?
I believe in the concept of managed serendipity. Get the right people in the room, inspire them, show them how other people are using collaboration, and people will get on board to help your cause. There’s nothing like face-to-face events to motivate people. In Simon Sinek’s TED-talk, he says great leaders don’t have plans, they have dreams. He also says that people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you are doing it. Events are a natural gathering place for people who want to follow their hearts, rub elbows and share experiences.

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Getting Down to BizBash with David Adler

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David_Adler.jpgFounded in 2000, BizBash is the leading trade media for the event industry. BizBash publishes magazines and e-newsletters, hosts websites, and produces trade shows and award shows for event professionals. In this two-part Q&A, we sat down with its founder and CEO, David Adler, to discuss tips, trends and his favorite events of 2014.

You are 100% engrossed in events. What attracted you to the business?
In the late ‘70s I started a society magazine called Washington Dossier in Washington, D.C. It was so fascinating to go to events with politicians, White House officials and Washingtonians who were more interested in events than they were in their day jobs. I learned that political organizers are really event organizers. They loved getting people in a room and using every trick in the book to persuade them to their point of view. It was the intersection of public relations and face-to-face events; I saw that people listen when they’re not distracted, and at events you’re forced to listen to the person standing face-to-face with you.

What do you think is the one essential element of every really great event?
Every event detail is designed to make people remember where they were, what they did, who they talked to, and what they gained. BizBash president Richard Aaron feels that all event organizers should be “memorologists,” creating moments that people actually remember.

One essential element for event organizers is to understand the neuroscience of events. They need to know what colors create an impact on the mind, how music changes the way we think, how scent affects how we feel. The science of events studies how the mind works and how people interact.

What to you are the most important objectives of any good event?
The goal is to get the right people to your event; getting to that point is harder than it looks. You need great audience generation, a reason for them to stay, and something that stimulates conversation and creates a shareable, indelible impression. In the old days, that was done through word-of-mouth conversations; today we have social media to help amplify our message.

Most events want to accomplish three basic things:

1. To sell things to others (ideas, products, or concepts)
2. To motivate people to sell things to desired audiences
3. To create networks of people who are motivated around a concept so the word can be spread

Even the most fun event has some sort of agenda. Understanding your agenda is now part of the strategy for event organizing and event marketing.

How has the industry changed in the last 10 years?
The most important thing is that the event industry is now really being taken seriously. I used to say that people in the event industry always had to sit at the children’s table. Now, 25% of marketing budgets are allocated for events—we are beginning to really understand the science of how people interact and the power of that interaction.

Really brilliant planners are studying everything from registration and ticketing, to the experience of being at an event, to the post-event ROI. Marketers are using innovations and activations to create conversations. People like Alex Pentland, who wrote the book Social Physics: How Good Ideas Spread, are reinventing the power of interactions and conversations, as they have the power to change the world. It’s important to note that we are no longer hosting events for the people in the room, but rather for their social networks. Social media has been the ultimate game-changer.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to get into this business?
I’d say that understanding neuroscience is one of the key learnings to being an amazing event organizer. I call event organizers “programmers of human interaction;” having the skills of understanding human behavior and putting those practices into action for events. I find that people involved in their school and college activities naturally seem to gravitate towards events. They understand the importance of human interaction.

It’s also important to be a bit of an extrovert, being able to effortlessly talk to people. It’s a lost art, and the most impressive people are the impresarios who know how to connect people. Connectors are natural event organizers.

Another great attribute for somebody who wants to get into the business is to be an expert on the concept of “surprise and delight.” Understanding strategy and being able to be creative, as well as organized, is a very important skill.

Stay tuned for Part 2!

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