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Forum Events

New management team at Forum Events

Forum Events – the company behind the Digital Marketing Solutions Summit – has a new management team to take the business forward.

Longtime Managing Director Sarah Beall (pictured) has joined the Board of Directors, sitting alongside Finance & Operations Director, Gill McCaughay, and New Business Director, Gill Woods.

Erstwhile Chairman Paul Rowney – who founded the company with McCaughay and Woods in 1997 – has retired from the business.

The news comes following a period of significant growth for Forum Events, and as it looks ahead to further expansion in 2018 and beyond. New events and initiatives are in the pipeline for this year and the company is currently bolstering its 70+ staff count.

“Sarah has contributed significantly to the growth of the business, so we’re delighted to welcome her to the Board,” said McCaughay.

Beall added: “Forum Events is positioned to expand further this year and beyond, with new events and new initiatives in the pipeline. It’s an exciting time to be joining the Board and helping to steer the business onwards and upwards.”

Forum Events pioneered the unique concept of face-to-face meetings events, based on matching the interests of procurement decision-makers with suppliers.

The event format brings companies together at ‘Forums’ and ‘Summits’ – bespoke events tailored to satisfy the needs of specific industry sectors.

Over the past 21 years the company has hosted over 500 events, attended by over 70,000 delegates, resulting in over 750,000 new business relationships.

In addition, Forum Events’ media division includes:

  • PA Life – The UK’s leading and award-winning media hub for savvy Personal and Executive Assistants. The portfolio includes a bi-monthly magazine, website, weekly newsletter, plus a series of live events.
  • Hotel Designs – A leading industry resource aimed directly at hoteliers, designers and architects from across the globe. The website and weekly newsletter is complemented by a series of networking and business-building events.
  • The Briefing Portfolio – Daily online Briefing content and fortnightly email newsletters for a number of sectors including FM, Care, Retail, Cyber Security, Call Centres, HR, Digital Marketing and Education.

For more information, visit www.forumevents.co.uk.

Forum Insight: Top tips for social media success while attending B2B events

Whether you’re going to a big industry expo, specialist conference or attending one of our Forums or Summits, social media can help you get the most out of the event.

So we’ve pulled together five top tips to get you going…

  1. Get yourself up to date

Whether you’re an attending as a delegate or a supplier, make sure your personal and company social media profiles are up to date.

That’s everything from the logo and description to posting a few things to the account (whether that’s Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn) to make sure it looks active.

Don’t forget, a lot of the people you meet at the event will do some research on you and your company by way of a follow up ­­– you want to ensure they have a great first impression when they stumble across your social media on Google.

If you don’t have a social presence, you really, really, should. It takes no time at all to get the basics set up on Twitter or Facebook and there are plenty of ‘how to’ guides out there if you need some help with brand pages and the like.

  1. Do some research

So your social media accounts are up to date and ready to go, now you need to find out where the conversation’s going to be happening.

Twitter is will be where you’ll see most activity during a live event, so spend a little time before you get there doing some research – find out what the event Twitter handle is (follow it if you haven’t already) and what the official hashtag will be.

Also, make sure follow a few industry media outlets ­– this will help you keep track of what’s happening at the event while you’re ensconced in meetings all day.

  1. Start the pre-event hype

During the lead up to the event let everyone know you’re going – @mention the official account and use the hashtag. Let the world know you’re super-excited, particularly if you’re exhibiting or speaking – tell them what you’re going to being talking about or the products you’re going to be showing off. You can do this across Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Also, think about using a company or campaign hashtag if you’re going to be doing special promotions during the event.

If you are promoting specific products or services, create a landing page on your website with data capture, just for the event in question – you can then push people there via social media so they can request more info.

  1. On the day…

The first thing to do is to check yourself in virtually across your social accounts – you’re in the building and you’re ready for business.

Now, if you have a busy event itinerary you’re not necessary going to have time to live tweet the entire thing. If that’s the case, say it with pictures – busy stand? Take a picture. See a great product on display? Take a picture. Sitting in an interesting conference session? Take a picture. It’s a quick and engaging way of getting your message across.

And if you spot something compelling, post a video.

You can also schedule posts in advance using tools such as Tweetdeck or Hootsuite. This is particularly useful if you’re trying to drive stand traffic or promoting products – and don’t forget to push people back to that website landing page.

Keep an eye on those industry news feeds – retweet or pass comment on any big announcements and get involved in the conversation.

  1. After the event

This is when you can have some fun. If you have a company blog, write up your experiences of the event. You don’t have to write an essay – 350-500 words would be sufficient – and then push that article out across your Twitter, Facebook and Linked in accounts.

Perhaps the most important post-event task is to follow up on all those delicious new leads and contacts you made – make sure you follow and like their social media accounts, both personal and company.

Finally, it’s worth searching the event hashtag and scrolling back through its timeline to catch up on the show news and, perhaps more importantly, see what your industry peers were up to…

Welcome to the new Digital Marketing Solutions Summit!

The Digital Marketing Solutions Summit is set to take place on May 8th at London’s Grange Tower Bridge Hotel.

Formerly known as the Internet Marketing Summit, the event will once again match senior marketing professionals with leading product and service providers for a day of match-made business meetings.

Last year the event attracted over 65 senior professionals from the likes of Bupa, Lloyds Bank, Tesco, Hilton, BT, Vision Express, Investec, Legal & General, MetLife, Paragon and more meet and network with companies including Amobee, Click Consult, Adestra, Redfish Group, King Content, Yoyo Design and Soak to discuss their respective requirements.

Attending the event is free for all marketing professionals and your complimentary place includes lunch and all refreshments throughout the day. You’ll also get access to a seminar programme covering topics including Web Analytics and Search Engine Optimisation, Content Marketing and Email Marketing.

 

To find out more about attending, contact Kerry Naumburger on 01992 374099 or email k.naumburger@forumevents.co.uk.

 

A number of supplier packages are available for companies looking to meet with some of the UK’s leading marketeers. Contact Carlos Dieguez on 01992 374091 or via c.dieguez@forumevents.co.uk to find out more.

 

Forum Insight: Savvy SEO tips for start-ups that won’t break the bank…

With 50 per cent of new businesses failing within five years, recent research has revealed that many small businesses are missing out on opportunities to market online due to a lack of digital knowledge.

The research from 123 Reg found that 73 per cent said they did not advertise online and 42 per cent reported having no digital presence. SEO and other terminology also stumped 48 per cent of business owners surveyed, and only 53 per cent said their websites were easily readable via a mobile device.

“Being digitally savvy is especially important for start-ups. It can be the difference between your business being seen in the right places by the right people, and even small changes can have a huge impact,” comments Alex Minchin, founder and director of SEO agency Zest Digital.

Here, Alex shares three instantly achievable tips for small businesses looking to get started with SEO:

  1. Sign up to Google Analytics and Google Search Console and add the necessary code to your website: These are two free tools that will enable you to measure performance, even if you don’t understand it all immediately. You cannot improve something that you’re not measuring, and these tools will measure things such as; the number of visitors landing on your website, the best performing content, keywords driving traffic, any broken links or pages, and the links from other websites that are pointing back to your website.
  2. Start local: Most searches in the micro and small business world include local modifiers such as your city or county, e.g. “Plumbers in Croydon”. An easy way to start to build some gravitas towards your website is to feature on business directories. This creates ‘citations’ (mentions) of your business name and confirms your address and other details, in addition to pointing a link back to your website. It’s crucial to make sure your information is kept consistent, so finalise your details and use the same information as a template for all directories. These things will help to increase the strength and trust of your website. Just be sure to focus on reputable directories such as Touch Local, 192, Freeindex, and Opendi for example.
  3. Focus on the real basics and design each META title and description for each of the key pages on your website as a minimum: The title tag and descriptor underneath the search result is considered as a ranking factor by Google, and can positively influence your rankings for a particular keyword. Your title should include your keyword and brand name as a minimum, but try to be as creative as possible with the character limit (55 is the defacto) that you have available.  In the META description, it’s more important to include your value proposition and key information, for example “free delivery on all orders”, or “free quotation”. Remember, you’re trying to stand out to win a greater share of the clicks against the other websites competing for the same keyword so details and USPs are key.

“It’s widely reported that somewhere around 90 per cent of all purchasing decisions begin with a search engine and a search query. SEO can therefore play a huge part in the marketing strategy of a small business.

Alex continues. “Sharing your expertise through content and delivering value to your target market is the name of the game, and it’s a playground that, whilst dominated by some larger brands, isn’t policed by them. It’s entirely possible for a small business to compete and win on this channel, and doesn’t have to involve a huge cost in doing so.”

Looking for a new marketing event to attend? You need the Internet Marketing Summit…

With the next Internet Marketing Summit taking place on May 8 at the Grange Tower Bridge Hotel in London, we thought we’d give you a few reasons to book your place at the event nice and early.

Put simply, if you’re looking for a new and informative internet marketing focused event, you’ve found it.

First and foremost, the Internet Marketing Summit provides a platform for highly-targeted one-to-one meetings between industry professionals and trusted suppliers. But it also comes with a full programme of educational seminars, allowing all attendees to increase their industry knowledge and develop their skill sets while on site…

Plus, there’s full hospitality throughout, including lunches, a drinks reception and copious networking opportunities to build new business relationships.

But we think the enduring success of the event is best summed up by industry attendees who have visited previously:

The event was very informative; I’ve learnt a lot, especially how to grow and enhance my business further.

The Wall of Comedy

A great event; well organised with a high quality of meeting professionals. Well worth it.

Bright Blue Day

Very productive event; delegates were very willing to engage in conversations.

Sitecore

Great event to meet new suppliers and discover innovative solutions to digital challenges.

VAX

We’ve had a really great time. Super well organised event, and I am really positive that we have made some really good contacts.

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So there you have it. More bespoke than a conference and more focused than an expo, our marketing Forums and Summits are the only events you need to attend in 2017.

The next Internet Marketing Summit takes place on May 8, 2017 at the Grange Tower Bridge Hotel in London.

For more information or to book your place, call Carlos Dieguez on 01992 374091 or email c.dieguez@forumevents.co.uk.

Alternatively, visit www.theinternetmarketingsummit.co.uk.  

Forum Insight: Customer engagement methods to maintain strong relationships…

Now more than ever, customer communication methods are becoming varied and diverse. Trade exhibitions, social media platforms, focus groups and surveys, personalised email campaigns – the list is endless. But which methods will prove to be the most effective for your business? Before investing too much time and effort into just one, think carefully about all available options, and ask your customers how they prefer to be contacted…
Keep track of emails: Make it your personal – and even company – goal to respond to all customer emails within a five minute time frame. Not only will it generate appreciative responses, people love fast and efficient customer service, and this level of service will lead to an abundance of recommendations and increased trade. Need more convincing? View Eptica’s ‘Email Management’ article here.

Be active on social media: By now you’re probably tired of the constant emphasis on regular social media use, but inevitably, one of the best ways to connect with customers is through social platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. The good thing about social media is there is no time schedule to follow – you can reach customers at any time of the day. Use your company’s Facebook fan page or Twitter account to engage your followers and keep conversations flowing. Nowadays, social media has been incorporated as a form of customer service, so make your platforms adaptable for staff members to handle customer questions and complaints. Read through Conversocial’s case studies for influential insight.

Answer the phone: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! No matter what industry, a significant focus seems to be on new customer channel developments. But whatever happened to the traditional phone conversation? Whether you’re following up, apologising for something that went amiss, or wondering why you haven’t received an order in a while, there’s no better way to strengthen a customer relationship. According to eConsultancy, customers prefer assistance over the phone (61 per cent), followed by email (60 per cent); Live Chat (57 per cent); online knowledge base (51 per cent) and “click-to-call” support automation, (34 per cent).

Start a weekly blog: Why not create a weekly blog to keep your customers up-to-date? If you actively keep up a quality blog, not only will your customers read your blog, but they will respond to your blog. This creates a positive flow of communication and helps build customer loyalty. Find inspiration from these companies that have made blogging a ‘top priority’.

Conduct market research: Surveys allow businesses to identify customer needs. Once acknowledged, companies can steer their offerings towards filling these needs. Surveys are also a good tool to bring in prospective customers who are on the fence about a product/service, i.e. surveys can be used as a platform for prospective customers to voice their needs. Confused about whether to conduct quantitative or qualitative research? Learn more about the differences here.

Experian Marketing Services confirmed as MBF’s headline sponsor…

Experian Marketing Services, a leading industry provider of data-driven marketing expertise and cloud-based technology, has been confirmed as the headline sponsor of the upcoming Marketing Business Forum (MBF), to be held on November 8 at the Grange Tower Bridge Hotel in London.

With more than 30 years’ experience using analytics, customer identify data and cross-channel marketing solutions for better data-informed decision making, Experian will benefit from full accessibility to pre-arranged one-on-one meetings with big-name delegates ooking to optimise their current strategies; as well as numerous networking opportunities in a relaxed setting.

Dan Bond, head of Marketing at Experian Marketing Services commented: “Experian’s expertise in data, and our powerful Marketing Suite, puts us in a unique position to solve today’s marketing challenges. At the Marketing Business Forum, we are looking forward to connecting with people and companies we can help. Events like this are a great way to share knowledge and build long-lasting business relationships.”

Craig Ross, event sales executive at the Marketing Business Forum said: “Experian Marketing Services are the perfect fit as headline sponsor due to their experience within the industry and the vast number of services they offer. With more than 90 delegates looking for a number of services from this year’s event, Experian have the capabilities to assist the majority of our attendees with their upcoming projects, making the event hugely beneficial to all involved.”

 

Learn more about Experian Marketing Services here

Attending the Marketing Business Forum? Here are our top tips for industry networking!

If you’re coming to the next Marketing Business Forum (or if you’ve been to one before) you’ll know just how many opportunities there are to network with your industry peers.

The networking areas are where, as industry suppliers or buyers, you can follow up on conversations you’ve had during the one-to-one meetings that form the core of the event.

Or, you know, talk about the football.

Either way, business is more often than not about building relationships. We create networking environments that are informal and free of any pressure.

To help you get the most out of these opportunities, we’ve pulled together a few top tips for becoming the consummate networker:

Always be yourself: You’re among friends at the Marketing Business Forum, so there’s no need to feel nervous about walking into a big room of people. Our staff will be on hand to help with introductions and grease those social wheels (do come and say ‘hello’!).

Have a think about what you want to achieve: Who’s in the room? Is there anyone you met earlier in the day that you’d like to follow up with? Whether you’re a supplier or a buyer, you’ve come to the Marketing Business Forum with some specific goals in mind – the networking periods are a chance to help solidify those new partnerships.

Be curious: The Marketing Business Forum seminars are a great place for developing your industry knowledge and learning new skills. And they always create points of discussion. So why not see what everyone else thought of the talks, or swap some ideas on the latest technological developments and trends in the industry? And if you’re new to the industry, there will be seasoned veterans ready and willing to impart their wisdom!

Don’t forget your business cards! You didn’t think we could get through a whole article about networking without mentioning business cards, did you? It’s an old chestnut, but one worth re-roasting. This author has forgotten his cards more times than he cares to remember – it happens. Always keep a few spread between your wallet/purse, pockets and bag – then you’ll be able to produce one when you most need it. But don’t blanket bomb – just because you have 100 cards to give out, it doesn’t mean you have to!

Always follow up: You’ve given your cards out, but hopefully you’ve picked some up too! So make sure that when you get back to the office you log into LinkedIn or fire off some emails to your new contacts while everything’s still fresh in the mind.

Follow the above tips and you won’t go far wrong. Just don’t spend too long in the bar!

 

For more information on the Marketing Business Forum, call Carlos Dieguez on
01992 374091 or email c.dieguez@forumevents.co.uk

Or visit www.marketingbusinessforum.co.uk

Forums vs Expos – how to maximise your precious time out of the office…

With a majority of ‘expert’ advice on Expos being somewhat outdated or, like with many businesses, asserting too much emphasis on easy routes rather than methods that actually work, it’s no wonder people get frustrated and disconcerted when they are looking to effectively network and source new connections without it lessening quality time spent in the office.

Amplified by the dominant presence of social media quick fixes such as: setting up a LinkedIn profile; increasing your Twitter presence; scheduling a large number of email marketing campaigns; and collecting as many business cards as possible at industry events – are key solution in helping you to be astute in intelligently selecting what methods best suit you and your way of working.

Expos can also have a somewhat ‘lazy’ association to it: people picture the huge halls and countless stands as a way of picking up leads and justifying their time out of the office, but realistically a large percentage of exhibitors won’t be of necessary relevance, or the person you need to speak to has decided not to attend at the last minute.

So set aside any previous experiences you may have with networking and Expos, and garner some quality connections by attending one of our Forum Events. Our formula ensures that buyers can increase their knowledge of how, why and where to invest without hanging around waiting for the wrong supplier; as well as ensuring that all suppliers are provided with qualified leads and valuable business is made as a result.

Events relevant to you may include the Marketing Business Forum taking place on November 8, 2016. Contact the team today…

Forum Insight: 5 top tips to closing big money deals…

There are a number of viable reasons as to why decision-makers across a broad range of sectors ultimately lose out on big money deals; many overlooking the simplest of techniques that can either make or break a business relationship. Here, we break down the fundamental tips to help you sell your services…

  1. Let the client do the talking

Inevitably, to provide the very best service for your existing and potential client base, it’s crucial to find out exactly what the client is looking for. Don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as you can to hone in on what their needs are. By asking questions, not only will this benefit your end by acquiring a better understanding; however, the client will also feel they are being productive and part of the solution.

  1. Personalisation goes a long way 

    Remember that clients say things for a reason. If they volunteer that they can’t talk right now because they are getting ready for a social event taking place on a Saturday; on your follow up call, ask them casually how the event went. Although you shouldn’t pry or send a gift, by casually asking about the event, you show that you pay attention to details. Knowing how successful the party was will prepare you on how to approach the conversation.

  1. Be enthusiastic

Your client feels passionate about what they do, and if you show that you are passionate and enthusiastic about providing them the solution they want, you’ll get the client on board. An enthusiastic attitude is sure to open many doors for you.

  1. Play it simple 

    Speak to them on their level, not yours. Keep the conversation simple and get straight to the point. If your client understands what you can do for them, they are more likely to hire you. If you try and dazzle them with industry speak, you’ll lose them, and lose the contract. You may find that if you are speaking to a perspective client on the phone, stand up. For many people, standing makes them get straight to the point. 

  2. When should we get started?

A straightforward ‘yes’ or ‘no hinges on far more than just the specific closing sentence or question, reps often struggle with wording their deal denouements. Does this sound too pushy? Too weak? Should they ask a question, or use a statement instead? But just like there’s more than one way to peel an orange, there are several strong ways to close a deal.

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