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Blog posts of '2013' 'August'

Effective Event Promotion

Successful events require significant planning and preparation, and when time and money has been invested, implementing a strong promotional strategy including a well balanced recognition awards program can greatly benefit the results. Determining a promotion plan and executing it effectively doesn’t have to be difficult; it’s simply a matter of knowing where to start.

 

Define a Promotion Plan

Marketable events exist over a variety of areas, including business events (sales; grand openings; product promotion), social events (parties; reunions), school events, and fundraisers. Each hopes for a slightly different outcome, but the approach is the same for all. Utilizing proper promotional tactics for events can assure that little time or money is wasted in the process.

An effective event promotion starts with a solid plan, so spending some time developing a concrete strategy can save valuable time and money down the road.

  • Identify the targets: Include individuals with whom you have previously done business, as well as those who have attended similar events in the past.
  • Define the objectives: What are you hoping to accomplish with this event? What are you hoping your chosen targets can bring to the table?
  • Construct the tactics: Determine what tactics can effectively combine chosen targets and objectives.
  • Organize implementation: Develop a promotional team and assign tasks to each team member.
  • Define the timeline: Schedule a starting date and ending date, as well as key promotional dates in between, such as presence at similar events or key dates for posting via online mediums.
  • Allocate the budget: Determine how much money can be spent on promotions and distribute accordingly.
  • Evaluate the results: Analyze all efforts and determine the return on investment. Use these results for future promotional efforts.

 

Online Promotion Tactics

 

As of June 2012, 2,405,518,376 people had access, and were using the internet. Whether for business or pleasure, it’s safe to say that any promotion effort enacted online will certainly have a broad reach.

 

Online scheduling has replaced traditional calendars, old-fashioned meetings have made way for Skype sessions, and virtual shopping is giving traditional storefront a run for its money. Businesses that recognize the value of online promotion for products and events can stay ahead of competition in the battle for customer loyalty.

 

Social Media

The unbelievable growth of social media in recent years has forced businesses to reconsider their marketing efforts. Facebook currently has 1.15 billion users, Google+ has 343 million, Twitter has 500 million, and Instagram steadily rising at 130 million. Each of these social media giants has implemented promotion plans for businesses, making it easier than ever to drive customers to an event.  Some tips for promoting an event through social media include:

  • Offer a couple of free tickets to the event within a post.
  • Post videos of event highlights, including notable speakers or special activities.
  • Encourage users by offering coupons or discounts for those who share the event.
  • Create a weekly posting schedule so that your event will stay on your customer’s radar.
  • Create an event listing on Facebook. Letting users see who is attending as well as post their own comments is an excellent way to keep users engaged and excited.

 

Email Campaigns

Stay in touch directly with email campaigns; send-out campaign platforms such as Constant Contact or MailChimp to simplify the email process. It’s important to remember the following to create the most effective emails:

  • Create compelling subject lines: To avoid an email being sent to a spam filter and never to be seen again, ensure that the subject is personable and to the point; offer a discount or coupon code within the subject to offer as much information as possible before they open the email.
  • Include a call-to-action: Make sure the person knows what they need to do and how to act on event coupons or special notices.
  • Be thorough: Include all relevant information about the event, so there’s little left unknown. Include the place, time, date, and where/how to buy tickets to the event. Include a link to the ticket purchase site if possible.

 

Event Website and Registration

Developing a user-friendly website for the event can make ticket purchase simple and also help businesses keep track of ticket sales and attendee contact information. Many event registration platforms also include an email portion that allows businesses to contact users directly via email about any changes to the event or to confirm the ticket purchase.

Sites such as eventbee.com or eventbrite.com can make the ticket sale process easier and can also be connected to social media sites for simplified promotion posting. Creating an event website can greatly improve visibility and promotion towards a targeted audience, while allowing for further social media marketing opportunities.

 

Promotional Products

Even though online promotional efforts have proven to be effective in today’s fast-paced marketplace, physical promotional productshave always found a place in event promotion success. When investing in giveaways, it’s important to remember the following:

 

  • Choose products that can be used daily, such as pens, cups, cozies, and water bottles. The more useful the item, the more it will be used, and ultimately the more exposure it will receive.
  • Choose timeliness to give away promotional items, including during similar events, at related conferences or to businesses which would have an interest in attending the event.
  • Assure that all important information is included on the product, including how to register or buy tickets for the event.

 

Effective event promotion can be accomplished with careful planning, implementation of online resources and creative promotional products. With a little work and a lot of creativity, your event can be a financial success and a cherished memory.

 

Planning an event? Let EDCO Awards and Specialties help with your marketing efforts. With a wide selection of promotional products available, including pens, key chains, water bottles, mugs, golf tees, flashlights, umbrellas and more, EDCO can help make your event a success!

How to Be a Better Boss

How to Be a Better Boss

Essential to any fruitful organization is strong leadership supported by a recognition awards program. One of the most valuable assets of an organization is their employees. Both employees and managers are the backbone of what makes companies operate successfully. Managers and other supervisors are tasked with ensuring they are overseeing a productive workplace while also finding various ways to develop relationships and motivate their employees. Quality managers can create a workplace in which employees strive be a part of and over perform their duties for the overall benefit of the organization. Becoming an effective leader and creating a more productive, cohesive workplace requires supervisors to gain a deeper understanding of their employees, motivate successfully and create an atmosphere where goals are reached.

 

Developing a loyal workforce is a task that many managers struggle with, yet it is possible to create. Finding ways to connect with employees, understand their individual needs and what motivates them, separates bosses who drive employees away and bosses who have earned employees allegiance. Through methods such as team building activities, individual check-in’s with staff members and regular recognition, managers have the ability to learn more about their employees and provide them the assistance they need to become successful. Becoming a quality boss also involves having simple traits that employees look for in their supervisors. These traits include various ways to ensure that employees feel they are respected and treated fairly.

 

 

Communicating With and Leading Employees

 

Employees like to feel a sense of purpose in their work. The responsibility falls onto managers to convey the reasons and benefits of tasks that are assigned to their staff. Through straightforward communication, employees can gain a better understand of what is expected of them and effectively complete them knowing they have the support and assistance of management, if necessary. Building a deeper understanding of daily activities can, in itself, make a great difference in the productivity of employees. Creating an “open-door” atmosphere encourages workers to approach supervisors with concerns or questions and allows for productive dialog to be had. 

 

Effective communication allows managers to lead and shape the workplace atmosphere to cater to their employees. Transparent communication between employees and supervisors closes the gap created by hierarchy and can provide, for example, an insight into how decisions are made and why. One method of transparency in the workplace is to provide employees the opportunity to understand the thought process behind decision making. Instead of simply delivering instructions to employees after decisions are made, take the approach of creating an open dialog with employees and allowing them to be involved or up-to-date on decisions being made. Lead in a way that eliminates gaps, and creates a cohesive environment.

 

Motivating communication and encouragement through generosity and fairness equates to loyal employees. Individuals work to make a living, and while there may be less desirable tasks, or ones that go beyond the scope of an employee’s job description, people need to be motivated and recognized for their time and efforts. Communication in these instances is more important than ever as it allows supervisors to determine the best method for inspiring.

 

 

Motivation in the Workplace

 

Each individual is motivated differently. The responsibility fall onto manager and supervisors to know their employees well enough to determine the best and most effective way to encourage them. Whether the workplace morale is lackluster or employees are excelling in their roles, there is always room for inspiration and showing appreciation for hard work and effort. It is proven that employees who feel respected have a greater level of happiness at work and are less likely to look for alternative employment.  To reduce turnover, managers are encouraged to take a look at their current methods of motivating employees and whether or not they are effective. Some examples include:

 

  • Incorporate fun: Consider looking into different ways to bring employees together during the work day and engage in fun activities. This allows employees to relax and enjoy their day instead of feeling as if they are simply there to get a job done, creating a greater sense of unity in the workplace.
  • Give awards: Custom, corporate awards can be ordered for any occasion and given out to show appreciation to employees for their efforts, for reaching a milestone or achieving company goals. These awards are a way for employees to have a lasting memento of their successes at work and a reminder of the respect managers have for their team.
  • Bonuses: Monetary incentives, if possible, provide employees with the ability to utilize the benefits they were awarded. Organizations can offer this type of motivation in several ways including sales competitions or outstanding customer service reviews. Regardless of the reason, bonuses are a great way to motivate staff members.
  • Positive Recognition: In company meetings or other events, managers are encouraged to take the time to personally recognize any employees who have exceeded in accomplishing specific tasks or any other reason to call out individuals for their successes in front of their peers.
  • Show Results of Efforts: A simple and cost effective way to show appreciation is to show employees the outcome of their work. If an individual is responsible for a small component of a project, when it is complete, being able to show what their work ended up producing can be a great strategy to motivating.

There are a variety of ways to acknowledge and show appreciation for the hard work employees do to maintain an effective workplace. Whether an individual has reached a company goal, gone above and beyond their job duties or they provide excellent customer service, part of being an effective manager is making employees feel appreciated.  Start motivating employees today by sending a clear message excellence with custom corporate recognition awards from EDCO. Corporate awards build excitement and inspire employees to continue on their path towards success while also proving that their efforts are recognized and valued by their managers. 

6 Tips from the Best Places to Work

Each year, companies around the country strive to be among those chosen as the greatest places to work. The most respected list is produced by Fortune magazine, which published a list called the 100 Best Companies to Work For. The list is highly regarded, with winners achieving nationwide recognition and gaining the ability to attract even more top talent to their organizations. Every business can learn more about employee satisfaction, simply by taking their cue from the best places to work.

 

 

The Best Places to Work

 

For the 100 Best Companies to Work For , the organizations chosen must be at least five or more years old and have at least 1,000 employees in the United States. The list is nomination-based, and winners are chosen based on several factors, including:

  • A thorough employee survey, which includes the Trust Index-Employee Survey and The Culture Audit. Although the surveys are anonymous, they truly provide the best insight into the company’s employee satisfaction, perceptions, opinions and attitudes. These surveys count for 2/3 of the decision.
  • An in-depth evaluation of both surveys, as well as an analysis of company programs and policies according to the Great Place to Work Model.

 

 

Most organizations choose to take advantage of the feedback provided to improve their company’s culture for employees, hoping to find a place on the list for the next year. For companies that are looking to improve their workplaces and keep their employees happy, the best way to learn is by example.


The 2013 100 Best Companies to Work For include Google, SAS, CHG Healthcare Services, The Boston Consulting Group, Inc., Wegmans Food Markets, Inc., NetApp, Hilcorp Energy Company, Edward Jones, Ultimate Software and the Camden Property Trust. Here is what makes the top two companies, Google and SAS, so fantastic.

 

 

Google
The recent movie The Internship opened America’s eyes to what a fun place to work Google seems to be, but the real reasons for employee satisfaction in this industry giant’s workplace goes far beyond just a fun atmosphere. (Although these onsite perks aren’t bad, either: medical and dental facilities, valet parking, oil change, bike repair, laundry rooms, and free gourmet meals).

  • Focused on women’s needs: A good percentage of Google employees are women, and when the HR department noticed a lower retention rate that seemed to center around a too-short maternity leave, changes were made. Rather than a standard 12 weeks of paid maternity leave, Google employees were given five months, with full pay and benefits, and could even divide that time out however they pleased. The focus even extended the new fathers.
  • Thought for family: Forbes magazine recently revealed that if a Google employee dies, the company will pay his or her spouse half of the employee’s salary…for a decade. Recognizing the importance of family and showing compassion are two main reasons Google succeeds in keeping its employees happy.
  • Investing in employees: Google’s Global Education Leave program allows its employees to take up to five years to further their education, and reimburses up to $150,000 to do so. Google proves to employees that they are believed in, at the same time strengthening the company’s brainpower and skills.

 

 

Google is a company of around 45,000 people and worth around $245 billion dollars, making it easy to provide these kinds of benefits. However, there are valuable lessons to be learned that any company can accomplish: recognize the importance of family, show compassion and invest in employee education and training when available.

 

 

SAS 
The second best place to work is SAS, an analytical software company in Silicon Valley, California. With over 6,300 employees, and a 5.6% job growth, this company is known for taking care of its employees and recognizing their hard work.

  • Putting the people first: When the 2008 recession caused massive job layoffs of SAS competitors, CEO Jim Goodnight held a webcast to all employees that assured them their jobs were safe, but that everyone’s help would be needed to watch spending and push through. SAS is a company that values its employees and shows them that they are considered in decisions. Family members are also included in importance, with an extensive family resource program that includes family counseling, adoption, eldercare and childcare.
  • Flexible hours: SAS prides itself on giving employees flexibility on the hours they choose to work. While a 35-hour work week is what is expected, the hours can be accomplished when and how the employee chooses, and the CMO, Jim Davis, pointed out that most work many more hours that required because they “enjoy those hours as opposed to ‘slaving in the office.’”
  • Promote pride in work by recognizing accomplishment: SAS takes large measures to recognize employee successes and give credit where credit is due.  In identifying achievement, SAS finds that employees are more likely to take pride in their own work. The company even designates certain areas of their property to individual landscapers, so that they will treat it as their own.

 

SAS leads by example in its treatment of family members, employee consideration and recognition of employee successes. Other businesses can take these lessons home, finding ways to incorporate family values and showing acknowledgment and appreciation for hard work and success.

 

Regardless of size or financials, a company can always show its employees how important they are. Whether through considerations for family and personal time or awarding recognition for jobs well done, a company can always find ways to prove to its staff that they are appreciated and understood. 

Find some simple ways to recognize achievement in your organization, with EDCO Employee Recognition AwardsSince 1969, EDCO has provided quality motivation and recognition tools for any occasion. From sports trophies, to corporate awards and promotional items, EDCO carries all types of awards for any organization’s corporate needs. EDCO’s products are fully displayed on its website and can be customized and shipped in a week or less in most cases. 

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