The Inner Circle newsletter is our way of sharing with you, our circle, what we’re up to, what we’re learning about and what successes our clients are achieving. Our goal is to produce timely, interesting and thought-provoking content for the greater good of the industry - ultimately creating “A-ha!” moments for association and event marketing professionals. Here’s a complete listing of Inner Circle topics from the past 8 years, in case you missed them the first time around or just want to reference them as you plan your next strategic campaign.

Design Strategy for Event Marketers

Design thinking isn’t necessarily a new concept, but it’s one that event professionals are employing more regularly to power their organizational strategies. This fusion of design thinking and business strategy, called design strategy, is defining how we relate to our members/attendees, lay out our show floor and incorporate technology into our brand experiences. As theRead More

TRENDING: Testimonials

We often talk about the power of storytelling and making emotional connections with our audiences. One event marketing approach that maximizes the power of both of these is using testimonials. While testimonials have been a stalwart of the event marketing community for years, today—in the age of social media and review sites like Yelp—more credenceRead More

Trend Spotting: Real-Time vs. Right-Time Marketing

As event marketers, we are often guilty of focusing so myopically on our own trade show or conference that we forget there’s a whole world spinning around us. As an account strategist, I find it very important to thoughtfully incorporate current events, trends and news into client communications. Here are my Top 10 “Right-Time” MarketingRead More

What Event Marketers Should Know About GDPR

Do you have to abide by General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) if your event isn’t based in the European Union? The short answer is, “maybe.” The EU has 750 million citizens and finite resources, making the likelihood small that your event campaign will be investigated and/or prosecuted for a minor perceived infraction. That said, ifRead More

Open Our Emails… PLEASE!!

As event marketers, we know all too well how challenging it is to get an audience to pay attention to emails. Think about the last promotional email you opened. Was it a creative detail that made you stop and pay attention? A clever headline? The sender? A killer offer? Here are four not-so-obvious tips forRead More

Orchestrating a Seamless Prospect Experience

In today’s integrated media landscape an intelligent, omni-channel marketing campaign is critical to ensuring that your tactics are strategically in tune. Here’s our advice for getting your instruments playing in perfect harmony: Step one: Begin your composition An effective omni-channel campaign begins well before you deploy your first tactic. A solid understanding of the big-pictureRead More

A Pirate’s Guide to Trade Show PaRrgh

When navigating the (often) rough waters of trade show public relations, it’s helpful to have the support of a good crew. mdg’s public relations experts are old salts when it comes to the creation – and execution – of integrated plans that keep events top of mind with trade and mainstream press. Their expert adviceRead More

A New Look at Social Media for Event Marketers

We all know social platforms are a critical part of the marketing mix, but are you leveraging them to their fullest capabilities? Social platforms are rapidly evolving to remain relevant and they’ve added several new features. Here’s what you need to know about the big four and how to integrate them into your social mediaRead More

What I Took Away from ASAE’s Annual Meeting

Last month, thousands of association professionals united in Toronto to learn, network and gain inspiration from each other. Personally, I achieved all those objectives and came back to work feeling motivated to translate my knowledge into action and to share my key takeaways… Tell Relatable Stories As we tell stories about our events and/or associationRead More

Entrepreneurial Lessons for Event Marketing

According to Exhibit Surveys 46% of trade show attendees go to only one event per year. In a day and age when events compete for the same (and often shrinking) pool of attendee prospects, how can your event stand above others as THE ONE? We found answers to this question in an unlikely place: iCONICRead More

Don’t Get Emotional

It’s far too easy, as business-to-business marketers, to forget that we are not, in fact, marketing to businesses. We’re marketing to people—people who have hopes, dreams, fears, ambitions, aspirations and other deep feelings about their careers, industries, professions and livelihoods. When we forget about these emotions, and the ability they have to compel participation atRead More

Let’s Get Digital!

Direct mail isn’t dead. Yet. Savvy event marketers are, however, anticipating and preparing for the moment the direct mail death knell finally rings. As attendee demographics change, the way prospects are identified and nurtured through the buying cycle must also change. As mdg’s director of social + digital, I often guide trade show marketers through the conversion from print to digital, typically with dramatic results.

4 ideas for your next event!

In my opinion, SXSW is the gold standard when it comes to events. It’s the perfect combination of pop culture, innovation, and inspiration that attracts thousands of movers and shakers from across the country and around the world in marketing, tech, music and film. Here are four of the many applicable event-marketing lessons that I learned from my experience this year…

Navigating the Journey to Personalized Attendee Relationships

From personalized online styling services like Stitch Fix to Amazon suggesting items to purchase based on your previous shopping history, our world is becoming more and more personalized. This personalization allows products, businesses or brands to build a relationship with prospects and customers. Recently, mdg has begun applying this approach to building personalized relationships with event attendees for our clients through customer journey maps.

What did UXpect?

UX, short for user experience, is up there with SEO/SEM and responsive design as one of the trendiest web-related terms in the marketing world. And why not? Good marketing focuses on a specific audience’s wants and needs; UX brings that philosophy to bear online, tapping into the hidden preferences site visitors demonstrate. But with any new wave of information comes misinformation, especially when it relates to a topic as capricious as the internet. Check your expectations about UX against this list of common misconceptions.

All the Action from IAEE’s Expo! Expo!

Sunny California was host to IAEE’s Expo! Expo! last month and, as expected, the event was full of innovation and bright ideas for event marketers. The “show for shows” sparked provocative conversations, facilitated new connections, and presented industry professionals with inspiration for 2017. mdg‘s employees, clients and friends have shared a few of their favorite takeaways…

PR: It’s all about content, community and creativity.

As much as we love press releases (you’d have to pry them from our Kung Fu grip), they’re not the only building blocks with which our public relations campaigns are built. Now more than ever, we’re leveraging organic social media; galvanizing local community leaders; utilizing the power of influencers; and thinking more creatively to develop innovative, integrated campaigns for our association and event clients. We thought we’d share a few of our recent successes in hopes that they might inspire your next PR initiative.

Baking a Difference

A consolidating industry. Low-carb diet fads that won’t die. Niche competitors around every corner. That’s what mdg has been up against since we began marketing the triennial International Baking Industry Exposition (IBIE) in 2007. So, just how is it that attendance has increased by 65 percent since then (from just under 14,000 attendees to just over 23,000)? Here are a few ingredients in our carefully crafted recipe for success.

Predicting the future of events.

CEIR Predict, held September 14–15 in Washington, D.C., attracts senior executives within the exhibition industry for a deep-dive discussion about current economic, political and societal trends with the goal of identifying strategies, tactics, tools and technologies necessary to serve transforming markets. For those of you who weren’t there, I’ve edited and cleaned up my notes for you here…