Sunday, July 31, 2016

Birds Sing from the Heart

Author and content marketer Erik Deckers recently invited me to discuss "My Writing Process," a dead-horse topic if there ever were one.

But I'll beat that horse anyway, just because Erik asked. Here you go:

Where I find ideas. The wellsprings of ideas are many and inexhaustible. The ones I return to again and again are:

  • Other writers—from the sublime (e.g., Emerson, Faulkner, Sartre, Updike) to the ridiculous (names withheld) 
  • Pop culture (songs, movies, TV shows, blogs, etc.)
  • Current events (AKA La Comédie humaine)
  • Memories, dreams, reflections 
  • Other people's observations (Take my wife's. Please.) 
How I write the ideas down. My secret sauce is no secret. Writing isn't thinking. It isn't even writing. "Writing is revision," as Tracy Kidder says. "Write once, edit five times," David Ogilvy urged office mates. Priceless advice. Your fifth draft may not excel, but it will beat your first by a long shot. And, as you edit five times, be like the birds. An ornithologist mentioned during a recent NPR interview that birds' voice boxes are lodged deep within their chests. "Birds sing from the heart," she said. You should, too. Readers like it and respond accordingly.

How I assure quality. Copy's never error free, but I try hard to check my facts. In fact, I often spend more time fact-checking sources than writing and editing. (Don't hem and haw: fact-checking is enlightening.) And I proofread, both twice before I hit publish and twice afterwards. Boring task, but my reputation's on the line.

How I spread ideas. Outposting has helped aggrandize my scribblings more than any of my other activities. Adman Gary Slack advises clients to invest in "other people's audiences" more than their own. He's 100% on the money.

For more advice about writing. If you're hungry for sound advice, listen to Paul Simon and Chuck Close discuss the creative process in a podcast for The Atlantic. You'll learn more than you will by reading 50 how-to books, with these four noteworthy exceptions: 

Oh, yea, don't forget No Bullshit Social Media.

NOTE: This post originally appeared in Erik Deckers' blog.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Want Social Media Success? Hang out on the Stoop.

When I was a kid, the park was where we went to find our friends, but the stoop was where the good stuff happened.

That's where the stories were swapped, the jokes told, the dreams dreamed, the plans made.

Marketers frame their social media strategies around showing up at parks—i.e., "platforms"—when they should be hanging out on stoops.

"Customer engagement will occur where your fans want it to happen, not where you want it to happen," Mark Schaefer says.

You won't form a successful social media strategy by chasing trendy platforms, because customers "will naturally migrate to wherever they want to be."

Schaefer wonders whether we're asking the right question when we ask "Should we be on Snapchat?" or "Should we be on Facebook Live?"

"Maybe it doesn’t matter if we’re on Snapchat or Facebook Live" he says.

"What matters most is where our customers want to be found, where they want to engage."

Friday, July 29, 2016

Government Communicators: Focus on Event Photography

Award-winning video producer Ann Ramsey contributed today's post. She is a senior producer at the US Department of Health & Human Services in Washington, DC.

Press conferences, roundtables, ceremonies, observances: these types of events are familiar material for the government communicator. Want to step up your game? Use photography. If you need great content—and who doesn't?—consider partnering with your staff photographer. The photos he or she shoots will be engaging visuals that you can turn into quality content.

But partnering with your staff photographer has more advantages than meet the eye:

History. Christopher Smith, staff photographer at the Department of Health & Human Services, has worked through many Administrations, knows the principals of the Department and their schedulers intimately, and can anticipate their photo requirements. Plus, he can locate past event photos going back many years. For commemorative projects, his image repository is a goldmine.

Economy. No licensing fees are required when you use your agency’s own photos, and no permissions are required to cover an open-press or a public event. Photography makes an effective complement to video; and if your budget doesn’t allow for video coverage, photography can work wonders all by itself. Professional photographers are available on a day-rate virtually anywhere, if you have none on staff. 

Authenticity. Stock photography is polished, inexpensive and convenient, yet has its limits. Viewers may "tune out" stock shots unconsciously as being promotional. When it comes to events, images of real faces and places have the edge over stock shots for authenticity—a priority for every government communicator. 

Quality. Professionals are equipped for the job. Lighting and special lenses can overcome obstacles such as dim rooms, cramped conditions, or far-off podiums. A
s important, professional photographers have been trained to tell a story or evoke a mood in one frame. Here are a couple examples:

For a group portrait at a conference, HHS staff photographer Christopher Smith brought a light-stand and wide-angle lens, and posed the subjects. The image of the group-members together, sporting their cause-related wristbands, evokes a sense of team spirit.
Equipment and know-how really make a difference. In a candid shot of HHS Secretary Burwell at a feedback session, our eye is drawn to her face by the photographer's use of selective focus and a long lens.

Staff photographers' role expanding

Traditionally, staff photographers cover any number of events, most often to provide visuals for the media and for archival purposes. But the role of the photographer is expanding with the new media formats in use today. Consider:

Social media. Many professional-grade digital cameras now have Wi-Fi connectivity, making immediacy an option. Well-composed photographs are eye-catchers for posts on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or other social media sites, whether in real time or afterwards. With photographs, your posts can be picked up by image-based search engines such as Google Images.

Electronic press releases, blogs and websites. A clear, relevant photograph helps hook audiences of your agency’s electronic press releases, blogs or Websites, where the event can be explained in detail. Putting a text caption or headline with the photo clarifies immediately what is being shown. 

Tools for partners and stakeholders. When sending pre-event announcements to partners and stakeholders, attach downloadable photographs for them to re-use as tools in helping you get the word out. If there are too many photos to attach, hyperlink email recipients to where the photos are stored (Flickr, Dropbox, an FTP site, etc.).

Ready to go to work? 

A professional photographer will reliably produce quality material, and be a godsend when you’re working out image selection, distribution and archiving. 
Here are some tips for effectively directing your staff photographer:

In advance: For smooth planning, inform the photographer of the advance team, event location, best arrival time, and any parking and security issues. Explain what the interior lighting is likely to be, and whether any exterior shots are needed. Provide the event rundown if possible, including any special access to VIPs or arrangements being made for the media. This helps your photographer set up for the shoot.

Before the event starts: Tell the photographer what your needs are. According to Christopher Smith, pros don’t need much detail. “I can plan what needs to be shot for most events," Christopher says. "What I really need to know is who the principals are, where and when the photos will be used, and whether anything special is going to happen at the event. For example, if the speaker is going to show a report or a plaque from the podium, and I know ahead of time, I can remind the presenter to hold it up for a few moments so I can get the perfect shot.”  For shooting format, Christopher finds the medium-resolution JPEG setting efficient for editing and storing.

At the event: Assist the photographer with any logistical matters. Help him or her to anticipate what comes next, and where. Indicate anything you would like covered that you may not have mentioned. After that, get out of the way. If you allow photographers to handle the shoot in their own way, you are likely to get the best material.

After the event: Give the photographer any details needed for assigning metadata. Specify what deliverables you need. A folder with a few selections? A Flickr download of the whole shoot? Some prints to distribute? Your digital media team will know how best to optimize photos for different social media platforms. If you are your own graphics department, here's a guide. Keeping file sizes small will ensure easy loading on line. Again, if you have no digital experts on hand, try using iPhoto, or access a free compression tool like Image Optimizer.

WAY after the event: Lest we forget, our friends at NARA in College Park will ultimately want to add our event photographs to the 8 million shots already archived. Keep your photos organized. It will save headaches later.

NOTE: This post first appeared in Federal Communicators Network.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

A Nation of Videots

A Facebook exec recently predicted her platform would be "all video" in five years.

Her prediction should neither surprise nor disturb you in the least bit.

The social platforms like Facebook are becoming gargantuan public access TV stations. Think Wayne's World meets Warhol's World. Everyone will be famous for 15 minutes, because every schmo will have a show.

Face the fact: we are a nation of videots. 

It's why we retweet videos more than text messages; why the appearance of the word “video” in an email's subject line boosts opens; why YouTube is the second most-used search engine; and why Facebook is going "all video."

Mindset, not media, determines what's expressed, as Aldous Huxley said 80 years ago. We like only what we can like; what we're psychologically capable of liking; what we're conditioned to like. 

"The Zeitgeist is just professor Pavlov on a cosmic scale."

We like video.

That's why every marketer had better climb on the video bandwagon. And if you're not convinced, chew on these findings from Animato:
  • 96% of customers find videos help purchase decisions
  • 77% think companies that market with videos are more engaging
  • 71% say those videos give them a positive impression of the company
  • 58% consider companies that market with videos are more trustworthy

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

5 Keys to Creativity

Red Smith was asked if turning out a daily column wasn’t quite a chore. Why, no,” dead-panned Red. “You simply sit down at the typewriter, open your veins, and bleed.”

—Walter Winchell

We link creativity to talent, b
ut blogger Greg Satell insists "talent is overrated" and says the least talented among us can find the keys to creativity. For Satell, they are:

Habit. Rain or shine, Satell writes every day. A friend calls it , “Letting the muse know you’re serious.”

Experience. Satell brings a wealth of experience in different businesses, countries and cultures to his writing. "That gives me a lot of raw material to work with."

Productivity.  "The more work you produce the more likely you are to come up with something truly creative," Satell says. "The more you produce, the more skilled you become and the more you can experiment with different combinations."

Serenity. Writer's block can be overcome by finding a distraction that calms your mind. Exercise, walks, coffee with a friend, reading or movie-watching all work.

Compromise. "When you start something it’s always crap," Satell says. "I dare to be crap, knowing that it really doesn’t matter what my first draft looks like." It's easy to fix a first draft, he says. "The only problem that can’t be fixed is a blank page."

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Its Takes a Crisis

A brief summer break just took me to Cape May, New Jersey, where a 100-foot canal cuts a 3-mile swath between the Atlantic Ocean and the Delaware Bay.

As I experienced on the trip to and from Cape May, you can't drive 10 miles on the East Coast today without delays due to some random road-, bridge- or tunnel-repair project poking along at a snail's pace. 

The Cape May Canal reminds me it takes a crisis to move Americans.

The canal had boosters as far back as 1841 (the riptides around Cape May are treacherous); but no work was begun until 1942, when Nazi submarines lurked beneath the Delaware Bay, targeting American ships. 

After the subs sank a few the year before, FDR okay'd the dig, to give ships a waterway around the subs.

Construction by the Army Corps of Engineers started in August and wrapped up seven months later.

Today, Americans tackle public projects with the vigor of garden slugs. 

Other countries complete roads, bridges and tunnels in the time it takes our governments and contractors to arrange the preliminary bid meeting.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

How to Win Friends and Influence Prospects

"Attention is something that can't be refunded or recalled," 
Seth Godin says. "Once it's gone, it's gone."

Most salespeople fail to realize how fleeting and fragile attention is.

If a prospect won't reply to emails, return calls, accept appointments or keep them, it means you haven't created enough interest to earn her attention.

Here are five sure-fire ways to correct that:
  • Get referred. Leverage your network. Ask an influencer to smooth your way.
  • Call early. Cold call before the morning madness starts (or late in the evening, when it's past). Be ready to stimulate thoughts. 
  • Send a letter. Provoke thoughts the old-fashioned way. Close by asking for an appointment.
  • Send a gift.The right one will earn more attention than it deserves. Try a new dollar bill.
  • Go where the prospect goes. Use common sense and a little detective work to learn which events the prospect attends. Button-hole her there. Again, be ready to provoke thoughts.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Storytelling: Born in a Bathtub

As a marketing strategy, storytelling was born in a bathtub.

The year was 1951. Stories couldn't move merchandise, the Madison Avenue experts agreed.

Then an obscure shirtmaker from Maine, Hathaway, approached an equally obscure ad man, David Ogilvy, with only $30,000 to spend.

To win him over, the company's president pledged never to fire Ogilvy or change one of his ads.

Ogilvy had been mulling the notion that "story appeal" could sell products, and decided to test the theory with his new client's ads. 

He was sitting in his bathtub when the image of the Hathaway Man came to him.

Ogilvy appeared in the office the next day and instructed his art director to find a model who resembled novelist William Faulkner, who'd recently won a Nobel Prize, for the photo shoot. 

En route to the shoot, Ogilvy bought a 50-cent eyepatch at a Manhattan drugstore. He handed the eyepatch to the photographer and said, "Humor me."

Ogilvy's copy assured readers Hathaway shirts—like the men who wore them—were "in a class by themselves." 

"You will get a great deal of quiet satisfaction out of wearing shirts which are in such impeccable taste."

Ogilvy's first ad in the series ran in The New YorkerWithin a week, every Hathaway shirt in Manhattan was sold. "We have never seen anything just like it," said the magazine's ad manager.

The Hathaway Man soon catapulted the company to the top-ranking shirtmaker in the world—and storytelling to the top drawer in every marketers' toolchest.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Brevents Face Tight Marketing Budgets

Event producers in the UK on average spend only $10,697 to market a B2B event, according to a new survey by Eventbrite.

That amount is paltry compared to a US producer's average marketing spend, which is 28 times greater.

Brits spend the majority of their marketing money on outbound email. 

They also rely heavily on word-of-mouth to draw attendees, the survey finds.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Newshounds' Loyalty on the Rise

Consumers' loyalty to specific news outlets is on the rise, according to a recent poll by Gallup. 

Among consumers, 48% identify a specific medium (TV, Internet, radio, newspaper) as their main news sourcedown 10 points from three years ago; while 42% identify a specific outlet (Fox, Huffington, NPR, The New York Times, etc.) as their main sourceup 12 points from three years ago.

"The shift in thinking on the subject is partly powered by Americans' increasing ability to gather news from a single organization on multiple platforms," says pollster Jim Norman. 

Loyalty to social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) as news outlets is also on the rise—particularly among Millennials.

According to the poll, 15% of Millennials identify a social media site as their main news source, up from 3% three years ago.

While the shift in media habits will affect news outlets in their battle for customers, it also could spill into politics and social behaviors, Norman says.

Consumers may shut out viewpoints not presented by their favorite news outlet, and be more apt to mistake entertainment for news.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

SMS: A Fantastic Way to Engage Customers

Sophorn Chhay contributed today's post. He is the inbound marketer at Trumpia, a mobile content delivery service that lets users customize their one-to-one marketing.

Marketers are jumping into SMS because texting keeps growing. Consider:

  • 23 billion text messages are sent every (a Millennial sends 67 a day)
  • 97% of text messages are opened
  • 75% of people prefer receiving offers via text messages
  • 80% of people use text messaging for business
Before you jump into SMS, check out our beginner’s guide below. Learn what SMS marketing is, how to set up a campaign, and how to test a campaign.

The Beginner's Guide to SMS Marketing

Monday, July 11, 2016

Past Lives Matter

The past isn't dead. It isn't even past.

— William Faulkner

My Irish heritage has always been a source of pride, as it is for 33.3 million other Americans. (For what it's worth, my genome shows I descend from an Irish king, Niall of the Nine Hostages, a lordly lineage that makes me all the more proud.)

But being a "mick" ain't all glory.

It wasn't sixty years ago micks, like other groups, were considered untrustworthy outsiders, a distaste that vanished from our society only with the election—and killing—of John F. Kennedy.

I still remember offhand remarks made by adults that made the distaste clear to me.

When I conjure up the past lives of Irish-Americans, I picture tin miners and tunnel diggers; road workers and factory stiffs; Civil War soldiers and civil servants.

These people are part of me; I stand on their shoulders.

There are past lives that are a part of me which I haven't thought about.

My alma mater, Georgetown University, sold 272 of its slaves "down the river" in 1838. The slaves, who built the school, were sold out of necessity. The income$3.3 million in today's money—retired a debt that, if unpaid, would have meant the end to the institution.

I stand on their shoulders, too.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

The Young and the Badgeless

To event-industry old salts, working an event with unofficial credentials is known as suitcasing.

To the unwashed, it's known as crashing, hacking, lurking and lobbyconning.

"There is a long tradition of those who simply show up for conferences, wallets closed," Jane Levere reports in The New York Times.

"But for young entrepreneurs on limited budgets, particularly in the technology field, the importance of the personal introduction has only increased. Just don’t mention the fee."

While I think suitcasing's a nice problem to have, consultant David Nour considers it symptomatic of a dying event.

The handwriting's on the wall when attendees refuse to pay for credentials, Nour says. "And its message is bleak."

Producers routinely come down on suitcasers in Stalinesque fashion.

One producer calls them bottom-feeders "mooching off everyone else who has spent marketing dollars to be at the show."

But suitcasers may not see themselves as mooching, doing damage to their own reputations, or even harming the event.

One suitcaser in fact told Levere he was an evangelist. "I think I’m adding value by spreading the word," he said. "A lot of people most likely attended the conference because I mentioned it.”

Where do you come down? How do you come down?

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Event-Goer: Won't You be My Neighbor?

Are you an adventurous event-goer?

Airbnb wants you.

Room-sharing represents the ultimate way for event-goers to personalize business travel, says company exec Chip Conley.

While she once aspired to stay in a predictably clean and conveniently located hotel, today's event-goer seeks “discovery”—a craving Airbnb satisfies by providing rooms in every sort of neighborhood.

The company fills a need that's not without precedent, Conley says:
  • Home-swapping dates to the 1950s, when the Dutch teachers' union suggested members could swap houses to save on vacation rentals.
  • VRBO web-ified peer-to-peer vacation rentals in 1995.
  • Boutique hotels surged about the same time, proving “there was a growing number of customers for whom predictability and ubiquity were not the right model."
Airbnb targets “customers who are a little adventurous, especially in locations that they know already,” Conley says.

To accommodate event planners, Airbnb is hawking widgets planners can embed in their websites. The widgets link attendees to blocks of Airbnb listings available during the event's dates and in proximity to the event's venue. 

Following in the footsteps of Amazon and Netflix, the company plans to use algorithms to become a global hospitality giant, according to Conley.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Should a Speaker Ever Break the Fourth Wall?

Aristotle advised every speaker to use pathos (feeling) to cater to listeners' "sense of identity, their self-interest, and their emotions."

But it's not enough to open with "My fellow Americans," as politicians do.

Sometimes it's smart for a speaker to break the "fourth wall" by letting listeners in on the secret that he or she isn't 100% "on the podium."

Twenty-five years ago, two media studies researchers discovered audience participationa key index of audience interest—increases when a TV show character breaks the fourth wall, acknowledging he's fictional by suddenly interacting with the audience.

"That interactive relationship redefines the normally passive relationship with a given show and makes the viewers a part of the action," the researchers said.

The research proved TV shows that broke the fourth wall not only gripped audiences, but shot up viewers' charts for their "entertainment value" and "content sophistication."

Analogously, speakers who self-efface are much more popular than those who don't, says Chris Anderson, curator of TED.

“Some people come on full of ego and want to boast about their accomplishments or they tell a story that’s just designed to show off,” Anderson says. "That doesn’t work, and audiences push back on that. 

"What works is people who really have something important to say, and that they’ve done the work. They’ve earned the right to say something that matters, and they’ve found a way of saying it authentically and humbly.”

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Marketing Myopia 2016

Our “measure everything” age has engendered a new form of marketing myopia, says Todd Ebert in Convince & Convert.

"While marketers once accepted as fact that they didn’t know which half of their ad budget was wasted, today they’ve done a 180 and believe that if it can’t be measured, it’s not worth doing," Ebert says.

Marketers' new myopia causes them to put all their money on one number, whether that's SEO, podcasts or white papers, and to walk away from proven, but less measurable, tactics like advertising, PR and exhibiting at trade shows.

A riskier bet you couldn't imagine.

Betting only on search, for example, ignores every buyer who hasn't started her product research; while betting only on podcasts or white papers ignores every buyer who thinks she's finished it.

In fact, betting it all on one number—no matter how measurable—undermines the marketer's tactic of choice, Ebert says.

"If you don’t do anything to drive brand familiarity and interest at the beginning of the journey, then it won’t matter how well you optimize at the end because you won’t be invited into the buyer’s consideration set."

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

How to Conquer the Robowriters

By 2020, 75% of news coverage will be written by bots, says content marketing guru Mark Schaefer.

"When it gets to the point that a computer can consistently generate content at a level that passes the Turing Test, the economics of content in every form will change forever," Schaefer says. "The freelance writer will become an endangered species."

Schaefer offers freelancers four strategies to beat the bots:

Emote. Good writers transcend their content by connecting emotionally with readers. It hardly matters what they write about; we still want to read it.

Dive. Position yourself as an expert and a "trusted voice of experience," because no bot can "corner the market on true insight."

Engage. Express some original thoughts, or at least express others' thoughts originally. If you only offer commodity content, "it’s going to be game over." Cede content like "10 Twitter Tips" to the bots.

Rebel. Be a part of readers' "bot-free zones." Just as consumers pay a premium for organic, local and artisanal, readers will prefer writers who shun "bot-speak." Keep your content human.

My view is that skilled freelancers needn't fret:
  • Mathematician Émile Borel said a century ago, if you provided an infinite number of monkeys typewriters, eventually they'd produce Hamlet. Bots may not represent an infinite troop, but they're 'still a boatload of monkeys. As Uber will do to taxi drivers, bots will soon disintermediate low-skilled writers (it's funny that both are called "hacks"). The great social sewer will awash in robowriting—a genuine improvement.
  • But while bots can produce passable news stories, it's hard to imagine them attracting followers. The reason is simple. As great writing teachers (Donald Hall, for example) have always told students to rewrite, rewrite, rewrite, rewrite, because the good writer is full of doubt; she knows her prose isn't inviolable and that the good stuff only emerges from the fifth or sixth or seventh draft. But computers aren't writers; they're robots. They'll never rewrite their stuff, because they lack self-doubt. Have you ever met a computer that doubted its own solution to a problem?

Monday, July 4, 2016

Content Marketer: Why Punish Yourself?

Unless you crave brawn more than bliss, you'd never do 100 extra pushups. 

It'd be masochistic.

So why, when writing's such hard work, write more than readers read?

Brevity should be the rule, not the exception, if you want your content to catch and keep readers' attention.

IThe Dyer's HandW. H. Auden urged brevity on memoirists with one simple command:

"Be brief, be blunt, be gone.”

Nuff said.

Google Outs a Family Secret

Victorian doctors prescribed morphine like today's doctors do hydrocodone, especially to young middle- and upper-class women. As a result, thousands were committed to "the shadows of addiction."

George Sand, Louisa May Alcott and Mary Todd Lincoln were all morphine addicts. So was playwright Eugene O'Neill's mother, as depicted in Long Day's Journey Into Night. My own maternal grandmother was one.

Family secrets have always been hard to keep, but Google's made them harder.

Researchers at Rutgers University used Google to unearth the long-buried fact that Thomas Edison's first wife died in 1884 of a morphine overdose, even though "congestion of the brain" was recorded as the official cause of death.

Here's how:
  • Using Google, they first found an article in an unidentified newspaper that said Edison had tried to revive his comatose wife with electric shocks. Edison was an expert in electricity.
  • Using, the researchers next found another (unsigned) article alleging Mary Edison was a morphine addict who died of an overdose. They also found an interview Mary had given the same paper, and concluded the same reporter who conducted the interview wrote the story about her death.
  • Using Google Books, the researchers then discovered “congestion of the brain” was a Victorian euphemism for "overdose." They also discovered electric shock—Edison's expertise—was prescribed in medical books as a way to revive victims, and concluded Mary indeed OD'd.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

How to Guarantee Gate-Shut-Panic

It is a hopeless endeavor to attract people to a theatre unless they can be first brought to believe that they will never get in.
—Charles Dickens

"Of all the thousands of events that exist, only 5% represent those that I’d consider as ‘must-attend,’" says event designer Warwick Davies.

"These are the events where your absence will be noted, whether you are an attendee, speaker, sponsor or exhibitor. They are the kinds of events that prompt a ‘fear of missing out'—FOMO—the fear that it will somehow cost you in some way if you aren’t there."

Germans have a word for FOMO, Torschlusspanik, "gate-shut-panic."

The word dates to the Middle Ages, when peasants had to scamper from the fields at dusk, to guarantee they got home before the city gates were shut. The ones who dawdled could be eaten by wolves, beaten by robbers, or killed by the cold.

You can't loose wolves or release the Kraken on resistant attendees. But you can instill FOMO by offering a must-attend event.

Davies says these six actions guarantee it:

Make sure influencers show up. Buzz about your event only occurs when "influentials, connectors and mavens" attend, Davies says. Be sure to find ways for them to see value in attending.

Make sure you connect with influencers. Connect with 10 influencers, and you can't help but spark FOMO. "It will help not only your event, but also your own personal industry profile, and potentially your career."

Make sure you know the next big thing. You can't be clueless and run an irresistible event. Become a trend-spotter and build the next big thing into your event.

Make sure to connect with your Top 10 sponsors.  To create FOMO, you need tight connections with all the decision-makers at your leading funders.

Make sure to offer 10 networking activities. "Have 10 really dynamic and interactive things on the schedule that allow the movers and shakers, as well as their followers, to get together." Activities can include receptions, community projects, roundtable sessions and morning runs.

Make sure to market your event as a "must-attend." But don't just claim it. Prove it. Publish an agenda that shows you're leading your industry.

HAT TIP: James McCabe inspired this post.
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