All too commonly used and thrown around is the phrase “return on investment” (ROI). We attempted to explain ROI for events years ago here, but it’s about time we revisit the idea. What does ROI really mean besides the common definition? For “x” amount of dollars invested one receives an output of “y” amount of dollars. But is that the only metric businesses should focus on? Although important, it tells you one thing: Congratulations! You have more dollars today than you had yesterday (hopefully). However, it does not fill in the gaps that reflect the quality of the work, the progress with a client and most importantly the many unspoken conversations in the office.
One non-verbal conversation worth noting in event marketing is the audience’s attention. Much like a textbook, an event can have the accurate information it needs, the text can be printed on paper or displayed on Powerpoint, and the message can be read out-loud in person. Yet, we’ve all experienced that moment when after catching a red-eye flight to San Francisco, you’ve been gathered round in a large auditorium and the need to doze off suddenly clicks when the lights are dimmed. The speaker’s mouth is moving and although sound is captured with your ears, the words are meaningless because you simply just.don’t.care. Although the above situation may not seem highly problematic or widespread, would you start to care if it affected your bottom line, and therefore your income, directly? Ah, now I’ve captured your attention! Much like the silent, but deadly curse of dwindling audience attention span, another similar problem is plaguing many offices everyday– the lack of employee engagement. According to this graph, “70% of US workers are disengaged at work.”
Cueing back to the top of this post is the ROI. At FLIRT we like to say “treat your coworkers as consumers” which is a mantra we’ve collectively derived from observing companies for over 20 years – Employers remember client/customer happiness, but many forget the most important customers of all- their employees. The boss expects employees to arrive in time, caffeine already injected in their veins, ready to crush today’s reports since it is written in the job description, the orientation handbook, spoken in the production meetings, and pay day is Friday. So what if it’s Friday? Logically, it should make sense that input X: salary, productions meetings, orientation seminars will lead to output Y: productivity, happiness, and engagement. However, the inputs listed above are nothing more than reasons and if trying to win the hearts of your employees here’s a piece of advice from Blaise Pascal:
Any job hunter can find the right reasons in a company- location, role, salary. What makes them stay is a different story and it typically involves the heart, the people, the whys and why nots, or the hunch that this place is truly something special. At FLIRT, we supply the creative solutions that channel the hearts of employees. Internal events or conferences should accomplish more than just rallying troops around your sales goals or presenting profit margins from that last fiscal year. They should also keep in mind first time engagers by:
Don’t just take our word for it though, there are numbers and studies that back these claims up.
Besides increased employee retention since engaged workers are 87% less likely to leave an organization, engagement and happiness makes a difference to customers and that difference is visible- 31% higher productivity, 37% higher sales, 3x higher creativity. Even without statistics or verbal communication, the message is made clear- happy workers inform the consumer (and potential investors) that the company is happy. If the company is happy, one can infer that the company is healthy, stable, and successful! This can only mean several things: more customers, more workers, and more prospects. There can be no losses when investing in engagement, only gains. Although engagement might seem like a “marketing” question, it’s a question for all. How can we create engagement in all aspects of the work environment that will allow and encourage everyone to be curious, to create, and be proud of your work? Now that’s something that impacts your bottom line, and then some.
If you’re in the event and experiential industry and wanted to learn about the hottest and most talked-about topics in our industry, the epicenter of these discussions occurred about a week ago in Salt Lake City at the Event Marketing Summit. Current and aspiring industry leaders from around the world assemble to recap and discuss best practices in meetings, events, experiential, digital and production.
Keynote and breakout speakers included corporate marketing executives from Mercedes-Benz, Anheuser-Busch, HP, Match.com and event agencies that have won big awards for their work. Top editors from Event Marketing Magazine also shared their insights about social and business trends that are or will be affecting the direction of our industry. While there were literally dozens of trends, I sifted through them all to bring you some of the most notable topics discussed over the three day session…
It’s that time again – March Madness and the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. The time when working on company spreadsheets gets bypassed for working on the perfect bracket. When talk at the water cooler is about upsets and last second shots rather than closing deals and operational efficiency.
Recent reports estimate that $1.2 billion dollars of corporate productivity will be lost for every hour that employees work on selections and brackets at work. Everyone knows that this rite of spring is impossible to stop. So wouldn’t it be better for your company to build corporate engagement through employee activities relating to the tournament rather than wondering how to prevent the inevitable?
Smart companies will find ways to create internal events that leverage the competitive spirit of the tournament. Read on for some simple examples that convert the fun, excitement and involvement of the tournament into ideas that can stimulate conversation and relationship-building activities in your company.
Have you ever wondered why so many meetings and presentations have defaulted to the same old “30 slides in 30 minutes” format, all with the same blue background? I’m going to blame 1990’s-era Microsoft for making it really hard to schedule a meeting in Outlook for less than 30 minute increments and for the default template of PowerPoint.
Regardless of who’s to blame or how we got there, there will be no end of the 30×30 meeting until we all do something about it. We’d like to suggest some alternatives for you to use every day. Not only are these options just different than a standard 30×30 meeting (making the sheer novelty useful in its own right), but in many ways they are better than 30×30 meetings. They increase attendee attention, message retention and even employee morale.
If you do a Google Search on the term Corporate Communications, 95% of what you get are job openings in various corporate communications departments. How is it that a term containing “communications” in its very name doesn’t do a good job communicating its value or purpose?
We’re going to attempt the impossible and define corporate communications here and now. While this sounds about as exciting as trying to define the exact flavor of wallpaper paste, it’s not an academic exercise. If we can’t all agree on what the definition is, how can we agree on what good corporate communications is? Or looks like? Or feels like?
So we asked some of the professionals and luminaries inside and connected to the corporate communications industry to give us their personal definition. Here they are, unedited and in no particular order: