Get the Most Out of Attending Conferences

No matter what you hope to achieve by attending conferences, these eight steps will help you get there.

Part of maintaining a successful business is attending conferences. They give you opportunities to build connections, learn from experts in your field and promote your brand. How much you benefit from these opportunities depends on your approach. If you prepare well, spend your time wisely and apply what you learn, you will take your company to new heights. To ensure you get the most out of your conference experiences, follow these eight steps.

Three people talking while attending conferences.

1. Know Why You Are Attending

Having a goal is fundamental to maximizing your conference experience. If you know what you want to achieve, then you will know how to prioritize your time. So, unless your boss gives you a specific reason for going to a conference, come up with one. It could be to find new clients, learn about the latest technology or form a business partnership. If you have trouble coming up with a goal, think about where your company is right now and ask yourself what would make it better. Once you have the answer to that, then setting a goal for the conference will be much easier.

2. Find Out Who You Want to Meet

Now that you have a goal, create a list of people you need to talk to at the conference. By making this list ahead of time, you increase your chances of achieving your objective. Start by researching more about the speakers and presenters. Once you figure out which ones will best help you reach your goal, make plans to talk to them sometime during the conference.

Don’t just stop with the speakers. Use social media hashtags and other technology to find out who else will be at the event.

Most conferences these days have an app that allows you to connect with fellow attendees. Download the app before the conference and take a look at who else is attending. If you find someone interesting in the app, take the time to do a bit of research on them so that when you do happen to meet up in person at the event you can breeze through the icebreaker and get right down to a meaningful discussion.

3. Plan Your Conference Agenda

Business woman writing in a notebook before attending conferences.

Use the conference itinerary to plan which sessions you will attend. Any time you spend figuring out which session to go to and how to get there is time you could have spent working toward your goal. So, plan ahead of time and map out how you will get from one session to the next. Also, find out where the closest restrooms will be so you are not wandering the halls or showing up late to a session. Becoming familiar with the venue also allows you to help your fellow attendees, which is a great way to form new relationships that could benefit your business.

4. Prepare to Collect and Distribute Contact Information

Before you show up to the conference, make sure you have a way to collect people’s contact information. If you are lucky, you will have tons of business cards by the end of the event. Make sure you keep all that contact information safe so you can use it later. Bring a folder to store business cards in or put the information onto a spreadsheet. As long as you have a system in place, you will be able to follow up with the people you met at the conference.

Make it easy for people to follow up with you by having tons of business cards on hand. The cards need to be easy to read so that people have no trouble contacting you. Also, make sure to include your social media handles as well as your phone number and email address. For some people, connecting through social media is more comfortable than a direct email or phone call. So, give people different ways to contact you so that they are more likely to follow up after the conference.

5. Wear Your Name Tag

Two custom engraved name tags to wear while attending conferences.

Even though most conferences give you a name badge to wear during the event, bring the name tag you use for work. Wearing a name tag that matches your brand helps people associate you with your products or services. And, it increases brand recognition. If your company does not use name tags, talk to your boss about having one custom made. Wear it so other people can easily read it. As you wear a name tag that has your business name, logo and job title, you will see it spark people’s interest in your company, which could lead to future growth.

6. Pay Attention During Presentations and Workshops

After several hours of listening to people speak, your mind can start to feel groggy. So, do things to help you remain alert. Stay hydrated and have snacks for whenever you start to feel your energy drop. Sit close to the front so you can easily see and hear the speaker. For note-taking, don’t just write down what the speaker says. Think about how it could help your business improve and jot down your ideas. These are just some strategies to help you stay focused on the presentations. As long as you make an effort to pay attention, you will get a lot more out of the conference than if you didn’t.

7. Follow Up After the Conference

Don’t let the connections you made go to waste. Follow up with your contacts, but gently. You don’t want to come off as overbearing or desperate for a business connection.

Whether you swapped emails, social media or business cards, use what you have to start up a professional yet friendly conversation. Make it your goal to form a connection that will last. Listen to what they have to say, and don’t be aggressive in how you approach them.

8. Take What You Learned and Make Plans

You have gathered a wealth of information. Now it is time to put it to good use. First, go over your notes, especially the ideas that came to your mind during the conference. Out of everything you wrote down, what will help your business move onto the next stage of development? You may want to apply everything you learned at the conference, but what you do first will depend on where your company is at now. So, discuss what you learned with your team members and your boss before you move forward. Once you decide the best way to proceed, begin making plans. As you apply what you learned from the conference, and follow up with the people you learned from, you will receive a higher return on your investment.

Now that you know the steps to getting the most out of a conference, apply them to every event you attend. As you come to these events prepared to learn, make connections and promote your brand, you will see your business bloom.

Social Networking Success for Any Business

It’s so much more than having a Facebook account. It isn’t even about how active your social media accounts are. It’s all about how you connect with your customers. So, what is “it?” It, referring to social media networking, has increasing benefits that all businesses can take advantage of. If you’re not taking advantage of social networking, you’re missing out on a quick, cheap and extremely effective way to connect with nearly half of the world’s population.

Now, more than ever, people are using social media to connect with brands. Are you taking advantage of social networking for your business?

While it isn’t one size fits all, or every network is suitable for every business, you should be asking the fundamental questions: who, what, where, when and why. And, maybe not in that specific order. Sometimes the why should come first. The who is also extremely important. But, most of all, you need to answer where.

social networking is a growing trend for any business

So, where do you start?

Social networking should be a strategic part of your business marketing plan. With that being said, now you need to decide on where you will feature your business. Most businesses stick with Facebook as a foundation to get their brand off the ground. However, it is essential to remember that what works for one does not work for all. Make sure that you do some research on all of the available networks before making your decision.

Facebook may be a good place to start; after all, nearly everyone is on this network; and it is the most recognizable. Check out Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and others to see what is right for your company. While you are looking for the best fit, here are some questions you should be asking yourself.

  • How do I want to be active on social?
  • What will I be posting?
  • How often will I be posting?
  • Which network will offer the best visibility for my business?

While you may not immediately know all of these answers, keep them in mind while looking at the different social networking sites. Instagram and Pinterest are image based, so if your company can host a lot of engaging images and product pictures, these may be the right sites for you.

Also, keep in mind the type of business you own. For example, do you own a company that works mainly as B2B? When trying to network with other companies to sell your product or service, LinkedIn might be the best place to connect with your consumers. Twitter is another great B2B site as it deals in real time and offers a great place to chat and connect with customers and other businesses quickly.

Setting Social Networking Goals

Once you make these social connections, you need to use them for making your business better. Set goals to help you achieve these connections. After all, marketing on social media can bring significant success to your company, create brand advocates and even drive leads and sales.

The key ingredient for doing social media marketing well is having a strategy. Without a strategy, you might be posting on social media platforms for the sake of posting. Without understanding what your goals are, who your target audience is, and what they want, it’ll be hard to achieve results on social media. Whether you want to grow your brand through social media or to level up as a social media marketer, developing a social media marketing strategy is essential.

From ads to regular posting, social media is different for every business.

And, it doesn’t matter if your business is large or small, what works for one may, or may not, work for another. However, there are some key elements and directions your social networks can, and should, have. Here is a quick list of things to make sure you are doing on your chosen social networks.

The problem most businesses face with social media isn’t whether or not to participate, but how to take advantage of it. Social media should be used to tell your business story and set yourself apart from all of your competition. Brand storytelling is one of the most powerful ways to differentiate yourself, connect with your customers, increase brand loyalty and sell your vision.

Without a social networking strategy, you might be posting on social just for the sake of posting. And, without understanding what your goals are, who is your target audience and what they want, it is hard to achieve positive results.

“Social media provides targeting capability, as well as reach and scale, at a lower cost than almost all other marketing channels,” said Abdul Muhammad, chief digital officer and partner at rbb Communications, said in a previous Business News Daily interview. “People are on social media all day, every day – brands must go where the people are.”

Implementing a Social Networking Strategy

Now that you have decided where you want to be, and why, you need the how. A strategy is where you’re headed; a plan is how you’ll get there. You have decided where to head to; now you need a plan. How should you fill out your social media profiles? What should your tone and voice be like? What posts type (i.e., image, link, video, etc.) should you use? Here are some things to consider.

Brand Awareness

social networking is a growing trend for any business

Your brand should be recognizable. So, think about your profile image. While a logo may be where your thinking immediately takes you, try and make something a bit more catchy. Take, for instance, our unique use of our logo. Not only does it let our customers know what our business brand is, but it also tells more of a story about our products and what we can offer to our customers.

Other elements of a business page include a cover photo or video, shared images, about us sections and other storytelling tools. These are necessary for every business while socially networking. Make sure to fill out each network’s page information sections entirely so that your customers can get the whole picture.

Remember to tell the truth. Don’t fudge or exaggerate any of your business details. If a potential client thinks that you offer a service because of your social profile, then make sure they can get that service. The same thing goes for your product. You will end up with upset customers and declining sales if you are not truthful while setting up your new social profile.

Customer Engagement

As a business, you need to figure out how you want your customers to start engaging on your social network. This will vary depending on which network you choose. So, make sure to learn all of the features your chosen social network offers. This way, you won’t be shocked when your customers start trying to communicate with you.

For example, Facebook has Messenger, which features an easy way to chat with customers and other clients who message you. LinkedIn also has a similar feature. But, when it comes to Snapchat, that changes due to the way they work with stories and other posting methods.

But, most importantly, you need to be responding to your customers. Make sure they know and understand that you are on a social site for them, not for you. Sure, it helps meet sales goals and gets your brand out into the world. But, without proper communication, you won’t retain customers or make any new connections.

Building a Business Community

From Facebook Groups to Twitter chats, tracking your social engagement is a must. There are so many tools to help you navigate using any social media network. Before choosing one, make sure to do your research. They are all similar but remember that each one has different features. While we don’t recommend one above another, we do recommend that you check them out to see what will work best for you and your business.

You can’t determine the success of your social media marketing strategies without tracking data. Finding out what works for you may be trial and error at first, but there are so many tools to help you figure it all out. Use hashtags to keep engagement up. Try different styles of images on Instagram to increase your user participation.

But, no matter what, don’t give up. Follow the analytics of each social network you use so that you can retain information on your business community. You need to know who your customers are in order to give them what they want. Make sure they understand that you know them. Set up a way to give your customers the best customer service they will ever have on any social network. Once you do this, you’re guaranteed success in social networking.

But, no matter what you do, remember that social networking is unique to your business. So, get networking on what works for you.

The Art of Corporate Gifting

Corporate gifting is a fun and captivating way to show appreciation for colleagues and clients. Gift giving is also a powerful investment tool for your business. Take a moment and think about how important it is to recognize those who keep your business running.

You are creating a personal connection to people you work with by giving gifts. These individuals will feel more valued and appreciated as they receive a thoughtful gift. And, there is no better way to strengthen a business relationship.

As such, corporate gifting has been on the rise for the past few years. This rise happens as more business owners discover the benefits of thanking their customers, employees and other business partners with a simple gift. No matter the present, how you give to those keeping you in business says a lot about you as a professional.

corporate gifting to employees

What is corporate gifting?

Corporate gift giving is an effective way to sustain your customer and employee retention. Giving these gifts will help you build critical relationships with customers and colleagues. And, most importantly, it will allow you to express your gratitude to the company’s employees. It is a simple concept to show appreciation to your professional network and will increase your business opportunities.

According to numerous surveys, most business gifts are given to major clients. After that comes employees, then prospective clients. Reasons for gift giving range from thanking long-standing customers for their business to recognizing a valued employee for working on a weekend. The basic reason is the same: to affirm relationships and enhance the personal connection between the giver and recipient.

Gifts differ from incentives in that they’re offered with no explicit preconditions for performance. They differ from ad specialties in that they don’t contain any blatant imprints or advertising. They differ from recognition in that they’re not part of prescribed programs.

But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a bottom-line benefit to be derived from corporate gift giving. Just about everyone agrees that when done correctly, gifting is a cost-effective way to build a sense of partnership with valued associates. And, they know that the primary reason for gifting is to acknowledge relationships and improve personal connections.

Why should you participate in corporate gifting?

For some companies, corporate gifting is an essential part of their marketing strategy. It is, by far, one of the most productive ways to grow and sustain your business. And, for many companies, giving is a fundamental detail within their business model.

Most business owners would agree that, when done correctly, corporate gifting provides an opportunity to connect with their clients and strengthen employee ties. And, while there are many reasons for corporate gifting, the underlying goal is to sustain relationships and deepen personal connections between the business owner and their colleagues. Retention, recruiting and business development are three other great reasons to give a gift.

Show how much you value the relationships you have built through your business by handing out corporate gifts. By doing this, your bottom-line becomes a social, rather than a financial benefit. But don’t just give a gift because you think your clients and employees expect it. Give because you want to sustain these relationships.

Because of your corporate gifting, your business transactions increase and so does your customer retention. By giving corporate gifts to your business associates, you continue to develop a positive image in your customer’s mind. So, customers who receive thoughtful corporate gifts from your business tend to buy more products and request services from you.

However, many corporations don’t understand that gifts and incentives contribute to maintaining a business commitment. Corporate gifting helps maintain the relationships you have already worked so hard to establish. It also helps the recipient remember your company because you gave them such an enjoyable and memorable gift.

We are social creatures who express our feelings by giving gifts.

It can be any occasion, be it a birthday, anniversary or to even show love and gratitude, giving gifts is an activity we all do. Let us go back in time to find the origins of gift giving. Giving gifts is one of the oldest human activities; it may have started just after the origin of our species. Even primitive beings gave gifts to one another; often tribe leaders awarded tribe members for any achievement that is gain for the entire tribe.

Earlier gifts used to be a little unusual, but these were the only precious things available at that time. Unusually shaped rocks, a tooth are some examples. These things came naturally from nature and were given without any modification. As we developed tools, holes were drilled into these rocks or a tooth to use them as necklaces or bracelets. Then idols gifted were made from carving wood or stone for as idol worship started among people. Later, people used to offer each other good luck tokens; these token were given as presents. Even today, corporate gifting is part of our everyday culture; it is a means to express our feelings for one another.

So then, to whom should you be sending these gifts?

corporate gifting should include everyone who is important to your business

Your gift recipient list should always include significant clients, business partners, valued suppliers and especially your employees. After all, your employees are your most valuable asset, so you want to show how much you appreciate them. Other notable people to consider sending corporate gifts can include prospective clients or new customers.

Gift these gifts as employee recognition. Some companies give managers a discretionary budget that may be spent on gifts to recognize employees for exceptional behavior. Actions worthy of special recognition include going “above and beyond” to please a customer, putting in long hours to complete a project on time, making a cost-saving or productivity-enhancing suggestion or completing a big sale. Some executives would argue that such actions are expected as part of an employee’s job and should be rewarded at performance-review time. Yet, the evidence suggests that carefully timed and appropriate gifts not only make people feel appreciated for their performance, they also increase the chances people will feel good about going the extra mile in the future.

When giving gifts for a special performance, make sure the gift is appropriate to the employee receiving it, and the presentation is made in a personal and, if possible, public forum. The recipient and his or her colleagues must know why the gift is being presented. Publicity in the company newsletter, or even an announcement in the lunchroom, ensures that people know the types of behaviors the organization wants to promote. Employees typically receive gifts as awards for years of service.

Now, sometimes the hardest question: what do you give as your corporate gift?

Don’t make showing appreciation with corporate gifts for your customers, clients and employees complicated. Company branding is important to remember while you are giving your corporate gifts. And when gift giving, branding is crucial for all corporations. These gifts help to promote a company’s brand and provide continued employee loyalty. And, in the past few years, personalized gifts are replacing other gift types.

No wonder that the customized corporate gift acts as a brand tool and creates brand awareness among the receiver. Gifts given away as a promotional item with the company’s logo and tagline helps create brand recognition. The best way to create awareness is by giving small promotional gifts as it not only attracts more people but helps to retain your brand in the market.

Remember to choose gifts that will assist in cementing business relationships and boost your sales and service requests. The best gift option is something that will be meaningful for your recipients. So, make sure to do your research before selecting what you are giving away. What works for one client may not work for your employees. Frequently, businesses must decide on several gift types to accommodate all of their recipients.

Businesses have a lot of different choices for what to send people as corporate gifts. As a rule of thumb, think about how professional you need the gift to be. And, consider if you would want to receive the gift as well. Remember not to overstep your bounds if you are trying to personalize these gifts. Keep in mind that this is your opportunity to connect with an individual using marketing strategies.

personalized ribbon tied around a chocolate treat for corporate gifting

P.S. Don’t forget to personalize your corporate gifts!

Attach a personalized handwritten note to every gift for an added touch so your colleagues and clients will remember you for years to come. Oh, and hand deliver each one so you can continue to strengthen every business relationship you have.

How To Connect with Your Customers

Every great business person knows that the best way to keep their company around is to connect and engage with their customers. People buy from other people, they request services based on experiences and they look for companies that they can trust.

You learn a lot of information and how to connect with your customer by merely listening to them.

“I think it’s important for brands, especially brands [that] are really consumer-centric, to stay connected. Customers tell you so much from their behavior and how they shop with you.”
Jessica Alba, founder and CEO of The Honest Company

What is Relationship Marketing and How to Use it to Connect With Your Customers - Neil Patel

The first and most popular way to connect with customers is social media.

Using LinkedIn, Twitter and every platform in between, it seems that everyone is on social media. Even businesses have joined in on the social parties. Facebook groups, Snapchat filters and Instagram nametags are all ways to connect online with your customers. Each platform provides methods for both consumers and businesses to interact and grow together. 

Social media outlets are where the masses are, so you, as a business, should be there too. Utilize this tool and take advantage of everything they have to offer. Try sharing fun and silly tidbits about your products. Or send individual messages quickly to your customers. No matter what, use everything provided by your chosen platforms to improve your connection with your customers.

BUT BE CAREFUL. Not all platforms are suitable for every business. It has been said that everyone is on Facebook, but that doesn’t mean your business will thrive by using it. Consider all of the pros and cons of using social media before setting up accounts everywhere. Remember that there isn’t an easy or direct formula to matching your business to the right social platform. That is something that you, as a business owner, will need to figure out.

Social media is a great tool to use when connecting with your customers, but only if you use it properly. Make sure to do your research and that you have time to spend on each chosen platform. Think before you post, and make sure you are listening to your audience. Tools such as social media only work when used properly.

Focus on the customer’s experience with your company.

We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.
Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon

Customers want to buy from a business that treats them well. So, don’t use a one-size-fits-all approach. Make sure you are listening to every customer. Treat them as the individual they are; don’t lump your customers into a bundle just because they are all interested in your product or service. They aren’t looking for a bundled experience; they are looking to be given an individualized experience.

You can make your customers happy by focusing on their experience with your company. Don’t put all of your focus on only the product or service they are buying. Connecting with your customers on an emotional and personal level is important. If you do, they will be more likely to recommend your products or services to their family and friends.

It is crucial to make an effort to connect with each customer.

Get to know your customers on a personal level. And, make your service or product as relevant to them as possible. Everyone likes to feel as if they are important enough to remember. So, make them feel that way with as much personalization as you can. Use a customer’s name during their shopping experience. Remember little details and tidbits they have shared during prior visits. This way, you can make an effort to connect each time they come back.

“It’s not enough to know just the demographics of your customers. Age and location data doesn’t tell you what you really need to know. Instead, you need to know your customers on a personal level so that you know what they want, why they buy, and why they don’t buy. Otherwise, you have only a superficial understanding of your customers.”
Neil Patel – 7 Brilliant Ways to Connect with Your Customers on a Personal Level

Show your connection with your customers through appreciation.

We understand that connecting on a personal level with your customers can be difficult, but it is also necessary to stay in business. You need to humanize every experience that your customer has with your business. In other words, be relatable. And be grateful. Showing your customers that you care they are buying from you will keep them coming back. The message is in the details, or something like that.

connect with your customers through handwritten notes

Sending handwritten notes, making a phone call or sending a private email are all great ways to connect with your customer. But, put some thought into your actions before performing them. After a purchase or rendering of service, thank your customer by sending them a thought out, well-worded letter. Don’t rush these notes as they will mean a great deal to every recipient. And, they could mean continued business for you. 

This also works for phone calls and emails. Make sure you think about what you want to say before hitting that send or dial button. Proofread everything you write before you send it. And, most importantly, make sure you personalize it. Don’t get in the habit of sending out so many of these messages or phone calls that they become autonomous. Always remember that you are addressing an individual, and they should be treated as such.

Provide unmatched customer service to keep them coming back.

Let’s try an experiment. Find the customer service number from any of your favorite companies and call them. What happened? Let’s assume you got through to someone, eventually, but you were still treated as a number in a cue. Or worse, you got stuck at a call center with someone reading from a script that didn’t answer your question. How did that make you feel? We know that no one wants that experience. 

Take us for a better example. Here at Coller Industries, when you call or choose our online chat feature, you will always be connected to a live person, and quickly. Every one of our customer service representatives has been trained to treat you as an individual. And, you will feel that way, guaranteed! Your order is processed like it’s the only one, and it’s handled with care and accuracy. We wish you had this kind of experience everywhere else. But, at least you know that with us, you’ll always get what you want and be treated with respect. 

One of the most powerful tools any company has is how they treat their customers during the business process. Providing the best possible customer service experience should be your number one priority. From responding quickly to customer requests to making sure you have a live person on the other end of the phone line, good customer service is how you retain your clientele. 

How will you implement these standards into how you treat your customers?

Here’s some advice, go that extra mile. By making sure that your customer service team responds to your customers personally, you solidify your business connections. Acknowledging questions and concerns from your customers will reestablish the trust you have already built. It will also help strengthen the relationship and connection with your customers and anyone they know. This, in turn, will bring in more clientele and business. So, the bottom line should always be to leave the customer grateful and satisfied.

Don’t underestimate the power of your customers.

Make sure you are asking your customers questions and continually searching for feedback. Finding out after a transaction happens that something went wrong doesn’t help anyone, especially your customer. Connect with them by asking for feedback before, during and after all transactions. But don’t become a burden. There are people who feel that businesses can be too personal and are afraid of what you might do with their information. So, make sure that when you ask questions, you are also being considerate.

Now that you have answers and feedback, make sure you are responding appropriately. If you receive positive reviews, give positive affirmation back. Tell your customers how happy you are that they are happy. Give your customers thanks for being there for your business. If you get a negative review, take it seriously. Respond politely and work with your customers to correct things.

77% of consumers will read an online review before purchasing. Now consider the flip side. In most cases, negative reviews are the fastest way to derail a new purchase. A Zendesk study showed that 90% of positive reviews impact purchases and 86% of negative ones do also. Another study showed that even a single negative review has the power to destroy 70% of purchases.”
Neil Patel – 7 Brilliant Ways to Connect with Your Customers on a Personal Level

No matter the type of review you get, making sure that you respond is vital. Building trust establishes your personal connections with your customers. And, these connections are the only way to stay in business. Customer retention and development rely heavily on these reviews. So, make sure to keep on top of them. And if you can’t, delegate someone who can.

What is your preferred way to connect with customers?

With so many ways to connect with customers, your success depends on the method you choose. Before making any final decisions of where you are more likely to connect with your customer, do your research. Don’t join Facebook just because everyone else has. Determine how your customers want to communicate, and then put those methods into action. Build that trust, and the connections will flow naturally.

Harnessing the Power of Personalization

In order to harness the power of personalization, you must understand the relationship between a company and an individual.

Yes, many who read this are most likely representative of a corporation or business. And, yes, many will look at this information from a marketing standpoint. After all, personalization is a powerful marketing strategy that is easy to incorporate in daily business. But, the trick is to remember that the power of personalization applies to everyone in everyday life, especially the little guy.

Personalization should also be on a business level. This includes a company’s brand. Your logo communicates not only your company but also your brand and overall commitment to your clients and customers. And, creating consistency by adding your logo to everything you personalize (from name tags to corporate gifts), lets people know you’re proud of what you stand for.

By defining your brand upfront, you help establish your company as an industry leader and key influencer. So, making sure that your logo balances your brand at the top of your industry can be quite the process. Many businesses use networking as a key factor in their marketing plan. It helps to develop a strong feeling of trust between those involved (consumers and colleagues) and plays a big part in raising the profile of a company.

First, let’s look at the advantages of personalized marketing.

Marketing is a business promoting and selling their products or services. This promotion also includes market research and advertising. And, what better way to advertise than with personalization. Whether that’s your branding or remembering the little guy, you need to focus on what best suits your company goals and your customer’s needs and happiness.

standing out in a crowd and remembering the power of personalization

Remembering that little guy is often a struggle inside a business model. But, it is one of the most essential tasks any CEO or higher-up can accomplish. After all, it’s those little guys who make your business grow from day to day. So, marketing to them is necessary to stay afloat in today’s business world.

Your key to keeping clients and customers happy is simple, yet powerful: PERSONALIZATION. With the rise of the digital world and all the technologies that come with it, your marketing must evolve to match. And, the best way to grow is to harness the power of personalization. Find and understand your customers’ individual needs and desires. Once you harness that, personalization will start to flow naturally.

It’s all about knowing who your customer is.

There is a growing intolerance on the part of customers to have fragmented experiences when doing business. And, there is a price to pay for doing so. Research with the CMO Council found nearly half of North American and European consumers will abandon a brand and take their money elsewhere if they repeatedly encounter “a poor, impersonal or frustrating customer experience across channels of engagement.”

Personalization means all the difference in business goals and customer retention. Companies must modify all of their interactions individually to ensure a personalized customer experience. And, if done correctly, there is an undeniable power of personalization that becomes an incredible tool for marketers. Entrepreneur also says, “The first task of effective marketing is to get noticed and stand out from the clamor of competing advertisers.”

So, it is your duty as a business to get your customer’s attention and then keep it. Most companies thrive with this vantage point only because of the power of personalization. Whether it’s an emailed marketing message or a salesperson personally reaching out to a client, personalization is critical in all communications.

Remember this: people will always buy from people, not companies. And, most importantly, people who they trust. Sending handwritten notes or small, personalized gifts is a little extra touch that shows we pay attention to our customers. The beautiful thing about this is that it’s never just an advertising ploy. You really do have to get to know your clients to know about their special events, and that’s when personalized marketing becomes a genuine relationship.

Make it about your customer.

the power of personalization shown on two mugs with one featuring an individual's name

Let’s take into consideration what the effect of someone’s name imprinted on a gift or award does for them. Dale Carnegie famously said, “Remember that a man’s name is to him the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” With that in mind, remember that someone will more frequently drink from a mug with their name on it than one with only a logo or brand. By adding an individual’s name to a gift (even if it also features a corporate logo), it adds personal value and meaning.

Personalization is a popular trend that enhances the customer experience. It starts with knowing the customer, or maybe a better way to say it is remembering the customer. Virtually all (96%) marketers agree that personalization advances customer relationships. Eighty-eight percent say they’ve realized a measurable lift in business results from their personalization campaigns. The power of personalization improves visitor engagement and the customer experience, which leads to more sales.

Making a connection is important at the customer level. Each consumer will see personalization as your way of including them in an essential business circle. Personalization essentially means interacting with your customers and meeting their needs. And, when you use the power of personalization to include everyone in this process, any business will flourish.

Identifying and meeting your customers’ needs.

When handled well, personalization will always strengthen a customer’s experience and, in turn, increase your sales. From offering related products in an online shopping experience to remembering a customer’s name, personalization comes in all forms. So, show your customers that you know and understand their needs and that you have their values in mind when doing business.

From name tags for employees to something a bit more personalized (like a mug) for your customer, everything with a name on it is essential for any business. And don’t forget that this personalization drives instincts, urges and repeat purchases. The more you know about your clientele, the better you can mold their experience.

So, sound off with your customers in mind. After all, meeting your customer’s needs adequately and proficiently is what personalization is all about. Add their names to your products, or simply use their names while doing business with them. Open your doors with a greeting saying, “Welcome, David!” Or, try engaging your online customers with email blasts that are tailored specifically to them. But always start by acknowledging the recipient by name!

The Power of Personalization

an oval name tag showing the power of personalization

Consider this: would you want to hear your name as you walk into your business or a simple, “Hey, you?” The answer is that everyone wants to hear or see their name. Admit it, we all walk into that souvenir shop while we are on vacation and spot the carousel display with the keyrings. We instinctively walk over and peruse the names. And, when we find our name, we’re excited! It doesn’t mean we’re going to purchase the keyring or other souvenirs, but we love to see our name emblazoned on something.

So, how do you think your customers feel when you use their name? Today, personalization is more important than ever as consumers have access to content from a plethora of channels. Among this overload of information, personalized content manages to attract consumers’ interest. While all other information hits them in the face and still gets ignored, personalized content talks directly to them.

Don’t ever think that the power of personalization lies in your marketing schemes. It is not, after all is said and done, about you, the business owner. It is always about your customer and their needs. Now, that isn’t to say that your brand isn’t important; it is. But, remember that little guy? He’s what is keeping your business alive. See him, acknowledge him and most importantly let him know he is wanted.

But, remember that personalization goes both ways. Treat your employees the same way you would treat your customers. Make them feel just as special with using their name in meetings, during conferences or simply in daily greetings. Your personalization of your employees will translate into business models and deals and thus reflects onto you as an owner. And that’s the best kind of advertisement. See, there is power in personalization!

Lastly, consider the effects personalization has on people.

There are always challenges associated with personalization because there is no magic formula that will make it right. At best, there are educated guesses about what your consumers want. If consumers feel a brand is being too pushy, they are more likely to unfollow it. Always try to keep yourself in the shoes of the customers and try to think from their perspective. Personalization helps consumers discover new things and often leads to unplanned purchases. When executed correctly, personalization can have a great impact on your bottom line.

You can’t deny that the customer knows in the end that it is all about them. So, play to that knowledge. Whether it’s your employees wearing name tags and promoting your brand, or a personalized gift wrapped in special ribbons, remembering your clientele individually is the name of the game. At the end of the day, that little guy is the most important person in the room.

So, keep them entertained with your business. Let them know how much they matter. And, it’s simple: just use their names! The power of personalization is truly all about the customer helping you stay in business.

How a Name Tag Boosts Your Approachability

…And Other Wisdom from Your Name Tag Experts

People who wear a name tag at social events to help remember each others’ names. In the business world, these tags serve a bigger purpose. They have a subconscious effect on the viewer that enhances a company’s networking, branding and promotional efforts. At trade shows and conventions, people wear name tags to promote their brand and establish professional relationships. In retail, they improve customer and employee relations. People respond to them wherever they show up.

lanyards and badges holders being worn as a name tag at a social event

Retail employees and convention attendees frequently wear name tags. Some people wear them at conferences, trade shows, business luncheons or sporting events. Politicians sometimes wear them, usually with a support message along with their name and title so that viewers will remember their cause as well as their name. In short, many people wear name tags for different reasons.

A name tag is a personal identification tool that helps you become more relatable and approachable. Many people use them, including politicians, business managers and conference attendees. The effectiveness of wearing a one depends on following guidelines such as keeping your name tag simple and using the right fastener. It is also important for them to have a large font so that people can read them easily. Not only are they used for identification, but they are also used as corporate gifts to strengthen your work relationships.

Be Approachable by Using a Name Tag

Scott Ginsberg, the Name Tag Guy

Scott Ginsberg, the Name Tag Guy, said, “The first idea to remember is that approachability is a two-way street. It’s both you stepping onto someone’s front porch, and you inviting someone to step onto your front porch. It connects people to you. It allows them to feel more comfortable talking to you.”

When someone is relatable, it means people can draw similarities between that person and themselves. Customers want to feel they have a connection with a company and its employees. It makes them think they can trust the company to do what is in a customer’s best interest. Therefore, when a company and its employees are relatable, people feel comfortable doing business with them. Relatability is, therefore, a valuable asset that helps a company become successful.

Name tags play a significant role in increasing relatability. When a person wears a name tag, it humanizes them. It makes them relatable and more approachable. People are more willing to interact with a stranger in a retail store, conference room or trade show if that stranger is wearing a name tag.

The Seven Deadly Sins of Ineffective Name Tags

Scott Ginsberg, an international expert on name tags and approachability, wrote a list of “Seven Deadly Sins” to avoid when ordering them. The purpose of this list of “sins” is to educate people on what makes them ineffective and how to avoid them. Ginsberg stresses the link between name tags and approachability.

“Your name tag is your best friend. It is a lifesaver in meetings, trade shows and events to start conversations when you meet groups of new people. It also identifies you as well as your company in the minds of others.”

SIZE

Nobody wants others staring awkwardly at their chest, trying to read their name tag. “This is self-defeating, embarrassing and works to decrease your approachability.” It should be readable from at least 10 feet away, thus making the recommended font size a minimum of 24 point. Avoid cursive, script or other fancy writing styles.

COLOR

For name tags, complementary colors create maximum visibility. Whether it is dark writing on a light background or vice versa, what matters is that the name, title and business logo are easy to see. “Fashion must be outweighed by your name tag’s approachability and visibility.” Many color combinations allow viewers to read tags without any awkward squinting or leaning. Find the best match for your brand that gives you both readability and recognition.

TURNAROUND

Another problem to avoid is what Ginsberg calls “the name tag turnaround.” It refers to when a name badge turns so that the information on the front is hidden, and there is no information on the back. Typically, this happens when the tag is worn around the neck on a lanyard or worn with a clip. To avoid having “name tag turnaround,” write the same information on both sides.

CLUTTER

“Avoid name tags with overly thick borders, unnecessary clutter or too much text. All of the information contained must be readable and memorable in less than five seconds. Remember, they call them name tags because the name is the focal point. Whether it’s the name of the person or the name of the company, those are the two most important pieces of information.”

PLACEMENT

Placement refers to where someone wears their name tag, such as on the right or left side of their shirt. Which side the tag should be on depends on where the person is or what type of function they are attending. For example, when at a conference or convention, the name tag should be worn on the left side because that way it is more visible to people walking from the opposite direction. At corporate meetings or other office events, they should be on the right side because when the wearer greets people by shaking their right hand, the tag is parallel with the viewer’s line of sight. Do not decrease a name tag’s effectiveness by wearing it on the wrong side.

PRESENCE

Similar to placement, presence has to do with putting the name badge in a place where it is the most visible to any viewer, regardless of wearing it on the right or left side. The name tag should be where people can see it but also be able to see the person’s face. According to Ginsberg, “the most effective location is two to three inches below your collarbone on whichever side most appropriate for your function.”

MAXIMIZATION

To make the most of wearing a name tag, utilize all the space it provides. Have your name in a larger font so that a lot of white space does not surround the text. If the tag includes a logo, the logo and text should fill up as much of it as possible. Like the front porch of a house, a name tag is meant to be inviting and make others feel comfortable. When used to the fullest capacity, they become more visible and welcoming. It initiates conversations that can turn into valuable business connections.

By avoiding these seven “deadly sins,” name tags become more efficient and improve a person’s approachability.

How to Make Your Name Tag Effective

name tags with logos, both engraved and printed

A name tag helps to make you look professional. When someone wears one appropriately, it indicates that they take their job seriously. In turn, this helps create an excellent first impression when meeting with potential clients and investors.

In addition to looking professional, people tend to act more qualified when they wear a name tag. And, they are more aware of how much they are accountable for their actions. For example, if a customer needs help, employees are quickly identified if they are wearing their name tag.

Include Relevant Text

Add titles on your name tags in office settings or retail environments. Titles help make managers and head staff stand out a bit more from other employees. Titles are also helpful during a conference or convention to separate attendees from venue staff and event volunteers. While typically titles are kept brief, it is important not to sell anyone short when using their title. So, make sure to order your tags in an appropriate size to adequately accommodate all of the text.

Don’t forget about visibility. All text should be readable from a distance, typically about 10 feet. Don’t add too much text to one line as it could become too small to read even from close up. And, make sure that all included text is relevant to your event or business.

For a name tag to be the most effective, there are guidelines to consider. The first rule is to keep yours simple. Some people treat them like business cards or resumes, but personal identification should be straightforward and concise. Name tags should only include the bare minimum information necessary to identify the person wearing it. In commercial and retail settings, that means the person’s first name, unless there is more than one employee with the same first name. With such cases, adding a last name helps with identification.

Brand with a Logo

Another recommendation to consider is where and how to include a company logo. The logo should be an appropriate size so that it doesn’t crowd the name or title. And, the layout needs to be tidy. If the text is laser engraved, the logo will have limitations to a specific color or printing format. Full-color tags provide the user with brighter colors and the option of bleeds. These are useful for logos that are large or require particular colors.

Use of a logo depends on the style of the name tag. Metals will show logos far differently than plastic will. It is important to choose whichever type of name tag works best for the person wearing it. Plastic name tags tend to be less expensive than metal ones, are heat resistant and come in many different shapes. Metal name tags are more durable than plastic ones but also heavier. Some people prefer a lighter name tag, especially if they wear loose clothing. Make sure to choose the right material before ordering the name tags.

You can increase your brand recognition by including logos. People associate the company logo and employees with the organization when employees wear logo name tags at conventions and trade shows. Another benefit to having a logo is that employees tend to keep their name tags on when they go on their lunch break or commute to and from work. By doing so, they advertise the company to the public and make the brand more memorable.

(Content courtesy of: CreelaBelle Howard, Writer, Coller Industries Incorporated.)

Building Your Corporate Identity

(and Customer Relationships)

finding the difference between branding identity and corporate identity

The phrases corporate identity and brand identity are thrown around abundantly by everyone in business. However, when used it different contexts, they mean different things. It’s often asked if you can have a brand identity without a corporate one, or vice versa. Here are several reasons why you can’t have one without the other.

But, first things first, what are the differences between corporate identity and brand identity?

Brand Identity

Brand identity refers to the how consumers view a specific product, service or idea a business provides. The goal in creating your brand identity is to separate your business from similar businesses. So, basically, brand identity is the customer’s knowledge of and ability to recognize the brand.

Name Tag, Inc. Improving your first impression, one name tag at a time! Affordable and professional personal identification products that are easy to order and use in your workplace.

Our Example: Name Tag, Inc. sells personal identification such as name tags and other custom engraved products.

Corporate Identity

Corporate identity is similar to brand identity. However, corporate identity refers to the perception of an entire company, not just one idea, product or service that the company provides. One business may have many different brand identities wrapped up in its overall corporate identity.

Personalized Ribbons and Name Tag, Inc. are part of the Coller Industries Incorporated family. Our product sites give you access to a wide variety of quality items, from name tags and lanyards to signs and custom ribbons.

Our Example: Coller Industries Incorporated is also known as Name Tag, Inc. and Personalized Ribbons.

Let’s talk about branding your business for a moment.

A company’s brand is what they are, what they want to be, and what they aim to become as a whole. It can be a promise of quality, trust or service. A brand is what makes a company or organization truly unique. Branding should make any company stand out from its competitors and lets the consumer know what to expect from that company.

Branding is one of the most important parts of any business, whether it be large or small. Building a strong brand helps a company or organization be financially strong. Product marketing is really where this process all begins.

Let’s break it down a bit farther to make it a little easier. The act of branding is the process involved in creating a unique name or image for a product, person or idea. This is done mostly through advertising and other similar means. It is also the action of building a convincing individual or unique presence in a consumer market that attracts and retains loyal customers.

Corporate branding is the process of promoting the logo and/or brand name of a company or corporation for marketing and advertising purposes. Typically the range of a corporate brand is very broad and is often used as a way to express the company’s ideals and goals.

A BRAND IDENTITY IS WHAT MAKES A BUSINESS UNIQUE.

It’s what they think, how they behave and what they believe in. It’s about how they treat their employees and customers. So, brand identity is a must for every business. The better a business understands itself, the better they will perform and the more their brand identity will show their power and values. Once this is accomplished, a business will preform more effectively. When a brand identity is clear, values and business practices just fall into place. Teams are formed and decisions become easier. And, the company stays focused on marketing and sales goals.

Brand identity is…

…the collection of all elements that a company creates to portray the right image to its consumer. Brand identity is different from “brand image” and “branding,” even though these terms are sometimes treated as interchangeable.

The term branding refers to the marketing practice of actively shaping a distinctive brand. Brand is the perception of the company in the eyes of the world. Those tangible elements, that’s brand identity.

Your brand identity is what makes you instantly recognizable to your customers. An audience will associate your brand identity with your product or service, and that identity is what forges the connection between you and your customers, builds customer loyalty, and determines how your customers will perceive your brand.

Design assets are the tangible elements that will determine how your brand is perceived. Things like your logo, your packaging, your web design, your social media graphics, your business cards and the uniforms your employees wear.

Your brand identity is what sets you apart from the endless sea of competitors and shows your customers who you are and what they can expect from working with you. And if you want your brand to be perceived in a positive light, it’s crucial that you nail your brand identity and create designs that accurately portray who you are to your customers. And now that you know how to nail that identity, it’s time to start designing.


Brand identity is…

…the total proposition that a company makes to consumers – the promise it makes. (Brand identity) may consist of features and attributes, benefits, performance, quality, service support, and the values that the brand possesses. The brand can be viewed as a product, a personality, a set of values, and a position it occupies in people’s minds. Brand identity is everything the company wants the brand to be seen as.

Brand image, on the other hand, is the totality of consumer perceptions about the brand, or how they see it, which may not coincide with the brand identity. Companies have to work hard on the consumer experience to make sure that what customers see and think is what they want them to.

Your corporate identity is so much more than just design.

Yes, your logo and brand play an important part in your corporate identity. But, remember that you are so much more than a color or style. A company’s values and culture are crucial in shaping corporate identity. As Simon Sinek, author of Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action has said, “people don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. And what you do simply proves what you believe.”

It is important to distinguish between corporate identity, brand identity, and brand image. Corporate identity is concerned with the visual aspects of a company’s presence. When companies undertake corporate identity exercises, they are usually modernizing their visual image in terms of logo, design, and collaterals. Such efforts do not normally entail a change in brand values so that the heart of the brand remains the same – what it stands for, or its personality. Unfortunately, many companies do not realize this fallacy, as they are sometimes led to believe by agencies and consultancy companies that the visual changes will change the brand image. But changes to logos, signage, and even outlet design do not always change consumer perceptions of quality, service, and the intangible associations that come to the fore when the brand name is seen or heard.

The Importance of a Corporate Identity

Corporate identity expresses your brand personality and tells the world why you are unique. Similar to what makes a person unique, this identity shows what is specific to a business. These specifics set us apart from others and helps us to build relationships within our communities. This aspect works for businesses as well. How a company presents themselves in everything they do, from business cards to products or services they offer, is what defines this identity.

It is a physical expression of the company’s brand, an extension of the culture that is already expressed through communication style and behavior exhibited to maintain the image of the business. Corporate identity and brand identity both have different roles, that together, form a perceived image for a business. It all starts with your reason for going to work every day and why anyone else should care.

Occasionally, a business may need to update their corporate identity if their audience changes. From logos to letterhead, rebranding is often done in the business world. Invest in this identity to develop your customer’s trust, a sense of product value and a lasting connection with your clientele.

Your corporate identity helps you in increasing business ownership and control. As consumers are now aware of your business, they can understand your company’s image and reputation. You then have to continue to provide your quality services or products to your clients exactly as you developed them for your corporate identity to continue to succeed.

A logo is not your brand, nor is it your corporate identity.

Many business owners believe that by simply having a recognizable logo, their quality and values are represented. But, having a strong corporate identity helps out in every aspect of business. Don’t underestimate the importance and power of developing this identity for your business. It will help you grow in your competitive market. And, you will be able to leave a positive vision for your consumers as your identity grows.

A strong corporate identity is essential for every business organization as it helps in the interaction of the customers and the company. Customers usually get a great help in understanding the business with the help of its corporate identity. It includes the several supporting devices, such as the company letterhead, business cards, website etc. It creates a single and clear visual identity for an organization. A number of Start-Up companies ignore the advice of building or developing a strong and effective corporate identity for their business as they think it just as the logo only.

While we have been talking about corporate and brand identities, don’t forget that the end goal is to build your customer relationship. Managing a consumer relationship is an important approach to making sure a company’s interaction with current and potential customers is fresh and positive. You will be able to retain current customers and build new relationships when you bring your corporate identity in line with this endgame.

Always look for ways to wow your consumers. Whether that means compromise on a service or providing the highest quality product, remember that without your customers, your business would not prosper.

Customer Relationships

While we have been talking about corporate and brand identities, don’t forget that the end goal is to build your consumer relationship. Managing a consumer relationship is an important approach to making sure a company’s interaction with current and potential customers is fresh and positive. You will be able to retain current customers and build new relationships when you bring your corporate identity in line with this endgame.

Always look for ways to wow your consumers. Whether that means compromise on a service or providing the highest quality product, remember that without your customers, your business would not prosper.

5 Ways to Build Killer Relationships With Customers

To create customer relationships, and keep them strong, you must do all you can to engage customers. Here are five ways to build customer relationships and keep them coming back.

1. Communicate.

As a key to any good relationship, communication is an essential way to build customer relationships. Promoting your business and listening to your customers are equally important.

Rather than just telling customers about your business, have conversations with them. Find out what your customers need, then show them that you have a solution to their problem.

If you have employees, teach them how to effectively communicate with customers. Instead of waiting for customer service to become a problem, foster communication skills with customers while onboarding new employees. Maintain an employee policy, requiring timely follow-up, to make sure the customer’s needs are met. Make sure your staff returns voicemail messages and emails promptly.

2. Exceed expectations.

Your customers expect great products or services from you. You should continue to raise the bar on what your company offers.

To put it simply, under promise, and over deliver. When you impress customers, they keep coming back.

To exceed customer expectations, you can deliver a product or service faster than anticipated. When you deliver earlier than expected, the customer will be happy about the surprise. For example, tell a customer their order will be ready by the end of the month, knowing you will have it ready a week earlier.

3. Ask for feedback.

Whether customers have a good or bad opinion about your business, they will make their feelings known. Invite customer feedback to show you are listening. Place comment cards on your business counter, or conduct a survey.

Customer feedback helps you hone your customers’ specific needs so you can find the best solutions to their problems. The better your offering meets their needs, the more your business will grow.

Always listen carefully to comments and respond promptly, whether it’s a compliment or a complaint. The worst thing you can do is ask for feedback then not address concerns. Even negative feedback is valuable and can give you an honest gauge of customer satisfaction.

4. Connect.

With technology, there are more ways to begin conversations with your customers than ever before. There are many online tools and social media outlets you can use to reach customers.

When you engage with customers online, be careful not to create a one-way conversation. Ask customers questions, and respond to their inquiries.

Also, make sure your website is top-notch, and start a blog to engage your customers and prospects. Build customer relationships through your online presence.

5. Show appreciation.

Reward long-time customers with a loyalty discount program. You can hand out reward cards, or use a loyalty program app to track customer rewards.

With a loyalty program, customers earn points for buying your goods or services. After earning a certain number of points, the customer gets a reward. For example, you could reward a customer with a discount on their next purchase.

Keeping an open and honest line of communication is probably one of the most important aspects of business. And, it will bring in the most customers. So, make sure your brand is strong and build it into your corporate identity and your business will thrive.

12 Ways to Say Yes to Your Conference

Attending a professional conference provides an unmatched opportunity for attendees to build networks, strengthen work ethic and get new ideas for the workplace. They also give employees a way to get out of the office and stir things up to retain employee morale. These face-to-face events continue to make lasting and sizable contributions to any work environment.

follow these easy steps to host the best conference anyone has ever attended

From choosing the perfect venue and catering the right menu to finding the best speakers, no matter your needs for hosting your best conference ever, look no further than right in the mirror. Yes, you can plan and carry out the most successful conference anyone has ever attended. And, here are some easy-to-follow steps to get you started.

1. Objectives and Goals

The first thing to do when you want to hold a conference is to figure out the why. Finding your conference objective and setting your intended goals is possibly the most important thing. Why hold this type of event without an objective? You would just be wasting your time and resources.

So, define that objective. It can be anything from informing your attendees about the latest tech gadget or help colleagues learn about the best way to write an interoffice email. But, no matter your objective, you must reach that by defining short and long term goals. Not only should your conference have goals but remember that your attendees will also have their goals as well as expectations of what the event should be like.

Most people, when asked, state that the goal of attending this type of event is to gain knowledge or increase skills. So, make sure that your goals will help others attain theirs. If you hold classes about only one subject, you will leave people thinking they could have gained better knowledge somewhere else.

One of the best ways to find a conference objective is to ask those around you what they need. If that is a bit too overwhelming, look around you and your workplace. Find something that only you can offer and take it from there. And, remember that it doesn’t need to start big. Take a small thing and find it a greater purpose.

2. Conference Presentation

Three words: remember your audience. Now is the time to take into consideration who will be attending your conference. Once you have your audience defined, work on your presentation to them. From choosing the perfect venue to planning for speakers, your attendees are the ones who will get the most out of your event. Make sure to plan accordingly.

And, make sure that your objective is easy to follow and concise. You need something that everyone can get on board with, no matter what they think they will get out of your event. It is often said that presentation is everything. That is especially true when it comes to planning your conference and developing your object.

Make your goal presentable. It needs to be as quick as an elevator pitch, but also easily expandable. This isn’t just about one speech or presentation. It’s about a whole event, and you want to make sure that your attendees understand that as quickly as clearly as you can.

speakers are a key element at any conference

3. Speakers and Subjects

Your event line up should be enticing to those attending. Find speakers who will be engaging and exciting for those in attendance. While some of your presenter topics may be a bit bland, find someone who will make it enjoyable.

There are opportunities everywhere to find speakers for any event. Look inside your company, or ask friends and family if they know someone willing to present on a topic that they might find intriguing. But, no matter where you find your speakers, remember to get them on board with your conference objective. There is no point in having someone talk about fish if your conference is about digital literacy.

Also, remember perspective. From you to your speaker to the attendee, everyone will view the presentation a bit differently, and that’s okay. Just make sure that your message is clear and precise, which brings us to your next step.

4. Setting Your Conference Agenda

Most conferences post their agenda ahead of time. Whether you use an online format or mail out a brochure, make sure you advertise your event. And, many planners now have interactive mobile applications to help you schedule speaker times and other pieces of your event. But that is just the beginning.

Take it a step further, and make sure that all attendees have access to a schedule so that they can plan out for their best experience. Everyone should know beforehand what they should expect from your event. This ties into getting your objective and goals set before scheduling your conference.

5. Open Every Door

Make sure the opportunity to take full advantage of everything there is to offer is open for everyone. Use your agenda and time to create an immersive and interactive experience for all attendees. While not everyone will be pleased continuously with your conference, make sure that you adhere to the majority rules concept.

If you need to, take a poll on what people expect from your objective and work from there. But, no matter what you do, keep the door open for everyone. Sometimes this is as easy as finding a venue with an open floor plan. Other times, it can be a bit more challenging to get people moving around and communicating with each other. So, enter step six.

6. Providing the Whole Experience

Your conference needs to be about the whole experience, not just speakers or significant events. To keep everyone engaged and interacting, remember your audience and remember your objective. A conference is more than just someone standing on a stage yammering on about a single topic. It’s a collective mind with the intent on learning everything they can about everything you have to offer.

So, even if you are holding a conference about those previously mentioned fish, remember that the ocean is full of different types of fish. Yes, weird analogy, but here’s the point: keep the conversations going. There more people are engaged, the better your conference will be for everyone involved. And, part of that involvement is offering the ability to grow and learn.

have multiple speakers or events during a conference for the best involvement

7. Interactive Conference Events

What is a conference without a bit of networking? Help your attendees keep on learning even when they aren’t in classes or at a speaking event. Allow them to take a break and chat with new found friends and colleagues. While these interactive events don’t have to be very big or creative, make time for them, they are extremely important.

And, during these down times when you don’t have someone speaking or presenting, provide other learning opportunities such as mentor programs. Make them casual to keep people open and growing. These small group activities offer incredible chances for people to meet, mingle and often find answers they won’t find anywhere else.

8. Professional Identification

Yes, we said it, you need name tags! Helping your attendees make lasting connections is what your conference is really about. Make this an easy process by providing event credentials. From badge holders for schedules to speaker name tags, using identification will help everyone involved.

Personal identification is key to any event whether it’s a conference, seminar or trade show. As an event host or planner, you want your attendees to enjoy networking at your event. And, when they do, they are more likely to return next year. Use quality name badges to put people at ease and make your conference or seminar a success.

9. Networking and Socializing

Now that you have the proper name tags, give opportunities for everyone in attendance to network and socialize. Use apps, business cards and these new name badges to help attendees remember each other (and you) after the conference is over.

Provide opportunities throughout the whole conference for attendees to give out their information to others. If you are making printed schedules for everyone to use with badge holders, include a QR code for easy sharing. But no matter how information is shared, provide as many opportunities as possible for everyone to mingle.

Networking is a supportive system of sharing information and services among individuals and groups having a common interest. Knowing someone’s name makes people more comfortable socializing with that person. With each attendee sporting a name badge, people will have a positive networking experience at your event.

And, whether you are wearing a name tag for an event or work every day, chances are you don’t realize the impact which you are making. In social settings, name tags can level the playing field. They are also free advertising for your company. And, they inspire people to be more approachable.

10. Make the Little Things Count

From setting the event energy to controlling the mood at your conference, sometimes it’s all about the little things. With that said, being organized is an important thing to do. That organization needs to include smaller event details. So, don’t forget about those little details. And they are what makes up 11 and 12.

11. Dress to Impress

There are so many details in this, make sure that you check all the boxes. Think about your venue, your attendees, your objective and your speakers/presenters when considering a dress code. Make sure that everyone will be comfortable and still able to maintain your desired professionalism.

Spend some time addressing your dress code before your conference happens. Make sure that everyone coming understands what you want to see. Too many event planners overlook this simple detail, and attendees show up wondering if they are over or underdressed. Add these details to daily schedules that you send out before your event happens.

12. Be Considerate

Remember that others have a routine and help them stick to it. Help your attendees be comfortable while making the shift from their daily work life to attending your conference. Don’t plan events too early or too late. Make sure when providing food and catering that multiple options are available, so no one goes hungry.

Whether it’s providing time for breaks or making healthier choices for catered meals, make your conference flow better by keeping your audience in mind. It is, after all about those coming to your event. Make their experience memorable so that they want to attend another fabulous conference put on by their favorite event planner: YOU!

Community Networking & Donating Yourself

Donating time, money or product is necessary to keep in tandem with your community networking.

community networking and focusing on company branding through donations

A community is a group of people with common interests and unique, shared values.

A general definition of community typically appears as a group of people with diverse characteristics who are linked by social ties, share common perspectives and engage in joint action in geographical locations or settings.

Networking is the bringing together of like minds for a like purpose.

Having a supportive system of sharing and exchanging information and services among individuals, groups or institutions that have a mutual interest better defines networking. Specifically, it is the cultivation of productive relationships for employment or business. It is fundamental to note that networking is also an active development of these current business relationships.

Donations help those around us to feel like they belong and bring to aid to those in need.

Commonly used as a gift for charity, humanitarian aid or to benefit a cause, donations can benefit not only the receiver but also the giver. These donations may take various forms, including money, alms, services or goods such as clothing, toys, food or transportation services.

But, what do those three things have in common?

Let’s turn to the relationship you find when you look at Coller Industries Incorporated and the Granite Education Foundation (GEF). For nearly 10 years, the relationship between these two companies has been a stable feature in many lives. From recognizing outstanding teachers and other educators to winning over the hearts of students in the Salt Lake Valley, Coller Industries’ reach into the Granite School District is felt by many. And not only felt, but appreciated in a plethora of ways.

Yes, this relationship is primarily built on product and monetary donations. However, it is also formed on trust and fellowship. From name tags for school events to money for shoes and coats for students in the school district, everything Coller Industries gives to the Granite Education Foundation builds into a network of creating community understanding. This understanding reaches far beyond what even we could initially see.

Creating Community Understanding

Understanding the community concept teaches that no matter the setting, there are things which must be done to keep it healthy. These insights are supported and managed by people feeling that they belong somewhere. And this comes with accepting each other and the diversity of those around you. This community understanding makes us responsible for those around us. In turn, this community responsibility not only aids those in need, but it assists everyone influenced by any actions in that community.

Donations are one way that makes us more responsible in our community. And, building trust in our community is not only a requirement but also the best way to maintain any community. This is why we, as a company, are always looking to help out in our neighborhood and surrounding areas. And what better way than in our local schools. The Granite Education Foundation manages the school district where our office is located. Its reach, however, is so much farther. And, by partnering and networking with the GEF, we can extend our reach as well.

Here’s to Thank Yous

Every year the GEF sends Coller Industries tokens of the student’s appreciation for our donations. These wonderful expressions of thankfulness have touched all of us here at Coller Industries. And, in turn, we want them to reach out into our community so that everyone can see the benefits of community networking.

valentines from our community of students in the Granite Education Foundation

 

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Granite Education Foundation and students from across the district wanted to express a heartfelt thanks for all you do. Enclosed you will find hand-made Valentine’s Day cards our students created with YOU in mind. Thank you for being a part of our last 30 years, and we look forward to spending many more with you.

Yours truly,

The Granite Education Foundation Team

 

Seeing these simple expressions of gratitude helps us to understand what these continued donations provide for our community. And, they also help us to know where we can make more of an impact. Although our brand reaches out in our community and networks with other companies, it is crucial that we focus on the humanity of these donations.

This expression of gratitude gives us the opportunity to learn from other businesses and continue to grow and maintain our networking experiences. And, through this networking in our community, we can show how to sustain a positive business culture of quality and understanding. Networking is vital to this development. We are continually working with our customers to retain and develop working relationships through other donations means as well.

Bringing Community into Networking

By reaching into our community and taking part in networking opportunities for organizations like the GEF, we can see how much our brand resonates in others. We also find how our brand reflects in our community.

One of the most important benefits of networking that people tend to overlook is that it allows you to help other people. Granted, our motives in the professional world are rarely altruistic, but helping someone else with their career goals can be truly rewarding.

By finding and networking within your community, you can become a trendsetter and an industry leader. And, isn’t that what every business desires? To take a lead and direct their community should be every entrepreneur’s dream and goal. So, by donating time, money or product to your community, you are not only giving someone a hand up in life, but you also help your brand. While this may seem a little selfish at first, these donations help sustain the growth and reach of your community. So, don’t take these business relationships for granted. Use them to support yourself while helping others.

Improving your reputation and finding support are also benefits of networking.

If you are successful at networking, you might get a reputation for being a person people will want to talk to and get to know. A good reputation leads to support. You may have valuable information, ideas, and resources those in your network may need. Establishing your desire to assist a colleague increases your credibility. The important thing to remember about networking is the growth you will experience by putting yourself “out there” and taking steps to improving yourself and your organization.

By donating to the Granite Education Foundation and helping them with their needs, we benefit the lives of countless children. In turn, this helps each student’s family retain their position in their neighborhood. And that’s only the beginning of the chain. By paying our efforts forward, and nourishing our networking relationships, we are cultivating our community. We also set higher standards for those around us.

And this is how businesses thrive. So, by donating in your community, your networking experiences flourish, and your business grows. Commit to your business quality and brand all while helping those around you by this simple method: donations.

Best Branding Practices for All Businesses

First things first, what is BRANDING?

Definition: BRANDING – a particular product or a characteristic that serves to identify a specific product, a trade name or trademark, or a particular kind or variety.

Let’s break it down a bit farther to make it a little easier. The act of branding is the process involved in creating a unique name or image for a product, person or idea. Most people and companies accomplish branding through advertising and other similar means. It is also the action of building a convincing individual or unique presence in a consumer market that attracts and retains loyal customers.

There are two types of branding: personal and corporate.

make the most out of your branding by using your logo and name on all identification

Personal branding is the process of individual marketing, or advertising, themselves or their career as a unique image, or brand. It is in effect the ongoing practice of building up an image or uniqueness about themselves to others around them. A personal brand often involves the use of someone’s name on various marketing products.

Thomas Peters, an American writer on business management practices, said, “Regardless of age, regardless of position, regardless of the business we happen to be in, all of us need to understand the importance of branding.”

Corporate branding is the process of promoting the logo and brand name of a company or corporation for marketing and advertising purposes. Typically the range of a corporate brand is extensive and is a way to express the company’s ideals and goals.

Whether personal or corporate, a brand is essential to anyone who wants to stand out from those around them. Corporations typically have a logo designed while individuals must promote their names as a logo.

Your brand is how people perceive you wherever they interact with your business, both the impressions you can control and the ones you can’t.

When you think about it, people have brands too. We each have a name, a face, a style, a way of communicating, different impressions we make on different people, and what they say about us when we’re not in the room.

Likewise, businesses have names, products, logos, colors, fonts, a language, and reputations to manage that make up who they are and affect how they’re perceived.

You can’t build a brand without being consistent and maintaining that consistency as you extend your brand to every part of your business. But it all starts with establishing what that consistency is going to look like and the feeling you want it to evoke.

Branding Your Business

Your company’s brand is what you are, what you want to be and what you aim to become. This brand can be a promise of product quality or trust in a service. Remember, a brand is what makes your company unique. Your branding should make your company stand out from all of your competition. It should let your consumers know what they should expect from your products or services.

So, in layman’s terms, corporate branding is the process of promoting the logo and name of a company for marketing and advertising purposes. Branding helps to expand a business and get the word out about the company’s goal.

Branding is the most important part of your business, whether it be large or small. Building a strong brand helps your company not only be financially stable, but memorable. And, by being memorable, your brand will draw in more and more customers just by word of mouth.

Starting With the Right Tools

Name tags and name badges provide necessary company branding. This branding is vital for all of your marketing needs. It distinguishes you from your competition and helps others to recognize your quality more readily. By using logos on name tags, you create a focus to help drive your business.

But, don’t limit yourself to just your name tags. Don’t forget that signage and other identification products are there to help advertise your brand. From custom lanyards to award plaques and everything in between, get it personalized with your logo! And then start spreading the word.

Creating Consistency With Your Brand

use matching colors and consistency with logos in branding your companyYour logo represents not only you and your company but also your brand and overall commitment to your clients and customers. And creating consistency by adding your logo to everything you personalize (from name tags to corporate gifts), lets people know you’re proud of what you stand for.

Consistency in logo use will make your brand an industry leader.

From colors to logos, consistency matters. So, using name tags, name badges and other personal identification items will establish your brand. And finding the right consistency with logos, colors and fonts helps to solidify your message. By defining what your brand is up front, you help establish your company as an industry leader. And making sure that your logo balances your brand at the top can be quite the process.

using name plates and custom shape name tags for consistency in your brandingOh, and make sure to use the same colors for all of your logo work. Find a way to keep your logo and text the same on all name tags and name plates. If your office uses signage, make sure to include the proper colors and consistency. A company who ensures that their brand is well developed will retain and obtain connections with their clients and customers.

Simply put, your brand is your promise to your customer. Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be and who people perceive you to be.