Murphy’s Law: When Events And Weather Collide (And How to Handle It)

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Weather the Storm- How to have a successful event

Author: Stacey Thornberry

If you have ever hosted an event, you know that no matter how much you over-prepare, something will undoubtedly go awry. Even with careful planning, events are subject to Murphy’s Law: “If anything can go wrong, it will.”

This may sound like a pessimistic point of view, but I’d like to think it’s realistic—and that it’s only negative if you can’t handle the chaos. I like to see it as a challenge. Today, I’d like to share a recent obstacle that affected an executive dinner I planned in NYC for Marketo: snow.

The Impending Storm

After carefully planning the details of what would surely be a successful event, I was all set to hop on a plane to NYC when reports of a “historic” storm to hit the East Coast blasted the media airwaves. Airlines were canceling flights, schools were calling snow days and the city and state governments were shutting down—just two days before my event. Needless to say, I went into crisis management mode, which included this swift series of activities:

  • Evaluate Your Options: After evaluating the situation, we decided to reschedule the event, as most people would be stuck at home in the storm. Because it was so close to the event, we decided that it was wise to cover all the bases and solicit executive support for our decision.
  • Inform Your Stakeholders: We contacted all of our event stakeholders to share the news immediately, including our co-sponsors, staff and presenters. I asked each person to confirm receipt of rescheduling information. I wanted to make sure that no one got on a plane!
  • Contact the Event Venue: We needed to ask about our options for cancellation. Because it was not a total cancellation, but rather a reschedule, we received the gracious response that we could use our deposit towards another date.
  • Email Every Event Registrant: This is important for obvious reasons—you need to let people know the event is cancelled. Then I cancelled my reminder email program in Marketo, and replaced it with a program to email each attendee wishing them luck in the storm and to look for an email soon with the rescheduled date. To make sure that each registrant heard the news, we called them individually.

The Switcheroo

Back in the office, it was time to start planning the event—for the second time. Here’s a list of what I did to get ready again:

  • Asked the Venue for Available Dates: I ran those dates by the stakeholders to check availability and then confirmed a new date about one month out to ensure enough promotional time.
  • Emailed the Original Event Registrants: I sent the original registrants the rescheduled date information and requested that they RSVP to me so that I could re-register them for the new date.
  • Personalized Presentations for Those Who Could Not Attend: I connected original registrants that could not attend with a sales representative to schedule a personalized presentation so that they could still benefit from the content.
  • Started Promoting the New Date: I invited people saying, “Due to the impending blizzard in NYC in January, we rescheduled; thus, you have another chance to join us for the event!”

The Denouement

In the end, we connected with almost twice as many registrants over the two event dates. We welcomed a strong attendance to the event, with many people from the original list of registrants as well as new additions. The new date was a success!

The moral of the story: you can’t beat Murphy’s Law, but you can work with it.

I’d love to hear about your Marketing Murphy’s Law or event marketing stories. Share your stories in the comments section below.


Murphy’s Law: When Events And Weather Collide (And How to Handle It) was posted at Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership. | http://blog.marketo.com

The post Murphy’s Law: When Events And Weather Collide (And How to Handle It) appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.


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When Should Personal and Corporate Social Media Accounts Collide?

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Do you ask employees to represent your brand on their personal social media and if so, do you give them any guidance?

When Should Personal and Corporate Social Media Accounts Collide? image Brittany Hodak 150x1501. Ask Nothing Beyond LinkedIn

We ask each of our employees to use the same company boilerplate description on LinkedIn, but we do not dictate any other social networks. We love it when our employees share posts from our company’s social accounts, but we never request it. Because employees make their own decisions about sharing content, posts shared are authentic and come across that way to each employee’s network.

Brittany Hodak, ‘ZinePak

When Should Personal and Corporate Social Media Accounts Collide? image Corey Blake 150x1502. Trust Your Gut

At RTC, we encourage sharing our clients’ and staff’s stories and victories on social media. And our policy is simple: trust your gut. People know what’s OK to post and what’s not. When you’ve worked to create a loving culture powered by vulnerability and kindness, you don’t need a social media policy.

Corey Blake, Round Table Companies

When Should Personal and Corporate Social Media Accounts Collide? image Aaron Schwartz3. Make Your Team Aware They Represent the Company

We do not mandate that anyone post on social media. But all of our teammates are aware that they represent Modify at all times. Because of our high-touch service, customers know who we are, and our team knows that we need to always put forward a respectful attitude. The side benefit of a diverse team — with diverse messages — is that the Modify “brand” becomes that much more textured.

Aaron Schwartz, Modify Watches

When Should Personal and Corporate Social Media Accounts Collide? image Fabian Kaempfer 150x1504. Don’t Force It

We don’t ask our employees to represent the brand on personal pages because we don’t want to infringe on a space that may be personal and/or private to them. Our employees share content about the brand on their own — things they find exciting. We prefer brand advocacy like that to be organic rather than for it to feel forced.

Fabian Kaempfer, Chocomize

When Should Personal and Corporate Social Media Accounts Collide? image Kuba Jewgieniew 150x1505. Encourage Active Participation

As a real estate company, we realize that our agents ARE the brand. We encourage them to be extremely active on their personal social media and mention their affiliation with us as much as they would like.

Kuba Jewgieniew, Realty ONE Group

When Should Personal and Corporate Social Media Accounts Collide? image Trevor Summer 150x1506. Don’t Share It If You Couldn’t Say It in a Meeting

Every employee is in sales and is an ambassador of your company. Social media is a natural extension of that and a powerful one. We coordinate tweets and LinkedIn posts as a company. But as a reminder, these are public channels. If you wouldn’t like your manager to hear you say it in front of customers at a meeting, you wouldn’t want them to read it online either.

Trevor Sumner, LocalVox

When Should Personal and Corporate Social Media Accounts Collide? image Maren Hogan 150x1507. Don’t Try to Create Brand Ambassadors by Force

I’m proud to say that we have a strong company culture. Each of our workers truly care about the success of this company. I do let them know that their participation in social media is valued but never mandatory. You can’t create brand ambassadors by force — it just doesn’t work that way. They have to be invested.

Maren Hogan, Red Branch Media

When Should Personal and Corporate Social Media Accounts Collide? image Nicole Smartt 150x1508. Encourage LinkedIn Postings

We believe in employee engagement on several levels, and social media is no exception. If we have a new job posting, we encourage our employees to post the new position on their LinkedIn pages. We guide them to this outlet because, in most cases, LinkedIn is a reputable source of legitimate work experience.

Nicole Smartt, Star Staffing


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