Categories for Business

Best Event Management Softwares for #eventprofs

August 22, 2017 4:29 pm, Published by

Finding the best event management software for your requirements can be difficult. No solution will ever 100% satisfy your needs, but there will be some that clearly stand out above the others. However, proper investigation takes time and effort, but when done properly the benefits are well worth it.

Event management softwares and systems offer managers and administrators immense benefits:

  • Complete event management solutions consolidate often disparate systems. As a result, administrators  have one place to view information, plan events and manage their offerings.
  • Event management softwares will reduce the manual administration tasks. This increases efficiency and gives managers the opportunity to focus on value adding tasks.
  • Event management softwares can give event providers a competitive advantage. Features that provide reporting insights, marketing tools and improved registrant experience will grow registrations.

Here are a few tips for choosing an event management solution that will be worth the effort and price and a few providers worth considering to grow your business.

Choosing the best event management softwares & solutions

5 Steps to choose the best event management software

Out of box – make sure that the solution will be able to meet majority of your needs right away. Avoid workarounds and custom development for your must have items. If the provider can’t service majority of your needs immediately, you might not be the best fit.

Scalability – ensure the solution will be able to meet your needs as you continue to grow into the future. Future proof your investment by ensuring that the provider has the capacity and innovation to keep up with your growth rather than limit it.

Transparent pricing – make sure the solution has transparent pricing with which you can compare other providers. Hidden costs are out there, don’t be caught in a trap.

Know yourself – know your businesses processes and requirements before seriously engaging a vendor. Take these requirements and relay them to the vendor. For both parties this will make adoption easier as you can clearly identify whether you the solution will work.

Know the provider – check their reviews over marketplaces, app stores, social media and software review sites. Every vendor will have some negative remarks, but you should watch out for repeated comments on the same issues and poor implementation and support.

Some favorite event management solutions

Trello

Trello offers a free and relatively customisable solution to better manage tasks and projects for teams or individuals. Trello offers users an online  visualisation for tasks similar to using sticky notes. Create cards for tasks and place them in lists named “To-do” or “completed”, or whatever suits your business’s processes.

Hootsuite

Hootsuite gives users one platform to manage all their social media marketing. Scheduling tweets, Facebook and Linkedin posts easily and quickly all at the same time. In addition, view audience engagement and report on activity to gain valuable insight into your social media’s performance.

Arlo

Arlo is a cloud-based training and event management system for managing, marketing and delivering physical and online courses and events. It provides streamlined event scheduling, online registrations, invoicing and receipting, runs marketing activities, and manages client records and relationships. Arlo has been recognised by many for providing a quality event management platform:

 

Arlo named in Capterra’s Top 20 Most User-Friendly Event Management Softwares.

Arlo listed in APAC CIO Outlook’s Top 25 Education Tech Providers.

Arlo named in Gartner’s LMS FrontRunners for 2017.

To find out more about how Arlo can help you visit our website or schedule a demonstration.

Google AdWords basics

February 27, 2017 2:18 pm, Published by

Keywords made easy

Keywords have a critical role in any organisation’s Google AdWords campaign. Keywords are the conduit between what potential leads are searching for and your advertisements. For any organisation, it is critical to understand the different types of keywords and when to use each.

Broad Keywords

Broad keywords have the least specific relation to search terms, as the name implies. A broad keyword loosely associates with any search term that contains similar words. It is also worth noting that spelling errors and synonyms can also appear using broad keywords.

For example, let’s use Arlo as our subject and assume we use a broad keyword to get AdWord clicks regarding our event management software.

As we can see, there are two search terms that aren’t relevant to Arlo, but may in fact display our advertisement. The first two search terms are the only search terms worth paying for.

Exact Keywords

After spending a lot of money on the incorrect search terms above, we need to tighten up our AdWord Keywords. Exact matches are a great way to ensure you only pay for the precise search term you want. Thus keeping costs down!

Exact keywords are denoted by ‘[ keyword  ]’ and as the name suggests, will only match search terms exactly. No spelling mistakes, no variations, no extra words. So our “event management software” keyword, would be entered into AdWords as [event management software]. As promised, Google will only display our advertisement to the users who search “event management software”.

 

Phrase matches

The exact keyword might be too exact. Our advertisement will not show for people who search for “free event management software” or “event management software plugin”.

A phrase match will show search terms that match a phrase, plus some variation. It is denoted by speech marks. For example the phrase keyword, “event management software”, will show the ad for the search term – “free event management software” or “event management software plugin”. Unfortunately, the advertisement will not be shown for “management software for live event with presenters”, because the phrase is not searched.

 

Broad Match Modifier Keywords

Again the phrase match might still be too limiting. “Management software for live event with presenters” may in fact be a quality lead at Arlo, but they would not have seen our advertisement.

Broad match keywords allow search terms to appear that contain the term (in any order) plus any close variations. They are denoted with ‘+’ symbols in front of the terms.

The main difference between the broad match modifier keywords and the broad match keywords is that synonyms are not put forward as matches. Unlike the phrase matches, the words can appear in any order. As previously, I will use an example to better explain:

At Arlo we have found Broad Match Modifier Keywords extremely helpful. They allow us to show our ads to a large variety of users without paying for irrelevant searches.

In the next Google AdWords blog, we will be looking at Negative Keywords and how to effectively use them in the least amount of time!

 

Arlo’s top 5 blog posts – February 2017

February 23, 2017 9:18 am, Published by

Here are some of the most interesting and insightful blogs the Arlo team came across this month. Take a read with your next cup of coffee and stay up to date with all things trainings, events and business.
We love sharing what’s helped us, feel free to pass these on to help others!

How to prepare for the future of mobile learning

Brent Schlenker – Litmos

I think it’s safe to say that all digital media consumption will happen via the internet on mobile devices very soon.

Follow the money. A phrase often repeated when you really want to know the answer to questions about tech trends…and other nefarious goings on… Read More

Organisational learning – all fun and games?

Leif Sorensen – CEO – Relation Technologies
We work on developing new learning concepts and experiences for professionals and corporations of all sizes. And a dominant part of these concepts is games. But how can something as seemingly silly as playing games be used for something as supposedly serious and big business as major organizational changes?… Read More

Using storytelling in business to improve results

John Sanchez – Managing Director – FPA Group
Few businesses tell stories regularly, yet research shows we are 12 times more likely to remember information when conveyed through a story. If your company is like most, you probably produce spreadsheets, PowerPoint slides, and memos that give facts without engaging the audience to communicate information. Read More

SEO and digital trends in 2017

Gianluca Fiorelli – Moz Blog

It was an intense year, especially when it came to SEO and Google in particular. Because I’m deeply convinced that we cannot attempt any preview of the future without considering what happened in the past, I invite you to look back at the events that have marked the evolution of Google in the past 10 months. Read More

3 Tips to make your data work harder

Think with Google

In today’s multi-channel, multi-device world, data can be a brand’s greatest asset—and its biggest challenge. But brands that are successfully leaning on data to fuel business decisions are driving incredible growth. Below, we discuss three steps your brand can take to become more data-driven. Read More

Getting value from Google Adwords without breaking the bank!

February 21, 2017 1:15 pm, Published by

Google Adwords can be a nightmare if not done properly here are two basic yet important things to understand for all businesses.

Pick your Google Adwords budget then make it work

Google Adwords can be a critical component of your business’ marketing efforts. With a lot of careful monitoring Adwords can generate high amounts of traffic to your website. The problem can be that the cost of this intense monitoring and the risk of overspending can seem daunting. There are easy tools and methods which can help you increase the yield of your campaigns. Setting the limit on how much you are going to spend is a good place to start.

This would be the number one tip in my opinion to create some valuable campaigns without sacrificing financial stability. Google doesn’t measure the financial feasibility of your campaigns, they will gladly take your money as long as people keep clicking. People only stop clicking once your budget runs out. According to Wordstream the highest cost-per-click keyword on Adwords is “insurance” which will cost you a modest $54.91.

If you are starting out with Google Adwords use a small budget at first to gather data on what people are searching for, what ads work best, etc. Use this small budget to remove negative keywords, come up with more relevant keywords and sharpen the message of your ads. Adwords is like a garden, a maintainable garden often depends on the size. Too big and you won’t have control over the weeds and it will quickly become overgrown.

After getting some test data, pick the amount you would like to spend each day.  Then focus on how to get the most value from that budget. If you think of a new campaign idea first see if you can move budget from your other campaigns rather than increasing your budget.

Don’t forget about quality score!

Huge keyword lists, punchy ads and big bids are all helpful for Adwords. Often neglected and sometimes more valuable is the quality score a keyword receives. Quality Score as defined by Google “is an estimate of how relevant your ads, keywords, and landing page are to a person seeing your ad”. If your ad is relevant to the search term and the linked landing page is what the viewer wished to find you will receive a better score. Ensuring the continuity between search term, keyword, ad and landing page will mean lower costs and higher positions for you!

Quality score can be accessed under the columns tab. After clicking “Modify columns…”, “Qual. score” can be found under the “Attributes” metrics.

 

 

 

Engagement, Interaction, Retention… It’s a cycle!

February 1, 2017 2:24 pm, Published by

 

engagement, interaction, retention cycle

One of the main goals for teachers in any sphere of education is retention. Training requires valuable resource to increase the chance that learners will retain and utilize the information presented. Without the learning, retention and application, teaching loses its value and does not achieve its purpose.

Retention begins with engagement…

Retention can only be achieved by firstly engaging with the learner. Engaging the learner involves a number of things: clear communication, relevant information, genuineness and so on. Engagement will occur when the individuals before you prioritize your information above the other distractions they have. In a previous blog we discussed 4 Tips for Increasing the Value of Your Presentation, these would be a great start to creating more engagement.

Retention requires interaction…

After an individual is engaged, interaction takes priority for a teacher or trainer. Albert Einstein once said:

I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots”.

People need experiential learning through interaction to fully retain information. Why?… Because of our yearning for reason. For people to fully comprehend they will need to question, examine and discuss. Providing time for questions, activities and even rhetorical questions all pull in the audience to be part of the presentation and reason with the information.

Turning technological distractions into methods of interaction…

One of the most relevant impediments to holding anyone’s attention nowadays is the smart phone. As smart devices become more commonly used as note taking alternatives to the classic pad and pen, notifications become a teacher’s enemy. How do you deal with this, without reverting to a classroom style of confiscating devices on entry?

Providing concise notes on the subject, accessible on smart devices increases the likelihood that the learner will be focusing on the subject matter rather than their newsfeeds. Online tools such GoSoapBox “keep students engaged and gain real-time insight into student comprehension”. GoSoapBox contains live survey tools and questions with the results available to the teacher or everyone involved. Here are some other online learning tools to aid your training:

  • Kahoot – Kahoot allows to to create fun learning games for better engagement.
  • SurveyMonkey – Arlo integrates with SurveyMonkey to “create, edit and analyse surveys more effectively” within our event management solution.
  • Socrative – Socrative provides a space for quizzes and activities from which the results can enhance the teaching/training method.
  • Moodle – Arlo integrates with Moodle to create a full event and training management with a learning management system/
  • TodaysMeet – Allows students to access the classroom community and interact with fellow learners from anywhere
  • GoToWebinar – Arlo integrates with GoToWebinar to create both public and private events synchronised with Arlo.         

Interaction starts the cycle again…

The good thing about engagement, interaction and retention is that they are a cycle. More engagement, makes interaction possible, more interaction leads to higher retention. As individuals retain more information the usefulness of the presentation increases and thus further engagement ensues.

Increasing Presentation Value

January 27, 2017 10:49 am, Published by

Obama PresentingWhether it is pop-up advertisements, billboards we walk past or even the social interactions we have, everyone is trying to present their offering, opinion or idea to gain some reaction. Busier work lives, more invasive media and simply short attention spans mean capturing an audience is difficult. At the risk of losing your attention here are 4 quick tips that will help you increase the value of your presentation.

10 Minutes early is 5 minutes late

As a presenter arriving or starting late immediately puts you on the back foot. Lateness wastes the audiences precious time that many other entities will be vying to pry from yourself. It also gives the audience an indication of your commitment to them. Arrive on time to show the audience you planned to be there. It will make the entire presentation seemingly more valuable.

Have a goal

Having a clear goal for your presentation makes it easier to focus on value and captivating your audience. Highly impacting and educating presentations can only be achieved if they have a clear goal. Google now offers precise and relevant answers in milliseconds, ‘how to’ videos are now minutes rather than manuals, news is now bite sized and extremely available on social media. People appreciate clear and concise messages, have a goal so you can present concise messages too.

Preparation, preparation, preparation

The late Jim Rohn, entrepreneur and motivational speaker, tells us that “discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment”. French poet, Antoine de Saint-Exupery says “a goal without a plan is just a wish”. A goal in isolation will not increase the value of your presentation. Having the discipline to produce planned steps for attaining the presentation goal will increase the usefulness and clarity of your presentation.

Compelling events

At Arlo we provide an event and training management software. Our most successful demonstrations are when the attendee can relate our solution to solve a problem of their own. We present Arlo as software that automates the manual and non-value adding tasks of event management. Often attendees will attend your presentation as a reaction to problems caused by a compelling event. Luckily for you they believe you can help them solve it. Focus on addressing the needs of your audience, this will make your presentation personally valuable.

Motorcycle madness

June 12, 2015 3:10 pm, Published by

When you’re looking for a training management system, you want to know that it will work for the training you provide.  When it comes to motorcycle training, you may have a core features list something like:

  • Connects to your existing website or creates a simple website if you haven’t got one
  • Options of how attendees can pay, as well as financial integration
  • Ability to report to governing bodies
  • A great Client Relationship Management Tool

But is that enough?  What about

  • Being able to customise your registration form to include things important to your courses
    e.g. current motorcycle licence, what type of bike do they ride, do they need to hire a bike for the course
  • Be able to include multiple sessions and additional options to the course
  • Quick and easy way to schedule recurring courses
  • Automatic feedback surveys
  • The Ability to tailor your marketing campaigns based on your clients skill level and/or courses attended

If you think this is what you need, then Arlo is for you.  If you need just a little more convincing, let this video show you more of what we have to offer;

 

Create efficiencies and improve customer experience through a purpose-built system

July 29, 2013 4:35 pm, Published by
Universities are choosing to implement purpose-built systems to manage their executive/professional development programmes and events. With a system specifically designed to manage short courses, custom courses, and events, they have been able to reduce administration and offer a better website registration experience for clients.

System requirements

The logistical requirements and website registration requirements for managing full time courses (e.g. degree courses) are very different than those for short courses and events as illustrated in the diagram below.

System requirements diagram

Student Management Systems (SMS) are primarily focused on record management and are not optimised for high-volume, transactional based activity. While some SMS can be adapted and customised to include the functionality, the cost and effort can be prohibitive.  Furthermore, while the end result of the custom development may deliver the basic functional requirements (e.g. can accept website registrations for short courses), the customer experience usually falls well short of what is delivered using a purpose built solution (e.g. Outlook appointments, reminders, venue location maps, flexible invoicing options, etc).

Executive development courses and services are generally targeted at the corporate market whereas full time enrolment courses (e.g. degree level) are targeted at students. By using separate systems, universities are able to easily segment the records so rather than mixing student records with corporate contacts and clients, the databases are kept separate.

Website development

Using a purpose built system also makes it easier and quicker to create a dynamic and interactive website.  Rather than developing a site from scratch, with the right purpose built solution the core website pages are pre-built, such as course pages, a course calendar, course search, and course catalogue.  A web designer just needs to apply a theme over the top. If custom pages or enhancements are required, the web designer is potentially able to access a purpose built API and add additional add-ons.

Private / custom courses

Private courses are a key part of most university executive/professional development programmes.  Course content is tailored to the client’s requirements and delivered on the date and at the location requested.  The logistics of running a private course are therefore very different to a full-time or short course.  The system used to manage these types of courses needs to be easy-to-use and manage activities such as booking presenters, venues, and catering. It also needs to help manage client communication and invoicing.

System integration

Running a separate system for short courses and events doesn’t necessarily mean the system shouldn’t be integrated with other university systems. There may in fact be a benefit to pass certain information between a University’s SMS, CRM, and other business applications.

Auckland University Executive Development

Screenshot of The University of Auckland’s Executive Development website

On and off campus events

Universities often run a full programme of events, on and off campus.  Requirements for running these events are very similar to short courses; both require a simple online registration and payment process with automated communication.

By using the same system used for managing short courses, universities are able to leverage any website integration and back office system integration (e.g. accounting system).  Their administration staff also benefits, as they only need to learn and use one system.

Download full article:  Create efficiencies and improve customer experience through a purpose built system (PDF 292 kb)

 

The Business Centre Goes Live

April 20, 2009 8:46 am, Published by

The Business Centre is a Wellington-based provider of services that offers;

  • Direct business advice and support
  • Access to Business Coaches and a wide range of Industry Experts
  • Financial and Accountancy services that are affordable yet provide the relationship and support small businesses need to succeed
  • Channels to help small businesses advertise and promote offers to one another

They do this by offering a large range of courses and a busy schedule – making them a perfect organisation to be helped by using LearningSource’s platform. We’ve been talking to James Fensom (director of The Business Centre) since we first started thinking about building a solution for training providers. His help has proved invaluable at giving us an insight into what makes the life of training providers difficult, and where we can help with that.

Given the history, we’re happy to see The Business Centre roll out their own LearningSource solution and especially so given the fact that, in these tough economic times, we can make their job easier and directly help with the great work they do to help small businesses.

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Xero and SaaS

April 14, 2009 8:47 am, Published by

xero-logo-lowres-rgbRecently Software as a Service (SaaS – see here for a great explanation of the term) in New Zealand got some fantastic validation with Xero, the online accounting application, releasing some fantastic sales figures, along with news that they’d successfully raised another $23million in funding.

On a personal level we’re really happy with Xero’s success – they’ve been something of an inspiration to us, showing how successful software businesses can be built from New Zealand. What’s really interesting as well is that a large part of the recent funding round was made by one of the founders of a traditional accounting application. It really shows the potential, promise and customer gains that can be made by moving to a SaaS model – something that here at LearningSource we’re baking into our product as well – we tell more about SaaS as it relates to training management software over on this page.

As well as industry figureheads, Xero has been providing us with some really useful ideas in terms of how a training management solution should work. There are some exciting developments leading on from this collaboration that we’ll be announcing in the next few weeks – stay tuned.

In the meantime we send our heartiest congratulations to Rod and the team at Xero for a job well done!