Ignite a Sp@rk of inspiration. September 2010 Issue

Ignite - a spark of inspiration

We asked three industry peeps with good social media mojo to kindly share their knowledge on how they weave social networking to advance their businesses and careers. Based on their suggestions, here are five ways you could tweet, blog or link your way to the top.

Event Promotion. Jared Goldberg, community marketing manager, 5th Element Events, Toronto, has dabbled in all sorts of social media to build attendance. One often-used resource cited is Eventbrite as a one-stop shop for registration, ticket sales and email invites. It gives organizers and attendees the option to post the info on other networks. Bonus: Eventbrite has high page ranking in Google searches.
Trend Watching. For keeping track of what’s hot and what’s new in event design, Twitter tops Goldberg’s list for its “content snacking” — digestible bits of information, 140 characters per serving. In Vancouver, Kathie Madden, president of Kathie Madden Events, likes to keeps tabs on the ISES community portal for the latest industry news and blogs from the International Special Events Society.
Building Brand ‘Me’. As tempting as it may be to try to be everywhere, the octopus approach to social networking is exhausting and tough to sustain. Toronto-based Lara McCulloch, event marketing communications consultant, recommends researching which social media platform most of your target audience is using, and following suit. Tip: Once you’re there, blogging can be an effective way to establish yourself as an expert.
Finding Customers. Vancouver-based Madden likes LinkedIn as a resource for finding new clients and connecting with old ones, and thinks the “Get Recommended” option is an effective horn-tooting tool. McCulloch says finding customers on Twitter is easy, and has even blogged on how to navigate the search tools. But keep in mind, all is not always as it seems on the web, so consider the source of recommendations to decipher fluff from fact.
Old-School Schmoozing. Networking with peers, clients and suppliers can be done equally well on just about every virtual network, but there’s still nothing like good, old-fashioned F2F (face-to-face). Sites like meetup.com encourage community get-togethers, forming some 75,000 local Meetup Groups, and meetings organizers like MPI regularly organize TweetUps at their conferences.
The last word: Madden reminds us not to let virtual networking infringe on your real world: It’s always bad form to leave your smart phone turned on at a conference, meeting, or dining table (turn it on only if everyone understands that you need to be reached by someone who has not yet arrived.) Read more of her tech-etiquette suggestions on when to leave your office in your pocket. 

Find more event planning ideas and resources at ignitemag.ca, or share your ideas, photos and feedback with us on our facebook page or in the chatterbox at ignitemeetingsconnect.com.


Hot Rates + Hot Dates
Get more value for your next business event! Be the first to find out about travel and meetings promotions and money-saving extras in venues across Canada and around the world. Gathered here exclusively for planners who read Ignite magazine.

NBTA Travel Executive Symposium

When: Sept. 27, 2010
Where: Toronto Marriott Bloor/Yorkville
Why go:
See new ways to harness your company’s travel and expense data and get a more consolidated picture of your travel costs.
What’s in it for you: Talk to experts and get real-time answers on some of the data issues that may be challenging your travel department.

More industry events at Ignitemag.ca

good to know
Air Canada unveils million mile club
Longtime frequent flyers of Air Canada have been swapping tales of the million-plus mile club all month after receiving surprise recognition in August for earning a million or more status miles with Air Canada and Air Canada Jazz since the inception of the Top Tier program in the late eighties. Their goodie box included a personalized letter, model plane, upgrade coupons, luggage tags and a million mile logoed Super Elite membership card and luggage tags. No public fanfare or announcement about this from Air Canada, but you can pick up the chatter on the lively thread on FlyerTalk.
Virtual business centres add to meeting room mix
We see signs that the virtual office space concept is gaining a larger presence in Canada, where Regus opens two expansive meeting and office locations in Toronto and Burnaby this month to offer private offices, meeting rooms, video communications services and a business lounge. These openings are part of an expansion strategy for the business centre company which expects to operate 460 centres throughout North America by the end of the year, and more than 1,000 worldwide.
Benchmark survey on managing travel costs
The first industry-wide Corporate Travel Policy Study by NBTA Foundation and Egencia confirms what lots of companies are already on to: One of the greatest potential ways to save travel costs is through stricter air travel policies requiring purchase of non-refundable tickets and lowest logical fares. For example, the research suggests companies can save as much as 38% on air spend by encouraging travellers to be flexible, book within a two-hour window of original departure time and use a connection when possible. The Corporate Travel Policy: Benchmarking and Insight study is a sweeping survey of 689 North American travel buyers, offering a snapshot of practices in the U.S., Canada and globally. You can request a copy from the NBTA Foundation website.
Share your event news, case studies or story ideas with us here at ignitemag.ca.
Keep corporate road warriors comfy and productive
If you can manage the fine line between cost-effective procurement and the desire for happy travellers, TD Bank Financial Group has its sights on a  Sourcing Manager, Corporate Travel. Your mission, should you be lucky enough to accept it, is to drive adoption to the TD Corporate Travel program across North America. Search job reference J0810-0227 on the TD Careers site.
A meetings Chateau for a group sales pro
So, you're a hospitality whiz who knows the group business, and can set meeting planners up for productive events? Then check out the position for a Sales Manager, Corporate Meetings, with the Fairmont Chateau Laurier in Ottawa. Act quickly and view this job description for this immediately needed role.


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