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Good talent can be hard to come by – especially so if your business is located in a smaller city, or are in a business that requires specialised skills, knowledge, or certifications that few people possess.
If you have the budget, you could repatriate your chosen talents, so they and their families can live in your city/country – but chances are, you probably won’t be able to do this for anyone but your top management
Now, if only there was a way of attracting talent to your team, without needing to be located close to them – or to pay them to move closer to you.
Conferencing solutions eliminate distance and barriers
The good news, is that it's 2018 and technology is rapidly changing the way we do everything – including work. Today, the concept of a “workplace” no longer means an office and cubicles. With a laptop, internet connection and conferencing solutions, the "workplace" can also be a home, shared working space, café, or dozens of other locations.
What are conferencing solutions?
There are a few types of conferencing solutions that modern offices use to communicate and collaborate - namely audio, video and web conferencing.
Audio conferencing
Audio conferences are a simple, straightforward way of connecting everyone at the office with remote workers (i.e. employees, contractors or freelances who are working with your team on projects or everyday work).
Simply arrange for an audio conference with remotely located team members, and a basic network connection will allow everyone to communicate easily with a clear audio call. It won’t even matter if your remote team members are in their pyjamas – as long as they sound professional over the call and get work done well, no one will ever know. (Nor will it matter!)
Video/Web conferencing
Alternatively, video conferencing requires slightly more bandwidth (and a decent network connection), but it’ll give everyone the ability to connect at a deeper, more personal level as everyone in the team converses face-to-face - but without needing to be in the same physical space.
While conferencing, team members can share more than words, thoughts, ideas, and images. You can also share files, links, and other resources that help to advance ideas and accelerate the pace of your projects.
Conferencing solutions = Work with a much wider talent pool
Leveraging on conferencing solutions will open doors for your business, giving you the opportunity to work with a much wider group of talent. After all, you’re no longer restricted by geography. You can now hire almost anyone on earth to work with you – all they need is a laptop or desktop with an internet connection, and all you need is an audio or video/web conferencing solution.
Would you like a helping hand choosing a conferencing solution that’s ideal for your business? Let the friendly Angage team share their thoughts over the phone, email, or a conference call/meet up.
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Over the past few weeks, you may have received a flurry of emails from companies that you’ve purchased from or are subscribed to – all informing you of updates to their privacy policies.
If you haven’t already heard, that’s because a European privacy regulation called the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into effect om 25 May 2018.
What is the GDPR?
The GDPR is a regulation to that protects the rights of citizens in Europe when it comes to their personal information. This means that while you can still collect users’ personal data, you’ll need to be a lot more mindful of how you use that data – especially if you’re profiting from it.
The penalty for non-compliance can be high – up to 20 million Euros – so be sure that you maintain compliance through your business’s lifetime (and not neglect this aspect of your operations after putting in all this hard work at the beginning).
What rights does the GDPR cover?
These are the 8 personal rights contained in the GDPR that every business must comply with. Make sure your company complies with all 8 requirements, and continues to do so after updates to your systems, software, or business processes.
The right to access: Individuals must be able to access their personal data at any time, and know how their data is being gathered and used. Make sure you communicate this requirement to all your staff, especially those in customer-facing roles.
The right to be informed: When it comes to gathering users’ data, implicit consent is no longer applicable. Your users need to give their explicit consent in the form of opt-in forms or other methods of consent.
The right to have information corrected: Under the GDPR’s regulations, you must give users a way to update their information at any time.
The right to data portability: Your users have the right to transfer their personal data to another service provider. What this means for you, is that your user data has to be in a readable format that another service can understand when they receive it.
The right to restrict processing: Even if you collect a user’s data, they can now maintain the right to restrict your business from processing it. This means that you can have it on record, be cannot use it.
The right to object: Users have to right to object to their data being used for direct marketing purposes at any time, and when requested, you must stop using their data for this purpose immediately. A simple solution for this is to include an “unsubscribe” option in every marketing email you send out, and possibly include a way to do this on your website or via email as well.
The right to be notified: If your business has been hit by a data breach that may have compromised user information, you must inform your users of this within 72 hours of the breach.
The right to be forgotten: Just because a user or customers has given their consent once, no longer means that consent lasts forever. If any individual wishes to leave your service, they may withdraw their consent and ask for their data to be deleted.
Keep everyone in your business updated
The GDPR affects everyone, not only companies in the European Union (EU). Even if your business is based outside of Europe, you could have European users that make your business fall under this regulation.
Be sure to communicate these requirements to everyone in your organisation - whether they’re in the same office as you, are contractors who work remotely, or if they’re based overseas. Doing so is simple, with video conferencing tools from Angage that make online meetings just as effective (and even easier to set up) than face-to-face meetings.
Need more help understanding the GDPR or audio/video/web conferencing solutions? Speak with your local Angage team for a friendly (and free) consultation session.
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Did you know that over 60% of B2B marketers are using webinars as part of their content marketing programs? (According to the Content Marketing Institute.)
With high value products and solutions that require a more personal touch to sell, webinars are proving to be an effective way of getting the sales message across – far more effective than simply a sales page, yet far less intrusive (and more welcoming) than a face-to-face sales meeting or call.
What does this mean for marketers? It means that you need to consider adding webinars to your sales process (or sales funnel).
Why Webinars?
Low commitment: Unlike agreeing to a face-to-face meeting or a sales call, saying “yes” to attending a webinar doesn’t come with any commitment of time. If the prospect happens to be busy on the day, they can choose not to attend, or jump into the session late - without feeling bad about cancelling or being late to a scheduled meeting or call.
Higher acceptance: Because of the low commitment level, it’s much easier to get prospects to agree to attend your webinar. And once you have their email in your list, you can use your “Remember to attend the webinar” emails to promote your products and solutions as a “by the way” message.
Reach out to many prospects: With an hour of your sales team’s time, you can reach dozens or even hundreds of prospects at once – multiplying the effectiveness of your salespersons.
Live Q&A: Webinars are interactive, giving your prospects the opportunity to ask questions in real-time – effectively transforming them into live face-to-face meetings. And besides replacing face-to-face meetings, webinars can be a cost-effective replacement for some of your live events.
Can set up live meetings/demonstrations: Alternatively, your webinar could simply be a tease for your key closing method. Once you’ve warmed up your prospects with an intriguing webinar, your prospects might now be ready to take the next step and meet with your salesperson, get a live demonstration of your solution, go to your event, or more.
These are just some of the reasons why webinars are rocking it in the world of B2B marketing. But remember, these same principles apply to B2C products and solutions too – and lots of very incredibly successful marketers of consumer products are already using webinars to warm up leads and close sales.
Want to speak with a webinar consultant, or give a webinar system a trial run to see how well it works for your audiences? The Angage team is happy to help!
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Numbers don’t lie.
And that’s why when it comes to trusting information, statistics are an incredibly valuable source of knowledge and feedback that you can use to improve on future events.
But while most of us have heard of (and may already be tracking) key statistics like return on investment, attendance figures and feedback results – what’s the one biggest statistics that many event planners are unknowingly (but commonly) missing out?
Electronic Direct Mail (eDM) Open Rate For many event marketers, this is where it all starts. While many of us chase the numbers later down this chain, we have to remember that if many of our potential event participants don’t even open our invitation/marketing emails in the first place, they’ll never have the chance to learn about the amazing event we have planned, or RSVP.
Now the questions are… what could the problems be, and how can we solve them?
Is your subject title clear? How attractive and to-the-point is your email subject title? It’s important not to be overly witty or lengthy here. Distil your event into one line and say it here.
Are you using repetitive subject titles? This may sound obvious, but you may be surprised at how many event planners make this mistake – if you’re using the same the same generic subject title for every email (i.e. “Latest news!” or “Our personal message, especially for you”), please stop. Repetitive subject titles trivialise the content of your emails.
How valuable are your emails? Email marketing is all about the value you provide to recipients. Are your emails primarily for self-promotion? Or are you giving recipients valuable information, offers, and content that they enjoy? If your email marketing is largely self-centred, don’t be surprised when recipients ignore your emails and event invitations.
Are you being spam filtered? Today’s email systems are getting stricter and sending more mail into spam filters – even the genuine ones. This can happen if recipients continually receive your emails, but don’t open them. You can prevent this from happening by either providing more valuable content (that people will naturally open and read), and by asking recipients to reply to your email – automatically adding your email address to their address book, thus bypassing automated spam filters.
Are you emailing the right crowd? If you’ve been blasting eDMs to every email address you know, stop. Instead, get to know your audience more. Understand what individuals in your email list are interested in, then group them into categories. Only send emails and event promotions to audiences who are likely to be interested in the content – your email recipients will thank you for it.
Keep these tips in mind to make sure that your emails/eDMs make it past their very first (and most important) obstacle – being opened and read. Then see the difference when your open rates go up!
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These days, it seems like there’s an app for everything. Your headphones, Wi-Fi, home appliances, and even vacuum cleaner are likely to have an associated app to make them perform that much better.
And while some of these apps may simply replicate existing devices (such as a remote control for your TV), others can radically change the way your life.
In the case of the event app, this handy mobile application can literally transform how you organise events - and revitalise the event experience for your participants.
How so? These are some examples.
Replicating Event Staff
Earlier, we touched on how some apps can replicate existing functions/devices. Now imagine if you could replicate event staff using this app? Wouldn’t that be amazing? Yet, it can!
Need more staff to handle registrations? Let each participant’s app be their personal registration counter, and allow them to check it via the app on their smartphone.
Short on customer service staff to answer common questions? Let your app handle all the frequently asked questions, while distributing your event agenda and workbook, digitally. Or go a step further and integrate an intelligent event bot into your app (or website), who can answer questions in a natural, human-like manner.
Deepen the Immersion with Gamification
An event app will also open up a world of new possibilities, especially with gamification. And what is gamification? It’s the process of introducing games or other interactive elements into your event.
You can, for example, challenge audience members to find hidden items around the event venue, snap photos of certain locations, or do any other activity that will earn them points. At the end of the event, the person and/or team with the most points wins a prize.
It’s a simple but very meaningful addition to your event, and one that can completely transform the event experience for your audiences.
Engage and Communicate with Participants
With an event app in every participant’s smartphone, you now have a direct connection with event participants. This means that you can ask questions, have audience members answer quizzes, submit feedback, and interact with event speakers (or each other).
With this crucial feature, standard events that focus on “one-way communication” (from speakers to event audiences), can now feature lively, engaging discussions between speakers, panel experts, and audiences.
How to Get Started with an Event App?
Understanding the benefits an event app can deliver, and actually maximising its effectiveness though, are two different matters. We understand that it can be challenging to get started with breakthrough technologies such as an event app. That’s why our team is here to help you out.
Simply contact your local Angage team, and we’ll help you with more than setting up your event app. We’ll also share our experience and ideas, so you can make the most of your event app – applying it into your next event for maximum results, and boosting your return on investment (ROI).
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In recent days, France has been hit by strikes in both their railway and airlines. As many locals are finding out, losing the railway can mean losing their only way of getting to work.
For businesses, this can create huge problems. But since giving every employee a car isn’t a feasible solution, what can you do to maintain productivity – even when your workforce has no reliable means of reaching the office?
Working Remotely
The concept of remote work may be new to some organisations, but it’s been rising in popularity for several years – especially smaller businesses who rely on freelancers or external contractors to get projects done, without needing to permanently expand their teams (and expenses).
Remote work is simply, work that’s done outside of the office. And remote workers are people who work outside of the office – regardless of whether they’re contractors or employees.
It’s Quite Straightforward, Really
And while allowing employees to work remotely may scare some employers, those who embrace remote work practices usually sing its praises. With remote work as an option, employees tend to be happier as this working arrangement allows them to work from a more relaxing atmosphere and/or look after the children at home, while getting work done.
And when it comes to getting work done, remote workers are no less productive than those in the office. In fact, because they’re happier, and saving on travelling time, remote workers can even be more productive than those sitting in cubicles – proving that when it comes to getting work done, it’s all about the mindset, not the location.
Communicating with Audio Conferencing
But what about communications between colleagues? We hear you, and assure you that with the right tools, your remote workers will be just as well-connected as those seated right next to you.
With audio conferencing solutions, you can connect with remote workers from anywhere – not just within France, but around the world. Best of all, setting up audio conferences takes only seconds. And with today’s high-speed internet and wireless technologies, communication is crystal clear and completely lag-free.
It’s just as good as gathering everyone in the same room. Except now, your business has the capabilities to keep productivity levels up – even when the railways are down.
This could be the perfect opportunity to implement remote working options and audio conferencing solutions in your organisation. With the boost in employee morale and productivity, you may even decide to keep remote working options available all year round.
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While social media’s popularity has been around for a decade, a new trend has started appearing on social media platforms.
What are “stories”?
Social media “stories” are snapshots that are usually deleted (by the social media platform) a day after being posted. What makes social media stories engaging?
Firstly, not everyone’s using this feature – so stories stand out more easily.
They’re also placed at the top of social media apps, with the most recent stories taking the more visible spots. This means, even if your friends and followers have 500 other new feeds showing up on their walls and timelines, your story can still get eyeballs, because it’s in prime position.
Stories work because of FOMO
But most importantly, stories play to a fear that many social media users have – FOMO, or the fear of missing out.
Because they’re time-limited, fans and friends are more enticed to click on it now. After all, they don’t want to be the one person who’s missed out on that intriguing post or exciting video after it’s gone.
Use FOMO and social media stories to your advantage
FOMO can be a powerful weapon in your marketing toolkit, as are social media stories. Use them both to create an invisible magnetic forward that draws fans to you and compels them to click on your posts.
When doing so, just remember the mindset of your typical social media stories fan:
They’re already up-to-date with news on their feed: That’s why stories appeal to them. Stories are a breath of fresh air.
They like their news snappy, and visual: Stories are excellent for eye-catching visuals with short captions. Keep everything bite-sized.
They have a “fear of missing out”: Make use of the time-limited nature of social media stories, use this platform for quick promotions, freebies and other time-limited offers/news.
Limit your posts: Unlike regular posts, the photos and videos in a social media story play one after the other, like a slideshow. Keep this in consideration and try not to post 20 event photos in one story – it’ll just bore viewers. Keep your stories short, and keep people wanting more!
Need more help with promoting your events and meetings? Or perhaps you could use an extra set of hands on deck - even if they’re virtual ones, like an event bot or mobile app, or meeting conferencing tools.
We’re here to assist. Simply contact your friendly local Angage team for a complimentary consultation.
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Corporate meetings tend to come in two flavours – effective, and ineffective.
Professionals who have spent their time in both, will attest that when it comes to meetings, the length of a meeting doesn’t have any relation to its quality or effectiveness.
So, while pleasantries and chit chat can be essential to brining everyone close together – there’s time and place to team bonding, and business meetings should be reserved for just that, business.
Secret 1: Skip the snacks, water only
Raiding the office pantry and having snacks in the meeting, may be a fantastic way of having everyone look forward to your weekly meetings – but it’s also the fastest way to ensure your meeting will be derailed before it even gets started.
Keep your focus on the results you want from your meeting, not on everyone’s happiness. Remember, if given a choice, most people involved in the meeting would rather get their work done sooner, so they can leave work on time and spend time with family and friends – rather than feeling good at a lengthy meeting, only to get back to their desks with work that’s piled up while they’ve been away.
Skip the snacks and serve only plain water. Keep everyone focused on what’s important – the outcome.
Secret 2: Have an agenda (and follow it)
Often, meetings take place simply because of habit. When that happens, regular “weekly meetings” that are supposed to happen every Friday morning, end up being a “pass the baton” session – where the meeting lead goes around the table to ask, “Does anyone have any updates?”
As the meeting leader, it’s your responsibility to know what you want from the meeting. Is everyone meeting to discuss a new product launch? Or is this a regularly scheduled “weekly updates” meeting?
Decide on every item you want to know about. List down the projects that are in progress, and the specific questions you want to ask about every project. Make sure your agenda is concise and specific – leaving open-ended questions to the end, after specific questions have been answered.
Then, be sure that you follow through with your agenda. It may be tempting to give in and let the meeting go into the usual “free flow mode” after participants start being distracted. But stay focused and keep everyone on topic. By the end of the meeting, everyone will be thankful that you kept the meeting on course.
Secret 3: Expand your “office” with technology
The previous 2 secrets showed you how to optimise your meetings, so everyone in the office could contribute effectively and efficiently. But this secret can take your meetings – and the way your office works – to the next level.
By utilising technology such as audio, video, or web conferencing, you can break down the physical limitations of your meeting room – and connect across offices, countries, and continents.
This means that you can involve colleagues from international offices, suppliers, freelancers, and remote workers in your meetings. Got a customer that you’d like to involve in the meeting? Get them in too, it’s your choice. Best of all, you can converse over audio, or even face-to-face, using audio and video conferencing platforms – such as those available on Angage.
Don’t have anyone to record the minutes? Save the meeting into your computer, it’s that simple.
Get started
Put these 3 powerful secrets into practice, and you could be supercharging more than your meetings – but your entire organisation.
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What separates good event planners and meeting organisers, from exceptional ones?
The very best organisers always get feedback during an event/meeting, then act on it.
It’s an often-overlooked part of the job, but getting feedback is crucial to improving future events, and your professional development. Here’s why:
You’ll find out what went right (and wrong)
Often, event planners have a good idea of which parts of the event worked, and which didn’t. Many times, they’re right. But sometimes, their instincts may be wrong.
Asking for feedback means you’ll eliminate guesswork and know for sure, quantitatively, what your audience loved and loathed.
You’ll collect feedback while it’s fresh
There’s a subtle but significant difference to getting feedback after an event, and during one. Traditionally, organisers would wait till the end of an event before passing around feedback forms. This could be done on-site, or sometimes, after participants had already reached home and received a “Thank you for attending our event” email.
Asking your participants to think back on every detail of the event, can be challenging for them – as the excitement of the moment is usually fleeting. (Except for a few exceptionally memorable activities.)
Get your participants to answer questions as these segments and activities are going on though, and they’ll have it fresh in their minds – and can provide you with honest, fresh, and valuable feedback.
The data you collect will provide a valuable return on investment
By utilising the wealth of information at your disposal, you can follow up with participants effectively – and do targeted follow ups. (For example, inviting potential customers who were interested in certain product presentation shown at your event, down to a follow up presentation or workshop.)
You’ll also be able to make both major and minor improvements to future events, based on the detailed feedback received.
All of this, means a vastly improved return on investment (ROI) on your event.
How to make it happen
If you haven’t been collecting feedback during your events and meetings, it’s time to start. Here are some useful first steps to turning this into a reality.
Shift your thinking: For many of us, “Feedback” can be a scary word. After all, asking for feedback also invites potentially unpleasant replies and truths that we may prefer not to hear. Take it positively, and not personally. Remember that both positive and negative feedback are valuable and helpful to you – so expect, and treasure, both.
Ditch manual forms: And by “manual forms”, we’re referring to both physical (pencil and paper) and digital (submission forms that are sent to participants after events) ones. Instead, use an incredible easy-to-use mobile event app (or at least, a voting system) to get on-the-spot answers to your feedback-related questions.
Need some more help getting started? Chat with your friendly Angage team today, we’re here for you.
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Over the past few months, the buzz in business news has been all about “workforce transformation”. But what does it mean, and why should you take note?
Because if your job is organising professional events and meetings, you’ll need to know how to maximise productivity in today’s modern, transformed workplace.
What is workforce transformation?
As wireless connectivity has improved, laptops have become more powerful, and tablets are more versatile, organisations around the globe are realising that office cubicles are no longer the only places where good work can take place.
Today, outstanding work can be done on the move, at clients’ offices, at worksites, or even at home. After all, employees have the physical devices and the wireless networks to work remotely.
The only piece of the puzzle that’s missing for many organisations (and what’s holding them back from fully embracing this new style of working), is a perceived lack of collaboration. When your team is sitting next to each other in an office, it’s easy to chat – but what happens when a few members are located at home, another location, perhaps even another country?
That’s what collaboration tools are for.
Collaboration tools eliminate the distance between team members
With a smartphone, tablet, or laptop that’s connected to a network, your team members can communicate with each other flawlessly – no matter where they are in the world.
And there’s no shortage of solutions to connect people for work and projects either. Some collaborative tools and systems that are available for colleagues, clients, and vendors to have conversations with each other, exchange ideas, and support one another, include:
Conference callsWeb meetingsVideoconferencesApps for communicating and voting
As a meeting organiser, the modern workplace presents an exciting opportunity for you to utilise popular meeting solutions for more than meetings – you can help to connect colleagues and project members, and expand the possibilities of what it means for today’s workers to collaborate at any time, from any place.
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