New IQPC Website now live…

24 10 2012

Special thanks to our IQPC web team and all their efforts in updating the IQPC website. A few key people stepped up and did most of the work on this in their ‘spare time’.  It’s a great effort and the site looks great.. Thanks!

It’s been redesigned with a few key points in mind:

  • Update the look and feel and include more movement, graphics, color, interactivity etc. 
  • The idea was to also make it more repesentative of the energy and passion of the people who work at IQPC.
  • Add the ability to promote more featured events at a global and local level.
  • Add the ability to promote more speakers, and bring them more to the forefront of the site.
  • Raise the profile of some of our remarkable content created by some of our remarkable OCM’s.
  • Improve our social media integration (this part is a bit of a work in progress…)
  • Add email optin for all topic areas.
  • Improve the branding / user experience across our online communities.
  • Incorporate a new navigation/infrastructure allowing for a global home page.

As always there’s more work to be done… more on that later!

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Boring Boring Boring…

11 10 2012

That’s the knock on most business to business conferences… and certainly the main theme in this great piece “The Posh, Predictible World of Business Conferences” by Eric Garland (Thanks @whoisdarwin for sharing). Eric makes some fantastic points, and they are all true.

The challenge is for event organizers to break the “2 speaker/coffee/2 speaker/lunch/2 speaker/coffee/2 speaker /cocktail” mold, and never has the need to do so been so high. If we want our events to resonate with our audience and cut through all the noise, we have to deliver a different experience. Likely it will involve more work not less, including more speakers (talking less), professional moderators, more flexibile agendas, more interaction, less power point, and more immersive experiences that will require different venues and more site tours. 

With this in mind it was also refreshing to see this great concept from our very own IQPC team at Defence IQ: Live vehicle testing at The Internation Armored Vehicles Show. Anything that promises an experience that includes “sinusoidal waves” and “rough goings” is guaranteed to break the mold, you can’t exactly test drive an armored vehicle online.

I also love this: http://www.pecha-kucha.org/ 20 slides, 20 seconds each. Then the PPT gets turned off!

I also think the unconference format holds great potential.

Giving delegates these type of immersive experiences is the future of B2B events!





10 Years at IQPC

5 04 2012

This week marks a bit of a personal land mark, 10 years with IQPC. 

That’s a long time to spend with one group and the longest stint of my career, but it’s also not a co-incidence. I’d be lying if I told you 10 years at IQPC was all roses, so why stay for 10 years?

It’s pretty simple, the people.

I have worked with some of the best managers in the business, and I have learnt something from all of them. I have many people to thank for opportunities in the past and I currently work with a great management team, who continue to inspire me and share their insight, there is no greater teacher than experience.

The people I work with directly are also some of the best marketing managers in the business. Together they bring a unique set of skills that in itself motivates me and their teams. We have some truly talented people, some of which we have taken the time to develop internally, which is even more rewarding, but some who have also been attracted to the fast paced marketing of B2B events and the entrepreneurial or innovative culture at IQPC.

I believe the culture at IQPC encourages team effort and innovative thinking. Nothing is more rewarding than seeing a team start with nothing and build a successful event that meets our commercial targets and makes sponsors, delegates and partners happy. Similarly, in the past few years seeing our online communities grow beyond our expectations has been very rewarding.  

I’ve also been lucky enough to work around the world in this business, including long stints in Chile, New York, Sydney and Dubai. I have also worked closely with teams in Argentina, India, Singapore, Sweden, Spain, Germany, Canada, Brazil and the UK. No two offices or events have been the same, it makes going to work fun!

It’s been a rewarding career, and made me think, so what I have learnt in 10 years with IQPC:

Great product solves 80% of all your problems.

Continually learn – most importantly, every event is different, learn from each experience and read (a lot). 

Learn to listen more than you talk. People who do this are always more successful in this business. Also be great at the art of questioning.

Answers to problems can come from anyone on the team. A great event or marketing plan takes team work.

Trust your gut.

Get the basics right, tackle the 4 p’s, use industry or economic models to explain the dynamics of your product.

Research, research, research. Speak to your target audience and partners, gain a first hand understanding of their challenges, and build a product and story that resonates. And challenge all assumptions.

Plan, Execute, Monitor and encourage innovation, testing or experimentation at every corner.

Find an anchor or driver for your event that evokes passion in your audience. Use this to drive all communication.

Great systems and processes help you sleep at night! But people make it happen.

The conference industry in general can be challenging at the best of times, constant time and budget constraints combined with the need to innovate every marketing plan will keep you on your toes. It’s never boring…even after 10 years.





IQPC Marketing Celebrity

14 03 2012

Our very own Jenny Zhang, Marketing Director, IQPC Singapore on developing Singapore into a life style and business events hub!

(Click on the image to see Jenny in action)





Case Study: Email Marketing for Web 2.0

19 07 2011

A while back I received this great email for the web2.0 conference. It struck me as a great email case study to highlight for conference marketers, it’s an excellent email and a remarkable piece of content tied together into an amazing piece of conference marketing.

The email has a lot of valuable points, but for me the highlights are:

  • The from address is two of the most influential people in the space – You open it ASAP.
  • In case you forgot there’s a photo of them talking to one of the most powerful men in the world in the header.
  • There is a clear call to action – Register Now & Save, repeated 4 times – twice as a button, twice as a link (not too much but just enough).
  • It links to an amazing interactive piece of content, a blog post explaining it and to the conference page. More value and engagement with the audience, past and present.
  • It has the main social media sharing tools and ways to stay engaged (if you want).
  • A strong tie into last year including – A highlight that this amazing piece of content has been updated, and made more interactive, video, slides and photos from last year in case you forgot what an amazing event you attended. And how they are planning to delve deeper this year.
  • Still highlights speakers (with photos – they are real people!) and you can check out how they crowd sourced the event with the advisory board.

The content and the blog post also help drive the engagement:

  • The map (content piece) is interactive, it pulls you in, if you are into the topic.
  • The blog post is informative and also pulls you into the notion behind the event (with some very valuable insight and data).
  • Both are aligned to the topic area, viral, interactive and highly relevant to the topic.

I’m not saying every event needs interactive maps or infographics, but we should be working on remarkable content like this that drives engagement and think about how we communicate our event VP in different formats whilst still driving registrations. Of course, it’s not perfect, there are some improvements I (and no doubt you) would make, but….. compare this to the last email you sent for your event?





The CMO Exchange London

12 07 2011

Thanks to the team at IQPC Exchanges in London I was lucky enough to attend a couple of sessions at the CMO Exchange in London.

I was able to sit in on a session about Aligning Sales and Marketing by Nick Eades the CMO at Psion. Nick’s presentation was the most insightful content I have seen on sales and marketing alignment, since reading this landmark HBR article.

I can’t really do Nick’s session any justice, but he gave some remarkable insights. For me some of the highlights included:

  • Understanding the personalities involved is critical but understanding what motivates the sales team is even more important.
  • A great analogy to understand the “lethal personalities” at play – Think Captain Kirk as the leading sales guy and Dr Spock as you’re a typical CMO and you get a good picture!
  • It’s not that hard – Sales people want to hit their sales targets and marketing love their data (maybe too much).
  • Career marketers (vs accidental marketers) know how to keep it simple and not hide behind complexity. We need analytics but we must keep it simple!
  • The forgotten p – Price is one of the most effective tools we have (and likely least understood) to impact the bottom line and help drive sales.
  • Better lead generation and management is a bigger issue for most companies than they think, and can most likely solve a lot more problems.
  • Functional strength is an important aspect of marketing, you are only as strong as your weakest link!
  • Meaningful objectives – You must have goals that can be conveyed across channels, functions and the boardroom. That means having 100,000 followers needs a little more work.
  • Find simple ways to express simple strategy – Retain customers, grow prospects!
  • Take an account vs product approach to sales and marketing.
  • Profitable growth is the ultimate measure!

Nick’s insights may not be applicable to all businesses, they are certainly more B2B than B2C (for a change), but I think it was one of the best marketing presentations I have seen in quite some time. Congrats to the exchange team and the speakers for a truly outstanding marketing event.





Infographic – Digital marketing trends in the Middle East from IQPC Dubai

13 03 2011

Very cool infographic created by the IQPC marketing team behind Click, shows some great insight into the impact digital marketing is having in the region and where marketers are focusing.

Click 5.0 The digital marketing event for the middle east