High Tech, Low Budget: Tech-ing Up Your Event

The vast majority of events listed on GovEvents are technology related. However, the events themselves tend to be manual and paper-based. This reliance on the "old-school" way of doing things is often driven by time and money (or lack thereof).

Events as marketing tools are an expense so keeping spending in check is critical to producing a return on the investment. Often, these events are organized by a small staff with other job responsibilities beyond planning the event. Knowing this, it's understandable to default to the "way we've always done it." This "status quo" thinking might keep the expenses low but ROI will continue to fall as less people attend a show they see as stuck in the past.

We've pulled together some ideas on how to affordably add tech to your events to increase your relevance without increasing bottom line spending.

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Behind the Curtain: AWS Public Sector Summit 2017

As federal, state, and local agencies look to implement cloud solutions, either in response to mandates or in an effort to reap cost savings and IT efficiency, Amazon Web Services (AWS) has been in the forefront of helping government make the move to cloud. Now in its eighth year, the AWS Public Sector Summit brings together innovators who are changing the world with cloud computing to share their successes and lessons learned to guide wider cloud adoption in government. The conference aims to send attendees back to their office with new strategies and techniques for kicking off new projects, maximizing budgets, and achieving mission goals.

We highlighted the history of the event last year and, once again, Tricia Davis-Muffett, Global Public Sector Marketing Leader for AWS, took some time out from planning the Summit to share what is new for 2017 and what first-time attendees can expect.

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How Events Can Embrace the Circle of Life

Spring conjures up images of new life. From birds hatching to flowers blooming to trees re-growing their leaf canopy. No matter the species, all living things need three things to thrive - food, water, and a hospitable habitat.

The idea of greening events is not new. Event planners and venues have been looking for ways to make events more sustainable and reduce the amount of waste produced from these mass gatherings. Reducing paper with mobile apps and providing recycling and composting options are popular ways to shrink a carbon footprint. We wanted to go beyond those tried and true methods and look at events as a living being, examining how to provide the keys to life in a way that benefits not only attendees, but the planet as whole.

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Battling Short Attention Spans

A 2015 study conducted by Microsoft found that the average attention span is about eight seconds. This gives us about five more seconds to keep your attention.

Still with us? Keep reading to learn how to do the same with your attendees.

Getting people to your event is only the first step. Once they arrive, you have to battle for their attention. Work-related emails, text messages from home, social media check-ins, and even the quest for the next level in Candy Crush all threaten to steal the focus of attendees. We've pulled together a couple of ideas to put to work as you battle to make it past the eight second mark.

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Names Have Power. Be Sure to Pick the Right One

The government market is not known for having catchy or memorable slogans. Job titles of executives routinely spread over two lines. Legislative actions are named as blandly as possible and then later nicknames are coined for easier pronunciation, quick recall or political branding. Look at how the Personal Responsibility in Food Consumption Act became the Cheeseburger Bill and how the Affordable Care Act became Obamacare.

It's not surprising then that events for the government audience tend to follow these same naming patterns. While music lovers have Lollapalooza and entertainment fans have Comic Con, Federal workers attend Government Software Forums and Data Analysis for the New Threat Landscape. While these are important and serious topics, we'd like to challenge government meeting planners to come up with more creative naming conventions to drive interest and excitement around these critical topics.

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