Planning and Marketing Conferences and Workshops Term Paper

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Planning & Marketing Conferences & Workshops

The importance of planning

Getting feedback from others

Administering a workshop or conference

The details of work that can be done in conferences

Preparing for a conference

Facilities available at conferences

At the outset of this exercise, we must start by defining planning and this has been defined as a proactive decision making within an organization. The importance of planning and marketing can start an ongoing process that helps an organization to design the services to meet the needs of the customer. This helps in removal of the traditional focus on internal operations and to the expectations of the customer and convenience. There have also been suggestions from experts like Weygand in 1995 that marketing audit should be an ongoing process in every organization to find out the trends and changes that are taking place in the market. (Planning and Marketing) Nowadays the promotion budgets for most organizations are very tight and a lot of thought is given to the conferences that people plan to attend. As an initial comment, one can say that it is true from 2003 that most of the decision makers are keen on attending only the important and big conferences, and also attending the conferences at the local, state or regional shows. Wherever the conference may be, it is one of the areas where they are able to interact with the people who use their services. (Making Conferences Work for You)

Body of the Paper

The importance of planning

Let us take a situation where an executive is making a marketing brief for the agency's use. The most important beginning to planning can be achieved by understanding the present position of the organization as that will help the organization of events in a manner to achieve greater heights through the next plan. The first important aspect is to know the product and this is defined in terms of the benefit to customers, the strengths and weaknesses of the product, and its uses. This information is very important when you have to put it down on paper or on visuals. The last important aspect on this question is the difference of the product from competition or the USP. The second important aspect of any product is its position in the market, and this refers to the trends in its market share as to whether it is growing or declining. (Planning a successful marketing campaign)

Declines normally take place due to superior products having come into the market, or it may be just due to bad communication. If these aspects are studied they may provide new insights as to the methods of improving the situation of the product. The third important thing is to know the competitors well enough, along with their own, individual strengths and weaknesses. This will sometimes help in the discovery of certain opportunities in the market that could be fulfilled by the product that the product under review could fulfill. The next natural step is the knowledge of the situation in the market, and this is in terms of the activities of the competitors. This knowledge helps in the differentiation of the product from the others in the market. Even if there is a direct competition with a product, this may help.

In the fifth stage, one has to start looking at the objective of the campaign and this could be different like introduction of a new product, capture additional market share or inform the consumers of a new development in the product. The purpose of the campaign often determines the style of communication, and this also incorporates the information that has been gathered in the first four points. The sixth important aspect of marketing is the coordination of the activities in marketing with the other activities of the organization, and every campaign has to be fitted in with all other activities of the organization. This often means a link with the activities of the sales team and there may be requirement of linking up marketing campaigns with the activities of the sales team. Thus any plan of the marketing group has to link up with the activities of the entire organization. (Planning a successful marketing campaign)

The seventh important point is the targeting of market properly and this is also called market segmentation. Once the market has been decided, then they have to be approached precisely without wasting efforts at others. Normally the help in this regard comes from the agencies, but even the marketing executive should have clear ideas about the customers and the magazines read by them, TV programs seen by them, the exhibitions, workshops and conferences they attend. The eighth important point is a decision on the type of marketing activity that is to be carried out. This is often decided according to the budget that is available, and the aims of the campaign, but definitely has to take into account the customers and the styles of presentations they like, their choice and availability of media.

The ninth important point is the available budget for the campaign as this will ultimately limit the campaign. The budget is often determined the stage of the product in the product life cycle and this makes it essential that the budget is planned realistically. If the budget is not enough to plan for a national TV campaign then there is no point considering it, one has to just think of the alternatives. The tenth important point in any marketing planning is free and clear communication of ideas, as the people discussing the plan are not mind readers and every participant's ideas are very valuable, but the others have to know about them. The greater the amount of free interaction, the better will be the quality of the campaign. The final point is the clear flow of information and for this purpose, it is better to communicate only through specified channels within the marketing team, as otherwise it will lead to a lot of confusion in carrying out the specified work. (Planning a successful marketing campaign)

Getting feedback from others

The next important question is the method of making the company or the product most important to the decision makers. This question cannot be answered directly, and it is better to hold meetings for this purpose. The first day of the meeting should be for the management executives, and the second day for the other staff and the outside agencies. During the time the entire discussion goes on, it has to be moderated, and for this purpose an outside moderator is the best. This point is given great importance by most people connected with the product or service, and everyone would be interested in contributing their own ideas.

The process helps in providing ideas for the improvement of business and builds up a consensus within the team working on the product. There is general agreement that time on these discussions is time well spent. The second set of workshops can be the interaction with panels consisting of experts from the customers. Normally all companies hold meetings of customer advisory boards once a year, but that is not enough, and the other problem is that people do not like to discuss freely at formal meetings. In the era of new information technology, it is better if companies decide to communicate with their own customer panels through e-mail. (Use meetings and conferences in your marketing mix)

The discussions can be about new product ideas to advertising concepts. This sort of service can be made available all round the clock and the costs are the lowest. The speed of sending out and receiving the data is also very low and can be as low as two days. This makes it possible to go through many types of surveys. This is a new and unique method that helps in changing the traditional formula of marketing that has been going on for years, and the aim is to make the exercise more entertaining to the customers. There are also other methods that increase the value of the money that is spent on marketing. These come out from unconventional thinking. One of these was the Nick and Nite's parade called "I love Lucy" parade where women dressed up as Lucy and paraded through New York City and this resulted in a very large amount of publicity and awareness. This technique is often used by liquor companies where they regularly put their employees in different clubs and purchase rounds for other people to get them familiar to the taste of their new brands. (Use meetings and conferences in your marketing mix)

One of the systems is to create a four or five person advisory board of experts from outside the company who could then be used for giving good ideas regarding the problems faced by the company. These people have to be clear about the subject that they are likely to discuss and they have to be given a brief summary of the issue about…

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