Your guests are not going to put their phones away. So now what?

We’ve read a lot of blog posts lately about all the ways you can try to get your guests to put their phones away at your wedding. So as the parents of teenagers, let us tell you the only way to get them to put their phones away is to take them, put them in a basket and not hand them back until they leave the Thanksgiving table. No really, your guests are not going to respect your wishes to put their phones away. It’s 2017!

We applaud your noble attempts to fight the culture, and by all means follow all of the blog tips we’ve all read lately, they may or may not help a little. Or, rather than fight against the culture, use the culture to your advantage. Here are real actual useful tips for helping to guide your guests towards using their phones for good instead of evil.

#1 You’re engaged! Awesome! We are all so excited that #shesaidyes and now we want you to create a wedding brand, all forms of social media accounts, and a website. You can use many of the free wedding driven cookie cutter sites out there. If you’re tech savvy you can create your own free lifelong wordpress or squarespace site and blog. Or if you’re busy, you can hire an expert like us to do it for you.  Whatever you do, do it soon. Have a designated email account, website, snapchat, instagram, and facebook page. All of this will come in handy while you are planning your big day and this will all last a lifetime as you grow as a couple and family, throughout your life together.

#2 Hashtag your wedding. That’s right, embrace the fact that it is 2017, we’ve all had iPhones for nearly 10 years (or ok ten years for some of us electronics nerds) and even your grandma knows “#” doesn’t mean “pound” or “number sign” anymore. So #hashtag your wedding with a brand to last the ages. You can bring it back for all of your future events – anniversaries, holiday parties at your house, birthdays, milestones, family photos and life events.

#3 Make a point of putting a heartfelt blog post on your website asking your guests to respect your wishes regarding their phones and social media. Keep them off and away during your ceremony. Always keep the volume on silent, turn off notifications and vibrations. If they do take photos, videos, or snapchats on your wedding day, ask them to make sure they don’t obstruct anyone’s view, especially that of the paid photographer, or the bridal party. Remind them that if they take any pictures or videos for any form of social media, you want them to share it with you using your hashtag. This is important! It will remind them if it isn’t something appropriate to post publicly connected to your wedding then they shouldn’t post it PERIOD. It makes a difference if they know you will be looking.

#4 Buy a geofilter for snapchat for your wedding venue on your wedding day. It’s very affordable. They offer templates you can customize online at their website, or you can hire an expert like us to create a custom geofilter for you. Again, if they know their videos are going to be something you will watch while you’re waiting for your plane the next day, they are NOT going to embarrass themselves or you. You’ll have the added benefit of being able to save and capture all of these moments right away. It’s like the table disposable cameras of the 90’s but with instant gratification, and really cute frames for every picture.

#5 Remind your guests on your wedding day. Use your signs to remind guests of your hashtag, and your requests. Ask your ushers to remind them. Put a note on your wedding programs and menus. Use these printed materials and signs to remind them of your hashtags, and ask them to tag your social media wedding accounts.

#6 Use your hashtag for fun at the cocktail hour and reception. You can even incorporate your social media pages and hashtags in to your wedding day by asking people to post a message on Instagram using a video and the hashtag during the cocktail hour or reception. If you have reception games, incorporate the hashtag and social media in to your games. Have a contest for different categories, or just one – the best candid shot, the prize can be the first dinner party with the couple in your new home after you return from your honeymoon and are ready to entertain.

You and your guests have all grown very attached to your phones. You can stress about keeping them out of your wedding day, or try directing how and when they are used. We hope these ideas help you make a choice that works for you and your guests.

 

FOMO is going to help you market, if you don’t miss out that is

 

Most companies find occasions to celebrate throughout the years – holidays, a new office open house, product launches, retirement celebrations, summer picnics, fun companies even make their offsides fit in to this category. We’re certain you’ve created your own traditions and you have special inside jokes you share at these events, that make plus ones and spouses super uncomfy (in a good way – a team building way) but how much time is somebody on your staff spending planning these events? Is it the best use of their time or your money?

Large companies have long since learned the value of an event planner, some have full time event planners on staff as part of their marketing teams, because for many companies events have become key marketing tools in their lead gen strategy. Smaller companies, especially in local markets, haven’t quite yet realized the potential customers sitting out there waiting for them to find each other through events and related lead gen gold.

Millenials have made news lately for killing off a lot of relics of the past, like tired restaurant chains, stores that exist only in malls but not online, and Confederate statues. They’re also killing the old traditional forms of advertising.

Creative industries, entertainment, restaurants, bars and hotels need to evolve their marketing strategies or they will continue to lose customers to online apps, pop ups and online only competitors outside of their local market.

How does all of this come together? Small businesses in local markets need to be better at marketing together, and local events are key.

Don’t wait for the once a year trade shows or hope you can get enough people to write good reviews about you online so that one day you’ll reach the top of Yelp or TripAdvisor. Forget about that happening anyway if you aren’t buying ads through many of these social connectors.

This is Portland, where the event and entertainment industry is dominated by creative giants in small businesses. As one who’s been active for political and community groups as a community organizer, I’ve learned a thing or two million about using the internet to fund raise, grow support, capture information and mobilize communities in to action.

What you are missing as a small business when you organize your events in house, is developing a relationship with an event planner who can help you see the connection between your holiday party, summer picnic, team offsite, and your next product launch.

Every political campaign since Howard Dean, has recognized the need to gather and capture information from their supporters. So why haven’t small businesses figured out how well this model can work for them? Connecting with your community, capturing info from those who engage and attend your events or seminars, that is how you will grow your business and tap in to your share of the market.

Your events are as much a part of your brand as your logo. Connecting those events in a meaningful way, in essence, branding your events, will help you see the connection between how you celebrate and how you connect to your local market.

FOMO is the most powerful marketing tool to capture Millenials and Gen Z. The question is, how will you tap into it? What events can you put together to market your brand? And how will you connect your events to who you are? How will you bring your event to social media, and collect data from your event to help move you forward? And how will you include other local companies in your event in mutually beneficial ways? We can help. Contact us today for a free consultation.

One thing everyone needs to stop doing today…

We know we are more tech savvy and in to social media than many people in their 20s-40s… occupational hazard and all. But seriously, there is something everyone from brides to event industry giants need to stop doing, today.

We live on Twitter. Our founders have been on twitter since before the kids today knew how to use a cell phone. Even before everyone had a smart phone and an app for twitter, we were using TweetDeck on our ancient desk tops. So listen to us when we say stop linking to Facebook posts or pages from twitter.

Some different forms of social media work well together, some are owned by the same parent company. While tweeting a link to your fb post might save you time, it absolutely kills your click throughs from twitter and annoys those of us who want to feel like you’ve gotten to the instant point on twitter.

The whole point of twitter is to satisfy those of us with a short attention span. We want you to show and tell us every bit of your key points – instantly. And if that messaging is on key, we’ll click through to your blog post or home page and love you for not sending us to Facebook, where we will be forced to read about Aunt Sally’s political views or Cousin Terri’s workout routine.