Endless was invited by fellow event industry blogger, Monica of boomset.com, and we wanted to take this opportunity to talk a bit about the how and why behind the Endless event production blog. We’ll be covering some of the questions they asked us, as well as some additional ones, which we figured would come to mind.
Why a blog about event production?
At Endless, we are obsessed with customer service. We love going above and beyond with our clients and showing them that event planning does not have to be stressful but instead it can be super easy and fun. You can read more about our mission to change the event industry, specially event production here. With that being said, we realized that working one-on-one with our clients wasn’t going to be the only thing to change the industry but instead we came to the conclusion that we needed to help educate the industry.
I have been blogging ever since middle school back when they were called weblogs and WordPress was a new thing. Fun fact, I worked for a blogging platform called ModBlog, which at the time had been a major competitor to LiveJournal. Because of this past experience, I knew a blog could create a community and there had not been a serious attempt to educate the industry about how event production and AV should be. The Endless blog is our gift to educate planners on AV and event production.
What are your tips for creating meaningful content?
The first thing we do when creating a piece of content is to look at our buyer personas. We ask ourselves, what is the biggest problem facing our buyer personas right now or what could we share with them that would make their job infinitely easier? Our buyer personas even have names: Experienced Emilio, Show Stopper Sarah, Beginner Betsey and Creative Carries and I bet nearly each and every one of you fits into one of the personas.
Once we have an idea of what a persona wants, we do research. A ton of research. Some of you may know that we call ourselves the Einsteins of events and we love to relate everything to science and math. Well most mathematical and scientific discoveries would not exist without research and we feel the best blogs need in-depth research. Sometimes we have all of the knowledge in our head but we want to find the best videos and pictures to make the concepts even easier to understand.
Also from a marketing side, we do a lot of research on things like keywords and articles that may/may not have been written on the topic so far. We want to make our content really stand out in the vast sea of content.
How do you use social media to promote your content along with your services?
We believe that our main channel is our blog and email however, we want to attract people who aren’t currently email subscribers to check out our blog. So we utilize social media to promote our content to the far stretches of the web so people who may not have heard of Endless can check us out.
We also use social media (to some of our clients’ surprise) at events to rapidly evolve and improve our services. We’re constantly watching social media at our events to get feedback from attendees and in some cases, we will even help relay that back to the event planner to make improvements. For example, is the general session super cold and everyone is complaining about it, maybe someone complains about the sound being just a bit too loud, we can make those adjustments instantly.
We also monitor social media constantly for people who might need our help. Using our awesome social media tools, we are able to put our ear down to the ground and listen and respond to help people.
Lastly, we also use social media to learn more about our clients. Not many people know this but every time we prepare for an event, the lead event manager prepares what we call “event binders” for the event. This not only has the important information about the event such as layouts, quotes, crew schedule, and so on, but it also includes information our staff could find about the client. We want our clients to feel at home and to feel like we know them like a friend so we use social media to find their likes/dislikes and favorite things.
How do you determine what blogs you’re going to write?
The better question is, how do we determine what to write first? We have a huge backlog of ideas in which we use Trello to manage our entire publishing process. If you haven’t seen Trello, check it out because it’s an amazingly simple, yet powerful tool. The backlog of ideas is create by talking to our team to find out what are the things our clients are asking- these usually come first. Then we look into major insider tips that we think our personas want to know about. We want to put our personas back into the driver’s seat when considering an AV company, and a lot of the tips we share are considered well-kept secrets in the industry, or while they aren’t well kept, they aren’t well known. The last thing we look for is cool productions or ideas, we don’t think our personas have seen yet. For example, did a tech company just do a really awesome projection mapping at their latest conference? We want to share these awesome ideas because we think they are great examples of event production elevating the event experience.
What value do you find in creating content for guest blogging?
I’ll take this question from both perspectives. Value of creating content for other people’s blogs, and the value of having awesome people writing on our blog as well.
First, the value of creating content for other blogs has it’s obvious marketing reasons (SEO links, clicks back to your site, etc), however I think it is WAY more powerful than that. First, you are coming into a blog with new ideas and fresh voice. This allows you to share your ideas and concepts to an audience that may not be accustomed to what you do. My hope is that if I can educate one person during a guest webinar, blog or piece of content, then that blog was worth writing.
Second is having guest writers on your blog. Again this has it’s obvious marketing reasons (guest bloggers will promote to their networks, and it gives you the opportunity to have another new article on your blog), however the thing I love about having others write on our blog is that they get to share their new ideas with our audience. We admit that we are not the end all be all resource of event production nor events (though we’d eventually love to be), so we want to share as much unique content as possible and by bringing in subject matter experts, we have a fresh perspective on our blog for our loyal readers to enjoy.
How do you remain consistent in such a demanding industry?
At Endless, we have a high standard when it comes to content. We create an entire guide that we share with our bloggers that outlines, and educates in detail how to write the best content. We know that as long as we continue to have this standard of excellence, people will know Endless as a resource for event production for years to come.
We have noticed that as your blog grows in popularity so does the demand for others to want to write on your blog. We have found that a majority of these “guest blogs” tend to be of low quality and their only desire is not to create value in your community but instead get links back to their site. So when we have a guest blogger approach us, they go through a rigorous screening process so their content is vetted and perfect for our audience. We also put a huge emphasis on going out to find our guest bloggers and inviting them, rather than accepting unsolicited guest blogs.
One of the biggest thing that keeps us consistent is not just one thing at all- it’s all the small things (break out the Blink 182 CD, please). We realized that the quality our writers come from doing a lot of small things well, from the design of the site, to the way we format each blog, to the consistent schedule we keep, and making sure our blog is always up (downtime is a no-no).
Keeping our high standards for content is what allows us to stay relevant in the demanding event industry.
How do you know you’re on the right track?
When you start seeing industry influencers sharing your content, you start getting comments all over your event or everyone starts copying you because you’re doing so well. Also, we notice it when we talk to our clients and they are better educated in event production.
What is next in store for the Endless event production blog?
I don’t want to reveal too much about what we’re doing but I can tell you the main word to describe our blog and content strategy is: “more”. We realized that our backlog of questions we want to answer is getting longer and longer and the more we publish awesome content, the more our audience devours it up. However, we aren’t going to replace quality with quantity. We are especially working on writing longer and more in depth articles. We want to give you enough information that you empowered to make the best decisions possible.
Thank you so much to each and every one of our readers, we write our content because of you and we really appreciate all of the awesome shares, likes and comments you give us. We hope to keep bring you awesome content and if you have any questions, comments or concerns, feel free to leave me a comment below and I’d love to answer them.