The latest news for marketers, conference planners, association leaders and more.

Here’s what the Blue House Sales Group team is reading this week: 
    • 4 Steal-Worthy Strategies From One Association’s Virtual Conference: Each of these four strategies tackle a different aspect of virtual conference planning, but all of them are grounded in the basic tenet of communication, communication, communication. From surveying attendees on their needs to facilitating interactive moments during the event and even interacting with attendees year-round, these are great examples of how to ensure your next virtual conference is people-centric. | BizBash
    • IHG: Nearly 40 Percent of U.S. Workers Say Lack of Business Travel Demotivates Them: Are you finding yourself missing your usual business trip routine? You’re not alone! According to a new survey from InterContinental Hotels Group, 45 percent of respondents said business travel improves their working mood, while 41 percent said business travel helps them work smarter. The benefits of face-to-face communication trickle out into many more aspects of business, including sales. So while some associations may be worried about how this past year will impact future in-person events, we think it’s safe to say that a good number of people will be itching to get back on the road again once it’s safe to do so. | Business Travel News 
    • How Business Leaders Can Prepare For The Next Health Crisis: The coronavirus pandemic took a lot of businesses by surprise, leaving many in reactionary mode, scrambling to adjust their operations. Rather than leaving things up to chance again, this article from HBR outlines four levels of preparedness that businesses can adopt for the future. From ensuring supply-chain flexibility to securing adequate PPE resources and more, it offers a full spectrum of guidance to make sure you are ready for the next crisis – whatever it may be. | Harvard Business Review
    • Failure To Launch: Everything We Learned From Hosting Two Unsuccessful Virtual Events: While it is true that you can learn a lot from failure, we prefer to learn from others’ mistakes. This article outlines a number of key tips, strategies and contingency plans that can help prevent a total meltdown of your virtual event. | Event Marketer
    • What Exhibitors And Sponsors Want From Virtual Events In 2021 : It’s the question we all keep going back to this year: what are people really looking for from their virtual events? This article focuses on exhibitors and sponsors in particular, and advises incorporating their wants and needs earlier on in your conference planning. We’ve always found that actively seeking out input from our exhibiting partners has been essential to our approach – and that is all the more true this year. | Associations Now
    • Skittish Is A Virtual Event Space Built From The Lessons Of The Pandemic : Maybe the key to virtual event success is…cute animal avatars? At least that’s what new virtual event platform Skittish is positing. While we’ll reserve judgement on the platform’s cutesy style, it does showcase some interesting innovation in terms of creating an online event that feels more like an in-person event. Using digital avatars and proximity-based voice chat, Skittish allows attendees to “wander” around the event space and engage with one another in real time. Weird or genius? Only time will tell. | The Verge
    • New Study Finds 3 Steps For Boosting Your B2B Marketing Effectiveness : This article has great common sense tips and reminders for boosting the impact of your B2B marketing strategy. One valuable insight: remember that middle management often provides key guidance on upper-level decision making. How are you, as a marketer, reaching those people? And as an association, how are you facilitating those connections? | AdAge
    • Big Tech Lobbying Groups Sue Maryland To Stop Country’s First Digital Advertising Tax : Understanding that digital advertising is an important part of any marketing plan these days, we make a point of staying informed on not just the latest trends – but the latest rules and regulations too. Most recently, Big Tech platforms like Amazon, Facebook and Google are pushing back on a new Maryland state tax that targets companies making more than $100 million a year selling digital advertising. While this story remains ongoing, these types of decisions will likely have a ripple effect on the digital advertising landscape moving forward. | CNN

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