Read This – Make Way For The Voice Revolution In The Events Industry

Voice activated devices and voice control are quickly becoming an integral part of our lives. We’ve become so dependent on technologies like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant that this technology is often overlooked and taken for granted. While we’ve accustomed ourselves to voice controls, is the event ecosystem ready to brace the revolution in voice? My bet is that it will soon make way and completely overhaul the attendee experience.

Voice revolution

According to eMarketer, 35.6 million Americans are expected to use a voice-activated assistant device at least once a month in 2017. This number is a 130% year on year jump. eMarketer forecasts that Amazon will dominate this space soon, but that might change with a rising number of investors thinking that things will change much rapidly. For now, it is a two-way battle between Amazon and Google, with Apple and Microsoft nowhere in the picture.

The growing acceptance of voice-controlled personal assistants among consumers will result in an increased expectation of technology in the future. As people become more acceptable and comfortable with this technology, they’ll expect it to be used in other areas as well. This rising expectation will naturally spill over to the event industry through event apps. In an already evolving event technology landscape, adopting voice controls can prove to be fruitful for those who embrace it and disastrous for those who miss the wagon.

Voice Applications in the Event Industry

Event Registration and Check-in

With the rapid advances in check-in technology in the event, the queue times has drastically reduced. The adoption of Near Field Communication and other onsite check-in solutions have quickly transformed the way attendees experience event check in. I think the future check-in option will be an automated, voice based system. The solution will recognize attendees by their voice and reduce the check in time even further.

Information Retrieval

AI-powered voice controlled apps have become quite common in homes and on smartphones. As people become more dependent on this technology, information retrieval by asking questions is likely to become the trend. For event apps, one instance would be giving registrants the ability to locate sessions by simply asking “where is the next session?”

Voice-powered vending machines

Vending machines with voice control have been there for a while. It is likely to become popular at events too, with robot vendors offering services to attendees. While many people may still prefer a human vendor, attendees who have a tight schedule may opt for robot vendors to save service time.

Vocal event feedback

Voice control devices can work both ways. It can help attendees get useful information, and at the same time, give feedback in their own voice. Mixed with real-time emotional tracking, the entire way of receiving feedback from attendees is drastically going to change in the near future.

Expected roadblocks before this becomes a reality

Even though voice control devices look promising to enhance attendee experience, there is still a long way to go. There are still issues related to security and reliability. A major security threat to the implementation of such devices is accessing data simply by mimicking the voice of others. As security enhances gradually, this problem might be overcome, but for now, dual factor authentication is likely to reign supreme.

Another issue is the reliability of voice control. Has it ever happened that you’ve said something and Siri or Cortana have misinterpreted it? I am sure this is common with people who have strong accents. This can be problematic if the voice-controlled assistant misinterprets accent during a large event. While voice control can enhance the user experience, it only takes a single misunderstood word to make information inaccessible. That’s when the search boxes and menus will come handy.

Final thoughts

The growing popularity of voice controlled devices will result in a much higher level of attendees’ expectations. Whether or not voice control becomes the defacto interface or not, it is too early to predict. But either way, it is going to be a game changer in the events industry.

Learn From This – 8 Mistakes To Avoid When Pitching An Angel Investor

The secret to getting your business startup pitch accepted by an angel investor comes down to understanding where others before you have failed. While their attempts may have been fruitless, it doesn’t mean they yours have to be. Learning from their mistakes can give you the edge you need to succeed and garner the attention of a private investor to take your business to the next level. Here are the top 10 mistakes that entrepreneurs make when it comes to pitching an investor on their big idea.

1. Pitching An Investor That’s Not Interested
Sure, you may want a particular investor to seed your business startup, but soliciting a funder without permission can get your name blacklisted in the investor circle. Stick to investors that have shown an interest in your market as well as your company for your best shot at rising to the top of the crop.

Recognizing which private investors are vested in your company before you pitch them can increase your odds of scoring a deal and prevent a time-consuming dance with an investor that has no interest in doing business with you.

2. Excessive Business Plans
Having a thorough business plan to provide to angel funder is a savvy business move. Making sure it is readable and easy to absorb quickly will set you apart from the crowd. Too often entrepreneurs get hung up on their idea and can overload a private investor with too many details that are just nuances to them. This can cause an investor to lose interest quickly as they don’t have the time or the patience to fully read the proposal.

Instead, try to include a short but detailed executive summary and a PowerPoint deck that they can page through. They will be sure to ask you questions if they need additional details to make their decision. It is better to give them the highlights in a concise and informative way than bore them into submission with your overabundance of information.

3. Failing To Show The Market Opportunity
During your pitch, it is your opportunity to show your angel investor the potential of the opportunity at hand. You want them to embark on the journey with you, and you need to seize the moment. Show them the market possibility and let them see the burgeoning potential before them.

Assuming that your private investor is already versed in the market can be a mistake that you may regret. You need to use your pitch as a chance to inform and educate them on what you know and are wholeheartedly excited about.

4. Ignoring Your Competition
Going into a pitch where you choose to ignore the competition may not be the best move as your seed investor is keenly aware that you have competition. They want to know who they are and how dangerous they are to your business startup.

Do your homework on your competitors and be prepared to tell your business angel what separates your business startup from their established company and how you plan to excel past them. If you go in with a plan of attack and acknowledge your competitors, you’ll fare better and show your experience in the industry as well.

5. Not Showing How The Product Works
Presenting a pitch to an angel investor pitch can make even the most confident of entrepreneurs wrought with nerves. This can explain why many first-time business start-ups fail to show how their product works. They forget the entire demo aspect of the pitch and the real part of the show that helps seal the deal.

Let your business angel know what problem your product or service solves. Be sure to walk them through how it works. Give them samples and make sure before you send your pitch that they understand it as intimately as you do.

6. Sidelining The Team
If you bring your team for support to your angel investor pitch, don’t forget to include them in the presentation. They are a valuable part of your business, and you need showcase their skills and talents. Let them help present the pitch and use their areas of expertise to your advantage.

Angel investors like to see all the people that will help a business startup thrive and a good team backing you can help push you to the next phase of the funding process.

7. Unrealistic Valuations
Going into an investor pitch with a valuation that reaches the sky may not be the best strategy to gain interest from your seed funder. They will be immediately turned off by the impracticable number and show opposition to the rest of your pitch. Be frank in your valuation and be ready to support the number you have provided.

If you feel your valuation is dead on, go with it and be confident in your decision. Show your investor your worth and provide evidence to back your valuation during your pitch.

8. Failing To Research, Your Investor
One of the most important things you can do as a business startup looking to pitch an investor is to do your homework on them before you meet. You should know their business interests as well as their achievements and be able to recite their history forward and back. The more you know about them, the better, as you can be assured they have done their homework on you.

Avoiding the mistakes that fellow entrepreneurs have made can help give you that needed boost during your angel investor pitch, and you avoid the pitfalls that have become others. Use these errors to your advantage to really impress your angel investor and close the deal you have been envisioning for your business startup.

Make a Decision – Making Steps to Buying Your Next Business Program Sold at an Event

How to Avoid Making Impulsive Purchases from Success-Promising Gurus

I recently attended a 3-day business conference in Vancouver. There were about 500 people in attendance, all business owners and entrepreneurs who where there to network, learn and be inspired.

All in all, it was a great event that resulted in my meeting new people and gaining valuable insights that I brought home with me to infuse into my business.

The conference boasted nine high-profile speakers including thought leaders like Jack Canfield, Dr. John Gray and James Malinchak. Their talks were entertaining, insightful, informative and motivating.

They certainly learned the craft of being an influential presence on the stage well.

But make no mistake, each of these speakers were there with the sole purpose of promoting their wares and influencing the audience to purchase their key strategies, programs and courses that promised business success.

And they succeeded.

The volume of people that ran to the back of the room to grab their limited-time, extraordinary low-cost offering before it was sold out was mind boggling.

As a member of that audience, I was fascinated by what I was witnessing. Perhaps it was my state of mind or the confidence I already felt in my capabilities of achieving further business success, but I was not at all tempted to be a part of the crowd to run to the back of the room and grab a purchase.

I looked around and saw men and women who were involved in a variety of different businesses and industries. Many of whom where desperate to get that SECRET FORMULA that would transform their struggles into riches.

And the speakers on the stage knew this and played right into their hands.

Throughout the 3 days, the audience was presented with lots of solutions, advanced systems and formulas on how to achieve success in their business. But the problem is, not all proposed solutions were ideal for everyone.

But what is a business owner and entrepreneur to do?

They are attending such events to help them with their business so are naturally attracted to the offers made up on the stage.

So to help avoid make irrational and emotionally-based decisions when faced with the pressure of live event and even free webinar offers, here’s 5 steps on what to think about first before jumping in with the crowd and grabbing your purchase:

1. Think things through first. Ask yourself if this opportunity is truly going to get you the return on your investment if you make the purchase. What are you willing to commit to in order to get the most out of that investment?

The key here is to understanding success is not just going to happen by signing up, but to actually do the work. Are you realistically willing to do the work? Are you going to be 100% committed to this or will you get home, set it aside, and promise to get to it when you get a chance?

None of these programs will get you the results these presenters are talking about if you’re not committed enough to follow through on every single step provided.

2. Be objectively critical. When these speakers are on the stage, they are sharing the best success stories possible – the cream of the crop. Often this reflects only a minor percentage of those who have taken the program.

Analyze. Be objective. And don’t make emotionally-based decisions that compel you run to the back of the room and purchase. This is exactly what they are counting on.

3. Decide if your business can truly benefit from what you will learn. Just because they are telling you this on stage doesn’t mean it’s a perfect fit for you, your business model and your goals.

As an example, if you have the gift of service and support, then more than likely will not do well learning to be a speaker on stage, despite that presenter saying “anyone can do this using my system and processes”.

If you have the gift of, say, music, then being a published author is probably not something you should pursue, despite being provided with a “fool-proof, iron-clad method that will get you on the Amazon best seller list”.

Ask yourself if what this presenter is offering exactly what you need to learn in order to reach your business goals or is there something better suited for you available elsewhere? Do you really need to learn all of this yourself or is hiring someone who is an expert in that area a better decision that will help reach your goals quicker without having to become an expert in that field first?

4. Recognize the emotional manipulation that’s happening. We see this all the time. Whether you’re attending conferences or online webinars, there’s always a “limited time offer” that makes it irresistible to pass up.

Don’t let these “One-time-only offers” lead you into thinking this is the only chance you’ll ever get to take advantage of what’s being offered. It simply isn’t true. It’s a sales tactic that preys on people who make emotional decisions and don’t want to be left out or miss out on an incredible opportunity.

These programs will all still be offered after the hype ends. Even if that means paying $50 more, so be it. Give yourself time to objectively work through the pros and cons and decide whether it’s worth your investment or not.

Don’t let your emotions be triggered by the slick sales speech or written sales copy on a page.

5. Do your research. This may not necessarily be the case for headliner speakers we see on the stage, but sadly, there are a lot of very smooth-talking “gurus” out there who are nothing but smoke and mirrors. They offer a lot of hype but little substance.

Do your pocketbook a favour; before investing in any kind of program or product, research the person selling it first. Do a Google search and see if any bad reviews come up. Ask people in your social media groups if they’ve had any experience with that person and what were the results.

Your goal is to make an informed decision, not an emotional one based on the promises of the sales copy. And if you do encounter negative reviews – listen to your gut. So many times wrong decisions are still made because, as human beings, we’re highly influenced by emotions and we can easily justify our actions based on those promises despite finding evidence to the contrary.

After reading this, you might think I’m against purchasing programs and courses all together but that’s not the case at all. I’m not saying not to invest in business growth strategies, but instead to make informed, objective decisions on which investments to make in the first place.

The sad fact is that marketing can be a very manipulative process that is meant to create fear- and lack-based, emotional responses. The people we see on stage, as well as those that do highly visible free webinars, are masters at pulling these emotional triggers.

Simply be aware of that manipulation and follow the guide I outlined above to help you decide whether or not your business can truly benefit from that investment you’re being asked to make.