New Feature: Messaging Module Draft Recipient List

The Messaging Module now includes a feature that allows call admins to view the list of recipients for a message before the message is sent!

screenshot of linkJust create your message like you always have. When you go to preview the message, you’ll see a link at the end of the "To" header (right) indicating how many messages will be sent. Click that link and a window will open with a list of the recipients and how many copies each will receive. (Recipients receive one copy per proposal, so someone with multiple proposals would receive more than one copy of the message.)

The link is also displayed for draft messages on the main Messaging Module page.

After a message has been sent, the link is replaced with a list of actual recipients and the delivery status for each one.

New Feature: Labels in the Messaging Module

Call admins can now use proposal labels when defining message recipients in the Messaging Module!

screenshot of labels option in Messaging ModuleWhen you create a message for proposals, you’ll notice the "To" section (right) now has a "Labels" option to the right of the status and recipients options. (Unlike the status and recipients options, the Labels option is optional and only displayed if your call actually has labels. Also, it’s only available for messages to proposals, not reviewers.)

To use the new labels option, just click it and select the label(s) you would like to include in your selection criteria. As before, the "Total emails to be sent" counter will immediately update to reflect the number of recipients that match your criteria.

If you select more than one label, it’s important to understand that a proposal will only be considered a match if the selected labels are a subset of the proposal’s labels. In other words, a proposal’s labels must contain all of the labels you provide. For example, if you want to send a message to all proposals labeled "a" and "b", a proposal labeled "a", "b", and "c" will be a match, but one labeled just "a" will not. Nor will one labeled "a" and "c".

As always, if you have any feedback—especially ideas for improvement—please don’t hesitate to let us know!

Tips for Integrating TikTok Into Your Conference or Event

What is TikTok?

TikTok logoIn 2014, a company called Musical.ly released an app designed to make it easy for anyone with a smartphone to upload short-looping videos of themselves lip-syncing songs. In 2018, Musical.ly merged with TikTok, another video-sharing service. Content generated with the app has quickly evolved beyond simple lip-sync videos to include just about any type of brief, viral content imaginable, including memes, pranks, and challenges. As of late 2019, the app has reportedly been downloaded 1.5 billion times and has an astounding 700 million active daily users.

From celebrities to college students, the platform has become a prime option for reaching new audiences and ensuring a brand is part of relevant trends and cultural movements. So if you want your conference or event to be at the forefront of social-media marketing and engagement, check out our tips for integrating TikTok.

Marketing Your Event

TikTok’s users tend to skew young compared to most other social-media platforms. According to TikTok itself, 41 percent of its users are between 16 and 24. So while you might not get an immediate return on investment, you can begin building interest and excitement in a younger audience segment that will begin filling your member/attendee pipeline.

With TikTok’s huge (and growing) userbase, many content creators have already accumulated large followings that interact with the videos they post. Similar to how you might work with a blogger or Instagram influencer, you can look for a creator on TikTok that has a connection to your industry. Just search one of your popular industry hashtags and look through the results for a creator with a large following and branded content in their profile.

Another option is to create ads directly through TikTok similar to companies like Pepsi, H&M, and BRITA. These and other companies sponsor hashtag challenges that motivate users to utilize their products or marketing campaign themes in their video content. More about TikTok ads.

Engaging Attendees

Consider these ways you might integrate TikTok videos into your event to update or modernize conference/meeting staples:

  • Create a “TikTok corner” or photo booth, complete with your event marketing and association logo. This is really a two-for-one as attendees may also use the space to take a selfie or video and post it to other social-media platforms!
  • Use TikTok as an icebreaker in a group setting by challenging attendees to work with the person next to them to film their elevator pitch or what they’re hoping to get out of the event. This is also something that could easily be done on an attendee’s other social-media accounts if they don’t have TikTok.
  • Highlight TikTok videos that include your event hashtag just as you might do on a social-media wall or projection of tagged content on Twitter or Instagram.

Whether you’re utilizing TikTok as a marketing tool or way to engage attendees, it is all about making and sharing fun video content. You might even choose to use TikTok lip-sync videos as a way to lighten up and reenergize a room after a lunch break or longer session breakout. The possibilities are as endless as your creativity. Let us know in the comments or on the ProposalSpace Twitter if you end up integrating TikTok into your conference or event and have ideas to share!


It’s worth noting that some government agencies, like the U.S. Army and Navy, ban TikTok on employees’ devices due to security concerns regarding the company’s ownership and perceived ties to the Chinese government. So if your conference or meeting has a significant number of attendees who work for the government, your TikTok user base might not be as extensive.

Expanded Feature: Default Answers in Role Forms

Call admins can now use profile information for default answers in role forms!

Previously, the only two questions in a role form that could be auto-filled with information from a user’s profile were name and organization—both of which were hard-coded into the form. And with any other question you could only define static text for a default answer.

Now, the question-settings dialog has an additional Default Answer option for all text questions, including name and organization. You can still provide specific text to auto-fill the answer, but now you also have the option to select a data element from the user’s profile.

autofill settingIn the example to the right, the email address from a user’s profile will be used to auto-fill the question whenever someone is added to a proposal.

Currently, the following profile information is available:

  • name (first, last, and full)
  • organization
  • email address
  • phone number
  • address (street, city, state, zip, country, and full)

We’re hoping to expand the list, so if you’re a call admin and would like to have access to other information in user profiles just let us know!

BTW, when you create a new role, name and organization are still included by default as the first and second questions, with full name and organization as their default answers. Now, however, they’re fully customizable like all other questions, meaning you can move them to other positions in the form, change their default values, make them optional, etc.

Most importantly, if we just allowed profile information to be filled in automatically whenever someone adds someone else to a proposal, that would potentially give any user access to the profile information of any other user. To get around that, we’ve added a second component to give users control over whether their profile information is available. autofill privacy settingAll accounts now have a setting to enable or disable access to their profile information for the autofill feature (left). The default for all accounts is to not autofill information, so if you would like to take advantage of this new feature, just go into the Privacy Settings area of your Account Settings and check the box to turn it on!

Roles Explained

RolesRoles are an essential component of ProposalSpace. Not only do they allow for greater flexibility when collecting proposal information, they also make certain functionality possible, like the Advanced Scheduling Module’s conflict checker.

Unfortunately, they’re also one of the most misunderstood and misused features.

So what are roles?

Put simply, they are how individuals are associated with a proposal. Some examples include:

  • Presenter
  • Co-Presenter
  • Primary Contact
  • Speaker
  • Contributor
  • Nominee

For each role you create, you get to define the following:

  • Name: What you want to call the role (e.g. “Primary Contact”)
  • Description: An explanation of the role (e.g. “The Primary Contact is responsible for all communications regarding the proposal.”)
  • Minimum: The minimum number of individuals required for the role (“0” makes the role optional)
  • Maximum: The maximum number of individuals allowed for the role (“0” allows an unlimited number)
  • Role Form: Each role has its own form for collecting information about individuals added to that role (e.g. name, organization, and bio). Note that this form is different than the main submission form, which is intended for core information about the proposal, like the abstract and learner objectives.

For example, let’s say you are collecting speaker proposals for a conference and want each proposal to have a primary contact, a lead presenter, and up to five additional presenters. Traditionally, that meant the submission form had eight sections: one for the main proposal information (title, abstract, etc.), another for information related to the primary contact (name, organization, etc.), another for the lead presenter, and five more for additional presenters. All those sections took up a lot of space, especially if a proposal did not include any additional presenters.

With ProposalSpace, you just create three roles as follows:

  • Primary Contact, with a minimum of 1, a maximum of 1, and a form with questions for name, organization, and email address
  • Lead Presenter, with a minimum of 1, a maximum of 1, and a form with questions for name, organization, email address, bio, and speaking experience
  • Additional Presenter, with a minimum of 0, a maximum of 5, and a form with questions for name, organization, email address, and bio

With this setup, questions related to a role are not displayed unless the author chooses to add someone to that role.

RolesOne way to think of roles is as sheets of paper that get attached to the main proposal to compose a complete submission. The image on the right shows hows the various components from the example above are related, with the Main Proposal Form (which displays the core proposal questions, like title and abstract) and the Primary Contact, Lead Presenter, and Additional Presenter forms (which display role-specific questions, like name and organization). The key is that the role forms are only added to the main submission if needed, keeping the overall submission uncluttered.

Role ScreenshotThe screenshot to the right shows how the roles mentioned above would appear in a proposal. (Click the image for a larger view.) Only when an author clicks one of the “Add…” buttons does the system display the questions for that role… again, keeping the overall submission uncluttered.

A couple of other important things to keep in mind about roles:

  1. Every call must have at least one role. You may call it anything you like and even make it optional, but there must be at least one role. (Typically we see organizers use “Primary Contact” when there is only one role for a call.)
  2. The system does not assign anyone to a role automatically, so even if you create a role for something like “Submitter”, that person would still need to be added by someone working on the proposal. (The system does track who creates each proposal, but only displays that person’s name and organization from their profile.)

I hope this helps to explain what roles are and how to use them effectively. If you have any questions—about roles or anything else—feel free to contact us. Also, we offer free evaluations for every call as part of our unlimited support, so if you ever want feedback about how your roles are set up, just ask. We’re here to help!

Facebook Algorithm Change Can Benefit Associations

This week, Facebook changed their algorithm for users’ News Feeds, making it more difficult for “fake news” and click-bait links to gain traction on the social-media platform. According to an article on TechCrunch, Facebook will now detect and downrank links and headlines that include any of the following:

  • Exaggerative & sensational headlines
  • Headlines that withhold information
  • Misleading content

One key element of the change is that Facebook will no longer rely on the source of the offending content, instead evaluating each post individually. The update will be available to identify “fake news” in the top 10 languages that Facebook accounts use.

So what does this mean for your association? When writing headlines, especially for content that might be shared on Facebook, make sure they are clear and honest. By doing so you may drastically increase your page’s organic reach.

This change may also be a great advantage for associations advertising on Facebook to boost their own posts, links, or page. One of the primary reasons why the social media giant is making this change is to re-establish consumer trust in their News Feeds, which is prime real estate for paid ads. By withholding click bait or fake content from users, Facebook will build trust with its base and advertisers can count on more ad clicks and legitimate referral traffic.

Session Titles That Shine

An abstract’s title, description, and learning objectives are the core of every presenter’s “sales pitch” to both reviewers and attendees. However, very few presenters have an understanding of how to sell their presentation using even the most basic marketing techniques. Perhaps as a result, 95% of meeting organizers report having to rewrite speakers’ submissions1.

ProposalSpace allows admins and review chairs to edit submissions directly or return them for editing and resubmission.

While organizers may have the best intentions when adding a little shine to a session, they also run the risk of overdoing it and promising more than a presenter can deliver, which in turn can disappoint the audience. So ideally, presenters would submit proposals that need little or no editing at all.

To help accomplish that, here are some tips for presenters (and organizers) when crafting session titles. (We’ve decided to focus on the title because it serves as the “hook” for drawing in a reader’s interest and leading them to the description and objectives.)

  • Keep it short. Attendees often skim over session titles to see if anything grabs their attention. A shorter title is simply more eye-catching. To check your title length, consider how easily you could use it to invite someone in passing to attend your session. If you cannot get it all out in a few seconds, then continue editing.
  • Target it to a specific audience. When writing your title, you should have a specific audience in mind. Craft your title in such a way as to convey what that group can expect to get from the session.
  • Employ intrigue. Spark the reader’s curiosity by teasing a short list, privileged knowledge, or a personal story.

Tell us what you think! If you ‘ve had particular success with title writing/editing, then share with us in the comment section below or on twitter (@proposalspace).

1Cobb, Jeff, Jeff Hurt, Dave Lutz, Sarah Michel, and Celisa Steele. “The Speaker Report: The Use of Professional and Industry Speakers in the Meetings Market.” Velvet Chainsaw. http://velvetchainsaw.com/pdf/Velvet-Chainsaw-Tagoras-2013-Speaker-Report_v2.pdf.

Invitations

Here’s a quick tip for call admins when adding an admin, review chair, or reviewer:

Use a complete email address (e.g. “harry.potter@hogwarts.edu”) to search for the user’s account. That way, the user will be added immediately and won’t have to confirm the action.

If instead you search using all or part of a user’s name (e.g. “Potter”) or a partial email address (e.g. “harry.potter”), the user will have to confirm the action before actually being added.

In case you’re wondering, we added this step to strengthen privacy on the site. We figure if you don’t know someone’s full email address, we shouldn’t display it to you until they say it’s OK to do so. If, however, you already know someone’s full email address, there’s really no reason to require an additional step. In that case, we just send them an email letting them know they’ve been added.

Snapchat Pro Tips

Snapchat has changed the way we think about video content on social media but has been challenging for many associations to understand and use for their audiences, while also being worth their time, energy, and resources invested into the app. Even still, it’s an important platform for associations to utilize as more people use Snapchat than Twitter, in terms of daily use. Disappearing content and unedited video are extremely popular with millennials, and Facebook, the most popular social media platform, predicts video content is the future of online engagement.

Here are the best practices we’ve found to work for associations:

  • Make A Story. While sending individual snaps would be an excellent way to engage users, creating snaps specifically for your story is a much more effective use of your time and energy. Your Snap story could feature a keynote speaker, poster presentations, networking event, or even lunch! Just make sure your story has an attention-grabbing start, solid narrative, and concise conclusion that drives your overall content strategy. In short, create a story with a beginning, middle, and end. It is also important to note that quality is more important than quantity.
  • Let Someone Else Take Over. A Snapchat takeover is when you give your account information to someone else and they promote your brand or product in a new, unique way. Oftentimes, you are able to reach a much larger audience than you might otherwise reach by having an “influencer” involved. If you can identify a popular social media influencer, with commonality to your brand/industry, then you should consider having them promote your conference or event. Many influencers will work in exchange for free conference registration or their annual membership. Of course, they are also willing to market your function for a paycheck! If unable to identify a popular media influencer or pay one, then consider having different association staff/interns, members, or volunteers do a platform take over. (And don’t forget to change your account password after each takeover is complete.)
  • Create Geofilters. Geofilters are an excellent way to get your business in front of people and create brand engagement on Snapchat. They allow a great opportunity for users to engage with your brand who would otherwise not do so!

ProposalSpace Snapchat GeofilterProposalSpace Snapchat GeofilterTo the left are examples of a Geofilter ProposalSpace created and ran during the 2016 ASAE Annual Conference in Salt Lake City.

Is your association on Snapchat? Comment with a great snap you’ve saved and any additional ideas you have!

Conference Live Streaming

Posting pictures after an event can engage your attendees once they return home, but what about engaging a larger audience—both present and remote—during your event? Here are some sites/apps that make it easier than ever to broadcast events, like major announcements, keynotes, breakout sessions, and panel discussions.

Periscope (Twitter)

Periscope LogoIf you’re on Twitter then you might have seen or heard of Periscope, an app that connects with Twitter to broadcast live video from from a smartphone, GoPro, or even a drone. Named the Apple App Store’s Best App of 2015, Periscope reinvigorated social platforms to focus on live content and even classify it higher in their algorithms. According to their website, Periscope is “the closest thing to teleportation” available.

Audience feedback can be sent to the content creator in real time via comments and heart images, which disappear after a few moments after appearing in the lower, right-hand corner of the video. Moderation of chat spam and abuse is managed by the audience watching each broadcast. Videos can either be saved indefinitely (now the default) or automatically deleted 24 hours hours after broadcast.

How to use Periscope for a speaker session:

  • Send out a tweet letting people know that you are broadcasting live. (Be sure to use the conference/session topic or location in the title of your broadcast).
  • Respond to in-app audience questions as they are asked, or write them down and have the speaker answer them at the end of the session.

Facebook Live

facebook-live-logo-vector-download-400x400Leave it to Facebook to quickly adopt a social trend and work incredibly hard to outdo other platforms. With Facebook Live, you can broadcast from your phone and your friends can comment and react using Facebook Reactions that slide across your video. Once you go live on Facebook, the platform’s algorithm places your video at the top of your friends’ news feeds, which can be huge for your live content and page. Once you end your live streaming session the video will be available for playback on the profile page of the account you used to film. You can even “boost” the video after it has been posted to increase views, likes, and comments.

How to get the most out of Facebook Live:

  • Thank users as they join and try to answer as many comments as possible.
  • Include as many social-media influencers into your stream as possible (with interviews, Q&A with live viewers, networking session footage, etc.) and tag them.
  • Use your conference hashtag in the title of the broadcast.
  • Keep it shorter. Facebook prioritizes live video higher in their news-feed algorithm, so unlike Periscope, many of your viewers probably were not expecting to see your content when they signed on. Keep it short to keep their attention.

Youtube Connect (Google)

YouTubeYouTube has been the internet’s video giant for years. Owned by Google, it makes sense for them to get in on all the live-broadcasting action. Live broadcasting is definitely not new on YouTube (it’s been available to certain users since 2011), but Google has been working to build out increased live streaming functionality for its app to compete with Periscope and others. This app update has not yet been released, but many are counting on it to up the ante for other live streaming apps.

How to increase engagement using YouTube:

  • Classify your videos into public playlists per conference/event.
  • You can record for longer periods of time on YouTube and still maintain viewership (unlike Facebook).
  • Embed the video into your own website.

We’ve only scratched the surface when it comes to live-streaming products, focusing on the ones we think will get you the highest engagement for your time and energy. There are plenty of other apps out there, though, many of which might be a better fit. Leave a comment and share with us if you use something else that has brought you great results or have additional questions about live streaming.