San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo: More Than an 8 Second Ride

Hi readers, Cassie here. As per the norm when I jump on the blog, it’s because I can’t wait to tell you about my latest rodeo adventure. Last weekend I had the opportunity to go to the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo for the first time.

If you’re not familiar, the San Antonio Rodeo is one of the most prestigious in the business. About 1.3 million people visit the grounds every year, and the show has won PRCA’s “Large Indoor Rodeo of the Year” for the last seven years. After having the chance to go myself, I can see the reasons why…the show was fantastic!

From the first laser beam in the opening scene to beautiful livestock and rugged cowboys, this was all around one of the best rodeos I’ve ever attended.  Then, to top it all off, Keith Urban played a great set that really had the crowd on their feet.

The show was great, but I think what makes San Antonio’s show stand above the rest is something outside of the rodeo arena. After speaking with the locals, everyone from San Antonio goes to the rodeo because it’s the just the right thing to do. It seems like everyone I talked to had a personal tie to the event in some way, including several that proudly compete in the barbeque cook off.

One local vendor told me he’s been working the event for years and people specifically seek out his booth from year to year. Everyone seemed to have a story or a personal tie, and the San Antonio Rodeo is built around the community.

While we may not all be the size of San Antonio, we all can create what they have in some form or fashion. Think about what is important to your community and incorporate those elements into your event. Give people a niche and a place to feel at home. Then, your attendees will begin to feel invested in your event.

I would like to say a big THANK YOU to our friends at the San Antonio Livestock Show and Rodeo. You showed me an example of southern rodeo hospitality that I will not soon forget. Can’t wait for next year!

7 Tips for Creating a Successful Pinterest Page

Since its launch in 2010, Pinterest has become one of the fastest growing forms of social media in history.  Pinterest is an online bulletin board that allows you to organize images into boards based on different themes like recipes, decorations, events, entertainment and more.  It was recently reported that Pinterest drives more traffic to websites than Google+, YouTube and LinkedIn combined.

Big brands like Whole Foods, Martha Stewart, NBC’s Today Show and the Travel Channel are already taking advantage of this online bulletin board, and now it’s your turn.  Here are 7 tips to help your fair successfully create a presence on Pinterest.

1.        It’s called social media for a reason. – If you are going to create a Pinterest page, be dedicated to it.  It will require time at the beginning to get started as you organize boards and find pins, but once you get going it won’t take a lot of time to maintain.  But be warned, it may be a little addicting…in a good way.

For tools like Pinterest to actually help you, you need followers.  And the way to get followers is by pinning, repinning and commenting.  This will engage users and create followers. You can also increase exposure by putting a Pinterest follow button on your website and promoting your new Pinterest boards through your other forms of social media, like Twitter and Facebook.

Perhaps the most important key in gaining followers is to help each other out!  One thing we’ve learned since we began working with fairs is that you support one another, and social media should be no different.  Following another fair will help you both increase your followers, because you are all looking for the same type of Pinterest user.

2.        Create new content. – One of the most underused tools on Pinterest is the creation of new pins and as a brand this is your chance to make an impact.  Download the “Pin It” button for your browser’s toolbar so you can create a pin from any website you visit with one click.  The photos on your website are a great place to start, so use content you already have as you begin creating new pins.

And Pinterest has gone mobile!  You can now turn pictures you take with your phone into pins.  Your fair is the perfect time to create unique pins, and users will respond to the real-time posts.

3.        Show your personality.  A great example of a brand that shows its personality on Pinterest is the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo.  While they do have a board with photos of their event, they also share recipes, favorite places in Fort Worth, funny animal photos and other images that inspire their brand’s image.

This will help users begin to view you as more than just an event that takes place a few weeks out of the year.  Getting your customers to connect with your story and vision creates a sense of loyalty that will ultimately drive ticket sales, so repin content that you know your customers will be interested in.

4.        Promote a lifestyle. People associate a sense of nostalgia with fairs because it reminds them of “the good ole days.”  If you post images of food, rides and posters that bring back fond memories, they will begin to associate your brand with that feeling.

People look to Pinterest as a way to momentarily escape from reality for just a minute and, let’s face it, a land of cotton candy and Ferris wheels is a pretty good place to go.

5.       Avoid shameless self-promotion.  While Pinterest is a great tool to help market your brand, don’t abuse the privilege by bombarding your followers with promotions.  Pinterest specifically asks in their etiquette that its users avoid using the community “purely for self-promotion.”  They aren’t saying you can’t share information about your fair, but be respectful of their guidelines.

6.        Treat it like market research.   Around 70% of Pinterest users are women, and most of them are mothers under the age of 45 who make the family’s plans and most of the purchasing decisions. Newsflash: this is your target audience!

Women are voluntarily sharing information with you that will help improve both your event and your marketing efforts, so pay attention.

7.       Find inspiration. There is no greater place to stay up to date on trends that will keep your event fresh.  You can find countless ideas by quickly scanning categories like food, music, fashion, design, technology and more.  Who knows, you may have an idea that changes the fair industry for good.  Enjoy the possibilities!

Pinterest is invite-only, but we have a few invitations to give out to fairs that are ready to take their brand’s social media to the next level.  Contact our team at info@saffireevents.com for more information.

Welcome Comal County Fair & Rodeo!

Do you feel like we’ve had a lot of exciting client announcements lately?  We do too, and today the good news continues as we share the news of our partnership with the Comal County Fair & Rodeo.

We first met the folks from Comal at the TAF&E Convention here in Austin, and are glad they could join us for happy hour.

Several conversations and a quick trip to New Braunfels later, they came on board as our client.  We look forward to helping them enhance their online presence in the next few weeks, so stay tuned!

Saffire 101: Create Your Own Page

The ability to create exactly the page you want is one of the highlights of using the Saffire software.

You get to arrange elements like text, photos, videos, PDFs, links, sponsors, items for sale and forms on the page in just the order you want.

While we’re excited to give you this tool, we know that if you’ve never done anything like this it might be a bit overwhelming. Watch this quick video to see Cassie show you that creating your own page really can be easy.

 

 

Saffire Updates: Version 1.6

Working on updates to our software is like keeping a secret you just can’t wait to share, but today is the day we can finally tell!  With Version 1.6, we’re releasing several new features our clients have requested.   We also took a good look at our existing features and made some enhancements we think you’ll really like!

We’ll be updating our clients’ websites this evening, so here are a few highlights you can look forward to.

  • Crop and center your photos with our new image cropping tool. (This was our #1 customer request.  Proof that if you ask, we listen!)
  • Your events will be even more interactive now that you can upload videos from YouTube into an event media gallery, the same way you’ve been uploading photos.
  • Regulate access levels of your admin users so they can only make changes to certain categories.
  • Reach a wider audience now that your customers can translate your website into Spanish, or several other languages, with Google Translate.
  • We now integrate with ShoWorks!  After you enter results into ShoWorks, you can import them into Saffire so they will appear on your website.
  • If you use SaffireCommerce™, you now have the ability to add tax, shipping and fees to online orders.
  • Do you need to restrict the sharing of a photo on your website?  No problem!  You can now decide if email and social media share icons are included at the bottom of a photo.
  • We also did some overall enhancements to the interactive map, dynamic pages and dynamic forms. 

Our goal is to make the tools we create for you as user-friendly as possible, but we know sometimes you need a little help to get started.  In order to provide the support we believe you deserve, we maintain a Help Desk that answers frequently asked questions from our customers.

With Version 1.6, we also created several videos of our team using the new features as a quick tutorial for our clients.  Check out our YouTube channel for the latest episodes of Saffire 101.

Over the next few days, we’ll be providing more in-depth information about these features, so stay tuned to learn even more about Version 1.6

Join our Webinar “Increase Event Revenue with Better Online Marketing”

Free Webinar!

Increase Event Revenue with Better Online Marketing

Reserve Your Seat Now!Space is limited.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:
https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/992140230

 

If you have attended the IAFE, WFA or TAF&E conferences recently, you likely saw our bright blue jackets and heard people talking about Saffire. Now is your chance to find out what the buzz is all about.

From this Free Webinar you will learn:

  • How easy it is to manage your website content with Saffire
  • Five ways to integrate social media that you may not be using
  • The answer to the question “Is email dead?” and what to do about it
  • How to have a mobile and tablet strategy… without going crazy!
  • Three easy things you can do to enhance your Google ranking
  • One thing you MUST do to increase online sales and why it’s critical (hint: RAIN!)

Register now to join Kendra Wright, President of Saffire, and Cassie Roberts, Manager of Sales and Partnerships, as they answer these questions and provide a free overview of how Saffire stretches your online marketing dollars while boosting revenue.

Title: Increase Event Revenue with Better Online Marketing

Date: Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Time: 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM CST

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.

System Requirements

PC-based attendees

Required: Windows® 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server

Macintosh®-based attendees

Required: Mac OS® X 10.5 or newer

Free Webinar!

Welcome Fort Bend County Fair!

Well this post has been a long time coming, but we want to OFFICIALLY announce our partnership with the Fort Bend County Fair in Rosenberg, TX.

We got to know Susan at IAFE back in November and made everything official just before the holidays. Several conventions and some lost mail later, we are glad to finally share this exciting news with the Saffire community.

Stay tuned for their new site…soon!

Louisiana Association of Fairs and Festivals Convention 2012

We were happy to be invited to attend the Louisiana Association of Fairs and Festivals Convention in Baton Rouge, LA over the weekend.  And one thing is safe to say: Louisiana folks know how to party!

It was great to see a few old friends from IAFE and make lots of new connections in the industry.

Kendra presented on “The Latest and Greatest in Online Marketing.” We may have drawn the short straw, as our time slot was at the same time as the evening gown competition of the Queen of Queens Pageant. But I mean really, who can compete with all of this!

All jokes aside, we had a great conversation and hope that we provided some fresh, new insight to the industry. Thanks again to all of the attendees who took time out of their busy day to listen to our presentation.

And a big thank you to the LAFF for their hospitality. We were glad to be a part of the weekend’s festivities!

Amarillo Tri-State Fair & Rodeo is Live!

The Saffire team is pleased to announce the launch of the Amarillo Tri-State Fair & Rodeo website!  Their website features information about the fair, as well as the year-round events taking place at the Tri-State Expo.

Congratulations to Virgil, Angela and the rest of their team on their new site!  We’re excited to see the response, so take a look and tell us what you think.