IAFE was a Blast!

It was great to seeing everyone at the IAFE Annual Convention & Trade Show! As always, the Saffire Team had such a wonderful time hanging out with everyone and truly appreciate the kind words from many of you on our presentations. We also loved making new friends at the booth and at our Blue Christmas Party!

As promised, below are the slides to our presentations, tech workbench sessions and the product showcase!

 

Presentations


 

Tech Workbench Sessions


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Saffire is Headed to Vegas for IAFE 2015!

It’s time for the Annual IAFE Convention, and we can’t wait to get the party started! This is one of our favorite conventions every year because we get to see so many members of our Saffire family. We have so much planned this year and we’d love to see you at one of our sessions, our annual party or at the tradeshow booth!

If you just want to stop by and say hi, our tradeshow booth is #1124. The famous Wheel O’ Crap is back and the Saffire Team wants YOU to walk away with some Saffire Swag!

Make plans to attend our product showcase presentation on Tuesday, December 1st at 12:00 pm, to learn more about Saffire. The Saffire Team will unveil exciting new product offerings and updates. You won’t want to miss this!

We also will be hosting a few presentations and sharing our technical knowledge at the Saffire-Sponsored IAFE Tech Workbench! Be sure to join us at one of our sessions below:

Presentation Showtimes

Mon. Nov. 30 at 9:30pm
Maximizing Advance Revenue Through Online Sales

Mon. Nov. 30 at 11:00am
20 Ways to Ruin a Perfectly Good Fair Website

Wed. Dec. 2 at 3:30pm
Technology Can Be Fun

Tech Workbench Sessions

Sun. Nov. 29 at 1:00pm
Online Resources To Improve Your Marketing & Your Life

Mon. Nov. 30 at 9:30am
Mobile Strategies for Success

Tues. Dec. 1 at 11:15am
Earning the Digital Sponsorship Dollar – And Keeping It
On Tuesday night, we’re having a suite party in the Paris Hotel from 6 – 8pm! We’ve sent out some invites, but if you didn’t see yours and want to attend, just shoot us an email to RSVP at info@saffire.com. We’ll keep your name on our list and email you the room number as soon as we have it! This year, we’re having a Blue Christmas party, so wear your best blues!

Come to our Happy Hour!

Finally, if you’d like to arrange a 1-on-1 meeting with us, we still have a few slots open on our calendar. Email Cassie to see if the time you want is available! We have all our meetings in the Circle Bar at Paris, so it’s fun & not scary!Can’t wait to see all of you in Las Vegas!

 

 

 

 

2014 Texas Travel Summit

We are so excited to report on Saffire’s FIRST attendance at the 2014 Texas Travel Summit hosted by the Texas Travel Industry Association (TTIA) at the San Luis Conference Center in Galveston, TX. We had such a splendid time. As first time attendees, we felt extremely welcome by those we hadn’t met and were excited to reconnect with those that we had met at past conferences and tradeshows.

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One of the most exciting aspects of our attendance at TTIA was that we were able to show off our new and beautiful website geared specifically towards Destination Marketing Organizations (DMO) on a large display poster right next to our table We had many visitors at our booth that loved the layout and how easily manageable it was through the back-end. I mean, what’s not to love, right? Side note: I love that we had the only palm tree in the room right behind our table to make it look even more inviting than it already did, win! ttia 2

The first night opened with a dinner/networking event at the Galveston Pleasure Pier where we experienced a lot of fun rides, our favorite being the swings that soar you out over the water; what a remarkable view! We may have ridden that and the Ferris wheel a little too many times!

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On Monday, San Antonio hosted an incredible lunch filled with costumes, dancing, exotic birds, and of course delicious food. TripAdvisor and Adara hosted a “Southern-home cookin’” themed lunch where we indulged in fried chicken, potato salad, biscuits and root beer floats for dessert, yum!

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The educational presentations were both impressive and beneficial. We were able to learn a lot about trends and opportunities in the DMO industry, which is great due to our new website and industry focus. Kaplan Mobray spoke on diversity in the workplace and was one of the most engaging public speakers we had ever experienced. He got attendees totally involved and even opened his session by playing the saxophone! We were lucky enough to meet him and other speakers prior to their sessions and all were impressed with our services.

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Our conference experience concluded with a delicious awards dinner where multiple professionals were recognized for their hard-work and accomplishments benefiting the travel and tourism industry in the past year. It was truly an experience getting to know such amazing people and gain an understanding of such a huge industry. Overall, we feel that the conference was beneficial, entertaining and just awesome in so many ways. Cannot wait for round 2 in 2015! #TXSUMMIT14

IFEA 2014

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Whew! What a whirlwind and an absolute BLAST Kansas City was for the International Festivals & Events Association (IFEA) Annual Convention! We saw a ton of our clients and friends and made a bunch of new friends, too! Don’t you just love meeting new people?

We ate way too much amazing KC BBQ, which featured some not-so-shabby Oklahoma Joe’s BBQ which was fun because it was in a gas station! (It certainly didn’t affect the taste, though… it was delish!) Back home in Austin, we know a little something about good BBQ in a gas station- Rudy’s BBQ is a must-have when you’re visiting our capitol city.

The Foundation Night was a delightful event too, spent with friends and, (surprise, surprise) MORE BBQ! We hope you got a chance to swing by the hospitality suite to taste our famous Saffire Queso to cap off your night. (If you want the recipe, it’s here in our blog.) Special thanks to IFEA for packing our crockpots for us!

It was also really exciting to be around all of the contagious energy of the Chiefs playing Monday night and the Royals playoff game on Tuesday. We can’t wait until next year to come back to IFEA. Congratulations to our friends there on a successful event!

2014 TFEA Conference

The 2014 TFEA Conference was an absolute BLAST! Of course it’s going to be awesome when the first thing we had on the agenda was the TFEA Kickoff Fiesta! We had the pleasure of helping to plan the party and were very excited with the way things turned out. It was hosted at Austin’s Saengerrunde Hall and we had live performers including a mariachi band, The Texassippi Two, Texas Renegade, and Coffey Anderson!

Of course that was only the beginning, we also made sure to have a ton of goofy games to really get people laughing and having fun. Who can resist a good Wiggle Race!?

As you can imagine, we had no problem getting this group to be goofy! After everyone enjoyed a full night of games, margaritas, enchiladas, and music, we headed back to the hotel to get a good night’s rest before the educational sessions and trade show. Just in case you were wondering, the Saffire Tattoo Frenzy continued at TFEA!

If you know us, you know that we LOVE giving presentations and providing education in online marketing. The TFEA group had no shortage of people wanting to learn and get involved, so it was great to have the opportunity to do three presentations. One of those presentations may or may not have included a happy hour (shhh…don’t tell!).

After a full day of learning, we had a few more tricks up our sleeve. After all, it wouldn’t be a Texas conference without a Saffire Party! We hosted a “Christmas in July” suite party, complete with Christmas lights and music, reindeer antlers, Santa hats, and our signature “Cup o’ Good Cheer.”

We have to say that our most favorite part of the conference was winning the 2014 TFEA Vendor of the Year award! What an incredible honor it is to be recognized by such an amazing group of people. We could not be more thankful!

All in all, the 2014 TFEA Conference was a huge success! Not only did we get to reconnect with some of our awesome friends and clients in Texas, we got to make new friends in the industry!

NALS&RMA 2012 Recap

We (Cassie and Kendra) just got back from the North American Livestock Show and Rodeo Managers’ Association Annual Meeting in Shreveport, LA, and we had a blast! Of course, we learned how to host a stellar rodeo and livestock show, but these folks sure knew how to have a good time while we learned.

Louisiana has a ton to offer and we took full advantage of the culture, food and warm weather.

One of our first stops was Alligator Park, where we saw, you guessed it, a ton of alligators!

We even saw the house where the wedding from Steel Magnolias was filmed!

Then in the evening, we spent a little time drinking mint juleps on the porch and having delicious BBQ at a fabulous plantation.

We also took a trip to the country and saw the fantastic LSU Ag Research Center, where we took a hayride to visit some cows. They were also growing some amazing-looking tomatoes in a greenhouse. These were honestly the biggest tomato plants I’ve ever seen. So delicious!

We had the change to hear from a great speaker named Teresa Allen, who kicked her presentation off with a Mardi Gras style entrance by the officers, who threw beads to get the crowd going.

Our visit to the Barksdale Air Force Base in Bossier City was incredible. We saw some awesome planes and got a tour from a retired Air Force vet. It was such a treat so close to Memorial Day!

We got to eat crawfish at the LA Exhibit Museum, where Jarrod from HOT Fair and Karla from State Fair of Texas showed us how it’s done.

To cap off our trip, we went to Mudbug Madness, Shreveport’s biggest crawfish festival!  The festival hung a sign to welcome our group, and Cassie  made sure everyone was using their new Saffire koozies!

A special thanks to the staff and volunteers at The State Fair of Louisiana for showing us around your great state.  We had such a fantastic time at the NALS&RMA Annual Meeting, and we can’t wait until next year!

SXSW Recap: Social Storytelling & Building a Narrative for Your Brand

I attended a session on Monday presented by Helen Klein Ross, the creative mind behind @bettydraper, a twitter account that maintains the voice of AMC’s mega-popular character Betty Draper, played by January Jones, in the hit show Mad Men. Everything about this twitter account is spoken in the voice of the character from the show.  Not the actress, not the writer, but the character is perpetuated in this easily accessible and massive platform.

She provides a connection for several thousand fans of the Mad Men brand, and gives them an opportunity to interact with her in a way that helps them feel personally connected to the show. 

Social media allows you to stay connected to your consumers, but it’s not just about having a twitter account or Facebook page.  Those are simply the platforms for building a connection with your brand.  You have to give consumers a REASON to connect, because just being present in these spaces is typically not enough.

Whether it’s maintaining your brand recognition and story throughout the off-season when consumers may “forget about you,” or just perpetuating your brand in new arenas, it’s a way to broaden your market and at the same time strengthen your connection with your existing fan base. Creating content that engages your consumers creates an emotional connection and gives them a reason to want to share that experience.

As you begin to craft your story, consider your audience.  Think about who you are trying to reach, and instead of considering how many people you are trying to connect with, think about WHICH people you are trying to connect with.  Think about the stories you can tell that will resonate with your customers, and if you’re ever in doubt, use Betty Draper’s recipe for successful storytelling.

Create the content (the more the better), keep a consistent and continuous voice for your brand, keep it simple and always make it easy for others to share it with their friends.

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!

Deep in the heart of Texas: TAFE Convention & Trade Show

After a quick trip to California, we were happy to return to Austin to get ready for the Texas Association of Fairs & Events Convention.

It was nice to attend an event here in our hometown, and we can say that these were our kind of folks!  The truth is, TAF&E cleaned us out of ALL our boot koozies!  We’ll need to place another order soon.

One of the highlights of the weekend was getting to see so many of our clients here in Texas.  We got to spend time with South Texas State Fair, Brazos Valley Fair and several new clients whose websites aren’t quite ready to show to the world.

But hands-down the BEST part of the weekend was our happy hour on Saturday evening!  Our suite was packed with current clients and, hopefully, soon-to-be clients.  We enjoyed cotton candy cocktails (of course!), beer and lots of snacks.

We also gave away a TV which went to Tanner Moore from the Heart O’ Texas Fair & Rodeo.  Congratulations Tanner!

We wrapped up the weekend by attending the Foundation Night Dinner and Dance.  We appreciate Wes Allison for inviting us to sit at his table.  We enjoyed a night of two-stepping and raising money for scholarships!

It is safe to say we’ve already put next year’s convention on our calendar.  See y’all at TAF&E 2013!

Our trip to sunny California for WFA

Well, to say that last week was a whirlwind doesn’t seem to say quite enough!  We had back-to-back conventions and trade shows, starting out with a trip to sunny Anaheim, California.

Since we had worked with the staff at WFA to give them a new website for the WFA Convention, we were excited to see how the website was received.  Several people stopped by our booth to tell us how user-friendly the website was, which was the best compliment we could receive.

We set up our booth and had a chance to chat with our friends Carrie and Liz for just a few minutes.  And we finally got to meet Lori!  We’ve worked with her for months, but it’s always nice to actually meet face-to-face.

The trade show was filled with lots of interesting attractions including butterflies, alligators, knights in shining armor and lots of clowns!

And congratulations to the winner of the TV giveaway: Katherine Rosser from Flying U Rodeos!

After two days at the trade show, Kendra presented on the benefits  of Mobile Marketing.  We had quite the crowd; over 80 people joined us.  If you’re interested in learning more about what Kendra discussed, please feel free to email us at info@saffireevents.com and we can send you the slides from her presentation.

Overall, we had a great time visiting several of the suite parties, the entertainment showcase and listening to keynote speaker Kelly McDonald.

Congrats to our friends at WFA for a job well done on this convention!  Hopefully, we’ll be back again next year.