Things We Learned at #ElevateDC

After our first ever conference with BizBash last summer in New York City, we were excited to bring the event to Washington, DC this summer. Last week, we headed to the Nation’s Capital for a ElevateDC, a crowd-sourced day of learning and inspiration for all different kinds of event planners. We explored how social media is changing the event landscape with keynote speaker (and best-selling author) Erik Qualman. We learned new strategies for fundraising, event sponsorship, and event marketing. We ate a delicious (and beautiful) lunch while we listened to BizBash Editor-in-Chief Anna Sekula interview world-famous event planner Andre Wells. We explored how to mitigate crises, reach and engage new audiences, and the latest technologies to bring your event to the next level; and then we closed out the day with inspiring sessions from David Adler and the designers from Hargrove, and our very own Julia Hartz.

We laughed, we learned, we sweated it out when we had our own mini-crisis (thunderstorms the night before knocked out the WiFi for the first half of the day), and we met some incredible event planners from the Washington, DC area. Here are our favorite moments and learnings from this year’s ElevateDC.

1. “Don’t boil the ocean. Focus on what works for you and your business. Go deep with a few platforms rather than go shallow with a ton of them.” – Keynote Speaker Erik Qualman on how to best handle social media.

2. “Attracting great vendors and sponsors can really make or break your fundraising efforts. Not only do their contributions offset event costs, but quality vendors attract quality attendees.” – Tara de Nicolas on the Future of Fundraising

3. “People need to hear and see things 3-5 times for it to affect a behavior change.” – Herbert Krugman via Tamara Mendelsohn and Kelley McCormick’s presentation on the Event Marketer’s Toolkit.

4. “Sweat the small shit.” – Mike Ponticelli on Sponsorship Secrets and What Every Organizer Needs to Know

5. “There is no such thing as instant gratification. Take your time. Be true to your brand and know who you are, what your capabilities are.  Stay true to yourself.” – Andre Wells on the single most important piece of advice for someone entering the event industry right now.

6. ” If you want messaging to stick, the rules of adult learning principles show you must immerse people in the programming.” – Scott Cullather on Ideas Strategies and Insights to Extend the Life of Your Event

7. “Do not run. You can walk with extreme purpose, but you cannot run.” – Candace Wint on Ten Steps to Avoid an Event Crisis and What to Do When Things Go Wrong

8.  “25% of all web usage is on mobile and there are no signs of that slowing down.”- Mitch Colleran on Tech Tools: The New Event Ecosystem

9. “Live experiences feed the soul. 3 in 4 (74%) agree they feel a sense of fulfillment after participating in a live experience or event.” – Julia Hartz on the Growing Appetite for Gathering

10. And finally, embrace your ‘flawsome’ (our new favorite term from Erik Qualman). Sometimes, things go wrong, like thunderstorms knocking out your WiFi, but if you roll with the punches and make the best of the situation, sometimes things turn out awesome. So yes, there was no internet for the first half of the day, but because of that, we saw people connecting in person and networking after sessions instead of putting their nose in their phones.

All in all, it was an incredible day with countless learnings and incredible speakers, and we can’t wait for ElevateNYC! Want to join us? It’s not too late! elevatenyc.eventbrite.com. See you on July 31st!