There's a great deal to do when it comes to planning an event. Venue. Equipment. Live streaming. Refreshments. Sometimes, the biggest challenge can be nailing down a starting point and what to do next so that your event runs smoothly from start to finish.

In episode 31 of Inbound After Hours, we provide our tips, tricks and things to look out for when planning your own event. Following the success of the Manchester HUG that Digital 22 regularly hosts, the guys have broken down what you'll need to consider when planning to host and run your own event.

There are tips on the type of venue to source, equipment you'll need when you live stream your event and sharing past experiences (including major failures) right down to stocking up on refreshments before the event can get started.

To finish things off, "Bruce's Price Is Right (but for search volumes)" is back, featuring the likes of Alan Partridge and Rand Fishkin.

How to Plan and Run an Event

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Full transcript:

- Welcome to Inbound After Hours. Today we've got a show about running an event and what we've learnt over the last two years. I've got myself, Mark Byrne, the Director at Digital 22. Also Rikki, Director at Digital 22, Paul Mortimer.

- How have you been?

- Who's our Head of Content, and we've got a new guest on the show. We've got Emily Yates, who's an Inbound Marketer, who's got quite a bit of experience in event planning. So how is everyone?

- Yeah good.

- Fantastic. Thank you very much.

- Great, well let's kick off with some industry news stories. Has anyone got anything for us?

- Yeah. (laughing) I'm just, who's he gonna ask? Yeah, I keep seeing a lot of stuff about Facebook ads. Every other post when I was on Twitter seems to be tips for Facebook ads. Facebook video ads. I don't know, I think Facebook released some tips following the algorithm change, and there seems to be a lot of content about that at the minute. I've no tips to share. Just that was what I noticed, yeah. It's just, I keep adding them to my Refind.

- I've seen you sharing it on our internal Slack with the teams, there's a lot going off at Facebook at the minute. So, it'll be interesting if people look into that. Give us some tips next week?

- Yeah, yeah, yeah will do.

- Okay, cool. Rikki, anything good?

- Kind of a similar thing, really, but Google rolled out a bit algorithm update on the first of August.

- Another one?

- Another algorithm. (laughing) Update on the first of August, and a bit like what's happened with the Facebook ads thing at the moment is loads of chatter, and then a couple of weeks later you kind of find out what's happened, and there's a bit of insight. So we've just about got to that point with it now. So they've given it a name, which is the Medic Update. It's a nice name. The reason they've done that is because it's targeting mainly advice articles and blogs. So a lot of medical advice stuff's been hit quite badly, financial advice, home advice, lifestyle stuff, like wellbeing, how to be a better person, when to buy a car, when to have a baby, like, do you know the sort of general advice you get around your life? And the reason being is, you'll have heard people talk about in SEO, over the last few months a thing called EET, which is the sort of trust-based factors around Google, and a lot of these sites have been hit quite badly by the rollout of that. So it's people writing advice on quite important things, with no authority to do so. They've been hit quite badly.

- I think it's good.

- Yeah no, definitely. It's cracking, yeah. So there's been a tonne of talk about that but I wanted to wait until the dust had settled to have a bit of a chat about that. So I guess if you're offering any sort of advice in and around those industries, and you've been hit, that's probably a good indicator of what it is. Google doesn't think you're authoritative or trustworthy enough. So have a look who's writing your content, see if you can get more subject matter's experts in there, try and understand it a bit better, increase the quality of your writing, reduce your grammatical errors, those sorts of things. So it's been quite a huge update. It's been talked about for a long time.

- We've got some clients that really affects.

- Yeah.

- Adjusting to.

- I mean it should be good for most of our clients because it should be their competitors which are going down, these spun articles and got them written abroad, badly.

- We have credible clients.

- Oh yeah, no problem for us. Oh yeah.

- It should be positive.

- It's good for their competitors, instead of say just writing, bogus--

- Crap.

- Crap, yeah. We can say crap, can't we?

- Why not?

- No, good update Rikki, thank you. Let's crack on about events then. So, we're not professionals at this but what we have been doing over the last two years is running our quarterly Manchester pub events. We took it from a small room of people to a very large room of people now. We're learnt a lot during the process, made a lot of mistakes as usual, and hopefully we can give the listeners some insights. So let's kick it off nice and easy. What do we need to start an event? What did we have in the early days?

- So I guess there was a need for the event really. So HUG stands for HubSpot User Group so HubSpot offer for people like ourselves to run an event around that, being experts in the field at it. So I guess the first thing we need to run an event is a reason. Once you've got, our reason was to bring HubSpot users together. I guess that's the starting point really, is what you're trying to achieve. What's the reason for running it? Then that's gonna go throughout your planning and your marketing really.

- Good shout, let's go 'round then. What else do we need?

- Venue.

- You need a venue. Great.

- Venue.

- Yeah, and another thing we need at an early date is a plan for refreshments, something as simple as food or drink for the people who are gonna be there for three or four hours. I don't think we did in the early days and people get a little bit touchy at the end without a cup of tea or a drink. So the basics there.

- And clear our first opportunity.

- Yeah, yeah. Anything from you Emily, that you can think of?

- An understanding of the people that are gonna be at the event, before you even begin. So that you can understand what is important to them, what's convenient for them.

- Definitely. On picking a venue then, what have we all found from hosting events in the past, in terms of what works, what doesn't?

- Yeah I mean, we've done the corporate hotel. We've done that and now, we're not in a corporate hotel. It didn't suit us as a business, as an agency. It wasn't as relaxed as it is now. The place we do ours now, it's very cool. Do you agree with that?

- Yeah.

- I like it.

- It has, there's random settees there and, what do you think Emily?

- I went to the first, I went to my first HUG, just the other week, and I think the relaxed feel of it really suited the style of event that we were hosting. There was someone sat out in the room with the sofas playing the piano. Proper chilled as you walk in.

- Going back to what Emily said about knowing who's coming, we're not gonna sell insurance in that room, are we? It's back to--

- Yeah, it's a marketing thing.

- Digital marketers.

- Yeah, and they want to be a bit hipster, don't they? So it kind of suits the audience a little bit.

- Where was that corporate, it was the hotel wasn't it?

- I think it was in the Hilton. In Leeds, we did one in there. We've done quite a few different hotels.

- The next one we had shared space, didn't we, as well?

- We did that one.

- So it was in an office where it was a co-working place, and the meeting room was a co-working meeting room. So whilst we were talking, just around the curtain, someone was having a meeting, and they were shushing us. Yeah, that didn't work.

- I tell you what else went wrong with that event, as well. They had no milk for refreshments, so every single person there was were complaining, 'cause they couldn't have a cuppa.

- And we had to run to that shop and buy bottles of water and stuff like that.

- It's silly things you haven't prepped for.

- Definitely.

- And the same problem at the same venue, not to be named, it's really badly signposted. It was tricky to find. When you got to the front door, it didn't look like a real front door. It didn't tell you where to go when you got in the building. You just walked in, there was people co-working.

- It was a labyrinth as well.

- Yeah, so I guess internal signage is quite important. It's not just finding the building, because Google Maps does a decent job of that these days, but when you get in there, if it hasn't got a reception, which a lot of places don't these days, it's telling people where to go and how to get there.

- Talking about naming the event. Brainstorm, coming up with an idea, then that leads to branding the event.

- I think going back a step, while you're having the event and what you want from it, needs deciding and working out, and then you can think who you're gonna invite. So we've been invited to some events where we thought, I'm not sure what the host is getting out of this but it worked in the end, and the people who were there enjoyed it, but I don't think it was quite right for me to attend. The people who did and got stuff out of it, was good.

- I think the approach to events has changed, and a bit like marketing again, if you get invited to an event and you know you're gonna be sold to, I wouldn't go, if I thought it was that. So a lot of events now, where they would have been very salesy in the past, that we're gonna get speakers in who you'll find interesting. We're gonna build a brand with you and trust with you. We're not gonna sell this event. There'll be no pitches. A lot of events say that now. It's not salesy, and obviously the HubSpot User Group isn't, I'm speaking at one in a couple of weeks, which is the BeBrilliant Club, that's a similar thing. It's just, we're gonna offer you value in the long term, knowledge that you'll trust us, and if you ever need to use us, fair enough.

- That first BeBrilliant Club actually, that I went to, was, I remember you spoke and I think I was there taking pictures or something. Then we came out and though, did people find that useful? Were they interested in my marketing? We had some people in the carpark who were like, oh thanks for that. They just wanted to go an learn something and that's what it was. I guess 20 years ago it would have been a networking lunch or something. But it's interesting when you said about Inbound and people going there just wanting to learn and get some new business skills. There was a motivational speaker, there was you talking about Inbound and then there was, Dave did a meeting thing, didn't he really, and it worked.

- It worked, yeah. I mean, we're going off on tangents here. One of my questions later on is, should we sell at an event? I know you touched on that, I'd like to come back on that. You mentioned about, whether they're interested or not, the fact that we send out feedback forms straight after the event, that's really helps us. So people, what they liked, what they disliked, a lot of complaints were about having no milk or the lighting, or it's too noisy, shut the windows. So that's really helped us.

- At the end of the day, the one goal is to sell, isn't it? So I think you mentioned Emily, when we were chatting about following people up.

- Yeah, I mean, at an event if someone wants to be sold to they'll make themselves known anyway.

- That's a good point.

- And they'll come up to you and then it's down to you to follow up on that.

- Right.

- Yeah.

- In a timely manner, because they're already warm.

- A lot of speakers did say, I'll be around after my talk if you've got any follow-up questions come and see me, and they'll generally hang around for an hour or so, won't they, and that's our opportunity to say I'm really interested, tell me more about that, or can I have a card or whatever it is. And the other good tactic, kind of slightly more salesy than that, that I see a lot of people do now, is the end of their talks, are a download action. Like a CTA. It's like, I've told you about this, now if you want the cheat-sheet to do this, or you want the checklist of the tips I gave you, or some people even do it with the slides. If you want these slides, go to this landing page, fill it out.

- I caught myself doing it at the pub the other week. When someone was asking about planning blog titles, and I was like, just drop me an email. Half of me is like, 'cause I want to help and the other half's like, so you can be in our database.

- It's part of the inbound methodology isn't it, so add value, reciprocity. I did like the idea of, if you want the slide deck drop me an email 'cause it's kind of what we do in inbound marketing anyway. We should do that. (laughing)

- Yeah, we did on this last talk one, we did it on the last talk, we put the slides behind a landing page and that works quite well because we used to just throw them up there, and then we started doing that, which works, it has worked quite well but we'll be at Inbound in a few weeks, all of us and all of those ones end with, this is my CTA, so what you should do next. They don't miss a trick in America.

- What else do we need to get started?

- I think one lesson we learnt is, around networking as well. I don't know if this is just me, but I hate networking with a passion.

- There was a talk at Inbound.

- Of networking for people who hate networking.

- Yeah, brackets everybody hates networking.

- I'm not even going to it, I hate networking. But we did networking on our event to start with, but when you're not networky, networking doesn't happen. You've gotta make networking happen and I can't make networking happen, it's not us really, so we don't make networking happen, so we just took it off. If you happen to be there 15 minutes early and want to chat, cool. If you want to hang around and have a chat, that's cool, but I'm not gonna have this 30 minutes where you've gotta talk to people.

- So what we've learned from that is, there was a new crowd at the last HUG where it was the last five or six of the same crowd growing of people were bringing someone they knew. So I missed the one before the last one, but the one before that had a really regular group there. Who were like, oh nice to see you again. It just starts from there.

- It's organic, isn't it, you've got that community there, yeah.

- What about repeat events Emily? I know you've organised a lot of events, in your old role, did you do any that were a regular one, ever six months or?

- Yeah, so, the company that I worked at was a distributor. So they held distributor meetings and the distributors were international, they were from France or Australia or everywhere basically, and every year we brought all them together into one room, to provide them with some learning updates. Back to the value thing as well, in that industry, CPD was really important and having someone that could offer that value that they could then use against their CPD points. If you run the event right, you can take the hard work out of planning the next one because people want to return.

- Yeah, no definitely.

- It takes the hard work out of marketing it as well.

- The CPD's a good thing. I mean, we've never actively talked about that with the HUG, that you can put your hours into your traineeship sort of thing, to keep your licence going, but I noticed the BeBrilliant Club, they say you can claim back two and a half hours, whatever it is, 'cause with those things, with a lot of them you don't have to be an accredited thing it's just, I've been to an event for an hour on that subject, I kept my learning up, so I'm gonna log an hour against it, and it's quite an easy win for people, isn't it?

- So I never maintained my CPD. I didn't maintain the membership to the institute, but for me, when I did, I went to as many events as possible. People want to attend your event, just to take points from that. So as long as you're giving them value, they're gonna come.

- That's a good point. Yeah, a really good point actually.

- And there's CPDs for most industries. It's pretty applicable to most events isn't it, if it's a learning-based event.

- Budget, it can run away with it as you know. The venue costs, speaker costs, tea, coffee, you can get carried away. I'd always try and have a budget. 500,000 pounds, five grand, whatever you've got, you go higher because it can easily go out of control.

- You've gotta set one, haven't you?

- You've gotta set one.

- What we found with this one again is, looking for different spaces. Again it depends on what your event is. You can't host something more formal in this way but have a look around. There's meeting spaces where they don't expect. Ours is in the back of a coffee shop, essentially isn't it? And it's a meeting room, but you'd have never know that was there. So just have a look around, speak to people in the city, where's some different cool spaces, and because they're not advertised, they're not running AdWords, I need to fill up this space, it's a proper meeting space. I tend to find they're a lot cheaper as well. I'm sure ours is five, six times cheaper than it would be to be in Manchester, Hilton or the hotels that were available, but.

- Central Manchester, they charge by the second or the minute.

- Yeah, it's a quirky coffee shop, isn't it. So they charge by the minute. So if you walk in, and you take your time and you can eat and drink as much as you like and then they charge you by the minute. I don't know how they charge us for the event, I don't know if it's based on that minute system, but it's five, six times cheaper than a standard venue would be and it suits our culture, so.

- That's made me think of, we've been doing there for a while now, and the staff have got to know us, and a couple of new people I knew, I went last time, but the same people were there last year, so they were like, they knew you were coming, they knew what you wanted, the room was 90% already set up how you want it 'cause someone who was there when you did it last month remembers, oh actually they needed this lead, didn't they, so I've got that ready.

- What we've also found really helpful with that is when people wander into an event, they never know what it's exactly called, do they? So I hear people walking in going, I'm here for HubSpot, I'm here for HUG, I'm here for Digital 22, I'm here for the user group. And because we've been there for a few years now, the guys at the thing are just going, oh yeah you're back there, Room Three, whatever it is. The first time, there were just people wandering, looking for where they were going, so that does help, if you want to run events to keep it in the same place doesn't it.

- It helps people find it as well, doesn't it.

- So it's great having these events, but if you don't record it, film it, use the audio, you can't repurpose, you can't use it in your marketing, so we invested, we talked about this before, we invested in a cheap camera and an audio mic. That's how we started off.

- And the David. (laughing)

- Yeah, now it's doing well, we've invested, we've got all the kit. We've got David over there. Hope he gets paid a large amount of money to do what he does. But yeah, we just started off small, didn't we? Just with a handheld camera, so try and record the event and back to audio, Paul you talked about this with podcasting, your audio's gotta be second to none if you're gonna put in on SoundCloud. Anything else you can think of?

- I think that's a huge point that's worth mentioning, you can if you put your mind to it, get a lot out of the event. We record this, that goes on your YouTube channel, it goes on our video hosting platform, we transcribe it, which makes part of the blog and the guys write up some better notes on the transcription around the blog, so we get a blog out of each speaker, and then we do the audio, so you're getting three sets of media from each talk. Scale up of the number of speakers, figure out the number of times you run it a year. It gets into it--

- If you're doing Instagram, a 30-second snippet of a key point or something like that.

- Yeah, definitely.

- Well you said you used to do it all, didn't you? You used to roll all this out and creating videos and snippets and, it's amazing what one event can do from repurposing. Six months later we're still sharing stuff from that.

- Wonderful.

- Cool, what else have I got? Speakers, camera man, slide decks. So don't go in and wing it.

- Yeah.

- Definitely.

- I tell you what's tricky for me personally, is opening it or closing it. I think there's a skill in that, in some, Dan Tyre who's coming for example, he'll be brilliant at closing the HUG off, or Luke, at the BeBrilliant event. Dave is good at it as well.

- Then we're pretty, hi everyone, let's kick it off, and we could get better, as we get better at intro-ing these, 100%.

- The last one we were particularly relaxed. If don't even know if I went to the front of the room. I think I just stayed in my seat at the back and said, we'll just crack on with the speakers guys.

- And closing it, it was pretty much just like, ah, that's it really.

- So we do need to get better at that.

- We do.

- But if it again suits your audience, doesn't it?

- Okay, let's, we've got everything we need. Let's talk about the marketing side of it. So, what do we need to do to promote the events, pre and post what are we doing now?

- Emailing everyone, aren't we? We've got, because we've had a few events, we've got people who've attended, so we can tell them about the next one.

- How far ahead would you say, would you start marketing the event?

- What are we doing at the minute?

- We're going for three months.

- About three months, yeah, and then we run them three-monthly. I guess it'd be different if you were doing annual events or something different.

- I mean, with the annual events I held, there were several others throughout the year, where you saw those people again. So they were always in contact with you, but if you're not seeing them that regularly, then having the events closer together is a better option.

- Definitely. And if you watch what the pros do, so we go to Inbound, the last day of Inbound they start selling tickets for next year. So they're starting a year out. You get them, best part of half price if you buy them at the event for next year's event, and then the price dwindles to full price throughout the year, pretty much you can get 75% off if you're like six months away, and it kind of comes down to those big guys running massive conferences, they're marketing every day of the year, and it just starts the day the last one finished.

- Yeah, probably starting now for next year.

- Oh definitely, yeah. They'll be plans, they'll be linking speakers up for next year already.

- Actual exhibition events as well, where they sell stand space on the day that you finish setting up your stand for--

- Do you want to come again next year, yeah.

- But buy the same space and you can have it cheaper.

- I guess as far out as you can go the better, with all these things isn't it? People have got to get them in their calendars. I think if you start far out you've gotta keep regularity of communication I'd have thought.

- We've done a great job of that this year. We've pre-booked all the speakers for every month.

- Yeah, we did it a year in advance, didn't we.

- And every couple of months I was scrapping, trying to get speakers--

- That's the take-away doesn't it. Whenever we start going anywhere. Like, who's coming? Tomorrow. (laughing) But now it's, yeah.

- And then we built the website, and then we split it down on months and put everything on there, and we just direct everything to that site then, so.

- It's a good point about what's the focal point of your event. It works for us having the website, 'cause we can build websites. We use HubSpot to gather the attendees and stuff, 'cause we've got HubSpot. If we didn't have access to those things, you see a lot of people focusing on the big events sites instead, don't you? Eventbrite and things like that. I think you've gotta have that focal point of--

- Danny at Igloo does it I think, does use Eventbrite.

- A lot of people use that, don't they, that's where your information about your event is, where you can register, where you sign up, think about how integrating your current systems, how you're gonna print off a register of attendees and all that sort of stuff.

- On a different scale, just at the cricket club I'm part of, they would just use Facebook events 'cause that's where their membership is.

- Yeah, you've gotta pick your platform, where it's localised around, it doesn't matter too much what it is, just like you say, pick it for your membership.

- Social media, then. What are we doing with social media at the minute?

- Get a hashtag and own it.

- Yeah.

- Fantastic.

- Put the hashtag up on the first slide or on a, we put it on a whiteboard at the side, it's on the footer of the slides, it's gonna tell people what to use if they're in the event.

- Build hype before it, on the hashtag, saying what they can expect to hear about at the event.

- Let's talk more about social media, we're putting stuff out there before the event and we've got a team of people during the event, who were answering questions. We livestream now, that's a new improvement, we've got a livestream camera. So one that's direct onto Facebook. We've just got a new app, we're gonna test out the next one whether it can go to

YouTube and Twitter as well, so we're always trying to improve. I mean you guys know all this, don't you. Then after the event, just reach out, feedback.

- Like you said earlier, it's still there. I think the one that did really well was the Olivia one, and when she spoke from HubSpot, and there was loads of views after the event, even though, 'cause it's shot live, you don't need to be that polished. People know they're watching a live steam, that's not live, so, then they can have the edited version. Like what David took from last week, on the blog, or on the landing page, where it needs to be impressive and sharp, but the live event can just be, there's a camera there in the corner, and it's just a mobile phone.

- That was great, Olivia did accounts-based marketing. All her friends and colleagues at HubSpot were watching, they shared the livestream, we shared the livestream, it went viral, in a way we had 35,000 viewers on that livestream.

- That's crazy.

- Awesome.

- Yeah, an event with 35 people there.

- I think, yeah, we had 60 of them that day.

- It was a decent one, wasn't it, 'cause it was GDPR, wasn't it?

- It does make you wonder if that is part of the reason why there's been so many new people at the event since then. 'Cause it was a room where you didn't know many people at the last one, and it could well be that that's caused it.

- That's a good point. And then that with James, the timing of the event too, during work hours.

- That's a good point, yeah.

- It was a pretty big shift for us, wasn't it. So we used to hold it seven, eight o'clock at night, wasn't it, or maybe a little bit earlier, I can't remember, but it was definitely an after work thing, wasn't it. We doubled our attendance when we changed it to a mid-morning, didn't we?

- We thought people'd come, I think it started at six, because we thought people would like, an excuse to get away early, I'm off to a training thing. Then there was a few people who did, and who were engaged, and then somebody mentioned, can we do it during the day, because he came up from London I think, so he didn't have to stay over, and we tried it, and the numbers went up, didn't they.

- I always say that you should look for every reason that someone won't attend your event, and try to combat it. So, after work people have to go and pick kids up from school, or they've gotta go walk the dogs, something as simple as that. Whereas during work time they're already out.

- That's really a good point, that because on our first year we had one that was, it was Champions League Final, or Champions League Semi-Final night or something. Because you book them a year in advance you can't really change them as well. Right in the middle of it and we got about 10 people turning up. There's nothing happening in your work day, if it's a work event.

- It's work, isn't it.

- It's work. So it does make a lot of sense.

- It's really valuable stuff this. I'd like to keep going on this for the viewers, what else have we done wrong over the last few years, that can help these guys so they don't make the same mistake?

- I think, I mean, a small detail one, but get your audiovisual stuff right, particularly cables. The amount of, you go in, there's a projector. I mean, some places you have a different projector every time you go there. I don't know what that's all about, but sometimes you go and they've got them old VGA cables. Sometimes you've got HDMI and then, we've got a lot of different people going all the time, so you guys run Mac so you've got HDMIs, but those guys are on Chromebooks, so they're USB-C's. I remember one where we had a connector into a connector into a connector into a wire into the thing.

- Then the wire was too short.

- Yeah, and the wire was too short.

- Was it you, who ran into that problem somewhere?

- Yeah, so I think, yeah being prepared. Bring every adaptor cable with some big long cables and stuff like that.

- I know you've mentioned it at HUG actually, but camera equipment as well.

- You have to test everything, have extra SIM cards, backup batteries--

- Charge your batteries, yeah.

- Backups of everything, because stuff does go wrong. Laptops crash, because there's nothing worse than getting all them people in a room, getting your speakers and you can't record it.

- It's another similar sort of theme thing, first event we did I think we had three speakers, everyone had their own slide deck, so we had to plug their laptops in each time the speaker changed. Again it's really basic, but if you're holding your first event you don't think about it, but obviously now we say send your slides a week in advance, we put them all onto one slide deck. People are sending us from PowerPoint, and I don't even know what Apple's one's called, but I had it once. And you better get that all inside Google Slides, which slightly changes the formatting and stuff, but if you can just deal with that a week in advance, get one slide deck on and just say, carry on on the same laptop. It's just so smooth.

- That is right. I think another one's screening your speakers, and for example we get HubSpot speakers, because they all get trained and they're really good. We had a few other agencies say, can we speak at your event? We want to add value, we got them in, we didn't check 'em out really. As in, maybe watch a YouTube of them speaking. The slide deck's quite poor, their speaking wasn't really good.

- And this is making it sound like we're, don't get us wrong, we're not saying oh.

- No.

- What the kind of risk is, if it's crap, it's harder to get people to come in again.

- And it's your name against it.

- Exactly, yeah.

- In fact we've had some great ones and we've had some bad ones, so obviously the bigger events they all make you submit a video upfront, don't they, and if you want to speak at Inbound or something, you've gotta send a video of yourself speaking, and rightly so, if you're going in front of a few thousand people with your name on it, and that's good too.

- We've done some crazy things. One idea, we had to go around the room and everyone introduced themselves and I think it lasted about 45 minutes one day, so we abolished that.

- It worked well when it was a small group, but then suddenly 60-odd people come through the door and, err, can't do this again.

- Networking at the beginning, tried that, do you want to explain what happened there, Rikki?

- Yeah, no like you were saying before, 'cause we're not networky people. You can't force what you're not good at. I think there'll be events where that flows really, really great, but I think the hosts have got to start it, facilitate it, work the room, all that stuff, and that's not our stuff.

- Stuff that we just can't.

- We can't do it, no. I go and have a cake and a drink to be fed just before it.

- I remember with the slide deck, you look back and laugh now, but the slide deck would be agenda, half-hour networking and on the screen everyone just sat there quiet. We've gotta network now.

- You do it, no we're not doing it. (laughing)

- What else, anything else we've done wrong?

- I think we're about time on that. David's been waving at us a little bit, so I think we're onto the next segment, mate.

- Okay, so it is game time, is it?

- We can only do what we've been working on, if anyone's got anything particularly poignant to talk about this week. Any particular things anyone's been trying to tackle or solve?

- Well, we went to see, I think they're our oldest client, aren't they? I went over to Shannon. I don't know, doing that before stock, are they, Shoes for Crews. Sorry, here and I'm rocking your microphone. Yeah, that was good. I've spoken to them since I joined two-and-a-half years ago and it's the first time I've been to head office and met face-to-face. That was nice to meet those people, and then found Google, so I can trace a new game.

- I might have that this week.

- Are you gonna explain to people what that is?

- Yeah, it's Google's AI, that has, it's like a form of Tetris, and it plays word association. So there's a Tetris board, with words in. He's laughing--

- Easiest game of all time. (laughing)

- I said yesterday it was the game for today.

- No, it's a cracking game but it's funny watching you describe, oh yeah, it's semantics but it's on Tetris.

- I just thought that I'm not gonna bother. So it uses semantics, Google semantics learning, and if it's got a word there that's ping pong, and you put table in, it works out that you've linked it to ping poing and then that tile removes. It works like Tetris, so the new ones come in. That's good.

- You were on it at the airport for a while, weren't you. We'll link to it in the show-notes 'cause I think it's worth people having a go at.

- Have you gotta be good at spelling?

- Well, add up, I can't work out what Google get out of it, what they're learning.

- I think it's showing people what they know, isn't it? Or maybe they're building a database, that's related words.

- They're getting something out of it.

- Yeah, could be.

- Emily, what have you been up to this week?

- PPC for a lot of our clients. Trying to, get the most out of their accounts and their budgets. One thing we've done in particular is set up ad roll for one client. So we're hoping to see if that provide some real success.

- Definitely, good things. It's kind of coming into budget, and I guess we're tightening up a little bit of our policy and starting to visit clients, talking about budgets for next year. So I guess that probably resonates with all of the viewers that have gotta start thinking about how much they want to spend in 2019. Ask the boss what the targets are, try and get some more money for that big a target. But yeah, it's a good nudge for people to start that process now because it takes a while. Then we're onto the fabled game.

- Yeah, that's the one.

- Not Semantris, it's a better one.

- Yeah, a better one.

- No Andrew, though.

- No, so I'm gonna be Andrew this week. I'm gonna host the game and give that a go. So, the current scores is one for me, one for Paul, none for you yet, Mark, and Emily is gonna play for me this week.

- Oh, Andrew's not in 'cause where is he?

- He's skiving.

- Skiving? Oh right. So Rikki's brought in a substitute, and Emily just happens to be our PPC specialist.

- Oh yeah, she's got a keyword volume. So you've gotta pick your subs right, haven't you. So I'll be a bit nicer than Andrew, I'll tell you what the game's about, for you benefit, Emily. So basically there's gonna be a word on screen and I'm gonna tell you how many times that's searched for, and we'll tell you the next word and you're gonna say whether it's higher or lower. We're gonna do that a few times, and we get to the end and there's gonna be a bonus round. The bonus round is worth two points, and that's to guess the closest number wins. Quite simple, we should be cool, let's have a go. So keeping it on theme. The first word is event planning checklist. So, keeping up with that, four and a half thousand people a month are in the same place that we are, and search for the event planning checklist every month. So do more or less people search for Google algorithm update? See I'm keeping the theme--

- Is that recent?

- This is annual averages, per month, on worldwide search volumes, just to clarify.

- I'll go higher.

- Higher.

- Lower.

- 100% lower.

- It's higher, well done Emily.

- Colluding.

- There's an extra thousand there, so yeah, 5,400 people a month search for Google algorithm update. So next keyword is Rand Fishkin. Wizard of Moz, formerly. Is he searched for more times or less times that Google algorithm update?

- Rand, pretty popular Rand, isn't he? Can you search for Moz or Rand, or?

- It's just specifically for the word Rand Fishkin.

- Lower.

- Emily's going lower.

- He's got a great following Rand, we might, as you know, have a good chat with him, I'm going higher.

- You're going higher.

- I'm gonna go higher.

- Higher, higher, lower, and it's lower. So Emily is destroying you guys here so that's 4,400 per month.

- He sent her this. (laughing)

- I haven't fixed this at all. And Alan Partridge, is he more or less popular in searches than Rand Fishkin?

- Gotta be higher, super famous this guy.

- Don't look at Emily, 'cause she's got a lead on you.

- Whoever's winning should go first.

- No, no, I'm looking at you, so.

- Higher.

- I'm going ever so slightly lower.

- Lower, no Partridge absolutely destroys it.

- Partridge is higher than Dennis.

- With all my fans.

- Yeah, like he was Alan Partridge. So there you go, you're back in the game guys. Give yourself a shot. So, it's basically winner takes all in the bonus round. So whoever gets the closest to this will will the show. So I want to know exactly how many searches a month do you get for how to tie a tie?

- In, sent to Google.

- How many people put that into Google every month? How to tie a tie.

- Not YouTube?

- Emily, do you want to take a guess?

- Six and a half thousand.

- Six and a half thousand people a month. Paul?

- 75,000.

- That's a big difference.

- That's a big difference. Mark?

-I'm gonna go with, 15,750.

- 15,750, okay, everyone on the edge of their seat. It's 673,000, so we were only a thousand times out. So that's Paul, back of the night, you're in the lead.

- Well done.

- Well played, good game.

- Good game.

- And that's it for this week.

- Thank you, yeah.

- Well done.

- Maybe a question time would work as well. Maybe a question time.

- Oh, like a quiz?

- [Mark] Like a quiz, we could try that.

- We'll try that next time, maybe.

- Yeah, okay.

- Thanks everyone for playing and thanks everyone for joining the podcast.

- Do you want to have a quick mention about the Facebook page again, while we're here.

- Oh yeah, it's all good.

- Well remembered.

- Inbound After Hours.

- Yep, go on Facebook, put in Inbound After Hours, and there's lots of discussions there about everything Inbound, a little bit of HubSpot stuff, so come and join us, and join in the discussion.

- Great, thanks to the guys, thanks Emily, hopefully you'll come back on the show again.

- Yes please.

- Thank you for joining us.

- Take care then.

- Bye.

- See ya.

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