How have events changed in reaction to COVID, and how to nail them now – Emma Honeybone, Head of Relationship Marketing, Engine Group

Author: Joe Glover
Emma Honeybone

How do you put on a great event online?

In the past couple of months we’ve seen a monumental shift in the events industry. The gut feeling would be that this changes everything. However, much has in fact stayed the same when it comes to putting on a great event. This session discusses both, before answering the community’s questions.

In this session, Emma covers:

  • How to keep an audience engaged throughout an event
  • The tech behind running online events, and why we both settled on Zoom
  • The activity, minute by minute, behind running a successful online event
  • Communications behind the events, before, after and during
  • The new benefits of working in the COVID environment
  • The best time of day to run events
  • How to make your webinars stand out in an increasingly busy space
  • Drop out and attendee rates – what you can expect, and how to reduce them
  • And much more!

Links mentioned throughout the conversation: 

Templates shared by Emma for the community. Our only ask is if you use these, please credit Emma Honeybone and the Engine Group appropriately: 

Emma’s profile:

Emma is the Head of Relationship Marketing at Engine Group – a global agency which, if Linkedin is to be believed, is comprised of 1,400 incredible people working with the likes of Coca Cola, Under Armour, Sky, Domino’s, the RAF, Unilever, and many more.

Emma herself has been on an incredible journey through marketing over the past number of years. Starting at BT, she’s held a vast array of marketing roles in a whole range of companies. Today she’s responsible for ‘all the fun stuff at Engine’ – specifically, engagement with clients throughout the whole Engine group, which would no doubt have been interesting in the past 9 weeks.

Emma is actually a second time speaker with The Marketing Meetup, having also spoken in London. 

We need to thank the sponsors too, all of whom have been unbelievable. They’ve really kept this show on the road, and while we’ve been so blessed to have received so many messages from the community, these folks all deserve a huge amount of credit. Thank you to Pitch, ContentCal, Fiverr, Redgate, Cambridge Marketing College, Leadoo, Brand, Further, Third Light, Bravo and Human.  


Joe Glover 0:05
Hello, and welcome to marketing me at webinar number eight. Today we’ve got the absolute pleasure of welcoming Mr. Honey bone to speak with us, and is the head of relationship marketing engine Group, a global agency, which is LinkedIn is to be believed is comprised of some 1400 incredible people working with the likes of Coca Cola, Under Armour, Sky, Domino’s, the RF, Unilever, and so many more. And you can correct me on that 1400 figure if I’m wrong a little bit later. Emma herself has been on an incredible journey through marketing over the past number of years. Starting at bt. If you go to my LinkedIn, there’s just like a huge array of marketing roles and a whole range of companies. That’s actually not something I knew about until today. And I sort of took it at face value with how amazing she is.

You go back in time, and then you get context for how amazing she is even more.

Today, she’s responsible for all the fun stuff engine specifically engaged with the clients throughout the whole engine group, which no doubt would have been really, really interesting in the past nine weeks, to say the least.

This is actually the second time we’ve had Emma speak with the marketing meetup having she’s already spoken in London. On a personal level, for me, the thing that really impressed me is that she walked into the room, just absolutely lit it up, but also did so we just like no ego whatsoever. Just a really, really wonderful, humble person. In fact, at one point I caught a standing at the door welcoming people in and taking their names off, which I can only say is once an event organiser or an event organiser. But over the short time, I hope and won’t mind me saying this, but I’ve come to think of it as a bit of a friend which is either a signal of her Being as personable as she is, or her just being really, really good at a job, probably a mix of the two. And the reason why today’s session is relevant, so we’re going to be looking at events is that we’ve seen a monumental shift in everything in the entire world right now. And I’ve seen this myself, I’ve had to cancel 140 events for this year, which is, which was a scary thing. But the gut feeling on that is that it should change everything. But when you actually start to analyse it by February, and I share an opinion that in fact much of stay the same when it puts on when it comes to putting on a great event. This session will look at both what’s changed and what stayed the same before answer any questions. And I expect during this time, we’ll probably also have a bit of an opportunity to get into the nitty gritty of events and delivery online. So basically, if you hover your mouse over the zoom window, you’ll be able to see a q&a option. Please do get your questions in like if it’s More detailed on like how to work the zoom platform, for example, or anything like that. Just let us know because we can answer those. And the way this session is going to work is that we’re gonna have a presentation first, and then questions and answers afterwards. And before we get going in earnest, and I hand over to me, I just want to say a huge, huge, huge, huge, huge, I feel like it’s a huge lot, but thank you to all the sponsors. They’ve been frickin unbelievable. Since this all began, you know, it would have been very easy for them to stand back and say, Look, we can’t do anything but they’ve said that they will stand by side. So you’ve already had an email this morning with them listed. I made the request down, but I’m going to reiterate it now. There’s a name at the end of each of the sponsors. It says say thanks to Marcus say thanks to Andy etc. If you could take five minutes from your day if you get value from this session, just to thank those people that will make hugest difference to, you know, just keeping them up to me up on the road and making them feel as appreciated as possible. I won’t go into depth here, but thank you to pitch content cow fiver red gate, Cambridge Boston College leader brand further third light, bravo and human. As an aside, while you can also thank them also do engage in their products and services. Because likewise, they’re amazing. So, with all that said, I’ve done my introduction bit. You are already besotted by the wonderful person. That is Emma, who we have the pleasure of speaking to for a short time. So Emma, over to you.

Emma Honeybone 4:43
This should be super smooth. Shouldn’t there be the apple chair, my screen ends up being really funky

that you get you got it. Okay, cool. Hello, everybody. I’ll show thank you for that intro. I’m slightly embarrassed as you know

kinda I really love being part of this community and actually are so happy to come back and talk again. Because I think I think I only spoke in February this year at the meetup in London. And look at how much has changed in that time. It feels just like last year, it doesn’t feel like something that was earlier this year. Just so everybody knows me I have got so many notes for my presentation because I don’t want to miss anything. So if you hear rustling paper, it’s making sure I don’t get overexcited and miss some of the key points that I want to share with you say and but as Joe says, I’m head of relationship marketing at engine group. worldwide. We aren’t we do have that number of employees. In the UK we have about 800 people who are based primarily out of London and Manchester and we do work with some absolutely incredible brands which makes the job an absolute joy but also we work with incredible people with

In those brands, and that’s what makes my role so exciting. And I think my job title is a bit wonky, if I’m honest, has a relationship marketing, it just sounds so vague. Someone described it as making clients feel special, which again, is a bit vague, but it’s probably true. Because the whole point of my job, which isn’t just events, it’s about how can we engage with clients in an interesting way, is to make them feel that we understand what they do. And so we only present them with opportunities to engage with engine around topics that are of relevance to them. So today, I just wanted to share a little bit of background about me and how I got into this role. And then to look at how I think the event world the event landscape has changed in eight weeks, which is all it is, but it’s completely turned on its head. So I was a bt graduates. I then left when I had a child and I set up a family magazine, which I ran for two years because I thought having a young baby wouldn’t be enough to fill my time.

When I got into the swing of working with a child, I then went freelance, where I started to work with engine as freelancer. And then four years ago, I became a pony engine, which has been, I have four of the best years that I’ve had in my job. And then a year and a half ago, I became head of relationship marketing, which is running the programme that I run for the whole group. Let me just have to remember to click on that. Or, as Jay said, because I’m going to talk about how to nail events

Unknown Speaker 7:33
on LinkedIn,

Joe Glover 7:35
I can impose that on you a little bit.

Emma Honeybone 7:38
I think we do talk about how to nail events. So I don’t think that it’s an unfair description, but I hope we do otherwise you’re going to be really, really close with us. So firstly, where’s it all begin for me? And when I started in bt, I didn’t know anything about events other than the theory that I’ve been taught at university and my first event was an event for, for governments and corporate clients at the top of bt tower, so really prestigious venue with super high profile speakers. We had members of parliament come in and talk. And then we had this guy called Bruce, who was our American director, and six foot plus tall, really imposing. I’d pulled the events together, I was really happy with it. Bruce did his presentation, sat down front row and fell asleep. And he fell asleep and snored more loudly than I’ve ever heard anybody snore before. And I hadn’t even considered that that was going to be something that could happen in my events. I thought I’d done some decent risk assessments. But all I could think about was how do I stop this man snoring at the same time worrying about what has to happen next and the events did I prepare for this? Did I prepare for that?

So I have sitting next to him I’m five foot two. I’m pretty tiny and basically elbow him in The reps to keep them awake. So it’s quite a stressful event really, even though, for most, most of the people who were there, they probably didn’t notice that quite as much as I did, but I came out of that thinking, I really need to be better prepared. I can’t prepare for everything that’s going to happen. You can’t foresee every eventuality but if you can have the things that are within your control, totally nailed to use Joe’s expression, then when something unforeseen does crop up, you’re you’ve got the headspace to deal with it, because you know that everything else is going to run to plan because you know when it’s going to happen on how it’s going to happen. So I started pulling together processes which I’m going to share some of them with you that I’ve been using for a number of years now and they seem to work so much so that last year, that’s my that’s my representation. That’s not Bruce in the middle of By the way, this is the Tory party conference which depending on your leaning you live a life with. dislike. And so last year, I had an event, which was all around women’s sports and how we were going to change the narrative. And that big red arrow at the top is highlighting an empty chair because my keynote speaker, who left her house at 5am in the morning, didn’t arrive. So we started the session without her. She was absolutely panicked on the train. She got off a train, she rented a car she got back, it was Planes, Trains and Automobiles for about four hours, this poor woman and Boise, who led the England netball team to Commonwealth goals the year before, was desperately trying to get to London to come and share her experiences of what it’s like to be a female sports person. Because I knew how the event was going to play out. I felt quite chilled about it. You know, it seemed like she was going to get there for a part of the events. The reality was if she didn’t, I could do nothing about it. I can change You know, she wasn’t there. So we just have to adapt around her. In the end, she arrived with, I think, 10 minutes to spare and we gave her the spotlight for those 10 minutes. Initially, we wiped her down because she was so clammy from stressing to get to this to this venue and feeling she’d let us down. And then we just sat down and said, Look, you’re late, but it’s fine. You know, we’ve we’ve waited and we’ll speak to you. And because the processes were in place it it kind of felt like even though it wasn’t something we wanted, it was something that we could manage

two weeks ago, and this is today. And I was running a training session in my company on how to use our new CRM system. CRM is a really integral part of any events, managers role, and I realised my Tesco delivery was going to come in the middle of the session, because I booked it three weeks before and anyone who has booked a food delivery knows you do not give up a food delivery in these current times. So I just left a note on the mat to say can use leave my shopping, I’ve left the front door open, I can see, I can see you from here. And I’ll just I’ll take any substitutions. I didn’t care, I need the foods and I also need to run this training session. Again because I was prepared and I understood what I was doing. I didn’t feel particularly stressed about it. But it was something that was slightly unforeseen.

And then this morning, I ran an event which was all around brand resilience. And we had marketing director of Pinterest, and the chief customer officer for kazoo on the panel. And the person who’s chairing the session for me, realised that he had a TPT parcel that was going to be delivered in the middle of the session, and he was the chair. So he’d submitted via the app, can you send it to this location instead, and I’ll pick it up from a neighbour a later point. There. His delivery man is quite chatty and likes him. So I said to him that you’re going to have to put a note on your doorstep as well. He didn’t look like this. I just like Lego figures. Joe knows We’re really into Lego. In engine. In fact, we run a big project for for Lego. So we have huge Lego figures all around the office, then they’re probably ridiculously dusty, because nobody’s been there for for nine weeks.

But the reason I’m showing this is one of the things that I think I’m becoming more mindful of is, this used to be exceptional. So when this little kid, this awesome kid walked in behind her dad, who was on BBC News, the world talks about it for four days, and it became a meme. We expect this now. I mean, Joe’s got his dog under the desk at the moment. So at some point, you know, the GM makes an appearance, and I have a cat, but I don’t think she’s around and I do have a child that she’s 50 and I’m probably in bed. So you know, I’m not likely to be disturbed. But when this happens, you know, there was much discussion about all my goodness, you know, this is what it’s like working from home. Well, now we’re all subject to these interruptions, and I think that started for me To sort of crystallise, how things have changed in terms of how we view what used to be work impacting on life, and we accepted that that was okay, work was going to impact on life. Now life impacts on work, and we’re becoming much more forgiving. Of that we’re recognising that our colleagues do actually exist outside of the bubble of our, our businesses. And that can only be a good thing. As far as I’m concerned. It’s it’s a, it’s super, it’s really nice to feel the humanity of people. So in terms of planning, I thought I’d share with you how I plan events, but in the context of today, and how things are working, now that we’re in this COVID-19 world, and how that doesn’t have to impact on being successful. So this is my view of pre and post COVID.

And basically, they’re the same, you know, we still have to set objectives when we want to put an event together, we still have to determine if we have a budget One of the things I’ll come on to later is that actually cost is reduced in this world. So in many ways, it does make it easier to get it signed off by your organisation, we still have to think about how we’re going to get it out to the audience and make sure that we get people to come along. We have to manage it in the same way, timelines, checklists, I’m a big fan of Excel spreadsheets, and I have very rigorous sheets that show me how things are going to play out for that event on a day by day, sometimes minute by minute basis, which again, I’ll share with you that we need to know who’s responsible for us. And after every event, we need to do some evaluation, what worked, what didn’t work, you know, where do we where do we continue?

Where do we make changes. But also lots has changed in the event wells and Joe and I talked about this a couple of times recently, pace. I mean, I can’t imagine three months ago being asked to run events on brand resilience and deliver it a week later. Pizza, which is what happened for the event this morning. You know, we It was a we think this is a really good topic. We want to deliver it on Tuesday morning. If we’d have that conversation around a face to face event it wouldn’t be feasible we wouldn’t be able to get people there but the pace because we’re remote because we’re digital has completely transformed how we’re interacting in the event world. And the audience The reason this audience box is bigger is because one of the brilliant things about where we are today is that we can reach more people in this new world. Before a we will limiters on how on the capacity of a venue so your budget will determine what size venue you could have versus what you know, standard of venue whether you’re going to go swanky and small or large and a little bit more simple. Now we can invite anybody you know we have people from Europe on our call this morning. We have someone who woke up themselves in from the States, which I thought was bonkers because we record the webinar.

She could have watched it afterwards but she wants to feel like she was part of the conversation. And for me, I think that’s brilliant being able to say, Hey, we can we can go broader geographically. But also one of the things that’s frustrated me in the past is this focus on senior level attendees. So let’s always invite the senior person because they’re the one they’re the decision maker, they’re the budget holder. It’s not always true. There’s a team of people that will deliver a project within an organisation. And because of this new world that we’re operating in around events, we can invite multiple people much more easily from a single organisation and we don’t have to rely on contacting that cc or director level person who let’s face it really isn’t at the time anyway to come to everything that they’re invited to. And channel look digital channels, it’s podcasts or webinars at the moment so you know, get on board and enjoy us. It makes it pretty straightforward. The main decision is usually what platform Am I going to use and tolerance I touched on earlier with this idea of Life impacting on work. But tolerances.

Also, when we ran webinars before COVID, people were super critical. You know, it’s very one dimensional. It’s not particularly engaging. If your tech wasn’t high spec enough and the audio dropped out or your video wasn’t a high definition people would really criticise. Now you can have someone talking, I’m hoping Mine isn’t doing it.

They can clip, you know, their video can freeze and people wait because they’re thinking, you know what they’re at home they may have might have kids who are using Wi Fi, they might live remotely, whether their Wi Fi, speed is quite slow. We’ve got a tolerance that we didn’t have before. And I think that’s that’s a huge positive step. When you work in the job that we do, cost, I also touched on it slower because you know, what we’re delivering is typically we need to pay for the platform. And we might do something around some post edit of content and we might decide to pay to promote on LinkedIn but Other than that, it’s pretty low cost. And then output this has been super exciting for me is everything’s recorded. So before where if I ran an event, I would need to think I’m going to get a film crew in, I need to get really good AV Yeah, you know, I need to also need to get stage and all of those sorts of things. But the output is immediately recorded, I’ve got video that I can share, I have an audio so I can create a podcast out there. Joe and I were just talking about the fact that you get transcripts off the back of your recording. So that helps you do write ups. That in itself is you know, it’s transformed how quickly we can get the content out after a session but it also means we again, we can share with a much broader audience because we’re not relying on you know, a budget of another five or six K to be able to record and create an asset off the back of an event. And if this is if you want me to sort of say anything else, Joe’s got the chat so he can always jump in if I’m going too slow or too fast. So do feedback. I want to make sure this is relevant to you.

I don’t want you to be sitting there bored. So some examples I thought be useful just to share some examples of what I’ve done over the past eight weeks. So for Sessions is a series of webinars that I’m running with our influencer marketing team. And implements marketing is totally new to me. And I’m at an age where I just don’t really get it. So Gemma doll, she’s awesome. So we’ve been running these safe sessions where we bring in a bunch of influences and a brand and we talk about a particular issue. And we run those every three weeks. Now, the thing that I like about about running these is that it it’s allowed me to reflect on the fact that although we’re having to turn these around really quickly, although the subject matter might not be something I’m particularly comfortable with.

The process that sits underneath it is exactly the same. I mean, he literally bought a couple of things. has not changed. I’m not doing anything in a different way apart from two small aspects. So I start with a proposal, every event has an approved proposal. And this is how I get sign off internally to go ahead. It’s not always about budget. It’s about making sure that when we go out and talk about things from an engine perspective, that we’re on brands that we understand what the market wants, that we’re bringing in the right experts that we’re delivering to a really high quality. This is just keeping me pure in terms of what our business objectives are, across the different divisions that we have within the company. So the proposal always has an event overview, what is it we’re trying to achieve? What are we going to talk about, sets out the objectives? Is it lead generation? Is it relationship building? Is it about building pipe taking our pipeline and developing it through the channel? It talks about which and which attendees are going to come in. So who are our speakers and what do they bring to that conversation? And it talks about who we want targets are what function has a running water? I mean, I can shave Joe wants to I can share some templates for this if people would like to use them in the future, I find it’s I couldn’t do my job without this and talks about the logistics. everyone’s the same at the moment delivered via zoom webinar never changes.

Joe Glover 22:22
It’s so true. There’s a lot of people saying yes, please, sir templates.

Emma Honeybone 22:25
Perfect. Well, I’ll pull together the template and send that out afterwards. Because it is it’s very handy just to have a guide isn’t it that you start from rather than have to build it yourself. So logistics yet also same same webinar. But within that I include some briefing notes for speakers. So if he can, please have a network connection. If you have any sort of background noise, then use headset because you know, we’re likely to pick up on it. And we always do a test. So I’m going to ask you to come in and make sure that we can hear you and talk to you about how the logistics are going to work. So How’d you stop people from talking over each other? When you’re in a panel session, this panel that picture that you can see absolute nightmare. They just talked like they were in a bar having a glass of wine. And in the end, I just gave up and said, just go for it. It’s fine. I was trying to meet them in between, there’s their topics and they were just like, what she didn’t need to keep sneezing me. And so again, you can plan everything and then people will go rogue and you just have to be prepared to either accept it or make a decision. And then budget estimates is, as I outlined earlier, it’s important. It’s important to know what sort of costs you’re going to inquire. And I do keep a document history because otherwise people don’t know if they’ve got the latest version. So you know, really basic things that actually then make your job so much easier. And the two things that I think have changed in lockdown is target attendees.

As I mentioned, much broader we can offer 500 faces on a zoom webinar. I was never going to run an event for 500 people in central London, and the logistics, which I outlined in terms of its resume, I did start out with, Joe asked me asked me this when we were chatting. I started out with GoToWebinar as my platform, but actually we had zoom in within engine. So we’d already implemented that technology before this happened. And then I discovered that there was a webinar functionality. Now it’s not as slick as GoToWebinar in terms of the interface the user interface on GoToWebinar is beautiful. And when you run a webinar on GoToWebinar when the webinar ends, all of your panellists can stay online and have a chat when a zoom webinar and everybody gets cut off. It’s the most brutal ending. So you go and the panellists go and the first time I did that, I thought, Oh, shit, Where’s everybody gone? And my panellists, you know, imagine them they were all the app factors, a racing driver named Isha and it was a cricketer Giorgia Ellis, and it was Claire Rafferty who’s Chelsea in England football player. I didn’t realise this happens and they just got cut off. So they would like to die to that. Was that my that was that my mistake, you learn these things quite quickly don’t you do. This is my plan. And this is actually probably about 10 times the length of what you can see on the screen. But every single event that I do, I pull together one of these even if I’m doing in a week, in a week’s time I pull together one of these. And it’s a step by step guide to make sure we don’t miss anything. And if I do this, and I go through it every day, when something comes in, that needs my attention. It’s all about headspace. I’m not having to try and remember what have I got to remember to do today. It also means anybody who’s part of the extended team. There’s lots of areas whited out on here because I didn’t think it was fair to share. My team members names and phone numbers which were Included originally. So if you’ve got people who are working on the event with you, it’s almost like their take their individual tick list of what they need to do and when they need to do it. So it’s a step by step guide. And I mentioned earlier on about minute by minute, that’s what a webinar looks like, in my world. This is insane.

Unknown Speaker 26:25
Can you imagine living with me?

Emma Honeybone 26:28
What a nightmare. But, you know, I’ve done so many of these now that actually, I know those steps. But it would be so easy for something to happen and me forget to forget to hit record. If I didn’t have that. And if I don’t hit record, I don’t have the asset that I want. And I learned that from a guy called Matt walk concerned. This is years ago, he wrote a book called The 10 principles behind great customer experiences. I think the book is called. And one of the things he talks about was pilots, so no matter how many flying hours a pilot has done, they will still go through the same checklist. And some of that is really basic stuff. But the reason they do it is to make sure that they don’t become complacent, or assume that they’ve already checked it because they’re doing so many of these things on a repetitive basis. You can think, of course, I’ve pressed record and then get to the end and realise that you don’t have any of the assets we talked about earlier, to share with people who weren’t there, or people who just want to send it out to someone they work with.

So minute by minutes, and email as hell but really gets me through my day. So when I’ve got my production schedule, I then move into an event book. And this is something I share with anybody who has a client so it tells them everything they need to know about the events, so that they can prep their client who’s going to attend, even if someone’s not coming in to see us face to face. It’s still an opportunity for somebody who manages a client’s to reach out and talk to that person. So hi, you know, you’re coming in To the brand resilience webinar tomorrow, I hope you look forward to it as much as I am just to remind you, we kick off at this time, and be great to catch up with you afterwards, by having it all documents as I didn’t have 50 account team leaders contacting me and saying what’s happening? When’s that happening? Who’s going to do this? What’s the follow up afterwards? It’s just a really clear way of telling the business, how we’re going to manage the event, what’s going to happen, and then what the follow up plan is afterwards. Jason Fox we had last year and he was amazing. He was so so great. Everybody loved him. There was a lot of love for him in the room that was a face to face one, which was remember those used to meet in a room with lots of people,

Unknown Speaker 28:43
the glory days.

Emma Honeybone 28:46
Although actually I think, again, Joe, and I’ve talked and there’s some aspects of this life that I’m really loving. And then every single event has a follow up and review and I don’t think this ever changes. One thing I did very quickly is so Joe has this great video at the beginning of his webinars, which is allowing you all to join the conversation. So we don’t start it without anybody. One of the things I do with my clients because of the type of people who are sitting on the call is I run a poll. So I asked them a question that is either going to be of benefit to the speaker who’s leading it.

So it gives them some insights that they can shape some questions around. But it also just fills that time where people are logging in and make sure that we give people those few minutes they need to get on the system to be ready and also to calibrate because you kind of need that little bit of time to get in the headspace of Okay, what I’m starting, I’m going to listen now to what you’re saying. But my follow ups, you know, it’s it’s what you would imagine I review the process to the templates work is the approach working what was the timings Okay, did we run over? Did we run ons or do we need to think about that, in my event plan I actually have so the minute by minute that you saw in the production schedule. I have that in a script as well. So my lead presenter will have his way your intro goes at this time, roughly This is when you do introductions at this time, roughly, it’s your first set of questions, you want to be trying to do the poll about 1035 because that then leads you into audience q&a. And for a chair that actually makes them feel really comfortable again, that they’re not going to, you know, lose track of time or or let the event run away with them or miss an opportunity to to share something important. And I just thought I’d share this.

This is kind of what I’ve been doing for the events I’ve run over the past couple of weeks. And so we’ve had is that seven Yes, seven webinars in the past two weeks, and I wants to compare registration to attendance conversion rates. And actually, they’re pretty similar, which means there’s not a huge amount there’s one there that’s 42%, which we’ll have a look at and see what we could have done differently. But by tracking it, we can just a understand if if the events that we’re running continue to be on track, but also think about whether we need to make any changes in what we’re doing. And I’ve also been looking at time in session to see if people are dropping out really early on.

And actually, I think that’s probably a pretty good reflection. Not everybody can commit an hour. So we do find people drop out after half an hour because they need to go do something else. And they’ll catch up on the rest of the recording, but 60 to 70% staying for the whole thing. I think that’s, that’s good. I’m happy with that so far. But we’ll continue to do that analysis on an event by event basis and make sure we stay on track. So coming to the end. And it’s really important that at the beginning, the headlines said 90%, process 10% glamour, you’ve got to celebrate the 10% because actually that is the bit that gives you the bars, it gives you the high it’s where you get, you know all the joy of the work that you’ve put in. So before this is running up to March, this is what my celebration looked like amazing speakers along the top, fiercer in Soho house where we had a film screening woolsley for breakfast. Just look at the Dorchester for afternoon tea with a brilliant women network. And this is the celebration in the last eight weeks. So quite similar constantly looking at screens, but the presenters are no less impressive. I mentioned Claire Rafferty, and Naomi over here. And then we’ve got Louise Richardson, who’s the Director of Marketing for Pinterest, and Darren Bentley, who’s the CTO for kazoo and then this lady here, she runs all of the influencer programmes for sky so we’re getting the opportunity to meet some interesting people. It’s just we’re doing it from the comfort of our own home. And so whistlestop tour of it and hopefully, thank you rock that was useful.

Unknown Speaker 32:48
I love the rock.

Joe Glover 32:49
Don’t we? Oh, it’s impossible not to love the rock. And

Emma Honeybone 32:54
just one thing though. So on my CRM training, I actually enter my new contact is Rock. It’s Dwayne Johnson at Terra mana tequila. And that’s the person I answer into the system show people how to use

Joe Glover 33:08
this man, he’s just getting absolutely slammed by your marketing automation.

Emma Honeybone 33:12
I don’t think I’ve got his correct email address. And if it doesn’t work,

Joe Glover 33:16
you have to reply on day. Thank you. Just please, please unsubscribe me from this email address

Emma Honeybone 33:22
actually. Stop it now.

Joe Glover 33:27
That was wicked. Thank you so much. I’m

Emma Honeybone 33:29
not sharing my screen.

Joe Glover 33:31
Yeah, I mean, as much as we’d like to stare at the rock. Every time I see you speak, then I’m just reminded pay how organised you are and be what a process I need to drive around things.

Emma Honeybone 33:45
With the template.

Joe Glover 33:47
Yeah, I need it. 100% either. So we’ve already had a whole bunch of questions come in. And there’s a couple of things to say about this. The first is if you hadn’t the q&a feature, there’s there’s like 18 questions already. We’ve got about 20/25 minutes. So if people want to use the thumbs up feature, to get the best questions, the top or the questions you want answered, that will really help me because there’s about 400 different screens going on right now. And the second thing is like, if you’ve got any questions, now’s the time to ask them because we’ll be answering them. So Well, there’s been a small explosion in thumbs up, which is great. So the first one actually comes from the mysterious anonymous attendee. So if you don’t mind, we’ll just go through one by one. So

Emma Honeybone 34:31
there might be for those anonymous attendee matching them as a particular way.

Joe Glover 34:36
There’s probably it’s probably the rock is probably

Emma Honeybone 34:38
I’m sure it follows me everywhere.

Joe Glover 34:41
Yeah. So the rock asks, How do you stand out among amongst the competition with webinars, especially during the current climate?

Emma Honeybone 34:48
So firstly, I don’t think that’s should be your consideration to stand out. It should absolutely be. What do we want to talk about with our clients, and how do we want to talk to them. If you have the right content with the right panel, and you send it to the people if that it’s of interest to them, they will engage. And the other thing that I’m really, really passionate about is it’s not about the hundred and 30 people in isolation who are on this webinar at the moment, there are a whole bunch of people who would like to be here and can’t, who will still have access to this content. And one of the big benefits of webinars that we mentioned earlier is the fact that you have this asset that you can then share. And so when you record it, one thing I would say is it’s really nice to break it down into little bite sized chunks of topics. And that way you can say here’s a little bit about us talking about his purpose important in the brand conversation still. So I don’t think it’s about standing out from the competition if you’ve got the right content targeted at the right people with the right experts. You

Joe Glover 35:55
know, absolutely. I guess it comes down to the the sort of circle that you had around target audience. And the point at the time was that you can have a broader amount of folks then if even if you have 10 people on the call, and then invite 10 people that, you know, you don’t need the hundreds,

Emma Honeybone 36:13
I mean, I was as a layer to that. And in that one of the things you can do is make sure you really utilise the people who are involved. So when I run my influencer series, and make sure they share the webinar to their audience, and then we will get sign up through a different routes. LinkedIn is brilliant in terms of being able to promote content, you know, you’ve seen how well Joe does it for the marketing nice up, he gets lots of engagement, lots of interaction. So there are things you can do to elevate it, but I don’t think you should be starting a position of thinking about competition because it will just take you down a rabbit hole of what do they do versus what do we do rather than what is it we stand for? that’s a

Joe Glover 36:53
that’s a really great point. Thank you. So second question from Polly Not the rock, unfortunately, Polly is lovely. So what are the ways that you’ve kind of identified to make webinars more hands on or engaging, especially if you’re using a platform like YouTube live, where viewers are unable to participate in polls like with zoom?

Emma Honeybone 37:17
Yeah. So I think sometimes you just have to accept the limitations of some platforms. And if you’ve got a poll where you really want to ask an opinion do before the webinar includes it within the invitation, you know, say up front look, we’re going to be doing this via YouTube, YouTube, like YouTube Live, or you’re going to be joining us via YouTube Live. And so you’re going to be really on very much a broadcast mode rather than a two way engagement. But we still want your input. So think about different routes of engaging with people outside of the webinar itself, so they feel like they’re able to contribute, and it takes a little bit more organisation but it’s not impossible to do that. The only bit is you then need to do a little bit of calibration of results if you want to share the results live In a session, but whenever I run a webinar, I have a team of people who are doing things like monitoring questions and analysing things if we run multiple polls, analysing the results and bringing in some statistics to support that, so you can do it. It’s just not as straightforward as doing it live in the in the webinar.

Joe Glover 38:18
I agree. And actually, on that point, when we were chatting before, and you mentioned, doing the poll is also a great way to sort of get, you know, information almost like, you know, like a survey that you’d send out and stuff like that. So,

Emma Honeybone 38:31
absolutely, yeah, we’ve asked questions on polls that have given us insights into where brands are going to spend money, for example, and we’ve been very upfront, you know, the question clearly says, We want to know what your priorities are moving forwards. But on zoom webinar, you get a report that tells you how everybody answers the poll question. Where would you get that if you were in a live venue where people voted, you might get people raising their hands, or you might if you’re lucky and you’ve got budget have the ability for people to vote using a panel on Sep don’t know who says what? This This, to me is transformational in terms of how we’re engaging with people and understanding what they need.

Joe Glover 39:09
Absolutely. And also to reinforce your point as well. I think that forgiveness, you know, human presentation, but I think people do. You know, so far as I’m aware, and the feedback that we’ve got, people are just like, yeah, it’s a webinar, you know, yeah. That’s, that’s what we expect, you know. So it’s also reflective of the times,

Emma Honeybone 39:28
yeah, and the benefits are, they’re not having to travel to places they’re not having to leave that asking is quite easy. And they can do other things. One of the things I always say in my script for my chairs is, look, we know that life gets in the way, if you have to drop off and go and sell out the kids or you get an A DVD delivery or a Tesco food delivery. You’ll get the recording so people are just a bit more relaxed about it, which is just so lovely. It’s much more engaging, clearly.

Joe Glover 39:57
Agree. Yeah, absolutely. So you’ve already been Give us the stats on people who sign up versus attend. Yeah. Events online. What’s your best guess on how that compares to? in person? Maybe? Maybe? Yes.

Emma Honeybone 40:12
No, I’ve got the stats are typical. I mean, we are literally we are running at 50 to 58% conversion for webinars. So, this morning had 117 people registered 69 people turned up. If I run a face to face event, I can expect somewhere between 40 and 50% of people to drop out on the day. If it’s raining, I can expect that to drop even lower. So if it’s really bad weather achieved blinds gone down in London, and you know, there’s a football match happening that evening my my attendance rates are going to go through the floor, and so not too similar but probably 5060 is still About right, I’m not seeing it, you know, move that much.

Joe Glover 41:05
And it’s been so much the same with the events that we’ve been running.

Emma Honeybone 41:10
Yeah. And the thing again, I’ll go back to is

people do get obsessed with bums on seats, and they measure success by how many people are in the room or on the call. And that isn’t the measure of success. The measure of success is how many people said, Oh, this looks really interesting, but I can’t come that’s an engagement. I’d love to come Put me down as tentative. They don’t show up. That’s an engagement. I couldn’t make it because this happens. That’s an engagement. All of those are opportunities to speak to somebody. Okay, in the room. It’s slightly different because you have an experience with that person, but it doesn’t mean that it’s any less successful. Unless you don’t follow up.

Joe Glover 41:47

Unknown Speaker 41:48
Your own head.

Joe Glover 41:49
Yeah, no, 100% that follow up is so crucial. I can agree with that more. Folks. Don’t forget to keep doing those thumbs up if you want it you see a good question and you want Up, actually, on this point, rather than moving to the top one, I’ll move to the second one because it’s on this topic, which is what would you do to improve attendance rate.

Emma Honeybone 42:11
So that to me again, it’s the same for face to face to face events as it is for online events is it’s all about the columns in the run up. So every time someone registers to attend an event, a calendar invite goes into their diary, a personal calendar invites so we’re not relying on them to click the attitude calendar. We’re not relying on them to remember to come along, we make sure that in the run up, they get a reminder, you know, this events going to take place in a week or with the webinars, we’re saying your events taking place tomorrow and then an hour before which I know Joe does as well. We also will drop in snippets of what they’re going to hear. So we’ll get presenters or panellists or experts to share a little nuggets, you know, Margaret’s is going to swear for an hour on And how he thinks that we’re all screwed, and that nobody’s gonna have any compassion left afterwards. Well, yeah, I’m gonna rock up to that. No. It’s about teasing people with why it’s still relevant to them why it’s still a good investment of their time. The other thing is, if you do that, you’re more in control of people who drop out. So you’re managing your numbers much more tightly, because people if you send them a reminder, most people feel compelled to say, I’m really sorry, I can’t come if they can’t, rather than if it’s just in their diary they get it’s not it’s not that important. But if Emma sent them something, and there’s a real person attached to it, I will I’ll make sure I let you know me know. So those sorts of things, I think a good for improving your attendance rates, no guarantees. So you know, I

Joe Glover 43:48
think it’s very easily to get quite demoralised. Yeah. When when people don’t show but I think you’ve made a couple of really, really good points there. The first is, don’t worry about the bums on seats. necessarily because you know, you’ve you’ve got also got the opportunity to engage. But then there is also a lot you can do. And you’ve nailed it with communications, that’s like, hundred percent that makes difference and zooms functionality where you can remind people a day and

Emma Honeybone 44:16
I mean, God, it’s hideous to look at is so grim. I mean, every time I type in the content, I just grimace at how ugly they are. But they’re very effective. You know how you’ve registered confirmation. Here’s a reminder, here’s a reminder, thank you for coming.

Joe Glover 44:34
topics that couldn’t agree more. So we’ve got a question from Charlotte, do you have any tips for good calls to actions after free webinars? And yeah,

Emma Honeybone 44:47
yes, interestingly, I we don’t do any events where we charge all of our events free. And the reason we do that is we see it as a value add to our clients. We want them to feel connected to To us, if we have to start charging for events, then we’re going to get a very different audience, we want you and yes, there’s always the arguments around. If people charge, they’re less, if you charge people are less likely to drop out because they’ve made a financial commitment, but I don’t have that customer base. So it would feel unusual call to action for me is a number of things. So I would always segment my markets, by clients, prospects and then other so other could be people we, we don’t work with and they’re not really in a role at the moment, but we want to maintain a relationship. So I’ll categorise them in a way that tells me a little bit about each group. And then we sit down as a team and we think right what is it we want to tell that group clients we want to remind them why their clients Benjen so we make sure the content that we share with them adds value. We give them something they can take back into the business that they can share with their team’s prospects. We sing our praises. We say thank you for joining us. You might not know we were Martha lane Fox report that resulted in the creation of We were the people behind Robert De Niro Spiegel advert like It or Love it. It was Robert De Niro people, you know, this is really good stuff. So we would remind that group, we would tell that group, why they should think about working with us. And then the other, especially those people where they’re in between jobs, we just make them feel loved. You know, we know they’re going to land somewhere else, we know they’re going to end up in a job where if they remember us with fondness, and that we ask, and you know, real context to their job, then they’ll come back to engine so the call to action for us is always about what we can give to the customer that will help us to have a conversation. we very rarely sell in follow up. It’s very rare for us to pitch anything. We just make them feel like you we should speak to you. You’re super smart and you’re doing really good things.

Joe Glover 46:52
That’s so cool. Good on you. Yeah, I mean, this is someone doing marketing right folks. Okay, so Rock has once again, pitched him with another anonymous question. So he says, Is it too late to start running a webinar series with so many companies now doing them? Has it become an overcrowded market? Will we be seen as late to the party or jumping on the bandwagon?

Emma Honeybone 47:16
Now? I don’t think so at all. And if anything, you know, I’d be thinking now about the future. So what do we think the future is going to look like for our organisation, we’re going to live in a hybrid model. For a period of time, there are going to be some people who go back to the office, and they’re going to be some people who stay at home. webinars have a really important part to play, particularly in that hybrid stage. Because you’re not going to be able to say, well, let’s start running all of our events in London again, or Manchester and Newcastle or Birmingham or Bristol or wherever it is that you’re located, because you’re going to miss a big section of your audience who will not feel comfortable getting on the train to go into the office, and he may not have childcare sorted because their school isn’t going to be open. So I’d be fine. thinking, what is it we want to communicate to our audience and don’t think about it as a webinar series, that’s just your channel to market. And if again, if you’ve got interesting content that targets people in a way that deliver some value, inform some something new or give some something that enables them to go back into their business. One of the things I love doing is making people who come to our events feel like heroes. So they learn something new that they can take into their business and say, we can do this and we’re going to transform the way they work. So that’s what I’d be thinking about. You’re not late to the party, and you’re definitely not jumping on the bandwagon. This is it people we need to do more of this moving forwards. So true. So true.

Joe Glover 48:42
Folks, we’ve got 10 minutes left. So we’re like we’re going to be in like a quick fire round tour. So a territory here. So like, hammer those thumbs up if you want them because that’s the way I’m going to be picking the questions all right. Before we do that brutal finish

Unknown Speaker 48:56

Joe Glover 49:00
So we’ve got a question from beau, who says, How do you recommend managing audience participation? Comment workshops.

Emma Honeybone 49:09
So let’s say things like, zoom, you know, the rooms option I think I would use. So get, you know, get everybody together to start with exactly as you’d run it. It’s just tech, I think we’re with is different. There’s a cultural aspect that you have to take people on a journey. But the Tech has been set up in a way that it does enable you to run workshops in a way that we have before. There’s also lots of really interesting workshop tools that you can use in terms of scribing and capturing information again, I get we’ve got this brilliant tech team, I get them to share some insights and send it to Joe. But there’s a rooms function on zoom, for example, where you can send Joe uses this for his his conversation sessions, where you can send people off in little groups and they can they can have conversations and then come back and share with the group. what they were thinking. In terms of bigger

sessions, things like this,

you would in an in a face to face environment, you wouldn’t allow people to just keep chipping in all the way through. So I think it’s, again, we’re replicating as if someone was on a stage doing a talk. The question I’m not sure it does actually, Bo, Does that answer the question?

Joe Glover 50:20
And I will see if they come in, but I can

Emma Honeybone 50:22
also pitch in and tell me and I can always come back to it after this if you want to know anything else.

Joe Glover 50:27
Absolutely. I think there’s there’s that that piece which you’ve alluded to, you know, the, the, almost the cultural element of it, you know, people are getting used to speaking over each other and management. And you spoke about in the talk as well sort of muting people as they went. And even, you know, to sort of reflect on this, this talk, you know, when you were speaking, I muted myself. Yeah, like, there’s like funny bits where I was like laughing when you’ve muted and stuff like that. So there are only sort of subtle layers of learning about

Emma Honeybone 50:58
exactly, and I I think the key thing is it’s is a, it’s just a means of us working. The great thing at the moment is that we’re all doing it. So when it will get really challenging is when we want to run workshops that are internal. And there’s a bunch of us at home, and there’s a bunch of us in the office and the bunch of us at home are often forgotten. We’re on video when we’re not in the room, and people don’t remember that we’re there. That’s going to be a really interesting transition culturally. Absolutely. And actually, that’s Maria’s question. Would you still continue doing

Joe Glover 51:30
webinars here and there when we start going back to the, to the new normal?

Emma Honeybone 51:34
Without? Yeah, without question, and actually, what I’ve already started planning is what this means is that I can save my budget for really high end face to face events, and I can make them very experiential, so that if people are going to commit that amount of time, then I want it to feel really special. But this has shown me that actually, we can hit people really quickly with subjects that are topical Call and we’re not having to wait eight weeks because we need to get dates in people’s diaries. So yeah, without without doubt, we’ll continue to do webinars moving forward. And I’m so delighted after trying to do them for probably five or six years

Joe Glover 52:12
is funny, it would be really interesting to see, the funniest thing I found about this experience is that so what there’s about 135 people in the room at peak hours 106 there’s 106 people in a room. You need a really, really big room.

Emma Honeybone 52:28
How do you budget for these things? It’s really, really hard. Another one just really quickly, I run up brilliant women network, which is an hour said about C suites that this is very much a C suite conversation. And it enables women who are business leaders to get together and just share their thoughts and it’s not talking about tights and women’s issues. It’s very much what are the differences as as a female leader, and we usually do those as face to face breakfasts. once a quarter. We’ve done bring your own breakfast every two weeks since the middle of March. We would know First on that before they’re loving it because it’s half an hour cup of coffee before they start their day and and more people are being able to get involved because they didn’t have to travel into London.

Joe Glover 53:10
And they were their gym shorts underneath their

Emma Honeybone 53:15
or their flip flops.

Joe Glover 53:18
And so cat says, and there’s probably quite a short

Emma Honeybone 53:22
answer, imagine how many engagement tools such as poll surveys, etc, would you do one or two tops? I’ve done what I would usually do one poll, possibly two, if I had a lot of questions, a lot of info wants to gather. And I have started doing feedback, a quick feedback form at the end, just to say, you know, what did you think would you like to sign up to the series, but yeah, no more than that. It is actually a bit intrusive, because it pops up on your screen, divert your attention, you’re having to think about what you’re reading rather than what you’re listening to.

Joe Glover 53:51
And there was a question I saw somewhere which asked about feedback tools. So there is in fact on the zoom thing. To this this session, you get an automatic link to the back surveys. So we usually do but what to use for feedback afterwards.

Emma Honeybone 54:10
So we don’t ask clients back we allow the account teams to do that. Because Because people we have we want them to go and speak to their customer and say, How did you find it? But we give them you know, the things that we want to measure, and they do it in a in a sort of more informal way. But we do use survey tools, and we’ve used Survey Monkey in the past, but we’ve moved to a new one this last week. I can’t remember surveygizmo. I think we’ve moved to

Joe Glover 54:35
a lot of them crucified here, but they’re much of a muchness, and they are

Emma Honeybone 54:39
there, and a lot of them are free if you only ask up to 10 questions, so it’s worth looking at those options. Absolutely.

Joe Glover 54:47
So do you find a question from Emma, who another Emma, and another lovely, he says, Do you find time In a matter and attendance, and Do you have evidence slash experience to support this? And has this changed since COVID?

Emma Honeybone 55:06
Yeah, so, time of day, yes, from face to face perspective, I would measure that really quite rigidly and I would only ever do events Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. And I would try and do breakfasts rather than post work because the minute someone gets into the office, they are at risk of being pulled in all directions. And having to leave the office, go to a location and then think about travelling home is much harder than coming into London going to a location and then going to the office. So time and day, certainly massive face to face. In terms of evidence. We’ve tried a couple of different time slots. And we tried lunchtime. A lot of our customers are managing kids are home at the moment lunchtime does not work. They really struggle that’s the time to be family. So we typically do 10 o’clock and that seems to be good. People can come in and get a started taken out two o’clock so similar unique, has a lunch break, you’ve come back lunch Break, who am I kidding? You know, you’ve had an opportunity to have a break. So we are doing some analysis. But I don’t think I’ve got enough data yet in this situation to say when the webinars are most successful, other than the fact we’re doing them at a similar time and our stats are remaining very static is probably a good indicator.

Joe Glover 56:17
Absolutely. I feel like this next question is from is one of the big ones. And so maybe we’ve got like, three minutes left. So perhaps we focus on this. And once again, the rock is chimed in. And it gets funnier every time. He said, just freakin loves them. So would you recommend zoom as a platform? And I’m going to change the question here because they said did you do your research before you hosted? They obviously don’t know who they’re speaking? You know, why did you choose zoom? And then what if we’re going to get really geeky? What are the key features that you love from more than any of that, so

Emma Honeybone 56:59
Actually, even though I did do the research, someone mentioned, I think there was a mention of budget, we talked about budget. In fact, you mentioned it earlier. And we like many organisations are cutting costs drastically at the moment. And we’re doing that because we want to save jobs. And we’re not going to spend money unnecessarily when we’ve got people on furlough because we want everybody to have a job to come back to. and marketing is obviously one of the first places that gets hit when you look to cut costs. We already had zoom as a platform, not for webinars within the business and I was paying to use GoToWebinar. GoToWebinar as a user experience is much nicer, but in reality, zoom is not that dissimilar. But my biggest gripe with zoom is whoever designs it has no aesthetic eye whatsoever, and they hide features all over the shop. So you know, we had someone run a webinar and I thought I briefed her really well. And I’ve missed a really critical point which was enable practice session. Yeah, so enable practice session is not how it sounds. It’s not a pre webinar practice. It means that when you start the webinar, you are not in broadcast mode. It’s just me and Joe having a chat, Joe showing me a shorts and me showing him my dad might have shirts on. But the reality is underneath we are in sunshine moods. So it gives you that time just to you know, have a quick chat with your with with the people who are on board. And we went live straight away with our CEO, and one of the directors of pets at home. So we had to be up front and say hi, you know, you’ve got us here we’re just having a little chat beforehand, but so seems great, but it’s it’s worth getting some guidance on where all the features are hidden. Like some of the recording features. The audio transcript is hidden, buried away somewhere it’s trial and error. But I think if you know what, I think it serves a purpose I think it does really well. I found it has delivers everything I needed to apart from beautiful emails. Yeah,

Joe Glover 59:00
yeah. Likewise, did a, you know reasonable amount of research stuff within? We settled on zoom? Not because it was beautiful, but because it just seems to do the job that it’s supposed to do. It’s stable. You get is there on sale of platforms. It just does what it says on the tin. So.

Emma Honeybone 59:21
So yeah, I think it’s pretty good.

Joe Glover 59:22
Absolutely. Right. So there’s been a whole bunch of questions that come in, but I’m mindful of time, and we are speaking to someone who shows their day by a minute at a time. So we’re all we need to say a huge, huge thank you to him. I think that has been really illuminating on both strategic and tactical level. So you know, thank you very much. And you can see the comments started coming

Emma Honeybone 59:46
in. I really enjoyed it. I could talk for hours about a subject.

Joe Glover 59:51
Maybe we should record like a Joe Rogan esque podcast like four hours long as

Emma Honeybone 59:56
you have a chat about all the things you love and all the things that cause us frustrating

Everybody locked in. I really appreciate your time.

Joe Glover 1:00:04
Absolutely. Thank you so much. And yet, you’ll see that the the URL for the feedback survey will come up on the window straight afterwards. So please do take the time to fill that in. And also please do take the time to thank the sponsors. They’ve been wonderful. As I say, You’ve all been wonderful and has been wonderful. It’s a sunny day. Life’s good in many, many ways. So thank you so much. And now for the brutal goodbye. Take care everyone.

Emma Honeybone 1:00:37


"This is the greatest email I've ever received"

You're a marketer, so we know the promise of 'the latest news straight to your inbox' isn't going to cut it.

So, join our newsletter if you would like to become a better marketer by:

- Hearing about our weekly webinars with some of the world's greatest marketing minds

- Get marketing resource lists and writing in digestible formats.

- Smile and have a nice time. This isn't just a normal newsletter.

Thanks! You're in the club :)