Harness the Power of Influencer Marketing with snöball

December 13, 2018

Merriam-Webster defines the snowball effect as a situation in which one action or event causes many other similar actions or events. And that is exactly what event tech startup snöball (with a lowercase “s”) is designed to do for word-of-mouth, or influencer, marketing.

Snöballhelps event organizers harness the power of influencer marketing and put it to use for their events. With snöball, planners can empower all their constituents, or micro-influencers, to raise awareness of an event in a personal — and therefore more meaningful — manner. 

The brainchild of industry veteran Rachel Stephan, who also is the founder of agency Sensov Event Marketing, snöball has been taking the industry by storm, earning multiple accolades over the past couple of years.  

The company was a finalist in the 2017 IMEX Pitch and IBTM World 2017 Tech Watch Awards, won IBTM’s 2017 Best Use of PR award and earlier this year was shortlisted for an Event Technology Award from Event Tech Live. 

It’s not surprising that snöball is gaining steam. According to research from Nielsen and Business 2 Community, 82 percent of Americans seek recommendations prior to purchasing and 67 percent report that they are more likely to purchase after seeing a product shared by a friend or family member on social media or via email. 

Snöball takes advantage of the human desire for personal recommendations, providing a vehicle for event organizers to extend their brand reach. Using trusted sources to amplify messaging puts the snowball — or snöball — effect into action.

“Having your influencers promote your event carries more weight than your own promotion,” said Stephan. “It also makes them feel like they have a stake in the event’s success.”

With snöball, personalized landing pages are generated for each potential influencer: speakers, exhibitors/sponsors and attendees. 

A speaker’s landing page may include the details of her session, such as date, time and room, while an exhibitor’s page may include their booth number and company description. Both can have video embedded, to promote sessions, products, services or any other relevant areas of interest, while exhibitors can also take advantage of a one-on-one meeting request feature to help drive demo traffic. 

Automated emails are sent to each influencer, with a link to their unique landing page along with suggested content pre-formatted for a variety of social media channels. Recipients can personalize or use the content exactly as is. And of course, making it easy for people to share increases their likelihood of doing so.  

The service is completely white glove and as Stephan puts it, the company acts like a “marketing concierge.” 

To get the (snö)ball rolling, the event planner would meet with the snöball team to determine the scope of the project and needs, provide a spreadsheet with a few fields’ worth of information, then simply sit back and relax. Snöball can provide recommendations for messages, types of messages and categories of influencer to reach. 

Analytics is used on each landing page, allowing event organizers to readily see conversion rates and analyze the results of each campaign. 

This can be especially helpful for incentives: perhaps a salesperson can only go to the event if they get a certain number of registrants to register through their unique link. A speaker who shares the most social media posts may be given public recognition onsite at the event, or perhaps a customer who is able to influence the highest number of registrations wins a free pass to the following year’s event. 

This analysis can also help spark ideas for future marketing campaigns. If a particular speaker has a significant number of page views, Stephan suggests that marketers may wish to work with them on creating and promoting new content. 

In addition to promoting an event, or specific event information such as an early bird registration cutoff date or a newly added keynote speaker, snöball can also be used for pre- or post-event content campaigns, such as a call for proposals or session voting. In fact, using the platform cyclically can help event organizers build excitement around key milestones all year ’round. 

But how much value does the platform really add? And do the influencers even see the emails encouraging them to promote the event? 

According to Stephan, the answer is a resounding “yes.” She reports that there is a 30-70 percent open rate on the emails to influencers and mentioned one client as an example who saw a 10 percent increase in event registrations within 24 hours of launching the first snöball. 

Now, that’s a snöball effect!

To learn more about launching your own snöball, go HERE


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Partner Voices
Less than six months ago, Lisa Messina joined the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) as the first-ever chief sales officer after leading the sales team at Caesars Entertainment. A 12-year Las Vegas resident, Messina is a graduate of Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration and serves on MPI International’s board of directors. TSNN had a chance to catch up with this dynamic leader and talk to her about her vision for the new role, current shifts in the trade show industry, creating more diversity and equity within the organization, and advice to future female leaders. Lisa Messina, Chief Sales Officer, LVCVA With Las Vegas becoming The Greatest Arena on EarthTM, what are some of the things you’re most excited about in your role? Our team was at The Big Game’s handoff ceremony earlier this month, and I couldn’t help but think, “We’re going to crush it next year!”  These high-profile events and venues not only drive excitement, but also provide unmatched opportunities for event planners. Allegiant Stadium hosts events from 10 to 65,000 people and offers on-field experiences. Formula 1 Grand Prix will take place in Las Vegas in November, after the year-one F1 race, the four-story paddock building will be available for buyouts and will also offer daily ride-along experiences that will be available for groups. And, of course, the MSG Sphere officially announced that it will open in September, ahead of schedule, with a U2 residency. It’s going to be the most technologically advanced venue as far as lighting, sound, feel, and even scent, and it will be available for buyouts and next-level sponsorships inside and outside. There’s no ceiling to what you can do when you’re doing events in Las Vegas.  Allegiant Stadium As the trade show and convention business returns to the pre-pandemic levels, what shifts are you noticing and how do you think they will impact the industry going forward? Our trade show organizers are very focused on driving customer experience. Most of our organizers are reporting stronger exhibitor numbers and increased numbers of new exhibitors, with trade shows proving to be almost or above 2019 levels. Now our organizers are really doubling down on driving attendance and focusing on the data to provide that individualized, customized experience to help attendees meet their goals and get the best value. Some companies continue to be cautiously optimistic with their organizational spend when it comes to sending attendees, but I think it will continue to improve. As the U.S. Travel Association makes more progress on the U.S. visa situation, we also expect a growing influx of international attendees. What are some innovative ways the LVCVA helps trade show and convention organizers deliver the most value for their events? We focus on customer experience in the same way that trade show organizers are thinking about it. We got rave reviews with the West Hall Expansion of the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC), so over the next two years, we will be renovating the North and the Central halls, which will include not just the same look and feel, but also the digital experiences that can be leveraged for branding and sponsorship opportunities.  Vegas Loop, the underground transportation system designed by The Boring Company, is also a way we have enhanced the customer experience. Vegas Loop at the LVCC has transported more than 900,000 convention attendees across the campus since its 2021 launch. Last summer, Resorts World and The Boring Company opened the first resort stop at the Resorts World Las Vegas , with plans to expand throughout the resort corridor, including downtown Las Vegas, Allegiant Stadium and Harry Reid International Airport. The LVCVA also purchased the Las Vegas Monorail in 2020, the 3.9-mile-long elevated transportation system that connects eight resorts directly to the convention center campus. This is the only rail system in the world that integrates fares directly into show badges and registration. For trade show organizers, these transportation options mean saving time, money and effort when it comes to moving groups from the hotels to LVCC and around the city. Also, the more we can focus on building the infrastructure around the convention center, the more it supports the customer experience and ultimately supports our trade show organizers. Scheduled to debut in Q4, Fontainebleau Las Vegas will offer 3,700 hotel rooms and 550,000 square feet of meeting and convention space next to LVCC.  What are some of the plans for advancing DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) within your organization? We’re currently partnering with instead of working with a leading consulting firm, to lay the foundation and create a solid DEI plan and be the leader when it comes to DEI initiatives. The heart of that journey with the consulting firm is also talking to our customers about their strategic approaches to DEI and driving innovation in this space.  What are your favorite ways to recharge? My husband and I have an RV and we’re outdoorsy people. So, while we have over 150,000 world-class hotel rooms and renowned restaurants right outside our doorstep, one of my favorite things to do is get out to Red Rock Canyon, the Valley of Fire, and Lake Mead. Five of the top national parks are within a three-hour drive from Las Vegas, so there’s a lot you can do. We love balancing the energy of Las Vegas with nature, and we’re noticing that a lot of attendees add activities off the Strip when they come here.  Valley of Fire What advice would you give to women following leadership paths in destination marketing? I think it’s about being laser-focused on what you want to accomplish; building a team around you that lifts you and helps you achieve your goals; and being humble and realizing that you do it as a group. No one gets this done alone. Thankfully, there are a lot of women in leadership in this organization, in our customers’ organizations, and in this city that we can be really proud of. We’re a formidable force that is making things happen.   This interview has been edited and condensed. This article is exclusively sponsored by the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority. For more information, visit HERE.