Friday Buzz: How McDonald’s Scored Big With Its Corporate Event

The fast-food giant crafted a successful event strategy that focused as much on the people who couldn't attend as those who could. Also: An association management pro looks to his hometown sports teams for inspiration.

No matter your opinion of Mickey D’s food, you have to be impressed by the company’s ability to consistently come up with inventive marketing approaches.

That inventiveness extends to its event planning. Every two years, the company puts on a Worldwide Convention in Orange County, California, and it tried a new approach to promote the event this year: Rather than simply launching an event site on its intranet, it created a content-heavy Facebook-style news feed.

“It was a more digestible news-bite type format rather than heavy reading. It’s categorized into topic areas, and you can search and filter by topic,” the company’s Lisa Fingerhut told BizBash magazine. “It features messages that are designed to resonate with and align the entire system.”

Why this particular content strategy? Simple: The company was trying to engage people who don’t go to the event, rather than the 15,000 owner-operators, corporate staffers, suppliers, and franchisees who already do. Likewise, the company leaned heavily on live-streaming this year in an effort to attract that audience. With 35,000 unique visitors to the website since its launch, the strategy appears to have worked.

Check BizBash for more details on other tech-friendly strategies McDonald’s undertook for its event.

Love Your Hometown Teams

Being Boston-based, it only makes sense that Virtual, Inc., President Andy Freed might see a lot of leadership lessons through the lens of his hometown sports stalwarts—who, by the way, do quite well for themselves most seasons.

But in the case of one team that’s not doing so well, Freed has some particularly translatable points. To put it simply: You can focus on your past victories only so much, a situation the Boston Celtics know plenty about these days.

“Whether you’re talking Bill Russell, Larry Bird, or Paul Pierce, they dominated for many eras,” he writes. “But none of that matters right now—[the Celtics are] a below-average team at best, playing for a lottery pick. So they’re pretty low on the Boston sports pecking order at the moment. Similarly, your members aren’t going to keep rejoining based on what you did four years ago.”

Read more of Freed’s insights over this way. (ht @andy_freed)

Other Noteworthy links

If you’re a Buffer user, you may want to take a gander at the company’s new Feed feature, designed to make it easy to share an article from any RSS feed on a social network account.

Trying to earn some media coverage? On, WordStream’s Larry Kim offers some advice to boost your press play.

Here’s a pretty genius idea that marketers could totally steal: Cover your packaging with smart writing. Chipotle just started doing it, and though you may not get help from Toni Morrison as Chipotle did, it’s certainly good inspiration.

David M. Patt ponders the pluses and minuses of electronic certificates versus physical ones.

(photo by Miguel Vaca/Flickr)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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