• Q&A with Kelly Reardon-Sleicher, Co-Founder of Startup Tech Valley

    Startup Tech Valley is an event that is joined by 200 people each month in providing, “a common ground to engage and inspire entrepreneurial activity and discussions in our community and beyond. A fantastic series of events for individuals interested in entrepreneurship to learn from experienced entrepreneurs, launch a new venture to the public, and demo/pitch new products for feedback (and potential initial customers and investors). The program is sponsored by the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Paul J. ’69 and Kathleen M. Severino Center for Technological Entrepreneurship and other local community partners.”


    1. What is essential from event space management to help you have a successful event?

    Politeness, the ability to listen to my needs, take direction on the day of the event, and good email follow thru to requests.


    1. What industry trends do you predict will have a big impact on events and conferences?

    COVID-19 isn't an industry trend but it sure will have an impact on in-person events moving forward. A front runner in the area of technology which connects people live in a networking atmosphere should eventually get a foothold. Audience participation and engagement tools will continue to evolve. AV quality should improve also.


    1. Do you already lean towards technology to make a successful event or would you be inclined to try more technology if you haven’t had an opportunity yet?

    I use the basics and am not usually an early adopter but will eventually start using new tech as it arises.


    1. In your opinion, what do you see the best exhibitors at an event do to engage attendees?

    Being personable helps. Drawing participants' attention with color, movement and sound. Showing something new helps too.


    1. What tips do you have for first time event organizers to successfully run an event?

    Overbudget and expect hiccups that no one but you will notice.


    1. In your opinion, what creates a great event and earns rave reviews from attendees?

    It depends on the event, but food, technology, attendees present, room temperature and lighting.


    For more information on Startup Tech Valley please visit this link: http://startuptechvalley.org/


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  • Five Foolproof Ways to Promote Your Loyalty Program



    We’ve done some research at CenterSquare and found that there’s a right way and wrong way to get customers to join your loyalty program. 


    1. Train staff to get the word out. Are they mentioning the program to your customers at all touch-points, but especially at the cash register? They are your most important loyalty program promoter. Be sure that you are asking the right question when promoting your loyalty program. You do not want to lead the customer to say "NO" and have them walk out without signing up. 
      • Three ways to start the conversation about your loyalty program:
        1. "Do you have any rewards to redeem today?" It gets your customer to think about how they are missing out not being a member.
        2. "Are you a member of our rewards program?" This question allows your customer to answer with a "YES" or "NO". If no proceed with letting them know what reward they get for signing up and how they can start collecting today to get more rewards.
        3. "Do you have the CenterSquare app on your phone?" This question gives you the opportunity to invite customers to join, and share the rewards they will receive by joining.
    2. Offer a signup incentive. Nothing motivates buyers like an incentive. Offer double points, use a coupon or enter customer into a drawing for a prize upon sign up. Create a reason for people to sign up.
    3. Make it worth their time. If customers have to wait too long to claim a reward, or if the reward itself is lackluster, you’ll have a hard time signing up people.
    4. Promote on multiple channels. Social Media, your website, emails, in-store signage, give out business cards and flyers.
    5. Referrals - Give customers more free things for bringing in a friend. You’ll have even more happy members.


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