Gregory St. Fort - Marketing Tech Talk - Widen

Episode 2: Gregory St. Fort of LetsKeepBuilding

We’re excited to share our latest episode of Marketing Tech Talks, featuring Gregory St. Fort. As you’ll see, Gregory is a multi-dimensional, welcoming, and funny talent in the event marketing space. You won’t be able to contain your smile as he breaks down his experience and knowledge of event marketing and attributes most of what he knows to his time as a youngster organizing parties with a clear goal of “meeting girls.” While it sounds young and fun, you’ll see how Gregory took a very calculated approach to the business and marketing aspects of the challenge.

At :04, we get a great story about Greg’s background. Prepare to laugh. He talks about the one basic form of marketing that you can do at a young age is throwing a college party. It was his real life intro to the power of networking, relationships and social media.

At 8:14, Gregory transitioned from parties to fashion events. As the party planning market became saturated, Gregory took his event marketing experiences and transitioned to hosting fashion based events, combining known influencers in the New York City fashion scene. Make sure you check out the part where he talks about being a “short guy with a bunch of girls….he must be good.” #classic

At 10:55, finding or creating your niche and speaking to it through all of your channels became a focus. You have to be real and true to your message otherwise it won’t work.

At 12:40, he gets into the power of influencers. Gregory made sure he partnered with the right fashion designers and stylists that were not only influential in the industry, but also had the same beliefs as his brand message. It wasn’t a random thing.

At 13:27, Greg has a great message about how he spoke to people that were more popular than him….speak like you have it and speak with confidence. Of course, there was a parallel between networking and talking to girls at parties in his younger years.

At 15:09, we’re introduced to LetsKeepBuilding, his current company. He took his marketing practices learned by hosting parties and applied them to other industries.

At 18:15, Greg talks about the power of the “story.” Storytelling is a big buzzword in marketing right now, but Greg’s companies have based all of their decisions on “stories” for quite a long time. They truly believe in it, they don’t just use it to make money.

At 20:05, we talk about 100 State, which is a co-working space off the Capitol Square in Madison, WI where Greg is now the events coordinator. The story of how he got the job is another great story of how networking worked for him. He also shares how he’s using event based marketing techniques to grow and retain membership at 100 State.

At 23:58, Gregory share is most important metric for event marketing. It is ENGAGEMENT, not attendance.

At 28:43, Greg talks about his influencer network being the most important thing to scale an event. When events get very big, the influencer needs to be a company, not an individual.

At 29:53, we realize it’s been awhile since we’ve tied event marketing back to girls, so Gregory talks about maintaining relationships with influencers and how it is like maintaining a relationship with a girl. You gotta call or text, or you’re in trouble.

At 33:20, we identify the biggest challenge with event marketing is making sure attendees leave with the intended message or takeaway. It’s not enough that just had “fun.” Having fun is important, but not at the expense of not remembering why they were there in the first place.

At 35:30, Greg talks about measuring engagement post event. If you haven’t noticed by now, Greg is a people person that relies on face to face interactions to get his “data.”  This is data anybody can get, you just need to analyze it differently. Most importantly, he solicits feedback from his influencers, and looks deep into responses to find hidden meaning.

At 39:02, project management software technology takes center stage. Gregory talks about using Podio as his project management software to keep all the details straight. He tracks attendance based on the appearance of each influencer so he knows how many people to expect based on their appearance.

At 40:15, Greg sites Ted Talks as a favorite content source for personal development. He also talks about his favorite book, “Start with Why” by Simon Sinek.

At 44:25, Matthew asks Greg about Solomo technologies (hint: future episode!), a beacon and location technology, and how he’d use it in event marketing. Greg would love to have the ability to see what part of the room attendees move to and when.

At 46:06, Greg talks about how he uses images and video in his event marketing. He currently uses SmugMug, but is looking at SmartImage. He uses images from the previous event to promote future events. Interestingly, he talks about how to use subliminal messages contained within the images, like “dress code.”

At 50:00, Greg talks about his Christmas wish for a full service event application. He talks about popular applications like Eventbright, how he uses them, automates with them with Mailchimp, and where they fall short. .

At 53:40, Matthew notes that Greg had used the term “good API” multiple times. As a web developer, Greg gives his definition of what a good API is, and some frustrations with working with “not good” APIs like Instagram’s.

At 55:48, Greg says “People don’t remember what you say, they remember how they felt.” He automates social media and/or email message for 30 days post event to remind people of how they felt at the event, hoping to remind them of the feeling they had and prompt them to attend the next event.

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