FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Matt Mattson
Carmel, Ind. — Starting in 2019, Fraternity and Sorority marketing strategy services formerly delivered under the Innova brand will now be offered directly from Phired Up. In 2014, Phired Up Productions acquired Innova Marketing, Inc. as part of its strategy to create a full-service system of growth for the fraternity/sorority industry. Innova has operated as a sister brand to Phired Up since then delivering one-of-a-kind marketing strategy and services.
“The name ‘Innova’ is going away, but our commitment to smart, relationship-oriented, data driven marketing strategy is as strong as ever,” said Matt Mattson, Phired Up’s President and co-Founder. “The close relationship between recruitment, marketing, relationships, and all that we teach makes it an obvious move to simplify our brand for our clients.”
As the fraternity and sorority industry continues to evolve, we are excited to offer the services Innova has been trusted to provide directly through Phired Up beginning January 1, 2019. While the quality, expertise, and standards of our work will remain the same, the Innova brand will be retired by the end of this year.
“We have been blown away by the desire in our industry to collaborate with our companies on creative, effective marketing pieces and strategies that have helped campuses across the country attract the types of members fraternity and sorority is meant to attract,” said Mattson. “The Phired Up team has always worked hand-in-hand with Innova to deliver valuable content and expertise to our clients, and we look forward to streamlining our efforts moving forward to help create a more holistic approach to fraternity and sorority marketing.”
As Phired Up more closely works to incorporate Innova’s strategy work into their daily brand, Brendan Nusbaum will continue to serve Innova design clients as Phired Up’s Creative Director. “I’m honored to continue working to serve the design needs of our strategy clients and our industry as we continue working to align the right members with fraternity and sorority,” said Nusbaum.
The company will double down on its efforts to make any and all creative work tie directly to smart marketing strategy. Phired Up will be engaging in creative and collaborative partnerships with additional outside partners to ensure that both the strategy and the tactics employed by our industry are best-in-class. This merging of Innova into the Phired Up brand is part of a larger refresh of the work Phired Up is doing to ensure all of the company’s deliverables are results-focused, relationship-based, and reflective of the needs and feedback from our clients and partners.
Innova clients can continue contacting Phired Up staff via their current contact information. Please direct questions to Matt Mattson at Matt@PhiredUp.com.
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Phired Up Productions helps fraternities and sororities grow. The company’s products, services, and brands are creating the future of fraternities and sororities by transforming the way people join. The company delivers relationship-focused, data-driven, results-producing TECHNOLOGY, EDUCATION, and STRATEGY solutions for every aspect of the pre-member experience from first-impression through initiation.
by Matt Mattson
So, I don’t love using this word, but I’ve admitted it before and it’s true… I am an introvert.
I know I’m not alone. Somewhere between 16% and 50% of all Americans would identify as an introvert.
That said, I’m attending a conference this week that’s important to me. And, I know that over 40% of the attendees at that particular conference (#AFAAM) are usually first-timers (who will almost certainly feel a bit more introverted than they might back home where they know everyone). I need to make the most of this event. It’s important to me personally and professionally. It is to all the attendees. Also, I teach #SocialExcellence for a living, so I better get my act together whether I identify as an “introvert” or not.
Here are my TOP 10 TIPS FOR CONFERENCE SUCCESS (especially for introverted folks)
Make Relationships Your Goal: First, have a goal. Most people spend big money on conference attendance and never stop to ask what they’re hoping to accomplish. I recommend focusing on building new meaningful personal connections. Not passing out as many business cards as humanly possible. You want to come home with real people you really know and can really stay connected with. Every person’s career/purpose will be bolstered by a true “family” of people they trust in the field. It’s not about knowing as many people as possible, it’s about having a friend group within the industry.
One Meaningful Connection Per Two Waking Hours: A lot of people go into a conference thinking they have to meet 10,000 people, and there’s so little time, and also they have to eat, and oh God how are they going to do it, and what if I forget names!!!!!! Be cool, bro. Set some realistic and smart expectations. You’re aiming for real relationships. Not tons of names.* Make your goal 1 person per 2 hours. You’ll probably go beyond that. But that’s reachable and manageable. It also allows for some downtime if you need it. At the end of each conference day, think about the 4-6 people you’ve truly connected with over the last 8-12 hours of conference fun. That’s success
*But What If I’m a Vendor/Salesperson or Looking for Leads? You’ll note my asterisk in the paragraph above. Some people (me included sometimes) really need to come back from a conference with a list of “leads” to which they can sell their stuff (or recruit, or fund raise, or whatever). I get it. Here’s my tip for you — create little moments of emotional connection, and write it down along with their name. Names alone can’t be considered a success. You can buy a list. No, you want a name AND a shared memory to follow up on. Use #SocialExcellence (buy the book here) to tap into the power of creating momentary connection — use curiosity, generosity, authenticity, and vulnerability to create just a little heart to heart connection. Write down those names AND moments. That’s success. Now you have a reason to follow up and something to remember together when you do (p.s. also you weren’t smarmy, sales-y, or pushy… that’s the big win).
Have 3-5 Favorite Questions: I don’t mean work-related predictable questions. I mean your favorite three, four, or five questions you can ask anyone to strike up a real conversation. Mine are, “What’s your story?” “Tell me about your family,” “Give me a highlight (of your day/conference/etc.),” and “What’s next/What are you looking forward to?” These questions are my go-to questions to make small talk something more than small.
Never Eat Alone (Well, actually, go ahead if you need to): Meals are great places to deepen connections — remember, depth is better than quantity as long as your quantity is at least 4-6 different real relationships per day. One of our favorite books from the last 15 years is by a guy named Keith Ferrazzi. He wrote a book called Never Eat Alone, but he also wrote this fun guide to being a “Conference Commando.” Read the guide. Share meals (O.K., you get one Room Service meal, but that’s it!). Bonus tip: Set up lunch and dinner at breakfast time and breakfast at dinner time the day before. Plan your meals ahead. Ask, “I don’t have plans for breakfast/lunch/dinner yet, what are your plans?”
Take a Breather (Or Several): Almost every conference I attend, I will find a 20-30 minute portion in the middle of the day to go back to my hotel room, check my E-mail, and mostly sit in silence. Seriously, do this. You will be friendlier, more curious, and far more engaging if you care for yourself throughout the day. Don’t be afraid to disappear. Tell your FOMO to chill out for a minute, you’re not missing anything that a good question can’t catch you up on — “I needed a break this afternoon, give me some highlights of what I missed.” Just don’t forget to give yourself a pep talk after 20-minutes to get back out there! You only get one chance to make the most of this conference.
Carry A Book: This is a classic move by my good friend Woody Woodcock. He always carries a book he’s reading as he makes his way around a conference. Not in a backpack. Not along with a binder, a conference program, give-aways from the exhibit hall, and a bunch of other junk. He always has a book that he’s reading and a small journal. That’s it. The journal allows him to take notes, and the book allows other people to ask, “What book are you reading?” Of course Woody always chooses a book that he’s both interested in and that will allow him to have conversations about a topic of his choice. What book will you be carrying around your next conference? Bonus: Need another introvert break? Find a coffee shop, sit down, and read that book!
Have Fun in the Exhibit Hall: Exhibit halls are fun. Each table/booth represents people who are being paid to carry on a conversation with you! Pressure’s on them! LOL. But another reason I love it is that those exhibitors are just begging for someone interesting to come by so they don’t have to give that tired old pitch again. Make the exhibit hall your playground. Use the (required) energy of the exhibitors to boost your own energy. Ask them fun questions. Give them high fives. Ask them to tell you a joke. Take selfies with them and tag them on social media (they’ll love this). Do all this with a “wing man” — someone you met before the exhibit hall and asked, “Hey, want to check out the exhibit hall together and see if we can make some of the vendors our friends?”
Real Learning Doesn’t Happen In Sessions: I really believe this. The real learning happens around the edges of a conference. It happens with the people you talk with in the hallways. It happens because you ask good questions to other attendees and you listen to learn from them. Real learning happens over lunch or dinner, or in the giant lines at Starbucks. Real learning happens because you’re prepared to ask questions that matter to you and that allow people to share good insights. An old trick: ask better questions by starting them with one of these phrases — “How” “Why” “Tell me about” “Explain to me” “Help me understand”.
Be Healthy (or Something): I run. Especially at conferences. It makes me feel better about myself, it allows me some quiet “me time,” and I almost always run into someone else (either at the gym or on nearby scenic running routes) who is attending the same conference and who I introduce myself to (either during the run or when I find them later at the conference). For you maybe that’s a workout. Or reading/journaling in a coffee shop early in the morning. Or going for a walk. Or checking out local stores. Or whatever — do you, but be aware of others around you who might be doing them as well.
Enjoy your next conference! Be successful, be happy, and be yourself. Remember, the goal is relationships and relationships are built through authentic connection with other humans. Take down your walls of “conference fake smile” and “business-y perfection” and “too cool to care.” Everyone else at the conference hates the fakeness and the craziness that they normally encounter at these things too. Help build genuine connection. Need advice or a pep talk? Email me or find me at @PhiredUpMatt on Twitter & Instagram. If you’re going to #AFAAM, I’ll be your friend. Learn more about me here . Also, plan on joining me and lots of other friends during the AFA Connections Kickoff for low-pressure networking, friend-making, and getting the lay of the land for the conference. It’s at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, November 28th!
by Jason Allen
In fraternity and sorority, we often fall victim to “the buzzwords”. Our intent gets lost in our word choices, and becomes diluted into random phrases instead of powerful messages. What if we rethink the way we use buzzwords, and use them as they are intended rather than hashtags on Instagram? Here are a few of my favorite buzzwords, and what they mean to me:
Intentionality: I think what we mean when we use this is to show that we want to be having direct and focused conversations. When I say I am being intentional, I mean my mind and heart are in the right place, and I would love to really focus my energy on this one thing at this time. I want to be intentional on my word choice, because words matter. I am making the choice to be mindful about how I am approaching a person, a topic, or a boundary. Intentionality.
Leaning in: I think what we mean when we say this is that we are being present and diving into something rather than turning away. We are making the choice to opt-in, instead of opting-out. It could be during an intense conversation or during a chaotic moment, but we know being present and offering of ourselves is more important than ignoring it. Sometimes, we need to opt-out for self-preservation and keeping ourselves emotionally, mentally, and sometimes even physically safe. But, we lean in when we know it counts, and when we know it matters. Leaning in.
Vulnerable: As one of the most overused buzzwords, I think we mean to say we are being open and truly transparent and sharing things we normally wouldn’t. We are making the choice to put ourselves out there, when we know we could be judged. We are showing people a side of us that might not always be seen, and are allowing people to see a little deeper into who we are. And when we ask for someone to be vulnerable with us, we are inviting them in to make a choice to pull down their barriers and be truly present with us. Vulnerable.
Challenge & Support: This one is often tossed around with advisors and mentors (mentor, another fancy buzzword), but shows up in our chapters as well. We are trying to say that we hear and see and understand what you are attempting, but please allow me to have you think differently. And while you are trying to reframe and rethink, we are going to love you through it and to it. We are making a choice to engage and care enough to push back a little, and then take care of you while we push. We often times need to use challenge and support when discussing more delicate and serious matters, and again, are choosing to take the journey with you. Challenge & Support.
This is only four of the many we use, including, but not limited to: mentor, sisterhood/brotherhood, authenticity, values-based, accountability, and dialogue. What I want to challenge us to do (and I will support you through it) is to use the buzzwords as enhancers, not as words we hide behind. During recruitment, let’s use these words to truly talk about the experience, not about the script we use that has the words flowing through it. In our meetings, lets actually be present instead of using a buzzword to tell everyone how present you are. What I’m saying is, let’s make better choices around our words.
How will you use your favorite buzzword differently today?