Craft & Grill – Walton

When you work in London but spend your free time in the area, you notice there isn’t that many varied non-chain restaurants in Walton. It’s like Christmas when you spot that a new one has opened, and I am always super keen to try a new venture out!

The Craft & Grill (IMG_0074formerly the Noble Vine and I believe an All Bar One) opened (or re-opened) a few months ago and last night we decided to give it a whirl. Situated on at 29-31 high Street, its not too hard to find parking!

I booked a table for 4 for 8.00 pm which wasn’t really necessary as there wasn’t many people in there. It was quiz night and I would have thought quite busy but alas, it wasn’t.

Decor wise, the place feels like it is pitched as. An American Grill.  Big wooden tables, simple decor and huge bottles of sauce! It has a nice, relaxed atmosphere which is as I expected.

The menu itself features everything you would hope for, burgers, chilli, ribs and those all important buffalo wings.  We were starving so for starters (or small plates & boards as they are called), we ordered 3 lots of wings (£6.00) and a rather huge bowl of their Smokehouse Nachos (£6.00).  The portions were very generous and quite tasty.  The boys went for the Louisiana Hot Hot Hot wings and I had the Buffalo BBQ.  They weren’t as hot as we had hoped but equally good. The tasted quite fresh as opposed to the usual heavy sauced taste wings sometimes have if that makes sense? I think if I am going to break the diet, I want to eat something really decadent and I think perhaps they just needed a bit more…calories?!

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On to the mains. I went for the Cobb Salad (£9.00) which was really good and I couldn’t finish it – great size.  The boys went for the ribs which they both said were really meaty and tasty and Josie went for the “Simply Chicken” (£8.00) which looked tasty.  All of the portions were a huge size and very very well priced.

As the restaurant is called Craft & Grill I probably should mention the booze to which there are 30 bottled craft beers from around the world and Bradley & Bunce probably tried 6 of them! I had a bottle (alright 2 bottles but I shared “some”) of the Malbec which was only £18.95!

 

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Service wise, our waiter was fab.  He was attentive but not OTT.  Service was at a good pace from ordering to starter to mains and nothing was too much trouble for him.

Every Thursday there is a quiz on at 8.45 pm to which we came 4th! and we have all agreed to go back next week. We all really enjoyed our evening there, it was different and we loved the quiz!

Craft & Grill would be a great venue for a birthday party of an informal get together – I haven’t inquired about exclusive use but I am pretty sure you would be able to.

 

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How Social Media Impacts SEO and Your Websites Ranking on Google

Originally posted on Red Website Design Blog:

Social media should play an important part of any successful SEO and content marketing campaign. Without social media we’d lose 80% of our blog traffic and no doubt a huge chunk of our backlinks would never have been earned.

To see how social media can work for your business take a look at this infographic by Submit Edge which highlights how social media can aid outreach and looks at how social signals impact rankings themselves.

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Event Theming

Theming an event is one of my favorite parts of the job and I think I am pretty good at it!  I love confirming a theme and then working to make sure everything fits from the invitation to the napkins and everything in between.  Event theming lets you transform a blank canvas into absolutely anything where the only limit is your imagination.

Whilst there are a load of companies that will provide your actually event theming, it is up to the event manager to put everything together, to tie it all up so it works, and not in a tacky way.  I have been to so many events where you know where they are going with their event and how they have tried to tie in the theme but… its just not there.

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There are so many tools to help you create a well-rounded theme for your event.  My best advice is to use Pinterest!

Pinterest is my bible and all-round event managers essential dream tool.  As Pinterest becomes even more popular, so too increases the pinners and in turn, the pins. You can find boards for most things your thinking of.  Performing a simple search for Jungle/Event/Corporate for example  will bring up some amazing ideas.  I use it all the time for everything and anything. Give it a go!

 

 

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Social Media at Events – #hashtag

I wrote about measuring return via analytics on social media earlier this week.  You can read my blog here.  As I am slightly obsessed with social media and the role it plays in events,  last night I read this great article from Bizbash.  The post talks about the new strategies, tips and tricks currently in the industry.  I hope you find it as interesting as me.

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The part most interesting to me is the use of hashtags at events. If you have been living under a rock, a hashtag is a word or in some cases a phrase to which a # is placed at the beginning.  The main reason for the # is that it enables social media indexing and thus enables anyone using that hashtag able to find content, all over the globe using the same hashtag… sounds complicated but it’s really not!  I can’t believe so many #eventprofs get it wrong though. People are still using #megalonghashtagsthatarehardtoread  that mean nothing and many just don’t understand exactly what they are used for. It drives me nuts.

 

The Hashtag is used to promote an event.  It helps categorize  tweets so that anyone searching for it, can find every tweet that pertains to that hashtag.  If you have a global event and everyone uses the same hashtag, all of the tweets can be visible wherever they are sent from!

You should use one main hashtag, per event. There should be research prior to devising the hashtag to make sure no one else is using it for their event.  It is also best to alleviate the use of a date or year as once the event year has passed, you’ll need a new one if you run the same event the following year!

There are soooo many ways to make hashtags enhance your event.  Below are my top 5.

  1. Let your guests know what your hashtag is pre-event and start building the momentum. An example would be looking forward to seeing everyone at our event tonight #eventnetworking
  2. If you are running  a presentation or, having slides, encourage your speakers to put your event hashtag on them – make them visible
  3. Use your hashtag to run promotions or incentives.  For example asking people to use the event hashtag to win a bottle of wine at the event or bar after the seminar
  4. For conferences, use your plasma screen to display rolling tweets of people talking pictures of themselves at the conference, using the event hashtag
  5. Encourage your attendees to have a conversation with your hashtag – once a good debate or conversation gets going you could get MAJOR trending which only serves to promote your event further!
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Event Analytics via Social Media

If you are currently using social media with your events, how do you prove its worth when your event ends?

Using platforms like Google Analytics helps you understand which parts of your social media strategies are performing best, working across all of your platforms to deliver the insights you need.

I think in terms of events, we tweet or we share content on Facebook etc but I believe many organisations aren’t using the systems available to follow-up.

If for example you are running a seminar, sharing the link on Twitter but by not actually monitoring how many people are actually opening the link, you could be missing out on making valuable connections.  If someone is clicking on a link you provide to your event, they will have a genuine interest in the content.  By following up with them directly, perhaps sending the seminar materials to them post-event in a direct message you may make valuable connections which may get them in the door the next time you run a seminar of similar content.

Another missed trick is sharing content on Facebook and not using their own analytics to see how your share is doing.  It is there, free and easy to use!!

I have just read this great feature in Social Media Times called “How to Measure Social Media Results Using Google Analytics” which gives great insight into proving the impact and benefit of your social media.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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16 Things You Need to Know About SEO In Order to Survive Online

Event Consult:

I love the bit on Social Media Integration!

Originally posted on Red Website Design Blog:

Optimising your website to appear higher on Google is no easy task!

There are hundreds of factors that determine your position and even more terms and phrases you won’t know the meaning of that you’ll hear along the way.

The guys over at Engage Web have put together this handy infographic which should help to demystify the SEO process and provide some guidance on how to improve results.

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Writing case studies on your events

I am the first to admit, I don’t tend to write them. When you are producing 1 to 3 events a week, there just doesn’t seem the time.

After reading the following article though on eventjuice.co.uk, today, I have decided to start.  I do quite a few annual events that whilst I don’t necessarily re-invent the wheel every time, I do make the necessary tweaks to ensure it is better than the year before and after reading the article,  I think it would be great for the business and for the other event managers in my team!

My question is to all the other corporate event managers out there… Do you write a formal case study after year event?

Full article by EventJuice can be found here!