Tag Archives: attendees

Bright Ideas For Better Event Signage

Signage is one of those details that’s easy to do on autopilot, especially if you’re planning a recurring event. Here are some creative, out-of-the-box ideas for making your logo, event information, and displays stand out.

This article has been borrowed from Bizbash, written by Martha  C White.

1. Turn unlikely elements into signage. For a retail client’s 3,500-attendee incentive trip, Katie Fraser, U.S.A. general manager for event management agency Cievents in New York, printed sponsors’ names on helium-filled Zygote balls that change color when touched. “The balls were used during the beginning of the conference session, while everyone was in the room, to add some energy before the session started,” she says, and the sponsors appreciated that attendees had a literal hands-on experience with their names.

2. Combine fabric and LEDs for a chameleon display. Suburban Chicago-based Moss Events built what marketing communications manager Mel Marzan calls a “color wash wall.” Fabric is stretched into a frame lined with remote-controlled LED lights that change color. The fabric diffuses the light for a subtle effect, and the planner can change the brightness or color depending on what else is taking place in the space. Make it bright and eye-popping when attendees first arrive, then dim it when the lights go down for speeches or presentations.

3. Create logos with products. “We once created a client logo using different colored apples that were mounted on an angled board as you walked into the space,” Fraser says. Other than produce, items ranging from electronics to consumer packaged goods, such as cell phones or cereal boxes, could be pressed into service the same way, she says.

4. Mix up your video feed. A wall of LED panels can deliver a great visual statement, but it’s a significant investment, so you don’t want attendees to tune it out. Since just a scroll of sponsor or donor names can get monotonous, mix it up with a montage of photographs that tie into the group or event’s theme, quotes from the group’s leaders or beneficiaries, or other visually stimulating imagery, suggests Merryl Brown, president of Santa Barbara-based Merryl Brown Events. “We’re constantly disseminating information via the LED walls,” she says. She also uses the LED wall to provide real-time updates on time-sensitive topics like upcoming awards and silent auction schedules.

5. Use themed “human arrows” to guide attendees. Instead of having staff members or arrows on easels pointing the way to a nearby off-site venue, Dani-Lee Landa, director of sales for destination management company 360 Destination Group in Los Angeles, had acrobats, jugglers, and stilt walkers holding arrows to direct attendees from the Loews Santa Monica to the pier for a financial group’s circus-theme event last year.

6. Build fabric walls. Print and layer fabric panels for a visually arresting effect, Marzan suggests. For a Symantec trade show exhibit booth, Moss Events created illuminated fabric walls that were printed with the company name to construct the booth’s sides. Inside, curved, semi-sheer fabric “walls” offered buyers a more private space to meet with sales reps without cutting off light or sight lines. “Both can be see-through meshes, or the back one can be solid, and you get different effects with each,” he says.

7. Make a logo come to life by adding animation. For the 50th anniversary gala of the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara two years ago, Brown wanted to create movement but was working within a budget that ruled out an LED wall. Instead, she designed an animation of the group’s logo—an open book—that morphed into flying birds. She hung flat draping all the way around the room and used moving projectors to display the animation, pausing the visuals during speeches and presentations.

Your Event Is A Recipe – Use The Right Ingredients!

The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. The way to a client’s heart is through an event. A perfectly crafted one, at that.

Creating a flawless event experience requires the same amount of precision and skill that goes into producing a sensational recipe – one that your attendees will remember for a long time.

Adnan Morbiwala, Chief – Sales and Marketing at Pegasus, has made a quick fix of elements that you would require, to become the Masterchef of event planning:

Ingredients :

  • Venue (Vessel)
  • 20 existing clients –  which give you 80% of your business
  • 80 prospective Clients –  audience who will hear about your services from the top 20 % of your clients
  • One serving of a grand stage
  • A dash of sound, a hint of lights and a dollop of AV Equipment.
  • An agenda for networking
  • Entertainment to taste

Method :

Clean and prepare the venue.

Once ready, add the intricately designed stage, making sure all brand guidelines are followed,  along with the equipment and console.

Dry run through the agenda to make sure every thing is in top form.

Throw in your support staff with assigned duties, to marinate stage and equipment.

Let it rest for at least 60 minutes.

Add your current clients and company management who would be setting the tone as speakers, for a taste of what your brand stands for.

Give your support staff, stage & equipment and current clients, along with company management a good mix, just so that all of them have blended well.

Now you are ready to add your prospective clients. Mix well to ensure the prospective clientele combine with your stage, sound, lights, AV, branding material  and current clients. Give enough networking time for the mixture to merge and collate.

Garnish with a good choice of entertainment with cocktails and food.

Preparation time – 3 Months

Serves – 1 Company.

For us planning an event is just like cooking a great meal, all you need is a good chef.  The Pegasus team always ensures to provide you with the right ingredients which help boost sales and gain new business through what experiential communications really is – an experience. We provide your guests an experience which takes them a lot of time to digest, albeit intentionally, and one which people remember for years to come.

 

Why You Need to Treat Your Staff as Well as Your Attendees

This post has been written by Kristi Sanders from Event Planning, a blog by Cvent.

There’s a triple bottomline to sustainability: people, planet, profits. The last two are pretty clear, but how are you supposed to treat people sustainably?

The answer is simple: Like human beings.

How often have you served a three-course banquet to your event attendees while serving your staff sandwiches? For that matter, how often do you enjoy a full meal while you’re onsite? That’s not sustainable.

People have limits beyond which they burn out and cease to be productive. If you want your employees to give you 100 percent, you can’t demand they always be “on.” You need to give them sufficient breaks to recharge, adequate nutrition on-site and enough hours “off the clock” that they can sleep more than 5 hours a night.

In order to do that, you need to stop yourself from:

  • Sending emails after hours and on weekends. What’s work-related needs to be limited to work hours.
  • Skimping on paying your staff the same courtesies you pay your clients and attendees. Do they have special dietary requirements? Do they have physical restrictions? Be as considerate in planning your staff meals and outings as you are when organizing your conferences.
  • Requiring employees to work while on vacation.
  • Denying yourself full meals, vacation time, and hours “off the clock.” Otherwise you risk falling into the “superman/superwoman” trap. If you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of others. And it’s no one else’s fault if you’re a workaholic. People need to have a life outside, too.

At the conclusion of every program, you and your staff need to take a break. Otherwise, your creative energy and enthusiasm will start to dry up.

Don’t limit consideration only to your staff, either. Speakers, exhibitors, vendors, and sponsors aren’t just commodities, they’re people, too. Avoid creating a conference “class system” where people who are paying money to be onsite with you are excluded from all the perks and basic human necessities (like food and water on an expo trade floor) that other classes of attendees get. If you do, you can be certain that they eventually will fail to see the ROI of investing in your future events.

5 Annoying Things People Do At Events

Some arrive late. Some RSVP after the event is almost over. Some do not follow the pre-event info circulated by you and ask questions that are already answered.

It’s safe to say that, as event planners, we’ve seen our share of pet peeves that attendees indulge in, at events. Here’s a list of what really grinds our gears:

1. Not Adhering to Timelines:

It’s just plain rude and inconsiderate for an event guest to show up late. These are the people you see making their way in through the crowd awkwardly and excusing themselves. There are also a few who decide selectively to attend only one segment of the entire event and rush to the eating area as soon as their ‘favorite part’ is done. The worst of this kind are the no-shows who RSVP ‘yes’ but decide against it at the last minute.

2. Constant Phone Calls:

Not only do they keep their phones on loud, but also find it extremely okay to attend each and every call that they receive. It’s a blessing if they move out of the scene to chat, or you will be privy to some personal conversations on loud mode.

3. Coming to the Console for Requests:

The console is NOT a cellphone charging station. Some clients also get on the wrong side of the console (pun intended) by changing the agenda or order of presentations, leaving event planners baffled.

4. Leaving  Belongings at Registration:

Just because lanyards with your names are handed out at registration when you enter, it’s not okay to leave behind your belongings and ask event staff to keep an eye on them while you network/eat/take a washroom break and so on.

5. Irresponsible Drinking:

Everybody loves an open bar, but it’s great if event guests can keep themselves at an average pace and save some embarrassing moments for themselves and the others around.

These are a few less than impressive experiences that make event planners pull their hair out. Avoid these and you’ll be a regular invitee who’ll be remembered for the right reasons.

 

Event Venues – Small or Big?

There’s something about a colossal event space – that makes room for all the elements of an event set up AND holds maximum attendees, while allowing networking to happen. However, in the event management industry, change is the only constant. The new trend for event venues is to go small.

Hotels and convention centers are being encouraged to host conferences and gatherings in smaller meeting spaces – which makes them more personal, casual and engaging.

Courtesy: Bizbash
Courtesy: Bizbash

Even if the event itself demands a larger space to support its agenda, say a corporate launch for example, some methods can be incorporated in the seating plan to make spaces that help attendees feel comfortable to connect, network and brainstorm.

Courtesy: Bizbash

For this purpose, event planners can go ahead with lounge seating as alternatives to typical chairs.  The ultimate networking space would be smaller tables with may be a few bean bags or comfortable chairs – with the perfect combination of secure, reliable Wi Fi and charging kiosks for all mobile devices. This is a good way to break free from traditional meeting areas.

Courtesy: Bizbash

From small to large, every request is an opportunity for a venue to improve its operations and expand its business.

 

Coordinating Guest Travel To Your Event

Whether you’re planning a wedding or you’re a corporate event planner, you know that the logistics can make or break an event. If the guests’ memories of the event are more about driving around in circles, lost, searching for the venue than they are about the fun they had there, that’s not a good thing. One of the best things you can do as you plan either a social or corporate event is to coordinate your guests’ transportation. Even if the attendees are largely local, coordinating charter bus transportation can eliminate the anxiety of finding the venue, the potential for drinking and driving, and avoid having to ensure space for lots of cars to be parked.

 As well, if you’re expecting attendees from out of town, a shuttle bus rental to transport them back and forth to airports and hotels can not only alleviate their stress, but your own, too, because you can ensure that they will arrive safely and on time. However, not all bus charter companies are created equal; here are some tips for choosing a charter bus company that will be reliable and suit your needs:

 1.     Safety first: Certainly, the first priority for choosing a charter bus rental company is finding one with a reputation for taking safety seriously. The website allows you check safety ratings of motor carrier companies; if you’re evaluating a motor carrier, look it up by name  and number on the site to discover its safety rating.

 2.     Check insurance: Bus charter companies have different regulations to follow based on whether they travel within states or over state lines. While you might think that’s their problem and not yours, it could be a problem for you if the bus charter company doesn’t have the proper insurance; it could get fined or impounded, which would leave you high and dry at the time of your event.

 3.     Get references or read testimonials: Some charter bus companies list testimonials on their websites, but it’s hard to know whether they are legitimate. When contracting with a charter bus company, it’s a good idea to ask the representative if s/he can provide three references, i.e. customers who can attest to good service that the company provided. Sometimes, companies are hesitant to do this, and it may not be because they’re afraid of what the customer would say;  it could be that they have confidentiality agreements or other reasons why they’re not comfortable approaching former clients. However, if that’s the case, you can simply Google the name of the company with the search term “reviews” and you’ll likely find a host of reviews that will give you an idea as to whether the company is reputable. Every business is sure to have a few negative reviews, so don’t just read one or two. Check them out and look for a pattern of overall satisfaction or dissatisfaction before you make a decision.

 4.     Contingency plans: Ask the bus rental company how it handles unforeseen circumstances, like a bus breaking down en route to an event or a driver getting sick. What is their backup plan? You don’t necessarily need to know every detail about how they handle a Plan A and Plan B for each event because it’s their business to coordinate the logistics, but you should feel confident that the company has systems in place in order to accommodate a situation that could be out of the ordinary. Whatever the procedure is, you want to be assured that if they need to substitute a bus or driver, it won’t impact your guests’ safety or comfort, or their arrival at their destinations on time. Inquire as to whether the charter bus rental company has a 24-hour number staffed by real people (i.e. not voice mail) that you can call in case of emergency.

 5.     Driver screening: Ask what qualifications the driver must have. Again, safety is important, and this is part of that. Find out if the company’s drivers undergo drug screens, criminal background checks, driving record checks and other rigorous application processes. Especially if your event involves transporting children, you need to know that drivers have been screened appropriately. The driver must have a valid Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) with a passenger endorsement printed on the document. CDLs can be issued once a driver has demonstrated ability based on on-road and knowledge examinations. If necessary, inquire as to whether the company has bilingual drivers.

 6.     Cost! Of course you’re going to compare pricing of various bus charter companies before you make a decision. But, cheapest is not necessarily best. Many charter bus rental companies offer a variety of bus rental options so that you can choose specific vehicle amenities that are ideal for your group. Some shuttle vans, charter buses or minibuses have features like on-board restrooms, DVD players and wifi, so you should discuss with your representative specifically what would best meet your guests’ needs and what the involved fees would be.

These are all just starting points; the main aspect to scheduling a shuttle van or charter bus for your event is making sure that you have enough capacity to accommodate the number of guests you’re expecting and that the bus rental company is able to provide service to the venues where your event is being hosted. Providing transportation might be the single biggest perk you can give your event guests; we’ve all been in situations where we’ve had to be somewhere on time, but we’ve struggled with maps and parking, or we’re simply too tired to drive home afterwards. Eliminate all of that hassle — it will be worth it!

Source: metropolitanshuttle.com