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.
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.
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!
This article is borrowed from Endless Entertainment, written by Matt Walker.
There’s a good chance that you have attended some sort of conference, trade show, exhibition, or convention at some point in your career. So there you are, walking around, checking out some of the booths. Now think to yourself: what draws you in? What is the factor that makes you approach one booth over the other?
Chances are that there is no one particular factor, but that it is a combination of a few different factors. Let’s take a look at a few of the ways to make your booth design the best in the room!
1. Stand Out
The first suggestion is a pretty obvious one: STAND OUT! You are in a room with lots of other companies using their booths to try and win over the same business that you are trying to win. You need to figure out a way to make your booth catch their eye. Whether that means using unique lighting, sound, visuals, or a full on custom booth structure, make sure that you don’t get lost in the sea of booths. The ultimate goal of an eye-catching booth is to tie in your unique design with what your company offers.
2. Prominently Display Your Name and What You Do
This next one should be fairly obvious too, but for some reason it doesn’t seem to be. I have walked by a countless number of booths where the name and type of company represented by the booth were not readily displayed. Why would I come to your booth if I don’t know who you are and what you do? That makes absolutely no sense to me. If you are spending money, time, and resources on the design, setup, and footprint of a booth, make sure it is easy for attendees to see why you are there.
3. Give Them a Reason to Approach
Since you are surrounded by other booths, it is your job to give attendees a reason to come over to your booth. Whether it’s signage for giveaways, an area for interactive entertainment, or a different incentive program, you need to show attendees why your booth is a must-see while at the conference. Having a booth with a salesman or promotional representative is great, just be sure that they are not overwhelming attendees with pure sales. For example, think about a time when you walked into a clothing store and the employees are blatantly working on commission and are all over you when you walk in. This may work for some people, but others will get turned off by the intensity and will leave. Similarly, at your booth you want to entice people in without rushing right into your sales speech.
4. Make it Easily Accessible
Most large booths have an interactive area that allows attendees to enter the booth area to participate in an activity or learn more about the product or the company. Although different venues/conferences might allow for a bigger or smaller footprint and have extraneous differing details, you need to make sure that your booth layout allows for attendees to easily enter and exit your booth in a safe, orderly fashion.
5. Have Something for Attendees to Take Away
Ultimately, you want conference attendees to remember your booth, why it was important, and possibly bring business to your company in the future. There’s just one small problem: each attendee saw so many booths and talked to so many people that it can be hard to remember each one without a takeaway. Having a printed item themed like your booth (that isn’t just a business card) will give your attendees something to jog their memory and help retain the information that they learned about at your booth. Be sure to include contact information on this take away so that the attendees have a quick and easy way of getting in contact with you after the convention.
About Matt Walker
Matt has been involved in marketing and event management for the better part of the last decade, planning concerts and comedy shows of national and local scale, tour managing various brands on national tours, coordinating VIP experiential marketing, and developing marketing plans for entertainment and technology companies.
In addition to becoming the word of the year in 2013, the selfie is now being embraced by brands and marketers as a free, effective tool. After Ellen Degeneres’ selfie at the Oscars received around 3.5 million re-tweets, people have started removing the stigma from this phenomenon and trying to use it to leverage marketing and promotion campaigns.
What exactly is a selfie?
Hold your smartphone, stretch your arm out and take a picture of yourself. It’s as simple as that.
How does it help an event planner?
Having smart technology at their fingertips and wanting to capture almost everything happening around them shows that event attendees are looking for an experience. Give it to them. Making people take selfies at your event indicates that in some way, your event is being shared; because 99 out of 100 selfies automatically go up on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
Make sure that your company’s logo/name and all other branding at the event venue is clearly visible and presented in a fun, innovative way – maybe through frames or props or colored lettering. Drive your attendees to the ‘selfie station’ so your event experience is being promoted effortlessly.
You can also use selfies as event decor or have a live feed of these pictures – which creates excitement around the area.
Give them incentives and encourage the sharing of these selfies – reward them with a freebie of some sort or publicize their image on your brand’s social media pages.
Love them or hate them, selfies are everywhere – and it’s wiser to make good use of them effectively while the trend is still hot!
Photos on Instagram are no longer only selfies or adorable babies or special moments captured at fancy places. This app has quickly gained an increased presence in online marketing, as more and more users are jumping on the photo sharing bandwagon.
Though the platform was not originally meant for marketing, it has proven to be a significant tool in creating followers and customers to increase brand awareness and loyalty.
Having already figured out how to promote their events on other sites like Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin, event marketers are now adopting Instagram. Event attendees also share photos of their experience at the event as it fosters conversation among them. One of the best features of Instagram is that you are allowed to tag your photos using relevant hashtags which makes it easier for you to collect all the images from your event, see what photos from your event are being shared by others, and also leads people to you, if they are looking for your work.
Here are a few tips on how to make the best use of this app for your next event:
1. Firstly, being an active user is important – keep your profile as current as you would, your Facebook and Twitter pages. Keep aside a posting schedule daily with some pictures and videos instead of randomly spamming your followers.
2. Study or follow other similar brands and agencies to get a better idea of what your target market expects and what to deliver.
3. By playing around with the various special filters, make your images look good and maintain uniformity in your images so they all look consistent and allow followers to recognize your work.
4. Use hashtags correctly, create your own and designate it to your organization. For example, if you organize live events, you can use the #liveevents hashtag with all your photos. A unique and well-thought out hashtag can not only make it easier for people to remember your event, it can also encourage them to share your hashtag with others. Because of this, you can encourage your attendees to share their photos by providing them with a specific event hashtag.
5. The type of pictures you share entirely depends on how you want to project your brand – you can post past event photos, photos of performers/entertainment, the console, props, the venue, food and so on. When you share behind-the-scenes photos – of your team hard at work, the set up, and other aspects of event planning, your brand feels more authentic as you are making yourself vulnerable to your target market by establishing an emotional connect.
6. The latest upgrade in the app, Instavid, also allows you to take 15 second videos. What more can we say?
7. Cross promote your Instagram account on all your other platforms by linking them for more visibility.
8. Interact with your followers if they leave behind comments on your pictures.
It’s easy to create a buzz for your event by using Instagram correctly; it only requires a bit of creativity and thought.
The event management industry is a complex & dynamic environment, and comprises of a wide variety of events.
In this post today, we intend to focus on the kinds of corporate/business events that event planning agencies often organize.
Conferences and Seminars:
Seminars and conferences can focus on internal operations and be limited only to your organization; or they can be used as vehicles for company promotion.
A conference is a participatory meeting or a gathering of members of organizations, designed for discussion, fact finding and problem-solving. It facilitates the exchange of information and gives an opportunity to discuss matters of common interest. Conferences generally have keynote speakers and breakout sessions by topic. They can be held over one or two days or sometimes longer.
Seminars on the other hand are usually smaller in terms of targeted audience size, lasting over a couple of hours with single or multiple speakers.
The debut of a product into the market defines a product launch. It signifies the point at which consumers first have access to a new product. Product launch events are important and require attention from the media and the public.
These launches give the public and the media a chance to hear everything about the product before any negative reviews are given. The task of putting together these product launch events could fall to a company employee who organizes meetings or an outside company.
Trade missions and Road Shows:
Trade missions are international trips by government officials and business people, organized for the purpose of exploring international business opportunities. A trade mission is a way in which countries or organisations can seek out potential buyers and sellers.
Roadshows can be small training sessions tailored for your colleague’s needs or much larger scale events in public spaces to reach out to potential customers.
Every company reaches a point in their annual operations or project milestones that calls for a celebration. Awards ceremonies can be held to honor team members who have gone beyond the call of duty, or to compliment the achievements of people within your industry.
Executive Retreats and Team Building Programs:
The primary or only occasion during the year – when an organization and it’s employees meet at a site away from their primary edifice. The objective is to generally offer a creative environment from which they can focus on clear, specific goals and objectives for the coming year.
Executive retreats have a more casual ambiance while team building events define team roles, and are useful tools for improving communication withing the organization and improving productivity.
Exhibitions and Trade Shows:
Event planning for trade shows involves negotiating sponsorship rates for trade show booth space, advertising and promotion at the event, and also sometimes design and execution of the trade show booth. They are important lead-generating activities.
Themed Office Celebrations:
Corporate office celebrations provide great opportunities to socialize with colleagues and co-workers. Celebrated in almost all organizations, they encourage the employees to generally bond over drinks and dinner.
Theme corporate parties also provide great opportunities to instigate guest interactions. The scope for paying attention to detail is huge, with the costumes and decor elements creating a fantasy environment.
Some corporate event agencies also manage lifestyle events like high profile luncheons, fashion shows and press events.
These are a few common business events that event managers generally execute, under the corporate event umbrella.