Tag Archives: event coordinator

Coordinating Guest Travel To Your Event

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

Event Debriefs - The sooner, the better

Event Debriefs – The Sooner, the Better

All those weeks of planning. All those efforts and details coming together to form an extra ordinary event. The event is over, yet there are several areas where improvement was needed.

As an event planner, your job is to lead a thought-provoking discussion by asking your event team, questions in a pre-planned sequence. This event debrief will allow all of you to describe what happened during the entire event, what was accomplished, what needs were met and what areas could be worked on, for better results.

The sooner this debrief is conducted, the better; as the event experience is still fresh in the minds of everyone who worked on it. This helps because the full-scale debrief that you had planned to do in office weeks later will become easier.

Let your team know in advance that a fast, crisp discussion will be held onsite as soon as the event wraps up.  Have someone take notes of everything discussed and let them know that these points will be revisited later in greater detail for the main debrief session coming up.

At the end of this session, you should have some valuable inputs from your team which you can incorporate into your next event planning process.

 

 

Post-Event Feedback

Post Event Feedback

As an event planner, you might have used your best resources and ideas to execute a smooth event for your client.  But did it live up to your client’s expectations? Were the sound and lights favorable? Was the catering decent?

Learn about the needs and expectations of your target market to improve your future business and marketing strategies through curated post-event surveys.  Post-event surveys often provide the most meaningful feedback in knowing if your efforts were successful from the attendees’ perspective.

To ensure the highest participation rate, send your post-event survey to attendees as soon as the event has ended, while their experience is fresh in their minds. The most important information collected from post-event surveys is whether attendees found value in the event, whether it was worth their investment of time and resources, and whether they would participate in the event again.

Online surveys are the most useful – you can get the responses faster than collecting them manually and collate data to help further your research.  When creating the survey, keep it short — under 10 questions is best — and only use one or two open response answers. People will be more likely to answer the survey if it contains choices instead of requiring them to write answers to everything.

Below are samples of questions to ask in your next post-event survey:

  • How would you rate the overall outcome of this event?
  • How would you rate the competence of the event staff?
  • Do such events help in increasing visibility for the company?
  • Was there a networking opportunity for attendees?
  • What could the event organizers have done differently?
  • Compared to other similar events you have attended, how does this event compare?
  • Can the information you gathered from this session be applied to your business?

Collecting feedback from your attendees is the best way to make your events better and better each time. You want to keep your current audience and make it grow. Use the feedback to see what works and what doesn’t work and plan accordingly. You can go from being a good event planner to a great one simply by listening to the people who experience your events first-hand.

 

Event Seating

Event Seating

The seating arrangement at your event is a deciding factor in making or breaking the event. The venue for any event is chosen after examining the layout and the space available.  However, venue seating charts are often deceiving and are not good measures of how many people can be placed or seated comfortably. Before event planners can pack in as many attendees as the venue can allow, it must be determined what kind of seating will be used and in what configuration.

The dynamics, networking and participation at the event depends on seating. Depending on the objectives of the meeting or the event, assigned seats or tables can be beneficial.

Deciding the type of seating at events depends on  some factors like – where the food will be served, if the attendees will be taking notes or using laptops during the sessions, if there will be an award ceremony that requires people to walk up to the stage, the shape and size of the stage and the size of the audience.

The different types of seating generally used are:

Theater style seating

Classroom style seating

Round table/cluster seating

To ensure that you are selecting the best seating solution for your event, ask yourself what is needed and what is available. What you need will be determined by the size of the audience and the itinerary of the sessions held during the event. Whether you are planning an award show or a training seminar, specific furniture and configurations will be more functional than others.

 

 

Your Event on Instagram

Your Event on Instagram

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.

 

 

Types of Corporate Events – How many do you know?

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 Experian India Conclave – a corporate conference with bankers and credit heads, organized by Pegasus Events Pvt Ltd.

Product Launches: 

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.

A motorized stage system was used to  launch a health supplement by Pegasus Events Pvt Ltd.
A motorized stage system was used to launch a health supplement by Pegasus Events Pvt Ltd.

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.

A four city roadshow for South Africa Tourism, organized by Pegasus Events Pvt Ltd
A four city roadshow for South Africa Tourism, organized by Pegasus Events Pvt Ltd

Award Ceremonies:

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.

The 5th Annual Hotelier India Awards, executed by Pegasus Events Pvt Ltd
The 5th Annual Hotelier India Awards, executed by Pegasus Events Pvt Ltd
An internal award ceremony by Mahindra Rise to award the employees within their respective fields.
An internal award ceremony by Mahindra Rise to award the employees within their respective fields.

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.

An offsite team building event being managed by Pegasus Events Pvt Ltd
An offsite team building event being managed by Pegasus Events Pvt Ltd

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.

A trade show booth at the Intersec Dubai designed and executed by Pegasus Events Pvt Ltd
A trade show booth at the Intersec Dubai designed and executed by Pegasus Events Pvt Ltd

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.

The costumes, venue decor, props and food at this event were in perfect sync with the Halloween theme at this event.
The costumes, venue decor, props and food at this event were in perfect sync with the Halloween theme at this event.
This Arabian themed event had props like brass camels and Hookahs which gave a rustic feel
This Arabian themed event had props like brass camels and Hookahs which gave a rustic feel

Some corporate event agencies also manage lifestyle events like high profile luncheons, fashion shows and press events.

Pegasus Events Pvt Ltd handled a media master class and luncheon for Tourism Victoria, with celebrity chef Gary Mehigan.
Pegasus Events Pvt Ltd handled a media master class and luncheon for Tourism Victoria, with celebrity chef Gary Mehigan.

These are a few common business events that event managers generally execute, under the corporate event umbrella.