Tag Archives: events

3 Things Boston Legal Has Taught Us

Adnan Morbiwala, Chief – Sales and Marketing at Pegasus Events Pvt Ltd., shares his views on how he finds similarities between one of his favorite TV series and work-life. 

A TV show called Boston Legal had me hooked and still does, every time I stumble upon an episode or a clip. The environment portrayed within the show of a successful workplace and a profitable business teamed up with brilliant acting from all the cast involved, make for great viewing.

It’s always interesting to see how one can relate the life they live to a sitcom or a movie they watch. Some aspects from this show caught my eye which I try to apply in my daily routine -

No two people in an organization are the same :

Every character in the show has their own distinct traits and no uniformity in the work they do, yet at the end of it they prove themselves to be successful at what they do, while being given the freedom to do so in their own way. Whether the organization is big or small, this applies to all companies and creates a healthy work environment. We at Pegasus have always believed in everyone having freedom to be as creative as possible, which has given us proven results over a certain period of time albeit also having some processes which highlight the end result.

Rules can be bent, not broken :

This can have 2 implications, it can be perceived as negative as well as positive. Although we stand by the fact that fair-play should always be the order of business, in any competitive industry, second place means you get nothing.

Always sticking to your guns :

Always sticking to your guns, even if that means not getting a particular account or losing some business in the long run has proven to be a great morale booster for us at Pegasus and has helped create a common fabric of belief that runs through the entire company and not just a few sections. This furthers creative thinking from everyone within the company and more proactive involvement from everyone.

This post is not to promote the show per se; but in watching the show, I picked off and learnt the above 3 things, which have indeed given me great results in improving the work I do alone and in a team.

How To Work With New Event Vendors

Successful event planners work with a large network of vendors and suppliers in the industry. These vendors can make or break your event, no matter how great your event concepts are.

As event managers, we majorly allocate our work to vendors with whom we have established good ties, over the years. Sometimes, however, the need arises to look for a new vendor – which is not an easy task.  The vendors you choose to work with must necessarily have a good reputation as you cannot afford to damage your own in the process. Your vendor network is not just a group of people you subcontract your work to – they are your team.

Here are a few thoughts from our side, on how to pick an efficient vendor in code red situations:

  •  A good way to find new vendors is to gather referrals from one of your existing vendors, clients or other planners. Do your research and talk to people who have an experience of working with them. It’s easier to trust a new person by getting assurance from someone you already know.
  • Start small – give the new vendors a small portion of the work that you need to get done and judge their capabilities according to their response time and the quality of the work. Check if they can cope with your deadlines and standards of working.
  • Compare costs with your other vendors – you might find that vendor rates differ with different factors. Some of them might provide the same services at reduced costs, but make sure that you do not compromise on the quality.
  • Visit the vendors’ work station to get a first hand understanding by seeing samples of their previous work, before you hire them.
  • Clarify payment terms with vendors and let them know about your company’s terms and conditions – whether they are rigid or flexible. Imagine promising something to your client and not being able to deliver because your vendor was a no-show.
  • You know you have found a worthy vendor when he/she has a better knowledge than you, of what you require. Make a list of all your specifics and put it together with the suggestions that they have to offer.

There are a few times you have to blindly trust new suppliers, and it does take time to add them to your existing database. But event management, being an ever-changing, dynamic industry, thrives on trials & errors every now and then, and it’ll definitely be worth it in the end.

 

 

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 Marketing – Do it with Selfies

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!

 

 

 

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.