Tag Archives: events

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 Marketing - Do It with Selfies

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

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.

 

 

Unplug Your Event

Unplug Your Event

With people being inseparable from social media, it’s safe to say that technology has taken over our lives. When it comes to events, the more shares/photos/tweets you get, the better right? Wrong. Although event planners find it extremely important to promote their work through all platforms available, they must give a thought about the actual focus and attention that their event gets from their attendees.

Phones, Ipads, tablets and all other devices pose as interruptions during an event – with people feeling the constant need to update photos or tweet about their event experience. There is a fine line between your guests advocating your seminar or conference; and being digital zombies in front of their screens without having a definite understanding of what exactly is going on. When you discourage devices from your event, you encourage your guests to look up and drink in their surroundings.

When you want hundred percent attention from the crowd to a particular time in the entire event – a product launch for instance, ask them in advance to keep their gadgets aside for that moment. Setting aside a special booth like a charging station, might actually help. Asking people to tune out emails or messages from their contacts is a huge factor; respect their need to catch up with their updates throughout the event. They might have to check in with an employee or make some personal calls, and you wouldn’t want to hinder that. This in turn allows them to understand why you need their undivided attention.

The first thing that people resort to when they get bored is turn to their phones. Try making your unplugged event fun by rewarding your attendees – make the overall experience more engaging and lively so they genuinely feel the need to concentrate and remain disconnected from all that tech!

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.