5 things Game of Thrones teaches us about business…

In our companies, most, if not all of us, are huge Game of Thrones fans. Everything from the marketing gimmicks to the content of the show can ignite a healthy conversation about what may or may not happen or what is right or wrong about the show.

One such conversation led to something very interesting, the discussion somehow veered from being about how Game of Thrones is the show to how there is a lot to learn and implement in our daily business and while running events.

A lot of points were raised out of which we manage to list down 5 things which we can relate to business :

Never Stop Learning – It can help you to constantly add value to your own skill before your clients.We live in a world packed with ideas and if you do not innovate, you wont survive.

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Keep your partners close – By creating a network and partnerships with people within the industry, it allows one to offer a far bigger plethora of services . Also playing by each others strengths can deliver the best results.

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Always keep your word – Business is dynamic and unexpected expenses can raise the costs. Sticking to your word after you have already quoted, even if it means a small operational loss, can go a long way in establishing you as a trustworthy, reliable business and can help with client retention.

My-Word-is-Bond-520x260Never forget where you started – Remembering where it all began is very important, as that is the foundation which the entire business is built upon.

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Be Ruthless – There is no prize for second place in business, you either close a contract or you do not. Either ways within the boundaries of orderly and ethical conduct, nothing you do to swing the deal your way can be held against you.

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At http://www.pegasusevents.in  and   http://www.theweddingco.in, it is fun to relate what we do to the points we have mentioned above, if for nothing else, just the energy it helps add to the work environment and how much our people relate to it.

We would love to hear your thoughts about this article, please feel free to leave us a comment!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Low Tech Ways to Create an Active Participatory Conference

This article is written by Jenny Stanfield for eventmanagerblog (Event MB)

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Active Participatory Model is a new way of thinking about conferences that focuses on the top 2 reasons people attend meetings: networking and learning. Its aim is to create the most engaging and personalized experience for participants while achieving the major objective(s) – the ‘Big Why’ – for the meeting.

Personalization and ‘The Big Why’ are two massive trends in the meetings industry, but the answer to both of them is often incorporating technology or expensive experiential activations that are cumbersome, out of reach, or just plain ineffective. It seems that we all want to talk about engagement and ‘leaning in’ but nobody is talking about tangible ways to make that happen in the room.

Following the Active Participatory Model, there are incredibly effective ways to get the most out of your participants and inspire them to be more engaged with your organization’s goals. You can achieve this with little to no technology and actually cut costs on speakers, decor, and more. Sounds ambitious, but it’s pretty simple.

 Integrate Storytelling from the Beginning

Set the tone for the entire conference by incorporating an interactive welcome event that tells a story in a creative way. Your goal should be to get people engaged, connected, and interacting with your organization’s brand right from the moment they hit registration. The focus of this welcome event should be on experiential design, evoking emotion and introducing ‘The Big Why’ in a unique way. This means you can cut the headlining entertainment acts and lavish decor, and instead spend time and energy on a program that promotes team building and group engagement.

 Utilize a Conference MC/Learning Coach

Cancel your expensive celebrity keynote speaker and invest in a Conference MC/Learning Coach who has the expertise and charisma to prime your participants for the best possible experience.

Your MC’s opening keynote should incorporate themes of mindfulness and intention setting for the duration of the program. This will help set the tone for the conference and help participants get the most out of every aspect of your planning. Whether it be to retain new information, network better, get inspired, or just get out of their comfort zone – everyone will benefit from this shift in mindset.

 Embrace Peer to Peer Learning Methods

Short (5 minute) pitches from your concurrent session speakers followed by ‘Deep Dives’ (longer seminar/workshop style sessions) are a growing conference trend. But once participants dive in, keeping them inspired and able to retain new information isn’t as easy as a theater-style set up with a static ‘sit and listen’ methodology. Polling applications can be effective, but often are more of a novelty that serve the speaker more than the audience.

A great way to lock in learning is to incorporate small group discussions and peer to peer discussions. Participants are should verbalize new information and repeat it back in their own words. This is incredibly helpful for memory and long term retention. Another great way to promote active learning is to have your speaker pose questions and have the participants struggle to find the answer themselves before presenting the solution.

Planning social events, team building activities, and CSR programs that synthesize learning and networking are another invaluable way to let people have fun and while meeting your objectives.

 Give Them a (Meaningful) Break!

Destination conferences often aim to pack in as much as possible into the schedule. It’s understandable that there is pressure to make every second count to offset expensive travel costs, but the last thing you want is participants who are distracted by their smartphones, hungry, tired, or just plain burnt out from a demanding schedule.

Make your breaks count. Include something active such as an early morning yoga session or meditation room. Set specific breaks throughout the day for rest, relaxation, personal time, and time to catch up on business outside of the conference. This will eliminate distractions when it’s time to learn and network.

 Make Your Conference Count All Year Long  

Pre and post initiatives can make or break your conference – both for interest in registration for the future and with maintaining engagement and ROI year round.

 Pre-conference:
Release teaser videos from your conference speakers posing questions they plan to answer and describing what participants will get out of their sessions.

The day before participants arrive, hold speaker coaching sessions for the organization’s leaders and industry experts. You can hold rehearsals with full AV set-ups to avoid tech mishaps and ensure speakers are comfortable with their surroundings at the same time.

 Post-conference:
Email a video out of the highlights of the conference. This helps reinforce positive memories and create actionable change. You can also use this to promote future conferences and for ongoing training for those who were unable to attend the event.

You can also encourage participants to engage with speakers and industry experts on social media and send out additional information about their webinars, books, and further courses for a more in-depth learning experience.

 In Conclusion

Technology, celebrity, and spectacular decor are all fantastic elements to enhance your conference when they are implemented correctly, but they often do not create a participatory experience. We as event professionals want our participants to feel inspired, fulfilled, and come away armed with new information and new friends. Following the Active Participatory model, we can achieve all of this without breaking the bank.

 

About the Author: Jenny Stanfield is the Lead Event Producer at Engagement Unlimited. She is a passionate, creative event professional who was recently awarded PCMA’s 20 in their Twenties distinction. Her focus is pushing the boundaries of group engagement and maximizing learning and networking at events.

Picture Courtesy: ishwmcon2015

What’s in a venue anyway?

Social Event Manager v/s Corporate Event Manager

When planning an event, getting the venue correct is one of the most critical things which helps you attract your audience and create maximum impact out of doing the event.

Out of all the events which take place within the corporate spectrum, cocktail receptions and networking meets are the most frequent, with almost every company calling in their clients to spend some quality time outside the office, without having little or no formal agenda to the evening and creating meaningful relationships which help further client retention. Based on Pareto’s law, many companies use this as a tool to strengthen ties with current clients as well as to impress upon existing clients.

With so many companies organizing cocktail and networking meets, budgets assigned usually are controlled and at the same time, clients want to offer their guests the absolute best in food and drink.

While we think, hotel banquets especially 5-star ones are yet unmatched in terms of service quality and we from experience can say that a 5 Star name alone creates an impact, the past few years have seen the emergence of nightclubs as a new breed of places as an alternative to 5 –Star hotels which serve as corporate cocktail venues.

Based on past experiences we create a list of what you as a client need to know while you try to decide on a venue for you next company event/ Party:

5 Star Hotels

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The charm and the charisma which 5-star hotels add to your event is exemplary. The ambience created is usually the best, the brand of the hotel rings a bell with most attendees and attracts a great response from your invitees.

However, as they also say, “Quality comes at a price”

With the hotel usually, you would start with a dinner package with alcohol being as per consumption.

For the Set-up, you would require to include a charge for venue rentals within your budget, as giving you the venue for most of the day means a revenue loss for the hotel, which in business terms would not make sense.

The hotel would give you the banquet hall and extremely brilliant and hospitable service, but that means everything from your stage, sound, lights and AV is yet to be accounted for.

All licenses including liquor have to be accounted for additionally.

This is the best part however, 5 Star Hotels are available to be rented out on any of the days of the week including Fridays and Saturdays.

They can be approached for any kind of event you plan to have, and are not limited to any particular kind.

 Night Clubs and Lounges

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Night clubs and lounges are built for cocktail receptions and parties. The ambience provides for candid conversations and an informal setting.

These venues usually offer you a per person package which includes Alcohol service and dinner at one flat fee for unlimited service. This fee usually is as much or a little more than what a 5 Star would offer you just for dinner.

Most Night clubs and Lounges open for dinner and are non-functional during the day, which allows to use the venue for Set-Up at no added cost. However, setting up a stage in-case you want to have entertainment can be a challenge due to space constraints.

Along with the venue itself, most night clubs usually have a sound system and ambient lighting for a cocktail reception built in, and they usually include that within the package cost per person. This means you as a client do not have to shell out the extra bucks for Sound and Lights and can either save them or spend them on Corporate Gifting or Décor.

Many of these venues acquire event licenses on a yearly basis, hence they do not usually ask clients to acquire a license for a DJ or Live Entertainment. This however is subject to government regulations and all mandatory licenses need to be in place before the event takes place.

The disadvantage faced with Night Clubs and Lounges is, they usually never give out the venue exclusively on a Friday or Saturday, unless you do a complete buy-out. In that case the cost usually goes higher than expected.

You cannot have banquet seating like you would at a hotel or banquet, you usually need to have floating crowd at the venue.

The kind of events you can do at these venues are limited to just cocktail receptions and company parties.

Besides the above mentioned venues, an event is possible to conduct anywhere you would like, including your own facility as well.

The above information is solely based on our experiences as event planners, we have managed various events at both type of venues for our clients in the past and from what we have noticed, an event is only as good as the client makes it, you know your audience best and we hope the above information can help you make an informed choice the next time you look to organize a cocktail reception or party for your company.

List of Licenses as per the event you plan to organize !

People often ask me, what is the most important aspect when you organize an event for your client  ? What do we as clients need to account for?  Well, for us, there has always been one response, Event Licenses.

Before any event takes place, there are a set of licenses which one requires to acquire to ensure a smooth flowing event.  Most hotels provide clients the list of licenses ,which they would require to be submitted to them 24 hours before the event begins . There may be slight differences in the list provided, depending on the type of event.

Let us hypothetically consider an event which has everything in it, A company conference without any sponsors or paid attendees. A closed door invitee only event. It is a full day conference with Live Entertainment and a DJ Party to follow.

The list of licenses you would require are :

  • Rangbhoomi License
  • No objection Certificate from the Additional Collectors office
  • No Objection Certificate from the Local Police Station
  • No Objection Certificate from the Traffic Police Department
  • No Objection Certificate from the Fire Brigade
  • Police Commissioners Note

The above licenses come as a cluster of licenses common for any event.

For the DJ at your event, you require :

  • Phonographic Performance Ltd License : For any music apart from music by Yashraj Films.
  • Novex : This license is acquired for any music used at the event which is by Yashraj Films.

If you are having any Live Performance at your event, then you require :

  • IPRS : It stands for Indian Performing Rights Society Ltd. It is issued for any Live Entertainment you plan to have at your event.

Other Licenses Required :

  • Liquor License
  • Public Works Department License : You need to get this when you have a generator at your event.
  • Foreign Artist Permission : Whenever you have people from another nationality performing at your event, you require to submit their documents i.e passport and visa copy to the authorities.

Documents you will require to get these licenses :

  • Floor Plan from the venue
  • No Objection Cerificate from the Venue
  • Letter of Application to different licensing departments on your company’s letter head along with an affidavit on a stamp paper.
  • Visa and contract copy between the artists and employee company if you have any foreign artists performing. It would be preferable in this case to get artists on a business visa and not an employment visa.

More often than not, it is advisable to ask the hotel what licenses they would require for the event and accordingly proceed.

So given above are the list of licenses required for your event,  in-case you have sponsors and paid attendees at your event, there is the Entertainment Tax directorate which comes in factoring in details on a subjective event to event basis.

Bright Ideas For Better Event Signage

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.