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8 Cost-Saving Strategies for Meetings

Pinching pennies has never been fashionable (2008 is so out) but sometimes it’s simply a necessity. Here’s tips from event professionals on how to make your accountant happy and colour your boss impressed.

Be flexible. “The market has turned to a seller’s market, which means hotels can pick and choose their business,” says Marcy Rodner, national account manager at Experient. Organisers can create budget options by considering multiple locations and dates and alterations to the event schedule can also save money. Maybe try starting a multiday event after lunch to eliminate the need to provide an extra meal.

1. Be flexible. “The market has turned to a seller’s market, which means hotels can pick and choose their business,” says Marcy Rodner, national account manager at Experient. Organisers can create budget options by considering multiple locations and dates and alterations to the event schedule can also save money. Maybe try starting a multiday event after lunch to eliminate the need to provide an extra meal.

2. Plan ahead. Rob O’Brien, sales and operations manager for PTE Productions “Early planning provides suppliers with more options, which will always save the client money. It allows us to ensure the equipment and labor needed for the job is confirmed and available,” If the supplier has to jump through hoops and disrupt his operations to get the client what he wants, there’s a price for that.”

3. Maintain open lines of communication. “So many planners work with each vendor directly and don’t encourage or allow cross-communication,” says Ron Bracco, executive director of Hargrove. One strategy: Gather everyone for a face-to-face meeting when planning begins, and then host regular conference calls or virtual meetings to touch base in the months leading up to the event.

4. Reduce energy consumption. Pasquale Semeraro, general manager of PTE Productions, says modern equipment such as battery-powered lighting and energy-optimized audio systems can potentially cut electricity charges by thousands of pounds.

5. Think long-term to get the most out of what you’re buying. Develop graphics that can be reused from meeting to meeting, year after year. Invest in a stage set that is adaptable, with elements that can be moved around. “For example, lighting and imagery can be used in different ways to make the same stage always feel fresh and interesting,” says David Solsbery, executive director of design for Hargrove.

How to Create Content at Events

Showing content at events is sometimes difficult. You want to do something different to your last event but certain ideas are just too good. Here’s our top twenty ideas to turn your company’s event into marketing devices.

1 Assemble live tweets into presentation recaps.
2 Video attendees at the event talking about why they decided to attend the event.
3 Video attendees on what they are learning and the value they are getting from the event.
4 Video attendees about why people not at the conference should attend next year.
5 Get all kinds of digital photos – presenters, content, party pics, etc.
6 Get presenters to share additional details, insights, or thoughts about their presentations.
7 Write articles from the content that you have captured on video.
8 Create lists of the best tweets from the event.
9 Invite attendees to write blog posts or share other content they have created.
10 Grab images from videos you have shot.
11 Turn photos and video snippets into a closing video for the event.
12 Turn audio from video interviews into podcasts.
13 Create a presentation highlights Slideshare with three high impact slides from each presentation.
14 Recruit a social media team to generate content from more perspectives within the event.
15 Ask open-ended questions on the pre- and post-conference surveys about the issues, opportunities, and learning needs attendees see. Turn the results into articles.
16 Ask attendees what questions were not answered and answer these in future blog posts.
17 Invite presenters to submit blog posts or articles for the conference website.
18 Solicit attendees for guest blog posts they prepare after the conference and give a prize to everyone who creates content.
19 While it is tempting to upload 50 pictures to a Facebook album because it is easy to do all at once, distribute the content over time so you do not inundate your audience.
20 Video exhibitors on what their companies can do for attendees.

3 Best Event Lighting Ideas You’ve Never Heard Of

(http://www.helloendless.com/3-best-event-lighting-ideas/?utm_campaign=Created%20Content&utm_content=9323998&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter)

1. Motorized Lighting Structures
Something blow your attendees minds, a motorized lighting structure is a lighting engineer’s dream and can simulate movements and is guaranteed to captivate the imaginations of everyone seeing them. It involves a framework and controlled motors where an event lighting engineer can program the movements. If you are having trouble picturing it watch the video below (its pretty insane) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-tI7_BMR0I

2. LED Beam/Spots
Beams and Spots are moving lights that are the ones you’re probably most familiar with as theyre often used outside of the event world at cinemas and even nightclubs. They are programmed with cues, positions, colors, and patterned movements to add an intuitive feel to event lighting. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-LkbNiQZBj4

3. Lasers
If you are asking yourself if you need lasers at your event for event lighting, there are many reasons that the answer should always be “YES!” Lasers have the ability to sync with your playlist, be programmed to draw shapes and photos on surfaces, and span across your entire audience whatever the size.

The Foundation of an event

Step 1. Get Clear on Your Event

You’ll have three main questions for this stage,
What is your event type?
What is the “content” of your event?
What is your event’s goal?
Also how will you market your event? Got a sales team? Media coverage? Consumer awareness?
Write down the most important things you want to accomplish with your event. These notes will make other crucial decisions down the line a bit simpler and create a skeleton for you event

Step 2. Figure Out Funding

Look into sponsors and event partners. Who makes sense as a sponsor or partner? Who might increase the event value and experience for your guests? What can you offer them?

Also think about the longevity of the potential relationship formed with these brands.

If you want something in particular at your event be crafty and find someone who can offer you it and show them a template with the details of your event, your business history, your prediction for the event’s numbers, what you would like, and what you can promise in return.

Does it suit your audience?
Does it add value to your event?
Is it within your budget?
Also think about the space, location and as boring as it seems car park facilities.

Step 4. Choose a Date and Time

What does a typical day/week look like for your potential guests? Are there any times or dates you know they’re likely to be busy?

And for God’s sake don’t forget to check your calendar for holidays!

Look into sponsors and event partners. Who makes sense as a sponsor or partner? Who might increase the event value and experience for your guests? What can you offer them?

Also think about the longevity of the potential relationship formed with these brands.

If you want something in particular at your event be crafty and find someone who can offer you it and show them a template with the details of your event, your business history, your prediction for the event’s numbers, what you would like, and what you can promise in return.

WEATHER CAN AFFECT YOUR EVENT

In Britain talking about the weather isn’t just small talk but a national pastime, and in our experience these are the forgotten aspects of rubbish weather that can affect your event.

QUEUE PRESSURE
A crowd outside your doors waiting for them to open can very quickly turn sour should the heavens open and rain down upon them.
Solution – Keep at least three golf umbrellas on standby and an intern happy to run to the nearest Primark.

SLIPPY FLOORS
Wet outside means wet inside and slippy floors very soon afterwards.
Solution - Management and control measures should have been identified in the risk assessment and you can roll them out when you need to.

EXTRA PRESSURE ON MEDICAL
Weather can affect people badly, be it extreme cold or heat
Solution – As much as they’re doing their jobs give them a helping hand even if it’s just in the shape of a cup of tea.

AUDIENCE ARRIVAL PROFILE
Rain can make people look rubbish and arrive late.
Solution - Make sure they don’t feel hurried and know where they can clean themselves up on arrival.

STAGING
The sun can get in your audience’s eyes and completely ruin a good third of the day which is a major waste of money.
Solution - If outside make sure the wind direction is in you favour and that your stage doesn’t have the sun set behind it.

DROWNING DANGER IN CAMPSITES
You can drown in only a couple of inches of water and overnight tented events often include alcohol.
Solution - so keep staff aware of people should the heavens open up.

DRINKING WATER
People will always drink more water than you expect. Always.
Solution – Overstock. Worst comes to worst you can always stock up the office for a while longer than expected. It will get used!

STAFF MORALE
When Staff morale hits a low so can your event, and as frustrating as it may be as a planner it is understandable.
Solution – make sure to have regular meetings and a treat at some point for them (no matter how small)

Event Pros Share 4 Things You Need to Know Now

Some of the most creative minds in events shared their tips for success—and avoiding disaster—during the Event Innovation Forum at BizBash Live: The Expo New York, held at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.

The two sessions of the forum covered a lot of ground, but here are some key takeaways.

1. How does your event look on Instagram?

In today's social-media-obsessed world, every event attendee has the potential to tell a brand's story. “As designers, it’s what’s on the outside that counts. Every touch point and detail should speak to the brand's identity,” said Nicky Balestrieri, managing creative director of BMF Media. “The goal of all of this process is to make our events not just memorable but also media-able.”

2. If you're not measuring data, you're missing out.

Angela Giacchetti, New York City metro marketing manager at Eventbrite, said planners need to have statistics to show, for instance, which social channels are the most effective at driving ticket sales. You might think business events would be best marketed on Facebook, but Twitter might actually be a stronger vehicle. “You want to make sure you have a clear timeline for building buzz and driving page views,” she said.

3. Use event technology for social engineering.

The message behind the C2 Montréal conference is connection, and organizers don't leave that to chance. Before the event, the 600 attendees can set up profile pages on a custom social network called the Hub where they can not only list their business interests but also their hobbies. They can schedule meetings, and the system will suggest sessions to attend. This way you can know what your audience is doing instead of guessing. Yes it’s a bit Big Brother but saves you adding a bunch of people on Facebook who you don’t really want to.

4. People crave events, even in a digital world.

“While people spend much of their time online, it's offline communities formed at events that they are seeking out more and more” said Ryan Begelman, C.E.O. of Bisnow Media. “Successful events are becoming part of people’s identities”, he said, pointing to Burning Man, Comic-Con, and TED “We need to make our events shorter, pithier, faster-paced. Let’s not fight A.D.D.; let’s make our events snappier. We’re producing events like its 2001 and it’s 2014.”

When and How to Host a Fully Virtual Event

When potential business partners aren’t in the same city, or even country, a skype call is often a great alternative to a meeting that’ll see you lose valuable hours travelling. But what about when it comes to hosting an entire event virtually?

Live-streaming events has become popular as technology has improved, costs have come down, and planners tap into the opportunity to reach a much bigger audience. But when does it make sense to produce an event solely for online participation? Kevin Larstone of Create If, an event production company that predominantly works with corporate clients throughout Canada states “There’s always value in doing a live meeting, but the return on investment is something that can only be measured by how deep a client’s pockets are. If you are plotting your course based on what your audience needs, that will tell you whether you should do a live presentation or a virtual presentation,“ he says. “With either one, the outcome you are looking for is some level of engagement. Just passively providing a feed to an audience without engaging them is a waste of money.”

Here are some of his suggestions for when a virtual meeting may be the appropriate strategy and tips on how to execute it effectively.

Consider a fully virtual meeting when:

The in-person audience would be small. If the number of people attending your event in person would be much less than those tuning in online, consider eliminating the face-to-face event.

Cost is an issue. Hosting a physical event comes with a variety of potential costs, and by eliminating the physical event, resources can focus on creating a high-quality online experience.

There are logistical issues. For example if you need to inform multiple offices about a company update, rather than sending a team around the country delivering a presentation the same team could contribute to infographic or a video series.

To produce an effective virtual event:

Model it on TV programs, prep your speakers, try to engage with your online audience and structure content in segments. Also keep it short! Less than 20 minutes ideally

4 Ways to Capitalize on the Power of Video Engagement

Enticing an audience to get them to attend an event will always have its go to’s. Whilst a great website, an event app and competitions are still an essential, video marketing can often fall to the back burners. Media theorist John Berger said that “Seeing comes before words” and video is the preferred communication style for a lot of today’s tech-savvy event attendees. Seeing a visual update in a fun way, is more appealing than a text-heavy email and video creates a strong impact with connection for any viewer. Here are the top ways event planners can capitalize on the power of video engagement,

1 – Report updates as the happen
Instagram and Vine allow you to reach your audience on a far more personal level than email has previously afforded whilst giving you the chance to reach new clients, and 15 or 30 second shots can keep attendees up-to-date and socially aware about what’s trending at an event.

Through video, you’re allowing a visual representation of the event to be shown, so make it count.

2 – Lights. Camera. Personalize.
Make sure your content is valuable and if you’re selling a product in your booth, create fun, informative short-form videos that walk people through your product and brand. These are meant to be shorter than a product demo so be snappy and make sure to drive home what you’re selling.

3- Video is king
Video content rules all when it comes to social media today. Why not use video to promote contests and giveaways taking place at events? Seeing the prizes given away at events and also the winners makes the use of video so much more fun with lots of brands using video to promote their company at events.

4- Tell a story! Any video should have two goals – engage with the viewer, and tell a story. Be creative – use music, animation, anything that makes the story compelling and thoughtful. Or create a Hyperlapse video of your day at an event? There’s a story behind every brand!

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