Submitted by the team at Mission Guru. Thank you gentlemen. The foundation to any well-run event is the event blueprint. Event Managers are in the business of risk management and a well structured event blueprint helps us reduce as much risk as we can. The event blueprint should clearly highlight the objectives and needs of your company or client so that throughout the planning process you keep in mind your deliverables. Preparing your event without having a clear understanding of your client’s objective is like navigating a ship without a compass; event managers should always be 100% certain they’re sailing in the right direction. Like any important document, there are a number of challenges in writing an event blueprint. Challenge 1: Event timeline Your event blueprint is a work in progress. Events are characterized by constant changes and unexpected surprises. Therefore, the success of your event hinges on how well you can communicate and adapt to these changes. Only the latest timeline including up to date modifications should circulate among those involved with the planning of your event. The challenge is both to update the ever-evolving timeline of your event in real-time, as well as keep track of changes made by other parties involved. It is paramount to the success of your event that you avoid any versioning issues. Event Management Software, especially Cloud Base solutions can be useful to help you generate an event blueprint that can be accessed from one centralized platform. Challenge 2: Events logistics Organizing event logistics can be seenas tightening the nuts and bolts of your event foundation. From the physical layout of your events, to the production of print material, to the organization of event transportation, there will be a number of individuals carrying various responsibilities.
As we've blogged before, our sister site is shaking up the way online registrations take place. By offering a flat rate/form we're welcoming new organizations to move their registrations online with a la Reg, saving valuable time and funds.
We love to hear how clients are using. Below are some real use cases we learned about this week:
* an Atlanta LL to accept online payments for the family picnic
* a Nor. Cal Humane Society to accept donations online for the first time
* a New Mexico Incubator for non-profits to accept conference registrations online
* a Florida event planner
* a Rowing Organization to accept member payments for their banquets
* a Tennis club to accept RSVPs to their Cinco de Mayo Party
* a California personal trainer to accept payments and enrollment online for the first time
BTW, in most scenarios a la Reg is at least 90% less than the most popular online reg tool...just sayin...
Please post how you're using a la Reg.
Planning a corporate event can cost a lot of money, be very time-consuming and take up a lot of resources. So it’s important to plan a corporate event thoroughly and think about all aspects of an event to mitigate disasters and also to get as much return on investment out of it as possible. Here’s a checklist of strategic considerations to help plan the perfect corporate event. (Submitted by reader Sonya of Dreambooth, UK)
It is critical to consider why an event is being held in the first place. It is really important to start the planning off with strong and credible business and marketing objectives based upon what the outcome is that you want to achieve. The event could be held to reach out to new prospects and create brand awareness in the marketplace. Or it could be to make more direct sales or launch a particular product and cross-sell a further range of products down the line.
Once you have crystallised the objectives of the event, then you should think about the putting measurements in place that evaluates whether your event is worth the investment you have put into it; in budget, time and resource. It is always best to measure both qualitatively and quantitatively with statistics and sentiments such as number of attendees, spread of companies and sentiment towards your brand and products and if they are likely to buy from you. By putting in place measurement processes you can measure if your event is a success, needs improvement or needs to be reconsidered.
The whole point of the event will be to bring together your clients and make them aware of your products, services and brand. Think about the perception and messaging that you will want them to take away with them, and the key messages of your company that you want to get across.
Messaging should be consistent and integrated across everything you do at the event through to how it is delivered and executed. So if you have presentations, master classes or workshops pull out the key messages that need to come across and how it relates to your business’ offering. Make sure that the messaging doesn’t come across as too promotional as this will be off-putting to attendees and they are likely to switch off.
Having strong engagement with clients at an event is crucial. Organising a face-to-face event is all about engaging with people, forming and building relationships. Not only is it important to have strong engagement with your clients, you can also give them the platform at your event to meet and network between themselves. By networking with others, attendees will feel that their time is well spent and see value in coming along.
Make engagement more fluid by having staff introduce attendees to each other. Every employee at the event should be given a thorough briefing beforehand about the objectives and purpose of the event. You can also distribute attendee lists and set up your event so mingling and networking is easy.
Using gimmicks that help break the ice at corporate events is a great idea. More companies are hiring branded photo booths at their event that helps to create a buzz. Offering unusual promotional gifts that attendees can play with, such as yoyos, rather than standard pens, create a smile and gets people talking. Giveaways will also be keepsakes for your clients to take away with them.
If you are holding an event where seating at tables is required, then think about a table plan to maximise networking opportunities between attendees.
Sonya works for dreambooth who are a provider of branded photos booths in the UK.
Whether for your school, church or favorite non-profit we’ve all raised our hands to say Yes to volunteering and 9 times out of ten that small job takes up more time than we anticipated. Below are five time saving tips for the next time you say Yes….
- No longer do we need the email ping pong between 6 volunteers trying to find a time to meet at Starbucks. Post the options and let your team note their availability on Doodle.com (link). Everyone can take a vote for their preferred times or venues. Put anything to vote and cut out the emails. Brilliant.
- Take sign ups forms and donation requests online in minutes with a la REG (Link). Your clients/school community will love the option to register online or via phones rather than printing forms and the organizers will love the efficient excel summary of the data. Collect unlimited registrations (or donations) in an ad-free custom form.
- Set time limits for discussions. We’ve all been to meetings where one topic goes round and round and not only do attendees become frustrated, other topics needing attention are neglected. If you foresee a tough debate may be in the future, suggest setting a limit of, say, 5 minutes per topic. If decisions are still needed on a topic, circle back to this one at the end of the meeting. This way every committee get’s a chance to report and at the very least many other decisions will be made.
- Non-profit and volunteer endeavors do not have the typical workday flow of corporate life. By setting a typical time to send updates, perhaps it’s Mondays at 3 or everyday at 10am, your committee members learn to expect your updates and are ready to respond. Your time is used more efficiently (as it would be easy to fall into the pattern of responding to every email in real time). By training ourselves to step back we can also create control of our own time and not feel this volunteer gig has encroached on all aspects of our own time.
- Create a Shutterfly Team Page for your school, favorite charity or children’s team. Shutterfly (link) offers free “communication hubs” for teams or schools to share calendars, coach/teacher announcements and newsletters and of course photos. It’s much more efficient to have one location to visit for all the information, password protected, rather than receive emails or paper forms each week.
For those who love stationery, Tiny Prints is hosting a one day sale, 40% off all thank you notes - more than 1700 designs. You can add a photo, a monogram or just order the cards just as the designer created them.
Sale is today through 8:59am PST Friday. You can find designs for professional correspondence, cards for graduates to say thanks, Easter notes, and a specific line for children as well. TinyPints Site: LINK
Promo Code: Deal0404
We love following Geoff Beers's About.com articles and hope you enjoy this concise registration software overview. Written to provide ideas of what to consider before selecting your registration software such as pricing structures, branding, customization options and mobile.
Another tip for name tags.
If you're going through the effort of having custom lanyards for your hanging name tags, consider having two copies of every nametag printed. Place the two copies back to back in a badge holder, or better yet have your printer print front and back on the tags. This way, when the badge swings around backwards your attendee names are still visible.
The large name badges are nice becuase they allow a lot of space for your company or event logos, we just wish they wouldn't spin so often.
We get a lot of questions about name tags, both production and etiquette. A recent reader asked, should we list Mr. and Mrs./Ms. on the name tags?
We think you can leave off the person's salutation, unless they are a Dr. or a military officer. We expect to see Dr. First Name Last name. For a PhD, list this after the persons name.
As a rule of thumb, make the first name (and the word Dr. in those cases) much larger than all other copy. The last name can be slightly smaller, followed by the name of the company a couple spaces below.
I tend to leave off titles b/c there are so many different ways to list a title (Sr. Manager, Products vs. Sr. Product Manager vs. Senior Manager). Who knows their preference? You are sure to get them incorrect on a few, and possibly offend an attendee.
Lastly, if this is a nice event expect the ladies will appreciate magnet backed name tags, rather than pins.
Happy planning. (if you want more name tag tips simply type name tags in the search box on the left column).
When hosting an event you have your many, many supplies and of course a laptop in tow. Martha Stewart's line of Home Office supplies recently launched a new line of computer cases, iPad coers and totes.
Available in sleek designs and great colors, each bag features attributes Martha Stewart looks for in a tote or case, keeping both style and functionality in mind. While all are padded, the larger totes come with pockets and dividers for pens, folders, extra supplies.
If you'd like to win a large computer tote please leave a comment below. We'll select a winner by end of today. If you don't win, please visit Staples or Staples.com to purchase one.
Congratulations to reader Tara for winning the pair of tickets to the Martha Stewart Wedding Party. Below is a recap of the "Favorite Favors" - wonderful ideas:
Please share your all time favorite wedding favor (or corporate conference swag item) below to be entered to win two tickets to the event. Winner will be announced this Thursday, January 17.
Martha's Wedding Party
Jan 27, 11-4pm, Gotham Hall, NY
Tickets: $75 ea
Just got the holiday cards out the door, and 2013 is almost here! Are you having a New Year's party? If so, you may enjoy checking out the new line of New Years Party invitations featured on Tiny Prints. As always, Tiny Prints modern and fresh designs are printed on their top-of-the-line paper.
You can completely personalize them, change font sizes, add your own text and ordering is simple.
1. Visit Tiny Prints and look through their selection of New Year's party invitations.
2. Add your information for the invitations.
3. Review them for accuracy (take your time here!).
4. Complete your order. If you need them fast, use their Super Rush shipping and you will have them in two days.
Our thoughts are with those in NY and along the east coast as they start to move forward from Sandy.
In light of this tremendous storm, countless meetings and events will be canceled due to flight issues or worse, venue closures. Many meeting professionals are currently reading the fine print in their contracts to fully understand the always included, but rarely discussed, Force Majeure clause. We came across an interesting article by Meetings Net (full article) which provides a great overview on the subject.
From Meetings Net: The Legal Side of Storm-Related Cancellations
With so many canceled flights, the storm is likely to have an impact on meetings nowhere near the hurricane’s path. Attendees from East Coast cities may not be able to get to meetings across the country. In cases where a significant number of attendees can’t make it due to the storm, it’s important that a force majeure clause allows for partial performance being covered, says attorney James Goldberg, principal, Goldberg and Associates, Washington, D.C. Often, it’s written as an all-or-nothing proposition, meaning that a contract must terminate or go forward, he says.
Also, the force majeure clause probably won’t cover a group that cancels a meeting next week over concerns that power will still be out.“It’s best not to make unilateral decisions,” says Goldberg. “Discuss it with the hotel and reach agreement on how to proceed.”
Adds attorney Steven Adelman, Adelman Law Group, Scottsdale, Ariz., "In any force majeure event, it is most important to concentrate first on saving lives, then on protecting property, and last on who has a legal claim against whom. Behaving ethically and generously in a crisis tends to make people disinclined to sue.
“Your contracts define only your basic legal rights and obligations,” says Adelman, who deals with risk management and litigation involving public accommodations. “The details of how you perform those duties, and the consequences of your actions, are up to you."
Hats off to Hilton:'
Hilton properties in the affected areas are waiving cancelling fees through October 30 for advance purchase reservations for those hotels located in evacuation zones and affected areas. Early departure charges will also be waived at all applicable hotels. Hilton will continue to monitor and evaluate its storm-related policies accordingly. "Hilton Worldwide's NYC hotels are all faring well, as we planned ahead and have enough food and supplies," says Hilton Worldwide officials in a statement. "The Conrad has been evacuated due to the flood zone and West 57th Street by Hilton Club has been evacuated due to the crane collapse nearby on 57th Street. Guests have been relocated to the Hilton New York."
When you're planning an event, especially in an unfamiliar city, one of the hardest parts can be finding professional vendors you can trust with your event and clients. UK based Event-Library is making this process easier providing a platform for peer submission and reviews for vendors (catering, av, staffing and of course venues). Think of this as a Yelp for event planners.
You can search for the best-rated venues and suppliers within your specific city or country and can filter reviews by group size. As this is a rather new business they are also looking for your submissions of great vendors. (this is a much more sophisticated version of our little vendor directory).
Check them out at: www.event-library.com . Good luck team Event-Library.
This article was kindly submitted by Amanda Toernqvist out of the UK. Thank you Amanda.
If the event planner in you is bursting to come out, then there is no better opportunity to let it happen than when arranging a thirtieth birthday. Eighteenth and twenty first birthdays are all about the excitement and giddiness of finally being a grown up and are usually heavily focussed on alcohol, being seen to be popular, and having as loud and lairy a time as possible. By the time you get to your 30th, you’re still young enough to enjoy yourself but you can truly please yourself with a party you’ll really enjoy – no peer pressure to follow the crowd anymore!
The first thing to consider is the guest list. Make sure you whittle it down to those people you truly enjoy the company of and who you really want to be there. Is it to be a friends-only affair or a friends and family do? Give people plenty of notice when you send out invitations. A nice touch is to send out physical invitations – there are some lovely choices available from Hallmark – rather than simply texting or emailing invites. It shows more effort on your part and demonstrates to guests that you really want them to be there.
A good tip for any 30th is to have a central theme. It doesn’t have to be anything tacky; you might choose to make the theme a cocktail night, for example. Many bars offer ‘cocktail master class’ evenings, allowing you to experiment with making various cocktails under the guidance of an experienced member of the bar staff, and then of course you get to enjoy your efforts by drinking the results!
You will need to consider whether you want to provide your guests with food, or if it’s going to be a drinks-only affair. If you are laying on a buffet, you will probably have to cover the cost yourself as it wouldn’t be good party etiquette to ask guests to contribute to this. However, if you have a meal out as part of your 30th then of course guests will pay for themselves. Your only responsibility here would be to book the venue.
A good idea if you want to throw a big party with a buffet and drinks laid on is to have a joint celebration with a friend who has a birthday around the same time (providing of course you both want the same kind of party). This way you can throw the party you want whilst spreading the cost.
As event producers you are juggling multiple files and presentations for many different clients. We came across a wonderful product to streamline your communication efforts called You Dazzle.
You Dazzle provides a micro site for you to host large files, images, videos as well as host conference calls making many enterprise level services available to individuals on one platform.
The best features we see for event planners are the following:
- Store all files needing sign off in one place (think of sending the stakeholders just one link to view the stage mockups or event logo choices)
- Provide a location for presenters to send their large presentations (they can upload directly into your portal)
- Create a showcase of your work with high res photos and video montages
- Easily host web meetings, faster and easier to use than WebEx
- YouDazzle is the only way to share files live from tablets and mobile phones.
A la Reg is a new online form creation tool and provides volunteer coordinators and event organizers tools to streamline the registration process with a very easy to use web based solution. With no HTML knowledge necessary, any of us can create beautiful and highly functional online forms, saving hours of typing up registrant information.
A few ways to easily leverage technology in your next event:
New Member Inquiries:
Collect new member inquiries for a non-profit or PTA online. The form can even live on your own website if you prefer. Ask any questions and receive the answers in a neat spreadsheet.
Event RSVP Tool: If you plan to print RSVP cards, or posters for an event, you can simply list the short URL for your event RSVP form on the paper cards. A simple line such as "If you'd like to RSVP online please visit: ACME.alaReg.com” will save you hours. You can also email invitees a link to rsvp.
Donation Collection Tool: If you're soliciting donations for a silent auction, your phone solicitors can direct interested donors to the online form. The form link can also be emailed or printed on any paper documents. The form can have the same questions as your current paper version. You can also collect dollars directly into your pay pal account or authorize.net.
Volunteer commitments: Volunteers make the world go round and millions of hours have been spent confirming and scheduling event and PTA volunteers. As an organizer you can offer shifts (with limits), collect shirt sizes, phone numbers and the correct spelling of their names – all without reading pencil handwriting.
Organizers love a la Reg because everything is already typed up correctly in a spreadsheet, and the cost is a fraction of most registration options ($5/mo flat). Registrants appreciate the option to fill out a form online, rather than printing and faxing or emailing back paperwork.
FYI: For schools and Non-profits – a la Reg will cut a check for 15% of all payments made to a la Reg associated with your organization. We hope a la Reg simplifies your next event and improves your profit margins.
If you've ever been on the receiving end of event RSVP's via email, typed up registration data into a spreadsheet or are simply tired of paying a premium for online registration tools, you are going to love this product.
As a former corporate event marketer and creator of Bonjour Events, I felt there was a need for a budget friendly, easy to use, online registration tool. I'm thrilled to announce a la Reg has been created to fulfill these needs.
The concept is simple: enable anyone to create a custom branded online form for any event, organization or class and eliminate the paper sign up forms and email RSVPs. Organizers can easily collect registration data, donations or event payments. Use case examples:
* Charity or Corporate event organizers can push a branded event registration page live in minutes
* Non-profits can collect donations, without paying a cent to the collection tool
* Event or Class attendees can register via mobile phones
* Volunteers can select shifts and commit to work at an event
* Conferences can sell tickets (for just $5/mo.)
a la Reg offers a flat $5 per month per form with no other fees to the user or the organization. This compares with competitive sites, which charge $1-3 per registrant and/or keep a percentage of the money collected.
All Bonjour Event readers are welcome to try the site for free until December 25 with promo code: alafriend, feel free to share this with friends in the industry. We hope you find this to be a very useful tool in your life. \ Please send any questions or suggestions to marketing @ alareg.com or leave your comments below.
Happy (paperless) event organizing. Please visit: www.alaReg.com