Today you can log on to Google, push a button and stream content directly to YouTube, where it’s archived after the event. For free.
Managing production schedules. Selecting the menu. Planning meetings. Flight schedules. Walk-throughs on both sides of the city on the same day. Oh, and family responsibilities. It can be a lot on one person’s plate. But we’re not just one person. We’re meeting planners. And that kind of makes us superheroes. We can do it all. […]
Every time you try something and it fails, you have two options.
Here are five reasons why you should think things through in business and in life.
Three seconds. That’s all the time we get to make a first impression. When you think about it, that’s a lot of pressure, especially in a business setting.
Garnishes make Claire Gould a touch crabby (who knew?). Find out why …
Anywhere from 20 million to 44 million of us work from home at least one day a week. But doing so isn’t right for everyone.
Usually I write my monthly morsel about an experience after it happens. Today I am writing it at the beginning of an event. A client of mine hired me to do an event in the Washington, D.C.-National Harbor, Md., area. The event instructions were simple: casual get-together with beer and wine for 150 to 200 guests. The […]
What you wear says more about you than almost anything else.
The No. 1 thing that has to change is … us. Here are 12 action items that you can start (or stop) doing today that will make a huge difference.
Sheila Campbell, co-author of “Retreats That Work,” will be leading a four-day workshop on creative facilitation in Washington, D.C., from Feb. 21-24. Participants will learn facilitation exercises for a variety of meetings and off-site events, methods for maximizing meeting design and results, and earn a certificate in creative facilitation. For more information, visit the Retreats […]
I had a major corporation ask me to participate in an RFP for a 10,000+ person annual event. Most people would have been overwhelmed by this daunting task, but for some reason I wasn’t. I thought it was a wonderful opportunity to dig deep within and show this company what I had to say about […]
In the world of meeting design, distractions are the enemy. For an event to achieve an effortless flow, you want to keep attendees focused on what the hosting organization wants them focused on. The goal of minimizing distractions, then, forms the heart of the next principle of meeting design: Proportion. In visual design terms, proportion […]
The appreciation of art is subjective. Otherwise, beauty wouldn’t reside in the eye of the beholder and one man’s trash would never be considered anyone’s treasure. So if our response to everything — including art, music, literature and face-to-face events — is totally subjective, how do we know what’s “good”? The power of instinct A […]
Although I hung up my rugby cleats long ago and am barely fit to play an Old Girls’ match, I still think fondly of the sport. Especially since I find many similarities between ruggers and meeting planners. So many, in fact, that there were too many to fit in one post (see Part I). Here […]
As many of you know, I spent 10 days in October working in Vegas for four different clients. Suppliers in this town say they haven’t recovered from the recession. If you’re like me, you’d expect them to be flexible and accommodating so they leave a positive impression that encourages business, right? Nope. Here are some […]
As a former content developer for a global nonprofit membership association, I have been encouraged by new conversations my peers are having about the importance of content development. I find, though, that my perspective is a little different from what I’ve read. Here are the top six areas I believe meeting organizers should focus on […]
Planning high-level executive meetings can be some of the most challenging and stressful events you are asked to produce. While board meetings or executive retreats aren’t necessarily the largest or most complex meetings, they are loaded with opportunities and challenges you have to anticipate and accommodate. Follow these guidelines to ensure a successful event for […]
Most people would argue that best seat on a Boeing 757 is not 19-C, and that any seat in first class would be better. But what do those seats offer that seat 19-C does not? Free drinks? If I am flying out at 10 a.m., do I really need a cocktail? More leg room, you […]
As I was working a wedding last weekend, the Director of Catering at the “wedding in a box” venue (Mike) and I got into an interesting conversation about tipping. To give you some background, this venue is pretty exclusive, so you need to have a healthy budget ($400 pp+) to hold your wedding at Mike’s facility. What surprised — […]
Event websites that allow for online registration are often considered a part of event marketing. They certainly can be, but it isn’t an automatic function of these sites, which are offered by Cvent, RegOnline, ConstantContact, SignUp4, 123 SignUp and many, many more. Here are the top considerations that will transform your event website from a […]
In the past 24 hours, I’ve heard two stories from different sources that illustrate the difference between truly servicing the needs of your customers and what it means to only pay lip service to it. The first example was a story told me by a friend who’s technically in sales, but who ends up executing […]
Audiences have always used an informal backchannel to discuss events, but Twitter puts those conversations on steroids and broadcasts them for all the world to see. “It’s amazing how rapidly the Twitter backchannel has been adopted among audiences,” says Cliff Atkinson author of “The Backchannel – How Audiences Are Using Twitter and Social Media … […]
When it comes to building awareness and driving attendance to your event, e-mails are still one of the best, fastest, cheapest methods. However, most planners struggle with building an e-mail campaign, especially when it comes to two very basic parameters: How many e-mails are the “right” number of touches? How often should e-mails be sent, […]
How often have you walked away from a contract negotiation feeling positive, happy with the deal you struck and like you got the very best deal for your money? Is negotiating hotel contracts one of your least favorite parts of your job? I think very few meeting planners feel comfortable with this aspect, and I […]
It is very rare that I write my column based on meeting someone, but I came across such a “find” while working the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival. I was so blown away by Ashley Hall and her extensive wine knowledge that it would be wrong of me not to share both with you, my dear readers. […]
It used to be that if you were hosting a corporate meeting or association conference, it was understood it needed a theme. Who can forget the classics? Right Team, Right Time Right Now. The Power of One. Focus on the Future. Better than Ever Together. Mission Possible. The theme sets the tone, in what planners hope […]
This month I want to pay tribute, tip my culinary cap to a group of people and give them a bow of respect. My monthly morsel is dedicated to the hard-working staff that is in overdrive, as I write this, to ensure the inaugural Atlanta Food & Wine Festival is one that the city can […]
Effective teamwork is the most crucial element in a successful and productive company, and what better way to enhance that corporate teamwork then through off-premise engaging activity-based team building? With each new team-building experience, companies are able to boost their employee productivity through increasing the company morale. The key to this however, is planning an […]
A historical venue is a place that is steeped in historical significance, either because it’s where an important event took place, it has architectural relevance, or it’s where an important person lived or died. But that doesn’t mean their usefulness as a special events venue is stuck in the past. There are many reasons why […]
While working in Nevada last week, I went to the final meeting with the off-premise catering company who was catering my client’s customer appreciation event. This party was being held at a museum, and the caterer was from a chain of locally owned restaurants that recently started an off-premise catering division. Their first big contract […]
As we are happily heading into spring the one thought that goes through people’s minds is how do we shed our winter “coats” (a.k.a. pounds)? In this morsel, I am going to share a couple of food ideas that will leave your attendees grateful for having food options that are clever, healthy and tasty. Fruit. […]
A meeting’s speaker can be credited with putting bodies in seats, energizing attendees and increasing sales. But if the speaker doesn’t quite do that, whose fault is it? More often than not, it’s the planner who hired them. Or, at least that is where the blame may fall. While it might be acknowledged that the […]
Recently, I read an article that discussed negotiating with hotels, and there was a very strong bias to the meeting planner. I am a planner, but it angered me that both sides were not presented. I believe we all want to achieve the best deal and that the real goal is to come away with […]
Whether a vendor holiday gift to clients, a corporate gift, or a conference takeaway, there’s a lot of crap with corporate logos out there. And I’m sick of it. I have drawers full of crap, and it keeps coming. And so today I’m going to do something about it! That’s right — I’m going to complain.
Shipping is one of those areas that isn’t a problem until the items you shipped don’t arrive. Then, the scrambling begins. In this best practices article, I’d like to cover the three areas of shipping, general information, shipping domestically and overseas.
Nut allergies, seafood allergies, low-fat, low-carb, vegetarian, vegan, Indian vegetarian, kosher, non-dairy, gluten and soy-free … when the heck did dietary restrictions get so complicated? And where, as an event planner, does it end? To be honest, I don’t have an answer on this question. But “where does it end” does go through my mind as I am writing menus. Since […]
Have you ever wished you could make a better first impression at that company meeting, industry trades how or local networking event? Do you find yourself wishing you could have said or done something differently afterwards? Are you envious of people who make it look so natural and easy? (I call them “people magnets,” they […]
A couple of years ago I was asked, “How much is an industry designation — such as CMP, CMM, CSEP — worth?” My answer is just as complicated now as it was then. Over the years, as I have traded business cards and swapped e-mails at industry events, I’ve never ceased to be amazed by […]
It’s December, the party season is revved up and ready to go, and anything that hasn’t been planned already will have to take shape ASAP. With limited planning time, your best bet will be something that’s easy to implement, has an element of fun and engages attendees. Here are some ideas to help you get […]
As we are winding down the calendar year, but gearing up for professional and personal holiday gatherings, the same question gets asked over and over: What to serve on a budget? For the month of December I want to take this morsel out of the banqueting kitchen and bring it into your home for the […]
The first area planners tend to trim money from is their food and beverage budget. But how do you save money without sacrificing the experience for your attendees, avoid getting hit by hidden banquet fees and best work with the director of food and beverage and catering manager to create exceptional events? In this PYM […]
“How would you describe your day?” I asked. “Hectic, long, and comprised of e-mail pruning, endless meetings and conference calls. I often work straight through meals at my desk,” answered Steve, a senior executive I’m currently coaching on his strategic relationship development efforts and personal online branding. “Pretty typical of people in my role, isn’t […]
Depending on the type of event you’re planning, the CVB may be all you need to navigate the landscape of your host destination. However, when a more personalized and expert approach is needed, it may be necessary to enlist the help of a destination management company (DMC). According to Michelle Yurcak, a certified destination management […]
If you want to create memorable meetings and events, there are many ways to do so. All you need is a little ingenuity and inspiration. Plan Your Meetings spoke with meeting planners across the country to find out what advice they had for livening things up and engaging attendees …
I’ve always heard that in life, and love, timing is everything. I can attest to the latter, having re-met and married my childhood sweetheart after 30 years. But what about, life, or more specifically, the hospitality biz? How does timing play to how we buy, how we sell and how we can benefit from using […]
I recently did a reception in Atlanta where the past history indicated 450-500 people would be attending the annual customer party. I have done this event for four years in various cities and have kept strict group history. Because convention attendance was up this year, the client and I decided that we would increase the […]
I started my career in green events through attendee engagement. I was working on a martini festival in a county with a sheriff infamous for denying event permits for events with alcohol. As event organizers, we had concerns over the liability of promoting a drinking event and the potential risk of drunk drivers. Knowing that […]
A sponsor is a supporter of an event and/or activity. Sponsorships come in many shapes and sizes, all with a different dollar value. The sponsorships you may be most familiar with are for golf tournaments, annual conventions or festivals. On the surface, companies buy a sponsorship package to support an organization. But the business reason […]
It’s difficult to ignore the fact that there are 500 million users on Facebook. They all may not be relevant to you, your company, events, social media goals or objectives, but the sheer size of this community makes a viable case for having an effective presence there. If we use a mall analogy, as a […]
In “Meeting technology 101,” I discussed some technologies that save meeting planners time. Now I’d like to look at some of the tools that can save you money…
I am going to make this morsel so short and sweet folks aren’t going to believe it. Here is the deal: When we, as planners, give a third party company or facility a budget number, this is what the appropriate vendor needs to do … RESPECT IT! It amazes me when I give someone a […]
As you know, contracts and agreements take many different forms. There are your typical multi-page hotel contracts, and there are banquet event orders and letters of agreement. Some are short and sweet; many are filled with “fine print.” All of which, when agreed upon, bind each party to certain stipulations. Some are written to favor […]
What fun is going green if you can’t look great while doing it? Design makes its way into every type of event, whether it is the professional aesthetic of a corporate meeting or elaborate creations for high-end weddings. Adding eco-friendly practices to creating event ambiance is much like greening other aspects of your events. Start […]
As the event industry continues to evolve, one thing is clear: Not only are planners expected to give their clients more for their money, they are required to prove return on investment for each event they participate. It is important that planners have a clear understanding of what event marketing is and how to maximized their […]
Well, hurricane season is upon us and as the Labor Day crowds run for shelter, the thoughts of meetings, weather and other abnormalities came to mind. What does this have to do with meeting contracts? Plenty! Flash back to fall 2005, shortly after Hurricane Katrina. At my birthday party, a co-worker asked me if I […]
Last week I was working for a client, hosting a Friday night reception at a charming wine store owned by a husband and wife. The wine store is in a very sweet and intimate setting that accommodates up to 50 people. During the event, I had a couple of situations happen that I wasn’t so […]
I’ve been in the consulting business for a long time and am convinced I’ve seen it all. An executive recently told me that he saw no value in social media, that it was a waste of his already limited resources. In his mind, he felt he must have done something right to have stayed in […]
When it comes to the audiovisual for their meetings, most planners tell me it’s the worst part of their job. On a recent posting to the MiForum Google group, there was a long and extended conversation about how difficult it was for a planner in trying to navigate the bidding process for her AV needs. […]
I’ve been involved in the corporate audiovisual production industry for over 20 years, and one of the most consistent issues I hear meeting planners and end clients complaining about is the cost of their technology spend, specifically “hidden” or unexpected AV expenses. Part of the problem lies in the fact that many meeting planners are […]
Events, conferences, and trade shows are an established means to help employees learn from area experts and build personal networks; meet with customers, suppliers, and distributors; generate new business; and see new products. But with the current economic climate, it’s no secret that event marketers are having a tough time maintaining attendance levels and augmenting […]
So you’ve done your homework, researched the market, cut a great deal and are so proud of yourself. Then, six, eight or 18 months later, your conference or event starts to fall apart because of market uncertainty, losses in sponsorship or, in the case of a first time event, your marketing machine is too slow […]
One of the mistakes meeting planners frequently make is not paying enough attention to the layout and design of their meeting rooms. Too often planners are more concerned with accommodating the most people possible in a space instead of designing an environment that is conducive to meeting the goals and objectives of the event. For […]
Because of this rough economy, planning events at conference centers with all-inclusive packages has become more popular. There are several reasons why, with the first being the most obvious — the budget. When everything is included in the conference price, planners can understand and effectively budget their costs. Part of the package price includes the culinary experience, but […]
For many meeting planners, the program is all about what happens from the time the attendees enter the convention center for breakfast or first session until the last session or dinner. With so much focus on functionality, event décor can often fall by the wayside. To prevent that from happening, simplify the process with these […]
As I am spending the month in Kittanning, Pa., working my father’s estate, I can’t help but drift back to the roots of this small town: farming. Since it is July and we are in the midst of “corn growing season,” I thought it would be appropriate to give you some insight on how to […]