Bright ideas in the new PYM magazine!

June 19th, 2017 @

Orange juice is about the best thing ever. Growing up right in the middle of Florida’s 200-mile-long Indian River Citrus District, orange juice was always a bright part of my life. I always envisioned the act of drinking it as like that of consuming a sweet, liquid extract of the sun (we all know what that tastes and feels like, right?). Lately, however, the cost of orange juice has been on the rise—whether due to myriad general economic factors or the spread of the Asian citrus psyllid, which can lead to bacterial infection, “greening” and the decimation of citrus crops. In fact, just this winter, orange juice futures—yes, that’s a thing—hit an all-time high.

editor noniOf course, the high price of orange juice isn’t in and of itself a significant problem—nothing like what you’re experiencing in the meeting landscape. You’re seeing costs at nearly every stage of planning and executing your meetings and events creep up and up and up. At the same time, if you’re lucky, your budgets are growing as well. However, the associated trend that is proving a challenge is that your budgets are not increasing at the same pace as costs.

The good news is that solutions for your cost challenges exist within the minds of your ever-creative peers—and they’re not closed off to the idea of sharing these strategies and tactics. That’s especially suitable in that various ways of sharing with other planners to save costs pop up throughout the cover story of the newest issue of Plan Your Meetings—including sharing menus to leverage bulk purchasing of F&B and sharing speakers to minimize travel expenses.

Notably, you can also get an in-depth look at how one peer, Pat Guerrero, CVA, senior manager of volunteer engagement and programs for Utah-based Best Friends Animal Society, saves staffing expenses by leveraging the power of more than 150 volunteers for her group’s national conference.

“This conference is a light in the darkness that we sometimes see in animal welfare,” Guerrero says. “It’s our volunteers’ job to be that light because together we can illuminate the world!”

The hope is that within these cost-saving tips and other articles from the newest issue of Plan Your Meetings, you’ll find some ideas that can act like a sun-filled glass of Florida orange juice—bright, eye opening and refreshing.

P.S. Don’t miss free education opportunities at PYM LIVE events throughout North America—see future dates and register. And we’ve also created an interactive map of event venue-related gun laws, state-by-state, a data-intensive follow-up to education provided in the previous edition of Plan Your Meetings.

The post Bright ideas in the new PYM magazine! appeared first on Plan Your Meetings @ Meeting Professionals International.

Category : Blog and Industry News

Bright ideas in the new PYM magazine!

June 19th, 2017 @

Orange juice is about the best thing ever. Growing up right in the middle of Florida’s 200-mile-long Indian River Citrus District, orange juice was always a bright part of my life. I always envisioned the act of drinking it as like that of consuming a sweet, liquid extract of the sun (we all know what that tastes and feels like, right?). Lately, however, the cost of orange juice has been on the rise—whether due to myriad general economic factors or the spread of the Asian citrus psyllid, which can lead to bacterial infection, “greening” and the decimation of citrus crops. In fact, just this winter, orange juice futures—yes, that’s a thing—hit an all-time high.

editor noniOf course, the high price of orange juice isn’t in and of itself a significant problem—nothing like what you’re experiencing in the meeting landscape. You’re seeing costs at nearly every stage of planning and executing your meetings and events creep up and up and up. At the same time, if you’re lucky, your budgets are growing as well. However, the associated trend that is proving a challenge is that your budgets are not increasing at the same pace as costs.

The good news is that solutions for your cost challenges exist within the minds of your ever-creative peers—and they’re not closed off to the idea of sharing these strategies and tactics. That’s especially suitable in that various ways of sharing with other planners to save costs pop up throughout the cover story of the newest issue of Plan Your Meetings—including sharing menus to leverage bulk purchasing of F&B and sharing speakers to minimize travel expenses.

Notably, you can also get an in-depth look at how one peer, Pat Guerrero, CVA, senior manager of volunteer engagement and programs for Utah-based Best Friends Animal Society, saves staffing expenses by leveraging the power of more than 150 volunteers for her group’s national conference.

“This conference is a light in the darkness that we sometimes see in animal welfare,” Guerrero says. “It’s our volunteers’ job to be that light because together we can illuminate the world!”

The hope is that within these cost-saving tips and other articles from the newest issue of Plan Your Meetings, you’ll find some ideas that can act like a sun-filled glass of Florida orange juice—bright, eye opening and refreshing.

P.S. Don’t miss free education opportunities at PYM LIVE events throughout North America—see future dates and register. And we’ve also created an interactive map of event venue-related gun laws, state-by-state, a data-intensive follow-up to education provided in the previous edition of Plan Your Meetings.

The post Bright ideas in the new PYM magazine! appeared first on Plan Your Meetings @ Meeting Professionals International.

Category : Blog and Industry News

Celebrating International Sushi Day (June 18)

June 13th, 2017 @

This Sunday (June 18) is International Sushi Day—and I’m betting you didn’t even realize that was a thing. This special event was launched in 2009—an announcement, unsurprisingly, via Facebook. The sole activity to celebrate International Sushi Day: Eat and appreciate sushi (for bonus points, introduce someone to sushi).

My own introduction to sushi happened 10 years ago at the Loews Lake Las Vegas (now Westin Lake Las Vegas)—so if you’re in Vegas for MPI’s World Education Congress next week, know that sushi options abound even though you’re in the Mojave Desert.

‘Fish in the Desert’

[This tale into my first dip into sushi was originally published in the September 2007 issue of The Meeting Professional.]

I sake-stumble—a gait observers surely recognize as well-rehearsed Tai Chi—up to my room at the Loews Lake Las Vegas, get comfortable and voraciously rip into Nick Tosches’ June Vanity Fair masterpiece, “If You Knew Sushi.”

How serendipitous that I’d land at the table of one of the nation’s finest sushi chefs while newsstands hold a 12,000-word tome on the cuisine by one of America’s finest authors. I hadn’t considered the circumstances, but in hindsight, I really had no choice—I was visiting the desert and I was going to eat sushi, this much was certain. 

“Trust Chef Fuji,” my hosts say. 

“But…but…but…I don’t really like fish,” I squeak.

I taste a variety of sake and select one to accompany the meal.

“Is there anything you absolutely do not want?” an amused waiter asks.

“No eel. Wait, no. I’ll take whatever Chef Fuji wants to make,” I say in overly dramatic tone.

Master Sushi Chef Osamu “Fuji” Fujita’s signature Tuna Cocktail visually pervades the table—an orb erupting with dry ice vapors beneath chunks of sumptuous tuna swimming in a spicy sauce that celebrates the fish’s flavor.

I place the first piece of tuna in my mouth, trying not to taste. I finally breathe, and experience a stunning delight. A sip of sake created a fuller experience—the two tastes mingle and temporarily take over. I shake my head. Whoa.

Moments later, the tuna is gone and the dry ice cloud has diminished. And then? A large plate of indeterminate seafood ingredients appears.

“There’s more?” I thought.

The waiter is a swell guide, and my taste buds find a favorite flavor in the exotic unagi. I take more sake and in a near-out-of-body experience realize that I love the taste of freshwater eel. If you knew sushi…

Sushi knowledge nuggets

Sushi
Image courtesy Benihana

As one of the F&B trends showing no sign of letting up, meeting and event attendees love to be educated about what they’re eating, where it came from (geographically and culturally) and any associated factoids that can make dining a memorable experience—something more than just gobbling down sustenance in between education sessions.

Following are some sushi facts, courtesy of Benihana.

  • The term sushi means “vinegared rice” not “raw fish.” Vinegared rice is the base ingredient to every piece of sushi.
  • Sushi is estimated to have started as early as 500 B.C. but it didn’t transform into the bite-sized sushi everyone knows until the 19th century.
  • Traditionally, sushi chefs use special Japanese carbon steel knives. These knives are only honed on a single side to create the sharpest possible cutting edge for prepping sushi.
  • Sushi is as much of an art form as it is a delicacy. In Japan, sushi chefs must undergo 10 years of professional training before earning the stamp of “Sushi Master.”
  • Sushi is meant to be served in a particular way. In order to achieve the rice’s ideal “stickiness,” chefs aim to keep their rice around 110 degrees Fahrenheit before adding the cold fish. Once served, soy sauce is meant to serve as a complementary condiment rather than a dipping sauce.
  • There’s more to sushi than rolls and makiNigiri (pieces of fish on top of rice), sashimi (sliced fish only) and temaki (hand rolls), are all more common in Japan.

The post Celebrating International Sushi Day (June 18) appeared first on Plan Your Meetings @ Meeting Professionals International.

Category : Blog and Industry News

Weekly deals and highlights: June 6, 2017

June 6th, 2017 @

EmCo_logo_Heart_Of_BW_v3Emerald Coast
Twitter: @EmeraldCoastFLA
Go online to discover a wide range of Emerald Coast meeting venues, more than 13,000 rooms, and the only convention center in Florida’s Panhandle.


Caesars Entertainment offers meeting and event planners one dedicated team that works as a united front, committed to providing the most successful meeting experiences possible. Enjoy elite perks, rewards and privileges with our Total Rewards Meeting Diamond Program.

Click here to fill out the survey for your chance to win!

The post Weekly deals and highlights: June 6, 2017 appeared first on Plan Your Meetings @ Meeting Professionals International.

Category : Blog and Industry News

Weekly deals and highlights: June 6, 2017

June 6th, 2017 @

Weekly deals and highlights: June 6, 2017

EmCo_logo_Heart_Of_BW_v3Emerald Coast
Twitter: @EmeraldCoastFLA
Go online to discover a wide range of Emerald Coast meeting venues, more than 13,000 rooms, and the only convention center in Florida’s Panhandle.


Caesars Entertainment offers meeting and event planners one dedicated team that works as a united front, committed to providing the most successful meeting experiences possible. Enjoy elite perks, rewards and privileges with our Total Rewards Meeting Diamond Program.

Click here to fill out the survey for your chance to win!

The post Weekly deals and highlights: June 6, 2017 appeared first on Plan Your Meetings @ Meeting Professionals International.

Category : Blog and Industry News

Soft targets: 8 steps to protect participants

June 6th, 2017 @

It started with the Bastille Day attack in Nice almost a year ago. Eighty-four people were killed when a driver deliberately drove his truck into the crowd of revelers. Ten children were killed that day. This was not the first attack of this nature. In 1981 and 1983, there were similar incidents in Beirut. However, since the Nice Attack, there have been similar incidents at Ohio State University as well as in Berlin, Jerusalem, the United Kingdom (Westminster) and Stockholm. The May 18 Times Square incident has led to speculation that cars will be banned from Times Square. In the most recent attack on London Bridge over the weekend, a van mounted the curb and the driver deliberately mowed down pedestrians and three attackers then stabbed random innocent people nearby, killing seven (more than a dozen victims are currently hospitalized).

warning you are making a difference
(CC) markheybo

The recent bombing at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester (UK), in which a 23-year-old man detonated a shrapnel-laden device, injuring 116 individuals and killing 23 (including children), was another reminder of the vulnerability of soft targets.

What are the implications for event industry professionals? One thing is certain. These incidents are a HUGE wake-up call.

With soft targets becoming increasingly vulnerable to attacks by terrorists, lone-wolf attackers as well as individuals who have severe psychiatric disorders, it is extremely important for event planners to heighten their vigilance. Whether it’s a conference, trade show, sporting event, concert, festival or corporate event, anywhere crowds gather can become a target.

At minimum, the following steps are recommended:

1. Conduct security audits and risk assessments

This is becoming a MUST DO not a nice-to-do—and should be undertaken by a team of security professionals (no time for amateurs).

2. Background checks

Perform thorough background checks on all staff and volunteers, both temporary and permanent.

3. Control access points

This should not be limited to entry and exit points. Take steps to control access to stage doors, staff entrances, delivery bays, emergency exits and parking (both outdoor and underground).

4. Erect barricades

Remember to also provide protection in areas where participants are boarding shuttle busses and accessing event venues from public transportation and pedestrian walkways. Venue owners should consider erecting permanent barricades.

 

In some incidents, attackers have ploughed through barricades and attacked the crowds. So set up very sturdy barricades far from the crowd.

 

5. Consider armed security

Do you need armed security at your event?

6. Use metal detectors

7. Conduct bag searches

It is unfortunate, but frisking, which has become a common precaution in many nightclubs, may soon become necessary at run-of-the-mill meetings and events.

8. Ban weapons

When possible, bar the possession of weapons by attendees and participants—as we’ve seen, this should include knives and other bladed objects, as well as firearms. U.S. jurisdictions present special challenges in view of the Second Amendments. Please consult the following blog posts.

Getting a grip on event firearms policies

Firearms at events…and your liability

Gun laws & event venues interactive state-by-state map

Soft target attacks are a game changer for our industry. Unfortunately, they are not going to go away any time soon. If anything, indications are that it is not a matter of if they will come to your jurisdiction but when. As the Latin saying goes “Praemonitus, praemunitus.” The translation? “Forewarned is forearmed.”

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Category : Blog and Industry News

Planning experiential meetings your attendees will never forget

June 5th, 2017 @

In today’s evolving meeting environment, planners are opting to provide a more experience-driven program for their attendees.

By coordinating energizing group activities to facilitate connections, or incorporating the scenic outdoors to create a memorable event, planners are using distinctive experiences to ensure the success of their meetings and create a lasting impact for their attendees.

Planners should consider several elements when coordinating an experience-driven meeting for their group.

Utilize your destination

When choosing a location, it is important for meeting planners to select a destination that provides a wide variety of venues, backdrops, and activities that will help to encourage connections and foster creativity.

Terry Vine PhotographyMeeting planners should work closely with their venue to determine how to incorporate experiences that are unique to the destination and are in line with their goals. For example, if a planner is looking to build connections within their team, they can organize outdoor activities that explore the local nature, or excursions to take part in the area’s local culture.

I always recommend that groups coordinate experiences that are unique to our resort. For example, groups can take a rafting trip down the lower Colorado River or interact with real-life Texas longhorns (T-Bone & Ribeye) as part of the resort’s “Hooves and Horns” mascot program.

In terms of golf, we’ve had meeting guests participate in two-hour sessions with our pro before the group goes out.

Be creative

Finding creative ways to incorporate experiences that can serve as an overlay to a meeting program are often useful and can kick-start engagement. Planners can consider starting a session with a fun and interactive history of the destination or venue, and then parallel that with a short introduction and history about their own company.

Meeting planners can also consider surprising their guests with unexpected activities, such as unannounced special appearances or incorporating unique local culinary creations during the middle of a session.

Another great way for planners to keep everyone interested and engaged is to incorporate experiences in line with popular culture. Examples can include The Amazing Race-style scavenger hunts or Iron Chef-style competitions led by the property’s executive chef. Types of activities like these help the most reserved and quite members of a team to step out of their shells and begin connecting with their peers.

Personalize the experience

The most important advice I can give meeting planners is to simply ask their attendees what type of experience they desire.

Whether it’s providing a recommendation card that attendees can fill out at the previous year’s event or having attendees take part in an online survey, attendee feedback is invaluable when it comes to hosting a successful event.

Through the responses, planners can cater directly to their audience by gauging personal interest of specific destinations and activities and then customize an experience based on those elements.

Try it before you book it

Another important tip is for meeting planners to actually experience the destination and activities before booking a venue. Planners should not hesitate to ask the venue’s sales manager to take part in various activities related to their event.

For example, if planners are looking into the possibility of booking a spa retreat for their guests, they should experience a treatment. If they are booking a corporate golf tournament for their team, they should play a round first before booking the venue. The key to these visits is to meet with the spa director and director of golf to strategize on what the property has to offer that can help compliment the goals of the event.

By taking part in the activities first hand, planners can truly understand the experience they are creating for their group and can adapt and customize it accordingly.

Additionally, when planners are on site for their property tour, they should inquire about other meetings taking place while they are touring the hotel. This provides the opportunity to see the property in action and determine if they can visualize their attendees there.

Ask about best practices

Finally, I recommend that planners ask the venue’s representatives about the types of meeting experiences they’ve coordinated in the past and which ones were most memorable. Working with all types of groups, the sales managers and event planners will have a good idea of what works best and most importantly which ideas fostered connectivity and provide impacting experiences.

The post Planning experiential meetings your attendees will never forget appeared first on Plan Your Meetings @ Meeting Professionals International.

Category : Blog and Industry News

Essential conferences for event planners in 2017

May 30th, 2017 @

Essential conferences for event planners in 2017

There remains a litany of conferences for meeting and event professionals to receive education and valuable networking throughout the duration of 2017. Following are highlights, including events with hosted buyer programs (*), which can reduce or limit the cost of a planners’ attendance.

This list does not contain every single conference for event planners, but we feel that these are the main ones you should have on your radar. If you feel we are missing an exceptional conference, let us know about it and what makes it so great in the comments below!

 

June


FIEXPO Latin America*

June 5-7, Santiago, Chile
This gathering with exhibitors primarily representing Latin American destinations and services also included dozens of education sessions. Scheduled speakers include Nina Freysen-Pretorium, president of ICCA, and Rajeev Kohli, president of SITE.

CONFEC blue*

June 8-11, Marbella, Spain
In a results-oriented business setting, this event is designed to bring together top international agencies, corporate and incentive organizers to meet with international suppliers for a series of one-on-one meetings.

PCMA Education Conference

June 11-14, New York City, New York
Brought to you by the Professional Convention Management Association, scheduled speakers for this event include bestselling author Luke Williams and Loews Hotels Chairman Jonathan M. Tisch. Watch the 2016 conference wrap-up video for an idea as to what this year’s event will be like.

 

Cvent Connect

June 12-16, Las Vegas, Nevada
Expect approximately 2,000 participants. Last year boasted a 5:1 planner-to-exhibitor ratio. This year: Keynote speaker Jay Leno! Read more about the 2016 edition.

ibtm America*

June 14-16, Hollywood, Florida
Three-day North American event centered on one-on-one meetings between qualified planners and suppliers.

MPI’s World Education Congress*

June 19-22, Las Vegas, Nevada
The landmark annual event from MPI, the world’s largest industry for meeting and event professionals brings together more than 2,000 of your peers for industry-leading education and networking. What’ll it be like? Check out the top 15 things you missed at #WEC16.

Here is their promo video for this year.

 

Latin America Meetings & Incentive Travel Exchange*

June 19-23, La Antigua, Guatemala
An opportunity to engage with a wide variety of Latin American travel industry professionals. Highlights from the 2016 edition.

 

PYM Live

June 27, Charlotte, North Carolina
PYM LIVE Events are the fastest way for meeting and event planners to research meeting venues, network and learn from their peers, play with new event technology and establish important business relationships. Watch video testimonials of past editions.

 

July


ALSD Conference and Tradeshow

July 10-13, Miami Beach, Florida
For 27 years, this event full of networking, education and entertainment has constantly evolved. Expect more than 100 speakers and presenters, including bestselling author Jon Spoelstra. The Sports Sales Boot Camp (a “non-nonsense sports sales training course”) and the Sports Venue Design & Build Forum run concurrently with the ALSD Conference and Tradeshow.

GBTA Convention

July 15-19, Boston, Massachusetts
A gathering of 7,000+ business travel professionals seeking education, networking and news on the latest industry innovations. This year’s convention includes speakers Gen. David Petraeus and Olympian Michael Phelps.

PYM Live

July 27, Denver, Colorado
PYM LIVE Events are the fastest way for meeting and event planners to research meeting venues, network and learn from their peers, play with new event technology and establish important business relationships. Watch video testimonials of past editions.

 

August


IAVM VenueConnect 2017

August 7-10, Nashville, Tennessee
VenueConnect hosts professionals from a spectrum of public assembly venues including arenas, convention centers, amphitheaters, fairgrounds, performing arts centers, stadiums, universities and more, for 80+ education sessions. Read about the conference’s re-branded strategy.

ILEA Live 2017

August 10-12, Calgary, Canada
From the International Live Events Association, this is billed as “an educational and collaborative experience for creative event professionals to strengthen their creative output, sharpen their business strategies and find inspiration.”

ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition

August 12-15, Toronto, Canada
This annual event features networking and education opportunities and more than 400 exhibitions with which to engage. Scheduled speakers include Nilofer Merchant, fellow of the Martin Prosperity Institute, and Nyle Dimarco, a past winner of America’s Next Top Model and Dancing with the Stars.

Caribbean Meeting & Incentive Travel Exchange*

August 13-16, Montego Bay, Jamaica
An event consisting of scheduled meetings between pre-qualified North American meeting planners and incentive buyers and Caribbean suppliers.

IncentiveWorks

August 22-23, Toronto, Canada
Billed as “the largest meeting and events industry trade show and conference in Canada,” this event is centered on education. Scheduled speakers include Event Manager Blog editor Julius Solaris and trend spotter Seth Mattison. Check out some highlights from the 2016 IncentiveWorks.

 

ibtm China*

August 23-24, Beijing, China
Designed as a gathering where industry decision makers do business. Attendees are Chinese and international planners.

PYM Live

August 30, New York City, New York
PYM LIVE Events are the fastest way for meeting and event planners to research meeting venues, network and learn from their peers, play with new event technology and establish important business relationships. Watch video testimonials of past editions.

 

September


ibtm Latin America*

September 6-7, Mexico City, Mexico
A hosted-buyer program and series of one-on-one meetings, with aspirational education,” the event is said to bring together more than 380 suppliers and 6,400 planners.

SITE Classic

September 13-16, Los Cabos, Mexico
A blend of incentive travel buyers and industry suppliers that come together for three days of business networking, education and activities that showcase the destination.

PYM Live

September 20, Dallas, Texas
PYM LIVE Events are the fastest way for meeting and event planners to research meeting venues, network and learn from their peers, play with new event technology and establish important business relationships. Watch video testimonials of past editions.

IT&CMA Asia

September 26-28, Bangkok, Thailand
A combo event of Incentive Travel & Conventions, Meetings Asia and Corporate Travel World Asia-Pacific, this is the only double-billed industry event in the Asia-Pacific region. If your work matches any of the above buzzwords, check it out. Watch a sizzle reel from 2016

 

October


SITE Young Leaders Conference

October 8-9, Las Vegas, Nevada
Scheduled to take place immediately prior to IMEX America, this event is designed as an opportunity for Millennials to meet each other and learn to help those pursuing a career in the incentive travel industry.

IMEX America*

October 10-12, Las Vegas, Nevada
With more than 12,000 participants last year representing all facets of the global meeting and event industry, many rightfully argue that IMEX America is the can’t-miss show. Before you go, read our 10 essential IMEX America hosted buyer tips.
Watch the promo video from 2016

 

PYM Live

October 18, Houston, Texas
PYM LIVE Events are the fastest way for meeting and event planners to research meeting venues, network and learn from their peers, play with new event technology and establish important business relationships. Watch video testimonials of past editions.

ITB Asia

October 25-27, Singapore
This B2B show is designed to become the primary event for the Asia-Pacific travel industry, welcoming all sectors, including small and medium-sized businesses. Last year, ITB Asia reported more than 10,000 attendees from 110 countries.

 

November


PYM Live

November 15, Ottawa, Canada
PYM LIVE Events are the fastest way for meeting and event planners to research meeting venues, network and learn from their peers, play with new event technology and establish important business relationships. Watch video testimonials of past editions.

IAEE Expo! Expo!

November 28-30, San Antonio, Texas
This show emphasizes thought leadership and best practices in unique learning environments. It’s “the show for shows.”

ibtm World*

November 28-30, Barcelona, Spain
More than 15,000 industry professionals come together for networking and education in ibtm’s premier annual event. Explore some highlights from last year’s ibtm world

 

The post Essential conferences for event planners in 2017 appeared first on Plan Your Meetings @ Meeting Professionals International.

Category : Blog and Industry News

10 ways to effectively streamline your event

May 22nd, 2017 @

When planning and executing an event, it is important to be efficient and keep things running as smoothly as possible. The following 10 tips will save you from many headaches.

streamline efficiency1. Book your venue early!

There are certain times of year when venues are especially busy: post summer holidays, pre-Christmas and during the end of the fiscal year (May and June). If you are looking to hold your event during any of these periods, you must start contacting venues early to secure your date—as far forward as a year in advance, depending on the size of your event.

2. Create a timeline and task list

Before you jump in the deep end, make sure you prepare a timeline and task list for your event that you can refer back to throughout the process. It can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be, but you will thank your lucky stars when you have that to rely on as the big day approaches.

3. Do away with paper forms

If you want to increase event efficiencies, start with your registration process. Collecting paper forms, transferring data to spreadsheets and following up for payment can be timely and complicated. It doesn’t have to be this way. Online event registration systems can save you and your members a lot of hassle. Contact details, payment information and dietary requests can be confirmed with the click of a button and members can often log back in to update their registration. All event registration systems are different, so take the time to scope out options that meet your specific needs.

4. Start promoting early

Most professionals’ schedules fill up quickly. In order to ensure you have the greatest turn out to your events possible, make sure you provide members with plenty of advance notice. Even a “save the date” stating there will be more details to follow solidifies the date in their mind and creates anticipation. Collecting registrations early on will also help you get an idea of how big your event will be so that you can adjust venues as need be.

5. Set registration and cancellation deadlines

The days leading up to an event can be very busy, so setting deadlines for registrations and cancellations is necessary. In order to prepare materials such as handouts and giveaways, you need to know how many guests to expect. You also need to provide venues your guarantee with at least 48-72 hours’ notice, so it is wise to set these deadlines at least 72 hours prior to the event. You can typically increase numbers by a few, but reducing is an issue—if guests are allowed to cancel within this time frame, you will be out for their meal costs, which is never a good thing.

6. Keep attendees informed

Advise your guests of any important information prior to the event. If you are holding your event at a private club or golf course, a dress code warning is imperative. You will also want to advise guests of registration times, to bring cash for draws, and their team mates or starting holes if it is a golf tournament. One email can save you from phone calls and reduce questions at the door.

7. Confirm final details with the venue

Just like you, venues are busy planning many events so it is easy to forget minor details if they were not recorded in the event contract. Touch base in the days leading up to your events to re-confirm any details or additional requests, such as table set-up requirements. All venues create an event sheet which staff at the venue follow, make sure you request to look over this and do it with a fine toothpick to spot any issues/notes that may have been missed. A walkthrough of the event space may also be helpful to visualize the set-up.

8. Always arrive early

You never know what surprises can come up on the day of an event. The room may be set up incorrectly; maybe you forgot important items at the office. You will also want to perform a thorough AV test to ensure all equipment is in proper working order. Encourage your speakers to arrive early as well, so they can get comfortable with the set-up.

9. Greet guests in an organized fashion

The registration desk is your attendees’ first impression of the event. Ensure you have attentive staff and/or volunteers ready to handle the crowd. Name badges that have been laid out alphabetically contribute to a streamlined process. You should also have print outs of attendance lists and methods of collecting payment in case people show up un-registered at the door. Find out where the bathrooms and coat racks are as soon as you arrive, and be prepared for any and all questions!

10. Prepare an agenda with timelines

In order to ensure the event stays on track, a day-of agenda for volunteers and emcees is necessary. This should include any important announcements, speaker names and bios and sponsor recognition. Everyone has busy lives and you don’t want guests leaving early if the event goes over its scheduled end time. This may also cause problems with the venue if they have another group starting promptly afterwards. A jovial emcee who can pleasantly move speakers along will be a great asset to your events.

This may seem like a lot to keep in mind but a lot of it is common sense and will come with experience. As long as you build these items into your event planning task list, you will have nothing to worry about!

The post 10 ways to effectively streamline your event appeared first on Plan Your Meetings @ Meeting Professionals International.

Category : Blog and Industry News

5 fabulous ways to use drones in the event industry

May 15th, 2017 @

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have been around for a lot longer than most people realize. The first drones were used by the Austrian military in their attack on Venice in 1849. Quadcopters have been around since 1920. Mini-drones and quadcopters have been used for photography for almost a decade.

As drones have come down in size and price, they have become accessible to event organizers. There are many different types of drones but some of the most popular include DJI Phantom 4 and the Parrot.AR Drone 2.0.

1. Sporting events

They are often used at sporting events as they make it possible to follow fast action across a large field. Drones can get much closer to the action than any photographer.

2. Resort and site tours

Drones make it possible to provide panoramic views of resort properties and zoom in for close ups of some features. Here Sandals provides a drone tour of its Whitehouse property in Jamaica with stunning results.

3. Destination tours

It’s helpful for event and meeting planners to have a way of quickly viewing the key attractions that a destination has to offer so that they can build those that will appeal to participants into their itinerary. Tourist boards and convention bureaus are making use of drones to showcase destinations from unique vantage points.

Here drones provide an overview of Dubai’s top attractions.

4. Meeting highlights

Drones can be combined with footage from traditional video cameras and GoPros to capture highlights from corporate meetings. Lions Club International blended footage of their 2016 convention from various sources together seamlessly to produce a very engaging video.

5. Entertainment

Always ground-breaking, the CCTV Spring Festival Gala for the Chinese New Year is enjoyed by millions of viewers around the world. For 2016, the show featured 540 dancing robots. Zerotech Dobby actually created a dance routine involving drones for the 2017 show.

 

The most important thing to remember is that using drones is not about the technology. The focus should be on the results and type of footage you want to create. That will drive the decision about whether or not drones are appropriate for your event.

Drones can’t be used everywhere, however. To begin learning about the logistics and laws of using drones at meetings and events, check out The Meeting Professional’s “Game of Drones.”

And if you’re REALLY interested in the future of drones, you can always attend one of the many UAV-specific conferences going on around the world (such as the International Drone Conference and Exposition, this September in Las Vegas).

The post 5 fabulous ways to use drones in the event industry appeared first on Plan Your Meetings @ Meeting Professionals International.

Category : Blog and Industry News