24 Mar 2017

Set of Skills to be a Fantastic Event Manager

increase-engagement-at-eventsTrain your eye

Whether you’re organizing a friend’s birthday party, a school reunion, a business conference or a high society wedding, as a successful event planner you’ll need to know what works and what doesn’t. An appetite for trying something different is essential. As the event manager, it’s your job to come up with unique and innovative ideas that will produce amazing events time after time. A keen eye can go a long way to help you stand out.

Understand your clients

As an exceptional event manager, you have to listen to your clients’ needs. Sometimes, you’ll even need to anticipate what your client wants before they even know them themselves!

If you’re planning corporate events, this is especially important. You must take the time to get to know the business so you can produce an event that’s right for your client’s sector. You could be organizing end of year parties, corporate training days, trade shows client presentations, product launches or awards ceremonies. To do this successfully, you have to understand what drives the company and their expectations. You may also be organizing social events, which present a different kind of challenge.

lasting-impressions-at-eventsGet ready for major planning and marketing

The world of an event manager never stands still. Whilst attending one event you’re likely to be taking calls and answering emails for others. You’ve got to be on top of things and plan ahead. Each event should be broken down into sections, such as venue, catering, decorations, entertainment and so on. You’ll also need to consider certifications, insurance, booking fees, tastings, guest lists and even promotion.

Then the event will need to be marketed – online and offline. A charity event will need advertising, a product launch may need press, a ball will need ticket sales, an awards ceremony will need PR. Whilst you may not be doing all the marketing you will certainly need to liaise with promotional staff to ensure the event is advertised successfully. A levelled head and well-organised lists will help you a great deal.

Dare to be different

To be the best event manager you need to be prepared to offer something really special to your clients. Your ideas need to be unique so clients choose you as their event manager over the competition. Be brave and stand out from the crowd. When putting together an event proposal take a step back and ask yourself what the client is expecting and how you can take it up a level.

24 Mar 2017

How to become a master event manager

Know what makes an amazing event manager: This is our very first step because it’s tough to become an amazing event manager without knowing the qualities you need to have. There are always people who manage to stumble into it, but it’s easier to get to the top if you have a solid understanding of what you’ll need to get there.

event-planningSo, what makes an incredible event manager? What will get everyone talking about your events for the right reasons? Grab a pen and a piece of paper:

Organization – you love lists and detail. You leave nothing to chance and plan every aspect, from the boring (think cleaning of the toilets) to the glamorous (like sumptuous floral displays).

People management – as an event manager you have to be able to delegate tasks and trust the people you are working with. You’ll have a bank of reliable suppliers who won’t let you down and a team of helpers who you can rely on. You know how to get the best out of people.

increase-engagement-at-eventsGood listener – clients you arrange events for will have ideas and it’s your job to turn them into reality. This can be a challenge when you’re working within a budget, so it’s your duty to make them understand what the limits are. A professional event planner should know how to balance resources and imagination. You’ll also need to balance your expertise with your clients’ wishes.

Energy – an event manager needs boundless energy since this isn’t always a 9 to 5 job. You’ll be working long hours and weekends when there are events going on. Not to mention the off-hours phone calls. On the day of an event, you’ll be there early, finish late and likely be running from one side to the other all day long. But your enthusiasm to succeed and make the event happen will help you keep going. And maybe a cup of coffee or two (or three).

23 Mar 2017

Branded Content Examples: The Improved Marketing

Branded content has become a trend — kind of like avocado — a buzzword every marketer loves to throw during their monthly review presentation to sound just a tad more professional, but — kind of like avocado — there’s really nothing new about it.

branded_contentWhat’s branded content?

Brand content is to create content of value to gather people’s attention. The theory being that because it’s entertaining then audiences will forgive the fact that they’re being sold a product. In the case of He-Man and the pastel-colored shrunken horses, that would be toys.

“The idea central to content marketing is that brands must give something valuable to get something valuable in return. Instead of the commercial, be the show. Instead of the banner ad, be the feature story. The value returned is often that people associate good things with – and return to engage with – the brand.”

What are companies doing now?

Like everything else marketing, branded content has gone online in recent years, with a recent trend towards short, snappy videos. Right now, advertisers are laser focused on online platforms. With the endless ocean that is the Internet, attention spans are limited. Viewers only pay attention to ads that really grab their attention, so brands have to be good at predicting what we want to see. And not only that, but users can also search for the content that truly interests them, forcing the marketers to adapt and make their content engaging.

Red-Bull-Logo-ImageRed Bull

The perfect example of how to run an effective branded content campaign. Nearly all of their marketing relies heavily on it — or did you happen to miss the Red Bull Stratos contest? What about their Air Race Championship? Or, really, any of their extreme sports world competitions? That’s all branded content!

The LEGO Movie

One of the best examples of entertainment produced by a brand that almost everyone loves. It amplified the emotional connection that the audience had with the brand by bringing to the life that magical world we all shared when we played with LEGOs. I reckon everyone could relate to at least one of the characters; my favourite was Benny!

Land-RoverLand Rover

Land Rover’s ‘biggest ever sponsorship’ for the Rugby World Cup is a fantastic example of branded content. They used the hashtag #WeDealInReal to feature the stories of 11 amateur rugby clubs from around the world. The stories were featured in both TV ads and across all of the brand’s social media channels. They also encouraged other amateur clubs to share their own stories using the hashtag!

Final words

These are all examples of how we want to have a closer relation with brands and see them as people and not just businesses. Using content generated by people from all over the world is one of the best ways to humanise a brand and that is where marketing is heading in the future.

23 Mar 2017

The Ultimate Checklist for Planning The Perfect Party

Party planning is no easy task. While it can definitely be a fun one, there’s a reason that such a thing as a professional party planner exists. Sometimes, figuring out what you need to do to pull of the perfect bash can seem a bit overwhelming.

perfect-party-checklistThings You Must Check a Few Weeks Before

First of all, you’ll need to answer one very simple question: how big do you want your party to be? That’ll help you figure out what the exact type of party you’re planning. Of course, size isn’t everything – so when you’re thinking about how big your party is, you’ll also want to take into account another really important consideration: budget. It would be nice to have an unlimited budget, but sadly that isn’t the case for most people. You might find that your budget helps you figure out how big your party can realistically be.

how-to-plan-a-partyNext steps

Choose a theme if you like. Not every party has to have one, but a well-chosen concept can make a party a lot of fun! You could make your music, food and decorations all fall under the same conceptual umbrella. Your topic could be something related to a holiday or current event, or perhaps you’re throwing a party for a special occasion such as a birthday or anniversary.

party-planningGetting closer: Make Sure You Don’t Forget Any of This

As the date nears, you’ll want to start shopping for the supplies you’ll need, including decorations, practical things like cutlery and napkins, and food and drinks. If you can buy stuff ahead of time, you’ll be relieved about it as the party date gets nearer and you get busier. Don’t forget to get supplies to clean up (extra trash bags, paper towels and sponges all come in handy).

party-planA few days before

Clean up and decorate your party location. Decorating is optional, cleaning really isn’t! You want things to look nice for your guests. Do you have enough of everything – chairs, glasses, cutlery, food, etc.? Do a count of what you have on hand to make sure you won’t get caught short. Consider letting your neighbors know you’re having a party. They might like to be prepared ahead of time. If you have especially nice neighbors, you might even consider inviting them!

christmas_party-e1353364459874The day of party

Do a last-minute tidy of the location. Get your trash cans ready to go, and make sure they’ll be easy for guests to find. Set up the tables and chairs and add flower arrangements, if you need to. Finish up any cooking if you still have things left to do. Plate your food in the serving dishes and start setting out food and drink. Don’t forget plates, cutlery, glasses and napkins.

The Last Stop

Relax and enjoy your party! The main point of a party is to have a good time, so don’t get too caught up in hoping everything will go perfectly. Even if things don’t go exactly to plan, your guests will probably have a great time anyway.

23 Mar 2017

Qualities which makes a great event planner?

What different agencies and clients look for in an event planner varies greatly depending on the person and the occasion, of course, but there are some qualities that tend to be intrinsic to this profession.

event-planningFlexibility: It doesn’t matter how many months you spent planning or how many excel sheets you’ve created, there will always be last minute changes! It is also important to remain flexible when it comes to the needs of your customers.

People Skills: When working in the events industry you will not only work with your client and team, you’ll meet all sorts of folk, from vendors to speakers and anything in between. If meeting new people is not your thing, then maybe you should reconsider your choices.

Organisational skills: Event planners need to deal with many things simultaneously. It would be ideal if asking for permits, looking for venues, and contacting sponsors could all be done in neat, separate steps, but usually a professional in the field will find themselves juggling all at the same time. Thankfully, there are tools that will make the life of an event planner a lot easier. We wrote a post about that.

increase-engagement-at-eventsPassion: A good requisite for pretty much any job. Passion will give you that extra push you need when things get hard and you feel like giving up.

Time Management skills: Oh, time management. We’ve all heard of it. Specially me, not that I’ve ever missed a deadline, mind you *whistles*. As with organisation, time management is crucial to keep track of everything. Events require tight precision to be pulled off. Any delay could cause a domino effect of epic proportions.

Resourcefulness: If something can go wrong, then it will go wrong – some say. Event planners need to be able to solve any problem that may arise on the last minute quickly and creatively using the tools at his/her disposal.

Attention to details: One of the best teachers I ever had once told me: “The difference between a professional and an amateur is the attention to detail.” She was talking about graphic design, but I feel like it can apply to anything.

A levelled head: What HR loves to call being able to “work under pressure”. Again, here we have a quality that could apply to almost any job, but I feel like it is particularly important to event managers as they have to deal with many variables at the same time.

23 Mar 2017

The Journey of an Event Planning

What do you want to do?

Are we talking about a sporting event? Something related to music? Though the main categories they consider are conferences and meetings, exhibitions and trade shows, incentive travel, corporate hospitality, outdoor events, festivals and cultural events, music events and sports events.

plan-eventWho do you want to do it with?

Unless you’re planning a globe trekking solo adventure, you might think about going away with someone – your mum, your dad, your grandparents, your mates, your other half…your pet fish? The same goes for organizing your event. If it’s going to be a success, you’re going to need a solid team behind you.

Set a date

So now you’ve got your dream team together and you’re raring to go, you’ve got to set a date. Be realistic. That goes for both your luxury break and your potential music festival – allow plenty of time to do the organizational things you need to do and remember that often the further you book in advance, the cheaper things can be.

budgeteWhere do want to end up?

This is an important element in your journey that you and your team should take into serious consideration. Best not to hire the town hall in a quiet residential area if you’re going to be giving away copious amounts of champagne and hiring a decent DJ. In much the same way as you probably wouldn’t hold a corporate event in a forest in the middle of nowhere – goodness knows where you’d get ice from in a crisis.

How much can you spend?

The million-dollar question, if you’ll forgive the monetary reference. Sometimes, the budget will be the first port of call on your journey.

Event PlanningHow will you get there?

Transport is often something you think of a little further down the road. Getting from airports to hotels, to attractions and even just to a decent bar is not something to be taken lightly. Not all holiday destinations and venues can be reached by public transport, just like not all cities are necessarily that well connected to wifi.

What do you need?

Will you need projectors? Sound equipment? What equipment will other people be bringing. My point is that you might not need to source everything, but you should make sure that all bases are covered. You might find that you have to change venues to accommodate technical needs.

wedding-event-plannersWhat’s your catering plan?

Package holiday? Full board or half board? Self-catering? a) food is a basic need and b) your catering plan, or lack thereof, can massively influence other aspects of your trip to success. Just ensure that whatever the plan, nobody gets hangry.

Where are you going to stay?

Often with organized events group bookings in hotels are required, just like with the family getaway and on a first come first served basis, unless you are working alongside an events company who has already made reservations. Remember to think about distance from the proposed activities, food requirements and group numbers.

How will you document your adventure?

Surprisingly, but will you consider going on holiday without your camera? Then it shouldn’t even cross your mind to not hire a photographer, or video-maker to document your success. It’s basic marketing. Instagram is as much as a personal marketing tool as it is a business one. Especially these days, it’s like if it’s not on Facebook then it didn’t happen.

23 Mar 2017

Best Drinks for Each Type of Event

When hosting an event you need to get the refreshments you serve right. The finer detail, such as event beverages make the difference between a standard event and something that’s really special and memorable.

Let’s look at the more common events and which drinks are most suitable to wow your guests.

drinks-for-corporate-eventsCorporate events

Different kinds of corporate events require different drinks to be served. You may be throwing an end of year party to thank your employees for their hard work, launching a new business, exhibiting at a trade show, entertaining clients or hosting a conference.

All business events should serve soft drinks, such as water and juice. Tea and coffee may also be appropriate, depending on the time of day and type of event. If the event is early evening alcohol may be served, such as beer and wine. A glass of wine over lunch may also be suitable.

drinks-for-weddingsSpecial occasions

Weddings, birthdays, parties, anniversaries all require drinks that are a little bit special. As well as the standard beer, wine, champagne and soft drinks consider how you could serve something different such as, Pimms, mocktails (no alcohol cocktails), smoothies served in pineapples or coconuts, homemade lemonade, pink lemonade, punch, sangria, spirits with fruity ice cubes, buck’s fizz, margaritas …

Weddings need glamorous drinks to make guests feel special. It’s easy to get creative and serve up a welcome drink to remember. Cava or even fizzy water can be dressed up with fruit, ice cubes containing edible flowers, name tags, and pretty straws.

drinks-for-music-eventsMusic events

Most big concerts won’t allow you to take drinks in with you, except water. Inside you can usually buy beer, wine and soft drinks. It’s the same for music festivals, although many people will try and smuggle in drinks to save money. For the more sophisticated musical events like the theatre and the opera the interval is the time to sip a glass of something like wine or champagne, although you won’t have time for more than one!

Fundraising events

You can sell drinks at events like country fayres, open days and festivals to make money for charity. A locally produced beer or wine tent is a good example of this.

Drink tips for events

We have prepared this awesome list summarizing everything we’ve talked about above!

  • christmas_party-e1353364459874At business events sip, don’t gulp – getting inebriated just isn’t cool in business.
  • Think quality rather than quantity. A poor quality wine will tarnish your reputation. Serve a good wine at an event and you’ll be remembered as the host who wants to please their guests.
  • Consider whether to serve drinks in plastic or glass, depending on the event. At a corporate event, you should NEVER serve drinks in plastic whereas at a music event glass will probably break health and safety rules.
  • Always have plenty of water available to drink at any event. It rehydrates and many people like to drink water to balance their alcohol intake, particularly at lunch times.
  • Offer non-alcoholic cocktails and wine at business events so the professionals can remain professional but still have a glass of something in their hand when networking.
22 Mar 2017

The Perfect Commandments of Event Networking

generate-conversation-at-eventsThou shalt not sell thyself too hard

The secret to successful networking is to be open to offers and not go in with the hard sell as soon as you meet someone. Before someone becomes interested in your business, they’ll need to trust you and that can be achieved by building a relationship. You may not make a ‘sale’ on the day of the event, but you could stay in touch and grow a future business relationship that may last for years.

Thou shalt introduce thyself to the event organizer

They will have the useful contacts and can introduce you to the right people. Ask questions regarding the occasion, who is attending, and who are the best people to talk to. Try and build a rapport with the organizer so they are interested in who you are and what you do.

community-at-events-1Thou shalt create a good first impression

Within seconds of meeting someone, we form an opinion which tends to stick. Smile, shake hands firmly, but not aggressively and ask neutral questions to begin with. As the conversation progresses you will sense whether this could be a good contact to network with or not. If the conversation is heading in the right way, ensure you keep it going.

Thou shalt plan ahead

Before you attend any business event, do your research and check who is attending. Then work out who will be useful to help you build your business and make a note of where these people will be, for example, their stand number at an exhibition. Check out profiles on websites and LinkedIn to learn more about people and businesses so you can ask the right questions.

enagagement-at-eventsHonor thy conversation

Don’t forget the basics like smiling and making eye contact which will make you much more approachable. If you see someone standing on their own looking awkward introduce yourself, they may be grateful you’ve done this. Ask open-ended questions that don’t require just a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer, which will keep the conversation flowing. Exude positive energy and try and maintain an enthusiastic interest in what people are talking about, without being too over the top.

community-at-eventsThou shalt not just talk business

Go with the conversation and if someone mentions something they enjoy doing in their leisure time, or a member of their family, pick up on this and steer the conversation in that direction. Networking doesn’t have to be all about business.

Thou shalt help others

Be a connector as well as a connectee. Don’t just network for your own purposes, but be prepared to introduce people to each other if you think they will benefit. This will grow your reputation as a networker who doesn’t just think about their own goals.

Thou shalt follow up

Once you’ve made those new contacts follow up with the ones you’re most interested in. Suggest a coffee or lunch to discuss opportunities if distance isn’t a problem. Just a short email will take care of this. Another way of keeping in touch is by connecting on LinkedIn. Send them a request along with a short message reminding them where you met. Extra points if you follow their business on social media.

22 Mar 2017

Tips to Know About Hosting the Perfect Product Launch

A great product deserves a great launch event. Developing a new product takes blood, sweat and tears, so it makes sense that your event packs a real punch. Launching your product when it’s finally ready for the market can be stressful, especially because launch events are expected to generate significant word-of-mouth marketing as well as considerably boost initial sales.

Check out these top venue styles for an unforgettable product launch that’s certain to get your business noticed.

GalleriesModern

Spread the word about your exciting new brand or product by hiring a cutting-edge event space like a gallery, studio or inner city hotel. Clean lines and light-filled spaces make modern venues perfect for showcasing a breakthrough product.

Historic

Give your audience a reason to go to your product launch by hosting it in a unique historic space like a museum, library or town hall. Historic venues have colorful stories and atmospheric settings that help make a lasting impression on guests.

DesignersDesigner

Designer spaces make bold statements and are a great way to increase the hype around an event. Boutique hotels, chic cocktail bars and modern event spaces push boundaries, which mean they’re perfect for making a splash with creative and artistic types.

Creative

Creative venues are high-impact spaces that break the mold. Moving beyond conventional launch venues like trade shows and convention centers makes getting attention for your product or service a little easier. Great benefits of hosting your product launch in a creative venue, like an avant-garde gallery, high-tech studio or innovative concept space, include improved brand perception, increased word-of-mouth marketing and better attendee engagement.

OfficeLuxury

Holding your product launch in a luxe venue is a surefire way to attract a large audience. Prestigious or glamorous spaces will add a touch of elegance to your product launch, and leave a lasting impression on your guests.

Office

Office spaces are perfect for business-related products or services. This is because business suites, conference centres and seminar rooms provide an environment that’s unique to the product use, which can help generate interest in your product and build sales momentum.

Outdoors

Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box when planning a product launch. Outdoor spaces are becoming increasingly popular for modern launch events. Product launches held outdoors can include street teams, flash mobs, experimental cooking events and live shows, which can all help build momentum for your product as they generate a lot of buzz quickly.

21 Mar 2017

Tips to Creatively Promote Your Brand at Events

  • Offer a special deal for people attending the event. That’ll encourage people to get in touch.
  • Consider using an alternative to a business card — try these ideas for size.
  • Hand out flyers with a treasure map that leads people to your stand or product. Check out these awesome flyer templates!
  • promote-brand-at-eventsDraw people in with food. Like we were saying, people love getting free stuff — especially if it’s tasty food!
  • Get involved on social media in real-time during the event. Make sure to use a hashtag, and for extra points tag or mention the organizers or participants.
  • Consider hanging out personalized bags with your brand on them. If people are getting lots of flyers and other papers, they’ll need somewhere to keep them – and your brand’s bags are just the spot!
  • promote-brand-eventsRemember to keep things authentic. Lots of brands do really crazy, out-there stuff, but gimmicks can backfire if you’re not careful. Stick to what you think will work for our brand.
  • Hand out samples of your product if you can. It’s easier to convince someone to buy something they already know they like!
  • Keep a close eye on the competition. What are they doing?
  • Follow up after the event. A lot of the time, people go home from an event with approximately a million business cards and no clue who they belong to.
  • generate-conversation-at-eventsAre there drinks or parties after the event? If so, you definitely want to be there! It’s a great chance to chat to people in a less formal setting and get to know them better.
  • Are there brands you admire going to the same event? Talk to their representatives! Even better: have ideas for how you might be able to join forces and work together.
  • Practice what you’re going to say beforehand. That goes for everyone, from event speakers down to people who are there to network. Practice makes perfect!
  • Think about hosting your own event for your brand. It can be a good way to establish your brand as a leading voice.
  • immersive-affairs-1See if you can team up with another brand to cross-promote. The classic example of this is Heinz ketchup promoting Ore-Ida french fries on bottle labels. Can you pair up with a partner brand?
  • Make a point of talking to people one-on-one. This will make you and your brand more memorable!
  • Have a giant game for people to play. It sounds silly, but these have been a bit hit at lots of events recently, from giant Angry Birds to giant ping pong!
  • For a multi-day event, give away your freebies on the second day of the event. A lot of brands do it right away on the first day, so you can stand out by doing things a bit differently.
  • Hand out free T-shirts at the event. Whether people wear them at the event or later it doesn’t matter — it’s free advertising either way!
  • Pass out something for your brand (flyers, sweets, discounts, samples – anything, really) outside a big event…even if you aren’t attending the event. Say you have a T-shirt company.