Eventinterface http://blog.eventinterface.com Resource Blog & News en-US Copyright 2016, Eventinterface Fri, 21 Oct 2016 06:00:00 -0700 Fri, 21 Oct 2016 20:28:42 -0700 60 New luxury boutique hotel coming to South Beach http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/New-luxury-boutique-hotel-coming-to-South-Beach <p>Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants announced it will expand its presence in Florida with the addition of Kimpton Hotel Palomar South Beach, slated to open in 2018. The new luxury boutique hotel will be located in the heart of South Beach, a popular international and local leisure destination on Miami Beach.</p> <p>Hotel Palomar South Beach will feature a striking design, a rooftop pool and amenities, and a new signature restaurant overlooking Collins Canal. The property will be Kimpton&rsquo;s eighth hotel in the Sunshine State, complementing its existing hotels in South Beach, Miami, Palm Beach and Vero Beach, as well a Tampa property also set to open in 2018.</p> <p>The hotel will span five stories featuring 96 rooms surrounding a central atrium. It will feature spacious suites and luxurious amenities. The new luxury lifestyle hotel is anticipated to become an iconic South Beach landmark with its cutting edge architecture and design. In true Kimpton fashion, a company known for regionally inspired and innovative design, Hotel Palomar South Beach will embrace Karp&rsquo;s signature sleek, modern, glass- and light-filled approach.</p> <p>More information <a href="https://www.kimptonhotels.com/press/releases/kimpton-hotels-restaurants-reveals-plans-for-new-south-beach-hotel" target="_blank">here</a>.&nbsp;</p> http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/New-luxury-boutique-hotel-coming-to-South-Beach Fri, 21 Oct 2016 06:00:00 -0700 Top Tips for Meeting Planners on Engaging With Millennials http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Top-Tips-for-Meeting-Planners-on-Engaging-With-Millennials <p>Conferences and events are no longer a one-size-fits-all. As planners we must deliver an engaging experience that crosses multiple generations, and no generation has been more mystifying than the millennial one.</p> <p>Many articles have been written about the millennial generation, or Gen Y. In an article published by the <a href="http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2014/03/07/millennials-in-adulthood/" target="_blank">Pew Research Center</a>, millennials are described as racially diverse, economically stressed and politically liberal. Millennials are building their own networks through social media rather than through political parties, organized religion or marriage. Half now call themselves political independents, the highest share of any generation.</p> <p>As meeting and event planners we have quickly learned that to be successful we must make a concerted effort to design our programs and events to not only engage one generation, we must engage all generations. And although the millennial generation may seem a bit hard to understand, what they are looking for isn&rsquo;t much different than what everyone else wants from our conferences or events, the difference lies in the delivery.&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-size:16px;"><span style="color:#90bf5c;"><strong>Networking opportunities and conversations are important</strong></span></span><br /> <br /> For most non-millennials networking is a breeze, we easily go from one conversation to the next, sharing business cards and pitching our products and services. Millennials however are more comfortable connecting digitally. They do want genuine conversations and meaningful engagement, which is in contrast to being a more introverted group.&nbsp; As planners we must provide the tools to bridge the generational and behavioral gaps in order to provide meaningful experiences for all. Icebreakers at the start of a meeting are a surefire way to accomplish this. Millenials too loathe being lectured to and prefer conversation. Offer ample opportunities to network, roundtable discussions and conversation lounges.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="color:#90bf5c;"><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>Connections</strong></span></span></p> <p>Millennials are used to building networks via social media, its part of their DNA. The same holds true for events. Events that allow them to build a greater community that is long-lasting will be considered excellent. Offering tools such as <a href="http://www.Eventinterface.com" target="_blank">Eventinterface</a>, allows your attendees to create and engage with the community around a brand, topic, cause, organization or company pre-, during and post-event.&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="color:#90bf5c;"><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>Social Responsibility </strong></span></span></p> <p>Sponsorship is essential for most conferences and events. But planners beware, you can&rsquo;t just engage with any sponsor. Millennials will embrace your sponsor companies if they give back to the community in meaningful ways, and if the sponsorship makes sense for the event. Not keeping this in mind may backfire on you. However, bringing in the right sponsor will very likely turn your millennial attendee into a loyal customer of that sponsor. Great schwag never hurt either.</p> <p>&nbsp;Are you a millennial? Share with us in the comment section below your thoughts on what makes a great conference or event.&nbsp;</p> http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Top-Tips-for-Meeting-Planners-on-Engaging-With-Millennials Wed, 19 Oct 2016 06:00:00 -0700 Preventing Event Check-In Aggravation http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Preventing-Event-CheckIn-Aggravation <p>We have all been there. You arrive at your conference and check-in lines seem to go on forever. There is limited signage and you cannot figure out what line to get into. Maybe you will make a few new connections while queuing, but in general you are frustrated with the experience. Not a good start to the day or great first impression of the conference. It does not have to be this way.</p> <p><span style="color:#90bf5c;"><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>PLANNERS, BE PREPARED AND READY EARLY</strong></span></span><br /> <span style="line-height: 1.6em;">Check-in staff must be prepared. The registration desk is not the place to assemble name badges and conference packages in full view of your attendees. The only function should be the welcoming of attendees, checking them in, and the distribution of the conference bags and name badges. If you plan on having registration open at 7:30 a.m., be ready no less than 30 minutes early. People will show up early!</span></p> <p><span style="color:#90bf5c;"><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>SIGNAGE</strong></span></span><br /> <span style="line-height: 1.6em;">Do not skimp on signage. Clear and easy-to-read signs are a must for your event. Attendees should be directed to the correct location and line as soon as they enter the facility. Signs should be at eye level or suspended above check in to insure they are visible from a distance. Should you have on site registration and an issues desk, have signage for those as well</span></p> <p><span style="color:#90bf5c;"><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>AMPLE STAFF</strong></span></span><br /> It is key to understand your program and audience. For some events, audiences will trickle in, and other events will result in mass arrivals. Understanding your event and audience is the key to success. For example, if you expect 1,200 attendees, plan on opening your registration at 7:30 a.m. with the program starting at 8:30 a.m., you will have to check-in 1,200 attendees in 60 minutes or less. That is one every 3 seconds. In our experience as planners we would assign no less than 1 person per 100 attendees. For this event we would have no less than 12 people checking in attendees. &nbsp;We also employ a handful of hosts to navigate through the lines and direct attendees, answer questions and make people feel welcome. Longer registration periods will require less staff. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong><img alt="Event WiFi Event Registration Checkin Eventinterface" src="https://eieventimages.s3.amazonaws.com/1412053460_wifi.png" style="width: 170px; height: 95px; float: left; margin: 8px;" /><span style="color:#90bf5c;"><span style="font-size:16px;">WI-FI</span></span></strong></span><br /> Are you checking in people electronically using a service such as <a href="https://www.eventinterface.com" target="_blank">Eventinterface</a>, or a printed attendee list? If using electronic check-in, you must have dedicated Internet access for the registration desk. It is never a good idea to share bandwidth when attendees have access to the Wi-Fi at events. You cannot afford your speed to crawl to a standstill at the check-in desk. <a href="http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Top-Venue-Site-Visit-Tips-For-Meeting-Planners--Part-2-WiFi" target="_blank">Read this post</a> to learn about checking bandwidth at venues.</p> <p><span style="color:#90bf5c;"><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>ONSITE SIGN-UP AND ISSUE REGISTRATIONS</strong></span></span><br /> <span style="line-height: 1.6em;">It is key that you have a clearly marked area for walk-up attendees and issue event registrations to the side of the main registration area. This will allow check-in staff to focus on check-in and the issue desk staff to focus on processing onsite registrations and deal with all other registration issues.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="color:#90bf5c;"><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>SELF CHECK-IN</strong></span></span><br /> Some planners will opt to use technology for attendees to self check-in. Here too the key is to provide ample point for check in, and the staff to guide people through the process should the need arise.</p> <p>The bottom line is that attendee check-in remains one of the most labor-intensive parts of an event. It is the first impression attendees will have of your conference or event, and anything that goes wrong here will undoubtedly affect their mood. Be prepared and staff appropriately.&nbsp;</p> http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Preventing-Event-CheckIn-Aggravation Tue, 18 Oct 2016 07:00:00 -0700 Should meeting planners care about event technology? http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Should-meeting-planners-care-about-event-technology <p>A recent study by Meeting Professionals International for IMEX America showed that 92 percent of meeting planners are not making the most of the technology solutions they implement. The study also showed that only about 21 percent of planners start the purchasing process with confidence. &nbsp;</p> <p>We speak with a lot of meeting and conference planners at Eventinterface. One thing we have learned is that planners researching event technology usually come with one problem to solve. They may be looking for a tool to streamline attendee registration, a solution to help with attendee credentials and badging, or an app to check in attendees at their convention or symposium. Relatively few seem to be looking for comprehensive technology solutions that can improve efficiency, drive down operating cost and increase attendee engagement. Obviously solving just one problem can make a positive difference to the meeting planner. Technology solutions however are evolving to become more than a one-pain-point Band-Aid beneficial to planners, marketers, product managers and last but not least attendees.</p> <p>Based on our experience we&rsquo;ve devised a handful of tips that will help meeting and conference planners become confident in the research and purchasing process of event technology.</p> <p><span style="color:#90bf5c;"><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>Define your and your attendees&rsquo; needs.</strong></span></span></p> <p>Prior to starting the process of contacting technology companies it would be fantastic to have a list of all of the problems you are trying to solve as a planner.&nbsp; Also understand how your attendees will adapt to new technology. Ask yourself the following questions:</p> <p><strong><span style="font-size:14px;">- What are my true needs?<br /> - What are my top 3 must haves?<br /> - What problem or problems am I really trying to solve?<br /> - What are deal breakers?<br /> - Have I asked my attendees how they would like to experience technology at my conference?</span></strong></p> <p>Use your findings to research potential companies and see if their solution can really solve the problems you have. Be however prepared to think outside of the box. The path to solve the problem may be different that what you are used to.</p> <p><span style="color:#90bf5c;"><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>What is the background of the technology company&rsquo;s team in the meeting or event industry?</strong></span></span></p> <p>It is key to understand what the background is of the leadership team of the technology company. People who have little or no experience in the conference or meeting planning industry design many of the apps on the market.</p> <p>Solutions designed by companies with planning experience will most likely be able to solve your problems well because the team behind the solution has been in your shoes and truly understand your pain points.</p> <p>At the same time, you should have an understanding of the company&rsquo;s customer support. Is the support team a technical team who will help you with technical questions, or is it a team with event industry experience who can guide you through planning challenges and technical issues?</p> <p><span style="color:#90bf5c;"><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>Support and support team.</strong></span></span></p> <p>As mentioned in the above tip, it is key to understand if the support team is a technical team or a team with industry experience. Next, you should learn where the support team is located, and how and when you will have access to the team. How will you interact with the team? What level of support comes with the service you purchase? If standard support is not adequate, can you purchase a higher level of support?</p> <p>Have a good understanding of what your customer service needs are. Find out if standard support is not sufficient, can an upgrade to premium support at a later date be purchased?</p> <p><span style="color:#90bf5c;"><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>How long will it be before we will be comfortable working with the platform? What is the learning curve?</strong></span></span></p> <p>This is a great question to ask, but is be a bit hard to answer. It truthfully depends on the experience level of your team. Is the solution a SaaS platform? Is installation required? How long does it take the provider to set-up your accounts? What level of training is offered and are resources available for self-study?</p> <p>The reality of the planning world is that quick decisions have to be made with fast implementations, and at times that causes issues that may affect your event. Understand your team, and give yourself enough time to implement and learn a new solution. The more full-featured a solution the more time you will need to learn the platform.</p> <p><span style="color:#90bf5c;"><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>What is the true cost of the solution?</strong></span></span></p> <p>First and foremost it is important to understand what your budget is. Are you purchasing technology for one project, or multiple projects? Is the solution paid for by the event, the attendees, the planning department, the marketing department?</p> <p>Do you feel comfortable paying a per transaction fee, or a subscription fee? Can I use the platform for an event, on a month-to-month basis, or do I need to sign a long-term contract? Does a long-term contract provide better pricing?</p> <p>When speaking with technology companies have a very good understanding of their pricing model. Are you paying a base price per set number of transactions with penalties for overages? Does the transaction fee per registration include all platform features or are you paying additional fees for each aspect of the platform aside of registrations, such as emails, text messaging, notifications and so on?</p> <p>Are you paying a monthly subscription fee for a platform, and what does that subscription fee include? Make sure that any terms of use or agreement clearly outlines the investment you will have to make to use the platform.</p> <p>At the same time, don&rsquo;t look just at the cost of investing in a solution. Look at the time you will have to spend on implementation and learning. Will the new platform save you time, increase efficiencies and offer an opportunity for you to increase your overall event revenue? You need to review all of these perspectives to get to the true cost of employing a solution. Implementing a full-featured end-to-end management platform will potentially be at a higher upfront investment but save you money, decrease operating cost and increase overall event revenue, saving in the long run.</p> <p><span style="color:#90bf5c;"><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>To summarize our top tips:</strong></span></span></p> <p><strong><span style="font-size:14px;">- Knowing what your must haves are.<br /> - Trusting that the technology company understands you and your industry.<br /> - Feeling comfortable with the level of training and ongoing support you will receive from the company.<br /> - Understanding the true cost of investing in a technology product.</span></strong></p> <p>We hope these tips will help you be more at ease when shopping for event technology.</p> <p>See our infographic on selecting event technology <a href="http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/How-to-select-event-technology-that-works-for-you" target="_blank">here</a>.</p> <p>Want to learn more about Eventinterface? Visit our <a href="https://www.eventinterface.com/index" target="_blank">website</a> or request your personal demo <a href="https://calendly.com/eventinterface" target="_blank">here</a>.&nbsp;</p> http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Should-meeting-planners-care-about-event-technology Mon, 17 Oct 2016 06:00:00 -0700 Top News for Meeting and Conference Planners http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Top-News-for-Meeting-and-Conference-Planners <p><span style="color:#90bf5c;"><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>Promising news for Meeting Professionals in 2017</strong></span></span></p> <p>The end of a sellers&rsquo; market? New report show encouraging trends that may benefit Meeting Professionals next year.</p> <p><a href="http://www.pcma.org/news/news-landing/2016/10/07/this-is-very-promising-news-for-meeting-professionals-in-2017" target="_blank">PCMA</a></p> <p><span style="color:#90bf5c;"><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>New Hotel Opening in Paradise Valley</strong></span></span></p> <p>Paradise Valley, Arizona will soon be home to a new 201-room resort featuring 10,000 square feet of indoor and 36,000 square feet of flexible outdoor function space.</p> <p><a href="https://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/New-Hotel-Opening-in-Paradise-Valley" target="_blank">Eventinterface</a></p> <p><span style="color:#90bf5c;"><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>IMEX Research: Event tech potential untapped by many meeting planners</strong></span></span></p> <p>61 percent of meeting professionals agreed that currently available event technology makes event management much easier, and that it will develop and change dramatically in the next 10 years. 92 percent admit that meeting planners are not making the most of such technology solutions.</p> <p><a href="http://www.themeetingmagazines.com/news/imex-research-event-technology-untapped-many-planners/?post_type=association_post" target="_blank">Association Conventions and Facilities Magazine</a></p> http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Top-News-for-Meeting-and-Conference-Planners Wed, 12 Oct 2016 09:06:00 -0700 New Hotel Opening in Paradise Valley http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/New-Hotel-Opening-in-Paradise-Valley <p>The Hyatt&rsquo;s Andaz Scottsdale Resort &amp; Spa is slated to open mid-November 2016. The resort features 201 art-inspired bungalows located in a desirable neighborhood on the border of Scottsdale and Paradise Valley. Guest bungalows range from 330 square feet to 485 and have private patios. Suites include a work area, living room and two patios, and can be as spacious as 835 square feet.</p> <p><img alt="Andaz Scottsdale Resort and Spa for Meetings and Conferences at Eventinterface" src="https://eieventimages.s3.amazonaws.com/1475786744_Andaz-Story.png" style="width: 848px; height: 478px;" /></p> <p><span style="color:#90bf5c;"><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>MEETINGS AND EVENTS</strong></span></span></p> <p>Meetings and events can be hosted against the stunning backdrop of Camelback Mountain. The resort&rsquo;s 10,000 square feet of indoor and 36,000 of flexible outdoor function space can accommodate small to medium sized groups. The Foundry Ballroom can hold up to 246 guests for a cocktail reception. The Cholla Lawn, the largest outdoor function space, can accommodate up to 350 guests for a cocktail event. A dedicated planner supports each conference or event, offering detailed catering services and customized decor options.</p> <p><span style="color:#90bf5c;"><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>RESORT FEATURES</strong></span></span></p> <p>Guests will be able to relax in the three outdoor pools. Refresh poolside at the Turquoise Bar and be pampered at the Palo Verde Spa and Apothecary. The Weft &amp; Warp Art Bar and Kitchen serves locally-sourced fare and craft cocktails. Guests have access to a state of the art fitness center, onsite car rental service and golf concierge.</p> <p>More information <a href="https://scottsdale.andaz.hyatt.com/en/hotel/our-hotel.html" target="_blank">here</a>.</p> <p><em>Photographs courtesy of the hotel.</em></p> http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/New-Hotel-Opening-in-Paradise-Valley Thu, 06 Oct 2016 13:44:00 -0700 4 Lessons from Pokémon Go To Make Your Conferences More Engaging http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/4-Lessons-from-Pokmon-Go-To-Make-Your-Conferences-More-Engaging <p>In 1996, children all over the world just wanted to <em>catch &rsquo;em all</em>. As a tot of this time, I can remember playgrounds dotted with hubs of children, frantically trying to get the best trade for a shiny Ninetails. Everybody wanted to get their hands on a rare Charizard and rumours circulated that Ben in sixth grade had a cousin who had one.</p> <p>Having launched in July 2016, Pok&eacute;mon fans now have the chance to become true Pok&eacute;Masters, with the release of Pok&eacute;mon Go. Unless you have been cut-off from the world for the past three months, you will be aware of the latest smartphone gaming craze. It is smashing Candy Crushs&rsquo;s peak audience of 20 million users and, according to research firm SensorTower, is generating $1.6 million in daily revenue.</p> <p>There are a number of reasons as to why Pok&eacute;mon Go is such a phenomenon, and a lot can be garnered and applied to the events industry. Nintendo have been very clever by creating an entire engaging experience for Pok&eacute;mon Go gamers, and this is what conference attendees desire.</p> <p><span style="color:#90bf5c;"><span style="font-size:18px;"><strong>Smartphones Are Key </strong></span></span></p> <p>Mobile phones are no longer just for making calls, or sending text messages. The evolution of the device has been remarkable and now people are constantly glued to them. We live in a society where we are dependent on smartphones to wake us up, send emails, and even monitor our blood pressure. Nintendo recognised the importance of releasing software for mobile platforms, which is echoed in the 100 million downloads the game has received thus far.</p> <p>Event tech can often be a little lack lustre, with glitches and power-outs laughed off as the norm. Software developers have noticed this trend, and there are more apps and gadgets appearing throughout 2016. There are management tools and in-event tools that run straight through the attendee&rsquo;s mobile phone. At this year&rsquo;s London Marathon, spectators were able to track runners through a digital spectator guide on their smartphones.</p> <p><span style="color:#90bf5c;"><span style="font-size:18px;"><strong>Freebies </strong></span></span></p> <p>Many smartphone games lure you in for a substantial amount of levels, and then try and get you to empty your pockets. Lots of us give in, addicted to the game. One of the aspects of Pok&eacute;mon Go that make it so appealing is it is free. You can play until your heart&rsquo;s content without shelling out a penny. Understandably, there are in-game options if you want to excel a little quicker, but these are not necessary or compulsory. There have been bugs with Pok&eacute;mon Go but, because it is free, users have been much more forgiving.</p> <p>Giving away goodie-bags or promotional gifts at conferences can create positive brand association &ndash; people are more likely to try your services and invest in other products in the future. Being able to get your hands on something tangible with no contract or obligation creates a buzz. Furthermore, people like free things.</p> <p>For example, in July 2011, Compare the Market&rsquo;s meerkat advertising campaign, saw a cuddly toy (representing one of the meerkat characters) being given away with each policy sold via their website. These have proved so incredibly popular, that the arm of the campaign involving the free toys has double the company owner&rsquo;s personal fortune.</p> <p><span style="color:#90bf5c;"><span style="font-size:18px;"><strong>Harnessing Augmented Reality</strong></span></span></p> <p>It is easy to become confused between virtual reality and augmented reality. Virtual reality creates a false reality, whereas virtual reality adds digital elements to the real physical world through your screen. In Pok&eacute;mon Go, users interact with real places and objects. But, via the screen, Pok&eacute;mon creatures can be seen casually roaming public spaces such as parks, shopping centres, and beaches.</p> <p>Car brands are using augmented reality to add different experiences to launch events and stores. Audi City, Audi&rsquo;s flagship store in London Piccadilly, has touchscreen tables and multi-display walls. The space is entirely interactive and customers can create bespoke Audi models and view a life-size version of their design, virtually, in the store.</p> <p>Augmented reality is slowly being seen at more and more conferences and events, particularly when wanting to display items that are large or too costly to ship. Many brands also use AR to show potential customers different colours or specifications of a product, without the physical item being there in reality.</p> <p><span style="color:#90bf5c;"><span style="font-size:18px;"><strong>Exercise</strong></span></span></p> <p>There is a morning ritual in Japan called &lsquo;Rajio taiso&rsquo;. This tradition is followed by many companies, where colleagues exercise together each morning before work, with many scheduling in fifteen-minute exercise breaks into their daily schedules to improve mood, energy, and health. Nintendo is a Japanese company and is not surprising that their original Nintendo console and Wii launched in 2006, both involve being active on your feet.</p> <p>Pok&eacute;mon Go has evolved this Japanese tradition and console initiative, resulting in even the most lethargic individuals to pound the pavements in search of Pok&eacute;mon. Activity of any kind can help boost morale and increase liveliness, perfect to mix into events.</p> <p>Get guests moving at your next conference by indulging in active icebreaker or team building exercises. Even something as simple as getting attendees to rotate to different rooms regularly can be enough to get energized. More complex sessions can include scavenger hunts or even dedicated fitness experiences throughout the day, perhaps a lunchtime 5K run or learn to Tango in the evening!</p> <p><span style="color:#90bf5c;"><span style="font-size:18px;"><strong>Takeaway</strong></span></span></p> <p>Just like Pok&eacute;mon Go, events should be captivating and fun! Attendee engagement is paramount, and yoking the best bits of the game that has the world by storm is a great way for event planners to broaden horizons or try something new.</p> <p><span style="color:#90bf5c;"><span style="font-size:18px;"><strong>OUR GUEST AUTHOR</strong></span></span></p> <p>Petra Sandford is currently working at <a href="https://www.dcslsoftware.com/" target="_blank">DCSL Software</a>. She has experience in the events industry and is also an accomplished content writer. She can be reached at <a href="mailto:petramariesandfrd@gmail.com?subject=Email%20via%20Eventinterface%20Blog">petramariesandfrd@gmail.com</a>.&nbsp;</p> http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/4-Lessons-from-Pokmon-Go-To-Make-Your-Conferences-More-Engaging Mon, 19 Sep 2016 10:00:00 -0700 Eventinterface Launches New Event Builder http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Eventinterface-Launches-New-Event-Builder <p>Eventinterface has launched its newest event builder inviting meeting planners to design and publish beautiful microsites to promote conferences, engage attendees and process registrations.</p> <p>&ldquo;We wanted to give meeting planners as much flexibility and customization opportunities as possible,&rdquo; said Lead Designer and Eventinterface Co-Founder Rod Bridges. &ldquo;Our builder allows planners to truly create custom pages that represents their conference, cause, brand or organization. Conference websites are no longer static pages, they are evolving communication pieces that need to provide information, create excitement, engage attendees and encourage sign up. The Eventinterface builder gives meeting planners the opportunity to create such living pages that can easily be updated as the planning of a conference progresses,&rdquo; said Bridges.</p> <p>In addition to the creation of conference sites, the Eventinterface platform allows meeting planners to process registrations, market events, develop and share conference programs and offer lead-generation to exhibitors and attendees. It allows for attendees to access detailed conference programs and session content, build itineraries, and engage with other participants, pre-, during and post-conference. Eventinterface stands out for its straightforward subscription-based pricing model and for not charging transaction fees for registrations. &nbsp;</p> <p><span style="color:#90bf5c;"><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>ABOUT EVENTINTERFACE</strong></span></span></p> <p>We are a group of meeting planning professionals passionate about conferences and creating meaningful and long-term relationships for attendees. We started out as meeting planners, now we run Scottsdale-based Eventinterface, a SaaS platform based on that planning experience. Eventinterface helps meeting planners promote and plan conferences better, build new revenue streams and create powerful communities before, during and after events. We remain passionate about brining people together, successful conferences and happy attendees. More information at <a href="http://www.Eventinterface.com" target="_blank">Eventinterface.com</a> or email us as <a href="mailto:MemberServices@Eventintreface.com?subject=Message%20from%20Blog%20Article">MemberServices@Eventinterface.com</a>.</p> http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Eventinterface-Launches-New-Event-Builder Wed, 14 Sep 2016 13:00:00 -0700 Event TALK: Top Tips For Managing Group Transportation For Your Conference http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Event-TALK-Top-Tips-For-Managing-Group-Transportation-For-Your-Conference <p>Tara N. Thain, CHME, Director of National Accounts with SuperShuttle joins us on our latest episode of Event TALK. She shares best practices for Meeting Planners on managing group transportation for conferences and meetings.</p> <p><span style="color:#90bf5c;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong>Listen to show host Al Wynant and guest Tara Thain discuss the following:</strong></span></span></p> <ul> <li>Key pieces of information that need to be provided by Meeting Planners to prepare an accurate transportation proposal.</li> <li>How to evaluate a transportation company.</li> <li>On-site support needed to insure flawless execution of the transportation plan.</li> <li>Trends or technologies that will make group transportation different in the future.</li> <li>Top 3 tips for meeting planners in working with group transportation.</li> </ul> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="color:#90bf5c;"><strong>LISTEN TO THE SHOW</strong></span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <audio controls=""><source src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/eieventtalk/SuperShuttleEventTALKfinal.mp3" type="audio/mpeg" /> Your browser does not support this audio element.</audio> </p> <p><span style="color:#90bf5c;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong>ABOUT OUR GUEST</strong></span></span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.6em;"><img alt="Tara Thain, SuperShuttle at Eventinterface Event TALK Top Group Transportation Tips" src="https://eieventimages.s3.amazonaws.com/1472747009_EventTALK-Transportation-Tara.png" style="width: 210px; height: 294px; float: left; margin: 10px;" />Tara Thain came from the historic city of Philadelphia, PA to attend Arizona State University.&nbsp; While attending college she worked a few jobs before landing her job at SuperShuttle.&nbsp; Tara has been at SuperShuttle for 23 years.&nbsp; Tara started as a reservation agent and worked her way up the ladder to Director of National Accounts.</span></p> <p>As the Director of National Accounts for SuperShuttle Tara encompasses a wide range of responsibilities, from setting up all National Corporate Accounts, driving revenue from the Wholesale Tour Market to large groups and conventions, and training sales associates nationally.</p> <p>Tara is a Certified Hospitality Marketing Executive through HSMAI. She is the past President of the Arizona Chapter of Hospitality Sales &amp; Marketing Association International (HSMAI) and the past President of the Arizona Sunbelt Chapter of Meeting Professionals International (MPI). Also, served on the Greater Phoenix Multi-Cultural and Arts Foundation board.</p> <p><span style="color:#90bf5c;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong>Contact Tara Thain</strong></span></span><br /> <a href="mailto:tthain@supershuttle.com">Email</a><br /> <span style="line-height: 1.6em;">Phone:&nbsp; </span><a href="file://localhost/tel/480-403-4944" style="line-height: 1.6em;">480-403-4944</a><br /> <a href="https://www.eventinterface.com/market-detail/SuperShuttle-ExecuCar" target="_blank"><span style="line-height: 1.6em;">Website</span></a></p> http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Event-TALK-Top-Tips-For-Managing-Group-Transportation-For-Your-Conference Thu, 01 Sep 2016 09:00:00 -0700 5 Important Steps To Follow When Planning a Conference http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/5-Important-Steps-To-Follow-When-Planning-a-Conference <p><img alt="5 Important Steps To Follow When Planning a Conference an Eventinterface infographic for Meeting Planners" src="https://eieventimages.s3.amazonaws.com/1471150366_5-steps-to-plan-a-conference-infographic-Eventinterface.png" style="width: 848px; height: 3000px; border-width: 1px; border-style: solid;" /></p> http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/5-Important-Steps-To-Follow-When-Planning-a-Conference Mon, 15 Aug 2016 06:00:00 -0700 8 Tips for Choosing the Perfect Conference Venue http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/8-Tips-for-Choosing-the-Perfect-Conference-Venue <p>Dozens of factors go into the venue selection process. Obviously, you want the most impressive facility for your conference. Meeting Planners need to make an informed decision based on what each venue has to offer in terms of accommodations, location, pricing and availability.</p> <p><strong>Here are a few questions or issues to be aware of as you search for your next conference venue.</strong></p> <p><span style="font-size:16px;"><span style="color:#90bf5c;"><strong>1. The Venue</strong></span></span><br /> <a href="https://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Using-NonTraditional-Event-Venues" target="_blank">Venues vary significantly</a>. Some are just a large empty room, while others have multiple rooms and floors with various amenities. You should familiarize yourself with the <a href="http://www.venueseeker.com/get-your-conference-room-layout-right/" target="_blank">layout of the venue</a>. If you are hosting multiple concurrent workshops, or wish to offer VIP attendees a separate experience, then you will need a venue with distinct rooms offering that capability. It is key that your venue offers the spaces and resources to host your type of event flawlessly. Think about your program and all of its needs and keep that in mind as you search for the perfect venue.</p> <p><span style="color:#90bf5c;"><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>2. Location</strong></span></span><br /> It helps if the venue is located within a stone&rsquo;s throw of landmarks. This is especially useful for out of town guests. You can market the conference as an opportunity for checking out the town and its attractions, restaurants, museums and entertainment and shopping district. Make note of any nearby areas worth a visit pre- or post-event. For local conferences, consider a location fairly close to the majority of the attendees for easy access.</p> <p><span style="color:#90bf5c;"><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>3. Catering</strong></span></span><br /> Catering is often thought of as a separate element from the venue, however; the two are intertwined. Most venues have their own <a href="https://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/conference-food-and-beverage-planning-tips" target="_blank">catering service</a>. If you opt for outside catering services you may be required to pay an additional fee. This is actually standard practice with most venues to ensure they acquire the highest profit margins.</p> <p>This is especially the case with venues that are frequently used for weddings. Such venues charge what is known as a cake-cutting fee if the cake is brought from an outside baker instead of using the venue&rsquo;s own bakery service. A corking fee may be assessed as well for the serving of outside alcoholic beverages.</p> <p>Check with the venue ahead of time to see if there are charges for using outside catering services. Your venue contract should outline such charges.</p> <p><span style="color:#90bf5c;"><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>4. Parking</strong></span></span><br /> How many parking spaces are there in relation to the number of attendees? If parking is limited, you may want to advise attendees to carpool. If parking is going to be tight, where is the next nearest parking lot or garage?</p> <p>You also need to enquire if parking permits or passes are required. Venues usually hand out a limited number of permits or passes for staff members. Try to see if you can negotiate to get a few additional permits for your guests, especially your VIP attendees.</p> <p>Consider offering valet parking for locations or venues where parking is a bit challenging. &nbsp;Make sure you understand the opening times of garages that may be used by your attendees. If your event lasts until midnight, but the parking garage closed at 10:00 p.m., many guests may be stuck.</p> <p><span style="color:#90bf5c;"><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>5. Rental Fee</strong></span></span><br /> Venue rental will likely be one of the <a href="https://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Event-Budget-Planning-Tips-From-The-Pros" target="_blank">single biggest overhead</a> costs; do expect fees in the five-digit range, especially if opting for an upscale facility. Luckily, this is also an area where you can save big. Anything is negotiable.</p> <p>Most <a href="https://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Negotiate-venue-contracts-like-a-pro" target="_blank">venue prices vary</a> depending on demand. If possible, try to schedule your event during a time when demand is at its lowest. This usually includes Mondays through Thursdays, and during winter, or summer depending on the region, and after all major holidays have ended. Aside from being cheaper, the venue is also more likely to be available during those times.</p> <p>If pricing is a consideration, flexibility in date and time will help you reduce your cost by moving your event to low season, or times where the venue may be less booked, or may even have short term availability.</p> <p><span style="color:#90bf5c;"><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>6. Wi-Fi and Tech Accessibility</strong></span></span><br /> How strong is the venue&rsquo;s Wi-Fi? Can people generally get good reception? Are there plenty of sockets where guests can charge their mobile devices? Technical accessibility is important from your end as well. You need to know, for instance, if <a href="https://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/8-Tips-To-Avoid-AV-Production-Disasters" target="_blank">audio/visual equipment</a> is included or if you need to supply your own.</p> <p>If guests are struggling to use their devices, you can bet that it will be a factor in their overall critique of the event. Always test the venue&rsquo;s Wi-Fi before booking a venue. Temporary Wi-Fi access can always be brought on by a third-party service.</p> <p><span style="color:#90bf5c;"><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>7. Amenities</strong></span></span><br /> What does the rental fee include besides use of the facility? Some venues provide custodial, bartender, and security services. Others may also have some extras that guests will appreciate, such as a pool table, massage chairs, spa, or a gym. Smaller amenities may include complimentary use of the facility&rsquo;s printing/copying machine, free bottled water, and so on.</p> <p>Get a good understanding pre-signing your venue contract about what is included in your venue cost, tax /VAT and service rates, and what will be extra, and at what cost.</p> <p><span style="color:#90bf5c;"><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>8. Lodging</strong></span></span><br /> Some guests may be coming from other areas, or even out of the country. These people are going to need overnight accommodations. Is the venue a hotel or resort? Is there a hotel within a block of the venue? If hotels are farther away, is there a shuttle that travels directly to the venue?</p> <p>Research nearby lodging centers, both boutique hotels and cheaper motels. If multiple guests require lodging, then check with these places to be sure there is enough vacancy for the day of the event. It also doesn&rsquo;t hurt to enquire about possible room blocks for your group.</p> <p>You need to be proactive and ask <a href="http://www.venueseeker.com/questions-to-ask-when-choosing-a-conference-venue/" target="_blank">questions when choosing a venue</a>. You need to know the venue like the back of your hand if you hope to give your guests the best conference experience possible.</p> <p><em><img alt="Dan McCarthy, Event Manager at JD Parties, 8 Tips for Choosing the Perfect Conference Venue at Eventinterface" src="https://eieventimages.s3.amazonaws.com/1469586461_Dan McCarthy.jpg" style="width: 150px; height: 150px; float: left; margin: 6px;" />This is a guest post by Dan McCarthy, Event Manager at </em><a href="http://www.jdparties.co.uk/" target="_blank"><em>JD Parties</em></a><em>, an event management company based in the UK. Dan has five years of event project management under his belt. He has worked on many successful events, and currently he shares his knowledge by writing on the company blog. Follow him on Twitter </em><a href="https://twitter.com/DanCarthy2" target="_blank"><em>@DanCarthy2</em></a><em>.</em></p> http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/8-Tips-for-Choosing-the-Perfect-Conference-Venue Wed, 27 Jul 2016 06:00:00 -0700 Overcoming The Top 3 Challenges Faced By Meeting Planners Today http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Overcoming-The-Top-3-Challenges-Faced-By-Meeting-Planners-Today <p>Planning meetings is a hard. Ever-changing demands, a sellers&rsquo; market and unrealistic expectations add to the daily stress experienced by professional Meeting Planners. Today we explore some of the toughest challenges faced by planners and share solutions to overcome them.</p> <p><span style="font-size:20px;"><span style="color:#90bf5c;"><strong>A SELLERS&rsquo; MARKET</strong></span></span><br /> The demand for meeting space continues to increase, and hotel inventory is not keeping pace resulting in a strong sellers&rsquo; market. Occupancy rates and room rates remain high. Hotels are now more selective in the groups they accept; in fact they now only welcome about one out of four meetings. Only the groups with the highest profit potential will be invited onto most properties.</p> <p>Meeting Planners must develop the RFP process strategically by allowing for flexibility and by providing a compelling reason for the hotel to consider them as a worthwhile client. &nbsp;We see most success with planners who can be flexible on dates and locations.&nbsp; Planners who incorporate additional revenue opportunities for the hotel with pre-, and post-event activities for attendees and spouses receive higher probability of success in booking their desired venue.</p> <p>We must now sell our clients and ourselves even more than the hotel is trying to sell us. Whatever you can do to make yourself stand out from a revenue perspective in your RFP process is sure to be in your benefit.</p> <p><span style="color:#90bf5c;"><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong><span style="font-size:20px;">UNREALISTIC AND EVER-CHANGING EXPECTATIONS</span></strong></span></span><br /> <span style="line-height: 1.6em;">Meeting Planners are constantly faced with requirements of clients, demands of attendees and requests from vendors. They are masterful conductors, insuring the success of the event and keeping all involved happy. This is not an easy task, especially with ever-changing expectations.</span></p> <p>Clients may not always know what a meeting or conference will look like when conducting the RFP process resulting in challenges along the way. All planners have experienced additional meeting room requests, demands for more suites or other services shortly before, or during an event. Clients do not always recognize that venues may not have additional space available due to other onsite clients, staffing issues, availability of chairs, tables and linens, or there simply may not be any space available. The same counts for hotel rooms and suites, and managing VIP and attendee needs.</p> <p>It is imperative for Meeting Planners to be involved as early as possible in the planning process, understand the event&rsquo;s history &ndash;if any- and help create the hotel RFP. It is key that planners manage the client&rsquo;s expectations on what is possible and what may be challenging to accomplish within the allowable budget.</p> <p>We have found it helpful to have a clear understanding of what the possibilities are at the venue during the event, and the cost associated with last minute requests for resets, additional rooms and other wishes the client may have.&nbsp; Adding a chair here and there is usually not an issue. Setting up another session, adding a dinner or needing a second Presidential Suite with little notice can be challenging to deliver, especially when budgets must be considered.</p> <p align="center"><a href="https://www.pinterest.com/eventinterface/" target="_blank"><img alt="Event Inspirations for Eventinterface on Pinterest" src="https://eieventimages.s3.amazonaws.com/1441768862_1439353735_ipad_pinterest.png" style="width: 848px; height: 116px;" /></a></p> <p><span style="font-size:16px;"><span style="color:#90bf5c;"><strong><span style="font-size:20px;">DATA ACCURACY</span></strong></span></span><br /> <span style="line-height: 1.6em;">Even with easy-to-use online planning solutions, such as <a href="http://www.Eventinterface.com" target="_blank">Eventinterface</a>, collecting accurate attendee data is a massive undertaking. Only Meeting Planners understand how many attendees misspell their own names, do not capitalize name or enter their name in all CAPS, and we are mystified by this phenomenon. This drives us mad since we love to have uniform name badges.&nbsp; Add to this the gathering of company information, tittles, session attendance, meal choices, and other information needed to deliver a great event experience for the attendee.&nbsp;</span></p> <p>Meeting Planners are hosts at heart and no matter how wrong the attendee&rsquo;s information may be &ndash;even if they entered it themselves-, we will deliver the experiences, field trips, polo shirts and meal choices the attendee requires.&nbsp; Isn&rsquo;t that a tab bit absurd?</p> <p>One planner client struggled with this issue for years. About 15% of her attendees would request new name badges for misspelled names, would maintain they ordered vegetarian meals when not, and even enter incorrect airport arrival information. These issues added unnecessary expense to her event budgets.</p> <p>One year she decided to let her attendees know that names on badges would appear as they had been entered in the registration system. If misspelled, a replacement badge would be the cost of a full registration. Meal choices would be delivered as ordered. If incorrect airport information were provided, the attendee would be responsible for the additional transportation cost. Attendees were able to review and update their registration using <a href="http://www.Eventinterface.com" target="_blank">Eventinterface</a> up to 72 hours before the event. There was no excuse! Within one event, errors had gone from about 15% of attendees to a handful. There were no customer service issues at the check in desk. Attendees were picked up at the right airports. Complaints about issues dropped 95% because the attendees who would normally have issues with badges, orders and airport transfers had nothing to complain about. She held her attendees responsible for their own mistakes and succeeded in getting greater data accuracy to deliver the event experience desired by all attendees. She has now implemented this technique successfully with all events she manages.</p> <hr /> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:20px;"><span style="color:#90bf5c;"><strong>TOP TIPS:</strong></span></span><br /> <span style="font-size:16px;"><span style="line-height: 1.6em;">1. Develop a hotel RFP showcasing revenue potential and flexibility.</span><br /> <span style="line-height: 1.6em;">2. Understand your event, venue limitations and budget impact of changes and requests.</span><br /> <span style="line-height: 1.6em;">3. Be an impeccable host. That does not mean you can&rsquo;t hold attendees responsible for their registration inaccuracies.</span></span></p> <hr /> <p><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong>Other helpful articles:</strong></span><br /> <a href="http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/10-Life-Hacks-For-Meeting-Planners" style="line-height: 1.6em;">10 Life Hacks for Meeting Planners</a><span style="line-height: 1.6em;">&nbsp;</span><br /> <a href="http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Event-Planner-Quick-Tips" style="line-height: 1.6em;">Event Planner Quick Tips</a><span style="line-height: 1.6em;">&nbsp;</span></p> http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Overcoming-The-Top-3-Challenges-Faced-By-Meeting-Planners-Today Mon, 25 Jul 2016 06:00:00 -0700 Interviews With Planners - Jasmine Eldeen http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Interviews-With-Planners--Jasmine-Eldeen <p>Experienced hospitality sales and marketing industry expert, Jasmine Eldeen, shares her advice on how Meeting and Conference Planners can overcome the challenges of a seller and supplier market.</p> <p><strong>What is the best advice you have ever received as a planner?</strong></p> <p>While I am not a planner, my clients who are planners have told me that they wished they had asked for help sooner. Using me as their sourcing specialist, I have saved them over 70 hours per meeting - which allowed them to focus on the actual meeting details.</p> <p><strong>What advice would you give to someone entering the business today?</strong></p> <p>Don&rsquo;t bother yourself with learning the hotel language, use a company like HelmsBriscoe to help with negotiating and contracting &ndash; it will save you lots of time.</p> <p><strong>What do you see as the most challenging aspect of being a Meeting and Conference planner, and how do you overcome that challenge?</strong></p> <p>Right now, it&rsquo;s becoming a sellers and suppliers market.&nbsp; Hotels and resorts can demand higher rates due to increased demand and limited supply in specific markets and seasons.&nbsp; This is a great time for planners to rely on the buying power of a company like HelmsBriscoe to help them stand out and be on top of the hotel list.&nbsp; You are no longer looked at as &ldquo;one&rdquo; individual meeting; you will be grouped with the thousands of meetings booked by HelmsBriscoe each year at these hotels.</p> <p><strong>How do you think our industry will evolve in the next five years?</strong></p> <p>The most recent merger between two large hotel brands could be a game changer for not only the Meeting and Conference Planner, but also their competitors.&nbsp; It is important to stay on top of your market knowledge to find the best partnerships for your conferences and events.</p> <p><strong>What makes you successful as a planner?</strong></p> <p>I don&rsquo;t consider myself a planner; I am the planner&rsquo;s &ldquo;hired gun&rdquo; - helping them navigate through the complexities of this industry.&nbsp; However, what makes me successful in what I do?&nbsp; I know that I&rsquo;m successful when my client at the end of the year tells me that I saved the company X dollars through negotiating and careful contracting.&nbsp; In addition, I gave them the gift of time. By helping them with the initial sourcing phase, they were able to spend more time on planning the event. I can&rsquo;t see myself doing anything else. I&rsquo;m an educator and trainer by nature.&nbsp; Knowledge is power, so I keep no market or industry knowledge a secret.&nbsp; I want my client planners to feel smarter when working with me.</p> <p><strong>In your opinion, what is the best and worst industry trend of the year?</strong></p> <p>Everyone loves science &ndash; right?&nbsp; Have you heard of Molecular Gastronomy?&nbsp; Look it up &ndash; it&rsquo;s amazing!&nbsp; It&#39;s a way of cooking, which uses very avant-garde techniques, extreme low or high temperatures, novel chemical ingredients, and ways of making food that look and seem very new. If you can get a venue to create some featured canap&eacute;s, salads or dessert using this method, you will look like a genius&hellip;guaranteed!</p> <p>&ldquo;Signature&rdquo; drinks are out&hellip;crafting your own drink is in.&nbsp; How about having a craft bourbon table and allow the guest to create their own beverage?</p> <p><strong>What is the best industry book that has helped you as a planner?</strong></p> <p>&ldquo;StrenghtsFinder&rdquo; by Tom Rath.</p> <p>This book teaches you about teamwork. It&#39;s so important to know each person&#39;s strengths when working together to execute a flawless event.</p> <p><strong>About Jasmine Eldeen</strong></p> <p>Jasmine Eldeen joined HelmsBriscoe as Director, Global Accounts - based in Minneapolis, MN.&nbsp; You can call her a global hospitality Sales and Marketing industry veteran, but she would rather be known as your partner that will help you navigate the complex of sourcing hotels.</p> <p>She has tallied over 15 years working with leading brands in hospitality including, Hilton Hotels &amp; Resorts, Marriott International and Starwood Hotels &amp; Resorts, meaning she intimately understands the inner workings of the hotel, meeting and event industry.&nbsp; Don&rsquo;t burn your time trying to figure out hotel lingo, acronyms, and abbreviations.&nbsp; From sourcing to mitigation and everything in between, she is here to translate.</p> <p>She brings passion, energy and dedication to every single project.&nbsp; Her high level of commitment gives you the results and solutions you seek in a partner.&nbsp; She is committed to delivering efficient, exceptional and expert services, so her clients are 100% satisfied.</p> <p>When Jasmine is not helping you secure hotels for your meeting/conference, you can find her networking at a local or global hospitality industry event including: Meeting Professional International (MPI), Global Travel Association (GBTA), Meet Minneapolis, Bloomington Chamber of Commerce and Edina Chamber of Commerce.</p> <p><strong>CONNECT WITH JASMINE</strong><br /> <a href="mailto:jeldeen@helmsbriscoe.com?subject=Eventinterface%20Interview%20with%20Planners%20question">email</a><br /> phone: 952 334.9271<br /> <a href="https://twitter.com/JasLo1" target="_blank">Twitter</a><br /> <a href="https://www.eventinterface.com/market-detail/HelmsBriscoe" target="_blank">Learn more</a></p> <p><strong>Editor&rsquo;s note:</strong><br /> The opinions expressed in the &ldquo;Interviews by Planners&rdquo; series are views and ideas by the interviewed guests only and should be interpreted as such.</p> http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Interviews-With-Planners--Jasmine-Eldeen Thu, 14 Jul 2016 06:00:00 -0700 A vibrant destination in the heart of the Valley of the Sun http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/A-vibrant-destination-in-the-heart-of-the-Valley-of-the-Sun <p>James&nbsp;Tevault, Director of Sales at the Tempe Tourism Office joins us on the latest episode of Event TALK. James discusses how event and meeting planners benefit by utilizing the services of the Tempe Tourism Office, what sets Tempe apart from other destinations and how the city is evolving over the next few years.</p> <p><span style="color:#90bf5c;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong>Listen to Al Wynant and James Tevault discuss the following:</strong></span></span></p> <ul> <li>How do you differentiate the Tempe Tourism Office from a Destination Management Company? Is there a distinct difference between what your organization offers versus a DMC?</li> <li>What are the benefits for a meeting or conference planner to be working with the Tempe Tourism Office?</li> <li>How does a planner typically initiate a relationship with the Tempe Tourism Office, and what do you need in order to develop a successful partnership with that planner?</li> <li>Being down the street from Tempe ourselves, we see so much happening. What are some of the highlights meeting and conference planners should be aware of?</li> <li>Looking at the future, how will Tempe continue to evolve, what will the landscape look like for meeting and conference planners 3 to 5 years from now?</li> <li>What are your top 3 selling points as to why meeting or conference planners should host their conferences and meetings in Tempe?</li> </ul> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>LISTEN TO THE SHOW</strong></span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <audio controls=""><source src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/eiblog/marketplace-July-16.mp3" type="audio/mpeg" /> Your browser does not support this audio element.</audio> </p> <p><span style="color:#90bf5c;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong>About our guest:</strong></span></span></p> <p>James&nbsp;Tevault joined the team at the Tempe Tourism Office as the Director of Sales in December of 2013. Mr.&nbsp;Tevault is responsible for the group sales team effort including, but not limited to corporate, associations, and sports. He is responsible for sales strategy execution, facilitating sales missions and appointment based events, familiarization trips, and site visits to generate leads for Tempe hotels and members.</p> <p>Originally from Texas,&nbsp;Tevault&nbsp;has lived in the Phoenix area for 26 years. Prior to joining the Tempe Tourism Office he held the Director of Sales position at Visit Mesa for 6 years. With a combined 20+ years&rsquo; experience in the hospitality industry including ten years of hotel operations and sales in the East Valley cities of Tempe, Mesa, Scottsdale, and Phoenix.&nbsp;</p> <p>He is a dad to 3 amazing kids; two are recent graduates from Mesa High School. He has crossed the Ironman Arizona finish line in Tempe, AZ 3 times, most recently in November 2015. He is an ultra-marathoner completing 20+ events longer than 26.2 miles and a 2015 Leadville Trail 100 finisher.</p> <p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="color:#90bf5c;"><strong>Contact James Tevault:</strong></span></span></p> <p>James Tevault, Director of Sales<br /> Tempe Tourism Office<br /> <a href="mailto:james@tempetourism.com?subject=Eventinterface%20Event%20TALK%20request">Email</a><br /> Phone: 480 305.1365<br /> <a href="http://www.TempeMeetings.com" target="_blank">TempeMeetings.com</a><br /> Learn more at <a href="https://www.eventinterface.com/market-detail/Tempe-Tourism-Office" target="_blank">Eventinterface MARKET</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/A-vibrant-destination-in-the-heart-of-the-Valley-of-the-Sun Wed, 13 Jul 2016 06:00:00 -0700 First Hotel Opens On Iconic Tempe Town Lake http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/First-Hotel-Opens-On-Iconic-Tempe-Town-Lake <p>The fashionable urban-style AC Hotel Phoenix Tempe/Downtown opened in June reflecting the unique character of Tempe&rsquo;s desert aesthetic.&nbsp; Located at the shores of Tempe Town Lake, the hotel is close to Downtown Tempe&rsquo;s Mill Avenue and Arizona State University.</p> <p><span style="color:#90BF5c;"><span style="font-size:18px;"><strong>GUESTROOMS</strong></span></span></p> <p>The smoke-free hotel has 159 guest rooms with hardwood floors with upscale modern furnishings. &nbsp;There is complimentary high-speed Internet access in all guest rooms. Public spaces offer free Wi-Fi. Select guest rooms offer lake views.</p> <p><span style="color:#90bf5c;"><strong><span style="font-size:18px;">MEETINGS AND EVENTS</span></strong></span></p> <p>With 650 square feet of meeting space, the hotel is best suited for meetings, trainings and small events of no more than 50 attendees. The meeting space features the latest in high-tech equipment and offers an on-site business center.</p> <p>The AC Library serves as a central work area for guests, offering complimentary computers, wireless printing and two private media salons.</p> <p><img alt="AC Hotel Phoenix Tempe at Eventinterface for meetings and conferences" src="https://eieventimages.s3.amazonaws.com/1467932495_AC-tempe-story.png" style="width: 848px; height: 883px;" /><br /> <br /> <span style="color:#90bf5c;"><strong><span style="font-size:18px;">DINING</span></strong></span></p> <p>The AC Lounge offers local craft beers, wine on tap, signature cocktails and tapas-style small bites. Adjacent to the lounge, the AC Kitchen offers European-inspired continental breakfast.&nbsp;</p> <p>Learn more <a href="http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/phxac-ac-hotel-phoenix-tempe-downtown" target="_blank">here</a>.</p> <p>Want to learn more about hosting your conference or meeting in Tempe? <a href="https://www.eventinterface.com/market-detail/Tempe-Tourism-Office" target="_blank">Click here!</a></p> <p><em>Photographs courtesy of the property.</em></p> http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/First-Hotel-Opens-On-Iconic-Tempe-Town-Lake Thu, 07 Jul 2016 15:59:00 -0700 Making Your Brand Shine At Tradeshows And Conferences http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Making-Your-Brand-Shine-At-Tradeshows-And-Conferences <p>When planning to exhibit at a tradeshow or event, it is easy to get drawn into the idea of grand audio-visual displays and flashing lights. Inevitably you want to stand out from the crowd to attract swarms of interested attendees, but being overzealous with the gimmicks can be a turn off.</p> <p>Setting a clear brand message and having visual uniformity sets an expectation from the brand and helps build a level of trust. It is essential for a brand to have a cemented style guide that is adhered to at all times. This will assure that visual messaging remains on target with the values your brand wants to portray.</p> <p>Today&rsquo;s audiences crave imagery, and research conducted by <a href="http://www.office.xerox.com/latest/COLFS-02UA.PDF" target="_blank">Xerox</a> found that coloured visuals increase people&rsquo;s willingness to engage by 80%. So, how can a brand draw in attendees to their exhibit but still remain true to, and visually consistent with, their brand?</p> <p>When you secure a spot at a trade show or event, do not go in all guns blazing. Take a step back and create a campaign idea that represents your brand.</p> <p>No doubt the tradeshow you are attending will have a theme, try and be compatible with this. Think about your business or specific product, the primary message you want to portray, and the audience you want to connect with. Then, think about how to engage your targets in an interactive and visual way.</p> <p>Remember, regardless of whether you have a stand at a B2C or B2B show, people and companies alike buy services so it is worth considering your environment while in the planning stages.</p> <p>Once you have solidified your goals and plans for your tradeshow stand, create all your pre-show collateral. If you are hosting an interactive experience at your booth, hint at this with visuals in your virtual press kit and on social media. Create hashtags and create a buzz. &nbsp;Are you going to have a mini drone flying around? Design media invites that look like a bird&rsquo;s-eye view of the event space, or building itself if distinct enough.&nbsp;</p> <p>Starting the show experience early and gaining buzz and excitement sets the mood before anybody even steps foot in the exhibitor hall and guarantees attendees will visit your booth.</p> <p>Before anything is pushed through the pipeline, all your collateral and signage should match what is set forth in your brand style guide. Corporate imagery should also be kept the same.</p> <p>Designers put a lot of thought into style guides for different brands for a reason. For example, certain fonts evoke certain feelings and give different impressions. Times New Roman can have an older feel, whereas Comic Sans is notorious for being the most unprofessional font.</p> <p>Anything that is handed out at an event, from tote bags to USB sticks, will be seen by attendees throughout the event. The next time somebody sees your logo or company branding, it will be recognizable to them if they saw it on an item that is of use to them, many people use event freebies every day.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s also important to feature&nbsp;your company logo and high-level messaging at the top of your booth display to ensure it can be seen from a distance on the trade show floor.</p> <p>If you are lucky enough to have an in-house designer, collaborate with them to create an exciting campaign. Running your event marketing ideas past them can help the creative juices on both ends and ensures you are both on the same page, upholding the brand identity as perfectly as possible.</p> <p>If you don&rsquo;t have in-house expertise, hiring a designer is a great option to help you develop a visual strategy. However, let them know all your design needs upfront so they know what graphics can be re-purposed across different channels i.e. social media, booth design, collateral, signage, marketing emails.</p> <p>It can be tempting to download the necessary tools and have a go at it yourself. This is dangerous territory as having the correct software is only half the battle, you need to know how to use it correctly. If untrained, opt for expert help!</p> <p>The human psyche can be shallow, and whilst visual is the key sense to target, keep all five in mind. Visuals will draw attendees to your stand, but engaging further through taste, touch, sound and scent will encourage them to stay. Harnessing all the senses can construct a complete and seamless experience for your audience.</p> <p>It is imperative that your brand is at the epicentre of everything you do, especially for major events and trade shows. Much like human relationships, we remain true to ourselves to create genuine connections. In the same vein, it is important for your brand to be true to itself to create sincere customer interactions.</p> <p>Create an interactive experience that is true to your brand, and you&rsquo;re well on your way to a successful tradeshow or event.&nbsp;</p> http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Making-Your-Brand-Shine-At-Tradeshows-And-Conferences Sat, 02 Jul 2016 06:00:00 -0700 Will Brexit Impact Meetings and Events? http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Will-Brexit-Impact-Meetings-and-Events <p>The yeas have it. The United Kingdom is set to exit the European Union. Will this Brexit cause uncertainty for the meetings and event industry, or will it be business as usual?</p> <p>&ldquo;The meetings and event industry is easily affected by economic and political uncertainty, however it will take at least two years for the separation conditions to be negotiated and no one really knows what will happen,&rdquo; said Al Wynant, co-founder and CEO of Eventinterface. &ldquo;I don&rsquo;t think there will be an immediate impact and I foresee business as usual until there is more clarity on the process.&rdquo;</p> <p>Wynant said an immediate impact could be seen related to production cost for international planners hosting events and conferences in the UK related to the significant fall in the pound&rsquo;s exchange rate.</p> <p>The <strong>International Air Transport Association (IATA) </strong>is projecting UK air travel to decrease by 3 to 5 percent due to the country leaving the EU and the resulting economic downturn.</p> <p>It will take some time to for the full impact of the vote to be felt. The UK has not yet formally declared the intention to leave, causing additional uncertainty. Once the declaration has been made, a two-year period of formal negotiations by the UK and EU will spell out the terms of the separation and hopefully stabilize the market. In the meantime it may be business as usual for the meeting and event industry.</p> <p>Are you impacted by the Brexit? Share your comments below or via <a href="https://www.facebook.com/EventInterface/" target="_blank">Facebook</a> or <a href="https://twitter.com/Eventinterface" target="_blank">Twitter</a>.</p> http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Will-Brexit-Impact-Meetings-and-Events Tue, 28 Jun 2016 06:00:00 -0700 Top 5 Reasons Why People Attend Conferences http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Top-5-Reasons-Why-People-Attend-Conferences <p>Wondering why people register for your conference? Knowing these top reasons will help your meetings stand out and attract attendees by creating value for all stakeholders.</p> <p><span style="color:#90bf5c;"><strong><span style="font-size:14px">TO LEARN</span></strong></span><br /> Most attendees come to your conference to learn about a topic. It is in the planner&rsquo;s best interest to present a program worth attending. As part of the speaker selection process planners should make sure speakers present new information, not the same rehashed findings.</p> <p><span style="color:#90bf5c;"><span style="font-size:14px"><strong>TO NETWORK AND MEET PEOPLE</strong></span></span><br /> Attendees want to network. Planners need to provide ample time and space for individuals to engage with each other during the meeting. Technologies such as <a href="https://www.eventinterface.com/ourtools" target="_blank">Eventinterface</a> allow for planners to offer networking opportunities pre-, during and post-event. Planners should offer time and space for attendees to network</p> <p><span style="color:#90bf5c;"><strong><span style="font-size:14px">TO BE INSPIRED</span></strong></span><br /> Conferences should be inspirational. They should inspire attendees to implement what they have learned. Attendees should return home invigorated and motivated. Planners should find new ways to excite and engage attendees at the event.</p> <p><span style="color:#90bf5c;"><span style="font-size:14px"><strong>TO SOLICIT BUSINESS</strong></span></span><br /> Many attendees come to a conference to build a network and solicit new business. Planners should offer opportunities and technology to facilitate connections during the conference. Shameless plug, <a href="https://www.eventinterface.com/ourtools" target="_blank">Eventinterface</a> allows this.</p> <p><span style="color:#90bf5c;"><span style="font-size:14px"><strong>LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION</strong></span></span><br /> At times location is perhaps your biggest draw. It can be hard to say &ldquo;no&rdquo; to a conference hosted in a fabulous destination. Don&rsquo;t underestimate the value of a destination. Planners should promote the destination and attractions in the area.&nbsp;</p> <p>What is important to you? Share with us on <a href="https://twitter.com/Eventinterface" target="_blank">Twitter</a> or <a href="https://www.facebook.com/EventInterface" target="_blank">Facebook</a>.</p> http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Top-5-Reasons-Why-People-Attend-Conferences Mon, 20 Jun 2016 06:00:00 -0700 Top Tips to Avoid These Simple Event and Conference Planning Mistakes http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Top-Tips-to-Avoid-These-Simple-Event-and-Conference-Planning-Mistakes <p align="left"><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:verdana,geneva,sans-serif;">Planning conferences and events takes great organizational skill and a close attention to detail. It does not matter where you hold your event. Whether it is a San Diego event venue such as the <a href="http://www.hortonplazapark.com/" target="_blank">Westfield Horton</a> or the Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles, there are some very simple mistakes you can quite easily avoid making.</span></span></p> <p align="left"><span style="color:#90bf5c;"><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong><span style="font-family:verdana,geneva,sans-serif;">CHECK THE WEATHER</span></strong></span></span></p> <p align="left"><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:verdana,geneva,sans-serif;">Bad weather can kill outdoor events stone dead. Apart from the fact nobody will want to come, you immediately have a safety issue if electrics are in use and there is no cover. <a href="http://www.accuweather.com/en/browse-locations/nam/US" target="_blank">Bad weather</a> can affect indoor events too. After all, how will people get there if the roads are closed due to heavy snow or flooding?&nbsp;</span></span><a href="https://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Snow-Hurricanes-And-Haboobs-Planning-For-Weather-At-Your-Events" style="font-family: verdana, geneva, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;" target="_blank">Make plans</a><span style="font-family: verdana, geneva, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;"> to cope with all weather extremes, from providing extra drinking water in hot weather to umbrellas in wet weather.</span></p> <p align="left"><span style="color:#90bf5c;"><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong><span style="font-family:verdana,geneva,sans-serif;">CARRY OUT A RISK ASSESSMENT</span></strong></span></span></p> <p align="left"><span style="font-family: verdana, geneva, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;">Carrying out a risk assessment will enable you to plan for every possible eventuality. The better you plan, the less likely something unexpected will disrupt the event and cost you time and money.&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: verdana, geneva, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;">Start conducting </span><a href="https://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Top-Tips-To-Prevent-Event-Emergencies" style="font-family: verdana, geneva, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;" target="_blank">risk assessments</a><span style="font-family: verdana, geneva, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;"> from the very beginning of the event planning process.</span></p> <p align="left"><span style="color:#90bf5c;"><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong><span style="font-family: verdana, geneva, sans-serif;">NOT PROVIDING WI-FI</span></strong></span></span></p> <p align="left"><span style="font-family: verdana, geneva, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;">Nowadays we expect free Wi-Fi wherever we go. We also expect a good connection, so in the first instance <a href="http://planyourmeetings.com/case-study-installing-temporary-internet-for-meetings-and-events/" target="_blank">provide Wi-Fi</a> and secondly, make sure it is up to the job of connection everyone in the venue with his or her email and social media accounts.&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: verdana, geneva, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;">Giving people the ability to be able to share information on social media is critical to any event. The more cut-off from the outside world people feel, the faster they will leave.</span></p> <p align="left"><span style="color:#90bf5c;"><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong><span style="font-family: verdana, geneva, sans-serif;">NOT ENOUGH STAFF</span></strong></span></span></p> <p align="left"><span style="font-family: verdana, geneva, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;">Be sure to hire enough staff to manage the event on the day. It doesn&rsquo;t look good when the check-in lines are miles long and you have huge crowds of people milling around aimlessly. This tends to foster intense irritation amongst attendees, who will probably then post critical comments online.&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: verdana, geneva, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;">Provide more staff at the beginning of the day when people are arriving. Once everyone has checked-in, some of these staff either can be moved to other duties or sent home.</span></p> <p align="left"><span style="color:#90bf5c;"><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong><span style="font-family: verdana, geneva, sans-serif;">NOT ENOUGH REFRESHMENTS</span></strong></span></span></p> <p align="left"><span style="font-family: verdana, geneva, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;">Have you even been to a wedding where the food turns out to be a few meager plates of sausage rolls and chips? If so, you will understand how annoying it is to attend a conference or event where there is not enough food and drink to go around.&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: verdana, geneva, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;">Buffets need to be per head, so provide the caterer with </span><a href="https://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Conference-Food-And-Beverage-Planning-Tips" style="font-family: verdana, geneva, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;" target="_blank">accurate numbers</a><span style="font-family: verdana, geneva, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;"> before the big day to ensure they prepare enough food. You also need to check that everything is evenly distributed throughout the venue.</span></p> <p align="left"><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:verdana,geneva,sans-serif;">Make sure you follow up with guests after the event. People will be more engaged in the first few days after an event, so they are more likely to respond to messages and do business with you. At the very least, send a thank-you note and invite them to come to future events you are planning. It is good manners after all.</span></span></p> http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Top-Tips-to-Avoid-These-Simple-Event-and-Conference-Planning-Mistakes Sat, 11 Jun 2016 06:00:00 -0700 Connecting Meeting and Event Planners With Resources http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Connecting-Meeting-and-Event-Planners-With-Resources <p><img alt="Eventinterface Market, free tools for meeting and event planners" src="https://eieventimages.s3.amazonaws.com/1464060798_Eventinterface-MARKET-Home-Page.png" style="width: 350px; height: 495px; float: left; margin: 6px; border-width: 1px; border-style: solid;" />Eventinterface&nbsp;<strong>MARKET</strong>&nbsp;is live. Our curated and complimentary directory of services, venues and vendors supporting the event and meeting planning industry is now open for business.&nbsp;</p> <p>Eventinterface <strong>MARKET</strong>&nbsp;launched, featuring a diverse list of resources for Meeting and Event Planners. Included are featured businesses <a href="https://www.eventinterface.com/market/Marriott-International" target="_blank">Marriott International</a>, <a href="https://www.eventinterface.com/market/Tempe-Tourism-Office" target="_blank">Tempe Tourism Office</a>, <a href="https://www.eventinterface.com/market/HelmsBriscoe" target="_blank">HelmsBriscoe</a>, <a href="https://www.eventinterface.com/market/SuperShuttle-ExecuCar" target="_blank">SuperShutlle/ExecuCar</a>, <a href="https://www.eventinterface.com/market/Duran-Events">Duran Events</a> and <a href="https://www.eventinterface.com/market/Best-Western-Copper-Hills-Inn" target="_blank">Copper Hills Inn</a>. We showcase local, national and international production companies, destination management companies, video, entertainment, venues and event tech resources.</p> <p>&ldquo;In the past year we have seen a significant increase in requests from our clients for referrals to qualified vendors,&rdquo; said Al Wynant, Eventinterface Co-Founder and CEO.&nbsp; &ldquo;In order to provide our clients with well-qualified resources, and help the meeting and event planning community at large, we decided to create this market, which will showcase vetted assets for professional planners to explore and hire.&rdquo;</p> <p>Eventinterface <strong>MARKET</strong> is a complimentary resource, available at <a href="http://www.Eventinterface.com/market" target="_blank">http://www.Eventinterface.com/market</a>. Venues, service providers and companies supporting Meeting and Event Planners can <a href="https://www.eventinterface.com/market-submit" target="_blank">apply to be included</a> in the listing.</p> <p><strong>ABOUT EVENTINTERFACE</strong></p> <p>Eventinterface is a platform that enables Meeting and Event Planners to market and manage conferences and meetings better, build new revenue streams and allows them create powerful communities before, during and after an event. We simplify and automate many of the tasks planners do; allow planners to easily collect and analyze attendee data; gather, share and monetize event content. Eventinterface makes your events better, more profitable and more engaging. More information at&nbsp;<a href="http://www.eventinterface.com/">Eventinterface.com</a>.</p> http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Connecting-Meeting-and-Event-Planners-With-Resources Tue, 24 May 2016 06:00:00 -0700