Eventinterface https://eventinterface.com/blog en-US Sat, 13 Feb 2016 00:21:08 +0000 Mon, 08 Feb 2016 13:08:00 +0000 http://www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by/1.0 FeedWriter Conference Buyers Wowed At Venue Preview http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Conference-Buyers-Wowed-At-Venue-Preview Reopening in May, the Belfast Waterfront recently hosted industry insiders for a preview of the remodeled venue. Industry insiders enjoyed a spectacular event program showcasing the remodeled Belfast Waterfront, which will reopen in May 2016 following a £29.5M/$42M investment.

Once opened the new Belfast Waterfront is expected to attract 55,000 conference delegates per year and bring in £100M/$144M to Belfast by 2020. "We promised the new Belfast Waterfront would deliver a brand new experience for up to 5,000 delegates. Today’s preview proved that we can deliver on our promise and left guests in no doubt that Belfast Waterfront is a leading conference and entertainment venue and has both the capacity and capability of hosting many larger international events," said Geoff Fenlon, Interim Managing Director.

Belfast Waterfront Preview on Eventinterface

The first conference in the new Belfast Waterfront, the annual International Surgical Congress of the Association of Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland (ASGBI), will attract 2,000 delegates bringing £2.2M/$3.2M for Belfast through bed nights, transportation and other visitor spends. To date, over 30 international and national events have been confirmed for the Waterfront over the next three years. Big names to already sign on the dotted line include BBC Good Food Show (14-16 October 2016), the World Credit Union (17-20 July 2016) and the Royal College of Nursing (May 2018).

The Belfast Waterfront offers 7,000 square meters/75,350 square feet of multifunctional meeting and event space over 40 different rooms. The main auditorium holds 2,000 delegates.

For more information visit Belfast Waterfront website here

Photographs courtesy of the venue. 

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Mon, 08 Feb 2016 13:08:00 +0000 info@eventinterface.com (Al Wynant) http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Conference-Buyers-Wowed-At-Venue-Preview
Want to be a conference planner superhero? http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Want-to-be-a-conference-planner-superhero Planning conferences and meetings is hard work. Using these 5 top tips will put you on the map as a planner superhero.

Define your goals early

It is key that you define your goals as early as possible in the planning process. Well-defined goals will help you with the decision-making process as you create budgets, look for venues and vendors, destinations and event technology.

Is it your goal to attract a number of event attendees or raise a certain amount of money? Does your event need to meet a certain sales goal, or do you need to celebrate successes and train team members? Each goal will help you set the parameters for all pieces you will need for your conference or meeting.

Have a clear sponsorship and exhibit plan

If you plan on selling sponsorships and exhibit spaces at your conference or meeting you will need a clear plan to insure success. Once you have defined your goals and budget you will need to have a clear understanding of the number of exhibitors and sponsorships you will need to sell to meet those goals. From there it is key to work with your venue on defining the number of exhibits that can actually be accommodated at the venue. You will need to develop a sponsorship and exhibitor package that meets your sponsor prospects’ needs and assign a dedicated person to manage sales, logistics, and on site support.

Keep in mind that an early start is key to event sponsorship success. Most companies that sponsor events make decisions about once a quarter. Waiting to the last minute will decrease your chances of success.  

Listen to our Event TALK session on developing sponsorships that sell here

Conference Planning Newsletter, Tips and Tools Eventinterface

Allow enough time

Planning conferences and meetings take time. Allow at least 6 months of planning time when available. For larger events much more time may be needed.

Getting a head start will allow you to negotiate with vendors and get potentially better deals. It gives your attendees ample time to get registered online. It offers you an opportunity to research and implement event technology wisely. And it gives you the time to create a sponsorship and exhibit plan, and sell it.

Allocate responsibilities

Conferences and events consist of many moving pieces. At times it can be challenging for one person to manage it all, especially when you are working on multiple projects at once. Successful planners create planning timelines with defined delivery dates for tasks, and assign those tasks to the most qualified people on the team or committee.

A planning timeline helps streamline team meetings by quickly looking at deliverables, where people are, and making course corrections where needed. It helps to keep an eye on every aspect of the event to insure the ball isn’t dropped on a specific task or responsibility.

Market your conference

Marketing your event is key to its success. Without marketing you will rarely meet your conference goals. It is essential that you know your audience, understand how they consume media and use these media outlets and tools to market the hell out of your conference.

Listen to this episode of Event TALK with marketing event marketing trends, strategies and top tips here

 

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Wed, 03 Feb 2016 19:36:00 +0000 info@eventinterface.com (Al Wynant) http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Want-to-be-a-conference-planner-superhero
Event TALK: Sponsorships that Sell http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Event-TALK-Sponsorships-that-Sell Missed our super popular event sponsorship workshop? No worries, you can now listen to the broadcast.

As you know, conferences and trade events take a lot of time and resources to produce, and rarely do registration fees cover the full production cost. Sponsorships play an integral part in the success of most events. Listen to Eventinterface CEO Al Wynant discuss tactics to create a successful sponsorship strategy, how to source sponsor prospects, share current trends and how technology can help you stand out from the crowd and help sponsors meet their organizational goals.

LISTEN TO THE SHOW

Need a copy of the presentation deck, connect with other attendees and participate in continued discussion, sign up here

Newsletter for Event and Meeting Planners from Eventinterface

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Fri, 29 Jan 2016 07:00:00 +0000 info@eventinterface.com (Al Wynant) http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Event-TALK-Sponsorships-that-Sell
Workshop: Successful Registration Fee Strategies http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Workshop-Successful-Registration-Fee-Strategies Setting registration or ticket prices for meetings and conferences can be a contentious process. It is a procedure not necessarily enjoyed by planners and committees. It can become an emotional roller coaster and it usually lacks a strategy. Developing registration or ticket prices has to do as much with meeting budgets as offering opportunities for a large number of people to attend your event or meeting. At Eventinterface we’ve seen a wide-ranging variety of strategies and pricing models. 

Join Eventinterface CEO Al Wynant on Thursday, February 11 at 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time for a free virtual workshop. Al will outline helpful tips and tools to develop successful pricing strategies for your events and conferences.

SIGN UP TODAY

Participants in this workshop qualify to receive CEU credits.

Conference and Meeting Planning Resources Newsletter

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Thu, 28 Jan 2016 12:58:00 +0000 info@eventinterface.com (Al Wynant) http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Workshop-Successful-Registration-Fee-Strategies
Ritz-Carlton Paradise Valley Approved http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/RitzCarlton-Paradise-Valley-Approved Years in the making, construction of the Ritz-Carlton Paradise Valley has finally been approved by the Paradise Valley Town Council. At a cost of nearly $2 billion, the property will feature 200 luxurious guest suites and bungalows, and 94 resort villas.

Ritz-Carlton Paradise Valley Arrival on Eventinterface

The resort will employ simple elegant forms to create relaxed comfortable spaces. Designed to evoke the feeling of a small village, rooms and suites will be connected by courtyard gardens and shaded walkways. Large windows with deep overhangs will promote the resort’s indoor – outdoor living ethos and provide unobstructed views of spectacular Camelback Mountain and the star-studded Arizona night skies. The restaurants, ballrooms and meeting rooms will flow onto adjacent outdoor spaces to take advantage of Arizona’s climate. The resort will feature the country’s longest pool, at 400 feet, and a spectacular 20,000 square feet spa.

Ritz-Carlton Paradise Valley longest pool in North America on Eventinterface

The property, under the management of Scottsdale's Five Star Development, is set to break ground in later this spring and be finished by 2018.

The Ritz-Carlton Paradise Valley will bring the Ritz brand back to the Valley after the recent closure and transformation of the Phoenix Ritz to The Camby Hotel.

More information

Renderings courtesy of Ritz-Carlton Paradise Valley

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Sun, 24 Jan 2016 13:45:00 +0000 info@eventinterface.com (Al Wynant) http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/RitzCarlton-Paradise-Valley-Approved
San Francisco Hotel Debuts Renovated Meeting Space http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/San-Francisco-Hotel-Debuts-Renovated-Meeting-Space San Francisco’s iconic Westin St. Francis has completed an extensive renovation of 50,000 square feet of meeting and special event space in both the Landmark and Tower buildings.  Since opening more than a century ago on March 21, 1904, The Westin St. Francis has been at the center of San Francisco's social, theatrical and business life, hosting socialites, royalty and business leaders for their most important meetings and celebrations.
 
“The renovation gives our meeting space a more contemporary look and feel,” said Westin St. Francis Director of Sales & Marketing Elaine Clancy. “The design and color palette are much more cohesive throughout.”
 
Thirty rooms were renovated including: the Grand Ballroom, ideal for large celebrations; the Colonial Room appointed with classic Italian murals, elaborate candelabras, and gold-leafed columns separating regal opera balconies; the elaborate Italian Room; the Borgia Room with its jewel-like ceiling was originally the hotel chapel; and the sophisticated St. Francis Suite, the former home of the Pope Family for many years.

Westin St. Francis debuts updated meeting space on Eventinterface 

Designed by Whitespace Interiors, the meeting rooms and event space reflect a “new classic” aesthetic that is fresh and modern while paying tribute to the historic qualities of the hotel. Edwardian and Art Deco-era patterns and motifs found within the architecture of the spaces helped establish the spirit of the new design. Each of the 30 rooms showcase a sophisticated color palette that cohesively blends cool silvers and greys with warm bronze, cream and gold tones, providing a rich yet neutral backdrop for the deep red-gold tones found within the vintage architectural ceiling details.
 
Design highlights include: woven Axminster carpet with a custom designed pattern unique to the characteristics and vintage of each room; custom crafted chandelier and wall sconces with cast glass, bronze, and nickel finishes imported from Czech Republic; elegant drapery and window treatments designed to provide a soft filtered light perfect for meetings; and artwork curated to provide a modern counterpoint to some of the traditional interior elements. All of the rooms have been outfitted with energy efficient LED architectural lighting and are wired for top performance high speed internet.

Westin St. Francis debuts updated meeting space on Eventinterface 

The Westin St. Francis boasts 1,195 guestrooms, including 41 suites. The hotel consists of two buildings, providing guests with a choice of staying in the historic Landmark Building or the contemporary Tower, which completed a $20 million renovation in 2014. Guestrooms in the Landmark Building showcase San Francisco’s history and charm with high ceilings; chandeliers and ornate woodwork supplemented by modern furnishings and premier views of Union Square. Tower guestrooms offer spacious accommodations with contemporary finishes, marble bathrooms and large bay windows, plus breathtaking views of famous San Francisco icons.
 
Located in the heart of downtown San Francisco, The Westin St. Francis is the only hotel situated directly on Union Square. World-class shopping, restaurants and theatres are just steps from the hotel offering visitors many diverse options for activities and attractions; the Financial District, Chinatown and North Beach are just a quick walk. San Francisco’s famous cable cars stop right at the front door with direct access to Fisherman’s Wharf. Conveniently located near two international airports, the hotel is just thirty minutes (12 miles) to San Francisco International Airport and 40 minutes (15 miles) to Oakland International Airport.

Visit the hotel here.

Photographs courtesy of the venue.

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Fri, 22 Jan 2016 07:08:00 +0000 info@eventinterface.com (Al Wynant) http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/San-Francisco-Hotel-Debuts-Renovated-Meeting-Space
Eventinterface Selected To Participate In Venture Madness http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Eventinterface-Selected-To-Participate-In-Venture-Madness Venture Madness, presented by Invest Southwest in partnership with the Arizona Commerce Authority pits 64 of the most promising startups in the Southwest against one another in a bracket-style competition. The competition culminates in a live event, March 2 to 4 at Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale, AZ during which 16 finalists pitch for an opportunity to win part of a $100,000 prize package.

“We’re thrilled to have been selected, and honored to be amongst these fantastic companies. We look forward to seeing what the competition brings,” said Al Wynant, Eventinterface CEO.

ABOUT EVENTINTERFACE:

Designed by Meeting Planners for Planners, Eventinterface is a SaaS platform that allows professional planners to generate new revenue from existing efforts, increase participant engagement and build powerful communities around a brand, cause or product.  More information at Eventinterface.com.

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Fri, 15 Jan 2016 15:30:00 +0000 info@eventinterface.com (Al Wynant) http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Eventinterface-Selected-To-Participate-In-Venture-Madness
Workshop: Developing Sponsorships That Sell http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Workshop-Developing-Sponsorships-That-Sell Conferences and trade events take a lot of time and resources to produce, and rarely do registration fees cover the full production cost. Sponsorships play an integral part in the success of most events.

Join Eventinterface CEO Al Wynant for a free virtual workshop. Al will address tactics to create a successful sponsorship strategy, how to source sponsor prospects, share current trends and how technology can help you stand out from the crowd and help sponsors meet their organizational goals.

SIGN UP TODAY

Participants in this workshop qualify to receive CEU credits.

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Wed, 13 Jan 2016 19:51:00 +0000 info@eventinterface.com (Al Wynant) http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Workshop-Developing-Sponsorships-That-Sell
From Old World Elegance To Unexpected Sophistication http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/From-Old-World-Elegance-To-Unexpected-Sophistication Recently reimagined hotel does not disappoint in style, amenities and meeting space. The former Ritz-Carlton Phoenix has been reopened as The Camby Hotel, part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection hotels. Located in bustling Biltmore neighborhood, across the street from world-class shopping, the hotel offers an eclectic, yet elegant style.

The Camby Hotel Guest Room on Eventinterface

The Camby Hotel’s 277 guest rooms and suites are well appointed in a whimsical style, which may not be every guest’s cup of tea.  The hotel features three dining and entertainment venues, Artizen, Crafted American Kitchen & Bar, Bees Knees a bar, and Revelry Rooftop Bar offering a more casual environment poolside.

Artizen, Crafted American Kitchen and Bar at The Camby Hotel on EventinterfaceArtizen, Crafted American Kitchen & Bar

With more than 20,000 square feet of meeting and event space, the hotel can accommodate groups up to 650. Information and reservations here or phone 602-468-0700.

Photographs courtesy of the property.

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Tue, 12 Jan 2016 13:00:00 +0000 info@eventinterface.com (Al Wynant) http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/From-Old-World-Elegance-To-Unexpected-Sophistication
10 Life Hacks For Meeting Planners http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/10-Life-Hacks-For-Meeting-Planners Follow these life hacks to make your event day go smoothly.

1. Pack an extra battery and charger for your mobile phone.
2. 
A protein bar and a bottle of water will keep you energized and hydrated.
3. 
Bring your well-stocked event kit.
4. 
Wear comfortable shoes. Avoid new shoes at all cost!
5. 
Bring your tablet and charger.
6. 
Apply for TSA Pre to insure quick passage through security.
7. 
If walking a lot, consider taking two 200mg ibuprofen every 4 hours to prevent foot pain.
8. 
No desire to iron? Steam your clothes in your hotel bathroom by turning the shower to steaming hot water. 
9. 
Roll your clothes vs. fold them when packing your suitcase to prevent wrinkling.
10. 
Have handy Shout Wipes or like product to wipe away small.

 

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Wed, 06 Jan 2016 20:41:00 +0000 info@eventinterface.com (Al Wynant) http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/10-Life-Hacks-For-Meeting-Planners
Managing Dietary Restrictions At Conferences And Events http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Managing-Dietary-Restrictions-At-Conferences-And-Events From allergies to religious restrictions, planning conference meals has become quite an undertaking for Event and Meeting Planners. Gone are the days when planners offered a vegetarian option as the only alternative. Now we must incorporate increasing levels of allergies, cultural and religious lifestyles to meet the needs of a global attendance base. And as planners we must navigate the needs of our attendees and the ability of the venue to deliver special meal requests.

At Eventinterface we see a greater awareness of planners offering an increasing numbers of options to their attendees. Some even ask for attendees to fill in the blanks and share their dietary restrictions, which we recommend only if you are one hundred percent sure you and your venue can deliver on the requests. If you ask your attendees, they will expect their selection to be honored.

THE RESTRICTIONS:
Allergies
Lifestyle
Religious

Allergies:
Lactose: Any product manufactured out of cow milk including yoghurt, cheese, milk.
Eggs
Peanuts
Soy
Wheat
Gluten
Tree nuts
Shellfish
Fish

Lifestyle:
Vegan: Only eats a plant-based diet with no animal products. No meat, fish, eggs or dairy products.
Ovo-Vegetarian: Mostly plants in addition to eggs.  No dairy products, meat or fish.
Lacto-Vegetarian: Mostly plants in addition to dairy products. No eggs, meat or fish. 
Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian: Mostly plants in addition to dairy products and eggs. No meat or fish. 
Pescetarian: A vegetarian diet and fish. No meat. 

Religious
Bahá’í
Buddhism
Catholicism
Hinduism
Islam
Jainism
Judaism
Mormonism
Rastafarianism
Seventh Day Advetism
Sikhism
Yazidism or Yezidism

Source:  CNN Eatocracy

Note that there can be a combination of any of the above. Attendees could order a vegan Kosher option, a vegetarian halal option.

HOW TO MANAGE RESTRICTIONS
- Know your audience before securing the venue. If you audience has a high degree of requests, you will need to insure that the venue can deliver on these requests, either by the onsite kitchen or outside providers. Also understand the protocols of the venue related to food allergies. How is contamination prevented in the kitchens?

- Be aware that if you ask your audience members if they have a special dietary restriction, you will be expected to deliver on that request. Your attendees will in general be a “captive” audience with little opportunity to get away from your conference and find an appropriate meal, should you not deliver on the request.

- When signing up your attendees only ask or offer the restrictions you and the venue can deliver on.

- Work with the venue on a method to identify the guests with dietary restrictions.

- It remains the responsibility of the attendee to share their dietary restrictions with you. At times and attendee will show up and have not shared their requirements when registering. Insure you understand if the venue can handle last minute requests, and which requests can be handled. It is much easier to meet the request of an additional vegetarian meal than to add a kosher meal. 

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Mon, 07 Dec 2015 11:10:00 +0000 info@eventinterface.com (Al Wynant) http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Managing-Dietary-Restrictions-At-Conferences-And-Events
EI NOTES Launched http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/EI-NOTES-Launched At Eventinterface we create the tools to make attendee management, engagement and conference learning as easy and cost-effective as possible. There should be no need for planners to use multiple tools to manage conferences or for attendees to manage their participation.

Al Wynant“Today, with the launch of EI NOTES, we are offering a new tool for attendees to be even more immersed into their events,” said Al Wynant, Eventinterface Co-Founder and CEO. “Now attendees can easily view program information shared by the organizers, including abstracts, presentations and videos, and take notes pre-, during and post-event, all in one location, again streamlining the processes and tools, keeping it as simple as possible,” said Wynant.

EI NOTES is an easy-to-use feature added to the Eventinterface Program functionality. Attendees can take notes during the session they attend, or anytime before and after. Notes are saved with the sessions, and attendees can download or email notes.

Also launched is the ability for registered attendees to search the event program by track, session title and speaker name. Adding this functionality makes it easier for attendees to build their conference itinerary around an area of interest, making sure they get the most out of their participation.

ABOUT EVENTINTERFACE

Eventinterface is a platform that enables meeting and event planners to 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. 

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Mon, 23 Nov 2015 06:00:00 +0000 info@eventinterface.com (Al Wynant) http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/EI-NOTES-Launched
Black Friday Event Tech Deals http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Black-Friday-Event-Tech-Deals As you prepare for your 2016 conferences and events, and perhaps evaluating tools to assist you, Eventinterface is offering a truly special Black Friday opportunity: save 50% on all licenses through Cyber Monday.

Eventinterface is the end-to-end meeting and conference management platform that offers planners unlimited events and unlimited registrations for a simple flat fee.  Eventinterface helps you manage events, accept registrations and payments, receive and manage speaker proposals, distribute event content and build community around your brand, cause or organization. And best of all, you can be up and running in minutes. 

Our “PICK YOUR DEAL” offer for new users offers three exciting options:

50% off annual subscription
or get 18 months for 12
or 50% off our one event Flex Plan

As you can imagine, a 50% discount on our platform is a very special deal and our way to show our appreciation to our meeting and event planning colleagues. This offer is available to new customers from now through Cyber Monday, November 30. 

Want to get started today? Call 480 884.1519 or email us here and we’ll contact you to get you started. Want to see your personal demo? Sign up here.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday.

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Thu, 19 Nov 2015 10:13:00 +0000 info@eventinterface.com (Al Wynant) http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Black-Friday-Event-Tech-Deals
Interviews with Planners - Al Wynant http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Interviews-with-Planners--Al-Wynant Al Wynant is the co-founder and CEO of Eventinterface, a technology solution that lets meeting and event planners manage events better; enables them to enhance their revenue stream and allows them create a community around their events. Al has 26 years of international meeting and event management experience and has managed events from 50 to 125,000 on two continents. He studied in Europe and traveled with the international educational program Up with People. He has worked as a Marketing and Public Relations Representative working concert tours in the United States, Switzerland, Canada, Germany, Belgium and the United Kingdom. He has worked for the Belgian Senate, United Way and founded event management firm A6 where he and his team were responsible for the management of a large variety of conferences and events throughout the United States. Al has served on numerous non-profit boards and is a frequent speaker on the topic of meeting and event management, and event technology. Al is also an Appointed Representative for Flanders in the World.

What is the best advice you have ever received as a planner?
Understand right from the start what the client is trying to accomplish and everything you do should help the client reach that goal. 

What is the most unique location you have ever planned an event at? What was great, what was challenging?
Working for a film festival we had to create 6 distinct spaces for the festival’s award show and after party. The award show was attended by about 500 VIP guests and broadcast from the atrium at the venue. Between the end of the broadcast and the after party we had to remove all seating and transform the atrium into a club. At the same time, all conference rooms and indoor pool had been transformed into unique event spaces honoring the best film nominations. From décor to drinks, food and entertainment, each room offered a unique event experience. Creatively speaking this was a dream event to produce. Logistically the event was a massive challenge. We had one day to set-up the venue, and 30 minutes to transfer the atrium from a live broadcast show to a club. It was insanely challenging but the team pulled it off. 

What advice would you give to someone entering the business today?
Truly understand the industry before jumping in, and find a niche that you are passionate about. If you love social events, become a specialist in that. Prefer conferences? Become the best planner you can be. This is a challenging industry to be in, and finding the type of events you can be passionate about will make your life just a tiny bit easier. 

What do you see as the most challenging aspect of being a planner, and how do you overcome that challenge?
Our industry is all about relationships. At the same time however our industry has relatively high turnover. You may have long term relationships with people; these people however may move from venue to venue, or vendor to vendor, making relationships with a particular venue or vendor a bit challenging to keep up. I always make it a point to create relationships with different people in varied positions to insure some stability in venue or vendor relationships.

On a lighter side, events are physically exhausting and your feet will hurt. Wear the most comfortable shoes you can find and all will be just fine.   

How do you think our industry will evolve in the next five years?
We are in an interesting period. A large percentage of experienced planners are retiring and new planners are taking their place. These new, and most likely younger planners are more apt to employ technology to enhance efficiency, engage participants and make events more profitable. I think we’ll see event tech employed more strategically by these planners. 

What makes you successful as a planner?
Planning is in my blood. I love the excitement, creativity, challenges and stresses associated with the production of an event. I believe I am successful because I view my role not just as a planner, but educator, politician and counselor, all helpful traits to insure success for the client. 

In your opinion, what is the best and worst industry trend of the year?
The arrival of streamlined end-to-end meeting and event planning platforms, such as Eventinterface and the trend to source locally produced foods is great. I’m becoming a little tired of food trucks at events. 

What is the best industry book that has helped you as a planner?
Interestingly not a traditional business book. Cirque du Soleil: The Spark - Igniting the Creative Fire that Lives within Us All created by Lyn Heward and written by John U. Bacon. It offered a great look on creativity and innovation and how that can benefit you and your business. 

CONNECT WITH AL:
Al Wynant
Co-Founder and CEO
Eventinterface
LinkedIn
Facebook
Twitter: @Eventinterface.com
Pinterest
Instagram
Email: MemberServices@Eventinterface.com

Event and Meeting Planner Newsletter
 

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Mon, 26 Oct 2015 06:00:00 +0000 info@eventinterface.com (Al Wynant) http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Interviews-with-Planners--Al-Wynant
Interviews with Planners http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Interviews-with-Planners At Eventinterface we love helping Meeting and Event Professionals become excellent in their job. We do this by sharing experiences from other professionals in our Interviews with Planners collective.

We are part of a massive industry, thousands of Meeting and Event Professionals planning hundreds of thousands of conferences and events per year. New people join our ranks daily, some with a planning education, others with little or no experience. As with every career we learn most of what we know on the job. It is for that reason we have started “Interviews with Planners” a collective of event and meeting professionals who share ideas, experiences, and best practices with the planning community.

At Eventinterface it is not only our mission to provide a software platform that enables Meeting and Event Professionals to manage conferences and meetings better, build new revenue streams and allows for powerful communities before, during and after an event. It is also our mission to help planners become excellent in their jobs by learning from other professionals’ successes and failures. We do this by conducting written interviews with planners and sharing the interviews with the planner community.

Interviews with Planners can be found here.

WHO CAN SUBMIT
All professional planners or industry vendors are welcome to submit an interview. We ask the same questions of every person submitting and we look to you to provide well thought-out answers. Responses should not be a sales pitch for your company and we may edit responses for brevity. There is no fee to submit your interview or have you interview published; all we ask is that you share your interview with your circle of influence via social media when published.

HOW TO SUBMIT
Download the interview form here and submit the completed interview as instructed on the form. We look forward to sharing your experiences.

Interviews with Planners can be found here.

Get our newsletter with tips for Meeting and Event Professionals

 

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Thu, 22 Oct 2015 08:00:00 +0000 info@eventinterface.com (Al Wynant) http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Interviews-with-Planners
6 Marketing Tips To Increase Event Registration Sales http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/6-Marketing-Tips-To-Increase-Event-Registration-Sales Achieving high event registration sales accomplishes a twofold purpose: you generate a profit from the sales of those registrations, and achieve brand awareness from attendees who will be learning about your company or organization. The process is easier said than done if you’re not privy to the tricks-of-the-trade employed by successful sellers and marketers.

1. DON'T SETTLE FOR ONE REGISTRATION TYPE
People like having choices. Give potential attendees multiple options. Aside from a basic registration, what other options can you add
Here are some ideas:

EARLY BIRD
Award those who reserve their registration early by giving them a discount. Whatever date you begin selling registrations, create a window of opportunity for attendees to get a discount. If you begin selling registrations two months out from the event, for example, then consider a discount price for the first two weeks. Heavily advertise this to get people to take advantage of the offer. Aside from the cheaper price, early bird sales also ensure that those who buy early are guaranteed a spot. This also prevents you from having too many registrations that have to be sold last minute.

HALF-DAY OR PROGRAM SPECIFIC REGISTRATIONS
If your event spans the course of a weekend or a whole day, then provide partial day access for those that cannot attend the whole event. Keep in mind that there are those who would like to attend but are unable to spare a weekend or even a full day. Provide people in this situation with the option to attend for just the afternoon or evening portion of the event.

LIMITED ACCESS REGISTRATIONS
If the event contains multiple booths, workshops and presentations, consider providing registrations that are only good for a certain aspect of the event. Some attendees may only be interested in just one of the workshops or just want to attend one lecture.

Limited access registrations give these attendees the option to do just that without having to pay the price of a regular registration.

2. GET SPONSORS INVOLVED
Remember, a bigger turnout means more potential new clients for the sponsors, so they are just as invested as you are for a successful event. Also, sponsors likely have bigger name recognition than your company; if they didn’t then they would be the ones turning to you for sponsorship. Make your sponsors help you by offering all the same registration options and discounts you give your own followers. To make the work easier for your sponsors, let them use some of your own marketing material. You can, for instance, give them email copies of your own newsletters complete with a call-to-action and link to the event page. This way, sponsors can use the copy for their own newsletter and not have to write up their own.

3. MARKET YOUR EVENT AS EDUCATIONAL AND FUN
The primary focus should be the educational content. However, keep in mind that guests don’t just consist of your core demographic; they also consist of family members, friends, and third wheels of that demographic. Do you think these people really care for your event and all the workshops and lectures that will probably put them to sleep?

To make it worthwhile for them, promote the fun aspect of the event. Will there be entertainment, such as an after-event dance party or a professional entertainer? If so, then there is no such thing as overemphasizing it.

4. UPSELL REGISTRATIONS
Upselling is somewhat of a controversial sales tactic due to its overtly promotional nature. However, most people agree that upselling can be effective as long as you don’t shove one product after another down your customers’ throat.

Keeping it to one product after a purchase should work just fine. In this case, upsell your registrations at a discount price as a thank you offer for customers that make a purchase or sign up for a service. Be sure to include a strong call-to-action. Here is a sample of how to write an upsell offer:

Thank you so much for being a (company name) customer. As a token of our appreciation for being a valued customer, we would like to offer you a chance to be one of our guests for our upcoming event. Click below for an exclusive, discount registration price available only through this page.

5. STREAMLINE THE PROCESS
Simplify the process for your attendees by using a software program like Eventinterface. Such programs contain features that make it easy for you to include discount codes and multiple payment options. This also includes options for foreign transactions to enable foreign payments.

This comes in really handy if expecting oversea guests. For all other guests, it just makes the process easier for them as their registrations can be reserved online by just inputting their basic information.

6. HOST FRIENDLY COMPETITIONS WITH GIVEAWAYS
Use your social media outlets to host a few contests with registrations as the winning prizes. Consumers love interactive experiences, and a competition is a great way to get participants involved in a way that draws hype and anticipation. So what kind of competition should you host? Create a contest that requires participants to use their own social media accounts to advertise your event.

Here are a few ideas:

- Contest to see who can send the most tweets containing your event hashtag
- A photo contest where selfies are taken and edited using your company or event logo as part of the background
- Contest to see who can create an event slogan for the event and draw the most “likes”

SELLING REGISTRATIONS IS ALL IN A DAYS WORK
Selling registrations doesn’t have to be a complicated venture. You just have to know what kind of strategy to use and put it into practice in a result-oriented way. If you put in a wholehearted effort, then there is no reason why registrations or event tickets shouldn’t reach sold-out or close to sold-out status.

Dan McCarthy, Event Manager at JD PartiesThis is a guest post by Dan McCarthy, Event Manager at JD Parties, 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 @DanCarthy2.

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Wed, 21 Oct 2015 06:00:00 +0000 info@eventinterface.com (Al Wynant) http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/6-Marketing-Tips-To-Increase-Event-Registration-Sales
Interviews with Planners - Will Curran http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Interviews-with-Planners--Will-Curran

As founder of Endless Entertainment, Will Curran has been named one of the 40 under 40 event industry leaders, 35 entrepreneurs under the age of 35, and Inc Magazine’s Coolest College Start-up all before graduating college. Will has been producing events since high school when he started his first company and has now worked in production of large event clients such as Emerald City Comicon, Anheuser-Busch, and the Color Run. His team’s mission is to simplify the event planning process by creating the equation for an event’s perfect solution. They also relentlessly seek to be the name in customer service in the events industry. From event logistics to business development to technical production, Will Curran has a diverse background in growing events and companies to the next level.

What is the best advice you have ever received as a planner?
There are hundreds and hundreds of events. We are all naturally creative people but too many people are thinking “outside of the box” instead it’s time to just CRUSH the box and start from scratch. Too many people are taking ideas from others, sometimes you need to look for inspiration outside of events to really take your events to the next level.

What is the most unique location you have ever planned an event at? What was great, what was challenging?
So this was not the largest event I ever did, but we once decided to load a bunch of lighting, and sound equipment to the middle of a canyon. Most 4x4s could not make it up the final hill to the location we went to because you needed a true 4x4 lifted Jeep. We had to bring our own generator to power everything and when the sun went down, we had a huge dance party under the stars. The music echoed all the way down the canyon.

What advice would you give to someone entering the business today?
Your network equals your net worth. Start building your LinkedIn network and start asking people to lunch and breakfast. Never eat alone. It isn’t about what you know but who you know. Don’t sell anything, just ask questions and learn and buy that person lunch. You’ll learn more doing this and also build a friend in the industry at the same time.

What do you see as the most challenging aspect of being a planner, and how do you overcome that challenge?
Being organized. I think as a planner you have a lot of things going on, and it’s really easy to be stressed. Early on you need to build your system for staying organized. I recommend looking into software and physical tools to stay organized so you don’t have to be panicked when you need something. When you are calm, cool, and collected it shows!

How do you think our industry will evolve in the next five years?
I think we are entering a really interesting space where the networking aspect of events will become very important to why people attend, if not the most important. I hear often that people go to (especially corporate events) and they don’t attend any of the educational sessions because they can catch the recording later. So first, making sure you can digest your content post-event but also that people have an awesome way of meeting other people. The speakers alone aren’t enough!

What makes you successful as a planner?
My passion. I think planning is extremely stressful, and confusing. However, due to my passion I am always able to look on the bright side and do it with a smile. The client appreciates this because they know I’ll do the extra mile and work late for them and that I can get people to rally behind me because of my passion.

In your opinion, what is the best and worst industry trend of the year?
Worst trend is all of the event technology coming out at once. With the flood of new apps, it is extremely crowded space that is also very distracting; you end up spending more time wondering how to integrate XYZ cool technology than about the attendee experience as a whole. I think we need some really focused efforts to improve the experience rather than 100’s of apps coming out a week.

Best trend is the more common occurrence of live streaming. With apps like Periscope and Meerkat becoming main stream, it’s easier for people to take part and be at events without being there personally. Most music festivals are online so with a good sound system, you can feel like you are there and see your favorite artists play.

What is the best industry book that has helped you as a planner?
I don’t really read a lot of industry books, however I can recommend one outside of the industry! Crush that box! Brain Rules by John J. Medina was fantastic. It talks about psychology and some basic rules that govern our brain and how it effects us a work, home and school. Must read to see how the brain works and how that can actually effect your events. For example, the brain craves to have a nap in the afternoon, so maybe you need to have nap time at your next event? Just saying!

CONNECT WITH WILL:
Will Curran
President
Endless Entertainment
LinkedIn
Facebook
Twitter: @itswillcurran
Email: will@helloendless.com
Phone: 602 456-4764

Event and Meeting Planner Newsletter

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Tue, 20 Oct 2015 06:00:00 +0000 info@eventinterface.com (Al Wynant) http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Interviews-with-Planners--Will-Curran
Interviews with Planners - Shelby Olivier http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Interviews-with-Planners--Shelby-Olivier Shelby Olivier is a Program Manager for Red Velvet Events, a Global DMC Partner in Austin, TX. Shelby first began in the events industry as a Catering Sales Representative to earn money while attending college. She then moved on to become The Director of Marketing and Special Events for a venue in Georgia, earning her bachelors degree at the same time. She became a Program Manager after completing a summer internship program with Red Velvet Events, a Global DMC Partner.

What is the best advice you have ever received as a planner?
Be PROACTIVE, not REACTIVE.

What is the most unique location you have ever planned an event at? What was great, what was challenging?
I’m currently working on a program that will basically create a mini campus out of the entire downtown area of Austin. It is great working with so many venues as a partnership, and seeing how competitors can work together for something huge. The challenge is working with different venues that each have different procedures and limitations, and trying to find consistency in the project as a whole.

What advice would you give to someone entering the business today?
Make yourself valuable. You should constantly be evaluating the level of service you are providing your clients with and asking yourself “would I pay me what I charge people?” You need to understand that you are offering customer service, and think about what experience you are giving your client. If they were reviewing you on Yelp what do you think they would say?

What do you see as the most challenging aspect of being a planner, and how do you overcome that challenge?
One thing that can be challenging about being a planner is managing expectations of your clients, your partners and attendees. The best way to overcome this is by over-communicating, over-communicating, and then over-communicating a little more. 

How do you think our industry will evolve in the next five years?
I think we’ll see a lot more RFID technology being utilized for corporate clients as a way to record analytics for event marketing and internal purposes.

What makes you successful as a planner?
We have a hashtag we frequently use at Red Velvet Events, which is #alwaysbelearning, and I think that is extremely critical in this industry (and any industry) where things are changing every single day. You should constantly be aware of new vendors and venues moving into your city, but also the trends and what other planners are doing in other cities. This industry is unique in that we have the opportunity to be constantly inspiring each other. 

In your opinion, what is the best and worst industry trend of the year?
Best: healthier catering options.
Worst: Mason Jars and chalkboard signs.

What is the best industry book that has helped you as a planner?
The Accidental Creative: How to Be Brilliant At A Moment’s Notice, By Todd Henry

CONNECT WITH SHELBY:
Shelby Olivier
Program Manager
Red Velvet Events
LinkedIn
Twitter: @ShelbyRVE
Email: Shelby@redvelvetevents.com
Affiliations or Memberships: ISES-Austin Chapter, MPI-THCC, Austin Young Chamber

Event and Meeting Planner Newsletter

 

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Mon, 19 Oct 2015 07:00:00 +0000 info@eventinterface.com (Al Wynant) http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Interviews-with-Planners--Shelby-Olivier
First Time Exhibitor? Top Tips To Help You Prepare. http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/First-Time-Exhibitor--Top-Tips-To-Help-You-Prepare Exhibiting for the first time at a conference or trade event can be a daunting experience.  We discovered great tips from first time exhibitor and top sales professional Mark Jamnik. He attended his first trade show and learned some valuable lessons.

We find Mark’s suggestions around homework, booth focus, collateral, the team and anticipating what happens beyond the show invaluable. Click here to learn for yourself.

Lead in photograph courtesy of Mark Jamnik.

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Tue, 13 Oct 2015 19:19:00 +0000 info@eventinterface.com (Al Wynant) http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/First-Time-Exhibitor--Top-Tips-To-Help-You-Prepare
Improving The Event Planner’s Work Life http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Improving-The-Event-Planners-Work-Life Meeting and Event Professionals have a difficult task to track all aspects of the event planning and management process. Talented and well-meaning designers have developed many of the software tools and apps on the market for us. Rarely however have any of them been in the trenches. What does this mean to us planners?

With more than 25 years of international experience, and having planned events for as many as 125,000 attendees, we’ve been in the trenches – a lot. We have learned how technology can make the life of Event and Meeting Professionals easier, and today we wanted to share some of that experience and tips in helping you make the right technology decisions.

PLANNERS LIKE EVERYTHING JUST RIGHT
We know what we want, we understand what our clients want and we are determined to deliver! Many of the technology tools however are not designed to be as flexible as we desire. To deliver 100% on our vision we need a budget that would allow for custom event technology, and that however is unrealistic for most. So what are we to do?

WHY DON’T PEOPLE UNDERSTAND US?
We do have our own vocabulary that may sound like a different language to outsiders. BEOs, attrition, plus plus, CVB, DMC, ETA and more! When working with sales teams at technology companies we learn quite fast that we may be misunderstood. We attempt to solve a problem for our event, but the other side doesn’t quite understand what it takes to manage my event. If I am not understood, can the solution deliver?

THERE ARE ONLY 168 HOURS IN A WEEK
Planning events takes time. It is not just about the registrations. It is about customer service, hospitality, logistics, content gathering and distribution and so much more. Events are complicated puzzles that take an enormous amount of time, resources and energy to plan.  If a technology solution only supports a small part of my job, is it worth the investment? What solution can I implement to truly save time and increase efficiency?

HERE IS OUR ADVICE

  1. Understand what your true needs are. What are your or your clients’ top 3 must haves in a tech solution? What problem are you really trying to solve?
  2. Define your budget.
  3. Understand you audience but don’t underestimate it. Its unfair to assume your audience isn’t sophisticated enough to buy and engage online. 80% of the online population has shopped online. In the United States alone there were more than 200 million online shoppers in 2014, and that numbers continues to grow. 
  4. Think outside of the box and reason through how a tech solution can help you generate more revenue, i.e. pay for itself and more. How it can increase your attendee engagement, and how it can make your job more efficient. Using one solution versus a fragmented set of tools will greatly increase those benefits. One end-to-end planning tool will increase your efficiency and decrease overall event cost.
  5. Will the technology tool become a valued member of your team or yet another tool for you to manage? How easy is it to use?
  6. When researching discuss your top 3 must haves and listen how the sales person guides you through the process. Do they really understand events? Have they been in the trenches? If so, you have a winner!

Want to learn how the Eventinterface event management platform can help you? Eventinterface has been designed by planners for planners. We have been in the trenches! Sign up for a demo today here and see how we can improve your work life. 

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Thu, 08 Oct 2015 06:44:00 +0000 info@eventinterface.com (Al Wynant) http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Improving-The-Event-Planners-Work-Life