Eventinterface http://blog.eventinterface.com Resource Blog & News en-US Copyright 2016, Eventinterface Wed, 23 Nov 2016 06:00:00 -0700 Sat, 10 Dec 2016 03:46:26 -0700 60 Giving Thanks http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Giving-Thanks <p>Happy Thanksgiving to you and your loved ones, we so appreciate being connected with you, and we wish you a wonderful, safe and joy-filled holiday weekend.</p> <p>Should you be working this holiday weekend &ndash;but we hope you get to spend it with family and friends instead- note that we are here to help. Feel free to submit a chat request or connect via email and we will get back with you shortly.</p> <p>Happy Thanksgiving</p> http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Giving-Thanks Wed, 23 Nov 2016 06:00:00 -0700 Black Friday Event Tech Specials http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Black-Friday-Event-Tech-Specials <p>As you prepare&nbsp;for your 2017 conferences and events, and perhaps evaluating budgets and tools to assist you, Eventinterface is offering a truly special Black Friday opportunity: <strong><u>save 30%</u></strong> on all subscriptions now through November 30, 2016.</p> <p>Eventinterface is the end-to-end meeting and conference management platform that lets you easily promote your conferences and events, manage your attendees, create more revenue and engage your participants in powerful communities.</p> <p>As you can imagine, a 30% 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, November 30, 2016. &nbsp;To qualify, you must execute&nbsp;your agreement by November 30, 2016; you may however push the actual start date of service up to&nbsp;March 31, 2017.</p> <p>Request your personal demo <a href="https://calendly.com/eventinterface/demo/11-17-2016" target="_blank">here</a> to get started.</p> <p>Questions? Send us a note <a href="mailto:MemberServices@Eventinterface.com">here</a>.&nbsp;</p> http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Black-Friday-Event-Tech-Specials Fri, 18 Nov 2016 06:00:00 -0700 5 Top Tips For Successful Participant Engagement http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/5-Top-Tips-For-Successful-Participant-Engagement <p><a href="https://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Attendee-engagement-from-basic-to-complete-campaigns" target="_blank"><img alt="Attendee Engagement Conference Engagement Participant Engagement with Eventinterface" src="https://eieventimages.s3.amazonaws.com/1479073927_5-steps-to-engagement-success.png" style="width: 848px; height: 3000px;" /></a></p> http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/5-Top-Tips-For-Successful-Participant-Engagement Tue, 15 Nov 2016 06:00:00 -0700 Meeting Professionals International Announces 2017 Boards http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Meeting-Professionals-International-Announces-2017-Boards <p>MPI has announced the newly elected Board of Directors for the organization and the MPI Foundation Global Board of Trustees.&nbsp; Brian Stevens, CEO of ConferenceDirect will be the chair of the MPI Board of Directors. Jim Russell, Executive Vice President of Sales at Freeman is the incoming chair of the MPI Foundation Global Board of Trustees.</p> <p>The new volunteer board members will start their term on January 1, 2017.</p> <p><span style="color:#90bf5c;"><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>2017 MPI Board of Directors &ndash; Officers</strong></span></span></p> <ul> <li>Chair: Brian Stevens, CEO, ConferenceDirect, CA</li> <li>Chair-Elect: Amanda Armstrong, CMP, corporate travel and meetings manager, Enterprise Holdings Inc., St. Louis, MO</li> <li>Vice Chair of Finance: Gerrit Jessen, CMP, CMM, regional managing director Germany, Austria and Czech Republic, MCI Deutschland GmbH, Berlin, Germany</li> <li>Immediate Past Chair: Fiona Pelham, managing director, Sustainable Events Ltd and Positive Impact, Manchester, United Kingdom</li> </ul> <p><span style="color:#90bf5c;"><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>2017 MPI Board of Directors &ndash; Members</strong></span></span></p> <ul> <li>Bonnie Carlson, CDME, president &amp; CEO, Bloomington Convention &amp; Visitors Bureau, Bloomington, MN</li> <li>Jason Carroll, CMP, Regional Account Executive, Visit Tampa Bay, Washington, DC</li> <li>Angie Duncan, CMP, CMM, US client account specialist, Touch Associates, Indianapolis, IN</li> <li>Annette Gregg, CMP, CMM, MBA, vice president &ndash; Corporate West, AlliedPRA, San Diego, CA</li> <li>Anne Hamilton, vice president, Global Travel, The Walt Disney Company, Lake Buena Vista, FL</li> <li>Michael Massari, chief sales officer, Caesars Entertainment, Las Vegas, NV</li> <li>Kevin Olsen, president, Founding Partner, Keyway, LLC, Aurora, IL</li> <li>Steve O&rsquo;Malley, division president, Maritz Travel, St. Louis, MO</li> <li>Ken Sanders, president, Freeman Audio Visual Solutions, Dallas, TX</li> <li>Courtney Stanley, marketing strategist, Courtney Stanley Consulting, Grand Haven, MI</li> <li>Helle Svaneborg, exhibition and conference director, Danish Pharmaceutical Information, Copenhagen, Denmark</li> <li>Marti Winer, MBA, chief of staff, Drew University, Madison, NJ</li> </ul> <p><span style="color:#90bf5c;"><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>2017 MPI Foundation Global Board of Trustees &ndash; Officers</strong></span></span></p> <ul> <li>Chair: Jim Russell, executive vice president, Sales, Freeman, Dallas, TX</li> <li>Chair-Elect: Jordan Clark, vice president of sales, Caesars Entertainment, Las Vegas, NV</li> <li>Vice Chair of Development: Carole McKellar, MA, CMM, managing director, Northern Europe, HelmsBriscoe, Macclesfield, United Kingdom [EMEA Council Chair]</li> <li>Vice Chair of Finance &ndash; Gregg Hopkins, president, Gregg Hopkins and Associates, Orlando, FL</li> <li>Vice Chair of Programs &ndash; Chandra Allison, vice president sales, The Venetian and The Palazzo Hotels, Las Vegas, NV</li> <li>Immediate Past Chair: Stephen Revetria, senior vice president, Giants Enterprises, San Franciso, CA</li> </ul> <p><span style="color:#90bf5c;"><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>2017 MPI Foundation Global Board of Trustees &ndash; Members</strong></span></span></p> <ul> <li>Carol Bullock, Senior Vice President, Global Sales, Wyndham Hotel Group, Parsippany, NJ</li> <li>Doreen Burse, vice president, global sales, corporate accounts, Marriott International, Chicago, IL</li> <li>D. Bradley Kent, chief sales and services officer, Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau, Dallas, TX</li> <li>Kevin Kirby, vice president business development of North America, PicSolve, Orlando, FL</li> <li>Laurie Knapp, vice president &ndash; global sales, PSAV, Mokena, IIL</li> <li>Trevor Lui, director of operations and sustainability, The International Centre, Toronto, Canada (Canada Council Chair)</li> <li>Anthony Miller, chief marketing officer, Lanyon, Dallas, TX</li> <li>Rob Scypinski, senior vice president, Hotel Sales-The Americas, Hilton Worldwide, San Francisco, CA</li> <li>Junior Tauvaa, senior vice president, sales and services, Visit Anaheim, Anaheim, CA</li> <li>Alison Taylor, senior vice president, American Airlines, Dallas, TX</li> <li>Diana Voto, national sales director, Disney Destinations, Orlando, FL (US Council Chair)</li> <li>Angela Xavier, CSP, vice president, Americas Sales, InterContinental Hotel Group, Atlanta, GA</li> </ul> <p><em>Picture: Brian Stevens, CEO ConferenceDirect.</em></p> <p>Visit <a href="http://www.mpiweb.org/home" target="_blank">Meeting Professionals International</a></p> http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Meeting-Professionals-International-Announces-2017-Boards Mon, 14 Nov 2016 06:00:00 -0700 TSA Halting PreCheck Expansion http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/TSA-Halting-PreCheck-Expansion <p>Cybersecurity concerns have resulted in the abandoning of the TSA PreCheck expansion program. According to Politico.com TSA officials have been working over the last year to partner with private companies to expand the PreCheck application network, but the increase in cybersecurity risks has forced the agency to call off its search.</p> <p>Read the article at <a href="http://www.travelpulse.com/news/impacting-travel/tsa-abandons-precheck-expansion-search-due-to-cybersecurity-concerns.html" target="_blank">TravelPulse</a>.</p> http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/TSA-Halting-PreCheck-Expansion Sat, 12 Nov 2016 06:00:00 -0700 Security Threats and Your Conference http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Security-Threats-and-Your-Conference <p>Meeting Professionals International (MPI) has published its Meetings Outlook 2016 Fall Edition in partnership with MGM Resorts International. The report highlights a greater awareness of security threats amongst meeting and conference planners, and increased spending on security measures.</p> <p>Meeting and conference planners are keenly aware of the threats their events face. It is no longer enough to just think about simple safety issues. Planners must now consider terrorism, contagious viruses, political unrest and protests when sourcing and planning their conferences and meetings. This edition of Meetings Outlook highlights that meeting professionals are giving safety and security top priority in their spending. The report also continues to highlight favorable growth.</p> <p><span style="color:#90bf5c;"><span style="font-size:18px;"><strong>Report highlights:</strong></span></span></p> <ul> <li>15 percent of meeting professionals have increased threat awareness and response preparedness.</li> <li>14 percent of meeting professionals stated security concerns influence destination selection.</li> <li>Good news too is a 4 percent increase in the belief that business conditions are favorable compared to the last quarter. 67 percent of respondents predict favorable business conditions compared to 63 percent in the previous quarter.</li> <li>60 percent of respondents predict attendance growth with live event attendance to grow by 1.9 percent and virtual attendance by 2.4 percent.</li> <li>Only 8 percent of respondents believe that meeting planners are making the most of event technology.</li> </ul> <p>View the full report <a href="http://www.mpiweb.org/docs/default-source/meetings-outlook/meetings-outlook-fall-2016-lr.pdf?Status=Temp&amp;sfvrsn=2" target="_blank">here</a>.</p> http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Security-Threats-and-Your-Conference Wed, 09 Nov 2016 15:56:00 -0700 Top News for Conference and Meeting Planners http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Top-News-for-Conference-and-Meeting-Planners <p>IMEX 2016 breaks attendee records, Event Pro Update launches and Bermudian returns to lead BTA in 2016. This and more in our latest news update for Meeting and Conference Planners.</p> <p><span style="color:#90bf5c;"><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>IMEX 2016 America Breaking Records Once Again</strong></span></span><br /> The latest statistics released for IMEX America, which took place 18 &ndash; 20 October, confirm that 12,227 meetings, events and incentive travel industry professionals were at the show in Las Vegas, a 14 percent increase over the previous year.&nbsp; A record number of 3,216 hosted buyers from 60 counties attended the show, a six percent increase over the previous year.<br /> <a href="http://www.imexamerica.com/press/news-releases/imex-news-releases/2016/11/showstats2016/" target="_blank">More details</a>.</p> <p><span style="color:#90bf5c;"><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>Analyzing the Conference Behaviors of Fortune 1000 Executives</strong></span></span><br /> A recent study analyzes and predicts the behaviors of executives and why they attend, sponsor or exhibit at conferences and conventions.<br /> See the studie&nbsp;<a href="https://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Analyzing-The-Conference-Behaviors-of-Fortune-1000-Executives" target="_blank">here</a>.</p> <p><span style="color:#90bf5c;"><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>Event Pro Update Launches</strong></span></span><br /> Event Pro Update aggregates top stories meeting and event planners are reading around the web and displays them in an easy-to-consume format. Eventinterface is thrilled to be a content partner of Event Pro Update.<br /> <a href="http://www.eventproupdate.com" target="_blank">Visit the site</a>.</p> <p><span style="color:#90bf5c;"><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>Bermudian Returns Home to Lead BTA in 2017</strong></span></span><br /> David Dodwell, Chairman of the Bermuda Tourism Authority (BTA), confirmed the appointment of Bermudian, Kevin Dallas to the post of Chief Executive Officer for the Bermuda Tourism Authority. Mr. Dallas is set to officially occupy the post in January 2017 once current CEO, Bill Hanbury completes his contract on December 31, 2016.<br /> Details <a href="http://www.gotobermuda.com/bta/press-release/bermudian-returns-home-to-lead-bta-2017" target="_blank">here</a>.</p> <p><span style="color:#90bf5c;"><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>Should Meeting and Conference Planners Care About Event Technology?</strong></span></span><br /> 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.<br /> Details <a href="https://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Should-meeting-planners-care-about-event-technology" target="_blank">here</a>.&nbsp;</p> http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Top-News-for-Conference-and-Meeting-Planners Tue, 08 Nov 2016 06:00:00 -0700 Analyzing The Conference Behaviors of Fortune 1000 Executives http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Analyzing-The-Conference-Behaviors-of-Fortune-1000-Executives <p>Market Research Company <a href="https://www.goodmanlantern.com" target="_blank">Goodman Lantern</a> recently published a study featuring research on the behaviors of executives and why they attend, sponsor or exhibit at conferences and conventions.</p> <p>It was the company&rsquo;s goal to discover why corporate executives elect to attend certain business events, how they gather information and what influences their decision to either participating as an attendee, sponsor or exhibitor. 191 top executives participated in this study.</p> <p><span style="color:#90bf5c;"><strong><span style="font-size:16px;">BY THE NUMBERS</span></strong></span></p> <ul> <li>The study revealed that 68.9% of executives primarily attend conferences to network.</li> <li>53.5% of respondents shared that the conference website and blog is the main method used to learn about a conference or event.</li> <li>42.1% of executives register more than 1 year in advance, followed by 27.9% who sign up between 6 months to 1 year prior to the conference.</li> <li>51.3% of respondents wanted the conference be a thought leader before considering sponsoring or exhibiting.</li> <li>79.2% of execs prefer communications and distribution of materials and follow up reports via email.</li> </ul> <p>The complete report details fantastic information, helpful to conference planners and marketers in attracting top executives to their conferences and events. Get the complete report <a href="https://www.goodmanlantern.com/blog/2016/10/6/survey-on-why-top-level-executives-attend-conferences" target="_blank">here</a>.</p> <p>Source:&nbsp;<a href="https://www.goodmanlantern.com" target="_blank">Goodman Lantern</a>&nbsp;</p> <p>Read our post on why audiences at large attend conferences <a href="https://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Top-5-Reasons-Why-People-Attend-Conferences" target="_blank">here</a>.&nbsp;</p> http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Analyzing-The-Conference-Behaviors-of-Fortune-1000-Executives Thu, 03 Nov 2016 06:00:00 -0700 How to save 60 hours planning your conference http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/How-to-save-60-hours-planning-your-conference <p>Meeting and conference planners spend on average 60 hours per conference sourcing, reviewing, negotiating and finalizing venue contracts. On this episode of Event TALK we share how you can get that time back. We are speaking with Jasmine Eldeen, Director of Global Accounts with HelmsBriscoe, we chat about best practices for meeting planners in working with a hotel sourcing company.</p> <p><span style="color:#90bf5c;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong>Listen to show host Al Wynant and guest Jasmine Eldeen discuss the following:</strong></span></span></p> <ul> <li>How is HelmsBriscoe different from a Convention and Visitors Bureau? Is there a distinct difference between what your organization offers vs. a Convention and Visitor Bureau or Destination Marketing Organization?</li> <li>How does a planner typically initiate a relationship with a hotel sourcing company, and what do you need in order to develop a successful partnership with the planner? In essence, what are the key pieces of information you need to provide a planner with a great proposal?</li> <li>When planners evaluate hotels, what are the key pieces of information they should research to insure the venue they select can provide the service needed, and how does a company like HelmsBriscoe help with that evaluation?&nbsp;</li> <li>What are the benefits for a meeting or conference planner to be working with a hotel sourcing company?</li> <li>Looking towards the future, what are some of the trends that you see that will change how meeting and conference planners work with a hotel sourcing company?</li> <li>Top 3 tips for meeting planners in working with a company like HelmsBriscoe.</li> </ul> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:16px;"><span style="color:#90bf5c;"><strong>LISTEN TO THE SHOW</strong></span></span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <audio controls=""><source src=" https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/eieventtalk/HelmsBriscoe.mp3 " type="audio/mpeg" /> Your browser does not support this audio element.</audio> </p> <p><span style="color:#90bf5c;"><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>ABOUT OUR GUEST</strong></span></span><br /> Jasmine Eldeen joined HelmsBriscoe as Director, Global Accounts in 2015, and is based in Minneapolis, MN. Jasmine has tallied more than 15 years working with leading brands in hospitality, including Hilton Hotels &amp; Resorts, Marriott International and Starwood Hotels &amp; Resorts. This experience means she intimately understands the inner workings of the hotel, meeting and event industry. From sourcing to mitigation, and everything in between, she is here to assist.<br /> <br /> Jasmine brings passion, energy and dedication to every project. Her high level of commitment gives you the results and solutions you seek in a partner. Jasmine is committed to delivering efficient, exceptional and expert services, so her Clients are 100% satisfied. When Jasmine is not helping her Clients secure hotels for their meetings, she can be found networking at a local or global hospitality industry event through her involvement with Meeting Professional International (MPI), Global Travel Association (GBTA), Meet Minneapolis, Bloomington Chamber of Commerce and Edina Chamber of Commerce.</p> <p><span style="color:#90bf5c;"><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>CONTACT JASMINE ELDEEN</strong></span></span><br /> Jasmine Eldeen,&nbsp;Director, Global Accounts<br /> HelmsBriscoe<br /> Phone:&nbsp;952.334.9271<br /> <a href="mailto:jeldeen@helmsbriscoe.com">jeldeen@helmsbriscoe.com</a></p> http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/How-to-save-60-hours-planning-your-conference Tue, 01 Nov 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 or convention? 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, product or cause. 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. Content is king!&nbsp;</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. Networking and conversations are especially important to the <a href="https://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Top-Tips-for-Meeting-Planners-on-Engaging-With-Millennials" target="_blank">millennial</a> generation.</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, and keep engaged with participants post-event. Planners need to find ways to collect data on how attendees implemented what they learned and what the long-term return on investment is for the attendee and or company he or she represented at the conference.&nbsp;</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. Allow for on-site lead generation, attendee matching and appointment scheduling.&nbsp;Shameless plug, <a href="https://www.eventinterface.com/ourtools" target="_blank">Eventinterface</a> allows this.&nbsp;</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 to encourage registration.</p> <p>What is important to you? Share with us in the comment section below.&nbsp;</p> <p>Updated, October 26, 2016</p> http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Top-5-Reasons-Why-People-Attend-Conferences Wed, 26 Oct 2016 06:00:00 -0700 Attendee engagement, from basic to complete campaigns http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Attendee-engagement-from-basic-to-complete-campaigns <p>Not a day goes by without the importance of attendee engagement being hammered into our consciousness. The reality of conference planning is that there are only 24-hours in a day. How can we as meeting and conference planners participate in the latest trends, event technology and production while still getting our job done? It is not easy, and perhaps you cannot do it all. One thing is sure; engagement is becoming one of the key metrics whereby the success of conferences and events are judged. In this post we are sharing our top tips to insure engagement success even if you have little time or resources available.</p> <p><span style="color:#90bf5c;"><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>ENGAGEMENT DEFINED</strong></span></span></p> <p>Lets first address the meaning of engagement. In our interpretation we don&rsquo;t look at this topic as attendee engagement, we call it stakeholder or participant engagement. Conferences, conventions and events involve much more than your traditional attendees. It includes your staff, vendors, volunteers, attendees, exhibitors, sponsors and the community you are hosting your event in. These are all participants who hold a stake in the success of your conference or event.</p> <p>&ldquo;At <a href="https://www.Eventinterface.com" target="_blank">Eventinterface</a> we are strong believers that the engagement process kicks off when a meeting or conference is announced, and a deeper involvement starts when the participants signs up to join the event,&rdquo; said <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/alwynant" target="_blank">Al Wynant</a>, Eventinterface Co-Founder and CEO. &ldquo;It is no longer about what happens at the conference, it starts when the participant signs up and is truly never ending. At Eventinterface we believe in the creation of long-term communities around a brand, cause, product, company or organization through engagement pre-, during and post-event.&rdquo;</p> <p><span style="color:#90bf5c;"><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>WHERE TO START?</strong></span></span></p> <p>Engaging your participants requires a great deal of talent. You will need social media experts, content specialists, marketing and PR professionals to run an engagement campaign. The reality however is that many conferences are planned by volunteer committees, and if a professional planner is hired, their job will mostly focus on the logistics, leaving little time to focus on engaging participants. So where do you start? What will be your participant engagement strategy?</p> <p>Right from the start, find out what you and your participants are comfortable with. There are no do overs in engagement land. You can start small, and as you become better at this, expand your engagement opportunities. Can you implement social media? Are you ready for apps? Are you aggregating content worth engaging with? How about gamification? What are your long-term goals and do you have the budget, people power and knowledge to accomplish all of this?</p> <p>Lets take a look at all of the engagement opportunities and what you will need to do to successfully execute them. From there, involve the people on your team or committee who will commit to the execution of the plan.</p> <p><span style="color:#90bf5c;"><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>SOCIAL MEDIA</strong></span></span></p> <p>A large percentage of people use social media privately, professionally or both, so it stands to reasons that social media will play a significant role in engaging your participants. As of the writing of this post, Facebook has over 1.7 billion monthly active users <sup>a</sup>. Twitter has about 313 million active monthly users <sup>b</sup> and LinkedIn has over 450 million registered users <sup>c</sup>.&nbsp; These numbers are staggering and social media can help your event from the ground up. You may get your participants to start talking about your event in their virtual circles, promote your project and engage their connections, driving attendance for your conference or event. It is however not as easy as it sounds. There are some key items you will need to know before starting your social engagement campaign.</p> <p>Is your event a professional or social event? Your type of event may indicate the social channels you will need to use. Facebook is great for social events; LinkedIn may be more suited for professional events.</p> <p>What social media outlets do your prospect participants actively use? Are they using the familiar ones, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn? Are they using more obscure platforms geared towards a specific industry or cause? There are more than 200 active social media sites out there <sup>d</sup>. Utilizing a platform around a cause may provide for increased engagement since all users are interested in the cause versus a more general social media platform where you will have to find a voice amongst many users and causes.<br /> <br /> Will you use social media to promote your conference, or ask for feedback to help create the program or theme of the conference?</p> <p>It is key to have a good understanding of what you want to accomplish prior to starting your campaign. Define your end goal, then start creating the messaging that gets you to your goal. Assign the day-to-day management of your social engagement campaign to a committee or team member, or professional equipped to do the job. Plan on starting your campaign as soon as you start talking about your conference or event publicly.</p> <p>A hashtag can be important to a project, so create one early and encourage your participants to use it. Social media may seem easy, it isn&rsquo;t. This is not the place to do a mediocre job.&nbsp; This is your place to capture the attention of your prospect participants. You have a handful of seconds for the social media user to notice you and engage with your post.</p> <p>Last but not least, you will need to assign someone to manage onsite social media engagement during your event.&nbsp; You will need to post, monitor and respond to participant posts throughout your event.</p> <p>Looking for best times to post on the most popular social media sites? Take a peek at <a href="http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/best-times-post-pin-tweet-social-media-infographic" target="_blank">this infographic</a> by Lindsay Kolowich on Hubspot&rsquo;s blog. &nbsp;</p> <p><span style="color:#90bf5c;"><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>MOBILE AND RESPONSIVE TOOLS</strong></span></span></p> <p>The next level of tools to engage your participants is mobile technology and responsive websites. Mobile technology and responsive sites are transforming how people use the Internet at a rapid pace. The abovementioned social media sites have mobile apps and most modern websites now feature a responsive version for access on mobile devices without having to download an app.</p> <p>As you go by evaluating mobile apps for your conference or event it will be key to understand how you will want to use the app to engage your participants and accomplish other goals of your project.</p> <p>The engagement aspects of apps or responsive sites can include a wide variety of options. Participants can scan QR-coded name badges, view programs with content and create itineraries. Chat or text with other participants, schedule appointments, ask questions of speakers, participate in surveys or polling for instantaneous access to results.</p> <p>It is key as you review your options, that you understand your attendees and the rules around their mobile devices. If your audience is made up of individuals with corporate phones, many may not be allowed to download an external app on their phone. A responsive solution will be key for this group.</p> <p>At the same time, understanding the app or platform you want to implement is key. Is it a self-serve tool, or will you receive support from the vendor in setting up the app or responsive site for your conference? What will you have to invest in time, resources and money to implement the app or site?</p> <p>In a recent study conducted by Eventinterface we learned that slightly over 60 percent of participants download a mobile app created for an event with less than 20 percent of those actively using the app during the conference, and dropping to under 2 percent for long-term use <sup>e</sup>. We found that responsive website use via browsers on mobile devices had a use during conferences of over 70 percent of participants with long-term use at 40 percent <sup>e</sup>.</p> <p><span style="color:#90bf5c;"><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>GAMES</strong></span></span></p> <p>You have probably heard the word gamification, and yes technically it is all about games and play, but not without a purpose. Gamification is an engagement tool that allows planners to guide participants to a particular area, session, sponsor or exhibitor at a conference. It can also be used as a learning tool, allowing participants to soak up valuable content in a more playful atmosphere.</p> <p>Gamification can be part of your mobile app or responsive tool. It is also utilized as a hands-on play tool encouraging movement and learning. Implementing this engagement tool is not as easy as it sounds. It is not as simple as creating a scavenger hunt. Each game must be designed around a goal and within the activity ample opportunities must be created for participants to connect with each other, work with one another. That way, the engagement becomes very valuable to the participant and provides long-term relationship benefits. &nbsp;</p> <p><span style="color:#90bf5c;"><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>CONTENT</strong></span></span></p> <p>&ldquo;Content truly rules,&rdquo; Wynant says. &ldquo;Conferences and events curate remarkable content, planners however do not always use access to this content to engage participants. It is rather stunning that so much effort is put into the selection of presenters and the materials they share, but little effort is put into engaging attendees with this content pre-, during and post-conference.&rdquo;</p> <p>Tools such as <a href="https://www.eventinterface.com" target="_blank">Eventinterface</a> offer an opportunity for planners to aggregate content, then share that content and build engaged communities around this content that is never ending. Access to content can be made available to participants who could not make your conference, often for a fee, increasing conference revenue and at the same time increasing engagement and long-term participation growth.</p> <p><span style="color:#90bf5c;"><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>BUT WAIT, THERE IS MORE</strong></span></span></p> <p>Multi-screen usage, where attendees use smartphones, tablets and computers to consume different aspects of your conference simultaneously to the use of Google Hangouts, Virtual Reality, iBeacons and more, the ever growing list of engagement options and tools will make your head spin. Become aware of the options and implement what you can realistically manage well.&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="color:#90bf5c;"><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>EVALUATING ENGAGEMENT </strong></span></span></p> <p>As you can see from this article, engaging your participants can be quite an undertaking. This can be time-consuming and expensive. With engagement becoming one of the key metrics whereby the success of conferences and events are judged you will need to find ways to justify the investment and provide measurable results.</p> <p>As you develop your engagement strategy discover what is important to your organization or company. Find out what you can measure and report on, then set goals you can track.</p> <p>If you are starting the process, and your first step will be the use of social media, then your goals could be the number of unique posts. A total of desired interactions such as likes, reposts, comments. The number of registrations you have been able to generate from your social channels. Most social media tools feature excellent analytical tools for your to use. Use those in combination with your registration platform and Google Analytics to get a great overall picture of your successes and where you can improve.</p> <p>Once you start using apps or responsive sites, you can track downloads and usage. How many connections are made, what content is being consumed. Analyze survey or poll data. How many discussions are generated, review pre-, during and post-event engagement. Drill into deal-flow generated and much more. Each solution has its own tools and items you can track and plan for.&nbsp; Here too, set measurable goals you can report on.</p> <p>Each aspect of your engagement strategy should have a set of measurable goals you can review, will help you adjust strategy when needed and report on the successes.</p> <p><span style="color:#90bf5c;"><strong><span style="font-size:16px;">TOP 5 TIPS FOR SUCCESSFUL PARTICIPANT ENGAGEMENT</span></strong></span></p> <p>1. Understand your attendee and the social platforms they use.<br /> 2. Define the goals of your engagement strategy.<br /> 3. Develop a plan to execute your strategy including platforms, messaging and content, tools and activities to use to engage your participants.<br /> 4. Assign talented and committed individuals to execute your strategy pre-, during and post-event. Remember, engagement starts as soon as you start talking about your event and never ends!<br /> 5. Track, evaluate and adjust strategies when and where needed.</p> <p><em><strong>Resources:</strong></em></p> <p>a.<a href="http://http://newsroom.fb.com/company-info/" target="_blank"> </a><a href="http://newsroom.fb.com/company-info/" target="_blank">http://newsroom.fb.com/company-info/</a><br /> b. <a href="https://about.twitter.com/company" target="_blank">https://about.twitter.com/company</a><br /> c. <a href="https://press.linkedin.com/about-linkedin" target="_blank">https://press.linkedin.com/about-linkedin</a><br /> d. <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_social_networking_websites" target="_blank">https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_social_networking_websites</a><br /> e. Long-term use in this study was defined by average monthly use of registered attendees up to six months post-conference.</p> http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Attendee-engagement-from-basic-to-complete-campaigns Mon, 24 Oct 2016 06:00:00 -0700 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 Interviews with Planners - Al Wynant http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Interviews-with-Planners--Al-Wynant <p style="line-height: 20.8px;"><span style="font-size:14px;">Al Wynant is the co-founder and CEO of&nbsp;<a href="https://www.eventinterface.com/" target="_blank">Eventinterface</a>, 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.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 20.8px;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong>What is the best advice you have ever received as a planner?</strong><br /> Understand right from the start what the client is trying to accomplish and everything you do should help the client reach that goal.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 20.8px;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong>What is the most unique location you have ever planned an event at? What was great, what was challenging?</strong><br /> Working for a film festival we had to create 6 distinct spaces for the festival&rsquo;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 d&eacute;cor 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.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 20.8px;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong>What advice would you give to someone entering the business today?</strong><br /> 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.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 20.8px;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong>What do you see as the most challenging aspect of being a planner, and how do you overcome that challenge?</strong><br /> <span style="line-height: 1.6em;">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.</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 20.8px;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="line-height: 1.6em;">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. &nbsp;&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 20.8px;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong>How do you think our industry will evolve in the next five years?</strong><br /> <span style="line-height: 20.8px;">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&rsquo;ll see event tech employed more strategically by these planners.&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 20.8px;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong>What makes you successful as a planner?</strong><br /> 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.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 20.8px;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong>In your opinion, what is the best and worst industry trend of the year?</strong><br /> 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&rsquo;m becoming a little tired of food trucks at events.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 20.8px;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong>What is the best industry book that has helped you as a planner?</strong><br /> 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.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 20.8px;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="color: rgb(144, 191, 92);"><strong>CONNECT WITH AL:</strong></span><br /> Al Wynant<br /> Co-Founder and CEO<br /> <a href="http://www.Eventinterface.com" target="_blank">Eventinterface</a><br /> <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/alwynant" target="_blank">LinkedIn</a><br /> <a href="https://www.facebook.com/EventInterface" target="_blank">Facebook</a><br /> Twitter: <a href="https://twitter.com/Eventinterface" target="_blank">@Eventinterface.com</a><br /> <a href="https://www.pinterest.com/eventinterface/" target="_blank">Pinterest</a><br /> <a href="https://instagram.com/event_interface/" target="_blank">Instagram</a><br /> Email:<a href="mailto:MemberServices@Eventinterface.com">&nbsp;</a><a href="mailto:Shelby@redvelvetevents.com">M</a><a href="mailto:MemberServices@Eventinterface.com">emberServices@Eventinterface.com</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 20.8px;">&nbsp;</p> http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Interviews-with-Planners--Al-Wynant Thu, 20 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