Eventinterface https://eventinterface.com/blog en-US Fri, 29 May 2015 03:52:30 +0000 Thu, 28 May 2015 13:02:00 +0000 http://www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by/1.0 FeedWriter Event Planner Quick Tips http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Event-Planner-Quick-Tips Top 10 tips and thoughts for event and meeting planners to make event planning easy and stress free.

1. EVENTS ARE SIMPLE…REALLY!
Think of events as a dinner at your house with friends. Pick a date, invite friends, select a menu and entertainment, communicate parking instructions and confirm details. Events are the same, just at a much bigger scale.

2. EVENTS ARE EXPENSIVE
Unexpected expenses are the norm. Give yourself a few percentage points of wiggle room in your budget to address surprise expenses.

3. KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
It is key to understand your attendee’s likes and dislikes, and plan your event, location, venue, activities, and technology around your audience’s likes.

4. CUSTOMER SERVICE
Events are all about hospitality and customer service. Providing 5-star service to your attendees is a must. Listen to this fantastic Event TALK! podcast to learn best practices and tips around event customer service and hospitality.

5. COMMUNICATE
A key part of event customer service and hospitality is communication. Put yourself in the attendee’s shoes, listen genuinely to issues, address them immediately and insure that people are heard. Click here for a great article on event customer service.

Event and meeting planning tips newsletter by Eventinterface

6. ALLOW MORE TIME
Professional planners we can singlehandedly plan events blindfolded; however working with committees and vendors requires a carefully planned production schedule. It never hurts to allow extra time to insure that all production partners and vendors can complete all tasks required. We recommend allowing for at least 10% extra planning time.

7. ASK FOR HELP
You can’t do it all yourself. Consider hiring someone to help you with the planning process or administrative support so you can focus on delivering a fantastic program and revenue generation rather than stuffing envelopes and folding napkins.

8. ALLERGIES
Allergies are a real issue for many attendees. As we strive to deliver a first-rate experience to our guests, meeting planners must address these challenges by offering meal options and environments free of allergens. It is however key to understand your limitations in your ability to offer the right services, meal options and environment to your attendees. If you ask about allergies, attendees expect you will deliver on their request.

9. TAKE CARE OF YOU!
Planning and working events is brutal. After all, the job consistently ranks as one of the most difficult to perform. You cannot be successful if you do not take care of yourself first. Ample sleep, balanced meals and comfortable shoes are only the tip of the iceberg. Click here to see a list of life hacks for meetings and event planners.

10. FIND YOUR SECRET HIDEAWAY
Inline with the above statement, planners need a quiet space away from the event to hide, regroup and relax. This is not the hotel bar, pool or other public area of your venue, but your room, office or other hidden away place at the venue. A place you can go to and collect your thoughts, take a deep breath and get ready for the next task.

What are your tips and thoughts, share them with us on Twitter @Eventinterface #EIEventTips.

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Thu, 28 May 2015 13:02:00 +0000 info@eventinterface.com (Al Wynant) http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Event-Planner-Quick-Tips
Historic Bently Reserve Completes Sustainable Restoration http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Historic-Bently-Reserve-Completes-Sustainable-Restoration San Fransisco's historic 14,000 square foot event venue Bently Reserve has completed a renovation that includes new technology, brand new and refreshed meeting and event space, and an intricately restored entryway.  Adorned with hand-painted travertine walls, Italian marble floors and original 1920s chandeliers, the impressive and highly versatile 8,045 square feet Banking Hall is ideal for weddings, galas and corporate events for up to 650 people. The space has been enhanced with restored columns, a brand new ceiling that incorporates the latest in technology for top-quality sound proofing, and a LED system upgraded to be more energy efficient and to showcase a wider range of color and displays.

Bentley Reserve Adriatic Room on Eventinterface

Adjacent to the Banking Hall is the brand new Adriatic Room and the newly refreshed Gateway Room, both featuring 870 square feet of space ideal for meetings and events. Showcasing the building’s stunning architecture, the Adriatic Room has original 1924 exposed brick walls and large windows overlooking downtown San Francisco, complemented by a brand new ceiling, LEED-certified carpeting and paint plus LED energy efficient lighting. The Gateway Room has been completely refinished to match the Banking Hall and Farallon Room. New unisex bathrooms adjacent to the Gateway Room add convenience and double the number of the restrooms available on the first floor. 

The Battery Street entrance, which is the main entryway to the Bently Reserve, has been intricately adorned with Gypsum stone florets custom designed to match the original 1924 design at the original entrance on Sansome Street.  

More information here.

Photographs courtesy of the venue.

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Wed, 27 May 2015 12:29:00 +0000 info@eventinterface.com (Al Wynant) http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Historic-Bently-Reserve-Completes-Sustainable-Restoration
Event and Meeting Planning 101 http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Event-and-Meeting-Planning-101 Event Planning infographic by Eventinterface. Planning events and meetings

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Tue, 26 May 2015 06:00:00 +0000 info@eventinterface.com (Al Wynant) http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Event-and-Meeting-Planning-101
Top Site Selection Tips http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Top-Site-Selection-Tips Selecting a venue or location for your event can be a challenging undertaking. As the industry has recovered from the latest economic downturn, venues are becoming more selective as to whom they work with. It is becoming a sellers market, and that makes the work of planners harder. Here are a few tips that will make the selection process easier.

Eventinterface Top Tips Site Selection

1. Know as many of the details of your event as possible before sending a request for proposal to venues or sites. Determine pre-RFP what the best fit would be for your event and attendees. Explore location, time of year, easy of getting in and out of the destination, and availability of venues and hotel rooms. Doing so will eliminate many options, and you can focus on a handful of prospect sites that will meet your group’s needs.

2. Understand your audience. Negotiate with your attendee in mind. What is important to your attendees? If culture is key, then perhaps a venue in a walkable metropolitan area with many accessible theatres and museums fits them best. Put yourself into the shoes of your attendee and select your site or venue with them in mind, and will also attract them to your event.

3. Negotiate fairly. It has become a sellers market and venues are less likely to consider working with planners who pose unrealistic expectations. 

4. Never sign a contract without fully understanding the implications. Read and understand the small print.

Download our free e-book “Successful Strategies for Hotel and Venue Negotiations.”

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Fri, 22 May 2015 06:00:00 +0000 info@eventinterface.com (Al Wynant) http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Top-Site-Selection-Tips
Hotel Van Zandt Opening In Austin http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Hotel-Van-Zandt-Opening-In-Austin This summer, Kimpton Hotels is opening Hotel Van Zandt in Austin, Texas. Inspired by the city’s world-famous music scene, the hotel promises to deliver a front-row seat to all the action.

Hotel Van Zandt for event and meeting planners Eventinterface

Hotel Van Zandt features 319 guest rooms and 41 suites designed to capture the essence of local culture fused with Texas history and elegance. The hotel has been designed from the ground up featuring high-quality materials and a sophisticated laid back atmosphere.

Hotel Van Zandt Lounge for meeting and event planners Eventinterface

Hotel Van Zandt for pool side events

Meeting and Event Planners can use the 12,000 square feet of meeting and event space spread over 11 dedicated rooms. The Lady Bird ballroom seats up to 570 in theatre style and all meeting space includes unlimited bandwidth, blazing fast Internet speeds and top-notch audio-visual equipment. 

Hotel Van Zandt Ballroom for meeting and event planners

Hotel Van Zandt is taking reservations now for August 15, 2015 arrivals.
Visit the hotel website here.

Photos courtesy of the hotel.

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Tue, 19 May 2015 13:05:00 +0000 info@eventinterface.com (Al Wynant) http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Hotel-Van-Zandt-Opening-In-Austin
The Year Of Intelligent Growth http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/The-Year-Of-Intelligent-Growth Meeting Professionals International Quarterly Outlook EventinterfaceMeeting Professionals International (MPI) released the Spring Edition of its Quarterly Meetings Outlook special report. It appears it is shaping up to be the year of intelligent growth for the meeting and event industry. Continued stability and moderate economic improvement offers meeting professionals an opportunity to breathe and think about the big picture.

The report finds that 74% of planners expect business conditions to improve in the near future.  Event and meeting planners also seem to shift away from tactical uses of technology for events to more strategic implementation. 60% of planners predict growth in attendance, 7% more than one year ago. There is a 10% decrease in prediction of virtual attendance numbers from 66% predicting an increase one year ago and 56% this year.

See the full report here

Get the Eventinterface Newsletter for Event Planners

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Thu, 14 May 2015 06:00:00 +0000 info@eventinterface.com (Al Wynant) http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/The-Year-Of-Intelligent-Growth
Eventinterface Selected Semifinalist in Arizona Innovation Challenge http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Eventinterface-Selected-Semifinalist-in-Arizona-Innovation-Challenge The Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA) today announced 25 semifinalists in its Spring 2015 Arizona Innovation Challenge (AIC), a bi-annual business plan competition awarding $3 million annually to talented entrepreneurs.

Each year, the ACA awards – $1.5 million in the spring and $1.5 million in the fall – to the most qualified, innovative startups and early-stage companies. Recipients receive up to $250,000 in capital to grow their businesses, advancing innovation and technology commercialization opportunities in Arizona. A panel of expert judges evaluated 138 applications from the Spring 2015 AIC submitted by companies based in Arizona, California, Massachusetts, Texas and Wisconsin.

Arizona's engagement with early-stage companies through its suite of targeted programs continues to spur growth, technology commercialization and capital investment within the state's innovation ecosystem. With more than 1,400 applications received for the AIC since 2011, the program continues to be among the many opportunities available to innovators, which have made Arizona a top hub for entrepreneurial activity and startup success.

See the full list here

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Tue, 12 May 2015 14:19:00 +0000 info@eventinterface.com (Al Wynant) http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Eventinterface-Selected-Semifinalist-in-Arizona-Innovation-Challenge
Enhancing Conference Engagement Using Technology http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Enhancing-Conference-Engagement-Using-Technology Conferences and events are about creating communities. It is about engaging people in meaningful ways around a topic they are passionate about.

Have you attended a conference lately? It is a surreal experience, hundreds, even thousands of people in one location, many focused on their electronic devices and not the people around them. Technology can do amazing things for conferences, in this post we are looking at how technology, especially Eventinterface, can help planners create communities and engage their audiences pre-, during and post-conference.  It is about using technology pre-event to enhance face-to-face engagement at the conference.

CREATE COMMUNITIES

Each conference brings together a group of people who care about a specific topic or cause. They are there to learn, present or network. Most attendees walk away from the event with new ideas and a stack of business cards gathered between sessions. Back home, they may forget about these new connections, and it is rare for long-term and meaningful relationships to be created out of these brief conversations.

Technologies are now available for planners to create communities around their events. Safe places for registered attendees, exhibitors, speakers and sponsors to interact with each other pre-, during and post-event. A place for attendees to schedule face-to-face meetings during the event and communicate post-event.

Many professional conversations should not be held on public social media sites due to the nature of the content. Closed communities available to event stakeholders after an event allow for meaningful conversation among individuals who are interested in discussing a topic in the secure environment.  Eventinterface allows planners to easily create communities around conferences. It allows for individuals to continue their in-person communications online after the event has ended.

These communities too will help planners learn more about their attendees and help create even better conferences in the future.

ENCOURAGE COMMUNICATION

Speakers come to your event to speak about a specific topic. Speakers could tailor their conversations to the audience if they knew what the audience really wanted to learn. Planners do not always have an excellent grasp on the needs of the audience. Why not ask registered attendees what they want to learn from the speaker?

Speakers and planners can monitor the conversation and deliver a talk that is superbly fitted to the audience.

For events with very large audiences, the same tools could be used onsite to pose questions of the speaker, giving all attendees an opportunity to participate in the conversation. Again Eventinterface allows for this.

ADD VALUE

Planners can add value to conferences by making available access to registered attendees, speakers, sponsors and exhibitors to all stakeholders who have signed up. Individuals can reach out to each other pre-event and schedule meetings during the event.  Sponsors and exhibitors can connect with attendees, and attendees can reach out to sponsors and exhibitors to learn more about their product and services. This is an enormously valuable proposition that can generate a boost in early registrations and generate additional revenue associated with this level of access from sponsors and exhibitors. Eventinterface too includes these functionalities.

TOP TIP

Embracing technology to facilitate conversation, face-to-face engagement and creating communities leads to higher participation, improved programs, and up to 30% more event revenue. Eventinterface offers all of these services as part of our event management, registration and attendee engagement software. More here

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Mon, 11 May 2015 07:00:00 +0000 info@eventinterface.com (Al Wynant) http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Enhancing-Conference-Engagement-Using-Technology
Winning Trade Show Strategies For Event Planners http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Winning-Trade-Show-Strategies-For-Event-Planners Jim Wurm, Executive Director of the Exhibit and Event Marketers Association join us on the latest episode of Event TALK to discuss how event and meeting planners can make the tradeshow experience more beneficial for exhibitors and marketers, and win by doing so. Jim is a noted author and presenter to many of the trade show industry's associations and professional societies.

Listen to Eric Dye and Jim Wurm discuss the following:

  • Many conferences and events seem to have an exhibit component, and there are many tradeshows around the world. Set the stage for me, what have planners and producers been doing right?
  • It is all about engagement, and planners seem to be doing a decent job engaging attendees. How can planners connect the dots and connect the attendees with the exhibitors and marketers. What are the essentials to engage all these stakeholders successfully?
  • I imagine it is quite challenging for exhibitors to track return on investment. What role can planners play to insure that exhibitors and marketers have the ability to measure success?
  • Tradeshows are expensive, how can planners, producers and exhibitors work together to control cost while still providing a first class experience?
  • Are there any tools, programs, best practices available that can help planners produce better experiences for exhibitors and marketers?
  • What are your top three tips for planners who want to successfully engage and provide return on investment to exhibitors and event marketers

LISTEN TO THE SHOW

About our guest:
In his 30 years of trade show marketing and management, Jim A. Wurm has worked on both the show management and exhibit services side of the business.  

He has launched and organized trade shows throughout the U.S. and in Europe, as well as working for I&D (now Nth Degree) as Director of Marketing and National Sales Manager.   Jim has created and managed his own trade shows (CleanRooms and CleanRooms Europa), and has served as Group Director of High Tech shows for Miller Freeman, Inc.; at the time, the third largest show organizer in the world.  

Upon leaving Miller Freeman, Jim returned to his favorite role as independent show organizer and trade show management consultant. His customer list includes the Neil Sperry All Garden Show (an event he managed for 15 years),  ZD Comdex & Forums, Reed Exhibitions, SEMCO Productions, Johnson Promotions, IEEE, and Netware Users International.

Most recently, Jim has utilized his unique trade show experience for the development and management of the Exhibit & Event Marketers Association (E2MA) an association formed from the combined strengths of the Trade Show Exhibitors Association (TSEA) and the Exhibitor Appointed Contractor Association (EACA).

One of the industry's foremost thinkers on trade show marketing, he is a noted author and presenter to many of the trade show industry's associations and professional societies.

Reach Jim Wurm at 541-317-8768 or www.e2ma.org.

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Mon, 04 May 2015 10:00:00 +0000 info@eventinterface.com (Al Wynant) http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Winning-Trade-Show-Strategies-For-Event-Planners
Ritz-Carlton Phoenix Closing http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/RitzCarlton-Phoenix-Closing Ritz-Carlton is lowering its flag in Phoenix. The hotel will be closing in July and will undergo a major renovation, according to owner Host Hotels & Resorts.

The 281-room property located at 24th Street and Camelback Road in Phoenix will reopen early 2016 as part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection, a distinct group of independent smaller upscale hotels around the world. Host Hotels has not yet decided on a new name for the property; however a new management company has been announced, Destination Hotels & Resorts, which operates the Royal Palms Resort in Phoenix, Scottsdale Resort & Conference Center and the Tempe Mission Palms. This hotel will be the first Autograph Collection property in Arizona.

Closure of the hotel leaves one Ritz-Carlton in the state, the Ritz-Carlton-Dove Mountain in Marana. Plans are underway to develop a possible Ritz-Carlton in Paradise Valley.

Lead in photograph courtesy of the venue. 

Get our Eventinterface Event Planner Newsletter

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Sun, 03 May 2015 09:56:00 +0000 info@eventinterface.com (Al Wynant) http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/RitzCarlton-Phoenix-Closing
Top Tips For Working With Convention and Visitor Bureaus http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Top-Tips-For-Working-With-Convention-and-Visitor-Bureaus We are joined on this episode of Event TALK by Graeme Hughes, Director of Sales at Visit Tucson. Graeme has worked twenty-five years in the hospitality & tourism industry focusing on sales & marketing. His career includes four years in Destination Management, thirteen years with Westin Hotels & Resorts, Starwood and five years with Loews Hotels before joining the Visit Tucson in November 2007. He is responsible for the management and execution of the Bureau’s convention sales effort, positioning Tucson & Southern Arizona as a premier destination for group meetings, conventions and events. Graeme joins us to share his top tips for working with Convention and Visitor Bureaus. 

Listen to Eric Dye and Graeme Hughes discuss the following:

  • Is there a distinct difference between a Convention and Visitor Bureau and a Destination Marketing Organizations for meeting planners to be aware of?
  • What are the benefits for a meeting planner to be working with a CVB or DMO?
  • There are companies out there that help meeting planners with the sourcing of hotel rooms for meetings, Is a CVB a complementary service to this, or should planners looks at a CVB as a one-stop resource?
  • How does a planner typically initiate a relationship with a CVB, and what does a CVB need to be successful for the planner?
  • Are there any other services a CVB can offer meeting planners we may not yet have covered today?
  • What are your top 3 tips for planners to be successful in working with a Convention and Visitor Bureau?

LISTEN TO THE SHOW 

ABOUT OUR GUEST:
Graeme Hughes has worked twenty-five years in the hospitality & tourism industry focusing on sales & marketing. His career includes four years in Destination Management, thirteen years with Westin Hotels & Resorts/Starwood and five years with Loews Hotels before joining the Visit Tucson in November 2007. He is responsible for the management and execution of the Bureau’s convention sales effort, positioning Tucson & Southern Arizona as a premier destination for group meetings, conventions and events.

Professional memberships include Meeting Professionals International, Destination Marketing Association International & Western Association of Convention & Visitors Bureaus.

Reach Graeme at Visit Tucson.

Subscribe to our event planner newsletter

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Tue, 28 Apr 2015 06:00:00 +0000 info@eventinterface.com (Al Wynant) http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Top-Tips-For-Working-With-Convention-and-Visitor-Bureaus
Apple Watch Fueling Hotel Innovation http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Apple-Watch-Fueling-Hotel-Innovation With more than a half-billion people expected to travel for conferences and events in 2015 and nearly two billion smart devices currently in use per eMarketer, Marriott International is on a mission to connect with travelers throughout their journey.

Apple Watch and Marriott International at EventinterfaceMembers of the Marriott Rewards program who have purchased the Apple Watch will now be able to access Marriott’s mobile app for check-in and checkout, automatic receipt of room ready alerts, booking and review of reservations and detailed directions at the company’s 19 brands and more than 4,100 hotels. Marriott recently celebrated its one-millionth mobile check-in, and last month, announced it will start accepting Apple Pay this summer at select brands.

“Putting our mobile services on the hottest new wearable is an important step in Marriott’s aggressive efforts to create a complete mobile-powered travel experience that puts the guest in total control,” said George Corbin, Senior Vice President, Marriott Digital. “Our mobile platforms are designed to connect and engage at every touch-point, making us a valuable travel resource anytime and anywhere. Service is at the heart of everything we do, and mobile is essential to bringing our guest experience to life.”

Marriott’s investment in this proves that the future of mobile and digital technology is unlimited and plays an ever-important role as travel becomes more open and accessible across the globe for both business and travel. 

Marriott International
Marriott Rewards
Apple Watch

Image courtesy of Marriott International

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Mon, 27 Apr 2015 06:00:00 +0000 info@eventinterface.com (Al Wynant) http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Apple-Watch-Fueling-Hotel-Innovation
Top Customer Service Tips for Event Planners http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Top-Customer-Service-Tips-for-Event-Planners Once again Event Planners have made the CareerCast list of being in one of the most-stressful jobs in the country. Good to see that we’ve dropped from 5th to 8th place in 2015. I must admit though that the stresses we face as planners pale in comparison to firefighters, military personnel and police offers who claim the top spots. After all, events rarely involve life or death situations. Stresses are mostly caused by deadlines, unrealistic expectations and a wide variety of needs and grievances by hundreds, if not thousands of attendees. It is human nature to become less service oriented when stressed, and with this in mind we’re taking a look at the top tips for event and meeting planners to insure we provide excellent customer service under pressure to our event attendees.

INFORM

Attending events is second nature to some and stressful to others. Walking into a strange location and meeting new people can be a daunting experience. Combine that with insecurities about parking, finding the venue, check-in lines; the arrival alone can become a frustrating experience.

It is key that event and meeting planners alleviate as many of these possible stresses in advance so that attendees arrives in as positive a mindset as possible. Proactively answer as many questions in advance in your confirmation materials, on your website, in email blasts and social media. The arrival experience and onsite experience should be as clear as possible. If you do this, you will also get less attendees coming to you with basic onsite questions, allowing you to focus on other tasks.

TOP TIP:
Walk through the whole event at the venue from start to finish from the attendee’s perspective. Take note of directions, possible issues, restroom locations, valet service and all other issues that may impact their experience. Develop your information, signage and other materials around your walkthrough observations. 

Communicate clearly in advance, during and after the event. Leave nothing up to interpretation. Insure that all event staff and volunteers are educated on the event and empowered to take action.

Learn more about preventing event check-in frustration.

LISTEN

As event and meeting planners we have all experienced unhappy attendees. Regardless if the grievance is justified or not, planners must address complaints immediately and skillfully. It is key that we listen and understand what the participant is sharing. Think of yourself in this situation. When you have an issue, don’t you want to be heard? Isn’t it exceedingly annoying when the person you want to speak with tells you to come back or call back later? The first thing to do to is to listen and acknowledge the issue, and it is key that you empower all of your team members to do this.

At times you cannot easily have a discussion, especially at a live event. When this happens step away, find a quiet place to have a conversation. At many of the events we have planned we implemented an issue room or corner. This is hospitality room or nook near the registration area where any and all issues can be handled. Listening and asking questions will prove to the attendee that you are giving them your full attention. It will also allow you to get all of the facts.

In our many years of event and meeting planning we learned that a large percentage of attendees just want to be heard and receive a sincere apology. It is key however for event planners to take all of the complaints received from attendees, review and explore what steps should be taken to avoid similar issues at future events.

Five steps to manage event attendee complaints.

Subscribe to our Eventinterface Event Planner Newsletter

ACT

It is not enough to inform and listen; customer service is acting on questions, issues and concerns. Service with a smile is easier said than done, especially in stressful situations. Acting is hospitality, “Hospitality goes far beyond making sure someone is greeted when they walk in your door, or making sure the snacks are good, or making sure all the staff is following the rules of "5 & 10" and "open palms." It isn't always something that you can touch or see. Hospitality is a way of life,” shares Daniel Duran, event planner for the Arizona Charter Schools Association.

To learn more about incorporating hospitality at your events listen to “The secret to unforgettable events.”

ADD YOUR VOICE

What are your tips to provide excellent customer service to attendees? Add them in the comment section below.

 

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Wed, 22 Apr 2015 12:19:00 +0000 info@eventinterface.com (Al Wynant) http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Top-Customer-Service-Tips-for-Event-Planners
New Event Planner Help Menu Launched http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/New-Event-Planner-Help-Menu-Launched In order to serve our event and meeting planners, and attendees more effectively we have added an extensive help menu and updated how to submit requests for support. The link to the help menu is located in the top right corner of the screen once you have logged into your Eventinterface account. You will find information on a variety of topics from managing events to answers for attendees. Items are being added almost daily and soon, event planning videos will be available as well. 

Effective immediately, all customer service related questions from the planner and the attendee must be submitted via the support link located in the FAQ or Help menu at Eventinterface.com. Look for the green “Submit a Support Ticket” button in the top right corner of the screen - see sample below. We encourage you to review the knowledge base of answers in the help menu before submitting a request. Also effective immediately, all customer service related questions from both the planner and the attendee must be submitted via the support link located in the FAQ or Help menu at Eventinterface.com. Look for the green “Submit a Support Ticket” button in the top right corner of the screen.  Emails sent to individual team members or MemberServices@Eventinterface.com will no longer be responded to. Note however that if you have been working with a specific person at Eventinterface, he or she will remain your contact and will receive your requests via the ticketing system, and respond to you personally via the ticketing system. Guaranteed response times remain unchanged per our service agreements. 

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Mon, 20 Apr 2015 07:00:00 +0000 info@eventinterface.com (Al Wynant) http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/New-Event-Planner-Help-Menu-Launched
Eventinterface CEO featured on Ideamensch http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Eventinterface-CEO-featured-on-Ideamensch Learn more about our CEO; what influenced him, who inspires him and what he learned from his worst job.

Read the interview here

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Wed, 15 Apr 2015 08:14:00 +0000 info@eventinterface.com (Al Wynant) http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Eventinterface-CEO-featured-on-Ideamensch
The Never-Ending Event http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/The-NeverEnding-Event As technology has become more ubiquitous around events, events too have evolved from short-term affairs to never-ending opportunities to engage participants around a cause, brand or topic. 

THE EVENT LIFECYCLE

Traditionally Event and Meeting Planners have looked at the event lifecycle being from the time the doors open to the venue until the last participant leaves the venue.

“As a planner I have looked at the lifecycle in a very different way,” said Al Wynant of Eventinterface. “I look at the lifecycle as never-ending. For me it starts from the moment I open my online registration process and it never ends after that. The registration is the seed that starts the community building process. Events and conferences take an extraordinary time to plan and execute and extending the lifecycle, building on that registration, allows me to monetize my event more and provides a greater return on investment.”

WHERE TO START

First and foremost, the general mindset of the planner needs to adapt to thinking about the event or conference as a long-term, ever-evolving entity, and not a one-time occurrence. Planners must take a much larger and global look at their conferences, prospect attendees and stakeholders, and not just see the small percentage of potential participants who can make it to the event. The beauty however is that 90% of the work has already been completed as part of the established planning process.

Second, planners need to make a commitment to wanting to extend the lifecycle and assign someone to manage and monitor the community. It will take some upfront management; however once the community is up and running, participants will continue to enhance it with meaningful and topical conversations around the theme of the event. The community becomes a go to resource for all topics related to the cause, theme or brand the event was about. 

Third, planners need to employ integrated or end-to-end online meeting management tools that can facilitate the extension of the lifecycle, easily and cost-effectively for all stakeholders. Eventinterface is one of these solutions.

From a simple perspective, Event and Meeting Planners should think about this right from the beginning of the planning process. As part of the online registration process, invite all of your event stakeholders to connect with each other.  This builds value for attendees, speakers, sponsors and exhibitors who can now connect with all participants, weeks, if not months prior to the event.  Invite them to share profiles, pitches, social links and even the opportunity to pre-schedule appointments during the event, all within the privacy walls of the event. Invite attendees to start conversations around topics with speakers and other attendees.

Furthermore, events generate an immense amount of data, white papers, PowerPoint presentations, video that is presented at the conference. Make that data available to all registered attendees right before or during the conference and invite conversation around this.

And last but not least, once the conference or event is over, invite all stakeholders who were not able to come to the conference to the engage in the community. Share the data presented at the conference for a fee. On average about 15% of possible attendees come to events, how about engaging the other 85% in the community?

What this means is that a company, organization, brand or cause can now have a private online community around the event where people can have discussions, come back to, connect and continue the conversation. Keep them engaged by offering additional information throughout the year, new findings and discussion points. You can use this community to build excitement for the next event. The people who were not able to join the previous year and experienced the online community will not want to miss out on the event the following year.

Additionally, many events are hosted around topics and causes that have deliverables associated with them. Once participants leave it is challenging to follow-up on these deliverables, by extending the lifecycle online you can now continue to engage and keep on top of the overall outcomes of your event.

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MONETIZING THE EVENT COMMUNITY

Conferences generate a great deal of materials that are shared with attendees. With technologies such as Eventinterface you can now easily create a private online community around your event and share these materials with your attendees but also anyone not able to attend the event for a fee. “At Eventinterface we have seen clients on average generate 30% more event revenue by sharing data online post-event,” said Al Wynant, Eventinterface CEO.

Planners too can sell access to sponsors and exhibitors who can now engage with prospects not only at the event, but pre-, during and post-event as the community continues to grow.

TOP TIPS

1. Change your approach! Think of your event as a never-ending entity. Your event begins when you open registration, and from then on the community keeps on growing through engagement and content distribution. The event doesn’t end when the last attendee leaves the building.

2. Find a technology solution such as Eventinterface than can accommodate the whole process easily and cost-effectively. You do not want to confuse the planning team and stakeholders by implementing a suite of tools. Simple and easy to use is the rule.

3. Communities need to be promoted and managed. You will need to assign a person to monitor and engage the community. Once you have kick-started the community, attendees will start creating their own value within the structure of the community, but it needs to be managed and moderated.

 

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Mon, 06 Apr 2015 06:00:00 +0000 info@eventinterface.com (Al Wynant) http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/The-NeverEnding-Event
Extending the lifecycle of your conferences and events http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Extending-the-lifecycle-of-your-conferences-and-events We are joined today by Al Wynant, CEO of Eventinterface who is sharing his tips on how to extend the lifecycle of your conferences and events. With more than 26 years of international experience in planning conferences and events, and leading event technology firm Eventinterface, Al brings a unique viewpoint to the conversation. He truly understands how technology can make the lives of planners and attendees easier while making the event experience richer, as well as more profitable.

Listen to Eric Dye and Al Wynant discuss the following:

  • Can you share what you mean by event lifecycle?
  • How would an event or meeting planner extend the lifecycle of their events?
  • I anticipate that by extending the lifecycle you also have an opportunity to monetize your event further?
  • What tools are available to reach this objective?
  • What are your top three tips for planners who want to successfully extend the lifecycle of their events and conferences?

LISTEN TO THE SHOW

About our guest:
Al Wynant, CEO of Eventinterface has 26 years of international meeting and event management experience. He has managed events from 50 to 125,000 on two continents. He intimately understands the many aspects of planning, and how technology can make the complicated process of planning, managing and engaging easier, a definite plus in his position at Eventinterface.

Al 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 ran event management firm A6 where he was responsible for the management of a large variety of conferences and events in the Southwest and in Atlanta, High Point and New York City. 

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Thu, 02 Apr 2015 06:00:00 +0000 info@eventinterface.com (Al Wynant) http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Extending-the-lifecycle-of-your-conferences-and-events
Downtown Phoenix Venues Launches New Site http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Downtown-Phoenix-Venues-Launches-New-Site Downtown Phoenix Venues, launched their new and mobile-friendly website for Event and Meeting planners, and individuals looking for unique and extraordinary venues in Downtown Phoenix. The site also provides access to a carefully curated list of caterers and vendors.

The Icehouse Art Project Phoenix at EventinterfaceThe Icehouse Art Project. Photograph by Mike Olbinski, courtesey of Downtown Phoenix Venues.

The site offers descriptions and photographs of the venues. View the Downtown Phoenix Venues site here.

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Fri, 27 Mar 2015 06:00:00 +0000 info@eventinterface.com (Al Wynant) http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Downtown-Phoenix-Venues-Launches-New-Site
Eventinterface Makes Top 25 List Of Event Planners http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Eventinterface-Makes-Top-25-List-Of-Event-Planners  

Al Wynant, Eventinterface CEOEventinterface has made the Phoenix Business Journal 2015 Book of List Top 25 Event and Meeting Planners. The annual Book of Lists provides a list of hundreds of the hottest companies in Phoenix, Arizona in their fields by ranking. “We are appreciative of our clients and supporters who have made this inclusion possible,” said Al Wynant, Eventinterface CEO.

Eventinterface has been listed since its inception in 2010 and has steadily climbed in the raking. Based on 2014 numbers, Eventinterface is listed at number 7 of 25 of the top meeting and event planners.

Purchase your own copy of the list here

 

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Tue, 24 Mar 2015 06:00:00 +0000 info@eventinterface.com (Al Wynant) http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Eventinterface-Makes-Top-25-List-Of-Event-Planners
Airline-Style Fees Coming To Hotels http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/AirlineStyle-Fees-Coming-To-Hotels An unprecedented collection of interviews by Skift with the CEOs of the world’s top hotel groups revealed interesting facts meeting and events planners should be aware of.

Skift released their second e-book last week that addresses the Future of the Guest Experience, a collection of 28 interviews with the CEOs of virtually all of the world’s top hotel groups including 11 global brands, 13 luxury and lifestyle brands, and four hotel marketing organizations. The e-book features the leaders’ thoughts on a similar set of topics from technology and marketing to fees and training. The book tackles the hospitality’s most pressing topics from every angle and offers a glimpse at what the future of hospitality will truly look like.

For more information and to download the book click here. Definitely helpful information for anyone planning meetings and events.

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Fri, 20 Mar 2015 06:00:00 +0000 info@eventinterface.com (Al Wynant) http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/AirlineStyle-Fees-Coming-To-Hotels