Eventinterface https://eventinterface.com/blog en-US Sun, 19 Apr 2015 10:55:48 +0000 Wed, 15 Apr 2015 08:14:00 +0000 http://www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by/1.0 FeedWriter 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

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. 


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.”


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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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.


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.


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?


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.

Fri, 20 Mar 2015 06:00:00 +0000 info@eventinterface.com (Al Wynant) http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/AirlineStyle-Fees-Coming-To-Hotels
Top Tips On Implementing iBeacons At Events With Corbin Ball http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Top-Tips-On-Implementing-iBeacons-At-Events-With-Corbin-Ball We are joined today by Corbin Ball, an international speaker, consultant and writer helping clients worldwide use technology to save time and improve productivity. With 20 years of experience running international technology meetings, he now is a highly acclaimed speaker with the ability to make complex subjects understandable and fun.  His articles have appeared in hundreds of national and international publications and he has been quoted in the U.S. News & World Report, Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, USA Today, Fast Company, PC Magazine and others. 

Corbin shares his top tips on implementing iBeacons at meetings and events.

Listen to Eric Dye and Corbin Ball discuss the following:

  • In the last few years we’ve heard about “ibeacons” a lot in the events industry, can you share in a little more detail what these are? (if there are different but similar technologies please share)
  • How would an event or meeting planner implement this technology at their event?
  • What are some of the pros of implementing this technology?
  • What are some of the cons of implementing this technology?
  • What are your top 3 tips planners should consider when implementing iBeacons or similar technologies for their events?



Corbin Ball, CSP, CMP, DES, MS is an international speaker, consultant and writer helping clients worldwide use technology to save time and improve productivity. With 20 years of experience running international technology meetings, he now is a highly acclaimed speaker with the ability to make complex subjects understandable and fun.  His articles have appeared in hundreds of national and international publications and he has been quoted in the U.S. News & World Report, Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, USA Today, Fast Company, PC Magazine and others. 

Corbin serves or has served on numerous hotel, corporate, convention bureau and association boards. He is the only person to have received both the MPI International Supplier of the Year and the MPI International Chapter Leader of the Year awards.

Corbin was named as one of "The 25 Most Influential People in the Meetings Industry" for 2012 by Successful Meetings magazine, having received this award four times previously.

Corbin's associates include a network of meeting and technology professionals including Jeff Rasco and Cardinal Communications.

Reach Corbin Ball at:
Web: www.corbinball.com
Newsletter: www.corbinball.com/techtalk
Twitter: @corbinball

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Tue, 17 Mar 2015 06:00:00 +0000 info@eventinterface.com (Al Wynant) http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Top-Tips-On-Implementing-iBeacons-At-Events-With-Corbin-Ball
5 Tips To Manage Event Attendee Complaints http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/5-Tips-To-Manage-Event-Attendee-Complaints 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. Today we are sharing our top tips on how to turn your attendee’s grievances into positive experiences.

Drop everything you are doing
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. This was a hospitality room near the registration area where any and all issues could be handled.

Breathe, think before speaking and above all, keep calm
You have worked months on your events, and it is only natural to become defensive when presented with a complaint. It is important to realize that a complaint is not a personal attack, and therefore you should not take it as such. If the tensions are high, and you feel you may not be able to remain calm, it is best to find a colleague to step in, or suggest a location and time to meet a bit later in order for the parties to cool down.

Ask questions
Allow the attendee to speak, ask as many questions as possible to get the full story. This will prove to the attendee that you are giving them your full attention. It will also allow you to get all of the facts.

Asking questions will also unearth any underlying issues at the event. Issues you may not be aware of that may need to be addressed, and may improve your event.

Mea culpa
If the attendee has a valid complaint offer your sincere apologies and a solution. If the complaint isn’t justified, it is still key to show empathy so the attendee feels heard. You could say, “I understand how upset you must feel.” Key in this stage is to insure you do not pass the blame. The attendee is coming to you, believing that their issue is with you and wants to hear what you are going to do about it.

Offer a solution and follow through
Once you have a good understanding of the issue, talk about next steps. What is an acceptable solution for both parties? Make a proposal and agree! Offer the solution, timeline to implement and insure that future issues like this won’t happen again if at all possible.

If you are not able to implement the solution immediately, such as a refund, insure that the attendee has a clear understanding of the situation and stay in contact with the attendee until the issue is solved.

Wrapping up
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. 

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Mon, 09 Mar 2015 06:00:00 +0000 info@eventinterface.com (Al Wynant) http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/5-Tips-To-Manage-Event-Attendee-Complaints
Five Productivity Tools For Meeting Planners http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Five-Productivity-Tools-For-Meeting-Planners Meeting and Event Planners have a difficult task to track all aspects of the event planning and management process. Luckily, there are great tools available that increase productivity and efficiencies. Here are five of our favorite tools we use at Eventinterface and will help you as well. 

Five Productivity Tools For Meeting Planners Mailchimp at Eventinterface


MailChimp is a must-have solution for anyone needing to automate email invitations and check their effectiveness. The simplicity of the solution, and the ability to manage your brand image easily makes this one of the best tools available. MailChimp too is cost effective for meeting and event planners. The forever-free option will let you start your event invitation campaigns, and MailChimp grows with you as the need evolves.

Five Productivity Tools For Meeting Planners Dropbox at Eventinterface


Dropbox is file-sharing solution that allows event planners to share files too large to email, and provides access to files from mobile devices away from the office. At Eventinterface we use it to share artwork and video with our vendors. Planners can start with a free plan and the solution scales with your needs.

Five Productivity Tools For Meeting Planners Pipedrive at Eventinterface

Pipedrive is a great tool to manage your sales and sales pipeline. For event and meeting planners it is a fantastic tool to manage the sponsorship sales pipeline. The solution is fully customizable and the visual overview of your progress makes it easy to use. Pipedrive too is perhaps one of the most cost-effective CRM solutions on the market.

Five Productivity Tools For Meeting Planners Slack at Eventinterface

Fewer emails are better, correct? Slack is a powerful tool that allows you to create a team and organize discussions around topics in channels. For event and meeting planners, this could be around sponsorship, marketing, program, and logistics. The beauty of Slack is that it decreases the emails you receive in your inbox from your team and event planning committee. It’s a great tool to share event knowledge as well. Slack is accessible from an app on your mobile devices.

Five Productivity Tools For Meeting Planners Eventinterface

And last but not least, one productivity tool we use at Eventinterface on a daily basis is Eventinterface, our own end-to-end event and meeting-planning tool. Eventinterface is used to manage events and increases efficiencies by bringing the planning process, attendee management, content collection and distribution, and attendee engagement all in one easy-to-use solution. If you like to find out how Eventinterface can work for you, learn more here

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Wed, 04 Mar 2015 06:00:00 +0000 info@eventinterface.com (Al Wynant) http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Five-Productivity-Tools-For-Meeting-Planners
Event Invites And Spam http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Event-Invites-And-Spam If you plan on sending emailed invitations to you prospect event attendees be prepared for some of your emails to get lost in cyberspace. Regrettably there is no quick fix to this issue. There are however tips to help you get the best results possible.

Simply stated, spam is unsolicited email sent in bulk to a list of people.  Legitimate email marketers only send permission-based emails to people who requested receiving them.

Although the rules differ around the world, in the United States, the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 makes it illegal to spam, and carries significant penalties for individuals and business who violate this law. You will be fined as much as $11,000 for each offense – meaning for EACH email address on your list!

Spam filters review an extensive list of criteria when evaluating the spam level of your event invite email. Emails are assigned a spam score to determine if your invite will pass muster. In general, topics related to money, mortgage pitches; money back guarantee and phrases like “CLICK HERE” and “FREE” are red flags. The list is ever evolving and not published.

1. Avoid known issue phrases.
Avoid using phrases such as “Buy now”, “Click here”, “Once in a lifetime” and “Urgent”, especially in the subject line. The reality of emailed event invites is that you want people to sign up for your event, purchase tickets or registrations. You will need to find a balance across all rules and tips to insure your messages are delivered. Most services such as Mailchimp offer a tool to test the deliverability of your email.
2. Grammar and punctuation matters.
Do not scream in your emails. Avoid using ALL CAPS, and the excessive use of exclamation points will red flag your emails as well.
3. Deliver meaningful content.
Spam filters do screen content and it is key to insure that your event invite’s message includes relevant information and avoids words that are often found in spam messages. Spam filters look at the overall content of the message. A more detailed article on Content based filtering by Laura Atkins can be found hereDo not use the word “test” in your subject line, especially when sending an email to multiple recipients.
4. Avoid sloppy HTML.
When developing the content of our event invites we tend to start the process in a Microsoft Word doc, and when ready copy the content to our email system. Too often this results in sloppy HTML coding that will cause spam filters to flag the event invitation. Creating an HTML email with one image is not helpful either. Spam filters cannot read images.
5. Use the right list.
Bottom line! Send your event emails only to a list that required an opt-in. At the same time, insure that if you use an opt-in list, you engage with your list periodically from the domain name you are sending your email invite from. Spam filters will flag messages with low subscriber engagement, with a result that the domain name or IP address from which the emails are sent will be blocked. Keep your lists fresh. Opt-in permission generally goes stale about every 6 months. If you haven’t used your list for a while, you will need to reconfirm your list.

Sources for this article:
How to avoid spam filters by Mailchimp
Content based filtering by Laura Atkins

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Mon, 02 Mar 2015 06:00:00 +0000 info@eventinterface.com (Al Wynant) http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Event-Invites-And-Spam
Top Tips On How To Network Pre-, During And Post-Event http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Top-Tips-On-How-To-Network-Pre-During-And-PostEvent We are joined today by Lisa Grotts, a recognized etiquette expert, on-air contributor, and the author of A Traveler's Passport to Etiquette.  She writes a manners blog for The Huffington Post and she is also a guest contributor to the Nob Hill Gazette in San Francisco.  Lisa joins us to share her top tips on how to network before, during and after an event.

Listen to host Eric Dye and guest Lisa Grotts discuss the following questions:

  • Networking at events can be quite nerve-wracking. What do you recommend people do to prepare?
  • How do you make the best impression, and what are some of the techniques you can employ to insure networking success?
  • Networking doesn’t end when the event ends, what do you suggest people do post-event?
  • What are your top 3 tips for networking success?



Lisa Grotts is a recognized etiquette expert,  on-air contributor, and the author of A Traveler's Passport to Etiquette (2009).  She writes a manners blog for The Huffington Post and she is also a guest contributor to the Nob Hill Gazette in San Francisco. 

A former director of protocol for the city and county of San Francisco, Lisa founded The AML Group 15 years ago, a certified etiquette and protocol-consulting firm. Her clients range from Stanford Hospital, American Airlines, Campbell’s Soup, UC Berkeley, Cornell University, KPMG, Levi Strauss and Microsoft to name a few.

She has been quoted by over 90 publications including The New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, the LA Times, Newsweek, Condé Nast Traveler, InStyle magazine, Women’s Day, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal. SF Brides, Reader’s Digest, Travel Weekly and The San Jose Business Times.

In addition to running her own business, Lisa was an active member of the Junior League of San Francisco for 13 years.  She was also President of the San Francisco Ballet Auxiliary for two years, and chair of their opening night gala and annual fashion show. Lisa is a trustee of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and the California Pacific Medical Center.  She also volunteers at numerous Bay Area non-profits such as San Francisco Suicide Prevention, the Assyrian Aid Society and the San Francisco Symphony. 

Connect with Lisa at:
Via Telephone: 415-812-4888

Tue, 24 Feb 2015 06:00:00 +0000 info@eventinterface.com (Al Wynant) http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Top-Tips-On-How-To-Network-Pre-During-And-PostEvent
4 Ways To Increase Meeting Attendance http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/4-Ways-To-Increase-Meeting-Attendance A solid program is the essential starting point. Adding activities that will increase the value of your event will insure growth in attendance, and excitement for future events. These four easy to use tips will increase attendance at your events and meetings.

Ask attendees for program and activity feedback.

When planning an event, ask your attendees what they want to learn and experience. A survey conducted right after an event may provide you with valuable data, it is however completed by attendees in the euphoria of the event resulting in perhaps skewed favorable results. Asking your prospect attendees at the start of the planning process will provide you with more honest feedback.

Involving your prospect attendees in the creation of the program also produces a sense of ownership, which leads to increased participation. 

Engage before, during and after the event.

Planning events is an expensive and time-consuming endeavor. Technology such as Eventinterface now makes it easier than ever to extend the lifecycle of your events by engaging attendees pre-, during and post-event.

Make your attendees part of a community, brand or experience by amping up the engagement process. Engaging attendees post event, and opening up the online community to individuals who could not make your event, increases the likelihood of converting non-attendees to attendees for the following event. 

Provide ample and solid networking opportunities.

People attend events to learn, buy, sell and network. Allowing for ample and well-crafted networking opportunities increases the probability of boosted attendance. Rather than hosting a massive networking reception, try more intimate gatherings with attendees interested around a topic or product. Try to connect exhibitors with buyers of their product. Make the networking opportunities uber valuable and part of the program, rather than a break during which networking occurs. Ask your attendees during the registration process who they want to network with, what they want to sell or buy, and connect these people at your event.

Engage your attendees’ passions.

Learn what your attendees like to do in their free time and offer engaging and unique opportunities during your event. One of our clients has a large group of health conscious attendees who enjoy outdoor activities. The conference now features a 5K run that attracts hundreds. Perhaps you can offer a cooking class at the venue, a networking opportunity around a specific topic, a volunteer opportunity. Provide truly local, once in a lifetime, experiences unique to the destination.

Mon, 23 Feb 2015 06:00:00 +0000 info@eventinterface.com (Al Wynant) http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/4-Ways-To-Increase-Meeting-Attendance
Top Legal Tips For Meeting And Event Planners http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Top-Legal-Tips-For-Meeting-And-Event-Planners On this episode of Event TALK we are joined by Brian Burt, Partner with Snell & Wilmer who discusses top legal issues meeting and event planners need to be aware of. Brian is a business lawyer advising entrepreneurs and emerging growth companies in all stages of development, from formation to liquidity. He also represents banks, financial services companies, private investors, and venture capital funds. 

Listen to host Eric Dye and guest Brian Burt discuss the following questions:

  • When should event and meeting planners reach out to an attorney when planning a particular event?  
  • What information will you typically need to gather to properly advise them?
  • Planners are required to deal with a variety of third parties when planning an event (e.g., venue owner, event sponsor, vendors, etc.) – are the legal issues the same for each of those relationships?
  • What are the top legal issues planners should focus on as they work with those parties in preparing to plan and host an event?


About our guest:

Brian Burt Top Legal Tips for Meeting and Event Planners at Eventinterface Event TALKBrian J. Burt is a Partner with Snell & Wilmer L.L.P., and serves as Chair of the firm’s Emerging Business Group. Founded in 1938, Snell & Wilmer is a full-service business law firm, with over 400 attorneys practicing in nine offices throughout the western United States and Mexico.

Brian is a business lawyer advising entrepreneurs and emerging growth companies in all stages of development, from formation to liquidity. He also represents banks, financial services companies, private investors, and venture capital funds.

He has extensive experience in corporate formation, reorganization and governance; private equity and debt financing; shareholder/owner relations, buyouts and disputes; employment and consulting agreements; employee incentive programs; general contract negotiation; supplier/manufacturing agreements; securities regulation; technology transfer and licensing; joint ventures and strategic alliances; fund formation; cloud computing; corporate asset protection and succession planning; and mergers and acquisitions. 

Brian represents clients in a wide variety of industries, including banking and financial services, biotechnology, capital investment, consumer products and services, education, entertainment/media, healthcare, high tech, Internet, manufacturing, marketing/public relations, medical device, nutraceuticals, outdoor, professional services, real estate  development, renewable energy, and software and information technology.

He is very active in Phoenix’s entrepreneurial and investment ecosystems.  He has served on the Executive Committee for Invest Southwest since 2009 and as its Selection Committee Chair (2013-2014) and Mentor Teams Chair (2009-2013).  He participates in Entrepreneurs' Organization (EO) Arizona, Accelerator Arizona, and as a mentor and speaker for the Center for Entrepreneurial Innovation, ASU’s Furnace Technology Transfer Accelerator, and the Thunderbird Global Entrepreneurship Incubator.  He helped form the Thunderbird Angel Network, and is a co-founder of the Westside Institution for Startup and Emerging Companies and the Arizona Collaboratory.

Brian is the creator and host of the popular Emerging Business Seminar Series held monthly in Phoenix, as well as the firm’s Emerging Business Blog located at http://www.swlaw.com/blog/

Having previously founded, raised capital for, and run his own company, Brian brings a “real world” perspective to his practice. 

Brian received his B.A. in Political Science and Philosophy, summa cum laude, from Allegheny College, where he was class valedictorian and a member of Phi Beta Kappa.  He earned his J.D. from Harvard Law School, where he served as Managing Editor of the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy

Reach Brian at:
(602) 382-6317 or via email at bburt@swlaw.com.


Tue, 17 Feb 2015 09:00:00 +0000 info@eventinterface.com (Al Wynant) http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Top-Legal-Tips-For-Meeting-And-Event-Planners
Preventing Event Check-In Aggravation http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Preventing-Event-CheckIn-Aggravation 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 can’t 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, however it doesn’t have to be this way.

Check-in staff must be prepared. The registration desk is not the place to assemble nametags and conference packages in full view of the attendees. The only function should be the welcoming of attendees, checking them in, and the distribution of the conference bag and name badge. 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!

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. 

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.  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.   

Event WiFi Event Registration Checkin EventinterfaceWI-FI
Are you checking in people electronically using a service such as Eventinterface, 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. Read this post to learn about checking bandwidth at venues.

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. 


Fri, 13 Feb 2015 08:00:00 +0000 info@eventinterface.com (Al Wynant) http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Preventing-Event-CheckIn-Aggravation
MPI Winter Outlook Highlights Improved Business Conditions http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/MPI-Winter-Outlook-Highlights-Improved-Business-Conditions MPI Winter Outlook at EventinterfaceMeeting Professionals International (MPI) released the Winter Edition of its quarterly Meetings Outlook special report. This edition reveals that business continues to improve, however budgets do not seem to keep up with the rising cost of the global seller’s market.

The report finds that 70 percent of planners expect business conditions to improve in the near future.  Positive news for live attendance numbers, which have been steadily climbing by approximately 5 percent per quarter since Q2 2014.Nearly 50 percent of respondents anticipate a decrease in the government meetings segment.

View the full report.


Tue, 10 Feb 2015 21:00:00 +0000 info@eventinterface.com (Al Wynant) http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/MPI-Winter-Outlook-Highlights-Improved-Business-Conditions
New York City Breaking Meeting Attendance Records http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/New-York-City-Breaking-Meeting-Attendance-Records New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio at EventinterfaceMayor Bill de Blasio, NYC & Company President and CEO Fred Dixon, and NYC & Company Board of Directors Chairman and President of The Metropolitan Museum of Art Emily K. Rafferty today announced that New York City reached an all-time record 56.4 million visitors in 2014. These visitors generated a record $61.3 billion in overall economic impact, supporting 359,000 tourism related jobs and $21 billion in wages. The City’s hotel sector reached 102,000 hotel rooms last year, while selling a record 32.4 million total hotel room nights, an all-time high. The tourism industry also generated $3.7 billion in local tax revenues.

“From Soho to Soundview to Sunnyside, New York City offers visitors hundreds of unique neighborhoods and communities to explore—and last year a record 56.4 million visitors chose to experience all that New York City has to offer. Our five boroughs are brimming with new enclaves of diverse food, performances and art shows around every corner. Our excellent quality of life, low levels of crime, and constant dynamism continue to attract record tourism each year, and 2014 was no exception,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Of the 56.4 million visitors who came to New York City in 2014, 44.2 million came from U.S./domestic locations, while 12.2 million came from international locations. Average hotel occupancy for the year finished at 89 percent, while average daily room rates citywide finished the year at $295. Both occupancy rates and room rates in New York City are the highest in the country.  

“Thanks to the work of NYC & Company in 28 markets around the globe, the City’s travel and tourism sector continues to thrive and help support economic growth and 359,000 jobs. These record tourism numbers demonstrate what we have always known: that ours is the greatest city in the world,” said Deputy Mayor for Economic Development & Housing Alicia Glen. 

Fred Dixon, NYC & Company‚Äôs President and CEO at Eventinterface“I am deeply gratified to see our tourism industry perform on all cylinders—last year, we welcomed record international and domestic visitation to our City, while positively impacting our local economy. NYC & Company continues to showcase both the City’s iconic attractions as well as the diverse, hidden-gem opportunities throughout all five boroughs. With the visitor at the center of all we do, I am confident we will continue to be among the world’s most aspirational travel destinations,” said Fred Dixon, NYC & Company’s President and CEO.

“Last year, the City’s travel and tourism industry was the strongest on record.  Because of the vibrant and ever-evolving offerings in every corner of our City, we continue to be an iconic draw. Our 2,000 NYC & Company member businesses deserve to take a bow for the outstanding contributions they make to helping maintain the magnetic draw of New York City,” said Emily K. Rafferty, NYC & Company Board Chairman and President of The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

In 2013, 54.3 million visitors came to New York City—a record high at the time. Surpassing that record, this year’s tally of 56.4 million visitors represents a 23 percent increase since 2009, when the City was attracting nearly 46 million visitors. Year over year, the City saw a nearly 4 percent increase in tourism.

In 2014, the City reached 102,000 hotel rooms in its active inventory. Since 2006, hotel inventory in New York City has expanded by more than 40 percent from 72,600, while demand has continued to outpace even this strong growth in new capacity. New York City currently has the most active hotel development pipeline in the country, and is on track to reach more than 115,000 rooms by 2017.

New York City is the nation’s number one big city destination, the number one port-of-entry for foreign visitors, the number one city for tourism spending, and has the highest share of overseas visitation to the U.S.—approximately one-third. Top market performers continue to reflect the strong pull of New York City in the international arena, where visitors stay longer and spend more, with the leading international markets being the United Kingdom, Canada, Brazil, France, China, Australia and Germany.

NYC & Company

Fri, 06 Feb 2015 20:00:00 +0000 info@eventinterface.com (Al Wynant) http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/New-York-City-Breaking-Meeting-Attendance-Records
From RFP to Venue Contract http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/From-RFP-to-Venue-Contract Today we are speaking with Kate Snapp, Sales Executive with Marriott International. We are speaking with Kate about the venue RFP process and understanding contracts, especially for meeting and event planners. Kate has over 30 years of hospitality industry experience, and has worked all over the west for some of the most well-known and respected hotel companies in the world. 

Listen to host Eric Dye and Kate Snapp discuss the following:

  • Why should a meeting planner use an RFP or Request for Proposal when working with a venue?
  • What should be included in an RFP sent to a venue?
  • What should a planner expect when receiving a response back from the venue?
  • What is traditionally negotiable when working with a venue and what is not?
  • What are the key provisions in a venue contract planners should carefully review before signing?
  • What are your top 3 tips for planners when working through the RFP process and reviewing venue contracts?


About our guest:

A hospitality veteran of over 30 years, Kate Snapp has worked all over the west for some of the most well-known and respected hotel companies in the world. 

In addition to being a leader in the companies she has worked for she has also been a leader in the industry, as well as the community.  She is a Member of the Marriott International Business Council, T2 Trainer for Marriott International, the Fundraising & Events Director for the Oro Valley Dolphins Football and Cheer Organization, Member of the EduCon Committee for Meeting Professionals International and just finished her reign as a Member of the Board of Casas Christian School.  She is a Past President of HSMAI, and remains equally involved as a member in both civic and professional organizations. 

Kate’s trained and presented to groups of 5-5000.  She is currently a Sales Executive with Marriott International.  In her current position Kate’s primary responsibilities are Total Account Management and Business Development.  The key to her success is based upon building and maintaining strong key relationships. 

Reach Kate Snapp at: Kate.Snapp@marriott.com.

About Event TALK

Eventinterface Event TALK podcast show for Meeting Planners

Event TALK is a podcast show by Eventinterface for event and meeting planners. We bring you interviews with experienced professionals who share top tips and advice. 



Wed, 04 Feb 2015 06:00:00 +0000 info@eventinterface.com (Al Wynant) http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/From-RFP-to-Venue-Contract
Unexpected Sophistication In Downtown Chandler http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Unexpected-Sophistication-In-Downtown-Chandler Built in 1916 as a hardware store, the building has undergone a handful of transformations and in 2013 opened as SoHo63. Purchased by Phoenix event veteran Kate Christensen, CMP, DMCP and managed by daughter Megan Schmidt, SoHo63 retains much of its original architectural features from the tin ceiling to the exposed brick walls.

SoHo63 Brix on Boston on Eventinterface
SoHo63 Brix On Boston event space

The 12,000 square feet venue is located in downtown Chandler, AZ and features three indoor spaces and one outdoor terrace modeled after a New York City rooftop. The Gramercy Ballroom can host up to 400 guests reception style. The well-appointed venue is a favorite for weddings and social events, and an excellent alternative for corporate meetings seeking a unique venue experience.

SoHo63 The Plaza at Eventinterface
SoHo63 The Plaza event space

“We work with a carefully selected group of vendors in serving our customers,” said Chief Event Curator Megan Schmidt, “however we allow our clients to bring in their own favorite vendors.” SoHo63 is fully equipped with state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment, Wi-Fi and has access to the latest in event décor. Ample complimentary parking is available in a covered garage, feet from the venue. Clients in need of guest rooms can partner with the San Marcos Golf Resort located within walking distance of SoHo63. Fifteen restaurants are located within a short walk should planners want to forgo catering at the venue.

SoHo63 rental rates start at $750. For more information and to reserve the venue for your event visit SoHo63.com or phone 480 878.5663.

Photographs courtesy of the venue. 

Mon, 02 Feb 2015 07:00:00 +0000 info@eventinterface.com (Al Wynant) http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Unexpected-Sophistication-In-Downtown-Chandler
FCC Finally Lays Down The Law; Hotels Can't Block Wi-Fi http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/FCC-Finally-Lays-Down-The-Law-Hotels-Cant-Block-WiFi "In the 21st century, Wi-Fi represents an essential on-ramp to the Internet. Personal Wi-Fi networks, or "hot spots," are an important way that consumers connect to the Internet. Willful or malicious interference with Wi-Fi spots is illegal," the FCC said in a statement, especially calling out Marriott for its blocking practices, as reported by Gizmodo.

Read the full story.


Sun, 01 Feb 2015 07:00:00 +0000 info@eventinterface.com (Al Wynant) http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/FCC-Finally-Lays-Down-The-Law-Hotels-Cant-Block-WiFi
Event Planners Still Stressed http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Event-Planners-Still-Stressed The list of most stressful jobs of 2015 includes Event Planners once again; however it’s not all bad news. Planners ranked number 5 in the 2014 list. This year it appears our lives are a little less stressful. Ranked number 8 behind firefighters, military personnel and police officers the job remains high on the list of stressful occupations as discovered by Careercast.com. The combination of needing to meet strict deadlines and pleasing a diverse group of stakeholders can cause stress to be high in this job.

View the Top 10 most stressful jobs.
View the Top 10 least stressful jobs.

Sat, 31 Jan 2015 09:00:00 +0000 info@eventinterface.com (Al Wynant) http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Event-Planners-Still-Stressed