Eventinterface https://eventinterface.com/blog en-US Fri, 18 Apr 2014 06:40:45 +0000 Thu, 17 Apr 2014 14:47:53 +0000 http://www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by/1.0 FeedWriter 5 Essential Tools For Event Planners On The Go http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/5-Essential-Tools-For-Event-Planners-On-The-Go As an event or meeting planner you're often on the go. Fortunately there are many ways you can add more flexibility to your busy lifestyle without compromising your client's happiness. Imagine the freedom you'll feel when you're able to plan out your next conference or meeting while on vacation, or fulfill a client's every whim without having to step into the office. With the right tools you can easily stay in touch with your clients, regardless of your location.

Go Paperless

A party wouldn't be a party without invitations. Suggesting paperless invitations to your clients will make it easier to decide on a design. Even if your client prefers physical invitations, a tool like Paperless Post can be helpful when showing digital proofs and getting final approval before printing. This is also a great way to find out about your client's personal tastes and unique story before moving on to more complex party planning decisions. In addition to paperless invitations, consider going paperless when creating seating assignments. Inevitably this document will need to be changed time and time again, so keep things simple by using a digital seating chart like the one from Wedding Wire.

Stay Connected

Stay in touch no matter where you are with a satellite phone. These phones offer global coverage and can be used beyond the limit of wireless networks. A lost signal will never cause you to miss an important call from a client again. This mode of communication is great for talking to clients outside the U.S. or relaying information should an event be held in a remote location.

Use an Online Project Manager

Project management software is a must for all party planners, but especially for those who are interested in working away from the office. Gantter can help you plan your next event by letting you schedule everything that must be done, along with the dates and costs, before the big day arrives. Your client can even collaborate with you and discuss event details through the integrated chat program in Gantter.

Trello

For a more image-based approach, Trello offers event planners a way to collect ideas in one place through pictures, drawings and sketches. You can also create digital cards that contain important pieces of information. Say you have to help the birthday girl choose a cake. Picking out the cake would be the big idea, but you also have the ability to add a checklist with smaller tasks to the back of the card (research cake vendors, set cake tasting date, etc.).

Tablets

iPads and other tablets are often used as forms of entertainment. However, these devices can also be great tools for event planners. Whether you're meeting with a potential client to show him or her examples of your work, or you need to snap a quick picture and send it to the guest of honor, tablets are a portable way to maintain communication with clients without having to lug around a laptop or entire image portfolio. Tablets are also versatile as they can be used both for event planning and to ensure everything runs smoothly the day of.

What are your favorite tools? Share with us on Twitter @Eventinterface or Facebook.

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Thu, 17 Apr 2014 14:47:53 +0000 info@eventinterface.com (Al Wynant) http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/5-Essential-Tools-For-Event-Planners-On-The-Go
The Intangible Success Maker http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/The-Intangible-Success-Maker Daniel Duran with Duran EventsAsk this question of anyone I have worked with in the last decade about me and they will all most likely give you the same answer. "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" (fellow planners and hotel folks know what I'm talking about...shout out to all my pals!). It isn't always something that you can touch or see. Hospitality is...now brace yourself, we're diving deep here...a way of life.

In a future blog I will dive into what I like to call "Purpose-filled Planning" which will cover in detail the real reason of why we do what we do as conference and meeting planners and what our driving force should always be. For now, though, I just want to share this short story...

At a conference last summer, I was walking a presenter to her break-out room. While we were walking through the conference center she stopped halfway down the hall and said, "What is going on here?" I worried and to be completely honest, very concerned about why she was asking such a question began to explain the conference, the happenings of the day, the purpose, and our mission. Behind my hospitable tone and smile was a mind filled with regret that I ever accepted her presentation submission thinking, "If you don't know what is going on here, what the heck are you doing here?" I clearly had these thoughts too soon. She stopped me about half way through my explanation and said, "No. That's not what I meant. I mean, something is happening here.  Something special.  I don't know what it is. Something is different." Her sentences were short and hesitant, but she had a curious joy in her eyes. I knew that we had reached success. I already knew we had good programming, a great facility, etc.  More than that, we built a conference centered around hospitality and the guest experience.  You couldn't touch it, you couldn't see it, but it radiated through the conference center.  At the end of the conference she came back to me and said, "We are in. I'm bringing my entire network to attend this conference next year." BOOM.

Make someone feel welcomed, taken care of, and valued, and you've got them at their hearts. Simple, right? You would think so, but that's not always the case. The challenge to myself and to everyone out there, in the industry or not, is to live everyday with a hospitable heart. The resulting successes from this will amaze you.

Daniel Duran
Duran Events

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Wed, 16 Apr 2014 08:23:48 +0000 info@eventinterface.com (Al Wynant) http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/The-Intangible-Success-Maker
Eventinterface Welcomes New Advisory Board Members http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Eventinterface-Welcomes-New-Advisory-Board-Members Eventinterface is pleased to welcome Kiran RajBhandary and Dr. Jeremy Babendure to its Professional Advisory Board.

Kiran RajBhandary Eventinterface Advisory Board MemberKIRAN (RAJ) RAJBHANDARY is the founder of V12 Studios LLC, a Scottsdale, Arizona based consultancy providing strategic start up, branding, design and marketing solutions to businesses in a spectrum of markets worldwide.

“I am very excited to be working with the Eventinterface team. Eventinterface is taking technology and connecting businesses, attendees, and compelling content in new, powerful ways. I look forward to helping Eventinterface continue its growth and expand its role as the technology brand that integrates event planning - with users productive in their roles, businesses profiting and attendees benefitting,” said Kiran Rajbhandary.

His clients include: Apple Computer, Boeing, Boingo Wireless, Cartoon Network, DirecTV, Disney Interactive, EAU Technology, Ford, Footlocker, FOX Sports, Gary Sinise Foundation, Harley-Davidson, Mikasa Sports, NASCAR, Nexcore Capital, Nickelodeon, Time-Warner, and Universal Studios, among others.

Prior to finding V12 Studios, RajBhandary was Creative Director at FRCH/SDI Worldwide, taught graduate design at Otis/Parsons School of Design in Los Angeles, designed international art exhibits and publications while at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and has served as the Director of Design International for MOCA China.

RajBhandary's work resides in the Library of Congress, the collections of numerous museums, and he has been recognized with awards from the AIGA, Art Directors of Los Angeles, The Los Angeles Illustrators Society, Macromedia, Promax/Broadcast Design Association, Invision, Webby, STEP 100 Design, and the American Museum Association.

Dr. Jeremy Babendure, Eventinterface Advisory Board MemberDR. JEREMY BABENDURE is the Executive Director of the Annual Arizona SciTech Festival Initiative and Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Arizona State University and the University of Arizona. The annual festival includes over 450 collaborators, 500 events and draws over 300,000 participants. Prior to his work in Arizona, Jeremy received his doctorate in in the lab of recent Nobel Laureate, Dr. Roger Tsien at the University of California, San Diego developing molecular sensors for the detection of RNA. Following this work, he and Roger launched the ScienceBridge program as mechanism to bring current science to the San Diego schools annually impacting ~200 teachers, ~20,000 students, and ~60,000 community members and attaining $12M+ in national grants.

 

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Tue, 15 Apr 2014 07:00:00 +0000 info@eventinterface.com (Al Wynant) http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Eventinterface-Welcomes-New-Advisory-Board-Members
New Eventinterface Messenger Launched http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/New-Eventinterface-Messenger-Launched Rod BridgesWe are thrilled to announce the launch of the new Eventinterface Messenger. The enhanced messenger allows registered attendees to easily communicate with other registered attendees, speakers, exhibitors and sponsors, all behind the privacy wall of the event or meeting.

“This function allows attendees to privately reach out to other registered participants and start engagement pre-event,” said Rod Bridges, Eventinterface co-founder and CTO. “We are committed to providing the tools to enhance the engagement between all event stakeholders, and build value for meeting planners, pre-, during and post-event by providing easy to use tools,” said Bridges.

Any individual registered for an event or meeting using Eventinterface can use Eventinterface Messenger. Individual participants control privacy setting to manage if they are visible or not to other registered attendees. 

 

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Sun, 13 Apr 2014 14:00:00 +0000 info@eventinterface.com (Al Wynant) http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/New-Eventinterface-Messenger-Launched
Flower Balls http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Flower-Balls Spring is in the air, and there is nothing more satisfying than surrounding oneself with the gorgeous colors and scents of fresh flowers after suffering months of drab weather. It is even more fun when these beautiful flowers are arranged in fun shapes. Today we are taking a peek at some amazing ball-shaped designs and we hope the pictures will inspire you. We don’t claim ownership of these photographs. Its all stuff we discovered on Pinterest, and have credited them where possible. See more of the stuff we like on Pinterest

Event Decor Flowers, Eventinterface

Event tables flowers Eventinterface

Event Tables Flowers Eventinterface

Event Flowers Eventinterface
Not flowers, but stunning nonetheless. Picture by NB Flowers.

Event Flowers Eventinterface

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Sat, 12 Apr 2014 08:29:34 +0000 info@eventinterface.com (Al Wynant) http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Flower-Balls
Color Matters http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Color-Matters Selecting colors for your event can be an arduous experience. Is the choice of colors reflective of your brand or more of a personal fondness for a specific color? I love blue, and the many blue shirts in my closet are an attest to that. For events however I look for inspiration in the brand, learn the emotions the client wants the attendee to experience. Color plays a significant role in creating an atmosphere. Together with scent, sound and touch it is part of telling the story, creating emotions and connections.

So how do you choose colors?

The event industry is driven by trends, but the color of the season may not be the right one for your brand. I start by understanding the message the client wants to convey, then the audience. Then I put myself in the attendees’ shoes, mentally walk through the event and picture what it could look, feel, sound and smell like. Different colors evoke different reactions. Based on that mental picture, I find colors that connect with that emotion.   

Now what do colors mean and how do they work together?

There are cool colors, warm and neutral colors. Cool colors tend to feel impersonal, but mixed it with a color from another group will add warmth. Warm colors are energizing; adding colors from another group will balance this. Neutral colors offer a great base for the cool or warm colors. Stand-alone they can offer a calming and elegant background.

Lets look at some colors.

Cool Colors:
Blue: security, intelligence, loyalty, coldness, masculine.
Purple: royalty, ambition, mystery, spirituality.
Green: money, healing, fertility, fresh, envy.
Turquoise: healing, sophisticated, spiritual, femininity.
Silver: glamour, sleek, high tech, dreamer.

Warm Colors:
Red: love, passion, heat, danger, strength, danger.
Pink: feminine, sweet, playful, weak, compassion.
Orange: confidence, success, ignorance, courage, sluggishness.
Yellow: bright, energy, unstable, sun, intellect, happy.
Gold: wealth, greed, traditional, dreamer, valuable.

Neutral Colors:
Brown: friendly, earth, conservative, longevity.
Tan: dependable, crisp, boring, conservative.
Black: protection, dramatic, death, mystery, formal.
Gray: security, solid, intelligence, sad, gloomy.
White: innocence, purity, fresh, clean, winter, cold, distant.

 

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Fri, 11 Apr 2014 07:00:00 +0000 info@eventinterface.com (Al Wynant) http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Color-Matters
More Non-Traditional Venues http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/More-NonTraditional-Venues In follow-up to our March 17 post about using non-traditional event venues, we asked meeting and event planners to share their favorites. Here are two unique and definitely non-traditional venues in our ongoing series about the subject. 

Palo Alto – Barcelona, Spain

An industrial complex founded in late 19th century by entrepreneurs Ramon Gal and Joan Puigsech, and designed by architect Antoni Vila i Bruguera. In 1990, after having been divided in small workspaces, artists began establishing themselves there and renamed it Palo Alto. The venue is now occupied by a variety of artists and new-age businesses.

Palo Alto, Barcelona Spain Eventinterface

Scott Doane, owner at Fresh Activities Ltd, has used the venue for an awards event. “It is a gorgeous place, with the feeling of its rich history all around you, yet rustic, not opulent. You do have to bring in all of the items you need for your event, from lighting to supplemental power,” said Doane.

More about Palo Alto.

Fernbank Museum of Natural History - Atlanta, GA

Joel Feingold Presents at EventinterfaceJoel A. Feingold with Joel Feingold Presents shares “Oh this is easy! Even though I have produced shows in superb performing arts venues such as Symphony Hall, Boston, many glorious private homes, sporting venues such as the Whistler Sliding Centre, one of the museum events stands alone. In Atlanta for a vision conference my customer wanted to entertain their clients, physicians mostly. We rented the Fernbank Museum of Natural History. In the main atrium we built a stage and installed about 100 linear feet of 30' tall black velour theatrical drape for acoustic modification. The atrium was all fossil laden limestone with a glass wall to the exterior. On stage we presented Little Feat, who performed about 10' from a humongous Brontosaurus skeleton. Most of the crowds watched through the legs of the beast!”

More about the Fernbank Museum of Natural History.

Tell us about using a non-traditional venue, or if you manage a non-traditional venue by sending us a message here. We may include it in a future post.

Lead in photo Fernbank Museum of Natural History. Photograph by Raftermen Photography.
Palo Alto photograps courtesy of the venue.
Fernbank Museum of Natural History event photo courtesy of Joel Feingold Presents.

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Thu, 10 Apr 2014 07:00:00 +0000 info@eventinterface.com (Al Wynant) http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/More-NonTraditional-Venues
The Heartbleed Bug Security Review http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/The-Heartbleed-Bug-Security-Review The Eventinterface engineering team has been working to assess the impact for our users in the wake of the April 7th disclosure of CVE-2014-0160, known colloquially as Heartbleed. We have joined virtually every service provider on the Internet in responding to this critical vulnerability in OpenSSL’s handling of heartbeat packets. Our team has conducted a thorough security review and we want to share our findings with you.

We have concluded from our review that there is no evidence that any Eventinterface user credentials have been compromised. Eventinterface services are not secured by a version of OpenSSL with the Heartbleed vulnerability.

We hope this answers questions about the possible impact of CVE-2014-0160 on your Eventinterface applications for you and your attendees. Do feel free to reach out to us here should you have any follow-up questions.

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Wed, 09 Apr 2014 09:21:46 +0000 info@eventinterface.com (Al Wynant) http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/The-Heartbleed-Bug-Security-Review
Eventinterface Blog Featured on Google Newsstand http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Eventinterface-Blog-Featured-on-Google-Newsstand We’re thrilled that Google has selected our blog as a featured publication in the Top News section of the Business and Finance category of Google Newsstand. We’re listed alongside heavyweights such as Harvard Business Review, Wall Street Journal, and Inc.

Google Newsstand is available for free for all Android devices from the Google Play store. Get it here. Add Eventinterface publication to your Library here. We’d love for you to subscribe, rate it and Google+ it.

iPhone and iPad users can subscribe to our blog via Google Currents here

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Wed, 09 Apr 2014 07:00:00 +0000 info@eventinterface.com (Al Wynant) http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Eventinterface-Blog-Featured-on-Google-Newsstand
Let There Be Light http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Let-There-Be-Light Lighting can make an event. Great lighting design can make a drab event look spectacular. It can turn a basic ballroom into a magical place. In this post we wanted to share a few spectacularly lit events. We hope the pictures will inspire you. We don’t claim ownership of these pictures. Its all stuff we discovered on Pinterest, and have credited them where possible. See more of the stuff we like on Pinterest

Event Lighting Eventinterface

Harris Theater Gala by Bill Heffernan. "We designed sheer white fabric cubes floating low over each table. This produced both an impressive vision and gave an intimacy to the enormous tent. We accented them with summery yet minimal branch projections in a blue-green shade, providing detail and a coolness to the warm evening." Bill Heffernan. Photo: Fandl Photography.

Event Lighting Eventinterface
Image provided by Levy Lighting, NYC.

Event Lighting EventinterfaceOver 300 beautiful metal LUMINARIES hung from the truss around the perimeter and above the dance floor in varying heights to create a twinkling star effect and the illusion of a city landscape. Event Production: jesGORDON LLC. Event Photographer: Andre Maier. Venue: Gotham Hall, New York City.

Event Lighting Eventinterface
Fun use of outdoor lighting as inspiration for events and tent ceiling lit with leaf gobos to spectacular effect.

Event Lighting Eventinterface
The Breakers Design Studio completed this event by creating a suspended ceiling of floating floral clouds overhead the dance floor.

Event Lighting Eventinterface
Great use of chrytal chandeliers and beads creating one spectacular light fixture in this tent.

Lead in picture: Immersive Lighting by Got Light Concourse.

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Tue, 08 Apr 2014 16:02:15 +0000 info@eventinterface.com (Al Wynant) http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Let-There-Be-Light
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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Mon, 07 Apr 2014 07:00:00 +0000 info@eventinterface.com (Al Wynant) http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Top-Site-Selection-Tips
MPI CEO Responds To Opposition http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/MPI-CEO-Responds-To-Opposition Dear MPI Community,

The bedrock of MPI is our members and chapters, so when you raised concerns with planned updates to the CMM Program, we said that we would listen to your input and if your suggestions result in a stronger program, we would make appropriate adjustments. Over the past six weeks we have received a great deal of constructive feedback through extensive community outreach.

After aggregating, analyzing and synthesizing your feedback, we found a number of consistent recommendations, which if implemented, would strengthen the CMM Program going forward. After reviewing the recommended changes with our partner, GBTA, together we have agreed to revise the CMM Program as follows:

Branding

The program will retain the Certificate in Meeting Management name and may also be referenced by the CMM acronym.

Eligibility

The criteria for participation in the CMM Program have been revised as follows to better align with the Meeting and Business Event Competency Standards (MBECS). Each candidate will be evaluated through a comprehensive application process with documented panel review against the following criteria.

- Minimum of 7 – 10 years of professional experience in the meeting and event or business travel industry

- Minimum of 3 – 5 years of management experience with two years of profit and loss responsibility

- Personal statement and letter of recommendation from professional colleague or supervisor

Assessment

Each future CMM Program participant will be required to develop a business case in which they must apply the course materials learned. The business case should reflect real situations, address current challenges that need to be resolved and be actionable – meaning the participant must have responsibility and influence over the challenges’ outcome. Each participant’s business case will be evaluated and scored against a pre-established standard of performance or rubric by CMM Program faculty.

Designation

Professionals that achieved the Certificate in Meeting Management from MPI prior to 2014 will retain the CMM designation, which is now supported by both MPI and GBTA. GBTA will communicate directly to individuals that achieved the comparable GBTA certificate regarding parameters for using the CMM designation.

In addition, MPI will reissue new certificates to existing CMM designees with the correct Certificate in Meeting Management branding. More details will be shared in the near future about how and when the new certificates will be provided.

On behalf of MPI and GBTA, thank you for your interest in the CMM Program. We recognize that it is your contributions, energy and support that are the foundation of MPI and, as such, we will always listen to your input and value your voice.

Again, thank you for your interest in this prestigious program, your passion for this industry and your support of MPI. We appreciate the feedback you have shared and believe these changes will strengthen the CMM Program going forward.

Sincerely,

Paul Van Deventer
President and CEO
Meeting Professionals International

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Sun, 06 Apr 2014 12:02:13 +0000 info@eventinterface.com (Al Wynant) http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/MPI-CEO-Responds-To-Opposition
Las Vegas Newest World Record Attraction Opens http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Las-Vegas-Newest-World-Record-Attraction-Opens- Earlier this month Las Vegas newest attraction, the High Roller opened to the public. The observation wheel is the crown jewel of The LINQ, the Strip’s all-new outdoor entertainment district.

The attraction is the world’s largest observation wheel at 550-foot tall. It has 28 spherical glass-enclosed cabins offering passengers a breathtaking view of the Las Vegas Skyline. Each cabin holds up to 40 passengers for the 30-minute ride, the time it takes for the entire wheel to rotate. Cabins can be rented out for private events and feature 8 screens with music and video shows.  Guests can reserve the adjacent wheelhouse for private parties and banquets.

the LINQ and The High Roller Las Vegas
The LINQ and The High Roller, artist rendering

The massive wheel located mid-Strip dazzles with an ever-changing LED light show. The lights turn on at dusk and sparkle until early morning.  The High Roller and accompanying LINQ district offer an exciting range of entertainment, dining, retail and nightlife offerings.

Tickets can be bought individually or in groups. Groups of 10 or more receive discounted rates.

More information here.

Photographs and rendering courtesy of the venue.

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Sat, 05 Apr 2014 08:00:00 +0000 info@eventinterface.com (Al Wynant) http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Las-Vegas-Newest-World-Record-Attraction-Opens-
Wellness All Year Long At The Westin St. Francis http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Wellness-All-Year-Long-At-The-Westin-St-Francis Strengthening its commitment to health and wellness, The Westin St. Francis announced this week the launch of a yearlong comprehensive wellness program. As part of the global Westin Well-being Movement, a $15 million campaign designed to enhance the well-being of guests and associates around the world, innovative partnerships and programs have been implemented to illustrate Westin’s six brand pillars: Sleep Well, Eat Well, Move Well, Feel Well, Work Well and Play Well.

“The Westin St. Francis recognizes the importance of health and wellness, and is dedicated to providing useful tools and resources for our guests to feel their best,” says General Manager Jon Kimball.

As part of the new Westin Well-being Movement, guests of The Westin St. Francis can enjoy can the following healthy options:

EAT WELL:
Helping guests enjoy healthy dining options, The Oak Room Restaurant and Caruso’s both feature SuperfoodsRx meals, pairing whole foods rich in antioxidants and low in calories.

PLAY WELL:
Located in the heart of San Francisco’s Union Square, The Westin St. Francis provides the ideal location for guests to get out and explore the area. Through a partnership with AFAR Magazine, local writers provide suggestions and tips for the best places to enjoy around The City. To help the weekend last even longer, Westin Weekends provides late checkout on Sundays until 3 p.m. and extended breakfast hours.

SLEEP WELL:
There’s nothing more heavenly than waking up refreshed after a great night sleep, and Westin’s iconic Heavenly Beds are sure to do the trick.

MOVE WELL:
Guests can stay healthy and fit on the road with Westin’s Gear Lending program, providing fresh, clean New Balance shoes and clothing delivered in-room for use during their stay for a small fee. The WestinWORKOUT Gym features the finest exercise equipment from world-class brands. For those who wish to get in a run while seeing the city sights, The Westin St. Francis offers guided runs every Tuesday at 6:30 am as part of RunWESTIN PROGRAM.

FEEL WELL:
Upon arrival, guests will be welcomed by the hotel’s light, refreshing signature scent. Upon retiring to the guestroom, the Heavenly Bath, with a therapeutic spa shower and luxurious bath amenities, is sure to provide relaxation. For those who wish to unwind with a massage, body treatment or facial, the St. Francis Renewal Spa has a wide range of options offering a relaxing respite from the rigors of travel.

WORK WELL:
Meeting attendees can recharge their body and mind with delicious SuperFoodsRx Meeting Breaks, designed to provide focused energy.

More information at westinstfrancis.com.

Photograps courtesy of the property.

 

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Fri, 04 Apr 2014 07:00:00 +0000 info@eventinterface.com (Al Wynant) http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Wellness-All-Year-Long-At-The-Westin-St-Francis
Top Tips For Successful Tradeshow Participation http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Top-Tips-For-Successful-Tradeshow-Participation Many conferences offer opportunities to showcase products and services. These offer an ideal opportunity for a business to get exposure to an attentive audience. According to the Center for Exhibit Industry Research it costs 63% less to close a lead generated from a tradeshow than one generated through other means. So therefore it is essential that your participation in a show is well planned, executed and followed up with.

Our top tips for successful tradeshow participation:

1. Select the right show or conference to participate in. Make sure the people in attendance are your actual prospects.

2. Promote your attendance pre-show with attendees and prospects. Schedule appointments in advance and invite prospects to visit your booth.

3. Set clear objectives for your participation. Those could be a number of leads collected, orders processed, product research, launch a product or increase visibility for your product or service.

4. Keep it simple. Its better to have a large graphic that can be seen from a distance, and simple text that can easily be understood. Your exhibit should meet your company or organization’s branding guidelines always.

5. Let people interact with your product or services. Let them touch, feel, smell and experience it.  

6. Use gimmicks wisely. Not everyone loves giveaways, consider contests, offer chair massages or refreshments. Just make sure your giveaways are appropriate for the audience and meet your brand guidelines.

7. Staff you booth with employees who understand your product or service, and have a good understanding of your tradeshow participation goals.

8. Once back at the office make follow-up a priority.

What are your tips? Share then with us on Twitter @Eventinterface #EIExhibits or at Facebook.

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Thu, 03 Apr 2014 08:00:00 +0000 info@eventinterface.com (Al Wynant) http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Top-Tips-For-Successful-Tradeshow-Participation
When To Post, Share Or Email? http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/When-To-Post-Share-Or-Email Mystified by the success of some social media or email campaigns? Aside of sharing a compelling message, are you sharing at the right time? It seems timing has as much to do with the success of a campaign as the message itself. Entrepreneur magazine posted a great story earlier this week that explored that exact topic. Read the full story here.

BEST TIMES TO POST, TWEET, + AND SHARE

Facebook: between 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m.

Twitter: between 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.

Google +: between 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.

Instagram: between 5:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.

Pinterest: between 8:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m.

See more at Entrepreneur.com and learn the specific reasons behind these findings.

That story also made us take a look at the best days and times for email campaigns. We looked at Mailchimp. The company sends between 200 to 300 million emails daily for clients, and they looked at the data to identify best times and trends.

Wednesday and Thursday are the best days to send emails.

Highest percentage of opens between 3:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m.

More about Mailchimp.

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Wed, 02 Apr 2014 14:53:06 +0000 info@eventinterface.com (Al Wynant) http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/When-To-Post-Share-Or-Email
Its Actually Easy Being Green http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Its-Actually-Easy-Being-Green For a few years now “being green” has been all the rage. There is nothing wrong with it; however are we being “green” because of a trend, or because it can make a meaningful difference to our environment?

We believe it’s the latter. With even the smallest adjustments we can impact our environment in a positive way. In this post we’re sharing our top tips for being “green” easily. You can call this the baby steps. We’ll get into the heavy-duty initiatives in a later post.

TIPS:

1. Serve pitchers of filtered water at water stations versus bottled water. Use biodegradable cups or glasses. Some conferences provide attendees with a reusable water bottle attendees take home post-conference.

2. Insure your event has recycling bins placed with or near trash bins, and make sure that the venue actually recycles.

3. Share event materials digitally instead of in print. Shameless plug! With Eventinterface you can share all event materials, presentations, video and documents pre-, during, and post-conference for viewing on computers, tablets and smart phones, eliminating the need to print, saving money and being “green.”

4. Use local vendors for food, and find out if the venue donates or recycles unused food items. Order only what you need! In the event the venue does not donate or recycle, ask catering to take any leftovers to housekeeping, maintenance, and staff at the venue. They’ll love it.

5. Turn off lights when you leave the room!

6. Ask attendees to recycle nametags, programs, handouts, bags, etc. when leaving the event. Recycle and donate what can be donated to a local nonprofit.

What are your top tips for being “green”? Share with us on Facebook or Twitter at #EIGreenEventTips

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Tue, 01 Apr 2014 15:50:32 +0000 info@eventinterface.com (Al Wynant) http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Its-Actually-Easy-Being-Green
Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort Opens http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Universals-Cabana-Bay-Beach-Resort-Opens The 1,800 room Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort opened today, and it puts a new twist on the 1950s and 60s with its retro theming and architecture.

The value priced resort, located in the heart of Universal Orlando Resort, is the fourth onsite hotel at Universal Orlando Resort in Orlando, FL. When fully completed, it will feature 900 guest rooms and 900 family suites. Guest staying receive exclusive theme park benefits such as early park admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort
Guest Room

RESORT FEATURES

- Two amazing courtyards, each with huge swimming pools
- Unique pool experiences including a lazy river, waterslide, kid-friendly areas and sand beaches
- Galaxy Bowl 10-lane bowling alley
- Complimentary Fitness Studio
- Game-O-Rama arcade
- 7 restaurants and lounges

More information here.

Photographs courtesy of the property.

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Mon, 31 Mar 2014 19:00:00 +0000 info@eventinterface.com (Al Wynant) http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Universals-Cabana-Bay-Beach-Resort-Opens
Potty Talk http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Potty-Talk Summer is only a few months away and many planners are in the final throws of coordinating outdoor festivals, concerts and sporting events. Most likely you will have to bring in restroom facilities for your attendees. So yes, we’re potty talking today. We’re sharing some handy tools to plan for the right amount of restrooms for a variety of event types.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE ORDERING

1. Expected number of attendees.
2. Type of event, is there alcohol served or not?
3. Will more than 50% of attendees be women?

WHAT TO ORDER

How many portable restrooms are needed for an event

Number of portable restrooms listed above are for events where no alcohol is served. Serve alcohol and add about 15% more toilets.

Is your event is attended by more than 50% women? Then you should increase your order by 1 for each 100 guests if alcohol is served, or 1 for each 200 guests if no alcohol is served.

One must have at least 1 stall designed for handicap use per cluster of toilets. That usually comes out to 10% of your total order.

Also consider the number of hand washing stations you will need. They are mandatory in food service areas. Check with you local Health and Safety Departments for specific requirements in your area.

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

1. Does your event provide ample locations to spread out the restroom facilities?
2. Depending on the duration of the event, will your facilities need to be serviced? If so, is there access for the maintenance vehicles to reach the facilities?
3. Does your event have overnight camping? Many festivals do. You will need to schedule maintenance to insure your facilities remain usable.
4. You must have separate facilities and hand washing stations for staff, food handlers and backstage.

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Sun, 30 Mar 2014 08:00:00 +0000 info@eventinterface.com (Al Wynant) http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Potty-Talk
Mobile Apps For Events. Great Idea Or Hyped Nonsense? http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Mobile-Apps-For-Events-Great-Idea-Or-Hyped-Nonsense Not a day goes by without receiving a pitch from a company providing mobile app development for meetings and conferences. We started wondering if planners, attendees, or the companies pitching these products drove the need for these apps. With that in mind we reached out to planners and developers, asking for their feedback, and great conversation ensued. In this post we’re sharing the thoughts and experiences of planners and attendees. Comments are geared towards the use of apps for attendees, not the planner. That’s another story which will be addressed in a future blog post.

THE REALITY

There are many companies providing apps to the event and meeting industry. Some integrate with existing software and services, others are stand-alone apps to provide a specific function, or set of functions to the attendee and/or planner.

Many of the planners we heard from implemented an app for the first time in 2013, most with mixed results. Furthermore, reliable and affordable Wi-Fi at event sites isn’t yet the norm and causes access problems. Privacy issues and corporate policies against downloading apps on company phones offered another layer of challenges. The wide variety of devices and operating systems causes issues as well. There are generational differences in adoption and use rate also.   

BY THE NUMBERS

Adoption rate by attendees hovers between 20% to 60% of registered participants, depending on the demographic of the audience. Adoption rate however does not mean utilization rate. How many people used the app after downloading it? That numbers seems a bit harder to come by.

PLANNERS IN THEIR OWN WORDS

Sara Reardon, Senior Director, Event Management at National Patient Safety Foundation shares: “We are implementing a mobile app for our annual conference for the first time this year. We have promoted it through our marketing campaigns and we asked attendees when they are registering if the have a smart phone, and if they would use the app. The majority has indicated that they will use the app, for those who do not we plan on providing a small printed piece that has all the essential information.”

Melinda Eggenberger, CMM, Vice President at Lex Mundi shared that their organization is using a mobile app for their conferences. Most attendees like them, although they still want to see a printed agenda and participant list. About 60% are using the app, but she is hoping this will increase. Using the app and understanding the navigation has a learning curve. The biggest issue is that many of their members (lawyers) use a Blackberry and the event app is very difficult to download to the Blackberry. Fortunately, many of the attorneys have iPads.

Tamara Olson, CMP, Global Travel and Event Manager at DJO Global shared: “We have used a mobile app for our national sales meeting in 2013 and 2014. In 2013, about 60% of our attendees downloaded the app, but given that 1/3 of our attendees were from outside the US and still largely using Blackberries, we felt this wasn't too bad. In 2014, by building on last year's experiences and by using pre-event content teasers as a reminder to download the app, we got to 75%. Push notifications to alert attendees of last minute room or time changes are a big plus for us.”

John Nawn, Founder at The Perfect Meeting had strong opinions on the topic. “I'm not a big fan of apps because most that I have seen deliver a poor user experience, if they 'work' at all. And this applies regardless of how much money is spent on the app.”

John beliefs that planners 'want' apps in the sense that everyone else has one, and they look out of touch without one. Others are pressured into adopting one by their stakeholders. Neither of these reasons makes for good justification, but that doesn't stop if from happening all the time anyways.

In terms of attendees needs, John believes attendees will use tools, like apps, which enhance their meeting experience. The problem is that too few apps meet that criteria. Most are 1st generation, push-oriented, and not all that value-added.

A DIFFERENT POINT OF VIEW

Rick O'Connor, Founder of SMSnet, the Event and Sports Text Messaging Company shares: “Only 56% of mobile phones in use in North America are smart phones capable of downloading an app, and statistically, only 68% of smart phone users will download an app. That means potentially, a maximum of 40% of attendees will use your native app, plus you need Wi-Fi for updates, otherwise users must use their own data plans. Any phone with web browsing capability can access a web-based app, that's about 80% of all phones in use. You need Wi-Fi or use your own data plan for a web-based app to function. Text Messaging does not require Wi-Fi or data, does not require downloading anything and most importantly, it works on every cell phone, that's 100% potential of all attendees. Much of the information that needs to be shared with attendees can be shared via text and links.”

ATTENDEES IN THEIR OWN WORDS

Tyra Hilliard, Speaker, Writer, & Consultant and Associate Professor shares: “I love technology, but as a conference attendee and speaker, I have to say I'm not a big fan of mobile apps. I use them to check the schedule and that's about it. Otherwise, I'm on Twitter using the hashtag (nice when the Twitter feed is part of the app). So many features on most mobile apps I've seen for conferences are not intuitive and for such a short adoption window, it isn't worth my time to figure out. And I don't want to be inundated with a lot of things I'm not interested in.”

Leah Brown, Director of Group Sales at Sofitel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills, attended a conference in Washington, DC and used an app and loved it!! As an attendee, it was great to have appointments, notes, and more all in one place.

TOP FUNCTIONS

1. Access to program details
2. Connecting with other attendees
3. Viewing speaker bios and session details
4. Scheduling
5. Event evaluations/onsite voting
6. Social media integration
7. Event map
8. Low learning curve
9. Easy to download

TOP TIPS

1. Understand what the app needs to do before you build it. What’s important to your audience?
2. Understand your audience, technical limitations and most commonly used devices. Do you need an iPhone, Android, Windows and Blackberry app?
3. Promote the use of the app on all marketing materials! No promotion = no adoption.z
4. Insure the bandwidth at the venue can accommodate the use of the app for all attendees.

What are your experiences? Share with us on Twitter @Eventinterface #EIMobileApps or Facebook.

Comments have been edited for clarity and brevity.

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Sat, 29 Mar 2014 10:12:42 +0000 info@eventinterface.com (Al Wynant) http://www.eventinterface.com/blog-article/Mobile-Apps-For-Events-Great-Idea-Or-Hyped-Nonsense