News

What The Event Industry Is All About

Posted in Tips on 22 September 2014
The Event Industry may be far different from all the industry we all knew. A lot different from the field we are familiar with, different from working inside a cubicle, different from your office daily task. The Event Industry is a field from where you take business in a different level of marketing.
 
Being in the industry leads you to different options of wide variety of things that could be explore. It is a career that involves a lot of opportunities be it about people, suppliers, and guests. These are just some of the great things I love about the industry. It helps you to become a different person and lets you build a big connection to people of different fields.
 
The First Step In The Field
 
The very first thing you have to do when you are decided to jump in the industry is to first evaluate yourself. Think of the past experiences from where you were able to attend an Event as this will give you a good picture of what you wanted your event to be look like.
 
From these past experiences you will be able to summed things that you mostly like about a certain event. The things that should be part of the event as well as the things that should be avoided when starting an event. Evaluating your past experiences can also lead to enormous ideas that you could apply for your event.
 
The Type Of Event
 
There are a lot of types of Event and more from that it involves differences as most of it works in a different way. There is the Wedding Event, Birthdays, Charity Event, Sponsorship, Product Launching, Corporate Event, Team Building, Expo, Meetings and more.
 
I suggest you start with an event that you think that you are most likely perfect for. Be it organizing a wedding event, launching a new product or planning a corporate meeting. Think about your passion, think of things that you are sure you are comfortable with. If you have a lot of networks that involved with organizing a wedding then that would be a good start to begin with. If you have a lot of people engage with launching a product or sponsoring an event then you could start reaching out from these peoples and try to get some ideas.
 
There is more from these and what you should always keep in mind is how you could work from it and come out with a much better outcome.
 
Final Thoughts
 
Just like from the other industry what makes an Event Planner satisfying and more enjoyable career is that you should have a passion from it and as well you put all your heart from it. It would be more appropriate as an Event Planner that you always give your 100% efforts working with your clients events.
 
It is way more fulfilling from any of us from the Event Industry that we were able to deliver what our clients expect. Way more it is more ideal that we exceed their expectations. By doing these we were not just able to come up with a quality work but also be able to build a good reputation that can lead to more projects and events in the future.
 
Aside from the tips I was able to impart with you I would recommend to get yourself a copy of Melanie D. Woodward – Event Planning Blueprint. The Ebook unveils the award winning Event Planning Secrets that Melanie discovered during her years in the industry. It is also a good Ebook to start by individuals who have no experience about the industry, a proven system that will surely work for anyone.
 

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6 ways to make meetings fly internationally

Posted in Tips on 22 September 2014
Planning international meetings can bring a number of challenges that organisers may not have previously encountered, from cultural differences to language barriers and a scaling budget. But with the wealth of technology now available to meeting professionals, including mobile apps, organising meetings abroad is becoming easier. Here are 6 essential tips to remember.
 
1. Be bilingual
 
Cultural sensitivity when planning international meetings is key. Examine the value of connecting with attendees where they’re most comfortable and consider what languages will be spoken at the meeting. Meeting planners in Canada, for instance, will often publish two versions of their guide – one in English and one in French, ensuring everyone is on the same page regardless of “hello” or “bonjour.”
 
Meeting organisers should ensure that an app can sense what language a device is set to and automatically adjusts the user interface to reflect that language.
 
2. Mix with the locals
 
If a meeting organiser wants the inside scoop, it’s always best to collaborate with a native. In addition to helping them avoid potential place-related pitfalls, a local will also be able to make suggestions that will enrich attendees’ overall experience. Keep in mind that for many of the travellers attending a meeting in a city or country will be interested in insider tips, tourist attractions and restaurants in addition to the standard meeting information. Including rich material in a mobile guide can only increase its overall value.
 
Collaborative tools work best when planning international meetings long-distance. Being able to give administrative access to other members of a team – no matter their location – enables them to view and edit a meeting app, making joining forces a super-simple task!
 
3. Travel guidance at the touch of a button
 
Organisers may not be able to control flight delays or grumpy customs agents, but they can use a mobile app to give attendees the tools they need to make a successful (and safe) trip. Think about including a travel checklist, information about local laws and customs, or even where to find a supermarket. Meeting organisers may be a pro at planning international meetings, but many attendees will see such a trip as major travel. They will be thankful for putting their minds at ease and feel welcome in a new place.
 
An app’s push notification feature can even be used to warn of any unexpected local travel conditions that might arise. With a mobile meeting app, organisers have created a built-in network that makes messaging a snap.
 
4. Go green and save pounds
 
When planning international meetings, sustainability is on the minds of many – especially as European waste laws continue to tighten. Mobile apps support an ever-growing green meetings initiative – but they also offset the costs of hosting a meeting in a far-away place.
 
We all know that meeting apps are saving us thousands of pounds in printing and shipping, so now let’s take that money and focus on uniting professionals that might not otherwise have the chance to connect in person. Just because a meeting is scaling exponentially, it doesn’t necessarily mean the budget has to follow suit.
 
5. Get attendees on board now
 
Attendees are already used to the convenience of accessing their mobile meeting guide, so when they’re traveling abroad they’ll want to know – will my guide work across the pond? In short, of course it will! The key is proactivity on the part of the organiser.
 
Encouraging early app adoption is a best practice for any meeting, but it will become absolutely crucial when going global. Make app adoption into a communication strategy early on so that attendees aren’t stressing over it later.
 
Take some time to allay attendees’ fears that using the mobile app will cost them in data charges. When overseas, roaming can attract expensive charges from your mobile network but as long as the venue is equipped with WiFi, a device in airplane mode with the wireless turned on will still continue to receive app updates and push notifications as the organiser sends them.
 
And rest assured that apps will be available regardless of the user’s app store country – just check with your app provider. Whether it’s Iceland or Italy, a meeting app will be discoverable and downloadable with a simple search and tap.
 
6. Become a master of international meetings
 
There are bound to be some surprises in the planning stages for an international meeting but meeting professionals are used to dealing with the unexpected.  What is important is that they take time after each meeting for some self-evaluation and look at what lessons can be learnt ahead of organising the next one. And they should always aim to get feedback from attendees.
 
We all know the thought of planning a meeting in a different country can be overwhelming but it continues to be a task that more and more planners are taking on. Utilising mobile technology before, during and post an international meeting however, can help to relieve the pressure and improve the overall process both for the organiser and the attendees.
 

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Using Great Web Design to Support Your SEO Efforts

Posted in Tips on 22 September 2014
One of the most common mistakes you can make with your SEO is waiting until after your site is designed to consider what’s best for your site’s rankings. Great design starts from a foundation of understanding your core user. When you always keep this ideal customer in mind, design and SEO form a union that is rock solid for all your marketing efforts.
 
There are many design trends these days, and each of them have their own SEO challenges. Whether you choose responsive, HTML5, or parallax design, or any hybrid thereof, considering your SEO needs as you create or re-launch your site is imperative.
 
Great design isn’t just about creating a beautiful and intuitive experience, it also involves stellar usability, solid and secure architecture, and a site that is accessible across all screens and media devices. Master these elements, and your SEO will naturally follow suit.
 
Deciding Which Type of Design is Right for Your Business
 
Let’s dissect the three major site design options these days, along with their related SEO pros and cons.
 
First, there’s the ever-popular responsive option. Responsive design means your site will adjust based on the size of the screen the user is accessing your content on. Instead of a native mobile site, responsive uses the same core look and feel across all platforms. It creates uniformity and consistency, but inhibits your ability to tailor a design for each screen option.
 
It’s the most popular option for a reason, however; Google recommends responsive design. SEO is solid with this option because responsive does not dilute your URL strength by requiring different variations. Users access your site through one URL, and it then adjusts based on the device used. This allows you to ramp up external backlinks and track SEO strategies for a single domain structure, which can vastly simplify your efforts.
 
The biggest con with responsive is that it forces you into a one-size-fits-all strategy. There’s no opportunity for mobile-centric keywords, no creating a custom-made navigation structure for small screens. If this is a blessing rather than a creative limitation, responsive is a fantastic option for your site.
 
Parallax sites have been all the rage lately; they consolidate content onto a single page, or a very compact site structure. From a user perspective, this is golden, and many businesses report much higher conversion rates when they shift to a parallax strategy. If you have a strong and clear story to tell about your business, you can walk users through this vision in a much more impactful way on a single page.
 
From an SEO perspective though, parallax has serious challenges. You’ll find it a lot more difficult to rank for a variety of keyword phrases, and with just a single page or compact site, there’s far less for Google to evaluate and crawl. That said, if you incorporate a parallax strategy into a multi-page site, you can indeed have the best of both worlds.
 
Finally, there’s the controversial HTML5 option. Often heralded as the next big thing in web development, the hindrance with HTML5 is it can be a beast to program correctly. The versatility and sure power is off the charts though, and if you require complex functionality, HTML5 can handle it. The trick of this from an SEO perspective involves JavaScript, which is required for a lot of the whiz-bang features. Google and company often have issues crawling this kind of content, which means your content is essentially unreadable. The solution, should you choose to take the time and effort, is to create a static version of the JavaScript heavy content too. That gives users the fabulous animated option, and search engines get access as well.
 
Designing Pages that Woo People and Search Engines
 
As you look at your site with an eye towards usability, remember that simplicity and intuitive design are integral to a successful offering. Getting creative on your navigation category terms, as an example, may feel like you’re adding flair and personality, but ultimately, if you’re confusing users and search engine bots, you just won’t flourish.
 
These days, a less is more strategy is also proving fruitful. It used to be that a myriad of categories provided more searchable content and opportunities for keyword variances. This is shifting, however, and savvy SEO professionals are recommending a more streamlined and focused site structure.
 
If you already have a site that you’re looking to improve upon, here’s a tip to determine how the design of each page is fairing. Look at your bounce rates, and compare them to the keywords that are most applicable. If you find that there’s an abundance of traffic funneled from keywords that just don’t seem relevant to the page, you’ve uncovered a smoking gun. Your job in those cases is to tailor the content on each page to match the interest of the incoming traffic. Master the process of giving people what they want, and your SEO will catapult.
 
Whichever design trend you chose, educate yourself on the SEO challenges and benefits as early in the process as possible. If you’ve already launched your site and are working backwards, use the bounce rate strategy as a first step to SEO domination. As long as you have a clear view of who your site serves, you can always improve the overall experience.
 

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Momentum Builds For 2015 Event Production Show

Posted in News on 22 September 2014
With just five months to go until the doors open on the 2015 Event Production Show, organiser, Mash Media has confirmed stand sales are ahead of target.
 
Many well-known businesses will return to the 2015 Show, including Morris Leslie, Saville AV, Sunbaba, Total Displays and Winner Events to name a few, alongside some first-time exhibitors showcasing services such as staging, security, traffic management and structures, representing the diversity of the industry. Some of the new exhibitors in these areas include Staging Services, Sol Security, A Star and Contemporary Event Structures.
 
“The 2015 Event Production Show is really beginning to take shape as new and existing exhibitors confirm their support,” said Liz Agostini, event director at Mash Media. “Sales are going well, 20% ahead of this time last year, which reflects the show’s reputation as the premier place to discover the industry’s most innovative trends, products and services.
 
“With a selection of spaces still available, including some prime positions, we encourage any event professionals to reserve their stand without delay and ensure they do not miss out on what is set to be a spectacular show” concluded Agostini.
 
Earlier this year, Mash Media announced the 2015 Event Production Show would co-locate with International Confex at Olympia, London from 18th-19th February 2015. Offering event organisers, promoters, brand managers and marketing agencies access to more exhibitors, seminars, networking and buying opportunities, the 2015 Show is set to facilitate greater crossover and connections than ever before. Also returning will be the hugely popular Access Sessions, as well as the annual competition for aspiring event professionals, the Eventice.
 

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Birmingham Hosts Global Meeting Agency’s Biggest Ever European Conference

Posted in News on 22 September 2014
Birmingham this week plays host to the biggest ever European gathering of global meetings agency HelmsBriscoe.
 
From September 22nd to 24th, more than 60 international attendees from HelmsBriscoe will hold their European conference at The Belfry Hotel & Resort, which recently underwent a £26million pound refurbishment. It will be the first time HelmsBriscoe has held its conference in the city.
 
The event will give the region a unique opportunity to show off its business tourism offer to delegates from the global leader in meetings procurement for corporate, association and government clients. HelmsBriscoe has more than 1,200 associates based in over 55 countries. They collectively placed 33,000 meetings and booked 4.6million room nights last year.
 
During their stay in Birmingham, delegates will enjoy a tour of the NEC and a look at the new £150million integrated destination leisure complex Resorts World, which opens in 2015 – as well as enjoying dinner at Warwick Castle’s Kingmaker’s Medieval Banquet.
 
Emma Gray, Director of Marketing Services at Marketing Birmingham, which operates the city’s business tourism programme Meet Birmingham, said:
 
“Hosting HelmsBriscoe’s European Conference is a major coup for Birmingham. It is a priceless opportunity to showcase our popular facilities and attractions to some of the industry’s most influential professionals, so that they are inspired and encouraged to recommend the region as a meeting destination for their clients. 
 
“Birmingham has been ranked as the preferred business tourism location outside London for five consecutive years by the British Meetings & Events Industry Survey. This conference will allow us to continue our ongoing work to highlight the region’s events offer to an international audience.” 
 
Lynn Hood, Managing Director of The Belfry, said:
 
“We’re delighted to welcome HelmsBriscoe to The Belfry for their European conference. With delegates attending from across the globe, this is a fantastic opportunity for us to showcase The ‘new’ Belfry. We hope attendees find the time to balance business with pleasure and enjoy our world class leisure facilities whilst they are here.” 
 
Founded in 1992, HelmsBriscoe is the highest volume purchaser in the meetings and event industry and boasts the most expansive and experienced network of Associates in the market.
 
Shawn Pisani, Vice President, HelmsBriscoe, said:
 
“As our European business grows in terms of team members and booking volume, this is a unique opportunity to introduce our associates to Birmingham as a destination – one that some of them might not currently be familiar with.
 
“First-hand experience in destinations such as Birmingham allows us to conduct venue searches on behalf of our clients with the highest level of confidence and ease.”
 
Maintaining its position as the top UK events destination outside London in the annual British Meetings & Events Industry Survey (BMEIS 2013/14), Birmingham remains a popular choice for national and international event professionals.
 
The city is preparing for one of its busiest years in over a decade with “15 in ’15” – 15 highlights of Birmingham’s busy calendar for 2015, which also includes the completion of the £600million redevelopment of New Street Station, the £26million refurbishment of live entertainment venue the National Indoor Arena (NIA), the opening of the new £127million Midland Metro line in Birmingham city centre and next autumn’s Rugby World Cup, which comes to Villa Park, home of Aston Villa FC.
 

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Next Android System Encrypts Data By Default

Posted in News on 22 September 2014
Data encryption will be automatic for new Android users this fall.
 
As Google prepares to launch the new Android L operating system, it has been announced the system — much like the recently-announced Apple iOS 8 — will be encrypting data by default. The move is expected to provide Android users with an extra level of security, something needed considering the amount of data most people keep on their personal devices.
 
Oddly, as reported by Tech Times, the default encryption is a smart move but not the first time Android users could have their data highly protected.
 
Android has been offering encryption on certain devices for the past three years, but it has not been by default and most users are not aware of the option.
 
In an official statement, Google explained, “For over three years, Android has offered encryption, and keys are not stored off of the device, so they cannot be shared with law enforcement. As part of our next Android release, encryption will be enabled by default out of the box, so you won’t even have to think about turning it on.”
 
Google and Apple have both been pushing for more security since the Edward Snowden leak last summer. That need for increased security has become even more heightened in the wake of the recent leak of dozens of nude photos of celebrities.
 

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Efficient tool to build Mobile Apps for your Events

Posted in Tips on 19 September 2014
"Mobile" is no longer just a buzzword, it's a reality. Heck, there's even a pretty good chance you're reading this on a mobile device right now. But did you know that this year mobile web traffic is expected to exceed desktop usage for the first time ever?
 
For event planners of all kind, this shift means you should expect most attendees to show up to events with their devices in-hand. Or pocket. Or purse...you get the idea.
 
More importantly it means that if you don't engage attendees on their beloved smartphones and tablets, you're missing a huge opportunity to reduce your printing, collect feedback in real-time, and generate more revenue from sponsors.
 
Luckily connecting with your audience on their hand-held devices is pretty easy these days thanks to a Palo Alto based company called Guidebook. They offer a really easy-to-use content management system that makes creating a custom mobile app as easy as dragging-and-dropping icons and uploading your agenda via spreadsheet. Best of all, Guidebook's apps are optimized for all platforms (iOS, Android, BlackBerry, etc.) and don't require connection to the internet, which can be critical in a crowded event venue with spotty wifi.
 
If you're still handing out printed materials at your events, putting all that information into an app is a no-brainer. But in addition to the obvious eco-friendly and cost-savings benefits, Guidebook offers a host of interactive ways to connect with your attendees that simply weren't possible before. Take for example the ability to include surveys in your app and gather feedback in real-time. There's also a scavenger hunt feature that gets attendees moving around your venue in search of strategically placed QR-codes, and a networking module that allows attendees to digitally exchange contact cards with others who've checked-in.
 
Creating a mobile event app can also help generate more revenue. In their mobile sponsorship guide, Guidebook details a number of ways to monetize your app via things like in-app banner ads, sponsored push notifications, premium exhibitor listings, and other features that offer sponsors increased visibility. Planners who pull these levers effectively often recoup the entire cost of their app and potentially even turn a profit.
 
So all this sounds great, but what exactly does it cost to create an event app with Guidebook? Price depends on customization and branding. They actually allow you to publish a basic mobile event guide for free, but of course you'll have to upgrade for more advanced features like multi-track schedules, social media, attendee feedback, or gamification. (Pro-tip: they offer 20% off for non-profits.)
 
Whether you're just looking to print less and efficiently provide attendees with event logistics, or you want to engage your audience in innovative ways and increase revenue, Guidebook makes it really easy to leverage mobile at your events. Due to the rapid growth of the mobile web, apps have already become the norm at larger conventions and conferences, and soon attendees may come to expect mobile guides at events of all sizes. Guidebook makes this transition shockingly easy and is free to try.
 

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3 Tips for a Meeting Planner on Handling a Crisis during an Event

Posted in Tips on 19 September 2014
Have a crisis team. That doesn’t mean just have your event coordinator call 911 if there’s an emergency. Rather it means that real people are assigned real tasks. And make sure that their task are reviewed in any and all pre-con meetings. You need to assign; someone that will communicate and update your delegates, an individual to communicate with local emergency tasks forces, a backup plan that covers all of the what-ifs (i.e. delegate deaths, transportation issues, accommodation issues, food and beverage, overall delegate safety). Schedule meeting times at regular intervals so that each person can review their responsibilities where decisions can be made as a result. Remember you will be operating in a very fluid situation. Your team must be able to react accordingly.
 
Local suppliers. It’s imperative that a meeting planner receives supplier contingency plans. Now I don’t mean what to do if the food is cold or if there is none of your favorite scotch available. A planner will require their local suppliers to provide scenarios for any situations that would interrupt, or jeopardize safety of, the event itself. That’s why important that local suppliers are part of a pre-con meeting (in addition to the regular contribution that these suppliers will make to the overall meeting).
 
Communication. This is where social media can be helpful. However, in order for communication to be effective during a crisis, it’s important that relevant information is collected ahead of time. Starting with the meeting’s delegates: collect all of their contact information, including next of kin. Have someone on your crisis team establish, and communicate, social media accounts that will be utilized during the meeting. There needs to be regular communication with delegates during a crisis. Even if you do not have important updates to report, regular communication will assure your delegates that you are on top of the situation. It’s also crucial to have alternative meeting points, should the hotel or event venue be part of the crisis. The last thing you want is for your delegates to be scattered around an unfamiliar city with no way of meeting up communicated.
 

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Maximizing Event Attendance

Posted in Tips on 19 September 2014
If your business is hosting a networking event then it is vital that you maximise its potential exposure. After all, with all things considered, business events are expensive things to host and run, and you need to ensure you see a return on your investment. The best way to maximise any potential return, no matter whether it’s a financial return or a human relations/ networking return is to maximise the number of people who can attend it. Here are three very simple ways that you can do just that:
 
1)    Ensure the Event is Targeted
 
One mistake that many businesses make is to not target their event correctly. Although it is true that you want as large an audience as possible, you want everyone there to be relevant to the aims. Sending an invite to everyone in your address book is illogical for this very reason, and it can be self-defeating even if everyone turns up. The last thing that you want is one of your most important guests wondering why they bothered coming because there’s nobody there that they want to speak to. Likewise, you don’t want someone to leave because the event isn’t relevant for them, as this could stop people coming to further events and damage your friendship.
 
2)    Provide Food
 
If you’re inviting businessmen to your event then it is likely that they’ll be incredibly busy men and women. Due to this, to detract them from these schedules, it’s best to provide food for the occasion; particularly if your event takes place over lunchtime or on an evening.
 
As well as satisfying hungry businessmen, your food will also allow people to mingle and network, ensuring that everyone benefits from attending your event. By both boosting attendances and maximising benefits, providing food is a ‘no brainer’.
 
3)    Consider Location Wisely and Consider Splurging
 
Finally, if you’re looking to lure people in who wouldn’t normally attend, consider the location carefully, both in terms of location and wow factor. By simply holding it at your office it is likely that you’ll deter people. This leaves you with either two options: renting a meeting room or sorting something special.
 
Again, just renting a meeting room can be a little bland, and there are more extravagant options if the budget will stretch that far. Companies like Neptunus can even erect semi-permanent structures that will really help you wow your guests, leaving them talking about your event for weeks to come and attracting more people for the future.
 
So, there we have it, three simple ways that you can ensure you maximise the exposure and attendance that your business event needs to be a success. The only question now is, how far can you take it?
 

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ABPCO research indicates money troubles keep 39% of PCOs awake at night

Posted in News on 19 September 2014
In a poll conducted amongst members of The Association of British Professional Conference Organisers (ABPCO), 39% of respondents commented that either market conditions or finance represent their greatest concern.
 
The short poll asked ABPCO members “What part of your business keeps you up at night?”
 
• 39% cited finance – relating to either budgets or market conditions
• This was closely followed by 24% citing sales and marketing
• And 21% citing management and HR
 
ABPCO board member and owner of Tekevents, Nicola Crossland conducted the research: “This research offers real insight into the ongoing challenges faced by PCOs working across the UK. In particular our members are suffering not just from reducing budgets and tighter financial controls but also greater client expectations and competition from CVBs and DMCs, who provide a wider range of services.”
 
In response to these findings, ABPCO has announced its first peer to peer debate – taking place at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre on 23 September. The debate will focus on the business challenges of running association conferences. A key aim for the event is the production of a white paper examining the challenges facing PCOs. The white paper will be available via the ABPCO website once completed.
 
Crossland concludes: “The forthcoming debate will focus on partnership working and commercial considerations between association conference organisers and conference suppliers. It is the ideal forum to discuss many of the issues raised by the poll and we look forward to the input of both the panel and audience.”
 
Specific text comments amongst the responses to the poll included:
 
• Reduction in training budgets therefore affecting delegate numbers
• Profitability: Associations’ perception of acceptable remuneration vs the real cost of delivery to meet service level agreements
• Achieving targets with diminished budgets for activity
• PCO terms and conditions
• Increased competition for fewer contracts
• Finances – being expected to always deliver under budget
• Clients expecting more for less
• Convention bureaus taking on role of PCO
 

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