Archive September 2019

Tips Tuesday: 27 Top Timesaving Event Planning Tricks

How can an event planner improve? With some great timesaving event planning tips and tricks of course! We’ve gathered 27 of the most creative and effective productivity strategies known to the modern event planner in this list of ideas that will surprise, inspire, and, ultimately, inform your event process. 

Pick up new timesaving event planning secrets

1. Have rules regarding last minute event or contract changes. 

Although there are plenty of ways to handle last minute event changes, prevention is key. So in your contract, make sure you include rules for what happens when significant changes occur 1-3 months out, 1-4 weeks out, and the day of-1 week out. Also be sure to get your scope of work in writing too. 

2. Test drive new staff at smaller events. 

Working with event staff is a skill unto itself. Don’t put new hires on staff for your most important events until you’ve seen how they can perform at smaller, less intense ones at least once. 

3. Send deadline reminder memes to partners, sponsors, and teams. 

Memes have a scientifically proven effect on the human brain. So even though everyone secretly hates your friendly reminder emails, adding a meme can help trigger the memory forming centers of our brains (because by definition a meme is assigning meaning to an otherwise meaningless image) and help participants feel a greater sense of community having participated in (or at least can recognize) the almost tribal like sharing that led to them knowing this particular bit of micro information.  

4. Make event vendors pay late fees. 

Nothing lights a fire under a person quite like throwing good money away. Set your event vendors up with the same late fee parameters and figures that you use with your clients (the size of the fee doesn’t matter; it’s very existence should be enough to strike fear into their hearts). 

5. Use chatbots to communicate with event attendees. 

Use chatbots before your event to establish your event brand voice and tone, provide customer service support, and gather data on your audience through things like polls or surveys. 

6. Create event staff training videos. 

In the week leading up to the event, send a link to a password protected video set that staff can review (and preferably be quizzed on) that preps them for the big day. Here are some ideas for using employee training videos that you directly apply to your event. 

7. Funnel all your event social media feeds into one platform. 

Tools such as Buffer, HootSuite, and Everypost consolidate multiple channels into a single dashboard so you can have a bird’s eye view of what content you’re distributing and how your event audience is reacting to it without toggling between a half dozen sites. 

8. Get an all-in-one event management tool. 

The best event management software options should help you accomplish tasks like: build your budget, search for event venues, designing your floor plan or layout, collaborate with key stakeholders, and help market the event itself. 

All-in-one event planning software

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9. Set up texting from your computer. 

It’s really distracting to have to simultaneously monitor emails on your desktop and messages on your phone, so try keeping them all in one place instead. If you already have a Mac, you can probably use iMessage. But if you have a PC or are communicating with someone who doesn’t have an Apple phone, just follow these instructions. 

10. Centralize event communications. 

The average person spends 28% of the whole work day just sending and answering emails. Save you and your entire team that chunk of time by implementing a single event services solution where you all can share documents, consolidate message threads, and get real time updates on project statuses without ever opening your inbox. 

11. Let face analysis software do market research for you. 

Facial recognition can be used to reduce manual event guest check ins, enhance event security, create programming heat maps, and neatly gather on new leads. 

12. Organize your to do list by urgency and importance. 

Nicknamed the Eisenhower Matrix, this useful graphic can help you tidy up your to do list and tackle only the most important tasks first (i.e. the ones that are both urgent and important). 

13. Assign an informed tie breaker within the company. 

Disagreements among event stakeholders come up from now and then, but working towards those solutions have the potential to take up a larger chunk of your timeline that you planned for. Make sure your designated decision leader knows all the details of the situation, can make an unbiased observation of both sides, and is good under pressure. 

14. Create a highly detailed schedule for your work day. 

Plan out activities using 15 minute blocks, remember to schedule breaks, group similar tasks into the same chunks of time. 

15. Reject interruptions by blocking off solo work time on your public calendar. 

Time blocking in this way helps make sure other team members respect your boundaries while you stay on task. 

Guide: How to Create an Event Planning Checklist

16. Get order, timing, and document requirements from each of your backup vendors. 

If something goes wrong with your vendors it will likely be a last minute issue. So have at least 3 backup choices with all their relevant details available in your event planning binder for every type of vendor your event will need. 

17. Do a workflow overhaul. 

Tracking what you do every day might lead to better work-life balance but it can also help identify weaknesses in your current process. For example, you might need to delegate more administrative tasks or conduct shorter meetings. 

18. Consistently add to a list of potential speakers and presenters for future events.

Collect names of people who are influential in your industry, are great lecturers, or have expressed interest in working with your brand publicly.  When it comes time to booking your speakers, you won’t have to spend hours digging through LinkedIn and your contact list to find anyone – just refer to the list! 

19. Visualize how you would streamline your process if your current schedule was doubled. 

This great psychological exercise forces you to figure out how, in the most high pressure situation imaginable, you could possibly deal with and overcome scheduling challenges that come with completely maxed out workload. It’s pretty much the best way to beat Parkinson’s Law. 

Hotel asset management

20. Make a list of expectations and tasks all your event volunteers will be responsible for (and share it with them ahead of time). 

On the day of the event, answering questions and micromanaging event volunteers is way too time consuming. Plus, they’ll really appreciate you preparing for them (it’s one of the best ways to make your volunteers happy). 

21. Automate the event check-in process. 

Speed up the process by choosing a great event check-in app. Look for user-friendly features that further cut down on the time it takes to train your event staff how to use the program if you want to pack an extra productivity punch. 

22. Share desktop screens to your phone. 

Tools like Chrome to Mobile make it easy for you to sync all your open tabs from one device to the other, which is helpful when you’re on your way to a meeting, traveling to or from a venue, or simply need to save these particular pages for future viewing later. 

23. Wrangle speakers and organize presentations through a single collaborative platform. 

Using email to answer speaker questions, approve outlines, and gather photos or bios isn’t efficient, which is why it’s best to use a single tool that brings all your speakers together into one digital area you can oversee. 

24. Use an event registration website builder instead of building one from scratch. 

Plus, using a customizable solution will make it easier to collect audience information, maintain high security levels, enhance your event strategy, and provide more than enough time saving bonus features to fully round out your new productivity plan. 

25. Add a QR scanner to your event app. 

Using QR codes for events will make it easier to check people in and it will help your booths or sponsors conduct valuable, lead generating event activities without requiring any additional demands on your schedule. 

26. Use templates to create event surveys and polls. 

Combine a mobile event survey app with attendee, sponsor, or stakeholder event survey questions. 

27. Have an email sorting tool prioritize your inbox for you. 

If you have Gmail, give tools like Sortd a try. They help turn your inbox into a to-do list, using customizable columns to organize tasks based on your emails. If you use different email provider, look for an extension that allows you to go beyond basic color coding to provide actually useful organization help. 

Even more event planning secrets

If you’d like to find even more ways to be productive as an event planner, try reading up on how to handle common problems and solutions before they come up. You can also save time by using this customizable event checklist or brush up on your email communication skills before your next big project starts to create a well rounded productivity plan.

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.cta-block
display: block;
height: 335px;
width: 640px;
max-height: 335px;
max-width: 640px;
margin: 32px auto 48px;
border-radius: 10px;
box-shadow: 0 0 6px 0 rgba(0,0,0,.2);
transition-duration: .25s;
background-image: url(/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/event-services-block.png);
background-size: cover;

.cta-block h2
color: #ffffff!important;
padding: 46px 28px 24px!important;
max-width: 350px!important;
margin: 0px!important;
font-size: 32px!important;
letter-spacing: 0.75px!important;
font-family: “geomanist”!important;
line-height: 1.3!important;

.cta-block p
display: block;
background: #42B5B4;
color: #ffffff!important;
font-size: 20px!important;
font-family: “geomanistbook”!important;
float: left;
margin-left: 24px!important;
padding: 14px 36px 14px;
width: fit-content;
text-align: center;
border-radius: 40px;
line-height: 1;
transition-duration: .25s;

.cta-block p:hover
background: #198A96;
-webkit-box-shadow: 0 8px 16px 0 rgba(0,0,0,.2);
-moz-box-shadow: 0 8px 16px 0 rgba(0,0,0,.2);
box-shadow: 0 8px 16px 0 rgba(0,0,0,.2);

@media (max-width: 768px) {
.cta-block
width: 100%;
height: fit-content;
background: #f8f8f9;

.cta-block h2
color: #000000!important;
padding: 18px!important;
margin: 0px auto!important;
font-size: 32px!important;
letter-spacing: 0.75px!important;
font-family: “geomanistbook”!important;
text-align: center!important;
line-height: 1.3!important;
max-width: 90%!important;

.cta-block p
float: none;
margin: 0px auto 24px!important;

The post Tips Tuesday: 27 Top Timesaving Event Planning Tricks appeared first on Social Tables.

Superfans Melt for the Taco Bell Hotel Experience

taco-bell-hotel_room-service

taco-bell-hotel_room-service

Hotel guests were treated to complimentary food drops.

Taco Bell’s legions of diehard supporters have defined what it means to be a brand superfan for years, and from Aug. 8-11, the fast food chain returned the love with an upscale hospitality experience dubbed The Bell: A Taco Bell Hotel & Resort. The activation, which took over an existing hotel in Palm Springs, CA, served as a masterclass in brand loyalty and fan engagement with experiential at its core. There was no new product or program to push—the experience was simply designed to reward superfans and inspire social sharing along the way. And let’s just say fans and invited influencers were more than happy to… taco ’bout it (sorry, we had to).

The branded adventure began at check-in, where attendees (from 21 different states) received a hot sauce packet-inspired room key and complimentary beach towel, and picked up a Baja Blast mocktail garnished with a popsicle. Then it was up to the room, where “The Bell” branding covered every inch of the space, right down to the sauce packet-shaped pillows. Each room featured a mini fridge stocked with complimentary beverages and snacks, Wi-Fi, a flat screen TV and branded toiletries, among amenities. There were also complimentary “food drops” featuring Taco Bell favorites like the Doritos Locos Taco, as well as menu items exclusive to the resort experience, whipped up by the brand’s in-house chef, Rene Pisciotti. Each “drop” was announced via the famous Taco Bell chime.


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The rooms, of course, were only one part of the larger-than-life activation. Curated activities abounded. Each morning, attendees were invited to participate in a hot yoga class (on hot sauce packet-inspired yoga mats, of course) and from 2-5 p.m. each day, they could partake in “Happier Hour” at the poolside Baja Bar where popular Taco Bell food items and exclusive drinks were served. During regular hours at the bar, attendees could purchase specialty dishes, like Fire Chip Chilaquiles. Meanwhile, the on-site salon offered Taco Bell-themed fades, braids and manicures.

There was also plenty of time to swim in the “Fire Pool” or lounge on hot sauce packet-shaped floats (are you sensing a theme, here?) while listening to an in-house dj spin tunes. Feed the Beat performances also took place each day. A training camp conducted by the Aqualillies, a professional synchronized swimming team, was also offered to those quick enough to snag a spot. And in a “can’t-make-this-up moment” at the end of the training camp, the instructor asked participants to yell “Aqualillies” on the count of three, which the crowd quickly transformed into chants of “Taco Lilies.”

taco-bell-hotel_morning-yoga

Daily programming included morning hot yoga classes.

Fans were additionally invited to dive-in movie screenings in the pool, where they could watch films with Taco Bell-heavy references like “Demolition Man” and “Mean Girls,” and munch on complimentary bites. There were also rounds of TACO (the brand’s version of BINGO), with prizes including brand new Xboxes. And to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Baja Blast, Taco Bell invited fans to experience its “Freeze Room,” which featured air conditioning, multisensory design elements and complimentary Baja Blast Birthday Freeze beverages. Rounding out the key touchpoints was a gift shop selling exclusive merchandise including branded swimsuits and sauce packet-shaped phone chargers.

Unanticipated opportunities for the brand to demonstrate its hospitality chops also presented themselves. When one eco-conscious guest’s metal straw was accidentally thrown away, for instance, Taco Bell sent staffers out to buy her a new one, then had it delivered to her room with a friendly note. And when another attendee complained on social media about a lack of lounge chairs, staffers located him and delivered a seat directly to him.

 

Check into The Bell Experience:

 

Then there were the unexpected moments that the attendees themselves incorporated into the experience. Like the mystery fan who painted a series of rocks in Taco Bell branding, posted about them socially and hid them around the hotel. Or the myriad attendees that showed up in self-made, branded costumes, some with their own taco-shaped pool floats in tow. (Bonus: While few fans utilized the service, Taco Bell also offered discounted Lyft rides to attendees who wanted to, ahem, blow the taco stand for any reason.)

“We talk a lot about how we’re already in the hospitality business,” says Jennifer Arnoldt, senior marketing director-retail engagement + experience at Taco Bell. “We have over 7,000 restaurants and we’re growing globally, but we wanted to give our fans a chance to have this elevated experience of hospitality done in a Taco Bell way. Everything from, obviously, the food that we served to the apparel and the merchandise and the music—all these amazing things were for our fans. They were at the root of every single decision that we made.” Agencies: United Entertainment Group, New York City; Edelman, Los Angeles.

 

Take a Tour of The Bell:

The post Superfans Melt for the Taco Bell Hotel Experience appeared first on Event Marketer.

Events Industry Board asks industry to support SOC code development

Events Industry Board asks industry to support SOC code development

The
Event Industry Board’s (EIB) Talent Taskforce is calling for industry
colleagues to take part in a new survey launched by the Office for National
Statistics and Warwick University’s Institute for Employment Research (IER),
which will look to develop the current framework for the Standard Occupational
Classification (SOC) code.

The
ONS and IER launched the survey after a number of SOC users expressed a need
for a greater level of detail than is currently available. The SOC is a
recognised framework that enables all UK occupations to be classified according
to skill level and specialisation. This classification is then, in turn,
essential in the creation of the occupational and social statistics that inform
policy and the public.

Sarah
Wright, chair on the Events Industry Board Talent Taskforce, said: “I highly
recommend that all of my industry colleagues take the time to fill out the
survey. A colleague once said to me ‘if you’re not counted, you
don’t count’
 and this is a huge risk for the industry. It is hard to
prove market failure, access support or measure trends without these codes.
This is crucial as our recent study provided evidence that 61% of employers are
facing a skills shortage.”

Germany
and the US already have standardised codes, which recognise careers within the
event sector as a viable profession. By having a standardised code for the UK,
it will not only provide key market data but will also help to address the
current skills shortage.

Michael
Hirst OBE, chair on the Events Industry Board said: “This project is vital for
the future of our industry. No-one knows your profession better than you and we
need your expert knowledge about jobs in your sector to make this project a
success and ensure the industry is recognised. We have an exciting opportunity
to be able to create a standardised code for the industry but, we must strike
while the iron is hot, and we must have the support of the whole industry.”

The SOC
user engagement survey can be accessed here. The survey will run until 30th September
2019.

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