Quit Engaging Millennials

Quit Engaging Millennials

Ah!  No!  We have to reach them – they’re a new market and critical to our success as a (event, business, venue, etc…)!

Stop. It.

For all the talk, print, and news that has worried employers, other generations, and the general populace like no other, the entire idea of “engaging millennials” has gone far enough.

Marriott and Starwood: What We Know So Far...

Marriott and Starwood: What We Know So Far...

A shift in the hotel business universe is upon us because Marriott International has just become the largest hotel chain in the world! How? Well, they completed and approved a 13-billion-dollar acquisition of Starwood Resort and Hotels back in September 2016, but the full effect of the purchase is starting to be felt by loyal guests of both companies.

The Story Secret

There’s an old saying in sales – “facts tell and stories sell” and anyone that has ever sold anything knows that this is so true.  Smart salespeople and entrepreneurs realized this long ago and inevitably bring “story” into the conversation when they are working with prospects. 

Image courtesy of Engagient.com

Image courtesy of Engagient.com

Far more than just features and benefits, story puts you into a completely different place in the buying conversation – you start to envision yourself in the story and guess what?  You start making the same decisions that the storyteller made.

Before you know it, you’ve bought the item, be it a tool for the kitchen, a new phone, or a house.

Here at Nuila Events, we’re happy to share an interactive opportunity to craft your own story and learn to use it for your business! Presented by The Honest Entrepreneur, The Story Secret event welcomes expert storyteller, Michael Kass, who teaches participants how to reframe sales tactics and build instant connections using their own expertly crafted stories. Watch this short video as Michael introduces the event and shares about what you can expect to take away from the event!

Event organizers - think about your own story for a few minutes and how it applies to an event that you are putting on – be it for the holidays or for the company.  What is the story that you are telling in how the event is organized?  Is it one of success?  Struggle?  The best year ever?  

All these things need to go into your own event planning because they are all a part of the message that you convey to your guests.  In many cases, the nature of the party suggests what the expectation of the event is.  In the end, putting on a great event has a lot more to do with the feel of the event versus how good the entertainment or the food was – again – storytelling.  

We’re truly looking forward to hosting this event on March 10th, 2017.  As specialists in helping clients to create story through their events, working with an expert in actually creating the story that small businesses use is going to be a great experience.  You can find out more about The Story Secret by clicking right here; and if you've found yourself with end-of-year meeting planning that has left you in a panic, make sure that you reach out to us at Nuila Events and let's see what we can do to help you write a different ending to the story, too.

Drilling Your Teeth at Home?

Hey guys!  I wanted to share a great new process that you can use to save a bunch of money.  I haven’t tried it yet, but I’ve read a lot about it online and it sounds great!

Simply put, you can use a 3/8 drill motor and some two-part epoxy to drill out any cavities.  Think of the money you save on your dental insurance!

Vibrant Smiles Family & Cosmetic Dentistry

Vibrant Smiles Family & Cosmetic Dentistry

Now, that sounds absurd, and I’m sure there is somebody “off the grid” that might actually be doing that.  In the real world, though, there are just some things that you can’t compromise on.  In this same world, there are only 168 hours in the week, so having an expert handle things like replacing your car’s brakes, dentistry, and event planning is not only a no-brainer, it’s also a lot less expensive than using your own time to do it.

After all, why trust an unknown source online to give you advice when you can engage with experts in the field?  

Let’s look at an example from our specialty here at Nuila Events – simply booking the venue for an event.  As Meeting & Event Consultants who specialize in handling bookings for hotels for conferences and conventions, the truth is that most people don’t know the language of that business.  We have a large network that has spent years developing relationships with hotels all around the country, and as a result of that experience, we know which days are best to book, how to approach each venue and negotiate the best rates for our clients, and how to create equitable agreements with the host venue that allow us to get great rates and avoid costly “gotchas” in those agreements.  

ZeeBlu

ZeeBlu

Thus, the venue often has the upper hand when many people come to negotiate – and that is why it is so important to work with a professional.  Our experience in dealing with and benchmarking literally thousands of events lets us help you find the best deal.  

Now, understand one thing … you absolutely can do all the legwork yourself.  No doubt about it.  The downside is that all the research can take days or even weeks, and then, although you are well informed, the next step – and the most critical one – is the actual agreement and contract.  Most venues have a standard contract in place, but it is one that is written by their lawyers and one that is written in their favor.

The Morris Law Firm, LLC

The Morris Law Firm, LLC

What does that mean?  Even though you are well-informed, you still can be taken advantage of since most of these documents are private.  When you partner with seasoned experts like Nuila Events and Experient, we know what the correct rates are in any given town (and they vary by season, location, and even day!) so we can absolutely help you to nail down the right price, the right time, and the event agreement that protects you instead of just protecting the venue hosting the event.

Come to think of it, this is the exact reason that we got into this business in the first place – to help people just like you to plan those major business events that most people rarely have to think about – and make the entire event come together flawlessly.  Isn’t that a whole lot better than drilling your own teeth?

Lynkos

Lynkos

P.S. I know that it still feels too early to be thinking about it, but the company Christmas party is less than 8 weeks away.  If you haven’t figured out everything yet, guess what?  You’re behind.  Venues are booking up and prices are going up, so the ideal time to get the process going is two weeks ago.  Reach out to us today to catch up and get ready to be in the Holiday Spirit!

State of Affairs….

One of the most amazing components in the meeting and events industry is that while the core event doesn’t really change, everything attached to that event is based on trends.

Think about it – no matter the event – some version of it has likely been around for centuries!  Conferences, business parties and holiday celebrations - these are the old mixed with the new – food, fashion, and especially technology.  So what are some of the newest trends when it comes to hosting a great event or meeting?  Read on!

LinkedIn

LinkedIn

Security

Honestly, event and meeting security has always been a condition of event planning, but the world we live in today does have a different component to it.  Not to be a downer, but the days of a first aid kit stashed in the car are gone, and the planning phase of any event has to have the conversation about security.  We’re not ready to put up a metal detector, but depending on the guest list and the venue, having a beefed up security plan is definitely a bigger consideration.

Marketing

The magic of any event has always and continues to be based on engagement.  That trend continues by providing a full marketing campaign prior to the event that then evolves seamlessly into a mobile platform for the event.  Generally this is a stand-alone app for event attendees (or in some cases, anyone who signs up or at least RSVPs), then, post-event, this evolves again into a successful marketing campaign for the company or sponsors who hosted the event.  These days, it is less about the total event than about creating a community and engagement from the moment a participant signs up.

Of course, planners have always kept their finger on the pulse of the logistics of any given event, but more and more, we are asked to actively participate and work in the marketing of a given event – especially events for member-based organizations.   The nature of events planning is no longer based solely on the revenues that an event raises because people may not buy right that second, but an event can tip consumers to make a choice days, weeks, or even months later.  The new benchmark is engagement levels and increased overall participation by onsite and at-home participants.

Locatory.com

Locatory.com

The new school of thought is this - hundreds or thousands of people are getting together, all selling, buying, learning and networking, so as experts in the planning and execution of events, we know that every attendee cannot interact with every other attendee or sponsor.   It is impossible to connect with all attendees in person.   Successful events now integrate technology like an event app to provide the maximum ROI for attendees, sponsors and exhibitors.

Event Locations

The newest trends, if we can call them that, are also in the event destinations.  No matter what the event could be, to stay in touch with clients, those clients want more.  A considerable part of that is driven by hotels and their amenities.  People traveling to events usually need a place to stay, and increasingly, they want a full experience.  We expect to see resorts engage even more than they currently do, given the relatively low cost of travel right now.  At the same time, consumers are also taking more family members to events, even if they aren’t going to attend.  Having a full service resort to keep your spouse and kids “busy” while you work is a big draw, and full service hotels know that.  They would rather lose a little on room rates for a larger event and make that up in increased food, beverage, and amenity sales.  

Also, we’ve seen random off-site venues chosen – a converted warehouse, parking garages, even pop-up tents – to engage clients in almost a “flash-mob” style of event.  Expect to see this happen even more (and present a true logistical challenge!)!  Why?  There is one big reason- Millennials.  

Heritage Restoration

Heritage Restoration

Millennials (Generation Y)

The generation gap.  The so-called Millennial generation is comfortable with technology, is mobile, and is not working traditional office hours.  Added to that, they are often questioning why certain standards exist, and the values that they believe in are different.  The same goes for what they like in an event – seemingly random but with a specific goal, along with a healthy dose of fun.

As event organizers, we continue to adapt any offer to understand how it can be received by the Millennial generation.   A study conducted by Amsterdam RAI in 2013 which compared Generation X (the generation born from roughly 1964 to 1985) to the Millennial generation  gave an outlook on the behavior of future exhibition visitors' and revealed that they will mostly be looking for a real "experience", personalized offerings and that they want to be an active part of the event.   

Everplans

Everplans

What do all these things mean?  Depending on what an event needs, everything or nothing.  If you are hosting a black tie event, that event will mostly go off with the same care and planning – and strategy – that would have been used a generation ago.  On the other hand, new technology could make that event truly amazing – a purpose-built mobile app, global live streaming, and an unsuspecting venue could take “nice” to “Unbelieveable!”

7 Deadly Sins of Event Planning

G-Force Extreme Inflatables

G-Force Extreme Inflatables

Well, while there are 7 Deadly Sins in Event Planning, there are exactly two types of people who do the planning – they either love it or hate it.

Those who love it embrace experts’ advice, know when they need help, and they generally pull off great events without the appearance of any hard work.  You know how the event will go if the person in charge of planning it isn’t happy about planning it! 

Now, that being said, you can guess what kind of people we are – we love it!  Every event is different and all the variables make it truly challenging and exciting to pull it all together into a seamless affair.  Of course, we’re professionals at it, so that’s how it’s supposed to be.  For those of you who are planning an event for business, though, there are a few key pointers that we’ve arrived at that will absolutely help you to make it painless and fun:

Being Flexible

This is a tough one.  Every event starts off in the mind of the planner with a certain image, and in some cases, that image may be forced to be changed.  A venue may not be perfect, the caterer may not be able to deliver certain items (perhaps out of season?) and, of course, the weather can impact even an event held indoors.  The truth is that any event is going to have some changes that have to be made – some early, some on the very day of – or during - the actual event.  If you are too set in your mental image of how the event should flow, versus how the event will have to flow, you may find yourself fighting a losing battle and disappointing your audience as well.  A truly worthwhile goal is to adapt your opportunities while you can still control them and manage the rest to the best of the circumstances.

 

AEC Software  

AEC Software

 

Ignoring the Obvious

While there’s nothing wrong with optimism, failing to acknowledge obvious problems while they are still small can jeopardize your entire event.  No one person or company is good at all things and no matter what your budget may be, not planning properly – or making poor assumptions – can run your event right off the tracks.  If you are right at the capacity of the room or venue, then hoping that some guests don’t show is truly poor planning.  (As a rule, leave an extra 15% of total seating for last minute guests, just in case).  A room that seats 100 with 150 guests on the confirmed list is asking for your event to fall into disaster.

If you don’t acknowledge the obvious, you won’t know when it’s necessary to supplement your skill set by engaging with experts.  Also, it is important to make sure that you are comfortable in the roles that you will have to play for the event.  If you dislike the limelight, then getting an MC – versus you doing it yourself – needs to be a part of the planning. 

 

Being a Perfectionist

Striving for excellence isn’t usually a bad thing. But when it comes to event planning, perfectionist tendencies can hinder more than help.   Remember – the day of the event will be here no matter what you do, and waiting too long or holding out for the perfect venue, season, keynote speaker, etc… means that many of the critical pieces will be put off until the last second. 

The pursuit of perfection can be especially problematic in company events.  Most companies have certain times each year, and budgets, to plan events.   For best results, strive to create a simple, elegant, and workable solution to the event that you are planning.  You don’t need the Boston Pops, you need a great band that plays standards.

 

Choosing the Wrong Venue

Savvy event planners can source a large selection of venues for any occasion.  In this way, no matter the event, they have a solution for their clients.  If you are forced into event planning for your company, you need to do the “small” version of this by not settling for the first or the least expensive venue.  Encourage competition between potential sites and make sure that the “best deal” is really a deal – and make sure that you have a contract for the venue as well.  There are various venue sourcing services that you can use to alleviate the stress and pressure of this piece and make sure the agreement protects you properly.

For best results, research your audience before booking a venue – will there be catering, alcohol, technology, a block of rooms, transportation. The goal is to ensure you have your audience and their use in mind when you choose a venue.

Treasures From the Rubble  

Treasures From the Rubble

 

Skimping on Marketing

No matter how strong your game-plan is, not letting guests know about it, or going cheap on the invitations, will doom your event to failure.  After all, with today’s busy and interconnected lives, people have and make plans at a moment’s notice.  At the very least, you should consider not only traditional mailed invitations, but also digital invites – and often several of them – to make sure that your target audience “gets” the message.  Anything less is likely to get lost in the shuffle.   And while many of today’s marketing avenues are technically free (e.g. search engine optimization, social media, content marketing), you may still need someone knowledgeable to handle these responsibilities – either in your company or, even better, in that business. 

Don’t be afraid to spend money on solid and traditional event marketing to connect with attendees.  If you lack the skills to handle print or electronic marketing, don’t be scared to find and pay the experts – no amount of apologies can make up for botched event marketing.

 

Wasting Money on Resources

Now here is a double-edged sword.  On the one hand, you want to put on a premiere event.  On the other hand, you don’t want to blow through money like a sailor in port.  Balance is the key, and if you have to be the expert, there are some things to remember. 

First of all, look for places to get the most “bang-for-your-buck”.  Most venues have relationships with event companies that can handle everything from the catering to the invitations.  Make sure you ask!

At the same time, don’t be scared to simply ask for some help.  If there is a cost, you’ll quickly find out and with that, you can ask and negotiate what services or amenities you’ll actually need.  Valet parking may be nice, but if the majority of the attendees will be staying in the hotel where your event is hosted, it may be a waste of money for the actual return on the investment.  Always remember that the goal of the event is to have a wonderful experience, and the most important experiences are often the ones you don’t pay for.

 

TeamQualityPro  

TeamQualityPro

 

Picking the Wrong Team

No matter if you have the luxury of an event planner and their team or you have to pull it all together alone, you need to make sure that the team you have is in the right seats on your bus. 

With funding for many events being difficult to secure to begin with and nearly impossible once the planning is started, the smart money is always spent on the right team.  You have every right to thoroughly vet even volunteers for your event – so do it! 

In light of this fact, hiring the wrong companies for your event can be a serious—and potentially costly—error.   Don’t just look at the low price options – make sure you invest in the low-risk options.  Use smart people and companies that can complement the skills needed, not just empty suits that provide you lip-service and follow their own agenda.

There really is not reason for an event to be a painful experience to plan, but when you don’t divert around these seven problem areas, you will find yourself in trouble of one kind or another.  On the other hand, forewarned is forearmed, so when you start your event planning, take these lessons to heart and make it an easy and memorable event that is executed without a hitch and within the budget.

Nuila Events Four Pillars

shutterstock_295562693.jpg

We know that over the years, we’ve shared a lot of “inside scoop” stuff through these pages and in the course of working with so many wonderful organizations, but not a day goes by when we’re not asked how we manage so much “stuff” in any event – and all of them.

It all comes down to understanding the scope of the job.  Over the years, this has evolved into a comprehensive document that we use on any proposal so that we absolutely understand what our client needs and they know exactly what they are getting from Nuila Events.

Now we know what you’re thinking, and you’re right – one size never fits all.  So as we start to work with new clients and plan any event, we look at the “Four Pillars.”

1) Venue Sourcing

The first thing we do in the process of planning any event is look at it from the participant’s perspective.  That begins with a focus on selecting the right venue and making the necessary bookings for meeting space, any blocks of hotel rooms and certainly understanding how the space needs to be used.  We’ve even aligned ourselves with Experient, a Maritz Global Events company, to help our clients receive even better rates and protection for all of the sourcing needs.

2) Sponsorship & Exhibitor Sales

From there, we move on to understanding if and how sponsorship and exhibitors can help to offset the costs of the event. We want to make sure that your guests have access to truly amazing resources that complement your organization.  For companies in the technology field, we would seek out other companies that work in conjunction with our client to see how their presence can maximize the value of the event.  In the case of a non-profit, we would look to corporate sponsors that want to increase their presence in that arena and seek out relationships and opportunities that maximize the effect of the event.

3) Meeting Management

After we have the space and sponsors or exhibitors, we really drill into the meeting management role.  80% of the problems are in this 20% of the work!  This often means choreographing the schedule down to the minute. Meeting management is the truly in-depth hard work in the business, especially since this is the visible part of the event.  It is just like watching a duck in a pond – all the work is going on where you can’t see it!

4) Exceptional Content

Of course, a great event is made that way not just by an organization but by the things that they share at the event.  Public speaking is not the strongpoint of many folks, and a bad keynote speaker can absolutely tear down every bit of goodwill the event should have garnered.  While we consider it to be the last of our “Four Pillars,” this is every bit as important as the others.  Over the years, we have partnered with many seasoned stage speakers in a variety of spaces to be able to provide our clients with a “speaking solution” to nearly every event – from business to personal.

We know, we know - it all sounds simple, and after many years of planning events, it is.  By using our “Four Pillars,” we are able to see the best execution plan for any event and make sure that every client, from the Fortune 500 to a new non-profit, can put on a memorable event that helps to build their own culture and success story – and better yet, meet their budgeting needs with no surprises.  

Have you got a corporate event planned?  Let us know how we can help and make sure that your own “Four Pillars” don’t fall – contact Nuila Events, LLC right here or just pick up the phone and ring us up at (949) 238-8066.  We’d love to show you how great it can be!

Nuila Events: Your Complete Event Resource!

bucketofhopemsia.com

bucketofhopemsia.com

Hello friends!

Well, here we are, careening through early 2016 and so many of you have fresh new budgets for the year, our phones have stayed busy answering questions about how we can help you handle just about any event you can think of.

Funny thing, Nuila Events, LLC really does do it all!

No matter what you and your organization are looking for, Nuila Events has already done it – from equipment and furniture rentals to managing your social media for an event, we are experts in making sure that your event goes off without a hitch.  Think of it like this:  Planning an event is no different than car maintenance.  Sound silly?  Not really – you can learn how to do everything you need to do to take care of your car and simply do it in your driveway. The downside?  All that time in your driveway is taking you away from work and family. 

 

It’s the exact same with planning an event with your business, whether you have a small business or large corporation!  Do you really want to get stuck negotiating contracts with hotels for sleeping rooms?  What about booking all the entertainment- and that includes lighting and any audio/visual equipment that you’ll need?  Negotiating with caterers and making sure that the menu is a great choice for your guests?  Lastly, don’t you want to enjoy the event that you are planning and not get caught up fielding the hundreds – yes hundreds- of questions that come up on event day?  Your guests deserve to see you and you deserve to see them – having a top-of-the-line event planner and management staff on site is exactly how you handle that.  Don’t get your hands dirty!

 

In the end, whether you are changing oil, training staff, or celebrating a great year, it comes down to time.  Nuila Events becomes the efficiency resource that you can use to handle every aspect of an event and make sure it is as first rate as you deserve it to be.   After a few years in the event planning business, we know exactly how to handle pre-event marketing, promotional pieces for your event, and even how to find and close sponsorships for you. 

In the end, we both know that doing it yourself is doing you in – take some time to reach out to us, no matter the event, and find out how we can serve you as you plan events this year.  Reach out to us right here  and let’s set how we can work together to make your event even better than you ever dreamed possible!