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.

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.

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! 

A Day in the Life of a Corporate Planner

 lerablog.org

lerablog.org

 

I hope that 2016 is off to a rip-roaring start and that you had a wonderful Holiday season.  In our world of event planning, truth be told, we are already looking at 2017 conferences – but not a week goes by at Nuila Events, LLC when we don’t hear the question, “what is your day like as a corporate event planner?”

Well, funny you should ask.  A day in the life of a corporate event planner can really be a roller coaster; 20 hours is not the norm, but we certainly pull a lot of them.  Most corporate event planners easily average a 12 hour day, and since so many events are multi-day events with evening functions, we spend a lot of time at work when most people have left the office.  In addition to actually being at the event, many corporate event planners will have at least one meeting each week for each event.  Of course, that will be during “normal” business hours.  Consider that an event may be on the books for six to nine months, and you have plenty of other meetings to keep you busy, too.

 

  morethanshipping.com

morethanshipping.com

 

The good news is that many of those meetings are now  embracing technology, so even though we will be assisting a client, this can be accomplished virtually. Skype, Facetime, Gotomeeting, etc... all help to shorten distance for us when we work with clients.  In fact, by the time you consider those technologies, point of sale systems, email and autoresponders, and a host of ordering software, it is not unusual for us to use nearly 10 different types of technology on even the simplest event.  And you thought we just helped set up the chairs and bring in the flowers!

 eventnow.com

eventnow.com

Really, though, that’s why we do it.  Simply put, we love it!  Serving others as they come together for training or collaboration is what motivates us.  We look at our jobs as corporate event planners as the chance to bring something enjoyable into being – even though it may have no tangible lasting effect.  We make memories for others. Truly, it is a wonderful way to serve.

Can Small Businesses Have Events Too?

  whatcombusinessalliance.com    

whatcombusinessalliance.com

 

Well here we are!  The holiday season is upon us, and I wanted to talk about the single biggest question we hear … “I own a small business, do I still need to do events?”

Our answer at Nuila Events, LLC is always a resounding “YES!”

Now, in fairness, you don’t have to sponsor the Grammys, but for many small businesses, hosting events is a wonderful way to network the business and foster great corporate citizenship in your community - and get some amazing publicity.  The question is, what types of events can a small business handle that won’t break the bank?

  chritsmasgeek.com

chritsmasgeek.com

Well, funny you should ask, and as experts in helping companies to handle these types of functions, let us give you some ideas.

The first goal is always to determine who your target audience is – this helps to drive a clear understanding of your goals, the venues, and what exactly the purpose of the event will be – are you introducing a new product?  Celebrating a record year?  Will you be looking to “woo” new clients or cater to current ones?

The critical thing is, hosting an event, even a small one, can build huge value for your company.  Even if the group is a small one, people remember that your company hosted or sponsored an event, and that has value far past the cost to put on an event – and remember – an event is not always social – it can be a workshop for your products, a training seminar on business, or even a product launch.

  lerablog.org

lerablog.org

Of course, you’ll have budget questions, then the marketing for the event – can you use strategic partners to share in the costs and potentially get more attendees?  Get the word out through your social media channels, include it on emails to clients, and even get- depending on the event, local bloggers and Meet-up.com groups to get the word out.

  mywebwriters.wordpress.com    

mywebwriters.wordpress.com

 

And by far the biggest part of the equation is building a team to help you.  This is where Nuila Events, LLC can really pull to the front for small businesses – we handle this everyday – it is, after all, what we do!  In fact, as you start to plan, think about involving us from the very beginning.  Reach out to us at 949.238.8066 or, as always, through our website NuilaEvents.com.

 

Social Proof: How Social Media Can Help Get The Word Out

 Photo Credit: www.blog.hittail.com

Photo Credit: www.blog.hittail.com

Well, good morning!

I’ve got a bit of a twist for you today – we’re NOT going to talk about event planning ... but we are going to talk about how to maximize event awareness and participation using your sphere of influence. There are a number of factors that are BIG things to consider as you go forward in creating the marketing plan for your non-profit event–especially with social proof.  Nulia Events, LLC has been managing these things for a long time, and here are some “behind the scenes” ideas that you can use no matter how big or small your next event is going to be.  Of course, we can handle all this for you, but here’s a look behind the curtain at some of the ways you can raise interest through marketing channels you are probably already using…

But social proof is more than just social media. Now, you are going to use social media, but with a twist on your usual brand of communication.  Everybody is always quick to jump on Facebook when it comes to social media, but the sheer volume of choices may lead you to Periscope, Twitter, or even Pinterest (depending on your event).  Before you do anything, you must first understand and define the target audience for your event. You may find that there are a number of Meetup groups in your area that are aligned with your cause and when you loop those folks in to what you're doing, they can market your event on their social media outlets (less work for you!). Selling a product to raise awareness? Pinterest is a good place to start.  

Without a doubt, the important thing is to build an audience that is connected through similar interests, making them engaged and open to your communications. They become the “apostles” that carry your message forward and link to it into their groups.  Social Proof.  

Let’s take a look at a recent activity that validates this phenomenon – the Ice Bucket Challenge.  Once it started, there was no stopping it, and the organizers needed only had to post a few meaningful and targeted pieces … the apostles did the rest.  It was on Facebook, in your Twitter feed, on the nightly news – everywhere!!!!

As it got bigger, the rainmakers got into it – the celebrities, the bloggers, the “movers and shakers” that made it such a big deal that everybody felt compelled to top what others had done.  And it all started with a few people putting together an exciting and strategic plan that eventually kept making news.  This is a brilliant example of how to use social influence to get others involved and create a media frenzy!

You can even start right in the Twitter feed of those rainmakers. You probably aren’t going to get Taylor Swift to answer a tweet, but if you can generate some momentum (start smaller – think Billy Ray Cyrus instead of Miley), soon you are getting into those six degrees of Kevin Bacon, and now you can get the celebrity – or just a widely-read blogger – to pick up the cause, throw your event a bone, and start to get some traction.

  www.Onlinegadgetstore.com

www.Onlinegadgetstore.com

Getting that person to buy in to your idea, though, can be a chore – and this is where posting great content – and comments – can get the feed picked up.  If your Twitter feed just says “Rummage sale to benefit fire victims” – you’re not going to get any movement on the Richter Scale.  But if you throw in a “#” into links about that fire, the news stories associated with it, and what others have done to help, people are going to take notice.  

Simply put – think of the things that you and others in that circle would respond to, and then frame your action and message accordingly. Then, take the next step - what other demographics do you want to engage? Seek those types of outlets, as well.  

Lastly – have fun and convey that attitude in your tactics.  Nobody likes the idea of child abuse, but having a good time raising money to help the victims of it doesn’t have to be a somber experience. Celebrate, don’t mourn and convey that in whatever tack you take. There is enough depressing stuff out there, so show that “attitude of gratitude” and help people look forward to what you’ve got planned. Besides – the social proof is in the pudding – when you create a new reality that is more fun than people would expect, you have brought them something that has real value – and for a good cause!