Events

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.

How To Get Sponsorships for Your Event

Stop right there.  Before you start thinking about sponsors and colors and times and invitations, you need to ask yourself a question.  A very simple one:

Do I have the skills to pull this off, or is it going to be a train wreck?

If the little voice in your head screams “No! No! No!” – you need to quit pretending and call Nuila Events, LLC.  Corporate or Non-profit, we can help. But before the lightning strikes the merry-go-round, get a pro to handle this event.

Now, if you’ve held an event before, you probably know how important a role sponsors play in event success. Sponsors can help with providing resources, marketing the event as well as help with overall participation of the event. But the reality is that securing a sponsor is much harder than you may perceive. Securing the right sponsor takes a mix of marketing strategy, relationship building and creative thinking.  The real catch for many sponsors, before they decide to get involved, is what exactly is the plan?  Think about it from a strictly business point of view. Any investor in a business would want to see a pro forma. In a way, your potential sponsor does too.

 

First, stand in the "buying" shoes

 

Photo Credit To: Youtube.com

Photo Credit To: Youtube.com

When you ask for sponsorship, don’t be surprised if things don’t go your way at first. Very seldom will companies give you money simply because you’re holding an event.  Here is where having your plan for the event, and perhaps a successful partnership with a company that handles large events, will pay off.   Companies invest only when they know they’ll get something in return. Therefore, try to think from a sponsor’s perspective when pitching them. Ask yourself the following questions before calling potential sponsors:

  • What’s the event objective and event program?

  • How is my company benefiting from sponsoring this event?

  • What’s the demographic of the target audience? Is it the same with my own customer base?

  • Why is this event unique from others?

  • Does my company have an opportunity to directly engage the event participants?

  • How about brand exposure, promotion rights, or exhibit booth?

Sponsors are not necessarily expecting monetary returns, but rather wanting to leverage events to create brand awareness and interact with customers. You have to think like a marketer and come up with a sponsorship package that’s appealing to buyers.

 

Second - Know WHEN and WHO to pitch

 

Photo Credit To: thepitchacademy.com/   

Photo Credit To: thepitchacademy.com/

 

The process of applying for sponsorship is really time-consuming, especially when you’re approaching renowned brands. So start early and make sure to have plenty of time for your sponsorship campaign. If you have an urgent timeframe, then talking to the right person can make a great difference. Smart sponsorship advocates know the importance of figuring out who makes the final decision. You are going to have to get past the “gatekeeper” to get to the decision makers, and that just takes time.  If time is of the essence, you need to figure out ways to get there quickly or look elsewhere.

 

Third - Target the right brands that suit your event "objective"

 

Photo Credit To: gasolinelabs.wordpress.com

Photo Credit To: gasolinelabs.wordpress.com

This is so obvious we shouldn’t have to say it, but every year, as professional event organizers, we hear the horror stories.  Beer and alcohol companies asked to sponsor a carnival to help sick children. Barbecue sauces asked to sponsor vegetarian events.  It seems like common sense, but as deadlines loom, sometimes the ideas get crazier and crazier.  Simply put, don't collaborate with a sponsor that has an opposite value to the event you're hosting.  Emphasizing the “fit” between your audience and your sponsors can tighten-up the event theme as a whole. Think of your event goal and target audience first, and then match the right businesses to collaborate with.

 

Fourth - Don't forget sponsor's employees

 

Photo Credit To: www.greenbiz.com/   

Photo Credit To: www.greenbiz.com/

 

Studies indicate that employee involvement is becoming more and more crucial to businesses. Lots of businesses also invite employees to participate in volunteering or participating in corporate social responsibility activities. Therefore, when you are securing the right sponsors, don’t forget to ask for their employees’ involvement! For example, if you’re holding a running related event, have sponsors’ employees build a team and participate in the contest. Not only will you secure more attendees, but you also provide your sponsors a great chance for internal team-building activities.

 

Lastly - Creative Thinking!

 

The chart below showcases what sponsors care about when sponsoring an event.

Photo Credit To: www.sponsorship.com/


Photo Credit To: www.sponsorship.com/

Based on the above chart, one can see that brand exposure is definitely a ranked priority for businesses. But there is more to offer than brand exposure and a social media presence. You have to create exceptional value to your sponsors, think out-of-box, and explore every possibility. Possible choices could be guerilla marketing or even linking sponsors with event programs.  If you don’t have the answer, that’s okay.  They have a marketing department, start asking them!

 

A great example of going above and beyond for your sponsors would be Kohler, a bathing appliance company and the official sponsor of Bonnaroo, who brought a stunning shower experience into an event. Kohler provided two rows of container structures for private shower and clothes-changing. Kohler successfully promoted its products by satisfying the needs of event-goers. What a brilliant sponsorship idea! By looking at other successful venues such as Kohler’s, one can gather many great examples and ideas for their events.

 

Okay, the little voice in your head should really be working overtime now, and that’s what we’re here to do.  We’ve been saving our clients from disastrous events for years, and we know that not everyone can be an expert like us.  

 

No, seriously, we have helped clients out of some real dumpster fires.  

 

You are an expert at what you do, Nuila Events is an expert at planning and executing amazing corporate and non-profit events.  In fact why don’t you just tip –toe over to our website while the boss isn’t looking, reach out to us here, and let us help you figure out just how you are going to pull off that next amazing corporate event.  You can find us on the Social Media of your choice, and isn’t it better to have somebody to guide you through this process than to try to map it out on your own?

 

We know.  We help folks like you everyday.