Any time you prep for a meeting, conference, or event, you’ll have to rely on a number of specialists to bring your vision to fruition. While you can see the venue and sample the food, you might have to put a lot of trust into the AV specialists you hire, hoping that they can deliver what you want when your event rolls around.
Unfortunately, a lack of knowledge can lead to some truly awful disasters related to your events. For example, you might end up with a venue that doesn’t offer sufficient access to power, WiFi, or streaming capabilities. You might end up paying outrageous fees to both the AV vendor and venue because you don’t know what you need. Or you could suffer epic presentation fails like videos that are incorrectly formatted, that freeze while streaming, or that completely crash.
None of these are desirable outcomes, but you can avoid these snafus with a little knowledge and some help from an experienced and reliable event management services provider like American Meetings, Inc. (AMI). Here’s what you should know if you want to prevent the most common AV disasters from happening at your next event.
Get Event Management Services and Vendors in Place Early
Like most tasks related to planning a corporate meeting or event, getting the major players in place early on can help you to avoid all kinds of issues down the road. Your first step should be to compare corporate event planning companies to find a meeting services organization like AMI that offers the strategic planning services you need to brainstorm your next big event.
From there, experienced professionals at your event management services company can help you to find the perfect venue and get all your ducks in a row. One of the first tasks, however, is hiring reliable AV specialists. When you have this key player in place early on, your AV representative or team can help you to pick a venue that has the right foundations for your needs, including adequate power, internet services, and so on.
Go Over Every Detail
One of the biggest problems many companies face is not understanding what they’re getting. When you don’t really know the lingo, it’s all too easy to end up paying for a bunch of equipment or services you don’t need, both from the AV company and the venue. If you want to make sure you get just what you need and avoid paying excessive fees, it’s best to work closely with corporate event planning companies to fully understand what you’re paying for and whether or not it’s necessary.
This could mean having your AV specialist walk you through your contract line by line to explain each piece of equipment you’re renting, why it is necessary, and what it’s going to cost. It could mean setting up a meeting with the venue and the AV specialist to make sure there are adequate power outlets and other resources available on-site. You should plan on negotiating fees for everything from internet access to add-ons like additional mics, just for example.
Says Tarique Stanley, AMI’s Senior Event Technology Specialist, “If you don’t know what you’re doing you could end up getting nickel-and-dimed with fees, especially after the fact, when they know they can charge you like crazy for oversights. It’s easier to make vendors accountable by negotiating for possible extras ahead of time. This will help you avoid hefty fees later on.”
Find Reliable Corporate Event Planning Companies and Vendors
The worst-case scenario is a presentation failure at your event. This could be something relatively small but nonetheless vexing like a video in the wrong aspect ratio. Or it could be a much more devastating outcome like inadequate bandwidth for streaming that causes video presentations to stall. It could be a disc that won’t play.
There are a few ways to ensure these epic fails don’t happen at your event. One is to choose an event management services company like AMI that has the experience to prevent such problems and works with technical experts that have a proven track record of success. You’ll also want to test early on to make sure venue resources are adequate to handle power and streaming needs, as well as test materials like presentation videos to make sure they’re working properly.
Don’t forget to create backups. If something goes wrong, there may be a way to salvage your presentation with a proper plan B or C in place. Not all corporate event planning companies have the experience and reputation to help you avoid AV disasters, but with the experts at AMI on your side, your next event should go off without a hitch.
It’s easy to figure out how much you make from registration at your event, even if you offer different tiers of access at varying prices. That said, meetings and events can be expensive to host, and you and your global meeting planner need to consider the best ways to recoup costs and earn a profit if possible. A lot of return can come from selling out tickets, but you can do more.
Whether you’re selling food and beverages, offering branded or event-themed merchandise, or providing popular products like phone chargers and handheld fans, there are ways to earn more during the course of your event. Don’t forget about revenue that comes from sponsors, exhibitors, and vendors that want to participate and are willing to pay a fee or a percentage to do so. It all goes in the pot, so to speak.
With all the hubbub, you and your event organizer could have some trouble keeping track of the money attendees spend at your event.
How can you track it so you don’t have to spend so much time separating revenue streams after the fact? Here are a few tricks you should have up your sleeve.
Ask Your Convention Planner to Customize Payment Tracking Technology
Calculating how much attendees spend at your event first requires you to compile all the necessary data, and the easiest way to do this is with integrated payment tracking technology that puts all your eggs in one basket, so to speak. If you have to rely on vendors and event staff to deliver sales data, your overall picture could be understandably spotty.
With a single, integrated POS platform in place to track and report sales data, you’ll have all your data in one place and you can organize it as you see fit. This may require custom software, so you should discuss the possibility of hiring an experienced developer with your convention planner.
Work with Your Event Organizer to Track Top Spenders
It’s not enough to look at total sales if you want to optimize spending at future events. You need to know who is spending the most and what they’re buying, or alternately, which items seem to be the most popular. You and your convention planner can use this data to cater to top spenders and carefully choose which merchandise to offer at future events.
Take Notes on Contributing Variables
When you and your event organizer look over the numbers, it’s important to note why sales of certain items may have lagged at a particular event while others sold like gangbusters. Environmental factors can play a role and understanding them can help you to plan for greater success at future events.
Says Maria Coker, Meeting Planner at AMI, “If you host an outdoor event, pay attention to the weather. A warm day might result in increased beverage sales, whereas a cold day could see greater merchandise sales if you offer branded hoodies and scarves, for example. Morning events might not see the same alcohol sales as an evening affair. These variables can affect earnings and profit margins, but help you to spot trends and increase profitability down the road.”
Tracking spending data, breaking down sales, and considering contributing factors can all help you and your event organizer determine not only how much event attendees spent, but also how to increase profits moving forward.
You might think you can go it alone when it comes to planning and executing your company’s next big meeting, conference, or other event. The truth is that you could probably pull together an adequate event with only minor hiccups. But why would you struggle to pass with an average grade when you could partner with reputable corporate event planning companies to create a truly impressive spectacle that attendees will talk about for years?
If you want your next event to draw a crowd, create FOMO, and compel attendees to sign up for future events, you’ll find that there are major advantages to hiring a global event management services company like American Meetings, Inc. (AMI) to take the reins. Here are just a few benefits you’ll gain when you partner with corporate event planning companies.
Unless you already have some background in corporate event planning, you probably don’t have the same level of knowledge and experience as the trained professionals at corporate event planning companies. Neither do they have your particular expertise – they probably couldn’t step in and do your job.
The point is that you need to play to your strengths and partner with professionals that are proficient in areas foreign to you. Says Lilia Rosenfeld, Senior Meeting Manger at AMI, “Event planners are good at what they do because they learn a lot as they go. Constant innovation yields hits and misses, but overall it makes us better at listening to clients, offering guidance, and getting it right down the line.”
Experts Can Help You Plan and Stick to a Budget
It’s not entirely surprising event hosts lack awareness of the costs involved in planning and executing corporate events. Why would you know the cost range for renting venues and hiring caterers and entertainers, for example? Event management services providers, on the other hand, are well aware of related costs for the various facets of their industry and they can help you to maximize an existing budget or even create a workable budget if you’re really lost.
Event Management Services Have Connections You Don’t
Because of existing relationships and insider knowledge of costs, your partner in event management services has the leverage to negotiate in ways you would be unable to. While you might have trouble booking a popular venue for your event date or gaining access to the hottest entertainment, your event planning company could get the job done using an established network of connections and dealing in favors.
Insider Knowledge Takes Your Event from Concept to Reality
Corporate event planning companies have the knowledge and skills to interpret your vision and translate it into a concrete plan. While you might ask for something “edgy”, not really knowing precisely what you want, your event planning service could offer you options for utilizing current technologies to wow attendees, boost engagement, and encourage online sharing, just for example.
Assistance Beginning to End, and Beyond
An event planning expert like AMI can help you to plan and promote your event, implement logistical elements, add innovative technologies, and manage events in progress. You’ll also get follow-up services like surveys and metrics to gauge the success of your event. Partnering with a reliable and innovative global meeting services organization like AMI comes with so many advantages that businesses simply can’t afford to ignore.
Our Prime Supplier Member, TeamBonding joined The American Meetings Network and they are already seeing the benefits by meeting 1:1 with AMI’s Meeting Planners and Sourcing Managers at Global Procurement Day.
About TeamBonding: Where work meets play.
Fresh, exciting, strategically-focused fun is what clients want from TeamBonding , and that’s exactly what they get. For Fortune 500 companies and smallish non-profits, for start-ups and universities, TeamBonding’s remarkable facilitators have delivered literally thousands of team building events around the globe.
When you and your corporate meeting planner discuss the goals of your upcoming event, engaging with event attendees and providing a positive and memorable experience are probably at the top of the list. However, you may want to place more emphasis on engaging with a specific group: your donors. This is especially important for events that include some type of fundraising element where the contributions of donors play a big role in determining overall success.
Most donors are willing to part with their funds to support a cause they deem worthy. This brings them a measure of personal satisfaction. However, they have many options for how and when they make donations, and it doesn’t hurt to ensure that they get something extra for their generosity as a way to thank them and encourage future contributions.
When donors attend events, you want to give them their money’s worth, so to speak, and this means keeping them engaged with your brand and the event to create a positive and lasting impression. How can you and your global meeting planner ensure this level of engagement? There are a few strategies you may want to employ.
Push reminders and notifications. You and your corporate meeting planner can connect with donors before, during, and after events via social media as a way to build excitement, deliver pertinent information, create a community dynamic, and generally build engaging relationships. When donors connect with event social media pages, you have the opportunity to promote your upcoming event, highlight previous events, and ensure that they always have their finger on the pulse of event happenings so they never miss out.
Live stream with the help of your corporate meeting planner. Not every donor will be able to attend your event, but that doesn’t mean they have to miss out on the experience you’re providing. When you offer live streaming of activities, you allow donors to remain engaged remotely while providing motivation to attend future events.
Utilize gamification. Says Josie Rubio, Director of HR & Global Talent Acquisition, “Crafting a uniquely engaging experience is made easier when event attendees choose to participate. Adding elements of gamification like contests, leader boards, prizes, and more paves the way for engagement, sharing, and FOMO for those that don’t participate.”
People want to be involved, and when you add experiential elements like games, you facilitate a much greater level of immersion. Of course, you and your global meeting planner can go the extra mile to create unique experiences targeted for donors, such as raffles and auctions that allow them to compete even as they contribute.
Create opportunities for sharing and mementos. Social currency is more important than ever in the connected, virtual space, and you and your global meeting planner can deliver chances for donors to gain social currency by sharing their experience. Hashtag contests, photo booths, and selfie stations are all great ways for donors to share socially, as well as create lasting memories.
Work with your global meeting planner to offer branded swag. Everyone likes to get something for free, and honoring your donors with exclusive swag is bound to add to the overall experience. You and your corporate meeting planner should offer branded memorabilia like promotional items and prizes that show your gratitude, commemorate the experience, and keep you in donors’ minds long after the event.