Giving away free products and services is a time-honored technique for building business. In earlier American history, soap guy Benjamin T. Babbitt in the 19th century was one of the first known people – though not the first ever – to market by giving away free samples of his products. Saloons used to give away free sandwiches to entice men to buy more liquor. It worked, even though it undoubtedly led to more alcoholism and, according to some historians, ultimately to Prohibition. >>
This year, Donald Trump and California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom spoke at one of our hotel investment conferences. These big names attracted a lot of attention, and a number of people asked us how we were able to get these VIPs to come to our event. >>
A hospitality bag is the first welcome gesture you make and the last reminder of the event-if it gets taken home. How do you create a bag people won’t toss? Figure out who your audience is, how and when they will be using it, and follow these eight tips.>>
Bill Gates once shrewdly stated, “If I was down to my last dollar, I’d spend it on public relations.” Savvy business people have long realized the value of a strong PR campaign for telling a compelling story about their company and its services. A company’s reputation is paramount to its success, if not its survival, especially in this economy. The right public relations firm can not only help you build and maintain your brand, it can help increase revenue and profits. When considering how to most effectively manage your agency, here are some guidelines for consideration: >>
Dow Jones Industrial Average? NASDAQ? Manufacturing Index? How about the Party Index? That's one essential indicator in our industry that the economy is improving. People are booking more parties, and to me that means the economy is in a better place than it has been for the last few years. It's clear that party planning still is being done with an eye on budgets, so careful thought and planning well in advance are the keys to success. >>
Meeting and event planners spend countless hours designing details large and small to please the senses of attendees-from elaborate lighting and sound design to luxurious linens and comfortable seating. Yet few really consider scent. That’s a mistake: Smell is one of the most powerful senses, and a room’s scent is one of the first, and most lasting, impressions of an event. >>
Disintermediation. That's a long and very officious term for a simple concept: Get rid of the middleman. And while getting rid of the middleman may have helped a lot of companies' bottom lines, it may have caused a lot of other headaches.
As we've cut out middlemen (more correctly, middlepersons) there has been a corresponding drop in customer service without causing a drop in customer prices. It seems to me that we are now paying more to have less service. Some examples: >>
Fall is the perfect time of year to change up your event’s culinary direction, décor and overall atmosphere. Knowing how beautiful and colorful fall is here in Chicago, Blue Plate strives to give focus to our fall events and therefore create customized ideas that might not typically work for summer outings. >>
Is your wallet full of plastic cards that offer "Rewards" or "Miles" in exchange for your patronage? Individual businesses may offer some little perk, like cheaper gasoline or lower prices on select items. That's what loyalty has come to: a strictly dollars-and-cents, bottom-line equation. For businesses it's make the fastest, easiest buck possible. For consumers, it's save every last penny. >>
I’ll admit I was recently whining to a colleague about my day which had felt like an uphill marathon from the moment I opened my tired little eyes a mere sixteen-and-a-half hours earlier. Yawn. She, like any friend and colleague worth their weight in wine and chocolate, shot me down saying; “You want me to tell you about the elephants?”
Isn't it remarkable that some of life's most positive people are the ones who have the most reason not to be positive? Think of bicycle racer Lance Armstrong, who came back to win the Tour de France seven times after his bout with testicular cancer, and skater Scott Hamilton, who returned to an ice skating career after cancer. He said: "The only disability in life is a bad attitude." Why are a positive attitude and enthusiasm for what you do so important to success? >>
I found my cell phone swimming in a cup of water. I think it was suicide. After my initial "surprise," my heart sank just like my handy-dandy-not-fancy-but-functional phone because I knew I was going to spend the next three hours and the next three hundred dollars dealing with one of my least favorite things: technology. >>
With the holidays just around the corner, it is time to let the festivities begin! However, this year, as in recent years past, with the economy still in flux and companies looking to control their extra expenditures, it is as important as ever to ensure that celebrations are meaningful and well-appointed, but not perceived as being over the top. The following are a few tips on how to create a thoughtful holiday soiree for your company while paying attention to the big picture. >>
I recently had the good fortune to spend an afternoon sitting on the deck of a local eatery drinking a cocktail and laughing with an old friend. It was one of those great days when late afternoon turns into early evening. Ah—life was good. Then the bill arrived and the server, sweet girl, informed me that the restaurant didn’t accept credit/debit cards. Cash only. >>
Gilt City Events Manager Acacia May is the West Coast’s go-to girl when it comes to turning every day, run-of-the-mill events—say, running to a coffee shop—into luxurious experiences. That java run? Picture it with a tour of Blue Bottle Coffee’s Oakland roastery, a detailed demonstration on the art of pour-over drip coffee and a bag of beans. >>
The results of a conference seem to always sound the same: Great ideas heard and contacts made. Then the weary conventioneer heads home, is greeted with a mountain of e-mail, to-dos and colleagues who remained in the trenches, uninspired. >>
Have any of you been in a dollar store? Why didn’t somebody tell me about this place earlier? Who needs Disney World when you have the dollar store? I ran in to gather a few paper products for a birthday party and was wowed by the many, many things I didn’t even KNOW I needed. Like a bow and arrow set. Dollar! Toothbrushes. Dollar! Ring pops, soap, gift bags … dollar, dollar, dollar! >>
If you've never ventured into the world of Twitter, you might think that it is basically a lot of noise. If so, you would be right. As one of the largest social media networks out there, the amount of junk is massive—and for first timers, it can feel like your radio is playing every station in a 50 mile radius simultaneously.
But no matter how much of a technological Luddite you may be, if you work in the events industry, I highly recommend getting on Twitter, if for no other reason than to be a part of the weekly chat group of #Eventprofs. Here's how to do it: >>
Lately, I have been inundated with emails from event planning hopefuls who ironically all begin their inquiries with, “Hi there! I am interested in a career in event planning.” Great, I think, but “Hi there?” Did you take the time to find out whom to send the inquiry to? Did we know each other in a past life? Are we so comfortable in today’s world of social media and technology that we no longer go through the formalities and just get right down to it? >>
In my work as owner and lighting designer for Creative BackStage in Tempe, I often collaborate with planners as they prepare for an event. The following five tips will help both a planner’s job and mine go more smoothly.
1. Give me all of the information up front about your event, so I can be sure I am giving you a good and fair price. Even small details are important for me to know. >>
Who among us doesn’t love getting a beautiful invitation in the mail? The anticipation and excitement as you make your way from the mailbox, oohing and ahhing over the calligraphy, admiring how the stamp so perfectly coordinates with the envelope and feeling like a child as you eagerly wonder who it could possibly have come from.
It’s Valentine’s Day. Again. Love it or hate it, there it is … every February 14th. No one knows for certain where or when it really started but you can probably put some of the blame on those pesky ancient Romans because one legend has it that the love part derived from a pagan fertility festival called Lupercalia. >>
I once worked with a woman who was touted as a fabulous chef. When it came to potlucks in the office, Susan G’s creations (I won’t name names but you know who you are and why I love you) were always the first to go.
I’d like to say that the reason her dishes were so delightful is because they were made with love–but the truth is they were made with butter–and loads of it. They were FANTASTIC. >>