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Is my events agency delivering real value?

| Articles | April 1, 2014

135808In business terms, value means different things for different people. So, how does one quantify ‘value’ when hosting an event?

Value… Is it about the calibre of your guest list? Or the status of the guests who attended? Is it a tally of the traffic moving through your exhibition stand? Or the nature of follow-up enquiries received after your last product launch? Many businesses don’t know where, when or how to begin and often, to their detriment, make decisions with the heart; engaging a supplier on the strength of a personal relationship with a preferred event management company.

Value often embraces intangible assets and in the early ’90s, Harvard produced the BSC – the balanced scorecard – that helped many companies score value as a means of singling out quantifiable results. The overriding attribute of Harvard’s scorecard was its ability to closely align those scores with the classic strategic objectives that many businesses conform to – so that “value”, whatever shape it may take, was closely linked and supportive of the goals of the company.

The calibre of guest list, final guest attendance figures, sales volumes – basically every performance measure you can name, are all important when evaluating a supplier, but as Harvard’s BSC dictates, the outcomes have to correlate directly to where a business is heading strategically.

Conceptual approach

So right at the top of my scorecard is the notion of the concept. Is GRC taking a different approach when interpreting a client’s brief, or are we following a been-there-done-that formulaic route? I believe that questioning the client’s strategic objective, having a thorough understanding of the client’s brand, value proposition, brand positioning and identity are crucial to articulating a brand’s characteristics in an experiential way and leaving an indelible impression. The USA, considered the gold standard in the special events industry, regards a conceptual approach as the ‘silver bullet’ that guarantees success.

As any sassed marketing executive would know, American event producers methodically research the client before recommending a plan. For example, they undertake full SWOT and environmental analyses; review the client’s USPs and undertake a brand audit. This intel dictates the creative route they should take.

Aesthetics

Next on the list is aesthetics. Does my event producer have the capacity to leave a lasting visual impression on my guests’ and clients’ minds? I believe “synesthesia” is crucial to the success of an event. The aesthetics of any event should literally attack all five senses, from sight, to smell, to sound, to taste, and finally, touch.

When we launched the new store experience for D’ore, a well-known Sandton City ladies wear store, we took no prisoners when appealing to the senses. From burning aromatherapy oils to seduce and relax guests, piping nostalgic Dina Moran to evoke warm memories, and creating large, oversized paper and origami gown installations for the shop front as a means of prompting passers-by to really question and engage with the store’s appeal. I believe that to create a lasting memory, the wow factor in “synesthesia” must truly be wow or nothing at all.

Too often, the store is known as “that boutique catering for older women”, so aside from creating a very contemporary experience, we ensured that the guest list mirrored those modern, youthful qualities of D’ore’s new positioning – people like Leeanne Liebenberg and her hubby, Nicky Van Der Walt, as well as Maira Koutsoudakis and several other well-known South Africans, all contributing to the evening’s success.

Collaborations

Crowdtap, a New York-based collaborative marketing firm – named recently on Forbes’ 100 Most Promising Companies – is spearheading the “collaborative marketing” revolution, which I believe should be taken advantage of in South Africa, specifically in eventing. We use collaboration as a means, not only of enhancing the overall guest experience by adding additional brand experiences to engage with, but also allowing the brands to reach into other’s non-core markets and promote themselves. Moreover, it gives the brands’ respective owners the opportunity to gain knowledge, building their expertise in the process and adding to the evolution of their own brands.

We collaborated with Levi Jeans at Fashion Week a few years ago, prompting viewers to really question whether denim is just an Indy-culture icon, or whether it should be deemed as haute couture. So we added a typical Damien Hurst twist to our show, by custom-painting denim as ball gowns, invoking a sense that haute couture can really be enjoyed by all, not just by the elite.

Trust

Fourth on the value scorecard is trust. While clients entrust an event manager with a designated spend, the producer, more importantly, must show a return on this investment. A producer’s industry profile, their proven experience and a high calibre of client representation all contribute to the compelling sense of trust a client should feel when evaluating an event’s success.

Service 

Last, but by no means least, is service. Is my events agency delivering timeously? Is it accessible? In other words, can it relate to me, and I to it and can I access it at the drop of the proverbial hat? Is it able to foresee challenges that may negatively impact on the success of my event? Is it managing my budget responsibly? Is it exceeding my expectations? Is it as passionate about my brand as I am?

As many will remember, there was much fuss around the Gupta wedding. Can you imagine the level of stress experienced by that poor couple as they planned such a mammoth event? So the onus was on us, as producers of the five-day celebration, not only to deliver exactly on what was promised (through story boards, programmes, themes and costings), but also to exceed their expectations – and we did it – we delivered far more than they expected despite very trying circumstances.

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How to measure event Success

| Articles | March 18, 2014

Event-Management-Software-Blog-How-to-measure-your-event-Success-Organizing an event requires careful planning, executing and diligence. Equally important is how you evaluate your event after it has come to its conclusion. A good evaluation can help you understand how your event was perceived, what you did well and in turn which areas need improvement.

In order to do so, event managers must have a clearly defined set of goals. Organizing an event without clearly defined goals is like running in a race with no finish line. Event goals can be related to anything associated with your event, but as a guideline could include attendee satisfaction, event budget and event turnout. If you event is a networking event, look to include business leads as well. Although not always possible, try to make your event goals and objectives measurable, time bound and specific.
This article focusses on online, offline and event planning software solutions that help measure the success of your events.

Measure online feedback

Measuring online feedback is both easier as well as more important than ever. The online community provides a wealth of information about how your event is being perceived.

Measure attendee satisfaction

When it comes to attendee satisfaction, your event is only as good as people experience it to be. Online surveys are great tools for getting measurable data on what attendees liked and disliked about your event.

Event Return On Investment

Albert Einstein once famously said: “Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted.” This holds especially true when it comes to measuring the Return On Investment of your event. ROI can not always simply be defined as the cost associated with your event compared to the amount of revenue it generated as a result.

There are different ways to calculate the ROI of your event depending on the goals and objectives you defined at the start. For instance, a charity event may define its ROI as the amount of awareness it brings towards a certain cause whereas an event demonstrating a product may define ROI in terms of how much press coverage it generates.

While methods of determining event ROI may vary depending on the type of event you’re organizing, as a rule of thumb you should always include your Return on Objectives (ROO), a tracking system, suitable measuring tools and an assessment sheet to evaluate your goal.

Compare your Event Blueprint

It is always important to assess if the outcome of your event met the goals, objectives and outline of your event blueprint. This will not only help you assess the success of your event, but also the completeness of your event blueprint. If your event blueprint and the outcome of your event differ greatly, perhaps your blueprint was poorly constructed. Use this as a learning experience when dealing with reoccurring events.

Utilize Event Planning Software

To eliminate mistakes, look for an event planning software tool which can help you build a cloud based event blueprint. The benefit of using event planning software is that it will allow you to create re-usable event templates which include the most successful part of your events and update it in realtime.

Event Business Leads

Gathering a business lead is not simply collecting business cards. The quality of your leads depends on the effort that the prospect has gone through to interact with you. If you event is focused on networking, try to assess the amount of leads converted to sales.

Be sure to create a business lead form and a strategy to calculate your return on business leads. Your business lead form should include important information about your business leads, the current situation (e.g. what are your areas of interest, and how can you offer a reciprocal benefit), as well as a plan on how to follow up with these leads.

When calculating your return on business leads, always remember that new business comes from two sources, new clients as well as existing ones. In some cases you may not have been successful getting business from new leads, but perhaps you will have secured new projects from existing clients.

Calculate Economic impact

When measuring the economic impact of your event, you not only look at the revenue your event is generating, but also look at additional factors such as the cost and effort attendees have to put in to travel to your event. Event Impact provides a useful economic calculator help measure the economic impact of your event. Like any of your other data researches, the results will only be as good as the quality of the data you enter.

Measure event turnout

Whatever your event goals and objectives may be, chances are they will depend for a large part on the turnout your event generates. Depending on the type of event you’re organizing, the type, amount and quality of your RSVP’s may be an important part in measuring the success of your event. It is therefore important to have a mechanism in place to help you streamline this process.

Try to automate RSVP’s by using event planning software which focusses on event registration. There are number of excellent tools out there.

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Exhibition Stand Design is a Must-Have For Successful Brand Marketing

| Articles | March 11, 2014

images (20)

Exhibitions indeed make excellent places for face-to-face marketing, which involves a number of benefits. Owing to this, numerous companies take efforts in attending trade shows and exhibitions.

A trade show or exhibition is usually a venue, where other business-to-business (b2b) partners in addition to visitors engage in a networking environment for buying products as well as services. This special method of marketing may prove of much benefit to your business. For exhibiting your brand or product, you need to have exhibition stands. The information below offers people an insight regarding the design basics of exhibition stands. You will come to know how exactly exhibition stands should look like.

To start with, the style plus size of exhibition stands ought to be perfect suiting your requirements and needs. You may choose from a wide array of stands such as pop-up and banner stands. Certain big stands might be in the shell form or bespoke types. Prospective exhibitors may even pick a well-designed personalized exhibition stand according to their needs. Some stands offer you enough space for holding private meetings. It is greatly helpful, because at times, on-site meetings are necessary.

Next, people need to look for facilities and accessories in exhibition stands. You need to determine the space that you actually need. For instance, if you look forward to having visual display along with laptop, then here, you ought to take into consideration the space needed for laying the cables. Exhibitors also have to provide their clients and visitors with adequate space, so that they purchase and move around the stands easily.

Furthermore, it is a wise option to purchase a stand, which lends you convenience for reuse. It is never a bad idea to invest your capital in buying reusable stands. In this category of stands, look for those that have flexible designs. Numerous bespoke stands allow you changing the graphics and display. They fold up easily, are portable and versatile. You may assemble them again for future use after dismantling.

In stands, artwork and graphics too play a major role. The stand has to be such that it attracts visitors toward your product at the very first sight itself. After all, the product stands for your business status. Whichever graphics you use, they need to match your product well.

Moreover, use of latest shapes is that trend, which stems from application of computer-generated designs in the exhibition stands. Wave shapes, curves, complex shapes and tombstone shapes are recently in use for adding movement and interest to stands. To possess a trendy stand, you need to pay special attention on the stand’s shape to make it look unique and eye-catching.

Overall, you need to emphasize on many factors in exhibition stand design before buying it, so that your exhibition is a huge success. Your clients and visitors ought to get a good feel attending the exhibition that you put up to market your products and services. In recent times, many service providers make available for you exhibition stands according to your choice, needs and budget. You may make the most of their services.

Have Exhibition Stand Design for ensuring successful marketing of products and services.

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The World’s Most Amazing Public Speaking Technique

| Articles | March 11, 2014

images (15)For people the world over, speaking in public is a terrifying proposition. Yet what is more exciting than a talk on a relevant or important issue? Speeches have altered history, started wars, and created national heroes. On a business level, they have aided professional success and helped companies and organizations carry out their mission.

With such a momentous pedigree, you’d think that speaking in public would be an ultra-sophisticated task, approachable only by the best and brightest among us. Yet public speaking isn’t difficult, and it can be exciting and fun. Speech anxiety may rear its head, of course. But even becoming more confident is less work than you might think.

There’s a simple procedure, in fact, that can assure us of greater confidence while contributing hugely to our speaking success. This procedure is in such plain sight, however, that we usually ignore it completely. So here’s the scintillating secret to undaunted and dynamic public speaking:

Breathing.

It’s true that everyday breathing doesn’t help us so much with presentations and speeches. That’s an automatic habit. But breathing for speech requires deeper respiration and a controlled exhalation. So if you’re speaking, you should learn to breathe with the diaphragm. That’s the muscle between your lungs and abdomen that pushes out your abdominal muscles when you breathe in.

Diaphragmatic breathing helps your lungs expand fully so you can speak with power and projection. Here are some other positive effects of breathing with your diaphragm:

  • Your heart rate slows.
  • You get more oxygen to your brain.
  • You look better (without a slouching posture).
  • Your voice sounds fuller and stronger.
  • You look like you’re in control, not gasping for breath.
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Do you have the ideal Event Venue for your Corporate Event

| Articles | September 5, 2013

707905-500x333Getting the ideal venue for your corporate event (be it a year end function, annual awards ceremony, conference, training session or even a business meeting) – and sorting out the related issues – is not easy and there are various things that you need to contemplate when searching for the right venue.

While you can arrange the event and search for the venue yourself, it may be more beneficial to employ the services of a corporate event management company or corporate planner. There is no doubt that the right venue can compliment a corporate event, but it can also play a big part in making the event a success. The prefect venue will portray your company, staff and its delegates in the right light, making you even more appealing to existing and potential customers and clients.

The first thing you need to consider, which is probably the most obvious, is the number of people you anticipate will attend your corporate event. You need to find a corporate venue that is the right size, that will fit everything and everyone, but you also don’t want it so big that there is too much space for your guests and any event furniture, exhibition stalls.

The type of event will also have a bearing on your choice of event venue. If it’s a corporate dinner then you will want a venue that caters for that, while an exhibition will require a venue more suited to that, like an exhibition hall. Perhaps it is your company’s year end event and you require it to have a dance floor, or perhaps even a conference that requires projectors and screens.

  Availability of a venue may also be a challenge. Just because you have found the right location to host your corporate event does not mean that it will be available on your chosen dates. With corporate event planning usually running on very tight schedules it helps to find two or three venues that suit your needs well in advance. This will, hopefully, ensure at least one is available for the date or dates you have in mind.

Perhaps also two or three possible dates, to be safe.

In addition to the venue itself you will need to think about accommodation and transport for your delegates. You can find reliable service providers for these on Event Source directory. This is why the location of your venue should play a very big part in your decision making. You don’t want a venue too far away from transport links like close to the gautrain station, airport or even public transport routes, for those using public transport. Geographically isolated venues will make it difficult for delegates to attend – in fact, they may decide not to attend at all. You should also offer some sort of transfer from the nearest large transport link to your venue for those who travel in via public transport. Making them pay a potentially expensive taxi fare will not be appealing!

Suitable accommodation in the form of hotels should also be close to the venue. After a long day of networking there will be some people who don’t want to travel long distances home – or to the nearest hotel!

Again, transfers should be on hand to take those who require it to their nearest accommodation. It would serve you well to get a list of those who wish to stay over when they book their place at your event and then make reservations on their behalf. The cost of this could be factored into the delegate fees if you don’t want to pay for it yourself. As discussed, you could attempt to arrange all this yourself, saving you the cost of a corporate event planner.

However, there are some significant advantages to using a corporate event management company aside from simple time saving. Firstly, and especially if you choose a company in the local area, they will have a much greater knowledge than you of local venues and a greater insight into which would suit your event best. Secondly, as regular ‘customers’ of the venues, they may well be able to obtain a discount on your behalf. The same goes for any accommodation and transport you need to book on behalf of your delegates. Finally, their experience will be invaluable in assisting with other aspects of your event.

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5 Good Reasons why you should Hire Funny Motivational Speakers

| Articles | September 4, 2013

Vusi-thembekwayoHere are the Five Awesome Reasons…

Training in a Joyous & Relaxed Atmosphere:
Training sessions and Business meetings are normally conducted in a highly charged atmosphere which puts pressure on the already under-pressure participant. Hence, the first thing a that funny motivational speaker does when conducting a workshop is: creating a relaxed atmosphere. He starts off with a funny joke or incident that will instantly melt down any stress that the participants might be having.

So, a funny motivational speaker sets the tone for a fun filled training session. He is usually the expert in creating a friendly and pleasant training atmosphere.

Humor Helps in making Training process Effective:
Training sessions are often dull and boring if not combined with healthy humor. The participants either do not pay much attention or are eagerly waiting for the lunch or coffee break. However, a funny motivational speaker promptly attracts the individual’s undivided attention of the participants through the use of humor, because normally people do not want to miss a good joke and the opportunity to laugh. Instead of drifting away or stifling yawns, participants pay attention to what a funny motivational speaker is saying. They instantly get interested and involved in the training process, eagerly waiting for the next humorous anecdote or story.

Promotes Scope for Openness:
The funny motivational speaker wins the confidence of the audience because of his unobtrusive and easy manner of training. He respects the professional trainees for their capabilities and yet seeks permission for their improvement and involvement. Training becomes easier as the participants in the training session come forward to express their problems and shortcomings to an uncritical mentor, thus giving him enough scope to motivate them in the right direction and help remove their shortcomings.

Rare Breed:
Funny motivational speakers are a rare breed of people that combine the power of speaking and a little acting to make listeners laugh as well as drive pertinent points regarding motivation.

They inspire the audience with their wisdom and insight. Human psychology, information about the latest trends, and traditional wisdom – they combine these all to provide potent motivational and morale boosters.

Improving the Bottom Line Profits:
Yes, hiring a funny motivational speaker can improve the bottom line profits. Corporates invests millions of rands in training as training is effective in improving the bottom line profits.

And if training succeeds in improving bottom line profit of a company, the safest bet is to hire a funny motivational speaker, for laughter is the best medicine including corporate ailments.

If you’re looking for a funny motivational speaker for your next corporate event or training, here are a few that you can book or hire through Event Source:

Corporate Motivational Speakers for hire or to book for your next event

Corporate Keynote Speakers for hire or to book for your next event

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The smartest insights ever about public speaking

| Articles | September 2, 2013

Public speaking evokes change in the lives around us. It helps you to be of service and share your passions and gifts. Becoming aspeakers better speaker and communicator is a way to reach all of these goals.

Luckily, there are many who have walked the path of better speaking. Here are five of the smartest things ever said about public speaking to help you become a more passionate, connected, and successful speaker.

There are only two types of speakers in the world: (1) the nervous and (2) liars.

? Mark Twain

You’re nervous. I’m nervous. The most experienced speakers still get nervous. Let’s face it—you might never get over your public speaking anxiety. You can learn to cope, thrive, and fly to speaking success despite the stampede of horses in your stomach and your knocking knees.

Accept the nervousness as a natural part of caring your about your audience. My best tip to help you deal with those presentation jitters: Know your introduction. By the time your introduction is over, the adrenaline subsides and your nervousness will be behind you.

A good speech should be like a woman’s skirt: long enough to cover the subject and short enough to create interest.
? Winston Churchill

Ahhh, Winston, you cheeky minx, teasing us with such a great quotation. I often tell my clients to serve their audiences’ needs, but you can’t solve all their problems. Create interest and buzz in your talk, but keep it short. Like a beautiful woman in a sexy outfit, you don’t have to give all your secrets away. Now, if only someone would tell some of the Hollywood starlets this.

90 percent of how well the talk will go is determined before the speaker steps on the platform.

? Somers White

Preparation and practice are the foundation for a successful speech. You should never wing it. You have to practice. Everyone tells you that practice is key. Not many people discuss how to practice a speech. Doing so seems weird—standing in your living room talking to no one but your pets. You’ll be prepared for success the next time your step on the stage.

They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel.

? Carl W. Buechner

Speaking is about creating an emotional connection with the audience. Always ask yourself what you want your audience to feel as the last word falls from your lips. Building a relationship with your audience is the most powerful thing you can do as a speaker. Your vulnerability is the key to fostering connection. Be exactly who you are. There should be no difference between how you are onstage versus how you are offstage. Your audience feels because you are real.

No one ever complains about a speech being too short.

? Ira Hayes

The greatest show of respect you can ever give your audience is to end your speech on time. Better yet, end it early. No audience has ever said “Man, I wish that speaker went over by 15 minutes.” Time limits are there for a reason. Respect those limits to show you care about your audience.


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Spring & Summer Corporate Event Planning Ideas

| Articles | August 29, 2013

springWant to create something really unique for your corporate event attendees? Since most events are held indoors during the winter months, try something different by hosting an event in the spring or summer months. It provides a nice change of pace for your attendees – and you may be able to get some off-peak season deals from vendors and venues.

Here are a few suggestions for creating a spring or summer corporate event that will get your guests excited to attend:

1. Plan your event early and send out invites as soon as possible.

The spring and summer are prime time for vacations – so you need to get on your attendees’ calendars as soon as possible. It’s important to give as much lead time as possible for your guests, so as a general rule of thumb, you should send out invites three to six months in advance. You should also check the upcoming local events calendar. The spring and summer months are popular for outdoor festivals, concerts and other activities that may bring a lot of people to your town. Try to avoid peak weekends so your attendees won’t feel overcrowded.

2. Explore venues you wouldn’t normally think of…

Hosting an event in the summer and spring can bring you brand new opportunities for venues. You could host an outdoor wine tasting, plan a corporate casual barbecue or invite the group to explore the local botanical garden. Having your event in the spring and summer months can help you find some outside the box ideas for location, theme and and even entertainment.

3. …but keep the weather in mind when you do.

The spring and summer open up a lot of new opportunities – but that doesn’t change the fact that these can be some of the hottest days of the year. A golf corporate retreat or a trip to the local ballpark may seem like a great idea when you’re planning in February, but come August your guests may be overheated and unhappy. If you really want to host an outdoor event, pick early spring or late summer, rather than the middle of July. Be sure there are alternatives in case the weather gets too warm, and consider mixing up outdoor activities with time spent in air-conditioned convention centers.

4. Don’t forget the entertainment!

You shouldn’t plan a corporate event without entertainment in the first place, but this added touch is especially important in the spring and summer months. People want to get out of the office and do something fun. By arranging for corporate event entertainment during these months, you give them an extra reason to make time for your event.

5. Pay close attention to food and beverage choices.

Seasonal favorites are great these months out of the year – and you should make an effort to incorporate them into your corporate event planning. Whether you’re making fresh fruit and veggies part of your buffet table, or highlighting a local specialty that is only available this time of year, it’s important to incorporate the season. Think of lighter, healthier meals for your attendees that go well with the warmer temperatures – and be sure to provide lots of beverages. Even if your event is indoors instead of outdoors, it’s a smart corporate event planning move to make sure everyone is well hydrated.

6. Bring some spring and summer ambiance into your event theme.

Spring and summertime bring a lot of natural beauty with them, so it would be a shame to waste that influence. Your indoor or outdoor event can be enhanced with some spring or summer ambiance. Consider using fresh flowers as part of your decorations or overall theme. If your part of the world is well known for a spring or summer delicacy – like grapes – you can bring that into your event theme. You can also bring the spring or summer feeling indoors by hosting a beach, cruise or vacation themed event at your convention hall that makes everyone feel like they are on summer vacation.

No matter what day you hold your event during the spring or summer, these corporate event planning tips will help you embrace the season, ensure that attendees can come and make it a memorable event for everyone.

 

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The Benefits of Corporate Entertainment

| Articles | August 9, 2013

Firstly, what is it Corporate Entertainment?

Entertaining existing or prospective clients is a proven method of generating sales and retaining existing business. Corporate entertainment revolves around an activity you feel your customers will enjoy, that will leave them with positive feeling about your company. Corporate entertainment can easily be confused with corporate hospitality, but there’s an important difference between the two. Corporate event entertainment is active – you and your clients will be taking part in something, whereas corporate hospitality involves taking them out for a day to watch something such as a rugby or soccer match. There’s no participation required from your side.

Looking for Corporate Entertainment ideas

There are loads of corporate entertainment ideas one can embark on, so you should be able to find something to suit your interests and that of your clients. For example, go-karting, hovercraft flying, clay shooting, quad biking, paintballing, golf, and hot air ballooning are all popular corporate entertainment activities. Perhaps even something adventurous, it you are up to the task.

The advantages of Corporate Entertainment

Taking your clients out on a day is a nice way to say thank you for their business, and at the same time encourages future business. It helps to cement your bond with past, present and future customers, and places your business in their minds as an organisation that approaches things differently and innovatively. It is also sends a message to your clients that you value them and their business. Not to mention that it help you to nurture your relationship with your client, which in effect, helps your business to grow.

Getting value for money

Many marketing budgets have a specified entertainment budget to cover corporate entertainment events. But the crucial thing to remember is that the whole point of corporate entertainment is to see a return on your investment. It is therefore a good idea to work out how much new business you hope to make from a client, and then see if it’s worth spending the amount of money it will cost to take them to an event. For this reason, though this marketing activity might be very expensive (depending on the activity chosen and the number of people involved), you should always ensure you get value for money.

What to do

So, when organizing days out with clients, you could use the services of a specialist corporate entertainment agency. All you need to do is tell the agency what you want from the event and they will sort out the rest. Alternatively however, you could easily book any of the entertainment service providers by visiting our list of corporate entertainers.

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Food and Beverage Concerns

| Articles | August 5, 2013

download (3)As a general rule, meetings go more smoothly when food is available for guests. Not only does it provide your guests with an opportunity to rest and refresh themselves, but also opens another window for company networking. However, there are some important aspects of food planning that should not be overlooked. Follow the advice below to ensure a perfect presentation of well-planned cuisine.

Make the food fit your purpose. If the event calls for several short meetings throughout the day, having a snack table constantly available at the back of the room would be a wise idea. However, if the event calls for a more upscale evening, you need to think gourmet buffet or a fancy sit down dinner. Depending on what effect the food is to have on your guests, it is important to decide early on whether food is going to play a major or minor role in your event.

Always know the budget. Be realistic as to what your company can afford in terms of food and beverage costs. If this is the smallest area of the allotted budget, you may have to save the gourmet buffet for another day and go for the snack table instead. There are always ways to make a food table look fancier by adding decorative arrangements and multi-level serving platters.

Knowing what your venue offers. When deciding on food services, know what type of help will be available at your chosen facility. Will you have access to a kitchen? Does the venue have an in-house catering team or will you need to bring in an outside catering company? These are all important questions to ask up front. Alternative venues often have little to offer as far as food services are concerned, so plan ahead to make special arrangements.

Cater to your guests. If everyone liked the same type of food, restaurants wouldn’t offer so many choices on the menu. Your guests are bound to have different likes and dislikes, so it is important to cater to the tastes of different groups of people. Be sure to always include vegetarian options, as well as some low fat and low cholesterol meals. If serving a sit down meal, it is helpful to ask in advance if there are any special accommodations your guests will need. Chefs are usually more than happy to provide some alternative dishes if given enough prior notice.

Know when to serve. Although not the main focus of your event, the food can become a large ordeal and an appropriate time should be allotted for the serving and consuming of your provided meal. This is prime time for socialising and networking with other employees. Try to serve the food at a distinct break between meetings or speeches and not during the break of a discussion on a single topic. Let the snack time be a time of relaxation, not a timed break before quickly getting back to business. If you are allowing a small break from a meeting for basic snacks, never give more than thirty minutes and provide the food in a location very close to the meeting room.

Stick to these rules and any of your food concerns can be put to rest.

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