August 6,​ ​2016:​ ​News​ ​&​ ​Views​ ​Roundup​ ​For​ ​Events​ ​Wranglers​

Presented below for keeping you up-to-date, and as August 6th’s potential new occupants of your occupational toolbox, are a selection of recent events wrangling news and views. If any of the items below cause your events wrangler Spidey-sense to tingle, click the headline link and read the article in its entirety.

What Meeting Formats Will Take Off in the Future?

future meeting formats

The German Convention Bureau’s Future Meeting Space research project is looking at all the different needs meetings have to fulfill these days, from a totally unplugged retreat-type getaway for deep thinking to its exact opposite, and four more in between. The GCB released this infographic to help illustrate what’s involved in each of the six scenarios explored in the Future Space project…Here’s a little more verbiage to help clarify some of the scenarios outlined in the infographic, which while great, can be a little confusing to decode:

  1. Unplugged Conference…
  2. Co-Working Conference…
  3. Virtual-to-Physical Conference…
  4. Interactive Forum…
  5. Satellite Conference…
  6. Hybrid Conference. I hope most planners have been able to check out this option, which entails an online component to an in-person event. This format saves time and costs for those who attend via Internet, and everyone can still stay on the same page, learning-wise. The best ones I’ve participated in digitally also provide a separate facilitator for the online audience to ensure their participation is incorporated into the IRL event and to build community among digital participants….”

If you’re tired of trying to make the same old event formats seem new and interesting, consider the eight types of meetings described in this article. I especially like the Hybrid Conference format, which I talked about in my post, “Hybrid Event Participation: In-Person And Online.” In today’s connected world, and even more so in the hyper-connected world we’ll live in a few years from now, providing only the in-person or just the virtual experience is short-changing your potential audience of event goers.

Overwhelmed by Email? 19 Tips to Claim Back Your Inbox

emailEmail is the probably the most important business communication tool, and unavoidable in working life today. In the fast-paced world of events, there seems to be a never ending stream of urgent emails demanding your immediate attention, especially nearing the time of the event. Before you chuck your computer out of the window, here are some easy tricks you can learn to email 2master your inbox, and modern tools to help you do it faster.

  1. Differentiate Professional and Personal..
  2. Filter your Newsletters…
  3. Don’t Use Your Emails as Storage…
  4. Aim for your Inbox to be Always Empty…
  5. Template Emails Should Be Your Friend…
  6. Keep it Formal…
  7. Pick Up the Phone…
  8. Recognize Emails for What They Are…”email 3

Most people over the age of 30 who work for or interact with corporations and traditional businesses have much more email to deal with than they would like. Every professional and every business world communicator has to figure out their own way to deal with too much email. This article gives very reasonable and actionable advice. Not all 19 tips will be appropriate for you, but everyone who hates emails at least a little bit will find one or two items they can use to better deal with a common communication challenge.

[I didn’t list all 19 tips in this post. If you are interested in this topic, you’ll want to read the entire article. If you say “meh” about email, you don’t need to see a long list…]

8 Audiovisual and Production Tips for Stage Presentationseight ball

The Event Leadership Institute kicked off its series of interactive Learning Labs on Technical Meeting & Event Production on July 27 with a hands-on course led by Matthew Saravay, president of New York-based production studio Wizard Studios. Course participants learned about projection technology, the types of different microphones and lighting and when to use them, the logistics of staging, and more. Here are some useful tips that Saravay had for planners and production managers.

  1. Use a dark background and light letters for presentations. For PowerPoint presentations and others that involve speaking with a screen, Saravay said to always use a dark background—such as black or purple—with light letters, so the letters pop off the screen. “For presentations, I want to fool people’s eyes,” said Saravay, who noted that an audience will have trouble viewing a presentation with a light background and darker letters…
  2. Equip speakers with an appropriate microphone…
  3. Consider what’s behind the presenter. “Make sure a podium sign or logo is behind the presenter. What you don’t want directly behind the presenter is the screen,” said Saravay…
  4. Ask clients what their needs are so the right type of stage can be selected…
  5. Use teleprompters effectively…
  6. Set different lighting looks…
  7. Create a show flow…
  8. Be strategic when selecting a venue…”

Another “tips” article. One of the truly practical tips I’d never heard before was to use a dark background with light letters for all projected presentations. Never really thought about that before. I’m going to watch for that at future events to consciously evaluate for myself whether I notice a significant difference. It will also be instructive to discuss that with event goers to find out if they’re aware of the dark text vs light text issue.

Closely related to the “dark background, light letters” is “consider what’s behind the speaker.” This is another tip I need to think about after watching a few presentations. Many well-known speakers have done very effective and memorable talks with only the screen behind them.

Back to School for Trade Show Organizers: Build In More Ways to Learn and Connecttrade show display hall

The way we buy has evolved for both the B2B and B2C sectors. Trade show organizers who have re-imagined their expo floors into a solutions-based destination rather than one of a hard-sell shopping place are winning at delivering attendee value.

Results from a recent CEIR study…encompasses responses from both show organizers and their loyal attendees about the factors that drive attendance. In many instances, the organizers’ perceptions can be quite different from those of the attendees…

When evaluating the factors that are most important learning draws for attendees, both the attendee and the expo organizer agreed on the top two reasons:

  1. To keep up-to-date with industry trends…what’s new or emerging?
  2. Professional networking.

But there was a huge divide on the third factor “to attend conference programs/sessions.” Organizers ranked the importance of this factor at 73%. Yet, only 45% of attendees said it’s important to them…

There was another factor under learning, “attend for continuing education credits, CME, etc.,” which only 21% of loyal attendees rated as important or very important. Shocker to organizers’ perceptions: 47% of them perceived it as an important reason…

CEUs have been on a path toward commoditization for many years. We estimate the value to be somewhere between $5 and $30 per hour…we believe trade show presentationthat CEUs are the Fool’s Gold of Attendance Marketing…”

This item takes a look a event factors that are important for trade shows in 2016 and the immediate future. I don’t get involved with managing trade events, although I would enjoy emerging technology trade events, but I have attended many trade events in the past. I definitely agree with the top two reasons unless the attendee is designing a high capital cost major product and is at the trade show to become familiar with competing products that they may be considering for their project.

The issue of “conference programs/sessions” isn’t so much that attendees aren’t interested in the topics. It’s more that the attendees don’t want to be put to sleep by a boring PowerPoint presentation with no chance to have conversations about the topic which allows them to ask questions, share their experiences, hear from their peers, or discuss the issue with professionals who are more interested in the topic than they are in being a presenter. Most trade show organizers are so busy with all the logistics of the vendors displaying at the event that they don’t have time to figure out genuinely engaging trade show sessions.

What the article author wrote about CEUs says it all. The continuing education credit only has value for a few industry sectors that haven’t yet decided trade show CEUs have minimal value.


Bonus points, Pokémon GO post of the week:  How to Grab onto the Wildly Popular Pokémon Go Phenomenon


July 09, 2016: News & Views Roundup For Events Wranglers

Below is this week’s curated smattering of recent events wrangling news and views. My goal is to have this Saturday’s items inform you or inspire you. Maybe you’ll even do something a little different for your next event because of what you read here! For complete details on any of these goodies, click the headline link and read the juicy cyber-details at the source.

10 Types Of Attendees To Fear and Lovelove fear

Attendees are the heart of every event. Here are the 10 most common types of attendees we all know… and love.

Attendees are important. Our guests should be on our minds during the whole event planning process. Every decision we make should be well thought out in terms of our participants. We strive to delight and exceed expectations in every way possible and without attendees we would be out of a job! Often by the time the event day arrives, our attendees can feel like family. And like every family, they include a mix of different characters and behaviors. Here are some of the most common characters to be found at every event.

The Hyperactive One…The Casual One…The Wannabe…The Indifferent One…The Demanding One…The Friendly One…The Veteran…The Pressured One…The Curious One…The Famous One…”

I figured today’s News & Views should start out with something (mostly) light-hearted. Even if you just read the excerpt above and don’t go read the whole article, I’ll bet you smiled when you read the descriptions of the 10 types of attendees. Or rolled your eyes. And you may have even thought of a couple more typical attendee stereotypes you fear or love.

7 Live Streaming Mistakes to Avoid

livestreamingWhen it comes to live streaming conferences and events, it pays to think through potential tech problems and plan promotional activity well in advance. Sarah Platt, MD of Kinura has worked in the video streaming business since 2000, and has these 7 tips to offer as a starting point for your pre-event checklist….The good news is mistakes can be avoided with a bit of forward thinking. Hopefully the points below will be useful…

  1. Not checking connectivity is like not checking your water, oil and tyres before a long journey. If you haven’t got the basics, nothing else will function. When scoping venues ask what connection is available beyond delegate Wi-Fi.
    1. Can a line be dedicated to streaming? How fast is it? How reliable is it?
    2. Can we come and test it in advance of the webcast?…
  2. Rubbish audio will spoil even the highest quality video or webinar. Make sure your sound tech’s understand that the event is going out online and not just in the room.
    1. Soundcheck. Build this into your event plans, and soundcheck with stand-ins before guests arrive.
    2. Agree the method of communication between the video team and the sound tech so levels can be tweaked during the event if necessary…”

This article has seven tips. If all you took away from reading this was that you closely followed the author’s advice on Connectivity and Audio, then you benefited greatly from her writing the article. When the event starts, it’s too late to frantically try to correct problems related to video streaming capabilities of the venue or provider’s system. And missing or poor quality audio will ensure that most of the streaming audience will stop watching.

Co-creation and Collaboration: Tricks and Tools for Event Planners

Are you an expert in what your attendees want in terms of content? How do you know what you have programmed is going to be a hit with them? These are crucial questions when creating your event concept and the content programme for an event. You need to get to a point where the content and programme are what attendees want, not what you think is best for them….

The collaborative approach to co-creation results in unique perspectives on your event. It is made up of the opinions of the stakeholders that you would like to involve in co-creating an event. Six Steps To Co-Creation:

Initiate…Inspire Participation…Idea Collection…Crowd Sourced Idea Assessment…Select The Best Ideas…Create The Content…”

collaborative development of eventsAs I mentioned recently in the post “The Meaning Of Life Comes From How We Interact With Each Other,” I believe that collaborative development of events has tremendous potential. As various forms of electronic communication and collaboration improve, people interested in events will be able to work together to create events which are enjoyable and generate lasting value. It’s early days for this type of event planning, but when you have the chance, work to include collaborative development in your event.

12 ways technology is going to transform B2B events

telepresenceSpeaking at the ILEA Accelerate 2016 Conference on Friday (13 May), Brian Ludwig, senior VP at Cvent, shared 12 ways the company predicts technology will change the face of B2B events. “People are impatient, particularly when it comes to consuming technology,” explained Brian Ludwig, senior vice president, Cvent. “There is a lot of cool tech in events already, but the pace of new innovations is really exciting.”

Smart airports…Driverless cars…Geo-fencing…Event registration…Notifications…Navigation assistance…Augmented reality…Wireless charging…Remote presence…Content & Engagement…User-generated videos…On-demand keynote speeches…”

The three types of eventech in this article I find most intriguing or potentially useful are:

  • Notifications — Anything that makes it easier to connect with people and build or strengthen relationships at the event seems like a winner to me!
  • Augmented reality — I’m a fan of augmented reality. Early uses of it will be interesting and clunky, but five years from now, AR may be an amazing component of most large events.
  • Remote presence — Like the AR, early experiments with remote presence are awkward and full of shortcomings. But I’m convinced the potential value of telepresence is so enormous that technologists, investors and entrepreneurs will keep fiddling with it until everyone uses it and takes it for granted. Like Google Maps and Wikipedia.

Splendid “Spreads Softness” With New Campaign

spread softness puppies

Softness Personified

Upscale fashion brand Splendid…launched a campaign in New York City to raise awareness of its soft t-shirts and other apparel while spreading a little kindness, too. Called Spread Softness, the effort seeks to create an emotional connection with consumers via guerrilla marketing tactics that encourage people to be kind to one another. The campaign will run through the end of the year and includes in-store events and social media amplification on its website, Instagram and YouTube.

“So many people say things like, ‘Oh, my gosh, this is the first shirt I wore on my honeymoon,’ and talk about things they were doing in our clothes. I just kept thinking, this is more than just clothing, it’s about these emotions, these moments and these memories they are creating in them…”

This last item is only tangentially related to events wrangling. The reason I included it in today’s News & Views is because it puts a spotlight on the role of emotions in today’s events and in the branding of events. Regardless of what type of event you’re putting on, think about what emotions the attendees will be experiencing, and how you can influence the event experience so their emotions will be good ones. Smiles, good memories, new relationships, feeling confident about doing their jobs better than they could before your event. These are all good results!