July​ 30,​ ​2016:​ ​News​ ​&​ ​Views​ ​Roundup​ ​For​ ​Events​ ​Wranglers

Hot off the presses, discovered on the internet’s event news hotspots and other dark, dank corners of the metaverse — it’s your July 30th assortment of recent news and views in the events wrangling world. This Saturday’s news includes a variety of topics that may shock, disgust or bore you, but they might also inspire you to do something totally different and daring for your next event. For the complete lowdown and highlights on any of these items, click the headline link and view the source article in its unadulterated entirety.

5 Weird Ways Legal Marijuana Could Affect Your Events

marijuana, which states may be nextThe move to make the recreational use of marijuana legal is gaining momentum—it’s now legal to spark up a spliff in Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington state. And legislation is on the November ballots in a number of other states as well, including California, Nevada, and New York.

Sooner or later, chances are one of your meetings will land in a state that welcomes cannabis-inspired altered states.

And you just know that at least of few of your participants are going to want to give it a try…pot at meetings and events will soon be, if it’s not already, a trend…”

Two weeks ago the first news item was totally serious, taking a look at whether your event is prepared for a disaster such as a terrorist attack. Last week I led the News & Views post with a Pokémon GO item which offered a few thoughts about how the new augmented reality mobile game might impact events wranglers. Today our first story talks about an issue I hadn’t even considered — what does marijuana legalization in states like Colorado mean for your event? If a group of people sitting in the back of the conference room after lunch start giggling and laughing and can’t stop, is that because the speaker told a good joke or because they had magic brownies for dessert after lunch instead of the plain brownies served by the caterer? What issues do you foresee marijuana causing at events, and do you see any upsides or benefits?

Why State Farm is ‘Here To Help’ at Music FestivalsState Farm

State Farm is on a mission to make the festival experience more pleasurable for music fans. Forgot your sunscreen? Toothpaste? Need a bandana? Pop into State Farm’s Here To Help house to pick up what you need. The insurance company is tapping into the power of music, the power of community and the power of being a good neighbor to drive awareness of its new brand platform, Here To Help Life Go Right, which launched in June…

“When we talk about music, we look at what brings music fans together and it is really that shared passion for music that creates a community,” says Mandy Laux, marketing sponsorship/experiential manager at State Farm. “Part of being a good neighbor is to not only just be there, but also to be there in different moments and life experiences.” Which, of course, includes music festivals and their thousands of music fans…”

I really like the State Farm article. It brings to mind three ideas that may be helpful for events I work on in the future.

  1. Good swag not based on event theme. A generic approach to having an insurance or other type of company sponsor an event, by providing something the event goers will be interested in and very appreciative of even though it’s not directly related to the event focus. The event was a music festival, but State Farm isn’t in the music industry and didn’t hand out anything music related. Instead they provided bandanas and sunscreen, two items that the festival attendees might be very happy to have when standing in the hot sun.
  2. Sponsorship related to sponsor tagline. State Farm’s new tagline is “Here To Help Life Go Right.” The bandanas and sunscreen could help festival attendees’ lives go a little more right by preventing problems caused by the sun.
  3. Promoting a new brand slogan or product. When finding sponsors for an event, figure out ways potential sponsors can effectively promote new branding efforts or highlight the roll-out of a new product. Take your list of potential sponsors and identify what new or relatively recent marketing campaigns have been launched by them, then pitch something related to that to help them increase their campaign’s impact. Also consider the potential sponsors’ competitors’ campaigns. Companies might be interested in sponsorship ideas that dilute the effectiveness of a competitor’s brand new campaign.

5 Interactive Ways To Get Real-Time Event Feedbackcupcakes with emoticons

Thinking outside of the box using creative ways to plan and design events is what we do as event professionals. We should be using more creative ways to get feedback on our work and the client’s investment too.

Whilst you are in the planning stages of your event, you should already be thinking about how you are going to get feedback on the effectiveness of your event design. Particular questions run through your mind. Is my survey going to get many responses? Will it be constructive criticism? Will attendees remember the bad bits more clearly than the good bits? Or, how can my survey gauge the emotional response to my event? All these sorts of questions are common, but what if there was another way? A more creative and inspired way to collect feedback!

1. The Cup Cake Method

…To inject more fun into the conference, you can use cup cakes. These popular tasty treats could be offered at a morning coffee break, again at lunch time and again at the afternoon break of a conference. Ask your caterer to create small cup cakes decorated with a range of smiley faces on them denoting different moods – very happy, happy, unhappy and very unhappy – under each speech bubble.

5. What Do I Do With The Attendee Badges?

Another way to collect attendee badges so they get thrown into the appropriate recycling bin is to have ‘comment bins’ at the exit to your event. Ideal for event badge recycle binsconferences, product launches and exhibitions, place two bins near corresponding speech bubbles…”

I really like the cupcake idea. It brings an element of fun, whimsy, and play into a business-related aspect of events, e.g. attendee feedback. I don’t remember anything even close to being that fun for a conference or serious business event I’ve attended in the past. The attendee badge seems like a worthwhile idea, although I do question whether it should be made clear to attendees what will or may happen post-event if they put their name tag in one of the two bins.

10 Pop-Up Strategies That Yield Lasting Impressions

From food to fashion to feminine care, brands of every variety are executing pop-up strategies to give consumers a taste of their products and services. Some last for a few days, others for a few hours, but however transient the pop up eventsexperience, its impact extends far beyond the life of the activation. Following are 10 pop-up strategies that turned temporary events into lasting impressions…”

I don’t have experience with pop up events, but I’d love to try a few of them. It seems like they have huge upside for customer interaction and honest conversations. It’s also a great way to try out new things and to get feedback in a location you aren’t familiar with. Becoming knowledgeable about local regulations might become a challenge if you do pop ups in many different cities, and marketing might be tricky for some pop ups. A city fifty miles from where I live did a pop up restaurant, and they have a few more pop up events planned — and that makes me wish there were pop up events in my city.

Abrupt Cancellation of Industry Conference Leads Speakers to Plan Free Virtual Eventplan B

Less than one month before it was to take place, the Future of Events conference in Amsterdam has been cancelled due to what conference C.E.O. Steven Wickel described in an email as “very low ticket sales.” The event had been planned for August 22 to 24 and was described on the registration website as an event to “provide event professionals with the tools to develop their personal and professional competence by providing new techniques, creative ideas, and innovations to make future events game-changing.” More than 40 speakers were listed on the website, including BizBash C.E.O. David Adler, Fast Traffic Events & Entertainment C.E.O. Frank Supovitz, Liz King of Liz King Events, Corbin Ball, Dahlia El Gazzar, and many more.

In the hours after the announcement yesterday, Gazzar, King, and Aaron Kaufman, president of Fifth Element Group, made the decision to keep the spirit of the event alive by hosting a free virtual event August 23 titled [CTRL] + virtual events[ALT] + [DEL]…”

Announcement on techsytalk

Google webcache for “Future of Events”

PDF about “Future of Events”

As people and technology become better at making virtual events engaging and worthwhile to participants, I can see more virtual events being offered when ticket sales or registrations aren’t sufficient to cover the costs of the IRL event. That will be even more true when virtual reality technology brings a remote attendee right into the middle of what’s happening at the virtual event. I’m looking forward to finding out if [CTRL] + [ALT] + [DEL] is successful.


Bonus item:A-1 Array

It seems worthwhile for an event or its sponsors to come up with some cool digital swag, sort of an experiential memento of the event, rather than a YASB (yet another stress ball) or some other physical product that event goers take home from the conference but wonder why they did. The A-1 Array GIF is one example of event digital swag. There must be thousands of other possibilities. Hmmm…need to check to see if eventdigitalswag.com is available…

Rather than a traditional still photo as a keepsake of the night, organizers brought in A-1 Array to set up an animated photo booth. As guests stood in front of a backdrop and threw confetti in the air, 13 small cameras snapped photos simultaneously and those images were then combined to create a three-dimensional GIF that guests could share on social media.”
From:  How to Design an Event That’s “Futuristic But Not Cheesy”

A-1 Array


July​ ​23,​ ​2016:​ ​News​ ​&​ ​Views​ ​Roundup​ ​For​ ​Events​ ​Wranglers​

Here is the July 23rd 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.

What the Pokémon Go Craze Means for Venues and Eventspokemon go

Venues and existing events are already taking advantage of the popular augmented-reality game. Posting a photo to Instagram or taking a Snapchat video are commonplace at events, but now it’s quite possible that catching Pokémon will become the new norm for using phones in a social setting.

…Pokémon Go has become one of the most popular mobile apps ever, and it’s already taking over venues and major summer events. The global augmented-reality scavenger hunt, which through GPS tracking encourages users to catch Pokémon by walking to various locations on a map, has led to mass amounts of players flocking to locations…that range from event venues and restaurants to national and city parks, museums, and historic monuments.

In just two weeks, there have been a slew of community-organized events such as park meetups and bar crawls for people to gather and catch Pokémon en masse…”

So I’m going to get the obligatory Pokémon GO article out of the way first.

pokemon go 3[For those who wondered, the upper case GO is the format used by Niantic, the game’s primary creator. The “Go” format is the lazy, uninformed or misinformed version. Which I had also started using until I read a couple posts by John Hanke.]

There are many cyber-opinions being voiced regarding the longevity of Pokémon GO, as well as most other PokéTopics. Although I feel the game has a better than even chance of continuing strong for years, my main opinion is that the initial wave of opportunity is HUGE. People and organizations who don’t try to quickly and appropriately leverage the massive interest in Pokémon GO will miss out on two things.

  1. A very significant potential boost to their venture or organization.
  2. An opportunity to practice strategies and tactics for the next major innovation wave.

Pokémon GO is a product — a single game. It may be a long-lasting success, or it could end up being a short-lived, but valuable, learning opportunity.

Niantic Labs is a platform. It will be a long-lasting success. John Hanke did his Masters degree work at UC Berkeley in the mid 90s on essentially creating a platform like Niantic Labs. Before Pokémon GO, he created Ingress at Niantic Labs, which became the foundation for Pokémon GO. Before Niantic Labs, he was the lead person for Google Maps. Before Google Maps, Hanke was the founder of Keyhole, which Google bought to build Google Maps. Mr. Hanke knows what he’s doing…

If you don’t get Pokémon GO involved in some way at your next event, you’re missing an opportunity. And there’s a 99% probability that most events wranglers will be using some aspect of the Niantic Labs platform at one or more of the events they do in 2020.

[For more on Pokémon GO, see last week’s News & Views post and “Pokémon Go & Social Interaction.”]

Get Your People Enrolled in PreCheck!tsa precheck 2

Your attendees’ experience starts as soon as they walk out the front door. You can give them a smoother journey by showing them how easy it is to enroll in the Transportation Security Administration’s PreCheck program—and by helping them do it.

Through TSA’s partner MorphoTrust, companies can arrange for mobile enrollment on site at the office as well as set up corporate accounts to pay for the program on behalf of employees…”

If you have to fly commercial airlines frequently, you probably are already in the TSA PreCheck program. If a significant number of the attendees at your future events will fly commercial to travel to your event, this article recommends you consider helping tsa precheckinterested registrants get plugged into the PreCheck program.

As pointed out by the article, the “attendees’ event experience starts as soon as they walk out the front door” of their home (or office), assuming they don’t leave through the back door of the building when they head to the airport. If they miss their flight due to long TSA security lines, or if they make the flight but have a horrible experience getting to the gate for their flight, they may show up for your event with a very poor attitude. You probably will then have to expend extra effort or resources trying to improve their attitude.

If those long TSA security lines cause them to miss your event, well, you won’t even have a chance to improve their attitude.

7 Tips to Extend the Value of Teambuilding Activitiesfacilitate success

Teambuilding activities such as retreats, community service projects, competitive games, and problem-solving challenges can be great tools for companies to strengthen employee relationships, improve communication, break down barriers, re-energize staff, and ultimately improve the work climate and positively impact the bottom line.

But those outcomes don’t just happen—they require advanced planning and follow-up. We surveyed four teambuilding professionals for ideas on how to create long-term value from a teambuilding activity…Here are their tips for extending the value of teambuilding activities…”

As the subtitle of this article puts it, it just makes sense to “keep the collaboration and communication going long after the event ends.” As I mentioned in the post “#6 Priority: Follow-Up For Greater Impact,” extending the value of events long after the last person leaves the event venue can have a multiplying effect. Doing the right follow-up will make your event far more successful than immediately moving on to your next project as soon as that last attendee gets hit by the door on the way out.

The Planner On… Balancing the Pie of Lifepie of life

In our profession, stress is quick to the plate. Those 90-hour workweeks creep up, and next thing you know, you are up at 2 a.m. scribbling to-do lists. In 2016, I set forward to allow the pieces of my “life pie” to match my priorities. Here are four tips for balancing your professional pie wedges:

  1. Make your schedule transparent…
  2. Limit smartphones and email…
  3. Cross-train your colleagues…
  4. Take your out-of-office one step further…”

Any way you slice it, your pie of life only has 24 hours per day. That’s pretty much a mixed metaphor, but my point is that most people want to get more done, and that can only be done by making better choices.

This “pie of life” post is a short one, but we can all take away two valuable lessons from it:

  1. Four is a good number of tips.
  2. Do more by delegating.

pie of life 2Google can help us find at least 44 tips for balancing our life.

Wait, what am I saying?? Google can find us 444 tips for balancing our life. At least. Probably more. But I’m a mere human. And you probably are, too. Unless you’ve been biohacking. The thing about humans is that we can only focus well on a limited number of ideas or tasks. This means establishing a list of four ways to improve your life pie is plenty to start with.

To a certain extent, each of the author’s four tips involve delegating. Rather than doing everything that everyone wants or asks you to do, delegate some of your authority and some of your responsibilities. Cross-training is especially important for delegating. The first manager I worked for when I got out of college told me the most important objective for someone who wants to be promoted is to deliver fantastic results on their high priority responsibilities.

The second most important objective is to find someone who can replace you. My manager said that if you make yourself nearly irreplaceable, bosses tend to leave keep you in your current job. If you cross-train colleagues, not only can they help you or fill in for you, but managers will be less hesitant to promote you.

The author’s four tips might not be exactly what you need to balance your hectic work life, but they are good ones to consider when you start making your life pie improvement list.

Does Your Team Say Your Mandatory Workshops Are Unbearable?weird face, kids, unbearable

Mandatory training…even trigger groans in the presenters. They are usually long, tedious and unforgivably mind-numbing as well as butt-numbing. Most of us despise them…

For those of us in the training design and delivery world, mandatory training triggers a triple-groan. Not only do we need to create or update mandatory training every year, but we also have to complete it, and then spend countless hours cajoling, begging, or threatening our trainees to complete it. So how do we move beyond the collective groan and design it to feel a little less like an annual punishment?…”

Per the previous post “Value Of Events And Meeting For Coffee” on Events Wrangling, a significant number of people recommend not going to events, or at least greatly limiting the number of events you spend time on. My daughter, wife, and sister all feel mandatory workshops are “unbearable” and should be made a thing of the past, no more than a distant and distasteful memory.

However, government bureaucracies, corporate policy makers, and professional certification organizations will never eliminate mandatory training. In upcoming years, a portion of in-person mandatory workshops will be reduced by online training and certification, but there will still be IRL events which require your butt in an event facility’s seat.

The above “mandatory workshops” post presents an infographic with ideas on how to make Torture Time Training less painful. Maybe even useful and enjoyable…


July​ ​16,​ ​2016:​ ​News​ ​&​ ​Views​ ​Roundup​ ​For​ ​Events​ ​Wranglers

Presented below for keeping you up-to-date and as July 16th’s potential fodder for your occupational bag of tricks are a selection of recent events wrangling news and views. If any of the items below appeals to your inner events wrangler, click the headline link and read the article in its entirety.

What’s the Worst Thing that Could Happen at Your Meeting?EMT ambulance

What’s your worst-case meeting scenario? A terrorist attack? A tornado strike on your venue? An attendee turning violent? A speaker dying on the dais? A website hack that exposes your participants’ personal information?…

It’s up to you to identify all the possible things that could go wrong, then find ways to avoid, minimize, or eliminate unacceptable risks. Also on your already crowded desk: To keep looking for and evaluating new risks that crop up—say, the Zika virus or an economic upheaval—and find ways to mitigate any adverse effects that may happen despite your best intentions…”

Last Saturday I started off the week’s aggregated news and views with a non-serious article, so today I’m taking the reverse approach. Recent event tragedies and potential disasters include:

  • Bastille Day Celebration, Nice, France — almost 100 people killed and hundreds wounded by terrorist
  • Bataclan theater concert, Paris, France — 89 people killed and many others wounded by terrorists
  • 2016 Summer Olympics, Brasil — Zika virus concerns cause some athletes to drop out

The above article is a totally-serious look at how to prepare for issues that could turn an event into your worst nightmare. Everyone, wrangler and attendee alike, assumes their event won’t have a disaster or tragedy. Most humans go through their daily lives with the basic premise that bad life-changing events will happen to someone else. Doing that makes it easier to enjoy each day and to look forward to the next day.

But because the events wrangler is responsible for the safety of each attendee, as well as the success of the event, some level of risk management should be included in every event you take on. You may not need to put major planning into preventing or dealing with terrorist attacks or Zika virus, but you should at least have a plan for dealing with severe illness or a death during your event, cybersecurity problems, and failure of your internet access or sound system.

The 3 Big Problems With Your Marketing Event Metrics

In today’s data-driven marketing world, wouldn’t it seem crazy to spend the most money on the most poorly measured marketing channel? Strange as it is, it’s still happening. Events continue to dominate marketing budgets, while event success and ROI are measured poorly or not at all. The problem isn’t with events, but the metrics we use to determine event success. Here are three of the biggest problems with event metrics and how to fix them:

  1. Lack of data…
  2. Setting the wrong event goals…
  3. Calculating ROI the wrong way…”

event ROIDuring an event this week, we had a discussion about recruiting sponsors and measuring the ROI (return on investment) for those sponsors. Clearly defining, measuring, and documenting sponsor benefits and ROI is an important issue for every events wrangler. Some sponsors may be totally satisfied with a one-page summary of the meeting, an assortment of event photos, a two-minute event video, and an attendee list. Other organizations or people who fund your event might want a comprehensive report listing results for each agreed-upon event success criteria, a line-item spreadsheet showing both budgeted and actual expenses, a ten-minute debrief presentation, and a five-minute opening-to-closing professionally-edited event video which includes three 20-second attendee interviews.

Regardless of where sponsor ROI expectations lie on the continuum from minimal and informal to professional, detailed, and quantified, those expectations should be discussed and documented before event planning begins. My preference is to propose, based on my perception of the sponsor’s motivations for funding the event, a reasonable package of success criteria and documentation that can definitely be delivered and doesn’t create unrealistic expectations.

I’ve developed a flexible Event Benefits, Documentation & ROI base package for use in pitching event proposals. If the sponsor feels additional items are needed in that package, we discuss options that will help them feel their money was wisely spent and agree on the event deliverables. The key to satisfied and repeat sponsorships is developing realistic event sponsor expectations, then delivering on clear success criteria and event documentation.

Your Team-Building Dilemma Solved with Five Essential Questions

With myriad offerings to ponder, choosing the right team-building activity can be a daunting challenge…What proves motivating and memorable for one group is often completely off-target for another…Do your workers have a healthy dose of competition? If so, Jacobs counsels looking for an activity that delivers a true sense of victory to adrenaline junkies…

Is creativity king at your office? For a classically right-brained group, Watson Adventures counsels an off-the-wall activity such as the company’s Team Photo Challenges, which are all about thinking differently with prompts designed to encourage creative results.

Designing an event for the “Brainy Bunch”? Would your group more happily tackle a heated debate than a game of football? Time to celebrate their cerebral side…

Does the mere mention of refreshments get your team’s attention? Some personalities think, and perform better, with challenges that stimulate the senses…”

Even if your event isn’t just for one organization, you should still consider team-building activities which engage attendees and build relationships. The last activity mentioned in the excerpt above focuses on refreshments. Consider blending relationship building, team building, and experiential events with foodie workshops, e.g. a gelato-making session.


Bucket & Bay Craft Gelato Company

The owners of Jersey City, New Jersey-based Bucket & Bay Craft Gelato Company will do “a demonstration class with elements of hands on participation (for those interested). They provide a glimpse into the world of gelato making and an adventure to remember. An important part of every event is (of course) the sampling of gelato, often organized as a guided blind tasting.” Your event may not have a nearby craft gelato company to help you out, but there may be other craft foodie vendors who will provide attendees with a fun, tasty, nutritious, and unique relationship-building session.

12 Things Event Planners Can Learn From Pokemon Gopikachu

The latest gaming craze of Pokemon Go can teach event planners a lot of about what attendees want from the blending of digital and live experiences. I think I have the recipe for why Nintendo’s Pokemon Go mobile game is such a massive hit and I believe there are a number of lessons here for event planners to learn from…So what does any of this have to do with event planning? Turns out, a lot. I’ve deconstructed what made this game so mass-adopted that it currently has more active users than Twitter…

  1. Star Power…Even when you have a great product, star power matters. When you are planning a conference, as good as your industry speaker’s content will be… celebrities sell tickets. They also capture imaginations…a big name and a compelling story attracts larger audiences…”

If you’re a PokéPlayer or want to consider incorporating Pokémon Go or other AR elements in your event, you’ll probably enjoy this article. You might also want to look at my post from earlier this week, “Pokémon Go & Social Interaction.”

pokemon goIf you’re the type of events wrangler who wants to experiment with the latest trends because you see clear potential benefits for your attendees, you could have every interested person at the event download Pokémon Go (the few who don’t already have it on their smartphone), form teams of four to eight people, give a short overview of the game, then fire the starter’s pistol for an hour or two of catching wild Pokémon. All sorts of relationship-building possibilities could be built into an event like this, from teaching the game to fellow team members who are Pokémon Go noobs to collaboration between small teams.

If you want to have a Pokémon Go component in your event but are more conservative or don’t want to figure out how to best leverage this social phenomenon, hire an experiential consultant to run your PokéSession…or maybe hire a group of local teen or millennial PokéPlayers…

5 Creative Ways to Celebrate National Ice Cream Monthstrawberry ice cream

July is National Ice Cream Month, and this year’s National Ice Cream Day is on July 17…ice cream has more than $50 billion in annual global sales, and people in the United States consume the most ice cream in the world (about 18.4 liters of ice cream per person every year). Thus, unsurprisingly, ice cream is a beloved treat by event guests. Here are five creative ways to make ice cream the center of a memorable event.

  1. Raise money for a good cause..
  2. Create a promotion for television or movies…
  3. Commemorate a milestone…
  4. Offer the unexpected…
  5. Invent unique ice cream flavors…”

ice cream makerToday’s post started out with a serious issue, so I’ll close on a more fun note which also relates to the mention above of a gelato-making session for your event. If you can’t find a nearby company to do the gelato session, maybe you can find a company to do a homemade ice cream event. Or you can just buy enough ice cream makers so there is one for every six people. Then do a small-group ice cream making event, and have each team decide which team member gets to take the ice cream maker home (or have it shipped to them).

If that’s too much work for your July event, order Peanut Buster Parfaits and Dilly Bars from a Dairy Queen or have a craft ice cream vendor cater a variety of custom flavors.

Events Wrangler Tip — If you do an ice cream activity at your event, be aware of potential challenges for attendees outdoors during extra-hot summer weather…

ice cream melting


July 02, 2016: News & Views Roundup For Events Wranglers

Fresh from the cyber-press — it’s your July 2nd brief look at recent news and views in the events wrangling world. This Saturday’s news includes a variety of topics that may shock, disgust or bore you, but they might also inspire you to do something a little different for your next event. For complete details on any of these items, click the headline link and read the article in its entirety.

Lessons for #eventprofs from an improv and mindfulness workshop — Part 1

“…“there” was a wonderful five-day improv and mindfulness workshop Mindful Play, Playful Mind…at Mere Point on the beautiful Maine coast. In this two-part article I’ll share a little of my experience and takeaways, followed by their relevance to event design…The content and process of Mindful Play, improv and mindfulnessPlayful Mind was so rich that I’ll cover only a fraction of what one might learn from participating…”

I don’t know much about the relationship between improv and events (or improv and anything), but I am a firm believer in the value of mindfulness. So I was happy to find this post by Adrian Segar, because I’m interested in learning more about connecting improv and events, and because I wanted to hear his take on mindfulness. This post is worth your time to read it, and I’m looking forward to Part 2.

7 of Today’s Hottest Meeting AV and Production Trends

I participated in my first Blab—kind of like a Periscope-type video chat for groups—and got a heaping pile of great thoughts about AV and production issues…Projection mapping/video walls…Drones, but not for aerial photography…Virtual reality…Augmented reality…3-D Holographic speakers…LED wall projection…Audience participation tools…”

Strategies and considerations for low-cost live streaming

live streaming videoIt seems hard to believe that just a few short years ago the idea of having a remote, online audience for a meeting or event was bleeding-edge technology. I remember all too vividly the trials and errors of combining services such as Skype and the just released Google Hangouts, with what was, at the time, state-of-the-art live-streaming technology…These days, however, there are so many live-streaming options for your event that it’s hard to swing a microphone and not hit the latest video streaming service that’s popped up…Periscope, Blab, Hangouts Live, YouTube Live, Facebook Live…What’s been fascinating…has been…the proliferation of these free and low-cost streaming services, bringing the ability to make any meeting or event instantly accessible to attendees all over the world. While they’re not replacements for high-quality streaming services, they can be powerful tools in the event planner’s toolbox. Here are just a few uses to get your mind going…”

If you haven’t already incorporated live streaming and some of the other audio-visual tools mentioned in the two items above into your events, consider doing a trial of one or several of these at your next event. Get some experience with these tools before promoting or featuring them in your marketing, but don’t put off learning about this eventech until attendees or sponsors are asking why you don’t do live streaming, VR, projection walls or other experiential audio-visuals.

Extending the life of your conference …

defib paddlesThey take months, or even years of planning…Annual conferences are costly and hard work to plan, but the benefits of bringing together hundreds or thousands of people for two or three days is clearly worth the effort. But how do you get the most out of this yearly event so that the conference message is extended beyond the allotted two or three days?…The easiest and best way to extend the life of a conference is…recording it…make the content available online…providing on-demand content afterwards…This means that your audience is bigger and your conference reach increased…Get social and use platforms to spread the word, and encourage your attendees to fully engage with the event before it happens, during the conference and afterwards…Utilising social media will also extend the life of your conference for weeks afterwards if your attendees are fully engaged…Another way to extend the life of the event…is some well thought out giveaways for attendees…live streaming…has been proven to be very beneficial for events in many ways. Not only does it increase your conference life supportaudience…but it also extends the life of the physical event and encourages more people to attend next time…”

This item gave a few tips on ways to extend the impact of your event past the agenda’s official ending time and date. Consider how your events might leverage the four tools mentioned. But also take to heart the overall theme — that you and others put a lot of time, effort and money into an event that only lasted one day, or maybe several days. Figure out at least a couple ways to let your event live on and bring benefits to participants long after they say aloha to the venue.

The Unique, Interactive Ways Food and Tech Came Together at This Expo

food loves techAdvanced farming demos, 3-D food printing displays, “alt-protein” tasting stations, and food-focused virtual reality were just some of the interactive exhibits guests got to experience at the Food Loves Tech expo…presented by food magazine Edible Manhattan…as an outlet for food-tech companies to highlight the intersection of food and technology through a variety of large-scale exhibits, immersive installations, leadership panels, and multi-sensory dining experiences. “There’s an incredible rush of experimentation and investment in technology entering our food chain,” said Edible editor in chief Brian Halweil…a 22,000 square-foot tunnel space…was separated into four zones…that highlighted the intersection of food and technology…”

I really like the concept of highlighting the intersection of food and technology. As a standalone event, the Food Loves Tech expo sounds really cool, but I’d also like to explore ways that at least a few “Food & Tech” stations could be incorporated in other events to create a fun and unique experience for attendees.