Gobbling Communications


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Good communication consists of active listening, observing body language and using coherent speech.

As we all have experienced or witnessed, directly or indirectly, it is very hard to engage in effective and affective communication. It’s even harder in the age of 140 character tweets, emojis, and hashtags. Whether we like it or not, the hashtags, tweets, instagrams, selfies, have become a part of our everyday vernacular and is sewed into our collective fabric.

So how do we effectively and affectively communicate our message in today’s gadget savvy culture especially in the tradeshow and conference realm? One way is of course via social media channels (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.) The most direct way is via texting. Texting is the Velveeta of today. Not very good for you, but pretty darn versatile.
What makes texting an ideal platform to reach your audience? It’s quick, direct and inexpensive and you don’t need an App! Texting allows for quick communication to announce: New sessions, Special VIP functions, Notify contest winners, attendee wellness alerts, Immediate emergency instruction delivery and for e-mail harvesting. In addition to all this, you can integrate it into gamification (ask me about our Text-2-Win Scavenger & Treasure Hunt), and participant engagment all without the need of an App. (Note: I am not an App naysayer, in fact we have offer them too. I just think an App isn’t always needed nor is it always in the best economic interest of the client).
How To Communicate With Your Attendees? There’s always a ton of stuff you need to let your attendees, sponsors, exhibitors, staff, vendors, etc. know about throughout the event life cycle. Knowing how to communicate information effectively to them is of course the challenge. There are numerous tools (from websites, social media, SMS texting, to posters) to help with this feat.   And as if worrying about effective communication wasn’t enough, you sometimes have the added layer of the necessity to engage attendees; to get them involved in your event–to become a fan.  How to do that, well, that’s fodder for another newsletter.
A few guidelines of what to communicate about that will hopefully guide you in your communication journey.  And remember, your communication style and social media presence can set the tone for your event before it even begins. Speakers’ names:  Since your speakers are a huge part of what draws attendees to your event, you’ll want to start introducing them early on in your event communications. Include your speakers keynote titles, photos, and brief bios. You may want to consider sharing their presentation slides or handouts. Event agenda and activity: Attendees should know the event agenda ahead of time so they can plan their event activities and make the most of the day. Communication channels: Decide on the communication channels to use to update your attendees and to engage them as early as possible.  It can be an event app, social media, event website, emails or texting.   Entertainment:  Your Emcee and activities can set the tone for your event.  Let people know about the fun they will have before they arrive.   Food and drink:   details should be sent at least one week out so people know whether they need to eat beforehand or bring food, especially if they have a food allergy.  Dress attire:   Make sure all participants know how to dress for your event.
Now that you know what to communicate on, let’s take a quick look-sy to the how. Below is a checklist of the type of communication tools that you should be using on your communication journey:
  • Event website. Consider this the Hub for anyone who’s interested in learning more about your event or any updated information.
  • Email marketing. Create a strong campaign to introduce and confirm speakers, venue changes, workshops, all of the events that will take place. Make sure you reference your event’s web page on the official website to increase SEO.
  • Mobile Event App. A good one will do more than just keep your attendees “in the know .” It will allow for participant engagement.
  • Social Media. Know your audience. If your event focuses on a younger demographic, telling an image-rich story of what to expect, your sponsors, vendors, speakers, etc. will definitely engage and keep interest. Using social tools like Instagram, SnapChat,  Meerkat, or Periscope will help you develop a solid community. Tech-oriented participants will prefer to share information and their experience via your event’s hashtag on Twitter.

Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade  (first one was in 1924)Did You Know…

  1. It was initially Christmas-themed.  Some 10,000 people watched Santa—who rode on a float designed to look like a sled being pulled by reindeer. The parade became known as the Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1927.
  2. There were objections from the beginning.  Two years after the first parade, the Allied Patriotic Societies protested, telling Macy’s that it shouldn’t hold the event on Thanksgiving because “it would interfere with Thanksgiving Day worship,” and because, it was inappropriate for a commercial company to hold a parade on the holiday, according to The New York Times.
  3. The character balloons joined the parade in 1927.  The first character balloon was, Felix the Cat.
  4. The parade was halted during World War II.  There were rubber and helium shortages, so Macy’s canceled the parade from 1942 to 1944. The company deflated its rubber balloons (which weighed 650 pounds total) and donated them to the government. The parade returned in 1945, and in 1946 got a new route, which started at 77th Street and Central Park West and ended at 34th Street.
  5. A helium shortage in 1958 almost deflated the parade’s balloons.   Macys collaborated with Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company and the rigging specialists Traynor & Hansen Corporation to come up with an alternative solution: According to The New York Times, the balloons were filled with air and dangled from “large, mobile construction derricks.” The balloons have only been grounded once, in 1971 when the winds were too strong for them to fly.
  6. All of the balloons are designed in-house by Macy’s artists.   Macy’s balloon designers begin up to a year before the parade with pencil sketches of each character, analyzing aesthetics, aerodynamics and engineering. The sketches are followed by scaled-down clay models that are used to create casts of the balloons. Two miniature replicas are created: One that’s marked with technical details, and one that’s painted in the balloon’s colors. The models are immersed in water to figure out how much helium they’ll need to float. Finally, the schematics are scanned by computer, and the fabric pieces are cut and heat-sealed to create the various air chambers of the balloon. Once the balloon is created, it’s painted while inflated, then it undergoes leak testing and indoor and outdoor flight tests. It costs at least $190,000 for a first-time depolyment (then $90,000 annually).
  7. The balloons are directed by “Balloon Pilots.”  They’re the people walking backwards in front of the balloon, directing a crew of volunteers holding guide ropes (called “bones”) and two Toro utility vehicles.
  8. People who want to volunteer to walk with the balloons have to meet certain requirements.   It takes 90 minutes to inflate the big balloons, which, on average, contain 12,000 cubic feet of helium, which is capable of lifting nearly 750 pounds.  Each balloon requires up to 90 handlers, who have to weigh at least 120 pounds and be in good health. The balloons are inflated the day before the parade outside the American Museum of Natural History, then topped off the day of. Because helium expands in the sun, the balloons are typically left slightly underinflated.
  9. One character has appeared more than any other.  Snoopy, debuted in the 1968 parade and has had a total of seven balloons and has made 39 appearances on and off through 2015.
  10. Wind and giant balloons are not a good combo.  There are many things that can be detrimental to the parade balloons: electric wires (which caused the Felix the Cat balloon to burst into flames when it hit them in 1931), rain (which filled the Popeye balloon’s hat with water, and got dumped on the parade watchers along the parade route in 1957), tree branches (which once tore off Superman’s hand). But, a balloon’s greatest nemesis is the wind! In 1993, wind caused the Sonic the Hedgehog balloon to hit a lamppost; the light fell and injured one. In 1997, police stabbed a Pink Panther balloon when wind sent it zipping by; that same year, the wind made an oversized Cat in the Hat balloon hit a streetlight, which hit two people and sent them to the hospital with head injuries. In 2005, an M&M balloon got tangled on a streetlamp, causing the lamp to fall and injuring two, according to the Los Angeles Times.
  11. Deflating the balloons takes 15 minutes.  The balloons are deflated behind Macy’s on Seventh Avenue. When all the helium has escaped, they are rolled up and put in storage until the next parade.

Volunteers, Help Wanted & Checklists

 

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Wow, it’s mid-September, but it still feels like summer!  I’m still in flip flops and  wearing white (even though it’s after Labor Day).  I suppose I should put down the iced coffee and take up the pumpkin-spice beverage of choice and get to work!

With September, comes the full throttle of trade shows, with a little downtime in December.  And with that in mind I think it would be a good time to review the basics of what is needed for a smooth and efficient event (well the best we can do).  But just what are the basics of trade show planning? It depends whom you ask, but generally speaking, I’m referring to:  site selection, vendor selection (i.e registration, audio-visual, decorator, F&B, speakers…)

What oftentimes is overlooked until the end, is the need for acquiring support, such as  temporary helpers or contractors.  Sometimes, the budget allows for this, and sometimes not.  Sometimes you may have to weigh the pros/cons between temp help and volunteer help.

Regardless of when or why or if you need temporary help (for pre-planning, exhibit sales, greeters, room monitors, registration clerks, show office support to promotional models, etc) a good checklist is a good thing to have.  Hopefully, what I have provided is good fodder for such a list.

Checklist To Help With Hiring Temporary Help

Determine Needs
1.  For what reason is a temp needed.
2.  How long will a temp be needed and what is the budget for this temp?
3.  Whom will the temp be reporting to?

Outline Tasks
1.  Decide in advance what tasks the temp will be authorized to perform (i.e. general correspondence, special-event management, attendee registration, etc.)

Identify Skills
1.  How many years of experience are needed?
2.  What kind of experience is needed?
3.  What specific skills are needed?

Details to Resolve
1.  What hours, and what basis will the temp work and get paid for.
2.  Will the temp be considered a company employee or a private contractor during the assignment?
3.  Can temp accept other assignments while working at the company?

Get Ready for the 1st Day
1.  Provide background info about the company, its policies and culture.  Include information about work hours, dress code, phone and e-mail usage.
2.  Make sure  all needed equipment and/or supplies is ready (e-mail account, phone extension, electrical power, computer, etc.).

5 Mistakes that can make your travel (Un)friendly

1.  Not Booking your seat when you book your ticket.  This can have the unintended consequences of either being stuck in the middle or worse having an aisle seat near the bathroom where people standing in line for the bathroom are unknowing or don’t care about hovering into your personal space.

2.  Trusting your flight will have WiFi.  Whether traveling with the fam or on business always confirm there is WiFi.  If not, download the apps, or work files to your local device/computer.

3.  Forgetting to bring an extra bag.  When vacationing or at a tradeshow there’s a high probability you will end up with trinkets that might make your luggage overweight.  Have a sturdy bag (maybe one from an exhibitor’s booth–;) ) where you can shove all the goodies and still be able to carry it.

4.  Not getting a jump on jetlag.  Nothing worse than arriving at your destination and can’t keep your peepers open.  Start with mini nap stints during the flight.  Then, when you check in, go for a walk, or hit the gym or have a run (in other words, do some exercises) then take a hot shower or bath and go to bed early.

5.  Assuming the gate agent cares to help you.  You know, you forgot to pick your seat, or you want to change it, or worse, you are delayed and need another connection, or a plethora of issues that do come up.   Waiting in line just to be told, sorry, can’t help, just adds to your stress.  Go directly to the executive club concierge.  Aside from their smiley and professional greeting, the place has some freebies you can use.  Not a member, join one.

The Need For A Shipping List

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As an Event Manager your job is to plan: plan the activities, choose the venue, pick the speakers, select the food. Every detail must be looked at and addressed.

But, do you plan for backup, contingencies (what if there’s a natural disaster, a hotel strike, shipment of swag is lost…) Do you and your partners and vendors have backups and contingencies?

Recently, we had a shipping disaster! Our equipment and materials for a show were sent our usual way directly to the advance warehouse, via truck using our trusty shipper. Three days into the shipping travel, we were informed that the truck carrrying our stuff caught fire and burned to the ground and everything was destroyed! Not one item was salvageable.

This was equipment and material for a 20,000 attendance trade show. After sitting in shock and saying @(*(*&&, we composed ourselves and went into action:

  1. We notified our client of what happened.
  2. We pulled up our standard shipping log and took inventory of what we had to replace.
  3. We started repacking using the shipping log.
  4. We shipped out expedited service with the exact pieces using our shipping log (a total of 200 items)!
  5. Started our insurance claims, thankfully because of the detailed shipping log, the process was quick.

Gleaming over the above, what stands out the most? Hopefully, what you notice is shipping log.   The importance of a detailed shipping list is imperative for anyone who needs a record of what, when and where “stuff is at any point.” Luckily, there is a myriad of ways of creating, managing and tracking stuff. For us, however, we believe that a simple spreadsheet in the ‘cloud’ accessible to all is fast, efficient and most useful.

Got (Alternative) Milk?

 Long gone are the Moooo days of just dairy milk. Nowadays there are so many “milk” choices that it doesn’t matter if you’re lactose intolerant, nut- allergic, GMO-dislike-r, vegan, etc.   From cashew to oat to camel  (Yes, camel), the dairy and boxed milk aisles are sprinkled with so many choices that it can be dizzying. Of course not all taste good, or are as good for you as you may think.

Bon Appetite did a nonscientific experiment taste testing small-batch milks and below are the top “udderly”-good-for-you-and-tasty milks.

  1. Macadamia milk:   Milkadamia’s Unsweetened Macadamia Milk. These nuts are high in monounsaturated fat (similar to what’s in olive oil and avocados). They lower inflammation and they’re very good for heart health, says certified holistic nutritionist Ashley Sauvé of That Clean Life.
  2. Quinoa milk:   Suzie’s Unsweetened Quinoamilk is good for you because “Quinoa has more amino acids in it than any of the other Options,” Sauvé says.   Although it doesn’t have much protein per serving (just 2 grams in 1 cup), its protein is high quality and it’s hypoallergenic.
  3. Oat milk:   Oatly Oatmilk Barista Edition does a body good because oat milk is hypoallergenic.   Although most of its nutrition disappears during processing, when the fiber is removed, you’ll still get some of the B vitamins.” This brand fortifies the beverage with rapeseed oil, which adds fat without the need for stabilizers.
  4. Flax milk:   Good Karma Unsweetened Flaxmilk is the tastiest brand of flaxmilk. “Flax contains lignans, which are antioxidants shown to prevent cancer,” Sauvé says. “It’s also one of the foods highest in omega-3s besides fish.  For vegans and vegetarians who need to eat a lot ALAs, flax is very beneficial.

So the next time you’re out of milk, maybe try some of these alternatives. Just like the original milk—they will do a body good.

Looking For Laptops

Laptops, the ubiquitous much needed business tool hasn’t changed that much since its debut (sometime in the 1980s).  The original mover and shaker was the MacBook Air (10 years ago). Since then, Apple hasn’t done much with reinventing it.

Currently, there’s the MacBook and MacBook Pro, and, up to now, road warriors really hadn’t had much of a good  alternative to  the light weight, size and sleek designs that the Air offered.  Not anymore.   Below are the top 5 non-Apple laptops that may be worth another look.

Bloomberg performed a global “lap” test from the US to Europe to Asia and beyond, and the following 5 laptops stand out for their portability, keyboard comfort, battery life, and computing power. These 5 are in no particular order.

The Google Pixelbook has a flexible design that rotates from laptop to tablet and “tent” mode.   Why was it in the top 5?  The 2 toned body, which features Gorilla Glass and brushed metal, won’t smudge no matter how many times you have to unpack/repack it and it weighs 2.4 pounds. Inside it has the quad-core i7 processors and 16 GB of RAM. I ts lighting fast charger replenishes the battery in only 15 minutes.  However, the challenge is with non-Google-owned tools (ex. Microsoft Office, etc.) that still feel clunky.  Luckily, there are apps that can offer a workaround.

The Microsoft Surface laptop. This laptop is easy to use in transport.  It comes in a bunch of bright colors (like cobalt blue, and graphite gold) and the trim around the keyboard is polished and sophisticated. (It’s also comfortable on the wrists and easy to clean.) The battery lasts 14 hours.  You also have the option to upgrade the hardware specs as you are customizing your model.  Downside: The operating system, Windows 10 S, is cumbersome; You’re limited to Microsoft Corp.’s Edge browser and Office programs so you’d need to pay a bit more to have Windows 10 Pro instead.

The Dell XPS 13 is a skinny yet spacious laptop. Its five ounces lighter, 0.22 inches thinner, and about 45 percent smaller in volume than the MacBook Air but the 13.3-inch screen is identical in size.   You can also choose to have the screen be a  touchscreen.  The cons for this laptop is the built-in webcam that is at the bottom of the screen rather than the top.

The Lenovo ThinkPad Carbon X1 has an excellent resolution display.  It has a 15-hour battery life and comes with the latest 8th generation quad- core CPUs, multiple inputs (USB-C, standard USB, Mini DisplayPort, and HDMI), fingerprint authentication and a sliding webcam cover.  It also boasts of a richly colored HDR screen, and a very quiet keyboard. I t’s shock- resistant, temperature-proof, and vibration-resistant.  It’s also one of the first laptops to have built-in Alexa capability.  The downer part: With its signature black exterior and red TrackPoint mouse in the middle of the keyboard, the look is right out of the 1990s.

Lastly, the Huawei Matebook X Pro. This laptop offers better performance for less $$$.  It has a super slim bezel, 3K-resolution touchscreen, and four Dolby Atmos-enabled speakers that offer the best audio quality on any laptop that was tested by Bloomberg.  Caveat: Generic-looking and an improbably placed webcam.

Data security and wine in a can.

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Data Security.  Thanks to the recent data breach from Cambridge Analytica and Facebook it’s on everyone’s mind–again (although for some of us, it’s always there).  Then, bring in the GDPR stuff and well, it’s enough to give someone panic attacks.

As a thoughtful Event professional, you are concerned for the attendee’s journey from their experience on your event’s website to the hotel, accommodations, to the food and the overall event experience.  As if that wasn’t enough, you must now worry about their personal data.

Whether it’s the information  they provide when they register to the session tracking and the mobile app they use, you have to be diligent, especially if you play a role in sourcing the event technologies for your meeting.

So, how do you become proficient in all this stuff?  Start with enlisting help from your organization’s IT team and get to know the measures needed to mitigate any risk.  Another suggestion, is to thoroughly vet your technology vendors to ensure their practices meet your standards.  And lastly, address your data privacy and security and disclose the privacy policy to your attendees (aka—the fine print).


Wine in a Can?!

Yes, seriously it does exist!  This wine-in-a-can phenomenon had it’s start in 2004 thanks to Francis Ford Coppola who debuted the Sofia Blanc de Blanc for his daughter (Sophia) as a gift.

In 2016, sales of canned wine were around $14.5 million.  Why this uptick?  Because millennials are good with drinking from cans that have large colorful graphics -www.Bloomberg.com

Wine in the can may work for whites, bubblies and rose but not too sure about red.  Let’s get real, aside for red wine tasting delicious, isn’t the smell of a red wine part of the experience?  But hey, if you are up to trying a wine-in-a-can, especially now with the warm weather upon us, then below are the top contenders, per Bloombeg.com Pursuits:

Whites:

1.  The Porch Pounder Chardonnay
2.  Jackhanmer Chardonnay
3.  West Side

Sparkling:

1.  Underwood–The Bubbles
2.  Sofia Blanc de Blancs Mini
3.  Presto Sparkling Cuvee

Rose:

  1. Underwood Rose
    2.  Porch Pounder

Red:

  1. Underwood Pinot Noir

Sessions, Workshops, Oh My!

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A successful event has many moving parts.  One of which is sessions and  workshops.  Some are general, anyone with a badge can go; others require some sort of authentication. Whatever the type of session/workshop it may be, the end result is the same.  Your speakers or presenters want to know who has signed up, how many seats were occupied.  Your attendees want to know how they get credit (if CEU is required) or proof they attended.    Another worry for both groups:  How much material do I need to print or will I need to lug around.

This concern is one that show managers have to ponder.  The industry jargon is known as material and proceeding distribution, or digital content distribution.  The latest trend is to use some sort of a cloud based system to deliver this.  Although it sounds cool, it requires a tremendous overhead (and cost).  There’s obviously low-tech solutions, such as on demand printing of the material on site (somewhere).

The ideal solution is one that allows for mobile distribution without the high cost of going to the cloud.  Luckily, there is a solution out there (and an experienced one at that).  The Tap-N-Zoom (information towers)from us!

Yeah, you may be thinking that I’m self promoting (ok, a little) BUT really our solution is simple, effective for the user and a revenue generator for the show manager.  These towers are standalone, easy to use (literally just tap your badge) and voila, the material for that session is already waiting for you to peruse while in the workshop (on your tablet, laptop, phone) or later on the airplane. In addition, they integrate well with CEU/CME tracking.  But, the best part, you can have these sponsored!  Your sponsor’s logo can be branded either directly on the TNZ itself, on the material and/or the CEU certificate itself.  As if this wasn’t enough, another benefit of these towers is that you can get some real-time analytics for each session/workshop.

So the next time you start planning your sessions and workshops think about streamlining the attendee’s session/workshop experience and how to get the right material in the right hands and make a little extra revenue for your event.  Then, you can spend hours researching all the different options and solutions, or you can just call us 🙂  IF we cannot help we definitely will help you find the vendor who can (seriously)!

What Gives With April Fools’ Day?

April 1st.  To most it’s just another day, to others, it’s a day to play jokes and pranks.  Some are simple and some are elaborate (which makes me wonder where do people find the time)?

April Fools’ Day is not a public holiday in any country but it has been celebrated globally for many centuries. The holiday’s orgins is fuzzy. Some say it started as a way to mark a changing season and celebrate Spring. Others say it’s tied to a calendar shift in France in the 1500s that moved New Year’s Day from the end of March to Jan. 1 — “fooling” some who stuck to the original calendar.  -USA Today.

People have been playing practical jokes on each other since, forever.  What’s more, there’s a museum of the best practical jokes and hoaxes (and I’m not fooling)!

In the 19th century, the day was considered a children’s holiday in Europe and North America. Children got to misbehave for a day.  The streets in London and New York were filled with children known as “street urchins” who devised all kinds of mischief. In the 20th century, April Fools’ Day evolved into a global holiday, and journalists started to embrace the day, using it to show off their creativity by writing crazy stories.

The Museum of Hoaxes is dedicated to recording pranks and mischief.  Below are the top 4 pranks:

  1. Spaghetti trees: April 1, 1957. The BBC news show Panorama convinced people that farmers in Switzerland were growing spaghetti crops. A video showed Swiss farmers pulling strands of spaghetti from trees. Many viewers were fooled and called BBC to ask how they can also grow their own spaghetti tree. BBC replied: “Place a sprig of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best.”
  2. Color TV: April 1, 1962. Sweden’s SVT (Sveriges Television) invited its technical expert onto their news show to demonstrate how viewers can convert their black-and-white TV into color TVs: Pull a nylon stocking over the TV screen and the color will change.
  3. Flying penguins: April 1, 2008. The BBC’s natural history series Miracles of Evolution showed footage of Adélie penguins flying in a convincing video clip, which was actually animated.
  4. Left-handed burger: April 1, 1998. A Burger King ad in USA TODAY introduced the “Left-Handed Whopper” specially designed for the 32 million left-handed Americans. It has the same ingredients as the original Whopper but was rotated 180 degree to “ensure better grip on the bun.” Thousands of customers requested the new burgers, while many others requested their own right-handed version.

 

Honoring Our Past 35 Years, Celebrating A New Beginning

               Responsive.   Experienced.   Global.

SMART-reg International, Inc. Has a New Name and CEO: 
Honoring Our Past 35 Years, Celebrating A New Beginning.

Santa Clara, March 13th 2018 SMART-reg, a pioneer in event technology solutions, is changing its name to EventLoop. The company will continue with the same highly skilled team and under the direction of the new President & CEO, Despina Mosley.

For 35 years, SMART-reg has immersed in and cared about registration and its processes, from data entry to data management, to create onsite experiences that are solid and efficient. Now it’s time to loop forward and pass on SMART-reg’s founder’s technology and service vision to the next generation of event and trade show managers.

Arnie Roberts, the founder of SMART-reg International has named SMART-reg Executive Vice President, Despina Mosley as EventLoop’s President & CEO. Mr. Roberts is continuing as a strategic visionary at EventLoop, as well as, joining the faculty of San Jose State University’s Department of Hospitality, Tourism and Event Management.

Roberts states, “Despina Mosley is a great leader. Taking over as President & CEO takes hard work and dedication. She is experienced and passionate. She has established a collaborative, inspiring and open culture. Mosley and the EventLoop team make our company stand out to our customers and prospects.”

Ms. Mosley adds, “I am honored to continue building value for our customers as EventLoop’s President & CEO. On a personal note, I thank Arnie Roberts and my team, as well as, our clients who have made the past three decades so special and rewarding. EventLoop is well positioned with excellent products and a strong focus.”

She continues, “The real challenge in event registration is integrating the advance, onsite and post event journey and sticking around for the long haul. EventLoop can deliver this. We have experience covering the entire event registration technology life cycle. Having been in business for three decades, we have developed the strategies, insights, and technical innovations that have allowed us to adapt to changing conditions while remaining true to our core values.”

Press Contact:
Alice Goldstein
EventLoop
(650) 565-9200 x4580
alice@eventloop.biz

About EventLoop:
EventLoop is a responsive, experienced and global Event Tech solutions leader. EventLoop’s award- winning technologies, sustainable solutions and solid industry knowledge is trusted by shows ranging from 500 to 92,000 attendees and 20 to 1400 exhibiting companies. EventLoop’s advance and onsite registration, lead retrieval, attendee engagement apps, security solutions, partner integrations and analytics empower event managers with everything they need to provide the best attendee and exhibitor experiences at conferences, trade shows, exhibitions, and festivals.

Check out EventLoop’s new website, and some of the company’s latest innovations: SMART-Verify.Me, the NoHolderBadge and the iSPY! The Selfie Game at www.eventloop.biz.

Newsletter JAN/FEB 2018

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Security, security, security. You always hear the who, why, where and why it is needed all the time. But, you know where it’s also needed? At trade shows, meetings, events, festivals,… you get the idea. For those who may be new to the trade show industry you may ask, why is it important? All I need is to know who comes to my event, what they’re interested in. Alas, that’s not enough. Three good reason to think about and plan for show security is:

1. Badge sharing. You know, 1 person pays and then it’s shared
amongst 2-3 co-workers (trust me on this, I know someone who
actually does this at high end conferences).

2. Event Crashers. Those who show up for the food, or events,
entertainment. I once was at a trade show in Boston, where a
person retrieved a badge from the trash can and went to the
luncheon!

3. Voter Fraud. Yes, this is a real problem for some
events. Candidates bus voters in, give them a badge to vote
for them.

There are various ways to secure an event: fingerprint scans, retinal scans, passwords… (but a more reasonable and cost effective way is to use NFC/RFID, Picture IDs, QR codes. Luckily, there are registration companies (like us) who can help you find the best solution for your event and level of security needed.


How NOT To Give UP on Your New Year’s Resolutions (by Valentine’s Day)

Once New Year’s Eve rolls around, most of us have made at least one resolution (I had 3 which I’ve already given up on). Why do we make resolutions? And why do we feel guilty when we break them? What can we do to help ourselves keep them? Below are a few suggestions that I came across:

Be honest with yourself.

Many people make resolutions based on what others tell them they should or need to do. Because of this, the motivation doesn’t come from within, it doesn’t lead to success. Figure out what is important and valuable to you so you can set a goal that comes from within.

Stick to one thing.

Trying to accomplish multiple goals all at once will become overwhelming and can lead to failure. Stick to one thing, get it done, move onto your next goal.

Make SMART goals.

When it comes to setting goals, stick to the SMART method. That means making your goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-based. This method helps you identify concrete steps towards meeting your goals.

Arrange your environment for success.

If you are having trouble meeting your goals, it may be your surroundings. For example, if you want to wake up earliy (to workout) but end up hitting the snooze button 15 times, then move your alarm clock to across the room so you have to get out of bed.

Chart your progress.

Once you’ve made your resolutions and have a plan, track your progress to succeed. It’s always a good feeling to check things off and cross them off, so applying it to your progress is rewarding.


How to Stay Distraction Free?

Who knew that your phone’s airplane mode is more than for just keeping airplane chatter to a dull roar? It can help keep you focused and productive.

We all try so hard to stay productive, on task, meet deadlines, etc. We spend lots of money and resources on the latest apps, gadgets and “old school” schedulers and organizers. But in the end, it’s how easily distracted we get that affects how productive we are.

I see it in my kids with their toys, the TV and tablets. I’ve also seen it with customers (and colleagues) who are productively collaborating, working then—-gravitating to their phone to see if anyone texted, or to take a peek at their email or social media posts.

Let’s face it, our electronics, especially our smartphones, are the “shiny object” that quickly and effortlessly takes our focus and productivity away. How to reduce this affect? This simple yet brilliant idea from Tim Ferriss, the author of the 4-Hour Workweek, is to just keep your phone in airplane mode!

According to Business Insider, Mr. Ferriss has his phone on airplane mode for 80 percent of his day, including the hours after dinner and during the time he’s getting ready for bed. He also has it set in this mode through the night and into the morning hours when he’s planning the day ahead.

I’m definitely going to try this and will have all of our family’s phones and tablets set in this mode immediately.

Newsletter Nov/Dec 2017

Good communication

 


Good communication consists of active listening, observing body language and using coherent speech. As we all have experienced or witnessed, directly or indirectly, it is very hard to engage in effective and affective communication. It’s even harder in the age of 140 character tweets, emojis, and hashtags.

Whether we like it or not, the hashtags, tweets, instagrams, selfies, have become a part of our everyday venacular and is sewed into our collective fabric. So how do we effectively and affectively communicate our message in today’s gadget savvy culture especially in the tradeshow and conference realm?

One way is of course via social media channels (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.) However, the most direct way is via texting. Texting is the Velveeta of today. Not very good for you, but pretty darn versatile.

What makes texting an ideal platform to reach your audience? It’s quick, direct and inexpensive and you don’t need an App! Texting allows for quick communication to announce: New sessions, Special VIP functions, Notify contest winners, Attendee wellness alerts, Immediate emergency instruction delivery and for e-mail harvesting. In addition to all this, you can integrate it into gamification (ask me about our Text-2-Win Scavenger & Treasure Hunt), and participant engagment all without the need of an App.

(Note: I am not an App naysayer, in fact we have offer them too. I just think an App isn’t always needed nor is it always in the best economic interest of my clients).

 


Communication: How To Communicate With Your Attendees?

There’s always a ton of stuff you need to let your attendees, sponsors, exhibitors, staff, vendors, etc. know about throughout the event life cycle. Knowing how to communicate information effectively is of course the challenge. There are numerous tools (from websites, social media, SMS texting, to posters) to help with this feat. And as if worrying about effective communication wasn’t enough, you sometimes have the added layer of the necessity to engage attendees; to get them involved in your event as much as possible. How to do that, well, that’s fodder for another newsletter. Below are a few guidelines of what to communicate about that will hopefully guide you in your communication journey. And remember, your communication style and social media presence can set the tone for your event before it even begins.

Speakers’ names: Since your speakers are a huge part of what draws attendees to your event, you’ll want to start introducing them early on in your event communications. Include your speakers keynote titles, photos, and brief bios. You may want to consider sharing their presentation slides or handouts.

Event agenda and activity: Attendees should know the event agenda ahead of time so they can plan their event activities and make the most of the day.

Communication channels: Decide on the communication channels to use to update your attendees and to engage them as early as possible. It can be an event app, social media, event website, emails or texting. Considering your participant’s demographics will help you decide on the apporpriate channles.

Entertainment: Your Emcee and activities can set the tone for your event. Let people know about the fun they wil have before they arrive. Food and drink details should be sent at least one week out: This is helpful so that people know whether they need to eat beforehand or bring food, especially if they have a food allergy.

Dress attire: Make sure all participants know how to dress for your event. Business casual or flip-flop friendly, Check the weather and adapt accordingly if needed. Outdoor events, transportation and even attire can depend heavily on the elements and you likely won’t know this information until less than one week out.

Now that you know what to communicate on, let’s take a quick look-sy to the how. Below is a checklist of the type of communication tools that you should be using on your communication journey:

Event website. Consider this the Hub for anyone who’s interested in learning more about your event or any updated information.

Email marketing. Create a strong campaign to introduce and confirm speakers, venue changes, workshops, all of the events that will take place. Make sure you reference your event’s web page on the official website to increase SEO.

Mobile Event App. A good one will do more than just keep your attendees “in the know .” It will allow for participant engagement.

Social Media. Know your audience. If your event focuses on a younger demographic, telling an image-rich story of what to expect, your sponsors, vendors, speakers, etc. will definitely engage and keep interest. Using social tools like Instagram, SnapChat, Vine, Meerkat, or Periscope will help you develop a solid community. Tech-oriented participants will prefer to share information and their experience via your event’s hashtag on Twitter.