Here are the latest
thoughts from MorEvents.
Despite being based in Denver, Colorado, MorEvents has a global reach. Having planned events in Lisbon, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janiero, Berlin and London (and that’s just the last few months) our experience with managing events in a vast and wide variety of locales is a specialty of ours. With that experience, we have developed a quick checklist that can help any international event be a smashing success.
Location, Location, Location
So your client is dead set on hosting their next global sales meeting in The Maldives? Fantastic! How many attendees? 800. Not so fantastic! It is important to set realistic expectations for a client, as to what their options are, as it relates to available venues for their meeting, when they are looking at exotic locations. Planning a meeting for that many attendees in The Maldives would require the use of 3-4 hotels on different islands and a fleet of speed boats or ferries to transport your attendees. Not only is this difficult logistically, but would be budget-busting and may not be the ideal experience for your attendees. The wise planner would look at what The Maldives is primarily known for, serene atmosphere, tropical locale and beautiful beaches, and suggest alternatives to your client. Perhaps Phuket, Thailand is a better alternative? Known as a tourism hotspot, it is quickly becoming a great beach destination for meetings, with several large chain hotels popping up, ready and willing to accommodate your group.
Educating Yourself on Foreign Currency
Understanding the local currency in foreign destinations can make budgeting for an international event much less of a headache. The savvy planner may also want to do some research on what currency fluctuations have occurred in the past. Has the currency in your locale of interest depreciated 20% over the past three months? This may be an indication of future currency issues and perhaps economic or civil unrest that might occur in the near future. Some clients may want to explore paying for their meeting in the local currency instead of with US dollars. In some situations there may be a cost savings for the client to purchase local currency at a lower exchange rate, instead of making multiple smaller transactions at a higher rate.
Understanding Local Service Standards
We all know that different countries have different ratings for their hotels. What might be a 5-star hotel in Istanbul, might only be a 4-star in New York. Service and amenities provided at each property dictate its rating and can vary from country to country. Understanding the level of service, catering service standards and setting expectations for your client can prevent any disappointment at your meeting. This is also why doing onsite site inspections in your potential property of choice is important. If the hotel or venue does not provide excellent service to your team during a site inspection, odds are service may lack during your meeting. Don’t be afraid to ask the hotel for references from clients who hosted meetings or events similar to yours; most fellow meeting planners will be more than willing to give you honest feedback on service at any hotel.
Planning international events will always have its challenges, but being wise in destination selection, understanding your money and being conscientious of wavering service levels, will alleviate stress and create a great international experience for all of your attendees – and leave you looking like a rockstar.
– The Details Enthusiast
So, you say you want to plan or participate in an outdoor event… Well, here are 7 ways to ensure your event won’t land on its feet – or… should, I say 7 items you definitely need to plan for:
Power, Power, Power – now I know they say location, location, location but really it’s all about the power. I mean, just ask Donald Trump. Everything at an outdoor event revolves around power, from the amount of power to the placement. It all originates with your chosen power source and/or electrical vendor. You need to know how much power you’ll personally need (from the specific amount, say 120V to the exact type, say 20AMPS) and in turn you/or your vendor has to be able to support it. You’ll want to integrate this element into your planning from Day 1 and then continue to work closely with your vendor along the way. Nothing will bring your event to a screeching halt faster than blowing a fuse or overloading a circuit breaker. Have a very clear idea of all the particular types of power you’ll need and how much, so you can plan accordingly — and it doesn’t hurt to have an electrician on speed dial.
Sanitation – right? Sounds simple enough but you’d be surprised how often this element is overlooked and that can lead to more problems than you even want to smell, I mean think about… this includes everything from restroom facilities to drainage, to trash disposal. Be sure to plan ahead for how you will transport and dispose of all waste materials before, during and after your event. P.S. don’t forget to recycle!
Permits & Ordinances – the legalese! Do your research here to identify all the necessary permits that may be required in your area as well as the applicable ordinances. A few examples: noise, fire and safety codes, security, waste disposal, insurance, health and food service. A great place to get started is with the venue manager, as they can direct you to the correct city offices for police, fire & health. Another great resource online is your state gov.org website. Here you can further identify the specific city departments & services you may need to speak with in order to get your event properly licensed. If the proper permits are not in place from the get-go your event will end before it even gets started.
Logistics – now we’re getting to the nitty gritty of things… you’ll want a clear and concise plan for the layout of the venue, event schedule, flow of exhibitors and attendees, equipment load-in/out, parking, workers, security and other possible needs. The advance planning and coordination around this area is vital to the events overall success for all vendors, staff and guests.
Weather – aka Mother Nature. She’s a fickle lady so be sure to closely monitor the weather forecast and have a clear cut “Plan B” in place, in case of rain/snow/wind/hail. Know what your worst case scenario looks like and how you would work around it (this includes your set-up and tear-down days not just event day). Trust me when I say, there’s no better way to look like a Rock Star then to already have a box of branded rain ponchos on hand… just in case then to be caught looking like a wet poodle in front of your client and their customers.
Communication – “Can you hear me now?” It’s uber important to 1) ensure there are resources in place to support your events communication needs such as cell phone towers, a command center, emergency, and crisis management plans and 2) that you have enough power to get through it all and cover enough usage – see bullet #1
FUN! – say what? Yes, ultimately the end goal should be to ensure your guests have an enjoyable, productive and safe experience at your event. Keep these 7 items in mind and you too should have a little FUN along the way.
– The Style Maker
The rate of change in event technology over the last 10 years has been absolutely astounding and there is no indication of it slowing down. One thing is for sure – without an event website and an app, you may be missing out on key ways to reach your attendees and drive their engagement throughout your meeting. There really are unlimited technology options nowadays, so how do you know which website or app will be the perfect fit for your upcoming event? Let us spell it out for you:
Basic Cloud-Based Event Registration Website: Now, don’t get thrown off by the word “basic” because today’s registration platforms are anything but! Simply put, these sites are clean & classic – our clients love them because they can get all of their information out to their attendees in a concise, user friendly manner, and also because almost any aspect of the site can be customized to fit their needs. This is by far the most cost effective option since clients pay only an hourly rate to build the site, along with a nominal fee per attendee registration.
DESIGN CAPABILITIES: ★★★
Microsite: If you’re not familiar with this term, you’re not alone – but odds are you access at least one microsite each day during your web browsing! A microsite is a website that is completely separate from a company’s website and is dedicated to serving one purpose (i.e. launching one product, highlighting one marketing campaign, or focusing on one event). In the event world, a microsite is often built in conjunction with a basic registration site, and serves its purpose as a creatively-designed mask – sending the user to the registration website when they click the “Register Now” button. Each microsite is created custom for each client & event, so there’s not exactly a template to follow, which is what drives up the price.
DESIGN CAPABILITIES: ★★★★★
Apps are now a booming business in the event industry as well, and more often than not, attendees prefer to download an app with the conference program, hotel map, speaker bios, and offsite activities, rather than receive a bulky Welcome Packet full of papers to sort through. Similarly to the registration website options outlined above, there are two kinds of apps that have stood out from the competition: template-based or custom designed. It’s important to remember that with any app, the name of the game is TIME. Apps take at least a few days to create and test, and then can take up to 14 days to go through an approval process with the Apple and Android app stores.
Template-Based App: This is the meat and potatoes of the app world – easy to create and less expensive than a fully custom app. There are limited design functions, so likely the extent of design customization is the ability to match the colors and logos to those featured on the event website. Information can be plugged in to each of the app categories – “Agenda,” “Transportation,” “Speakers” – so the attendees have all of the meeting information at their fingertips. One of the best features of these apps is that push-notifications are available, so clients have instant access to notify their attendees of updates or changes to the meeting and can drive attendees to a particular category within the app to drive engagement.
DESIGN CAPABILITIES: ★★
Customized App: This is the Rolls Royce of event apps for more reasons than one – clients can ask for pretty much the moon and the stars in terms of design, functionality, and metrics, and their requests are met. Not only do these apps encompass all of the functions of a template-based app, a fully customized version can facilitate social interaction between attendees and the meeting content, which means the data tracked can be pulled into reports to help clients to discover their attendees’ real interests and pinpoint ROI for the event. This type of app can cost a pretty penny though, so it’s best to be realistic with the planners and designers through the creative process, so an accurate estimate can be achieved from the start.
DESIGN CAPABILITIES: ★★★★★
The fact of the matter is that technology is becoming more and more prevalent in the event world and is a conduit for streamlining many aspects of the event planning process, as well as creating an overall cost savings for your event (never print a program again!). Let MorEvents be your partner in discovering what the best technologies are for YOUR next event – your attendees will thank you for it!
– Rocket Scientist