Corporate Responsibility: Giving Back with your Event

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“88% of consumers said they were more likely to buy from a company that supports and engages engages in activities to improve society.” (Better Business Journey: UK Small Business Consortium)

A couple of weeks ago we posted about being more environmentally responsible to inspire event organisers to make their events ‘greener’. In this frame of mind, we should also take action to be more responsible in a corporate social context. Many company events are already the result of this and we only hope to encourage this more! Look at it this way – it’s a two street, you will not only improve your company’s reputation, but you also ensure a positive employee moral. Results: a happy workforce; and isn’t that all what we want?!

A survey from Net Impact found that 53% of workers said that “a job where I can make an impact” was important to them.

There are many ways to work on your corporate responsibility; we have thought of some fun and effective initiatives for you:

Incentive Trip
Organise an incentive trip for your employees to help a charity (national or international). This will give employees something really worthwhile and positive to work towards; and a memorable reward!

  • Example: A client recently took 15 members of their team to South Africa to help building a school for the local children in the village.

Charity Event
A fundraising gala for a special charity. This can be through an auction, raffle or selling other items on the night. At the same time you will give your staff/ clients a glamorous evening and you give them the opportunity to contribute and ‘feel good’! Give the event some extra shine with a surprise performance or a celebrity host. And a good photographer to capture everyone walking down the red carpet!

Sport Event
Organise a sport event; this is also good for team building and a way to give young people in disadvantage communities the chance to participate as well and try a new sport.

  • Example: Waitrose employees organised a charity bike ride around London. They cycled between 18 different Waitrose branches, covering 55 miles.

Give Others A Chance
Give young entrepreneurs a chance to showcase themselves or their work by organising exhibitions or competitions. Offer mentoring, internships or search investors to support them with their business. Offer internships for (young) people who are less privileged.

  • Example: ING Commercial Banking holds their annual exhibition the Discerning Eye, which showcases small works selected by influential people. Works of lesser-known artists hang alongside those of more established artists, helping to connect hundreds of artists with new audiences.

Small Initiatives
Start volunteering tomorrow! Simple ways to give back that don’t need a lot of organising and can just be done at work:

  • Coffee mornings with a Bake Sale
    Employees contribute baked goods, which will be sold at a Coffee Morning (think of doughnuts, cake and pie slices, brownies, cookies, muffins). Invite employees from different departments and turn it into a network opportunity.
  • Jeans Days
    Don’t we all love casual Friday?! Well, what about jeans day, in the UK there is Jeans for Genes Days, so why not have your own Jeans day at work. We are sure your staff will love it!
  • Lunchtime Bingo
    Lunchtime never been so fun! The entry fee goes to a charity. Most charity bingo events are played for the fun of it and your prizes should reflect this. Some other favourites are gift vouchers (for Spa Days, luxury restaurants, short breaks, etc), beauty sets, DVD boxes.

Just like any other event it is important that you have a clear objective of what you would like to achieve. Also, inform your participants clearly about the project/cause you will be supporting, this will motivate them even more to reach what your goal.

Let us know how your company or workplace works on their corporate responsibility by commenting below; we are always interested in your ideas!

Useful sources:

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Our first newsletter has been sent today!

Dear readers!Newsletter Issue no.1 June 2014

We would like to share with your our first company newsletter! After days of research, design and coming up with some great topics, its finally finished and we are very happy with the result!
Start reading now and don’t forget to subscribe in the newsletter link!

We would love to hear your opinion, enjoy reading!

P.S: Don’t skip the section where you can WIN FREE TICKETS for the Royal Sail Tall Ships Regatta in London!!

 

 

TRENDWATCHING: FACILITATE MY EVENT EXPERIENCE

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We live in a world where we continuously try to do more and have an app for every inconvenience we meet.

According to science of the time, we speak of the trend Facilitate My Life, when there is a growing desire to gain control over our everyday life. We want things to be more convenient, every minute, every second, 24/7. This all started through the existence of the virtual world and the rise of the app culture. This trend basically states that technology (mobile apps) and the virtual world enhance life facilitation’s.

A case study by Proxima shows the perfect example: Jessica’s on her way to her favourite summer music festival in Sydney. Before the festival she downloads the music festival’s iPhone app so she can see the timetable, venue map and take advantage of the location experience that Proxima provides. As she walks to the entrance her phone picks up a signal from a nearby Proxima iBeacon and automatically displays her ticket from Passbook. Staff at the gate scan the barcode straight off Jessica’s phone.  As she gets close to the main stage her phone vibrates and the app displays a bio of the band that’s about to take the stage. Jessica remembers that her favourite food truck is at the festival. She opens the map in the festival app to see exactly where they are located. The iBeacons around the festival site are able to pinpoint her position and guide her directly to the van. Nearing the van a menu for the food truck pops up with a 10% discount code. She orders and pays for her food inside the app, no more dealing with ridiculous festival queues.

So far we have seen that event managers are already creating a better experience for their guests or themselves. By using mobile check-in, event guides on an app, live streams, social seating… But this trend goes even further.

Take a look at the following 6 technology gadgets which we have selected for you:

1) PSAV’s Interactive Video Wall
The PSAV’s wall is comparable to a large iPad, one can create games, maps and presentations. It can be used to display venue maps, sponsor information, exhibitor logos, information and much more.

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2) Wifarer
Wifarer is a so called iBeacon that can locate any smartphone in the room and assist the user navigating through the venue by showing a map with turn-by-turn directions. Users will receive location-specific content, such as information about exhibitors as they walk around or food menu information when they pass the restaurant. At large exhibitions with lots going on, this technology can give great insights in the programme, workshops, exhibition stands, sponsor promotions and so on.

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3) Brightbox
Get credit for solving a huge guest need! Brightbox is a secure charging station. Just swipe your credit card to unlock a compartment to store your phone for charging. It’s free, the credit card just acts as a key. Add logos and custom wraps to promote your events sponsors.

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4) Lightwave
Lightwave is oneblog4 Lightwave of the latest wearable technologies. This digital wristband provides real-time data on audience movement, temperature, and sound levels. Pepsi recently used this technology during a  sponsored music event. Guests who were given these wristbands, transferred real-time data back to the DJ and AV team, who could then anticipate with lighting and song selection to generate more excitement among the crowd. Lightwave can also give insight into people’s emotions during presentations, the time spent at an exhibitors booth, what talking points are resonating (by measuring applause levels) and much more. Data can be broken down into groups such as age, gender, profession etc.

5) Sendsteps
This meeting tool has been awarded as best meeting tool of the year (2013). Sendsteps facilitates audience interaction during corporate events. Through a Powerpoint plug-in your audience can vote or send messages via their mobile phone, website, SMS or Twitter. The phone simply acts as a response device; in this way your audience gets engaged by giving everyone a voice. It’s a quick and easy to use meeting tool, prevents long queues at the microphone and you will receive instant audience feedback.

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6) Eventstagram
Showing a real-time slideshow of photos taken during your event and shared on Instagram is possible with the web app Eventstagram. By creating a free account on the website you can indicate your event dates, hashtags, location, speed and animation of photos. The Eventstagram feed can be showed on large screens at your event. It’s free to display as many as 500 photos for a total of six hours. After that you can choose other plans to upgrade the playtime and amount of photos (1.000 to 10.000 or more).

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Have you seen this trend happening around you? How did you experience it? What sort of technology was used?
Share your experiences with us by commenting below; we would love to hear about it!
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10 Golden Themes for your Christmas or New Years Party

Even though the Summer Parties are yet to come, before you know it the festive season will be upon us. We thought now would be a good time to bring up some ideas for your Christmas or New Years Party. Let us introduce you to 10 golden themes that will delight your guests! Make sure that you pick a theme that suits your company, target audience and objectives.

Rio Feverrio_carnival_20141
Let the rhythm lead you to the world’s biggest fiesta! Join the samba parade and dance along with carnival dancers in glittered costumers and feathers. Celebrate all night long! With the FIFA World Cup this year and the 2016 Olympics, Rio is really the place to be!

Event ideas: Samba drumming demonstration. A cocktailbar with flair bartending demonstrations, including Brazil’s signature cocktail Caipirinha.

Hollywood Oscar Nights, Your Company Awardsbehind-20140304151221641638-600x400
As you step onto the red carpet, fans are screaming your name, the paparazzi are clicking and cameras are flashing. Have your pose ready for the photographers and enter the glamorous venue as your hoping to go home with an Oscar tonight.

Event ideas: Have your guests interviewed by a reporter on the Red Carpet to make them feel like a real celebrity. Have a “Step and Repeat” wall, where your celebrities can pose for their picture moment and you can add your logo and sponsors logo on the wall.

Winter Wonderlandwinter-wonderland-theme
Enter into a magical world created by ice and snow, where ice maidens take you on an once-in-a-lifetime journey and the magic of Christmas comes to life. Dance under the Northern Lights and experience a true fairy tale scene or snuggle up together in a bearskin.

Event ideas: Serve drinks in the ice bar (igloo). Ice Sculpture artist performance. Winter brunch.

Cuban Party / Havana Nightscuba
A warm tropical breeze has arrived in this winter holiday and challenges you to salsa the night away in Havana. With your panama hat on you take a ride in a classic 1950’s car on your way to your favourite rhumba/salsa bar. Buena Vista Social Club is playing, mojito’s are in the making and cigars are rolled, livin’ la vida loca!

Event ideas: Torcido (rolling cigars) demonstration. A flair bartender making Mojito’s and Cuba Libres. Serve glasses of cold chocolate with Ron.

Formula 1 Pitch Party / Fast and Furious
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Start your engines!! Feel the need for speed with Formula 1 race cars and step into the shoes of Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg and Fernando Alonso. Drive a F1 race car and take pictures at the Winners podium with the Pit Stop Babes.

Event ideas: F1 Fuel bar where the Pit Stop Babes will fill up your drinks. Hot dog stand. F1 car simulators. F1 show car with your logos and sponsors.

Pan Am Airways, Come Fly With Me
Take-off with Pan Am Airways, once “World’s Pan AmMost Experienced Airline”, and get pampered; this night is about you! Gorgeous looking flight attendants will make sure that you have your drink and food/meal/snacks, relax in the in-flight lounge and enjoy the in-flight entertainment.

Event ideas: The relaxing in-flight lounge; have massage chairs (looking like flight chairs), where the guests will be served with champagne/drinks by flight attendants. Flight simulator.

Party Like a Rock Starparty rock
Calling all jet setters to make a stop at the most glamorous and luxurious event of the year! Fine dining, VIP treatments, beautiful surroundings and time to enjoy the good things in life.

Event ideas: Video projections of nice cars, boats and jets. Exclusive ‘VIP’ lounge booths relating to top destinations to give guests that jet-set lifestyle feeling. A champagne and caviar tasting bar.

Sensation WhiteSensVis1
Known as the famous world’s leading dance event that takes place in 22 cities. The entire interior is white, from the DJ booth to hanging decorations and the dress code. Leading under the slogan, Be Part Of The Night – Dress In White, a great theme for a white Christmas.

Event ideas: Everything should be white (drinks, food, décor etc.), a white chocolate fountain. White Christmas trees to keep the Christmas spirit alive. White balloons are always good for decoration, fill them up with white confetti and pop them at midnight along with the champagne (NYE Party).

Heaven can wait, 7 sins vs. 7 virtuesangels
Lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, anger, envy, pride vs. chastity, temperance, charity, diligence, forgiveness, kindness, humility. Red vs white. Good vs bad. Let all characteristics come to live for one night and give your guests an evening they will never forget.

Event ideas: Angel stiltwalkers are there to welcome your guests. Food options from devilish delight (devil’s food cake) to heavenly pleasure (angel cake, candy floss).

Movie-related Themes
These should not be forgotten as they are always a big success.
Great examples are:

  • James Bond (Gold painted waitresses)
  • Alice & Wonderland (Don’t we all love a big high-tea party)
  • The Great Gatsby
  • Moulin Rouge and many more.

How to implement these themes is all up to you or contact us and we’ll make sure that your event is one to remember!

MAKE YOUR EVENTS GREENER

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It is important for event organizers to remember that sustainability covers much more than just hosting a “going green” theme. 

We are internationally confronted with eagerness and desire to make this world a better place. More and more people are acting on this and live a more conscious life style, want to be associated with healthy products and strive for a less polluted environment. Innovative thinking has lead to new initiatives striving to a more human and ecologically clean future.

According to Trendwatching, China is going to be where the eco-innovation action is. A nice example is the Beijing Subway that rewards commuters for recycling plastic bottles. Or the Nike store in Shanghai that is entirely constructed from trash (also drink cans, old CD’s & DVD’s, water bottles).

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Wouldn’t it be nice if you could bring these kind of innovate ideas to your events and consequently contribute to making the world a better place?!

Take a look at the following examples from events having ‘green’ actions in 3 different ways:

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  • The first picture shows filling stations where guests could refill their bottles with free filtered water at the Lollapalooza Chicago music festival. In this way event-goers were encouraged to reuse their water bottles.
  • The second example is from company Symantec, they diverted 55% of the waste away from landfills, by having visible colored recycle bins to help attendees recycle correctly at their Vision Barcelona conference.
  • Intel used large vinyl banners (that had been used at a 2010 conference) for creating 400 messenger giveaway bags for future Intel events.

Before you introduce these kind of ‘green’ actions you should also make sure that every choice, from the venue and travel arrangements, to the content of the delegate packs should be designed to be as ecologically and socially responsible as possible. In this way you can make your event actually green.
The next step then should be to look for any standards supporting the sustainability of your event, so that you can provide assurance to stakeholders, customers and anyone else involved, that the event has been planned and implemented in a sustainable manner.
In The UK is this BS 8901, the British Standard, which has been developed specifically for the events industry. London 2012 was a key driver behind the development of this standard, in this way they could demonstrate the sustainability performance of the London Olympic Games.

 It will be a new way to differentiate yourself from your competitors, attract new business and improve reputation and brand image. 

NOW IT’S YOUR TURN: 6 WAYS TO GREEN YOUR NEXT EVENT

1) Pick a sustainable venue (London venues).

2) Replace paper-based materials with electronic media (Getyoo products), use a mobile app instead of a printed program, also don’t forget the name badges and make them of biodegradable materials and have recyclable gift bags.

3) Pick a sustainable catering, add visible colored recycle bins, offer tumblers and hydration stations instead of single-use bottled waters.

4) Provide information about public transportation, anticipate people to share rides, f.e. car-sharing app. Make sure hotels are within walking distance to the venue and make attendees aware of walking routes.

5) Choose hotels that embrace green practices.

6) Last but not least don’t forget to share your sustainability strategy with attendees, for example in registration materials or during opening remarks.

Hopefully these tips will help you to get started. However, don’t forget to create a system to track your sustainability initiatives and adapt where necessary.

What do you think about ‘green events’? What kind of sustainability initiatives have you implemented at your event lately? Comment below!

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TRENDWATCHING: KEEP YOUR EVENTS INTERESTING

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”Today, good things don’t come to those who wait.
But to those who move.” 
(Velocity, 2012, A. Ahmed & S.Olander)

We are surrounded by rapid change and digital technology. In order to survive with your business you have to adapt your mind-set and work to the new world. The best way to do this is by keeping up to date with trends; as these can give your events a huge boost. You’ll be more in tune with your clients, resulting in a new way to delight them.

From time to time we’ll post about the newest trends including real-life examples and tips on how to keep your events up to date.

Trend: Cool Involvement 
In this overly crowded and hyper-connected world, it is difficult to get people’s attention. Yet the most important aspect in attaining attention is getting people involved and give them a little ‘me’ moment. This can be a huge challenge in the offline world and specifically with events, how can you spark a genuine connection with your customers?

We have two nice real-life examples (B2C), anticipating on this trend:

21,500 teens competed in the Adidas Neo Fashion Event in New York, to see their own Adidas-style look on the catwalk

KLM invited 300 lucky kids to a truly spectacular pre-screening of the new Disney movie: Planes; an unforgettable experience!

The following are useful sources to get your Trendwatching going!

Have you implemented this trend yet in your past events? Or are you planning to use it? Share with us by commenting below!

9 TIPS THAT SELL OUT YOUR EVENT

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Unaware of your event -> aware and informed -> create interest -> create desire -> intention to purchase ticket -> attending. This the wishful path we all dream of went it comes to selling our events.

How can you successfully lead people into this path and consequently sell out your event? Going from zero attendances to having people discuss our events without us even knowing.

Looking at many marketeers and event planners online, best practices and adding to that our own experience, we have 9 tips for you that sell out your event.

1)         Know Your Audience
Where do they socialise? Which networking sites do they use online? What do they read? For example; for a B2B event, it might be more effective to promote your event on LinkedIn, Google+ and in trade journals. Also, you could ask journalists or bloggers from industry magazines/blogs to attend and write about your event. Or have your main speaker share knowledge through an interview or a small presentation. In this way you can create a desire for your event, leading to a possible higher attendance rate (desire ->action, AIDA model).

2)         Word Of Mouth
This is still the most cost effective way to promote. Which isn’t suprising, we all trust a friend’s recommendation more than a review online. Start WOM by speaking to leaders and influencers in your space (journalists, public figures, bloggers, or trendsetting fans). By offering group incentives, you can anticipate people to talk about your event to others, for example a limousine pickup.

3)         Social Media
Networking sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter will enable you to reach a lot of people right from the start. Create #yourevent and let your community create a buzz for you. Use support photos, for example the flyer of your event online that people can share on their page or on someone else’s page. Let presenters of your event share some of their expertise on your social media networks/with your blog readers, let them engage with potential audience.

4)         Offline Marketing
Most of the time we tend to forget that not everyone uses the internet, so devote a part of your promotion to offline marketing tools. Think of a guerrilla marketing action at trade shows where your target audience is or at a public space such as a tube or train station.

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Use direct mail with a little present or teaser, that deviates from the standard A5 envelope. 

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5)         What’s On the Invite
Date, location, content and speaker. Attracting an industry guru can easily triple the number of attendees for your event.

6)          Event Website
Besides basic information, add a news feed, a public forum, announce special guests and show who your sponsors are, list the event programme of what to expect (create awareness & interest, AIDA)

Interact with your audience, video and pictures of past events, agenda highlights (topics to be covered), seat registration/opportunity to buy ticket online, countdown to the day of the event, hotel and city information including discounts (interest, desire -> action)

7)        Videos and Webinars
76% of marketeers identified video marketing as their main success factor. Create a video to visually promote your event and build excitement. Hold a webinar, to give people a sneak peak of your seminar.

For example; TED talks has gathered 800 million views, since they decided to open up viewership to the online public. Now the series is growing from a meeting of minds into a force that could change the future of education.

8)         Exclusivity and Secrecy
Providing a hint of exclusivity and secrecy could make your event more special by having an introduction- or invite- only. For example a VIP afterparty by invite only.

9)         The Rule Of Three
In order for a consumer to actively think about purchasing your product or in this case buy a ticket for your event, you have to reach them three different times. Think of, e.g. promoting your event with an online video, an article in a trade magazine and a guerrilla marketing action at a trade show/tube station. Of course, don’t forget the traditional channels – e-mail, direct mail letter and a phone call (awareness -> interest)

Bear in mind that these 9 tips are all individually effective when it comes to promoting your event, but even more powerful when used in combination. Use as many methods as possible, as it is more likely to increase your level of success!

Have you found other ways that sold out your event? What worked for you? We would love to hear about it, comment below!

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