Tag: event planning

How LinkedIn Helps You Event Plan

How LinkedIn Helps You Event Plan

While there certainly are ways to use LinkedIn for events, it has a less viral nature than Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. And it takes a much more intentional focus to make it work for you. That being said, LinkedIn is an incredibly powerful tool and I think you will see there is a lot that can be done – when you know how to work it.



Ever wanted to contact a really great speaker and you just couldn’t find the contact information? LinkedIn is the perfect solution to that.

You can look it up, see if you have any connections or groups in common and reach out directly. It’s perfectly acceptable to send a connection request with a detailed message about the fact that you would like to hire them as a speaker.

And, best of all, since LinkedIn is used more sparingly than email, you will often get a response faster than if you were to directly email them.

Of course, it’s a huge benefit if you can name a person you both know or a group you are both a part of. It really helps make a great connection and gets you in the door much earlier.



When you are publicizing an event, LinkedIn groups are a great way to do it.

Just reach out directly to the group moderators and let them know about the event. Ask their permission to share and perhaps even give their audience a discount.

This is a great way to make a relationship with the group owner and share the word without spamming people.

Direct Connections


Finally, there’s nothing like a personal invitation to an event.

Make a list of all the people who would directly benefit from the event and then I reach out one-by-one to personally invite them to attend. I customize each letter so they know it isn’t a mass mail.

It is time-consuming, but none of the good stuff in life comes for free.

How To Accelerate Sustainability In Events

How To Accelerate Sustainability In Events

Sustainability needs to be embedded into business models: it is a catalyst for innovation and a driver for profit. It is an opportunity for businesses, society and the planet.

With live events increasingly becoming part of many brands content marketing strategies, it makes sense that brand professionals need to be considering the implementation of sustainability into their events.


Sustainability & Responsibility


Too often people think that implementing sustainability into events includes that it is too complicated or too expensive.

People assume the government is taking care of it, event professionals assume the hotel is taking care of it, marketers assume that the event organisers are taking care of it.

As event professionals we have the ability to change behaviour in a multi dynamic way.

We can demand sustainability from our suppliers. If suppliers do not have a sustainable offer then we can encourage them to adopt one. We can change the behaviour of delegates by implementing small changes to the delivery of our events to ensure we leave less of a carbon footprint – changes that actually enhance the attendee experience. We can also educate delegates by explaining why we are making these changes.

By making attendees consciously aware of the changes we make, we are able to improve our own business image, reduce our impact on the environment and change delegate behaviour to reduce their impact on the environment. We are able to support social projects and local businesses.


In Conclusion

The world won’t save itself and individual torch bearers can’t do it alone. This is is going to take collaboration between all sectors to create an industry wide shift.

Free vs Paid Events

Free vs Paid Events

Free vs. paid events is an ongoing debate in our industry.

For example, TED and the Web Summit are very expensive events and content is available online for free, often live streamed, both by event organisers and attendees. The audience is still ready to pay the price tag to be there and mingle with other participants.

Free for #eventsprofs


Events for the event industry are usually free, for example IMEX, IBTM and The Meetings Show. Not only they are free – but they even cover travel expenses and accommodation for qualified planners by offering the Hosted Buyer model.


Over the past few years, free events launched in London and are growing in popularity, such as the Event Huddle, Citizen Event, Event Tech Live, Event Tech Talks and others!

What are the business objectives of free events?


From an association perspective – to offer continual personal development and increase

  • member engagement
  • Sales & Marketing
  • Exposure & PR
  • Educate about product or service
  • Collect data
  • Increase brand awareness
  • Test the product

What are the challenges when organising free events?


  • Securing sponsors
  • High drop out rats as people don’t associate value to the event
  • Getting qualified leads
  • Difficult to plan for no-shows
  • Getting the right audience
  • Trying to show delegates that the event has value whilst not asking for actual money
  • Security
  • Extra room hire and catering costs
  • Food waste

How to determine event ticket price?

  • Know what the industry average price tag is
  • Base it on audience and location
  • Research
  • Build all facility charges into the ticket cost and calculate all fees billed per ticket sold
  • Consider event duration
  • Local economic conditions may be also factor to determine ticket price

How many price categories are recommended?


  • One to three categories
  • Don’t overwhelm or confuse attendees with too many categories
  • Not so many as to confuse attendees but enough to allow flexibility of option
  • Freemium model – offering the event for free with some paid for seminars

How can you increase ticket sales?

  • Create FOMO
  • Have event ambassadors
  • Engage in face to face networking
  • Provide quality content and speakers
  • Create discounts
  • Do targeted marketing through segmentation of data

As the industry evolves, this will stay a challenge, but when we better understand our delegates, the industry and its dynamics, maybe we can offer a model that works.

9 Ways For A More Sustainable Event

9 Ways For A More Sustainable Event

There are many reasons why running an event using sustainable event principles is good for business.

Many of our clients choose to have their event produced, managed and implemented through sustainable event principles because it reinforces the key messages of their event, and/or demonstrates their vision and commitment to sustainability. Other clients are happy to have their event produced through sustainable event principles because it helps them save resources and this reflects well on their business!

Below are 9 simple ways to create a more sustainable event while keeping your guests happy. While it is important to take a whole event approach – it may not be possible to do everything.  You could start with a single initiative and work from there.



Give guests plenty of opportunity to get outside to enjoy the fresh air and sunlight by requesting rooms with opening windows for ventilation and natural lighting. This will help guests breathe easier and see better. If your venue has an outdoor area make the most of it by holding breaks outside.


Provide guests with public transport options such as train timetabling, bus route and bicycle parking facilities. Where public transport is not accessible, arrange shuttle buses to and from the event or promote car sharing.


Appoint a staff member to take responsibility for eliminating unnecessary lighting, power and equipment use. Switch equipment off at the power point after use.


Prioritise venues that demonstrate a commitment to water conservation by installing water saving devices.


Do not provide disposable material such as disposable cutlery, plates, containers or cups.

Instead, provide reusable crockery, serving platters, glasses and cutlery. Depending on the formality of the event, invite attendees to bring their own cups or water bottles.


Ensure that recycling and compost bins are accessible and clearly sign-posted. Ensure guests and vendors limit disposable waste and give preference to recycled and recyclable packaging.



Choose local, seasonal and organic produce or work with a caterer/venue who is committed to sustainable event practices..


Attempt to not provide show bags or copious amounts of printed material. Always question if the printing of brochures and pamphlets is necessary. When printing is necessary use vegetable based inks and post-consumer recycled content paper. Furthermore, consider whether your engagement activities can be done online as this will reduce the need for printed event materials, contributing further to a green event management approach.


Inform your guests and attendees of your commitment to sustainability in your written and verbal communications. This might be as simple as including a page on your event website that outlines your sustainable event initiatives, or informing guests verbally on the day of your event. Another good idea is to clearly label food and beverage that is organic, local or fair-trade.


Do you have other sustainable event ideas to contribute? Write a comment below!

How To Use Lighting Creatively

How To Use Lighting Creatively

Lighting is an important element to consider when planning special events and ceremonies.

Lighting can be colorful or white, static or dynamic, focused or fill a room. And it can be serve a host of purposes, such as setting the mood and creating a distinct atmosphere, highlighting event features and culinary displays as well as cuing speakers and presentations.


Colorful Uplighting

Uplighting can add depth and visual interest to any meeting space. Consider using colored uplighting that plays into the event’s theme.


Illuminated Bar

Highlight a beverage display, like this full bar and cocktail lineup, by placing it on LED glass. The lighting draws attention to the display and gives it a unique look.


Dynamic Gobo Lighting

Lighting doesn’t have to be static. Using gobos (precut etched patterns made from glass or metal), you can project dynamic lighting onto the walls of the space to add visual excitement and movement to a celebratory or social gathering.


Logo in Lights

Use a gobo to display the company or event logo. Putting it in lights is a dramatic way to keep the brand top-of-mind throughout the event.



Shift attendees’ focus to speakers or guests of honor with spotlighting. Spotlights also can be used to light stages, runways and aisles.

How To Organize A Fundraising Event

How To Organize A Fundraising Event

Fundraising events are a popular form of fundraising.  While they can be great money makers for an organization, they can also be time consuming and expensive.  The success of events depends on careful planning.

To help you ensure that your fundraising event is a winner, here are ten major components that you must incorporate into your event plan:

1. Purpose

Before doing anything else, you must decide what the purpose of your event is. Is this truly a fundraising event? Or does it have other goals? Perhaps your organization may be hoping to raise money at the event, but the main function of the event is to gain publicity, or reach out to a new network. Many charitable events have more than one goal. Figuring out the details for your event will depend on knowing what goals you are trying to achieve.

2. Fundraising Goal

In conjunction with the event host committee, organization staff, and key fundraisers, you must decide what amount of money you plan to raise at the event. If this is truly a fundraising event, then everything in the event plan will be geared to raising this specific amount of money. The amount you choose should be what you hope to net, that is, the amount you plan to raise after expenses are deducted.


3. Budget

Every fundraising event plan should contain a complete budget listing all of the expenses that will be required to hold the event. Your budget should include staff, invitations, space rental, catering, entertainment, transportation, security, utilities, and anything else that will be required to make the event a success. Your budget should take into account your fundraising goal, ensuring that you raise that amount above and beyond all expenses. Be sure to leave a little extra room in your budget for unforeseen costs.

4. Leadership

As part of your fundraising efforts, your event will most likely have a “host committee” and one or more “host committee chairpersons.” These people are responsible for contributing substantial amounts to the event and encouraging others to do the same. The host committee is generally composed of wealthy donors, business leaders, or local celebrities. The host committee and chairpersons are not responsible for actually running the event, but are integral to ensuring that you reach your fundraising goals.

5. Target Audience

Who is the target audience for your event? Is this a general fundraiser where everyone will be invited? Or is this event geared towards a specific group like business people, parents, or young professionals? In short, you must decide whom you will invite to your event.


6. Set Up

Your event staff should plan the event set-up well in advance. The set-up includes all of the particulars of the actual event: Where will it be? Will food be served? Will there be entertainment? What kind of dress will be required? What is the itinerary for the event?

7. Marketing

Just like a new product, your event needs to be aggressively marketed to your target audience. You need to convince your supporters that your organization and event are worthy of their time and money. Draw up an entire marketing plan for the event. Possible methods of “getting the word out” include: using your non-profit’s fundraising network, mailed invitations, direct mail, phone banks, word of mouth and the event host committee.

8. Sales

Once you market your event, there must be a procedure in place for making the actual ticket sales, or accepting donations for the event. You must decide whether there will be different contribution levels for the event (such as a flat ticket charge, an extra charge to be invited to a V.I.P. reception in addition to the event, etc.). You must decide who will sell the tickets, how they will be shipped or delivered, and who will be responsible for organizing the incoming information.


9. Practice

While you probably won’t need a full run-through of your event, it is essential that everyone who is working the event know, ahead of time, what their responsibilities are, where they should be during the event, and how the event is going to “flow.” If you are having a large or unusual event, the key event staff may want to have a practice run to make sure that your operation is running smoothly.

10. Thank You

One of the most oft heard complaints from contributors to charitable fundraising events is, “They never even said ‘thank-you.’” Ditto for your event volunteers. Make sure that the organization takes the time to send thank-you notes to everyone who is involved in your event, including contributors, volunteers, staff and vendors. Keep your donors happy… you’re probably going to be asking them for another donation sometime down the road.

Vegetarian and Vegan Catering for Events

Vegetarian and Vegan Catering for Events

In 2010, a report released by the United Nations Environment Programme encouraged a global shift to a more plant-based diet in order to combat the environmental effects of consuming animal products.

Event planners can also do their part by including more vegetarian and vegan options at events. Current menu options, however, usually lack a serious consideration of nutritional content and variety. As a result, event attendees may feel discouraged and don’t always choose the more sustainable vegetarian or vegan option.


Dedicated Vegetarian or Vegan Caterers

So what are some practical suggestions to make vegetarian and vegan food at your event more accommodating? Try simply catering from a local vegetarian or vegan caterer in your city.

If your city has a limited selection of dedicated vegetarian or vegan caterers, consider purchasing from a vegetarian or vegan”-friendly” caterer or restaurant. Many caterers and restaurants now have a selection of vegetarian/vegan options on their menus, oftentimes marked with a “V.” If you are considering making a fully vegan purchase, play it safe and ask for the list of ingredients to ensure that animal products, such as milk powder or egg whites are not hidden in the meal. As a general tip, Thai and Indian cuisines usually have a wide selection of veg dishes but don’t let that prevent you from exploring different cuisines.


Some caterers and restaurants do not have an existing vegan option, but customizing your meal is always an option.

If you are planning to dine out at a restaurant for your event, it is important to look for the vegetarian or vegan options on the menu before deciding to go. To play it safe, you can call in beforehand to confirm that the ingredients used are plant-based. While a greater number of people now understand the term “vegan,” making these assumptions may still be confusing to them. The safest option is to politely use the term “vegan” and explain if the term is not familiar to them.


As we recognize the role of food in sustainability, accommodating veg food is a great leap in the right direction.

Stay food-conscious!

5 Items Your Email Sign-Up Form Needs

5 Items Your Email Sign-Up Form Needs

Why do people unsubscribe from your email? While there are a number of possible reasons, many can likely be traced to unmet expectations.

The content doesn’t interest me. They send too much email. The experience was not personalized.

So, how can you align subscriber expectations with your actual email program? Start with your email sign-up form. Set the right expectations here and you’ll avoid complaints and misunderstandings later on. You’ll also lay the groundwork for a relationship with your subscribers based on honesty and respect.



Here are 5 important items to include on your email sign-up form:

1) Email Descriptions

Include brief descriptions of your emails, focusing on what’s in it for subscribers. Do you announce major breakthroughs or new volunteer opportunities via email? Mention it here, along with how often emails are sent.

2) Samples of Past Emails

Allow people to “preview” your messages before subscribing by including links to past emails. This gets the relationship off to a good start by being very transparent about the type of content you send. Diabetes Research Institute’s email sign-up page below is a good example of including both descriptions and links to samples.

3) Links to Email Archives

Links to an email archives section offers potential subscribers access to news they missed. As a bonus, it adds new, search engine-friendly content to your website on a regular basis. Creating web-based versions of your emails doesn’t have to be complicated. It’s often as simple as pasting your email HTML into a web page.

4) Privacy Information

Include how your organization respects the privacy of its email subscribers and the fact that they can opt out at any time.

5) Incentives

If possible, offer an incentive with every email sign-up. Be creative here. For example, perhaps a corporate sponsor could provide a product discount or make a donation up to a certain amount for each email sign-up. Or, you could offer subscribers early-bird registration to a popular event.

While it’s a good place to start, setting expectations doesn’t end at the email sign-up form. Reinforce important information in your subscription confirmation email, offline communications and actual emails.

What tips do you have to reduce opt outs?

How To Plan Seating Arrangements [infographic]

How To Plan Seating Arrangements [infographic]

So you have found the perfect venue for your next event, now you need to start to think about the room layout and in particular the seating style for your audience.

As discussed before, the communication factor on any event is critical.

Whether you are setting up a business presentation, training classroom, hosting a full scale gala dinner or product launch, the arrangement of the seating can make all the difference.

You have invited your audience to communicate a message, so it’s important that your audience is seated in the best way to achieve the maximum impact for your message!

Check the infographic below and follow our tips:

new-infographic (2)

How to Make Your Event Paperwork Paperless

How to Make Your Event Paperwork Paperless

If you’ve ever had to send event paperwork to attendees, you already know the pain that comes along with managing a ton of documents. Papers get lost or misfiled. Attendees forget to complete an important field or don’t write legibly.

Thankfully, modern event organizing technology offers plenty of ways to get event paperwork completed quickly and easily — and makes illegible handwriting a thing of the past.

Here are three simple ways to get your paperwork signed faster and more reliably:

1) No more chaos

There are a couple truths behind successful event organizing: people like to know what to expect, and they like things to be easy.

You can achieve both when you give attendees the early heads-up about event paperwork they’ll need to sign. This sets expectations and onboards attendees to future actions they’ll need to take.

Most importantly, introducing paperwork early on minimizes the day-of-event chaos for both event organizers and attendees. When registrants have the opportunity to receive and sign event paperwork before the event, it cuts down on day-of document chaos.

So when your big day comes, your staff will be able to focus on more pressing tasks, and your attendees can focus on having a great time at your event.


2) Time Saving

eSignatures – like traditional signatures – are a legally-binding way to sign documents online.

Compared to pen and paper signing, eSignatures come with a few extra perks. They’re trackable. They can generate reminders for documents that still need to be signed by attendees. And you usually have the option to automatically store signed copies of documents in one easily-accessible place.

Another bonus of planning an event with online paperwork? You can cut down on the redundancy of formatting paperwork. Online templates make it simple to prep once and then send as many documents as you need. This can be a huge time saver for any event organizer who’s juggling different forms for big events.

3) Make it easy 

Instead of having to print, sign and fax forms, online paperwork allows attendees to sign online in a few clicks. To get the most out of online signing, though, it’s super helpful to think about mobile-friendly signing. After all, more people access the internet on mobile devices than desktops.

Luckily, most people already carry the capability to complete paperwork in their pocket.

Mobile-friendly documents make it easy for attendees to fill out, sign, and complete event paperwork from wherever they are. That way, they can use their phone or tablet to sign as soon as they’re ready—and you can get paperwork filed faster.

Don’t forget about other devices, too. Attendees and event organizers often use tablets for live, in-person signing at events.