Tag: location

How Destinations Can Improve Fam Trips

How Destinations Can Improve Fam Trips

Fam trips are of educational nature to give planners ideas, inspiration and networking opportunities with local suppliers.

Fam trips, or familiarisation trips, are designed for event planners to get acquainted with a destination. They are often organised by the Convention Bureau, hotel (or hotel chains) and other local suppliers. Organisers invite top decision makers to experience the best of what the destination has to offer.

Fam trips are exciting and fun! Destinations will go the extra mile to give you a lifetime experience. They will show you all the secret gems and be attentive to all your needs. You’ll often stay in luxury hotels or get the suite or best view. Most importantly, everything is organised for you and you just have to be there and can relax. This is one of the job perks.


Keep first day “light” for attendees


On the first day attendees are coming from different destinations, some have short, others long journeys to the airport of origin. Depending on the flight duration they can arrive exhausted. Often fam trip organisers plan a very packed programme on the first day but attendees can be exhausted to fully enjoy it. I recommend keeping the first day light, with a relaxed evening programme so we can have a good night sleep and save the energy for second day. Alternately offer your attendees an extra night the day before.


Facilitate attendee networking


On the first day when everyone arrives, most probably we are strangers to each other. Try to facilitate introductions, make an ice breaker or name badges including name, company and maybe a flag of the country of origin. Usually during the fam trip we find ourselves chatting on the bus, between the venue tours, at the table and introducing ourselves to each other. But would be better if the host plays a bigger role in facilitating networking.


Too much food


We appreciate the fantastic hospitality, but sometimes there is too much food. Starting with breakfast at the hotel, continues with splendid buffet lunches, coffee breaks, desserts, afternoon snacks and three course dinners can be too much. And because we also talk about sustainability, last thing we want is to waste food.

Invest in the invitation

If you want to attract decision makers, you must think creatively to prove it’s worth their time. The invitation is the first impression you give them if you cold call or even inviting an existing client, because they get many invitation so yours must stand out.


How is your experience with fam trips? How often do you go and what are the challenges you encounter?

6 Ways to refresh your annual conference

6 Ways to refresh your annual conference

An annual conference provides the unique opportunity to bond relationships between peers, clients, investors, vendors, and prospective business partners.

It creates a stage where people can come together and reflect on exceptional accomplishments as well as opportunities missed throughout the year, creating a reflective and honest environment.

This atmosphere can act as the perfect catalyst for supercharging your whole company and motivating members to move forward together towards a common objective.

Your annual conference can prove to be productive time well spent if your audience is engaged and people are poised to collaborate. Here are some ways to breathe life into your annual conference:

Change the scenery

Create anticipation for your meeting even before attendees step foot inside the door.

Host your annual conference in a different location from where you do business to give a feeling of a fresh start and unlimited possibilities. For example, if your office setting is typically in an urban industrial area, try hosting your conference at a forested retreat surrounded by wildlife and natural habitat.

A change in scenery can completely alter the way attendees approach issues and transform perceptions.

Plan some functional free time

Try balancing out a lecture-heavy agenda by adding other non-traditional activities to the mix.

Building excursions, recreation opportunities and friendly competitions into the schedule provides an outlet for creative thinking, thus giving attendees the chance to regroup and fully engage during traditional work sessions.

Sample activities can be as simple as furnishing a bike for each attendee to explore a nearby trail system, or simply providing interactive maps for attendees to discover must-see places throughout the host city.


Get to know your peers

With so many great minds in one place, try to make it easier for people to reach out to one another and start meaningful conversations. Ask attendees to fill out a “nametag” that includes not only a name but also lists the one accomplishment he or she is most proud of for the year, or a question he or she is hoping to have answered by the end of the conference.

This is a great way to get individuals interacting to share similar accomplishments and goals.

Break from the classic break

Sitting stationary for long periods of time is not good for the mind or the body.

Intermittent breaks allow attendees to move around and shake off stiff limbs, clear heads, and seek refuge after a morning filled with strong coffee and bran muffins. Take coveted break time to a whole new level by inviting in special relaxation and movement experts to help loosen the tension.

A few easy yoga moves in the fresh air will get people bending and stretching to increase blood flow and brain function, while a visiting chair massage specialist can ease the aches of sitting all day and give attendees a chance to temporarily zone out so they are less likely to do so in the middle of the session.

Interactive food fare

Food relaxes the atmosphere and helps sustain positive energy levels throughout a conference. Instead of opting for the regular ol’ soda and sandwiches theme, change it up a bit for a new spin on snacking.

Rather than one generic buffet, offer diverse lunch stations with different types of cuisine available in each area. There can be an Italian-themed create-your-own-pasta station, a sushi rolling area, or a station offering food distinct to the area in which you are hosting your conference.

Change the furniture

At one time, banquet chairs in meeting rooms were replaced by ergonomic seating. Now ergonomic seating is being replaced by bean bag chairs, overstuffed couches and “living room” areas where groups can meet and talk in a less formal and more comfortable venue.

Whether it’s incorporating aromas to energize the room, or requesting fitness balls and free weights for breaks at association events, the smallest ideas can breathe life into your traditional conference.

Utilize some of these tricks during your next conference for a brand-new approach to the old way of doing business. They will help foster great ideas to propel your business into the future.

How To Use Lighting At Your Event

How To Use Lighting At Your Event

Lighting can make or break your event experience. If the lights are too bright your event may seem stark and cold. If your lights are too dark guests may miss important elements of your event and design. Well placed lights can create ambience at your event. Great lighting will allow you to get more impact from other items such as floral arrangements and other decor. You can also use lighting to direct your guests attention to events going on within your event, or to grab their attention.


Uplighting At Your Event


Uplighting is a great way to create an atmosphere at your event. Rooms can look bland if you do not use perimeter lighting. This is especially important for a simple more basic venue such as an empty ballroom, gallery, or conference center which can tend to be bland if you do not add in lighting and color. These venues do not have a lot of character to begin with you will need to build ambience with more lighting and decor. It’s a great way to tie in a color that goes with your theme and create a wow factor upon guests entering the room.  

Using Gobo’s  


Gobo’s are a great way to add an element of design and depth to your event. Simply stated a gobo is a beam of light with a metal stencil over it that creates a pattern. Gobos can project any design or pattern including abstract shapes, patterns, pictures, and company logos. You can project gobos onto ceilings, floors, and walls, they are a great way to add visual interest.

While gobos are great for transforming your event by giving it a dynamic atmosphere and feel, they can be used to promote your brand. Seeing your brands logo in bright crisp lighting will create a visual impact that surely will not go unnoticed.

Gobos can go almost anywhere and are highly flexible,  work perfectly with many types of events from conventions, to galas and even weddings. Below is a photo from a corporate event we did where we projected their logo onto a venue wall.


Create A Light Show


A light show is a really fun way to grab your guests attention. Light shows are often combined with the first two lighting techniques. However, unlike the first two lighting options these lights will be constantly moving and flashing because a lighting engineer designs a custom show specifically for your event.

Lighting shows are often used at corporate events before an awards ceremony or speeches to quite the crowd and build excitement for the main event. We also use them to create an amazing dance vibe at galas and high energy concerts. Light shows make a very memorable experience and keep the energy high at events!


Highlight Design with Pin Lighting



Pin lighting is an excellent way to direct attention to certain parts of your event. Using a spotlight creates a dramatic effect that can transform centerpieces, decor elements and table settings into incredible pieces of art. Not only do pin lights add drama to your event lighting, but they also provide separation that is often needed between dark table linens and centerpieces allowing the centerpieces to pop and stand out. Pin lighting will make your event design a more dynamic visual experience.

How Event Planners Can Choose An Innovative Event Venue

How Event Planners Can Choose An Innovative Event Venue

An event venue can make or break the look and feel of an event.

While hotel conference centers are easily accessible, they often don’t feel innovative, and they are often expensive unless reserved well in advance.

This article is designed to help event planners identify venues that will inspire event attendees, without breaking the bank.

1) The Innovative Theme


It’s great that you are hoping to provide attendees with a space that inspires innovative thinking. But in order to narrow your search of venues, you should first try to determine what type of feel you are trying to create.

Often this will simply be based on the kind of event you’re planning. A launch event should feel different from an off-site meeting of a Fortune 500 company. Work with key stakeholders to try to identify what they are hoping to achieve with the event.

2) Time & Place


Just like the cost of a hotel room or the price of a plane ticket, event venues will vary in expense depending on when you try to book. The same venue could be had for below market rate if you decide to plan an event during an off-hour.

Of course off-hours will vary depending on location, so it’s important that you think about ways in which you might be able to find an event venue for a bit less by choosing to host the event in a location that is not in demand, or at least not in demand during your event.

If you’re planning an event on a low budget, try to think of a location that won’t be in-demand when you want to host your event, often venue managers will be much more willing to negotiate if you are interested in using the space when it would otherwise go un-used.

3) Mixed Use Venues


Airbnb and Home Away are two popular examples of how mixed use spaces can transform perspectives. Staying in a private apartment rather than a hotel room can provide travelers with a unique perspective.

Similarly, event attendees can find inspiration when going to events hosted in spaces that are outside of the norm. Consider hosting an event in an artist’s studio, a public space, an art gallery, or some other mixed use space that can still provide the logistical support you need.

By choosing to host your event in a mixed use space, you’ll likely save money in comparison to booking a traditional event venue, while also providing attendees with a unique experience.

4) Go Green


Sustainability is a trend that has already permeated the hospitality industry, and it will soon have an impact on the events industry as well. One excellent way to expose event attendees to innovative spaces is by presenting them with a venue that features innovative design in order to overcome environmental challenges.


Searching for and selecting innovative spaces might seem challenging. Finding an affordable space is hard enough afterall.

The famous innovator and leader, Steve Jobs, famously obsessed over the construction of a new headquarters for his company, Pixar. He wanted to build an innovative space that had the ability to encourage people to feel inspired and to collaborate. The result was a revolutionary building the encouraged employees to meet and solve problems.

The example of Steve Jobs highlight how a space can impact people, as an event organizer, your goal should be to find a venue that positively impacts attendees by inspiring them to solve problems together.

What makes a good conference venue?

What makes a good conference venue?

The choice of venue will clearly depend on the kind of event you are hosting, but there are certain variables that are always considered before a decision is made.
Establishing the size of the conference will be the starting point when choosing a venue. The size and accompanying needs of different conferences need to be dealt with in a bespoke manner.
Another key variable for a good conference venue is location: a venue that can cater for an international as well as national and regional audience is becoming a key priority for some organisers.
A conference venue that is easily accessible and in a prime location can often be a deciding factor, so good transport links are a necessity.
To add to this, a venue needs to set the right tone for a conference to ensure that delegates leave with the right impression about the host.
An extra component that it is becoming increasingly essential for a good conference venue is technology.
With the rise of the mobile workforce and the need to stay connected while on the move, the technology requirements for events and meetings have evolved.
Video conferencing facilities and social media packages will most likely become a pre-requisite for organisers looking to extend the reach of their event to a wider audience.
Coupled with this, robust WiFi throughout the venue can bolster this kind of offering.
While each of these factors holds significant standalone importance, feedback from our own customers suggests that what really makes a difference is the service they receive from the moment of enquiry to the post–event follow up.
In this fast-paced business environment, venues need to be able to provide for the extensive needs of organisers.
Terrazza Savelli(1)
By working in collaboration with the client at every stage, venues can match and exceed expectations down to every last detail, whether this be by creating a unique menu that matches dietary requirements; correct room specifications or a team of specialists to help with AV equipment.
To add to this, a good conference venue will be flexible when it comes to service and transparent when it comes to price. A friendly team adds immense value to a venue as does a dedicated event manager who is aware of all that is required.
Coupled with this, the reassurance that there will not be any hidden costs when it comes to making that final payment is key.
How location influences the success of your event

How location influences the success of your event

The first dilemma that presents itself to potential event organizer is the choice of location. While choosing the right place doesn’t ensure the event success, it is also true that the best organization in the world will fail to ensure a good result if the location is hopelessly wrong.

The right place at the right time



First of all, you must first know your audience.
We turn to the shareholders of a company or university students in the city? It is reasonable to think that our audience will move by car or we have to take into account the links between our location and the main public transport? If we choose a beautiful location in the middle of nowhere, we would then be included in a budget bus / shuttle service to allow participants to get to the venue? And if the location did not include its own catering service, as we will organize supplies for refreshments?

We have not even confirmed the first choice, but already we envisage a number of options that are likely to have a profound impact on our budget.

In principle, any location whether it locates outside the city centers involves an increase in costs and is probably best suited for a high-profile event and with a large budget.
By contrast, a converted industrial building just steps from the subway station will be much more suitable for an exhibition of young independent artists than a sixteenth century villa lost in the hills.

Size matters


The second element to consider is the size. If you schedule an event with entrance fee is the key word: “pessimism.”
You have to apply a simple arithmetic: the division by two. If we plan to charge an entrance fee for our event, probably our budget must be balanced against a profit forecast. That prediction gain must always be divided in half. We expect to attract an audience of 1000 people? We calculate the costs in order to cover with 500 entries and then choose a place that has the potential to accommodate 1000 people, but it may seem full even with half.

Magic? No, decor. Many rooms offer the possibility of different settings, with the addition or removal of panels, movable walls, tables, seating and room dividers.

A good strategy, if we are not sure to be able to correctly predict the influx, has set up the local minimum of its capacity and then delete items (such as sofas and tables) in case you need a larger space.

Cool vs Uncool



What it brings with it the end of an event is, first of all, the atmosphere. The memory of the feelings will remain for a long time, more than menu and even the theme of the evening. Location is a valuable ally in the creation of the atmosphere, but to exploit the full potential must have a thorough knowledge of the area.

The beauty and practicality of the structure are important, but the way in which the structure is perceived is even more.

In selecting the location for your event, it is essential to apply these same knowledge or rely on someone who can give it. That our keywords are “luxury, glamour and elegance” or “avant- garde, minimalism and counterculture”, it is essential that the site that will host our event is in keeping with the spirit of the initiative.

If we got this far, it means that we have successfully avoided the pitfalls of the first choice and on the right track.

Now we just have to organize our event.