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EVENT MANAGEMENT

Like a Wedding, the Magic of a Successful Event is All in the Details

By | EVENT MANAGEMENT | No Comments

Before moving into large corporate events & conferences, I spent over 20 years in the wedding industry, working both with brides & small businesses alike. I learned very quickly that planning a wedding is strikingly similar to the effort & strategy of executing a successful corporate event.

Like a wedding, details matter. Here is what I’ve learned to be the most important (& sometimes the most overlooked!) details:

1. First Impressions are EVERYTHING

One of my favorite authors & friends, Lee Cockerell, says, ” It’s not “magic” that Makes Disney World work, it’s the way we work that makes it magic.” When you think about anything really special in life, especially events, the details are really what make that experience truly magical.

Imagine going to a friend’s home for dinner. Upon arrival, the front lights are on, the front door is propped open, the hosts are waiting to greet you with a big smile. Walking in, the house smells incredible, and you’re offered a fresh drink & some appetizers. All the details have been thought of in advance & executed to make you feel welcome, wanted, special.

Now imagine the same dinner party. The front lights are off, you have to ring the doorbell and wait for the hosts to open the door. They are stressed, and hurry back to the kitchen to finish preparing the food. You stand waiting in the entryway wondering what to do next. How do you feel?  Same event, very different experience, just within the 1st 60 seconds! And from this moment on, the rest of the evening is set for a different course. Even if the dinner was delicious, the way the hosts made you FEEL determines the quality of the experience more so than the quality of the food.

Now take this “1st impression” observation to your event. How are your attendees greeted when they arrive or login virtually? Is it overwhelming & confusing, or is it clear where to go & what to do. Are there warm smiles and helpful employees, or poor signage & no sign of event staff. Take the time to determine how you want your guests to feel before you start planning anything else.

2. Stay on theme (yes, even corporate events should have a theme!)

From the 1st moment your guests hear about the event, to the marketing, the arrival, and the message throughout, there should be a strong theme that your audience can connect with. This doesn’t have to be over the top, like a themed-kids birthday party, but there should be a message or a concept that embodies both the messaging and the visual components.

After determining Step 1 of “how do we want people to feel,” now ask your team “what do we want our audience to walk away with, what will they have learned? What was the core message or purpose of this event?”

3. The weakest link

Every partner you choose to help with your event directly impacts the overall experience of your guests, down to the caterers & the production crew. A beautiful, sophisticated wedding can be instantly tarnished by an inappropriate DJ, or a lazy photographer, or a rude bartender.

Take the time to learn about the people & the core values of the vendors you hire; do they value customer service? Are they willing to go the extra mile for your guests? Sometimes the way a person does a job can be as important as the job itself. Again, who cares if the food is delicious if the experience was terrible?!

4. Always have a Plan B (& C, & D, and sometimes E!!!)

Any bride who has ever planned an outdoor wedding knows you need a Plan B. And if we have learned anything from the past year, it’s that things can change at the drop of a hat! Now more than ever we need to be flexible and learn how to move forward with lots of options, rather than be stunned by indecisiveness.

I used to tell my brides: “If you strive for absolute perfection on your wedding day, and ONE thing goes wrong, you might spend the rest of the night in the bathroom crying! However, if you expect that about 5-10 things may go not-as-planned, and only 3 things go wrong, you will be thrilled!”

Going back to Step 3, make sure your partners & vendors can handle the stress of an event & know how to problem solve on-site. The best in the biz will have back up plans already in place, and will seamlessly execute a solution with the audience never even knowing. 

Happy planning! And, if you have more questions, connect with me today!

Ashley

By Ashley Hawks
Ashley has been in the events industry for over a decade, and knows how to create a truly magnificent event experience. She is most passionate about helping our partners find innovative solutions, and promises to be a dedicated member of your team.

Tips to Build a Successful Hybrid Event

By | EVENT MANAGEMENT, HYBRID EVENTS | No Comments
By Todd Smith

Todd is a Production Manager for EideCom, and in the past 2 years, he has helped create hundreds of successful events. Todd’s previous experience in audio engineering and editing drive his passion to create moments that engage audiences, both in-person and virtually. He is known for his client-centric approach to every situation, and always focuses on creating a meaningful outcome for all. 

 

As the world returns to in-person and hybrid events, it may feel like the events industry is in a completely new landscape – and, well, it is! There’s so much to consider when organizing your event, and making sure your hybrid event is engaging, information, AND in your budget, can be challenging! Plus, with varying sets of state regulations, guidelines, and the tendency for these rules to change quickly, knowing what you can control – and how to make these elements great – is critical to the success of your event. In the past months, I’ve worked with great clients to build some amazing hybrid events, and I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to do this well. So, here are a few of my key takeaways:

1. Be Concise

We all know that attention spans have shorted in the digital age, but it’s worth repeating – be concise in your messaging! The days of 2-3 hour shows are long gone because of Zoom fatigue, and it’s important to stay on track. Finds ways to tell your story in as few words as possible. Get to the point of your conversation, and be sure to include clear takeaways and lessons. Your audience will thank you for it!

2. Consider the Delay

For hybrid events, you are really speaking to two audiences. Think about presenting something different to your at-home audience than to the in-person audience. If you are live-streaming content, keep in mind there is typically about a 1-min delay from when something is said, to when an online attendee actually hears it. Think about this delay creatively, and make sure your presenters are aware of the delay in order to incorporate both audiences effectively.

3. Pre-Record Can Be Your Best Friend

Determine in advance which segments are worth pre-recording, and which ones will be best live. Often, segments that are pre-prerecorded are just as engaging and impactful as live. This consideration allows the presenter multiple takes, ensuring they present the message they want.

4. Hi Mom!

Perhaps the most simple, AND the most effective – say ‘Hi’ to your audience! When your  keynotes/presenters say hello to your virtual audience, it is thoughtful and friendly. It may seem silly, but it’s always nice to be recognized and incorporated!

 

I hope these tips are helpful when you begin to create your next hybrid event. We have worked to produce countless hybrid events, and I am excited by each opportunity. If you have any questions, or want to hear more about our experiences and lessons learned, reach out today and let’s start a conversation!

3 Must-Haves At Your Next Virtual Event

By | EVENT MANAGEMENT | No Comments
By Kyle Arndt 
Kyle has been in the production industry his entire career— over 18 years. Since joining the EideCom team in December 2016, Kyle has taken the lead on managing and producing all of our largest shows with his world-class technical expertise. Kyle is known for his positive approach, keeping his team’s goals at the forefront of every project. 

 

By now, event planners know that virtual and hybrid events are the future of the industry. In fact, a recent analysis from Global View Research found that the virtual event platform market is expected to be valued at $774 billion by 2030. With a calculated annual growth rate of 23.2%, the virtual event space is growing exponentially. That means it’s important you know how to make the most of your next virtual event. They are here to stay, and you don’t want to get left behind. 

So, how can you ensure your next virtual or hybrid event doesn’t fall flat? Check out these three must-haves that will make your event shine.

1. Use a Teleprompter

All of your presenters need to use a teleprompter. While often overlooked, this feature is not to be underestimated— it will transform your virtual or hybrid event from something impersonal to something intimate. Just because  your audience isn’t in the room anymore, doesn’t mean they’re any less real. If your presenter isn’t looking at the audience, you can kiss their engagement goodbye! Teleprompters guarantee a human experience, even online.

2. Create Network Redundancy

Create network redundancy to ensure a strong connection. Network redundancy is the process of creating multiple pathways for the virtual event to travel to your audience. Your audience is all over the world, and keeping them online is crucial to your event’s success. Think of your virtual event like a chain of events: from assembly to production, every link is important. Make sure to have a backup plan, so if one link goes down, your event can still run smoothly. 

3. Generate Audience Engagement

Everybody loves a story —  so make sure your virtual event tells one. Whether it be prizes, a treasure hunt, or a twist ending, you want to incentivize your attendees to pay attention and stay until the very end. Many virtual events won’t commit to the entire arc of their event, treating each presentation as an individual moment. Use your event to create intrigue – and captivate your audience from start to finish. When you tell a story with your event, you guarantee your audience stays on the edge of their seats. 

 

Want to learn more about taking your virtual or hybrid event to the next level? Connect with us now