The Importance of Entertainment at a Corporate Event

Reasons Why Live Entertainment Is Important at Any Corporate Event

If you are planning a corporate event, you definitely would want to get the most out of it. To make the event successful, you make sure that all the major things including the venue, decoration, and food are par excellence.

However, one of the most easily neglected aspects of any corporate event is entertainment. The planners easily over-look this significant feature of any event.

That’s why we share with you some major reasons why hiring live entertainment can determine the success of your corporate event.


  • Cheers up the Guests


The corporate events can become very boring at times. The constant serious talk related to business can wear out people quite easily. Thus, what is needed to enliven their spirits is good entertainment. It is also important that you hire entertainment that goes along with the likes and interests of your audience.

Live entertainment can help the guests to have fun and be relaxed. It could also be a nice way to engage better with others, getting the opportunity to talk about other light and fun topics.  

The energy of the event elevates the mood of the guests, making them feel more positive. This way they will go back home with a smile on their faces.  


  • Reflects Your Values and Vision


You might not know but live entertainment at your corporate event can be a way to showcase the visionary ideas that your company upholds. It means that you can use entertainment to help your guests understand the motive of your event.  

The entertainment that is according to the purpose of the event helps to run the event more smoothly and naturally. Your guests will easily understand the message you are trying to convey, and that too through music. Hence, it is vital to choose the right kind of entertainment for your event.


  • Makes the Event Memorable


Do not underestimate the power of live entertainment. Good music or funny stage performance can make your event stick out in the minds of guests forever.

People never forget the things that successfully make them happy. Keeping that in mind, if the live entertainment at your corporate event is able to bring joy to people, your event will be totally a hit.

Trust us, people will definitely talk about it afterwards. Surely they will also look forward attending your next corporate event.


  • Enhances the Morale of the Co-Workers


A popular live entertainment can give your co-workers a chance to boost their energy. All year long they work hard which can drain out their energy. Thus, a lively entertainment can give your co-workers a reason to stay at the company.

When planning entertainment you can also set the space for dancing which can be a light-hearted fun for everyone.

Do you know that Venues of North Scottsdale can book you the industry’s greatest performing artists for your corporate event? So, book them now if you want a flawless entertainment for your next corporate event.


19 Things That Thrill Event Planners

19 Things That Thrill Event Planners.

As an event planner there are a number of simple things that get us over excited. Here are 19 things which are irresistible to event professionals, but which others outside the industry may not understand or appreciate.

Sometimes the simplest of things can evoke disproportionate joy. Many of these items are inexpensive, and common place but to a professional event planner they can mean or be worth so much more. Here are some of the things guaranteed to make me happy (and I don’t think I am alone!).

Whether you like paper or electronic lists this is often an essential part of an event planners daily life. Obsession, necessity or comfort, the real thrill however really comes from crossing (or striking or ticking or swiping) items from your list.



Post It Notes

So simple, and so effective, how can these little blocks of fluorescent paper fail to bring cheer? Whether you are using them to take telephone messages, brainstorm your meeting design or as part of an event workshop session they add brightness to every situation.

Knowing You’ve Nailed It

The biggest (and most addictive) thrill for any event planner is witnessing people having a good time or benefitting because of something you have created. Looking around and seeing this first hand is a great feeling and hard to beat.

Fitness Trackers


fitness-trackersOn site visits, walk throughs and event days you will smash your step count. There is nothing like being top of the leader board and boasting a crazy amount of steps to make you feel smug! Of course on those days that you work from home and don’t leave the house it is the opposite story, but let’s not mention that.


Whether you are using them to replace your ring binder, as a check in device. Or to moderate social media or audience responses. Tablets have quickly became an essential touchscreen toy for every modern event professional. Tablets are particularly thrilling for those that remember a time before the invention. Which gives a deeper appreciation of the mighty tablet device.


Why You Need to Break Your Event Assumptions

Why You Need to Break Your Event Assumptions. As a professional speaker, I have the opportunity to attend a lot of events and conferences. While they all differ in scale, audience,  locations, and cultures, they almost all share certain elements.

For example, the flow is the same at most events. Attendees arrive at  a certain hour, register at the welcome desk, get a name badge, and get a coffee before gathering in a large room for the keynote presentation. That’s usually followed by some extra plenary presentations or workshop sessions, then lunch, and then more workshops in the afternoon. At the end of the day, attendees gather again for the closing keynote. The organizer expresses some words of thanks and invites everybody to have a drink and network.

There’s nothing wrong with this flow, but there may be other ways to organize the event that could have a huge impact on the attendee experience.

What other assumptions do we hold about our events? One way to find out what things we accept as true or necessary—but that may not be either—is to look at what events have in common. It’s likely that 90 percent start and end at the same time and feature keynote speakers, for example.

Then see if you can find an event that did that element differently. I have found 21 common event assumptions, and some ways to break them.

Here are a few examples:

by in face2face

9 Fun Facts About 9 Greater Phoenix Area Resorts

9 Fun Facts About 9 Greater Phoenix Area Resorts. When Visit Phoenix takes you on a tour of resorts, they really take you on a tour of resorts. Earlier this month, I visited nine properties in Phoenix, Scottsdale and Chandler, Ariz., in less than 48 hours. It was a bit of a whirlwind, but it was also a fantastic opportunity to learn about one of the prime meeting destinations in the United States and all the posh options for groups. In some ways, the resorts began to blend together by the end of the trip, but they all had their unique little quirks that set them apart. Here are just a few of the fascinating factoids I learned at each location.

Arizona Biltmore, a Waldorf Astoria Resort, Phoenix

The piano in the historic resort’s Wright Bar has had more than its share of famous hands on its ivories—including the Piano Man himself, Billy Joel. Even more impressive: Legend has it that several guests once called the front desk to complain about the noise from a late-night singing session. Upon investigation, it turned out that the noisy hooligans were none other than Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr. and Liza Minnelli.

Fairmont Scottsdale Princess


Why don’t more outdoor bars have putting greens? Or rather, why don’t all outdoor bars have putting greens? The site of a three-day Smart Meeting in September, this AAA Five Diamond property also just began a renovation of its golf course, which plays host each year to The Waste Management Phoenix Open on the PGA Tour.

Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa


Seven nights a week, you can hear live music among the fountains and fireplaces of the Center Stage Bar—and not just the usual background, easy-listening, hotel-bar piano music (not that there’s anything wrong with that). The current lineup includes bands experimenting in such genres as “edgy folk” and “urban acoustic.”

JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa


Like many hotels, the resort has its own herb garden, but it’s actually more like a 1.5-acre farm growing kale, strawberries, tomatoes, rosemary, mint, beets, artichokes, Brussels sprouts, onions, peppers, kumquats and a veritable dill forest.

The Phoenician, Scottsdale


Every Friday and Saturday at sunset, this Luxury Collection hotel goes to the birds. The AAA Five Diamond property’s master falconer brings out some of the resort’s winged residents for a birds-of-prey show. Afterward, guests can ask questions and pose for pictures with the show’s stars, including Millennium Falcon, pictured above.

Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort, Phoenix


Perched high on North Mountain, the resort’s Different Pointe of View restaurant offers one of the best views of the valley. A new painting program takes advantage of the panorama, led by a local artist who helps guests create desert landscapes. The hotel is beginning to sell the experience as an option for groups.

Royal Palms Resort and Spa, Phoenix


This 119-room boutique property offers a relatively tranquil. Secluded alternative to the other resorts on this list, all of which are at least four times as large. Adding to the mansion’s quaintness: A pair of real, live palm trees that grow right through the ceiling of the property’s restaurant, T. Cook’s.

Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa, Chandler


The resort is owned by the Gila River Indian Community. And two members of the tribe built an olaski,the traditional dwelling of the Pima people, behind the property’s Aji Spa. These days, such structures are built only for ceremonial purposes, and this poolside hut is used for meditation sessions.

The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa, Phoenix


Launched in October, the hotel’s Scotch Library program is believed to be the largest collection of Scotch whiskey. With more than 130 labels. It includes a 50-year-old bottle of Glenfiddich that retails for $27,000. But guests can buy a 2-ounce pour for just $1,800. The hotel has “Scotch ambassadors” on hand to guide guests through the extensive options. And it offers special tasting events on Friday evenings.

—Bill Chapin

In Conclusion here is more on the resorts of Greater Phoenix:

10 Things Productive #EventProfs Do Every Day

10 Things Productive #EventProfs Do Every Day. Productivity and event planning go hand in hand. Successful event planners are very productive. Here are 10 habits of productive event planners you can steal to kick off your week.

Productivity for event planners
Corporate events are ever more drawn to unique sites that offer both privacy and maximum personalization. Including an event experience in a memorable locale guarantees long lasting positive association to your program.

I haven’t met a single event professional who is not very organised and effective at getting things done. Stories from the trenches range from those who developed their own excel templates to superbly crafted email auto-responders.

The level of practicality needed to get very complex tasks done in a super short amount of time is inherent to our profession. Being productive and efficient helps to relief stress and do more, quicker.

Researching the web for scientifically proven ways to boost productivity, I pretty much encountered the same tips. This is because no matter how different jobs can be, the human brain works in the same way.

So what things do successful event professionals do every day that ultimately boost their productivity? Here they are!

They Prepare Their To Do List The Night Before

Productivity todo
There is nothing more exciting than being whisked away to a private venue… until you walk through the entrance and see how impactful a meticulously crafted event can be!

Do you know what are you going to do tomorrow? No? Read on then.

In the book, Extreme Productivity: Boost Your Results, Reduce Your Hours, author Robert Pozen explains how writing down our to do’s the night before helps us to keep them realistic and achievable.

I would add that it also helps us to keep us focused on what is really needed without being carried away by incoming emails.

They Never Check Emails When They Wake Up


Productivity eventsChecking email continuously is an addiction. It gives the same satisfaction of pulling the handle of a slot machine. That feeling of satisfaction to have positive news or that frustration to read a negative response belong to the same addiction of continuously ‘pulling down to refresh’.

In her book, Never Check E-Mail In the Morning: And Other Unexpected Strategies for Making Your Work Life Work, author Julie Morgenstern stresses how checking emails first thing in the morning will mess with your ability to be organised. Emails will control you and your to do list, completely shattering any prep you did the night before.

Dedicating a particular time(s) of the day to check emails and setting up auto responders will help regain control of your priorities.

I must admit I suck at email management so I will be the first one taking Julie’s advice.

They Exercise


Excercise for eventprofsThere is an incredible amount of literature supporting the positive impact of exercise on productivity and in general on our brain. Speaking of which, in his hugely popular book Brainrules, John Medina sums up how exercising makes our brain more effective. This is well summed up here.

If you want more tips about being healthy and improve your event planning lifestyle, check this post out.

They Work in Chunks


Work in blocksVery productive event professionals know that having only objectives does not help anyone. Mission statements and SMART objectives are great, but you have to break it down to details if you want to be great at execution.

Big tasks are very negative for productivity. They suck all of your energy, they feel insurmountable and in result make you unproductive.

We discussed the Pomodoro Technique before and how breaking down big tasks in chunks helps to get more stuff done, faster. So go for it!

They Know Why They Do What They Do


WhyIf you don’t know why you are doing something, it is highly likely you will be unsuccessful at it.

Strong motivation is linked to productivity and success. Finding motivation is inherent to your work choice. With event planning being the 5th most stressing job out there, you have to live and breath motivation to see your events take shape.

They Get Enough Sleep


Productivity sleepThe life of an event planner is filled with late nights and early mornings but are you sure this sleep deprivation is helping? Or is it just part of the stressed event planner archetype we can so do without.

Don’t you agree? No? Well in that case science says that the longer you are awake, the less you are productive. And you have to agree with science.

They Live by Deadlines


Deadlines in event planningI am always amazed by how some people do not respect deadlines. On the other hand, I always notice that those who impose deadlines and respect them are the ones who are extremely successful at what they do.

A recent study also showed that imposing strict deadlines kills procrastination. Giving yourself limits is essential to feel that pressure that makes you preforms.

If you have no deadlines, you have no event.

They Never Multitask


MultitaskingI am not sure who put out the word that multitasking is good for productivity. Probably the fact that the word entails ‘more than one task’ makes it look good in the eye of the unproductive event planner. Yet quantity is not quality.

Research definitely smashes multitasking. Successful event planners break down tasks in chunks and perform them one at a time.

They Have a Creative Routine


Creativity event plannesAnyone with kids would know how routines are important to grow and improve your children. However not all routines were created equal. Jocelyn Glei, editor of 99U (birthplace of the amazing conference) collected tips for a creative routine shared by great minds of our times in a book.

Having a routine will highly differentiate the output from not having one.

They Know How to Say No


Learn to say noProductive event professionals are not afraid to say no. They know what the concept of opportunity cost means. Tons of coffees and meetings are useful only if there is an agenda and and an objective. So you have to learn to politely decline.

Productivity guru Darren Hardy explains how your time is the most precious resource you have and learning to say no protects it.

In Conclusion

I hope these 10 quick tips will help you being more productive. Even picking one up will make a huge difference.

So while I work on my email management fiasco, let me know what you will be improving!

20 Things Venues Say and What They Really Mean

20 Things Venues Say and What They Really Mean. Working with a variety of different venues can be an exciting part of your event planning career but what do venues really mean when they say some of these things?

We know that event planners can drive venues crazy and venues can drive eventprofs equally up the wall. Sometimes it might seem like we speak different languages. Here are a few comments you might hear from your venue and how you can get to the bottom of what they are really trying to tell you!

  1.   Our WiFi is a bit spotty…

… Don’t rely on our WiFi because it will fail. Guaranteed.

Check out the WiFi capability during your site visit. Be sure to ask questions about their capacity and even test the bandwidth. Find alternative options, or perhaps book another venue if it seems like this will pose an issue for your group. Find a venue that understands how important WiFi is to your event and attendees.

  1.     We have a list of preferred vendors…

… and you may pay a premium to bring in someone else not on our list.

If you have a vendor in mind that you always work with or that you trust and prefer, be sure to ask your venue about any restrictions to bring them in. Some venues require that you use certain vendors such as specific accredited caterers or AV companies. Sometimes they will charge extra for vendors outside of their preferred list or not allow them on site at all.

  1.     We have upcoming construction scheduled, but it won’t impact your event…

…Unless it is delayed of course.  


venue-3If you have ever seen any type of construction or renovations you know that they very rarely finish on time. Be sure to discuss any potential renovations or changes to the venue that might impact on your event. If the timeline seems too tight you may want to explore some other locations to host your event to be on the safe side.

  1.     We are happy to accommodate your requests…

… but we might charge you extra for it.

Be sure to ask about any hidden fees that may be incurred for additional services. On occasion a venue may offer complementary services that come at no charge, but you should be sure to confirm in advance and avoid any hidden surprises in the final bill.

  1.     We need to move your group to another space…

… and it might be less desireable that your original location.


venue-5With large scale events you should not be running into this issue, but on occasion with smaller meetings or events you may be asked to move from one space to another. This might happen because of an error such as a double booking, the venue prioritizing a more lucrative contract over yours or perhaps some type of problem such as improvement works being required. When this arises be sure to ask the venue about your options and why you are being requested to move. Sometimes the new space might be an upgrade, but if you feel like you are getting the short end of the deal ask for this to be reflected on your final bill.

  1.     We offer complimentary services…

… but you might need to ask or negotiate harder before they are offered.

Your venue may offer added benefits such as transportation services, coloured linens, funky furniture, in-house AV and much more. If you don’t ask you never know. Be sure to communicate all of your needs, ideally before contracts are signed, and see if the venue can offer to fulfill any of them for free.

  1. We offer all the latest and greatest in-house technology…

… but don’t ask me how it works.


venue-7Make sure you do a trial run on any AV equipment you plan on using. Often times there are only certain staff members at a venue who know how the technology works. Make sure these people are available during your event (ideally), or prior to the start so they can show you and your team how to use it.

  1.     We can offer lots of rooms for your breakout sessions…

…. but some of them might be a long walk from your main space.


venues-8A venue may have plenty of space to offer, but it could be spread out throughout the facility. This might mean long walks for your attendees and increased signage to ensure no one gets lost. Sometimes the rooms are even on different levels with limited lift capacity. Ask questions about where your group will be and actually walk the route between rooms prior to signing the contract if you can.

  1.     We can provide transportation…

… but it probably won’t fit the exact needs of your event.

Certain venues may have complimentary transportation, but these services are often very limited. They may only service a specific area, or they may only run during certains times. If you plan to take advantage of this option, be sure to confirm all of the details in advance and read the small print.

  1.  We offer a variety of menu selections…

… and there might be room to negotiate on pricing to meet the needs of your group.

Most venues can find a way to accommodate the needs of your group when it comes to menu selection. Even if the item you would like isn’t on the menu, you should ask about having it as an option. You should also have some room for negotiation in pricing depending on your food and beverage choices. Many menu items can be adjusted to fit within your available budget.

  1. We have other events taking place on that date…

… and some of them might interfere or overlap with your event space.


venue-11Many venues have the ability to host more than one event at a given time. Because of this, you should check out the other spaces to have an idea of where the guests of other events may overlap with your group. If everyone is gathering in one lobby prior to the event and both bookings begin around the same time, it could cause major confusion.

  1.  Early access is no problem…

… but if you haven’t specifically requested it before contracting we will of course charge you $250 per hour.

Make sure you ask about everything you might need before you sign your contract. Even something such as early access, that would seem like it should be complimentary and expected, can bring a hefty fee if it hasn’t been discussed in advance.

  1.  We accept credit and debit cards…

… but we will charge you a service fee for processing, so you might want to pay another way.

You may want to pay by card, but some venues will charge you a service fee to use a card for payment. Ask about this ahead of time and if so, you may want to considering cutting a check or making a bank transfer.

  1.  We require a specific dress code…

… so be sure to ask about this and inform your guests, otherwise they could be turned away at the door.


venue-14While most venues will let you decide the dress code for your event, some exclusive and prestigious establishments like private member clubs, country clubs, golf clubs or higher-end venues may have a dress code policy that you should be aware of. Inform your guests well in advance in order to give them time to prepare and to ensure that no one is embarrassed by wearing the wrong attire.

  1.  We thought this room layout would be a better fit for your group…

… it was easier and quicker for us to turn the room around in this way so we ignored your set up instructions.

Most venues will have knowledgeable staff members to advise you regarding the logistics, set up and layout for every room that can be very beneficial. However, if you have specified and agreed instructions in advance and your requests have been ignored then be sure to speak your mind about your preferences. Sometimes busy venue staff might do things to make their job easier but don’t be afraid to push back and ensure that they organize the room in the fashion that works best for you.

  1.  I will be your main contact at the venue…

… but I may not be available on event day when you need me most.

Venues can have a variety of staff members, some that work in the sales office and others that are actually present for your event. Just because you work with someone early on in your planning process, doesn’t meant that they will be available during your event. Obtain clarification on this prior to event day and determine who and how you should contact if you need something during your event.

  1. We no longer offer that…

… we changed our mind about that so unless it is written in your contract the answer is “no”.

Venues have the ability to change their policies or offerings at any time. As we tend to plan events many months in advance, changes can happen between the time you book and the date of your event. Be sure to get all of the important details written down and review all of your needs in the weeks leading up to the big day. Even if a venue makes changes to their policies, if you have it in writing you can be sure they will honor your request.

  1. We have a backup option for any inclement weather…

… but it doesn’t offer the same “wow” factor and may not work for your specific event.

Most venues with outdoor space will also offer a backup option for rain or inclement weather. Be sure to ask about what this will look like in order to know if it will fit with your event. Ask if they have photos of what the setup looks like or explore the indoor room options during your site visit.

  1. We will have everything ready and set up…

… but you may need to arrive early and remind the staff.

Even though you take the time to plan your needs and timings on your BEO, the staff setting up your event may not always have things set exactly the way you’d like. Set time aside to arrive early and review everything with the venue staff, including going through all timings, special instructions, final numbers, the menu and any small but important details you don’t want to be overlooked. This will help you to feel prepared and avoid feeling rushed while your guests are arriving.

  1.  We look forward to hosting you for future events…

… we might give you a deal if you book another event soon.

If your event goes well and you build a good relationship with your venue, they will most certainly be happy to host you again in the future. Use the time soon after your event to negotiate any deals for future events. Many venues will honor the current rates if you book early.

In Conclusion

Building quality relationships with venues and vendors is an important part of growing your business and career. Finding a way to read between the lines and plan ahead for what you can expect to hear from your venues will help to keep your events running smoothly. Lookout for the statements above at your next event, because now you will be prepared to interpret what they are really trying to say and ask the right questions!

About The Author


Kelli White

Kelli White has 10 years experience in event management, creative marketing, volunteer coordination and non-profit fundraising. You can follow her at @kellimwhite.


The Hottest Trend: Industrial-Style Spaces

Industrial-style spaces are one of this year’s biggest trends in the events industry. These edgy venues make a bold statement and bring guests together in new and exciting ways. Exposed brickwork, steel beams and original fixtures (complete with peeling paint) make an authentic backdrop for a thoroughly urban affair. In this article, we take a look at the top

Source: The Hottest Trend: Industrial-Style Spaces

Consistent with its name, Venues of North Scottsdale provides an impressive venue portfolio. Which includes several airport hangars of varying sizes and amenities such as luxury club lounges, a full view chef’s kitchen, an outdoor pool, a second story deck facing the runway. And even private function space directly on the airport tarmac. Boasting ceilings up to and over 30 feet with exposed rafters and hangar bay doors that open to the airport tarmac. The airport hangars in Scottsdale and Mesa Gateway Airports lend opportunity to event planners to create a fully customized and unique atmosphere. Unlike any ballroom could provide. Planners can also incorporate the residential airplanes into their décor or arrange for a VIP entrance from an arriving helicopter to provide added impact.
It is not all about planes, though. Venues of North Scottsdale also offers a privately owned, 30 acre, Andalusian equestrian ranch. This also includes a 30,000 square foot covered function space. Alongside the stables, outdoor lawns, and pre-function areas for hosting events amongst the backdrop of the beautiful Sonoran desert. Every space is unique in its size, flooring, height, location and amenities; therefore, customization is the focus of the venue selection and planning process.
Hence Venues of North Scottsdale’s company culture is as unique as the venues they offer. From first contact, its team members work closely with stakeholders to visualize custom event designs. Followed by a highly collaborative approach through every phase of pre-production. Leading up to and through show day. Venues of North Scottsdale provides absolutely everything. From audiovisual services, helicopters for CEO fly-in’s. To aerial HD video, live or DJ music, set design, room décor, flooring, state of the art lighting, soft LED curtains and more.


Tecate Will Ambush Tonight’s Debate With This Trump-Mocking Ad About Building a ‘Beer Wall’

Tecate Will Ambush Tonight’s Debate With This Trump-Mocking Ad About Building a Beer Wall.

 A structure that will unite, not divide

Tecate thinks building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico is a great idea. Our hope it’s 3 feet tall and is used as a meeting place for guys from both sides of the border (and all sides of the political spectrum) to get together and have beers.

The spot below, from Saatchi & Saatchi New York, will get a perfect media placement, too. It will debut Monday night on Fox News, Univision and Telemundo during the presidential debate between Donald Trump—who has proposed a much higher, less beer-friendly wall separating the nations—and Hillary Clinton.

Tecate Will Ambush Tonight’s Debate With This Trump-Mocking Ad About Building a ‘Beer Wall’

Filmed near the border town of Tecate, Mexico, where the Mexican beer originated. This is the brand’s first work targeting the general market. It usually focuses its efforts on a core Hispanic target.

Therefore this is a tremendous idea for Tecate. It really is the best idea. We worked with the best clients and hired the best people to work on it. Only the best. It’s terrific,” Chris Moreira, said at Saatchi, said in a statement (possibly after a few Tecates).”Building on the insight that the wall issue is extremely important to our millennial target consumers. Whether leaning more liberal or more conservative. We knew people would be watching the first presidential debate to hear each candidate’s side. We couldn’t think of a better stage to serve Tecate’s message of unity,”.  Jennifer Weiss, vp and director at Mediavest | Spark, which handled media. “We’re also hyper-focused on social to ensure we’re reaching legal-drinking-age adults 21+. Hopefully interested in politics on both sides of the aisle to drive conversation for #TecateBeerWall efficiently.”

Therefore “Tecate is using beer as the great unifier in developing a fun. Finally a Lighthearted and clever commercial where friends from two bordering countries share a couple of Tecates over a wall,”. “With this spot, Tecate is acknowledging an ongoing conversation. While raising a glass to beer’s uncanny ability to bring people together in a positive way.”

How to Work with Eccentric, Disorganized Creatives

Let’s face it, designers can be wacky. As a meeting planner, you’ve probably encountered your fair share of eccentric, opinionated, and disorganized designers—especially when they’re outside contractors. Yet if you want to make your event a success, you know you need them. So what can you do?

Here’s the good news: With a few tweaks to the way you work together, your graphic designer can become one of your biggest allies. Here are three keys to working with designers that will ultimately help improve your work process and bring your vision, and most importantly, your client’s vision to fruition.

Communicate with Words and Visuals. Have you ever outlined your ideas to your designer only to have the first round of layouts appear completely out of left-field? Equipping your designer with the right information from the start goes a long way toward getting just the right look and feel for your event.

Tani embraced a client’s love of Hawaiian watercolors to design a conference theme.

The more examples you can bring to the table of what you like and what you don’t—from overall themes to specific fonts, colors, and imagery—the more your materials will flourish. I recently had a client who loved Hawaiian watercolor paintings, and we were able to wrap an entire event around that design theme. Creative freedom is a wonderful thing, but really understanding the meeting or event’s vision and effectively communicating it to your designer is paramount.

Defining Those All-Important Due Dates. How is it that some of the most important deliverables—like your printed collateral—always end up as last-minute ordeals? Thankfully, there’s a simple way to avoid the stress. For starters, once you’ve established your key delivery dates, request a formal production schedule from your designer based on those precise dates.

In addition, it’s important to remember that all good things take time to develop and an effective creative campaign is no exception. So be sure you and your designer create a realistic production schedule that takes into account all the steps of a successful campaign, from design to printing to shipping. The designer needs time to conceptualize, research, develop, present, revise, finalize, and coordinate for print. Then the printing process has its own schedule, needing time for setup, ordering stock, reviewing proofs, printing, re-proofing, drying, trimming, binding, mounting, packaging, and shipping. And shipping should never be taken for granted—even the most efficient outfits encounter traffic and weather delays. Finally, don’t forget to build in a buffer for the potential hiccups that always seem to arise.

Instilling Trust in Your Relationships

Even under the best circumstances, a well-formulated production schedule can easily go askew—pulling rabbits out of hats is often just part of the job, right? Last-minute, complex, or even forgotten items are inevitable so having a trusted relationship with your creative partner can pay dividends in crunch time.

As with any good working relationship, these partnerships take time and effort to develop. Just as you have nurtured relationships with hotels and production companies, your designers have their own competent vendors that can help when the chips are down, including printers, sign producers, specialty item vendors, and shippers. When your back is against the wall, don’t be afraid to reach out to your creative partners to help you deliver your products, as expected, on time, or sometimes even out of thin air.

There’s a reason why you were hired for your position—because you’re great at what you do. Your best work likely results from the trust your client has placed in you. Learn the right way to place this trust in your creative team and the results can be equally dazzling. Set clear expectations, outline your vision, and establish mutually-agreeable timelines. The better you can organize and communicate with your designers, the more likely it is you’ll end up with showcase-worthy materials and, more importantly, highly valued, long-lasting partnerships.

Devin Tani, an innovative designer based in Portland, Oregon, runs a creative studio specializing in the meeting and incentive industry. From graphic design, promotional, and copywriting services to a comprehensive array of printing and finishing solutions, Devin has worked with clients such as Chevron, Goodyear, and Gallo Wines for over a decade, helping them elevate the attendee experience.

The 2016 CMI 25 meeting and incentive companies

The 2016 CMI 25 meeting and incentive companies

Happy Birthday CMI 25!
Our listing of the top independent meeting planning companies started in 2007 with a focus on the corporate market and we’ve remained true to that original concept: First of all what follows is a select directory of the biggest independents that understand corporate priorities like strategic meetings management, creative incentive design, and great service. To be relevant to our U.S. readership, we’ve also remained focused on third parties with business operations in the U.S. (When we include companies headquartered outside the U.S., we allow them to list only the meetings planned and executed out of their U.S. offices.)

A few things have changed, of course. More than one-third of the companies on that original list have been replaced over the years, and we now offer companies the option in the digital edition and in the tablet magazine to add a gallery of event photos and additional executive photos in their listings to give you a view of its creative capabilities and leadership team. After a decade, the CMI 25 remains a unique resource in our industry. If you’re looking for an experienced partner for your corporate meetings and incentives, dive in.

View the full-featured CMI 25 listings in the DIGITAL EDITION

The 2016 CMI 25 companies:

Aimia Proprietary Loyalty U.S. Inc., Minneapolis, MN

ALTOUR International Inc., Minneapolis, MN

American Express Meetings & Events, Jersey City, N.J.

Ashfield Meetings & Events, Ivyland, PA

BCD Meetings & Events, Chicago, IL

Bishop-McCann, Kansas City, MO

BI WORLDWIDE, Minneapolis, MN

ConferenceDirect , Los Angeles , CA

Creative Group Inc., Appleton, WI

CWT Meetings & Events, Minnetonka, MN

Enterprise Events Group Inc., San Rafael, CA

Fox World Travel, Oshkosh, WI

ITA Group Inc., West Des Moines, Iowa

Maritz Global Events, Fenton, Mo.

McVeigh Associates, Ltd. , Amityville, N.Y.

Meeting Alliance, Robbinsville, N.J.

Meeting Expectations, Atlanta, GA

Meetings & Incentives Worldwide Inc. , Caledonia, Wis.

Meridian Enterprises Corp., Hazelwood, Mo.

MotivAction, Minneapolis, MN

Omega Meetings & Incentives, Fairfax, Va.