Venues of North Scottsdale

Venues of North Scottsdale

Venues North Scottsdale maintains a heavy calendar of events and produces every type of event possible. From the traditional hotel ballroom and convention center environments to highway tunnels, open fields, and urban streets. We have many testimonials in all categories for our innovative and globally spectacular productions.
Providing our clients with an experience unparalleled by any other production company in the business. First of all our group offers the most client-centric approach when collaborating with your vision.  Our goal is to leave a lasting impression.

Additionally, with our full line of Audio Visual Equipment, including HD Video, Sound, Staging, and Lighting services, we use the latest technology to make your event shine! Audio Equipment being heard crisply and succinctly is key to any event you are planning. Our expertly engineered audio reinforcement packages custom designed for your event in your venue for your size audience and room layout. We use pro audio and staging to construct the foundation of a world-class experience. After adding lighting and LCD displays and sound systems, your audience is left with a jaw-dropping production experience.

They know their business inside and out!

Furthermore “Venues of North Scottsdale’s team is one of the most high-energy, bright, competent groups I’ve had the pleasure of working within this industry. In addition, they know their business inside and out and are a delight to work with. Our team has the ability to take full responsibility for a project and really get things done. Knowing when key decisions should be brought back to the client is what we do.

I appreciate having someone with their knowledge and expertise in my court during the planning times. Therefore I would recommend Venues of North Scottsdale wholeheartedly to others who are planning events and meetings. They are top notch.”

Important Event Website Trends

Important Event Website Trends.This guide sums up the most important trends in website design, and how they apply to your event website. Although you may think event websites are different to other sites, in fact, they have exactly the same goals. Have a look at 14 examples below and how to get webdesign to work to your advantage!

1. Design is about solving problems

We’re not saying websites shouldn’t look good, but the main idea behind any website is to serve a function, to solve a problem. An event website has two main problems to solve:

  1. Provide important and attractive information regarding the event,

that will…

2. Get more people registering for the event.

In 2016, event websites will be focusing more on solving these two problems, than trusting in attractiveness alone. The designs of event websites will feature more clearly outlined event schedules, easy to spot “Register” triggers and comprehensive pricing options.

Key takeaway: Design follows function, and not the other way around.

2. Bye bye, hamburger menu In 2015, 80% of Internet users owned a smartphone, and in the UK, the smartphone was already the most popular device for browsing online. Hamburger menus don’t work on mobile devices because they are difficult to spot and difficult to reach when positioned on the top left corner of the screen, while the mobile device is being held with the right hand.

As we said in the beginning, design is about solving problems, not creating them. A research cited by Tech Crunch shows that A/B testing and interaction theory give preference to a top bar menu, instead of a hamburger menu, and online giants like Apple, Google and Microsoft have already moved away from this type of layout.

If you have a number of pages with vital information about your event, don’t cram them all under a hard to find Hamburger menu, use a top or sidebar menu instead.

Key takeaway: Apple, Google and Microsoft have moved away from the Hamburger menu, and so should you.

3. Highly Vibrant color schemes and neon palettes

With the evolution of screen technology and even smartphones now supporting high-definition  screens, it’s time to go bold or go home. Use vibrant color schemes and neon palettes on your event website.

“We are going to see bright color palettes of Caribbean blues, raspberry, aquamarine, coral, citrus, peach, parakeet, cobalt and tangerine,” Danielle Couick, Magnolia Bluebird Design and Events for Special Events Magazine.

And if you think bright, neon colours aren’t good enough for serious topics and formal events, have a look at the Bloomberg Politics webpage, and reconsider.

Key takeaway: We said design should follow function, but that doesn’t mean your event website shouldn’t follow important design trends.

4. Gradients

In combination with the brighter color palettes being used in website design today, there is also a trend for grouping flowing gradients of color.

Key takeaway: Gradients are attractive and already gaining momentum for event website design in 2016.

5. Social Proof

 

According to research by AMEX Meetings and Events, 85% of 420 respondents believe that in 2016 there will either be stability or a rise in the number of business meetings and events. At the same time, British Visits and Events Partnership (BVEP) believe Britain will also benefit from a 8.2% rise in the events industry there.

This is all good news, but more events mean bigger competition for attendance numbers. One clear way of standing out from the crowd is through social proof. There are 5 Types of Social Proof, and this is how they relate to your events:

  1. Expert – famous or trending industry speakers in the schedule
  2. Celebrity – celebrities attending the event, or part of the schedule; may also be a big corporate sponsor
  3. User – testimonials from attendees
  4. Wisdom of the crowds – previously high or currently big attendee numbers
  5. Wisdom of your friends – referrals from attendees

To stand out from competing events, add one or more of these 5 social proofs to your event website. Your website should feature positive testimonials and feedback from previous attendees. A showcase of the performers or speakers, may also include interviews. And, of course, images of the sponsors and partners behind the event. Show the website visitor your event is ‘serious business’.

Key takeaway: Use social proof elements in your event website, you can also use them in your email marketing, social media marketing, blog, even in your email signature!

6. Form Fields

Research from as far back as 2011 has shown that fewer forms (or boxes to fill-in) increase registrations and sign-ups. However, consequent research moved the topic from quantity to quality, but what does that actually mean?

The new research has shown that website visitors are quite adept at recognizing what information in a form is actually necessary, and what is just greedy database building. If you are organizing a business seminar for example, you probably wouldn’t need the participants’ home addresses, but you will need the names of the companies they work for.

The ideal length of the registration form will continue to depend on the type of event being hosted.

Key takeaway: Remove all non-essential fields from the registration form and only leave the information you actually need from the attendees.

7. Networking and Attractions

People attend live events for a number of reasons, in general, these can be grouped in 3 broad categories:

  • Education
  • Networking
  • Experience

We already mentioned the predicted rise in competing events, but there is also an evolution of the online knowledge base reducing event attendance in two additional ways:

  1. Education is available online in the form of eBooks, podcasts and tutorials, all available at the click of a button, a lot of the time for free.
  2. Networking is also available online via email and in the form of informal and professional social networks such as LinkedIn, Xing and Facebook.

The only feature of live events not available online, is the live experience. To distinguish your event from the competition, demonstrate uniqueness, grow your attendance numbers, you need to place more emphasis on the experience.

The event website is THE place to show off your outstanding event design, distinctive activities and unique sessions. Show off your greatness in a way that shouts “Are you not entertained?”, Russell Crowe style.

Key takeaway: Emphasize on the uniqueness of the experience your event offers on your event website.

8. Conversion triggers

Conversion triggers are design elements, statements, buttons and any and all website elements that focus on alluring website visitors to sign-up, register and make a purchase. These are important because online visitors nowadays are ever more savvy and prone to ADD.

Conversion triggers on your event website need to clearly display and communicate the following:

  • Event pricing plans
  • Special offers and discounts
  • Dates and limits of all pricing options and deals
  • Benefits of attending
  • Social proof examples

Make sure the information is easily identifiable, easy to understand and persuasive in design.

Key takeaway: Use conversion triggers on your event website to entice visitors to register a.s.a.p.

9. Long scroll

In the past website designers detested lengthy pages with long scrolling, however with the evolution of landing pages and single webpage designs and templates, long scrolls are now trending. There are also these two important trends pushing the long scroll:

  • Social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, virtually all social media websites and apps feature endless scrolling.
  • Smartphones and tablets: Browsing on a smaller size screen automatically leads to more scrolling.

Instead of creating complex menus and website architectures, put everything under one roof, but remember to create a captivating and engaging design.

Key takeaway: Don’t fear the single webpage design and get used to the long scroll because it is a trend that’s here to stay.

10. Background animations and videos

Videos and animation will forever be more captivating, than pictures and text alone. A number of event websites now feature a background video from the last edition of the event in various forms.

You can use footage on your event website to showcase:

  • Positive feedback in the form of interviews with attendees
  • Inspiring interviews with speakers or performing acts
  • Unique performances and sessions from previous events
  • Exciting highlight reel from a previous event

Video is a great way to showcase the experience from the event and also provides engaging social proof right on your event’s front page, the event’s website.

Key takeaway: Embed video on your event website to showcase your event(s), if you don’t have any footage start collecting a.s.a.p.!

11. Responsive Desig

This year brought Google’s Mobilegeddon, a search engine algorithm update, which now places websites which don’t have a responsive design (are not mobile-friendly) lower in Google’s search results.

“Despite being the second-largest airline in Europe, Ryanair, the no-frills carrier based out of Ireland, doesn’t show up until about a third of the way through the second page of a search for “budget airlines.” According to the Mobile-Friendly Test, the airline’s mobile viewpoint is not set, in addition to too-small text and too-close links.” – Source

Make sure your event website is responsive, or in other words, functions on all types of devices just as well as it does on a desktop or laptop. Mobilegeddon aside, with tablet and smartphone browsing on the increase, it’s extremely annoying to visit a website which appears non-functioning or, even worse, malfunctional on a mobile device.

Key takeaway: Make your event website mobile-friendly.

12. Simple typography

As we said earlier, online visitors nowadays are marketing savvy, immune to sales tricks and prone to ADD. That means you need to be direct and to the point with your event website presentation and message.

Keep a clear and easy to read typography on your event website and make sure it follows accordingly throughout. At the end of the day, you want the visitor to easily identify the value of your event and to register, fullstop.

Key takeaway: Use a simple, easy to read typography and focus on your message, rather than the design alone.

13. Blurred images

14 Event Website Trends for 2016 - blur

Don’t have a video for your website? Don’t worry! You can used a blurred image to a similar effect.

Blurred images are great at suggesting action, mystery, surprise, a buildup of excitement:

  • “A blurred background can bring focus to layers on top of the image such as text. Just make sure to select an impactful typeface.
  • It can create new interest with an image that you use regularly, such as a standard brand photo.
  • It can be used with almost any type of content in almost any color scheme for universal appeal.”

Source: Design Shack

If you want to use a blurred image on your event website, distort an image of high quality, don’t just use a bad quality image that is blurred by default, there is certain technique to it.

Key takeaway: If you don’t have a video, use a blurred image on your event website’s landing page with a clear typeface on top!

14. Passive-aggressive pop-ups

dontgo

Exit intent pop-ups are the messages that appear on your screen as you attempt to leave a website. They are usually triggered when the mouse suddenly accelerates in any direction, meaning that the visitor is likely to leave.

The pop-ups are a great chance to retain the visitor, maybe even into triggering him to make a purchase. For an event website an exit intent pop-up can be used to:

72 % of U.S. adults say they prefer companies to communicate with them via email, and 91% say they’d like to receive promotional emails from companies they do business with. Meanwhile, 73% of companies agree email marketing is a core part of their business efforts. And 25% rate email as their top channel in terms of return on investment.

Source: Entrepreneur

 

Five (Unexpected) Qualities of Meaningful Work

Five (Unexpected) Qualities of Meaningful Work. Working for a company with the tagline “Extraordinary Experiences for Good” prompts vibrant discussions about meaningful work. We all spend a lot of time at our jobs and some of us have been fortunate over the course of a career to have experienced the pleasure of meaningful, gratifying labor.

We all want meaningful and purposeful work—Millennials, Boomers, and Gen-Xers alike. But what is that and how do we achieve it?

A recently published research study from MITSloan Management Review, “What Makes Work Meaningful—and Meaningless” is a thoughtful read on the topic. More than 130 people in 10 widely differing occupational groups were interviewed, sharing stories about times when they found their work meaningful as well as times when they asked themselves, “What is the point of doing this job?”

The researchers found that creative, absorbing, and interesting endeavors combined with praise and recognition are important.  But not enough to make work meaningful. So what does makes work meaningful? These are five qualities uncovered in this research defining meaningfulness in our careers:

1. Being part of something bigger than yourself
Seeing the experiences you deliver and the work that you do as part of a larger tapestry that serves the needs and desires of others reinforces your bond to the work. Feeling part of a larger picture that benefits a community.  Beyond yourself can provide the energy to deal with the stress and challenges of work and a degree of insulation from fatigue and burnout.

2. Managing challenges
We all have great stories of challenges overcome in the course of delivering meetings and incentives. The event that suddenly had to be re-imagined due to an incoming hurricane; the fastidious client won over. The program changes due to events out of our control.  But for which we are still held accountable because the show must go on. Contrary to what the researchers expected, moments of meaningfulness were not always positive or euphoric. But rather the result of coping with challenging conditions or solving complex problems. These challenging situations tended to yield far richer experiences than simply feeling motivated, engaged, or happy.

3. Recognizing the peaks and valleys
No one finds their work meaningful all the time. In fact, the purpose and meaning in our work may be experienced only intermittently in the course of a career. For me, creating a moment of sheer surprise and delight. That Bollywood troupe hired at the last minute who create a sensation the moment they enter the ballroom or seeing a team working together on a program like a finely tuned orchestra—keeps me connected and gives meaning to the long hours of work and effort invested.

4. Taking time to reflect
So often we move swiftly from one project to the next without truly appreciating or reflecting upon where we are and what we have accomplished. Taking time to ruminate on the memories you created for your audiences, the effect you had on a colleague, the successes of your teams and your business, helps to uncover the full significance of your contributions and connect you more closely to the purpose of the work.

5. Making it personal
There are few things better than the feeling of a job well done, especially when it is experienced and shared with the audiences you care most about—clients, colleagues, friends and family. Moments when you realize that your unique contribution is recognized and appreciated by the people who matter the most to you create a connection between your work and the wider context of your life experience.

Therefore developing an ecosystem in which a sense of meaningfulness can thrive is a key leadership challenge—for our teams, our customers, and for ourselves. Finding the purpose within the work is a key element for me in bringing meaning to the daily crush of deadlines and meetings. The purpose provides momentum to the work of creating aspirational and authentic experiences for my audiences and fuels internal drive and motivation.

What makes work meaningful to you? Is this the most meaningful work you could be doing with your skills in this economy at this moment? Are you cultivating the many sides of who you are in the work you are doing now?

Five (Unexpected) Qualities of Meaningful Work

8 Time Sucking Tasks and How To Streamline Them

8 Time Sucking Tasks and How To Streamline Them

Are you finding yourself spending too much time on certain jobs? If so, take a step back and see if you can streamline and speed up your daily tasks!

“Never neglect details. When everyone’s mind is dulled or distracted, the leader must be doubly vigilant.” – Colin Powell

An #eventprofs day is stacked full of appointments, meetings, tasks, projects, reminders, checklists, and lots and lots of details! In a recent performance at Meeting Professionals International World Education Congress, poet Sekou Andrews called us “next-level ninjas” due to the many hats we wear and the numerous tasks we juggle seemingly with ease.

While this may seem crazy, we are event professionals and we love details! But, with all of the details that go into creating an amazing event, even ninjas can sometimes find themselves out of time. If you find yourself constantly out of time, leaving out the details is not the answer. Take a step back and see if you can streamline your day, speeding up your activities and creating more time in your day to do more.

Here are a few areas that are huge time-suckers:

  1.  Emails

While emails are wonderful and convenient, it can become overwhelming. Ideally we should check email less often. Try to be more strategic in your email communication. Part of being more strategic is considering it may be quicker to meet face to face or pick up the phone. If you find yourself staring at your inbox all day long, and have only responded to one conversation (20 times!), pick up the phone and call them instead next time. In ten minutes, you can divert both parties attention to focus only this situation, discuss all of the details, and effectively solve the problem that would have taken all day through email.

  1.  Typing and Data Entry

If typing is not your strong suit, there are several different solutions that can help, depending on your situation. If you are creating a new document yourself, and your typing can’t seem to keep up with the ideas coming to you, look into a speech to text software. As you talk, the software automatically converts it to text. We use this all the time on our phones. The actual software programs that are available to purchase are even better, and are getting better each day!

Despite being in the age of wonderfully integrated technology, sometimes it’s impossible to get away from data entry tasks. Before doing these types of tasks yourself, think of the the other tasks you could focus on. Sometimes it’s more cost effective to hire outside help.

If you simply have a need for data entry or written note transcription, consider hiring some temporary help. While a temp agency can find you someone qualified, you can also be more creative with finding additional help. Reach out through your local meeting planner organizations or college programs. This would be a great way to bring in a student or apprentice planner to work with and mentor.

  1.  Bidding, Contracts, & Invoicing

Being self-employed, getting signed contracts is always a wonderful feeling! The hard part is finding the time to do the research for them them, create beautiful proposals, edit them, submit them, and everything else that comes in between! Sometimes, you are too busy to create new proposals to bid on new projects. Other times, it feels like all you are doing is bidding on projects and customizing contracts. If you find bidding and contracting is taking up too much of your time, consider technology. With specific proposal and contract software, like BidSketch, you are able to create templates that can reused and quickly modified and customized. For estimates and invoices look for a solution like Freshbooks, Quickbooks or Concur. These tools can help streamline your financial process and help you look more professional.

  1.  Repetitive Tasks

As Event Professionals, you may have one or more of these time sucking repetitive tasks: seperating name badges, stuffing name badges, labeling envelopes, stuffing envelopes, collating delegate folders. Should I go on? Sometimes I do like to stuff name badges. Being able to zone out a bit and still feel productive. That must be a #EventProf Zen thing. However, more often than not, I just don’t have the time.

When faced with these repetitive tasks, try to think of a more effective way to accomplish them. What is the cost of having the printer complete the name badges or the mailing? There may also be some great resources in your community to provide work for individuals with disabilities. These organizations offer business services like bulk mailing, package assembly and all the while providing education, training and employment opportunities. It’s a great way to fulfill the needs of your business and help serve the community as well.

  1.  Delegating

In a previous post about preventing burn out, we talked about the importance of delegating. Do you find yourself spending more time to explain the task being delegated than it would take to actually do it yourself? It takes some practice, needs clear communication, and the right people involved, but delegating can free up a tremendous amount of time in your day. By using a software program such as Basecamp, you can easily and efficiently delegate, communicate, and oversee different projects. For this to run smoothly, though, the software must be consistently used to it’s fullest potential by everyone involved! Be sure to also set clear expectations and visions with everyone involved.

Working with a team and delegating tasks can an be a tricky situation. Be sure to take extra care to ensure that you do not become a micromanager! While it is never a manager’s goal to become a micromanager, sometimes it just happens without them realizing it. In a previous article about the dreaded Event Micromanager, we discussed how to recognize the signs of micromanagement, how it affects your team, and how you can avoid becoming one of the dreaded micromanagers!

  1.  Education

As #eventprofs, we should always be learning new things and refining our skills. Taking a class or researching a new topic is very rewarding, but also very time consuming. If you find that you want to continue to learn, but can’t find the time, consider using an audio book program like Audible. I have found that listening to books while driving or exercising is a great way to get away from everything, while still being productive and checking something off of my list! Also look for online webinars that are shorter. Many industry resources are doing 30 minute sessions that get right to the core educational content. I’ve also found Udemy to be a great online educational resource and many classes are broken into 5-10 minute sections, making it easy to fit it into my schedule and can be a nice break in my day.

  1.  Normal Business Tasks (a.k.a. – doing everything yourself!)

Running a small business is very rewarding, but it does come with it’s challenges, especially when you are the one doing everything. You fill many roles, and are responsible for representing your marketing department, financial and accounting department, legal department, sales department, customer service department, human resources department, custodial department, research and strategy department, and many others!

As an entrepreneur, we are generally skilled at many facets of business, and are able to be successful wearing most of these hats. However, if you find yourself struggling with a particular “department,” consider contracting out that area to a professional. Contact your local chamber of commerce for recommendations or look for a virtual assistant. Though there is a cost involved in outsourcing, the time you save yourself may end up being more valuable, since you are then free to do something else you had to put off from before (maybe researching that new client or catching up on emails).

  1.  Technology

Today’s technology-based world has turned it’s focus recently to the event arena. Every week, it seems like a new technology is introduced that can help make our events even more remarkable! With new products coming out so quickly, it is harder and harder to find the time to research, explore, and become proficient in them all.

If technology is slowing you down, look outside of your company for a contractor that focuses simply on finding and integrating the best technology for your needs. By hiring a professional that has thededicated time and skills to finish a project that may take you twice as long, you are then able to focus on other things, effectively speeding up your activities by allowing to do to more each day.

In Conclusion

As an #eventprof, we are not just professional event planners. We are next level ninjas – we can do it all! While we know we can handle and master anything given to us, time is the only thing that holds us back. If time seems to be constantly winning, take a step back and look to see where you could use help. Look at your daily processes to see if you can streamline them. If not, look at bringing an expert into your ninja dojo to help you defeat time.

What are your time suckers? Share them below and let’s find a way to speed up your day!

Read more at http://www.eventmanagerblog.com/time-sucking-tasks#824YY9r1J7rkiUyb.99

About The Author

image: http://www.eventmanagerblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Jeannie-Power-2014-138×138.jpg

Jeannie Power

Jeannie Power is co-founder of Power Event Group, and enjoys using both her event planning background and technology expertise to help #eventprofs choose and implement event technology that meets the needs of their events.

Read more at http://www.eventmanagerblog.com/time-sucking-tasks#824YY9r1J7rkiUyb.99

Leaving Social Media Out of Your Next Event Could Cost

How Leaving Social Media Out of Your Next Event Could Cost You

Jeff Kirk of Corporate Magic shares why you can’t miss the social media boat

If you’ve decided not to jump on the social media bandwagon for your next corporate event, you may want to think again. Whether you think your company and your brand are household names or you simply don’t want to take the time to implement social media, it could really put you behind the game. In fact, it could cost you in more ways than one. If you’re not sure how to implement Facebook, Twitter, apps, or LinkedIn to your advantage, it’s about time you learned. The following are some ways that it could cost you to leave social media out of the loop.

Going over budget Paper copies are a thing of the past! Not only will everyone at your event have some type of tablet or other device to look at information on, copies could make you go way over your budget. You won’t just be paying for the copies, either. You’ll have to pay for envelopes, storage, postage, and even the man-hours that it takes to do it all. Utilizing social media at every stage in the corporate events process will help. You won’t have to spend the time to hand anything out, and can use the money left over in your budget to decorate, hire caterers, and pay for a nicer venue.

Eliminating a community feel

Individuals attending your event can already begin to feel like one big, happy community before they even arrive. Setting up a Facebook page allows those people to connect beforehand. Other forms of social media will help you to create surveys, take polls, and post updates about the upcoming event. Individuals who participate in this interaction before the event will better enjoy the company while they’re there, and have contacts to take home with them when they leave. Without these interactions, you eliminate a potential for a community feel at your event.

Missing customers

Everyone is on social media. If you want to attract more customers, you have to be where they are. If they don’t have a Facebook account, they most likely have an Instagram or Twitter account. Your message and your information out there on every social media site is the way to tell customers that you are there.  Individuals can “share” and “like” your event page and help you to spread the word so that you have a larger turnout. It’s like free advertising!

A sad reputation If you’re not willing to get with it and develop with the world of new technology, you are going to be left behind. Let’s face it: Without being on social media, people simply won’t give your event a second thought. Why might that be? Because, you’ve not made the decision to get with the times!

Whether you’ve got a good product and an amazing message or not, nobody gives a company the reputation it deserves unless it shows that it is willing to move when the world says “move,” rather than sitting comfortably in the past.

Encouraging the competition

Let’s be honest. Your competition has likely implemented some form of social media strategy. Anyone who’s smart and wants to get ahead in business will have done so. By avoiding social media, you give them encouragement to become better than you. Don’t hand over your success by refusing to engage in social media. Encourage your customers and attendees through social media, rather than your competition through the lack thereof.

Discouraging post-event excitement

You may have some attendees at your event that are excited to get home and spread the word. In fact, isn’t that the goal? Without social media, it will be hard for them to get the word out. Facebook, LinkedIn and other sites give them the opportunity with just the click of a button.

If you think your message will spread via word of mouth, it’s just not going to happen. Conversations are happening online, not through mouths. Get your post-event message out there so that your attendees can take their excitement home.

If you’re technology-challenged, don’t fret. There are companies available at your fingertips that will help you get the social media thing up and running. Failing to do so could have some ugly results for your business that will leave you wishing you would have stepped out of the Stone Age just a little bit sooner.

Jeff Kirk serves as Chief Operating Officer for Corporate Magic Inc., a Dallas-based event production and message development company specializing in one-of-a-kind projects.

Known as an innovative marketing strategist with a keen understanding of the role digital content and technology can play in building brand preference. Jeff brings nearly two decades of experience to his leadership role at Corporate Magic. Jeff is in the process of forming strategic alliances and recently spearheaded Corporate Magic’s entry into global markets. In mid-2015, the Dallas-based company will be producing the Salvation Army’s 150th International Congress at London’s O2 Arena.

Over his nearly 20 year career, his clients have included IBM, Accor, Aflac, Suzuki, JCPenney, Jaguar, Mazda, Land Rover/Range Rover, M&M Mars, Prudential Real Estate, Berkshire Hathaway, Chevrolet, Coca-Cola, Club Corp, Ford New Holland, Dallas Cowboys, GSD&M, Boy Scouts of America, Xango, YMCA, Sherwin-Williams, Uncle Ben’s, Southland Corporation, George W. Bush Foundation, Rite Aid, Salvation Army, Ramada, Quaker State, Pizza Hut, Proctor & Gamble, Nike, NCR, Kraft, Kawasaki, Bayer, Campbell’s Soup, Coors, Wendy’s, FTD, Tournament of Roses and Republican National Convention Host Committee (Tampa 2012).

 

What Meeting Planners Expect of Venues of the Future

What Meeting Planners Expect of Venues of the Future. Earlier this year, IACC (formerly the International Association of Conference Centres, now officially referred to by its acronym alone) surveyed meeting planners and interviewed other meeting professionals to create a report on the “IACC Meeting Room of the Future.” What emerged is a picture of flexible spaces intertwined with meeting goals and design, rather than an image of fixed rooms into which meeting sessions are poured.

Some results are not news: “Broadband and technology in general have moved from being nice-to-have features to being foundational resources that are more important and expected than food and drink,” the report states.

Digging deeper, it’s interesting to note what planners say high-speed Internet access is most important for: Number one is allowing delegates to continue with their outside lives while on site. Here’s the whole list:

1. Delegate e-mail and Internet access (83 percent)

2. Smartphone audience participation (77 percent)

3. Conference app use (70 percent)

4. Video streaming for presenter (67 percent)

5. Live event streaming (56 percent)

6. Virtual attendees (50 percent)

7. Online learning (42 percent)

8. Video streaming for delegates (41 percent)

9. Beacon/GPS tracking of delegates (20 percent)

Immersive and Engaging

Planners responded that their focus today is on “creating experiences” (75 percent), that they are looking for “collaborative” meeting spaces (80 percent), that they need to be able to change layouts in meeting rooms (82 percent), and that access to interactive technology will grow in importance over the next two to five years (77 percent). They also strongly agree with the statement “I am looking for different meeting space elements today than I was two to five years ago.”

These results point to meetings that mix it up—that are more interactive and immersive than in the past. Some technologies haven’t taken hold yet, but may be on the brink, such as virtual reality. Though few respondents (six percent) have used virtual reality in a meeting setting, a majority (six out of 10) believe that it “will play a more significant role at their events in the next two to five years.”

Virtual reality is “only just emerging as an affordable addition to meetings,” says Corbin Ball of Corbin Ball Associates, one of the meeting experts who offered his insights for the report. “However, it is worth looking again 12 months down the line, to see if this starts to become more commonplace.”

Below is IACC’s new infographic, which reveals a few stats that were not included in the full report.
IACC is an association of small to medium-sized venues focused on meetings, training courses, and conferences, all of which conform to a comprehensive global set of criteria and standards. IACC currently has 400 members in 21 countries in the Americas, Europe, and Australia, searchable at the IACC website.

What the Pokémon Go Craze Means for Venues and Events

What the Pokémon Go Craze Means for Venues and Events. Venues and existing events are already taking advantage of the popular augmented-reality game.

Since it was launched by Nintendo and Niantic on July 7, Pokémon Go has become one of the most popular mobile apps ever. It’s already taking over venues and major summer events. The global augmented-reality scavenger hunt, which through GPS tracking encourages users to catch Pokémon.  Whether by walking to various locations on a map, has led to mass amounts of players flocking to locations—designated as “Pokéstops” and “gyms”—that range from event venues and restaurants to national and city parks, museums, and historic monuments.In just two weeks, there have been a slew of community-organized events such as park meetups and bar crawls for people to gather and catch Pokémon Go en masse. The National Park Service has embraced the craze.  By using the newfound attraction of its parks to host game-driven hikes and have rangers help players catch creatures. However, the game has already been subject to some controversy when players tried to catch creatures at sacred sites including the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. As well the National September 11 Memorial and Museum in New York.In terms of how the game has performed as a mobile app, data collected by Similar Web showed that since the app was released.  It has been installed on more United States Android phones than popular dating app Tinder, and was slated to surpass daily active users on Twitter.For massive pop culture events like Comic-Con International, which begins today at the San Diego Convention Center, it was only natural for the host city to highlight notable neighborhoods and locations surrounding the game for tourists. Earlier this week, the San Diego Tourism Authority released a guide that highlighted the eight best spots to catch the creatures during the four-day event.

“Since the launch of Pokémon Go, we’ve been seeing a lot of folks posting great Pokémon Go tips at local sites and landmarks,” says Candice Eley, director of public relations for the tourism board. “With so many people traveling to San Diego this week for Comic-Con International—many of whom we expect will be fans of the game—we thought it was a great opportunity to round up nearby ‘Pokéstops’ for visitors. We hope the game encourages attendees to explore San Diego a bit further and adds visits to some of our attractions to their itineraries.”

Voilà Chocolat, a chocolate shop in Manhattan that hosts in-store make-your-own chocolate events, has already taken advantage of the fact that it’s a Pokémon Go “gym,” where players can battle others with creatures they’ve captured. Voilà Chocolat head of sales Elaine Boxer, who’s also an avid player, explains that it made sense to introduce discounts for players, custom Pokémon-theme chocolate, and power strips for players to recharge their phones.

“We’re very fortunate that we happen to be a destination in the game.  We introduced something specific to our business that’s reflective of the game,” Boxer says. “The medium we work in is so flexible and allows us to take advantage of holidays and phenomenons like this. Whatever people’s passions are, we can reflect in chocolate.”

Boxer also notes that the shop has used its social media accounts to advertise the fact that it’s a location in the game. As well to encourage players to stop by. “Whether it’s organizing themed happy hours, bar crawls, or parties. Its what restaurants and event venues can do is really enhance players’ experience of the game”.

Political events have also gotten in on the action. Hillary Clinton hosted a recent campaign event at a “Pokéstop”.  She set up a lure module—an element of the game that attracts players to a specific location.  For a chance to catch rarer creature. It was as an incentive for players to show up at the event and register to vote.

Pokémon Go hasn’t announced any sponsored events yet. But the app does plan on hiring a community manager to organize official gatherings.

By Ian Zelaya Posted July 21, 2016, 7:15 AM EDT