I’ve got my Starbucks locked and loaded and I’m ready to hit Monday with a vengeance. When you love what you do, you can look forward to a productive Monday, rather than dreading it. Here are a few of my Monday practices that keep me on track all week long.
Update my calendar.
I block out time for all the priority projects I need to tackle that week. I also schedule all the calls I know I’ll need to take and make sure I know what is on my cal for the entire week. This helps me professionally and personally – so I understand what I have ahead of me and can plan accordingly.
Clean out my inbox.
There’s no better feeling than a well-managed inbox so I spend the first few hours of Monday morning combing through my emails and getting back to anything I missed the previous week. If you missed my latest post on managing your inbox, here are some of my tips for getting to Inbox Zero!
Set my daily goals.
With competing prorities, a set task list can be hard to follow. There’s always something popping up and throwing us off. So – my latest technique is to set just a single daily goal – the BIGGEST thing I absolutely MUST achieve each day of the week. That way – no matter what pops up, I have one big business thing to focus on before I can call the day successful. While smaller tasks can get moved around, my BIG priority must be accomplished. Even better – I try to accomplish that task first thing so I start my day feeling productive!
Tired of watching people with half your experience make twice as much as you?
If you’re looking for tips on standing out in the crowded events industry and making money planning your dream events, don’t miss our inaugural IGNITE program – the growth plan for #eventprofs designed around my experience building and growing Liz King Events.
Do you find it difficult to respond to all the emails in your inbox, and sort through all the junk? Our inboxes have become command central for our businesses, and learning to manage them well is incredibly important.
In this newsletter, I want to offer you 3 tips that I’ve learned in my years as a professional planner to dramatically minimize the time wasted and allows me to spend more time in pursuit of my ideal clients.
1. REDUCE YOUR EMAIL LOAD WITH UNROLL.ME
This is one of my favorite tools for cleaning up your inbox. Just link it to your email account and it will pull up all of your subscriptions. Go through them one-by-one and unsubscribe with one click or do it in bulk. And – even better yet – for the ones you want to keep (like my west elm subscription and techsytalk :P), you can roll them up into a single digest so you only get ONE marketing email per week that holds all your favorite pieces of information.
I’ve found this DRAMATICALLY reduces my email load and helps me focus on getting back to clients and getting through the time-sensitive responses.
2. MANAGE INTERNAL TEAM COMMUNICATIONS WITH SLACK
This tool was built to help teams communicate more seamlessly and efficiently. You know those long group-chat thread emails that get longer and longer? Imagine moving those OUT of your inbox and INTO a place that’s more effective? You can organize conversations by topic or project – add people only to relevant conversations – and attach files, emojis and gifs. And, best of all, the platform is FREE to use and totally searchable, up to 10,000 messages (at which point it’s about $6/month per user!)
3. GET MORE WORK DONE, WITH LESS INTERRUPTIONS USING GMAIL OFFLINE
Event planners are known as road warriors. But whether you’ll be flying in the air without wifi access or you just need to focus on cleaning out your inbox, this Gmail Offline extension for the Chrome browser, downloads your emails and then lets you respond, sort and work as if you were online. Then – as soon as you have connection – it automatically updates your inbox to match all the work you did. I like the idea of using this for an hour a day to get through emails without the distractions of social media or new emails popping in every 2 minutes!
For more tips and tricks to manage your events business, check out our IGNITE program, packed with education, community and all the resources you need to take your business from struggling to SOARING!
If you’re anything like us, you’re always on the go – balancing clients with domestic and international travel. You’d like to stay on top of the business side of things, but it’s a challenge.
We get it.
But if one of your goals was getting on top of your business in 2018, here are 3 business apps that we absolutely depend to operate more efficiently.
If you spend WAY too much of your time writing proposals, this online tool will save you TONS of time, make you look more professional and even handles the signing/payment process for your contracts. I love how easy it is to customize proposals from templates we create that reflect our brand look and feel. We can drag in sections of a contract or line items in a budget and deliver the proposal at record speed. We also love the analytics so we can see how much time they spent looking at each part of the proposal!
For those of you driving all over, this app is priceless. It uses location tracking on your phone to track all of your drives – including your starting location and mileage. Then – you simply login and swipe right for business travel and left for personal. Each month, it’ll deliver a report that can easily be imported into Quickbooks or any accounting software and you’ve got your eye on your mileage reimbursements with very little time or effort!
Finally, this app is one we use all. the. time. Whether you’re tracking reimbursable expenses for your client or for your annual accounting, this app makes tracking expenses on the go seamless. Take a pic of your receipt, track it, and then run any reports you need, any time!
Unless your company is already financially sound, you’re probably going to heavily rely on corporate sponsorship for funding your event. Unfortunately, acquiring sponsorship isn’t as easy as just sending out a request via email. Sponsors are bombarded with dozens of request letters hardly different from your own.
Here are six secrets to up your prospects of securing sponsorship and cultivating a long-term relationship with event sponsors.
1. Check Sponsor Guidelines, if Applicable
Some companies sponsor events so often that they have created their own guidelines that outline their terms and conditions and application instructions. Review the guidelines if one is available and be careful not to include anything in your proposal that runs counter to the funding rules.
Some companies, for example, only sponsor during certain times of the year. Don’t be requesting event sponsorship for your March conference when the company is only providing funds during fall and winter. Likewise, don’t request a fund of $10,000 when the guideline clearly states that $8,000 is the maximum it provides.
2. Outline What You’re Willing to Provide in Return
Sponsors aren’t sponsoring your event out of altruism. They do it because they get exposure out of it in return. Your Proposal should outline in detail what you’re willing to give in return for the funds. You should include some sort of tiered system.
The following is an example of what is meant by this:
- Tier 1: $1,000 sponsorship – include sponsor logo on two swag items
- Tier 2: $2,000 sponsorship – include sponsor logo on digital signage
- Tier 3: $3,000 sponsorship – allow sponsor representative to speak for 10 minutes before conference presentation.
- Tier 4: $4,000 sponsorship – allow sponsor to set up a booth at the venue
- Tier 5: $5,000+ sponsorship – all of the above
The sponsor may also want to negotiate. Perhaps they’re interested in tier 1 but want their logo on three swag items. Be willing to negotiate to come to an agreement beneficial for both parties.
3. Foster a Long-Term Relationship
It’s easier to retain an existing sponsor than to find a new one. This is why you need to make an effort to keep the ones you managed to acquire. To remain on their good side, do some nice things for the sponsor even after the event. Perhaps you can write a positive review of one of the sponsor’s products or even offer some incentive to your followers who click your link and purchase the product.
By continuing to exhibit a gesture of goodwill, the sponsors will view your company favorably come time for your next event.
4. Be an Active Partner in Your Sponsor’s Charity
Some companies are actively involved in a charity or even have one they started themselves. Offer to do something for the charity. Maybe you can invite a representative to the event and allow that person to speak to your audience.
You should continue to be an active contributor for the charity after the event. You can create a video about the organization with a donation link, or volunteer some of your staff to partake in the charity’s own events.
A charity organization is a common collective that brings you and your sponsor closer together. If you are already active in a charity and your sponsor isn’t, then offer to make them an honorary participant in the organization. This will surely benefit the sponsor’s branding by adding a philanthropic aspect to their image.
5. Consider a Limited-Time Offer
It’s commonplace for for-profit companies to routinely provide special offers, such as 24-hour-only deals or promotional giveaway events.
The idea is to drive traffic to stores or online shops. You can do something similar when courting your sponsors. If you have reached out to multiple sponsors at once, then you can give a special offer to the first sponsor that signs on.
For instance, if you’re using a tier system like the one outlined earlier, then maybe you give the sponsor the next highest tier benefit (i.e. tier 3 benefits for tier 2 contribution).
You should make efforts to nurture sponsors the way you nurture customers throughout a sales process.
6. Pre-event Sponsor Powwow
Do you know what brings people together better than anything else? Food and drinks. Obviously, sponsors want a piece of your consumer base. You can do this by hosting a smaller get-together event in the days leading up to the main conference. This will be mainly for the attendees to get to know the sponsor and their products. Make it a food-centric event with plenty of refreshments served.
Of course, hosting a separate event is a whole new undertaking and entails additional expenses. Since this event is for the sponsors, let them know that you’ll help organize it if they completely foot the expenses.
Event management also includes your interactions with your sponsors. Sponsorship is a win-win solution for both parties, so make it known what your event brings to the table. A successful event means success for the sponsors since they benefit from the brand exposure. Show prospect sponsors why your proposal is a golden goose for them.
14th December 2016
For Immediate Release
One of Australasia’s longest standing event app companies, ShowGizmo is announcing a new focus on Associations for 2017.
Since launching one of the world’s first event apps in 2010, ShowGizmo has now powered thousands of events throughout the world with their suite of native whitelabel and owned event apps. “We’ve served clients from all industries and sectors over the years, as event people as well as mobile specialists. Helping to create awesome events has always been a huge driving force for us,” said CEO and Co- Founder, Marie-Claire Andrews. The company was recently named one of Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500 in the APAC region.
“Our experience with Associations in Australasia and the USA have consistently been positive, we really love the collaborations that Associations foster, and we want to continue to help make that a possibility for these vital organisations by ensuring their requirements are front and centre for our product development,” said Marie-Claire.
In a nod of more to come, ShowGizmo has confirmed 2017 partnerships with two of Australasia’s leading Association industry bodies: The Australasian Society for Association Executives and Associations Forum. Both will be utilising ShowGizmo’s technology as a year-round platform to digitise the way they communicate with their members.
“Face to face events are still our core business, and we’re going to continue supporting them as always, but we want to help Associations and other organisations leverage the possibilities that year-round mobile interactions offer. Our partnerships with AuSAE and Associations Forum is a sign of great things to come!” explained ShowGizmo’s COO, Ryan O’Connor.
David Browne, Executive Officer of the Professional Teachers’ Council (PTC) NSW is looking forward to showcasing his 45 member associations a digital platform throughout 2017, “I’m excited to offer the platform and I’m confident of great adoption, not only because of the opportunities to cross promote events, but because our app will also be an attractive tool for our associations to attract sponsorship.”
Marketing Executive at ShowGizmo
Sara Moll from VinSocial
Along the winding wine-fueled journey from Creative Director to Wine Professional to Entrepreneur, I discovered a need to redefine the way we experience wine. I found many wine tastings to be a bit stuffy, overly technical, and (dare I say) boring.
I created VIN SOCIAL to voraciously explore the world of wine though my creative lens and spotlight wines and winemakers that excite and inspire me – handcrafted, sustainably-produced wines with a story – a sense of place – a heartbeat.
We design innovative, multi-sensory experiences for the curious and the open-minded – gatherings that spark conversation and leave an impression. We believe wine is a journey. We simply create opportunities for exploration and discovery. I invite you to travel through the glass with us.
Check out this recent webinar, featuring yours truly, about tech tools that can boost your event ROI here
If you’re anything like me, and by that I mean cheap and love freebies, you would relate marketing events and fairs to a shopping trip for practical stuff you’ll need for the coming year or so. When I’m at such events, I’m usually also on the lookout for freebies I can get concrete use out of. Swags such as pens, notepads and T-shirts are very common at events and for good reason – they’re things everyone needs on a daily basis. In other words, they’re practical. But practical as they are, you don’t always have to go for the same old pens and T-shirts. If you prefer to stand out, you could opt for more creative giveaway ideas.
The basic aim of a swag is to lure event-goers to your stand. That’s the very first step to getting people interested in what you’re offering. Hook them in with a good freebie and proceed from there. From the point of view as a freebie-consumer, you could have the most mundane and mainstream product/service and your stall could be the dullest one in the entire event hall. But if you’ve got an attractive-enough giveaway, I’m making a bee-line for you.
The last event I’d gone to was a work fair some two months ago and while I was looking forward to seeing what job offers there were out there, I was personally more excited about the freebies. They definitely fulfilled their aim of luring me to the different job stalls as I managed to score a number of interviews. But I was perhaps a little over-excited about the freebies which may have compromised my composure during the interviews!
When it comes to choosing the perfect giveaway, you could always go safe or go for something less conventional. With so many options for you to choose from, it can be rather overwhelming. Here’s one easy tip to follow – swags needs to have swag. Given that I’ve never had a green thumb nor been a fan of flowers, a great example of what your giveaway (from my point of view) shouldn’t be like is a flower pot. The best swag should satisfy the basic criteria of being practical, light, small and easy to print on and cost-effective. A flower pot is simply the exact opposite of these.
What the perfect giveaway should be
A flower pot sits in the corner of the room and serves no purpose besides taking up space. Plus, I’d have to water it every day – what a chore!
This is key. Items such as personalised t-shirts, pens and thumb drives (they could only be 512mb and I’d still take them in a heartbeat) fair well as popular giveaways for this very reason. They’re items people can use over and over again. I’ve been using pens I got from such fairs for as long as I can remember and in fact don’t even remember the last time I actually bought one.
Light & small
Imagine lugging a flower pot all around the fair and on the bus/train home. Sure, it could make for a good conversation starter but I’d very much just prefer a photo of it, thanks.
Nobody, not even freebie-loving me goes to an event with a huge bag with which I can fill freebies. That’s just a tad bit too excessive. That being said, a giveaway needs to be small and light enough in order for it to be practical enough to be taken away.
Easy to print on
Hey, let’s print our logo on this petal and have it wilt and fall! No.
If you haven’t already figured this out, your primary purpose of having a stall at a marketing event is to – duh – market your brand! The whole purpose of giveaways is to *drumroll* give away an item by which event-goers will remember you. And if your brand or logo isn’t indicated on the giveaway, chances are that nobody’s going to remember where they got the swag from.
Forget the pots, flowers are expensive enough – ask anyone with a girlfriend.
You’re guaranteed to be the most popular stall in the event hall if you’re giving away a trip for two to Las Vegas as a promotional item. But unless you’re also harvesting bills or Bill Gates from your pots of flower, that’s obviously unfeasible. Since you’re going to be giving away these items for free, you have to consider the trade-offs. It’s important to not go overboard. Set a strict budget and stick to it.
Another great example of a good giveaway is food. It’s practical in the sense that it satisfies hunger, is a light snack and small enough to fit in your stomach. That’s unless, of course, what you’re giving away is free steak in which case does not satisfy criteria #4. I remember being so hungry at the job fair that I was absolutely famished by the time I got to the PepsiCo booth. I needed to satiate my hunger and drown out the dreadful melodies being churned out by my stomach juices. That resulted in my shameless munching on Doritos as I was speaking to the PepsiCo representatives – probably why I didn’t get the job. But hey at least I got a free bottle of Mountain Dew after – score! Kinda.
Other items I picked up from the fair include this four-coloured-inked pen and heart-shaped notepad. They do satisfy the criteria of a good giveaway but given that I already have loads of pens and notepads lying around at home from previous fairs, I haven’t had much use for them just yet.
Hands down my favourite giveaway from the job fair is this tote bag from Estrella Damm’s stall. Given that many supermarkets are now charging consumers for plastic bags, this is an extremely handy item. You’re saving money as well as the Earth! Plus, it can be used to carry all the other freebies from the other stalls, unless someone inadvertently picked up a flower pot. It’s also simple and versatile enough design that I’d carry it on a regular day out as well. In fact I loved it so much I took a second one when everyone had their backs turned – or so I thought. Suffice to say, I didn’t get this job either!
In a nutshell (just FYI nutshells don’t make for good giveaways), the main purpose of a freebie is to market your product/service. You want your presence to be felt everywhere. Think of a marketing event as a point where you disseminate information regarding your brand. You’re there to promote yourself and besides networking and chatting with event-goers, another way to do that is through these freebies.
Have you ever seen anyone give away a flower pot as a freebie? Have you ever shamelessly stuffed your face with food giveaways? What’s the favourite giveaway of yours that you’ve taken? What are some of the most unique freebies you’ve seen around? Do share some of your freebie stories with us!
Need a little inspiration this week? Running a business is hard, and running an events business is even harder. We are, after all, rated the top 5 most stressful jobs year after year. For as much as I love what I do, every once in a while, I have to take a minute and find inspiration. Inspiration to do what’s right, to challenge myself, or simply to keep going. And in case you’re in the same place as me, here is a Pinterest board full of motivation and business wisdom that will help ground you and give you the oomph you need to keep powering through. May the force be with you!