Thursday, 30 May 2019 / Published in Event Planning

Presentations have been around for a long time. In fact, it is difficult to see someone that does not relate to the feeling of getting stuck in a room, then seeing a presenter slowly flip through different slides. Not only is that not an entertaining way to share information, unfortunately, it can also be a great way to put an audience to sleep.

All event planners know the importance of drawing the attention of an audience using compelling information. The greatest challenge most presentation designers need to overcome is creating slide content that educates and at the same time entertains the audience. Keeping the listeners focused throughout the presentation is an ongoing process for anybody, no matter your level of experience, because the expectation of the audience is always changing.

Common Presentation Mistakes to Avoid

Delivering too much information: Most presenters don’t respect the attention span of their listeners. Your presentation ought to be concise and straight to the point. If anybody in the audience has a question or needs some clarification on the subject, a session can be created at the end of the presentation. Overloading your audience is a sure way of losing them.

Not paying attention to the audience: As a presenter, don’t get so wrapped up in your world that you ignore the body language of your audience. Maintain eye contact as much as possible, so they don’t feel ignored.

Little or no preparation: It is near impossible to prepare and learn a presentation in a day. It requires more time and practice. If you go in without practicing, your audience will quickly notice your lack of preparation. Adequate preparation will also help you control your nerves.

So, what 4 things can you do while designing an event presentation so as to keep your audience engaged in the subject to make your presentation memorable?

1.         Set the right mood:

A fantastic presentation design goes beyond just the things shown on the screen and how the presenter delivers the information to the listeners. Even though they are critical to its success, there are other things that an event presenter ought to pay attention to, such as the mood in the room, including visibility, lightning and seating arrangement, particularly those seats at the back.

It is easy to ignore the importance of ambience, but imagine how effective it is to your mood at home. For some relaxation in the evening, you dim the lights or use a lamp. A very bright room might not be best for relaxing and unwinding. Therefore, using the right colors in presentations also makes the audience concentrate, colors like blue, orange and green. Avoid using colors that are too dark, bright, or filled with different colors that are hard to look at.

2.         Interact with the audience:

In today’s world, much emphasis is placed on the importance of interacting with clients. This is achieved mostly by creating a better experience through social media, mobile apps and your website. This also extends to the presentation venue, and those with enough confidence to engage with their listeners.

A good interaction can be anything from some humor, storytelling, using technology that will require a response from the audience, or involving people as the presentation progresses. Although this may not be the responsibility of the presentation designer at first, any good designer will want to be a part of the delivery of a presentation so that they can understand the storyboard and the overall message they need to portray through design.

3.         Make it clear and concise:

In order for you to retain your most important message, keep your presentation brief and straight to the point. One way to do that is by designing the presentation with all the content you want to cover, regardless of how much it is, and then cut it to half. This process might seem painful and impossible at first, but once you get started, you’ll find ways to cut it down. This will make what’s left afterwards more powerful and important.

Another thing to consider is the amount of time you intend the presenter to spend on each slide. The most effective way to go about this is by limiting the onscreen text to one sentence per slide, with some compelling images to make up the rest of the message. This will hold the attention of your audience, and prevent you them from switching off the second they see a wall of words on screen.

4.         Details are important:

Now that you understand the most important aspects, it’s not time to focus on the details of your presentation. Think about what will make your presentation standout. For a start, use big font sizes on each slide. Avoid trying to fit in a lot of words into one slide, so, make good use of the space you have. The bigger the font, the easier it will be for your audience to read, and will make them retain the information better.

To get the best event presentation, you can hire a professional PowerPoint presentation design agency or alternatively bring the task in house if you have the resources. Most specialist agencies will have years of experience in only presentation design plus possibly organizing events and conferences which make them perfectly suited for the job.

Other more general agencies are also viable options, however of course they will not have the same level of experience, and with only 1 chance sometimes to deliver the right message in a presentation, it’s important to have an expert behind the design of your presentation slides.

Author:

Holly Faulkner Holly Faulkner is the co-founder and director of the Purple Patch Group, a business that started life as a London events agency over 10 years ago. Through years of live events experience on both sides of the fence, managing them, and sitting front row, Holly and Paul launched the Presentation Experts. A specialist design agency focusing on creating outstanding presentations for live events, speakers, and other events visuals.

Thursday, 30 May 2019 / Published in Event Planning, Event Technology

My name is Abby Tobias, and I am the owner of Sole Power Productions, an event and production company in Toronto Canada. We help execute and or produce over 2500 events annually. Our Audio-visual team is made up of events managers, technicians, specialized Av leads, and designers.

Recently, we have seen a variety of concert and event cancelations, both high profile and not. Events ranging from local fairs, to major touring acts are having their end product affected by audio visual issues and mishaps. Below I have detailed some of the key reasons why this is occurring.

WHY? Isn’t that always the question? In this case there are a few keys to look at.

1. Budget:

Let’s use the touring act as an example here. In the modern age of music, artists earn the majority of their income from there tours. Once upon a time when people purchased CDs, artist income was more evenly balanced between sales and live shows. This is no longer the case. Streaming services like Apple Music and Spotify are the way of the future and the way of the present. This is a big win for fans and music listeners, as it gives them unmatched access to music of all kinds. That said, for the artist it’s not as great. Profits from streaming services are exceptionally low for artists. Thus, in the past few years they have had to lean towards touring in an effort to stay profitable.

This brings me to the touring budget. Managers and show designers are being pulled in multiple directions. On one hand, the show has to be the best it has ever been. Guests need to be blown away by sound, lights, effects, and stages. On the other hand, the budget is limited. Artists can’t afford to over spend on these treatments, as they are relying on the profits from shows to keep them in the green. This causes cutting of corners, lesser qualified staff, and shorter blocks of time for sets and strikes. It’s not hard to then understand how we are seeing more high-end glitches than ever before.

2. Technology vs the Creative: We live in a world where what is advanced today, is considered old news in 6 months. There are consistently options for larger, brighter, louder, and more powerful replacements to product that we thought was incredible just a short while ago.  When these products are put in the hands of the creative talents of stage directions and visionaries, a world full of incredible concepts can be thought of. In most cases we see an incredible outcome.

Think back to Kanye’s 2016 North American tour with the floating stage moving across the arena, and Drakes world tour where he had kinetic lite balls moving in sync from the rafters to just above the audience’s hands. These were incredible advancements in the concert experience. Only possible by the gift of AV and production. The down side, of course, is that we are still talking about technology. Just like your when your home TV doesn’t turn on, or the microwave at your office flashes the wrong time, technology has its own mind. As the advancements have grown, so have the complications. We are seeing some incredible failures live in front of our eyes as triggers don’t fire and in the worst case, the technology can be dangerous, and some concert doors don’t even open to the public.

3. Regulation: I am a fan of regulations. I will always choose safety over profit. What we are seeing now is that tours are being designed locally and expected to pass regulations internationally. So, when a tour bus and crew roll up on the other side of the world and start to work, they are finding push back from local officials where the rules and regulations regarding safety may differ. This is nothing new, but as my two points above-mentioned, the shows are larger and more complex, and are also expected to be designed faster, and cheaper than before. The losing team in these cases are the fans. Fans who buy tickets months out, only to find out a day or two before that the show won’t be put on in their city because the safety is not up to local guidelines.

For more info on Abby Tobias you can find him at Solepowerproductions.com

Monday, 13 May 2019 / Published in Business, The Event Hustler Show

On our first episode of The Event Hustlers, I had a great chat with Christina Rene, CEO of Voila Event Solutions in New York City. She is an expert in event production, working with raw spaces and sales & marketing so we talked about all this and more. Enjoy the conversation and definitely connect with Christina directly!

Twitter: www.twitter.com/voilanyc

Saturday, 04 May 2019 / Published in Business, Networking, Technology
torrenting on a laptop

You’ve probably downloaded something using the torrent technology at least once in your life. Maybe you’ve downloaded a certain game you bought or a TV show, it was probably through a torrent client of some kind but you weren’t aware of it. Torrenting is so popular that some major tech companies use it for their internal operations. They use torrents to distribute patches, updates and fixes. But is this widespread technology safe? You want to learn how it actually works and how you can play with it safely?

What it really is

Torrenting is, simply put, a file sharing technology. Users, peers in this case, connect and share the files online. When you are using torrents you don’t download files from a single website or source. Files circulate around the peers who seed them. For example, you want to build a car. You get some pieces but your neighbors have the rest. Your neighbors also want to build their own cars and they might need the pieces you have. You guys will visit each other and take what you need until all of you have your complete products. Of course, torrenting means that you download stuff from one direct source but you also download chunks from other users of the same torrent. That enables a smooth transfer that’s hard to trace. But, your IP address may be visible if you’re not using a VPN. Each peer is a mini-server which reduces the stress on the network.

Terms you need to know about

In order to understand torrenting you have to posses some knowledge about the most important terms you’ll come across while visiting torrent sites and using this technology in general. As we’ve mentioned, peers are the users who are involved in the sharing process through torrent P2P network. You are a peer as long as you keep sharing files on the given network.

Seeders are users who are downloading but also uploading the file for other users to download. When you download something through torrent, you download certain amounts of data but you also upload a bit. That upload means that other users will get the chunk they need when you upload it.

Indexers are websites that work as search engines for the files and content that can be downloaded through torrents. Some people may refer to these as the torrent sites. And the best torrent sites that were really popular (especially in the world of pirates) were Piratebay, Torrentz and Zamunda (Bulgaria).

BitTorrent Client is an app that allows you to download torrent files. The most popular client is BitTorrent along with ‘uTorrent’. These apps or e.g. programs enable the process of combining the fragments from many seeds, assembling them and managing the whole download.

Trackers are servers that connect the peers. They are the ones who direct the packets from you to another peer, they help you find a peer on the network of a certain download.

How to use it?

It’s quite simple, first of all, you have to download a torrent client then find the torrent file you want and add it to the client. The downloading starts at that moment. However, the whole process isn’t that simple. Torrenting is awesome but there are some dangers that come with it. First of all, people who aren’t using torrents legally risk being incarcerated. It depends from one country to another but almost all ‘first world’ countries have strict copyright laws that could land you behind bars for 10 or more years if you download all the latest Hollywood movies and copyrighted music. You can also fall victim to online criminals, hackers, since your IP address could be visible while torrenting. And, last but not least, some hackers plant a virus into a seed and wait for you to start downloading. That way you download a virus without even knowing it.

The safe way of using it

You’ve probably heard of VPNs. A Virtual Private Network is a network that hides your identity and activity online. Many pirates use VPNs to safely download stuff they aren’t allowed to download through torrent or in any other way. For example, there is this software called ‘Tunnel Bear’. Tunnel Bear offers VPN services to its users. When you turn it off, the app changes your IP address from the real one to a phantom one in Romania, for example. This way you’re masking your real IP address so that you can’t get tracked or identified.

Conclusion

Torrenting is great but you have to be careful. There are harmful sites and files online. The people behind those files are always looking for new ways to get into your computer. So, do your own research and protect yourself while you torrent. Please do all the torrenting legally.   

Friday, 12 April 2019 / Published in Business, Event Planning

Running a business is hard work – there are few classes and even fewer ways to find proven business lessons. It’s a sad state of affairs, but many independent event planners (and business owners in general) just end up flying by the seat of their pants and learning things the hard way. And the only real benefit we get from learning things this way is when we get to share them with all the people who are hustling just as hard as us.

That’s why when I shared the questions of “What’s one business lesson you learned the hard way?” in our Event Hustlers Facebook group, we had many great answers. In fact – the content was so great, I thought we should share it here on the blog to let people see what kind of insights we’ve gleaned through many years of running our businesses.

Here’s what I and several other group members had to say:

“Learn to trust my intuition. I often listen to the advice and thoughts of other people who do not know my business or industry as well as I do and missed out on many opportunities because I didn’t trust my gut.

Another thing I learned the HARD way was that partnerships are great, but only if you set the right relationship up front. Do you really compliment each other? Do you both bring something valuable to the table? What are all the things that could go wrong? And what could go right? And get it ALL on paper!!!”

Liz King Caruso, Liz King Events

“I’ve learned the hard way that a glowing resume and outstanding credentials on paper doesn’t always make someone an excellent choice or a good fit. I’ve also learned it is imperative to trust your gut and cut ties early to avoid more complicated problems down the road.”

Sheila Fox
Chief Events Officer, Event In Site, LLC
@sheilanfox @eventinsite

“Don’t just “handle” additional requests as a courtesy, charge for them! I’m happy to do that for you, but it’s outside our current scope of work. I can push that to the end of our work and if I have time I’ll work on that but if you need me to get off my current track/path to do that, then we need to add some additional (time, budget, etc). This is the equivalent to shoplifting of (your) time!”

Ben Lobenstein
Founder Lobenstein Consulting/ Fire It Up! Events/Amplify the Experience
https://www.facebook.com/fireitupevents
https://www.instagram.com/fireitupevents

“Get it ALL in writing,  always. Always NEGOTIATE boilerplate. Don’t just sign contracts, get YOUR terms when you can and have those written in too.
This especially goes for industry “non-compete” clauses. Negotiate the scope, narrow it so it is fair to both sides.”

Richard O’Malley

“One should confirm all conversational agreements in a follow up email for clarity and documentation.  The email should define the NOW (status and timeline moving forward) process for service or task completion.  It should clarify the expense obligation and responsible parties for meeting that commitment.”

VeTalle Fusilier
Founding Partner JBVproductionweb
www.jbvproduction.com

“Ask for what you’re worth. And please stop cutting down the price in hopes they’ll hire you for being such a bargain. You’re not a bargain. You’re a god damn beacon of hope, a firefighter, a dream maker, a master magician, a therapist and all the other things that come from having a client. GET PAID for it. You’re doing the job of several people. Do not compromise your worth. People will pay you what you’re worth. The best clients won’t blink and eye about your quote because they see your value and they know you’re worth every penny.”

Lindsay Anvik, Business Coach & Professional Development Speaker Website: http://www.SeeEndless.com
Check out my latest tips on Forbes.com

“There is always someone charging more than you. I struggled to price myself appropriately for 4 years and in the last 6 months, I doubled our minimum rates, kept all of our best clients, said goodbye to all of our tough clients, doubled our service-based revenue, and gave myself a week off per quarter (because we didn’t have to do as much hustling since our revenue was higher per quarter). I wish I would have started off with incremental price increases with each new client, instead of a huge rate hike all at once, because it would have been way less scary to do it incrementally (and I probably would have made more overall instead of struggling for 4 years).

Lauren Caselli
Director of Events, Lauren Caselli Events
www.laurencaselli.comwww.instagram.com/lcasellievents

“Saying ‘No’ to a client request that does not fit the business strategy, while difficult in the moment, is an important business lesson we have learned. For a software company, any code change introduces risk (especially for last minute requests), may cause unexpected delays, and detracts you from your core strategy. Your end product and capacity to provide excellent service will benefit from staying focused. Don’t be afraid to say “No.”

Silke Fleischer
Co-Founder, ATIV Software – Medical and Scientific Meeting Apps
www.ativsoftware.com



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