PRESSURE TO IMPRESS IS HIGHER THAN EVER
Let's face reality — it's 2009 and we're in a slump, but the pressure is still there to host a successful fundraiser or have that client-appreciation dinner that everyone is still talking about. So what to do when budgets have been slashed, but the need to be the talk of the town is still there? Here are just a few concepts we've seen crop up in our own backyard as solutions to the current economy. And regardless of the economy, remember to always plan with value in mind, and stay on target with the message.
No more formal galas. Instead, host more cocktail receptions heavy on the hors d'oeuvre or fun-filled-activity evenings such as casino parties with a few donated prizes. After all, everyone is busy, and they don't necessarily have the time to spend three or more hours on a formal dinner. If you do decide to go the formal dinner route, be sure to incorporate ways to encourage networking so that people can benefit from being in the company of great attendees; extravagant party favors aren't necessary.
If you really want to do something completely different, how about a “Gala in a Box”? GENAustin Inc. did just that and introduced this out-of-the-box idea (pardon the pun) in 2008, where 75 percent of the net proceeds would go back to charity. No need to shop for the perfect outfit or confirm who's going to be sitting at your sponsored table. Instead, a virtual gala in a box was shipped to your home to enjoy in your own privacy.
With sponsorship dollars down this year, we have seen an increase in admission rates and opening up registration beyond the normal target market to make up for missing dollars. For example, an event that was previously closed to specific vendors would now be available for them to attend for a higher admission price in the form of a sponsorship. Rather than hiring professional speakers, clients are going back to their existing board of advisors to see who they can pull in to be the expert speaker. This cuts costs dramatically because there is usually no speaker fee involved, just travel-related expenses.
For those with themed events, we have seen clients going back to common themes, which allow us to take advantage of our existing props rather than produce new ones for the event. For example, the '70s, a casino and Western decor are all very common themes. If you hire professional planners, they usually have existing inventory related to these themes.
New technology, although not necessarily lower in cost, has definitely allowed our clients to reach beyond their normal target audience. This can be through virtual seminars, using social media effectively or creating a viral marketing campaign that even after the event is over, folks are still talking about it.
The bottom line is, no matter how you choose to cut costs for your — or your client's — events, the key question to ask is, what are you trying to achieve with this event? Are you doing everything through entertainment, communication and food to reinforce this message? Stay on message, and eliminate the elements that do not reinforce the objectives.
Name: Cindy Y. Lo
Company: Red Velvet Events
Address: 5926 Balcones Drive, Suite 290
Austin, TX 78731 USA
E-mail: [email protected]
ISES THANKS ALL OF ITS EVENTWORLD 2009 SPONSORS
CONGRATULATIONS, 2009 ISES ESPRIT AWARD WINNERS!
The ISES Esprit Awards recognize the best and most creative talent and efforts in the special event industry in 32 categories. The Awards acknowledge ISES members who exhibit a spirit of excellence in their work, giving them global visibility. Esprit Award winners were honored at an awards ceremony held Aug. 8 at the San Francisco Marriott. The 2009 ISES Esprit Award recipients are:
MOST CREATIVE SOLUTION: ITS World Congress
Barkley Kalpak Associates
BEST EVENT WITH A LEGACY: Live United Launch Celebration
Ami Cervin, Greater Twin Cities
Ryan Hanson, BeEvents
BEST INDUSTRY CONTRIBUTION: Event Hospitality Tourism Management
Geoffrey Gilmore, CSEP, Geoffrey Gilmore
BEST INDUSTRY INNOVATION: The Texas Star Web site
Jeff Musick, 10-80
Marla Watson-Werst, CSEP, PeaPod Productions
BEST CATERED EVENT ON- OR OFF-PREMISE CATERING: How Sweet It Is!
Tony Conway, CMP, A Legendary Event
BEST MARKETING/DESIGN COLLATERAL BUDGET UNDER $25,000 USD: “60: The New 40!”
Bonny Katzman, BK Design
BEST MARKETING/DESIGN COLLATERAL BUDGET OVER $25,000 USD: Diamonds in the Desert
Rick Jobe, Jobe & Associates
BEST EVENT SUPPORT SERVICES BUDGET OVER $75,000 USD: 8,000-Guest International Conference
Nancy Jacobs, EdgPRODUCTIONS Inc.
BEST EVENT FOR A NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION BUDGET UNDER $75,000 USD: “Your Day to Indulge”
Rachel Kraby-Brooks, Eventonomics
BEST EVENT FOR A NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION BUDGET $75,000-$200,000 USD: Celebrating Inspiration & Hope
Sheila Graham, CSEP, American Red Cross
BEST EVENT FOR A NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION BUDGET OVER $200,000 USD: Pentagon Memorial Fund Dinner
Deborah Gitelson Krauth, The Webster Group
BEST WEDDING BUDGET UNDER $75,000 USD: Vietnuptials in the Redwoods
Joyce Scardina Becker, CMP, Events of Distinction
BEST WEDDING BUDGET $75,000-$200,000 USD: “Old Hollywood Glamour”
Tara Wilson, Tara Wilson Events
BEST WEDDING BUDGET OVER $200,000 USD: From India with Love
Patricia Weiner and Stacey Weiner, Plan-It Parties
BEST EVENT DESIGN/DECOR BUDGET UNDER $25,000 USD: Advent Vespers
Sheree Bochenek, Apres Party & Tent Rental
Jodi Collen, CSEP, Augsburg College
BEST EVENT DESIGN/DECOR BUDGET $25,000-$75,000 USD: Shaken and Stirred
Jack Kelly, Eye Dialogue LLC
BEST EVENT DESIGN/DECOR BUDGET OVER $75,000 USD: 'Tis the Seasons
Sara Hunt, AT&T Park
BEST EVENT PHOTOGRAPHY/VIDEOGRAPHY: Pentagon Memorial Dedication
Geoffrey Chesman, ImageLink Photography
BEST TECHNICAL PRODUCTION: Plaza Grand Opening
Allin Foulkrod, CSEP, Creative Visions Inc.
BEST SOCIAL EVENT BUDGET UNDER $75,000 USD: Phashion Phest
Sharon Phillips Waxman, SPW Productions LLC
BEST SOCIAL EVENT BUDGET OVER $75,000 USD: Amanda's Chocolate Factory
Taylor Strimple and Patricia E. Weiner, Plan-It Parties
BEST MEETING/CONFERENCE PROGRAM BUDGET UNDER $200,000 USD: Around the World Conference
Carolyn Luscombe, CSEP, CMP, Eclectic Events International
BEST MEETING/CONFERENCE PROGRAM BUDGET Over $200,000 USD: Transform: National Sales Meeting 2008
Kelly Dolan, Aspect Medical Systems
BEST CORPORATE EVENT BUDGET UNDER $75,000 USD: An Evening of Carioca Pride
Sean DeFreitas, Designs by Sean Inc.
Harith Wickrema, Harith Productions Ltd.
BEST CORPORATE EVENT BUDGET $75,000-$200,000 USD: The Wedding Fair
The Wedding Guys®
BEST CORPORATE EVENT BUDGET OVER $200,000 USD: 32nd Annual Joint Meeting of the Southeast U.S./Japan Association
Sally Webb, CSEP, The Special Event Co.
BEST ENTERTAINMENT PRODUCTION BUDGET UNDER $25,000 USD: Wine and Trees
Sandy O. Fergus, Creative Juice
BEST ENTERTAINMENT PRODUCTION BUDGET $25,000-$75,000 USD: “Rethinking the Boundaries” Launch
Debbie Meyers, CSEP, BRAVO!
Productions Entertainment Inc.
Sally Webb, CSEP, The Special Event Co.
BEST ENTERTAINMENT PRODUCTION BUDGET OVER $75,000 USD: Enquerir
Michael Kloss, Emory University, Office of University Events
ISES TEAM EFFORT BUDGET UNDER $75,000 USD: Hillary Clinton Rally
Jodi Collen, CSEP, Augsburg College
Craig Oliver, AARCEE Party & Tent Rental
Daniel R. Zunker, Heroic Productions
ISES TEAM EFFORT BUDGET $75,000-$200,000 USD: New Inspiration of Dermatology
Kelley Gillespie, CSI Capitol Services Inc.
Gary Jones, CSEP, and Liz Sine, Gary Jones Presents …
Jan Kearney, Cast of Thousands Entertainment Co. Inc.
ISES TEAM EFFORT BUDGET OVER $200,000 USD: Christening of New York
Angel Barbosa, Teresa Chubb and Stacey Dauzat, Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding
BBC Destination Management
Sandy Pagnotti, P.W. Feats Inc.
NOW IS NOT THE TIME TO CUT YOUR MARKETING BUDGET
By Matthew Trettel and Bruce Vassar
If you are like us, you have become desensitized to the media hype on the economy. Like most, you have evaluated your business strategy and made changes where necessary to safeguard your business from the effects of this recession. But have you fallen into the pitfall that the majority of businesses have in past recessions?
Study after study points to the fact that companies that do not cut marketing expenditures experience higher sales and net income during the span of the recession and the years that follow than those companies that made marketing cuts during the recession years.
In fact, companies that increase their marketing expenditures during economic downturns average significantly higher sales growth both during a recession and the years following one than those that eliminated or decreased marketing.
So how can you do more with less? Educate yourself. Print, Web and events marketing are the most-used media outlets for event professionals. What are you getting for your investment?
There are three phrases you need to know regarding print marketing: copies published, circulation and sell-through. You need to know all three to understand what you are buying. Generally, it's unimportant how many copies are published; what you really need to know is how many copies are reaching your customers. That is called circulation, which is the total number of paid subscriptions and copies sold on the newsstand and/or provided to qualified recipients. Sell-through will provide you with another important statistic; this is the percentage of distributed newsstand copies that were actually sold. The higher the sell-through, the better your value.
While pay per click (PPC) and pay for action (PFA) are great models for tracking Web ads and sponsored links, the best exposure for event businesses is listings on brand-relevant sites. Free services such as www.alexa.com can help you compare the traffic of different Web sites. Quantcast.com provides information on gender, age, household income and education of Web site visitors.
ROI on event marketing is often nebulous at best. The key to this medium is reaching influencers. Ask to see an attendee list from previous events and to see demographic information about target attendees. Contact similar vendors who participate in the event marketing opportunity and gain their insight on the experience. Right now, more than ever, event marketing investments need to result in sales.
Name: Matthew Trettel and Bruce Vassar
Company: The Wedding Guys®
Address: 711 W. Lake St.
Minneapolis, MN 55408 USA
Web site: www.theweddingguys.com
E-mail: [email protected]
ISES EDITORIAL TEAM AND STAFF
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