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Propared Blog

Tips and Advice for Managers, Planners, and Event Production Professionals

January 3, 2017

4 Ways Good Planning Enriches the Event Attendee Experience

 

As marketing and sales professionals, we all know that the experience of your attendees is critical. Businesses need to differentiate themselves more than ever, and in-person events are still a great way to do this. For the fifth consecutive year, “in-person events” tops the list of most effective marketing tactics! However, for event attendees to get the most out of their experience (and for you to get the most out of your money!), it is critical that the event be planned well.

December 28, 2016

The Event Manager’s Sisyphus: Communication with your Event Team

 

Communication is one of the most important parts of a manager’s job. It's also the most time consuming. You need to deliver information clearly and in ways that make sense to people in order for it to be effective. Not an easy task.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of things working against you. Effective communication is tough in any situation, but the immediacy of live events - the stress, the crunched timeline -  can compound issues that arise. The best way to combat such challenges is to first recognize what causes them. Once you do, you’ll be well on your way to designing an effective communication plan for any event.

December 14, 2016

7 Mistakes Event Planners and Managers Must Avoid At All Costs

Event planners aren't perfect. Despite our best efforts and experience, sometimes we screw up. We forget to check parking and delivery street signs near the venue. We underestimate power needs or forget to plan for inclement weather. We recover from most of these mistakes quickly. It might cost some time and money but in the end, the event goes on as planned.

But sometimes, the fix isn't so easy. Sometimes, the mistake is much bigger. You know what I mean; the game-changing, face-palming, ruin-an-event blunders that make you want to crawl inside a storage closet and stay there for days. If you've experienced this feeling before, we feel your pain. We've compiled seven of the biggest mistakes we've seen and ways you can address them. If you do, we bet you won't have to go searching for a storage closet anytime soon.

December 8, 2016

5 Effective Techniques for Event Managers to Resolve Team Conflicts

Event managers work in stressful environments. In an industry that cannot function without the efforts of hundreds to carry off an event, conflicts are bound to happen. Here’s a few thoughts about how to resolve conflicts at work when they happen and some tips to reduce the likelihood of them occurring again.

December 7, 2016

4 Ways to Keep Your Venue Standing Through the Holiday Event Season

The holiday season is traditionally the busiest time of year for most event planners. Between weddings, corporate parties, and other year-end celebrations, your calendar is probably full up.

Venue managers are no different. After all, events need spaces. Your venue may be booked every night of the week from now through the New Year. More work means more revenue but it also means more stress on the equipment, systems, and staff. Here are a few things to think about to make sure your take care of your space while still delivering the best service to your clients.

November 29, 2016

4 Pro Tips from LDI for Production Managers

At the end of October, I attended LDI Conference in Las Vegas. I usually attend as a Production Manager with the intent of scoping out new gear and tech toys. This year, I also had the honor of being invited to join Mark Randel as a presenter in his 2-day class “Production Management 101”.

Mark’s goal for the class was to examine the critical components of the role of Production Management when managing events. We had an incredible audience full of experienced production managers and venue managers. With that much knowledge kicking around the room, what started as a “back-to-basics” presentation turned into a massive roundtable.

I had trouble keeping up with all of the amazing ideas floated over the two day intensive. But I managed to grab some of the most important ones and I’m excited to share 5 of them that will really boost your production management skills.

November 10, 2016

4 People Operations Mistakes Your Event Company is Making Right Now

This post was originally published in October, 2015. It has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Last fall, I read about a live event design and production company in California that faced HUGE fines over improper i-9’s for their employees. Running an event production company for the last eight years has given me some perspective on the human resource challenges faced by live event companies.

People operations is always a complex task for a business owner. Small or large company, it doesn't matter. Labor laws have evolved in incremental stages over time. Mainly this is because they are meant to address issues as they arise. It's almost impossible to predict every challenge, especially in such a rapidly evolving labor market.

But when these sometimes starkly different laws are fused together, they present a challenging set of rules. Even well-established, successful companies struggle to navigate. Imagine the difficulty (and cost!) for inexperienced business owners and entrepreneurs. You could compare it to quenching your thirst by drinking from a fire hose.

October 28, 2016

4 Must-Read Tips to Help You Choose the Right Event Tech

2016 has been an exciting year in the events and meetings industry. The explosion in integrated technology has given event managers an entirely new set of tools, both to design more impactful experiences and create deeper relationships between clients and attendees.

But adopting new event tech, especially software, has to be more than just a set of features. Or what a colleague says (though trusted reviews are certainly helpful). Maybe now more than ever, in this tech-centric world, you need a plan. One that starts from the ground up and permeates every part of your event business.

So before you go running off to snap up the latest app, make sure you consider these 4 things first.

October 17, 2016

12 Inspiring Books Every Event Planner Should Read

These days, to be a successful event planner, you need to have a pretty broad set of skills. You need to be creative and strategic. You must understand how to manage logistics and analyze data. You create unique experiences that are memorable and engaging but must still be able to measure their impact when they end.

There are many ways to boost your knowledge: attend industry conferences, network with fellow planners, enroll in specialized training courses, or curl up with a really good book.

There are dozens of well-written books that can help you become a better planner. And several of them aren't about event planning at all!

Here are 12 of our favorites every event planner should read. They'll help boost your creative thinking, while making you think more strategically about your decisions. We've also included links to each book in case you want to add them to your shelf (virtual bookcases count, too). When you're done, you'll be ready to tackle any event that comes your way.

October 13, 2016

8 Awesome Websites to Help Find the Perfect Venue for Your Event

Few decisions are as important (or as stressful) as choosing a venue to host your event. It is both the backdrop and setting for every element; catering, design, guest accommodation, travel, even the basic technical capabilities of the space. The venue is going to be your home from the moment you ink a contract to the moment the last guest steps out the door so you better love it.

Here's the problem: there are literally tens of thousands of unique venues to choose from. You probably don't have time to research them all, especially if you've got other projects. Thankfully, these eight terrific websites can do the heavy lifting for you. Once you've settled on the basics like where and when, these venue finders can drastically speed up your decision-making process. 

For this blog, we focused on sites that primarily serve the US market. We'll tackle international sites in a future post. For now, sit back and let the search for your dream venue begin!

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