introsPECtives


Category Archive

The following is a list of all entries from the Business category.

Experiential Events

I recently was talking with someone about what makes an event a great event. I think there are several factors like hitting your core objectives, staying in budget, and how easy the planning process is for your clients but if you really want to know what makes an event a great event for your guests then here is my opinion:

  • Touch – Guests need to be able to touch aspects of the event. Hands on, if you will. They need to be able to physically feel components of the event. That can be everything from hands on activities to the texture of linens. Finding ways your guests can engage in the event through touch is rarely thought about but it matters. It really does.
  • See – The eyes are the first sense that must be engaged. Lights, color, activity all of it engages the guest first through visual anticipation. How many times have you taken more food than you can eat because your eyes found all the food appealing? Events are the same. Engage people’s eyes with things to look and experience visually and you will have made a huge impact right from the beginning.
  • Taste – Well, of course. Taste is a major sensory function and a party is not a party without food and beverages. Not all food and beverage is created equal though. Make sure that the things you are offering match with the vibe and feel of the event. You wouldn’t want to go to a BBQ and have them serve 5 star cuisine on paper plates. It just doesn’t work. Don’t be afraid to experiment with taste through textures and spices. Be creative it can pay off in a big way and great food and beverages will be remembered long after other things are forgotten.
  • Feel – This concept is a little more esoteric. Guests need to feel the core objectives without you stating them. For example: We appreciate you, thank you, we’ve reached our goal, we need to work harder, etcetera. If all the components of your event work together cohesively guest will walk away with an overall feeling, a concept of enjoyment, that they can’t exactly express but feel nonetheless. You want guests to believe that how they feel is of their own making and not something you designed into the creation of the event.

It’s important to think about these things when planning an event. If you have a hard time figuring out how to encompass these things in your event effectively – I would recommend working with a seasoned event planning professional. Nothing surpasses experience and event planners know when to go lavish and when to be subtle to get the point across.


Major Multitasker?

According to the dictionary, multitasking is the ability to do more than one thing at a time. For a long time people focused on developing the ability to multi-task as a vital skill in the workplace. The better you were at multitasking the more productive you were. After all you were getting more done right?

Well, its been over a decade and now they are saying that multitasking is bad for your brain health. Some research says that multitasking actually reduces your brain’s productivity by 40%! That’s huge. The research says that our brain actually has a problem switching from one task to another rapidly and some research goes so far as to say we actually lose time when we are multitasking.

So what happened to the concept that doing more than one thing at a time produced more results because you are getting more done? I think the question here is, what is the quality of the work? Personally, I find that when I focus on one project at a time I get better results with the finished product but I still say there is something to be said about multitasking. (Of course, as Project Managers we multitask all the time so its hard to give it up) However, I think there is a time and place for both.

It is important to eliminate distractions and focus on the job at hand when you can but there are just times when you can’t and the ability to do more than one thing at a time is necessary. My suggestion is to practice the art of focused, intentional tasks whenever you can. You will most likely be happier with the end result of your task and you will most likely be less mentally tired at the end of the day too.


Building a network

Networking – Networking – Networking!

I don’t think there is a person working that hasn’t had to network at some point in their life. Networking is such a part of business that often times it becomes a huge portion of our job whether we realize it or not. It can also be one of the most stressful things for people to do so here are some tips for building a network or at least making your network opportunities work for you when you have them.

  • Make a goal list of the people or type of people you want to meet at the networking event. Believe it or not it helps you stay focused and it makes it easier to ask people to introduce you to a certain person or type of person if you know what you are looking for in advance.
  • Your appearance matters! Make sure you look professional and for goodness sake ditch the gum or spit out your mint before talking to someone.
  • It might seem silly but put your nametag on the right side. This actually puts your name in sight line when you shake hands with someone.
  • Its okay to observe the room before engaging in conversation. Some people like to talk to those people they know first but be careful you don’t get caught up and never move outside your comfort zone. *perhaps wait to talk with those you know until after you have met the people you came to meet first.
  • It’s time to be BOLD – introduce yourself and tell them you have been looking forward to meeting them. This is NOT when you go into an elevator speech about your business. It’s now time to listen and ask open ended questions like, “What brought you here this evening?
  • Always ask the people you are meeting how you can best help them. Perhaps you can work together or perhaps you know someone they should meet or maybe you can refer them to a resource they need. If you are truly listening to them you should be able to come up with your own idea on how you can assist them.
  • If you are being introduced to someone – always stand. It is a sign of respect. If you are making the introduction remember hierarchy. People of lesser importance get introduced to people of greater authority. For example, “Mr./Ms. Greater Authority, I would like to introduce Mr./Ms. Lesser Authority.” Also, don’t forget to include a connector – like you both love exotic cars.
  • Names are very important. If you are meeting someone new, repeat the person’s name at least three times in your conversation so it sticks with you. If it is a difficult name, ask for the spelling and if you are saying it correctly. Don’t be afraid to admit you have forgotten their name and ask to be reminded.
  • DON’T hand out your business cards like you a professional dealer in Vegas. Have them accessible but only give them out if you are asked for your card.
  • Breaking into an existing conversation can be difficult. Pay attention to the ongoing conversation and break in when there is a lull in conversation then introduce yourself.
  • Breaking away can be difficult sometimes too so just simply say it was nice to meet them and promise to follow up with them within a few days. *If you make this promise – note it in your calendar before moving on to your next conversation and whatever else you do – don’t forget to reach out like you promised.
  • Its a good idea to limit alcohol consumption at networking events as anxiety can make the drinks affect you like you’ve had multiple.
  • Practice juggling a glass, a plate and anything else you may have in your hands at a networking event before you go. Remember to keep you right open for shaking hands.
  • Before you leave take a minute to thank the host of the networking event for setting it up and providing the opportunity for you to meet new people. It’s just good etiquette.
  • Last but not least – send thank you notes to everyone you connected with for taking time to meet you and reiterate your offer of assistance in helping them. Don’t forget to send thank you notes to people who referred you or helped introduce you to others as well. Let them know they helped you out and offer to do the same if they should ever need it.

Networking is about meeting people and connecting people. Smile, laugh, be personable and remember that they are probably just as nervous and anxious as you are. You can do this!


Less Stress, More Stress, De-Stress

There aren’t many people who don’t have some form of stress in their lives. Unfortunately stress has become a common part of the LIFE experience. People expect to experience stress and sometimes they subconsciously make choices that create more stress in their lives. Its a horrible pattern that people have a hard time breaking. Its one of the reasons that stress management has become such a huge priority in people’s lives.

Work is one of the biggest stressors. There is a lot of pressure on people to perform at their best and they do more, causing more stress to do better, achieve more and the cycle continues. Since this is the start of the year, it is a great idea to figure out some ways to have less stress in your life. Think of it as a New Year’s Resolution!

Here are some tips to get your started:

  • Focus on your breathing – keeping it calm and even
  • Visualize a calm relaxing place
  • Meditate
  • Smile! (Yes it really does help)
  • Compose a mantra or an affirmation
  • Exercise
  • Go Decaffeinated
  • Use essential oils
  • Just say NO (Yes you can do this!)
  • Try acupressure
  • High Carbohydrate snacks give you a release of endorphins
  • Boost your vitamin intake
  • Get a massage
  • Day dream
  • Listen to music
  • Goof off

 


Fall Fundraising

Fall is when there is a lot of fundraising taking place. Its a time to gather in stores and prepare for the upcoming winter. Its a time when many focus on taking care of those in need. Those that are most likely to suffer the most from the long winter. This also happens to be one of the busiest times of year for our company. Well, at least, now to New Years but even in that our thoughts turn to how we can support our communities through fundraising. As an event company, our skill set is of course, planning events.

So many people think that they must hire us to gain our expertise or our skills but in truth, we are a fabulous resource for associations and businesses that want to fundraise or do events to support non-profits. We are connected to hundreds of resources, vendors and venues. We are willing to advise and even donate hours to non-profits we support but sometimes all a person needs is an idea of how to fundraise so we have a few starting ideas for you:
• Super Event – find lots of event hosts to hold a small fundraising event on behalf of your charity on the same night, and all around the same theme.
• Theme Nights – Pick a theme that works with your charity’s goals and build your event around that.
• Social Media Events – host an event through social media and request donations through PayPal links.
• Combined Events – find another non-profit or organization that matches yours and host a combined event to raise funds for you both.
• Eat for a Cause – work together with local restaurants to donate 10% of their profits on a designated night for your cause in exchange for encouraging supporters to eat there.

And of course….we can’t forget ways to spread good cheer throughout the upcoming holidays and our favorite is Paying It Forward. Do something nice for others, not because anything is expected of you but because it feels good to give. If you need some ideas for how to Pay It Forward:
• Help someone with the groceries
• Pay for the coffee of the person behind you in line
• Donate items to halfway houses or abused women’s shelters
• Spend some time writing positive reviews for businesses
• Donate blood
• Volunteer at a hospital, homeless shelter, nursing home, etc.
• Drop extra change into parking meters
• Donate food to the hungry
• Instead of having people give you birthday and holiday gifts, ask them to donate gifts or money to a good cause.
• Donate time at an animal shelter
• Buy a coffee card and give it to a police officer

Everyone has the ability to reach out and help another – if we think we ourselves need assistance. Find the way which is yours and embrace it. You will be happier for it.


Do you live in a Kaizen world?

Photo provided via www.taivara.com/

Photo provided via http://www.taivara.com/

Kaizen: Japanese philosophy that literally means (to change/to become good)

It is the philosophy that every aspect of our life deserves to be constantly improved. I think most people would agree that there are areas in your life that need to have some improvement but this concept takes things to a whole new level. This is choosing to live life as in a slow but gradual pursuit of changing for the better. This is about never accepting the status quo but looking for the often subtle shifts that can bring continual improvement.
In a work environment key elements to the Kaizen philosophy are:
• Quality of product
• Effort through personal discipline
• Involvement of the whole group
• Willingness to change
• Communication
In a personal environment key elements to the Kaizen philosophy are:
• Quality of life
• Personal discipline
• Action toward change
• Elimination of waste/wastefulness
• Orderliness, Tidiness & Cleanliness
Kaizen is both an action plan and a philosophy. It is a way to live life and to view life. Businesses are adopting this method of change to complement their large projects and even more people are adopting this concept as a way of life. It is truly something to ponder and perhaps even adopt as you move forward with your own personal goals.


Budget? Budget? Who knows the Budget?

One of the most challenging aspects of being an event planner is getting the budget from your clients. Over the years we have come to realize that our clients fall into two distinct categories: One who tells us their bottom line budget and really means it. Not a penny more and hopefully you can work a miracle and it will be less. Then there are those that will tell you a budget but actually give you a budget that is 10-15% less than what they really have to spend.

At Premier Event Connection we work really hard to stick within whatever budget our clients give us. So much so that we will spend hours trying to get things into budget, figuring out ways to cut things but keep the integrity of the event concept. We have almost made ourselves sick over budget numbers because we take it so seriously. Some of our long time clients, have learned this about us and trust us implicitly with their budgets and still there are some that play what we call the budget game.

You cannot even imagine what it is like to spend hours stressing over a budget, unable to lower it any more, present it to your client and have them say, “That’s great – and can we add (whatever they have thought of in the moment). Not even batting an eyelash at the numbers you have been agonizing over. You get this influx of relief that you have not disappointed them and they are happy with your proposal of costs but it’s mixed with this frustration that they couldn’t just tell you what they really have to spend and trust you aren’t going to gouge them.

Regardless, sticking within the budget that your clients’ give you is one of the most important aspects to being a project manager and you need to become a Budget Nazi, not matter which type of client you are dealing with.


Will the real Expert please stand up?

Working in the event industry we have noticed over the last few years how many people we know who have added event planning to their list of skills. It seems like every vendor we have worked with for years has decided to offer event planning as well. Now, we absolutely don’t think we are the only ones who can plan an event and if you have been to enough events you pretty much know how to pull one together. Do we think that a company that specializes in one particular thing can add event planning to what they do and be successful? Sure, it’s already being done. However, there is something to be said for not trying to be all things to all people.

Just because a DJ sees enough weddings to be able to bring all the components of an event together doesn’t mean they should. It pays to have that wedding
coordinator there, planning all the pieces and overseeing the flow of the day. Our motto regarding this has become: <strong>“Be an expert at what you do and let other people be experts at what they do so that your clients have a phenomenal experience rather than a mediocre one.”

We realize we may be the minority but we feel that if you develop relationships with people and support them in what they are experts in and they support you in what you are an expert in, then there is enough business for everyone. There is no need to be greedy and try to “get the whole piece of the pie” when in fact working together creates a better experience for everyone. And yes, we believe that sharing the “whole pie” actually ends up being more pie for everyone even if it doesn’t seem like that at first. Call us crazy but we would rather be known as an expert in our field than mediocre in many things.


Fresh PersPECtives

So many people start the New Year out with high expectations that this year, this time, they are going to accomplish certain goals and lifestyle changes…You name it someone is dreaming about it becoming a significant change in their life. As a business Premier Event Connection looks at January as a time to reboot, recharge and get a lot of administrative tasks completed. Sure, like a lot of businesses out there we are busily wrapping up end of fiscal year requirements but it’s also that time of year when we set our intention for the New Year and excitedly look forward to what is to come. We know the New Year brings us more opportunities to work with clients, vendors and venues. It’s a great time to catch up with everyone and see what is new in their world. It’s our time to gain a fresh perspective and plan accordingly.

We know that everyone has their own rituals (for lack of a better word) around the New Year, whether it relates to business or their personal life and we hope that whatever those rituals are for you that it allows you the time you need to gain a fresh perspective on what is important to you for the New Year so that you can embrace all that 2015 has to offer with excitement and enthusiasm. Here’s to a New Year with a fresh perspective, may 2015 bring you all the changes you are hoping for and many more blessings along the way.


Attitude of Gratitude

Here in the USA during the month of November, we celebrate Thanksgiving. It’s a day spent with friends and family, eating delicious food and enjoying time together. It’s also a day that people reflect on the things they are thankful for. At Premier Event Connection we try to maintain an attitude of gratitude all year-long but we love that November gives us an opportunity to celebrate the good things that are in our life and our business.

So, in honor of the Thanksgiving we want to share the things we are grateful for:
*Our business and all its many facets
*Financial stability and a debt free company
*Challenges that cause us to grow both professionally and personally
*Always learning something new
*A job that lets us be creative
*Working with some beautiful and amazing venues
*Working with some of the best clients we have ever come in contact with
*Working with some of the most reliable and dependable event staff around – who go above and beyond without being asked.
*The love of family
*The support of amazing friends
*Living a life that makes us happy

We hope that others take time this month to be grateful for all the many blessings in their life. When you stop and take notice of how many wonderful things you have in your life, it’s really hard to not be thankful, even if something isn’t going right in the moment. We have learned over the last few years that having an attitude of gratitude rally makes all the differences both in the way you deal with everyday challenges and the way you see the world. Truly, when you have an attitude of gratitude you just seem to find more and more to be grateful for. Try it – you may just love the difference in perception that it bring to your life.