The Event House of Horrors

halloweenIn the spirit of Halloween we thought it might be fun to create our own haunted house of sorts. We started thinking about how the traditional elements of a haunted house could be applied to the event world. What would happen if we combined common mistakes and missteps into a single show?

  • Hall of Mirrors – Tradeshows can be overwhelming. Even attendees with the best laid plans can get sidetracked on the show floor. They can be confused by layout and/or distracted by competing audio and visual assets of exhibitors. Try to set a clear path through the show floor and plan booth layout so that two super loud or super visual companies are not set up right next to each other.
  • Cobwebs – Tradition can be heartwarming but when year after year you are “treating” attendees to the same thing it gets stale. Make sure you brush off the cobwebs. Look at attendee feedback and keep the elements of your show that are consistently praised and change up the elements that not only get negative feedback, but also those that never get mentioned at all.
  • Zombies – In the event world Zombies are people manning a booth that clearly have no knowledge of the product they are selling. They work off a script and take no interest in engaging in two-way conversation. Instead of mumbling, “brains….brains….I want brains” you can hear them asking, “leads…..leads…I need to meet my lead quota.”
  • Trap Doors – Make sure session descriptions are accurate. You don’t want attendees leaving a session or the event in general feeling like it was not what they expected. In a similar vein, make sure to clearly indicate which events are product-focused. Imagine an attendee looking forward to a session on “How to accelerate your move to cloud.” They think there will be some best practices shared, actionable tips, etc., but instead it ends up being a sales pitch for a specific cloud service. At that point they may wish an actual trap door would appear to take them away.

We’d love to hear from you. What are some of the scariest situations you’ve found yourself in at events? Let us know in the comments.

Survey Says…..Poll Your Audience!

PollDuring election season we hear a lot about polls. Polling is integral to our democratic society. In fact, the Declaration of Independence requires that public opinion be taken into account. It states that our government functions expressly with “the consent of the governed.” Abraham Lincoln took this heart when he said, “What I want to get done is what the people desire to have done, and the question for me is how to find that out exactly.” This same concern should be shared by every event planner.

It is critical to remember that events exist to serve the attendees with a benefit to the planner (be that monetary or in intangible brand reputation). If attendees are not satisfied, the benefits will not be realized. To be successful, polling must go beyond leaving paper questionnaires on chairs and sending post-event surveys via email.  Just like in political races, polling must happen throughout the event process.

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How Educators Get an Education

educationAt GovEvents, there are a host of ways professionals can continue their education in their career path of choice. But how do those that teach get their continuing education? Even educators and those in the education community need continuing education (how meta is that?). We’ve pulled together some of the key events for the education community in the coming months.

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The UnConference

unconferenceMuch like Alice learned when happening upon the unbirthday party in Wonderland, everyone wins when events become inclusive – it’s more about the group than one single person. This idea, as fantastical as it sounds, is truly making its way into the event world. We wrote earlier this year about events without speakers as well as how streaming technologies are allowing attendees to broadcast event content themselves. But these are isolated tactics. What might a complete unconference look like?

We may get our answer this May when the American Society for Association Executives (ASAE) launches their new program, Xperience Design Project (XDP). This program replaces the association’s long running and wildly popular Springtime conference. This event ran like a typical tradeshow with keynote speakers, break-out sessions, and a trade show floor, but organizers found that attendees were ready for something different. Continue reading

The Treats of Cybersecurity Month

2016CybersecurityThe scariest thing in the month of October used to be Halloween. Since first being recognized as cybersecurity awareness month in 2004, October has served to educate the public about the very real threats in cyberspace.

Spearheaded by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the cyber events held nationwide throughout October serve to engage and educate public and private sector partners and raise awareness about cybersecurity. These events aim to provide tools and resources needed to stay safe online, increasing the resiliency of the Nation in the event of a cyber incident. DHS has organized the weeks of the month around themes to help direct this education. This year’s themes are:

  • Week 1: October 3-7, 2016 – Every Day Steps Towards Online Safety with Stop.Think.Connect.™
  • Week 2: October 10-14, 2016 – Cyber from the Break Room to the Board Room
  • Week 3: October 17-21, 2016 – Recognizing and Combating Cybercrime
  • Week 4: October 24-28, 2016 – Our Continuously Connected Lives: What’s Your ‘App’-titude?
  • Week 5: October 31, 2016 – Building Resilience in Critical Infrastructure

We wanted to highlight a number of the events taking place across the nation throughout the month of October that will tackle these tough and important topics.

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