“EG Tips” – How to Get the Most Out of Your Event Photographer

“EG Tips” – How to Get the Most Out of Your Event Photographer

You have one opportunity to capture your event in all of its glory, before it is gone forever. Choosing the right event photographer and ensuring they are well prepared is essential. Here are the reasons why I think it is so important and my top tips for capturing stunning event photography.

Don’t Cut Corners

Imagine running a huge and complex international conference with over 1,000 attendees only to find out that the photographs captured were not of the standard you anticipated and that frankly you were not happy using any of them. All of that hard work and all of the magical moments were lost forever.
Unfortunately the client had been adamant that an amateur photographer from their team would do the event justice and that the budget simply was not there to justify a professional photographer. However the voluntary photographer’s lack of experience and lack of photographic equipment or knowledge of using it meant that they failed miserably. Of course once an event is over the moment is lost and without great photos to show it is difficult to easily convey the story of the event. A picture really is worth a thousand words.
If budget is tight and doesn’t allow for a photographer throughout the whole event consider contracting a photographer for a half day or even a few hours. Don’t learn it the hard way.

Smartphone’s vs. Photographer

The cameras on most Smartphone’s and tablets are superb quality and the effects that can be achieved with photo editing apps is astounding – but can you really rely on your audience to crowd source all of the key moments of the event you need?
I always recommend to clients that a professional event photographer is worth every single penny. I still appreciate and encourage everyone attending my events (staff included) to take photos using their Smartphone’s and tablets and this is great at capturing specific moments and particularly sharing on social media quickly HOWEVER for me there is a huge gap between these snapshots and the quality of the pictures returned by a professional photographer.
If you are committed to the benefits of having a professional photographer how then do you ensure that you get the most from them?

Check Portfolio and References

Developed a great relationship with a photographer who is your first choice for all events. Of course he/she might be in demand and with event lead times often being short and locations being varied he/she is not always able to accommodate. In these cases explore other options. It is vital to look at the portfolio and testimonials or references for any photographer you are considering working with. Specifically look at examples of other event work and similar projects they have undertaken and most importantly ensure that you like their style and creative flair.

Ask for a Quotation

Give as much information as possible to the photographer when asking them to quote for a project. What times realistically do you need them on site, what are you looking for them to cover (remember they can only be in one place at a time unless you need a team of photographers!), how many formal shots are you anticipating, how will you use the photographs afterwards, etc.

Image Copyright/Usage

It is important to be clear with the photographer how you wish to use the photographs afterwards. Will they be needed for press releases, uploaded to your website and social media, used for promotion of the event in future years, etc?
Check if the photographer needs to be credited in a specific way? What are the stipulations for how the photographs can or cannot be used?
Note that it is usual for the photographer to continue to own the rights to the photographs but just give you permission to use the shots in agreed ways.

Venue Knowledge

Has the photographer worked at the venue before? If not ensure they arrive in plenty of time to find their way around before they need to start snapping. Do you have room details listed on the program? Is there a plan of the layout and key areas you could share with them? The photographer will probably be keen to explore the venue and find some well-lit and interesting spaces to use as a backdrop for pictures throughout the event.

Brief in Advance

The morning of the event is always hectic with lots of demands for your attention. Having a written and/or verbal briefing with the photographer in advance of the day always saves precious time and ensures the photographer can get off to a flying start.
Some of the key items to cover in a brief may include:

What Style of Photography are you Looking For?

Do you need any staged formal shots, shots of speakers and performers in action, reportage, artistic shots of the food, venue and branding, pictures of people networking and engaging, pictures of the staff in action, the registration desk, etc?

What Style of Photography are you Looking For?

Do you need any staged formal shots, shots of speakers and performers in action, reportage, artistic shots of the food, venue and branding, pictures of people networking and engaging, pictures of the staff in action, the registration desk, etc?

Are There Any Key Timing to Note?

Have you requested that all keynote speakers meet at 8:30am in the main room for a group photography? Are you giving out a secret award at the end of the day and need the photographer to be poised ready to capture the moment? If so, don’t forget to convey this information to the photographer!


If there are multiple rooms in session at the same time do you expect the photographer to visit all rooms to capture a couple of quick shots from each? Or which rooms/speakers/sessions are the most vital? Would you prefer more time to be dedicated there?

Extra Requests

If you need a headshot for a new member of staff or a specific picture for your website now is the time to request it!

It’s All in the Detail

Any extra details you can share about the rooms and the venue can be really appreciated by the photographer who can ensure they are well prepared and bring along the right lenses and other equipment. For example, is natural light available or will the blackout blinds be drawn? How will the stage and speaker be lit? Is the lighting static or rotating or flashing? Is there a large projection screen behind? Will the speaker have a lapel microphone and be able to roam the stage or will they be static at the lectern? Are there any special effects?

How Soon Do You Need the Pictures after the Event?

Do you need any specific pictures to be prepared urgently? For example, you may have a press release that needs to be issued the morning after the event and need to have a few select shots ready to send with the release.
Momentum after an event is really important so how soon will you receive the rest of the edited shots? I’m keen to have all photographs within one week in most cases but you will need to agree this with your photographer as editing post event can take time.

Be Transparent

Don’t forget to let your speakers know that photographs will be taken at the event so they are not surprised to see the camera angled at them as they are presenting in full flow.
Also notify attendees and let them know that photographs will be taken and what the photographs will be used for (e.g. future marketing and promotion of the event).

Be Prepared

If someone attending your event is not willing to be photographed how can you handle this? What is the process? How can the photographer be aware at the time of taking the shot or during the editing stage? This is particularly important of young or vulnerable people are attending your event.
A simple but effective way is simply to ask them to be mindful of the photographer and to provide a coloured lanyard, badge or wristband in a bright colour which will show up in editing if they happy to stumble into a shot unnoticed.

In Conclusion

A great event photographer will stealthily and unobtrusively capture the key moments and essence of your event. Like us Event Planners a good Event Photographer will work hard, often walking for miles and barely taking a break to ensure that the event is reported in its full visual glory.
In this information-overload-of-a-world pictures are more treasured and accessible than ever, as the rise of Instagram and the performance of social media posts including pictures proves. Pictures truly are worth a thousand words and justifying the spend from your event budget on an Event Photographer is truly worth every penny.

(Social Coup LLC)

“EG Tips” – Quit Giving Free Consultations and Event Advice

“EG Tips” – Quit Giving Free Consultations and Event Advice

When people find out you plan events, are they always hitting you up for free advice? If you find that happening a lot, it’s time to put an end to it. Use these seven tips to bring in more revenue, by giving out less free advice.

There’s an ironic situation that plagues most event planners. Many ‘potential’ clients try to get free advice. Yet by doing what they ask of you, you’ve not only given away your services but devalued them as well. After all, everyone knows you get what you pay for.
But you don’t want to be rude in saying no.
So how do you navigate around those tire kickers who only want suggestions and have no intention of ever giving you the amount your advice is worth? They come to you under the appearance as a potential client and leave with a solid outline for their event with nearly a penny exchanged.

7 Ways to End Free Consultations and Event Advice
  1. Know where the request is coming from. It’s likely they simply don’t know what they’re asking.
  2. Turn the tables and ask to pick their brain.
  3. Charge for proposals.
  4. Create a freebie that answers the most common questions you receive.
  5. Offer a consultation and be clear where you begin charging for your time.
  6. Use humor to communicate your need to make a living. Don’t be afraid to be direct.
  7. Limit your free advice the way apps limit their free features. Never give them everything they want for free and they’ll be more apt to pay you.
  8. You Get What You Pay For. So Stop Being Cheap.
    There will always be people who try and get something for nothing. But you don’t have to be the person who gives it to them. However, you must be the one to set the boundaries and here’s how you can do it:

  1. Understand They Don’t Know What They’re Asking

    When you were a child you likely asked for something that was ridiculous for example a pony. You didn’t understand the cost or maintenance. You just wanted it.
    It’s likely your acquaintances see you as successful in your industry otherwise they wouldn’t ask for your opinion. And in today’s sharing economy, resources are provided largely for free. People give away ebooks, blog posts, articles, podcasts, and other treasure troves of information for FREE. And no one bats an eye. But when they ask in person, we feel put upon.
    Plus, the person inquiring doesn’t know how often this happens either. For most people, one question isn’t a big deal but when you’re faced with your brain ‘getting picked’ every day, it takes a toll. But before you lose your patience with them, keep some perspective. While they likely respect you as someone who knows what they’re talking about, they have no idea how often you’re asked for professional advice.
    But why are you getting angry?

    Maybe because you’ve already given so much of yourself. Maybe it’s because you had them on the line and really believed they were ready to become a client. Whatever the reason you are angry with their request, let it go. They don’t know how inappropriate it is. They think they’re just ‘talking shop’ with you. Hey, it’s your business. Don’t you want to talk about it? Sure you do. Just like doctors and car mechanics like to diagnose issues by symptoms and sounds at cocktail parties.
    If you must blame anyone, blame the search engines. No one has to work for information, they only need to Google it.
    Now that you’ve left the anger behind, move on to the next tip.

  2. Ask to Pick Their Brain

    This works best if they have a job, but it’s a lot of fun to ask them for something free. For instance, ask a museum curator who wants ‘advice’ on how you would host an event if you could have a priceless piece of art to hang in your hallway on loan. Admit to them that you’re okay with it being of the lesser-valued works that they have in storage. See if they understand the correlation.

  3. Charge For Proposals

    Some people ask for your planning advice but others describe their event and ask you to ‘bid’. When you create an itemized bid, they now have your ideas and you never hear from them again.
    Instead, if someone asks you to bid on a project, explain that your bid process is not free because you customize your approach to every event. Doing that takes time so you request a small upfront payment. If you are selected for the project, that amount goes towards final payment. This will root anyone out who isn’t serious about seeking your services.
    This approach makes some event planners nervous because they don’t like the idea of potential clients being turned off when asked to pay for something they normally aren’t charged for. Look at it this way, if they select you, they pay nothing out of pocket. If, on the other hand, your talents are so easily overlooked because you place a nominal charge on something, this is not a client you want to work with anyway.
    All event planners need to learn sooner rather than later that clients are selecting them but they are also able to select their clients.

  4. Create a Freebie

    If you’re always being asked for event planning ideas, create a generic proposal on your website. A designer can help you create an easy interactive piece where the visitor can add their information and have a quick customized list of what they need. Or you could create articles that walk people through the planning process or a checklist on how to estimate event needs.
    Make a list of our most commonly asked questions when someone asks to ‘pick your brain’. Brainstorm how many of these can be turned into freebies. Creating good content will improve your SEO on your site but will also impress your website visitors with your knowledge.
    These resources won’t detract from signing clients because the people who go this route never to be seen again, didn’t intend to pay you for your services anyway. But they may appreciate the help and you could get a future referral from them.

  5. Offer a Consultation

    If someone asks to ‘pick your brain’, take the lead by countering with something like, “Fantastic. I’m glad to hear you’re interested in learning more about my event planning process. The next step is my personal consultation where I can learn more about your event and we can talk about event planning options. The charge for my 30-minute session is $________. I also have an hour session for $_________ that comes with a list of ideal venues (or some other value add). Which one works best for you?”
    This type of conversation takes out any guessing or misinterpretation about what portions of your work are free. Instead of blaming potential clients for asking for too many free things, be more deliberate in your approach and clearly explain the process. They simply don’t know.

  1. Use Humor

    If someone offers to ‘pick your brain’ over lunch you can always use humor to diffuse the situation like, “Lunch would be very nice but I tried paying my mortgage last month with ‘brain pickings’ and for some reason, the bank wanted real money.” Most professionals understand this gentle reminder and you may both have a good laugh over it. But don’t try this over email. Humor can seem snarky without hearing tone.

  2. Free Advice Should Only Be Why and What, Never How

    If you find yourself giving free advice after all, always speak in generic terms. Give the why and what if you must, but never the how. If they press you for details, explain that you customize each event proposal to the specifics of the client. It’s why your business has been so successful. Then suggest a personal consultation and lay out your fee structure for doing so.
    If charging for a consultation doesn’t feel right to you, explain that you charge for the initial consultation but if they become a client, that amount will be applied to the event planning fee.
    What Things Should You Give Away for Free?
    As mentioned above, creating giveaways and other valuable content can give you something to refer others to when they start asking for your knowledge. But you don’t want to stop there. Giving away knowledge in the proper format aids your career but only if it’s preserved. It can elevate you as a thought leader or top in your field, which allows you to command a higher price from your clients. Here are a few suggestions on what you should give away for free;

    • Good content on your website. Including the suggestions in #4.
    • Volunteering in an industry association either physically or by writing an article.
    • Blog content.
    • Newsletter for subscribers. This keeps people interested in you and up-to-date on best practices in between events.
    • Speaking opportunities in your industry (this doesn’t need be free but does continue to elevate your brand)


Okay, so this is a little bit of a tangent, but another time it makes sense to give advice away for free is in a mutually-beneficial relationship. But the critical point here is ‘mutually-beneficial’ because when you give your offerings away for free, you are discounting their value so you need to make sure you’re getting something really good out of the deal too. For instance, a great event photographer volunteers their services if you’ll help out in a high-profile charity event. While exposure doesn’t pay the bills, networking can. So if there’s a true benefit to you bartering service for service, go for it.

Turn These Requests into a Business.

If you continue to get requests for help after you initiate a charge for proposals and consultations, guess what? You have a new business. Some people want the guidance of an event professional but can’t afford to have someone on staff for the entire event, before and after. But what they can afford is someone to point them in the right direction with ideas and tips and a good organizational structure.
If you create a formula, with a few plug-ins for variables from event to event, you could create a watered down version of what you do and begin charging for it in a few different ways such as:

  • As a preliminary consultant. Establish what they need and create a plan for them to follow. You could charge this as an hourly fee or a flat service fee.
  • Day-of assistant or manager. You come in only the day of the event to be the heavy and ensure everything runs smoothly. This also allows your client to enjoy more of the event knowing someone else is taking care of the work that day.
  • By writing a book.

    If you create a magic formula for planning and managing an event, you can share it with the world by writing a book. While there is an initial time investment, a book provides another stream of revenue and is an easy suggestion for you to give when people are asking for free advice.

All of these ideas can help fill in any blank space you have in your event planning calendar and still allow you to get paid for it. If you’re already receiving a lot of requests for information and advice, it would be an easy addition, and perhaps a lucrative one.

In Conclusion

The next time someone wants to ‘pick your brain’, tell them you prefer to leave the work to the professionals, of which you would expect to pay. A friend asking you if they should have roses or hydrangeas as a centerpiece is very different than someone wanting a complete proposal for a party they never plan on hiring someone for. You can’t stop them from asking but you can recognize who they are and refuse to participate in their ruse. Let someone else’s brain be picked.

(Social Coup LLC)

“EG Tips” – Eventprofs and International Clients

“EG Tips” – Eventprofs and International Clients

Are you planning on doing business with a foreign entity in their country? Maybe you’re hiring a vendor at an international destination or perhaps you’re outsourcing some planning work to someone in the country where your next event will be held? If so, there are a few things you should know and tips that can make working with international clients more enjoyable and lucrative for everyone.

Working with international clients requires a bit of research on your part before agreeing to the terms of any contract that either of you is drafting. In this article, I touch upon things you should consider and ways to make the working relationship and payment schedule as smooth as possible. Still, laws for individual countries vary. It’s important you research the specifics before signing (or drafting) anything.

Tips on Working with an International Client

There are many differences in culture and expectations when working with international clients. While the following advice will provide information about things you should consider, these are simply suggestions for all countries. Never assume because you’re working with someone who shares a good command of your language that all people conduct business in the same way.

  1. Avoid using slang or colloquialisms in client email.

    Some of our phrases can be very disturbing when literally translated. Before sending each email, reread them and remove any slang, humor, or sarcasm. These things often get lost in translation.

  2. Be aware of time zones

    . An international client could be half a day off of your schedule. Sending an email during your business day could be the middle of their night. Before doing this, understand their work hours. Some international clients work on a Canadian schedule because it’s more convenient for them if they work with many Canadian companies. But never assume this. It’s important to understand whether they mind receiving emails in the middle of the night. Some people turn their phones off. While others could be notified of your email at 3 a.m. their time. It’s also best for this reason to pre-arrange any calls needed to find a time that suits both schedules.

  3. Seek clarification if you don’t understand what’s being asked or stipulated.

    Sometimes, as mentioned earlier, things are lost in translation. If something’s unclear don’t assume they mean the most common definition. Some languages and their words do not have direct translations.

  4. Know the legal components with a contract.

    Your standard event client contract may not cover you in the country you are doing business. It’s important you work with an attorney that can help you understand the details of the transaction. For instance, the French court system allows a person involved in a civil/business case to withhold documentation that may be damaging to their case. This is not the situation in Canadian courts and you may want to advise your client of these differences. You should also be aware of the power of the courts in the country of the person you’re doing business with. For instance, recent changes to French law allow courts to alter contracts based on financial hardship.

  5. Know the cultural differences.

    It’s important when working with a foreign client that you perform your due diligence to understand what is acceptable and what is not in a business arrangement. For instance, using someone’s first name without being told to may be too forward, while talking about price too early in the process may be considered rude in a country. Making contact on a holy day may be too brazen. Understand these differences at the beginning of the working relationship so you don’t negatively impact your opportunity.

  6. Watch out for holidays.

    Canada has different holidays compared to other countries. Plus, for most of our population working on the weekend is not unheard of. That is not the case with all other countries. Office Holidays can help you better understand when your foreign client is working and when they aren’t. This will assist in schedules and expectations with answers over email communications.

  7. Turn to those who know.

    There are many (online) communities around the globe that can help you understand the differences between your country and the one you’re trying to do business with. They are also able to translate concepts for you in a less formal way. You may be able to ask them questions that you wouldn’t feel comfortable discussing first with the client, particularly if there is a language barrier. Local chambers of commerce may be able to help as well.

  8. Understand cultural expectations.

    In some countries celebrations are often capped by doing shots of an alcoholic beverage. “If you were to not drink it or have any sort of reaction to that initial taste, it would definitely lower your standing within a meeting.”

Things Event Planners Need to Know About Getting Paid by International Clients

  1. Understand how you will get paid.

    Working with an international client is not as easy as asking them to mail a check. If they don’t have a Canadian bank account and you do business in Canada, you will incur large fees from your bank. Paypal is probably one of the easiest and least expensive ways to receive foreign money. However, Paypal will charge you a processing fee much the way a credit card company does.

  2. Be specific about currency.

    Never assume the preferred currency. Make sure you specify how it will be paid and in what form. You might want to be paid (or pay) in your currency but you could also calculate the exchange rate for them and pay it in local currency. Be clear about which you are doing so there are no misunderstandings.

  3. Agree in writing.

    While contracts may vary from country to country, you are still safest to have the terms in writing. Payment amount and terms should be listed. What’s considered an acceptable timetable in Canada for a deliverable or payment is not always the same overseas.

  4. Use referrals.

    You may have very little recourse in another country when it comes to a breach of contract so using a known venue or vendor will give you more peace of mind. Ask other event planners who have worked in the area or turn to the expat community. Working with someone who has worked with someone you know and/or trust will be much less risky than simply searching on Google.

In Conclusion

If you’re looking to do more overseas work it’s important you perform your due diligence. Explore the country and the culture. Learn a little bit about the laws governing business and choose known entities to avoid greater risk.

(Social Coup LLC)

“EG Tips” – How To Get Attendees To Sell Tickets For You

“EG Tips” – How To Get Attendees To Sell Tickets For You

The aim of the game for any event organizer is to sell out their event. It’s a no brainer. In order to make this a reality you need to ensure your utilizing your most effective promotional tools. Well guess what? Your audience might just be your best ticket to pushing more tickets.

Once upon a time we lived in a world where newspaper print ads, commercial radio spots, expensive television advertising, and downtown billboards seemed like the only real way to penetrate the market with your marketing messages. Of course, word of mouth amongst friends was still a prominent thing but it has its own limitations; namely the reach without assistance of instant messaging and a wide spread of ‘followers’.
Enter 2016, the year that witnesses global social media penetration of 31% (2.34bn users) with predictions for 2020 sitting at 2.95bn users. That will result in a 205% increase in social media users since 2010. The point being, if you’re not utilizing these channels to maximize ticket sales, now is the time to start.
Let’s take a look at 4 tactics that utilize one of your biggest promotional tools – your audience.

Social Sharing During the Purchase Journey

It’s no lie that people are influenced by their peers. The term FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) is often used and describes that internal pressure we put on ourselves to never miss out on the fun things in life, particularly events. So as an event organizer, you should capitalize on this modern day buzzword and provide your attendees with the tools to reach their network of friends easily across social platforms.
Does your current ticketing platform allow your attendees to celebrate their ticket purchase with one simple click? Facebook and Twitter are the two obvious choices here and it should be mandatory. Do not settle for less! Although a wider friend circle (i.e. audience) can be reached on Facebook and Twitter, sometimes the message can be diluted due to abundance of content streaming through the platforms. Step in, WhatsApp! This direct messaging service allows groups of friends, not acquaintances, to communicate directly with each other, which will have a much bigger impact on influencing a purchase. Is this an option from your current ticketing service? If not maybe it’s time to look around.

Provide the Content to Make their Job Easy

As mentioned above, there is an abundance of content available on social media so the only way to cut through is by providing something that is actually worth sharing. You need to strike the ‘nostalgic bone’ with your current attendees so that there is an organic reaction to share this content with their friends and followers. After-movies are a great way to achieve this as they instantly strike a chord with the attendee who desperately wishes they were back in their happy place, your event! The next action that takes place is the need for this attendee to let their friends know what they missed out on! In the lead up to your event, beautiful imagery is still king. Ensure you are investing in professional photography that provides you with a gallery of images you can test on your audience. Use analytics to determine which images gain the most interaction with your audience so you can focus on turning these interactions into ticket sales. If you can do your part in providing unique, interesting content, you can sit back (a little) and let your attendees spread the word.

Limited ‘Fire’ Sale

Nothing gets social media communities excited quite like a limited time sale. Use twitter as a platform to announce a 1 hour only sale where a limited number of tickets will be available at a heavily discounted price and provide a hashtag for the consumer to repost and get friends and followers onboard. Tease your followers with a series of tweets, building up to the limited ‘fire’ sale so that excitement starts to bubble amongst your direct followers, before seeding it’s way to their followers when they can’t help but retweet and tag friends in this exclusive offering. When the time comes, post your hidden URL ticket link and watch the sales roll in. Only create a ‘fire’ sale around a particular event or holiday as to not devalue your event (e.g “Exclusive Christmas Sale”). Keep the tickets limited so you don’t damage your bottom line and think about the marketing budget you just saved by opting for a simple (and FREE) tweet over a traditional (potentially expensive) marketing campaign.

Turn Attendees into Reps

Why not incentivize your audience by providing the opportunity for individuals to become reps for your event. You can easily provide the rep with a tracked link which they can then share across their social networks to gain interest from friends and family. As long as the new ticket buyer uses this tracked link to go on to purchase a ticket, the rep will be recognized as successfully selling a ticket and you can then proceed in rewarding one of your new brand ambassadors. An incentive could be a free ticket if they can sell five tickets through their social network, or even an exclusive experiential reward such as back stage access at your event, or meet & greets with the talent.

In Conclusion

It’s important to remember that you have one of your strongest, most influential promotional tools through attendees and their vast social networks. You can easily gain help from those who are already loyal to your brand and are willing to spread your sales messages with a simple click. Ensure you do your part by providing the content and incentives to make their job as easy as possible to sell more tickets.

(Social Coup LLC)

“EG Tips” – Proven Ways of Using Beacons to Redefine the Event Experience

“EG Tips” – Proven Ways of Using Beacons to Redefine the Event Experience

As the number of events with cutting-edge technology and elaborate activations continues to grow, so too does the need to push the envelope when it comes to your own event technology.
As one of the mobile innovations emerging in the event space, iBeacons (Apple’s location-based technology) can enhance virtually any attendee touch point, with the goal of differentiating your brand and maximizing user engagement. Yet as Event Organizers and Marketers start to recognize the value of beacons in improving attendee experiences, the full potential for beacons has yet to be tapped into.

More Efficient Networking

Networking in particular can be greatly improved by using beacon networks to show users a mobile view of other attendees, as well as venues and sessions in the area. Combine this information with tight LinkedIn integration and in-app messaging and attendees are armed with the insight and tools to initiate the right conversations with the right people.
Aimed at inspiring more meaningful connections, leveraging hyper-local beacons to sync the right people has the potential for creating more memorable events. At larger events where attendance can be in the hundreds of thousands, it’s valuable for honing in on the most relevant users. Providing deeper context, apps can now show which LinkedIn contacts are in the vicinity and which of those have similar session favorites.

Keeping Attendees Up To Speed

Most conference attendees and festival audiences now rely on an event’s official app to plan and maximize their experience. It’s an effective way to personalize their schedules, prioritize their time, and get to where they need to be.
Adding another layer to real-time attendee updates, beacon-enabled alerts reach the right attendees based on their location. Inevitable scenarios such as session changes or last-minute ticket releases can now be pushed out as alerts to nearby attendees, making it easy to manage an event’s moving parts and communicate these changes in the most relevant way.

Driving Real-Time Participation

While session-level discussion and participation often rank high as indicators of event engagement, they can also be challenging to achieve. The key to harnessing the commonality of interest in a specific topic can be as simple as providing a way for attendees to check in to sessions at a given venue.
Beacons make this possible by recognizing attendees in a room or venue, prompting them to check in with the event app, and letting them join ongoing conversations with other users at the same session, enabling a new level of interaction. Tapping into this engagement, organizers can also run in-app polls in real time and drive survey responses from those same users.

Removing the Friction From Event Activities

Larger, more complex events are inherently more of a logistical challenge for attendees. From navigating massive trade show floors to dealing with extensive queues, these mandatory’s can take away from the overall experience.
To streamline badge pick-up, beacons can be used to serve up the required information to arriving attendees in the registration area. Often the first interaction at an event, a fast-tracked registration process ensures a solid first impression and allows attendees to make the most of their time. Smart phones including the Apple Watch also work with beacons to display tickets or codes on the watch with zero effort, delivering a new level of convenience and ease.
Beacon-enabled way finding enables users to navigate vast indoor spaces such as exhibitor areas, providing attendees with routing and turn-by-turn directions, and event organizers with behavioral data and visual heat maps on real-time occupancy and dwell time. This unprecedented level of real-time insights can be invaluable for managing crowd control and helping organizers plan and optimize future events.

Amplifying Brand & Building Engagement

As use cases for beacons continue to emerge at leading events, its overall value is apparent to marketers seeking unique ways to showcase their brands. Some of the world’s stellar events have already seen real-world successes, pioneering different approaches for implementing and taking advantage of beacon capabilities.

In Conclusion

Building on its role as a communication platform for targeting users and reaching users with relevant content, beacons in an event-based setting shifts the focus from messages to enhancing the attendee’s experience. Its ability to reshape how attendees interact with brands, sponsors, and each other is expected to transform the event landscape – providing you with the next mobile innovation you should consider weaving into the fabric of your own event.

(Social Coup LLC)

“EG Tips” – Event Security: 10 Questions Event Planners Need To Ask Their Venues

“EG Tips” – Event Security: 10 Questions Event Planners Need To Ask Their Venues

The world is on high alert and security and safety of our attendees is a major concern. Here are 10 key topics every event planner should be discussing with their venues.

In today’s multi-billion dollar sports, events and entertainment industry, event security is the number one concern. From minor incidents to worldwide terrorist attacks, every event planner is uneasy and the landscape is ever-changing. Safeguarding today’s stadiums, venues and arenas requires a proactive mindset along with focused, concentrated efforts and checks. The significance of ongoing training, resources, and the integration of technology to improve safety within our event spaces cannot be ignored.
Here are 10 vital areas event planners need to discuss with their venues and the security team in advance of their event. Asking these questions can reduce the threats, challenges and vulnerabilities and ensure you prepare for and deliver the best duty of care to your guests.

  1. Training

    Good training is the best way to prepare all staff for how to deal with different situations and to know what to look out for in the first place. A good venue will ensure that venue and security staff have regular training and also regularly test knowledge, skills and reactions in a variety of different tests and drills.
    Questions to ask:
    What specific training is given to your security staff?
    What safety and security training have general venue staff received?
    How recent was the training?
    How are staff tested?
    How often are they challenged? How often do they have tests and drills?
    What efforts are you making to motivate your staff to be the best staff possible?

  2. Exterior Perimeters

    The safety of a venue doesn’t end at the front doors or the site boundary, vigilance is needed for a wider footprint of the area. Good venues will recognize this and have robust plans in place.
    Questions to ask:
    Are you paying close attention to exterior entry points?
    Are there busy areas outside the perimeter?
    Do you effectively utilize resources to monitor these, for example with bike patrols, CCTV, and contracted law enforcement personnel?

  3. Coordination of Efforts/First Responders

    It is important that the venue and blue light services work closely together and that emergency services are well informed and familiar with the layout and specifics of the building and immediate area.
    Questions to ask:
    How often do you invite law enforcement, EMS (Emergency Medical Services), and fire department services to the venue?
    Are they familiar with the physical attributes of the stadium/venues/arena they are entrusted to protect?

  4. Deployments

    Security isn’t just about monitoring, checks and surveillance behind the scenes, a major part is engaging with fans during ingress, developing a rapport and treating people with dignity and respect, while earning their respect in return. The venues best communicators should be on the front line, having a visible presence and talking to people at the entry points.
    Questions to ask:
    Are you effectively utilizing “smart deployment” with your personnel?

  5. Drone Policy

    Drones raise a number of security concerns. Every outdoor venue, stadium or arena should have a drone policy in place.
    Questions to ask:
    Do you have a Drone policy?
    What is the procedure for dealing with Drones?
    What steps will you take in the event you are confronted with a drone landing at the 50 yard line?

  1. Threat and Vulnerability Assessments

    Venue owners have a responsibility to limit and manage threats and to do this they need to regularly assess, review and take steps to increase safety and security. Countermeasures can be identified and put in place to lower the levels of risk and avoid areas of weakness.
    Questions to ask:
    How often do you conduct a thorough top to bottom view of your stadium/venue/arena?
    Can you give some examples of measures and upgrades that have been put in place as a result of an assessment?

  2. Person and Bag Checks and Searches

    Many venues have technology in place for security checks of bags and individuals, similar to technology used at airport security. Other venues do manual bag checks and pat down individuals.
    Questions to ask:
    What is the procedure in terms of bag checks?
    Are airport style scanners available to check baggage?
    What is the procedure in terms of person checks/searches of people?
    Are the checks for everyone? Or done at random?
    What are you checking for?

  3. Alcohol and Beverage Control Program

    Alcohol related incidents are common at venues licensed to serve alcohol so putting a policy in place is wise. Measures often include limiting the amount of drinks purchased in a single transaction, ID checks and only serving alcohol in certain areas to reduce harm and incidents.
    Questions to ask:
    Do you have an alcohol and beverage control program in place?
    What training is given to staff?
    Is knowledgeable staff available to identify intoxicated patrons in the space?

  4. Active Shooter and Workplace Violence Situations

    Terrorist attacks and active shooters are on the increase and being prepared for such a situation could save many lives.
    Questions to ask:
    Have you prepared your staff for what to do in an active shooter situation?
    As event planners what do we need to know?

    In such a situation how would the event team, venue and security work together? What are the responsibilities of each?

  5. Crowd Control

    Understanding and monitoring the movement and density of the crowds will enable you to be proactive if you need to be before any situations of overcrowding arise.
    Questions to ask:
    How do you space patrons entering the stadium or venue?
    How do you monitor and control crowd density?
    How are you doing your best to prevent bottlenecks and choke points from forming?

In Conclusion

Safety is the number one priority for event planners and the world of event security is ever changing. Managing the ebb and flow of crowd control, dynamics and demographics in this space takes effort. By taking the time to contemplate, educate ourselves, research, and share best practices with one another we can ensure that our venues and events are safer. Asking questions concerning these 10 key areas are a great starting point to discuss with your venue the measures, checks and procedures in place for managing safety and security effectively at your event.

(Social Coup LLC)