Archive for April, 2010

Staying Active Pays Off!

April 29, 2010

It is great when you get recognized by your peers for your efforts within your respective industry. Earlier this week I received the following message from a board member at MPI-CAC (Meeting Professionals International – Chicago Area Chapter):

“Along with global warming and what to make for dinner, you’re on my mind. Clearly there are countless reasons, yet the most important one is the celebration of your selection for April 2010 Volunteer of the month.”

The take away; constantly seeking new and exciting information about your professional field and participating as an industry-leader is very rewarding.

Have you received any accolades lately? Grab some room next to me on my soapbox and tell me about it!

Event Production 101: Understanding Expectations

April 24, 2010

I’ve been working with Siemens USA for over 20 years and can say with confidence; they understand the significance of face-to-face interaction. That is why I’m excited to say that I’m currently producing one of their upcoming sector meetings. In related news; it is not always an easy task to organize an event for a company that employs over 430,000 people worldwide.

However, our success at Esprit Productions has come from keeping it simple and following two easy rules:

  1. Understanding our clients expectations
  2. Delivering

Whether you’re creating an event for 10 people or 10,000 it is important to know what your client would like to accomplish. Once you understand their expectations, create open conversation and deliver to the best of your ability! Your client will be pleased to hear your listening.

Have you been to an event that met every expectation? If so, how did it feel? I’d like to hear about it!

The Progression of Audience Voting

April 20, 2010

Do you remember watching Star Search with Ed McMahon. The best episodes always had the challenger and champion caught in a tie. The winner was then determined by the audience. The cameras would cut to the audience (all dressed in great late 80s clothes) holding a small key pad with two buttons. The excitement was at an all-time high simply by engaging the audience and a sure fire way to engage people is by asking for their input. But technology has allowed us to evolve in the way we  track the audience’s responses.

I recently produced an event that used enotes, an interactive laptop software that captures and measures the audience’s feedback. The results were nothing short of astonishing!

Enotes has two primary functions:

  1. Instant Messaging: Attendees can submit feedback in their own words, instead of just checking a box on a one-size-fits-all questionnaire
  2. Interactive Voting: This function leaves endless possibilities, like using enotes to receive real-time feedback on presenters or as a great way to wrap up a meeting and gather suggestions

Bottom line; it is much easier to successfully measure audience engagement by collecting their full thoughts rather than just asking them to select a one-size-fits-all multiple choice answer.

Have you been to a corporate event that used technology to capture real-time feedback? If so, leave a comment, I’d love to hear about it!

Tech Tip: Brand the Set

April 13, 2010

In today’s high tech, constantly changing visual world it is not just enough to put a logo on the set and light it. As we began to produce Nielsen’s upcoming customer conference at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas, we wanted to create a stage that would have movement, color and animation. Our idea was to create an exciting environment for these leading marketing and media professionals from around the world.

To make this happen we are using Barco’s MiTrix that allows us to create impactful visuals and animations to change the look and feel of the set throughout the sessions. Thanks to this technology, we can turn a flat, stagnant set  into an innovative, visual experience to engage our attendees!

Barco’s MiTrix can:

  • Project images or animations
  • Set different size screens, leaving endless creative possibilities
  • Take a boring space and transform it into an exciting display of image projection

Take a look at how MiTrix turned this empty space into the focal point of the room:

Do you use another way to turn a “blah” space into a brilliant space? Leave a comment, I’d love to hear about it!

The Secret to Event Production Success

April 10, 2010

Many types of businesses have a very complex formula for success. However, the key to success in event production is deeply rooted in planning and delivering two important concepts; big and little ideas. Excellent corporate event production is similar to winning a baseball game. You need big, home-run type ideas to put runs on the board and deliver instant engagement. However, a good baseball team doesn’t neglect to perform the simple, fundamental tasks as well!

Jim Belushi performing with the Sacred Heart Band

A great example of a big idea I used during a sales force reception was inviting Jim Belushi and the Sacred Heart Band (above) to perform. Belushi and his band brought down the house and put energy and excitement into a company that was looking for a spark to get their team going. Needless to say, the mission was accomplished.

But as I mentioned one should never over look the little things that make a great event. For instance, have your C-Level team go from table to table and shake hands with everyone in the room. It may not seem like much but this is the type of gesture that really resonates with attendees.

It’s like I’ve always said, big Ideas can make impressions but little ideas can leave lasting impressions.

Have you been to a corporate event that had a great mix of big and little ideas? Tell me about it by leaving a comment!

Snapshots: GranTree Reunion

April 6, 2010

I recently released a few posts about the GranTree reunion I attended in beautiful Las Vegas! Here are a few shots from our weekend event:


Doing what I love, producing and overseeing corporate events!

Don't we look like the Rat Pack version 2.0? Gotta love Vegas!

Having fun and keeping the event lively is the key to having audience engagement. Plus, it is just plain fun to see your friends and colleagues looking silly

I have a request, show me your favorite shot you’ve taken at a corporate event or reunion lately! I’d love to see it.

Event Production 101: Staying out of the gutter or not!

April 2, 2010

Having a unique venue for your evening functions can make a corporate event. Often times event planners fail to place themselves in their client shoes, selecting venues out of routine. A large aspect of the success we’ve had at Esprit Productions can be directly related to our mindfulness of breaking routines.

You may ask, what makes a venue successful? A successful venue gives attendees options, engages audience members and creates positive participation amongst attendees!

For instance, I am currently producing a user conference for SmartSignal at the Swiss Hotel. I could have elected to hold the evening event with one of the usual suspects (a museum, a private room at a restaurant or a dinner cruise) but instead I chose Lucky Strike bowling lanes (above).

What sounds like more fun to you: Staying glued to your seat while you have another sit down dinner or giving a high five to the IT guy after picking up a 7-10 split?

Have you been to an event that picked a unique venue that really engaged attendees? Tell me about it by leaving a comment; I’m always looking for cool, new spots!