The Aviator - 1 - Copy

Site visit no nos

Knowledge gained on a site visit of not only the venue but, of the team showing you the venue to me, sets the scene for how my event will run. In the last few weeks, I have done a lot so I would say I have a fair amount of experience on which to base the following blog post.

One of my site visits lately was so bad. It was such as shame as it is a great venue and now I would honestly think twice about running an event there. I won’t give too much away about where it was but it did get me thinking about what I would do if I was trying to sell my venue and what I look for when I attend a site visit. Here are my top three tips!

Research

Do your research. If I am coming in to see your space, do a little research. Look back through your file! Has my company used you before? Has there been inquiries previously, is there any feedback you can look at? To me researching a potential sales company before the site visit seems a no brainier but in all my years in events, I can’t really remember anyone really doing right and bringing it up ” you used our private dining room back in 2014, how do you think it went” or the like would be amazing to hear! At the very least look up the company and see what sort of industry they are in.

Hospitality

It might be water, a Diet Coke or with any luck a glass of champagne but for the love of Doritos, offer me a drink, sit me down, ask me why I’m here… Show me some of your hospitality before we get started and it goes a long way. Don’t get me wrong, I am not just after a free drink but I think it is really important and for the majority of the time, it does happen. So many times though it doesn’t and I believe spending five minutes, over a coffee talking through what I am looking for means you show me what I need to see and you explain the way in which your space(s) will work.

Follow up 

Follow up quickly but don’t be pushy! I have come to see your space, I’m interested so don’t call me everyday and here’s a little secret. Event managers don’t like answering our phone to sales calls, it distracts us! Email us instead and we will come back to you when we can.

Now whilst above is what works for me, it may not be to everyone’s preference and I know sales teams also get busy but please, show a little effort.. It’s worth it I promise you!

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We’re famous

Nearly a year ago Kate and I set up our networking group for event managers called Eventprofslive and it has just gone from strength to strength! Last week we were featured in the Chambers Travel “Travel Matters” magazine (you can read more here) and we couldn’t be prouder!12167117_10153594918916224_1185733987_n

Kate and I recognised the gap in the market for a group that was for event managers and run by event managers. A group run by event managers working in the role every day. We understand what event managers need and the support necessary for us to do a great job. We always wanted a group that was quite informal where we could come together once or twice a month to share ideas, see new spaces, have a bite to eat and a drink or two and so….Eventprofslive was born.aston marting 3

In the past year we have held events at The Ritz, The Mondrian, The Andaz and The Dorchester to name a few.  Whilst our events have been typically evening networking events, we have also noticed the need for breakfast events and are hosting our first one in a few weeks.

We’ve helped members find  new roles and supported each other numerous times to help find a venue quickly or to perhaps run a catering company by the group to see if anyone has any feedback.

11913105_10153490905041224_1676245023_n.jpgOur group is built on social media.  We use LinkedIn and our website for a members only forum, we use Twitter to interact and ask questions and pride ourselves on being one of the forerunners in recognising the benefit of Periscope.  We started using Periscope last year for doing virtual show rounds when members couldn’t make it to our events.

Our hosts have also seen amazing results from hosting our events too.  One sales manager reported back to us that our tweets on the night of the event had a reach of 80,000 Twitter users.

We think our group is amazing and so far we have over 70 members. If you want more information or would like to join you can find more information on our website here.

If you are a venue who would like to host one of our events you can email us here! 

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London’s best deal on London’s best steak: Hawksmoor with Bookatable

I loved reading this but it made me want steak! bad! great blog

Curious London

I’m not going to tell you how amazing Hawksmoor’s steaks are, because you already know. EVERYONE already knows. (And if you don’t, then the rumours are true. Hawksmoor steaks are fucking brilliant.)

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The Royal Exchange

On Tuesday, we held our first event of 2016 at The Royal Exchange, kindly hosted by D&D.
​To be fair it’s pretty cold right now and we were worried we may loose a few members whom would rather head home to don their pyjamas but alas, our members are loyal and we had 13 in total.

On arrival at the Royal Exchange, our gracious hosts offered a rum punch to keep us warm before a tour of the fabulous event spaces at. The main spaces consist of The Gallery (private dining rooms) which accommodate 26 seated/50 standing, The Mezzanine Lounge (50 to 200 standing), The Courtyard (450 standing) and then the whole venue on offer as exclusive use ( 350 seated or 1000 standing).IMG_0084

The main event space would suit a fab drinks reception. I held a 1920’s speak easy event there a few years ago and it worked really well. The venue recommended a jazz band that accommodated the space perfectly and we themed it to suit.

Being dry January and all, we only had 3 glasses of wine each (very well behaved) and dined on some very tasty canapés and bowl food. One of the bowls was saffron risotto and I’ve been raving about it ever since. IMG_0082

It was a pretty good start to the networking groups’ year. We love the Royal Exchange and our members do to.
If you need any further information on The Royal Exchange or any of the D&D venues you can contact them here.

If your reading this thinking “how do I join such an amazing networking group” fear not, you can, by contacting us here!

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Change up your social media

If social media is deemed to be the necessary channel for your online marketing when promoting events, then why do so many people waste the opportunity when it comes to promoting their events.  I think (on average) I check Twitter about 5 or 6 times a day at varying intervals. What always gets me, is that all this great content is being shared however it is essentially the same message, shared the same way, spaced out over the course of the day.  We are event managers, we are creative… why are we sending out the same content multiple times?

If for example you are promoting a seminar there are a multitude of ways you could promote it without saying the same thing each time. Lets take Twitter for example, you have 140 characters so make them count.  For a typical seminar I would set up a content calender to share Tweets evenly throughout the course of the week (depending on the stage of promotion of the event i.e. save the date, invitation, advising of speakers etc).  If it is the initial stages and all you have is the date in the diary, no speakers, but are aware of rough content, you could come up with so many different ways to promote the seminar that doesn’t have to say the same thing.  The only thing you should be sharing in the same tweet is your event hashtag.

“competition law in China is changing.. want to know more? register here #complawchina

“register now for a place on our seminar on Chinese competition law” #complawchina

“save the date #complawchina”

“with speakers about to be announced, don’t miss out #complawchina”

You get my drift. Please, we are one of the most creative industries, don’t just post the same tweet every 4 hours or so.  Get creative!

 

 

 

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Networking at Events

A lot of event managers may tend to look inwards rather than outwards and don’t see the value in networking externally. Networking is imperative to not only raise your profile but for lots of different reasons.  You can use it to source new suppliers, learn about new trends and just make valuable connections.  Our #eventprofslive networking group has gone from strength to strength this year demonstrating just how valuable networking can be. We use our group as a way to not only see new spaces but to bounce ideas of each other, share best practice and talk about event “trends”.

I came across this great YouTube clip from Events Uncovered where Silvia Pellegrini (Events Uncovered) talks to Elena Clowes (Operations Manager for the UK chapter of ISES) about what she believes is missing from event management degrees. Elena talks about networking!

To be great at networking is a skill but the fab thing is anyone can learn how to be great at it.  I wrote about it a year or so ago, here are my top tips!