The Special Event Show: 01/11/2010-01/15/2010

I attended the Special Event Show 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana. In addition, I completed a four day educational program and met with many event planning professionals. I heard many creative ideas in planning special events (profit, non-profit, association, catering, marketing, etc.). The followings are key “themes” I summarized from the workshops I attended:

1. Everything is about marketing and branding. It does not matter what means are used. At the end of a day, everyone wants to market his/her business as an excellent event planning company. Entering 2010, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Blogger are the buzz words in marketing and branding. The result? I am following the professionals and begin using these tools to build my personal brand.

2. The process of marketing and branding occurs before, during, and after the event.

3. A few key questions we need to ask ourselves of an event: What are purposes of the event? What message do you want to deliver to the attendees, community, and the press?

4. Being creative is a “must” in the event management business. I often heard of the phrase “think outside the box.” All professionals are trying to link the available resources together and make the best use of them.

5. An event could be “in-expensive,” but it should never be “cheap.”

6. Leadership and human resource issues are important (as always, to all business, isn’t it?)

7. Event planners from university campuses stated sharing speakers, decors, and other resources is another way of sharing costs; beer and wine bar will replace full bar.

8. Dress for success --- once again, a professional image is important. The bottom line is: if we do not look professional, how can we convince our client that we are able to organize a professional and successful event? From the mouth of a event planner from the fashion industry, the movie Devil Wears Prada sets a perfect example.

9. An event planner needs to get everything, yes, everything in writing.

I enjoyed a great experience in the show. It worths my time and money.

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