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Technology Trends to Know

technology trends

Technology has changed the event industry and in many cases has made planning and organization a whole lot easier. Here are some of our favorite hidden gems from the tech world that we think you should know about if you don’t already. Hopefully, we can provide at least one new takeaway to make your life easier and more efficient. 

1) CHARGING STATIONS
An increasingly popular addition to events is portable charging stations. Power up your handheld gadgets at these chic and efficient kiosks. 

2) ALLSEATED 
Whether you’re an amateur party planner, an event planning pro or a couple planning their own wedding, AllSeated makes diagramming and seating charts a dream. 
This web-based service allows you to create and view venue maps, manage floor plans and table layouts, create seating arrangements and compose guest lists. And better yet, it’s free!

3) TIMELINE GENIUS 
Looking for a tool that makes creating wedding timelines quick and painless? Timeline Genius saves you hours of work and makes editing a breeze. This intuitive and efficient program saves contact information for all of your vendors, venues, and clients, allowing you to add contacts to your timelines in seconds.

4) BLISS AND BONE’S WEDDING WEBSITE
If you’re shopping around for a customizable wedding website, let me introduce you to Bliss and Bone. Offering up a variety of stunning designs, their modern wedding website templates are polished and refined, offering you access to over 100 prints, fonts, and colors. All sites are mobile and tablet friendly and allow you to collect and export your guest’s info via their RSVP feature. And the impression doesn’t stop there … check out all Bliss and Bone has to offer in invitations, stationery, and branding as well. 

5) THE PLAYLIST GENERATION
Don’t have the budget to bring in a DJ or Band but also don’t have the time to curate hours of music yourself and would rather not rely on Pandora’s playlists? Contact The Playlist Generation. Curating and executing soundtracks for your soul, The Playlist Generation creates the atmosphere you’re looking for by pulling in your personal music preferences and remixing soundtracks to keep the party moving. Super easy, incredibly affordable and no hassle necessary – leave it to the pros to design playlists specifically for you and your crowd.

6) INTEGRATED SOCIAL MEDIA WALL 
Engage attendees at your next event 
by aggregating content from their own social media. The social media wall harvests and edits social media content live via Twitter and Instagram and then integrates it into animation templates that are then displayed for all to see. Create a win-win situation for you and your guests by featuring a unique hashtag for the event and getting attendees to promote it in their social media posts – not only will it strengthen your event’s presence but it will allow users to express themselves publicly.

7) EVENTBRITE
Whether your focus is non-profit or corporate events, EventBrite is the platform for you! This one-stop shop for managing event sales and attendees allows you to plan, promote and sell tickets to events, and publish them across social media directly from the website. You can even monitor real-time ticket sales, check-in attendees, track attendance live and accept fast, secure payment for tickets and merchandise on-site.

8) NEXT VR’S VIRTUAL REALITY HEADSETS 
Dying to attend Justin Timberlake’s next concert or sit courtside at the NBA finals but can’t fork up the dough? NextVR’s Samsung Gear Virtual Reality headset might be the next best thing. Slip on these puppies and dive into a 360 degree all-immersive experience in which you are instantly transported to the Staples Center from the comfort of your own couch. And who knows … this is probably only the beginning of live virtual reality. Give it a year or two and Aunt Ethel might be able to attend your wedding ceremony from another country.

9) DIGITAL MAPPING
Imagine eating a 3-course dinner in Morocco, Istanbul and South Africa … all in one sitting. With digital projection mapping, you can do just that, Reshaping the way we experience events, digital mapping can metamorphose a plain space and turn it into a spectacle within a matter of seconds. Using 3D imagery, this is one of my favorite techniques to implement for those with a modest budget, willing to take a risk. While pricey, the payoff can leave a lasting impression with attendees.

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How To Cut Costs Off Hosting A Bridal Shower

Your best friend, sister or co-worker is getting married and after an extra cocktail (or two) you’ve enthusiastically committed yourself to hosting her Bridal Shower. Congrats, you’re such a good Bridesmaid! Images of floral arrangements, bottomless mimosas and piles of gifts flood your mind…and then you realize by offering to host, you also are committing to paying for the festivities. For some, that can be very sobering. But fear not! You can indeed host a beautiful, brag-worthy Bridal Shower without breaking the bank. Here are a few thoughts on how to do just that. 

Choose your venue wisely.

We’ve all been to the Shower that’s held in a private room of a tea parlor or wine bar and they’re undoubtedly lovely, but you’ll pay for that loveliness. Oftentimes renting the room is free but it comes attached with a hefty catering agreement. Skip the packages and choose a place that allows you to bring your own decor, food or booze and fun. 

Get in the kitchen.

Once you’ve secured a location that allows you to bring in your own food, start collecting those recipes! Choose a theme for the shower if you like, and build the menu around it. Try choosing recipes that will reuse some of the same garnishes, spices and/or basic ingredients to cut on the grocery costs and get creative. Make the food look as good as it will taste with bright colors, fun garnishes, fresh ingredients and a beautiful display!

Go treasure hunting.

If possible, give yourself a few months to plan before hosting the Shower. Once you’ve determined a theme or color palate, hit up those estate & garage sales and thrift/vintage shops (one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, right?!). Snatch various pieces that speak to the vision you’ve developed and see what festive decor you can turn it into. 

Ask for help.

You don’t have to do it all alone! Chances are other people want to help and will jump at the chance of joining in the fun. Ask a few close friends of the bride and capitalize on their interests. Some may be great bakers – assign them desserts, some may love making things – have them help with decor and others may have excellent hosting skills – ask them to MC the day. There’s certainly a balance of receiving help and having a few too many voices and opinions, so chose selectively but welcome the assistance and then enjoy the process together. 

Value experience over expenses.

Always keep perspective: what will the Bride remember? Yes, she’ll appreciate the details and decor but she’ll be more likely to recall the love, fun, and laughter she shared with the women who love her most. Experience is free – so be intentional about creating time and space for the guests to enjoy each other. Chances are you’ll have guests from all parts of the Bride’s life and it’s important to bring those worlds together. After the guests have settled in a bit, have everyone share their relationship with the Bride – this will open up an opportunity to make her feel loved and for the guests to become familiar with each other.

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How to Attract Millennials to Your Next Event

Attracting different types of attendees can play a large role in the continued success of your events. We all have target markets that we cater towards for our events and as the years pass by, the Millennial generation will begin to impact this market even more.

 Our events and our attendance rates, fundraising and marketing campaigns will all be influenced by the up and coming generations. So how can you begin attracting the Millennial generation to your events and engaging them while they are in attendance?

Become Mobile Friendly

Taking a look at your events and your website is a great place to start attracting Millennials. Ensuring that your site is optimized for mobile use is an important step towards increasing your engagement online. Many people are researching, registering and discussing events through a mobile device. This will only continue to increase over time, so get ahead of the game and review your online presence.

Add Peer-to-Peer Elements

Millennials enjoy interacting in a group. They are much more likely to attend an event if they can do so with friends. Events such as endurance races, concerts, and festivals are all more enjoyable for Millennials when their friends are in attendance.

Social Media Marketing

In this day and age, almost everyone is interacting with some form of social media for their special events. Start out by having a strong social presence and keep it updated on a regular basis. This is a great way to build your brand online. Finding new and exciting ways to integrate social media into your event promotion is a fabulous tool for engaging Millennials.

Social Media Onsite

Continue with your social media presence by promoting social sharing onsite at the event. By promoting an event-specific hashtag and your company or event Twitter handle, your attendees will be able to post messages and interact with your online brand.

Following the event, post thank you messages, results or future promotions on your social media outlets. These are just a few ideas to begin using social media to interact with this generation. Think outside of the box and get creative!

Hire a Millennial

Adding someone to your staff who is from this generation is an excellent way to increase your knowledge and perspective on this age group. Having an inside source provides you with a chance to ask their opinion on certain event elements and perhaps gain some new ideas from a younger co-worker.

In Conclusion

The Millennial generation will continue to increase their impact in many different industries, especially the event sector. This generation is dedicated to community and connection and will make for valuable attendees, employees, and volunteers. Learning more about this group will help us all to be better marketers and event managers.