Posts By: K.C. Hopson

kchopson

Design Rebel: Food Porn Comes of Age

Design Rebel Square Logo

WARNING: If you are under the age of 21, easily offended by forbidden culinary delights or counting calories, please stop reading this post. My next 351 words are dedicated to “food porn” and why savvy meeting planners may want to pay more attention to the visual appeal of their special event refreshments. Doubt the seductive power of foods prepared and arranged to please the eye? Print and electronic advertisers do not have access to our taste buds, or noses, yet they must entice us to want to buy their food. These companies rely solely on the seductive power of foods... Read more »

kchopson

Tech Tuesday: An Easy Way for Your Attendees to Ask Questions

Event Rebels Tech Tuesday

It is common practice at conferences to mix presentations with questions from the audience. Despite the fact that most attendees have smart devices and phones, the questions from the audience are still mostly handled in an old fashioned way. These low-tech styles include: A “moderator” walking around with a microphone and finding the nearest person with a raised hand to ask a question. Not only is this slow and time consuming, but is rather arbitrary and not very democratic. Another way is for a group of people to hand out cards to the audience and then pick them up during... Read more »

kchopson

Rebel Wanderer: Los Angeles Museum Row on Miracle Mile

Whenever I am in Southern California there is one destination that is always at the top of my list – the Museum Row on Miracle Mile in Los Angeles. Located in the heart of Los Angeles and near many of the great sites (Chinatown, Fashion District, Melrose, Downtown and even Hollywood), there is no better place to anchor your day in the great city. Museum Row consists of a number of museums including the Craft & Folk Art , Peterson Automotive and Architecture and Design museum. However, the real gems are the museum complexes in Hancock Park. While there are... Read more »

kchopson

Meetings Monday: North American Meetings Industry Day 2015

Last Thursday, April 16, 2015, was a great day for the meetings industry. It marked for the first time that meeting professionals throughout the country and North America came together to rally and show support for one of the largest industries in the world – the travel and meetings industry. As was pointed out, everybody knows that travel is huge, but the average person does not understand that meetings are the greatest driver of travel. It was also made clear that the normal citizen does not understand actually what it is that meeting professionals and planners do. In an effort... Read more »

kchopson

Conventional Wisdom: The Importance of Welcoming Your Guests

It was turning out to be the business trip from hell, until the conference planners did one very special thing. My last minute decision to attend a conference in Chicago seemed like a sound idea. However, as a seasoned traveler I knew scheduling a business trip on short notice can be fraught with challenges. Nevertheless, the conference was the perfect opportunity to meet with colleagues working on a similar project in a non-competing market. It was one of those rare chances to speak freely with peers and exchange good advice. My traveling troubles began with securing air transportation (two plane... Read more »

kchopson

A Better Way to Manage Conference Certifications

Event Rebels Tech Tuesday

Have you seen this way of tracking CEUs at a conference before? The first step is to print out sign in sheets, possibly pre-populated with attendee names. The next step is throughout the conference placing the sheets in the appropriate rooms before the workshop and then picking them up after each session. After the show the show organizers get to back to the office and collate the signatures with the registration, membership, and CEU systems. This should only take a few days if you are lucky. Finally, you have to pull this data together and somehow get the certificates to... Read more »

kchopson

Rebel Wanderer: Springtime in the Park

The crown jewel of trade shows for the meetings industry occurs tomorrow, Thursday, April 9, 2015. It is ASAE’s Springtime in the Park, this year at the Washington D.C. Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Springtime is over 30 years old, first launching in 1977 as Summer in the Park and taking place on an Astroturf floor. It became Springtime in 1980 and hasn’t looked back since. The Springtime Expo typically has more than 700 exhibitors and about 3,000 attendees. The attendees mainly draw on the rich association market that D.C. attracts. While the professionals mainly range from meeting planners to... Read more »

kchopson

Mobile Monday: ORI and EventRebels Announce Partnership to Provide New Seamless Event Analytics Solution

Event Rebels Mobile Monday

Herndon, Va. – April 9, 2015 – ORI, a market research and strategic business intelligence firm, and EventRebels, a leading provider of online registration, mobile and web software for conferences and trade shows, today announced a partnership that will enable them to offer meeting and event planners a new seamless event analytics solution to mine smarter and more actionable insights from attendee registration data and post-event evaluations. On the front end of this solution, EventRebels’ ER Online registration product for conferences and trade shows aggregates and breaks down demographics and other important data on attendees to help event organizers better... Read more »

kchopson

Design Rebel: Sweet 16 Hot, New Trade Show Colors

2015 Trade Show Colors

To paraphrase the timeless lyrics of Cole Porter’s “Let’s Fall in Love”, birds do it, bees do it, even savvy trade show exhibitors do it. They all invite visitors to their nests, hives, and booths with color. Unlock nature’s not so secret, secret weapon: color. One of the most powerful lures, a hot, new color not only turns heads and catches the eye, it summons a closer look. As any new or experienced exhibitor knows, the competition to attract people your trade show booth can be fierce. What you may not be aware of is the effective use of color... Read more »

kchopson

Mobile Monday: Google Will Rate Your Mobile Friendly Website Higher

Event Rebels Mobile Monday

In one of the biggest changes ever to happen to Google’s search ranking algorithm, the behemoth announced that websites that are “mobile friendly” will rate higher than those that are not designed for mobile devices. This change is sure to cause much consternation in organizations that have spent much time “optimizing” their web site for Google. The good news is this change only effects people who are searching via a mobile device, and certainly does not mean that the current ranking system is altogether obsolete. It’s more of a tweak to make sure mobile searchers will be lead to a... Read more »

kchopson

Tech Tuesday: How to Simplify the Management of Your Exhibitor Staff

Standing in Line

It still happens at too many trade shows – long lines at the exhibitor check-in area. In most cases the person waiting is an exhibitor who is registering onsite. In other situations the exhibitor has pre-registered but the badge cannot be found. Additional frustration can be caused if each booth has a limit on the staff allowed. You may have to manually cross-reference how many staffers a company has registered and if that additional staffer is allowed entry. If you do not have cross-referencing in place you may find out after the show that companies have frequently gone over their... Read more »

kchopson

Mobile Monday: Mobile Credit Card Processing With PayPal Here

Event Rebels Mobile Monday

We wrote recently about how some apps that are using the camera of your smartphone to process credit cards. Of course, these are in addition to well-known apps such as Square which uses a device attachment to turn your phone into a cash register. E-commerce giant PayPal has also introduced a number of mobile solutions. One of these products, PayPal Here, uses a device like Square to process credit cards. Getting started with PayPal Here is easy. Just log into your PayPal account and fill out a short application. You will then be sent a text with a link to... Read more »

kchopson

Mobile Monday: 3 BAD Reasons For Not Having a Mobile App at Your Meeting

Event Rebels Mobile Monday

Despite all the great functionality of today’s mobile apps for conferences and events, there are still a very large number of organizations that have not worked this technology into their show. While some reasons may be appropriate – like being too small or requiring a high level of security – most of the reasons given do not really make any sense. Here are three bad reasons to not have a mobile app for your meeting. “I don’t have anything to put on my mobile app” Oh really? How about your complete program schedule with links to detailed write-ups of your... Read more »

kchopson

Rebel Review: What’s New? – Hearing Alexander Graham Bell

If you’re in town next month for Washington DC’s Cherry Blossom Festival after enjoying the sight of those beautiful, delicate blooms at the peak of their beauty give your sense of sound an equally amazing treat. Make your way to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History’s new exhibit where you can hear for the first time the voice of one of the world’s greatest inventors. Alexander Graham Bell is universally known for inventing the telephone, a device that’s morphed into today’s smart phones. While his transformative invention has allowed people to hear each other’s voice for more than 130... Read more »

kchopson

Tech Tuesday: What 3D Projection Mapping Can Do For Your Event

Event Rebels Tech Tuesday

One of the most amazing technologies to hit the world of events and entertainment the last few years is that of 3D projection mapping. In short, this technology can take anything and turn it into a surface for video. What makes 3D projection unique is that those backgrounds are not your classic movie screens, but can be irregularly shaped objects like buildings or even bridges. The general technique is to take the target image and create a “virtual map” of the object. Projectors and specialized software can then take this map and create an object with a new identity. A... Read more »

kchopson

Tech Tuesday: How to Streamline your Call for Papers Review Process

Event Rebels Tech Tuesday

There are few aspects of speaker management that can be more painful than the process of reviewing submissions from an open Call for Papers. If the review is conducted in the classical way, the planners will find themselves buried in a bewildering collection of PDFs, Word docs and spreadsheets. Hours upon hours can be spent communicating with the review team, collating information and somehow trying to make sense of it all. In between all of this manual work is the need to give proper consideration to all the submissions and being fair in the final judgments of which presentation is... Read more »

kchopson

Rebel Wanderer: Long Beach, California

As an old family home, I have many fond memories of Long Beach, California. I can’t think of any city with more beautiful street names – Bellflower, Cherry, Ximeno, Alamitos – it seems like every one is a gem. Having recently seen both “Gone in 60 Seconds” movies, I realized that the films were homages to this wonderful ocean-side city with one of the most bustling ports in the world. Downtown Long Beach Even when downtown Long Beach was considered an eyesore, the area had a certain special quality. It’s now defunct “Acres of Books” store was a popular haunt... Read more »

kchopson

Mobile Monday: Processing Credit Cards Using Your Smartphone’s Camera

Event Rebels Mobile Monday

Smartphones are now being used for everything. One area that is real hot is mobile payments. You are probably already familiar with Square, a device that literally turns your phone into a cash register. The primary way Square works is with a simple device attached to your phone that allows you to swipe credit cards, which the Square app then processes. Square takes a flat percentage (currently 2.75%) of each transaction and deposits money into your bank account a few days later. However, there are a number of other ways to process credit cards with your phone. One of the... Read more »

kchopson

Mobile Monday: What Google Analytics Can Do For Your Event Apps

Event Rebels Mobile Monday

Odds are pretty high that your organization’s website uses Google Analytics to track the traffic to your site. Google Analytics is the most popular tool in the world for measuring website activity and figuring out what pages are getting attention and which ones are not. The reporting allows you to find out important data about your audience, how they are browsing your site, and whether they are doing what you want them to do. Marketers, in particular, love Google Analytics as it provides valuable insight into how best to improve your web presence. Did you know that you can also... Read more »

kchopson

Tech Tuesday: Email versus Messaging and Your Mobile Event Apps

Event Rebels Tech Tuesday

As you plow your way through your fat Email inbox, you might think that all the time you spend in Email is not so unusual. After all, Email is the main way we communicate these days, isn’t it? While Email is still the number one way of digital business communication, messaging is now the method of choice for 30-40 percent of the population, especially young people. When we talk about messaging, we usually think about text messages. However, communicating through social media (Facebook, Twitter…) or dedicated messaging apps like WhatsApp have also become very popular. So why is messaging on... Read more »

kchopson

Four Types of Information that Make Up Your Organization’s Big Data

There is a lot of talk these days about using “Big Data” for the purpose of analyzing and solving your organization’s challenges. While your organization should have a large set of data that is relatively easy to access, much data is a lot less obvious in its usefulness and more difficult to compile. Before you begin the process of analyzing your data to improve your organization and events, it might be good to understand the four types of data you should consider. We will start with the “low hanging fruit” and then look at the other possibilities. Internal Structured Data... Read more »

kchopson

Rebel Wanderer: Louisville

I recently worked a conference in Louisville and I have to say – I love this town! I stayed in a hotel near the convention center and I found that everything from business to eating to entertainment to beautiful vistas were in walking range. The streets were kept clean and the beautiful architecture made me feel like I was in a turn off the nineteenth century movie. Hence my conclusion that Louisville is one of the finest walking towns in the country. Here are some of the great spots that were on my walking trail. Galt House Hotel and Rivue... Read more »

kchopson

How Beacons Can Help You Understand Your Trade Show

Beacon

One of the hot trends of 2015 is the use of Beacons at meetings and trade shows that work with your mobile attendee app. Beacons are small wireless transmitters that interact with the latest releases of Apple iOS and Android devices. They use BLE technology – also known as Bluetooth low-energy or Bluetooth Smart. The most important thing to know is that the devices are aimed at noticing when your smart phone/wireless device enters the perimeter of an area, such as a store or a trade show. Your phone needs to have the appropriate app installed, and probably should be... Read more »

kchopson

Increase Your Workshop Survey Response Rates

Event Rebels Tech Tuesday

There are few ways to better determine how your audience feels about your workshop than a survey. Until recently, most workshop questionnaires were conducted by having a stack of paper surveys placed on a table at the back of the room. If the planners were lucky, a few people would grab a piece of paper and turn it in before the conference was over. However, most attendees ignored the survey because they were in a rush to get to the next event, or didn’t want to hassle with finding a pen and a hard surface to complete the survey. For... Read more »

kchopson

When You Should NOT Use Facebook for RSVPs

Thumbs down

Talk about a total fiasco! What looked like an exciting record opening party for a popular artist resulted in scores of angry people and certainly a black eye for the event planner. The event seemed simple enough. It was to be held in a popular restaurant that could accommodate about eighty people. Since the event was free, the planner simply wanted a list of people attending. She even announced the event on Facebook, which would seem to guarantee that they could easily sell out the event. This is where the problems began. The planner wanted people to bring tickets in... Read more »