Posts By: K.C. Hopson

kchopson

Meeting Contract Wording for the Worst Case

blizzard

Unexpected events such as Ebola can cause havoc for travel and, consequently, for meetings. This has forced meeting planners to pay more attention to a term that has often been cloaked in mystery. The term is “force majeure”, which literally means “superior force”. While to most people this phrase means an “Act of God”, this phrase actually has a specific legal definition. When used in a legal contract, this provision excuses a party from liability if some unforeseen event beyond the control of that party prevents it from performing its obligations under the contract. To meeting planners, what this means... Read more »

kchopson

Using Evernote for Business: How Evernote can Help Meeting Planners

Evernote

A common difficulty in event management is organization; keeping track of constant changes and updates is hard. Using Evernote for business can keep you organized and sync your notes across all of your devices. Ask yourself:  Have you ever walked into a site visit with a paper notebook in your hand, furiously sketching notes throughout the day? When you got back to the office, did you then take a few hours to type those notes into your laptop so you could report your findings? Have you occasionally misplace your notebook in a stack of other notebooks? If you have a... Read more »

kchopson

Nine Features Your Mobile Event App Must Have!

ERMobile Attendee App for iPhone and Android

Apps for conferences and trade shows are red hot. Your attendees expect that your show will have a mobile app that will not only replace the old printed program, but will add some additional modules as a result of being digital. So what are the key features your app must have? Schedule. All sessions and events should be listed in the program including (with few exceptions) those that require an extra fee, pre-registration or restricted attendance. Times should be clearly listed along with the location or room. Itinerary. One of the favorite activities of many conference attendees has been to... Read more »

kchopson

Product Review: SwarmWorks

Swarmworks Pong

At the recent MPI World Education Congress in Minneapolis I had the pleasure of being a participant in a very interesting activity. By saying participant, I meant that I was one of a couple thousand other players. The game was “Pong” and it took place in the form of a soccer field. How do thousands of people play Pong at once? Using technology powered by SwarmWorks, the conference hall was evenly divided into two teams along the center of the auditorium. Each attendee was given a reflector called a “SwarmPad” which served as the paddle. By changing sides of his... Read more »

kchopson

WEBINAR: How to Leverage Social Media Throughout Your Event Life Cycle

Friday, September 19, 2014, 2:00 PM Eastern Click here to REGISTER NOW In this webinar, learn the value of using social media during all of the phases of your event. Take away specific how-to’s that will include social media strategies and tools. Understand the resources you will need and how to add value to your event community. This webinar will be co-hosted with Anne Sigman. Anne is one of the co-founders of SocialToaster, a SaaS platform that manages social media influencer programs. She is also a marketing technology consultant and entrepreneur who works with associations on initiatives that help them... Read more »

kchopson

Destination Review: Hotel George, Washington D.C.

In easy walking range of Union Station on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., the Hotel George is the perfect stop for individuals or small groups who are working in the area or wish to be close to many of D.C.’s finest destinations, including the National Mall and Chinatown. As a boutique hotel, the George focuses on creating a unique experience for their guests. In this case, the “George” is our first President and his visage permeates the venue. Modern paintings of him, Martha and other things Washingtonian provide a consistent theme to the establishment. The charming ambience is coupled with... Read more »

kchopson

Trade Show Lead Nurturing Best Practices

Sales Funnel

In a recent article, we talked about how to develop quality leads at a trade show using a number of best practices. These practices included proper planning, good sales techniques, and tools like lead retrieval. But once you’ve got a hot lead, what’s the next step? Read on to discover the trade show lead nurturing best practices savvy sales teams are using right now to convert those leads into new business relationships. What is Lead Nurturing? It’s not enough to simply get good leads at the show, you need to be able to turn those leads into a sale. That... Read more »

kchopson

Making Great Connections at Conferences and Trade Shows

handshake

We all know that exhibiting at a trade show can be expensive. Therefore it is imperative that you implement good trade show practices so you do not waste the opportunity of bringing a bunch of qualified leads back to your office. Here are some critical things you should do to guarantee that your appearance is a success. Plan Early and Set Goals As soon as you decide to participate in the show you need to start thinking about how to make your appearance effective. The main thing is to figure out the types of attendees that are going to the... Read more »

kchopson

Rant: Bring Enough Badge Stock!

Zebra GX430t printer

I’ve seen it happen too many times. Concerns about wastage and “costs” leads planners to not bring enough badge stock to their conference. This happens particularly frequently when “six-up” (six badges to a page) stock is used and there are a lot of badge name reprints or single badges (usually for exhibitors.) By not bringing enough stock, planners risk creating a very embarrassing situation where the stock runs out and the badges have to be printed on normal printed paper and then cut out by scissors to fit inside the holder! Needless to say, for something with a budget as... Read more »

kchopson

Why You Should NOT Give Out Thumb Drives at Your Trade Show

No Flash Drives

Giving out thumb drives (aka USB Drives) at your show or booth seems like a good idea. They are small, can be packaged attractively, and the attendee can just stick the device into his or her PC and view your material. And that material can be anything from brochures to a movie to Power Point slides to links to your web site. Sounds great – right? Wrong! This article is written to discourage you from giving out thumb drives and attendees from taking them. This author personally throws away any thumb drive he is given, even if they are in... Read more »

kchopson

EventRebels’ Mobile Conference Attendee App is Out!

ERMobile Attendee App for iPhone and Android

EventRebels already has two mobile apps in the store for Google and Apple devices. The EROnsite app is for planners to monitor their show and, most importantly, scan QR codes on badges to track show and session attendance. Using the same QR code technology, exhibitors can run the ERLead app on their smartphone for lead retrieval. But we saved the best for last. The ERMobile app for attendees of conferences is now available for iPhone and Android! Our first releases have these exciting features: Full Conference Schedule with details for each presentation User’s Itinerary Maps of the Venue Exhibitor and... Read more »

kchopson

Seven Hot Meeting Technologies to Watch in 2014

hot

The meetings industry is riding the wave of many exciting technology trends. Here are seven to watch – be ready to make them part of your meeting! Mobile Mobile is the dominant technology of the moment. For planners, the most important application is the meeting app. At a minimum, these apps need to be the go-to place for the show’s schedule, the individual’s itinerary and maps. Apps are also taking on many other duties: social networking, exhibitor/sponsor guides, speaker directories, audience response systems, surveys, and replacing traditional hardware like those used for lead retrieval. Responsive Web Sites An individual may... Read more »

kchopson

How to Detect Counterfeit Money at the Onsite Registration Desk

If you work onsite registration at a conference, you may find yourself occasionally in the position of accepting cash. You probably have already taken steps to make sure onsite registration payments go smoothly such as having a cash box, a good online registration system with a strong onsite module, and a procedure for transferring cash and checks to the office manager, possibly including a safe for overnight holding. One thing that may not have occurred to you is a process for identifying counterfeit money. Retailers often have procedures to check large cash denominations because this is what they do every... Read more »

kchopson

Why You Should Not Organize Badges by Category

One of the most common reasons for long lines at a conference is the inability of the staffers at the registration desk to find an attendee’s badge. This happens frustratingly often, even to a person that has successfully pre-registered for the show. There are many causes for long lines, but one of the most common is organizing badges in an inappropriate fashion. In particular, planners often sort attendees by the category of registration, rather than by name. Let’s see why this is not a good idea and the confusion it can cause. Member versus Non-Member. Because it is important to... Read more »

kchopson

Product Review: SpeakerBlast

SpeakerBlast

At a recent gathering of the Baltimore Tech Breakfast, I saw a demonstration of technology that could change the way A/V is used at events. The product is called SpeakerBlast and instead of using a central speaker system, it uses Internet connected devices as the broadcasting medium. So in lieu of the labor and expense of installing A/V hardware, the system sends the audio presentation through smartphones, laptops and tablets. A real life example of the technology was demonstrated at the Tech Breakfast. The most remarkable aspect of the demonstration was that the music always stayed in sync despite being... Read more »

kchopson

How to Find Out If Your Email is Spammy

Spam

You probably send out Email blasts all the time with high deliverable rates, especially if you use a reliable Email management service. However, once in a while you find out that your messages are getting disproportionately stopped by spam filters. Why this is happening is a mystery because you are not doing anything you have not done before. Or are you? Spam filters often use a weighting system to determine if an Email is legitimate or not. If the weight falls below a certain threshold the filter flags the message as spam and it is not delivered to the intended... Read more »

kchopson

How Online Trade Show Floor Map and Exhibitor Management Software Can Improve Your Show

Trade Show

Did you know there is an easy way to drive trade show revenue, dramatically cut labor and paper costs, while at the same time marketing your exhibitors to your attendees? This great technology uses an interactive trade show floor map to achieve all these amazing results. Here are some of the features of such software. For the Exhibitor   The software produces a floor map of your show online with all the tables and booths.   For booths that are available for purchase, exhibitors can simply click on the booth and buy on the spot.   Anybody can see the... Read more »

kchopson

Start Planning Wi-Fi for your Meeting – Identify the Needs

It is now common these days for people to show up at a meeting not only with their smartphone, but also with a laptop and even a table. Regardless of their device, your attendee expects to be able to connect to a Wi-Fi network at no cost. Throughout the conference a large percentage of your attendees will be using your Wi-Fi network for a variety of purposes. At many points, the usage may increase to the point that the network cannot handle the load and attendees will either experience slow service or no service at all. When this happens, expect... Read more »

kchopson

How to Increase Membership with your Meeting’s Online Registration Form

Most organizations treat the process of increasing membership and meeting registration numbers as two totally different processes. This is unfortunate because, with the correct software, you can easily drive membership purchases as part of your normal online registration process for your meetings. If you are interested in a simple way to boost your membership, here are a few things your registration system should be able to handle. Are you able to upload your membership list to your online registration software? This list should include all pertinent contact information as well as any other data you need. Do you attempt to... Read more »

kchopson

Product Review: X bytes Energizes Attendees Between Sessions

X Bytes

At a recent meeting of the Association of Meeting Professionals in Washington, D.C., I had the pleasure of being introduced to Kim Bercovitz, Ph.D. (aka “Dr. Kim”), President and Chief Exercise Officer (CEO) of a very interesting company called Exercise Bytes. Their company offers a quick and efficient solution to the problem of attendee fatigue. As you probably know, between lots of sitting and too much eating attendees can see their energy levels drop off quite a bit – especially in mid-morning and mid-afternoon. Coffee breaks are often seen as the remedy, but the caffeine boost will usually wear off... Read more »

kchopson

Checkout EventRebels’ New Website!

Event Rebels Event Management Software

EventRebels is very excited to introduce our new website, designed and built by our friends at Ainsley & Company. Besides having an exciting new look, the site has a number of new features that you may find of interest. Most exciting is four new product videos! These short videos give you a quick, but thorough, offering of our main product lines. There are videos for: EROnline, the most robust conference software in the industry. ERShow, our online interactive trade show and exhibitor management software. ERSpeaker for call for papers and speaker management. There is also a video that introduces our... Read more »

kchopson

QR Codes, Not Just For Your Website!

https://www.eventrebels.com

As you probably know, QR Codes are a great way to promote your event. The most common use of these codes is to have a smartphone scan the code which redirects the user to a web page. For a meeting, this might be a link to the meeting web site or your organization. Lost in the standard use of QR codes are a couple of other novel ways to use QR codes to promote your organization or event. A great use of QR codes is for SMS marketing – i.e. text messaging. Your QR code can be setup so when... Read more »