How to Moderate a Panel

Moderating a panel discussion is a lot like being a TV talk show host. It’s a lot harder than it looks, and is an exercise in ‘planned spontaneity’ (think about that). A good panel discussion can be the highlight of a conference. Getting together a group of experts...

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When Should Venues Disclose Pricing?

PLANNER:  Hi. I’m interested in booking your venue for an upcoming event. How much do you charge? VENUE: Well, it depends on a lot of variables. Why don’t we have you come in and see our space, and then we can discuss pricing after I learn a little bit more about your...

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The Scary Numbers Behind the Marriott-Starwood Merger

Post-Merger, Marriott to Control Over 50% of Market Share in 17 of the Top 20 Meeting Destinations When Marriott announced in November, 2015, that it was merging with Starwood to create the world’s largest hotel company, it met with mixed reaction from meeting...

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Event Planner vs. Event Designer – What is the Difference?

As the wedding and event industries have grown markedly over the last ten years, what was once an over-arching profession of “event planner” or “wedding planner” has been slowly divided into a number of factions – PLANNER, DESIGNER and STYLIST - each title referring...

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In Search of Inspiration

I am in the business of good ideas. Some people look at my business and see that I make flowers or print stationery or plan parties. I believe, however, that all of those things are actually by-products of what I actually sell – which are good ideas. And let me tell...

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6 Planner Pet Peeves Regarding Event Venues

In preparing the content for my upcoming Venue Sales Accelerator course, I interviewed dozens of planners and asked them what their pet peeves are when it comes to venues. In random order, here they are. 1. Not disclosing pricing on the initial inquiry Too many venues...

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ELI Featured Planner: Jeff Kalpak

Recently Howard Givner, Executive Director of ELI, sat down with Jeff Kalpak, President of Barkley Kalpak Agency, to find out more about his career in the event industry. Jeff has over 25 years experience in the industry and runs Barkley Kalpak Agency (BKA) based out...

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A Trip to Turkmenistan

Recently two of ELI's professors, Kevin White & Brandt Krueger went to Turkmenistan to teach event management.  Read about their experience below! Howard Givner: Tell us about the audience. What types of events did they (want to) do?  What types of jobs did they...

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Mad Over Marsala? Pantone Announces 2015 Color of the Year

The buzz this week in the world of design, fashion and pretty much all of social media is the announcement of Pantone’s color of the year: Pantone 18-1438, aka Marsala. It looks just like what it sounds like, a deep, rich red wine color. What the name does not reveal,...

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Podium vs. Lectern: What’s In A Name?

If I asked 1,000 event professionals to give me the name of the upright piece of furniture with the slanted top that a speaker stands behind to deliver her speech, the vast majority of you would say “Podium.” And you’d be wrong. But really, who cares? The thing I just...

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Top 5 Hybrid Meeting Mistakes

With so many meetings having some kind of online component, it's no wonder that more and more planners are trying to get educated on the topic of hybrid and virtual meetings and events. Learn from those bold planners that were early to the online game, and avoid these...

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Proving Your Value with Digital Credentials

This post originally appeared in BizBash.com on September 11, 2014. Last month I moderated a roundtable for heads of in-house event departments, and one of the main issues to arise was the challenge of proving the value of in-house planners. “Executives in my company...

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The 4 Traits of a Successful Wedding Planner

On TV or in the movies, it seems like a clever kit and a bossy demeanor is all it takes to quit your job as an accountant and become a wedding planner.  After planning and designing weddings for nearly 13 years, I can tell you that no major crisis was ever averted...

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Death to the 60″ (150 cm) Round

The 60 inch, or 150 centimeter, round banquet table, seating 8 or 10 people, is possibly the worst invention in the history of the hospitality industry.  Having spent over 20 years producing events, I know I am risking the ire of hotel and catering managers around the...

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Top Mistakes Planners Make When Ordering AV

In the process of preparing the lessons for my upcoming 5 week online course, Technical Meeting & Event Production, I thought about the most common mistakes I’ve seen meeting and event planners make when it comes to ordering AV.  I’ve probably produced over 600...

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Why Event Planning Businesses Fail

Meet Melissa.  (She did not want to share her last name.) Melissa is an extremely accomplished event planner who spent 10 years working in-house planning events for corporations and non-profits, where she did incredible work. Around 18 months ago Melissa decided to go...

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Measuring Value: It’s Not A Pipe Dream

A common sequence surrounding a discussion of ROI in the meetings industry: Speaker says measuring ROI is essential for validating and continuing to have events, as well as helping in many cases to validate jobs. Others nod in agreement. Speaker points to statistics...

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Are You Producing Yesterday’s Event?

1998 Called.  They Want Their Event Back. You’re in charge of the annual (insert your event here).  It’s long since become a staple of your organization’s calendar, the event around which everyone plans their schedule.  It takes up several months of your time, and the...

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The Wrong End of TED

Editor's Note: This is from a guest post I did for the Cvent Blog earlier this month. “We’re going to do something different for our meeting this year.  It’s going to be like TED.  Everyone will have 18 minutes to speak, and that’s it!  No more long presentations. ...

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Landing The Million Dollar Event

At some point in your tenure, if you run an event planning company or agency, you’ll aspire to land the really big project, the mega event, the million dollar event.  OK, it doesn’t have to be a million dollars; it can be $100,000, $250,000, etc.  The number is...

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The Debrief from Hell

Tips For Having A Successful Post-Event Debriefing You’re sitting across the table from your client, pleasantly chatting about the event you produced for them two weeks ago.  You’ve got lots of ideas on how to make it even better next year, and are even thinking about...

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Event Tech Expert Brandt Krueger

Featured Teacher: Brandt Krueger

With a degree in Technical Theatre and 20 years experience in the meetings and events industry, technology is part of Brandt’s DNA.

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Defining Your Brand

Define Your Brand, Elevate Your Business

How can you take your business to the next level? Define your brand and learn how passion, purpose, platform, & process can elevate your business.

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