Event Management – Top 5 Tools of The Trade


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Corporate Dinner Event

Corporate Dinner Event

Whether you are in the event management and event planning industry or if this function is only a part of your primary business, there are tools that you can use to help you effectively manage your event and manage your business.

The right software can be one of the most important tools you purchase. In the past, it was your calendar and planner, crammed full of dates and cryptic notes, that you depended on. Today, management software can eliminate the planner and the cryptic notes. In fact, the right management or planning software can manage nearly every facet of your event.

There is no one size fits all to choosing an event management or planning tool. Your choice of software can be as sophisticated as you can afford or as minimal as you need. In fact, many of the software tools available can be purchased in modules. Your needs are customized for the type of events you are most likely to manage and produce.

If event management software were to be compared to a car, then the market has everything, from the mini to the full-sized Cadillac available to make your event a success and to make your job look effortless and professional. Event management software will help you grow your business with relative ease.

From start to finish, whether a corporate event or wedding shower, or whether you are the event planner or the customer, the goal is a professionally managed event as your event reflects your brand and your business.

Some software will even manage your catering and equipment deliveries. If that’s what you need, consider making the purchase. Look also for software with an online registration component. Choose one that is user-friendly for your attendees and that captures the data you need in an easily traceable and retrievable method.

A few of the event management or event planning software on the market today are listed below.  This is merely a sampling of what is on the market, not an endorsement of the product.

  1. Event Management Software is summed up very clearly in the name and was specifically created to meet the needs of the event planning industry. Event Management Software is available in modules. You decide what you need, then match the need to the specific module.
  2. etouches is a multilingual software package that is full modules designed for event planners and others who are interested in world-class events, even those on a small scale.
  3. Xing Events is software that encompasses online ticketing and registration. One interesting and very useful aspect of Xing Events is that it allows you to create an online website specifically for your event.
  4. RegOnline is a cloud-based event planning system that is ideal for meetings, events, and corporate travel programs. RegOnline is designed to increase attendance by making registration easier and by incorporating social media promotions. It targets event registration services.
  5. Eventbrite is one of the popular software, particularly for the invitation and registration portion of events. It can be used by anyone, from the sister planning the baby shower to the event planner for a music festival. If you haven’t already explored it for the management potential, it will be well worth it to take a look.

This is just the tip of the iceberg of event planning and event management software. Take the time to do careful research before you purchase or use any system. Ask others in the industry about their experiences with the software you are considering. Many have demos or trial offers.

If you are managing your event internally and decide to invest in event management software or event planning software, choose your software wisely, since it will probably be with you for a while.  You may also consider using an event manager who can get the job done efficiently and effectively. He or she will have event management software and other tools that yield the most professional results.

What Does Your Brand Say About Your Business?


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Categories :Articles, Branding

charly-picYour brand represents your face or image in the market place. Why is this so important? If consumers are not impressed with your look, they will look elsewhere to do business. Your business brand is the foundation upon which all of your marketing efforts will be built. So…what does your brand say about your business? Here are some things that should be carefully considered as you market your business.

1. Your business brand is either appealing to, or repelling your potential customers. Unfortunately, people do judge a book by its cover so you had better ensure that your cover is appealing, inviting and interesting.

2. Consider having a professional logo designed. The old adage says that a picture is worth a thousand words and in the business world – it may be worth thousands of dollars. A logo keeps your business in the minds of consumers because it builds brand recognition. When people shop around, they are looking for a familiar face to do business with and a logo they recognize is a much more suitable choice for consumers to investigate.

3. Establish your logo and use it consistently. This again, leads to the power of brand recognition. If people see your brand used properly and consistently across all mediums of your business, it gives the perception that you operate an established professional business.

4. Consider what your brand is saying about your business. Your brand, when carefully chosen, can deliver a very specific and powerful message about what you can offer your customers. This message may be what you do, the benefits of doing business with you or the value proposition that you offer. Choose carefully because people will be trying to identify your business message through your brand.

5. Build a strong brand image. A strong brand is built when it is used consistently over a period of time, and thus becomes an inexpensive way of marketing your business. When customers continue to see your brand or logo on your marketing materials, websites, social media networks, promotional items and other mediums, it can often motivate consumers to do business with you. Because of the various and numerous sightings of your brand, it establishes credibility.

6. Engage a professional brand master to help you develop your brand. If you need a logo, get a real graphic artist. If you need a website, hire a web designer. If you need marketing materials, find someone who has the expertise and skill needed to create branding materials that will look professional and polished. Focus on what you do best and invest in your brand.

Yes, there are other methods to find success with your business, but the importance of establishing a brand in the marketplace cannot be understated. Your brand says, “I am open for business. I am professional and capable of meeting my customers’ needs.” A professional brand says powerful things about your business. So, what does your brand say about your business. Invest in your brand and you will surely enjoy a healthy return on your investment.

Charly The Pearl is a graphic and web designer and the founder of Ultimate Business Solutions. She not only establishes a strong internet presence for her clients, she serves as a content writer and business development coach focusing on internet marketing.  The primary goal of her efforts is to help businesses understand and succeed at selling their products and services online.   http://ultimatebizsolutions.com / 404. 518.8336

Crowdfunding and Benefits To Your Business


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Categories :Articles, Crowd Funding

web-cynthia“There is no such thing as free money.” That was a true statement until Crowdfunding came on the scene. If you ever wondered what crowdfunding is all about and how it can benefit your business, you are not alone.

But I admit it – the money isn’t exactly free. I wanted to get your attention. But it is the closest you can come to free money. The caveat is that you do actually earn it, but not in traditional ways, i. e. it’s not a loan nor is it a grant. It can come from family and friends, and – here’s the exciting piece – it can also come from strangers.

Crowdfunding is the Internet phenomenon that provides a means to fund legitimate projects of various kinds, some related to business; some very personal. The projects are as diverse as the users on the Internet. Projects have included paying off exorbitant and extraordinary medical bills, funding a new type of mosquito repellant specifically designed to help stave off malaria in Africa, generating funds for writing and publishing a novel or a musician’s time in a sound studio. It can even fund projects involving pets and animals.

If your project appeals to the reader, it just might get funded. Crowdfunding is similar to a grant in that there is a need identified, there is an ask and there is a response. Hopefully, the response can come from multiple sources (individuals.)
There are two models of crowdfunding. One is donation based where supporters will donate specific dollars for your project. Often the donations fall into different categories of giving and, as the recipient of the funds, you offer some type of thank you for donations coming in at the various levels you desigante. For instance, if you are a novelist seeking funds for the ability to publish your novel, you might offer an autographed copy of the finished novel at one level or you might offer to have the donor’s name listed in the book at another. You might even name a character in the book after your highest donor. You get the picture.

The other is investment crowdfunding. It is usually for larger dollars. The donor actually becomes a shareholder. That means whatever is funded, the donor has the potential to make money from the investment in the project. A good example would be the invention of a pen that has endless ink. Now, to my knowledge no one has invented this, but if they did and they needed funds for manufacturing and getting the pen to the market, every donor would receive a return on their investment in a successful funding campaign.

Since crowfunding’s beginning, the number of platforms has increased tremendously. Each platform may address a different type of project, something similar to different genres of books or movies. Some are platforms for medical projects or inventions. Others lean toward the creative side and will fund projects related to the arts.

One of the earliest and best known crowdfunder, Kickstarter, has launched over 61,000 sites and generated over $220 million in donations, according to their sources.

To date there are over 452 crowdfunding platform websites. In 2012, those crowdfunding platforms collectively launched more than 1 million campaigns and raised $2.7 billion. The projections for 2013 are $5.1 billion.

There are fees associated with crowdfunding. The fees can range anywhere from 4% to as much14% of what you raise. Keep in mind that the funds raised have ranged from a few hundred dollars to in the millions. The funds are raised for the project you designated, but you are not required to pay this money back unless that was stipulated in the crowdfunders rules and generally it is not.

Every crowdfunding platform has it’s own rules. Careful research of each is necessary for the fit to your project. The platform provides the template for a funding website and provides the means to share the project through social media.

If you decide crowdfunding is for your business or project, keep in mind that there is lots of competition for the donors. To attract attention on the Internet in general, you must be creative and unique. To attract attention for crowdfunding, you must be even more so.

Do not undertake a crowdfunding project without giving it careful thought or without a well planned strategy for achieving your funding goal. Not surprisingly, there are classes and resources that can help with this.

Crowfunding is a viable source of funds to help make your dreams and vision become a reality through the collective generosity and cooperation of many.

So, ultimately, crowdfunding may be, in sense, free money. Just bear in mind you will put in some work, it will take time and you must do research. Most of all, it should be a project worth funding.

Should you pursue crowdfunding? If you believe in your project, a resounding yes to the possibilities and benefits that crowdfunding offers.

Keywords: crowdfunding, free money, donors, Kickstarter, crowdfunding platform

Freelance writer Cynthia Turner and team are here to help you with your writing needs whether fiction or nonfiction, nonprofit or for profit or personal. http://www.featherwriters.com/

What’s all this talk about Personal Branding?


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Categories :Branding

Phyllis Wallace 2013 HeadshotAs we embrace the social media age where we have seven to eight seconds to capture someone’s attention how do we consistently create a value proposition and communicate our unique personal impact? The answer is to Maximize Your Personal Brand.

Brand Defined is the essence of a promise of what will be delivered or expected. It is critical to identify and cultivate your personal brand [Promise + Experience = Relationship.] (Reference Managing Brand You by Jerry Wilson and Ira Blumenthal.)

The Promise Whether you are in sales, human resources or an entrepreneur, your legacy of success is dependent upon what you commit to (your promise) and how you live up to your promise. This determines the relationship. If you do not live up to your promises you will have a negative Return On Relationship ™ (ROR). Ted Rubin and Kathryn Rose define ROR in their book Return on Relationships: “As the value that accrues over time through loyalty, recommendations, and sharing.”

The Experience How do your clients, consumers and prospects experience your promise? One corporate C-Level Executive told me, “Always under commit and over deliver.” This statement has stayed with me for over 20 years of my business experience. You must make every effort to meet your stated commitments and perform with the highest level of integrity. In the classic business book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven Covey he provided the following analogy. Each time we meet our commitments it is like making a deposit into someone’s emotional bank account and when we miss a commitment it is a withdrawal. Therefore, if we are consistently making deposits, then we have high credibility and trust with our colleagues conversely when we consistently miss our commitments then we are overdrawn on our emotional bank account. The result is a blemish on your Personal Brand and a decline in trust.

The Relationship A particular type of connection existing between people having dealings with each other. The relationships that you build, cultivate, or break all contribute to your personal brand. Each one is as unique and as fragile as a snowflake. One huge withdrawal and you may have to press the restart button to rebuild the lost trust.

Summary Your Personal Brand is a “Big Deal”. You have one whether you know it or not. Here are three tips to find out the state of your Personal Brand.

1. Ask your supporters and critics what they like best and least about your work and work style. Be sure to follow-up with a thank you for the feedback via a hand written message.

2. If you work in an office environment ask your Supervisor, Manager or Human Resource representative about a process to seek 360 degree feedback.

3. Check your social media: LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook Fan Pages, etc. to see what people are saying about you and your posts. For example, do you have many likes and comments on your posts?

Miss PDW Enterprises was founded by Miss Phyllis D. Wallace. The company offers the Your Brand! Your Business! Your Way!™ training series, provides experts for short term projects and offers products by Blessings Unlimited. Contact Miss Phyllis Wallace today for a complimentary consultation at www.misspdwenterprises.com or 678.360.4112.

Cyber Risks – Are you Immune?


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Categories :Legalities

As technology becomes increasingly important for successful business operations, the value of a strong Cyber Liability Insurance policy will only continue to grow. The continued rise in the amount of information stored and transferred electronically has resulted in a remarkable increase in the potential exposures facing businesses. In an age where a stolen laptop or hacked account can instantly compromise the personal data of thousands of customers, or an ill-advised post on a social media site can be read by hundreds in a matter of minutes, protecting yourself from cyber liability is just as important as some of the more traditional exposures businesses account for in their general commercial liability policies. 

Why Cyber Liability Insurance?

A traditional business liability policy is extremely unlikely to protect against most cyber exposures. Standard commercial policies are written to insure against injury or physical loss and will do little, if anything, to shield you from electronic damages and the associated costs they may incur. Exposures are vast, ranging from the content you put on your website to stored customer data. Awareness of the potential cyber liabilities your company faces is essential to managing risk through proper coverage.

Possible exposures covered by a typical cyber liability policy may include:

Data breaches – Increased government regulations have placed more responsibility on companies to protect clients’ personal information. In the event of a breach, notification of the affected parties is now required by law. This will add to costs that will also include security fixes, identity theft protection for the affected and protection from possible legal action. While companies operating online are at a heightened risk, even companies that don’t transmit personal data over the internet, but still store it in electronic form, could be susceptible to breaches through data lost to unauthorized employee access or hardware theft.

Intellectual property rights – Your company’s online presence, whether it be through a corporate website, blogs or social media, opens you up to some of the same exposures faced by publishers. This can include libel, copyright or trademark infringement and defamation, among other things.

Damages to a third-party system – If an email sent from your server has a virus that crashes the system of a customer, or the software your company distributes fails, resulting in a loss for a third party, you could be held liable for the damages.

System Failure – A natural disaster, malicious activity or fire could all cause physical damages that could result in data or code loss. While the physical damages to your system hardware would be covered under you existing business liability policy, data or code loss due to the incident would not be.

Cyber Extortion – Hackers can hijack websites, networks and stored data, denying access to you or your customers. They often demand money to restore your systems to working order. This can cause a temporary loss of revenue plus generate costs associated with paying the hacker’s demands or rebuilding if damage is done.

Business Interruption – If your primary business operations require the use of computer systems, a disaster that cripples your ability to transmit data could cause you, or a third party that depends on your services, to lose potential revenue. From a server failure to a data breach, such an incident can affect your day to day operations. Time and resources that normally would have gone elsewhere will need to be directed towards the problem which could result in further losses. This is especially important as denial of service attacks by hackers have been on the rise. Such attacks block access to certain websites by ether rerouting traffic to a different site or overloading an organizations server.

Cyber Liability Insurance is specifically designed to address the risks that come with using modern technology; risks that other types of business liability coverage simply won’t. The level of coverage your business needs is based on your individual operations and can vary depending on your range of exposure. It is important to work with a broker that can identify your areas of risk so a policy can be tailored to fit your unique situation.

Accurate Protection, Your Coverage Expert

As reliance on technology continues to increase, new exposures continue to emerge. As your business grows, make sure your cyber liability coverage grows with it. Accurate Protection helps you analyze your needs and make the right coverage decisions to protect your operations from unnecessary risk. Contact Angie Reese for more information at www.accurateprotection.com