ABCey Presents: How to Conduct a Site Selection

Location, location, location! A HUGE factor in organizing a successful event is finding the perfect venue. However, the hunt for an event space can actually be a long and exhaustive process. ABCey is here to help with ideas on how you can conduct a site selection for your next event!

1. Needs Assessment

The first step in selecting a venue for your upcoming event is to develop an exhaustive list of selection criteria. You should always start with creating an overall estimated budget for your event that identifies all expenses and offsets. It’s important to know your overall budget BEFORE selecting a venue. Thus, it’s extremely crucial to communicate with your clients and figure out what they need in terms of location, cost, capacity, and so on.

2. Get Organized!

After figuring out what your client wants, it’s time to develop a list of potential venues. You can come up with a list of up to 10 event spaces (anything more than that will be overwhelming), and eventually narrow it down to 3. We suggest creating a google spreadsheet to keep your ideas organized, or any event software of your choice! Make sure to include important details such as location, pricing, capacity, and contact information, and pros and cons!

Many important details such as contact number and pricing can be found on the venue website. Other than that, Google Maps and Yelp are great tools to see the site and acquire information such as location and venue ratings.

3. Create a Visual Presentation

After organizing your spreadsheet, make a visual presentation for each event space. You can put up a few images and talk about why a particular venue is a good fit. You can then go ahead and present the powerpoint to your client and wait for them to narrow down the list for you.

4. Plan Site Visits

Once you have presented your Powerpoint or other presentation to your client, you will then need to go visit the venues. Seeing them in person is much different than anything you can find online. You should offer for your client to join along, but if they can’t you will need to visit them on your own. Be sure to take lots of pics and vids!

5. Time to Make A Final Decision

After visiting all of the venues, you should have a great idea of each event space and be able to picture if your event theme works within the parameters of the space. You can then talk to your clients and show them pictures and videos of each venue to help them make a final decision!

Have you ever conducted a site selection? Is there anything we missed? Let us know what you think in the comments below or on Facebook and Twitter!

If you’re interested in learning more about events we’ve done for otherSan Francisco startups or other fortune 500 companies, click here.


ABCey’s Startup Monday: Oh My Green

Startup Monday is ABCey’s weekly post that showcases some of the most innovative San Francisco startups! These are often selected from a list of companies that we LOVE or have worked with in the past. This week, we are putting the spotlight on Oh My Green. A startup dedicated to deliver healthy and natural foods to companies.

What is Oh My Green?

Founded in 2014, Oh My Green is a California based healthy food and wellness services provider that aims to make healthy eating and good nutrition easy. Oh My Green offers a custom, nutritious office food program for your organization. The company delivers healthy office snacks, kitchen design, and stocking services, to catering, cafe management, and wellness programming.

How it Works?

Regardless of your company size and budget, Oh My Green brings delicious snacks and drinks to your workplace. Its monthly snack box subscription is perfect for offices with 50 or less. All you need to do is sign up and fill out your company’s information and note dietary preferences. Oh My Green also provides a variety of office catering options for corporate events. Its tech-enabled service, which relies on machine learning can give you personalized recommendations for meals and snacks.

Why Do We Love it?

We love Oh My Green because they truly care about people and their health and well-being. Whether you’re vegan or have food allergies, Oh My Green can customize a menu for your company’s needs. When it comes to catering, Oh My Green always sources ingredients from local farms to maximize freshness and nutritional value of the food. Its advanced technology also allows you to manage orders, track your consumption, control your budget and so much more!

Have you heard of Oh My Green? Let us know what you think in the comments below or on Facebook and Twitter!


ABCey Presents: 5 Ways to Use Instagram Stories for Your Next Event

Instagram Stories has opened the door to a new range of possibilities for both users and marketers, making it a great space to promote events. Thus, ABCey has created a list of our top 5 ways that you can use Instagram Stories for your next event!

1. Instagram Live Video

Record and show in real-time! You can shoot live video using Instagram Stories before, during, and after your event. This way, you can showcase your venue and promote event transparency. Backstage content is a great way to drive viewership and keep your audience interested. Filming behind the scenes will give users a sense of involvement/understanding of how event planning actaully works.

2. Q&As

Having a Q&A session is a good way to engage your audience. Your followers might have common questions about your event or are interested in knowing more about the event planning process. In this case, you can collect the most popular questions and answer them in a picture or video format on your stories.

3. Advertisement

There are so many ways you can advertise your event using Instagram Stories. You can promote your brand or upcoming event using appropriate hashtags; you can also place your event page link in your stories. There’s also Instagram Stories ads, which allow you to insert a short advert in between users stories. You can target your ads by reach, video views, traffic, conversions, app installs, and brand awareness.

4. Start A Poll

The good thing about Instagram Stories is that it lets you run quick surveys and take your audience’s pulse. Thus, if you have a dilemma while in the midst of planning an event, you can always ask your audience for their thoughts. This is a nice way to engage with your followers and make them feel that you value their opinion!

5. Influencer Takeover

It’s always good to change things up. Consider letting your event speaker, a performer, a sponsor or an influencer take over your account and engage with your audience. By providing a platform for others to push some of their own content, you’ll also be able to leverage the speaker’s own audience and marketing power, and drive impressions for your event.

What do you think of these ideas? Did we miss any? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook and Twitter

If you’re interested in learning more about events we’ve done for other San Francisco startups or Fortune 500 companies, click here.


ABCey’s Top 5 Event Apps Every Event Planner Needs

People assume that event planners have a simple job. Getting paid to make plans? Sounds so easy! But the reality is that event planning is extremely hard work. If you’ve ever planned an event, you know how much time and effort goes into it. Luckily, there are apps that has made it easier to plan and manage events, no matter how large! Today, we bring you our top five apps that every event planner needs to ease the process.

Boomset

For much larger events, Boomset is an amazing application for managing guest check-in. This app is the perfect tool for checking in registered conference guests. With fast check-ins and a walk-in registration feature for attendees who have not pre-registered, lines will definitely be reduced. You can even print customized badges or wristbands for your event by using the Boomset web platform.

Bizzabo

Bizzabo is a bunch of event planning tools all wrapped in one. Targeted towards medium-to-large-sized businesses, Bizzabo is ideal for planning large events with a lot of tasks. The application allows you to build event websites for registration, emails for marketing, and agendas for event management, great for concerts or fundraisers!

24me

For planning smaller events, 24me is the best handy little personal assistant to help you stay on task with planning. The app includes integrated calendars, to-do lists, and notes. It automates events by keeping your tasks and schedules in one place and by sending you reminders for them when necessary.

HeyTell

Communication with your team is key for running your event smoothly, so being in touch at all times is necessary.  HeyTell is an app that turns your smartphone into a walkie-talkie. When you need something even snappier than texting or email, get the app, choose a contact and start talking. This makes it easier to communicate and avoid any confusion during your event!

SuperPlanner

Nothing is worse than an overcrowded venue, exceeding a budget due to over staffing or any other problems you might face while planning your event. Super Planner offers calculators for venue capacity, staffing, and catering to avoid these kinds of issues. Use this app to stay on budget and execute all the details to perfection.

What are your favorite event planning apps? Are there any we missed? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter!

If you’re interested in learning more about events we’ve done for other San Francisco startups or other Fortune 500 companies, click here.


ABCey Presents: Tips for a Smooth Site Selection Process

Site selection for events can be a challenging and tedious process. However, by accomplishing the right steps, you can find the best venue for your client. ABCey has curated a list of tips for a smooth site selection process that we use to pick the perfect venue!

Make an Initial List of Sites

brainstorming - site selection

The first step in our site selection process is doing a general brainstorm of sites that seem to fit the needs of the client. Consider the location, number of guests, and venue-type when compiling the list. Leave no stone unturned and make sure you’re getting a variety of different venues. This makes your client feel like they have options and will show them that you’ve considered everything.

Create a Master Spreadsheet for Your Client

master spreadsheet - site selection

After making an initial list of sites, create a master spreadsheet with a Site Selection tab. This should incorporate all the venues you found and important information about each venue, including pros and cons. For each site, include information on availability, contacts, venue size, location, pricing, and information about the space. Make sure the client can quickly and easily see what the venue has to offer!

Put Together a Style Guide

style guide - site selection

After the master spreadsheet has been shared with your client, it’s helpful to make a style guide with the key information and images for each of your top picks.

Send an RFP to all of Your Top Venues

RFP - site selection

An RFP (request for proposal) allows you to easily communicate your event needs to outside vendors. By sending your RFP to the various venues you’re considering, you can get a clearer idea about the availability and pricing for each site. This will help you narrow down your choices. Here are some tips on creating the perfect RFP!

Set Up a Review With Your Client

Call with a client - site selection

The next step is setting up a time to chat with your client over the phone or in person to go through each venue. From there, you’ll be able to get a better sense of which sites you can eliminate and which ones are worth visiting in-person.

Go on Site Visits to Check Out Top Venues

site visits - site selection

Once you and your client have picked your favorite venues, make sure to visit them in-person. This can help you decide if they’re the right fit for your event. There’s no better way to get a sense of the venue and their ability to meet your needs then to set foot on the actual grounds!

Make Your Final Decision

make final decision - site selection

Hopefully the in-person site visits will help you identify your absolute top venues, so you can decide on the one you want to go with. Once you accomplish this, you can start working on the fun stuff, like figuring out event decor and can move forward with your chosen venue!

Which site selection tips did you find to be most helpful?

Did we miss anything? We’d love to hear from you! Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter!


ABCey Presents: 10 Creative Event Promotion Ideas

Event promotion is essential for putting on a fantastic event. However, it can start to feel like you’re using the same techniques over and over again. ABCey recognizes that keeping your event marketing strategy fresh can be a challenge, so here are 10 creative event promotion ideas that are sure to attract huge audiences!

1. Comp Passes

Offer sponsors, exhibitors and vendors attendee free passes so that they can share them with their best clients or invite their colleagues, family, and friends. They can help return the favor by sharing them on social media to help spread the word!

2. Chatbots When People are Buying Tickets

chatbots - event promotion

Use chatbots to take care of anyone looking for answers on your website before they commit to buying tickets. Live chat on your website, Facebook messenger, and text chatbots can answer any questions potential attendees might have, so that there’s less of a chance they’ll leave the page and forget to purchase tickets!

3. Create a Live Spectacle

public spectacle - event promotion

Plan a live activity that can grow and develop in a busy public place over a period of a few hours so that passers-by can stop and watch! This could be a group of artists making a huge structure or art piece of some sort. Try to make it relate to your event and create a timelapse of progress, so you can share it online to further promote your event!

4. Gear Your Content Marketing Efforts Towards Leadership

When it comes to creating your own content, it can be tempting to focus on search engine optimization and stuffing your copy with keywords, but this isn’t an effective way to increase your attendance. Instead, try to create thoughtful content that showcases your event brand as a thought leader, so that people view your company as a place they can turn to for new, insightful information. The more people trust your brand, the more likely they are to support you!

5. Host a Free or Sponsored Webinar

webinar - event promotion

If your event is business related or offers some sort of expertise, a webinar can offer a preview of what to expect to draw people in. If you give them valuable information in the free webinar, it’ll make them wonder how much more they can gain from attending the actual event!

6. Set Up a City Photo Booth

Instead of just using a photo booth at the actual event, try using one as a promo opportunity by setting it up somewhere in the city beforehand! This can be simple by just getting a polaroid camera or an iPad, signed backdrop curtain with event dates and details, and fun props to get people excited!

7. Use Image Quotes From Past Attendees

Friends at an event - event promotion

Gather quotes from past attendees and overlay them on images from the event. Note their name, job title, and organization if they give you permission to share it. These make for great social media and blog posts to promote your next event!

8. Pop-Up Henna Wall

Who doesn’t love Henna? Set up a pop-up stall at a local event or the local supermarket and have an artist offer Henna tattoos to people passing by! Have the Henna artist create a unique style that incorporates your logo or represents your event theme. Use this opportunity to hand out event details, and offer free swag or discounts to those who show up on event day with their henna tattoo!

9. Social Media Takeover

Social media takeover - event promotion

Let someone else from your company who doesn’t usually control your social media accounts to take the reins. This could be your interns or bloggers, for example. It will offer an alternative voice and can present a different perspective. The goal is to encourage people like them to start following your event account!

10. A Photo a Day

a photo a day - event promotion

In the months leading up to the event, try to share a photo every day from your past events on social media. This will give potential attendees a taste of what your events are like. If previous attendees appear in the photos, tag them (after getting their permission) to encourage them to share the photo as well!

Which event promotion idea will you use?

We’d love to hear from you! Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter!

 


ABCey’s Tech Tuesday: 10 Event Organization Apps to Help You Stay Sane

#TechTuesday highlights the best and brightest ideas in the tech world. Today’s #TechTuesday features the 10 best event organization apps to help you stay sane and organized as an event planner!

1. Super Planner

There’s a new iphone / ipad app on the scene that is garnering a lot of buzz…and for good reason. Super Planner is an event industry app developed by Howard Givner, and is one of the most in-depth mobile tools on the market today.

It is a digital encyclopedia of industry calculators convenient enough to carry with you everywhere in your purse or pocket. Just as a good measuring tape, hotel directory, business calendar and frequent flyer miles are mainstays for the planner, so too should be the Super Planner.

2. 24me

24me - event organization apps

This app acts as a personal assistant to help you stay on task with your planning. It includes integrated calendars, to-do lists, and notes. 24me keeps track of your tasks and schedules all in one place and sends you reminders for them so you don’t forget. The app also reminds you about bills and other important information, as it connects to your financial institutions, service providers, and social networks. This app is especially great for smaller events!

3. Asana

Asana - event organization apps

Asana is a great way to keep everyone on your event planning team in the loop! It lets you assign tasks to different team members while keeping track of who’s doing what. Asana gives you the ability to easily monitor what’s getting done and who’s getting it done.

4. Boomset

Boomset helps speed up the registration process by allowing you to check people in using QR codes, print bases and create wristbands. It also integrates with other platforms you might already be using for your event, so it makes registration simple!

5. CamScanner

Cam Scanner - event organization apps

CamScanner basically transforms your phone into a scanner. It’s great for digitalizing contracts, agreements, marketing material and other important documents you need to send to clients. It also has the ability to convert documents into PDFs. Now that’s convenient!

6. Timebridge

Timebridge - event organization apps

Timebridge makes scheduling fast and simple! The app collects information about everyone’s availability, takes into account preferences, and then automatically arranges a good meeting time. This is a great way to arrange meetings or even events with a lot of people without having to deal with the long back and forth of emailing!

7. Blossom

This event organization app helps simplify communication between the event planner and the client. It allows you to create a card system detailing different sections of the project, so everyone knows what stage each part of the event is at. There’s even a client review card so the client can approve the final step!

8. Eventgrabber

Eventgrabber - event organization apps

Sometimes it can be hard to find events you want to attend. Luckily, Eventgrabber can help! It matches people with the types of occasions they’ll likely be interested in. They can look at the top events going on, see the most popular events with locals, and even order a taxi or an Uber to take them to the next party. As an event planner, this app is extremely useful for attracting guests who would genuinely be interested in your type of event!

9. Heytell

Heytell - event organization apps

This app essentially turns your smartphone into a walkie-talkie, making communication with your event staff easy! There’s no need to hang on to multiple devices, and it prevents you from having to physically locate various members of your crew during the actual event!

1o. Pingg

Pingg - event organization apps

Pingg is a great tool for running your events, as it lets you create invitations, guest lists, and thank you messages for your attendees all in one place! Not only this, but you can also add a gift registry, schedule reminders, and search for local services for your event as well. This handy app let’s you keep all the little details of your event organized!

What event organization apps do you use to stay sane when planning events?

Event planning can be extremely stressful and overwhelming, and these tools are guaranteed to help simplify your job! Which apps you use? Are there any we missed? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook and Twitter!