For new planners ready to launch an event planning career and experienced planners ready for a change, Social Tables gathered a collection of cities with bustling event scenes across industries. Read on to learn what makes each city perfect for the work and personal lives of planners.
To find the best cities for event planners, Social Tables focused on the availability of event industry amenities and services, and quality of life attributes. Here are our top 10 picks and what they have to offer:
Pick the perfect city for your event planning career
From the charm of Atlanta and Austin to the hustle and bustle of Chicago and New York, you have plenty of options when it comes to finding the right work/life balance in the event planning business.
The Oriental Pearl Radio & Television Tower (OPT) is arguably the most recognisable feature of Shanghai’s world-famous skyline, so when the management decided to integrate a new design feature into what is already a landmark, nothing was left to chance. In 2019, the decision was made to improve the experience for the thousands of visitors that pass through the OPT’s ground floor foyer each year by turning the inside of its lower ‘pearl’ into a single, 2,500 sq m projection surface.
The content of this 12-minute display was intended to demonstrate the main strengths of Shanghai to its audience: the city’s improving infrastructure; its various cultural treasures; its playfulness; and its status as a truly international destination. These four aspects would be represented by four characters, and the show would run permanently every night for the next five years.
To realise this ambitious vision, the client first decided to bring in China’s premier multimedia production company Motion Magic which in turn secured the services of Hungarian projection mapping specialist Maxin10sity. Although the two companies had no prior experience of working together, the team from Motion Magic were impressed by Maxin10sity’s extensive portfolio.
“Even with the entire team working day and night, it was a slow process,” – Agnes Szentannai, project manager at Maxin10sity
The event pros who hold the most successful conferences are always on the lookout for tips and tricks to polish their strategies and tackle their to-dos. If you’re looking for ways to improve your process, maximize the effectiveness of your conference, save yourself some headaches, and make you sure have all the bases covered, use these 8 foolproof conference planning tips. And for a quick guide to conference planning, we wrap it up with a helpful conference planning checklist!
1. Make sure the venue aligns with the event
Alternative venues can lend unexpected flair to a conference. Locations like museums, historical sites, theaters, libraries, and sports arenas have all hosted conferences. But consider the needs of your group: A venue should set the stage for the conference to do its work, not steal the show.
3. Build a detailed content plan with unique takeaways
If attendees are coming to your conference to deepen their knowledge, follow a clear plan to source your content.
First, if possible, poll your audience about topics, sub-topics, and depth of subject matter knowledge. This might seem like a Catch-22: If you’re drawing an audience with your content, how will you have an audience to poll before you have content?
For planners looking to increase attendee engagement at professional and social events, LinkedIn has all the makings of a fantastic tool. Users tend to be on the platform for professional growth and networking. In fact, 91 percent of executives name LinkedIn as their first choice for “professionally relevant content.”
You’ll find LinkedIn Events in the menu bar on the left, below “Recent” and “Groups.” It’s an unassuming line that says “Events,” with a plus next to it. Click that plus, and start exploring what LinkedIn Events can “add” to your next event.
10 Tips for Promoting LinkedIn Events
1. Choose a dachshund-butterfly name
Like a dachshund dressed as a monarch butterfly, your event name should be:
A good event name lets people know what to expect at your event, but it doesn’t have to convey every last timing detail and content nuance. It just needs to give people enough information to know whether they want to find out more.
2. Use images that capture attention
Maybe when you were a kid, you were encouraged to “use your words,” but when it comes to marketing, definitely “use your images.” According to one study on visual marketing, three days after only hearing information, people are likely to remember just 10 percent of it. Add a relevant image, and three days later people remember an average of 65 percent!
3. Deploy persuasive copy to sustain interest and answer questions
Writing persuasive copy is a specialized field that is a career for some people. Good news: You can learn from those people.
Spread over five stages – ranging from the 2,000-capacity Saudi Beast to the 45,000-capacity Big Beast – the festival was held on a piece of “blank-canvas” land just outside the capital city. The country has limited technical entertainment resources, so LarMac LIVE coordinated the site-wide production and artist management effort with a streamlined pool of trusted suppliers.
“PRG very quickly became the go-to company for lights and video, with audio equipment coming out of their German office. This was a real no brainer, primarily because we were using a lot of very few fixtures – it’s EDM after all – and so sourcing the assets was a huge factor in this decision. PRG also comes with a support structure and a special projects team like no other.”
1. You Always Have a Choice of Audio Visual Providers
You have a choice between using the hotel’s AV provider or bringing in your own. Don’t be pressured or misled by catering contracts and overly aggressive AV salespeople. You are the customer and you have power. Hotels’ main focus are in room rentals and catering sales. AV is an added revenue stream for them. Hotel contracts may attempt to deter you from bringing in your own AV but you have options.
Before you sign a hotel AV contract, negotiate out any terms that require you to use their AV services or pay fees for not doing so. Leverage your event business value to the hotel against binding AV terms and win your freedom to choose. This keeps your options open and pushes the hotel AV provider to be more competitive. After all, it’s your event and you should be able to choose who you work with.Bring better event AV to life with easy diagrammingGet Started Free
2. Know Where Costs Come From For A/V Equipment
To understand costs, you need to know how and why they are there, to begin with.
The audio visual company pays commissions to the hotel to be in-house and have access to hotel guests. In some cases, they pay large signing bonuses to get a contract with a hotel or a portfolio of hotels. The AV company purchases the gear and pays the salaries of any AV staff at the hotel and temporary AV contractors. The hotel isn’t responsible for any of these expenses. The hotel provides an office and storage space for gear to the AV provider. Equipment rental rates are set to recoup signing bonuses, cover AV provider operating expenses (including commissions paid to the hotel or venue), and profit above all. Same applies to convention centers with in-house AV.
Whether you pay one bill to the hotel or you pay the hotel and the in-house AV company on separate invoices, the breakdown between them is the same. The problem is the customer is the one who pays in the end. It seems easy and convenient to just use the hotel’s AV service. But at what unnecessary cost to your event budget? Outside AV providers can do just as good if not better of a job with your event as the in-house and potentially cost less. Do the math and figure out what works best for your event and budget.
3. Added Fees and Service Charges for Audio/Visual for Events
Let’s not forget the service charges. Service charges of 20% and higher get added to your AV bill at some venues. What is that really for anyway? When I was an AV Director in hotels for a large AV company it was explained to me that service charges are to cover F&B labor. But, if that’s the case, why is there AV labor and a service charge on the same bill? My advice: look for this and question it.
Regardless of how it’s justified, outside AV providers typically don’t charge service charges. I used to omit service charges if the set up required extensive labor and operators. I would only apply them if it was a simple set up and tear down during normal business hours and there was no other labor being charged. This seemed like a win-win for both the AV team and the client.
Planning events can be stressful, especially when you’re coordinating with a number of suppliers and stakeholders. One main requirement is having a great audio video setup. And if you’re at a loss on the know-hows of getting A/V systems, here’s a helpful list of modern audio visual trends and the questions you need to ask in order to implement them.
“A/V at events is trending towards the visual: video, AR, and VR.”
1. Event A/V Is Going Digital
Gone are the days when simple printed graphics are all you need to promote and keep things interesting for your event. Now, it’s all about getting more interactive and digital. You should know how and when to make use of video presentations and LED displays/signage, among many other forms of digital setups and systems.
2. Advanced Displays Are Huge for Events
Another important trend to take full advantage of is the rise of 4K displays and VR systems that are on the rise. This is even more of a requirement if you have an event that’s heavy on presentation of information and graphics. The good news? Since this trend has become increasingly popular, more and more suppliers are offering it at more affordable prices.
By now, you know eSports is big and getting bigger. You know the eSports technology opportunity is rising with venues cropping up for competitive gaming complete with spectators.
Heck, you probably heard about Fusion Arena, future home of Overwatch League’s Philidelphia Fusion eSports franchise and the largest eSports new-construction in the Western hemisphere.
What you might not realize, however, is that demand for eSports audio, video solutions and more extends far down the market to far-less-obvious customers, according to Premier Mounts assistant communications manager Brandon Breznick.
Universities will need some sort of eSports platform, much like they’ll need basketball courts and intramural indoor soccer.
Located in St. Louis, MO, the Angad Arts Hotel was looking to revamp the appearance of a floor-to-ceiling concrete support pillar located in the lobby lounge on the top floor of the hotel. Working with Chris Brackenbury, founder of Pixelwix, the team developed an innovative visual solution that would elevate the look of the hotel’s lobby lounge. The proposed solution was to create a large 360-degree projection screen surrounding the support pillar, and install projectors around the pillar, allowing media content to project onto the screen on a 24/7 basis.
Leveraging five Optoma ZH400UST projectors, as well as Pixelwix’s proprietary warping and blending tools and media player, the team was able to position the projectors on a custom slide rail on the center post and overlap the projected images to cover the entire 360-degree canvas.
The lounge of the Angad Arts Hotel lobby was successfully transformed into a visually captivating hotel entrance with a beautiful 360-degree installation in the shape of a lamp, dubbed the “Chameleon Lamp.” Designed to attract and welcome hotel guests, the visual installation also further enhances the hotel’s commitment to showcasing the work of local St. Louis artists and contributes to the Angad’s unique Art Deco experience.
Hugh Jackman pretty much does it all. He recently did on a 90-show global concert production known as The Man. The Music. The Show. The audio gear was provided by Solotech, which fielded an L-Acoustics K2 -based system. Jackman’s musical numbers were backed by a five-piece band and 14-member orchestra.
“Running 85 inputs with a full orchestra and live band in these big venues made this tour a challenge, especially with such a dynamic show, but I definitely think that L-Acoustics was the best option for us. And the worldwide support we got was just as great as the sound. Between L-Acoustics and Solotech, no matter what time zone we were in, I knew that we could always very quickly get an answer for any questions or concerns we might have had.”