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Event technology can actually boost your emotional connection with guests. Yes, you read that correctly! At Austin Best Events, we’re famous for those little personal touches and one-on-one interactions that make events feel warm and welcoming. However, we’re also big believers in technology. Many assume digital assets create a cold and impersonal environment, but just the opposite can be true. High-tech help enables more time and energy for high-touch engagement. It’s all how you execute.
Event Technology Promotes Greener Events and Saner Guests
Have you ever attended an event where you were bombarded with paper tickets, parking passes, program guides, auction lists, accommodation information and more? Ever misplaced any of those items? We thought so! Technology not only saves trees and your printing budget, but also event frustration. Easy-to-use, engaging event apps organize all materials in one place. The app becomes their own personal assistant for the event. While you may never be 100 percent paperless for some guests, digital experiences let...more
We’re in the downward slide of summer already, which means Austin is gearing up for festival season, especially Austin City Limits (ACL) Music Festival. ACL deserves its top billing. In 2016, the festival brought in an estimated $277.4 million boost to Austin’s economy. That’s a whopping 25 percent increase beyond the previous year. But don’t think that only official sponsors and national brands can take advantage of this mega event. In fact, being a local and having a local team of experts like Austin Best Events helps you maximize exposure. Here are a few things to consider.
Use that Home Court Advantage
Don’t think of ACL or any major event as an invasion of brands. Consider it an opportunity to host guests on your terms. Instead of throwing high-dollar events, pay attention to who is hosting them. Are there CEOs or CMOs in town that could make a great contact? Arrange an intimate dinner between teams, where your location expertise and hospitality can really shine.
Let Them Know You’ve Been Here Before
Whether you host...more
Event planning juggles infinite details. So many in fact that some professionals lose themselves in the particulars of flowers, food and favors and steal focus from their principal concern: guests! Success only comes from putting yourself in your attendees’ shoes. Walk through your occasion as a guest during every step of planning. We advise you pay extra attention to these areas:
Event Planning Disappearing Acts
How many event planning essentials can you hide from your guests? The best events look easy because they expertly mask all the mechanics and highlight enjoyment. Scanning admission tickets or checking in at registration may be essential for your needs, but it becomes drudgery for guests in long lines. Makeover the process by not only adding queues to diminish wait times but also fun elements, such as a selfie wall, live entertainment and always cocktails or hors d’oeuvres as people arrive.
We all know the famous moniker for hovering, over-structured parenting. However, hosts can suffer...more
Ever find yourself in an event budget situation that feels like a nightmare? At Austin Best Events, we like to think of these challenging situations as fairytale opportunities. Cinderella, to be specific. There you are, six months into your dream of the fabulous ball, when “poof!” the wicked stepmother (or CFO) dashes your dreams by cutting your budget. Despondent that you’ll be destined for a future of scrubbing the floors – or subpar frozen appetizers – you don’t know what to do. That’s where working with the professionals at Austin Best Events pays off. We’ve seen many budgets take U-turns well into planning. It’s not fun, but here are a few “happily ever after” wand tricks you can use trying to hit your goal number. And, unlike Cinderella’s magic, these don’t disappear at midnight.
It Never Hurts to Ask
The mice in Cinderella didn’t know they’d become carriage horses. They had to have their eyes opened to the possibility. Similarly, vendors, sponsors or other event supporters might be willing to donate special items. However, you won’t know if you...more
According to USA Today event planning is the 5th most stressful job on the planet. Right after serving in the military or on a police force. The "organizers" (I use this term loosely) of Fyre Festival found out just how stressful events can be when not properly planned and executed.
What are the lessons we can all take away from the Fyre controversy?
Hire Professionals and Trust
When done right, event planning looks easy. It's not. Event planning is incredibly complex and detail oriented. A well-executed event is like coordinating an army mission with thousands of moving parts that must fall into place at the exact right time to keep every other piece on track. A great event requires meticulous execution.
Nearly every client we've ever worked with has come to us after thinking their spouse or assistant or marketing director could "just handle the event" in addition to their daily responsibilities. And the results have been just as they were set up to be - mediocre and stressful. You must set yourself up for success.
Spring tends to come early to Austin, which means you need an event marketing firm to get you outside and into those elusive rooftop and patio event spaces. While much of the country suffers under the last grasps of winter, show off Austin’s natural beauty, breathtaking sunsets and casual urban vibe that keeps people talking year-round. Here are a few tips when considering outdoor Austin events.
Your Event Marketing Team Should Weather Anything
Holding outdoor events can cause the steadiest event teams hands to tremble. “If you don’t like the weather in Texas, wait 10 minutes, and it will change,” isn’t only folksy, it’s true. Austin Best Events navigates challenges from winds to rain quicker than you can say, “hailstorm,” so use our knowledge to your build plans with creative weather alternatives and options. Whether you need big shady tents, refreshing, cool misters or a waterproof electrical setup, we’re ready for weather.
Up On the Roof
Austin’s rapid downtown growth produced picturesque rooftop venues in the convenient downtown area. However, they are...more
With SXSW quickly approaching, many marketing and event teams start scrambling to put those last minute “great ideas” from management into place. This is when access to a local event team becomes not only nice, but essential. Austin’s local government is famous for quirky behavior. Keep Austin weird, right? You must know the whos and hows before you begin any event here, but especially around peak times like SXSW.
Let Your Event Marketing Team Become Your Ambassador
You’ve heard, “Texas is like a Whole Other Country.” If that’s the case, then Austin is the often the capital with overwhelming foreign protocol. Have a great idea for a pop-up venue? All applications for temporary changes to existing structures must be filed and approved at least 21 days in advance. Taking advantage of those increasingly rare vacant parking lots? That paperwork must be approved at least 10 days in advance. Now, that doesn’t sound bad until you realize that you also may also need a temporary sound permit application approved 21-45 days prior to your event, depending on your location,...more
A new year is a perfect time to discuss post-event marketing and meeting follow-up. These tasks are as inevitable as January. No matter how much fun you had during the holidays, the calendar flips and work resumes. But, just like a new year, approach your follow-up tasks as inspired opportunities, not closure.
Post-Event Marketing Starts BEFORE Your Event
Guest confirmations and sponsor attendees’ lists serve as your post-event marketing road map. Begin outreach to those not attending prior to the event. Let them know they’ll be missed and try setting a one-on-one meeting. (Some people just don’t like big events.) Review those attending and determine appropriate topics to discuss at the event. While a hard-sell during an event is a bad idea, pick up the pace during your post-event conversation. Determine the best contact method: a call, an email, our favorite is the hand-written note. Add value – and the need for them to respond with thanks – by sharing something, from your latest white paper to a wine recommendation. Finally, reach out to contacts within a week of an...more
The company holiday party might provide great comic relief at the movies this year, but unfortunately many can testify that this event falls into a class all its own. It’s neither 100 percent work or 100 percent play, and it’s up to you to strike the balance. Here are our best party tips heading into the festive season.
Company Holiday Parties Serve (Career) Killer Cocktails
Alcohol policies at company holiday parities took big swings in the past few decades. Leaving the open-bar policies of the 80s behind, many companies looked to increase social responsibility (and career viability) measures starting in the 90s. The tech boom and millennial-led businesses swung the open bar pendulum back again. Today, we see a mix of serving guidelines at corporate functions. However, your personal policy (not to mention professional aspirations) should guide the night. This is not a girl’s night out or a tailgate. Proceed with caution and limit consumption. Afraid of looking like a sober Scrooge? Order a club soda and lime, and most will never realize your glass is...more
The Event Planning Process – Your 2017 Events Budget
One of the more difficult aspects of the event planning process always seems to be forecasting budgets. Many companies require comprehensive marketing and event budgets to be turned in months before you turn your attention to the actual events. At Austin Best Events, we not only help you plan phenomenal, strategic events, but also help align your needs with those pesky end-of-year budget projections.
Event Planning Process Made Simpler with Simple Fees
We realize one of the hardest expenses to nail down in the event planning process might be the actual event planner services fees. At ABE, we eliminate the unfair sliding scale based on your event expenses. We quote you an upfront complete fee for our services and stick to it provided the scope of work doesn’t change. Other companies tend to assess fees on a percentage of your total spend. This offers no incentive to keep your costs in line – the more you spend, the more they make. We want you to understand from day one how...more
Building Business Relationships in Hostile Environments
Building business relationships isn’t easy in the best of circumstances. Add in conflicting opinions or a rough market and connecting with others may seem downright painful.
Building Business Relationships: Campaigning 101
This campaign season shows us what not to do in building business relationships. We’ve seen stories detailing lack of trust, isolation of audiences and growing apathy. What we haven’t seen is consistency. Consistent message. Consistent outreach. Consistent organization. Consistent follow-up. Consistencies build loyalty and increase engagement.
You might wonder why an events strategy and planning firm is talking about this. It’s because Austin Best Events(ABE) goes beyond throwing fantastic, buzz-worthy events. We design key outreach opportunities to connect your audiences – clients, investors or employees. Sure, we stun with remarkable food, entertainment and decor –that sets your tone. But we’re also strategic about audience mix, unique ways to...more
Event Marketing Opens New Doors
Missing “event marketing” as a key tactic in your marketing plan? Or do you sacrifice events because your team lacks the time or experience to carry out your plan? This may expose your business to increasing threats. The recent struggles of Macy’s, Golfsmith, Sports Authority and even Wal-Mart confirm that brands must constantly adapt to the consumer’s purchase process. It’s not enough to just blame digital. You must consistently remind your customers of your relevance.
Event Marketing Equals Engagement
While event marketing can’t support your entire engagement strategy, adding events offers your customers an interaction that’s impossible with digital. True event marketing includes much more than just, “throwing a party.” It encompasses a range of influences that can include segmented audience interactions, smarter product launches and guerilla marketing that meets customers on their own turf. It’s no longer simply about products but how to place them in customers’ hands.
Corporate Holiday Party Ideas
A fabulous corporate holiday party idea doesn’t magically appear like department store elves. Memorable parties take preparation and forethought, but a little marketing savvy and professional planning can definitely make it worth your time.
Corporate Holiday Parties – More Than a Gesture
Your corporate holiday party may be more important than you think. A recent survey by BizBash, a trade-media site for the event industry, reported that 75 percent of workers say an office party is “very” important to morale. However, how you approach the party is just as important as whether or not you hold an event. A boardroom party with crudité from a wholesale warehouse doesn’t cut it. The survey concluded that more than half surveyed specifically requested that parties be held outside of the office at a restaurant or location signaling a true celebration, not an afterthought.
Know Your Audience
So how do you walk the line between a condescending gesture and an over-the-top,...more
Destination Austin: Texas-Sized Traffic
Destination management companies and special events coordinators know event transportation can make you or break you. Austin, for all its destination riches, often springs transportation nightmares on uninformed event planners. It’s easy to forget with its small-town charm, but Austin’s population more than doubles that of San Francisco and occupies a land mass measuring just below that of New York City. Would you plan back-to-back events in the Upper West Side and NoLita during rush hour? Then don’t expect a group to instantly move from Austin’s University area to Rainey Street at 6 p.m.
Detangling Austin's Destination Transportation
When Uber and Lyft suspended their Austin services in May 2016 during a highly publicized regulatory battle, it added to the city’s already complicated transportation equation. Austin’s MetroRail primarily supports suburban commuters and offers few weekend and evening options, while bus routes prove inconvenient to hot event areas. Adding to the...more
Event marketing may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you hear names like Radiohead or Chris Stapleton … but it should be. For the better part of 10 days this October, spanning two weekends, Austin hosts more than 75,000 music fans a day. Consistent with most music festivals, at least half of the audience falls into the sought-after millennial market. However, ACL also continues its reputation as a “family-friendly” music event, drawing a wide range of demographics.
ACL Event Marketing – Not Just Big Bands and Big Brands
Event marketing, product launches, social lounges and after-parties expose brands to thousands of attendees each year during this festival. Brands of all sizes and budgets, within a number of verticals find success making noise among these music fans. The social-sharing nature of participants adds to much of ACL Music Festival’s attraction. Attendees at the city’s other big music festival – SXSW – sent more than 1 million tweets in 2015. And, according to an Eventbrite study, more than 75 percent of tweets during music...more