Tag - planning

Event Signage – A Case of Bad “Sign-You-Sight-Us”
Japan Quake Info For Meeting Planners
Your Event Needs Refreshing
More Thoughts on your Conference or Event Blog
Interesting Things You See at a Conference

Event Signage – A Case of Bad “Sign-You-Sight-Us”

I am writing this post on the fly because of this sign, this confusing, laughter enducing, excuse for a sign that is outside of a hotel in the Chicago area…..

Takes a couple of times to read it to actually understand it, if you ever actually understand it.

Misprints, misspellings, wrong way arrows, wrong pictures or old logos are all little things that can make or break an attendee experience.

Imagine, a conference going perfect until 30 attendees walk to the wrong end of a resort hotel for a meeting only to find out that the arrow was pointing in the wrong direction. They are now late for the keynote, late for their education session or late for a luncheon all because you did not double check.

A couple of things you can do to avoid bad “sign-you-sight-us”…..

  • Have two or three people proof signs before they are printed or go to the printer, check for spelling and your wording
  • Lay out signs on a property map so you know that all of the arrows are facing the right direction
  • Create and keep a master sign list
  • Have the hotel, conference center or venue put the signs out the night before if possible. This will give you a chance to walk through and check them calmly before attendees see them in the morning

Checking and proofing your signage also helps you avoid those stupid looking fixes you are going to want to apply. You know, the hastily cut out arrow that is taped over the wrong way arrow, the speakers name changed in sharpie or awful looking logo printed on the crappy travel printer that John will be applying with a dried out glue stick…..

What are your signage ideas? Planners would love to know!

Japan Quake Info For Meeting Planners

In light of today’s destructive earthquake in Japan, I thought I would compile some resources that meeting and event planners may need that I have found around the web, I threw this together pretty quick and will update as needed, if you have any resources not listed here, please feel free to put them in the comments and I can add them to this list later. Also – ALL American Service Men and Women have been accounted for.


United Airlines – Travel Waiver Information

Delta Airlines Earthquake Info

American Airlines  Earthquake Info

Cathay Pacific Airlines Info

ANA Airlines

Email address for US citizens to contact the State Department: JapanEmergencyUSC@state.gov

Department of State information hotline 1-888-407-4747

US Embassy Website – Tokyo

State Department Travel Info – Emergencies

Twitter hash-tags include #japan  #prayforjapan , and #tsunami Also – Hawaii Red Cross Twitter Feed Here


Reuters Live Blog

BBC Live Blog

CNN Live Blog

Japan Weather Service

Google Map of Tsunami Area


Facebook Page for finding people in Japan

Google People Finder

The Red Cross has a site for people to list themselves as “Safe and Well”, you can also search here

NTT DOCOMO People Finder (using mobile phone number)

KDDI Message Board

If you need to inquire about a Japanese Citizen, the number to the Japan Embassy Washington – 202-238-6700


Not sure if this helps Americans because it is in Japanese, but here is a shelter map





Your Event Needs Refreshing

When you first started your event, conference, tradeshow or meeting, everything was new and exciting and bold and the sky was the limit.

Everyone in the neighborhood wanted to come over and see what was going on what was happening and you were top dog. For years you smashed attendance records, there was a waitlist and you could do no wrong.

Your Fresh Event Planning

A few years have gone by and you are still relying on the same format, the same speakers and the same content and the cool kids in the neighborhood have stopped coming by because frankly, the same old thing is not doing it for them anymore. Read More

More Thoughts on your Conference or Event Blog

Conference and Event Blogs

OK, I have said (more than once) that it is very important for your conference or event to have a blog… no really, it needs one. Go here to see my post “Your Conference or Event Should have a Blog“.

Now that we have established this as a fact, there are some things that you can do to make that blog more effective and build on what I have mentioned in my previous post (you gotta read it first).

In order to be more effective, the best thing that you can do is learn from real bloggers, the folks that blog for a living. Real bloggers actually make ching from their readers and site visitors which means that they have a vested interest in gaining more readers and keeping them on their sites for longer periods of time. They know how to do this and are very good at it… you can learn much by how they operate and by listening to the lessons they are willing to teach.

They can teach you effective ways to get attendees, potential attendees and other folks in your space to visit, bookmark and hang out around your conference or event blog.

Although your blog is not meant to earn your conference or event money in a literal sense, it can drive more attendance and more sponsorship which leads to more revenue so believe it or not, your blog operates in the much the same way as a professional blogger’s.

I have put together a list of a few sites that you should visit to learn the tricks of the “blogging” trade from the masters, the guys that make more than a little money writing for a living. The tidbits that they share can help your blog grow beyond something that you “have to do” and make the experience more enjoyable for not only you, but for your site visitors and attendees as well which will ultimately put more butts in the seats or in the aisles of your next conference or event.

We are talking better marketing, better writing, how to use social media for your blog, increasing readership, what platform to use (and what not to use), cool plugins and more.

Remember, anyone can plan an event, it takes a professional to create an experience that lives beyond a few days in October.

Anyway, go read and create a better event experience.

Interesting Things You See at a Conference

You see some pretty strange shit as a meeting and event professional… That is a fact.

From walking through McCormick place at 5 am and seeing the garbage guy empty the recycle bin into the regular trash to the unusual reasons attendees decide to undress in the conference center bathroom, the meetings and events industry is a den of weirdness.

There are times though when people do things that are shocking and make you smile. Such is the case with a conference that I was privilaged to plan this past weekend in Southern California.

After the keynote gave her speech, she took a little Q and A. Her eyes fell on a guy who was waving his hand a little too enthusiastically and you could see her hesitate as she called on him.

"What is your question?" she inquired. As the microphone runner reached him, he paused and said, "I don't really have a question but I met this fine lady at the conference two years ago and I would like her to be my wife".

He then got down on one knee and popped the question.

It was a room full of 500 people! Glad she said yes! It happened so fast that the camera guy could only get this shot, but you get the idea….


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