Would You Bizzabo?

bizzabo 173x300 Would You Bizzabo?

Photo taken from Crunchbase.com

Events 101: It’s all about the guests.

You want to communicate information effectively and get the conversation going. For the business events industry, Bizzabo* (2011), does just that.

For business event planners, the Bizzabo app allows you to integrate event schedules and important info (updates, discounts, opportunities etc) of your event with minimum effort.

Each guest is connected when they sync their LinkedIn profiles with the app. Attendees can scroll their screen to find the people they want to meet. There’s a messaging feature for direct communication.

The beauty of this app is it does all the work for you. As a business event planner, you only need to upload the logistics and update information as it changes and guests will be informed. The guests themselves can initiate their own networking via the app.

The challenge is to let all attendees know about the app initially. Furthermore, if guests do not have a smart phone (although it’s becoming a rarity) they are at a disadvantage.

At the end of the day, it’s still about the people. So, would you or wouldn’t you Bizzabo? Let us know in the comments section.

*You can read reviews of the app here.

Facebook Marketing: Dead or Alive?

FacebookDead Facebook Marketing: Dead or Alive?

Is it game over for Facebook's marketing useage? (Photo taken from FreshAesthetics.com)

It’s not like Facebook is deemed stabbed to death in the event industry but is it the best option for sharing content?

Communicating to your audience/public via social media is key to getting your message out there.

The question lies in which platform is the most effective. Eventbrite released an infographic showing the effectiveness of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for their events.

Turns out that while Twitter generates the most visits per shares, it is Facebook that brings home the bacon, as far as revenues per share goes.

That being said, is Facebook marketing still effective? Are people still reading content, visiting the company web page and most importantly, processing and remembering what they have seen? BusyEvent‘s director of social marketing, Nicci Anderson gave her opinion on the subject as well as some helpful tips on what NOT to do when using Facebook as a marketing tool. (Tips include knowing when your “sharing” of content turns into an overload resembling spam.)

Check out the article on Liz King Events.

Urban Farming

lettuce 199x300 Urban Farming Sheraton Fairplex is home to McKinley’s Grille, a restaurant specializing in “farm-fresh cuisine” grown at our on-site urban farm. Berries, apples, grapes, herbs, leafy greens, peppers, broccoli, squash and a number of other fruit, vegetables and herbs are grown throughout the year.

Fairplex isn’t the only event center moving towards the locally grown as a main food resource. It is a trend that is taking hotels, restaurants and even schools by storm, all working towards healthy, sustainable methods of growing crops.

McKinley’s Grille is fortunate to have ample space for a farm to grow right on property (the farm is currently 1/3 of an acre large and is currently being expanded). The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel restaurants Raya and enoSTEAK cook their dishes from locally grown produce as well. Other venues like the luxurious W Austin (Texas) search no farther than 50 miles to procure the best locally grown food and beverages.

The benefits of using locally grown ingredients are many. For venues like Fairplex, chefs and horticulturists work together to plan menus and know exactly what methods of farming are used to provide the healthiest, cleanest, freshest vegetables, fruits and herbs possible.

veggies 300x199 Urban Farming Rather than using foods that are shipped from hundreds to thousands of miles away, venues using local produce, meats and other foods have access to the freshest in-season ingredients, resulting in fresh, in-season dishes. Check out the video below for the techniques Fairplex uses at our local farm.


Top Social Media and Content Marketing Blogs To Follow

Social media. It’s no longer a buzz word but a daily part of our lives, no longer a novelty but a standard means of communication.

The event industry, like many other businesses, has changed with the rise of social media. Not only social media, but iPhones and other smart phones have opened up new opportunities and challenges alike for the industry. Every phone has a camera, Internet access, and social media apps and incidents can be shared online within seconds. An event can be branded and promoted in dozens of ways. Keeping up with the latest in social media and content marketing can truly “up” your game in hosting events.

PlannerWire recently posted a blog listing the top 24 content and social media marketing blogs event planners should follow. From Facebook marketing to strategies on generating a strong audience following, these blogs are worth a read.

See their suggestions here.

WINNER! “Fifty Shades of Running” Promo

Last week we blogged about one of the brightest trends in the nation: the Color Run. Jogging a 5k is a whole different experience when you are being covered in dye while you complete the course! We gave six free registrations to several of our readers. All you had to do to enter was tell us what your favorite running shoe color combination was for a chance to win!

And the winners are…

  • Elena - She chose pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, green (her favorite color!), and orange for Fall (her favorite season)
  • Cecilia  – She chose neon pink and yellow to rep the 80s.
  • Stephanie – She chose purple (favorite color), pink (to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month in light of her grandmother’s fight) and glitter shades of grey!
  • Deena  – In her own words: “Pink for the girls and a reminder of the power of the pink ribbon; green for the boys that compliments the pink so well; and purple for royalty because all people deserve to live life richly!”
  • Aye – Aye also chose pink in support of finding a cure for cancer.
  • Blanca - Blanca’s top choice is teal with white trim, represented the ocean and the spray of the waves.

It was a blast seeing everyone’s creativity, from those rooting for their favorite sports teams to some intent on showcasing their pristine, colorful style to those who chose colors symbolizing their attitudes towards life to those who simply wished to support a good cause! Thank you to everyone who participated for making this a fun read.

Each winner will receive one free registration for the Color Vibe, happening this Saturday, Oct. 20. We look forward to seeing everyone doused in color and having a blast. Don’t forget, you can still register with a 25% discount when you use the code fairplexcolorvibe at the time of registration! Register here: https://colorvibe.pulsemob.com/event/los-angeles/

From Fair to Off-Roading

overview zps612f130b From Fair to Off RoadingFor those of you who attended the Fair this year, you can imagine that the strike operation for this month-long event was no walk in the park. Rides, food stands, carnival games and prizes, livestock and exhibits all had to be organized, logged and packed away. That is time consuming in itself, but how do you transition the strike of a 400+ acre Fair and set-up a large expo… in two days?

expo1 300x225 From Fair to Off Roading

Goodbye Ferris wheel, hello off-roading!

It took a total of three weeks to set up the Fair. We had two days to strike and prepare for the next set of events taking place on the grounds. This year we had the Lucas Oil Off-Road Expo setting up shop in one area of the fairgrounds, the Quilt, Craft and Sew festival located in one of the expo halls AND the So Cal College Fair launching in the Sheraton Conference Center.

So what does the strike of Fair look like? Fairplex event services manager Pat Wright gave some of us his tips for a successful, seamless transition from one event to another, no matter what the time limit is.

Before even beginning…

1. Establish and reinforce agreement contracts. The vendors, concessionaires, carnival team and sponsors needed to be packed up by noon the day after the Fair’s close. Pat made sure each and every crew understood their agreement with Fairplex, giving them ample time to assemble the manpower needed to tear down their booths, pack up equipment and head out for the year.

Time to close up shop…

2. Next the contractors come in to take down the hundreds of canopies, tents, tables and other temporary facilities that are brought in for the Fair.

Bring in the cleaning experts!

3. Finally, it’s time to clean. Fairplex hires several cleaning crews including a pressure washing team and environmental services crew to scrub and scour every exposition hall, every warehouse and every inch of cement into a spotless canvas for the next event. The crews worked from Tuesday night into Wednesday morning in order to accomplish this.

It’s showtime! Again…

4. As the cleaning crews pack up and head home, the next client is “knocking” on Fairplex’s doors bright and early, ready to set up for their events.

As you can see, it takes hundreds of people for an effective strike, especially with 48 hours or less to get everything done. But it can be done!

Pat gave us his top three pieces of advice to survive the madness:

1. Get a good night’s rest — as often as you can
2. Come into the day with lots of resolve
3. Communicate effectively with your team and partners. “It’s my team that gets everything done,” he said. “I make sure that they know when and where the priority is. It’s all about being aware of what is going on that day.”

Fifty Shades of Running

Grey isn’t the only color trending this year. In fact, it’s only one of many and they are all coming to Fairplex, thanks to the Color Vibe 5k.

color vibe3 Fifty Shades of Running Back in the day people used to run 5ks, 10ks, half marathons and full marathons in typical style, with sweat dripping from their foreheads, the endorphins and shouts of encouragement reflected in their bright eyes and the sound of the pavement being conquered under their sneakers.colorvibe4 300x187 Fifty Shades of Running Lately, however, these events have taken running to a new level. Now it’s all about the color run. In a standard “color run,” participants walk, jog or run through the course while being pelted with different shades of the rainbow (in the form of safe but extremely bright dye). By the time they reach the finish line, each runner is coated in a fun mishmash of color as a testament to their 3.1 mile trek. The novelty of this experience draws beginners and regular runners alike into the fun of a 5k.

The leader of these events is The Color Run, with races happening throughout the nation. The race is, in their own words, “less about speed and more about crazy color fun,” open to all ages, couch potatoes and athletes. Similar to that is Color Me Rad and the Los Angeles based Color Dash.

Sound fun? We thought so too which is why we are inviting you to sweat in color at the Color Vibe 5k! We are giving away six FREE registrations to you! For a chance to win, answer this question in the comment box below:

If you could pick any color combination for your running shoes, what would it be and why?

This giveaway is open through Monday, Oct. 15 and we will announce the winner on Tuesday, Oct. 16th! Good luck and get ready to run in color!

We are also offering a 25% discount for anyone who uses the coupon code: fairplexcolorvibe when they register. Spots fill up fast so make sure you don’t miss out!

The Color Vibe is happening on Saturday, Oct. 20 with races beginning at 9:00 a.m. and every ten minutes after that. Make sure to register here: https://colorvibe.pulsemob.com/event/los-angeles/