Top 4 Tools Event Planners Should be Thankful For!

Thanksgiving marcom 791x1024 Top 4 Tools Event Planners Should be Thankful For!

Top 4 Tools Event Planners Should Be Thankful For:

Evernote: This free software is designed for note taking. These “notes” can be regular texts, webpages, photographs, voice memo’s…the list goes on and on. Not only is this a great tool that you can use on your computer, iphone, ipad, andriod, blackberry, and many other smart devices. (Mike’s favorite app)

Google docs: A free Web-based office suite and data storage, very similar design to Evernote, but Google Docs focus’ on Word, Excel, Powerpoint, etc. You won’t ever have to work about losing your work or forgetting you laptop. You’ll have access to your documents 24/7. (Jon loves using Google tools)

Calendar: The use of your calendar on your Outlook, Google Calendar, smart phone calendar, etc. is one of the most useful tools for any professional (especially when planning and scheduling is your main task in your job).  (Christie keeps track of all her appointments using her Outlook Calendar)

Social Media: Social media outlets (Facebook, Twitter, Google +, Pinterest) have completely changed the way we connect with others in our personal lives, along with our professional lives.  This can be a life line for many busy meetings professionals to keep connected.

What is Podcasting and How to Get Involved!

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I’ve noticed that many people have been asking “what is podcasting“, along with many podcasting questions and so I thought i’d take a moment and explain what podcasting is and what Meetings Podcast does.

Podcasting is a form of audio and/or video broadcasting on the internet. A more detailed response from Wikipedia says “A podcast is a type of digital media consisting of an episodic series of audiovideo, PDF, or ePub files subscribed to and downloaded through web syndication or streamed online to a computer or mobile device. The word is a neologism derived from “broadcast” and “pod” from the success of the iPod, as podcasts are often listened to on portable media players“. Meetings Podcast is here to talk to event planners, event managers, event attendees, Trade Show coordinators, Keynote speakers, etc. trying to get their thoughts on events and meetings!

Do you have a meeting or event coming up? We’d love to pick your brain your about ideas and resources about your events and meetings! If you are interested in talking to either Mike McAllen or Jon Trask (our 2 podcast specialists) contact us today! We’d love to hear from you, learn, and share to others!

Also, if any additional Podcasting questions come to mind, feel free to leave a comment and we’ll chat with you about it!

Don’t Kill Your Attendees!

Don’t kill your attendees with a poorly planned event. We’ll help you with your Meeting & Video Production!

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Ways to Prevent Event Management Disasters

Ways to Prevent Event Management Disasters:

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Your boss gives you the task of planning a company function and the first thing you do is start planning in your head. You think of how this event will be great, you’ll do a good job, and you’re boss will be extremely impressed. But what if something terrible goes wrong at your event. Many disasters can happen at any time of the event and we want to make sure these do not happen to you. Grass Shack Events and Media are a great Event Production company that will help you at every step of the way and will help prevent these disasters.

Hire An Event Planner

Sounds like an obvious suggestion, but many people do not give themselves enough time to plan their event. The first thing to do is to hire an event planner. You are in charge of putting together this spectacular event and all eyes are on you. Hiring an event planner to help with the details, set up, venue options, etc. Start planning what you want the goal of the event to be and share it with you planner.

Communicate with your Planner

Communicating with your planner brings us to our next point. Communication! You must have complete communication with, not only your event planner, but between your boss, the vendors, the venue coordinator. It is extremely important to make sure your vision is known throughout the entire planning process on all accounts. Your event planner will be a huge part of this as well. Eventually, they will become the middle man between you and the rest of the people that are involved. But in the beginning, be sure to consult with everyone.

Take Care Of The Budget

This piece of advice applies to two things. The numbers in terms of the budget that you have and the numbers of people that will be attending the event.

When it comes to your budget, knowing how much things are costing and how much you are spending is a must. It becomes easy to just agree to prices that people quote you without realising that you cannot afford it, which is when things start to go wrong.

Another piece of advice is that you should always keep a little bit of money aside just in case something does go wrong and you have to spend some more money. If you don’t do this you can easily get into trouble with the bank or the person who is funding the event.

In terms of the number of people that are will be coming to the event you need to know exactly how many people are coming. If you send an invite with a plus one or someone emails asking if they can bring an extra two people you need to stay on top of it. Always make sure that you know how many guests you are expecting. This allows you to plan things such as table plans, drinks and food much better.

If Plan A doesn’t work, theres always Plan B, C, and D

This is where you prove you’re great at event management.

The saying “If plan A doesn’t work, there is always plan B, C, and D”, this quotes is for not only everyday life, but in your event planning. Disaster are bounds to happen every once in a while. Make sure you have back up plans and learn to resolve solutions on your feet. This can all be avoided if you plan accordingly. The best thing to do is to think of all the possible things that could go wrong and think of a solution before the event.

First to Arrive, Last to Leave

Everyone loves to be fashionably late, but as an event manager this is not an option. Be prepared to get to the event early and make sure everything is set up correctly and everything is running smoothly. If you are late to arrive and mistakes are being made, it’s going to be too late to fix. Also, don’t leave your own event early. Just because the event is running smoothly does not mean you can dip out and start your weekend early. Stay til the end and help clean up. You can ask people how they enjoyed the event, possibly get an interview with them to share with your event results.

Book an appointment with us TODAY at Grass Shack Events & Media

Passbook: Event Industry Game Changer?

The new iOS6 was launched just a few days ago for all iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, and the new iPhone 5. With this update (waited for months by many) the new Passbook App was included. This new app is said to change the Event Industry for good. Do you think it will? Lets take a deeper look.

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Passbook is an iPhone app that is created to cutback the usage of paper in the Event Industry. You can use this app for everything from flight boarding pass, gift cart or event tickets. Thats not even the best part of the app, Passbook alerts you when you are in proximity of the venue of your event, showing your ticket as a notification. Along with the alert that you are getting close to your event location, the app will also alert you the time of your event. Just bring your phone to the merchant, they scan the barcode on your phone, and there you go! Off to the event you go!

Many big time vendors have already connected with Passport, including StubHub, United Airlines, Fandango, Sheraton, Target, and many more. As the App become more popular, i’m sure more vendors will jump on the bandwagon.

As fun and exciting this new app seems, there are some downfalls that come along the way. First, to have to app work you need a device that is able to scan this barcode. Many companies do not have this integrated with their systems just yet. Give it a couple months, i’m sure companies will catch on!

With all said and done, what are your thoughts on the new app? Do you think it’s a game changer in the Events Industry or do you think it will fizzle out?

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Grass Shack Events & Media‘s first Newsletter went out this week! What were all of your thoughts?

To Subscribe to our weekly newsletter where we will discuss the events industry, event planning, production, technology, and more email us at to be put on our mailing list! Enjoy!


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iMex Event App is Updated!

With iMex America 2012 right around the corner, we’re curious if you’ve gotten the chance to download the Event App? This great up-and-coming piece of technology is great for, not only the event itself, but everything leading up to it! If you haven’t already, go to the Apple App store and download the “iMex America 2012″ app. Oh, and did we mention it’s FREE?!

image iMex Event App is Updated!

Once you have downloaded the app, it’s great to take a minute a play around with it. Get a good feel for the app before the event starts (that way you can focus on the events, seminars, and meetings while your there instead of playing around with all the features).

First your see the “All Events & Seminars” giving you the time, place, and general information of each event going on during the 3 days.

Next, you’ll find the “My Events & Seminars“, ” What’s On Now“, “My Schedule“, “Exhibitors“, “My Exhibitors”, and  “Floor Plan“. These  are all a great way to keep yourself organized and on time (a huge plus for me, since I am one to get distracted very easily).

Follows those, you’ll see “iMex TV“,  this is connected to YouTube, where you can find many (if not all) great youtube clips from the event. A great way to look back after the day is over and see what you missed.

One of my favorite parts of this App is the “Social Media” section including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and i-Meet. This is something you can use from now, up til the event. A great way to connect with other going to the event, see what seminars people are going to, make plans to connect with people AT iMex, the list goes on and on.

image 1 iMex Event App is Updated!

Like I said, this is a must have app if you are attending iMex America 2012. We highly suggest taking a look of the 2 pages of great features in the Event App. Meetings Podcast has been doing shows with many insiders of iMex leading up to the show, we encourage each of you to check those out as well (don’t forget out Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn pages). If you are going to this event and want to meet up, let us know! We’d love to connect with you!

See you in VEGAS!!

We’ll Knock Your Socks Off!

Our very first Meetings Podcast newsletter went out yesterday! Join our subscription to hear about event and media production, event planning, events industry, technology, etc. Our most recent podcast are leading up to iMex America (discussing the event, what to expect, etc.).

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Let us know:

What topics would you like to be see on the show?

What would knock your socks off? 

Will you be at iMex America? Lets connect! 

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Event Industry Pet Peeves Chat

Scanning through Twitter this afternoon (the usual places like #eventtable and #eventprofs) and came across this chat from @JeniseFryatt and @PYMLive about event planning and the pet peeves that come with it. What a great idea for a chat (I love hearing what makes people tick)! Here are some interesting tweets from the chat! To view the entire chat go to #eventtable or follow @JeniseFryatt

A1: The complaints I hear most often from #eventprofs are about F&B, A/V and hotel charges #eventtable

A1: They complain about the cost and lack of customer service with A/V companies. #eventtable

A1: One solution for “hidden fees” @joaneisenstodt has pointed out, is asking the right questions in negs  #eventtable

Planners have to take responsibility for asking about things they don’t understand before signing contracts. #eventtable

They can protect themselves from hidden fees by stating in contracts that they’re not liable for anything not included in it#eventtable

A1: How to keep up with technology and social media is also a big gripe I hear often from #eventprofs#eventtable

The problem with technology isn’t that you can’t find something that does what you want. it’s there are too many options. #eventtable

A2: Tracking metrics is so important. Facebook & YouTube dashboards are fantastic, also  for Twitter

A3: Suppliers & planners: You want a win-win, so don’t play hardball or be unethical! You can’t get everything! #eventtable

A3: Planners: Know what the value of your meeting really is. Be flexible. Let people know when/why they don’t get your business.#eventtable

Let us know your biggest pet peeves in the event planning industry! Don’t want to deal with these pet peeves? Let Grass Shack Events & Media take the pain away! Contact us today and follow us on twitter @meetingspodcast

Join in on the next #eventtable chat next Monday at 3pm EST. 

Location, Location, Location!

map 300x199 Location, Location, Location!Location, Location, Location!

The location of your event can either make or break your meeting or conference. Thankfully the staff at Grass Shack Events & Media have great knowledge of great locations. Having planned meetings for 10 years in the bay area and having attended conferences in places all over the US, we know the best of the best when it comes to location. Your probably wondering why the location of your event is that important? Well, this article “Why Is An Event Location So Important by @imbookin” lets you know why.

1. The Location is Your Event Canvas — Once you have nailed down your location, all the other pieces of your event will begin to fall into place. After finalizing the location, you can start planning what other partners and vendors you will need to engage. Does the location have tables you can use for registration and networking? Are their chairs? How many? Is there adequate lighting? Is there wifi? How strong is the wifi signal? Do you need table furnishings? Can you cover the walls? What time can you get there to setup? Is there parking nearby? The list just goes on and on.

2. The Location establishes the Tone for Your Event — The location helps establish the tone of your event for attendees before they get there and gives a ‘first impression’ of your event and what to expect. For example, If you are having an event at an upscale restaurant, attendees will know this is a formal event versus if you are having it at a fun activity venue where it will be more laid-back and relaxed. Understanding the goals of your event will help you determine what tone you want to set before the attendees get there and take you one step further to contributing to your overall events success.

3. The Location will Motivate Attendance – One of the most important factors for considering your event location is whether it will help contribute to motivate guests to attend the event. Is it easy for them to access? Have they ever been there before? Is it well-known? Will the be excited about the location? Make your event as successful as possible by doing everything you can to make guests WANT to come to the event and you will be sure to fill up your event to the max.

4. The Location sets the Stage for Memories – An event’s success is only as good (in my opinion) as the memories it provides attendees. If I go to a conference and can’t truly remember what it was or what I learned… then it wasn’t a success in the long run. You want to make sure your event has a lasting impression and choosing a venue that will help contribute to this is key.

Book an event with Grass Shack Events & Media today!