GDPR for #eventprofs

The date for the introduction of the new GDPR legislation from 25 May is becoming quite imminent. When it first came to light last year we are pretty sure we were not the only ones didn’t fully appreciate the gravity of the new laws or think about how they would affect our roles.  How wrong were we and evidently a lot of other fellow event mangers too as in the last few months, the introduction of the GDPR Legislation is a hot topic at any of the networking events we attend not just buyer side but supplier side too. Now, we are clued up and ready to go but you can always learn more right? 
 
If you have been living under a rock and still think I am talking about Gross Domestic Product (but not sure what the R stands for), let me give you a brief overview.  GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation and is specific to the 28 EU member states centring around the way members have their data handled and more importantly, the way it is used and stored.
 
For us Event Managers, we are privy to a whole range of personal data and share this data with third parties almost daily.  The more data we have on our guests and attendees the better, more tailored and personalised event experience, right?  We share everything from passport details with travel agencies to sharing dietary reports with restaurants, hotels and venues and we share personal information on those all important rooming lists.  All of this is part of our role so, it will affect us and quite a lot.  If all of that isn’t scary, what about the actual way all that data is stored and what do you do if you feel you have a breech?

Eventogy are hosting a seminar on 3 May with a panel of speakers whom, we hope, will help answer some of these questions followed by a drinks and canapé reception to be able to share what we have learned with each other.  You can register for the seminar via the link here. 


The tasting…

I once took my husband to a tasting with me and he was in awe. We were in Barcelona and I guess to a non event manager it’s a pretty exciting prospect to spend all day eating and drinking…

We had to first taste canapés then two separate three course meals at two separate caterers with three options for each. We had to “taste” 18 separate dishes to suit the three courses and then choose from over 18 wines to suit the dishes we were going to select.

My husband was in heaven and I can see its appeal but as an event planner doing this sometimes twice a week it can be a tough chore. You have the responsibility of choosing the courses not based just on what you like but what will suit the event.  You need to choose based on the seniority of guests attending, you need to choose based on costs, theme of the event and the season your holding the event in.  You need to choose the menu based on anticipated dietary requirements, on the dominant sex attending the event and so on and so forth. Whilst it certainly isn’t a chore it is work and it is a responsibility, like the other million other responsibilities us event managers have that we take very seriously!

What are your tips and tricks when attending a tasting to ensure you choose the right menu?


Beating the Instagram Algorithm

As an event manager, making sure your content is seen on Instagram to me, is so much more important than letting my friends see my #fitspo or #getinmybelly posts. Posts used to be seen chronologically however with the 2018 Instagram Algorithm change some reports suggest that only 10% of your audience is seeing your posts.  The new algorithm works on post engagement so how many likes, comments and general interaction your post is getting. By lots of interaction, Instagram determines that this post is engaging and thus more people will want to see it. Basically if those initial 10% engage, then the other 90% may see it. So, although my post is probably now two months old for those that stay on top of #eventtech changes for those that still need help, here are my top two tips to try and beat that algorithm.

Hashtags – I always thought loads of hashtags gave you more chance of being noticed by anyone searching for any of the 30 hashtags that Instagram allowed… This is wrong.  Apparently less is more and a couple of hashtags specific to the niche you are targeting will suffice. Instagram will see you less like a spammer and this may get more of your stuff seen.  Lots of hashtags also makes you look like you are just posting to get likes when instead, you should be sharing your posts with people who are genuinely  interested in your content.

In events we are lucky we have #eventprofs, #eventplanner and #eventtech which are of most interest to me. In theory, using these three with one of two in addition (#sitevisit #comeflywithme #production) depending on what I want people to engage on may be enough.

I have all my hashtags saved in my notepad and then copy and paste them into a post depending on the content. I keep them specific to travel posts and site visit posts, catering and food posts and general event planning posts.

Comments – try and comment and respond to your comments as quick as possible. I know this is not always ideal but to keep the momentum going it is suggested you shouldn’t really be leaving it more than an hour to respond to a comment.

Another way to boost engagement on your posts via comments is to use comments that provide a call to action. Ask a questions to start an engaging conversation but make sure they are relevant to the post. In events we could ask questions on catering, perhaps comparing two dishes, side by side at a tasting and asking for user preference to production/set design!

There is a great read here from Hootsuite that will give you more tips on how to write fabulous, engaging comments.

That’s my top two tips – let me know how you get on!

 

 



The Hospital Club – Eventprofslive Feb Event

We at Eventprofslive are finally out of winter, we know this because this morning we had a breakfast event at The Hospital Club and we had 100 percent attendance! This would never happen in winter for an early start though it may also have something to do with the intrigue of our venue! Every one of our members had heard of it but never actually been.

The Hospital Club is based just by Covent Garden station and is a private members club for the creative industries offering the facilities it needs to connect, collaborate and create. Split over seven stories, the building has so many amazing spaces for hire from a fully equipped tv and music studio and screening room to different sized function and event spaces and to top it all off – 15 stunning hotel rooms. The spaces can be utilized for events from 2 to 300 and you can find out more about all of the spaces here.  The types of events that would suit the spaces perfectly range from general meetings to conferences, drinks receptions, lunches and dinners to private screenings. One of my favourite rooms is the Oak Room which has its own bar, lounge and adjoining balcony. The events you could hold in this room would be amazing with a capacity to take up to 125 standing, it even has its own DJ setup, ready to go!

Our event started at 8.00 am with a site visit of all the lovely event spaces followed by a tasty breakfast and catch-up with the group. I have hosted quite a few events at The Hospital Club and the food has always been outstanding. The restaurant has a three star rating from the Sustainable Restaurant Association which means their approach to locally produced food is always in season and will always (as I have witnessed) be fabulous. One of my favourite ever tastings I did was at The Hospital Club.

After a quick catch-up it was a tour of the bedrooms and then off to work which meant we all pretty much got to work on time! The bedrooms were launched in 2015 and where designed by Russell Sage Studios. They are stunning and range from standard rooms up to suites with state-of-the-art sound and vision AND rainforest showers. The best thing though is the evening turndown cocktail trolley.

We loved our breakfast and show round – big thanks to Simone and the team for hosting us. For more information on The Hospital Club or any of their meeting and events spaces contact them here.


Screenshot notifications for Instagram Stories

Oh no… I take screenshots daily on Instagram stories.  I take them of workouts I like, I take them of food that looks amazing and, I take them copious amounts of times a day from the #eventstyling feed for inspiration and Instagram is currently testing a feature that will allow you to see whom has screenshot your story!

Thankfully this is only in test mode and I really hope Instagram doesn’t roll this out as a permant feature… If they do, the notification will only show up in your viewer feed but I still think it will put people off snapping away! What do you think #eventprofs? You can read more about it in todays TechCrunch here.



Fanhams Hall – our January FAM

We are slowly making our way through all of the fabulous Excluisve Hotels and Venues and last Friday we headed off to Fanhams Hall, a Grade II Jacobean mansion house located in Ware for our first FAM of 2018. From Liverpool Street, the venue is just a 45 minute train ride away and only 60 minutes from Heathrow which is very handy.

Our group arrived at 3.00 pm for an amazing light lunch and a chat with Jonathan, MD of Fanham’s Hall before heading off on a site visit of all the meeting and event spaces and there are a lot of wonderful spaces. Fanhams Hall has 24 meeting and syndicate rooms. Of these 20, 12 are principal meeting rooms and a further 12 are breakout rooms, all flexible in their layouts and all of them having loads of lovely natural daylight. The biggest space, The Hertford and Ware is perfect for larger meetings and is very modern and sleek in design with the most amazing views and fits up to 70 cabaret. Amongst all the meeting and event spaces you will find the Long gallery which is my favourite.

The Long Gallery was originally a stunning picture gallery with ornate chandeliers and dual aspect views of the gorgeous gardens, there is also two small syndicate rooms that work with it to make it a wonderful, different option for that board level away day. You can find more on the capacities of all the meeting rooms here.

In the midst of our site visit of the event spaces, we headed outside to see the grounds and the Japanese Tea Gardens which are truly spectacular. They would make a stunning backdrop for your onsite activities. I really fell in love with them they were just so unexpected (check out the pictures).

After our site visit it was back to our rooms to freshen up ready for our welcome drinks and private dinner which was superb. Chef certainly served up an amazing menu and words (but I hope pictures can) cannot describe the desert. It was AMAZING and provided a good lining for the next part of our site visit… the Karaoke Klub. I can’t quite put into words how fun our night was but I will try. The Karaoke Klub is the venue’s Klub which is a completely self-contained stand alone venue where your guests can sing their hearts out. It also has its own bar and I think adding this on to any offsite/away day would be amazing. It is so good for team building. We certainly had the best time!

The next morning, with some very sore heads we all met up for breakfast and had a giggle about the nights signing stars. This was such a wonderful FAM trip, thank you so much to Fanhams for having us! We really think Fanhams would work beautifully for a away day or meeting. They have some very competitive 24 hour rates and combined with its proximity to London’s Liverpool Street and those magical gardens it’s definitely worth looking at!


Eventprofslive

We have been going for just over two years now and there are still corporate event managers out there whom haven’t heard of us.

Eventprofslive is a networking group for corporate event managers, set up by corporate event managers so we know what we are talking about… We work in the role day in and day out.

Each month we hold an evening drinks reception and a FAM trip with our members and not only do we see some amazing hotels and venues we have open and honest conversations about the highs and lows of our roles, we ask questions, we bounce of ideas and we most importantly have a laugh. We are so welcoming and friendly you feel like you are having a night out with your mates.

Our group has become such a great part of my life and I love it. If you fancy joining or finding out more information you can email me here and check out our website here .