Logistics

S.2 Episode 30: Why Booking Your Vendors too Late May Cost You

When should you start the planning process?

You have to figure out how big your audience is, if it’s small you don’t need as much lead time. We are talking to someone who is 30-40 thousand people and they plan three years in advance. 

Usually it’s date and location that are the biggest frustration and you need to figures those out first. We had a guest who talked about selling yourself to the venue. Do not think because you have a budget and audience that you will be attractive to the city, you may be competing with some really big names. Some events have ten year contracts because they are so big and need to lock in a venue. 

When do you loop in your partners?

It depends on size and scale of your event. When your organization works with a third party to work with vendors it adds a layer of complexity, but loop that person in immediately.  As soon as possible loop in production and decor. You might get a higher rate if you wait too long, or not get the a-squad! The earlier you book the better everything you get.  You should book your production as you choose a venue, they can help you save money through site visits.  The production partner can see things that you may not notice. 

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S.2 Episode 28: Stadiums: The Perfect Event Space?!

Lataya from U.S. Bank Stadium joins us this week and share all about their venue. We were challenged to think outside the normal venue box and see events in their space! Here are ways she has gotten to where she is now:

1.Build Relationships in the industry: Lataya was able to build authentic connections by joining a few committees which has given her a network of people

2.Take Opportunities that make you uncomfortable. When she took opportunities she was able to grow and get exposure.

3.Knowledge is Power, so learn as much as you can.

Reach out to usbankstadium.com

lwilliams@usbankstadium.com

Instagram: Lataya.Williams

Instagram: Charlesevaneide

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S.2 Episode 27: Planning Events in an Unpredictable Environment

How did you get your start?

I fell into the events industry through working for a non-profit. You wear many hats and ended up planning board meetings for 30 people each month and moved onto Galas. I consider my first big girl job The Basilica. I remember by then boss asking me if I knew anyone interested in an events job and she remembers it as do you know anyone interested in an events job. 

I think what got me to the point where I am today are the relationships I have built over the years with vendors, volunteers and co workers. I have tried hard to who my value through each event that I produce. I make sure I am along side everyone else when we are picking up the trash or pouring the beer or hauling wood to make the fires at Holidazzle. My first year I became the fire master.

I always want to be a part of making the world a better place and I am very lucky to be able to do that through events. 

How do you plan for an event when you do not know what the weather will be like?

  • Always have a risk management plan that includes weather and make sure all your vendors have a copy of it
  • Talk to the Police, Fire and EMTs about their recommendations. 
  • Plan ahead, where do people go, where does the talent go?

How do you push the boundaries?  

  • When I say boundaries, it doesn’t always mean bringing in something crazy that no one has seem before. Say you have events with a long history, and you have a great team of folks who have been working on that same event for a long time. Help them think outside the box. What can we stop doing and what can we do that’s new? What are some new revenue streams? 
    • Why are we doing something that creates more work and what is the ROI? 
    • How can we look at the space differently? 
    • Why does the stage always need to go in the same place?
    • Yes we do need to do active shooter training and yes we should have the contact information for all the buildings surrounding the event in case someone decides to throw a party and watch the show on the roof and we don’t go into full active shooter mode.

Instagram: Charlesevaneide

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S.2 Episode 24: Create Messaging That Lives On Past Your Events

Justin, your title is VP of Health Strategies at American Heart, what does that mean?

We’ve gone to a more locally based organization. All the non fundraising departments roll up to the VP of health strategies. Our advocacy and quality work and more to focus on the local community.

Justin has a lot to do with the bigger picture AHA in town. You do a lot of events, some big and some small.  Tell us a little bit about your philosophy around engaging that audience around a cause, policy, idea and how do you effectively do it.

Elizabeth: It was about 6 years ago where we were looking at our major events and finding survivor stories to talk about our general what do we do?It was pretty big picture broad. We figured out what are we doing in this market specifically and what are we trying to move the needle on. We started to weave that into our events and found the audience really resonated more because it was local and impactful. 

Everyone asks how do we engage the audience deeper in the cause? We are always seeking to engage the audience.

Justin:  Being ahead of the curve on the local surface. We can always find good national stories, but we get in front of the local community and show what we are doing in the local community. Do you like all new borns get screened for heart defects, that’s what we did.  And not all states and markets have done that but we have and we can point at our local staff and volunteers. Advocacy has been a huge part of AHA and that is where I started, the person at the state capital working on our policies. That has been a big part on how we impact the change. 

Moving into the rubber meeting the road Elizabeth, you are writing the show flow for these events, how do you take the advocacy work you do and really weave it into the messaging in a way that doesn’t bore the audience?

Elizabeth: Policy can get in the weeds, I frequently have to edit. Internally you have to work through what are we doing as an organization over this year and what are things we want to move the needle on.  Not all will fly or sell in an event. Which one’s are going to?  This last women’s lunch telephone CPR is what we focused on and that was something people could get their heads around. We are trying to pass a law that would put in place a standard so the dispatchers would know how to walk people through CPR. We wrapped that message into our luncheon. Part of the beauty was that our audience members could engage and actually send a petition to their legislators. Its a way your audience can feel connected to your mission. 

You have events all the time, how do you make sure the flavor of the year doesn’t get lost next year?

Elizabeth: As a non profit we have various avenues we reach out to our volunteers. Even though this year we focused on that next year we won’t even though it hasn’t passed. We have cultivated those people and we will continue to touch base through texts or emails without having another event.

In the non profit space, how do you communicate the message?

Elizabeth: A good example would be our gala this last fall. We did a restructure and zeroing in on social determinant of health. How can we make the healthy choice the easy choice? That is an area we are starting to expand where we have been.  How do you bring this to an event? We found a survivor, a stroke, she had the symptoms and waited to go the hospital because she didn’t have health insurance. She was a single mom, a nurse. That hindered her choice to seek health. That told that story as well as we brought in a group and did a rap about healthy food. Then we were able to use that moment to talk about our work in food access. We bring in different elements to talk about where we work and where we are going to do more and illustrate why.

Justin: You have to take risks for greater impact. 

Although these issues are not political, how do you make sure its not turning into a political thing?

Justin: You keep it outcome and patient focused.  Keep it away from the political arena and create the heartfelt feeling. Pitch the stories correctly but we also protect our brand so we are not known as a partisan organization. 

Elizabeth: It’s about people, people can’t argue with someones personal experience. They might not agree with the angle or push but they can see why we push and they can’t argue with that. There is a lot of talk on our end behind the scenes, about what issue we pick, and how we talk about them. 

Visit https://www.heart.org/en/affiliates/minnesota/twin-cities

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