I can’t believe it’s been a whole year since this fabulous wedding at the Chicago Yacht Club. I’m ashamed that I’m only just now sharing it! I guess I should have titled this post “Happy Anniversary Jason & Melissa” instead.
Jason and Melissa both love sailing so when they got engaged there was no question where they’d be tying the knot. The couple did a wonderful job including their sailing teams and other nautical details. We were honored to be a part of this wonderful celebration at the Chicago Yacht Club. Thanks to Justine Bursoni for capturing the incredible photographs!
Venue & Catering: Chicago Yacht Club
Photography: Justine Bursoni
Floral: Avant Gardenia
DJ/Specialty Lighting: A Posh Production
Ice Sculpture: Nadeau’s Ice Sculptures
Let’s face it. We can plan the most amazing meeting with dynamic speakers, relevant information, ample breaks, upbeat teaser music, and maybe even something out of the box thrown in just for fun. But when presenters look out at the crowd these days, what do they see?
About half of the attendees staring down at a tiny screen checking email, surfing Facebook, or sending a text to the guy sitting next to him. And that’s on a good day.
This is a problem that (aside from ordering all attendees to relinquish their devices at the door) is nearly impossible to beat. And you know what they say. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em!
Meeting apps are nothing new. In fact, they’ve become increasingly popular over the last five years. Many include maps, agendas, badge or business card scanning, speaker bios, sponsor information and more. It’s too soon to tell if these programs will result in the demise of today’s clunky, time consuming (and often expensive), printed conference guides, but some experts are predicting that will be the case.
What is new is the price to create a custom meeting app. Thankfully, it seems the days of apps being accessible only to the big budget players are ending. Companies like Bloodhound and Twoppy make it free and easy for meetings of all sizes to take advantage of the benefits of event specific apps.
Nice Meeting: Event Technology for Screen Lovers
While planning an industrial real estate conference recently, I was able to work with the good folks at Nice Meeting to make my dreams come true. A room full of meeting attendees inevitably staring down at their mobile devices AND engaged in the meeting!
Nice Meeting allows attendees to view presenter slides, take notes on them, and save them for later all on their mobile devices. Attendees can opt to view the slides along with the presenter or at their own pace. They can also submit questions directly to the presenter and chat with other attendees, again all from their mobile devices.
It was fascinating to see it in action. And, for those of us who are on a budget, Nice Meeting is happy to incorporate sponsor ads and include a customized log-in page with logos. Your attendees don’t have to download anything on their devices to access it and Nice Meeting brings in all the required technology. It’s like magic!
Social Media Integration
Planners should stop thinking of social media as just a tool to boost registration and sales. There are some great new apps being developed to increase networking at events by leveraging social media. And after all, networking opportunities are one of the top reasons attendees, exhibitors, and sponsors participate.
Qrious uses information gathered during the registration process to make recommendations to attendees about who they want to meet and why. The program takes into account the attendees’ goals for the event, role in the industry, specific business interests, and existing social nets.
Bizzaboo combines the concept of a conference app and networking app. Planners can upload maps and agenda information, including speaker bios and contact info, and let individuals build their own calendar for the event. Added bonus: Planners can send announcements to attendees in real-time. (I can’t wait to hear the sound of everyone’s cell phones beeping to alert them that the session is starting instead of the delightful chimes from the food & beverage staff.)
What really sets Bizzaboo apart from the others is the level of social interaction it encourages. Undoubtedly using some ridiculously large algorithm, Bizzaboo tells attendees who they need to meet based on their personal business profile. But it doesn’t just give them a name. Using the app, attendees can connect to each other immediately, set up face to face meetings, and integrate with their LinkedIn account to stay in touch after the event.
All these advances in meeting technology makes me wonder what they’ll possibly think of next. What problem are you hoping technology can solve at your next meeting or event?
Last month I had the pleasure of producing a three day industrial real estate conference for Cushman & Wakefield. That may not sound very exciting, but this conference was in beautiful Las Vegas and attended by nearly 450 of the happiest industrial real estate professionals I’ve ever met. Seriously, I have never encountered so many people who love what they do in one place. Cushman & Wakefield is doing something right.
The conference consisted of seminars, break-out sessions, round tables, exhibits, and networking opportunities. We were very lucky to partner with the amazing folks at Nice Meeting to bring some cutting edge technology to this year’s conference. You can read more about Nice Meeting here.
The conference culminated with a fire and ice themed cocktail party complete with an ice bar and luge, themed signature drinks, and fire dancers. Because it is Vegas, after all. Surrender Nightclub at the Encore Resort took such good care of us!
We wanted to get the theme across as soon as our guests came through the door. We had waitresses welcoming them serving our signature drinks, the Fireball and the Blue Icicle. These massive, 4ftX8ft lit signs also helped. It’s a little hard to make out in the picture, but one side is flames and the other side is ice cubes.
It was a beautiful Vegas evening and everyone loved hanging out by the pool. I think the ice bar and luge helped…
And how fantastic are these custom pillows and table tops? (We also did a custom bar top cling, but I didn’t get a picture of it. Nuts!) When the pillows arrived I just about died. They looked even better in person. We had five top tier sponsors and each of them were recognized in separate groupings of lounge furniture on a platform built over the pool. It was the place to be.
The fire dancers were so much fun! They performed a couple times throughout the evening and everyone loved it.
And a special thanks to these lovely ladies and the whole team at Cushman & Wakefield. I couldn’t have done it without them and it certainly wouldn’t have been as much fun!
I’ve got some good news and I’ve got some bad news.
First, the GOOD news.
And this is BIG, HUGE, HOUSE-SIZED NEWS. As of next Tuesday, we will be the proud owners of our very own 25’X125′ lot of Chicago real estate on which sits a quaint, blue house! Then the magic moving fairy will descend upon our (final!) apartment and briskly transfer our belongings to the new home.
That’s how moving works, right? Wait, you mean I have to pack, move, clean the new house, and the old apartment in only four days?!?! But it’s the Holidays. And Matt has to work. And I have two, count ’em, TWO jobs! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!
So that brings us to the bad news. As a result of this move (and the AWESOME family wedding I’m a part of in Cleveland next Saturday), I’ll be taking some time off from regular posting for a while. I apologize to the 150 of you (on a really good day) who read this blog. But don’t fret, I will be posting. It just won’t be the regular Monday/Wednesday/Friday schedule.
If you want to make sure you catch my intermittent posts while I’m on break, “like” the Be Rosy & Rosy Events Facebook page. I’ll be sure to share post announcements there. Or, if you never want to miss a post (and who on earth would?), follow my blog using the form/button in the right sidebar.
I am beyond excited to introduce you all to our NEW HOME and share my adventures in home owning, design, and organization. I have a feeling there will be no shortage of content for a while.
Oh, and HAPPY THANKSGIVING! Gobble, gobble!