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Things That Could Go Wrong At Any Event

Imagine this, you spend three months planning your biggest event yet and the day comes and things start to go wrong. If you’re an experienced event planner or event manager, then you know this is bound to happen. However, if this is your first event you might be caught off guard.

This is one of the main reasons why companies and organizations who have a reputation to keep and who are planning their events to be held in Penang, Malaysia will usually go for an experienced event company in Penang as they cannot afford to disappoint their guests or customers who will be attending.

Here’s a list of things that can and might go wrong at your event. If you know them now, it could save you a tonne of headaches and stress later!

Things That Could Go Wrong At Events

  • Weather (Rain, Flooding, Haze, etc)
  • Run out of food (the audience must have been starving or packing food back!)
  • Speaker gets stuck in traffic (when there’s not enough buffer traveling time)
  • Attendees don’t show up (if they paid
  • Not enough event space available (when it’s an open event and no crowd control)
  • Bar tab goes over budget (when the guest list are heavy drinkers)
  • Not enough seats (when invited guests brought extra folks along)
  • Too hot/cold (when the AC is not working OR it’s on full blast)
  • Theme fell flat (when no one took it seriously)
  • Speaker drops out last minute (if this was the main speaker for the event, quickly re-check with the company on whether they wish to continue or postpone the event)
  • Food doesn’t meet expectations (needs to be presentable and fresh)
  • Fire (have your fire extinguisher ready – just in case)
  • Power outage (backup generator IF it’s a BIG event)
  • Missing event items (keep an eye on expensive equipment)
  • The stage isn’t set up right (as long as it doesn’t collapse)
  • Attendees are confused (clear communication is key)
  • CEO is unhappy in general (quickly make necessary changes during the event)
  • Way too much leftover food (have food containers ready so the leftover food can be packed for guests to take back or donated to the poor and not wasted)
  • Speaker content is poor (offensive, not funny, dry, etc. – steer clear from political / religious topics)
  • Important members are late
  • AV company makes last minute changes (you need to be in control of your own AV equipment so you can test the sound and lighting and not be held ransom by a service provider)
  • Food is left out from the BEO (Banquet Event Order – clarify with the hotel during the event)
  • Scheduling is off (keep to time or pay late charges later if you’re renting the venue)
  • Transportation mishap (falls through, late, accident, etc.)
  • Forget to share documents beforehand, like powerpoints (get all the docs beforehand to run it through the computer before the event)
  • The speaker goes over time (politely request the speaker to wrap things up to keep to time)
  • Not enough break time between segments (know the condition of your audience and make necessary changes quickly)
  • Not enough water (get contacts of water supplier ready before the event in case of emergencies)
  • DJ plays a bad set (go through with the DJ on what they will be playing before the event)
  • The event is short-staffed (impression counts – double down or hire more)
  • Not enough parking (provide clear signage and info to direct people to alternate parking venues)
  • More guests arrive than RSVP’d (crowd control, check invite list before allowing folks in)
  • Parking is too far away (propose shuttle bus service before agreeing to managing the event)
  • Losing attendee attention (public speaking and keeping people’s attention is a skill which needs to be mastered)
  • Epic lines (keep it minimal, the focus is on the company, speaker or wedding couple)
  • Something in the venue breaks (pipe burst, flooding, etc. – have an alternative room or venue to move people to in case of emergencies)
  • Event manager for venue doesn’t show up (you should be the event manager that’s running the event)
  • Main event contacts don’t answer their phones or go MIA (Missing In Action)
  • Road blockage right before the venue (keep guests informed if this was a scheduled roadblock so they can use alternate routes)
  • Attendee/staff/speaker flights get delayed (got a backup video presentation of the speaker?)
  • Medical emergency (if it’s the main invited speaker or wedding couple, you’ll need to re-schedule and inform everyone. If it’s you as the event manager, you need to have someone take over your place while you recover)
  • Forget to provide dietary options for food (vegetarian / allergy, etc – please be sensitive to dietary requirements. You don’t want to be blamed as being insensitive)
  • Bathrooms out of order or not enough of them (or dirty bathrooms – inform hotel or service provider quickly to get it cleaned or sorted out)
  • Rooming issues (not enough rooms, last minute cancellations, wrong room assignments, etc. – work with the venue provider or risk getting blacklisted)

It’s a given that sometimes a lot of things are not your fault and they were also not the provider’s fault. So it’s always best to be prepared in case it does happen to minimize the damage later.

Always have a list of contingency plan ready as an event manager where you can re-check with the other providers so that you will be in the know in case of emergencies.

Seasoned event planner and management companies are always on top of things as they are proactive in order to ensure that everything runs smoothly on the day of the event.

If you are looking for a professional event management company, take the time to ask them what are their contingency plans in case any of the mentioned scenarios happen.

You’ll then be able to gauge how they solve and manage these emergencies so that you don’t end up a bundle of nerves when they run the event for you.

Article by Caroline Howard which first appeared in cvent.com

Wedding Tips

39 Questions to Ask a Wedding Photographer

Pics or it didn’t happen.

Grooms kiss in front of a San Francisco cable car | Questions to Ask your Wedding Photographer
Apollo Fotografie

You’ve poured your heart into planning your wedding, and you’ll want every meaningful moment captured in photos. But with a bajillion fab photographers in this world, how do you know which one is the right fit for you?

  • First, fall in love with their portfolio and style. Do your homework by researching online, checking out websites, galleries, reviews, social media, etc. to find a photographer whose work speaks to you.
  • Next, make sure you click with them on a personal level! You want a photographer that you could see yourself being friends with. The more at ease you are with them, the more natural and authentic your wedding photos will be. See how that works?

Once you’ve narrowed down your A-list based on our two top tips above, ask each photographer the following questions to zero in on THE ONE for your wedding day. (And feel free to take notes on our nifty printable PDF—with extra space for your own scribbles!)

The Basics

  1. Do you have my date available?
  2. How far in advance do I need to book with you?
  3. How long have you been in business?
  4. How many weddings have you shot?
  5. Have you done many that were similar to mine in size and style?
Stylish bride in sunglasses walks with her bridal party | How To Choose a Wedding Photographer

Cassie Castellaw Photography

Photography Style

  1. How would you describe your photography style (e.g. traditional, photojournalistic, fine-art, moody)?
  2. How would you describe your working style?
  1. If your style is mostly candid, will I still get formal, posed portraits (and vice versa)?
  2. Do you shoot weddings in digital, film format, or both?
  3. Do you specialize in indoor or outdoor events, or both?
  4. Do you have an updated portfolio I can review with examples of full weddings?
  5. Can I give you a list of specific shots we would like?
Newlyweds kiss under floral ceremony arch | What To Look For in a Wedding Photographer

Walden Hall | M Harris Studios

Logistics

  1. Are you the photographer who will shoot my wedding? If so, will you have any assistants/second-shooters with you on that day?
  2. What type of equipment do you use? Do you have backup equipment?
  3. What about a backup plan if you are unable to shoot my wedding for some reason?
  4. Are you photographing other events on the same day as mine?
  5. How will you (and your assistants) be dressed?
  1. Is it okay if other people take photos while you’re taking photos?
  2. Have you ever worked at my wedding venue before? If not, do you plan to check it out in advance?
  3. What time will you arrive at the site?
  4. If my event lasts longer than expected, will you stay? Is there an additional charge?
  5. Do you have liability insurance?
Quirky wedding couple pose in front of teal wall | Find a wedding photographer that fits your style

Mary Costa Weddings

Pricing + Packages

  1. How much of a deposit do you require and when is it due?
  2. Do you offer payment plans?
  3. What is your refund/cancellation policy?
  4. Do you charge a travel fee and what does that cover?
  5. What packages do you offer? This question covers things like:
  1. Can you put together slideshows to be shown during the cocktail hour/reception?
  2. Do you provide retouching, color adjustment, or other corrective services?
  3. How long after the wedding will I get the proofs? Will they be viewable online?
  4. How many final images should I expect to receive?
  5. Do you help with creating an album? Can I see some album designs?
  6. What is the ordering process, and how long after I order my photos/album will I get them?
  7. Will you give me the digital negatives or unlimited downloads so I can make my own prints?
Lesbian wedding couple laughing at The Ebell of Los Angeles | Questions to ask a wedding photographer

The Ebell of Los Angeles | Isaiah + Taylor Photography

Vetting

  1. May I have a list of references or a link to reviews?
  2. What sets you apart from other wedding photographers?
  3. Have you ever worked with my videographer? Event Manager? Venue manager? etc.
  4. If I hire you, when will I receive a written contract?
  5. What information do you need from me before the wedding day?
Confetti rains down on wedding reception | Best wedding photography tips

Lin & Jirsa Photography

Gut Check! Questions to ask yourself:

  1. Do your personalities jibe? Would you be comfortable grabbing drinks with this wedding photographer?
  2. Do you feel a connection with his/her photos?
  3. Are you comfortable with this person’s customer service/communication style?
  4. Did the photographer listen well and address all of your concerns?

Article originally appeared in www.herecomestheguide.com

E-Commerce News

Adapt Or Get Left Behind: AI The Future Of E-Commerce?

Adapt Or Get Left Behind: AI The Future Of E-Commerce?

Adapt Or Get Left Behind: AI The Future Of E-Commerce?

After the Shop Talk Europe conference that happened on the 11th of October 2017, Robert W. Baird’s Coling Sabastian had an update on AI (artificial intelligence) and ML (machine learning), saying that companies today should either adapt or get left behind.

Sabastian also wrote saying that Amazon, Alibaba, Facebook, eBay and Paypal are the companies who are benefiting from AI. Artificial intelligence is rapidly growing in the e-commerce sector and tech companies are racing to provide services to retailers who are trying to catch up.

AI is still in its early stages and are still improving with time. However, there are online retailers who are already reporting benefits from AI. But, most of that AI, doesn’t really qualify as true artificial intelligence, according to Sabastian. What he means is that there is still a big opportunity for giants such as Google, Salesforce and IBM to power AI for many of the online retailers who do not have budget to create their own.

Sabastian also had this to say about Google specifically:

“With Amazon presenting a meaningful competitive threat to Google in commerce Search, the company sees AI and AR as innovative technologies where Google can maintain a leadership position. By the end of 2018, Google expects there will be nearly one billion AR-enabled smartphones in the market, along with an increasing number of smart glasses (from Magic Leap, Apple (AAPL), and Amazon, etc.) Google views the broad move towards “immersive computing” as playing to the company’s strengths, with voice-first quickly evolving to voice-and-visual (gesture) interactions, leveraging the ubiquitous Google Assistant. Google also highlighted YouTube as an increasingly important partner for online and offline retailers, driving significant store visits from local video ads.”

 

Article originally by Barrons Asia, written by Teresa Rivas on the 11th Oct 2017

E-Commerce Tips

How To Take Advantage Of E Commerce Holiday Season Sales

How To Take Advantage Of E Commerce Holiday Season Sales

How To Take Advantage Of E Commerce Holiday Season Sales

Holiday season is right around the corner guys! Who’s already shopping for gifts? Don’t be too occupied by shopping and neglecting your own business now. Shopify reported that in 2016, Cyber Monday became the biggest U.S. online shopping day ever. A total of $2.67 billion U.S. dollars was spent. Also, almost a quarter of U.S. shoppers did half of their holiday shopping online in 2016.

If you as a business owner would like to maximize this potential, don’t waste anymore time and start preparing now! You might just hit you 2017 revenue goals.

A mere decade ago, shoppers waited until Thanksgiving to start their holiday shopping. But, in 2016 40% of seasonal buyers started buying before Halloween. This just means in creasing your brand’s awareness in October and early November is crucial if you are looking to maximize this potential.

Here is an aggressive timeline that will help you reach your revenue goals:

Mobile Commerce

Mobile commerce’s popularity only continues to rise every year. So it is important that your website is optimized for it.Everything from video to display to carousel, you ads should be smartphone and tablet friendly. Last year more than 20% of online shoppers purchased off their mobile devices. However, this year, it is expected to exceed last years 10%. Most of us are always browsing on our smartphones or tables. Whether we are on our way to work, on lunch or even lying in bed after a long day, we are always on our smart devices. Many shoppers often discover products on their mobile device even if they are not making the final purchase on their phones.

Sequence Your Creative

This step requires showing your customers the right messages from as soon as they land onto your e commerce page up to the check out process. This ensures customers understand the message that aligns with their place in the purchase cycle, from learning about the brand to abandoning the shopping car. Make sure to showcase your most popular offerings and also highlight key features. In addition, constantly test which creative of yours is converting the most customers.

Research Your Audience

Know who your customers are and what they want from you. Use resources such as Facebook’s Audience Insights to help you study demographics, interests and locations of your customers. Think of the customers who have purchased with you from the past, people who signed up for your loyalty program, your single category buyers and much more. These people are the ones that you should be targeting this holiday season.

Develop A Calendar

With all that’s going on, you need to stay organized. You can do that by jotting down on your calendar the dates and times you are planning on updating your website, send out your email marketing and the beginning and ending of your promotions. Your calendar should also include all ad channels you’re planning on using too. Remember to try to be as competitive as possible when it comes to your online advertising to keep up with your competition.Prime audiences on Facebook and top search terms on Google will be extra competitive.

Create Urgency

This is a great way to “pressure” customers in to making a purchase. Pre-sale and promotional ads are great teasers, you cold also imply scarcity by including countdowns or limited quantity mentions. By telling your customers that they have a limited time to purchase something, it gives them the push to quickly buy the item without thinking twice. I mean, no one wants to miss out on a good deal and no one wants to live the regret of not buying something before its too late and sold out.

Design Your Budget

Expect your business to be booming this coming holiday season and prepare your fourth quarter budget. Your budget should include on going campaigns, heavy scheduling of customer representatives, free shipping deals and big impact days.

Measure

Plan out how you’ll be measuring your conversions and sales. But of course, your metrics will depend entirely on your goals.Use an A/B test to help you when assessing the impact of your creative. Explore and use available tools to your advantage, such as Facebook ads, Pinterest ads and good old Google AdWords.

The more you know the more prepared you will be when it comes to carrying out a flawless marketing campaign this driving record breaking sales this holiday season.

Digital Marketing, E-Commerce Tips

E-Commerce Tips New Store Owners NEED TO KNOW

E-Commerce Tips New Store Owners NEED TO KNOW

E-Commerce Tips New Store Owners NEED TO KNOW

1. You Might Be In Google Sandbox

What is Google Sandbox? Google Sandbox is a testing phase where all new e-commerce sites are put through in the search results. The term of your e-commerce site being in the Sandbox rests entirely upon how popular your target search items are. This basically gives Google time to make out what your site is about and put your site on trial in different positions. Google will then analyze to see how your site does against its competitors and how visitors are reacting to your site. It is extremely important that your content is top noch from the beginning till the end, make sure that no matter what your visitors requirements/wants are, they will be met on your site.

2. More Than 50% of Baskets Are Abandoned

When a customer leaves a site, chances are they are not coming back. Often times, customers who abandon their carts or leave the site is mainly because they hit a road block during their checking out process, the loading was taking too long or simply that they just got distracted by something else. Most e-commerce sites will send “the one that got away” customers an email a day or two later, reminding them about the goodies they have left in the cart. These emails usually consists of a coupon code for a discount or free shipping. Something that will entice the customer to come back and complete the purchase. However, this does require the customer entering their email address before leaving the site, which most customers aren’t that willing to do. Another method is remarketing, there are tools that can assist you in that. Tools like Retaily will plant a cookie on the visitors website and follow the user around the internet, giving them a reminder of your existence.

More on what Retaily can do! 

3. Use Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a great tool to use if you are looking to find out who your customers are and how they came to find your site. Not to mention, its completely free! There are many parts to Google Analytics and there’s no way you’ll be able to explore all of it. You’ll get what i’m talking about when you see it for yourself. Lucky for most e-commerce business owners, all you need is the most basic part of Google Analytics. With the information that you have found through using this tool, you’ll be able to tweak your e-commerce site to suit your customers.

4. GOALS

At the end of the, day do you know what you would like to achieve? Getting to your goal is the most important part in the first instance. You may go in with an idea of achieving 1 million dollars at the end of the year. However, you might find that hard and nearly impossible to achieve. Keep your goals realistic and reachable. Also, as you go, you’ll get a clearer picture of who your customers really are and what they want. From there you can tweak your e-commerce business to meet their expectations. This will take you one step closer to your ‘million dollar’ goal. Heh* You could start by setting up a list of goals that you would like to achieve on Google Analytics. Your goals do not have to be hard ones, it could be something as simple as trying to obtain more email addresses for newsletters or spending more time on improving your e-commerce site.

5. Social Media is Great

Social media is a great way to build a band between the brand and the customer. Some e-commerce sites even gain most of their traffic from their social media sites. Choosing which social media platform entirely depends on what your business is. For example, Instagram, Tumblr and Pinterest are all picture based platforms. Whereas Facebook and Twitter are more word driven platforms. Also, you might want to consider what social media your customers are mostly using. It is important that you make your social media presence known to them. Just like anything, social media requires a lot of dedication for you to get anywhere with it. Come up with a posting schedule, this helps with the activeness of your channels. Not to mention, your followers will know when to expect your posts.

6. Test Everything

To make sure everything on your e-commerce site is running smoothly and functional, test it! I know you’re excited to launch your new e-commerce store, but don’t launch it till its 100% ready. Whats the point of having a site that has issues? This will also be a factor that potentially puts customers off. An easy way to test your store is by using Google Optimize. Optimize makes it easy for you to create an A/B test of your site. Analyze how your pages perform and make informed changes accordingly. From there you’ll be able to see a change in your conversion rates.

 

 

Apple Design

Apple Code Reveals iPhone 8 Virtual Home Button Secrets

Bidding goodbye to the iPhone’s physical Home button won’t be easy, but there are some advantages to going virtual for iPhone 8.

Not only will it allow for a larger edge-to-edge display, but it also means you’ll be able customize the virtual button. Apple code suggests we’ll have the option to resize it and hide it away if we don’t want it to be displayed on screen at all times.

All kinds of iPhone 8 details have been discovered in Apple’s HomePod firmware ahead of the handset’s official unveiling. We now know what the device will look like, and that it will boast features like facial recognition and tap to wake.

After further digging, developer Steve Troughton-Smith has uncovered more information about the iPhone 8’s virtual Home button. As expected, it will sit at the bottom of its edge-to-edge display in the same area as a physical Home button, but it will be customizable.

Apple’s code suggests that the button indicator will be resizable, and that we’ll have the option to hide it. There is no API that would allow developers to change its color to match the theme of their apps (yet), and apps won’t be able to extend into the Home button area.

Sadly, that means developers won’t be able to put toolbars, shortcuts, and other items in this area. Apple’s plans could change later, but for now, the space is reserved exclusively for the Home button when it isn’t hidden away, which means navigation buttons will remain at the top of the screen.

Fullscreen video will automatically hide the Home button indicator, but it’s not yet clear how videos will be adapted to the iPhone 8’s unique aspect ratio.

The mockup below from Matt Bonney provides a clearer depiction of how Apple will use areas of the iPhone 8’s display for different things. As you can see, when the Home button indicator is present, the amount of space available to apps isn’t that much bigger than before.

“All of these things are supported by API evidence, so this is the clearest picture of its functionality we have to work from,” tweeted Troughton-Smith. Again, Apple’s plans could change before iPhone 8 makes its official debut this September, but this is what we know for now.

This article first appeared in Cult of Mac on 10th August 2017 by Killian Bell