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Afro Barbie Dream Pool Party

Afro Barbie Dream Pool Party on Kara's Party Ideas | KarasPartyIdeas.com (5)

Pink balloons and florals too, this Afro Barbie Dream Pool Party by Merlyn Donatien of Flawless Events, out of West Palm Beach/FL/USA, is a dream come true!

Featuring a fab Afro Barbie Silhouette splattered on sweets, favors and decor followed up by posh poolside fun; this event is for all girls under the sun!

So pull up a chair and lay out and check out these details you won’t be able to stop talking about:

  • Barbie Balloon Wall
  • Pink + White Barbie Themed Kid Table + Table Settings
  • Barbie Themed Birthday Cake + Desserts
  • Poolside Sweets
  • Favors featuring Afro Barbie Decals

The post Afro Barbie Dream Pool Party appeared first on Kara's Party Ideas.

Six Brand Ambassador Roles for Events—Plus, How to Keep Staffers Safe

Brand ambassadors have always been a valuable part of the experiential ecosystem, and perhaps now more than ever, their ability to manage crowds, give direction, add context to an experience and make people feel at ease is essential. We’ve come a long way from recruiting “warm bodies”—these days, brands and agencies seek out intelligent brand ambassadors who can effectively relay their messaging. And while, as Larry Hess, ceo and owner at Encore Nationwide, puts it, “there’s no glossary that everybody abides by” when it comes to the types of staffers surrounding events, it benefits event marketers to understand some of the key roles that fall under the definition of brand ambassador. Here, we outline six you should know about.


engineer-ai_teaserCheck Out These Brand Ambassador Strategies:

The Standard Ambassador

Outgoing and energetic, the standard brand ambassador’s job is to represent the brand in a polished manner. You’ll find them greeting attendees at the entrance to an event or experience, luring people in and “selling the experience,” as Dayna Gilchrist, founder and ceo at The Hype Agency, puts it. This staffer is a champion at working a queue and keeping attendees entertained and interested in the experience at hand.

 

The Sampler

Serving as one of the most prevalent brand ambassador roles, the sampler delivers. Literally. Their primary purpose is to distribute a brand’s product to its target demo. Sometimes it’s a simple hand-off, while for others the job requires a more in-depth explanation of the product’s benefits. “Their whole goal is pushing product as fast as possible and getting as many products out there as possible,” says Joe Wroblewski, president at Assist Marketing.

 

The Product Specialist

Of all the brand ambassador types, the product specialist is the one that requires the most extensive training. This staffer knows the ins and outs of a product or service, can expertly speak to its benefits and answer any questions an attendee might have. And today’s product specialists have to be more knowledgeable than ever, according to Gilchrist. “Consumers today are researchers, so brands need a staffer who’s an open book,” she says.

The product specialist is always willing to take a one-on-one deep dive into the product at hand, according to Hess, who recently staffed a campaign for a new wine brand. “It’s a much deeper education process,” he says. “It’s not like, ‘Oh, here’s a wine. Do you like it? Go buy some.’ It’s, ‘Here’s this wine, and here’s why it’s healthier for you.’”

 

The Promo Model

The term “booth babe” has rightfully been deleted from the industry’s vocabulary, but the concept of having a polished staffer who can draw people in with a certain look (and charisma) is still relevant. Some brands might be looking for a clean-cut look, while others might be seeking out something glitzier. In any case, the desired appearance is what defines this role. And these days, the position is taken on by both men and women. “The great news is there’s a lot more diversity than ever before as far as promo models go,” says Wroblewski.

 

The Spokesperson

Knowledgeable and well-trained, the spokesperson is an emcee of sorts, often found on a microphone delivering key taglines and brand messaging. At an auto show, for instance, this staffer might be found giving 10-minute presentations at the top of every hour to ensure messaging is delivered to as many attendees as possible. It’s also worth noting that this role sometimes overlaps with that of the product specialist.

 

The Safety Lead

It will come as no surprise that the pandemic has given rise to the importance of having a safety lead at events. Now more than ever, it’s critical to have staff on-site that can oversee the security and sanitation elements of an experience, and ensure their fellow brand ambassadors are adhering to all guidelines. In the current climate, aspects of their job might encompass ensuring everyone is positioned six feet apart from one another or administering health questionnaires.

“We feel like every program needs someone to make sure that people are staying on their social distancing decals, they’re using the hand sanitizer down the line, people are taking the breaks when they need to, to wash their hands. Because otherwise it’s going to get lost because you could be at an event and it’s 10 hours later and you don’t realize that you haven’t left your spot,” Gilchrist says.


 

KEEPING STAFFERS SAFE

There are a number of measures event marketers are taking to keep their brand ambassadors safe on-site. Across the board, PPE is being provided, and staffers are being required to wear masks (and in some cases, face shields), take their temperature leading up to, and on the day of, the event, and fill out health questionnaires. But there are other steps being taken to ensure the safety and well-being of brand ambassadors.

Breaks

Giving staffers ample breaks is important in the current climate. Not only does it offer them a chance to wash their hands—something many staffing agencies require at various intervals—it provides an opportunity for a mental pause.

“The good news is that our clients are giving a lot more breaks than ever before to make sure that people stay hydrated, that they’re able to step away on their own and take a mask break when no one else is around,” says Wroblewski. “I think the guidelines are a lot stricter, but there’s also been a lot more understanding of staff needing a little extra time to make sure that they are taken care of.”

Training

According to Gilchrist, providing brand ambassadors with the proper training up front in order to outline what their roles and responsibilities are, and what health guidelines are in place, is paramount. That includes establishing clear lines of communication.

“They should know, when they get on-site, who to talk to,” she says. “If you aren’t feeling well, who do you call? If somebody comes up to you that isn’t wearing a mask and you don’t feel comfortable, who do you tell? So providing that training and knowledge up front is super important.”

Following Up

Certain staffing agencies, including Encore, require their brand ambassadors to essentially quarantine themselves for 14 days prior to an event, and confirm that they haven’t had COVID-19 symptoms during that period. What some of these firms don’t do, however, is follow up to check on their health, and “close the loop” on the event after it has taken place—something Hess says is a miss.

“After 14 days, we follow up with the same staff and we make sure that they’re not showing symptoms,” he says. “And if there is anybody showing symptoms, we ask that they go get tested. If they show positive, then we go through a contact tracing scenario.”

Photo credit: Hilton

The post Six Brand Ambassador Roles for Events—Plus, How to Keep Staffers Safe appeared first on Event Marketer.

Failure to Launch: Everything We Learned From Hosting Two Unsuccessful Virtual Events

If you’ve been in the event business long enough, you’ve probably got a couple of painful “fails” on your resume that you’d rather forget.

There are the “epic” fails, like when a demo crashes and burns at a pivotal moment in the multi-million dollar launch event. There are the A/V fails, when the sound or video craps out with a high profile speaker on stage. And then there are the fails that may not be quite as noticeable to attendees, but that haunt your dreams nonetheless (you know the ones).

Virtual event failures are not new to the event landscape. But 2020 has brought new focus to the digital conferences and experiences that were once “add-ons” to the hybrid events of the past decade, but are now the only events of our pandemic era. Indeed, the stakes are higher now than ever before for virtual events, and when some part of a virtual event fails in 2020, often the entire event is a failure as well.


cisco-live-2020_teaserRead More on Virtual Event Pain Points:

When the U.S. went into quarantine in March, we at Event Marketer jumped headlong into digital events with a series of panel discussions featuring a wide range of perspectives from all across the industry. These were discussions we knew the community wanted, and we wanted to help make them happen.

On the day of the event, and after a thorough technology rehearsal with my panelists the day before in which everything worked as intended, I clicked the “go live” button on the platform (we used Crowdcast), and then waited for the green light indicating that we were live. Needless to say, despite multiple attempts, getting dropped from the platform and calls to tech support—we never went live. All we could do was watch as more than 4,500 people from all around the world, who were clearly excited to “see” and connect with one another for the first time since the world turned upside down, were confused and disappointed. A few people even compared our virtual event to the Fyre Festival—ouch! (And also, come on.)

Our second virtual event was called the “Virtual Event on… Virtual Events,” and if you think the irony was lost on us that our own virtual event—on virtual events—ultimately failed, you’d be wrong. We got it, and we got it good.

The problems on this one ranged from massive registration issues that prevented more than 1,000 attendees from getting in, to problems with the chat functionality, to our sessions running one on top of another, and more. In this case, we got through the first of seven sessions planned for the day before we decided to call it quits, ultimately offering the entire event on demand afterwards (the platform was 6Connex, and in fairness, we have since held several successful webinars and events on the platform without issue).

While no event marketer can solve for the backend technology issues that ultimately plagued us, and have plagued many of you across the industry these past few months, we do have a few tips that we have employed at subsequent events that can help you reduce the chances of being part of a virtual event that fails to launch—or at least reduce your blood pressure if it does. Here’s our punch list:

REQUEST SERVER UPDATES

Ask your platform provider to send you “server health” updates the day before and the day of your event, by the hour if necessary. These updates can give you a heads-up if they’re experiencing a high volume of traffic or other issues that can impact your virtual experience. One of our providers sends us a red, yellow or green light indicator. If we’re on yellow prior to the event, we’re on the phone with the platform’s team and troubleshooting, and we’re poised and ready to address problems should they arise.

 

FIND OUT WHO ELSE IS LIVE

Ask your platform provider who else is having an event the same day you are. We found out after the fact that Twitter was also having an event the same day as us for more than 10,000 attendees and that ultimately impacted our provider’s server bandwidth at the moment when our attendees should have been logging in.

 

CREATE A DECISION TREE

A clearly outlined document explaining what happens if the event is not working properly and who makes the decision to pivot or ultimately cancel the event is critical. Email communication is too slow for virtual events. A Slack channel or group text with all critical team members keeps everyone in the loop in real time.

 

DRAFT YOUR ‘CANCEL’ COPY

You don’t want to be figuring out what to say to your attendees in the heat of the moment when you have to postpone or cancel the event. Write allllll the copy you might need in the days before for every possible outcome so all you have to do is cut and paste.

 

CALL IT QUICKLY

The universal law of virtual events is this: If the event doesn’t work in the first 15 minutes, it’s over. (Or, at least, that session is over. You can still try and salvage a day-long or multi-day event.)

 

CREATE A CONTINGENCY PLAN

It goes without saying that backup plans are critical for any event, but in the virtual space, it can mean having a completely different technology solution lined up. We hosted our Ex Awards virtual gala on 6Connex but were prepared to push the entire thing to YouTube if we had to on a moment’s notice.  All of the testing for that pivot was done in advance and the email for that scenario was pre-written as well.

Thankfully, we didn’t have to use it—this time.

Photo credit: erhui1979

 

The post Failure to Launch: Everything We Learned From Hosting Two Unsuccessful Virtual Events appeared first on Event Marketer.

How AdventHealth Leveraged a Virtual Hospitality Event to Engage its Partners

Hospitality is an important piece of the sponsorship puzzle for NASCAR’s brand partners, affording them the opportunity to both thank and interact with key stakeholders and VIPs. Typically, the sponsor provides clients with unprecedented access to the track, the garage and the talent. But for the Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR Cup Series race on May 24, the pandemic out-ruled the possibility of in-person engagement. For sponsor AdventHealth, forgoing the chance to provide its clients with an exclusive experience wasn’t an option, and so the brand’s plans for a virtual event were set in motion. Leveraging a mix of pre-recorded and live content, AdventHealth ultimately delivered a personalized hospitality experience for 35 partners that blew the standard Zoom event out of the water.

“We invite people like strategic partners, influential community members, donors and board members [to NASCAR events], and we use hospitality to foster relationships,” says Anna Donaldson, director-sports marketing and strategic partnerships at AdventHealth. “When that piece went away and we were no longer able to interact at track, we were forced to think about new ways that we could leverage our partnership assets and still be able to continue to grow those important relationships.”


citi-hospitality_2017_lady-gagaMore Hospitality Strategies:

THE PLATFORM

Using a platform-agnostic virtual event platform that could pull in feeds from anywhere on the internet, AdventHealth delivered a “recorded for live”-style event with some live elements woven in that served as a 45-minute pre-race event, with programming continuing through Stage 1 of the competition. (The site was then kept live for the remainder of the race, giving attendees further opportunities to interact with one another through the platform’s chat feature. )

Kicking off the hospitality strategy was a video from AdventHealth driver Ross Chastain inviting the brand’s VIPs to the virtual event. Then, on the Friday before the race, attendees received branded home viewing kits featuring tune-in information, a hat, a NASCAR hero card signed by Chastain, snacks and other trinkets, like a mini diecast car.

PROGRAMMING

The virtual event programming ran the gamut, but every element of the experience was designed to provide attendees with exclusive content that no one else could access. Like a virtual tour of the team hauler, the truck that carries the race’s vehicles and tools to the track, during which the driver detailed all of the car parts and instruments involved in race day. Attendees additionally got a personal tour from the pit crew coach, who ran the team through a practice pitstop then explained what each crew member’s role is. There was also an up-close and personal look at AdventHealth’s car before it hit the track, along with information on the vehicle’s unique modifications. And then there was the brand’s social media call to action asking attendees to share their race viewing set-up. Some of their posts were shared on the event platform’s social feed, which also pulled in content from team and driver accounts.

ENGAGEMENT

The digital engagement continued on through the first stage of the race. During commercial breaks, attendees played trivia for exclusive prizes. AdventHealth also developed a driver pool, matching each attendee with a driver other than Chastain for the chance to win an official, signed NASCAR diecast if their driver won the first or second stages of the race, or the overall race itself. The brand credits the driver pool with keeping attendees engaged for the duration of the competition. In addition, AdventHealth recruited a few NASCAR media members, most of whom were not allowed on-site at the track due to the pandemic, to offer live mid-race analysis from their homes. Attendees also had access to the scanner that hosts communications between the drivers and crew chiefs. Although the scanner was made available to all consumers in the wake of COVID-19, AdventHealth’s clients were specifically encouraged to tune into Chastain’s channel for a live, unfiltered glimpse into the driver’s strategy. And finally, the element of the event that garnered the most engagement: A Q&A with Chastain himself. Attendees could submit written or video questions, and Chastain answered each and every one of them. He also sent custom post-event videos to each guest, personally thanking them for attending.

“With a virtual hospitality platform, I can invite people from our multi-state division and they can still feel the benefit of the partnership,” says Donaldson. “They can still engage with our senior leadership team. They can still meet and greet with drivers and they can still understand what the partnership value is without having to leave their home.”

So, what’s next for AdventHealth and sponsorship? With an ever-changing set of health guidelines to abide by for in-person events, Donaldson says this is only the beginning of the brand’s virtual hospitality strategy. Off to the races. Agency: Bespoke Sports & Entertainment (virtual event platform, production, creative).

The post How AdventHealth Leveraged a Virtual Hospitality Event to Engage its Partners appeared first on Event Marketer.

179: What Is Wiz (with Abacus)

Mr. Eric is going to have the tables turned on him, as Abacus tests out his interview skills. Will everything work out and be totally fine? One can always hope…

Lessons include: Never ask a wizard to conjure groceries; patience can pay off, but sometimes you have to put your foot down and stand up for yourself

This episode is sponsored in part by Hank the Cowdog, a new podcast for kids starring Matthew McConaughey as the voice of Hank, the self-proclaimed head of security on his Texas cattle ranch. Check it out on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen!

What Is Wiz is a new regular segment starting this month on patreon.com/whatifworld

Join our Patreon at the What Iffenturer’s ($5) tier or higher to enjoy this new regular, patron-only segment. Plus, get Ad-Free stories, a Shout-Out on the show, bonus audio, a better chance of having your question answered, and more!

What If World is now on JioSaavn, India’s top music streaming and podcasting app with over 100 million listeners!

Subscribe to What If World wherever you listen: link.chtbl.com/whatifworld

What If World is made by Eric O’Keeffe with help from Karen O’Keeffe. Our theme song is by Craig Martinson and our podcast art is by Jason O’Keefe. Additional songs and sound effects from audioblocks.com. Our Abacus illustration is by  Ana Stretcu, with a Mr. Eric balloon by Karen O’Keeffe 😉

This episode is sponsored by
· Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app

The Impact on Small Businesses From All of the Cancelled Trade Shows

In 2019, events were widely considered one of the most effective B2B marketing strategies. With so many small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) already struggling to maintain profits, how are they coping without the benefit of traditional trade shows? Explori, working in collaboration with UFI and SISO, surveyed 9,000 exhibitors and exhibition visitors to find out […]

The post The Impact on Small Businesses From All of the Cancelled Trade Shows by Angela Tupper appeared first on https://www.eventmanagerblog.com

The Brilliant Firefly and The Purple Problem: Part Two

Today’s episode is the conclusion of our new Firefly story! Check out the original trilogy if you haven’t already, and make sure you’ve listened to part one so you’ll be all caught up for part two!

Draw us a picture of what you think any of the characters in this story look like, and then tag us in it on instagram @storiespodcast! We’d love to see your artwork and share it on our feed!!

If you would like to support Stories Podcast, you can subscribe and give us a five star review on iTunes, head to patreon.com/stories and pledge to make a monthly donation, check out our merch at storiespodcast.com/shop, follow us on Instagram @storiespodcast, or just tell your friends about us! 

You can also thank today’s sponsors. When you support our sponsors, you support our show! Here are the details from today’s episode:

Indeed: Right now, Indeed is offering our listeners a $75 credit to boost your job post. This is their BEST offer available ANYWHERE! Go to Indeed.com/STORIES to take advantage!!

Thank you!!

Tinkerclass (Week 4 Day 1): Getting Nosey About the Science of Smell

Scientists have long known that different people experience different smells, well…differently! But Why? And How? Join Mindy and Guy Raz in their new backyard Ol’Factory of bottled up odors, as they explore the Who, What, When, Where, Why, How, and Wow in the World of SMELL! Originally aired 5-20-19

The Brilliant Firefly and The Purple Problem: Part One

Today it’s a new story featuring Jillian Jayes from The Brilliant Firefly! Check out the original trilogy if you haven’t already, and then listen in to part one of Firefly’s new adventure!

Draw us a picture of what you think any of the characters in this story look like, and then tag us in it on instagram @storiespodcast! We’d love to see your artwork and share it on our feed!!

If you would like to support Stories Podcast, you can subscribe and give us a five star review on iTunes, head to patreon.com/stories and pledge to make a monthly donation, check out our merch at storiespodcast.com/shop, follow us on Instagram @storiespodcast, or just tell your friends about us! 

You can also thank today’s sponsors. When you support our sponsors, you support our show! Here are the details from today’s episode:

Laurel Springs: Take control of your child’s education. Enroll TODAY at LaurelSprings.com/STORIES and receive a waived registration fee!!

Thank you!!