Corporate Performance for FORD at National Air and Space Museum
Last night I had the privilege of performing at a banquet and reception for FORD of Mexico at the National Air and Space Museum. When I entered the building I was blown away by how interactive, dynamic, and awe inspiring the space was. Capital City Events transported the guests through three separate areas of the museum throughout the evening. They began with cocktails under vintage and modern commercial airplanes. Transported the guests to the space age with a dramatic banquet setup and ended the evening with dessert alongside the Lunar Module.
If location is everything, then they nailed it. I had as much fun entertaining the guests as I did touring the museum. This is definitely one EPIC setting that should be on your radar.
My Little Black Book: @ToyBoxPro - Videographers that Rock
I’ve worked with dozens of videographers to record and document my events and I was recent BLOWN away by the guys atToy Box Productions. They produced the above video for a Metro Event Specialists mixer and the thing that really stood out to me was how strong of a narrative there is.
Rather than simply capturing the event, they composed a narrative that brings you into the event from start to finish. Ian and Mark are hardworking, professional videographers, that have an incredible ability to tell a story.
Video is an important part of creating buzz after an event, and I think your audience deserves a piece that is as beautiful as it is informative.
My Little Black Book: Dessert Stations by Paperwhite Events
Im tired of settling for a slice of cake… I want options! In the past year I’ve noticed a trend away from the traditional cake towards full blown dessert stations. Hiring a dessert caterer can add variety and create a focal point for a room (while also curing everyones sweet tooth)
This past month I had the pleasure of working withPaperwhite Eventsfor one of myMetro Event Specialistsmixers. I have to say these ladies REALLY delivered. Their station was one of the highlights of the event and had a crowd the entire night.
Cake pops, pie pops, cookies, cupcakes. Who doesn’t love dessert? The smaller portion sizes allow your guests to sample a variety of desserts rather than settling for a single slice of yellow cake. Plus its interactive and visual exciting!
Brilliant Client Focused Viral Marketing Campaign by @NCCmeet
I rarely open email newsletters but today an email from The National Conference Center caught my attention. The subject line was super intriguing: “When Bad Things Happen to Good Planners”. At first I thought this was a link to an outside vendor, the URL read DisasterProofEvents.com. The link leads you to an outside website created by the NCC to showcase videos of “Event Disasters”. The Campaign is right on so many levels:
Client Focused - I dont care what awards you’ve won or who you’ve worked for. What can you do for me? They really hit the nail on the head here.
Video - The videos are short and sweet. Funny. Engaging. And again, focus on things we can all relate to
New Brand - By creating an outside website I think theyve given this thing a chance to go viral. They could have easily posted their videos to their existing blog at http://www.conferencecenterblog.com/. Sure the videos would have still been cute, but they would have been buried in the sea of other content they are already producing.
I hope that they continue to pump out great content for the remainder of the year and give this campaign room to run. Hats off to the creative team at NCC. They got this one so right. -max
@ISES_DC and @DCNACE make MAGIC by hosting combined event at DC National Zoo
Last week the local chapters of ISES and NACE here in Washington, DC hosted a joint networking event. I thought it was really cool to see the two industry leaders come together like this. The combined effort brought together a huge crowd and I would love to see more of this collaboration between DC area groups going forward (joint MES/ISES/NACE event anyone?). I also thought the National Zoo was a fun non-traditional venue choice.
While I didn’t get a chance to make an elephant disappear, I did have an awesome time entertaining all of my friends and colleagues in attendance.
Aside from being a full time magician, I also am the founder of a networking group here in Washington, DC called Metro Event Specialists. In just 2 years we’ve grown to over 1900 members making MES the largest trade organization for event pros in the DC, MD, and VA area. Our members include Event Planners, Caterers, Venues, and Event Service providers.
Check out the video above to see how we’re making networking fun again!
PS - You can also check out the full recap of the Eastern Market event
We all know the big three NACE, ISES and MES. While I feel very strongly that you should become a regular with at least one of these, you should occasionally branch outside of your comfort zone and make fresh connections.
By attending an outside networking event you will meet a variety of event professionals you simply would never encounter at the big three. Below you will find 3 of my favorite event oriented networking groups, as well a general networking event for all industries.
AWP - Association of Wedding Professionals Small Intimate Group. Ability to make strong personal connections. Focused on wedding industry. Non-members may attend for $45. Attendance ~ 30-40
AMPS - Association of Meeting Professionals Associations and Non-profit Professionals. Good age diversity. Non-Members $35. Attendance ~ 150+
HIP - Hospitality Industry Professionals Highly meeting/association oriented. Younger crowd. Free to attend for association/meeting planners. Vendors/Suppliers $35. Attendance ~ 200+
The Original Third Tuesday (Top Choice)* The largest general networking event in the region. FREE to attend. All industries / local businesses. Diverse Crowd. Attendance ~ 300+
If you feel as though your seeing the same faces each month, try one of the groups listed above. To really refresh your network, try a general networking event that serves all industries. You’ll have less networking competition and often find you’re the only event professional in the crowd. This makes working the room a breeze and helps to spotlight your unique service.
What networking events have you found helpful (event related or otherwise)? Do you prefer a large crowd or more intimate group for networking?
I can’t count the number of times I’ve been to a meeting or conference and suffered through a dreadful cup of hotel coffee. Enter The Travelling Bean….
These guys simply rock. Gourmet Latte’s and Espresso Catering at your event. Travelling Bean brings their mobile espresso maker to your location and serves up drinks faster (and tastier) than any coffee shop I’ve ever been to.
I’m guilty of this one myself. Often times when we show up at an event, we have a tendancy to walk straight up to the first person we recognize in the room. Before we know it we’re surrounded by 5 of our closest colleagues and may spend the entire event talking to the folks we already know. While there is a ton of value in maintaining your current relationships and getting some face time with past clients, your ultimate goal at a networking event should be to make NEW contacts.
The good news is, having a few folks you already know in the room can actually benefit you in a number of ways. First off, it helps to make you more comfortable and ease any nerves about being in a room full of strangers. Second, you now have a few networking partners you can team up with to really take over the room and maximize your number of new connections.
Here’s what I do… After catching up with a few existing connections, make an agreement that your going to split up and work the room together. As your meeting new people, make it a point to introduce them to some of your colleagues you already know. ”Hey Jan (new connection) have you met Pablo (existing connection)? He’s one of the best musicians in town!” Pablo now has a warm introduction to Jan and doesnt have to sell himself (remember, you’ve just given him a rave review). Rather than spending all your time selling yourself, sell your colleagues and make as many introductions as possible. They’ll be sure to return the favor.
When you’re lucky enough to show up at an event where you already know a few people, capitalize on the situation by networking together and recommending one another; rather than spending the entire event standing in a circle talking to the folks you already know.
You’ll leave the event feeling good about helping your fellow eventprof’s plus you’ll have a pocket full of business cards. The only question is… What to do with all those cards…. We’ll cover that next month!
So now Im curious… Have you ever fallen into the same trap? Have you tried this team approach to networking before? Any twists on the idea?
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About Interactive Magic
Interactive Magic believes entertainment is the most important aspect of your event. By offering a unique blend of magic, mind reading, and comedy we'll keep your guests laughing. Let us make sure your event is the one they talk about for months!