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Entertainment is Temporary Happiness, but The Real Happiness is Permanent Entertainment.

Month: September 2015

Top 10 Tips for Choosing the Right Event Staff

The success of your next event largely depends on the event staff you hire. Have you ever hired event staff to stir up excitement, only to see them lounging in the shade with a cup of water? If the answer is yes, then you know just how important event staffing is. To ensure participants will have a blast at your next event you must find the perfect hires and location to set the right mood.

This guide shares useful tips for choosing the right events staff. Following these steps will ensure that you hire event staff members that can relate to your audience, not turn them off.

1. Hire Staff That Represents Your Brand’s Image

If you want to find those perfect people, you must open up a line of communication with them. The events staff you hire for your next seminar, promotion, conference or exhibition have to do more than just smile and answer questions. They represent the face of your brand and, assuming they are successful, they will help you build new relationships with potential clients.

Failing to communicate your vision and desires may result in the events staff representing you negatively. Ask potential candidates how they will represent your brand, or what approach they would take to see if your ideas are aligned.

2. Ask Around for Recommended Agencies

Nothing can beat a recommendation from a friend or trusted company. Before you start searching for Events Staff in your area, why not ask around for recommended agencies? You’re probably not the first of your business friends to host a large-scale event. The first-hand experience of a close friend should make the selection process easier.

3. See If There Are Extra Perks on Offer

Special events staff should have a certain level of experience in event planning, strong decision-making skills, knowledge of protocol, positive and outgoing attitudes as well as the ability to negotiate with musicians, contractors and caterers. But professional events staff agencies can offer so much more.

For example, they could acquire intimate knowledge about your products in order to educate potential customers or they could engage with your audience in creative ways. You should keep your eyes peeled for these ‘extra perks’, as they have the power to change the way that your next event is perceived.

4. Hire Staff That Will Work Well With Existing Team Members

Before hiring an Events Staff agency it is important to consider the members of your team who will be working alongside them. Keep in mind that these teams have to work together at all times. Do they have the same mentalities? Will their personalities complement one another? Is your team comfortable with your decision?

These are questions you need to find an answer to, prior to hiring, because there is nothing worse than having to plan an event with teams that don’t see eye to eye.

5. Choose a Service That Caters To Your Specific Needs

Don’t even think about hiring event staff before you have determined the size, length and audience of your event. Once your goals are clear, so will your needs. This will enable you to determine the ideal number of events staff. Try to also think about the gender, age, cultural diversity and experience level of your target audience.

You will want to hire events staff with similar demographics. For example, younger staff will do a much better job at engaging millennials at your event because they have a better understanding of their behavioural patterns.

6. Choose People that Have Worked in the Industry Before

Events staff that has experience in a certain industry understands the tastes, expectations and values of a specific audience. You should always choose people who have worked in your industry before because they have a better understanding of the market. Experience in a certain industry can also mean that the events staff has created important connections.

7. Interview and Communicate with the Events Staff

Like any job, you should interview the events staff to determine if they are a good fit for your company. I would suggest having a short phone conversation and setting up a Skype call to get a sense of their personality. If you’re interviewing multiple agencies you should create a checklist or list of possible questions.

Of course, some questions may vary, but it’s generally good to inquire about work background, knowledge of your business or product, notable events, availability and flexibility and willingness to advocate for your brand.

8. Hire on Attitude over Looks

Many companies make the mistake of hiring event planners or staff based on their looks. While looks are indeed important if you want to attract attention to your booth, they do not give you too much to work with. Attitude, personality and experience are a hundred times more important than it looks. Statistically speaking, events staff that were hired simply to look pretty are less likely to produce the results that you want. Read more about this on our blog about the importance of culture to your event staff.

9. Research the Agency Online

Open your browser, and google the agency that you are interested in. Let’s be serious, what business doesn’t have a website, or at least a Facebook page, in today’s day and age. Take a look at the agency’s about information, previous work, reviews and employees. Are their photos and resumes updated? Are they active online? The online image of an agency reflects its behaviour in real-life or formal settings.

10. Get the Logistics Right & Invest Enough Money

The quality of the Events agency you hire is directly correlated to the amount of money that you are prepared to invest. You might think that searching for events staff on Craiglist is a good idea, but they will probably not exceed, or even meet, your requirements and expectations. I suggest working with a professional staffing company that has a proven track-record of its achievements, even if you have to stretch your budget a bit.

Don’t wait too long to make a decision. There is a lot of planning and execution that has to go into an event, and delaying your decision for more than two weeks will result in poor results. Upon hiring the company make sure you get the logistics right. Discuss number of attendees, type of occasion, goal, venue, event budget and other organizational information that the staff will need.

In the end, the events staff should become an extension of your own team, perfectly reflecting your brand’s image. Communication and respect are essential for a fruitful collaboration. Keep these tips in mind before hiring an Events Staff company and you will surely have an excellent experience.

How to Become a Music Manager

How to be a music manager is a question frequently asked by people who are interested in the field of music management. Of all the careers in the music business today, the music business management career is simultaneously the most demanding (“why aren’t you doing more”) yet sometimes the most under-appreciated (“well, anyone can do that!”) in the eyes of many in the music community. This can be attributed mainly to the fact that in today’s D.I.Y (do-it-yourself) era the role of the music manager is often seen by some as that of simply the “musician’s helper” as opposed to “career architect” as it should be.

If this is the case, why would anyone want to be a music manager or start a music management company? The answer lies in the potential for rewards and satisfaction that can be achieved when a manager marshals together the necessary resources and connects with the right artist at the right time to execute the perfect game plan that results in success. The path to success, however, is littered with those that have tried ahead of you and failed; so if you are interested in the field of music management you have to enter it with your eyes wide open and equip yourself with whatever knowledge you need to succeed.

Before you focus on how to become a music manager you need to ask yourself what ‘type’ of manager you want to be. There are several types available, including:

•    Personal (or music, band, talent) manager – the one most involved in the actual day-to-day career strategizing and plan formulation and execution with the artist,
•    Business manager – mainly handles the ‘books’ of the artist (income and expenses, making payments on the artist’s behalf, taxes, investments, etc),
•    Road manager – handles all the logistics of a tour while an artist is on the road. On larger tours, a tour manager coordinates all the various road managers involved with the tour and generally manages all the details of the tour itself; while on smaller ‘independent’ tours the road and tour manager are often one and the same.

Once you’ve decided which one of the various managers you’re interested in becoming, you’ll have to determine how you’re going to go about getting the knowledge (or ‘background’ education/information) necessary to enable you to do your job competently. Unlike earlier times when much of what a manager had to think about was shopping for a label, recording an album and then going on tour; today’s managers have so much more to deal with (and therefore to need to know), including how to reach fans directly, song licensing, brand partnerships, sponsorships, social media strategies, creative financing, independent publicity and marketing, etc.

As far as getting information goes, there are several ways to go about getting educated, including:

•    School – several universities and colleges have music business management programs that may be of interest to those that have the money, time and geographical access. Search online for information on which institutions offer music business management programs or courses you can take either on campus or via online learning.
•    Books / Self-study – if you don’t have the access to funding for college or university, another option is to purchase some of the various books available on the topic of how to become a music manager and/or studying much of the material available online in the form of blogs, articles, forum postings, newsletters, etc. You can also attend music business conferences and/or seminars in order to get valuable information from the various panelists and establish connections with attendees and sponsors.
•    Apprentice / Intern – another way to get a music manager job is to spend time interning at a management company. Jobs in music management are difficult to get without a track record, so working behind-the-scenes inside a company allows you to gain experience on the job (which could lead to a job at that company or provide you the experience to start your own company) as well as enable you to develop contacts within the company itself and also with people who the company does business with.

In reviewing how to be a music manager, an important thing to keep in mind about music management is that a manager gets paid a commission (usually 15% – 20%) based on their artists’ earnings. If your artist earns $0, your commission is $0. Therefore, you will need to make sure you have the music management knowledge and information necessary for you to be able to generate substantial income for your artist – and therefore yourself – from multiple sources (including recordings, licensing, publishing, merchandising, touring, brand partnerships, crowdfunding, endorsements, sponsorships, donations, subscriptions, etc) prior to taking on the task of becoming a music manager.

You will also need to evaluate how much time you have available to devote to the task of music management since your (and your artists’) chances of success are directly related to how much quality time you put into the job. You will likely need to have another source of income (i.e., another job) to pay your bills in the meantime until such time as enough income is being generated by your management-related activities to sustain your lifestyle. You will need to make sure you have enough time to create and execute a winning game plan with and for your artists as well as maintain constant communication with the artist in order to evaluate, fine-tune, and adjust the plan where necessary.

5 entertainment tips to make your events stand out

There are some fantastic acts out there for event planners but ensuring that you pick the right entertainment for your private party or corporate event is crucial. Not only that, guests will expect to remember the occasion. So… here are a few tips to help you on your way.

1. Do Your Research

This tip sounds obvious but you’d be surprised how many people don’t do their research prior to booking. Look at photos, watch YouTube videos and assess reviews online. Entertainment isn’t cheap so it’s always best to give yourself some piece of mind and guarantee that you are getting what you are paying for. You can also search for entertainment acts and speak to them directly at large scale events like ibtm world or AIME.

2. Pick Entertainment to set the Tone

Entertainment is essential for setting the tone of your event. Choosing a stand up comedian will provide a completely different mood to a glowing dance show for example, so pick carefully depending on the demographic and aims of the event.

3. Don’t Hide Your Entertainment Away

Entertainment is there to ensure that you have fun! Many events place their background music in the corner, which is fine but ultimately forgettable. Many of our best memories are related to entertainment-based experiences so be sure to utilise your booking to their full potential by placing them front and centre within your venue and to your audience.

5. Go Bespoke

If you want something truly special that will undoubtedly carry the wow factor, why not go bespoke? Incorporating your theme and coming up with something unique is all part of creating your own act and ensures that guests will walk away having been absolutely stunned by the entertainment you’ve provided.

So there you have it. Entertainment is vital to ensuring that all of your guests have a great time and best of all, remember your event for years to come! Good luck!

5 ways to be a better human at the zoo

Your job: Be interesting. Researcher and author Laurel Braitman explains.

Let me be clear: I don’t like zoos. Looking at captive animals depresses me. They often seem a little glazed over, busy pacing in tight figure eights, eating their own poop or using it to fingerpaint the walls of their enclosures. They’re also prone to depression and the development of compulsive behaviors. Because of this, many critics of the captivity industry say that zoos and aquariums are veritable prisons for the animals who live there — and some certainly are.

But others are more like five-star hotels, if a hotel without a checkout desk could still get five stars. I know a few people who’d choose to live this way if they could — ordering all their meals from room service, every need met by a friendly staff member in a crisp uniform.

For me, though, hotel life would be monotonous and stifling. And this is true for many other creatures too. It turns out the biggest stressor of captivity may not be the animals’ constricted range, bullying cagemates or the proximity of loud visitors rapping on the glass or refusing to turn off their camera flashes, but boredom. The thousands of hours between meals with little to do and few choices of who to do it with.

I spent more than seven years researching and writing about the mental health of animals — captive, domestic and wild — for my book Animal Madness, and what I can tell you is this: Even if you don’t want to support the animal display industry, you should still visit a zoo or aquarium every once in a while. Why? Because you have the capacity to be interesting. And that might make the day of someone who’s stuck inside with nothing else to wonder about.

Most humans are really predictable. We go up to the glass and wave, or pull out our phones and take a picture, and then wander off to the next display or the snack bar. But you can stand out from the crowd simply by being less boring. So here are my best tips for being a better, more interesting person at the zoo — not for yourself, but for everyone there. Note — these tricks seem to work best for smart, social and curious creatures like primates, elephants, parrots, penguins, otters, dolphins and whales — but they might work for others too.

1. Wear a costume (or something shiny or just a funny hat).
A docent at the Bronx Zoo in New York is convinced that the gorillas’ favorite day is Halloween, because hundreds of people visit wearing costumes and this seems to bring all the apes to the glass to marvel at the sights. But you don’t have to be in full costume — even a weird hat or a shiny outfit can inspire another animal to come check you out.

2. Bring a baby or a small child.
This is probably the biggest no-fail tip. I’m not sure why so many animals are interested in little kids, but it’s probably because their movements are more surprising and they’re more likely to be playful. Some baby gorillas can play peekaboo, and I’ve had penguins swim along when I run back and forth with toddlers and the birds in interspecies races. Sometimes, of course, the animals are interested simply because a baby looks like a good snack.

3. Slip a harmonica, a kazoo, a bluegrass band or some mariachis into your bag.
It’s incredible how many animals enjoy music. I often bring musicians to play for captive animals — Black Prairie playing for wolves at a sanctuary in Washington State or Grass Widow playing surf rock for a group of Boston zoo gorillas. But you don’t need a full band. Even a harmonica or some respectful percussion might intrigue an animal who otherwise doesn’t get to hear much besides intercom announcements or the din of the public.

4. Act like a circus performer (even a bad one).
The easiest way to be interesting is to be willing to look silly in public. It’s very effective. Turn cartwheels or do headstands in front of animals, juggle brightly colored objects (like citrus fruit), somersault across the floor, take off your shoes slowly in a PG-rated strip tease and wiggle your bare toes (gorillas in particular seem to like this one), or pull things out of your bag, one by one, with a flourish. Any movement outside the norm for visitors is likely to perk up the animals, and if it startles them, it’s not the end of the world. Most of the time they can simply wander away.

5. Hold up picture books or back issues of National Geographic or, if it’s not too loud or annoying, show them videos on your phone.
Many zoos actually keep televisions on hand to play videos for their animals. One mandrill in Boston was thought to enjoy Disney animated features like 101 Dalmatians. In the San Francisco Zoo they wheel a TV in front of the tigers to give them something to watch, and in Germany a group of bonobos has its own flatscreen with dedicated programming that includes a custom bonobo porn channel. I’ve seen parrots enjoy watching documentaries about other parrots. Captive chimpanzees flip through magazines and gaze at the pictures. So feel free to hold something you’re reading or watching up to the glass and see if anyone on the other side shares your taste for cooking shows, glossy fall fashion spreads or, though this might be just too cruel, travel.