Author explains just why "experiential events" work

Experiential events are growing at an impressive rate in the UK events industry because they have the power to stick with their attendees on an emotional level.

That’s according to Peter Clarke, of event marketing and communications agency Pumphouse. Writing on eventindustrynews.co.uk, he explained that marketing an event in an experiential manner enables its target audience to have brand empathy in a way that promotional marketing cannot.

Using a model by David Kolb, which was conceived back in 1975, Clarke suggested that anyone could host a successful experiential event if they understood the experience cycle – otherwise known as learning by doing.

“The concrete experience is the actual event or ‘experience.’ The next mode is observation and learning – how people engage with, and react to, the experience. Out of the reflective observation flow the abstract concepts – how people move from the experience and use the event to develop their own thinking,” he wrote.

The final mode, according to teleosleaders.com,is that of testing in new situations, which is how people “use the new learning to change, develop and improve in a different context,” Clarke said.

The tricky part of managing this cycle is deciding how much focus should be placed in which area. Clarke argues that all-too-often delegates leave event venues and don’t take on board the things they’ve learned or put them into practice.

However, enough pre and post-event planning could see businesses-owners get a return on their investment from every event their employees attend.

It’s perhaps for this reason that the Event Marketing Institute (EMI) finds that experiential marketing has grown by eight per cent in 2012.

Couples offered advice on wedding cakes

Couples gearing up to tie the knot have been advised on the kind of wedding cake they should go for to mark their big day.

Many couples have an idea of the wedding reception venue, colour scheme and outfits they are going for ahead of the big day, but cakes can often be overlooked, despite it being a central element and main photo opportunity.

In light of this, numerous bakers have given their ideas of what a couple should look for in their wedding cake and what they should bear in mind when looking for the right person for the job.

One such baker was Anmar Robinson who told yahoo.com that couples should “think creatively” when ordering their cake. The famous three-tier fruit cake may be the traditional option, but that doesn’t mean everybody should automatically go for it. Instead, the cake should be treated with the same level of consideration as everything else at the wedding, with couples picking something instead that would better represent them.

This could be done with colours that fit in with the theme of the wedding or even different-shaped ones that represent something personal, such as a favourite sport or hobby. Not only will these be more fitting but also provide a talking point for guests and make the photograph of its cutting much more fun.

Another growing trend is to forgo the traditional cake tier and instead offer a selection of cupcakes. Not only would this be visually striking but offer guests a choice of what they would like, sleekgossip.com reports.

“By arranging the cupcakes on stacked tiers, you can create an effect similar to the standard cake, yet totally unique,” an expert claimed.

Two-thirds of Olympic visitors will attend cultural event

Two thirds of Olympic visitors will attend some kind of entertaining or cultural event, such as concerts, musicals, plays or exhibitions, during their stay.

The research from OnePoll, cited by bbc.co.uk, seems to contrast previous worries from booking agents who suspected that the Olympics might actually damage the success of their events.

Many said prior to the poll that they had doubts about the strength of London’s infrastructure during the Games, or were concerned some would rather stay indoors during the spectacle.

However, nearly two and a half million Olympic visitors have confirmed that they are already in possession of a ticket to an exhibition, theatre event, play or concert. A further 1.7 million confirmed that they plan on attending a concert specifically, but have yet to make a purchase.

Reassuringly for many conference centres, theatres and exhibition spaces, more than half of the 1,600 people polled said that they considered London the “cultural capital of the world”, lending hope to the industries concerned.

Reuters.com notes that retailers in particular are remaining optimistic about their Olympic revenues. Andrew Murphy, retail director at John Lewis, which is an official sponsor of the Games, said that just considering the Olympic footfall should be enough to raise spirits.

He said: “When you engage with the Olympic footfall numbers and particularly if you are a sponsor business, the multiples for the four weeks around the Olympics are really phenomenal, almost scarily so, based on previous Olympics.”

Professional hands needed to organise events, educator claims

An event can act as the perfect marketing tool, but trusting a work colleague to plan a professional gathering could prove disastrous. 

That’s according to Michele Clark, an educator in event planning for the Shlensky Institute, who believes that companies must hire trained specialists to “efficiently execute” their gatherings.

Ms Clark claimed that planning an event requires a great deal of time and commitment, which a full-time worker may not be able to offer. A professional on the other hand will be able to search for event spaces, send invitations and lay out stalls in their own time.

As reported by melodika.net, the upcoming Republican National Convention will be organised by planning professionals – a point that large organisations in Britain may want to consider. However, this method may not be entirely cost effective for some.       

In her interview with sbnonline.com, Ms Clark pointed small and medium-sized businesses, with perhaps less money to spend on their events, in the direction of staff training for workers with planning potential. Then, after securing an affordable programme, the business can go about utilise promotional events in their marketing campaigns.      

“Events have become an advantage for any businesses marketing strategy and when combined with an advertising campaign, it vastly increases the awareness and visibility for a product or service,” said Ms Clark.  

She added: “It gives your audience a love environment for your brand. The more people see, touch, taste and experience your product or service, the more you sell.”

Andy Murray to face Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in Wimbledon semis

The semi-final of Wimbledon will see British star Andy Murray go up against the Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Friday (July 6th).

Murray’s victory over David Ferrer in the quarter-final will fuel hopes that he can be become the first British player for more than 75 years to lift the All England Club trophy, although he has reached the semi-finals for the past three years, bbc.co.uk reports.

When the Scot walks out on what will almost certainly be centre court, he is sure to have support from millions of people watching on television at home or at event spaces – as well as those who manage to get tickets for the game.

The 25-year-old was full of praise for the Spaniard he beat in the quarter-final 6-7, 7-6, 6-4, 7,6; saying: “It was a very tough match, a long match, a lot of tight moments.

“He’s a great player and sometimes does not get enough respect. I’ve known him a long time and he’s an unbelievably hard worker.”

Murray finished the tie in style with a match-winning ace, according to independent.co.uk, after playing for close to four hours on centre court. His record against Tsonga bodes well for him too; the Scot has beaten him the past four times they have played and he has won both times they faced each other on grass.

Social media won't replace face-to-face contact, claims survey

The rise of Facebook and Twitter will not serve as a replacement for meeting clients face-to-face at corporate venues.

That’s according to 60 per cent of those surveyed for a report by Airbus, reported by businesstraveller.com, which undertook a two-year consultation in order to see what passengers are expecting from future flights.

Airbus says that 63 per cent of the 1.75 million consulted said that they will actually fly more by 2050, meaning that meeting clients face-to-face will remain a staple of business for years to come.

However, 96 per cent suggested that aircraft need to become much more ‘eco-efficient’. Using less fuel, releasing fewer carbon emissions and being powered by non-fossil fuels were the top three suggestions by those taking part.

Other results showed that nearly half (40 per cent) see door-to-door air travel as becoming ‘increasingly stressful’, 66 per cent want quieter planes while 65 want a ‘fully recyclable’ aircraft.

Charles Champion, Airbus EVP engineering, said the results show ‘there’s nothing better than face-to-face contact’.

Cited by aviationweek.com, he continued: “The world is woven together by a web of flights that creates ever-expanding social and economic networks: 57 millions jobs, 35 per cent of world trade and $2.2 trillion in global GDP.”

Britain for Events unveils 2012/13 campaign

Four new reports into the industry and a reception at the House of Commons will be included in Britain for Events’ 2012/13 campaign, which aims to highlight the importance of staging exhibitions in the UK.

A campaign launch in London saw over 100 industry heads, business owners and members of the government gather to hear the plans; designed to boost the profile of events in the UK.

On the agenda this year will be four reports, the first of which – an economic impact study – will be published early 2013. Any one of these documents could provide welcome reading for conference space owners, as Britain for Events has already predicted the industry will be worth £48 billion by 2020, according to eventmagazine.co.uk.   

Meanwhile, the House of Commons reception in September will see key industry figures attempting to gain support from politicians and policy makers.  

Managing director at media and events agency Zibrant, Fay Sharpe acknowledged that due to the state of the economy, 2012 could bring a struggle for some – but she believes this is no reflection on the service offered by those in the industry.  

“2013 will also be tough and as an industry we need to show our creativity to attract business into the UK and encourage corporates to keep business here too,” Ms Sharpe told exhibitionnews.co.uk. “The standard of delivery from event organisers in the UK is the highest in Europe. I love Britain, we need to back Britain.” 

It's okay to re-wear clothes at separate wedding receptions

There is nothing wrong with wearing the same outfit to two different wedding receptions, a style commentator has claimed.

Graziadaily.co.uk fashion writer Alex Butt cited the Middleton sisters – Katherine and Pippa – as examples of high-profile individuals who often “recycle” shoes or jackets for different events, yet still always look great.

For any women due to visit a wedding reception venue in the near future, the glamorous siblings may be useful role models, as Mr Butt claimed they have “wedding style down to a tee”.

Another reason he offered for wearing for wearing an old outfit is in the interests of not upstaging the bride. The writer said: “Whilst, for most of us, getting papped on the way to a mate’s nuptials is not a pressing problem, it’s worth remembering to do what we can to make sure the focus is on the bride on her big day.”

The Middletons fashion choices have received a huge amount of media attention since Katherine married Prince William and they have had their fair share of functions to visit during that time. One of the latest was the Wimbledon gentlemen’s singles tennis final on Sunday (July 8th).

According to stv.tv, the sisters “drew admiring glances once again”, although they had competition from several other well-dressed women in the crowd, including Victoria Beckham and Andy Murray’s girlfriend Kim Sears.

Boris Johnson to release London guide app

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, is launching a free mobile app in order to help tourists visiting for the Games, as well as existing Londoners, get the best from the city.

Reported by travelbite.co.uk, the London City Guide will explore some of London’s best walking trails, event venues, landmarks and more in order to allow users to make the most of the capital’s cultural and iconic areas.

Users of the app will be able to browse London by venue, attraction or location while the incorporation of Google maps makes it easier for users to find the location of their choice.

Johnson went on to say: “2012 is a phenomenal year for London and I want Londoners and tourists to explore the best of what our great city has to offer.

“With existing world-class cultural events popping up in every corner of the capital, there has never been a better time to explore the city, not just the well-known attractions, but the other wonderful local gems waiting to be discovered. With so much to see and do, the app and brochure are your indispensable guide to a summer like no other,” he added.

London City Guide is live and currently available to download from the Apple app store. Msn.com suggests that an Android version is on the way.

Meetings need to be an investment 'delivering a return'

An expert has highlighted three key reasons why meetings may not be as fulfilling as first thought and what leaders can do to deliver a great return.

Erika Andersen, writing for msnbc.msn.com, believes leaders need to think of meetings as a major investment that needs to deliver a great return for the company in question.

An example of a bad meeting is when most of the people in a boardroom, conference space or other venue are sitting there wondering what the meeting has to do with them.

“Poor meetings are generally either somebody talking and everyone else is pretending to listen, or a conversation that only involves a couple of people,” writes Andersen, cited by forbes.com.

“Only focus on those topics that are important and useful to all or most of the people in the meeting, and have the ‘owner’ of a topic (the person responsible for making something happen) run the part of the meeting where that topic is being covered.”

Furthermore, Andersen believes that everyone in the meeting should know the purpose of the event, as well as what needs to be achieved and what is expected from the participants. In addition, post-meeting action is just as important as the actual meeting itself.

“Even if you have a good meeting, one that feels focused and productive, if nothing happens afterwards…it’s still a bad meeting,” added Andersen.