Magic News

Friday, May 25, 2012

5 Reasons to Choose the Right Audio Visual Company for Your Event

Event planners earn their success by having a good track record for planning different types of events. When it comes to planning a professional corporate event, it's important everything goes smoothly and looks great. Hiring a good audio visual company is a huge part of this. It's one of the most crucial companies to hire because they play such a large role in the entire evening. 

Here are five reasons to choose the right audio visual company!

1) Experience

An audio visual company that has a good track record is likely to have quite a bit of experience. This is extremely important when it comes to managing an event. Professionals will know how to handle different situations, including any problems that arise as Murphy's Law dictates. The more experience the employees have, the better they will be able to manage their jobs and any curveballs thrown their way. On the job experience is something that takes many years to really develop. People who have been on the job longer will know how to do more advanced special requests, and handle all types of situations.

A lower end audio visual company or solution, is likely to have employees who don't have a lot of experience. Their lack of training within the event industry can be detrimental. This could end up preventing the night from being perfect, which reflects on you as the planner. Even one bad event caused from an inexperienced audio visual company could damage your reputation for years to come.

2) Equipment

In addition to experience, equipment is extremely important when it comes to running a corporate event. Everything from the lighting on the stage to the IMAG helping those in the back see as if they were in the front. This is especially true for events that are going to have presentations and speakers up on stage. The equipment that is used should be top of the line. Older, low end equipment can not only sometimes produce lower quality results, but also more prone to random failure. Most reputable audio visual companies are going to have the most cutting edge, mid to high end equipment. This will result in them being able to handle anything that is required for the evening. 

3) Specialists

Not all audio visual companies are created equally. Some of the lower end companies employees will only be able to handle the basics. If the event is in need of large scale video, special lighting or sound, lack of knowledge in the more advanced technologies could end up ruining the entire evening. When the sound, video or lighting cues are slow, wrong or even just plain missed, people at the event are going to take notice. Well trained and educated audio visual specialists will be able to handle a number of different situations.

Professionals that deal with specialized audio and visual situations will be able to help out with everything from concerts to fashion shows. The lighting for each event and venue is different and all aspects need to be considered. Audio visual companies that don't employ the best employees can end up ruining special events. Finding a company that has highly trained audio, video and lighting specialists is essential.

4) Self-sufficient

It should not be the event planners job to micro manage the in's and out's of the "behind the scenes" technical elements of the production. So not only should the staff be highly trained, and knowledgeable in all types of situations, they also should be able to make on the fly decisions and work well without direct supervision.

5) Details

The details are among the most important aspects of any corporate event. A good audio visual company will make sure everything is set up correctly and even the smallest details accounted for. AV planning is complex and takes a long time to understand. Hiring a cheap company without extensive knowledge could end up backfiring. For example, what if the lighting on stage were too bright and wash out the video? What if the video that was supposed to play ended up blurry and without sound? These problems could end up ruining an event for a planner and causing their reputation to suffer greatly. Not to mention the guests will not be paying attention to the message, just the problems that arise...

Finding the right fit for your event does not mean you have to hire the most expensive company, just do research and make sure you have your ideas ready and be sure to get references, and past clients/events information. And always follow up!

Friday, May 4, 2012

10 TIps to Planning a Fantastic Corporate Event Menu

Of the many tasks that go into planning a corporate event, the menu may be the most challenging for a beginner. Whether delicious or off the mark, food is often the most talked about aspect of the event next to the entertainment. Meal time can serve as an ideal setting to discuss the business of the event, generate leads or even prompt sales. But If what is offered is disappointing, attendees tend to not be as satisfied, thus having an adverse, and possibly disastrous "Domino Effect."

The Following is a set of ten steps to serve as a how-to guide in planning your corporate event's menu.

How to Plan a Corporate Event Menu

Before Meeting with the Caterer

1. Determine Your Available Meal Time - Review your corporate event's schedule to determine the amount of time your attendees will have to enjoy the meal. The type of meal you offer will be dependent on the amount of time available. Three types of meals to consider are: buffet/banquet style, boxed meal and sit-down. The more time you have available, the greater the flexibility for offering a full service sit-down meal. But if time is short, then a boxed meal could be the way to go!

2. Choose a Basic Theme - A cohesive meal is always well received. Choosing a basic theme for the event allows your caterer to create a menu that is central to that theme. You may choose a theme that complements the business that is hosting the event, the area in which the event is being held, or the topics being promoted through the event.

3. Consider Your Attendees
- If the crowd you are serving is made up of young professionals, your menu options may be more daring than if it is made up of a more conservative group. If you are serving business persons who travel regularly, you may be able to serve a more eclectic menu. You should also consider the business that is being promoted. For example, if the event were for a holistic healing community, your menu would be different than if it were for a hunting association event.

4. Create a Scrapbook - As an event planner, you have likely attended a good number of other events. It is a great idea to keep a journal of these events in which you record likes and dislikes. Consider placing menu items that really impressed guests at other events on your corporate event menu.

5. Consider Special Guests and Honorees - If your event is being held in honor of a particular person or if you have VIP guests, consider asking around to see if they have particularly favored dishes. Serving these will leave a lasting impression.

In Meeting with your Caterer

6. Ask about Seasonal Options - In creating any menu it is essential to consider what foods are in season. This includes not only selecting fruits and vegetable that are likely to be at their peak but, also to determine the overall feel of your meal. If you know your event is in the middle of a scorching summer day, you would obviously choose a lighter menu with crisp refreshing options.

7. Require Options - Your caterer will work with the framework you came up with in the first three steps to provide you with potential menus. Be sure to explain to your caterer that you want to provide as many options as possible. Specifically, you want two options for appetizers, two for salads, three for entrees and two options for dessert. In providing these options, you are more likely to please every one of your guests. Always remember vegetarians, and those with special food requirements!

8. Inquire as to Their Specialty - A seasoned caterer is sure to be known for one or many of their specialty dishes. Offering your attendees the opportunity to experience this specialty would be especially well received.

9. Clear the Condiments
- Most caterers will acquiesce to demands for lite seasoning and minimal toppings that would normally be served on a dish and opt to, instead, serve these on the side. Choosing to do this limits the possibility of serving a guest an item that they disagree with or are allergic to.

10. Offer a Preview of the Menu - Once you have finalized the menu with your caterer, offer registered attendees a preview of the corporate event's menu. When guests have had a chance to preview the menu they are more likely to choose options they are sure to enjoy at the event. This preview may also cause a welcome stir of excitement revolving around the corporate event.

With these 10 tips at your side, your menu is sure to please and be the talk of the event!