If the title of this blog post didn't spark up a HiPhi song in your head, you clearly need to know more about the world of Digital Signage. And what better place to do so than New York Digital Signage Week?
This loosely structured week has become one of my favorite AV events of the year. It's way more informal than a tradeshow so you can sit back, relax (you don't really have time for that but it sounds nice!), and hang with all of your favorite #AVTweeps.
This year is going to be a bit different for me because of my new position - and I am STOKED to write up all of the cool events, new technology, and people news. Thanks to Adrian from the Daily DOOH, I've got tickets to the hottest events in town!
Here are some things I'm looking forward to (and how you can get in):
Barco Media Lab
Barco's well known for their NYDSW kick-off party. Now in its seventh year, you can assume this will be the place to see and be seen.
Coffee & Controversy
The DSF always puts on a great show - the who's who of digital signage debating the hottest topics. Plus, networking and breakfast.
Daily DOOH Investor Conference
Tuesday Morning & Afternoon
When you're finished with the DSF breakfast, book it on over to the Daily DOOH Investor Conference. Here, you'll find info about trends and the future of DS/DOOH straight from the mouths of major CEOs. And you can say hi to Adrian!
NEC VIP Reception
NEC knows how to throw a party...and with it falling on Halloween, you can be sure this will be talked about for weeks. I'm betting Rich Ventura has something up his sleeve for this costume party so BRING IT! This one is invite-only so hit up your NEC Rep to make it onto the list.
WIN with AVIXA Women's Council
The amazing Gina Sansivero put together this networking event for all of us ladies in town for NYDSW. As you know, I'm a huge supporter of women's councils and the AVIXA NYC Chapter is killer. Come out and meet some great women in the industry.
BrightSign/Elo Touch/Peerless-AV Happy Hour
This is another invite-only gig. Unfortunately, I'll miss this one because I'll be flying home. But I can assure you fun will be had by all! Reach out to your reps and get a ticket today!
This is just a sprinkling of my schedule (can't give it all out, because, you know, stalkers) - are you coming into town for NYDSW? Tweet me (@MeganADutta) and let's meet up! I can't wait to catch up with everyone.
P.S. If you still haven't figured out the HiPhi reference, click here. Also, don't blame me when you're still singing this song four years later.
This week is a big week for me professionally. It's Speed Week 2017 which means I am hosting a large number of VIP customers at the Daytona 500. My entire team has been manic for the last two weeks going over every detail and ensuring our guests will have the perfect weekend. Here are my five things I always do during incentive trips to make my life easier.
1. Make a Binder
Like most of us, I have a meticulously organized inbox which works well 90% of the time. But when you're on-site, you want access to everything at a moment's notice. For each major event, I create a binder. In it, there's copies of every contract, confirmation numbers and travel info, and even a dossier on each guest that includes his/her phone number (you'll need it, trust me), special dietary needs, etc. Take the time to make a binder and your life will be made much easier on-site.
2. Over-Communicate with Attendees
Typically, I leave the communication with our customers up to their sales reps. However, leading into these kind of events, I've found you can never send too much information. While, personally, I'd be fine with just knowing when and where to show up, most people on these trips wants to know every detail and want to be reminded constantly.
3. Network, Network, Network
Many years of hosting incentive trips has led me to realize that attendees get a huge value out of networking with each other. Whether they're forming a genuine friendship, getting business tips or creating new partnerships, meeting other guests is a large part of these trips. Do whatever you can to help them. This year, I decided to try something new and created a 2017 VIP Weekend Group on LinkedIn. I invited each attendee to the group and I post relevant information about the weekend. They're getting valuable tips (see point #2 on over-communication) and they can easily get in touch with each other after the event.
4. Be Prepared for a Few Speed Bumps
No matter how much planning you do, they'll always be something that goes wrong, doesn't work out or needs tending. Go in with the mindset that whatever happens, happens. You've already prepared yourself to create the ultimate VIP experience and nobody (but you) will ever know there were a few kinks. Keep the mindset that you've done your best and there will undoubtedly be something that needs your magic. Deep breaths. Be the rock star that you are and get everything worked out.
5. Enjoy Yourself
You've worked freaking hard to get this trip planned. You've done everything you possibly could do to ensure your attendees will be impressed with your company AND your excellent event-planning skills. Now take the time to have fun with them! In their mind, you're the star of the weekend. They know you made this happen and they want to see you relaxed. Take it all in - you deserve it.
Did I miss anything? What are your keys to success for incentive trips?
Megan A. Dutta