Archive for the ‘inspiration’ category

10 Tips When Speaking of Speakers

June 12th, 2011

You are in charge of orchestrating a meeting and need to hire speakers. Ask the following questions to keep on task:Laura Schwartz

  1. What are the burning issues? Zoom in on the topics that need to be covered and the primary learning objectives.
  2. What style of speaker do you need? Is the purpose to inspire, educate, entertain or technical. You may chose an industry expert, a professional speaker or professional entertainer.  My favorite is an “edu-tainer” who is theatrical, motivational, speaks on the latest trends and leaves you with an action step checklist.
  3. How much time does the speaker have to cover their topic? Speakers need to customize their presentation to fit into the allotted timeframe and leave time for Q&A.
  4. Where do you find speakers? They are everywhere! You may connect with them on Linked In, at a conference, in a networking group, your industry associations, speakers bureaus (local, regional, state, national and international Speakers Association), convention and visitors bureau, chamber of commerce or ask industry professionals for referrals.
  5. Once you find a speaker that sounds good, what is next? Check out their website. Ask for a demo. Get a list of references and be sure to contact them personally for greater insight. I once read speaker reviews and brought in a “rock star speaker” who turned out to be from the stone age.
  6. Does the speaker have a contract? No matter what, get it ALL in writing. If your speaker has their own contract, review it carefully. If you need to write the speaking terms of agreement be sure you include everything you have agreed in terms that are complete with no instruction left out. Will they be permitted to self promote? If so, will a book signing table be needed for back of the room sales?
  7. Who is paying for what? Be sure to outline what the speaking fee is and if that includes ground transportation to and from the hotel, airport and/or home. Are meals and accommodations included? Are you making their arrangements or will they make them and be reimbursed? Be sure to do the check requests to insure prompt payments at the appropriate intervals.
  8. Will they have hand outs? It is important to have a memorable take away of some sort. If there is going to be something available, announce that in the beginning of the presentation so attendees are not scribbling every word and missing keys points. Who is printing and paying for these or will they be available on line? If materials are being shipped, where will they be sent and by what date? Nothing could be worse than having boxes shipped to the wrong place or arrive after the presentation.
  9. What are the speaker’s audio visual requirements? Much will depend on the size of your audience but few meetings take place that do not require a computer, LCD projector, screen, microphone, sound system, lectern and stage. We’ve all sat through the “death by power point” presentations and the emotional “here is how I did it” inspirations so be sure your speaker is engaging and requires audience participation throughout their performance.
  10. What should you ask for to promote their message? Get a CURRENT photo (I am thinking of the “rock star”), bio, engaging topic title, topic description and learning objectives. These items can be shared in your pre-marketing material and/or program headlines.

Be sure to send out surveys requiring feedback from attendees following the program. Communicate the results to the speaker and the venue since this is a helpful tool to keep all partners on the path of improvement and praise. Scorecards help shine the light on what we are doing well and what we can work on to sharpen our skills. Keep track of each speaker’s scorecard and write referrals for the highest achievers. Bring them back to let your audience know you their voice matters.

It has been my pleasure to work with so many wonderful speakers, authors and entertainers. There are many gifted experts that may be in your backyard and not require long hauls, overnight stays and additional fees. Talent does not have geographic boundaries. Consider degrees of the goal you can accomplish within your budget and negotiate a fair deal where all parties win. A2Z Meetings & Events is always happy to help!

Memorable Moments

January 2nd, 2011

Create a Memory Box

Each year it gets more difficult to produce a meaningful gift for those who have everything. The ads that speak of the price of various items that represent a sign of caring and then the one that is marked “priceless” is the quest each year  … and this year we accomplished the goal.
   2010 was a year of many great losses with family, friends and loved ones. Encouraging words and silly memories have kept our spirits alive and contagious. We actually discovered our humble beginnings created the foundation for drive, determination and success. Each person sharing their own special memory ignited ideas of new ones that had been lost. The gift was a gift from the hearts of many and everyone shared in the gift meant for two.
Write down YOUR memories and share them with those you truly love. Create a tradition to add to the mememory boxmory box each year and create a priceless gift of your own. Build a bucket list of memories to attain in 2011. We found this box and printed our memories on business card stock. It made each memory consistant in size, on a good card stock and easy to punch out rather than lots of cutting and flimsy strips of paper. After the gift was prepared with photos to accompany many of the memories, every contributor got a copy of the finished memories from all involved. Some members did not contribute at that time but have time to contribute as they desire … the gift keeps on giving.
I tried the concept out on a few friends from Southwest Florida. The email string became deep and wide and before you knew it, there were hundreds of good times that we had lost touch with that were revived like buried treasures. Keeping relationships alive can be work but work that pays in rich benefits. This is a meaningful gift for friends, family, colleagues and clients. Help expand on this idea so we all continue to enrich one another!
Memorable Meetings & Exceptional Events is a passion at A2Z Meetings & Events. Creative ideas and proven concepts will keep your attendees talking about your meetings and events. Let them know they are special. Tell them why you are taking them away from their friends and family and what they will gain as a result of their investment.
Contact us at http://www.a2zmeetingsandevents.com/ to save time, money and stress in the new year.

Use AmA2Zing Affirmations at your Next Event

November 23rd, 2010
The holidays are a time for gift giving but gifts are not always measured in dollars. Before the event you can announce the goal of sharing an inspirational message that may be unique to each attendee or it may be something general. Guests can prepare their message prior to arrival or wait until they arrive to get inspired. This may workConnecting is Affecting differently depending on the size and relationships on the guest list.
Throughout the event you have a table with bags that have each attendee’s names on them. There are index cards and pens so you can write an inspiring message to any or all the guests. You may choose to spice it a little over the holidays and make the cards on gold stars or in the shape of ornaments so they can be  hung on the Christmas tree.
Telling someone what makes them unique and fabulous or a way they have touched your life will create a lasting bond and may give them just enough of a boost to send them flying. Make your message memorable whether you choose to deliver your it anonymously or sign your name. It is inspiring to both the giver and the receiver. As each guest departs, they take their bag and have an opportunity to enjoy the “gift” of inspiration that lasts throughout the season.

Ten AmA2Zing Affirmations for Abundance and Prosperity

October 29th, 2010
I had the pleasure of working with Plan Your Meetings this week at the Sheraton Sand Key. Do yourself a favor and take a close look at this resort. The service team is extraordinary! They have longevity, commitment, quality and creativity on every level of the organization. They partner and collaborate with planners to learn your needs and exceed your expectations. The leader of this sales organization is always upbeat and positive. No matter what question you ask Jack Guy, he will find a compliment to share.
Associating with positive people is at the core of success. People who stretch you and ask you to share your expertise force you to dig inside to be sure you reach the roots of what makes you unique, so accept epym_logovery opportunity to dive into self-discovery. Lisa Kraus with Plan Your Meetings is one of those individuals who turned my sour grapes complaint into sweet wine endorsements.  Because of that experience, I have become a raving fan and speaker whenever she needs me to help out. Be sure to use them and their suppliers as a resource. They are committed to education, extreme customer service, relationship building and collaboration. Check out their Knowledge Series www.planyourmeetings.com/pym-knowledge-series/ and their town hall meetings on You Tube.
 These are just two samples of some great partners that have touched my life and I invite you to experience them as they are worthy of special attention in the world of meetings and events. I promised affirmations that are guaranteed to make you smile when you repeat them, live them and believe them.
Ten Affirmations for Abundance and Prosperity:
  • My day is filled with limitless potential in joy, abundance and love.
  •  I always have more than enough of everything I need.
  •  The more I give away, the more it multiplies and is returned to me.
  • As my commitment to help others grows, so does my joy and wealth.
  • Thank you for all the blessings in my life!
  • I am open to the flow of great abundance in all areas of my life.
  •  I allow the universe to bless me in surprising and joyful ways.
  • My grateful heart is a magnet that attracts more of everything I desire.
  •  I exude passion, purpose and prosperity.
  • I am always led to the people who need what I have to offer. scan0009
    Keep coming back for more!       
 
 

Measuring Your Priorities

February 18th, 2010

HAPPY February!!! It has been a little chillier than we Floridians are used to but it is giving us the time to stay cozy and get those New Year Resolutions accomplished … My prCB031351imary goal was weight loss and I am pleased to report I am down 11.5 pounds in 5 weeks! I’ll be happy to share my success formulas if you have an interest. Basically, it is about eating healthy and doing exercise … imagine that! The greatest deprivation has been eliminating my favorite adult beverage but the detoxification of all Caffeine, Refined sugar, Additives and Preservatives (CRAP) has been essential. It has been fun to invent new recipes that are creative, quick and easy. How are YOU doing on YOUR primary priority?
With regard to business, I promised to step up my game on writing about the things that will be most helpful to you. Your comments have been so important … there was a time when I thought I was casting thought to the wind! I appreciate the energy that comes back from you as you inspire and ignite more energy. Think of how that makes people respond to your requests when you feed them praise. WOW! It creates a power that can make mere mortals move mountains! We cannot motivate anyone other than ourselves but we can inspire others through affirmations. So go find the stars in your life and let them know how they have impacted you.

j0398747 This month I am focused on a fundraising event and awareness for an organization known as Dress For Success. This group restores dignity and hope for professional women in search of a new job. Women are referred to the agency and have a set appointment to meet with a volunteer that will help them select 2 suits, 2 blouses, a pair of shoes and a briefcase from the donations at the boutique. They will also assist with resume writing and have a computer lab to investigate opportunities to go out on interviews and launch their new life. Visit their new location at 1705 North Howard AvenueTampa during their OPEN HOUSE:

Thursday, February18th 11:00am to 2:00pm
Friday, February 19th 3:00pm to 6:00pm
Saturday, February 20th 9:00am to 12:00pm

Please plan to attend the fund raising Fashion event at SAKS FIFTH AVENUE February 25. Reservations are required and seating is limited. Details are found at http://bit.ly/9frpI7 .You will be in good company!

Also in the news … http://bit.ly/dvTzj7 … the latest on the Sustainable Business Conference & Expo. The topics will be announced later this month but mark your calendars!
Finally, the video intro to the website is on line! I am learning ways to improve memory techniques and to get noticed in cyberworld so I will be sharing those items along with ways that work to improve YOUR networking and meeting sizzle. Keep coming back for more!