Destination Wedding Planning Tips

Chris and Sofia, wedding planners at LAH-CAL Agency, share some tips on planning your destination wedding, from timing it right to picking the perfect spot.

  1. Experiences and Planning

Weddings are a personalised experience all about the couple, family and friends. Lock yourself away and take a trip down memory lane, looking back at your romance, the highlights, memorable things you did together, the friends you met along the way — all possible things to share with your guests on your big day. Do not forget: a destination wedding is a pre to post experience, from the moment the invites go out, to your webpage where family and friends can help you build up to the day, to when you return home, to thanking your guests.

As it is with any event, planning is key to a wedding. There is no need for fancy software. All you need is good, old-fashioned Microsoft Excel. List all the things to be done in preparation for the wedding, as well as after the event. This would include venue sourcing, sending invites, finding a caterer, and preparing a playlist, among other things. Allocate tasks to the people helping you, assign deadlines and make sure you buffer a few extra days. This will give you a clear timeline and serve as your checklist. Remember to update it regularly so you can keep track of what has been accomplished and act swiftly in case of delays.

  1. LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION…

Getting the location of your destination wedding is a tricky one. Do you go for an unknown destination or somewhere you have been on holiday before? The location of your wedding determines not only the mood (rustic, sophisticated, beachy), but also the travel time and budget required to pull it off. The location should reflect your personality as a couple, and should also have something to offer to your guests as well.

Here are few locations and venues we recommend:

Bawah Private Island – Located off the coast of Singapore, an intimate location for weddings for up to 70 guests in sheer luxury.

Voyager Estate – Thinking of a wedding in Perth, Australia? Voyager Estate in Margaret River is recognised for its magnificent gardens, impressive restaurant and elegant wines, which combine to create a stunning setting.

Alila Villas Uluwatu – Built on the cliffs of Uluwatu, it offers an endless ocean horizon. This, coupled with one of the best architecture in Bali, makes a stunning venue for a wedding.

Paco Park Garden – Exchange your wedding vows at the St. Pancratius Chapel in  Manila, Philippines and hold an intimate wedding reception in the park. Remember to leave enough time to get the altar. Traffic is a nightmare in Manila!

Eventloft – Have a European city wedding in style at Eventloft. Located in the heart of Berlin, Germany, this space is underscored by the unique view of the Oberbaum Bridge from the spacious Spree terrace.

Obonjan Island – Imagine crystal blue waters and star–filled skies. This is a truly one-of-a-kind wedding location off the Croatian Coast that combines wellness and style.

The Byre at Inchyra – Situated in the heart of Perthshire, Scotland is the Byre at Inchyra. It’s infinitely more than a relaxed wedding barn venue, being hi-tech and fully equipped, giving you everything you need for an unforgettable celebration.

  1. Seasons

Consider the time of the year you are going to get married, factor in the weather and consider getting married out of the tourist season to avoid the higher rates.

  1. Venue Visit

Even if you have been to the destination of your wedding, take at least one planning trip. On the first trip, you’ll need to scout and secure your key venues — ceremony and reception spaces, hotels for guests, a rehearsal dinner venue — and local suppliers such as caterers, florists and photographers. Our advice is to come up with a “number one” preferred venue & suppliers, and a “number two” as back-up.

  1. Budgeting

If done right, a destination wedding can cost no more — and maybe even less — than hosting the same party at home (depending on where you live, of course). So sit down and list all your expenses and include a contingency for unexpected expenses of between five to ten percent.

  1. Insights

From the legal side of tying the knot, to local customs, to the speed at which things get done, do your research, harness the knowledge of the internet. From google search to Facebook groups to in-country bloggers, read-up, ask questions from experts and couples who have gotten married in your chosen destination. The insights shared will help you in making your big day go smoothly.

  1. Help

While planning a wedding in your own country may be easy, a destination wedding comes with its pitfalls including language and time zone. Plan early by all means, but do consider a local coordinator to manage the last mile of your wedding. LAH-CAL offers a number of services from venue finding through to end-to-end planning or just a same-day coordinator to help deliver your big day.

  1. Guests

Don’t forget about your guests flying into your destination wedding. Create a personalised experience for your guests from ice-breakers to accommodation to transfers. Remember, the place may be totally new to some of your guests, so it would be great if you can make their experience a truly memorable one. LAH-CAL takes away the hassle of these preparations by providing end-to-end guest wedding experience management services.

  1. Legal

Make sure you have a legal contract with each of your suppliers. Before signing any legal contract, read through the fine print and negotiate the terms, including payment.

  1. Thank you

Two weeks before your big-day, have a call with your venue manager and key suppliers to run through what is expected of them. Create a list of pending items, agree on timelines, an make sure you follow up. Most importantly, thank them and their teams in advance for helping your destination wedding a success.

LAH-CAL.com Inspiring Business and Private Event Experiences in Europe, Mideast, Africa and Asia Pacific

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Hidden Boutique Hotels & Resorts

Sourcing accommodation for your event or a vacation takes a lot of time to get it right. More than often it’s quicker, and less frustrating to get yourself on skyscanner.com, set a few filters and book the first one with the averagely pretty profile picture. We have a travelling rule; to try and seek out those boutique businesses and local treasures, with charm that’s yet to be discovered. Here’s our current curation of 2017 hidden places to stay across EMEA & Asia.

The Upper House, Hong Kong

The Upper House Hong Kong Island is located at prestigious Pacific Place on Hong Kong Island, occupying the top twelve floors of a fifty story skyscraper. A new style of hotel – luxurious, chic, contemporary and minimalist, with the emphasis on space, light, and individual service.

Bawah Private Island, Indonesia

Bawah Private Island is regarded as one of the hottest places for a private retreat to a wedding to incentive trip for your team. Located just 150 nautical miles north east of Singapore, and easily accessible via private seaplane, this untouched beauty of 6 islands will open a whole new destination for discerning travellers.

Villa Samadhi, Singapore

Converted from a colonial-era garrison, Villa Samadhi Singapore features an excellent mix of cozy creature comforts and an escape from civilisation. Situated at Labrador Nature Reserve, the hotel allows guests a luxurious stay amidst verdant greenery.

Masseria Le Carrube, Ostuni, Italy

The tiny Pugliese town of Ostuni is home to a romantic former farmhouse, complete with whitewashed exposed brick, antique furnishings, lovely garden with a wide, arched pergola—and an authentic olive mill.

Pulitzer Amsterdam, Netherlands

A stay at the Pulitzer is a historical discovery with a long and illustrious heritage dating back to the Golden Age. The hotel is set within twenty-five restored 17th and 18th century houses that once set the scene for prosperous business deals between trade merchants and played home to the decadent and flamboyant lives of Dutch aristocrats.

Il Sereno Lake Como, Italy

il Sereno Lago di Como will bring the cutting-edge look of top Milan designer Patricia Urquiola to the lakeside. From its 37 suites and villas to a waterfront restaurant and custom Riva water limousine, the Spanish-born designer’s creation will look unlike any of the neighbouring properties.

LAH-CAL: Incentive Trip to Conferences to Wedding and Luxury holidays email mice@lah-cal.com

LAH-CAL-INCENTIVES PRESENTS: PRIVATE ISLAND RETREAT OBONJAN

Imagine crystal blue waters and star–filled skies. Amazing views and wondrous experiences. Obonjan Island is all the things you love in one place. It’s a place for arts, ecology, and natural beauty. Its music and workshops. Its food, sports, talks, wellbeing and super comfy beds.

Situated off the Croatian coast, in the crystal clear blue waters of the Adriatic Sea, the Island of Obonjan is approximately 3 hours from major European capital cities and 16 hours from Asia by air. Obonjan can be your brands very own Private Island for a Conference or Travel Incentives or Rewards Program with every experience on offer being expertly curated for your group’s wellbeing.

More and more people are seeking authentic experiences that allow themselves to return to a state of peace and tranquillity. LAH-CAL brings the very best of experiences from around Europe creating a once in life time unique incentive in this incredibly unique location.

Imagine a private island branded with your incentive and company identity becoming your very own island retreat, to a wellness incentive for your sales team recharging for the new sales year. What’s your next incentive? Let LAH-CAL Incentives create a unique incentive experiences that Inspires.

THE LAH-CAL-INCENTIVES AGENCY

We are experts in creating unique, brand infused travel incentives, reward programs, expedition-led adventure and prize experiences in EMEA and APAC, tailored precisely to your audience and specific needs. We travel far and wide in search of the most imaginative incentive travel experiences and prizes out there and, through our strong relationships and many years of practice we offer significant insight, value and ROI to every client on each incredible trip.

 

An Integrated Tradeshow Booth

Every action that we now undertake is or can be integrated with a larger campaign. The only limiting factors being our own imagination, and if it is realisable computationally. Below we share our insights into how you can look at your exhibition space differently when designing your next booth.

Realise that integration provides economies of scale, excitement in your space and transparency of your message

In a trade show display design when we go six meters high with inset back-lit marquee picture cube performing as way finders, consolidated presentation areas as enthralling engaging elements, towering messaging collaborating with brand performance we can proudly attest to the fact that we have achieved efficiency in economics, engineering in scale and artistry in form.

Design experts view in utilising space for a better showcase

In a small island setting, always design for the core — 6m x 6m — however, look at ways to expand to 6m x 9m or 6m x 9m.

What are the benefits for you, you ask? Use the additional space to invite your product advocates to use it for broadcasting live to their channels. This way, your brand gains the ‘name and fame’ and your space will be perceived as the ‘happening place’.

High-order intelligent booth design in a low order pecking arrangement

What does this mean?

Simply put; if you are exhibiting in a venue for the first time, you will be given a space, back in the show hall, against a wall or surrounded by few inline exhibitors. You will not get any prime location. They are usually taken up by the brand exhibitors who have been exhibiting for a while.

What should you do? How do you design for this space?

Apply computational ways of thinking to design, experimentation and expression

Go against the grain. Instead of accepting, that what it is — think of it this way — you have been given the opportunity to highlight the whole area in the back (or wherever). You can now rock this space. Form an alliance with your neighbouring inline exhibitors. Encourage them to come use your space. You are an ‘island’ in the midst of the inline exhibitors. So, act like one.

Get into the act of hiring some speakers or better yet, shine the light on your booth staffers. Integrate their knowledge and inspire them to do some public speaking for your brand, in your space. They will love it because they get to explore their intelligence and integrate it with the over-arching brand presentation.

Use integration as a stylistic expression to problem solving.

Change your paradigm of thinking, not because new tools are available. Because you are exploring computational ideas.

What does this mean?

Products always gains meaning when used in context. Today, you have more computing power in your hand held device than the rocket that was sent to moon. Yet, do you use it? The short answer is NO. Perhaps, you do not know the various ways that this device can be integrated into your daily life. The key word is INTEGRATION.

Monetise your island space and show them the art of using your product.

They do not need to know the science of the product. They need to know the context in that which it can be used. Your exhibit design is ONLY the stage for the performance of your art.

LAH-CAL is pleased to announce our new production facilities in Myanmar. From exhibition stands to congresses please contact mice@lah-cal.com for your next event in Myanmar.

Trends That Will Shape the Events Industry in 2016

The events and meeting planning industry is constantly changing. As planners it is our job to know what the newest trends are so we can provide the most ideal attendee and client experience possible. From Design to Tech to Regulations and more here’s our predications for 2016.

1. Look At The Big Picture

For a long time, most conferences have been held at hotels or “conference center” type locations. New trends in event design have leaned towards selecting unique venues to capture the event theme, and keep attendees intrigued. A few examples of new venue types are concert halls, art galleries, or smaller boutique hotels that have a fun, and intimate atmosphere.

It helps to explore cool venue locations during the event planning process. Most planners will find that they receive great feedback when an event is not in a boring ballroom, but instead in an outdoor space, or fun environment. It can become a boring routine for those who attend events throughout the year, and have to sit in a dull conference room.

2. Creativity, Creativity Is Key

Be sure to think through your event design style during the planning process as well. The design style reaches all areas of an event, from the chairs and set up of the room to the trends in food, beverages, and networking events you have.

3. Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) will see major growth at exhibitions and events.

2016 will be a big year for the use of virtual reality and augmented reality in exhibitions and events. Citing Facebook’s purchase of the Oculus Rift virtual reality goggles, we expect to see these kinds of immersive technologies used for product demonstrations on the trade show floor, site inspections, and virtual meetings.

4. The Internet of Things (IOT) will connect people and objects in unprecedented ways for events.

Gartner, Inc. forecasts that 6.4 billion connected things will be in use worldwide in 2016, up 30 percent from 2015, and will reach 20.8 billion by 2020. In 2016, 5.5 million new things will get connected every day. The Internet of Things provides businesses and the marketing manager with vast amounts of data, but they still aren’t using it effectively. In 2016, we expect to see a greater understanding of the value of this data, how to use it to make better marketing decisions and how to pinpoint what data from sensors and connected technology at events is best utilized.

5. The Millennial Mindset

Digitally literate and social media savvy meeting planners and attendees are changing communications between hotels and planners and attendees. Millennials are set to disrupt the way the meetings and events industry does business – if they haven’t already. To them, technology is everything. They want their answers now, on the screens of their smartphones. Remember, the first members of this generation are about the same age as the “WORLD WIDE Web.” It was the sandbox in which, as they grew, they built larger and larger castles. And then they did something totally amazing: With precocious naiveté, Millennials simply bypassed learned experience by creating a technological work-around. And with the virtual communities that were developed, Millennials re-defined the concept of “word-of-mouth” (now “user-generated content”).

6. Content Quality is King

Attendees are transitioning from spending money to hear “fluff” to spending it on actionable information. Those that are seeking to attend conferences/meetings/workshops are focusing more on the quality of the information disseminated at events. They are seeking more actionable (doable) information versus just feel good talk. Attendees are willing to attend events that will give them a true ROI to propel their business or idea to the next level.

7. Bespoke event locations

Ballrooms and event venues serve a purpose, but they are just a bit boring. In the past few years, many caterers and retail stores have successfully opened pop-up locations, creating amazing temporary culinary and shopping experiences. We believe the same could be done for events. Bringing the creativity of the pop-up concept to events, creating one of a kind event experiences in remote islands, warehouses and rooftops.

8. Global Hotel Predictions

It will be a sellers’ market in North America. Hotel demand in North America will exceed supply, giving sellers the upper hand. Prices are predicted to rise 4.3 percent in the region. Globally, hotel prices are expected to increase 2.5 percent in 2016.

South America in the spotlight. Brazil will take center stage next summer when the 2016 Olympics and Paralympic Games will be played in Rio de Janeiro. Pockets of high demand may result in a shortage of hotels and meeting space.

It will be a buyers’ market in Europe. Europe’s weakened economy, combined with a 10 percent decrease in hotel rooms under contract compared to June 2014, will give buyers greater negotiating power. Regardless, supply in Europe may be tight.

Unpredictability in Asia Pacific. A shaky economy and health-related scares in Asia Pacific could cause challenges, but hotel growth is projected for China and India.

9. Shared Economy

Shared economy services, such as Uber and Airbnb, are predicted to grow from a value of $15 billion in 2013 to $335 billion in 2025 (according to PwC), and 60 percent of Millennial travellers trust these non-traditional companies, according to a recent study by Allianz Global Assistance USA. With this growing interest in alternative lodging and transportation options, planners will be pleased to know LAH-CAL will be joining the shared economy with two new services, the first service to be launched in January 2016.

10. Regulations – Medical Meetings

In 2016, compliance is expected to be a hot topic again in the pharmaceutical industry. This past year saw regulations such as the U.S. Sunshine Act (Open Payments Act) settle in while the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) issued new guidelines. Both require more transparency around transfers of value made to health care professionals through meetings. The changes have created major increases in meetings-related administrative work and continue to affect how corporations interact with their third-party meeting management companies.

11. Finally Make it Personal

The trend toward personalization will continue in the year ahead, affecting everything from meeting marketing, to incentive rewards, to education, to attendee communications.

Event Planners Are You Struggling With Budget For Your Next Congress?

Over the last six months we have been fortunate to deliver 35 plus conferences in EMEA & Asia and working with our client, we understand pains of the event manager! From understanding the event attendees to facilitating event registration, dealing with logistics can range heavily. One of the most important, if not, the most important aspect of an event planning journey is finding a great atmosphere for the special event at hand– or simply, the venue.

Before we share our top 8 tips for when planning for a congress or meeting. Did you know that many cities provide funding to attract your business to hold your next congress or event there? Lah-Cal can assist you in gaining funding from the local authority, making your budget go even further.

1. TIME IS FLYING
Venue finding can be a very time consuming exercise. It is never too early to start looking for a suitable venue. If you are thinking about hosting an event, then you can be sure that there are dozens of other companies thinking about hosting one also.

2. SUPPORT
Am I going to have a main contact that I can easily reach on the day(s) of the event? That one go-to person that knows the ins and outs of the venue is essential! They can easily assist you or remind you of what you can and can’t do.

3. LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION
Is the venue located in an accessible location? Is there guest and handicapped parking and/or Is it near any type of alternate public transportation? Keep ALL of your attendees in mind. Don’t assume that every attendee has access to a car, and consider that others may have special needs that ought to be taken into account.

4. Accommodation
A unique country manor, isolated in the bleak countryside or a gallery in central Shoreditch, London can make for a great event location. But what about accommodation and how will your delegates get there? You may find this tips you way over your budget or there may not be enough bedrooms available at the venue. It is also important to consider if accommodation is required, whether you need everyone in the one place and if you transfers to other hotels in the area would work for your event.

5. SPACE
Is there more space than what you anticipate? If you wanted to add in an entertaining aspect such as a photo booth or space for a dance floor, that option should be kept open. Many conference rooms are situated in the lower ground floor or rooms without light. If you have a conference room with no natural daylight always try to have your breaks in the fresh air or a room with access to fresh air.

6. PRICE
What are my costs and what does it include? What is my cancellation policy? Inquire and note what is included within the costs– that also means catering, tables, chairs, and sometimes AV and/or lighting. Make sure you go in depth of how insurance contributes to the costs, too.

7. INTERNET
Do you have WiFi? Wireless internet connection is becoming an integral part of the attendee experience, and even your event management software might depend on some kind of connectivity. It’s important to figure out the data bandwidth as well as the costs associated with it.

8. Food glorious food
Food choices are very important at an event. If having a sit down lunch or dinner always schedule in plenty of time to get your guests into and out of the room again. Considering standing buffet lunches, especially if there are exhibition stands, can save time.

Whether you’re an event professional or an individual who attends events often, these 8 tips make all the difference in delivering a functional and rewarding event.

Lah-cal for Congresses, Meetings and More

Key Exhibition Stand Design Trends in 2016

Keeping up with design trends is a never-ending job. Over the last six months we have been fortunate to deliver eighty plus exhibits in EMEA & Asia, giving our team the chance to observe various types of attendees and how exhibitors are trying to adjust to them. Many trends for exhibitors can come from everyday occurrences like attending live events, museums or just about anything that involves engagement. Over the next few months will share key trends we see influencing exhibition stand design in 2016.

Standing out of the Jungle being creative:

In some form or fashion, to survive, we have to be in the art business. As we move from the Information Age to the Conceptual Age, Creativity is the Currency of Choice. For an exhibit to flourish in this age you cannot not be but creative. Creativity in function, creativity in data, creativity in logic, creativity in resources; all join forces to give you the edge that is needed for your brand to forge a path of its own. This leads to magic and fantasy, in our digital world of diminishing attention span and decreasing sensitivity to emotional cues a trip to the Neverland might be the answer to get over this cultural anxiety that we face in our strive to connect with people.

By creating an environment, unlike our own, fantasy fosters an opportunity that cannot be found outside your exhibiting space. Just as Wendy’s stories lead Peter to her window and they enter into the world filled with fairy dust, mermaids and crawling pirates – your exhibit design can be a fantastic vehicle for presenting your products and services in a brand new light. Because, fantasy offers you and your audience to escape the confines of everyday reality and look back on the world, free from the rules and assumptions that drives the usual business environment.

Creating Fantastical experience is especially true when you are competing with the digital buyers and internet sellers. We make our decisions emotionally (and, to varying degrees, unconsciously), and then let our rational processes justify that decision with facts. Taking advantage of your venue, you are activating the experiential sequence of the right brain function thus gaining attention and interest.

Take the afternoon or the week and go fantasie!

Lah-Cal for exhibition stands and more – mice@lah-cal.com

“Why do exhibits cost so much?”

That question comes up with potential new clients who are in a growing company and want to make a big splash at their next show, so they’re looking at getting a new custom booth.

It also comes up with companies that have been hand-crafting their booths for years, but are ready to have a better look with their brand, along with well-planned and executed storage, meeting, product display and demo areas in the booth. But when they’re told the price of those potential exhibits, that question lingers: Why do they cost so much? At least that’s their impression. But it is true? Do exhibits really cost a lot?

It’s not a hard conclusion to come to, especially if you’re not familiar with average costs in the exhibit industry. After all, when you learn that companies can spend a quarter of a million dollars on a custom 40 x 40 tradeshow booth, you think, “I could build a house for that money and it would last a hundred years!” That exhibit might last three years, or five, depending on the company’s needs and budget and other factors. And if it does, that company has certainly gotten their money out of their investment.

Make no mistake; a new tradeshow booth is an investment. But with a custom booth (and even with more modular ‘off-the-shelf’ booths) a lot of different people have their hands in the creation. Just like that 4 bedroom, 2 bath house with a double garage that requires a builder , architect, electrician, plumber, roofer, etc., an exhibit needs a booth designer, graphic designer, production/fabrication team, marketing team and a project manager to guide the project from start to finish. Do not forgot the fees paid to the organiser/ exhibition venue that include insurance, electricity, etc.


Costs add up, and typically the biggest cost is labour. Things don’t just happen by themselves. Graphics don’t magically appear; designs don’t hop out of bunny holes. Everyone on the project gets paid. It’s a good bet that when you hire that team, you get access to expertise that adds up to dozens if not hundreds of years of combined experience in design, fabrication, project management and production.

But still, you say: a 10-foot inline exhibit that can cost anywhere from five or ten to twenty thousand dollars brand new? How is that possible?

As you go through the process, you’ll be looking at custom materials, printing, design and the labour to put it all together. And chances are in Europe/Asia you are hiring domestic talent, which will be higher priced than importing a pre-built exhibit from overseas that you found on the internet. Of course, you could buy a lower-cost version of the same exhibit and save ten, twenty, thirty percent or more. But what happens when something breaks down on that imported booth and you need to replace a part? It’s probably much easier to call up your exhibit house or rep and ask than it is to track down a manufacturer in US or Poland. So now where does that savings apply? You spent less on the exhibit, but you have a short warranty (or none) and a difficult process to take care of the repair or replacement.

What if you simply can’t spend that kind of money on an exhibit? Then what? You do have several options, such as putting up a low-cost, high-impact graphic back wall, or renting an exhibit at one-third to one-half the cost of purchasing a new custom booth. Or you get creative with a minimalist approach in the space and make something else happen there that attracts visitors and generates leads.

New exhibitors looking to buy should take a look at industry averages, which will help prepare you when you go shopping. For instance, in Europe, custom exhibit costs average 250 Euros – 450 Euros per square meter. It means communicating your needs and budget clearly to your exhibit house, and letting them use their experience and expertise to bring you a cool booth for your budget.

Finally, your exhibit needs to be designed and fabrication so that it can be dismantled and packed into custom-jigged crates for shipping and protection. Your house usually doesn’t need that!

All of those items – design, fabrication, graphic design and production, crating and the rest of the ball of wax – means that yes, your exhibit can end up costing “a lot.” But if you are prepared you can budget for that great exhibit and get it when you can afford it. If you need something sooner, work with an exhibit house and a limited budget to get what you need and make it fit your budget. Or invest in pieces over time so that those upgrades happen more gradually.

In any case, the more prepared you are with valid and realistic pricing information and a decent budget, the better your exhibit and the better your tradeshow marketing experience.

Lah-Cal for exhibition stands and more – mice@lah-cal.com

Event Planners Do You Know Your Delegates?

Information is powerful. What you know about your attendees’ needs and requirements empowers you to create an all-round successful event. That’s why it’s super-important to — at the point of registration — to ask attendees all the right questions.

Get the Basics … Plus
Of course, you want to ask basic information in order to properly register attendees — including attendee profile data, contact information, and hotel accommodation requirements. But if you want to surpass the expectations of attendees, exhibitors, sponsors, and presenters, you need to know even more.
After producing hundreds of events we firmly believe, event planners need a deeper understanding of their attendees. With in-depth knowledge captured during registration (as well as leading up to, during, and after the event), planners can optimize each of their events to their audience’s specific needs and create meaningful connections — both among attendees and between attendees and the speakers and exhibitors.

Smart Questions Make for Smarter Events
We’ve identified 10 data points to collect from your event attendees during registration. This information will help you fully understand attendees’ expectations — so you can plan to meet those needs, help your exhibitors and presenters deliver on attendees’ expectations, and promote your event.

1. Key event goals.
Ask your attendees about what “takeaways” they expect from your event. Some may be coming to increase their knowledge, while others may be seeking to expand their professional network. And if you’re putting on a trade show — many may be coming to meet new suppliers. Whatever their reason(s), this information will help you channel your efforts and resources to ensure all attendees benefit from attending your event.

2. Arrival times.
Knowing when your attendees arrive at your hotel or event venue will help you plan for the right level of check-in staffing to handle peak crowds. Using this information, you can also arrange for buses to pick up crowds of attendees at the airport or to shuttle them from the hotel to the conference venue.

3. Emergency contact information.
Hopefully, you never have to use this information — but knowing whom to contact if an attendee needs help is invaluable.

4. Disabilities.
The European Disabilities Act requires companies or organizations that lease space in public facilities for events, conferences, seminars or meetings to ensure those activities are accessible to people with disabilities. Knowing ADA requirements in advance will help you plan to accommodate their needs.

5. Food allergies.
The health and safety of your attendees come first! With this information, you can make sure that your hotel and venue take the right precautions when preparing food for attendees with allergies or other eating concerns.

6. Social media “handles.”
Get this data so you can research what’s being talked about on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn — and refine your social media strategy, push conference information to the right audience, and build excitement before the event (e.g. posting teaser videos from presenters or exhibitors).

7. Session and event preferences.
Get a clear picture of which receptions your attendees will likely go to — so you can more accurately determine the necessary food and service levels. Ask, too, which scheduled educational sessions they’ll attend and which exhibitors interest them. Then, give your presenters and exhibitors that information — so they can prepare and customize their content/offerings.

8. Payment information.
Don’t forget to ask about credit card or purchase order information. That way, you’ll be able to collect conference and event fees in a timely, efficient manner. With an automated event platform, you can collect payment information securely at the time of reservation — saving you time and reducing errors.

9. Roommate information.
These days, many organizations are trying to make the most of their meetings travel budgets — including doubling up employees in hotel rooms. You’ll need this information to provide accurate room list information to your event’s hotels.

10. Clothing size.
Giving away free t-shirts, hoodies, jackets, etc.? You’ll need to know the correct sizes when ordering.

In Conclusion
As an event planner, you want to turn “registrants” into “satisfied attendees” — and hopefully, “returning attendees.” One of the ways you can do that is by getting good information from them — in advance of their arrival at your event. When you’re fully prepared, you’re best equipped to give attendees the excellent event experience they want.

Lah-cal for conferences and more – mice@lah-cal.com