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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

Diary of Events Manager by Lah-Cal

Procuring meetings, conferences and events is not a simple task. You require expert events management and venue knowledge coupled with creative ideas that deliver a return on a company’s budget.

Over the next few weeks LA-CAL will be sharing our experiences and insights from 15 years plus of delivering meetings, conferences and events in EMEA & Asia.


The early bird catches the worm: Venue is a critical element for all events, none more so then for conferences and meetings. We snap up some of the best venues up to a year in advance, and the best way to avoid disappointment is to always be one step ahead, leave 14 months for a big conference (200 plus).

Location, Location, Location: Another important aspect to bear in mind in the initial planning stages of a conference or event is location. Location where are you hoping to get delegates coming in from? The more convenient the location, you have a higher chance of more delegates attending.

Are you planning a meeting or conference or event? Did you know LAH-CAL does free venue searches and returns commissions on venues procured back to you! Email us at mice@lah-cal.com to being your free venue search.

SAP TechEd 2013 - Amsterdam, Netherlands

Journal de Gestionnaire D’événements par Lah-Cal


Procurer des réunions, des conférences et des événements est pas une tâche simple. Vous avez besoin de gestion des événements et des connaissances d’expert lieu couplé avec des idées créatives qui offrent un retour sur le budget d’une entreprise.

Au cours des prochaines semaines LA-CAL sera le partage de nos expériences et connaissances à partir de 15 ans, plus de livrer des réunions, des conférences et des événements dans la zone EMEA et Asie.

Les lève-tôt attrape le ver: Lieu est un élément essentiel pour tous les événements, aucun plus alors pour les conférences et réunions. Nous happer quelques-uns des meilleurs lieux jusqu’à un an à l’avance, et le meilleur moyen d’éviter la déception est d’être toujours une longueur d’avance, laisser 14 mois pour une grande conférence (200 et plus).

Emplacement, emplacement, emplacement: Un autre aspect important de garder à l’esprit dans les étapes initiales de planification d’une conférence ou d’un événement est emplacement. Endroit où espérez-vous obtenir des délégués venant de? Le plus commode l’emplacement, vous avez plus de chances de plus de délégués présents.

Envisagez-vous d’une réunion ou d’une conférence ou d’un événement? Saviez-vous LAH-CAL effectue des recherches des sites gratuits et renvoie commissions sur les sites acquis de nouveau à vous! Écrivez-nous à mice@lah-cal.com à être votre recherche lieu gratuitement.

SAP TechEd 2013 - Amsterdam, Netherlands