Velvet Chainsaw

My Turbulent Love Affair With Digital-Event Networking

Velvet Chainsaw

I have been a loyal and passionate disciple of networking for all of my adult life. I have spent decades learning, speaking and writing about it.

2021 284

Does Your Conference Need an Emcee?

Velvet Chainsaw

Having an emcee at your event was a nice-to-have prior to 2020. Now it’s a must-have. Talk to any meeting owner who has managed a large virtual event this past year using a skilled emcee and he or she will tell you it made all the difference.

2021 329
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Normal is Over(rated) – For Now

Velvet Chainsaw

This is a guest post by Joy S. Davis, CAE, based on an email she sent to me after reading Lisa Block’s recent post, “I Am Sorry, But We Are Not All Fine.” Joy is Managing Director, Member Products, for the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists.

2020 379

Risk, Revenue Recognition and Recovery

Velvet Chainsaw

For well over a year, we’ve consulted with dozens of associations on their go/no-go event strategies. One of our early — and still applicable — recommendations was for conference organizers to communicate and publish the date when they expect to make the decision for their in-person conference.

2021 254

A Practical Guide to Measuring Event Success

Can you measure event ROI? 3 in 5 marketers can't. Learn how with this free ROI model.

The High Cost of Hybrid

Velvet Chainsaw

Our clients and leading industry associations (for example, PCMA’s latest glimpse or our industry’s future, the business recovery dashboard ) are turning their attention to future hybrid and face-to-face (f2f) events.

2021 256

What Risk Factors Are Top of Mind for Association Event Organizers?

Velvet Chainsaw

We recently convened a roundtable of senior-level conference organizers to discuss risk tolerance and the forces that are shaping their 2021/22 event strategies and decisions.

2021 255

Does the Perfect Virtual Event Platform Exist?

Velvet Chainsaw

The answer, based on my unscientific survey of a dozen association leaders, is a resounding no. Planners are wading through recommendations from colleagues, trusted vendors and online forums to find the best platform for their needs. And it’s a murky and often frustrating experience.

2020 324

I Am Sorry, But We Are Not All “Fine”

Velvet Chainsaw

I was inspired by a post by Lisa Cowley, CEO of Beacon, who penned a moving article entitled “ It Is Okay Not to Be Okay.” I recommend you read her moving story and then come back. Some days, I can relate! Application for Associations.

2020 302

Leading Through the Pandemic: Generosity + Empathy = Future Brand

Velvet Chainsaw

This is the first in a series of blogs posts, written collaboratively by our team, which uncover lessons learned in advising our clients on their events in the time of COVID-19.

2020 363

Effortlessly Interact with an Entire Audience from Any Location

1,000 Participants. 75 Locations. 1 Solution.

5 Tips to Guarantee Engagement at Your Virtual Event

Velvet Chainsaw

To design a virtual event with the participants in mind, you need to create an engaging, interactive experience that provides relevant content and promotes knowledge sharing and networking value—often the missing link in our new virtual reality.

2020 353

[Webinar] Rethink, Restart, Refresh Your Panels: Advice for 2021

Velvet Chainsaw

Ring in the New Year with advice from two renowned experts on speaker coaching and panel improvement, Kristin Arnold and Sarah Michel. The shift to virtual events has magnified the need to add spice and spunk to your conference’s panel discussions so that you leave the audience begging for more.

2021 254

Monetizing Your Virtual Conference When Competing with Free

Velvet Chainsaw

If you’re inbox is anything like mine, you could spend a good portion of our day consuming webinars, virtual events and networking in Zoom or Facebook Messenger Happy Hours. We’re on content overload and it’s only going to get noisier as the pandemic lingers.

2020 343

Expos Don’t Work Well in a Virtual Environment

Velvet Chainsaw

Virtual Expo Truths. Nearly every conference and trade show professional is searching for that perfect virtual platform or pricing model for replacing lost expo revenue. I’ve got bad news for you.

2020 282

Restaurant Management Masterclass

Speaker: Harlan Scott, Founder of Harlan Scott Hospitality and Industry Restaurant

Due first to necessary staffing cuts, extreme safety protocols, and now the need to rehire against outsized government stimulus, unemployment benefits and wage requirements, managing and staffing have become the most urgent conversation in restaurants today. This, adding on to the lynch-pin management style restaurants often have, has made restaurant cultures more vulnerable and volatile than ever. If your restaurant is suffering from cut staff, low morale, or ineffective training, you've come to the right place. Join Harlan Scott of Harlan Scott Hospitality, learn how to get back in control of your restaurant and your operation back on autopilot.

Go Forward, Cancel, Postpone, Wash Your Hands, Rinse … and Repeat

Velvet Chainsaw

The disruption to the live events industry due to the Pandemic COVID-19 is unprecedented and impossible to escape. With the mixed messages coming at us from so many different perspectives, it is difficult to gain clarity.

2020 336

If You Build It, Will They Come? How Two Large Fall Shows Are Forging Ahead

Velvet Chainsaw

As many associations wrestle with decisions for their fall conferences and shows, the question on everyone’s mind is, if you build it, will they come?

2020 309

Virtual Events: Strategy Before Execution

Velvet Chainsaw

My mother used to tell us that “things are going to be different” as we drove home from our annual summer beach vacation. It was her way of getting the family focused on the upcoming routine and discipline of school and work.

2020 322

Will Work for Goodwill

Velvet Chainsaw

Living in Orlando (not the happiest place in the world today) provides a close-up view of the horrific impact the pandemic is having on people and businesses in the live-event, hospitality and travel industries.

2020 329

A Masterclass in Restaurant Digital Transformation

Speaker: Jay Coldren, Alex Barrow, and Greer Kimsey, Street Sense Team

Behaviorists say it takes 21 days to solidify a habit. 365 days of quarantine later, it's safe to say that our customers will be keeping some quarantine habits. At the center of these habits is the digital world: online ordering, advertising, booking, reviewing, etc. It will become essential for restaurants to create omni-channel experiences for customers, and to market them effectively. Join Jay Coldren and his team in this masterclass to learn the tactics for dominating the digital restaurant sphere.

Invest in Your Speakers to Grow Your Value Proposition

Velvet Chainsaw

The bread and butter of conferences is concurrent education sessions.

PCMA’s First Omnichannel Convening Leaders: The Great, the Good and the Not So…

Velvet Chainsaw

I was excited to attend PCMA’s Omnichannel Convening Leaders event last week. Having attended more than 20 of PCMA’s Annual Meetings over the years (both in person and virtually), I expected high energy, experimental delivery and great content.

2021 223

Beyond Hybrid: Repackaging Your Conference Content

Velvet Chainsaw

Over the past nine months, many industry experts have proclaimed that meetings and conferences are forever changed and hybrid is here to stay. While I agree in principle, I think the future is so much more than hybrid.

2021 212

Key Takeaways from PCMA’s Convening Leaders 2020

Velvet Chainsaw

The Professional Convention Management Association’s Convening Leaders in San Francisco In early January served as an engaging and energizing way to kick off a new year and a new decade.

2020 325

Restrictions Into Opportunities: How to Make Your Restaurant Succeed

Speaker: Patrick Cottrell and Joe English

Whether your state allows outdoor dining, takeout only, or a little bit of both, we're here to help. Join Patrick Cottrell and Joe English from Sculpture Hospitality, for a webinar on Jan. 26th, and get your restaurant to thrive in face of pandemic restrictions

The Future of Face-to-Face is Cloudy

Velvet Chainsaw

I am getting a little overwhelmed by the many predictions that so-called experts are sharing about the future of face-to-face meetings. The range of opinions–from wild optimism to frightening pessimism–is exhausting to wade through.

2020 287

[Webinar] INFLUENCE 2020, National Speakers Association Virtual Experience

Velvet Chainsaw

Meet the brains behind the design of the highly successful National Speakers Association’s INFLUENCE 2020 Virtual in August. Discover how they created memorable experiences, facilitated networking and delivered inspiring general sessions.

2020 260

[WEBINAR] What a Difference Strategy Makes: Behind the Scenes of American Psychological Association’s 2020 Virtual

Velvet Chainsaw

A virtual experience successful beyond their wildest dreams? You bettcha. Hear from two key executives from the APA on how they strategically turned a challenge into an opportunity to bring their community together like never before.

2020 248

Webinar: Monetizing Your Virtual Conference When Competing with Free

Velvet Chainsaw

PCMA is hosting a free webinar on Wednesday, May 13, at 2 pm ET , featuring Dave Lutz and Lisa Block of Velvet Chainsaw Consulting. Webinar description: Monetizing Your Virtual Conference When Competing with Free. Everyone and their brother is hosting webinars and virtual networking opportunities.

2020 283

Maximize Your Profit Margins

Speaker: Shawn Imbeault and Geoff Loukes, Sculpture Hospitality

In the past year, we've learned that maximizing margins can determine whether your restaurant stays afloat when times get hard. Join Shawn Limbeault and Geoff Loukes, in this master class that will take you through the best practices of maximizing your margins, From FOH to BOH.

Six Attributes of Successful Women’s Conferences

Velvet Chainsaw

This article was originally written for the April issue of PCMA’s Convene magazine. The timing was right before the lockdown and a couple months before the 2020 social justice movement eclipsed.

2020 230

Renegotiating Live Event Agreements When All Parties Are Innocent Victims

Velvet Chainsaw

This is the third in a series of blogs posts, written collaboratively by our team, which uncover lessons learned in advising dozens of our clients on their events in the time of COVID-19.

2020 275

2021 Virtual-Conference Big Ideas

Velvet Chainsaw

In 2020, attendees, sponsors, and exhibitors were more forgiving of our virtual conferences than they will be in 2021.

2021 212

Do You Really Have Them at Hello? Rethinking Your First-Timer Strategy

Velvet Chainsaw

One of my biggest pet peeves is the way some conferences approach first-time attendees. Being intentional and having a plan for how you welcome someone who is experiencing your conference for the first time is not only the right thing to do, it’s also a smart attendee acquisition strategy. It’s a pivotal time to onboard and help them make connections that will last throughout the conference, and, hopefully, throughout the years as they become repeat attendees. No One Should Eat Alone.

2019 306

CMOs Pivot to Virtual Engagements to Drive Business in the COVID Economy

Speaker: Mike Damphousse, Managing Partner of Category Design Advisors and Founder of Green Leads

Business as we know it is never going to be the same. Working from home has become the norm, conferences and meetings are going online, marketing budgets are being shifted, reduced or put on hold – it's time to adapt. Join this insightful and informative webinar with Mike Damphousse, Managing Partner of Category Design Advisors and Founder of Green Leads, who will discuss how businesses can be resilient during these challenging times.

Get Conference Inspiration from Trusted Peer Connections

Velvet Chainsaw

So many in our industry have been pushed to their limits in 2020.

2020 201

Steps You Should Be Taking Now for Your Fall Conference

Velvet Chainsaw

This is the fourth in a series of blogs posts, written collaboratively by our team, which uncover lessons learned in advising dozens of our clients on their events in the time of COVID-19.

2020 255

Top Tips for Preparing Your Presenters

Velvet Chainsaw

Imagine how you might do your job differently if your performance and compensation were evaluated based on overall session attendance and industry presenter ratings at your annual conference.

2020 266

Teach Your Sponsors Well

Velvet Chainsaw

If you, as a conference organizer or meeting owner, think selling sponsorships at your event is just about those four to five days when thousands gather face-to-face, think again. You are worth so much more than that.

2020 257

Game-Changers 911™: How to Change the Event Game in 2020

Speaker: John Storm, President, BrainStorm Network

In this webinar, we’ll use a sampling of case studies, tools, techniques, and strategic stories to help you identify game-changing opportunities within your company and the world of events, and then brainstorm ways to capitalize on these ideas. Get ready to change your game in 2020!