IBTM World Barcelona Spain

Mark Dallman sharing his thoughts on some of the trends he is seeing in Barcelona while attending IBTM World.

Virtual reality has really taken the show by storm. Countries, cities, destinations even hotels are using VR to showcase their product or service. Visit Virtually.

Business is back, there are people having one on one appointments all over the trade show floor. The International business is buzzing. People are showing up. The attendance is extremely strong.

Great vibe follow Mark for more updates from the show and other important meeting planner tips.

 

Case Study: Event Marketing with Social Media Strategy

In 2016, event promotion is not complete without a social media strategy. Sure, leading up to the event posts promoting attendance are vigilantly published. But where most organizations falter is covering the event. We understand, social media is often a secondary responsibility, not a specific role. That’s where digital media experts come in.

We’ve put together this case study on our most recent live event coverage for HPN Global’s 2016 Partners Conference. Tactics included everything from live tweeting to LinkedIn spotlights, but the star of our strategy was Facebook. We also developed a custom app for the fourth year in a row, that enabled streamlined communication between coordinators and attendees via a digital environment. Here are the results:

The App

This app, created specifically for HPN Global’s 2016 Partners Conference, supplied all attendees with itineraries, a live feed of content from all major social media platforms utilizing the #HPN16 hashtag, conference information and live updates.

 

Building Anticipation

A month before the event, the app was already booming with hundreds of opens.

event social media app

 

Accessibility

The app was utilized throughout the event by attendees and coordinators alike. It was optimized for both Android and Apple products and was accessed from various portable devices.

event social media app

Itinerary & Real-time Communication

The app had the full conference schedule at a push of a button. Coordinators could announce upcoming presentations and events via push notifications to boost attendance and most significantly, the app was utilized to communicate any changes in itinerary to attendees.

 

event social media app data

 

There was just under 100% adoption. There were roughly 450 attendees and most used the app:

event social media strategy

On-Site Video

An integral part of media tactics in event social media strategy.

The first day’s video was uploaded that night at 9:05 p.m. A sleek, professionally shot and edited video produced in just a few hours. The video received hundreds of views within minutes, it is now at over 3.5K views and it’s the right people watching.

 

This video posted just past noon on the second day of the event went live with much anticipation. There were thousands of views by nightfall and is now tipping the scale into 6K views.

 

The third and last day’s video received over 3.5k views.

 

A sleek video to finish it off. This video garnered over 8k views.

Inspiring Future Attendance

Painting the future vision is key. A must for any event social media strategy.

These quick turnaround videos not only excite and entertain attendees, but also hold deep value in their ability to inspire future attendance. Non-attendees are enticed to register for future conferences by seeing the event in all its glory. Each video has thousands of views from all over the world.

Facebook Engagement

Facebook is the world’s leading social media platform. Thus, it is here where event social media efforts should be focused.

The engagement on the HPN Global Facebook page exploded during and after the event. It went from an average engagement count of about 75 to a simple photo of the beloved CEO, Bill Kilburg, receiving over 300 interactions. Live coverage of this event captured people’s attention.

And that wasn’t the only one… The engagement on the page that weekend and beyond was astounding. What does this tell us? That live event coverage draws lasting attention to a business page.

event social media facebook results

All in all, the digital strategy for this event was an (admittedly) expected success.

Future plans entail live feed via the app and Facebook, 360° and virtual reality content. #HPN17 here we come.

 
For more information on live event coverage, check out Your Brand Voice Social Athletes.

Avoiding Attrition Damages: It’s Not About One Contract Clause

Whether you are a managing an association’s annual meeting or marketing your event to attendees who have to opt-in and pay out of pocket, attrition damages are a concern when signing hotel contracts. In today’s healthier economy, attendance has been stronger for most events, but can still be hard to predict from year to year.

Most planners I worked with during my 20 years on the hotel side were very focused on 20% allowable attrition (sometimes asking for more than 20%). However, there are several other places in the contract that a meeting host can protect themselves from potential damages. Which rooms you get “credit for” can highly impact your overall numbers. What about all those people who come in early or stay on after the event ? And HOW those numbers are calculated (on a nightly or cumulative basis) also impacts your “performance”. Being able to re-sell any unused rooms can also lower any owed attrition fees. Not only do you want the hotel to try to re-sell your rooms but you also want to be very clear on what re-sold means. A contract is only enforceable when there are definite terms. You can’t have an agreement to agree.

Your overall attendance may be up, but if attendees choose to book outside the block at a non-contracted hotel, or book a rate they find on-line and not under your group block, that affects the meeting hosts rooms performance. Being able to get credit for rooms booked at a contracted hotel, but not under the block is another important step in preventing damages. But it needs to be included in the contract and not a conversation that comes up once an attrition situation arises.

The best written contract is customized to the hosts needs (and worries) and protects the meeting host from financial risk in a multi-layered approach.

There are many more steps that need to be incorporate on the marketing and execution of the event to continue to protect the meeting host from potential damages, but a detailed, well thought out contract is the best way to start.

Julie Shkolnik

– Vice President, Global Accounts at HPN Global

HPN Global Above & Beyond

Good afternoon Mr. Kilburg,

I wanted to take a few moments to let you know what a phenomenal employee you have with Ms. Bidanec.

I joined the Stryker team almost a year ago and only had a small amount of experience in booking hotels for large events. My boss introduced me to Jaci and said she was the best! He was right! After trying all of last year to have a large enough meeting to ask for her assistance, we finally had one this week.

Without Jaci’s help and expertise, the event would not have been a success. I truly couldn’t have done it without her. Her knowledge and relationships with the hospitality industry made me look great to my boss and to those at the meeting. That is priceless to me! I am only great at what I do because of the hard working and professional people I work with, like Jaci.

Next week, I will begin planning my company’s annual management meeting. I can’t imagine doing anything without Jaci, in fact she has already begun searching hotels for me and I believe we are going with the Ritz Carlton in New Orleans.

Mr. Kilburg, thank you for taking the time to read this email. I’m not sure if your company has any recognition awards, but I would nominate Jaci in a heartbeat! She has been fantastic and has gone above and beyond to make sure that our events successful! I’m very grateful to have her as a colleague.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Paula L Bishop
Executive Assistant to
William Fain
Area VP Southeast
Stryker Orthopaedics

HPN Global Spirit to Serve

Hello Mr. Kilburg,

I have been working with Marie Madden for several years now on various meetings and conferences I organize for non-profit industry associations.  Marie has always been great to work with, but on my most recent conference, she went above and beyond to help with the planning. 

My last conference was held the week of March 21 at the Seattle Marriott Waterfront hotel.  My group had a very successful conference there in 2014 so we expanded our meeting program and increased our room block for this same conference last month.

Unfortunately, travel budgets had changed since our last conference so our attendance was much lower than in 2014.  That meant possible attrition costs for not meeting our guest room block commitment and our catering minimum.  Since the conference was organized for a non-profit, that was particularly worrisome.  Marie lent her expertise to help our group strategize on the catering.  She also continuously monitored our guest room pick up and requested our registration list to cross reference with the hotel to make sure we received credit for every room booked by our group, even if it was outside our block, so the room counted towards our room commitment.

When things go well with a meeting or conference, you almost take the planning for granted.  But when things don’t go so well, then you especially appreciate and value working with an experienced meeting planner.

Hence my motivation for sending this email – I wanted to recognize Marie for her great effort and support of my last “near disaster” conference in Seattle.

Janet O’Neil
Marketing Communications
ETS-Lindgren

Meet Noel Kalata from Colorado Springs, CO

“Hello everyone. I have been at this for 13 years now and all I can say is why I didn’t start 10 years earlier! I am not sure what the best part of working at HPN would be. I make more money than my best year on the hotel side; I travel on a regular basis to amazing places like Spain, Germany, Caribbean, Dominican Republic, Banff and all over the US; I have enjoyed crazy perks like private concerts, Jazz fest, Mardi Gras, The American Music Awards, running a warehouse grabbing free merchandise, swimming with dolphins, and so much more. All of that is awesome and I love it, but what I appreciate most is the work balance that allows me to spend more time with my family, play my guitar more, train for marathon and triathlons, and take as many long weekends as I “need”! I love everything about working for HPN Global.”

Noel

Associate Spotlight: Timothy Arnold, Regional VP, International Contract Specialist

“I have been with HPN Global for eight years now, and have loved every single second of my time here. I work with on a lot of international contracts, and have been in over fifty different countries in the last few years. I have been afforded the chance to do things that few others can, enjoying a private lunch on the Great Wall of China, driving an antique Jaguar through Monte Carlo, exploring places like Petra and Machu Picchu, climbing to the top of the Harbor Bridge in Sydney, or walking around Red Square and the Kremlin in Moscow. I love to travel and see new places, and my job is perfect to be able to see the world. The cool thing is that I can do my job anywhere in the world, it is awesome to send out RFP’s overlooking the ancient city of Istanbul or the work on contracts in Grand Tetons, while sipping a glass of champagne.

I also love the flexibility that working for HPN Global offers. No time cards, no monthly quotas, no Monday morning meetings. Having a home office is great, I can spend time during the day with my wife Susan, our ten-month old son Luke, and our four dogs, and still be far more productive than when I worked in an office. When not working or traveling, I love reading, building with Legos, photography, and attending classic rock concerts. I am grateful that I have a job a truly love, amazing co-workers and hotel partners, and awesome customers.”

Thank you from HPN Global

Thank you for partnering with HPN Global for your site selection needs. We look forward to working with you to help ensure your meeting is an extraordinary success!

As you have many choices in excellent meeting management firms available, we hope you consider partnering with HPN Global Meeting Services for your meeting management needs. Our management philosophy is simple. We connect people, places, and ideas through meetings, events and conferences. We save our clients time and money while providing world class service. Our culture is to be passionate about what we do and the positive impact we have for our clients, our associates and the community.

HPN Global Meeting Services offer a broad scope of services so your program is customized to meet your specific and individual needs whether full service meeting management or a menu of a la carte services to fill in the blanks as needed. We are constantly improving and expanding our services to meet the needs of our clients.

  • Full or A la Carte Meeting Management Services
  • Fully Customized Registration and Housing Management
  • Destination Management
  • Creative and Theme Development
  • AV/ Production Management
  • Tradeshow and Exhibit Hall Management
  • On-Site and Registration Program Staffing

Please contact our amazing Vice President of Meeting Services, Jil Dasher or (319) 331-5304 for detailed information. Thanks again for teaming with HPN Global!

William J. Kilburg, CPA
Chairman and CEO
HPN Global
Phone: 480.998.9770
Cell: 480.221.6647
Performance Powered by Passion

HPN Meeting Services | October 2015

Let’s Talk About Cvent & Registration

First of all, if I had a dollar for every Associate that asked me how to sell against Cvent’s Registration software, I would not be working here anymore—  I would have taken all that money to buy Cvent.  So, it seems high time that we address this topic.

We do not sell against or use Cvent as a sourcing tool. HPN offers a Registration Service.  Cvent offers a registration software.  Many of our clients have good and bad experiences with Cvent software.  Yes, it is a robust tool but it is very cumbersome if you are not fully certified and experienced in it. Some clients swear by it while others hate it.  But the bottom line is that it is in our market space and the question is going to keep coming up about how our SERVICE is different than their SOFTWARE.

Here is what I can tell you about Cvent that may help you sell our SERVICE solution for clients that don’t have the team depth to dedicate someone to managing their registration.  HPN is experienced in several software platforms giving us the ability to choose the best tool by client and by event.  HPN offers a custom built and fully managed Registration platform for our clients.  That is our service.

Let me repeat this—HPN Meeting Services offers a CUSTOM Built, FULLY managed Registration Service solution that best fits the client and event needs.  Often, we build and manage within the client Cvent account as many have found it is less expensive to hire us to do the work than dedicate a full time person on their staff to do the same.

Our experienced programmers are able to find workarounds in the system to create totally custom sites that can be used for exhibitor registration, event marketing and much more.  If you would like a more in-depth conversation or additional information about these services, please send me an email or reach out to our in house Registration Guru, Angie Spearman at aspearman@hpnglobal.com.

HPN Meeting Services News

The 2016 Ops Program roster is looking very good for 2016 however, we do have spots open in our calendar that we would love to fill with a few programs. Short term business continues to roll in and we are enthusiastic about the year ahead.  Please let me know if you have a client considering full or a la carte services in 2016— we are here to help.

Until next month, please don’t forget that help is just a phone call or email away!  I look forward to hearing from you.

Jil Dasher
Vice President, Meeting Services
HPN Global
Phone: 319-331-5304
jdasher@hpnglobal.com

Taking the Path Less Traveled

A recent edition of Entrepreneur Magazine presented the following characteristics of an entrepreneur: Tenacity, Passion, Tolerance of Ambiguity, Self-Belief, Vision, Flexibility and Ability to Break Rules. Just starting your own business is a rule breaking action, as only 13% of Americans classify themselves as Entrepreneurs, according to a study published by Babson College in 2013. Do you have what it takes? I have it, and I’d like to share my story with you!

It was 2009 and I had been working in a home office role in Chicago representing the Hilton Anaheim and Hilton San Diego. Much of my time was spent going back and forth from Chicago to Southern California for site visits, or driving to office appointments around the Midwest.  The money was good and I was hitting my numbers, but longing for something more. I had approached my bosses about other opportunities within the company and even interviewed for sales roles in other industries, but nothing was falling into place. A trip out to Anaheim for a site visit with an HPN Global affiliated association customer started my first concrete thought process on joining a third party meeting planning outfit.

Others had solicited me to join their company, including Conference Direct and Helms Briscoe, but I didn’t feel that their corporate cultures and business models were a good fit. Besides, if I was going to be an entrepreneur I was going all in and starting my own concept, not working for a third party meeting planning company! So I did just that by creating Drink Deck Destination Guides in late 2009. The press got a hold of my idea and it took off, so I decided it was time to resign from my 11+ year career working in convention sales for Hilton Hotels!

After three years, a massive cut in annual income from my previous salaried position with Hilton and over 100,000 copies of my product sold I had positioned Drink Deck to be purchased by my largest competitor – City Dining Cards. The sale had been negotiated in the summer of 2013 and once it was finalized it was time to ask myself, “What’s next?”. I had always excelled at sales. I loved the thrill of the chase, the anguish of a slowly evolving sales cycle and the excitement of the close. Real Estate seemed like a great idea, so I signed up for classes to get licensed in Maryland.

After completing the courses and passing the State and National exams it was time to affiliate with a Reality Brokerage. I interviewed countless firms around Baltimore, but couldn’t find the right fit. During my search I reconnected with a former colleague from Hilton whom had recently joined HPN Global, rekindling my interest in returning to the convention business as a third party hotel specialist.

You see, I’d already established a working knowledge of the convention industry, hotel brands and various destination types from resorts to convention centers to airport hotels to downtown venues. Negotiating on behalf of those planning conventions seemed to be a no brainer versus starting from scratch as a Realtor! Plus the relationships you develop in the convention industry are long lasting while buying and selling homes is more of a one-time transactional process.

After a trip to the Corporate Office of HPN Global my decision was made! Having taken the path less traveled by branching out on my own was the linchpin to making my decision to join HPN. If you are reading this article as a hotel or convention sales professional thinking about leaving the supplier side of the business you must realize that having contacts won’t be the key to your success. Instead, I urge you to look within yourself for the key characteristics of an entrepreneur: Tenacity, Passion, Tolerance of Ambiguity, Self-Belief, Vision, Flexibility and Ability to Break Rules. If you’re reading this article as one of my former customers from my days at Hilton, please know that I will be reaching out to share my story and to see if our services can be of assistance!

 

will glass

2118 cambridge street, #1

baltimore, md 21231

c: 312.857.4598