Is Virtual Reality right for your Event?

Is Virtual Reality right for your Event?
Is Virtual Reality right for your Event?

Virtual reality (VR) has been a topic of discussion in the event industry for a while and it’s exciting stuff! With the popularity of the VR increasing over the last few years, a few technology developers ventured into the virtual event space with products based on similar principles, but most failed to achieve widespread adoption. Today, the talk is different and VR seems to be on just about everyone’s must-have and predictions lists.

What is virtual reality (VR)?

First things first, you’re going to need to know what VR is…the clue is in the name – it’s the experience of a world that doesn’t exist. We aren’t talking about getting yourself lost in a book or day-dreaming about a photo or painting however, even these are technically also experiencing some sort of virtual reality.

A virtual reality experience is intended to be immersive. This kind of suspension of disbelief can therefore prove useful in certain circumstances – The Events Industry being one.

How does VR work?

 The virtual reality we have been referring to in this blog typically requires a head-mounted display, a computer or smartphone that creates the 3D world and some form of input tracking, which can be hand tracking, voice or head.

How can it be used at events?

It doesn’t seem feasible (or safe) to imagine attendees walking through an event wearing VR headsets, but there are a couple of event use cases that are perfectly viable and have been used by several of the large brands recently:

Conferences – some products actively lend themselves to VR-type demonstration to impress an audience.  Some company principals want the impact to be totally immersive allowing a first-hand experience rather than simply demonstrating a product with either a person on a stage or a video presentation.  Competition is hot out there, and companies are vying to impress with new product lines and ever more innovative ways to introduce them to the market. VR is on-trend and cutting edge and the more memorable the introduction, it can  give the company competitive advantage over another with a similar product line.

Party Sponsorships or Promotional Content – Some companies may not be interested in innovative new ways to showcase their products or acquire sponsorship for an event, however others, are keen to take advantage of opportunities to interact with event attendees in new and different ways. It’s proven that many people learn new things and remember key facts by interacting with new teaching methods, especially if it’s exciting and fun.

 Above all, whilst it can be educational and at the end of the day companies want to sell more products, VR is fun and different.  It helps to provide an experience and VR is now becoming the new low cost option for event organisers wanting to show-off their products or presentations at a ground-breaking, fun conference or corporate events.

 You can hire VR and work too with companies who can help take your initial ideas and upscale to a fully choreographed presentation. VR could make the difference to any conference or corporate event, particularly new product or system launch, and engender success for your company, if it’s done right!

 ©MyEventGenie Limited 2017

 

How to Save Money on Event AV

For the uninitiated, what is Event AV? Simply put, lighting, sound, special effects, digital screens, and the list goes on. Basically, giving a once uninspiring space individuality, and your whole event, the WOW factor! Event AV is not just the preserve of large corporates, large scale events or exhibitions either, it is just as pertinent for smaller parties, celebrations and weddings too.

Save Money on Event AV!

 

Creating an impression with Audio visual equipment can be very expensive, but you can hire equipment and do it yourself or there are companies who will orchestrate the whole event for you from your initial ideas to full scale production.  It depends on your budget and what you are aiming to achieve – here are our top three tips on how to save money on Event AV!

AV Equipment - Save Money on Event AV

 

Get Several Competitive Quotes

 

If you’re looking for AV equipment, it is likely that the venue where you are hosting your event will offer this but for a hefty price tag so always be prepared to look to other suppliers too. You’ve got to think that hiring AV equipment is like hiring a venue; it’s important to get quotes from several of our My Event Genie suppliers before deciding which to go with. AV companies will compete aggressively for your business. By taking competitive quotes back to your preferred supplier, you will usually be able to negotiate a more preferential price.

 

Think About Sponsorship Opportunities for Large Scale Events

 

If you are running a large-scale event, party or conference, consider that many event technology solutions allow you to add powerful sponsorship potential, particularly if you have the right audience. You can often pay for these technologies through the sponsorship revenues, and sometimes they can be profit drivers for your business. Many people respond to the visual, so having great AV equipment is fantastic for brand communication and product showcase.  Coupled with a widespread, targeted social media campaign aligned with your sponsorship, it can make the difference between the success or failure of your event. It’s surprising what opportunities are out there that you might never have considered or even have thought existed.  It’s always worth thinking outside the box sometimes and we would recommend you do some research as it is amazing what you can do for corporate or social events, even on a limited budget.

How to Save Money on Event AV

Understanding Your Needs

 

As always, good planning and defining your budget early on are key elements as any last-minute changes to your requirements are likely to incur large fees. The Event Planner, if you have one, or at least the person with overall organisational responsibility should develop a list of needs and communicate these to the rest of the team early on, which includes your chosen suppliers too. When technology goes wrong (which it sometimes does!), it is important to know you can rely on your chosen supplier to sort it out for you quickly and efficiently with the minimum of fuss. A supplier will always want to do their best for you and its worth remembering they need to schedule work, staff and equipment as well as their other clients. The earlier planning starts, the less likely things are to get missed…it’s important to be specific about requirements to avoid misunderstandings, as confusion can lead to expensive mistakes. When in doubt, ask the supplier’s advice because it’s their area of expertise. “Last minute” and “disorganised” can always be done, but it can be stressful for both parties and can prove a budget breaker for you too.

 

myEventGenie.com can help you find the right supplier and AV equipment for your next event to dovetail with your Event requirements and budget. For additional peace of mind, all suppliers registered on our platform have Public Liability Insurance and are vetted before they can upload their profile.

Planning the Perfect Wedding: What you have to spend is irrelevant – it’s how you spend it that matters!

Congratulations to Pippa Middleton and James Matthews

Congratulations to Pippa Middleton and James Matthews on their marriage on Saturday 20th May 2017 from everyone at myEventGenie!

And what a well-publicised wedding!  With the coverage it has received in the news, many people feel they lived the build-up and anticipation for The Big Day, along with the Bride and Groom.

Yes, the wedding spend was out of reach financially of the vast majority of aspiring Bride and Groom’s-to-be, but contrary to some predictions, the wedding (or what we were permitted to see of it) was the epitome of taste, the church lovely, the flowers beautiful, the young attendants cute as always, and the Bride; absolutely stunning!  And lucky for them, the sun shone!

Money to one side, what did it for me:  the Bride and Groom were obviously happy, relaxed, natural and very “together”. After all, a wedding is about two people pledging to spend their lives together, for “better or worse”.  It isn’t, or certainly shouldn’t be, about the fripperies, which are secondary. Getting married isn’t expensive per se, it’s how you go about it that can be.  And then, it’s all about scale.

In line with many brides before her, Pippa Middleton arrived at the church with her father, and probably, along with the majority of brides, for all her outwardly relaxed demeanor, she was experiencing at least a frisson of nerves.

Planning the Perfect Wedding
Your wedding can be perfect, no matter what you spend!

Let’s face it, the majority of brides don’t have the critical eye of the world’s Press waiting at the church gates!  Getting down the aisle without tripping over your frock and falling flat on your face in front of all the assembled guests, certainly registers high on the concern list for most brides…a bloody nose doesn’t look great on the photos, and takes a bit of explaining.

In reality it doesn’t matter what a wedding costs, whether you have the top wedding organisers or you have done everything yourself because you don’t have a huge budget. What is common to both scenarios is that a wedding starts with a distant vision of The Day, and is usually the culmination of many months of planning.

Will the day go as you’ve planned it? As long as everyone knows what they are doing and when, there is no reason why not. Even if you don’t have a Wedding Planner. As always, planning is key, and working with the right suppliers too, and myEventGenie can help in both respects.

If you get the odd blip…?  Things do sometimes go awry, but it’s how you handle it that matters.  If you throw a blue fit, a bridal tantrum is not really that endearing, and rarely is anything an irretrievable disaster. If you can take it in your stride, it will be just one part of the day that makes everyone smile, and your wedding all the more individual and memorable.

Will the heavens open…? There are many things you can control, but the weather isn’t one of them, even if you’ve got the biggest budget in the world! Having a few brollies to hand probably won’t go amiss, just in case, but unless you plump for a winter wedding when you can virtually guarantee a cloud-burst, and therefore plan accordingly, it’s fingers crossed. Irrespective of who you are!

Will the guests like what you’ve planned, and will they enjoy it? In the words of John Lydgate: “You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time” How true.

You can provide the venue, food and drink, entertainment, posh loos (or not!), good company and so the list goes on. What you can’t do is stop Auntie Gertrude and Uncle Harold falling out. There comes a point where you’ve done your bit, and it’s up to the guests to enjoy themselves.

The myEventGenie.com platform can help even the most novice Event Hosts plan their way through any special occasion. Large or small. From start to finish…concept to itinerary.  Some brides have a clear idea of what their day looks like, after all, some have been planning their big day since they were in short socks. Others don’t and this is where Inspirations can come in handy for anyone who is struggling.

Budget is always an important one, and only the Bride and groom to be and their families can decide what is affordable or not.  Suppliers come in all shapes and sizes, from Florists to Photographers, Caterers to Marquee providers, and to suit most budgets.  All in all, myEventGenie has all the tools to help you create your own great event and match with all the suppliers you need. Easily.

The majority of guests come to a wedding for the Main Event – to witness the marriage of the Bride & Groom and to help celebrate the start of their future together.

Your own wedding will be just as it should be. Perfect for you! And just as it did for Pippa and James, hopefully the sun will shine for you too!

© My Event Genie Limited 2017

Picture Perfect – a cautionary tale of planning an event with an untrustworthy supplier

Why reliability means more than just turning up on the day…

As anyone involved in the events industry will know, there are times when we wipe our sweating (or should I say “glowing”?) foreheads and breathe a heartfelt sigh of relief that we managed to pull off an event without mishap.

An event is one of those things where there are no second chances.  If it’s not right on the night then we’ve all got a problem and there is going to be at least one very unhappy customer!

It takes me back a few years to a cautionary tale from some friends of mine.

It was going to be the wedding of the year.  Everything was outsourced including a wedding organiser, photographer, florist, caterer, marquee hire, wedding dress, entertainers, fireworks and string quartet. You get the picture, it was the whole shebang.

Everything was “alright on the night” and the whole day seemed to go without a hitch. It was a beautiful wedding on a gorgeous day with a lively evening do, an emotional first dance that bought a tear or two and the bride looked stunning.

It was a few days later a seismic problem came to light. The professional photographer had no pictures!!

Well, there were Granny’s snaps and all the usual pictures of the amateur variety, but nothing that captured the day in the timeless elegance that such an event deserved.

“OMG they’re going to be mad!”, “The bride will be devastated” you can just imagine how many derivatives of that phrase went around like Chinese Whispers in the happily honeymooning bride and groom’s absence?

Now here’s the thing.  As anyone in business who provides a product or service knows, you need insurance, and it should come with a capital “I”.  Same letter as “Important”!

Synonymous too with “just In case”  The “I” word or more specifically, Public Liability Insurance or PLI for short, and every supplier either big or small should have it!

The hapless photographer had no insurance and the now unhappy couple did sue, putting an excellent photographer out of business, all because he had no insurance cover.

I feel some pity for the photographer, up to a point. My extreme sympathies lie with the Bride & Groom who had paid a “professional” for his services in good faith that he would deliver on his promise, and had no redress when it went wrong.

It’s not good practice and is a sober lesson.  It is one good reason we ask for a copy of every supplier’s Public Liability Insurance before their profile is available to any of our Event Hosts on myEventGenie.com.

Weddings in particular are notoriously extremely stressful to organize, as there are so many people to co-ordinate.  It is not surprising therefore that the basic essentials get missed or just not even thought about, so we do the checking on behalf of our Event Hosts, then they don’t have to.

myEventGenie physically checks the Public Liability Insurance certificate of each and every supplier. And guess what? No certificate, no profile!

We ensure the PLI remains in date too for those “just In case” scenarios, which are difficult to predict, but do happen.   Thankfully only occasionally!

If you have a similar story to tell, then please share it with us, we would love to hear from you!

New year, new beginnings and a new business venture

Co-Founder of myEventGenie.com, Penny Jackson, reflects on a new year and the launch for a new venture to support the events industry.

Well, it is the start of yet another new year and we are all looking to new opportunities and plenty of beautiful events to plan and execute.

The events industry is such an exciting and vibrant community to be part of and let’s face it, a well-planned event on whatever scale can bring so much happiness to so many people.  It’s not a bad raison d’être for getting out of bed every morning!

I find the great thing about working in events is the opportunities for meeting so many talented and clever people.   I have been lucky to work with some wonderful people in all different genres – Photographers, Florists, Equipment Hire, Gift and Gift Presentation services, Venues and Venue Decorators, Marquees, Hair and Beauty; to name but so very few.

The secret to a successful event is a good network and over the years, through trial and error, you get to know reliable suppliers.

In conjunction with my business partner, we got to thinking about people who might be organising an event for the first time, those who don’t have access to a little black book of contacts. What a daunting task this may be for someone taking on an event for the first time. A wedding, kids party, birthdays, prom, village fete and even a funeral are all part of life’s great texture but could also be a frightening hurdle at the same time.

Google or the Yellow Pages is always an option to research and find potential suppliers but what questions do you ask when you find them?  Are they reliable? Can you afford it?  Who is the best one to use?  We know there are some suppliers out there who cut corners.  OMG! Scary stuff.  When an event goes wrong it is the ultimate nightmare!

With focus on suppliers, our own experience has taught us that whatever your niche, the big wide world is a harsh master.  Running a business, particularly a small one is sometimes a lonely place.  We’ve been there;  the day-to-day, keeping existing customers happy and getting the job done.  Kicking your shoes off, putting your feet up and pouring a large G&T can seem a distant dream.  Essential though it is,  marketing your business and finding new customers can seem very hard work.  How do you feel when you set your business up the right way, and discover the competition taking business from you, doesn’t have Public Liability Insurance and aren’t quite who they say they are?  It’s not a great scenario, yet it happens every day!

We resolved to bring suppliers together with ordinary people, to help them organise successful every day special occasions. Match-making professional expertise with targeted requirement, and all “under one roof”.  Advertising can be expensive, particularly for a small business, and we wanted to help provide a cost-effective, level playing field, where business size doesn’t matter and the search results show no favour.  We wanted to do the marketing, find the customers and bring them via the platform for all our suppliers.  We wanted to ensure our rooky event hosts could trade with suppliers safely in a secure environment, that a supplier’s competition is legitimate and fair, so we decided to run our own checks.  We wanted to create an all -inclusive on-line community, to exchange ideas and engender a sense of belonging for all our suppliers and Event Hosts…

Welcome to our creation, myEventGenie.com!

We are in our beta phase at the moment and would be delighted if you take the time to look around and provide us feedback here.