Contrary to popular belief, a brand is not a logo, a name or something that your marketing department ‘thinks up’ in a boardroom. A brand is how people would describe your company or your product to another. It’s shaped by the sum of all of their experiences and interactions with you – at every level of your organization. Did they call your office and get a bubble gum-popping, nail filing receptionist who couldn’t wait to get them off the phone so they could continue talking about last night’s cliff-hanging episode of The Bachelor? Did they receive an invoice loaded with SURPRISE! charges? Did pink tulips show up on site instead of the Tahitian sunset-colored orange lilies that precisely matched their client’s logo? If so, they might be telling a different story about your company than you want them to. Just like ‘that’ girl in high school, it takes but one person or experience to change people’s perceptions of you.
Although we can’t control what people think about us, we have the power to influence it. The first step is to understand that your marketing department is but a tiny sliver of the perception pie…and that every person within your organization, every system you have in place and every communication that leaves your office either reinforces or changes what people think about you.
Here are 10 questions to get you on the right path to building a positive reputation:
German Food Cooperative, The Deli Garage, has smashed two worlds together – tagging and food presentation. Now, with a spritz of their Esslack Food Spray you can transform foods into metallic works of art. Available in silver and gold edible food coloring spray, the question of the day is: Do you love it or hate it?
When I started Sunday Spark, I wanted to hone in on insights that really inspire a jolt of action. As with creativity, inspiration is very subjective. I found this presentation by novelist Amy Tam, filmed during Ted 2008, wonderfully inspiring and refreshingly funny. In it, she talks about how creativity is inspired. As with many other speakers on this topic, there is a belief that creativity is sparked by randomness and ‘the universe’. Although most talks on ‘the universe’ are a bit too esoteric for my taste, the point is that preparedness extinguishes creativity. Amy Tam’s take on this topic and much more is uniquely told by winding her points around compelling stories. I highly recommend viewing this one – it will require 18 minutes of your time to view from start to end.
And for those of you who have picked up on the fact that it is now Monday (not Sunday), I apologize for the delay in posting. I’ve been battling a flu for the last few days. Better late than never!
I recently came across the updated Mark on Call iPhone app…and thought it was too good not to share with my event planner readers. For those planners who want to easily create custom floor plans and be able to transport them anywhere you go, this is the app for you. And at $2.99 it’s a steal. Here are some features that make this app a thumbs up, in my opinion:
I’m still playing around with it and will be sure to provide constructive insights on what can be improved. If you have any tips or opinions to share, please do so in the comments section!
Last week I was invited to attend Toronto’s own Pravda Vodka Bar for the launch event of their brand new tasting menu. As the name suggests, Pravda is known for having the best selections of Vodka in the city – over 70 varieties for all of you Vodka lovers. I learned far more than I ever thought I needed to know about this colorless liquor…and quickly realized that not unlike wine there is a LOT to know.
However, far more exciting than the debates over whether potatoes, rye or wheat is the better base in a quality Vodka were the pairings on their new menu. Perogies, lamb and Caviar…oh my! And, of course the friends I met was the cherry on top.
An excerpt from Pravda’s newsletter & great learnings for any Vodka drinker…
Dear Vodka Guy:My work requires me to travel to Russia quite often. I really enjoy drinking vodka but find it hard to keep up at client gatherings. How can I enjoy my favourite spirit without affecting business relationships and getting too intoxicated?
- Sober for the Sake of Business
Dear Sober for the Sake of Business:
Russians are renowned for drinking a lot of vodka and staying sober. That’s not something to do with biological inheritance but with the way they drink. Russians do everything to stay sober while drinking as much alcohol as possible. How do they do it? They try to neutralize alcohol as long as possible. I will outline the basic principles of vodka drinking for the inexperienced. Carry out these simple steps and it is guaranteed that at a Russian party you will stay sober for at least one bottle of vodka.Hope this helps,
- The Vodka Guy
What to do the hour before the party
- Eat a couple of boiled potatoes.
- Drink one or two raw eggs as this is the most important part of Russian pre-party preparations.
- Drink one or two tablespoons of olive oil. Sunflower oil will also do.
What to do at the party
- If you start drinking vodka drink only vodka. No beer or wine. No water or juice. Carbonated drinks are taboo.
- Drink vodka only in shots. Never sip.
- Eat immediately after taking a shot. Eating foods that are high in acid and salt with help neutralize the alcohol.
I recommend taking the following sequence:
+ immediately after taking a shot eat two slices of lemon
+ then some salted cucumbers, pickles, marinated tomatoes or caviar
+ then something with a lot of oil like herring or sardines
- Actively participate in intellectual talks around the table. Mental activity is probably the best method to keep you excited but sober.
- At the end of the party come tea and cakes. Make sure not to miss it. This way you show your hosts that you’re survived the party without dire consequences.
What to do after the party
- Keep a small bottle of beer in refrigerator. Wake up at about 5:00 in the morning, drink your beer and go back to bed. It prevents hang-over in the morning.
- If the early morning beer didn’t help, drink a glass of brine from the jar you kept your pickles in.
Click here to read more of Pravda’s propaganda (er, Newsletter with menu).
More and more our event attendees are using their smart phones to document and share their experiences in real time – Tweeting updates on entertainment, Facebooking pictures, checking in to the venue using foursquare. But, *gasp*, sometimes all of this activities can drain our cell phone batteries. This can mean missed opportunities for event organizers.
Powerkiss has created a new product that converts any piece of furniture into a wireless charger. Yes, that means by simply laying their phone on a table, attendees can be juicing up their batteries. And for those of you who plan conferences, I’ve been told that this technology will be applied to charging up other devices like laptops very soon.
There are 2 components: the heart (or the wireless charging transmitter) and the kiss (or the wireless charging receiver). The kiss is plugged into the device and the heart is attached to the furniture. When the device is laid in close proximity to the furniture it charges.
Powerkiss hopes that soon cell phone manufacturers will be making their devices with wireless recharging capabilities which will eliminate the need for the kiss component.
If you’d like more information, click here to download an information sheet.
Thank you to Springwise for sharing this business idea.
Every year I attend numerous awards ceremonies honoring the best and the brightest of the Events & Meetings industries. And every year I hear a similar thank you speech that is told with both a smile and a tear in the eye. It goes a little something like this,
“This award should really go to my husband and my children. After all, they spent every holiday watching me run around planning other people’s celebrations. My weekends were consumed with managing every detail of someone else’s bar mitzvah, wedding, party or event – and not in the stands watching my son play baseball. My family sacrificed so I could be a success.”.
Just about every person in the events industry can relate to this story. As a result, I wanted to share 2 inspiring ideas that will hopefully make these sacrifices that much easier…
A planner herself, Carolyn Luscombe, President of Eclectic Events in Toronto created an Industry Christmas Party for the children of event planners. She recognized that a Christmas Party just wasn’t a reality for most event planners who run small businesses. Her visions was to create the same kind of holiday work party she had such fond memories of as a child. She donated a tremendous amount of her personal time to make this happen (all with a new 5 month old baby), and the result was an amazing event!
A new platform called Readeo is letting traveling parents connect with their children online to read bed time stories from anywhere in the world. Redeo combines digitized picture books with webcam conversations to allow parents and children to share stories while seeing and interacting with each other.