Author: Nicole Marsh

Increase Attendance at Your Next Event!

Imprint Group Wants to Help Make Your Next Event a Success

AXS Group Team Employee MarcieAs event organizers know, there are many critical details that go into planning a successful event no matter how large or how small the program. The most crucial piece of the event is the attendee! At the end of the day, Imprint Group plans events with a purpose in mind for a specific audience, so how can we ensure a good turn-out for events and increase attendance?

How to Promote Your Next Corporate Event, Special Event or Meeting for Increased Attendance:

  • Focus on the objectives. Work with key stakeholders to understand the goals and outcomes you want to achieve for the program. This will make it easier to connect with your attendees and learn more about what they want or how they learn and respond to the content.
  • Choose an appropriate location, date and time! This is another crucial piece of planning an event. Location is important as you’ll want a memorable destination but one that is also convenient and affordable. Keep in mind where your stakeholders are from and how they will travel to attend. If they will all be arriving late night and jet-lagged, do you want the first day to be an early start or should you budget in some time for guests to ease into the new time zone comfortably. Unless you plan to piggyback off a competing or similar event, be careful not to schedule your event at the same time as another event that your attendees will want to participate in.
  • Invite early and follow up regularly. Create fun teaser clips for the event, any featured talent or speakers? Running a contest or promotion? Post updates regularly across various platforms to keep people interested and engaged. Clearly communicate the benefits of attending the event and give attendees something to look forward to!
  • Look for Event Partners. Build relationships with sponsors or industry groups and look for unique opportunities to cross-promote. You’ll gain more exposure and reach a wider audience. Working with sponsors you can promote exciting product launches or special training opportunities for your attendees.
  • Streamline the registration process. Make it easy for stakeholders to find event details and register for sessions. Offering tours and other optional activities? Keep these consistent with your registration system so you can mitigate the number of questions and confusion for attendees.
  • Invite and embrace digital attendees. Technology now allows attendees to participate no matter where they are in case they can’t physically attend the conference due to schedule commitments, cancelled flights, expensive travel, and many other obstacles.
  • Lastly, follow-up and use the feedback to improve. After the event, do a recap of the program– what did and didn’t work well for the group? Ask attendees for feedback to see where you can improve. Offer incentives or special offers for returned surveys. Be sure to take your notes and all provided feedback to your planning meetings to improve the experience for next time.

By Marcie Lapehn, Operations Manager

Filed under: Meetings and Events, Nevada

Special Events: Tips for Working with a Caterer

Imprint Group is comprised of experienced industry leaders with extensive backgrounds from all over the event planning community, which is what makes us so knowledgable about every aspect of Destination Management and Event Planning. Catering is no exception and at Imprint Group, John Collins has over a decade of experience in this field to give you the best insight for working with a caterer.

Corporate Event Planning Company specializing in Event Management & Destination Management Services for Meeting Planners in Denver, Florida & Las Vegas.

I started my career in the hotel industry doing a series of jobs from pool boy to serving as the Assistant Director of Banquets at a Westin and a lot of other things in between including as a CSM for 8 years. Now, I serve as Imprint’s Director of Operations managing our incredible team and serving as the main liaison between our office and our vendors. One of the constant threads throughout my career has been my work with incredible caterers and some not-so-incredible caterers. Food and food service is a vital part of the success or failure of an event. You can do everything right, but if the food is late or ill-prepared, it’s a difficult road to recover. Here are some tips I shared with my team on how to work with a caterer:

  • What’s your preference? Is there a preferred list of caterers that you need to choose from depending on the venue? Some venues require that you work with a pre-approved list of caterers.  Be sure to check with your venue prior to contracting your caterer.
  • Got staff? Staffing levels generally vary depending on the service type.  Be sure that the caterer is staffed properly to ensure the proper execution of you catering services based on the following service types:
    • Platted breakfast – one server per 30 guests
    • Platted Lunch – one server per 25 guests
    • Buffet lunch/breakfast – one server per 40 guests
    • Platted Dinner – one server per 20 guests
    • Buffet Dinner – one server per 30 guests
    • Bars – one bartender per 100 guests
  • What’s your order? Be sure to provide a well-rounded menu for your guests.  Try to include a beef, chicken and vegetarian option whenever possible.  Getting meal selection is imperative when offering a choice of meals.  When collecting meal choices is logistically challenging it is sometimes best to offer a duel entrée such as a Chicken/Salmon entrée.  Always be aware of any dietary restrictions, weather for diet or religious reasons and be sure to include these request in your catering order.
  • Hungry huh? Always ask the caterer how many ounces the entrée selection consists of (i.e. 6oz vs. 8 oz. steak) and how many pieces per person they are providing when ordering hors d’ oeuvres.  Here are some common serving suggestions for hors d’ oeuvres:
    • One hour reception followed by dinner – 3 pieces per person
    • One hour afternoon reception – 8 pieces per person
    • Evening Reception – 7-8 pieces for the first hour, 6-7 for the second hour
    • For longer evening receptions – 12-15 pieces per person
  • Save me a seat! No one wants to sit an overcrowded table.  Use these guidelines when determining your seating arraignments:
    • 60” rounds – 8-9 people per table
    • 66” rounds – 9-10 people per table
    • 72” rounds – 10-11 people per table

by John Collins, Director of Operations

Filed under: Colorado, Destination Management, Meetings, Meetings and Events, Multi-day Conference

New Venue Alert: Topgolf comes to Orlando!

Imprint Group is a full-service entertainment company specializing in special events, entertainment, event production & technology. Elevate the ordinary to extraordinary!Looking for the next best venue in Orlando? Imprint Group knows it and can help you create a fun & memorable experience at Topgolf in Orlando.

Earlier this month I had the opportunity to attend the first preview of Topgolf Orlando which officially opened to the public on October 20th. Our industry is buzzing about this new entertainment venue for its endless group and special event possibilities!

For those of you, like myself, who have never visited a Topgolf facility before, it is most similar to a driving range but much fancier, more game options, and more of a party. There are multiple levels with golf bays along the perimeter, accommodating up to 6 golfers each, and while the bays are under an overhang attached to the building, they face outside. Inside each bay is a touch screen, filled with different games the golfers can choose from to evolve the mundane driver range feel into a more exciting game. The games reminded me of the pre-loaded games inside a dart machine, but rather than throwing darts, you are driving golf balls different lengths or into different targets out on the green.

Special to the view here in Orlando, is the Orlando Eye that can be seen on the left side of the netted-in area. (See photos below to better understand this venue). Topgolf is in a great location directly behind Andretti Karting & Games, sharing a street with the Convention Center, right next to the busy and growing International Drive, less than 10 minutes from Universal, and less than 30 minutes from Disney. What sets this location apart is the abundance of parking. The parking lot if huge and can easily accommodate busses and shuttles driving up to pick up and drop off.

Group outings are anticipated and well done at this location with easy check-in, plenty of meetings space for all needs and delicious in-house catering. Topgolf catering is tasty and innovative with items such as their injectable donut hole! These are delicious freshly made donut holes that are served with syringes filled with various fillings such as chocolate, Bavarian crème, and jelly which you then get to insert and fill the donuts holes of your choosing.

Imprint Group has the pulse on all the indoor rental and meeting spaces groups can utilize but you are able to have food catered even if you do not use one of these spaces. Topgolf will set up a table next to your group’s golf bay with the food.

A fun touch they added to some of their meeting space is white dry-erase walls with mounted TV’s so you can have a proposal or PowerPoint playing on the TV and be taking notes on the wall around it! For groups looking to host teambuilding sessions, these can easily be done in the meeting spaces if bringing in teambuilding, by utilizing the games to encourage friendly competition out in the golf bays, or by hosting tournaments organized by Topgolf. Purchase award packages from the events team to award your players with trophies or medals or fun Topgolf swag bags for participation to commemorate their efforts and offer tangible memories.

Topgolf is definitely a must-see venue this season and will continue to be a favorite here in Orlando. I am excited to go back and practice my golf game with friends and work with you as your Imprint Group partner in 2018 and beyond!

By Carolyn Capurso, Creative Solutions Coordinator

Filed under: Destination Management, Florida, Teambuilding, Things We Love

Moving Party for Western Union!

Corporate Event Planning Company in Denver, Florida & Las Vegas | Event Management | Imprint GroupImprint Group Welcomes Western Union HQ to Denver with Multiple Special Events

Congrats to one of our favorite, longtime clients Western Union on their global HQ move to Denver! This past Thursday, Imprint Group and the event production team produced a series of special events that helped announce Western Union’s global office move from Englewood into Denver, which included a pep rally, community service events across Colorado, a dinner for leadership and a rooftop LED party to unveil the new yellow glowing sign along Interstate 25 for its employees.

Corporate Event Planning Company in Denver, Florida & Las Vegas | Event Management | Imprint GroupImprint Group’s favorite features from the event included a 7:30am pep rally for more than 500 employees with surprise appearances by the Denver Stampede, Rocky and dancers from the Denver Nuggets; transferring those guests in 17 buses, all wrapped with the Western Union logo, to service projects across the metro area; a “moving” party on the 15th Floor of their new building prefabrication using branded moving boxes to create a cocktail and dinner space; and the incredible LED after party where our entertainers put on a custom show to unveil Western Union’s new sign, lit for everyone in Denver to see! Check out the press coverage of the events here.

Filed under: Colorado, Special Events

All the Fall Feels in Florida

Florida DMC and Corporate Event Planning Company Imprint Group

Destination Florida: Fall Events Not To Miss

One of my favorite reasons to live in Florida (and of course, be a member of the Imprint Group event production team) is the seasons. This may sound funny to most people since Florida doesn’t have the traditional seasonal change like Colorado, but Floridians use any excuse to celebrate!

The palm fronds do not change color or fall, the wind does not turn cold, and we are not dressed in Patagonia jackets and Ugg boots as soon as the calendar reads September 22nd. We do not have a definitive date in Florida for when to celebrate, the seasons do not tell us, so we celebrate even longer than the locations that live by those standards and we love it! September 1st, you will find me decorating my home for Fall and lighting leaf and apple scented candles with a Pumpkin Spice Latte in hand. It is cliché and it is beautiful.

Each Fall, the theme parks re-decorate in incredible detail to truly make you feel a little chillier and crave caramel apples and cider. Magic Kingdom is transformed and the haunts come out to play during Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. Children and adults, alike, are expected to dress up and trick or treat! Universal gets in on the action as well, with their “Halloween Horror Nights” drawing crowds from across the world to walk through the park getting scared at every turn! Legoland opens up on selected weekends for “Brick or Treat” where kids of all ages takeover the park begging for treats in their adorable costumes.

Two of my favorite fall activities in Orlando are the Oktoberfest festivals and visiting one of my favorite places, Celebration. Celebration is a small town in the Orlando area created to look like a small New England town. They decorate the town for every holiday, and for Fall they offer a pumpkin patch, a haunted house, fall festivals on the weekends, and the community really gets in to decorating, making a drive through the neighborhoods to see the spooky decorations an event in itself. You might see the house that’s turned into a giant pirate ship with a huge façade out front and the owners and their friends dressed as pirates handing out candy and scaring passersby.

Oktoberfest is celebrated in Celebration as well as many other locations across Orlando and is a great chance to try local craft beers. One of my favorites is Jake’s Beer Festival at Loew’s Royal Pacific, filled with live music, food, swag, lawn games, and all the local beer you could ask for!

Finally, being a big foodie, Orlando is my eating playground in the Fall! While the city’s Magical Dining Month ends Oct. 12th, where visitors can dine out at more than 100 restaurants at discounted rates, the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival continues through Nov. 13. Guest circle the World Showcase while sampling food and wine from each destination. New eating stations this year include a Coastal Eats booth and a Cheese Studio. Yum!  The Disney Swan & Dolphin Food & Wine Classic is Oct. 27-28, where award-winning chefs show off their best eats. Don’t miss the Sunday Bubbles Brunch on Oct. 29!

Fall really is one of the best times to visit Orlando, the weather and activities just can’t be beat! Imprint Group is always here to make your visit, conference, meeting or event a memorable one!

By Carolyn Capurso

 

Filed under: Destination Management, Florida, Things We Love, Tours & Attractions

Preparing for the Worst – Advice for Planners facing a Natural Disaster

Corporate Event Planning Company specializing in Event Management & Destination Management Services for Meeting Planners in Denver, Florida & Las Vegas. Imprint Group

The everyday life of an event operations manager is never uneventful or boring. At Imprint Group, our job is to prepare for every scenario that could affect a client’s meeting or event. A motorcoach full of passengers breaks down, 50 extra people show up to a formal dinner gala, the fire eater performer sets the sprinklers off, and so on, those are just some of the things we think of in advance of our events. We can normally predict and plan for the worst, and try to control the situation at hand, but the one thing event production managers cannot control is MOTHER NATURE!

We can, however, predict various outcomes and create a series of backup plans to mitigate the issues we see coming.This is what Imprint Group does best – prepare!

Recently, Hurricane Irma made an unwelcome visit to Orlando. While the devastation could have been much worse, our city still had to deal with a fair share of problems including flooding, tree damage, and a widespread loss of power that lasted 7 days for some. Most of the businesses in the heart of the tourist and convention area of Orlando were back up and operating business as usual within 2 days of Irma’s visit. However, some of our hospitality partners outside this central tourist area and our nearby coastal partners in Port Canaveral weren’t so lucky and went much longer without power.

A few days after the Hurricane hit land, we had a series of group activities planned for a client whose group was visiting Orlando.  Imprint Group’s events included group activities outdoors at venues that had lost power. Both venues tried to assure us that they would have power back on by event day, but when we got two days out and the power still hadn’t returned, we went to Plan B that included moving venues and offering an alternative activity.  Ultimately the group had a great time at the alternate venue and the client was beyond thankful for a little planning ahead on our part.

Basically, at Imprint Group and within the event planning industry, have learned in my years of event operations, that while you always strive for a flawless and uneventful event, be sure to always plan for the “what-ifs.” In the instance of planning for an event that can be affected by a natural disaster like “Irmageddon,” as we called it here in Orlando, be sure to ask yourself and/or do the following:

  1. For outdoor activities, at what point do they make the decision to cancel and what conditions would cause the activity to be canceled (i.e. wind, rain, thunder, lighting, etc.)?
  2. For outdoor venues, do they have a rain location?
  3. Have you mapped out alternate routes to your event destination in case of closed roads due to damage or flooding?
  4. Is there a Force Majeure clause in your contract with the venue or vendor?
  5. Be sure to contact several back up venue/activity locations as soon as there is a threat of extreme weather and put those locations on hold in case you need to make the change. In addition, find out how much notice you must give them to contract the event.
  6. Contact all your vendors to make them aware of your back up venue and talk through any logistical concerns or issues.
  7. Keep calm, stay positive, and be confident, your client will know otherwise!

By Stacey Engelmann

Filed under: Destination Management, Florida, Meetings, Nevada

It’s All in the Details!

Imprint Group is a Denver creative agency specializing in creative branding and design. We create branded events that will bring your brand to life in a memorable way.

When planning any event, no detail should go unnoticed and at Imprint Group, we only focus on the details! Even the smallest detail can have a huge impact on your event and are key to success. Here are five of the most important details that often get overlooked that should be better focused on to ensure smooth sailing!

  1. Keep the peace at the loading dock! Ensure you know the rules when it comes to the venue’s loading dock. Small details that can be overlooked by those not driving the truck include clearance level, how many vendors can load in at once, truck parking, and other deliveries taking place that day. When vendors have to fight for space at the loading dock it can set the tone for some unhappy vendors. Happy vendors make for happy planners!
  2. Who has the power? It can be easy to forget how important this small detail is, but one blown circuit can lead to a blown event. Collect power requirements from your production team, caterers, entertainers, photo booth, etc. For caterers especially, make sure you understand their amp needs, but also what equipment they need that power for to ensure what they’ve requested is adequate. These requirements then need to be clearly communicated to the venue manager so they can advise on if there is enough power or if power drops are required.
  3. Ready, Set, Go! Be clear on start times for all vendors. If your vendor’s contract time is for 6PM, that’s the time they expect to start. All too often though, clients might want to be ready for doors at 5:45PM to account for the early birds. At Imprint Group, we always have doors ready 15 minutes prior (if not sooner), but make sure your vendors, entertainers and venue are operating on the same schedule. Sometimes this means additional fees, often in 15 minute increments, so make sure you’re on the same page!
  4. The day the music died. Noone wants a good party to end and music is the best way to keep the party going. If you go with a band, chances are, they’re going to require some breaks. It’s hard work putting on a great show, after all! Review set times and make sure you are comfortable with it. When the band breaks, keep the party vibe by playing some great background music. This will not only let the band recharge, but your guests can take a dance break and grab a cocktail. If you really don’t want the party to stop though, consider a DJ – they can usually play longer.
  5. Nothing is too small. We all do things differently and it’s important we communicate the smallest expectations. Small things that often go overlooked are rollups vs. place settings; set water vs. water stations; tip jars for a hosted event; bottled beer vs. draft, linen sizes– the list goes on and on. If you have a expectations on how something is presented or done, don’t assume that’s how the venue or caterer does it. It’s all about the communication!

By Loretta Howe, Operations Manager our “Smooth Operator”

 

Filed under: Destination Management, Meetings and Events, Nevada, Production, Special Events

Imprint Welcomes Tyler Anderson, Business Development Director

Colorado DMC | Florida DMC | Las Vegas DMC | Destination Management Company (DMC) and Corporate Event & Meeting Planing in Colorado, Florida, Nevada and Beyond! | Imprint Group

Colorado DMC | Florida DMC | Las Vegas DMC | Destination Management Company (DMC) and Corporate Event & Meeting Planing in Colorado, Florida, Nevada and Beyond! | Imprint Group

Imprint Group, formerly AXS, announced today that Tyler Anderson joined the team as its new Director of Business Development responsible for business growth, client stewardship and specialized marketing.

Anderson, who was recently named one of BizWest Magazine’s 2017 40 Under 40, joins Imprint from the technology and learning and development industries where he worked in business development for the past four years. Prior to his development work, Anderson managed events for various companies, including DaVita, across Colorado.

“We are very excited to welcome Tyler to the team,” said Chris Starkey, Imprint Group partner. “His energy and fresh perspective on our industry will help us identify, pursue and win more and more opportunities to serve clients in Colorado, Florida and beyond.”

Anderson is excited to marry his passion for events and business at Imprint Group.  “I’m thrilled to join such a diverse team of event experts with a dedication and passion for the work that’s unmatched,” Anderson said.  “The reputation of Imprint precedes itself as the locally preferred company for event transformation, a team that provides the all important value add and does it all in a fast, professional manner. I’m excited to help Imprint grow in the years ahead.”

Imprint Group is a full-service, experiential event group that seeks to create one-of-a-kind experiences for our clients… events with identity. We understand that every event is different, but to us, each is equally important. Our diverse team of industry experts have over 412 combined years of experience bringing energy, originality and unerring customer service to every event we produce. Clients recognize the Imprint Group difference through our high standard of professionalism and service, ensuring a consistent and flawless meeting and event experience, every time. Services provided by Imprint Group include:

  • Branding & Design
  • Destination Management Company (DMC)
  • Live Music & Entertainment
  • Event Production Services
  • Teambuilding
  • Tours & Attractions

Visit www.ImprintGroup.com or call 1-303-623-1492 today to inquire about our services!

Filed under: Colorado, Destination Management, Florida, Meetings and Events

Planning Presidential Worthy Events

DMC Denver

By Franny Starkey | General Manager.

Before I joined Imprint Group as General Manager, I spent most of my career in politics managing the schedules of governors, senators and the first family of the United States. It was an incredible honor, but also an amazing education on how to conceptualize and execute events and programs that had tremendous impact in the messages they delivered and the people they activated. Done well, events are tools used to achieve a greater goal, otherwise it’s just a waste of time and money.

Producing the schedule of a president or senator is a tremendous team effort involving communications and policy staff, not to mention security and external stakeholders. In politics, this effort is led by the “advance team.”  These are people who specialize in crafting the images and movements at any given event the president might attend. They travel ahead of the principal to work with security and local officials on the ground to ensure the schedule runs smoothly and the message of the day is understood.

After leading the advance for Michelle Obama’s recent trip to Denver in July, I thought about some of the most important lessons I’ve learned in my presidential planning career that can be embraced and applied for planners at corporations and associations across the country.

  1. Remember YOU represent your organization everywhere, always.

An event planner is an externally facing job, meaning you must work with outside vendors, interact with invited speakers or entertain attending guests. In all those interactions, it’s imperative that the planner remembers they represent their organization or corporation.  If the planner is rude or disrespectful, that reflects on their company and how the guest feels about engaging with that company moving forward. Behave and present yourself in the manner you want people to see you and your organization, even under the most stressful situations.

  1. Care about the visual.

For advance staff, a key job is to ensure the pictures and video coming from an event compliment and support the message being delivered because there’s typically a large media contingent in attendance. For most corporate planners, there are few events where you need to worry or plan for press, but that shouldn’t mean the visuals from the event don’t matter.  In today’s age of social media, every attendee is a member of the press posting online their favorite moment from the event. A good planner cares what those images look like because they understand those guests are serving as ambassadors for your organization and you want those images to carry your message forward. Prominently featuring your logo, lighting and ensuring the location, décor and beyond support the overall message are all important aspects of planning your event.

  1. Walk thru your event from different perspectives.

An event planner oversees the total experience they’re creating, so it’s important you understand how that experience will work and feel from a variety of perspectives. On an advance trip, the staff walks thru the event as if they were the principal, as if they were a member of the press or if they were a guest in attendance. For corporate planners, perhaps you’re walking thru as if you were a VIP, a Board member or an invited speaker as well as a general attendee. For each, is the process seamless and easy to understand? How easy is it to get to the bathroom for the principal vs the guest? How do they find their seat or get backstage? You’ll be amazed at the new questions or issues you discover when you dedicate time to experience the event in a variety of roles.

  1. Time is valuable.

Time is a limited resource that should be distributed intentionally and efficiently. A principal’s schedule is detailed to the minute to ensure that no time is wasted and we’re getting the most out of each day. An event planner should have equal respect for the time required to attend their event by an invited speaker, their guests and also for their vendor partners. This is managed through the event flow – schedule the setup time down to the minute, make sure the program is seamless, there are no needless breaks and the process to attend is organized.

Filed under: Meetings, Meetings and Events, Multi-day Conference, Production, Special Events

Imprint takes on Orlando!

Destination Management Colorado DMC and Destination Management Company (DMC) Corporate Event Planning Company Imprint Group

Imprint Group likes to surprise people, give them an experience they weren’t expecting, which means showcasing Orlando – the land of Disney and Universal Studios – can be difficult.

Research is my thing, I spend a lot of time finding the hidden gems and treasures of this city so we can provide our clients unique ideas and opportunities they never would have thought of on their own.

Orlando is so much more than our theme parks and colorful characters, it’s a playground for corporate clients who come to work and to play.  We’ve done our job well if we’ve created a rich, diverse, and extraordinary experience that inspires a return visit to this amazing sunshine state.

Imprint Group Is Your Orlando Event Planning Partner

What helps is our eclectic team – we have such different backgrounds and perspectives, all of which come together to provide unique solutions for the average corporate event.

Within our team, we have members who love theme parks, they are the first in line when a new ride opens or they worked their for years, so have a deep knowledge of its offerings and the various logistics involved in planning a program there.

We have our outdoorsy people who regularly experience Orlando’s outdoor adventures from Glow Kayaking to private island excursions or yoga on the beach. We have our urban millennials who eat out every night and are our resident experts on market dine-arounds, wine tasting or fancy smores overlooking downtown from a high-rise.

These are the types of experiences your typical Orlando visitor never thinks they might have, they leave and say “wow, Orlando was so much more than Disney and everything I thought it would be.”

That feeling is the Imprint difference we strive to create when we talk to a client and propose our ideas and services; it’s the feeling that brings us to work each day and keeps us smiling.

We can’t wait to introduce you to Imprint Group Orlando!

by Shannon Rodriguez, Sr. Creative Solutions Manager

Related: Night Kayaking in Orlando, Florida for a Unique Experience

Related: DESTINATION: ORLANDO, FL

Filed under: Destination Management, Florida, Live Music and Entertainment, Meetings and Events