All entries tagged with “tips”

Marketing Your Biggest Asset: YOU!

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Every day you are critiqued on your presentation. Your presence on LinkedIn, your Facebook profile picture, the posts that you ‘like’ and the links that you share. While you’re busy marketing to the masses on social media, in email communication and through your website, you could be missing one very key platform: Yourself.

A key component of networking is in-person communication, and while the focus is often on online outreach, your face-to-face persona and presentation are often your biggest asset. Simon Sinek explains the importance of this in his TED talk, “How Great Leaders Inspire Action.” He suggests that people don’t buy into a product, they buy into the leader. With software for improving your post outreach, ads to boost your followers and engagement analytics, there's no specific tool to help you, as a person, improve – how can you upgrade your most human asset? Here are a few tips to help you market yourself:

1.      Become Magnetic.

Professionals should aspire to attain magnetic qualities to attract the attention of valuable colleagues, employees and customers. Traits of a magnetic person include authenticity, confidence, eloquence, energy, motivation, an active listener, well-versed, optimism, imagination, and a sense of humor. As a magnetic person, you are a role model and someone that others enjoy being around – people turn to you for assistance and advice because they respect and trust you.

 2.      Identify your expertise and then project it into the world.

Know your value and be willing to express it. Find an area that you excel in and then become an authority on the subject within your circle. For example, if you are an e-marketing guru, let your friends and coworkers know by offering to help or by making suggestions. Before you know it, people will come to you for advice and you will truly build your value among your peers and within your organization. By identifying and expressing your value, you will have more of a presence and will become highly respected and easy to remember.

 3.      Be the best version of yourself.

In-person communication is very reliant on presentation and a first-impression is made in fractions of a second – like many top selling products, your “package” is often your most valuable asset. Have you invested in your professional image? Are you healthy and positive? Are you well-versed on current events? Can you hold a strong conversation? To attract others, you must be the best version of yourself. If you are constantly aspiring to improve, you will inspire and attract others.

 4.      Know who you are.

Not to be confused with knowing your value, knowing who you are helps you build strong talking points and create a stand point on most topics. Self-awareness requires you to understand the factors that positively inspire you to achieve something substantive and relevant every day. Your thoughts, beliefs, work ethic and attitude become your personal brand and are increasingly important as you connect with other professionals.

Seven Tips for Appointment-Based Events

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Appointment-based events challenge a traditional trade show in the sense that your presence matters. While sitting across from a potential client or solution provider, your interactions are vital to build a working relationship that will benefit you both. Event organizers work diligently to make meaningful introductions with the potential to build future business relations – we make the connection, the rest is up to you. Here are just a few tips to make your networking at these events a success:

1. Attend Your Meetings!

You wouldn't sign up for speed dating, and then stand up your date, so attend your business meetings as though your love life depends on it. Standing up a potential client or solution provider is not only rude, but it’s also a bad representation of your company. At an appointment-based event, you are meeting face-to-face with elite business professionals – a quality meeting like this is rare and deserves attention.

2. Ditch the Sales Pitch

Appointment-based events are a ‘no-hard sell’ zone. Networking at these events is primarily about building relationships rather than immediate sales. People do business with people they like – get to know the person you could potentially work with and their company, then pursue a working relationship.

3. Ask Questions

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. This is key when meeting new people, especially in a business setting where you are learning about their company. The more you ask, the clearer vision you will have, and even more importantly – the better conversation you will have! The more you learn, the better advice and solutions you can give and as Joshua Krane, the CEO at Ciplex says, “If someone likes them [your ideas], chances are they will hire you to execute them.”

4. Listen!

“One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say.” Listening on both sides of the table is effective in identifying needs and finding solutions. As Megan Duckett of Sew What, Inc.? said, “Not every communication is an opportunity to blow your own business trumpet. Sometimes you may find yourself sharing information about another company or service that you have heard of.” Listen, learn and find solutions.

5. Relax & Enjoy the Experience

An appointment-based event is a less stressful environment. You are not overwhelmed by booths and numerous representatives, it is an intimate and luxurious experience designed so that business executives can have productive and quality meetings. These events are also jam-packed with other networking activities, all of which take place in a beautiful venue. Enjoy it – because a month down the line, when you reconnect with your new contacts, you will have a shared experience to build the foundation of a fruitful business relationship.

6. Smile!

The energy at these events is electric – a positive attitude and approachable demeanor is vital! Again, people do business with people they like – so be likable, polite and have meaningful meetings – whether you think there’s a business relationship to be had or not, a positive representation goes a long way!

7. Follow Up If You Say You Will

If you tell someone you’re going to email them, email them. If you say you’ll reach out to them via phone, call them. From beginning to end, leave a lasting impression – make your attendance work for you and follow up with your new business connections promptly. 

So You're Attending Your First Forum...

Think of the last trade show you attended. Now subtract the huge exhibition hall, the miles of walking, the petty expenses, the numerous, useless introductions and the free pens. At an appointment-based forum, we cut through the you-know-what and give executives the most productive and efficient format for connecting and learning about solutions they are currently sourcing.

Attendees of an appointment-based forum are stationed comfortably at their own table. They are given a personal itinerary of meetings with solution providers they have chosen in advance and seminars they have opted for. Throw in a high quality pool of personally-invited executives and luxury networking opportunities, and you’ve got the most productive day-and-a-half of the year.

Sounds interesting, right? Here are some tips to optimize on your first appointment-based experience:

Attend Your Meetings!

Scheduling is the foundation of any appointment-based event. Should one attendee fail to show, major behind-the-scenes matchmaking has to take place. This is why we value our attendees highly and do everything possible to ensure the day runs smoothly. Attending your meetings is key to a successful event and leverages your networking opportunity. We understand that life happens – which is why we can work with you to build a flexible schedule around your professional needs (conference calls, late arrivals etc.).

Ditch the Sales Pitch

Appointment-based events are a ‘no hard sell’ zone. Networking at these events is primarily about building relationships rather than immediate sales. People do business with people they like – get to know the person you would potentially work with and their company, then pursue a working relationship.

Ask Questions

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. In an appointment-based setting you are allotted a 30-minute meeting with solution providers on your schedule. For high quality meetings, we advise you to ask questions about available solutions. Should you need more time to discuss the product or service, you may connect with the solution provider during free time.

Listen! Listen! Listen!

Listening on both sides of the table is effective for identifying needs and finding solutions. As Megan Duckett of Sew What, Inc.? said, “Not every communication is an opportunity to blow your own business trumpet. Sometimes you may find yourself sharing information about another company or service that you have heard of.” There are numerous opportunities to share your knowledge and to learn from others at a forum – including seminars. These are conducted in an open-discussion format, where attending executives are able to share what they know to innovate and find solutions to common industry problems.

Relax & Enjoy the Experience

An appointment-based event is a less stressful experience for networking. There are no overwhelming booths or hounding representatives – just intimate, one-on-one meetings for executives seeking new solutions. Taking place in an intimate and luxurious setting, these events are packed with networking activities including meetings, seminars, after-hour activities, meals and receptions.

Do Your Research

In any networking environment, it always helps to research beforehand. Whether this means skimming through the LinkedIn group to see who’s attending, or reading up on some industry news – you will definitely reap the benefits. The best way to make a great first impression is to know your stuff and break the ice by acknowledging your peer’s successes (we advise looking over press releases or following a company on social media).

The Art of the Follow Up

After making connections at the Forum – it does no harm to follow up. Stay true to your word, should you have asked a provider to give you a call, take that call when they make it! Remember that this event’s main purpose is to develop lasting business relationships and follow up is key. In your event program, you will receive the contact information of every attendee and solution provider– it does no harm to reach out to the connections you feel are beneficial.


For more information on Forum Events and the industries we are in, visit and register online for an event in your industry.

Water Conservation in the Hospitality Industry

towels.jpgThe US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that hospitality facilities, including hotels and lodgings, use about 15 percent of water designated for commercial usage in the United States. Conserving energy is a main concern for facility managers and now the focus has turned to water management.

According to the EPA, restrooms account for the biggest use of water, accounting for about 30 percent of hotel water use. This is followed by laundry operations and landscaping.

Industry giant, Caesars, has dominated in the energy saving arena. Overall, the company has reduced its water use by seven percent per square foot of indoor space from 2008 to 2012 with plans to continue cutting back. These accomplishments are due to the installation of 10,700 low-flow shower heads that produce 1.8 gallons per minute compared to the average 2.5 gallons per minute. They have also installed low-flow sink aerators, which save an estimated 50.5 million gallons per year.

Caesars also sets an example for energy saving in the laundry room. By installing tunnel washers, the company was able to reduce water consumption in laundry facilities by 30 million gallons per year, predicting annual savings of $135,000 to $218,000.

To cut back on landscaping water usage, Caesars reduced the amount of water on its golf courses, using desert vegetation in some areas opposed to grass. While water is a big problem in Las Vegas, executives at Caesars are turning to new and innovative solutions to reduce energy costs including reusing rain water and extracting water from food waste etc.

As the hotel industry becomes more aware of energy costs, so are guests. By asking guests to opt out of daily linen and towel washing, the American Hotel and Lodging Association estimates a reduction of washing loads by 17 percent! This not only saves water, but also extends the life of linens and towels, reducing replacement costs.

The EPA recognizes the importance of conservation. In 2006 they initiated the WaterSense H2Otel Challenge. The program is designed to encourage hotels to use best management practices that will save water and money, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change.

The program states that by simply replacing water using fixtures with WaterSense labeled models, the average urban hotel with approximately 150 guest rooms would save nearly 760,000 gallons of water and more than $7,000 in water costs each year. Participating hotels include Courtyard Hotels, Residence Inn, The Ritz-Carlton, Wyndham and Marriotts. To see the full list of participating hotels, click here.

How to Reduce Liability at this Year's Holiday Party

Holiday parties are a prime way to boost morale and team work in the office. One key component of most parties, however, is alcohol. A 2012 survey found that 61 percent of organizations plan to serve alcohol at their holiday parties, and of these organizations – only half plan to regulate alcohol consumption – leaving a big hole for employer liability.

According to the survey, celebrations held away from the office, which account for 70 percent of functions, boosts the chance of intoxication and employee misconduct. How can you prevent harassment and intoxication within your team this year?

57 percent of companies plan to use drink tickets to limit employees on their alcoholic intake, while other companies are resorting to only serve certain types of alcohol (42%) and even a cash bar (25%). To avoid these last minute restrictions, one-third of all organizations have a formal or informal policy that allows and limits drinking at work-related events.

The Risks

While employee parties are often a good and fun treat, there are laws that cover employees from some negative situations that often arise (consider harassment and potentially illegal employee conduct). Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 covers employees in environments where 15 or more employees (including regular part-time ones) are gathered. For conduct to be considered unlawful under the Title VII, the conduct must be unwelcome; and the conduct must be sufficiently severe or pervasive. One single, extremely serious incident of harassment at an office party, may leave the organization open to a Title VII claim.

Also, consider the dangers of drunk driving liability. A California appellate court found an employer liable for a DUI accident that left one dead after an employee left a holiday work party at which they consumed alcohol. “It is irrelevant that foreseeable effects of the employee’s negligent conduct (here, the car accident) occurred at a time the employee was no longer acting within the scope of his or her employment,” the court ruled.

How to Limit Liability

Employers should consider taking the following steps to limit their liability while still hosting fun, morale-building festivities this season:

  • Have a comprehensive, written anti-harassment policy stated clearly in employee handbooks.
  • Before the event, send an email to all staff members attending reminding them to act responsibly at the party and clearly state the zero-tolerance for inappropriate behavior.
  • To avoid suggestive attire, enforce the company’s dress code.
  • Make it clear that attendance at the party does not impact the person’s standing at the company – allow attendance to be at free will.
  • Set a tone of moderation regarding alcohol consumption. Stress that excessive alcohol consumption will not be tolerated.
  • Limit the number of drinks, or length of time during which alcohol will be served. Provide substantial non-alcoholic alternatives.

Should an employee or coworker become heavily intoxicated or noticeably drink too much, offer them a ride home in a taxi or, so long as you have not been drinking, drive them home safely. 

'Tis the Season: Holiday Season Productivity Tips

We are officially in the midst of the holiday season, which means that the art of balancing the stress of gift giving and entertaining with life at the office is being tested. According to the American Management Association, about two-thirds of 600 full-time employees surveyed said they experienced stress during the holiday season. 44 percent of executives similarly say productivity decreases during the holiday season. Workplace consultant Anne Grady says that employee frustration doesn’t come from having too much to do, but rather from unclear expectations. So how can we balance work and play this holiday season? Here are just a few tips:

1. Know and Balance Your Stressors

One of the biggest problems with the holidays is an overload of personal to-do lists interfering with the growing office to-do list. If you’re having a panic moment, regroup and make a list of what takes priority. Dedicate specific times to get your to-do list done and keep your work and personal list separate.

2. Get Flexible At Work

Employers can help boost productivity during work hours by compromising. Understanding the needs of employees can create a better environment and boost numbers over the holiday season. Managers should consider easing up on restrictions during this time of the year, offering incentives for good work and should the question arise – beware of opportunities to work from home. While groveling employees may be a temporary hassle, it’s worth it to keep customers happy.

3. Coordinate Calendars

This is optimal time for PTO. Beware that you don’t cut yourself short in the office by being too vacation happy. Make sure that calendars are aligned and the team understands the needs of the workplace in terms of absences and vacation days. Keep a shared calendar so that if there are any discrepancies – you don’t corner yourself too late.

4. Don’t obsess about hours

You’ve set a plan, you’ve set time off dates, and you’re giving your employees some leg room. Don’t stress about employees taking an extended lunch break or coming in a few minutes late, just be aware of their deadlines and work. If employees are not getting their work done, regardless of their time in the office, you will know and be able to act accordingly.

5. Relax!

Tensions in the office this season will show in your customer appreciation. Relax and remember now is the time to be grateful and enjoy your company and work friends. Setting a healthy environment is key to a positive holiday season.

Avoiding Holiday Fire Hazards

With Halloween checked off the calendar and Thanksgiving quickly approaching, the holiday season is in full swing. Decorating this season could put your facility at risk for potential fire hazards. To prevent tragedy, follow these tips for fire safe decorating.

Interior Decorating Safety Tips:

  • Use fire-retardant decorations. Flame-resistant material must not exceed 10% of the aggregate area of walls and ceilings.
  • Be aware of your decoration placement. Avoid combustible decorations concentrated in one area on a wall to prevent rapid fire growth.
  • Crepe-paper and pyroxlin plastic decorations must be documented as fire retardant.
  • Do not place natural cut trees in facility.
  • Artificial Christmas trees must be effectively flame-retardant treated and placed away from heat vents, fireplaces and sunny windows.
  • Do not use extension cords, circuit breaker power strips are recommended for a safe electrical power source. Do not connect one power strip to another power strip.
  • Do not light candles indoors.
  • Pre-test lights that are UL listed. Plug them in for 15 minutes before decorating, then check for excessive heat or damaged wiring.
  • Check your lights for cracked or frayed wires and loose or broken plugs.
  • Avoid overloading light strings. Do not connect more than 200 miniature lights or 50 large lights together. Small lights are safer because they produce less heat.
  • Turn off and unplug lights at night. Grasp the cord by the plug; never pull on the cord itself.
  • Do not block exits or fire pull stations with decorations or Christmas trees.
  • Do not hang decorations on light fixtures, smoke detectors or sprinkler heads.
  • Decorations on doors should not prevent their function or cover the identifications as the means of egress.

Outside Decorating Safety Tips:

  • Do not use indoor lights for outdoor decorating. Be sure to check the label on the box to see if the lights are for indoor or outdoor use.
  • Limit the use of heavy duty extension cords.
  • Be sure extension and light cords do not create a tripping hazard.
  • Turn off and unplug lights at night.
  • Do not block the exit discharge with holiday decorations.

ACA Open Enrollment Tips for the Busy Executive

With horror stories from last year’s enrollment, the start of open enrollment on November 15th sounds especially daunting. For those of you who are busy working and don’t have time to waste working your way through the kinks in the website – here are a few tips:

Calendar: The open enrollment period for the Health Insurance Marketplace begins November 15th, 2014 and ends February 15th, 2015.

Save Your Registration for a Weekday: If you plan to register online at, beware that the website will not run at full capacity on the weekends. IT departments will be performing routine maintenance and upgrades to the site during this time. This will prevent you from creating accounts, upload documents or apply for coverage.

Call in for Help!: While the website is at high-use, you can call into a Marketplace call center any time, 24/7 at 1(800) 318-2596 or (TTY) 1(855) 889-4325. Beware though, the average call wait is 35 minutes.

Don’t Underestimate for a Lower Price: By missing a zero off of your income or slightly skewing your earnings, you may be setting yourself up for a shock come the 2016 tax season. Subsidies that help people buy coverage are tax credits for the upcoming 2015 tax year.

Avoid Stickershock:  Prepare for a hike in rates this year. Several carriers nationwide are reporting rate increased from 7.5% to 19%. Before switching your carrier, double check with your doctor to make sure your care won’t change.

Tips for Top Talent Management

Fostering talent can be one of the largest investments for any business. Implementing a talent management strategy is important for developing future leaders and instilling company goals and growth. Below are several tips for developing a healthy talent management process.

1. Know Your Talent
Identify and get to k now your top performers. Encourage open communication and pay attention to new milestones. Be aware of your competitors, chances are if you appreciate your top talent, someone else will too.

2. Value Your Top Performers
Make sure your top performers know how much they are valued. According to a 2010 study by Charan and Conaty, great talent managers are not just familiar with people, but know them intimately. One company implemented a ‘talking talent toolkit.’  Using this tool, managers were able to distinguish between a ‘performance conversation’ and a ‘talent conversation,’ providing a practical way for managers to understand employee’s aspirations and desires.

3. Keep Your Top Performers in the Know
Do your top performers understand companywide goals? Do they know the realities of your business strategy? It’s important to get your integral players involved with company growth and development. Make sure your top performers are privy to goals and are in the position to reach company objectives.

 4. Assessing the Workforce
A traditional talent strategy can develop reliable talent – but sometimes, unique and unforeseen talent develops leaders. Many companies are now turning to research to better understand suitable candidates. Thomas Reuters has turned to research to identify attributes of a top leader. They have conducted internal and external research to identify the traits of future leaders – one new characteristic relates specifically to an individual’s capacity to interact with technology.

5. Respect Diversity
Nurture the talent all individuals. It is important to identify groups that may be underrepresented and to nurture them to reach their full ability. It is crucial to develop training that helps people excel and participate as an optimum player in the workforce.

Surviving an Appointment-Based Event Alone

“Even high achieving, apparently extrovert people find it difficult to get into the habit of initiating face-to-face encounters, often using time poverty as an avoidant excuse.”

The thought of attending a conference alone can be daunting. When you add up the pressure of making introductions, hearing pitches, walking through thousands of busy booths and collecting business cards, these events can be exhausting. The need to network is a vital part of business though, yet one in four professionals say they do not network at all, even worse 40 percent of professionals say they would like to network more often, but just don’t have the time. Attending an appointment-based event is the perfect solution to concisely meeting with relevant providers, concentrating up to 30-meetings in just a-day-and-a-half – better yet, there’s no hard sell and no awkward introductions.

Attending an appointment-based event by yourself is simple. Unlike a typical trade show, you are given a pre-arranged itinerary of meetings. Everyone has a reason to be at the event and to meet with you, making all of your appointments relevant and meaningful. Here are some tips to survive attending an appointment-based event alone

1. Be honest when completing your profile

The most crucial step to organizing a Forum is the matching process. In order to ensure everyone has a productive event, the matching process takes into account any upcoming projects or needed-services. This information is used to connect you with solution providers who can actually assist you in meeting your company’s goals. An honest profile means more beneficial meetings and better expert advice.

2. Manners Cost Nothing

At an appointment-based event, you don’t have to worry about the anxiety that surrounds making an introduction. Everyone has a place to be at a Forum, and so each person’s time is valuable – it’s as simple as meeting with someone in your scheduled time and having a conversation. Remember to be polite and courteous, have a real conversation and make a valuable connection.

3. Be Open When Meeting Your Peers

Part of the fun with appointment-based events is the networking activities that separate the full days of meetings. During the networking breakfasts, lunches, the Gala dinner and casino evening, you will casually meet peers from your industry. Be open to hearing about their company and their suggestions. Every piece of knowledge is up for grabs at an appointment-based event and a connection could turn into an opportunity down the road.

4. Navigate the Room

Throughout the two days, you will meet hundreds of attendees. To make the most of an appointment-based event, challenge yourself by separating from your typical group and meet with new professionals. A good example is sitting at a dinner table where you know no one and initiating a conversation, or adding to a topic at a seminar. Be friendly, be open and be approachable.

5. The Staff are Your Best Friends

Every member of the Forum Events team is dedicated to making the attendees feel at home. If you ever feel you are out of your comfort zone, or want to make a connection that you are not scheduled for – don’t hesitate to let a staff member know. Throughout the networking activities, staff will be seated and mingling also, so if you have any questions – be sure to ask.

By scheduling up to 30 appointments over a-day-and-a-half, we eliminate the adversity to time excuse for not networking. The concentrated appointment-based strategy for connecting professionals provides opportunity for expanded knowledge, new business and potential career advancement, all in an intimate and informal setting, perfect for a lone ranger to attend.

7 Tips for Appointment-Based Networking

Appointment-based events challenge a traditional trade show in the sense that your presence matters. While sitting across from a potential client or solution provider, your interactions are vital to... More »




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