Monday, April 25, 2016

Marketing to Millennials. Know Them and Love Them!

Millennials!  You need them!

Understand them, don't make assumptions!

There are some things that I don't understand.  One of those things is when businesses say they don't want to market to Millennials.  First, I'm not a Millennial so don't assume I'm one of those so-called "me, me, me slackers, entitled, non-communicators" and whatever. Millennials get a bad rap!  As with every generation, the previous generation wonders how they'll ever make it or has said, "They don't show any respect!"  Ha!  Somethings never change.

They've experienced family life differently.

Seriously, when a business says they don't want to market to Millennials, I'm wondering how much longer they can keep their head in the sand.  Millennials currently make up the largest segment of the population in the United States!  Their lives touch different age groups than in the past.  Some of them were born to parents who were very young while others were born to parents who waited until their 30's-40's to have children.  Some Millennials had their own children at a very young age.  Because of that, they were exposed to either fewer or more generations than previous generations.  Some Millennials have aging parents, some have much younger parents.  Why does all of this matter for marketing?   Let's talk about that.

Think about their view of the world.

The most important thing is marketing is knowing how to communicate with any particular marketing segment and know their mindset.  Their needs can vary greatly from one to another.  Remember that this age group has seen a lot for their years including multiple wars, an economic crisis most comparable to the Depression, scandals at all levels, one of the most rapidly changing ages in technology, etc.  Some of the Millennials are also facing wages and employment opportunities that don't even come close to the cost of living in many major areas of the country.  It's no wonder that they are compared to those who grew up during the Depression.  They are not as materialistic as the Baby Boomers.  Many are very frugal and have no problem using Uber rather than owning a car, spend a lot of time on Pinterest learning about DIY projects, are overwhelmed with information but use that access to dig deep into finding the truth.  You can't nor should you try to pull anything over their eyes.

Forget about them only wanting to be texting or that it's technology or nothing.

If you want Millennials to come to your store, you will be spinning your wheels unless you offer them an experience that is different than what they receive through technology.  You can use technology to reach them, but to get them into your store, you had better make an event out of it.  Make them feel special with a "by-invitation-only" event.  They will be texting about their experience at your store, so you have to do it right and be glad you have instant positive marketing because of their connections. One more thing!  Millennials love to receive things in the mail!

Guess what?  They are human beings, too!

They are no different than any other generation.  In fact, for major events that they attend, they aren't as interested in technology being a big part of it as they are just having a good time with their friends!  Sound familiar?  This generation has been able to have a world view like no other generation before it.  With the internet so accessible, the world has literally been at their fingertips.  They are not disconnected.  They also have a great "truth meter" built into them.  They verify facts and don't assume everything that they hear is to be taken for truth. Not all Millennials are like this, but this is a fair assessment.   

They have a heart!

Justice, the environment, volunteerism are on their minds.  If you want to appeal to them, make a part of your business cause-oriented.  Pair up with charities and you will gain the respect of Millennials.  They are inheriting this world and they care about it.  More power to them!

You know what?  I'm proud of them!  How do I know them?  I planned weddings for 8 years and most of them were Millennials.  I also have umpteen nieces, nephews and grand-nieces and grand-nephews in this age group.  I love them!!

Wishing you the greatest of days!

Creating and Remembering the Greatest of Days in Your Personal and Business Life with Events!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Ear to the Ground, Fly on the Wall and A Crystal Ball

Contest, right off the bat!

Yes, the Greatest of Days newsletter tries to be fun and why not?  We are about events, marketing and networking so it has to lean to the fun side for events of any kind to be enjoyed, taught well, de-stressifying (if that's even a word), remembered or even comforting.  You will be in the know for everything events, marketing and networking for your business or job.  We're really going to pay attention to marketing to Millennials and zero in on the people who don't think they want to market to them.   Their bad...temporarily!

Even part of our wedding planning era stuck with us, so we still officiate weddings.  Did I say, we alleviate stress or comfort people?  Heck, yeah!  We carry tissues for our clients on these occasions, sometimes from laughing so hard.  They say laughing and crying are the same thing, right?

Haven't forgotten about the contest....just scroll on down.

Creativity is pretty much our middle name even if the logo shows that our middle name is "of".  You're in for some fun contests, brainstorming, and a boat load of information you probably never had thought of before.  In our humble opinion, the latter would be an "Aha!" moment or a "Hey!  Let's do thaaaat! Yeah."

The first contest is what shall we name this serious and crazy, 4-1-1 packed newsletter?  If you don't leave a comment, I might have to sic the dogs onto you!

We might even be splitting our business into two parts; one part for social events and the second part for business be prepared for another contest.

Here's the link to sign up to receive our newsletter!

Monday, April 4, 2016

Brainstorming Does Not Happen in a Box!

I count myself lucky to be in the events industry where we are constantly challenged to think outside the box!  There's nothing I love more than brainstorming with a team or an individual to work through a maze of ideas to reach a fabulous solution or creation.

This made me think about the qualities people need to be a great brainstormer.

1.  Be good listeners.

2.  Have the belief that there is no such thing as a stupid idea.

3.  Use "stupid" ideas as launching points for continued conversation.

4.  Aren't afraid to say any idea that comes to their mind.

5.  Avoid putting down other people's ideas...lets them be.  Accepts them as ideas that are growing!

6.  Realizes that some people don't always jump on board to change easily.

7.  Is willing to abandon "We've always done it this or that way".

8.  Lets things slide off their back when someone doesn't understand or like their idea.  They just haven't seen the end result yet!

9.  Knows that in real life that brainstorming skills will help them when they have to turn on a dime.

10.  Invests some time beyond the first meeting to discuss and propel the process forward.

11.  Never forgets the purpose of their discussion but doesn't discount being able kill two birds with one stone as a result of brainstorming.

12.  Invites uncreative types to participate but doesn't let the uncreative types outnumber the creative types.  

13.  Last but not least, realizes that the uncreative need to be gently pulled out of their comfort zone to shed their belief that they aren't creative.  Once they warm up,  everyone will be surprised at their contributions.

Have fun brainstorming whether it be to find a solution to a problem, to make something beautiful, work better, be repurposed or launch a new product.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Help Your Guests Have a Memory Like an Elephant

Help Your Guests Have a Memory Like an Elephant!

Events are like learning experiences.  Everyone experiences life in their own way much like their individual learning styles.  What does this have to do with events?  Everything.

I'll explain.  If you are hosting an event, the whole point is to have it be remembered for all the right reasons.  Granted, I'm not an expert on elephants, but they're largely known for their excellent memories.  More on that a little later.

To make your event memorable, whether it is a social, business, association or community event, you need to use techniques to grab everyone's individual attention.  

Don't Assume People Think Like You Do!
As an event planner, I have heard various clients say that no one cared about this or that. Usually is was about decorations.  I would remind them that when people recall an event it's in the form of a visual memory.  I even heard people planning a wedding ask, "People don't really care about a wedding cake, do they?"  To make an impression across the spectrum of people attending an event, you should include things that you personally don't think are important.  The odds are not in your favor of people not noticing that something is missing to them.  Don't discount ideas that other people have or make assumptions about those ideas. Enjoy expanding the entire thought process of planning an event.

See, Listen, Taste, Touch and Smell
People will experience things through the senses.  Think of people when they talk about a subject that is new to them.  You'll probably hear one of these responses.  "I have to see it first."  "I just need to hear it one more time." Perhaps you'll hear someone say "Just let me do it and stop talking to me about it!"  Fewer people will notice the smells of something they're learning, but some people might mention that.  You'll have others that can't seem to have a conversation without the mention of food.  For people who are not Foodies, they can't understand how food can be present on their minds all of the time.  We've covered all five senses, but there is one more sense, if you will, that you need to appeal to people's way of experiencing things.  

Yes, I call the sixth sense, "Quiet".  This is for the people who would rather have a place away from the hubbub where they can quietly comprehend things almost to the extent of being by themselves. 

If you are planning an event, do yourself a favor and do some role playing of people who are opposite in their way of thinking than you.  Think of what you remember about events.  Also, try to remember the times when people have talked to you as you both recall an event.  There has probably been a time when you've discussed a detail of a party, meeting, special occasion, or community event and someone was surprised that you didn't remember that detail or you remembered it very differently.  The fact is, you both might be right...according to how you each experienced things. 

We Need to Give the Elephants Some Credit!
So help all of your attendees or guests remember things as well as an elephant would!  Did you know that the structure of an elephant's brain has more connections that make their ability to learn and remember things superior to the human brain?  Their brains are also proportionately larger for their body size than is the brain of a human and our body size.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Boost Your Business with Successful Events!: Create Business Events That Won't Be Forgotten

Marketing with events gives a business the benefit of memorable marketing.

Boost Your Business with Successful Events!: Create Business Events That Won't Be Forgotten: "Create Business Events That Won't Be Forgotten" The best part about hosting events for marketing purposes is that they are...

Create Business Events That Won't Be Forgotten

"Create Business Events That Won't Be Forgotten"

The best part about hosting events for marketing purposes is that they are remembered more than other forms of marketing.  The key is to make them remembered for all the right reasons.  Events are a living form of marketing, can take on a life of their own, but that's what makes them memorable.  Sometimes your Return on Investment is realized much sooner than with other forms of marketing.  This is where making your events memorable comes into play.  You can read people's faces, see their interactions with one another and often as a host, you'll get a testimonial from people as they are preparing to leave an event. 

It's the Little Things that Count!
When I've been involved in events after months of planning, I've learned that if you are on high alert, you will know before your event has even started if it's going to be a hit or not.  One key element for people remembering an event is to have a theme.  If you see that people arrive and have really dressed the part, you know they've thought about the event for days if not weeks.  One of the funniest observations I made was at a "Sunset on Safari" themed Chamber of Commerce auction.  People had barely had their coats checked in before they were enjoying the ring toss for wine and other activities.  Part of the auction was going to be a dessert dash.  We had supplied the venue with beautiful silk safari-themed fabric but someone had also picked up some safari-themed dessert napkins.  The photographer for the event came up to me and asked if he could use of of the napkins to put in his suit pocket as an accessory like a handkerchief.  I thought it was a wonderful idea!  It wasn't too much later that a I noticed that almost all of the men "followed suit" and had the napkins in their pockets as well.  Yes, the men were invested at that point and that was a wonderful sign.  At that moment I knew it was going to be a successful auction and sure enough, they had their best fundraising auction on record.  Capture hearts and minds and you're off to the races!  

Music, Music, Music!
A very solid element that you must have a an event for it to be remembered is music.  Music affects more parts of the brain than other forms of communication or activities.  People will not remember other aspects of an event as well if there isn't music.  I would say that the most important vendor at an event is a good DJ, not someone with an iPod and a microphone.  DJ's read the crowd and I've heard them say that they are thinking in three-minute intervals throughout an entire event.  I think every event should have an emcee if there are going to be any activities involved.  People like to know that an event is flowing smoothly.  The vendor I speak with the most at events is the DJ, more than the caterer or the venue.  A DJ is really the hub of a good event for marketing.

The ambience can set set with lighting, sounds, activities, objects or props, smells, mouth-watering tastes of morsels and fun experiences that are unique to whatever your business is.  If you let your guests step into your shoes just enough to get an appreciation for what you do, they will see your business in an entirely different light.

If you think back to grade school days and throughout your life since then, the information you recall the easiest is when a fun activity or series of good laughs came right along with a topic that was being taught.  If you let your hair hang down, you become real and more approachable.  That's so important for a business owner.  The key thing a business needs to do for an event is to create a comfortable atmosphere.  Make learning fun!  

The first thing that many people think of is wine, but I'll break it to you right now...your event will not be remembered as well if alcohol is involved even if your guests don't get plastered.  Save some money on the beverages!  Try some mock-tails instead.  There are some sparkling ciders (not your big box store varieties) that I think would work great as a psychological experiment.  I tasted one that could have easily passed for champagne.  The devil in me wants to serve that at a party and see if people get tipsy with the placebo effect.  I would never tell them otherwise at my own private parties!  Professionally, I have to be a little bit better behaved.   I have no problem brainstorming at all.  None I guess I'm in the right industry. 

Wishing you the...

Greatest of Days

Event Planning (excluding weddings)
Business Training for Marketing with Events
Wedding Officiating

If you would like to have Janis Flagg come speak to your business or organization about marketing with events, please contact us at: and we will be in touch.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Plan with Purpose, Pt. 1 Hosting Business Events

Planning an Event for Your Business Part 1.

I've never cared for the term pre-planning.  Planning is planning.  If you have a series of events, you should actually start planning for the next event within a week of the event you just held.  Things will be fresh in your mind of what went well, what could have gone more smoothly, and what made the event special in the eyes of your attendees or audience.

Identify Your Primary Purposes of Your Event

Is your event's purpose to:

Inform people of changes, 
Celebrate a person or an accomplishment, 
Introduce a person or a product, 
Build morale, 
Join forces with an industry expert, 
Gain clients, 
Repair a damaged reputation?

Remember that if events aren't fun, the material being taught or the message being sent will not be absorbed or recalled as effectively.

Spend some time carefully thinking about what you want to accomplish.  It doesn't have to be just one single purpose.  You can blend more than one purpose, but they must enhance each others intent.

Click here to contact us.  We would love to hear from you!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Think Like a Reporter When Planning Any Event

Think Like a Reporter When Planning Any Event

If you think back to your first journalism class, what was reinforced more than anything?  It was to make a complete story and that meant focusing on the 5 W's and 1 H.  The who, what, where, when, why and how.  The same philosophy applies to hosting a successful event to boost your business.  However, with events, you take this approach from two different directions or two different angles, if you will.

Those two different angles would be from:

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

We All Need to Talk!

The phrase, "We need to talk" can mean so many things.  If you have just met someone at a networking event and you both think you could expand on a great idea or introduce them to people that are in their target market, the phrase "We need to talk" is exciting, filled with hope and wonder.  On the other hand, this same phrase between two or more people at work or in a family scenario, it can bring a pit to your stomach.  If you're on the receiving end of that phrase, you're probably having to keep your imagination from going wild.  In a split second after a boss says that, you could begin thinking, layoff, fired, performance review, merger or downsizing. Bad news no matter what!

I want to concentrate on this phrase in relation to a boss/supervisor/manager/owner or anyone in authority to those who are their employees.  I hate the word subordinates so I won't call them that.  Not as often, but that phrase can come from an employee who is responsible for other employees and is giving the four-word suggestion to a supervisor.

I remember working at one place where the morale was so bad that everything came to a head.  Everything shut down for a day and the whole operation went on a retreat.  You could cut the air with a knife.  When I look back on it, I can see that the management waited too long to communicate with the employees about their concerns over huge workloads, inadequate workspace and insisting on us us taking comp time instead of overtime.  When we were working such long hours, how in the world did they think we were going to find the time to use up the comp time when we could seldom squeeze any time off?  The supervisors took even longer to pretend to care about doing anything regarding their employees' concerns.  It was a development office (fundraising department) and their goal was to keep operating costs to 1-2% of donations received.  That's honorable until you reach the reputation of being a sweatshop! 

It's time for a retreat, detente, summit  or meeting in a DMZ!

I would suggest that there be a mediator for really bad situations and that there would be more than one method for each side to communicate such as speaking but also writing things down.  I would also suggest hiring a person who specializes in planning retreats to recommend the structure for this type of event.  You have to utilize methods that will make everyone involved in a way that they understand the various angles or concerns of all levels of employees and management.  

To keep things from getting to the point of mutiny, it would be preferable if there was a regularly scheduled event to encourage an open and consistent dialogue and a constantly present suggestion box in such a way that no be feels threatened.  The corporate world has become a swamp as far as loyalty in either direction.  There's a huge gap in work ethics (perceived or real) that comes from everyone's individual experience and perspective.  Many people do not feel valued, management feels pressure from all directions, CEO's to stockholders and all the way up and down the line.  Somethings never change over decades or even centuries, and you can only aim towards improvement over time.

What can be helpful is to design an event that make everyone on par with each other to the point that people feel like they are on the same team.  It makes me think of "E Pluribus Unum", of many become one.  No one said it would be easy, but if the effort isn't made, the consequences can be very detrimental to a business.

As always...

Wishing you the greatest of days!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

When Your Business Relocates, Celebrate!

What should a business do when they are moving or have moved to a new nest, swimming hole, den, hole in the wall or a different zip code?

You would never send a "We've Moved!" notice that didn't include a new address.  We would be much more likely to send people an invitation to a housewarming party.  When you move yourself or your family within the same town, you probably don't worry about losing friends.  However, it's an entirely different story when someone has relocated a business.  As soon as all the "t"'s have been crossed, the "i's" have been dotted and the ink has dried, it's time let it be known that a big change is on its way and is just around the bend!

Many businesses don't realize how much they have become a part of a person's normal routine, are only visited because of their proximity to another area where they shop, are perceived as the only game in town or they have simply become a habit or even a luxury.  If a business gets out of that convenient location zone, they can quickly become an inconvenience.  If no one else provides their services, it's even more important that they leave bread crumbs not so they can find their way back but instead to help their customers find the new location.  They don't want people to feel stranded, lost or left out not knowing where they have disappeared to or worse yet, start a rumor that they have gone out of business.  You can compare it to when you can only find that delicious sugar-free jam, that tastes like your grandmother's recipe at a particular store and suddenly the store stops carrying that brand.  You will be looking for it everywhere or be going to the higher priced store that carries it just so you can continue getting that product.  We are creatures of habit and if a business disrupts that habit, they have some work cut out for them to retain clients.

If you have created a special bond with your clients, they will seek you out.  I'm sure we've all become attached to a particular business, product or service and have followed them perhaps even more than once.  It's nice to let customers know well in advance that you are moving.  The business is responsible to help their customers place themselves mentality in the new location.  No one else has that responsibility!  They need to build up the facts about how the new location is better, bigger, has more parking or enables them to offer more services.  

The most noticeable way for a business to get people to their new location is to have a party or some type of celebration.  They will not only be showing their clients their "new house", as a business they will be creating a good excuse for their new neighbors to say, "Hello!  I'm your neighbor three doors down and I am an interior designer" or whatever it is that they do.  Perhaps they can even set up an appointment to get better acquainted later.  Their shyer neighbors might be more comfortable coming to their event knowing that they won't be interrupting business as usual and will seize the moment that is designed to include them.

So the next time you hear that a business is moving, do them a big favor and make sure they are going to celebrate their move.  If all they plan on doing is putting up a sign that says that they have moved, the next sign they might be putting in a window is one not a pleasant to put up.  That would be a dreaded "Going out of Business" sign.  

As always...

Wishing you the greatest of days!

You might be asking, "What exactly does Greatest of Days mean?  What do you do?"  My apologies if you have to ask.  Greatest of Days is an event planning business in the Seattle area which helps individuals and businesses plan or learn how to host successful events with less stress...and officiates weddings.  (Just couldn't give that up from the good ole wedding planning days!)  I can hear you say, "Aha!  Now I get it!"  Now, I'm happy that you're happy!  

"Creating and Remembering Life's Greatest of Days"