Event Wisdom: Simple things that make a difference

Gail Davis, 06 November 2009

Pipe and DrapeI love going to events. It reminds me of when I used to manage a large corporate events department. I learned so much doing large scale events in the Fortune 100 environment. Some of the tricks are so simple, inexpensive and easy, yet they make a real impact.

Podium signage- Always create a foam board sign with your company, association or organization logo. These cost around $50 and will become part of your “tool box” for doing events. Use double stick tape to place it over the hotel’s logo on the podium. When the audience is looking at the podium or the image on the IMAG screen they will see your logo not the hotel logo – why should they get a free branding opportunity at your event! Simple yet effective.

Pipe and drape- Don’t automatically go with black. Think about it. If you have a large venue and you will be using IMAG screens (Image Magnification where you see the speaker on big screens), what is going to look the best? I don’t think black is always the answer.

I remember one event with a female presenter. Someone you all know. She had very dark hair and was wearing black suit. Her image was projected on the IMAG screen. She was against black pipe and drape. She looked like a floating head.

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International Events

Gail Davis, 21 October 2009

International EventsI was fortunate when I started this company 10 years ago. I had 20 years of corporate event planning under my belt. So, I knew the lingo and had a well-rounded understanding of event planning. But I also realized that you never get too old to learn…

This month we successfully booked Nando Parrado for an international event in Barcelona, Spain. This process came with ease and it made me think back to another international event that was a huge success.

We booked a speaker, Mike Riera, to speak three dates in the Middle East. His stops included Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Morocco. The logistics were super involved.

The stop in Jeddah involved getting a visa. The requirements for the visa were very specific. We were down to the wire in getting the visa on time.

As we were finalizing the details, our contact told us the event would start at 11 p.m. at night. Lesley on my team kept emailing to ensure she understood correctly. Later we learned that events are held at night because it is so hot during the day.

In some ways this was the most complicated event we have ever organized. In other ways it was very typical. We realized that while we are 8 hours apart, speak different languages and come from different cultures, but, we also all wanted the same thing- a successful event.

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A CEO Who Gets It!!!

Gail Davis, 19 August 2009

GJ HartI had the pleasure of visiting the Texas Roadhouse corporate headquarters and spending two hours with CEO G. J. Hart. In some ways, I felt like I had gone back home. In my former life, I worked closely with Les Alberthal, CEO of EDS, planning corporate recognition events. He always challenged me to give our attendees and their guests a once in a lifetime experience. He was very committed to that principle. I have often wondered if there was another C-level corporate executive who shared his passion for the importance of recognizing his people through memorable experiences at events.

Well, I may have met his match. G. J. Hart is not yet 52 and he lights up when he talks about giving back to a community, his company culture and the internal foundation. He made a bold move to state unabashedly his opinion about why spending money on events is important. Oh, and he did that on national TV just after the AIG debacle. He took a risk but spoke his truth…..meetings are important. And guess what? He became a rock star. People could not argue the facts. He runs a profitable company, is extremely social-conscious and he knows how to motivate his people.

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Celebrating 10 Years of Inspiration

Gail Davis, 20 April 2009

Gail DavisMay 1989. It was a pivotal month in my life. I took the leap and started Gail Davis & Associates.

There were so many other things swirling in my life: I had two young boys and everything that comes with that ... I'd had a 20-year career at, what was at the time, one of the biggest corporations in the world ... and I had this inescapable feeling in the pit of my stomach that if I didn't step out on my own I'd miss out on living my passion. It was truly a "trust your gut" moment.

And so, rather than rehashing all the memories from the past ten years (we have a timeline on the home page that gives you a taste of those big moments), I want to share my gratitude.

I am thankful for Nando. When you took a phone call from an event planner back in 1988 and agreed to tell your story at her event, did you ever imagine we'd be where we are today? Your story continues to be my inspiration.

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Domestic Violence

Gail Davis, 06 April 2009

Leslie Morgan SteinerYou would have to be living under a rock to not know about the recent Chris Brown and Rihanna incident. Larry King, Oprah and everything in between is covering this topic.

Domestic violence is a sad and complicated issue. It’s an issue that never goes away, that people need to keep hearing about.

That’s why we’re proud to represent Leslie Morgan Steiner. Leslie is the author of “Crazy Love” – a new book released on March 28.

Leslie is someone I have truly enjoyed getting to know. From the first moment you meet her, you’re drawn to her warm and open personality. She is attractive and confident. It does not take long to realize how smart she is. Her degrees from Harvard and Wharton come as no surprise.

I first got to know Leslie when her husband was a client. I remember thinking it was so neat that he was so very proud of her. He told me about her shortly after she published her first book, “Mommy Wars.”

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Milestones and Celebrations

Gail Davis, 25 March 2009

Gail Davis with son KyleMy oldest son turned 21 today, and I can say with a smile on my face that it’s a great feeling watching my son become an adult.

I am proud of the work I put into parenting and I am equally relieved that he has become an independent adult. I like what I see and consider it a sort of accomplishment.

Gail Davis & Associates will be 10 years old in May. In retrospect, starting a company, or even leading one, is a lot like parenting. I’ve let it grow, figured out when it’s better to let go than hold tight, and at the same time, I have never stopped being committed to the areas I believe require my constant involvement.

The greatest testament to my company’s maturity was my ability to take AND ENJOY a two-week vacation earlier this year. It was able to run without me. I could see the commitment of my team to handle the details and customer service with a high degree of professionalism. Their ability to see the big picture and the overall goal of the client's event is what keeps loyal relationships alive in this business.

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