Festival and Events Advice Pop Up Clinics Nationwide Tour New Dates Added

This month sees the inaugural AOIFE Festival and Events Advice Clinic roll into over 40 locations in all 32 counties to engage with the 400 plus Festivals and event organisers in the Country.

Aoife’s Executive Director and Communications Assistant will be traversing the Country this season in an effort to meet local member Festival and event organisers. Modelled on other Network offerings – the POP Up Advice Clinics are facilitated locally to allow organisers meet AOIFE personnel and get a steer on some of their problems.
Founded in 1993- the Association of Irish Festivals and Events Association is the fourth largest in Europe (with over 200 members) and through training networking and advocating best practice helps “not for profit festivals” reach and expand their local and international goals.
The Clinics will deal with:
  •  The European Festival Labelling & Awards Programme
  •  Funding and Grant Applications
  •  Setting up a new Festival / Event
  •  Revenue and Sponsorship Opportunities
  •  Leader and Cluster support
  •  Association Development
  •  Social Media Mentoring
  •      Connections, Contacts and General Advice.
Participants MUST register with the AOIFE Secretariat in advance to book at 30 minute consultation during the time the team are there. The Advice Clinic Service is Free to members and non-members must pay a fee of €50.
Over 40 locations in 19 counties will be completed before Easter. A further 8 in Leinster and Ulster in April / May and the remaining 5 Ulster Counties will be visited in the early Autumn – affording may in the 200 plus network an ideal opportunity to meet and discuss face to face issues confronting their festival and event.
Priority will be given to member Festivals of the association but it’s hoped the programme will give a chance for newer Festivals and Events in the non – profit sector to meet first hand with the Senior Team.
“The first edition of the EFFE Label and Award 2015-2016 presented 761 festivals from 31 countries receiving the EFFE Label and 12 of the most trend-setting European festivals which received an EFFE Award. We don’t want medium sized festivals to miss out on this opportunity to get recognition for their good work and get them to apply now for the EFFE Label 2017-2018!” stated Executive Director Colm Croffy Funded and supported by the EU Commission – A.O.I.F.E.is one of 27 National Hubs for the Awards Scheme.
Being a selected festival means to your audience, your sponsors, your media, your local authorities that your festival programme and mission belongs to the outstanding and innovative group of festivals in the European Union and beyond. It also means networking in the EFFE Label Meet-up on 6 May 2017 in Frankfurt where you will meet your colleagues; and your festival gets visibility through a dynamic branding and media campaign that will promote the EFFE Community towards audiences across Europe. All participating festivals have a profile page on the EFFE website and are all part of the online EFFE Professional Community.   Last but not least, EFA will animate this new international festivals community, allowing professionals to exchanges and interact with each other.
For Registration for your 30 minutes Advice Slot or your 30 minute Social Media Mentoring slot please contact Membership Officer Christina at 090 964 3779. Or see http://www.aoifeonline.com
Donegal/ Sligo/ Mayo/ North Galway
Mon 23rd January
Letterkenny Radisson Blue 9.15 a.m. – 15.15 p.m.
Donegal Town Abbey Hotel – 16.30 p.m. – 20.30p.m
Tuesday 24th January
Sligo Clayton Hotel 9.30 a.m. – 19.30 p.m.
Wednesday 25th January
Westport Woods Hotel 9.30 a.m. – 20.30 p.m.
Thursday 26th January
Clifden – Station House 9.30 – 1.30 pm
Claremorris –  Dalton Inn 15:00 – 17:30 p.m.
Tuam –  Corralea Court Hotel 18.30 – 21.30 p.m.
Leitrim/ Longford/ Roscommon/Westmeath /Offaly/ Tipperary
Monday 30th January
Carrick On Shannon – Bush Hotel, 9.30 a.m. – 13.30 p.m.
Longford Arms Hotel 15.00 – 18.30 p.m.
Roscommon Abbey Hotel 19.15 – 22.15 p.m.
Tuesday 31st January
Athlone – Prince of Wales 9.30 a.m. – 13.30 p.m.
Tullamore Bridge House Hotel 2.30 – 6.00
Birr Doolys 6.30 – 9.30 p.m.
Wednesday 1st February
Killaloe Lakeside Hotel 9.30 a.m. – 12.00 p.m.
Nenagh,- Abbeycourt Hotel 13.30 – 17.00 p.m.
Thurles Anner Hotel 18.00 – 20.00 p.m.
Thursday 2nd February
Clonmel – Clonmel Park Hotel 9.30 a.m. – 13.30 p.m.
Cashel – Baileys Hotel, 14.15 – 6.00 p.m.
Tipperary – Kiely’s Bar & Restaurant 6.30 – 20.00 p.m.
Monday 6th February
Mallow – Hibernian Hotel 9.30 a.m. – 13.30 p.m.
Fermoy – Corbett Court 14.30 – 18.30 p.m.
Cork City – Isaccs Hotel 19.30 – 21.30 p.m.
Tuesday 7th February
Cork City – Isaccs Hotel 9.30 a.m. – 14.30 p.m.
Kinsale – Actons Hotel 15.30 – 7.00 p.m.
Wednesday 8th February
Bandon – The Munster Arms 10.00 am -2 .00 p.m
Clonakilty – Clonakilty Quality Spa and Leisure 2.45.pm – 18.00 p.m.
Skibbereen – West Cork Hotel 18.30 pm – 8.00 p.m.
Thursday 9th February
Skibbereen – West Cork Hotel 10.00 am – 1.00 p.m.
Bantry Westlodge Hotel –  15.00 p.m – 19.00 p.m.
Friday 10th February
Macroom  – Riverside Park  Hotel 10.15 am – 12.15 p.m.
Newmarket – Scanlons Bar  1.15 pm – 3.00 p.m.
Charleville – Charleville Park Hotel – 4.00 p.m- 5.30 p.m
Kerry/ Kilkenny
Monday 13th February
Kenmare – Kenmare Bay Hotel 09.30 a.m. – 13.30 p.m.
Cahersiveen – Ring Of Kerry Hotel 15.00 pm – 19.30
Tuesday 14th February
Killorglin –  The Bianconi Inn 9.30 a.m.- 13.30 p.m.
Dingle – The Dingle Skellig Hotel – 14.45 – 18.30
Wednesday 15th February
Tralee – Rose Hotel 9.30 a.m. – 13.00 p.m.
Killarney – The Brehon – 17.30 – 20.00 p.m.
Friday  17th February
Kilkenny  – The New Park 10.30 a.m. – 15.30. p.m.
Galway/ Limerick
Monday  27th February
Limerick City – Castletroy Park Hotel – 4.30 p.m – 20.00 p.m
Tuesday 28th February
Galway City – Imperial Hotel 10.00 a.m. – 19.30 p.m.
 Wednesday 1st March
Athenry – Raheen Woods Hotel 9.30 a.m. – 13.30 p.m..
Loughrea – Lough Rea Hotel 14:30 – 17.30 p.m.
Portumna  Work House Centre – 18.30 – 21.00 p.m.
Limerick/ Kildare/ Westmeath / Cavan/ Monaghan
Tuesday 7th March
Limerick – Casteltroy Park Hotel 10:00 – 20:00 p.m.
Wednesday 8th March
Newbridge / Maynooth./ Mullingar Venues to be Advised
Thursday 9th March
Cavan / Monaghan Venues to be Advised
Waterford / Wexford / Wicklow/ Dublin
Dates and Venues to be Advised
Louth , Armagh , Down Antrim
Dates and Venues to be Advised
Fermanagh, Tyrone, Derry
Dates and Venues to be Advised

Magical Elfwood Forest planned for Derry’s Guildhall


Derry’s Guildhall is currently undergoing a festive make over, with elves, Christmas films and tales from Santa’s wife all planned for the coming weeks. On December 9, 10, 16 and 17, the Mayor has arranged for the Guildhall to be transformed into Elfwood Forest by a special elf coming direct from the North Pole.

Ellie the Elf will lead children into the enchanted forest which is being created at the Mayor’s Parlour in the Guildhall.

Read more at: Magical Elfwood Forest planned for Derry´s Guildhall


An Taoiseach launches Creative Ireland – a major cross-governmental initiative and legacy project of Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme

An Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD, will today (Thursday 8th December) be joined by Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Heather Humphreys TD, and Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe TD, for the launch of the Creative Ireland Programme / Clár Éire Ildánach. The announcement will be made in the newly-restored Shaw Room of the National Gallery of Ireland.
Creative Ireland is the Government’s Legacy Programme for Ireland 2016. It is a five-year all-of-government initiative, from 2017 to 2022, which at its core is a wellbeing strategy which aims to improve access to cultural and creative activity in every county across the country.
Creative Ireland will prioritise children’s access to art, music, drama and coding; enhance the provision of culture and creativity in every community; further develop Ireland as a global hub for film and TV production; empower and support our artists; drive investment in our cultural institutions; and further enhance our global reputation abroad. From 2018, an annual County of Culture will also be held each year.
Creative Ireland is built around five pillars:
  • Enabling the Creative Potential of Every Child
  • Enabling Creativity in Every Community
  • Investing in our Creative and Cultural Infrastructure
  • Ireland as a Centre of Excellence in Media Production
  • Unifying our Global Reputation
Key initiatives to be delivered in 2017 include:
  • The publication of a five year ‘Creative Children’ plan which will enable every child to access tuition in music, drama, art and coding
  • Each Local Authority will appoint a Culture Team to drive local needs and will publish a Culture Plan for their own county
  • A new annual cultural day, ‘Cruinniú na Cásca’ to be held nationwide on Easter Monday each year, replicating the very successful Reflecting the Rising event, which was held in Dublin this year
  • The Departments of Arts and Social Protection will devise a mechanism to assist self-employed artists who have applied for Jobseekers Allowance. This would be a pilot scheme.
  • A planned investment programme for Ireland’s cultural and heritage infrastructure, including our national cultural institutions
  • An industry wide, long term plan to develop Ireland as a global hub for film, TV drama and animation
Creative Ireland will bring an enhanced level of coordination, focus and leadership to existing policies and initiatives across national and local government, State agencies, the arts and culture sector, Gaeltacht and Irish language organisations, and will provide linkages to the private business and NGO sectors.
Speaking at today’s event, An Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD, said:Creative Ireland is about placing culture at the centre of our lives, for the betterment of our people and for the strengthening of our society. Together we can do extraordinary things: we can make Ireland the first country in the world to guarantee access for every child to tuition and participation in art, music, drama and coding. We can make every local authority a dynamic hub of cultural creativity. We can unlock the huge potential of our people in the creative industries. And we can make an important statement to ourselves and to the world about the interdependency of culture, identity and citizenship.
Minster for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs Heather Humphreys TD., said: “Creative Ireland, as an Ireland 2016 legacy project, is inspired by the extraordinary public response to the Centenary Programme. This year thousands of cultural events were held around the country, bringing people together in shared reflections on identity, culture and citizenship that combined history, arts, heritage and language. We now want to build on the success of the commemorations and plan ambitiously for our arts and culture sectors for the years ahead. Creative Ireland will ensure that children can participate in the arts from an early age, and it will drive cultural engagement in every county nationwide. We want to make Ireland a global hub for film and TV production, while also investing in our cultural institutions. Creative Ireland puts culture and creativity at the centre of public policy, which will benefit artists and citizens nationwide This is a very ambitious public policy initiative; possibly the most significant for the arts and cultural sectors in a generation.
Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe TD, said:When we talk about capital investment we must think beyond buildings. We must think, primarily, about investment in human capital and human creativity. The Government recognises that high quality infrastructure is critical for a vibrant arts and culture sector and that such investment underpins social cohesion and supports strong and sustainable economic growth. I look forward to seeing imaginative, ambitious capital development plans for all of our cultural institutions that contain a clear focus on the element of creative human capital, and the good that our cultural institutions can do, beyond the confines of their physical buildings.”
Full details of the Creative Ireland Programme / Clár Éire Ildánach are available at creative.ireland.ie
Creative Ireland is also the main implementation vehicle for the priorities identified in Culture 2025/Éire Ildánach, the draft cultural framework policy published by the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs in July 2016.
For further details on each pillar, please see below:
Pillar 1: Enabling the Creative Potential of Every Child
Creativity begins in early years’ education. Children flourish through creative activities such as imagining and creating roles, scripts and ideas, sharing stories and symbols of their culture, and using the creative arts to express ideas and make meaning.
A key objective of Pillar 1 is that every child in Ireland will have access to tuition and participation in art, music, drama and coding. Initiatives such as the Charter for Arts in Education will be fast-tracked and resourced. The Department of Education and Skills will be a key partner in implementing this pillar.
Pillar 2: Enabling Culture and Creativity in Every Community
Each local authority will be asked to develop a Culture and Creativity Plan, reflecting the overall structure and aims of the national strategy for culture and creativity. Each local authority will establish a Culture Team bringing together arts offices, libraries, heritage offices and archives, along with other relevant functions – thus maximising synergies and cooperation.
‘Cruinniú na Cásca’, an annual programme of arts activities and cultural reflection to be held on Easter Monday, will be developed – across the island, locally, with our Diaspora, curated by the national broadcaster and delivered primarily by the local authorities. Beginning in 2018, there will also be an annual County of Culture award. The Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government will be a key partner in this pillar.
Pillar 3: Investing in our Cultural Infrastructure
High quality infrastructure is critical for a vibrant arts and culture sector and that investment in cultural infrastructure underpins social cohesion and supports strong and sustainable economic growth. Significant investment programmes are already underway or planned for the National Gallery, National Library, National Archives and National Concert Hall. A 3 year €9m capital investment scheme in regional and local arts and cultural centres is also underway. One of the significant legacies of the Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme has been the 9 “Permanent Reminder” capital projects.
The Department of Arts will work with cultural institutions and other key stakeholders to prepare investment plans to address infrastructure needs and develop an overall capital strategy for the cultural and heritage sector, to include digitisation projects and the building of national cultural collections. The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform will be a key partner in this pillar.
Pillar 4: Ireland: A Centre of Excellence in Media Production
The overarching, long-term objective of this pillar is to elevate the creative industries (including media, architecture, design, digital technology, fashion, food and crafts) drawing together, on an all-of-government basis, State agencies, industry partners and those engaged in fostering innovation in enterprise. As an initial project, the key focus will be on Ireland’s potential to be a global leader in film production, TV drama, documentary, children’s storytelling, and animation for the screen.
Creative Ireland will develop a platform for a major initiative in this sector involving the Irish Film Board, RTÉ, the independent production sector, third level institutions, and other stakeholders to position and enable Ireland to be a leading international centre for media production.
The Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment and the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation will be key partners in this pillar.
Pillar 5: Unifying our Global Reputation
This pillar will seek to better align the work of the many bodies and agencies that project Ireland globally in pursuance of their individual mandates. Creative Ireland will develop shared strategic goals to maximise the impact and visibility of collective efforts and will create a communications programme based on an authentic representation of Irish culture and creativity, representing Ireland as a great place in which to live, in which to invest, to visit and in which to study. Ireland.ie will be a national website for Ireland, a multi-sectoral gateway to Ireland with a supporting digital and social media programme. This initiative will be particularly important in projecting Ireland in the context of Brexit.
This Pillar will involve many Government Departments and Agencies, including the Culture Ireland Division of the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, who operate at an international level.
The National Gallery of Ireland
The Gallery’s major refurbishment project is one of the country’s major capital cultural projects, co-funded between the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, the National Gallery of Ireland, and the Office of Public Works.
The project is very close to completion. As soon as the buildings are handed back to the Gallery, there will be approximately another six months of complex tasks to be carried out by the Gallery, including re-hanging the collection, before it reopens to the public in 2017.

Last weeks’s announcement of Budget 2017 saw Minister Heather Humphrey’s announce a range of funding for the Arts and Heritage bodies., which included a boost in funding to all of the National Cultural Institutions. 

An additional €5 million in funding for the Arts Council – an 8 percent increase in its annual funding. This was a warmly welcomed by all those involved as it will allow them to continue their work supporting artists and arts organisations.

Image result for arts council ireland

Overall funding for the Arts was cut by 16 percent but spending on Centenary projects won’t need to be included in the budget for next year so therefore funding is up by about €18 million.

The Irish Film Board received an extra €2 million, increasing their annual budget to €16 million for 2017. This will allow them to expand on the major successes of 2016.

Image result for irish film board

Minister Humphreys announced €2 million for the opening of the restored wings at the National Gallery and the opening of Killarney House, an additional €1 million for the Heritage Council and funding of €5 million for the implementation of the Culture 2025/Ireland 2016 Legacy Programme. Further details on this are due to be announced by the Minister in the coming weeks.

Image result for national gallery ireland




AOIFE is proudly supporting the National campaign for ARTS



AOIFE is proudly supporting the National campaign for ARTS and urges everyone who meets a public representative at your Culture night activity this weekend to remind them of our pre – budget submission ! The ask is quite small but the reach is something else . Attached is a downloadable letter your festival or arts organisation can send to your TD/s , Senators especially those supporting the minority Government at this time. The Campaigns pre-budget submission is attached for easy reference also !
As the 1916 centenary draws to a close, the National Campaign for the Arts is launching its call for a #republicofculture.

The NCFA has made a huge impact over the past months and it’s important that this great work continues. Last week Jo Mangan, Olwen Dawe, Angela Dorgan and Eugene Downes made a presentation to the opening session of the Joint Committee on the Arts, and a meeting with Minister Heather Humphreys has been arranged for the end of September.

This week, Culture Night takes place around the country, and at the Government is finalising the Budget same time the major political parties are hosting their annual think-ins to decide on policy and strategy for the coming year.

We’re asking NCFA members to write to your local TDs, Senators and Councillors to call for the following:
Retention of the €50 million allocated for Commemorations to the Department of Arts Heritage Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht affairs, and for that money to be ring-fenced for allocation to The Arts Council and the Film Board.

Restoration of €30 million worth of cuts imposed on the Arts Council and aim to reach at least €180 million annual budget for the Arts Council within the life of the next government

Social welfare reform to allow artists to pursue their careers with dignity

Implement tax breaks to stimulate corporate and philanthropic investment in the arts and to grow the creative industries

Establish a separate Lottery fund, separate and distinct from Arts Council funding for diversification of grant allocation

Reclassify Local Authority Arts spending as non-discretionary

Actively fund creative industries and arts activity via Local Enterprise Offices and LEADER funds

Implement the Arts in Education Charter

Extend Junior Cycle Review to include Dance, Drama, and Music

Introduce Drama and Dance as a subject in Secondary Schools

Shift government education investment policy from a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) to STEAM focus. STEM + Art = STEAM
If you haven’t been in touch with your local politicians yet, this is a great opportunity to do so. If you’re already in contact with them, please follow up with an update.

We’re also inviting you to use the hashtag #republicofculture and tag your local politicians in your Culture Night social media activity. Get your audiences and artists to photograph themselves with the hashtag and share widely.

I’m attaching a copy of the NCFA’s pre-budget submission, and a sample letter for you to use to connect with your local politicians, which can also be downloaded from the NCFA Templates Google Drive folder.

Please share widely with arts workers and allies in your constituency, and please let me know if you have any further questions. Please continue to update me on meetings with politicians and local developments.

All best wishes,

Tom Creed
National Constituency Coordinator
The National Campaign for the Arts




AOIFE Awards

The AOIFE Awards are back this year to celebrate the best festival visual marketing of the season.

These annual awards celebrate the best of the Irish festival marketing materials and highlight the quality of the work undertaken by festival committees across the country.

Entry could not be easier; simply place marketing materials from your event (posters, programme, flyers, tickets, merchandise) in an envelope and send it to AOIFE, Enterprise & Technology Centre, Ballinasloe, Co Galway. Closing date for entries October 16th.

No Entry Fee, No Forms to Fill out!

You can even enter your material in the competition before your event; we are happy to accept it once you have the materials printed and are ready to launch.

Below are the categories

* Best Overall Marketing

* Best Website

* Best Poster

* Best Flyer

* Best Programme

* Best Merchandise

* Best Photograph
The Donal O’Driscoll Media Award is an award presented to the media programme which has the best promoted and represented festivals.


14 things we don’t need anymore at events

Times are changing and so should our habits. Here are 14 things eventprofs are still using at events… but shouldn’t.

Don’t blame it on us if we want to have some fun. Changes are happening in our beloved industry. While it looks like we are finally dropping that stereotype of eventprofs so well portrayed in the movies of the 90’s, we can surely get rid of some other things that eventtech and clever meeting design have given a big kick in the butt to.

So join us in this ride looking at 14 things we can do without nowadays. Of course you may be emotionally attached to some of them, but even the kid in Toy Story let his Woody go. Our industry has grown up, we can do better.

  1. Paper Badges

Badges require a heavy logistic effort and carry a lot of waste when not recycled. They are also very dumb. Even the latest QR code introduction does not make them more appealing. Technically they are just a piece of paper and we are not impressed.

You can do better. Mobile Apps, beacons, RFID, NFC badges. The possibilities are endless. Badges become the remote control of your event. They let you check into places by just walking by. You can purchase merchandise, drinks, food. You can participate in games, you can quickly share content on social media. Smart badges offer powerful real time analytics and they offer incredible feedback mechanisms.


2. PowerPoint

You can do better. We won’t suggest a list of alternatives to PowerPoint. Get creative and think about other ways to get speakers to illustrate their point. Mix the types of media you can use: video, images, sounds, objects. In some types of events slides will always be necessary, they are almost expected by the audience. You can make a difference as an event professional. You can give precise guidelines or even coaching to your speaker as to how they need to use and not abuse the tool. It takes a lot of charisma and experience to talk without slides and experience. Get the speakers to use slides as part of the new speaking mix – mobile app, live interaction tool, throwable or app powered mic, props, music. The more the merrier.

3. Showguides

It always astounds us at events to hear complaints about the lack of a showguide – a print programme with the highlights of the show. Apparently you can’t just rely on apps. Apparently you will never be able to take a printed guide completely away. Let’s have a reality check. What’s good about having a static print guide that is usually the size of a phone book, cost gazillions to print, nobody wants to sponsor and leaves a carbon footprint that should make you embarrassed?

Why? Because some people will never do without.

We are all about respecting each and every attendee. We are also about pushing tech tools when there is an audience and appetite for that. In this day and age even your Grandma is on Facebook, so don’t say people cannot use their mobile to download an event app.

You can do better than that. Event Mobile Apps are a multi billion business. There must be a reason for that. More and more attendees download apps for events. Of course you can keep having your show guide if you really need to and if your audience is not a match. But if you are not 100% behind your app, nobody will be. We have witnessed events that go above and beyond and make the app a true necessity. A print guide then becomes irrelevant. Be wise, use interactive displays, social media walls, newsreels. There is still a place for print but that is not within the event industry.

4. Business Cards

You can do better. Invite attendees to take advantage of social networks and optimize your network with the existing technologies. Use smart badges, contact business cards, beacon business cards. You name it. The alternatives are so many our head hurts.

Of course there will always be some people that will use them blah blah blah blah blah and blah. The thing is that you, as an event professional, can encourage attendees to use better ways to connect rather than producing an incredible amount of waste.

5. Feedback Forms

Not only is this a waste of trees but are these “forced” responses reliable and is this immediate feedback even worth the effort? In the Event App Bible Adrian Segar suggests that we need to be looking for evaluation gathered over a longer term to really know how successful our event was. You need to optimize this important process. But you have known that for a long time already!

You can do better. There are myriads of digital based solutions today that take away the pain of typing up the responses. From touch screen surveys at the event, to surveys pushed to attendees via the event app, to social media, to online survey tools; create opportunities for your participants to share their thoughts about their experience. Increase the response rate by compelling them to share their feedback to get their certificate of attendance, or by gamifying the process and offering lucrative prizes, such as tickets to next years event!.

6. Q&A

By allowing some time for Q&As at the end of a session, in theory you can encourage your participants to share their own knowledge and go deeper behind the speaker’s presentation. If executed badly or just done for the sake of it though it can be unimaginative, dull or sometimes infuriating. Time is lost when the microphone travels between attendees, someone asks a meaningless question, hogs the mic or the question isn’t heard by the whole room. At times like these the audience might be forgiven for thinking they are in a timewarp.

You can do better. Microphones can be fun! Use throwable microphones or invest in an app based microphone operated via your attendees smartphones. Shake it up and do questions differently or build into the event programme questions to the speaker with a dedicated Ask Me Anything session.

Invest in a live display Q&A feed to encourage all audience members to participate, not just the most confident speakers, and enable the questions to be moderated and ‘voted up’ to determine which questions are most popular and given prominence. Speakers or panel members may have more time to formulate their answer.

Don’t ignore the wisdom of the crowd and think the speakers have all the answers though. Put the power in the hands of your participants by allowing them to jump in the discussion and share their own knowledge for a richer experience for everyone.

7. Registration Desks

The first interaction with your event is often the check-in process so it is important that you get it right. Tables of counters, rows of badges, long queues, clueless and untrained temp staff and confusion may not give the best impression or welcome as people arrive on site at your event. Your participants are itching to dive right in or get a coffee, they don’t want to waste time in the entrance lobby.

You can do better. By setting up desks you are creating an instant barrier between your staff and the event guests and as soon as it gets busy people are forced to queue. Consider using tablet devices and standing to welcome your participants wherever the crowds need you most.

Scan a ticket or type a name to trigger their badge being printed automatically, rather than searching through upside down name badges to try to find an elusive badge not in alphabetical order. Nothing gives away how many people haven’t bothered to turn up and screams “waste” more than pre-printed badges!

Self service stations might also be a solution, as long as someone is still on hand to reassure those that are less tech-savvy how to use this modern-fangled technology. Whether you use technology or not the biggest request is that you have knowledgeable, well-briefed, friendly staff as your registration staff get all possible questions asked to them and “I’m not sure” is simply not an acceptable answer.

8. Walkie Talkies

You can do better. Unless you are planning an event in a venue that doesn’t provide any WiFi and phone signal, there are several communications apps that can ensure a reliable and smooth connection between your team members and replace your event radios. From one-on-one private chat or group video or voice calls, to links and document sharing, these solutions can answer all your communications needs.

Provide your team with smartphones or tablets, et voilà! Instead of lugging an event radio and mobile phone everywhere just focus on one compact solution.

Just remember your chargers and emergency power packs. Over and out.

9.   Ring Binders Full of Paper

Keeping all the vital details regarding your event, such as guest lists, invoices, contracts, timelines and budgets, is simply inefficient. You guard your event binder with your life, but the information contained is already out of date and relying on a folder means that it can be easy to lose, too slow to find the answer or update any information, and you can quickly look like a crazy person scanning through all your documents.

You don’t want this to impact on your image, or to be responsible for a data protection breach. And think of all the trees! Today going paperless is a winner on all counts.

You can do better. Use a cloud based project planner – whether you use a dedicated event management software or your team collaborates through online docs – this will ensure you have the most current data at your fingertips. Not only will your content be backed-up automatically, but you will be able to find any piece of information instantly and access your documents on any device. Carrying your laptop, tablet or even your smartphone, looks much better than a bursting binder, believe me!

10. Cash

You can do better. You don’t want to limit the event revenue generated so think about how to go cashless on site. You can of course provide mobile temporary cash points but can you do better than that? Encourage your traders to make mobile card payment systems available, such as solutions which work via a mobile phone connection. Many festivals operate a simple token system where tokens are exchanged for food and drinks.

Better still, RFID solutions are already implemented at some events, so why not join the trend? Attendees need to link their credit card to their electronic wristband (or ring) and can purchase anything with just a touch of the wrist (or finger). Bracelets are safe and solutions often associate them with a pin code or fingerprint to secure the system.

11. Speakers

There are a lot of amazing speakers out there. There are also a lot of average speakers. Sometimes speakers will express their views on situations they haven’t actually personally experienced and lose credibility with the audience or not nail the point they were trying to put across. Sometimes the event planner simply hasn’t briefed them well enough and should take the blame!

The world is changing and people often value the word of their peers more than that of experts anyway, think about the tremendous success of Trip Advisor. We will believe someone with whom we can relate to more than a travel expert. And while speakers are still generally the main ingredient of a conference, perhaps there are some alternatives you can use to mix up your programme and provide your attendees with a more valuable experience.

You can do better. Think of inventive substitute formats, rather than always relying on a speaker. Use video, interviews, small group work, forum theatre, unconference formats, or invite the audience on stage spontaneously or interview them.

It can be much more powerful to hear from the subjects themselves even if they are not a polished speaker, it makes it more human. Workshops are another powerful way to convey content, and enable attendees to learn directly from their experiences and from the learnings of others. Modern tech twists to traditional meeting formats are covered in Engaging Events, our latest free report.

12. To Take Everything So Seriously

You can do better. Commit to doing things differently. Create a relaxing atmosphere and promote your participants’ well being by incorporating games, humor and fun within your event. Reverse your attendees’ mindset by offering them an opportunity to leave their responsibilities behind and try something new. Encourage your sponsors to unbooth their units and welcome their clients in an enticing and comfortable set up. Team games can not only be a great ice-breaker but also promote networking and cooperation.

13. Maps

You can do better. Going digital will save you from this situation. Touchscreens, interactive displays with 3D floor plans or event apps featuring geolocation will not only be very handy for you when you will need to make amendments, but will also provide an additional opportunity to offer more interactivity to your participants and perhaps generate some additional sponsorship revenue.

14. Staffing Agencies

Delegating your staffing requirements to an agency may seem easy, but unless you trust them with your life, you might find yourself on the morning of your event with totally unsuitable staff and no time to make changes.

You can do better. Event planners are cutting out their intermediaries more and more, and doing everything directly. Control freak by nature, perhaps, but they are building a pool of trusted staff and suppliers that they know they can rely on. Relevant online platforms can directly connect available staff and events, guaranteeing reliable personnel who have been reviewed by other event planners to ensure you get the most professional and relevant staff for your event.

In Conclusion

As event professionals we are always short on time and will sometimes rely on traditional solutions as it seems like the quickest or easiest thing to do. Maybe we have always done it that way and taking the leap to do things differently fills you with fear. But so we can focus on the important content and real experience of our event, rather than the admin and logistics, now is the time to make the change.