Posts by Donna Kastner

Donna serves as Vice President, Expo/Sponsor Sales & Activation at Velvet Chainsaw Consulting, helping conference and tradeshow organizers to improve revenue performance, often through targeted attendance acquisition strategies, innovative sponsorships, and tech-enabled solutions. Here on the Cvent Event Planning Blog, Donna’s specialty is Meetings Innovation. Donna's a frequent speaker at industry events, including PCMA's Convening Leaders, MPI World Education Congress and IAEE's Expo! Expo! Prior to joining Velvet Chainsaw Consulting, Donna served as Director, Learning & Development at Experient. A native New Yorker, she now happily calls Cleveland, OH home.

The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Cvent or any other organization or individual.

 

The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Cvent or any other organization or individual.

3 Conference Learning Rules from an Incredible Chemistry Teacher

As meeting planners tackle an ever-expanding list of conference education programming needs, sometimes it's helpful to keep things simple and focus on three big ideas. This TED talk (3 Rules to Spark Learning) by chemistry teacher Ramsey Musallam outlines three powerful learning principles that have...read more

Top 100 Exclusivity Play: Is It a Fit for Your Conference?

Back in the day, Steve Jobs would hold a Top 100 meeting offsite for Apple MVPs. Getting an invite to this think tank was highly coveted, as it meant your thought leadership and hard work had been noticed. You were now on Jobs' rising star radar screen and would be treated to a glimpse of where...read more

Color and How It Impacts Attendee Perceptions and Behavior

Visuals impact perceptions and drive behaviors. How much thought are you giving to the colors for conference branding? Colors that splash the stage and ballroom during your general sessions? Colors on your event microsite, mobile app, program guides, slides, etc.? There's quite a bit of research out...read more

Conference Sponsorship Power Plays: From Random to Relevant

As we strive to deliver outstanding attendee experiences, our eyes turn to sponsorship. (After all, somebody has to pay for this.)  Yet time after time, sponsorships follow the same, random path: Logos are slapped on every last bit of conference real estate. Yet as logo noise increases, attendee...read more

Capitalizing on the Second Screen to Grow Attendee Engagement

It's fascinating to watch the explosion of the second screen in everyday life. According to Nielsen, 84% of smartphone and tablet owners are "second screening" (add that phrase to your lexicon) while watching TV. What are they doing? Surfing the web (66% tablet, 49% smartphone) Shopping (44% tablet,...read more

3Q Pulse Check Survey vs. Lengthy Post-Con Evaluations

Is it just me or are post-conference evaluation surveys getting longer? As digital technologies advance, our survey toolbox is expanding with a multitude of question formats. Keep in mind: Just because you have more options doesn't mean you have to use EVERY tool in your toolbox. How are response...read more

Why It's Smart to Have a Fast Event Team Debrief Onsite

You're an awesome event team leader and when your hardworking team hits the finish line, you want to give them a much-needed break. They've been working long days for weeks now. You want to give them some time off to relax and recharge. Still, if you can gather the troops, walk the venue one last...read more

Is Sleep Debt a Problem for Your Conference Attendees?

Let's start with a quick video lesson on average sleep needs: Now let's look at a typical day-in-the-life of conference attendee: Wake up call/smartphone alarm rings around 6 am, give or take Meeting lots of industry colleagues today. Gotta look my best. (Where's my hair gel?) Scramble to breakfast...read more

Why It's Smart to Have Someone "Secret Shop" Your Event

Before I go any further, a disclaimer: As a conference and trade show consultant, secret shopping events is something I do regularly, so I may be a bit biased. We don't call it secret shopping, but at the end of the day, it's an apt description, as I'm immersing myself in the attendee experience,...read more

How the Pursuit of Less Drives More Conference Success

Multi-tasking is baked into the DNA of many event planners. After all, this profession requires attention to a myriad of details. Is it any wonder why busy-ness rules the day for event planning teams? Greg McKeown, author of the New York Times bestseller, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of...read more
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