Posts by Donna Kastner

Donna serves as Director, Education & Engagement at Velvet Chainsaw Consulting, helping conference and trade show organizers on a wide range of business improvement initiatives. Here on the Cvent Event Planning Blog, Donna’s focus is on innovation, as she shares a wealth of ideas to help planners drive more & better results from their meetings. Before joining Velvet Chainsaw Consulting, Donna served as Director, Learning & Development at Experient.  A native New Yorker, Donna now happily calls Cleveland, Ohio 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.

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

Anatomy of a Conference Invitation Video

Have you noticed the surge in videos promoting conferences? Conference hosts and speakers are creating brief and intriguing video invitations, with a sneak peek at all the exciting things in store for attendees. A well-crafted video can go a long way in tipping decisions to attend, especially when...read more

#CventCMS #CventAMS Debrief (Part 2): Innovation Pavilion

In Part 1 of this series, Two Killer Keynotes, we explored two high-performing speakers and the tremendous value they delivered to both Cvent Summit audiences (corporate planning professionals & association planning professionals). If you're scouting out keynoters for your next conference, these two...read more

Design & Deliver Conference Roundtables Attendees Rave About

Conference audiences crave more and better roundtable discussions. Not scattershot chat fests, but focused, purposeful and collaborative exchanges about critical issues and smart ways to tackle them more effectively. What's great about roundtables is when they're designed well, they satisfy two...read more

#CventCMS #CventAMS Debrief (Part 1): Two Killer Keynotes

Having experienced Cvent's outstanding Corporate Meetings Summit (CMS) and Association Meeting Summit (AMS) last week at the stunning Venetian and Palazzo Resort, Hotel and Casinos in Las Vegas, I'm now unpacking and reflecting on the wealth of education and networking experiences delivered. In the...read more

Becoming a Trusted Advisor: 3 Pillars to Grow Your Sourcing Business [Free eBook]

The term "Trusted Advisor" has been around for years, yet in today's change-charged world, it's the one thing clients (both internal and external) crave most. After all, as digital technologies advance and attendee expectations escalate, choosing which aspects of the event experience to enhance AND...read more

3 Ways to Spark More & Better Flipped Learning at Conferences

Flipped Learning is getting more attention in conference planning circles these days and for good reason. It's an education model poised to deliver tremendous value to attendees. Considering that Learning and Networking are the two biggest reasons why people attend conferences, a well-designed...read more

Corbin Ball Explores the Future of Wi-Fi at the Cvent Association Meetings Summit in Las Vegas

With attendees wielding smartphones, tablets and often both at meetings and events, accommodating Wi-Fi needs is a growing concern for planners. To help you master the Wi-Fi challenges, event tech guru Corbin Ball will be leading a session on "The Future of Wi-Fi and Broadband at Events" at the...read more

Clap Along If You Feel That Happiness Is the Truth

It may seem crazy what I'm about to say... Outstanding planners smile the day away. Happiness is what separates the wannabes from the all-stars in nearly every field, but nowhere is this more evident than among planning professionals. Ironically, this career track comes with more than its fair share...read more
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