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.

#IMEX14: Playfulness Helps Attendees Engage, Connect & Explore

Having just returned from a whirlwind tour of IMEX America, I'm now reliving "best moments" as I scan notes and business cards collected at this amazing event. While my IMEX America best moments list is lengthy, there's one experience that stands out. Surprisingly, it was a keynote I almost more

Countdown to IMEX America: Are You Ready?

IMEX America, known as "the pulse of the meetings industry," runs October 14-16 at the Sands Expo in Las Vegas. It's a dynamic, high-energy event that I've longed to attend. This year, my wish comes true. I'll be there, basking in all the glorious festivities and I sure hope to connect with a more

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 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 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 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, 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, 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 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 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 more
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