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.

Capitalizing on the Surge in Event Sponsorships

IEG leads the way in analyzing the sponsorship market. Here are a few highlights from their latest The State of Association Sponsorship survey: 75% of respondents reported an increase in sponsorship revenue in 2013. While sponsors seek more ROI support, there are staffing challenges. 23% have more

More Wi-Fi? More Mobile App Use? Think Sponsorship

A client recently declared, "Wi-Fi is becoming more important to our attendees than food." Consider these recent stats, gleaned from 50 Incredible WiFi Tech Statistics That Businesses Must Know:  By the end of 2013, there were more mobile devices than people on earth. (SAP) WiFi speeds more

Giving Thanks: The Power of Handwritten Thank You Notes

From 2001 through 2011, Douglas Conant served as CEO & President of the Campbell Soup Company. During his tenure, Conant helped orchestrate a magnificent performance turnaround, taking the company from one of the worst performing on the Fortune 500 list to among the best. Conant was laser focused more

Book Shelf: Valuable Insight for 2015 Social Media Marketing Decisions

If you're operating on a calendar year, you're likely knee deep in mapping out plans (and budgets) for 2015. With attendance acquisition and loyalty at the core of any successful conference program, how's your social media strategy shaping up? This marketing category can be daunting as more

Book Shelf: Putting Passions to Work

Back in 2007, New York Times bestselling authors Adrian Gostick & Chester Elton wrote The Carrot Principle: How the Best Managers Use Recognition to Engage Their People, Retain Talent and Accelerate Performance. It's been a mainstay for managers looking to inspire happy and high-performing more

Event Email Marketing: Opt In, Opt Out or Opt by Relevance

Email continues to rank high as the preferred event marketing platform and for good reason. We constantly check email constantly throughout our work day. With many toting one or more smart devices, a recent study shows cell phone users check their phones 150x a day and email is often the first more

Conference Education: Are Your Learning Tracks Still a Fit?

For larger B2B events where many segments are present under one big tent, planners often create learning tracks to help attendees make faster/better decisions on which breakouts to attend. It's a smart move, but there are sometimes unintended consequences.  Outdated Learning Tracks Reinforce more

#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
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