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 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

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, 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 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 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 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 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 more
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