This past week, I went to two very well done events that I was impressed with. GeekWire had their launch party this past week at the SoDo Showbox - congratulations to the founders John and Todd. Founder Olivier Wevers of Whim W'Him had an awesome 40th birthday celebration in the beautiful courtyard of the Intiman Theatre. Brilliance. From the welcome, the attention to detail, the plethora of energy (for those like myself with ADD), and the super fun experiences I had at each of these events - reminded me of a training seminar I gave a few months back on "Event Marketing 101" to the event board for PWAP: Party with a Purpose. BTW - all of the above have Facebook pages, so "Like" them to find out about future events/shows. GeekWire | Whim W'Him | PWAP
I've been planning and organizing event experiences for about 15 years since my days in college where I'd bring the campus together under the flag of "Diversity" for various events: plays and musical events to most recently under the name of "Socially Conscious BarNights" where I'd host regular nights for young professionals in the area to get together for a socially conscious cause (United Way, Big Brothers and Sisters, Children's Hospital, Giving Real Options to Women, NW Parkinson's Foundation, Marriage Equality, SCIDpda...). I retired officially from that around 2008/9 - I still host events here and there, but no longer regularly (difficult to with my day and night jobs). It is something I still love doing events for fun and helping others with their events.
Planning an event/experience is broken down into 4 basic elements: Guest, Body, Ego, and the Heart. I'll explain what I mean by those 4 elements in just a sec. This framework should be used whether you're planning a party, a nonprofit fundraiser, a charity dinner, a house party, a professional networking event, or even a meeting at work. Unless these 4 elements are addressed - it's pretty difficult for a person to open their minds or hearts to whatever you are seeking from them (money, attention, relaxation, ...).
Guest is about making sure the event logistics are intuitive and taken care of: who's the host, greeting the guest, having a central hub to go to, location, and giving proper goodbye's/thank you's at the end to give closure to your guests. This is about making sure the administrative/logistics take care of your guest.
Body is about nourishment. Will you serve food - will people have access to it if not? Will you serve alcohol - do you have enough bartenders (**very key)? Will you require payment - cash or credit card? Will your guests be able to get cash if they don't have any? What about age requirements? Is there enough variety to account for different requirements (vegetarian, meat, ...)? Note: like weddings, people will only remember really bad or really awesome experiences.
Ego is making sure that this is an event/experience a person would want to go to. Are you having it at a venue people want to go to or be seen at? Is the location accessible or exclusive? Will you have photographers? Do whatever you can to help your guest feel special, wanted and welcome. Remember, flattery will get you everywhere.
Heart is where if the above three are taken care of, the heart opens up to hearing the message you are trying to send, the charity you are trying to raise money for, or the feelings you are hoping your guest will experience at your event. This is where the extra touches to help your guest feel good about being present or involved will happen - the "Yay!" --> hugs to welcome your guest, remembering something special about your guest as you introduce him/her to another guest, the thoughtful gestures/words that will go a zillion miles.
Feel free to contact me w event questions. Love to hear your thoughts. Happy to go into further detail if you're interested in learning more about the above. I do still plan events occasionally, serve on boards when I can around events, and even some consulting, too. :)
The above is my 2004 Honda 599 Hornet (matte black, 600 cc, naked sport bike - all stock, which I sold last year right before the summer in 2010 to the super duper excited present owner of the bike named Sammy. I remember him calling me and emailing me telling me that he almost had enough money, and that he almost had the ride to come pick it up, and boy, when he came to finally pick it up, there was no doubt in my mind that the Hornet had found a good new owner. Wow. I'm still the proud owner of my 2004 PIaggio LT50 in pearlescent white - bought her off Craigslist - which is how I met my beloved business partner, Mina. Isn't life just so interesting?
Past couple of weeks, the idea for this post came to me as I spent a lot of time on the road commuting back-and-forth to-and-from my clients - and while driving in my car, I thought about how much learning how to drive my two wheeled vehicles have really helped me in learning to drive better. ... and then I thought, those same rules for driving my motorcycle or scooter, also apply to business (and relationships). And, tah dah!
Happy Father's Day for all of you with dads or that are dads out there.
For me, Happy Father's Day to all my pseudo dads in my life. You made a difference in my life.
[Side note]: Yes - didn't post my patent pending table post - nor did I create the website last weekend. I'm getting varied advice from people on it, and I'm a bit torn at what to do. Share or not to share? How much to share? Where to share? ... Is it safe to share on the web? ... I need a little more time on what to do.
Anyways - I told you recently that my new employer of four months (FOUR months!!?!?), Logic20/20, invested in this leadership training for me called Pathwise. Anyways - it's pretty powerful stuff. Seriously powerful. Our last class was on Transference was so amazing, I ran home, my brother came over and I regurgetated the things I had learned, and he did this interesting exercise, too. The idea is that early in childhood, the brain naturally opens up and takes an impression of how life is at various points of development - and in doing so, creates neural pathways about situations, and automates reactions on perceptions, feelings, and how to react to them. Now before it gets really interesting, I'd highly recommend drawing on a piece of paper, the diagram I drew up on the top left, "Exercise A".
How the exercise works is that on the left hand column, you'll input 2-3 words to describe the first positive memories of the category, and on the right hand column, you'll input 2-3 words to describe the first negative impressions of that category. Let's do the exercise first, write the first few things that come to mind. No need for great detail - just enough to jog your memory - it goes like this:
--- Mom: On the left-hand column, input 2-3 words to describe the first positive memories with your mom as early as you can remember. On the right-hand column, 2-3 words to describe the first negative memories.
--- Dad: Same as above.
--- Group: On the left-hand column, input 2-3 words to describe how you saw yourself in relation to your peer group between 3rd to 6th grade. On the right-hand column, input 2-3 words to describe how you saw yourself in relation to your peer group between 6th and 8th grades.
--- Mate: On the left-hand column, input 2-3 words to describe your first real intimate relationship. On the right-hand column, input 2-3 words to describe why that first real intimate relationship ended.
--- Project: On the left-hand column, describe the process of the first project you owned and completed. What steps did you take to complete it?
Translation of your answers from Exercise A
Now we get to the REALLY interesting stuff.
--- Mom: The first impressions become our hard-wired way of perceiving and reacting to the world. [Positive] First impressions with your mother impacts how a person perceives the world and how to react to it. Is the world a safe place? [Negative] When things get tough, how do you react/perceive it?
-- Dad: Second phase of impression is about a child's interaction with authority outside of the mother. It is usually the father - How a child experiences authority and reacts to it forst how they will view and react to authority all of their lives: both when things are good.... and when things get tough with the boss, for example.
-- Group: This is how a person is imprinted in how one first in groups. Are you the leader, the follower, the outsider, ...?
-- Mate: This is your spouse/or future spouse.
-- Project: This is how a person engages in projects that the person has control over.
For me and to share with you one of my answers, I give a lot of credit to my mother (my first impression and imprint). When I did the exercise, on the left-hand column, I wrote "cooking/nurturing" - and on the right-hand column, I wrote "hardball/piano". My mother babied me, kissed and coddled me when I was young - made delicious food often - these were my first memories in the positive sense with my mother. I learned that the world is a generally safe place. My mother also expected a lot from me - my first negative memories with my mother were staying up to the late hours of the night practicing piano until I got it right. There was no "I can't do this" or "it's too hard" - she imprinted that hard work ethic into me and that when life gets hard, take it by the reins and make "it" happen for myself. ... I learned that when things get tough - hard work is the only answer and only I can get what I wan t from the world as no one is going to give me any freebies.
The rest of the exercise, was most definitely eye-opening and quite "on-the-ball" for me. How about you?
The original plan for my blog this week was to put up a post last night on June 7th telling you about my thoughts on some aspect of the meaning of life/relationships/love/women and my status/progress with it. I was going to tell you that I was working on building a website for my patent-pending table design, and today, on my birthday, June 8th, tell you all about it with a big happy "tah-dah!"... it didn't happen. I'm pretty bummed and sad at myself for not having done it yet - ... but that'll give you an idea of what's coming...
How about I re-negotiate with you and ask for another week? June 15? For my patent-pending "Arry Table" launch? Or...
Anyways, a status update for today on the "word of Arry". Overall, I feel like life is going pretty darn well for me - lots and lots of balls in the air for me. Yes. Lots of balls in the air - and I am happily optimistic about life. (Not in any particular order:)
Happy birthday to me! (Link to my All Things Wishful registry)