Technology is providing some great options to help you make your event more sustainable - here are our top 5 hints:
1) Instead of giving expo and event attendees a bag full of printed collateral, offer them a digital "swag bag", with physical give-aways being limited to useful and environmentally sound branded products - keep-cups, cloths to clean reading glasses, jute bags etc.
2) Use projection mapping, which offers innovative and interactive decor and replaces much of the less sustainable single use decorations. Projection mapping also enables you to transform abandoned, outdoor and under-utilised spaces to create a unique branded experience.
3) Include the use of branded multi-use apps which enable you to personalise the experience, conduct realtime surveys, and offer networking and connection opportunities to attendees. Also consider including reusable wearables, which can help event attendees navigate to stalls and points of interest based on timetables, preferences, and ticket types.
4) Drawing up a map showing the location of tables, seating arrangements, room design and so on, then giving everyone a hard copy, is now old-school. Ditch the paper and use event diagramming apps that offer a much higher degree of accuracy, are interactive, and can be changed in real time. Do the same with your event and staff scheduling for a completely paperless experience.
5) Use technology to streamline event registration and entry - there are numerous options including apps, scanners, web based check-ins (similar to airline ticketing), facial recognition, etc. It can also be integrated into a wearable. To avoid waste printing badges that aren't used, technology now offers the option for badge printing to be triggered as part of the checkin process.
According to Australian Tourism, only 26% of our tourists associate our destinations with food and wine. Yet we have some of the best food and wine offerings in the world, with over 65% of our food being exported per year and agricultural products making up over 15% of our total exports. So what are we doing wrong?
In an era when consumers are looking for authenticity and local experiences, and when agritourism is expected to reach US$10,220 million by 2024, we are still focussing on the same icons we have promoted for decades. Google “visit Australia” and you will see the same things you saw in 1999 – promotions of sites like the Sydney Opera House, the great Barrier Reef, Surfers Paradise, Melbourne Art and Museums, and Kakadu National Park. Don’t get me wrong, these are worth the visit! We do however need to think beyond this. In an era where travellers seek information through social media, restaurants, cafes agribusinesses and rural towns have the opportunity to step up and make their mark.
Restaurants and cafes should grab the opportunity to embrace indigenous foods and transparent paddock-to-plate ingredients. Diners love menus that tell the story of where their food came from and how far it has travelled. They will actively seek out dining experiences that are local, reflect the region they are in, and offer them an authentic experience that gives them social media bragging rights. Indigenous bush foods are not only unique and full of flavour, they are environmentally sustainable and truly tell the story of our land. Add these to foods that can be traced directly to small, sustainable food producers in your immediate region, and tell your diners the story about the food on their plate, through the menu and through conversations with staff who are passionate about what they are serving. Do it well, and social media will spread the word.
Agribusiness owners have an opportunity to diversify without taking massive risks with current operations, by stepping in to Agritourism. The vineyards are a great example of how you can create additional income by offering visitors an combination of education and experience, then upsell with wine clubs. The truffle industry is following suit, and there are ample opportunuties for other food producers to do the same.
We do however understand that some councils have a way to go in cutting the red tape that can surround agritourism, so if as an agribusiness you find the red tape is more effort than it is worth, there are options just outside the box.
Food markets and food events are a burgeoning industry, with many making it onto the International Event calendars. Whilst the Melbourne and Sydney Food and Wine Festivals often come to mind, regions are making their mark, with the Orange F.O.O.D Week going from very humble beginnings to a massive 10 day gala event attended by visitors from around the world, and about to enter its 29th year. For small regions, a successful event like this can be the difference between a thriving town and a town whose economy has been crippled by drought and a diminishing population.
If you would like help with your food business, email firstname.lastname@example.org We have experience creating events, expos, symposiums, and strategies in the Canberra and Southern NSW region.
Here are my top 5 tips to ensure this doesn't happen to you! they seem incredibly obvious, but I am constantly attending events that make at least one, if not more, of these mistakes!
1) The quality of your food and wine is important
Even if it is free, your guests will still expect quality, and today many expect traceability, with a local point of origin. In an era where every third person aspires to be the equivalent of a television masterchef, everyone is a critic. You are also expected to have a focus on sustainability by reducing waste, and offering alternatives to disposables.
2) Skip one sided long-winded lectures
Today event participants want to interact as they learn, so choose authentic speakers who create engagement, make your audience feel like an integral part of the event, and don't give the same speech they give every time they are booked for an event (they get paid a lot of money so they should show you enough respect to ensure their content is constantly revised and refreshed) . Sitting down for hours listening to lectures will lull even the most interested participants into a deep sleep. Insert lots of breaks where they can move around and network or get involved in interesting activities. Ensure the event has variety, and add entertainment for light relief.
3) Location Location Location
No matter how interesting the content is, an event venue that inspires will always be a more creative environment and will encourage participation, conversation and information retention. Choose unusual venues, or add atmosphere with lighting and creative themes. Plan your layout carefully, thinking as if you were one of the attendees, and then looking at it again from the viewpoint of your guest speakers, sponsors etc.
4) Keep it fresh
Innovative and creative events offer an evolving experience that has the audience looking forward to whatever is coming up next. NEVER do a complete repeat of the year before, no matter how well it was received. Your audience will remember that the speaker gave exactly the same speech last year, and an activity quickly loses its appeal when they learned all the tricks to doing it the year prior.
5) Keep it relevant
Spend time working what your message is, and how you are going to convey the message. Then ensure you understand who your audience is, and make sure the what and how are relevant to the "who".
An Advisory Board, also known as an Advisory Panel, does not have the same fiduciary responsibilities as a Board of Directors, nor do you have to follow the advice of the panel if you choose not to. Their role is bound by a charter and the terms of reference by which you appoint them. They are also one of the best strategic moves a business can make, if you are clear about:
A good Advisory Board is a team of highly experienced professionals who can add incredible value to your company. Amongst the many contributions they can make, they are able to give fresh insights, provide quality advice, monitor business performance and challenge you to consider options and alternatives to grow your business. They add diversity, increase the confidence of your consumers, enhance your company profile and reputation, and can provide invaluable expertise if you are considering listing on the stock market, implementing major change, experiencing a serious threat or facing a take-over.
It is not necessary, and sometimes it is an advantage, to choose at least some of your Advisory Board from experts outside of your industry - in other words, target them for their skills, not their experience in your industry. Commonly sourced members may include financial advisors, legal advisors, entrepreneurs, innovation or technical experts, and industry sector experts, for example people who have experience in leading a union, business chamber or industry advocacy group. Don't overlook the value and depth of experience that can be added by consciously including in your wish list someone who is retired or partially retired, from a different culture or someone with disability.
Payment for their expertise varies, some advisory boards are paid out of pocket expenses and travel and given a good lunch, others may be paid a small retainer or a per meeting fee. We highly recommend getting expert advice from the Association of Company Directors, your solicitor, or have a meeting with one of our industry experts at this stage so that you have the correct governance processes in place before you put the board in place!
Once you have made sure you have proper governance in place, you then workshop your business to determine what your perfect board looks like, draw up a list of possible candidates, and develop your pitch. The level of value you will get out of your board will depend on the clarity you build around the type of people and skills you want brought to your table, and of course your ability to sell your ideal panel member on why they should be investing their valuable time and expertise on your company! This is where Bragging Rights Events can help you. We can facilitate a workshop and bring in industry experts that will help you work through this very important part of the process.
The rest is up to you - like anything, if you make sure the foundation is solid, the rest will easily follow. Rush in and don't create your foundations first, and it will fall over like the proverbial pack of cards. Ready to go but not sure how to take the first step? give us a call and we will guide you through. Our success tip? Always surround yourself with people smarter than you. This is a great way to achieve that.