Recognition and reward sustains performance

 

 

Our client's objective was to show his company's appreciation to top-performing dealers,  for their loyalty and support in the marketplace.  His expectation of the time they spent together in Sorrento was clear. 

He wanted his guests to feel special.  They did!

Our client wrote:


"I would like to formally thank you for your tremendous efforts both in terms of the preparation

and delivery of last weekend's Sales Incentive Reward trip to Sorrento.  The reaction has been unprecedented in terms of "thank you" emails, a Facebook group created to record the memories with hundreds of photos/comments and a subsequent reunion now organised by a number of the winners - quite remarkable outcomes.

What that weekend achieved shows that the right incentive, delivered well, can make a significant difference both in terms of performing to win it, but also in terms of a subsequent longer term loyalty and association of the UK's best truck sales people with the brand.  Once again thank you for your highly professional delivery."

 

We are ready to work with you, to achieve similar results from your next recognition programme.  Please contact us now to discuss your requirements.

 

We invite you to take the PA£M ROI T£ST© before you confirm your next event

Should you wish to discuss your requirements personally, we would be delighted to hear from you.

Please call Steve Pinnock on +44 (0) 1234 266171

Where to find us:

Performance & Event Management Limited

13 Dorchester Way

Elstow Bedford MK42 9FF

United Kingdom


Phone: +44 1234 266171

Fax: +44 1234 344883

Email: info@paem.co.uk

News & Views

The productivity conundrum

 

One of the biggest challenges facing any Government is growing the economy.  One of the acid tests of success is “productivity”, but it seems that there are many interpretations of productivity and different measurement criteria.  All of us in commerce and industry are contributing, but how can we increase the added value of enterprise and at the same time preserve the dignity and security of employment, making work pay for the individual as well as benefitting the wider society?

 

According to Paul Krugman and the OECD, “After computing the contributions of labour and capital to output, the so-called multi-factor productivity (MFP) can be derived. It measures the residual growth that cannot be explained by the rate of change in the services of labour, capital and intermediate outputs, and is often interpreted as the contribution to growth made by factors such as technical and organisational innovation.”

 

This is where the magic begins!  The invisible, or at least less tangible, effects of “technical and organisational innovation” can result from a number of leadership initiatives.  In our business, we focus on communication, motivation, recognition and reward.  Other management interventions which tend to precede our involvement include employee training and development, product or service design and technological developments, new market development and strategic growth planning.

 

What we most enjoy is what we do best and what we do best is what we most enjoy!  People obviously work well when they feel happy, but what factors affect their attitude?  There are many of course, personal and professional, but we think that communication is key. There is nothing more discouraging than feeling that you are being kept in the dark and not given all the facts.  Treat adults with the respect they deserve and they will more readily accept the pressure and stress that goes with the job.

 

The second element is motivation.  In our experience, client organisations rely on the goodwill and co-operation of employees and other business partners, including dealers, agents or resellers, to achieve their corporate goals.  Sharing information and providing support are essential, but hitting targets also requires special effort and commitment from motivated people.  One of the most powerful forms of motivation is personal recognition.  Every team has its stars, but success depends on co-operation and co-ordination.  The team members in support roles and specialist positions are sometimes overshadowed and under-appreciated.  All egos need feeding, even though some are bigger than others. 

 

An effective way to recognise individuals or teams is with rewards, the fourth element in the magical mix that contributes to productivity. MFP may just sound like management theory, but you certainly see tangible evidence of when the formula is working.  Using communication, motivation, recognition and reward intelligently produces better outcomes. 

 

 

Engaging employees

 

You’ve probably heard the saying “people buy from people they like.”  It’s not entirely true, at least not at first.  People buy from people they trust.  How do you come to trust someone, whether as an individual or a representative of an organisation?  As with all relationships, trust is built on familiarity and mutual understanding.         

 

People RETURN to people they like (they could be customers, clients, business partners, associates, resellers, agents).   Their loyalty is based on a feeling of security, resulting from the mutual trust and respect that has been established.  So to develop and sustain a business relationship, guaranteeing long-term success, requires constant attention and nurturing.  “CRM” is not an abstract science; it is all about “happy people making other people happy”. 

 

Employee engagement is essentially about making and keeping your people happy to be at work.  Only when you achieve that situation can you hope to delight your customers!  Organisations in both manufacturing and service sectors, however automated they may be and regardless of technology-driven operating processes, are still vulnerable to the feelings and attitudes of the workforce.

 

Happy workers are confident, proud and passionate about the product or service which they are helping to provide.  In order for them to remain happy, they need regular training and retraining, frequent recognition and approval, variety and fresh interests, care and attention to their wellbeing, support and understanding and above all, the chance to see the results of their efforts.  How better than to bring the people providing the product or service together with those on the receiving end?

 

Hearing from “the front line” – of dealers, resellers or representatives – can bring home to the production or service personnel the value of their contribution.  Building bridges results in better understanding and improved communication between people.  If they are well informed and see the impact of their actions, working people will be happier because they will know what a positive influence they are having on the lives of others.  It is always a pleasure to be served by a well-trained happy person who clearly enjoys life. 

 

Here’s a rewarding New Year’s resolution

 

Lose weight, get rich, meet a new partner, work less, play more…. the list of New Year resolution options can be a long one.  In business terms, planning is key to achieving objectives and leaves less room for excuses for failing to keep resolutions!

 

Before investing marketing funds in live events this year, why not resolve to ensure that you get a better ROI (return on investment) by taking our Event ROI test?  It is quick and easy but will change your attitude to events forever!  It will also improve results and provide valuable business benefits.

 

Most New Year’s resolutions involve sacrifices, pain and often expense.  Our Event ROI test has none of those negative connotations.  It might prompt you to ask why you have not done it before, but what’s a little embarrassment compared with the reward for your resolution? 

 

The agency roster relationship

 

As a supplier, we believe it is our responsibility to be objective and honest in our relationships with clients.  That may sound obvious, but the natural instinct to protect our own interests can be easily aroused when we think the client is questioning our judgement or demonstrating their inalienable right to take their business elsewhere!  In those circumstances, it would be easiest to keep quiet when we disagree with the client, just to keep them happy.  That is a selfish short-term tactic, not one which fosters a secure strategic relationship.  Clients generally recognise and appreciate stability and mutual trust as foundations for a productive partnership.  

 

A key benefit for the client of close co-operation with their agency, based on shared values, is continuity of service.  We expect to deliver creative ideas, practical and effective solutions and a sound return on investment from every project that we manage for the client.  As custodians of knowledge about the client’s business activities, we can share that experience with client executives who may be new to the role or unfamiliar with established policies and practices.  That continuity of service can help to improve communication, ensure adherence to required quality standards, maximise cost savings and set performance benchmarks.

 

This may sound like an argument for never changing agencies, but in the event that you as a client need to review the agency roster, what better question to ask than “What is the basis of your relationship with existing clients?”  We value our clients very highly and are proud that they have retained us for many years and used our services for a range of different marketing activities.  One way of avoiding complacency is to remember how hard we have worked to be in the position where continuity of service is a tangible benefit for those clients!  We are only as good as our last event, but the client’s business is better too, because of the strength of our relationship.

 

Sometimes inexperienced agency people may get frustrated because a client seems cautious or unimaginative, or just plain boring!  They need to remember that the client is accountable for the money they spend but also for the impact of their actions.   That is why planning is vital and why we use Return on Investment methodology to agree clear objectives with our clients, right at the start of the process.  The same system measures the outcomes of the project too, to protect future investment.  Continuity of service allows client and agency to reflect on previous successes, avoid known pitfalls and sustain improvements.  

 

#hospitalitymax – our service ethos in a tweet

 

We were fascinated to read an article in The New York Times Business Day section (20th July 2015) about upmarket hotels offering guests a “Pillow Menu”.  Their aim is to advise and assist guests in getting a good night’s sleep by offering a selection of pillows with different characteristics.  The service extends in some cases to advice on their actual menu – what to eat and how long before bedtime – to help ensure a restful night.

 

In the article, Henry Harteveldt, a travel analyst at Atmosphere Research Group, says “That’s what hospitality is about.  It’s about being thoughtful and trying to anticipate and deliver on guests’ needs.  Not on what you might expect, but on those unexpected things that really do please the guest”

 

Only minutes before being directed to this article on Twitter, we had launched our own hashtag on Twitter, #hospitalitymax, as a way of defining our service ethos and encapsulating the experience that we want guests of our clients to enjoy whenever they attend a live event.  The concept extends beyond pure hospitality occasions to conferences, product launches, incentive group travel programmes, training activities and internal meetings. 

 

The #hospitalitymax experience is only achieved with meticulous planning, including preparing contingencies against the unexpected.  The guest or participant should feel as if we are “reading their minds”, knowing what they want or need before they have asked for it!  That principle applies equally to the client/host for whom we are managing the event. 

 

Using our experience, the skills and knowledge of our service partners and the innate understanding of the client about what is most appropriate, we construct the event plan and encompass everything in a working document, which everyone uses as their reference point when the event goes live.  Our objective is to demonstrate #hospitalitymax for real and to deliver the Return on Investment that the client has planned with us, using the EventROI methodology. 

 

There is no better testimonial than the one, from guest or client, that says “You anticipated all my needs and delivered the highest standards of service.”

 

 

Employee Engagement

Employee engagement is widely accepted as a desirable management objective, especially in large organisations.  The CIPD says “To some extent, employee engagement is a repackaging of existing concepts, such as satisfaction, commitment and motivation. Nonetheless, it has been hugely instrumental in putting good people-management practices firmly on organisations’ agendas. It powerfully brings together a focus on employee satisfaction and well-being with a focus on performance, seeking the good of the employee and the good of the organisation, in tandem.” 

 

The same CIPD paper says “Employers want engaged employees because, as well as being happier, healthier and more fulfilled, they deliver improved business performance. Research has repeatedly demonstrated a relationship between how people are managed, employee attitudes and business performance. There are nuances in the drivers and outcomes of employee engagement, but this basic link holds true across different sectors and job roles. Positive relationships are evidenced with profit, revenue growth, customer satisfaction, productivity, innovation, staff retention, efficiency and health and safety performance.”

 

We respect the knowledge and expertise in HR which CIPD possesses. The full guidance is contained in their web site, in the Resources section, at www.cipd.co.uk

 

Implementing employee engagement strategy requires a range of management actions, both tactical and strategic.  Recognition is a powerful factor in securing commitment and loyalty from employees and equally important in helping them to feel valued.   Team briefings or departmental meetings are an opportunity for managers to “cascade” messages through the organisation.  Larger presentations or communications may signal the launch of a new initiative or change in policy.  Regular bulletins, examples of success and exceptional performance, highlighting significant personal contributions and celebrating success are all effective methods of refreshing employee engagement.   Social media channels are increasingly used as a way of creating a dialogue, allowing for open discussion and feedback, either within groups or across the whole organisation.  Their greatest asset – open lines of mass communication – also carries the risk that a post once broadcast cannot be retrieved and it will be seen by many people.

Panning and managing live events offers another powerful medium for engaging with employees and sharing ideas and information.  Using the Event ROI methodology, we help clients to assess what changes in behaviour are desired and also provide precise measurement of outcomes.  Live events create inspirational impact and leave positive memories of the collective experience.  They should be part of every strategic employee engagement plan.

 

Stakeholder value in live events.

Current “business speak” often includes reference to stakeholders.  There are two Wikipedia entries for the term.  A simple definition is that anyone affected by business activity or a business event is a stakeholder.  But in fact they may have conflicting views, aspirations and interests.  So including all stakeholders could actually create problems!

Stakeholders in a business include owners and investors, suppliers, customers, employees and regulators.  The wider community and the public sector may also be concerned about the activities of the enterprise, so they may also be regarded as stakeholders.  For example, if waste products from a manufacturing plant damage the environment then large numbers of people can be affected. 

We believe that when planning events, all relevant stakeholders must be identified and taken into account.  An important factor to carefully evaluate is the potential conflict of interest between different stakeholder types. 

As an example, a new product launch to dealers or resellers may focus on pricing, positioning and customer profiles but will critically have to include financial structures and sales forecasts.  When the same new product is being presented to employees and/or customers, the emphasis will be on features and benefits, value for money, sources of supply and customer service. 

Every member of the target audience could be described as a stakeholder, but a slightly different proposition may be presented to each audience segment.

Planning events is a complex process and using Event ROI methodology helps in two ways.  It sets clear objectives in advance and provides an effective way of measuring results.  The impact of live events on all stakeholders is equally significant.

Five UK election lessons

 

What lessons can we learn from the 2015 UK election?  It’s not so much a case of Election Fever as Election Apathy, as the political parties use personal attacks to discredit their opponents and give evasive, non-committal responses to questions about policy. They are talking (and thinking) in a foreign language!  They seem to have lost sight of some basic truths about communication and audience engagement.

 

These rules apply to all media messages and most importantly in live event situations, including interviews and meetings:

 

ONE:    Create a clear brand statement – preferably one sentence – that encapsulates your “marketing” message and defines your position

 

TWO:   Produce an “Executive Summary” that covers the key elements of your manifesto in one paragraph or series of bullet points.   We offer current and prospective clients an equivalent, which is the PAEM Pledge

 

THREE:  Brief and prepare all your spokespeople – candidates, other party members and especially leaders – to use what are sometimes called “stump speeches”.  That is, simple statements on core issues that are used consistently to avoid confusion and reinforce key messages

 

FOUR:      Define your target “market” segment and make it your first priority to recognise their loyalty and retain their trust. Present your brand features and benefits clearly, to compete effectively for new supporters and make your proposition easy to understand

 

FIVE:     Manage your channels to market professionally – broadcast, printed and social media in the case of the election.  These strategic partners can seriously damage or positively promote your campaign message! 

 

Managing the media

The UK general election is officially under way, now that the Prime Minister has been given his "starting orders" by The Queen. It is salutary to witness the politicians trying to master the media - traditional and digital - to promote their party line (or brand proposition.) The reality is that the media consists of producers, directors and editors who, thankfully in the UK are not controlled by the State and are free to use their discretion, to analyse and challenge the politicians' claims.

Although they will avoid answering difficult questions and keep their options open for as long as possible, campaigning politicians know that they will ultimately be judged by the voters on their record and the plausibility of their manifestos. The challenge is to get the message heard and understood, demonstrate the features and benefits of the policies and explain why they are better than the alternatives. This is a classic marketing campaign with competing offers pitched to the target audience using the complete range of communications channels.

In the end, there is no substitute for meeting people face to face and engaging with them in earnest debate. A politician with charisma and the personal touch can win hearts and minds. The analogy with business is clear. If you want to win trust, commitment and loyalty from your channel partners and customers, there is no more effective method than live interaction. Staging your own exclusive event allows you to "manage" the medium to optimum effect, presenting a clear compelling message with positive brand identification.

 

Winning Oscars for your business 

 

It’s that time of year again, when the media is full of the glamour of the Hollywood red carpet, fabulous fashions and tearful speeches from Oscar winners!  There is simply no substitute for the anticipation and excitement of this vibrant event. 

 

Receiving an invitation is the first reward for successful finalists, but receiving an Oscar is the ultimate accolade.  Imagine how the prospect of your own Oscar ceremony will motivate your key performers! But think also about how you can use the event to present your own story and share your vision. 

 

The Oscars highlight two significant business opportunities.  The first is how harnessing the power of personal or team recognition encourages endeavour and exceptional talent, which in turn sustains enthusiasm and commitment.  

 

The second reality is that The Oscars ceremony is a live event and in this digital age the personal interaction and shared experience is still unique and memorable.  Sending Tweets from The Oscars has got to better than just reading them!

 

Taking selfies with other media personalities clearly excites the celebrities as much as the rest of us. Your top stars would love to be doing the same thing at your event.  You have an inspiring business story to tell, so let’s start writing the script now for your next Oscars production!

26 January 2015

 

2015 The Year of Change in Europe

 

The election of a new left-wing Government in Greece brings uncertainty and the prospect of further financial instability in the Euro zone and in EU politics.  In every enterprise there is the need for clear direction and decisive leadership, to navigate safely through the turbulence of change.  That is as important in the private sector as it is in the public domain.

 

Managing change successfully necessitates clear communication and effective presentation of policy.  In the context of business this means selling the features and benefits of a product or service to win commitment and loyalty.  The audience for your message may be employees, channel partners or customers.  In a world of constant change, you need to be consistent and confident, but most of all you must keep your stakeholders informed and engaged.

 

The mass rallies that are a prominent feature of modern political life prove that live events inspire and unite people in a common cause.  Your market community is going to be equally receptive to a live interaction which gives them access to your thoughts and ideas, an insight into the rewards that you offer and the conviction that your proposition is right for them.  Embrace change by setting your own agenda and using live events to take control of your business future.

 

Planning corporate hospitality in 2015

 

Where do you take important business partners, staff and customers who you want to impress?  Is it to a rugby match or a concert, or is it to an exclusive castle or country house?  There is, of course, no right or wrong answer, only lots of different options!  The challenge for you and us is to decide what is best for your business at the time and in your current circumstances. 

 

Close scrutiny of every option would take too long, so the first step is to really challenge assumptions and “interrogate the brief”.  As an agency, we see part of our role as being the “critical friend” with your interest at heart and a desire to see you succeed. 

 

The initial planning process, in which objectives and desired outcomes are clearly established and agreed, leads naturally to the compilation of a “long list” of possible solutions.  Our job then is to evaluate the alternatives and select the ones that offer the best return on investment, or Event ROI!

That is our commitment every time and our USP is the PA£M ROI T£ST.

 

“The World is your Oyster” when it comes to business communications and live event activity.  That is as much of a challenge as an opportunity, but we love tackling it with our clients and being able to see the business results that are achieved.

 

Incentives that benefit everyone

 

Once again the authorities have imposed massive fines on prominent banks because of the offensive behaviour of unscrupulous traders motivated only by excessive bonuses.  These greedy bankers are setting a bad example and detract from the real value that incentives can add to the economy.

 

Dedicated people in both private and public sectors are generally not motivated primarily by extra money.  Satisfaction and pride in their achievements, reinforced by respect and support from their employers and peers, are what get them through the frustrations and challenges of working life.  It is not the prospect of a bonus, as most of us don’t get them! 

 

An award for exceptional effort has real significance and must be seen as special.  The moment it becomes an entitlement it feeds personal greed and compromises corporate values. Rogue traders are clearly not team players, unless the whole team is corrupt, but they illustrate how greed can corrode and undermine even the biggest and most respectable companies.

 

Incentives are a very effective management tool, if they are fair, proportionate and appropriate.  Giving outstanding team players recognition and reward boosts morale and can inspire others to reach the same standards.  Incentives not only deliver a healthy return on investment in pure financial terms, but also help to highlight key objectives.  Using KPIs to measure performance, as part of the internal communication process around incentives, ensures that priorities are understood and addressed.  Delivering customer satisfaction will always be a vital core element in every programme.  Exceed expectations and everyone wins!

 

The PAEM Private Collection

 

Strategic board-level decisions about direction and future investment carry inherent risks and require a cool, confident approach.  The daily demands of the workplace can be distracting, even for those in elevated positions.  Sometimes it is wise to escape completely.  We have developed the PAEM Private Collection to provide the alternate option of holding key strategic meetings in secluded locations.  

 

The choice of venues includes –

  • A Scottish castle in a dramatic coastal location

  • A recently-restored stunning Cotswold manor house

  • A converted island fort off the English coast

  • A French chateau

  • An Italian villa….

…and many other options which may be suitable, depending on your precise requirements.

 

The PAEM Private Collection events service is more than a list of venues, however.  We provide meeting and hospitality solutions tailored to reflect your specific needs.  PAEM applies Event ROI Methodology to the planning and content of every event, which helps you to achieve the right outcome and a greater Return on Investment. 

 

Our contribution goes beyond pure event logistics.  We deliver the complete, tailored event management service. This covers all aspects of the event, from research and planning, negotiating with suppliers and specialist contributors, on-site direction and control, to financial reconciliation and the post-event review.  In addition, we consult with you to ensure that the environment reflects your image, values and ethos.

 

Original, creative places designed and built by talented people, provide inspiration and refresh the senses.  These exclusive settings free guests from the normal distractions and pressures of business life, stimulating thought and encouraging discussion.  Imaginative new ideas and ground-breaking decisions often emerge from these gatherings. 

 

The PAEM Private Collection has been conceived to satisfy the demands of the top echelons of enterprise leadership, by achieving the highest levels of service. 

 

What’s behind the PAEM Pledge?

 

PAEM’s owner and the team members have been involved with performance improvement programmes and live corporate events for over 30 years.  Steve (the owner) has planned and managed client projects in 55 countries.  From internal meetings to channel partner conferences, product launches to group incentive travel experiences, hospitality events and celebrations, we’ve seen it all.  But have we?  No, certainly not!

 

Something new emerges almost every day that can affect our clients’ business operations, their marketing and sales plans and their financial results.  The most significant single element is probably digital technology, as it can change technical and service specifications, physical production and distribution, data collection and information storage. Most significantly it changes the relationships between client organisations and their stakeholders.

 

This constantly changing landscape made us think long and hard about how we add value for our clients and what we need to do to ensure we continue to be effective.  We decided that it all revolves around the strength of the client/agency relationship.  The PAEM Pledge is our commitment to that relationship, expressed as a set of working principles.  Please click here to read more…

 

4th July 2014

 

It’s Independence Day and a holiday in the United States. Here the sun is sweltering and Andy Murray is out of Wimbledon, but new tennis stars are emerging.  While the folks on one side of the Atlantic Ocean are celebrating national unity, here we are debating the future of the UK and whether it will include Scotland.  Andy Murray has already invested in a refurbished hotel in Scotland, perhaps as part of his eventual retirement plan.  It certainly shows his confidence in Scotland’s future, whatever the outcome of the referendum.

 

These contrasts only reinforce how much we have in common and the social and economic connections between the nations of the modern world.  Our clients currently include companies headquartered in the UK, the USA, China and the Netherlands.  Most of the events which we help clients to plan and manage take place overseas.  Despite the growth of digital communications technology, there is no substitute for personal interaction when the aim is to generate close co-operation, understanding and engagement.  Travel really does broaden the mind, when it is used to emphasise mutual interests, shared values and common objectives.

 

Here at PAEM we are always seeking ways to refresh our approach to client demands, with the mental equivalent of an ice-cold Pimm’s or a plate of fresh strawberries!  Our latest initiative is the addition to our team of a seasoned professional, Rodney Lee.   With his warm personality and calm demeanour, Rod will add another dimension to our creative thought process and to the event and communications solutions which we present to our clients.

 

WORLD CUP MUSINGS June 2014

 

The 2014 FIFA World Cup is about to kick off in Brazil.  Like many major events, there has been much nail-biting about facilities being ready in time and the infrastructure being reliable. (Remember the pessimistic predictions before the 2012 London Olympics?)  Perhaps more unusually there is a lot of discontent within the host community and there have been strident public objections to the massive investment being made in staging the event. 

 

There are many interesting similarities between this World Cup and the typical corporate event. Here are some of them.

 

Event objectives

 

Different stakeholders have different objectives for an event, but often share the cost, or are invited to attend as part of a wider “community.”  This makes it difficult for the event planners to meet the brief and satisfy everyone – a common experience for event management specialists dealing with big egos and competing interests. 

 

National sporting bodies generally have close links with their governments, but those same governments often have a desire to impress the appropriate sport’s world governing body. Conflicting values make clear specifications hard to achieve!

 

Event budgeting and planning

 

With multiple aims and interests to satisfy, it helps enormously to have a “client” with sufficient authority to be able to impose decisions on the planning process and allocate the relevant budget to the event to meet the necessary resource and technical requirements.  The President of FIFA may not be universally popular, but his influence makes things happen.  (Again, 2012 reminded us of the weight of authority exerted by the International Olympic Committee over policy and practice in a sovereign state, when it came to their event.)

 

At a macro-economic level, Event ROI (Return on Investment) takes on a whole new dimension compared with typical corporate events.  The measures of success are nevertheless much the same and just as important.  They include:

 

  • raising awareness and promoting an image and/or message

  • affecting social and political attitudes

  • encouraging economic growth and development

  • uniting people and organisations

  • celebrating achievement

  • creating a positive legacy from the event.

     

     

 

Event logistics

 

The 32 national football teams competing in the 2014 FIFA World Cup speak a total of 16 different languages!  Although the national language of host country Brazil is Portuguese (the mother tongue of the qualifying teams from Brazil and Portugal), the most common language is Spanish, which is spoken by 9 of the competing national teams. 

 

Imagine the complexities of arranging broadcast facilities and providing information for all the officials, players and supporters of the 32 teams speaking those 16 different languages.  Every event presents logistical challenges, but this is an extreme example.

 

The skills of an event management team must be many and varied, with the fundamental concern at all times being the need to treat every participant as an individual and to imagine what it feels like to them to be immersed in the event experience. 

 

Safety, security, ethics and reputation are all elements of the risk profile of every event, big or small.  It is not just about the money or the winners.  The “consequences” are all that is left when the dust settles and the stakeholders judge success on their terms. 

 

Added value from events

 

All live events present opportunities for people to meet and mingle, learn from each other, share common interests and learn about other cultures and values.  Better co-operation can result from improved understanding, tolerance and respect.

 

Event ROI methodology is an effective tool for planning the event and setting objectives, but also in assessing its effectiveness with post-event research.   Every World Cup host wants to be remembered for staging a successful event and the same applies to us and our clients, every time. 

 

28th May 2014

 

With schools breaking up soon and families planning their holidays, the lure of travel to exotic foreign places is rekindled.  Happy memories of overseas (or UK) holidays remain long after the tan has faded, which is why incentive travel has been proven to be the most effective reward for top achievers.  Clients frequently reaffirm the power of travel as an incentive that produces results, even in difficult trading conditions.

 

Attention to detail, personal recognition and VIP service throughout the trip are the hallmarks of a successful travel incentive programme. Originality and a few surprises add spice and retain the interest of even the most experienced travel award winners.  We expect our clients to enjoy a significant return on investment, whether the programme is entertaining their own sales force, dealers or other channel partners. 

 

So before the chill of winter returns, why not start planning now for next year’s incentive travel and events activities?  You will be able to inspire and motivate your key people sooner and generate even better results by the time they hit the beaches next summer.   We can help, with ideas based on our experience of previous programmes that we have managed over the last 25 years.  We invite you take a fresh look at reward and recognition, before the sun sets on another business year

 

16th May 2014

 

The cricket season has started and soon the media will be featuring Wimbledon, Ascot and the British Grand Prix. Many companies will be blowing big budgets on packaged hospitality on these occasions, hoping to build business as a result. We recommend a different solution, which is generally a lot cheaper and certainly far more cost-effective.

 

Creating bespoke events to entertain business guests guarantees a measurable return on investment as well as delivering strong brand messages and real stakeholder engagement. Staff, channel partners and customers can all be given appropriate recognition and reward. Bespoke events are conceived as part of your marketing strategy and are designed to support your specific corporate objectives. They will reflect your mission, vision and values and be highly enjoyable!

 

The Key benefits of designing bespoke event solutions are:

  • your own exclusive programme with a strong brand identity

  • events designed to accurately reflect guest profiles and interests

  • personal invitations to a private occasion

  • a wide range of flexible options and exclusive elements

  • structured to encourage close interaction and dialogue

  • tailored to the available budget with the focus on value for money

  • produced and managed by your dedicated agency team

  • post-event evaluation and review with the client

     

Stakeholder engagement is a vital key to sustaining commitment and effort from everyone, especially those in the front line who are most closely identified with your brand values and reputation. There is a broad range of reward and recognition solutions available, including hospitality weekends and other company events, awards presentations, theatre nights and incentive travel programmes. Bring the sunshine into your business and watch the warm glow spread across the organisation!

9th April 2014

 

Corporate events and the environment

 

We organised and managed a pan-European Zero Emissions conference and business presentation last weekend in London, for a Chinese manufacturer of electric vehicles. The theme and product message were reinforced dramatically, with the use of electric taxis to transfer delegates from airports and London terminals to and from their hotels. Delegates also experienced a ride along the actual London routes on which Tfl is testing the client’s electric buses!

 

A superb private dinner was served in the unique and charming setting of the London Transport Museum, in Covent Garden. We arrange so many corporate events overseas that we sometimes forget the appeal and quality of London and the rest of the UK. Our culture and heritage are equally attractive to business delegates as they are to leisure visitors.

 

There is increasing awareness and concern in our industry about the environmental impact of travel and related activities. PAEM has always acknowledged both ecological and sociological issues around travel incentives, conferences and hospitality events. We believe that evolving technology is providing more opportunities to reduce our carbon footprint and we encourage clients to reflect their CSR policies in the business programmes we plan with them.

 

Our USP is the ROI (Return On Investment) test which we invite clients to complete with us before we confirm an event. This provides an opportunity for us to consult with our clients, to include an assessment of environmental impact and to consider the appropriate options when planning the programme in detail.

 

 

25th February 2014

 

Choosing the perfect mobile event app

 

Many meeting professionals are abandoning the printed programme in favour of mobile apps to inspire and communicate with attendees at their events.  With so many options available, choosing a mobile app for conferences and events can be tricky, without a clearly defined set of requirements.

 

Here are 10 things that QuickMobile suggest you consider when choosing the perfect event app:

 

1. Branding

 

Maintaining a strong brand at your events is invaluable as the competition for your audience’s attention intensifies every day. 

  • What value do you place on brand marketing and positioning your brand at events?
  • Do you consider branding as a way to promote yourselves at events as a thought leader, innovator and trusted content provider?
  • To what extent can you embrace the capabilities of mobile devices to position your brand, including multimedia, rich colour, transitions and animation?

 

2. Number of events

 

If you are just starting out with your first app, think ahead: in a year from now, how many events will you be hosting?

  • Can you quickly and easily scale to deliver apps for multiple events?
  • If you host a lot of events, do you need to create a separate app for each event or can you create a single app for your organisation that contains multiple event apps?
  • If a single app is available for all your events, is each individual event simply a replica of the same app, or can you create unique apps with completely different functionality and user experience?
  • How is the mobile app content management system designed to make managing multiple events easy and efficient?

 

3. Insight

 

Uncovering the truth about your attendees’ behaviour and preferences will help you to make the right decisions for your events.

  • Can you monitor what is happening at your events in real time so that you can adapt instantly?
  • How deep can you drill down on analytics for app usage?  Is a report available showing detailed app usage, such as the most popular event activities and what attendees are planning in their schedules?
  • What kind of insight do you need to make your next event better?

 

4. Ease of use

 

Remember that not all content management systems are created equal, in terms of power and usability. 

  • Can you build your own app or does the vendor build everything for you?
  • Does the content management system make it easy to load your data and manage all your events?
  • How long does it take to truly master the content management system?

 

5. Core competence

 

Do your homework before committing to a vendor. Ask them what they really know about mobile event apps.

  • Are mobile event apps a core competence of the vendor or are they an add-on to their existing business?
  • How long has the vendor provided mobile event apps and what case studies can they provide about their customers’ experiences?
  • How can you combine event apps with other internal communications to add value to your organisation, create more incentives for staff/channel partners and start a year-round conversation with your audience?

 

6. Attendee behaviour

 

Inspiring people to connect at your events will enhance learning, interaction and fun!

  • Which features and functionality will help to increase attendee interaction and how are these features designed to motivate attendees to engage?
  • How can you facilitate more questions and better feedback between attendees and speakers during sessions?
  • How can you leverage social media and gaming to get attendees communicating and having fun?

 

7. Content generation

 

When you and your attendees can easily generate mobile content, your events will become more dynamic and exciting than ever.

  • How easy is it for you to generate content for the mobile app?
  • How can you turn attendees from being spectators into active participants by generating their own content?
  • Which functionality is included in the app that will help you and your attendees engage and generate content before, during and after your event?

 

8. Personalisation

 

Providing highly relevant information to your attendees on their mobile devices means your event audience will be more engaged.

  • Is the mobile app designed to share relevant information with attendees based on their personal profiles?
  • Can you allow attendees to personalise their preferences to view preferred content?
  • How much control can attendees have over sharing of their personal information?

 

9. Revenue

 

The best mobile event apps will not only make you money, they can help to improve sponsor and advertiser loyalty.

  • How can you generate revenue and what kind of functionality is available?
  • Can you show a tangible return on investment to your sponsors and advertisers?
  • How important is it to your organisation to make your mobile app a profit centre?

 

10. Service and support

 

Even the best meeting professionals need a helping hand to put technology into action and turn events into a success.

  • What level of support is available during the app development process, both during and after your event?
  • Do you have dedicated support representatives?  Are the support representatives employed directly by the mobile event app vendor, or are they located in a remote call centre?
  • What kind of additional professional consulting services are available to help you get the most out of your mobile app?

 

 

January 30th 2014

 

Measuring brand engagement

 

We see Event ROI (using Return on Investment methodology) as vital to measuring the effectiveness of live events. Brand engagement, whether interpreted as customer loyalty, partner commitment or staff support, is a central objective of all marketing communication activities.

 

So how can we ensure that we identify the best value-for-money solution at the planning stage? Setting objectives that can be measured using the ROI approach is a good place to start. Determining the KPIs at the outset forces us to assess the relevance and potential benefits of every decision. For example, asking how much the audience already knows about the theme of the event provides a benchmark against which to measure change. The scale, style and setting of the event should reflect the business background and environment in which the brand is positioned, so that the message delivered by the event is consistent with the brand image. At the planning stage, using Event ROI techniques makes the outcomes more predictable and the investment more secure.

 

There are many factors, direct or indirect influences and vested interests affecting commercial decisions about live events and other brand communication activities. Business or industry “politics” can distort the client’s sense of priorities and is it sometimes hard for an agency (or an internal event manager) to obtain consent to the most appropriate solution. Using ROI methodology applies logic to the decision-making process and encourages objective assessment, before irrevocable decisions are made. It also helps to set realistic expectations and improves certainty.

 

When a brand proposition is well known and widely accepted, live events must support and reflect brand values. There is no point in simply spending money to maintain the status quo. Brands are always competing for attention and loyalty, so live events must produce tangible added value in the form of increased market share, resulting from greater stakeholder commitment. Event participants must be informed, entertained and educated. Event ROI methodology helps to ensure that those aims are met.

 

2nd January 2014

Future trends in live events

The advantages for us of being a small agency include agility and flexibility. We can react quickly to changing client requirements because we do not have to recover big investments and overheads through high charges or rigid contracts. In other words, we are perfectly suited to the new digital age, in which technology makes many systems and solutions accessible and cost-effective.

The event management tools that new technology makes available to us all include:

  • Online delegate booking and communication

  • Electronic personal recognition and data capture

  • Interactive audience participation and response

  • Apps that gather information, survey opinion and allow instant voting

  • Web and internet messages, updates, blogs and reports

  • Feedback, surveys and post-event evaluations

Live events come in all shapes and sizes, from intimate hospitality offered to guests in small exclusive venues to polished product launches and huge “brand experiences”! All live events require the same degree of research and planning.

We believe it is the vital responsibility of every event planner and agency to set clear objectives for return on investment (Event ROI) and participant satisfaction. That particular measure of success will depend on comparing what was expected or desired with what was delivered. Modern technology makes canvassing opinion quick, easy and inexpensive.

On too many occasions, business events are designed to reflect the interests and aims of the event sponsor (usually the client company) without much, if any, concern about the potential impact on the other stakeholders who may be affected, directly or indirectly. Gathering information using new technology allows better target audience testing, awareness and sensitivity to issues and attitudes and more effective live event solutions.

11 December 2013

The challenges and potential of interactive events

The World’s media focused on the stadium in Soweto, where a ceremony was held to honour the life and achievements of the legendary Nelson Mandela. The event was presumably planned as a respectful, dignified tribute that would unite people nationally and globally in an optimistic gesture of peace and reconciliation.

There were two tangible signs that the event had not met its objectives, both dramatic examples of how it is vital to manage interaction with the target audience, both before and during the event. Firstly, parts of the stadium were empty. Whether because of transport problems or more likely a failure to inspire people to participate, the response was disappointing.

The most disturbing and distressing aspect of the occasion was the negative reaction, audible and sustained, towards the current President from a significant number of people in the stadium. This reminds us that whilst we want to encourage involvement and contributions from all stakeholders at live events, we need to design content and communications that will resonate with the audience and acknowledge their views and expectations.

Digital technology can play an important part in producing creative content and encouraging valuable audience participation at business events. Brand reinforcement, loyalty and support, from customers, colleagues and partners, can be enhanced by the use of the latest technology,

The challenge is always the same, however, which is to produce and manage an event that meets your objectives and delivers a great return on investment.

19th November 2013

 

Planning meetings and events to achieve the best Return on Investment

 

Inspired by Dr Elling Hamso of the Event ROI Institute in Oslo, we want to spread the word as widely as possible on the beneficial effects of using the ROI Methodology. On 15th November
we welcomed a number of corporate managers and directors to an Event ROI master class. Elling gave us an intriguing insight into the tools and techniques that can be used to improve outcomes. Here we list some of the key principles:

 

1.  Meetings and events only create value when they influence the behaviour of participants.

2.  Failure to use the ROI Methodology means that the event will not deliver its full potential value.

3.  In order to measure results, there must be clear and measurable objectives for the event.

4.  You cannot measure the value of an event without specifying the stakeholders.

5.  Different stakeholders have different objectives.

6.  There are six levels of objectives and evaluation.

7.  The ROI Pyramid both sets objectives and measures results at each level.

8.  The benefits of applying the ROI Methodology will always outweigh the costs.

 

Many meeting planners are already finding that procurement and finance directors are increasingly concerned about value. ROI measurements are used in many other areas of management, so this is a good opportunity to achieve greater recognition and support for meetings and events.

 



 

22nd October 2013

 

Return on Investment from events is the subject of our next seminar, at The Cadogan Hotel in Knightsbridge on 15th November. We are delighted that Dr Elling Hamso, a leading European authority on the subject, will be sharing his expert knowledge and giving our guests an insight into this important business management issue.

 

Event ROI is a central part of our service proposition. Our USP is the PA£M ROI T£ST, which takes clients through a rigorous assessment of planned events before we ask them for a commitment. It is our joint responsibility to ensure that valuable are used as effectively as possible.

 

Creativity and originality are vital elements in business events and in the communication that precedes and supports them. We are well aware of the impact that performance improvement programmes can have on a company’s reputation and stakeholder relationships. Getting the right message across, reinforcing values and vision, recognising and rewarding effort and loyalty are all key objectives.

 

We want to create unique experiences that encourage your guests to identify clearly with you and your brand.  In our opinion, bespoke solutions are much more cost effective than hospitality packages sold on the open market, especially in terms of building long-term customer relations and promoting brand awareness and appreciation.

 



25th September 2013

 

Making the event budget go further is an inevitable demand of these austere times, which
makes the PA£M ROI T£ST even more important. We take our clients through a rigorous examination of the facts, so that event budgets and plans are based on a realistic assessment of success. We are prepared to risk a decision by the client not to proceed with a planned event, if it means the budget can be used more effectively.

 

All forms of marketing expenditure involve a degree of uncertainty about the outcome. Live events such as internal meetings, conferences, presentations and product launches, hospitality events and reward programmes are all significant investments. There needs to be a strong financial case for that investment and the PA£M ROI T£ST provides our clients with a vital
management tool.
 

 

Client organisations can expect to enjoy intangible, “soft” benefits from staging live events, such as improved morale, heightened awareness of the brand proposition, better understanding of a particular product or service and greater loyalty. These things are hard to measure however, without further investment in
research. The numbers contained in management reports are the hard facts that really count. Sales volume, market share, repeat business and margins can all be correlated with event expenditure and we regard that as a responsibility that we share with our clients.

 



 

1st August 2013

 

People are central to every business process, but every thing starts with making a sale.  Selling a product or service and delivering customer satisfaction depends on people working together. Bringing people together helps to achieve understanding and harmony. 

You can spend a small fortune entertaining at international sports tournaments, concerts or other major public events. 

 

These are some of the features of packaged hospitality:



•          
Travel costs are not included and travelling time to the venue can be an issue

•            
Overnight accommodation will be needed for at least some guests

•            
Massive crowds create lots of distractions

•            
Lots of very similar packages at the same event use similar facilities

•            
Guests are focused on the event not the host

•            
Your branding and corporate host identification options are restricted

•            
There is limited opportunity or facility for brand marketing or presentation

•            
Big (sponsor) brands dominate these events

•            
The appeal of the invitation depends on guest interest

•            
This high expenditure has a questionable effect on customer loyalty

•            
There is no “exclusivity factor” for host or guests

 

BESPOKE EVENTS

Engagement with colleagues and customers is the key to building successful relationships.  Live events reinforce brand recognition and loyalty and shared experiences strengthen bonds between participants.  Whether you call it corporate hospitality, entertainment or engagement, at PAEM we believe that your business objectives must be the key factor in designing your bespoke events.

 

Features of bespoke hospitality:

 

•            
Exclusive programme with strong brand identity

•            
Ideal platform  to promote brand image

•            
Selected to reflect guest profile and interest

•            
Wide range of flexible options and exclusive elements

•            
Personal invitation from client to private event

•            
Structured to encourage close interaction and dialogue

•            
Conceived to support host’s business objectives

•            
Designed to optimise ROI

•            
Tailored to available budget, with focus on value for money

•            
Fewer intermediary profit margins

•            
Managed by dedicated client event team

•            
Greater direct control over contractors

•            
Complete control of all programme elements (eg, travel, accommodation etc)

•            
Post-event evaluation is an option

 

So, before you commit vast sums of money to packaged solutions, we can offer more creative and original methods of bringing your people together whilst also making your budget go further.

 



15th July 2013

 

With schools breaking up soon and families planning their holidays, the lure of travel to exotic foreign places is rekindled. Happy memories of overseas (or UK) holidays remain long after the tan has faded, which is why incentive travel has been proven to be the most effective reward for top achievers. Clients
frequently reaffirm the power of travel as an incentive that produces results, even in difficult trading conditions.
 

 

Attention to detail, personal recognition and VIP service throughout the trip are the hallmarks of a successful travel incentive programme. Originality and a few surprises add spice and retain the interest of even the most experienced travel award winners. We expect our clients to
enjoy a significant return on investment, whether the programme is entertaining their own sales force, dealers or other channel partners.

 

So before the chill of winter returns, why not start planning now for next year’s incentive travel and events activities?  You will be able to inspire and motivate your key people sooner and generate even better results by the time they hit the beaches next summer.   We can help, with ideas based on our experience of previous programmes that we have managed over the last 25 years. We invite you take a
fresh look at reward and recognition, before the sun sets on another business
year.





 

2nd July 2013

 

The price of strawberries at Wimbledon may concern the chattering classes, but this summer UK PLC has more serious seasonal issues to tackle. There is a clear trend towards higher employment in the private sector, despite the economic clouds overhead, but there is a correlation between the current employment levels and a flattening of salaries. In real terms, most people in work are getting progressively poorer! There will be fewer strawberries this summer for the average family and employers should think carefully about the need to maintain morale, motivation and performance by compensating for the overall reduction in living standards that many employees are feeling.

 

Presenting your people with strawberries may seem like a small gesture, but recognising their situation and showing appreciation for
their loyalty is just as important now as it was in the good times. Your top performers will still bask in the
sunshine but employers must guard against resentment or is enchantment in the ranks of support staff and the wider colleague community, who may feel they are being overlooked.  Employee engagement is a vital key to sustaining commitment and effort from everyone, especially those in the front line who are most closely identified with your brand values and reputation. There is a broad range of reward and recognition solutions available, including hospitality weekends and other company events, awards presentations, theatre nights and incentive travel programmes.   Bring the sunshine into your business and watch the warm glow spread across the organisation!

 

  

14th May 2013

 

 

ROI, ROE and other ways to measure event success

 

Most business trends start in the USA, but there are experts in ROI in Europe too. We at PAEM are ready to be held to account by our clients for the quality and effectiveness of their corporate events.

 

The techniques for measuring different factors, from purely financial to behavioural and reputational, are very interesting but also too  boring to describe in detail in this blog! Our primary concern is to establish the client’s broad business objectives, as well as understanding what impact they want the event to achieve.

 

The style and content of the event programme must reflect the client company image, reinforce corporate values and recognise the importance of stakeholder relationships. With these factors determining the event specification, a healthy Return on Investment (ROI) or if you prefer, a good Return on Event (ROE) is ssured!

 

It has always been the case that clients will only repeat an event, or plan the next one on similar lines, if they have received positive feedback and reaction to the previous one. You don’t need a degree to know that  budgets are tight and results will be correlated with expenditure. It helps to be intelligent and sensitive about what is proportionate and ppropriate.

 

We think it is vital to be realistic and honest with clients about what can be achieved, so that ROI will not only meet but hopefully exceed expectations!

 

 

 

19th April 2013

 

Focus on ROI in Events

 

The focus is on Return on Investment for our clients, from live events, reward & recognition programmes and other forms of stakeholder
participation. Brief spikes on the sales
graph are of less value than a  sustained improvement in results. Consistent, planned growth is more manageable and more profitable.

 

ROI is a critical measure of success. Both tactical promotions and strategic
marketing campaigns build brand awareness and stimulate customer reaction. Your channel partners, dealers, distributors and resellers must be prepared and motivated if they are to capitalise on the business opportunities that you have created.

 

A tailor-made performance improvement plan can help you to maximise impact and gain valuable market share. Originality and flair are vital ingredients in stimulating demand, but they are equally
effective in encouraging employee engagement.  When your business partners are independent operators, forging close  relationships depends on giving then recognition and rewarding exceptional effort.

  

 

14th March 2013

  

Bonkers bonuses don’t make
the difference

  

Every business revolves around its people, those who grind away at the coalface, delivering consistent  customer service and earning the
bread and butter that keeps the company afloat. 
 

Investment in recognition and rewards for exceptional performance over a sustained period, linked to customer satisfaction, will always pay for itself many times over. The prima donnas come and go, but the grafters are dependable and valuable. Although they are self-motivated, they need and deserve praise and appreciation. Invest in them and the
bonus culture will be irrelevant (unless you deal in securities and investments as your prime business activity.)

 

Any form of employee engagement, including travel and live events, creates a lasting impression on participants and makes them feel
special. We help you to build on success
and ensure it is sustainable. The bonus
for us is in seeing lots of smiling faces and clients coming back for more!

 

 

28th February 2013

Bonus or bust – what’s the answer?



The EU intends to cap bankers’ bonuses to one year’s salary. Will capitalism collapse and the City of London be deserted as a result? If so, does it matter? It depends on your values.

 

Dedicated people in both private and public sectors are generally not motivated by money.  Satisfaction and pride in their achievements, reinforced by respect and support from their employers and peers, are what get them through the frustrations and challenges of working life. It is not the prospect of a bonus, as most of us don’t get them! 

 

An award for exceptional effort has real significance and must be seen as special. The moment it becomes an entitlement it feeds personal greed and compromises corporate values. Rogue traders are clearly not team players, unless the whole team is corrupt, but they illustrate how greed can corrode and undermine even the biggest and most respectable companies.

 

Incentives are a very effective management tool, if they are fair, proportionate and appropriate. Giving outstanding team players recognition and reward boosts morale and can inspire others to reach the same standards. Incentives not only deliver a healthy return on investment in pure financial terms, but also help to highlight key objectives. Using KPIs to measure performance, as part of the internal communication process around incentives, ensures that priorities are understood and addressed. Delivering customer satisfaction will always be a vital core element in every programme.  Exceed expectations and everyone wins!

 

 24th January 2013

Europe United – the team closes ranks

All for one, one for all.

 

The motto of The Three Musketeers was “All for one, one for all” and historical fiction becomes modern fact when everyone in a team is equally committed to its survival. David Cameron’s suggestion that the EU “team” should grant special status to Britain has provoked the other members to close ranks, demonstrating their commitment to
the cause.

 

Generating loyalty and unity within any team requires equal involvement and recognition for every individual member.  In return they are expected to give total commitment to the team’s values and objectives. Despite this, pressures and strains on individual members of the team, as well as external factors affecting the team itself, erode confidence and undermine commitment. In business as in politics, managing performance is a constant challenge.

 

Recognition and reward are cost-effective management tools that protect the team and its sponsor against “commitment fatigue”. Changing the rules is seldom an option, but reminding the team of the prize that awaits them will improve the level of sustained effort.

 

 

 

 

 

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