The Ice Bucket Challenge is Brilliant! This is how it started…

Iggy doing the #ALSICEBUCKETCHALLENGEI honestly wish I thought of this first!

How else can you get J.LO, Chris Brown, Tyrese, Bill Gates, Tyler Perry, Oprah, a whole football team, Lebron James, and many more to buy into your charitable efforts?

This is one of the most brilliant marketing strategies and the ALS foundation didn’t even come up with it!

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has quickly gone from a fundraising campaign to a viral Internet sensation, raising $15.6 million so far for the ALS Association to research Lou Gehrig’s disease.

But how did a campaign that has drawn in celebrities from Oprah and LeBron James to Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg actually start?

Chris Kennedy, a golfer in Sarasota, Fla., was nominated by a friendto participate in the Ice Bucket Challenge, which at the time, had nothing to do with ALS. The campaign was not tied to any specific charity, and participants would select a charity of their choice for donations. Kennedy’s friend had selected a charity that benefits a young child with cancer in the area. Kennedy, passing the challenge along, then selected ALS because a relative is suffering from the disease. Kennedy nominated his wife’s cousin Jeanette Senerchia, whose husband Anthony is the one suffering from ALS. Kennedy posted this video on July 15—what appears to be the first instance in which the Ice Bucket Challenge and ALS were linked. To read more, click here: http://time.com/3136507/als-ice-bucket-challenge-started/ 

So how can something something this brilliant not planned? Mainly because we are all suckers for the Social Media and the word “challenge.” Yes, plenty of teens are into unproductive challenges but this one is actually for a good cause.

Here are five ways you can emulate the success of the ALS BUCKET CHALLENGE: 

1. Make it simple but extraordinary.

2.. Make it meaningful or charitable.

3. Make it fun.

4. Design it to be “shareable”

5. Create a hashtag.

You can view more celebs participating in the challenge, here http://www.rap-up.com/2014/08/18/drake-chris-brown-justin-bieber-iggy-azalea-lady-gaga-take-als-ice-bucket-challenge/

The Survivor’s Fashion Show 2014! See You in 2015…

MY HORROR STORY WITH PAYPAL (Lesson Learned)

My Horror Story With Paypal (lesson learned)

I have been using Paypal for a few years now. First as a buyer and now, as a business owner. Let me preface this by saying that Paypal was not the only one to blame but if they keep allowing this to happen, then there is no hope for small business owners who provide services versus products.

Let’s call the perpetrator “Joe.” Joe purchased two tables for a charity gala worth $2,000 that we produced. Six days after the event, Joe issued a charge back claiming this was an unauthorized charge. Clearly, I was perturbed because this has affected the amount of donation that we had promised the charity to donate after all was reconciled post event.

At first I was hopeful because Paypal allowed me to show them evidence that this was an authorized charge. I sent them text messages and emails and photos of the event for proof that the gala happened and Joe and his 19 guests ate their dinner. Paypal said it takes 30 days for them to review the case but on the 15th day, they sent me an email stating:

As you know, one of your buyers opened a chargeback with their credit card issuer. This means that the buyer has asked their card issuer to reverse the money for this transaction.
We want to help you fight this chargeback, and are disputing it with your buyer’s credit card issuer.

In the meantime, the disputed amount has been debited from your PayPal account because of the following reason(s):

- Intangible items are not covered under Seller Protection.

In addition, you have been debited a chargeback fee.

When I called them to rebuttal this unfortunate conclusion, I told them “Of course it was tangible! Joe and his 19 guests ate all their 20 dinners! Am I wrong?” The Paypal Associate calmly replied: “But it wasn’t something that was shipped.” – PAUSE RIGHT THERE!

You’re reading this… you mean to tell me if I had shipped their dinners then Paypal would cover this with insurance? So the difference between tangible and intangible is “shipping.” Complete nonsense but hey, what’s done is done!

Then the Paypal Associate continued “We have the best dispute team and they are working on disputing this with the credit issuer. It will take up to 80 days to find out whether or not we were successful with the dispute.”

I was speechless so I hung up!

I just felt like I was molested! I work hard to do something great and help raise money for a charity and this is what I get in return? Joe pretty much screwed me and Paypal was not able to help with the situation? On top of that, I was charged $100 more because of a (false) chargeback? I’ve been doing events for almost 10 years and this was a first.

Don’t worry, As mad as I was, I now realized, why the CREDIT CARD AUTHORIZATION form exists and I will be using one moving forward!

Can Your Brand Increase Profit Using a “Gender Segmentation” Strategy?

We all know that men and women have different shopping/buying habits. Can your brand increase profit using a “Gender Segmentation” Strategy? 

5 TIPS FOR POST EVENT MARKETING STRATEGY

5 TIPS FOR POST EVENT MARKETING STRATEGY
Post event marketing is just as important as ticket sales, advertisement, promotions and more. Why? Because your post event marketing strategy will determine the success of your next event. A strong post event marketing strategy can set the tone for the next event by re kindling your guest’s experience and showing the absentees what they’ve missed. Great photos and videos can be a reason for your guests to share it on social media.
Events in the City Post Marketing Tips blog photo
1. Watermark all your photos

- before posting images online, find an app that would allow you to either watermark your logo or your website on the photo. Why? well for the simple reason that once these photos are online, people will find the photos and will be interested to participate for the next one but wouldn’t know how to get in contact with you.
2. Write a blog about it or ask someone to

 – blogging is more than just telling a story online. It’s a way to get “found” online. So when you blog, use the right keywords and always remember to add information about where they can signup to get more info or get more details.
3. Publicly thank everyone who helped make it happen

- You have to exhibit a grateful attitude to keep having successful events. Make people feel good about helping you. People will forget what you say but will never forget how you made them feel. Present certificates to your volunteers and  your sponsors. Then post those photos online and thank them again. You can never thank them enough!
4.   Share and re-purpose your photos and videos
After editing your photos and videos, plan a schedule for when to post them. Naturally, after an event, you want to post all your photos on an album on facebook or other social media means but you should also hold back on some photos, design it by adding text about the event or information about the next event and plan on posting a photo 2x or 3x a month until your next event. Don’t let people forget how great your event was.
5. Create a special tab/archive
On your website, you can create a tab dedicated to archived photos and on there, you can store all your past event photos so when you are getting ready to promote for you next event that potential sponsors and guests can view past event photos. Make sure that you label all your photos correctly and caption them as much as you can.
BONUS TIPS:
When saving your photos on your computer, make sure that you save it using the name of your event and the year for two reasons:
a. Easy navigation – it will be easier for you to search for your photos whenever you need them.
b. Searchable – when people search for your event on Google, the photos that were labeled properly upon upload will show up on the results.
When uploading your photos on your website/blog, make sure that you change the “title” of the photos to your event name and year for the same reason as above. Make it easy for people to find your event and label all your photos correctly!

CANCER SURVIVORS AND CAREGIVERS ON THE RUNWAY

The 2014 Survivor’s Fashion Show was officially a success and the number one relief is the fact that we actually raised money on our very first Survivor’s Fashion Show. We promised to deliver an inspiring show and we are so happy that it was accomplished.

Something special happens when you learn about another person’s struggle and then witness them strut down the runway with a smile from ear to ear. It’s as if your own struggles are suddenly insignificant and petty. When a 10 year old who survived stage 3 Kidney Cancer and got her kidney, pancreas and part of her diaphragm removed walks down the runway full of life, suddenly your financial challenges doesn’t seem so challenging any longer.

We need more inspiration in this world (in my opinion). We need to be inspired to live and love life to the fullest. We produced The Survivor’s Fashion Show for three reasons:

1. Raise money for Cancer Research

2. Inspire others to appreciate life

3. Give Cancer Survivor’s the Hollywood Treatment

Plenty of companies and businesses saw the potential in this event and we thank all of them for lending a helping hand and participating at the inaugural event. Companies like: Paul Mitchell School of Beauty, CAO Cosmetics, Taglyan Complex,  Pisidia-USA, Lash Factor Inc., Speedpro Long Beach, Cheetah Girl Boutique, Linda Richards, Mary Kay, Naylah’s Fat Thighs Cupcakes, Fabuluxe, Fund with Photo, Kangen Water, Small Change Handbags, Krave Jerky and The Soozi Show.

Needless to say, it was an awesome night and here are some photos:

The Biggest Event in my Career So far: The Survivor’s Fashion Show

I’ve done plenty of big events but this, Survivor’s Fashion Show, is one that I hold close to my heart! Not only because my father passed away with Lung Cancer and I felt the need to do something annually to honor him and help build a community of survivors or anyone affected by cancer but because this feels like the first event where I took the most risk so far! Zero budget! But with the right collaborative partners, we are getting things done and have sold out our VIP section!

Proceeds will benefit the American Cancer Society Relay For Life and please believe that everything I wrote on my last book: http://bit.ly/ebookeventplanning was put to use! So if you are looking to plan an event in the near future make sure you get a copy of my book and read all about the 10 Step Guide to a Successful Event.

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*Media Alert   *Media Alert  *Media Alert

Cancer Survivors Take to the Runway for The Survivor’s Fashion Show Benefiting American Cancer Society Relay for Life

WHAT:   In honor of Cancer Research Month, on June 26, 2014 cancer survivors will take to the runway in designer and couture fashions featuring the Kardashian Kollection by Sears, Award-winning Couture Designer Sue Wong, International Designer Shekhar Rahate, Yere Designs by Chinyere (swimwear), Courtney Allegra,  Pisidia-USA (official launch of organic silicone handbag line in North America), The Write Fit, La Liga Clothing Crespatrick de llos Reyes, and Carrington Designs by Jason Oliver, as their inspiring stories of victory are narrated in front of an audience filled with the colleagues, family, friends and supporters of Cancer Research fundraising events.   Hair and Makeup sponsored by Paul Mitchell School of Beauty and CAO Cosmetics.  Mink lashes by Lash Factor Inc.

Keeping the celebration ALIVE will be featured artists such as DJ Mia from America’s Best Dance Crew and Nick Cannon Wild N’ Out,  Sony/Epic Recording Artist, TahMac featuring Redman and Newkast Recording Artist, DeJur.   This is going to be EPIC!

Mark Antonio Grant, Keynote Speaker, Cancer Survivor and Representative for Councilman Bill Rosendahl, will share his experience and encourage others to join the battle.

Taja V. Simpson, Celebrity Host, Mistress of Ceremony and Film Director, will narrate the stories of the survivors as they strut the runway and keep the show fabulous.

Proceeds will be donated to The American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life!   Main Sponsor Civic Duty

WHO:  Co-Producers Events In the City LA & LW Special Events Management LLC

WHERE:  Taglyan Cultural Complex 1201 N. Vine St., Los Angeles, CA 90038

WHEN:   Thursday, June 26, 2014

TIME:  5:30 pm to 10:00 p.m.   Red Carpet begins promptly at 5:30 pm.

CONTACT:   Sweeney Mae at press@eventsinthecityla.com or call 1-866-223-4545 ext. 2

THE BEST BABY PRODUCTS EXPO – Plush Show is back!

When producing and coordinating events, often times, people give up after the first fail. It’s common in the event industry to have  challenges on the first try but with consistency and tenacity, your event will grow. The Plush Show 2014 is a great example of this. They started small and naturally grew larger.

I had the pleasure of interviewing the founder of the Plush Show Expo last year, 2013 and I can’t believe a whole year has already passed.

We were invited to cover the event again and we were excited to meet all the vendors, experience all the great products and talk to the attendees to see what they thought of the event. Events in the City TV is all about giving you real feedback from the attendees so that you can decide for yourself if this is the right event for you to attend.

Our personal favorite that day were Joovy (@joovy); Clean Bee Baby (@cleanbeebabyla); Baby Buddy and so much more! To see who else were there, visit the www.PlushShow.com.

Here is the video for this year’s 2014 Plush Show:

If you want to check out what else happened that day, click here to discover the hashtag: #plushshow.

We just love covering events like this, not only do we get exposed to various industries, we also meet so many business entrepreneurs, we get to see great exhibiting ideas and most of all we meet  so many connects! This particular expo is so much fun because it features the best baby products in the industry. It’s great to see involved parents and educated consumers really take the time to do their research and provide their children with the best and safest products.

The South Bay Women’s Conference was a success!

2014 South Bay Women's ConferenceHeld on May 9, 2014, the South Bay Women’s Conference was a sold out event, benefiting scholarships for women.

The room was filled with amazing women and a few men (they are welcome, too :)).  The key note speakers were inspiring and the break out sessions were very informational.

Events in the City TV interviewed some of the speakers, volunteers and the attendees. If you are interested in supporting this event in 2015, then you must watch these videos to hear it straight from those who were at the event.

Below is a play list of all the videos and interviews at the event.

Photo credit: Fleur de Lis Photography

My interview with Marianne Williamson, who’s running for Congress

As a business coach/trainer, I’m persistent about encouraging my clients and followers to attend events regularly. It’s a great way to meet new people and prospects. By attending events, I’ve met some of my best business collaborative partners. Most recently, I was at the 2014 South Bay Women’s Conference where I got the chance to interview speakers, guests, and volunteers.

I’m most excited about having had the chance to talk with Marianne Williamson, whom I had the pleasure of doing a short interview with. Ever since I’ve seen her on Oprah’s OWN TV Super Soul Sunday, I have been reading her books and what hits home the most is one of her most popular quotes (see below):

Marianne-Williamson-Framed-Quote-656Marianne Williamson is very influential and inspirational. I take the points she makes and relate to what I do and how it matters to the world. I have a 45 minute talk about how to think forward by thinking globally called FORWARD SOCIAL MARKETING. In this talk, I discuss marketing strategies as always but then I also challenge my audience to think bigger. I ask the question: “How can you change the world?”

Just because you are a small-medium size business owner, does not mean you cannot think globally. Remember, that the greatest ideas and movements were not initiated by the majority. It was always the small groups or an individual who fought for rights, invented products, wrote books that changed the world.

Here are 3 Ways to Create a Global Message:

1. In a short concise sentence (or 2, max), explain how your service or product can improve the lives of your target market. Taking the time to formulate this sentence will require you to do the work and find out for yourself (if you don’t already know), how your product can change the world. Does it create convenience, which frees up time for family? Is it biodegradable or eco friendly, which saves the planet? or does your service provide ease and happiness in family households? This, too, shall be one of your “Added Value” as a business owner.

2. Research your competition. While you are formulating your “global change” sentence, it will help to know what your competitors offer. This way, you can think of something you are offering that they are not advertising as part of their brand or not offering at all. Yes, we are sometimes inundated and the market is penetrated with similar services and products but what you have to offer can be totally unique from your competition. But this will only be obvious to your target market if you promote it and advertise it. So, to set yourself apart from competition means you have to study your competition first!

3. Focus on how your product or service is solving a household or social problem. When articulating your “added value” as a global solution, it’s important to specify what problem you are solving for your customers. The slight difference between this question vs. the question above in #1 is the specific focus on the problem your are solving versus the solution. For example, a scented garbage bag will improve the smell in your kitchen because it solves the problem of spoiled food odors sitting in your trash can for a few hours. 

Watch my full interviews with Marianne Williamson, Molly McGrath, Caterina Rando, Lulu Powers, Joy Chudacoff and other featured speakers at the 2014 South Bay Women’s Conference.

 

 

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