Best Technology Tools for Planning & Hosting Events to Reduce Stress

Events can be one of the most successful solutions to facilitate business connections, develop relationships, share ideas and recognize people or efforts. However, events are also the one of the most stressful types of endeavors because they have so many minute details that require extreme organization and strategy.

The key to de-stressing an event is to keep everything as simple as possible. We phrase this as an attempt to “reduce complexity” rather than to make something “simple.” “Simple” doesn’t even cover the Herculean effort to takes to streamline processes, make things easy or de-stress.

So, in the midst of a multi-faceted and detail-bogged event, it’s important to choose tools, equipment and a team that wants to make things as easy as possible.

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How To Choose Lead Retrieval Equipment

When choosing your lead retrieval equipment, either because you are organizing the whole conference or are exhibiting in a booth, here’s a checklist to help. Read more

Lead Generation Debate: Quality vs. Quantity

Build your pipeline instantly with Captix for lead retrieval A colleague and I were recently chatting at the Spider House Cafe and ballroom in Austin, Texas over coffee about an age old debate for marketing and sales teams.

When you attend an event, is it about returning with QUANTITY or QUALITY leads? There are several schools of thought.

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4 Gadgets Every Event Professional Needs

Go-Go-Gadget: plan my event. That’s not exactly how it works, but there are a few gadgets on the market that can increase productivity and lower stress for event professionals.

1) Power Bank. A power bank allows you to charge all your devices without any outlets. The portable charger is perfect for working while traveling. However, be sure your power bank is charged before your flight since portable chargers are known to consume large amounts of energy and drain faster than the average smart device.

2) Pocket Projector. These tiny gadgets can fit in your pocket, yet allow you to project your presentation to a room full of people. Pocket projectors integrate well with your smart devices so you’ll be able to share projects on walls, notebooks, or really any blank surface.

3) Chromecast. Although this technology isn’t new, the streaming system continues to be the most efficient way to stream videos from the Internet onto your TV – no cables needed. Anyone in the room can connect to the Chromecast and use their phone or tablet as a remote to share videos via apps like YouTube and Netflix.

4) Digital Tape Measure. It’s lighter and easier to use than a traditional tape measure. Instead of calling over an assistant to help you measure the length of the venue wall, the digital device allows for easy measuring with laser point technology. Although some mobile apps allow for digital measuring, nothing has proven as accurate as laser measuring devices.

Know of a great event management tool that we didn’t cover? Let us know and we may just add it to our post. 

6 Tips for Winter Wellness for Event Managers

6 Tips for Winter Wellness – Event Managers, We Are Looking Out For You!

The hardest part of event season is ending.  You’re ready to pack up your laptop, briefcase, planner, cell phone and tablet (not to mention all the swag you picked up at the trade show) and head home for some turkey.  Unfortunately, everyone around you is coming down with a case of the sniffles and, chances are, you’ll be breathing in recycled air on the plane ride home.

But don’t fret! Here are six simple tips to keep you well this winter, designed especially for the event folks out there who are still working hard and starting to feel the chill.Don't blame coughs on colds right away. Allergies may be the culprit.During the spring and summer, people spend more time outside breathing in pollen, so it’s easier to blame our sneezes on allergies. In the winter, we don’t think to consider allergies as the source of our ailments because it’s also cold and flu season.  However, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, 1 in 5 people have indoor allergies, which can actually be worse in the winter. If you know you’re allergy prone, don’t skip your daily Zyrtec© just because it’s snowy outside. 3Germs thrive in Airplane seat pockets. The American Society for Microbiology says that “disease-causing bacteria can linger on surfaces commonly found in airplane cabins for days, even up to a week”. Specifically, their study showed that MRSA lasts longest (up to 168 hours) on seat-back pockets and E. Coli lasts longest (up to 96 hours) on armrests. If you stick some hand sanitizer in your bag before you board the plane, and avoid touching the pockets, you will have a much lower risk of picking up a sickness on your flight. 4Eating fiber-rich foods can strengthen your immune system and help keep you healthy during colder months. Breakfast is a great time to fill up on fiber with oats or bran. Snacking on nuts throughout your busy day will also help keep your fiber levels up.

5Layers will keep you warm while you’re outside (or if you find that your booth is under the icy air conditioning unit). They’re also great because you can shed them as soon as you get inside, or pile them on as you head to happy hour after the show is over. Be sure to remember your jacket!

6Ramping up the heat inside is tempting as the temperatures start to fall outside but using your heater too much will negatively impact your health. Typical home and office heaters suck moisture out of the air, leading to worsened allergies, dry skin and general discomfort.Screen Shot 2014-11-13 at 4.48.08 PM

Stress and anxiety negatively impact the immune system. Mayo Clinic research indicates that people who work under constantly stressful conditions may have over-stimulated “fight-or-flight” responses.  According to the study, “long-term activation of the stress-response system… can disrupt almost all your body’s processes.” Whenever possible, take a breather – not doing so puts you at risk of developing anxiety, digestive problems, sleep problems, weight gain and memory loss.

[Photography Credit: Hunter Desportes, s58y, HolleyandChris, Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit, mcfarlandmo, and Toni Blay; all via Photopin.]

Sales Needs A Human Touch

There is no denying that technology has drastically changed the way we work. While robots have completely replaced some jobs, technology has maximized human efficiency for others.

Take sales for example. Clipboards and landlines have been replaced with CRMs and mobile apps. However, the “human touch” of sales is still completely necessary – maybe more now than ever.

Remember the archaic period before existed? I don’t. But I can imagine sales and marketing teams spending hours in front of 3-foot deep monitors plugging in each lead and then using their dial-up Internet to log into Yahoo mail to share their list of leads.

That might be an exaggeration but it doesn’t negate the fact that automation and integration have saved sales reps time to, well, sell things.

While some products may sell themselves (insert ShamWow Guy voice), it seems unlikely that robots will replace the influence of a good sales rep.

Converting Leads To Customers Is The Result Of A Good Sales Person

The ability to build relationships is the mark of a good sales person. However Don Draper would frown upon how much this key part of sales is being overshadowed by new and shiny technology. Instead of using a badge scanner as a time-saving tool (which it was meant to be), many sales teams are building strategies around it. They are focused more on capturing as many business cards as possible than building relationships with quality leads.

While your boss may give you a pat on the back for bringing home 250 new leads with the new badge scanner, s/he will not be happy with the lead to customer conversion rate.

However, when used correctly, technology can separate the good sales teams from the great ones.

Organizing And Syncing Leads Is The Result Of Good Technology

Without context, sales reps are sending the same generic follow-up email to every lead captured, which exponentially decreases the customer conversion rate. By using lead capture technology properly, sales and marketing teams can not only capture the context needed to increase the conversion rate, but they can also save time inputting each lead.

The Human Touch + The Tech Crunch

After establishing trust and likeability, sales people need to collect the context needed to send customized follow-ups. Technology makes this much easier.

By using tags in lead scanning apps like Overpass, you can sort leads into categories like “sales-ready”, “marketing qualified” or your own custom field. If the conversation is going well, you can implement an on-the-go survey to gain even more insight. And finally, you need the ability to take notes about this person – not on the back of the event brochure – but on the same device you just scanned the badge, tagged the lead and administered the survey. Then you need to be able to seamlessly integrate all that data into Salesforce, Pardot, Marketo or your chosen CRM.

Combine this simple and intuitive technology with the “human touch” and you have next-generation lead capture.

Ask us how and we’ll be happy to show you!

Keeping Secrets: Why a Little Secrecy is Good for You and Your Event

Keeping Secrets: Why a Little Secrecy is Good for You & Your Event

Make a list. Create your invitations. Clearly relay the time and address of your event.  Tempt guests with your giveaways.  Send attendees a reminder email as the event approaches.

Clarity and organization are sacrosanct to event managers.  It goes against instinct to be anything less.

The idea of using secrecy in events is not widely publicized as a marketing or events strategy, but secrecy is much more prevalent in society than we realize.  Some companies, such as Apple, use secrecy on a large scale to generate demand.  Before the release of a new iPhone, there are whole websites devoted to investigating the phone’s new features, all because they are kept secret.

Other companies use secrecy in different ways.  At the start of the food truck craze, many trucks would Tweet their location daily and their loyal customers would race through city streets to get their food fix before the truck changed locations again.

Even superstars use secrecy to boost sales.

Take Beyoncé.  Her most recent album was released as a complete surprise.  She recorded and produced 14 new tracks and 17 music videos in complete secrecy. Her fans went wild when they woke up one morning to a simple Instagram post from the singer reading “Surprise!” and linking to her new album.

If you want to try using secrecy in one of your events, it’s important to remember a few key things.

  • First, you are probably not Beyoncé.  To pull off a stunt like hers, you need an extremely loyal following of customers.  Using secrecy in event planning can be very fun, but it’s necessary to maintain a balance and not go overboard.  Remember to add enough structure to keep your attendees comfortable, but enough secrecy to engage them. So start on a small scale.  Try incorporating surprise giveaways into your event, or invite a surprise guest speaker!
  • Additionally, it’s best to let your audience in on the fact that there is a surprise coming.  If you want your attendees to have a positive reaction, tell your guests ahead of time that there will be a surprise element to the event.  Not only does it give them something to look forward to, but you also avoid blindsiding anyone.  A good way to do this is by engaging your audience in the secret during the planning and invitation process.  Carlsberg, the renowned Danish beer brewery, has an event called “Where’s the Party?”, in which they do just this. They reveal the famous DJs who will host their event to build hype, but then they keep the event’s exotic location a secret until the day before the party.  Every year, thousands of engaged fans show up excited and ready for showtime!  People love being in on the build up, and look forward to anticipated surprises. (Think birthday parties and anniversary gifts.)
  • Secrecy can successfully be used at business events as well.  Dell hosts an annual event here in Austin, TX, called Dell Unconference.  When Unconference attendees arrive, there are no set schedules or speakers.  Instead, the attendees volunteer to lead sessions when they arrive and create the schedule as they go.  While Unconference may not be a textbook “secretive” event, its makers certainly engage their audiences in the surprise.  Business events can be just as surprising and engaging… it just takes a little creativity and the right technology to pull it off.

Secrecy can be a powerful weapon to keep in your event arsenal, and it certainly adds some spice to the event management routine.  Keep this tactic in mind the next time you’re looking to get creative with your next event.  Happy planning!


Go Meet Them.

Go Meet Them

When you are in the lead retrieval technology business, and spend much of your day packaging and perfectly formatting SalesForce-compatible leads, it is only natural that you begin wondering where all those smoking hot leads are acquired.  Where do your clients round up all the good ones?  Are trade shows stuffed with business people looking to make huge purchases?

While my initial thinking was that this was good to be true, I did research and learned that trade shows really are attracting quality potential buyers. There are several reasons companies choose to exhibit at trade shows (brand recognition, industry visibility, testing new products, etc.), the main goal of most exhibitors is lead generation. The leads gathered at trade shows easily validate how much companies spend exhibiting because trade shows are generally packed with targeted, high-quality contacts.

Let’s look at five reasons to get out on the trade show floor and go meet decision makers. Of course, remember to use your Overpass app!


45% of attendees only go to one trade show a year. Exhibiting at trade shows can give you extremely unique leads. Exhibiting at many trade shows could give you many unique leads.


46% of attendees are executives or upper management.  These people are typically the hardest to reach through traditional marketing and sales methods, yet they are almost half of the attendees you pass by on the trade show floor!


86% of event attendees have purchasing power.  Obviously the leads with purchasing ability are the ones you want to meet.  How convenient!  Since 1998, this statistic has stayed consistently within the 80th percentile, indicating that a steady stream of decision makers will keep coming to trade shows in the future.


On average, a company only has meaningful engagement with 52% of its potential trade show audience.  Exhibit Surveys, Inc. defines ‘meaningful engagement’ as “face-to-face interactions like talking to exhibit staff, viewing a demonstration, and/or requesting a follow up”.  While trade shows are already a strong driving force in sales, this shows that most exhibitors have the potential to nearly double the leads they currently generate!


Approximately, 50% of attendees intend to buy a product as a result of attending a trade show.  It’s much easier to sell to customers looking to buy.

There you have it! Now go out and meet your people…!

Resources: and Center for Exhibition Industry Research

A Tiny Horror Story: Bad Wi-Fi

A Tiny Horror Story: Bad Wi-Fi

October is a spooky month so it’s a good time to share our own tiny horror story.  There is no better villain for our tale than that terrifying specter we all dread facing: bad Wifi.

On a dark and stormy night, my colleague, Elizabeth, was attending a large conference as onsite support for our lead capture application.  At the show, the exhibitor booth was using our real time reporting lead capture application on Dell Venue 8 tablets. This real-time reporting version of Captix:Scan requires a local Wifi connection to work properly.

Before the event, the exhibitors had shelled out nearly $20,000 for the costly trade show Wifi connection. However, in the middle of the show, despite everyone’s best efforts, no one could connect to the network!

It was then that Elizabeth first knew things would take a terrifying turn if they couldn’t get online. Without lead capture, leads would be lost and ROI would fall dramatically. Luckily, the clever Captix team managed to solve the problem — getting our client connected and our application running properly — but only at the expense of considerable time and manpower.

The moral of this story is that sometimes Wifi is not the answer but the problem.

In fact, there are two main benefits to staying offline at your next trade show:


1.  More Face Time: And no, I’m not referring to the popular iPhone application.

We are part of a business generation that likes to be connected, but the downside of this techno-centric mindset is that most people are glued to their phones.  If you peel your eyes away from your PC, you just might strike up a conversation with your next hot lead.

So, set down your social networks for an hour, and actually be social.  Remember, you can always Tweet or check your email during a coffee break, but you only have so much time at the trade show to make real-life business connections.  If you and your team focus on the real world instead of the online world, your booth becomes more lively and attractive to potential clients and partners.

(Not to mention, less internet time is proving to be good for your own mental health. The first person to be checked into rehab for internet addiction due to wearing GoogleGlass has happened.)


2.  Less Wifi Dependency: There are many great lead capture apps out there, but the catch is that most require you to be connected to the Internet.

Unfortunately, even if the application is working flawlessly, any bump in your Internet service can cause you to lose both leads and valuable time trying to get back online.  In essence, when you are dependent on a Wifi connection that you can’t truly control, you risk looking unprofessional.

Thankfully, the truth is that you don’t have to be online to capture leads.  As many of our own clients have discovered, it’s  much more reliable to pick a lead retrieval application that works in airplane mode by storing leads locally on your device until you’re ready to sync with the cloud.


There are still reasons to purchase and use Wifi at your show! If you have the budget, and can afford to spend hundreds to sometimes even thousands on a dedicated Wifi connection, then it can’t hurt to provide that option.

Mobile hotspots can also be very useful at trade shows.  You never know when you’ll need to hop online in a business emergency.  However, it is definitely best to restrict online time to only what is necessary for demonstrations and vital administrative tasks. Staying offline can give you an edge and help you engage with your real-life audience.

Escape the horror story. Stay offline.

(Altered) Photo Credit