Gina Rotolo on Planning Events at IABC Houston

Isabelle Chabrier

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Posted on August 30, 2012

Posted in Official Schipul Blog, Schipul Clients | Comments Off

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As a newly adopted Schipul employee, I had the pleasure of attending The International Association of Business Communicators (IABC Houston) luncheon at Brennan’s of Houston, both of which are beloved Schipul clients.

Gina Rotolo

Gina Rotolo was the guest speaker at the event and talked about juggling all details for big events. When most people think of a large event, they picture a wedding, a company party or corporate luncheon. In the case of  BBVA Compass Stadium‘s seasoned Marketing, PR & Booking Manager Gina Rotolo, big (or huge) events consists of SXSW, Austin City Limits, the Texas Crawfish & Music Festival and the New Orleans Jazz Festival to name a few.

Large events require having funds and resources, as well as time to plan and organize all the details. What if you didn’t have much of these big three? What if you had little time, limited funds and a small team to get the ball rolling? Here are some key strategies and elements Gina talked about in order to hold a successful event that would put Robert Irvine from Dinner: Impossible to shame.

It’s all about the fan experience

Think about your favorite event experience and how it made you feel – how do you want people to feel in return at your events? Know your audience and what details make the event more enjoyable to them.

Engaging people to develop a social media community is vital when it comes to open source promoting.  As Gina pointed out, some people go to events just because “They want to be part of the experience”. Wanting to share their experience makes audience to tap into social media, therefore promoting your client.

Get to know your client: their business, is now your business.

“How do you represent a client you don’t know?” Never underestimate the value of research when it comes to organizing an event. Having constant contact with your client is key in order to keep the communication flowing. Moreover, how you communicate is vital. An email is seen as Gina’s last resource, she stresses phone calls and face time with clients in order to avoid any confusion about expectations.

Teams: Events don’t just happen, people make them happen.

Simply put, there is no such thing as a one man show and there is no “I” in Team. This stays true to event planning as it does in life. Value the people that you work with, because ultimately, they are the ones that help you reach your client’s expectations and goals.

Free stuff: Partnerships and Sponsorships…and Cool Kids.

Always, Always Co-Brand it. Co-branding with your partnerships is one of the best ways to keep your name out there. It might be on a banner, or a t-shirt or even a koozie, but having each company involved on these items is free advertisement on free items.

Higher priced items such as free concert or event tickets come with a loss, but the gain is much more valuable when placed in the right hands. Again, know your audience, what angle you are trying to promote, and who the key people to give these items to are.

Three Points in One.

To close this off, Gina left us with three short points to keep in mind:

  1. Know your worth and prove your value.
  2. Know what you need to know and go for it.
  3. Take from the good, the bad and the ugly. You have something to learn from each one.

*We appreciate IABC Houston and Gina Rotolo for this great event, for more pictures please refer to the Tendenci link below*

Check out all of the photos on our website! IABC Houston Luncheon: Juggling Big Events featuring Gina Rotolo Pictures


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