Ask CEMA

One of the valuable benefits of a CEMA membership is the ability to exchange and share top of mind challenges between your peers.  Ask CEMA is a form which facilitates an open exchange of information between members.  By simply filling out a brief form, your question will be sent out to the general membership. You can even choose to ask anonymously.  We will gather the responses on your behalf and send them to you. Now you don’t have to wait until the next networking event—Ask CEMA now.

Here are a few examples of some top of mind questions are members are asking and answering:

Question:

Any recommendations on how to hire headliner entertainment – book thru a talent agency or your production house? We are looking to hire a headliner for an evening event and have had mixed experiences. What is the standard practice? And, what is your typical upcharge/management fee? We have seen 18 – 20% as the standard.

Answer:

Many times our clients book headliner entertainment direct through a talent agency.  Some of our Bay Area clients such as Cisco and CA Technologies follow this practice.  When Maritz is asked to book the headliner and manage that process, we generally book through a talent agency as well instead of through a DMC, as they typically mark up the cost.

We don’t mark up any % or fees to book a headliner.  We treat it as a pass-thru cost.  Our clients pay us based on our labor to plan/execute the program or a management fee depending how the client likes to see our fees.

Question:

Any recommendations on how to hire headliner entertainment – book thru a talent agency or your production house? We are looking to hire a headliner for an evening event and have had mixed experiences. What is the standard practice? And, what is your typical upcharge/management fee? We have seen 18 – 20% as the standard.

Answer:

We work with G7 for all of our booking needs, often bringing them in to work directly with our clients during the ideation phase. Their experience, relationships, and buying power allow us to maximize our entertainment budget. Their knowledge of the production and backstage elements allow for additional cost savings. G7 typically charges a 15% booking commission, with any project management or travel costs on top of that. These fees are normally more than made up for in savings that G7 is responsible for.

Question:

Can anyone can share any raffle, giveaway and gamification ideas from all the shows they have been at/produced? Any that really stood out?

Answer:

The key to any incentive (or raffle/give-away/gamification as you stated) is that you first need to define the attendee behavior that you see as favorable, or that you want to change.  The key is then rewarding attendees for the actions that are favorable/desirable with something that the attendees find valuable (find examples below).  Some favorable behaviors I have seen are: posting to social media, attending a product demo, completing a mobile survey, agreeing to be interviewed for a testimonial, attending a one on one customer success meeting, submitting an idea for a topic, showing mastery of a product/software, ect.   The process should be simple – do this, get that.

Question:

We have traditionally required room sharing at our Sales Kickoff and for our employees at our User Conference.   We are currently weighing the pros and cons of this practice and wanted to know what the current industry standard is?   It is important to us that we are providing the right competitive environment for our employees and sales team. 

What is the current practice for your events? 

Answer:

With a high ticket products, there is never a question about room sharing.  It was not the standard.  Lower cost products may mean a different type of sales force, but with any group meeting, having one’s own room can give the feeling of being taken care of by the company at the most critical time.  Sales people already have to juggle learning at the event, executive interaction, meeting new peers – and often customer calls while there.  (And if the event is held in another time zone, sometimes at odd hours.)  To add to an already stressful situation by also having them share rooms could be a huge sticking point and potentially cause morale issues.  Particular for the veteran sales staff.