Toasting at The Office: A Guide to Responsible Drinks in the Workplace

Can you have a drink at a work event—and still be responsible? It turns out yes, but your company leadership needs to help you. They can do this not by banning alcohol, but by creating a policy and addressing it with employees frequently and clearly.

Here’s how you do it. Most companies have what’s called a code of conduct. It’s how they expect employees to function at work and while they’re being representative of the company. But the thing about a policy is, many people forget about it—which is why it’s important to share it again before events that may involve the availability of alcohol. If necessary, it’s helpful to have a meeting talking not just about the policy, but about consequences, too, and about how to report violations and maintain confidentiality.

Need more ideas and outlines about how to create and institute this? This graphic offers some ideas.

Please include attribution to https://zerocater.com with this graphic.

Toasting At The Office Infographic

Spice It Up! How to Keep Business Meetings Exciting

Business meetings are necessary for a variety of reasons,but employees will not appreciate them or remember anything that was discussed if they are not being engaged. Engaging your employees is one way you can give and receive feedback on previous and current trends, as well as events of the business. There is more than one way to engage your employees during a business meeting. 

Start with an Ice Breaker

Whether you host a meeting in the morning, afternoon or evening, it’s good to begin the meeting with an icebreaker. Everyone can tell an interesting fact about themselves, what they did over the weekend or talk about a few of their favorite hobbies. You can take turns playing catch-ball by going around the room and letting everyone tell something about themselves.An engaging activity helps keeps employees awake, as well as help them maintain focus and remember many of the topics discussed in the meeting. 

Try a Different Location

Instead of staying in a building, get some fresh air and leave the four walls behind. Nothing wakes you up like a breath of fresh air.Try hosting a meeting in a park or make reservations somewhere nice, such as a cafe. New surroundings make people alert because they are busy observing, but still paying attention. New surroundings can also be great for relaxing and unwinding. Employees who are constantly on the edge will benefit from a different surrounding where they can relax. 

Put Technology to Work

Have you thought about hosting a conference call to host the meeting? Employees are more likely to attend because they can choose the place where they are the most comfortable, such as their home,library, bookstore or any other place. When employees are given a little freedom, they are more responsive and more engaged in the meeting. 

Bring Refreshments or Have it Catered

Refreshments are good for business meetings because they give everyone an extra incentive to attend. Regardless of what time you decide to start the meeting, refreshments give people a boost of energy that helps them make it through the last stretch of the day or get off to a great start in the morning. Refreshments could be something simple like light snacks, not a full meal. Bagels, chips, water, juice, coffee, fruit, and similar items make great light snacks that can help employees be more attentive in the meeting.

If you’re having a bigger meeting or just want to treat your hardworking employees to something special, having a full meal catered is a great way to reward them for their effort. Look into local restaurants and services, like El Molinito Restaurant & Catering or another in your area, for the best food and selections.

Employees and many business owners alike are not fond of meetings and dread them because of how boring they can be. These tips can help you spice up your meeting and make it interesting, so the next time, employees are more inclined to attend. Meetings don’t have to be the downfall of your day.

Dixie Somers is a freelance writer and blogger for business, home, and family niches. Dixie lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and is the proud mother of three beautiful girls and wife to a wonderful husband.

Celebrate Success! How to Throw the Business Party of the Year

A good party can bring everyone in your workplace together.If you’ve never organized one, however, you might be at a loss for how to get started. Here are just five suggestions for throwing an unforgettable company bash. 

Upgrade Your Internet 

If you’ll be teleconferencing with other offices or branches in a company-wide celebration, make sure that your Internet is strong enough for the task. Speed is probably the most important thing to keep your playback from lagging, but you’ll also need robust, reliable servers to prevent downtime. When everyone is toasting to the success of the company, you’ll want your sound and video quality to be crystal clear. 

Create a Flexible Schedule 

Since it’s a business party, you’ll probably need some kind of schedule for things like speeches and end-of-the-year acknowledgements.However, it’s important to have a little wiggle room with times. You don’t want to cut off a happy conga line so that the department manager can talk about stock trends. Mind the atmosphere of the party, and wave in your speakers when your audience is ready to hear them. 

Center Everything Around a Theme

Themes aren’t just fun for your guests. They’re also valuable tools for your party planners. When your drinks, games, activities and decorations all revolve around a specific idea like “casino night” or”winter wonderland,” it’s much easier to make decisions about what to buy. You might not be uncertain about your menu and music selection. However,if there’s a theme, it will all come together. For example, if you decide on a family-friendly theme, it’s only a short jump to buying Kaiser buns for burgers and fun pop songs to set the up-beat mood.

Mind Your Finances 

You don’t have to break the bank to host a great company party. You just need to be thoughtful and deliberate with your budget.One option is to break everything down by dollar amounts, and another possibility is allocating specific percentages of your budget to things like food, entertainment and venue. As long as you’re careful with your checkbook, you should be able to throw a wonderful party with cash to spare. 

Offer Freebies 

Everyone loves a freebie. You can generate a lot of goodwill towards both the company and the company party when you hand out goodie bags.You might also want to host raffles, giveaways or gift exchanges for the holidays. They can be a nice way to bond with your co-workers or raise money for a good cause. 

These are just a few tips for throwing a great business party. Whether you’re launching a new start-up or celebrating the expansion of your Fortune 500 brand, it’s always fun to let your hair down with the rest of your colleagues.

Dixie Somers is a freelance writer and blogger for business, home, and family niches. Dixie lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and is the proud mother of three beautiful girls and wife to a wonderful husband.

It’s Your Business Event, But You Can’t Cry If You Want To

We’ve spoken before about why live events are so good for your business. Whether you’re hosting a stall at an event or going solo with a festival of your own, it doesn’t get better for flying your business flag. A well-planned and executed live event will get everyone talking. And, you should never underestimate how far word-of-mouth can take you. In fact, many businesses hail this as the most important marketing method you’ve got.

Given those high stakes, it’s no wonder events like these can get stressful. Many business owners go without sleep for a week in the lead up to something like this. The trouble is, sleepless nights and stressful days aren’t going to leave you at your best. And, your best is less than you need to be if you’re going to make the right impression. It’s fair to say, then, that you need to do what you can to reduce the stress of the experience. And, we’re going to look at how.

Plenty of time to set up

Admittedly, setting up early isn’t always possible. But, if this is a private event, there’s no reason you can’t set up a week or two before. That way, you can kiss goodbye to last-minute disasters which leave you flustered and out of whack. Instead, set up bit by bit and deal with issues as they arise. Even if you aren’t able to set up until a day or two before, invest in utility truck beds and extra bodies which can help speed things up. That way, you still stand to be ready with plenty of time to spare. And, that’s essential if you want to be in the best headspace for the day.

Get enough staff on board

Often, these events will happen at the weekend. And, you may usually survive on skeleton staff if any when Saturday rolls around. But, you NEED to make sure you have a large enough team to deal with your event. That means calling in your whole workforce and getting temporary workers on board. The last things you want on the day are long queues and leaving customers because your team can’t deal with the demand. Instead, give everyone plenty of notice to work, and get onto an agency about as many temp workers as you can afford.

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Schedule time to enjoy yourself

Enjoy yourself at a business event? Are you joking? No, not at all. There’s nothing funny about the idea of enjoying your efforts. What’s more, customers will warm to your company even more if you’re out there having fun with them. That doesn’t mean slacking off, of course. But, as well as ensuring your day runs smooth, scheduling your time means you and your team will have time to grab a hot dog and soak up the sun. This will make your team happier to work, and will wash away any stress you may feel. And, that can go a long way towards sending the right message to your customers.

Careers in the Music Industry – From Live Events to Movie Soundtracks

Fancy leaping into the world of music? There are some great careers to explore, and you don’t need to have a particular set of qualifications to make it work for you. The most important thing is a love of music, some connections (or the ability to make connections quickly), a little bit of business sense, and a firm grasp of the career you want. This article will be looking at a few of the job options in music and a little bit of what they entail. From live events to commercials.

Record Label – long gone are the days where a record label had to be heavily funded and behind giant golden doors. You can now start a record label with around $25 online. Due to music become very digital, purchasing an online record label (with all the right documents) means you can sign bands up to your label and help them aggregate their music via digital channels. Of course you will need to be clear about the division of rights and revenue, but that will be part and parcel of your success.

Band Management – This one can often get a little muddy, as a band manager you become so close to the band sometimes you aren’t really able to keep a clear grasp on what is best for them regarding deals. You will be their go-to person, handle their scheduling, focus on long-term goals, and be the mediator between labels and the band. With the bands best interested always at the forefront of your mind.

Tour Manager – You will be the person in charge of where, when and how many locations. Handling both small, medium and grand scale tours for the band. Ensuring that each venue has the appropriate gear and if not, using places like plant-tours.com to cover any gaps. You will get to travel a lot but work hard too.

PR – behind every successful band is a public relations machine. Ensuring that everything they do, and anything that the release is picked up by the press, both local and eventually national. Part and parcel of this will also be fending off the less good news and spinning it into something the band can use to their advantage. Creating press kits, writing press releases and gaining contacts by the masses is how you’ll spend your days.

Booking Agent – A cross between a manager and a tour manager. Booking agents are responsible for getting their act scheduled in good venues, on high impact evenings with great support, and nicely paid. This job is about your connections, your ability to negotiate and who is on your books. Planning and organization will be your strong points.

Music Publisher – Incredibly lucrative if done well. You’ll sign multiple songwriters of high quality, and pitch their lyrics to labels, and artists. You might also be signing bands or solo artists in a bid to get their tracks in movies, on TV programmes, and in commercials. Cutting a deal involving residual revenue per play can make this a delightful deal indeed. You’ll have a keen ear for talent and a relentless spirit to make this a success.

Why Live Events Are So Good For Your Business

A smart business owner looks for every opportunity to help grow, legitimize, and lionize their brand. But the truth is that many small business owners overlook one of the biggest stages they could hope to stand on. We’re talking about live events like conferences, trade shows, and speaking opportunities. They should start becoming a key feature of your annual marketing plans and here is why.

Get the team spirit on the rise

If you have a team alongside you, then getting them out there representing their brand has all kinds of benefits. For one, you are having it represented by the people who it best and choosing the right charismatic characters can help you make even more of an impact on event attendees, with a little training. What’s more, it can actually improve the team’s motivation and engagement with their work. Having the opportunity to meet others and to prove that they are on the side of the brand can make them actually feel like members of a team, rather than just employees.

Find new ways to convert new people

When you’re looking for new people to convert, the quality of your leads matters as much, if not more, than the quantity of your leads. You could be wasting huge amounts of time and resources trying to convert people who simply aren’t interested. At trade shows and other live events relevant to your business, you are getting in touch directly with those most likely to be interested. It’s a whole new way to begin the conversion process. Just make sure that you establish a way to keep in touch with those you meet so that you can continue the process further down the line, whether by arranging a meeting, getting new signups to your email newsletter, or simply by sending a follow-up email.

Expose the brand in a new dimension

Besides getting the opportunity to connect personally with members of your target market, you can do a lot more the broader strategy of your brand. Showcasing your brand at an event, whether it’s a launch or a booth at a trade show is a way of saying “we have arrived.” It gives a level of exposure that can make the brand much more recognizable. Just ensure that you’re taking steps to actually expose it. You need the right items for your conference, including booth design materials that make your corner fit your aesthetic and custom lanyards or wristbands that help individual members of the team wear and show off their affiliation. Don’t be afraid of saturating your people and your space with brand imagery. You may need it to stand out amongst your competitors.

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Stand amongst your peers

Exposure isn’t the only thing that a conference or trade show can offer your brand. It can also lend it a sense of trustworthiness. Consumers are becoming a lot savvier and less willing to part with their money to do business with companies that they don’t know. By establishing a physical presence and showing that you don’t only exist in the online world, you can help establish and legitimize your place within the industry. Keep building trust by ensuring that you’re talking one-on-one to potential clients in plenty of detail. Be honest, don’t be afraid to let them down by giving a sub-optimal answer if it’s the truthful one. This might be a marketing opportunity, but it’s also a conversation and if you want to be effective, you have to be able to sustain that sense of trust all the way through it.

Use it as a focus group study

Don’t be afraid to have some questions of your own for the event attendees, either. As mentioned, trade shows and conferences attract only those members of the market most interested in what you have to offer. This includes not just consumers and businesses, but also journalists and bloggers. Take the opportunity to get the scoop and gain some insight that can help you craft future strategies for the business. The event survey is far from uncommon, however. If you don’t make yours a little more creative, it might be hard to collect as much data as you would like.

Find partnerships

Besides standing out from your competitors, you can also use this opportunity to stand alongside them. You can start building bridges with others in the industry or in related fields of work. Business partnerships can have all kinds of benefits. You can score referrals from one another. You can use each other’s platforms to help give a boost to any marketing or branding efforts. You may even have a joint project down the line. Use trade shows and conferences as an opportunity to network and build the foundation of friends that can help your business reach new goals in the future.

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Bring the online and offline worlds together

As mentioned, live events help give an online business a sense of trustworthiness by showing the market that you do, indeed, exist and a real-world presence. However, they can also serve as great material for you to build your online marketing on, too. For instance, you can livestream your conference content or tweet out photos and stories from the event as it’s happening. You can also take some of the conversations you have had and turn them into a case study or a point of future discussion. Above all else, it shows that your business is willing to learn and stay on the top of its game by incorporating recent events and information into its branding and marketing materials which only improves your image.

Even if you don’t believe your business is yet big enough to stand on that tallest of platforms, there is too much to gain to not make use of them. They can help you both share and gain insights. They can help you reach customers, clients, and partners you might never have met otherwise. They cement your brand’s place in the industry. Start attending events and you will see the benefits immediately.

Want To Host A Business Event? Here’s Some Useful Advice

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Image: Wikimedia Commons

Corporate events can be beneficial for your business in many ways. They often give you opportunities to network with other people in your field. You can also learn new things from experts. Many events even give you the chance to make sales. But you don’t just have to sign up to other people’s events or wait for an invite. You can host your own!

Hosting your own business event can be well worth the time you put into it. You can invite people you wish to sell to or network with. It’ll also help build your business reputation and get your name out there. Here’s some advice for planning one.

Decide On The Type Of Event

There are many types of event you could host. The first thing you need to determine is your purpose. For instance, if you’re looking to network, a business mixer might be a good idea. All you need to do is invite some people you wish to network with for a dinner event.

If you’re looking to market yourself to customers, maybe you want to host a product launch event. Letting potential customers sample your products can help you make sales. You could even give out free gifts. You can get custom branded practical gifts from sites such as dynamicgift.com.au/power-banks.

Hosting a conference can help you network and learn. You can invite experienced speakers to give lectures. However, you may need to put some money up to get influential people to come. There are many ideas you could use. You can find different types of corporate events at eventmanagement.com/events/types-of-corporate-events.

Book A Venue

The next step is to pick a suitable venue for your event. The kind of venue you’ll need largely depends on the type of event you’re hosting. For something like a mixer, you may want to book a large table at a restaurant. You may even want to book a whole function hall.

For many kinds of corporate events, your office might be a suitable location. You can design and decorate it for the purpose of your event. Bringing people to your workplace can also raise awareness of your business. You can find tips on making your office visitor friendly at nancy-rubin.com/2016/10/21/what-does-your-office-say-about-you/.

In some cases, you might want an outdoor event. You can often book parks and fields for event purposes. You’ll have to invest a bit more in bringing equipment over. But if you set up stalls and attractions, you could make an exciting event for everyone!

Invite Guests

Now you just need to get the right people involved. For networking events, you may want to give out personal invitations. Give invites to people in your field you’d like to network with. Perhaps you want to appeal to business representatives if you’re marketing a B2B service.

If you’re trying to appeal to customers, you may want to make a public event. You can create posters and flyers and put them up in the local area. The internet is also useful for advertising your event. Social media and online directories can help.

If you have a mailing list of customers or clients, you may want to use this to invite people. Send out an engaging email to potentially interested parties.