Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Evolution of the Marketing Professional

Marketing nowadays is all about what and how much you know about social media and online marketing. Gone are the days of the traditional marketing mix.  Everyday online marketing is changing. Twitter, Facebook and blogging platforms are enhancing their applications making it easier to connect with others, therefore making it easier for everyday people and business professionals to market on their own. Is this now creating no use for marketing managers, agencies, consultants to work with these companies? Is it creating these businesses to try to haphazardly do it on their own and do they really know what their doing?

The other question I would like to put out there is how are we really connecting with people? And are we effectively connecting with people via these online tools? Are all the rants, raves, selfish and selfless promotions are they getting heard? Are they really working?

Bottom Line, the role of us marketers is evolving everyday and evolving very fast! So to stay on top of it we have to be relentless always brushing up on skills, continuing to trial, make our errors, discover our successes and hone in on the right formula that works.

To be continued...

Monday, September 27, 2010

Orlando WOW Awards 2010

September 10, 2010..The Orlando WOW Awards... You may ask Orlando has a award show called The WOW Awards? What is this? The local professional organizations that make up the Orlando event industry (MPI, ISES, NACE, HSMAI, ABC) convene each year and recognize excellence through honoring members and the work they do through the events they produce in their everyday businesses. This year the award show event was at the Hard Rock Live. 

As you entered through the back stage entrance, wall to wall drapery greeted you into what surprise would lay ahead.
 A media wall with the event's logo emblazed throughout was your first stop as guests posed for pictures celebrity style.
Left to Right- Elisa Delgardio, President of Wish Upon a Wedding Orlando and the Event Marketing Maven, Michelle Bergstein posed for pictures.
The Event Marketing Maven strikes again as she poses with colleagues, Stacey Paul Barabe, Exhilarate Events, center and Dana Wells of
Perfect day for a rainbow, a rainbow was at the event's door that evening
As you walked into the event a vivacious purple lit stage and high energy band illuminated the entire room
The room had sofa groupings scattered around the impressive custom dance floor from Letz Dance on It and on the outer perimeter unique glass top dining and bar height tables with complimenting chairs and bar stools from Chic Event Furniture served as perfect and attractive alternate dining arrangement to indulge in a delicious entree. Decadent custom cascading chandeliers suspended from the ceiling and looked radiant with the hues of purple lighting that gleamed off each crystal. The room was beautifully designed by ShoWorks events.
Design partner Chevere Creative got props as they sponsored the amazing graphics for the event from invitation to the intense and visually stimulating event program. 
The event kicked off with a stunning display of a dance routine from a young dance troupe

It was my pleasure and honor to help write the award entry for "Opportunity Rocks" The Summer Job Summit event for my good friend and colleague, Stacey Paul Barabe, CSEP, as she took home the WOW Award that night for best event planning for a corporate event.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

A Bachelorette Theme Immortalized at MPI-GOA 2010 Gala

This year I have the honor to serve on the Greater Orlando Area's Meeting Planners International chapter's board of directors as Sponsorship Director. To kick off the inauguration I lend a preview to our board as to my abilities as an Event Marketing Maven to connect talents, creative minds and amazing companies together to produce a spectacular event. Boy Oh boy did we achieve this at the 2010 MPI Orlando Installation and Chapter Awards Gala.

Drawing from our incoming President- Dana Perrino's favorite television show "The Bachelorette" we created a surreal environment complete just as an episode straight out of the show. Enough of my bantering, I will leave it up to my colleague, good friend and our chapter's VP of Membership, Ms. Karen Kuzel to take you on a masterful literary journey of what went on that magical evening!

Some photos to lead you into the story...

A Chair Affair accented each table with beautiful Mahogany Chavari Chairs, complimenting Table Lines and Florals by Over the Top and Greenery Productions

Roses as place settings by Greenery Productions, Tabletop linens and napkins by Over the Top Linens and Program design by BeatCreative/Chevere Creative

Reception Furniture by AFR by Room Service

Left to Right, Jason Carroll, MPI Tampa President, Danelkiss of American Cancer Society, Yours truly, the EventMktgMaven, Past President, Kathy Masterson and Dianne Christie Dir of Leadership Development

Stage decor by Hello Florida and lighting by AVI-SPL

A complete view of the ballroom for dinner and the award reception

The board being inducted

Our incoming President, Dana Perrino and husband Paul

26th annual GOAMPI Installation & Chapter Awards Gala
By Karen Kuzsel aka Natasha the Psychic Lady

A rose by any other name may smell as sweet, to cite an immortal line uttered by Juliet to Romeo, but only a crimson rose could crystallize the elegance, passion and ceremony of the 26th annual GOAMPI Installation and Chapter Awards Gala.

From the invitations to the long-stemmed beauties decorating vases and table settings, the delicate attar scented the pomp of the occasion, held in one of The Peabody Hotel’s newly-renovated stunning ballrooms.

About 130 members and guests dressed in cocktail finery first gathered in the foyer to imbibe in Makers Mark specialty cocktails and delectable passed hors d’oeurves or pose for instant photos by Christie’s Photographics. Even the photos had a rose set in the background.

This was an evening of sophistication, glamour and a light-hearted approach to awards, board installation, and introduction of incoming President Dana Perrino’s theme, Pump up the volume.
Outgoing President Kathy Masterson began by introducing Gregg J. Herning, Vice President of Sales Marketing for Peabody Hotels, whose humorous speech outlined the hotel’s unprecedented expansion and who invited everyone for a hard hat tour following the evening’s program.

We were there for the awards, but the Peabody deserved one as well for the impeccably scrumptious meal. It began with Pear and Cheese Fiocchi, small pasta pouches tossed with Crimini mushrooms, chives and a thin blanket of sweet Marsala cream. The Northwestern Salad scored points for including Oregon Bleu cheese, currant tomatoes, dried cranberries, golden raisins, apple chips and honey mustard vinaigrette.  The Chef proved that banquet favorites of beef filet topped with merlot jus and chicken breast could be cooked to perfection. Dessert was another winner worth waiting for: a chocolate mousse with chocoloate Genoise, vanilla poached pears and Crème Anglaise. Awards were also presented between courses.

The Board also wants to thank the sponsors whose generous support ensures that every event is successful. This night’s sponsors were:

A Chair Affair, Inc.: Chiavari Chairs
AVI-SPL: audio/visual
Balloon Connection: creative balloon décor.
Chevere Creative: design of gala invitation and program
Christies Photographics: onsite photos
CNTV Convention News:  for video coverage
Day Entertainment & Events: strolling violinists
Greenery Productions: tabletop design & florals
Hello Florida: romantic perimeter décor
Ice Magic : bar area  & “smoking” cocktail creations
Letz Dance On it: red carpet decor
Maker's Mark:  specialty drinks & raffle items
Over the Top Linens: linens
Peabody Hotel: venue & raffle items
Reflections Entertainment : evening’s DJ
Room Service by AFR: reception furniture

For more photos visit MPI Orlando at 

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Wish Upon a Wedding Orlando Launch

A combination of over 200 event vendors, press, guests and planning joined in for the celebration of the launch of Wish Upon a Wedding Orlando chapter on Thursday, May 27th, 2010 at Tavern on the Lake in Metrowest in Orlando Florida. The cocktail party themed as “Give it Up For Love” accented the Wish Upon a Wedding’s logo and colors of yellow, light blue, sea foam green, and white which was consistently featured throughout the event.

Local chapter president Elisa Delgardio and the five-person board worked together to coordinate the two-and-half-hour event which was sponsored by 11 local event suppliers that contributed decor elements and delicious desert tastings. Guests were graced with a warm Hollywood like welcome as they walked the red carpet leading up into the venue – provided by Letz Dance on It,  a color branded balloon archway from Balloon Connection entrance greeted you at the door, accompanied by VIP security from Pro-Tect International Operations, Inc which added to the ultra chic exclusivity of the event. As you entered into the Tavern on the Lake, the warm earth tone colors and tuscan feel of the venue’s interior design, coupled with the event décor complimented the look and feel, which then followed a glamourous photo opportunity against The event’s branding and sponsor logo boards. Guest’s excitement and enthusiasm for the event all captured by Ashley Brockinton. Aqua glossy blue table linens from Kirby Rentals draped the highboy tables throughout the room topped with white orchid floral arrangements and trees lined the perimeter of the venue with strategically placed uplighting was also scattered throughout the room. A Wish upon a Wedding Custom cake and Desserts from Cakes by Design also caused quite delight. Cake O Licious created an amazing focal point to the room by adding a tiered white wedding cake filled with cake pops—balls of cake on a stick, similar to a lollipop. Event Mall showcased another classic photo booth of theirs for guests to enjoy takeaway photo memories. Elegant Imagery Photography was on hand to capture all the event décor and design of the event.
The red carpet entrance by Letz Dance on It coupled with the Balloon arch and accents by Balloon Connection
Guests posed and smiled for our step and repeat photographer Ashley Brockinton, who captured the moments in front of our sponsor logo boards designed by Chevere Creative  

The table top florals by Raining Roses, Ultra Blue linens and highboys by Kirby Rentals, and candle accents by Aroma Energie added beautiful ambience to the room.
The interior main room of Tavern on the Lake, The Cake-o-licious cake pops added a unique dynamic as a yummy focal point.

Ralph Rendsland of Three 2 OH, served up delicious Nitrogen ice cream as the sweet tastings continued on the outdoor patio with lime and aqua Wish Upon a Wedding inspired liquid-nitrogen ice cream courtesy of Three2Oh. 
Cakes by Design’s WUW Orlando inspired wedding cake and take away cupcakes that the guests enjoyed throughout the evening.
Elisa Delgardio  CSEP, PBC, Orlando chapter President, presenting to launch guests, the mission and purpose of the organization.
DJ Rekka on the one’s and two’s mixing up pop and dance beats.
During the height of the event and Elisa’s presentation, the Tavern was packed.

About 45 minutes after arrivals, Delgardio welcomed guests and showed a short presentation about the organization and a wedding conducted in northern California in April. Guests continued to mingle and dance to DJ Rekka’s music until the party wrapped up around 8:30.
The event brought in an additional 100 friends on Facebook within the last week of the event’s promotion. Cinematique Films also documented the entire evening on video, footage to follow shortly.

Attendees also received amazing parting gifts filled with sponsored items from: A Flair for Affairs, Kustom, Weddings by Socialites, Joie De Vie Weddings & Events, Aroma Energie Candles, Rosen Shingle Creek Resort & Spa.

In addition to a successful event and outpouring, 26 people and companies, including 10 of the event’s sponsors, have signed up to be Wish Granters for the organization and will be called upon for their services when a couple within 300 miles of Orlando is granted their wish by the Wish Upon a Wedding national board of directors. Along with the great news about the event and the support that it garnered, Orlando chapter President, Elisa Delgardio  CSEP, PBC, was also featured on Orlando’s Local 6 news and interviewed by Jackie London as well as the event was featured in in Biz Bash magazine’s online addition for the Orlando market. Stay tuned for more updates as the Orlando chapter will be sharing the footage from the news interview real soon. In the meanwhile, you can view the recap from Biz Bash Magazine CLICK HERE to read.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Give it Up for Love....Wish Upon a Wedding Orlando Launch

Giving it up all for Love.. I am honored to be on board as marketing chair for his heart warming charity- Wish Upon a Wedding, The world's first non-profit organization granting wedding wishes to couples faced with terminal illness regardless of sexual orientation. 

Upon delivery of a terminal diagnosis, relationships are always put to the test, but true love conquers all, and backing this charity is near and dear to me, as providing these sacred memories through a beautiful wedding seals a vow to love and take care of one another for all the days of their lives that remain or hope to come.

I am a bit sentimental, with our launch event arriving, we welcome our local community to come out support, celebrate, mingle, enjoy and give back to the charity.

Hope to see you there on May 27th...

 Designed by our crew at Chevere Creative

Sponsorship opportunities available contact me at for more info.

You are cordially invited to attend the Wish Upon A Wedding Launch Event which is aptly titled as "Give It Up For Love!"

This premier event is being held on Thursday, May 27th, 2010 at 6pm.  Florida's finest wedding and event professionals will be in attendance as well Orlando's business elite!   You're welcome to join us too - the more the merrier!   We want to get the word out about this fabulous organization and share information about how everyone can get involved to locally! 

Wish Upon a Wedding anticipates granting dozens of wishes per year with the possibility of that number reaching into the hundreds.  Currently there are 18 Chapters across the US and the organization's goal is to offer Wedding Wishes in every major city across the country.
This VIP event is taking place at Tavern tavern=""> on the Lake - located at 6996 Piazza Grande Avenue - Orlando FL, 32835 (Metrowest area)

For all the latest information, visit the Wish wish=""> Upon A Wedding - Orlando Facebook page!
**Sponsorship opportunities are available
    Wish Upon a Wedding Foundation - Association of Bridal Consultants Community Support

As of Friday, April 30, 2010, ABC is pleased to announce a partnership with the world's first "wedding wish granting organization", California based Wish Upon a Wedding.  Founded by ABC member Ms. Liz Guthrie and ABC celebrity wedding designer and WUW President Ms. Sasha Souza, WUW's goal is to design and donate special weddings to couples where one has a terminal diagnosis of less than 36 months.
By relying on the generosity of wedding and hospitality vendors, known as Wish Granters, Wish Upon a Wedding is able to provide all the goods and services needed to produce these memorable occasions.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Keeping Track of Who's Who...

Contact management organization tips, tricks and a plan to get you started on the road to rolodex sanity.

You have collected 1,000 upon 1,000 business cards at networking events, have clients and prospects emailing you everyday either for quotes or inquiries, The million dollar question is, How are you organizing this data? You been putting this task off for days, months, or years, but who has time to create a master contact list?

Whether you have been in business for years or just started, those contacts can definitely accumulate, but if you are just letting them just accumulate you are really missing out on many potential new sales opportunities!

How are you Communicating?

Top of mind awareness is key, do your clients know you now offer new services or products? Do they know you just moved or hired 2 new staff members? How are you communicating your company's latest news? Facebook, Twitter and all the social media out there is not enough!

Email marketing is the answer for effective external communications and you are interested in getting started right away, but problem is, your contacts are all over the place!

Your solution starts off with a little hard work but trust me it gets easier in time. Here are your 1st three crucial steps to get you started:

Organization Overhaul

it is an ugly job and a lot of work, but somebody's got to do it. Yes, you let your emails pile up, your mailing lists accumulate but it is now time for some Spring cleaning and organization! Start exporting your contacts from your Outlook into a text file and then copying everything into a master excel list. Also keep a master excel list! If you are so beyond being organized and don't have all your contacts saved in your mail program, you are going to have to do it manual style, start with A, and work yourself down to Z, and copying all your contacts on to that excel file.

For those of you with different industry segments, or different sets of clientele, be sure to seperate your contact lists into groups by way that you sell to them. This way you can create custom email mailers, instead of blanketing them with information they have no interest in.

Periodic Updates

Once you complete your organization overhaul, set yourself on a schedule, set reminders in your calender to pop up at the end or beginning of each week, so you can input new contacts whether met in person or via email into your mailing/contact list. This way you can avoid major & time consuming organization overhauls every 6 - 8 months. This reminder system can help you from falling behind in your mailing list efforts.

Mailing List Integration

Once you have your master list compiled, choose a email marketing service to integrate your contacts into. I highly recommend MailChimp, very hip and user friendly, plus if your contact list is 500 persons or less, it is FREE!!! Another cool feature with MailChimp it has a widget that you can incorporate into your website's homepage where you can have interested clients sign up for your email updates. These new interested clients that sign up for your emails do not just get emailed to you, but sent directly into your list on their site, this way you don't have to manually enter them in everytime you get a new person on your list.

These are just some tips to get you started on the road to contact management sanity. And don't worry, never be too proud to ask for help. But be sure to ask someone you trust to help you with a project like this, as your contacts are very sensitive and exteremely valuable information. Not only does your help need to be trustworthy, but a good speller and have a great attention to detail! Good Luck and if you need any help or a great referral, let me know!

Happy Organizing!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Are You Optimized?

"If you built it, they will come." No, your website is not the Field of Dreams, and that is not the case nowadays.

Yes the Internet in itself can be an overwhelming world and whether you just put up a brand new website or you are content with your existing website, you now want to know why you are not getting hits to your site or calls coming in from prospective clients.

You even Google yourself and your business on a weekly basis and are baffled as to why your business doesn't pop up on the first or second page when you search your core business competency.

Switch On Your Optimization.

The answer to getting search engine results under specific keywords lies within Optimization. Optimization is not just writing the content on your site to be relevant to how you would like to be searched, but there is a back end programming factor also involved. A so called "switch" has to be turned on, and the keywords you want to be searched under needs to be inputted, correct descriptive page titles need to be added and most importantly spelled right!

How to Develop the Right Keywords.

I advise all my clients, you have to think like your customers, how are they searching for your services? Or how would you search if you had the need for your product or service. A great trick to understand how many searches on a particular keyword is to check out this Google keyword traffic tool. This is a really awesome gem of information! Google Keyword Tool.

Content is Truly King.

Constant updating is definitely required as this yields better search results for your company to stay within the first couple of pages. This is exactly why Blogs and Content Management based websites are so popular. Blogs are a very important tool to keep the updates to your website and feeding the search engines new information and keywords to pick up. The other great thing about Blogs is they are extremely user friendly and you can do these updates yourself! So if you don't have a blog incorporated into your site, its time to get one! When writing new content for your site it is also important to remember to add links to other information or tips, link sharing also increases search engine visibility.

These are just some initial ideas to incorporate when optimizing your website. Another more intensive resource for SEO tips is this amazing quick tips article from The Search Engine Journal- 55 Quick SEO Tips Even your Mother Would Love.

Optimize or get Lost! Really! You need to be on top of this now more than ever with thick competition out there!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Tracking it Down... Your Voyeurs, Prospects & Customers, who's visiting?

Where is your web traffic really coming from? Who and how many people are viewing your site? To really find out if being on Facebook, blogging or tweeting is really worth your time and effort, you first need to prove the who, what, where and how by measurement through Analytics.

Don't be intimated by Analytics, it does seem a bit scary at first, but it is as simple as a copy and paste exercise. BTW, Analytics is FREE and don't think you need to hire a programmer or web expert to install it. Whether you want to install analytics on your blog or website, the only thing you do need to know, is how to access the backend or dashboard of your site. After that it is simple as 1-2-3.

Google Analytics
The top source for free analytics. They make it very easy and comprehensive to install your analytics. CLICK HERE for the easy rundown on how to do it. Google analytics gives you the breakdown on where your traffic is coming from and how many people are viewing your site on a daily basis. This way you know for sure if your Facebook/Twitter/Linkedin promotions are really paying off.

Facebook Insights

Believe or not, Facebook too has a FREE tracking analytics tool. Although this tool is only available for Fan pages and Social Ads. Facebook Insights specifically measures user exposure, actions, and behavior relating to your Social Ads and Facebook Page. So if you been thinking about creating a Fan page, go for it!

Only Page admins can view the all the activity data, and it is displayed in the left column of the Page. To view comprehensive Insights, CLICK HERE and "See All" in the left column.

With these tools you can better understand where your traffic is coming from and where to invest more time to in promoting your business.

Look out for the next blog installment where we will be talking about how to drive more traffic to your site through everyday passed up social media websites. Till next time...

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Firing Clients? Come Again?!

You're Fired!

Now who fires clients in a down economy? Does every penny really count? But the true question is how much is your time worth? My business partner and I have this debate on a weekly basis, but the true fact of the matter is your time is EXTREMELY valuable!

So if a client starts eating away at your time (non-billable hours, to be specific) where do you draw the line between maintaining the relationship and ensuring above and beyond customer service or simply letting the client go. Because at the end of the day, they are costing you too much money and the total cost of their job doesn't add up to the amount of extra hours put in.

The Solution to this conundrum according to one of my marketing sources -Part ways from the overbearing client and shift focus to your best clients. By choosing to focus your company's efforts on your best customers, you can improve productivity, enhance service and find reward in additional business.

According to Business Author, Marketing Profs contributor and co-founder of the Value Added Institute- Scott McKain, there are more reasons to consider firing a "bad" customer. Even in a downturn—when many of us count each client as a blessing—some of them might actually be hurting your business.

So, whom do you cut? you may consider severing ties with:

The Bottom & Unprofitable
Customers who drain your resources without making substantial purchases. "Cut loose those who take time from your efforts but aren't delivering in terms of sales," he advises.

The Unprofitable are customers who close deals but take too much staff time, ask for unreasonable concessions and demand expensive expedited delivery. "Remember, the goal for your business isn't volume, it's profit," he notes.

The Obsolete.

"If you have only limited resources, don't spend inordinate time and money on customers from declining industries," he suggests.

Sometimes it's best to just let them go. It might sound counter intuitive, but firing a client or two could make your business more recession-resistant.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

What's Hot in Web Design

The latest design trends for 2010 in Web Design and functionality. Get inspired with these websites. Great ideas and tips to consider for your new or next website.

Big Headlines

I love big headlines, and they are now all the rage! Forget that tiny hard to see copy! Big Headlines attract attention and draw your eye to the message. The right copy and messaging can be very effective in showcasing your new site.


Introducing yourself immediately on your site is a HOT new trend. It really takes the guessing out of what you do, highlights your purpose, capabilities and what you bring to the table. This is a really powerful approach when implemented on your homepage - if your site is Search Engine Optimized- BAM! you will then be immediately picked up on top organic results on Google...

Hello! My name is Michelle and I am a Event Industry Marketing Consultant, strategist and creative branding advocate...

One -page Scrolling Sites

One-page sites are cool in functionality and show off a clean design look along with a touch movement and depth of design. This new form of web programming is called JQUERY and not many programmers have experience with this new technique. Our team does, BTW. Moving horizontally or vertically, scrolling sites give an added element of animation to your website navigation Nowadays, with everyone on Facebook and Twitter all you need is a simple website with your social networks integrated to have an effective web presence.

Danny Blackman

The Great Bearded Reef

Guillaume Pacheco

Incognito Inc

Content Sliders

Now the industry standard in interactive design for 2009- 2010. Very clean, visually dynamic, impactful and attractive way to present your information and images in a limited space.