Great Ideas For Next Corporate Event

Events are all about fun, frolic and inspiration. For the smooth execution of any corporate event it is imperative that there is a powerful idea around which the occasion needs to be organised. Once you devise a doable plan you are almost done with half the responsibility.

So here are some of the statement ideas that can transform even a boring experience to a lively one without calling for a massive effort from your side.

    • Conversation Starters –a Making the guests committed to the program is not only great idea to get them involved on the outset, but it also plays a great role in breaking the ice. You can go for an interactive wall in the front lobby itself. The guests can open the door and then put down their dreams on the wall. This can turn out to be a thoughtful and interesting conversation starter.
  • An Exciting Entrance – An interesting entrance is capable of transforming the gusts right from the commencement of the affair. You can create a range of ideas for creating an immersive experience and depict the complete transformation of the venue right from the time the guests start entering the venue. You can arrange for a customised bed for covering the reception desk while the reception area was transformed with sleep signage of neon. The pyjama clad models greeted the guests while pillow fighting.

This helps in creating a surreal experience and getting the visitors excited about what awaited them inside. You can use the spherical shape which lends the feeling of continuity that is not limited to the walls. You can give it an amicable effect by combing a butterfly moon décor with lowered ceiling to amaze the attendees.

    • Customised Lounges – Lounges are a great way for the guests to encourage networking and be comfortable. Throughout the venue, you can organise different lounges to suit the ambience of the room and themes that they are part of. For instance, you can arrange for luxurious bed for suiting the luxurious themed contact.
    • Themed Uniforms for Staff – There is a proficient team behind every successful event for organising and arranging the affair from inside. The staff actually can wear a uniform that goes with the primary theme of the event. Like if it is about the launch of a dream project, the staff can wear pyjamas and shirts so that they stand out and can be recognised as hosts. You can arrange for uniforms for the team in each room.
    • Varied Activities for Participation – Participation of the guests is hard to achieve and yet it is absolutely necessary. And that is why you should organise activities that will appeal to the different types of attendees. Ensure that they get spoiled for choices with various options. You can opt for custom-built photo opportunities and rope in 3D effects for providing memories of the evening. There were also glam stations that offer hair braiding, henna tattoos and temporary lashes for eccentric preening. Apart from that, you can also opt for peep show rooms and arrange for a listening station in there and listen to music as they watch the risqué peepshow.
  • Entertainment that is Eccentric – If the budget permits you can opt for live entertainment with drummers, dancers, duelling DJs and stilt walkers. Apart from that, you can also add up specific form entertainment that accentuates the theme of the program so that the guests can totally relate to and can have the time of their lives apart from discussing vital points.

The above are some of the ideas that you can try for ensuring that your corporate event stands out and is remembered by the attendees for all the right reasons for years to come.

The Secret of Bonding For Your Organization

This is the Bonding Company’s worst nightmare. In this 160th article of our surety series, we will cover the situations in which no Performance or Payment Bond is needed! Some of the projects are big and federal, some are private, ALL are unbonded. Here we go!

As a point of reference, you may expect that federal, state and municipal contracts demand a Performance and Payment (P&P) Bond equal to the contract amount. Normally they do. General Contractors working for a private owner, such as the construction of an office building or apartment project, may face the same requirement. This can apply to subcontractors, too.

Federal Projects

This area includes all branches of the federal government. Examples: Army Corps of Engineers, General Services Administration, Dept. of Energy, etc. Their contracts are administered following the rules of the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR).

The FAR says that no P&P bond is required on contracts under $150,000.

For contracts $150,000 and higher that require security, there are times when the bond requirement may be reduced below 100% or waived entirely. These include:

  • Overseas Contracts
  • Emergency Acquisitions
  • Sole-Source Projects

If the bond requirement is mandatory, the FAR lists acceptable alternatives:

  • US Government (investment) Bonds
  • Certified Check
  • Bank Draft
  • Money Order
  • Currency
  • Irrevocable Letter of Credit

Here’s another option: For contracts performed in a foreign country, the government can accept a bond from a non-T-Listed surety. (Circular 570)State and Municipal Contracts

The bonding requirements may vary by state, but generally their flavor is similar to federal.

Private Contracts

Anything goes. On private contracts, the owner has complete discretion to set the bonding requirements – including no bond needed. Keep in mind, the cost of the bond is added to the contract, so the owner can save some money by not requiring a bond. They may take other precautions to protect themselves. Some examples:

  • Require a retainage. These are funds that are held back from the contractor and only released when the project is fully accepted
  • Lien releases may be required each month to prove suppliers and subcontractors are being paid appropriately
  • Funds Control / Tripartite Agreement – a paymaster is employed to handle the contract funds
  • Joint checks are issued to the contractor and payees below them – to assure the funds reach the intended parties
  • Physical site inspections to verify progress

The NightmareIn these articles we talk a lot about how contractors can obtain surety bonds and manage them. But it is interesting to note: A construction company could go forever, performing state and federal projects – and NEVER get a bond. It’s true!

If everyone did this, it would be the surety’s worst nightmare. But in reality, there are financial advantages to using P&P bonds, so bonding usually is the first choice.

Business Trends That You Should Follow

As you know, we live in an environment where it’s “blink,” and you missed it. Still, there’s always an urgent need to keep on top of what is happening so that you can stay ahead in business. I own several companies and, candidly, I don’t think there’s a single day I’m not thinking about how to make things better and improve our competitive advantage in our industries.

A couple of days ago I read an article about a luxury yacht company that had been in business for generations, and although they had client orders on hand, in the tens of millions of dollars, they fired everyone and shuddered their doors. They were hemorrhaging money and not paying attention to the changing winds.

The reality is that I can sit here today and write what you want to be looking for in business trends and then a year from now, write the same sort of article with different ideas to keep an eye on as business and society evolve. Still, there are some areas that I think will remain constant and you should pay attention to in your company.

Always Pay Extra Attention to Millennials

For decades and decades, the “darling” of generations were the Baby Boomers because of their sheer size and buying power. As the Boomers are now seniors, the same can be said about Millennials. They will be, and already are, a force for years to come and they are the first generation that is pure digital natives. Your products and services should be marketed to them and how they think. By 2020, Millennials will have an estimated $1.4 trillion in spending power.

Get Comfortable With AI, IoT, and ML

What used to be buzzwords such as AI, IoT, and ML, are not anymore. They are not the future; they are the present. Most of you know about AI (Artificial intelligence), IoT (Internet of Things), but maybe you have not heard about ML (Machine Learning). Machine learning is when computers do things without being programmed to do it because they are learning it for themselves. Through machine learning, we are given self-driving cars, excellent web search tools, practical speech recognition programs and a host of other platforms. As technology evolves, all of these elements will play a more substantial part in life and business.

Remote Workforce

I have a preference for my team to be onsite, but for some functions and aspects of our work, these elements are outsourced. Currently 40% plus of American workers are doing some work remotely, without having to be present at their place of business all the time. This trend creates demand for adequately training remote employees through video conferencing platforms, especially for social media and programming positions. All that is required is a computer and Internet.

Get Past the Clutter

The way you brand your business is essential. People are drowning in data and information, and you have to be able to cut to the chase immediately. Branding, which encompasses the name, logo, etc., creates instant identification. With excellent branding, you are perceived as an authority, successful and trustworthy because you pay attention to the details. Also it makes prospecting easier. Customers find you. You can hire better talent. Candidates seek you out rather than looking to apply for a position with an unknown company. Because of branding, it is easier to create more businesses under the same name.

Opportunity Exists in Buying Businesses

There are more businesses for sale due to the retirement of the Baby Boomer and Millennials will be buying them and then reinventing the companies they buy. Keep an eye out for your competition because there’s always an opportunity in looking to buy an existing competitor. For instance, you can buy their entire client base, or perhaps they’ve excelled in e-commerce, and you’re able to bring that into your portfolio. I’ve successfully purchased some of my competitors, and it’s only helped my businesses grow.

All About Business Etiquettes

“A man without a smiling face must never open a shop” or so the Chinese proverb goes. Truly, smiling goes a long way to lighting up the mood for a friendlier, more understanding conversation. This is true in business as well, especially when trying to make a business partnership. However, there are more business etiquettes beyond smiling and demonstrating these will show others that your customers and your business are worth respecting.

* Introduce everyone, even when in doubt – There is a proper way to introduce people to each other. First, introduce the person who is the most senior, using their full name and their job title or responsibility. Next introduce that person to the person who has lower authority. Make sure to also mention his or her full name. To end, you may mention some details about each other as a topic of common interest. When being introduced to someone, always stand up if you are sitting.

* A firm handshake – The way businessmen shake hands more often than not sets the tone between them. Giving a good, firm handshake will set a good first impression as it may eventually end up in a successful business partnership. If you are the host or the senior member, you should be the one initiating the handshake.

* Admit if you forget their names – Forgetting the names of people you were recently introduced to is not uncommon. If it happens, admit it and ask for it again as this shows that you give them importance.

* Sitting down for a meeting – Whether the meeting is in a restaurant or in an office, in a group or a one-on-one, it is best not to pull out the chair for anyone. In a business setting, everyone should dismiss social gender rules and treat everyone equally. When seated, never cross your legs as it may be distracting and disrespectful.

* Meeting in a restaurant – Contrary to business instincts, do not use your knife to break bread. Tear it off with your bare hands as this signifies your openness to your potential business partner. When finished with the meal, never push your plate away nor stack the plates. Try not to have any left overs as well. If your guest orders appetizers or dessert, you should be ordering as well. This avoids the potential awkwardness of having other people in your party eating and you have nothing on your plate. If you are the host, you should pay for your guest unless he or she insists otherwise or is against their company’s gifting policy.

* Dress properly – The way someone dresses is a form of nonverbal communication. Dressing appropriately for a meeting shows an automatic sign of respect for either the guests or for the host. Additionally, always check the dress code for an event as some events may require either more or less formal attire.

* Keep cellphones in your pockets – Never place phones on the meeting table and don’t use them during the meeting. Only answer calls that are urgent and excuse yourself from the meeting and take your call outside so you don’t interrupt the meeting.

* “Please” and “Thank You” – These two phrases show politeness in any conversation and it is all the more important in a professional setting. Saying “please” can be used as much as needed. “Thank you”, however, should be used once or twice as saying it too many times may lower its impact. As much as possible, give thanks to everyone individually after a meeting.

* Stay sober – Businessmen have lost reputations and careers because drunken behavior. Although none of the things said or done while drunk were meant, it is a clear sign of disrespect towards either the host or guests. Don’t embarrass yourself or your business. Know your limits and control your pace.

* Be genuinely interested – Always make eye contact in a conversation and make sure to pay attention to every detail the guest says. Take the time to ask questions as this shows that you were listening and interested.

* Double check emails – Simple mistakes can be made to derail a meeting or blow a deal. You may have date and time wrong for a meeting, left out some paperwork to be signed, or worse, your emails were sent to the wrong person and may potentially endanger the company.

* Use professional photos – When using your or anyone’s photos for business matters, always use a proper headshot. Businesses would need to look credible to other businesses.

* Greet everyone anywhere – Regardless of seniority, always greet people. You may never know that he may actually be your next business partner. When people greet you, it is imperative that you greet back.

* Don’t forget to smile – Just like the Chinese proverb, smiling works wonders in any occasion, whether in a meeting, during introductions, or in a business social gathering.

End on a polite note – When you need to leave, make sure you exit politely with either, “It was nice to meet you” or “See you at the next meeting”.