April 2013: Sustainability

Hey SUES, being sustainable is important to me and my events.  What options might I have for a eco-friendly program?

Great question! Sustainability is a large part of SUES mission. We encourage an environmentally friendly atmosphere in our conference, event and office spaces. SUES partners with UNLV Rebel Recycling Program to provide sustainable options and services for your events. Here are some suggestions you can implement in you upcoming events. Remember to check with your Event Coordinator or the SUES Reservation Team for more details and specifics.

  • Recycling
    • SUES can assist you in having recycling bins available at your event, indoors or out at no additional charge. Our bin selection includes compost, plastic/aluminum, paper, and cardboard.
    • Take a look at the next Festival of Communities Event or UNLV Premier to see SUES and UNLV Rebel Recycling partnership in action!  http://www.unlv.edu/festivals
  • Food & Beverage
    • Ask that condiments, beverages, and other food items be provided bulk instead of individually packaged. Ask for all food and beverage packaging to  be recycled.
    • Instead of plastic water bottles, think about using water carafes for indoor events, and water monsters for outdoor events

water monster

                        

Water Monster. Image source http://tinyurl.com/d4bkpmo

  • Use local produce in season
  • Ask that leftover food be composted.
  • Use of technology for marketing and communication
    • Use social networking, the Internet, or e-mail to promote your event versus paper invitations or flyers.
    • Use an electronic registration website. SUES offers Registration Services with a variety of options to meet your specific event needs.
    • Go virtual! Offer your agenda and conference materials on-line.

February 2013: Latest Technology

AV Rack

This month’s question: “What’s the latest in the event-related audio/visual world?  Does SUES have anything new to offer?”

Cody:  SUES is planning some exciting improvements in the near couple of months and we will announce them as they’re ready to be rolled out.  In the interim, this is great timing, as we’re just coming off from having the International Consumer Electronic Show right here in our backyard.

One of the biggest trends is the use of tablets for academic and business-related needs.  Most people are familiar with the Apple brand iPads (iPad, iPad 2, iPad mini) which are useful for fun games and apps as well as productivity.  Now on the market are several Windows 8-operating tablets for those that prefer the PC format.  At the 2013 CES, for example, Panasonic debuted two devices:

  1. The Toughpad FZ-G1 which features a 10.1-inch screen, 4-8 GB RAM, and 8-hour battery life ($2,899 starting price).
  2. The Toughpad JT-B1 which features a 7-inch, 1 GB RAM, and an 8-hour battery life ($1,199 starting price).

There has been a rise of staff using personal tablets for business, lending to its ease and portability.  CDW-G did a poll of users which found that 59% of respondents bring their own tablet to work.  Keep this in mind as you organize events; your presenter or speaker may be requesting special cables to plug their tablet in instead of bringing their presentation on a jump drive.

Another big theme at this year’s CES was 4K TVs.  These devices give you a 3840 pixels x 2160 pixel resolution, about four times what most of have now (1080p).  Gaming, video presentations, and other programming will be seen with even more clarity.  Just remember that what’s being displayed is only going to be as good as the source material.  So look for an increase in better recording devices as you develop videos and other content.  One product out there, Sony’s XBR-84X900, features an 84″ screen (diagonal) and will cost you $25,000.

Ballroom-Theater-Style-Podium

Lastly, related to services offered for your meeting or conference, SUES has the ability to record your event so you can keep a digital verison of your proceedings.  If you elect for this service, we will set up the equipment for the audio recording, and at the conclusion of the event send you on your way with the 8GB SD memory card for you to keep.  This is a great way to capture special moments and speakers for your organization’s history.

Don’t forget, we have a wide variety of microphones, sound systems, lighting options, and other equipment for your event.  Contact us, and if we don’t have it in our inventory, we will work with one of our preferred partners to get it for you!

Other Resources
Campus Technology – Online Resource

Each month we’ll be answering your questions!  Ever wonder what microphone to use for a musical performance?  Don’t know how best to select a catering menu?  We’ll assist you with some of your event planning quandaries and get you on the road for a successful program.  Message, tweet (@UNLV_SUES), or comment here to send us your questions!

January 2013: Marketing Your Event, Part 2

This month, we continue with a question asked in October: “My event is going to be rockin’! How can I best market my event so everyone can enjoy it?” Read Part 1 here.

Jenn:

Off-Campus Resources
Just a reminder – certain policies may affect your plan to advertise to off-campus attendees.  I’d recommend double checking with your event venue.

  • Social media is here to stay, so you best get with it!
    • If your organization has a website, information about your event should be on it.  In this day and age, the internet is often the first source someone uses to locate information.
    • Facebook – Create an event page from your individual account or organization page. Encourage everyone you know – fellow club members, classmates, your uncle – to invite their Facebook friends to the event. The more people who know about the event, the more likely their friends will know, too.  Facebook can also do promoted posts and ads if your budget allows for the paid features.
    • Twitter/Instagram – Cross market your Facebook event page or event website with pictures on Twitter and Instagram.  Highlight the benefits for attendees – especially if you’re offering door prizes and free food.
    • Create a hashtag for the event that can be put on your marketing pieces.  It’ll allow for marketing before, during, and after the event.  It’s a great way to engage your attendees as well as keep track of what people are saying.  SUES recently employed this technique when marketing for the Student Union 5th Birthday celebration. We used #high5SU on multiple marketing pieces and enjoyed seeing everyone’s posts on Instagram and Twitter!
  • Community calendars sponsored by local news stations and publications are a great, free opportunity to advertise to the greater Las Vegas Community.  Some to consider include:
  • Is your organization part of a larger state-wide or national group?  If yes, reach out to them to see if you can share resources.
  • Work with local organizations – chambers of commerce, travel organizations, convention and visitors bureaus, and government groups.
  • Work with businesses that surround the venue or ones that already support your organization.  Perhaps you can hang a poster or leave a stack of fliers.

The Extra Mile
Here are some additional ideas that can give you that added bump up in attendance.

  • Advertise your upcoming events at your current ones.  If you’re working with partners and co-sponsors for an upcoming event, make sure they are advertising at the programs they’re putting on, too.  This could take the form of making announcements during the current event, hanging posters, and giving out fliers or event swag.
  • Give out freebies as advertisements for the event.  For example, give out chocolate bars to advertise your upcoming camping trip where you’ll be making s’mores.  We once had a clothing company give out free pairs of socks in anticipation of a clothing sale they were going to have later down the line.
  • Do you have event-related t-shirts or buttons?  Have your planning committee wear the items as they can serve as mobile advertising options.  Everywhere they go, the message will also go.
  • Do a contest or game before your event.  Arrange a scavenger hunt and the winner receives free tickets to your event.  Using social media as part of the contest or game exponentially increases your engagement with potential guests.Mobile Event App
  • If you have the funds, work with a mobile app developer.  Putting up a list of conference sessions or a performance schedule will motivate attendees to show up as well as have inform them ahead of time.  Information related to parking, sponsors, or menus can already be in their hands before they even get to your event.
  • Last, but not least, directly hearing about an event is still one of the most influential methods to grow your audicence.  Of your circle of acquaintances, are there people who you know will benefit from attending the event?  Share that insight with them one-on-one.  It shows that you care about the other person and who best to share the spirit of the event, but you–the organizer?!

With marketing an event, there is no right or wrong answer – stick to the audience you’re looking to attract and be mindful of your budget and any policies for the best results.

Other Resources
UNLV Posting Policy

Event Marketing: How to Successfully Promote Events, Festivals, Conventions, and Expositions (The Wiley Event Management Series)

Each month we’ll be answering your questions!  Ever wonder what microphone to use for a musical performance?  Don’t know how best to select a catering menu?  We’ll assist you with some of your event planning quandaries and get you on the road for a successful program.  Message, tweet (@UNLV_SUES), or comment here to send us your questions!

December 2012: Winter Downtime

Holiday BannerThis month’s question: “Now that winter break is here, is there anything I need to be doing to prepare for next year? What event-related tasks should I be doing during this down time?”

Elaine:  It’s certainly been a busy year and we’re so thankful that you continue to use our buildings and services.  We are delighted that the Student Union, Student Recreation & Wellness Center, and outdoor University Green Spaces continue to serve as your primary event facilities.  Our expert team enjoys assisting you in planning and executing successful meetings and programs, and look forward to working with you in 2013!

Kirsten:  First things first, we recommend wrapping up your 2012 events.  Please take this down time to review your account and pay any outstanding balances so your future reservations are not delayed.  You will have at least one invoice per event, if they incurred charges.  If you have any questions about your account, please email us at eventservicesbilling@unlv.edu. Online payments are the fastest and most secure option (it’s also the sustainable way to go!); they can be submitted from our homepage by clicking on the “Make a Payment Online link.”  You may also fill out a Credit Card Authorization Form and fax to us at (702) 895-1609, if you prefer.  Alternatively, we accept checks and in-person payments (credit/debit card, check, cash).  UNLV Departments should always submit remittance via Inter-Department Requisition.

Elaine:  Looking ahead, reservations are being taken for the spring and summer semesters.  Please visit us in room 315 of the Student Union, email us at eventservices@unlv.edu or call us at (702) 895-4449 to check availability for your meeting or event.  If you’re part of a Registered Student Organizations or UNLV Department, please use our General Reservation Request Form.  For non-university entities or for large, complex reservations, please use our Request for Proposal form.  Reserving space now will help to ensure you get the rooms and dates you want.

Kirsten:  It’s also a good time to review any existing reservations you have for the spring and summer.  Perhaps you had reserved space and are no longer in need of it.  We ask that you notify us of any reservation adjustments or space cancellations so that other organizations may take advantage of booking that space as early as possible.  Please email your Conference & Event Coordinator (if you’re working with one) or eventservices@unlv.edu.  You may also submit a completed Cancellation or Change Form.

Additionally, it’s a perfect time to add marketing options to any new or existing events.  We can help you get the word out about your organization or upcoming program through the advertising options we offer in the Student Union and Student Recreation & Wellness Center.  With a combined 16,000 daily visitors, your audience is sure to be here!  TV advertisements, display cases, banners, and marketing tables are just a few options to help share your message.  Again, please email your Conference & Event Coordinator (if you’re working with one) or eventservices@unlv.edu.  You may also submit a Marketing Request Form.

Elaine:  Lastly, why wait until spring to begin your planning?  Now is a good time to set up meetings with your SUES contact to discuss your upcoming events.  You can begin to finalize your set-up and equipment needs, as well as any outstanding paperwork or questions you may have.  Our expert staff can assist you in reviewing your budget, providing decoration and menu ideas, and coordinating campus services like parking and recycling options.  Please review your Reservation Summaries to see if you’re working with one of our Conference & Event Coordinators; otherwise, please feel free to contact us with any questions!  If we don’t see you before then, have a great holiday season and a happy new year!

See you next year!

Other Resources
Online Payment Form
SUES Forms

Each month we’ll be answering your questions!  Ever wonder what microphone to use for a musical performance?  Don’t know how best to select a catering menu?  We’ll assist you with some of your event planning quandaries and get you on the road for a successful program.  Message, tweet (@UNLV_SUES), or comment here to send us your questions!

November 2012: Holiday Decorations

This month’s question: “Dear SUES, with the holidays coming up, what tips can you offer for me to decorate my event space?”

Denitsa:  Begin with deciding what your event will be –Is it related to Thanksgiving?  Perhaps it’s in celebration of the winter holidays?  Thinking of your audience will help you determine what is most appropriate for your event.

Rachel:  Starting with guest and display tables, linen is a key item for decoration.  It is a great way to add color and play up your theme as it comes in many colors, shapes, designs, and fabrics.  Consider reds and yellows for fall-themed events and blacks, blues, and silvers for winter themes.  Do a solid color like red, with a shiny, gold lace overlay for a Christmas-themed program.

Sheila:  And don’t underestimate centerpieces—they tie in the event’s theme to where your guests will spend most of their time (at the food table).  Flowers and trees are beautiful but can be expensive, so consider alternate ideas like filling glass bowls with pinecones, holiday ornaments, or string lights.  Sites like Pinterest have lots of creative ideas for a variety of budgets.

You can even use luminaries (a light within a paper sack or bag) on guest tables.  An electronic tea light is best to be used inside the bags to ensure the safety of all at the event.  Different color bags and lights can create a variety of effects to match your event décor.  In addition to being centerpieces, luminaries can also be used as a guide or walkway leading guests to your event or on existing shelving or furniture in the room.

Denitsa:  Speaking of lighting, a common theme with the holidays is warmth.  Check with your event venue to see what they have to offer from built-in lighting, windows, and other equipment.  Using existing lighting is a great cost-effective place to start.  Adding in string lights and up-lighting (to light up walls from the ground) will transform the space and set the tone of the event.  In the Student Union Ballroom, for example, there are three sets of room lighting (chandeliers, can lighting, and wooden coves around the perimeter) that can be set at various levels which create a variety of feels to the room’s ambiance.  Add in LED lighting on lighting trees or pipe and drape, you can do a variety of things with lights.

If your venue has windows, be sure to factor in the time of day your event will take place. If you’re going for a darker, more intimate feel during the day and venue has exterior windows, you may need to look into window coverings to shield out some light.  On the flip side, using the natural lighting can work well for a day or night event with a winter wonderland feel with bright blues, white, and silver tones.

Cody:  If it’s in your budget, gobos can add a personalized message or image in certain spaces.  They’re typically metal or glass pieces that are placed in front of lights to illuminate a shape or design.  Consider snowflakes with blue or white lighting for winter and leaf shapes with red and yellow lighting for fall.  These can be placed in front of stationary or movable lights.

Another easy way to create a visual at your event is to project a film or video clip on a bare wall.  There are a ton of classic holiday-themed movies to choose from; be sure to focus on your overall idea, audience, and tone to determine what is best suited.

Rachel:  Whatever the theme or the decoration, remember the key to any memorable holiday party is to celebrate with friends and family, near and far. Determining your color palate, adding a few key pieces of décor, and mixing in some music will make for an unbeatable holiday celebration!

Other Resources
The Magic of ColorArticle
SUES Centerpieces Pinterest Board

Each month we’ll be answering your questions!  Ever wonder what microphone to use for a musical performance?  Don’t know how best to select a catering menu?  We’ll assist you with some of your event planning quandaries and get you on the road for a successful program.  Message, tweet (@UNLV_SUES), or comment here to send us your questions!

October 2012: Marketing Your Event, Part 1

This month’s question: “My event is going to be rockin’! How can I best market my event so everyone can enjoy it?”

Jenn:  So… you’re ready to show off all your hard work—all the planning, coordinating, scheduling?  Awesome!  We know that putting together an event can be laborious and we want to assist in marketing that experience to your potential attendees.

First and foremost, identify the “who” (and not The Who) you want to attend the event – let’s face it, everyone in the whole wide world is not going to be interested in attending, as awesome as it is.  Truly think about how to narrow down seven billion people to a manageable group.  Also keep in mind there may be applicable venue policies related to certain attendee groups such as minors or anyone not affiliated with UNLV.  Review the core mission of your event and what you hope to accomplish.  Then, you can better focus your marketing efforts within your advertising budget.

Now the fun part!  Here are some ideas you may want to explore:

Options Offered by Student Union & Event Services
The Student Union sees an average of 9,000 visitors (students, faculty, staff, and community members) a day; the Student Recreation & Wellness Center (SRWC) sees an additional 7,000.  For more information, visit the marketing page of the Student Union & Event Services website.

  • Digital signage in the Student Union & SRWC on the many screens throughout the facilities. Static and video ads are accepted.
  • Printed media like banners (inside and outside) and table tents in the Student Union. These are week-long reservations and are best the week of or before your event.
  • Marketing tables in the SRWC as well as inside or outside the Student Union. This gives you the opportunity to speak with interested attendees and hand out information and/or tickets, if needed, to the event.
  • Bulletin boards in the Student Union allow for posters to be hung.  Additional flyers may also be set at the Student Union desk.  See the SU Info Desk.

Other On-Campus Resources
Here follows a snippet of available options found on campus.  Let us know of others you come across.

  • UNLV’s Master Calendar, for any events held on campus or ones sponsored by a UNLV entity, should be your first stop.
  • The Rebel Yell newspaper has options to place ads as well as submit events to their calendar.  Issues are printed Mondays and Thursdays.
  • KUNV/91.5 FM The Source is UNLV’s radio station out of the Greenspun College of Urban Affairs.  Use of radio as a medium is still highly powerful with the increased access of radio stations online.
  • The Student Organization Resource Center (SORCE Room) on the 3rd floor of the Student Union (room 305) is a great resource for materials as well as staff that can offer ideas.  For student/student organization usage only.
  • Putting up flyers in buildings such as Lied Library, Beam Hall, and the Harter Classroom Complex is a great way to increase exposure to your potential attendees.  Each building will have its own policies so be sure to do your research so your posters don’t end up in the recycle bin.
  • UNLV Today is a daily posting of announcements for UNLV faculty and staff.  For UNLV employee usage only.
  • UNLV Rebel Announcements Via Email (RAVE) is a weekly newsletter sent to students.  For UNLV employee usage only.

Keep an eye out for Part 2!  It will encompass resources off-campus as well as creative ideas to take your event advertising to the next level.

Other Resources
UNLV Posting Policy

Each month we’ll be answering your questions!  Ever wonder what microphone to use for a musical performance?  Don’t know how best to select a catering menu?  We’ll assist you with some of your event planning quandaries and get you on the road for a successful program.  Message, tweet (@UNLV_SUES), or comment here to send us your questions!

September 2012: Student Union

This month’s question, in honor of the Student Union’s 5th birthday which we celebrate this year: “What is the best part of the Student Union?  What hidden gems would you like to share?”

Kylee: Last spring in partnership with CSUN Student Government, Rebel Recycling, Student Affairs Maintenance, and Facilities Management, we installed our first hydration station.  This was a result of feedback we received in our Spring 2011 EBI Assessment on satisfaction of the Student Union.  From the survey, we learned that 451 out of 916 people reported that they would use the hydration station on a daily basis and 213 reported they would use the hydration station on a weekly basis.  The overwhelmingly positive response led us to secure funding from CSUN for placement of the unit.  We look to install more units in the future to continue with enhancing sustainable offerings in the Union.

Izzy: The best part of the Student Union is the staff that works in the building. Everyone from the students working at the Information Desk to the team setting up the meeting rooms behind the scenes.  It takes a great amount of work to keep the building and our entire operation running smoothly.  Some guests interact with our staff and others don’t, but overall they are here day in and day out providing exceptional service to all of our guests.  The hydration station is just one example of a collaborative team effort to provide a great service to our students.

Kylee: Did you know that there are 614 places in lounge & entertainment space in the Student Union for sitting?  Between the 1st floor lounges, Game Room, Food Court, 2nd floor open spaces and the 2nd floor study and television lounges, our Student Union offers more places than the previous facility for sitting to chat with friends, meet with colleagues, enjoy a snack or meal, study or take a quick nap between classes.

It offers a peaceful/quiet place to sit and study and a beautiful view of the mountains to the far east of the valley. A nice, quiet place to get away from the hustle and bustle.

I have a couple of hidden gems:

  • The top landing on the East stairwell.  It offers a peaceful/quiet place to sit and study and a beautiful view of the mountains to the far east of the valley.  Musical voice performers seem to enjoy the acoustics provided at the top of the glass stairwell as they can often be heard practicing their newest piece of music, sending echoes of song down to the 1st floor.
  • There are two balconies located on either side of the SORCE room on the 3rd floor.  Each of these balconies have two tables and offer a nice, quiet place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the 1st floor on a nice Las Vegas day.

When you open the doors all you see is a wall in front of you.Izzy: There is a random set of doors across from meeting room 213 that contain access panels for the building. When you open the doors all you see is a wall in front of you. Of course the access panels are there, but it just reminds me of the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, CA that is infamous for having staircases and doors that lead to nowhere.

Other Student Union Resources
History of the Student Union
In the Past 5 Years Facts
Top 5 Things to <3 About…

Each month we’ll be answering your questions!  Ever wonder what microphone to use for a musical performance?  Don’t know how best to select a catering menu?  We’ll assist you with some of your event planning quandaries and get you on the road for a successful program.  Message, tweet (@UNLV_SUES), or comment here to send us your questions!