Event Industry

Earlier this year, Las Vegas played host to the largest tech conference of its kind, the Consumer Electronics Show 2018, or CES 2018 for short. The event showcases technology and cool gadgets, both real and conceptual, entering into the consumer realm. Here at Decibel Management,...

While 2018 may only be in its infancy, we have already seen some amazing productions take place. The first few months of this year have played host to some of the largest global events in the industry. One trend we here at Decibel Management are...

We’re all looking to gain insight into 2018 forecasts, trends, and predictions for event management upgrades. As in years past, challenges abound when creating engaging events that excite and delight attendees, in a format (whatever that may be) that is seamless and fail proof. Decibel...

2017 is a big year for us. Over the past ten years, we’ve produced, managed, and staffed countless events, building our expertise in the large-scale event industry. Above that, we’ve built a reliable network of vendors, venues, and a hardworking staff to make all this...

Last week, we wrapped up one of our flagship events, The Library of Congress National Book Festival. It was our eighth year managing this event, and while we’re veterans, we’re always looking for new ways to accommodate a bigger audience and out-do ourselves from the...

Experiential marketing. Engagement marketing. On-ground marketing. Event marketing. Whatever you want to call it, can be very successful – if done right. The goal of experiential marketing is to form a memorable connection between the consumer and the brand to make a lasting impression, influence purchase...

As you’re making your last minute game-day dip selections and 60-inch TV purchases, there’s a group of brave people who have been prepping for this Super Bowl Sunday since last year. Spoiler alert: It’s not any member of the Falcons or the Patriots. No, for...

When you’re a kid, wonderment can be found around every corner. When you’re an adult, there are three main places you can go to experience that same childlike rush of awesomeness: Disneyland, Legoland and CES. Unlike Disneyland, the magic displayed at CES is real; and unlike...

Virtual reality beaches, upmarket event transport services and live event streaming apps: Here's a quick roundup of January's most interesting #eventtech Tweets.
New year, new career? Welcome to event management, young Padawan. Whether you're working for a larger firm or starting your own, may this be the first of many happy, fulfilling years spent hunting for something healthy in the 7-11 snack aisle at 4:30am. Protip: give up and grab the peanuts. And while that may be the only industry advice you ever need, we've collected a few inspiring TED talks to round out your education.
Merry Christmas! And a cheery 'tis-the-season "thank you" to all our vendors, partners, readers and clients. You guys are our favorite people; we wouldn't be here without you, and we wish you all a holiday season decked in lights and smothered in gravy. Not to get too sappy on ya, but this is inevitably the time of year when our thoughts turn to the past, and we remember with gratitude how far we've come not just as a company, but as an industry. Fancy a spot of history?

It’s been a big month for event tech, not the least of which reason being that on November 14-16, the Event Tech Awards were held in Paris and Las Vegas, highlighting some of the most exciting innovations in the field from the past year. These...

Event professionals from around the globe recently flew to Barcelona for IBTM World, an annual three-day conference that bills itself as “the leading global event for the meetings and events industry.” There, the more-than 15,000 participants got the chance to network, share knowledge and resources and take in exhibitions. It’s a nice gig if you can get it – for those of us who weren’t able to make it, though, IBTM has something else to offer: A list of the top ten tech innovations that are transforming the events industry. Read on to learn about the best apps, solutions and technologies for designing your perfect event.
Good event managers do it all: they understand the principles of marketing, they can respond to crisis situations with relative equanimity, they can deal with people and wrangle details. It's a career path that's part tactics, part technical experience, part money management, part psychology, and part grit. That being the case, when we sat down to pick five books that were relevant to the industry, we didn't exclusively choose books targeted at event professionals (though there are a couple here). Instead, we chose a few reads that address these core attributes.
There's more than one kind of zen, grasshopper. And in an industry with such a strong penchant for tossing up curve balls and all-nighters, where there are such extreme alternating periods of high-energy intensity and then low-energy, we glimpse those moments of nirvana perhaps more often than most.

A couple of years ago, we designed and released an infographic detailing new regulations for events held on D.C.'s National Mall. Ever since that piqued our interest, we've been bookmarking event-related infographics as we've come across them. Here's a preview of the best infographics in...

We're on a freight and logistics roll this month as we take a look at a couple of neat cargo, trucking and train transport pics from bygone days. In this episode of Decibel's #tbt, we learn that the more things change, the more things stay the same. These images from back-of-the-house logistics operations over the last 150 years are full scenes both familiar and alien.
Organizing a large-scale event often means ensuring that bulk amounts of oversize items arrive on location, right on time. Considering that precision is so vital to a successful event, it follows that contracting a sloppy logistics company can quickly turn into a nightmare. Here are a few vital questions you should ask before you sign that contract:
Event photography is an art form all its own. You need someone who understands how to capture the action while it's happening without creating overly-staged shots, how to shoot under low lighting conditions for parties and night events, and how to take compelling action shots. Here are the Decibel Management picks for best-in-show photographers for 2015.
The humble podcast: so simple, so perfect for busy event professionals to listen to while making brekkies. The popularity of the Podcast seems to be on a kind of wheel of reincarnation: everyone's making them, then no one is, then they're back in favor and all over the web. In the last few years, a there's been a minor resurgence in podcast popularity, and we thought we'd gather up a few good event-related shows you might enjoy.
CGS Premier, one of Decibel's vendors, has been around since 1993 producing awesome fabrications, specifically creating large-scale vehicle wraps for mobile media (trucks, trailors, vans, etc.), but also for custom trade show booths and displays, pop-up shops, and other set-it-up, break-it-down portable experiences. Fabrication is one of those things the public sees everywhere, but rarely questions where it came from: graphics and logos printed on semi trucks, advertisements on radio station mobile rigs, movie posters on the sides of city buses, branding on the outside of tour vans. We sat down with Bill Kurinsky, CGS's Director of Business Development, to talk shop.
Waiting sucks. I can't think of a single human being that enjoys a good long wait. Waiting is the womb of all bad things: irritability, customer complaints, bad PR, sometimes even riots. Happily, the world is full of good-guy scientists using teh mathz to make sure your attendees are queuing for the shortest possible times. There's a whole field of study about it, and it's called "Queueing Theory". The tools are there. Just reach out and take them.
You remember when you were in high school, and people used to ask you what you wanted to do for living, and you could only really think in terms of the major job groups you'd heard of? Lawyer, doctor, astronaut. And then you graduated, and suddenly you meet people with jobs like "user experience researcher" and "grant writer" and you wonder how those people even knew those job titles existed. Event artists are kinda like that. Auctioneer? Really? That's a thing I can hire?
Event managers respect a sizable crowd the way survivalists respect a rattlesnake - treat it firmly, but don't scare it, and don't get complacent, or it might sink two inches of fang into your leg. In wrangling large-scale events we depend heavily on the help of technology - can you imagine dealing with this kind of turnout without the help of mobile phones, walkie-talkies, computerized ticketing?
You're always putting yourself at at least marginal risk when you decide to pull a promotional marketing stunt, and the more over-the-edge the stunt, the truer that can be. It's hard to be 100% sure that in-your-face marketing stunts won't backfire in a lot of complaints (at best) or (at worst) a lawsuit. But these companies have managed to still pull of some crazy publicity stunts while still hitting all the right notes.
We're not gonna waste your time, here: no one needs to tell you how to Google "how to find speakers for your event". And doing that will turn up all the basics: databases of speaking professionals (Gigmaster!), speakers' associations, blah blah blah. But there are plenty of fascinating, confident, articlate people that don't speak for a living and are outside . Here a few unique ideas on how to find and connect with them.
The good folks over at Planningpod.com recently posted a nifty infographic detailing 10 best practices for building event websites. We couldn't agree more with their assessment (no, seriously: put the name and date of the event on every page, people), and we felt inspired to add a couple of additional event website must-dos from our own experience.
We have been watching with fascination the Whatever USA advertising campaign, event, experiential activation, promotion and commercial film shoot from Anheuser Busch. Most of us have seen the commercials from Bud Light about the fictional town Whatever USA. The brand marketing team launched a series of commercials about the town, and held a contest for 1,100 lucky winners to visit for three days of fun- all expenses paid.

Decibel Management was hired to design, develop and install custom graphics, signs, trade show pieces as well as custom paint to complete the Marketing Center at 555 12th Street in Washington, D.C. We worked with a great team at Legacy Scenic and Productions, as well...

You've probably noticed that when data is reported from studies - any data - most of the statistics you see cited are 3-10 years old, and you can imagine all the ho-hum reasons why: it takes researchers a while to gather info, collate it, make conclusions about it, publish it, and for it to end up on a linkbait infographic colorful enough to wrest attention away from the royal drool stains (And what was Selena Gomez thinking? These questions haunt us all.).
It turns out that it took about a year for the new special event rules and regulations for permitting the National Mall to sink in and really get noticed. The National Mall has been host to a number of small to mid sized events over the last year, but no events to the scale that the National Mall has seen in the past. This week, a number of people have sent us this Petition by the group Save the Festival. It seems as if this is a group of concerned volunteers who want to save this event, by allowing for a permanent special event space within the renovation of the National Mall. The Smithsonian Folklife Festival is one of the great annual events that we enjoy in DC and on the National Mall, and it seems that they are having the same issues working in the NPS Event rules as other large-scale events.
In early 2014, H&R Block launched an experiential marketing program that builds off their “Get Your Billion Back America” ad campaign. The tour puts the brand in the hands of consumers and rewards them with cash. Developed in partnership with Ketchum, Decibel Management designed and created a custom, interactive kiosk composed of four computers, multiple touchscreens, cameras and ATM components. The 20-foot-by-20-foot kiosk is set up in high-traffic locations where participants take a two-minute quiz which includes imagining what they would do with a billion dollars. As a reward, the kiosk dispenses up to $100 per participant. This kiosk is definitely a first of its kind. It is part ATM, part photo/video booth and was built from scratch for the ‘Get Your Billion Back’ events hosted by H&R Block. And it was built in 6 weeks, from concept to completion.
Decibel Management has been very busy since September and we are happy to finish out 2013 with an exciting amount of events we were fortunate to be a part of during the fall months! National Book Festival, SHIRE Mobile Tour, National ATI Day, Glass Packaging Institute’s Annual Meeting, Clorox Caroling with Busy Phillips, NextGen Climate Action Summit, Raleigh Christmas Parade, London Financial Forum, just to name a few.
Fact: Not everyone was cut out to be a shock troop in the never-ending battle against deadlines, wilting flowers and sprinkler systems that explode at exactly the wrong time, but those that make it love every hectic minute. How do you know when you're knees-deep in the industry? Our clever colleagues at Event Manager Blog polled their readers, asking them to pinpoint those little indicators that set event planners apart from the rest.
Apart from the conference venue itself and the décor, the lay-out of a meeting room will be the first impression attendees get. It will help to color their judgment of quality event management, their thoughts on originality and comfort as well as set their mood. Below, we have picked a few innovative set-ups for event seating arrangements which can lend the right blend of work and whimsy to your conferences.
For a country falsely rumored as having only a little history, the range of architecture displayed in America's estates is pretty staggering. From Louis XIV-style palaces to Tudor homes and Southern mansions, the US offers event managers some wonderful, lavish environments for upscale events. These are just some of our favorite estates that provide a real mixture of charming authenticity and originality.
We love mobile tours around here and have been part of quite a few over the years. Mobile Tours, for the uninitiated, are essentially traveling events and can take on many forms and involve many different type of vehicles, including tour coaches, equipment transport, buses, food trucks, custom fabricated vehicles, SUVs and trailers - the whole deal. That being so, many of the Department of Transportation (D.O.T.) regulations that govern mobile tours can be confusing, and we wanted to take the opportunity to pass along a few of these important rules for a safe mobile tour. If you're considering hiring a mobile tour operator yourself, it's best to check that they're familiar with the current regulations.
It's a tough wake-up call for readers of Perez Hilton or the Daily Mail: all those famous people who make headlines and sell newspapers don't always make engaging speakers at events. Sure, big names are great at getting butts in seats, but it's easy to forget that expertise or fame doesn't necessarily relate to engaging stage presence unless the celebrity is familiar and comfortable with the in-front-of-a-podium format. Here are a few things to remember when booking a celebrity guest at your event.
For the part it played in the production and tour events for the DoubleTree by Hilton Little Things Project, Decibel Management was awarded with its second Silver Anvil by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).
Although first appearing on the scene only recently, event apps are quickly becoming a staple of large event management today. Given how cavernous some conference centers can seem, or the immense scale that industry events can take on, having a helping hand on a smartphone can help attendees integrate with the event and interact with each other in a more meaningful (and creative!) way.
Every event organizer knows that feeling: You've made the last phone call, you've ticked off the last item on the checklist, you've made sure that ambitious trade show booth will actually fit in a 10x10 square and you've done it all while bringing your event in under budget. Now all that's left is to sit back and watch everything run itself. Hah, just kidding.
Press conferences are a dime a dozen these days, and any client can put a banner up, call a couple of local rags and plug an event. But this is a critical moment of the event management process, when the people with the power to come into contact with your big plans, and yet even long-time pros overlook or fumble the details. Check out these tips from Decibel to create a press conference that helps the press help you:
The National Mall has just completed their first renovation of the grounds in 30 years. To protect the new grass and the new irrigation systems, new event planning rules have been issued governing where on the National Mall events can be held, and where tents and structures can be pitched. The Decibel team has created a comprehensive chart to clarify the new regulations for the event planning community.
One of the best parts of the event production and management world is getting to see cutting edge and new, emerging technologies. This is especially true when companies get together and produce a field ready unit that can be rolled into our current event mix.
We had the opportunity to travel to the Exhibitor 2013 show this year, and it did not disappoint. This is a trade show and conference for trade show and conference builders and planners. Many of the manufacturers bring their best new concepts and technologies for display, and we were able to spend quality time with some of the best of the best. It was also great to see the show growing again this year- with a host of new exhibitors, and some that have come back from a few years away. Below, we have included some of our favorites.
Do you remember that feeling when you were a kid and your parents let you walk through the toy section of a store? The pure joy and excitment of the latest and greatest thing? That is exactly how it felt to walk through The Special Event in Chicago a few weeks ago.
In November we travelled to Naples, not just for the perfect weather, but for the 2012 Glass Packaging Institute’s Annual Meeting. This was our first year planning this event for GPI and it was a successful event as well as a successful meeting for the members.
We just heard some great news from Nomadic Display and wanted to pass it along. They are reducing the price of some of their most popular Instand Pop up display units for Q1.
We have been using Rose Brand for years at Decibel (dB), and our partners have been using them for much longer. For those that don't know, Rose Brand provides custom fabric and draperies, as well as production supplies and rental equipment. At dB, we use their equipment on what seems to be every show that we produce, and some of this hardware literally holds up each and every sign onsite.
The Cookie CAREavan tour for DoubleTree by Hilton was awarded the Silver Anvil Award from PRSA! Congrats to the incredible team that worked on the project.
Just wrapped up the 2012 National Small Business Week Conference and Meetings in Washington, DC. This year's event featured a number of great sessions at the Mandarin Oriental, along with offsite events at the U.S. Department of State and the White House. 
Congrats to the team at Ketchum DC and their client DoubleTree by Hilton on the Product Brand Development of the Year award! We loved being a part of the tour and the award couldn't have gone to a better team! 
Another Lyon Festival of Lights (Fête des lumières) has concluded. I am a big fan of the festival as well as the façade projection and façade mapping that has become ubiquitous with the celebration. Each December, I look forward to seeing the displays and designs that are produced for the 4 day event. 
I love to highlight events that just work. A simple, yet focused idea that is met with seamless execution can have great results. These don't have to be expensive, or overly planned. I also like to give recognition to my hometown when I can.
Recently, we were invited to assist a campaign with advance work for the CNBC debate in Michigan. We spend a lovely week in Detroit advancing the debate at Oakland University, as well as various smaller events throughout the week.
Over the past few months, we have been hard at work on our new custom online registration system, and wanted to share a quick behind the scenes photo of our IA process flow.
Steve Jobs has changed our daily lives and also made a huge impact on our industry. He will be missed.
We just want to share a few photos of the great team we had onsite for the National Book Festival. We couldn't pull off an event of this size without a stellar team.
Today we started both signage rigging and power for the 2011 National Book Festival. The day started with rain that moved through, but luckily didn't slow the crews down too much. 
We are back in full swing at the 2011 National Small Business Week events in D.C. Just finished the second day and getting ready for Friday. A few quick photos below.
There are thousands of pieces that go into an event this size, and from the coverage, it certainly looked as if they nailed them all.
It ended up taking a week, and a few minor miracles, but we were able to get our new summer road show vehicle to the fabricator. I must hand it to both Utilimaster and Whitney over at Polaris who helped pull this off! A few more photos of the delivery after the jump...
This is a bit out of the norm for a dB Blog post, but thought it was worth sharing. I don't know many details, but this is a stunning stage set and production on Lake Constance in Austria. Love the creativity and talent shown here. Thanks to Gizmodo (by way of WSJ) for finding the photo.
This piece from Liz Farmer at the The Examiner came out yesterday and details some of the changes that we will be faced with in working on the National Mall.
We do our best to keep on top of current trends in the industry. CGI is one that is constantly making improvements, but always seems to stay a touch away from reality. Thanks to Alex Roman (of The Third and The Seventh Fame) for the video and to our friends at Gizmodo for sharing the example that breaks the barrier. The film below is completely composed using CGI. Amazing indeed.