Contents

Managing or administering a seminar, workshop, roadshow or other type of event, even the seemingly simple, can provide you with headaches that you never thought possible. Being crystal clear about what you and your company actually needs the event to deliver at the earliest possible stage is critical to so many issues.Although holding an event like a seminar or a workshop often evolves out of discussions about sales, marketing and even technical issues like product failur...

Simple Headache Cure For Event Managers

Simple Headache Cure For Event ManagersManaging or administering a seminar, workshop, roadshow or other type of event, even the seemingly simple, can provide you with headaches that you never thought possible. Being crystal clear about what you and your company actually needs the event to deliver at the earliest possible stage is critical to so many issues.Although holding an event like a seminar or a workshop often evolves out of discussions about sales, marketing and even technical issues like product failures, it is almost always critical to establish clearly in everyone's mind what the true purpose of the event is. This can have a substantial effect on:* how you go about organizing the event* who you involve* which venue you choose* what you choose to include and exclude* the dates and times of the various activities* and significantly why you are holding an event at allThe event manager should get together with the prime-movers in the organization who effectively "own" the event and discuss the true objective or perhaps objectives to be achieved.The word "objective" is used intentionally here because there may already be an objective-setting ethos in your organization. If there is, then use the same framework to arrive at consensus for the purpose of the event.The minimum requirement is that the objective should be SMART;* Specific* Measurable* Achievable* Relevant* Time-boundedSpecificThe word "specific" has been chosen as shorthand for the question:"What, specifically, will have changed as a result of the success of this event?"To illustrate this consider the example of a Financial Services organization that was having difficulty selling one of its new investment product (Product Y) because of its complexity. They were convinced that the product was a winner but needed Financial Advisers to spend more than a ten minute telephone call learning about how it was structured and how it would perform over time. They also needed to connect with more Financial Advisers than they already knew, so the idea of a conference to debate the new generation of financial products for the 21 st Century was born.The Financial Services company defined their specific requirement from the conference as follows:To present, along with other Financial Products, a detailed technical explanation of Product Y to an audience of 250 or more Financial Advisers who operate within our region in order that they can understand its benefits and sell it on to their customers.MeasurableIn almost every project there is a well understood relationship between cost, quality and time. You can achieve anything to a very high standard in a very short time if cost is no object. Similarly you can produce the best product to a tight budget as long as time is not an issue. The third option is probably the world you operate in; the budget is small and we need it yesterday. This, of course, means that quality is the issue most likely to suffer and is probably worth some debate about what level of quality is expected and how it should be measured.Post-event questionnaires and follow-up telephone or Email communication should be asking the right questions to ensure that quality data is available.AchievableThe event organizer needs to be set up for success and needs to feel that they have the support of the event "owners" on the route ahead. In short, they need to know how to get rapid decisions made if quality, cost or time are affected by issues that develop as the project proceeds.RelevantIt is sensible to confirm with the overall aims of the organization that the event and the way it is being envisioned correspond. If a company mission or vision exists, then there should be a straight line of logic linking it with this seminar, roadshow or workshop.TimeboundedPriorities can often be forgotten when an attractive project happens along. So, not only should the relevant dates, times and durations be spelled out in detail, the effect of this project on other work should be discussed and appropriate action taken to ensure that all timescales are properly managed.Equipped with this seemingly simple step of devising a comprehensive objective, you, as the event manager, are better equipped to make informed decisions about almost any issue that crops up in the design, delivery and follow-up processes associated with your event. Even better, it will reduce your consumption of pain killers by minimizing headache inducing changes and problems down the line.

Private Jets Who Wouldnt Want to Fly This Way?

Private Jets Who Wouldnt Want to Fly This Way?

With asking prices that might seem astronomical to the average man or woman on the street, chartering a private jet might seem like extravagance gone truly mad. But while many of us struggle to afford our one weeks holiday every year, the people to whom charter jet companies advertise their wares are those who earn more money in a week than many of us are likely to see in a lifetime. So lets pretend were rich and famous what are the advantages to chartering a private jet? There are certain benefits that are fairly obvious. The ever-increasing rise of celebrity means that many of the people earning the sort of pay check that would merit commissioning a private jet are all too well known, meaning they would cause a crisis of sorts for the staff trying to deal with the many other issues involved in making a flight run smoothly. Not to suggest that all celebrities are the thoughtful types this attention is as abhorrent to them when they are not working, as it is difficult to the staff attending the flight. For many celebrities, anonymity and privacy are all important, and chartering a private jet allows them to keep to themselves. So what about those people who are quietly wealthy why dont they save their money and fly with the rest of us? Because chartering a private jet has many other advantages, and while the going rate might seem exorbitant to those of us earning five figure sums, the money spent on private jets must be put into perspective. The relative amount that the wealthy spend on this type of travel is probably not much more than we spend on our own flights they earn much more and so can spend accordingly. And while they might save a few tens of thousands of dollars by flying more economically, is it really worth it? Private jets offer the ultimate in in-flight service. As the only customer on board, the person hiring a private jet receives the full attention of the flight staff, meaning that he or she can enjoy anything at any time. This fits neatly into the lifestyle of the wealthy, where money buys the best of service why compromise just because youre airborne? Private jets might seem the ultimate in luxury to the ordinary man on the street, but to the very wealthy, they are as natural as riding in limo. So until you make your first million, its airline flights for you. But you can always dream!

Your Proposal Didn't Win? Make Sure You Get Something From Losing

Your Proposal Didn

No matter how successful you are, eventually you will lose potential contracts. This is not always a bad thing - losing contracts can present you with opportunities to get closer to the client and get valuable feedback. It allows you to analyze what you did wrong, what was done right, and how you can improve your products, servicesand proposals.If you do lose a contract you should always ask for feedback and find out why you lost. Clients are often happy to provide feedback to soften the blow of losing a contract. This is especially true if there was an elaborate qualification period or your proposal required an extensive amount of preparation and research.Quite often, the deciding factor may be price and you may lose out on contracts where you proposed a superior product or service. Everyone who has lost a contract has been told that it was lost because they were too expensivebut how often have you been told you won because you were cheap?Even if price is the primary reason, its good to know. It may mean that you misinterpreted the tender requirements and proposed something above the specification. Alternatively you may need to re-evaluate your pricing, or even serve to shift your focus to higher end clients who pay a premium for the products and services you offer.It may be they liked another companys track record better, they may have previous dealing with the chosen supplier, or sometimes you may not have fully addressed their concerns in your proposal. Whatever the reason, there is always something that can be learned.Try and get a face to face meeting. This will enable you to get the most honest and detailed feedback possible clients will often be prepared to say things off the record that they wont commit to paper. You can also use the lost opportunity as a chance to get to know the client better, build rapport and start to position yourself for future contracts. Any opportunity to develop a relationship with a perspective client serves to better your business base so always take advantage of these opportunities whenever you can.Remember to also ask for feedback when you win. Ask the client why you were chosen, exactly how you stood out from the rest of the field and how your proposal could have been better check if there were any parts of your proposal that caused doubt or uncertainty with the client.All of these options offer you a chance to improve your products and services, eventually resulting in more clients and better business. In such a competitive marketplace you need to grasp any potential advantage you can find. Finding out exactly why you lost makes a huge difference the next time around. Be willing to look at your faults and be prepared to change its about what the client wants, not what you have to offer.

Know How A Merchant Account Works

Know How A Merchant Account Works

As an online business owner and proprietor, you probably know how important it is to be able to offer your customers the ability to pay for your merchandise or services with a credit card. The ability to offer that service to them can significantly increase your revenue and your customer base. These days, shopping online has become a quick and convenient way to buy merchandise, and more and more consumers are turning to the Internet to make all kinds of purchases, from minor to major. And the vast majority of these shoppers prefer to pay for their goods with their credit cards. By opening an internet merchant account, you will be able to provide a convenient service to your customers that will keep them coming back to your business, while potentially exploding your profits.Basically, a merchant account is set up through a bank or an online merchant account provider for a retail or online organization in order to accept credit cards as payment from customers. Traditionally, merchant accounts were only offered by banks and providers to retail businesses that were located in a physical location. With the huge success and increase in online shopping over the past several years, merchant account providers have turned that way in order to provide services to online merchants. Most banks still do not provide online merchant accounts, due to the constant concern over credit card fraud. However, there are an ever-growing number of online merchant account providers that offer services specifically to those business owners that market their products on the Internet. Because there are so many providers out there, it is important that you research all aspects of merchant accounts, especially the costs, so that your profits stay in your pocket. It is also important to find a provider that offers services to make being a business owner easier and less stressful.There are several types of costs associated with opening and maintaining an online merchant account. Not all of the fees are necessary, and not all providers charge them. One type of cost is the application fee. This charge is to cover the costs of processing your application, whether you open an account or not. Some merchant account providers will waive the fee if you open an account. Some providers do not charge this fee at all. Another type of common fee is the statement fee. This is a monthly can be as much as $25 per month, and is purportedly imposed by the account provider to cover costs. The discount rate is a fee that the merchant account provider earns from each of your sales, usually between 2 and 4 percent. The fixed transaction fee is also based on each sale, but the provider takes the same amount no matter the cost of the product purchased, usually .20-.30. There is usually a termination fee included in the account contract. Because some providers require a commitment period of 2 or 3 years, this fee can apply if you choose to cancel your account before then. Finally, there are miscellaneous fees that are imposed on your account as well. Often, these separate fees are levied if a customer requests a refund, and wants the amount credited back to their card. This can be $10-20. As you can see, there are many costs associated with an online merchant account. It is important to compare different providers in order to save yourself the money you have worked so hard to make. It's not a bad idea to use your current sales information to estimate the costs of your merchant account.A relationship with a merchant account provider should be a long, trustworthy one. Your provider should provide you with an assortment of services that will make running your business easier. They should be able to accommodate several types of credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, Discover, etc.), as well as provide several payment alternatives, such as the popular PayPal. Your online merchant account provider should have a record of good service and customer satisfaction, as well as a reliable reputation. They should also have a reputation of excellent customer service providers. They should be able to help you with problems quickly and efficiently. A merchant account provider is a necessity if you want to make the most of your business by accepting credit card payment from customers. Your merchant account provider can make or break your business with its fees and service. That is why it is important to know all of the aspects of a merchant account, and choose your provider wisely.

Securely Connecting Health Care Communities

The health care industry is using evolving technologies to improve the practice of medicine and lower costs. One example is electronic health records, which are helping to save lives and reduce costs as more of the nation's hospitals and medical centers adopt such systems. Electronic health records enable providers to avoid the duplication of exams and procedures, shortening the time it takes for patients to get the treatment they need. Having access to complete patient information at the point of care also helps to improve patient safety, optimize clinical workflow, increase efficiency, and reduce administrative burdens such as faxes and phone calls to exchange patient information. Medical information networks are providing secure access to this information. Three nationally recognized leaders in health information technology recently teamed up to create a multistate health information network known as The NorthWest Health Information Network. Northwest Physicians Network (NPN) of Tacoma and St. Luke's Health System of Boise, supported by Siemens Medical Solutions, collaborated on this regional approach to bettering patient care and eliminating waste. "Patient care requires the right information at the right time at the right place," said Rick Mac-Cornack, Ph.D., director of Quality Improvement at NPN. "Right now, if a patient is in the emergency room with chest pains, that ER needs to get faxes, printouts and old charts from each of the patient's health providers before proper care can be delivered." Through the network, the patient's history and clinical information are immediately accessible online to both patient and provider-whether the ER is in Tacoma or Boise or whatever other communities will soon be connected to the system. "While technology has progressed significantly, the challenge is still the same: connect 'Main Street' physicians--who represent 80 percent of the nation's medical care providers--to information when and where it is needed," said MacCornack. What took place in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina is an example of how frail paper records can be. Floodwaters rendered many patients' medical histories unavailable and unreadable. With secure, electronic records, this would not pose a problem. It is estimated that if 90 percent of doctors and hospitals successfully adopt health care IT and use it effectively, it could net savings of $77 billion annually. Health care information technology solutions such as Siemens Soarian Community Access encourage secure information sharing. As these networks adopt standardized ways of sharing data, community-based regional health information organizations will become the base for a nationwide system. Health care information technology has the ability to transform the way people regard their health and the way they participate in the health care system.

Advantages of Writing e-Books

Writing e-books can be a more cost effective means to promote your work while being environmentally friendly in the process. If you are meaning to make a name for yourself as a writer, then perhaps writing e-books is something you might like to try.If you have had no luck in the pieces you have been sending to publishers in the past, you can keep trying other publishers until one of them notices your talent and decides to publish you. However, in the meantime, you can start writing e-books and distributing them online. This way, you will be able to reach your audience even if you have not gotten your book to the printers yet. True enough, the market for e-books is not as significant as the readers for traditional paperback and hardbound books.However, writing e-books will give you the chance to gather constructive criticism from e-book readers and this in turn will help you polish your work and may help you eventually get the attention you deserve from publishers. This means savings on your part because having to print your book yourself can be quite expensive. If you write and distribute e-books instead, it will barely cost you anything.Plus, it costs the environment less because you won't be cutting down trees to write e-books. Cutting down trees from uncertified forests as we know contributes to our already growing problem with Climate Change. The carbon dioxide accumulated by trees in its lifetime is released back into the atmosphere at the event of their death.What's more is that, writing e-books is easy. You do not have to be a super technical person to do it. You can just write your book in a normal program like Microsoft Word and save it as a PDF file, which most e-book reader programs will readily open. Once you are set with writing e-books, you can join e-book forums and distribute your work there while communicating with your possible readers there for comments and such.Before anything else though, after writing e-books and before distributing them to online business, do take the time to protect your intellectual property rights by registering your work in the relevant government agencies. This will take some time, effort and money for fees, but this step in the process is quite important. After all, once your e-book is distributed online, there will be nothing to stop unscrupulous individuals to plagiarize your work.Imagine this: you finally see your work published on the shelves, selling like hotcakes but the one getting the fame and glory is someone else who has stolen your work for his or her own. So taking the time to get your work registered is a necessary step to ensure that you continue writing e-books successfully.Proper risk management is an essential foundation of becoming successful. If you follow these simple steps needed for writing e-books then chances are you might be able to begin to establish yourself as a writer. You may not have the large base that traditional paperback books enjoy, but you have to start somewhere.Also, you just never know who will be able to read your work. The world wide web is vast and who knows-maybe someone important or beneficial to your success as a writer will come across your work and give you the break that you need.

Summary

Managing or administering a seminar, workshop, roadshow or other type of event, even the seemingly simple, can provide you with headaches that you never thought possible. Being crystal clear about what you and your company actually needs the event to deliver at the earliest possible stage is critical to so many issues.Although holding an event like a seminar or a workshop often evolves out of discussions about sales, marketing and even technical issues like product failur...