Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Do you Fartlek when you exercise?

If you don't, you may want to.  It's a training method.........seriously. 

"Fartlek" is a Swedish term for "speed play".  Essentially it's based on the idea of implementing short bursts of speed into your workout.  For instance if you're jogging for 45 minutes, you would implement 5 to 10 short intervals where you sprint at 90-100% effort.  Or when walking, you would add short bursts of jogging or even sprinting. 

It's not quite as demanding as traditional interval training because it allows you to implement the intervals according to your body.  Personally, I would need some sort of metrics for this such as a minimum number of intervals to complete, even though I may execute them when my body is ready throughout a particular session.  That's just me though.

A slight variety of this method is something I used to employ.  I had both an elliptical machine and stationary bike at home.  I would typically warm up for 7 or 8 minutes then...Fartlek.  Jump on the bike for 60 seconds and peddle away as fast as I possible could.  Then back to the elliptical, jumping back to the stationary bike every 4 to 7 minutes for the intense 60 second burst.  It intensifies the fat burning quotient of your workout, even if you start at 30 second bursts.

At the time, I had no idea it was called the Fartlek method.  So give it a try and let me know how it works for you!  Happy Fartleking!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Listening is the Key to Word of Mouth

I found this blog entry interesting, so I thought I'd pass it along.  Those responsible for marketing or for developing your own company's brand might find it interesting as well.  It's from John Moore at Promo, a Chief Marketer newsletter.  
Four Big Ideas for Marketing in 2010

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Event Budgets for 2010 - Optimism?

Tight budgets? How often have we discussed this in our offices, at our job sites, with our clients, etc? If you haven't, I'd like to take a quick look at your books if you don't mind.

Well I'm sure it comes as no surprise that the discussions will continue through 2010. According to a survery conducted by Special Events Magazine, budgets will be the #1 concern for event professionals. I don't think many people are expecting a miraculous economic recovery in the coming months so this makes sense, but I thought we'd discuss it again, because...we just can't get enough of it!

What's the #2 concern you ask? "Uncertain Economy". Hand in hand, right?

The #3 ranked challenge will be tighter lead times. This is something that affects our business just as it does other event professionals. According to the Special Events survey, shorter lead times jumped from 19% last year to 34% this year.

"Why such a dreary blog, Rick?" You might ask.

Well, it's not all bad. According to the survey, 41% of in-house event pros and 48% of independents expect to stage more events in 2010, while 16% (of both groups) say they expect to stage fewer events. 18% were unsure and 6% were intoxicated at the time of this survey. Ok, that's not true, just making sure you're paying attention.

Event professionals also seem optimistic about 2010 when compared to responses last year at this time. Some 69% of in-house event professionals feel the uncertain economy will be one of their biggest challenges next year, down from 78% last year. Indepedent event professionals are right in line with that trend, 77% this year, down from 88% last year. Ok, so maybe "optimistic" is a stretch, but it's certainly less negative, how about that?

While I try to uncover optimism within the cloud of concern, we're seeing something positive in the event industry and I believe it can be applied across most industries...adaptation. We're adapting to different approaches such as social media.  We're becoming more in-tune with our customer’s needs.  We're shaking hands more than we are sending glossy brochures.  We're enjoying a beverage with new friends at a networking event rather than filming another commercial.  We’re choosing the business lunch with a special client over the huge conference in Vegas (apologies to my conference friends). We're making a phone call more often than sending the form letter/email. We may be interacting with our customers more now than ever before, but in a different way.  Dare I say, a better way?

Perhaps these are the good things that will come from this challenging time. The renewal of our core business values along with the renewed understanding of what is so important to our collective businesses – relationships.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Social Media Marketing

As many of us know, social media is becoming increasingly more effective as a marketing tool.  Even the tent rental industry is now leveraging social media.  Well...at least ONE tent rental company that I'm aware of. :)

As the article below mentions, not only must we take advantage of this marketing channel where appropriate, we must also learn how to measure and monetize our efforts, which is sometimes easier said than done.

Social Media, E-mail Top Investment Areas: Survey

Shoot me a comment and let me know how your company has utilized social media or how you intend to.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

First Tent Blog Ever!

Ok, I haven't exactly conducted research to definitively claim the "first tent blog ever", but I'm going with it.

This is my first post for "In-Tents" a Stamford Tent & Event Services blog. I plan on providing informative, interesting stories, news and ideas on a fairly regular basis. Most related to tenting, others related to the events industry as a whole, and still others that have nothing to do with our industry but that I've found interesting or amusing.

I also plan to have our President, Steve Frost contribute when I can tie him down for a few minutes (easier said than done!). Other members of our senior managment team will also chime in from time to time; Tim Frost, VP; Brian Rieke, Director of Operations and perhaps our CFO, Barry Bosworth who will tell you how I spend way too much money. Oh yes, good stuff.

I attended the ISES (International Special Events Society) "Rock The Holidays" Party last night at the Highline Ballroom in Manhattan. I had a blast, met some very interesting and friendly people who I look forward to speaking with and seeing again soon. I'll leave you with two relatively non descript pictures from the event (courtesy of my cell phone). Good thing I'm not a photographer by trade, that's for sure! Not the most awe-inspiring pictures you'll ever see, but pictures just the same.