Common Problems Faced By Event Organizers: What Is the Solution?

Event organizers are facing a lot of problems these days. Before the emergence of the internet, people had no concept of social media platforms or online promotion of events and activities. However, with the internet and the rapid popularity of social media tools, enterprises are now facing a tough challenge merging traditional marketing strategies with the more advanced online promotional tactics. Moreover, the present worldwide recession has led many organizations to seriously think of various cost cutting measures to manage administration within a limited budget.

Let’s now discuss the most common problems of creating and managing events, irrespective of its size and complexities.

Decreasing Budgets

The basic problem of arranging an event is budget. Event planners must keep in mind the amount of money required to book and decorate the venue, print hard-copy invitation letters, send them to respective guests, manage the menu for the show, to name a few. Moreover, there is a dire need to recruit additional staff to manage the overall administration before, during and even after the program ends.

Falling Off Event Attendance

With the ongoing worldwide economic crisis, people are showing reluctance in attending corporate meetings and tradeshows. Hence, many organizers are failing to sell their entire inventory of event tickets or maximize registration in spite of putting in their best efforts to make the event successful.

Marketing and Promotion Aspect

Organizing an event is as important as marketing it. Organizers have to give their 100% in promoting the meetings, conferences, etc. to make prospective attendees aware of such happenings. Only then can one develop chances of a full event attendance and tickets sale.

Conference or Meeting Management Problems

It becomes almost impossible for a single person to manage the logistical aspects of a conference or a meeting for their attendees and guests. Therefore, companies are seen hiring external temporary staff to take care of such processes. It takes a lot of time in finding suitable staff for these temporary roles and making them understand the work flow system within the administration of the organization.

Social Media Integration

Individuals are no longer using social media websites for merely personal reasons – they are utilizing Facebook Twitter, MySpace, and so on to meet urgent business needs and objectives. Meeting or seminar planners, therefore, need to focus on this area to expand their reach beyond geographical boundaries.

To address these growing issues and effectively manage events, organizers are seen taking the help of various types of online event management solutions. Such solutions come at a cost-effective rate and is said to be extremely easy to use and time-saving. Online event management solutions/software’s come integrated with a wide range of tools such as registration, payment management, communication, and marketing to help an organization host any type of event in a hassle-free manner.

The Similarities and Differences in Graduate and Undergrading Financial Aid

In less than forty years the cost of a college education has dramatically dramatically and today a college education will cost about ten times as much as it did when I myself attended college. Fortunately though there are now a variety of programs available to help you to fund your education and the path that you follow will depend upon whether you are an undergraduate or a graduate student.

As an undergraduate you will rely on an often compounded mixture of scholarships, grants and loans and, in the case of loans, these will either be taken out alone, by your parents, or as a combination loan in which for example you take out the loan in your own name with your parents as co-borrowers or co-signers to the loan.

By far the most popular student loan program today, which accounts for more than ninety percent of government backed funding, is subsidized and unsubsidized Stafford loans. The most desirable are of course subsidized loans on which the government picks up the bill for interest payments while you are in college and for a grace period of up to six months after you graduate. These loans are however needs based and so there are a couple of hoops which you have to jump through to qualify. Unsubsidized loans in contrast are not needs based and so are available to almost all students.

For a graduate student however the picture is somewhat different and, while there are graduate scholarships and grants available, these tend to be few and far apart. It is however often possible to get a teaching or research assistantship, which is essentially a low paying, long hours job which many graduates avail themselves of to help them through their course or while carrying out research.

Another recently introduced option for graduations is a PLUS loan. PLUS stands for Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students and, as the name suggests, was originally designed to allow parents to take out a preferential loan in order to help a son or daughter through college. Now though this program has been extended to also allow graduate students to take a PLUS loan in their own right.

PLUS loans are available available and are credit, rather than need, based. For some graduates this may cause a problem but the majority of graduations have not had time to get them into the credit problems which are suffering by so many adults today. Consequently, although you may have a sparse credit history, you probably will not have enough bad marks on your credit report to rule you ineligible for a PLUS loan.

The downside of PLUS loans is that, in historical terms at least, current interest rates which are generally either 7.9% or 8.5% are not low. This means that interest charges on even a reliably small loan can be high and repayment will need to start within 60 days of the grant of the loan, with no grace period.

As with all student loans, whether for undergraduates or graduations, there are a variety of different loans available from both government and private sources and, government loans in particular, have different caps for both single loans and lifetime loans from individual programs. As a result this is one area which you will need to research carefully, rather than simply rushing in and applying for the first loan which springs to mind.

How to Manage Your Personal Finances – Retirement Capital Requirements

Many articles have been written about the subject of retirement planning and there are many books published by experts on this very important issue. I have just recently joined the fold of the retired group and I have been through the mill (so to speak) of planning and implementing my retirement plan in it's initial phase. It is this, the initial phase, which I would like to concentrate on in this article.

So, how do I plan my retirement date?

Most companies have contractual dates for retirement. For example, retirement ages could range from 55 years old for early retirement to 60 years old for Directors to 65 years old for operational staff. These dates are generally a guideline since companies do exercise some flexibility when applying these parameters. However, each individual should be using these parameters as a benchmark and then build a projected financial model to see if they are adequately provided for in retirement. Note: The use of a financial advisor is highly recommended in this planning process.

Since the above guidelines, your retirement date is in fact flexible provided that you can satisfy the golden formula which is expressed as: "Accrued income plus passive income must exceed your current cost of living plus an adjustment (up or down) for lifestyle choice in retirement plus inflation projections and sufficient liquid cash for emergencies ".

Let's face it, the thought of early retirement is in the minds of all of us but if you can not afford it, you are heading for suicide.

Let me expand the golden formula as follows:

  • Accrued income is the monthly pension or income that you can derive from your pension accumulation through your working life. This figure will be provided to you by your pension fund or your investment institution.
  • Passive income is income from investments that you made through your working life. Here you consider regular income from property investments, equity investments, dividends, savings interest, business partnerships and any other form of reliable income which you will derive on a monthly basis.
  • Current cost of living is the full annual cost of your current lifestyle. Be extravagant in estimating this figure and be sure to include everything that you incur as a cost.
  • Adjust your retirement requirements up or down depending on your circumstances and your intended lifestyle in retirement.
  • Make adequate provision for injury during your retirement years. Your financial advisor should project your retirement capital adequacy over your expected lifespan.
  • Ensure that you have a 'nestegg "of cash available for emergencies such as buying a new car, unexpected medical bills, renovating your house, helping your kids, taking some holidays and anything else which is relevant to your situation.

I spend many hours pondering the above elements and I suppose it is only natural to be very conservative about whether you can actually go ahead and retire. Assuming that the criteria for the golden formula are met and in order to make the decision a little easier, the following points are highly recommended:

  • You should have no heavy debt burdens. Your mortgage should be paid off, your car hire purchase agreements should be settled and you should have no major debt commitments. In fact, you should be able to live from cash out of your wallet.
  • Your "wish list" for your activities in retirement must be catered for in your planned expenditure.
  • You must not have any plans that requires you to erode your capital base.
  • You need to be sure that your monthly income is pretty secure and you need to have alternative plans if for some reason, your monthly income drops.
  • You need to be able to save some of your retirement income monthly just to prove that you are coping.

In this planning exercise, you need to budget for everything that you want in retirement. Once you have taken the step, there is no turning back if you are serious about retiring. You also do not want to find out that you can not afford some of the things which you had in your vision.

In conclusion, the most important factor in planning your retirement is to ensure that your life partner (if appropriate) is fully informed and on board with the plan and that you create a mutual acceptance and arbitration about your future in retirement.

The above article is created to stimulate thought on your own unique circumstances and you need to tailor your plan accordingly.

Creating An Indoor Herb Garden

Creating an indoor herb garden is quite an easy task as herbs are inexpensive plants that are easy to maintain and are undemanding. An indoor herb garden can be termed as an introductory course for any beginner to the art of gardening.

Depending on their use, herbs can be classified into culinary herbs, medicinal herbs and aromatic herbs. Culinary herbs include basil, rosemary, parsley and oregano. These herbs are used to add spice and flavor in food. Medicinal herbs include plants like echinacea, valerian, hypericum, gingko and garlic that are widely used in medicinal preparations. Oils from plants like lavender, rose, mint and basil are used for aromatherapies. Most of these plants are not suitable for an indoor herb garden as it is difficult to extract the medicinal parts of the plant. Ornamental herbs are those that are grown to enhance the beauty of homes.

You can start with herbs like oregano, rosemary, garlic chives, mint and thyme. You can either buy these plants at a garden center or can use stem cuttings. Containers are useful for growing herbs at home as these are easy to carry and are convenient for adjusting soil mixtures. These containers are available in different colors, so creating an added attraction. You can also start an indoor herb garden from the seed level. Heavy clay or terra cotta pots are preferred as these pots facilitate good circulation of air and water.

You can have a beautiful indoor herb garden if you follow certain tips. Soilless mixture of vermiculite, peat and perlite ensures proper growth of seeds and seedlings. Keeping pots in the southern or western window ensures proper sunlight and air. Soil in the containers and pots should be moist but not damp. Pots should be kept in shady regions during summers. Humidity around indoor plants can be increased if they are grouped together.