Sunday, September 14, 2014

Avoiding Setting your Event up for Failure

On September 11, 2014 “Phoenix Latin” Fashion Week kicked off at the Heard Museum in Phoenix, Arizona.  The three consecutive day event had as a mission “to keep the fashion industry in Phoenix empowered by the designers “. This was the first time that the expected yearly event was presented by two local designers who came up with the idea last year when they started to promote the event.

When I first heard about it I saw a good opportunity not only to offer my company’s services but as a promotional option too.  After few days of approaching the organizers I sent my proposal for the event and it was reject because the price was too high for their budget.  That kind of surprised me but in this business you can expect this to happen.  Either way, I continued pursuing my interest in the event and became a sponsor anyways.

In just two weeks before the event first the something happened that change everything.  The event changed name from Phoenix Latin Fashion Week to Italia Rocks Fashion Week.  Communication with me as a sponsor stopped; and everything turned to a completely different direction.

Wondering what happened I decided to attend the event anyways and instantly I realized what was going on.  Who ever were in charge has no idea of what they were doing.  There was no organization at all. The front door of the venue was open with no one there.  I helped myself and seat at the VIP area, with no ticket and no one ever asked who I was or what I was doing there.  Nothing was ready, music, lights, and runway.   Fifty minutes into the starting time everyone in the audience saw most of the models walking around with their dresses on, some were eating and another just seem clueless on what they were suppose to do. 

In general, what was supposed to be a three-hour opening night turned out to be a 45-minute complete failure.

How can you set up your event up for failure?   I just learned that is really easy.  Not everyone who has an idea have the resources or talent to bring them to life.  99% of the time we all need some kind of help from someone with experience in a specific area or field.  We just can’t do it all and it seems that this was the problem in this example.

When we decide to create an event don’t be afraid to ask for help.  Even as an event planner is ok to ask for it, that won’t make you look as a less of a professional than any other successful planner.  In the case that you want to do it all take the time to learn how to deal with the consequences, good or bad. 

Avoid a failure by doing your research and be organize.  Learn how to manage your time and if this all too much for you, hire a professional.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Angelo Meneguzzi and Steven Gedeon

Mr. Meneguzzi is a business professional with over 12 years of experience. His ventures have allowed him to work with several tech start-ups and has also work in public relations, product development and sales experience (, 2014).  According to Mr. Meneguzzi investors are looking in a business plan how changes in a business environment could affect a company,  what are the opportunities available and how analyze situations to handle them in an effective way before they become problematic.  These are considered important keys on a business plan because it can secure an investment if the investor could count with some kind of peace of mind knowing that there is a plan in place to deal with difficult situations.

                Mr. Gedeon is a bonafide expert on business plans writer and reviewer.  He is also a professor with a PhD and MBA at the Ted Rogers School of Management.  For Mr. Gedeon the critical and key components of a business plan is to know who is the target market, who are your direct competitors and how will you be different from them.  For Mr. Gedeon the most important part of a business plan is the executive summary and the qualifications of the managing team.

                Based on these key factors that these two experts present us, I will have to say that Mr. Meneguzzi has a great point about understanding the challenges that a change on any business environment could bring to our businesses.  I would definitely will take note and apply this to my business plan.  On the other hand, Mr. Gedeon tells us the important of getting to know our direct competitors and describe how will be different from them.  At time this is a big challenge for some of us.  In my case I know in what my company will be differentiate from the others but is kind of hard to describe it on a business plan without making it sound almost impossible.

                Taking notes and applying these experts advices could help complete anyone’s business plan in a successful way.


Sunday, July 13, 2014

Digital Marketing Challenges in the Entertainment Industry

As we all may know, the Digital Era have arrived for some time now, but is not until recently, with growing adaptation of social media sites by the masses and the access to internet in almost all of the developing countries around the world, that digital marketing has become one of the most important tool for advertisers.

These advantages in technology provide different challenges. One challenge that advertisers are facing is trying to help business owners understand how important is to adapt their current business models to the digital era.  This because the marketing strategies are different from the ones that they are used to and at times is difficult to let them understand those differences.

Another challenge is identify the right channel that will fit your business needs.  With fixed marketing budgets, advertisers have to be very careful when selecting a channel that will optimize that budget and with so many channels that could be very difficult to do.  Advertising in social media sites like Facebook and Twitter may not be for every business.

For example, in the entertainment industry, if you are an Audio Visual provider for that industry in general, then you should stay away from Twitter and Facebook and focus more on Blogs, Digital Magazines and other websites that their main focus is in the industry providers and other businesses owners instead the general public.

Suggestions to manage your digital marketing
  • ·       Grow your online presence.
  • ·       Get rid of the 5 years marketing plans (Digital Media change too fast to keep using this)
  • ·       Be aware there is not perfect metrics to measure effectiveness and ROI.
  • ·       Align your digital marketing efforts with traditional ones.
  • ·       Don’t avoid digital presence, your chances of growing your business will be limited.


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

How On Demand Self-Publishing is Changing the Entertainment Industry

Print-On-Demand (POD) publishing refers to the ability to print high-quality books as needed. For self-published books, this is often a more economical option than conducting a print run of hundreds or thousands of books. Many companies, such as Create space (owned by, Lulu and iUniverse allow printing single books at per-book costs not much higher than those paid by publishing companies for large print runs. Most POD companies also offer distribution through and other online and brick-and-mortar retailers. (Fonerbooks, 2014)
                For all my readers out there and now that you know a little about what POD’s are, I’m going to review one of my favorites.   This company is call Lulu, a self-publishing website that allows anyone with a desire of publishing their work to have an easy platform to do so.  Lulu haws reasonable royalties fee system in place.  They allow you to publish in almost any format available today with a lot of freedom and control so you can make the important decisions about your work.
Another advantage of this company is that you can get your work out into Amazon, Barnes & Noble and iBook which are the most known trusted companies in the industry.  At Lulu’s all you have to do is write, edit and format your work, choose your desire format, upload and publish.  It is that simple. They even provide you with free and some low fee templates that you can use.
                 Lulu’s user interface is really easy to understand and follow.  They also have a service with different packages where you can hire a professional to help you publish your book.  In my case, where I’m concentrating my-self into build my live entertainment business, this service will be really helpful.  Let’s face it, some people just don’t have the time to go over all the important steps that a top notch publication requires
                Overall, I invite every single of my readers to check out, it’s a great option to get you started in the self-publishing world.


Sunday, May 11, 2014

Three Legal Liabilities in the Entertainment Industry

1 Madonna Vs Marlon Brando estate – Likeliness and use of images of an Artist
            This is an example of a litigation that impact my industry and in my opinion demonstrate how hard is to use the likeliness of a person just for a short amount of seconds.  In this article, Madonna has been in a legal battle of about 300,000 dollars for the use of the name Marlon Brandon in her song Vogue.  CMG is a company that owns the Intellectual Property rights for the artist and now is asking that Madonna pay them a fee of $5,000 but now they are demanding a fee of $20,000.  Another problem added to this issue is that in case that Madonna loses the litigation she will have to pay $20,000 for each of the other names she mentioned in the song because the agreement estate that everyone must receive the same amount.  CMG also own the rights of the other artist involved.

2 Apple’s iWatch Vs Swatch – Trademarks Problems

            This example is related to my industry because rumors are that Apple will integrate music service as part of the device in question.

            This article present a problem of similarities in a trademark.  Apple has filed for the name iWatch in multiples countries but Swatch, a famous watch company has the trademark of iSwatch which they are challenging the similarities in sound.  At this point there is no lawsuit, just an argument between Swatch and the USPTO. 

I believe that the similarities are close for not saying the sound the same, therefore, in my opinion the USPTO should allow Apple Inc to register the name.  Swatch can get to a financial deal but the situation is just in its first stages.

            As an event planner and producer I found that the lack of protection in the fashion industry is something will have to be addressed soon.  Is hard to walk around and see someone in a gallery or store wearing a dress that is very similar to a costume you create for one of your live shows.

In this video presentation, Johanna Blakey explain to us how little protection the fashion industry have.  The reason that the fashion industry doesn't have any copyright protection is because the courts decided long ago that apparel is too utilitarian to qualify for copyright protection (2010, Blakey).


Madonna locked in legal battle with Marlon Brando's estate. (n.d.). NME.COM. Retrieved May 10, 2014, from

Worstall, T. (2014, May 5). Apple's iWatch Has Trademark Problems With Swatch and the iSwatch And Might Not Be Called iWatch. Forbes. Retrieved May 10, 2014, from

Blakley, J. (n.d.). Transcript of "Lessons from fashion's free culture". Johanna Blakley: Lessons from fashion's free culture. Retrieved May 11, 2014, from

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Creating a Live Event with Limited Resources

            For years now, I had the idea of moving away from event planning and go back to my roots, Live Events.  This is where my real passion within the entertainment industry has always been.  As a high school students I had the opportunity to use school resources to create my events, my art director, took care of every paperwork needed for me to present my shows and many other things that I didn’t knew at the moment were important in order for me to put a great and entertaining show on stage.  That changes after I left my school.

            After graduating, I tried to follow my dreams of continuing creating live events, but because at that point, my school tools and resources were not available I decided to become an event planner.  A lot has happened since then, and today I’m in the process of creating my first live event in years.  After taking into consideration few factors as the target market, collaborators and people that at the moment can help me start this new project; I have decided to create a Tribute Show to the Queen of pop Madonna.

Now the question is the following; how will I be able to create a show that can meet my quality standards and stay on budget with limited resources?  Gone are the days that I have an auditorium, sound and light systems at my disposition.  Living in a big urban city like Phoenix the challenges are higher than if I would produce the project in a smaller town.  I do have a plan, and the same way that I’m using my imagination to create the show I will be using it to find those resources I will need.

Last week I contacted a group of people I know and presented my idea.  I created the excitement and out of 6 people 5 are as today on board with the project.  Next step is to find a venue, this first because everything we create will be based on the amount of space that the show we will present it at.  That would help us reduce our cost as much as we can.

We are in the process of hiring local artists and performers that will like to have to exposure in exchange for their collaboration.  Form now on I will keep updating our progress and ideas.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

An Interview on Negotiation

This past week I got in contact for an interview about negotiation and deal-making skills with Jason Overmyer.  One of Mr Overmyer's professional responsibilities is been an event coordinator for the social worker industry.  Read ahead and find out some of the negotiations technics that he uses when trying to close a deal.

Guillermo: When dealing with your clients, how do you handle positional bargaining? (Such as haggling)

Mr. Overmyer:  My response to bargaining with clients typically comes from a place of negotiating, which always depends on the client and the service. Some services are not negotiable and are strictly fee for service, others can be negotiable, but I do not make that announcement ahead of time. If there is some value and investment in negotiating, such as perhaps a long term commitment or long-term contract with the client then negotiating an agreement is worth discussing. On the contrary, if it’s a one-time service its likely those services will not be negotiable. Another way bargaining and negotiating might be worth considering would be in the case of a hot topic that could likely bloom into some other business down the road. Therefore, in sum, I like to have some flexibility with my bargaining but also have some clear cut, fixed services that are not up for bargaining or negotiating.

Guillermo: How do you work towards mutual beneficial agreements when negotiating a deal?

Mr.Overmyer: First, I want to know what the desired outcome is from the client so that I am providing a service to meet their needs, not doing something that is for me. I want to make sure that it’s a good fit. I am open and honest about what I can do for them and if there are any limitations, I will put them on the table upfront. The last thing I want is to get into a contract or service, and have any ambiguity with the service. So I will draw up some type of informed consent: an explanation of the services and cost. I typically explain the cost of the service in addition to the cost of the labor (work) that goes into its production. I think it’s important not to exaggerate or inflate your own capabilities and also be sincere with what your opinion is on the service requested. I always provide options and alternatives if I think their ideas might be flawed or they need direction.

Guillermo: Have you ever encounter or use any dirty tricks in a negotiation?

Mr. Overmyer: Yes, I have encountered several incidents of clients attempting to negotiate outside of a legal contract or avoid making a commitment in order to manipulate the agreement and possibly make some legal claim down the road that services were not provided to meet their needs.
I have also had a few clients negotiating with myself and other agencies simultaneously in an attempt to peace meal some deal together for a cheaper cost.  When I become aware of that, I usually set boundaries with them and suggest they look for services elsewhere. I do not want my agency being part of that process.

Guillermo: How do you use objective criteria to negotiate better agreements?

Mr. Overmyer: I think we have a flexible but firm fee schedule that typically is not open for negotiating unless like I said earlier there is some long term investment or special circumstance. We also try and keep data from our clients who had success with us. We provide satisfaction surveys and opportunities for exit interviews after the job has been completed to improve performance over the long term and to demonstrate performance to new customers. We also provide a comparison review of the other agencies that provide similar services in regards to their cost, outcomes, and performance so they will have some context with our agency. We show that are agency is cost effective, provides a unique service and far exceeds satisfaction from competitors.