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Tactics to Ease Event Planning Stress

shutterstock_16520041We all know event planning is a stressful job. In 2012 it was rated as the 6th most stressful job in the world, just behind being a police officer and an army general. How can you make it more bearable? Read on to find out.

Learn to use tech, don’t get owned by it

Technology offers the biggest advantage when it is fully integrated and proven. It’s absolutely the way to improve efficiency and get things done better. But, if you change with every new bit of tech, you’ll never settle down into a productive pattern. The very chaos you’re trying to control will control you.

A really safe play is trying not to be the first or last person to adopt a new technology – you’d look pretty daft registering attendees by fax or taking payments by banker draft. You’d be similarly unsuccessful if you tried something so new no one has ever heard of, even if it’s going to be the next big thing. Trying to chase the trend will cause stress. Using it to make your life easier will make it much more pleasant.

Break things down into manageable chunks

Breaking down an event in to small, achievable tasks is one of the most effective ways to lower stress. Then make a record of each small task. This will make the whole task much easier to visualize and understand. It also will enable you to track progress and really see where the problems are. All of this reduces stress by making it manageable.

Prioritize and plan

At this point you’ve got an idea of all the individual things that need to come together to make the event happen. Now you need to assign your effort to the right place, as no one can do everything at once; and, you’d get stressed trying.

You need to work out where the bottlenecks are – those things everything else depends upon. You also need to work out where the tasks have a high pay off, or that require early work. This will help you to prioritize, another key part of staying sane.

Don’t Multitask

Most people who try to multitask will end up taking longer to get tasks done or, more likely, will end up with the tasks being completed to a lower standard than would be the case if they were attempted alone. But, for this topic, multitasking will cause stress as you will have too many important balls in the air at one time.

Whatever your event, Exclusive Sedan offers excellent ground transportation in the Los Angeles area. We love supporting events and are proud of the relationships we’ve built with many private and corporate clients over the years. For your ground transportation needs, not just in LA but worldwide, Exclusive Sedan should be your choice for peace of mind, quality and above all excellent service.

 

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5 Critical Tips For International Business Travel

shutterstock_54292804Travelling to foreign countries on business can be a tricky and daunting affair. While you’re far more likely to forget something important than succumb to a tropical disease, there are many sensible steps you can take to ensure your trip is a successful one. This week’s post looks at the 5 most critical tips for international business travelers to ensure your trip goes well.

1.            Adaptors and voltage

Not being able to charge your devices would be a real issue, destroying your computer with the wrong voltage would be much more serious. It’s therefore critical to get the right type of voltage adaptor; some are for powerful, high wattage devices like cookers, irons and so on and others are more appropriate for smaller lower power devices. Do some research and ask the right questions before purchasing an adapter. A good solution to further cut down on cables and plugs is to take a USB charger for each separate device that you can plug into your computer to charge.

2.            Respect customs agents

Customs agents have immense power over your life for a very short period of time and they know it. Being pleasant to customs agents, even when they don’t deserve it, is both free and likely to keep you out of trouble. Telling them who you are, or how important something is, is very unlikely to make your trip smoother. Stick to polite and respectful discussion and you’ll almost always be fine.

3.            Sleep before you go

International business can be really tiring; you have to travel for an extended period, perhaps across several time zones, stay somewhere strange and then you are required to perform. If you go in to this unduly tired you’re setting yourself up to fail. The sensible play is to get a little rest, where you can best achieve it, at home before setting off.

4.            Connectivity

While finding Internet connectivity is no big deal here in the United States, it may be in your destination. You may have to pay, even in your hotel so do a little research before you leave.

5.            Eat smart

Nothing will ruin your trip faster than an intestinal parasite. While you may not need to worry about the food quality in many places there are things you can and should be doing to minimize the risk. First and foremost is hand washing and sticking to bottled water, this will cut down many of the problems you’ll face. You should then try and avoid food which is totally new for you and stick to the most reputable restaurants.

Exclusive Sedan offers excellent corporate ground transportation in the Los Angeles area. We know that our customers are frequent travelers – both national and international – so we hope that these short tips are of use. For your ground transportation needs, not just in LA but worldwide, Exclusive Sedan should be your choice for peace of mind, quality and above all excellent service

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Corporate Travel Focus 2014: Travel Risk Management, Data Security and Mobile Tech

limousine, limo service los angeles, sedan service, limousine service LACorporate travel management company, HRG, has predicted that 2014 will see an increasing focus on risk management, data security and additional mobile technology. We know our customers like to stay in touch with developments and predictions in the world of business travel, so this week’s post brings you some predictions for what will be big in 2014.

Travel Risk Management

The UK-based HRG believes travel management departments will expand their capacity for risk management. This will be in part due to more overall international travel to emerging markets, where travel safety is a concern and also due to more instability in these regions themselves. West Africa and South East Asia where both growth areas, with these trends according to the predictions.

HRG recommends companies develop crisis response capabilities as they develop business opportunities in these emerging markets. “All clients demand a level of control to ensure their corporate duty of care responsibilities are met. Travel managers require at the touch of the button the ability to see where their travellers are and have the risk management procedures in place to help them when they are in need.” Said, Stewart Harvey, HRG Group commercial director.

Travel Data Security

HRG also sees an increased prominence of a global data consolidation strategy as the best mitigation to the risks associated with privacy and data protection. The enforcement of such a strategy would mean quality control assurances should protect corporate travel information from loss or theft.

Harvey added: “Data protection and privacy concerns have dominated the news agenda in 2013. Well publicised incidents involving compromised corporate data, and the risks this brings to personal privacy, has sharpened clients focus on the security of their travel related data.”

Mobile Technology

While nothing new, HRG firmly has the view that mobile tech still has much room for development in the realm of business travel going forward. Linked to data security issues, the expansion of mobile tech will compound policy compliance issues for travel managers but present even more opportunities for gains through integration in the coming year, the TMC predicted. Specifically, mobile tech, sensibly implemented can assist with compliance, control and monitoring of travel; opening up ever more opportunities for travel managers to find efficiencies

Harvey again: “Not only will consolidating the travel programme reduce risk to client’s data, their traveler’s privacy and their security, it will also provide opportunity for cost savings.”

The importance of mobile tech was also highlighted in a recent study of corporate travel trends by Amadeus. The study revealed that the vast majority (83%) of TMC and agencies believe smartphones would have a moderate to significant impact on their business going forward in the coming year.

Exclusive Sedan is a company that has an immensely high regard for corporate travel managers; we know you perform multiple tasks with dedication and commitment. We’re proud of our relationships with you, not just here in L.A. but throughout the world. We hope that this short summary has proved useful and would offer you the suggestion that the next time you need quality ground transportation in the L.A. area you consider a company that understands that long term success is built on working with partners in the travel industry to build fruitful and enduring relationships. Call our team today to see what we can offer.

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How to Stage an Event Your Employees Will Never Forget

As ever more is demanded of our professional life, finding time for a corporate event can be increasingly challenging. People are already spending the majority of their time with one group of professionals, so asking them to spend more time voluntarily can be a big ask. If you are trying to organize events it’ll be clear that more is required than ‘the same thing that we did last year.’ This week’s post brings you three quick ideas that, if done well, will ensure that you event engages, thrills and above all achieves its aims.

Sensational SpeakersEVENT sign with orange letters

Trying to motivate employees can be a challenge; very few of us are what you could call motivational leaders. You could however, easily find someone who can inspire and perhaps has learnt valuable lessons at the human level but maybe in an entirely different career field. What’s more, a big sporting name or well known artist will serve to add a sense of anticipation and energy that it may otherwise be difficult to generate. One of the challenges will be to link it and them in to the event’s theme. Perhaps you need to get someone who can talk determination or teamwork. Whatever the theme, be sure to check that your sensational speaker can fit the bill.

Terrific themes

Choice of theme is important if you want to stage an unforgettable event. It does not have to be wildly ‘out there’, simply well done and fun. The theme should be the start point for everything from music to food so get it right: check your choice is going to inspire the right people by simply asking.

The unexpected

If you truly want to have you event remembered for the right reasons then getting attendees to try something they’ve never done before could be the right answer. This does not need to be a monumental physical exertion; a simple but uncommon activity could be great. Try and link this unexpected thing back into theme and make it fun. If your theme was determination, try hiring a survival expert to teach your attendees how to start a fire with only natural tools, for example.

There is one aspect where you should not try and surprise employees with a novel solution: ground transportation. You need a quality, reliable and luxurious solution built on a history of success. Exclusive Sedan has been providing outstanding ground transportation in the L.A area for over 30 years. We have a vast number of repeat corporate clients because we are always looking to build long term relationships that are founded upon delivering consistently outstanding service.

We can provide chauffeured and bespoke travel solutions for all occasions and would be delighted to explain exactly what we can do to make your own unique situation better. Call us today to find out just how.

 

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Tips From Savvy Event Pros

EVENT sign with orange lettersAt a recent event and meeting industry gathering in Long Beach, the Long Beach Convention & entertainment Center’s upgrades and Pacific Ballroom debut, event pros gathered to discuss the most burning issues in the industry today. Today’s post distills the key information for your benefit.

1.            Social media to justify spend on decor

Caravents’s, Cara Kleinhaut picked up on the theme of décor being the base for rapid proliferation of brand messages, saying: “Social media has given us new reasons to put money toward decor, because we need to give all the brand ambassadors [that is to say, every guest in the room] something to talk about.”

2.            Connect with influencers

Identifying those who already have an engaged audience in your area or industry is key; these influencers, that is to say: bloggers, social media stars and prominent individuals, are worthy of special effort. Picking up on this theme, C.E.O. of Middle Child New Media, Lindsay Fultz, said: “They do all the work for you. They do the heavy lifting. Nothing makes me happier than looking out at an event and seeing people [on their smartphones] and promoting it in real time.”

3.            Focused presence

The value of quality over quantity was again stressed. Liz King, of Events’s Liz King, said: “You don’t have to do everything to become successful. If you have an amazing blog, that’s all you need,”…“Something that provides really valuable content that engages people.”

4.            Realizing full value

Making the most of what you have was emphasized by Smarter Shift’s Jenise Fryatt. “The key is to take the content that you already have at your events and make the best use of it,”…“For instance, you can take the summaries of your sessions, and you can create blog posts for the rest of the year with that. You’ve got 365 days a year of marketing for your event and creating community.”

5.            Keeping the human touch

The tendency add restraint to your online voice in the name of professionalism, was observed, along with the possible damaging consequences by a number of participants. As social media has human interaction at its heart, people will most likely engage if they feel they’re connecting with real people. “Don’t set out to create a brand and try to follow [that brand identity] with your voice,” King assserted. “Just be yourself.”

As an added tip, she suggested picking tools that interface and integrate with one another. “If you’re looking at solutions, try to look at solutions that play well together,” she said.

 

7.            Green economies

The myth that being green costs more was thoroughly discounted.  “Today there’s no more expense on the sustainability side. Ten years ago, there was an expense difference if you wanted to do sustainable flatware or dinnerware; it was a very limited source of products. Now there’s a demand for it, and once there’s a demand for it, the price goes down,” said Shaun Beard of Savor (responsible for catering at the event) “Caterers help push the manufacturers. [We’re telling them] it can’t just be a round disposable plate, but it has to have character.”

We hope these tips have some utility. As a Los Angeles based ground transportation company, Exclusive Sedan can offer more than just advice to get your event moving. We provide the full spectrum of business and leisure chauffeured transportation and have a long history of working with event organizers to provide outstanding levels of service, planning advice and support. Operating in the Los Angeles area and with affiliates throughout the world, we’d love to hear from you, so call us today to ensure one aspect of your event planning is not of concern.

Posted in conferences, events planning, limo service, limousine service, los angeles limo service, Los Angeles transporatation, meeting planners | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Natural Ways to Get More Energy for Your Business Trip

sedan service, los angeles limo, limo service LABusiness travel can be tiring for even the most energetic youngster. For most it’s exhausting; you’ve got to juggle many competing issues, adjust to flight delays and last minute changes. If you find business travel daunting this post brings you some simple, healthy and easy ways to boost you energy levels.

Cleanliness is next to godliness

It’s surprising how reinvigorating being clean is. If you have the chance to freshen up after a long flight, take it. Even if you’re pushed for time and facilities, a disposable facial wipe can still work wonders. Some in the military, who’re presumably pretty tired, say that a fresh pair of socks and cleaning your teeth is as good as a night in a warm bed. This might be overstating things but it will always pay to keep a spare pair of socks in your travel bag.

If you’re tired it may be compounded by mental inactivity after travel. You can quickly remedy this by calling someone you know will be fun to talk to. Similarly, physical inactivity after a long day on the road can add an artificial layer of fatigue that a walking or hitting the gym can blast out.

Long term factors

As well as short term ‘quick fixes’ veteran road warriors need to adopt long term healthy routines. This is about the right combination of rest, exercise, nourishment and avoiding doing unhealthy things along with all your business tasks. Perhaps a ‘campaign attitude’ will be required, you’re going to be doing this a lot and must stay healthy rather than thinking it is a one off and you can let everything slide.

A healthy diet will help to boost energy levels. It can be a challenge to eat well on the go but it has certainly got easier in recent years. You’ll find most airports have healthy outlets stocking quality fresh products. Some find it helpful to take a small supply of healthy snacks to avoid temptation from kicking in.

Something that most of us could do, that costs nothing and that requires no real change to our lifestyle to have a healthy pay off is to drink more water. Also helpful is steering clear of too much coffee and alcohol. How much is too much? This is a difficult question to answer; much more than you usually have is probably a good compromise answer.

Exclusive Sedan is a Los Angeles based ground transportation company that offers business and leisure travelers the best in ground transportation in our fine city and beyond. We appreciate that business travel is challenging and tiring which is why we operate a dedicated fleet of vehicles and drivers that are optimized to make your life as simple as possible from the moment we meet you to the point at which you’ve got where you need to be. Call us today for the best business ground transportation.

 

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Taming the Email Monster

limo service LA, sedan serviceAs technology get ever better, smaller and more mobile, the possibilities for digital communication continue to soar. Some tech, like spam filters can help reduce the overall volume but it’s fair to say that most consider email to be a monster, requiring daily cutting back.

While critical messages deserve your time, much is either unhelpful or just plain nonsense and the volume is huge. This can lead to you being controlled by not controlling the email monster before and after working hours as well as at weekends. This post is a few ideas for getting the monster under control.

Don’t do complaints by email  A grievance is best dealt with in person or by phone. Experts agree that 70% of communication is non-verbal, so an email cannot convey the exact nation and seriousness of your grievance. More importantly, it can be taken out of context or misinterpreted – so speak face to face.

This is equally true if you get a complaint from by email. Try and speak to them, just this act may go a long way to resolving the issue and critically, it’s probably quicker than writing a email.

Email only in office hours  Technology allows us to be on duty permanently. The human mind and body do not. And, quite often tasks will expand to fill the available time and not vice-versa. Once people realize that you only read and respond to email during office hours, the monster will be much easier to control.

Signatures save everybody time  A well thought out signature block with your name and contact details will save every-body time.  You, as you don’t need to write it out each time and your recipient, as they can get directly back in touch with you.

Subject lines are supreme  Many email are never read, most subject lines are. This is partly how programs and smartphones display incoming mail and partly human nature. It also help recipients to sort and reply to your correspondence. Similarly, an email that has ‘Fwd:’ or ‘Re’ as a subject line does not help anybody.

One issue, one email  While it’s tempting to combine multiple issues into a single email, single-focus email messages are more efficient and will produce much clearer answers for you and trail for audit.

Avoid attachments  If less email are read than subject lines, still fewer attachments are opened. There are technical reasons for this like virus checkers but it’s simply more effort. So if you can, avoid them.

Proofread before sending  Many issues with email would be avoided by proofreading. The key thing to check is your intent. Can this be understood? Grammar, spelling and the eloquence of your message, while maybe important are of secondary issue.

Just voted as the Best Limo Service in the Los Angeles area on The Hottest List, Exclusive Sedan see the pressures on people in management positions every day, email in no way makes this easier. We know that you are exceptional people delivering exceptional results for our companies; we’re proud of you. That’s also why we hope these points are of some small use to you. We can also offer one further service to you: the best chauffeured limousine service in the L.A. area and through our affiliates worldwide, that you can find. Call us today or visit us online at www.exclusivesedan.com to see exactly what this means.

 

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8 Questions You Should Ask Your Caterer Before An Event

sedan service, limo service la, limo service los angelesFor event planners, successful catering is one of the ‘must work’ aspects. Get in wrong and the event could fail and every one will remember the terrible food and beverage, get it right and it will barely be worthy of mention. So this post deals with the 8 critical questions that you caterer should successfully answer to ensure that your event will be a success.

1.            What is your signature?

Every catering company will have its own specialty, so it’s a good idea to find this out in advance. Further, you need to know what their level of expertise and style is. Questions like: “how would you describe your food” or “what is the difference between you and other caters” are best, as they’re open.

2.            How will you cater for guests with dietary restrictions and allergies?

Providing for special dietary needs—like vegetarian, kosher, vegan and gluten-free— are not really negotiable in today’s catering environment. So your caterer has got to provide satisfactory answers to these questions.

3.            How do you source your food?

Knowing where your food will come from is not just about keeping up with the farm-to-table movement, it’s also about checking that the provider is responsible and capable. If they are both these things, they’ll know straight away where their fruit, vegetables and meat come from. If they don’t know or, more likely don’t answer straight away, they’re maybe not the best outfit. Plus, your guests are likely to be interested in where their food is coming from.

4.            Are you appropriately insured and do you have all the necessary permits?

As an event organizer, you need to take care of everything and not just get seduced by the exotic smells and tastes. You need to check that the company has all the necessary health and safety measures in place, so ask.

5.            What are your water and power requirements?

Along with the health and safety matters, you need to get the practical matters in order. Water and power may not be easy to fix at the last minute, so it’s a good idea to find out what you’re going to need and plan early to make sure it happen.

6.            Which rentals does your proposal include?

Rental inclusions will make a big difference to your bottom line, so you need to get an idea in advance. You need to check if they’re any other expenses which are not included in the catering company’s proposal but that you’ll need to factor in later.

7.            How does your staff dress?

The dress of the catering staff is going to have an effect on your event’s overall feel, so you need to check this one in advance. Most will go for black slacks, a white button-down shirt, and black tie, this may be fine but equally, it could ruin your desired theme or decoration, so consider it at this stage.

8.            How is staff tipping handled?

Tipping can be a sensitive issue, so get it out in the open early. Soliciting tips will probably be inappropriate and cause embarrassment on all sides, so a well place question will avoid this.

Getting catering right is important to your event’s success. We hope that at the very least these short tips will prevent you from having any disasters on this front. Exclusive Sedan Service Worldwide can ensure that one other aspect goes according to plan: as a luxury and corporate limousine company, we have a massive amount of experience of supporting all kinds of events in the Los Angeles area with efficient, punctual and deluxe transport. We can scale our services to meet all needs and budgets, so call us today to make this aspect of you event a certain success.

 

 

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TSA Tips: How to Travel With Medication

limo service la, limo service los angelesAn important and regular question in the world of travel is: “Can I take my medication with me.” The short answer is yes. There are however, a number of qualifiers. So, this week’s post gives you all that you need to know about traveling with medication.

Medication can be in solid or pill form in unlimited (read reasonable) quantity as long as it has been screened. Medication in liquid form can be carried in ‘reasonable quantities’ for your personal use on the flight. This means you can, if appropriate, carry more than the 3.4 ounces that is the usual limit for carry-on liquids. Also, liquid medication need not be in a clear zip-to bag.

When you’re at security and have medically required liquids, you need to declare it at the start of the screening process. The liquid will be subject to increased security measures that may mean you have to open the container.

While you can travel with medication in both carry-on and checked baggage, it’s highly recommended that you place these items in your carry-on. If you need to get to them in an emergency or your baggage gets lost you’re covered.

Although the TSA does not require passengers to have medications in prescription bottles, states may have individual laws that relate to the labeling of prescription medication that can be carried.

The usual process is for all medication to be screened by X-ray. If you have an objection to this, then speak up before the items are on the conveyer belt and instead your items will be inspected by other measures.

We hope that this short summary of the relevant security measures for travelling with medicaments has been useful. While the information was correct at the time of writing, you are strongly advised to check both local and federal security measures before flying.

The next time you need quality ground transportation in the L.A. area you should choose Exclusive Sedan Service Worldwide. We are a company that understands that long term success is built on working with partners in the travel industry to build fruitful and enduring relationships.

 

 

 

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3 Signs That You Need More Corporate Teambuilding

sedan service, limo service LA, limo service los angelesThe challenges facing today’s companies are enormous – they must cope with the current economic and regulatory environment, in an ever more competitive world. The most successful companies devote time, effort and resources to ensure that their workforce is not just selected but trained and motivated. Some companied don’t even realize that their staff is not functioning at 100%, perhaps the background noise or massive travel requirements means that management has just not observed any signals. Or perhaps, they’re not quite sure what they should be looking for.

Silent Meetings

If you only see the same employees engaging in every meeting while the majority remains silent, you may need to address this with some teambuilding. Employees could be quit for a number of factors but if they’re consistently silent it could point to a larger issue. Perhaps, they feel their opinion does not count or, worse still, that no one will listen to them. Either way it is not a symptom of a fully functioning team, one that is more than the sum of its constituent parts.

Silent Offices

A relatively noisy start to the morning is normally a signal of a healthy office. If your employees stop and say hello to each other first thing it points to a good working environment where they have an interest in each other. If they only communicate when compelled to, there are maybe unresolved issues under the surface.

Arguing Employees

Active discussion is a good sign but frequent arguments or entrenched positions are a sure sign that something is wrong. Office hostility should be turned into positive engagement by a multi pronged management led strategy of teambuilding and if necessary conflict resolution. Again, people need to communicate at a human level.

A functioning team is a key ingredient of a productive office. A really well functioning team must be your goal; this sounds attractive but the reality is often that you must spend time monitoring the little signals that will add up to a problem. If you perceive an issue then there is an entire teambuilding industry there to suggest a solution but first and foremost, your solution should be good management and open communication.

As an exceptional ground transportation company in the Los Angeles area we see the pressures on people in management positions every day. If we can help you with the best chauffeured limousine service in the L.A. area and through our affiliates worldwide, call us today. We are here to help!

 

 

 

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