Charisma Productions Gazette
Volume 2, Issue 5 May 2010
The Importance of Meetings Don’t Believe the Snow Job the
and Incentive Programs in a Facilities Give You
Down Economy Back By Popular Demand
Penny Wise and Pound Foolish Mandatory Usage of In-house AV
Charisma Productions Network Charisma Productions Network
Historically, incentive programs and meetings have Have you ever put together an event or meeting and
been the early victims of economic downturns. In the used a facility? Did you need AV for your event? Did
current economy it has impacted the industry; there are the facility tell you that it is was mandatory to use their
reports of cancellations, delayed plans, and general in-house AV? Well, guess what? That’s a “snow job”
cutbacks. With that as background, it is wise to restate the facilities use to make even more money from
the need for continued use of incentives and meetings unknowing planners. Most facilities use private AV
even if on a somewhat contained basis. companies that have negotiated with the facility to
provide service. What does this mean? Basically it
Some managers react to these situations by means that the AV company provides an estimate of all
immediately cutting all “unnecessary” expenses without the equipment that you request and labor needed to
looking at bottom line impact. “Unnecessary” becomes complete the task.
a very subjective evaluation. Others assess the value When your company sends the facility an RFP they
of each program before deciding the reasonable course have to make a profit on AV equipment and labor as
of action. well. In order for them to make their profit, an extra
There are now numerous studies that show a very 40% - 60% is added to your cost on top of the
definite relationship between motivation, the work equipment and labor rates. Let’s face it, they’re in
environment, and bottom line profits. Satisfied workers business, like everybody else to make a profit.
produce at a higher, more efficient rate. The In-house AV services charge you 40%-60% more than
management dictum that employees are satisfied just a production company. Why? Because they have
to have a job in difficult times has long been disproven. contracted with facilities and they have to pay the
Keeping employees and customers satisfied especially facility to be there. So, for example, a power surge
in difficult times is the basis of reaping healthy profits. protector that you need in a conference room, can cost
up as much as $50 per day compared to a using an
continued on page 2 outside AV production company which usually includes
power strips and A/C cables at no charge. What a
INSIDE THIS ISSUE After making numerous calls in the past months and
hearing companies say that the facility they are utilizing
1 The Importance of Meetings and Incentive Programs in has told them that it is mandatory that they use their in-
a Down Economy
house AV, I found the need to inform planners that this
is not true! You don’t need to utilize in-house AV. As a
1 Don’t Believe the Snow Job the Facilities Give You matter of fact, by doing so, you will have a MUCH
higher AV bill than utilizing a production company. Not
3 From Our IT Department only will you get a much lower AV bill, but you will also
get more personalized service.
4 Recommended Private Jet Company Also, by utilizing an outside production company you
get a project manager that only works on your event.
5 Recipe of the Month Whereas using the in-house company, they are there
for the whole facility and the response time is very
6 Linked In Monthly Surveys slow. On average the response time for an in-house
AV service is 7 minutes as compared to an outside
production company, working only for your company, of
continued on page 3
continued from page 1
Incentive Programs in Down Economy programs are designed to offer incentive and
motivation in employees and increasing the overall
Keeping your employees engaged and giving them the performance of the company. An incentive program
feeling of being part of the team and appreciated will is a great way to show employees that you value
help them with the mental stress and will improve their their input while at the same time increasing your
outlook. An employee with a positive attitude is just as business potential.
contagious in improving morale in the workplace as a
disgruntled employee is in destroying morale.
In the book, “Contented Cows Give Better Milk”, the
authors compared business results of companies
considered employers of choice with a comparable
group of Fortune 500 companies. (An employer of
choice is a company that is primarily people-driven.)
Although the Employers of Choice had about 1/3 of the
revenue of the others at the start of the study, over a
10-year period (one that included a recession), they:
Outperformed the latter about four to one
Increased net income 202% vs. 139%,
Roughly doubled the net income of the
Added 79,000 jobs while the latter LOST
The point: simply that a motivated, committed work
force --- one that continues to be recognized by
incentive programs that reward excellent performance
--- continues to achieve growth while others stagnate.
Using these programs correctly is a competitive
advantage, especially under difficult economic
conditions. Measuring the success of incentive
programs and meetings – whether return on
investment (ROI) or return on objectives (ROO) or Push the Big Red Button and Contact
anything else – is the best way to show the value. Charisma Productions Network to help
Measurement as a tool for planners and business
leaders is essential at all times. It addresses
you with your next Incentive Program or
requirements of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the need to Meeting
demonstrate results to management, and, often, the
justification for one’s job.
Both incentive suppliers and corporate planners say
that they are increasingly asked for data related to
measuring program results. ROI analysis also helps a
company determine the impact of an incentive
program across the entire operation, something that is
crucial to avoiding long-term problems.
According to the MPI Foundation, “…ROI is THE
single most important tool for a meeting professional.
In today’s economy, with more and more meeting
professionals answering to their Procurement office,
the emphasis on ROI has never been more important.”
Employee Incentive Programs reward exceptional
employees for reaching work goals, achieving
milestones or simply doing a good job. These types of
continued from page 1
From Our IT Department Snow Job
When you give an RFP to a facility, they may come
within your budget, but if you’re not careful and don’t
read the fine print, you may get caught “holding the
bag”. Every time you make a change, no matter how
small, you will be charged extra. At the end of the
event, when you get your final bill you’ll find surprise
back-end service charges, local and city taxes, labor
charges, that you weren’t expecting.
So the next time you begin planning and choosing your
facility, make sure the facility can accommodate the
number of your attendees and rooms needed for your
meetings. Also be sure they can put this in writing and
that they will not do double booking for the same
In order to optimize your computer it is recommended meeting rooms in your allotted time frame, because,
that on a weekly basis you review and delete all you must remember, any changes made, big or small,
unneeded files and programs that you do not utilize will be done at your cost.
on a regular basis. One important question to ask is if they are a union or
After a clean-up you should always de-fragmentize non-union facility. This can bring on even more
your system. You do this by: charges because union facilities have higher labor
1. Go into your control Panel rates.
2. Find the Administrative tools icon. Double Most importantly remember always send your RFP
click on it. with your budget constraints out to bid. Get at least 3
3. Find the Computer Management icon. bids, one being your facility, and see who can, not
Double click on it. only, stay within the restraints of your budget, but can
4. On the left hand side find the Disk also provide you with the service that you would like to
Defragmenter icon and double click on it. have. This is not going to cost you extra. Bids on
This will begin your defragmenting process and RFP’s are at no charge to you.
will tell you when the program completes. After
this your computer should run smoother.
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From Our Executive Chef, Gustavo Castano
Inside-Out Chicken Cordon Bleu
3 tablespoons apricot jam
½ teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
4 6-ounce skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese (about 3 ounces)
8 thin slices black forest ham
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 shallot, minced
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 cups baby greens
Mix the jam, thyme, salt and pepper to taste in a bowl. Lay out a long piece of plastic wrap on a cutting board.
Place the chicken on half of the plastic wrap and then fold the remaining plastic wrap to cover the top of the
chicken breast and pound the chicken to about ¼ inch thickness.
Uncover the chicken breasts and brush half of the jam mixture evenly on top of each breast. Mound a quarter
of the cheese on each piece of chicken, then wrap 2 slices of ham around each breast to cover the cheese.
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook
until golden and crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn and cook on the other side until cooked through but still moist, 3 to
4 more minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk the shallot, mustard, vinegar and the remaining jam mixture in a medium bowl. Slowly
whisk in the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil to make a smooth dressing.
Place each piece of chicken on a plate and drizzle with a small amount dressing. Toss the greens with the
remaining dressing; serve with the chicken. Enjoy.
Prep and Cook time: 25 minutes
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Thank You for Your Support
We wish to thank our readers and our clients for their support and feedback helping to continually grow the Charisma
Productions Network. We look forward to another successful year in 2010 as we continue to grow and provide you
with successful stress-free events.
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