The show must go on.

After months of pandemic-induced quarantine and a slow-down to business as we know it, many organizations have switched their focus from surviving this crazy year to thriving during uncertain times.

Do you are one of those businesses who understand that you need to adapt to current circumstances and find a way to keep your organization moving, growing, and rocking?  Do you realize that to do this you need to keep things fresh and exciting? These two words have never once been used to describe online meetings, virtual training, or team-building exercises done while your team members are nowhere near one other.

Most virtual meetings are boring, attendees are disengaged and distracted, and the event is quickly forgotten.

Until now.

There’s a way to keep your meeting attendees focused and enthusiastic (even when they are working remotely)? It’s called virtual or online gaming. If you are planning a virtual event, and you actually want your employees to enjoy it and benefit from it, incorporating online gaming is the way to go.

What is Online or Virtual Gaming?

Online or virtual gaming can be incorporated into your virtual training, team-building, or product development events, or used as standalone activities to reward your team for a job well done. These games can be broadcast on any platform and be 100% content-driven and customized. Here are a few ideas:

  • Virtual Golf Tournaments
  • Virtual Casino Games
  • Rock Star Bingo (this isn’t your grandmother’s bingo!)
  • Trivia
  • Corporate Feud (with customized questions for your organization)
  • Virtual Escape Rooms
  • Blinko
  • Wheel Of Knowledge
  • See more options at irlevents.co

 

Since these games are often just software programs that get launched during the virtual meeting, it’s essential to get assistance from someone with experience and the tools to take the stress out. That means a full digital show production with a green screen, production operator, executive producer, chat monitor, an engaging host or emcee, and everyone you need so you can focus on the rest of the meeting and enjoy your own event.

How Can You Get the Best Experience from Online or Virtual Gaming?

If you hadn’t yet noticed, technology issues are a big challenge in our current reality. With new platforms popping up every day, Problems are bound to arise.  In small, friendly meetings, most attendees just shrug off technical problems with “these are the times we live in,” and talk quietly amongst themselves while everything is sorted out, however, in a larger or more professional setting, a tech issue could send your attendees in search of a mid-afternoon snack, and your event off the rails.

Tech challenges are one of the reasons why you need to have an experienced virtual emcee at the helm who won’t freak out when your platform does. If a tech disaster strikes, and you aren’t able to load a program, your emcee knows how to keep the attendees entertained and engaged while your tech team can search for answers.

Even without tech challenges, an emcee is there to makes sure the event runs smoothly, keep everyone on time, and maintain high energy and engagement throughout your corporate conference. They are the virtual glue that holds your meeting together.  Please don’t leave this role to the sales manager or CEO who has better uses for his or her time… not to mention no experience!

Marvelless Mark Kamp is a digital emcee/virtual host who can make your event a success. He’ll have your meeting attendees rockin’ in their home offices and participating as if they were all in the same room. Don’t you want to maximize the retention of the content and increase the level of experience of your virtual meeting or corporate conference?  Contact him today to find out how he can make your online event unforgettable with virtual games and gameshows.

 

While virtual presentations have become a way of life in our current world, some online experiences are falling flat for attendees.

Your goal for an online event is the same as for a live event… create an experience that your attendees won’t soon forget. Yes, you want to deliver content, and you also want to deliver it in a memorable way that will leave a lasting impact on the people you serve.  If you’re planning a virtual event for your organization, there are ways to ensure that your guests are not only engaged but wowed.

5 Ways to Make Your Virtual Event Fun and Engaging

While your goals are the same, the way in which you achieve those goals is vastly different. A virtual event doesn’t mean your presenters can “phone in” their performance. In fact, the energy level of an online event will have to be even higher than in-person in order to transfer to an audience at home. It’s not difficult to feel the hum of energy at a live event, just think about the last time you went to a rock concert or a hockey game. You’ve probably never felt that excitement watching a live music performance or a game while sitting alone in your living room.

What used to stand in your way at an in-person event (room temperature, seat comfort, access to the restrooms, and food choices), has been replaced by comfortable bunny slippers and the draw of a television strategically placed in your attendee’s home office.

The great news is there are several techniques you can incorporate into your virtual events to raise the energy level.

Green Screen

Let’s face it; most speakers don’t have the most interesting backgrounds. Your presenters may have even upgraded their home office or studio with draping or a classy backdrop. Sure, it’s better than looking at a blank wall or their kitchen, but will it bring the energy you need to get your attendees fired up?

A green screen allows the presenter to dazzle your audience with exciting visuals that change frequently to keep them on their toes.

Music

Music is powerful. From the spine-tingling notes of a classical piece to the heart-pounding excitement of rock-and-roll, the music we choose can affect our emotional and mental state. A good virtual presenter can craft the perfect playlist to guide your attendees through their journey.

Props

Everyone learns differently. While some need to hear a concept to take it to heart, others have to see it in action before they can absorb the information. Props can be used to demonstrate a point, add humor to the presentation, and give the audience a visual cue to really capture a concept.

Humor

There’s nothing quite like humor to drive a point home and to keep us engaged. Audiences love to laugh and humor breaks up the monotony of dry content. Incorporating humor into your event will go far in making it a memorable experience for everyone.

Interactive Activities

Even the most fascinating presentation can be a challenge to focus on when you’re sitting behind a computer screen. Sitting still, all alone in your home office or living room, can make anyone tired and disengaged.

How do you remedy this?

Make your audience work! Using interactive elements where your audience needs to stand up, move, and do something will keep them awake and interested.

The even better news is you don’t have to do all of this by yourself.

Hiring a Virtual Presenter

Just like live speakers and entertainers, all virtual presenters are not created equal. Many speakers made the shift to virtual events; few really understand what goes into a successful virtual presentation.

In order to make your event stand out, you need a virtual presenter with character, personality, and enough energy to make your attendees feel like they are back in a conference hall, rocking out together.

You need Marvelless Mark for your next event.

 

“Marvelless” Mark Kamp has more than 20 years of experience as a speaker, entertainer, and Las Vegas headliner. This has given him a unique perspective on the event industry and an array of tricks to pull out of his hat.

Mark knows what it takes to keep your audience fully engaged. He uses a $15,000 back-up band in the form of a multimedia presentation with videos, high-resolution photos, music, stimulating visuals, and cartoons. He harnesses the raw power of rock-and-roll to keep your attendees on the edge of their seats… until they jump out of them. He encourages the audience to drum to the beat, using items they can find on their desk and teaches them how to use hand cues and signals to communicate with him on video.

If the visuals from his green screen backgrounds and props don’t wake up the audience, his branded jackets certainly will.

You need your next event to be a success and that means you need Marvelless Mark Kamp as your go-to virtual presenter.

Working remotely definitely has its advantages. Employees save time and money commuting, are often more productive when there aren’t constant distractions (we’re talking to you, birthday cake in the break room), and during our current pandemic, it’s much safer.

But like anything with advantages, there are also disadvantages. Employees that rely on one another to get a project done may face virtual team communication challenges that hamper their ability to succeed in their role. Without your teammate down the hall or a few cubicles over, it can be difficult to collaborate on tasks and truly foster that spirit of “teamwork.”

The good news is there are ways to improve virtual team communication so your rock star employees play together like a well-tuned band. But before we dive into that, let’s look at some of the virtual team communication challenges you might be facing.

Read more

You want to protect your employee’s safety and adhere to governmental orders, but you also want to continue running a profitable business with happy employees. Thankfully, with the team building activities below, you can do both.

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While business events came to a screeching halt for a few months, many organizations are now remembering how critical conferences are to their future (and revenue streams). For safety and convenience, these events are now online.

Virtual events aren’t new, but they’re certainly more prominent these days. Now, instead of worrying about swag bags or transportation arrangements, your primary concern is how to ensure that your audience comes away with a great experience, that they learn steps they can use right away to improve their performance, and that your event is memorable.

After all, your attendees have been through a lot, they are amazing at what they do, and they deserve an event that keeps them engaged and entertained… not just more hours wasted staring at a computer screen. They deserve a rockstar virtual emcee. 

Fortunately, if you’re looking to increase the energy of your event and improve the focus of your attendees, there’s an easy solution: hire a virtual emcee.

Read more

While this global pandemic has been difficult for individuals and businesses alike, there are several benefits that have come out of it. One benefit is that now we truly understand the power of virtual sales meetings and how easily we can conduct business remotely.

Unfortunately, many managers and leaders are not yet comfortable with technology and this will be obvious to your attendees. Virtual sales meetings that lack enthusiasm and substance are no better than their in-person counterparts. If you truly want to lead a team of rock star salespeople, you’ll need to energize them through virtual meetings.

Read more

While we are grateful for virtual conferencing technologies that allow us to maintain business as (sort of) usual, many participants don’t understand a critical component of it. Virtual meeting etiquette enables remote meetings to be productive and participants to walk away with exactly what they came for.

As a rock star leader, you not only need to know how to make the most out of a virtual meeting, but how to teach your team to do so, as well.

Want to help your team of rock stars stay strong together even when they’re apart?
Contact Marvelless Mark to emcee your next virtual corporate event!

Use an Appropriate Video Conferencing Tool

There are a variety of different platforms available for virtual conferencing. Before you select one, decide what features you need and what may be overkill. The best platform is going to be the easiest one for your attendees to use.

Come Prepared

Just like an in-person meeting, attendees want to know what will be discussed and for how long. Once you schedule a meeting, create an agenda and send it along with meeting details, including the date, time (and time zone), a link, and instructions on how to log on. Request that your attendees read the agenda ahead of time to prepare, and then remember that emails can get buried. If you are sending this well in advance of the meeting, you’ll want to send follow-up emails with the log in details or create a calendar event that provides the link. Make it as easy as possible and respect their schedule by ending on time.

Remove Distractions

If working from home, you and your attendees may have a variety of other distractions vying for your attention. This could include children needing help with homework, dogs barking, or spouses asking when you’ll be ready for dinner. Whenever possible, set up your work area in a room with a door and as little noise as possible. Then request that the participants stay on Mute until they need to share something.

It can also be really tempting to check your email or texts during a virtual meeting, so ask your attendees to put their cell phones away, stay focused, and stay seated throughout the call.

Speak Clearly

Technology is wonderful, but it isn’t perfect. Even rock stars do sound checks. Test your mic levels in the beginning of the call to ensure that everyone can hear you, but that you aren’t destroying anyone’s ear drums. Remind people that there is sometimes a several second lag, so they should pause momentarily to avoid speaking over one another. And seriously, don’t forget that Mute button. 

Look Professional

Working from home is fun, isn’t it? No need to brush your hair, shower, or change out of your pajamas. It’s great… until you have a virtual meeting. Then you just look unprofessional.

Whether you’re the host or a video call or a participant, it’s important to look professional during a video call. Wear business-appropriate clothing and make sure your hair looks presentable. While you may be tempted to wear jewelry, shiny objects can be distracting and earrings may rub up against headphones, making distracting noises.

Make sure that you don’t have anything offensive, inappropriate, or displeasing to the eye in view of the camera. This includes letting other people in your house know that you’ll be on a video call.

If your background is less than perfect, some of the virtual platforms allow you to set a backdrop. Last but not least, double check the lighting in the room to make sure that you won’t appear too dark or too bright.

Hide Personal or Sensitive Information 

Many of the platforms offer screen-sharing during the call. This can be great to show participants what you are working on or to use visual aids throughout your presentation. However, this can also go horribly wrong.

Be mindful of what you have on your desktop and make sure that you choose a fresh browser window when you decide to share your screen. This will prevent any personal information or non-work related websites from being viewed by your attendees.

Have Introductions 

One of the biggest challenges of virtual meetings is the lack of comradery. Thankfully, there are ways to get around that challenge to give your meeting more of an office atmosphere. Here are a few options:

  • Leave time at the beginning of the meeting for the presenter and the attendees to introduce themselves and have a bit of small chat.
  • Open the meeting room a few minutes before you are scheduled to start and leave it open when you finish so people can catch up.
  • Plan an ice breaker to loosen everyone up.
  • You can send people into smaller breakout rooms if need be.

Communicate Virtual Meeting Etiquette Expectations to Your Team

At the beginning of the meeting, let your attendees know what to expect and what is expected of them. Are they just there to listen or is participation requested? How long will the meeting be? Should they stay on Mute and raise their hand if they’d like to contribute or can they jump in at any time? 

When you explain virtual meeting etiquette and share any specific expectations you may have, attendees will know what to do and your meeting will flow more smoothly.

Virtual Meeting Tips 

Now that you understand virtual meeting etiquette, there are a few tips that may help you make your online meetings even more productive.

  • Record the video so people can review the content later, and those who couldn’t attend can catch up when they’re available.
  • Send out meeting minutes and a recap answering any questions.
  • Be kind. Not everyone is tech savvy, and while this shift is perfectly natural for some, others may have a great deal of difficulty.
  • Realize that it’s more challenging to make your presentation more engaging and more interactive, but different video conferencing platforms have different types of tools, such as polls and chat boxes.
  • Remind participants that depending on the platform, their private chats can be viewed by the host once the meeting has ended.

Maintaining a connected team can be challenging when virtual meetings are your primary way of interacting. Thankfully, when you and your team know proper meeting etiquette, you can rest assured that your home-based rock star team is just as engaged in the meeting as they would be in the office.

Just like it’s true in business, it’s true for a band: If you want to drive change and achieve your goals, you have to surround yourself with the right kind of people. You want to create the right kind of culture and relationships that allow everyone to effectively work together. But synergy like that doesn’t happen by accident. Job descriptions and interviews must be thorough. Applicants must know your vision.

Want to keep your team of rock stars together through a crisis?
Let Marvelless Mark help you with team building to make your organization stronger than ever.

Do you know what Steve Jobs’ business model was? During a 2003 interview with “60 Minutes,” Jobs said, “My model for business is the Beatles. They were four guys who kept each other’s kind of negative tendencies in check. They balanced each other, and the total was greater than the sum of the parts. That’s how I see business: Great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people.”

There are three concepts that rock star business leaders need to learn and understand about working together as a band, especially in time of a crisis.

First, put the band first. It’s that simple. Our good friend Steven Tyler of Aerosmith said, “As good as I am, I’m nothing without my band.” So, but the business first. During these crisis days, co-workers may have new needs and they should not be ignored.

Second, honor everyone’s unique abilities. In a band, some people are up-front and very noticeable, like the lead singer. Others, like the bass player, barely get noticed at all. A smart rock star business leader makes sure that everyone in the band gets recognized.

Do you know who Bill Wyman is? No? How about Mick Jagger?

Wyman was the bass player for the Rolling Stones. When interviewed about the Stones, Jagger repeatedly spoke about Wyman’s talent as a bass player. That’s why the Stones are still together. (They’re all eligible for AARP, but they’re still together!) 

The same is true with your business. You have to allow each person to showcase his or her skill and then honor that person for his or her contribution. It’s been said about the Rolling Stones that Jagger makes them famous, while Keith Richards, their guitarist, makes them a band. Some of you successfully market your business, while others make it work on a day-by-day basis. A rock star business leader realizes that everyone plays a vital role for the success of the business and everyone should be valued for that part. During this pandemic, some workers may move to the forefront to meet new challenges. 

The third concept that we need to learn and understand about working together as a band may sound a little unusual coming from rock stars: There’s no room for egos. Let’s take the advice of Grammy Award winner and producer Quincy Jones. He worked on the USA for Africa project with more than 40 A-List artists to produce the song “We Are the World.” While the song was being recorded, Jones put a sign on the studio door that read: “Check your egos at the door.”

Ego is almost always what breaks up a band. Some bands like U2 endure and become legendary, while other bands cease to exist. What keeps a band together is humility. A band — or business — leader with confident humility and who is not overcome with ego knows that the band is better together. A rock star business leader is one who is receptive to suggestions for improvement and will take time for self-reflection, listening to the feedback that he or she gets from the other band members.  

The bottom line during this crisis is that we need each other now more than ever. We need to be honest, transparent, have an open line of communication, and celebrate with our bands when this crisis ends. In the words of Brian Tracy, “Success comes before work only in the dictionary.”  Performing together in these three ways will create success, whether in a crisis or normal working conditions.

You’ve been tasked with planning an event for your organization. Maybe it’s the first event you’ve ever planned and you want to prove yourself to upper management. Or perhaps, you’ve been doing this for years but there’s something extra special about this conference. Either way, you want to make sure that the event is unforgettable and that your attendees walk away with excitement in their eyes and a “wow!” on their lips.

You’ve already considered the date, the venue, and the theme, and now it’s time to find the perfect keynote speaker to kick off your event and motivate your audience. They’ll have to be entertaining and you’ll still want your audience to walk away with content they can put into action once they get back to work. With a strict budget in place, the question on your mind now is, “How much is this going to cost us?”

Looking for an electrifying keynote speaker for your next event?
Contact Marvelless Mark for an unforgettable experience!

How Much Does a Keynote Speaker Cost?

Before we discuss how much a keynote speaker costs, let’s discuss the value they bring to your event. A motivational speaker sets the tone for your event whether it’s just an afternoon away from the office or a multi-day conference designed to set up success for the next year. They will engage your audience, get them excited about the upcoming program, and motivate them to take action once they’ve left the event. Six months, 1 year, or 10 years after your event, attendees won’t remember the food you served (unless it caused an outbreak of food poisoning), but they will remember a great keynote speaker.

It would be wonderful if there was a standard fee you could expect to pay for a keynote speaker, but this doesn’t exist within the speaking industry. While there are certain (approximate) tiers for speaker cost, there are a variety of factors that affect how much a speaker charges and how much wiggle room you have for negotiation. Keep in mind that your budget should always be a primary concern when selecting a speaker and this is one area in which you should never skimp. Chances are, you can find a quality speaker within your budget, or offer up other benefits to negotiate with a speaker in a slightly higher price bracket than you can afford.

Related: What Are the Benefits of Hiring a Motivational Speaker?

Factors That Affect Standard Speaking Fees 

So what factors determine how much a keynote speaker charges and what can you do to attract the best on a better budget? Here are several questions that will impact the cost: 

Are they an experienced keynote speaker? 

If they are just starting out, they’ll command a much smaller fee than someone who has been keynoting for 30-40 years.

Are they experienced in their industry?

While they may be new to speaking, they may be a true expert in their field with years of experience, books written, and a sizable platform.

Do they have to travel? 

Keynote speaking requires a lot of travel and many speakers are willing to offer their services for less if they get to sleep in their own bed at night. 

Will they be selling anything during their program? 

Are you providing them with the opportunity, the audience, and the time and space to sell their product or service at the event? If so, they may be willing to charge less since they’ll be making up for it in sales. 

Will you pay in full up front? 

Some speakers are willing to discount their price if you send them a check for the full amount at the time of booking. 

What type of organization are you? 

Many speakers will offer a nonprofit discount for smaller nonprofit organizations.

How big is the event?

Some speakers will charge based on the size of the audience with smaller audiences commanding a smaller fee and larger audiences costing more.

Are you offering any other perks?

Depending on the type of gig, a speaker may charge less if:

  • It’s an audience they want to get in front of
  • You’ll provide professional video
  • You’ll give them a testimonial and good referrals for future speaking engagements
  • They were planning to attend the conference anyway
  • And more…

Related: What Makes a Good Keynote Speaker?

What Is a Typical Speaker Fee?

Now that you understand what factors can affect pricing for a keynote speakers, let’s look at some of the common tiers within the industry: 

Free or for Travel Expenses Only: 

This may apply to a new speaker with little to no experience or someone who expects to make more during their program through the sale of their products or services. If they are the latter, they’ll likely only accept this option if they are in front of their ideal client who has the need and ability to buy from them. 

$500 – $5,000: 

You’ll attract newer speakers within this range and can expect to pay a fee within this tier for a small to medium-sized conference.

$5,000- $10,000: 

This is the fee for speakers who have given many keynote speeches and worked in the industry for many years.

$10,000-$20,000: 

If you’re planning a major conference, you should expect to be shelling out a fee in this range. You’ll be looking at superb professional speakers who are no stranger to keynoting large conferences.

$20,000 – $50,000: 

In this range, you’ll find motivational speakers in the top rung of their industry all the way up to celebrities like actors, musicians, and sports stars.

$50,000+: 

If you’re looking to bring in a current or ex-president, or someone like Richard Branson, you should expect to pay top dollar. 

Remember, the keynote speaker and the message they share is one of the most (if not the most) important aspects of your event. While all the other details will factor in to an unforgettable conference, it’s most important to find a quality keynote speaker who will communicate what you hope to communicate. Your speaker should energize and engage your audience, and motivate them to be the business rock stars you want them to be. This will ensure that your audience leaves feeling like they can take on the world and take your business to new heights.

A few years ago, I was working a gig in Minneapolis when the client treated my wife, Jana, and I to a VIP tour of Prince’s Paisley Park. While I’ve always touched on Prince during my Opportunity Rocks Experiential Keynote Presentation, after this tour, I could easily create an entire speech based on him. Prince’s dedication, passion and commitment to his craft can teach us all how to run a successful business.

Want to bring out the inner rock star of each person on your team?
Contact Marvelless Mark for a team building experience like no other!

What Your Business Can Learn About Productivity from Prince

Here are five lessons you can learn from Prince to become a business rockstar.

Stay Focused

One of the first things you notice when you visit Paisley Park is that there are very few windows. No, Prince didn’t hate the outdoors. He just knew the importance of focus when there’s a job to be done. If he knew what time of day or night it was, he was afraid he’d be tempted to take a break. There were no clocks to disrupt his creativity and sometimes he’d play for hours or even days without a break. 

Are you watching the clock waiting for the business day to end or do you get so wrapped up in your business (because you’re so passionate) that you can work until all hours of the night without losing interest?

Take Pride in Your Finished Product

Prince was self-taught and obsessive about getting it right. He recorded his vocals from inside the studio’s mixing room instead of in the studio. This way, he could adjust and mix his own vocals. He also had a whole movie studio where he recorded much of Purple Rain, Under the Cherry Moon, and Graffiti Bridge. These studios gave him total creative control over his music and his movies so he could be proud of the finished product he put into the world.

Do you skimp on time or money with your products or services? Or, do you do everything in your power (including working with the right vendors or trusting your team) to ensure that your customers get exactly what you intended?

Related: How to Change a Negative Work Culture For the Better

Make It All About Your Customers

Prince loved his city and he loved his fans. Oftentimes, he’d invite anyone who wanted to come for a party. There was always entertainment, food, and something to do at Paisley Park. After a long day of practicing or performing, he’d often show up around 3 am because he knew how important it was to connect with and honor his raving fans.

Do you treat your customers like an inconvenience or like beloved fans?

Overcome Every Obstacle

During his legendary performance at Super Bowl XLI in the pouring rain, the producer asked, “Do you want to cancel? Is there anything we can do for you?”

Prince’s response… “Can you make it rain harder?”

No matter what problems he faced, Prince rose above them to bring his fans what they wanted and deserved.

Do you see challenges in your business as insurmountable roadblocks or do you welcome them as opportunities for growth?

Commit to Becoming a Master of Your Craft

Prince had separate video editing and viewing rooms with multiple monitors and camera angles. During practices and video recordings, he and the band would review their performances, choreography, stage presence and music. No matter how big he got, he always wanted to get better.

Have you plateaued with your skills and your business or are you constantly learning and perfecting your craft?

When Eric Clapton was asked many years ago what it’s like being the greatest living guitar player, his response was, “I don’t know… ask Prince.” Prince became the powerhouse he was because he had a rockstar mindset. If you want to succeed in business, take a page out of Prince’s book. Stay focused, take pride in your finished product, make it all about your customers, overcome every challenge, and commit to becoming a master of your craft. When you do that, you’ll live on in your fans’ minds long after you’re gone.

“Take care of each other and make sure you always dance.” – Prince