This transcript is from Episode 2 of The Savvy Event Planner Podcast
To listen to this podcast, please visit: http://SavvyEventPodcast.com/episode2
Tom: It's time for episode two.
Announcer: Welcome to the Savvy Event Planner Podcast. Where insightful tips, strategies, tactics and case studies can help inspire you to engage guest and create successful events. Now here is your host, Tom Crowl.
Tom: Thanks so much for joining back in with me. I really appreciate you being here. When I started this, idea I thought, “What can I do to help event planners? What can I share of my knowledge?” And then I realized, “Hey, I've got a whole community around. I've got contacts.” I started reaching out to other people and saying, “Would you be interested in helping me on this podcast that I'm creating?” They found out a little bit about it, they were like, “Yeah, sure. What can we do to make this successful for you and your listeners?”
And so we started talking ideas. And over the next coming weeks and months, I've got some amazing guests. They're going to appear right here with me. And I know they're going to share information that can help you take your events to the next level. But none of these is possible without you, the listener, so I truly appreciate you. If you have comments, I beg you, please go over to the savvyeventpodcast.com. Leave a note on the show notes in the comments section. Tell me what you want to see, what you want to hear, what can help you. I'll reach out to my contacts and see how we can make this happen, because this really is all about you and I appreciate you being a Savvy Event Planner. Somebody who wants to make your events better. I just hope that I can help.
When I started this podcast, I also promised you that I wouldn't waste your time. With that in mind, let's get right to today's interview. Ladies and gentlemen, I have a very special guest today by the name of Fred Moore. Fred is a corporate entertainer, a speaker and an author.
Fred: Yeah, that's just the icing on the cake.
Tom: Fred, I'd like you to tell our guests a little bit about what you do and what you've done. Just to give them an idea of your experience.
Fred: As you said, I am a speaker and entertainer, and entertainer is where my background really is. I've made my living for the last 25 years doing nothing but entertaining and speaking. In the last 10 years, I've done a lot of work all over the world, 30 different countries. I toured Europe and South America. Worked on major cruise lines, worked for companies like Oracle, HP, tons of major companies like that.
What I do, what I bring to the table is basically I tend to view myself as an informational entertainer. Because people want the content, they crave the content. The participants at these meetings, that's what they're there for, for the content. They want to make their lives better, their businesses better and to go home with actionable steps that they can use.
But the problem is that you can sit there in breakout session or general sessions all day long, and just get inundated with all these information and it's too overwhelming. It's the old analogy of drinking from a fire hose. So what I intend to do is interject a lot of entertainment into what I do. I speak on productivity and prosperity and getting things done basically. But I use my entertainment background to make it funny, make it interactive, make it different from what everyone else is doing and what they are seeing.
Just in the past year, I have been doing a lot of opening sessions where I will setup the conference for success. Let people in on some of these ideas, these tools that I use to get things done, to get the most out of their conference. What they need to do to make this conference the best it's ever been for them. And to really find out what tools and techniques that they're going to take from this conference that will give them their best ROI. So that's basically what I do. When it comes down to it, I make event planners look good by setting them up for success and hopefully making their client love them even more than they already do.
Tom: Your book is called Beyond Good Enough. What is Beyond Good Enough?
Fred: Most of us tend to live our lives and do our business at that “good enough level.” We've all done it in school, we work just good enough in school to get by. That's not everybody. But that's the general consensus out there is that most people, there are the overachievers, there are the under-achievers. But a lot of times, we just work to get by. A lot of people at their jobs, they do well enough just to get by, to be “good enough.” It doesn't take that much more to go beyond good enough. “Hey, what a great type of a book.” So that's why I came up with a book, because it just takes small incremental changes in the way we do business, the way we conduct ourselves, the way our relationships are, to make a huge, huge difference and basically go beyond good enough.
Tom: Our audience, our event planners, they are listening to this podcast. They want to get some great tips for planning their next event. I want to cover a bunch of different areas in this. I don't want to just cover the same old, same old. You've got something in the book Beyond Good Enough, which is a game plan formula. It's the proper way to set a goal. I found that very interesting. Can you tell us a little bit about that and maybe kind of transition how, learning how to properly set a goal could help an event planner?
Fred: Sure thing. Game plan is an acronym, because us speakers, we love acronyms. So game basically stands for goal, action, motivation and evaluation. Obviously the goal is the most important thing. You have to figure out where you're going if you want to get there. The old analogy is you would never take a vacation just by get in the car and start to drive, and find out where you eventually end up and go, “Oh, that's where we're going to go.” You plan things out.
In meeting planners, obviously their goal is to have a great meeting, but the problem is that you need to get specific. I know they're bogged down and all the details of everything they need to do from the catering to the room setup, to the hotel, to everything. So the more specific you can get with your particular goal. Their goal might be to have a meeting that their client will actually go bananas over, that will love them and have hard time of topping it next year. That should be the goal of every event planner I think.
But to get specific with that is like, “All right. What do I need to do to make that happen? What is going to knock their socks off?” So when you get specific with your goal, you need to find out what is going to make their client go ga-ga over the event.
Once you determine how to do that, then you need to go to the next step of the game plan which is action, A for action, and figure out what action steps do you need to take to make that happen. Who do you need to contact? What members of your team are going to handle what action steps?
The next step of course is motivation, the M. I know there is a lot of “motivational speakers” out there. But motivation is a big, big factor in getting whatever goal you want. You would think that, “Well, I'm going to get a big paycheck for my client, that's my motivation for making them happy.” Studies have shown that money is not a good motivator. I know, it sounds crazy but money is not a good motivator. You need to find something tangible, something either emotional or something visceral that will help to keep you on track with this goal. Deadlines are great motivators and that should be part of any goal that you do set.
The last part I think is the most important part and it's what most people miss when they go about setting goals, and that's evaluation. Because how do you know if what you're doing is not working unless you take a moment or two to step back and go, “All right, is this working or is this not?” Because you can keep on going with what you're doing and be a complete failure. And later on, you'll wonder, “What happened?” It's not going to do you any good now. So as you're going through this process, as you're taking the actions and keeping yourself motivated, you need to take a moment or two and evaluate, “All right, what progress are we making? Are we behind? Are we ahead? Whose butt do I need to put a fire under to get them going on this project”? Evaluation I think is probably one of the most important things that it comes to goal setting and the game plan.
Tom: Do you have any tips for taking your goals and going beyond that good enough?
Fred: Absolutely. I do a brainstorming technique, I came up with this years ago. You know how a lot of people set New Year's resolutions every year. I'm a big believer in not doing that because resolutions usually don't happen. People make them and they forget about them. So what I started doing years ago was trying out the New Year with a 50 ways list. It's a 50 ways list of how I'm going to make money this year. What I'm I going to do to earn income this year? I've taken that same idea and adopted it to brainstorming action steps or solutions to problems that meeting planners might have.
So what you do is you get a sheet of paper and you make a list of 50 ways, 50 things I can do to solve this problem or meet this goal that I have. Fifty things that I can do to make it happen. The reason you're going to do 50 is you can probably do 10, 20, maybe even 30 without really pushing and stretching too much. But when you commit yourself to doing 50 ways, then you're going to get more specific with the action steps that you're going to be taking, that you want to take. And specificity is probably it's like niche marketing. The more specific you can get with an idea or action step, the better chance you're going to have completing that.
So when you come up with 50 ways, now you're really going to have to push yourself. Instead of, “All right, I need to make this event the best it could possibly be. I need to hire a great speaker.” You're going to figure out, “I need to hire a speaker that speaks under this topic and is in this fee range and is in this area so we can cut down the cost on travel so they don't have to fly here.”
You're going to get really specific and then you are also going to get some, to put it lightly, stupid ideas. You're going to come up, because you need 50. You got to push yourself, you got to get 50. You're going to come up with crazy weird ideas. And maybe those ideas aren't going to work or maybe they are. But you're going to push yourself to think of things that you wouldn't have thought of if you just had to do a list of 10 or 20 things that you needed to do.
Here is the cool thing about this. If you're working with a team and I know most event planners do, you don't sit down in a group and all come up with 50 ways as a group. You do it individually. You give them an assignment. You give them a couple of hours or a weekend or whatever and say, “Come up with 50 ways.” You are going to get a lot of duplicate ideas, but you're also going to get a lot of unique ideas that individual team member has come up with.
So now you don't have 50 ways on how to get this goal or how to achieve what you want to achieve. You've got 60, 70, 80, 100, depending on how big your team is. So now you're just mining their brains for these wonderful ideas that you probably wouldn't have gotten. You're just like, “All right. Here are some things we're going to do. Let's do it.”
Tom: Excellent advice. When you were talking about this, I never even thought about the power of the team and how that can literary take this to the next level.
Fred: Exactly. That's one of the most powerful things about this, it makes me want to increase the size of my team. I'm always like, “I don't have enough people. I need more ideas. More team members!”
Tom: That's great because you're brainstorming. You are talking about the ideas. Is that also the problem solving? Give me an example of a problem that an event planner might need to brainstorm ways to solve.
Fred: If it's a last minute problem, like something has come up. A speaker can't make it and it's four hours till stage time, then they're probably not going to want to get out a sheet of paper and starting listing 50 ideas. But if you want to be proactive with problems you've had in the past or after you have a problem that you've never had before. Afterwards, after you've dealt with it and the smoke is cleared, you can, after the fact, sit down and use this as a problem solving technique. “What would I do if this happened?” And try to come up with 50 ideas on what you would do.
Again, you're going to get specific with those ideas. Rather than, “Well, I'll just call another speaker to get a replacement. No. What speaker are you going to call? Who is going to be your go-to guy in that city? What speaker's bureau are you going to go to, to find that last minute replacement? Now if you do this after the fact, you've got this handy little action step sheet. So you put that in your smartphone and in your computer or your folder. If you are using paper. What is this, last century? You can do that too, but then you've got this on hand. So if this problem comes up in the future, “All right, I've got 50 solutions right here. Which one is going to work?”
Tom: If we're doing the brainstorming techniques, that could be a good part of the evaluation from the game plan formula.
Fred: Exactly. See how all these ties together. It's like I thought this out or something. My gosh!
Tom: It really does. I'm pretty impressed so far. I've got to go into a couple of things here, because…
Fred: Please don't.
Tom: No, I have to. We're getting sticky here, Fred. There is a video you have one line that I came across the other night as I was doing a research to learn a little bit more about your Beyond Good Enough, before we brought you on. I didn't want to be unprepared. I came across a video called Prepare To Be Unprepared, and you had a great story on that. Can you tell us the theory of prepared to be unprepared and give us that story as you go? If you don't mind.
Fred: Here is what happened. My wife somehow, I don't know how this happened, but we got pregnant. I know how it happened, because we planned on it. We wanted to have a child, it was like, “Okay. Well, we're going to have a child.” We tried and we tried and lo and behold, boom! She got pregnant. “Okay, great. So let's go out and let's take some classes, let's read up on this thing.” I think that's the problem with parenting nowadays. There is too much information out there.
Of course my wife is going through all the books and all that. And I was like, “What can I do to be prepared?” There was a thing I had heard about called New Dad Bootcamp. And it was a great little class that you take and it taught you how to do things as a new dad. What the experience is going to be like. I saw that, “I'm going to sign up for that. That's what I'm going to do.”
So it was about two months before our little girl was born that I took this New Dad Bootcamp. It was a four-hour class, four hours. I'm total prepared, man. I learned how to change a diaper. I learned what the baby is going to do. I'm set. I learned what's going to happen during labor and how to take care of my wife while she's given birth and just be the super, super dad. How to be the super star, the wonderful dad. I was ready until the labor pains started.
It was like a Benny Hill singing, “Da-da-da-da-da-da-da!” We didn't know what we were doing. We've been in there. We gave birth. “Okay, great. This is happening. How long is this going to…? Wait. Okay. What? No. What do you mean? We have a baby, right. What do you mean we're not going to sleep? We're not going to sleep ever? Seriously? Are you kidding me?” We had no idea what it was going to be like? At some point we would have thought that we have friends and they have kids. Someone is going to let us in.
By the way, once the baby comes, life is never going to be the same again. We knew that on some level, but, man, when it happened it was like, “Okay, we're not prepared for this at all.” But what are you going to do in that situation? You live. You go through it and you make it happen. So we were prepared, but we had no idea what was going on. So the whole point of that video was, you can prepare, but once things happen, once these events happen that these event professionals are putting on, you know that things are not going to go like clockwork. In a perfect world, yeah. But things are just going to happen and they're going to be out of your control, or you didn't foresee coming or so many different things. So we have to prepare to be unprepared.
Tom: You have to remain fluid. You have to go with the flow.
Fred: Exactly, exactly. I think most event planners that have been in this for a long time, they know that exactly. That you’ve got to roll with the punches.
Tom: Another thing you talked about in your book was conquering your fears. My wife is an event planner for her company. And I had her on as my guest for the first podcast episode. We've talked so many times about things she's doing for her company. Sometimes I share experiences that I've had as a corporate entertainer, going around and doing different events. One of the things she said was that event planners are constantly afraid. They are afraid that people aren't going to show up. They're afraid that the caterer is not going to show up or something is not going to be right. We talked about being prepared to be unprepared. But are there things that people can do to conquer those fears? Because sometimes fear stops us from doing everything that we should. So can you prepare or are you prepared to give us any tips on that?
Fred: I was unprepared to be prepared but I will prepare to be prepared. So as far facing your fears, one of my favorite quotes from Zig Ziglar is F.E.A.R. is an acronym for False Evidence Appearing Real. Some people are wired that way, where they're always looking at what's going to go wrong as opposed to what could go right. I understand as meeting planners, you have to kind of be wired that way because you need to be prepared for the stuff that goes wrong. But if you're constantly living with that fear of something is going to go wrong, something is going to go wrong. That's two or three awfuls just waiting for you.
So there are certain things that you should have in your mind, that are not in your control. You could worry about something, but worrying about that is not going to change the outcome one way or another. I just took a trip a couple of days ago and my mom was on the plane with me and she doesn't like to fly. She hates it. She's afraid of flying. She's not really afraid of flying, she's afraid of crashing. That's the problem. But being afraid of flying is not going to affect the outcome of that plane landing safely or not. So in my mind, I'm like, “Well, I could worry about this, but it's not going to do me any good. It's probably going to do me harm. It's going to get me stressed out. It's going to get me even more worried. I'm going to age. I'm going to lose my hair. Too late.”
As far as conquering fears, I don't really think you can conquer a fear. You can alleviate the fear, you can look at that fear in a different way. You can look at it and go, “All right, there is nothing that I can do about this situation.” But these other things, if the speaker doesn't show up, well, that's why you have that list of speakers that you can call in a moment's notice in that city or in that area or that speaker's bureau that you're like, “Hey, can you help me out?” Again, being a little proactive with these solutions, not to go back to that 50 ways list. But hey, it works. If you make a couple of those lists for some of your biggest fears, like, “I'm afraid this is going to happen, well, here is what I can do to solve those problems.” Then you're alleviating these fears. You're conquering those fears.
Tom: There are times where event planners get stack. They aren't sure which way to take an event. Maybe they've done it a number of times and they want to change something up for their guests to keep it fresh. Are there tips that you can provide that would help them to think outside the box?
Fred: Absolutely. Often times as I create a person, especially if I'm writing another book, sometimes you get writers block or you get stack in a problem. You've got your 50 ways list and you've only got 40. So what are you going to do? I find it if I change my environment, it kind of rattles my brain a little bit. And that can be a simple thing from moving your desk in a different direction in your office. Or physically getting out of the office, going down to Starbucks or something with your laptop and just changing your environment.
Because we fall into these patterns where we are going to the office and we do the same things that we do every single day, and your mind gets in that track, in that rod. “This is how we do it and this is what we're going to do.” So in order to get your mind out of that rod, you need to shake things up. Play a different song in the radio sometimes will help. But just changing the environment is something really easy for me.
I remember about a year ago, I was kind of stack at some point going, “I'm not being as productive as I want to be and I'm not sure why, so let me change something.” So all I did was turn my desk around to face the window. So I was looking out the window now. And you'd think that looking out the window would be a a distraction, but no, it was a different view literary and figuratively. So now it's like, “This is different, things have changed. What's going on?” Which opened some neural pathways that hadn't been active in a while. I'm guessing, that's not a scientific fact. I'm just guessing about that. But it got me going on the right path. Just by changing your environment, it can change things in the way you're thinking and getting things done.
Tom: Based on all the events that you've done, can you share some examples of going beyond good enough for an event? Something that maybe you've seen that really stood out to you or went that extra mile that might inspire some of our listeners.
Fred: Certainly. I was just at a conference in DC last month and it was probably the best conference I have been to, because they really paid attention to how they laid out the conference. Each day was sort of a different theme. The first day was focused on tools that they could use to better their business. The next day was focused on money. It was all about money that day. Here are things that you can do to help your bottom line, to make more money. To work harder and smarter and all of that. And so everyday was sort of focused, not a completely different direction but it was more niched as like, “Here is what today is all about.”
All the speakers they had were targeted to that. That to me was just like amazing, amazing. They had one day that was all about celebrity speakers and there was not too much content. I had heard from the other attendees and from the meeting planner that that was probably their biggest I wouldn't say complaint. But they had some speakers that were just pure entertainment, which is fine. But at this particular conference they were like, “No, we want the information. We want stuff that we can take home and utilize now.” So by focusing those days that way, I thought it was just amazing, amazing. I thought, “What a great idea?”
Tom: That is a great example of taking something and thinking it through and then presenting it to your guest. Fred, I thank you for that. I understand that you have a PDF file available for the brainstorming techniques. Is that correct?
Fred: Exactly, exactly. I call it a 50 Ways List and it's a fillable PDF form, so you don't need to print it out and kill a tree if you don't want to. Some people like to print things out and write it in my hand, which is fine. But I created a fillable form, so you can use it again and again. It's got each of the field and it's got 50. It's right there and it's ready for your folks to use.
Tom: We'll have that on the website and I'll tell you a bit more about how to grab that later. But Fred, if somebody was interested in finding out more about Beyond Good Enough, how can they reach out to you?
Fred: Really easy. I've got a website and it's really easy to remember it. It's my name but backwards, it's moorefred.com.
Tom: That's Moore with two Os.
Fred: You know, what? Either way, I was smart and bought both domain names.
Tom: Moorefred.com, if you're interested in learning more about Fred. Fred, I really appreciate you taking the time to sit down and talk with me today. I hope our listeners found that as interesting and informative as I did. Thank you so much for being with me.
Fred: Not a problem, my pleasure.
Tom: To get the PDF that Fred mentioned during the show, his brainstorming techniques that you can fill out right there on your computer. So you don't have to print anything out and kill a tree. You can download that PDF on our website. You just go to savvyeventpodcast.com/episode2. Again that's savvy, S-A-V-V-Y, for the spelling impaired, savvyeventpodcast.com/episode2.
You'll also find all of the show notes on today's episode. You'll find the link to Fred's website in case you'd like to contact him for more information. You're going to find a link to Fred's book Beyond Good Enough, which I really enjoyed. Below that, below all the show notes, we've got a comment section. Could you take a moment and just leave me a note. Let me know what you're enjoying or if you have some constructive criticism, feel free to leave that too. I'm going to read it all. I'm going to respond. And my goal is to make this podcast better for you. Because I appreciate the time you're putting into listening to it, I really do. I value the time that we spend together and I want to make this as good as possible for you. So leave a comment.
And if you like the episode, do me a favor. We have share buttons on the website. You can share it on Twitter. You can share it on Pinterest, Facebook. All the social media sites. You can send it out by email, if you know somebody that might enjoy this. If you help spread the word, it's going to increase our audience and it's going to increase the feedback that we get. It's going to make things better. So if you liked it, I'd greatly appreciate that.
Next time on the show, I've got a gentleman by the name of Joshua Seth. Joshua is a productivity expert and he is going to share some incredible tips to help you focus more on your event planning and get things done. This will be extremely important if you're in a company where you've already got a lot of duties and you're being tasked with planning events for your company. Joshua is going to help us find the focus and give us some tips to really be able to make the most out of your time that you spend event planning.
Until next time, my name is Tom Crowl. Thank you so much for being with me. I'll see you over on the website at savvyeventpodcast.com.
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