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Friday
Apr242015

Considerations for Planning A Great Alumni Event

Post written by Chad Reid, thank you Chad!

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I still remember the day I was asked by my Ohio-based alma mater to volunteer my time to plan regional events in the San Francisco Bay Area. It seemed like a no-brainer: I loved my college experience, I never turn down an opportunity to network, and I had loads of previous event planning experience. Churning out well-attended events in the Bay Area was an easy proposition, I figured.


Well, I was wong.


My first “event” was an unmitigated disaster. I had roped off an entire section of a large restaurant, set up an event sign-in table, had raffle giveaways, table-top decorations galore and an RSVP count that featured a respectable sum of 13 people. However, of those 13 RSVPs, only one showed up on the day of the event. And he showed up halfway through.


What I hadn’t taken into account was the inhibitive start time (9 a.m. because of a basketball game airing on TV, but played three time zones later), and the fact that the game overlapped with a ravenously popular annual San Francisco event. I was doomed from the start, but never even realized.


Here are a few tips to make sure your alumni event planning is a smooth process.


Plan Months, Not Weeks, In Advance

Calendars fill up quickly. Consider two months to be the minimum amount of time to send an invitation for a large-scale alumni event (wine tasting, paid tickets to an event), and six weeks for a smaller gathering (happy hour, game watch party). And make sure to check other events calendars to make sure nothing’s conflicting with your event for the day. Marathons, major sporting events and parades will take the air out of any alumni gathering.


Use an Online Survey to Gather Valuable Feedback

This is really important. Attendees, or invitees who’ve never attended an event, won’t always tell you honest feedback if you ask directly. But an anonymous survey can reveal extremely important insights. Ask open-ended questions, like “What types of events do you like?” or “What would you improve?” I was surprised with my initial results but also thankful to have received honest, often-critical feedback from people whom I’ve been inviting to alumni events. Most surveys are easy to set up, and a lot of them are free.


Send Thoughtful, Individual Follow-up Emails

Even if you go way out of your way to create an event, putting your own volunteer time, money, and stress in to make it happen, consider that everyone who showed up came of their own volition. During an event, take the time to talk to people individually. Thank them for showing up, ask them about themselves and their story. When you get back home, make sure to send them a nice, brief note thanking them for taking the time to show up to the event. It makes them feel special, and makes them far more likely to show up to the next one.


Promote Events on Social Media

Social media isn’t just for the millennials anymore. One thing I’ve learned is that Facebook engagement regarding events is far greater than email. It actually feels like a community, strangely enough. Make sure to post great pictures of any gatherings, ask discussion questions, and occasionally share neat tidbits about the old alma mater. Building a sense of community is key, and it’s never been easier using the social tools at your disposal.


Have you ever planned or attended an event put on by your local alumni chapter? Any tips that we missed? Let us know in the comments below!  


Chad Reid is head of the alumni chapter for the University of Cincinnati in the San Francisco Bay Area, and Director of Communications for JotForm. When he’s not working or planning the next great alumni event, he hangs out with his girlfriend and three cats in Oakland, California.

Tuesday
Mar172015

10 Questions You Should Always Ask Your Limo Company

This article was submitted by Echo Limousine. They are the best-rated limo service company in Chicago, providing reliable and dependable car service with a wide range of customized packages suited to any needs and events. Thank you for your submission.

Planning the details of a big event is both exciting and stressful. Catering, decorations, and attire - all must be carefully considered and determined well in advance. And then there is the matter of transportation - in a stylish limo.  Unless you are an event planner by trade, it may be difficult to pull all of these pieces together into a seamless, classy event.  So we compiled this list of 10 basic questions for you to ask your limo company - before putting money down!

1. What training requirements do you have for your drivers?

Most states require limo drivers (their official title is chauffeur), to have a chauffeur's license or permit, in addition to their regular class D driver's license.  If your limo ride will take you across state borders, the chauffeur is required to have a chauffeur's permit in that state, as well.

2. What attire will the driver arrive in?

Many companies require a certain dress code for the chauffeur, as they will be publicly visible when they arrive at your event. . All of our Chicago Limousine drivers are professional and dressed appropriately. There are, unfortunately, all too many horror stories of casually dressed, disgruntled, or even intoxicated limo drivers who have turned up to try to escort a shocked wedding party to their reception.

3. What Models do you offer?

There are many different kinds of limousines - from the basic stretch limousine to an SUV-based model.  Inquire about the make, model, and year of the limos offered by the company.

4. Can I request a certain model?

Often, a limousine company will offer several different models under the same price blanket or passenger capacity. If you have a preference, be sure to specify which model you would prefer to use.

5. How many people can I bring with me?

Limousines come with a predetermined passenger capacity. 

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Feb262015

Stripe Payments for Events

Have you heard of Stripe?  The San Francisco payment solution has made it easy for thousands of event organizers to collect payments online.  From charity golf tournaments, to school fundraisers to charity dinner tickets it's easier (and less expensive) than ever to collect your payments online.

Setting up a Stripe account takes less than ten minutes.  There are no hidden fees with Stripe - 2.9% plus $.30/transaction is all it takes to process a card.  Once you have a Stripe account you can tie it into your custom a la Reg event forms with one step (below) to begin collecting registrants.  Voila, your event now accepts online payments. Psssst:  Both Stripe and a la Reg work well with moblie phones...

  Stripe's Pricing Page:
   

 

Screen shots of an a la Reg Payment Integration with Stripe:  

 

In Step Four enter your Stripe credentials

Completed a la Reg form:


Custom forms for events from a la Reg

You can build your own a la Reg forms or request a custom form be built for your event.  Visit: www.alaReg.com or e: marketing@alareg.com

 

Monday
Feb232015

Power of Social Media at Events

Guest Post: The power of social media is crucial to successful event planning. The very possibility of enabling users to ask, respond, and communicate is key to a well executed event. We are daily witnesses of how social media can change businesses and make them stronger. Also, when planning your event - you want to share it with the target group, potential clients, and the world - for everyone to know about it, talk about it and be a part of it.

 

Here is what you need to know when it comes to event planning, in order for social media to work:

Make a plan. Having a plan will keep you on track. It will provide guidance and reference for everything that needs to be taken care of. Your business goals and objectives must be clearly stated if you are headed for success, together with a clear statement of why you are having an event and what it is that you want to achieve. This also includes having a plan B.

 

Organisation is crucial for event planning and if you are not someone who is at the top of their game when it comes to organising, then you should let someone else do it for you. Hiring a professional to personalise your event is the best choice.

 

Social media marketing. You need someone who will lead your Facebook and Twitter campaigns. In this case, a skilled social media team is a must since they are the ones with relevant information such as statistics, likes, dislikes and current trends.

 

How social media can boost your event. By using social media, your content will stand out, more people will be reached and, if done properly, your content will get the human element which will make it more appealing to people. When content is familiar and seen on social networks, in addition to being shared by the right people, it gets credibility that no other advertisement can achieve. The more people see the posts, the higher reach your event will have among social network users.

 

Event live stream on social media. There are certain

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Feb042015

Food Trucks, Restaurants or Catering: Which One?

Guest Blogger: Stephanie of Event Source.  If you are hosting a large event like a wedding, corporate outing or a reunion, you have an important choice to make when it comes to food service. There are plenty of options including catering services, restaurants and food trucks. Each has distinct advantages and disadvantages. The size and nature of your get-together will go a long way in determining which food service option is the best for your unique group. Yet each food service choice has specific characteristics that you should think about when making your decision.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Over at EventSource we have a wide selection of Toronto caterers to choose from. It can be pretty daunting, but we are here to help! Let's take a look at some of the options you might consider for your event.

Food Trucks

While most people think of food trucks as places for a quick bite to eat in the middle of the day while on a lunch break from work, they can be much more than that. Food trucks have tipped over into the mainstream and are becoming wildly popular. They can churn out enormous amounts of tasty food in very little time. This is exactly why so many people are choosing to use food trucks for their events. Even events, as large scale and important as weddings, are being serviced by food trucks.  In general, you should plan on reserving the services of one food truck per 75 event attendees just to be on the safe side.  This way, your guests won't have to wait too long in line to get their food.

When you ponder whether a food truck is right for your event, one of your primary considerations should be whether your guests will tolerate waiting in line while outdoors. This might be a turn-off for some attendees. Consider the season. If your event is held in the summer and it is extremely hot and humid, many guests won't brave the heat just to get some nourishment at the event's food truck(s). The same is true of wintertime events in cold climates. 

Restaurants

Restaurants

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Dec172014

Star Trek Reality, & Lends a hand to Events

Gone are walkie talkies. In comes Onyx.  If you're an event producer your eyes are on the stage and looking for the next step.  Sometimes you don't have time to scroll thru a phone when you're trying to prevent the unforeseeable blunder, or cue the the slide that didn't appear.  You need to communicate with your team in real time.  

 

Onyx, OnBeep's instant communicator, clips to your shirt for easy access and utilizes Bluetooth with your cell phone to allow you to talk with your team with a simple push of a button.  

From CNN Money: "Founder Jesse Robbins believes Onyx will be popular with first responders and event staff who can't look down at their phones to place calls or respond to text messages."  Onyx is available for pre-sale beginning today.

You can view the full Article on CNN Money HERE and view the Onyx product site here: Onyx.
Beam me up, Scotty! 
Tuesday
Dec092014

How-To Save Time and Money When Planning an Event - Guest Post

According to Laura Wilson, “Event Coordinators Have the 5th Most Stressful Job in America”.  Since event planning events can be extremely stressful, you may not want to tackle it alone.  Before you begin to plan your event you should read this article by Julius Solaris, “How to Relieve Event Planning Stress”.  When you add this responsibility to an already over- loaded Holiday calendar, it can make the prospect of meeting the requirements of the event, overwhelming.  That is when you need to call an event planner to organize your event.  They can help you plan your scheme, theme or occasion and give you an idea of the costs of the event, thus giving you a number that you can fit into your budget.  If the event is not large enough to require a planner, you may still need event rentals, to make your event a special occasion.

Event Size

Events can range from the simple meeting room or catering need, to something as elaborate as a wedding with 500 guests. Whether it is one or the other, one thing remains true, you want the event to please your guests and attendees and you want things to go smoothly and within budget. Event planners can help decide your décor and venue, set-up for events, catering needs and advise you on event rentals.  Event rentals, such as a champagne fountain, linens, china, flatware, glassware, cooking equipment or other items, can be just what you need to make your event a success.

With caterers and a proper venue, you won’t be required to provide all the necessary equipment for your event. However, you may need a source for event to help with planning the remaining details such as, chair covers, tableware or table linen.  This is where online event rental sites can come in really handy. Event planners can also use online services to find event rental equipment, caterers, venues and simplify the planning process, saving tons of time. Finding equipment for prep, cooking, serving and transporting and every other item or service that you might need to put your best foot forward when hired to plan or help with an event.

Staging the Event

Whether you are a professional or first time event producer and whether you hire an event planner or not,

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Nov292014

Happy Thanksgiving

Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday and are enjoying a weekend with friends and family, or sleeping in and sitting by a fire.  We celebrated Thanksgiving with extended family a few days prior to the main event, bringing us home for a quiet, small dinner on the actual day. Our children informed us they don't care for that wierd red sauce, the soggy bread or squished up potatoes (which were delicious).  Thank goodness for the sourdough dinner rolls but I think next year we may start a new "Traditional" meal.  Perhaps Italian....

Whatever your tradition this year, we hoped it warmed your hearts.  Cheers!

Wednesday
Sep172014

Maximizing Event Attendance

Guest Post:

If your business is hosting a networking event then it is vital that you maximise its potential exposure. After all, with all things considered, business events are expensive things to host and run, and you need to ensure you see a return on your investment. The best way to maximise any potential return, no matter whether it’s a financial return or a human relations/ networking return is to maximise the number of people who can attend it. Here are three very simple ways that you can do just that:

1)    Ensure the Event is Targeted

One mistake that many businesses make is to not target their event correctly. Although it is true that you want as large an audience as possible, you want everyone there to be relevant to the aims. Sending an invite to everyone in your address book is illogical for this very reason, and it can be self-defeating even if everyone turns up. The last thing that you want is one of your most important guests wondering why they bothered coming because there’s nobody there that they want to speak to. Likewise, you don’t want someone to leave because the event isn’t relevant for them, as this could stop people coming to further events and damage your friendship.

2)    Provide Food

If you’re inviting businessmen to your event then it is likely that they’ll be incredibly busy men and women. Due to this, to detract them from these schedules, it’s best to provide food for the occasion; particularly if your event takes place over lunchtime or on an evening.

As well as satisfying hungry businessmen, your food will also allow people to mingle and network, ensuring that everyone benefits from attending your event. By both boosting attendances and maximising benefits, providing food is a ‘no brainer’.

3)    Consider Location Wisely and Consider Splurging

Finally, if you’re looking to lure people in who wouldn’t normally attend, consider the location carefully, both in terms of location and wow factor. By simply holding it at your office it is likely that you’ll deter people. This leaves you with either two options: renting a meeting room or sorting something special.

Again, just renting a meeting room can be a little bland, and there are more extravagant options if the budget will stretch that far. Companies like Neptunus can even erect semi-permanent structures that will really help you wow your guests, leaving them talking about your event for weeks to come and attracting more people for the future.

So, there we have it, three simple ways that you can ensure you maximise the exposure and attendance that your business event needs to be a success. The only question now is, how far can you take it?

 

Thursday
Jun262014

Make your Wedding Event Successful with the Best Catering Services

Your wedding guests will remember many things about your special day – your wedding dress, the venue, the fun and yes most importantly the lip-smacking food! Of course, it will matter to you as well with the catering likely to be your main concern and biggest expenditure for the wedding event. The key here is to hire the best professional wedding caterers, who will create the best menu for your wedding event at affordable rates.

Wedding caterers take care of everything starting from the food, venue-set-up, entertainment to final clean-up of the wedding venue. The best thing about hiring professional caterers for wedding catering in Melbourne is that they will take care of all the essential details so that you can stay relaxed and enjoy the special day of your life. There are several good catering companies like mycaterer that offers Australia-wide catering services.

 

                         

Wedding catering requires right menu, right taste and yes not to mention right presentation too. At the time

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Mar062014

Tips for coordinating guests’ travel to your event

Whether you’re planning a wedding or you’re a corporate event planner, you know that the logistics can make or break an event. If the guests’ memories of the event are more about driving around in circles, lost, searching for the venue than they are about the fun they had there, that’s not a good thing. One of the best things you can do as you plan either a social or corporate event is to coordinate your guests’ transportation. Even if the attendees are largely local, coordinating charter bus transportation can eliminate the anxiety of finding the venue, the potential for drinking and driving, and avoid having to ensure space for lots of cars to be parked.

 As well, if you’re expecting attendees from out of town, a shuttle bus rental to transport them back and forth to airports and hotels can not only alleviate their stress, but your own, too, because you can ensure that they will arrive safely and on time. However, not all bus charter companies are created equal; here are some tips for choosing a charter bus company that will be reliable and suit your needs:

 1.     Safety first: Certainly, the first priority for choosing a charter bus rental company is finding one with a reputation for taking safety seriously. The website allows you check safety ratings of motor carrier companies; if you’re evaluating a motor carrier, look it up by name or U.S. DOT number on the site to discover its safety rating.

 2.     Check insurance: Bus charter companies have different regulations to follow based on whether they travel within states or over state lines. While you might think that’s their problem and not yours, it could be a problem for you if the bus charter company doesn’t have the proper insurance; it could get fined or impounded, which would leave you high and dry at the time of your event. Ask for proof of a valid insurance certificate that has a minimum of $5 million in liability coverage.

 3.     Get references or read testimonials: Some charter bus companies list testimonials on their websites, but it’s hard to know whether they are legitimate. When contracting with a charter bus company, it’s a good idea to ask the representative if s/he can provide three references, i.e. customers who can attest to good service that the company provided. Sometimes, companies are hesitant to do this, and it may not be because they’re afraid of what the customer would say… it could be that they have confidentiality agreements or other reasons why they’re not comfortable approaching former clients. However, if that’s the case, you can use Yelp, Angie’s List, or simply Google the name of the company with the search term “reviews” and you’ll likely find a host of reviews

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Jan292014

Efficient tool to build Mobile Apps for your Events 

"Mobile" is no longer just a buzzword, it's a reality. Heck, there's even a pretty good chance you're reading this on a mobile device right now. But did you know that this year mobile web traffic is expected to exceed desktop usage for the first time ever?

For event planners of all kind, this shift means you should expect most attendees to show up to events with their devices in-hand. Or pocket. Or purse...you get the idea.

More importantly it means that if you don't engage attendees on their beloved smartphones and tablets, you're missing a huge opportunity to reduce your printing, collect feedback in real-time, and generate more revenue from sponsors.

Luckily connecting with your audience on their hand-held devices is pretty easy these days thanks to a Palo Alto based company called Guidebook. They offer a really easy-to-use content management system that makes creating a custom mobile app as easy as dragging-and-dropping icons and uploading your agenda via spreadsheet. Best of all, Guidebook's apps are optimized for all platforms (iOS, Android, BlackBerry, etc.) and don't require connection to the internet, which can be critical in a crowded event venue with spotty wifi.

If you're still handing out printed materials at your events, putting all that information into an app is a no-brainer. But in addition to the obvious eco-friendly and cost-savings benefits, Guidebook offers a host of interactive ways to connect with your attendees that simply weren't possible before. Take for example the ability to include surveys in your app and gather feedback in real-time. There's also a scavenger hunt feature that gets attendees moving around your venue in search of strategically placed QR-codes, and a networking module that allows attendees to digitally exchange contact cards with others who've checked-in.

Creating a mobile event app can also help generate more revenue. In their mobile sponsorship guide, Guidebook details a number of ways to monetize your app via things like in-app banner ads, sponsored push notifications, premium exhibitor listings, and other features that offer sponsors increased visibility. Planners who pull these levers effectively often recoup the entire cost of their app and potentially even turn a profit.

So all this sounds great, but what exactly does it cost to create an event app with Guidebook? Price depends on customization and branding. They actually allow you to publish a basic mobile event guide for free, but of course you'll have to upgrade for more advanced features like multi-track schedules, social media, attendee feedback, or gamification. (Pro-tip: they offer 20% off for non-profits.)

Whether you're just looking to print less and efficiently provide attendees with event logistics, or you want to engage your audience in innovative ways and increase revenue, Guidebook makes it really easy to leverage mobile at your events. Due to the rapid growth of the mobile web, apps have already become the norm at larger conventions and conferences, and soon attendees may come to expect mobile guides at events of all sizes. Guidebook makes this transition shockingly easy and is free to try.

Saturday
Jan252014

Online tools for interactive and engaging events

Keeping participants engaged is one of the most important tasks during conferences. There are a lot of suggestions how to do this - from short quizzes to teamwork activities. Nowadays, as the world around us becomes more and more digital, the opportunities for participants’ engagement are widened by a variety of online tools offered. Here are few of them: 

●      Twitter (twitter.com) 

Twitter has occupied the minds and hearts of masses with its’ hashtag mania. There is a way to incorporate it to your event and use it for participants’ engagement. Before the conference has started, announce what hashtag to use when tweeting about your event. To encourage interaction during presentation ask attendees to give comments and questions about your topic. You can set up a screen on which the stream of tweets will be showed. Instead of traditional Q&A, you can respond to tweets. Real-time feedback from the audience will make your presentation more interactive and dynamic. If there are several presentations taking part at the same time, it may be better to use separate hashtags for different speakers. Either way, all posts under your conference’s hashtag will create a buzz about your event. Speaking about interactive Twitter walls you might consider using online tools such as Tweetwally (http://www.tweetwally.com/), Twitterfall (http://www.twitterfall.com/) etc.

●      IQ Polls (iqpolls.com)

Don’t let your audience fall asleep by encouraging them to participate in a poll. IQ Polls, an interactive web-based voting tool, provides solution for that. Raise a question and ask attendees to vote. The voting can be web-based (with browsers) or via SMS and can be done with laptops, tablets, smartphones and even old “dumb” phones. Participants will be pleased by the opportunity to pull out their devices and express opinion. Speaker, for example, can ask about some points on current topic and use results for immediate response or find out audience’s preferences about further topics. All the results are showed real-time and appear in charts. And it’s not all. Statistics and insights that you collect during the event can be successfully used afterwards for news releases or blog posts.

●      Bizzabo (bizzabo.com)

Bizzabo is a networking platform useful both for event attendees and organizers. Using Bizzabo you can make event highly interactive. The app creates special mobile social network for conference’s attendees. They are able to message to each other inside the app, also it creates a database of participants. As it is integrated with LinkedIn, it is easier for people to expand their professional network. In addition to this, they can merge profiles with faces of those who they met at the event. It is important to mention, that only those who are physically attending the event can join the network. This means that organizers can create closed community and protect it from just “virtual attendees”.

 

●      SpotMe (spotme.com)

Once again, people always recognize the opportunity to meet others from their professional field, especially in business conferences. SpotMe app, similarly to Bizzabo, provides an ability to build connections easier. It allows to spot the person a participant had noticed in the attendees’ list and would like meet. Participants are able to exchange business cards virtually and message to each other. SpotMe excels these features by enabling audience’s feedback, checking schedules, personal agenda creation and many more. Nevertheless, sometimes happens that attendees does not bring compatible devices or don’t want to install an app to their personal ones. Well, SpotMe has a solution for that. It provides complementary devices and brings it to the venue. Can it be more convenient?

Face it, you won’t take away participants’ devices and force them put all their focus on scene. The smartest decision you can make here is to use it for your own good and incorporate some online tools to your event planning. Keep attendees engaged during presentations and between them and turn your event into a really interactive experience. Aren’t participants worth it?

 

 

Article contributed by:  Julius Fedorovicius @fedorovicius

Project manager at @soundest (email marketing platform) and Chief technology officer at @IQPolls (voting tool for interactive presentations). Experienced with audience engagement, UX, SEO, Conversion rate optimization, Email marketing, In-page analytics.

Sunday
Dec082013

How to organise a corporate event your employees won’t want to miss

Attending a corporate event can be a big ask these days. With professionals working longer hours than ever, you can understand why they’d be hesitant to attend a work event that they don’t have to. For event organisers, this means we can’t play it safe and do the same thing as last year. You’ve got to get creative and think of some new ideas. Here are a few elements that are essential for creating an unmissable corporate event.    

Hire an Inspiring Speaker

If you want to motivate your employees to reach a new goal, it can be incredibly inspiring to learn from somebody who has had a vastly different career. Don’t forget, your employees spend nearly all of their time liaising with colleagues in their own industry. So to hear from another leader in the same field can be a little dull. Why not hire a former sports champion, adventurer or an artist to talk about their life story. There’s always at least one theme, it might be courage or determination, that will correspond with your corporate goals.

Pick a Theme

Make your event unforgettable by choosing a unique theme. If you can figure out a way to tie this to the corporate message or purpose of the occasion, all the better. Use your theme to inform your choice of decorations, food, music and dress. It doesn’t have be really ‘out there’, you probably don’t want to make it too risqué. Hawaiian Leis make a good costume item as they’re inexpensive and can be supplied by the organisers rather than the guests.

Do something unusual

Variety is the spice of life. So why not promise your attendants the opportunity to try out an activity they’ve never done before? You could hire a dancer to teach a new step, or a chef to prepare food right in front of your guests. If your event is outdoors a physical challenge is an ideal way to promote teamwork and force your employees to collaborate with people they may never have spoken to before. It might be orienteering, sailing or supagolf, whatever it is, make sure it’s fun and that not too much physical exertion is required.

 

What’s the most creative thing you’ve seen at a corporate event? Share your story in the comments below.

 

 

Danielle is a blogger who loves a great party. She writes for a talent management company.

Sunday
Dec082013

Planning Tips: From Reader Beth

Meticulous and advanced planning for a major event greatly reduces the risk of failure. Knowing that you have the details of the day down pat and are ready for any unexpected mishaps allows you to enjoy and fully participate in the activities as well.

 

Follow the steps below and remember to begin preparations for your important event way ahead of the date. This greatly increases your chance of success while diminishing the odds of something unexpected happening that can upset the balance of the day.

 

  • Meet up with your vendors one or two days before the event. Make sure they have all your requirements ready; go over the details of your event and their role one final time.
  • Send reminder emails or texts to all event participants; reiterate all pertinent information such as time, place, location, and any items or materials they need to bring with them.
  • Get an accurate head count of attendees and make sure you provide adequate seating for everyone. Chiavari chairs are a great choice – they are comfortable and stylish and come in a variety of colors and finishes.
  • Make sure you have the necessary equipment for all presentations and that these are in good working order. Put together a small emergency kit with extension cords, duct tape, adaptors, markers, etc. If the presentations are in PowerPoint, load them ahead of time and have a back-up computer (with the presentation already loaded) just in case something goes wrong.
  • Run through the entire event with your staff, making sure they have a clear understanding of their duties and responsibilities. Establish a method of communication with one another in case something unexpected happens and you are not in the immediate vicinity.

 

Know that no matter how carefully you plan any event, something will always turn out quite differently than the way you expect. Don’t see this as a failure on your part. Instead, look at it as a learning opportunity and use the lesson to plan your next awesome event. Much like many other things in life, launching successful events takes practice. As you do more of them, you only get better and more confident. Pretty soon, you will be the ‘go-to’ person for relevant, enjoyable, well-planned, and spectacular events. 

 

Monday
Dec022013

Ornament Gift Idea

For those of us who still need to order holiday cards (with or without photos) Tiny Prints is still offering their 30% off any card order through Tuesday night, TinyPrints.  They have wonderful cards for those sending business holiday messages as well as the very well known preppy cards for cute children's images.

And if you have some beautiful images ready to upload you can create ornaments for family members or your home in just a few clicks.  Use promo code: STEAL1203 to receive 35% off.

       

For more options please visit:  TinyPrints.com   

Happy Holidays!  

 

Monday
Nov112013

New on Stands, Clever Decor Ideas

 We are all looking for new ideas to make an event special and unique, especially when it comes to one's wedding.  The newly published Fall 2013 Martha Stewart Real Weddings Special Issue shares many easy to implement ideas to make an event different, in a good way.  Below are a few of our favorites, even for those of us who wouldn't categorize ourselves as having that "crafty" gene, these are easy to implement.  
 
Go green - Bring the garden to the table.  No need for $200 floral arrangements, especially if you're incorporating a farm to table theme.  The herbs are tied in nicely with the natural themed table cards.
 
Who doesn't like a party favor you can eat?  These beautiful cake shaped boxes can be filled with your favorite desserts.

 

Looking for an easy way to add a touch of formal to common items?  Tassels will do the trick, can't resist the flower girl shoes....

 

On stands now:  

 

Photo by Bryan Gardner. Courtesy of Martha Stewart Weddings Fall Real Weddings Special Issue. Copyright ©2013.

 
Thursday
Sep262013

Add a little excitement to your next event: Celebrity Chefs

Some of the best events we've attended or produced had an interesting twist, a celebrity chef who not only prepared the meals but came out between courses to share a bit about the preparation technique or personal, humorous stories.  Former White House Chefs, TV Chefs and Michelin Star chefs are amongst the "celebrities" you can hire for your next event.  

A company out of NY helps event planners secure and host celebrity chefs for weddings, charity and corporate events.  We asked Robert Tuchman, President, Goviva of NY to share a few tips on this subject.  Thank you Robert.

 Ten tips for getting the most out of your celeb chef event:

1.       Pick a good name but more importantly pick the right chef personality for your group

2.       Brief the chef on your group dynamics, who likes to participate and who doesn’t!

3.       Try and work with the chef in their kitchen if possible to make things flow better

4.       If the event is not in their kitchen make sure you are allowed to actually cook in the chosen venue

5.       Outline for the chef ahead of time what dish you want them to demo

6.       Secure the chefs cookbook or premium items to have the chef autograph for each guest

7.       Make sure you have the chef integrate your brand message into the demonstration

8.       Let the group mingle and have cocktails before the demonstration

9.       Provide the chef with any dietary requirements for certain guests

10.     The more interactive the better, for your guests and your chef

 

For help booking a celebrity chef visit Goviva.com www.goviva.com 

Team Goviva

 

 

 Submitted by Robert Tuchman, President, GoViva of NY www.goviva.com 

 

Monday
Sep232013

Event Managers Elixir - Recession Strategies

Undoubtedly and irrespective of the industry you belong, surviving recession is challenging, if not more. In the present age, entrepreneurs are looking to build new strategies to get past the financial meltdown. Though the recession impacts every section across the company- sales, marketing, advertising, exhibitions, events and so on, certain groups are brainy enough to sell their brand, drive audience, make money and stay strong. How does this happen? It is accomplished by tackling crisis by adopting new ways into the business plan.  

 

 Exhibitions and events play a critical role in taking marketing efforts to next level. In addition, a research on The Effect Of Economic Recessions On Exhibitions concluded that economic crash had only minor effects on trade shows, assuring a strong ROI via exhibitions.

If you are a business owner for a start-up event industry, it is required to adept on mobile tools- the revolution. As a beginner in the industry, before you dive into the pool of smart phone solutions, mostly apps, you must pay close attention not to drop cost effective event solutions, then to your requirement, if required you may go along long custom business event apps - the Go Green effective platform for customer engagement and measure of interaction. With the immense possibilities around, business events can thrive even during tight times. (more)

 

Nail Your Efforts

You are facing financial crash; it doesn’t mean you have to abort the exhibiting efforts you have worked on. Get into event platforms which gives you chance to showcase your product or service. By exposing your product first within the local crowd, you can gradually reach a larger audience maybe not directly; word of mouth pays it forward. So be aware of the critical opportunities around. It can definitely gain investment and push sales at difficult times.

Pre-Promotion Gain Clientele

During recession, promotional

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Tuesday
Sep102013

Helping the Flower Girl Feel Special

Guest post by: Lacey Blackwood

Other than the bride, the flower girl is the most anticipated and talked about participant in any wedding. From what she is wearing to how cute it is when she dances with the ring bearer, the flower girl is a large focal point of your big day. Regardless of how close you are to your flower girl, you should make a special effort to bond with her leading up to your big day.

 

 

Before you talk to her about being your flower girl consider buy her a picture book that details the experiences of being a flower girl. “The Little Flower Girl” by Linda Tracey Brandon is a great choice but feel free to shop around a bit and find a book that works the best for the two of you. Sit down with her to read the book and then ask her if she would like to be your flower girl! Not only will this create a special memory but it can also help your flower girl understand her role a little bit better depending on her age.

 

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