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Inventive wedding ideas: Choose a venue that's entirely out of the norm

Guest Post: Your wedding is one of the biggest days of your life! It is a day that will stay with you forever and should always bring back happy memories. However the cost of the average wedding is now firmly in the five digit range, this can make it difficult to achieve all your aims for your big day.  The answer is to think outside the box! The following ideas are all ways if adding that extra sparkle to your day; without costing a fortune:

Make Your Own Parade!

Everyone loves a parade, the atmosphere is always cheerful and people love the show. If your wedding venue and your reception venue are not too far apart then consider hiring a local marching band and getting them to lead the procession of you and your guests from one location to the other. You will probably need permission from your local authority but it can be an excellent way of getting everyone involved and introducing a carnival atmosphere to your big day. The band should even be able to play a few songs that everyone knows to enable everyone to sing along! 

 Moss Topiary

Summer weddings are excellent for almost guaranteeing the sunshine and having a big, outside wedding. However, the heat of the sun can be a killer for cut flowers and even the nicest or biggest of bouquets can quickly wilt. One answer is to cover a wire frame in moss and create moss topiary. It can be used in a small scale as the centre piece of the table decorations or you can have huge moss animals dotted around the grounds to provide a dramatic effect. There will certainly be no problem with wilting flowers!

The Cake

The traditional fruit cake on several layers is no longer a necessity. Many people prefer to go with a savory choice or something a little different. A stack of cheese wheels garnished with grapes and foliage can make just as stunning an effect but can be eaten or farmed off easier. It is also possible to make the cake a fare more ornate affair by decorating the space around it; forcing people to draw their attention to it.


Pictures have always been a great way of remembering your special day; however there are now a few options which can improve on this. Your wedding ceremony can be filmed and played back on special video tables; effectively tables which have screens and video player built into them. You can also set up a video camera to have people leave you video messages rather than sign a guest book. It is even possible to leave a few video cameras around the reception which will allow guests to film parts of the party which you would otherwise not see.  

The Venue

The traditional venue is a beautiful room or some huge garden with gazebos and beautiful grounds. In fact, it is possible to have a reception almost anywhere! If it is a bit different to the norm then you will create a memory which lives with everyone for a very long time. Consider an apple orchard on a hot summer’s day, or even amongst the vines in a vineyard.  Alternatively you may have a good sized hill or mountain which will allow you and your guest’s one of the most fantastic view possible.

The Ring Bearer

You are probably familiar with the sweet child or pet carrying the ring up the aisle. However, this is a fantastic opportunity to add a new spin onto this important part of the wedding.  A young lad can be dressed to look like a secret agent, with your ring inside a special box.  Alternatively the ring cushion could be replaced with a hand crafter ring box; this could be incredibly personal and remain with you forever.

Have a Picnic!

Surprise your guests by choosing an outside venue, on a beautiful summer’s day, and setting out blankets and picnic hampers for all your guests. Every couple can be intimate while enjoying the setting and ambience of the occasion.

When it comes to a wedding, nothing is out of bounds; you are only limited by your imagination!

By Daniel Lewis and WildernessReserve.com


8 Creative Valentines Ideas

 Happy and excited, aren’t you? The day of celebrating love, Valentine day as we call it, is coming closer. Before I share you some real cool ideas on v-day decoration, let me burst some myths first. V-day isn’t just about romance; you can also rekindle your love for the kids, family, and friends. Breaking off the years-old traditions, get gear up to celebrate this 14th Feb in a real fun and inspiring way.

Here are 8 brilliant ideas for valentine day decoration that will draw in cheers and mesmerizing accent for the day, contributed by Mary Johnson, thank you!

Frame Your Heart



Creating this 3D heart frame isn’t that difficult! You will need a photo frame, a magazine with images of colorful flowers, a scissor or a paper cutter, a piece of fabric and a glue stick. You may already have all these things in your home. Once you gather all essential supplies, get a detailed guide on how to make a heart pattern from magazine papers and frame it beautifully as seen in the image above. The V-day will be here soon, so start out with your decoration idea ahead of time and open your heart pallet for your sweetheart!  


Let the table do talking!


If you want to create a picture-perfect table setting for the V-day and in case you are a bit inclined to red color, this table decoration idea is a must-try. Get balloons, roses (no matter if real or faux), covers for the chairs, candle holders and napkins to give V-day touch your dinner table; buy all these stuff in red! You can also make it a pink, white or a mix color theme based on your taste and imagination!

Turn the Mason Jar into a Candle Holder 

 Have some mason jars in your kitchen? Well, you can use them to make an adorable candle holder for this V-day celebration.  In addition to jars, you will need knife, tape, black chalkboard spray paint and flameless LED candle. If you don’t have any of these supplies at home, you will easily find them in your nearby hardware store, supermarket or grocery store.


Create a Cozy Setting Using Lights

Use Led strings or LED rope lights to light up the whole house; this will look spectacular and make you feel magical. You can also look for heart shaped LED displays for your valentine day décor. When illuminated, Led string lights can transform any usual space into a dreamy wonderland.   The lighting makes ambiance cozy and romantic. And unlike candles, LED lights have no risk of heating up or fire. But they will surely set your mood on fire!


Get Your Wall the Heart Vases



Hang a cluster of heart shaped vases and put some fresh flowers inside for stunning aesthetics. Present this epic design to the queen of your hearts and she will fall in your love once again. You can either look for heart shaped vases online or try making them on own using soft fabric. Instead of real flowers, you can also use faux flowers in a beautiful color pallet.


Craft a Valentine Mantel Display  

With red hearts, flowers, balloons and every other decoration item in red, don’t you think it would be too much red on display? Well, you can think of creating a Valentine’s Day mantel display in white theme then. Create paper hearts and leave them hanging with a very thin  thread; next, you can use cardboard to create the letters as shown in the image. You can paint the wood white or wrap it up with white paper.


Put Hearts on the String!

This is a quickest and simplest V-day craft idea. Yet, it will amaze you with its visual appeal. You just need to have colorful paper, tape and pen or chopstick to make paper-heart garland as shown in the image.



 Put Together Love Notes in the Wreath

How about creating a valentine day special wreath on own? Get your love message cards, tape, clothespins, colorful fabric and wreath frame ready. Get the detailed tutorial on how to make this DIY wreath holding your precious love notes! You can put this wreath on a table or hang it on the front door. It will make a fabulous display!




Happy Valentine’s Day in advance! 


8 Free Apps for Every Event Planner 

There are so many apps out there for event planners, it's nice when someone takes the time to evaluate and recommend their top picks.  Just sent in from Ireland, we have an infographic to share with 8 Free Apps Every Event Planner Needs.  Hope you find a nugget in here.  Thank you Jason Michaels of Black and White Events. ( http://www.blackandwhiteevents.ie/)

Infographic Link


3 Secrets of Mastering the Art of Event Planning


So a great way for an event planning company to make life easier is to ask the client as many questions as possible – having a clear idea of what the client wants will not only help you develop concepts around the event, but will also help to avoid situations where you have to re-do parts of the event because your and the clients’ visions were non in sync.

Also, don’t forget to consult with the client not only initially, but throughout the event production and theming process as well. While you may not always go with his exact vision, since you are the expert after all, communicating ideas usually generates the best results.

Leverage Time

While most people would probably agree that being able to manage time is important, actually applying good time management principles when organising events can be really difficult.

Usually, to really get good at leveraging your own time, experience in the field is required, but a good start is to track your activities, plan them ahead, and, perhaps most importantly, to pinpoint key areas that you are truly good at and focus on them, building everything else around them.

One thing you can (and always should) do when taking on an event management project is make sure that you have enough time to execute everything properly. Giving yourself a head start to put the event together is perhaps the most important detail that can mean the difference between success and failure.

Don’t Be Afraid to Delegate

Finally, as you’ll discover as soon as you start crafting your first event, you can’t handle every little detail of the event yourself. In fact, it’s a fair statement that while you may be in charge of the “big picture” of the event, the lion’s share of the grunt work actually gets executed by the people that you employ.

So an essential skill every event planner simply must possess is being able to efficiently delegate tasks while still ensuring that everything gets done right. This basically boils down to selecting the right people for each job and giving them clear, concise and precise directions at what needs to be done. It doesn’t matter if the florist is world-renowned – you have a vision of what you need, and the florist needs to execute it, or else he/she is not the right fit.

An additional perk of delegating tasks is actually being able to focus on the things that you feel you need to do yourself, or just the things that you really enjoy doing and/or are really good at.


Event management is a skill that is slowly acquired only with years of experience. But even novice event planners can organise great events that can be a hit every time, if they learn to always communicate with the client, manage their time and efficiently delegate tasks.

Author Bio:-

Sarah Hill is a professional blogger and creative content writer. She works as a Marketing Manager @Group Se7en Events. Group Se7en Events are leading events planners in London & conference organisers, delivering global meeting and free venue finding service.

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7 things to include in your event staff brief

We all are aware the only way to a smooth event is with a well briefed team.  Guest writer Madre Visser of London shares some helpful tips below for briefing your events team.  Thank you Madre!

Staff Entrance and Meeting Points

Provide staff with the exact meeting point or staff entrance for a venue or event. Some hotels have hundreds of employees and will often have a separate staff entrance. If you require staff to enter through the assigned staff entrance it is essential to let them know.

Some events may take place at a large venue or site, so staff will need specific direction. It is useful to highlight the best transport links for the event location, distinct landmarks or even exact walking instructions. This minimises the risk of staff getting lost or spending a long time finding the venue which may cause them to be late. 

  1. On-site contact

Sometimes it may be that the person who booked the staff is different to the person who will be managing them on site. Therefore it is important to provide the name and number of an on-site contact so that the staffing provider can relay information across to exactly the right person. The on-site contact would need to be alerted in the event of staff members running late, sickness of staff members or sending additional staff.


  1. What is the event

For staff to build a clear picture of their day ahead you should provide them with details about the event. Include the details such as number of guests attending, the style of service that will be followed, and what the event is in aid of. Knowing what the event is can allow for staff to realise the profile of the clients and the level of service that will be expected. If your event is very high profile and needs to be kept a secret, you need to let the agency staff know about any confidentiality clauses. They will then ask the staff not to share anything on social media prior to your event.


  1. Event Schedule

From a staff member’s point of view, it’s really useful to know what the schedule of an event is so that staff know where to be and at what time. It also gives them the opportunity to gage how long they have to complete tasks. This in turn improves the independent working and efficiency of staff members and reduces your need to keep prompting them on what tasks to complete next.


  1. Staff Uniform

If you want your event to look really professional, uniformity and presentation of staff are a great aspect to consider. From head to toe you can decide how staff should present themselves. The obvious points to consider are trousers or skirt, black shirt or white shirt, branded clothing, does the venue have a uniform scheme that should be followed. Points which are often overlooked regarding female staff include how female staff wear their hair, their level of make-up, jewellery, perfumes. When considering male staff, think about their facial hair, jewellery and aftershave. The level of presentation of staff will really impact on the overall quality of the event.


  1. Break Policy

Staff are legally entitled to have a 20 minute break for every 6 hours they work. These breaks are an opportunity for staff to have some time out and to recharge their batteries in preparation for the next few hours of working. So staff are prepared, it is also good to know whether a meal will be provided during their break or if they should bring their own food to eat. Staff feel appreciated when they are clear about their break and meal entitlements. Providing meals proves to increase staff productivity as they feel valued. The staff should also be informed beforehand as to whether their break will be paid or unpaid.


  1. Health and Safety

Staff can be requested to work at some obscure events where they may be expected to carry out unusual tasks. In these situations health and safety documentation may need to be given to the staff. This is vital so staff know what regulations to follow in order to ensure their safety.


Tick all of these boxes and you can be sure to avoid staffing-related issues at your event!


7 Tips for Successful Corporate Events

Guest Post from London, Thank you Reno:  

A good event can build brand awareness, improve your relationships with the people you do business with, and even help you forge new relationships. Make the most of your next event with these seven simple tips.

Set Clear Objectives

It's important to set clear goals even before making any other event decisions, because your objectives are going to define what kind of event will be most suitable. Other important factors include your target audience profile, the particular impression you want to make, and what you want attendees to get out of the event.

Consider a Collaboration

If you're the owner of a small business or start-up you may be thinking that an event is way out of your price range, but collaborating with one or more businesses that are relevant to your industry might help you get there. That means you get to share the expenses and the workload, and perhaps even hire an event company that can help you create a truly unique event. If you do decide to collaborate with one or more other businesses, be sure to use effective event branding to make sure that each business has is represented in advertising and other materials.

Get Organised and Get Help

There's a huge amount involved in putting on a successful event, and most people don't realise just how much work is required. Setting a budget and date, finding an appropriate venue, locating sponsors and speakers, selling tickets, promoting the event, decorating and setting up the venue, providing refreshments, and creating take-home material are all on the agenda, and time-consuming. Especially if you're new to events, collaboration can definitely be useful, or even just enlisting the help of a member of staff who can take on some of the workload.

Promote through Appropriate Channels

Who's your target audience? Once you know the answer to this question, you'll know where to advertise your event. Facebook is a great medium for this, but don't forget Twitter, email, blog posts, and press releases. Get the word out face-to-face with customers and clients, suppliers and other professional contacts, and encourage your staff members to do the same.

Create Attendance Incentives

Advertising isn't enough on its own, it's also important to provide some attendance incentives that will get you a good-sized audience. Interesting speakers, or an unusual event theme or venue can be great talking points that pique interest and boost attendance. If there's something particularly interesting or unique about your event, you're more likely to get people not only attending, but also encouraging friends to attend.

Provide Take-home "Gifts"

Event attendees love getting freebies, and they don't have to be expensive to be effective. Product samples, promotional items, and information packets can work well, serving to create a good impression of your business as well as reminding people of the event and your brand.

Create Avenues for Getting Feedback

There's still work to be done after the event is over. You can generate more publicity by writing an email for your subscribers list, publishing a blog posts and videos, and updating on Facebook and Twitter with information about the highlights of the event. You can also provide attendees with a short and simple questionnaire, or enclose a feedback form in your take-home information packet.

Author Bio:

Reno Macri is a Director of UK based exhibition company Enigma Visual Solutions, specialising in stand design & build, graphic productions, event signage and event branding services. He specialises in exhibition and event management. He would love to share his insight and thoughts on latest experiential marketing ideas. Feel free to connect with him on Twitter.


Top Successful Ways to Market Yourself as an Event Planner

Guest Post from London based Event Manager Sarah Hill. Thank you Sarah.

Being a good events planner required a lot of knowledge and skills, as well as a knack of thriving under the most stressful conditions.

But even if you have what it takes to create beautiful events and handle any crisis that might arise, you’re still not guaranteed that clients will start lining up behind your door, begging for your services. The hard truth is that the event production industry is one of the fiercest out there – its foundation lies largely on the relationships, therefore breaking in is really difficult, even if you’re very talented.

The only way to really stand out and start attracting clients is to market yourself aggressively, but doing so without turning people off can also be a challenge.

So how should you market yourself as an event planner?

There are many aspects that need to be utilized properly in order to achieve good results, but here are the essentials that are the focus of most successful event management professionals out there:

Networking is a Continuous Process

As was said before, the events agency industry is largely based on long-term relationships.

Therefore your main tasks when starting out is to get to know as many people as possible – you must treat each new acquaintance as a marketing opportunity. This means not only telling what you do, but also having developed a strong “elevator pitch” and being able to show your expertise in the field, if need be.

This will go a long way in making people remember you when they need some help with organizing an event – making an impression of someone who knows his way in the events planning industry is half the work in getting clients.

Another part of it is sharing your contact details – have business cards ready and leave them to people that you believe might someday need your services. You’d be surprised how far a professionally designed and made business card can go in creating a good impression of a professional.

Other networking methods involve developing relationships with venues and suppliers – they consistently work with people that are putting together events, and if you have a good relationship, they might just recommend you as an events planner who could help.

Strong Social Media Presence is No Longer Optional

If it was 1999, you might get away with simply handing out business cards and hoping to end up of as many rolodexes as possible.

But since we now live in an age ruled by technology and social media, the simple truth is that if you’re not prominently visible on the web, you will not be taken seriously as a professional in the event management industry.

Having a website, a Facebook page, a Twitter feed and, perhaps most importantly, a comprehensive and complete LinkedIn profile goes a long way in showing that you’re a professional that knows how to form his image, has experience, as well as people that follow him.

Also, sharing valuable content about the events industry can build up your status as an authority in the field and can even, over time, turn you into a household name in your area.

Nurture Your Relationships

So, you’ve done a good job in networking both online and offline, and now have a solid list of acquaintances, colleagues and clients.

While that’s great, you can’t forget that there are always new event production managers trying to break into the industry, and you have to make sure you don’t lose your clients to someone who is more aggressive.

Luckily, you have an edge, since you have a longer relationship with them, but it’s important to make sure you always keep an open line with your business contacts – even sending an occasional email or postcard can go a long way in making sure you’re on their mind the next time they are organizing an event.



In an industry that’s as fierce as events planning, it can be very difficult to break into, as well as stay successful and in business.

But consistent networking and marketing efforts, as well as a strong presence online can help to build affiliations that can be nurtured into long-term, mutually beneficial relationships that guarantee your place in the industry, no matter how competitive it might get.


Author Bio :-

Sarah Hill is a professional blogger and creative content writer. She works as a Marketing Manager @Group Se7en Events. Group Se7en Events are leading events planners in london & conference and incentive travel management company, delivering global meeting and free venue finding service.



Considerations for Planning A Great Alumni Event

Post written by Chad Reid, thank you Chad!


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.


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. 

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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



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

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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. 



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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! 

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,

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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!


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?



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

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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

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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.


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.