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Get your party on: New Source for Party Props & Favors

Throwing an 80s bash soon? Want to give attendees funky sunglasses or boas?  One Way Novelties offers an online resourse for your party decor needs.  Specializing in low cost, high impact items, you're sure to find that disco ball, glow necklaces, 70s Wig or costume jewelry at One Way Novelties 



 Visit One Way Novelties for the full selection and add a little fun to your next conference or party.   


Sharing Photos at your Events

Capturing memories, through photos, is becoming more and more popular at events. Advances in technology have made this very easy, but the only way to share these memories is by sending individually or sharing with a large social network where many people didn’t even attend the event. There is a huge problem with sharing photos with guests from the event. Memory Meld is a start-up that solves this problem.   

Memory Meld,, is a website and mobile app that has created an easy way to safety share events photos. It’s really simple to do. Event organizers can create an event on the website or app by entering a custom event code. A unique QR code is automatically created and the event organizer can share the QR and event code with guests.

The website has a function to email these details to your guests, but another good idea is to include the code in the invite or print a small handout with the instructions and codes for the event. Guests sign into the Memory Meld app with the event with the QR or event code. Guests can take photos directly through the app or upload photos through a mobile device or desktop computer. Guests can see all the photos that are shared and download the photos they want to keep. 

There are a few other cool features, like an automated slideshow that shows all the event pictures in real time. The company is currently making more ways to easily share event photos, so follow the company for more advances and try out the service to make your next event more memorable.



A nice solution for guests who cannot make the Wedding in person.

When invited to someone’s special day we all want to be present at the grand event but circumstances or health issues sometimes prevent family members from attending a wedding.  Brides and wedding planners have enjoyed an easy to use software called “Event-Cast” to stream their weddings to a private audience, in real time.    

Originally created for proud parents to share their children’s live sporting events, the cloud based service works just as well for weddings and bar mitzvahs.  You can send a link to your “audience” ahead of time, they don’t need an account, just the link.  Regarding price, this is sure to be the lowest line item on your budget.  For example, streaming two hours to twelve people will run $6 – total.

The only equipment needed is an iPhone or iPad, wi-fi signal and a reliable groomsman.  (Guessing the third item might be the hardest to find….)




Reasons to consider booking a Full Service Conference Center

Submitted by Q Center in St. Charles, IL 

When searching for the perfect venue for your upcoming meeting, it’s important to consider how the atmosphere of the venue supports or undermines the purpose of your event.  Many meetings are held at hotels and vacation destinations, which means attendees find themselves distracted and unfocused during their meeting (the pool bar is always attractive).  One option to ensure your audience is fully engaged and focused in a professional atmosphere is to consider a full service conference center that offers dedicated service and experienced event staff. 

A full service conference center will have specific features that provide significant value compared to hotels. For example, Q Center from St. Charles, IL provides these seven main distinctive features:

Meeting packages: If the traditional complete meeting package including three meals and coffee breaks isn’t right for your group, most conference centers can adapt their offering to your needs.

In-house technical staff:   An internal AV team keeps abreast of all the updated technology required to make meetings successful and impactful. Rather than outsourcing A/V services, a full service conference center has staff and equipment on site. That means the equipment is impeccably maintained and the staff are intimately familiar with it, making your A/V as reliable as it can be. 

Technical and Creative AV Resources:  The technical team focuses strictly on hardware and computer technology. The creative team dedicates its time to audio engineering, sound mixing, event production/design an media editing.

Catering team specifically created for meetings:   The catering team understands the lifecycle of a meeting, and the menu required to sustain the energy of presenters and attendees. Apart from the breakfast, lunch, and dinner services included in a meeting package, the catering team will customize menus to complement the theme of your event, and manage the food at refreshment breaks to create one seamless experience.

Team Building Activities:  For team building, Q Center’s internal staff provides custom program development and team building that can be integrated into a company’s larger theme and meeting objectives.

Dedicated Problem Solvers: Conference centers get acclimated to meeting groups and their needs very quickly and efficiently. No matter what unforeseen problems arise, a quick turnaround is a guarantee.

Experienced professional conference planning manager:  A full service conference center makes sure that expert staff is involved throughout the entire lifecycle of an event. An experienced professional conference planning manager and a technical manager will be assigned from the planning stages through the end of each event at Q Center. These experts bring full background knowledge of the group’s specifications and expectations. 

From setting the stage and lighting, to customizing food menus and providing team building activities, full service conference centers offer a range of services designed to accommodate your needs and give you a smoothly executed, professional meeting.


Visit to access meeting planning resources and to explore the endless possibilities for your next event, at Q Center.



Overcoming Challenges in creating an event blueprint

Submitted by the team at Mission Guru. Thank you Remos.

The foundation to any well-run event is the event blueprint. Event Managers are in the business of risk management and a well structured event blueprint helps us reduce as much risk as we can. The event blueprint should clearly highlight the objectives and needs of your company or client so that throughout the planning process you keep in mind your deliverables. Preparing your event without having a clear understanding of your client’s objective is like navigating a ship without a compass; event managers should always be 100% certain they’re sailing in the right direction.

Like any important document, there are a number of challenges in writing an event blueprint.

Challenge 1: Event timeline

Your event blueprint is a work in progress. Events are characterized by constant changes and unexpected surprises. Therefore, the success of your event hinges on how well you can communicate and adapt to these changes. Only the latest timeline including up to date modifications should circulate among those involved with the planning of your event.

The challenge is both to update the ever-evolving timeline of your event in real-time, as well as keep track of changes made by other parties involved. It is paramount to the success of your event that you avoid any versioning issues. Event Management Software, especially Cloud Base solutions can be useful to help you generate an event blueprint that can be accessed from one centralized platform.

Challenge 2: Events logistics

Organizing event logistics can be seenas tightening the nuts and bolts of your event foundation. From the physical layout of your events, to the production of print material, to the organization of event transportation, there will be a number of individuals carrying various responsibilities.

The challenge here is to keep track of all the todos assigned to these individuals. Event Planning software offers event managers the ability to easily keep an eye on individual responsibilities and keep track of the task statuses.

Challenge 3: Equipment and supplies

Whether it’s tech and AV, or brochures and badges, it is always important to know what  and how many resources are allocated where.An Event blueprint should clearly communicate the type and quantity of equipment and supplies needed for any specific part of your event.

The challenge here is both not to over-stock and, more importantly, not to under-stock. When events are reoccurring, saving your event templates can help you better allocate resources. And remember think Green! Software can help you reduce your dependence and use of paper.

Challenge 4: Budgeting

In todays economic environment, cost saving has become an essential part of running an event. A good event blueprint should take in mind the cost of organizing an event, and assess how to limit it as much as possible.

The challenge here is to save event costs while not cutting corners too much. You don’t want your attendees to have a bad event experience because you stinted out on location, design ,food, and qualified staff. The key is to assess which costs are necessities and which costs can be limited. Often times a solution might be finding an event management partner which can take care of multiple tasks, rather than trying to outsource to a number of individual companies.  

Challenge 5: Follow-up and assessment

Your event is only as good as the attendees experienced it to be. Make sure to always assess your event afterwards to see what about your event blueprint worked, and what didn’t.

The challenge here is to get targeted feedback. What did attendees like?  Ask targeted questions, monitor event reviews and match responses with your event blueprint.

Also, always make sure you follow-up with your client. Ensure you met your client’s objectives, check if your client had a positive experience working with you and thank your client for their cooperation and consideration. One of your objectives when organizing an event should always be to get repeat or follow-up business.

Lastly, don’t forget to send a “thank you” to those who cooperated with you on your event. 

Remon Moes, Marketing Director, Mission Guru Ltd.  Remon Moes has experience in running events and supporting international trade delegations throughout China. His keen interest in event technology led to join Mission Guru; the first full-fledged virtual events assistant which helps event managers generate their event blueprints.


What can you take online?

As we've blogged before, our sister site is shaking up the way online registrations take place.  By offering a flat rate/form we're welcoming new organizations to move their registrations online with a la Reg, saving valuable time and funds.   

We love to hear how clients are using a la Reg.  Below are some real use cases we learned about this week:

* an Atlanta LL to accept online payments for the family picnic
* a Nor. Cal Humane Society to accept donations online for the first time
* a New Mexico Incubator for non-profits to accept conference registrations online
* a Florida event planner
* a Rowing Organization to accept member payments for their banquets
* a Tennis club to accept RSVPs to their Cinco de Mayo Party
* a California personal trainer to accept payments and enrollment online for the first time
BTW, in most scenarios a la Reg is at least 90% less than the most popular online reg tool...just sayin... 
Please post how you're using a la Reg.

Maximizing Your Corporate Event ROI

Planning a corporate event can cost a lot of money, be very time-consuming and take up a lot of resources. So it’s important to plan a corporate event thoroughly and think about all aspects of an event to mitigate disasters and also to get as much return on investment out of it as possible. Here’s a checklist of strategic considerations to help plan the perfect corporate event.  (Submitted by reader Sonya of Dreambooth, UK)


It is critical to consider why an event is being held in the first place. It is really important to start the planning off with strong and credible business and marketing objectives based upon what the outcome is that you want to achieve. The event could be held to reach out to new prospects and create brand awareness in the marketplace. Or it could be to make more direct sales or launch a particular product and cross-sell a further range of products down the line.


Once you have crystallised the objectives of the event, then you should think about the putting measurements in place that evaluates whether your event is worth the investment you have put into it; in budget, time and resource. It is always best to measure both qualitatively and quantitatively with statistics and sentiments such as number of attendees, spread of companies and sentiment towards your brand and products and if they are likely to buy from you. By putting in place measurement processes you can measure if your event is a success, needs improvement or needs to be reconsidered.


The whole point of the event will be to bring together your clients and make them aware of your products, services and brand. Think about the perception and messaging that you will want them to take away with them, and the key messages of your company that you want to get across.

Messaging should be consistent and integrated across everything you do at the event through to how it is delivered and executed. So if you have presentations, master classes or workshops pull out the key messages that need to come across and how it relates to your business’ offering. Make sure that the messaging doesn’t come across as too promotional as this will be off-putting to attendees and they are likely to switch off.


Having strong engagement with clients at an event is crucial. Organising a face-to-face event is all about engaging with people, forming and building relationships. Not only is it important to have strong engagement with your clients, you can also give them the platform at your event to meet and network between themselves. By networking with others, attendees will feel that their time is well spent and see value in coming along.

Make engagement more fluid by having staff introduce attendees to each other. Every employee at the event should be given a thorough briefing beforehand about the objectives and purpose of the event. You can also distribute attendee lists and set up your event so mingling and networking is easy.

Using gimmicks that help break the ice at corporate events is a great idea. More companies are hiring branded photo booths at their event that helps to create a buzz. Offering unusual promotional gifts that attendees can play with, such as yoyos, rather than standard pens, create a smile and gets people talking. Giveaways will also be keepsakes for your clients to take away with them.

If you are holding an event where seating at tables is required, then think about a table plan to maximise networking opportunities between attendees.

Sonya works for dreambooth who are a provider of branded photos booths in the UK. 


One Day Sale on Tiny Prints

For those who love stationery, Tiny Prints is hosting a one day sale, 40% off all thank you notes - more than 1700 designs.  You can add a photo, a monogram or just order the cards just as the designer created them.  

Sale is today through 8:59am PST Friday. You can find designs for professional correspondence, cards for graduates to say thanks, Easter notes, and a specific line for children as well.  TinyPints Site: LINK

Promo Code: Deal0404




Registration Solutions:

We love following Geoff Beers's articles and hope you enjoy this concise registration software overview.  Written to provide ideas of what to consider before selecting your registration software such as pricing structures, branding, customization options and mobile.  

LINK to Registration Article on About


Fresh Idea Designs @ Biz Bash....

Looking for fresh, incredibly executed design ideas?  Or a real pro for a major event?  Check out Biz Bash's Top 35 Event Designers, released today. Our favorite, Preston Bailey's amazing "Floral Floor".
From BizBash this morning:  Our goal in highlighting the top designers working right now—daunting as it seemed—was not only to recognize the individuals who are shaping what events look and feel like today, but to also feature the designers’ most memorable efforts of the past year. We also asked them to share their creative process and inspirations. This group designs hundreds of events each year, including product launches, benefits, award shows, brand anniversaries, experiential marketing events, weddings, premiere parties, and much more. - See more at: BizBash.

Name Tags part 2

Another tip for name tags.  

If you're going through the effort of having custom lanyards for your hanging name tags, consider having two copies of every nametag printed. Place the two copies back to back in a badge holder, or better yet have your printer print front and back on the tags.  This way, when the badge swings around backwards your attendee names are still visible.  

The large name badges are nice becuase they allow a lot of space for your company or event logos, we just wish they wouldn't spin so often.  


Name Tags

We get a lot of questions about name tags, both production and etiquette.  A recent reader asked, should we list Mr. and Mrs./Ms. on the name tags?

We think you can leave off the person's salutation, unless they are a Dr. or a military officer.  We expect to see Dr. First Name Last name.  For a PhD, list this after the persons name.

As a rule of thumb, make the first name (and the word Dr. in those cases) much larger than all other copy.  The last name can be slightly smaller, followed by the name of the company a couple spaces below.

I tend to leave off titles b/c there are so many different ways to list a title (Sr. Manager, Products vs. Sr. Product Manager vs. Senior Manager).  Who knows their preference? You are sure to get them incorrect on a few, and possibly offend an attendee.

Lastly, if this is a nice event expect the ladies will appreciate magnet backed name tags, rather than pins.

Happy planning.  (if you want more name tag tips simply type name tags in the search box on the left column).


Give Away: Martha's Computer Bags

When hosting an event you have your many, many supplies and of course a laptop in tow.  Martha Stewart's line of Home Office supplies recently launched a new line of computer cases, iPad coers and totes.

Available in sleek designs and great colors, each bag features attributes Martha Stewart looks for in a tote or case, keeping both style and functionality in mind.  While all are padded, the larger totes come with pockets and dividers for pens, folders, extra supplies. 

If you'd like to win a large computer tote please leave a comment below.  We'll select a winner by end of today.  If you don't win, please visit Staples or to purchase one.


Our Winner:  Tara

Congratulations to reader Tara for winning the pair of tickets to the Martha Stewart Wedding Party.  Below is a recap of the "Favorite Favors" - wonderful ideas:


Favorite corporate swag item was an etcher sketch.
  • A pair of spices. One from the bride and one from the groom each with a cute recipe to use it with. The groom was a chef so it was representative of the couple. Very cute!
  • A small salt and pepper shaker set (ideal for dinner parties) with a butter knife stamped with a cute phrase.
  • A jar of chocolate-covered gummy bears, as this was what the groom had gifted the bride on their first date (in high school!)
  • A sea salt set - very gourmet
  • Corp Gift: A mini-car CD player, fully branded, for us to use at a desk or bring home to children
  • Flower seeds to plant in a pretty sachet
  • A scented travel candle, the type with a lid from Aveda

Free Tickets to Martha's Bridal Party NYC

Want to win a pair of tickets to the Martha Stewart's Wedding Party happening January 27th in NYC?  

Please share your all time favorite wedding favor (or corporate conference swag item) below to be entered to win two tickets to the event. Winner will be announced this Thursday, January  17.



Martha's Wedding Party

Jan 27, 11-4pm, Gotham Hall, NY

Tickets:  $75 ea


New Years Party Invitations....

Just got the holiday cards out the door, and 2013 is almost here!   Are you having a New Year's party? If so, you may enjoy checking out the new line of New Years Party invitations featured on Tiny Prints.  As always, Tiny Prints modern and fresh designs are printed on their top-of-the-line paper.    

You can completely personalize them, change font sizes, add your own text and ordering is simple. 

1. Visit Tiny Prints and look through their selection of New Year's party invitations. 

2. Add your information for the invitations.

3. Review them for accuracy (take your time here!).

4. Complete your order. If you need them fast, use their Super Rush shipping and you will have them in two days.



Registration Solutions: Ooh La La

Event registration software continues to improve every year making it easier for event planners, volunteer organizers and fundraisers alike to streamline their event information as well as publish their own registration forms.  We recently came across a site which reviews registration software, Online Registration Reviews by Dr. Catherine Key. We particularly like the one below, on a la Reg but all of her reviews offer fresh insights and an unbiased perspective in this space. 


Force Majeure....

Our thoughts are with those in NY and along the east coast as they start to move forward from Sandy.  

In light of this tremendous storm, countless meetings and events will be canceled due to flight issues or worse, venue closures.  Many meeting professionals are currently reading the fine print in their contracts to fully understand the always included, but rarely discussed, Force Majeure clause.  We came across an interesting article by Meetings Net (full article) which provides a great overview on the subject.  

From Meetings Net:  The Legal Side of Storm-Related Cancellations

With so many canceled flights, the storm is likely to have an impact on meetings nowhere near the hurricane’s path. Attendees from East Coast cities may not be able to get to meetings across the country. In cases where a significant number of attendees can’t make it due to the storm, it’s important that a force majeure clause allows for partial performance being covered, says attorney James Goldberg, principal, Goldberg and Associates, Washington, D.C. Often, it’s written as an all-or-nothing proposition, meaning that a contract must terminate or go forward, he says.

Also, the force majeure clause probably won’t cover a group that cancels a meeting next week over concerns that power will still be out.“It’s best not to make unilateral decisions,” says Goldberg. “Discuss it with the hotel and reach agreement on how to proceed.”  

Adds attorney Steven Adelman, Adelman Law Group, Scottsdale, Ariz., "In any force majeure event, it is most important to concentrate first on saving lives, then on protecting property, and last on who has a legal claim against whom. Behaving ethically and generously in a crisis tends to make people disinclined to sue.

“Your contracts define only your basic legal rights and obligations,” says Adelman, who deals with risk management and litigation involving public accommodations. “The details of how you perform those duties, and the consequences of your actions, are up to you." 

Hats off to Hilton:'

Hilton properties in the affected areas are waiving cancelling fees through October 30 for advance purchase reservations for those hotels located in evacuation zones and affected areas. Early departure charges will also be waived at all applicable hotels. Hilton will continue to monitor and evaluate its storm-related policies accordingly. "Hilton Worldwide's NYC hotels are all faring well, as we planned ahead and have enough food and supplies," says Hilton Worldwide officials in a statement. "The Conrad has been evacuated due to the flood zone and West 57th Street by Hilton Club has been evacuated due to the crane collapse nearby on 57th Street. Guests have been relocated to the Hilton New York." 



Finding New Vendors just got easier

When you're planning an event, especially in an unfamiliar city, one of the hardest parts can be finding professional vendors you can trust with your event and clients.  UK based Event-Library is making this process easier providing a platform for peer submission and reviews for vendors (catering, av, staffing and of course venues).  Think of this as a Yelp for event planners.

You can search for the best-rated venues and suppliers within your specific city or country and can filter reviews by group size.  As this is a rather new business they are also looking for your submissions of great vendors.  (this is a much more sophisticated version of our little vendor directory). 

Check them out at: .  Good luck team Event-Library.




Throwing a Flirty Thirty...

This article was kindly submitted by Amanda Toernqvist out of the UK.  Thank you Amanda.

If the event planner in you is bursting to come out, then there is no better opportunity to let it happen than when arranging a thirtieth birthday. Eighteenth and twenty first birthdays are all about the excitement and giddiness of finally being a grown up and are usually heavily focussed on alcohol, being seen to be popular, and having as loud and lairy a time as possible. By the time you get to your 30th, you’re still young enough to enjoy yourself but you can truly please yourself with a party you’ll really enjoy – no peer pressure to follow the crowd anymore!

The first thing to consider is the guest list. Make sure you whittle it down to those people you truly enjoy the company of and who you really want to be there. Is it to be a friends-only affair or a friends and family do? Give people plenty of notice when you send out invitations. A nice touch is to send out physical invitations – there are some lovely choices available from Hallmark – rather than simply texting or emailing invites. It shows more effort on your part and demonstrates to guests that you really want them to be there.

A good tip for any 30th is to have a central theme. It doesn’t have to be anything tacky; you might choose to make the theme a cocktail night, for example. Many bars offer ‘cocktail master class’ evenings, allowing you to experiment with making various cocktails under the guidance of an experienced member of the bar staff, and then of course you get to enjoy your efforts by drinking the results!

You will need to consider whether you want to provide your guests with food, or if it’s going to be a drinks-only affair. If you are laying on a buffet, you will probably have to cover the cost yourself as it wouldn’t be good party etiquette to ask guests to contribute to this. However, if you have a meal out as part of your 30th then of course guests will pay for themselves. Your only responsibility here would be to book the venue.

A good idea if you want to throw a big party with a buffet and drinks laid on is to have a joint celebration with a friend who has a birthday around the same time (providing of course you both want the same kind of party). This way you can throw the party you want whilst spreading the cost.