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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.


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. 



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!  



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.


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 



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

Click to read more ...


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.


Click to read more ...


Keeping a festival event secure - Guest Post

The UK is in peak festival season and with a particularly warm British Summer, it’s not surprising that hundreds of thousands of people flock to outdoor event such as Glastonbury, Bestival and the Secret Garden Party to listen to great music and camp with their friends.

Even though festivals are deemed as positive events, in recent years they have been plagued with crime from drug use to theft, and it’s up to event managers to counteract this.

Organised crime gangs have been known to scour camping sites for possessions; sometimes going to extraordinary lengths – such as cutting into occupied sleeping bags - to steal money and personal belongings from innocent festival goers.

As a result of this, all festival organisers have had to increase their security to tackle these criminals.

So when the threat of theft and drug use is so high, how can a festival ensure that the event is safe and secure without comprising on people’s enjoyment?


Click to read more ...


Engagement Parties

Submited by reader Sofia Angel:  An engagement is something you want to share with your family and your future in-laws, at least, with some good friends from both sides thrown in. The number of people you want invited to celebrate that romantic pact is usually finally decided upon based on what you can really afford and the amount of work you can handle. The bigger the number of the invited guests, the more daunting is the planning and preparation.

Here are some tips from Sofia to remember when planning your own engagement party:

Tip # 1: Keep it close 

Who doesn’t want a boisterous, fun party with a throng of visitors? But if you want to have fun without worrying much about the guests, keep tab of the number. Invite only those who matter to you and your fiancé’s life. This way, you need not spend much time pleasing and entertaining guests. This is your day, have fun in your own engagement party.

Click to read more ...


Event Planning Tips InfoGraphic

Planning an event and looking for reminders?  Check out this infographic created by Total Displays (www.total-displays.com) making it a bit more fun to remember the details.  Thanks for sending this to Bonjour Events.


Planning the Perfect Event Created by Total Displays?__SQUARESPACE_CACHEVERSION=1375113354220" alt=""/>


Increase Conference Engagement 

Engage your delegates for maximum return.  Promoting engagement is key to conferences. The more that you make people listen, think and act the more fulfilling their experience. Work out a way to elicit a response and you're on to a winner. Here are some creative ideas delegates enjoy taking part in:

Test their knowledge with quizzes

Quizzes are popular with conference speakers and producers, but it's surprising how often these aren't used to their maximum potential. Many corporations favour asking delegates about industry wide developments, specific company growth, and other facts & figures but surprisingly can neglect notable events, achievements, and more celebratory aspects. Quizzes are a great opportunity to unveil surprising answers. These 'trick' questions can help you expose things your delegates should be proud of, such as unexpectedly high turnover or a dramatic increase in customer satisfaction. Whatever the message of your conference, choose questions with answers which back up that message. 

Harvest their ideas with mini tasks

These days, delegates come to conferences prepared to participate. Gone are the days when they expect to sit back and watch a Powerpoint presentation. Set them tasks from the off. The best way is to present a problem and before giving them your solution to it ask them to suggest their own. Depending on the size of your group and the venue, tasks which involve getting up and moving around are unexpectedly welcome.

Gauge their opinions with surveys

Let your delegates contribute their thoughts by providing laptops, tablets, or keypads they can use to complete surveys as you go. With some software, such as Messenger by The Challenge Factor, you can collate this data as it comes in and feed it back to the group. This is a great way to take a conference one step further and build on the responses you get.

Make them work together

Collaboration and teamwork are words we hear at conferences all the time, so to get your point across demonstrate their importance instead. Set your delegates a task which is impossible for them to complete on their own - anything requiring more than two hands. For teams used to working together this is a piece of cake as they will instinctively help each other out, but you'll notice those not used to teamwork try and manage it by themselves.

From frenetic activities to deep discussion, choosing the right content style for your messages, delegates and what you want to achieve is key. Start by thinking about what your aim is for the day - what you want your delegates to take away, and how you can give it to them. Until you work that out, there's no point in booking speakers and venues, scheduling activities, choosing staging, sorting out name tags, or anything else.

Read more about conference production The Challenge Factor way on our website: www.thechallengefactor.com


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, www.memorymeld.com, 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 www.qcenter.com 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:  About.com

We love following Geoff Beers's About.com 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