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Monday
May282012

PerfectTablePlan, Now Even Better

A few months ago we did a review on a great software for organizing your seating plans called Perfect Table Plan.  We all know this is the most dreaded task of brides and gala hosts, but this software really makes it easier to drop and drag your guests' names to the "latest" seat as your rsvps change.  And, it just got better.

Perfect Table Plan just released V.4 with over thirty improvements and a few of these are highlighted below.  At $35 this tool is a lifesaver for anyone planning a Bar Mitzvah, dinner gala or wedding.

 



New features of the drop and drag seating plan software:

  • Import attendee list directly from Excel .xls and .xlsx files
  • Oval tables & Semi-circular tables (in addition to rectangle, square and circle)
  • Rows of seats (without tables) - perfect for fashion shows
  • Optional realistic chairs and place settings
  • Angled text for banquet seating
  • Print or export all tables from the Table plan pane in a single operation
  • Export stationery to PDF
  • Export to custom size PDFs
  • Paste the Table Chart and Guest Chart panes directly into MS Word

To view the original post and review click here.  Merci Perfect Table Plan.

Click to read more ...

Monday
Apr232012

Clever Mint Julep Recipes

The first Saturday in May is always a favorite "holiday" for me, the Kentucky Derby. 

If you're lucky enough to watch the best horse race at Churchill Downs itself, cheers to you.  If you're having your own celebration below are a few very creative versions of the classic Mint Julep Derby Drink, courtesy of "Southern Living" -  does anyone know the South better? You can view the full recipe and other cocktails at this Bonjour Events page: Aperitifs.

Place mint leaves and syrup in a chilled julep cup, and muddle. Pack cup tightly with crushed ice; add bourbon and mint sprig.    


1. Mint Syrup: Boil 1 1/2 cups sugar and 1 1/2 cups water, stirring often, 2 to 3 minutes or until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat; add 15 fresh mint sprigs, and cool completely. Cover and chill 24 hours. Strain syrup; discard solids.

2. Grapefruit-Honey Syrup: Prepare Mint Syrup as directed, reducing sugar to 1/2 cup and stirring 3/4 cup fresh grapefruit juice, 1/2 cup honey, 3 (2- x 4-inch) grapefruit rind strips, and rind from 1 lime, cut into strips, into sugar mixture with mint. For julep, muddle with 1 small grapefruit rind strip.

3. Peach-Basil Syrup: Prepare Mint Syrup as directed, substituting basil for mint and stirring 2 (5.5-oz.) cans peach nectar and 1 split vanilla bean into sugar mixture with basil. For julep, muddle with 1 peach slice.

4. Blackberry Syrup: Prepare Mint Syrup as directed, adding 6 oz. fresh blackberries, halved, with mint. For julep, muddle with 2 fresh blackberries.

5. Pineapple-Lemongrass Syrup: Prepare Mint Syrup as directed, reducing granulated sugar to 1 cup, adding 1/2 cup light brown sugar to granulated sugar and water, and stirring 1 cup pineapple juice, 2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice, and 3 (3-inch) pieces fresh lemongrass into sugar mixture with mint after removing from heat. For julep, muddle with 1 small fresh pineapple chunk.

Wednesday
Mar212012

Selecting Your Next Venue

A guest post submitted from our friends in the UK:

One of the biggest headaches in organizing corporate events is finding a suitable venue. But it needn’t be complicated; there are plenty of venues out there, but before you start searching it’s worth narrowing down what you’re looking for by thinking what you really need for a particular event.

Depending on your budget, you can take a lot of the legwork out of the task by using a venue finding service. However, it’s easy to find venues for yourself online or through your own networks.

Here are some useful things to consider:

Size

Think about how big the event will be and plan ahead. For conferences that involve a large group of people you often need to secure a venue months in advance.

Timing 

Your choice of venue will depend on how long the event will run. If you’re organising corporate entertainment, it may be an evening event that requires overnight accommodation. For this kind of event you might be better choosing a venue that has on-site accommodation – like a hotel.  However, your event might be better suited to a breakfast or lunch meeting, in which cases your options are a lot wider.

Location

In order to get maximum attendance, it’s important that you choose a venue that is easy to get to and has good access to public transport or handy parking facilities for attendees. The easier it is for your delegates to get there, the more likely they are to turn up! You’ll also need to make sure that the venue you choose has wheelchair access.

Format

Depending on the nature of your event or conference you need to consider the shape of the room you will be using. It may suit you to have delegates seated in rows, in a lecture theatre or cinema style. However, if you will be doing work in smaller groups, it may be better to have tables and chairs instead. If you need visual displays, this will alter your room requirements again. If your event is taking place over a breakfast, lunch or dinner, you’ll need to make sure there are catering facilities available. Some venues will provide catering services for you, others will allow you to bring in your own caterers and use their kitchens.

Type of event

The venue for an AGM or launch event may be very different for the kind of place you’d choose for team away days or a Christmas party. The choice of venue can reflect the mood you’re aiming for – are you seeking elegance and sophistication or do you want something a little more funky and off the wall?

Of course, depending on the particular nature of your event, you’ll have other requirements to consider. But if you start off running through this checklist, it should help you select the kind of venue that will be most suitable for your upcoming event.

 

And from Bonjour Events you can access and download your Venue Check list here and view a complimentary article for dinner venue selections here.

Wednesday
Mar142012

Brides: Wedding Website Source

We've always been fans of Tiny Prints and their wonderful wedding line, Wedding Paper Divas. To complete their offerings to brides, Wedding Paper Divas has just launched a wedding website tool with so many bells and whistles while keeping the sophisticated designs their paper invitations are known for.  Your guests can RSVP online and it is free for one year. 

  • Gorgeous Diva Designs - Fashionable templates that match your stationery. Choose from dozens of the best-selling paper designs.  How nice to match your site with the paper invitation.
  • Drag-n-Drop Editing - WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get!) Easy Customization.
  • Custom Domains - Personalize your wedding website even further with a custom domain name like 'www.EmmasWedding.com'.
  • Unlimited Photos - Upload as many as you want - no limits! Before the wedding or after the wedding, share all the fun and special moments.
  • Guest Comments - Let your guests leave comments on your photos, blog, or stories. They can even upload a photo to the guest book.
  • Music/Video - Upload an MP3 to play for visitors. Add videos from YouTube, maps from Google, a slideshow or any custom HTML.
  • Online RSVP - The website pays for itself in stamps! Use the RSVP feature to tally guest responses to any event.

Looks like a great tool to help you organize all those details in a fashionable manner.  Cheers to you!

Link to the free Wedding Website tool:  Wedding Paper Divas

 

 

 

Wednesday
Feb292012

Linked In Group: 60,000 members!

Congratulations to the Event Planning & Mgt. Linked In Group which hit 60,000 members today, on it's 4th birthday.  And a big shout out to Julius Solaris for starting this group just 4 years ago.  If you are not a member yet, this group is well moderated so there are no spam postings, which is a feat in itself.  

Below is infographic created by Chris Shipton for the most popular thread, "You know you're an event planner when..." - great laughs, and the thread is still going if you want to add more....

   

Click image to enlarge, or this link (click HEREand laugh...

 

Thursday
Feb232012

Tips for Getting Event Sponsors to say YES.

Guest Blog from Brink Events, Thanks Aiden...

Event planning often brings tight budgets. The ability to stretch these budgets and make the most of financial resources is important. For this reason, sponsors are often sought to alleviate some of the burden and provide additional support. Successful communication and negotiations will ensure long term success with your events.

Start slow – Don’t ask for the moon right off the bat. You’re building a long term relationship, so you need to prove yourself first. Getting a sponsor on board is an initial leap of faith on their behalf. Once you’ve established yourself and you’ve proven a good fit, you’ll have more bargaining power and you’ll be able to ask for more.

Money isn’t everything – Don’t be surprised if a sponsor isn’t willing to provide funds right away… or ever. Money isn’t the only worthwhile thing a sponsor can provide. Look deeper into the equation and search for other ways to work together. At the end of the day, there are two ways to increase profit – increase revenues or decrease expenses. If the sponsor isn’t willing to provide financial support (increase revenues), then they may be able to provide products, supplies, or materials, ultimately decreasing your expenses and/or improving the guest experience. So, be open to possibilities. If you’re just looking for money, you may be out of luck with many sponsors.

Proper fit – Ensure that the sponsors you pursue provide a good fit with the clientele and guests at your event. If there a lack in alignment between the products and the services offered by sponsors and the target group, then resources have been wasted. Your demographic and the sponsor’s demographic should be as similar as possible to maximize results for both sides.

Value creation – This applies to both the sponsor, as well as yourself. Ensure that there is true value in the relationship for both sides. Don’t try to close a sponsor simply to say you have another one on board. Look at the relationship as a whole, and make certain that you are both gaining benefits from the collaboration. An unequal balance will cause unwanted friction. It’s also very important to come to a basic agreement as to what both sides will provide and what both sides should expect. This can either be done verbally or in writing depending on the circumstances and level of trust.

The key to convincing sponsors to sign on with your events is to prove an ROI (return on investment). If they can clearly see that they will get more out of the event than they put in, it’s likely they’ll sign up. Being able to outline this equation and show the benefit will strengthen your case when bargaining with potential sponsors. In the end, you want to make it easy for them to say yes… and hard for them to say no. Your terms should be attractive given their situation. If you can prove that the time, money, and effort put forth by company will more than pay for itself, you should have no problem attracting new sponsors and securing old ones.

 

This guest article was written by Aidan Henry at Brink Events, an event design agency in Victoria, BC.



Wednesday
Feb222012

Webinar: Hotel Negotiations

What planner doesn't want more negotiation tips up their sleeve?  This Thursday you can join a free webinar with executive leaders from Marriott and MGM sharing tips for negotiating cost savings and discussing how RFPs are scored.  Thursday, March 1 @ 1:30pm EST.

Webinar Link and Call in #:  http://campaigns.cvent.com/event/cmslive?refID=bonjour

Monday
Feb132012

Mad Hatter Baby Shower, Loved This!

Sometimes you attend an event and just can't believe all the creativity, effort and energy that went into creating a special day for a friend or client.  I recently attended a baby shower for a dear friend and absolutely couldn't wait to share photos of this creative event hosted by Jessica Gowdy. 

Hope you enjoy images from this Mad Hatter theme baby shower.  

 

 

 

          "Alice" cookies of course, delicious for any occasion

          Card stock tags and playing cards purchased on Etsy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Glowing Mother to be Erin & Hostess with the Mostess Jessica Gowdy.

 

Monday
Feb062012

Fresh Catering Ideas

Looking for something to spice up your next event?  With the food truck trends and our economy as it is, we've seen catering move towards playful and "do it your self" stations rather than the traditional, formal event food presentations. Below are images of "fun" catering ideas from Biz Bash and a list we came up with to get your creative juices flowing.  Bon Apetit.

 Cork Catering (chicago) came up with a custom s’mores station, yumm....

 Mary Giuliani Catering & Events (New York) created a devil-your-own-egg bar

 Elegant Affairs Caterers created “salad-tinis” made by “chef-tenders"

Thomas Preti Caterers came up with individual fondue cups

 Tip of the Tongue (NY) served refreshing drinks from garden carts - adorable

 

  Custom iced teas, as delicious as they are pretty

 Great Performances (NY) stocked bars with infusions like pineapple vodka.

 

Other ideas to consider:

Similar to the ice cream stations we've all enjoyed, below are some other foods guests can have fun making:

* A smoothie station for an outdoor party, have guests scoop all their favorite ingredients then hand over to a beach attire attendant for the blending.

* Shaved Ice stations in your corporate or event colors

* Individual hummus cups, making the usually stationary appetizer something mobile

* A Taco buffet with gourmet toppings (or common toppings presented in a beautiful serving dishes)

* A slider bar of course - how many ways can one make a slider - a LOT

* Make your own pizza and hand over to a chef managing the brick oven

* Decorate your own cookies or cupcakes, great for children's parties

* Rice krispies on a kabob with various dipping chocolate options (similar to fondue stations)

* Iced Tea stations - yes even iced tea can be presented in many different combinations

Anytime you can take a favorite food and allow guests to customize it themselves, they're sure to have fun creating with others.  What are your favorite "fun" foods for parties?

 

more event pics:

https://picasaweb.google.com/111339961645138785038/AmbassadorsLPCHLunchLearn

Thursday
Feb022012

Class Reunions: Entertainment Ideas

As my class reunion approaches, I enjoyed receiving this guest post from Gig Masters.  To all those planning the reunions, this might make your life easier (and check out their reunion resource link below). Enjoy!

Class reunions are one of those events that seem like they were invented to make people feel awkward. Sure, it’s great to reconnect with those you lost touch with over the years but it is can also be quite uncomfortable attempting to make small talk with people that you haven’t seen in 5, 10 or 20 years. So, how do you cut the tension and make everyone feel more at ease?  You hire the right entertainment!

Booking the perfect entertainment for a class reunion can really help make guests feel more comfortable as they ease into the party. Variety entertainers such as Impersonators, Magicians and Fortune Tellers can act as a great ice breaker or conversation starter for people that can’t quite find the right way to bond with once-friends turned strangers. Variety performers are perfect for stifling tension and getting guests to interact with each other.

We all know that any successful party has to have good music! Selecting the right live band or DJ for a reunion is extremely important because they will set the tone of the night and the energy in the room. You want your fellow classmates to hit the dance floor, not stand on the sidelines like back in 6th grade. The perfect DJ or live band will make sure that the dance floor is packed and there are no wallflowers.

GigMasters clients planning reunions most frequently request DJ’s and Cover Bands to rock these school get-togethers. If you are planning a decade specific event, you may consider booking a Tribute Band to play music reminiscent of a popular group from that era. Your classmates will enjoy the blast from the past and fond school day memories will come floating back to them. And for a little extra “wow” factor, talk to your musical entertainment about learning and performing the school song, it would add a nice nostalgic touch to the evening.

Last but certainly not least, hiring a photographer for the event is always a good idea. With an event photographer present you don’t have to worry about someone not being in the picture! And remember, professional photographers know how to make things look picture perfect, so you can worry a little less about any awful pictures being mobile uploaded to Facebook!

For more class reunion party planning tips and resources you can visit our Reunion Event Planning page.

What do you think makes a fun class reunion? Share your thoughts or funny reunion story in the comments below.

 

Saturday
Jan212012

Where to find freelance event jobs

Thought this posting in the Linked In group "Who's Who in Events" was a discussion others may find really helpful.  The question was Where can a freelance event planner find jobs?

Top recommendation was i-meet.com, also mentioned:

"You might try www.sologig.com or join IFEA (International Festivals and Events Association) to get access to the member database. www.ifea.com About $350 annual dues."

Here's a link to the Linked In Group if you care to join:   http://www.linkedin.com/groups?home=&gid=160845&trk=anet_ug_hm

Tuesday
Jan172012

Ecofriendly wedding dress: Do it in a green way

A Reader Submission from Ms. Harper, enjoy.

The most significant wedding choice for a bride to be, apart from the groom and the wedding ring, of course, is her wedding gown.  It’s meant to be worn just once and made from synthetic materials, your wedding gown can be a sheer waste of resources and non sustainable, contributing to air or water pollution. Not if you decide to opt for a green wedding dress, though. Now, contrary to popular belief, procuring a green, Eco friendly wedding gown will not burn a hole in your pocket or make you look unattractive. Neither is it an onerous, time consuming task to find one.

Many designers offer stunning, eye popping Eco friendly wedding gowns at affordable prices. Check out some cool green wedding gown ideas below:

1. Vintage wear

Turning your mother’s much treasured vintage wedding dress into a totally new ravishing one, is a great idea. This transformed heirloom wedding gown has priceless emotional value attached, and saves on money big time. Besides, you extend its life cycle. There are many shops that sell wedding gowns which have been worn just once. You can get these redesigned by a local designer and you are done.

2. Natural fibers

If wearing a hand me down wedding gown is against your standards, go in for dresses made from natural fibers.

a. Silk is one such material. Made from renewable resources (silkworms), silk is seldom treated with harmful chemicals and is totally bio degradable. Silk has a natural shine and smooth finish. It can make a very elegant and flowing wedding gown.

b. Wedding gowns made from organic cotton are skin friendly and great for summer weddings. Organic cotton uses less water compared to regular cotton and is free of chemicals and pesticides. Hence, it is a good Eco friendly option for a wedding dress.

c. Bamboo grass pulp is one more natural fiber which can be used to manufacture soft, silky fabric with anti bacterial and anti fungal properties. Bamboo being a quick growing grass is a renewable resource and makes up for a great green wedding gown.

d. Fabrics made of natural fibers are hand dyed and often embellished with beautiful applique work, to make elegant wedding gowns. Some designers also integrate vintage remnant fabrics along with bamboo, organic cotton, and peace silk to make ravishing wedding gowns.

You need not worry if local stores do not stock dresses made of natural fibers. Many designers have online stores that sell Eco friendly wedding dresses. Conscious Clothing is an online store selling exclusive hemp silk wedding attire. Better still, you can order Eco friendly fabric made of natural fiber, online at NearSea Naturals and get your designer to craft a beautiful wedding gown out of this. Once used wedding dresses in good condition can be purchased from eBay. Sentimental pieces like vintage jewelery and precious stones can be sewn into Eco couture wedding gowns on request, adding a rich and royal feel to it. You can even think ahead by getting a wedding dress that can be remade into a fun, flirty cocktail dress post wedding.

Eco chic wedding gowns can be stylish and affordable. Go for recyclable and bio degradable environment friendly wedding gowns and reduce your carbon footprint.

 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

About the author: Samantha Harper is a blogger by profession. She loves writing on technology and luxury. Beside this she is fond of books. 

Friday
Jan062012

Amazing Cakes: Erica Obrien

If you are looking to make a statement, provide a truly unique and delicious cake to your guests, Erica Obrien Cakes is your place.  Trained in New York's Institute for Culinary Education, Erica Obrien naturally creates fresh organic ingredients with incredible visual appeal.  

Starting with her relaxed, complementary tasting and moving into a design process, every stage is custom to each client.  During the design process, Erica gathers inspiration and direction from her clients to create a truly unique cake for each event.

Starting at $7/slice, the pricing is in the ballpark of what a restaurant would charge for a dessert. 

 

 

 

 

 

A sample sketch from design process

For those who are so inclined, Erica offers classes out of their Hamden, CT location. More images, a beautiful blog and an overview of cake flavors can be seen at:  www.ericaobrien.com

Saturday
Dec312011

Looking for a New Years Eve Party?

Not that I'll be ringing in the New Year on Times Square tonight....but if you're one of the millions that are hitting the town, here's a site listing all the parties open to the public.  It's quite a robust list of clubs and restaurants in New York, San Francisco, Miami, Los Angeles, Toronto etc.  Love the Internet.

New Year's Eve.com

 

 

Saturday
Dec312011

Happy New Year. Welcome 2012

As we welcome 2012 Bonjour Events wishes you a Happy New Year and great business experiences in 2012.   We look to adding new features to this site in the second quarter and appreciate your continued feedback, ideas and contributions to the content we publish.

Cheers! 

 

Thursday
Dec222011

Entertainment Contracts: Need to Know Info

Another guest post from GigMasters.  Great info to know before signing on the dotted line. The more we confirm before the event day, the smoother the performance goes (as well as the lower your blood pressure).

GigMasters ALWAYS recommends the use of entertainment contracts – both for performers and clients.  While (fingers crossed) your event should go as planned – anything can happen and you want to be covered.  You don’t want any unpleasant surprises leading up to, or on, the day of your event.

Below are a few of the questions about your event that you should ask your entertainer BEFORE you sign a contract.  The answers to these questions will likely form the basis of your entertainment contract:

How much time will they need to set up?
While you’ve established the date and time of the performance, you may not have discussed what time the performers need to arrive to set up. Once that time is determined, you’ll need to clear it with the venue and make certain that they’ll have access to the venue’s event coordinator during that time, in case they have any questions or problems. Most likely, you will be busy during this set-up time; so it’s important that someone at the venue is available to them.

Which of their group members will be present at your event?
When you first picked this band you were probably impressed by the specific group of performers that you saw perform either live or on video. However, it’s important that you verify which of the band, dj or ensemble members will actually be present at YOUR event. The vocalist that nailed Nat King Cole’s voice may not be available for your particular event day. Better to find out now than later.

Will the performers consume alcohol at your event?
This is really a question for you. You need to determine your comfort level with this issue. Remember, they are working for you…do you want them drinking on the job?

What will they wear at your event?
You should find out what their standard attire is for your type of event and make sure that it fits in with what you envision. If your event is black tie, they should know this in advance. On the other hand, if you’re having a more casual event, you probably don’t want your entertainers in tuxedos.

What is the performer’s cancellation policy?
This is a two-way question: they could cancel or you could cancel. It’s important to understand what happens in both scenarios. In the case of a performer cancellation, you should select a certain number of days prior to your event that you can live with. For example, you might decide that they can cancel the contract up until 14 days before the event. While this is not something you even want to think about, it’s obviously important you allow ample time to find a suitable replacement. Naturally, you’ll want to be sure that if they cancel, that they’ll return your deposit to you. And, if you book your performer on GigMasters, you’re covered under our deposit guarantee and we’ll personally help you find a replacement.

There are a couple different scenarios if YOU cancel:
1.    If they’re requiring that you pay a non-refundable deposit, then the performer will need to select a date by which you can cancel and not be further obligated to pay the balance.
2.    If you’re paying a refundable deposit, then the performer will select a date by which you can cancel and receive a refund for your deposit.

What form of payment will they accept for the balance?
You don’t want to be surprised on the night of your event when the performer asks for a certified check. So, be absolutely sure that you ask this question! Cash, money order, certified check, personal check, and credit card are all possible options.

Do they have personal injury and property damage liability insurance?
Before you ask this question of the performer, you should discuss with the venue what they require or recommend. Ask the performer to provide their proof of insurance BEFORE signing the contract.

What are their space and electrical requirements?
Understanding how much space the performer needs as well as their power requirements is really important because it affects what the performer brings to set up. This will also determine where they set up, which needs to fit in with the overall layout of the space. Ideally, you’ll have a meeting with the performer and the event coordinator at the venue prior to your event – you can certainly discuss these details during this meeting.

Will they provide the sound and lighting systems?
The answer to this question varies from performer to performer – and could be affected by the venue’s existing sound and lighting systems. So, find out what, if any, sound and lighting systems are available at the venue, and make sure that the performer’s systems are compatible.  This is another important item to discuss at the meeting with the venue.

Are they available for overtime?
Months before your event, the idea of paying your performer for overtime might sound totally crazy when you carefully pore over every budget item. But, on the night of your event when the party is in full effect, you might say, “to hell with the budget” and ask them to play for another hour or two. So, we advise that you find out beforehand how much overtime they’d be willing to provide and at what rate.

Once you’ve discussed all of these questions with the performer, you’ll be better prepared to sign the contract that they send. You should make certain that the answers they provided during your conversation are consistent with what you see in the contract.

If it isn’t already apparent to you, we STRONGLY recommend that you have a contract with your performer. We provide a contract template for performers to use, that covers all of the details outlined above and more. So, if your performer, for some reason doesn’t have a contract or doesn’t have one that includes all of these details, you can remind them about the GigMasters contract template. 



Tuesday
Dec132011

Entertainment Ideas: for Corporate Holiday Parties

An insightful guest post from GigMasters:

Corporate holiday parties can be a lot of fun, or they can be terribly awkward. So, how do you make sure you plan a great party that makes everyone happy? You book fabulous entertainment.

Booking corporate holiday party entertainment can be easy; all it takes is envisioning how the entertainment will fit into the overall event. Since we know a thing or two about entertainment, we’d like to give you an early holiday present by offering you some tips on booking corporate holiday party entertainment:

Sounds of the Season:

Every party needs music and corporate events are no exception. That’s why year after year live bands, DJ’s, acoustic guitarists, and soloists remain on the top ten list for GigMasters most booked corporate holiday entertainment. When booking musical entertainment you should keep your audience in mind, as well as what function you want the band or soloist to perform at the event – will they be background music? Or do you want them to be the main event?  Once you answer those questions, and take into consideration theme and venue, you should be able to narrow down the best musical options for your party.

Cocktails and Conversation:

Sometimes corporate holiday parties can get off to a slow start, or worse, they feel like a meeting with food. If you think this could be a problem at your holiday party, then you should look to hire a variety entertainer. Magicians, impersonators and jugglers can help break the ice and get conversations started between guests. Variety entertainers are great for corporate functions because they steal the show, taking pressure off guests to come up with bland conversation. Instead of uncomfortable small talk, guests will naturally be talking about the amazing entertainment!

Dinner and a Show:

When you want to host more of a dinner style affair you may want to consider hiring a hypnotist or comedian to put on a show while guests dine. Comedians and hypnotists are tied for our second most booked corporate holiday party entertainers of 2011. While these acts are sure to put on a great show, remember you also have the option of hiring our most booked corporate party entertainment – a live band act.

Celebrating the Christmas Spirit:

If you are hosting a corporate Christmas bash, then you should absolutely invite Santa Claus to join in the fun. Having this jolly old soul on the guest list will allow guests to get their own pictures taken with Santa while he spreads holiday cheer. We all know you can never be too old for Santa!

Creating Keepsakes:

Guests love taking home a present from a party, and that holds true for corporate events as well. You may want to consider hiring a caricaturist or renting a photo booth so guests can leave with some fond memories in hand. It could also be fun to ask the caricaturist if drawings could include a festive holiday background. Perhaps the photo booth rental company could include your company logo on the photo strips.

GigMasters is the largest online entertainment booking site, wonderful for finding local talent.  Check out their site for more ideas and resources to help you plan a successful corporate holiday event, and the Holiday Party Planning pages or email info@gigmasters.com for local entertainment options.



Tuesday
Dec062011

Make a Wish....Wish Lanterns

Want to fill the sky with beautiful lights after saying "I DO"? 

The beautiful biodegradable Wish Lantern balloons can make quite an impression on any wedding or event.  These large (42x26 inch) balloons received more noteriety when Nich Lachey and Vanessa Minnillo's guests released them during their romantic private island wedding.  Visit: Wish Lantern.

 

 

   

Monday
Nov282011

Marketing Your Event (The Low Cost Version)

 A guest post from Aidan Henry of Brink Events (website).  Thank you Aidan.

Cost-Effective Ways to Market Your Event

Event planning and management are very important aspects of the event industry. These organizational functions are essential for any event to run smoothly and without problems. But what’s a smooth event if the venue is only half full? Event marketing is often a task placed upon the event manager/planner in addition to the original duties. Filling the venue with the right crowd is important for aesthetics, profitability, and loyalty. The following are tried and tested marketing tactics that are both straightforward and cost-effective:

Facebook

  • Create Facebook event and send invites to select contacts.
  • Create an event poster and make it your profile picture. Next, tag event helpers and workers in the picture, creating added visibility among their friend lists.
  • Get close friends and contacts to send out event invites or post the event link.

Twitter

  • Announce your event launch and encourage re-tweeting.
  • Run a contest offering free tickets/incentives for followers who market your event.
  • Provide one-day discounts or last minute deals according to predicted attendance levels.
  • Tweet event and ticket sale updates throughout the marketing campaign.

Mass Messaging

  • Send out e-mail message to your list (if you haven’t started one yet, you definitely need to).
  • Send out a text message blast (text message/SMS marketing is essential in this day and age).
  • Post event to Craigslist, Kijiji.
  • Message a smaller number of influential and connected contacts personally.

Video

  • Create 1-minute promo for the event and post on your website and Facebook. NOTE: There are many freelance videographers who can produce a high-quality video at a low cost.
  • Post video to video sharing sites, including YouTube and Vimeo. Be sure to include your SEO-targeted keywords and phrases in the titles and descriptions.

Offline Marketing

  • Provide tickets to trusted sellers and participating businesses; incentivize based on sales (ex. $5 per ticket sold).
  • Distribute posters to specific business and select locations. 

This guest article was written by Aidan Henry at Brink Events, an event planning company in Victoria, BC, Canada.  Visit: www.brinkevents.ca 

Monday
Nov282011

Basic RFP

What is needed in a Basic RFP?  We were recently asked to provide someone help drafting a first time event RFP for her new charity event.  Your goal is to get information by sending out a "Request for Proposal" to prospective venues.   Below are the must haves if your normal day to day operations are not event planning but you want to get the ball rolling on your venue search. 

For your one sheet to email or fax to venue managers:

Your Contact info

Potential Date:

Estimated Head Count:

Seating capacity needs (round tables vs. classroom set up etc. will have a

big impact on how much space you need)

Will there be a stage?

AV Needs (list basic AV needs so they have an idea of the type of room that

lends itself to your event)

Set up time/Tear down: (list how early you will need the venue - a day in

advance? an hour in advance?)

Method of Payment: (cash/credit/30 days out/prepayment?)

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