Tag Archives: event planning

Event Planning Tips The Pros Use

Event Planning Tips The Pros Use

Putting together a big event is no small accomplishment. That’s why many organizations call on a professional event planner. Sometimes, however, you may have to organize a big event by yourself.

Kara Mickelson, a corporate planner for Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc., has planned everything from intimate dinners to corporate meetings to citywide events for 20,000 people. Here are some tips that she has found to be helpful:

• Get everyone on the same page. According to Mickelson, the first step is to sit down with everyone involved in the planning and set the objectives for the function. She also suggests that this can be an excellent time to assess what funds or resources will be available for the event. Mickelson believes one of the biggest mistakes planners make is improper budgeting. One way many pros save money is by printing their own meeting materials, including tent cards, signs, badges and more, with a company such as Avery Dennison.

• Think backwards. When should you start planning? “The best way to start is by backing everything out from the event day,” Mickelson advises. It’s critical not to plan too much until the event date is set.

• Build in extra time. What makes it hard for novice planners is they have no benchmark for how long it will take to research a hotel, negotiate a contract or find a band. “Give yourself more time than you think you need,” she recommends.

Some find it helpful to use a tool, such as those available on the Avery Meetings and Events Solution Center Web site (www.avery.com/meetings). It provides templates, tips and tools to make it easier to plan meetings and events.

• Write it down. Mickelson suggests using a notebook to write down all the basics. Do you need invitations, meeting materials, flower arrangements? The details will help you create a timeline for your event. She contends that once it’s written down, the time-line will start to reveal itself.

• Play pretend. How do you avoid forgetting an important task? “Do a mental walk-through,” advises Mickelson. “Pretend you’re actually at the event. Go through the process of driving your car there. Where is parking? At the venue, do you need signs? Badges? Table tents for seating? Visually, if you can walk yourself through the entire event, it becomes clearer.”

What is her foremost bit of advice? She suggests to plan for the worst, and hope for the best.

Family Reunions at Disneyland

Family Reunions at Disneyland

Everyone looks forward to family reunions – and who
doesn’t love Disneyland? You can bring the two
together by having your family reunion at the happiest
place on earth. It is really easier than you might think
to arrange this!

Start by calling the Disneyland Vacation Planning
Services Department. Let them help you book rooms
at the Resort hotels, and admission tickets to the park.
You should be able to get discounts on the tickets by
purchasing them in bulk.

The specific service that you need to accommodate
all of your family members is the ‘Happiest Place on
Earth Picnic.’ This service is offered year round, and
includes admission to the park for your entire party.
You also get a choice of fully catered meals for the
event. For 100 – 300 people, your event can be held
at Big Thunder Ranch. For 300 – 1000 people, the
event will be held at the Festival Arena.

If there are less than 100 people in your party, you
may not be eligible for the catering services. This is
at the sole discretion of Disneyland, and you will
need to discuss this with Guest Services or the
Planning Services Departments. If catering is not
available, reservations in the many restaurants can
be made instead.

You may be able to get a discount on your family
member’s rooms at the Resorts as well, if you book
well in advance, hold your event during the off-season,
and book a block of rooms. Airline tickets for those
who will need to fly to Disneyland should also be
purchased well in advance, and in bulk for additional
discounts.

Again, allow Disneyland Vacation Planning Services
to help you with the arrangements, and use a travel
agent to handle any arrangements that planning
services doesn’t cover. For best results, choose one
family member to work with the planning services
and the travel agent, and relay information back and
forth between the services and the family members.
Having one person collecting and sharing information
will cut down on a great deal of confusion and
misinformation when you are trying to make travel
arrangements for a large number of people.

It may take work and planning, but in the end, this
will be one family reunion that will never be forgotten.
Talk with the Vacation Planning Services Department
to find out what other services are available to make
this an even more special experience for you and
your family members. The Surprise services would
be a nice touch!

Marketing Managers: 10 Reasons Why You Should Organize Your Own Events

Marketing Managers: 10 Reasons Why You Should Organize Your Own Events

When it comes to marketing an event, it can be very different from organizing the whole event. The only thing that is when you do everything yourself, you are able to have and see more benefits than if you didn’t.

One of the reasons why you should organize your own event is the control. You can have complete and total control over everything. You can make all the decisions and not have to wait for someone to get back to you on the answer, because you have direct communication with the vendors and event details.

The second reason why you should organize your own event is the money that you will save. You can save so much money when it comes to planning your own event. You don’t have to pay the planner a salary or other fees and expenses involved with an event planner. This will save you thousands of dollars to spend on the event or to save.

You will also find that when you plan your own event you can make changes anytime. When it comes to the planner you have to call them, then they call the vendor, then they call you, and then you find out if the change is possible or not. When it comes to making changes you can do them at anytime and you get to talk to your vendors directly to see if the change is possible. Basically, you see results faster.

As for the fourth reason, you don’t have that third person opinion. Sometimes it can be a good thing that you don’t have someone talking you out of some type of decision. When you lack the opinion of the planner you are able to do whatever you want with the event. You have complete creative control over the event.

Another good reason to plan your own is something that you know a little bit about. In fact, when you plan the event yourself you are able to market the event through the media channels that you would like and through the means of what you prefer. You’re ads are exactly what you want them to be like. You get to control the image of the event.

As for the sixth reason, it is a little bit different. You should do everything yourself just for the simple knowledge that you really do know that it is being taken care of. This way you know exactly what needs to be done and what has been handled. This is one of the most common reasons why people plan parties themselves.

You should also think about the fine details. You can have complete control and even over the fine details that no one really notices. You can choose everything and you know exactly what needs to be fixed or changed because you can see if things look good or bad during the planning process.

Another good reason is the fact that when it comes down to it, everything is exactly how you would have liked them to be. You fix the problems and issues like you would hope that they’d be fixed. Everything is done to your liking and you know this. Nothing is a surprise to you.
The ninth reason why you should plan your own event has to real with the fact that you can control your spending. You know where you splurged and where you can cut back. Your budget is set and everything is controlled to match the budget. You know right off what things are going to cost and what you need to do to get things to balance the budget.

The last reason why you should plan your own event is the fact that you know your planning status at all times. You know when you should be able to relax and when you need to move the planning forward and quickly.

Planning a Vegetarian New Years Eve Party

Planning a Vegetarian New Years Eve Party

If you are already in the process of planning a New Years Eve party you might want to consider making the event a vegetarian event. There are a number of reasons why you might want to plan a vegetarian New Years Eve party. This article will take a look at some of these reasons and will also examine some of the unique aspects of planning a vegetarian New Years Eve party to assists hosts who plan to throw this type of event in planning a successful party.

One of the most popular reasons a host might decide to host a vegetarian event is because she herself is a vegetarian and she wants to share some of her favorite recipes with her friends even if they are not all vegetarians. Although a vegetarian may also opt to serve both vegetarian and meat based items at the party and simply not consume any meat herself, when she opts to exclude meat from the party it is usually for the purpose of sharing something that is important to her with her guests.

Another reason a host might opt to throw a vegetarian New Years Eve party is to save money on the costs of food. Hosting a party, especially for a large number of people can be quite expensive especially if you plan to serve expensive dishes containing meat. One way to cut down on the cost of the party is to substitute hearty vegetarian dishes in place of the more expensive meat dishes. If well prepared, most guests will not even miss the presence of the meat.

Still another reason a host might decide to throw a vegetarian New Years Eve party is the exclusion of meat may fit in well with the theme of the party. With a number of diets currently popular, a host may opt to throw a party based on the principles of a particular diet such as the raw diet which focuses on consuming uncooked foods such as fruits, vegetables, grains and nuts.

Regardless of the reason for throwing a vegetarian New Years Eve party, the guest does have to do a certain amount of planning and preparation to ensure the event is completely vegetarian. One way to do this is to consult vegetarian cookbooks to search for recipes which will make a good edition to the party menu. When selecting these recipes, it is important to follow each recipe carefully and not make any substitutions. This is important because items you may substitute into the recipes may contain animal products. Making these substitutions will result in your dishes not being completely vegetarian.

Alternately another way to provide a vegetarian menu is to make the event a potluck. This is especially a good idea if the majority of the guests are also vegetarians because they likely already have a number of vegetarian recipes to share. However, if most of the guests are not vegetarians, they may have difficulty deciding what to bring and may also inadvertently include ingredients with animal products in the food.

Another important thing to keep in mind when planning a vegetarian New Years Eve party is that it is important to make sure the guests are aware of your intentions. This is especially important if the event is going to be a potluck. However, it is also courtesy even if you will be preparing all of the food so the guests know what to expect when they attend the party.

Tips For Planning A Successful Corporate Party

Tips For Planning A Successful Corporate Party

Whether or not the company you work for offers yearly celebrations, there comes a time in every business when get-togethers arise. Sometimes, the occasion calls for the popping of champagne, while others include a simple spread of cheese and crackers. Depending on the event that needs planning, corporate parties have the potential to become rather entertaining moments that create everlasting memories when organized in the proper manner. Regardless if this is your first time planning a corporate party, there are plenty of tips to follow and things to learn along the way. Below are a few to keep in mind:

1) Knowing the budget allotted for a corporate party is rather important, which allows a planner to make the proper arrangements that better serve the theme of the event. When you don’t have a clue as to the amount of money that you can spend on a get-together, the decisions you make for the event may not be as realistic as they can or should be.

2) Since you’ve been working in the office for a decent amount of time (to have the responsibility of planning a corporate party), you should already have an idea about what type of things that your fellow co-workers enjoy. Planning the kind of activities that will get employees involved during the party makes the event more enjoyable for all. For instance, a silly office group may appreciate “Pin the Tail on the Boss” while others may enjoy a friendly round of charades.

3) Food and drink is what keeps a party going. When guests are hungry and thirsty, they are less likely to stay or feel satisfied. Depending on the type of corporate party you are planning, you may or may not have to employ the services of a caterer, which will cost much more than homemade punch, cookies, and finger foods. Some offices have saved money and added variety to a party by having each guest bring a contribution to the party. This way a variety of tastes can be explored and satisfied.

4) Depending on the crowd, food and drink might not be enough to entertain the masses, but music is a nice distraction that keeps many in the groove. Music not only calms the mood, but also provides the chance for guests to “cut a rug” and “work up a sweat.” Since many different personalities will attend the event, you should plan on bringing a variety of CDs with slow, medium, and fast beats and tempos.

When it comes time to iron out the details of a corporate party, you may also want to ask yourself a few questions, such as: What time and date will be convenient for all employees? Will the corporate party be financed or sponsored? What will be the theme of the party? Will any volunteers be needed? Should alcoholic drinks be included in the planning of the party?

How to Avoid A Corporate Event Nightmare

How to Avoid A Corporate Event Nightmare

It’s like the old dream where you’re delivering a speech to a packed house – and suddenly realize that you’re standing there with your trousers around your ankles. You’ve planned the perfect company dinner – and the caterer got the date wrong. Your keynote speaker didn’t show up because his travel tickets were never confirmed. And the napkins at the tables don’t match the tableskirts. Are your guests going to think ‘Oh, their corporate event planners let them down? Of course not! When you plan a large scale corporate event, your company’s reputation is on the line. Why would you leave that in unskilled hands?

The most successful corporate events are those that are well-planned and flawlessly executed. If your company is hosting a customer appreciation event, a team building day or any other type of corporate event, it pays to hire the best corporate event planner you can find to take care of all the details. But how do you choose the best event planners? Here’s a checklist of criteria to help you narrow down your choices to those corporate event organisers that will deliver an event that your customers and employees will enjoy.

1. If you’re new to planning corporate events, ask around among your business colleagues for recommendations. If you attend a grand opening or company dinner that impresses you as well-planned and well-organized, make a note of whether an event planner was used, and which one it was. Excellence has a way of being noted, and word of mouth is the best recommendation you can find.

2. When you interview a corporate event planner, pay as much attention to the questions that they ask as to the answers that they give. A professional will ask questions designed to gauge exactly what YOU want to accomplish with your event so that they can translate your vision into the spectacular event that you have in mind.

3. Ask the right questions to get the information you need to know. How often do they handle events similar to yours? What other corporate events has the firm planned lately? Do they have experience with the type of event that you want to run? How will they approach your goals for this event?

4. Always ask for references. A professional event planner will be happy to provide you with the names of other clients that you can contact. Just as importantly, they can provide a list of vendors with whom they’ve worked and have relationships. As in any other business, successful event planning is based on who you know as much as it is on what you know. An expert corporate event planner will have worked extensively with vendors and services in your area. They’ll know which companies are reliable and which to avoid.

No matter what the event you’re planning, it makes sense to turn to a knowledgeable professional for help with the details. A professional corporate event planner can make running your event painless – so that you can relax and enjoy the evening as much as your guests.

Games To Consider When You’re Event Planning

Games To Consider When You’re Event Planning

Children love so many things about birthday parties. The food, the birthday cake and the ice cream are at the top of their lists. Right below those favorites is party games. When children attend a birthday party they look forward to the party games they will get to play. A big reason for this is that party games usually have a winner and that winner might get a prize. What child doesn’t love a prize?

If you happen to be in charge of event planning for a child’s birthday party you are in the enviable position of having a whole host of games to choose from. One of the first things to consider is the age of your young guests. Obviously if you are in charge of entertaining a crowd of three-year-olds you’ll need to choose an activity that doesn’t require the player to have a long attention span. Standard favorites like pin the tail on the donkey and hot potato are fun for children who haven’t mastered skills such as reading yet. Another fun game that keeps children laughing is to have them sit on air filled balloons while trying to pop them. This generally results in them rolling around on the floor as they bounce off the balloons.

For older children you might consider a treasure hunt. This is a great activity that can keep children busy and occupied while you tend to the other aspects of the event. You just hide some objects in your home and draw out maps for the children to search for them. Another twist on this idea is the scavenger hunt. In this instance you give the children a list of items they have to search for and whoever finds all of the items first, wins a prize. If your child is really enthusiastic about this idea you can make it the center of your event planning process. Perhaps choosing a scavenger hunt theme for the entire party including invitations shaped like a magnifying glass or a hunt to find the pizza you’ve hidden in another room for dinner. Children love activities like this and it’s a great way to encourage their junior detective skills.

For the more mature crowd, you can incorporate fun activities into your event planning as well. Perhaps a game of charades or a fun board or card game will entertain a more adult crowd. These types of games are a great way to socialize and they also act as stress relievers. Many men do this already when they have their weekly poker night with their buddies. They may not view it as an event, but it’s a great way for them to get together and challenge one another’s skill.

Depending on the event you are planning, it can be a plus to play a game or two. It keeps the event moving along and the guests will appreciate having a fun activity to engage in. The smaller ones will appreciate it even more if they win a prize for their efforts.

Get The Right Event Planner For Your Next Celebration

Get The Right Event Planner For Your Next Celebration

Wedding come up? 50th Anniversary Celebration? Big Birthday Bash? Whatever the special occasion one thing is for certain; planning a sophisticated event and coordinating all the details and things that have to happen is no easy task. That’s why you need to hire an event planner and here’s how to find a good event planner

You might think that hiring an event planner isn’t within your budget but you couldn’t be more wrong. The time you’ll save is worth a lot of money, and with an event planner you are going to save a lot of time and you’ll even keep your sanity. You’ll put your mind at ease knowing you don’t have the burden of managing all the details for your special event. You’ll just need to decide what type of planner you want.

A good event planner is a pro at planning events. That’s what they do. You’ll want to choose an event planner that is an expert in the type of event you are planning. So if your special event is a wedding hire a wedding planner. You want the event to be unforgettable and a qualified planner will do just that for you.

You’ll need to decide whether you want a planner that simply provides guidance in a passive manner or who takes charge of the entire event. A full service planner will oversee everything from the budget, to the coordinating, to hiring the vendors, to being on site to supervise the event. A passive planner will work with you and give you guidance, but at the end of the day you will still be in charge of hiring vendors and supervising the event.

You should get several quotes from several different event planners. That way you can compare prices. Be sure to ask lots of questions so you know what you are comparing and always get your quotes in writing. You also need to find out what the fee structure is. The final payment should occur after the event is over.

Meeting with the planner is also important. Your personalities need to mesh and you need to feel comfortable with the planner. If the planner has a totally different vision of what’s fun and what’s a good event, he or she isn’t the planner for you.

A good event planner will ask you lots of questions and listen to you until they understand exactly what you are looking for. You should also ask for some recent references and be sure to contact them to see how others feel about the planner.

If you decide to hire an event planner you won’t be disappointed. Instead of stressing about your special event, you’ll be looking forward to it with anticipation knowing everyone’s going to have a great time that’s truly memorable!

One Easy Method To Help Reduce Your Attendees’ Stress Level And Improve Event Satisfaction

One Easy Method To Help Reduce Your Attendees’ Stress Level And Improve Event Satisfaction

Event planning can be a stressful exercise. When you’ve got an entire conference hall full of hungry attendees, waiting on caterers who are running late, while you’ve been on your feet since five in the morning to make sure the coffee was hot and your speakers had everything they needed. To top it off, the rumor in the hallways is that your pre-lunch speaker was boring and uninformative, how will you deal with both the dissatisfaction of the audience and breaking the news to your speaker that he’ll need to re-tune before the next event?

There are plenty of things you can do to help reduce event-day challenges in the planning marketplace: making use of event planning software, choosing your venue and suppliers based on careful research, automating as much as possible, etc. But nothing will ever completely eliminate hiccups in your events, it’s part of the excitement of being an event professional, right?

Managing the stress-level of your attendees is an important consideration because when they are in a good mood, they are less likely to complain about the little things that happen during the course of your event. Here are three tips to help your attendees feel more relaxed at your event:

Order a Hometown Newspaper Delivered to Your Attendee’s Hotel Room
The logistics could be tough to manage, so limiting the delivery to a certain room-block, or the first 100 registrants might be a good idea, but the payoff is that your audience will feel like they’re keeping on top of things at home while they’re away at your event. The familiarity of their hometown paper will help keep attendees relaxed and help to prepare them for each day.

Provide Suggestions for Downtime in the Area
When you meet new people at events it can be difficult to know where to conduct business dinners, or what to do with associates in the area. To help your attendees have a better networking experience provide them with a sheet of good restaurants and places to see so that they can gain some insight on the area before conducting business.

By conducting the research beforehand you save your attendee planning work and navigation effort, making them more attentive, better prepared and happier at your sessions.

Organize a Charity Sub-Event for Your Attendees to Participate in
Some event planners are beginning to include a concurrent charity event with their event. For example, some recent conferences held in or around New Orleans have given attendees the opportunity to participate in housing reconstruction projects, or food drives for displaced families.

This kind of activity gives your attendees a common goal to work toward, while at the same time reminding them of how bad things could really be. When they’re feeling good about helping others, they’re less likely to complain that their favorite brand of coffee wasn’t served. As an added bonus, your event will probably get some free press, and you can help to make a positive change at or near your venue.

The broad skill-sets of event planners is so easy to extend to sub-events and information at your main conference that there’s no reason not to do it. Providing your attendees with the comforts of home, knowledge of the area, and a charitable feeling are three ways to make your event stand out, and to help your attendees relax at your event.

What To Look Out For When Planning Your Next Offsite Event

What To Look Out For When Planning Your Next Offsite Event

Planning an event can be hard for anyone. You will find that the task is just too big for just one person, this is why most people will have a team or assistants to help them with all the little details. There are a lot of things that you need to look out for when planning your event, but if you take the time to dedicate to planning the party or event, you should be fine.

The first thing that you need to avoid when planning an event is not to get overwhelmed. You don’t want to get overwhelmed because it will only make things worst. Not only will you have a bad party, but you will also be fluttered and frustrated into doing things that you shouldn’t. You need to gain control over the event instead of letting the event gain control over you. You need to make sure that that everything is okay one piece at a time. For instance, one day you should take care of the decorations and the next day deal with the venders. This way you aren’t taking on too much at once. You may also hire an assistant to help you or you may find that things can get too much. If you are having a very important event, you should always have a team to help you so that you can find ways to quickly solve those last minute blunders.

You should also take a lot of time to pick the menu. The menu is one of the biggest reasons why people love or hate an event. Make sure that you have just exactly what you need to make the guests happy. You may want to try new things so that the party is a little bit spicy and you don’t want to be compared to some other party or event. You can make your mark with the food. If the food is good, the party will go off without a hitch. However, just because you pick out great foot doesn’t mean that things will work out. You also need to make sure that you use vendors that are responsible and have a reputation of being the best. This is so you know that they will deliver the food and with out any problems. If the food is bad or missing, your guests will spread all those nasty rumors about your party.

You need to also think about your contracts. You should have a contract written up with all your vendors. You will be much happier knowing that you have a formal business contract. The contract is your safety net. You can take the vendor to court if there is a breach of contract, however, you should know the contract works both ways. You can find yourself in some trouble if you back out on a contract. Contracts are very important when it comes to any event or business transaction. They work for you when the vendor falls through.

Not only should you always have a contract, but you should also always make sure that you don’t go bankrupt over an event. You need to watch out for that budget. If you tend to splurge you should lower your budget. This way when you go over you have hit the real budget. This is just one of the ways that you can psych yourself out and stick with the budget. Also, you should know that you need to make sure that you count every expense. When the party is said and done, you don’t want to deal with any unexpected or forgotten bills.