Tag Archives: event planning

Party Planning Tips for a Quinceanera Celebration

Party Planning Tips for a Quinceanera Celebration

For people of Spanish decent, a Quinceanera celebration is almost as big of a deal as a wedding. A Quinceanera party is thrown for a girl when she turns fifteen and is usually a very, very big deal. The day generally consists of the birthday girl wearing a beautiful gown, a tiara, a limo ride, a church service, flowers, a bible, dancing, and more.

The history of the Quinceanera celebration goes all the way back to Aztec times when fifteen was the age of marriage for girls. In Hispanic culture this tradition has carried over and at fifteen a celebration is held to signify womanhood for all Latina girls. The celebration is meant to celebrate a coming of age and is an acknowledgement by friends and family that the girl is now to be considered a young lady.

Party planning for the Quinceanera ceremony begins a year before the date of the event. The first step is to reserve a church and reception hall for the event. Especially in areas with a large Hispanic population, churches and halls will be booked very early and competition can be fierce for the best venue.

The traditional Quinceanera celebration is traditionally planned by friends and family of the guest of honor. However, at times a professional party planner is asked to plan the event if the family is overwhelmed or the party will be overly large. The party planner will work closely with the family and help them to make decisions on the invitations, decorations, menu, music, and more.

Once the date and location have been determined then it is time to begin the other planning. The color scheme and decorations will have to be decided on and the decorations purchased or ordered. Initiations will need to be professionally printed and mailed to all invited guest about six to eight weeks before the event. The menu for the event will need to be chosen and a caterer hired. A florist will need to be consulted to make the bouquet for the guest of honor and other flowers for the church and reception hall.

In today’s Internet age, many young girls use websites and blogs to talk about the planning for their Quinceanera celebration. They use them to swap information with others and to get ideas for their own parties as well. Often they discuss the nitty gritty details such as what flowers to have in their bouquet and which music to use for the event.

In addition to blogs and websites, it is very common today for the guest of honor to register for gifts. Gift registry items generally include dowry type items such as linens, dinnerware, and other items required to set up a home at some future date. While these are the usual gifts registered for, it is also common to find other items on a registry or for the guests to simply give the guest of honor cash in honor of the event.

Another tradition today is to set up a website after the Quinceanera where the guest of honor can display all of her photos and mementos of the day. This website is generally shared with family and friends, both those in attendance and those who were not. The Quinceanera is meant to be a fun day shared with everyone and the Internet now allows for friends and relatives who are too far to make the trip to enjoy the event as well.

Planning A Charity Golf Tournament

Planning A Charity Golf Tournament

Looking for tips on planning a charity golf tournament? There are many factors to consider, so I’ll stick to the four main ones for this article. The success of your charity golf event revolves around maximizing player turnout, increasing pledge sizes, obtaining sponsored prizes, and planning tips.

Player Turnout
Your success depends on how many players your golf event draws and how actively you have your players solicit sponsors for their own rounds.

To maximize turnout, you need to get major publicity for your event. That means putting out multiple press releases, getting local media coverage from newspapers and television stations, and placing ads in the sports section of the local paper.

For the best results, put your press releases out through PR Web. Appoint a spokesperson to handle all media contacts and follow-up. For more tips, read my article on fundraising publicity.

Charity Pledges
The key is getting each player to collect a certain amount of pledges. I recommend a minimum of $100 per player in pledges. I’ve also played in tournaments where that number was $250 per player.

Obviously, you want to motivate the participants to raise as much money as possible. Some groups offer incentives for the top pledge getters. Others seek corporate sponsorships for that firm’s players.

Pledge amounts determine the success of your charity golf event, so get input from experienced golfers and golf pros in your area.

Top Golfer Prizes
Generally speaking, you’ll draw more golfers if you have great prizes for longest drive, closest to the hole, hole in one, lowest team score, lowest actual score, and best adjusted score (handicap).

You solicit local merchants to sponsor those prizes. Work with an insurance-related prize company for things like the hole-in-one contest. That way you can offer a bigger prize for a much lower outlay.

Aim to get 100 golfers (25 foursomes) and your small group could easily raise $10,000 or more. Larger turnouts will net even more with some charity golf tournaments drawing 500 golfers competing for big prizes.

Plan Ahead
Obviously, bigger pledges, more golfers, corporate sponsorships combined with massive publicity will work wonders for the bottom line of your charity golf tournament. With the right combination of these factors and good advance planning, you can certainly raise $75,000 or more for a charitable cause.

Contact local courses for group rates. Be sure to mention that you are planning a charity event and ask for discounts on cart and greens fees. Once you decide on your preferred location, reserve the date and tee times well in advance.

Charity Golf Event – Final Tips
Plan ahead to maximize the success of your charity golf event. For best results, pick a weekday when courses and large blocks of tee times will be easier to reserve. You’ll often get the best rates by going to the course in person and talking to the pro or pro shop manager.

Corporate sponsors are another good way to go. Get some celebrities to golf with corporate bigwigs and you can easily raise $100k-$150k. Of course, convincing celebrities to donate their time takes some doing, but it’s well worth it.

If it’s your first golf tournament, be open to suggestions from other golfers. Consider working with a fundraising consultant who specializes in organizing charity golf tournaments. They work for a percentage of the gross, but you usually end up raising more funds due to their experience and sponsor contacts.

Party Planning Tips for a Safe and Sober High School Graduation Night Party

Party Planning Tips for a Safe and Sober High School Graduation Night Party

In response to the yearly deaths caused by high school seniors drinking and driving on the night of their graduation, many communities now come together and host safe and sober all-night parties where the graduates can attend and enjoy one last night of safe partying with their high school friends.

In most communities around the United States, these events have become very large and elaborate events in an attempt to attract as many graduating students as possible. The goal is to make them the “must attend” event of the year and have all of the students not want to be anywhere else on graduation night. Generally the planning for such an event starts well before the school year gets underway, and some parties take all year long to plan.

If you are tasked with planning, or assisting in the planning of a high school graduation night party, the first thing you will need to do is find out what the costs will be and where that money will be coming from. It is common for schools to host fundraising events and dinners from which the money is specifically ear-marked for the graduation event. You can count on this event being very expensive, so it is important to plan to fundraise early and as often as possible. Also, it is important to note that if you have students who work to earn some of the money through car washes, dog washes, yard clean-up events, etc… they will feel much more part of the celebration and not want to miss the big night they have worked so hard for.

Once you have a budget for the event, it is time to decide on your location and theme. If your town has an interesting attraction which might be available to you for rent, that can be a great option. However, many schools hold their events in their own gymnasiums with a lot of success as well. More importantly than the location is generally the theme of the evening and what will be happening at the party.

One very popular graduation night party theme is to have a casino. As each graduate arrives they are given casino chips and are presented with tons of typical casino games to play. Many teens these days love the World Series of Poker so having Texas Hold’em tables works well. In addition, the more traditional games of blackjack and roulette are always a hit.

Here in my own local area, it is popular to go out into the community to solicit donations of both money and items for the graduation party event. Each year a local car dealership even donates a brand new car to be auctioned off at the end of the event. They do so both as advertising and as a way to show that they support the idea of a safe and sober graduation night for all of the local graduating kids. You really never do know who will donate to your party until you take the time to ask around. Aim for the stars and see what your community will come up with. In many cases, you will be very pleasantly surprised.

While planning a safe and sober graduation party can be a daunting task, because of its sheer size and the age of the kids who will be in attendance, it is very doable and a must have event for every community. By working together with others from the school and the community at large your event can be a great success and a tradition which will grow and grow as the year’s progress.

Fancy Party Planning

Fancy Party Planning

Planning a fancy party may not be a regular event for us, but once in a while we may have to plan one. Graduation parties, wedding receptions, your first book published are just a few of the possible reasons for an extraordinary party. Such a party will require more than a ten dollars per person, and you are not going to get away with a potluck.

This time you are going to have to go all out. Most likely you are going to need to plan for a formal dinner. You have the option of going with a formal sit down dinner or a buffet style dinner. One is not necessarily better than the other, but you need to decide which one makes sense for you.

Formal dinners can create stunning memory for you and your guests. They can become memories that last a lifetime. Planning a formal dinner is about as complicated as a wedding reception, and intense planning is required. You may need to hire an event planner to get the job done right without spending too much time.

If you can afford it hire a party planner. Party planners cost money, but due to their expertise they may be able to save you money. They can help you negotiate better prices on catering, the venue, and entertainment. They may also be able to offer you with several options for catering and venues for your event.

You may not think you need an event planner, but you may find them absolutely necessary. If you have a busy life, you may not be able to take on such a large project on your own. A qualified event planner can help you look at the big picture while she takes care of the small details for you.

There are a many factors that influence the food served at your dinner party. A couple of things to consider are the theme of your party, your guests’ tastes and nationality. A diverse menu will take all these factors into consideration and will be well rounded. Try to have a good balance of healthy and indulgent foods.

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.