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Saturday, September 10, 2016

Planning Events with Less Stress: Plato and Event Planning

Planning Events with Less Stress: Plato and Event Planning: I agree with Plato's observation!  You'll find out what that is and why a little later.  Why do I feel so at home in the events Ind...

Plato and Event Planning

I agree with Plato's observation!  You'll find out what that is and why a little later.  Why do I feel so at home in the events Industry?  To me, my industry represents the opposite of personality traits in people that I prefer not to be around. You won't find me hanging around glass half-full people any more than necessary.  If a person cannot enjoy a good brainstorming session, I'm out of there.  If someone is satisfied with the status quo, I'm not their type of person.  If you can't have fun in whatever you want to endeavor, I'd rather be of help elsewhere.  In the events industry, we take fun very seriously.  Is that similar to an oxymoron? No.  We are all about our clients being able to cash in on the Return on Experience (ROX) as much or more than Return on Investment.  You can read more about experiential marketing being an absolute must if you are marketing to Millennials.


The events industry requires people who:

1.  Believe any idea can come to life!  They will dare you!
2.  Believe that stupid questions are required to come up with the best ideas.
3.  Believe if something has been done before, there has to be a more spectacular way to do it now or next time.
4.  Believe that each event is the most important day in their client's life no matter what the event is.
5.  Can anticipate problems before anyone else even dreams of what can happen.
6.  Thrive on turning on a dime.
7.  Thrive on converting problems into solutions that look intentional with spectacular results that will knock your socks off.

Do I get bored at events I attend for business?  Except for my industry's hosted events and meetings, I cannot even  b e g i n  to tell you how bored I've been sometimes.  If a topic is about the nuts and bolts of business, I can't wait to get out of there and do something creative.  I've found that cut and paste solutions will not work for me.  If I hear the sound of numbers crunching, it's like nails on a chalkboard.  You might ask, "How can you run a business without all of that?"  Here's why those don't matter as much to me.  If I am not in a creative, inspirational, fun space, there will be no numbers to crunch.  

It all boils down to being either right-brained or left-brained.  Creativity, or having a positive outlook come easier for some than others.  We are predominantly right-brained in the events industry.  I think everyone is a bit of right-brained and left left-brained in different situations, but people are predominantly one way or the other.  I have to share this link with you that will also explain right vs. left brain.  (I want you to pay particular attention to the name of the website!)  The current job market seeks people who can be both.  Employers prefer that someone have a degree in the humanities (Arts and Sciences) and then teach them about an industry. They want people who can create, think and solve.  If they have people who can make projects fun, just think of the abundance of ideas that would overflow!

I love it when someone says to me that planning or designing an event gives them nightmares.  Those are my dream jobs.  You know what is even more amazing?  It's showing that same person that they absolutely are creative!  It's my responsibility to bring it out of them.  Granted, it's somewhat like being a mid-wife, but creativity can be born.  "You can do it!  Just breathe. Not too much longer now! Push! Aaaah!  It's beautiful!  I'm so proud of you!  Good job!  What are you going to name it?"  They will never doubt their creativity again and will be rewarded time after time.

As promised, I want to impress upon you this thought.  That guy named Plato summed it up very well (yes, he did that a lot).  He said, "You can learn more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation".  So here's to "if you can't have fun doing something, don't do it!"  Aha!  I bet we know why people have been conducting business on golf courses forever!

I get some flack for using too many exclamation marks.  Do I care?  No!  However, I would describe my industry as an exclamation mark industry!  Don't be afraid to put exclamation marks in your life or business.  Your customers will appreciate it and remember you.  Your students will learn and remember more.  Your audience will listen and remember you.  You'll feel better ‼️‼️ Period.  End of sentence! 

Monday, September 5, 2016

Event-Changing Event Vendors Who Are Often Overlooked

All too often people who plan their own events are unaware of vendors that could make a huge difference in the success or the stress level of their social or business event.  For weddings, the most common regrets include not hiring a wedding planner or a videographer.  Statistics show that they are also the last vendors to be hired.  In fact, the most common time for people wishing they had hired a wedding planner is the day before the wedding or the day after the wedding.  

I dare say, that the same applies for any type of event.  People avoid hiring event planners because they think it will cost too much money.  In reality, (same with my own clients) people are surprised at how much money event planners actually save them. This happens through connections that the event planner has such as with new venues that are offering deep discounts, knowledge of options that are just as effective but cost less, knowing which questions to ask that can save thousands of dollars, helping people set priorities and stay with a plan.  Even using the wrong word can make all the difference.  Event planners also know what their clients are probably assuming about what is included in a vendor's services and chances are, it is more likely wishful thinking rather than fact.  A mistake not made is money saved.

What does daycare have to do with it?

I want to mention some vendors that people seldom, if ever, think about that would make a huge difference in the stress level on the day of their event.  Most commonly, we think of events as weddings, but I want you to stretch your mind to any event you might be planning. Let's begin with onsite day care.  If you don't think that addition will increase your Rsvp return rate, think again. There are people who will provide licensed day care at your event.  Some of them only work at events!  Some colleges have programs that can also help people out with providing onsite daycare.

Just imagine the gratitude for this service being offered at a client or employee appreciation event!  Literally, any event that involves parents with children.

How in the world are dogs, wedding ceremonies and honeymoons related?

We all know how crazy pet owners are over their furry family members with four feet. Who hasn't seen a picture of a dog playing the role of ring bearer?  Has anyone wondered what the role of the dog is after that or who is going to take care of them? There are pet sitters who will deliver your dog to your wedding and stay long enough to take the dog back to a person's house or at their facility.  This is especially helpful if the dog is going to be boarded there during a couple's honeymoon.  

It might be harder to think of this service being offered in a business setting.  Now that would be one perk many employees would appreciate.  Paying for your employee's pet care while they are on business trips?  A person can dream, can't they?

Who's going to help set up and tear down?

We know that for almost every task a person dreads doing, there is someone who loves doing that same thing, and you can hire them.  Set up and tear down at an event is a big one!  For large events involving family and friends, I have to warn the client that in reality seldom do these people live up to your expectations.  Add alcohol to the mix and you really diminish your odds of having help at the end of any event.  

Think beyond custodial services.  There are companies that will help you set up the tables and chairs, decor and the things that make you exhausted before your event even starts.  If you are saving money on a venue that does not provide those services, these people are worth their weight in gold.