How to plan the perfect cocktail hour at your wedding or event!Read More
When thinking about corporate events, most times the word creative is not one that quickly comes to your mind. However, at VSIEvents, "wow, that's really creative" is a phrase that our clients use time and time again in regards to our work.
With our knowledge of corporate events, we thought that we would give three tips for creating a lasting impression and true experience at your next event.
Here are couple things that we like to incorporate to take our client's events to the next level:
1. Customized Apps
Who doesn't like having your conference itinerary, freebies, venue/event map, and more at their fingertips? Most corporate event goers love to have an application on their phone to keep tabs on the things we just mentioned. Custom apps can also include the real-time component through social media integration and also allow the client to see the return on the investment from analytics that the creator or platform manager provides. These apps may also be used to educate the attendees by allowing for space to take notes on the various sessions and supplying the session outline notes as well. Lastly, these apps are a great avenue to boost sales and can include promotions.
2. Out-of-the-Box Meal Design
We love to work with our clients for creating customized, and "out-of-the-box" menu options. A couple tips regarding food that we tend to follow - since food tends to be one of the most costly aspects of an event - are to:
- Select seasonal ingredients and produce for hors d'oeuvres, the main entree, and all other courses. Since it is the first day of fall, some of the foods that you would want to consider are apples, figs, pears, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, and winter squash.
- Also, select your meal according to the occasion. For example, if this is a sales appreciation retreat you might opt for a four-course meal instead of the typical buffet dinner. Make sure that the formal nature of the event matches the food.
3. The Voice of God
After much experience within corporate events and meetings, we have seen our fair share of awkward transitions. A great way to do away with that is to implement the "Voice of God" or recorded script that includes such things as a countdown, intermission announcement, and introduction of speakers. This VOG recording allows for smooth transitions and uniformity throughout the entire event, which is much more professional.
We hope that this information helped you! Let's chat about your next corporate event, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 502.309.4010 !
Until Next Time!
Who doesn't like to stay on or ahead of the trend?
Well, we know that we do and we are here to help!
Keep reading to discover what is trending in food and beverage,
technology and engagement, colors, and venues for 2016.
#1 - Food and Beverage
Regarding food and beverage, which is what most guests remember at an event, "Technomic has spotted the following food and beverage trends for 2016: ethnic spices, condiments, and bread, elevated "peasant fare" including sausages and meatballs, Smoked dishes like charred vegetables and Local, fresh, organic sourcing.
Based on their annual survey of 1,300 chefs who are members of the American Culinary Federation, in its What's Hot 2016 Culinary Forecast, the National Restaurant Association has forecasted the following food and beverage trends: locally sourced meat, seafood, and grown produce, natural ingredients, sustainable seafood, new cuts of meat (e.g. skirt steak, brisket, culotte/sirloin cap, tri-tip, cheeks), homemade artisan ice cream, authentic ethnic cuisine
Some of the hottest menu items that the National Restaurant Association has identified include:
- Appetizers: Homemade sausages, seafood charcuterie, amuse-bouche, ethnic inspired (e.g. tacos, tempura, kabobs), skewered appetizers
- Main Course: Grass fed beef, alternative red meats (goat, bison, buffalo), duck, sustainable seafood, game meats (e.g.venison, game birds, rabbit), low-calorie entrees, half portions/small portions, ethnic cuisine
- Desserts: Homemade artisan ice cream, bite-size/mini desserts, savory desserts, gelato, fruit desserts, lemon flavored desserts, classic pastries (e.g. scones, profiteroles)
- Alcoholic Beverages: Craft/artisan spirits, locally produced beer/ wine/spirits, Non-traditional liquors (e.g. soju/sochu, cachaca)
- Non-Alcoholic Beverages: Gourmet lemonade, artisan soft drinks, coconut water, mocktails" *
#2 - Technology and Engagement
As if our world is not technology driven enough, which we love, event planners are finding new ways to keep you evn more engaged. "In a recent webinar, Kevin Yanushefski, Product Marketing Manager at Cvent and Curt Apanovich, Creative Director at AV Concepts teamed up to identify and explore 5 Event Tech Trends in 2016. The hot technology they identified included:
- Immersive experiences: holograms, 3D projection mapping, 4K Ultra HD
- Facilitating Attendee Interaction: beacons, wearables including beacons, timely alerts, and event mobile apps
- Social Media Integration: social walls, live sharing and interaction from events
- Real-Time Event Management: digital signage, digital command centers
- Deep Insights: session tracking, personalized event reports, post event ROI measurement
Event tech expert Corbin Ball is forecasting 9 Amazing Meeting Technology Trends for 2016 including:
- Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR)
- The dominance of video and images on social media platforms
- Event intelligence tracking
Based on a survey of 6,000 event industry professionals and data from 1500 start-ups, Event Manager Blog identified 10 Event Trends for 2016 including:
- Crowdstreaming with platforms like Periscope and Meerkat
- Participant matchmaking
- Digital swag bags
- Audio beacons"*
Pantone selected Rose Quartz and Serenity as the colors for 2016 and if you haven't already, you will see these colors everywhere! In the video above there are some common products and apparel that will be on the shelves or on racks near you.
#4 - Venues
Typically hotels are the go-to for corporate events but this year many are choosing more unique locations for meetings with colleagues. An out-of-the-box location includes sport or concert arenas, private villas, or even themed murder mystery dinners and it works! Why you might ask? The answer is because it creates a lasting memory and this is a win-win for both the planner and the attendee. The pop-up event is starting to become more commonplace in the industry as well as, state-of-the-art venues that bring the event to life.
Until Next Time!
Many brides, parents, and corporate executives (along with all of those in-between) may ask themselves the question above before planning an event. There are many factors that go into planning an event that an experienced planner is versed in, whereas the average person who has never planned an event may not know what to do. Here are our thoughts on why it is imperative to hire an event planner to assist in the creation of your fairy tale event!
#1: Managed Budget
Most people do not find joy in taking into account the small details in an event budget. Likewise, one of the greatest things about having an event planner is that he or she will be responsible for keeping an up-to-date budget. The planner is also keen on "unexpected expenses" that a client may not have prior knowledge to budget for. The bottom line is that you will need help with figuring out what is and is not needed in your budget and a great planner will do that and more.
#2: Stress-Free Environment for the Client
A great planner is like a hostess, hence our name! And a hostess takes all of the stress from planning, designing, and executing so that the guests can relax and feel at home. In the same way, a planner allows the client to relax and let the planner worry about the details. The client should "worry about elaborating on his or her dream and watch it unfold". The process of planning can often be looked at as going to be fairytale experience with most couples that plan their own weddings as well. However, they find that it is stressful and takes more time than they thought.
Our head planner has expertise in the industry backed by schooling and experience. When you hire a planner they are literally subject matter experts, so they know the way to effectively plan an event that runs the right way. Plus you want your day and deserve for your wedding or gathering to go off without a hitch! So, rather it is knowing what to look for in a venue or what questions to ask for negotiating a discount, the expertise of a good planner is priceless.
#4: Contacts, Contacts, Contacts
Knowing who to trust and who is right for you is one of the hardest tasks of planning a wedding. Once you find a great planner however, the rest is much easier. Since planners know the venues, caterers, florists, entertainment providers, etc, they are a huge asset. Another great thing about having various contacts in different pricing levels is that there is more to choose from for the client. The bottom line is that you need to hire vendors that you can trust.
#5: Creative Ideas
Creativity is something that goes hand-in-hand with event planning. A great planner will take your idea or Pinterest photo to the next level. We find ourselves listening, taking notes, and brainstorming after meetings with clients so that we can constantly do new, exhilarating things! Often from prior experience or teaching a planner can transform your dream into actuality and bring his or her personal twist to make you a very happy client.
#6: Updated Information: Regarding the Industry and Current Trends
The meeting and events industry, catering service industry, and wedding industry are robust and ever-changing! But, for a planner that loves hearing about trends and stays up-to-date insures for the opportunity to keep your business events current.
#7: No Day-of Coordination Necessary
You cannot and should not coordinate your own wedding day, or event day. This is the day that all of your hard work will pay off and you should be able to enjoy it with your guests. When a bride or other client attempts to coordinate he, or she is often stressed while running around putting out fires that the planner could easily diffuse or prevent. If this does not sound convincing enough, then just consider the fact that you should be 100% focused on the fun while leaving the rest to your planner.
#8: Assistance and a Friend
Often people think that they can have family, friends, or co-workers help with the planning process but a professional is really the key. Family, friends, or colleagues that will attend the event should do just that, attend the event and aid in support as needed. However, a planner can be the go-to person and someone to bounce ideas off of, like a friend. Your planner will also help narrow your ideas to keep a consistent brand or vision so that the entire event is uniform.
#9: Details Accounted For
Do you sometimes have a hard time accounting for details, or do younormally forget things? Well a planner will help you by creating detailed logistics, travel accommodations for guests, and RSVP handling. We have found that beauty is in the details, so rather that is providing a welcome for you, executives, or providing an idea for a special thank you to sponsors, great planners are well worth it!
#10: Someone to Make All of Your Calls and Lead Meetings
The planning of a large or small detailed event takes a lot of time and organization, something that a planner has both of. There are key components of running a successful meeting that a planner is used to doing. Think about the fact that if you did not hire a planner you would have to schedule all tastings, meetings with vendors, scout all venues, and much more. But a perk to having a planner is that he or she will make the calls, schedule and facilitate the meetings, and help with venue scouting from a place of deep knowledge.
BONUS - #11: Bring You Cost Savings
Every client likes to make the most of his or her money rather it is a mid-sized budget, or unlimited, planners can negotiate on prices. An advantage of having a planner is that he or she has relationships with vendors that allow her to get special discounts. The bigger advantage is that a planner will help you save money from avoiding costly mistakes. The planner works to make sure that the client can afford all of the services being provided so that the ending bill is not a surprise.
Rather you are planning a quaint fifteen person dinner party for a 40th birthday, or a five-hundred attended wedding, a planner is worth every dollar spent!