Event Planning: You Need to Have a Plan

Have you ever tried your hand at event planning before? Even the most basic party or get-together (in your mind, at least) can turn into a stressful occasion when you’re in charge of all the details. Now think about putting on a conference or tradeshow for 500 or more of your closest friends.

No matter the size, the key to event planning is having a plan.

The most mundane details can pop up to haunt you onsite if you haven’t tied them down ahead of time. Trust me, I’m as spontaneous and fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants as they come, and I’m serious about having a plan for any event I’m putting on. Masking drape color, onsite inventory and task lists, personnel schedules and dress all need to be thought of before the big event.

Dress as in the clothes you’re going to wear? Yes, the last thing you need to worry about while running around onsite is not having appropriate shoes or forgetting formal clothing for that big Awards Dinner. Think about each day or event and what you will be doing in order to avoid wishing you had packed a whole lot differently (or any embarrassing moments).

Don’t assume that you’ll remember anything onsite. If you do, it will be a bonus. If you’re giving a speech, at least have note cards on hand in case you draw a big blank when looking out at the audience.

Another reminder that applies to any event you’re throwing… have any contact information you could possibly need on hand (preferably in your phone). Then you’ll be able to quickly get a hold of your hotel contact, colleague, caterer or sister-in-law when something comes up — or goes down — that you need help with.

Events can be fun to plan and rewarding when done well, especially when you plan to perfection.

I hope that everyone enjoyed the Memorial Day weekend, and a sincere thank you to all who have served, and continue to serve today, to protect what makes America great.

Jaime

50 Things I’m Grateful For…

Courtesy of Searchquotes.com

I came across a post recently talking about things the author was grateful for. What a great idea! In our busy lives, oftentimes we allow ourselves to get mired in the frustrations and minor inconveniences of the day-to-day grind. Below are 50 things that I’m very grateful for… what are yours?

1) Waking up this morning with no alarm
2) Seeing the beautiful sunshine today
3) Technology that allows me to work without being tethered to a desk all of the the time
4) A fantastic group of friends, some of whom I met in elementary school
5) Working for myself
6) Finishing my first half-marathon (and soon, my second)
7) My brother who always (well, almost always) let me tag along
8) The amazing people I’ve gotten to know in the industry I work in
9) Being American and enjoying all of its freedoms
10) My Little Miss Sunshine mug

11) My first home, which I’ll forever love no matter where I move
12) The best parents I could ever ask for
13) Watching the Kentucky Derby from the infield
14) Sky diving
15) Swimming in the ocean
16) My Italian roots
17) Martinis in a bag!
18) Piggy back rides on the Vegas Strip
19) Lounging on the beach at Hilton Head
20) Being able to give back

“Being grateful is a good way to end your day. Not in a repressive way, more like a celebration. To life. To the living.”               ~Unknown

21) My time at Kent State University
22) Things that make me laugh
23) Hiking in Hocking Hills State Park
24) Sports, every last one of them
25) Books and books and books…
26) Casablanca on the big screen
27) Catching an Aeros game at Canal Park
28) My love of the outdoors
29) Maya Angelou for speaking her mind
30) Elvis for changing music forever

31) The Bible
32) Dropping out of the corporate rat race
33) Running through Hardesty Park
34) Watching the ball drop on New Year’s Eve
35) Experiencing and participating in the Pay It Forward experience
36) On Writing by Stephen King (what a mind!)
37) Religious freedom
38) A steaming hot caramel latte
39) Sitting by my fireplace watching the flames
40) All the little princesses & monsters at my door on Halloween

41) That Garth Brooks concert so many years ago…
42) Kind words and well wishes
43) Watching the *famous* sunset in Naples, FL
44) God’s incredible grace
45) Turtle soup
46) Homeless shelters, especially Haven of Rest & ACCESS, who help people get back on their feet
47) Evernote for capturing my random thoughts no matter where I am
48) Lounging on my back patio while listening to my water feature and nature
49) The Ten Commandments
50)  Michael J. Fox for his courage and bringing much needed attention to a great cause

There’s my 50… what are yours? I would love to hear from you! This is a great exercise to remember everything good that you have in your life.

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the Moms out there!
Jaime