Monthly Archives

April 2016

Event Planning, Featured

How to Plan a Rooftop Event: 6 Simple Tips

April 15, 2016
Rooftop Corporate Event

Rooftop event venues offer spectacular sights and a one of a kind experience. That’s why we see so many rooftop weddings, parties and more.

Planning a rooftop event (whether its a wedding, a party or a corporate event) requires some special considerations though. Here are the 6 simple tips to planning a better rooftop event:

Rooftop Bar

1. Have a Backup Plan

Always have a backup plan, preferably one included at the venue.

Many rooftop bars and venues will offer both indoor and outdoor spaces. In order to ensure that your event will be excellent in any weather make sure you have a backup plan that takes the following into account:

  • Will the number of guests comfortably fit into the indoor space?
  • Can the indoor space be accessed quickly so guests don’t get rained on?
  • If you’re using tech, can it be moved inside quickly as well?

You should also consider using your rooftop venue’s indoor space during the event anyway so that guests can easily transition from inside out and be comfortable at the event.

Rooftop Party

2. Take Wind into Account

Be prepared for wind, and lots of it.

Something that often is forgotten is to consider how being so high up may result in strong gusts of wind affecting decorations, guests, audio, and more. Depending on your buildings location, there may be some areas on the rooftop which are more prone to strong winds then others.

Your best bet is to ask the venue about wind and prepare by staying paper free and ensuring light and delicate items are in secure places. If you are using a microphone, ensure all speakers are in ares with minimal wind.

Rooftop Event

3. Be Mindful of Lighting

Lighting for rooftop events is especially important because it sets the event’s theme and let’s guests see.

Most rooftop events will be in the evening near sunset, so you will need to ensure the lights are perfect. This means more than just letting your guests see because rooftop events often incorporate minimal decoration so lighting plays a powerful part in setting the event’s mood and theme.

Ensure that your venue’s lighting fits the mood of your event and if it doesn’t or your rooftop venue doesn’t have lights, ensure you rent lights that provide ample lighting and set the right theme/mood.

Rooftop Wedding

4. It Will Take Longer to Set Up

Plan to spend extra time setting up and setting aside extra hours for vendors to access the rooftop venue.

Another often overlooked consideration is the extra time it will take to set up on the day of your rooftop event. It will be more difficult for vendors and your rentals to access and set up on the roof – especially when it’s an older building.

Rooftop Corporate Event

5. Keep Decor to a Minimum

A rooftop venue’s biggest feature is its skyline. Don’t cover that up with a large amount of decorations!

Your event’s backdrop is going to be the view of the city all around you  (or maybe below you!) so keep the decoration to a minimum so you don’t take away from that awesome view.

Images from Thrillist: 8 Best Rooftop Bars in Dallas

Weddings

6 Beautiful Non Traditional Wedding Dresses

April 13, 2016
Non Traditional Wedding Dresses

One of the recent wedding trends that’s been gaining in popularity is choosing a non traditional wedding dress. Many brides are choosing to express themselves and their personality a bit more by wearing a wedding dress that reflects the style they like.

A few ways that wedding dresses can go against tradition:

  • Printed designs
  • Adding color
  • An all lace dress
  • Going with separate pieces
  • Metallic dresses

Here are the 6 non traditional wedding dresses:

1. Floral Print Wedding Dress

Floral print wedding dresses are probably the most popular non tradition wedding dresses right now. As a whole, floral print designs have been trending and while most are content with just using them for the bridesmaids, some brides take it a step further – and it looks great!

Floral Print Wedding Dress

2. All Lace Wedding Dress

This is a great dress as it can pass as both a traditional wedding dress and a non traditional wedding dress. The lace is a beautiful way to add personality to what would otherwise be a fairly simple design.

All Lace Wedding Dress

3. Two Piece Wedding Dress

If your wedding is taking place at a beach, or you’re just feeling particularly adventurous, this two piece wedding dress design is sure to look great. It’s definitely non traditional and it’s very unexpected, but that all just adds to it’s charm!

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4. Dip Dyed Wedding Dress

If you’re not looking to go with a full color wedding dress, a dip dyed wedding dress (sometimes referred to as an ombre wedding dress) is a recent trend that is as much mind blowing as it is beautiful. There are several ways to do it, and you could even add color to one layer of the dress while leaving the other white (for example, dying a top layer of lace purple while leaving the rest white).

Dip Dyed Wedding Dress

5. Metallic Gold Wedding Dress

Metallic gold wedding dresses have both a vintage and a modern, Hollywood styling to them. You could go with a silver wedding dress, but the full gold wedding dress tends to be more eye catching!

Metallic Wedding Dress

6. Lace Wedding Dress

Another lace wedding dress, this combination features a transparent lace dress on top with a short, form fitting dress below. This combination is definitely non-traditional and would work well during the summer or on a beach!

Lace Wedding Dress

Featured, Weddings

8 Easy DIY Wedding Ideas

April 11, 2016
DIY Wedding Decoration Ideas

Some DIY wedding ideas can be ridiculously complicated and end up making your wedding planning way more stressful than it needs to be.

These 8 DIY wedding ideas are simple and easy – so you can enjoy your wedding instead of stressing out about your DIY project:

Simple Wedding Ideas: dancing Sandals

1. Sandals for Dancing

If you’re hosting an outdoor wedding, or you’ve got a lot of guests in high heels, a bucket full of sandals will make a welcome addition to your wedding.

DIY Wedding Centerpieces

2. Mason Jar Water Candles

These look fantastic, and they are so simple to do that it’s a no brainer to include them in your wedding. Here are the simple steps:

  1. Add water in a mason jar.
  2. Drop a tea candle into the jar so that it floats on the surface.

Wedding Photo Ideas

3. Picture in Front of Flag

This is a great idea and you can rep either your state or just sport Old Glory behind. It makes for a fun and creative backdrop for any photo and works well to cover up otherwise unattractive photo locations.

DIY Wedding Ideas

4. Popcorn Bar

Creating a candy bar has been all the rage, and it has spawned other great ideas like bacon bars and more, but even though a bacon bar is a wonderful and terrific idea, it is certainly not something you can easily do on your own! A popcorn bar is much more DIY friendly and will still be a great treat for ally your guests.

DIY Wedding Cake Stands

5. Barrel Cake Display

Wow does this look awesome, and all it takes is a whiskey barrel and you’re good to go! That’s as simple as it gets.

Cute Wedding Table Number Idea

6. Books for table numbers

For a classy, yet simple table top decoration, use these books with the table number written on them.

DIY Wedding Decoration Ideas

7. Using a Canoe for Drinks

If you’ve got access to a canoe, this is a real easy, and very cool (pun intended) idea to store drinks at a wedding!

Wedding Ideas

8. Social Media Hashtag ChalkBoard

Perhaps it’s a bit well known, but it’s still one of the easiest ways to get more photos for a wedding! and the board itself can be used for decoration!

 

Weddings

8 Wedding Games and how to Include Them

April 8, 2016
wedding games

An awesome wedding idea that isn’t often seen is to incorporate games into your wedding and you can choose a wide variety of games depending on the guests at your wedding. There are several neat ways to include these games in your wedding:

  • You could use them in your cocktail hour
  • You could put a game at each table
  • Designate a time for games after the reception

Check out the awesome wedding games below!

1. Table Tennis

While table tennis may not seem like an ideal game because it’s only two players, the game makes a great choice when combined with other games. You don’t need a full ping pong table either, you can just get a set that will use any table such as this one.

2. Charades

Charades is a great game for weddings because it will entertain a rather large crowd of guests. You can get a set like this one, which will include suggestions, categories and more and will make the game a whole lot more unique and fun. Besides, who doesn’t want to see the wedding party ridiculously miming out ideas!

3. Wooden Puzzles

These are great for being placed at each table. They will make for some quick entertainment as the guests at each table attempt to solve their puzzle! Nice sets like this are all over Etsy.

4. Jenga!

Jenga towers are loads of fun, especially when they are giant towers! You can order a truly giant tower like this one, but prices are pretty steep for them – usually around the $100 mark. A set of 3 towers (small, medium and large) for $45 won’t be as big, but can entertain more guests and certainly be used as a decoration even.

5. Cards Against Humanity

While this game isn’t appropriate for all ages, all religions, those suffering the loss of a loved one, or your mother in law, you can bet that it’ll be a crowd favorite at your wedding. If you want a more family friendly alternative we suggest one below, but even if this card game is only in a secretive back room for the adults who can handle it, it’s worth including.

6. Apples to Apples

This game is a great alternative to cards against humanity as it’s both family friendly and still fun for a group of people! You can probably find it in Toys-R-Us or some other department store, but just in case, here’s a link to it on Amazon.

7.  Cornhole

Cornhole is a classic wedding game. Sets can be sort of expensive (read $100+), but it provides great group fun! Check them out on Etsy where you can probably grab a pretty good deal!

8. Croquet

For our last game on the list, we suggest the humble sport(?) of croquet. You’re going to want to go with a 6 person set and get some higher quality or vintage mallets and balls so that you don’t run into splintering or other possibly dangerous breaks. You may need to search multiple websites and stores to find a good croquet set, but Etsy would be a good place to start!

 

Event Planning, Tips

5 Top Performing Marketing Ideas for Events

April 6, 2016
person-apple-laptop-notebook

It’s an ages old dilemma: your potential attendees have a pocket full of plastic and cash, but you struggle to get them to spend that on your event tickets. Most event professionals use marketing to achieve one or more of the following benefits:

  • Increase ticket sales and event attendance
  • Increase awareness for event
  • Establish reputation and credibility in the industry (to attract new speakers, presenters, etc.)
  • Increase social media followers and email subscribers.
  • Increase engagement during the event

The marketing ideas in this list, will help you achieve those benefits and more. Here are the 5 top performing marketing ideas for events:

1. Pre-Even Ticket Contest

One of the most popular ways to increase followers on social media platforms is to raffle off a pair of tickets. Avoid doing a contest across multiple platforms as it makes things much more complicated, instead host a contest on a single platform at a time. There are a few different ways to require entry: You can do a sweepstakes in which nothing is required, or you can ask for a follow or a like. Keep the entry requirement simple, as the more you ask from your audience, the less they will participate.

 

2. Content Snippets

If you have a yearly event, one of the easiest ways to market it is to create content snippets from prior events speakers, presentations, etc. Did a speaker have a powerpoint presentation on while they talked? Upload it to slideshare. Transcribe one of the presentations into a brief article. Upload a snippet of video to YouTube. Your event is a goldmine for content.

 

3. Live Polling

If you want to increase engagement during the event, and create a powerful marketing tool at the same time, consider doing live polls! Say a speaker is going to be using a few statistics in their presentation, in addition to those statistics, they can tell the audience to answer a poll on social media during the event and then use the results of that poll in addition to their statistics.

 

4. Live Streaming

Live streaming is considered the next big thing by many, but how do you use it for your event without cannibalizing ticket sales? Simple, just live stream one presentation or one speaker. This will help increase your event’s awareness and will result in increased ticket sales for the next event.

5. Team Up With Influencers for Discount Giveaways

Another powerful method that I’ve seen very few event professionals use is to team up with industry influencers and offer discount tickets. You can do this by approaching the top professionals in your event’s industry (including your speakers and presenters!) and giving them a predetermined amount of discounted tickets to give to their followers! Set this up with a limited use coupon code so that they can tweet with the coupon code or send it via DM.

Event Planning, Featured, Tips

You Don’t Know What Your Event Attendees Want

April 4, 2016
What features are important to event attendees

If I were to ask you (or any other event planner) what the 3 most important features are to event attendees you’d probably respond with the following:

  1. Free WiFi (81% of attendees find this important)
  2. Power Stations (for Recharging Mobile Devices) (71% of attendees find this important)
  3. Downloadable Speaker Presentations (64% of attendees find this important)

If you said those were the 3 most important features to attendees, great! You’re correct, but what if I were to tell you you’re wrong about everything else?

Based on a survey of 420 U.S. based professionals who attend at least one B2B exhibition a year, these statistics provide a valuable insight into which features event attendees find critical to their experience and how those features aren’t being given the same importance by event planners.

What your Attendees Want At Your Event

  • 60% of Attendees Value the Ability to Request Information Via QR Code or by Providing an Email Address. Only 44% of event planners agree.
  • 55% of Attendees Value the Ability to Find Additional Information on Interactive Screens or Tablets. Only 34% of event planners agree.
  • 34% of Attendees Value the Ability to Watch More Than One Session From a Room With Multiple Screens. Only 14% of event planners agree.

What Your Attendees DON’T Want At Your Event

  • 78% of Event Planners use Social Media to Help Attendees Stay on Schedule. Only 12% of attendees find this useful.
  • 54% of Event Planners Use Text Messages to Help Attendees Stay on Schedule. Only 11% of attendees find this useful.

Other Interesting Statistics

The study covered a wide range of topics, and there were some in which event planners and event attendees felt the same. For example, 31% of event attendees report that social media walls are “critical to the experience” and 34% of event planners share those views.

Other interesting event attendee statistics are as follows:

Event Attendee Schedule Preferences

  • 40% of event attendees use a personal calendar to plan out their schedule for an event.
  • 35% of event attendees use exhibition organizer websites.
  • 25% of event attendees use apps provided by the event itself.
  • 24% of event attendees use electronic directories or kiosks with a searchable touch screen.
  • 23% of event attendees refer to text messages from peers to help plan out the sessions they want to attend.

Event Attendee Mobile App Preferences

  • 44% of event attendees will download an event’s app.  87% of event planners offer an app, and another 7% plan on offering one in the future.
  • 23% of event attendees choose not to download the event’s app.
  • 33% of event attendees weren’t aware of the app, didn’t know how to download it, or didn’t have a mobile device capable of running the app.

When asked why they did not choose to download an event’s app, the following reasons were given:

  • 43% dislike downloading an app for one time use.
  • 27% prefer a printed program.
  • 14% don’t trust downloading apps from unknown sources.

Out of those who used the app, these features were most important/most used:

  • The ability to register for sessions and special events
  • Interactive map features.
  • The ability to search for exhibitors, products, or speakers in a directory.

Only 46% of event planners offer the above features, but it is unclear whether this figure is skewed because some events do not require those features. (e.g. no special events or sessions, only a handful of speakers, exhibitors or products, or only one or two rooms.)

One last question asked how comfortable attendees were with being monitored during the event with RFID or a similar technology.

  • 50% of those surveyed said they were comfortable.
  • 31% had no opinion.
  • 21% were uncomfortable or very uncomfortable.

Take these statistics to heart, they are straight from event attendees themselves and show us that we may not always be right about what our event attendees want before, during and after our events. If you’re not sure about your attendees wants and needs, the answer may be as simple as asking them yourself! Create a poll on social media or an email survey asking them what features are most important. After all, every event is different!

Tips, Weddings

How to Tell Someone They Aren’t In Your Wedding

April 1, 2016
Groomsmen

Unless you want to end up like this woman (who had 80 bridesmaids!) you better learn how to tell someone they aren’t in your wedding party.

First off, let’s set the record straight:

Nobody should expect to be in your wedding party, but everyone is going to expect it anyway. The sad reality for you, is that unless they’ve already been married, they’ll expect to be a bridesmaid. So, with everyone wanting to be in your wedding party, how do you let them know they can’t without losing any friends?

A Clever way to tell someone they aren’t in your wedding

One of the easiest ways to let those you care about down easy, is to make your intentions clear from the get go. Be open and honest, and say that you want a small wedding party. A perfect time to let them know this is at your engagement party. Clearly say something like “I’m not planning on having a big wedding party.” when given the chance. Try to make it loud enough that those in earshot can hear, but don’t be obvious about your intentions for saying it.

What to do when someone gets hurt

There will always be that one friend who gets hurt. Even when your wedding party is just your sister and the grooms brother. It’s even worse when you have a larger party! Here’s a few options that you can use for when someone does get hurt by your decision not to include them in the party:

  • Take your friend (or family member) out to lunch or dinner and explain your reasoning for not including them in your party.
  • Include them in a different way. For example: you could have them do a toast or a reading.
  • Focus on affirming your friendship

Some other things to consider

Don’t feel tied down by wedding traditions. Weddings have been loosening tradition for years now, and I think it’s safe to say you are free to make your special day however you like. Don’t feel like you need your sisters or brothers in the party, don’t feel like an uneven party would be the end of the world and don’t be pressured into choosing a particular bridesmaid or groomsman by a friend or family member.