Summertime is a great time for outdoor events. Outdoor catering arrangements largely depend on your venue, type of event, and the time of year.
Consider these quick tips for catering your fabulous outdoor event.
Your menu. Before you choose your menu, consider the weather conditions you are likely to encounter. Food dishes that are on the light side or served cold may be preferable over something hot and heavy.
Your food. Food that requires plates and flatware will require extra cost and seating. Finger foods make it easier for guest to eat while socializing.
Watch for spoilage. Make sure your caterer keeps the food at the right temperature. Hot dishes need to stay hot while cold salads need to stay chilled.
The venue. When choosing an outdoor site, pick one that will be comfortable for your guests. If the site does not include a shelter, consider renting a tent in case of rain or for shade purposes. Consider if the site has restrooms available or if you’ll have to bring in portable toilets.
Entertainment. Check with your catering company or a separate amusement rental company for entertainment options including a DJ, outdoor inflatables, games etc…
Costs. Opting for the outdoors for your event can cost less than renting indoors, however, be mindful of other expenses that can drive up the total cost of your event. For example, consider the cost of event insurance, or additional costs for set-up and clean up.
Read more about outdoor catering at foodservicewarehouse.com.
Trying to think of everything when planning an outdoor event can be overwhelming. Here are tips that shouldn’t be overlooked.
Crucial coordination. Keep in mind that if you are not using an outdoor facility, that you will be bringing everything in and then hauling everything out.
Sanitation. Review with your vendor exactly what will be needed for your size event. Sub-par and too few restroom facilities can quickly lead to a discontented crowd. Also, plan for the days prior and after the event for your set-up and take-down crews.
Power. Be sure to arrange for back up generators for your generators in case of failures.
Communication. Be sure two-way radios are powerful enough for the area of your event. Also bring backup batteries, lots.
Lighting. If your event takes place at night or moves into the evening, be sure to not only light the event, but also the walkways, restroom areas, exit and entrance paths and parking areas.
Pests. Consider whether you will need to spray the area for pests. When scheduling the spraying, determine whether it would conflict with other aspects of your set-up, such as setting up tables and linens.
Heat. Plan for drinking and cooling stations throughout your venue.
Safety. At the very minimum, have first-aid kits on hand or designate a first-aid station.
Weather. Monitor weather far in advance and consider purchasing weather insurance. Wind can be hazardous. Make sure things are anchored accordingly.
Clean up. Consider hiring a hauling firm after the event. Or arrange trash hauling through your local sanitation department.
Summertime is a great opportunity to consider outdoor venues for your next event. Planning for the great outdoors, however, can be twice as difficult as planning an indoor event. And sometimes more expensive.
When in the early planning stages for your ideal outdoor event, consider these preliminary tips:
Silent auctions are an entertaining way to raise money for your cause and gives attendees opportunities to participate.
Here are some helpful tips to get your started:
EventWax tip: Use online registration to organize your fund-raiser’s silent auction. It’s an easy way to sell tickets for your event and track your attendees. You also can email your attendees an auction item list prior to the event.
To read more about how to organize and run a silent auction click here.
What to do when your event attendance drops from medium to small and you suspect you can’t cover the cost of your venue?
That’s exactly what happened to a conference planner recently. But, by reaching out to his industry contacts, he found an alternative that created a win-win out of a losing money situation.
Here’s how the scenario played out:
Once the planner realized the attendance for the event was not coming close to paying for the high-end venue, he met with an industry friend and asked if his friend’s prominent Internet company could sponsor the conference to help defray the costs.
The outcome was unexpected, yet smart.
While the Internet company did not offer sponsorship to help bail out the conference, what it did offer was to host the conference for free in its company training space. The organizer, perhaps, lost his deposit at the venue, but didn’t lose his shirt in an under-attended conference. The host company gained greater exposure at an industry conference with attendees that could lead to future potential hires.
This was a shining example of friends and a business community helping each other out and everyone benefiting, including the attendees.
The best way to insure sponsorship for your future events is to make sure your relationship with sponsors for current events is carried through to the end.
Sometimes drumming up sponsorship means going about things the old-fashioned way — by making telephone calls and writing letters.
Read more about these tips condensed from an article originally authored by Rebecca Mojica and posted on idealist.org
I’ve organized many events over the years, but I am not a professional planner. I never had the opportunity to line up sponsors for any of the fund-raisers I’ve planned. But, I was curious how I would begin to go about it if I ever did. And if you too are lacking this experience, consider this helpful guideline originally authored by Rebecca Mojica as posted on idealist.org that I condensed.
How to Find Event Sponsors, Part II, will include more strategies to cultivate sponsors.
Event planners can meet their eco-savvy clients’ desires by seeking out venues and destinations committed to helping reduce the carbon footprint of the events industry.
According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, the meetings and events industry is the second most wasteful industry after building and construction.
An average conference participant, over the course of a three-day meeting, generates about 61 pounds of waste, compared to 13.5 pounds at home over the same period. The conference attendee also produces 1,142pounds of greenhouse gases in just three days (from flight and road miles getting to and from the event, plus CO2 emissions from the venue and hotel stay), the equivalent amount produced by driving a car for a month at home, according to a 2008 report by Meeting Strategies Worldwide.
That was then. Now, players throughout the industry are cleaning up their act. The hotel industry continues to make strides by updating their buildings with energy-efficient improvements, which not only reduce emissions but also reduces their costs. Some of the little changes making a big impact include installing water-saving shower heads and taps; energy-saving lighting; installing thermo pane windows to reduce heating costs; and disabling HVAC systems in unoccupied rooms.
When planning a green event or meeting consider this green criteria:
CHICAGO — Meet Billy Pacholski.
This 35-year-old creative force is sculpting his presence in the event industry and, by no surprise, didn’t take the traditional route getting there.
Pacholski, a Chicago area native and an independent event planner for the past six years, unwittingly fell into the industry through his passion for live theater.
As a college student, he directed and produced with a focus on artistic live theater. That led to a stint working in theater administration for venues including Chicago-based Goodman Theatre and Second City.
“I realized there’s this whole industry of corporate theater,” Pacholski said, adding his work in theater administration opened a door into event planning.
And with that small discovery, Pacholski decided to tap his backgrounds in business organization and live theater to infuse clients’ events with a showmanship quality.
The event planners he hires typically have a fondness for theater. His employees are considered “show people.”
“We bring the creative to the business,” he said. “Creative is not something you can necessarily learn. It has to be inherent.”
He believes that sets him apart in the industry.
Pacholski’s event expertise ranges from the big with global events agencies to mid-size meetings for business associations and conferences to small, independent clients.
His experience includes working as a talent producer for the annual Walmart share holder meeting; industry conferences such as TechWeek and Software Craftsmanship North America, both held in Chicago; and smaller, more intimate events including new business openings.
“I bring best practices to help build a team and help grow an event,” he said.
Aside from putting on the event, Pacholski understands tight budgets.
“I spend money really wisely,” adding he knows how to get his clients the most bang for their buck.
The marriage between Pacholski’s events and theater steps up in 2012 as the planner embarks on directing his first musical, “Assassins,” due out in October at the Viaduct Theater in Chicago. The off-Broadway comedy portrays all the presidents’ assassins.
Pacholski has partially staffed the production with contractors from his event business. The opportunity gives his contractors with theatrical backgrounds a way to earn a good living while following their passion, he said.
To contact Pacholski for event planning services, call (312) 560-6979 or e-mail email@example.com.
Billy uses EventWax!
Billy Pacholski — “It’s a great tool because it’s so flexible. Other ticketing tools are more flashy. I make great use of the ticket types and I can get into the guts of it to code the page.”
Event planning tip
Billy Pacholski — “Less isn’t always more. Sometimes it is just less.
Events are an experience. Your guests are going to have the experience you make for them. Clients always try to save money by cutting back on food and beverage. And, inevitably, attendees always ask ‘where is the coffee?’ Don’t take away attendees comfort foods, you actually get less from it.”
Hey! If you would like your business, event planning service, or event featured in EventWax’s Spotlight, shoot Jen a request at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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