SET GOALS FOR 2018, NOT RESOLUTIONS

In the blink of an eye, 2017 is coming to an end and 2018 is ramping up. We are proud to say that 2017 was an AMAZING year for East of Ellie for many reasons. We expanded our team, earned some industry street cred, and of course – threw some legendary events. But to really make 2018 a stellar year, we’ve got our radars on professional & personal growth at EOE.

WE DON’T MAKE RESOLUTIONS AROUND HERE, WE MAKE GOALS.

 

What is the difference between and resolution and a goal? Easy.

res·o·lu·tion /ˌrezəˈlo͞oSH(ə)n /noun
a firm decision to do or not to do something.

goal / ɡōl /noun
the object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result.

Goals require you to check up on yourself and evaluate progress where as resolutions are a one and done type of thought, which to us, sounds like a recipe for failure.

An EOE tradition is to set goals for the upcoming year with meetings on the calendar every 3 months to review progress. Some goals will be achieved overtime with more work/life experience, and others will require getting out of comfort zones to make us better professionals and people (cue the deep breaths to suppress our anxieties).

If your workplace doesn’t work this way, or you are your own boss, that isn’t an excuse to avoid bettering yourself.  One of the most popular things to do in our culture at the end of every December is to set a resolution and say “In 2018 I will…” But that just isn’t enough.

Where to start:

  1. Create categories that are most important for your professional growth. Networking, Presentation Skills, Becoming a Subject Matter Expert, Management, Daily Tasks, Organization, etc. are only a few examples of buckets. Think of what applies to your job that will make you a better industry professional. Adding personal categories also helps you become more well-rounded in your goals.
  2. Set action items underneath each category to specify how you will contribute to each category. For example, clean up and organize your files to perfection once a week, make an effort to have lunch meetings strictly for networking once a month, take a class to help with public speaking in the slow season, etc. Keep in mind that these need to be tangible actions. Lose 10 pounds is not an action item, but going to the gym 3x per week is.
  3. Check up! This part is key. When all of the new year bliss rubs off at the end of February (maybe even before), schedule time for yourself to review all of your 2016 goals and what you are doing to accomplish them. Mark the calendar, and do this periodically throughout the year. Needing extra motivation? Set up these meetings with a supporter such as a spouse, mentor, or boss so you can’t just push it to the side.

What will your goals be for 2018? Comment one of them below as your first step to making a conscious choice to better yourself. Happy New Year!

AN INSIDE LOOK: BIZBASH LIVE NEW YORK

BizBash Live returned to New York City this October, so the East of Ellie team took a quick trip to The Big Apple to check out new and exciting vendors!  The Javits Center was packed with innovative activations, vendors and exhibitions. The entire day was filled with inspiring new ideas and anticipation for the Event Style Awards, which East of Ellie was attending as a Finalist for our Joie de Vivre Dinner hosted by Laura Mercier.

Here are our top three favorites from that day:

 

360 DEGREE PHOTO BOOTH

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While mingling with new vendors at BizBash Live, our very own Emily Chalk and Karen Marin were able to experience a new photo booth activation. The 360 degree photo booth made them feel like celebs at the BizBash Style Awards Red Carpet. Photo booths have become so popular that we love when they are set up in a less-traditional way to make our clients and event attendees feel like true VIPs.  We love finding new ways to offer that fun selfie moment and what better way to do so than with a fun photo shoot?

 

ENTICING ENTRANCE

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First impressions are everything, amaze your guest by turning an entrance into an experience! We find that creating a memorable entrance is crucial because it really does set the tone for any event from the moment guests walk in. Customize and brand the effects to match your event concept with Luminescence.

LIVE T-SHIRT PRINTING

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Having a difficult time sourcing for an event giveaway? We loved this idea of live custom T-shirt printing as a guest experience and giveaway, it’s a fun and easy way to add an activation to your next event.  

Stay tuned, you just might see these activations incorporated into our 2018 events. At EOE, the smallest details excite us, because we know how impactful they really are. The details we put into our events make the design and concept come together effortlessly and we were thrilled that BizBash recognized that for our Tabletop Design!

Let EOE handle the details, bring your inspo’ to life and execute your next event! Connect with us today at rsvp@eastofellie.com

An Intern’s Advice to the CEO

Everyone always hears about what an intern learns from the CEO (or any other manager in the company) but not many people discuss what the interns can actually teach the ones who have been in the biz for as long as they can remember.  

Sometimes, interns never get the chance to even sit in the same room as the CEO, let alone interact with them.  But for us and our fellow small businesses, it is very possible that interns interact and work with the CEO on a regular basis.

At East of Ellie, we are all about learning through all stages in our careers, so we sat down with our interns and discussed their perspectives on the industry, and what they thought would be useful for Emily, our very own CEO, to look through the lens from their point of view.

 

Collaborate More

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Collaboration is key in a creative industry, especially when you have fresh talent (like interns) who don’t have much corporate experience, if any. Always make time to sit down and collaborate with your team on a regular basis because its is a win-win situation.  Whether it be brainstorming or status updates, including the whole team can help your small business come up with more ideas, generate better content, and grow your reach. The more perspectives, the more opportunities there are to learn for everyone- not just the interns.

 

Enthusiasm is Contagious

coffee-cup-working-happyOne of the most important aspects to any job is being happy where you are, and company culture is a huge contributor. One of the best parts of East of Ellie is the people- we are enthusiastic, happy, and excited about our job.  Those emotions are easily noticeable and definitely contagious in the office.  Enthusiasm is one of the most important things to instill in your employees.  If you aren’t excited about your job, how are you going to inspire your employees to be? Lead by example, always stay enthusiastic and positive even when times get tough because it means so much to the people around you.

 

Embrace the Walk Through

pexels-photo-355988Interns always hear “it is important to ask questions” throughout the job.  Many internships require their interns to be on the phone with other businesses and clients, and some may not know how to efficiently handle those calls.  Although it may seem excessive, managers should walk interns through how to properly handle calls in order to get the information they are seeking as quickly as possible. Help us help you! We appreciate the real life opportunities instead of just running errands, but please keep in mind, we have not been doing this for years.  Another tip is for managers/CEOs is to recommend questions for the interns to ask in similar situations that they have found effective in previous situations.

 

Learning is a two way street.  Interns learn from higher ups in the company, and most executives can learn a thing or two from the interns. Want to know more about our team and company culture at EOE? See more here

East of Ellie’s Joie De Vivre Dinner chosen as a 2017 BizBash Event Style Award FINALIST

Have you heard the news?! Our event design has been chosen as a 2017 BizBash Event Style Award FINALIST! 

Designing this table scape was one of the most enjoyable parts of planning this event! With such a great brand identity to base our design off of, we were able to bring together elements that were not only beautiful but all tied back to our event concept.

Read more about how and why this event design came to life the way that it did! –

THE PURPOSE

The purpose of this dinner event was to feature the Laura Mercier brand as part of the three day conference being held for Beauty Prestige Group. We hosted 200 guests from the company’s sales and marketing teams, numerous C Level executives, and Laura Mercier herself.  “Joie de Vivre at the Bronson Gate” was the title of our evening and translated directly as “exuberant enjoyment of life.”  The evening was set to be a celebration, it is about the joy of conversation – of eating – of anything one might do, it is the joy of everything and is a philosophy of life that involves one’s whole being (because how could you not enjoy eating and sipping cocktails under the stars at Paramount Studios?)  We took this phrase to heart and infused it into every detail as well as the overall atmosphere of the event. Joie de Vivre is also one of Laura Mercier’s latest cosmetic color collections. (Check out the amazing-ness here. The mascara is life changing)

Hosting this portion of the event at the historic Bronson Gate at Paramount Studios was a perfect setting to bask in the history of both the Laura Mercier brand and the essence of authentic old Hollywood.

THE THEME

We themed this portion of our event and table scapes based on Provence, France. As a unique flare, instead of matching each and every element to this look and feel, we integrated unexpected touches to the table scape that would work in unison with the soft florals and rustic seating to create an edge that would still achieve an aesthetically pleasing look. To achieve this, we included a masculine green Zebra succulent plant, as well as table numbers and escort cards that featured a swipe of bold red lipstick, which is a design element you will see in a vast number of executions of Laura Mercier’s marketing. We also included ingredients that are used in Laura Mercier body cream such as fresh fruits and nuts.

Aside from what was actually set as the table scape, guests enjoyed their custom-themed signature cocktails with no typical cocktail stirrer. The stirrers for our signature drinks were real honey dippers, as this is used with Laura Mercier body souffle products.

We also set a table of chocolates in the shape of lips, lipsticks, and other cosmetics in colors of pink, red and brown displayed on custom lucite blocks to provide added drama, dimension, and frankly a dessert any cosmetic lover would love to indulge in!

THE FEEDBACK

Easily one of our most memorable moments of this event was Laura Mercier herself taking a floral arrangement off of her dinner table and back to her hotel. We had no access to her prior to the event and had fingers crossed the design and florals would match and exceed her expectations! Guests raved about the gorgeous setting of the dinner and how all of the elements came together. The CEO of Beauty Prestige Group said this was the best sales conference he had experienced in his 30 years in the industry.  It’s all in the details!

Wish us luck to win! We will find out at BizBash Live on October 25th in NYC, will you be there? Let’s connect!

BEST FEATURES OF IOS11 FOR EVENT PLANNERS

Oh, Apple. How we love your much anticipated updates to the devices that are glued to our hands 23 hours of the day. In case you missed it, the iOS 11 was released this month with a ton of new features that are making our lives easier. iOS9 was great for event planners as well, but focused more on the design of the interface, whereas iOS 11 is really lookin’ out for our productivity and easier use (yes, please.)

So, how does iOS 11 specifically improve the lives of event planners?

Customize your control center

When you swipe up from your home screen, the basics are available to you (and btw in a fancy new format than before) Buttons like airplane mode, wifi and bluetooth toggle, flashlight, calculator, etc. have been the standards for quick access through this control center, but now with iOS 11 you can swap out some of these apps for what you need quick access to. For us, Google Drive has already made its way into that spot! Having quick access to all of our files is so important when we’re on the go.

Doodle on ScreenShots

You’re an event planner. So when you look at a blank space venue, you are able to visualize exactly how you plan to transform this space during a site visit- but sharing that vision can sometimes be difficult to communicate. Screenshot your photo of the room and doodle in lines, drawings of a stage, LED Screens, etc. to easily share your vision with vendors who can make it come to life.

Pin Notes

Jot something down in your notes app during a site visit? Story of our lives. You may have a setting on that sorts your notes alphabetically, but you are now able to pin a note to the top of your list to make sure it’s easy to pull up when you’re back at the office or chatting with your client.

Scan Documents

Speaking of the notes feature, iOS 11 is making it so that scanners may be a thing of the past, say whaaaa? That’s right, use the notes app to take a photo of your document, and it will upload to your phone as a PDF, nobody will know you didn’t event use a traditional scanner! Perfect for those last minute BEOs on site to scan and upload them to your drive.

 

What are your secrets to mastering the iPhone to make your life easier? We’d love to hear them in the comments below! Looking to hand off the heavy weight of planning an event? Just call us the superheroes. Let’s get planning! rsvp@eastofellie.com

The Four Personalities of Event Clients

If you work in any type of agency working with clients on a regular basis, you know that clients are made like snowflakes, no two are exactly alike.

In fact, clients come in all different shapes, sizes and colors. Don’t get us wrong, we LOVE our clients. It’s interesting to see how over the years, our method of planning events hasn’t changed much, yet the planning process can be completely different depending on how the client ticks. We’ve talked before about tailoring your communication style to your audience, and in this case, it’s the client. It’s important to recognize the type of client you have to mold the way you proceed with the planning process. In our experience, clients can be bucketed into the following categories:

 

“SHINY THINGS” CLIENT

This client gets EXCITED about the event, no, really excited. When we whip up a presentation of proposed vendors or work with our graphic designer to create 3-D rendering of the space, their eyes just light up. This is one of our favorite types of clients, it usually means they don’t get exposed to this fun stuff often – which can also lead to a downfall – distraction. Like when you’re presenting catering options on slide 2 but they’re googly eyed over the invitation mock-ups on slide 8. When you need a decision on one aspect – less is more when showing them what’s going on. Keep them excited, absolutely, but also focused on your main objectives!

 

“LAST MINUTE” CLIENT

All clients have a bit of the “last minute” personality within, some just have a bigger presence of it than others. Let’s face it, as outside agency event planners, we are not apart of our client’s daily operations. So, it’s not anyone’s fault when the client may have to push our meetings or focus on other projects to keep afloat. This often leads to the few weeks leading up to the event as pure insanity. Rushing to get last minute requests fulfilled and working with last minute design edits to collateral that still needs to be printed. The truth is, there’s really no way to avoid the last minute client, and frankly, we totally plan in advance to accommodate these last minute changes. The best you can do is prepare everything you can in advance, keep your personal calendar wide open, because last minute requests WILL arise, and you’ll need all the time you can get.

 

“CAN’T MAKE THE DECISION” CLIENT

This may seem similar to the shiny things client, but infact they are actually very different. This client isn’t trying to find the perfect concept for a part of their event and then pulling the trigger, this client has a very hard time making the decision. This is totally fine, until it gets closer and closer to the event. They are still up in brainstorming land or need to consult with someone else on the team, but time is running out and you are starting to get worried. With this client, be extremely clear with deadlines and explain you don’t want them to lose the opportunity with a vendor or have to pay out the nose for last minute rush fees.

 

“I CAN DO THIS ON MY OWN” CLIENT

Perhaps this client has planned a few events in the past, or deems themselves as a marketing wiz – and that may all well be true! Show up to your meeting with your event objectives clearly outlined and your definition of success written in black and white? We are already in love with  you.  But it’s hard enough as outsiders to come into a company and figure out the perfect balance between not overstepping and integrating our methods so that we can get the job done.  The best thing to do here?  Over communicate.  Ask for their opinions and make them feel as involved as they would like to be at all times.  It’s hard for clients who want to do the planning themselves to second guess the process when they are knee deep in it.

 

At the end of the day our clients are truly our favorite people and we couldn’t do what we do without them!  Looking for an event team that understands the objectives of your event and can clearly outline the planning process for you?  Look no further. Email rsvp@eastofellie.com and let’s get planning!

The Experience Generation: What it Means for Corporate Events

The Experience Generation- is society catching on to the obsession that we’ve always had at East of Ellie? The answer is- yes. Millennials are valuing experiences over possessions more than ever.

In a study conducted by Eventbrite, they proved experiences help shape identity & create life-long memories. “Nearly 8 in 10 (77%) millennials say some of their best memories are from an event or live experience they attended or participated in. 69% believe attending live events and experiences make them more connected to other people, the community, and the world.”

So, what does this mean for the future of corporate events? Millennials are on their way to taking the front seat in the corporate world, as the eldest millennials turn 35 this year.  Trends point in the direction that millennials care less about their salaries and more about the perks and work-life balance that their company can provide.

How can companies keep up with the desires of top-talent millennials? We believe the answer is simple:

Keep them engaged in company related experiences and heighten the sense of community through events.

Begin this shift by improving events that your company has been hosting the same way for years, or add more to the mix. A few of our favorites ways for companies to do this:

CREATIVE SALES CONFERENCES

Don’t let your employees feel like you’re shipping them to paradise, just to lock them in a hotel for four days. Integrate on-brand experiences, team building and entertainment to fuse education with engagement at your sales conference. We took over Paramount Studios at our last sales conference for a modern hollywood style experience for guests. See more here.

GOLF OUTINGS

Get employees out of their cubicles and have them take a breath of fresh air out on the course. Invite partners, prospective customers, whatever makes sense for your business to have fun AND network. As they say, deals are done on the golf course. We broke out the drone at one of our last golf events, check the amazing footage here.

LITERAL VACATIONS

These 10 companies take their employees on vacation every year! Investing in the “reset” of your employees will increase their productivity and loyalty to your company. This also improves relationships of employees and educates them on places all over the world! If creativity and inspiration is a key part of your company, this option may be best for you.

“TOWN HALL” MEETINGS

Feel like your company just seems a little.. disconnected? Bring them out of the office for an interactive day of presentations by leaders in the company. This rare face time between the “do-ers” and the C-level exec’s will have a greater impact on employees retaining key information to improve their work. See how we’ve spiced up these meetings here.

Need a team who has a proven track record of wowing guests, and providing unique atmospheres for client’s to get down to business? Shoot us an email and Let’s Get Planning! rsvp@eastofellie.com

Facts found by Eventbrite, https://www.eventbrite.com/blog/academy/millennials-fueling-experience-economy/

Ellie’s Head to Toe Fashion Guide for Event Planners

As an event planner, one of the most important aspects to a smooth event day is to be dressed comfortably.  This may seem silly because your outfit may not directly impact the success of the event, but in our experience it does; a proper outfit is a big contributor to your overall attitude and level of service.

If you are uncomfortable or unhappy with your choice of shoes, for example, you will just have one more thing to worry about while executing an event.  We want to limit your worries at all costs, and after almost a decade in the industry, we have finally learned what works on event day, and what doesn’t.

 

Human Shield

Black is our go to color on event day- are you surprised? Probably not. It’s practical, sweat-proof, spill-proof and blends easily.  Let’s face it, on the day of your event, you could be doing anything from heavy lifting to acting as a catering waitress; our list of ad hoc duties are endless!  Wearing a black shirt will ensure that you look professional, no matter what.

 

Fake it til’ You Make It

Although we wish we could get away with wearing yoga pants, professionalism is key.  We’ve found a way to cheat the system and live by these New York and Company pants.  They look like business pants, but slip on and feel like yoga pants, so it’s the best of both worlds.  You’ll thank us when you’re going on hour 6 of running around!

 

The New Sneaker

23312_BBKWe’ve tried everything when it comes to shoes and frankly, we wish we could get away with wearing a simple Nike running shoe, but that doesn’t usually fly with the dress code.  To dress up the sneaker look but still have a certain level of comfort, Keds or Toms are a great option, and our office is split half and half on which shoe is better. Recently, Event Manager Cindy has struck gold by finding these Memory Foam Sketchers that look like flats but feel like heaven.

If you’re not sure about any of your shoe options or must wear heels, bring a few options to the site.  If one pair of feels like a cloud by your toes, but scrapes up the back of your heel, switch midway through the event to the other pair that isn’t the best on the ball of your foot, but is blister free! It’s all about picking (and switching) your battles.

 

Accessories

downloadBecause we do so much while executing an event, we like to keep track of our steps and calories burned to keep track of all the work we did on FitBits.  Competitors to the core, we even have a competition in the office for who walks the most steps on event day. At our 3 day event in March we each won a different day!

 

If you’re not about the look of having a Fitbit on your wrist, there are solutions. Many companies like Tory Burch, make Fitbit covers, so you can still monitor your activity, but appears as a regular bracelet.

Keeping jewelry to a minimum is key to being comfortable and looking professional as an event planner.  Avoid anything dangly, especially earrings and necklaces. Stick to simple studs, like pearls. An Apple watch is a great addition to keep everything you need on your wrist, and ALWAYS have extra hair ties!

 

What are the clothes or shoes that you can’t live without when executing your events? We’d love to see your comments below!

WHAT DO EVENT PLANNERS ACTUALLY DO?

EOE’s Marketing & Events Manager, Cindy, here. I’ve come to a conclusion. This may seem a bit dramatic, but over the past couple years I’ve realized:

PEOPLE DON’T KNOW WHAT EVENT PLANNERS DO.

Of course, this is a generalization. Most people don’t know what event planners do. In the grand scheme of professions, we don’t necessarily know what a ton of others do on a day to day basis unless they are our spouses, parents, closest friends, etc. But, there has been an alarming difference in response from when I told people I worked as a marketing associate to now working as a corporate event planner.

When I told those I was a Marketing Associate, I was asked what industry, what I focus on, and that’s about it. All good.

Now as a corporate event planner, my job has an extreme amount of parallels with being a marketing associate, yet I am greeted with the same dreaded phrase every. single. time. “Ohh, how FUN! That must just be SO fun.”

In fact, one time someone actually said “Oh, I forgot you’re, like, a little event planner.” As if I giggled and frolicked all day in a land of magical flowers and linens. Yeah, right.

Now, don’t get me wrong, some days, my job is a blast. I crave creativity and making things look good, and event planning allows me to do that. But to be greeted by what comes off as lack of respect as the main summary of what others think of my career every time is just getting old. So today, I’m here to let you know what we at East of Ellie, and corporate event planners around the globe, do.

  1. We convince CEOs of Fortune 500 Companies to spend thousands on our ideas.
  2. We stand up in front of 15 board members and present to get them well, on board.
  3. Its our job to bring together the finance team, marketing team, sales team and more teams then you would think actually exist inside a Corporation, and with no scuffling.
  4. We wear all hats.  We are strategists, we are the visionaries, we are the excel spreadsheet and project planning gurus, we are the fortune tellers who can anticipate anything that could possibly go wrong and have a plan in place, we remember details about events that no normal human ever would.
  5. We are small business owners.
  6. We become financial advisors as we tackle excel spreadsheets containing budgets for situation a, b, c and so on.
  7. Hard labor? Yeah, you can find us on ladders while in heels. No seriously, we have videos to prove it.
  8. We are asked daily to fix things. There is always something broken, always a fire drill always a last minute presentation update, rendering to be completed before a big meeting.  We live our lives as Chicken Little. Any email in your inbox can be urgent.
  9. We’re always on it.  No such thing as no.  Ever had a deadline or a task at work that was actually impossible?  We do every.single.day – but we figure it out. It doesn’t matter if its Sunday, it doesn’t matter if it’s 10pm.  Not sure how, but every time we do.
  10. We leave our events with our legs numb, our eyes red and our stomachs empty.  We are always the first ones to arrive and the last ones to leave. We say no thank you and watch crab cakes just walk on by.  Our glass of wine will have to wait until we return home.  We run to grab that thing our client needs from the 4th floor even though our legs stopped moving the day before.

With all that being said,  there is no way I would EVER do anything else.  But if you are wondering where I am at 9:00am the day after an event – don’t – because I am in my bed fast asleep, dreaming about the next one.

BACKSTAGE PASS: BEHIND THE SCENES AT East of Ellie

You see our logo, you see our events, you see our silly antics on social media, but what’s the story behind it all?  East of Ellie was born from an entrepreneur with a dream, and has developed into a successful boutique event agency that has had it’s doors open for over seven years for some fantastic clients.  We sat down with founder, Emily Chalk Battaglia, (or ECB as we like to call her) to get the scoop on everything going on at EOE. Check out our interview below –

Why the name “East of Ellie”?

I actually get asked this question all the time.  When I first started dreaming up EOE back in mid 2009 I Untitled-4had this notebook where I had started to write down things that were important to me and have molded my life. I always say that if the reason why you do something doesn’t mean something to you, the outcome isn’t as important.  The EAST is for ‘East Coast.’  I grew up in New Hampshire (as I like to call “The Shire”) and whenever someone asks me where I am from, I never say Stamford, I always say New Hampshire.  Growing up there significantly shaped my life and along with great parenting made me the person I am today. ELLIE is actually my name (Emily) and my oldest niece (Ella) names combined.  5 years later I still get called Ellie, but I secretly love it.  I always thought East of Ellie sounded like this magnificent place that everyone would want to visit.  EOE just came around on its own, obviously standing for East of Ellie.

Is there a reason for the color yellow, besides a favorite color?

The yellow is actually for my grandmother, Idell, who passed away many years ago. She was and still continues to be one of my favorite people of all time. Her favorite flower was yellow roses, and they have become mine too.  Full confession? Yellow is more than a favorite color; it’s a way of life in my world.

What’s EOE’s mission and how do you fulfill it?

If you look at EOE’s strategic plan, the mission statement reads: “To throw Screen Shot 2017-06-08 at 2.27.05 PMridiculously awesome events that make our clients love us, and us love them. Oh and to be ridiculously happy everyday – and sh*t.”  We fulfill our mission everyday by doing exactly that.  If you spend a day in our office you will know that happiness and sarcasm reign supreme.  I have two boards dedicated in my office to the silly things we say everyday. You can often here me say “put it on the board.”  We’ve been fortunate enough to have some of the most amazing clients an agency could ask for.  And plan some pretty legendary events.  So we just keep on, keeping on.

Why Events?

It’s a special kind of crazy.  Being an event planner is one of the most stressful jobs in the country – and I live for it.  It’s probably the same thrill people get from skydiving.  I spent almost 7 years in marketing for a global hotel chain, and nothing compared to the happiness and joy I get from planning events.

Tell Us About an Event You Produced This Year?

eoephotoboothBack in March, we planned and executed a sales conference for a huge client that was on the grandest scale of any event we have ever produced.  In 2016 we planned this conference in Nashville for a smaller group of about 75 and we we’re tasked to blow that event out of the water in 2017. The event held in Los Angeles, CA ran for the majority of 4 days for 200 guests.  This event was much more than a sales conference, it was a hollywood inspired premiere party, a Tuscan inspired lunch, a French inspired reception a block-long marketplace, a glam studio, a major team building production (literally) and so much more all held at the iconic Paramount Studios lots and theaters. The new president of the company said this was the best sales conference he’s attended in his 30 years in the industry. It was truly a once in a lifetime experience for not only our team, but all of the attendees. 

 

 

What’s next for eoe?

Historically, summer has been a bit of our slow down season where we enjoy the downtime, but this year we have two events in mid September, so we are right back into the game! We are hard at work organizing logistical details, creating impressive custom motion graphics and video, and working side by side with the event speakers to ensure their power points are, well, on POINT. We are looking forward to the Fall event season!

Want more behind the scenes fun?  Follow us on social media where you’ll see all that occurs on a daily basis at EOE! Twitter & Instagram: @EastofEllie, and like our Facebook Page

SURVIVAL GUIDE: The 5th Most Stressful Job in America

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Our team at EOE will be the first ones to tell you that working for a small event planning agency is not your typical 9-5 job. Forbes has published that Event Planning is the 5th most stressful job in the country with a stress level of almost 50%. We are constantly on the move for our clients whether we’re rounding up samples, venue hunting, or in meetings. When it comes to the day of the event, event planners will most likely be on their feet for hours on end. Don’t get us wrong, we absolutely LOVE what we do. We would rather be hustling around the city than sitting down all day every day – but success in this career field comes with being prepared.

Here are our tips on to surviving the 5th most stressful job in the country:

Be a master Communicator

With your client, with your team, and with your vendors. This will reduce the chance of any unwanted meeting surprises that you were unprepared for. When setting up a contract with your client, ensure that you are both on the same page as to how much you need each other to plan your event in detail. Some clients may want a weekly meeting with you to ensure they are kept in the loop of all aspects of the event, while others need a simple email only when they are needed. Open communication is crucial for keeping your work hours manageable and efficient.

KEEP IT ALL ORGANIZED

Today’s technology gives you no excuse when it comes to organizing your schedule on your smartphone, tablet, laptop, etc. Set alerts for your meetings and write everything down in your calendars to ensure you don’t double book a meeting or completely forget about one. This includes important dates to your event such as payment dates for vendors, cutoff dates for hotel room blocks, or RSVP deadlines.

TAKE A MENTAL MOMENT

This is one of the most important ones on our list.  At EOE we understand the importance of taking a mental break – a couple minutes scrolling through instagram, a walk outside for a breath of fresh air, whatever works for you.  Problem is, planners suffer from what we like to call “shiny things” syndrome. Next thing you know your 10 minutes break turns into 30. Don’t let precious work time get eaten up by procrastination. During deadlines, every minute counts!

BEWARE OF OVERBOOKING

Event planners have a tendency to try to over-balance work and life. During busy times this can lead to burnout. As people pleasers it’s our first instinct to say yes, take on that extra task, grab a quick drink or try to hit those extra gym classes. Do what you need to do to keep your body and mind healthy, but don’t stress yourself out unnecessarily.

Coffee IV

Sometimes, you don’t have the option to stop working until the job is done. It’s not uncommon to find one of us at the office way before 9am or way after 5pm to ensure that our client is satisfied. We often find ourselves wishing an IV of coffee is a real thing.  Multiple trips to Starbucks per day are a must for us!

ASK TO HELP A SISTA OUT

Event planners have a ‘can do’ attitude which many times will be not only their biggest asset but their greatest downfall.  Delegate where you can. Ask someone to walk your dog during a busy day of meetings, or have your laundry dropped off instead of doing it yourself. The more you delegate in work and in life the more feasible things will feel.

Celebrate!!

Congratulations! You’ve worked your butt off for months to plan an event and have executed it perfectly. Now take some time to relax and reflect, get a massage, take a long bubble bath, whatever you need to do in order to feel refreshed. Event planners need to keep themselves sane somehow!

Need a team that has been there, done that and can handle the stress cool as a cucumber? You’ve found the right team. Give us a shout at rsvp@eastofellie.com.

Oh the Places You’ll Plan…

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If you’re like us, your clients don’t prefer staying put. Event time usually means travel time, and planning events outside of the NYC Metro area has somewhat become our specialty. We’ve already laid out our Survival Guide for Working on The Go, but how does your favorite event team handle the planning process before we even board the plane? Check out a few of our tips:

 

PREPARE FOR BOOKING A VENUE SITE UNSEEN

A high budget is an absolute luxury, and sometimes the budget just isn’t there to fly our team into far away city for some pre-planning. This can mean booking venues without seeing them in person first. A challenge? Yes. Impossible? Never. We make sure to communicate every concern with the venue’s staff, study layouts, and have see photos of every corner so we can truly imagine our vision of the event working in this space.

 

SHIP OR BUY?

Supplies on supplies is the name of the game on site. Depending on the amount of shipping you’re already coordinating on site from client products, etc., it may be cost and workload effective to buy a few items on site instead. Items like snacks and water, or even a cheap printer make way more sense to buy than fly.  Make a list of these items prior to packing and decide what makes the most sense for you and your team.

 

SCOPE OUT ANY EMERGENCY VENDOR LOCATIONS AND HOT SPOTS

Places like Walmart, Staples, and FedEx are your BFFs for last minute grabs or services, and it’s worth it to scout out their locations prior to arriving on site. If you can for see any last minute add ons, such as printing posters, or other specialty collateral, contact a local printer in advance to give them a heads up and get a feel for their current workload. When the client comes up with changes or something new to do, you’re ready to roll with those vendors. Prep is key, ALWAYS!

Thinking of hosting an event in a new city but didn’t think it was possible? We’ve got this. Contact us here.

City Spotlight: San Diego Venues

We’ve featured two of the most major event cities in the country, New York and Washington D.C.  but the truth is, cities all over the country, big and small are popping up with some amazingly unique venues that are redefining what it means to be “corporate appropriate”. Hotels are jazzing up boring ballrooms, and other unique venues are of appeal for the corporate crowd who is looking to modernize their meeting. San Diego, California is no exception to this wave of venue revolution.

See our favorite venues in America’s Finest City below:

Pendry Hotel

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Its no secret that the EOE team avoids hotel event spaces like the plague, but it’s new hotels like The Pendry in Downtown San Diego that could make us reconsider. This boutique hotel boasts 2 ball rooms, 4 meeting rooms, and 6 restaurants and bars! Let us say that again – 6 RESTAURANTS AND BARS! Carry out your day program in one of their well designed ballrooms and when it comes to lunch or reception time, you can create an experience that is perfectly on brand. We <3 options.

 

Liberty Station Venues

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Speaking of options, Liberty Station has 10 indoor and outdoor spaces perfect for the year-round comfortable climate in Southern California. This former Naval Training Center of San Diego has now been transformed into functional event spaces. The venue mixes modern amenities with the historic barrack buildings for the perfect setting.  Liberty station is located directly next to the airport and a bit outside of downtown, so no matter where your attendees are commuting in from, it’ll be a breeze.

 

The Skybox

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There’s always that one client who loves the WOW factor of a downtown top floor rooftop with view for days, and how can we blame them? The Sky Box located in East Village, San Diego offers breathtaking views of the San Diego Skyline, San Diego Bay and Coronado, as well as direct views into Petco Park. Perfect for corporate events, the venue has plenty of A/V built in, and black out & mesh drop down shades. Natural light is great, but always create a plan to dim the room for presentations!

Although we haven’t planned an event in San Diego just yet, we’re waiting for the perfect opportunity to utilize one of these great venues for our clients. Want to see more from our events held all over the country in Los Angeles, Nashville, NYC, Las Vegas Orlando and more? Check out our gallery here. Which city would you like to see featured next?

The White Space Challenge

You already know by now, our team thrives on events we are able to customize from floor to ceiling. We want to be able to come into a space and create a layout the venue has never even tried before, or bring in rentals that blow everyone’s mind. Of course, we always have certain parameters or restrictions on this that we have to abide by, and are able to work off the look and feel of the venue to create an event that fits its aesthetic. But what happens when we are literally give a BLANK SPACE?! A 10’ x 10’ and 20’ x 20’ square outlined with painters tape on a concrete floor. Our only restrictions? We can only build to certain height vertically, otherwise the options are endless.

Ever heard of The White Room Challenge on HGTV? “Top designers face the ultimate blank-canvas test when they’re asked to create a complete room design in a limited time starting with an empty white room and using only pre-defined materials.”

This is exactly how we felt when planning for the 2017 Ulta GM Conference held in Orlando, FL for our two clients, Shiseido and Beauty Prestige Group. Tasked with only the two blank spaces to make visually pleasing, on brand, interactive, and functional. After seeing the final outcome, we have to admit we loved our own version of The White Room Challenge!

Whether you are an event planner helping out a client or an exhibiting company wondering where to start, check out our tips so starting from nothing can be a bit more manageable.

Measure it out for yourself

We are visual learners at EOE, so we map it out when we can. While 10’ x 10’  may seem like a fair amount of space, depending on what you have in mind, that space can fill up extremely quickly. Find an open room in your office or home, use a tape measure and painters tape to create your own box to scale. Then, some things to think about; have you considered how many people will be in the booth? How large are your pieces of furniture? This will allow you to know exactly what you’re working with.

Attendee Experience is Everything

What’s the point of setting up a great booth if nobody visits? Product and people can only be so enticing, give the attendees a booth and experience they can’t say no to. For our clients, we themed the Dolce & Gabbana section of our space after Italy, so gelato and a live italian singer really brought the concept full circle (and we mean, who can say no to gelato?!) Japanese culture is extremely on brand for another client, Shiseido. We had a live artist painting attendee names on paper in Kanji symbols. Not only was there a live show, but the guests had a tangible item to bring back home. It was a huge hit, success!

Plan for Storage Solutions

This is one of those HUGE issues if not properly planned for. Discover what your options are and don’t be afraid to get creative! We’ve learned that when we are traveling for events, renting an extra large vehicle always pays off.

Create a flow

If your booth is large enough for attendees to walk in and through, make it a part of your plan to create a layout that functionally makes sense for flow. If this means “blocking off” a certain section of the booth to create an entrance and exit – by all means! A giant zig zagging mess will make it tough to communicate with attendees and enjoy any experiences you have coordinated.

Check out photos and video from our event below and check out the larger spaces we have transformed for our clients here!

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Event Planner Must Haves: Preferred Vendors

We’ve talked in the past about developing relationships with mentors, but something the EOE team has realized is so incredibly crucial to the success of events are: preferred vendors.

The relationship between an event planner and their go-to vendor are irreplaceable. You have been through the most stressful of times, and the most euphoric moments of pride together. They are always there for you and have saved your butt in a time of need. Best of all, they are one less thing on your giant list to worry about leading up to an event.

Event planners, check out our reasons to have your own #squad of vendors on speed dial:

 

TIME IS MONEY

Few events come to event planners with a ton of time in advance for planning; more often than not we are crunched for time to plan an amazing event without compromising quality! Go-to vendors can save you a ton of time simply on the basis of paperwork. You are already aware of how their contracts are set up, and if your client is in a position to afford the services that are offered by the vendor. It takes valuable time to source multiple vendors, request pricing from each, decide which is best for this client, and review contract. If you already have your go-to on your side, that time could be used more efficiently elsewhere.

 

QUALITY OVER QUANTITY

You also don’t have to spend time meticulously reviewing the quality of their past work making sure it’s up to par with what your clients are expecting. Your go-to vendors finish your sentences for you on exactly what you’re looking for and can hit the ground running after a quick briefing. With them on your side you’ll never have to worry about the service or product not meeting your standards. Best of all, you know they’ll show up on time come event day and knock it out of the park. #SquadGoals.

 

WE KEEP EACH OTHER SANE

Let’s just face the fact: the events world can be crazy. As close as you are with your family, spouse, friends, etc. you’ll still come home at the end of the day feeling like nobody understands the craziness you endure. When you can find an industry vendor and develop a great working relationship, it can help your mental health as an event planner immensely! They share the special kind of crazy that we all surrender to on this career path. And when your event is all said and done, take a moment to celebrate! Cheers!

Who are some of your go-to vendors? We’ve got the best lineup who are a huge part in helping us create our legendary events.  See some of our past work here, such as the caterer who provided custom branded sushi jackets to her chefs, or the lighting team who installed amazing halo style chandeliers. 

Drop us a line!

We want to hear from you!