3 Tips for Black Tie Events

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Some people love ‘em and some people hate ‘em, but it’s important that your guests love every detail of your formal event. Between the holidays and New Year’s Eve, black tie events are notably popular during the holiday season.  Leave
it to the pros, we’ve laid out 3 key tips to keep in mind that will make your black tie event a success:

DRESS CODE

The design of invitations is the first glimpse guests receive into what type of event they are being invited to.  By having your invitations reflect formality and classic style, guests will have a better idea of what they are attending.  Invitations should never say “black tie optional” for a formal event. Instead of having guests feel over or underdressed, make sure you are clear on invitations about the dress code in addition to overall mood. No one likes the feeling of not knowing what to wear!

FORMAL PHOTOS

Although everyone loves a good selfie, when guests are dressed to the nines, give them a chance to capture the moment through a professional photo opp. Having a professional photographer present shows guests that you’re going the extra length to make their evening special. Also, allow for your guests to pick photos after the event, so they won’t have to worry about carrying a delicate photo all night.

MENU CHOICES

When choosing your menu for a black tie event, dishes need to look as attractive as the crowd. Plated three-course meals are the best options for formal events. The presentation of the meals is key because the plate appearance is part of the experience for guests. They should also be easy to eat with no chance of a mess on those designer dresses. Bon appetit!

 

Black ties events can be difficult to plan because the details make a real difference. Following these tips will help you win over even the most critical guests! Looking for more guidance for your event? Shoot EOE a quick email, we’d be happy to help.

Event Planner Gift Guide

GIFT GUIDE

We’ve already specified that event planners are special types of humans. Our brain just works differently, we thrive on organization and pretty things. So when shopping for the event planner of your life, whether they are an established business owner or throw the best damn DIY parties you’ve ever been to, be sure to hit the gifts that are most likely on their lists.

AUDIBLE SUBSCRIPTION 
audible-logo

Like most event planners, the EOE team is always traveling to and from events. Audible is a digital audiobook subscription that will help the busiest event planners pass time and become the ultimate digital bookworms!

TRAVEL STEAMER

pure steam

A compact steamer is ideal for us traveling event planners not just to ensure that we are looking polished, but that our event linens are looking sharp as well.

GO PRO

gopro

We love to keep behind the scenes footage of our events.  It’s a great way to inexpensively document your team’s willingness to go above and beyond where all the magic happens. Go Pro’s durability is one less thing you need to worry about while executing an event. Dropped it in some water? No problem, it’s probably a cool angle anyway.

LILLY PULITZER AGENDA
We are suckers for a great agenda to plan ahead.  Plus, there are so many styles to choose from! The iconic Lilly Pulitzer prints will brighten up even the rainiest of days. We guarantee that the event planner in your life will need their 2017 agenda ASAP.

ACTION PADSTo do lists? no problem.  Action pads are awesome for highlighting the actual to dos from a long list of things to do. For us, having our to-do list written down neatly is a gift in itself. AND it comes in different colors? Done.

PORTABLE ELECTRONICS CHARGER

chargerEvent planners spend long hours away from their offices while being on-site at events, meetings, or on the road. However, we cannot afford for our phones and laptops to die on us! Our clients or vendors cannot get in touch with us? Event nightmare. Portable chargers are the perfect gifts for every planner’s emergency kit.

FANCY COFFEE CUP

mug

Most event planners are like us with their shenanigans and antics.  It’s a fun gift and very practical for the endless coffee we consume on the daily.

BUSINESS CARD HOLDER

Event planners run into new potential clients and vendors in parking lots, grocery stores, or even at the gym.  Having a fancy holder for your business cards lets you always feel prepared and organized, cause digging through a messy purse to find a card is not a good look.   

MULTIFUNCTIONAL PEN

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Go ahead and laugh, but when you are making notes for 5 different clients in a span of an hour, having the option to color code can really save you some time and headache.

PHONESOAP

phonesoap

Our cell phones are quickly becoming the dirtiest item we own. We are constantly touching it and putting it up to our cheek, but cannot afford to get sick from our everyday addiction. But a gift that only did one job would be a waste of our time, it charges your phone while sanitizing. Win.

 

Need a few more gift ideas? Your event planner may be running low on supplies in their Emergency Supply Kit or need a new outfit for Event Day. Click the links to see more!

5 Ways to Combat Holiday Stress

Holiday Stress

 

Oh boy, here come the holidays!  Though it is a joyous season of love, warmth, giving, and traditions, it can also bring extreme stress and anxiety. Even for some of the most organized people in this universe, the holidays can get overwhelming.  Luckily, we have dealt with these situations a time or two, we’re currently recovering from a very busy event planning season! It’s time for us to refocus our energy off of work and ensure that the holiday season is not as stressful as event planning can sometimes be. We are so thankful for our founder and Senior Managing Partner, Emily Chalk, who has laid out her top holiday tips. Here’s to having a stress-free holiday!

Plan Ahead

Take advantage of that half day of work the day before the feast and get a plan in place. Try to take the full day off before a big holiday or a personal event to give yourself time to focus.  One of the biggest causes of stress is when you feel you are getting pulled in multiple directions.  For your sanity, sit down and organize.

Write EVERYTHING Down

A classic EOE best practice is to make lists with checkboxes when we have a lot on our plate.   It keeps us focused and leaves us with a sense of accomplishment when we complete a task. Can we all agree that nothing is better than crossing things off of your to-do list?  You can also use post it notes – but if you are one of us, your whole house will be covered in them, which is a little counter-productive.

The Devil is in the Details

As the old saying goes – but my, my, is it true.  Organize all the details you can in advance – fold napkins, place your centerpiece on the table or vacuum the spare room two days before guests arrive.  It’s all this last minute stuff that will get you every time.  It’s never too early to start setting up!

Take a Minute and Think

Be thoughtful in your decisions to avoid extra work on your holiday.  Simple check points like not using your expensive China on the kids table will keep you from a big headache when you are in the middle of your day-of holiday tasks.

Give Yourself Some Credit

At the end of the day, your family and friends will appreciate the wonderful effort you put into creating a great thanksgiving.  Life is not a perfect reflection of Pinterest, and do you really think Martha Stewart pulls off what she does by herself? Do the best you can, and if your day is filled with love and warm food, you did your job, host!

From all of us at EOE we wish you a very happy holiday and a wonderful Thanksgiving. Need a Thanksgiving day planner?  Give us a call – JUST KIDDING (we have to draw the line somewhere).

For more tips and inspiration to keep your holiday season organized (any stylish) check out our Pinterest board.

Setting the Stage for Internal Meetings

Setting the Stage for Internal Meetings
As event planners, we love our clients and our clients love us.  One of the things we love the most is when our clients want something new, fresh, different, and best of all – unexpected.

Fast forward 7 years after EOE opened its doors to about a month ago when we were in the thick of planning a grand internal meeting for one of our clients.  We know as event planners that when our clients are planning a presentation for their peers and colleagues, there’s a certain level of pressure that comes with making sure attendees are engaged. As the Event Planners, it’s our mission to make sure everything that we can do to capture the audience has been deeply thought about and brilliantly executed.  Being on stage doing the talking?  Well, we leave that up to presenter.  But how can we help that presenter really showcase their style?  How can we “set the stage” for their performance in front of their peers and colleagues?  The question we ask ourselves is how do we prevent everything the dreaded unexpected event dilemmas to attendee disengagement?  The standard, “Oh sorry I was playing Solitaire on my phone because I couldn’t see the presentation.  “Oh I was talking to Brenda because I could barely hear the presenter”, or our favorite go to excuse “Oh sorry, but these chairs are just so uncomfortable, I was not really able to focus.”

For us, we take a lot of extra steps in the planning process to prevent this from happening.  We plan the most effective room layouts based on the objective and these factors in advance. Not to mention, and by now probably goes without saying, we don’t love the norm.  Want eyes on what we’ve done in the past? We’re dishing our 3 favorites:

  1. Runwayrunway

   No, this is not the type of a runway for a fashion show, although Event Manager, Cindy, definitely made it a point to “test it out” during the load in stage of our past event. This layout is ideal for attendee engagement. As an “in their face” type of setup, this is one of East of Ellie’s go-tos for internal meetings when the client is looking to ditch the same old, same old. Not only do attendees have a clear view of the presenter at all times, but the setup also gives the presenters the opportunity to move around and make a connection with the audience, rather than just standing on a singular stage. Just make sure your stage doesn’t squeak.  Pass the WD-40 please.

 

  1.  Fly me to the moon and let me make myself the startables

If the purpose of your meeting to truly connect with your audience with an interactive conversation in a casual setting, this option may be best. One client even took the engagement a step further and literally sat on the stage to truly have a back and forth conversation with her audience. This was a great way to boost engagement amongst attendees because they felt like they were out to lunch rather than at a lecture.

 

  1. U-shaped

This layout requires setting up a series u-shapeof conference tables in the shape of a U with chairs on the outside. It can be used on large or a small scale, but it works most effectively for a small audience. This setup allows the presenter to move about the open space in the middle and engage with participants. The U-shape layout also gives attendees the opportunity to engage with each other and have a discussion. And who doesn’t love a table in front of them for ample note-taking?

 

Wondering what clients have utilized these floor plans? See them here: eastofellie.com/clients. Looking for event planners that have the experience setting the stage? Contact us today and let’s get planning! rsvp@eastofellie.com.

Crafting the Perfect #EventHashtag

Event Planners, we know you’ve heard time and time again, integrating social media into your event is one of the best ways to create buzz and interaction among attendees and online viewers. Using an event hashtag to lasso up all the conversations, shared photos, tweets, etc. centered around your event is the best way to collect and organize content into one location. We’ve already given you some tips on placing hashtags around your event space so your guests interact with them.  But then, it hits you. What the heck am I going to name my hashtag?

Certainly you can come up with something more creative than #EventNameYear. Okay, we’ll leave it as plan B. But don’t give up on coming up with a creative and engaging hashtag for your event before considering the following:

 

What’s the Goal of your Event?

Is this a fundraiser with a goal of raising a certain amount of money? Creating the hashtag to reflect this goal can constantly keep it in the face of your attendees in a subtle way (win.) For example, Children’s Miracle Network Hospital hosts events all over the country with the catchy, #FTK hashtag, meaning “For the Kids”. The goal of the event is translated into 3 simple letters, easy enough for anyone to understand and engage with.

Keep it Short and Sweet

Remember that tweets can only hold 140 characters, and those can be precious when crafting a thought that still needs to include the hashtag. Avoid making your hashtag a mouthful for your sake and your guests.

Reflect the Mood of the Event

If the event is for party people and is not so serious, make the hashtag something clever! Rhyming and alliterations are a go-to way to get creative. This strategy in crafting an event hashtag is typically seen in the wedding space, but who’s to say it can’t be utilized for product launches, internal meetings and so on. If you can stay on-brand and sprinkle some humor into your event’s content, you’ve immediately set yourself apart from the next company.

Do your Research

It is very unlikely you’re the first person to use the event hashtag you have in mind. Most likely, the hashtag has been used for a past event or general conversation, but don’t panic. Search the hashtag across social channels and see what arises from the depths of Twitter. If the hashtag is not tied to a competing event, inappropriate content, or is has not been used in a year or two, you’re in the clear. Own it.

 

Looking for a creative team that can simultaneously create compelling content and make sure your event goes off without a hitch? You’ve found us. Tweet us at @EastofEllie to say #hello!

DIY OR BUY?

The “Do it Yourself” (DIY) trend may seem like the best idea when planning an event, but is it always the right decision? Event planners have the option to choose the DIY path for an event when it not only ensures that it will embody the vision, but it will also help avoid extra costs of purchasing something from a vendor.

We’ve all been there, scrolling through Pinterest in order to find aesthetic inspirations. But that perfectly done centerpiece and creative swag bags might be more labor intensive and costly than they appear on the perfect Pinterest world.

Don’t get us wrong, the East of Ellie team LOVES getting inspired on Pinterest and we also love a good DIY project. However, it’s important to stay realistic and figure out what should be a DIY or a buy? Ask yourself these questions:

 

Is it REALLY saving you money?

In the event planner world, nothing is truer than TIME = MONEY. When it is crunch time and you are down to the wire finishing tasks and granting the last minute wishes of your client, you would sell your soul to have that vendor take those awards off your hands.

 

Is it a REALISTIC project?

It’s crucial to not overextend yourself and also to not overestimate your crafting abilities. Choosing to take on one DIY project for a large event and two or three for a smaller event might be the best decision. It’s a great way to add a personal touch, ensure your vision is being met, but without burying yourself in a pile of arts and crafts. May we remind you, this is not yo’ job.

 

Is there SOMEONE ELSE that can achieve your vision?

You may not be able to find a vendor that can easily do what you’re looking for which immediately makes you want to give up and DIY. However, sometimes you might get lucky and find someone who can create exactly what you need at a price you can pay. For our Nashville Inspired Internal Meeting for Beaute Prestige International, we found an Etsy seller who was able to print on real vinyl records. She had access to cheap records and already had templates setup for printing perfection. Now, THAT was worth the vendor take over. We got exactly what we wanted and didn’t have to DIY.

As event planners, we have to be able to devote our time to all of our clients needs which means making the decision of taking on the “fun” DIY projects or passing along to another lucky soul who gets to hand create that custom confetti for us.

Need the pros who have lived through a Pinterest Fail or two and knows what’s worth it to DIY or buy? Let us know what you have in mind at RSVP@eastofellie.com.

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. 

Are Balloons Making a Comeback?

As kids, balloons were fun.  The sky was the limit.  You could have different colors, shapes, cartoon characters, and even designs.  They were the highlight of any birthday party, and if you got a really good balloon, it would even stay inflated for a whole week – maybe more.  But for us at events?  Balloons, for years, have been a big party no – no.  I mean they are fun – let’s face it – but they are a bit frowned upon in many Corporate circles.  Recently, it seems as though these childhood favorites are floating their way back into the events world.  

Here are some examples of balloons that were not just acceptable, but sought after at events.

Presidential Nominations – We’ve all seen the memes of Bill and Hillary Clinton playing with the balloons as they came down from the Convention Center sky.  The last thing we would ever consider decorating a stage or ceiling with is a bunch of balloons, but we have to admit, this kind of rocked.  

Wedding Photos – Although we are not wedding planners, we are loving all these amazing photos with couples who are holding all sorts of different types of balloons. Love balloons, balloons with tassels, you name it – it’s being photographed.  And frankly, it looks great.

Social Event Props – Ironically enough we are seeing balloons show up everywhere on the party scene.  From decorating a pool at the Hamptons, to chairs shaped out of balloons.  To make these inflatable wonders more sophisticated, planners are taking a monochromatic approach. Like the all white you see in the pool.

Pipe and Drape Replacements – We have to admit it.  We worked with an amazing client this past May and took over their manufacturing warehouse to host their 50th Anniversary celebration.  They wanted balloons.  It’s hard to tell a client no, so we agreed reluctantly and moved forward with procuring them.  When they showed up, we were able to take them and actually block off an area of the warehouse that wasn’t so pretty, by creating a semi balloon wall.  Instant pipe and drape! It was just a little more color and a lot more fun.

How are you using balloons at your events?  Looking for event planners who know a lot about classy and fun all at the same time?  Contact us today at rsvp@eastofellie.com.  For more great event ideas and photos follow us on Instagram @eastofellie.

How Planning a Successful Event is like Winning an Olympic Gold Medal

Here I am, on my couch watching prime time olympics waiting for my favorite event to come on – Women’s Gymnastics. This is arguably one of the most entertaining events of the olympics, and it brings me back to my days when I was 12 years old flipping around in a leotard myself. You saw our post on PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT: HOW EVENT PLANNING IS OUR PERFORMANCE SPORT and relating executing an event flawlessly to winning the olympics is really quite simple:

Preparation

Most olympic athletes prep their entire lives for the olympics and the intense training happens in the four years between each summer olympic games. Just like them, our entire lives we have been gaining skills that have turned us into true event planners, but really prep for our event four (okay, months not years) prior to the event. Olympians and planners alike – this part of the process in winning the gold is the MOST crucial. Without a solid game plan and mental preparation for the pressure, anyone can crack during the big day.

 

Qualify

Time to assemble the team. A few weeks out from the big event, we make event teams from the best of the best! Registration, Sponsorship Lead, Stage Director, and more! These might as well be their own events within the games. Find those who can shine at each position, but can also pull their own to win the team gold, not just individual!

 

Execute

The stage is set, the heat of the lights, the roar of the crowd (or cocktail drinkers) are upon us! Time to execute everything you have planned and practiced.

 

Victory Song

For the U.S. olympians, the National Anthem is played as the nation’s flag is proudly raised from the floor after scoring gold. For event planners, take a moment to appreciate your victory moment! Whether you bust out a move walking by the dance floor at the end of the night or jam out in your car on the way home, take a moment to reflect on all the hard work. The next event (or olympics) will be here before we know it!

 

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Tenting 101

Although we are indeed corporate event planners, we tend to plan most events in not-so conventional spaces. Delivering legendary events means thinking out of the box and thinking custom. Therefore, we absolutely love a good tent! Hopefully you read our previous blog post Pros and Cons of Hosting Events In or Around the Home and were inspired to host your own soiree, or you found an awesome venue to utilize the outdoor space instead of staying inside. Whichever space fits for your type of event – tents can handle it all. But, where to start?

1. Choose your type of tent

Wait, there’s more than one kind of giant tent? Indeed there is! Aren’t options great to have?

Sailcloth Tents
Sailcloth tents offer a crisp, clean look with a lightweight fabric perfect for events where style is priority. As members of the coastal Northeast – we’re definitely a fan of this style.

Century Style
Century Tents offer high peaks, and sweeping ceilings. This style tent does need to be staked to the ground, so you’ll need to consider a little extra real estate to include around the perimeter of your tent footprint.

Framed Tent
Want to ditch the center poles that come down from the ceiling and obstruct floor space? Framed Tents are for you. These tents come with options for clear or classic colored ceilings.

2. Choose your “extras”

When you see a gorgeous photo of an event-ready tent, you’re probably looking at a wood floor installation, custom lighting, maybe even fabric draping, etc. The sad truth is that these do not magically come with the tent. Extra’s can add up and be EXPENSIVE. So, depending on your budget, you may not be able to afford to install floor throughout the entire space or cover up those aluminum poles with gorgeous fabric. Either way, manage your client’s expectation to work them into the budget sooner than later. We do however ALWAYS recommend having removable “walls” to protect the interior from rain, bugs and whatever else mother nature wants to throw at you. Sure, a light drizzle won’t ruin anyone’s dinner without them, but in heavy rain and 30mph+ winds, we were really happy about having them at a past event.

3. Pull Permits

Event planning is all about avoiding disaster on the big day, and making sure you are all covered on your permits & inspections is crucial. This is something overlooked by many but can completely ruin your event by the officials shutting it down. Please, please, don’t let this happen to you or your client. From electrical, to fire retardant materials, rules on candles and more, each of these is regulated by local government in each city/town. Talk with your tent rental company, local permit department, or any vendors ahead of time about everything you plan on executing so there are no day of issues.

4. Party On!

Congrats! You’ve passed Tent 101. Creating an event in essentially a blank canvas layout customized to your liking can be a ton of work but the end result will be so satisfying to both you and your client.

Looking for event planners that have mastered the art of planning an event in a tent? You’ve found the right team. Contact us today and let’s get planning! rsvp@eastofellie.com

Cheers to Nashville!

Screen Shot 2016-04-04 at 3.07.33 PM

Have you ever watched that show Scandal?  If you have you know all about Olivia Pope and her Gladiators.  If you haven’t – basically (minus some more salacious content) let’s just say she fixes stuff. In a BIG way.  One of our favorite jobs as event planners – the one that makes most of the populations skin crawl – is finding solutions to insane requests.  At EOE we make a game out of it.  It’s almost more fun than it should be, and Nashville was no exception.

Event planning 101 will teach you that every well-organized event should include a run sheet that outlines what should be happening during each minute of the event. Whether a speech should run from 9:01-9:23pm, or food should be put out from 7:35-7:46pm, every second should be accounted for in order to remain organized.

In addition to the run sheets for an event, we keep tabs on our own “behind the scenes” run sheet as the craziest of moments go down. You may remember our version of this for our Nestle Waters event, and we’re back to let you in on the behind the scenes of our Nashville event!

 

Day 1: Travel Day

12:02pm: Repackage 72 vinyl records using paper towels.  Yes, we carried these onto the plane to get them to Nashville safely.  And yes, that bag was not the easiest to get up in the overhead bin.

8:47pm: Arrival in Nashville. Cindy tells rental car staff she ordered the Maserati. This lasted for an entertaining total of 5 seconds.

9:14pm: Cindy and Em decide to do a quick drive by of the venue since they had never actually seen it in person. SO MUCH TRAFFIC in Nashville due to a Blake Shelton concert (classic) that Cindy drops Emily off to secret spy on the location. Success. We’ve mastered the art of booking venue’s without ever seeing them. Now where is Cindy?  Fast forward 15 minutes where Emily walks all over Nashville looking for the rental car and Cindy Kapp.

9:45pm: Bedtime. Big Day of prepping tomorrow!

 

Day 2: Prep Day

8:00am: Up and at ‘em! Time to meet with our hotel representative to ensure room drops and all accommodations are ready to roll.

9:01am: Time to gather 61 packages that were shipped to the hotel. Perfumes, Lotions, Cosmetics, Popcorn bag carrying trays, signature trench coats, you name it, the client sent it.

9:02am: Trying not to faint in the presence of so many amazing products from Burberry, Hermes, Ferragamo, and more. (enter praise emoji here)

9:30am: Starbucks run. Shocker.

11:17am: Cindy and Em begin assembling our attendee’s welcome cosmetic boxes! Special touches are what we’re all about. Each attendee deserves a perfectly assembled surprise for their arrival.

12:45pm: Em continues tying black bows on each and every special lunch menu. Cindy continues on the cosmetic boxes because, despite being a former cheerleader, bows are not her strong suit.

2:55pm: Realize there is no way we are going to get all this stuff from the hotel to the venue a mile away.  Hello Mr. Mover Company?  Please help.

 

Day 3: Event Day #1

8:00am: Setup day.  Let’s get those movers and let’s get over to the venue.

The whole day consists of lots of moving, maneuvering, setting up, and stair climbing.  By 5pm it’s time to get back to the hotel and get these party people on a bus.

5:30pm: Attempt to corral 60 people onto two different busses.  

6:28pm: Emily works the crowd and chats with each team captain to find out what live karaoke song their group is performing (more on that later).  Emily learns people are bringing smoke machines and confetti – all strictly prohibited in our venue.  Emily then makes a joke out of it and asks the President of BPI North America if he has any live animals as part of this teams performance.  Emily realizes she made a poor life choice.  President starts to text her about getting live Elephants.  This goes on for the rest of the evening.  

10:07pm: Emily and Cindy pose in front of famous Nashville sign.  Cindy attempts to pose Emily.  Cindy fails.

 

Day 4: Event Day #2

7am: Event day is off with a bang – the party has begun.

12:07pm: Cindy runs to Toys ‘R’ Us to purchase an inflatable Alligator, Whole Foods to pick up medicine for a guest, and the fancy gift shop in the Omni Hotel for award prizes. All spur of the moment requests for our client are what we are hired to handle – and we must admit, we thrive off last minute challenges!

1:34pm: Time for caterers to pass out popcorn in the not-so-sturdy customized Burberry Bags, a few fall over in the kitchen, but no problem, we already made extra. Remember, Plan A is a luxury and a myth and we’re always ready for Plan B.

7:09pm: One karaoke team requests fake handcuffs and fake guns only 1 hour before karaoke is set to begin. Challenge accepted. Luckily, we were located in cowboy-boot-honky-tonk USA, but these items were harder to find than expected! After running down Broadway, Cindy eventually found them. Again with the last minute challenges.

8:10pm: Karaoke begins and the guests are having an absolute blast. High Fives all around.

And those are our highlights of behind the scenes craziness! Want an event where you can delegate the crazy? That’s what we do. Say Hi! RSVP@eastofellie.com

 

Why We Loved the 2014 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show

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The Victoria Secret fashion show is a highly anticipated event that happens annually on live TV.  Each year there are certain elements of the show that crowds have come to expect.  We are not just talking about the amazing models.  As an events team we go gaga over event ideas that make any annual event special.  Here is why we loved the 2014 Victoria’s Secret fashion show.

1) Wings, wings and more wings:  The beginning of the show, and how it has run historically, is this grand march of models wearing Victoria Secrets infamous wings.  This year, 47 models all wore different styles of hand made wings throughout the show.  Why do we love this?  Wings is a key branding element of this fashion icon.  Using the wings on the VS Angels is just another reinforcement of how strong their branding really is.

2) Behind the Scenes: During the show there was a lot of previews and sneak peaks back stage.  It showed the fun and playful side of the event along with the stress and hustle that goes along with producing an event like this.

3) Celebrity:  Victoria Secret not only used celebrities like Taylor Swift and Ariana Grande as performers in the show, they were also wearing their product.  Who doesn’t want to buy lingerie that you just saw Taylor Swift in?

4) The Digital Cat Walk:  Wow, wow and more wow.  This is an event planners dream.  Their digital floor was nothing short of amazing.  It allowed for show producers to flawlessly execute key decor changes while the models were mid walk.  It also cut down on serious costs for set design and timelines for production.  Kudos VS.

Check out our Pinterest board to see some of our favorite event elements and looks from the 2014 show.

Tips from a Planner: How to make your Thanksgiving Holiday Less Stressful

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Ready or not, here come the holidays.  No matter what – this time of year is stressful.  Even for some of the most organized people in this universe, life can get overwhelming.  Quickly.

What tricks do event planners have to help combat the holiday stress?  Here are some tips from our founder and Senior Managing Partner Emily Chalk.  Here’s to having an almost stress free holiday.

1. PLAN ahead: Take advantage of that half day of work the day before the feast and get a plan in place.  I try to take the full day off before a big holiday or a personal event just to give myself time to focus.  One of the biggest causes of stress is when you feel you are getting pulled in multiple directions.  Take the time for yourself and for your sanity to sit down and organize.

2. Write EVERYTHING down:  One of my favorite planner moves is to make lists with check boxes.   It keeps you focused and you have a sense of accomplishment when you complete a task.  You can also use post it notes – but if you are me your whole house will be covered in them, which is a little counter-productive.

3. The devil is in the details:  As the old saying goes – but my… my… my… is it true.  Organize all the details you can in advance – fold napkins, place your centerpiece on the table or vacuum the spare room two days before guests arrive.  It’s all this last minute stuff that will get you every time.

4. Take a minute and think:  Be thoughtful in your decisions to avoid extra work on your holiday.  Simple check points like not using your expensive China on the kids table will keep you from a big headache when you are in the middle of your day-of holiday tasks.

5. Get, um… anal:  I often say to my clients, “It’s not anal if it helps you do your job.”  This is true.  My dear friend and esteemed colleague Nicole Freeman inspired me at a cooking class we went to this past weekend where she took being hyper-organized to a whole new and glorious level.  She said “The day before my guests arrive I put together a list that includes time tables.  This way I know when I have time for other tasks – whether they be work or personal.”  Nicole manages her time by creating a chart that blocks off the time each Thanksgiving item will take to cook.  “Being able to see my day visually, and not overcommitting my kitchen related resources gives me a sense of peace. Whether that is real or not is to be determined.” Nicole, I’ll be at your house when the Brussels Sprouts are ready.  3pm next Thursday?

From all of us at EOE we wish you a very happy holiday and a wonderful Thanksgiving. Need a Thanksgiving day planner?  Give us a call – JUST KIDDING (we have to draw the line somewhere).

For more tips and inspiration to keep your Turkey Day organized (any stylish) check out our Pinterest board.

Why Emma Watson and the HeForShe Campaign is a Game Changer

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UN Women Global Goodwill Ambassador, Emma Watson, delivered an amazing and memorable speech during the HeForShe Special Event at United Nations Headquarters in New York on September 20, 2014.  This event kicked-off the HeForShe Solidarity Movement for Gender Equality, a campaign that brings together one half of humanity in support of the other half for the benefit of all.  You may have noticed the speech being shared in all your social media channels, and here is our take on why Emma Watson and the Heforshe campaign is a game changer.

  1. The Right Ambassador: Emma Watson, the self described “girl from Harry Potter” was appointed the be a Goodwill Ambassador only 6 months ago, joining a long line of celebrities to take this role from Charlize Theron to Nicole Kidman. She has a degree from Brown University and has the passion and dedication for equal rights to be an ideal celebrity for this role.  She is also a celebrity that Generation Y can get behind and relate to, given her popularity starting in 1999 with the series of Harry Potter movies.
  2.  Clear Call to Action: In Emma’s speech, and also on the heforshe.org website, you are given a very clear call to action. Boys come help your girls and girls come help your boys, or as they put it “ a solidarity movement for gender equality that brings together one half of humanity in support of the other of humanity…”
  3. Everyone Can Get Involved:  Getting involved in this movement isn’t isolated to any one demographic.  People big or small, young or old, regardless of location, income or political views can all grasp the message HeForShe is communicating and take action.
  4. Clear and Simple Social Media:  Agencies such as Ogilvy NY have teamed up with the UN Foundation to help bring this concept to market.  Social media plans include shareable Facebook assets and videos, hashtags, etc.  Be on the look out for these in your feed over the coming months.
  5. Shows Tangible Results:  The HeForShe website gives you an active tally of people getting involved – even by country.  It’s easy for users to see the impact their support has on the greater good. Take the time to check out this great cause and get involved.

Kudos to the UN Foundation for Women for this great partnership and worthy cause.  To see more from HeForShe or to see other cause related campaigns, check out our Pinterest board.  To watch the video from Emma’s speech, click here.

Meet our 2014 Summer Intern!

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Yet again it’s that time at the EOE office where we bid a-dew to our 2013 interns – Mallory and Cindy you will certainly be missed – and welcome our fabulous 2014 intern.  It’s my pleasure to welcome Sarah Minch to the team who will be here socialin’ away this summer.  

Sarah Minch

Sarah Minch is a senior at Mercyhurst University, in Erie, Pennsylvania. She chose Mercyhurst for its broad curriculum, small class sizes, engaged professors and a guarantee at hands on learning experiences in every major, especially being undeclared entering freshman year. Sarah’s interest in creating approaches to reach target audiences, and how to break down demographics led her to majoring in Strategic Communication and minoring in Marketing. Her interest in social media has grown while spending time on the latest trending sites. Also, working in the Mercyhurst Public Relations Department in the Spring 2014, Sarah enjoyed learning how to use different social media sites to reach desired audiences. Sarah also works to promote the campaign, Fresh Face Forward, which spreads awareness about dangerous chemicals in cosmetic products, through social media outlets on the Mercyhurst campus.

Sarah found EOE on an internship website and wanted to learn more about cause marketing, strategic planning approaches and how EOE became what it is today. Sarah also plays on the university’s Women’s lacrosse team, enjoys spending hours on Pinterest, watching numerous television series on Netflix and the most recent Marvel movies, reading, lifeguarding at the town pool and spending time with family, friends and her dog, Jenny. She’s looking forward to spending this summer at EOE.

To learn more about Sarah check out her LinkedIN profile!

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