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Fifty Shades of 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 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.

Get Better Results out of Networking with Fewer Conversations

For any “wantrepreneur”, entrepreneur or serial entrepreneur, networking is absolutely essential for growth. But you’ve already heard that time and time again, have put yourself out there, but aren’t so satisfied with your ROI. You may be missing a key part in how to network. That’s right, it’s not just about handing your business card to the person next to you and talking about how you saved the whales by age 17.

Think of networking in terms of how you would prepare to pitch a new client. It’s a no brainer to research the brand, come up with fancy ideas and figure out how you are going to dominate this meeting and come out victorious. Why should networking be any different?  Though the setting is more casual, and that first approach always with a bit of the unknown, the result should be the same. You want the receiver of your communication to walk away knowing that the last 5 minutes (or 50 minutes) that they spent talking to you was a big win for their work day.

Sounds simple?  It can be with some tips from the people who focus on events day in and day out.  The challenge to networking, and honestly, to any relationship is communication.  It’s not just about how you communicate but just as importantly how who you are communicating with receives information.  You can’t do much personality research about the person you are networking with like you would a potential client, so you are left to figure it out within the first few seconds after shaking their hand. Our favorite strategy? Bringing up the weather that day and decipher which personality type that person falls into.  Here are two examples of communication styles and how best to communicate with these personalities:

Creative

This person will love the fact that you even brought up the weather. They will talk about how it was so great to take their dog for a walk this morning, eat sugar free blueberry oatmeal before work, and the traffic before getting to the networking event. The creative communicator wants to talk about all the fluff before diving into business. By going with their flow and making that personal connection, by the time you finally get to talking about your business, they’ll already love you.

Analytical

This person will give you a short response, and is ready to dive into business talk. They want to hear numbers, stats, facts and get right to the point. They don’t care about much else so when communicating, neither should you. Depending on your personality type this kind of person may be a bit jarring.  Don’t be concerned.  They like you just fine, they just don’t show it the same way you do.

Is it that simple?  Yes, it is.  Understanding the communication style of who you are speaking with, and doing so quickly is what makes the difference between a good conversation and a great one. Like a detective use this method to decipher the best methods of communicating with your new found contact. By using this method to improve your communication skills, you can get better results from fewer conversations.

 

We may know a thing or 2 about networking events but we’re even better at planning them for you. Contact us today and lets get planning!

PROS AND CONS OF HOSTING EVENTS IN YOUR HOME

Fabulously executed events don’t always have to happen at expensive venues that involve lots of travel and accommodations. Depending on how the size and layout of your property, events can be held in or outside the home. This location option boasts advantages and disadvantages that range across the spectrum of event planning. To simplify your decision, we’ve laid out why this could be beneficial, but also recognizing some of its drawbacks so there are no unwanted surprises.

Pros

Convenience of Travel

One of the most obvious reasons you should have your event at home is so that you don’t have to go anywhere! All site reviews, design meetings, and of course the actual event all come to you and your home. In some cases, your guests are people that live relatively close to you which makes the venue location easy for them to locate. Guests that live out of town also now have the option to stay in your home which will avoid costly hotel fees. Keeping your guests happy is extremely important to the success of your event.

Familiarity with Setting

You see your home every single day, so unlike a venue that you have visited once or twice, you couldn’t be more familiar with your own venue space! Though measurements eventually need to be taken, you have a general idea of whats going to work and where.

Easier Access to Amenities

Usage of storage in a basement, extra bedrooms, a kitchen, your personal wine cellar, or a even pool are just a few of the amenities that are not common in other venue spaces. At your home, these conveniences are only a few steps away and could be a great element that adds to the flow of your event.

Warmer Atmosphere

Using a home or an outdoor space can supply your event with a warmer, more intimate feeling. If this type of setting makes sense for your event, you may want to consider your home as a venue choice. Simple characteristics such as a fireplace or comfortable couches that already exist in your home can make guests feel more comfortable and relaxed.

Can be Planned Quickly with Any Date of your Choice

Popular venues can be booked out for months, so if your events calls for shorter notice, using your home as a venue may be the way to go.

Weather Proof

Hot and humid summer day with a 5pm thunderstorm? Sounds like typical unpredictable weather. Even if your event is planned outside of your home, you can always temporarily host your guests inside of your home until the weather clears up.

Cons

Potential Damage/Clean up:

Accidents can easily happen at events whether caused from guests or vendors. Be sure that the proper precautions are taking to protect valuable or sentimental items in your home.

Liability to Guests & Vendors looking into some extra insurance may ease some of your stress of having an event in your home.

Neighbors

Most neighbors should be okay with you hosting an event as long as it is kept appropriate. However, it is a good idea to give them a heads up about what is going on so they feel as comfortable as possible during the celebration.

Limited Parking

Although every home is different, chances are you don’t have parking spaces for all guests in front of your home. Unless you want your front yard to turn into a parking lot, hire valet to handle this aspect of the event.

The grey zone, these each hold pros and cons.

Vendors

PRO: Choose whichever vendor you want. This option gives you unlimited options for all the elements of your event.

CON: If you are not an events expert, finding the best vendors could be timely and expensive.

Budget

PRO: Hosting your own event can be inexpensive, a venue is one of the priciest elements of an event.

CON: Warning! It can however turn into a larger expense than you expected. After renting chairs, tables, sound equipment, etc. (that are already included in venue pricing) it can add up quickly.

Blank Slate

PRO: Since you are starting with a blank slate, every single aspect of your event design is up to you. Imagine the possibilities!

CON: Most homes are not set up to be event locations. It could be a lot of effort to transform a home or backyard into a functional event space.

We love events because they are so versatile when it comes to designing them based on their purpose. If you feel like hosting the event in or around your home would be beneficial to your guests and objective, we say go for it! We’ve planned successful events in our clients homes, and yours can be next. Call us today and Let’s Get Planning (
203) 548 9054.

Boozy Best Practices

Hello fellow planners and event lovers – Emily here.  I haven’t been on the blog in a while, and with Ms. Cindy and the other little Ellie’s hard at work on all our summer projects, I thought I would do a little blog takeover.  

This should come as no surprise, but I am a little older than my crew – not a huge gap but a solid decade sets us apart. I did tend bar in College however, and since then have enjoyed a cocktail or two with friends and family so I’ll go out on a limb and say I know a bit about alcohol.  This summer has been flooded with great cocktail ideas on Twitter and Pinterest.  Here are my coolest finds and what I am calling Boozy Best Practices for the summer of 2016.
 

Rind Time

I am a vodka or wine kind of girl, but these bright and fun jello + fruit rind concoctions really got my attention.  Basically all you do is hollow out your favorite hard rind fruit – watermelons are the most practical – but the rumor mill tells me that this even works on lime and orange rinds.   Add your gelatin mixture to the rind – let set – and voila – its rind time. I would recommend serving this with something fancy added to it – like a curvy toothpick or one of those cocktail stirrers with the acrylic ball on top.  Because if you have ever attended one of my parties, you know I love my details.
 

Popsicles

OK so true story – I went to Bed Bath and Beyond and bought a popsicle maker.  I am 4 years old, I can’t help myself.  In full disclosure I also have a Snoopy Snow Cone maker under my bed (thank you Kelley Karp.)  The mix got sticky and it made a huge mess so my fiance threw it out when I was away on one of my last work trips. He does stuff like that from time to time so I am now popsicle maker – less.  My point: have you seen all the boozy popsicle images that have been hitting up Instagram?  My favorite so far have been the bright color versions, and the ones that have been added to sparkling wine for a little extra somethin’ somethin.  Go try this, go on, I’ll be here when you get back.
 

Black Light Bonanza

Fun fact – if you use tonic water and then you enter a room with a black light, the cocktail will glow.  I know, I wish I knew this 10 years ago, but it’s still cool none the less.  Not that you are all running out to throw black light parties, but just in case you are, this is a must.

Looking for these fabulous recipes?  Well, I created a Pinterest board for you – aka I am saving these for my wedding.  Enjoy and let us know what you think.  

Looking for a planner who knows the ins and outs and can make any element of an event creative and unexpected?  Contact us today at rsvp@eastofellie.com.  Let’s get planning!

 

 

Photo credits: A Beautiful Mess

You Know it’s Event Day When…

You know its Event day when
As event planners, let’s face it, we LIVE for event day.  There is this euphoric feeling of satisfaction (or horror) depending at what point of the event you are in. Event day is when you have the last opportunity to make your event everything it was meant to be – no pressure, right?

As a sequel to our previous post You Know You’re an Event Planner When… we’re breaking down those precious moments when you realize, it must be EVENT DAY. Hours upon hours of work are put into the planning process of this day – event planners, this is what we’ve been training for.

You know it’s Event Day when…

  1. You barely slept the night before
  2. You start the day feeling 60% excitement and 40% anxiety
  3. Outfit of the day: black on black on black
  4. A hearty breakfast is a must, no cereal is going to fuel the day you’re about to have. (Bacon Egg and Cheese is an EOE tradition) BUT forget being able to eat the rest of the day – so enjoy that sandwich.
  5. You get to the event early to have a little “alone” time, but that never ends up working out.
  6. You thank your lucky stars that you paid the little extra for a cell phone internet hot spot
  7. Your phone has never seen more calls from numbers that are not stored as contacts, (good morning vendors!)
  8. You will pick up and carry more than one thing you “weren’t supposed to”
  9. Your clipboard becomes your favorite accessory
  10. You will be told about something you’ve never heard about from your client.  You will smile, and put it on your to-do list.
  11. Every moment your pen creates a check mark on your checklist is pure satisfaction
  12. You hear your name called from every corner, cranny, hallway and doorway, all day long.  
  13. You will misplace everything you need: clipboard, cell phone, pens and sharpies are just a few that come to mind.
  14. The supplies box contains binder clips, glue sticks, t-pins, duct tape and some weird squiggly things, and you’ve used every one of them.
  15. You will tweak, fluff, move, clean and modify anything and everything until your vision is perfect.
  16. Your meeting planner office, which at one point was organized with event supplies and snacks, will look like a hurricane hit it.
  17. You know every security code, light switch, bathroom, temperature control and exit in the event space.
  18. Your FitBit steps are off the charts!
  19. Your legs will ache, your feet will feel numb, but somehow you just keep going.
  20. You take a quick moment to embrace the sadness that it’s all over.  Then you rally, and get ready for the next one.

 

Want to see some of the glory photos from our events?  Check out www.eastofellie.com/gallery.  

A Guide for NonProfits: Communicating with Corporations

One of the biggest (and in our opinion, the BEST) way that non profits are able to fundraise is through events.  Communicating to prospective attendees or other non-profits is one thing – but speaking and pitching to corporations for their support in your event might as well be a whole new language.  It is an unspoken rule that when you walk into a corporate boardroom, you want be on your A game.

We’re sharing share some of our EOE insights and give you a guide for non-profit organizations and communicating with corporations to make your event better than ever.:

1.  Clearly communicate your mission.

It’s imperative your partnered corporation is on the same page with the objective of your event. The corporation must also be morally rooted in alignment with your organization, or have a direct branding link to your cause.  Show them the impact of what your like minded cause can do for them, and how their participation in your event is mutually beneficial.

2.  Who do you influence?

For corporations, they need to know your target market. If you’re not aiming for consumers of their aimed demographic, and they won’t be the attendees at your fundraiser, chances are slim the corporation will see the benefit.

3. Explain what can you offer an event sponsor.

Exposure? Reputation boost? Marketing at future fundraisers? Communicate what you can do for them to solidify they are making an investment for their success as well as yours.

4. Can you quantify impact?

Make sure to bring tangible examples of how your fundraising event will bring success and profit to the corporation you are communicating with. Arm yourself with relevant statistics and evidence on how your influence will benefit the company.

5. Explain your current state of funding.

Corporations may have the dollars, but they’re not a never-ending money pit. Ensure them that by investing in a sponsorship or supporting your fundraiser, they are making a sound investment with their philanthropic budget. Bring an easy to read chart about your financial state so that they feel safe about making an investment.

Most importantly, non-profits need to persuade with a mission and quantitative information. Since corporations work with and understand numbers, it’s important to speak their language. Think of yourself as a brand and present yourself as such. Go in with confidence and these communication tips and leave with success and a new sponsor for your event!

You’ve got the communication tips down, now what about ALL of the logistics? Don’t sweat it, contact us today and let’s get planning for the most successful fundraiser your non-profit has ever had. Also Check out our Innovative Ways to Keep the Fundraising Party Going.

Cheer Up Buttercup: April Showers Bring May Flowers Event

May has arrived and it feels like spring is finally on its way! Even though the sunny days to come are going to be wonderful, we can’t forget about the countless rainy days the spring weather brings to New England. As you take out your rain boots, umbrellas, and rain jackets, we want you to celebrate and embrace this rainy weather in our favorite way – through an event! We’ve gathered our favorite tips on how to transform your event space into a unique April showers bring May flowers event!

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The bigger the idea the better! We plan events for luxury brands, so obviously we looked to Jimmy Choo to show us how a flower wall in store can inspire a bright and colorful spring line launch event. With colors of the brand, or colors from the latest collection, you can create something spectacular.

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Even if your brand is like Kate Spade– fun, bright, and classy, you can add a flower wall to your event like Kate did to her store front. It’s fitting, and inviting (with great picture opportunities for social media buzz!)

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Cocktails are always a great way to get the good vibes rolling at a rainy day party, but how cool would it be to keep the May flowers theme going? Adding a little element of your theme to every aspect of the event can wow guests, and continue the bright color pop.

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Have a high ceiling in your event space? Don’t let all the open space go to waste! These lighting fixtures captured us from the moment we laid eyes on them. With this type of decor you can keep a simple table (more space for food), or you can really go all out and add more flowers and really surprise your guests. With flowers above, think of other options for the centerpieces like teapots, or rainboots!

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One of our favorite flowers are tulips. They give a traditional spring look, and add a classic feel. Sometimes simple is better than elaborate, so take your sweet spring time event, and add an element that is classic and unforgettable.

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Celebrate the beauty of spring and all of its craziness using our tips for throwing the perfect April showers bring May flowers event! Want to take your elements of your brand and create a spring themed event but don’t know where to start? Contact us today and let’s get planning.

WASHINGTON D.C. Event Venues

 

You Vote: Our Candidates for the Best D.C. Venues

 

In light of the recent Connecticut Primaries and one of our favorite cities to explore for venues, we are highlighting venues in you guessed it, Washington D.C. Although we loved working with VP Joe Biden in the past, we’re not talking politics, we’re talking venues. When we rate our favorites, we don’t mean a space that can accommodate the most people or has the best audio visual package. We look for the details that will wow our guests and the spaces that will allow for molding of a brand-led experience. Here are some of our favorites that we’ve debated over:

 

The Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center

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First question for The Ronald Reagan Building, why do you believe you’re fit to be the best candidate winning most votes from the EOE team?  With such a treasured President comes a beautiful space in memorial. The Ronald Reagan Building is designed to fit 3,000 people reception style for a gala, to a small 20-person corporate board meeting. It’s one of our favorite spaces because of the variations of design, the look and feel of the spaces, and the accommodating staff and salespeople that work for them. With so many different directions to go in, this is perfect for brand with BIG personality.

 

Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium

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Next question for the Andrew Mellon Auditorium, what makes your various spaces unique?  The Andrew Mellon Auditorium is not only breathtaking, but it has so many different spaces that can be catered to your brand. From the Great Hall pictured above to the marble lobby, and the green rooms, the opportunities are endlessThe details are in the fabric with this space; gold leaf ceilings and marble columns are all we needed to see to determine that it’s definitely one of our favorites.

 

The National Press Club

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Last Question is for the place of debate and media reporting, The National Press Club; why do you believe you’re capable of hosting a corporate meeting and event space for some of our most treasured clients?  We believe that The National Press Club isn’t only a space to hold some of the world’s most famous press conferences, but we think it can make a beautiful event space for businesses large and small. It obviously has the space to fill a large crowd, but it also has a very classic ambiance that makes any event feel as important as a Presidential debate.

Washington DC is home to some of the most historically sound buildings in the country, and our clients want us to find something that is not only unique to the city, but something unique to fit their brand. Leave the scoping to us and let us find your best fit in D.C. or any given city. Did you miss our New York City Spotlight? Check it out here: New York City Venues

To check out more of our favorite venues around the country visit our blog! Looking for someone to help you find the perfect venue?  Contact us today to learn how East of Ellie uses venues like these to bring your experiences to life. 

 

Photo Credit: The Ronald Reagan Building, The Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium, The National Press Club

Branding Done Right: Coachella 2016 Edition

One of the most popular music festivals of the year started this past week in the deserts of California. We’re talking about Coachella, where thousands of young people come together for 2 weeks to celebrate music, show off their boho-style fashion, and have an overall great time. It’s no surprise that since there are thousands of people at this event festival that there are hundreds of corporations right there with them marketing their brand. For brands that have a target demographic fitting the profile for Coachella attendees, marketing at this event is absolutely genius. Here are EOE’s favorite marketing activations at Coachella 2016:

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Instagram Madness:

Currently under the hashtag #coachella, there are 1.74 million images and counting. H&M has the right idea by incorporating a photo booth in their Coachella tent. Though they won’t directly upload to the photo app, who doesn’t love Instagraming their photo booth strips? H&M had the right idea creating this space for their fans to take a pic, take a dip, and relax in their comfy Coachella Line of clothing.

CALVIN KLEIN HOSTS : DESERT WAREHOUSE PARTY

Event Inception:

 That’s right, brands are hosting their own events at Coachella. New comer to Coachella, Calvin Klein, hosted a 3-day event opening weekend with a high profile pool party with successful DJ’s like Alesso on the ones and twos.

Heineken is hosted the ultimate house party featuring DJs, live music and surprise performances. The Heineken House, a dance party tent made with a sustainable dance floor that captures your energy from dancing, and turns it into energy to light up the entire room.

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Heavy Branding:

Coachella is known for the musical guests and performances, but our favorite part is the branding. Here at EOE we love us some creative event branding, and Coachella was just the place to get some inspo. Some ideas that we loved from the Popsugar Cabana Club Event was custom shoes at the DSW tent, and a candy bar at the Netflix tent themed to the show Unbreakable Life of Kimmy Schmidt. What we love the most about these ideas are the creative incorporation of product and services that really showcase what the brands are all about.

We absolutely love seeing creative branding at events and believe it’s one of the best ways to get the exposure for a brand. Coachella is more than a music concert, it’s a complete experience and these corporations delivered on contributing to that for the attendees. To see more branding at Coachella see our Pinterest board here.

Photo Credit: Biz Bash, New York Magazine, Coachella

Practice Makes Perfect: How Event Planning is our Performance Sport

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Event Manager, Cindy, here. Over the past few years, I’ve learned a ton about event planning, because well – before that I knew nothing.  As we all go through life, we make connections to things in our past that can relate, and I can’t help but to constantly relate event planning to something from my personal past – cheerleading. In any performance type sport, you practice for months and months all to perform once. No redo’s, no timeouts, only one time and one impression on your audience.  

As hard as we practice, the truth is we can never fully prepare for our performance – outside factors always come into play to rain on your parade. Like the time Melissa’s nose broke in warm ups minutes before our performance, or the time Ana’s ACL tore DURING our performance, there was absolutely no way to plan for that ahead of time during our hours and hours of practice. Just like event planners, we are trained to remain calm and do the best with what we have. Speaking of being trained like event planners, it’s no coincidence that founder, Emily was infact a past cheerleader too. The traits that are learned as performance athletes are undoubtedly translated into our everyday work as event professionals. (thanks for signing us up, Moms!)

As event planners, although we don’t necessarily get to “practice” our event, we do spend hours and hours (and hours) preparing.  Any seasoned vet will be the first to tell you,

it is absolutely impossible to avoid every bump in the road when it comes to event planning.

What we can do, is minimize the giant potholes in the road, and plan to deal with minor cracks instead.

Here are 3 ways we practice to make it perfect:

1. Detailed On Site Agenda

Once we have all the event details determined, comes the birth of the on-site agenda. The on-site agenda lays out every detail of the event and its owner. For example, a sign is purchased for the event. What time will it be set up? Where is it getting set up? Who is setting it up? What time is it breaking down? Does someone need to take a photo of this before guests arrive? One sign sparks all of these questions that can be easily planned for ahead of time for efficient planning and smooth sailing on event day. With our on-site agenda, every team member knows exactly what they should be setting up or checking every minute of pre, during, and post event all at the glance of this document.  It’s the event planner version of watch game tape.

2. Contact List of Important People

This includes event staff, vendors, speakers, anyone who holds a role in the event where if they are not doing their job, the show will flop. Ensure this is their cell phone number, office phones won’t be of help for emergency situations! For vendors, ensure it is the on-site contact, not just the sales rep you’ve been communicating with, because when the truck driver carrying florals is lost and needs directions, they won’t be much help.

3. Double, no, TRIPLE check it all!

We can’t stress this point enough. Check everything, in every phase of its “creation”. For example, when creating name cards – check the art file against the original guest list, and after it is sent to print, check the physical cards again to the original guest list. You would be amazed as to how one name tag can mysteriously go missing somewhere throughout this process, and TRUST me, you’d rather figure this out the night before than 1 hour before the corporate lunch. Is this solvable without any suspicion from our client? Yes, of course. But saving the stress and sprint to the local printer for a rush job (thanks again Nashville FedEx) is worth the double check.

People ask us everyday what our actual job is on event day.  The simple answer – to make sure the things that get messed up – like my boss forgetting to forward roll in her high school cheerleading championship performance – get brushed under the rug and our clients (and the event attendees) are none the wiser.  

Want to see how we stick our landing?  Check out www.eastofellie.com or contact us today to get a preview of how we perform on event day.

NEW YORK CITY EVENT VENUES

In the city that never sleeps, we’ve searched high and low for great venues that give our clients the sense of New York City without submerging them in the hustle and bustle. One of our clients in particular that hosts an intimate learning and networking conference and wanted a cool, calm and collected atmosphere designed to inspire guests.  After our hunt, we couldn’t keep these gorgeous venues all to our self! Check out some our favorites below:

Brooklyn Winery

Ruffled - photo by http://www.ashley-caroline.com/ - http://ruffledblog.com/garden-inspired-wedding-at-brooklyn-wineryLeave it to BK to hold one of our favorite venues in the city. Inside the rustic reclaimed wood environment, runs a fully functioning commercial winery and event space. “Fireside Chats” are becoming all the rage in corporate events to put a warm, welcoming twist on learning sessions, and although the venue does not have an actual fireplace-the warm and cozy atmosphere is undoubtably present. 

Located right over the Williamsburg bridge, this event space is just moments from the hustle of Manhattan, but is sure to leave the stress of the rat race at the door, for a cozy atmosphere  that is sure to relax any of your guests. www.bkwinery.com

 

Bouley Botanical

Bouley-Botanical_2014_Wedding_Events_SpaceA venue designed for all of the 5 senses, The Bouley Botanical is meant to keep guests engaged in the space, while staying engaged with each other. Nature is few and far between in NYC, but there are over 400+ species of edible plants that hang from the floor to ceiling windows in this space. Hosting a nonprofit event that focuses on going green? This event space is sure to inspire and get attendees in the right mindset before the program even starts.

Smack in the middle of Tribeca and Soho, Bouley Botanical is conveniently located in Manhattan, but plenty south of Midtown. The quieter part of the island is the perfect spot for this nature themed venue. www.davidbouley.com/bouley-botanical/

The Green Building

LevKuperman_TheGreenBuildingPlease hold while we swoon over the size of those windows. “Natural light” is an absolute luxury in NYC – and The Green Building offers plenty. The 4,000 square foot space has endless possibility for your corporate or nonprofit event.  For example, host a presentation at the front of the room, and feature products behind to bring the experience of the event full circle.

The style of this venue perfectly ties in a rustic feel with the exposed, worn brick; modern vibes with the black slate floor and pipes in the ceiling, and of course pure elegance with the giant windows, curtains, and chandeliers. www.thegreenbuildingnyc.com

 

The Farm SoHo

Co-workin1g by day, Party by night! With three event spaces meant for presentations, dinners, or casual lounging, this little piece of farm heaven in Soho is worth every penny. The atmosphere is cozy and rustic with a sense of the country right in the middle of the Big City. And with a past client list of Reebok, Zara, L’Oreal and the United Nations, it’s a one size fits all for corporate and nonprofits.

Located on Broadway between SoHo and Little Italy, the venue is super convenient from many subway stations. www.thefarmsoho.com

 

 

Keep an eye out for our next CITY SPOTLIGHT feature, which city are you craving for? Contact us with an inquiry about even more fabulous event spaces that will keep your guests happy, and relaxed in the Big Apple!

Cheers to Nashville!

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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

 

Ellie’s Guide to a Perfect Event Day Outfit

As an event planner, some of your longest days are going to be spent at a venue, hosting an amazing event.  One important aspect of a smooth event day is being comfortable. 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 it could start your day horribly, and the blisters by the end will be a nightmare.  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

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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

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Although we wish we could get away with wearing yoga pants, professionalism is key.  For a more casual event, black jeans is our go to pant. Whether it’s a stretchy jegging or a flare, black jeans are a great option.

If your event calls for a fancier dress code, we 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.

The New Sneaker

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We’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!

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

Fitbit

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This obviously isn’t a necessity for event day, but it’s something we love at EOE.  Because 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.  Competitors to the core, we even have a competition in the office for who walks the most steps on event day (Emily usually comes out on top).

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.

Jewelry

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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. A watch is necessary, and always have extra hair ties.

Photo: ShopStyle Pinterest

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

These Decorations Take the Cake: Ways to Incorporate Food into Your Event

Without a doubt, two of the biggest components to planning an event include food and decor.  These elements often go hand in hand because having consistent branding or a theme keeps guests interested and excited to see what else the event has in store for them. With a creative touch, food can even act as the event decor itself. Edible centerpieces or even a wall of food can catch the eye, and make the guests hungry for more.

Using food as decorations is visually appealing, budget friendly, and unique that is sure to blow your attendees away:

CENTERPIECES

Centerpieces are attention-grabbers; they are the focus of the table, so if you’re looking to bring a wow factor with your event decor, try making your centerpieces out of food.

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Photo: Ashley Batz

Give your guests with a sweet tooth a favor, and use chocolate coated marshmallows with different food colorings and designs.  The colored chocolate allows you to own your brand, and give your guests a whimsical feeling.

Another, all-in, option is making the centerpieces a place for hors d’oeuvres. These wooden cutting boards, and elaborate spread of cheeses, meats, and citrus fruits will keep your guests entertained, and increases their appetite.

EDIBLE DECORATIONS: These take the Cake

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Photos: Cherish Cakes by Katherine Edwards, and Michele Bradley

We can’t forget about cake- one of the biggest edible decorations of all if your event calls for one.  We love cakes because of the creative edge a client can put into it. From a company anniversary, to a congratulations and promotion party, they cover all boundaries. At our event for Nestle Waters North America, our mission was to WOW our client and guests with all things Perrier.  Our caterer crafted edible sugar Perrier bottles that were placed on the cake and it was the most attention grabbing decoration of the event (until it was devoured).

A Wall of Food? Why not!

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Photos: Pinterest, Fresh Ideas

Having a wall full of delicious food could keep guests entertained liked a bar would. Placing salads on one wall, and dessert on another could give the room a pop of color, and a sweet scent. What’s better than food with a view?

There are lots of ways to creatively incorporate food into your event decor, whether you have a theme or not.  This popular trend is making headlines in the industry, and event attendees will definitely be seeing a lot more of decorations crafted out of food in the future.

Loving this trend and want more inspiration on how to incorporate food into your event decor? Check out our Pinterest Board!

Top Cities to Host Your Branded Event

Time and time again our clients ask us to wow them with a new venue or event concept that’s out of the box.  Of course, our main objective at EOE is to create legendary events customized to our client’s vision. No matter the size of your budget or audience, leaving your guests with a memorable impression is important  – so for fun at the EOE offices we host brainstorming sessions and dream up some pie in the sky style event locations and cities to keep in our secret vault. We are letting some of our secret location obsessions out of the bag just for you.  Here’s our list of our favorite cities that we want you to take a look at.

  1.    New York, New York– This may seem a little straightforward, but is it certainly one of the most underrated places to hold an event. New York City is designed with nooks and crannies that you never believe existed, like 501 Union and Tribeca Rooftop. These spaces are unique, and hidden among the concrete jungle, and they’re waiting for your event.885179_146678078832393_1087703752_o-1190x793

Source: http://tribecarooftopnyc.com/events-gallery/corporate-events/

  1.  San Francisco, California-This leading, traditional, city of California has been the hub of social living for the past decade. The expanding population, and great appreciation for tourism is what makes this city perfect for hosting legendary events. Some of our favorites that we have found are the San Francisco Ferry Building and a Celebrity Cruise’s ship docked in San Francisco bay called the DreamBoat. The ship holds over 150,000 people, and custom creates your company’s logo for the pool on their party deck.

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Source: Lori Paladino Photography

  1.  Chicago, Illinois– While we can all agree what waterfront venues are the go-to for “spectacular events” we’ve found some for you in the MidwestFrom the City Winery, to The River Roast. These venues are known for their traditional architecture, and gorgeous city views. Many headquarters for Fortune 500 companies are located in the Midwest, so why not plan an event close to home that will make your company the talk of the town?

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  1.  Miami, Florida – If your company likes warm weather mixed in with their innovations then you should check out Miami as a possible city for your event. The Temple House is a mix of clean slate, with technology and possibilities. With a large blank space you can customize this venue to be as enthusiastic as your brand. And who doesn’t like warm weather?

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Source: THE TEMPLE HOUSE

Have you ever been to a venue that absolutely stunned you? We would love it add it to our list! See our Pinterest board for more examples of what our little event planner minds dream about at night.

Drop us a line!

We want to hear from you!