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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

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.

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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

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