Event Planner Gift Guide

GIFT GUIDE

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

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

TRAVEL STEAMER

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

GO PRO

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

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

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

PORTABLE ELECTRONICS CHARGER

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

FANCY COFFEE CUP

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

BUSINESS CARD HOLDER

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

MULTIFUNCTIONAL PEN

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

PHONESOAP

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

 

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

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. 

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.

How To Survive the 5th Most Stressful Job in America

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

Here are our tips on to survive the unpredictable hours of the event planner:

  1. Communication: With your client, with your team, and with your vendors. This will reduce the chance of any unwanted meeting surprises that you were unprepared for. When setting up a contract with your client, ensure that you are both on the same page as to how much you need each other to plan your event in detail. Some clients may want a weekly meeting with you to ensure they are kept in the loop of all aspects of the event, while others need a simple email only when they are needed. Open communication is crucial for keeping your work hours manageable and efficient.
  2. Organization: Today’s technology gives you no excuse when it comes to organizing your schedule on your smartphone, tablet, laptop, etc. Set alerts for your meetings and write everything down in your calendars to ensure you don’t double book a meeting or completely forget about one. This includes important dates to your event such as payment dates for vendors, cutoff dates for hotel room blocks, or RSVP deadlines.
  3. Take a Mental Health Minute:  This is one of the most important ones on our list.  At EOE we understand the importance of taking a mental break – a couple of games of Candy Crush, a few minutes on Facebook, whatever works for you.  Problem is, planners suffer from what we like to call shiny things syndrome.  Next thing you know your 10 minutes break turns into 30. Don’t let precious work time get eaten up by procrastination. During deadlines, every minute counts!
  4. Don’t Overbook: Event planners have a tendency to try to over-balance work and life. During busy times this can lead to burnout. As people pleasers it’s our first instinct to say yes, take on that extra task, grab a quick drink or try to hit those extra gym classes. Do what you need to do to keep your body and mind healthy, but don’t stress yourself out unnecessarily.
  5. Coffee IV : Sometimes, you don’t have the option to stop working until the job is done. It’s not uncommon to find one of us at the office way before 9am or way after 5pm to ensure that our client is satisfied. We often find ourselves wishing an IV of coffee is a real thing.  Multiple trips to Starbucks per day are a must for us!
  6. Ask for Help: Event planners have a ‘can do’ attitude which many times will be not only their biggest asset but their greatest downfall.  Delegate where you can. Ask someone to walk your dog during a busy day of meetings, or have your laundry dropped off instead of doing it yourself. The more you delegate in work and in life the more feasible things will feel.
  7. Celebrate: Congratulations! You’ve worked your butt off for months to plan an event and have executed it perfectly. Now take some time to relax and reflect, get a massage, take a long bubble bath, whatever you need to do in order to feel refreshed. Event planners need to keep themselves sane somehow!

Check out our Pinterest board for items that every event planner needs to tackle this job!

Meet Our Spring 2016 Intern!

New year, new intern! It is our pleasure to introduce our new Spring 2016 Social Media Intern, Tori Heckert, and welcome her to the EOE Team!

new internTori Heckert is a junior at Quinnipiac University from West Haven, Connecticut. She chose Quinnipiac because of their wide variety of networking opportunities and their prestigious business school. Tori is a marketing major because of her desire to be innovative in a business setting, but she also has a strong passion for event planning. From weddings to parties, Tori has always found herself Pinning the latest trends and ideas that can help her throw an unforgettable bash.

At Quinnipiac, Tori is a sister of the Theta Theta chapter of Alpha Delta Pi where she currently holds the position of Public Relations Chair. Other than being active in her sisterhood, Tori loves to watch makeup gurus, like Carli Bybel, on YouTube. In her free time you can find her planning her next vacation to Walt Disney World for her family. Travelling is something she has always loved to do and she’s excited to attend a service trip to the Dominican Republic through a Quinnipiac seminar class this summer.

After Tori discovered EOE, she was excited to see the opportunity of mixing marketing with event planning. This being the road she wants to travel down in the future, she thought this social media internship will give her the best of both worlds. She is super excited to spend her spring semester at EOE as their social media intern.

Event Planner Podcast Highlights

As Marketing and Event Manager here at EOE, it is always my job to creep on Founder and Senior Managing Partner, Emily, from time to time to make sure she is spreadin’ the word about what we do and how we do it. This week, she was invited on The Saavy Event Planner Podcast hosted by Tom Crowl (thanks, Tom!)  to talk branding and events as a marketing tool. I crashed their party to listen in on what she had to say. Even I had never heard our #1 event disaster story before now. Have a listen to my favorite highlights below and be sure to check out the FULL podcast on April 25th.

What is the first thing we ask our clients?

 

Communication reigns king…

Our Event Planning HORROR STORY (cue the bats flying out of a cave)

10 Best Gifts for Event Planners

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

Here are the 10 Best Gifts for Event Planners:

Go-Progo-pro-hero-4

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

Kate Spade Notebooks

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We are suckers for a great notebook and an even better pen. Kate Spade appeals to a classic and whimsical event style without breaking the bank. See more styles here.

Action Pads

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

Fancy Coffee Cup

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Most event planners are like us with their shenanigans and antics. This year one of our interns gave the CEO this great mug. It’s kind of perfect and very practical for the endless coffee we consume on the daily. There are tons of quirky, handmade options on Etsy.

Business Card Holder

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

Snack Containers

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Trust us, those fancy little rubber snack containers are not just for boxed lunches and toddlers. As a planner you sometimes never know when you will get a chance for lunch, so these easy to conceal snack containers are perfect for that ‘in mid walk’ almond break.

Multifunctional Pen

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

BirchBox Subscription

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Event planners are constantly traveling, and need some sample sizes of our favorite beauty products to tag along. BirchBox has high quality beauty products including lipsticks, lotions, perfumes, hair products, and more. The best part? It’s delivered to your door every month, so there is no need for shopping for this great gift.

Heated Aqua-Jet Foot Spa

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This gift is probably great for ANYONE on your list that needs a little stress relief. But on event day, we can walk up to 12 miles throughout the day (we track on our Fitbit, which is on our Event Planner’s Head to Toe Fashion Guide for Event Day), so our feet need some serious relief. The low price for such a luxury surprised us! Buy here.

PhoneSoap

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Our cell phones are quickly becoming the dirtiest item we own. We are constantly touching it and putting it up to our cheek, but cannot afford to get sick from our everyday addiction. PhoneSoap sanitizes your phone with UV light, so it’s one less thing worry about. But a gift that only did one job would be a waste of our time, it also charges your phone while sanitizing. Win.

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

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Behind The Scenes at East of Ellie

Every small business has a story behind how it developed from an entrepreneur with a dream, to a successful boutique agency for almost 6 years now.  We sat down with founder, Emily Chalk, to spill out all the secrets that happens behind the scenes at EOE:

Why the name “East of Ellie”?

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

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

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

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

c59a9ad5-2b0e-4619-9b61-1d85a6c20d9a-originalIf you look at EOE’s strategic plan, the mission statement reads: “To throw ridiculously awesome events that make our clients love us, and us love them. Oh and to be ridiculously happy everyday – and sh*t.”  We fulfill our mission everyday by doing exactly that.  If you spend a day in our office you will know that happiness and sarcasm reign supreme.  I have two boards dedicated in my office to the silly things we say everyday. You can often here me say “ put it on the board”.  We’ve been fortunate enough to have some of the most amazing clients an agency could ask for.  And plan some pretty legendary events.  So we just keep on, keeping on.

Why events?

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

What’s Next for EOE?

70a9dada77c9f82afff899cc1068c875After an insane summer of planning and executing an event in San Francisco with my Event Manager out there on site, we’ve had about a month of digging into what had been placed on the back burner.  It has been great to take some well appreciated “downtime” (so to speak) to catch up and feel human again.  We are
now ramping up on venue hunts in NYC, strategically planning for a potential new contract, and putting a lot into our marketing efforts to ensure East of Ellie continues to grow as much as it has been in the past few years.  Oh, and I just got engaged so that should keep us busy for a bit 🙂

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

Event Planners: Embrace the Downtime

One day my boss, Emily, founder of EOE, asked if she could call me. She does not usually call. She texts, emails, even sometimes sends a dove. So when she texted me and said, can I call you in 20 minutes? I said, “Better make it 5 or I will have an anxiety attack.”

The next thing I knew my bags were packed and I was off to California for the entire summer. One of our clients was looking for some event support, but one of the requirements was to have full time help on site, and I was the girl for the job.

There is a lot I could tell you about my summer in California. How I saw the tallest trees in the world, drove miles and miles along the breathtaking coastline…11666056_10153410284350797_2068209474737576205_n

but professionally speaking there is one thing I learned that I will hold close for the rest of my professional career. That is, in the events world, there is no 9-5 job, and that when you get a chance to take a breath, you embrace it. Here’s what I learned about living the workaholic life so that I can enjoy the less stressful times that come along with being an event planner.

Have you ever sat back and thought about how the 9-5 M-F work week became the norm? And when did leaving work on time become an act of heroism? Listen, I love to get into the nitty gritty and burn that midnight oil when we have deadlines. I appreciate the fact that I enjoy what I do, no matter how long I have to work, while many others twiddle their thumbs and watch the clock. When I landed back at JFK and knew that once I got off that red eye flight that we had finished working a project, I was ready to embrace my next challenge – downtime.

With a startup in Silicon Valley where a concept of what others may consider a normal profession were a thing of the past, our team averaged working 9am to 9pm, and on a few occasions pulled off 17 hour work days. The 7 days before the event we easily worked 100 hours to make it to the finish line. Needless to say when the contract was done, we were exhausted.

Why was it that we felt guilty to leave before 5pm when we returned back to our office? The cultural norm remains at 9-5, but just as easy as it is to make the decision to work after 5pm, it should be just as easy to end the workday before 5pm. Or starting after 9am, or whenever the heck you want it to for that matter.

So I am back, in my cubicle (decorated with some new event swag) and working on my new projects. Sometimes I come in at 10am, and sometimes I leave at 2:30pm. Does that make me a bad professional? I would argue no. That makes me a balanced person. Email? On my phone just a ding away. That spreadsheet? Being updated by the team in real time via Google Sheets. My responsibilities are located in my back pocket, and if the team or client truly needs me, I’m only a cell phone call away.

stressed-outForbes named Event Planning the 5th most stressful job in 2014, right behind Enlisted Military Personnel, Military Generals, Firefighters, and Airline Pilots. Thats right, we are put in the same group with people who fear for their physical lives at their jobs. Senior Corporate Executives fall behind us at #7, yet double in the median salary, so atleast they are compensated well for their stress. Hey, I am not complaining, we know the door to another career path is always there, but as event professionals we all stick it out –

because the down-time is what keeps us sane and is essential for all event planners that endure this undoubtable stress.

So, fellow event profs, how was my summer? Busy and stressful as hell. But I am fully embracing the downtime and don’t feel guilty for even a second about it, and neither should you. Take time to get into those projects that hit the back burner. For me they are things like fostering relationships and digging back into marketing. I had to ask myself, when’s the last time I updated our website content? Back burner items deserve some time as a priority to ensure long term success. And of course, I am making some time for myself, because I am my most important client, and you should be too.

EOE Emergency Supply Kit

On event day, there’s a million things on any planner’s to-do list. Between running around and completing last minute tasks, realizing you forgot something or have to deal with an unexpected issue is never something planners want to hear. But, if you have a very full emergency supply kit, these issues are not so stressful.

After numerous events and years in the industry, our emergency supply kit is pretty solid (not to mention it weighs like 80 pounds).

Mobile Desk

From a stapler to a box of sharpies, imagine your desk, and then take that mobile.

Tape (duck, scotch, & double sided) Stapler, Binder clips, Paper clips, Sharpies, Glue gun, Glue sticks, T pins, Hole puncher, Flashdrive, USB connector, Clipboards, Printer ink, Pens (huge box), Extension cords, Post-it notes, Scissors is our starting list for any event.

Electronics

As you would expect, we always have a phone charger. The curve balls: a laminator and a printer. You really never know when you’re going to need to make a new sign or print out a schedule – it’s better to be safe than sorry.

In fact, we are just packing our emergency supply for our big event next week right now! The more prepared, the better event day will flow.

Looking for a planner who is always prepared and a creative problem solver? Contact us today and lets get planning!

An Intern’s Advice to the CEO

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

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

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

Collaborate More

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

 

Enthusiasm is Contagious

Enthusiastic blonde woman wearing big glasses.One of the most important aspects to any job is being happy where you are, and company culture is a huge contributor.  One of the best parts of East of Ellie is the people who make up the company- they are enthusiastic, happy, and excited about their job.  Those emotions are easily noticeable and definitely contagious in the office.  

Enthusiasm is one of the most important things to instill in your employees.  If you aren’t excited about your job, how are you going to inspire your employees to be? Lead by example; always stay enthusiastic and positive even when times get tough because it means so much to the people around you.

Embrace the Walk Through

Interns always hear it is important to ask questions throughout the job, but that isn’t rocket science if you are trying to learn.  

questionsMany internships require their interns to be on the phone with other businesses and clients, and some may not know how to efficiently handle those calls.  Although it may seem excessive, managers should walk interns through how to properly handle calls in order to get the information they are seeking as quickly as possible. Help us help you! We appreciate the real life opportunities instead of just running errands, but please keep in mind, we have not been doing this for years.

Another tip is for managers/CEOs is to recommend questions for the interns to ask in similar situations that they have found effective in previous situations.

Overall, learning is a two way street.  Interns learn from higher ups in the company, and most higher ups can learn something from the interns. It can be valuable to listen to interns feedback, because their suggestions may help your company get stronger and your brand develop.

 

Thanks to sopinit.com, Artful Thinkers, and chrissurratt.com for the photos.

Meet Our Summer 2015 Interns!

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It’s that time again here at EOE where we welcome our two fabulous 2015 interns.  It is our pleasure to welcome Karen Marin and Tori Rotermund to the team who will be planning and socialin’ away this summer.

Karen Marin, Event Planning Intern

karenKaren Marin is a senior at the University of Connecticut, originally from Norwalk, Connecticut. Next spring she will receive her B.A in Communications with a minor in Business. Karen’s decision to attend UConn was based on its respected academic reputation, strong school spirit and the wide variety of organizations and clubs students can be involved with on campus.

Her outgoing and personable character contributes to her active involvement on and off campus. Karen is always looking for a way to serve her community. At school she demonstrates this through UConn’s Community Outreach and Habitat for Humanity chapters. This past semester she volunteered her spring break to travel with Habitat for Humanity to Avery County, North Carolina to collaborate in eliminating poverty housing in this area of need. Karen was able to make a positive impact on the community by working side by side with other UConn students on a house they were able to finish and hand over to a deserving family.

East of Ellie’s focus on Cause Marketing and Karen’s strong passion for Event Planning and Public Relations caught her interest in EOE. Karen is ready to absorb as much as she can from our team and is delighted to become an active part of East of Ellie as a new Events Intern!

To learn more about Karen, check out her LinkedIn profile.

Tori Rotermund, Social Media Intern

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Tori Rotermund is a junior at Bentley University in Waltham, MA.  She chose Bentley for its prestigious business school, proximity to Boston, and beautiful campus. Tori is a Marketing Major because she wants to help brands creatively excite their audiences and gain new markets based on innovative approaches to marketing strategies. She is also interested in user interface design, which led her to minor in Information Design and Corporate Communication. Tori enjoys spending time on social media and realized digital marketing could be a great way to get started in the industry.

At Bentley, Tori is involved with the Campus Activities Board and the Bentley Marketing Association. Tori also plays on Bentley’s women’s lacrosse team, enjoys getting lost on the explore page of Instagram, reading fashion blogs, and loves taking pictures of her golden retriever, Mav. She is passionate about traveling and is excited to study abroad in Barcelona this fall.

Tori found EOE on an internship website and wanted to learn more about cause marketing integrated with event planning and corporate social media marketing. She is looking forward to spending this summer at EOE as the Social Media and Digital Marketing Intern!

To learn more about Tori, check out her LinkedIn profile.

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

FoxNews.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Inside Look at East of Ellie with Emily Chalk

Have you seen the new East of Ellie website? We want you, our readers, to know more behind the change and in turn more about EOE. Here’s an inside look from our Founder and Senior Managing Partner, Emily Chalk.

Why the name “East of Ellie”?

I actually get asked this question all the time.  When I first started dreaming up EOE back in mid 2009 I had this notebook where I had started to write down things that were important to me and have molded my life. I always say that if the reason why you do something means something to you, the outcome isn’t as important.  The EAST is for ‘East Coast.’  I grew up in New Hampshire (as I like to call the Shire) and whenever someone asks me where I am from, I never say Stamford, I always say New Hampshire.  Growing up there significantly shaped my life and along with great parenting made me the person I am today.  ELLIE is actually my name (Emily) and my oldest niece (Ella) names combined.  5 ye144ars later I still get called Ellie, but I secretly love it.  I always thought East of Ellie sounded like this magnificent place that everyone would want to visit.  EOE just came around on its own, obviously standing for East of Ellie.

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

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

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

If you look at EOE’Jeffery, Kim 006s strategic plan, the mission statement reads: “To throw ridiculously awesome events that make our clients love us, and us love them. Oh and to be ridiculously happy everyday – and sh*t.”  We fulfill our mission everyday by doing exactly that.  If you spend a day in our office you will know that happiness and sarcasm reign supreme.  I have two boards dedicated in my office to the silly things we say everyday. You can often here me say “ put it on the board”.  We’ve been fortunate enough to have some of the most amazing clients an agency could ask for.  And plan some pretty legendary events.  So we just keep on, keeping on.

Why events?

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

Why cause marketing?

There is a real need in the world for an agency that wants to help companies promote their marketing efforts by supporting a cause.  Events give you a reason to have a conversation with your consumer.  We love that we get to drive business results for an organization while helping out the greater good.  On our new website you will see the line “we are changing the world, one event at a time.”

Why the website re-launch?

_L3A5312 copy copyEOE is about to celebrate its 5-year anniversary.  As crazy as that sounds to me now saying it out loud, we needed to update our image to better align with the agency we’ve grown into.  EOE will always be yellow and grey, but we needed to freshen up our brand identity to better align with where we are now in 2014.  I call it an evolution opposed to a revolution, because at the end of the day we are the same EOE you would have met in 2009.  Except we’ve got a Prince, a VP of the United States, some pro football stars, and a few beauty queens under our belt.

 

What do you think about our new look? Check out our new site and make sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for everything events and cause marketing!

Meet our 2014 Summer Intern!

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

Sarah Minch

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

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

To learn more about Sarah check out her LinkedIN profile!

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