Events are a great way to travel and see the world. Founder, Emily Chalk, is no stranger to planning events outside of Stamford, CT. We sat down with Emily to get some tips for planning events out of town.
With your clientele, you plan many destination events. What is your process for finding venues, catering, staff etc. in places you’ve never traveled, yourself?
Well you start with the client’s requirements. Once you know what you client is looking for, you basically go on a fact-finding mission to see who does what and where. From there you can always ask for references etc. I am a people person so I find this to be a not so daunting task.
What were some of your favorite locations of client events?
Las Vegas was very cool. The options are endless out there so our largest hurdle was choosing what we wanted to do. It’s great when the location gives you the theme of the event right off the bat. In Vegas, we did “Play to Win” because it’s Vegas!
How often do you communicate with your onsite contact for events before the day of? Hundreds of times, maybe more. I have an event in Disney starting Sunday and I have easily exchanged three hundred emails over the last 48 hours.
Do you ever make more than one trip to the event location before the event date if you have to travel a great distance, like to Las Vegas or Disney World?
Yes. I actually love to preview sites first to make sure that the pictures match the actual experience of being on site. Depending on the size of the event, we will go out usually 1 or 2 times prior to actual event execution.
What are some tips that keep you organized days before the event when you must travel out of town?
Plan, plan and plan some more. I come in the weekend before a big trip and get all my busy work for that week done. That way last minute stuff doesn’t keep me up 24 hours a day. I make lists, lots of them, both personally and professionally. It’s important to have a clear mind and just organize your thoughts. Otherwise you will get overwhelmed and things can get jumbled really quickly.
Though you keep a minute-by-minute schedule of the event, do you have any other tactics for keeping your events orderly?
I over communicate. My client might not want to know every details but I try to get as much information across without being annoying. I want them to never feel like they are surprised by something, unless they are supposed to be. I believe in 100% transparency with any issues that arise for an event. For me, I always tell a client an issue along with my proposed solution. Keeps things moving without anyone panicking.
Want to hear more from Emily? Check out her personal blog for everything small business owner related and more!