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Category Archive: Events

The Element of Surprise

Imagine that you’re attending a fancy event. Sharply dressed waiters circulate in perfect sync, serving cocktails and canapes while a jazz quartet harmonizes in the background. Are you surprised?

Now, imagine that you’re attending an event and the host suddenly announces that the musical portion of the evening is about to begin — what musical portion? You can’t remember hearing about this. Suddenly, a marching band parades into the room, and their presence signifies something even bigger: all attendees are getting tickets to sit courtside at the next Magic game. Are you surprised now?

As an event planner, it’s important to master the element of surprise! Whether these moments are big, small, or in between, keeping guests on their toes makes your event exciting and memorable.

Build Up
You don’t have to wait until the event begins to start surprising guests! The week leading up to your event, generate suspense. Send out daily emails with hints about guest speakers or entertainment, and offer limited time discount codes on your or an affiliate’s merchandise. Depending on your event, you could even provide clues about a scavenger hunt that will start the moment they walk in, and you can give even more clues about the prize or how to find their teammates.

Ice Breakers
Your attendees are most likely assuming they’ll walk in, find their table, and take a seat. But you can create icebreakers that interrupt the normal flow of events! Your options are unlimited. You could design a tunnel walkway lined with balloons, build a wall where each guest grabs an envelope filled with a secret icebreaker question, or even set up a table where each guest is asked to choose silly, temporary tattoos for their wrists.

Rewards for Volunteers
People don’t usually think they’ll get anything for participating onstage as a volunteer. For the most part, guests expect to go on stage, get embarrassed, and then quickly exit. But this is a great opportunity to delight attendees (and encourage participation)! You can offer volunteers rewards that range from wine tastings to manicures to massages to free t-shirts to gift cards.

Sneak it on the Schedule
Don’t disclose the full schedule. In fact, it’s best to put something on the schedule that’s not real, and then you can impress attendees with thrilling, unforeseen plans.

Unanticipated Entertainment
Rather than only scheduling entertainment to perform at common times, surprise your guests with entertainment at unexpected moments. Hire fire breathers to entertain guests waiting for the valet to bring their cars around, or hire a magician to dazzle as they wait in lines.

No matter what you need to surprise and amaze at your next event, the Orlando event planning experts at Fun Planners are here to help! Contact us today online or at 407-955-4949.

Event Planning On The Go

How many times have you tried packing for an out-of-town event and realized that you can’t fit everything you need in one suitcase? Or even worse, how many times have you started unpacking your suitcase only to find out that your clothes feel strangely sticky — and then you discover your shampoo exploded over everything? It’s always fun to travel for events, but packing for them can be a pain. If you’re an event planner on-the-go, it’s important to pack strategically for your next trip!

Always Start With a Packing List: It can seem like an extra step to write out everything you plan to bring — and to pack it with you — but this is the best thing you can do! Not only will this help you to minimize your list, but it will ensure that all your belongings come home with you.

Strategic Shoe Selection: We’re all guilty of overpacking, especially when it comes to shoes. Since these are one of the bulkiest things you can pack, it’s important to be smart! Limit yourself: a travel pair and a business pair are likely all you’ll need.

Hard Suitcase: Seeing as how you’ll need to look professional on this trip, consider investing in a hard suitcase — don’t just use your old duffel. This will help keep your clothes crisp and folded!

Tissue Paper: Many experienced travelers swear by rolling their clothes with sheets of tissue paper or placing tissue paper in between folded shirts, which reduces friction and reduces wrinkles as a result.

Roll What You Can: For the clothes that you aren’t worried about wearing professionally, roll them up so that you can save space.

Dryer Sheets: To prevent your clothes from absorbing the smell of your suitcase, pack a dryer sheet! This way you can smell fresh and clean at your event and not like you just came off of a plane.

Ziploc Your Toiletries: You won’t regret packing shampoo, conditioner, soap, and other toiletries in their own separate bag! Make sure it’s a bag that can be leaked in or even exploded in, such as a Ziploc bag, and make sure it won’t let any soap get on your nice clothes. If you’re still concerned, you can use plastic wrap to wrap the top of these bottles for an extra layer of protection.

Separate Dirty Clothes: You can make your life easier when you return home from your trip by packing a separate bag to store dirty clothes! This way, you don’t take up an entire compartment in your bag or suitcase, and you can simply dump the entire bag into the washing machine.

The Little Things: You never think about needing little things like chapstick, nail clippers, or a band-aid, but you should always keep one of each in your bag! You don’t want to be stuck working an all-night event with chapped lips, a heel that’s rubbed raw from your shoe, or a nail that could catch on and fray your new suit.

Sometimes, working in Orlando event planning means that you have to spend a lot of time on the road, but that doesn’t mean that packing has to be a challenge. From packing to stress management to fundraising, we can help you prepare for your next event. Give us a call at 407-955-4949!

Winning Negotiation Strategies

Finding the perfect venue is critical, but it can be a challenge — and a major expense. It’s important to approach venues with the mindset that everything is negotiable as long as you know what you’re doing; after all, it doesn’t hurt to ask, right?

Don’t Share Your Budget Right Away
Rather than divulging your budget, say, “We’re still working on our budget, so just give me your standard rates for now.” The venue will likely share their top pricing, and you can negotiate from there. (This changes if you’ve used the venue before; if you have a good relationship, sharing your budget at the beginning could help you get more for your money.)

Be Flexible
A venue’s goal is to be booked all the time. If you have a few dates you’re willing to consider, you may get discounted pricing for a day they’re having difficulty filling. However, if all of your dates are around the same time and the venue is fairly full, there’s a chance they won’t be as flexible with pricing! Do some research and find out when the “off season” is to save money.

Don’t Overestimate Attendees
If you’re working with a hotel and you give them your dream attendance number — rather than a more practical one — you’re locking yourself into a higher minimum pay for food, beverage, and reserved rooms, meaning there’s a chance you’ll have to pay a penalty if you don’t meet those minimums.

Prove Your Value
If you’ve held similar events in the past, it can be helpful to show the venue that you’re known for meeting your food, beverage, and guest minimums. They need to see that you’re a reliable source of revenue. If so, they’re more likely to negotiate with you.

Maximize Your Comped Ratio
Many hotels offer a standard deal where they comp one room’s fee for every 50 booked. Depending on the overall spend of your event, you can try and negotiate this for an even better deal.

Don’t Be Fooled
“We have another interested party for this same day and time, so I’d act fast if I were you.” “This pricing is only available for the next 24 hours!” These statements may or may not be true, but you have no way of knowing for sure, and you shouldn’t feel pressured to make a hasty decision based on a predictable sales tactic. At the end of the day, if a venue wants your business, they’ll work with you — and if they don’t, that’s one less candidate for you to worry about.

Free Meeting Spaces
If you’re meeting your minimum spend, the venue is likely willing to work with you! Ask if they can provide a complimentary meeting space or hospitality room.

Required Vendors
If your venue refuses to let you use an outside vendor, get quotes from outside vendors to negotiate with the venue on the prices of their approved vendors. A venue would rather work with their vendor to lower the price than lose your business!

For tips on tricks on negotiations, publicizing your event, writing a winning proposal, and more, check out our blog! If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to the Orlando event planning experts at Fun Planners at 407-955-4949.

Prepping for Autumn Event Planning Trends

Fall is approaching, which means pumpkin spice and autumn aesthetics will soon take over storefront displays and living rooms, and Orlando event planning will be in high demand. Although Florida’s leaves might not change color, event planning opportunities blossom with the changing of the seasons. Be prepared for what autumn may bring with these upcoming event planning trends!

Fundraising in Fall
As summer comes to a close, organizations want to kick off fall strong and raise funds before winter. Fall fundraising is a great chance to welcome people with delicious cuisine and fun activities that encourage engagement. To help your next fundraising event stand out from the rest, add a new and exciting form of entertainment, such as a magician or a caricature artist for guests to enjoy while mingling and purchasing raffle tickets.

Team Building in Fall
September often marks a return to normalcy after sporadic work schedules and summer traveling, so businesses are looking to rein in the autumn quarter with team building. It’s prime time for teams to gather for company picnics and bond before the hectic rush of the winter holidays. Make these events feel fresh and different by adding a in some yummy snacks, a few games of cornhole, or even a mechanical bull to bring everyone together. Make sure you capture your team’s best moments with our videography and photography!

Venues for Fall
Entertainment and team building activities are great accents to fall events, but to make your event stand out, you need a great venue. Take advantage of Orlando’s warm fall season to select an outdoor venue with a view. If you’re planning an evening event where things may get a bit chill, consider an indoor venue. Planning events before the chill of winter will give you more options and the chance to make the right selection for your event.

Fun Planners wants to help you make the most of the Orlando event planning opportunities the new season brings. Contact us today to find out how we can take your event to the next level!

 

Throw The Best Back-To-School Bash

The rush of back-to-school excitement each August becomes a busy blur of packed schedules as students stock up on supplies, finish summer homework, and prepare to return to school. Take a break to celebrate the end of a great vacation!  These Orlando event planning tips can help you throw the back-to-school bash of the summer.

Cool Down Bash
August is one of Florida’s hottest months, which can make people retreat indoors to the comfort of their air conditioner. To add an icy twist to a traditional pool party, bring in a snow cone machine, a water tag maze, or a surf machine and invite guests to cool off together.

Pre-Sports Season Bash
Before the hectic hustle of daily sports practice and games becomes the daily routine, get young athletes excited for another year with sports-themed games. The inflatable basketball challenge or soccer kick game is a great way to have fun and help teammates bond before the season officially begins.

Night-Time Bash
To avoid the Florida heat and opt for a more relaxing party activity, host a movie night under the night sky with an inflatable projector screen. Guests can sit on picnic blankets and laugh together over a throwback film or new release while munching on classic snacks like popcorn or snow cones

For The Parents
The fun of back-to-school isn’t just for kids — have parents gather for mingling and Hors D’oeurves, or to chat about the upcoming year over drinks and darts. After a long summer, everyone deserves a night out to catch up and get ready for the new school year.

Fun Planners has more Orlando event planning tips and creative ideas for any occasion. Contact us to find out how we can help your next event be the best it can be!

 

Stick To Your Budget And Still Plan A Great Event

Organizing an Orlando corporate event is enough stress on its own, but making sure that you don’t go over budget is the real challenge. However, there’s no more need to worry about going over budget —with these tips, you can make your money go a long way and plan an amazing event!

Entertainment
The entertainment at an event is what people really remember. Some couples spend the most time choosing the band for their wedding because they understand the importance of the DJ; they can make or break the event! This step should be your top priority, so even if you need to shift around the budget, the high-quality entertainment will be worth it. Push a generous amount of funds toward live entertainment like performers, celebrity impersonators, or even cigar rollers to ensure that your corporate event buzzes with excitement!

Good Eats
When planning your corporate event, remember that great food is guaranteed to pair well with great entertainment. After all, your guests will be doing the majority of their conversing over the cuisine you’ve decided to serve. Delicious bites are not only the key to conversation but a great way to make sure your event flows without any dull or standstill moments. If people love your catering choice, they’re sure to stick around to chat and eat until the end of the event.

Decor
After choosing your theme or color scheme, leave enough room in your budget for the essential decorative touches that make your event pop, and cut any unnecessary decor. When you focus on decorative staples that stand out the most like centerpieces and balloons, you can go on a hefty shopping spree at a low-priced market like Dollar Tree and stock up on items at better prices than where you can get these items than at big party superstores. That way, you can stock up on more of the items that count the most, and avoid extra expenses.

Gift Bags
Gift bags are a symbol of good hostship and a warm way to send your guests off, but they’re commonly seen as excessive and unnecessary. For a classy finishing touch on a great evening, include one food item of your choice and a handwritten thank you note inside. A small, sweet snack is more practical than multiple presents that turn into a heavy hassle. The most cost-effective way to give your guests something they’ll actually enjoy is to add a wrapped macaroon, cookie, or chocolate bites to each gift bag!

An Orlando corporate event doesn’t have to break the bank; in fact, you can plan an exciting, memorable event and still stay within your budget. Contact us today to find out how we can help!

Why Themed Events Are Your New Best Friend

Think themed parties are just for kids? Think again. Themes are a rising trend, changing the game for Orlando event planning and helping people plan better than ever before. Think back to Halloweens when you were younger — there’s no denying that the best parties were the ones where you could dress as fancy, funny, or spooky as you wished. Choosing a theme gives your guests a chance to get excited about your event and prepare for it with a costume, making it magical and memorable for all who attend.

Conversation Pieces
We’ve all been to that event where the crowd stands awkwardly still for hours, making painful small talk until the party’s over. Themes are the perfect excuse for people to strike up conversations, whether it’s by giving a compliment or laughing about each other’s costumes. Themes open the forum for new conversations and instantly make bonding between guests easier.

Beyond The Costume
Dress-up themes are great, but coordinating them with themed activities makes for a truly exciting event! For some friendly competition, you can host a Survivor themed event and assign team colors for guests to wear while being challenged to inflatable race courses or carnival games. For a more mysterious theme, you can host a Masquerade Casino where guests are encouraged to tap into their creativity and sport their most extravagant masks and apparel. Whichever form of entertainment you choose, there’s always a great theme to go with it.

Did We Mention The Photo-Ops?
Do you want people to keep chatting about how great your event was, even long after it’s over? Games, activities, and food are always highlights of an event, but the photos your guests capture will really make the memories stick. Before you know it, guests will be snapping and sharing all of their favorite pictures from the night, which is a great way to use social media to your advantage and get your brand and event out there.

Whether you have a birthday, company picnic, or other occasion coming up, be sure to use these tips to make your next Orlando event planning experience one to remember.

Drawing In the Crowds: How To Publicize Your Event!

Planning an event takes a lot of work; you’ve picked a venue, figured out all of the events and entertainment, and organized all the food you could ever need. Everything is going perfectly, and you’re certain your event will be a smash hit.

But what if nobody shows up?

Publicizing your event is just as important as planning the event itself. If nobody knows about it but you, who’s going to attend?

Luckily, getting the word out can be easy in today’s highly-connected world. Here are a few key steps to ensure that your event receives the maximum amount of exposure.

  • Solidify your event’s schedule and plan your publicity strategy around it.
  • Create publicity pieces like newsletter articles and/or ads, radio spots, or online articles. You might also consider getting local shops and companies to give out discounted deals or flyers.
  • Design and send out tangible invitations, programs, posters, and tickets to the local community. Make sure you send electronic invites and deals to people on your email list as well!
  • Create an event page on your website. If you don’t have a website, it’s time to create one, because people who see your ads or receive invites will likely search you out online.
  • Create a Facebook event page! This will enable people to find, follow, and share information on your event. It also makes it easy to make your guests aware of any last-minute changes.
  • If you don’t have a Twitter account for your business or organization, now’s the time to make one. Create hashtags to promote your event, and plan fun contests for your attendees to spread the word with!
  • Create a promotional video and post it on your social media accounts, as well as on YouTube, to give people an idea of what your event is going to be like so they won’t want to miss it!
  • Include links to all of your social media on your website, and vice versa. That way, people can find out more information and are more likely to share your event with others online.
  • Register your event on a variety of online event calendars. This is going to let people looking for an event find yours right away!

Now that you have a publicity plan, it’s time to make sure your event matches all the hype! Orlando event planning has never been easier — the experts at Fun Planner will ensure that your event goes perfectly.

Questions to Ask Before Booking a Venue

Finding the perfect venue for your next event can feel like a never-ending quest! As you’re searching, make sure that you know exactly what to ask so that your contract lays out all the details, “what-ifs,” and prevents you from being surprised with fees later on! Take a look at some questions you need to ask before committing to a venue.

Questions About Rates and Policies

  1. What does the rental rate include?
  2. How much is the security deposit, and how much of it is refundable?
  3. What is your cancellation policy?
  4. If there is a cancellation fee but the venue gets re-booked, will those payments be taken into account when calculating my fee?
  5. Does the venue have any restrictions?
  6. Does the venue require any additional insurance?
  7. Are there cleaning fees or overtime charges?
  8. What happens if fewer people attend than expected?
  9. When is the final guest count due?
  10. Are there any other functions going on during the day that could interrupt my event?
  11. Do you have a designated event supervisor on the day of? If not, who will be my contact person?

Questions About Set Up and Tear Down

  1. How long will I have to set up and tear down the event? If there are any associated fees, please include those in the proposal.
  2. What is the absolute earliest I can set up?
  3. When does the event need to be over by?

Questions About Suppliers

  1. Is there an on-site caterer? If so, what do they provide, and are there multiple packages available?
  2. How experienced is the chef?
  3. Are there food and drink minimums, and could we replace the rental fee with this cost?
  4. Can I bring outside suppliers? If so, is there a fee?
  5. Do you have a list of preferred suppliers/vendors?
  6. Do you have an exclusive vendor list?

Questions About Amenities

  1. Is WiFi provided? If so, what is the fee?
  2. Are technicians, cameras, microphones, and A/V equipment provided, or will they need to be rented?
  3. How many bathrooms are available for use?
  4. Does the venue have its own event staff?

Questions About Accessibility

  1. Is parking provided? If so, what is the fee, and how many spaces will be available? If there are not enough spaces for guests to park on-site, what is the next best option?
  2. What are the best ways for guests to get to and from the location?
  3. Is the venue accessible and comfortable for guests with limited mobility?

After you have communicated with the venue, it’s important that all verbal discussions are confirmed in emails or written contracts, that way there is recorded proof of all fees and policies. This will help guarantee that your Florida corporate event runs smoothly. If you have any questions or want to learn more about how we can help you plan your next event, contact us today!

Start Off Strong At Your Next Event

We all know that small talk can be painful — after all, you can only ask someone about the weather so many times! We’ve put together a guide to help you kick off an event that makes your guests comfortable and helps them meet one another right off the bat.

Name Tag Swap

Dive right into the event with an early icebreaker, which minimizes any uncomfortable time at the beginning. Something like a ‘name tag swap’ is perfect! As guests arrive, ask them to intentionally select the wrong name tag. After everyone has arrived and chosen their incorrect name tags, instruct everyone to mingle about the room searching for their name — but there’s a catch! No one can get their name tag back until they’ve asked the other person three questions about themselves.

Live Polls

This is another excellent option for an early icebreaker! This is especially helpful for events with larger crowds. Questions can range from, “How energized are you feeling right now?” to “Where do you want to stop for dessert on the way home?” Conducting a live poll can help the host read the room, liven the atmosphere, and set the tone for your event.

Keep Their Hands Busy

It’s much easier for your guests to dive into a conversation when they’re doing something creative with their hands! If you’re hosting a non-profit event, plan for an area where attendees can create something relevant to the organization, such as decorating cards to send to children at the hospital. If it’s a holiday event, consider setting up an ornament or cookie decorating table. Plan for guests to decorate their own name tags or even cover individual tables with tablecloths everyone can doodle on. The options are endless! Your guests will immediately have something to talk about, whether it’s the project itself or passing materials down the table, and you will feel happy and relieved to see your guests comfortable and mingling.

One Word Stories

Select three to five attendees to come up onstage and create a ‘one-word story.’ Each person can only add one word at a time, which creates a comical, entertaining story! This can be done multiple times. Make sure you also have someone onstage who keeps the participants moving quickly.

Orlando event planning is easy when you partner with Fun Planners. Contact us today to talk about how we can help you create the event of your dreams!