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Category Archive: Florida Event Planning

Tips and Tricks for Your Themed Event

So you’re taking a step into the world of Orlando event planning! Whether you’re planning sorority bid day or an office celebration, you want your party to be memorable, exciting, and most importantly — on the theme! Hosting an unforgettable experience is easy when you pick (and stick) to a creative theme. Fun Planners has some tips on how to give your guests a night to remember.

Picking the Perfect Theme
This is the most important step. You want your theme to be original and entertaining. General themes like western and decades are fun, but don’t be afraid to get specific! How about a night under the sea in a mermaid-filled coral reef? Or a glow-tastic blacklight shindig? You could even throw a sweet Candyland birthday bash!  Whatever you choose, make sure everything that follows is consistent.

Party Decor
When setting up for your big blowout, details matter. You don’t have to be a big spender to create an immersive environment. Party decor can be inexpensive and should fit the theme. You can get anything from futuristic events with color-changing tables to wild west sets with a western stunt show.

It’s All About the Food
A guest can tell if it was a good party by how happy their belly is when they leave. Making sure that your guests have enough to eat will ensure a successful affair.  Food is another opportunity for you to showcase your theming expertise, too! Try making “cannonball” meatballs for a pirate crew, or have a steady supply of Sun Chips and Milky Ways for your intergalactic adventure. Cupcakes are also an easy canvas to make an impressively themed dessert.

Make a Big Purchase
You don’t need to blow your budget in order to have a good time, but consider splurging on a main attraction. Casino night? Have some card tables set up. Carnival? Hire a juggler, face painter, or even a fortune teller. Rent an inflatable to amp up the hype, or a photo booth for your guests to keep a reminder of the greatest party of all time.

Whatever theme you settle on, if you let your creativity shine, your party is sure to succeed.  For more ideas on Orlando event planning or to get a quote, contact us online or call 407-955-4949.

Local Venues for the Summer

As temperatures rise, make sure you consider summer-friendly venues for the new season. Fun Planners, an Orlando event planning company, has a list of venues we recommend for summertime events.

Central Florida Fairgrounds
The Central Florida Fairgrounds and Exposition Park is the go-to space for concerts and carnivals. The amphitheater is perfect for bands to perform in front of large crowds at a music festival, while the grassy field is large enough to accommodate an entire fair equipped with Ferris wheels and other amusement park rides. The main building is convenient if you need a break from the summertime temperatures to bask in air conditioning.

Aero
Located in the heart of downtown, this glitzy rooftop club includes a dancefloor, private cabanas, and quality bottle service. The lounge terrace gives you a view of downtown Orlando in a South Beach-style atmosphere, where the DJ spins dance hits under the starry skies. Think summertime attire and neon lights for the ultimate dance party or rave.

Orchid Garden
For formal, upscale events, the Orchid Garden at Church Street Station is your place. From its wrought-iron rafters and sweeping staircases to overhead balconies and outdoor courtyard, this banquet ballroom is for the grandest and sophisticated celebrations. The venue is a recreation of a Victorian palace, with its elegant and romantic architecture, chandeliers, and furniture (including Chiavari chairs).

Winter Park Farmers’ Market
Located on New England Avenue in Winter Park, this old train depot has been restored into a historical landmark. With its original brick walls and sliding wood doors, this antique building gives farmhouse feels that are great for weddings or other celebratory events. This 2,800-square-foot facility seats 180 guests and is air-conditioned for those hot summer days. It’s equipped with commercial refrigeration and an ice machine. Your rental would include tables and chairs. All you need is your guests and food, then you’re good to go!

East End Market
Located in the Audubon Park Garden District, East End Market is an indoor marketplace that supports small and local businesses, with an emphasis on the culinary. It houses food and retail businesses, such as a full alcoholic bar, a farm-to-table chef-service cuisine, a craft coffee roaster, inspired floral shop. Get comfy in their courtyard while sitting under string lights and among a collection of cacti. The venue is perfect for indie events markets that can showcase local food trucks, vendors, artists, authors, musicians, and more.

When you use these tips to increase registration, Orlando event planning can be simple. Contact us online today to find out how we can help.

Emergency Kit

The day of your event is finally here. The flowers are beautifully coordinated, the catering company came an hour early (at no extra cost), and there isn’t a napkin out of place. Everything looks perfect, and you breathe a sigh of relief. But little do you know that in an hour, the conference speaker is going to show up with spinach stuck in her teeth. Your assistant is going to complain about a massive headache, the guest of honor will spill pasta sauce all over her shirt, and your heels will be bloody and raw from the back of your shoes. Luckily, your trusty emergency kit is going to get you through!

Backup Flash Drives
You can’t rely on a solid internet connection. Plan to have any important music or presentations backed up on a flash drive!

Tape
You can’t go wrong with duct tape and clear, double-sided tape. Gaffer’s tape is great as well; while it’s more expensive than duct tape, it can be used to secure loose cables to stage floors, podiums, and other surfaces for safety or concealment.

Sunscreen
No one wants to leave an event with a sunburn. Pack extra sunscreen and encourage your staff to do the same!

Chalk and Chalkboards
You never know when you’re going to need a last-minute sign! Prepare by packing your own chalkboards and brightly colored chalk.

Portable Phone Chargers
It goes without saying that you’ll need your phone for everything from emergencies to last-minute schedule changes, but if your phone dies, that’s going to be nearly impossible. Bring both an iPhone charger and an Android charger, just in case.

First Aid Kit
Don’t leave for a long day at an event without Ibuprofen, band-aids, gauze, tweezers, and hand sanitizer gel.

Sharpies And Pens
Whether you’re looking to label staff members’ phone chargers or scrambling to find pens to leave at the name tag table, a Sharpie will always come in handy.

Switchable Handheld Mic
Wireless mics tend to fail just at the moment you need them, so plan ahead by bringing your own handheld microphone. Handheld mics are particularly helpful when your entertainment is stationary and won’t get tangled in a cord!

Stain Remover
No one wants to walk around sporting unsightly stains. Save your crew and attendees (or even yourself) from embarrassment by packing a stain removal pen.

Anti-Itch Spray
This is especially important for an outdoor event! Make sure to be proactive and pack Benadryl and bug spray as well.

If you work in Orlando event planning, this is a great list to help you start building your own emergency kit. Contact us today to find out how we can help you plan your next event!

How to Prepare an Inclusive Buffet

If you’re used to eating everything in sight, you probably won’t consider what’s going on in a vegetarian’s mind when they’re staring at an ‘all you can meat’ buffet. Your tasty rib eye becomes a tragic eye sore to your guest. Don’t rely on the bread rolls or salad to feed your pickier or more particular guests! We can help you make everyone happy.

Ask for Food Allergies or Dietary Restrictions With Your RSVP
One of the quickest and easiest ways to make sure that your guests aren’t avoiding the buffet table is to include dietary restriction questions on your RSVP. Let your guests know that they don’t have to eat dinner beforehand because they’re just as welcome as everyone else!

Always Come Prepared
If you don’t know what your attendees can eat, the safest option is to come prepared regardless. It’s a good idea to cater to the better-known dietary restrictions: meat, nuts, dairy, and gluten. Plan separate meals for vegetarians, vegans, people allergic to peanuts, the lactose intolerant, and the gluten intolerant; at the very least, make sure that your meals can be modified to meet these restrictions. Consider using a dueling menu so that you can serve multiple entrees in an easy and professional way!

Budget Accordingly
Changing your food options to satisfy your guests could be as simple as adding a mushroom gravy option beside your turkey gravy, or chocolate chip cookies instead of peanut butter ones. Giving an inexpensive, allergy-friendly second option could literally be a life saver.

Label Foods
It can be difficult to flag down someone familiar with a dish’s ingredients — and you don’t want to put your guests in that uncomfortable position. Take the time to create decorative food labels for each item! Propping up these little cards could be the difference between someone with a peanut allergy dipping their spring roll into a sweet chili sauce as opposed to a spicy peanut sauce.

Worth the Work
Though it might feel meticulous to plan meals around different diets, the outcome is worth it. Talk to a professional caterer about how they can help! Caterers are trained to plan for dietary restrictions and can create a variety of delicious, unique foods that will meet everyone’s needs.

If you’re in the Orlando area and beginning to plan the food for your next event, reach out to the Orlando event management team at Fun Planners. Contact us online or at 407-955-4949 today!

You Know You’re an Event Planner When…

Coffee? Check. Clipboard? Check. More coffee? Check. An extra battery pack and your favorite black flats? Check. When it comes to being an event planner, these things are common, but there’s more to the job than coffee! These are the everyday signs that you’re definitely an event planner.

  1. When you wake up on event day and it’s sunny, you give a little cheer, regardless of whether your event is indoors or outdoors.
  2. Your wardrobe is basically all black.
  3. Your desk is drowning in past event swag.
  4. You dream in Excel.
  5. It’s impossible for you to attend an event as a guest and not make a million mental notes (or feel constant sympathy for the event organizer), and you have to resist the urge to lend a helping hand.
  6. You have notebooks in your car, by your bed, and at your desk.
  7. When you tell people your job title, you always cringe when they say, “That sounds fun!” Yes, it’s fun, they’re not wrong, but you’re not getting paid to party!
  8. Weekends? Holidays? What are those?
  9. A color-coded schedule gives you a thrill.
  10. Your friends and family gave up long ago on trying to surprise you with a spontaneous road trip.
  11. No one can multitask like you can.
  12. Growing up, you were always the party host.
  13. You have an emergency kit on hand at all times, and it contains everything from deodorant to nail polish remover to aspirin. Yes, it’s a random assortment, but every single item has saved the day at one point or another.
  14. The local coffee shop knows your name (and order) by heart.
  15. You’ve had a nightmare the night before an event.
  16. When you and your friends are going out for the night, everyone always looks to you for the plan and itinerary.
  17. You have a plan A, but that’s not all — you’re prepared all the way through plan Z.
  18. As a child, you always organized your toys.
  19. Once upon a time, when you were new to the industry, you wore your favorite heels to an event, but boy did you learn quickly. Now, you only wear shoes that can withstand at least 12 hours of constant walking (and let’s be honest, they’re black).
  20. You have about 50 to-do lists, and sometimes they end up all over the place.
  21. Your “vacation style” consists of detailed packing spreadsheets and a carefully planned itinerary.
  22. If someone tries to make plans with you, even if it’s months in advance, you have to check your calendar.
  23. You have a funny (and/or traumatizing) story about every venue within a 30-mile radius.
  24. It doesn’t matter what the mess is — you’re confident that you can fix it with duct tape.
  25. You’ve used past event swag as a last-minute gift.
  26. You feel naked without a clipboard and a headset.
  27. The week before an event, you check your weather app every five minutes.
  28. If anything goes wrong on vacation, everyone always looks to you for plan B.
  29. When your friends complain about their 9-5 work week, you resist the urge to point out how lucky they are to have a consistent schedule.
  30. You’ve developed a voice that sounds like you’re speaking into a megaphone, but you’re not; it’s your event voice.

Does this sound like you? If so, don’t stress about Orlando event management — we can help. Contact us today online or at 407-955-4949.

 

Select a Seating Style

How much do the seating arrangements for your next event matter? The answer is a lot more than you think. A successful event is led by a successful seating arrangement. It means that your guests have a clear view of the speaker; that they’re comfortable; that communication is streamlined and simple, both between your speaker and between attendees. Take a look at popular seating arrangements to see what will work for you:

Theatre Style
Pros: This common style, where chairs are organized in consecutive straight rows, works well for large events of over 150-200 people. Space is optimized, so you will likely be able to fit more guests than expected, and every seat is frontward facing to guarantee an easy view of the stage.

Cons: The audience is closed in, making it difficult for people to enter and exit rows. If you’re planning an event where you hope to incorporate audience interaction, this arrangement is not ideal, as it hinders communication amongst attendees. It will also be nearly impossible to serve any food or beverage.

Classroom Style
Pros: In this style, chairs and trestle tables are aligned in straight rows. Each table has about 1-3 participants, and you can group tables together. All of the seats are facing to the front of the room, meaning everyone gets a good view of the entertainment, and it’s easy to take notes or set up laptops. It’s also much simpler to both serve and consume any food or beverage!

Cons: Depending on how many attendees you’re expecting, this style could also close in your audience, making it difficult for people to enter or exit rows without causing a disruption. The tables will reduce your seating capacity, and the audience cannot comfortably interact with each other.

Banquet Style
Pros: This round, dinner table style of seating is ideal for events where you’re encouraging audience interaction and participation! All audience members are fully facing each other. This is a great option for dinners, awards, weddings, or more informal events.

Cons: Not everyone will be directly facing the front of the room. Where do you hope to direct the majority of your audience’s attention? Will there be a speaker or entertainment that they won’t be able to see as well, or will the speaker only command a small portion of the evening, with the rest left to small group discussion? Consider these things before choosing this style.

Cabaret Style
Pros: Similar to banquet style, cabaret-style has an open end at each roundtable. The audience is seated in an arc facing inwards, and no one’s back is to the front of the room. Presentations or various forms of entertainment are more easily absorbed and enjoyed. Food and beverage are easily consumed.

Cons: Consider the total number of attendees you’re expecting. This style is an inefficient use of floor space, as well as table space, since you’re not maximizing the number of chairs that could fit at each table.

Are you struggling to choose a seating arrangement for your next event? Maybe you’re debating which colors to use, meeting with potential venues to narrow down your choices, or just learning how to better manage your Orlando event planning stress. We can help! Give us a call at 407-955-4949.

 

Prioritizing Security and Safety

When it comes to event planning, things like catering, venue location, and entertainment tend to take precedence over security. But safety is just as crucial to the attendee experience as anything else! By investing in quality security, your events and staff can be prepared for everything.

Document Everything
Everything needs to be properly documented in order to keep your insurance premium in check and keep your staff informed. This is especially true in the event of a medical emergency. Just remember, if something happens and you wonder, “Should I write this down?” — the answer is yes. It’s better to be safe than sorry!  

Enlist a Medical Team
Prepare for medical emergencies by hiring an approachable, knowledgeable medical team. It’s vital that you have professionals available on-site who can handle everything from providing a band-aid to administering CPR.

Lock Down Event WiFi
Your WiFi should always be password protected and only shared on a need-to-know basis. Make sure a venue’s network is secured by WPA and equipped with AP-isolation; this blocks other users from accessing devices logged into the network.

Create an Emergency Response Plan
Find out your venue’s procedures for active shooter situations and mass evacuations, and mark evacuation routes clearly on the day of the event. Map the closest route to the hospital. Decide what your security team will do with any unidentified bags or boxes, ensure the venue is equipped to handle all traffic, and know how to lock down the facility — just in case. It’s also crucial to establish a chain of command so that every staff member knows exactly what their role entails.

In addition, your emergency response should detail a crisis communications plan. While we can never be sure what the next crisis will look like, you can plan how you would communicate with attendees, employees, and the general public. Put together a crisis communications team and identify your communication channels ahead of time.

Get a Screening Strategy
It’s important to develop a screening strategy for both attendees and employees. Make sure to equally utilize technology and your security team! Metal detectors and magnetometers are great tools, but if they aren’t an option, don’t turn your nose up at a solid bag check.

Hire a credible security firm that’s supplemented with off-duty policemen, who are licensed to carry a firearm at events, and then meet together before the event kicks off. Communicate your layout and any areas of concern, and provide two-way radios and a detailed site map that shows emergency exits, bathrooms, stages, and concession stands. Many police departments post off-hours opportunities on their internal websites, so that’s a great place to start.

At Fun Planners, we believe that investing in high-quality security greatly benefits you, your staff, your attendees, and your event. Don’t hesitate to contact us with any Orlando event planning questions! For more information on how we can help you and your next event, give us a call at 407-955-4949.

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.

Which “Friends” Character Do You Plan Like?

Thanks to streaming services like Netflix, the classic 90s show “Friends” remains as popular as when it first aired. However, the real question is — which Friend has your event planning style? Take the quiz and find out!

1. One of your best friends is engaged! She’s asked you to help plan her wedding. What do you do?

A) Not wanting to only be the wedding planner, you launch into your ‘maid of honor’ speech.

B) You schedule your first meeting, then buy a binder and new highlighters so you can color code notes.

C) You panic, then make an awkward joke to try and get out of it.

D) You start crying — you LOVE weddings.

E) You’ve collected things for her wedding for years, so you pull out your box of them to get inspired.

F) You say yes and celebrate over a pizza.

2. The wedding is 3 months away, and you find out that her venue might shut down next month. What do you do?

A) You march over to the venue and demand they stay open.

B) You tell the bride that you can make it happen in a month; if she wants to wait, you begin calling other venues on your alphabetized list.

C) You go directly to the venue to tell them how upset you are, but get there and realize you’re too nervous, so you start searching for a new place.

D) You tell your friend you can get her a deal with the local museum.

E) You ask a friend to distract her with shopping, and fix the problem while they’re out.

F) Knowing it’s her dream, you go directly to the venue and offer to make any deal in exchange for keeping it open.

3. It’s the wedding day! The DJ was supposed to arrive a half hour ago and isn’t answering his phone. What do you do?

A) You surprise your friend by singing one of your original songs while she walks down the aisle.

B) You aren’t worried; you brought several backup CDs.

C) After leaving him a snarky voicemail, you make an awkward announcement and jokingly (but seriously) ask if anyone has an auxiliary cord.

D) You make an emotional speech about the love the bride and groom share, then end by asking if anyone has an auxiliary cord.

E) You search for a friend or family member to be the “ceremony DJ.”

F) You offer to sing, but your friend begs you not to; instead, you plug in your own phone to play music.

RESULTS:

Mostly As: You’re Phoebe! You’re creative, quirky, and make all of your events special and memorable.

Mostly Bs: You’re Monica! You’re confident and organized, and your chic events always have multiple backup plans.

Mostly Cs: You’re Chandler! Although others know you for your humor and quick wit, you take your job very seriously and go above and beyond for your clients.

Mostly Ds: You’re Ross! You’re romantic and intelligent, and weddings are likely your favorite thing to plan.

Mostly Es: You’re Rachel! You’re spontaneous, driven, and all of your events are planned with style.

Mostly Fs: You’re Joey! Your clients feed off your charm and energy, and guests always enjoy themselves at your events.

No matter which Friends character you’re like, Orlando event planning is easy when you work with the experts at Fun Planners. Contact us today to learn how we can make your next event one to remember!

2018 Corporate Event Trends

Looking to spruce up your 2018 Florida corporate events in 2018? Look no further, here are our best tips and tricks to starting the New Year off on the right foot.

It’s All About Venue

Nowadays, people look for the venue to be the shining star of any corporate event. It’s time to say goodbye to the days of renting a tent in your company yard. Whether you want to go big or small, it’s important to have a unique venue in mind. Pick one that stands apart from the crowd. It can be inside, outside, it just has to also be Instagram-worthy!

You Can’t Forget the Food

Another make it or break it deal for event-goers is the food. In 2018, everyone is a considered a foodie! It’s time to stash away the chicken nuggets and the french fries, attendees have a different palette this time around. Keep in mind food trends mentioned in our previous blog. It’s important to keep in mind that with the vegan community growing every day, you’ll want food that fits every diet! People are also more willing to eat locally at corporate events, so make sure you have a stockpile of local vendors that you love.

Be Different

Something that shaped 2017 was a disruption in the status quo. Amazon was disrupting the retail industry, Uber was taking over taxis, and the list continues! You want to make sure you put on the best event you can, so keep this in mind when planning for 2018. The bigger the better, and this doesn’t necessarily mean price wise. Simply, think about what attendees are used to at events and amp it up a bit. Make sure it’s different, it’s unique, and it’s something everyone will love!

If you’re looking to host a Florida corporate event, look no further. Fun Planners can help you dive into the New Year with our rides, entertainment, and innovative technology. Feel free to contact us anytime at 407-955-4949.