Get Outdoors in Orlando

Have you been searching for the perfect outdoor Florida corporate event venue? Take a look at some of our favorite places where your employees and clients can marvel at Florida’s natural scenery.

Island Grove Wine Company
Home to over eight acres of a thriving botanical garden, the Island Grove Wine Company was founded on simple, local, eco-friendly values. They offer a lush, peaceful backdrop for any event, and their professional support staff helps you cover all the details. If you’re searching for a festive atmosphere, delicious food, and stunning scenery, this venue could be perfect for you.

Art and History Museums: Maitland
Are you hoping to find an outdoor venue that combines the beauty of nature with history? Host your next event at the only National Historic Landmark in the Greater Orlando Area. You can chat with new clients over cocktails in the spectacular Mayan Chapel and Courtyard, host fundraising event dinner in the Germaine Marvel Building, or enjoy a company picnic in the Main Garden.

Luxmore Grande Estate
From corporate luncheons to social gatherings, the Luxmore Grande Estate promises a picturesque, one-of-a-kind experience. This lakefront venue is over 20,000 square feet and can hold up to 200 guests.

Club Lake Plantation
This facility is the definition of “country elegance.” It’s perfect for corporate events, business meetings, company luncheons, or just a treat for your staff and co-workers! Their staff is committed to helping you invest in your employees and they continually go above and beyond.

The Capen House
Car show? Gala? Casino night? Company anniversaries? No matter the event, this beautifully restored, Victorian/Tudor revival style home from 1885 is a Winter Park historical treasure. Your guests can enjoy an evening as elegant as it is comfortable!

Paradise Cove
This unique venue is perfect for a company picnic, corporate event, or exciting team-building day outside of the office. Paradise Cove channels the tropical vibes of Key West to give your guests a relaxed day by the water. Enjoy jet skiing, lake cruises, and nighttime volleyball matches after the sun’s gone down.

No matter where you decide to host your next Florida corporate event, the team at Fun Planners can help you handle everything from catering to entertainment to team-building activities. Contact us today!

Planning Around The Weather

Between an unpredictable hurricane season, windy winters, and burning hot summer days, it can be a challenge to plan outdoor events in Florida. But a reliable plan is all you need for success! Find out how you can be prepared for anything.

Heat
When planning an event exposed to the sun, there are some things you should consider:

  • Have water readily available in multiple locations.
  • Set up sunscreen stands for purchase and application.
  • Be sure there is enough shade for everyone attending. If you have a speaker or musical act taking center stage, consider providing free sunglasses (which will be great publicity after the event), or moving that to the evening time.
  • Install misting fans throughout the event to keep your audience cool and refreshed. You can offer handheld misting fans available for purchase as well.
  • If your event has games, throw in a few water-themed activities. This is another chance to give your audience some free swag such as an event towel or dry T-shirt.

Rain
Rain can quickly ruin plans, especially when the event it’s outside. Even when storms are trying to bring the day to a screeching halt, you can:

  • Have umbrella and plastic coat stands available for purchase.
  • If your event is outside and in a now-muddy area, throw hay onto the sludge to absorb moisture and make walking easier.
  • Be sure that all attractions have tents with pointed ceilings to redirect the water.
  • If your event is inside and people are escaping the rain, have umbrella bags available and floor mats around the entrance.

Wind
One of the most frustrating things about being at a wind-stricken event is trying to hold everything together. Here’s what you can do:

  • Have weights and clips ready to hold loose items down to heavy furniture.
  • Double check tent pegs and tighten up flaps to prevent them from whipping around.
  • Consider setting up wind-breaking fabric walls around your event.
  • Have hair ties and headbands available at the nurse station, and set up signs so people know where to find them.

Cold
In can be tricky to throw an outdoor event in Florida’s winter. The following may help:

  • Have heated lamps positioned around the venue.
  • Set up games which require more activity and movement, and set up a fire for warmth (and roasting marshmallows) as well.
  • Consider blankets as a purchasable item or game prize.
  • Make sure hot beverages are available.

Any weather can be conquered if you take enough precautions. The Orlando event management team at Fun Planners wants to go the extra mile to ensure your event is a success. Contact us online or call at 407-995-4949 to learn how we can help!

How to Create a Budget

If you’re new to the world of Orlando event management, planning a budget can be intimidating. But it doesn’t have to be! With these suggestions, you can stay relaxed, on deadline, and under budget.

Don’t Procrastinate
Finances aren’t fun, and you might feel tempted to put off creating a budget. But it needs to be one of the very first things that you do! It determines every step forward.

Spreadsheets Are Your Friend
Spreadsheets are the way to go when it comes to creating and tracking your budget. Consider Google Sheets; it can be accessed from anywhere, multiple people can be in the document at once, and it displays live updates. Make sure you:

  • Record the budgeted expense versus the actual expense.
  • Identify deadlines for payments.
  • Break down every single item in your budget; don’t lump items together. While certain categories might make sense to group together now, it could get complicated later on if you need to make changes.

Details, Details, Details
The more details you record, the more accurate your budget is. If anything goes wrong, it’ll be easier to explain with details, and it’ll be easier to recycle your budget for similar events! A single surprise item can make the difference between being over and under budget. Add a column to your spreadsheet where you can write down any miscellaneous information, especially if your budget needs to be approved by someone who isn’t directly involved in the process and doesn’t understand why certain items are budgeted for.

Estimated Cost Versus Actual Cost
Look into similar events to understand the finances. Historical data will help get your estimated costs closer to your actual costs.

Don’t Underprice
While your budget might look nicer if you underprice an item, it will only lead to losing money in the long run.

Ask Vendors
Many vendors are happy to provide estimates. Offer as many details about your event as possible, and make sure that the vendor gives you a comprehensive breakdown so you know the price of gratuities, service fees, or tax.

Research
While it’s time-consuming to research a variety of venues, caterers, photographers, videographers, and AV companies, this can save a significant amount of money. Compare every option thoroughly before deciding.

The Rainy Day Fund
Build in 15-20% of your budget for plan B. Think about the worst case scenarios for your event — everything from a complete cancellation to a change in the weather — and plan accordingly. Resist the temptation to use this financial cushion to add luxury; only use it for emergencies.

When you work in Orlando event management, you spend a lot of time working with your budget. With these tips, you can plan and follow budgets with confidence! To find out how we can help make your next event memorable, contact us at 407-955-4949.

Shine on Social Media

Planning an event is one thing, but gathering attendees to come out and support it is another; without attendees, your event has no value! Strategic marketing is key to raising awareness. By using social media platforms to your advantage, your event can quickly become a success!

Facebook
Create an event page on Facebook that includes all the details about your event’s date, time, and location. Through this page, you can monitor audience engagement and interest, as well as provide a space for conversation about the event. It makes it easy for you to respond to questions (and for attendees to answer each other’s questions as well). By seeing which questions are asked often, you can understand what information is being poorly communicated and rectify it. Facebook event pages are also an excellent place to post any updates! Did the venue change? Post it. Did the times change? Post it. Is there important weather information that’s going to affect activities? Post it. Facebook events are easy for your attendees to share with their friends, meaning that you benefit from free, word-of-mouth marketing.

Facebook Live and Instagram Live
Streaming live video is a fun and engaging way to give people a behind-the-scenes look into your event. You can stream interviews with guest speakers, celebrities, or attendees, and answer any questions your followers may have. Overall, live video generates buzz and excitement for your event and makes guests feel like they’re “in on the secret.”

Instagram
Posting pictures is an easy way to get your attendees excited. Take pictures of the venue, decorations, catering, prizes, guest speakers, and more. With Instagram’s story feature, you can document and share day-by-day updates without clogging up your feed; and you can even save these stories in your highlight reel. Show the people who weren’t able to attend what they’re missing!

LinkedIn
LinkedIn allows you to market your event to professionals in your network. Leading up to your event, post updates and important information to your company’s page. Each time you post an update, it will appear on your subscribers’ newsfeed. It’s important to remember that most professionals scrolling through LinkedIn are looking for information, advice, or opportunities, so you want to make sure that you’re marketing the event to your audience. Show them how they can benefit from attending your event.

With these few strategies, it’s easy to use social media for your Orlando event management. Give us a call today to find out how we can partner with you to take your event to the next level!

Breaking The Ice

Another party, another chance to awkwardly hover around the buffet and spend your night glued to the chocolate fountain. But it doesn’t have to be this way! Let the Orlando event management team help you become a conversation wizard.

Questions to Ask
“I love that, where did you get it?Everyone loves getting a compliment, and most people love talking about their belongings — especially if they got them for a bargain. Ask about anything from their shoes to the digital notebook they’ve been taking notes in throughout the conference.

“What kind of work do you do?” It’s easy to start a conversation with someone when you know what they’re passionate about, so start by asking what they do. Ask questions to keep the conversation going; how long have they been at their job? How did they get started in this industry?

Comment on something positive. “The weather is beautiful tonight!” “Did you get a chance to hear the keynote speaker? I thought he was great.” “Great turnout, right?” Highlighting a positive aspect of the event is an easy way to initiate conversation. While stating something negative might feel like it gives you the opportunity to be funny, avoid it; it’s much riskier. If you insult the chef and the listener turns out to be the chef’s cousin, this won’t go well.

Tips to Remember
Know Breaking News. Before you attend an event, brush up on current events and breaking news. This is almost always an incredibly easy guarantee to start a conversation!

Search for Common Ground. As they’re sharing, make mental notes of what you have in common. These similarities are something you can bring up during a break or a lull as you talk!

Repeat as a Question. When in doubt, repeat the last few words the other person said, but repeat them almost uncertainly — like a question. This will nearly always encourage them to continue talking, and it gives you more opportunities to further the conversation.

Just Keep Asking About Them. Don’t stop asking about the other person! People love to talk about themselves, especially when someone is genuinely interested. (This also prevents you from rambling to overcompensate for your nervousness.) If there’s a lull in the conversation, don’t fill it with your own words; use it to propel the conversation forward and ask more questions. The key is to focus on being interested, not being interesting. 

If you’re in the Orlando area and would like to throw a party so that you can try out your new conversation starters, reach out to the Orlando event management team at Fun Planners. Contact us online or at 407-955-4949 today!

New Year, New Venue

While your basic hotel conference room can work great as an event venue, there’s no need to use it as a fallback option — Orlando is home to a wide variety of unique event venues! Take a look at a few of our favorite options that are sure to impress and wow your guests.

The Acre Orlando
In the words of Orlando Weekly, the Acre Orlando is “the best event space you never knew existed.” If you’re looking for a venue with rustic charm, natural light, tropical gardens, and tin-roofed charm, the Acre Orlando could be a great choice for your Orlando corporate event, grand celebration, wedding, or bridal/baby shower.

Leu Gardens
Located minutes from downtown Orlando, Leu Gardens is a semi-tropical, botanical oasis. It’s home to nearly 50 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds, lakes, and trails, all sheltered by 200-year-old oaks and seas of camellias. They host weddings, receptions, and private events.

The Orlando Science Center
Did you know that the Orlando Science Center offers 200,000 square feet of exhibits turned event space? Whether you want a backdrop featuring a modern skyline or prehistoric dinosaurs, it’s easy to transform this space into your dream venue. Make sure to check out their meetings and events guide!

Hub 925
This urban loft specializes in weddings, receptions, meetings, and private and corporate events. If you’re hoping for an “industrial chic” feel, this is the venue for you. They have excellent customer service, and you can even take a virtual interactive tour of the space before going in for a meeting.

Mathers Social Gathering
Located in the heart of downtown, Mathers is an antique-filled, parlor-style cocktail lounge. They describe themselves as “a stylish, dark wood, exposed-brick filled hideaway housed on the third floor of a vintage furniture store from the late 1800s.” They can accommodate 100 people seated and 200 people standing.

The Balcony Orlando
Are you hoping for a rooftop event? This elegant venue hovers 11 stories over the heart of downtown Orlando. Featuring over 10,000 square feet of outdoor space and 3,000 square feet of indoor space, guests can enjoy sweeping skyline views under quaint market lighting.

Gallery J Venue
Self-described as “a world of secrets hidden within an office warehouse complex and re-purposed art studio,” Gallery J prides themselves on being “Orlando’s most creative event venue.” Hoping for a vintage Hollywood feel? A “Chicago meets Philly vibe?” An evening in Paris or Mardi Gras in New Orleans? All possible at Gallery J!

SNAP! Space
This indoor-outdoor, upscale, warehouse art gallery was named by BizBash as one of the top 5 venues in Orlando. However, keep in mind that they will not host weddings, promoted events, or ticketed functions.

The Pointe Orlando
If you’re planning an exceptionally large event, The Pointe Orlando might be what you’re looking for — they can host up to 10,000 guests! This venue is a great option for block-style parties or for events where guests are hoping to eat and party late into the night.

Whether you’re planning an Orlando corporate event, a wedding, or even an awards ceremony, there’s an Orlando venue for you. Contact us to find out how we can help you take your event to the next level!

 

The Dream Team

Trying to put together a perfect team for event management can be tricky. You don’t want too many people, you don’t want too few, and you need to make sure everyone is trustworthy and qualified. By investing time into finding and hiring your dream team, you’re investing in the success of your future event!

The Strategy:
Before diving into hiring your dream team and assigning roles, devise a plan. There should always be three things that are clearly laid out: hierarchy, expectations, and role definitions. Establish an official flow of communication and who bears which responsibilities. First, determine your team captain, and then identify who the head of each committee will be. The heads will report to the team captain.

The Roles:
The Team Captain
The team captain should be in charge of monitoring overall progress, managing deadlines, delegating tasks, and inspiring employees. Make sure this person has excellent time management and communication skills — they will be responsible for setting the tone and goals and supporting and encouraging the team.

The Program Administrators
While your team captain should be driven by their vision, this team should be comprised of people driven by logistics. They’re responsible for tackling the details so that the event can come to life! These details include estimating attendance numbers, finding the perfect caterer, negotiating with venues, selecting speakers, and coordinating schedules. Consider putting together a team of no more than two! This lets them bounce ideas off each other without excessive collaboration. If you have a large event and don’t feel comfortable with a small number of program administrators, make sure you or your team captain is specific in assigning each member their responsibilities.

The Floor
Your on-floor team is invaluable. They oversee security, crowd management, and tech support. They set up, clean up, and tear down, and are the members of your team who will directly engage with event attendees. Make sure that they’re friendly, easy to talk with, and are prepared to answer attendees’ questions.

The Treasury Committee
It’s crucial that your finances are carefully planned and managed, and you want an intelligent, transparent team taking care of them. The treasury committee ensures that your budget is well-planned and monitored, and they help you get the most out of your budget and event. They search for sponsors and funding, set budgets for sub-committees, take care of payments, and determine the scope of the event.

The Creatives
Your creative team is responsible for giving your event a consistent look and personality. After ensuring that they understand the event’s goals — and after they have a definitive budget — encourage them to let their imagination run wild. Remember, the head of the committee will have to run large ideas past the team captain! This team will manage everything from the floor layout to audience/media interactions to t-shirt and app designs.

It can be a puzzle to piece together the Orlando event management dream team, but it’s worth it. Working with people you trust ensures your event’s success and gives you a piece of mind! To learn about how Fun Planners can help, contact us 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.

 

A Picture’s Worth a 1,000 Guests

As of August 2018, Instagram has 1 billion active users and is thought by 60% of influencers to be the best overall platform for engagement. So how can you use it to promote your event — both before and after it happens? Learn more with the tips below.

Share Your Story
With Instagram’s Story feature, you can offer your audience relevant, organic updates as they happen. You can post on your story at a much more frequent rate than is socially acceptable on your feed, making it easier to share “the little things” that create hype. Before you share something with your audience, always ask yourself: does this work best as a post or on my story?

Attendee Interaction
Your story is also a great place to prioritize audience interaction. You can ask open-ended questions, take a poll, add relevant music, let your followers ask questions, or ask them to rank something. Because of these interactions, followers feel invested in your event and will keep an eye on your story knowing that you’ll be asking for their input.

Sneak Peaks
As you begin to set up your venue, show your audience “exclusive sneak peeks” by sharing videos on your story or photos on your feed. Give guests an idea of what the final table setting might look like, brag on a table full of incredible raffle gifts, or share the name of the winning venue. While you don’t want to show everything that you have planned, showing small things creates suspense for your event.

#TBT
This is only relevant if this is not the first time this event is happening! Share photos and videos from previous years to generate excitement — and even nostalgia — for those who attended in the past. If you have followers who have never come and are on the fence about purchasing a ticket, these throwback posts are the perfect way to show them how much fun they could have if they come.

Contests
Leading up to the event, hold contests to give out free tickets. All you need to do is ask your followers to comment on a post and tag a few friends, and then out of the people who comment, you can draw a name for someone (or a few someones) to win a handful of tickets. When your followers tag their friends, their friends will check out your post and maybe tag their friends as well.

Screen of Pictures
The night of the event, consider projecting social media pictures and Tweets up on a big screen for everyone to see — but only project the pictures and posts that use your event hashtag. People will want to see their picture on the big screen, and this will encourage them to post using your hashtag.

Photo Booth
A photo booth is a great way to get your event online. You can hold a contest for the best photo when participants post their picture using your event hashtag, or you can reward attendees for tagging your account or using the location by offering them a small prize or freebie.

With these few strategies, it’s easy to use Instagram to promote Orlando event planning. Give us a call today to find out how we can partner with you to take your event to the next level!

Planning Style Quiz: Parks and Recreation

Thanks to streaming services like Netflix, the show “Parks and Recreation” continues to gain loyal followers. However, the real question is — which character has your event planning style? Take the quiz and find out!

1. How did you get started in event management?

A) You’ve always been passionate about celebrating special events and bringing joy to those around you. Event planning was a natural choice!
B) You discovered your hidden talent after working a variety of odd jobs.
C) Ever since you were little, it’s been your dream to work as an event planner.
D) You can’t remember what initially drove you to the world of event management. Although your friends were initially surprised by your choice, it didn’t take long for them to see your talent.
E) You started as someone’s assistant. While you weren’t very interested at first, it became your passion, and you made it your career.

2. Centerpieces have been delivered, but they look nothing like what your client requested. What do you do?

A) You’re extremely optimistic and easily calm down your client. Your partner handles the problem while you handle the client.
B) No worries! Remind your client that their elegant event is perfectly memorable without the centerpieces; maybe they would have taken away from the other decorations.
C) After a very brief moment of panic and frustration, you pull out your homemade backup centerpieces, which are actually more perfect than the originals.
D) Although you calm your client and explain that you have everything under control, the little voice inside of you keeps whispering, “But who really needs centerpieces, anyway?”
E) You’re beyond resourceful and assure your client that you can save the day just by running to the store down the road — you can recreate those centerpieces for an even better price.

3. You’re pitching a fundraiser idea to a new client. What’s your plan?

A) You know that your enthusiasm for the project will drive the presentation.
B) You like things that are flashy and glamorous, and you incorporate the latest technology into your presentation.
C) You thrive when speaking in front of people, and can’t wait to demonstrate why your plan is the best option. You are fully prepared to answer any and all questions they throw your way.
D) Your presentation is short and concise, and your confidence shines through.
E) You keep your presentation simple, logical, and down to Earth.

4. Your client asks for a caterer recommendation. What do you suggest?

A) A healthy, delicious banquet is never a bad choice.
B) Always up on the trends, you suggest following the latest foodie trends, which you guarantee will catch the eye of every blogger and celebrity in attendance.
C) You can’t help it — your instinct is to recommend breakfast food. You describe a lovely, sophisticated brunch.
D) You believe strongly in offering guests the highest quality of food, and you start by suggesting an exemplary butcher.
E) Every event should have a unique quality! You tell your client that they can make their event memorable through food, such as fondue or a themed, interactive display.

5. What do you like to do in your free time?

A) Anything active and athletic!
B) You’re all about your side hustle. You might have an Etsy, work at the local coffee house, or work as an Uber driver.
C) Honestly, you love your job, and it’s hard to stop working in your free time. But you always like to spend time with your close friends!
D) You love nature, and you’ll do anything that gets you outside. (You also enjoy puzzles.)
E) You love animals. On the weekends, you can often be found volunteering at the local animal shelter.

Mostly As: You’re Chris! You’re cheerful and optimistic, and you have a gift for bringing peace and calm to chaos.

Mostly Bs: You’re Tom! You love to keep up with trends in the event world, and you have a talent for planning luxurious, elegant affairs.

Mostly Cs: You’re Leslie! You’re deeply passionate about what you do and fiercely loyal to your team.

Mostly Ds: You’re Ron! You’re a private person and have high standards for your events. While many may mistake you as stern and stoic, you have a fun-loving side to you that comes out at your job.

Mostly Es: You’re April! You’re resourceful and have a dry sense of humor. When you work on a project that you’re passionate about, you’re unstoppable.

No matter which Parks and Recreation character you’re like, Orlando event management 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!