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Category Archive: Orlando event management

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.

Stay Stress Free

Event planning can get a little crazy when it comes to being on top of every aspect of your event. By learning how to manage your productivity throughout the planning process and into the event day, you can eliminate unnecessary stress and focus on the exciting parts of event management.

Advance Preparation
Set up your goals and strategies. Map out a realistic timeline for everything that needs to be done. Make sure not to leave anything out, as that can be a huge cause of stress later on. Come up with strategies to complete each thing on your timeline; by doing this, you will know exactly what needs to be done and when.

Communicate deadlines. Make sure all vendors, sponsors, caterers, and speakers are aware of their deadlines and time of service. Send periodic follow-ups reminding them about these timelines.

Trust your talent. Hire an event team you know you can trust and rely on. Having confidence in this team will allow you to focus on other aspects of the event.

Event Management
Use lists. Create a master to-do list based on your timeline. Break down big to-do’s into smaller lists to avoid feeling overwhelmed and move through the list faster. Lastly, arrange your list in the order of when things need to be completed, as well as how much energy they will require from you.

Constantly check in. Check in with everyone involved in the event at least 3 days beforehand, and again the day right before. Make sure all of your requests are being met and everything is moving along smoothly.

Venue walkthrough. Ensure everything is rightly set up, and make any final corrections if need be. Assign these corrections to your event team so you can focus on everything else on your list.

Practice Self-Care
Rest up. Get a good night’s rest the night before the event! You want to be well-rested and energized so the day you worked so hard on runs as smoothly as possible.

Dress comfortably. Wearing heels that give you blisters or pants you can’t breathe in will distract you and decrease your productivity. Wear something you know you can last the entire night in, but also make sure you feel confident in it. Feeling good in what you choose to wear will help you take on the event effortlessly.

Give praise. Take a few minutes to look around and acknowledge the work you and your team have done. Remember that completed tasks trump perfect tasks; give yourself some slack. Congratulate yourself for putting on an awesome event for your attendees, thank your team for their hard work, and remember to have some fun yourself.

Orlando event management can be hard, but having Fun Planners by your side will help keep you stress-free and make the event a success. Contact us online or at 407-955-4949 today!

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.