FunPlanners
Book your next event today
407-955-4949

Category Archive: Orlando event management

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!

The AV Glossary

The jargon and fine details of the AV industry can be overwhelming, especially as you’re planning your next event and realize — you don’t know what anything means! Don’t struggle through your AV quote without grabbing this handy cheat sheet!

The Gear
Rigging Points: These are specific spots in the ceiling where things can be safely hung.

Rig Plot: This diagram shows where the rigging points are located. Ask your venue for this if it was not provided!

Truss: This is the framework of the structure. Motors are connected to the rigging points and the truss, as are the lighting, projectors, and speakers.

Motors: Attached to the rigging point and truss, the motor allows the truss to be brought down so you can attach any equipment.

The Microphones
Handheld: These are great for speeches, Q&A sessions, or presentations. Opt for a handheld mic when your entertainment is stationary and won’t get tangled in a cord!

Wireless: Wireless mics are popular with public speakers, interviewers, and stage performances. You’ll also see these referred to as lav mics, lavalier, or lapel mics.

DPA — Headset: Choose these when you prioritize superior voice reproduction, comfort, and easy setup over concealment.

Combo Kit: Your AV company might allow you to utilize both handheld and wireless mics!

The Lighting
Gobo: A pattern you can insert into a light to project that pattern through the light. These can be used to add texture effects on walls and scenery, or projected through haze as an aerial effect.

Spot Fixtures: These hard-edged lighting fixtures are versatile and flexible. They can project color, spinning lights, or gobos, and are great for spotlighting people or objects while leaving the rest of the stage in darkness.

LED: LEDs are significantly more energy efficient than other bulbs. They can transform a space by color washing walls or decorative elements with multi-colored light, and since they don’t require any warm-up time, they can be quickly turned on and off for different effects.

Beam: While these moving lights may look like lasers, they are actually just very tight beams of light! You often see this kind of light at big concerts.

The Projectors
Rear Projection: While this is a great option because there are no rigging costs — since the projector is on the ground — you need to make sure you’ll have enough space for the equipment and projectors behind the screen.

Front Projection: Placed in front of the audience, these take up floor space unless you choose to have it rigged (although it will cost you to do so). Consider if any people or objects will obstruct the projector at any time.

It’s vital that you sit down with your AV company and ask them to walk you through the contract, explaining each piece and answering all your questions. For more information on Orlando event management, give us a call 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!

 

Plan in Advance to Enjoy Your Own Event

We’ve all been guilty of waiting until the last minute to plan an event, and the stress of scrambling in a time crunch can cause unnecessary panic. When you organize your event in advance and get help from a skilled team, last-minute planning disasters will be a thing of the past.

If You Need A Venue, Caterer and Entertainment
Finding the right venue, cuisine, and entertainment can be overwhelming as the date of your event draws closer. The sooner you find a venue, the better! If your event is six months out, start venue hunting right away. Remember that October, November, and March are peak wedding months in Florida, so for those events in particular, availability can be limited if you don’t plan ahead.  

You’ll be ready to move on to catering within two to three weeks. Take someone with you when choosing a venue to make the decision easier and faster, and delegate that responsibility to them while you move on to researching entertainment. Your goal should be to have booked your entertainment and catering four or five months before the event. Then, you can use the remaining months to focus on details like decorations and party favors.

If You Need A Venue and Catering
If you’re planning a conference or similar event and won’t be needing a band or performers, give yourself five months to get fully organized. You’ll need to decide on the venue by the three month mark, and then you have a week or so to choose the caterer. All-inclusive venues that provide food for guests in-house can be an efficient, one-stop-shop approach to event planning that help to lighten your team’s workload.

If You Only Need Catering
Backyard bashes and family reunions make location a non-issue, but booking the caterer far in advance will allow you more time to complete all your other checklist items. Feedback on cuisine from your team takes some of the responsibility off your back. Your planning process may be short, but to avoid the chaos of finding a caterer just weeks before your event, be sure to choose one three months ahead of time.

Looking to make your Orlando event planning strategy quick and painless? We can help you make your event a success and avoid last-minute stress before the big day. Contact us today at 407-955-4949 to find out how!

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!