The 5 Biggest Benefits of Hiring an Event Planner

The 5 Biggest Benefits of Hiring an Event Planner

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Photo credit: Berry Me In Chocolate

Event planning is a lot of work. Trust us, we know! But for businesses large and small, there can be major benefits to bringing in outside professionals to help manage corporate events. Here we’ll break down some of the major benefits of hiring an event planner, and why it might make sense for your organization.

Experience and Know-How
Event planning responsibilities are often delegated to a team member who isn’t trained in planning events, or organizing large corporate gatherings. Bringing in an outside event planner means not only that you’ll have someone on your side who has loads of experience in event management, but your entire team is free to focus instead on their day-to-day responsibilities. You benefit from the experience and expertise of a professional, and your employees get to stick with what they know best.

Bringing Ideas to Life
As event planners, our job is to listen to your ideas, understand your vision, and then work with that vision to bring your ideas to life. We consider your budget, location preferences, activities, group size, and so much more to create your perfect event.

Industry Contacts
Experienced planners have a lot of contacts in the industry, and can help you select the perfect venue and vendors to work with to create the event you envision. Without a planner, it can be hard to know where to start when planning an event, and whom to reach out to for each piece of the puzzle.

Budgeting
Whether you have a small events budget, or are able to go all out, event planners can work within your means to maximize every dollar spent. We’ll help create the best bang for your buck, designing an event that delivers on all your goals within your allotted spending capabilities.

Attention to Detail
A perfectly executed event is all in the details, and there is no one better with details than a seasoned event planner! A planner will tend to all details small and large and even those you might not consider, to make sure that everything is aligned and united by the common event theme.

These are just some of the big ways that working with a event planner can make your life easier, but there are many more that we welcome you to explore by working with us!

What are your biggest event planning hurdles that a planner might be able to help with?

Event Engagement: Interactive Food Displays

Event Engagement: Interactive Food Displays

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Photo credit: Southern Wedding

Food is an integral part of any event, no matter the locale, the time of day, the attendee profile, or the occasion. One thing you can always count on is having to account for a menu. But the new wave of creative catering has moved away from the traditional fondue and carving stations, to something much more inventive and engaging — interactive food displays!

Whether you’re hosting a corporate breakfast, an all-day event, or a dinner party, these ideas should help to involve your audience and ensure they have fun with their food.

Bloody Mary Bar
This is a popular and classic option, but you can make it new and exciting by allowing guests to mix in their own flavorings, like Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco, and then offer elaborate garnishes like pickled vegetables, candied bacon, or cocktail shrimp.

Decorate Your Own Deviled Eggs
This is a great brunch option for events with finger foods, and allows guests to have a little hand in the fun. Arrange plain deviled eggs on a platter, and surround with toppings like chopped bacon and fresh herbs, for a little bit of finishing fun.

DIY Parfait Bar
Instead of offering individual yogurts or cold cereal, a parfait bar where guests can layer their favorite type of yogurt, granola, fruits, and nuts is much more exciting, and allows for a much more personalized breakfast option.

Make-Your-Own Taco Bar
Offer a selection of meat and vegetarian options with all the fixings. Guests won’t need to distinguish any dietary preferences with this one, and everyone is sure to create something they’re going to enjoy.

DIY Sliders
This is just like the taco option, but for those who prefer their dinners to be served on buns instead of shells. You could offer a beef, chicken, fish, and veggie option, again with all the toppings you might traditionally find on a burger.

French Fry Station
This is absolutely one of our favorites. Offer a variety of fries — curly, waffle, sweet potato, and even tater tots — and serve them up with delicious and inventive dips like truffle ketchup or garlic aioli.

Make-Your Own Popcorn Packets
Similar to the french fry idea, you can offer guests a choice from say butter popcorn, kettle corn, and a fun flavor like caramel, parmesan, or herb, and then display a variety of different toppings to go along with the popcorn. Salty and sweet combos, like butter popcorn with M&Ms, or kettle corn with roasted nuts, are especially delicious here!

Dip-Your-Own Candy Apples
This is a really fun fall-themed idea, where guests can pick their apple, pick their dip (think caramel or chocolate) and pick their toppings! It may be the messiest of our suggestions, but also maybe the most fun.

Hot Chocolate Bar
Instead of a chocolate fondue station, allow guests to dress up a mug of hot chocolate to their liking. You could offer a few different flavors —maybe white, milk, and dark hot chocolate — and then an array of toppings like marshmallows, spices, and more shaved chocolate. For adults-only events, a splash of Bailey’s or Kahlua would be a wonderful addition here!

The ideas are endless for how to make food more fun at your next event, but these are just some of our favorites.

What’s your favorite way to engage event guests?

Event Recap: Erika & Mike’s Wedding

Event Recap: Erika & Mike’s Wedding

Erika and Mike’s recent wedding at the Charles Rives Museum of Industry and Innovation in Waltham, Massachusetts was laid back, beautiful, and so much fun. The venue suited the lovely couple so well, and we were grateful to be a part of it!IMG_20170617_180915

The couple exchanged nuptials on the first floor of the museum in the main exhibit area. Erika’s cousin, Jason, officiated the ceremony with his own unique style, incorporating Erika and Mike’s mutual love for Harry Potter. The bride and groom wrote their own vows, which made for an intimate and personal ceremony, and brought smiles, tears, and laughter to all their guests.

Following the ceremony there was a cocktail hour, which was held in the same exhibit space. The museum has a fun area where you can create your own dog tags, so the bride and groom chose to utilize that as a way for guests to make mementos to remember their special day. Additionally, Erika and Mike had their guests write a message on a Jenga block as a fun alternative to the traditional guest book.

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Erika and Mike’s lively bridal party danced their way into the reception, which was held in the Jackson Room on the second floor of the museum, and then gathered around to admire the newlyweds as they went into their first dance as husband and wife. There were several thoughtful speeches that followed, given by the maid of honor, the best man, and the bride’s parents.

Erika is very detail-oriented and really made our job easy! The décor was stunning – each table was adorned with a geometric copper terrarium filled with beautiful white flowers and greenery, and candles, giving the rustic brick room a very soft, romantic feel. The thoughtful couple provided flip-flops for their guests to slip on when their feet got sore to keep the party going! They also had a photo booth with fun props that their guests loved, available for entertainment throughout the evening.

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Sticking with a very laid back, casual atmosphere, the couple opted for delicious food stations provided by Sensational Catering, which were a huge hit! Blackbird Doughnuts, one of Erika & Mike’s favorite local spots, provided incredible sweets for their big day – just look at these gourmet doughnuts – YUM!

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Erika and Mike were a true pleasure to work with and had this to say about their experience working with us:

My husband and I hired Swank Events for our wedding at the Charles River Museum. From the first phone call with Betsy, I knew it was a no brainer that she needed to be my day of coordinator. I had poured my heart and soul into planning for months yet I had no plan as to who would be directing my big day. I knew I didn’t want it to be my bridesmaids or family – I wanted everyone to enjoy themselves! Betsy came to the rescue – she is super organized, professional, and the sweetest person you’ll meet. She coordinated with my vendors before the wedding to make sure that everyone was on the same page and knew not to contact my fiancé or I – she handled everything! From setting up, making sure everything kept on schedule, vendor payments, cleaning up – Betsy was there. If anything went wrong at our wedding, I had no clue because she took care of it. Best decision we made the entire planning process!”

We’re thrilled to be returning to the CRMII for Carolyn and Lucas’ wedding in early October, and we’ll be sure to share another event recap with you then!