What Makes a Successful Event Planner?  

What Makes a Successful Event Planner?  

Event planning is a delicate art. It may seem straightforward – see if a venue is available on your date, find a caterer you like, pick out some flowers, and send the invitations. But there is so much more to it than that and it takes someone with specific skills to pull off a seamless event. 

As event planners, we wear many different hats on a daily basis. We are a therapist (of sorts) to overwhelmed clients trying to plan a corporate outing while handling the day-to-day tasks of their job and family life. We are a seasoned negotiator with the best of the best vendors, helping clients get the most for their money, or a special menu item or pro bono service the public might not have access to. We are tour guides to out of state or out of town clients, introducing them to venues off the beaten path that a Google search won’t present. We are accountants toying and tinkering with budgets to get the most bang for your buck. We are carpenters taking a staple gun to a pallet of wood to secure table assignments and welcome signs. We are master jugglers and professional entertainers the day of – fielding phone calls from every vendor and exhibitor, guiding guests and sweeping away trash all while keeping our clients in the loop, setting up intricate centerpieces, sponsor activations, and stepping in to help the catering staff so every detail of the event goes off without a hitch so that attendees, and oftentimes the client, never knew there was even an issue.  

The secret is that we are mega-organized, efficient and extroverted people by nature. We love to form connections with area businesses and know collaboration better than competition. We must be flexible, smile in times of stress, take a step back and come up with quick solutions and most importantly keep the show running. It’s someone who can anticipate an issue before it even becomes a problem. We’re always thinking 10 steps ahead, and ready to pivot at any time. Sure, it’s high stakes and high stress at times, but the reward of seeing our clients and attendees walk through the doors, jaws dropped, gushing at all our hard work, is pretty awesome.   

We know our strengths lie in planning and execution, and know exactly who to ask for help when we need it — be it for a custom designed cake, to a bartender who can whip up seasonal cocktails, to designers who can bring your company logo to life in a big space, and even balloon specialists — we’re tapped into the local network of professionals and have forged excellent working relationships and friendships with so many of them.  

It’s not rocket science, or surgery, but it’s a skill set honed over many late nights, spreadsheets, sticky situations, last-minute hiccups, and a passion for helping people celebrate life’s little and big moments. So what are you waiting for?! Let’s take your event to the next level together.

Six Sweet Swag Items to Show Your Employees Some Love

Six Sweet Swag Items to Show Your Employees Some Love

It’s cold out, we just made it through a nor’easter, and it’s time to show your employees some love! The smallest of gestures can make your team feel valued, appreciated, and special this Valentine’s Day. Couple that with a team lunch or coffee run on the boss and you’ll have the perkiest team in town. Here are six sweet swag items to gift your team this month. Everything below is sourced from the Print House. 

For the entire month of February, mention SWANK EVENTS and enjoy 10% off your first promotional product order. 

A pair of sleek, subtle branded bluetooth headphones to take calls on the go, listen to music or podcasts, or dial into a meeting from anywhere!

An insulated, vacuum sealed bottle with your logo in elegant silver to hold water or coffee hot or cold for up to 10 hours! You could even accompany it with a Dunkin’ gift card to fill up right away. 

Cozy joggers to rep their favorite place to work while feeling nice and toasty warm in their off-time. 

Have a team that’s extra on-the-go? Field sales representatives or employees who work outdoors? Why not gift them a warm and stylish way to wear your brand with an insulated packable puffer! 

With many teams coming back to the office after two years at home, their old work back may be shoved deep in the back of a closet, or long gone. This laptop backpack has room for much more than just a computer – including designated iPhone pockets, a water bottle holder, and lots of space for desk snacks and other necessities. 

And finally, if you’re feeling extra sweet, couple a branded tumbler with decadent Godiva gift box and you’re sure to be Manager of the Month! 

Any of these gifts are sure to be a hit, and don’t forget to mention Swank Events to score 10% off at Print House!

A 2022 Pulse Check – Predictions for This Year in Events

A 2022 Pulse Check – Predictions for This Year in Events

Happy New Year! Whether it’s finally signing a contract on a multi-day conference, booking a venue for a back to the office welcome event, or just starting to think about how you can celebrate your team this year, here are our top five predictions for what you will see out and about!  

1. More breakout sessions 

Breakout sessions have always been an important part of large events, but in 2022 we see them taking the main stage – literally. Instead of multiple lectures, a powerful opening and closing speaker may be all you need. With tailored breakout sessions throughout the day, attendees can choose their own adventure and absorb more than ever before with the ability to attend sessions directly related to their career and industry, as well as dip their toe into a session of personal interest, professional advancement or health and wellness!

Smaller groups will allow for more interaction and discussion as well as individualized attention from presenters and relationship-forming between attendees and presenters. It is also a safer option to have less people in each session and can allow for distancing to make everyone feel comfortable. 

Speaker at an event

2. Half-day events  

Let’s face it. Our attention spans are not what they used to be. Increased screen time over the past two plus years has made everyone a bit antsy. Drop off at full day events starts after lunch, meaning loss of engagement at afternoon sessions. Save yourself the awkward half-empty sessions and schedule your event to be a half-day conference or meeting. You’ll keep your attendees engaged, interested, and busy, while still delivering impactful programming.

Attendees will feel productive, inspired, and thankful they still have the afternoon to run errands, take a few calls, or grab an early dinner and mingle with new connections. It’s also a perfect opportunity to switch up the schedule and sponsor a happy hour after lunch for those who can stick around for networking and socializing!  

3. Exploring hot button topics and meaningful conversations 

Bottom line, people want, and need, to discuss what is going on in society. From family planning and birth control, to racial injustice, LGBTQIA rights, climate change, disease prevention, disabilities, diversity at work, gender expression, and so much more; not only do brands and sponsors want to align themselves with these important issues and trending conversation topics, but attendees want to make their voice heard and expect to talk about these topics at career-centric events and at work. 

 

4. Health and safety at the center of importance 

We’re not fully out of the woods yet. Expect vaccine requirements, on-site rapid testing, continued mask mandates and creative social distancing as well as virtual elements to nearly every event, big or small in 2022. 

5. Shopping local  

With the supply chain crisis, travel restrictions, increasing material costs and a host of other complications, shipping décor cross country, importing food or beverage, or shipping design elements for events has become more of a headache. While it may not make setup or vendor sourcing as streamlined, staying local in terms of vendors, food and beverage, giveaways and materials is starting to become best-practice. Not only are event professionals keen to support local, small businesses as they dream up event design, but attendees respond positively to enjoying a local experience while at the event.

It adds a personal touch, welcomes attendees to the host city, celebrates the people and businesses that call that place home, and logistically makes a lot more sense. We will continue to see unique food and design activations, small business integrations, and bigger vendor lists for multi-city events as planners pull contacts from city to city rather than using a mega-provider or mass produced design elements.  

 

We’re excited for what is to come this year in the event space and hope you are feeling optimistic, too!  

How to Elevate Your Event and Design with Intention

How to Elevate Your Event and Design with Intention

To design an event with intention means to break down the event into smaller elements: food and beverage, entertainment, venue and physical space, decor and ambiance, and use your creativity to view the event both from the perspective of a professional planner and an attendee. Ask questions like,

“How do I maximize this space so people can eat, dance, drink and socialize?”

“How do I make sure attendees know who is hosting this event without being overbearing?”

“How can I make everything flow naturally and look beautiful?”

Let’s begin with furniture elements – it’s easy to switch up the style and color from velvet to leather, sleek bar stools to wooden low and high tables, to add to the overall atmosphere and bring out the theme. With so many options, intention is key. The type of furniture you choose impacts how your room looks and feels to your attendees. One of our favorite secrets to making a room feel larger is bringing in clear chairs!

Mirrors can have a stunning impact on elevating your event space. It’s an amazing investment that reflects the lighting and enhances the theme especially coupled with conscious design elements like candles and warm lighting. 

Bring intentional design into your floor plan and showcase your exhibits and guide guests to take in the whole experience by placing the bar, photo moment, stage, or main attraction towards the back of the event. Are you worried your bar line will be too long? Consider passing wine, champagne or a signature cocktail at the entrance. Guests will feel extra special upon arrival and it’s a win-win to cut down on wait times!

Looking to warm up a space? Add area rugs, trees, greenery or plants to bring color into your space! Large, leafy plants can help absorb echoes and other ambient sound. Outdoors, live plants can help create a barrier to soften the sounds of traffic from outside or music from within.

Signature drinks are an automatic crowd pleaser! This blue cocktail was delicious and fit in perfectly with the blue, white and gold theme. Check out more seasonal cocktail ideas in our blog post HERE.

Are you looking to add an extra activity to your event? What about a cocktail tasting? Make it even more special with local distillers.

Having a DJ is lots of fun BUT a live band can really get the crowd going. Nothing quite beats the energy and production quality of live music!

swank-events-boston-corporate-event-music-band

And finally, bring your branding into everything – from straws in your company’s signature colors, to matching the flowers and balloons, or even your socks, the little details go a long way. Whenever you have an opportunity to customize something or add branding we highly recommend doing so! It may be a small detail, but in the overall experience it ties everything together.  

4 Essential Winter Cocktail Recipes for Your Holiday Get Together

4 Essential Winter Cocktail Recipes for Your Holiday Get Together

A signature drink (or drinks) takes your bar to the next level — whether you’re hosting just family, the whole neighborhood, or throwing a company party. Here are four crowd pleasing winter cocktails to serve at your next event!

Maple Bourbon Smash 

  • 2 oz bourbon of choice (we love Knob Creek)
  • .5 oz pure maple syrup
  • Small bunch of sage leaves
  • .5 oz lemon juice

Muddle the syrup, sage and lemon, then shake with ice and bourbon. Serve on the rocks with a lemon garnish.

Cranberry Margarita

  • 2 oz blanco tequila (we love Casamigos)
  • .5 oz triple sec
  • 2 oz cranberry juice
  • 1 oz lime juice

Shake everything over ice and garnish with fresh cranberries. Serve with a sugar rim!

Grapefruit and Sage Champagne

  • Pink grapefruit juice
  • Sage simple syrup (boil equal parts sugar, water + two sage bunches)
  • Angostura bitters
  • Ice cubes
  • Champagne or other sparkling white wine
  • Fresh sage leaves

Shake grapefruit juice, bitters and simple syrup with ice. Strain into a champagne flute and top with your favorite champagne or sparkling wine. Garnish with fresh sage!

Peppermint Espresso Martini

  • 2 oz vanilla vodka
  • 2 oz fresh espresso
  • .5 oz Irish cream liquor
  • .5 oz peppermint schnapps
  • Dash of cream

Shake everything over ice and strain into a martini glass – garnish with a candy cane!

Festive + Fun Virtual Holiday Party Ideas!

Festive + Fun Virtual Holiday Party Ideas!

If your team is working across the country, or not quite ready to party together in person, consider these three super festive and engaging ways to celebrate virtually together. Virtual events can seem daunting to plan, but consider ending a Friday workday short and having us plan one of the below activities for the latter part of the day!  

A virtual cocktail party! Create custom cocktail kits to send to each team member or employee with everything they would possibly need – from shakers, to spirits, martini glasses, recipe cards and maybe even a snack pairing.

This is a fun way to get creative and elevate your virtual happy hour. Consider creating a custom cocktail named after your company, or have a contest beforehand for the most creative cocktail recipe. Add on a local dessert delivery to amp up the experience! An even more special way to share a local favorite from your company’s HQ with out-of-town and in-town employees alike.

A festive floral class or charcuterie lesson! Similar to the above idea, gather all the materials into kits for the class. Whether that be cheeses, fruits and meats on a branded wooden board, or fresh flowers, decorative accents or a balsam wreath, we’ll find you find top-of-the line local instructors so your team can enjoy creating something seasonal together and share it with their family! 

A paint and sip night! You can send your team all the materials they need – from the easels, to paints, canvases, a full tutorial, and you could even throw in snacks and wine.

We’ll find a local artist and paint and sip teacher to customize the experience for your team and pick a fun piece of art that everyone can create. 

Do you have another way you are celebrating the holidays and this year’s achievements virtually with your team? Share it with us in the comments, and let us know how we can help make any of these ideas a reality for you this year!  

Hi, friend! Subscribe to our mailing list to unlock access to the latest event trends, upcoming opportunities, and stay in touch!