During the warmer months in New England, everyone wants to enjoy the outdoors and what better way to do so than hosting your event outside? A little fresh air does everyone a lot of good, especially your employees! Swank Events has planned several outdoor events for clients that offer a balance between enjoying the great outdoors while creating a sophisticated atmosphere. Here are a few of our suggestions on how to plan the perfect garden party.
Photo Credit: Flisif Photography
A garden party can take place almost anywhere – a public park (check on permitting requirements before), a rooftop venue or even hotel grounds – the possibilities are endless! Like all events that take place outside, it’s important to have a backup plan in case of inclement weather: Tents, alternate rooms or a rain date should be considered during the planning stages.
When it comes to a “Garden Party”, there are no rules to how you should jazz up the space, but incorporating elements of nature is a given. Floral arrangements offer beauty and elegance, and greenery along with succulents, herbs or decorative grasses can withstand almost any kind of weather. Some florists and greenhouses offer large plant rental options that can help you create a garden atmosphere as well.
If you’re hosting an evening event, give careful consideration to how you are going to light up your gathering space: lanterns and LED string lights offer the perfect outdoor illumination and create an intimate atmosphere. If you have a larger space, integrating lighting into trees, greenery or walkways is also a great way to light the space while also helping define it.
Photo Credit: Flisif Photography
Whether you are planning a sit-down meal or passed hors d’oeuvres, having several cold items to serve will help combat warmer weather; cold soups (gazpacho or a vichyssoise), chilled appetizers (raw veggies or fruit) and frozen desserts are always a hit. Some of our favorite desserts for a garden party include petit fours! They are elegant and bite sized – a great end of night treat!
Giving your employees and guests a sense of the outdoors during peak seasonal weather is a great change from a typical office environment. Relaxing, refreshing and beautiful will always be in style when you have a Garden Party event for your team! Give Swank Events a call and we can help you to start planning your next corporate event.
Anja has been an aspiring event professional for some time, always finding reasons to plan elaborate gatherings for friends and family. Lists are her best friend, she has an eye for detail and has the enthusiasm and energy needed for the fast-paced world of events!
She studied Hospitality & Event Management with a minor in Spanish at Lasell College in Newton, MA and graduated having more event-related experience than most grads; completing four internships, working two jobs, and being highly-involved in several programs on campus.
Before coming to Swank, she worked on events in different capacities, from serving as Event Manager at a country club, to event coordination & marketing at an aromatherapy supply store. Anja also continued to do freelance work in weddings and offered support to events in the Boston area. Outside of Swank, she serves as an advisor for Lasell’s Alternative Break Program, teaches dance to toddlers at her childhood studio, and loves exploring new places!
– She has a blue-tongue skink named Mona.
– Anja speaks 3 languages, almost all fluently.
– She’s a first-generation American; her family originally comes from Bosnia!
Making your next company event something to remember may depend on finding the right speaker; is the goal to bring in someone educational, motivational or inspirational? Know your audience demographic to find a person they will be open to hearing from, as this can make or break your entire event.
What’s the Goal?
Before booking any type of speaker, first define the outcome or goal of the event; Is the purpose to provide training and education for your staff? Advance the message or mission of the company? Or perhaps this is an external audience; Are you seeking to build goodwill with your customers or employees?
Having clear and measurable goals will help you focus on who the audience is, messaging for the event and determining your theme. Additionally, there are some logistical considerations; What is your budget? What will the program format look like? From there, you can begin looking for the best type of speaker for your event.
Sometimes the best person to deliver your message is one of your own employees. Expertise on the topic, company knowledge and experience might be the deciding factors, but when using someone who does not present often, it’s also important to ensure the speaker is set up for success by giving advance notice, setting expectations and providing all of the necessary event information for them to properly prepare.
When looking for an external speaker, it’s always a good idea to start thinking back to any events you’ve attended in the past – could one of them be a good fit for this event? Check in with colleagues to see if anyone has a good connection or suggestion. Are there any great industry leaders that might be a draw? Or if the budget allows, reach out to a speakers agency for some expert advice!
Do your research! If using an external speaker, watch videos of their previous talks and have a conversation with them and/or their agent. If you are looking for a motivational or inspirational speaker for your event, be sure to look beyond message and availability; Is the speaker promoting a book or promotional item that they will want to be able to sell at your event? Does the person have specific transportation, lodging or other requirements that your company will have to pay for? Finally, make sure you have a clear understanding about what the speaker is going to talk about to ensure it aligns with your event message or company’s vision.
The best speaker is always someone who will connect and relate to your audience and leave a lasting impression. Whatever kind of event your company is holding, Swank Events Boston can help with planning and execution – Contact us today!
Wow! We’re still getting over how amazing the New York and Boston PERKS events were! From a planning perspective, one major focus this year was on branding the PERKS Conventions and we’re sharing some ideas here on the different components that came together to create this cohesive look.
What is PERKS? PERKS Conventions are interactive showcases of the best and most innovative services available to employers, for their employees. This experience-based trade show allows attendees the opportunity to experience all the services being offered (massages, manicures, meditation, etc.) as well as participate in additional classes and workshops that pertain to these services.
The branding of the PERKS event took on some very different forms and all of it gave off a fun, colorful, laid back vibe, which is exactly what PERKS is all about! Here are examples of some of the different branding ideas you can utilize at your next event.
Signage and Wayfinding Decals
Large-scale floor and wall decals showcasing important event information (think logos, directional, #hashtags, upcoming event dates and locations) are all great branding opportunities. The decals on the walls and floors of the PERKS venues helped attendees navigate the multi-level event and continue to promote the next stops of the convention.
There are always the traditional stress balls, pens and reusable shopping bags that can be branded for your event, but you should also consider items specific to your industry that your event attendees will really use; custom power banks, high-end branded promotional products, reusable stainless steel water bottles, popsockets, card holders that attach to your phone and our personal favorite – SOCKS – all items that will be appreciated and utilized.
These fun, branded yoga mats were not only unique and useful, but they added a splash of color and provided yet another avenue to display the PERKS brand at the event.
Always use your brand colors when determining linen, table arrangements, lighting and other event décor. In this case, the PERKS logo was used in over-sized blocks, smaller blocks on the tables and throughout the space. Additionally, the color scheme was carried throughout the space with the uplighting in the stage area and customized stage backdrop.
Creating “Instagrammable” Opportunities
Giving guests an opportunity to take a photo with your logo and then post it on social media using a branded hashtag is always a great way to get your brand noticed. Whether it is a photo booth or a step and repeat (like below) – give attendees the opportunity to take a selfie to mark the occasion while using a branded hashtag.
Use your event theme to help with food choices, order customized cocktail napkins with your logo on it, develop a company signature beverage or even use your logo colors to highlight certain foods within your color scheme!
Utilizing your brand at an event can have a very different look and feel depending on who your audience is; if it is an external audience or potential clients, using your logo and company colors throughout an event to help solidify your brand identity in the minds of attendees is important. If your audience is internal, you can take a more subtle approach with colors and the use of your company logo – unless it is a launch or a re-branding event – in which your new logo would be highlighted. The possibilities are seemingly endless when using your logo!
Planning a corporate outing doesn’t have to be stressful. Consider these questions to help determine the perfect location and activity for your group – and then read on for some great spots!
Who are the attendees – employees only, employees and guest, or employees and their families?
What purpose will this event serve – celebration of company achievements, employee appreciation, or meetings / strategy session
What is the desired outcome – employee morale boost or productivity?
Once you have these questions answered you can start looking for an event professional, like Swank, to help with event idea generation and logistical planning. While some traditional outdoor corporate events may come to mind, like attending a sporting event or playing in a golf tournament, an event planner can help you look outside the box and take advantage of what beautiful New England has to offer!
Where To Go
Once you have your goals defined for the event, start exploring where you would like to hold it. Here are some of our favorite suggestions outside of Boston:
For a getaway and a taste of nature – head west! One place we enjoy is heading out to western Massachusetts to the Lenox area. There are various options for either a company retreat or a family-friendly gathering that include sleeping accommodations and local attractions. No matter where you hold the outing in the Berkshires, you should have activities planned both at the hotel / inn you are staying at as well as group outings to nearby sites.
Looking for a beach experience? Heading to the Cape during the summer for a beach-side outing can be a daunting trip due to traffic and high seasonal pricing. Heading to the North Shore during the warmer months of the summer or early fall is a great alternative! Salem, Gloucester and Ipswich are all lovely locations that offer hotels, inns, dining and great historical outing opportunities beyond the beach.
Another New England option that is rich in history and picturesque, with plenty to do is Newport RI and the Mansions. There are many events held throughout the spring and summer in the coastal enclave, so planning your outing well in advance to avoid or coincide with one of the many Newport happenings is crucial.
Wherever you hold your summer event, a professional event planner can help with the details and execution to make it a memorable occasion.
Contact us today to get started planning your next event.
What an eventful start to the year it’s been – pun intended! Two separate clients approached us to assist them in putting together their events. The interesting similarity between to two we had only one week lead time to complete them! We dropped everything to focus on pulling these events together – and we’re so happy with the results.
Managing the hundreds of details that go into an event can be overwhelming when you have several months to plan, but having to compress all of it into one week is incredibly stressful! By bringing Swank Events in, our clients were able to off-load the planning to us. Here’s where our vendor relationships really came into play as they were able to accommodate our last-minute requests for rentals, centerpieces and additional décor all within our client’s budget.
With this being an award ceremony, our client wanted the recipients to feel appreciated and make this event really special. To her, this meant creating a “WOW” moment for guests as they entered the room and it was our job to bring her vision to life!
With such a short timeframe, each day brought its own priority: Monday was spent at Peak determining which chairs, linens, and chargers best matched the theme. Tuesday was a visit with the florist to design the centerpieces. Wednesday was a final logistics meeting at the hotel to review the catering, AV and room set up. Thursday was pulling together the final details and packing materials, while Friday was spent setting up and coordinating vendor deliveries right up to the start of the event. It was an around-the-clock effort, but we think the results speak for themselves!
The theme of the evening was “Shine” which was highlighted by the marquee letters from Your Love in Lights and was augmented by the glittery gold tablecloths, mirror tables and gold chargers. The warm room ambiance was created by the low-lighting within the ballroom and adding string lights within cloches or faux candle groupings at the tables. A mix of table sizes and settings gave an eclectic but classy vibe. The evening entailed a dinner, so tall flower arrangements that didn’t interfere with conversation or sight-lines around the room were important. Our friends at Lotus Floral Events came through with elegant orchids and sparkling gold branch arrangements.
Bring Swank Events Boston in and we can help make your event something to remember – and help you keep your sanity throughout the process!