The Reason for a Rain Plan

The Reason for a Rain Plan

Earlier this month, we had the pleasure of planning the 2ndAnnual Street Hockey Festival presented by the Andover Hockey Association and held at Merrimack College. Last year’s event was a huge success and we were thrilled to be brought on board again this year.

There were around 75 kids signed up for an exciting day of fun: street hockey tournament, food, bouncy house, yard games, a raffle with really great prizes and of course a beer garden for the parents.

Everything sounded great, except for the weather…Mother Nature did not want to cooperate on this one. We were hearing varying weather reports on just how bad and the exact timeline, not that unusual for New England weather, so we decided to go for it. Unfortunately for us, that morning it was downpouring with no sign of letting up and we were forced to make the last-minute decision to postpone it to the following day.  It was definitely the right call and the event still ended up being fantastic!

As an event planner, we always recommend having a rain plan. Often, it’s an indoor option so the event can happen on the same day with some modifications; in this case, it made more sense to have a rain date, given the event could not really take place indoors.

Here are some tips for choosing a rain date and still pulling off a great event!

  1. Pick a day close to the original date: This will help to save money if you need to make a last-minute decision, as we did. The rentals were there and we were able to keep them for an extra day at no additional cost and the same for the bouncy house. If the rain date was the following weekend, we would have paid for everything twice.
  2. Have it in writing: Ask your vendors to put the rain date in your contract, if possible, to make sure they are holding it for you.
  3. Know your deadline: Find out when is the absolute latest that a decision needs to be made.
  4. Let attendees know of the planned rain date: Communicate the rain date in advance so that attendees are saving this date as well.
  5. Hire Swank so you don’t have to deal with any of the above 🙂

We’re always here for you and would love to assist with your next event, rain or shine!

Why You SHOULD Have a Company Event

Why You SHOULD Have a Company Event

Budget concerns.

Time constraints.

Lack of ideas or people to help with execution.

These are all common reasons why your business may not hold an annual company-wide event. However, according to the Corporate Leadership Council, statistics around retaining employees show that employers who engage their employees are 87% more likely to retain them.

Here are three reasons that support hosting a company event:

Building Connections Outside of the Office

Most of your employees will communicate with each other only during business hours, in the office, about work-related items. Giving them an opportunity to connect outside of their cubicles can help build relationships that continues back at the office.

Bring Employees into the Circle

Finding out about business plans through a memo (or worse, in a press release or the news) can make employees feel left-out of important company initiatives. By holding an event to announce, explain and build excitement around what your leadership team is planning for the organization, will make employees feel more of a part of the effort and are more likely to support it.

Secondary Promotional Value

Photos and excerpts from talks given can be utilized in both external and internal materials to give the company and its messaging life beyond the event. Press releases, social media posts, newsletter and follow-up emails from leadership are all going to be seen by a larger audience, creating further interest in what you do next time.

Other costs (and savings) to consider when planning an event:

Employee Recruitment & Replacement Costs

A great onboarding process is the first step to a positive, transparent employer-employee relationship, and continuing to share your company’s journey with your employees through regular in-person communications is also important. A well-planned company event can help continue to engage your employees in the company culture and goals.

Saving on the Event

Holding a meaningful company event may have a price tag associated with it, but hiring an event professional can also help control costs and keep your budget on-track. “One of the most important things a Corporate Event Planner brings to the table is our industry connections and ability to negotiate with vendors on price. I know what venues offer flexible pricing AND great amenities so I can help clients get the best packages.” says Kristin Healy, Owner and Creative Director of Swank Events. “Professional Event Planners also coordinate all of the logistics and book any necessary vendors, in addition to making sure everything goes smoothly so your staff is able to focus on their day to day responsibilities.”

Remember to contact Swank Events for your company’s next meeting, party or outing to make it a great and unique experience for your employees!

3 Food Points to Consider for Your Next Event

3 Food Points to Consider for Your Next Event

Does the catering aspect of planning a big event have you overwhelmed? We sat down with Emma Roberts, Owner of Capers Catering, to get her take on how to determine the menu and current food trends they’re seeing. According to Emma, there are several things to consider when figuring out the food for your next event:

1 – Local, seasonal ingredients produce the most delicious outcomes. By partnering with local dairy and produce farmers, artisan cheeses makers, brewers, fish mongers, poultry and livestock farmers, bee keepers and others, Capers excels in creating seasonal dishes and believes that is the secret to catering success. According to Emma, “Customers who are flexible with their choices are the ones that we have the most success in making delicious menus for. We try to make our dishes as seasonal as possible, right down to fish that are available that day from suppliers.”

Seasonal meal by Capers Catering. Photo by David Tucker Photography

2 – Be sure to consider those with allergies. With food allergies more prominent today than ever, chefs must be able to accommodate those with dietary restrictions. When planning out the menu, be sure to have vegetarian, gluten-free, non-dairy and nut-free selections available to your guests. Better yet, surveying guests to learn of any allergies or dietary needs in advance is ideal when working with the caterer to determine the menu.

Amazing seasonal appetizers by Capers Catering, photo by Mandy Nelson Photography

3 – In addition to the food being delicious, it is also important to consider current trends and how the food will be presented. Emma explains that some of the latest ideas include serving a variety of small-plate entrées or making food interactive by presenting it in a non-traditional way. She says, “We’ve done pretzel and donut walls, had food hanging on chains for guests to pick from and even made a rolling bookshelf! Food should also be fun!” We couldn’t agree more!

What about a fun “Donut Wall”? Photo by Channing Johnson Photography

Offering delicious food options at your event is so important, but it is also about the attendees’ experience, so don’t forget to be creative with the presentation and offerings!

Contact us today to hear more about what to consider when planning your next corporate event.

Cover image: Sarah Bastille Photography

Swank Events 2017 in Review!

Swank Events 2017 in Review!

What an amazing and busy year we’ve had!  We wanted to take a moment to not only thank all of the wonderful clients we have had this year, but to also express our heartfelt appreciation to all of the professionals we’ve collaborated with this year: florists, photographers, venues, entertainers, chefs and all of the fantastic people who helped make each occasion memorable!

Swank Events is looking forward to a brilliant 2018!

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Fall’s Favorite Sips – Cooler Weather Cocktails

Fall’s Favorite Sips – Cooler Weather Cocktails

Now that the cooler weather is starting to creep in, it’s impossible not to start thinking of all things apples and pumpkins and spices. Each new season brings new feelings and new flavors… and of course, new cocktail menus! Here are some fun fall flavors incorporated into great party drinks.

Photo credit: Elle Decor

Apple Cranberry Moscow Mule
The traditional Moscow Mule gets quite a makeover here, adding both cranberry and sparkling apple juice to the typical vodka and ginger beer, with a sprinkle of fresh cranberries for garnish.

Photo credit: So Good Blog

Apple Hard Cider Sangria
Sliced apples, oranges, and peaches meet fresh raspberries, apple juice, orange juice, brandy, AND hard apple cider in this complex and delicious fall take on the popular summer wine cocktail.

Photo credit: Gimme Some Oven

Cranberry Margaritas
Simple and uncomplicated, this drink combines cranberry juice, lime juice, tequila, and orange liqueur for a delicious and fall-inspired margarita!

Photo credit: Delish

Pear Mimosas
As simple as it gets – and just as delicious! A great pick for brunch, pear nectar takes the places of orange juice, with fresh pear slices for garnish. If you’re looking for something a bit lighter, this is a good pick!

Photo credit: Delish

Maple Bourbon Old Fashioned
For those extra chilly nights, a maple bourbon old fashioned is just the thing. The usual sugar gets replaced with maple syrup, then follows the traditional recipe with water, bitters, orange peel, and bourbon. Add a maraschino cherry for garnish!

Photo credit: No Spoon Necessary

Pumpkin Keg
If you’re looking for a fun fall DIY, this is a great crowd pleaser, and a super fun way to serve your favorite beer, cider, or other party drinks.

What’s your favorite fall libation?