Here we are a year into the Pandemic and have the same event-related questions – do you move forward with the in-person event that has been in the works for over a year, postpone, go virtual or land somewhere in between? The timeline on getting back to “normal” is still unclear so these decisions are still difficult ones. Don’t worry, we’re here to break down your options.
Keep Calm and Plan On
Depending on the size and date of your event, you may still be able to hold it in-person. You will, however, need to adjust your plans, along with your expectations. This event will be different than what you had originally planned. Your guests will need to wear masks and keep their distance from each other. There may be less dancing. Food service will likely be handled differently. HOWEVER, with a sense of humor and a good attitude, your event can still be fun, successful and impactful. Some of the most beautiful events we’ve seen have been the more intimate, thoughtful ones so don’t discount this option.
And if your event is scheduled for the fall of 2021, we say keep the date! We are so hopeful for the return of larger in-person events by the fall and have many clients who are proceeding with this. Think positive thoughts and ALWAYS have a plan.
Keep Calm and Go Virtual
If your attendees are not local or if you are hosting a larger event, it may make more sense to take your event to a virtual platform – for the first half of this year anyways. If you aren’t sure, read our COVID-19 and Your Event: Can It Be Held Virtually? blog post on how to determine if going virtual is a feasible option for you.
Since the beginning of the Pandemic, virtual event platforms have really come a long way and the possibilities are endless. You can now make your event as interactive and as customized as you’d like, ranging from tradeshow booths where your guests actually feel like they are roaming the floor to having attendees create their own avatars, virtual coffee breaks, meditations and happy hour, offering many unique sponsorship opportunities and more.
All platforms are not the same so we encourage you to do your research and shop around to find the right option for your event. This can be an overwhelming process (it’s similar to determining the venue with in-person events) so if you still need help, let us know!
Keep Calm and Go Hybrid
If you’re not quite sure which option is most suitable for your event and you have some attendees that are traveling and others who are local, it may make sense to do a combination of in-person and virtual, or Hybrid. This could mean many different things depending on what type of event you are planning. It may be a meeting or tradeshow where some attendees are in a room, safely spaced out, and others are watching it via livestream. Or perhaps it is an awards ceremony that is held virtually and then there are smaller in-person gatherings within teams to celebrate their achievements.
We are expecting to see this in the late summer, as in-person events are returning and attendees may still be a bit hesitant to travel or gather in large crowds.
There is no easy answer when it comes to planning events these days so if you still have questions, please contact us today! We are here to help. Happy Planning!
Company Overview Swank Events is a corporate event planning company that has been serving the Greater Boston area over the last decade. Swank currently plans more than 20 events annually ranging from small monthly meetings for 15 people to large conventions with more than 1,000 attendees, holiday parties, annual meetings, summer outings and more.
Swank Eventsis currently seeking a part-time, Event Planning Assistant to help organize and implement client events, in addition to some day to day business operations tasks. Reporting to Swank’s Owner & Creative Director, the ideal candidate is high-energy,responsible, outgoing and has exceptional organizational skills. This individual is interested in a career in the hospitality or event planning industry. This position offers a great opportunity to gain valuable, hands-on experience within the event planning industry and to understand what goes on behind the scenes of an event.
This is a part-time position, approximately 15 hours per week plus some nights and weekends depending on event schedule. Typical hours/days will be Monday/Wednesday: 8:30am-4:00pm.
Previous internship or work experience in the field of hospitality, event management or event planning is strongly preferred
Effective time management skills, ability to prioritize and multi-task
Proficient in Microsoft Office
Ability to work independently as well as in a collaborative environment
Excellent written and verbal communication skills
Bachelor’s degree required Ability to liftpull, and push a moderate weight (about 50 pounds) Must have flexible schedule, some events may occur on the weekends Must have reliable transportation to travel to/from office in North Reading and events
Attend all events planned by Swank
Prepare event materials when necessary
Contribute to social media content and blog posts
Research event venues and vendors for client events
Participate in client calls and meetings
Attend site visits and vendor meetings
Assist with event concept building and theme development
Assist with all other event preparation, from inception to day-of execution to post-event wrap-up
Administrative tasks to include: copying meeting agendas, creating folders for events, website updates, setting up meetings, research projects, other duties as required
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!
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!
First of all, Happy New Year from your friends at Swank! We have been so busy during the month of January that we’re just now able to pause and reflect on 2018. And what a year it was!!
Our year kicked off with planning an annual meeting for one of our favorite clients. This wasn’t just your average meeting – sure, there were some company updates, but in between presentations, there was a magician/comedian who really brought some energy to the event. Immediately following the meeting was dinner and bowling at Kings. This company really understand the value of employee bonding time outside of the office. Photos by Kristen Renneker.
The summer brought a family outing for a Boston-based company at Steep Hill Beach at the Crane Estate. We really enjoy planning these as the day is all about fun, food and enjoying our amazing New England weather. Lobsters, a sundae bar, the beach and lawn games were on the agenda for this magnificent day!
One of our most exciting opportunities of 2018 was assisting with theNBC Universal’s Boston Media Center Groundbreaking Ceremony.There was a gorgeous cake by Cakes for Occasions, champagne toasts and a special ceremonial groundbreaking with customized shovels and hard hats. We had a lot of fun being creative with the primary colors in the NBC logo – adding the Swanktouch.
The use of the primary colors in the NBC logo brought color and life to this event which we really enjoyed.
In October, we were back at it with the PERKS team for the PERKS Chicagoshow. This event was held at a very different venue from Boston that created a distinctive feel and an intimate experience for attendees. It was the first convention we’ve planned where we brought in a stilt walker…and we LOVED every minute of it! Photos by Eric Michael Clarke Photography.
And to close out the year on a high note, we had the pleasure of planning and executing a 1970’s themed holiday party! The Motor Booty Affair band rocked the room and elevated the unique 70’s decor created by Swank Events for this company event. Photos by Kristen Renneker.
And our final piece of exciting news – we moved into a new office space. Stay tuned for a new series: from the desk of Kristin Healy, to get tips, insight into the event planning world and the latest on Swank happenings.
Very exciting things to come in 2019. What can Swank Events do for your company? We would love to hear from you.
Cheers to an incredible year ahead!
– Kristin Healy, Owner & Creative Director, Swank Events Boston