A lot of things happen behind the scenes of an event. Largely the months of planning and preparation that occur for that one night or several days event.

When individuals think about becoming an event planner, they often picture themselves enjoying time with the client picking out color swatches or even mingling while the party takes place. While these are some perks to being an event planner, there is a lot of hard work that goes into pulling off a successful party or event.

Before you can even get started planning an event, you must be selected as the planner of choice. Sometimes that means competing against other planners. The “competition process” can include presenting your proposal to the potential client, which is the topic we will be addressing here. This process might be called the RFP (Request for Proposal) process and many times the client will give you an outline of what they are looking for.

If you have made it this far in the selection process, there are some tips you’ll want to follow to make sure you are presenting in a professional manner and are able to make the most of this important face-to-face time with the client.

Below are five tips to presenting your event proposal professionally:

1) Dress to Impress

Don’t show up in yoga pants and your favorite black t-shirt. Although you may wear that in your home office, it’s not what you should wear for your presentation.
If this is your first face-to-face meeting with the client, you’ll want to use your attire to make a good first impression. I’d suggest wearing dress slacks and a business formal top or even a pencil skirt and dress sweater. Think of what you’d wear to an interview and go from there.

As you narrow down your outfit options, make sure you eliminate any options that could be too distracting. You don’t want the client focused on the clang of your bangle bracelets or brightly patterned tie.

2) Use Professional Body Language

While you are presenting, make sure your body language is positive and professional. Don’t slouch, grimace, or look closed off by crossing your arms the entire time.

It is important that you stand up straight, use open body language, and avoid doing any nervous tick behaviors if possible. Things like swaying and tapping your foot can be distracting and take away from the presentation. Ask your close friends, coworkers, or family members if you have any nervous habits you need to work on.

3) Practice Beforehand

If this is your first rodeo or a big presentation you’re feeling nervous about, practices in front of a small crowd or even the mirror beforehand. This is a great way to become aware of body language errors we previously mentioned. It is also a chance to refine your message and time your presentation.

4) Bring along a team member

I always like to have someone with me when I go to present a proposal. Not only does it allow someone to watch the clients’ reactions to ideas I’m presenting more closely, but it allows someone else within our company to be knowledgeable on the event details. This can be important for emergency situations. If you were unable to complete the event planning or be there the day of the event, your associate can seamlessly take over.

Another benefit is their ability to take notes for later and alert you if the client gives any non-verbal cues about disliking an idea or catch little nuances that you might have missed.

5)Practice your redirection skills

When your teammate gives you a silent cue of the client not liking an idea, or if you are able to notice it yourself, make sure you are able to redirect your client to the ideas they did like. This can be tough but with practice and more events, it will come naturally.

When presenting by yourself, watch the facial reactions to your ideas. If something isn’t clicking for the person you are presenting to, turn the meeting around and start asking questions. If you listen closely, the potential client will tell you exactly what they want and how much they are willing to spend.

Presenting your proposal professionally is an important step in getting selected as the planner of choice for an event. Going in with a negative attitude or making the mistake of chewing gum while presenting are things that can make or break your business. You may not get future calls to present if they feel you don’t take your job seriously.

There are also fun ways to spice up your presentation and leave an impression, which I share in full detail in our event planning membership.

I’d love to hear what you do to prepare for presentations. Share in the comments below!

Starting an event planning business can be intimidating, even scary. You may fear the perceived risks that are involved and question whether you can handle them. However, once we release what fear really means “False Evidence Appearing Real” (by: unknown) we have the opportunity to overcome.

Just remember this: “Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.” – Suzy Kassem

I love this quote and its nudge toward jumping all in. Who are you starting an event planning business for anyway? That’s right, for Y-O-U, you!

Does Fear Go Away Once I’ve Started?

Fear and doubt are part of going beyond your comfort zone and growing. Fear still exists as an entrepreneur, even when you’ve been in business for as long as I have. You know what I fear? I fear doing Facebook live. It is a real stretch for me. For some reason, I can’t get past this.

I can talk on the phone, do face-to-face meetings, speak in front of a crowd and many other things, but Facebook Live gets me all the time. However, when I go face my fears and do, whatever it is that I fear, it usually is really rewarding; it’s just a matter of a little practice. And yes, I need to do more Facebook Live.

When Others Add to Your Fears

Often family and friends will discourage you from going into business on our own. They think they are giving you advice that will help you, but it can be discouraging when you’ve decided to ‘do your own thing’. I remember when my parents told me I needed to get a ‘real job’ as if what I did was a hobby.

You’re Not Alone

Many people are in the same position as you. Trust me when I say you are not alone. Let’s examine the top five fears commonly found among those wanting to start an event planning business and how Event Heroes can help:

1. Not Enough Money

When isn’t money presenting itself as an obstacle? Money is a tricky thing, isn’t it? We work for an income to support ourselves and our families so that we can do things we enjoy. Did you know that if you work full time from ages 18-67, you will have worked 92,120 hours (source) during that time? That’s A LOT!

Wouldn’t you rather spend that timed doing something you LOVE?!

What I’m trying to say is that investing in yourself and your event planning dream is worth it.

With our Event Heroes training, you are paying for quality training that will get you jump started in your business. When you follow our business practices, you’ll make back your investment with a couple of events.

2. Overall Fear

Fear can be several things. Whether it’s fear of failure, fear of the unknown, fear of not being good enough… Just let go of them! Fear can be paralyzing. The more you dwell on it, the more you second-guess yourself. This is all wasting time when you could be out there growing your business!

With the support found in the Event Heroes community, you can ask questions as you begin your journey. This helps alleviate any fears that may arise. We want to be with you every step of the way.

3. Not Enough Time

I just finished attending a group where we talked about making the most of our fringe hours. Those are the hours in between activities or daily tasks where you can spend time on things you enjoy.

You will never find time for things you enjoy; you must make time. Sometimes the dirty laundry and dishes can wait, put your passions first. If you love event planning, make time for it.

4. Lack of Support

If you find that you don’t have emotional support from your friends or family, it can be hard to pursue your dreams. I personally find that if others doubt my abilities, I’m more motivated to succeed. Just tell me I can’t and watch me make it happen, just to prove you wrong.

If you’re looking for support in the form of mentorship, motivations, and cheerleading, let the Event Heroes community fill that role for you.

5. Inexperience

We all start somewhere, and my guess is that you DO have some experience under you belt. Most people who come to me for event planning advice found their interest sparked while planning a party, wedding, or event for a friend or family member.

Sometimes you may surprise yourself if you sit down and write out all your experiences related to event planning. There’s probably a lot more there than you thought!

If lack of business or formal customer service experience is a fear of yours, then know that we have a system in place to address this! We interview many professionals in the event and business world to help you know how to best operate your business.

Putting Your Fears Behind You

I’ve always taken my business seriously and have been able to raise my kids while doing what I love. Now, that’s not to say you should quit your job and jump in with both feet. You can make a great side-hustle income working in the evenings and weekends until this does take over and become your full-time business if you so choose.

However, if you can jump in with both feet, there is nothing like “fail or succeed entirely” to motivate you to do what you what to do. And it’s harder to let yourself down, because you know you can do it – you’re awesome after all!

How to Get Started Confidently

Starting a business alone can be scary and time consuming as you learn the ropes. Let us help you overcome your fears and minimize the learning curve to get you scheduling and planning events sooner than later! Heck, our system will even save you time and MONEY in the long run. You’ll be up and running and ready to tackle events in no time.

Ready to start your Event Hero membership? Sign up today.

Watch for me to do more Facebook live soon as I face my fears!

We live in an age where technology is King. So, does it surprise anyone when events start to take advantage of all the great technology out there!? From digital sponsorships to live streaming, digital centerpieces are becoming increasingly popular.

Photo Source: Event Vision

The idea of a digital centerpiece has multiple uses and the ability to reach and interact with everyone at the event! We listed the top uses for this technology, but the ideas and endless:

1. Live streaming:

At large events people may not always hear or see the main stage as well as they would like. Having a tablet at their table will allow them to focus more on the event!

2. Audience input:

Not only will your audience be able to see & hear the stage, they have the ability to ask questions directly from their table or vote/bid on something happening! This allows them to feel more a part of the event and interact with the people on stage!

3. Photos:

For events such as weddings or large family events, the sentiment of photographs resonates well with guests. Streaming old family photos or young pictures of the happy couple let the guests feel more connected to the couple.

Photo Source: BizBash

4. Sponsorships/promotional activities:

Sponsors will love the idea of people being able to see their product up close and personal. This also allows them to interact with the sponsor using a game or entering a contest on the tablet at the table. The possibilities are endless and the guests will enjoy it!

There are many different options on how to use digital centerpieces. The best part about this technology is that it is controllable. Not only as a whole, but also by table or specific tablet! This allows a more targeted reach to individuals.

Photo Source: Event Vision

Having these tablets as centerpieces also allows easy access for guests to post on social media. Some services can take pictures from the digital centerpiece and send them straight to the guest! Using similar features like Snapchat will allow you to showcase your event or a title sponsor.

Let us know what you think about this event technology and if you would consider using this for your next event!

An Event Hero knows and understands that while setting up for an event, not all things go smoothly. If you are starting out as an event planner and don’t know this, it’s time you come to realize this reality.

Events have a LOT of moving pieces and many different people are involved in the production of an event. Therefore, there are many opportunities for Murphy’s Law (whatever can go wrong, will go wrong) to come into play. Sometimes it feels like this:

However, there are ways to handle this professionally and ways to be prepared for when things do go wrong. This is something we cover extensively in our VIP Membership. Just to give you an idea of what can go wrong, I’ve gone ahead and documented some event day hiccups from a recent event I helped produce:

LOAD IN START TIME: Timing can be a bear! We were unable to get into the facility until 3:30 AM the day of the event (Show time = that evening at 6 PM ). [Picture me silently screaming inside]

The best way to explain this was facility error. The venue had an event happening the night before and rather than sticking to the agreed upon load-in time, they chose to extend the time of the previous event, overriding our original load in time.

While I can see the incentive for the facility to allow flexibility to their other event, it really threw a wrench in our schedule and was not a best-practices way of operating.
Luckily, we have a wonderful crew that worked diligently from the wee hours of the morning until the next evening. They put in all the bells and whistles and still managed to function during the show. In fact, they were cooperative and nice to work with. That’s what we love about our AV team, they are a part of the team and know how to work as team members.
3AM load in had me like:

RIGGING for specialty acts: Things don’t always work out the way you had planned, even when you’ve spent months planning. This was true of the Lyra that was being rigged in the ceiling for the show. (Lyra – an aerial hoop that performers swing on)

The performers were doing the rigging, had done all the pre-event work to ensure safety, load in time frames, etc. but when on site, knowing where and how to pull the ring up and let it back in became a conundrum.


This is where discussion/decision making come into play, as well as being flexible and early on the scene. These factors helped us make sure we had a plan before the event start time. After a few discussions and some trial and error, we found a solution that worked for everyone. No one was the wiser that we had this little challenge and it was just that, a little challenge.

PULLED in many directions: As the meeting producer/ planner/ large scale decor for this event, I held all the information for load in and was multi-tasking like crazy. Yes, my adrenaline was on fire and I was loving every minute of it. Phone to my ear, giving direction to the stage hands on décor issues and sending people to their prospective places all at the same time.

I did have help from committee members and from my wonderful crew, but all were waiting on my direction for final placement, final confirmation and sometimes the exact know-how to make it work.

YEP! We got it done in fine fashion and the show looked great!

Other moving pieces: This show happened to be filled with volunteers – 80 designers, 100 models, 35 other volunteers for the day-of and a pretty great team from the organization itself. Most of us had been working on this event for the better part of a year.

Our talent wrangler, fashion show script writer and show producer probably had the lion’s share of the pressure. How do you make sure your designers, models and backstage support team shows up to help pull off this event? Well, you make it a great show! AND she did.

BACK STAGE REPAIRS: Bubble wrap can be difficult to work with and sometimes the welds or the seams don’t hold as hoped. We have a whole area set up for repairs. We learned this early in the game and now there is someone there to help with last minute repairs up until show time.

HAIR: Boy, this event lines up the hard stylists! – We have models of all ages in unbelievable outfits and even sometimes bubble wigs. YEP! That’s a lot of different styles. There are about 15 hairstylist that handle all the different hair styles to go with the fashion designs.

MAKEUP: Once hair is done, the makeup begins. Again, from airbrush artist to makeup artist, we have them lined up and ready to go.

DRESSING ROOMS: Dressing rooms are created out of drape and 4 rooms stay busy for those who feel shy. Otherwise, there is a big open room for getting ready and lots of people to help get the models in their costumes.

MODELS that didn’t show up: Need a size 6 that is at least 5’4” and only weighs 115 pounds…..OH and is available to walk the catwalk in costume in just 3 hrs. YIKES! But yes, it happens every year….this year, the backstage manager was able to step in, but let me tell you, managing the backstage before heading out on stage in this outfit was no easy task! – She did a beautiful job and again, no one knew we were a model down.

These were just a few of the challenges that we encountered that day, but the show was amazing as well as the entire room. In addition, the food was great and the guests had a POPPIN’ good time! This is a total win for this event and we all went home feeling great about the show we had just completed!

The lesson I want you to take away from this is that when planning and setting up for an event, do your best to expect the unexpected. Even if it is something you could have never seen coming, take a deep breath, put your thinking cap on, and get to work.

Are you searching for an amazing cover band for your next event? If you want a group that can play decades worth of wonderful cover songs, then look no further than Almost Famous, a group playing out of New York. Almost Famous describes their performance as “The Arena Rock Experience that will have you clapping your hands, stomping your feet, and singing at the top of your lungs. Hit after hit from decade after decade.”
The Musical Style of Almost Famous
Because Almost Famous can provide such a wide array of musical styles and genres covering decades of musical entertainment, they can provide music for people of all ages. The band is made up of five musicians who have performed with many of the artists whose songs they cover.
Furthermore, to ensure they provide your event with a successful musical experience, the band has earned outstanding reviews for years at the various venues they have played. Because of their talent, charisma, and drive entertaining audiences, they have earned a large following and become musical favorites at many of the venues they performed at.
The Bands Almost Famous Covers
Some of the bands Almost Famous Covers includes the biggest hits in rock history. They cover songs written by Bon Jovi, Journey, The Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, Styx, U2, The Beatles, Bruce Springsteen, Van Halen, AC/DC, The Cars, Led Zeppelin, The Black Crowes, Foreigner, Def Leppard, Rush, Guns ‘n’ Roses, Boston, and others.
Almost Famous provides such a wide variety of options, they are happy to customize their playlist of songs to make every event perfect for their clients. With all of the talent and experience, they bring to the stage, Almost Famous is sure to provide an interesting experience for any event.
To learn more about bands like Almost Famous or to read up on more event planning information, stay with us here at Eventcombo. At Eventcombo, we provide you not only with helpful event planning articles but also with the ability to sell your event tickets online to increase your ticket sales.
Originally posted on: Eventcombo

Ahh the luck of the Irish! Even if your ancestors don’t hail from Ireland, St. Paddy’s Day is still one of the most loved holidays to celebrate. This year St. Patrick’s Day falls on Friday, March 17th and will bring tons of people out!

When thinking about having a St. Patrick’s Day party, don’t forget the food! Here are some themed food ideas:

1) Green Beer

It wouldn’t be St. Patrick’s Day without green beer! Luckily for everyone this is super easy to make, so the whole party can enjoy, whether that is 5 or 500 people! All you need is a glass, beer and green food coloring. Add a few drops of the coloring into the glass and pour the beer in slowly.

Photo source: Betty Crocker

2) Green Eggs and Ham Sandwiches

Another great tradition is the green eggs and ham. This can be served in a buffet style or individually depending on the event.

Photo source: Taste of Home

3) Guinness Ice Cream

Add some Guinness flavor in your ice cream for some dessert! Don’t forget the chocolate covered pretzels on the side as well for a salty surprise! Check out the recipe below for homemade ice cream or ask a caterer.

Photo source: Food and Wine

4) Guinness Beer Cheese Dip

Ok, we couldn’t help ourselves with the Guinness; it is St. Paddy’s day after all! And who doesn’t love beer and cheese?! This is a great dip for parties, and can be made in a crock-pot!

Photo source: All Recipes

5) Shepherd’s Pie

For a main dish guests will love a Shepherd’s Pie.

Photo source: Food Network

6) Corned Beef and Cabbage

Nothing says Irish tradition more than corned beef and cabbage. Don’t forget to add this to your menu! This is a heartier meal, so make sure guests are sitting when they eat.

Photo source: All Recipes

These are just some of the few recipes we love to incorporate a St. Patrick’s Day themed party. Grab some shamrocks, green linen and tableware and you will have yourself a great event!
Looking for more ideas to pull together a professionally planned St. Patrick’s Day party?

Check out our theme that contains a party plan from an event expert.

Beauty and the Beast. It’s a tale as old as time, and a theme that is great for an event! There are many possibilities from wedding theme, a simple tea party or a large sit down or dinner party!

When thinking about putting together a Beauty and the Beast theme, food and décor will be the two that put it over the top! Here are some food and décor ideas to make your next event a success:


1) Enchanted Dessert

For a wedding or large event, a castle themed cake would be the best fit

Photo Source: Disney Weddings

2) Rose Apple Tarts

Photo Source: Color Me Meg

These rose apple tarts are another great addition to your event! They look and taste great, and guests will love the thought you put into them. A simple recipe and easy to follow instructions!

3) Strawberry Shortcake

These easy to do desserts can be served as appetizers and will be a crowd pleaser! Using the two core theme colors – gold and red, they are perfect for showers, tea parties or a little get together.

Photo Source: Somewhat Simple

4) Croque Monsieur Roll-Ups

Sounds complex, but in reality this French inspired sandwich is made with dough, ham and cheese. Great finger food for guests who want to mingle and walk around.

Photo Source: Brit Co

5) French Onion Soup

For a larger sit down event, a great main dish option would be a French Onion Soup.

Photo Source: The Disney Chef

6) The Grey Stuff

Photo Source: See Aimee Cook

One of the most famous foods to come directly from the Beauty and the Beast movie is “The Grey Stuff”. Coming from the “Be Our Guest” song declaring, “Try the Grey Stuff, it’s delicious!”. Similar to a mousse dessert with Oreo flavoring, it is indeed delicious, and fans of the movie will appreciate the effort.


1) The Enchanted Rose

The most iconic décor peace in the entire theme is the enchanted rose. For an event you can be creative with this, because there are many ways to incorporate it! Use it as a centerpiece or an individual place setting. For those looking for an inexpensive route, try fake flowers or create your own paper flowers!

Photo Source: Disney Wedding

2) Gold Accents

Sticking to Beauty and the Beast’s theme colors, a gold accent for chairs and tables, will make the room look more grand and lavish.

Photo Source: Disney Wedding

And to get you in the mood of the theme don’t forget the song!

Looking for more ideas to create this theme for your small venue party? We’ve generated a cohesive event concept to help you plan a Beauty and the Beast theme party and ensure everything flows from the moment guests receive the invitation to the end of the night. Great ideas on anything from invites to entertainment and everything in between. With our event concept ideas from a 30+ year event planning veteran, you can plan your party like a pro!

As a solo entrepreneur (solopreneur) sometimes it’s hard to stay sane. If you are like me, you might find yourself in front of your computer working away and the days just fly by. I sometimes forget to eat lunch and may not see another human or talk on the phone for a full day. I have worked this way for years.

Even though I own a business with a handful of other people involved, I’ve chosen to work from my home in my nice cozy home office. Frankly, I enjoy it that way and find I get so much more work done than I do in a social work environment.

Honestly, if you aren’t communicating with a human outside your family or pets for a few days in a row, your brain starts to turn to mush! So how can you stay connected with the outside world as a solopreneur? Here are 7 ways, I’ve found to stay connected:

#1 – Attend networking events


I love to network and meet new people. There are so many ways you can get out and network. In my city, there is a magazine that holds an event once every quarter to release their new magazine. I attend these unveiling events as often as I can for several reasons. Those who attend often includes many of my clients, so it’s a great chance to connect outside of our usual atmosphere and stay connected. It’s also nice to jump out of my casual work clothes and into something dressier. Lastly, it brings me a lot of joy to have intelligent conversations that stimulate my brain.

I really can’t say enough about how important networking is for your business. Being seen at an event will remind people that you have a business and that you are still active. Bring a friend along and take turns introducing each other to people you know. After a while, walking in to a networking event will be easier because you will know a ton of the people there. Yes, I know it’s hard to go alone, but after one or two short and sweet conversations, you’ll get in the groove and be ready to take on the networking challenge.

#2 – Get involved in a non-profit fundraiser

This is perfect for those of you looking to become Event Heroes. There are many organizations that can use your event planning skills to help make their event super fantastic, and they will welcome you with open arms to their organization. Make sure you have the time and energy to handle taking on a charity.

This is one of the best ways to get your company off the ground and get the exposure you are looking for. Ask the committee, one on one, it they know anyone planning an event, getting married, etc. that they could introduce you to. Use these well-connected individuals to help you build your business. Be subtle when asking, but know that most committees have community leaders that will be happy to introduce you to someone that has needs for your business.

#3 – Stay active in online chats

Although this is still in front of the computer, tucked away in your cozy office, it can sometimes feel like face-to-face communication. Read a blog, then comment on the blog (It’s another way to get your company noticed); not only are you having a ‘conversation’ with someone that shares similar business or life interests, but you are exposing your name and business name to the public. Haven’t you clicked over to see what the person replying does? Connected with them on LinkedIn or other social media outlets? I have.

#4 – Set morning meetings

It doesn’t matter if you like coffee or tea or a full-on breakfast, make your meetings for first thing in the morning. Nine AM is my favorite meeting time frame to get my day started. This gives me some computer time before I head out. If anything comes up during the meeting, I also have time to research and respond to it the rest of the day.

This is also a great way to meet with other solopreneurs and discuss what you might do together to create business for both of you. Coffee is an easy way to meet; there are few expectations, both of you are relaxed, and the conversation flows easily. Who knows what kind of scheme might arise.

#5 – Start a mastermind group

I love mastermind groups, masterminding is based on a theory by Napoleon Hill’s book Think and Grow Rich. In the book Napoleon states that a mastermind is created when two or more people come together with a collective objective. He goes on to say that when this happens, a third invisible, intangible force likened to a third mind is created.

Some fellow entrepreneurs and I started a mastermind group after a highly motivating morning coffee meeting. It has now run for 5 years. Most of the original members are still with the group. Mastermind group building has some rules and you can find our outline for the group here.

#6 – Join a gym

I’m lousy at this one. I love my home office so much, sometimes I really don’t want to leave, especially in the cold, dark winter. Not even to go to bed. But this doesn’t fulfill my need to get some human interaction.

I need to make sure I exercise in the early mornings, like 5:30 AM If I can drag myself out of bed. Then I can be showered and ready for my office by 7:30. In all honesty, this really doesn’t happen as often as it should. I’m not a huge fan of exercising when I first get started, but after exercising a few weeks it gets easier. Yoga is really my thing, so I joined an early morning yoga studio with a few clients to help get me motivated.

#7 – Join a Meetup

A Meetup is like networking, but the group is based around a common interest. For example, a canoeing meetup or a book club, just make sure you are joining one that others have similar interests as you.

In my city, we have a group of meeting planners that meet up. They swap stories, ideas and even sometimes clients. (it’s a great group and if they are too busy, they pass the client on to someone else, what a great way to get along with your competitors) Check online to find were your local meetups are happening.

Overall, there are hundreds of ways for you to get that social craving met, but you have to look for it. Join in and serve as an asset to the group. Make sure you don’t eat into your work and family time too much and target some your groups to where your clients might hang out. Don’t be afraid to network with many groups to see where you fit best and to change when the usefulness of one group no longer fits your needs. This is a great way to combine advertising your business and getting your socialization all in one.

Are you starting an event planning business and looking for someone to guide you along the way? Look no further as I work with you to get you started and teach you all the lessons, tips, and tricks I wish I would have learned when I started 30 years ago. Being a solopreneur doesn’t have to be hard, join my VIP Membership Program to learn how I’ve done it successfully.

As the biggest sporting event of the year, Super Bowl 51 did not disappoint! It is a great event, for both sports and non-sports fans to watch. It has something for everyone from the game, to the year’s most anticipated advertisements, and the musical guests. After watching the Super Bowl, I was inspired with all the new possibilities of event technology!


During the halftime show, you may have noticed the use of drones above Lady GaGa! I searched and found that it was several hundred drones creating the light display by her. Specifically, they were Tiny Shooting Star quadcopters by Intel. It is amazing what the team who managed the drone display did!

The use of drones is one thing that I have always wanted to do. There are so many innovative ways to use these, including lighting, video and photo, as well as an aerial display. I expect the use of drones to be used more and more during events.

180-degree projection:

Another technology that I forecast will be a big hit with events this year and was used at the SuperBowl is the 180-degree room with projection screens. This year, Hyundai brought the Super Bowl to our service men and women overseas while they sat them down surrounded in a 180-degree projection while their families were watching Super Bowl 51. Watch it here to see the technology for yourself!

Using this type of technology pulls your audience in and gives them the full effect of being somewhere else. Ideas of this could be for an ‘Under the Seas’ theme or a ‘Space’ theme. The possibilities are endless! Giving a similar experience as Virtual Reality.

Work to give your audience an experience, something that they will never forget. I think we will be seeing more of these technologies in the event space! Talk to your AV team when considering this for an event!

After watching the Super Bowl, I am very excited to see how these technology takeaways will be applied to the event world! Keep an eye out for these innovative event technologies, and let us know what you think!

Themes. Every event must have one. An even theme is the primary way you let people know what your event is about. Themes are important to the messaging and critical to the success of your events. Creating an event theme is as important as choosing the right location, hiring the right vendors as your event team, and choosing a venue that fits your event.

Event themes help drive home the purpose of the event, AKA the key objective. Your event team, whether your employees or fellow vendors, can help you brainstorm ideas for your theme.

Brainstorming a theme starts with determining the goals and aspirations for your client’s year, their mission, and their vision for holding the event.

Themes create a framework, just like 2x4s create the framework for a home. The theme is the structure that sets up the framework for your messaging and every other detail about the event.

Once you have the framework, use these next eight steps to fill in the details:

Choose a Tagline

Choosing a tagline for your event is crucial to the overall success of the meeting. This is the foundation that will carry the event from beginning to end and will guide your attendees in the direction you want them to go.

This will help guide you in selection of your speakers (speakers whose message fits your goals and objective), your staging, and all things that relate to this event. Your tagline will keep all the elements cohesive, reinforce the key message, and help you have a clear call to action for your attendees.

One great example is using the POWER OF ONE as a theme. You could weave the idea of ONE person having the power to create, change, or raise up the organization. The Power of one individual combined with the power of another ONE individual, so on and so on, becomes a force to make changes in the organization, the nation, and the world.

You can use Audio Visual elements to show the Power of One. How ONE brick is the start for a hospital, How ONE person’s actions created a movement, a tech product, or other changes for good in the world. You might have a choir singing an opening song of the Power of ONE. These songs and inspirational videos can be found online as an inspiration to the opening you can create for your opening or closing session for your meeting or convention. You can also have the words of a song rewritten to match the event.

Create a Logo

A picture, or in this case an image, says a thousand words. You want your message to be memorable, so the next step is to create an accompanying logo. This may require some outside help. The graphics department within the organization or an outside agency will likely have creative ideas that align with the messaging. The logo that is created will be printed on everything used for the event, so make it meaningful. Use the logo to drive the purpose of your event.

In addition, you’ll want to create a slide deck with the selected logo. While some speakers will have their own canned graphics, others will want to use your monogrammed slides. Even if others aren’t looking to use it, the template you’ve created will be great for the introduction and outro slide for speakers. This helps to keep your message in front of your attendees.

Remember to use colors that will stand out on the video screens! Not all colors are “screen savvy”. In other words, they don’t appear the way they would on a computer or when printed out. Let your speakers know whether the room will be dark or if lights will be on while they present. Different colors work with different lighting situations, so it’s best for them to be prepared for the right situation.

This is a great time to pull in your AV and graphics teams to discuss what can be done with your logo to be dynamic for both the screen and print formats.

Use Your Colors in Your Lighting

Once the logo has been chosen, use the colors within it for your event. This will help bring together elements of the event. This includes lighting effects and projections. There are so many wonderful ways to create special effects with lighting and projections that we could likely write a short novel on the matter. However, getting your AV team involved in the planning can certainly help you decide what will make the best graphic treatment for your message and budget.

Lighting greatly enhances the mood of an event. Research shows the amount of light in a room affects the regulation of emotions – bright light heightens emotional responses and alertness, soft light diffuses emotional responses and induces relaxation.

Send Out Invitations and Social Media Updates That Tease

Teasing your event attendees with a taste of what’s to come will create a bit of intrigue. This is a great way to get people talking and make your event stand out from the other events they will have the opportunity to attend. Your event is the ‘not to be missed’ event of the year. Make sure your teaser invite stands out as well.

Add in social media to start revealing what’s behind the curtain for the event. Drip this out a bit at a time. Also create an email campaign to send out to your email list with a small 30 second video or a man on the street interview. If you were using “The Power of One” theme, you might send out a short video or photo of how one person changed the world each month leading up to your convention. Then string all these stories together for your opening video.

Building the excitement, the curiosity, or the messages will stick in the minds of your attendees and they will be anticipating your event with enthusiasm.

Coordinate Special Experiences Tied to the Theme

Is your event theme for a 70’s style event? Hire actors dressed as 70’s TV characters to meet and greet guests as they come in. Ask attendees to dress the part as well.

Have you hired an actor that impersonates the president? Hire college students to act as secret service agents with headsets and dark glasses.

For a sports themes, offer games of skill for your attendees to try during breaks or at a dinner following the main event. This is one of the areas that theming becomes so helpful. Knowing what kind of entertainment to add to your event to again drive home your message is equally important.

Be careful when continuing the theme with the food pairings. Some themes just don’t lend themselves to good food, so make sure you are offering food that will please your crowd. It’s great if you can theme the food to the event, but make sure it’s quality food and not a major fail for the dinner.

Linking breakout events, meals and activities to the theme will help guests form lasting memories.

Give Promotional Products That Match the Theme

It’s no surprise that promotional products work. Just look in your desk drawer, at least one of the pens with a company name will bring up a memory that you tucked away. So, promotional products are a great reminder of your event. Put thought into the product; don’t just order to have a pen to hand out with the theme on it. Spend time thinking about the message you are using for your event and what promotional product works with the theme.

Using the copper taken from the capitol building in our city, we created a custom lapel pin for a group that was headed to the capitol to lobby their legislators. We added a note to the pin about how the copper that was removed from the capitol dome during renovation was used to create the pin. We had an artist press the copper into the company logo. This made the pin something special for them to keep that reminded them of the event, the importance of what they were doing, and the organization that put it all together.

Create a Follow-up Survey

Yep, you need to measure the success of the event. You will have several different ways to measure the success whether monetary, attendee satisfaction, or to reach other goals.

One of the ways to measure your success is to send out a survey. Remember to keep the theme going in the look and feel of the survey so your attendees will have visual recall.

Send out the survey within 24 hours of the event so everything is still fresh in the minds of your attendees. Ask about the theme, whether they liked it, if it helpful, if they felt it was carried through, along with all the other questions you will be asking them.

Create a second life for your event

Make sure you capture the event on video and audio. Ask your AV team to help you with this. Everyone in the organization or group will not be able to attend, so use this video after the event to share information with those that couldn’t be there.

If a speech was attended by 300 people, but you have thousands in your organization, its message and influence is limited to those 300 individuals. You can share the message to the thousands if you record and share on social media or via your private channel or website.

Want to increase awareness about your organization? Share snippets of videos from your event or conference online with all the associated hashtags for people to follow. Make sure your branding and messaging are included in the video, such as signage or a stage backdrop, and post away. Ask others to share your video to increase your reach.

In addition to creating a video library and archive for you and your organization, you will be able to use the snippets to help you advertise next year’s events.

If possible, do a “man on the street” video. Have a spokesperson or backdrop where attendees will be recorded. Ask them to share information about how important the conference, meeting or event was to them. Ask them to share a something that they picked up at the conference that made a difference to them. Those that can’t attend will be inspired to make sure they are at the following event. Being left out of the party isn’t any fun, so show them what they missed.