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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.

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:

FOOD:

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.

DÉCOR:

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 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!

Drones:

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!

Welcome to 2017, it’s event season and wedding planners are getting ready for the busy season.So wedding planners, here are a few of the trends we see for 2017!

Using unconventional spaces

Finding unique spaces for your brides to hold their weddings is key to helping them create the unique event they are looking for. Think old buildings with brick walls – instead of covering the walls with drape (so 2016) leave them raw and add the accents of beautiful flowers, lighting elements hanging from the ceiling and using the existing elements as part of the design.

Giving to a charity

One of the most touching weddings I’ve planned asked attendees to donate to their favorite charity. The charity they chose had a very personal feel for them and this was a wonderful way for everyone to feel great about their gift and the bride and groom to give back.

Entertainment beyond the DJ or band

Listen planners, there is that time frame between the wedding and the reception where guests are waiting for the Bride and Groom to show up and are bored and hungry. Why not create an entertainment distraction that fills that space. Try a game show based on the Bride and grooms new life or past events from their childhood.

Creating installations

This is another trend I love! Whether this is thousands of paper birds hanging from the ceiling, flowers or any other large installations of art that will really WOW! your guests when they walk through the door.

Pops of color

Color is coming back! In the last couple of years the color palate has been tans and whites. This year a pop of color, like bright pinks or oranges, are what a lot of brides are going for. Think of anything that will make the wedding different by adding bright colors. This could include flowers, or paper flowers hanging from the ceiling to form an installation!

We want to know what trends you are seeing for this years wedding. Add your comments below, we can’t wait to see what you have to say!

Want more ideas, tips and tricks? Join our VIP Membership Program

Happy Planning!

Will you be a super event planner or just average?

So what is it that sets a super event planner apart from those who are just meh? Is it the insider tips and tricks they have learned from years in the business? The access to trusted partners and contractors they have built and accrued over the years? Or is it their level of organization, knowledge of every aspect of planning an event and the support of their team in creating an event that will WOW! their clients every time?

The answer is that it is a combination of all of these things and more!

Owning your own successful, profitable event planning business requires you to be a great business manager, sales manager, project manager, creative manager, contract negotiator, customer service manager, and client relations expert all at the same time. Feeling overwhelmed yet? No worries! Although, looking at the big picture, it may seem a bit daunting, owning your own business and becoming a cutting edge event planner with the skills and knowledge to become a leader in the industry is doable and can be a very rewarding and exciting career.

The keys to being able to perform all the different roles required to be successful as an event planner are to be confident in your work, know your clients and what they are looking for and be prepared to put in the hard work necessary to create returning customers.

Need a push to take that first step?

If the idea of starting your own event planning business is exciting, but you’re not quite sure how to get started or if you’re new to the event planning business but need support to grow your business to the level you want it to be, you may be wondering how you can do so.

After running my own event planning business for the past 30 years, I have been contacted by countless people just like you who are looking for advice on how to start their own event planning businesses.

After a few years of answering those questions, I started to see a pattern. I would get questions from wanna-be event planners who had pieces and parts of the equation, but not the whole picture. For example, I had one young intern who had taken event-planning classes at school, but had no idea about starting a business. Then I’d work with someone who knew about starting a business but had no idea about how to plan an event. There was even the one lady who had business experience, and some event planning from the corporate world, but she didn’t know how to get started building her own clients and sources of trusted vendors for an at-home business.

So, my team and I started thinking about how we could provide ALL of the information people needed to know to start an event planning business without having to go through different sources to learn the ropes. That’s how we came up with the idea for Event Heroes.

We wanted to offer a coaching program that would provide a step-by-step guide on how to establish yourself as a business owner to finding clients, booking events, planning and producing shows and winning life long customers. And the one thing we really thought was super important was to be able to provide live support for our Event Hero members.

It’s all about the support!

So, that is what we did! Event Heroes, is an all-inclusive event planning coaching system that includes how-to coaching lessons, a complete library of pre-formatted business and event planning forms, fully developed event themes and instructions, access to our fully vetted and trusted black book of partner vendors, and live support sessions presented by leaders in the event planning industry.

At Event Heroes our goal is to help our members produce events that provide the WOW! factor that will establish them as leaders in the event industry.

Sign up to be an Event Hero VIP member on our signup page to take advantage of our great support system!

There is a lot that goes into becoming an event professional, and for today’s event spotlight we want to focus on Tracy Fuller-White the founder and CEO of Event Heroes!

We talked with her about her start to her career, her inspiration and what she is doing now with her event planning business.

1. Tracy, first tell us how you got your start into the Event Planning world?

Through tragedy comes perseverance and figuring out how to recover from loss sent me to create something bigger than me and somewhere I could put grief in the background. So I started a little company called Happy Occasions. This was the start of a much bigger company that came along a few years later when I started working with event producers, lighting directors and learning about the production world and how to work with Corporate America.

2. Did you have any training in Event Planning before starting your own company, InnovativEvents, Inc.?

Training wasn’t really available for events at that time. We were at the beginning of what is now a great industry with lots of opportunity for training and education. In fact in the last few years, many colleges have started degree programs for events and event planning.

3. Why did you start Event Heroes?

I started Event Heroes after several people came to me asking to ‘pick my brain’ on how to get started in the business. Not only was it the décor business and event planning business, but even musicians were asking how to get started in business. I create Event Heroes to help others get into this business I have loved and still enjoy working in.

4. How did you scale your business to grow it into a seven-figure operation?

This is tricky, good word of mouth has been my blessing. I network in the community a lot and have become members of several organizations and this has been a great way to build my business. Also, doing a great job for my clients creates year over year events. Having a client for as long as 20 years can help in your planning and keep your business going year after year.

5. What are some of the companies that have hired you, and where have some of those events taken place?

We’ve worked with all kinds of companies and many Fortune 500 companies. Companies such as Google, Allstate Insurance, Meredith Corporation and many others. These events have taken us all over the US and occasionally overseas.

6. What is one important lesson you have learned from your event experience?

Treat everyone with respect. Getting to know and respect everyone you come in contact with is the best way to ensure you can pull a rabbit out of your hat when you need to. Need a ladder? Better be nice to the person that can get that for you! Need the trash emptied? Well, that person is as important as your client to you at that moment but if you are rude, they won’t help you out. So be nice!

7. What do you think people can learn from using the resources at Event Heroes?

At Event Heroes, we want to cut down the learning curve of doing WOW events. We want to help make sure our Event Heroes have access to the best providers in the industry so they look like the hero to their clients and can build a business where their clients come back year after year. We want to help Event Heroes be the Hero for their clients.Tracy Fuller-White is a great example of how hard work and a good attitude can make you a top event professional!

To learn more about her or Event Heroes, contact us here!

Winter is coming. As much as we would all like to deny the fact, winter weather is on our heels. When outdoor elements become more unpredictable than ever, do you know what to do to protect your meetings and events from this event villain?

The first thing you should do is ensure you have a backup plan in place. If flights are cancelled, the venue could close, or any other weather related issues could arise – make sure you have a backup venue or date secured in unforeseen circumstances. Read more in the following article “Protecting Your Events from Inclement Weather” which shares six important points on how to secure your event during perils such as the snow miser.

It never hurts to be over-prepared! What’s your number one way to handle unforeseen weather conditions?

Original photo by Paul Itkin