Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Look Who's in the House!

Yes!  Who is in the house?

What makes an event intriguing?  It's doing what is unexpected or something that can be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.  Add a little bit of the celebrity factor along with some design, and you can create a can't-miss event that is making people extremely curious about what is about to happen.  A countdown attached to your event builds extra excitement.  It's okay to have fun teasing your community into anticipation, and everyone enjoys a little bit of levity in life!

Do you have a hometown celebrity that became successful on the world stage?  Is there an author, actor, artist, musician, doctor, astronaut or professional athlete whose roots can be traced to your town for whom you have a great deal of respect?  Most towns have at least one high school that can brag about having a famous alum!  Does that person indicate that they want to be reminded of where they came from and inspire other people to pursue their dreams?  Perhaps they are a key player in a specific cause.  If you are so fortunate, you could create a great event where your business will be in the spotlight for an extended period of time.  

Your business doesn't necessarily have to be in complete congruence with whatever your citizen-turned-celebrity does.  It seldom matters what your business does nor the business you might co-host  with for an event does.  Think creatively and develop an atmosphere that coincides with what your special guest is all about.  Certainly, if anyone is capable of creating a haunted house with very few items and there's no reason why with the help of an event rental company, you couldn't create a complimentary ambiance for your celebrity.  

Most people think of book signing events for this scenario and they can be a lot of fun if they are done correctly long before, during and after your event.  First, you have to let people in, around and beyond your community know who your special guest is along with when and what they will be doing.  You want to time the event for when their most likely admirers will be present.  If you have famous children's book author, perhaps the summer isn't the best time to host an event but it might be a good time if your someone wrote about life as a snow birder.  We've all heard that saying that "everyone has a story".  It is so true for towns, as well.  You don't need a parade to have a Grand Marshall.  Have them at your event!  If you know of someone who is a spokesperson for a particular cause, help them connect with "the people back home" and support their cause.  

Now, think of your industry as your community and apply these same principles.  There has to be someone who is a well-sought-after figure who could draw a crowd.  With a little research at most, you will find out who that person is. You are put in a different perspective when you organize an event within your profession.

When I primarily planned weddings, I formed a networking group for event and wedding professionals in 2008 (which I still organize). At about the two-year mark, after I formed the group, I invited a person who was well-known as a great coach specifically for wedding professionals, to speak.  She lived far away on the other side of the country, but I felt like I was familiar enough through some of her coaching programs, that I could ask if she would like to come out and speak to my networking group.  She did and even paid for her own airfare.  Within a few days of the announcement, we had members donate services ranging from a fabulous venue, the meal, mimosas, decor, limo, hotel, printing, photography, the stage, a pianist, and a DJ who did his homework and searched on Facebook for her favorite music.  It was a great success. However, the very first reaction from more established industry networking groups, was a social media post that stated, "How did THEY get HER?"  It was very simple.  You build a professional relationship and you ask them!  I continue to be long-distance friends with her years later.  In contrast to an unnamed person's social media post when the event was announced, the much-admired wedding marketing coach told me, "You are looked upon as a leader in the industry out here".  I had never even thought of it that way.  Oh, and you guessed right if you bet that the more established group asked us to share her visit with them at their own meeting.

My key point in this story is, you cannot be afraid to ask!  Dream of opportunities you could share with other people and follow your gut!  Don't be afraid to be the first person to do something in your little niche, your community and even in your profession.

On the lighter side, if you want to feel pressure planning an event, plan an event for event professionals with about a month's notice during the holidays!  Seriously, it was fun...because that is what we do!  Yes, I took my own advice and had another event planner come on board to help me!

As always,

Wishing you the greatest of days!

P.S.  Make your special guest speaker feel just that!  Special.  Go out of your way to make them feel welcomed as you will be in an ambassador role for your business or group.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

You Should Make Fun of Your Business!

Make Fun of Your Business!

As far back as you can probably remember, businesses have been holding contests. Businesses have been putting everything from balloons, styrofoam peanuts to jelly beans in containers ranging from jars, bags all the way up to automobiles to get people to make their best guess at the quantity inside.  We've all seen the excitement over people trying to guess the weight of pumpkins at annual events.  Game shows would have been gone a long time ago but instead, we've seen a resurgence of old game shows.  People like to block everything out and go into a zone where they can forget about life for a while and at the same time, keep their fingers crossed.

What is the appeal of participating in a contest at a business?  It might be the prospect of winning something with little or no investment.  To some, the curiosity alone will get them.  I wonder when people put their names in the box filled with guesses, if they don't have it cross their minds at least a few times until a winner is announced.  It's fun to think of being the winner and most of us have said, at least to ourselves, "I'm going to win!  I'm going to win!"  If they do get the phone call informing them that they won, they will probably run rather than walk to claim whatever their prize is and then tell people about it.  Hmmm...could entering names in a contest be the oldest form of permission marketing? I don't know.

It's best to have a contest built around what your business does to pique their interest in your business.  It's also best that they have to win by a skill rather than just a drawing otherwise you can into trouble in some jurisdictions for gambling.  It can be a very simple skill to win but not merely chance in these situations to be legal.  There's probably a lot of interpretations and confusion in any jurisdiction, but it's better to not find out the hard way as to what is legal or what isn't legal.

There are some businesses that think they could never hold an event or contest because they have a home business or their office is too small.  As an event planner, I will tell you that is entirely false!  In future blogposts, I will also be bringing up ways that events can reduce the number of excuses people give for not being able to host a party.  Did I get your attention if you are in direct sales?  I will also discuss co-hosting.  I've seen business owners from accountants to chiropractors actually host some cool events when you might have thought they didn't have a creative bone in their bodies.

Here's what I won around the time of the Super Bowl in 2015!

If you've heard of the Seahawks at all, you'll know what the significance of "12" is!  


Wednesday, December 16, 2015

How Would You Like to Pay for That New Equipment?

How Would You Like to Pay for That New Equipment?

...or that new service you invested in with a large amount of money and time?


Getting new equipment is a major decision.  You research, compare and plan not just for the purchase but also the potential benefits.  So how are you going to pay for that new machine that creates banners, engravings or widgets and thingamajigs?  Maybe you've purchased the latest technology that  revolutionizes the way a service is performed and thus makes your clients' tasks dramatically easier.  It might be something that enables you to cast your net out far and wide, but it cost you money and you need for people to know about your latest new toy or pride and joy.  You want to make it pay for itself.                              

As business owners, we've all felt that pit in our stomachs when someone who you've known or networked with for some time says, "I didn't know that you did that, too!"  In your mind you see all the opportunities that you might have missed or wonder if it could have led to a pivotal point in your business.  I'm reminded of what a Director of Development at a foundation once told all of us who were involved with fundraising under his direction.  He stated this very simple truth.  "You don't get what you don't ask for".  I think the same applies to businesses, too.  People won't purchase something that they don't know about if you haven't put the information out there.

So, about now, you're thinking "What in the world does this have to do with hosting an event?"  If I've said it once, I've probably said it a million times, for a successful event, you have to appeal to innate human trait of curiosity.  Hosting an open house to celebrate the new cool thing you're going to be able to do will make people think about how they can use your new product or service.  If you are introducing a monstrosity of a piece of equipment that creates something, have a contest to name the beast.  A live demonstration, samples made right on the spot, even giving out a prize drawing for your latest and greatest service will engage people unlike many forms of marketing.  Perhaps you would find yourself being able to give tours.  Think of this type of event almost being like a product launch.  

Think of giving a tour.  If you give your guests that feeling of them almost being in forbidden territory, they will love it!  Think of a child's curiosity when their family has been invited to a friend's home for a dinner party.  If the dinner is on the main level and there is an upstairs, it's only a matter of time until you hear a little voice ask, "What's upstairs?"  Perhaps, you only have to think of a five-year-old.  Everything you say is a response to a why this, how does that work, what does that mean or an I want to try it!  Thinking like a reporter is a perfect mindset when you plan this type of an event.  If you create that atmosphere around a change of products or services, you will not be forgotten.

As always...

Wishing you the greatest of days!

If you would like to learn more about our seminars that teach businesses to host successful events, please contact us!  We love to talk about events!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Grand Openings Should be Just That!

Grand Openings are a great way for a business to become known to a community or industry.  Usually they take place after things have been operating normally and have been stabilized for a while.  However, grand openings really need to happen sooner than later.  A grand opening should inform, entertain and create a memory like any business event, but on a grander scale.

A grand opening can offer a great first impression not only for new or potential clients but the community at large.  This alone is why a business would want to make the event feel grand, be memorable and a true experience to absorb.

A business will want to inform attendees at a grand opening of the following: 

1. What they do, 
2. How they do something better or differently, 
3. Why people need their services,
4. When the best time is for people to plan ahead to use their services.

Its important to remember that the purpose of a grand opening is not merely to educate the public about a business, but it is crucial to offer an experience that is memorable.  An event is the perfect opportunity to set up a business to not be victim of the "out of sight, out of mind" mentality.  The purpose is to make the event one that will be remembered by anyone and everyone in a community and hopefully come up in conversations after the grand opening. Swag bags aren't just for convenience.  We have all experienced someone coming home with a swag bag filled with goodies and soon, those items are distributed to other members of a household or friends with a business name on them.  

Future business events with a more specific clientele in mind would be designed differently to have a narrower appeal.  Compared to other types of events that a business could host, a grand opening needs to offer more variety in the activities with a broader appeal that can be tailored to educate and almost be a family-friendly event.  It's a lot easier for an adult to attend if their children are allowed.  This might not work well if a business poses a danger to children.  Special accommodations can be made so that kids could be entertained in a separate area and that might suffice. You can hire childcare companies who do nothing but provide childcare for events.  One option if it was too dangerous for children to be present, would be to promote that there will be things to take home to surprise your children.  It's the world we live in. 

A grand opening is really about an introduction to all the members of a community to help a business gather more ambassadors and foster more conversations around the community.  If a business incorporates a food drive with a grand opening, it is a great way to show that a business cares about the community.  It's the perfect time to make a great impression because a business' grand opening is remembered all unto itself.  Other events can sometimes be blurred with other companies events, but a grand opening is different because it is new to everyone.  A business can and should claim a grand opening as its very own in a unique way.  It is all about being different from the competition especially with hosting events.

You'll notice a common thread in my blog posts, seminars and presentations about events of any kind and that is that any event needs to appeal to the five senses plus one more I refer to as "Quiet".  That's an entire blog post on its own!

Stay tuned for more information on how you can boost your business with successful events!

If you would like to learn more about our live seminars, teleseminars, webinars or speaking engagements, come on over to our Greatest of Days website and we'll be in touch!

"Events are unlike other forms of marketing.
They cannot be deleted or thrown away because they create permanent memories".

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

An Employee Saved is an Employee Earned

What does "an employee saved is an employee earned" mean?  Actually several things.  

Even the best employers will experience some turnover, but we know that it is more expensive to recruit and train a new employee than creating a good working environment to retain good employees. Every business is different, but we know that keeping the morale boosted is crucial.  It can be difficult for a business owner to see this beyond theory because there are a multitude of things bombarding the owner that perhaps the employees never see.  If a business owner stays on top of the mood, climate or whatever you might call it, a crisis is more likely to be averted.

What boss hasn't trembled after hearing that the most productive, amenable, and insightful employee is going off to greener pastures.  Haven't we been or heard about that employee that ended up having to be replaced with five employees?  When a person grows with a position at a company or agency over an extended period of time, this can become a reality.  What might have helped to retain an employee?

What does all of this have to do with events to boost your business?  In one sentence, I would say it is appreciation and good management.  How do you go about showing your employees that you appreciate them when each employee is so different?  I'd liken it to a parent of a teenager or even an adult when they say, "We raised all our kids the same, but we just don't know what happened to ____!"  Therein lies the problem.  If you assume that everyone is going to respond to your appreciation efforts the same, you'll be in for the disappointing surprise.  

It doesn't have to be an elaborate event to show appreciation.  It can be very individualistic.  If you had to narrow it down to just one thing that any kind of employee gives to you, it would be time.  What do most employees wish they had more of?  It's time!  To different employees, time can mean money, or a day off, a special spa day, a weekend away, going to movies, admission to an anticipated sporting event or letting a parent know that you will always let them have an afternoon off for parent-teacher conferences.  It might be as simple as free parking or a bus pass for a month or others might love that you make a contribution to their favorite charity or a few hours off to volunteer at a charity.  You have to use your imagination and keep your ears to the ground.  If everyone knows their turn is coming to receive their appreciation award, there won't be any friction.  It should be something that each employee would be excited about not just for themselves but be shared and anticipated by everyone.  They will hopefully brag about what a great boss they have!  Does this sound like "an employee saved is an employee earned?"  I hope so.

If you have an event that is for everyone, you will reap the benefits of your employees getting a glimpse of each other as human beings which will hopefully show up in the form of gaining respect.  This type of an event should probably be off-site so that everyone is on a level playing field...sometimes, literally.  You can plan any variety of events for team building, birthdays, summer outings, fine dining or family-friendly events.  You could even offer to pay for childcare if that is what keeps a person from attending an event that takes place after business hours.  Your event is a gift to your employees as a special thank-you and that thankfulness should be emphasized throughout the entire event.  You will receive the rewards especially if you have put a lot of thought into it and not required your employees to do all of the work!

You know the saying, "You can catch more bees with sugar than vinegar!"  Consider events as an investment in keeping your employees humming, not just as busy bees but humming with contentment!

Watch out for blog posts here in the future about events that are to deal with low morale in the workplace and so much more.

Monday, November 30, 2015

We're Looking Good Now and Other Musings from an Event Planner!

Hosting events can accomplish many things.  Events keep you at top of mind.  In the case of remodeling, your customers have either endured the inconveniences with you or they have been held back until you are ready to swing open the doors.  There is a natural curiosity of clients and/or community to see what has changed.
If a business begins to show signs of wear and tear, it's good to not procrastinate which not only creates a backlog of deferred maintenance, it reflects upon the quality of your operations as a whole.  However, when you have purposely changed the appearance, you want to show it off and get people through the door as soon as possible.  You have the perfect opportunity to appeal to the senses which is so important for any event.  You'll have just taken care of the sense of sight and probably the sense of touch or even smell just from remodeling. The more senses you can involve, the more your event and your business will be remembered.  You can plan on hearing people take a deep breath and saying, "Everything smells so new!"  

There are a number of ways you could really get people to remember your "new" business.  Why not have your customers list all of the changes they notice and turn it into a contest?  While you're at it, ask which new features are their favorites.  Before you begin a remodel, you could even have customers guess how many days it will take for the remodeling to be done.  Of course, the winner will get a prize!  Remodeling is known as a great strength-tester in a marriage, and it will also test your patience going through a business remodel.  Remember that it really is an exciting time and thank your employees for hanging in there with you.  If you have had a great experience with everyone who worked to make your space look great, (contractors, etc.) let them know you are going to have a party to celebrate and show off their work.  On the other hand....well, if they've been bears to deal with, guess who's not going to be at that party!  You know, the ones that are about as pleasant as the department giving out permits or doing the inspections.  It's your party and you can invite who you want to.

If you do remodel your space, hopefully it will incorporate being able to provide better service or new services so that you can help pay for the space/facelift.  It's about more than a pretty face.  Speaking of remodeling, please consult with a good designer who knows how to create a good combination for the work environment as well as the optimal experience for your customers.  

One thing I love about event planning is that I get to do a little bit of many things I love as hobbies or for some reason they just come naturally for me.  It has come in handy as a gardener knowing a thing or two about flowers, the psychology of color, interior design, creativity, coming up with backup plans in a matter of seconds (Oh boy, have I?!), being interested in architecture, and so much more!  

I will be the first to tell you that being an event planner is anything but glamorous, but it's a funny unglamorous!  The first thing that people say when they hear what I do is, "I've always thought that would be fun to be an event planner!"  I know that they aren't thinking about the times you are on your hands and knees with a lint roller collecting glitter in a space three times the size of your house where someone decided to use glitter (even when it was against the venue's policy) just so a client could get their deposit back.  They also weren't thinking about the times you "discreetly" carry a plunger in a large black garbage bag, when a venue decides at the last minute to not bring in extra portable toilets, and you know what happened to the septic system or an electrical fire started in the kitchen.  They also haven't heard about some venues charging $500+ for going over one minute on the rental time at just about the same time someone comes back into the venue and says they lost their purse.  They also haven't prayed to God that they don't get pulled over by a cop from being exhausted after 16 hours on your feet running everywhere and as luck would have it, your car is filled with wine-soaked linens all while not having a drop of alcohol to drink.  They also weren't thinking about the times you played the role of custodian, family counselor, real estate agent, taster, dryer of tearful eyes, hugger, bouncer, teacher, dog sitter, babysitter, get the point.  I have many more stories that I could tell you.   Oh, yes!  One of the first things you will get as advice on as an event planner, is that you might as well plan on getting used to being an author because you will be writing all the time.  Any questions on how it is every year that event planners are #3, 4 or 5 on the list of most stressful jobs?  We're always flanked by police officers, firefighters, airline pilots, on the list, that is.  Well, sometimes we actually do work with the former two and it has nothing to do with the saying about guys and uniforms!  Security guards, however make up for the other's "uniformly" good looks by having beer bellies...usually.  I digress. 

What has been my all-time favorite part of being an event planner?  It was being a dog sitter while a bride and groom were having their pictures taken.  I was able to actually sit down AND hold an adorable dog.  That was a piece of heaven!  

As always...wishing you the greatest of days!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Business Owners! Put Your Party Hats and Thinking Caps on!

This is just the beginning of showing you how you can use events to benefit your business.  I'm guessing that you wouldn't think there could be more events for businesses that there are types of typical social celebrations that your family or friends would host.  I'm going to let you in on a good thing!  Marketing with events is the 2nd most effective method of marketing, yet it is the least understood and most underutilized method.  That is great news for your business.  Isn't it all about doing what no one else is doing?

Let's think of it this way.  An event cannot be deleted or erased because events become a permanent memory.  Memories are first recalled as a visual image, yet there's a big secret to having events being remembered in the first place.  There's an element to an event that will help establish your event as a memory but that dives into your brain chemistry.  That's a completely different blogpost for another time.  (I want you to come back!)

Here's an introduction to the types of events you could either consider hosting or participating in for your business.  Have fun imagining how these events could apply to your business!  Future blogposts will cover how you would incorporate each of these types of events into your marketing.  There are even more subcategories of events not listed here.

Wishing you the greatest of days!

If you would like to attend a seminar in the Seattle area, please email me and I'll put your name on the list to be notified of the events for 2016.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Marketing by hosting events is still in the top two methods of marketing but partly that is because they are underutilized and under-optimized.  There are about 20 different types of events that businesses can choose from to meet their marketing needs.  Didn't think there could possibly be that many?  Find out how you might be missing this great opportunity in marketing and find out what it takes to host a successful event!

Learn how events are part art, science, logistics and psychology and they should involved 5+ 1 more senses!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Your Business Makes Me Sad


There's a good chance your business makes me sad.

Okay, that deserves further explanation!  I see a source for new clients, happy employees, happy clients, recognition of your hard work, showing off new equipment and a way to help it pay for itself!  I also see a way for you to show that you care about your community.  I see a way for you to look well-connected in your industry and be looked up to as a leader.  What is this source that seems to accomplish many things that has appeal to most business owners?  Hint, hint..we're talking about marketing if you didn't figure that out already.  What makes me sad is that so few business take advantage of this marketing method.

What is that method of marketing?

I hope I've begun to make up for the first sentence you read, but this source or method that can accomplish all of the things mentioned above and more is hosting events!  It's the second most effective method of marketing next to online marketing, but marketing through events has been around for centuries. I dare say that it's a lot more fun, too!

Apples and oranges.

Online marketing and marketing through events are like comparing apples and oranges even though it might appear that you are hoping achieve the same outcome.  People are beginning to crave the company of others rather than being stuck in front of a screen.  There really is no substitute for meeting face to face when it comes to marketing.  It's like the difference between two dimensional and three dimensional.  We all navigate through life with the help of the five senses. It makes sense to employ marketing where you can appeal to all five senses rather than only two.  

Part art and science.

What makes me sad is the fact that the vast majority of businesses do not utilize the unique opportunity to market through events.  Perhaps more disturbing is the fact that seldom do they know how to exercise the art and science behind successful events.  There's no reason why they would be in the know about hosting events.

If you would like to learn more about the types of events your business could host or even co-host, click here to send me a message about our upcoming launch of "How to Host a Successful Event to Boost Your Business" to help you optimize marketing with events. We will have webinars and live seminars.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Use Events to Pay for New Equipment You Purchased for Your Business!

When you as a business owner purchase a new piece of equipment to improve your products or services, there's no denying that it can come with mixed emotions. Perhaps a lot of blood, sweat and tears have gone into making a decision, financing, training, troubleshooting as well other types of investments have been involved.  If loss of sleep was an investment, that could very well be on the list, too.  You are hoping you've made the right decision and want it to do more than just pay for itself! 

What in the world does this have to do with hosting an event?  A piece of equipment?  A lot, actually.  If this addition to your business is going to make you more marketable to your current customers and expand your clientele, you want them to know about your new toys!  Think of it like a birth announcement.  Tell people all of the wonderful things you are looking forward to doing with that new baby and how proud you are of it.  Invite them to visit and let them know how this new addition is going to put a smile on their face and unlike real newborns, make your tasks easier by improving services for your clients.  You can even give it a name and have some fun with it.  Have a naming contest if that will draw attention to it.  Some people name their cars, so why not?  Enough with the baby stuff, but you get the point.  

If this equipment or new product is going to save your clients time, they will love hearing about that!  Create an event where they will get to see for themselves all the wonderful things that equipment offers them.  Give people a reason to think of having a good time in connection with your business.  That's where events come into the picture!  Curiosity may have killed a cat, but never is that the case for your business.  You want to build the curiosity and give your target market a chance to experience it first hand.  In the case of a printing business and marketing your event, you could divulge that every hour you will be announcing a winner of a custom banner (with stipulations, if necessary).   

Here's an example.  Let's say that you offer printing services, and you've just added a machine that enables you to make banners.  You're excited about it and you want to share your excitement and educate people on how you have one new way to serve them.  People love to see how things work.  It's like a mystery to them.  

The more you can suggest that your clients can benefit from having banners the better!  Whether it's a banner for a school event or activity, advertising a special businesses' sale, event or even special holiday hours.  For special social events, you want people thinking of how you can make birthdays, anniversaries and reunions customized.  People often love banners for weddings and some can serve a very useful purpose such as providing directions to an event and finally a grand entrance to an event.  If you have an employee who has just had a baby, businesses have made those announcement for decades on their signs and A-Boards.  I wouldn't recommend that the parents do this at their residence, but it is less of a danger if their employer does this. 

Whatever your business is, use new equipment as an excuse to celebrate and to pay for itself!  

People remember events much more than a brochure or even an online ad.

Here's a link to our waiting list for our workshop on "How to Host a Successful Event to Boost Your Business".  It will eventually become a paid webinar, but if you are in Seattle or Tacoma, you can enjoy the workshops in person!  Costs vary according to venue and food selections. 

Just for the fun of it!  Just to show you how strongly names are connected to equipment, do a Google search for Seattle and Bertha...after you've read this blog post.  This will be an example of what you never want associated with equipment and your business.

Wishing you the greatest of days!  Your business deserves them, too!

Greatest of Days, Event Planning and Design

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Boost Your Business with Successful Events!: Why Should You Host an Event to Boost Your Busines...

Boost Your Business with Successful Events!: Why Should You Host an Event to Boost Your Busines...: Having events is one of the most under-utilized yet proven methods of marketing a business. It fits in with the motto "it's much e...

Why Should You Host an Event to Boost Your Business?

Having events is one of the most under-utilized yet proven methods of marketing a business. It fits in with the motto "it's much easier to keep a client than to recruit a new one".  Aha, but you can invite a person who isn't a client to tag along with them to an event.

I'll be sharing on this blog the many ways that your business could benefit from hosting or co-hosting an event.  Yes, even those of you who have a home-based business.  You have options!

Anyone can host an event, but don't you want to do that in a successful way to make it worth your time and effort?  Events are part art and part science!  Successful events don't just happen!

We will be hosting events in the Seattle and Tacoma areas.  You can even attend a workshop on "How to Host a Successful Event to Boost Your Business".  Sign up to be placed on the waiting list  or go directly to


Wishing you the greatest of days!  Your business deserves them, too!