BLOGS 6 Summer Wedding Planning Dos and Don’ts

May 29, 2019
6 Summer Wedding Planning Dos and Don’ts

By Nancy Rones

Source: The Knot

There’s a lot to be mindful of if you’re having a summer wedding. (Hint: heat, insects and UV rays.)

There’s nothing more idyllic than a summer wedding. Between the warm weather and the late sunset, we can’t think of many reasons not to host your nuptials at a sun-soaked outdoor venue. But don’t forget—when it comes to heat, UV rays and insects, you need to be a little extra mindful of protecting your guests from the elements. Read these essential dos and don’ts to make planning and enjoying your summer wedding as easy, breezy as possible.

1. Do provide heat relief.

No matter how much you love the sun, your guests will appreciate a few ways to escape the heat. Make sure an outdoor venue offers some form of shade or air-conditioning (tent rentals can include portable air-conditioning systems). Prevenet guests from overheating during the ceremony and have an usher pass out small ice-cold hand towels across the rows before it starts. Scatter decorative ice buckets or baskets filled with bottles of water near the ceremony site—and once the dancing begins, place water in close proximity to the action. And don’t forget your vendors: Set up an area where they can grab cold refreshments as well.

2. Don’t forgo save-the-dates.

Summer is prime vacation time, especially when it comes to families with school-age kids. Send an announcement in advance (we always recommend sending them at least six to eight months before your wedding) so everyone can mark your wedding on their calendars early and plan accordingly.

3. Do serve lighter fare.

Heavy food and heat don’t mix. Choose a seasonal menu that includes grilled entrées and local, fresh produce. Gazpacho shooters and grilled fruit skewers make tempting appetizers, and for dessert, consider fruit pies or tarts in lieu of (or in addition to) cake. Frozen cocktails (mint, cucumber or watermelon are popular flavors) or even ice pops (use the sticks that catch drips) can be festive touches too.

4. Don’t begin your outdoor wedding midday.

With the sun at its strongest, sweltering guests won’t be in the mood to party. Shoot for a late afternoon or early evening start time. The ideal plan: Schedule dinner for sunset (provided the sun isn’t setting too late on your date), then work the rest of the event around that timing. This way you’ll also guarantee the ideal lighting for photos.

5. Do wear cool, breathable attire.

You should feel comfortable and confident—not stifling and sticky. For brides, choose a wedding dress made of light fabric that breathes, such as silk. You could also opt for a shorter skirt if you’re feeling modern and adventurous. If you can’t resist the heavy traditional ball gown, wear it during the ceremony, then change into a lightweight sheath or cocktail dress for dancing. Grooms will look dapper in a fair-toned suit (think: light gray or beige), a crisp linen suit or, for the ultimate beach-casual look, khakis and a button-down.

6. Don’t forget sun and bug protection.

Sunburn can give the term “blushing bride” a whole new meaning. Prior to getting dressed, the couple and attendants should apply sunscreen to any exposed skin. Consider wearing a moisturizer and foundation or powder that contains SPF (just give it a test-drive for allergies weeks beforehand, either on your own or with your makeup artist). In the guest bathroom, include a basket with sunblock wipes as well as bug spray (which should also be available at the ceremony site).

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BLOGS 42 Tips For Producing A Memorable Small Business Event

May 24, 2019
42 Tips For Producing A Memorable Small Business Event

By Jamillah Warner

Source: Small Business Trends

Memorable events don’t just happen.  Organizing and holding an event takes planning. Whether it’s a conference, seminar or a customer appreciation day, and whether you have three weeks to plan or an entire year, your event’s success is in the details. We’ve collected 42 small business event planning tips from the experts experienced at planning for small business events.

Small Business Event Planning: What to Do First

1. Decide upon your target audience before anything else.  The first step — before you do anything else — should be to clearly define who your target audience is. From this all the other decisions will fall into place. Format, content, prices, location, etc. will all flow from the first decision. This structured approach will also help you to stay focused on achieving specific goals. That way you are less likely to allow the scope to become too broad or watered down.

2. Make a list of details — everything including lighting and public transportation, to content and refreshments.  When you decide to have an event, everything matters. From program content and lighting to transportation and parking — everything counts. And your audience will attribute everything to you and…your brand.  Making a list will ensure you don’t overlook things.

3. Have a clear business purpose for holding the event.  Before you can begin planning a successful event, be clear on why you are doing it in the first place. Why? Because every decision after that should support your main goal. Is it lead generation? Is your goal to create awareness of your company or a particular product?  Do you see the main purpose as one to  develop customer loyalty? Or do you simply want to make money (which is okay too)?  And make sure the team is aware of the purpose, so that you don’t have “scope creep.”

4. Watch out for other industry events when scheduling.  Check the calendar. Make sure you don’t schedule your event on or too close to holidays or popular vacation times. It’s just as important to check for other events that your target attendees might be going to.

5. Be flexible with changes in size, location and other details.  As you get into the event planning process, you may find that your event changes in size, location, and many other ways than you originally envisioned. This is natural and perfectly fine as long as you don’t lose sight of the reason you’re doing all this work in the first place.  Some flexibility is necessary.


6. Know your limitations. We all know the goal is to throw a great live event. To that end, we also have to be aware of what we can or cannot realistically do — be it budget … or time-wise. If you decide to throw a live event in a week’s time, plan for a more intimate affair. For a big event, you should prepare several months ahead. If the budget is small, you may have to counterbalance with creativity and a lot of do-it-yourself work.

7. Create SMART goals. Always start with strategy. Just like building any business, great events start with a strong, thoughtful and measurable strategy. Live events are an amazing way to share your brand, connect with your target market, get feedback on your product (and more!). But you need to know what you are trying to achieve. Stick with SMART goals and outline what you are aiming for. Then make sure that you proceed in line with reaching these goals.

Budget for event

Budget: How to Pay For Your Event

8. Develop a “financing plan” for your event, and estimate the numbers. Know how you are going to pay for the event. Most events are funded by sponsorships, ticket sales, internal marketing budgets — or a combination of all three. When you create your budget for the event, you’ll need to estimate how much money you can realistically raise from each area. Before you book your venue or sign any contracts, it’s a good idea to start signing sponsors first. Or start selling advance tickets to make sure there is enough interest in your idea to fund it.

9. Create an expense budget  – and save money through “in-kind” sponsor donations.  Events tend to cost more than the average small business owner thinks primarily in regards to the venue and food and beverage. Remember to price out all the permits and licenses you will need as well. (This is where an event planner can help you avoid headaches.)  Make a comprehensive list of all the expenses and then highlight areas where you think sponsors can play a role to offer something “in kind.” The more you work with other brands and partners to host your events, the more you can save.

10. Consider crowdfunding as a new option to raise money for an event.  If this is your first time running events, use crowdfunding platforms to ease the risk. By publishing your events on these platforms attendees will need to pledge for tickets for the event to take place. If the minimum number of attendees required is not met the event does not take place.

empty room - event attendance

Marketing: Getting People to Attend

11. You’ll need a DETAILED marketing plan. Create a marketing plan for the event. The more organized you are, the more professional your event will be.

12. Be tireless in your efforts or your event will fail.  If you don’t want to be at your event alone … then market, market, market, market … and market some more.

13. Define good reason(s) for people to show up.  What’s the draw for attendees? You need to define WHAT you’re doing at the event that will bring those target attendees in the door. For a consumer product it might be a party with entertainment and product demos and freebies. For a business crowd it might be educational content or an exciting, well-known expert speaker. Whatever it is, don’t lose the connection with why you want this particular audience clamoring to get in.

14. Lay out in writing why your target market should attend – don’t assume the benefits are obvious. When promoting an event be sure to tell your target market what they will learn, who they will meet and why they should be there. Don’t assume your friends will tell their friends. If you are using speakers, give them advertising copy so that they can promote the event to their audiences.

15. Learn how to talk to the media. Journalists are very busy and always on deadline. They don’t have time to hear a sales pitch. Let them know that the information exists and — for future stories — that you are an expert in that field. Include that information when you reach out.

16. Use Twitter hashtags and Instagram hashtags. Twitter is terrific for promoting events and for creating a sense of online community around an event. Set up a unique hashtag early on. Search Twitter first to make sure it’s not already in use. Put the hashtag right on the event website, and if you use the Tweet button for sharing on the site, work the hashtag right into the premade verbiage. When people tweet, it promotes the event automatically on Twitter.  You can do something similar with Instagram for people to share photos about the event.


17. Use online social pre-events to promote the main event.  To build interest in your event, trying holding a Google Hangout or a Twitter chat a few weeks before the main event. Invite a few of your speakers to participate in the online social event. Give a preview of what’s to come at the main event. In other words, discuss what speakers will cover, or highlight the activities. It generates anticipation.

18. Buy advertising on social media networks.   Buying advertising on social networks is often overlooked by small events. Social advertising platforms (Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter above all) offer in depth targeting options that can significantly help to reach our target audience in our geographical location. The good news is that no large budgets are required and ticket sales can be easily measured.

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BLOGS 51 of the Best Theme Party Ideas Actual Party Planners Could Think Of

May 22, 2019
51 of the Best Theme Party Ideas Actual Party Planners Could Think Of

By Maggie Griswold

Source: Style Caster

There’s no question that a good theme can take a party from average to wildly creative, fun and jaw-dropping (if you’re handy with decorations). One of the hardest parts about planning a party, though, is coming up with the perfect theme in the first place—which is why we turned to the experts. StyleCaster asked party planners to give us their best theme party ideas, so all you have to focus on is actually throwing the perfect bash.

From tips on how to turn classic theme parties (like James Bond) into truly memorable displays, to some seriously creative theme ideas (like a ‘Come as your favorite SNL character’ theme), you’re sure to find the most epic theme for your next party. Below are 51 different theme party ideas guaranteed to make any soiree the talk of the town.

1. Pop Art

Party Planner: Carrie Baker of Carrie Baker Events

“I did a Pop Art themed baby shower and we used tons of Campbell’s soup cans for flowers,” says Baker.

2. Flamingo Luau

Party Planner: The Bash

The Bash recommends using a fire dancer to make your flamingo luau extra special.

3. Arabian Nights

Party Planner: Kristie Linda Meluso of KMA Events

4. 1980s

Party Planner: Lynne Goldberg

To make the theme extra fun, Goldberg suggests: “Send an invitation that includes a pair of shoulder pads with the invitation and tell them they must wear them to the party.”

5. Burning Man Meets Coachella

Party Planner: Brian Worley of B. Worley Productions

“It has a very carefree, relaxed decor vibe, and with these two events getting so much coverage these days through social media and just how creative they are in terms of visuals, it can really be a fun event,” says Worley.

6. Barbie’s Dream House

Party Planner: Kristie Linda Meluso of KMA Events

7. Superheroes

Party Planner: Lucy Harris of Hello Baby Bump

Harris suggests: “Use theme songs of villains and heroes as music. Food could be cookies in the shapes of insignias, the colors that are common with superheroes, etc.”

8. Couture Balloons

Party Planner: Richard O’Malley of The How Behind the WOW!

“We have all see the clown make a balloon animal and helium filled orbs drop from the ceiling,  but here I am talking about balloons as couture fashion. Make your arrival in one of these and Instagram just might crash,” says O’Malley

9. Bubbles in Boca (Boca Retirement Theme)

Party Planner: Molly Sinsheimer

Have everyone dress up as individuals who retired in Boca. According to one of the attendees of this party, “People dyed their hair silver, bought fake dentures, wore bright colors, glasses on chains, etc. The decor had homemade palm trees, beach chairs, beach umbrellas, pool floats…with a creative spin on AARP advertisements posted on the walls…” Sinsheimer even filled empty pill bottles with tequila shots and told everyone to “take their meds.”

10. Game of Thrones

Party Planner: Piera Pizzo, Evite Party Specialist

“Channel your inner Hot Pie and whip up some meat pies for your guests,” suggests Pizo.

11. Car Theme

Party Planner: Carrie Baker of Carrie Baker Events

“I once did a ‘car’ themed event. Only it wasn’t for kids! It was a gentleman’s 40th birthday. We held the event at a car museum and had access to a secret vault of vintage collection cars for the cocktail hour followed by a seated dinner in the museums Porsche exhibit. It was such a great conversation starter for guests. We kept with the theme from beginning to end – from the invites to the limited edition hot wheel cars that I did for place cards!”

12. Masks & Mimosas

Party Planner: Lori Hulshof of SPL

“The underlying theme is ‘Pamper Yourself’,” says Hulshof. “And the ladies who attend are always in a good mood and ready to laugh. The best part about a pampering theme is that you don’t need to reserve a formal location; someone’s home will work just fine.”

13. Tropical Party

Party Planner: The Bash

The Bash suggests using hula dancers to add a wow-factor to your tropical theme party.

14. James Bond

Party Planner: Andrea Correale of Elegant Affairs

“We had a client who celebrated his 60th Birthday as James Bond. His entrance to his blow-out birthday bash included sliding down a 40ft steel fireman’s pole, landed sitting down and was served a perfectly made dirty martini by a masked waiter,” says Correale.

15. Silver Soiree

Party Planner: Lynne Goldberg

16. Glow in the Dark

Party Planner: Brian Worley of B. Worley Productions

17. Basic B*tch

Party Planner: Kristie Linda Meluso of KMA Events

Meluso suggests: “Incorporate all the basic things from Instagram that everyone secretly loves—i.e. brunching (Supply everyone favorite brunch bites and bottomless mimosas, pizza, froyo, photo booth, a designated hashtag for the event…”

18. Seven Deadly Sins

Party Planner: Kristie Linda Meluso of KMA Events

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BLOGS 5 Mistakes New Club DJs Make (And How To Avoid Them)

May 17, 2019
5 Mistakes New Club DJs Make (And How To Avoid Them)

Source: DJ Tech Tools

DJs who are new to playing clubs are sure to experience a variety of hurdles when first starting off. Today, DJTT contributor Tom Hricik shares five of the most common mistakes new club DJs make, as well as great tips for avoiding making them at all.


I am a genuine believer in the truism: “Experience is the best teacher.” Starting as a club DJ as a teenager and spending most of the following weekends of my life in a DJ booth, I’ve had time to make plenty of mistakes when starting off as a club DJ.

New DJs are sure to experience a variety of hurdles when first starting out. Today, we explore five of the most common mistakes DJs new to the club scene make, and how to best avoid them.

1) Not Playing Enough Classic or Recurrent Music

The magical Ishkur’s Guide To Electronic Music (well due for an update)

Many new DJs wrongfully believe that it is of the utmost importance to constantly have full crates of all the latest music. While it is great to break new records and have a fresh collection of bootlegs, one should be realistic about the music that will elicit reactions on their dance floors.

The reality is that a majority of people at most nightclubs are not nearly as involved in music as we are. Much of the music made today is highly disposable. Most club DJs will be inevitably better off scouring around for records that have withstood the test of time instead of always looking for what is “new.”

Granted, most underground music scenes are an exception to this rule. But even within subgenres and unique club nights, few selectors can deny the power that a classic, time-tested record can deliver on any dance floor.

Solution: Always keep a folder of classic or recurrent club weapons ready. For most mainstream club work, Direct Music Service and Club Killers are some of the only record pools to offer collections of legacy content. House music will often require looking through older tracklists and trainspotting records from your favorite selectors. Research is key. Lists such as Mark Knight’s Best 35 Tech House Songs Ever can be hugely helpful.

2) Not Reading The Crowd

When starting as a club DJ, I remember thinking I was “too cool for school.” I would pass on playing time-tested bangers to instead showcase all the hot new promos I had received that week. This might work in a variety of settings, but I look back on these times with a bit of ambivalence.


It really can depend on the venue – but for most clubs that edge towards mainstream, your new finds may go unnoticed entirely. The group of bridesmaids who order bottle service at your Saturday night residency probably do not care about your exclusive new jams. They probably just want to hear Ja Rule, and there is nothing wrong with that. Drawing the line between accessibility and tastefulness is no easy task. I find that the skill which will improve one’s set programming most is that of empathy.

Empathy (noun): “the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another…”

Put yourself in the shoes of the person who works 40 hours a week and wants to get a bit loose at the club. For the majority of club DJs, we are there for the crowd, not the other way around.

Solution: Be versatile, and do not fear catering to an audience. Also read this fantastic tutorial by fellow DJTT contributor Teo, “Reading A Dance Floor: The Most Important DJ Skill

3) Reckless Overhype + Improper Use of Social Media

Don’t be that DJ that cares more about promo photos than anything else.

It is not necessarily to the benefit of a new DJ to publicize all the details of their journey online. Sure, it can be fun to start DJ conversations on Facebook, do it in careful moderation.

Putting every aspect of your business on social media generally looks very unprofessional. Most successful DJs use these platforms to connect with audiences and promote their reputation as an artist. They do use them as opportunities to discuss their next “sick idea for a wordplay routine.” Be very weary of over-hyping yourself – don’t act like you’re headlining EDC if you’re throwing a monthly party. Your fans and friends will grow tired of hyperbole (read more on this here: Great Ways To Get No One To Come To Your DJ Set)

Another common issue: being obsessed with creating meta-content for social media (unrelated to what you actually do as a DJ/producer). Everyone knows a “DJ” who spends more time having photo shoots done than they do on music. Don’t be that guy.

Solution: Craft a brand based on a real, content-creating entity. Use social media to promote it.

4) Not Being Familiar With Industry Standard Gear

This is a big mistake that I was very guilty of when I began as a DJ. It is entirely reasonable for new selectors to start on budget controllers that may offer financial advantages. That said, club DJs should seriously consider how their choice of gear will impact their ability to play at certain venues. Not every venue has space for outboard gear or large controllers. At larger clubs, sound techs will rightfully be weary of letting new DJs move around the club’s gear and rearrange things in the booth.

From my experience, there tend to be standards that exist within various club gigs, classed by genre. Many open format DJs in both the United States and Europe use a Serato mixer and two turntables. For clubs that are more house and techno focused, Pioneer DJ’s CDJs reign supreme.

New DJs would be wise to be ready to work around the standard tech rider of their niche as quickly as possible. Having to switch DJ hardware can be a gigantic pain in a nightlife environment. Being needy and requiring special accommodation just so one can play a set can come off as unattractive to promoters, club owners, and resident DJs – making it harder to do that all important club gig networking.

Solution: Identify what gear is popular in your niche, and become familiar with it. Ask for no exceptions to be made for your setup. Don’t unnecessarily complicate things.

5) Getting Taken Advantage of By Greedy Club Owners

I love playing a few charity events each year for good karma and tax advantages. Unfortunately, many new DJs are ready to accept playing for free as a regular occurrence.

Many club owners are notorious for offering new, impressionable DJs respectable time slots if they agree to play for free. Some attempt to ensnare new DJs into playing for free initially, and eventually offer them a rate that is far below the market value. What these new DJs don’t see is the other transaction that might be happening: the club owner using them to undercut an established DJ in the process. New DJs will often see this as an opportunity, and their naïvety will be used against them.

Don’t fall for this trick! Value yourself. By volunteering to play for free or undercutting others, you’re also doing a massive disservice to every working DJ in their market. This is the same in every creative profession – just remember – “exposure” doesn’t pay the bills.

That doesn’t mean you can start asking for massive paychecks from your first gig. There are typically different tiers of nightclubs in every city that attract DJs at varying points in their development. There’s nothing wrong with playing a series of less-than-glamorous, albeit paid gigs to start.

Solution: Be realistic about your skill level, demand a fair price be paid for your services. Having a mentor who is familiar with your market can be invaluable when setting one’s initial rates. Don’t ever accept gigs where you have to pay to play (including buying a bunch of tickets that you have to resell).

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BLOGS Common Event Planning Mistakes to Avoid

May 14, 2019
Common Event Planning Mistakes to Avoid

By Melanie Woodward

Source: The Balance Small Business

Mistakes are made in business and in our personal lives on a regular basis. That is how we grow and learn. But some mistakes are costly. Take the steps necessary to avoid these five very common event planning mistakes and—if you do make a mistake—be sure you don’t make the same mistake a second time.

Not Getting Started Early Enough

Procrastination is your enemy. This is one of the most common event planning mistakes you want to avoid. Failing to start the event planning process early on can cause a host of problems down the line. As soon as a date is selected and you have a general scope of your event and the budget, get to work. Hotels and other venues book way in advance so secure this as soon as possible. Failure to do so will limit your venue choices and you will, unfortunately, be left with whatever venue is available.

Guest speakers and live entertainment also take bookings way ahead of the actual event date. Once your event date is secure, do your research and when you decide on your performer of choice, get a contract signed right away.

Organizing yourself with an event planning checklist is another task that should be tackled immediately. By mapping out all the steps in the event planning process, determining when they need to be completed, and developing a timetable for each, you will have a valuable guide to get you started and keep you on track. Starting too late is one of the most common event planning mistakes.

Not Checking for Competing Events

Did you ever schedule your event only to learn—once the planning process has begun and the event date set—that there is another competing event on the same day? Only one event will draw the crowd so don’t take your chances and cross your fingers that those invited will pick your event. Avoid the situation altogether.

Do your due diligence and check for any event conflicts before it is too late. Look at schedules for industry gatherings (both large and small), proximity to holidays, major sporting events and local gatherings that can wreak havoc for those driving to the event. Once you have decided on a date for your event, get the word out to your guests. “Save the Date” notifications and “Upcoming Events” listings give those interested the opportunity to mark your event on their calendars.

Not Confirming Vendors

A signed vendor contract is a legally binding agreement and gives you something in writing to hold the vendor responsible for services they are to provide. However, it does nothing for you at the time of the event when you realize the vendor is a no-show. That event contract in hand will not serve food to your hungry guests or deliver tables and chairs to an empty ballroom. Confirm with each and every vendor not once, but twice. Yes, twice. Confirm receipt of your signed contract at the time you both agree to the terms.

Confirm once again prior to the event itself. This is not the conversation you will have concerning details on food delivery or décor; this is a follow-up specifically to make sure that your event is still on their calendar.

Event vendors book multiple events and it is very easy for your paperwork to get lost in the shuffle or misfiled by someone else in the company. So make sure that does not happen by circling back to them to check in and confirm that your event and the specifics regarding the date, time and services to be provided are in fact on their schedule. And keep that vendor contract readily available.

Not Having a “Plan B”

Having a contingency plan is a must for any event but specifically for those events scheduled to be held outdoors. Weather conditions are unpredictable and if a hurricane, heavy wind advisory or freak hail storm threaten to cancel your event, have a backup plan. Rain dates, alternate event venues, and a modified activity schedules are all options if your outdoor event – or part of it – must be moved indoors.

In addition to preparing for weather uncertainties, other unusual circumstances can also be addressed ahead of time. Power outages can be lessened by having a generator on site. Overflow parking can be moved to another, prearranged location. Issues with hotel room availability can be resolved by keeping a few extra rooms on reserve within your hotel block. Consider the specifics of your event and give thought to those areas that are more susceptible to issues arising. By planning ahead and developing alternative scenarios, you can avoid one of the most costly event planning mistakes.

Not Hiring Enough Help

When it comes to hiring event staff, more is better. It will cost you more money but it may save your event. Picture this: a backup of cars waiting to enter a parking lot while parking attendants frantically try to keep up. A line of frustrated guests waiting to order a beverage as one server struggles to keep up with demand. Event registration workers overwhelmed by the large number of guests that just arrived, leaving weary travelers waiting far too long to check in. You get the idea. Having extra event staff on hand to assist during busy times, provide additional service to areas in need, resolve problems that arise, or be a welcoming presence to arriving guests with questions can elevate your event from a good event to a superb event.

When hiring event staff, look for those staffers with experience working the type of event you are planning. Hire only professional, highly recommended staffers. Educate them on what your event is about, the guests that will be attending, your expectations, and who their point of contact is should they have a question or problem. Event staff—even though they are provided by an outside vendor—represent you and your event planning business. A negative encounter with event staff will live on in the memory of both the guest and the client and can sour even the most well-planned events.

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BLOGS Graduation Party Planning Checklist

May 10, 2019
Graduation Party Planning Checklist

Source: For Your Party

This summer brings more than sunshine and a break from school. Time to plan that graduation party! Your graduate worked hard for that degree. Now it’s time for you, the party planner, to do some homework of your own. Start by studying our complete party planning guide for throwing an A+ graduation bash. As you may know, planning the perfect party isn’t easy. But don’t worry, we’re here to help. By staying organized and following the recommended schedule below, you can throw a graduation party for your guest of honor that will make them feel loved and proud of their accomplishments.

ONE MONTH before the graduation party

[  ] Pick a date that works best—it doesn’t have to be the weekend of the graduation ceremony.
[  ] Finalize your guest list.
– Don’t be afraid to invite friends and family who live far away. Even if they can’t make it, they can still send a gift for the new grad!
– Ask the graduate for a list of school friends, teachers or professors he or she would like to invite.
[  ] Find a photo of the graduate for your custom party invitations. Try to get them in the mail with about three weeks to spare.
[  ] Reserve party tents, catering company, any big activity/entertainment pieces, etc.

THREE WEEKS before the graduation party

[  ] Assemble food and drinks menu/grocery list.
– Expect about 75% of invitees to actually attend.
– Hors-d’oeuvres should be easy to eat and easy to prepare ahead of time.
– Save a couple bucks with 2-liter bottles rather than a bunch of soda cans.
[  ] Let your party stand out from the rest by ordering custom cupspersonalized napkinscoasters and plates.
– Not sure how many to order? See our Product Ordering Guidelines!
[  ] Plan party decorations and table centerpiece.

TWO WEEKS before the graduation party

[  ] Make music arrangements (speakers, iPod dock, playlist, karaoke, etc.).
[  ] Build a slideshow or frame a few of your favorite photos of the graduate.
[  ] Construct a giant card or buy a guest book for party guests to sign.
[  ] Get creative with personalized gift bags!
[  ] Pre-order a cake and other desserts—custom stir sticks make great cupcake toppers!

ONE WEEK before the graduation party

[  ] Prepare food that can be frozen and easily reheated.
[  ] Check the weather report and prepare as necessary.
[  ] Make a list of equipment you still need (chairs, tables, tent, etc.).
[  ] Find lawn games for entertaining (badminton set, Frisbee, croquet, bocce ball, etc.).

ONE—TWO DAYS before the graduation party

[  ] Thoroughly clean the house and manicure the yard.
[  ] Check the weather report again and make room inside if necessary.
[  ] Get out the tables, tent and decorations.
[  ] Charge your camera and make sure you have plenty of space for more photos/videos.
[  ] Notify the neighbors about the party and parking situation—or extend an invitation!
[  ] Set out several large trash bins with extra bags in the bottom.


[  ] Prepare the remaining food.
[  ] Keep cold food in the fridge until the first guests arrive.
[  ] Prepare hot food last and hold in a warm oven.
[  ] Label coolers and fill with beverages and plenty of ice.
[  ] Establish table for graduation gifts, card box and party favors.
[  ] Check bathrooms for toilet paper, towels, custom matchbooks, toothpicks, etc.
[  ] Set out food, cups, napkins, plates and utensils.
[  ] Get lawn games ready for party guests.
[  ] Tie balloons or custom ribbons to the mailbox.
[  ] Turn on the music.
[  ] Give your graduate a big hug and try not to cry.

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BLOGS Summer Party Ideas And Themes For 2019

May 8, 2019
Summer Party Ideas And Themes For 2019

Source: Shutterfly

Warm weather calls for a fun summer party with family and friends. Whether you’re celebrating a kid’s birthday, working with your neighbors on the annual block party idea, or starting a new summer tradition, planning your party begins with choosing the perfect seasonal theme. We’ve provided a fun and creative list of summer party ideas below to get the party started.

outdoors summer party with cute decor

Summer Party Themes

Looking for the perfect party theme in a season of warm weather and longer days? We want to help. Look to our selection of summer party themes below or use the following ideas to inspire a theme all your own.

1. Backyard BBQ Party

Host a classic backyard BBQ party for friends an family with traditional picnic food. This is an easy theme that will make guests feel comfortable and right at home. Although the focus of a BBQ is the food, you can go all out with country inspired decorations. Everything can be used for this theme, from sunflowers and mason jars to paisley print and plaid tablecloths. For your summer BBQ party invitations, you can choose from plenty of fun BBQ designs.

2. Beach Or Pool Party

Throw a party at the beach or bring the beach to your backyard with a fun pool party theme. This theme is usually characterized by sand, seashells, striped décor, beach chairs and seafood. You can set up beach-inspired games for the day or host a bonfire gathering at night. If you’re throwing a beach-themed party at your house, be sure to stock up on blue linens, outdoor pillows, glassware, rustic beach signs, and pool party invitations to match.

3. Backyard Dinner Party

Host an evening dinner party in your backyard for an intimate and memorable time with your loved ones. From beautiful lighting ideas and candle spreads to summer decorand tableware, you can create new summer memories right at home. If you prefer cool summer nights over daytime heat, this is the perfect summer party idea for you. You can choose a warm or cool color palette and find table runners, plates and more that compliment your color theme. Consider customizing mason jars with short summer sayings to add charm and personalization to your dinner table. For additional inspiration, visit our resources on dinner party ideas and dinner party menu ideas.


4. Tex-Mex Summer Fiesta

Get the margaritas, chili and tacos ready for your Tex-Mex party theme. This theme combines Western and Mexican fiesta party elements for one unforgettable celebration. Consider using a variety of colorful garlands, paper flowers, cactus plants, piñatas and Mexican serape table runners for your decor. You can also add a nacho bar with a variety of toppings and a margarita station to make this a fun Tex-Mex fiesta.

5. Lemonade Party

Lemonade is the go-to drink for summer. You can turn this sweet drink into a summer party theme with lemonade-inspired treats and yellow decor. Consider building a stylish lemonade stand that can double as a drink station and photo booth. You can also incorporate pink lemonade-inspired decor and treats in your party set-up to add a pop of color.

6. Luau

Turn your backyard into an island with a luau summer party theme. This theme is easy and allows for a variety of DIY projects. Tropical flowers, palm trees, grass skirts and fruity cocktails are just a few things you can incorporate to make your guests feel like they’re in Hawaii. In addition to luau-inspired décor, you can encourage guests to dance by playing Hawaiian music. Lastly, choose a party invitation with plenty of tropical elements.

7. Summer Camp Party

If you’re looking for a nature-oriented party theme, a summer camp Woodland theme is a great idea. Plants, bear-themed décor, wood signage, s’mores and a campfire will help transform any backyard or park set-up into the perfect camp getaway. Encourage guests to wear camping inspired apparel and provide throw blankets and custom pillows for comfortable seating. If your party goes into the evening, try screening a movie in your backyard with a popcorn bar to keep guests entertained.

8. Carnival

Create your own carnival this summer by bringing circus and county fair elements right to your backyard. This theme is geared towards kids and consists of carnival-friendly food, games and colorful decorations. Get creative with your dessert bar by including classic carnival treats such as cotton candy, popcorn, churros and snow cones. You can also set up a lemonade stand and water bar with fruit for guests to cool down in between carnival games. Popular games at a carnival themed party often include ring tosses, ping pong tosses, dart balloons, dunk tanks and ‘guess how many’ candy games. You can set up a fun prize table where kids can cash in their tickets for small prizes. Lastly, don’t forget the temporary tattoos and face paint stations for attendees.

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BLOGS Top 5 Reasons You Should Hire A Photo Booth At Your Event

May 3, 2019
Top 5 Reasons You Should Hire A Photo Booth At Your Event

Source: Pikt Entertainment

For something unique and different, why not hire a photo booth. Its ever increasing popularity for birthday parties, weddings, engagement parties, formals and many other events, means that your guests are actively participating at your event.

To help make up your mind, here are the top 5 reasons you must hire a photo booth in melbourne your next function.

1) Avoid The Awkward Turtle

We have all been there before, right? Meeting new people at events is always great fun, but there comes a time where conversation ceases and all that is left is the silence *birds chirping* – at the start of a party it can sometimes be an uncomfortable situation.

There’s nothing worse than walking into a party where guests are constantly checking their iphones *Lock, Unlock & Repeat*, DJ with No Dancefloor, & segregated groups at different corners of the room.. “boooooooooooring, I’d rather be in bed watching NetFlix”

Well, don’t let the awkward turtle ruin your next event – rent a photo booth for your special celebration.

Photo Booths are not only an affordable party asset, they are a perfect ice-breaker for the bitter times of the night. Let the domino effect of the party photo booth roll-out, now you can retrieve your guest from all corners of the room to one party spot!


2) Instant Memories / Self Made Guest Book

Reminiscing about the good ol’ days? Polaroids, portable with instant memories on the fly. Photo Booth Rentals are the next best thing, but wait – they are even better! Unlimited prints, your own customised guest book, funny meme props – oldies can finally feel young again, what more could guests need & for you to recall the night (as it was).

Hold on, we’re still not done… by having dual or quadruple instantly printed film strips its a ‘win – win’ for your both you and your guests. A bonus, you get to oversee the madness that took place in the booth and appreciate the effort of drunken handwriting – specially made out to you!


3) Entertainment / Props Included

Hosting an event is like a rollercoaster ride, with highs and some lows, which is why you need a backup entertainment plan that will keep your guests busy. In hiring a photo booth you can take your party to the next level! From young to old – let yourself go wild with no-one to judge as its just you and the booth. Photo Booths provide entertainment like no other which involves everyone at the party. In today’s day and age where talking a Selfie is so entertaining for individuals why not hire a photo booth to capture a printed selfie! Strike your best pose with one of our quirky hand-held props or jazz your attire by wearing a funky hat or mask.


4) Open Air?, Enclosed Booth? GIF Booth? Options Are Endless & Catered To You.

If you are a little on the shy side, but let loose once the curtains are drawn – the enclosed booth is for you! More Guests = More Fun, with the open air photo booth you can shove as many people as required into one photo! Or do ya’ fancy your guest roam around the room and have their photos printed from instagram – yep, thats right .. photo booths in Melbourne can facilitate for that aswell!

The options that companies provide are endless & beyond your imagination. Tailor your Photo Booth to suit your exact needs, don’t settle for anything less!

See for yourself what all the fuss is about, jump on the bandwagon and hire a Photo Booth for you next function!


5) Customised 

If you’re having a theme at your event, don’t stress about having a miss match photo strip! With on hand designers available to customise your unique theme into a photo template, your strip will be as perfect as the remaining decor. There is no task too complicated for these guys, all they need is your theme requirements and within a few hours your custom strip will be created. Forget the days of picking your strip from a pre made batch and look forward to seeing your ideas come to life with a newly created strip from scratch


With the help of  photo booth hire in Melbourne, you can rest assured knowing you will be taken care of. This will allow you to focus on having a good time and have a great time with your guest.

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BLOGS 19 Event Trends That Will Shake Up Meetings & Group Business

May 1, 2019
19 Event Trends That Will Shake Up Meetings & Group Business

Source: Social Tables

What does it mean to be a part of the events industry in 2019? Well for starters, don’t blink. Meetings are growing and evolving rapidly, and each is an experiment in applying new methods to find a perfect formula.

Easier said than done in a science that has zero constants.

To succeed, you have to be dynamic, you have to be flexible, and, above all, you have to be in tune with attendee desires. For venues and planners, that means looking into the crystal ball to get ahead of event trends and expectations.

Here, we cover the top 19 trends which promise to shake up event planning and hospitality in 2019 and beyond.

  1. Industry Performance Trends
  2. Attendee Experience Trends
  3. Meeting Destination Trends
  4. Event Technology Trends
  5. Meeting Design Trends

Industry Performance Trends

1. Demand will continue to outpace supply.

The unprecedented rise in demand for meetings and events will continue this year, with CWT Meetings & Travel predicting a robust 5-10% growth in demand.

Meanwhile, late in 2018, CBRE forecasted that hotel supply would peak at 2% gain, stabilizing to 1.9 percent over the next two years.

With the development pipeline slowing and event demand growing, it promises a rise in group hotel rates.  Respondents to the AMEX Meetings & Events Forecast predict that rise will equal about 2.41% in North America, while CWT expects an even higher hike of 3.7%.

Key Takeaway for Planners

Planners should adjust budgets to anticipate higher rates and book event space as early as possible.

If there’s a mantra for this year, it might just be “book now!” The longer you wait, the more you’re going to pay. Or even worse, the more you wait, the more you risk not finding a viable space for your dates.

Plus, when it comes to budget growth, signals are mixed. A majority of event planners report that their budgets increased year over year in 2018, but higher rates could negate some if not all of it. And in general, industry leaders like Skift agree that planner budgets are merely creeping up with the increase of costs.

Knowing this, planners should proactively use rate forecasts in conversations with key stakeholders to make the case for a bigger event budget.

“Demand continues to outpace supply of meetings-eligible hotels. The demand for meetings, which includes accommodation, is going to be significantly challenged by a lack of inventory. Continuing industry consolidation means fewer options for buyers and that will push prices up.”

Nathan Brooks, Senior Director and Global Lead, Supplier Management, CWT Meetings & Events

Key Takeaway for Properties

Group demand will be strong throughout the year. How will you score and respond to the influx of leads to capitalize?

With increased demand and the promise of higher group rates, planners will inevitably look to book further out. This leaves hotels and venues in a pickle, as taking these bookings could mean missing out on higher-value events later.

To avoid missing out on revenue, hotels and venues need to segment business intelligently and avoid falling into some of the pitfalls of traditional lead-scoring biases that hurt RFP management.

For hotels, capitalizing on group demand could also offset the impact of potentially disappointing ADR growth by driving up midweek rates for transient business.

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