introsPECtives


Beat the Heat

We are in the middle of a heat wave, here in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. I know most people believe we are the rainiest place on earth but in reality we have beautiful weather here. Yes, there is rain, lots of it at times and there can be a perpetual overcast that gives off a kind of dreary feeling but for those who call this region home, we know to get out and make full use of the beautiful days when we have them.
The thing is, not everyone is prepared for these hot days and nights. You can generally tell because there will be a run on fans and air conditioners. However, there are other ways to beat the heat in the hotness of summer. Here are a few tricks we’ve unearthed to help keep you cool:
• Hang a damp sheet in front of an open window. The incoming breezes will be cooled by the evaporating water. (Unfortunately – this may have to be repeated often depending on how fast the sheet dries in the sun)
• Purchase curtains that have sun blocking white backs. Believe me – they work!
• Place a bowl of ice in front of a sweeping fan. As the ice melts the fan will blow the cooler air into the room.
• Keep windows and doors shut, even though it is tempting to create a breeze, its deceiving, the open windows and doors only let the hot air in to make the inside warmer.
• Keep a spray bottle of water in the refrigerator and mist yourself when you need to cool down.
• Turn electronics off during the heat. On they are an extra source of heat you don’t need.
• Wear thin, light weight, light colored, loose clothing
• If you like it spicy – now is the time to eat up! Hot spices used in ethnic foods make you sweat which in turns cools the body down.
• Drink lots of WATER, and fruit smoothies. Avoid drinks like alcohol and caffeine because they actually dehydrate you and that is a big no-no in the heat.
• Keep your meals light too – avoid those fatty, heavy rich foods because it is harder for your body to digest in the heat.
• Avoid using your stove- no one needs the extra heat generated from a cooking stove or stove top. It’s all about grilling this time of year.
• Take advantage of air conditioned businesses. Go see a movie in the evening or enjoy a meal at a restaurant.
• Find a swimming hole or at the very least take advantage of the local community swimming pools.
• Place or tie an icepack behind your head.
• Run cold water over your wrists for 10 seconds on each hand. This will reduce your temperature for roughly an hour.
• Soak your feet in a bucket of cold water.
• Stock your freezer with flavored ice treats.
Regardless of what you options you take to stay cool we hope you find a way to enjoy the sunshine without being miserable due to the heat.


In the Spirit of Spring Break

Anyone who has kids or is a young adult themselves knows that from late March to mid April is spring break season. For parents of young kids, that means it’s grandparent week! For everyone else it usually means vacation time or party time. If your teenager or young adult is at home for the entire week, maybe suggest that they go try something new. Groupon is always full of great deals on restaurants (ever tried Ethiopian food?) fitness classes (boxing, piyo, booty bootcamp, all fun) and discounts on places like the zoo or aquarium. If you don’t have any kids but still want a taste of that carefree spring break spirit, why not throw a spring break party? Invite your friends over, make some pina coladas and put on some Margaritaville. Or take a look at these fun spring break themed parties!
http://www.allyou.com/budget-home/easy-decorating/luau-party
http://www.fun-theme-party-ideas.com/mexican-theme-party-ideas.html
http://www.toppartyideas.com/mardi-gras-party/
No matter your age, or your family size, we hope you manage to find at least a few moments of the Spring Break fun this month, happy partying!


Gluten Free, and Vegan, and Allergic to Soy, Oh My!

Lately, dietary restrictions have appeared to be on the rise and even more prevalent. We all know at least one person that has more food allergies than they can count on one hand and another who is always trying a new diet. Now thankfully for party goers and event planners alike, many caterers and restaurants are trying out new menus full of alternative options for our friends with allergies and our friends who are choosing to live meat free or paleo. Now many people that live on a “normal” diet are under the impression that maintaining one of these alternative life styles is difficult or that the food is not delicious. Many different food services are proving them wrong. In Bellingham alone many restaurants are changing their menus in order to appeal to more people and have crafted amazing dishes that everyone would love, not just people with special dietary needs.
Surprisingly enough, it’s amazingly easy to alter dishes to make them fit specific needs as most vegetarian food can be turned vegan by leaving out dairy and most restaurant now offer gluten free buns and bread. This means that at large events, the guests in the crowd with special diets aren’t restricted to a bit of lettuce they found that was being used as decoration on an appetizer tray. That minor bit of tweaking may make a world of difference to someone’s stomach.
The new trends in food are also a huge benefit to chefs everywhere, as they try and acclimatize to the new tastes of customers. Trying to provide alternative menus forces chefs to be more creative and innovative and many live for the challenge. A happy chef makes for many happy customers and that is good news for everyone involved! With this in mind, for your next large party or gathering or business meeting, consider having it catered by someone that can give everyone something suited for them. Happy eating!


Season of Love?

Whether your single and ready to mingle, single and loving it or in a committed relationship (and all those relationship points in between) we all know February is the month of “love”. Usually all February gives us to look forward to is Valentine’s Day but since this year is a Leap Year we have a whole extra day at the end of the month! Now while that may not be exciting here, in Ireland Leap Day is a very romantic day. It’s the day that a woman can propose to a man without it being considered odd. Now I know gender roles are archaic but it’s a very old tradition dating back to the 5th century! Since this year’s February is so special we decided to come up with a few fun party ideas for your Valentine’s Day or possibly your Leap Year engagement party?

Try the DIY craze by making these crazy cute decorations! http://thehappyhousie.porch.com/adorably-elegant-diy-valentines-day-decor-ideas/

Making truffles at home means customizable flavors! Bailey’s anyone? http://vikalinka.com/2013/12/15/baileys-truffles/

Crafty type? Make something cute for that special someone. http://www.bombshellbling.com/75-amazing-valentines-day-ideas/

With all these do it yourself gifts and decorations, your February can be a lot more cost effective and a little more heartfelt. Handmade objects really add some love into whatever you’ve created and honestly, you don’t even have to be good at arts and crafts! These are especially good if you have a few kiddos around that need something to put their energy into. Half the fun of parties is the planning and set up! Between Valentine’s Day and Leap Day, may your February be packed with parties and fun!


New Year, New Resolutions

As we enter the new year, we all begin our resolutions. Gyms fill up, the health food stores are selling like crazy, people are trying to drink less alcohol and more water. Most resolutions in the States revolve around losing weight (at least from our personal experiences) but I’m sure plenty of people want to step out of their shell, explore more, try new things and maybe even travel to new places! Resolutions are great because they give you a goal, but so often they fall to the wayside as January ends. Since we noticed this, we thought we would make a handy list to help people keep their resolutions all the way through to 2017.
• Keep it realistic. Striving for unrealistic goals will do nothing but upset you.
• Have a buddy help you. Gym buddy, travel buddy, eat new food buddy, everything is better with a friend!
• Take time to focus on what you really want and need. Don’t confuse your wants and needs for your family’s or friend group’s or society’s
• Have fun with it! Make 2016 (and 2017, 2018, etc) YOUR year. Go to Italy on that second honeymoon, go skydiving, eat that sea urchin. There is no time to live besides the present so get out there!

This year, develop your tastes, broaden your horizons, and definitely visualize and achieve your goals. This is the year to spend more time with your friends and family, be grateful for what you have, and work harder for what you want. With this in mind, we here at PremierEC hope everyone has a fantastic 2016 and you all accomplish everything you desire.


Do you live in a Kaizen world?

Photo provided via www.taivara.com/

Photo provided via http://www.taivara.com/

Kaizen: Japanese philosophy that literally means (to change/to become good)

It is the philosophy that every aspect of our life deserves to be constantly improved. I think most people would agree that there are areas in your life that need to have some improvement but this concept takes things to a whole new level. This is choosing to live life as in a slow but gradual pursuit of changing for the better. This is about never accepting the status quo but looking for the often subtle shifts that can bring continual improvement.
In a work environment key elements to the Kaizen philosophy are:
• Quality of product
• Effort through personal discipline
• Involvement of the whole group
• Willingness to change
• Communication
In a personal environment key elements to the Kaizen philosophy are:
• Quality of life
• Personal discipline
• Action toward change
• Elimination of waste/wastefulness
• Orderliness, Tidiness & Cleanliness
Kaizen is both an action plan and a philosophy. It is a way to live life and to view life. Businesses are adopting this method of change to complement their large projects and even more people are adopting this concept as a way of life. It is truly something to ponder and perhaps even adopt as you move forward with your own personal goals.


Rock Those Summer Beats

We believe that music is a major component to every event but it’s never more so than when summer hits and it’s time to get out and play in the sun. In order to help you create a summer playlist for all your fun summer activities we have searched the web and found some great playlists for you to start with, tweak and then make your own:

NME, Billboard, 8 Tracks, Playlists, Coldwell Banker, and H&M Ultimate Summer on Spotify

And just because we want to add a few suggestions of our own:
• Lovely Day – Bill Withers
• Summertime – Will Smith
• Summer Girls – LFO
• Cruel Summer – Bananarama
• Hot in here – Nelly
• Blurred line – Robin Thicke
• Summer – Calvin Harris
• Happy – Pharrell
• California Soul – Marlena Shaw
• California Girl – Katy Perry
• Live Your Life – Yuna
• Icarus – Madeon
• Summer Time – DJ Jazzy Jeff & Fresh Prince
• Margaritaville – Jimmy Buffett
• Bonita Applebum – A Tribe Called Quest
• Summer in the City – The Lovin’ Spoonful
• Cruel Summer – Bananarama
• Hindou – El Guincho
• The Wave – Miike Snow
• Let’s Go – Calvin Harris
• The Night Out – Martin Solveig
• Regulate – Warren G
• Hot In Herre – Nelly


Budget? Budget? Who knows the Budget?

One of the most challenging aspects of being an event planner is getting the budget from your clients. Over the years we have come to realize that our clients fall into two distinct categories: One who tells us their bottom line budget and really means it. Not a penny more and hopefully you can work a miracle and it will be less. Then there are those that will tell you a budget but actually give you a budget that is 10-15% less than what they really have to spend.

At Premier Event Connection we work really hard to stick within whatever budget our clients give us. So much so that we will spend hours trying to get things into budget, figuring out ways to cut things but keep the integrity of the event concept. We have almost made ourselves sick over budget numbers because we take it so seriously. Some of our long time clients, have learned this about us and trust us implicitly with their budgets and still there are some that play what we call the budget game.

You cannot even imagine what it is like to spend hours stressing over a budget, unable to lower it any more, present it to your client and have them say, “That’s great – and can we add (whatever they have thought of in the moment). Not even batting an eyelash at the numbers you have been agonizing over. You get this influx of relief that you have not disappointed them and they are happy with your proposal of costs but it’s mixed with this frustration that they couldn’t just tell you what they really have to spend and trust you aren’t going to gouge them.

Regardless, sticking within the budget that your clients’ give you is one of the most important aspects to being a project manager and you need to become a Budget Nazi, not matter which type of client you are dealing with.


And to think that I saw it on Mulberry Street

Dr. Seuss’s very first book for children is a classic of childhood but it offers us an insight that is still important when you are an adult. From a mere horse and wagon, young Marco concocts a colorful cast of characters, making Mulberry Street the most interesting location in town and proves that a little imagination can go a very long way.

I sometimes think that as adults we forget the power of imagination. To put it another way, Napoleon Hill said, “What the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” The power of creative thinking is truly the engine that keeps the world moving. Creativity and imagination can be found in every aspect of life. So by that thinking, we should be giving ourselves time every day to “play”.

We should be letting our imagination run wild and finding ways to embrace our creativity through artistic expression. Another piece to this that I think is really important is taking time to acknowledge and recognize when someone else is being imaginative and creative. When we recognize those things in other people we open ourselves up to experiencing more of that in ourselves.

Some people (I used to be one) truly believe they aren’t creative people. They can’t see their own creativity and they feel they lack imagination. In Dr. Seuss’s book it starts out, “All the long way to school and all the way back, I’ve looked and I’ve looked and I’ve kept careful track. But all that I’ve noticed except my own feet was a horse and a wagon on Mulberry Street….” And there it is…when we feel or notice a lack in our lives we can start right where we are and begin building a whole new world from our inner creativity just like Marco did in the story. A world that can become real if we work toward those dreams.

At Premier Event Connection we are blessed because we get to be creative every day. We get to play and have fun and embrace the gifts that come from trusting in our own imagination. Try it – we promise you will like it!

As the song sung by John Lennon says, “you may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us and the world will be as one.”


Will the real Expert please stand up?

Working in the event industry we have noticed over the last few years how many people we know who have added event planning to their list of skills. It seems like every vendor we have worked with for years has decided to offer event planning as well. Now, we absolutely don’t think we are the only ones who can plan an event and if you have been to enough events you pretty much know how to pull one together. Do we think that a company that specializes in one particular thing can add event planning to what they do and be successful? Sure, it’s already being done. However, there is something to be said for not trying to be all things to all people.

Just because a DJ sees enough weddings to be able to bring all the components of an event together doesn’t mean they should. It pays to have that wedding
coordinator there, planning all the pieces and overseeing the flow of the day. Our motto regarding this has become: <strong>“Be an expert at what you do and let other people be experts at what they do so that your clients have a phenomenal experience rather than a mediocre one.”

We realize we may be the minority but we feel that if you develop relationships with people and support them in what they are experts in and they support you in what you are an expert in, then there is enough business for everyone. There is no need to be greedy and try to “get the whole piece of the pie” when in fact working together creates a better experience for everyone. And yes, we believe that sharing the “whole pie” actually ends up being more pie for everyone even if it doesn’t seem like that at first. Call us crazy but we would rather be known as an expert in our field than mediocre in many things.


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