Category Archive

The following is a list of all entries from the Business category.

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.

Fresh PersPECtives

So many people start the New Year out with high expectations that this year, this time, they are going to accomplish certain goals and lifestyle changes…You name it someone is dreaming about it becoming a significant change in their life. As a business Premier Event Connection looks at January as a time to reboot, recharge and get a lot of administrative tasks completed. Sure, like a lot of businesses out there we are busily wrapping up end of fiscal year requirements but it’s also that time of year when we set our intention for the New Year and excitedly look forward to what is to come. We know the New Year brings us more opportunities to work with clients, vendors and venues. It’s a great time to catch up with everyone and see what is new in their world. It’s our time to gain a fresh perspective and plan accordingly.

We know that everyone has their own rituals (for lack of a better word) around the New Year, whether it relates to business or their personal life and we hope that whatever those rituals are for you that it allows you the time you need to gain a fresh perspective on what is important to you for the New Year so that you can embrace all that 2015 has to offer with excitement and enthusiasm. Here’s to a New Year with a fresh perspective, may 2015 bring you all the changes you are hoping for and many more blessings along the way.

Attitude of Gratitude

Here in the USA during the month of November, we celebrate Thanksgiving. It’s a day spent with friends and family, eating delicious food and enjoying time together. It’s also a day that people reflect on the things they are thankful for. At Premier Event Connection we try to maintain an attitude of gratitude all year-long but we love that November gives us an opportunity to celebrate the good things that are in our life and our business.

So, in honor of the Thanksgiving we want to share the things we are grateful for:
*Our business and all its many facets
*Financial stability and a debt free company
*Challenges that cause us to grow both professionally and personally
*Always learning something new
*A job that lets us be creative
*Working with some beautiful and amazing venues
*Working with some of the best clients we have ever come in contact with
*Working with some of the most reliable and dependable event staff around – who go above and beyond without being asked.
*The love of family
*The support of amazing friends
*Living a life that makes us happy

We hope that others take time this month to be grateful for all the many blessings in their life. When you stop and take notice of how many wonderful things you have in your life, it’s really hard to not be thankful, even if something isn’t going right in the moment. We have learned over the last few years that having an attitude of gratitude rally makes all the differences both in the way you deal with everyday challenges and the way you see the world. Truly, when you have an attitude of gratitude you just seem to find more and more to be grateful for. Try it – you may just love the difference in perception that it bring to your life.

The Low Down on a Destination Management Firm

The Low Down on a DMC

Many of our clients have managers that travel frequently for business, or they are required to travel themselves as well. Often times they need to suddenly become a resource for all things relating to where their manager is travelling too, on top of the job they already do. That is when it is a great idea to work with a destination management firm.

Admittedly, with all the technological advances, researching an area and finding things relative to a need is pretty easy but nothing replaces the value of local knowledge and expertise about a city. Not to mention that a destination management firm often knows what is currently trending as “hot and happening” and what is “yesterday’s news”.

They also have many pre-established relationships with the best vendors in the city and can quickly connect you. They also know who, when, and how to ask for special requests resulting in top notch service and experiences for their clients.

Of course, what a destination management firm saves you the most, is your time. Instead of you spending hours researching and weeding through data to “hopefully” make a good decision, you get presented with the best options right up front.

Last, but not least, when you are trying to plan things from afar, you simply need a smiling, friendly face on the ground to verify the details with vendors, confirm that arrangements go smoothly, and to be the calm voice of reason in case a crisis should happen.

Believe us, the peace of mind a destination management firm can provide is well worth the cost of their services.

With Gratitude for You

At PEC December is one of the busiest months of the year and we know that we aren’t alone in that. We realize you may not be working the long hours we are but for most people December is filled with a lot of social obligations that take up a lot of what would be your time off during the evening and weekends. It can almost be too busy of a time of year and we often hear our friends and family saying they wish they could take a vacation from the social obligations and just skip ahead to the New year when things settle down a bit.

We understand how people can feel that way and during this time of year we find ourselves encouraging our clients, family and friends to really focus on taking care of themselves in the whirlwind of activities that December brings. (Yes, we do try to listen to our own advice) It’s important to everyone to avoid burnout during this time of year when we are supposed to be excited about the holidays and the opportunity to gather with those we love to celebrate special moments.

So in honor of this time of year, PEC wants to send a special shout out to all the people who make the PEC world a special place for us and encourage you all to take care of yourselves during this time of year and remember to Live Well, Laugh Often, and Love Deeply:

Our Venues: It is truly an honor to work with some of the best venues in the greater Seattle area and even some nationally and internationally. You provide the backdrops for us to host some truly amazing events and we never forget that!

Our Vendors: At PEC we truly believe we are only as good as our vendors and we know we have the privilege to work some of the very best vendors in the events industry. We love working with you and we so appreciate your can-do attitude. You make us shine!

Our Clients: A day doesn’t go by that we aren’t thankful for each and every one of the amazing people we get an opportunity to work for and we appreciate every event you entrust us with. We are truly honored to work on each event and we love the relationships we have with all of you.

Our Family & Friends: You are the support behind us, our own personal cheerleading team and often our support staff. Thank you so much for all you do for us throughout the year. We truly love an appreciate you all!

In gratitude for a wonderful 2013 and with excitement to see what 2014 brings us – Jamie & Trina

Oh Meetings…Oh My!

It’s almost impossible to find someone who hasn’t had the experience of attending a conference or industry tradeshow. They are a huge part of education and doing business in the world today. As a matter of fact, just to give you an idea of statistics, according to the 2011 UFI Global Association of Exhibition Industry report there were 30,700 exhibitions (tradeshows) around the world which corresponds to 103 million square feet of meeting space. That also means that there were 2.8 million direct exhibiting companies who welcomed 260 million visitors. So…you get the point….meetings, conferences and tradeshows are BIG BUSINESS.

In the course of our job we often plan meetings, conventions, conferences and tradeshows.  From a logistical point of view (our point of view) we understand that you (as a guest) wants to show up, check in quickly, have clear directions regarding activities, access to food and beverage and lots of opportunity to learn, network and do business. We want all those same things for you. It’s our job to make it a seamless experience for you.

That being said, in the past we have experienced things that have gone wrong and we are realistic enough to know that even to the best of our planning ability things will go wrong in the future by sheer circumstantial hoopla’s. Someone isn’t registered, doesn’t have a badge, can’t find where they are going, missed their shuttle, couldn’t find the food, the Audio Visual equipment isn’t working, there isn’t Wi-Fi, someone needs medical attention, the guest speaker didn’t arrive…..I could go on and on and make an incredibly long list of all the potential pitfalls.

The thing is, all of these things affect the individual but each individual affects the whole. Each volunteer that interacts with a guest can make or break the “experience” for attendees. When push comes to shove, you can only take things as they come and rely on everyone to carry through the grand message to the attendees that they are important and their experience is important. So…the next time you attend a conference and there are delays, or something in your own personal experience doesn’t come across just right, take a deep breath and please remember that it takes a village to put on a conference and your patience and understanding is a really important piece of the puzzle to a great event.

The Brilliant Idea

At PEC we try to work with our vendors and identify what it is they do, what they do well, and encourage them NOT to go outside their scope to try to please random requests. For example, if a catering vendor does not cook Japanese food….don’t ask them to cook Japanese food. You will be left with a lack luster product, an un-satisfied client, and a hostile vendor! Never a good combo!

That said sometimes we (the PEC team) seem to forget this general guideline and ultimately end up re-learning a lesson that we thought we had mastered!  A couple of years ago we had an event coming up that wanted to do some cool lounge furniture and create this swanky lounge. Typically we would hire this out and manage the details. However, during this particular event we had a very good vendor that was hosting a fund-raiser and also thought it would be cool to have a lounge at their event. That’s when we had a brilliant idea! What if instead of renting the furniture from our normal vendor we purchased a bunch of furniture from Ikea, used it for our big event and then donated it to our vendor’s event? We would donate our time and set everything up for the fundraiser…it would be perfect!

Fast forward three weeks…….

All of the furniture arrived on time at our warehouse but as you know required assembly.   We put all of the furniture together at our warehouse. We allotted three hours; it took many, many, many more than that! We were dirty, disheveled, sporting box cuts, hungry and laughing about our recent endeavor. Overall we were still in good spirits and were quite pleased with our purchases.

The fundraiser came and went and was a great success! It looked beautiful and we were happy to have been able to help. However, we were a bit shocked at how much work it was to load up the furniture into the U Haul, schlep it to the event, unwrap it, set it up, re-wrap it, re-box it, re-load it, and schlep it back to the warehouse for the second time. But hey, all in the name of charity right?

Now we just had to do it one more time for the big event. Imagine our shock when a few days later we heard from our client that they wanted to cut out the lounge and would not be renting furniture….days before the event. Uh oh! We did not see that one coming! Now we had a few thousand dollars’ worth of furniture in our warehouse…assembled!  At this point it was a scramble to find out what we could return. We made arrangements for pick up and back to the warehouse we went for dis assembly!

We had to take all of the furniture apart and re package it for return. Thankfully we had some great plastic wrap from Home Depot, unfortunately for some unknown reason there was a freak pile of sawdust outside of our warehouse. There are a couple hundred warehouses in the complex yet for some reason on that day there was sawdust in front of ours…just ours!  The wind kept kicking up and it would stick to the cling wrap. It was a NIGHTMARE! 

Ikea would not pick it up at the warehouse so we had to haul it to my house for pick up. We secured another U Haul and loaded up the furniture for the fifth time.  However, this U Haul, for some reason was much larger than the previous U Hauls, and was missing the side mirrors on the right hand side….not to mention that neither of us on staff that day had ever driven anything larger than an SUV!  Here we are dirty, hostile, cursing the project and heading down the boulevard.

I have my head hanging out the window trying to see if we can move over while still keeping the truck in my lane and avoiding rear ending the vehicle in front of me. We finally decide it will be best to stay in the right hand lane and travel a path that only requires right hand turns. (Really?! We weren’t even sure this was possible.) It’s at this point when we are laughing so hard at the hilarity of the situation that we sit back and ponder how we even got into this situation in the first place.

We finished the project, ended up with a couple of furniture pieces to our name that could not be returned, poured some wine and reflected on what had gone so awry. It all circled back to the same old lesson….Don’t do what you don’t do!! Had we just said “We’re sorry, PEC is not a furniture rental company” we could have saved ourselves of hours of time, trouble, stress, and money. But hey….I guess we walked away with a hilarious memory and that’s worth something….. (I think….)

Dial 1-800-help-me!

Today was a day like any other…I go about my business and in the course of conversation with some lovely ladies I discover they are two members of a committee planning an event for a local non-profit organization. They began telling me how they had “just gotten together” with six weeks to an event date they have already solidified. One of them starting talking about how many tables they were going to need and the conversation went on from there.

I started asking them questions about the event, basic logistics questions that I handle every day in the course of my work. They hadn’t thought of the simplest things like linens to cover the tables, how many chairs will sit around each table, plates, silverware, serving dishes for the food they were going to make, how much time it would take them to set everything up. The little details that make an event were just overlooked. They didn’t even know to ask each other the appropriate questions.

So, I just kept asking questions until they walked away with a list of things they needed to address in the six weeks they have until the event.   I offered suggestions for where they could find items, people they could talk to about donations and generally gave them the benefit of my expertise as an event planner. However, I walked away worried about the community event because I could see logistical problems in their plans. It isn’t my event. I’m not part of the non-profit organization, I haven’t been hired to plan it or even to consult on it but I have still spent all afternoon thinking about what they could do different to make it more efficient and turn a better profit.

The biggest thing I walked away from the conversation with was the reminder that people, organizations and yes even planning committees have no idea how important an event planner’s role really is. Even if we don’t plan the event we offer one hour consulting packages that would often resolve the most important issues of an event. I spent thirty minutes with these ladies and they walked away armed with a comprehensive action item list. In another thirty minutes of focused time we could have  resolved timeline issues, set up,tear down and venue logistics as well.

The cost of an hour consultation would have saved them countless planning hours, numerous frustrations and wasted financial expenditures by getting the wrong items or items that could have been found for a better price through a different vendor or even donated. I hope their event is a success and that the non-profit organization truly benefits. I hope the committee learns and grows from this experience and each year goes by it gets better. Who knows, maybe someday they will actually hire an event planner to help them out too.

It Takes a Team

Who here has ever been an employee…who has ever had a boss or company situation you DID NOT LIKE? Have you ever been so upset with an employee or boss that you had their car towed while they were in a meeting?

Be E-Ventive

Now is not the time to cut back on investing in your employees or your customers. With the economic impact that businesses are facing it is even more important than ever for businesses to invest in their employees and customers by showing them how much they are truly appreciated. With economic issues at hand business owners will find any place in their budget to cut costs and events are often one of the first areas affected. Even in hard economic times it is still possible to host an event for any number of business reasons.

Many people believe falsely that they need to stop working with event planners to save money. They try to handle the event in-house and often end up with an inferior event.  Qualified event planners manage budgets and try to find items to meet your core goals without breaking the bank. The key to utilizing an event planner during economic slow times is about understanding how your event planner makes their money.

Event planners are successful because they develop relationships with hundreds of vendors. They can leverage their connections with these vendors for discounted prices and packages. Case in point, some of our best vendors are willing to give us a commission for bringing them business in this stressful economic time. By discounting our planning fees, the commissions pay those planning fees and our clients still get all the benefits of having an experienced event planner on their team.

At PEC we guarantee that the vendors we use will be some of the best in their fields so our client’s wouldn’t be sacrificing quality for price. Ask any event planner you use if they are able to offer you the same arrangement. Before cancelling those events, decide to be E-Ventive and contact a professional event planner for ideas that will work with your budget and your companies needs.