introsPECtives


Fall Fundraising

Fall is when there is a lot of fundraising taking place. Its a time to gather in stores and prepare for the upcoming winter. Its a time when many focus on taking care of those in need. Those that are most likely to suffer the most from the long winter. This also happens to be one of the busiest times of year for our company. Well, at least, now to New Years but even in that our thoughts turn to how we can support our communities through fundraising. As an event company, our skill set is of course, planning events.

So many people think that they must hire us to gain our expertise or our skills but in truth, we are a fabulous resource for associations and businesses that want to fundraise or do events to support non-profits. We are connected to hundreds of resources, vendors and venues. We are willing to advise and even donate hours to non-profits we support but sometimes all a person needs is an idea of how to fundraise so we have a few starting ideas for you:
• Super Event – find lots of event hosts to hold a small fundraising event on behalf of your charity on the same night, and all around the same theme.
• Theme Nights – Pick a theme that works with your charity’s goals and build your event around that.
• Social Media Events – host an event through social media and request donations through PayPal links.
• Combined Events – find another non-profit or organization that matches yours and host a combined event to raise funds for you both.
• Eat for a Cause – work together with local restaurants to donate 10% of their profits on a designated night for your cause in exchange for encouraging supporters to eat there.

And of course….we can’t forget ways to spread good cheer throughout the upcoming holidays and our favorite is Paying It Forward. Do something nice for others, not because anything is expected of you but because it feels good to give. If you need some ideas for how to Pay It Forward:
• Help someone with the groceries
• Pay for the coffee of the person behind you in line
• Donate items to halfway houses or abused women’s shelters
• Spend some time writing positive reviews for businesses
• Donate blood
• Volunteer at a hospital, homeless shelter, nursing home, etc.
• Drop extra change into parking meters
• Donate food to the hungry
• Instead of having people give you birthday and holiday gifts, ask them to donate gifts or money to a good cause.
• Donate time at an animal shelter
• Buy a coffee card and give it to a police officer

Everyone has the ability to reach out and help another – if we think we ourselves need assistance. Find the way which is yours and embrace it. You will be happier for it.


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.


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.


One Summer Night

One Summer Night…..you hosted the perfect summer picnic. The  BBQ rocked (no one needs to know it was inexpensive) and the DJ had everyone jamming. People played old fashioned games like tug-of-rope, egg toss, water balloon toss, and sack races too. It was an event to remember and every perfect detail came from your imagination and was put it into action by a professional event planner. 

That is the biggest secret to your party success. You didn’t tell your neighbor, you didn’t tellyour best friend but you discovered that working with an event planner meant you could get creative on a budget. The best part of working with an event planner is that they help you with everything from your son’s birthday party to your parent’s anniversary and that high end dinner party your husband decide to throw for the executives at his firm.  You give them the end results you are expecting and a budget and they come up with an event that makes you look like a star hostess. The more you wok with them the better they learn your personal style. It is a partnership made in heaven!