Tag Archives: event planning blog

Champagne on a Beer Budget

Yes, it is possible to cut costs for events and still have a lavish touch according to Lindsay Krause of Special D Events.  We rightfully agree.  Check out a combination of her tips combined with a few we researched.

1)      Use local destinations or smaller cities that can offer you more for your money.

2)      Switch from a dinner event to a lunch or from a lunch to a breakfast meeting.

3)      Limit authorization.  Only key people should have the ability to increase food and beverage orders on site.

4)      Communicate your budget information to the convention services manager. His or her role is to work with you.

5)      Provide cocktail napkins verses small plates at receptions to reduce consumption

6)      Always budget at least 10 percent of your expenses as “contingency.” This will take care of unforeseen costs such as – labor strikes – bad weather – overtime – extra postage and mailings – phone and computer hookups – cancellation insurance – speaker substitutions.

7)      Instead of a full open bar, offer just beer and wine or soft drinks.  Also consider one signature cocktail.

8)      Learn the tax laws for both your organization’s location and the location of your event. You could be eligible for tax breaks that you aren’t claiming.

9)       Develop long-term relationships with properties and chains you use often. Negotiate volume discounts.

10)  Hire now. Speakers and entertainers often raise their rates every year. Lock in at this year’s rates.

11)  Order as much as possible “by consumption.” Uneaten food and drink can be returned and not charged. This works well with soda and packaged foods like potato chips.

12)  Offer water stations or pitchers of waters on the tables’ verses water bottles.

13)  Ask which other groups are using the hotel at the same time. You may be able to have the same menu, thereby gaining economies of scale that can be passed on in cost savings to you.

14)  Avoid salty foods during receptions, as they encourage people to drink more.

Lindsay Krause of Special D Events

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Ways to Green Your Gift Wrapping

Have you ever looked at your trashcan after everyone has opened all of their gifts during the holiday season?  Just one look and you have to admit it is an awful amount of garbage.  This year consider the following ideas as you wrap each gift.

Everyone knows that green is the new black, but not everyone knows how to put a green touch to their holidays.  We did some research and found so many creative ideas. 

1) First, lets explore the Wrap Sack.  They have unique reusable gift bags that come in six different sizes.  The best part about these drawstring gift bags, is that they come with a tracking number which allows you to track the history of your wrap sack!

2) Aside from the gift bag, Wrap Sack offers reusable greeting cards.  You simply replace the sheet inside when you are ready to reuse it.

3) An eco-friendly way to gift wrap is to make your own by using left over fabric or old sheets.  Chewing the Cud offers reusable fabric gift wraps; each one with a gesture of giving: Give Love, Give Luck, Give Wisdom.

4)  Wrap a gift with a gift.  For example, you may purchase a scarf or decorative towel and then use it to wrap a bottle of wine.  Or a coffee cup or canister to hold another gift such as jewelry.

5)  Shuffle through old magazines, maps, calendars and newspapers  throughout the house and select pictures that connect with the personality of the person whom you have bought a gift for.  If that person is a traveler, use an old map to wrap their gift!

6)  The comic section of the newspaper is an old idea but works wonders. 

7)  Place your gift inside of a tote or insulated grocery bag.  Both of these items will be reused over and over!

8)  For bows, switch to reusable hair ribbons or flowers.  Take a walk outside or at your local park.  You will find true beauties from our very own land such as pinecones, acorn, changing color leaves and so on.

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Filed under Arts and Crafts, Gifts, Holidays, Tips and Ideas

VIBE’S Highlighted Destination Spot: Istanbul, Turkey

The Vibe Agency offers destination management services throughout the world.  From October 1 – 7, Valerie Bihet traveled to Istanbul to assist with all logistic aspects of a major bank convention.  We would like to feature this grand city as a highlighted destination for future clients.  Included are fun facts, “in the know”, where to eat and drink, where to shop, and most importantly a few venue selections.

Fun Facts:

  • Istanbul is historically also known as Byzantium and Constantinople.
  • Istanbul is the largest city in Europe with a population of 15 million
  • It bridges the continents of Europe and Asia, with parts of the city on either side of the Bosporus Strait.
  • Turkey is famous for its carpets, baths, textiles, ceramic tiles, tea and coffee, and a visitor will get a generous sampling of all.
  • It is illegal to photograph Turkish military installations, hardware or personnel.

In the Know:

  • Nazar Boncugu is a round bead in the shape of an eye made from blue glass with a hole in the middle.  Nazar means “evil eye” in Turkish.  Turks believe it will protect them from nazar powers.
  • Tipping in restaurants is optional.
  • It is impolite to refuse the offer of a drink when in a person’s home or place of work.
  • It is impolite to blow your nose in public and do not show the soles of your feet when sitting.

Read on for places to eat, drink, shop and venue selections

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Filed under Destination report, Events at the Vibe Agency

Open Letter

I recently read an open letter blog from a dear friend, Marley Majcher, and I was deeply moved.  The letter was addressed to all of her family members, friends and staff where she discussed her dilemma about returning phone calls or emails. 

 I am riding on that same boat with Majcher.  This year has been full of new challenges including time management.  I am not complaining; I feel fortunate and honored to have met each and every person in my life.  Sometimes, day to day responsibilities take the very best of us, leaving little or no time to show those special people in our lives how much we value and appreciate their friendship.  I would like to take this time to dedicate this blog to all of my family, friends, clients and employees. 

 Yesterday was my birthday and I was surprised at the recognition I received from so many people across the world.  Words can not explain how touched and happy I feel to have so many great people in my life.  On important dates such as a birthday, you realize who your true friends are and what is important in life.  All of these events have been an eye opener for me. 

 I am indebt to so many emails, Facebook comments and phone calls.  I thank everyone for making my day so special.  The best gift I have received is to have met all of you and the special memories that have come along with our friendship.  I hold each of you close to my heart and I appreciate all of the love and support.

 Thank you to my husband, who has shown dedicated support throughout our time together.  Thanks for my unforgettable birthday setup and thank you for being an amazing irreplaceable father and husband.

Again, thanks to everyone for your friendship, business and support.

Eventfully yours,

Valerie Bihet

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Trendsetter Alert: The Ice bag®

As an event planner I am always looking for new ideas, updated technology and trendy ways to liven up a party or event.  There are always new ideas for branding and adding that special touch to make a memorable event. 

I introduce to you the Ice bag®.  It is the new generation of the ice bucket and originated in France.  The product is now available in the U.S. so make sure you take a look at this unique accessory. 

It is a modern and innovative bag that brings life to the traditional ice bucket image. It is easy to use and it has a double function! It is used to carry and keep your bottles fresh; it is also an original trendy gift.

There are several types of bags; each with a unique purpose.  There is the Basic collection which offers the bag in your choice of color.  The Message collection allows you to insert personal messages or business cards as a form of promotion.  City Collection was created to sell the image of a city; ideal as a souvenir or gift after a trip.

With Tempo collection, the line is dedicated for all holidays of the year including birthdays, Valentine’s Day, Christmas etc.  There is also a V.I.P collection specially designed for special events. 

The Pro range is for professionals with 7 references dedicated to restaurants, hotels, country clubs, caterers, wineries.  It is only used as a communication/service tool or for promotions.

The Ice bag® may be used in other sectors as Business gifts, new product launches and also to offer to offer products which can be used again and again.

Let us help you plan your next event with these wonderful gift incentives!

But wait! There are more!

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Filed under Gifts, Tips and Ideas

Last Minute Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is in two days and if you are hosting a dinner and have just realized the little time you have to plan, never fear!  The Vibe Agency is here to give you a few quick tips to add to your festive dinner.

Each year on the fourth Thursday of November, Americans celebrate Thanksgiving Day.  It is a time for families, friends and relatives to gather for a grand dinner and give thanks for all of their blessings.  

In 1621, the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast which is acknowledged today as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the colonies.   

Here are some last minute ideas:

  

Thanksgiving should reflect elegance.  Show off your style by adding arts and crafts to your table.  Print out these place cards and add a rustic touch by cutting slits into wine corks and wedging the place card into place.

For center pieces think autumn colors; orange, yellow, and brown.  Use whatever orange vegetables or fruits you can find; pumpkins, carrots, persimmons, oranges etc. Use a basket to hold fruits and veggies then add pinecones to complete rustic look.  Combine all elements and play with arrangement until you find the perfect fit for your center piece.  Add pumkin colored candles into a clear candle holder and place around your center piece.

         

Fast recipes:

Corn Bread Stuffing with Shrimp and Andouille

 50 Ways to make mashed potatoes!

Best wishes and a Happy Thanksgiving to all of our clients, friends and readers.

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Filed under Arts and Crafts, Food, Holidays, Tips and Ideas

How Do You Make Staffers Feel Appreciated—at Little or No Cost?

Following our previous post, ” Holiday Party? Do Not Forget Your Hard Workers This Holiday Season,” we recieved several requests for ideas under $5,000. 

As I researched ideas over the weekend I found a great article to include on our blog full of small incentives and rewards for staff members.

The workforce is usually a second home for many, which also creates a family enviornment.  Remind your staff that your company appreciates their hard work and dedication.  Read on for more ideas in this great article:

ASK BIZBASH   11.16.09 9:00 AM  
How Do You Make Staffers Feel Appreciated—at Little or No Cost?

In a year of cutbacks and salary freezes, perhaps now more than ever, hard-working employees need to feel valued, even in small ways. Jennifer Savica, TD Bank’s vice president of event management, rewards her staff with little perks throughout the year, like taking everyone out for ice cream in the summer, treating people to their favorite drinks at Starbucks on a cold day, and occasionally allowing casual Fridays. “I try to show appreciation for my team every day by creating a true democracy—asking their opinions, including them in many of the department decisions, and empowering them to do their job,” she says.

Boston Beer Company has a gift policy that prevents employees from keeping items valued over $10 given to them by clients and event sponsors. “If someone gets something over that amount, we raffle it off to the office as a thank you,” says Kristen Smith, the company’s travel and event planner. Past items have included tickets to charity events the company has sponsored, movie screenings, and Red Sox tickets. “It’s nice to raffle these things off and make them available to anyone—and at no cost to the company,” says Smith.
Read on for more ideas

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