Monday, February 25, 2013

Bridal Show Booth Setup

A few weekends ago, I participated in the 2013 Winter Bridalrama Showcase.  The show was a huge success and I am thrilled to begin working with all of the brides that book with us through the show! Just to name a couple, one bride & groom are saying 'I Do' at the Cincinnati Zoo in October.  Another couple is getting married at The French House in Cincinnati. This particular venue holds a very special place in my heart as it is the exact location that me and my hubby said our vows!

Here are some picture from the show of my booth display!

A former bride of Simply Events helping me showcase my brand new logo banner!

Stephanie & Maura browsing through the Simply Events look books!

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Friday, February 22, 2013

Bridal Show Sneak Peek!

This Saturday, February 23, I will be a vendor at The Metropolitan Club Bridal Open House.  I am thrilled to be invited to this showcase for the 3rd time in a row.  This bridal open house is very small & intimate and gives me the opportunity to talk with brides one-on-one.  This specific show in the past has been a huge success and I am only hoping that tomorrow's show is no different!

Earlier in the week, I traveled up to Prime Time Party Rental to pick out my table linens, chair covers & sashes, and chargers.  Here is a sneak peek of what is to come for tomorrow's show!  I hope to see you there!

An elegant black, silver, & blush pink table.

A burlap table linen adorned with gold & brown accents.

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Friday, February 15, 2013

Vintage Plates

Last weekend, I participated in the Winter Bridalrama Showcase at The Duke Energy Convention Center.  The show was a HUGE success for Simply Events and we are so excited to begin working with all of the brides we met! 

While working at the show, I met a vendor who rents vintage china for weddings and events.  She is an amazing woman and is right on target with the wedding industry and it's fascination with vintage/shabby chic decor.  I want to take a second to share with you her collection because it is beautiful!  Make sure you follow her on Pinterest!

Need help designing your vintage wedding or event? Contact us today to learn how we can help make your vision a reality!

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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

How to Host a Customer Appreciation Event: Additonal Tips

Over the past three weeks, I have shared with you How to Host a Customer Appreciation Event. I have covered the budget, the 5 W's, and the invitations & swag.  Now that you have the basics, I am going to share with you some additional tips to ensure your event is smooth sailing from start to finish.  

  • Assign a Project Manager  
    • If you have a “project management type” on staff, use them. Create a project management document for your event.  
    • If you do not have one on staff, this is a task that your event planner can assist with.
  • Confirm All the Details
    • Always confirm with each vendor their tasks, times, involvement one week prior to the event. 
  • Hire an Event Planner
    • Involve an event planner, if possible. Due to pre-negotiated reseller relationships, event planners can lock down venues, catering, swag and more for less than it cost you.
  • Be Responsible
    • DO NOT let your customers drink and drive. Make sure you offer a cab service to your customers. 
    • In some cases the cab company will let their cabs hang out at the venue in hopes of having rides.
    • If there is alcohol, do not let yourself get out of line. Remember, as the host, you represent your company!
  • Be "Dietary Needs" Conscious
    • When considering your catering options, don’t forget there are a lot of vegetarians and non red meat eaters out there.
  • Have a Back Up Plan
    • If weather has the potential to spoil your event, always have a back-up plan for bad weather fun.
  • Enjoy The Party
    • Do not overload yourself or your primary company representatives with event tasks. Ensure that you have interaction time with your customers.  A good way to ensure you will actually get to enjoy the event, is to hire an event planner!
Next week is our last post on How to Host a Customer Appreciation Event. Make sure you check back in for event ideas! 

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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

How to Host a Customer Appreciation Event: The Invitations and SWAG

Over the past two weeks we have hashed out all there is to know about budgets and the 5W's.  Now let's go over the invitations and the SWAG or promotional items!

The Invitations:
How many times have you received one of those impersonal e-mail invites asking for your attendance at a swanky event? Probably more than you can remember. It is completely worth it to invest a couple hundred dollars into actual hard copy, old fashioned, snail mail invitations! Trust me, it will speak volumes about the seriousness of your event and show your guests that you are willing to put in the extra effort.

However, we understand if this is not in your budget and since I did stress how important it is to stay on budget, you do have another option - e-mail invitations.  I suggest that you shy away from generic and plain e-mail invitation templates. These will not excite your guests and will likely result in extremely low RSVP's.

Choose a web-based event-marketing tool that has graphical invitations.  On the plus side, most online event marketing tools have a registration management on the back end - this will allow you to track who has responded, who has opened the invitation, etc. You must be careful though. A downside to e-mail invitations is that sometime they get placed in people's junk email boxes.  If you are not hearing from anyone, send a follow up email from your company e-mail address asking if they could check their junk boxes.

No matter what format you use, hard copy invites or e-mail invites, always be sure to include an RSVP (if this is a hard copy invite, make sure the RSVP is already stamped and ready to be mailed - DO NOT make your guest pay for this postage!).

One week before the event, call all guests with a reminder. Many people have things come up at the last minute and forget to decline, or feel as though it is not necessary.  By calling all guests, you will be able to hone in on your final number!

The SWAG (Promotional Items)

Just like the 'wedding favor', do not have a customer appreciation event without an appreciation gift.  Preferably, this gift should have your company's logo or event branding on it.  Put your creative hat on again and look for unique items that people have not seen before.  New promotion items come out everyday!

Consider a product(s) that your customer base will likely look at or use everyday.  Also, try to relate it back to what your company is all about.  Giveaways are an effective way to keep the name and memory of your event top of mind long after the event is over.  If you are serving a custom made signature cocktail at your event, create a recipe card and put it inside a cocktail glass as their gift. This will ensure that every time your guests drink out of that glass or make that recipe, they think of your company and your event.

Big No-No's: Flimsy t-shirts and substandard pens and notepads! Everyone already has plenty of those. If you are going to give away 'cheap' stuff, you are better off giving nothing at all.

Be sure you are not giving away swag that was distributed by your company at past events - this will make it seem as though you are just rounding up whatever you have.  Also, everyone at your event should receive the same gift. Do not favor your biggest clients - this will greatly irritate your average and small customer base - something you definitely do not want to do at a customer appreciation event.


Next week: How to Host a Customer Appreciation Event: Additional Tips!

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Monday, February 4, 2013

3 Things for Your Groom To Do

With the tradition of the bride's family paying for the entire wedding quickly dwindling, many brides want their fiance to be more involved.  It's rare that they simply just show up at the alter at a given time.  Brides are wanting their main man to take charge and get invested in the planning aspects! 

So, here are 3 things that your groom can easily complete. 
  1. The Honeymoon.
    • Even though it's not effecting your wedding day, it is your first vacation as a married couple.  The honeymoon is a HUGE task and by delegating it to your fiance, you will be able to rid the stress of travel planning and focus on the wedding details. 
  2. The Transportation.
    • Having your fiance browse through limo options, vintage cars, or any other type of wedding day transportation, will not be a boring task for him.  Trust me, choosing between a stretch Hummer limo or a classic 1959 Cadillac Convertible will be more fun for him than you may think! 
  3. The Hotel Accommodations. 
    • As the bride, you may want to control which options your guests have for hotel accommodations.  However, why not let your future hubby choose the hotel you two will stay at the night of the wedding? Many brides assume they will just stay in the same hotel as many guests.  I always caution my brides of this choice, simply for the fact that many of their guests will be at the same hotel! 
    • Your wedding night is one meant just for the newlyweds. Not the newlyweds and their family and friends! It's also smart to stay at a hotel close to the airport if you will be leaving for your honeymoon the next morning. 
Some other wedding planning elements your groom can assist in are cake tasting, venue selection, and tux outfitting! Remember, the couple who plans together, stays together!  

For tips and tricks, contact Catie today! 

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Friday, February 1, 2013

The First 5 Things A Bride Should Do After Getting Engaged

I often hear brides say, "I'm engaged, now what?!" So, I decided to write this post of the 'The First 5 Things A Bride Should Do After Getting Engaged.'
  1.  Make the Announcement
    • Be sure to tell close family and friends first, preferably in person if you live close, or make a special phone call.
    • The last thing you want is for your parents to find out on Facebook!
  2.  Talk About Your Wedding Dreams
    • Sit down with your fiance to talk about what is most important to you as a couple.
      • Is it the food, the experience, the dress, etc.
  3. Talk About the Money
    • A HUGE element when planning your wedding is how you're going to pay for everything.  By nailing down your budget before you start signing contracts with vendors, you will have a better handle on what is realistic and what is just plain out of reach! 
  4. Create the Guest List
    • The guest list is the number one element of your wedding that will effect almost everything.  It will alter the number of tables, chairs, favors, linens, china sets, centerpieces, etc. 
    • Remember, the average cost of a wedding in Cincinnati for 150 is $25,000. 
    • The best way to control your budget, is to control your guest list! 
  5. Choose the Time of Year
    • Many would say that number 5 is 'set the date.' However, many couples determine the date based on venue availability.  So, unless you have a special date in mind, you should first determine what time of year you want to say 'I do.'

Once you have completed these five items, you can now begin to search for the perfect venue and vendors to bring your wedding day dreams to a reality.  If you need help moving forward from here, contact Simply Events! We would love to be a part of your big day!

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