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Giving your programs pizzaz and professionalism!

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Giving your programs pizzaz and professionalism!

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  2. 2.  Veteran of the “Event trenches!” ◦ Themed birthday parties for my kids ~ every year ◦ Events for my own company for 12 years ◦ Events for clients such as Kodak and Xerox  STC Program Manager for two years/Barbara Knight 2008. Spectrum Co-chair 2011…plus a whole bunch of other impressive stuff. 2
  3. 3.  Assessment ◦ Why are you having a party for Chappy?  Scoping ◦ Party prep time and costs ◦ Attendance projections ◦ Figure out what you will gain from inviting guests (baseline, upside, downside) 3
  4. 4.  Target your audience members. Figure out what they like, and make sure that you list related event details in their invitations.  Figure out how many kiddos you can afford to entertain and what contribution you want them to make (“Bring a buck…or a “buck?”) 4
  5. 5.  Venue arrangements ◦ Quality of Food *********** ◦ Size of room/party dynamics  Events ◦ Raffles ◦ Presentations ◦ Uniqueness of entertainment ◦ Skills and uniqueness of “teacher” *********** 5
  6. 6.  Food phasing…”Little Chappy will be late!”  Is Jack also having a party on the same day?  Cancellation considerations 6
  7. 7.  Scalability ◦ If five of Chappy’s friends cancel, is the venue flexible? What if his friends bring friends? ◦ Menu revisions−for cost or allergies ◦ “Lock-down” dates ◦ Volume discounts or freebies  Event budget/fees (…adequate for downside?) 7
  8. 8.  Is there a deposit required to reserve? What does it cover? When is it due?  Are you required to sign a party contract? ◦ If a written contract is not required, you are still in an oral contract. Get all of the details and fees in writing. 8
  9. 9.  Fees you need to inquire about: ◦ Room rental fees ◦ Food costs ◦ Gratuity (Standard 20% for some venues) ◦ Server fees for kiddie bar or food setup ($45 per hour?) ◦ Linen fees ($5-$7 per tablecloth, 50 cents per napkin?) ◦ Décor fees 9
  10. 10.  Fees you need to inquire about (cont.): ◦ Internet access fees ◦ AV fees (slide or overhead projector, screen, or flip charts so you can give the kids a show)! ◦ Promotional materials/sign fees ◦ Table and chair rental (if catered) ◦ Coat rack rental/coat room fees ◦ Parking and security fees 10
  11. 11.  Do not forget to provide the venue with: ◦ Tax exempt certificate for Chappy’s non-profit play group ◦ Certificate of insurance (if requested) so that the venues don’t worry about the kids destroying the place. ◦ Set-up instructions ◦ A list of any special food requests ◦ Your phone number to give to the chef or the event coordinator in case there are last minute changes. 11
  12. 12.  “Guarantees” are fees for unused food, rooms, etc. based on either “minimums” or “lock-down” dates. ◦ Remember to negotiate for the best deal for Chappy! An event contract is a “suggestion” until it is signed. ◦ All establishments have policies, but most of them will be flexible to obtain business. 12
  13. 13.  Things you might be able to negotiate: ◦ Free hotel rooms when you are a host(ess). ◦ Donations from the venue to put into a raffle ◦ Free coffee or tea with a meal (for all of the adults) ◦ Less expensive dessert like cookies (even if those are not on the menu) ◦ Free use of the event room if you order meals ◦ Free “teachers” if you buy them dinner 13
  14. 14.  Get invitations for smaller events out 10 days to 4 weeks in advance, and send reminders.  Get invitations for larger events out 2-3 months in advance, and send reminders with increasing frequency until the day before event. 14
  15. 15.  Social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn)  Websites and info boards  Local “schools”  Trade shows 15
  16. 16.  Direct e-mails and invitations  Word of mouth/personal invitations  Contacts/Groups  Event mailing lists such as EventBrite  “Leave behinds” 16
  17. 17.  Media (TV, radio, newspapers, magazines)  Blogs  Event web site, or web sites for Chappy’s Club,  Email to Chappy’s Club 17
  18. 18.  NOTE: It is not enough to sell the guest on the event. You must “up-sell” whoever is sending Chappy’s friends to the event. (“Who is the boss of Chappy’s friends?” Find that authority figure and convince him or that Chappy’s friend should come to the party). 18
  19. 19.  Your best publicity comes from people who enjoyed past events, so: ◦ meet every guest who attends your events if possible, ◦ help guests meet others who will build connections with them, and ◦ make your events fun as well as educational. 19
  20. 20.  Provide quality! Bad food (or sparse food) and run-down venues communicate, “We will do as little for you as possible, in order to receive more and spend less.”  Negotiate the best value you can provide for a quality event. People remember a good meal spent with “friends.” 20
  21. 21.    @bluestoneriver 21