Top 3 Corporate Event Tips

With more than 1.3 million corporate and business events going on annually in the US, they’ve become an integral part of the corporate experience!  With the increasing need to build sales, educate and train new and existing employees, and boost corporate morale, corporate events are more important now than ever.  According to The Bizzabo Blog, 84 percent of event planners define an event’s success based on attendee satisfaction – not an increase in sales or retention of new concepts.  So here are some of our suggestions to boost attendee satisfaction (which may lead to increased morale and sales).  So we have our top 3 corporate event tips!

Technology 

No, we’re not talking about a powerpoint (in fact, we advise against them).  Don’t wait until the actual event to incorporate tech either!  According to Enterprise Marketing, event tech can increase event attendance as much as 20 percent and increase productivity by 27 percent. Not sure how to incorporate it?  Some easy ways are to create a hashtag for your event and encourage people to post photos and informational tidbits. Create a temporary Snapchat geofilter related to your event so people are inclined to use it and let their friends who what they’re doing.  You can find info on that process on Snapchat’s site.  You can also purchase a design from sites like Snapdaddy or Buildsnaps, who actually can create a custom design.
       

 

Use a real-time polling site or app such as DirectPoll or Poll Everywhere.  These apps allow your audience to vote from their cell phone or laptop.  With these tools, you can ask a variety of questions that can help your content and presentation to ensure effectiveness.  Poll Everywhere actually integrates with Google slides too! Here are some shots of those in action –

 

Make them say WOW

Whether it’s an eclectic venue, elaborate A/V set up, beautiful tablescapes – impress your attendees!  Create an experience they are not only excited to attend, but want to tell people about and share on social media!

If you’re a little tight on budget, try hosting a reception after your event with passed appetizers and a game room with poker and blackjack, depending on your audience.  Here are a few photos for inspiration!

 

 Be interactive!

No one wants to sit in a windowless conference room for 8 hours,  have a deli sandwich for lunch, and listen to monotone speakers with underwhelming Powerpoints.  Not only do attendees not want those things – it makes for a terribly boring day.  Not the mention, they’ll always dread your events!

Unsure how to get your guests involved?  Try hosting breakout sessions that allow guests to choose which sessions they find most interesting and offering round table sessions.

If you have the option, feel free to incorporate games to your sessions – everyone loves a little friendly competition!  You can quiz attendees over new information, company history, or even about one another.  Checkout this “Family Feud” style game that Casino Party Planners hosted for Baldwin & Lyons’ holiday party. 

Looking for more ways to get your audience involved?  Check out this listof 9 Ideas to Spice Up Your Workshop and Engage your audience.

 

 

13 FREE Event Planning Printables

Starting to plan your next event can be a daunting task, regardless of how many events you’ve already planned and executed.  Timelines, guest lists, catering, dietary restrictions; the list of important details is endless.  Luckily, we’ve compiled a list of our top 13 FREE event planning printables to help make your life a little easier!

For the Detail Queen

Sometimes you just need to get all of the details written down and organize your thoughts so you don’t forget anything!  These printables have multiple pages so you can get all your thoughts in writing and you’ll probably be reminded of details you may have missed!

  1. Free Printable Party & Entertaining Planners – Eliza Ellis

This handy pack offers six different mix and match printables (in different color schemes!) that will help you plan everything from your event logistics to your shopping list!  It includes:

  • Entertaining Checklist that is a helpful overview of event details with a specialty BBQ/cookout section.
  • Bring a Plate Planner which is great for potlucks in order to remember who’s bringing what!
  • Dinner Party Planner that will ensure you don’t forget a single course of your fancy night.
  • Activity & Games List that will help you organize prizes, games, and instructions.
  • Party Shopping List which are incredibly helpful for any event you’re hosting.
  • Party To Do List that will make sure you have everything done for you big bash!

See part one HERE!

2. Party Planner – Sassaby Parties

Well Detail Queens, look no further than this handy dandy 14-page printable.  This packet has EVERYTHING you need, regardless of event type, to ensure your bash goes off without a hitch.  With a cute pastel carnival vibe, it’s everything you need to keep chugging along through the planning process.  Here’s a breakdown of the contents:

  • Event inspiration page with brainstorming area and basic event info
  • Guest List
  • Menu Planner
  • Shopping/Vendor List
  • Decor inspiration, ideas, and shopping list
  • Entertainment Sources
  • Party Checklist
  • Vendor Directory
  • Party Planning Timeline
  • Monthly/Weekly/Daily Schedules

So this bundle basically has everything to you need to put on the best party – no detail will be spared!

3. Party Planning Checklist – LaLa Confetti

 

So this bundle is really handy for birthdays, baby showers, and more intimate events.  It’s also very versatile because it provides you different options on food/meals, whether you need to work with a caterer or not, event location, and the different things that each type of venue may require (don’t forget the bug spray!), and a lot of decorating details and reminders!  It even has a list for “Thank You” cards!

 

It includes:

 

  • Basic overview of event along with food, decor, and things to do
  • Invite list & responses
  • Menu planning with separate sections for catering and potlucks
  • Split grocery list for 1 & 2 weeks out from event
  • Food prep to do
  • Decor prep based on location – home, outdoors, or restaurant
  • Things to do/fun times and what to purchase
  • Thank you list including gifts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the Efficient Event Pro

So let’s say you’ve been around the block a few times and have planned a wedding here, a conference there, but still need a bit of a cheat sheet to make sure you didn’t miss any of those pesky details.  Here are a few simple check lists (some that are event-specific!) that are light on paper but packed in all the important deets.

4.  The Party Planning Checklist – Fantabulosity

So not only is this a handy tool as a to-do list, but it tells you when to do each thing too so you don’t fall behind!  This list would also be ideal for baby showers, birthdays, or any other event you’re hosting at home.  For a single page, this guy packs a punch, making sure you won’t event forget ice!

For the Specialty Event Planner

These printables are handy because they focus on certain types of events because let’s face it, some of the general checklists just don’t catch all the specific details (and no one wants to forget the rings!)

5.  The Corporate Event Planning Checklist – Tasty Catering

WE love this checklist because it really focuses attention on your attendees! Comfort is everything when it comes to maintaining your guests’ attention for a training or seminar – especially if you’re in the same room for 8 hours!  This list will remind you of everything from pens to lunch so you and your group can get down to business.  Need space for a corporate event around Indianapolis?  Be sure to consider 502 East Event Centre – check us out!

6.  Baby Shower Checklist – The Refurbished Life

Baby showers can sometimes seem like a fairly easy event to plan in comparison to a wedding, but that’s not always the case!  This useful one page checklist contains a ton of handy reminders to make sure you have a plan created so you’re not fumbling to figure out who’s going to be responsible for what on the day of.  This list also has additional religious to-do such as praying and time for affirming words.

7.  Kid’s Birthday Party Checklist – House Mix

This printable is perfect for the intimate in-home kid’s birthday!  This list makes it so easy, you could practically plan this event in an hour.  This list offers a menu so easy it might as well be a grocery list – talk about efficiency!  Don’t forget the candles! 🎂

8.  The Mitzvah Planning Worksheet –  Cutie Patootie Creations

Talk about a timeline!  This little number covers securing your date with your synagogue and brainstorming 2-3 years prior to your event. With all of the different (and exciting) elements for a mizvah, this list breaks it down.  Just keep in mind that you can also utilize some of the additional printables to supplement timeline planning, shopping, to-dos and vendor info.

For the Wonderful Wedding Planner
9. The Wedding Planning Binder – Happily Ever After, Etc.

First of all can we just appreciate that this sucker is FORTY TWO pages of organization bliss for free?  With tools like this, who event needs a wedding planner?  (No, we’re really joking, wedding planners and coordinators are incredibly valuable – don’t skimp!)  This guide will walk you through the entire process and all the details from lipstick color to honeymoon travel and accommodations.   We feel a sigh of relief coming on already!

10. 94 Questions to Ask your Wedding Venue – Your Bride Tribe

You probably never would have guessed there even are 94 questions to ask your wedding venue, but we can assure you there are!  Your Bride Tribe created this ah-mazing guide to make sure you know all the facts before you sign on the dotted line for your venue!  Note, there are a lot of questions about ceremony space as well, so if you’re booking your ceremony off-site, you probably won’t have to ask all 94.  Get ready to do some venue shopping!

For the Budget Boss
11.  Event Planning Budget – The Freebie Finding Mom

As we all know, budgeting is probably one of the toughest (and necessary) things to do when planning an event.  Luckily The Freebie Finding Mom has created a general spreadsheet to organize (and remember) all of the important elements to an event, so you don’t kind yourself spending $$$$$ when you wanted to spend $$$.

12.  Wedding Budget Checklist – The Wedding Report/The One/SwankyWedding.com

Oh the infamous wedding budget – where do you begin?  This thorough checklist not only gives you a run down of all of the things you should plan for, but it gives you estimates on how much to spend in each category.  Plus, with a fun spring-y flower design, it’s cheery! Looking for an Indianapolis wedding Caterer? Check out our Wedding Packages!

13. Vendor Payment Plan – Printable Wedding Planner

 

 

So you already know all of your vendors and your budget – this printable is a lifesaver!  With a place for deposits, due dates, etc. you won’t be caught by surprise when vendors are hoping for a check (and it will show them you truly value their services) – win-win!  This could be used for events other than weddings as well and can be purchased as an editable .doc or as an entire packet.

Event Spotlight – Delta Faucet at The Palladium

 

Some Delta Faucet clients definitely got a treat when they attended a Jonathan Byrd’s catered cocktail hour and a Cheryl Crow concert at The Palladium!

A very special group of 25 arrived in the Adams room at the Palladium about an hour before showtime to be treated to a light dinner before the show.  The client wanted to ensure that the guests were able to try something a little adventurous and new, so Chef Brett made sure to create a custom menu!

The stations began with a simple, yet elegant salad display featuring a variety of salads, including Baby Tomato Dill with Sweet Onion, Grilled Corn, Asparagus and Chive, and Sugar Snap Pea, Red Pepper, and Almond.

After guests were done sampling their salads, they were free to move on to the Vol-au-vent Bar, which included a small, hollow puff pastry to be topped with their choice of shrimp scampi, chicken marsala, or chianti braised beef, see below!

The next station featured a chef-manned action salmon satay and grilled vegetable kabob.  This station gave guest the choice of five different dips and sauces to ensure that they could really customize their dish! The options included Sweet Chili Glaze, Grain Mustard Demi-Glace, Ginger Fig Jam, Garlic Chive Aioli, and Toasted Walnut Pesto.

On the other half of the table, chef offered a choice of savory Barley and Rosemary or Potato Leek pancakes.  Chef wanted to make sure everyone had plenty of flavor combinations so he also offered Artichoke Salsa, Spiced Onion and Apple Compote,  Olive Tapenade, Roasted Tomato Chutney, and Balsamic Glazed Sweet Onions.

As a sweet treat before the concert, our Pastry Chef, Kristen made fresh berry flambe to serve over a choice of a flourless chocolate torte or white chocolate ganache pastry.

10 Local Must-Haves for Indianapolis Brides

With tons of online shops and a myriad of handmade creations for weddings – it’s tough to choose exactly which things you need for yours.  Luckily, we’ve made a list of ten local must-haves that will make your big day a blast!

1. Hand Lettered Acrylic Menu Cards by Blu3 Designs
From ethereal to shabby chic, these menu cards are so versatile, not to mention unique.  We’re loving this look with the distressed chargers.  Be sure to check out Blu3 Designs – they’re always updating with beautiful and unique stationary that will be sure to impress guests.

2. Custom Acrylic Cake Topper by Memories Engraving
If you and your partner are looking for a simple, yet elegant, cake topper, this one’s for you!  This custom acrylic topper features an intricate design and would complement almost any cake.  Plus, Memories Engraving hosts a ton of different options for cake toppers featuring monograms, seasonal motifs, and even a checked flag version for all of our Hoosier race fans out there!

3.  Custom Printed Favor Pouch by Department of Everyday

The possibilities are ENDLESS with these sweet little drawstring favor pouches! Whether you’re a horticulture enthusiast and would like to gift your attendees with a variety of seeds to plant, local soaps, or our favorite – use them on your candy station so guests can grab a treat on their way out!  Really wanting to keep things local?  Check out Newfangled Confections or Litteraly Divine Chocolates.

4.  Shot Glasses for the Groomsmen by Elegant Bliss Designs
We’re loving these sweet little “thank you” gifts for groomsmen!  Don’t forget the Premium Bar Package , so everyone can have exactly what they want! Cheers!

5. Nautical Bowtie and Suspenders Set by Beautiful4Baby
With more than 100 sets of suspenders and bowties to choose from, Beautiful4Baby definitely has something for your sweet little ring bearer (or fashion-forward guest!).  Whether you’re looking for something fun and playful or mature and handsome, you can find the perfect additions here! PS – if you can’t get enough of adorable ring bearers, Buzzfeed has complied a list of classy little guys that will melt your heart.

6. Custom Wedding Cookie Cutter by 3D Treats
Looking at making your own favors that will give guests a good laugh? Look no further than a cookie with your faces on it. Looking for something a little more modest?  This seller can also make a simple cutter with a heart with your names on it.

7.  Embroidered Bridesmaid Robes by Key Your Spirit
Everyone loves a comfy satin robe!  Plus, these are perfect for a variety of fun (or more serious) photos with you and your bridesmaids! If you’re struggling to come up with photo ideas, check out Pinterest, of course.  These silky robes come in 17 different color options, along with countless font and embroidery color options so they’ll match your color scheme perfectly.

8. Mini Wedding Cake Replica Ornament by CMYKlays
CMYKlays actually makes replica wedding cakes to remember your day!  We can’t get over how incredibly detailed and adorable these little guys are! A sweet (and unique) little trinket to remember your wedding.

9. Chevron Wedding Date Necklace by Leos Mark
We’re suckers for anything custom, especially this beautiful and dainty chevron necklace from Leo’s Mark.  This lovely little number will match almost anything and is perfect for layering.  Be sure to checkout their store – they offer everything from engraved necklaces to lighters to keychains.

10. “The Romantic First Year of Marriage” by The First Year Of
Once all the fun and stress of the wedding is over, treat yourself to this sweet package that includes 12 cards to be read together every month. Each card has instructions for a fun and romantic activity to try!  These would be a perfect addition to date night or any time you want to celebrate and try something new.

We hope you enjoyed our top ten local must-haves for Indy brides!  Keep your eye out for any updates!  Let us know your favorite thing you purchased for your wedding from a local store below!

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Summer Cookout Tips!

Picnics and cookouts are the social events of the season throughout the summer – whether it’s a company outing, family reunion, or even a birthday party.  It’s easy gathering everyone together, but having people stay longer than just to grab a quick bite can be challenging.  That’s why we’ve complied a list of ideas to incorporate into your summer bash to ensure guests stick around and have a great time after they eat!

1. Games!
Everyone loves a good time and nothing brings out people’s natural competitiveness than a friendly game for all ages.  Some crowd favorites are cornhole, volleyball, or football. If you’re looking for a bit more variety, our partners at Casino Party Planners have all the exciting games and attractions you can imagine, including a life-size Jenga game, or they can even bring staff to host blackjack or poker tournaments! If you’ve got a younger crowd, consider having potato sack races, inflatable bowling, or even just outdoor toys they can use for a variety of games. If you’re looking for more relaxed activities, consider a game of Bingo,  trivia, or even board games will give your attendees the opportunity to stay in the shade if they’d like!

 

2.  Interactive Stations
Stations can be great because they can offer a variety of things to do.  Casino Party Planners offers something for every age including face painting, henna art, spin art, video games and pinball machines, and a variety of inflatables including bounce houses, mechanical bulls, and a variety of other fun games.

3. Interactive FOOD Stations
Food stations are really great for your guests because they ensure that they can customize their dishes!  Of course you can do simple stations, the hamburgers and hot dogs with toppings, deli platters, etc.  To really make your selections stand out, consider upgrading these!  For example, for hamburgers try adding a variety of cheeses, sauteed peppers or mushrooms, fried onions, avocado, strips of bacon, or a variety of gourmet aiolis, mustards, and mayonnaises! For hotdogs, consider different buns or even ingredients to make Chicago dogs, including sport peppers, tomatoes, dill pickle spears, Chicago style relish, and Celery Salt.  Don’t forget the Poppy Seed buns! If you’re unsure if Chicago style will appeal to everyone, feel free to add Coney Dog Sauce, Nacho Cheese and Jalapenos.

If you really want to try something different, consider trying different hot sandwiches, such as an Italian Beef, Reubens, Gyros, or even Cubans!  Don’t forget dessert!  You can always be creative with our Chefs at Catering by Jonathan Byrd’s, so come to us with your ideas and we’ll turn them into reality!  Give us a call today at (317) 843-1234 to make sure your summer shindig stands out form the crowd!

 

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Unique Details to Enhance Any Event

Last weekend, we had the honor of hosting a very high-end fire & ice themed event for a special client!  This specific client went all-out with the theme!  No detail went unnoticed, and all added up to a phenomenal gala.  Here are a new of our favorite details to give your event a little extra flair.

 Linens

Everyone is accustomed to seeing the same old poly tablecloths in white or black.  If you’re really looking to spice up your event, consider doing different colors, upgrade your linen (a satin or crush shimmer is a great step up), or even add a runner to your table.  You can even get creative with the endless amount of napkin folds and presentations! For a few ideas, check out our Pinterest board!

Continue reading “Unique Details to Enhance Any Event”

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5 Things to Know When Calling a Caterer

Whether you’re planning a corporate training or a large family get-together, there are a lot of moving pieces to consider and food is definitely one of them!  So as a caterer to the Central Indiana area for nearly 30 years, we’ve complied a (prioritized!) list of things to have decided before you inquire about a catering!

Date and Timeline

The day and time of your event is the most critical piece of information when trying to book!  Once we know your date, we can look into our systems and see what other events we have scheduled that day to determine if we have availability.
Continue reading “5 Things to Know When Calling a Caterer”

Chef Brett on WISH TV’s Indy Style!

Today, in partnership with the Booth Tarkington Civic Theatre, Executive Chef Brett was featured on Indy Style on WISH TV!

In honor of the Civic’s upcoming Broadway production, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Chef was able to preview two dishes in anticipation for 502 East‘s “Brunch with Belle” on December 18th, 2016. Continue reading “Chef Brett on WISH TV’s Indy Style!”