Monday, 31 October 2011

Working as a Team

HAPPY HALLOWEEN everyone!! Today I dressed up as Super Planner and I won most original costume at work, yay!

I have to apologize for my extreme lack of blog posts. I have been super busy helping execute a conference the past week. I'm sure you can understand!

Through my experience as an event planner I have realized that it's really important to be a team player. There are usually a number of people besides the event planner that help make an event successful. This includes but is not limited to catering, designers, event assistants, marketing coordinators, public relations and volunteers. Working as a team is important to ensure everyone is valued and working towards the success of an event.

Here are some great ways to maintain a strong events team:

Frequent Communication. It's important to communicate to the team on a frequent basis to make sure that everyone has up to date event information and to ensure there isn't any confusion. Frequent communication includes ongoing meetings, phone calls and email.

Outline Your Needs. Be sure to articulate your event needs to the team. A great way to outline your needs is to provide each team member with an event plan. The event plan typically includes the event's goals, theme, vision, stakeholders, date, time and location. By outlining your needs your event team will know have a clear understanding of your event vision and expectations.

Provide Your Deadlines. At the beginning of the event planning process it is best to inform your team of your various deadlines, particularly the ones that apply to each event team member. By knowing the event deadlines, your team will know what needs to be complete and will make sure all the various tasks are complete in time.

Thank Them. This may be obvious to some but it's important to thank your team for their work and contributions. Your event would definitely not be successful without the help of your team, so show your appreciation. Thanking them will show that they feel valued and important and contributed towards a successful event.

That's all folks! Hope everyone is having a great Halloween! (I'm watching The Shining, sooo freaky!

Monday, 17 October 2011

I love Halloween!

Howdy! Hope everyone had a fabulous weekend, I did! It was full of pumpkin carving, dinner with friends, yummy brunch with a new friend, walking with the boy and zombie watching. The weather was super nice too!

It's October! Yes, it's sad, summer is officially gone buuut October is a pretty awesome month, you know why? It's Halloween season! I just love everything about Halloween, it is just so much fun.

Here are the things I love about this season:

Carving pumpkins - I love how a regular old pumpkin becomes alive when the carving is complete

Scary movies  - I love scary movies in general but they are so much more fun to watch during this season. There are always tons of scary movies on TV. I absolutely LOVE getting scared. In fact, I am watching The Hills Have Eyes as we speak and it is pretty darn gruesome!

Dressing up - This is pretty obvious, but I love dressing up for Halloween. It's fun to get creative and pretend to be someone else for a day!

Seeing others dress up
-  I really enjoy seeing others costumes. I have seen some pretty creative stuff in the past few years. It's really interesting to see what people come up with every year. It's also awesome seeing little ones dress up, they are always so cute!

Candy - Yes, one of my weaknesses is candy. I love the wide selection of candy that comes out for this season. I know it's really for the kids but I just can't help myself :)
Parties - There is often a good Halloween party to go to every year and it's usually a lot of fun. The costumes, the treats, it's good times!

Costume contests - It's always fun to compete in costume contests. When there is a contest involved people are usually very creative with their costume

Haunted houses - 
As I said above I absolutely love getting scared and haunted houses definitely get me freaked out. Some people think I'm a little nutty for liking them but it's just so much fun to walk through a dark house and wondering if something scary is going to jump out at you.

Enjoy Halloween everyone!

-Shira :)

Monday, 10 October 2011

How to Handle Difficult Customers and Suppliers

As an event planner, you will serving and working with a wide variety of individuals. These individuals usually land into two main categories - your customers and suppliers. Some of these individuals will be an absolutely breeze to work with, where as others will be more difficult. This is something that an event planner should always be ready to handle as it will happen from time to time (sometimes more often than others). I have had my fair share of this and as frustrating and stressful as it can be, you must act professional and resolve the conflict.

Here are my tips on how to handle difficult customers and suppliers:

Remain calm.   I've mentioned this before, it's really important to remain calm in these type of situations. If your customer/supplier is becoming irrational, it is best to to just remain calm. Don't go to their level of frustration. It will only make matters worse and will not solve anything. Staying in a calm state of mind will show you are in control, can work under stress and are a professional.

Listen. When your customer/supplier is upset, it is best to first listen to what they have to say. Listen to their side and find out why exactly they are frustrated. Once you have determined why they are frustrated from listening to them, you can now find a solution to the conflict. Most individuals will really appreciate that you took the time to listen to them.

Show them that you care. Show them that you value the relationship and care about their concerns. A way of showing that you care is by listening, as I said above. Another way is to express to them that you  want to sincerely keep them happy and resolve conflicts where both parties benefit. When they realize that you care about the relationship and sustaining it, they will usually be easier to work with.

Stand your ground. If they are being unreasonable and forcing you to go against your moral values, you need assert yourself and express your concerns. Make sure to of course do this in a professional and calm manner. If they are communicating in a destructive way, you need to be confident and express to them how this is affecting you. Explain that the conflict cannot be resolved if both parties aren't calm and want to work towards a solution. There is nothing wrong with standing up for yourself and standing your ground, just make sure you are professional.

Try not to take it personally. I have definitely done this before, but try not to take the conflict too personally. The conflict could be from a mistake you made, but it's important not to let this bring you down. You need to learn from the situation and move on. By taking it personally, you show that you are not in control of the situation and allow conflict to continually affect you. Bad things do happen, but what's important is how you handle it.

Enjoy the tips and Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Gobble Gobble ;)

-Shira :)

Friday, 7 October 2011


I know, I know, I haven't blogged in a week, I'm bad :P But I did warn everyone that my blog posts would be less frequent now that I have a full time gig ;)

So today I am going to talk about goals, more specifically goals that I am going to set for myself. I think it's important to set short and long term goals for yourself. It gives your life a sense of purpose and direction. Also, when you meet your goals, you definitely feel a strong sense of achievement.

I wanted to share with all of you what some of my goals are:

Stay healthy and active. While I do try to eat healthy and be active on a regularly basis, I want to make sure I continue doing this. There have been times when I have fallen off the wagon so to speak and I want to make sure I stay on the right track. I love how I feel when I am healthy and active. I always have a lot of energy and I just feel good!

Be debt-free. I do have a bit of debt right now and I need to get rid of it. I don't want this debt to weigh on my shoulders any more. It's preventing me from saving a proper amount of money and one day owning a home. I hope to be debt-free within the next 2 years.

Travel to Europe. Yes, I know it's a bit shocking, I have never been outside of North America. I want to make it a priority within the next 2 years to travel to Europe. I want to dive right into the culture, food, and beautiful architecture. I can't wait!!

Save more money, spend less. I have some savings, but I want to save more and have a proper savings plan in place. I want to be more careful with how I spend my money so I can save more. Saving more money will allow me to buy a home in the future, travel and buy various items without financial stress.

Attain my Certified Special Events Professional (CSEP) designation. By attaining my CSEP designation, it will show to others that I am a certified event professional and can successfully plan and execute events. I really hope to attain this designation in the next year.

Build my event experience. Even though I do have several years of event experience under my belt, I want to continue to build my experience. There is always something new to learn in the event industry. Building my experience will allow me to be a confident and knowledgeable events professional.

Increase my network. I want to continue to develop meaningful personal and professional relationships. I hope to do this by going to a variety of networking events and joining industry associations.

Wow, it felt good to write all that down! Now I have to hold myself accountable and achieve all these goals. I can do it!

What are your goals?? I'd love to hear some!

Happy Thanksgiving weekend everyone! Gobble gobble ;)

-Shira :)