Sunday, 12 February 2012

Change is AWESOME!

Hey everyone!

So today I wanted to talk about change. There has been a lot of change in my life as of late. I started a new job and also started to build my wedding planning experience, I joined MPI BC (Meeting Planners International), I started my application to become a CMP (Certified Meeting Professional) and I began attending networking events.

More recently, my boyfriend and I are moving! We signed the rental agreement last week. I am super duper excited about this new place. It has everything we need and more! And you know what? It was the very first place we looked at! We totally lucked out :).  Moving is of course a lot of work and can be quite stressful but I am trying to keep the end goal in mind - a fantastic new place with my sweetie!!

So lots of changes in a short period of time! It can really overwhelm a girl. I need to make sure I don't get stressed or burnt out from all of this. I need to take the time to slow down, breathe and really appreciate all the new things in my life. *sigh*

Even though lots of change all at once can be overwhelming, it can be quite exciting! I love my new job, I can't wait to help with more weddings this summer, I'm super happy to have joined MPI, I am very much looking forward to getting my CMP (I just joined a study group that starts in March, yay!), I love meeting great people at networking events and I of course cannot wait to move into my new place. See?? Super exciting!

Now, there is definitely nothing wrong with having a daily routine, however, I think it's important to have ongoing change in one's life (it doesn't have to be as much as me of course). It adds spice to life and it gets you out of your comfort zone! Yay for change!


P.S. My posts may not be as frequent this month due to me moving :)

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Tips to Help YOU Become a Successful Event Planner

Hello everyone! Sorry for my delay in posting my first event planning tips post of 2012 but life just seems to be getting busier and busier...and I'm not complaining :)

Soooo let's just right into it! I wanted to provide some general tips to help you become a successful event planner. Know why? Because I want you to be successful!

So here goes: 

Onsite event clipboard. It's important to keep an clipboard with you at all times with all your event-related essentials. The clipboard allows you to reference important event information at a glance. It will keep you on top of everything and display professionalism. The clipboard should include a list of all your key contacts (venue manager, A/V staff, catering manager etc.), event schedule, venue/catering/A/V (audio/visual) contracts, event catering and A/V order, floor plans, registration/vip list and any other important documents that you will need to keep on hand at your event. Your clipboard should also have a couple pens and a highlighter.

Event kit. Along with having your clipboard it's important to bring an event kit with you onsite. The kit will contain all the tools that you need to put on a successful event. The size of the kit usually depends on the size and complexity of the event (eg. for a large conference you would bring a large kit and for a small workshop you would bring a small kit with some essential items). I'm not going to list everything that should be included but here are some key items to include:
  • Scissors
  • Pens - blue, black, red
  • Markers
  • Highlighters
  • Stapler
  • Pads of paper
  • First Aid Kit
  • Breath mints
  • Elastic bands
  • Paper clips
  • Tape
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Ibuprofen
End of day task list. This may not be for everyone but it definitely helps me. What I do at the end of every work day is a make a list of all my tasks listed in order of priority. This helps me manage my time, keep track of all the tasks that I need to complete and meet project goals. It's kind of anal but I have to make that list before I leave for the day or I just go CRAZY! :)

Event brief. In the beginning stages of planning your event you should create a brief which outlines all the details of your event in one place. The brief should include the following:
  • Overview of the event
  • Event goals
  • Event concept
  • Detailed schedule
  • Key contacts
Critical path. In order to keep track of all your event timelines and make sure your event goes as planned, it's very important to have a critical path. And what is a critical you say? It's a sequence of activities in a project plan that must be complete by a set project deadline. So for an event, it's a list of event-related tasks that must be complete in order for the event to be executed successfully. An event critical path lists all the event tasks, deadlines associated with each task and who is responsible for completing each task. If the deadlines are not met it typically creates a domino effect - one task not being complete will affect another and so on and so forth. It's really important to stay on top of your critical path and review it frequently to ensure your event is successful.

I do of course have other tips up my sleeve but I will leave that for another post ;)

Happy planning!

-Shira :)