Event strategies, current trends, best practices … this is my point of view.
by: ASHLEIGH DORFMAN, CSEP

Why Less is More at Events

Jun 8, 2013 Blog | 2 comments

Have you ever been to an event where there was too much … decorations around the room, china/stemware/flatware on the table or speakers on the agenda, for example?  Did you feel overwhelmed, claustrophobic or disappointed, perhaps wishing the event organizers/hosts had exercised an important design principle – “less is more”? Less is more, and its cousin KISS – Keep is simple, stupid, is a minimalist design approach.   If you remove one element, the design will still function.  From an event perspective, if you remove one item...

read more

Repurposing: A Different Shade of Green for Special Events

May 25, 2013 Blog, Event Planning | 0 comments

Happy Memorial Day weekend!  I know most Americans are thinking red, white and blue but I’m thinking of shades of green, too … sustainable ideas that save money.  Do I have your attention?  Please read on. Are you looking for ways to do more with less, perhaps to stretch your event budget without sacrificing quality?   One option is to “repurpose”.  Repurpose is another name for reuse but let’s be honest, it sounds better, especially when trying to retain quality.  Repurposing is the concept of giving new life to an...

read more

Punctuate the End of Your Event!

May 18, 2013 Blog, Event Planning, Event Strategy | 0 comments

If you were attending an event, which ending would you prefer? “Is the event over?” “That was fun.  I’m ready to leave.” “Wow, what a great event!  I can’t believe it’s already over!” Without a show of hands, I strongly suspect you prefer the ‘Wow!’ response.  Most guests want to leave an event feeling good about their participation (as well as the investment of time and money to be there).   Further, they want to know the event is over. How do event planners achieve this?  We create a...

read more

Experience your Event with a Tasting

May 5, 2013 Blog, Event Planning | 0 comments

If you want to [partially] experience your event before the big day, request a tasting with your caterer.  More than just tasting food, tastings allow customers to see the table set up and the food presentation, smell the delicious aromas and enjoy the wait staffs’ service from a guests’ perspective. Tastings are not always offered by caterers, and if they are, there are usually caveats; some charge a small fee, limit the number of attendees and or request a signed contract.  These are reasonable expectations, especially if food,...

read more

Why Don’t People RSVP?

Apr 27, 2013 Blog, Event Planning, Event Strategy | 6 comments

If I had a nickel for every time someone asked me ‘why don’t people RSVP”, I would be a rich gal!  Seriously, I get asked this question all the time by family, friends, colleagues and clients.  It dumbfounds people that someone wouldn’t respond to an invitation (to their fantastic, expensive, time-consuming, labor-intensive event!).   And actually, the problem is worse for free events.  Invited guests don’t respond and then, the event organizer anticipates their participation either by overcompensating with extra food, drinks...

read more

What Makes an Event Successful?

Apr 20, 2013 Blog, Business Events, Event Planning, Event Strategy, Non-Profit Events | 0 comments

What makes an event successful?  Is it the people who attend, the food and drinks they consume, or their actions after the event?  No surprise, it’s a variety of success factors … but primarily, it’s what you do before the event that has the most impact on your event’s success: Strategy – define purpose, target audience, goals and objectives and budget Design – create an event that engages your guests to achieve results Venue – consider location, amenities and customer service, as well as capacity,...

read more

Award-Winning Ideas for Your Next Event

Apr 10, 2013 Blog, Business Events, Event Planning, Event Strategy, Non-Profit Events | 0 comments

Did you hear the News?  On Sunday evening, I won a coveted Capital Award from the Greater Washington DC chapter of the International Special Event Society (ISES DC) for a fundraising gala I co-produced with 30 sponsors and a 14-person steering committee in March 2012.  I’ve been told by many people that it was a fabulous event but why?  More importantly, why was my event more award-winning than my competitors?  Their events were produced by experienced planners, included generous sponsors and encountered many challenges just like mine. ...

read more

Special Events are like Family Vacations

Apr 3, 2013 Blog, Business Events, Event Planning, Event Strategy, Non-Profit Events | 0 comments

Have you ever been on vacation trying hard not to think about work but ultimately, thinking about work?  That was me last week.  While lounging at the pool one afternoon, I thought about how planning a family vacation is a lot like planning a special event; both are planned for the people who will experience them … or at least they should be. My husband and I took our three little girls to southern California for spring break.  It was a big expense so we wanted it to be successful.  Our strategy – plan most details for our...

read more

The ABC’s of Producing an Event

Mar 20, 2013 Blog, Business Events, Event Strategy, Non-Profit Events, Sponsorships | 0 comments

I’m in the moving business (and you probably are, too).  While I don’t actually move heavy boxes, my job is moving people to participate in events. Sounds like sales (yuck!).  It’s actually non-sales selling and according Daniel Pink’s new book, “To Sell is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others”, 9 out 10 people do it.  In fact, we spend upwards of 40% of our time on the job moving others. So, what does non-sales selling have to do with producing events?  Results.  To successfully achieve results, we must convince,...

read more

Building [Lego] Birthday Fun

Mar 12, 2013 Blog, Event Planning, Personal Celebrations | 2 comments

Do you have a little girl that loves building with Legos?  Then, take note; she will love this celebration! Last weekend, I produced an 8th birthday party with a Lego Friends theme.  For the unfamiliar, Lego Friends is the new Lego collection for girls.  The bricks are pink and purple and the “friends” live in “Heartlake City”.  The challenge with this birthday theme is that it’s too new; very little exists to create a memorable experience (i.e. decorations, disposables)  just toys and books.  So I had my work cut out for...

read more