One year ago this tiny little dream became a reality. On October 26th (with the help of my dad sitting at the kitchen table walking me through it all) I officially incorporated Experience Events, Inc. The next day I gave notice at work and on November 11th I enjoyed my last day as a full-time employee with health benefits. ;) At that time my husband was going back to school, working part time, and about to begin student teaching in January without being able to have a part time job. So while this new adventure was exciting it was also incredibly terrifying! That terrifying feeling also gave me an incredible amount of motivation to get this thing off the ground. Here's a quick glance at all that's happened with the event business & life these last 12 months...
Business Bullet Points
All in all, this past year has been amazing and I can not thank those that worked for me, hired me, and encouraged me along the way for the constant support. Here's to more events, more challenges, and more of life's fun ahead!
Let me just start by saying I had intended for this to be a longer post with more pictures and deep content on what we're doing... But I'm kind of happy to say it's not going to be long, because I just don't have the time... (& you probably don't care about the details like I do anyway). This company (& dance studio) are keeping me more than busy! So, for those of you who have been wondering what I do all day, what it's like to start your own business, or what fun events & clients I am working with... check it out!
What is it like to start your own business? Two words- terrifying & exciting. (Mostly Terrifying.) However, that terrifying feeling is also the best motivation in the world! It's not easy to promote myself, trust myself, and just go for it- but I've been fortunate enough to have great support from my husband, parents, family, and friends. The exciting feelings come when people reach out to me for my services, clients I'm currently working with, and new opportunities keep coming up. Now that I have a few clients the excitement keeps growing. The terrifying & exciting feelings are the reasons I get out of bed every morning, walk down the hall to my office, and start working. :)
Who am I working with, what have I done, and what am I going to do? We've been in business since November, but truly been working with clients since the start of 2017. In these past 3 months I'm proud to say we've been working with clients on private, corporate, and community events plus marketing!
Noblesville Farmer's Market
I'm very excited to share that we will be managing & handling on-site coordination for the Noblesville Farmer's market every Saturday, May 6-October 14. The Director of Noblesville Main Street contacted me right after the Holidays and we've been in conversations ever since. I've begun hiring a few other event planners to help with this project which has allowed me to learn even more about starting and growing this business. I hope you will come visit and stop on by the Noblesville Farmer's Market this summer at its brand new location at Federal Hill Commons.
I'm organizing all of the volunteers for each water stop, securing food for the event day, assisting with Expo's for the Carmel Road Racing Group, and keeping the necessary forms and requirements in line. This has been the most similar to my last job and has been fun to work on a larger scale event (3,000+) again. I've had the chance to meet new people and keep the event business busy!
5280 Bistro & 5280 Pantry Project
5280 Bistro & Pantry Project were my very first paid client and first company check! I handle marketing and booking for this company on a weekly basis. 5280 Bistro is a husband and wife team that I actually know through the dance studio. This has been one of my favorite opportunities because I get to be a part of the team that helps their business grow and succeed. They offer cooking classes, catering, commissary kitchen, breakfast, and will be out with their new food truck in April. I'm also creating a new website for them that will be live soon!
I had the pleasure of coordinating the wedding of Amanda Jackson & Scott Maxwell last weekend. This was a beautiful wedding with a reception at Mustard Seed Gardens. Some photos of the wedding can be found here. I put together customized day-of timelines for each of the 19 members of the wedding party, assisted with pre-planning coordination, and managed all on-site coordination between vendors. It was a lot of fun and very tiring. Weddings are no joke people.
Bridal Showers & Fun
I'm excited to be the Matron of Honor for a close friend of mine, so while it's not technically as Experience Events, the planning of all things "Bridal fun for Emma" get its own color on my weekly timeline. With the help of the bridal party we are planning a Friends Themed Bridal shower for April, night out on the town for the Bachelorette party in May, and wedding in June!
Last weekend I did something I haven’t done in a while. I attended an event and did not host or even bring anything. It was kind of a weird feeling to be arriving empty handed, but every detail had clearly been thought of, so I thought I’d share the fun with everyone else!
My dear friend, Jennifer Atteberry, hosted a “Valentine’s Pinterest Party” complete with craft supplies wrapped in adorable boxes, themed and branded instructions, a fancy lunch, and all things pink and red. I’m not a huge “girly-girl”, but it was nice to be with my girlfriends and just relax for an afternoon.
Lunch included heart-shaped sandwiches, soup, mixed berries, chips, Fizze Pomegranate juice, and Gigi’s cupcakes. The cupcakes were displayed on an adorable Ferris wheel food display. In my book, the ferris wheel food display is a reason alone to host a party! After lunch we continued the crafting and painted napkins. This was a fun idea, but my excess painters idea tape took a long time and only gave me time to complete two napkins.
Jennifer put together a wonderful Pinterest Party and a very relaxing afternoon. If you are looking for any fun crafts to do this Valentine’s weekend I strongly suggest trying these out with your girlfriends!
Check out the crafts and Jennifer’s branded and themed instructions HERE.
And if you'd like to see how they all turned out, here are my final products!
We’ve all been to Expo Hall style events before whether they were craft fairs, business vendor booths, or even farmers markets! Expo/Vendor Hall events aren’t as easy to plan as one might think. Event planners have to think about the experience for the attendee as well as the exposure for the vendor. After assisting with the Indiana Parks & Recreation Association Annual Conference & Expo Hall for the last 5 years, I’ve put together my top picks on how to keep your vendors happy and how to keep your attendees happy.
Check out more photos from the Expo Hall, Awards Banquet, and Evening Social:
Thanks to the Indiana Parks & Recreation Association for putting on another great event and including Experience Events in the planning process!
Hello everyone... I'm excited to have my first blog post up and ready. There are plenty of blogs out there about attending events, but not too many from the view of an event planner (either as the planner or the attendee of that event). I plan on keeping busy with new events, fun ideas, and tips that you can use no matter the size or type of event. As I continue this blog I'd love to get your ideas, input, and questions. So... without further ado, let's dive in!
This past Friday my husband and I hosted our annual Christmas Party. With a smaller income (leaving a full-time job and starting your own business has this effect) we agreed to host our party, but keep it on a budget. Instead of a play-by-play of the evenings events, I've created 5 tips to hosting a simple holiday party that you can use for any upcoming party or gathering. Having the family over for Christmas? Throwing a New Year's Eve party? Hosting a dinner party? These 5 tips will come in handy for all of the above and more!
1) Ask others to Co-Host
Don't be embarrased to ask others to bring things or your close friends to co-host.
I asked my good friends, Emma & Amanda, to help co-host the party. Emma is also an event planner and Amanda is a pinterest nut, and this allowed each of us to not spend too much while keeping the party fun! Most people actually enjoy being a part of the planning or bringing something to the party. We also asked our guests to bring wine, beer, or a cocktail to share (this helped keep the event on a budget as alcohol is the single most expensive item when hosting). Since the alcohol was taken care of and Emma and Amanda each brought some food, I had time and money to spend on more food, great decorations, and basic beer/wine. Emma & Amanda also arrived early to help with last minute set up and prep of food. Among other things, Amanda made a delicous baked brie with cranberries and Emma brought props & a polaroid for the photo booth!
2) Decorate Early
Decorations set the mood and don't need to be stressful. Get it done early and relax.
Since we were throwing a holiday themed party, our main decorations were already up, but I enjoyed making extra decor specific to the party such as a "Cheers" banner (the party title was "Holiday Cheers"), photo booth backdrop, snowman cups, and even custom-crafted toothpicks. I particularly love decorations, but like most people they always take longer to make than I originally imagine. I enjoyed creating decorations and "pinteresty" additions the weeks leading up to the party, so I didn't leave it to the last minute. There is no reason to get stressed or tired the day of your party because of decorations. A little bit here and there goes a long way. And to be completely honest, this is a stress-reliever for me, so throwing a party is sometimes an excuse for me to put up decorations and craft.
3) Find your Pinterest vs. Store bought Balance
The difference between fun and sanity starts with balance. :)
Not everything has to be homemade, but if you're like me, you do enjoy making fun treats, food signs, and other pinterest-like things. Enjoy the fun of making those things, but don't feel like everything has to be homemade. My guests enjoyed the pinterest touches throughout the party, and I was still energetic enough to host the party becuase I hadn't lost my mind (completely anyway!). Everyone has their level of interest, so if pinterest and crafts aren't yours, then don't sweat it: just hire me! :) I bought a 6 lb. bag of meatballs from Costco, pre-cooked mini-dogs, and pre-popped popcorn that were easy to set out and enjoyed by all. On the pinterest/craft front, I did have fun making a chocolate-covered pretzel wreath, peanut butter cookies, santa belt decorated shot glasses, homemade candy cane card holders (pictured below), and many more!
4) Know Your Guests
Invite people, then build the party around who you invited.
Before too much planning of the party, I thought about who I wanted to invite and what kind of party that would produce. Then I created the drinks, food, and decor around those who were attending. Our party didn't include kids because most of our friends don't have kids yet, so that eliminated extra activities needed. If kids had been invited I would recommend a small, simple craft they could do (even fun coloring pages), a movie playing in the background, and a few board games. We also knew that most of our guests enjoy their libations, so we made sure we had extra drinks beyond the wine & beer guests might bring. At the same time, not all of our guests drink alcohol, so we had soda and russian tea (made by Ross) available. The implication that there would be drinking was in the invite, but there wasn't an expectation to drink if they weren't comfortable.
5) Plan activities, but keep it flexible
Finding a balance here can make the difference in how long your guests stay.
Most people don't enjoy hours of games (even though they'll be good sports like our friend John), and at the same time most people don't enjoy hours of small talk. Since we invited a variety of friends including family members, friends, family of friends, neighbors, co-workers, etc. we knew that everyone wouldn't know eachother and wanted to have a few activities available. Unlike other parties we've hosted before, we decided to move our cars out of the garage and add an extra space out there for games. This allowed us to spread out the group and have distinct activity areas. The garage had beer pong, darts, and a holiday-themed photo booth with props. The living room was calmer with the fireplace going and soft music, which allowed for conversation. The kitchen (no matter what you do, most people always gather near food) was a space for drinks, food, and more conversation. There was no set schedule of activities, but my husband and I are pretty good at feeling out a crowd and noticing when a group game or small activity should start. Joe got some friends playing darts and I gathered with my college roommate & others for a game of beer pong near the beginning of the party to help spread out around the house. (Hosts are allowed to have fun, just keep a third eye on the room dynamic and environment so you know what might be needed and when people are coming or going). We did end up playing a group game of catch phrase (a Broman favorite) towards the end of the night, which helped people meet each other and brought the group together.
So, next time you volunteer to host a party, help a friend out with their party, or jump all in for a crazy idea your spouse always has (like my husband does for me), use these simple tips and everyone will be sure to have a great time!