Office Manager Turned Corporate Event Planner- Hamilton Banquet

No, You will not be compensated to plan the next corporate event or find a Hamilton banquet venue. Yes, they will expect it done professionally and effectively.

Congratulations! You’ve been tasked with planning and/or sourcing a Hamilton banquet venue for the upcoming Hamilton banquet event. You are now the office ‘ corporate event planner ‘ for no extra compensation … Fun, right? Not so much. Let us try to help you out here.

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Whether you are working with a committee or making the decisions on your own, we’re going to try and help you save time and make you look good. Below are the beginning steps of a planning your Hamilton banquet venue search. Starting here will help you prepare for how this whole corporate event planning thing you’ve been tasked with …

Getting Started

Before anything, you need to find out some critical event information:
1. Number of expected guests
2. Budget – you likely won’t know a solid number, so a range or a max. number to stay below will be extremely helpful
3. Food & Beverage – are you feeding guests a full dinner or just apps? Will alcohol be served and who will be paying for that?
4. Entertainment Components – live music? magicians? etc.

Shopping for your Event Venue

First real to-do: Finding a local Hamilton banquet venue to host your company event. Easy enough, you’ll just Google ‘ Hamilton Banquet Venue ‘ and make a decision. Not so much. The number of hits/options these google searches return is bound to overwhelm, not to mention, the options don’t give you the real information you need to make a decision!

Here are a few things to consider when shopping for your event venue:
1.  Capacity
2. Highway Accessibility / Close Accommodations -are people coming from out of town?
3. Parking
4. What’s Included? (ie: tables, chairs, AV, etc.)

Warning: This is where the work becomes more laborious and don’t say we didn’t warn you. Contacting venues to get information on availability, capacity, pricing, etc. begins a long-winded game of email ping-pong. For assistance with this step, click here.

Booking Services

Once you secure your venue and date, it’s time to get the right service providers in place:
1. Entertainment – a DJ is always a great option for company events because they can play a wide range of music
2. Photography – whether it’s someone to take candid photos or set up a photo-booth, it’s always a great idea to capture the evening
3. Decor – for company events where decor isn’t typically a priority, opt for simple but effective pieces and consider decor that can double as guest favours for people to take home with them (this also makes your tear-down and event clean-up easier!)

Mid-Planning

Chill.  Yes, it’s okay to take some time to focus on your ACTUAL job vs. your free-event-planning-tasks! Once your venue and vendors are booked, you’re good to put this on the back burner until a couple months pre-event.

Two months before the event, start re-connecting with your vendors to firm up the details and prepare an execution plan event day. Because you hired trustworthy, recommended vendors, they should know exactly what they need from you in order to execute. For yourself, determine if you will need to enlist other staff members to volunteer for setup, what time you need to be on-site, what you need to do during the event and tear-down. Draft a schedule for the day which should include all the important timeline, setup details and vendor contact information, just in case.

Events are full of details, decisions, confirmations, and so much more. Reach out if you have corporate event planning questions or need more information about Hamilton banquet venues that would be right for you!

~ JPE

 

For more pictures and inspiration check out JP’s Facebook Page.

Charlotte & Aaron’s Proposal

So a little late on my promise to show everyone this AMAZING proposal but hey, better late than never!

Aaron & Charlotte (insert heart eyes)

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Aaron reached out and had an idea of the perfect way to propose to Charlotte. Being as they both love outdoors and go on adventures all the time, Aaron knew a Saturday morning canoe would not raise too much suspicion.

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When they arrived at Christie Conservation, Aaron walked Charlotte to the other side of the park to rent a canoe and take it out on the water. As they were out on the way, enjoying themselves, Andrew David Photography and I were busy setting the stage for Aaron to drop down on one knee.

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After an arm workout and a few selfies on the water, the two ventured back to ‘the car’ to head back home for the day. Aaron veered left and the two approached a pre-set picnic, which Charlotte thought was adorable. As she approached, Charlotte realized the photos at the picnic were of her and Aaron!!!

And you know what happens next so check it out for yourself …

Aaron & Charlotte – we’re beyond honoured that we played a small role in the next adventure of your lives! Wishing you two all the happiness in the world and we can’t wait to see photos from the big day! xo

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Special thanks to some helping friends:

Flowers from Mint & Magnolia
Special Treats from The Dessert Room
Photographer by Andrew David Photography

Organizing the Company BBQ? 3 Things to Remember

So they put you in charge of organizing this summer’s Company BBQ did they?
We know you’re not an event planner by trade, so we’d like to offer 3 important things to consider as you pull it all together:

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  1. Location: company property = company liability. Consider hosting at an off-site location but be mindful of the weather. Is the location covered? Is this a rain or shine event? Do you have to splurge for a tent? In any case, give directions to all guests and ensure signage is clear and visible when guests arrive so they know exactly where to go.
  2. Refreshments: you can never have too much. Whether you’re serving alcohol or not, do not skimp on the beverages. While alcohol is a nice-to-serve vs. a need-to-serve, ensure that is clear on the invitation to employees. Furthermore, consider foregoing the liability of serving alcohol and make it a BYOB for those that must indulge in a day-time beverage.
  3. Food: we strongly encourage you to splurge for a caterer vs. potluck. If cost is an issue, notify employees that instead of making everyone bring a dish, you will be collecting $15-$20 towards hiring a caterer. The employees will thank you, the food will be better and no one has to clean up!

Signage, entertainment, games, giveaways … there’s lots more that goes into planning the company BBQ and perhaps next year you collect $25 per person to cover the cost of a planner as well 😉

Good luck and have fun!

~JPD

Backyard Party: Things to think about ….

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Thinking about hosting a backyard party on your property? There are some things to consider before transforming your home into an event venue.

There is a common perspective that a backyard party is cheaper than using a traditional venue or restaurant. While this is sometimes true (when you are DIYing EVERYTHING), a backyard party will cost a significant amount of time.  Yes, a venue may have higher rental and food & beverage costs than your backyard & living room, but eliminating that cost won’t always cut your total budget.

Here are a few things to think about before pulling the trigger on a DIY, backyard party:

1. Furniture // Tables // Chairs

When you book at a venue, these things are included in the space. With a backyard party, these items now need to be sourced, rented, set up and taken down. Alternatively, you can use whatever tables and chairs you already own, but that will depend on the type of party you are throwing. A wedding, special birthday or anniversary celebration likely deserves an elevated aesthetic.

2. Shelter

Tents are a large ticket item that, again, need to be sourced, rented, set up and taken down. Unless you are comfortable with the inclement weather plan being inside your home, a tent is an added expense we strongly suggest including in the budget for a backyard event. With a venue, that is the shelter for your guests~ Tent sizes, styles, quality and costs range significantly and should be a MUST if you want to turn your property into an event venue. Tents increase the intimacy of the event and ensure guests are sheltered from whatever the unpredictable mother nature has for us!

3. Decor

This is a matter of personal taste and preference. Some venues need A TON of decor and others need very minimal. Some back yards are beautifully landscaped, others need some help and added distractions 😉

4. AV

Oh yes, AV, add that to the list to be sourced, rented, and arranged and add another line item on the budget.

 

Although this post sounds like we may not be fans of backyard events, it is actually quite the OPPOSITE. We’ve had the pleasure of turning many private properties and personal homes into incredible ‘event venues’ for guests.  A backyard party is labor intensive and that’s where we come in.  We provide people with service options to fit their vision and budget for their backyard party.  You can throw an epic celebration in the comfort of your own property, without having to become a full-time event planner yourself!

To throw an epic backyard party your friends will talk about for seasons to come, get in touch! The time you will save using a professional will far exceed the cost to hire one.

 

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Guest Favours: To Do or Not To Do?

This is a question we are asked quite frequently. As you heard in the video, this is an opportunity to save but it is also an opportunity to add a unique touch of YOU to the wedding day. The choice is yours. Here are a few more of our thoughts when it comes to guest favours for your wedding …

Avoid Trinkets with Your Names & Wedding Date
Guests do not need a shot glass with your wedding date on it. Unless it’s a deck of cards, box of matches or something semi-useful, don’t bother with the trinkets.

Edible is Always a Good Idea
Plain and simple. If you want to add a little colour to the tables or you have a favourite treat you want to share with your guests, incorporate this item as a guest favour. And don’t be afraid to add your names and wedding date to this item, the packaging is disposable!

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Make it Personal
If you and your hubby-to-be are coffee lovers, opt for a cute bag of beans. If your fav date night includes a trip to the casino, slide a lottery card on each place setting. Options for making it personal are endless. What you want to do here is think about things that you and your partner like to do or enjoy together.

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Plants are Never a Bad Thing
Thing with live plants as guest favours is that if you get stuck with leftovers, you can actually use them at your house! Another bonus is it would add extra greenery to your tables!

So those are some of our thoughts when it comes to guest favours. We’re big fans of the personal touches but in the end, if it’s a $500 difference between hiring a videography or that photographer you’ve always dreamed of, we’re putting on money on that vs. favours!

Let us know what you think and if you did something unique for your favours, we’d love to hear it!

Until next time lovelies!

~ JP