Posts Tagged ‘Event Planning’

Rain Plan

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

Rainy Day

In Colorado you never know what the weather is going to be like. One day it is 85 and sunny and the next it is 38 with a chance of snow – especially in the fall!  All of the work you put into your outdoor event can be ruined by one weather report.  Instead of checking the weather every hour the week leading up to your event, focus on making a Plan B.  It may be tempting to just push your event back a couple of days, but sometimes it isn’t that simple.


While you are in the process of planning your event, ask about weather policies and what the options are for bad weather.  Generally if you start the conversation early and know your options, you will have a better ability to come up with solutions to weather related issues.

Before you make any changes, check with your vendors and venue.  Ask their opinion, as they may have a simple solution for weather or can help you come up with one. Many outdoor venues may also have an indoor option that you can switch to.

If you do decide you would rather reschedule your event there are a few things to keep in mind.  Make sure you survey for what date works best.  It is important to talk to your venue, guests, and vendors before confirming a new date and time.  The items and location you wanted may already be booked on the day you are looking to reschedule, so it is important to be flexible.  Guests will understand if you have to change venues due to weather, but make sure you give them plenty of time to adjust their schedules.

When making a rain plan or moving event dates it is important to be decisive.  To avoid guest’s confusion about the event details, it is key to make a decision and stick to it.  You do not want to be scrambling to change things the day of the event because you were not sure if you wanted to make the changes.

2013 Event Planning Trends

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

One of my favorite event planning trends in 2013 is crowdsourcing for your speakers and special guests. Many companies have been choosing some of their speakers this way without even realizing it! If you’re looking for ways to stay current with your practices, this is the year to properly utilize Facebook, LinkedIn and other social networking sites to engage your audiences by voting or weighing in for speakers they want to see. Essentially, getting your attendees to stay involved gets them excited and should increase overall attendance.

I would suggest taking it a step further than just a poll and having your guests add their comments too. Most of us have attended an event with the intention of listening to a speaker and thought, “This is dragging on a little longer than I would prefer”, but when was the last time your participation as an audience member allowed you to suggest how long the speech is? I have seen surveys used post-event via email to capture the experience, but not a whole lot of crowdsourcing to get my votes. Have you noticed this technique used in a pre or post event setting in Denver, yet? If so, let me know I would love to learn about the details.

L.O.V.E. your Customers

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

hearts

 How much do you L.O.V.E.  your customers?

Love is defined as an emotion of strong affection and personal attachment- at least according to Wikipedia. I prefer to define it as an acronym:

L-loyalty, O-over-deliver, V-vigilant, E-entertain.

Always showing loyalty to your customers is the easiest way to demonstrate your devotion to the working relationship. Seems obvious right? Unfortunately, many of us fall into the trap of failing to reconnect after the event has ceased and/or that post-event thank you card is sent. This is why I think practicing how to over-deliver is so important. Over-delivering allows business professionals to under promise. Therefore the love comes from satisfying your customer’s direct needs and the invisible needs (the ones they didn’t know required satisfying until you fulfilled them). Being vigilant on the other hand is not so simple. Stay attentive and have a careful watch over their account, their orders and more importantly their personal lives. One of the biggest lessons I learned in the past came from talking strictly business with a client. They kept sending me signals they just needed a vigilant friend to listen closely enough. If I knew then what I know now, I would have saved myself a lot of frustration and time including obtaining the contract earlier in the process. Finally, entertain your clients. Whether it’s a silly off the wall request, special occasion or wild idea you’ve never heard of before and can’t stand the thought of creating that proposal, do it anyway! Entertain their ideas and creativity, by letting them know you understand and how much fun it could be, before providing them with the harsh reality that it’s just never going to fly. Sometimes listening and providing alternatives is all your customer needs to keep coming back over and over for the love and support you offer their events!

Handling Donation Requests

Friday, January 18th, 2013

How do you handle your in-kind donation requests? If you’re a business owner you are probably familiar with those last minute requests at 4:00PM on Friday asking for a freebie at their Saturday morning event.  How frustrating, right?  What if there was a fast and efficient way to handle this kind of client request and still gain their business or even better, impress them. I’m no expert, but we like to allocate all of our in-kind donations annually in Q1.  We do so by collecting all of our requests using a charity application throughout the year.  We figure if they want the equipment for free it should be a well deserved non-profit company/individual and the application helps us distinguish need.   This non-profit will take the time to explain their needs, how our donations will make a difference, and who they serve.  They will also be planning well in advance not asking for a last minute freebie to throw into their event plans and throw us in a tailspin trying to accommodate them at the last minute.

Once chosen, we let the “winners” know the exciting news and are better prepared to handle their orders, well in advance!  Anyone who fits our criteria can apply and it gives those last minute client calls the incentive to apply for next year.  Simply telling them NO or replying with the dreaded “UNFORTUNATELY… “ is never a good feeling.  I like to give them alternatives and of course follow up by asking if they need referrals for other event services while I’ve got them on the line.  I might not be able to help them this time, but they will remember I provided them with great referrals and customer service.

Being An Invaluable Resource For Clients

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013
Dovie

Fun Productions' Event Designer, Dovie

Do you have a New Year’s resolution for your business? I will let you in on one of my best found secrets of 2012 that helped me realize the full potential of this resolution: to become an invaluable resource for clients by providing more than just my preferred vendor list. I let my new and existing customers know that I am their personal resource for all things events! Sure everyone has that “go to” company(s) that they recommend based on past performance when clients need referrals, maybe even a few favorites in each category. Here is the difference; I encourage them to call me if they need referrals, even if they don’t rent my equipment! Believe it or not, I have developed more business relationships and closed more sales from being known as the best resource in my community and work place.

Often I work with elementary PTA parents or high school after prom volunteers that change faster than the seasons. Has this ever happened to you? Do you know a company where the turnover is so high you can’t keep track of who knows your business as well as the last guy? When my company’s brochures don’t make it to the next round of committee members, I will ensure that at the very least they know to call me for all things event related when I reach out to them.  This allows clients the freedom to get the assistance they need to accomplish their events without having to feel bothered.  

My prices are not always the lowest, but the higher level of service I can provide seems to drive future business my direction and aid in justifying that cost. Whether my Mitzvah clients are referring me to their neighbors or a hotel passes my card off to their client directly, I see it as opportunity to remind this new person that I’m here to help, no matter what they rent or don’t rent from me. Give it a try and feel free to share your experiences with me at dovie@funproductions.com. I would be happy to blog about it here in the future!

Safe Inflatables

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

Fun Productions' Inflatables at play

Did you know that at Fun Productions, Inc we consider safety to be extremely important? 

We have always exceeded the safety standards and manufacturer recommendations for safety.  It is this commitment to the highest standards that has made it possible for Fun Productions to be honored to say that we have never in our 12 years of renting inflatables had a major injury or accident. 

Not only do we research and train using the industry recognized safety guidelines, we are on the forefront of setting safety standards in Colorado.  We have testified before the Senate and have sat on committees to help define some ways that operators can safely provide amusement devices for special events. 

As a customer of inflatable devices please check that your operator is doing the following to insure that you will have a Fun and safe experience;

~Is the provider a licensed business in your state and/or city?

*Do they have a business license registered with the state?

*Do they have a sales tax license?

*Are the people who are setting up your event employees with Worker’s Comp and Unemployment Benefits or are they illegally paid under the table? If they are sub-contractors they may not be getting the proper training and they may not have any sense of liability.

~Is the provider insured? 

*They should have property, auto, work comp, unemployment and most importantly liability insurance with at least a million dollars of coverage.

~Do they address proper set-up? 

*Inflatables must be staked or weighted properly. If your provider does not address these issues you are putting yourself, your children and your guests at serious risk.

*Have they discussed power needs with you? Insufficient power may cause the unit to deflate and cause injury or accidents.

*Make sure the inflatable vendor includes a written guideline of all the rules, safety standards, wind limits, and weighting requirements.

There has been so much recent press about the risks, it is important for all of us here at Fun Productions to make sure our treasured clients know that we are committed to keeping you safe.

Check out this article, if you’d like to learn more: RECENT INFLATABLE RIDE ACCIDENTS HIGHLIGHT PARENTS NEED TO VERIFY OWNER’S INSURANCE & SAFETY PREPARATION

Questions To Ask All Game Vendors

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

 Team on Giant Twister

Whether you choose Fun Productions or another game vendor for your next event, be sure to ask the right questions and get the right answers! Here are a few issues to consider:

  1. Do they have a contract to guarantee you that they must show up and that they must bring the equipment you have ordered?
  2. What are their written safety rules, guidelines and processes?
  3. What is their safety record?  How many major incidents/accidents have they had and what were they?
  4. Are they insured?  Is their insurance with a reputable A rated U.S. insurance company? Are they able to additionally insure you and your venue with at least a $1 million dollar policy?
  5. Are their games clean, do they smell good and are not ripped, torn or full of debris?
  6. Are their staff sub-contractors or employees?  Does their staff stay with the inflatables to keep guests safe and to help them use the equipment properly?
  7. What are their policies for Customer Service, their standards for appearance, and their training procedures?

Did you know that Fun Productions welcomes all of these questions? We are happy to answer any such inquiries, and will provide responses to set your mind at ease and ensure your next event with us is a success!