Event Savvy is all about what’s hot in the event industry, and how to plan the best event in town.
When you are planning an event, whether it’s a small gathering with your girlfriends or a large holiday party, it is important to keep in mind the six key elements of an event. Each element plays an important role in creating the ambiance of your event, which is the mood and feeling that your guests experience.
To help you remember the key elements, simply learn the 6 A’s of event planning:
Anticipation: The anticipation that you create before the event will not only ensure that your guests will attend your event, but it will start setting the mood for your party before it even starts.
An invitation is your guest’s first experience with your event. Be thoughtful in how you invite guests and make sure it aligns with the ambiance that you would like to create for your party. For example, I recently mailed hand-made invitations with satin ribbon to my birthday celebration because I wanted to create a “classy” ambiance. Plus, its rare to receive anything in the mail now-a-days so I wanted my invitation to standout from the typical evite. What can you do to make your invitation, annoucements and buzz standout in the crowd?
Arrival: How you prepare for your guests arrival and how you welcome them will set the immediate ambiancefor your celebration.
Do not underestimate the importance of planning travel logistics and the experience that guests have gettingto your event. If your event is hard to get to and you do not plan a more relaxing way for guests to arrive, do not be surprised if people arrive frustrated in an a sour mood. It’s easier to start the party off on the right foot than try to change every one’s mood after they arrive.
What your guests see and experience when they first arrive will be their first impression of your actual event and you want it to be lasting one…in a good way. The entrance is your chance to awe your party attendees and get them excited for what you have in store for the rest of the event. What can you do to start building momentum from the moment your friends walk in the door?
Atmosphere: Going beyond decorations, atmosphere is everything that surrounds your guests. Including what they see, smell, hear, taste, touch and feel. Yes, I did just list off the five senses
The environment that you create at your celebration should engage and entertain your guests senses. Do not just focus on sight (decoration), be sure to include ways to engage other senses by strategically selecting which music will be playing, the temperature in the room, how the room smells, etc. Now is the time to let your creativity shine and create an atmosphere unique to your event!
Appetite: Sometimes throwing out a bag of chips just is not enough, try to satisfy all the different taste buds by providing a variety of flavors.
Food should not only taste good, but it should be visually appealing as well. Similar to atmosphere, you should try to engage multiple senses when preparing your menu. Think about taste as well as sight and smell. The food that you serve can help to create a specific mood for your celebration, and you want it to be a positive mood.
Amusement: Entertaining your guests is usually the purpose of throwing a party. However, amusement can take many forms and does not necessarily have to be in the form of a show or performance.
Consider including lighting and visual effects as part of your entertainment. I like to keep guests on their toes by introducing forms of amusement throughout the evening, especially when they are not expecting it. Surprise can play an important role in entertaining your guests. Are there creative ways that you can keep your guests engaged and enjoying themselves?
Appreciation: Your guests choose to take time out of their schedule to come to your celebration. Be sure to let them know that you appreciate them attending your event!
Party favors are a popular way to show guests that you appreciate them. If you do not have the budget to spend on favors or it is not suitable for your event, a hand-written “thank you” note works wonders.
In the words of event designer extroidinaire, Preston Bailey: “you are creating an entire experience, not just an event” .
Ah November, a time to reminisce about the year gone by and a time to start planning for the year ahead. The usual November rain strips away what’s left of the colorful leaves from the trees, and somewhere in the mix, we fall back in time to gain an hour of sleep and maybe a little perspective. It’s also the official kick off of Flu Season and the unofficial beginning of the Holidays, which seem to come earlier and earlier each year. For me, November is the beginning of a hibernation period, coupled with at least 1-2 bouts of the flu or a cold. I like to stay warm, start baking cookies and begin working on my crafty plan to conceal those extra five pounds (that I will no doubt gain) for my big coming out party – a.k.a – New Years Eve.
However, for those who like to step out during this chilly time of year, you’re in luck, as there are no shortage of events including The Goodwill’s Glitter Gala and The Goodwill Glitter Sale; my favorite(s). I’ve been to the sale for the past three years in a row now, last year I emceed the Glitter Gala and two years ago (wow, time flies) I had the chance to film my way through the sale. As you can see, the lines are quite long and the attendees are quite serious about getting their shop on. I always go in with a specific strategy to look for only one or two types of items, ie: shoes or purses. That keeps me on track in the midst of one of the most disorienting shopping experiences of all time. If the Glitter Sale isn’t your bag, baby, then check out some of the other hot events coming up this month.
Dine Around Town
More than 20 of the city’s best restaurants offer 3-course prix-fixe dinners for just $30.
First Thursday Seattle Art Walk
Pioneer Square Seattle’s art scene abounds with this monthly art walk.
Goodwill Glitter Gala
The Goodwill Glitter Gala is back with more fun and glamour; net proceeds from the event supporting Goodwill’s free job training and education programs.
Success Unplugged Tacoma
Whether you’re a start-up entrepreneur, or you are already running a successful company, Success Unplugged USA 2010 will deliver fantastic education, inspiration, and networking that you will never forget.
Woodinville Women’s Show
The 2010 Woodinville Women’s Show offers shopping, entertainment and enjoyment in an event tailored for women. More than 45 local, women-owned and women-focused businesses will display a wide range of products and services targeted specifically toward women.
Women in Wine
Celebrating talented female winemakers and their award-winning releases at the Fairmont Hotel.
November 8th & 9th
Dream it! Launch it! Live it!
This is your chance to connect with the largest community of women who are reinventing what it means to be a successful entrepreneur. Ladies Who Launch is bringing you celebrity speakers, national and regional entrepreneurial leaders who are fired up and ready to help you!
17th Annual Santa Hop & Auction @ Ballard Elks (a few doors from Ray’s Boathouse)
100% of auction money goes to Forgotten Children’s Fund, a local all volunteer 501c3 charity. Doors open 4:15pm, Cocktail Hr. 4:30pm, Dinner 5:30pm, Live auction aprox. 6:30pm (also have silent auction). Music/Entertainment by Dano as “Elvis” & “Johnny Cash”, Cherry Cherry Band with Neil Diamond tribute by Steve Kelly, The Lovely Venturettes ambassadors of Rock & Roll and of course Santa will be there. Tickets are $25 for an evening of fun, food and music to help kids. Tickets avail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 206-992-7117
November 13th & 14th
Goodwill Glitter Sale
This famous two-day sale features racks, rows and cases of glitzy and glamorous Goodwill bargains, all in one place. Quality merchandise is collected year-round for the big sale, including gowns, men’s formalwear, jewelry, shoes, purses and much more. Arrive early! (See video above)
The Natural Prescription is a monthly feature offering Naturopathic medical advice on pertinent issues for the health conscious woman.
Breast cancer is serious business. According to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer among women worldwide. In the United States, it is the second leading cause of cancer death among women of all ages. One in eight women in our country will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. Those numbers should have gotten your attention.
So what does this mean for our mothers, our sisters, our friends…ourselves? It means that we need to know the facts, be active participants in our own health, and make sure that the women who we love do the same. The good news is that the five-year survival rate for breast cancer, WHEN CAUGHT EARLY, is now 98 percent. That’s amazing! So how do we catch it early? Read more
Pretty Thrifty is a monthly feature that looks at local events, deals and trends for the Seattle girl on a budget.
Student loans, car payments and rent…oh my! What’s a girl to do when there’s so many bills, yet so many great bars and boutiques? While sacrificing neither great style nor groceries is an option, compromising on price is thankfully both easy and fun.
Think Free. As a tech-savvy woman, think Twitter, think Facebook, and think e-mail. Staying connected on Twitter and Facebook will open up doors to free events – events that often come with free drinks and free food. These events are occasionally related to specialized interests, and often just hosted by the owner of a new venue looking to generate new interest in their bar. Be sure to find, friend and follow your favorite local magazines, restaurants, bars, and businesses for info about these events. A few great twitter accounts to start with are @seattlenightout, @CitysearchSEA and @WeeklyEvents. For the girl with a budget, these events are a great way to grab your friends, enjoy a glass of wine and meet new people – all without spending a penny. Signing up for email lists from these same businesses are also a great way to make sure you’re the first to know about anything free.
Think Thrifty. Sales are the best. Who doesn’t love designer jeans for a serious discount? And let’s not forget about shoes! We’re lucky to have one of the best “thrift stores” right here in Seattle. Nordstrom Rack routinely gets overstocked and slightly out of season designer apparel from Nordstrom every day. If you’re looking for an especially good deal, now is the time – there are more clearance items this time of year than usual. Make sure to also keep an eye out for the Half-Yearly Sale for Women at Nordstrom, which starts November 3rd, for even more discounts. Other great options are designer consignment stores, which are scattered throughout the city and carry everything from boots to bags.
Think Budget. Sometimes we all get a little lost in how much life costs – and how much we have leftover for those amazing boots we’ve been wanting since the GPH Report Launch Party. Mint.com is a great app that will map out your expenses and budget for you. No matter how you plan, though, minimizing your routine can keep expenses low. Don’t try to sacrifice the quality of your life (or your health…you need to eat!) However, you can reduce the financial impact of every-six-week highlights by switching to all-over color that requires maintenance less often, or a manicure that you could otherwise DIY. This can make a huge impact on your budget long-term, so you have enough leftover for more important things.
Like those boots!
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and we’re seeing the infamous pink color EVERYWHERE! I fully support, supporting the Ta Ta’s and want to teach you how to support yours as well. Breast cancer will affect 1 out of every 8 women in their lifetimes, approx 12% of the female population. There are several important steps that all women need to be taking in order to prevent that 12% from becoming fatal. Here are a few simple ones to start with:
1. Daily Activity! Keeping your BMI below 25 and getting in at least an average of 30 minutes of exercise everyday. Weight gain in midlife has been shown to significantly increase breast cancer risk. Additionally, an elevated BMI has been shown to increase the risk of post-menopausal breast cancer. 30-50 minute of cardiovascular exercise at least 5 days a week can significantly reduce your risk:
*Running, spin class, or any machine at the gym that you can tolerate!
*A group fitness class, boxing, or an at home aerobic level video.
*The Queen Anne stairs–If you can shake your thing all the way to the top, you’ve got extra props from this girl.
2. Nutrition: Having a healthy diet, rich with antioxidants and mono saturated oils can help reduce your risk. Make sure to Include fats like nuts, seeds and avocados. Minimize alcohol-While red wine can actually help prevent breast cancer, two or more glasses a day will do the exact opposite. Keep it to one glass a night ladies!
Consume 7 or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day, especially cruciferous vegetables which include broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower. Tomatoes, berries and cherries are also rich in cancer fighting nutrients.
3. Breast Self Exams: It’s important to visit your doctor for your annual exam, but it’s just as important to examine yourself during those 11 months you aren’t seeing a doctor. Irregularity can creep up fast, so being proactive and in tune with your own body is key! You can learn more about how to perform a BSE on the Susan G Komen website.
Moving Comfort is a company who specializes in fitting women with outstanding sports bras that look and fit like a charm. When it comes to sports bras and fitness apparel, what matters to you matters to them. As an all-woman company, everything they create is designed around you. FIT. STYLE. COMFORT. When it feels good and looks great, you’ll be more confident and have more fun when you wear it.
Comment on this post with a step you’re planning to add to your mission in preventing breast cancer and be entered to win one of 3 Guava Vixen or Juno Sports Bra shown in the picture above!
Stay Classy is a monthly blog feature with a modern spin on minding your manners.
With the elections just around the corner, it’s easy to get caught up in all the political commotion. Turn on the TV and you are inundated with campaign commercials. Neighborhood yards and sides of streets are lined with blue and red posters. The news is filled with nothing but stories of politicians. With so much excitement and change a flutter it’s tempting to want to talk about the issues with everyone around you.
If I may, I’d like to heed a word of warning. Though these currently hot topics, politics is something that will always fall under the “avoid discussing in public” category (along with religion, money, and asking if someone is pregnant).
Just recently, I attended a work event with some clients of mine. I, having been hired to work for them, try hard to step lightly when we interact, and stay on my best behavior. However, they know each other on a personal level are able to let their guards down. In conversation, the clients began to discuss among themselves a recent set of commercials released from both candidates in Washington’s Senatorial race. The chat quickly became heated as the discussion veered toward a certain candidate, whom they felt had taken the political attacks too far and was simply unfit for the Senate seat.
This put me in a very hard position. I personally disagreed with their viewpoint. However, it was not my place to say so, or risk upsetting the established working relationship. I did what was necessary of me (though not easy), and just said nothing on the matter. At the first opportunity, I eased in a new topic of conversation and steered the table away from the political current events.
It may also be easy to forget that the error of discussing politics is not limited solely to person to person interaction. Social media, in particular, is a tempting medium for indirectly sharing your political (and potentially controversial) outlooks with others. Unfortunately, even with the disconnect of the Internet, your political opinions will still ring loud and clear to those reading your Twitter feeds, emails, blogs, and Facebook updates. The other problem with social media providing a barrier of communication is if you are offending your friends with your political statements, they probably won’t tell you.
This is not to say that politics never have a place in friendly discussion. Similar to its red-flagged friends: money and religion, politics when addressed carefully and objectively, can provide for deep and enlightening conversation.
This next week, if you find yourself in such a position, try to keep these suggestions in mind:
If you’re still feeling like proper political talk has too many restrictions, consider focusing on how great it is that we actually have the freedom to vote, the importance of expressing our political opinions through voting, and most importantly, how glad you will be when the elections and their advertisements are over because you’ve really hoping for Old Spice to start running a new commercial.
For October we are featuring Get Hitched Give Hope, a 501(c)3 organization that raises money for a carefully chosen charity. Their goal is to raise $50,000 to grant wishes for stage IV breast cancer patients and their families. Did you know it can take $4000 to grant one wish for a small family of 4? Help us help them grant 12!
As you may know, Get Hitched Give Hope has decided to throw a really big, swanky-cool party; the kind that gives you an excuse to buy new shoes. They will have lovely libations and amazing appetizers, live and silent auctions and lots of raffles that will get you gorgeous while giving back!
WHAT: You will truly be able to get gorgeous goods for your wedding by giving back. Seattle’s top wedding professionals have been personally invited to exhibit their services and products, with silent auctions, raffles, and a final, show-stopping live auction! The items up for grabs are not just limited to pre-wedding prep, day-of services, and newlyweds, there are some great items for moms, dads, grooms, and friends!
WHEN: October 28th, 2010. Doors at 6pm with raffles and auctions beginning shortly thereafter.
WHERE: The Four Seasons Hotel Seattle, 99 Union Street, Seattle, WA 98101
WHY: To grant wishes to stage 4 breast cancer patients for whom the cure can’t come soon enough.
Support GHGH buy purchasing tickets to their event or you can donate to GHGH today by clicking here!
EcoVogue365 is a monthly feature, covering eco-fashion tips and sustainable clothing for the Earth loving woman.
Who wants an eco-index? I do, I do! As I write this for the eco-conscious and eco-curious at this moment in time a meeting of the minds of 100 major apparel companies is brewing over a new eco-index apparel label for clothing and shoes to launch this past August at the Outdoor Retailer Expo in Salt Lake City, Utah. Developed by a consortium of major apparel brands such as Target, Nike and Levi Strauss (who have all been working on eco-apparel for some years now) have “created a software tool that measures the carbon footprint of their products, from harvesting raw materials to end-of-life disposal,” according to the online mag Ecouterre. This sustainability rating will provide a rating much like our Energy Star Rating system we see smothered across our appliances and electronics. Or, liken to our certified USDA organic labeling on fruits and vegetables at our local markets. It is about time!
Fashion is one of the last basic needs to get a rating. When we break life down to a basic human needs model of absolute poverty (food, clothing, and shelter) we can see that fashion falls under the clothing umbrella. So what is fashion vs. clothing? At the core, fashion is how you determine to fashion your clothing. But that would take some thought on your part, so, for the most part brands do it for you. They create a look, an identity, a dream, a vision, for YOU to get lost in. When you put on that garment you transport to another self. You have now purchased an identity that was created by a company who you paid to allow them to continue creating new identities and fuel our capitalist model. Fashion is an identity. It speaks to our culture, our subconscious mind, our interests, our philosophies, our ethics, and our egos.
My point is that we are in a cycle of brand control over consumer identity. What “cycle” am I talking about? The Materials Economy. The cycle that traces back how my Vans sneakers got on my feet. That cycle since the Industrial Revolution has been a linear system meaning my Vans sneakers went from one phase to another in a linear fashion from Extraction, to Production, Distribution, Consumption and lastly Disposal. According to Annie Leonard’s the Story of Stuff “you cannot run a linear system on a finite planet.” The apparel brands have had you focusing in on the Consumption phase (identity) since the 1950’s. If you know how your Vans were extracted, produced, distributed and disposed then you are in the minority.
99% of the stuff we run though this system is trashed within 6 months!
Today, we see more and more brands breaking this cycle when Nike launched “build your ride” custom shoes putting you a little more in control of your fashion. You are still in the consumption phase but you have a little more control. Now, these top 100 companies are breaking the cycle of control further by looking at their products lifecycle (from birth to death) while maintaining brand appeal for your consumption. Kudos to these 100 early adopters as they are majority the outdoorsy brands like Patagonia (creators of the footprint chronicles) & Timberland. Sorry to hear that not one luxury company has yet to sign on. What does this say about our luxury brands and luxury buyer’s identity vs. our outdoorsy brands & buyers identity?
Although this eco index will not be ready for the public just yet, it kicks off a new beginning towards an eco-fashion future, and it is about time. Why? Because on average the American population sends 23.8 billion pounds of clothing and textile waste to landfills each year, and according to the Textile Recycling Organization 95% of that is recyclable. You tell me if our fashion body is out of balance?
So Edible is a monthly feature with recipes and cooking tips to inspire eating fresh home-made food.
I was planning to write about my obsession with oatmeal that surfaces like clockwork this time of year. After all, writing about cooking at home and sharing recipes and stories with the hope of inspiring people to make time to cook from scratch is my goal for this blog. But then I spent the weekend in Washington D.C. and I have something much more exciting to share with you. I’m going to let you in on something big that will launch next month because as the dynamic, social, and uber-networked crowd that is Girl Power Hour, you deserve to be ahead of the curve.
On November 10th the No Kid Hungry campaign will launch; a campaign with the very straightforward goal of ending childhood hunger by 2015. I know what you are thinking, “cue the rainbows and unicorns.” I thought that too until I sat in a conference over the weekend with 400 people dedicated to making this happen. I was offered the one volunteer scholarship for the Seattle area to attend Share our Strength’s Conference of Leaders and enthusiastically accepted. To be honest the conference knocked me for a loop. I was profoundly struck by the strategic acumen of this organization. They have a plan, a good plan, a plan that’s already working. Read more
Join spa journalist, L. Brooks Baldwin, on the monthly blog feature Spa Hopper, as she journeys from one spa to another throughout the city and the world beyond…!
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and in the SPA world, that is big news! Everyone knows spas are about wellness and health, and the spa industry takes great pride in its agenda to promote healthy choices, self-care, preventative wellness, and an overall holistic approach when it comes to the holy SPA trinity – Body, Mind, Spirit.
This month, spas around the country are stepping up their focus on wellness by raising awareness to their consumers and communities on the topic of Breast Cancer by hosting Pink activities and fundraisers. Pink is the color chosen by Susan G. Komen for the Cure a prominent organization supporting breast cancer research, to symbolize breast cancer awareness.
If you’re wondering how to support the cause locally, reserve your spot NOW for the Spa at the Four Seasons Hotel Seattle’s Paint it Pink Event, scheduled for Thursday, October 21, from 6 to 8pm. Make a night of it with your girlfriends and partake of mini head, neck & shoulder massages, mini fruit enzyme facial peels, and mini-manis in pink (of course!) or buff, and skin graph analysis performed by Skinceuticals.
In addition to the fabulous spa treatments, you’ll be treated to a plethora of pink palate pleasers including pink champagne and pink cocktails, and are you ready for this…? Pink King Crab, Pink Lady Apples, Pink Shrimp with Rose Tomato Cream, Pink Radish Shooters with Pink Champagne Dressing, Pink Beet Bisque with Caviar Foam, Pink Salmon Cakes with Pink Peppercorn Crust, Poached Spiced Pork Sausage with Pink Mustard Sauce, Pink Scallop Ceviche and Roast Red Pepper. Sweets include assorted Pink Petit Fours and Chocolates and Pink Ribbon Cookies!
The Paint it Pink event is priced at USD 45.00, with 20% of ticket sales going to Susan G. Komen for the Cure Puget Sound. In addition, 10% of sales of the Paint it Pink body treatment and the Paint it Pink manicure or pedicure, booked between October 21 and November 30, will be donated to Susan G. Komen for the Cure Puget Sound.
Please confirm your spot at the Paint it Pink event by RSVP’ing at 206-749-7077.
If you can’t make the event, shop for the cause by visiting these spa product websites for special Pink deals!
Skin Authority (www.skinauthority.com/GO-Gorgeous-Pink-Edition-Kit) is one of my favorite results-oriented skincare lines. This month, if you purchase their fab GO! GORGEOUS PINK EDITION kit of four of their most popular personal-size products, 10% of the proceeds are donated automatically to support National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the The Pink Ribbon Girls organization.
For a wider selection of spa products to choose from, visit http://www.spamagazine.com/articles/support-breast-cancer-awareness-month-2010; a percentage of proceeds for each product sold will be donated to support breast cancer research and awareness during the month of October.
Join in the fight for a cure. THINK PINK!!!