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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Holiday Party Planning Tips

Current trends say that even with the downturn in the economy and tight budgets, most companies are still having parties for the holidays, even it they are scaled back a bit. I just came across a useful article on low budget party planning for the holidays.

Some of the main tips include:

1. Book early for the best deals and dates -- and be flexible.

2. Seek support from on-site event planners.

3. Take advantage of seasonal promotions and packages.

4. Look for distinctive locations and activities.

5. Remember, low-key doesn't mean low quality.

You can check out the entire article HERE.

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Finding the Right Hotel, and a Magical Experience of History

Today I'd like to share a new event planning resource, and a "magical experience" I just enjoyed.

First the resource: it's a new web based system for finding the right hotel for your event. It allows you to directly contact all the participating hotels in a specific area, all in one shot, and provides a platform in which the hotels can choose to send proposals, and you can interact with them. Thus avoiding the need to either go through a professional event planner, or call all the hotels individually. It's called, and you can read more about it here.

Last weekend was my 22nd wedding anniversary. My wife Kathi and I decided to visit the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum in Springfield, Illinois. What an absolutely amazing place! And an extraordinarily magical experience. The museum is an exciting mix of modern high tech wizardry, detailed historical drama, and a plethora of fascinating facts, narratives, and historic artifacts. The unique combination really takes you into the experience of Lincoln's life in a way that's like nothing you've ever encountered.

What a great way to learn about the past! It really is a multi-dimensional, multi-sensory experience of sight, sound, emotion, much more,... in which history comes alive all around you. (And there are some actual magic techniques in use in at least one of the presentations,... but I won't let the cat out of the bag-- you've got to see it for yourself.)

If you have the chance to get to Springfield, I highly recommend that you take the time to spend a few hours at the museum. I guarantee you won't regret it.

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Event Planner's Guide on Catering

Here's a quick event planning reference I wanted to share. Yesterday I was talking about how companies are trying to save money on their holiday event planning. Well this morning I just came across a book on how to save money on catering costs for meetings and events. It's called A Meeting Planner's Guide to Catered Events.

Here's a quote from the book description:
Food and beverage is the largest portion of a meeting budget, but most meeting and event planners have no formal background in purchasing and managing this expense. This guide helps event, meeting, and convention planners save money, negotiate contracts, deal with catering managers, and successfully manage the food and beverage aspect of their event. Covering everything from styles of service to on-premise and off-premise considerations to food and beverage contract negotiation, this book is a comprehensive and accessible reference for event planners and students.
And here's the link to the book on Amazon.

Good luck, and don't hesitate to contact me if you have entertainment questions for your holiday party planning!

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Ho, Ho, Holidays Approach!

My holiday season is about to launch. I'm performing at my first holiday party this weekend. Seems like some of the people are planning things late this year though, and waiting 'til the last minute in many cases. Have you made your plans for company or private events yet?

I've been seeing lots of information on creative ways to save on planning costs this year. With the economic worries, many companies are cutting back. But many event facilities and other service providers are also offering special pricing and other incentives, to make up for the lag in business.

My own season is looking pretty decent, though I do still have a few open dates left. Normally I always recommend booking early, since the best dates generally fill well ahead of time. But if you've been waiting to see where you are financially, you can sometimes find bargains as dates get closer. As we move into December, I generally will offer any remaining dates that people inquire about at my regular pricing, rather than the normal "holiday" pricing, just so I can fill the dates without having to devote any extra time and energy to it during my busiest time of year.

Even if you're not planning on using my services this year, if you'd like to get a free consultation and discuss ideas on how to save money and still have a great party, feel free to give me a call; 309-647-3692.

Hey, a special thanks to Lee Maki, Ronna and Jerry James, and the First English Lutheran Church in Peoria. Lee purchased my Deluxe Entertainment Package on this year's "On-air Auction" on WTVP, and I performed for the church this past weekend. I had a great time, and enjoyed meeting everyone there.