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Photos courtesy of Brandywine Events
Brandywine Events shares their tips for how you can make your next social or corporate event the best it can be.
When planning your next meeting or event, there is a lot to consider for it to be successful. Brandywine Events, a premier event planning company for social and corporate meetings and events, shares their expertise and what you should do to execute your most successful event.
1. Determine your overall goals and objectives
Whether planning a social or corporate meeting/event, it is important to define what your ultimate outcome should be. What are the most important factors? The team at Brandywine Events works with each client, to fully understand and incorporate the key objectives as well as work with your budget to achieve it.
2. Consider your target audience and size
Whether corporate or social, the demographics of your attendees plays a huge role in the details of properly planning your successful event.
Accessibility, seating arrangements, dietary restrictions, access to gender neutral bathrooms, equal access to hygiene stations and security are some of the factors that make your guests feel more comfortable. Keep in mind that everyone has a different level of needs in today’s world, and it’s an important goal that all guests have a positive experience.
3. Incorporate sustainable practices
Being sustainable or eco-friendly has become a noticeable factor for event attendee satisfaction. Incorporating green practices can save hosts money, increase sponsor and/or non-profit involvement and have potential tax breaks. For example, we suggest creating signage that can be reused many times even year-to-year, or consider monitors which could also allow for sponsorship from your exhibitors. Another factor that planners consider for not only cost but also sustainable reasons is the menu. Ordering menu items sourced locally can not only save you money, but also help the community. Determining the right types and amount of food will eliminate excess food waste, plus you can look to donate any leftovers that cannot be composted from your event. Lou Marrocco discusses incorporating sustainability, wellness, and guest service practices on The Event Umbrella Podcast. In this episode, Lou talks to Reyna about how we can improve sustainability practices to reduce waste and save client’s money.
Companies or individuals who responsibly integrate sustainable practices in their events tend to see more involvement from both sponsors and guests while subsequently earning respect from both attendees and the public.
Brandywine Events project coordinator Melissa Siggs recently attended a non-profit event where guests were given wristbands that were either red, yellow or green to reflect their comfort level when it comes to mingling with others. Additionally, the wristbands had seeds in the paper so guests could give them a second life by taking them home and planting them. This is just one example of how to incorporate sustainability in your event.
4. Elevate your event by incorporating health and wellness
Brandywine Events partner Lisa Loveall suggests including wellness programs to help guests feel comfortable and therefore more engaged. When dealing with the complexities brought on by the pandemic, Lisa says, “Wellness has been a more constant focus than ever before. Face-to-face meetings are back with wellness in mind. We see healthier options provided for activities, meeting room setup and food and beverage. Before, the norm was golf outings, spa treatments and city tours. While these are still asked for, we’re now seeing more emphasis on yoga, meditation, stretching and outdoor activities, such as hikes and city bike tours. It’s more common to provide extra time to to recharge in between meetings, and therefore have more engagement from attendees.”
Health and wellness encompass so much more than hand sanitizer stations. Healthy food options, mental breaks and movement-focused workshops ensure your guests are focused on what matters.
Successful conferences should always include healthy factors. When guests attend an event for several days and are out of their routine, it’s important to consider ways to improve and upkeep wellness. Brandywine Events works with yoga instructors, hike leaders and various professionals to provide a physical outlet for attendees. In addition, we suggest providing healthy options like fruit and veggies at meeting breaks and every meal so attendees can feel their best mentally and physically throughout the event.
5. Location. Location. Location.
Location is about more than what city or town to host your event in. There are many factors that come into play when picking a venue. Size, price and what is included to fit your event’s needs are all important considerations to have. But also considering if the location is conducive to walking or mass transit and near nature, whether a city park, beach or nearby hiking trails, all add to the guest experience.
When choosing the optimal venue that fits your needs, Brandywine Events marketing manager Michelle Adshead suggests narrowing down your goals to see what your priority is and what makes most sense for the client, stakeholders and attendees.
Michelle says, “The first thing to consider when planning an event is guest count and budget. This can be a limiting factor as most venues have minimum spends and maximum guest counts/available square footage. If you are hosting an event with many traveling attendees, a venue within reasonable vicinity of an airport might be important to you. Also consider if you have any non-negotiables. These would include but not be limited to wanting an outside caterer, on-site parking, AV and lighting needs, décor and even real flame candles which may not be allowed in some venues.”
Venues that include in-house catering have set price ranges, and though rentals can typically be limited, this does save the host time, effort and, in some cases, money. Working with experienced planners allows us professionals to do the heavy lifting and save clients time and money in the long run. Our team at Brandywine Events has an extensive background with outreach and research to help present the best options to our clients that meet their budget and expectations.
6. Vendor relations and caterers
Working with an event planner who already has established relationships with many vendors and caterers can help to cut your time planning events significantly. And those relationships can also save you, the client, money.
“Your Net Worth = Your Integrity, Your Professionalism & Your Net Work”
– Lou Marrocco, CMP Founder of Brandywine Events
Event planners often already have price points, square footage, maximum guest count and more specifics on different venues and industry partners to achieve the goal. Brandywine Events utilizes our extensive connections in the industry to further provide increased value and insight for our clients, saving them time and money.
7. Contracts for commitment of service providers
This is a time-consuming and necessary task when booking venues, vendors and services. An event has a lot of moving parts, so hiring professionals means the host should be able to relax and enjoy. Professionals dealing with contracts understand the lead times often involved with negotiations, revisions, requests for customized proposals and so on. It’s always helpful to have a designated team helping to move this process along, as it is often vital to the success of events and there are many details in contracts that need to be precise.
8. Hiring an event planning team might be exactly what you need for your next event
Event companies have designated individuals who understand the guests’ needs, goal of the event, vision of the host and logistics that go into planning all of it in the most successful way. The Brandywine Events team helps plan your event in the most professional and stress-free way imaginable. We bring to the planning our industry connections, experience and expertise over the years within the event industry. When it comes to making your moments and events seamless and memorable, Details Matter. The Brandywine Events mantra.
Brandywine Events is a full-service international event planning and venue services team. We help bring every detail into place to make your event a success. Brandywine Events often partners with event venues and companies that already have a planner on their team but want and need extra assistance taking their business and events to the next level. Reach out to us today to learn more about our event planning opportunities to help your team or venue!