Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Nervous Energy

Breathe. I'm in the midst of shaking off the nervous energy I've acquired from being interviewed by the Arizona Republic. Silly, I know. But I will always be a little aprehensive about my speaking skills. Thanks to Bobbi, I received a phone call from the Republic wanting to do an article on our Desert Dreams 2009 Holiday Boutique. It was great to be able to share with her all the wonderful vendors and performances that we will have at our event. I love being a part of this community and living in and supporting the Town of Gilbert. I have really grown to love this town in the five years that we have lived here.

I have no idea when the article will appear in the paper, so keep your eyes peeled. What great advertising. Yeah!

Friday, November 20, 2009

2 Week Countdown

Why do vendors wait till the last minute? I will never understand why this happens. I always get so many calls the last 3 weeks before any event, although it has been in the planning stages for 6-9 months. Not that I'm complaining. I will take all the vendors that I can. I just hate having to scramble to organize everything at the last minute.

Yesterday, I went to my first Heartlink Network Luncheon hosted by Barbara Starley of Send Out Cards (one of my Valued Vendors). It was an afternoon of great food, great conversation and great networking. Not only did I find some gals whom I can use for the benefit of my business, but hopefully they can use my services as well. I need to try to find the time to make it to more of these luncheons. It was a great experience. If you haven't hear about the Heartlink Network, check it out. It's a great networking service for women business owners. There is no fee to join, you just pay for the meetings that you attend ($20) which covers the cost of food. Log on to www.theheartlinknetwork.com for more info.

Meet and Greet with the Gilbert Small Business Alliance last night. Fun times! The DJ - Todd Bristol (www.djs4u.com)was great! He had us guessing the artists to songs and the year they hit #1. We got a raffle ticket if we were the first to call out the correst answer. There was a game show played, and lots of prizes won (although not by me, dang it!) I was able to meet some new people and had a great time.

Since I'm down to the wire, I have been trying to tie up all the loose ends for the Holiday Event. Yesterday I secured the rental of the tables and throne for Santa from Y-Knot Party Rentals in Mesa. Reasonable prices and Ginia was very nice to work with. My signwalker has been ordered and paid for and now I just have a stack of paperwork to deal with. Blah!

Maybe I will take a break tonight and go see "New Moon". Ooooh, ya!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Blog Beginnings

So here I am blogging about my business. Not sure how I am going to find the time to keep this up but I thought it would be fun for those of you who are interested in how events are created from start to finish.

At this moment in time, I'm right in the middle of planning for our Desert Dreams 2009 Holiday Boutique. This is our 3rd annual Holiday event and I'm very excited about it. Last years event was a bit of a disappointment due to location, economy and advertising restrictions. So to try to improve the outcome for this years event, we have moved our location to the Boys & Girls Club of the East Valley - Gilbert Branch. It's a larger facility in the heart of the Historical District. We have the whole facility for our event. The best part is - "No Advertising Restrictions"!!! Hooray!

Being a professional event planner in the town of Gilbert has proved to have it's challenges when looking for proper venues. So far, I have really enjoyed working with the B&G Club. Their rental prices are fair and they are very laid back. I can't tell you how much easier this makes my job. I also want to give a shout out to Lily Davis from Farmers Insurance (ldavis2@farmersagent.com) for an amazing quote on event insurance. It's surprising how quickly expenses add up.

So what have we added this year to improve attendance and make this a Fabulous event???

We have brought in Santa! Yep, Santa will be on hand for photos with the children (or children at heart) from 10am - noon. Briella Photography (http://www.briellaphotography.com/) is taking the photos so they are sure to be high quality.

Dolled Up Sing and Dance studio will be performing from 10 - 11 on the stage and Capoeira Arizona will be there to show off their martial artist skills.

Admission is FREE and we will be holding hourly drawings. There is also a canned food drive to benefit Open Arms Care Center of Gilbert. Please remember to bring your non-perishable food items!

I get a lot of questions regarding the cost to participate in these events. To be honest, it costs quite a bit to put on something like this. This is not someones home (although I have been to many great boutiques in homes around the valley). I have to pay to rent the facility, pay for insurance for the event, advertising (which includes posters, postcards, listings on various websites and newspapers, flyers and a sign walker - yep those guys who stand on the corner twirling big signs to direct you to special events), santa and elf suits, printing for all the paperwork and all the little items for the day of (coffee and donuts, parking signs, banners, decorations, sound system, etc.). I believe that our prices are very reasonable for our vendors who participate. We don't charge hundreds of dollars (but you won't see pipe and drape or provided tables. backdrops, or tablecloths either). We have to keep it affordable for our local small business owners.

This should be a great event. We still have some indoor booths left and plenty of outdoor booths left so if you know of any interested vendors or small businesses, send them my way. Thanks to everyone who has had a hand in planning this event. Annette, Sandra, Bobbi, Stephanie, Wade, Iris, Barb, The GSBA and to all my vendors. You Rock!!!