Friday, December 25, 2009

Are Client Appreciation Events Necessary?

In the world of corporate event planning, there are some planners who strictly specialize in a certain niche area: Trade Shows, Conferences, Meeting Planning, or Corporate Social Events. There are others who are the jack of all trades and have their hands in a little bit of everything. In today's economy, everyone falls under the consumer umbrella in some capacity or another. To thrive, build referrals (especially in a referral based business), and to continue to show your clients that you appreciate all that they do (spend their hard-earned money with you instead of with the competition), it is necessary to let them know!

Well, how would you do such a thing?

Many companies are trying to cut costs in every arena to make sure their profits continue to stay at the same level or get higher. So here are a couple of low-budget ways to show your clients you love them and have them continuously choosing you over the competition.

1. Summer picnic or barbecue.
2. Holiday parties held either in your home or at a local restaurant or hall.
3. Golf outings.
4. Theater parties.
5. Sporting events such as baseball, basketball, and football games.
6. Afternoon or evening cruises on local rivers and lakes.
7. Fishing tournaments.
8. Movie nights at local theaters. A variation: In summer, rent out part of a local park or meadow, rent a screen and projector and invite customers to movies under the stars.
9. Ice skating and roller skating parties. If you’re near an indoor ice rink, stage the ice skating party in summer.
10. Circus parties.
11. A day at the zoo.
12. Croquet or badminton tournaments in local parks.
13. Ice cream social.
14. Apple-picking parties.
15. Excursions to museums and botanical gardens where you provide transportation, admission, and lunch.
16. Cooking demonstration at a local restaurant.
17. Wine tasting.
18. Block party.
19. Nature walk, followed by a picnic.
20. Retro dance party with a local band. Have an instructor show people how to dance.
21. Talent show-karaoke night.
22. Treasure hunt.

Also, there are always direct mail campaigns that keep your customers thinking about you! Just shoot them over a little note to say that you were thinking about them.

List of Customer Appreciation courtesy of REALTOR Magazine Online

Red & Gold Holiday Decor Inspiration

On Christmas Day, we felt it befitting to give a little holiday decor inspiration. These are some photos that get us warm and fuzzy inside to celebrate the Holiday! Enjoy and Have a Merry Christmas!

These photos were taken courtesy of HGTV and the Entertainment guru Sandra Lee decorates a couples brownstone in Harlem.

Friday, December 4, 2009

How to Throw a Holiday Bash without Breaking the Bank

As the holiday season approaches, songs, food, and good cheer are our primary source of enjoyment during this time. Some people, who have annual Holiday gatherings with friends, family, and co-workers, are feeling the crunch in today’s economic times. They are tasked with how to continue the tradition of throwing a Holiday Bash, without breaking the bank. In just a few short steps, we’re going to outline how to create the greatest shindig, without emptying your pockets to do so.

1. Decrease your Guest List
We have been known to throw the best party in the city for the last 10 years. However, this year, our finances just aren’t allowing us to have 100 guests at our home to entertain and feed them all. The first way to cut back is to decrease the number of invitees. It may be hard, but sometimes you have to just include those who are closest to you to share in this special occasion. It will be a more intimate setting and allow everyone to mix and mingle with each other.

2. Simplify your Menu

Instead of having a full course dinner to serve to your guests, try picking a few passed hors’devoures and a dessert selection. I am a fan of signature drinks, so try working with your fave bartender and create one just for your holiday party. This will save on the amount of alcohol you have to buy as well as the other additives that make mixed drinks so very appetizing! Make sure you have some juice and sodas for your non-alcoholic guests.

3. Illuminate!
I absolutely love decorating! It’s something that is a bit therapeutic for me. However, it can become costly to decorate your home or event space to create the ambiance you are looking for. One of my favorite cheating tips is to illuminate! Dim the overhead lights and increase the number of candles you have. Votives in the window seals, votives as your centerpieces on a mirrored glass, it creates a space that looks expensive to make, but really costs little to nothing.

4. Utilize Electronic Invitations!
The last point is to save a few dollars on your invitations by utilizing an electronic invitation system. Whether you decide to create a document in Microsoft Word, PDF it and email it to your list and wait for the email responses, or use an automated invitation system like Evite, which can real-time your guest list as well as let you know who has received, opened, and/or responded to your request. Either way it saves money on printing and postage.

Use these four handy tips to create the holiday bash that you and your guests will enjoy, without breaking the bank to do so.