The Entrepreneur’s Corner
Planning successful business events
We discover a simple truth as adults – life isn’t much different once we reach the point deemed “older and wiser.”
Take events, for example. It wasn’t too long ago that your biggest concern was whether or not everyone would come to your birthday party. Now as a business owner, you may very well find yourself in the same position.
Planning meetings and events are oftentimes a necessary task in the business world. From shareholders meetings and annual retreats to fundraisers and galas, planning an event can be challenging enough without worrying about whether or not anyone will come.
The good news? The success lies in the details, and in our fair city, there are a wealth of resources and vendors who are ready and willing to collaborate with you to ensure your event is the one everyone is planning on attending.
Here are a few additional tips to keep in mind as start making plans-
1. Location, location, location – Select a venue that is fresh and inviting to your potential guests. The “same old, same old” won’t cut it- pick a spot that will cause intrigue.
2. Put on your industry cap – If hosting a meeting for a particular industry, keep that in mind while finalizing dates and times. April would be off limits for accountants while December is a no-go for caterers.
3. Create buzz – Establish a core group of potential attendees to advertise they are coming- either through word of mouth or social media (or both!).
4. Make it fabulous – The little details are what make an event memorable in the mind of the attendees. There is absolutely no replacement for good food, drink, entertainment and company!
If hosting an event on a grander scale, then you may also want to consider teaming up with a media sponsor as well as featuring a local “celebrity” as the event’s spokesperson. Additionally, offering the option to sell tickets by table may entice other companies to purchase the tickets in bulk and distribute among the staff as incentives.
And when in doubt, I always like to say, simply create an event that you yourself would like to attend.
After the big day has come and gone, make sure you take the necessary steps to ensure the next soiree is an even bigger hit. Promptly send out surveys to attendees to better gauge their feedback. In the same vein, take the time to sit down and do a “post-mortem” and dissect what went well and what could be improved.
Planning a successful and well attended event can be a tremendously rewarding experience. With a few additional measures, you’ll be the toast of the town in no time.
Jennifer McBride is the owner of Henrico-based McBride Events, a full-service event management firm specializing in weddings, corporate events, social events and fundraisers. Contact her at (804) 697-9251 or through http://www.mcbrideevents.com
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) will host a candlelight vigil of remembrance and hope Tuesday, Dec. 2 at 7 p.m. at the University of Richmond, outside the Cannon Chapel. The public is invited to attend and join MADD to honor victims of impaired driving crashes, while helping to remind the community to be safe during the holidays. > Read more.
Among participants at the Seventh Annual Coordinators2Inc Golf Tournament and awards luncheon Oct. 3 were (from left) Rebecca Ricardo, C2 Inc executive director; Kevin Derr, member of the winning foursome; Sharon Richardson, C2 Inc founder; and Frank Ridgway and Jon King, members of the winning foursome.
Held at The Crossings Golf Club, the tournament will benefit placement of children from Virginia's foster care system into permanent families through Coordinators2. > Read more.
Event will help kick of Marine Corps' 'Toys for Tots' campaign
All 140 A.C. Moore locations will serve as drop-off centers this year for the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, and all toys collected will stay in the local communities served by the stores in which they are donated.
On Saturday, Nov. 15, the Willow Lawn location will kick off the month-long program by hosting a "Make & Take" craft event for kids. Children ages six and older will be able to make a craft and take it home with them. Representatives from the Marines will be in-store to teach customers about the Toys for Tots program. A.C. Moore team members will be on site to help with the crafts. > Read more.
Bella’s feels – and tastes – like Italy should
Short Pump is known for its share of chain restaurants and strip malls, but diners looking for something more distinct can certainly find it without heading downtown or to nearby Charlottesville.
In fact, local husband-and-wife restaurateurs Valeria Bisenti and Doug Muir brought a taste of Charlottesville (and Italy) to Short Pump when they took a chance and opened Bella’s second location in the same shopping strip as Wal-Mart and Peter Chang China Cafe. (Bella’s original location is on Main Street in downtown Charlottesville.)
For a local Italian restaurant, Bella’s is as “Mom and Pop” as its gets. Valeria is Mom, and Doug is Pop. Since its opening about six months ago, diners have been eating rich comfort foods and drinking Italian wines. > Read more.
Find out how your favorite dining establishments fared during their most recent inspections by the Virginia Department of Health. > Read more.
The Cultural Arts Center unveils a new exhibit – "Sizing Up!" – Nov. 20-Jan. 18 in the Gumenick Family Gallery.
Artist Chuck Larivey has spent the past three years "sizing up" – creating large-scale oil paintings that are designed to engage their viewers in a monumental way by using size to captivate them and make them a part of the artistic experience.
The exhibit is appropriate for all ages and is free and open to the public at the center, located at 2880 Mountain Road in Glen Allen. > Read more.
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