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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


Community

MADD walk raises more than $26,000

The Central Virginia chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) hosted its annual Walk Like MADD fundraiser April 12 at Dorey Park in Varina. More than 20 teams of walkers raised money from individual donors by participating in the walk, and in total the event generated more than $26,000 in donations for the organization. > Read more.

Varina Ruritans honor students

The Varina Ruritan Club hosted the winners of its 2014 Environmental Essay contest at its monthly meeting March 11 in Varina.

The contest, in its eighth year, was for the first time open to students in grades 3-5 at Varina Elementary School. (It previously was open to Sandston Elementary School students.)

The meeting included the winners, parents of the winners, Varina Elementary principal Mark Tyler and several teachers who were in charge of the contest at the school. > Read more.

Baseball game to benefit Glen Allen Buddy Ball


For the fifth consecutive year, St. Christopher’s and Benedictine will play a varsity baseball game at Glen Allen's RF&P Park as part of a fundraising effort for the River City Buddy Ball program.

The game will take place Saturday, April 12, at 7 p.m., and the teams hope to raise $3,000 through donations, raffles and other efforts. Admission to the game is free, but fans who attend are asked to donate funds for the Glen Allen Youth Athletic Association's Buddy Ball program, which enables disabled children and teens to play baseball. > Read more.

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Entertainment

Weekend Top 10


Do the Bunny Hop over to Meadow Farm on Saturday for an introduction to all the farm animals there! An introduction to “Global Sounds” – featuring Japanese, Indonesian, West African, Indian, and Brazilian music and dance performances – can be found at the University of Richmond. The University of Richmond will also host the annual Spider spring game, as well as the inaugural Spiders Easter Egg Hunt. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

Restaurant watch

Find out how your favorite dining establishments fared during their most recent inspections by the Virginia Department of Health. > Read more.

A fun, fuzzy ride

‘Muppets Most Wanted’ worthy of its franchise

Do Muppets sleep? It’s hard to say.

They don’t really eat (or breathe, as far as anyone can tell). And only occasionally do they have visible, functioning legs.

As far as anyone knows, sleeping might be off the table. And that makes it very hard to accuse the Muppets of sleepwalking through their latest feature, Muppets Most Wanted – even if that’s exactly what’s going on.

Jim Henson’s beloved creations were back in a big way after 2011’s The Muppets, with fame and fortune and even an Oscar, a first for the group (“Rainbow Connection” was nominated, yet somehow failed to collect at the ’79 ceremony). > Read more.

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Fairfield District Supervisor Frank J. Thornton will hold a constituent meeting Wednesday, April 30 to discuss small-area planning efforts in Henrico County and ways that residents can enhance their homes… Full text

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