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
The Richmond West Breakfast Lions Club (based in western Henrico) recently donated 59 backpacks to the Westover Hills Elementary School on Jahnke Road.
Above, club members display some of the backpacks prior to their distribution. > Read more.
Thanks to a first-place win in The American Protege International Vocal Competition 2014, Glen Allen High School student Matija Tomas will travel to New York City to perform at Carnegie Hall in December.
At the first-place winners recital in Weill Hall, Matija will perform Giacomo Puccini’s opera aria, “Chi il bel sogna di doretta.” She will perform with other vocalists from around the world and have the opportunity to win other awards and scholarships.
Locally, Thomas has performed with Richmond’s renowned Glorious Christmas Nights, Christian Youth Theatre, and WEAG’s Urban Gospel Youth Choir. > Read more.
The John Rolfe YMCA and Gayton Baptist Church have partnered in an effort to bring greater health and wellness opportunities to the community.
Through this partnership, the John Rolfe Y will run Youth Winter Sports programs, including basketball and indoor soccer, in Gayton’s newly renovated $5.5 million outreach center that features a new gymnasium, youth and teen space, social space with café, meeting space and full service commercial kitchen. > Read more.
The Community College Workforce Alliance (CCWA), in partnership with the Virginia Film Office, will offer "Get Your Start in the Film Industry," a two-day seminar designed to prepare workers for film, television and commercial projects in Virginia. The course will be held Oct. 4-5 at the Workforce Development and Conference Center, 1651 Parham Road in Henrico, on the campus of J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College.
The training will be taught by Gary Romolo Fiorelli, an accomplished assistant director for film and television projects, which include the television series Sons of Anarchy and ABC’s current drama Mistresses. > Read more.
The Boathouse restaurant will open at Short Pump Town Center in the spring, its third location in the region.
“People have asked us to come to the West End for years,” said owner Kevin Healy. “When the opportunity arose, we knew had to jump on it.”
The new restaurant will be located in a 5,800-square-foot space under the Hyatt House Hotel at the town center and will include a large outdoor patio. > Read more.
Boka Kantina exceeds its strong food truck reputation
Already a fan of Boka fare from outdoor events with the Tako Truck, I was delighted to learn of the new restaurant, and eager to see if its reputation held up after putting down brick-and-mortar roots.
Would the food lose its zest if I wasn’t enjoying it in the great outdoors? Would it seem pedestrian served from an ordinary kitchen instead of a truck?
Would the tacos be less satisfying as an antidote to normal lunch hunger – instead of being ingested to stave off desperate hunger after a long afternoon of crowds, sun, and tedious lines? > Read more.
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