Work with the challenges

A great event planner will work with the challenges of an event rather than fighting against the natural order of things. In indoor events, you can find this in the careful plotting of flow, use of natural lighting, utilizing high or low ceilings.  Most event professionals will say their favorite types of outdoor venues tend to be large, open, flat areas.  This is because it offers least number of challenges. What is my outdoor event venue?  It’s basically a forest on the side of a mountain with one long twisty road as an access point. Basically the opposite of the ideal venue.

The mountain before pic

Modern Belle Life Groundbreaking Event

 

Because there is a building going up, we are taking down trees for the building, walk paths and roads.  (Thankfully…because if I had to plan for 350 in the middle of trees in a state where an afternoon rain is basically guaranteed…I might have a mental breakdown.)  Upon first glance, my instinct was – tear down all the trees and level everything!  Thankfully I was told no.

So, thinking more sustainably, I changed my mindset. How do I use what God gave us to make the event a success?

dedicationviewCreating a focal point during an event is important.  For wedding ceremonies – it’s the alter.  At social parties, it might be a dance floor.  Fundraisers usually highlight the stage and a screen to show off auction items. First, how awesome is that view? It’s muddy and bare now, however, I promise you come June the trees will be green and the skies blue.  Let me point out, how gorgeous that perfect view is – the trees framing the perfect view.

So, with this being a the future home of an awesome groundbreaking ceremony, the stage will be the focal point. First, how awesome is that view? It’s muddy and bare now, however, I promise you come June the trees will be green and the skies blue.  Let me point out, how gorgeous that perfect view is – the trees framing the perfect view.

So where in an area full of trees do I put a stage?  Why not the perfect frame created by the trees?  I mean how awesome is that view? It’s muddy and bare now, however, I promise you come June the trees will be green and the skies blue.

The stage will be pushed back once the brush is cleaned up. On either side, tiered staging will allow for seating for important VIPs without taking away from standing room or seating up front.

stageview

I wish there was a better way to show this portion, hopefully, I can explain.  Where I am standing is about 10′ in front of where the stage will be looking towards where the audience will stand.  If you notice, there is a pretty significant incline towards the back.

Some would be irritated…I, however, saw a chance for savings!  Now what most planners would kill for when it comes to events with a large audience and a small stage that can’t be super high is a tiered floor. While this is far from the perfect tiered layers of a theater or auditorium, this level change is going to ensure that everyone will be able to see no matter where they are standing.

Modern Belle Life GroundbreakingWhen doing a groundbreaking, it is great to give people a vision of the building. This can be done in the form of project boards.  OR….you can outline the perimeter of the building.

Now, we have taken down quite a few trees.  In the beginning, we used the trees as lumber for benches, buildings, such around the property.  Now that all of those projects are done…we have to find new uses for the lumber. So problem…need to find a way to define the area of the building, find a way to use the trees we are removing.

Solution!!!  Chop the trees down into giant piles of wood chips and use those to plot the footprints of the buildings.  It’s sustainable and uses the resources I have available at no cost.  Score all the way around.

Ultimate lesson (which can go beyond events and apply to life in general) stop fighting every road bump and look for the silver lining and new ways to frame your outlook.  You may find you are better off than if it was textbook perfect like you imagined.

 

 

Event gifts

Seriously what kind of gift do you get the person that has access to pretty much anything?

Event gifts or favors are typically a fun project, being cute and kitschy, it can be fun.  Finding a new twist or way to spin things is a challenge but I always kind of like that.

I have a unique group of people as they are typically very affluent. Our events are mostly annual events so once you found a great idea, you have to try to top it the next year!  It makes it doubly hard when I am trying buy for people who’s monthly budgets are several months (maybe even a year or more) of my pay!

So why not try crowd sourcing ideas?!  If I can’t come up with a perfect idea, surely someone else can or at least will inspire a brilliant idea.

My events I’m currently struggling with are:

  • A shotgun sporting event – mostly outdoors obviously, a masculine event, but people bring their spouses and sometimes their kids or grand kids.  This would need to be a rustic or sportsman’s gift.
  • A new event that is focused around a Veterans Appreciation event at the property.  It will be a smaller group but need something that is patriotic and classy.

So, what do you think? If you had the ability to buy anything, but were given a gift what do you want?