Category Archives: Event Design

Meetings: Minnesota Hospitality Journal’s Eye Candy Issue

I love the new issue of Meetings: Minnesota Hospitality Journal because the photography is so gorgeous!

Check out the on-line edition!


The Style Laboratory Magazine August 2012


Regal Contemporary Vintage

Designing a corporate dinner can be challenging.  Add the fact that the dinner takes place every twelve months, coming up with a brand new concept each and every year makes it even more challenging.

This year, I decided on a “Regal Contemporary Vintage” look.  The Minneapolis Club (and, no, you don’t necessarily have to be a member to do an event there) setting was perfect for the integration of ghost chairs (a contemporary twist of the vintage regal Louis look) with red table and red (contemporary flower balls) and gold decor (vintage mercury glass).

The gasp of the guests entering the room confirmed that I achieved the look I was going for.  Pair that with the exquisite cuisine at the hands of Chef Hakan Lundberg and we ended up with their favorite dinner yet.  Oh, the pressure to top it next year.

Thank you to Erica Loeks Photography for capturing the feel of the event!

Make It a Good One!

This is the 1000th post on Eventful Ramblings.  Crazy to think I had 1000 relevant (or not so relevant) things to say.

The event industry has been changing at rapid speed…in fact, it looks nothing like it did when I started eight years ago.  In so many ways, it is more challenging than it has ever been.

I continue to receive resumes from people who “just know that they would be the best planner ever” because they planned their own wedding or their senior prom.  I don’t knock those people, but I do say that it is an unrealistic statement.

So I am going to make this 1000th post a good one (and probably the longest I’ve ever written).

For those of who want to know more about being in the event planning industry, I have some advice.

Inquiring About Job Openings

Do not send a mass cover letter / resume.  If you are too lazy to try to make a custom first impression on me, I am going to assume that you are  too lazy to help me with event strike at 2:00 in the morning.

Making the comment that you want to explore event planning as a career path is the same thing as telling me that you want me to pay you to act as your career counselor.

Review your cover letter and resume with a fine tooth comb more than once.  I cringe when I see spelling and obvious grammatical errors as event planning clients do not accept sloppiness.

Getting Started

In the long run, taking a non-paying or low-paying internship may be the best money invested.  Top event planning companies, for the most part, do not hire staff without experience.  It is too expensive to experiment with someone who may or may not have unrealistic expectations.  An internship will allow you the be able to see all the pros and cons of this industry.

I have found that the people who make it in this industry are the ones who work incredibly hard knowing that the pay-off may be in the future and not immediately.

Take the time to shut your mouth and listen.  I’m always incredibly surprised as people new in the industry want to feel like they have something important to say and their inexperience ends up being showcased.  I learned the most when my mouth was shut and my ears open to soak in every morsel of information that those with much more experience than me could offer.

Not Having an Ego

I think one of the most important traits of being a successful event designer / planner is to not have an ego.  Let me explain.

As an event planner, you will find yourself in lots of unexpected situations and you have to learn to roll with it.  The words “that is not my job” just doesn’t have a place in the event industry.

I have done the duties of:

*  a janitor

*  a dishwasher

*  a garbage collector

*  a food delivery person

*  a housekeeper

*  a nanny

*  a banquet server

*  a property manager

You just have to do what needs to be done.  And I have the philosophy that I never ask someone to do something I have not done myself.

Getting to Know You

One of the things I have always loved about my event planning competitors is that, for the most part, we’ve been friendly competitors.  We ask each other for advice and sometimes end up helping each other out.  The only way to feel comfortable doing that is to get to know your competitors.

I always try to help my competitors who ask for advice or help, because I’ve always said that the stronger the industry is, the better it is for all of us in it.

The best way to go about that is attending industry events.  Often times, event planners are too busy to schedule one-on-one informational interviews, but if they are attending an industry event, they expect to “talk shop”.

This industry can be incredibly rewarding.  It can also be backbreaking.  I say if you are going to make an attempt of making a career of it, go into it with realistic expectations.