Book a Meeting

The National Conference Center Blog

Posts Tagged ‘creative planner’

4 Creative Ideas for Reunions

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

Plan the perfect reunion for your next group. In many ways, planners consider themselves lucky when they have a group like a reunion to plan because there is so much flexibility and the client is sometimes more open to ideas. When you’re asked to plan the next military reunion or religious retreat have some ideas when you approach them:

  • Firepit with smores – host a bonfire in the evening for guests to make s’mores. You’ll never think of s’mores then same once you see there are actual s’mores kits online, including the marshmallow roasting sticks.
  • Picnics - Provide each family with a basket full of picnic items to make their own sandwich or share cheese and crackers. If it’s not a family reunion, let me group themselves in pairs of 4-6 people and provide each with a blanket and a basket full of goodies.
  • Indoor games – Indoor games like a casino night and even progressive events (where each room is a different theme) is great for reunions especially larger ones to create interactive events. Your guests will be entertained and busy having fun, rather than congregating around the food stations.
  • Tour Wine Country – Consider a charter bus to take your group to areas like D.C.’s Wine Country. It can be a fun way to experience a destination in a group setting without losing people in a city where guests often have their own agenda and make their own separate plans to meet friends. If you’re considering hosting in Northern Virginia, check out the Visit Loudoun website to explore what’s in D.C.’s Wine Country.

Are there reunion ideas that have blown your guests away and if so, what were they?

Are You An Event Planner’s Dream or Nightmare?

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

The term “Bridezilla” puts an image in our heads of a difficult and unpleasant bride. These “bridezillas” receive attention on popular cable reality shows, but what about the pleasant ones?

In a two-part series, we hoped to find out the characteristics of what makes an ideal bride and what the bride believes makes up an ideal wedding planner.  These articles apply to event planners and professionals as well! We spoke with a planner at West Belmont Place to find out what most planners believe is the “ideal” bride (and possibly dream of). Here are the 6 commandments of an ideal bride or client:

  • HomeworkThou shall do their homework. Yes, we said homework. Event and wedding planners both appreciate a client who has done their homework ahead of time and knows what he or she is looking for in their event. This client knows their budget – which can save a lot of time and money for the planner.


  • The Planner is on “Your Side”Thou shall know thy planner is a professional friend. Know that your planner is working for you, not against you. Many clients or brides believe their planner is “out to get them.” The planner wants to make their client happy and take them to the best vendors – meaning vendors who are creative and fit the budget best.


  • Come with ?sThou shall come prepared. Similar to when you bring your hairstylist a photo, planners love it when clients have photos. Go to a planner with as much information as possible such as a list of likes/dislikes, themes (or no themes), etc. It’s okay to figure out what you like as you go, but approaching a planner with a collection of “this is what I want” works wonders!


  • Limitations (if any)Thou shall know the limitations of a budget. Every couple or client should know their budget and be willing to compromise. Perhaps the floral arrangements are out of your budget – be willing to work with your planner. He or she will try to find the best alternative and most importantly, the planner knows when something is out of your budget!


  • Smothering – Thou shall not fear and give your planner room to be as creative as possible. In preparing for an event, you’ve given your planner chores and tasks – they’ll need some time to complete these. Eliminate emailing your planner everyday with questions, this takes the planner’s time away from your event. You must accept the planner as the person who you’ve allocated to do the planning and trust that it will be done, and more successful than you hoped!


  • Upgrade Your EventThou shall not be reluctant to spend extra on linens and lighting. Don’t be afraid to spend extra on making your event even better! Upgrading linens and opting for lighting can completely change a room and give it the “wow” factor. People won’t remember the pricey centerpiece but they will remember if you had inexpensive lighting and a bare room.

Event planners, what has been your experience with these six commandments?  Are there any other commandments you believe make the “perfect” bride or client? Brides, please let us know about the “ideal” planner. BR>

Lighting Makes a Difference – Event at West Belmont Place