Month: June 2010

Trashy Events

I have a before and after photograph taken from the press box at the old Three Rivers Stadium. It was taken when we were doing a large concert there. In the after photo you see the field covered in garbage…cups, paper, ticket stubs, a real mess.

If you have been to any gathering you know when people assemble together, we create garbage. Street fairs, music festivals and sporting events all make a huge mess. Have you seen the trash after a Steelers game? The cleanup efforts are often massive and somehow the unsung heros who clean up our messes restore order until the next event.

Newsweek Magazine partnered with The Mother Nature Network to highlight their picks of the world’s most garbage-producing events. Here are a few:

1. College Football
Any time fans assemble for an organized sports event, what’s left behind are overflowing trash cans. But the worst offenders are college football games. After Georgia hosted South Carolina, custodial staff collected more than 70 tons of trash—broken tents, abandoned grills, and scores of empty bottles. There were also numerous instances of spectators going to the bathroom in undesignated places around the campus.

2. National Mall Events
The National Mall’s nickname as America’s backyard might ring true, except that people don’t usually leave their own property looking like the Mall did after the presidential inauguration in January or the tea-party protests in September. In both instances, the massive cleanup effort was completed by garbage crews funded by the District of Columbia and the federal Department of the Interior.

3. Beijing Olympics
China’s capital was a well-polluted place before the city hosted the 2008 Olympics. A study done after the event found the Beijing Games to be the dirtiest Olympics in history. Air pollution was almost twice the levels of the previous summer games in Athens and more than triple of those in Atlanta in 1996 and Sydney in 2000.

Start with what powers the races: gasoline, thousands of gallons of it. What comes next is the obvious air pollution from the races and the fans who often travel long distances to the event. Trash trade publication Waste Age did a study on the Daytona 500, which required 200 workers working every day for two weeks to clean it up. ‘The cleaners worked across 700 acres and 168,000 grandstand seats, picking up litter, dumping 3,000 trash cans, and scrubbing 110 restrooms,’ it reported.

5. Mardi Gras
After Hurricane Katrina brought the city to its knees, the size and vigor of former Mardi Gras fetes has returned to New Orleans. The most recent cleanups have included a battalion of massive street sweepers, garbage trucks, and pressure washers—all deployed to clean up the hundreds of pounds of the festival’s trademark beads and other strewn trash.

6. New Year’s Eve in Times Square
After the confetti settles, Time Square is left with a less-than-flattering makeover for the new year. It’s high season for the New York City sanitation department, which works overtime to clean up about 40 tons of garbage. And to get it all done within a few hours.

Pierce Events offers complete event planning, production and management services for corporate, social and non-profit events. For more information and other helpful tips visit our website at

Timing is Everything

Anyone who has attended a meeting, conference, convention or incentive has seen the long lines at the telephone booths, people talking quietly into their cell phones during break or slipping out quietly to take care of pending business never to return. Are you scheduling your event over a particularly busy time period where your participants’ minds are going to be elsewhere? For example, at the close of a sales period your sales force needs to be out signing contracts instead of being in a ballroom. Would midweek work better than scheduling your event on a Monday, or are you traditionally more quiet over Thursdays and Fridays? If your event is taking place far away, you need to take into consideration travel time, costs (airfares are lover if you are staying over a Saturday night), overnight stays enroute to the final destination and how the company will be handing requests for extensions. Do you need staff back and ready to work in the office Monday, or is there any flexibility?

Corporate Events, Fund-Raisers, Special Events
For corporate events, fund-raisers and special events either mid-week or Saturday night is the most successful for achieving maximum attendance for those form whom it is a religious day and for those who want to get away for the weekend. Many things come into play in selecting the perfect date for your event. Consideration should be given to:

* Whether it should be a daytime or evening event
* What time would it start?
* Will it be formal or informal dress?
* Will guests have time to change clothes if coming to/from work?
* Will volunteers have time to leave work and have everything ready well before guests arrive?

For most of these events, your guests may be invited to bring their partners. If the event is planned to take place during the day mid-week, it could be difficult for one of the partners to attend, and an evening event may be a better choice. Or you could look at moving it to the weekend when both may have more flexibility.

Where will your guests be coming from? Take this into consideration as you plan your start time. Will they be coming directly from work? When does their work day typically end? If they are bringing a guest will this work for them as well? Could they be caught in traffic? Are you bringing them from uptown to downtown? Both scenarios could apply depending on where each of the partners work or live. How late will your event go? Is the next day a business day where both partners may need to get up early? Partners may arrive independently, in separate cars. Is there enough parking?

If the event is black tie, will your guests have time to go home to change, or will they need to bring a change of clothes to work? Will they be in a position to leave work early?

Have you left sufficient time for your set-up crew or volunteers to travel to the event, park, have everything ready, change, eat and be ready to go at least a good half hour before the first guest is scheduled to arrive?

Pierce Events offers complete event planning, production and management services for corporate, social and non-profit events. For more information and other helpful tips visit our website at

Paying the Piper

Professional DJ’s, I mean the ones that make their living doing it (not guys playing for beer money) have a tough road to travel. There are 52 weeks in a year. That give us 52 Saturdays (when most wedding happen) and excluding holidays that gives Pro Wedding DJ’s about 47 possible days to earn their money assuming every date though out the year is booked.

The cost of a wedding DJ can vary widely. Locating wedding DJs in Pittsburgh who are priced right can be difficult. I’ve seen ads for DJ’s at $50 an hour. If you are spending ten to twenty thousand dollars on a wedding, do you really want to end the celebration with a person who values them self at $50? Don’t buy a bad DJ.

Often times the DJ is overlooked in the budget process. Even with private parties, if you are booking a Saturday event you need to understand how and why things are priced. Having an enjoyable and fun time is usually dependent on the music played by the wedding DJ. But it’s much more than just speakers and lights. You need to find a person who not only has a good variety of music but also can interact with and entertain your guests. You need an entertainer, not just a person to play music.

The average cost of a local wedding DJ in Pittsburgh in 2007 was $1293.00. Yet some people scoff at a price anywhere north of $500. We all like a good deal, but proceed with caution.
Let’s be honest, what people are going to remember the most about your event is the entertainment. Good or bad; that’s what sticks.

When it comes to hiring a wedding DJ, Pittsburgh has many to choose from. How do you go about finding the right one?

First DON’T base your decision on price. You are choosing a DJ not a number. You get what you pay for. If this is a once in a lifetime event, treat it as such and invest in quality.

Meet face to face with the person. Your DJ will need to be your production partner. It should be someone you like and trust. Evryone from the caterer to the photographer and the entire bridal party will be looking to the DJ for cues. Make sure they are professional. Ask if they carry insurance, ask for references, read their contract carefully and ASK QUESTIONS.

At Pierce Events we take the time to get to know our clients. We have professional radio experience, know how to entertain without being overbearing and we guide you though the process of time lines and planning your celebration.

We would love to talk to you about our services and what makes us so different from other DJ’s. If the date you request happens to be already booked, we would be happy to refer you to a quality professional in the area.

Give us a call at 724-986-6939 to talk about your event.

Pierce Events offers complete event planning, production and management services for corporate, social and non-profit events. For more information and other helpful tips visit our website at