event planning

Pittsburgh Wedding Transportation

Guest Blogger: Pittsburgh Limousine Bus

Pittsburgh weddings are beautiful events, and it takes some work to create a seamless event! There are many pieces of the puzzle, and everybody has their own strategy in putting them together. Each wedding is a completely unique ceremony, and this is why planning one takes much time and effort. When you find yourself at the beginning of the important task that is vendor research and hire, it seems like it’s hard to know who to trust! This is especially true when it comes to transportation.

24bus2[14298]There is a diverse array of charter, limousine, and party bus companies to choose from in Pittsburgh which is both a blessing and a curse. It’s pretty easy to pull up a listing of companies with great reviews across the internet, but it’s getting harder to know who to trust! There are a few points that you’ll specifically want to look out for when searching for Pennsylvania Transportation.

How does their website look?

If you’re perusing transportation companies and their website is outdated and unresponsive on mobile phones, you might want to look elsewhere. Technology is such an important part of business competency these days, and this especially goes for transportation. A great company will have a easy to use website with clear directions on how to get the information you’ll need! If a company lacks on their website, they will probably fall short of state of the art traffic tracking and customer service

Can you come view the vehicle?

22bus2[14297]Many couples overlook this step when choosing a vehicle for their Pittsburgh wedding, but visiting the office or garage to view the vehicle you’re looking to rent will certainly bring you closer to finding the best choice for your wedding. It give you the closest look into how they conduct business face to face before the big day, and it’s very helpful to see what you’re working with before it shows up.

Is the contract transparent?

The contract is the final step in securing your wedding day transportation, and arguable the most important! It’s not out of the norm for a company to sneak in some hidden charges at this stage under the guise of fuel or tip to the driver. However, this is the last thing you’re going to want to deal with right after getting married!

Pittsburgh Limousine Bus

232 Taylor Street #2

Pittsburgh, PA 15224

(412) 385-4412

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Connecting Beyond Your Event

Social media provides a powerful opportunity to connect your event and messaging beyond your guests in attendance. Social media can expand your event marketing efforts and your onsite attendee engagement. Here are some ways to make social media a part of your next event.

  1. dsc_1093Visual Focal Point – Give your attendees the perfect backdrop for their photos as well as a reminder of your event hashtag. Providing something that attendees will what to take a photo of that is branded with your logo and hashtag will increase engagement. Include your hashtag on signage branding and throughout the event.
  2. Selfie Stations – Fun and eye catching stations throughout the event with your event hashtag, quote bubbles, or emojis encourage people to snap and post there experience to social networks.
  3. Make Your Guests A Star – Moderated social media feeds displayed on screens or projected in your venue allow guests to see posts from the event and spur additional posts.
  4. Social Swag – Ensure all promotional items are branded with your hashtag and logo. Great promotional items can encourages additional social media.
  5. Good Food – Food and beverage are integral parts of your event and people love to take photos of food. Incorporate your event hashtag on napkins, glassware, or even on the food itself.
  6. Reward Your Most Active Influencers – Give away prizes for those who post from your event. You can set up a Twitter activated vending machine that dispenses items when someone posts using your hashtag.

We have a number of other ideas and tools available to connect events, marketing, messaging and engagement with attendees and social media audiences. Make your next event more impactful with our team of event and social media experts.

 

 

Modern Event Security

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Event Security Is A Growing Concern

The recent attacks in Nice, France, Orland0 and Dallas have event professionals questioning safety where large crowds gather. High profile events with a large amount of people attending are sadly an attractive target for terrorists.

With the attack in Nice, as well as recent attacks in other cites, every event producer is forced to review security measures and develop a plan of action should something occur.

We always plan in case things go wrong. What if the power goes out or the weather is bad? It’s heartbreaking to now sit in a planning meeting and talk about what to do if there is an active shooter. How do we respond if there is an attack? Have we consulted police and first  responders for an action plan?

“Expect the unexpected.” said Professor Jason Draper who studies event planning and tourism at the University of Houston.

“We live in a free society and we have to do the best we can to protect ourselves when we travel and go to events an have a plan in place if something should happen, how to help the people who are injured and stop it as quickly as possible.” he said.

For events large and small, event professionals must always plan for the worst case scenario. The problem is that scenario gets worse every day. Every attack, every circumstance teaches us to be even more prepared.

A few years ago one of our clients suffered a shooting at their venue. Security procedures changed from that moment on. Sadly, one of the police officers recently shot and killed in Dallas was part of that security team.

It’s truly a sad day when we can no longer gather to celebrate without concern for the lives of those attending.

 

 

 

30 Requests For Your DJ

When it comes to hiring a professional DJ for a wedding or an event there is often a conflict between perception and reality. The perception is a DJ plays music and makes the lights blink. How hard can that be? He (or she) probably sleeps all day and only works on Friday and Saturday nights. While that may be true from some out there, those are not the people you want to hire for your event. They are not professionals.

The other perception is a DJ should not cost more than a few hundred dollars. I mean really, the DJ is pressing play on songs, so why should it cost more?

When you hire a professional DJ, that person has likely invested over $10,000 in equipment. They are often the first one to arrive and the last to leave, so a 5 hour event is 9 hours or more for them. They pay thousands of dollars to update their music collection every year. They spend time reviewing new music, answering client questions, visiting venues, maintaining equipment, directing caterers, photographers and venue managers as to what happens and when. They attend meetings, send out contracts, work on timelines, deal with drunken guests and go out of there way to make sure everything goes perfectly. They need to be able to make a living just like everyone else.

Value is often forgotten and instead people look strictly at cost. You can always find someone cheaper, but you must understand what you get in return decide how important you event is to you. Here are some key questions to ask yourself of any DJ you consider:

  1. Do you get quality, professional equipment?
  2. Do you get a 2 person team that understands your event?
  3. Will your actual DJ meet you in person before you book them?
  4. Does your DJ know how to use their technology and how to troubleshoot issues?
  5. Will they set up long before guests arrive and work with other vendors?
  6. Can they adjust to schedule changes and unplanned issues?
  7. Do they know how to do introductions, tell a story and properly use the microphone?
  8. Will they be respectful to all your guests and not play offensive music?
  9. Do they prepare well in advance for your event?
  10. Do they play music from legal and reliable sources? Not from streaming or internet sources.
  11. Do they make sure their set up looks clean and professional?
  12. Do they refrain from drinking and smoking during your event?
  13. Do they dress in proper attire and appear well groomed?
  14. Do they speak clearly and naturally without putting on a show?
  15. Do they understand proper volume, tone and clarity for the entire room?
  16. Can they multi-task with music selections, announcements, and guests?
  17. Do they know how to mix different types and eras of music?
  18. Can they adjust to the crowd and bring people to the dance floor?
  19. Do they understand they are not the focus of attention?
  20. Do they value what they do and charge appropriately for it?
  21. Do they honestly answer your questions?
  22. Do they care about you and don’t consider your day another “gig”?
  23. Are they insured?
  24. Do they clearly explain what they will and will not do?
  25. Will they give you the time and attention you deserve?
  26. Do they have a back up plan should something go wrong?
  27. Do they have experience and a good reputation?
  28. Are they someone you trust and can work with?
  29. Will they promptly answer your calls and emails?
  30. How will they make your event unique and memorable?

Any professional DJ is going to have quick and honest answers to every question. Most people only hire a DJ once in their life and so many part time amatuers count on ignorance. A bad DJ can will ruin a great event. Don’t let it happen to you.

Fashion And Function

We get to plan and attend some pretty cool events. It fascinating to see how styles change depending on where you are. So many things from the culture to climate effect the look and feel of an event.

It’s always a bit frustrating when event people assume style only comes from either New York or Los Angeles. Nothing against those cities, but each city and town has there own style and taste waiting to be discovered.

I’ve witnessed some event folks trying too hard to make an event something it’s not. food_600x450_8dfcd58851Quirky and over the top does not work if it’s not functional. Often events go for the visual appeal and forget everything else. If you have triangle plates and tiny forks it may look cool, but your guests may starve trying to get food to their mouth.

Speaking of food, I’m adventurous when it comes to cuisine, but not everyone is. If you have to pause to decide if something is modern art or edible there is a problem.

Not all of your guests want to, or are able to wind their way through a maze of sensory overload. Sometimes easy access to a drink is more important than if that drink shoots from the fingertip of a woman dressed like a vineyard.

I love creative elements in events. I love things that entertain and catch the eye, but it has to be a functional part of the overall presentation. It’s tempting to plan an event to try to impress others and create your next portfolio piece, however unless all the elements work well, that event fails even if it looks great.

 

Price and Value In Events

Event Planning BudgetPricing and budgets are always important when planning events. You don’t have an unlimited budget and usually one of the first questions asked of an event planner is “How much is this going to cost?”

At Pierce Events we serve three very different and distinct clients.

  1. Social event clients who are planning a private event on a limited budget.
  2. Corporate clients with larger budgets and internal and marketing goals
  3. Non-Profit clients who are looking for fund raising opportunities and a solid return on event investments

Creating a pricing structure for a variety of clients, budgets and events can be a challenge. Pricing need to work of all parties involved. Social events require a different pricing structure than corporate and non-profit events. Many social event planners charge a time based fee. Depending on the type of event a planner creates, average hourly rates vary greatly.

Corporate event planners may change a flat fee or planning and project fee based on cost and time estimates. Often we plan an event with a specific budget defined. Choices and vendors are chosen based upon the budget restrictions.

At Pierce Events, we plan and produce events from coast to coast. Our internal costs of vendors, labor and staffing varies based upon geographic location. Everything from time of the year to local tax rates can impact the cost of events.

While pricing is certainly important to most clients, choosing the lowest bidder in events is often a mistake. It’s just as important to consider value along with pricing. Spending more with an event planner or company that has experience, vendor connections and production knowledge is money well spent.

It’s important to remember that a large portion of the money paid to planners does not remain with them. From the fees we charge clients, we pay venues, vendors, equipment rental, permits and license fees among other costs.

Educated clients are often the best clients and provide for a powerful working relationship. Be sure communication is clear and your planner understands your budget and goals.