Time Flies

It’s hard to believe but it was 10 years ago the first post on Eventspark appeared. So much has happened since we first began Pierce Events and this blog.

We have traveled all over the country and have been a part of some truly incredible event productions and we aren’t slowing down.

We ended the school year with a bang as we brought our DJ show to area schools. It’s become a tradition for a number of schools to have us back each year.

We were in Atlanta for the 3 day Wine & Food Festival. While there we met some great people and had a chance to visit the set of the TV show “The Walking Dead”.

In June we launched a event series in partnership with Square to equip small business owners with the tools they need to succeed and grow. We

featured some really knowledgeable and inspirational speakers and hosted a series of classes in both Atlanta and Pittsburgh. All of it was offered for free and the feedback has been great. Hopefully we will be able to bring this program to additional cities across the country next year.

Our next event takes us to Bloomington, Indiana and we have events in production in Texas, California, Wisconsin, Ohio and New Hampshire for the second half of the year.

It’s been a great summer so far and we look forward to many more great events ahead.


Modern Event Security


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.




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.


Pierce Events

Should You Be An Event Planner?

People are often interested in what we do as event planners and producers. We love sharing what we know, what we learn and the challenges we face along the way. We want people to be interested, because what we do is for them. We need a audience for what we do. Yet it’s rare that someone actually sees the true planning process from beginning to end.

Most people considering a career in the event industry have an interest sparked by events they were personally involved in. They planned college events, family parties, maybe a wedding. That’s a great introduction to the event world, but it’s also a very small deceiving part of it.

An event can be everything from a meeting or conference to a fundraiser, product launch or marketing effort. A good planner must be able to adapt to different personalities, budget constraints, deadlines, changes and keep track of every detail along the way. So to answer the often asked question of “what do event planners do”?…. the answer is everything.

For someone truly interested in being a part of the event industry a journey of self discovery is required. The journey never ends and you must adapt and change with each new trend, each new client and each new challenge. You have to create your own success formula, your own style and your own clients who believe in you and what you do. It’s part sales, part production and part smoke and mirrors. You can’t show anyone an event until it’s happening. The idea in your head is only seen by you, so you must find people who trust in your idea. People who trust in you.

It’s never easy and I can’t tell you how to do it. What I can tell you is this, embrace failure. It’s the best teacher there is. Abandon all hope of a normal, stress free life. You will do things and go places most people never will, but there is a price to pay for it.

Get a sense of humor and learn to laugh at the person in the mirror. Be real. Never offend on purpose, but don’t be afraid to speak your mind even at the risk of offending. Understand that you don’t want everyone as a client. Nurture your drive, confidence, patience, listening skills, always deliver more than promised and never take anyone for granted.

Those are principles for life, not just event people.

Should you be an event planner? Probably not, but you already knew that. All planners do.