The Debrief From Hell

Posted August 10, 2011

Tips For Having A Successful Post-Event Debriefing. You’re sitting across the table from your client, pleasantly chatting about the event you produced for them two weeks ago.  You’ve got lots of ideas on how to make it even better next year, and are even thinking about whether you should raise your fee next time, when […]

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The Day-Of Planning Dilemma

Posted July 14, 2011

Here’s an advance peek at my next In Business column for Event Solutions magazine. “I think I can plan the event myself.  I just want to hire you to be there the day of the event.  You know, just to make sure everything goes smoothly.” If I had a dollar every time an event planner […]

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Super Planner app now available in Android! Insights on Droid vs. iPhone Development Processes

Posted June 26, 2011

Well, it’s finally done.  The Droid version of my Super Planner app is now available.  Click here to check it out in the Android Marketplace. Developing in Android vs. iPhone First let me apologize for the delay in its release, as I’d initially promised it months earlier.  Here’s the story.  My assumption had been that […]

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Event Leadership Institute Launches: Come Learn Something

Posted June 20, 2011

When do you use a glass vs. a metal gobo?  |  What’s the best way to charge for event planning?  |  What are the three biggest challenges to watch for when doing events in lofts?  |  What are the insider websites the top designers use to by their items wholesale?  |  What’s the exact verbiage […]

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Everyone Hates the MiddleMan

Posted June 16, 2011

Do You Just Markup Your Vendors or Do You Add Real Value? I’m sitting on the plane ride home from the BizBash West Expo, where I gave a 3 hour workshop called “The Business Accelerator for the Independent Planner: Best Practices for Building Your Event Company”.  (The next one is in Chicago on August 18th, […]

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Do You Speak Client?

Posted May 23, 2011

YOU:             “Tell me what kind of event you’d like.  Do you want something classical and formal or modern and understated?” CLIENT:            “Um . . . I brought some pictures?” We are a super creative industry, but when it comes to understanding our clients, we can really be a bunch of dumb-asses sometimes.  We live […]

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When to Fire Someone: Toxic Employees & The Curse of Mediocrity

Posted May 18, 2011

[Author’s Note: Yes, I know it’s been almost two months since my last blog post.  Where have I been, you ask?  OK, I’ll just come right out with it: I’ve been sleeping with another audience.  There, I said it.  Don’t get me wrong, you’ve been great; I just needed something . . . new.  Actually, […]

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Becoming A Boss

Posted March 23, 2011

NOTE:  Here is a sneak peak at my In Business column in the next issue of Event Solutions Magazine. @hgivner: Luv your ES column! My biz is jamming, am so busy I can’t handle all the work myself. Ready 2 hire my first employee.  Any advice? Candace, Independent Planner, LA I got this Twitter message […]

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Confessions of A First Class Wannabe

Posted March 20, 2011

Many people who cannot normally afford to fly first class, like myself, sometimes get an opportunity to do so, courtesy of those great frequent flyer miles or the occasional corporate perk.  However, while I relish those rare occasions when I do fly first, it’s now virtually impossible to tolerate having to fly coach the rest […]

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The Meeting Attendee’s Bill of Rights

Posted March 5, 2011

At the end of my last post I said I’d start putting together a Meeting Attendee’s Bill of Rights.  Having just finished speaking at several conferences, a handful of thoughts are fresh in my head.  Here are my first 5 Rights.  I invite you to submit your ideas to me as we compile this long […]

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Commissions vs. Kickbacks

Posted March 1, 2011

Pop Quiz:  What’s the fastest way to make a fight break out in a room full of event planners? Answer:  Start a debate about whether commissions are good or bad. Yesterday I delivered a rousing seminar at the Event Solutions Idea Factory / CaterSource conference in Las Vegas.  The topic was “Show Me the Money: […]

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Freedom from the 60″ Round: Alternatives for the Seated Gala Banquet

Posted January 20, 2011

I sat on a panel this Tuesday for the Association of Fundraising Professionals entitled “Special Events and the New Normal: Finding the Right Opportunities in Lean Times”, and one of the interesting trends we discussed was the variety of options available beyond the traditional banquet dinner format. Traditionally, the gala formula has worked like this: […]

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The Case Against New Year’s Resolutions

Posted December 30, 2010

From Thanksgiving through Christmas we’re sucked into a whirlwind of gorging on humongous family feasts, blowing our budget on holiday gifts, and partaking in revelry at lots of holiday parties. Everything builds to the dramatic crescendo of New Year’s Eve, when we stay up later and party harder than any other night. It’s no surprise […]

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Waldorf Astoria Bumps 100+ Guests for Saudi King’s Entourage: What Would You Do If This Were Your Event?

Posted December 16, 2010

On Dec 13, 2010, The New York Times ran a story with the following headline: “The Room Is Booked, Until the Hotel Says It Isn’t” When I ran my event company we used to do this thing before our big events called “What If” sessions.  Basically, the lead producer would brief the whole office on […]

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Challenge Your Planner/Vendor for More Creative Results

Posted December 13, 2010

Last Friday Jes Gordon was in the studio taping a class for the Event Leadership Institute (launching next month) called BWWB, short for “Big Wow Within Budget”.  She covered a wide range of interesting tips for making your event more creative without breaking the bank, and covered areas such as food and beverage, lighting, flowers, […]

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