Do Not Let These 3 Event Planning Challenges Take You By Surprise

You know that dreaded feeling. The sneaking suspicion in the days leading up to your private event, where fears about forgotten details of your checklist take hold.

Do Not Let These 3 Event Planning Challenges Take You By SurpriseSure, you confirmed the menu, floorplan and entertainment. You locked down AV capabilities and your presenters are ready to go. You have successfully stayed within your budget – so you think.

An event planning checklist is long and detailed. There are vendor contracts with tiny details and last-minute changes. It is easy to convince yourself something will go wrong.

There are some commonly forgotten details that, when overlooked, tend to send event planners into panic mode. To stay prepared, consider the following three event planning challenges and tips:

  • 1. “I forgot about guest parking and everyone is late!”
    On-site or valet parking is not always offered with the location of your private event, especially in cities where parking spaces are a true commodity. The downside of neglecting this event planning detail is that guests end up arriving late and stressed from having to search for parking.

    Event Planning Tip: Always ask your private event venue about parking. If convenient parking is not offered at the venue, do they offer valet services? A reputable private event venue will assist you with options to provide your guests, offering valet services or suggesting a trusted valet parking vendor or car service. Offering guests alternative modes of transportation in advance, such as cabs or car services, helps to avoid unnecessary issues and start your event properly.

  • 2. “I wasn’t expecting this additional fee, and now I am way over budget!”
    One sure way to spend more than your private event budget allows is by neglecting to ask your venue’s event planner about additional room fees, service fees or gratuity. Additional fees may also occur if your event does not start on time and the event extends past the allotted time.

    Event Planning Tip: If you forget to ask about additional charges, you could be quite surprised when you see your final bill. When going over pricing with your venue’s planner, you must ask about additional fees upfront. (Also, as noted above, providing parking helps ensure your event does not run past its allotted time due to guests arriving late.)

  • 3. “Another party was using the private event room prior to our event, and now we have no time to set up before guests arrive!”
    There is almost nothing more disastrous than having all of your vendors arrive to set up while your private event room is still being occupied by another party. The vendors are going to be frustrated and overwhelmed from having to set up in a hurry, which commonly results in mistakes that could negatively impact your event.

    Event Planning Tip: Ask the venue if there is another event scheduled before yours and when this party is expected to vacate the room. This allows you to plan accordingly, and ensures vendors have enough time to set up properly.

Careful planning is truly the only way to avoid these common private event challenges. That is why it is recommended you find a private event venue offering an event planning specialist, who provides support and guidance during the planning process. From parking details to ensuring your event starts and ends on time, she is there every step of the way with you, helping you organize a smooth, flawless event.

Ready to partner with a private event venue that helps you overcome common planning challenges? Schedule a consultation with an event planning specialist at R2L.

3 Tips To Jumpstart Your Corporate Holiday Event Planning

The “to-do” checklist for planning a corporate holiday event may feel endless, but you are not alone if you are confused about where to start.

There are the high-level details of where to host the event, when to have it and what type of event is appropriate for your company. You must decide on these components first before diving into details like the menu, table arrangements, lighting, audio-visual elements, entertainment, speakers, parking, gifts and RSVPs.

As you begin event planning for your company holiday party, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is my holiday event budget?
    Talk to your company’s financial department to get confirmation on the budget allotted for the holiday event. You never want to start planning without a precise number.

  • What is the goal of our company’s holiday event?
    While a corporate holiday event is meant to be a celebration, this is not enough to define the true goal. Does your company hold a holiday private event for employees only, or are clients and investors invited as well? If your event involves the latter, you must budget for ways to showcase your company’s accomplishments and foster socialization between employees and clients.

1. Decide what type of corporate holiday event you want to host.

The type of private event you plan to host depends on the size of your company, how formal guests expect the event to be and if it is an all-night affair or an early evening reception.

Once you determine the type of event, you are better able to decide if your company holiday celebration should be a seated dinner, a cocktail reception or a reception with food and bar stations. When you begin speaking with private event venues, ask upfront about their space capabilities and ideas for your event.

2. Have a guest list in mind before your first event consultation.

When you have your first consultation at a private event venue, come prepared with both your budget and a rough estimate of the number of guests you need to accommodate. This is the only way the venue’s event planner is able to offer you appropriate options.

Also, keep in mind that most larger companies may have booked their event by the end of August, so options may be a bit limited as you near the holidays. However, your venue’s event planner should offer you a number of options to meet your company’s needs.

3. Ask potential venues if there are specific days when the private event room minimums are lower.

There is no reason why your corporate holiday event has to be on a Friday or Saturday evening. In fact, many companies opt to have their holiday parties on a Monday or Tuesday night and allow employees to get a late start to their work the following day.

By hosting your holiday event on a weeknight, where the private event venue’s room minimums are lower, you save money that may be used for other event details. You could also plan your corporate holiday party as a weekend luncheon or late afternoon function – this opens up your options as the holidays get closer.

Planning for the many elements of your company’s holiday party may feel overwhelming. However, with the right guidance and support from your venue’s event planning expert, you are kept on track while they take care of the details.

Ready to find the right private event venue for your corporate holiday party? Schedule a consultation with an event planning specialist at R2L.

The Perfect Philadelphia Restaurant To Visit During Your Pope Coverage

Philadelphia is abuzz as the city plans for Pope Francis’ visit for the 2015 World Meeting of Families. As a media group traveling to Philadelphia for this historic event, you are likely contending with many logistical details at the moment. Likewise, your crew is working long hours leading up to the big event to ensure the coverage is flawless.

During your coverage of the Holy Father’s Philadelphia appearance, you and your team may find yourselves looking for a restaurant in Center City so you can get away from the crowds during happy hour or celebrate a job well done with a special dinner.

R2L, one of the best restaurants in Philadelphia, is the perfect place, as it is situated on the 37th floor of a high rise in the heart of Center City. Imagine you and your crew looking out at the sunset, celebratory cocktail in hand, high above the crowds found below.

Here is what you need to know about R2L during the Pope’s visit:

R2L Features Contemporary, American Cuisine

Your media crew deserves to be treated to a quality dining experience as a thank you for their dedication throughout the process of covering the Pope’s visit. R2L provides a unique venue for everyone to gather, relax, enjoy great food and share stories of time spent in the field covering events across Philadelphia.

R2L’s Chef Daniel Stern is known for his bold, unique twists on contemporary, American cuisine.

R2L has extended its hours of operation during the Pope’s visit:

  • Friday, September 25th – R2L opens at 2pm with a bar menu, and dinner starts early at 4pm. The bar and lounge are open until 2am.
  • Saturday, September 26th – R2L opens at noon with a bar menu, and dinner starts early at 4pm. The bar and lounge are open until 2am.
  • Sunday, September 27th – The restaurant is open from noon until 10pm, featuring a dinner menu all day long.

R2L Offers The Media Some Perks

While you and your media crew wade through this event with over 1.5 million visitors, there may be times when you need a place to put your feet up, check email or finish off post-production work of the day’s coverage.

R2L is centrally located within the “traffic box” where you may be stuck for the day, at Two Liberty Place, right on 16th Street between Chestnut and Market Streets – a short walk from Suburban Station and City Hall.

R2L is also offering wi-fi access and several plasma TVs will be on broadcasting the local news coverage, so you’re never far away from the latest happenings. The view from 37 floors up above the action is a vantage point others do not get on the ground floor, which is why you should make R2L a part of your dining plans in Philadelphia

Whether you are looking for a quick bite to eat, happy hour or a special dinner for your media crew to unwind, R2L is a Philadelphia restaurant you don’t want to miss.

Ready to book a dining reservation at R2L for your media crew during the Pope’s visit? Click here to connect with a representative at R2L to make your reservation.

3 Essential Tips To Consider When Partnering With An Event Planner

If you are considering partnering with an event planner for your next special occasion, you need to be confident that you will select the right person for the job.

Although that statement may seem like a given, consider this: While you are hiring an event planner to help you plan the perfect event, if she isn’t experienced at planning events or working closely with clients, a lot could go wrong.

To hire the right event planner, consider the following three essential tips ensure a successful partnership:

  • 1. Choose An Event Planner Who Helps You Stay Within Your Budget
    When planning a private dining event on your own, combining a realistic budget while also achieving your vision for a perfect special occasion can be difficult.

    Making compromises in the name of saving money is stressful, especially if you find yourself bogged down in researching cost-effective alternatives to little or no avail. However, having it “all” when it comes to your private event is entirely possible, with the right guidance.

    When selecting an event planner for your event, look to partner with someone who has experience with maximizing your budget and producing an event that suits your specific needs. Your event planner should know where to cut back and where to spend more to create your perfect event.

  • 2. Ensure Your Event Planner Stays On Top Of The Latest Trends
    Putting on a unique and unforgettable private dining event requires being up on the most recent trends in the events industry. Especially if event planning is something you only do on occasion, it is difficult to know what is relevant, contemporary, appropriate and what will ultimately impress your guests.

    Today, there are so many options, and getting lost in decision-making is a real concern for your budget and timeline.

    Partner with an event planner who is clearly up to date on the latest industry trends. She should be able to set you in the right direction in terms of decor ideas, personalized menu options, specialty cocktails or entertainment. A good sign of a great event planner is their willingness to work closely with you to ensure your private dining event is a clear reflection of you, your company or your guests.

  • 3. Partner With An Event Planner Who Has Vetted Vendors
    Whether your private event is in your area or at a destination location, it is a difficult task to find the best vendors at the right price. Whether you need a florist, photographer, audiovisual expert, entertainment, car service or hotel, finding the right vendor can be overwhelming. Making choices on each of these event elements requires a lot of due diligence on your part.

    Partner with an event planner who has years of experience and solid relationships with trustworthy vendor contacts. She should also have relationships with vetted vendors who are going to offer you a fair deal on rates for their services. Having access to these vendors helps to alleviate your stress.

When you partner with the right event planner, you can actually cut your own planning time in half, stay within your budget and have a uniquely memorable event. With an experienced event planner by your side, you should have every opportunity to sit back and enjoy the event with your guests.

Ready to learn more about partnering with the right event planner to help you create a memorable private event? Schedule a no-cost consultation with an expert event planner at R2L.

Overcome The Challenges Of Planning An Unforgettable Private Dining Event

Planning a proper private dining event comes with certain inherent challenges, ones that every event planner must endure. By learning how to overcome these private dining event challenges, you are assured a smooth planning process that results in a memorable and successful event.

As your to-do list grows into the event-planning equivalent of Mount Everest, consider the following methods to help you conquer these common obstacles:

  • Challenge #1: Staying Within Your Budget
    Event planning 101 is knowing your budget. Defining your budget is the only way to allocate funds to certain expenses and ensure you get what you pay for. When working with private dining venues and vendors, you should be upfront about your budget constraints. Work with a venue’s own event planner, as he or she is able to help you with budget constraints to create an impressive menu and ambiance.

  • Challenge #2: Planning For Time Constraints
    Due to the basic challenges presented by private dining event planning, time constraints are commonly an issue that extends the already long planning process. That is why partnering with the venue’s own event planner is important – with their knowledge and guidance, it is possible to avoid common pitfalls and cut your own time spent on event planning (and stress!) in half.

  • Challenge #3: Collecting RSVPs
    Providing your venue event planner with the number of guests attending your private dining event is always a challenge. Designing, purchasing and mailing out physical invitations is time-consuming and costly. RSVP cards are easily lost in the shuffle of life. Instead, use an online RSVP program, many of which are free. These online programs make it easy for guests to respond and for you to organize the guest list and any food restrictions.

  • Challenge #4: Choosing Appropriate Menu Options
    When it comes to selecting menu options, allergies and dietary preferences make it difficult to create a menu that appeals to everyone on your guest list. Provide your event planner with as many details as possible about your private dining guests’ food restrictions and general demographic information, so she can work closely with the chef to personalize a menu sure to please everyone.

  • Challenge #5: Partnering With The Right Vendors
    A lot of work goes into finding the right vendors for a private dining event. You have to find a few from each specialty, interview each one and finally decide on the best one to meet your specific needs. One of the perks of partnering with the venue’s event planner is that they come with vetted vendor contacts, so the work of finding the perfect vendor is already done.

  • Challenge #6: Creating A Timeline And Sticking To The Plan
    Event planning 201 is all about taking action by executing each task with precision and excellent timing. Break down your event-planning tasks into sections, each section having its own list of high-priority tasks, and start working on what is most important from each section and which items are time sensitive. Also, provide your event planner with the same timeline so she can assist you.

eady to learn even more about overcoming the challenges of private dining event planning? Schedule a no-cost consultation with an expert event planner at R2L.