The Holiday Season Hustle & Bustle

Everything seems like it moves faster the closer the calendar gets into Dec. 25th. The normal work and home life gets filled with cooking, baking, shopping, wrapping, photo taking, and so much more. I hear time again and time again how busy everyone is.

Then there are the folks in hospitality- the event planners. We wear numerous hats every day. Want to go to that company Christmas party? We spend our time not just picking out an outfit but perfecting the menu, securing rsvps, decor, entertainment, and take-home gifts. If event planners weren’t busy enough- I have noticed how good planners often also fall into the “other duties as assigned” category. This holiday season aside from the normal tree lightings, fundraisers, stuffed animal clinics, Christmas parties, grand openings, for me the extras this season have added some unique projects to the Fun-Nominal plate. So….Remember- as you are busily attending sales, special meals at your favorite restaurant, checking into your hotel, and/or attending a party be extra nice to the planners and hospitality staff who are doing all the normal holiday bustle but also bustling to make your holiday season the merriest ever.

Inspiration

Inspiration

It’s time again from a lesson from Disney. Beast from B&TB might have been gruff but none of his enchanted friends wandered off or gave up on him (did they have a choice really?). They stood by his side and weathered the storms because they knew who he really was deep inside.

There are leaders in the Valley that can truly bring people together. They can unite folks on a mission and get things done. One such person is Tina Smith. She inspires folks to get involved in organizations and causes because she sets a standard of success and fun. You know you will be treated with respect and the cause is worthwhile.

Unfortunately in the last year I have encountered some groups that are the opposite. Organizations or businesses led by people who have a history of no help surrounding them, who make themselves the victim, or think they are amazing when the reality is there is chaos all around them. The worst I’ve seen is one who is nationally fundraising with a series of unsuccessful events but still sets up events under the guise of fundraising and taking on investors. Each event gets a few supporters only to have a bust upon the event.

It’s been hard to not become cynical. To not spend too much time asking why I have gotten close enough to see the man/woman behind the curtain and others haven’t. I know I just need to keep moving forward and continue working toward building a company that people do want to support and be a part of. To build that network/team that stands along side me supporting me. Thankfully I have so many amazing role models in the Lehigh Valley and beyond to inspire me!

This Year Stand Out From the Crowd

Tired of using the same marketing as everyone else, doing the same thing and getting little to no results? Break out from the crowd and consider some non-traditional marketing.

Print, radio, and tv is successful and can be expensive. You need to know exactly who you want to reach and have a solid strategic plan to reach that audience. But you can complement that plan with lots of non-traditional marketing ideas to build up your strategy without hurting your budget. Special events (including open houses, mixers, progressive stop events, private events) contests, workshops, and online marketing campaigns can drive traffic, introduce new customers, and strengthen your brand to existing customers.

Don’t just do the same thing- stand out. Fun-Nominal Events and Marketing doesn’t just recommend the usual suspects. We strive to find affordable ways to reach your target audience and grow your business on a budget.

Leaders Who Lead

Recently I have attended very different meetings, one of which had amazing leadership. It really got me to thinking what is great leadership of a committee, board, or organization.

Belonging to and sitting on various Board & Committees I get to see many dynamics. I always respect those that step up and truly lead. They take the helm, oversee the financials and staff, ensure the organization is growing, and goals are being met. They listen to their members and are always ready to address issues no matter the difficulty of the situation.

Meetings that don’t provide written information to review in full, no opportunity for expression, and when the main topic for discussion is presented without the written materials needed to get it done at the meeting it doesn’t show organization or leadership.

One meeting was outstanding. I would be re-missed if I didn’t directly credit Denise Smith and Nanci Oakley from the State Theatre in Easton. We had a Freddy Preview Party committee meeting. (ask me about donating to our raffle, dessert room item, or attending!) They weren’t just prepared with agendas and things to address. They had all the associated data printed and ready for discussion and planning on each agenda items. Samples to show for new concepts. Nothing was waiting for more information unless it was a completely new topic brought up that morning. They knew what they wanted to address, gave respect and opportunity for everyone to present their ideas/thoughts, and maintained momentum and excitement for the event. To me, this was Fun-Nominal leadership to which I aspire.

Remember, as you step up it is not always going to be easy or perfect, and clearly not always smooth sailing. But visit what you think makes great leadership and try to put some of those aspects into practice. All organizations can always use more people stepping up and contributing to the leadership.

What the ####?

Have a new product or event and you want to get the word out? Often organizations will post with or without a boost and they sit hoping for a viral spread of their information. Or, the same organization creates hashtags that they think are clever but are original to just their post.

Clever hashtags are great. But don’t rely on just your company tag or creative tag. Use tags that make sense. Tag a holiday you are building around, event or festival, area you service, or popular trend to increase your online reach.

However, don’t discredit your post by tagging celebrities that are a stretch, an event you aren’t involved with, or something political that can divide your customer base. (unless of course you are a politically tied organization!)

If you don’t know what to hashtag, how to hashtag, or even what to post message us. We offer workshops on how to post and tag on your own up to and including handling the content posts and tags for your organization. We would love to assist in the growth of your online marketing.

Because Things Don’t Always Go Right…

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of events. With a few breather days before the team is back and running from event to event. It sounds fun, but not everything is all FUN.

Two years at a particular event I left with plenty of back up time. I ended up stuck in a freight elevator with the Wells Fargo Wagon. The same event last year I spent an hour sitting on the bridge heading to AC because of an accident but then when I finally got to the location there was a fire alarm and it took even longer to get in and set up. This year, when the event was set up with plenty of time to spare we went to hang the TV to discover the plasma was broken. We had 50 minutes to run to a nearby Best Buy (20 mins each way) to buy the TV, switch the back mount, catch a freight elevator, and set up the video on the TV. I admit it was installed a few minutes after the trade show started but before too many people entered the show floor.

Now, I know I will have to do this event next year and I will again plan lots of prep time. You can’t control everything but you can control how you handle the situations. Things happen and you can’t avoid it but grace under pressure it a worthy goal.

When you hire a planner or consultant don’t only ask about their successes. Ask how they handle the bad that happens. It will tell you a lot more about who you want in your corner.

Crisp Air Dreams

After attending an amazing but amazingly hot canal boat concert in 100 degree weather I can’t help but get excited about fall. In homage I typed this while drinking coffee with pumpkin spice creamer.

There are so many great fall happenings- from getting involved at pumpkin patches, fall/harvest/spooky themed parties, apple themed open houses, trick/truck/truck-or-treats to campfires and parties on local farms.

Our new Fun-Nominal Impact can help create theme props for your event and we are excited to announce we have started working with several new food trucks and caterers (in additional to our usual amazing sources), a headphone party company (Silent Fun), family-friendly entertainment, and so many other event vendors and partners.

Let us help make your fall Fun-Nominal!

The Glitch- a Tale of Vanellope Von Schweetz

Since “Monsters, Inc.” was such a hit we are continuing with “Wreck-It Ralph.” First, if you haven’t seen this movie it is cute and fun and the sequel is coming out soon.
Vanellope is a great character. While it is not her fault her character is the victim of faulty video game code that makes her affected by the game glitch. The video game racers who play “Sugar Crush” soon learn that when there is a game glitch Vanellope actually helps them win the game. They may not choose her as their game character at first but after they discover her glitch advantage she becomes their go-to character.
In events you can often find a glitch. The weather. No-show vendor. Wrong item from a vendor. Venue issue where you need to move/shut down. It happens and sometimes it is out of your hands. It is how you handle the glitch that makes you successful.
I am happy to say that we handle the glitch for our events, our client events, and a whole heap of emergency phone calls from others running events about their glitches. From ice cream trucks cancelling at a corporate picnic and pinch hitting a freezer, ice cream, and toppings from The Bethlehem Dairy Store (Thanks TBDS!), providing large drum fans for the Fire Dept, during a fire, to modifying a venue after a gas explosion.

After hundreds of events we keep learning so that when you have your glitch- we can help get you to your event finish line.

Events Planners and Marketers- Are you a Mike Wazowski or James P. Sullivan

There are two kinds of marketing and event planners. The first are the Mike Wazowski’s or those that are happiest getting everything ready for their client (“Sully”) to succeed. Mike in the Disney movie “Monster’s Inc.” is always making sure Sully has everything he needs to succeed. He is there earlier and stays later ensuring his success. When it comes time for reward and celebration he is always behind the logo, seen only with his hand, etc. He doesn’t care because he has 100% excitement for Sully.
Sully has talent at scaring, in fact he is the top scarer in the business. He shows up, does his job, and is great at it. Sully graces the cover of magazines, posters, ads, etc. He understands and appreciates all that Mike does but always remains in the spotlight.


I am always amazed at the marketing company and event planner that wants to shine at every client event/function. The Fun-Nominal Event & Marketing viewpoint is that we are Mike Wazowski. We are happiest when are clients are in the spotlight shining and getting the full attention. We are excited when they win awards and host successful client and public events.
Our hope is that when you are considering outsourcing your event/marketing you add someone who wants to lift up your team and not just showcase themselves through your initiatives.

Don’t Forget to Say Thanks!

It doesn’t matter if you are in the event industry, a non-profit, or a corporate business, saying thank you is often overlooked. The volunteer that shows up at every request for help, the department that stays to finish an emergency project, and even the Board that hits their fundraising goal need thanks.

Saying thank you can come in all forms. PTO time, gift cards, lunches, a visit from the ice cream truck, picnic, even special days for volunteers/staff and their families.

Fun-Nominal Events & Marketing has helped dozens of groups recognize those that keep them at the top of their game. We help you make your support feel special and let them know you are thankful.