Author Archive

August 14, 2014 8:40 am

Events for Wedding and Event Planners

Calling all Wedding and Event Planners!

Check out these upcoming events for wedding and event planners and see if there are any you can attend. These kind of events provide a great venue for networking, meeting other professionals in the industry, sourcing inventory, and staying on top of the latest styles and trends.

If you know of any upcoming events for wedding and event planners in your area, let us know in the comments!

United States

The Event Planner Expo

This expo brings together more than 1500 industry professionals and over 100 booths exhibiting venues and services to do business.

WHERE: The Metropolitan Pavilion, New York

WHEN: October 8th, 2014

MORE INFO: The Event Planner Expo

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Event Expo

Event Expo is great for anyone who wants to plan outstanding events. It is Cleveland’s premier trade show for anyone that has ever planned an event, office party, or company retreat.

WHERE: The Music Box Supper Club, Cleveland

WHEN: October 2nd, 2014

MORE INFO: Event Expo

 

BizBASH Expo

The BizBASH Expo will provide attendees with innovative and thought-provoking information from thought leaders and creative thinkers in the industry. They will learn of the newest trends, and meet the perfect vendors to create memorable events that “pop”.

WHERE: Jacob K. Javitz Convention Center (Hall A), New York

WHEN: October 28th, 2014

MORE INFO: BizBASH Expo

 

Wedding Market Expo

The goal is to help wedding and event professionals of all expertise levels to increase their business knowledge, stay on top of current trends, and network with other professionals.

WHERE: Multiple locations

WHEN: Multiple dates

MORE INFO: Wedding Market Expo

 

Canada

SHOWTIME Special Events Party Expo

The show caters to all aspects of the Event Planning industry and can be an invaluable resource when planning an event.

WHERE: 2-35 Carl Hall Road, Toronto

WHEN: October 1st, 2014

MORE INFO: Showtime Events Party Expo

 

IncentiveWorks Show

Canada’s largest event for professionals who plan, organize, or influence meetings and events. Education sessions and workshops provide insight, tips, trends, and memorable learning experience for every level of planner or supplier.

WHERE: Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Toronto

WHEN: August 19-20, 2014

MORE INFO: IncentiveWorks Show

 

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National Bridal Show

Taking place for three days, this event will showcase some very important exhibitions that include the latest in everything wedding, from registries to fashion accessories to favors and more.

WHERE: International Centre, Mississauga

WHEN: September 5 – 7, 2014-08-11

MORE INFO: National Bridal Show

 

United Kingdom

International Confex

International Confex is the UK’s all-encompassing meetings and events industry exhibition. It is a key calendar date for anyone involved in organizing, running, marketing or selling events.

WHERE: Olympia London, London

WHEN: 18-19 February 2015

MORE INFO: International Confex

 

The North East Wedding Show

This bridal show is set to be the biggest wedding event in the North East and is the perfect place to meet many of the region’s finest wedding specialists.

WHERE: The Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle

WHEN: 13-14 September 2014

MORE INFO: The North East Wedding Show

 

New Zealand

North City Wedding Expo

This expo features many different booths with all sorts of wedding-related information. Great for getting ideas and making connections with some of the best in the New Zealand Wedding industry.

WHERE: Te Rauparaha Arena, Porirua City, New Zealand

WHEN: 25 January 2015

MORE INFO: North City Wedding Expo

 

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Australia

Sydney Olympic Park’s Annual Wedding and Bridal Expo

This expo showcases over 140 wedding and bridal exhibits.

WHERE: Sydney Olympic Park, Sports Centre

WHEN: August 31st, 2014

MORE INFO: Sydney Olympic Park’s Annual Wedding and Bridal Expo

 

Liverpool Wedding Expo

This expo sports over 70 wedding and bridal exhibits including photography, gowns, invitations, cars, hair, makeup, flowers, venues, DJ’s and more.

WHERE: Liverpool Catholic Club, Liverpool

WHEN: Sunday September 28th, 2014-08-13

MORE INFO: Liverpool Wedding Expo

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August 13, 2014 10:49 am

Dress Code 101: Women’s Attire

Fashion styles and trends are constantly changing and evolving from year to year, which makes it pretty hard to keep up! But do you know the appropriate attire to wear on different occasions? Our handy graphics may help.

 

Casual Wear

 

Casual wear constitutes the “everyday” look, such as what you would wear while running errands or shopping for groceries. Faded skinny jeans, runners, and a comfy t-shirt are perfectly acceptable for casual events. You can dress it up slightly with some accessories or keep it simple. Just be sure there are no stains, rips, or holes in your clothing and that all of your clothes are clean and fit properly!

 

Business Casual

 

Just what does “business casual” mean? This is an outfit that is work-appropriate. Most business places will have a dress code that is made up of either “business” or “business casual” attire. In some cases, there is a mix of both. Business casual attire can involve dark denim or pants, a flowy blouse, flats, accessories, and an optional blazer. Clothes should be clean and pressed (no wrinkles!) and lint-free.

 

 

Business Attire

 

Business attire is made up of clothes that you would wear to the office. Some offices expect strictly “business” attire, which is more formal and dressy than its cousin, “business casual” attire. A skirt or pant suit, high heels, modest accessories and a mandatory blazer are acceptable for business attire. Ensure that clothes are well-pressed, clean, lint-free and polished.

 

Formal Attire

 

Formal attire is what you would wear to a cocktail party, work dinner, gala, wedding, or reception. If the invitation does not specifically state “black tie”, it is safe to assume the dress is formal. A dress (knee length is fine!), high heels, pantyhose or tights, accentuated accessories and classic makeup are expected at formal events.

 

 

Black Tie attire

 

Black tie attire is most often specified on an invitation well before the date of the event so that attendees have time to prepare their wardrobe. It is reserved for very formal occasions such as weddings, operas, and galas. A long, flowing gown, lavish jewellery, classy heels and a tasteful clutch are acceptable for black tie affairs. (Note: if an invitations says “black tie optional”, you should wear your black tie attire!)

 

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August 8, 2014 9:29 am

Event Planner Alexandra Slawek

In this article we get personal with Alexandra Slawek, one of QC Event School’s new tutors. She opens up about her career, her inspiration, and her recipe for success.

What made you decide to pursue a career as an event planner?alexandra-slawek

I’ve always had an interest in planning and organizing events. The first time I officially organized an event was when I was attending university, and I found I really enjoyed it. When my children had grown up, I found that I had a lot of extra time on my hands. I got a job at the Wedding Pavilion, a one-stop shop wedding venue here in Calgary, as an event manager. I think that’s when I truly fell in love with working with brides and grooms and the whole wedding ambiance. I decided to become certified through QC Event School so I could be more knowledgeable in the field. A year later, I opened my own business!

Tell us about the early years. How did you get your name out there, find clients and hone your craft?

When you’re first starting out, you have to do a lot of trial and error experimenting in terms of what works and what doesn’t for your business. The first way I reached out with my business was hosting a booth at The Bridal Expo. It happens every September in Calgary. I also placed ads in local community magazines and in the Calgary Bridal Guide. I didn’t have a lot of success with these initial endeavors, so I started networking with other wedding industry vendors. That proved much more successful. I also attended many workshops and conferences to get better ideas on running my business. My website has attracted a number of clients, so making sure it is top-notch is very important. Finally, I became a member of the Calgary Bride Association, which has helped me get my name out there and connect with other wonderful wedding planners.

What was your “big break”?

I think my “break” happened when I befriended another wedding planner. She was incredibly supportive and hired me on several occasions to work her events. I got lots of exposure and experience that way. Last year, I took part in a wedding show, “A Spoonful of Vintage”, put on by a team of vendors that specialize in vintage décor, dresses and photography. I designed a Downton Abbey table and that particular piece put me “on the map”, so to speak.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

I am often inspired by my brides and their creative imaginations. I spend time on Pinterest and other social media sites watching for new trends.  I also network with other wedding planners to share ideas and collaborate.

If you had to do it all over again, would you? Any past career decisions you would change?

Yes, I would absolutely do it all over again! I really love it. The only thing I would change is the way I went about advertising at first. I’d put a lot more time into conducting research to determine what kind of advertising works for my target market. That way, I wouldn’t have wasted so much time or money on something that proved to be ineffective. It was an expensive learning experience, to say the least.

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What are some “golden rules” you believe every single event planner should follow?

Here is a list of personal rules I follow:

  1. Always answer emails within 24-48 hours
  2. Return phone calls and texts ASAP
  3. Stand by your word. If I say I will do something for someone, I always do.
  4. Listen more to what other vendors have to say rather than talk about your own experiences. You can learn much more by listening!
  5. Maintain a solid reputation through integrity and honesty in business. I have found that having a good reputation is the key to other vendors promoting me.

Do you have any final words of wisdom for QC’s students?

To QC students: be passionate about your work! Clients love to work with people who are enthusiastic about their work and learn to trust in their passion. Be honest and have integrity in your work, and always be kind and respectful to other industry vendors.

Best of luck in your studies at QC!

Alex is a tutor in QC’s Event and Wedding Planning and Event Decor courses. For more information on these courses, head over to QC Event School.


August 1, 2014 10:38 am

Design Trends: Should We Pay Attention?

Good Design is Good Design is Good Design

In terms of decorating trends, it is perhaps the Aristocratic English who know “good design” best. Think back to the early photos of a shy Princess Diana. She sits, shyly, ensconced in a huge, comfy, down-filled sofa in her magnificent ancestral family home, Althorp House. The furniture and decorations remained untouched for many years.

althorpThat’s because the furniture and the decoration are timeless. They are the very embodiment of English Country Style. Indeed, Diana’s younger brother has been highly successful in selling reproductions of Althorp furniture around the world, no matter what the current trends in decorating set may be. (Although it does help if you can sell the furniture from a breathtaking 31 bedroom 700 year old stately home, surrounded by its own 14, 000 acres!)

However, you just have to think back to the 1980’s in both fashion and decorating to know that trends are important. Remember the shoulder pads of the 1980’s? They were intended to give women a feeling of power. Would you be seen today in huge shoulder pads that made you look like a wide receiver for the Dallas Cowboys? The frills and furbelows of 1980 home design fall under this same category. Remember the ornate be-frilled pelmets beloved of the 1980’s?

New technology, fashion, tastes, and the power of skilled marketing all serve to dictate new trends to the consumer.

Technology

As new technologies develop, new trends become available and desirable. Where patterned laminate countertops where once the choice of the masses, we now see many options of affordable, durable and beautiful choices from manufactured quartz and resin selections, to concrete, to stainless steel.

victorian1Tastes

Taste trends are dictated by trend-setters, by availability and, sometimes, amazingly enough, by the dictates of good design! Remember when every interior was painted a soft beige? Now a soft grey color is most in demand. Pantone’s 2014 Color of the Year, “Soft Orchid” accents those soft greys beautifully for good reason.

Marketing

Did you notice much in the way of gold colored fixtures, door pulls handles, and light fittings over the last few years? Nope. It was brushed stainless steel all the way. Suddenly every magazine and design site is pushing the New Look. And it is gorgeous. A soft, burnished gold that warms up every space it appears in. Will we all want it? Of course, we will.  That’s marketing, baby!

 

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July 31, 2014 12:37 pm

Professional Networking 101

networking3What do you think of when you hear the word “networking?” Do you think of a cluster of wires and cables (a computer network), mastering a social profile (social network) or your local television station (news network)? Do you think of expanding your business through professional relationships (professional networking)?

Professional networking involves mastering the science of building and maintaining professional relationships with colleagues, peers, suppliers, counterparts, and other industry professionals. Having a great relationship with your clients is an important part of your business, but maintaining professional relationships with others in the industry is also imperative to your business success.

Typically, a local area will host networking events for various industries. This might involve something like a job fair, a fashion show, or a design trade show. These are all great opportunities to promote your personal brand or business as well as expand your professional network. You never know what connection you might make that will benefit you weeks or even months later.

But what is the proper networking “etiquette”? This list of do’s and don’ts is a great place to start:

DO bring some business cards with you

Keep them within easy reach. Make sure that the information on your business card is up-to-date and accurate so that professionals will have no problem contacting you. Keep in mind that you don’t need to give your card to everyone, and be smart about you who choose.

DON’T be afraid to ask for advice

Most people will be flattered that you are asking for their professional advice, as it indicates you think they are very knowledgeable in their field.

DO dress to impressdress1

If you’ve only got two minutes to make a killer first impression and you’re dressed in jeans and a baggy t-shirt, chances are people are already making assumptions about you without even having spoken with you. If you look poised and professional, the assumption will follow.

DON’T forget to thank everyone

Remember everyone within your networking who has helped you. This is preferably done via hand-written note instead of email as it adds the personal touch that email lacks.

DO wear a nametag on your right-hand side

Most people shake hands with their right hand, and their eye is naturally drawn to your right side during this process. You want people to remember your name!

DON’T spend too much time with anyone in particular

You’re there to network with as many people as you can. Don’t cut conversations short, but try to find an appropriate time to exit the conversation and move on.

DO avoid alcoholic beverages

Maintain a professional vibe and stick to water or juice.

DON’T eat too much

Many networking events provide food for attendees, but if your mouth is full every time someone comes to chat, you’re not going to make very much progress. Grab a bite before the event.

Want to learn more? Check out our other business posts for more tips on professional etiquette and your business.

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andrea-delucia-image

In this article we get personal with Andrea DeLucia, one of QC Event School’s new tutors. She opens up about her career, her inspiration, and her recipe for success.

What made you decide to pursue a career in event planning?

Event planning allows me to be creative and work with people, which I have always loved, while maintaining a flexible schedule. In the early days of my career, flexibility was so important to me in terms of raising my children. I also found that I was very passionate about putting together events through from concept to design. It was something that came very naturally to me and I had a lot of confidence in my abilities.

Tell us about your early years. How did you get your name out there, find clients, and hone your craft?

To be honest, my early years were difficult. I was unsure about what I wanted to do and about how to transition between careers.  I wasn’t sure how to get started but I knew that talent alone wasn’t enough. Teaming up with the right vendors helped to get my name out there. I discovered clients through word-of-mouth and by experimenting with different advertising methods. I found that once I completed an event, people would talk about its success. These recommendations helped to build my clientele, and still help even today. Obviously, I had to be relentless with my marketing endeavours and follow-up!

One of event planner Andrea's arrangements at an event.

One of event planner Andrea’s table set-ups.

What was your “big break”?

Realistically, I don’t think my “big break” was a traditional one. I consider it to be more of an inspirational turning point. I attended an event in California a few years after starting my business and I met Preston Baily, a celebrity wedding designer, who has always been a huge inspiration to me. I met so many amazing entrepreneurs and learned so much. The event inspired me to push the limits and really try to make my business known. I made the decision to reach out to UGG Australia, who had made an appearance at the California event. I wanted to see if they would let me do a photo shoot promoting their new UGG boot in their I Do collection. After months of calls and e-mails, I produced an amazing shoot that was featured in ISS magazine (among other publications and blogs). This was the assurance I needed. It confirmed that my hard work and perseverance were paying off.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

This may sound a bit cliché, but my main source of inspiration is my husband and our four children. In my business, I strive to achieve success for them. A lot of other things inspire me, too: colors, great ideas, or client stories. I love to listen to other professionals and learn from their experiences. I am constantly being inspired!

If you had to do it all over again, would you? Any past career decisions you would change?

There are definitely some things I would change if I had to do it all again. My answer, though, is yes. I love what I do and am proud of how far I’ve come. No business is perfect, and the biggest lesson I can take from my experience thus far is that you can’t please everyone. No matter how hard you work, you simply can’t make everyone happy all the time. Being an event coordinator means offering stellar customer service; at the end of the day, you need to make the customer happy. There are some times when that just isn’t going to happen, no matter how hard you work.

One thing I would change if I could go back is the decision to work independently at first. With a partner, you can divide tasks and brainstorm together. Running a business by yourself isn’t always easy. Your success is yours, but so are your failures.

Another one of event planner Andrea's arrangements.

Another one of event planner Andrea’s arrangements.

What are some “golden rules” you believe every event planner should follow?

I believe that every event planner makes her own rules. What works for one may not necessarily work for another. However, there are a few rules that I think we should all live by. Firstly, you must accept that not every client is right for you. If there isn’t a good fit, don’t try to force that connection. The experience should be positive for both sides.

Secondly, never reduce your price or your worth. If a client doesn’t want to pay for quality work, then they should find another planner within their price range. Our time is valuable! Time is money, so don’t devalue your time.

And, finally: be open and don’t get frustrated. As event planners, we are all a team to some degree. Be open to other planners and help them strive to better their business. You will find the same kindness in return!

Do you have any final words of wisdom for QC’s students?

You are about to embark on a spectacular journey. Finish the courses and use the resources that QC provides. Take your time and work at your own pace. Figure out what quality makes you special and gives your business a unique factor. QC is providing you with a very solid foundation in the industry, but it is very important to continue to educate yourself after your course has finished. Take part in learning seminars and special training opportunities. The event industry is always evolving and changing. You need to keep up so you can offer your clients the latest and greatest styles, decor, etc.

Good luck!

Andrea is a tutor in QC’s Event and Wedding Planning and Event Decor courses. For more information on these courses, head over to QC Event School.

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