4 Stylish Options For Event Organizers To Keep Their Valuables Safe

There are many lessons to be learned in the event planning industry but an
important lesson in particular is that there is no “safe” place for your bag. Event days can get busy, and unfortunately, locking down your bag is not always the top priority when there is an event to run.

So where do you stash your stuff on event days? How about on your body! Here are a few stylish ways to keep your must-haves within your reach and out of harm’s way:

Hip Sister Waist Purse ($29 – $45 each)

vegas-sister
via Hipssister

Essentially a stretchy, wide-fabric band that fits snugly around the hips. It comes complete with zippered, almost invisible pockets, large enough to fit an Iphone, a few credit cards and a bit of cash. Hip Sister Waist Purses ($29 – $45 each) come in many solid colors, prints and varying widths – there’s even one that can be worn as a mini skirt around the pool – so they’re bound to work with just about any event uniform you find yourself working in.

Jared Leto Hip Pack ($28)

Hip-Bag
via Jaredletomerch.com

Jared Leto is not afraid to raise some eyebrows as he’s recently by showing up everywhere wearing what most people would call, a fanny pack. There is a difference however as he’s wise enough to call his bag a Hip Pack and sell it on jaredleto.com. While Leto’s bag may not win you a ton of style points, it is a functional bag for planners everywhere.

Speakeasy Supply Co. ($52) and Sholdit Infinity Pocket Scarves ($50)

SpeakeasySupplyCo SholdIt
Designed for international nomad types wishing to discreetly secure their passport, phones (and perhaps a flask), the Speakeasy Supply Infinity Pocket Scarf and the scarves by Sholdit are, as you might imagine, stylish infinity scarves with hidden pockets. Simply tuck your goodies into the scarf, zip closed, wrap around your neck and voila! You’re ready to go about your business, hands-free!

Gucci Waist Bag ($590)

Gucci Belt Bag
The dual-pocket Gucci waist bag has been around for years and is popular with many event planners in the fashion world. Though the Gucci classic is pricey, when you think about the number of days you’ll wear it, this built-for-the-long-haul number becomes something of a bargain.

Short Film “The Time We’re In” Picked Up For 2015 Cannes Film Festival

After being successfully funded via Kickstarter, the short film “The Time We’re In” has been accepted to be a part of the 2015 Cannes Film Festival’ Short Film Corner.

The Short Film Corner proposes films from all over the world, most previously unseen, as well as the films included in the Official Cannes Film Festival Competition, the Cinéfondation, the Director’s Fortnight and Critic’s Week. The festival offers the chosen participants a place to network with all the biggest industry players: institutions, financiers and the most important international reps in the film business.

“The Time We’re In” follows the story of Gabriel and his wife Nadia as they learn of her recent cancer diagnosis. As Gabriel struggles with the news, he sets off on an internalized mental quest to help Nadia by any means possible… even learning to defy physics and warp reality by literally learning how to stop time. “The Time We’re In” is told in a stylistic non-linear fashion (à la “Memento”) with a slant toward a dramatic character piece. The sci-fi elements are important to the story but not the primary focus. The story’s central theme centers on the question; “what lengths would you go to save the one you love?”

Learn more about this special short film on their official website.

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Mardi Gras and New Orleans

Happy Mardi Gras! (French for Fat Tuesday) Beads, music, booze, parades and skin are all a large part of the New Orleans’ tradition but there is so much more to know about this festival deeply rooted in tradition.

Below are 10 things you didn’t know about Mardi Gras:

1. It’s Not Just About The French Quarter

None of the major Mardi Gras parades have entered the Vieux Carré, better known as The French Quarter, since the 1970s because it’s too cramped. Instead, over a dozen parades roll along tree-lined St. Charles Avenue, flanked by the city’s grandest colonial mansions.

2. Mardi Gras Wasn’t Always A Holiday

Mardi Gras became a holiday in 1582, when Pope Gregory XIII placed it on his Gregorian calender the day before Ash Wednesday. It first appeared in North America in the late 17th century with the LeMoyne brothers’ claim on Louisiana. That’s right folks, Mardi Gras at its core is a religious holiday.

3. There Are No Strict Open Container Laws During Mardi Gras (Or Ever In Louisiana)

Visitors to New Orleans are free to walk around outside while enjoying an alcoholic
beverage during Mardi Gras. In fact, many of the bars in New Orleans will provide “go-cups” for patrons who want to take their drink with them.

4. Gather Up The Krewe

New Orleans has Krewes (pronounced “crews”; the singular is a Krewe, pronounced “crew”). A Krewe is a group that puts on a Mardi Gras parade and/or a ball, according to New Orleans Online. When it is not Mardi Gras season, Krewes are involved in civic and charitable activities. Higher-profile and more expensive Krewes, such as Bacchus or
Proteus, have bigger and more elaborate parades closer to Fat Tuesday. The two most high-profile New Orleans Krewes, Zulu and Rex, have their parades on Mardi Gras day
itself. Lower-profile Krewes have parades further out from Mardi Gras day, and are often tongue-in-cheek. The Mystic Krewe of Barkus parade, for example, features dogs and their owners.

5. You Can Get More Than Just Beads From Mardi Gras Floats

Mardi Gras is famous for beads being tossed from floats, but did you know there are much better ‘throws’ — the name given to the items flung from floats to eager spectators. A hand-decorated shoe is one of the most sought-after Mardi Gras treasures as each unique shoe is fashioned with glitter, feathers, bells and rhinestones. The shoes can take days for a Krewe Muse to make, making them a coveted catch. Another highly sought after throw is the Zulu coconut.

6. Alligator and Turtle Are Available Delicacies To Eat

There is no shortage of alligator dishes to check out while in New Orleans, from fried
alligator to alligator po’boys, even an alligator cheesecake is available at Jacques-Imo’s. When it comes to turtle entrees, the turtle soup at Commander’s Palace is a New Orleans culinary classic.

7. Bull On Parade

Boeuf Gras, the fatted bull, serves as a symbol of the last meat before the Lent Fast and plays a central role in Rex parade celebrations. A real bull named “Old Jeff” walked the route in flowered garlands at the first Rex parade in 1871. The use of real bulls stopped in 1900 but the symbol of Boeuf Gras was resurrected in 1959 in papier-mâché form. Today, Rex krewe members toss small toy Boeuf Gras throws from their floats.

8. Mardi Gras Is A Global Party

New Orleans is not the only city to celebrate Mardi Gras, Brazil and Italy hold world-famous parties, but other countries also have distinct pre-Lent traditions. Belgium’s carnival, held in the town of Binche, has a history dating back to the 14th century!

9. There Is An Official King and Queen of Mardi Gras

The official King of Mardi Gras is Rex – that is, a member of the Krewe of Rex who is given the title “Rex” and chosen to symbolically reign over the festivities. He is also assigned a “consort” – a young lady who symbolically serves as the “Queen” of Mardi Gras.

10. Mardi Gras Is Not Just One Day Of Celebration

Mardi Gras is known as the culmination of the season of Carnival. From the Latin for “farewell to flesh,” the Carnival season is meant to be the last chance for individuals to eat meat and party before having to give up and abstain from such for Lent. Carnival begins on the Day of Epiphany – January 6th, and lasts until Fat Tuesday, the day before Ash
Wednesday.

How Event Volunteer Programs Can Help Event Organizers

From community festivals to large conferences, many special events rely on
volunteer support, making volunteer management an essential skill for event organizers.

So what goes into designing, recruiting, and managing event volunteers? Check out our tips and tricks below.
event volunteers holding hands

Design Your Event Volunteer Program

Choose Job Duties Wisely
Fact: Not all jobs can be done by volunteers. Volunteers should be trusted with positions such as greeters, room monitors, and information desk personnel, rather than positions that involve long-term event involvement.

Volunteers Love Perks
While volunteer positions are typically established to fill an event need, it’s important to understand what type of incentive the volunteers may desire. Are they looking for special access? A great giveaway? Free passes to the event? Asking volunteers why they are
interested in your event can help you provide the right incentives for your event volunteer program.

Make Sure You Know The Laws
As an event organizer, you must be very careful and make sure that your event volunteer program conforms to all the labor laws. Always refer to the US Department of Labor
website if you have any questions as to what your volunteers should, and should not be doing.

Volunteers Are Not A Crutch For Your Budget
The importance of volunteers cannot be understated but it is important to make sure your event has the budget to support essential, skilled full-time staff. Don’t let volunteers
become a swap for full-time staff to maintain the budget of an event.

Recruit Event Volunteers

Set Your Volunteer Selection Criteria
When recruiting event volunteers, it is important to state your selection criteria up-front and include practical requirements such as language and equipment skills. Selection rules will be especially important for positions that are likely to be very popular.

Volunteer Perks
Let’s face it, most volunteers are participating at your event because they would like
something in return: merchandise, special access, internship credit, etc. State what your incentives are from the get-go so no event volunteer is surprised or disappointed.

Make Connections With The Community
If your event needs a continuous amount of volunteers, consider partnering with groups in the community. Look for groups whose mission is in line with your event goals.

Match Each Volunteers Skills Accordingly
It is crucial that the volunteer job skills match the volunteer job. Be prepared for
individuals who may want to participate at your event that have special needs, or physical limitations. Just as with an employment position, it is important to be inclusive, rather than exclusive, and avoid discrimination.

Managing Event Volunteers

Volunteer Position Descriptions
Just because an event volunteer is not being paid for their services doesn’t mean they do not need a description of their duties. Be sure to clearly inform event volunteers of their role, who they report to, and what hours they are expected to work.

Event Volunteer Code of Conduct
In addition to a description of duties, you as the event organizer should also include a code of conduct and bill of rights. A typical volunteer code of conduct includes, the expectation to arrive on time, demonstration of a positive attitude, respect to co-workers, reporting risks and injuries, and of course, to have fun. You should also make it clear to volunteers that they have obligations as well, including a fair, safe, healthy work environment free from harassment.

Plan For The Best But Expect The Worst
“Every one of my event volunteers showed up and did exactly what was expected of them.” – said no event organizer ever.
There is always a chance of volunteers not showing up, or following through on their
responsibilities. To help reduce the risk of this happening, make it clear what the
repercussions are for volunteers who no-show. This could include withholding any
incentive intended to be given or in some cases, charging a volunteer for benefits that may have already been received. In addition to a plan for no-shows, there should be a plan of action to deal with difficult volunteers who may need to be assisted or removed from the program.

Training for the big event
An orientation for volunteers prior to your event is a critical step to helping make sure that all runs smoothly during your event. The orientation should provide background on the event, and demonstrate any tasks an event volunteer may be doing. The orientation is a great opportunity to review and provide any special equipment that might be needed such as t-shirts, badges or safety equipment.

After The Event: Give A Million Thanks!
Happy event volunteers return and more than likely volunteer again for others. So remember, you can never say thank you and recognize volunteers enough! In addition to saying thanks, provide evaluations and seek feedback from volunteers to find out how you can improve next year.

Volunteers can be a great resource for event organizers and an invaluable part of helping to make an event run smoothly, with the proper training.

Have you had positive experience using volunteers? Tweet us @InsuringEvents

Does Your Nonprofit Need Insurance?

What would happen if…

Someone gets injured at one of your events?
The cash box disappears?
A member distributes false information?
A member forges a signature?
The board makes a bad decision resulting in a lawsuit?
Your group just bought new computers and they were stolen?
Your parent group gets sued for running elections incorrectly?


You may believe that your nonprofit group can’t afford insurance, but if something like this happens to you, and you are not adequately insured, your board members could be
personally held financially responsible. If your organization has no insurance, whether you are staff or a volunteer, consider running out the door now until it does! Your nonprofit group cannot afford to not have insurance.

Protect your volunteers and manage risk responsibly to avoid lawsuits. As our friends at MoneyMinder say, insure to be sure.

Is Nonprofit Insurance Right For My Group?

Annual nonprofit insurance policies start as low as $50 from RV Nuccio & Associates, with a wide variety of coverages that can be tailored to fit the needs of your group.

One size fits all is not true for most nonprofit groups so why buy insurance with limited coverage choices? RV Nuccio and Associates nonprofit insurance offers 5 optional
coverages including: General Liability, Crime (bonding), Property, AD&D, and Directors & Officers. Annual policies also include free, unlimited Certificates of Insurance.

How Do I purchase Nonprofit Insurance?

Ready to purchase insurance for your nonprofit but unsure what coverages your group needs? No problem! Call and speak with a representative M – F 8:30am – 5:00 PST to
discuss each coverage option available or visit www.rvnuccio.com

How The Lawsuit Filed By Victims of Deadly SXSW Crash Will Impact Events

On March 13, 2014, Rashad Owens sped away from an officer after being stopped for suspicion of DWI and drove the wrong way on a one way street, plowing into a crowd of SXSW attendees, wounding 22 and killing 4.

On December 19, 2014, the victims and their families filed lawsuits against the two private companies that own the festival, SXSW Holdings INC, and SXSW LLC, the traffic design consultant SXSW hired to oversee the road closures, as well as Rashad Owens.

The victims and their families are claiming the tragedy was avoidable and as it was reported from local NBC affiliate KXAN, “[The lawsuits] claim SXSW
planners did not adhere to ‘industry standards’ for traffic control and took ‘inadequate’ steps that allowed ‘a dangerous opportunity’ for an errant vehicle to enter the festival zone and given Federal Transportation and Texas guidelines, that rigid barriers should have been deployed.”

With this deadly accident and recent lawsuit, one can only imagine how not only SXSW 2015 will be affected, but also how festivals and other special events nationwide will be changed to prevent future tragedies.

How Will SXSW Events Be Impacted?

In the case of SXSW, according to a report by the City of Austin released in September, crowd management issues, including traffic congestion, are the biggest problems. The
report also highlighted that two major issues that must be addressed are alcohol
consumption and over-programming for a venue’s capacity, whether that be indoor or
outdoor.

SXSW planners have long argued the problem is non-sanctioned “splinter” events that draw over-sized crowds with free alcohol into downtown venues that aren’t equipped to handle that many people. More than 75 temporary permits for events were issued during the 2014 festival in Austin’s central business district — an area that already has nearly 200 permanent establishments with liquor licenses — and in 2015, the city is looking for ways to rein in this number.

Members of the Austin Center for Events, the city’s regulatory authority for permitting
outdoor special events, have declined naming any specific course of action the city is
considering to further regulate the 2015 SXSW festival, but they have emphasized that public safety and the well-being of Austin’s residents and visitors are at the forefront of the decision-making process.

A Change.Org petition started just this month calls for at least the rigid barriers be added by SXSW organizers. The petition currently has 579 signatures.

As of January 6, 2015, the city of Austin’s music and entertainment division released an
interactive graphic
showing the various do’s and don’ts for the festival to dispel any myths about acquiring a permit for the 2015 South By Southwest festival.

2015 SXSW Events Permit Graphic

With the typical permit crunch running from now until mid-February, SXSW festival
organizers are hoping the graphic helps event planners and companies outside of Austin learn about the city’s regulations for the festival.

What Steps Can Be Taken To Prevent Similar Tragedies At Other Events?

As mentioned above, event organizers who are holding events near public roads should strongly consider the following:

– Use rigid barriers that can absorb and deflect vehicles away from massive crowds.

– Prepare an emergency plan that addresses potential dangers facing workers, including overcrowding, crowd crushing, being struck by attendees, violent acts and fire.

– Train all employees regarding emergency plans and also share them with local public safety agencies.

– Most importantly, it cannot be stressed enough how important it is to have the proper event insurance coverage for whatever your event may be.

Coachella Music and Arts Festival 2015 Lineup Announced

Celebrating its sixteenth year, Goldenvoice has announced the 2015 Coachella Music and Arts Festival lineup of artists and music fans of all ages will not be disappointed.

AC/DC, Jack White and Drake are each headliners for the three-day festival that takes place in Indio, California in April each year.

In addition to the headliners, highlights include Ride, Steely Dan, Tame Impala, Azealia Banks, Flying Lotus, Raekwon and Ghostface, Lykke Li, Caribou, Todd Terje, Action Bronson, Cloud Nothings, the Weeknd, Belle & Sebastian, Ratatat, FKA Twigs, SBTRKT, Tyler the Creator, Father John Misty, the War on Drugs, Run the Jewels, Swans, Parquet Courts, Perfume Genius, Florence and the Machine, St. Vincent, Jenny lewis, Jamie xx, Lil B, Mac DeMarco, Built to Spill, Panda Bear, Angel Olsen, and many more.

General Festival Passes go on sale Wednesday, Jan. 7th at Noon PT, starting at $435.

Coachella Music and Arts Festival 2015 Lineup

Say Goodbye To Event Seating Issues

You’ve chosen the venue, you have your list of attendees, and now comes the part that can get tricky: The event seating arrangement!

event seating

The participation, networking and dynamics of your event are all heavily influenced by the seating arrangement you choose so what is the right seating arrangement and table setup for your event?

Allow us to introduce you to SocialTables.

SocialTables helps event organizers plan, organize, and execute the diagramming and seating for their events. The software is in the cloud and can be accessed from any mobile device.

Event Seating Arrangement Tips from SocialTables
What is the best way to organize my attendee list before I arrange tables?

Two seating lists should be prepared: one in alphabetical order and one by table number. A copy of the seating chart for each table should also be provided to the catering staff. Having the seating chart allows for the catering staff to recognize important guests and serve them first (where appropriate), locate special meal orders, and locate an event
coordinator if necessary.

What table setup is more recommended for events if you want to
encourage networking – larger or smaller?

If it’s a collaborative meeting, groups of 2-3 are usually best, so pods or chevron style is great. If it’s a larger networking event, lounge setups and scattered cocktail tables are more conversational.

What are the benefits of assigned seats or assigned tables?

Depending on the objectives of the meeting or event, assigned seats or tables can be
beneficial. It creates a better guest experience by taking away the often uncomfortable “where should I sit?” debacle.

What are some good strategies for minimizing attendee dissatisfaction
regarding seating arrangements?

Setup a room for collaboration instead of classroom style for meetings or ballroom style for social events, this helps people feel more comfortable socializing and ultimately
happier!

We wish you all the best success in organizing your event seating and if you have a great experience with this seating tool or another, let us know! Tweet us at @insuringevents and tell us your experience.

Streamline Your Special Event In 4 Easy Steps

So you have decided to organize a special event but have no idea where to
begin!

In addition to acquiring Special Event Insurance for your event, we have
compiled 4 tips that will help you not only plan the event, but also make sure it goes on without issue.

RVNA Event tips word cloud

1) Create A Budget For Your Special Event

The easiest place to start when creating a budget is to ask yourself, “how much can I afford to spend on the event?” Set the amount you’d like to spend, and set the amount of money you could spend if you stretched the budget a bit. Then, create categories for each item you may need for your event and be sure not to forget the small stuff! Keep in mind tax and in some cases, tip amounts that could potentially put you over budget.

2) Delegate Tasks

Individuals organizing a special event quickly realize that when they spread themselves too thin, details inevitably get forgotten. The art of delegation is a must-have skill because by splitting up tasks and having certain staff or volunteers responsible for specific aspects, special event organizers can be sure that the devil is not left in the details.

3) Use a Project Management Software

Have a million post-its with to-dos for your event? Searching for that paper with the big idea on it? Employees/volunteers not keeping you up to date on their progress? Consider using a project management system! Cloud-based project management systems are cost-effective online solutions for event organizers that helps to share tasks, keep documents, and store conversations for your event all in one central place.

Some examples available are Basecamp, Smartsheet, and Podio, but there are a plethora of other programs that can be customized to fit whatever your specific needs are as an event organizer.

4) Create A Plan For Your Behind-The-Scenes Staff/Volunteers

Dedicate time to creating and fine-tuning procedures for the staff and volunteers who are assisting you with your event. If you were unable to complete the event yourself, is there a plan in place for someone to run the event without you? Are backup plans in place in case of an emergency? by prioritizing and streamlining the procedures behind the scenes, you can ensure that your event runs as planned.

We hope these 4 steps help YOU to put on your best special event possible and if you have any tips to share with fellow event organizers, tweet them to us at @InsuringEvents!

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Announces All-Star Lineup

The 88th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is set to be a star-studded event with performers ranging from Kiss and Sting, to the cast of Sesame Street.

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Turkey and Friends

In an announcement from Macy’s, the lineup will include Idina Menzel, Pentatonix, Nick Jonas, Lucy Hale, Becky G, Hilary Duff, Quvenzhané Wallis, Renee Fleming, Meghan Trainor, Miss USA 2014 Nia Sanchez, and many more. The Philadelphia Taney Dragons, the star Little League team, is set to lead the parade’s procession as well.

6 New Balloons Make Their Debut

For the parade balloons, six new characters are set to make their debut including, the
Pillsbury Doughboy, Paddington Bear, Pikachu, the Red Power Ranger, Thomas the Tank Engine, as well as Erupter from Skylanders.

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is set to take place Thursday, Nov. 27 at 9 a.m. EST in New York City.