Tag Archives: Event Planning Tips

7 Bad Habits of Event Planners

Are you guilty of any of these seven common bad habits of event planners?

Don’t worry you aren’t the only one.

Over time event planners develop habits that might not lead to the most productive and successful work but recognizing the habits that need improvement is essential to future success.

event planner meeting

Below, we take a look at the 7 most common bad habits:

1) Not Being A Good Listener
It has been said that the devil is in the details. When you don’t take the time to listen to your staff, volunteers, attendees or other vendors you may be missing out on important information. Falling into this bad habit might cause you to end up missing a specific requirement or detail that is critical to the success of your event.

2) Turning Into A Stress Monster When Things Get Tough
There is a big difference between being internally stressed but handling it like a true event professional and being stressed to the point where your co-workers, staff and attendees notice your behavior. This stressed out attitude will trickle down to your staff and before you know it everyone, causing a negative vibe to overtake your event. The key in these situations is to keep yourself cool and composed on the outside, even when you have a million thoughts, ideas and tasks running through your mind.

3) Not Asking For Help
This is a very common mistake committed by new planners wanting to seem eager to grow their career or business, however it needs to be done in the right ways. Taking things one step at a time and making conscious decisions about the amount of work committed to with help to keep from being overwhelmed and burnt out.

4) Moving Too Quickly
As event planners, we all spend time running around keeping our guests happy and the logistics flowing smooth but moving too quickly can be a recipe for disaster. Being clumsy or scattered reflects poorly upon you and your company, and could lead to you injuring yourself or others. Be sure to stop, take a breath, and embrace your event.

5) Working 24/7
Many event planners have the luxury of setting their own hours and sometimes working from home when planning before and after events. This is a fantastic benefit, but it can also be potentially dangerous, leading towards the bad habit of working during all hours of the day and evening. Do your best to set working hours where you commit to getting your work accomplished. Outside of these hours stay focused on your life away from your professional duties.

6) Acting Like An Attendee
No matter the setting, you must always stay professional and keep in mind that you are not one of the attendees, you are the one in charge making the event come together. Mingling with guests is of course okay when appropriate, but never take the interaction or participation to a level where you might make the guest or yourself uncomfortable.

7) Focusing On The Competition More Than Yourself (And Your Event)
You never know the full story behind another person’s business, so you can’t spend too much time obsessing over their every move. Focusing on your business, your events and the experience you provide as a planner should always be your main focus.

The True Cost of Cheap Event Insurance

Woman with questions about event insurance
We’ve all seen it:

“Event Insurance For Cheap”

“Lowest Price Event Insurance Out There”

“Save The Most With Us!”

It’s no surprise that there is a race to the bottom with Event Insurance. Most venues are now requiring event organizers to have Event Insurance, and it has in turn become quite the hot commodity.

So why not purchase the cheapest event insurance you can find?

The thing is, not all Event Insurance policies are created equal and more often than not, companies offering cheap event insurance sacrifice quality at the customers expense.

In short, while you may get a great price up front, you’ll end up paying for it in the long run if or when a claim arises and you need to actually use your insurance!

So how can you tell the difference between a quality low price event insurance and a low-quality cheap event insurance? Here are some important traits you should look for:

Coverage

Quality coverage might cost a little more, but you will likely have the option to purchase a policy with higher limits and additional coverage options that will let you tailor your event insurance to cover your event properly. Special Event Insurance offers limits up to $2 million per occurrence with a $2 million annual aggregate, as well as additional optional coverages such as, Damage to Premises, Liquor Liability, Hired & Non-Owned Auto Liability,

Event Insurance Policy Features

Cheap Event Insurance might offer great prices but lack in valuable features or qualifications. Cheap Event Insurance companies may be “non-admitted” and that could mean trouble for customers It is essential to clarify whether with any insurance company you speak with as if they are non-admitted, it means the insurance company does not necessarily comply with state insurance regulations and if the insurance company becomes insolvent, there is no guarantee that your claim will be paid! A quality Event Insurance policy will be through an “Admitted” insurance carrier.

R.V. Nuccio & Associates Insurance Brokers, Inc. has been exclusively developing and managing insurance product lines for A+ rated admitted carriers for over 25 years.

Claims Processing

To help cut costs and get you a lower rate, cheap Event Insurance companies might not be able to offer comprehensive or quality claims services. These companies may use outside adjusters, or lack a solid 24/7 support. In these cases, customers end up in limbo while a claim drags on forever.

On the other hand, quality Event Insurance comes with highly trained and experienced claims professionals. For many customers, it is worth the money in the long run, because claims are settled quickly and there is less hassle.

Attention, Convenience, and Customer Service

Cheap Event Insurance is solely focused on price, not as much on customer service or convenience. This type of event insurance company may seem fine at the start but customers just trying and get a question answered, get some personalized attention, or service a policy, will think again after being frustrated with the lack of service.

Quality Event insurance is there for you when and where you need them, with personalized service, 24/7 support, and convenient online access to documents, billing, and policy information. above all, quality event insurance saves you time and money by giving you what you want, when you want it.

Big savings may sound great from the outset, but remember, even when it comes to insurance for your event, you get what you pay for, And sometimes the savings up front really mean bigger costs and hassle down the road. So do your research before you buy, and know that the price you’re getting includes all the coverage, services, options, and extra you want to make it worth your while.

Special Event Insurance from R.V. Nuccio & Associates, Inc. offers quality, affordable event insurance policies underwritten by Fireman’s Fund, a company of Allianz, one of the largest insurance providers in the world. The insurance carrier is admitted in all 50 states and customers have access to their policies online 24/7. Premiums start as low as $50.

What Is Fair Use?

This is the second in a series of three blogs helping to provide simple guidelines and best practices that can be followed to not only help find and use images from
external sources in a manner that respects copyright laws, but also help you to
potentially avoid finding yourself in a lawsuit over an improperly used photo,
artwork piece, or content excerpt.

Fair Use

Fair Use helps to reduce a tension between copyright law and the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of expression. Fair use is decided by courts on a case-by-case basis after balancing the four factors listed in section 107 of the Copyright Act which are as follows:

  1. The purpose and character of the use of copyrighted work
    o Transformative quality – Is the new work the same as the copyrighted work, or have you transformed the original work, using it in a new and different way?
    o Commercial or noncommercial – Will you make money from the new work, or is it intended for nonprofit, educational, or personal purposes? Commercial uses can still be fair uses, but courts are more likely to find fair use where the use is for noncommercial purposes.
  2. The nature of the copyrighted work
    o A particular use is likely to be considered fair when the copied work is factual, not creative.
  3. The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole
    o How much of the copyrighted work did you use in the new work? Copying nearly all of the original work, or copying its heart, may weigh against fair use. But how much is too much depends on the purpose of the second use.
  4. The effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work
    o If you use the copied work in a way that substitutes for the original in the market that will weigh against fair use. Uses of copyrighted material that serve a different audience or purpose are more likely to be considered fair.

What is Hired & Non-Owned Auto Coverage?

By: R.V. Nuccio
R.V. Nuccio & Associates, Inc.

What is Hired & Non-Owned Auto Liability Coverage?

Hired Auto Coverage means auto liability coverage for claims resulting from rented/hired auto/van/charter bus used for your event to transport employees, volunteers or individuals and Non-Owned Auto Coverage means auto liability coverage for claims resulting from employees or volunteers driving their autos while completing business for your event. In short, Hired and Non-Owned Automobile Liability Insurance protects the insured group against third-party lawsuits arising from the use of automobiles which are not owned or are rented, chartered or hired by the insured, such as a chartered bus.

Why Would My Group Need Hired & Non-Owned Auto Liability Coverage?

Whether you realize it or not, you may occasionally find yourself in situations where Hired & Non-Owned Automobile coverage is needed. Errands and rental situations are some of the most common occurrences to come up, whether it be sending a volunteer to pick up supplies for an event, or renting a vehicle for transportation of the group. In the event of an auto accident during these activities and your group is sued, coverage kicks in.

I Still Have More Questions About Hired & Non-Owned Auto Liability Coverage, Who Can I Contact?

Please call our office at (800) 364-2433 and a friendly member of our customer service team will be happy to assist you with any additional questions you may have.

Soap Box Derby – A Risky Event

Soap Box Derbies have become increasingly popular events to hold but with these kinds of events, it is important to know just how dangerous they can be.

For those unfamiliar with what a Soap Box Derby is, it is a youth soap box car racing program that has been run since 1934 in the United States. Soap box cars competing in these events are unpowered, relying completely upon gravity to race down a hill.

Serious injuries, and even deaths have occurred at these types of events so if you are considering holding a Soap Box Derby, you should be aware of just how risky they are.

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.

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

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.

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!