The benefits of social media and an online presence.

Archive for October, 2013

Planning the Perfect Halloween Party

Happy Halloween, friends!

If you’re last-minute like me, you’re probably attending a Halloween party tonight and still thinking about what costume you can throw together. (Pro-tip for females: Braid your hair and buy a plastic bow and arrow from Wal-mart. You’re Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games! )

But, if you’re not just attending that party, you’re hosting it, then you better have all your ducks in a row. Actually, jack-o-lanterns in a row? That’s festive right?

Anyway, in the spirit of Halloween and all things spooky, I figured I’d make sure you didn’t forget some of the basic parts of my favorite Halloween parties. Check them out:

1.) Snacks

Okay, so we know you have chips and cookies. But do you have ghost cookies? Or meatballs that look like eyeballs? Do you have creepy fingers or punch with a hand in it? (Maybe forego that one if you have youngsters around…) Just don’t forget that your party has a theme! It’s literally a HALLOWEEN party and this is the one time that you can go completely cliché without anyone thinking that your party is over the top.

Frankenstein Marshmallows! Click for recipe.

Frankenstein Marshmallows! Click for recipe.

2.) Decorations

Walk in any dollar store and go to town. Buy those stringy cobwebs in the bag and drape them over your walls. Buy plastic spiders and attach them to the webs. Have Halloween tablecloths and napkins. Think of it like a kid’s second birthday. Nothing is off-limits as long as it matches the theme. Finally, don’t forget to buy a cheap Halloween mix and play spooky music while your guests are arriving.

Easy decorations!

Easy decorations!

3.) Costumes

Seems like common sense, right? Wrong. Make sure to specify that you want people to wear costumes and provide them ideas if they are at a loss. You don’t have to have a Halloween costume party but having half of the guests in costumes and half not may bring weirdness on both sides. We all know what it’s like to be the one person not wearing a costume. But we also all know how awkward it is to be the ONLY one wearing a costume. Whether you’re using Facebook to invite your friends or inviting them in person, just make it clear whether it’s a costume party or not.

Katniss Costume Idea

Katniss Costume Idea

If you’re still at a loss for ideas, don’t forget our trusty friend for all things cute and inventive: Pinterest!

Search Halloween ideas or check out this amazing board of Halloween Party Ideas. Good luck!

Follow Me On Pinterest!

Like what you see? Follow my personal branding board for easy access to blog posts and other useful event planning information!

Maybe you’ll just follow for the recipes, quotes, and fashion advice. That’s cool too, I guess. 😉

Follow Michelle on Pinterest!

Follow Michelle on Pinterest!

ACToberfest Paddlemania

You Got Mad Skills

Whether you’re the event coordinator or the volunteer, you have all the necessary skills to create a successful event. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never done it before! And I’m here to prove it.

You got skills.

That’s right. Mad skills in everything you’d ever need to plan an event.

1.) Telephone Skills: Remember the last time you scheduled a doctor’s appointment? You got skills. I’m sure you called and politely told them exactly what you were calling for and agreed upon a time that would suit both of your schedules. Then, you recorded that time somewhere on a calendar, said thank you and politely said goodbye.

Those are event planning skills! Not only has life trained you to have a brief and productive conversation but it has also taught you manners and how to schedule your events.

2.) Scheduling Skills: At some point in your life you have had a day planner. Guess what? You got skills. Aside from just doctor’s appointments, you’ve probably recorded other important dates like weddings, deadlines, and even just coffee dates.

You already have the micromanaging skills needed to properly plan any event that could come your way!

3.) Customer Service Skills: Have you ever had a retail job? A food service job? Have you ever purchased anything ever in the span of your life? You got skills. You know how to successfully greet someone at your event and thank them for attending when they leave. You know how to ask questions and successfully answer the questions of others.

In short, you know how to interact with people, and that’s the key to event planning.

The moral of the story is that life prepares you for planning your event and you can easily tap into the skills you already have to make your event a success.

Event Sponsors & Partners

Looking to make your event a success? Of course you are! Dumb question, right?

Consider reaching out to local businesses to sponsor your event. They can help cover costs and spread awareness.

For example, if your event has a band, find local businesses willing to sponsor that band for a certain cost. Their business names and logos will appear on all event flyers and other promotional items as sponsors and the cost of the band will be covered.

Sponsors can also provide items that will encourage attendance of the event. Items for silent auctions, 50/50 raffles, and door prizes can all be gathered from sponsors. All of these items advertise the businesses but also give your event fluff.

Partnerships can also help your event! A partner can be a local organization that is invested in your cause and agrees to provide a venue or volunteers to help run the show. Clearly partners can also help save you money and make your event a success.

Look for businesses or organizations that focus on the same issues that your organization or event does. Just try it! If a place isn’t interested, move on to the next one. If one door closes…, ya know?

Good luck!

How to Help Your Pledge Drive Volunteers

Some general tips of how to properly prepare your volunteers with plenty of reading material! Check it out:

Assateague Coastal Trust: Social Media Press Release

Assateague Coastal Trust
P.O. Box 731
Berlin, MD 21811

Contact Information:

Client Contact:
Steve Farr
410-629-1538
development@actforbays.org

Agency Contact:
Jordan Guiton
240-426-1234
jg88260@gulls.salisbury.edu

Agency Contact:
Michelle Malinger
410-713-1234
mmalinger1@gulls.salisbury.edu

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

ASSATEAGUE COASTAL TRUST CELEBRATES FIRST ANNUAL ACTOBERFEST PADDLEMANIA

Featuring paddling events, local food and beer, children’s activities, live music, and more!

actoberfestmh

Who:  
Assateague Coastal Trust

What: 
First Annual ACToberfest Paddlemania

When: 
Saturday, October 19th from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Where:
Castaways RV & Campground on Sinepuxent Bay
12550 Eagles Nest Rd.
Ocean City, MD
(map & directions)

Cost:
Adult: $35 in advance — $40 at the door
Children:  ages 5 – 11; $15 in advance & at the door
Children:  ages 4 and under; are FREE
All children must be accompanied by adults

Some Highlights Include:

  • A paddling race across to Assateague Island and back
  • Coast Kids activities on the beach!
  • Guided Birding paddle of Assateague Island!
  • A ‘locavore’ dinner buffet — featuring Greenbranch pastured chicken, seafood, and organic veggies
  • Corn Hole and Can Jam competitions!
  • Bonfire
  • Guest Bartenders
  • 50/50 raffle!
  • Event Ticket / Camping Combo Packages from Castaways Campground

act
Assateague Coastal Trust works to protect and enhance the natural resources of the Atlantic Coastal Bays watershed through advocacy, conservation and education. ACT is committed to protecting our watershed to ensure clean waterways for humans and wildlife, quality of public health and sustainable economic growth.

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Have You Considering Making A Video Resume?

So maybe you want to be an event planner but you just haven’t found the right job opportunity.

Well, when you finally do find it, I’m here to help you consider a video resume.

A video resume is “a short video created by a candidate for employment that describes the individual’s skills and qualifications and is typically used to supplement a traditional resume.” It is what it says it is, basically.

Advantages: 

  • it is your chance to show off your speaking skills to your potential employer before you are called in for an interview.
  • If you’re applying for a media, online, or public relations position, then the video resume will  show your relevant skills.
  • Discuss a skill set or work experience you have and use it as a chance to tell your potential employer why they should hire you.

Disadvantages:

  • It does not replace your traditional resume. You must still tailor your paper resume to include exciting verbs and concise skills.
  • Some employers do not accept video resumes to avoid potential discrimination or hiring based on appearance.
  • Applicant Tracking Systems will not be able to scan your video resume for relevant words and may eliminate you from the hiring process.

A video resume is not for everyone. But if you think potential employers in your career field will appreciate and acknowledge the additional effort, grab your camera and try it. Figure out what works for you and be sure to tell me how it goes!

Smart Marketing & Promotion

So you’re promoting your event, product, service, television show, radio hour, one-man crystal ball reading gorilla whisperer. Whatever it is, you need to know how to promote it properly!

The lesson of this blog is that you have to be creative. The key to marketing or promotion is interaction with the target public.

Example time! Delmarva Public Radio recently changed its programming and one of the new radio shows is called e-Town. The show focuses on community, ideas, and music.

With new shows comes new swag. And if you’ve been following my blog, then you already understand the importance of swag. The promotional people over at e-Town sent DPR some e-Town CDs and stickers as well as several e-Town bandanas. Now, the task was to find a way to promote the show and engage the listeners too.

The result? Drum roll please…

We decided to have listeners and staff members at the station take home the bandanas and take pictures of their pets wearing them. I then created the article and Facebook album, “Where’s Your Bandana?” encouraging listeners to pledge now and receive an e-Town bandana. Once received they would take a picture of their pet wearing the bandana and DPR would add it to its Facebook album of pets.

jas

Jasmine’s e-Town bandana.

Try to find a way to encourage your target public to become involved in the promotion of your event or product. Request that they take pictures with your product to submit. Or plan a contest after which you’ll have fans choose the most creative picture. Whatever it is, just engage them!

In the case of e-Town, If there is one thing that the internet loves more than trolling people, it’s cats.

Good luck!

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