The benefits of social media and an online presence.

Posts tagged ‘National Mall’

Planning a Road Trip

So, you’re not an event planner. No big deal!

We all need to know how to plan. And I can show you how to properly plan for everyday life. Like a road trip!

My best friend Buddy and I recently took a day trip to Washington D.C. (before the shutdown, go us!) And despite only lasting a day, that trip was one of our most thought out yet. So I’m here to share with you the basic steps of any road trip.

Meeting Pandas at the National Zoo

Meeting Pandas at the National Zoo

 

Planning Ahead: Do some research first! Decide where you would like to go and then find out how much gas you’ll need to get there. Save up enough money for gas, food, and souvenirs if you wish to buy them. If you are planning to visit specific places, make sure you know the hours and days they are open as well as their entrances fees. In our case, we planned to visit the National Zoo plus the National Mall and Lincoln Memorial. They close at 6 on Sundays and admittance is free.

Scheduling: Make sure the day works for everyone hoping to go and that you all ask off for work. Buddy is always off on Sundays and I was lucky enough to have off so we chose a Sunday. I also brought my laptop and textbooks with the hope of getting homework done in the car. (It didn’t happen but a girl can dream.)

Make a List:  Write down all the places you plan to visit and then rearrange them based on where they are located so that you are making the best use of your time. Create a really basic itinerary of how long you would like to spend at each place so that you don’t run out of time.  Buddy and I took the metro and headed to the Zoo first since it was on the way to the National Mall. Once we got off at our stop we circled around the Smithsonian Museums. We chose which animals we would like to see and which museums we most wanted to visit beforehand to save us time.

Social Media Use: Check in on Foursquare everywhere you go. It’ll be a fun way to share with your social networks where you are and users will share tips about cool things in your area. Take pictures to upload later but don’t miss out on the experience! The trick to this one is knowing your online friends. If your road trip will take several days, be sure you’re okay with all of your Facebook or Twitter friends knowing that you will not be home. Have a house-sitter or a friend pick up your mail and maybe leave a light or two on at your house just in case.

I told you. You don’t have to be an event planner to plan. So get your pens and notepads out and begin that road trip!

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Government Shutdown: An Event Planning Problem?

Since when does the government affect an event planner? Surprisingly, since now!

As hopefully most of us are aware, the United States’ government has shutdown. Political views and funding aside, everyone is curious how they are going to be affected. Opinions tend to be either of the extremes. There are the people who believe the world is ending; you know them. The guy who thinks his food will stop being tested and he’ll get E-Coli and die? That’s him. But then there are also those who are dismissive of the issue, believing no one to be affected. The girl who thinks everyone is being dramatic until she goes to do some research for homework on a .gov site. That’s her.

The truth is everyone is going to see the effects of the shutdown and event planners are no exception.

In the tweet above you’ll find a Storify I’ve put together compiling the Twitter reactions to the closing of most National Parks as well as the National Mall. If you are a wedding planner or event coordinator with events scheduled at these locations, begin thinking ahead. Here are some common sense tips from yours truly.

1.) Check your budget: If the bride is upset and considering canceling, remind her of the non-refundable deposits already placed with the caterers, the venue, the photographer, and florist. Then consider the travel costs for relatives, the already mailed invitations, and the cost of therapy after having to cancel and re-plan an entire wedding. If you can’t afford to cancel, move on to solutions.

2.) Find a back-up location: Immediately. Coordinators all over will be doing the same. If you planned to have your event at a national park, is there a charming landscape nearby perhaps owned by a family? Make sure the new venue is somewhat close so attendees can be redirected easily. Be willing to cover costs or get with your purse string operator and find a way to cover them.

3.) Will the purpose and goal still be accomplished?: If at the end of the day the bride and groom were successfully married and his and her friends and family were there to see it, pat yourself on the back for a job well done. No one will say you did a bad job if the ultimate goal is accomplished and the clients are happy. If you have to relocate a promotional event for a client but are still able to spread awareness for their cause, congratulations!

Best of luck!

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