Penta Blog

Food Trucks. No longer just for the carnival…

Posted in Penta Blog on March 7th, 2011 by Michele – Be the first to comment

In today’s special occasion scene (whether it be a wedding, social, or corporate event) more than likely you will be given some sort of parting gift. For weddings it’s usually a candle you’ll never use or a salt and pepper shaker in the shape of leaves…exciting. For corporate events, maybe a pen or a nifty note pad holder will make you feel better for attending the event. Who needs these items? Since a party favor is the last bit of your event that your guests experience, why not make it something memorable?

A new and fun trend popping up at events is the Food Truck. Remember those trucks from the carnival as a kid that you couldn’t wait to grab some cotton candy or a funnel cake from? Yep, those! These trucks are conveniently waiting outside towards the end of events so guests are hit with one last surprise.

Imagine.  It is the end of a not-so-thrilling corporate event.  You act like you know the random guy who continues to say hello to you and hold back laughter for the old woman who won’t stop hitting the bar.   Already relieved that the event is almost over, you step out of the venue and BAM!  A Free Food Truck Surprise.  Prearranged by the event’s coordinator, Food Trucks are available to provide a take home gift to your attendees at no cost to your guest.  White Castle is one of the many vendors now taking part of the food truck craze hitting events all over the country. Granted, the mini burgers and chicken rings aren’t the healthiest option but after a night of business networking, a little grease can’t hurt.

How about at the end of a wedding or a sweet 16 party a cupcake truck greets you as you exit the event? An old fashioned automobile filled with warm donuts, cotton candy, chocolate desserts, and delectable drinks like hot cocoa and cider is the perfect ending to a fun event.  Since the night was filled with love, why not end it with treats you love?

To incorporate the company, wedding couple, or guest of honor  of the event is to have a sign placed on the truck with the name of the business or individual honorees. If you want to do something more subtle, try having personalized napkins handed out with each treat. For example, the napkin could say “Thank You for celebrating our special day!” or “Surprise! Love, Chris & Stephanie”.  Having goodies for your guests is much better than receiving a paper weight or heart shaped wine cork.

Visit this site,, to search for gourmet food trucks in your area and contact for a private event. They range from high-class cuisine to simple pleasures.  What ever tickles your taste buds, there is a food cart for you!

If you need any help contacting a vendor feel free to contact me,, and I’d be more than happy to help!

m, and I’d be more than happy to help!

On the twelfth day of Christmas my event planner said to me…

Posted in Penta Blog on December 15th, 2010 by Michele – Be the first to comment

It’s that time of year again.  In the spirit of Christmas were giving twelve pieces advice  to take your Christmas party to another level.  Feel free to sing these gems to the tune of The Twelve Days of Christmas… unfortunately you’ll find that they lack all rhythm and rhyme, but they certainly are fun.

“On the twelfth day of Christmas my event planner said to me…”

12. Spice up your menu with non traditional items…don’t limit yourself to milk and cookies.

11. Decorations don’t have to be green and red…

10. Bring a Dish you’ve made before…don’t try something new your friends have to sample it.

9.   Play a Christmas movie on mute…It’s a Wonderful Life can be a lot for fun when narrated by your friends.

8.   Presents aren’t needed to make a party great

7.   Kid’s games aren’t only for children…who doesn’t love decorating ornaments and cookies?

6.   Add food coloring to your favorite cocktails to match the décor

5.   New Christmas music comes out every year… experience the classics with a twist.

4.   We go to a hundred “Christmas” parties… try throwing a Kwanza party to have fun   while learning something new.

3.   Instead of a secret Santa party where no one wants the gifts bring gifts that will be donated to the less fortunate.

2.   Holiday parties don’t have to be limited to the indoors… hot chocolate and space heaters go a long way…especially if you do something fun like a tree lighting.

1.  Never EVER require your guests to carol.

What I Learned at Penta

Posted in Penta Blog on December 15th, 2010 by Michele – Be the first to comment

What I have learned at Penta:

As my time with Penta comes to an end, I wanted to share what I have learned from this internship.

One: Networking is important. Working with Penta I have learned that networking is a huge part of an event planner’s job. Networking events are something one must attend in this industry. While attending these events, you can meet potential clients, other event planners, vendors, journalists, and bloggers. I have found it is important to take the time to introduce yourself, exchange business cards, and see how you can help each other out in the future. When attending these events, I began to see some familiar faces on more then one occasion. It is important to make a good first impression because you never know when you’ll meet them again.

Two: Event planning is not your average 9 to 5 job. I have experienced many different events, company picnics, holiday parties, corporate meetings, weddings and more. I have learned that the event planner is the first one to arrive and the last one to leave. I have woke up at 4 in the morning to be at an event and did not get home until midnight that evening.

Three: Social Networking is here to stay. If you are going to be in the event planning industry, or any industry these days, social networking is a must. I have learned that you will need a Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, website and blog to have a successful business. Having these social media sites is one more way to connect with people, advertise events and reach out to potential clients.

Four: There is more to event planning than just parties. Being an event planner you do have a chance to be creative and brainstorm, but there is another side to event planning. Many days I find myself behind a desk, actively working with MS Word and Excel, writing emails, making phone calls and other administrative duties. Although this side to event planning isn’t as exciting, it is still important to the job.

Five: Don’t get discouraged. Clients can and will change their minds. Sometimes changing their mind includes not using your services, which can be frustrating. Although projects/clients may go a different way, try to keep a positive, professional attitude. Also, stay in touch with all potential clients for future opportunities.

Overall, my advice for future event planning interns is to take every opportunity your internship gives you. Go to the networking events, work hard on any task you are given, and don’t be afraid to offer your opinion. I have loved my time here at Penta. I am thankful for Michele and Emily for giving me this opportunity.

–Casey Gallagher

Thanksgiving Festivities

Posted in Penta Blog on November 23rd, 2010 by Michele – Be the first to comment

Though this isn’t my first turkey day in New York City, it is the first one since my family has moved to the city.  I guess in the traditional sense this will be my first Thanksgiving here.  Most people who know me know that I am a traditionalist to the extreme.   Routines prove to be a little hard to change in my life.  The food we will devour has never been contended until this year.  As my mom will be getting married the day before Thanksgiving we will need to make room for new traditions this year.  Though I refuse to give up my mom’s sausage stuffing and cranberry sauce straight from the can, I’m going to let the torch be passed on the centerpiece of the meal… the turkey of course.  One tradition that I will not mind replacing this year, the parade!  I’ve always watched the parade on TV first thing is the morning.  This year I will be clutching hot chocolate, standing among the crowds, craning my neck straight up to see the balloons.

I am so excited for this year’s Thanksgiving Holiday that I can smell my mother’s sweet potato casserole from here.  This year, I will be leaving chilly New York and spending my Thanksgiving in the south at my parent’s house in Charlotte, NC.  On Thanksgiving Eve, I am meeting my friends at a local bar to enjoy drinks, catch up, recall unforgettable memories, and laughing til my belly aches.  On Thanksgiving, I plan to nurse my hangover with tastes of all the traditional Thanksgiving fare and Holiday favorites.  This year, my boyfriend’s parents will be joining the Holiday feast at my house, meeting my parents and extended family for the first time and adding a little spice to the traditional meal.  The Thanksgiving tradition I am most excited about is Black Friday!  I plan to spend more money than necessary on discounted items I cannot live without.  To rest my feet after a successful shopping excursion, I will be cheering on my USC Gamecocks on Saturday as they dominate over Clemson in an epic college football battle.  I will miss my fast paced, metropolitan life style, but I am looking forward to some good ole’ southern comfort.

Thanksgiving. The time of year where family and friends get together to eat, drink and eat some more. This tradition in my family is a little different from most.  We enjoy a Gallagher Thanksgiving.  Usually, my Mother has to work on Thanksgiving Day, so my parents cook in the morning and we enjoy a Thanksgiving lunch, where we say what we were thankful for.  (I am Thankful for my internship, my family and my friends).  After lunch, my mom goes into work and sometimes my dad would tag along to keep her company.  My older brother, my little sister and I either lie around the house and watch TV or see a movie at the theater.  Another Gallagher Thanksgiving tradition is celebrating my birthday. Yes, I was born on Thanksgiving. (My dad still gives me a hard time that he had to eat hospital food for his Thanksgiving meal that year.) Whenever Turkey Day is around the corner, I know for me it means food, drinks, friends, family and, of course, presents! This year I will be spending Thanksgiving here in New York City.  This will be my first non-Pennsylvania Thanksgiving/Birthday. First, I’ll go see the Macy’s Day parade while my brother works at the Apple Store (It is not a Gallagher Thanksgiving unless one of us is working).  Then, I will come back to my apartment to my roommate and my brother cooking a Thanksgiving Feast.  I plan to grab the pumpkin pie out of the fridge, plop myself on a comfy chair in the living room and enjoy my Thanksgiving meal.  Although I will be missing Pennsylvania Thanksgiving/Birthday, my first NYC Thanksgiving/Birthday will be one to remember.

Thanksgiving will be a fun one this year.  The younger of my two older brothers recently relocated with his family to Long Island.  Now, for the first time in many years, all of us live in the same state and even better…we are all about 30 minutes from each other.  This year, Thanksgiving will be spent at my brother’s house.  It will be a smaller holiday but I am looking forward to getting to spend it with my brother, his wife and their two very cool kids (and my husband and parents of course – that’s a given!)…something we did not get to do very often when they lived in Virginia.  We will miss my oldest brother and his fiancé at the Thanksgiving table this year while they escape to the Florida sun.  My sister-in-law’s parents will also be present which means I can expect to see a fair amount of scotch drinking among the men and hear lots of very loud talk about politics.  I’m thinking I’ll escape with the kids to play Wii when that starts.

Halloween Costumes on a Budget

Posted in Penta Blog on October 28th, 2010 by Michele – Be the first to comment

Halloween is the time of year where you can let loose, dress up, get a little crazy and have something to talk about in the office the following day. Dressing up in costume these days can be very expensive. Spending fifty dollars on an outfit you are going to only wear once seems ridiculous. Penta wants to give you some tips on how to have a killer costume on a low budget.

So…you want be Lady Gaga: Lady Gaga is probably one of the top costumes this year. I know I have seen a Lady Gaga costume in every Halloween store I have been to, but the costume alone is fifty dollars, not to mention the accessories you need to purchase. Why not piece together your own Lady Gaga costume.

  1. Sunglasses are a must.  Purchase a pair of sunglasses and crazy jewelry from a street vendor.  I have some great ‘knock off’ Ray-Bans I purchased for $5.
  2. Next, go to a craft store for some glitter, gems, rhinestones and other flashy items to dress up those street sunglasses so that even Gaga would want them for herself (Pearl Art & Craft Supply has great discount art supplies:
  3. Onto the outfit.  If you are going for Gaga, the outfit must be colorful, loud, and original. Get out those old prom dresses and shoes we all know you will never wear again and combine them together. You may even inspire Gaga’s next red carpet outfit.
  4. Hair.  If you hair is short, go for the curly bob look.  If you have long hair, get out that straighter to get the Pokerface look!
  5. Now, on to the makeup.  Loud colors, a star or a lighting bolt on your face, and a dark red lipstick should bring out the Lady Gaga in you.

You are officially ready to have a bad romance this Halloween.

So…you want to be on the Jersey Shore: Although they are selling Jersey Shore costumes this season (I do believe Snookie’s costume is the number one seller) there is no reason to buy the costume.

  1. Ladies:  Visit multiple stores in NYC and find a tight, short, barely there dress for an inexpensive price (Exstaza Limited is a good place to check out:
  2. Buy some inexpensive bronzer for the perfect fake tan and cheap hair spray to make sure the ‘Snookie/Pauly D poof’ will stay intact for the night.
  3. For the fellas, buy a v-neck (Uniqlo has some great v-necks for $5:, wear a pair of jeans, and draw a tribal tattoo on your arms.  Buy lots and lots of hair gel and you are the new MVP.

So…you want to be in the 80’s: 80s costumes is one of my personal favorite. It is so easy yet so affordable!

  1. First, a pair of colorful leggings is a must.
  2. For the top for your 80s outfit, check out any Goodwill or thrift store (I have purchased a great leopard long sleeve shirt that made me believe I was back in the 80s).
  3. The make up should be loud colors and put it on thick.   Blue eye shadow is a must!
  4. As for the hair, the bigger the better.  If you don’t want to spend the next three days trying to get the hairspray out of your hair, a side ponytail would also do.
  5. Top off the 80s look with a pair of ‘knock off’ Ray-Bans.

So… you want to be Don Draper: Mad Men is cool, sexy, and daring. Choosing to be Mad Men’s leading man, Don Draper, is an excellent choice. The best way to do this costume on a low budget would be…

  1. Wear a suit you already own.
  2. Buy an inexpensive fedora.  They sell these at street vendors or, if you want more of a selection, check out Gallerie H.:
  3. Buy a pack of cigarettes (the cheaper, and healthier alterative, would be candy cigarettes).
  4. Drink lots and lots of brandy.
  5. Want a special touch?  Add a couple of red lipstick stains on your collar. 

So…you want to be a vampire: Between Twilight, The Vampire Diaries and True Blood, vampires are the new “it” thing. Instead of doing the old school vampire, do the new aged vampire.

  1. Put on your everyday clothes.
  2. Buy some vampire teeth.
  3. Make fake blood (check out for recipes).
  4. Put on some makeup that makes you like pale.

Instantly, you are the new sexy vampire of NYC.

Penta wishes everyone a Happy and Haunted Halloween!

Question or comments? Email Casey Gallagher at