Event Advice


Posted in Event Advice on September 1st, 2011 by Michele – Be the first to comment

Being an event planning intern, I see a lot of what goes into fundraising and organizing. It is certainly not an easy or stress-free process. Being organized helps relieve a lot of the stress. I have developed a list of the key points that I have picked up in my experience with fundraising.

  1. Decide who you are fundraising for. In order to put an event together and raise money, it is important that you have a specific organization to fundraise for. You want to be organized and on track. I suggest that you should choose an organization that is dear to your heart. This not only makes the event fun but meaningful, too.
  2. Know everything about the organization. You want to be knowledgeable to anyone with questions. This will make people how dedicated you are thus making them more likely to donate. 
  3. Decide how much money you would like to raise. This will help you stay on track and market yourself appropriately.
  4. Keep track of everyone who has donated to you. It’s important to keep record of the person or company that has donated to you and the amount they donated. It lets you know how close you are to your goal amount as well as letting the donator know that you are organized. In case anything goes array, you have your records to cover your bases.
  5. Don’t be pushy. You have to understand that a person may not have the funds to donate to your fundraiser. Do not take it personally, there will be plenty of other people and companies that will donate.
  6. Develop a friendly way to request a donation. We all understand that asking for a money donation is slightly uncomfortable. There are plenty of ways to ask without seeming rude or needy. With your own personality, put together a few lines that you think sounds appropriate to an audience. It is important to draw them in and make them want to donate.
  7. Give yourself a lot of time to prepare. Remember that anything can go wrong. Give yourself plenty of leeway to make new arrangements if need be. Start planning three months prior to the date.
  8. Market your fundraiser. We are all familiar with social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. So, post a bunch of statuses and tweets about your event. It doesn’t take a lot of money to market yourself efficiently.
  9. Stay motivated. Keep in mind that this is something that you planned for a reason, so it must mean something to you. You will raise the money that you are striving for, it just takes hard work and dedication.
  10. Have fun. When the date approaches, you will be fully satisfied with your work. All the stress you endured will be worth it. A good attitude always leads to success.

-Amanda Pryor, Summer 2011 Intern

Thank You Notes

Posted in Event Advice on July 14th, 2011 by Michele – Be the first to comment

This post was inspired by an article written for Real Simple magazine. An important part of hosting and guest etiquette is to send thank you notes afterwards. Not only is it respectful, but it shows the recipient that their efforts made an impact and were appreciated. A thank you note should be personalized and genuine. It should have more of a sentiment than a typical “thanks for your gift.” Inserting memorable moments from the event give the card a more personalized and warm feeling.

As shown in the Real Simple birthday note, there are a few simple tips to include and personalize any card, for any occasion!

  • Compliment the recipient’s best qualities. Take advantage of the opportunity to say why loved ones are special: “I’m so lucky to have such a caring, supportive, funny friend” or “I’m so proud of you for being such a compassionate person.”
  • Turn a birthday card into a thank-you note. Tell someone what a difference he or she makes to your life.
  • Focus on the year ahead and what you hope it brings: joy, success, a new job, celebrations, possibilities. This goes a long way toward personalizing a card.
  • Don’t assume people are thrilled about a birthday. Some folks aren’t. And if age is an issue, don’t point out the number in the card. Emphasize the person, not the milestone.

Here at Penta, we have our own tips for writing personalized notes:

  • Recall the gift: don’t just say “thank you for your gift” – state what it was and why you appreciate it.
  • Remembering the event: If you spent the weekend at a friend’s summer house, write in the note about your favorite or memorable part of the weekend.
  • Show support- Even if it was something simple, sending a thank you note to somehow who helped or supported you to advance in some way is important and shows the recipient how much their efforts meant to you.
  • Follow up – especially if you’ve just applied for a job; your future employers will be more likely to stay interested in you if you show you’re interested in the company.

– Lisa Glover, Summer 2011 Intern

Event Planning Apps

Posted in Event Advice on July 14th, 2011 by Michele – Be the first to comment

As all of you event planners know, this job can be extremely stressful. Every morning is the same routine: papers piled high on your desk that still need to be sorted, listening to endless amounts of voicemails, emails to return, preparing for your back to back appointments, meeting deadlines, and trying to remember to do all of these tasks at the same time. I’m sure you are wishing for a piece of technology that will make your time at work a little less stressful. The iPhone has just the app for that. Here are the top Apple iPhone applications that can act as your personal assistant at work:

  1. Evernote: lets you create notes, snap photos, and record voice memos that you can access at any time from your iPhone, computer, or the web.
  2. My Punchbowl: A full event planning suite in an app.  Send out invites, divvy up work into manageable steps, manage guest lists and event get post event rating, reviews and testimonials.
  3. QuickVoice: Record ideas, voice memos, voice email, dictation, lists, meetings, classes, or entire lectures! For professional, educational, and personal use.
  4. Audio Planner: You can plan an event, manage-audio equipment lists, generate budget recommendations for clients, and free advice from industry experts.
  5. Omnifocus:
  6. Map Mailer: Enables you to send a map image in a jpeg form attached to your email. This is good for giving your clients directions to your office or meeting destination.
  7. Coundownr: Provides a collection of countdown counters. There are two types of counters: Counters that count down to a specific date and time and counters that read upcoming events from public Google calendars. Each counter can be customized for a specific time and date. You can add countdowns from external links or email them to your iPhone.
  8. Coordinatr: Perfect for planning smaller events like barbecues, birthdays, and luncheons which require quick planning and execution within a matter of days.
  9. iPartee: A great app for finding the perfect venue for upcoming events.  It even gives you the tools to promote and generate revenue for your events.


and www.apple.com

-Penta 2011 Summer Intern, Amanda Pryor

Creating the Perfect Graduation Party

Posted in Event Advice on July 7th, 2011 by Michele – Be the first to comment

When I think of summer I think of a break from boring lectures, final exams, 15-page papers, and stress. It is a time to celebrate all of the hard work you completed in the past Fall and Spring semesters. Most importantly, it is a time to celebrate your family, friends, roommates, and colleagues who have completed their four years of High School or completed their College degrees and are preparing for the next big steps in their lives. What better way to celebrate than with a Graduation party?  I’d like to give you some ideas on how to throw a perfectly successful and outrageously fun party.

1.  Guest List:  Choose carefully which of your child’s friends you are going to invite to this party. You don’t want the party to get out of hand but you also don’t want the party to be boring. Also, it is a good idea to keep track of how many people are on the guest list between family and friends. 75-100 is the magic number, room permitting of course.

2.  Better to be safe than sorry:  Give your guests the option of staying indoors or outdoors at your party.  Order a tent just in case the weather is not as nice as you would have hoped. This way, your guests will be outside enjoying the (hopefully) nice weather but it is still their choice to be in the sun or not. Ordering a tent will help you avoid any unwanted stress. Plus, this will provide more room for your guests so they’re not crowded.

3.  Food:  It is not ideal for your guests to be starving the first three hours of your party. Bring the food out within the first hour that every one is supposed to arrive. This stirs up conversation and gives your guests energy for the rest of the party. Leave the food out for a while so if any stragglers come late they aren’t hungry or disappointed. Plus, later in the night, guests usually like to go for seconds.

4.  Drinks:  Alcohol is a big decision. At a High School graduation party it is important to remember that most of your child’s guests will be underage. If you choose to allow alcohol at your party, I would suggest hiring a bartender to serve as the “bad guy” to deny the young ones of any alcoholic beverages. For a College graduation party, most of the time everyone is of age but it is up to your whether you’d like to host an alcohol-free party or not. Make sure there is more than one type of drink.  For example, lemonade, soda, tea, light beer, wine etc.

5.  Be prepared: Think of all of the possible things that could go wrong at a party and find alternatives. Make sure all rentals and items your ordered  show up the night before the event or hours before to leave enough time to think of a solution.   If the cake you wanted says “Congratulations, Danny” rather than ‘Brian’, don’t sweat it.  Be prepared with cupcake/cake mix in your cabinet and ask some friends to come over and put them to work.  Nobody will even know the difference.

Hope you take my advice and have the most successful and memorable Graduation party you could possibly give your child!

-Summer 2011 Intern, Amanda


Posted in Event Advice on June 30th, 2011 by Michele – Be the first to comment

Fourth of July Weekend has finally arrived! The official weekend to really kick of summer (consider Memorial Day like a pre-party). We’ve researched and taste-tested the best drinks and desserts to kick off your party the right way. Whether you’re hosting or attending, make sure you have one of these killer recipes under your belt!

Pop Rocks Rimmed Cocktails (http://pizzazzerie.com/diy/pop-rocks-rimmed-cocktails/)

Not only do these taste delicious, they have that certain pizzazz that really screams Forth of July. With three variations, you can’t go wrong! What drink could be more perfect to enjoy as you watch fireworks?


1/2 oz Vodka
1/2 oz Midori melon liqueur
1/2 oz Chambord raspberry liqueur
3 splashs Pineapple juice
Drop Watermelon Pop Rocks on top


1 shot Strawberry Schnapps
Fill with 7-Up
Drop Strawberry Pop Rocks on top


1 oz Malibu rum
1 oz Blue Curacao
1 splash Pineapple juice
1 splash Cranberry juice
Drop Fruit Punch Pop Rocks on top

PATRIOTIC STRAWBERRIES (http://www.livinglocurto.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/Stars-Stripes-Food.jpg)

All you need for these mouth-watering strawberry treats is the same pop rocks candy you used for the cocktails, as well as Vanilla frosting. Dip 3/4s of the berry in frosting and cover the tip with blue pop-rocks! Best if kept refrigerated. Enjoy!

….own the night, like the Fourth of July – Katy Perry

–Summer 2011 Intern, Lisa Glover