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Event tips
4 min read 3 days ago

Advice from 4 Event Experts

The fresh start that the New Year provides can be exciting and rejuvenating. However, for event planners, it can also seem daunting. In hopes of sharing some words of wisdom, Planned spoke with four event planning experts to ask for their advice on how to prepare for 2022 and how they like to head into a new year. Whether you’re new to the world of events, or you’ve been in the industry for a while, each one of their mindsets will help you navigate this year. Andrew Roby Founder and Owner of Andrew Roby Events, listed in Event Industry’s ‘40 Under 40': “My advice would be to focus on areas of customer service that hinders your progress as a planner. With the increased demand for event planners over the last six months and the need for fast turnaround, so many still struggle to respond to inquiries in a timely manner. Determine your areas of weakness and find solutions to each of them. If you need help, consider a Virtual Assistant that can create a CRM for potential clients and can respond to inquiries. Lastly, find ways to give time back to yourself. Do things like creating templates for the things you do often. Are you always sending out a particular email? Create a template. Know who your ideal clients are and find ways to vet everyone before they hit the send button. Finding more ways to give time back to you so that you can focus on growing your company is certainly the one thing I am focusing on in 2022.” Anatashia Lewis Event Producer, Catering Manager, and Logistics Queen with over 10+ years of experience: “2022 is the year of flexibility and resilience. We never thought our industry would be affected so heavily, but as planners, it is ingrained in us to pivot. It is vital that we don’t trap our minds or creativity into one idea or one plan. Who would have thought the world would shut down in the midst of planning 2020, 2021, and 2022 events? We have to remain fluid, knowing that the world and our industry is constantly evolving. Creativity flows when we loosen our grip, embrace change and invite our minds to think freely. Resilience: For me it looks like resting and then pushing through. Event planning is one of the most stressful jobs, which lacks fair pay at times, and can affect you physically, mentally and emotionally. I encourage all planners to take inventory of their self-care practices this year and beyond. Reclaiming your rest instills resilience from within.” Michelle Norwood Michelle Norwood adding final touches for an event at the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum. Owner of Michelle Norwood Events, and named ‘Top Planner in The World’ by HARPERS BAZAAR, ‘Best Wedding Planners in the U.S., Canada, and Overseas’ by VOGUE, and ‘Top Planner’ by Martha Stewart: “I like to start my year strong. I take a look at everything on my calendar and begin working on the logistics of each event accordingly. Staying ahead of the game is the best way to not get caught up in the madness once the seasons begin. I also begin…

Event tips
3 min read 6 days ago

Event Planning Tactics for 2022

If the past two years of living in a global pandemic have taught event planners anything, it’s to plan for the unexpected. With new variants popping up and uncertainty about when COVID-19 will depart the scene for good, event planners are becoming accustomed to having a backup plan as a necessary part of ensuring an event goes off without a hitch.  As we enter 2022, now is the perfect time to create your own calendar of events expected to take place this year. To kick off the New Year, Planned created a helpful list of five tactics that you can bring along with you. Here are 5 important planning tactics to take with you along the way:   Test all the technology First and foremost, find technology solutions that suit the size and scope of the event. It’s best to do some shopping before you come to a decision. Schedule demos, ask questions, and play around with hardware and tools yourself. This will ensure both you and your team will be comfortable with the platform on the day of the event. No matter how comfortable you are with your tech team or their level of expertise, always rehearse and test. That way everyone knows what to expect, and the back-end of your streamed event can run as seamlessly as possible.  Establish a strong event purpose There’s an endless amount of virtual, hybrid, and in-person events happening every day. To ensure that your guests are engaged and entertained, a great event planning tactic is to make sure that you develop a strong purpose for your event. Here are some great reasons to host a corporate event: team building, onboarding new team members, welcoming a new CEO, or celebrating a company milestone. Whichever reason you and your team commit to, ensure that this is shared via your marketing and communications, so that all your guests know what to expect and what to look forward to!  Have a back up plan with a budget that can support it  Whether you’re hosting an in-person, virtual or hybrid event, it’s always important to have contingency plans at the ready. On the off-chance that the Wi-Fi cuts, an entertainer cancels, or new restrictions are put in place, having a shortlist of Plan B's can help you avoid last minute panic. Some suggestions: schedule a fill-in entertainer, create a virtual event agenda in case the in-person event can no longer happen, have a ‘technical difficulties’ slide available if a technical glitch occurs. There are many ways to plan for the unexpected, but the best approach is just to have one. By creating a checklist template, you'll remember every task. Create an event checklist  A list a day keeps the stress away. A thoroughly prepared event checklist breaks down your master plan into itemized details. By knowing every aspect of the tasks at hand – from preparing the marketing, sending out invitations, booking event suppliers, and creating the budget – this checklist allows you and your team to…

The product
1 min read 1 month ago

What's New

New onboarding flow The simple steps for creating a Planned account. We have a new onboarding flow!All new users will go through a new onboarding flow: a few screens that ask some questions to make their first experience of the platform smoother. We prompt users to create an event right away (even if it's a test event!) so that they can explore Planned's features as best possible. We're also introducing our new referral program in this flow: inviting colleagues will earn you a $25 Amazon gift card! A new look for the marketplace The new navigation bar in the Planned marketplace. The marketplace has a new look! We've combined the categories into one menu, with examples of supplier types under each, to make easier to browse.  We've also adjusted the cards to represent the information better so it's easier to know which suppliers you want to click into!

Event tips
2 min read 2 months ago

Celebrate Together This Year

The Planned marketplace is overflowing with holiday inspiration for your end of the year events. Our unique suppliers prepare for the holiday season by spicing up their services and including a little extra holiday spirit into the mix. Even if your team or company is celebrating the holidays virtually around the globe, there’s a special way to celebrate this year! Here are a few holiday themed workshops hosted by Danielle Schulz, founder of The Triangle Sessions, which can all be found in the Planned marketplace! Festivus Foam Roll & Fizz Pop open a bottle of bubbly and rock-around-the-holiday season with your team! Receive a bottle of Prosecco, a foam roller, and a silly holiday hat in the mail! Learn how to release tension in the body before toasting your group for a holiday social. Merry Terrariums Learn how to make a beautiful terrarium perfect for bringing holiday cheer to your home, office, or workspace. Participants will learn how plant-care relates to self-care, especially during the holiday season. All supplies included! A homemade terrarium! December Fitness Challenge Get a jump on your New Year by finishing this one well! This 4-week series will keep you on track and encourage you to keep going strong into 2022: Week 1: Yoga & Meditation, Week 2: Pilates, Week 3: Stretch & Strengthen, and Week 4: Nutrition 2022. Jolly Mixology Some nice holiday cocktails or mocktails! Shake up or stir your Holiday Happy Hour with a crash course in the art of mixology! Learn how to make 2–3 different holiday themed cocktails before getting to know your colleagues on a more personal level. Mocktail options available so jolly fun is had by all! Holiday-Theme Team Trivia Whether your preference is Home Alone or It’s A Wonderful Life, put your heads together and test your collective holiday knowledge. Experience a facilitated social between rounds to increase the camaraderie while letting (friendly) competitive spirits fly! Santa’s Stretch & Sake Tasting Be transported to the world of sake in this refreshing, upbeat, interactive class. Kick off the hour by learning some feel-good stretches that can be performed any time through the workday. Receive 3 different kinds of sake whether you’ve been naughty or nice and enjoy a facilitated social hour! Planned is always here to support all your event planning needs. If you’re interested in booking The Triangle Sessions for one of these incredible virtual holiday offerings, then look no further, check out their listing and reach out directly on Planned!

Event tips
2 min read 3 months ago

A Planned Community for Conversations

As a way to continue to have conversations with Planned suppliers and clients, we’re creating two Slack communities in the event planning industry: one community for our clients and one community for our suppliers, to encourage open communication and event inspiration! A medium like never before, with friendly introductions, inspiring conversations, and questions answered directly from the Planned team members! The perks of joining one of the communities: -Connect with others in the event planning industry -Get product and feature updates as soon as they are implemented -Stay updated on job openings in the events industry -Share event planning inspiration and tips -Learn and connect with other event professionals -Ask questions directly to the Planned team about anything Planned-related -Learn what others in the events industry are organizing -Be the first to know about Planned events across North America Whether you provide a service for events or you’re planning the events yourself, we welcome everyone to join this safe space for purposeful conversations about everything events-related! If you’re a current Planned user, join Planned Clients here. If you are currently listed in the Planned marketplace, join Planned Suppliers here.

The product
2 min read 3 months ago

Holidays with Planned

The holidays are right around the corner, and as soon as Halloween passes- it’s out with the spooky season and in with the hot cocoa! Let’s break down how to use Planned for planning your best holiday party yet! Once you’ve signed into the platform, you can add your other event planning helpers as collaborators for your event. Whether your workshop is a two person team or a ten person team, everyone can have oversight into the planning process to share thoughts and give feedback. Now for the holiday miracle: our marketplace is filled with incredible holiday-inspired venues and vendors to fill your event with joy and festivities. One of many holiday options that can be done virtually! From a wreath making class to an enchanting wintery venue, our suppliers know exactly how to host a successful holiday event. So once you’ve browsed the marketplace and saved a few of your favorites, you can speak with them directly. The Planned inbox allows you to converse with suppliers directly! After you communicate with each supplier, receive quotes, and invoices: all that’s left to do is book the suppliers and let the magic happen! The dedicated Planned Account Managers are always there to help you along your event planning journey! After the magical event, Planned will follow up to hear about the event and ensure that everything went smoothly! Let the holiday planning begin.

The team
4 min read 3 months ago

Broaden My Skills

It takes drive, ambition, and clear action to take on the event planning industry and push the boundaries for what is possible in events. With the dedication of a mighty team, Planned has continued to work with clients and suppliers to produce unique and innovative events across North America. The talent density at Planned is at an all time high, and one of those talents is Jared Carbonneau. Jared is a Software Engineer at Planned, and since joining the team in February 2021 has made a large impact on the communication flow of the product, through enabling email notifications to be sent when a message is received on the platform, and allowing status changes to be made based on availability. He has also spent his time focusing on implementing the design system and ensuring its ease of use for all developers on the team. Jared joined Planned at at a crucial point in our product development process and has since played a large role in improving our product and suggesting ways to engage our clients and suppliers more through the platform. As far as his path prior to joining Planned, it may not be what you might assume. After graduating high school, Jared was trained as a carpenter, and worked in the field for a few years. During that time he was also focusing on volunteer construction projects in the Dominican Republic. “Volunteering really brought me to cultures, languages, friends and new ways of doing things that I otherwise would have missed out on.” After a few years in the construction industry, Jared headed across seas to China, where he learned Mandarin, taught English, and travelled to factories to inspect goods for Canadian clients. “I inspected a lot of iron castings, which are pretty cool because of the melted metal, I then transitioned to inspecting construction materials, like tiles and cabinets. China really is one big factory, and I traveled to many areas to help my clients.” After exploring other parts of the world, Jared landed back in Montréal. While planning his next professional move, Jared took a two month coding bootcamp called DecodeMTL (now Concordia University bootcamps) and hustled to learn an entirely new industry. To Jared, “Software engineering wasn’t exactly a dream of mine, but after some friends suggested taking free online classes, I fell in love with it.” His love for software engineering shines through in his enthusiasm to brainstorm new concepts and creatively solve technological problems at Planned. Jared’s career as a Software Engineer today is not surprising if you look at his interests in high school. At a young age he enjoyed psychics and woodworking: subjects that encourage creativity and emphasize problem solving skills. In his view, “Software engineering allows me to build really cool things, just like when I was working in construction.” When Jared isn’t coding, he spends most of his time with his family, exploring the great outdoors that Quebec has to offer. It’s common for Jared to take some time off from work and come back with great stories about his adventures to share with the team! “Our favorite spot this summer was Sepaq Mont-Tremblant:…

Event tips
3 min read 3 months ago

5 Themes for your Halloween Party

Halloween isn’t cancelled this year-so it’s time to get the party started with unique costume themes! The Planned marketplace is filled with incredible venues that you can fill with spooky live music, haunted decor, and delicious mummy food! Discover all the possibilities for your Halloween party in the marketplace today and once you’ve booked everything, here’s five exciting ideas to inspire this years theme! Dress up as something that starts with the first letter of your first name Invite your guests to dress up in a costume of something that starts with the first letter of their first name (I.e. Marc will dress up in a costume of something that starts with an M (mummy, Monopoly man…), Linh will dress up in a costume of something that starts with the letter L (Luigi, leprechaun…) etc.). It’s that simple, and will easily become a wild collection of creative and innovative costumes! Whether scary, funny, or ironic, this theme will encourage everyone to think outside the box! The best duo Grab your best buddy and start shopping! Cruella de Vil and a Dalmatian. Rochelle Brodin/ Getty Images. We’ve seen it done in many forms: PB&J, Jim Halpert and Pam Beesly, and Shrek and Fiona. Invite everyone to come as a duo! Dressing up as your favorite duo allows for endless costume ideas, and you might be surprised by what others choose. You can even specify a category that everyone needs to dress up as a duo in, like most iconic 2000s couples or favorite food combinations! Favorite Netflix character Do you even Netflix bro? Whether you proudly binge-watched Squid Game all in one day or boldly stuck with Game of Thrones for what seemed like 20 seasons- everyone is bound to have a favorite tv show character. Send your invites and ask that everyone dress up as a tv show character that they were inspired by, scared of, or somehow felt a connection to! Super heroes unite Whether you’re a Captain America stan or you grew up watching Spider-Man: everyone has a superhero they look up to! This is great for a group of movie buffs who can talk about all things Marvel and DC. Encourage everyone to spice up their superhero costume a little bit more and add something unique to their superhero suit! You can engage your guests even more by adding some superhero trivia into the mix! “Best” childhood costume We all have those childhood halloween pictures that we look back on and wonder ‘why didn’t I win the school costume contest’ or ‘why did my parents let me wear that’- either way, have everyone dress up in a new and improved costume inspired by a previous childhood costume! It’s the perfect way to ensure that the conversations will not run dry at your party as everyone shares the story behind their outfit! Take these themes, and make them your own! Stay spooky and safe this Halloween!! Book your Halloween party suppliers today!

The product
2 min read 3 months ago

What's New

Inbox: new right hand panel Take a look at the right hand panel! The inbox has a new information-filled right hand panel! Everything you need regarding the conversation: centralized.  The first section is simply the event information, so that it's always present when you need a glance.The second section is the members, so you know exactly who is part of the conversation (usually consisting of the event creator, event collaborators, supplier contacts, as well David and Sofia from the Planned team to ensure everything goes smoothly). The third section centralizes all shared files in the conversation, by category: quotes, contracts, invoices, and other. When suppliers upload documents, they're asked to categorize them so they can be organized accordingly. The last section isn't always there, but if the client company has defined payment terms, they'll appear here so everyone in the conversation is aware. Public Marketplace What requesting a Planned account looks like! The Planned marketplace is now public! We want non-registered Planned users to still get a sense of the unique, curated suppliers that can be found on our marketplace - so we made it public. By going to https://app.planned.com/marketplace, now anyone can browse through our categories and look at what our supplier partners have to offer.  If they like what they see, they can request an account which will be verified rapidly!

The team
3 min read 4 months ago

Pure Passion

Not many people would move from California to Montreal in the middle of a pandemic, but that’s just one of the things that makes Madison Bonser such a special part of the Planned team. A psychology graduate from the University of British Columbia and a lover of anything active, Madison joined Planned in June 2020. Madison at the University of British Columbia. As with any early stage startup like Planned, employees often have to wear different hats. Given this nature, Madison has been a key player in driving supply and operations initiatives forward. Just a few months after joining Planned, Madison became lead on marketing, while also being an awesome organizer of many team activities. Here’s what Madison has to say about the changes since her arrival: “When I joined Planned, it was the beginning of truly onboarding vendors into the marketplace, as well as growing our partnerships with venues across North America. Since then, the Planned marketplace has exponentially grown, and our user platform has improved dramatically and looks completely different. As for marketing, we’ve really taken steps towards including our clients and partners, by featuring our partners in various outreaches and on our social media platforms. We’ve also been engaging with our clients in a highly meaningful way and receiving feedback through post-event surveys and conversations!” Since Madison has picked up more marketing initiatives, Planned’s online presence has grown and we’ve been able to connect with the event planning community at a much more significant level. Madison’s passion in her marketing and partnerships role at Planned shines through, and when asked how that connects with her major in university (psychology), she commented: “To me, marketing/partnerships and psychology are very similar; at the end of the day it boils down to human behavior and understanding people. I am incredibly passionate about connecting with people and understanding what motivates them. Marketing and partnerships allows me to explore that in a variety of ways and, in doing so, recognize behavior patterns and trends and utilize that data in multiple ways.” When she isn’t at the Planned HQ, she’s always on adventures in the outdoors! Along with her continuous drive and creative user-centric ideas, Madison wraps her high performance presence up in her contagious smile. A genuine pleasure to work with, Madison is excited about a few of her upcoming Planned projects: “We have several important initiatives underway. One being updating the website, which we're reinventing to make as innovative and exciting as our product is. We really want to have the website reflect how fun event planning can be and the constant desire to improve and elevate.” She adds that an overarching mission of the marketing programs is “building Planned’s credibility externally through various facets. We’ve created product listings on third party websites to view direct feedback from our users, because we’re always looking to build our product alongside our users. In addition to these two initiatives, we’re starting a Partner Program to collaborate with organizations across North America to grow our community and continue to revolutionize the event planning industry!” One of Madison’s favourite…

Event tips
3 min read 4 months ago

3 Planned Destinations

Last week, Planned sent out a newsletter exploring some of the cities in our marketplace that have incredible venues. For those of you who missed that… First things first, subscribe now! Second thing, here’s a little bit of what you missed! It’s no secret that our marketplace is filled with the best venues across North America- so let’s take a look at some of our top markets and the diverse venues there! Let’s explore! 🌮 Houston, Texas 🏈 Ronin 2 combines a chic feel with industrial flair to provide the ideal space for team dinners, business events, pop-ups, workshops, and so much more. With the contrast between the wood ceilings, brick walls and bright white walls, it’s a venue that is so versatile. House of Blues Houston is comprised of four distinctive environments including a luxe VIP club, a rocking restaurant and bar featuring contemporary and traditional Southern art and cuisine, a small elegantly designed private event room, and a large, multi-story spectacular music hall. This venue is no joke! 🗽 New York, New York 🚕 La Goulue New York is a revival of a longtime restaurant for traditional French fare in a setting with dark woods and mirrors. In this venue, make your private event an extraordinary one. This beautiful restaurant offers a warm yet stylish atmosphere that will happily host your next event! Blender Workspace offers in-house planning and production. The venue accommodates many event types, such as corporate off-sites, panel discussions, presentation and networking, media product launches, and brand activations. It’s modern yet rustic space will be a huge success with your guests! 🏀 Toronto, Ontario 🎵 Convenience Resto Bar has a cozy corner store that provides the entrance to this 80s-themed hangout with an upscale junk food menu. Get your nightly kicks and savour a menu of classic corner store items reimagined and a modern soundtrack full of tasty throwbacks from our featured DJs. Boxcar Social Harbourfront Centre, on Toronto’s waterfront, is an innovative not-for-profit cultural organization that creates events and activities of excellence that enliven, educate and entertain a diverse public. Discover all the venues in our marketplace in Houston, New York, and Toronto!

The product
2 min read 4 months ago

Saving Money with Planned

Promoting company savings has been a core value of the Planned business model since day one. Enterprise Clients Planned Enterprise clients are able to save time and money simply by being a client and using the Planned platform. Without Planned, these event planners go through a vendor on-boarding process every time they want to make a payment to a vendor. However, with Planned, clients only have to onboard one vendor (Planned) once, and have the ability to book thousands of vendors without any additional on-boarding. By avoiding the tedious process of having to onboard new vendors every time they host an event, enterprises are saving time and can focus on creating a successful event. Discovery of suppliers In all industries, but especially in event planning, time is money! By using the Planned marketplace and it’s fine-tuned filters, Planned clients are able to quickly narrow down their search for suppliers and find exactly what they need in less than half the time it would’ve taken them if they had used Google or other search engines. Compare quotes The beauty of having access to a large marketplace filled with incredible options is that clients are able to receive multiple quotes from various suppliers and compare their options internally. Clients can contact suppliers directly in Planned to receive quotes quickly and efficiently compare, side by side, to choose their best option. Planned exclusive discounts are only offered in the Planned marketplace. Exclusive discounts Unlock Planned discounts from suppliers all across North America. By joining Planned, event planners get immediate access to discounts that suppliers offer exclusively to Planned. This discounts won’t be found anywhere else! It’s the Planned mission to not only streamline the event planning process, but also make it efficient, cost-saving, and fun to do!

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