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The product
2 min read 2 months ago

Our newest feature: RFP

Planned is always finding new ways to make event planning more efficient. Recently, this involved building out an in-app Request For Proposal (RFP) feature. A Request For Proposal allows Planned clients to create event briefs with all their upcoming event information, and send it to multiple suppliers at once! The value of an RFP As Planned was building this out, we were keeping in mind the three value propositions that the RFP feature should encompass. Saving time and money This feature allows users to quickly showcase their upcoming event needs to multiple event suppliers in a matter of minutes. It’s an easy way to save time and money, by not having to reach out to each supplier individually. Compare multiple quotes An RFP allows the user to more easily compare quotes that are built out to meet their event needs. Suppliers can build out quotes to match the request so the user can share that internally before coming to a decision. This also promotes money saving by being able to get a quote within your budget! Source the best fit This feature is built to promote sourcing the best event suppliers for all events. Rather than choosing just a few suppliers to save time, users can now expand their reach quicker and make sure that they’re choosing the right supplier every time. Building out an RFP in Planned. There are 4 easy steps to filling out an RFP on Planned. Simply input your event details, add the services you are looking for, and any overnight accommodation that is needed, and click all the suppliers you want to share the RFP with. It’s really that simple! You’ll receive email notifications as soon as suppliers respond, and you’ll be able to start direct conversations with ones that you liked, or have more questions for. In a matter of seconds you can contact multiple suppliers at once. If you’re interested in learning more about this feature, please RSVP for our upcoming LinkedIn Live Demo to see this feature live with part of the Planned team: here.

Event tips
3 min read 3 months ago

Planning a Company Offsite

A company off-site is very common amongst the greatest leaders in business. The consist of providing the possibility of performing professional activities outside of the office in a new environment! What is a company offsite? Generally an offsite involves the entire company or the executives and managers of every department. These gatherings allow decision makers to tackle business-related issues and brainstorm with others in a new environment. Why is hosting an offsite important? Although off-sites vary in their location, duration and number of attendees, the importance of hosting these is always apparent. Most offsite meeting places are creatively designed to boost the team morale by aligning on company values and the mission for the quarter/year. The smallest change in atmosphere can have a big impact on an individual’s mood and attitude towards the tasks that lay ahead. It is essential for companies to make an effort in expanding their important meetings from a routine boardroom and explore offsite venues. Pro-tip: Planned can assist in all your event planning needs for hosting an offsite. Check it out! Placing your team in an entirely new environment for a day, weekend, or a week can yield a variety of positive results. These positive results are an outcome of breaking hierarchical ranks to enhance productivity. Employees feel more freedom in out-of-office environments to share their ideas, speak more openly, and collaborate when titles and office walls are not a factor. In addition, these off-sites offer an opportunity for everyone to bond more, by sharing stories and learning more about each other in a less tense environment. Additionally, it’s helpful for employees to bounce ideas off others who they may not typically hold meetings with or How to plan an offsite? Where: The destination for a company offsite can be determined by various factors. By taking into consideration: your goals, your office location, budget and where your attendees will be travelling from, you’ll be able to narrow down your options and connect with those venues and start making a plan. Some of the most common destinations for off-sites across North America include: San Francisco, Boston, Whistler, Calgary, Los Angeles, Austin, Montréal, New York City, and Vancouver. When: Most companies host an off-site at the beginning of the year or quarterly. The reason for this timing is because companies are establishing goals, planning new initiatives, and tackling business development problems during this time to promote vision alignment and to set OKRs. Hosting an offsite during this time allows teams to be clear on the desired result or be able to better approach the upcoming tasks in a more effective manner. How: Lastly, planning an off-site for your department or your company can seem overwhelming at first. However, through taking the appropriate steps, this planning process can be streamlined. First and foremost, define the purpose of the offsite. Generally it’s to resolve problems through creative solutions and set up each team for success. However, it’s up to you what the goal of this offsite is. From there, it’s about figuring out the logistics: guest list, location, accommodation, spending on location, and preparing material (hand…

The product
2 min read 4 months ago

Supplier Recommendations

Part of the event planning process is discovery and sourcing the perfect event suppliers. A mission of Planned is to decrease the time spent on that process by 60% or more. One way that Planned is aiming to do that is by recommending suppliers directly to our users based on their event needs. With this new feature, all Planned users will receive event supplier recommendations directly from the Planned team! If you don’t love what you see or want some more recommendations for different supplier categories, you can easily request more recommendations and select the categories. After recommendations are added to your event, you and all event collaborators will receive an email regarding the new recommendations. Viewing your recommended suppliers from ‘My suppliers’. Once you’ve browsed the recommendations, you have the ability to add your favorites to your ‘Saved’ list and contact the supplier immediately. This new recommendation feature is a great way to collaborate with your Account Manager who can help you with all your events! Check it out now by creating an account or logging in.

Event tips
3 min read 4 months ago

Bring Your Team Together

It’s no secret that work models have shifted in the last two years, so it’s crucial to ensure that you’re still bringing your company together even if everyone is working remotely! With good intentions, clear visions, and the right resources, you can bring everyone together in 2022. Here are ways to bring your team together this year! Gather your team for a beach day! Quarterly team-building events Team building events are a fun way to bring team together for an opportunity to bond! You can plan these in a virtual, hybrid or in-person format, and the options are endless. By bringing your team together every quarter, everyone can build trust, instil strong communication, and share a laugh. Some ideas for team building activities include: taking a tequila tasting class, meditation workshop, or a homemade pasta class. Pro-tip: the Planned marketplace is filled with incredible event suppliers who specialize in team-building events. Milestone celebrations It’s vital to celebrate the wins together! As your company sets annual goals, host a celebration once that milestone has been achieved. These celebrations are a great way to show your employees how important it is to recognize how far you’ve come as a team. These celebrations should be fun, exciting and innovative! Some ideas for these celebrations: host a funny, light-hearted award ceremony, reserve a restaurant for a fancy dinner, or book a photography studio for new headshots and lunch! These celebrations are a great opportunity for managers to get creative. Change your teams’ environment by hosting an offsite. Off-site brainstorming Studies have shown that changing your environment can improve your ability to think of new and innovative ideas. Host a company or department-wide offsite so everyone can put their best brainstorming foot forward. Managers can bring a list of high level issues or problems that need solutions, and throughout your offsite, set up brainstorm sessions for everyone to participate. As much as this is about coming up with creative problem solving, this is also about an opportunity for everyone to get to know each other outside of the office, so feel free to set up daily lunch reservations for everyone to attend, or hire a professional to host a workshop (wine tasting, comedian, etc.). Monthly company-wide events Bringing the entire company together can seem like a tall mountain to climb, but with the appropriate planning it’s reasonable! A key component of establishing a strong company culture is done through bringing everyone together. For companies that are working remotely, finding the best time of day can be tricky, but sending out a survey can help find a good fit. These monthly company-wide events don’t need to be flashy, they can be informative while still being entertaining. The best approach for implementing any or all of these events is to start slow and small. There’s no need to start by booking a long weekend in Napa Valley or renting out an entire hotel in New York City. It’s best to plan these events out methodically and grow to scale at a pace that makes the most sense for your company. Most…

Event tips
4 min read 4 months 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 4 months 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 5 months 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 6 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 6 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 7 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 7 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 7 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!

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