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Event Planning


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Table of Contents

Preface xiii Acknowledgments xxiii Chapter 1: The First Steps: Initial Planning & Budgeting 1 Determining Your Event Objectives 4 How Much Can You Spend? 5 Event Vision 7 Event Vision Q&A 17 Design Objectives of the Event Experience 24 Initial Planning 33 Visualization 38 Monitoring the Budget 41 Event Design Principles Checklist 45 Event Experience Design Objectives 45 Chapter 2: Organization and Timing 47 Critical Path 47 Function Sheets 52 Timing 58 Date Selection 67 Critical Path Checklist 73 Charting Your Critical Path 74 Chapter 3: Location, Location, Location 80 Site Selection 81 Location Requirements 90 Hotels and Convention Centers 93 Restaurants, Private Venues, Catering 98 Theaters 99 Tents 101 Gala Openings in New Venues 107 Contracts 108 Location Q&A 110 Move In Requirement Checklist 126 Event Suppliers? Setup Logistics Checklist 128 Event Suppliers? Teardown Checklist 131 Chapter 4: Transportation 133 By Air 136 By Land 140 Transportation Q&A 148 Transportation Checklist 164 Chapter 5: Guest Arrival 166 Guest Arrival Q&A 169 Fanfare 182 Fanfare Q&A 184 Registration: Guest Pass Security and Ticket Pickup 193 Registration Q&A 194 Guest Arrival Checklist 201 Chapter 6: Venue Requirements 202 Room Requirements 203 Room Requirements Q&A 203 Staging, Audiovisual, Lighting 208 Staging, Audiovisual, Lighting Q&A 213 Lighting-Specific Q&A 221 Venue and Event Supplier Checklist: Room, Venue and Supplier Requirements, and Contract Terms and Conditions 222 Chapter 7: Who?s It All For? 226 Know Your Guest Demographics 226 The Guest List 230 Invitations 234 Media 240 Media Q&A 241 Children at Your Event 242 E-vites, CD and DVD Invitations 244 Event Websites and Event RSVP Websites 246 Chapter 8: Food and Beverage 247 Examples of Texas Theme Parties with Different Energy 248 Food and Beverage Considerations 251 Menu Planning 255 Staffing 294 Charitable Donations 297 Chapter 9: Other Considerations 299 Entertainment 299 Entertainment Q&A 301 Photographers and Videographers 308 Photographer Q&A 311 Themes and Programs 317 Final Touches 327 Staff , Supplier and Entertainment Work Permits 330 Event Risk Assessment 335 Conclusion 340 It?s a Wrap! 340 Applause! Applause! 349 Your Next Event 350 Appendix A: Sample Cost Sheets 352 Appendix B: Sample Payment Schedules 376 Appendix C: Sample Function Sheets 384 Index 403

About the Author

Judy Allen is one of the world?s leading authorities on staging, event and lifestyle design and the bestselling author of ten books for the professional, business and consumer markets. Allen, a master of creative design, has flawlessly executed successful special events?corporate, social, and celebrity?for up to 2,000 guests at a time in more than 30 countries around the world. She has designed and produced memorable events such as Disney?s worldwide theatrical opening-night gala for Beauty and the Beast, and the orchestration of Oscar-winning director Norman Jewison?s 25th anniversary celebration for Fiddler on the Roof. Highly skilled in staging events that are strategically designed to be one-of-kind experiences and a master of transforming the energy of an event environment by engaging the senses with trademark primary design principles, Allen has worked closely with CEOs, CFOs, presidents and their executive staff around the globe to create, implement and oversee their corporate and social business events. The many diverse events that Allen has designed and executed extend from complex one-day events to elaborate arrangements of theme productions taking place over the course of a week. These events ranged from very exclusive VIP events to multimillion-dollar, multimedia fantasy extravaganzas including seven new-car product launches and involved high-tech stage and show productions. Allen, and her 2jproductions ( partner, Joe Shane, are now bringing their dynamic creative energy, innovative style and perceptive insight to home, life and lifestyle design and world class resorts around the world through Sensual Home Living? ( and other initiatives.

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