Heading into a new year is always a chance to take stock and set new intentions – and even more so for event planners and small business owners. Over the past 12 months, our team has learned and grown a lot. And we’re grateful for the people who have helped make BB Events what it is today. The staff, volunteers, vendors and clients of the San Francisco Bay Area have been a constant source of inspiration and support.
As we look ahead to 2023, we’re excited for the opportunity to celebrate these partnerships further and work collaboratively with our community to drive the events industry towards creating more impact. Call it a business resolutions list or our vision board for the industry – either way, we are committed to sparking change through events this year and beyond.
If you work in the events industry or are a small business owner, we hope that you will find inspiration here as well!
In Teams We Trust
Find a team that you trust to help run your small business. As much as you’d like to wear every hat, once you find people that you can rely on and who know your business, it creates a more relaxed environment on the day of the event. Trust me, I know that with your name on the company letterhead, you feel responsible for every decision and action, but it’s just not sustainable long-term. Delegate, delegate and delegate some more!
On the day of the event, you don’t want to be on the ground giving the go-ahead on small issues – you need to be available for bigger unforeseen hiccups that require your full attention.
Take care of your staff. Event planning is one of the most stressful jobs out there, so remind them to take breaks (lead by example on this one), invest in training and development give them a nutritious, hot meal on event day and be nice and kind. It’s those small gestures that remind them that they’re a valued part of the team.
Once a year, get your wider team together for a retreat. It’s a chance to thank them for their hard work and meet others within the company. It’s hard to build community when you’re hired to work just a few days of the season, especially in the fast-paced world of events!
How I hire:
- Word of mouth is my favorite way to hire new staff. I like to see them in action to get a feel for how they work and whether they’d fit in at BB Events. Often new hires are people I’ve known for a while in the industry.
- Start with a small segmented task. Trial your new staff with one piece of the event. If they’re doing well, offer more responsibility.
- Employ students to help with small elements of the event. They have passion and enthusiasm for the work and are keen learners!
- Put people where they shine. You’ll quickly learn where your staff’s skills lie. Maximize these talents and match them with appropriate roles.
Always Be Prepared
I’m a checklist addict and proud of it. When juggling multiple events, I have so much going on in my head that it helps to get things down on paper. Once I have the details of the event in place, I share the document with my team and external vendors one week out from the event.
Remember that timeframe. This gives everyone time to digest and come back with questions or changes. This avoids last-minute surprises on the day of. Then, the day before the event, get your team together for a final briefing, so everyone is prepared.
Tip: Don’t be scared of phone calls! I often remind my team that what takes hours of back-and-forth emails could be answered with a 5-minute phone call. Pick up the phone and get the answers you need faster.
I like to get a group of vendors whose roles could impact one another together on a call. For example, the rental furniture company and the venue, so they can ask questions I wouldn’t think of. They might also realize some equipment can be provided onsite and can save on costs or there might be a quirk at the vendor entrance that could prevent damage or injury.
See the Value in Your Vendors
When organizing a fundraiser (or even a corporate event), your budget is a big consideration – vendors are not the place to cut costs. I’ve built a catalogue of experienced vendors over the years who I go back to time and time again because they’re reliable, quick thinking and flexible to my clients’ needs. Plus, they’re local SF small businesses!
Tips when choosing vendors:
- Don’t be convinced by Instagram VS reality – See them in action or go for a tasting. A picture doesn’t always translate to the real deal.
- Seek recommendations – I use word of mouth and recommendations in every area of my small business. A referral is a strong sale if it’s from someone you trust.
- Check experience – Just because they can whip up a delicious dish, doesn’t mean they have the experience to deliver a three-course dinner for 300 guests.
Let’s Get 2023 to a Great Start!
As a company built on inclusion, diversity and accessibility, I’m so happy to see that people continue to be at the heart of BB Events. I can’t wait to see what this year has in store for us!
If you want to partner with a passionate and impact-driven events team, look no further. Get in touch with BB Events today and let’s create change together.