Things To Consider When Planning Your Corporate Event

July 25, 2019 by Grand Central Party

Maintaining a personal touch with clients and consumers in your industry is key to building relationships that last, and holding a corporate event is a great way to do just that. You will build meaningful connections, brand recognition, and loyalty through the personal interactions that occur. You’ll also be with people that you might never have gotten the chance to meet otherwise, which will often lead to future business relationships. Email and social media engagement will only go so far. 

Here are some things for you to consider when you’re planning your corporate event: 

  • Location, location, location. Location is one of the most important factors to the attendance at your event. Make sure that you book a venue that will be convenient to your target audience; a vibrant and exciting atmosphere helps, too. You want your attendees to feel comfortable, and you want them to be willing to make the commute. 
  • Shop local. Using local vendors for catering, music, stage setup, and sound is a great way to support the community and help the people in these trades to network and expand their businesses, too. It will also provide you with additional networking opportunities with others in the area. 
  • Know your purpose. Once you decide to host a corporate event, you want to determine exactly what is going to resonate with your target audience. Once you have set the direction for your event, you can contact potential guest speakers who are experts in your chosen industry. This will position your company as a trusted advisor, elevating you above the level of just another vendor. 
  • Make it fun. Offer your attendees the opportunity to have some fun. Being able to hear a famous speaker or band, getting to try new things, or exploring downtown nightlife – the people who come to your event will remember it for years to come if it’s memorable and entertaining. And they won’t forget who the planner and host was, either.
  • Financial planning. Hosting a corporate event is going to require a large budget, and a wise planner will be selective when deciding where to invest that budget. Spend the money on the things that matter, such as making sure the sound team and equipment are on point. It won’t matter that your event is aesthetically pleasing if the sound is terrible. If your event will be out of doors at any point, a wise choice might be to rent tents. This allows any possible weather concerns to become a non-issue. Don’t skimp on food and drinks, either. People always remember that. You want your event to foster trust for your enterprise, and giving people the best of what truly matters will definitely demonstrate that your business gets the job done, and gets it done right. 

Here at Grand Central Party, we’ve been serving Middle Tennessee for nearly 20 years, and we pride ourselves on being planning experts. We can help you plan your corporate event, and with our extensive selection of rentals – from tents and tableware to chairs and lighting – we’ll make sure that your event is a huge success!

Tips to Beat the Heat at Your Summer Party

June 27, 2019 by Grand Central Party

Outdoor parties are one of the best things about summer. Whether it’s a backyard barbecue, a graduation celebration, or a wedding, the beauty of summer simply can’t be matched by any other time of year. However, the heat that accompanies all that natural beauty is often severe and can make any party a miserable affair. There are lots of things we can do to combat the overly-warm temperatures of this time of year, though! 

Here are a few items that can be a big help in beating the heat at your summer party:

  • Fans and air conditioners
  • Cold drinks and treats
  • Water games, such as dunk tanks and slip-n-slides
  • Misters
  • Tents

When it comes to tent rentals, keep a few things in mind. A tent with a clear top will magnify the heat under the tent, while a white or light-colored tent will provide shade and lower temperatures up to 10 degrees. Fans can be attached to your tent to circulate air if your selection doesn’t include side panels, and you can also close the tent with side-walls and use an air conditioner. Misting systems can easily be added, as well, for an added cool benefit. 

If you want to be especially eco-friendly, consider an evaporative cooling system. These are quieter, more energy efficient than regular air conditioners and easy to install. They are ideal for open outdoor spaces, and perfectly suited for hot, dry conditions. Using this kind of unit will keep moisture in the air, and that means comfort. 

Make sure you provide lots of cold or frozen drinks and treats when it is hot outside, even if your guests are going to be inside a tent. If you are serving alcohol, make sure you have plenty of water available since alcohol is dehydrating. 

Water games, such as dunk tanks and water balloon fights, are fun ways to get the best of a hot situation, while adding to happy memories. If your party will include families with children, these kinds of activities are sure to be a huge hit. The photographs that will be taken will be great for social media, too! 

Summer is prime tent rental season, so call us here at Grand Central Party and schedule the perfect tent for your event!

Making A Wedding Planning Checklist

May 30, 2019 by Grand Central Party

The average length of an engagement in the U.S. is 16 months. With this timeframe in mind, we are going to share a comprehensive wedding checklist with you today that we think will be very helpful. The Grand Central Party team wants your day to be absolutely perfect!

16 – 9 months out:

  • Start a wedding binder.
  • Gather inspiration from Pinterest and from magazines that offer ideas for weddings, lifestyle, gardening, design, food, and lifestyles.
  • Establish your budget. Know ahead of time what you have to spend, and don’t forget to include possible family contributions.
  • Pick your wedding party members.
  • Start the guest list. Build a database that you can pull from throughout the process for gifts, RSVPs, contacts, and other relevant information.
  • Hire your wedding planner now, if you are going to use one.
  • Reserve your venues.
  • Book the person who will be officiating.
  • Start researching florists, caterers, photographers, and musicians/DJs.

8 months out:

  • Hire your photographer and/or videographer.
  • Book all entertainment.
  • Hire, and meet with, the caterer.
  • Get your dress. Make sure you allow for several fittings.
  • Reserve hotel rooms for any guests from out of town.
  • Register for gifts.

7 months out:

  • Get invitations, and hire a calligrapher if you won’t have the time or the skill to address them yourself.
  • Start planning your honeymoon. Get passports together, and schedule appointments with doctors for any necessary inoculations.
  • Purchase bridesmaids dresses.
  • Meet with the person officiating. Ensure that you have all necessary documents.
  • Book all necessities for an outdoor event, such as portable toilets, chairs, and lighting.
  • Send your “Save The Date” cards.
  • Book the florist.
  • Transportation. Now’s the time to reserve your limos or towncars.
  • Create your wedding day timeline.

4-5 months out:

  • Reserve your rehearsal dinner venue.
  • Revisit the invitations to ensure they are on schedule.
  • Select your cake and put it on order. Make sure you taste it!
  • Send your guest list to the person who is hosting your wedding shower.
  • Start your wedding dress fittings, and purchase your shoes. You should take the shoes to the fittings to make sure they work together, and so the tailor will know just how long your gown needs to be.
  • Schedule your hair and makeup persons.
  • Choose music. Be clear on when it will be played, and make a note of anything you absolutely do not like.

3 months out:

  • Finalize flowers and menu.
  • Order your wedding favors and welcome baskets.
  • Create a toast list.
  • Finalize the readings for the ceremony.
  • The order of the ceremony and reception should be finalized at this time.
  • If you haven’t already, now’s the time to purchase your rings, giving you time for resizing and engraving.
  • Provide your vendors with an event schedule.

2 months out:

  • Touch base with all of your vendors to ensure that any questions they may have will be answered.
  • Meet with your photographer and walk through the schedule discussing specific shots.
  • Touch base with the band or DJ to review the playlist.
  • Mail your invitations 6 to 8 weeks before the ceremony.
  • Have your bachelorette party! This usually is the job of the maid of honor, but if it hasn’t been mentioned yet, ask.

1 month out:

  • Enter the RSVPs into your database. Now aren’t you glad you created one?
  • Get that marriage license.
  • Mail rehearsal-dinner invitations.
  • Have one last dress fitting.
  • Stock the bar, now that you know who’s coming.
  • Confirm your hair and makeup appointments.
  • Complete your assigned seating plan.
  • Purchase gifts for your bridesmaids.
  • Write your vows, if you are not using the standards.

The week of:

  • Reconfirm vendor arrival times.
  • Delegate small tasks, such as who will help carry your things, who will oversee gifts and money, who can be point-person for the vendors.
  • Provide the bridal party with a timeline.
  • Pick up your dress.
  • Check in with the photographer.
  • It’s manicure and pedicure time.
  • Send the finalized guest list to the caterer and venues.
  • Assemble and distribute the welcome baskets – people are arriving!
  • Break in those shoes.
  • Pack for your honeymoon.

You did it! This list is lengthy, but you can of course remove items when they don’t pertain to your wedding celebrations. Here at Grand Central Party, we want your day to be perfect! Call us for your rental needs.

Graduation Party Planning Tips

May 2, 2019 by Grand Central Party

It seems like only yesterday they were learning to ride a bike or practicing their multiplication tables, and now their high school graduation day is almost here. The days of class trips, pep rallies, and football games are coming to an end, and it’s an exciting and bittersweet time for your child, and for you. Saying goodbye to the past and greeting the future with hope and joy is all part of this time in life, and the graduation celebration you plan should reflect that. Here are some graduation party planning tips for you:

THE DECISIONS. You and your graduate have a lot to consider. Who to invite (family, school friends, the neighbors?), when to host it (weekend, after school, after the graduation ceremony?), where it should be (your house, a separate venue, outdoors?) You can opt for an open-house style, so that if there are any other parties that same day or night, attendees can flow from one to another and see everyone.

BUDGET. As you create your budget, these are the things you will need to consider: Invitations and postage, decorations and centerpieces, food and drink, photography and video, party favors and music, venue and tent rental, and oh! Don’t forget the thank you notes!

STYLE/THEME. You can go formal and create a classic atmosphere with fine linen and china, complete with elegant floral arrangements. Perhaps this crowd is more of a casual bunch, so in that case, you can create a camping vibe outdoors with everyone in weekend wear around a bonfire. A luau would be great fun, with tropical dress, lots of flowers, and fruity non-alcoholic drinks. Your party theme can be created with your graduate’s future plans in mind, with the theme framed around where they are going to college or trade school, or what their career goals are. If your party is going to be outdoors, you should consider the seating requirements and any tent rental or chair rental needs that you will have!

PERSONALIZE. Set up a way for guests to record their thoughts and memories for the graduate to enjoy in the future. You can do this by offering a place for “graffiti”, where people can be as artistic and creative as they like, or you can have it done “vlog” style with a videographer. Record the silliness, the dancing, and the reminiscing (keeping it positive and joyful). A guest book with a page for each person to use is also a possibility.

ENTERTAINMENT. Customize any entertainment to the crowd your child has been friends with over the years. Music and dancing is an obvious choice, but perhaps this group is into gaming and anime – a costume contest might be fun, instead. For the sports minded, a softball or flag football game could be a hit, as another example.

Here at Grand Central Party, we are all about celebrating. From tent rentals and stanchions to china and chairs, we have everything you need for your graduation celebration. Let’s get this party started!

Tips for Creating the Perfect Wedding Reception Playlist

April 4, 2019 by Grand Central Party

Everyone loves a wedding reception. The ceremony itself is emotional and lovely, but the after-party is what we all look forward to! Delicious food and drink, great company, and amazing music are all part of a memorable reception, and each of these can make or break the success of your wedding reception.

Today we are going to talk about the music, and how to create a perfect wedding playlist. There’s an art to putting together the perfect playlist for any event, and it’s something you will want to spend some time and effort on so that it can be just right.

A professional DJ can be expensive, but they know their stuff. They will handle the logistics and the timing, while you are partying, and that can be an important consideration. For those of you who want to tackle it yourself, be prepared to spend a fair amount of time on this. Here are a few ways you can find inspiration and help:

  • Use iTunes or Spotify. This is an easy way to create your playlist, complete with sublists for the different events throughout the day, including the ceremony itself.
  • Use an app. WeddingDJ is one example; it costs $7.99 and is preprogrammed with all of the events of the day to help you remember what is happening. You have to own the music you will be using, but it’s super simple to use, and can take requests and make changes for you!
  • Work with your fiance. This day is about both of you, so you will want your music to reflect that. Sit down with them and see what songs they might want to have played. Reminisce about your first date, dance, or kiss, and choose music that helps you celebrate those moments. Choose the right song for the special dances, such as father and daughter or son and mother, etc.
  • Take requests. You can invite your attendees to make requests on social media platforms or your wedding blog, or even on Pinterest. A song request line can be added to the RSVP on your invitations as well. Taking requests can add a whole new level of fun to your wedding playlist!
  • Have a playlist-making party. Host an event with friends, family, or wedding party and enlist others’ help in creating your perfect wedding playlist. It can be a great way to bond and spend time with those you love before your big day and take some walks down memory lane while doing it. Who knows what these folks might come up with?
  • Mix it up. Include all genres and timeframes so that everyone from all generations will have something to enjoy. Include slow dance tunes and songs that get everybody out on the floor, too, and make sure you avoid negative or inflammatory songs so that the vibe can stay happy and celebratory throughout the event.

Here at Grand Central Party, we are all about creating the perfect event. Call us today and let’s get this party started!