Friday, February 27, 2009
(This is Kate)
The entire PFI team is on Facebook. In addition to having our friends, family members, clients and colleagues "fan" the PFI Business Page, we're asking them to "friend" our staff members too!
Be sure to check us out on the web.
Don't worry, we won't bite!
Thursday, February 26, 2009
It must be spring! The Philadelphia Flower Show is coming to the PA Convention Center this weekend; Sunday, March 1- Sunday, March 8, 2009. Get some inspiration for your home and garden because this year's theme is "Bella Italia". We have gleaned some great ideas for our award winning signature environments when we have attended so go and be amazed. Benefits the PA Horticultural Society.
Twitter for Meeting Planners: How to Make It Work for You
Definitely worth reading!
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Did somebody say Bulgarian Feta?!?!?!?
Monday, February 23, 2009
Trio of Glass Pedestals Domes just proposed as a centerpiece--we'd like to place individual live florals in each!
Alternatively, we thought desserts placed in each would be a very tempting centerpiece!
What do you think?
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Friday, February 20, 2009
macroeconomic trends making headlines in the North American market.
Experience marketing is taking hold as an advanced discipline within event marketing. And if marketers get additional budget to put toward marketing, they are putting those resources toward event marketing rather than print advertising. 54% of respondents say they will transition from event marketing to experience marketing in the next 12 months.
We'd love to know your thoughts, comments, suggestions, overwhelming praise, and general love for all that is Planning Factory International!
We kid, we kid.
Here are a few ways in which you can show PFI your love...
1. Follow our Blog. I don't mean just read it daily. Rather, click on the link under "follow this blog" on the rightside of the page and become a "follower".
2. Comment on our crazy posts. Find our posts absolutely hysterical? Extremely poignant? Or maybe a little of both? Comment on specific posts and we'll be sure to write back!
3. Share our Blog with your friends, family and colleagues. We want to experience the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon. Feel free to tell your friends, family and associates to check out our blog. It's bound to entertain. I know we crack each other up, daily!
Talk to you on the web!
If you don’t know if you are a sloppy kisser, it’s easy to find out. Does your girlfriend discreetly wipe off her face after a kiss? Does kissing feel more like a washing machine than a passionate embrace?
Kissing your partner should leave them weak in the knees not unconscious. If you go in for too deep of a kiss and your noses block each other, there is a good chance you could be suffocating your partner.
Although some people prefer to keep their eyes open during a kiss, until you know what your partner prefers or is comfortable with, keep your eyes closed and enjoy the moment. .
Although it can be romantic to spontaneously lean in for a kiss over dinner, be sure your date hasn’t just taken a bite of food or drink or is in mid-conversation.
Generally, if it’s a first kiss opt for puckering up when the two of you are alone. This will cease some of the first-kiss-nerves. Later, you can see if your date is ready for a public display of affection.
A deep and passionate kiss is great but not if your date isn’t ready for it. If it’s a first kiss, lean in gently and test the waters. Once you’ve gotten to know the person and their style of kissing you’ll feel confident for something more.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Mastromatteo, Przelomski, Van Graafeiland... seriously!
Anyways, a supplier I'm working with just sent me an email saying that his sales team has a bet running about my last name. They want to know if it's Dutch.
Well, yes, it is.
And... one of his Dutch counterparts (who speaks the language fluently) wrote back to tell me my last name actually means:
"from a dig island"
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
2. White Truffles
3. Boating, specifically yachting
4. Men who wear loafers with no socks
5. Fireworks--really just the finale
1. Lobster Ravioli
2. Dresses on the beach
5. Partying for a living
so, its more than 5--but you get the point!
ok ... maybe it isn't Kate's favorite website yet ... but I'm sure it will be soon ... :)
WHEN YOU HAVE TO GO
Ever find yourself desperately looking for a clean toilet in the city? MizPee.com and MizPee.eu find the closest, cleanest toilets in your area. You can add and review toilets, get some cool deals in your area and challenge your knowledge of toilet trivia. Or just vote in the MizPee Flush of the Year contest.
Yes ... all of you traveling meeting and event planners that can never find a clean potty when you need one in a strange city ... HELP IS HERE! :)
Dinner dispute raises alarm at truffle body
By Valentina Za Valentina Za – Tue Feb 17, 1:54 pm ET
MILAN (Reuters) – The Alba white truffle association is on the warpath to defend the image of the rare fungus as a dispute over dinner heads for the Italian courts.
The Italian media has been abuzz with news about an unnamed top executive who refused to pay a 4,000 euro ($5,058) bill after dining on truffles with five guests at Milan's two Michelin-starred Cracco restaurant.
Chef Carlo Cracco -- author of the "White Truffle Utopia" -- told Reuters that his restaurant refused to accept the anonymous businessman's offer to foot half the bill or that there was any confusion over the weight or price of the truffles before the diners commenced eating.
Cracco said the party of six consumed about 300 grams of truffle, which cost 10.90 euros per gram.
"They did not want to see the menus. They just said: 'We want the truffles'," he said, adding that they picked two large ones and were duly informed of the weight.
The diner said the truffle had not been weighed, newspapers reported, without giving details on his identity.
The media attention comes at a time when an economic crisis threatens luxury spending and the purveyors of expensive goods such as the truffle are keen to hang on to their markets.
The Alba white truffle association is considering its own legal steps and plans to advocate for a code of conduct for restaurants with truffle dishes on their menus.
"All the media hype about this dinner is damaging for the truffle," said Roberto Ponzio, a lawyer hired by the Alba white truffle association. "It has created a link in people's minds between truffles and nasty surprises at the end of a dinner."
Located in the heart of the Langhe -- the hilly southern area of Italy's north-western Piedmont region -- Alba is the country's capital of white truffles, a variety of the prized fungus which grows underground.
The town has held an annual truffle fair in the autumn for nearly 80 years.
Truffles can vary in size from a tiny pebble to a tennis ball. The larger the truffle the higher the price. "We are comfortable with the price the restaurant charged," said Alberto Cirio, head of the Association for the International Fair of the Alba White Truffle, which organizes the annual event. "But we want to make sure we avoid misunderstandings of the sort in the future."
At the time of the dinner the truffle price in Alba was about 4 euros per gram, Cirio said, adding that a 20 percent value-added tax is often charged twice as the "white gold" changes hands from the hunters to restaurants.
Cirio said the association would encourage restaurants to agree on a set of rules to make sure truffles are weighed and grated on the dishes in front of the clients, with a clear indication of the price on display.
(Reporting by Valentina Za, editing by Paul Casciato)
Don't worry truffles. I'll always love you and never be surprised at how little I can afford you. :)
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
I think that Kate might be my own personal Tyler Durden.
People call me in response to emails that Kate has sent them. Attendees email Kate when I'm listed as the contact person on the registration site. Some people even tell Kate something and then are puzzled when I do not know that same information. Is Kate actually Tyler Durden and I am Edward Norton? Or am I Tyler Durden?
The only problem with this theory is that neither of us are a neo-Luddite, a nihilist or even anarcho-primitivist. And we don't usually have a hatred for consumer culture. I get really irked with excessive amounts of packaging that are just going to sit in a landfill, but I'm pretty sure that's not the same thing. And really, we're both big fans of technology ... so we can't be neo-Luddites. So maybe neither one of us are Tyler Durden.
But that doesn't mean that she's not imaginary and that we're not the same person. She IS good at everything that I'm not good at. And she IS tall (something I always wanted to be). So ... maybe she IS imaginary ... I mean ... I don't know anything that Kate knows but everyone seems to think that I should ... if that makes any sense at all ... or maybe I'm just punchy. It is 4 o'clock ...
Here are some names- many of them are alcoholic in nature- does not reflect on you or me! Just the white color thing and I thought she is probably a girl so here goes:
Coconut, Vodka (Stoli, Absolut) Sambuca, Bacardi (white rum), Bella, Sparkle, Vanilla, Snowflake, Sprite, Fresca, Sprite, Chablis, Spritzer, Sparkle, Latte
Isn't she cute?!
A. EVAPORTATED MILK (still can't figure that out) --or--
B. Heavy whipping cream
HINT!: Peel a banana from the bottom and you won't have to pick the little "stringy things" off of it. That's how the primates do it. Take your bananas apart when you get home from the store. If you leave them connected at the stem, they ripen faster.
According to PFI, a Banquet Event Order is our event/meeting bible!
I'm currently working on my BEOs for an upcoming event in New York City and I'm reviewing the BEOs with a fine tooth comb! I personally feel that anything NOT included on the BEO is not going to happen onsite. You need to make sure that every last detail is defined for all parties involved.
Important elements to include on all BEOs:
- Timing. Be specific. When do you gain access to a room? When does the meeting/workshop actually occur in the room? How long do you have the room to breakdown after the meeting.
- Signage. What do you want the Reader Boards to display? What should the signage outside each meeting room read? Get it down in writing (ha ha)
- Dietary Needs. Get down and dirty with your BEOs. Qualify each attendee who has a special dietary requirement and get their name and specific requirement included on the BEO for any/all meal functions.
- Dates. You may think this is a silly, but double check the dates outlined at the top of your BEOs. I can't tell you how many times my BEOs have been almost perfect in Content, but have had the dates wrong. It won't matter if everything is outlined well for your meeting; if the correct dates aren't specified at the top of the BEO - you're screwed!
- Review. Review. Review. I always have at least one of my coworkers review my BEOs, regardless of their involvement with my program. A fresh set of eyes on any program can help catch those minute details that I may have otherwise missed.
Monday, February 16, 2009
punch⋅y [puhn-chee]- adjective, punchier, punchiest. informal
2. being or appearing vigorously effective; forceful
3. descriptive of PFI staff at 4pm almost any day. bouncy balls and chocolate may become involved.
We are doing appointments and socializing. . . I never said we weren't drinking! Part of the the job. . .
And away we go!
4th, 5th, 6th, 7th & 8th to follow....no wasting time here!
We ARE truly "on the move"!
-Cher & Linds
The ISES REC is a fabulous gathering of Special Events professionals from throughout the Northeast. The educational classes are fantastic, the networking opportunities are endless and the evening events are phenomenal.
We attended last year's REC in Providence, Rhode Island and had a ball.
Hope to see you all in New York City!
Cher & Lindsay are off to Bermuda and to the PFB office! They've got appointments lined up from the minute they land until the minute they depart. No doubt they will return with a bevy of new accounts!
Safe travels to you both and say "hi" to Kathryn for us!
The rest of PFI is in the U.S. office, holding down the fort. Perhaps will video-blog sometime this week.
Friday, February 13, 2009
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Besides the fun of it all, it is a wonderful way to send a file or picture instantly. Check it out! And, if you begin to use it Skype us at PFI!
The hospitality industry is a powerful force that must stay strong during these trying economic times. If we live in fear, allowing it to operate the decisions we make, we're simply adding to the problem, NOT attempting to fix it!
The Opening General Session on Sunday, February 8, 2009, was for me, the best part of Meet Different. The keynote speakers addressed the issues at large, primarily the cancellation of thousands of meetings and events that planners around the world are experiencing due to clients operating out of fear, and told us that we can work together to correct them.
A few suggestions I took away from this week:
- Cancellations. Work with clients to inform them of the effects the cancellation of their events/meetings has on the economy. Hotels lose money, have to cut staff, unemployment rates increase due to loss of jobs.
- Perception. Didn't your parents teach you not to let other people influence the decisions you make? Why are Fortune 500 companies allowing public opinion to determine whether or not they're going to hold meetings? Call me crazy, but with the current state of our economy, one would think that executives at companies around the world need to meet to determine their course of action to stay afloat. Work with your clients to find a happy-medium.
- Fear. Don't let fear rule the decisions you make... and don't let fear rule the decisions your clients make. Listen to your clients concerns, but be creative and show them solutions and ways in which they can accomplish their goals and objectives through strategic meetings and events.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Saturday, February 7, 2009
Stay tuned for updates throughout the conference!
Friday, February 6, 2009
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
The 40 guest hotel will float at an altitude of 18,000 feet and will have a restaurant, gym, lounge and library. It is also rumored to have an outdoor sundeck! WOW!
More incredible things to come....
Trend One: Going Green
While this is nothing new and many of us have been saying "been there, heard about it" there is an even more important emphasis on the subject now. CO2 control, reducing the carbon footprint and compensating for what is produced must be stressed at every event in any way possible.
Trend Two: Internal Communication Events
We will see more and more events centered around Information and how to get it to the end-user (customer). Events will be focused on getting closer to the target groups through Training and Communication and Sales-driven events.
Trend Three: The Fit between Surroundings and the Message
There always needs to be a reason for the event and the reason will make no sense if it doesn't fit the venue in which it is held. To take this to the basics, if the main point of the meeting is centered around a serious message like cutting back on plant production and how it will effect employment then don't hold it at a theme park.
Trend Four: Partnering
When holding an event try to bring in two (or three) companies who's target group is similar in order to divide the available budget between the companies. In order to do this make sure that the companies are:
1)not in competition
2) match the target group in demographics (age, gender, locale)
3) fit in quality perception
Trend Five: SHOUT!
Let your marketing message stand out. Don't dilute your message with other audience attention-getters.
Trend Six: Neuromarketing
Used by advertisers for a while, neuromarketing has been very successful: see a bottle of Coke and you can already taste it and get satisfaction from the experience. In other words, our brains confirm that the brand with the more effective marketing wins and can even fake out our taste buds. The field of neuromarketing--the practice of using brain-wave product feedback to target goods and services to our subconscious appetites--is growing. A broader definition of neuromarketing--going behind traditional marketing approaches to understand what's going on in people's brains, to see how they're hardwired.
Trend Seven: Time-ism
Time is the most expensive currency of the client. Event time is in competition with life-style time-- keep the time commitment as minimal as possible.
Although we didn't take home the Gala Award in our category, it was an honor to be nominated and we can't wait to submit for the 2010 Gala Awards!
Enough talking from me... why don't you check out some photos of the team having a ball in San Diego:
Here's Liz & Dana on the first day of the TSE. They're standing beneath the TSE signage at the San Diego Convention Center. Get excited!
The team decided to meet for cocktails after our first day of classes. Here's Kate, Liz and Dana sitting in the Lobby bar.
The Opening General Session is always great; Dana, Liz & Susan are getting into the spirit!
Ali & Cher are getting into the Opening General Session too!
You can't go wrong with lighted wands! Here are Lindsay & Kate at the Opening General Session!
Although this picture is a little dark, we had to post it. Here's Dana & Liz in the ladies restroom at one of the off-site events. Yes, that's them standing with champagne in-hand in front of a fabulous ice sculpture with loads of chocolate covered strawberries. Brilliant!
Here we are at the NACE Welcome Event at the nightclub, On Broadway. Liz, Dana, Lindsay & Kate had a ball exploring the venue, trying the fabulous food, and dancing the night away!
Here's Ed, PFI's Art Director, with a few of "his girls' at the NACE Welcome Event. Take a look at his buttons!
As you know, PFI was nominated for a Gala Award at the 2009 TSE. Here's a look at our nomination write-up on the Gala Boards on the Tradeshow Floor.
Here we are enjoying dinner at Jimmy Loves in the Gaslamp District of San Diego. What a cool area. We loved San Diego so much, we're pushing to open a west coast branch!
Here's Lindsay, Susan at Cher at the Gala Awards Ceremony last Friday night. The band, NRG, is performing on stage right behind them; they were really great!
Here we are at the Gala Awards Ceremony - Kate, Lindsay, Dana & Liz. Yes, we all got the black memo!
We had a great time at this year's TSE and can't wait for next year's conference in New Orleans!