Here’s to new beginnings!


I hope that all of you are having a wonderful day, enjoying the promise that the future holds for us. Whatever your political leaning, I hope you'll be reminded that we all have much more in common than we have that is different.  Here' s to an inspiring year! And if you are engaged, may you be just as blissed-out and happy at the end of your wedding as these two looked at theirs. Thanks to Gangsta Bride for the pic!

Art of Weddings Recap and Roundup

The past week was plenty busy with our participation in the first wedding show of the year – The Art of Weddings.  We had so much fun and saw all kinds of cool things that we just have to tell you about. So today's Saturday Roundup will have a lot of content, hang in there!

First off, we were so lucky to be placed near Annette from Swanky Tables Event Design.  Her business centers around getting all the little details on the table just right, from linens to place cards, and she even has a candy buffet setup service!  Her table was all decked out in pink and silver, and it was hard to resist the pink rock candy swizzle sticks! We can't wait to do an event with Annette.

Swankytables portland wedding

Next up is Karren's Specialty Cakes.
They were handing out full-size samples of their chocolate orange and
pear cake and both were fabulous.  I am really picky about
cake so take my word, it's great! I heard tell that Karren only does
one cake a weekend, so if you're interested, get on it! Pictured below
is the Porceline cake from her website:

Porceline wedding cake portland

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how to get gigs through event planners and hotels

Disclaimer: I’m not a booking agent; there are lots of wonderful reasons to use one and there are some really great agents out there, especially in Portland (like here and here).

On the other hand, I know there are lots of bands without an agent who want to know what they can do to start up a little bit of buzz and get some regular gigs playing out, which will hopefully eventually lead to more contacts and those prime, well-paying event and wedding jobs?

Here’s my list, and feel free to comment with your opinion, especially if it is different.

1. Make your media packet digital. There’s more room to store mp3s on a hard drive than in the office. Also, if you happen to send it to a semi-prolific blogger, the way Hideki Yamaya did here, said blogger may instantly go to your website, listen to your music, blog and tweet about it. Instant PR!

2. If you must send paper packets, try to target the right person at the organization by doing a little online research. Sending out a bunch of CDs to “Catering Manager” is just a waste of time.

3. Don’t call event planners or venue managers and ask them for their address and “if you can” send them a packet. Most event planners and hotels have addresses that are easily found online and asking them this information just makes you look lazy or not very smart. And asking their “permission” to mail is just a waste of time. Just mail it!

3a. Also don’t call event planners and tell them that you are interested in getting more gigs. Great! But that falls into the dreaded “AAM” (All About Me) conversational faux pas. Much better either not to cold-call, or if you do, prepare by learning about your target planner’s business and offer a way that you can help them.

4. Find ways to play out to the right crowds. Sometimes this means playing for free. My husband Dave disagrees with me on this one, but I do think that if an event planner hears you at an event, they are more likely to seek you out and book you for their own events, than if they have only heard a CD or online mp3. Good places to go are hotel lobbies, happy hours, and association meetings like ISES, ABC, and MPI. Again, do research ahead of time to see if the organization is a good match for the kinds of gigs you are looking for, and find out if there’s an upcoming meeting that your entertainment might be perfect for. Or pitch the association board with a novel idea, such as a meeting centered around an entertainment showcase, like the one ISES Seattle did a while back. If you don’t want to gig for free, then figure out some dates that you already have a gig on the books, and send a pretty calendar or other “reminder book” (perhaps with an invitation to be on the guest list) to some key event planners that you are after.

I hope you find these helpful! Please feel free to comment with your thoughts.

great inspiration from a fellow planner

Thalia Plummer, who sits on the board of ISES Portland with me, and is the owner of Premiere Events Portland, recently posted this great piece of inspiration on her blog:

“With what the media is calling our “Arctic Blast” of 2008, the disarray of the stock market, and the disillusioning nightly news reports being pumped into homes across America day and night, it can be hard to keep focus on what’s really important…”
Read more at Thalia’s “Meetings, Events and Parties” blog…

I just had to share it with you!

Haute looks from Emilia Kaye

Our friends over at Event Cosmetics recently did a high-fashion runway show with Emily Sunnell, the designer of the Emilia Kaye clothing line.  The looks are startling, very Marie Antoinette!  Not necessarily what you'd think of for a wedding, but I love the mood that this look inspires.  Great job EC team! Photos by Brett Marjanen.


Prepping models for the show

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