Part-time help April 3rd-July 15th (review at end of 90 days; potential for staying on longer); Start at $15/hr ; (15) hours a week. Perfect for a recent event grad or someone looking to get their feet wet in the event industry while learning about the ins and outs of operating a small business.


Job responsibilities include the following things:


  • Social Media Management: develop and implement consistent and interesting social media plan across multiple platforms
  • Event Help in all aspects: from client meetings; planning & coordinating; event set up & breakdown…etc
  • Sales:  Promote business development through active networking


Benefits to the intern:  In addition to above candidate will be provided educational experiences like vendor visits.  There is a lot of room for creativity and growth.  LOTS AND LOTS of hands on experience on event management and small business operations.


Consistent schedule but it can be flexible.  Candidate would need their own computer but could work anywhere depending on the task. Mandatory in person meeting at the beginning of the week where tasks are assigned and from there we will map out the remainder of the week.

If interested:  send resumes & coverletters to

How to get people to attend your events

-Amy Nebons owns event management company Blink Events LLC

Last post we talked about building effective strategy for your events to ensure you see a positive return on investment. This week we address a common fear: what if nobody shows up?

Getting people to attend your event is a part of your overall event strategy and contributes to how effective you are at seeing a positive ROI.  Here are 5 sure-fire ways you can ensure the people you want at your event are there.

  1. Create event attendee profiles:  Start back at the drawing board by truly shedding light on what types of people you want to attend your event. Compile a list of adjectives that describe your perfect attendee. Then allow these adjectives to manifest themselves into specific people. Don’t just throw paint at the wall by inviting everyone. Rather, be laser focused on creating a specific and concise list.  Brainstorm with your team to create a list of your top 100 people you would like to attend and then allow your list to spider web out from there. You should begin profiling your target list of attendees about the same time you begin brainstorming your event objectives to ensure your messaging aligns with the intended audience that will be receiving it.
  2. Send your target group compelling messaging: Now that you have compiled your top 100 list, determine what avenues make the most sense for you to reach them.  Develop captivating and unique marketing materials that you can send their way.  Find ways where you can connect with them personally to share about your event.  The key is to convince folks they MUST be at your event.
  3. Tap into existing networks: Form partnerships with like-minded, non-competing organizations that have an existing network of engaged individuals that you would love to have at your event. Together work out a strategic, mutually beneficial plan to reach those individuals and entice them to attend your event. Provide partners with email templates or copy that they can easily distribute to their networks, saving them oodles of time.
  4. Send unique invitations: Whatever happened to snail mail? Send out an eye-catching and clever invite that sets your event apart from all other events. Always include a call to action and a teaser of what can be expected on event day.
  5. Create incentive: Promise your attendees that they will be getting something out of your event. Time is money and your attendees will want to know what value is to be gained by attending your event. Provide (3) concise bullet points on why your event is worth attending in your outreach marketing material.
  6. Build event momentum: Talk about your event a lot and share all the exciting things that will be happening at it. Highlight your speakers, share content teasers, and advertise giveaways. Use your social media outlets to reach your audience. Take advantage of targeted ads to boost your post engagements and make updates frequently to ensure you are at the forefront of your audience’s mind. Encourage your in-house staff and early bird attendees to share the event information on their social media, thus increasing your reach. Ask your speakers if they wouldn’t mind writing a short blog post to provide a sneak-peak into what they will be sharing. Make it clear that this is the event that is NOT to be missed!

Now it goes without saying that if you go through all this trouble to make sure your attendees show up, you better deliver.  Be innovative, be creative and be original.



Book between NOW and the end of February and get 10% off of our wedding packages!!

CALL/EMAIL AMY TODAY:  617-840-5073/


Package # 1:  Event Coordination (rehearsal dinner & wedding day):

Blink Events to become point person to manage the production of the event during

weeks leading up to event and on day before and day of event. Package Includes:

  • (3) In person meetings (Initial detail meeting; Onsite meeting at venue to discuss layout & logistics; Final Preparation meeting week before event)
  • Coordination meetings with all vendors involved (either via telephone or in person) prior to  event
  • Detailed event schedule furnished to all vendors and wedding party
  • Oversight and management of set up & breakdown of event*
  • Oversight & management of all vendors
  • Return of rental items after event (if necessary)


*Oversight & Management only, does not include price for excessive labor


Package # 2  Full Service Planning & Coordination

Includes all services listed above plus the following:

  • Preliminary meeting with bride & groom to have high level discussion about wedding ideas
  • Customized event design package in alignment with bride & groom vision & corresponding budget
  • Provide suggestions and coordinate visits to potential venues; secure bookings
  • Provide suggestions and secure bookings for all vendors. (DJs/Bands, floral arrangements, hair/makeup, dress/tuxedo boutiques, photographers…etc.)
  • Manage budget from start to finish; furnish payment to all vendors


* Price includes (50) hours of event planning & production time.

***Don’t see something that suits your needs, contact us for a customized package!***

A guide to planning successful events: Part 3

A guide to planning successful events: Part 3

Applepie recipe

As posted on the IowaBiz site (

Phase 3:  CREATIVE LOGISTICS:  “What is the recipe I follow to make this Apple Pie?

At this point, you have set some solid ground work during Phases 1 and 2:  You have your big innovative and creative ideas, you’ve developed your clear event objectives, you’ve assembled your team and assigned them their designated roles, you’ve set deadlines and you now have a working event program.  So now it is time to get into the nitty-gritty.

Phase 3:  CREATIVE LOGISTICS:  “What is the recipe I follow to make this Apple Pie?”

  1. Nail down your venue & final date: Establishing this deadline will light a fire under you and hopefully fuel your excitement to power through this phase of planning.
  2. Engage Your Out-of-House Team: This will be all of the experts that you don’t currently have in-house (outside of your event planner, who should already be involved at this point).  These members might be:   an A/V production company, marketing & graphic design company, décor company, caterer and any other special groups that will assist you in executing other elements of your event. By engaging these vendors you will begin to understand the overall cost of your event.  Once you have a complete budget, you can always look at each line item and value engineer where you see fit. Treat your vendors like the experts they are and ask them how they can work within your budget but still achieve your objectives. Your vendors will perform best when they are given the freedom to own their own role. Remember you hired them for their expertise so avoid the temptation to micro-manage-it will only stress you out.
  3. Refine Your Event Program: Finalize your schedule. Be mindful to the flow and view the program from the eyes of the attendee. Avoid long expanses of content delivery where attendees are tied to their seats for hours. Incorporate frequent breaks so the blood can continue to flow. Think about how you can deliver messaging in varied ways so to avoid monotony and maintain attendee engagement. Any elements that you can incorporate into the event that are unexpected but add value are encouraged. Delivering your content by using a variety of tactics will increase the chances of your message being received and retained by your attendees. This will also avoid the chances of brain fatigue. Variety is the spice of life-so use it to make your event unique!
  4. Marketing Outreach Strategy & Momentum Building: Spend some time developing a strategy on how you are going to engage your attendees and begin to build momentum prior to the event.  Perhaps it is through a social media campaign or event specific app, but whatever it is, make sure it is purposeful.  The most successful events are the ones that everyone is talking about before it begins, exceeds their expectations once it arrives and holds their attention after it is gone.  This type of reception doesn’t happen by accident, it needs to be strategically planned and diligently executed.
  5. Determine ROI Measurement Strategy: Your ROI strategy will be intimately tied to the efforts of your marketing strategy.  Leverage the power of social media and engage your attendees early.   For example, associating a hashtag with everything these days is common practice –so come up with something creative and work that hashtag.  Implement an intentional social media plan.  Pose questions, provide visual and interactive “shareable moments” and incentive your attendees to share.  This will increase your social media participation and thereby increase your event reach AKA- FREE marketing!  By vocalizing your hashtag early (prior to event) you can also start to build momentum for the event itself, getting attendees excited for what is to come.  Likewise, you can utilize the hashtag following the event to sustain the excitement and encourage attendee feedback.  Make sure you are encouraging pointed attendee participation throughout the event and asking specific questions about what your attendees are responding to.  Guide conversation but allow organic feedback to surface.  Be the facilitator of participation but don’t overly interfere.  Create a fine balance between encouraging the conversation while avoiding contrived and somewhat superficial dialogue.In addition to social media event specific apps can be employed to build a community around your event.  As the event organizer you can post updates and information to attendees prior to, during and following events.  These apps are also equipped with detailed analytics that can demonstrate how active attendees were and gauge overall reception.  If you want to get really detailed on seeing quantitative results on how your event was received, you might consider adding an Advertising Agency to your team of gurus to implement a more detailed strategy.
  6. Details & Logistics: The devil is in the details: Be thoughtful in everything!  Don’t ever let something be “good enough,” when it could be great.

Phase 3 can be a bit overwhelming, so creating a reliable and capable team to delegate tasks to is vital.  Next time we will watch our event come to life as we talk about Event Production and ways to review our event’s success.

As always please let me know your thoughts and if you need more clarification!


A guide to planning successful events: Part 2

A guide to planning successful events: Part 2

Last time we began our discussion on the different phases of event planning.  In Phase 1, you developed your list of event objectives, now it is time to set up the infrastructure so we can put them into action.

Phase 1: CONCEPT DEVELOPMENT– “I want to make an apple pie.”

In Phase 2 we embark on the journey of turning our conceptual ideas into solid action steps:

Phase 2: PROGRAMMING — “What ingredients do I need to make this apple pie?

Develop a preliminary event program: Begin to wrap your mind around how this event actually looks by creating an event schedule from start to finish. This is a first draft, so allow yourself to be free here. Don’t get too wrapped up in getting it right. The purpose of this exercise is to take everything you have learned from Phase 1 and begin to apply it in a practical way.

This is where logistics are welcomed back into the conversation. Start to apply your out-of-the-box ideas in a realistic way without compromising on the innovation. If you find yourself getting too stiff, this is where you pull out all of your sketches from Phase 1 and bring back to life the creativity and excitement that you previously cultivated.

You should walk away from this exercise with a working event schedule, including different logistical elements (speakers, breakouts, breaks, meals, entertainment…etc) and their associated time frames. You should also have a good idea of potential event dates and venue choices.

Assign roles & responsibilities to your team members: Develop a list of clear expectations for each team member so each knows their allotted tasks. Assign tasks based on the strengths of each member and their ability to achieve the best results. For example, the stickler for the rules might make a good “objective enforcer” to make sure decisions are in alignment with event objectives; whereas the daydreamer might make a good event décor designer.

Create team categories to cover each area of the event. These team categories might differ from event to event (and will most likely have sub-categories within them) but some good starting categories might be:  Venue Logistics, A/V Design & Logistics, Marketing & Messaging, Technology & Innovation, Décor & Graphics…etc.  Essentially you must compile the list of ingredients you will need in order to make this event happen.

Create a meeting schedule, assign tasks & set deadlines: Assigning tasks and developing deadlines will ensure everyone is being held accountable to their roles and will limit the threat of oversights.  Rule of thumb:  for a smaller 2- to 3-hour event, starting the planning process  one to two months prior might be adequate time. For a larger half-day or full-day event with multiple speakers and break-out sessions, it makes sense to start planning at least three to four months prior.  Anything larger it is advised you allocate at least six to eight months of planning time to ensure the event is thoughtfully executed.

With this infrastructure in place, you are now ready to proceed into Phase 3, the Creative Logistics Phase.  This is where we start to get into the nitty-gritty details.  As always, contact me for more information or clarification on the phases we just covered!

Contact me by phone: 617-840-5073 or email at Find me on LinkedIn , Facebook or at my website  



Did you miss the opportunity to throw your employees a holiday appreciation party?  Feeling kind of bad?? It’s not too late!!

Call to schedule your Pop-Up Happy Hour and let us come to you!

We will drop off & set up your complete party-in-a-bag with wine/beer/pop and light appetizers for just $14/per person (+18% service fee).


A guide to planning successful events: Part 1

A guide to planning successful events: Part 1

- As posted on the IowaBiz site (

So you’re tasked with planning your company’s annual event and don’t know where to begin? Before we get too far into the specific details that go into planning a successful event, let’s have a high-level discussion on how to approach the general task of event planning. The best approach is to simplify it and break it down into manageable pieces.

In an effort not to overwhelm you, this will be a 4-part series detailing the steps to effectively plan an event. Let’s think of it like making an apple pie.

Phase 1: CONCEPT DEVELOPMENT:  “I want to make an apple pie.”

This is the single most important phase of event planning. This is where creativity comes out and you create your road map for the planning ahead.

First, you must assemble your event team then find a quiet space with a door and large white board and allow your uninhibited ideas to flow. This is not the time to stifle yourself with logistics but rather this is the time to innovate. The point of this meeting is to share ideas and build objectives. Get to the true point and narrow down the: who, what, andwhy. 

Your goal for this meeting is to walk away with three to five clear and concise event objectives as well as a slew of innovative and engaging ideas for how you will achieve those. I cannot stress enough, that this is NOT the time to be reasonable. Allow your brain to dream BIG. You should close this phase of planning with lots of sketches, buzz words and diagrams; (save these, you will need them in phase 2). I should also mention, if you are planning to engage an event planner (out-of-house), you will want to include them at this time so they are privy to your thought processes. They can also be incredible catalysts in helping to brainstorm innovative ideas.

The objectives you create during this phase will drive every decision you make when it comes to planning. Some high-level objectives might be: Creating wider brand awareness; Educating attendees on your company’s core mission and values; Demonstrating leadership in the industry…etc. OR you might choose very specific goals like:  Increasing sales by 10 percent; Signing at least (50) new clients; Recruiting (10) new donors…etc. The more specific you are about your event objectives, the more pointed you can become when you create your messaging.

Below is an example of how I approach this brainstorming phase. Because I come from a design background, this phase for me is often often made up of quick and messy sketches that show ideas in space. I am not creating a specific plan at this point, but rather I am conveying ideas in a generic box to help me understand the components I want to be a part of the event. The key is to make this process your own. I am visual, so sketches work for me. Others might work better with buzz-words or quotes.  Allow the creative you to come out!

A        B    C

NOTE TO THE PLANNER:  If ever you find yourself going down a path that is not in alignment with one of your objectives, it is time to stop and reevaluate which path is right. Building a successful event is a process, so you can allow yourself to reevaluate the objectives you have created if that is what makes sense; but know when it is time to ditch ideas that do not work within the context of the overall purpose of this event.

So that concludes Phase 1, simple right? All you have to do is brainstorm!  Next time we will move into Phase 2: PROGRAMMING: “What ingredients do I need to make this apple pie?” In this phase we turn our ideas into working logistics. We will discuss developing a preliminary event program, assigning roles and responsibilities to team members and assigning tasks and setting deadlines.

How do you begin your event planning now? Visit my blog to learn a little more about the components that make up effective event strategy! As always, feedback is always welcome and encouraged!



Sweet and tart cranberry juice makes for extra festive margaritas!


  • 1 1/2 cups cranberry juice (I recommend using a brand that is 100% juice)
  • 3/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 3/4 cup tequila
  • 1/2 cup orange-flavored liqueur, such as Cointreau or Triple Sec
  • ice cubes


Stir all ingredients together until blended.  Serve over ice in sugar- or salt-rimmed glasses, garnished with fresh cranberries and lime wedges if desired.



“WHOA that’s a lot of information!”  How to avoid information overload at your conferences


Did you know the average human attention span is less than that of a goldfish?  According to a recent study done by Microsoft Corp. the average attention span for humans is less than 8 seconds.  Now obviously we are capable of sitting down and absorbing information for semi-lengthy period of times when we are required.  However, as event planners it is imperative that we are cognizant to this fact and are not overloading our attendees with information.

Here are 5 tips when planning your conference that will keep your attendees engaged longer and increase the chances of your messaging being received.

  1.  Change up scenery often:  in other words get your attendees out of their seats often!  Variety is the spice of life, so take full advantage of that while planning out your event program.  Choose a venue that has multiple spaces to choose from and move your attendees around often.  Even having your attendees stand up and move across the room will incorporate enough variety to keep them engaged and keep your program interesting and on pace.  Avoid long expanses in the same room; this will make your attendees yawn and yawning is contagious!
  2. Limit your speakers & breakout sessions:  Having more than (2) keynote speakers and (3) breakout sessions in a single day conference is a sure-fire way to wear your attendees out and have them yearning for the end of the day so they can run home to their beds.  Choose your speakers wisely and with purpose.  If done right, your message will be fully received without the need for adding superfluous speakers into the mix.
  3. Vary your message delivery:  Some are visual learners, some are auditory learners, some are kinesthetic learners-but the point is, we all learn differently, so be mindful of that.  Provide information to your attendees in varied ways.  Creating a line-up of 3 back-to-back speakers is the perfect formula to build attendee irritation.  Integrate mini-breakout exercises, videos, or interesting interactive elements to vary up your message delivery; your attendees will thank you for the variety.
  4. Give me a break!  Rule of thumb, provide your attendees a break at least every 90 minutes.  This offers them the opportunity to get up and get the blood flowing again.  It also offers them a nice little mental break to let their brain breathe.  In this digital age, we are just itching to check in with our email and make sure nothing pressing is in need of our attention.  By providing ample breaks you can give your attendees designated time to take care of any issues during that time and not be tempted to do it during one of your speakers.
  5. Provide a Constant Stream of Brain Food: Providing access to food is a must for keeping the brain engaged.  Whole grains, lean proteins and vitamin rich fruits and veggies will keep your attendees alert longer.  Avoid heavy carbs-just because the pasta bar is cheaper doesn’t mean it’s better.  Leave healthy, easy to grab and consume foods out on the table for consumption during and in between your program.  Your attendees will become very distracted and angry if hunger begins to creep on them, so avoid this potential problem by building snacks into your budget.


Market 515: A Review


I had the great opportunity of attending the 1st annual Market515 (marketing & digital media) conference yesterday, put on by the Greater Des Moines Convention & Visitor’s Bureau.  I can honestly say I am very pleased that I chose to attend.  The information that I gathered was insightful and very useful.  I walked away with new ideas that I truly believe will help me move my company forward and ultimately lead to greater profitability.  As an event design professional, I am obligated to share my overall reception of the experience itself revealing both what I LOVED about the event and what suggestions I might offer for events to come.


  1. The accessibility of the event to the public at large.  Being a marketing partner with the CVB I was able to attend the event for free and as a new business with a limited marketing budget, that is huge!  For those who aren’t CVB partners the price ranged from $20 (student) to $40 (general public), which is still a modest investment considering the wealth of inspiration & knowledge that was provided.
  2. The event content & chosen speakers.  There wasn’t a point in time where I found myself thinking, the content was stale or predictable.  Each speaker had their own message that provided valuable insights into a specific area of the marketing and digital media world.  It is clear that whomever chose the speakers was extremely thoughtful and focused on very specific objectives they were hoping to achieve. Each speaker brought their own personality and expertise to the table and was very warm and forthcoming with their experiences. As I milled about the event, the general reception was the same; everyone was very pleased with the content they were being provided.
  3. The Event Program:  The event program was very appropriately timed.  The frequently planned breaks ensured attendees didn’t suffer from information overload and the duration of which attendees were tied to their seats before being allowed the time to stand-up and move around was very thoughtful.  Speakers had no longer than 45 minutes to share their ideas, (which is just about the max attention span for most people), so this ensured that their messages were succinct and to the point.
  4. The Venue:  This event was held at the FFA Enrichment Center in Ankeny and accommodated the event program quite well.  The facility was clean and well maintained and it was appropriately sized and offered enough varied space options to support the structure of the program itself.  The main room and breakout spaces were large enough to provide everyone their own comfort zone but not too large where we felt like we were swimming in extra un-used space.  The maintenance crew was attentive to the cleanliness of the facility as well as event program schedule and even restocked and wiped down the restrooms while we were all in our break-out sessions so to not inconvenience the attendees.  Their sensitivity to the maintenance of the space demonstrates the level of service by which this venue runs itself.  As an event planner who has frequented many venues that don’t provide the same level of service, I was truly impressed by the FFA’s commitment to their facility.
  5. Snacks!  The CVB ensured we were well-nourished throughout the course of the event by providing granola bars and cheese sticks to attendees between meals.  Although it may seem like a trivial addition to the event, food is what fuels our brains.  When you are a part of an event so rich in content like this was, maintaining a constant stream of fuel to the brain is very important for information absorption and retention.  This also demonstrates the level of attention to detail that the CVB gave while planning this event.



  1. Vary content delivery:   I’m not going to lie, when I left the event yesterday I was wiped!  I was so excited to start putting into practice all that I had learned but mentally my brain was so exhausted I had to table my excitement for the evening and allow my brain to recharge.  I think ultimately that is a great thing!  I would challenge the CVB to consider different & varied ways in which they could deliver the content in events to come.  I think because the event content in its essence was focused on providing marketers with unique strategies to gain brand awareness and value in their desired marketplace, it couldn’t hurt if the event demonstrated some of these strategies when delivering content to the attendees.  I think providing information in a number of different ways, helps to keep attendees engaged longer (decreases possibility for brain fatigue) and increases the possibilities of information retention.  We all learn differently, so by providing varied outlets for information sharing ensures messaging is received by a wider range of individuals.  Experiential marketing was a topic of discussion at this event (one of my favorite topics when it pertains to events), and could have been creatively utilized to deliver content and further hammer home the real messaging the CVB was hoping to provide to its attendees through this event
  2. Create more intentional mental/physical breaks:   This could be as simple as incorporating a moment of silence to allow the mind to take a break and recharge.  One of the speakers brought up the importance of meditation in their life-so to demonstrate that could have been an effective tool to teach attendees the importance of mindfulness in our daily lives.  Or maybe the break is filled with doing 10 jumping jacks to get the blood flowing again and stress the importance of physical health in the overall strategy for success. Whatever it is, providing intention to all aspects of the event program help to cultivate the overall experience you are hoping your attendees receive and can serve to enrich the overall event reception.
  3. Step Up Social Media Game:  I think associating a hashtag with everything these days is common practice but to be a true social media leader you have to work that hashtag.  I think this event could have benefitted perhaps by implementing a more intentional social media plan.  Posing questions, providing visual and interactive “shareable moments” and incentivizing your attendees to share will increase your social media participation and thereby increasing your reach AKA- FREE marketing!  By vocalizing your hashtag early (prior to event) you can also start to build momentum for the event itself, getting attendees excited for what is to come.  Likewise, you can utilize the hashtag following the event to sustain the excitement and encourage attendee feedback.  Ask pointed questions and you will get pointed feedback.
  4. Actively Encourage & Facilitate Personal Connections:  As an event host, you have the opportunity to facilitate the creation of real personal connections.  Encourage that by inserting intentional moments for attendees to interact.  Create “mini-campaigns” by challenging attendees to collect at least (5) business cards by the end of the day, or pose questions you want your attendees to discuss at their table.  I know personally when I first arrived I sat down at a particularly anti-social table.  It took real prying for me to get some decent conversation out of everyone.  I finally resorted to my iphone when I felt like I was getting slightly annoying to the group.  Had there been some sort of encouragement from the event hosts to get out of their comfort zones and make some connections perhaps that could have been different.
  1. Think through logistics of food & beverage accessibility:   Obviously these sorts of logistics can get a little tricky with larger groups-so maybe think about multiple food and beverage stations strategically positioned throughout the space to help streamline the overall process.  This simple solution will help to ease the stress on the event hosts and prevent potential irritation that might creep on the attendee.
  2. Incorporate more complex A/V:  If the event grows I think it could really benefit by incorporating some glitzier staging & effective lighting on the key note speakers.  By creating an eye-catching spectacle as your attendees arrive, you can set the tone and further deliver your messaging in a sensory way.
  3. Décor:  I am sure I am one of the only people in the room who noticed the tables were lacking centerpieces and although the event got by without them just fine, it is an opportunity for the event host to further hammer home any sort of messaging they are hoping their attendees receive.  For example this is a GREAT spot to create an ice-breaker for the table or symbolic conversation piece for the event goals as well as a perfect spot to encourage the participation in your event social media campaign by reiterating your hashtag and posing options for what you would like to see shared!

All in all a very successful event that I look forward to attending next year!  Thanks for a good time, CVB!