Enjoy Your Day – Mini Survival Kit

The Mini Survival Kit is a small bag that contains things you may need to help get through most occasions – weddings, formal event, family gatherings, in other words, you may really want to think about having one just in case.  Now, these kits are available online and in stores, but it is so simple to put one together yourself.  This may be a more affordable option and can be put together in minutes. You can find everything you need at your local dollar store, Wal-Mart and CVS; to give you an idea where to start.  The items you are going to be looking for can be found in most of the time in the travel section of a pharmacy or general merchandise store.

Start with a mini bag – the bag should fit all the essential products, but not be so big that your Stand-In just wants to leave it somewhere or so small that it ends up left behind.  Fill your kit with the basic necessities that can come in handy for just about any event.

Your Survival Kit should include:

A mini sewing kit – I’m always amazed at the number of people who lose buttons – double sided tape is nice, but can’t take the place of old fashioned needle and thread.  You want to make sure to get the basic color, black and white.

Safety pins – I had a wardrobe malfunction, not as bad as Janet Jackson’s during the Superbowl, but the strap of my dress came off.  I was so happy to have had a safety pin that saved the day.

Aspirin and another pain killer – you can find this in little easy to carry packages.  Now in no way am I suggesting that you just hand out pain killers and aspirin so please use your best discretion.  Let’s face it there’s nothing worse than trying to make it through a happy occasion with a headache.

Breath mints, breath strips or the like – Use as needed, enough said.

Mini First Aid kit – Surprisingly small but very useful.  For those minor injuries that need a little antiseptic and a band aid you can be prepared.

Pen and paper – Size of each is going to depend on the size of your Survival Kit. You know that you always need them, but in the age of technology and Smartphones how often do we need these and don’t have them?  Nothing beats an old fashioned pen and paper.

Other materials you may consider including in you kit: nail file, mini flashlight, make up for touching up, clear fingernail polish for an unexpected run in your pantyhose, deodorant, etc. – really the ideas are endless.  Just keep in mind this is a “a just-in-case of kit it won’t have everything but it will be helpful….  Enjoy Your Day…

Deidra D. Thompson, Professional-In-Training (P.I.T.)

Word of Mouth Events & Planning
Bladensburg, MD 20710

Toll Free Phone and Fax: (866) 905-9002 ext. 304

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Enjoy Your Day…

On your Big Day, your Wedding Day, (or other special occasion) you should not have any disruptions that take you away from enjoying yourself, your future spouse, your family and friends. With this thought in mind I have a few suggestions to help make your Day a much more enjoyable experience.

First Suggestion – Put Someone Else In Charge (The Step-In)Image

I realize this can be a difficult suggestion to follow for some people but please trust that it will make a world of difference to have someone else in charge for a short amount of time.  Now, to insure that this is a positive difference, this person is not just someone attending the wedding or your second cousin twice removed who really wants to help, this person is someone you trust to make decisions, they know you, your likes and dislikes and they understand when you would say yes or no.  Remember they are there to help so try to pick someone you get along with and can effectively deal with other people and possible difficult situations.  Their job is to take care of any situations that may arise on your Wedding day, situations that the Wedding Planner, Caterer, or Hotel Manager might ask you about are now handled by your Step-In. It has to be understood that the Step-In now speaks for you and what they say goes.  You should not hear about any problems till after the wedding, preferably after the honeymoon or longer if you can take not knowing.  Here’s the bottom line, things happen, people bring an extra guest, did not tell you they are now vegetarian for some unexplained reason or the they can’t sit next to Aunt Anne because it “may start something”.  Remember whatever the problem the Step-In can take care of it and you can hear about it later – Enjoy Your Day (and remember to give a big Thank You to your Step-In)…

 “We look forward to earning your business.”

Deidra D. Thompson, Professional-In-Training (P.I.T.)
Word of Mouth Events & Planning 
Bladensburg, MD 20710

Toll Free Phone and Fax: (866) 905-9002 ext. 304

Join Word of Mouth Events & Planning on Facebook for all your event and meeting planning needs and post your events here too.

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50 Ways to Save Money When Planning Meetings

Here are 50 ways to save money when planning meetings

By: Dave Kovaleski

“Cost-savings is a mindset,” said Rick Kauffman, business development manager, ITA Group, a West Des Moines, Iowa-based employee engagement company. Speaking at the 8th Annual Pharma Forum in Orlando this spring, Kauffman said cost savings can be achieved through a combination of reducing expenses, avoiding costs, and good negotiating. Here are some of the cost-savings tips from all facets and phases of a meeting Kauffman and co-presenter Dorie Deebold, managing director, Starwood Hotels and Resorts Philadelphia, offered.

1. Choose your locations wisely. Look for hot dates, off-season rates, and lower-tier destinations.
2. Be flexible with travel patterns.
3. Use electronic communications instead of print.
4. Prioritize your concessions and negotiate what’s most important to your group.
5. Take advantage of volume buying with vendors, such as booking multiple meetings with a property at the same time.
6. Generate a cost-savings/cost-containment report for each meeting to show how much money was saved.
7. Use preferred vendors for volume discounts.
8. Consider airports hotels, which tend to have lower rates and fewer transportation costs.

Hotels/guest rooms
9. Negotiate complimentary guest rooms based on pickup, such as one per every 40 rooms.
10. Have resort fees and Internet fees reduced or waived, at least for VIP or staff rooms.(Try for the full block if possible.)
11. Disallow early departure fees on rooms.
12. Make sure rooms booked after cutoff date are at the contracted rate.
13. Negotiate rooms booked pre- and post-convention at contracted group rate.
14. If you have to cancel the meeting, put the cancellation funds toward a future meeting at the property.
15. Have attrition based on hotel occupancy, so each night the hotel reaches 95 percent occupancy, you pay no attrition.
16. Get complimentary access to health club or lounge for VIPs.

Meeting rooms and F&B
17. If adequate meeting room space is not available and suites are used as breakout rooms, have suite charges waived or reduced.
18. Have standard setup fees and meeting space rental fees waived.
19. Reuse signage from meeting to meeting.
20. Negotiate complimentary beverages for on-site staff office.
21. Ask the CVB if they will host any events or offer entertainment options at no cost.
22. Book restaurant reservations using a group credit card to avoid DMC fee.
23. Negotiate a sliding scale for F&B at a hotel.

24. Negotiate discounts with the hotel’s in-house AV provider as part of your preferred-vendor agreements.
25. Ask to have service charges waived for using an outside AV provider.
26. Have service charges waived on local calls.
27. Require free high-speed Internet access in staff office and meeting rooms.
Have free phone lines installed in meeting office.
28. Get discount on photocopier and printer rentals for the on-site office.
29. Ask for complimentary power strips and extension cords in staff office.
30. Ask for free podiums, microphones, and easels.
31. Try to piggyback on staging and rigging for events before and/or after your meeting.

Décor and entertainment
32. Require free use of hotel linens and buffet décor.
33. Reuse table florals at meals.
34. Reuse table draping and other decorating materials.
35. Reduce travel expenses by using local entertainment and speakers.
36. Look for creative hotel function space and décor, such as the rooftop, the loading dock area, and the kitchen, and use existing props.
37. Get reduced power and electrical fees for entertainment and for outdoor function lighting.
38. Have trucking fees waived or get discounted delivery fees.
39. Make sure the stage for entertainment is complimentary.

Activities and transportation
40. Book flights as early as possible—the savings can be significant.
41. Seek discounts on golf tee times, bottled waters, and towels on carts.
42. Ask for discounts for spa treatments.
43. Inquire about complimentary VIP and staff airport transfers.
44. Avoid individual airport transfers when possible; book in groups.
45. Ask CVB for discount or free tickets to shows, entertainment, or other services.
46. Ask hoteliers for complimentary VIP transfers (also ask if they have a house car you can use).
47. Seek reduced pricing on destination management company activities.
48. Keep activities on site to minimize transportation costs.
49. Use DMC to staff hospitality desk instead of in-house staff.
50. Check all invoices carefully for billing errors.

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