How are you staying creative and inspired and continuing to plan future events during this time of quarantine and isolation?

How are you staying creative and inspired and continuing to plan future events during this time of quarantine and isolation?
It helps to have a community to relate to and gain inspiration, knowledge, and support from. Event professionals give us a glimpse of what they are up to.

This has been a wonderful time for me to work on getting previous weddings published, which is always time-consuming and difficult to fit in during a busy wedding season.

This has been a wonderful time for me to work on getting previous weddings published, which is always time-consuming and difficult to fit in during a busy wedding season. I already have four weddings that are scheduled to be published on several wedding blogs that I would not have had time to do had we been working weddings every weekend as planned.

This has also been a great time to revisit some of our onboarding packets for new clients. I love working with Canva’s magazine and press kit templates for these types of design projects. My clients love receiving them and it gives my business that professional touch and look.

I created a guest contributor program during this time as well. Fellow vendors can write blog posts for my blog and I will post them as well as link their website. It was a small way I could give something back to vendors to help increase their SEO while maintaining my blog with fresh content at the same time.

"This has been a wonderful time for me to work on getting previous weddings published, which is always time-consuming and difficult to fit in during a busy wedding season." @meredithsevents Click to Tweet

Meredith Corning

Owner/Wedding Planner

Meredith Events, Rogers, AR

During this downtime, it’s great to be able to plan out photo/style shoot mood boards and think about the branding and marketing aspects of our company.

We are at a very VERY fortunate age and generation to live digitally and have full access to social media and publications online vs print. With that, I scroll daily through Instagram and blogs to keep the inspiration going. I also schedule weekly “Virtual Afternoon Tea” sessions with my vendors and new ones to get to know them better and see what they may be struggling with and how we can help each other.

During this downtime, it’s great to be able to plan out photo/style shoot mood boards and think about the branding and marketing aspects of our company. I’ll be doing some flat lay inspirations with a couple of photographers and reaching out to vendors who are artisans in specific trades like jewelry, shoes, paper goods, etc so we can highlight them and create new colors and options for future events.

This also allows me to post for content and write about it so that these vendors have recognition and can collaborate with other vendors they haven’t worked with before to push their bounds in styling.

"During this downtime, it’s great to be able to plan out photo/style shoot mood boards and think about the branding and marketing aspect of our company." @masterplansed Click to Tweet
Yingka Chou

Yingka Chou

Owner

Master Plans Events & Designs, Inc., Los Angeles, CA

I have been able to accomplish things I only dreamed of doing in my 5-year plan which has done wonders for my sanity and creativity during this time.

We have actually had an influx of interested couples wanting to plan their weddings in this downtime. Zoom has been my saving grace. I use it multiple times a day to keep in contact with my couples. I also created a new form for them so I could get more detailed information on the design of their wedding. It truly helps me get to know them and have a light-hearted conversation about the fun parts of their day. It is an enjoyable distraction that still progresses us in the planning process.

It has also been fun just being creative with what my company is capable of. I am a quintessential worker bee and found myself with about 2 months of not previously scheduled free time. I have been able to accomplish things I only dreamed of doing in my 5-year plan which has done wonders for my sanity and creativity during this time.

"I have been able to accomplish things I only dreamed of doing in my 5-year plan which has done wonders for my sanity and creativity during this time." Click to Tweet

Kelsey Connor

Owner/Lead Planner

Connor & Co., Memphis, TN

While we have been busy rescheduling weddings, we have also kept ourselves busy planning for the unpredicted future!

We know this is an extremely challenging time for everyone. Couples, vendors, families. While we have been busy rescheduling weddings, we have also kept ourselves busy planning for the unpredicted future!

We are staying positive on our social media. Though we know not every client will want to now due to circumstances, we are still trying to encourage couples to plan their dream day!

For those couples that do not want to stick to their original plans, we are working with local vendors in our area to create mini-events. Whether they be weddings, showers, parties, we are putting together all-inclusive packages tailored to those who want to go with more of an elopement style wedding or smaller event.

We are working on stylized shoots to take off as soon as the Shelter in Place orders are lifted so we have new content and visions to share with couples!

We are also using this time to update our systems and put together some great things for our new clients!

"While we have been busy rescheduling weddings, we have also kept ourselves busy planning for the unpredicted future!" @evl_events Click to Tweet

Samantha Nelson

Owner

Ellicottville Events, Ellicottville, NY

I am using this time to research new venues and vendors, study the trends, find new online sources for decor items...

By now, I am receiving more inquiries for 2021 as engaged couples are anxious to move forward with their wedding plans, and people, in general, are becoming more confident that our economy will improve and we will get back to our ‘new normal’. So I am looking forward to a better year in 2021for wedding activities.

Meanwhile, I am using this time to research new venues and vendors, study the trends, find new online sources for decor items, participate in zoom calls with other industry leaders, and update my social media and website.

I anticipate that there will be smaller weddings, but more luxe, and I want to be well informed on how to best serve my clients, to realize all of their wedding day dreams.

"I am using this time to research new venues and vendors, study the trends, find new online sources for decor items..." Click to Tweet

Rene Kraus

Owner/Chief Event Officer

Fete Perfection, Minneapolis, MN

Our Pinterest board and Blogs have never looked better and they are creative and organic ways to share our optimism with the world.

Just like everyone, we have been working hard to keep positive and our spirits up during this difficult time. We’ve found doses of inspiration that push us to be creative and innovative during this time – mostly from our clients and peers in the industry. Taking this downtime to connect with new vendors excites us for partnerships ahead.

Photos from events with our previous clients have allowed us to take inspiration from the wonderful moments of the past and put them towards the future. Our Pinterest board and Blogs have never looked better and they are creative and organic ways to share our optimism with the world.

"Our Pinterest board and Blogs have never looked better and they are creative and organic ways to spread our optimism with the world." Click to Tweet

Kelly Soule

Founder/Principal Planner

Kelly Elizabeth Events, Boston, MA

This little hiccup has prepared me to be more proactive and plan more....because planning is what I do.

My biggest thing right now is making sure I stay inspired by knowing this will pass. I work from home so this isolation is not really affecting me. Instead of meeting in person (which I prefer), I utilize Zoom more. I’ve used Zoom for meetings in the past but not as much as I have since we have been socially distant. I still have the pleasure of meeting potential and existing clients while in isolation. I am continuing to plan and organize events that are on my calendar for this year. I also have events that are scheduled for next year. My biggest event is the World Women’s Conference and Awards event. That event alone is keeping me busy, inspired, and creative.

My goals for expanding my event planning business has not changed. This little hiccup has prepared me to be more proactive and plan more….because planning is what I do.

"This little hiccup has prepared me to be more proactive and plan more....because planning is what I do." @designplan4you Click to Tweet

LaKisha James

Owner

Designer Events by LaKisha, Conyers, GA

Although it was not what was intended, it has been a creative journey to take a spring look and translate that to a fall look.

For our wedding team, we have been working to reschedule weddings from the beginning of the season to later in the year. What’s been fun with some of these weddings is transitioning from spring to fall looks. Although it was not what was intended, it has been a creative journey to take a spring look and translate that to a fall look.

For our corporate team, although there has been some drop off in planning, what has been fun is reimagining components for events that are still scheduled to take place later this year. Everything from new floor plans to accommodate fewer guests at tables, longer yet entertaining and engaging programs to keep people seated longer and fun, interactive ways to integrate guests who can not travel to the event, into the event.

"Although it was not what was intended, it has been a creative journey to take a spring look and translate that to a fall look." @livenitup Click to Tweet

Anthony Navarro

Creative Director

Liven It Up Events, Chicago, IL

Where others see diminishing opportunities, I see an opportunity to innovate my craft and learn about all of the various platforms that are available to us.

Staying creative and inspired is something that event planners always have to do–and now is no different. Where others see diminishing opportunities, I see an opportunity to innovate my craft and learn about all of the various platforms that are available to us.

I have taken trainings on several different virtual event platforms, and am helping my clients to pivot their businesses and think differently about not only their event experience but the way that they market their products and services.

"Where others see diminishing opportunities, I see an opportunity to innovate my craft and learn about all of the various platforms that are available to us." Click to Tweet

Beth Lawrence

CEO

Beth Lawrence Meetings & Events, Philadelphia, PA

We are cherishing every moment of this new way of life and trying to improve ourselves to serve our community better once this is all over.

At Full of Life Events, we truly believe that learning never stops; therefore we are using this precious time to do some in-depth research, taking some new courses, and just connecting with like-minded people to brainstorm new ideas, talk about our experiences and exchange some tips.

I truly believe that the mindset of growth is what keeps us motivated and passionate 24/7 regardless of the crazy times we are living in right now.

We are cherishing every moment of this new way of life and trying to improve ourselves to serve our community better once this is all over; which keeps us at our peak creativity level!

"We are cherishing every moment of this new way of life and trying to improve ourselves to serve our community better once this is all over." Click to Tweet

Sam H.

Lead Planner/ Owner

Full of Life Events, Victoria, British Columbia

This has been a valuable time to turn inward, away from all the distractions, and reconnect with my purpose.

This has been a valuable time to turn inward, away from all the distractions, and reconnect with my purpose. I’ve found it helpful to curl up with creatively motivational books, like Joyful by Ingrid Fetell Lee (Link to a blog post inspired by the book: https://www.meggiefranciscoevents.com/blog/joyful-wedding-aesthetic). By digging into the roots of great design and sitting with them, I’ve been able to see which concepts reach into my soul and stir me in a new way. I’m refining my work process with these learnings so I can create more thoughtful and unique event designs for my clients.

I’ve also stumbled upon inspiration while cleaning my “creative house,” or the places where I gather inspiration. I started by hacking through old Pinterest boards (https://www.pinterest.com/meggiefrancisco) and was shocked to see how my design sense has changed over time. Seven years ago, I pinned any inspiration that I thought my event clients might like. I had little regard for whether or not I actually enjoyed the images I was saving. I humbly realized I was trying to appeal to anyone who might possibly hire me, rather than presenting a unique point of view.

While deleting old junk, I made a clear list of things that I like and dislike and looked for patterns. In only a few hours, I gained new clarity about my core aesthetic beliefs. For instance, it turns out I’m a big fan of freedom, transcendence, and a sense of history: Aged villas and haciendas with tall ceilings, natural wood and plaster materials, arched doorways, wide-open natural spaces, sprawling garden-like flowers, and flowing materials. On the other hand, I don’t enjoy constricted, unnatural or stuffy designs: windowless ballrooms, stiff or heavy fabrics, tight floral arrangements, explosions of sequins, intense artificial lighting, or crowded city spaces.

Getting clear about who I am and what I like as a designer is helping me to serve my clients better. I may not appeal to everyone, but when potential clients share my vision, we have better relationships and a new type of synergy that creates magical outcomes.

"This has been a valuable time to turn inward, away from all the distractions, and reconnect with my purpose." @MeggieFrancisco Click to Tweet

Meggie Francisco

Wedding Planner and Designer

Meggie Francisco Events, Columbus, OH

Since we aren't able to currently do public events, I have been researching ways to do Virtual Silent Auctions, 50/50 Raffles, etc.

Since we aren’t able to currently do public events, I have been researching ways to do Virtual Silent Auctions, 50/50 Raffles, etc.

I have found a couple of different platforms, however, the only one I have successfully used so far is RafflesNow. If anyone else knows of an app or affordable platform for a virtual fundraiser, I’d be thrilled to hear about it!

"Since we aren't able to currently do public events, I have been researching ways to do Virtual Silent Auctions, 50/50 Raffles, etc." Click to Tweet

Kristi Opris

Owner/Manager

Above and Beyond Corporate Events, Mesa, AZ

What's exciting is that we are able to shift event-goers who could not participate in person to our online program and provide an inclusive, interactive experience to keep them engaged in real-time even remotely.

It’s been challenging to plan in the new COVID-19 environment, but I love challenges that inspire me. I have been pushed to expand our virtual programs and shift all events. Being creative is important but being innovative will keep you ahead of the competition. Keeping ahead of the competition, meaning this fall’s heavy event schedule that will be saturated with scheduled events and events that have been postponed even if online. So if you have multiple events in an evening, you’re competing with those events and you need that carrot to dangle throughout your event to keep your guests engaged. It’s all about creating that innovative and engaging experience, whether it’s an in-person, virtual, or hybrid event.

I am planning differently to make an impact from technology to decor to activations and planning for various possibilities. What’s exciting is that we are able to shift event-goers who could not participate in person to our online program and provide an inclusive, interactive experience to keep them engaged in real-time even remotely.

If you’d like to learn more about our experiential hybrid events, contact us at [email protected]

"What's exciting is that we are able to shift event-goers who could not participate in person to our online program and provide an inclusive, interactive experience to keep them engaged in real-time even remotely." @ajwevents Click to Tweet

AJ Williams

Founder/ Creative Director

AJ Events, Boston, MA

As a plant-based catering company, food is our passion, so we're sharing that passion on social media through a weekly Instagram series of simple cooking demos.

We are still working with clients and planners to plan future events, but are also looking for ways to become a resource to others, especially now that people are spending more time at home. As a plant-based catering company, food is our passion, so we’re sharing that passion on social media through a weekly Instagram series of simple cooking demos. It’s been a lot of fun shooting these videos and we’re loving the response from people who are excited to try plant-based recipes for the first time!

"As a plant-based catering company, food is our passion, so we're sharing that passion on social media through a weekly Instagram series of simple cooking demos." Click to Tweet

Joyce Malicse

Co-founder

Pink Salt Cuisine, Los Angeles, CA

While we're in quarantine and unable to have scheduled events and meetings, we're looking to online options like ZOOM to connect with our brides face to face and host virtual design meetings to keep the process moving.

While we’re in quarantine and unable to have scheduled events and meetings, we’re looking to online options like ZOOM to connect with our brides face to face and host virtual design meetings to keep the process moving. With the number of postponed weddings from spring into fall, it’s important to continue to secure your vendors and get your design solidified so you don’t lose the opportunity to have what you’ve envisioned. Your vendor team is also anxious to get creative so it’s a win for everyone!

"While we're in quarantine and unable to have scheduled events and meetings, we're looking to online options like ZOOM to connect with our brides face to face and host virtual design meetings to keep the process moving." Click to Tweet

Francesca DiSalvo Follmer

Owner

Pure Luxe Bride, Charleston, SC

We’re staying creative by applying the same philosophy of building an attendee experience to virtual events as we would do for live events.

We’re staying creative by applying the same philosophy of building an attendee experience to virtual events as we would do for live events. We are blown away at how the event industry has responded and we have been able to work with suppliers for entertainment, culinary, wellness, games and more to bring creativity to our virtual events.

#wereallinthistogether

"We’re staying creative by applying the same philosophy of building an attendee experience to virtual events as we would do for live events." @TKEventsInc Click to Tweet

Trish Knox

Owner/President

TK Events Inc, Oakville, Ontario, Canada

I have been looking at architectural magazines and projects in order to get inspired.

Now more than ever both clients and vendors have time to create. For us, having calls with clients and pitching out of the box ideas is one of our favorite things. Having an event after corona is even more special than before because we no longer take being together for granted. So we see clients wanting something different and untraditional.

I have been looking at architectural magazines and projects in order to get inspired. The trend for us will be integrating shapes and materials with flowers. Also, I keep sketching every crazy idea and saving them for the perfect event!

"I have been looking at architectural magazines and projects in order to get inspired." @plandesignevent Click to Tweet
Nicole Braghin

Nicole Braghin

Managing Partner/Creative Director

Plan Design Events, Miami, FL

I am on the constant lookout to connect (whether it be via Zoom, FaceTime, Skype, or other methods) with my beloved industry and colleagues.

I must say being creative and getting inspired is a REAL struggle … having said this, I am on the constant lookout to connect (whether it be via Zoom, FaceTime, Skype, or other methods) with my beloved industry and colleagues.

I’m connecting to not feel isolated and also to get inspiration on other people’s perspectives and ideas. Basically exploring and brainstorming together … who knows where it can all lead us??

"I am on the constant lookout to connect (whether it be via Zoom, FaceTime, Skype, or other methods) with my beloved industry and colleague." @MontrealPlanner Click to Tweet

Daniela Caputo

Owner/President

Montreal Event Planner - Daniela Caputo Event Management,

This is our time to re-create and catch up and see how we can move forward.

I have to say, it was hard at first to stay creative and inspired but I have to keep reminding myself that this time of uncertainty is temporary. We will be able to create those beautiful love stories soon. This is our time to re-create and catch up and see how we can move forward.

"This is our time to re-create and catch up and see how we can move forward." @chandaievents Click to Tweet

Chandai Raghunauth

Owner and Planner

Chandai Events, New York City, NY

We have also looked for ways to give back to our community by offering complimentary one-hour consultations to anyone needing a bit of advice during these turbulent times.

During this time, we have felt a shift in our events with 25% canceling and the other 75% rescheduling for later this year. Each day is a new day and we are still continuing to look ahead with our rescheduled clients and providing them with Plans A, B, and C advice for what may be coming down the line.

We have also looked for ways to give back to our community by offering complimentary one-hour consultations to anyone needing a bit of advice during these turbulent times. It is our way to continue to stay #eventstrong and give back to a community that needs our help.

"We have also looked for ways to give back to our community by offering complimentary one-hour consultations to anyone needing a bit of advice during these turbulent times." @DYVEvents Click to Tweet

Michelle Stewart

Owner/Event Planner

DYV Events, Bedford, NH

While waiting for the future to reveal itself, I've decided that this is a good time to learn some new skills and prepare for what's next.

While we eagerly await “what’s on the other side,” it’s becoming obvious that there will be a new normal as far as live events are concerned (and virtual events are going to need to really step up their game too!).

Flowers and the vessels we use to display them in will be harder to come by; vendors booked for postponed events may not be available on the new chosen dates; venues may have stricter capacity policies; and we’ll all have a new interest in the cleaning procedures employed by caterers, rental companies and venues alike. It’s a weird time, friends!

While waiting for the future to reveal itself, I’ve decided that this is a good time to learn some new skills and prepare for what’s next. I’ve been keeping busy participating in webinars almost daily on topics from obtaining small business relief funds, to executing profitable virtual galas. I’ve also noticed a resurgence of Facebook groups and participation is high! I follow a few of these event professional-centric groups for not only the community and support but for tips and advice.

I’m also asking myself “what are some things I typically outsource because I don’t have the skills?” and am using this time to learn, learn, learn. I’m coming across so many free and discounted courses in my daily social media travels that are proving to be a huge help and I’m taking advantage of the kindness of these offers.
I’m looking forward to showing off my new skills once we’re ready to get out there and celebrate!

"While waiting for the future to reveal itself, I've decided that this is a good time to learn some new skills and prepare for what's next." @sasseventsdc Click to Tweet

Stacy Heit

Principal/Owner

sassēvents, Washington, D.C.

I am inspired constantly by the amazing event professionals that are taking to social media during this pandemic and sharing their work, their process, and their inspirations.

I’m staying inspired by watching old favorite movies and favorite tv shows. I love reruns and movies! I can literally watch them over and over again as if I’ve never seen them before. I literally can’t get enough of the Sex in the City Series and Movies! I seriously see something new every time! What I pay attention to is the color! I struggle when it comes to using color in designs and ideas so it helps when I see colors in different settings, textures, and fabrics. Of course, what grabs my eye but also what I have strong reactions to and what’s more subtle.

I am also inspired constantly by the amazing event professionals that are taking to social media during this pandemic and sharing their work, their process, and their inspirations. I get so many ideas on how to improve on things or maybe a different perspective to approach an idea with. Many times peer inspiration is easier to implement and begin practicing immediately because it’s already been created in a familiar setting to me with easily accessible resources.

"I am inspired constantly by the amazing event professionals that are taking to social media during this pandemic and sharing their work, their process, and their inspirations." @ckevents1 Click to Tweet

Covesa Gragg

Founder and CEO

Covesa Kelly Events, Cleveland, OH

I am devoting much of my time now to learning...

I am devoting much of my time now to learning – whether it’s by participating in webinars, reading articles, or joining in threads on many of my industry Facebook groups. I’m inspired by the resilience of our industry and my fellow planners and am finding so much encouragement in the creativity they’re displaying. Surrounded by so much expertise and insight, it’s impossible not to be determined to come through this planning events that are better than ever!

"I am devoting much of my time now to learning..." @detailedheather Click to Tweet

Heather Herrig

President/Chief Event Strategist

Every Last Detail, Atlanta, GA