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On June 26th, WWPR’s Professional Development Committee in partnership with Pepco Holdings, Inc. hosted an exciting and informative discussion at the Pepco Edison Place Gallery revealing the secrets to planning perfect events.  The sold-out event began with networking, hors d’oeuvres courtesy of Geppetto Catering, and a wine tasting provided by Total Wine & More. Along with sparkling wines, Total Wine provided takeaways, including formulas on how to calculate the number of bottles for an event using the number of guests and duration of the program.

Debbi Jarvis, panel moderator and Group Vice President, Corporate Citizenship and Social Responsibility for Pepco Holdings, opened with a warm welcome and shared several pointers to planning a successful press event.  Regarding developing relationships with reporters she shared, “You have to do the work before the event,” and “Be a source, not a sore.”

The panel included:

Reggie Kouba shared a 10-step process to planning a successful corporate event.  A few of her tips included:

  • Avoid lines by making sure your registration, food and beverage lines are easily accessible and well-staffed.
  • Practice Makes Perfect: If you have speakers, give them an opportunity to practice onstage in advance with the sound and lighting in place.
  • Make sure you wear comfortable shoes…things move fast.

To view Ms. Kouba’s entire slide presentation, click here.

Hilary Howes focused her remarks on her area of expertise, designing events. She shared, “When doing event design you cannot trust advertising; words are spun, and it is best to trust your gut.”  Howes also suggested client and design collaboration in order to increase “client buy and approval.”  She further shared that client collaboration will save time in design execution and create “synergistic original solutions.”  To see Ms. Howes’ slide presentation in its entirety, including samples of her event design work and a list of 20 questions to assist in planning your next event, visit this link.

Josh Carin’s advice on how to plan a successful event is to first determine what it is you’re trying to accomplish with the event and then to “live the goal of the event.”  Carin recommended thinking through all of the details of the event in advance.  For example, if you are hosting a long event with a speaker who will talk for 45 minutes, you better have chairs so your guests can be comfortably seated during that time.  To avoid lines at events and ensure a positive guest experience, Carin’s rule of thumb is to have a bar for every 100 attendees.  A video of Mr. Carin’s presentation can be viewed here.

Elaine Coronado shared the following tips during her presentation:

  • Every event needs to have a “wow” moment
  • Show your sponsors love
  • Be creative—thinking outside the box will get you results