Monday, October 27, 2008

Birmingham FAM

Last Thursday the Plan Your Meetings staff introduced about 20 planners from "Hot-Lanta" to other planners and vendors from "The 'Ham" (Birmingham).

The first order of the day was an early morning bus load in at the PYM office in Sandy Springs, GA. Gosh was this bus gorg! Leather all around, overhead storage, dvd player capabilities, and WI-FI!! So we could work on the way to Birmingham! Life is great! Donna Jakulski from Cooper-Atlanta really pulled out all of the stops! Plus, she gave us the best chauffer on Cooper-Atlanta's payroll, Derrick. (*And yes, they are on Cooper-Atlanta's payroll - they are NOT independent contractors!)

When we got to the Wynfrey Hotel in Birmingham, we attended the PYM LIVE event and met some great new vendors. This hotel is stunning.'s connected to a MALL!

Our next stop was a bus tour of "The 'Ham". One of the coolest things I learned on the bus tour was seeing the Renaissance Ross Bridge Golf Resort & Spa. Gorgeous! I'm still a little twinged that I didn't get to try the spa, but maybe next time, eh?

My *almost* favorite part of the day was checking into our hotel room at the newly-renovated Hilton Birmingham Perimeter Park. Dawn, Layne, and Ashley were absolutely fabulous! Even though they had rush of new check ins for the Magic City Classic the next day, they granted me a 2 p.m. check out. WOW. I am so impressed with this property. Thanks Layne, Dawn, and Ashley! Thanks also to the Birmingham CVB and PYM for these cute, cute gift bags!

My FAVORITE part of the day was the Birmingham CVB Fright Night Event. Here are some pics. Great stuff. One of the philosophies I am so passionate about is "Territorialism and Cattiness is only for the weak in this industry. Because if we don't work together, then clients end up planning their events themselves. That almost never turns out as a Level 10. If we work together, then more people can have better parties." This event helps to foster that commeraderie and collaboration. Thanks, PYM!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I'm Published!

The Cherokee Ledger-News just printed an article featuring Yours Truly. Here it is:

Not all fall entertaining has to be expensive

- by Meredith Pruden

With it's brisk temperatures and sunny skies, metro Atlanta residents can truly find no better time to entertain friends and family than the fall season. It's easy to find an excuse to host a party, and it doesn't have to cost a fortune either. "I'm finding that with this economy people are really watching their money," said Erica Prewett of A Big To Do Event. "But if it's a fun reason, they should give themselves permission to have that party." Prewett recommended some expert ideas for the upcoming season.

Have a mound of boxed photos or countless computer discs and files housing pictures? November 3 is Digital Scrapbooking Day. "This is a really cool opportunity to get friends together and spend the night looking at pictures," Prewett said. "It's a really easy, low cost way to have a good time with friends. Plus, if you wanted to host it, you could work on your pictures and make it a productive event." The best part? A casual get together focused around digital scrapbooking can be enhanced with the only addition of finger foods and a simple cocktail mixer, as the entertainment is already built right in.

November 6 is National Men Make Dinner Day and Prewett suggested using this day to invite all the men to bring over their favorite dish for a pot luck dinner. "You can even make this event all about the men and have it be sports-related if you want," she said. To decorate without spending a fortune, Prewett suggested using a roll of Admit One tickets, which can be purchased from party stores, as napkin rings and painting white or clear lucite plates (on the back side) as sports balls.

Veteran's Day, on November 11, is Prewett's favorite November holiday. "It's a really touching day," Prewett said. To celebrate she said throwing a patriotic party a la the Fourth of July is always a hit.

To get the house in tip top shape for these last minute get togethers, Jenna Daniels, of Clean by Repeatable Solutions, said to freshen up the house using these often overlooked but quick tips:

- Sprinkle carpet deodorizer befor vacuuming.

- Use a strong, scented cleaner on the bathrooms and kitchen a few days before to avoid strong smells the day of, and light scented candles in those places the day of the party.

- Clean the windows and mirrors. "You may not see the fingerprints and streaks during the day, but at night in dim ligting, these things really stand out," Daniels said.

- Check behind doors and under cabinets tof dust bunnies.

- If there are pets in the home, spray Febreze on furniture and vacuum to easily lift away pet hair.

Prewett said she also recommends sweeping and rolling up any area rugs to avoid messy spills and putting away any personal items if there are going to be any service providers or vendors in the home (such as caterers).

With only a bit of preparation and money, almost any day can be an excuse to spend time with loved ones. So dust off the favorite party hat and boogie down.

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