Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Follow-Up Emails: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Raise your hand if you ever received multiple emails from a business and immediately marked them as trash? No judgment here because we all do it! Most companies send out repetitive and vague follow-up emails on a daily basis. And we all know where these emails go—the junk folder.

As an Event Professional, your emails are important—even the follow-ups—so don’t let them join the junk folder crowd. Luckily, we have some tips to help you become a follow-up email pro, getting you out of the trash and into the reply pile in no time!

Context, Context, Get a Clue!

It’s true—people hate reading promotional material unless it applies specifically to them. Sending an effective follow-up email is all about establishing a personal connection and making the content relevant to your client. Here’s what we do at Inspherio!

We like to think back to the last conversation we had with our client. Did they need a new website, or did they need help managing their leads? Even if it’s just tidbits of information, we use it to provide context and make a connection with our clients.

Before sending out that follow-up email, be sure to add a bit of personalization. It can make the difference between your messages being read or ignored.

The Good Email:

Dear Tammy,

Last I spoke to you, you were planning a baby shower for your good friend, Sarah. I’m eager to hear back from you to know how it all went, as well as to speak with you about any future events you plan to host…

The Bad Email:

Dear Tammy,

I hope you are doing well! I wanted to reach out to you and let you know about a huge discount on pictures. You can save up to 50 percent on any package that you choose…

The Ugly Email:


I just wanted to check in with you and see how you are doing. Also, I’m having a discount on picture packages. If you are interested, please respond back.

Don’t Beat Around the Bush- Be Specific

When it comes to a follow-up email, be specific! (See, we even kept this section short to emphasize the point of specificity)

The Good Email:

After reading the event information for your wedding, I’m working on providing you with a custom quote for your pictures, and selecting photos that fit your personality the best. Would you prefer candid stills throughout the event or do you wish to have a set list of pictures taken at a particular time?  

The Bad Email:

After reading your event information for your wedding, I am working on providing you with a quote and selecting the moments you want to cherish in pictures. What type of pictures do you want for the event?

The Ugly Email:

In preparation for your event, what pictures did you want?

Stand Out from the Crowd

Recently, I received four cleverly marketed emails from a company asking me to sign up for their monthly newsletter. I ignored the first email. The second email added some compelling attributes, but I wasn’t convinced yet. But as the emails kept coming, I was beginning to laugh more and more. The company’s follow-up emails only got funnier as time passed. By the fourth email, I signed up for the newsletter.

The best way to have your client’s take an interest in your emails is by adding personality to it, and maybe even a little humor. Trust us, it’ll help you stand out from the crowd, get your emails noticed, and best of all—replied to!

The Good Email:

Dear Tammy,

You’re probably thinking, “Wow, four emails! This person has heart.  Are they climbing Mount Everest next?” Well, Tammy, as cool as that experience might be, there’s no WiFi up there! But I do want to share something even cooler with you…

The Bad Email:

Dear Tammy,

You’re probably thinking, “Wow, four emails! Does this person know when enough’s enough?” Well, Tammy, we don’t!

The Ugly Email:

You’re probably thinking, “Stop emailing me this is the fourth email!” But we’re not going to!

Just like with everything, there is the good way, the bad way, and the ugly way. So just follow these tips, and get your follow-up email out of the junk folder today. And remember, our world-class support is always here, so let us know how we can help.
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Thursday, September 24, 2015

Event Guide: Music and Dancing

Think of the last wedding you attended that didn’t have music. Having a hard time? It’s OK—an event without any music is pretty archaic nowadays.

As the cornerstone of most events, nothing can get the crowd moving quite like music and dancing. Which is why as a music professional, it’s important to help your clients pick the best (most appropriate) music for their event. You’re the mastermind of music, but sometimes it can be a tough job when clients are set on certain genres. Luckily for you, we have some advice on how you can convince your clients that some songs just aren’t appropriate for their event—no matter how much they may like them.

*Disclaimer- Of course, we know that “good music” is a subjective term and a difficult one to define. However, some songs with clear, articulate meanings can be too much for poor grandma, and should be avoided at all cost.

First Dance Songs to Avoid

These songs are definite no-no’s for that special first dance moment.

"Better With the Lights Off"-New Boyz Ft. Chris Brown
I think the title of this song is pretty self-explanatory.

"I Will Always Love You"- Whitney Houston
The late, great Whitney Houston, despite her killer high notes and her ability to deliver a heartfelt, soul-moving piece of music, never intended for this song to be played at a first dance. She actually wrote the melody as a breakup song. So yeah, probably not a message you want to send when you’re joining hands in holy matrimony.

"Make You Feel My Love"-Adele

As the title suggests, the song lyrics express more of a desperation to be in love than actually being in a romantic relationship.

"Just a Friend"-Biz Markie
Again, no words needed to describe this one.

Knowing the lyrics and advising against some of these would-be love songs can save your clients from slow-dancing to questionable material.

On the No-Invite List!

Avoid, avoid, avoid!

Music is a diverse beast. Don’t try to fit it neatly in a box and bring it to an event—we’re looking at you, Top 200 Playlist. Diversity and an eclectic musical taste is a must. So let your clients know the power of diversity, and encourage them to mix it up at their event.

As the expert, meet with your clients to discuss their guest list, personal music interest, and the type of event they’re hosting. If the event is a wedding, people perceive it as one big party shrouded under the veil of tradition. It’s your job as a music professional to ensure that when the time is right, you play the songs that get people dancing and thinking happy, celebratory thoughts! But just in case you need a little back-up, here’s another list of songs you should steer your clients clear of. And for obvious reasons!

“My Humps”- Black Eyed Peas
An awkward song to play in a diverse crowd. Honestly.

“We Are Young”- Fun
Although a great song to sing-along to, it’s not a practical one for a dance party. Trust us, we’ve tried pulling off some dance moves and failed.

“Red, Red Wine”- UB40
Yes, this might be one of my favorite songs to belt-out, but it’s not the most-pleasing wedding song. It is more about missing someone and drowning your sorrows in a bottle of red, red wine than a happy marriage.

“Party Rock Anthem”- LMFAO
Again, another really difficult song for people to bust a move too.

“Single Ladies” - Beyonce
No disrespect to Queen B, but let’s let the celebration of marriage have its moment before others celebrate being single. Plus, the single bridesmaids probably won’t appreciate this one much either.

Of course, there are several more songs you could add to this list, but I think you’re seeing the type of songs to convince your clients to avoid. Here are some suggestions for a happy, well-played event:
  • Pick songs about love and happiness.
  • Choose a song that is special for a first dance. Think of a song that makes you feel good, and has a melody that glorifies your love.
  • Select a song with good, wholesome lyrics and melody. You want to promote a loving atmosphere, not one people exchange curious looks during.
  • Let your clients know you want the best music for their event, and provide songs that do not come pre-packaged; let them know the songs have been specifically selected for their event.
You know the tunes, you understand the importance of music, so now it’s time to have the musical talk with your clients. We’re here to be the best crew for you—and be your best back-up!

Until next time, this has been your event guide of the week!
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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Getting It Right the First Time: The Know Your Event Feature

Let’s take a quick test!

When asked to plan an event, what would you do first?

  1. Immediately talk about the budget and how much your client is willing to spend
  2. Start planning and giving your clients ideas for their event
  3. Let your clients fill out the Know Your Event questionnaire on Inspherio

Hopefully you went with choice number 3! Before you start planning any event, use the Know Your Event questionnaire and find out exactly what your clients want (the first time).

What is the Know Your Event Feature?

Well, it’s Inspherio’s exclusive event-information-gathering questionnaire that can help you plan your client’s dream event. But this feature is so much more than just a questionnaire. You can fine-tune this form to fit every client, vendor, and event. Once you try it, you’ll wonder how you ever planned an event without it.

How-To KYE Guide

Knowing exactly what your clients want for their big day is important. But it doesn’t have to be difficult to figure out. Let Inspherio’s Know Your Event feature help!

Ready to get started? Great!
  • Click on the “Leads” tab on your Inspherio dashboard.
  • Since it’s a new event, you’ll need to create a lead, so select “Incoming Leads” from the drop-down menu.
  • From there, on the top right-hand corner of the page select the “+ Create Lead” icon.
  • Here, you’ll be able to complete the pertinent information you need to get in contact with your new client.
  • This contact will now be categorized in your Inspherio Active Leads section.
  • Click on the newly-created lead under the “Active Leads” tab located on the left-hand side of the screen.
  • Under the “Event Info” section of your client’s page, select “Know Your Event.”
  • Choose the template for questions that are most appropriate for your event, add questions to the list, and send it to your client.
  • Done—it’s that easy!
We believe in simplicity, that’s why we created the Know Your Event feature to help you get all of your client’s dreams, details, and information the first time. Try it and let us know how much it helps you!
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Thursday, September 17, 2015

Event Guide: Top 5 Trendsetting Venue Ideas

Trends come and go all the time in the event industry. And, event professionals are always searching for the next best theme or design to impress their clients with. The same can be said for event venue owners! Rental spaces and locations are constantly changing to appeal to their clientele year after year.

Do you know what types of venues people are searching for this year? Well the results are in and we’ve got the answers!

Indoor and Outdoor Space

People are often willing to take on the weather, but not without a security shelter. Venues that win over the clients at a higher rate are those that offer both an indoor and outdoor space.

People are interested in switching scenes and locations within an event to provide a different visual appeal. These two spaces can help separate the activities and create a sense of multiple styles, rather than just one. Two separate (indoor/outdoor) spaces also helps to reassure your client that no matter the weather, the show will go on at your venue.


Every client is different, so why does your venue remain the same? Offering a space that clients are free to decorate and add their own personal style to is important. Create areas in your venue that can be used for a variety of events and ceremonies. These style-free spaces give your clients the opportunity to create their dreams anywhere. People want a space that is unique to them.  

Technology Friendly

Technology plays an important role in our lives on a daily basis. Where does your venue stand on the technology spectrum? Provide your clients with Wi-Fi accessibility—it might be the best investment you make. Wi-Fi accessibility is the easiest way to bring attention to your business and venue space. Here’s how to do it:

Add your Wi-Fi password to your business’s social media page. A well-known music venue in Charlotte, NC provides people with Wi-Fi access by having them LIKE their business page on Facebook. Smart move! It increases the number of likes the business receives, allowing them to greatly increase their reach and client base.

So get techy and get your venue noticed!

Repurpose Buildings

Is there an old barn or warehouse located on your space? It’s perfect for a wedding, reunion, birthday party, etc. People love to blend and combine the old with the new. That’s why keeping and preserving old buildings at your venue site is such a great idea. A repurposed building provides a space big enough for people to gather, and also provides character and charm to the environment.

Fire Pits

I know this one idea might seem outlandish, but fire pits are the next big trend. Events are starting to be held later and later in the evening, and people enjoy relaxing around the fire after an eventful day. Venue owners are noticing this trend, and are providing areas for people to relax, roast marshmallows, and share stories. It creates a friendly and close environment that people want for their event. So get started on a do-it-yourself (DIY) project to add more warmth to your venue space.

It doesn’t take much to be a trendsetting venue! Let us know in the comment section below what trendsetting designs your venue offers.
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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

It's How Much?! The Event Package Feature from Inspherio

Your clients always want to know—how much does all this cost? Creating a separate pricing sheet for each of your clients can be cumbersome, we know that. That’s why we created our event packages feature! We believe the less time you spend re-entering your pricing information, the more time you can invest in bringing the dream to life.

Inspherio offers a package management feature that makes it easier to set, organize, and share your prices, letting you back to more important matters—like your clients.

Here's How It Works:

Managing your event packages with Inspherio is incredibly convenient! We provide you with the option to choose between sending your clients a standard pricing package and a customized one.

But first, let’s get started creating your pricing information with Inspherio.
  • Click on the “Settings” tab located at the top, right-hand corner of your Inspherio dashboard
  • Select the icon labeled “Products and Packages”
  • From there, select “Products & Services”
  • To add a product or service, fill in the required fields on the right-hand side of your screen in the “Add/Modify” section
Now that you have your products and services set, here’s what we can do for you! Just choose between sending your clients the standard pricing package or a custom one.

The Standard Package

Isn’t it nice to keep it simple? That’s how we felt when we created this pricing option. The standard package option allows you to send a preset package—including the services and the cost—to your clients instantly. You never have to worry about re-entering package information again. All you have to do is click and send. To create one:
  • Click on “Packages” located on the left-hand corner of your screen under the “Products & Packages” field.
  • Add a package by selecting the “Add Package” icon at the top of the screen. Complete the required fields, inputting your products and services.
Once you’ve created your standard pricing package in your Inspherio account, you’re ready to go!  The next time you wish to send a standard package to your clients, it’s simple. Here’s how:
  • Send your client your standard package by clicking on the “Active Leads” tab and your client’s event name.
  • From there, select the “Package Pricing” option listed underneath “Event Info.”
  • Select the package you would like to send, and you’re done!
The Custom Package

Clients love knowing that you are catering your services to them, and one of the best ways to do that is with a custom pricing package. By selecting products and services from your preset list, you can build a customized pricing sheet just for your client. And, to make their day even more special, you can add in discount and sale prices with this package option. To create a custom package:

  • Click on “Packages” located on the left-hand corner of your screen under the “Products & Packages” field.
  • Click on “Add Package” and complete the required fields, inputting your products and services.
  • Once you’ve created your custom package, send it to your client by clicking on the “Active Leads” tab and your client’s event name.
  • From there, select the “Package Pricing” option listed underneath “Event Info.”
  • Then just select the package you would like to send, and you’re done!

At Inspherio, we know that discussing money and sending your clients pricing information isn’t the fun part, which is why we made it as simple and fast as possible!

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Thursday, September 10, 2015

The Event Guide: Food & Beverages

Deciding how much food and how many drinks to prepare for an event seems like a guessing game. If you order too much, you take away budgeted money that could be applicable in other places. Order too little, and people get restless. In my earliest experiences as an event planner, I made these mistakes more than I’m willing to admit. But, I’ve gotten much better at expecting the unexpected when it comes to food and beverages. Here’s some of my secrets to help you get it right the first time! 

Know Your Guests

It doesn’t matter if it’s a bride & groom, a mother-to-be, or someone’s birthday—everyone wants their favorite food served at their event. As a planner/caterer it’s important to include those favorites, but don’t forget to keep the preferences of the guests in mind. 

One of the first weddings I helped plan, the bride loved sushi. Doesn’t seem like a problem, right? Well, it was when a majority of the guests were accustomed to more  traditional, home-cooked options. By not keeping the guests in mind, many of them left early—missing most of the festivities—because they were hungry. 

Key: Learn the demographics of your group. Men will eat more hearty food than women, and the older audience will prefer more traditional options compared to the younger generations. By knowing your guests, you can develop menus that include the host’s favorites, and also food options that appeal to the masses. 

Know Your Event

Knowing the type of event you are providing food for sounds like a no-brainer, right? Well, what I mean when I say know your event, is to plan food options and menus that fit the event. If you are hosting a long conference, loading your guests up with sugary foods will only make them crash later. 

Key: Choose foods that will fuel your guests and get them in the right frame-of-mind for your event. Protein is the best food group to have at an event that requires attention, focus, and for guests to be active. It will keep them wanting to participate and awake for the events. Brownies and carbs—although delicious—will send your guests into a food coma. No one wants zombies at their party, so remember to choose energizing foods. 

The Numbers Game

It’s always about numbers when it comes to planning the food and drinks. Get the numbers wrong, it won’t go over well. Whether it's a large party or a small one, it can be difficult knowing how much food to prepare. But with a little help, it doesn’t have to be! 

Key: Here is a handy chart brought to you by the PlanningHelpers to help you make sure you prepare enough food and drinks depending on the number of guests you will be accommodating.

Food Items
Portions per Person
Hors d’oeuvres if meal to follow
Total of 2 to 3 pieces per person per hour
Heavy hors d’oeuvres as a meal
Total of 5 to 6 pieces per person per hour   Less after 2nd hour
Chilled salads
4 ounces per person
Hot side dishes
3 to 4 ounces per person   
Less if more side dishes served
Pasta as an entrée
6 to 8 ounces per person
Lunch entrée
4 to 6 ounces per person
Dinner entrée
6 to 8 ounces per person
3 to 4 ounces per person
Dinner Rolls or Bread
2 per person
Added tip: When you are serving a heavy hors d’oeuvres for the meal, add another substantial food item to the menu, like pasta. Carbs and other filling foods can help lower the amount of hors d’oeuvres you need to keep you guests happy and full.

Type of Beverage   
Number of Servings in Each
Ordering ONE type of beverage for
4 hrs. to 50 people
1 case = (24) 12-ounce servings
8 cases
750 ml bottle = (6) 4-ounce glasses
34 bottles
750 ml bottle = (15 to 18) 1-ounce pours per bottle
13 bottles + assorted mixes
1 gallon = (18) 1-cup servings
 3 gallons
1-liter bottle = (11) 6-ounce glasses
18 bottles
1 case = (24) 12-ounce cans of (2) 6-ounce servings
4 cases
1 gallon = (32) 4-ounce servings
6 gallons
750 ml bottle = (6) 4-ounce glasses
9 bottles for 1 toast
Added Tip: If you decide to offer a soft bar, remember that it is more expensive than a full bar. A soft bar will serve only six pours out of a bottle of wine, whereas a liquor bottle will have 15 to 18 pours. Also, don’t forget to order enough soda and water for your guests, people will prefer non-alcoholic beverages later in the evening.

Ordering food and beverages for your event doesn’t have to be difficult! With a little help and some positive encouragement, you’ll have happy guests and a great event! For more event guides, be sure to stay tuned to Inspherio. We’re on a mission to be your best crew!

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