Thursday, November 26, 2015

Sit, Listen, and Record This Thanksgiving

As we prepare the food, decorate the tables, and ready our bellies for serving after serving of delicious food, what are you most thankful for? At Inspherio, we’re the most thankful for our family, friends, and you! That’s right, you make the workdays worthwhile, and we’re happy to be members of your crew. So Happy Thanksgiving, friend!

On this special and thankful holiday, we hope you take time to really enjoy your loved ones. Ask them stories, share memories, and most of all record them. Yes, interview the elders of your family!

This year, the Library of Congress is inviting people to submit interviewsthey’ve held with the older members of their family. It’s called The Great Thanksgiving Listen! We encourage you, your children, and other family members to take part. The project hopes to foster connections between generations, and to send the message that people, their stories, and memories do matter. The interviews will be available in the StoryCorps archive housed in the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. What a great way to spend your Thanksgiving, don’t you think?

You can download the free StoryCorps app, read their list of suggested questions, and start listening. So ask the questions you’ve always wanted to, listen to the stories, and share in the memories. This Thanksgiving, just do it!

Take care, and enjoy a very thankful Thanksgiving from the Inspherio Crew! And remember, if you need any emergency support with your account this holiday, please don’t hesitate to email us at! Although we will be out of the office, we’ll still be providing our world-class, 24/7 email support just for you.

Gobble, gobble, gobble!
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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

How Sofia Vergara Breathtakingly Changed the Event Planning Industry

Sofia Vergara and Joe Manganiello tied the knot Sunday evening, 11/22/15, in the most stunning way possible—and it’s all on Instagram (fan girl scream)! Our hearts are just melting from all of these magical images. Not to sound cliché, but her wedding and Instagram photos were picture perfect. As we were scrolling through her insta-feed though, it dawned on us—more and more people are using social media to plan their wedding. Has this affected the event industry in any way? Our conclusion: it’s changed the game completely. And here’s how. 

1. The Wedding Website

Wedding websites are everywhere, and they’re certainly the coolest thing we’ve seen so far! On sites like The Knot or Wedding Window, your clients can create free wedding websites to give their event that special touch. On these sites they can:
  • Tell the story of how they met each other, the proposal, and the planning process. 
  • Snap and share their photos. These sites are a great place for couples to post pictures of their love. 
  • Save time when it comes to RSVP’ing! You can get an immediate response from the guests instead of waiting for a paper reply by adding an RSVP section to the website. 
Changing the Industry: Good Rating! 

We’re big fans of the wedding website! This makes RSVP’ing a breeze for you, and it gives the couple a venue to show their love off. We say, “spread the wedding website news.”

2. Pinterest

We love Pinterest. Now we know we might get some backlash for that but we think it’s an excellent avenue for you and your clients to swap ideas for design, decor, and food. Pinterest is not a planner, you’re still a vital part in planning events—don’t feel in competition with the site. With Pinterest you can:
  • Share ideas and inspiration for an event.
  • Promote your services, showing pictures of your designs or types of events your hosted and planned. 
Changing the Industry: Great Rating! 

Pinterest is a planner’s best friend, remember that! The pins and boards you like and follow can help you better communicate a design or an idea to your clients. You can also create private boards that only you and your client can see, where you can pin ideas to it to help with the planning process.

3. Tweet, Tweet, Tweet

It seems like everyone has a wedding hashtag! Twitter is one of the quickest ways for you, your clients, and their guests to share messages, posts, and photos of the event in one place. And for the folks who couldn’t make it to the event, it gives them a live update on what’s happening. Find the perfect hashtag for your clients with the Wedding Hashtag Wall.

Changing the Industry: Drastically for the better! 

Whether it’s during an event or for future events, Twitter is a great way to show your potential clients your work. And besides, it’s a fun way to remember the night.

4. Instagram

You were probably wondering when we were going to get back to talking about Sofia Vergara and her handsome new husband, Joe Manganiello, right? Well, we’ve made it! Sofia Vergara gave her fans the best present of the year by posting all of her wedding pictures on Instagram. It gave us instant access to her special day! Which is why we love Instagram for weddings and events. Here’s what else it can do: 
  • Like Twitter, it captures all of the event pictures in one location.
  • It connects and shares pictures to all of your other social media pages.
  • It’s fast and trendy, making it a great place for people to comment or love your work.
Changing the Industry: Kudos! 

Try Instagram! It can help you promote your business, get your designs out there, and guide more potential clients to your site. It’s a win-win-win situation if you ask us.

Social media is changing the event industry, are you on board? Let us know in the comment section below or on Facebook or Twitter! And if you’re not already a part of the Inspherio Crew, be sure to sign up for a free 30-day trial!
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Thursday, November 19, 2015

The Pink Bride® - Tennessee’s Leading Wedding Resource

“To connect wedding couples with local wedding professionals for the ultimate wedding experience!”

The CEO and President of The Pink Bride, Fred Jacob, is here to tell us about what it’s like to be surrounded by ballroom dresses, flowers, and cake toppers—and how to make it in the wedding industry.

A quick snippet about the company...

This year, Fred Jacob is celebrating his forty-first anniversary with his wife, Donna. Congrats to the happy couple! Throughout their entire marriage, they have worked together as a team to make their dreams of working in the wedding industry a reality. Their love of weddings has even passed on to their daughter, Allison, who joined The Pink Bride team ten years ago. Allison currently manages the Nashville and Memphis division of the company. The Pink Bride serves as a resource for engaged couples in Tennessee to find the best wedding professionals in the state.

Tell us about the beginning years and about The Pink Bride Magazine!

In 1989, I started The Pink Bride with the goal of publishing a bridal magazine in my hometown of Knoxville, Tennessee. Although I had no previous experience with publishing, I began writing editorials and putting together content for the first Knoxville issue, titled “Here Comes the Bride.”

After a successful first issue, I decided to expand my publishing efforts to Chattanooga, Tennessee. Subsequently, as each issue became more and more successful, I started publications in the Tri-Cities region, Nashville, and Memphis. Today, after 25 years in publication, my team and I debut each issue of the magazine at The Pink Bridal Shows®, held twice per year in five different cities. In 2014 alone, we distributed over 150,000 copies of the magazine.

What are The Pink Bridal Shows®?

My goal for The Pink Bride has always been to connect couples with wedding professionals in Tennessee. I wanted them to work together to create the perfect wedding experience. Nearly fifteen years ago, I decided to begin producing bridal shows. I thought of it as a way for brides to be able to find all of their wedding needs in one place. We refer to it as a “pop-up wedding mall.” Today, The Pink Bride produces two bridal shows in each of the six major markets of Tennessee— Nashville, Knoxville, Memphis, Chattanooga, Murfreesboro, and the Tri-Cities region.

The Pink Bridal Shows® have become a major source for brides to get great ideas and connect with wedding vendors. In this ever-growing electronic world, wedding professionals are still finding that the bridal shows are the most direct way to connect with brides. Why? Bridal shows let engaged couples and professionals interact on a greater personal level than can be achieved through the Internet.

In 2014, the bridal shows brought in nearly 9,000 brides and 800 wedding companies, which was the largest attendance the company has seen yet. As a company that continues to grow, we expect to have a 15% increase in 2016 as well.

Our largest show is at the Music City Center, where we cover over 90,000 square feet of space with nothing but weddings. With exciting fashion shows and a lot of wedding vendors offering great packages, couples are guaranteed to have a wonderful experience.

How do you keep up with technology in today's world?

To provide today's brides with the latest information, we really utilize Pinterest. It’s the number one social media platform brides can use to plan a wedding. So we’ve created individual Pinterest accounts for each one of our display advertisers. In addition, within The Pink Bride magazine, a bride can scan the bar code that is displayed on each ad for a company and it will take them directly to that advertiser’s Pinterest page.

What can brides expect on The Pink Bride website?

Our website,, is a place for wedding couples to connect with wedding professionals. We reach over 50,000 visitors each month. The website is designed to make it easier for brides to find wedding information by providing them a convenient list of participating magazine advertisers and wedding vendors in each region. Wedding couples can also easily access tickets for upcoming shows, order The Pink Bride t-shirts, and purchase a copy of The Pink Bride magazine.

What is the The Pink Bride Statewide Venue Directory?

We are always working to make it easy for the bride and vendor to connect! Just this year, The Pink Bride debuted its Statewide Venue Directory. As a magazine that combines over 980 Tennessee wedding venues across the state listed by geography, the directory is a great resource for couples to sort through wedding venue options more quickly.

The Venue Directory is distributed to all wedding couples attending each bridal show, and is available for free at over 500 locations across the state. A complete list is also available at

We’ve heard you’re releasing a new app soon. Can you tell us more about that?

The Pink Bride’s latest creation, launching in January 2016, is called BrideScan. This app allows brides to easily access vendor information following a bridal show. Prior to the show, each bride and vendor will input their own information into the app. Then, at the show, when a bride takes interest in one of the wedding vendors, they will be able to easily scan a vendor’s bar code. When the bar code is scanned, the information is transferred from vendor to bride and vice versa. Following the show, both the vendor and the bride will be able to review the list of information.

BrideScan will be released nationwide for all show producers to be able to use in every US market.

Bridal Wars! We want to know more!

In Nashville on May 14, 2016, The Pink Bride will be doing their first event with Bridal Wars. Bridal Wars is a one day event in which brides create three-person teams and compete for prizes. We’re excited about this event, and we’re still thinking of new ideas to reach brides in Tennessee!

What else should we know about the Pink Bride?

Well, glad you asked! Because Nashville has become such a popular party destination, The Pink Bride created its sister company, Pink Bach Parties. This company connects engaged women to all of the hot activities in the Nashville area.

The Pink Bride looks forward to the future and continues to evolve the company to fulfill its mission statement: To connect wedding couples with local wedding professionals for the ultimate wedding experience!

Thank you, Fred Jacob and The Pink Bride! The Inspherio Crew loved learning all about your company. Hey event professionals, be sure to check out The Pink Bride if you are in the Tennessee area; they’re great!

Do you have a success story to tell about your time in the event industry? Send us an email at or let us know on our social media pages:

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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Event Planner's Top 5 Pet Peeves—And Our One Solution

Ugh! Once again, your clients have changed their mind on the reception flowers, and now you have to start all over on the design. That’s enough to make your head spin, right? I mean, they’ve only changed it about seven times already. But as a professional, you take a deep breath, resist the eye roll, and say, “OK, what flowers were you thinking about?”

Mr. Webster, famous for his ability to define words, would categorize this as a pet-peeve moment—you know that one incident or occurrence you find especially annoying? But don’t feel bad; you’re not alone. We rounded up five of the most common pet peeves every planner has when planning an event:

1. RSVP Nightmares

Late RSVPs are enough to drive you completely event-planner crazy. You and your clients send out RSVPs for a reason: so you can get an accurate headcount for seating, food, bulletins, and countless other items. But when someone sends a late RSVP, you have to completely reorganize the venue layout to accommodate for them. Why do these even exist?!

2. The No Shows

This happens at every. single. event.

The guests RSVP’d on time, you ordered them a meal, and you saved them a seat, but when you look around, they’re not there. Maybe they didn’t want to insult your clients by checking “No” on the RSVP slip, but what the guests fail to realize is that you arranged tables, prepared food, hired staff, and might have even delayed the start of the event just for them. This one is a big event planner pet peeve!

3. Vendors Arriving Late

It’s the day of the event and everything is on time, except the DJ. He is over an hour late and you could just scream. He needs to run AV cables, set up his table, and do a sound check—all before the guests arrive. As an event planner, you rely on vendors to help you implement a successful show. However, when one part of the event runs behind, everything else does too. And yes, we understand problems with vendors do arise, but a good vendor will ensure they show up early to silence your event-day worries.

4. Hidden Costs

Your clients depend on you to plan the event of their dreams within the means of their budget. And nothing annoys you more than a vendor who gives you a quote, but neglects to include the hidden service charges. Sneaky, sneaky! Knowing the exact prices up front helps you plan a realistic budget because no one likes asking the clients for more money at the end of the event.

5. Lost Guests

You tried your best to paint the prettiest signs, and you made sure every sign post had the directional arrow guiding guests to the event. But it never fails, a guest always gets lost and then gets mad at you. Although you have a great poker face and apologize for the miscommunication, all you want to do is roll. your. eyes.

The One Solution: Inspherio

Pet peeve moments happen, but the Inspherio Crew is here to make them less of an occurrence. As experienced event professionals, we know there are certain moments that can drive you crazy, which is why we designed the perfect anti pet-peeve, event planning solution. When you join the Inspherio family, you’ll have access to features that can help keep people on time, track and update guest lists, budget events, and a vendor contract feature to ensure every event is spectacular.  Don’t believe us, try it free for 30 days. You’ll be glad you did.
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Thursday, November 12, 2015

Blackfish Backlash: Sea-ing Your Event Through the World of Problems

Your event isn’t going to plan and now you have to face the music. What are you going to do? As strong-minded individuals, we never want to admit that we’ve made a mistake, but it’s how we handle the situation that really matters! Don’t believe us? Well, take SeaWorld for instance.

Just this week, SeaWorld released a statement announcing their plans to make major changes to their orca show in San Diego. Instead of the tricks and jumps you’re used to seeing, Shamu is now going to be an educational exhibit. This change certainly didn’t happen overnight, and it probably wouldn't have happened without the pressure from protest groups and the documentary, Blackfish. But before the change, Seaworld went to great lengths to distance themselves from the reports, like posting photos on Twitter of the “mother-calf bond,” purchasing full-page newspaper ads, and manipulating the public opinion polls, instead of just addressing the issues. Not a good way to handle problems if you ask us!

Which is why we’re here with a couple suggestions on how to handle and address event problems, before any Blackfish Backlash happens. And, yes, we know you usually don’t incorporate a show with fish into your events, but there are valuable lessons to learn from SeaWorld.

What To Do When There’s a Sea of Problems:

1. Stay Calm

You’re a professional—remind yourself of that every day! As the professional in the situation, keeping calm during a stressful moment is extremely important. The more you can rationalize and think through the problem, the faster you’ll arrive at a solution. Another reason to remain calm is so you don’t throw your clients and their guests into a panic. They’ve already got enough on their plate, so don’t make things more difficult.

2. Keep Control

Your clients hired you to plan and manage the event so they don’t have to worry about anything on their big day. When a problem goes wrong, take control of the situation. The more in charge you are, the more contained the problem will be. Your focus should be on finding the solution, not passing the burden onto someone else.

3. Bring Backup

We have backup plans, backup cars, and backup for just about everything—so do you have backup equipment and supplies? Event professionals of every variety need to bring backups with them to the event. If you’re a DJ make sure you have extra extension cords or surge protectors; if you’re a florist bring extra flowers for that just in case bouquet. It’s a proactive measure you can take to prevent problems before they happen.

4. Great Staff

Of course, you can’t be everywhere, all the time, which why having a knowledgeable staff is incredibly important. When you’re helping your clients, your staff can be solving problems and keeping everything running smoothly. We suggest teaching your staff how to handle problems by using scenario training. Give your staff members a situation in which there is a problem, see how well they solve it, and then offer your suggestions at the end.

You’ll never know all the challenges or difficulties you’ll face during an event, but we hope you don’t swim away from the problem. Accept that mistakes happens and that stuff will go wrong. It’s the first proactive step you can take.

What problems have you encountered at an event and how did you handle it? Share with us in the comment section below!

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Tuesday, November 10, 2015

15 Wedding Expenses You Forgot to Budget For

You helped plan the budget, select the venue, book the vendors, but now your clients are having to dip into their own pockets for the rest of the expenses. Oops! Looks like those hidden expenses wiggled their way into your planning and not the budget. Adhering to a budget is hard enough, not to mention all of the unexpected expenses that make their entrance without proper introduction. So the Inspherio Crew got together to figure out the most overlooked event expenses brides, grooms, and planners forgot to budget.

1. Beauty Treatments: Brides and their bridesmaids might have chosen the hairstyle and makeup they would like to have for the big day and allotted money in the budget for it, but what about the trial-runs? Our advice would be to put enough money aside in the budget to make sure that the bride and her hairstylist are on the same page when it comes to the bridal look—you don’t want them to disagree on wedding day. Also, the bride’s hands will be photographed a lot throughout the day, so make sure she puts away any additional funds for a mani/pedi.

2. Stationery: The invitations and save-the-dates are not the only paper goods you need to purchase for the big event. You still have the programs, the escort cards, place cards, and the menus. These expenses can add up quickly! So make sure to spare extra lines in the budget for them.

3. Meals: Your clients have budgeted a lot of money on food and sampled the menu options so much already that they’ve forgotten there are other meals happening that day. We’re here to help you remember that meals prior to the wedding are just as important as the reception dinner. Of course, you don’t need to budget a lot of money for the lunch, we still suggest you budget something. If the wedding is early, a simple bagel and fruit platter is great for breakfast, where sandwiches are good for lunch. Keep it light, and non-junk food related—your clients are nervous enough without the added stomach sickness from food.

4. Vendor Meals: And since we are on the topic of meals, don’t forget to budget meals for the vendors. Yes, you, the photographer, videographer, and everyone else who is with the bridal party all day need food. Don’t forget to add yourself and others to your budget. These meals might only cost you an extra hundred dollars but they’re important to include.

5. Alterations: Your client found the perfect dress, and it fits her budget perfectly. But did she factor in the cost of alterations? Hemming the gown, taking it in, or other structural changes cost money, and sometimes a lot of it. Some studios that the bride purchases a dress from will include a flat fee, while others might charge hundreds for alterations. Be sure to let your bride know of the potential expense.

6. Transportation for Guests: This means transportation to, during, or after the event. At weddings, generally a bride and groom will invite older relatives that may have difficulties walking around a lot. What’s your plan to help them get to and from? I experienced this issue one time when I was coordinating a wedding. The bride and groom both had older relatives who couldn’t walk through the fields to get to the wedding site due to all of the hills. Luckily, they had a friend that lived close to them who lent them a golf cart to help transport guests to the site. Although you might not have enough in the budget to rent a golf cart, this is just a good expense to keep in mind when picking a venue.

7. The Unexpected Guest: It never fails. You get all of your RSVP’s returned to you and you set the headcount based off the no’s, yes’, and plus ones. But someone turns up who originally selected “no” on their RSVP or brought a guest when they said they weren’t going to. Our advice is to always plan for at least five extra guests, especially if you’re having a dinner.

8. Favors: Giving wedding favors to guests is one of the surest ways to show your thankfulness. Many people travel from out-of-town for your wedding day, so let them know you appreciate their efforts to be present. And although these favors cost anywhere from $3 to $8, they can definitely eat into your budget. If you don’t think you have room in the budget for it, try the DIY route. Give these DIY wedding favors a try.

9. Lighting: Lighting is expensive but an important part of setting the atmosphere for your venue. Luckily, we wrote a blog about six money-saving tips on event lighting that you should check out to save you major budget bucks!

10. Decor, and Not Just the Flowers: When you see a beautiful centerpiece, most people see the flowers. What they fail to see is the non-floral supplies: the hurricane globes, flatware, wood pieces, etc. Although the flowers are the most expensive part of the centerpiece, the cost of the additional items you need to bring the look together can add up quickly. Our suggestion is to allot about 30% of your decor budget to these non-floral elements.

11. The Backup: The weather is uncontrollable and can be unpredictable, so don’t fret over backups the day-of. If your client wants an outdoor event, be sure to save just a little for a tent. In our previous blog all about tents, we suggest renting an event tent with a cancellation policy. But no matter the result, you’ll need to put money aside for a clear backup plan. If your clients don’t have to use a backup option, that’s extra money they can add to their honeymoon fund. It’s a win-win if you ask us!

12. Sales Tax and Service Charges: No one thinks about the sales tax when they get a quote from a vendor. So it’s your job to remind them. If you are included in the meeting with the florist, be sure you find out if the quote they’re providing includes sales tax or service charges. For caterers, a “++” means there is a service charge and tax in addition to this price. Make your clients aware of this so they’re not sending off bad reviews when the event ends.

13. Gratuities: To build off of sales taxes and service charges, gratuities are also an important budgetary item to include. Remind your clients that they need to express a “thank you” to those who helped make their dream day possible. We suggest budgeting 5% to 10% for gratuities. Be sure to check the contracts carefully, though, some vendors already include the gratuities in their overall quote.

14. Presents for Family Members: As exciting as this day is for your clients, remind them that it’s also a bittersweet moment for their family. Suggest that your clients create a sweet reminder to their parents to show their appreciation. Our friends at the Bridal Guide have ten thoughtful ways to say “thank you” to the parents. Share these ideas with your clients, but include the cost of making these reminders in the budget.

15. After the “I-Do’s”: Unfortunately for your clients, the costs don’t stop after they say their “I-do’s.” They have to send thank you cards, print pictures, clean the gown, and make photo albums. These expenses can add up just like every other pre-wedding expense. So remind your clients not to start off their new marriage worrying about money.

Prepare for the unexpected so you don’t unexpectedly become the unprepared. Expenses are tricky and budgets are hard to maintain, but with Inspherio on your side, you can manage it all in one, easy-to-use location. Check out Inspherio’s Expenses and Payment features to see how we can help you.
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