Catersource is part of the Informa Connect Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Making Events...Personal

Millennials are seeking to create a unique and personalized experience for not only themselves but for their guests as well. You might find yourself stuck in a place where you aren't sure how to push yourself or your clientele outside of their comfort zones. I am going to lay out tried and true steps for ensuring each of your events looks and feels different than the last. 

Photo courtesy GK Photography

Stay inspired 
It is key as event professionals for us to stay inspired without replicating everything that is seen on Pinterest. As a creative, I find inspiration every day in little ways, from seeking out interior design color trends to looking at textures and architecture in my city. After booking a client and mapping out the vision and direction, I start looking for inspiration everywhere, from Starbucks to driving down the highway. I would suggest keeping an open mind and your phone handy to snap a photo or jot down the idea as soon as it comes to mind. 

Photo courtesy Ariel Renae Photography

Getting to know you
Start the process of knowing your client right off the bat by using a questionnaire. The answers will give you a better idea of what their personalities and likes and dislikes are. Consider asking some out of the box questions:  - Where do you love to shop for clothes/furniture?  - What are favorite and least favorite colors?  - What was one wedding that you enjoyed attending and what specifically did you love about the day?  - Where was your first date?  - What is your favorite food?  - What do you like to do for fun?  When planning an event with someone or a couple, be sure to get to know them as the process moves along by meeting with them in person. Set up venue walkthroughs, discuss planning over coffee or attend their tasting to get a better feel for them and their likes, dislikes and wishes for the event as a whole. 

Photo courtesy Brittany Dufrene Photography

Think outside the box 
Being that I am from New Orleans, we love to have celebrations that evoke a non-traditional feel that is unique to the person hosting the event. Locations are a great place to start. Many venues have specific spaces set aside for a ceremony, reception or cocktail hour, which makes for beautiful events but can sometimes look very similar since they are using the same areas. Challenge yourself to consider utilizing a space that has untapped potential, whether that be the dock down by the water or the Rainforest exhibit at the local aquarium. 

Photo courtesy Starling and Sage

Go back to their questionnaire and any notes you have written down to pick up on the little details. Did they grow up in Germany? Suggest adding German beer to the bar menu. Did the couple go on their first date to sushi? Maybe a sushi station would be right up their alley for cocktail hour. Personalizing events will attract new and exciting clientele to your business once they see that no two of your celebrations are alike! 

See Emily Sullivan at Catersource 2018! Click here for her session description.


Emily Sullivan

Emily Sullivan is the owner of Emily Sullivan Events, a full-service wedding planning company based in New Orleans and serving couples everywhere.