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How to Create Attendee Personas for Your Next Event

Your presentation? Unforgettable. The execution of the last seminar or conference you hosted? So flawless you’re pretty sure it made angels weep. Your return on investment? Eh, decent—you can live with it. It’s fine if you love mediocre ROIs, but don’t you want to get the most out of your efforts? What could you possibly have done differently? Could creating attendee personas be the key to getting more out of your well-planned event?

Strategic marketers know their audience; therefore, they know how to connect to their audience. This is important for not only acquiring new clients but building brand loyalty by keeping in touch with the wants and needs of your existing customer base. But this event isn’t made up of 500 of your closest friends whom you know all the details of their lives including their likes and dislikes. You may have a professional relationship with some attendees, but most if not all are going to be strangers. This is where attendee personas swoop in make the win.

What is an attendee persona anyway?

Similar to a dating profile, attendee personas are semi-fictional profiles (probably less fiction than a dating profile, though) of event guests. Based on real data that you gather you begin to build profiles for various groups of attendees based on similar information. For example, you can group those looking for a mentor/mentee, attendees looking to network, introverts, extroverts—the list can go on.

Why are attendee personas useful?

It’s a similar concept to targeted marketing only instead of a target customer base, you are looking to zero in on the wants and needs of specific groups of attendees (who in some cases may be customers or potential customers). This way you are not just throwing information or other resources up into the air and hope they are landing on someone who wants it. Give the people what they want!

How do I even start this?

We understand how it can seem overwhelming, especially if you are inviting a big crowd. If your company has any previous information either from surveys or other events, don’t just let that data sit in a computer file collecting digital dust, use it!  If you’re company has created event personas before, lucky you, you don’t have to start from scratch. Check out previous information that might have been collected to see who/what types would be a good match for your event.

If you’re company has ever done a swot analysis, take that o for opportunities and use as your opportunity to find out where to begin. Who might have the potential to benefit from your event? Opportunities might even give you a fresh look at things or help you think out of the box to groups who you might not have thought of inviting before.

But what if your starting from blank pure white scratch with zero previous information? As scary as that may sound, keep reading and you will find the answer in the subsequent segments.

How many personas does one event need and how do you know what they should be?

Let’s just get it out there right now that there is no set magical number for how many personas should be created. Honestly, you can come up with an almost limitless number of profile groupings (personas) based on specific characteristics of people. That being said, it’s not really practical to break down your attendee personas into hundreds of niche micro groups (attendees with creepy doll collections, attendees with more than 5 cats, people who have a very rational fear of clowns, etc.) On the other hand, you don’t want to group them so broadly that it doesn’t focus in on anything specific at all.

Some might decide to pick a manageable number and make up personas based on that number. Or you may decide to gather data and make personas based off that information with no particular number to restrict you—however many personas you need are what you are going with. However, the number is not the important thing to focus on, but the data you’ve received about your attendees.

What kind of data am I collecting?

That’s up to you to decide (we can’t do everything for you)! What kind of data do you need? Most event hosts start with basic demographic info like age, location, and job title (possibly even gender and income when applicable). Although that information may be useful, it’s not the real core material that you need—an emotional based framework of answers is necessary. You want to pinpoint useful behaviors like:

  • buying and decision-making styles (ex. impulsive or thinks things over for a long time)
  • core values
  • what impacts their buying and decision-making process (positively and negatively)
  • hobbies
  • motivations
  • career goals
  • what do they feel may be holding them back from reaching certain goals
  • event goals (what do they hope to gain from the experience)
  • influences (online and offline)

There can be many others and they should be tailored to the invitees (are they customers, potential customers, corporate employees, etc.). Think of this as very similar to market research—the more detailed the better so that you can build targeted personas. Create templates to help you organize the information for each persona.

How do I go about collecting this data?

Creating personas isn’t about guessing what your attendees may like, want, or need. You need to hear it straight from their mouths (or pens, or computers, whichever). Polling surveys are a great way to get some prime information—you can snail mail them but who uses paper and stamps anymore? You’ll be less likely to get a response than if you email the poll or put it online on your event page.

A fun way to survey people is through personality style quizzes (who doesn’t love a good quiz about themselves?). You might even make it so they get the results of what category they fit into. Either way, it will help you get enough information to start putting together some solid personas that really reflect who your attendees are.

Start gathering information early so you have time to gather the information needed (you know there are going to be those who will procrastinate about doing the survey). Send a link with the invitation to the event, giving possible attendees the chance to give you the information you need as soon as possible.

Don’t confuse segments and personas

You’re going to receive a PILE of information, a lot if it demographic, some of it bordering on useless (though it could be fun (or horrifying) to find out what weird hobbies some of your attendees have). But when creating personas, take care to group them in a way that is meaningful. You might be tempted to group segments of the attendee population into slots like millennials, CEOs, etc. Even though demographic segments can help you learn about certain averages or percentages of the group, they are not personas.

You are looking to create a persona (think personality), so that means creating a profile based on things you need to understand like behaviors and thinking. You can’t get that from knowing attendee stats, and you can’t build a persona (or personality type) from stats.

Why am I going through all this trouble?

We know, we all have enough work to do and unless you’re the staff of Cosmo, who has time to devote to creating quizzes? We promise though, that you won’t regret taking the time to build attendee personas. It is the key to creating a more appealing event to those who are attending. We mean, wouldn’t you want an event that felt tailored specifically to you? If you’re an introvert, wouldn’t you feel relieved and grateful to have event segments that allowed you some alone time to read and research? If you were an entrepreneur, wouldn’t you love it if there was a micro-event that allowed you to network and connect with people just like you?

Your attendees want to get the most out of the event as well and creating personas can help you do that. In fact, it can help everyone to achieve their goals, and the best part is, you’ll know what all those goals are.

33 New Year Corporate Event Ideas That Will Enrich The Guest Experience

Let’s face it, everyone has high expectations on New Year’s Eve. If you’re working with your corporate event management team on planning a 2019 New Year’s Eve corporate event to stay within budget, there is undoubtedly a lot of weight on your shoulders. No detail can be overlooked and everything has to be perfect.

The kids may have just barely returned to school, but experienced corporate event planners have probably already started creating their event planning guide checklists months ago.

It’s likely they have their venues and vendors booked and are currently focusing on what they can do to make their event unique and exciting.

If you haven’t gotten started on the planning process, then you should get started right away. We have some great out of the box ideas that will help you take your pre-event planning to the next level.

Venue Ideas for Your New Year’s Corporate Event

New Year’s Eve is a popular date for parties and you will need to reserve a venue far in advance to ensure you get one you are happy with.

However, if you’re getting a later start this year, it may work to your advantage. You may be forced to seek out venues that are off the beat and path that work to make your event even more unique.

Here are some examples of venues that will let your guests know your party is off to a great start as soon as they walk in the door.

  1. Museums: A museum can be a great venue for your 2019 New Year’s Eve corporate event. Imagine hosting your event alongside unusual displays, installments and exhibits. Some museums may even have planetariums and other rooms that are vibey enough to enhance the experience.

SF Moma features several rooms, each one with a distinct style. You are guaranteed to find a space that is unique enough to suit your needs.

2. Rooftops: Rooftops were great places for having parties when you were young. Why not rekindle some of that excitement by taking your New Year’s corporate event to the rooftop? The right patio lighting can set the mood and the view is a built-in bonus. However, the weather can be a consideration in colder climates so plan accordingly.

venturas greenhouse new years 2020 brass animals

Venutura’s Greenhouse in Margate, NJ has a great rooftop deck that can be rented for any occasion.

3. Active Lifestyle Venues: Some venues can provide their own entertainment. All you have to do is decorate accordingly to set the mood. Venues that fit the bill include bowling alleys, amusement parks, ski resorts and drive-in theaters. Just have your employees come prepared to participate in the fun!

Lucky Strike in Washington D.C. is a great place for you to host your New Year’s Eve corporate event.

4. Mansions: Of course, you could save money and throw your party at the house of a colleague, friend or relative. But think how much better this will go over if that colleague, friend or relative owns a mansion! Mansions can provide luxurious spaces for outdoor and indoor entertainment, dining and more.

Beverly Hills CA Mansion New Year 2020 Brass Animals

Rent this Beverly Hills, CA mansion so you can party in the lap of luxury.

5. Breweries: A restaurant is an obvious choice for a New Year’s Eve corporate event, but a brewery can give it a more casual, fresher, younger vibe. It’s also perfect for those that enjoy exotic tastes in brews.

Death Avenue New York 2020 New Year Brass Animals

Death Ave is a New York restaurant, brewery and event space that is the perfect mix of hip chic and old school elegance.

6. Art Studio: Similar to a museum, an art studio can provide a great aesthetic that is perfect for a fashion forward brand. It is also probably a bit more budget friendly than a museum.

The Earthfire Art Studio is a great place to hold an event where people can gather socially or to discuss business matters while creating art.

Entertainment Ideas for Your New Year’s Corporate Event

Entertainment Ideas for 2020 New Year’s Corporate Event Brass Animals

The entertainment you provide at your 2019  New Year’s corporate party has to bring it. There are many unique entertainment options you can choose from. Here are some we recommend.

7. Live Music: No matter what type of entertainment you have at your party, you should be sure to make the hiring of a live band priority on your event planning checklist. On New Year’s Eve, everyone will want to get up and out on the dance floor.

You can choose from DJs or a live band.

A DJ can play any popular songs your guests request. They can also do their own mixes and mashups of guest favorites.

If you decide on a DJ, be sure to make the DJ booth look exciting. An LED DJ booth that can change color will make your venue look terrific.

However, live music may be a better choice for a New Year’s Eve corporate event. A live band can be more interactive with the crowd and can even lead off the countdown.

When considering what live musical entertainment you will be hiring, think of the genre of music that will best suit the event. Then ask for recommendations to find a reliable band that fits the bill.

Many bands are capable of performing a wide variety of musical genres and these may be your best bet. These bands will be able to conform to any sort of party vibe and switch things up if necessary.

8. Artists: An artist can work well with other entertainers. You can have an artist sitting in a corner and creating art live for all your guests to see. Giving the artist the opportunity to sell the art can be advantageous for everyone involved.

Sand artists who make creations out of sand are particularly trendy when considering entertainment for corporate events.

Charlene Lanzel is a New York sand artist who can provide awe inspiring sand art entertainment for your guests.

9. Dancers: Dancers make the perfect entertainment for your guests and they can work well with a live band. Aerial dancers, fire dancers and video mapping dance groups are favorites according to current trends. If you have access to a pool, an aquatic show can also be a lot of fun.

The Dancing Fire Los Angeles New Year 2020 Brass Animals

The Dancing Fire is a Los Angeles company that can provide dancers for your event including belly dancers, fire dancers, glow LED dancers and more.

10. Comedians: Everyone loves to laugh. Get a comedian out to your show to have your entire crowd in stitches.

Comedian and Inspirational Speaker New Year 2020 Brass Animals

Gordon Douglas is both a comedian and inspirational speaker, a combination that makes him perfect for your Philadelphia corporate event.

11. Magicians: The slight of hand will get them every time.

Portland Magican New Year 2020 Brass Animals

The best of both worlds, Portland, OR’s Kevin Allen is both a comedian and a magician.

12. Human Fountains and Statues: Have you ever been walking in a public square when you suddenly see a statue you swear you’ve never seen before? Then you look closely and the statue blinks?

Ariana Productions Human Statue New Year 2020 Brass Animals

Ariana Productions provides human statues for events nationwide.

These human statues have been wowing people for ages and they are a great addition to any party.

For a variation on the human statue, how about a human fountain? Beautifully dressed and goddess-like a human fountain can add a serene sense of beauty to any party.

Human statues can incorporate movement or not, but either way, they are sure to give your event a sense of wonder.

13. Photo Booths: These days, no party is complete without a photo booth. Photo booths give your guests something fun to do at the party and also provide great souvenirs that guests can take home to post on social media or hang on the fridge.

Oh Snap Social Booth is Chicago’s number one choice for photo booths. They provide an attendant, two different types of booths and a variety of props and backdrops. 

If you are dealing with a smaller budget and can’t afford to bring a photo booth in, social frames can be just as effective.

Leave these frames lying around so your guests can pick them up and take a selfie that they can post to let everyone know how much fun their New Year’s Eve was.

14. Transform Your Venue into a Casino: Casino games can be a lot of fun. And just in case you’re worried about local laws or gambling addictions, when you rent a vendor to transform your venue into a casino, no actual money will be involved.

3 Boys Poker will help you transform your Houston venue into a lively casino.

Vendors can be hired to provide a variety of gambling tables in your venue as well as a full staff to operate these tables.

Food and Drink Ideas for Your New Year’s Corporate Event Party

Food is an important consideration in all types of corporate event planning, but when it comes to your 2019  New Year’s Eve party, you really have to bring your A game.

New Year’s Eve parties are not generally dinner events so you don’t have to worry too much about providing a meal. However, appetizers are recommended and, when it comes to cocktails, a wide variety of only the finest will be acceptable. Because people tend to let loose a little more for New Year’s Eve, and because this is a corporate function, make sure to follow these best practices when serving alcohol to your guests.

Cameron Catering in Seattle is known for their sustainable practices, outstanding presentations and delicious food.

Here are some ideas for food and drink you can serve at your New Year’s corporate event to make it truly memorable.

15. Appetizers: Trendy appetizers will elevate your event, taking it to the next level.

Here are some we recommend:

  • Mini-Mexican Duck Confit Tacos: These tiny tortillas deliver the great taste without the mess. They are topped with ribbons of duck, prepared with seasonings and cheese and wrapped in an edible tie made of greens.

Mini-Mexican Duck Confit Tacos New Year 2020 Brass Animals

  • Southern Shrimp Cocktails: This is an appetizer that can be easily served cocktail style. To prepare, fill a small cordial glass with sauce and garnish with a jumbo shrimp, okra and thin breadsticks.

Southern Shrimp Cocktail New Year 2020 Brass Animals

  • Chilled Avocado and Cucumber Soup: This is a light appetizer that is perfect for vegetarian guests. Top avocado soup with chopped cucumber and a light parmesan cheese chip for a tasty snack that is sure to be the talk of the town.

  • Caramelized Onion Cranberry Cream Cheese Bites: This may seem like an odd combination, but wait till you taste it! Start with whole grain crackers with caramelized onion-cranberry compote, and add cream cheese and fresh cilantro to create a mouth-watering treat.

  • Hummus Stuffed Peppers: Hummus is a tasty and popular superfood enjoyed by many. Stuff it in mini bell peppers for a taste sensation your guests are sure to enjoy.

16. Dessert Bars: A dessert bar is sure to please your sweet toothed guests. It can also make your party more aesthetically pleasing while offering an interactive element.

Sweet E’s is a Los Angeles dessert catering company that can provide your event with a dessert bar that is second to none.

You can divide your dessert bar into different sections like ‘cookie bar’, ‘candy bar’ and ‘pie bar’. This can help your guests explore a world of sweet delights.

You can also provide interactive stations like a ‘make your own smores’ station or a waffle station where guests can make their own waffle sundaes using ice cream and candy you provide.

A fondue bar is a bit of take-off on the dessert bar. You can include a chocolate dipping fondue where guests can dip their favorite fruits, candies and more. Alternatively, cheese fondues can be great for dipping meats, breads and other choice items.

If you want to make your dessert station memorable, hit up Petite Sweets Detroit. This dessert catering company has a wide variety of treats that are sure to have your guest’s mouths watering.

17. Cocktails: No matter what type of food you serve, for most guests, cocktails will be the star of your New Year’s Eve corporate event. What better way to start the year off than with a great, fresh drink?

Cocktail for New Year 2020 Brass Animals

Here are some cocktails that will be perfect for ringing in the New Year.

  • Pear and Pub Ale Party Punch: Punch brings a fun element to a party taking your guests back to the prom. This party punch is made with whisky, dark rum ale and a cinnamon pear syrup that adds a dose of holiday cheer.

Pear punch Pub Ale Party Punch for New Year 2020 Brass Animals

  • Fire: You can call this cocktail whatever you would like but we feel this mix of lime, mint and whiskey served with a floater of Campari liqueur to provide a bright red color makes it worthy of its name.

Fire Cocktail New Year 2020 Brass Animals

  • Champagne Punch: No New Year’s party is complete without champagne. Why not take it to the next level with this elegant drink that combines champagne with cognac, Jamaican rum and a spiced Darjeeling tea and oleo saccharum to provide a great fruity flavor.

Champagne Punch New Year 2020 Brass Animals

  • Irish Coffee: This will be perfect for making sure your guests stay up until midnight. The drink requires a mix of Irish whiskey, homemade brown sugar syrup and hot coffee that will give your event the kick it needs.

  • Infused Tom Collins: Give your night an elegant twist with this simple drink. It combines your choice of vodka or tequila with lime juice, simple syrup and club soda.

Infused Tom Collins New Year 2020 Brass Animals

18. It’s All About the Way It’s Served: Sometimes the way the food and drink is served can bring an entertaining element to your party. Here are some ways you can provide a wait staff that brings the fun up to 11.

Houston's Outland Marketing New Year 2020 Brass Animals

If you’re looking for staffing solutions for your Houston event, no one can beat Outloud Marketing. They can provide everything from food servers to bartenders to entertainers…and the list goes on!

  • Mimes and Clowns: Have your wait staff dressed as mimes or clowns or use any other type of costuming to wow your guests.
  • Human Tables: Make your server a part of your table by providing human tables at your parties. Here, the human is the centerpiece while the table surrounds them in a matching theme that will make it difficult for your guests to distinguish between the table and the human.
  • Service with a Smile: Think of a unique way to provide your guests with drinks from the moment they walk in. One idea is to have a hand magically appear from behind a curtain with an elegant glass of bubbly. This will definitely let them know they are not in Kansas anymore!
  • Aerial Drink Pouring: Aerial dancing is all the rage. A highly skilled aerial dancer will also be able to pour drinks for your guests while suspended upside down and, hopefully, not spill a drop.
  • Sleight of Hand: Want a waiter that can juggle your wine bottles? Balance champagne glasses on his nose? With the right budget, the sky is the limit.

Decorations Tips for Your New Year’s Corporate Party

2020 New Year Decorations for Corporate Party Brass Animals

The way you decorate your 2019 New Year’s Eve party will set the vibe for the night. It will be the first thing your guests notice when they walk in and it will set the tone for every aspect of your event.

There are many ways you can decorate that will set your party apart. Here are a few we recommend.

19. Augmented Reality: A logical extension of virtual reality, augmented reality uses projected images to transform the entire look of your venue. This can be a money saving alternative to decorating the entire room to evoke a specific theme or look

Zappar San Francisco New Year 2020 Brass Animals

Here is just one example of how Zappar can use augmented reality to take your event to the next level. The company has offices in San Francisco, Sydney and London.

20. GOBO Light Projectors: Providing a similar effect to augmented reality, GOBOs are flat pieces of steel or glass that can be affixed to certain types of lights to project desired images.

If you are looking for event lighting to enhance your Indianapolis event, you can’t go wrong with Pro LIghting Rental.

21. Igloo Décor: Give your room a celebratory winter look by using transparent vases, furniture and candelabras. Bring in silver tones and candlelight to enhance the effect.

Igloo Décor New Year 2020 Brass Animals

The online store Shop Wild Things has tons of items that can give your event a great icy event.

22. Starlight Canopy: Bring a sense of romance and excitement to your event with a starlight canopy. These can be ideal for outdoor venues or they can also work in indoor venues to provide the illusion that guests are gathering under a starlit sky.

Bliss Light New Year 2020 Brass Animals

Bliss Lights is an online retailer can get supply lights that are perfect for providing the look of the night sky overhead.

23. Disco Décor: Disco balls are a must when it comes to events where you want everyone up on the dance floor. Take a break from the ordinary by using ‘melting disco balls’. These have an odd shape and can create unusual lighting effects that will make your party unique.

Petite Friture New Year 2020 Brass Animals

If you are looking for unusual elements to light up your dance floor, Petite Friture is a Finnish design shop that ships worldwide.

24. String Light Centerpieces: String lights can provide a terrific vibe to your party when draped around the room. Innovative trends are bringing them to the table as well. Scatter string lights around the tabletop or put them inside enclosed bottles to give off a candlelight effect that will last the entire evening.

The Paper Lantern Store is a great source for string lights and other types of party decorations.

25. Customize the Dance Floor: Your guests will be spending a lot of quality time on the dance floor and it needs to look great. There are many things you can do to customize your dance floor. One thing we recommend is to make it look like a giant clock significant of the passing of time from one year to the next.

Shout Dance Floor Flemington New Year 2020 Brass Animals

Shout is a Flemington, NJ company that provides dance floor decals that can be customized to suit your event.

Getting Ready for the Big Moment

Of course, the talk of the evening will be what takes place when the hand strikes twelve and 2019 turns into 2020. This moment has to be magical for all your guests. Here are some ideas for what you can do to prepare for the event and what you can do to celebrate the moment when the New Year hits.

Cerbelli Creative 2020 New Year Brass Animals

Cerbelli Creative is known for providing a high end experience for events that range from small and intimate to large and elaborate. They will know just the thing to do when midnight hits.

26. Champagne Toast: It is traditional for guests to do a champagne toast at midnight. A good host will make sure all guests interested in toasting in the New Year have a glass of champagne ready for the big moment. The most organized way to do this is to send a wait staff around to make sure each guest has their drink five to ten minutes before midnight.

2020 New Year Champagne Toast Brass Animals

If you have a particularly big party, you may need to hire a small truck to do the job. These mini trucks can be used to transport champagne prior to the ball drop and throughout the event minimizing lines and wait times.

Once all drinks have been distributed, be sure to get the big boss up there for the countdown.

27. A Giant Countdown Clock: Time is of the essence at a New Year’s Eve party. Make sure your guests are all aware of the time by putting a giant countdown clock in the middle of your venue. It may be best to use a digital clock as these are easy to see and can also keep track of the seconds as you get closer to midnight.

Countdown Clock for 2020 New Year Brass Animals

Getting an oversized clock for your event doesn’t have to be a major undertaking. Most Target stores sell clocks that are attractive and inexpensive.

An alternate to this would be to have giant TV screen projectors and that show the Times Square broadcast when the New Year rings in.

28. A Balloon Clock: This can serve as an adorable companion to the countdown clock. The clock will have 12 balloons with each one representing the hours of the day or the minutes of the hour. Guests can pop the balloons as time passes.

Balloon Event Construction 2020 New Year Brass Animals

The Balloon Event Construction Company can provide balloon displays that can take your Jacksonville, FL event to the next level.

Balloon clocks can feature company logos or messages that will help promote the theme of your event.

29. The Drop: Once midnight hits, the moment has to be extravagant and well planned. Here are some ways you can celebrate:

30. Balloons and Confetti: A great way to celebrate the ringing in of the New Year is to drop balloons and confetti on your guests. It may not be the most original idea, but it will always provide a festive vibe and an air of excitement.

Balloons Over Atlanta New Year 2020 Brass Animals

Balloons Over Atlanta can provide balloons, balloon displays, bouquets and custom decor for your Atlanta event.

One way to do this is to get helium balloons and confetti and tie them up in a canopy above the dance floor. Once the hour hits, release the canopy to let the contents drop on top of your crowd.

31. Fireworks: If you are using an outdoor venue, and have the right type of licensing, fireworks will always be an impressive way to ring in the new year.

Fireworks New Year 2020 Brass Animals

32. Follow a Custom: There are many customs that take place in other countries that you can incorporate into your corporate event. Some are a bit excessive and may be difficult to pull off at a large event, but if you can get away with it, I’m sure your guests will find them quite entertaining.

  • Pop 12 Grapes in Your Mouth: This is a Spanish tradition. The grapes are meant to represent each month of the year and popping them in your mouth is supposed to bring good luck.  If you distribute your grapes in a timely manner, it could be tons of fun for everyone involved.
  • Burn Something: In Ecuador, it is common for the people to burn a scarecrow at midnight. This is meant to diminish the negativity of the passing year. For safety’s sake, you can think of ways to incorporate fire into your event with posing a hazard…or maybe just bring your fire dancers out for a number.
  • Smash Things Against the Wall: This is another tradition that might be best off taken outdoors. Perhaps think more along the lines of a Jewish wedding where the groom smashes a champagne glass that is carefully wrapped in cloth with his foot. This will be a slightly less hazardous alternative.

For added fun, be sure to sing Auld Lang Syne when the hour hits and take a few snapshots that will make for great souvenirs.

Party Favors and Gift Bags for New Year’s

33. Party favors: Party favors can make any event more fun but they are pretty much essential at a New Year’s Eve Party. Party hats and tiaras will get everyone into the party mood. Noise makers, party poppers, silly sunglasses and over the top props are a lot of fun as well. Sparklers can even be lit if you feel confident your guests will be safe.

Goodie bags will also make for great souvenirs. Because this is both a corporate event and a 2019 New Year’s Eve Party, you can incorporate both themes to provide your guests with unique gifts.

Starting with the bag itself, instead of using a cheap and non-eco-friendly plastic, opt for a reusable tote with the company name.

Candy makes a great gift regardless of the occasion. You can personalize the packaging by adding the name of the company or including a message wishing your guests a happy new year.

Bath items are also a pretty safe bet since they are useful to most people. Packaging can be personalized on bath items as well.

Other possible goodie bag items that may come in handy on a professional basis include:

  • Airplane Friendly Items: If your staff travels a lot, they might appreciate items like earphones, eye masks and travel sized toiletries.
  • Personalized Water Bottles and Coffee Mugs: What employee can’t use one of these?
  • Portable Powerbank: These are great for keeping your on the go employee’s phones charged 24/7.
  • Cord Tacos: These are a DIY, travel item must have. They are little pieces of leather or fabric that fold up and snap together to keep your electronic device cords from getting tangled up.
  • Flash drives: Flash drives are a great alternative to documents that could end up getting tossed in the trash. While a New Year’s Eve party may not be the most appropriate atmosphere for providing flash drives with work related information, you can also use them to provide information on what there is to do in town that is holiday related. This is perfect if you are expecting out of town guests or holding your event in a city other than the one where your company is located.
  • Smartphone Magnifier or Projector: A smartphone projector turns your phone into a wall projector at any time. A magnifier can expand your smartphone screen to the size of a tablet.
  • VR Cardboard: These are perfect for creating a VR experience without the headphones. Guests can use these Google Cardboard headsets with their smartphones to make any presentation multi-dimensional.

Austin City Gift Baskets New Year 2020 Brass Animals

Austin City Gift Baskets has classy and convenient gifts that are perfect for letting your staff know how much you appreciate them.

These are all terrific gifts that can make your employee’s professional lives easier; but if you want your gift bag to be targeted towards leisure time, here are some great alternatives.

  • Gift Cards:  A gift card to a drug store, department store or restaurant will always be appreciated.
  • Grown your Own Plant Kit: Your eco-friendly employees will love these. They are available in herbal varieties allowing your guests to grow their own herbs. They come with their own mason jars and they don’t require any watering.
  • Virtual Swag Bags: Instead of giving your guests a bag full of things they’ll have to carry home, opt for a virtual swag bag. These can be full of goodies they can redeem online like ebooks, gift certificates, service subscriptions and more.
  • Mini Wine Box: Wine makes a terrific gift, but it can be difficult to transport. Eliminate the hassle by giving your guests a mini wine box.  Many of these can also be purchased with chocolate pairings.
  • Free Headshots: A photo booth can be a lot of fun, but you can also have a live photographer documenting your event. Set up an area where he or she can take head shots and give your guests a ticket to redeem them at some point after the party. This will be ideal if your guest list includes a lot of models and actors.
  • Inflatable Hammock: Your employees work hard! These inflatable hammocks fold up to the point where you can include them in your party bags. Better yet, they self-inflate…no pump needed!

Spectrum Entertainment New Year 2020 Brass Animals

If you are looking to blow the roof off at your Honolulu event, call Spectrum Entertainment. They provide lighting, deejays, band set ups and more.

These are all great ideas for how to take your 2019 New Year’s Eve corporate event to the next level. This is definitely an extensive list and you’ll need good event planning software to help you keep everything organized, but there is no end to the creativity one can put in when it comes to corporate event planning.

In fact, we would like to create the biggest list ever, and we need your help!

If you are a party planner, we invite you to submit photos with your New Year’s corporate event ideas.  We are hoping to get a sampling from a wide range of cultures that will continue to inspire planners everywhere, so don’t be shy! Send those pictures in so we can all see how you make your corporate events unforgettable!

Planning the Best Office Party

Usually when a business decides to hold a party, it is held off-site. This can work well: the food will be catered, the set-up before and clean-up after will be done by others, and entertainment can be laid on for you, if desired. However, this can all cost a lot and there are issues with this sort of an event. Here are some corporate entertainment budget tips to help you make the most of your office event, be it a retirement, Christmas or celebration of a work milestone being met.

The Problems with Going Out

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The price you will pay for a two-course meal – or even a buffet – will be factored to make profit for the restaurant or venue that you are visiting. This usually means that the company can only afford to pay for their employees, which means that people will sit awkwardly by themselves, or group up into office cliques. Quite often the food is not as good as it should be: cooking for parties bigger than six to eight can mean that some receive their food ages before everyone else, some dishes are dry from being prepped beforehand and there is always one waiting, hungry and empty-plated while everyone else is nearly finished their meal.

Often some staff members have partners and/or children at home, which means that they must rush off quite early, leaving the single people to party on.

The Solution

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So how to ensure that every employee has a good time, and can stay for the full duration of your event? If you have a boardroom (or another large area: warehouse, classroom, sports hall etc) and basic facilities, why not host the event at work? There is event planning budget software that can help you with the planning, keeping you on track and ensuring you do not forget anything.

In this way, you can provide food and drink for a fraction of the cost, getting staff members to volunteer to help with the prepping in the hour or two before it begins, and have an informal buffet.

This way the food is all fresh, and you will easily be able to cater to any idiosyncratic dietary requirements, and you can let your staff bring a plus-one. This will break the ice between office groups as partners will chat to everyone, and you and your colleagues can put names to faces from amusing anecdotes. You can even get everyone involved with cocktail hour ideas for party games: cocktail making, charades, and so on. Games like this are much more fun when the general public is not sitting in judgement of your party!

If Music Be the Food of Love, Play On

Use whatever is left of your corporate event budget to slot in a live band. Live music really brings any event to life, being able to tailor itself to the mood of the party, ranging from retro to trendy, nostalgic to bouncy. Get a quote today and see how easily you can host an office party in your office!

How to put on the best cocktail hour

Cocktail hour is arguably the best part of any event. It gives your guests the chance to sit back and unwind with some great drinks, delicious food and perhaps some mood music. If you would like your event to be the talk of the town, a cocktail hour really is a must. We have some fantastic cocktail hour ideas that will ensure your guests will have a great time and that they will talk positively about your event.

Theme your cocktails

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Have a go at theming your cocktails to your event. You could be elaborate with this one and create a new drink to match up with your brand or cause, perhaps with the help of a bartender or you could take an already popular cocktail and play about with the name. Either way, theming your cocktails gives a personal touch and makes sure that your guests remember the reason they are at your event. Always make sure you have a non-alcoholic option available too. Make this fun, just because they don’t get to drink it shouldn’t mean they have to miss out on everything.


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Ideally, you want your guests to be able to mingle during cocktail hour. This is the part of an event where they really should be getting to know each other and forming ongoing relationships. This means that you will want to remove as much seating as possible to remove the temptation for people to sit on their own. You should include some comfy seating, however, for those who really do need it.

Mood music

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Background music will help your event flow but you need to ensure that it is not so loud or attention-grabbing that it stops people from chatting. Low-key is the way to go. Think about hiring a classical guitarist, a string quartet or even a jazz trio to serve as background music.


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With appetisers, it is always important to serve a variety of foods to ensure all your guests can enjoy something. Many planners work with offering something salty, sweet, bitter and savoury to ensure they can appeal to everyone’s tastes. Remember, that these foods should be easy to eat whilst your guests are standing up and holding a glass too.

Contact The Brass Animals today if you need help putting your cocktail party together.

Three Reasons Music Helps Fundraisers

So, you have decided to plan a fundraiser. You have everything organised on paper, but you’re debating on whether or not your event needs some sort of music. Perhaps you think it will send you over budget, or maybe you think it just isn’t necessary. We would argue that music has the ability to make or break an event, and here’s why.

Music strengthens our empathy

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At a fundraiser, empathy is particularly important as it means that music alone can help people connect to thoughts and feelings on a deeper level. Music can send a message to your audience, so make sure it is the right one by selecting the right soundtrack. A live brass band, for example, can create a lively mood that encourages positivity.

Cultural cohesion

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Music has the power to bring people together from all walks of life, all races and all cultures. This feeling of unity and spirit will loosen up your audience and create a more giving and empathetic atmosphere. This will boost your fundraiser no end by creating a sense of belonging, which in turn increases feelings of safety and obligation to the group.

The science of music

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Music gives listeners a boost of oxytocin, which is a hormone present to increase social bonding. Sometimes putting a group of strangers together in a room can be a little awkward, which is why we recommend live music to create an atmosphere that feels more like a family reunion than a socially challenging environment. With this increase in bonding between people, they will feel more relaxed and comfortable and would be therefore more willing to donate to your fundraiser and raise more money for an excellent cause.

If you’re still not convinced, get in touch with The Brass Animals and we’ll do everything in our power to accommodate your event. Tie the knot around your whole occasion by bringing together family, friends and acquaintances with the power of music. We believe music will make your fundraiser special and certainly will make for a memorable night.

Meeting The Needs Of Children At Your Event

As you plan your event, you might wonder how to make things fun for the children on your guest list. Little faces full of smiles can brighten any day. But, when a child is bored, they’ll almost certainly let everyone know! You want everyone to have a good time at your event. Here are 4 ways to meet the needs of children at your event, so that they can celebrate with everyone else:

1. Provide coloring materials

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A few coloring sheets and a pack of crayons can easily distract most children. You don’t need event planning software to schedule activities that for very young children! At your wedding, a quiet coloring table in the corner of the room can keep kids smiling through the reception. You can also add some coloring sheets to every table at your wedding breakfast. Parents will appreciate that you’ve thought of their child’s needs, and the crayons and print-outs will cost you barely anything.

2. Book live entertainment

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Children enjoy a multi-sensory experience. Though they love listening to music, there’s something even more fascinating about watching that music being made. Instead of just hiring a DJ, consider live performers as part of your event planning.

3. Consider a separate table for children

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If your event includes a sit-down meal, then think about your table layouts. Some families will want to dine together, young and old included, but others might enjoy their meals more if they’re sitting separately. A separate table for children provides age-appropriate social opportunities. Adults can enjoy some child-free conversation, whilst children can talk to others that are around the same age as them. There are risks involved with this option. If you’ve got particularly wild children attending your event then the table may get very noisy. Consider hiring someone to supervise the kids, so that things don’t get out of hand.

4. Provide plenty of snacks

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Most parents will bring snacks for their children. Some won’t be so prepared. Others may think that they’ve brought enough snacks, but soon find out that they haven’t.

Snacks can keep children quiet for a good 15 minutes at a time. Whether you’re including healthy options or ample supplies of sugar and E numbers, occasionally distributing snacks will ensure that no little ones get ‘hangry’.

Preparing for an event with children in attendance can seem like a mammoth challenge. Luckily, kids are far more easily pleased than you might first imagine. A little early event planning can keep your youngest guests occupied, without eating too much into your budget.

To find out more about booking live entertainment for your event, contact us today.

6 Tips For Planning A Customer Appreciation Event

Without them, your business wouldn’t exist. Your livelihood depends on them. They’ve even shown a loyal following, patronizing your business for years. Your customers deserve a round of applause! But they can’t hear that from here and though rounds of applause are nice, nobody being applauded really knows what to do with themselves during those awkward moments.

You’re looking to show appreciation for your customers in a real, tangible, and hopefully not-awkward way. That’s why you are hosting a customer appreciation event. As with all large events, planning from scratch can overwhelm. We’ll help you cover the basics and throw in a few ideas for adding in fun details and unforgettable added touches.

Timing Is Everything

Sure, you appreciate your customers and want to show them, but we all know that there is another reason for hosting this event—customer acquisition and loyalty. You aren’t really in need of a customer-drawing event during your busy season, the customers are already coming in at that time. Pick a time during your slow season, maybe even right after the busy season to help keep your momentum rolling.

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Who To Invite?

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Well, you are probably shaking your head because the answer is so obvious—you invite your customers. Ok smarty pants, we give you this one. But do you include them all? Do you do your top ten best customers in a smaller dinner party type gathering? In the invitations will you include spouses/partners, kids, other family members, friends (so you don’t make anyone come alone, unless they are trying to get away from their kids/family members and just want an hour to themselves?)

These answers are up to you and will generally depend on the type of business you own, your clientele, your budget, and your vision (parking lot BBQ or ritzy dinner in the VIP section of an upscale restaurant?)

In a prudent business move, you can also invite some of your client’s business partners, consultants, or other affiliates. An appreciation event is always a great time for creating brand awareness, so spread the network around.

What’s Your Event Budget?

Every event has one whether its high or low (if you have a business that can spend money on events with wild abandon and “money is not an object”, call us, we want a job there). For everyone else, an event means prioritizing and divvying out the money that is available. You may even want to do a little pre-budget planning to know how much you might need, factoring in costs of a venue if one is necessary, food and drink, invitations (including any mailing costs) and marketing of the event, any activities and events to make it fun and interesting, and of course, customer gifts and giveaways.

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If your business is small, you may feel overwhelmed by that list right now. Wait! Don’t leave! A small budget doesn’t make this un-doable for you. Can you speak to vendors or other non-competing businesses that might want to join forces with you to host the event (business block party?)? Or maybe speak to a local non-profit who would be willing to do the event with you in order to network and get more notice for their cause (also, philanthropic pants look really good on your business no matter how big or small it is).

Choosing Your Venue Wisely

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If you don’t need a venue because you can have your event on location, we applaud your savings and urge you to spend the extra money wisely i.e. on fun stuff (like cotton candy and glow sticks! No, we’re not childish you’re childish! *Sticks tongue out*).

Anyway, if you are in need of a venue, there a local restaurant that will work with you to host the event? Do you need a place with more open space for display tables and events? If so, checkout banquet halls and other rentable open area venues.

Will your town allow an appreciation event on thorough-fare sidewalks or parking lots (If so, you may need a permit)?

Bear in mind you don’t simply want enough space for your set up, you want people to have enough space to eat, drink, mingle, participate, etc. and feel comfortable in doing it (we know a big compact crowd has us running in the opposite direction. Wading through a wall of people for a free hot dog? No thanks!).

If you are planning food and drinks for your event (and we’re saying that in most cases you should), consider the logistics. Will you need to bring and set everything up yourself? Will you have it catered (including drinks/alcohol)? If it is in a restaurant, what is included in their pricing?

The Little Touches

Never get so consumed with the big picture that you forget how important (and fun) the details can be. Is your venue such that you can literally roll out a red carpet for customers to walk down a la Hollywood VIP style? If we’re going awards show style, what about having customized awards for each client (“Most Likely to Help Me Afford a Vacation Home”. Well, maybe not that.).

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And of course, it wouldn’t be a proper appreciation without some kind of swag for customers to take home (we’re talking mostly in the form of promotional items, but feel free to get creative). You can also have promotional discounts for attendees (which is ultimately a win for you, too) or hold a raffle (who doesn’t love the thrill of hoping to win something even if only a couple of hours later your soul is crushed because you didn’t win that set of bath bubbles that you know you’ll never use but that doesn’t matter that’s not the point).

Want your customers to remember you appreciating them so much? Obviously. Help their memories by having a photo booth (and maybe some fun props) for guests to enjoy all the while remembering your business every time they look at the pictures on their fridge.

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Make It Memorable With Activities And Entertainment

Having quality entertainment (and we’re not talking about your cousin who flunked out of mime school) creates a solidly good experience that adds tons of value to your event. There are plenty of great ways to show your customer appreciation through entertainment so you can tell cousin Good ideas for entertainment include (but don’t feel limited by):

  • A clean, all audience-appropriate comedian.
    Your customers can appreciate a good laugh, creating a positive experience that they are more likely to remember.
  • Keynote speaker
    —someone who can impart words of business or industry wisdom or any other kind of wisdom that might appeal to your audience.
  • Magician
    —before you cry “kid’s birthday party”, keep it together for a moment. Sure, you can get the kid’s birthday party type of magician if you are having a family-oriented event that includes children—it’s amusing for kids and parents. For adults or more professional audiences, an expert illusionist can wow the crowds and give them fodder for conversation over cocktails (How do you think they did that?).
  • Hire a band.
    Doesn’t matter who you are, who is invited, or what your business is, everyone loves live music. A professional and versatile live band (we’re partial to brass bands, ourselves, just saying) can play audience appropriate music that ranges from the classy (light background jazz) to the dance-y (everyone remembers a great dance party). Whatever the level of energy you want, it’s hard to go wrong with live music, especially if you find a band that can engage your crowd.
  • Live artist
    —whether they are creating kooky caricature drawings for your guests, crafting life like paintings, creating soothing sand art, or having a mini sip and paint type lesson, it’s a great way to captivate attentions and imaginations.

We hope that this helps give you a jumping off point for planning your customer appreciation shindig. Though it’s obvious that customer appreciation events are good for solidifying customer relationships and cultivating brand loyalty, it’s important to remember to stay easy on the “selling”, remembering that the event isn’t all about you, it’s about your customers.

Learn How To Stop Your Event From Running Overtime

So, you have your cocktail hour ideas, you’ve chosen your canapés, set up your fancy up-lighting, and your poseur tables are decorated and ready to go. The event begins; guests arrive and the introductory speaker takes to the stage. 30 minutes later, your guests are starting to shuffle their feet and the canapés are going cold in the kitchen, waiting to be served. NOT ideal. Here are our 3 tips to make sure that never happens to you!

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1. Create a Clear Schedule

A clear, written schedule with timings is key to keeping your event running on time. Ensure that everyone who is involved in the event in any capacity has this schedule a couple of days ahead of time, so they know what’s what. Anyone going to be up front should know exactly how much time they have in the limelight, and the written schedule will help them prioritize timings because they can see what’s coming next.

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2. Build-in Buffer Timings

Unbeknownst to everyone else, make sure your schedule has buffer timings built-in, to allow for slight over-running or things taking longer than expected, eg. a stage prop being brought on. This means you can give speakers/ performers a 5-minute warning to let them know that, hey, they need to start wrapping up…but it won’t be the end of the world if they actually wrap up in 7 or 8 minutes.

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3. Pick Experienced People to be Up-front

An experienced speaker or performer will have a better grasp of how to pace themselves on-stage, whether that be a speaker with their speech down pat or a performer who knows exactly how long to leave for applause before going into the next big thing. If you pick people who know what they’re doing on-stage, you’re far more likely to keep your event running on time, and keep your audience captivated, ensuring that your event will be a success. If you’re looking for live music for your event, we’d love to hear from you!  Check out some sound sample music and if you like what you hear, you can get in touch with us via this link here.


The Event Planner’s Guide to Avoiding Common Legal Issues

Event Planning Guide

If you are planning an upcoming special event, then you need to have a proper plan in place to make sure that you are legally protected. If you don’t use the right procedures and tactics, then you could end up with a lot of legal issues to manage. Avoid getting into legal trouble by using the following tips and tricks to throw a successful party:

Permits and Licensing

Every city, state, and county has a unique set of rules with regards to permits and licensing. Many times when planning an event or one of a certain size, you need to get special permission from the government. Research your local laws and make sure everything is in accordance with them before deciding on a location.  If you ever have a question about legal requirements and the laws, don’t hesitate to ask a lawyer. They can guide you through the proper steps.


If your special event will have any activities that may cause an accident, get your attendees to sign waivers. This prevents you from a lot of the liability that you would otherwise have. After all, you can’t control all the circumstances, especially if you have some more dangerous activities. While not all parties will require this kind of safeguard, any kind of injury or issue could come back to haunt you if you don’t have them sign away their right to sue.

Alcohol Permits

If you are ever in court and it gets mentioned that the event you had planned officially allowed alcohol, you could be in major legal trouble if you don’t follow best practices for serving alcohol. When people drink and drive, they can often blame the bartender for serving them too much. And if you hired this bartender, then the liability can fall onto you as well. If you don’t have the proper permits to serve alcohol, you will get slapped with some heavy fines.

Adults Only Vs. Minors Allowed

There are special legal regulations that make penalties harsher for incidents involving minors in every facet of life. This is no different than events. Make sure that in your contracts, parents are responsible for their children at all times. Otherwise, you need to make it against the even rules to bring minors. This eliminates the chances of underage drinking, injuries, and other issues that could arise. Create designated areas in the event where minors are not allowed to go or limit where drinking is permitted in order to prevent legal ramifications. You can help decrease the risk of children finding the adult areas and activities interesting by providing entertainment. Many children enjoy water slides and similar activities in the summer, and in terms of winter, some crafts and painting activities could keep them well entertained.

When it comes to event planning, there is nothing worse than getting into legal trouble. You can plan the best party in the world, but if someone gets hurt or the government gets wind of you avoiding the laws in your area, you could be asking for trouble. So don’t take the risk of being out of a job or worse. Instead, implement the advice above and enjoy a great event without issues.