What a Whirlwind of a weekend!

This past weekend was quite the whirlwind at Fabulous Events. With 14 installs in the Metro Detroit area, we had our hands full. Some may refer to the weekend as “Controlled Chaos”, I would agree.

It all started last Monday when I looked up the weather forecast for the weekend. The forecast called for a 60% chance of rain and temperatures in the 90’s. Tuesday it was at 80% chance of rain and the possibility of strong rain, winds and potential hail. Now I was getting nervous, 2 of our weddings had outdoor ceremonies and we were draping the pergola’s for them. I then reached out to our hotel partner to work on a plan for the potential of rain. We had informed both couples that they would have to make a decision 4 hours before to go ahead outside or move inside. So, the rest of the week I watched the forecast change back and forth, up and down. I was more than nervous when we got to Saturday. The forecast was down to about a 20% chance, but it was super windy and very hot. It was 85 degrees at 10AM with another 10 degrees to go.

So, 11AM comes and our first client makes the decision to have the ceremony outside. I set out to drape the pergola in white voile panels. It was now 95 degrees and windy, but the wind did nothing other than blow hot air. While I was melting, I could only think about the weather, and I was hoping and praying that the bad weather would stay away. The wind also posed a challenge when trying to adjust the drape. It was about as hard as herding cats!

Aho/Joseph Pergola

aho-joseph-pergola-2

 

So 3:30 comes around and the weather is holding out. Hot, definitely hot! As you can see from the photo above, the wind was definitely going strong. The pergola looked like it was sailing! Regardless of the wind and the heat, the first ceremony went off with success.

After the first ceremony was over, I had to change the draping to match the inside of the tent with the plum color the second bride has chosen. The wind was a bit stronger at this time around. It was like someone trying to sail a boat holding the sail in one hand and the boat in the other. I am quite sure it was comical for those around watching me.

Golden/Hurst Ceremony

5:30 comes around and the weather remained nice, windy, but nice. I was finally able to take a breath and sigh in relief. Both ceremonies happened outside as scheduled and the rain never came. What a week, going from 80-90% chance of rain to nothing! Days like these make it all worth doing. I was so glad to see two very happy couples getting married and being part of their special days.

Golden/Hurst Wedding at the Ann Arbor Marriott at Eaglecrest

Golden/Hurst Wedding at the Ann Arbor Marriott at Eaglecrest

Golden/Hurst Wedding at the Ann Arbor Marriott at Eaglecrest

Above are a few more photos from the reception in the tent.

Customer Service, Quality and Price

posted in: Blog from the Boss | 0

Over the years we have seen our competition lower their price over and over and over again. At what point does that not only negate the value of the product, but the industry? How do we respond, by lowering our price? No, we continue delivering first in class products at a great price.

I recently had a colleague doing a bridal show and in a last ditch effort, the competition at the show crossed out and changed their prices with a sharpie. Yes, I’m not kidding, they took a sharpie and scribbled out the price and changed it to be lower. To me, that is a sign of desperation and poor business. I understand that clients go to bridal and event shows to get a good deal, but at what cost? If the vendor is resorting to undercutting the competition the day of, what else will they do? Don’t leave it to chance!

You may ask why I even made a post about this. Simple, we sell customer service and along with that we deliver amazing products and great prices. Are we the cheapest on the block, no. Are we the most expensive, no. Let me ask you this… When you are in the process of planning an event, is your goal to save $1? What are you sacrificing by saving $1? You are probably sacrificing customer service, product quality and cleanliness as well as a litany of headaches. As we all know, there are costs to running a business. Especially costs associated with doing it correctly. We have proven time and time again that we can save our clients money, but they are not sacrificing anything for that.

Statistically, 86% of buyers justify paying more for a great customer experience. We treat all of our clients the same way, with respect.

So as you venture out to plan your event, take everything into consideration and not just the price. Here are just a few things to be on the lookout for.

  • Will the vendor give you the time you need to meet with them?
    • These decisions are important and cannot be made in a rush.
    • If the vendor is rushing you out the door, you might not be that important to them.
    • Will the vendor meet with you a second time if needed? Some only give you 30-60 minutes and that’s it.
  • Are you getting quick responses to your calls and emails?
    • While we are not just waiting around for your call, we understand that your time is just as important as our time.
    • You will always get a call or email back from us the same day, typically within the hour.
  • Will the vendor give you a quote in writing to take with you?
    • Yes, i know that there are people that shop around and that’s OK.
    • We want to allow you to compare apples to apples.
    • Not having a quote might lead to comparing apples to hammers.
    • Many won’t give you a written quote as they believe you will take that to their competitors for a better deal.
    • We have no problem emailing you or printing your proposal right in our showroom. We will not give you something that is handwritten and clear as mud.
    • We know our clients will use us for the quality of service we provide, even if it is a little more money.
  • Is the vendor flexible with your counts?
    • Most vendors have a hard line with a 10% adjustment with no flexibility at all.
    • Our contracts state that you can adjust 10% up or down, but we are flexible. We know that you may have anticipated 200 people and your final counts came in at 170. We are not going to charge you for 10 people that were not coming. Most will and they don’t care. They will tell you that you signed a contract and that’s that.
    • Now, if you reserved an event for 200 people and came back with only needing for 100, then we need to discuss it. We may have been able to reserve some of those items that were placed on hold for your event.
  • Will the vendor be flexible the day of the event?
    • We know the day of your event you have a lot going on and no time to deal with things that are completely out of your control.
    • We understand that some events run over a little bit, maybe 30 minutes. So our staff will gladly wait outside the room until the party ends.
    • I have heard of vendors charging their clients more money the night of because their staff had to wait more than 15 minutes. Granted, there is a reasonable amount of time that should be understood. But 15 minutes? To me, that is someone out to nickle and dime you all the way. Remember when I asked what you are sacrificing by saving $1? This is it!
  • When the time comes to return your order (If it was not installed or torn down by the vendor), will you have problems?
    • All of our contracts state that the rentals have to be returned the Monday following the event. If they were shipped to the location, they need to be shipped back the Monday following the event.
    • Things happen and this does not always happen the way we plan. There are some weeks that things do not get returned until Tuesday. Could we charge for a late return, yes. Would we charge for a late return, no!
    • I have heard horror stories from clients telling me that they did not get their items returned by an exact time and got charged a ridiculous amount because of it. This tells the client that they are not important to you, just a means of payment.
    • This is another example of what happens when you try to save $1.

To sum it all up, just do your homework and take advice from someone who has been in the event business for over 30 years. When you are planning that 200 person event and you can save $200 for something cheaper, does it make sense? In the grand scheme of the event and all the costs involved, go with the company that is going to provide you with the customer service you deserve!

Come visit me at the Event Show on April 17th. For more details, click HERE

We look forward to working with you on your next event,

Lyle Brous

 

 

 

 

Lyle Brous
President/CEO
Fabulous Events, Inc.

 

Jack’s Late Night

This past weekend we did the production for Jack’s Late Night Bar Mitzvah celebration at The Crofoot Ballroom in Pontiac, Michigan. This party was just awesome from beginning to end.

It all started 5 months ago when I received a call from Paula Harris inquiring about some assistance with her son’s Bar Mitzvah on March 12, 2016. I met with Paula and John at the venue to discuss Jack’s party. During our first meeting, we had a blank slate to work with. Paula and John shared with me a little bit about Jack and what they were thinking. Along with a few photos from Paula, I came up with a plan. Rather than an actual theme, we built around the mood of the event. We decided on a UV/Black light party. Even though the venue hosts many concerts and has a ton of lighting, they had no UV lighting. In addition to that, I spoke to multiple people who had attempted a black-light party before and did not have much success. Paula had seen some pictures of an event that had slinkies hanging from the ceiling and I knew I could do it even better. Going into this, I knew that I had a challenge ahead, but I was confident I was going to succeed.

It all started off with my purchase of a UV flashlight. I knew that not everything glows under black lights. Just because it is a neon color, that does not guarantee that it will react to the UV light. I made sure my client knew this as well as I tasked her with finding all UV reactive plastic ware, plates, cups and more. The concern from the client was it would look cheap. Under normal circumstances, I would not tell a client to get plastic plates, forks and cups for an upscale event. In this case, it was intentional as it added to the design of the event. My 8 year old son found it funny that I walked around with a UV flashlight in the store shining it on different items. He inquired if I always carries it around. Only when I am doing a UV party!

The tables and chairs were covered with black spandex and topped with neon napkins. I recommended bringing in a face painter that could paint with UV reactive product. Paula also brought in a balloon company to make centerpieces that were UV reactive as well.

We brought in 151 slinkies to hang on the truss. This was no easy feat as each one had to be attached to a wire grid strung between the truss. No ordinary slinky would work, we needed HUGE ones. We installed 54 – 6″ slinkies and 96 – 4″ slinkies. For those who are asking, a regular slinky is 3″ in diameter. Now we had to make sure that we brought in enough UV lighting to illuminate not only the slinkies, but the entire club.

In order to ensure I had enough UV light, we had 4 new UV canons made for us with 54 x 3 Watt LED UV chips, making them an astounding 162 watts each. Each 3 watt chip is equivalent to a 30 watt bulb. In addition to these, we installed 61 additional LED UV fixtures and changed out 30 incandescent bulbs with CFL black lights. All of this lighting allowed us to illuminate the entire venue without using any house lights. Everything glowed from cloths to plates to the decor.

The entire event was awesome to say the least. All of the vendors that worked with us went above and beyond to produce the best event possible.

A huge thanks goes out to everyone below.

Linens, Lighting and Decor – Fabulous Events

Venue – The Crofoot Ballroom

Photographer – Robert Bruce Photography

Face Painting – Airbrushed Stuff

DJ/MC, Valet and burn bracelets – Star Trax Events

Balloon Decor – Pabloon Balloon

Ice Cream Sandwiches – Eskimo Jacks

Photobooth – Tap Snap Detroit

Dessert – Diamond Bakery and Haydens Confections

Catering – Annabel Cohen Cooks Detroit

Sweatshirts and giveaways – Valerie Hayman Sklar

 

Chiavari Chairs – Is there a difference?

Without skipping a beat, the answer is a resounding YES!

Often times, we have clients asking why we charge $1.00 more for our chairs as opposed to some of our competitors. Many times, they are not comparing apples to apples. More like apples to snow cones. We only use Resin chiavari chairs as opposed to wood or aluminum. On top of that, we take meticulous care of our chairs to make sure they always look great. I am skipping aluminum as most rental companies do not rent them, but many do rent wood and the better companies use resin.

Resin chairs have many benefits to them, including the ability to always look nice and shiny when properly taken care of. Resin chairs have a steel core in them, which creates a much stronger chair that does not wobble. Wood chairs can break very easily and scratch just as easy. Many times, rental companies will spray paint their chairs over and over to make them look good. The problem here is the paint does not stay on long term. I have even seen clients get up from a chair only to have silver stripes on their back from the freshly painted chair.

their-chairs-1
Chipped Paint
their-chairs-5
Stacked and scratched up and down
their-chairs-4
I was personally assured that this chair was safe by the installer
their-chairs-3
See the chairs stacked with the pads in place? In that dirty truck!

Another thing we see often with rental companies is the lack of pride. Not only do may of these companies not cover them for transport, most do not remove the pads.

All of our chairs are transported with covers on them and the pads are put on after the chairs are set. You are guaranteed to get a great looking chair and a clean pad. You will have all the confidence in the world sitting on our chairs and not worrying about landing on the floor.

our-chairs-1
Our chairs are covered for transport each and every time.
our-chairs-2
Remove the cover, set a pad on it and you have an awesome clean chair.

 

So Yes! Resin chairs are better and worth the money all day long. Why spend thousands of dollars to make your event perfect to save a couple hundred bucks on a chair that everyone will notice?

Social Media and Your Event

posted in: Blog from the Boss | 0

Today we are so very connected with our phones and tablets. Sometimes way too connected for our own good. The rapid growth of technology over the past few years can be more beneficial to you than you may have thought. However, the same could be detrimental as well.Use social media outlets to your advantage for your event. Have guests upload pictures to Instagram and hashtag your event so you can access the pictures afterwards! Twitter and Facebook use hashtags as well, so you can do the same on there!
social-media-1

social-media-2

social-media-3

social-media-4

On the other hand, many clients don’t want photos prematurely released of their event, until they have received their professional photos. Just make it known to the attendees whether it is an unplugged or plugged in event!

social-media-5

Also, as a guest, be sure to always be respectful of the decisions made by the event host.

Happy planning and attending!

Is Matching Overrated?

posted in: News | 0

You would think the idea of matching your bridesmaids, to the tables, to the cake, and to the flowers was an idea that belonged in the 80’s. It seems that many brides are stuck on this “matchy-matchy” syndrome. Symptoms include paranoia, fabric swatch obsession and extreme detail to hue color. Planning an entire event around a single or two colors just seems so unoriginal.

Blending gone to excess

 

 

Eggplant

MUST…HAVE…EVERYTHING…EGGPLANT!

Gone are the days of unified weddings. Create a color palette for your big day. Include 3-5 different colors and neutrals you would like to incorporate. This makes it a lot easier when coordinating all of your pieces. It is a heck of a lot easier to find complimentary colors rather than exact matches.

Fabulous Color Pallet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Take this idea even further and ditch the idea of matching bridesmaid dresses. Every one of those girls is different in size, shape, personality and style preference. Why not let them be fierce in a dress of their choice? Think I am crazy? Take a peek at how beautiful this philosophy can be.

BridesmaidsMismatched Bridesmaid

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As always, Happy Planning from the Team at Fabulous Events!

1 2 3 4 5