Archive 2018

Destination Wedding Packages

If you are considering a destination wedding at an all-inclusive resort, you have likely found a staggering number of options. But how do you know what’s included? Are the free wedding packages really free? What kind of things carries an extra charge? Here’s what you need to know!

Free wedding packages: Most all-inclusive resorts offer a complimentary wedding package. But there is usually some criteria you have to meet to get it. Typically the bride and groom will need to stay in an upgraded room category for an average of 7 nights. You may also be required to fill 5 to 10 additional rooms with your guests for anywhere from 3 to 5 nights. Please bear in mind that free wedding packages are very basic. Free wedding packages never include the marriage license fees. This will be an additional charge of $250.00 to $500.00, dependent upon the destination.

What should we expect to pay for a wedding package? There are a lot of great promos available for weddings. If you’ve got 50 people on your guest list, you can expect to spend anywhere from $3500.00 to $20,000.00 on your wedding, dependent upon a number of factors. The Ultimate Memorable Moments package from Karisma Hotels is one of our favorites, as you get everything you need for 40 people for $10,000.00! Some hotels have great offers if you hold your wedding on a Tuesday rather than a Saturday.

Can we have a private reception at an all-inclusive resort? We get this question a lot! Some all-inclusive resorts will allow your wedding party to make reservations at one of their restaurants following your wedding. However, many all-inclusive resorts don’t allow this, as they either don’t have space, or it interferes with the experience of the resort’s other guests. If you’re on a budget, and have less than 20 guests, finding a resort that will allow your wedding party to dine together at one of the restaurants following your wedding could save you thousands of dollars. We can help you sort out which ones allow for this, and which are a better fit if you want a completely private event.

Can I bring my own photographer? Yes, you can, but there’s a fee for it. Most all-inclusive resorts have everything you need for your wedding. If you bring your own wedding vendors, you’re taking away from the local economy. Most resorts do charge an outside vendor fee of $300.00 to $1000.00, dependent upon the resort, and the vendor you want to bring. Some hotels we work with will waive the fee if certain conditions are met.

Can my guests stay somewhere else and just come to the resort for my wedding? Most resorts do sell day passes. Day passes usually run about $100.00 per person. Hotels sell a limited number of passes per day on a first come, first serve basis. They cannot be purchased in advance. Most hotels won’t sell day passes if the occupancy rate is higher than 80%. The pass will allow your guest to enjoy the resort for a few hours on your wedding day. In short, there’s no guarantee that your guest will be able to get a day pass, and could miss your wedding. We always recommend that your guests stay at the hotel instead.

Do I need a travel agent, wedding coordinator, or both? Planning a wedding ceremony and managing travel are two completely different skill sets. The resort’s wedding coordinator is the best person to guide you through your ceremony and reception. There’s no need to also hire a local wedding planner. A wedding travel agent will manage the travel for you and your guests, saving you hours of work and frustration.

If you’re planning a destination wedding and could use a little assistance, contact the pros at Bliss Honeymoons today!

Human Resources in Successful Event Management

Human resources play a crucial role in the planning of an event or conference, no matter how big or small the attendance is.

This specific department are the go-to team for organisation and support on a number of elements that all contribute to the smooth-running and success of an event.

Many debate the importance of budgeting for a dedicated HR team when it comes to an event, they assume it’s a job that can be managed by one person or responsibilities can be delegated throughout other departments – but that simply isn’t how it works.The market is healthy — meaning more hiring for more companies

We at events management company have been responsible for the management of a number of successful events throughout the UK and from our years of experience, we absolutely value the need for dedicated HR before, during and after events have taken place.

For example, let’s imagine that you work for a conference centre that has admin, sales, marketing and an events team all on site.

It’s the HR professional’s responsibility to ensure that all of the named departments have the right support, training and facilities needed to perform in a safe environment which all contribute to the smooth-running of an event. It’s useful to use a virtual project management tool for scheduling, allocating work, tracking time, and handling finances. This frees up time for critical tasks like building relationships and holding training sessions, especially in the initial stages which are often so important.

What is the Role of HR in Event & Conference Planning?

Whilst the basic functions of a HR team will always exist for event planners, there are a number of specific aspects that only apply to event and conference management.

Having worked with a number of HR professionals, we decided to make it easy and list what we deem to be the most important duties that human resources contribute The top 10 responsibilities that apply to HR in this industry include:

> Developing Job Descriptions

Creating accurate job descriptions is an imperative part of recruiting either permanent, contract or voluntary staff for an upcoming event.

A job description holds many purposes which include:

  • Helping people to understand the job role being advertised
  • Providing the correct objectives and guidance needed for the people who take on the work
  • Ensuring consistency in performance for people who take on the job
  • Helping the event managers to find the right person for the role

But that’s not all.

Depending on the type of staff required and the type of work being offered (permanent, voluntary etc) the descriptions many need to be altered significantly each time, which will help to speed up the applicant process, especially when being assisted by third-party recruitment.

In a competitive hiring market, recruiters are facing a talent shortage

The typical sections of a job description would include:

  • The type of employment being offered i.e. full time, part time
  • Transparency in relationships e.g. applicant would report to the events coordinator
  • The purpose and objectives of the job role
  • The main duties involved in the job
  • Criteria that will be used to assess successful applicants

> Advertising New Positions

The human resources team recruit applicants for open positions and help find the right employees for a given position.

According to a survey of 1,600 recruitment and HR professionals, 65% claim the biggest issue in hiring new staff is the lack of talent available, which adds more pressure to HR professionals to not only find the right candidate but to be creative in doing so.

Only 10% of recruiters say their companies plan to automate jobs in the next 2-3 years

A few examples include:

  • Financial incentives for current employees who can recommend a successful candidate
  • Inviting the help of current industry friends and contacts
  • Eye-catching social media advertising (think a whacky 30 second YouTube video)

Most human resources teams will invite the expertise of a recruitment agency to widen the chances of finding the right candidate, but this option is often avoided for the events industry as budgets will vary depending on the size and structure of your event.

> Conducting Interviews

Once the HR team have collected a number of potential candidates for the job(s) being advertised, it’s now up to them to arrange and conduct a number of interviews.

Many jobs in the events industry require both specific skill sets and experience in a number of areas.

To hire the best people, recruiters are changing their ways

For example, if you’re hiring a sound technician for a music event, it’s important that specific questions are asked and this would involve quoting specific equipment, which would mean the HR team having to brief the events coordinator first and almost having to educate themselves in some cases (depending on time limits and the size of the department).

> Training

A key area for all HR professionals is providing the right training for the correct employees. Basic introduction courses (think health and safety) are to be handled by the department.

Job seekers aren’t off the hook, though — especially when it comes to soft skills and social media

What about the roles that require a specific set of skills? Perhaps the event taking place requires more volunteers than usual?

In these cases, it’s the job of human resources to organise that an expert in this field or a person of experience conducts the training.

> Work Allocation

Many assume that the event management team will allocate the work, but human resources often work very closely with coordinators to ensure that:

  • The budgets allocated for third party involvement aren’t exceeded
  • Departments are aware of their objectives leading up to the event
  • Tasks are allocated to the right employees

Not to take any credit away from event organisers, but without HR staff, the smooth running of an event before, during and after is never 100% guaranteed – which is why experience always pays off.

> Managing Performance & Expectations

We touched upon it very briefly in the last section, but managing both the performance and expectations of employees is crucial to a winning event.

It doesn’t matter if the event involves 50 members of staff or 500; the HR department have to make sure they work together with other relevant figures to ensure that performance levels are managed correctly.

Talent is the lifeblood of every organization

In order for a lighting technician to improve upon setting up times or to ensure that the head of catering is properly managing their team, performance needs to be monitored realistic expectations need to be set.

HR professionals are the ones that plan and maintain performance management along with working closely with employees and their authorities to create expectations that are challenging and that will help them to further their skill sets and enhance their experience within the events industry.

HR management software is fast becoming one of the most popular ways of managing the performance of employees, setting new goals, managing employee leave and much more.

> Payment & Rewards

Although research by the Harvard Business Review states that the majority of employees are not money driven, ensuring that employees or contract workers are paid fairly for the work they produce at events is important for a number of reasons.

The reputation of the event, the company associated and the reputation of sponsors could be tainted if employees aren’t paid on time or with the correct amount.

The association between salary and job satisfaction is very weak

HR professionals therefore have to work closely with an internal finance department or third-party to monitor that employees are being paid the amounts they’ve been quoted.

For permanent employees of a company, rewards are often used as a way of acknowledging and thanking team members for their hard work.

Human resources are counted on for creating the right prizes for the right departments, using their judgement based on employee interests.

> Time Keeping

Often events are allocated a very strict time allowance, depending on the venue or the nature of the gathering.

This means that schedules and patterns are created for employees to make it clear where they need to be and the tasks to be carried out at given times.

In order for this to be a successful process, labour laws have to be adhered to which includes:

  • The limitation of hours that employees are allowed to work
  • Any overtime requirements for staff members

If hours are not correctly delegated and regulated, the company in charge of the event could face legal action either a.) Working employees for too long or b.) Not giving them the appropriate compensation.

> Event Safety

Safety at en event is particularly important and takes careful consideration and months of planning.

For examples, the use of heavy equipment and large displays are often utilised during events, which could mean the need for forklifts or other forms of transport to move equipment to different locations.

Event statistics show that there were 66,000 reported injuries at events in Europe within 8 years due to crowd safety failures, which makes it just as important to be on top of the expected attendee numbers.

If an event is likely to be overcrowded, using ticketing has become a popular way of monitoring the progress of sales, which in turn makes it easier for HR professionals to hire the right amount of security and first aid staff (in case of an emergency).

Crowd safety failures (2002-2010): 2,321 deaths confirmed, 66,000 injuries reported

Issues like these raise several safety concerns that have to be reduced to ensure employees are safe and free from harm on the job.

The HR team are heavily involved in creating a number of safety processes and handling risk assessments to ensure that injuries aren’t incurred during an event, for participating staff and event goers alike.

To summarize, this article has been created to give a greater insight into the important role that human resources play in the successful running of events and conferences along with what their overall role entails.

This includes:

  • Developing accurate job descriptions for permanent, contract and voluntary staff
  • Advertising new job positions with 100% creativity
  • Arranging and conducting interviews with potential employees
  • Providing or organizing training in key areas for all departments across the business
  • Allocating work to employees and coordinating progress
  • Managing employee performance whilst setting realistic goals
  • Ensuring workers are paid accordingly and on time
  • Devising work schedules and patterns that safeguard time allowances
  • Producing concise safety processes that protect both employee and attendee.

Effective Ways to Market your Articles

One of the best ways to job security as a freelance writer is to become your own marketing agent. Who can better promote your writing than you? Always view your writing as a business, because it is! You are a retailer, the Neiman-Marcus or topnotch magazine writing. Your articles are your merchandise, your inventory. Don’t ever think of yourself as bragging; view yourself as an entrepreneur who is marketing a new inventory or product, namely your articles. When you tell others about your latest work, you are adding to your resume and ultimately applying for your next writing gig. Never forget that!

1. Set up a blog or create a website exclusively for your writing

Always take yourself seriously as a professional writer. Spread the word about your work and others will start paying attention to your work. Each time you have something published, be sure to write a post about it and also create a link to your work on the blog. Always give reference to the magazine where your article appears. This is a win-win strategy for both you and the magazine and its editor.

2. Promote your articles via as many social media sites as possible

Use any and every social media spot for your writing; social media sites are a perfect marketing tool and avenue for your work. Limit your posts to writing-related news and events. This is not the venue for photos of your latest vacation or announcement of the birth of your new granddaughter. Actively seek connections and friends to expand your online presence as a professional writer.

3. Develop a newsletter or an email mailing list to announce the publishing of every article

Friends and family will appreciate receiving the news about your latest published article. Add names to your list as new people show an interest or curiosity about what you are doing. If someone in particular has inspired you to write a particular article, be sure to mention them. People always enjoy being appreciated. Perhaps Aunt Sally’s story about finding a pet sitter when she went on vacation inspired you to write about care for your dog while you are away, for example. Always welcome comments to your article, either to you personally, or on the web site where your article appears if there is a spot for reader comments.

4. Send email links to individuals who may have a particular interest in your latest published article

People love to know that you are thinking of them. If your friend Karen is considering installing a fence at her home, be sure to write her about your latest article “Affordable Fences”, and ask for her input. If Dave has strong opinions about tattoos, forward your article about tattoos and ask Dave for his comments.

5. Submit a press release each time you, the writer, get a promotion

Your local newspaper probably has a weekly column where community members are recognized for their professional accomplishments. Our newspaper calls it “Business Briefs” and it appears in the business section of each Sunday edition. Next time a magazine asks you to write a weekly column, for example, write a paragraph and send a professional-looking photo of yourself to the editor. See how other press releases are written first, and then use that style to write your own. Know the specific name of the business editor and find out their email address so that you can send this press release to them personally. You will be amazed as I was at how many of your local friends, neighbors and co-workers read these. Don’t be surprised to receive in the US Mail, greeting cards with enclosed clippings of your press release.

6. Make public appearances where you can promote your work

Perhaps your nearby high school wants their students to discover that professional writers don’t have to be fancy, over-the-top Hollywood types of people. After all, many published writers live in urban and rural areas all over the country and most writers are regular folks like you and me. Be flattered by the invitation to speak to a group of any age audience in any setting, and always agree to talk to these local groups. Maybe one of the service clubs would like you to present a talk during one of their monthly lunches. Or possibly you can organize an event at your local library where you and other authors can answer questions for the public. Always say “yes” to any and every invitation to get public exposure for your writing.

7. Maintain accurate and thorough records for your writing

Keep track of everything you write and submit, and also where and when it gets published. And of course, keep records for yourself, for marketing, and also for the Internal Revenue Service, every payment you receive for your work. You will be amazed how handy it will be to have a comprehensive list of all your writing when it comes time to do more marketing. Venues where you may ultimately have your articles published with think well of you if they see how productive and versatile you are as a professional writer.

Most businesses, big and small, whether they are selling product or only service advertise. As a professional writer, whether experienced or a newbie, must get the word out that you are a serious writer, always ready to embark on the next writing adventure.