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Finding food inspiration while traveling.

Often as an event planner a client feels compelled to take a safe route when choosing food for their event’s menu. Referring to travel experiences, I make alternative suggestions that can complement their theme and suit their budget. I also ask them a few questions:

  1. Where is one of your favorite destination?
  2. What did you eat?
  3. What did you like?
  4. Did you want to share it with people back home?
  5. Would you be open to serving it to your guests?

It is delightful to find a catering vendor with diverse menu of foods to serve diverse guests. It is even more delightful when the caterer can recreate a client’s favorite delicacy as well as provide a few safe options for the guest who is least inclined to try something new.

Albondigas (Spanish tapas meatballs) can replace Swedish meatballs, empanadas, bruschetta (with meat or cheese or tomatoes) on toasted Italian bread or a crostini covered in pesto or fruit, and hummus make great appetizers.

Entrees can include the safe meat, poultry and fish fare with a roasted jerk chicken or curried chicken served with compatible rice dishes like jollof or saffron rice. Maybe try paella that can be served family style.

These are a few examples but the point is that you can draw from your travel to create a memorable event featuring fabulous food. So on your next trip overseas or to some exotic locale, take notes, and share your findings with your event-planner.


Anatomy of a successful book event.

November is the month of books and book authors. We have witnessed one (or more) book launches this month as well, Michelle Obama’s Becoming comes to mind.


Transforming little into much with event spaces.

I’ve curated a few posts from my Instagram feed to demonstrate how I have been able to turn nearly naked to naked event spaces into successful events for clients. Event design is not easy but it is predicated on being able to see the possibilities as you translate a client’s vision. A client will see an empty, sparse space and I will see a completed event that makes them happy.


You need a passport party…

I have been retained to plan all types of parties to fête almost every rite of passage imaginable: birthdays, weddings, births and more. The one rite of passage I have yet to plan is a passport party. I have even planned travel-themed events, but never a passport party. As much as I love to travel, you would think that would be natural to want to plan a party that celebrates and enables others to travel.


The treasure of museums as event venues

If you’ve ever seen the Sex in the City movie, you will recall the moment Carrie walks into the New York Public Library and realizes she’d found the perfect venue for her wedding to Big. Museums have the same effect on me. Some people will see relics of the past and exhibits, and I will see unlimited event possibilities.


Tips for overcoming small dinner party challenges

Hosting a small dinner party can be almost as challenging as planning a big event at home. The devil can be in the working parts, which can appear simple enough on the surface but hard to execute. Recently, I planned an intimate dinner party for clients, where functionality was as important as the menu and other details, including the guests.


Providing the personal touch for guests

In August, I celebrated my 45th birthday in Salvador, Bahia (Brazil) with a group of my closest friends. Some of my friends have been in my life since childhood while others are “instant” friends I have met over the span of my adult life. It was an extraordinary experience not simply because of the destination, but rather because of the people.


Back to life: Recuperating after travel #traveltuesday

I’ve just returned from Brazil and an activity-filled excursion. Recall that I am an event planner and my non-vacation life is about to become hectic with events and meetings to the end of the year. How in the world will I recuperate? Well, I have a few tips:


Legacy Clients Part 2: The bridal shower gift that keeps on giving.

Event planners are fortunate when they can use their gifts and talents to serve one family for multiple events and even generations. I refer to those clients as “legacies.” Last week, I published Legacy Clients Part 1 that began the story of clients that have become gifts to me as an event planner. This post explains more.


Legacy Clients Part 1: The bridal shower gift that keeps on giving.

Event planners are fortunate when they can use their gifts and talents to serve one family for multiple events and even generations. I refer to those clients as “legacies.” Decades ago, it was a standard practice for families to use the services of the same caterers, planners, florists, and more for generations. It promoted loyalty and sustainability within communities and for the businesses. Black communities thrived on that practice.