Meeting of the Minds

Meetings Media released their Meetings Trends for 2008. I found the following to be most notable:

· It seems that of the men that are in the event/meetings profession, most of them are independent planners while a majority of women are either corporate- or association-based.
· In 2008, most event budgets either stayed the same or increased.
{Note: To me, that illustrates that the corporation, association or client sees the importance of events within their overall brand strategy. }
· I thought it interesting to see the vast difference in the placement of the importance of the attrition policy and guest room technology for Association planners versus Independent planners.
{Note: I have an extreme dislike for attrition charges and have been known to scare some hotel sales executives!}
Read all about 2008 Meeting Trends:

Which brings me to introduce you to one of my favorite Meeting Planning websites: Meetings Focus {}. I first came in contact with them through their great meetings and events magazine. Also check out their Best of List: {Note: I always get asked my favorite event venue. My absolute favorite both personally and professionally is the Wynn Las Vegas.}

Meetings Focus, along with mPoint, has a very useful and extensive database for venues and city-specific contacts. {Note: Its been know that I tend to became slightly addicted to and their online system when I need a multi-city RFP – its fabulous!}


Event Rentals

Event Planners work collaboratively with Event Rental Companies everyday. They supply our events with everything from crystal chandeliers to white tents to state-of-the-art projection screens.

For example, a great Event Rental Company can help transform a simple hotel ballroom into a South Pacific Celebration! Below are some snapshots from a client appreciation event for Misys Healthcare Systems. The venue was the Reno Hilton and we worked with vendors to transform the room into a beach oasis. The event was complete with totem poles, tiki torches, robo-surfing, henna tattoos, tiki bars, beach bands, and more!

But, the magic and wonder that rentals can bring to an event are not just a resource for professional planners. Whether you are planning a small affair or a large event, I definitely recommend stopping by a fabulous event rental company. Many of them only have minimums if you require delivery. Here are some suggestions on how you could use them:
Small dinner: plates, linens, wine glasses, candelabras, extra seating and tables, etc.
Wedding: tent, round tables and/or buffets, cutlery, linens, serving items, lighting, etc.
Large events: seating, lighting, theme d├ęcor, games, pipe and drape, etc.

Here is a snapshot of a Hospitality Suite using rentals at the Wynn in Las Vegas (one of my favorite venues). It was truly a gorgeous set.

Some of the top in the Event Rental Companies are:


Font Envy

Since working at Salutations, I have become enamored with font. I’ve had the privilege of working with the best stationers and feel the proper use of font is one of the (if not the) most important part of a invitation design decision.

However, I am guessing that you are wondering how one could be so passionate about a typeface? Well, the right font can transform the entire impression given by an invitation, announcement, menu, mailer, or business communication. A font can turn a simple piece of paper from modern to traditional.

So, I hope you’re inspired and will give the fonts in your life some thought. My two favorite font sites are:



And, my favorite fonts are:

Source:; Top (L-R) Burgues; Feel; Bottom: Wesley.

And, since I always like to include a little snippet of background on my posts, here’s some fun facts about the five of the most popular fonts:*

Bodoni: Giambattista Bodoni’s namesake font, often found in women’s magazines, came into fashion at the end of the 1700s and enjoyed a resurgence in the early 1900s.

Caslon: Designed by Englishmen William Caslon in the mid-1700s, this robust serif typeface appears in both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

Garamond: French type designer Claude Garamond created this typeface almost 500 years ago. It appears everywhere – from Apple’s text copy to ads for Abercrombie & Fitch.

Helvetica: Last year’s documentary Helvetica celebrated the 50th anniversary of this minimalist sans serif typeface, designed by Eduard Hoffmann and Max Miedinger for a Swiss type foundry.

Time New Roman: Commissioned by the Times of London in 1931, this tight, readable serif typeface is a popular choice for book text. All personal computers come equipped with this font.

*Real Simple, March 2008.


Green and Gorgeous!

Not to discredit Kermit, but it’s getting easier to be green these days. Organic foods, environmentally friendly paper, and eco-friendly flowers are all ways to ensure your next gathering is green. The quality and selection of green products has expanded and ensure you do not sacrifice style to be environmentally conscious. (Personal note: I am a huge fan of local Farmers Markets!)

Here are some ideas of how to throw an ecologically sound event:

Location, Location, Location:
-Consider an outdoor area such as a park or your own backyard that gives your event a natural sensibility
-Pick a unique local spot--like an art gallery, nonprofit space, organic restaurant or farm, or a botanical garden -For a wedding, have the ceremony and reception at the same location to avoid having your guests drive between the two. If you must use shuttles, use buses that run on biodiesel fuel.

Get the Word Out:
-Buy 100% PCW recycled invitations that are processed without chlorine and printed with vegetable or soy-based ink(s).
-Use tree-free paper made out of hemp, banana stalks, bamboo, kenaf, or organic cotton

Setting the Scene:
-Use real glasses, flatware and tableware. If you must use disposable, use biodegradable dishes and flatware made from cornstarch, sugar cane, or tropical leaves.
-Find a florist that uses flowers from local and/or organic farms or find a grower are your local farmers market and hire them to create bouquets and table arrangements. Don’t have one in your area? Check out:
-Decorate with branches, dried grasses, grains, greens, berries, or live plants
-Use potted plants (perhaps use in place of cut flowers for centerpieces) that can be given as gifts or enjoyed in your home.
-Use beeswax or soy-based candles

Organic Fare: Design a seasonal, organic menu and use organic wines and beer

Look the Part:
-Wear a vintage outfit
-Pick clothes made from hemp, bamboo, and organic cotton or silk (check out
-Borrow from a friend or ensure you purchase something you will wear again.
-If you’re a one-time wearer, make sure to donate your clothing after the event.

Photo credits: Top (L-R):;;; Middle:; Bottom (L-R):;;


Color Inspiration: Red

Red has become synonymous with February so I put together an inspiration board using the crimson hue. Red is a favorite color of mine... as it serves as my company name, a tribute to my coloring and an oft-used moniker. Red is often used in events during the holidays, but I find it to be a stunning color for fall as well as a great accent color for other times of year. Pair it with chocolate brown, navy, black, ivory, gold, oranges/hot pinks and shades/half tones.

But, before I display an Event & Entertaining Inspiration Board (below), let's learn more about the color: *

Love and War: Red is hot. It's a strong color that conjures up a range of seemingly conflicting emotions from passionate love to violence and warfare. Red is associated with Cupid but also the Devil.

Nature of Red: A stimulant, red is the hottest of the warm colors. Studies show that red can have a physical effect, increasing the rate of respiration and raising blood pressure. The expression seeing red indicates anger and may stem not only from the stimulus of the color but from the natural flush (redness) of the cheeks, a physical reaction to anger, increased blood pressure, or physical exertion.

Culture of Red: Red is power, hence the red power tie for business people and the red carpet for celebrities and VIPs (very important people). In some cultures, red denotes purity, joy, and celebration. Red is the color of happiness and prosperity in China and may be used to attract good luck.

Red is often the color worn by brides in the East while it is the color of mourning in South Africa. And, the red Ruby is the traditional 40th wedding anniversary gift.

Red Words: These words are synonymous with red or represent various shades of the color: Scarlet, crimson, vermillion, carmine, maroon, burgundy, ruby, rose, madder, rouge, brick, blood red, blush, cinnabar, russet, rust, Venetian red, flame, Indian red.

Photo credits: Top (L-R): BT Elements, French Martini w/ Raspberry Chambord, JCrew; Bottom (L-R): Governor's Ball; Red Velvet Sweets Tray.

*Red Color Meaning Information above provided by Jacci Howard Bear on


Real Simple

Real Simple is one of my favorite magazines. The clean lines, reader-friendly layout and useful tips have me waiting by my mailbox each month.

My favorite tip? Using a clothespin to clamp the nail while you hammer it into the wall (thus eliminating the inevitable injury of your fingertips). When I read that, it was a huge aha moment and I was forever indebted to the Editors of Real Simple.

Now, the magazine that helps us make life easier is expanding to guide us through our events. Real Simple has released Real Simple Weddings and I have found the ideas, once again, to be useful and full of aha moments for the planner ~ regardless of the type of event. So, grab one or steal a glance while at the bookstore ~ even if you're not a bride. 160 pages; $12.95


Letterpress Stationery

For my inaugural post, I thought sharing photos and inspired ideas from my favorite letterpress stationers would be an accurate reflection of my style and current passion.

Letterpress stationery, one of the oldest forms of printing, has recently made a comeback within the wedding industry but there is also wonderful designs for baby announcements, holiday cards, business correspondance and all of life's celebrations.

Why letterpress?* Letterpress is a method of printing which uses the raised surface of a relief plate to print an image or text. The image area on the relief plate is slightly higher than the rest of the plate surface, this allows the raised surface to be inked and then pressed against the paper creating an image in reverse. Only one color is printed at a time.

The beauty of letterpress is that the text or image printed is slightly indented into the paper, making the definition sharper and with a lovely tactile quality that cannot be achieved with other printing techniques. *(Source:

Here is my inspiration board for letterpress:

Photo credits: First row (L-R): Dauphine Press; Elum. Second row (L-R) The Happy Envelope, Elum

Letterpress allows for intricate design elements such as beautiful damasks (a personal favorite) and fonts. My business cards (below) are letterpress. Printed and designed by the talented ladies of Dauphine Press (