The Wines of Winter


Here at Historic Occasions we enjoy a good glass, or bottle of wine. But we must admit that we’re not experts in wine selection. We know a few good things we like.

So, instead, let’s turn to some others for the best recommendations in what to pour this winter. Check out these links:

Best Wines to Drink This Winter
When the weather forecast resembles something out of The Day After Tomorrow, generally only two kinds of people are happy: Those who have a ski trip planned and would love two feet of fresh powder, and those who know that “polar vortex” is really just code for “stock up on snacks, shelter in place and open that Zinfandel, stat.”

Wines By Season
The Biltmore
For many of us, the changing seasons come with changing preferences in wine. The crisp whites we crave in summer give way to heartier reds in fall and winter months. As usual, personal preference trumps everything else, but here are some general guidelines for serving wine with the seasons.

7 Best Wines for Waiting Out Winter
Wine Enthusiast
Winter’s here to stay for a few more weeks, but these fresh, bright wines will help us survive our late-season doldrums.

The Best Under-the-Radar Red Wines to Serve This Winter
Travel and Leisure
…many Austrian reds also have quirky, witty labels, demonstrating that they don’t take themselves too seriously. Why not get a laugh from what’s in the bottle before you taste what’s inside? At the holidays, we take any mirth we can get.

8 Delightful White Wines for Winter
Yes, white wine is that thing we all sip while sitting on the bow of our yachts, mulling which pair of topsiders or wedge sandals to wear to the cabana dinner. But once summer’s over, and we’ve all put our yachts back into the yacht yard, we don’t necessarily have to say goodbye to white wine. Believe it or not (actually, we’d prefer you believe it), white wine can even have a place in your winter dining. (On the winter yacht, of course.)

Have a favorite winter wine? Share a virtual glass with us in the comments.


Event Planning Degrees


Just finishing high school and looking to the future? Or wanting to go back and get another/different degree and start over as an event planner?

Here are some places where you can get the necessary education. The list is not exhaustive, but it lets you know the types of programs out there.

Hospitality Management
Bryant and Stratton College

Georgetown University
Master of Professional Studies in Hospitality Management

Emory University Continuing Education
Certificate in Event Planning

The University of Iowa
Event Planning Certificate

Those links will get you started. Check with your local college or university, or even community college.

We’ll be back in coming weeks to talk about this more.

Already have a degree in event planning or hospitality management? Tell us about it in the comments.

Becoming an Event Planner


Whether it’s been your life-long goal to become an event planner or whether the boss told you to plan this year’s convention becoming a successful event planner just doesn’t happen.

There are tons of resources, and schools, and organizations out there to help you. Over the course of the year we’ll be talking about them. If you think that event planning is for you, here are a few steps to take.

1) Get a degree in hospitality. Many schools are offering undergraduate programs. There are online programs, and continuing education programs. We’ll be taking a look at some of those programs as time goes on.

2) Find a mentor. Maybe you’re already employed by an association or organization and there’s a skilled meeting/event planner at the helm. Ask them if you can help and learn from them. The pratical experience and advice they can provide may help you avoid some pitfalls.

3) Practice your skills. Plan smaller events for your friends or volunteer for a neighborhood association. Sure, it’s not a 5,000 attendee conference or a concert for thousands, but you can learn and polish the basic skills. Don’t forget to take pictures for your portfolio.

4) Get feedback from your attendees. When appropriate offer surveys or a chance to send you comments.

5) Get certification. We’ll be talking more about these, but some of the most notable certifications include the Certified Special Event Professional (CSEP) offered by ILEA, and the Certified Meeting Professional offered by the Convention Industry Council (CIC).

Those are just a few simple steps to get you started on your way to becoming an event planner. Of course you need to do your own research and find your own path. But over the next few weeks and months we’ll keep adding some tips and recommendations.

Are you already an accomplished planner? Tell us your story in the comments.

events2While out of print, our book How to Break into the Event Planning Business is available for free in PDF format. Drop us a note in the comments for your copy.

Let’s Get Creative


Here at Historic Occasions we don’t believe there’s such a thing as a non-creative person. It’s just a matter of what you create.

We’ll talk here about creating special events or special occasions, or even (don’t tell the bosses) boring conferences and meetings.

Look, there’s such a thing as natural talent. Most of the time it’s just figuring out what that talent is. But talent, and creativity have to be developed and nurtured.

Here are a few ways to do that.

1) Pick up a pen and doodle. Never mind that you think you can’t draw. Just see where the pen takes you.

2) Take a class. Knitting. Painting. Writing. Woodworking…heck…accounting. Just do something to get those brain powers working.

3) Check out your enviroment. Here at Historic Occasions our home office is filled with books and mementos from projects and accomplishments over our years in the business. But the wall also has pictures of family, and beaches. Find, or make a place that makes you comfortable and allows you to sometimes just sit and think.

4) Go for a walk, or a run, or a swim. Sometimes it’s just a matter of getting off your backside and getting the blood pumping again. The ideas will come.

5) Carry a book of ideas for sketches, or notes, or favorite quotes or even things that piss you off. Use that energy.

6) Read. There’s a world of knowledge and creativity out there. If you’re a writer, you need to read. Heck, everyone needs to read. Pick up a book and be inspired.

7) Put down the phone, or the iPad, or the mouse. They’re great tools when we need them. But we don’t always need them. It’s okay, you can do it.

Got some ideas about how you channel your inner creativity? Share them in the comments.

Adapted from: 9 Ways to Become More Creative in the Next 10 Minutes

Fresh Beginnings


Happy New Year!

And, we’re back.

In November we weren’t sure where things were going with this blog, or if they were going at all.

But, it’s a new year, and a new day. So, let’s give it another go.

Over the course of the next year we’ll be talking about events, event planning, creativity (and creating events), and perhaps a good bit of history.

Come along with us on the journey as we Celebrate the Past and Create the Future.

Bring it on, 2017!