How to Host Your Own Oscar Party


The 89th Oscars will be broadcast live on ABC on February 26th.

If you can’t make it to the red carpet, consider hosting a viewing party of your own. Here are some ideas:

1. Make it a party! Invite lots of friends. The more the merrier. And don’t forget to have designated sitters to hold your friend’s seat when they get up to go to the bathroom.

2. Encourage folks to dress up. No, you don’t need a $10,000 designer gown or tux, but asks your guests to come dressed for the festive atmostphere. You can even have a prize for the Best Dressed.

3. Have your own red carpet ceremony. All you need is the entry way and your phone for this one.

4. Make it a guessing game. When the nominations come out print up your own Oscar ballot and have guests fill them out as they arrive.

5. Make it a pot luck occasion. The food is always better that way and you don’t go broke in the process. You can even have awards for best food items if you’d like. But just ask your friend to bring their favorite party foods.

7. Decorate. If you’ve got some vintage movie posters, use them. Otherwise balloons and streamers along with a few gold stars provide all the atmosphere that you need. You can even consider taping down Hollywood stars for each of your friends as they enter your home. Just make sure they’re secured enough to be walked out without tripping anyone.

And of course,

8. Watch the Oscars Live!

Five Event Planning Blogs We Love


What better way to learn the business than to follow those who are already making a go at it? Here are five event planning blogs we like. You should follow them as well.

Endless Entertainments is a nationwide event production company. Will Currant was still in high school back in 2007 when he started planning events learning along the way. After heading to Arizona State University by the end of 2010 Endless Entertainment was becoming one of the largest production companies in the Southwest.

Event Manager Blog is a great resource for trends in the event industry, especially technology, innovation, and education. Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or just starting out this is a great resource.

Thoughtfully Simple. Tori Tait offers great creative ideas for planners on a budget. Check out her DIY ideas, her cocktail recipes and more. Tori’s goal is to “inspire you to tap into your creative confidence, one simple step at a time.”

Planning Forever Events is focused on weddings, which can be a great place to start your planning career. But even the experience planner can find some great ideas here.

Weditorial is another blog that focuses a lot on weddings, but there are also great party ideas to be found here and great ideas for entertaining at home.

Have a favorite event blog? Share 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.

Fresh Beginnings

Image:  Natasha Vasiljeva via Unsplash

Image: Natasha Vasiljeva via Unsplash

The holidays are almost over with the traditional end of the Christmas season being Epiphany on January 6.

Many of you have no doubt already packed away the decorations for next year and are settling down for the winter months.

Maybe you got a new calendar, or a new coloring book, or a new coloring book calendar.

But it’s time to look forward to what 2016 can bring.

Here at Historic Occassions we’ll be talking more about events, and event planning. What does it take to plan a successful event? What does it take to become a successful event planner?

Do you plan weddings? Parties? Conventions?

In some ways they’re all related but in many more ways they’re all different.

Join us here in 2016 as we look at great event venues, particularly historic venues in Virginia and the Southeast, and as we offer many ideas on how to make the most of your event, all while keeping within your budget.

Along the way we’ll talk about the meetings industry and the latest trends.

Give us your questions or your post ideas in the comments!

And, Happy New Year!