Ask Bonny: Tips for Planning a Great Event!

By Anna McCoy On Monday, March 12 th, 2012 · no Comments · In Chef's Expressions News ,Event Ideas ,Event Planning and Catering

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After being in business for 30 years Chef’s Expressions has expertly planned and caterered countless events. Every event is uniquely prepared for each client to create a memorable experience. But as a client, what do you need to know before you meet with the caterer and what exactly goes into these elaborate events?

We asked our award-winning Senior Event Design Consultant Bonny Opper a few questions to help shed some light on the planning and catering process and hopefully help you in your own event planning.

How should a client prepare before meeting with a caterer?

When I meet with a client for the first time, there are a few things I want to know about their event. I am really interested in getting the general information about their event like the venue, time and date, number of expected guests, and their vision and expectations for the party. Weddings make up 80% of the events I work on and a major decision is if they want a stations themed reception, which it a very fun and lively feel or a seated meal, which provides a more structured and traditional theme.

What do you consider the most important item to decide on when planning an event?

It is most important that a client define their budget. At Chef’s Expressions, we offer customized services and fabulous five star cuisine that can be more expensive than what many might find somewhere else. It often serves as the deciding factor if we are the right fit for each other.

How do you create a memorable event for your client and their guests?

My main intention as a planner is to make every client feel like a guest at their own event.  We at Chef’s Expressions, want to create a stress-free planning process and event for our clients. There is nothing more important than having a structured timeline for each event. As a planner, I want to ensure that the pace of the event is consistent so there are no lull periods where the guests are not being entertained or enjoying themselves.

How can you make an event trendy but not over the top?

I turn to the internet and industry magazines as a main resource to find out the best ways to make an event trendy and fun. Recently, photo-booths have been a really fun way for guests to engage at an event and have something to take away. They also give provide a live feed of the photos at the event.  I also recommend working closely with an event designer to find simple ways to make it festive with certain colors or fun props.

What is one thing people should consider when planning an event?

A lot of the focus in planning an event is the food, but just as important is the service staff that is interacting with your guests. Our staff is all in-house and part of the Chef’s Expressions family (some have been with us for over 12 years) so they understand our values and commitment to quality. We want to provide a personal experience to our clients and having a staff that is invested with our company insures that.

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What makes the way you plan events at Chef’s Expressions so unique?

We build a relationship with our clients. I am not only the sales person I am the planner as well. I work with the clients every step of the way – from our first phone conversation until their event to create a seamless planning experience. I have been in this industry for many years and want to share my experiences and expertise with my clients.

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