Are you trying to put on an event, but can’t think of a theme? We know how challenging this can be, as themes can sometimes be overdone or cheesy.They can be a great way for your attendees to get involved, transform your event, and can help add structure to the décor and activities. At ABCey, we’ve compiled a list of our 5 favorite event themes to inspire you for your next event!
This theme is a fun one because you can decide to set the year in the future and make the event and décor to showcase how you see that playing out. This is a prime theme for incorporating cool technology as well. Consider having a video mapping dance crew, LED dance floor, or a VR game lounge!
2. Casino Night
Who doesn’t love casino night? This theme never gets old! There are so many activities you can do with this theme to spice up your event. Try making a ball pit photo booth filled with poker chips, have LED hoop dancers, or an iPad magician!
Everyone will love a theme that involves everything they could ever want. Think of anything and everything you desire and make an activity or a station out of it at your event! A donut wall, puppy petting zoo, an edible photo booth, and a champagne bar are just a few fun examples!
4. Urban Graffiti
If you want to make your event have more of an urban cityscape feel, graffiti is a great idea for an event! You can hire graffiti artists, have a digital graffiti wall, and incorporate bold, block colors wherever possible to give that graffiti-feel!
5. Outside In
Bring the outside in and turn your venue into a secret garden! Consider using plenty of grass, foliage, and flowers, and hang plants around the space. Transform the indoors and make your guests feel like they’re hanging out right outside. See one of our past blogs to find out why humans love feeling connected to nature and more tips on how to incorporate it into your events!
Which event themes will you use?
Happy almost Labor Day weekend! If you didn’t go to Burning Man this week and are looking for something fun to do, here are some of the top events happening in the Bay Area this long weekend!
1. Featured Event: BURNING MAN
August 26th-September 3nd | 6pm Sunday, August 26th-6pm Monday, September 3rd|$425+|Black Rock City
Burning Man is finally here! This year’s theme is I, Robot, which is a tribute to the future, artificial intelligence, and everything in between. There will be so much to enjoy at this event. From art cars, mutant vehicles, sound camps, art installations and more, there’s something for everyone! And don’t worry, you’re not too late. The man doesn’t go up in flames for another 3 days, so get your tickets now!
2. Beach Blanket Babylon
August 29th-September 2nd | 8pm on MWF; 6pm or 9pm on Sat. & Sun |$25-$135 |Club Fugazi
The famous Beach Blanket Babylon is back this Labor Day weekend! If you don’t have time to go during the week, it’s playing Saturday and Sunday so don’t miss it. Don’t wait too long to get tickets because they will sell out! You can also find discounted tickets on Goldstar.
3. Shakespeare in the Park
September 1st-3rd | 2pm |Free Admission |Presidio’s Main Post Parade Ground Lawn
This event is for all you Shakespeare lovers! Come out to see A Midsummer Nights Dream. There will be a short intro at 1:30pm, so come early if you want to hear it and get a good seat on the lawn!
4. Sausalito Art Festival
September 1st-3rd | 10am-7pm Sat. & Sun; 10am-5pm Mon. |$25 (children get in for free) |Marinship Park
One of the best art festivals in the Bay Area will be held this weekend in Sausalito, right across the Golden Gate Bridge! The festival includes fine wine, gourmet food, and premium beers. There will also be hundreds of pieces of art on display and live music all weekend long. There’s lots of fun to be had at this event!
5. Go on a Night Cruise
September 2nd| 10pm-1am|$20-27 on Goldstar|Pier 40
If you feel like blowing off some steam on Sunday night because you can (woohoo, no work on Monday), go on the Pier Pressure Party Cruise on the Cabernet Sauvignon Commodore Yacht. This three hour cruise begins with check-in at 8:45pm. Don’t forget to purchase tickets ahead of time!
6. Go on a Day Cruise
If night cruises aren’t your thing, sign up to go on a morning cruise! The 2-hour Golden Gate Champagne or Mimosa Cruise includes two drinks of Champagne or Mimosas. Check-in is at 9:45am, with a toast under the Golden Gate Bridge at 11!
7. Labor Day BBQ & Bacchus
September 3rd|12pm-3pm|Free Admission|The Winery SF
Come out to Treasure Island to enjoy a fun afternoon of food, music, wine, and beautiful Bay Area views! If you purchase a wine tasting, you’ll receive a FREE hot dog (with all the condiments). Instead of having to go through the hassle of hosting a BBQ in your backyard, just sit back and let The Winery SF do it for you, so you can relax on your precious day off!
Which events will you attend this Labor Day weekend?
#TechTuesday highlights the best and brightest ideas in the tech world. Today’s #TechTuesday features 10 great event discovery apps to help you find events in your area!
Do the Bay shows you all the best events going on in the Bay Area. From concerts, comedy, film screenings, festivals, craft and flea markets, drag shows, happy hours, trivia nights, food, and more, there are so many options! They also tend to give away tickets so you can get into some events for free. Don’t miss out on this app if you live in the Bay Area!
Eventbrite is one of the greatest event apps for finding all sorts of local happenings. The app shows you nearby events and gives you dates, times, locations, maps, and similar events. It also allows you to check ticket prices so you can buy them right from the app!
Goldstar is an event discovery app that offers half-price tickets to live entertainment. It allows you to spend less on the hottest concerts, theaters, nightlifes, comedies, sports and other events in your city. You don’t want to miss out on these discounts!
Go Do is an event finder that has an interesting concept. The app is divided into two tabs. The tab on the left is marked Go. You can add a new location if you’re heading out of town, and the map will update with events in that spot. The tab on the right is marked Do. Tap it to select the types of events that interest you most like art, sports, music, or dance. This event finder is well-organized and easy to use!
Gravy shows you events based on your location and the date. You’ll see events ranging from holiday parties, music events, dinners, and more. You can also filter the results based on your interests, area, or you can search by keyword. You can get all the event details with dates, times, descriptions, and photos using Gravy!
Hangtime works by connecting to your Facebook account, so you can see what events your friends are interested in. Along with your friends’ activity, it will also show you local events in your area, drawing from sources like Ticketmaster and Livenation. This is a great app if you’re looking to connect with your friends to attend events!
Meetup lets you create or join local groups with varying interests, from tech, food, photography, you name it. The app suggests local meet ups in your area and you can indicte how far you are willing to travel for which interest. There is also a calendar feature with a bunch of events that allows you to quickly see all the meet ups that are happening that month!
Field trip uses AR to help you find fun things happening near you! Instead of using visual focus, it tells you what is interesting through your headphones. It will point out recommendations from a list of interests such as history, offers, architecture, food, among others. Now that’s cool!
This app draws from your personal calendar and notifies you on what events to consider for when you have free time. It breaks it down to the date and the hourly time slots, and even allows you to publish your own events so others can join or attend it. This app is perfect for those of you who use your smartphone calendar to keep track of your schedule, or for event planners who want to advertise their events!
Vamos is a discovery app that draws from Facebook events, Eventbrite, and Ticketmaster to show you all the best events all in one place! The app lets you see a ton of information about each event from offers, guest lists, and Instagram photos. The app focuses on whatever city you live in.
Which event discovery apps will you use?
Site selection for events can be a challenging and tedious process. However, by accomplishing the right steps, you can find the best venue for your client. ABCey has curated a list of tips for a smooth site selection process that we use to pick the perfect venue!
Make an Initial List of Sites
The first step in our site selection process is doing a general brainstorm of sites that seem to fit the needs of the client. Consider the location, number of guests, and venue-type when compiling the list. Leave no stone unturned and make sure you’re getting a variety of different venues. This makes your client feel like they have options and will show them that you’ve considered everything.
Create a Master Spreadsheet for Your Client
After making an initial list of sites, create a master spreadsheet with a Site Selection tab. This should incorporate all the venues you found and important information about each venue, including pros and cons. For each site, include information on availability, contacts, venue size, location, pricing, and information about the space. Make sure the client can quickly and easily see what the venue has to offer!
Put Together a Style Guide
After the master spreadsheet has been shared with your client, it’s helpful to make a style guide with the key information and images for each of your top picks.
Send an RFP to all of Your Top Venues
An RFP (request for proposal) allows you to easily communicate your event needs to outside vendors. By sending your RFP to the various venues you’re considering, you can get a clearer idea about the availability and pricing for each site. This will help you narrow down your choices. Here are some tips on creating the perfect RFP!
Set Up a Review With Your Client
The next step is setting up a time to chat with your client over the phone or in person to go through each venue. From there, you’ll be able to get a better sense of which sites you can eliminate and which ones are worth visiting in-person.
Go on Site Visits to Check Out Top Venues
Once you and your client have picked your favorite venues, make sure to visit them in-person. This can help you decide if they’re the right fit for your event. There’s no better way to get a sense of the venue and their ability to meet your needs then to set foot on the actual grounds!
Make Your Final Decision
Hopefully the in-person site visits will help you identify your absolute top venues, so you can decide on the one you want to go with. Once you accomplish this, you can start working on the fun stuff, like figuring out event decor and can move forward with your chosen venue!
Which site selection tips did you find to be most helpful?
Startup Monday is ABCey’s weekly post that showcases some of the most innovative startups based in San Francisco! These are often companies that we have our eye on or have worked with in the past. This week, we are putting the spotlight on Guardant Health!
What is Guardant Health?
Guardant Health was founded in 2012 by Amir Ali Talasaz and Helmy Eltoukhy. It works to improve patient health through technology breakthroughs that address long-standing unmet needs in oncology. It has helped thousands of oncologists learn actionable and accurate information about thousands of patients, while eliminating the risks and costs of tissue biopsies. Guardant Health’s genomic test allows them to appropriately match advanced-cancer patients to approved drugs in clinical trials as well as targeted therapies.
How Does it Work?
Using Guardant Health is simple. Start by submitting two tubes of blood. Guardant Health will then look for actionable somatic alterations on solid tumor sites. From there, doctors will get clear and accurate results within two weeks that they can use to help patients get the treatment they need. Guardant Health also manages billing and provides financial support, making your experience easy and affordable.
Why we Love Guardant Health!
Cancer is the second leading cause of death world-wide and 1 and 6 people will likely die of cancer. Guardant Health seeks to change this through minimally invasive biopsies using innovative technology, which helps doctors quickly and accurately determine the appropriate course of treatment based on patients’ needs. At ABCey, we love tech, especially when it is used for good! Also, as an event-planning company, we value fast service and Guardant Health certainly delivers fast results!
Have you had the opportunity to use Guardant Health or know someone who might benefit from trying it out? We’d love to hear from you! Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook and Twitter! If you’d like to see other San Francisco startups we’ve featured before, click here.
It’s almost Friday! ABCey brings you this week’s SF Weekend Lineup with the top events happening in the Bay Area! Get excited for this fun-filled weekend ahead!
August 3rd | 7-10pm |Free Entry |WorkshopSF
Every first Friday, WorkshopSF hosts an open house/party with DIY, art, fun and community. For August’s first Friday event, WorkshopSF is hosting a Night Market where they’re showcasing several vendors who used to take classes at their location and are now successful artists! There will be locally made wares, art, and designs available for purchase, as well as beer and mac and cheese. Bring your friends!
August 4th | 8AM-2PM |$4.20-$50 |The Spreckles Temple of Music Bandshell in Golden Gate Park
Get some exercise and join in on the 5th annual San Francisco 420 Games! This event kicks off with a 4.20 mile run/walk/jog/ride (whatever you want), and leads into a Yoga cool-down at The Music Concourse Bandshell. Following the exercise portion of the event, there will be 2.5 hours of Beer Tasting from 11AM-1:30PM, industry exhibitors, live music, educational speeches, and more! If you want to show your support for marijuana or learn more about it, then this is the event for you!
August 4th | 7PM |Free Admission |Dolores Park
The Film Night in the Park outdoor film series is back and kicks off this Saturday evening at 7PM! Every Saturday starting this weekend, a new movie will be played on a huge screen in Dolores park for a whole month. Attendees are encouraged to picnic before the film starts, and refreshments will be available at the park as well. The movie playing this weekend is The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. Come out and relax with a good movie classic and the beautiful scenery of one of SF’s best parks!
August 5th | 11AM-6PM |Free Admission |Jerry Garcia Amphitheatre (McLaren Park)
The 16th Annual Jerry Day is an annual civic and cultural event that celebrates one of the great rock guitarists of all time and San Francisco-native, Jerry Garcia. And yes, he did inspire the name of Ben & Jerry’s delicious Cherry Garcia ice cream flavor. This all day concert and festival brings together an eclectic group of performers, including several who played with the Jerry Garcia Band in the ’80s and ’90s. Don’t miss out on this festive event that is sure to make you feel nostalgic!
August 5th | 10AM-1PM |Free Admission |Preserved
Learn how to brew a 1-gallon batch of a German Hefe Weissbier! You’ll quickly hear about the history and chemistry of beer brewing before getting hands on. Make your own beer to take home and taste samples from a few breweries. Now that sounds like a fun way to spend your Sunday afternoon!
What does your SF weekend lineup look like?
#TechTuesday highlights the best and brightest ideas in the tech world. Today’s #TechTuesday features the 10 best event organization apps to help you stay sane and organized as an event planner!
There’s a new iphone / ipad app on the scene that is garnering a lot of buzz…and for good reason. Super Planner is an event industry app developed by Howard Givner, and is one of the most in-depth mobile tools on the market today.
It is a digital encyclopedia of industry calculators convenient enough to carry with you everywhere in your purse or pocket. Just as a good measuring tape, hotel directory, business calendar and frequent flyer miles are mainstays for the planner, so too should be the Super Planner.
This app acts as a personal assistant to help you stay on task with your planning. It includes integrated calendars, to-do lists, and notes. 24me keeps track of your tasks and schedules all in one place and sends you reminders for them so you don’t forget. The app also reminds you about bills and other important information, as it connects to your financial institutions, service providers, and social networks. This app is especially great for smaller events!
Asana is a great way to keep everyone on your event planning team in the loop! It lets you assign tasks to different team members while keeping track of who’s doing what. Asana gives you the ability to easily monitor what’s getting done and who’s getting it done.
Boomset helps speed up the registration process by allowing you to check people in using QR codes, print bases and create wristbands. It also integrates with other platforms you might already be using for your event, so it makes registration simple!
CamScanner basically transforms your phone into a scanner. It’s great for digitalizing contracts, agreements, marketing material and other important documents you need to send to clients. It also has the ability to convert documents into PDFs. Now that’s convenient!
Timebridge makes scheduling fast and simple! The app collects information about everyone’s availability, takes into account preferences, and then automatically arranges a good meeting time. This is a great way to arrange meetings or even events with a lot of people without having to deal with the long back and forth of emailing!
This event organization app helps simplify communication between the event planner and the client. It allows you to create a card system detailing different sections of the project, so everyone knows what stage each part of the event is at. There’s even a client review card so the client can approve the final step!
Sometimes it can be hard to find events you want to attend. Luckily, Eventgrabber can help! It matches people with the types of occasions they’ll likely be interested in. They can look at the top events going on, see the most popular events with locals, and even order a taxi or an Uber to take them to the next party. As an event planner, this app is extremely useful for attracting guests who would genuinely be interested in your type of event!
This app essentially turns your smartphone into a walkie-talkie, making communication with your event staff easy! There’s no need to hang on to multiple devices, and it prevents you from having to physically locate various members of your crew during the actual event!
Pingg is a great tool for running your events, as it lets you create invitations, guest lists, and thank you messages for your attendees all in one place! Not only this, but you can also add a gift registry, schedule reminders, and search for local services for your event as well. This handy app let’s you keep all the little details of your event organized!
What event organization apps do you use to stay sane when planning events?
Event planning can be extremely stressful and overwhelming, and these tools are guaranteed to help simplify your job! Which apps you use? Are there any we missed? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook and Twitter!
Swag bags can be a great way to thank your guests and give them a lasting memory! However, you want to make sure that the items you include are unique and memorable so that they don’t get thrown in the trash. Here are some tips for creating meaningful corporate swag bags that your attendees will love!
Eye Masks are a great way to advertise your event if you put your logo on it. They’re useful and can easily be packed into a carry on. This is an especially good option if your guests are traveling to your event!
Corporate events can often last the whole day or even multiple days and many attendees rely on their smartphones for navigation, emails, networking, etc. They’re bound to run out of battery at some point. Make their lives easier by giving them an easy way to charge their phones while at your event! They’ll be happy to skip the stress of searching for an outlet.
Cord tacos keep all the different cords your guests are most likely traveling with nice and organized. From phone chargers, headphones, computer chargers, and more, your guests are guaranteed to find this cute tool useful!
Corporate events can be long and stressful. Make your guests’ lives easier by providing them with a kit filled with all sorts of essentials. From tissues and pens, to stress-relieving toys and lotion, there are many things you can include that will make your guests’ experiences at the event and traveling to the event more comfortable.
Hydroflasks always come in handy and will help your guests stay hydrated. Also, adding a logo to it increases the likelihood that your guests will use it! It’s eco-friendly and reusable as well, which is a huge plus!
6. Unique Snacks
Snacks are always needed, especially for long events. Even though food is often provided at corporate events, snacks are a good option that your guests will love!
It’s always nice to find a fun item in your swag bag, so put in an LED ring! It’ll stand out and is an item your guests will find especially useful if there’s an after party!
People love experiences! Give your guests a reason to keep your bag by including a voucher for a special, VIP experience at your event, or tickets to a nearby attraction! This will make them feel more excited about being at your event and they’ll feel like they’re getting something out of it.
9. Seasonal Items
Seasonal items can be extremely useful, especially if they apply to your event location. For example, if your event is in a sunny, warm area, consider including sunglasses or flip flops with your event’s logo on it! Try using attractive colors and patterns to make your swag bag stand out!
By choosing a book as one of your gifts, you’re showing your guests that you care about their growth and well-being. Find books that align with your brand and industry that can inspire your attendees. If you don’t want your guests to have to carry around an entire book, you can always provide access codes to professional ebooks, so they can easily read them on their electronics!