This interview was made possible by our friends at Guidant Financial:
The leader in alternative startup, franchise and small business financing.
A Piece of Cake Event Planning is Tallahassee’s premier event planners, specializing in wedding planning and day of event coordination. A Piece of Cake Event Planning is also a local corporate event planning services. With their event planning knowledge and marketing experience, A Piece of Cake can help you grow your business by helping plan events that will build your cliental and/or company morale.
A Piece of Cake’s, Kate Pararo and Lesley Gardner will provide experience and expertise that will help make any special occasion stress free. They can help make your event a piece of cake!
MO: How did you and Lesley meet and what inspired you to launch a company together?
Kate: Lesley and I have been friends for years. We quickly became best friends and have held strong to our personal and professional relationship. Lesley and I both enjoy entertaining and have been doing so for years. Because of our interest in planning events, we found ourselves frequently involved in the planning process of friends and family events. After years of helping plan these events, we decided that we need to make our interest into a business and became a LLC. Since starting our company, we have continued to grow and are proud of our professional development.
MO: What’s the biggest challenge you’ve ever faced while planning an event and how did you overcome it?
Kate: The ongoing biggest challenge with event planning is dealing with the weather. Since we have no control over Mother Nature, we often have to change plans at the last minute to accommodate the weather. This can be very frustrating to us and our clients, especially when events are planned to held outdoors. To help with these uncontrollable hiccups in the planning process we plan ahead and develop rain plans for our clients.
MO: What are 2 trends in the event planning industry that you’re excited about?
Kate: Like every other industry, the benefits of the new advances in technology are helping our clients to become more organized and connected. One way this can be effective for our clients is directing them to develop apps to communicate with their guest and wedding party. Another interesting trend is Send Out Cards and related websites. Getting setup on website such as Send Out Cards will help the event hostess easily stay connected to their clients and event guest.
MO: What are some tips for creating an elegant and memorable wedding on a tight budget?
Kate: In this economy, staying within the budget is very important. With our assistance, we can help our clients find the best event vendor for the best price. We help our clients understand what they need most and what they can eliminate to help cut cost. For weddings, brides need to review their vendor options and determine what is most important to them. For example, if photography is very important to a bride, then she may want to cut cost on her venue décor or how extravagant her wedding cake will be. This way she will be able to allocate more money towards photography.
My number one tip for someone on a tight budget for their wedding is to hire an event planner. I know that this is a bias recommendation, but event planners such as Lesley and I can help brides find quality vendors and negotiate reasonably. With our experience in working with local wedding vendors, we are able to make cost effective and quality recommendations to our clients. We also will maintain a detailed budget for all our clients, so they can be relieved of the stress in handling their expenses and monitoring just how much they are spending.
MO: If you had unlimited resources what would your dream client and event look like?
Kate: This question is hard to answer. I guess I would say that we do not have a dream client. Every event is different and all the different events are exciting in their own way. We love all clients and their exciting idea and expectations. The events that we help plan are not what we dream of, but what the client is dreaming of. We help make our client’s dream event come true and only provide our recommendations and experience to help them to reach their goal.
MO: Can you share an amusing, surprising or little known fact about your industry?
Kate: The event planning industry is growing and more and more people are using these services. The increasing growth in this industry is partially related to the increase in the amount of woman in the workforce. People just do not have the time in their busy professional schedules to plan their wedding or other special events. Hiring an event planner reduces stress in the event planning process and allows people to continue to meet their professional deadlines without being distracted by their event planning needs. The most common regret from brides after their wedding is that they did not hire a wedding planner and wished they had. It is so important to have day of event coordination for your wedding. Every bride should be able to enjoy their special day without the dress of coordinating or dealing with last minute problems that may arise.
A second reason to why the event planning industry is growing is due to economical concerns and the need for companies and brides to budget affectively. Not only can an event planner maintain a bride’s budget for her, but they can assist corporation with their event planning needs. A company can eliminate a staff position that may be responsible for handling their event planning/ social marketing and hire and event planning company to do so at a more cost effective rate.
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