[SlideShare] 27 Top Tips for Event Planners on How to Avoid Holiday Stress


We realize that planning events, especially during the holiday season, can seem like the most daunting and stressful job on the planet. One of our greatest goals at Tripleseat is to soothe the aches and pains of booking and executing events while making our valued customers’ lives a little less stressful.

The Tripleseat team knows events and the only people who know events as well as or better than us are our customers. So we asked them to give us their best holiday event planning stress relief tips. You can see the full list of responses from 27 Tripleseat customers on our SlideShare account or click through the slides below. We’ve also highlighted our favorite responses in this blog post, as well as some added information on how you can incorporate these tips using Tripleseat.

1. Melanie Papandrea, Director of Events at Casey Moran’s & Deuces, Chicago

“It can definitely get hectic because the holiday season typically means more corporate parties. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with large parties, but don’t stress. Get prepared now with your space availability, pricing, menus, etc. and have a game plan. That makes things much easier!”

Tripleseat Tip: Make sure everything is ready to go in your Tripleseat account as early as possible. Send in your holiday menus to the support team (support@tripleseat.com) so your picklists are up to date. Double-check your Tripleseat calendar to make sure the statuses of your events are accurate. If a holiday event is not yet definite, put that on the top of your to-do list and gather what you need to turn that event definite (signed contract, deposit payment, etc.). Set up your holiday-themed discussion email templates and email signature so you don’t have to waste precious time adjusting and typing during the holiday rush.

2. Colleen Kent, Food & Beverage Manager at Northern Quest Resort & Casino

“Plan ahead. Reach out to previous clients and see if they would like to get booked before the space is limited. We do this as well with guests that could not get in the previous year. As a result, we have had our weekends booked since July. In September, we start reaching out for details so that they are not coming to us at the last minute.”

Tripleseat Tip: Mark all of your holiday events with a specific event type like, “Holiday.” This way you can easily run a custom event details report in order to specifically pull all of your holiday events from previous years and include the contacts’ email addresses and phone numbers. You can then reach out to those clients individually to inquire if they’ll be booking again this year.

Often clients will simply say, “Do what we did last year.” In these cases, you can simply copy last year’s event to this year and include the documents. You can adjust from there to accommodate their new requests. This will save you several steps and make planning their holiday event a breeze.

3. Shawnta Fleming, Banquet Manager at Urge Gastropub and Common House

“Plan, plan, plan. Have menus ready. Work two weeks ahead. Have terms you can count on. Utilize the Tripleseat tasks. Overcommunicate with everyone involved. Make your work matter. We work so hard to book events, making sure everything is perfect. Take time to yourself. This will energize you to go those long hours. Be involved giving back somehow. This will make your work life and long hours seem like a breeze.”

Tripleseat Tip: Make sure your documents in Tripleseat are up to date and ready to roll for the holiday season. If applicable, set up your holiday terms and conditions templates early on so you don’t have to worry about adjusting them later. Create automatic tasks before the holiday season so you and your staff are notified of all important reminders when your mind is elsewhere. Start internal discussions with your staff within the discussion feed so everyone is on the same page. Attach important documents (floor plans, etc.) to holiday events so your staff is properly prepared.

4. Nadja Martens, Sales Manager at 206 Restaurant Group

“Take as much off of your clients’ plates as possible with smooth, direct and fast communication. The faster you can have their event finalized, the faster they can get back to their regular work. Nine times out of 10, the person with the duty to plan the office holiday party has this task on top of all of their other work and life obligations, and they’re probably feeling a bit overwhelmed.”

Tripleseat Tip: Fast communication is easy with the discussion feed in Tripleseat. It keeps all of your correspondence with clients on the event page, in addition to sending you an email to your personal address so you’re guaranteed to not miss a thing.

5.  Emily Hinton, Sales Manager at Jamsan Hotel Management

“Stay organized. Whether you prefer a paper schedule or an online calendar, make sure you are keeping all of your events organized and have a detailed plan of action.”

Tripleseat Tip: Take advantage of the Tripleseat calendar! You can even export the calendar in Tripleseat to your Gmail, iCal or Outlook calendar so all of your events are listed in both places. To export your Tripleseat calendar, simply go to the calendar page, scroll to the bottom, and click the export button.

6.  Jessica Miles, FOH Manager at Paladar Restaurant Group

“Well, as we all know, teamwork is vital. Let your team do their part and it will make your job so much easier. As a team, everyone will succeed.”

Tripleseat Tip: Utilize the staff-only discussion feature to keep your team up to date with all aspects of the event. In addition, you can choose to copy specific team members on discussion emails to your clients. You can also share documents like your kitchen sheet or proposals with staff by clicking the “share” button next to each document in Tripleseat and choosing to make the share and attached message for staff only.

We even make it easy for you to ensure your staff is getting the necessary notifications for each event. You can set up notifications for almost every aspect of your discussions with clients; from notifications for event comments, to notifications for when your client comments on a payment. These can be selected by going into settings and clicking on discussion email notifications.

7. Yessica Rijo, Director of Sales at Barcelo Bavaro Beach Resort

“Know what the client is looking for and get as many details as possible; write them down (on a notebook or in Tripleseat). This will help you to remember every detail when completing the BEO.”

Tripleseat Tip: When the client first reaches out, use the notes tab on the lead page to make sure you take down as many details as possible. Once the client converts to a contact and an event, you can use the notes tab on the contact page and the event page to ensure you have all of the pertinent information you need to give your guests the best event possible.

8. Jessica Shearer, Director of Private Dining and Marketing at Ditka’s Restaurant Group

“Don’t overbook yourself! Offer alternative dates to spread out the events and your time between each of them to keep it all quality!”

Tripleseat Tip: Tripleseat is designed to guarantee you’ll never have a double-booked space again. As you are entering the event’s information onto the event creation page, a box will appear at the right-hand side of your screen listing all of the events you already have booked that day, colored by their status. Rooms that are already reserved during the time you entered will be listed in red under the area section. And even if you miss both of those warning signals and you still select a room that has already been booked for that time period, another large red warning box will appear on the page to let you know of the conflict.

You can also add in set-up and tear-down times that will block the room for that duration so you can rest assured you have ample time to get the room ready for each event. If you need even more time, you can add a note to your calendar for that specific room for a specific time period and choose to prevent bookings in that room for the duration of the note.

9.  Ali Saladin, Event Sales Manager at Lasco Enterprises

“Offer options in bookings. If you do not have availability, mention dates you do have. If budget is a concern, note dates where you have more flexibility. We also offer to create proposals so they can take ideas to their team and it helps break down how easy food and beverage minimums can be met when you get past the ‘sticker shock’.”

Tripleseat Tip: Utilize the calendar in Tripleseat to quickly see what days and times you have open. Enter the lead as a prospect event and immediately add documents. This way you can create a proposal to share with your client from the document tab even before the event is definite. Just make sure you have an automatic task reminder set up to follow up with clients that don’t respond in a timely manner so you don’t risk losing money on an empty event space.

Once they accept the proposal and move on with a definite event, you can easily edit necessary information like menus on the documents to cater to their specific needs. Remember to use the food and beverage calculator located in the event’s billing widget to easily show your guests how close they are to minimums and how much they still need to cover.

10.  Andre’a DeLyria, Private Dining Manager at Moana Restaurant Group

“As an event manager, I think my best advice would be to slow down and focus on one task at a time. There are likely to be many, many things to do. But if you focus on that one thing you are doing at that moment, you will complete it quicker and with thoroughness.”

Tripleseat Tip: Take advantage of Tripleseat’s automatic task reminders. Instead of shuffling through piles of paperwork and endless Post-it notes, tasks will automatically alert you to complete steps of the event process, like reaching out to clients for their menu selections or to sign their contract. You can also assign tasks to other team members and they will receive email notifications. Choose to mark your tasks with a priority (high, medium or low) so you can stay on top of the really important ones first. Don’t have the time to check off your completed tasks one by one? You can easily complete all tasks by clicking on the complete all tasks button.

These are just a few of the tips and tricks that Tripleseat can provide you with to help get you through the holiday season. But when Tripleseat isn’t enough, we think following the advice of Jon Portanova, General Manager of Duffy’s Tavern and Grill in Kennebunk Maine, will do the trick, “Get in the holiday spirit! Taking the time to get in the spirit helps me forget about the holidays being a stressful time at work, and helps make them a fun time!”

We say, cheers to that!

Take the stress out of your holiday events

Are you a Tripleseat customer? Log in and test these tips today! If you’re not yet familiar with our event management system, schedule a demo to learn how Tripleseat will make your event planning easier.