Super Event Planner

For a recent event, my client wanted to serve slushies to his guests. It was perfect for the “At the Movies” theme and it also happened to be one of my client’s favorite fun drinks.

As we got closer to the event, I met with my client to go over last-minute details.

Me: So for the slushies, we’ll have nice clear tumblers.
Client: No no no! I want to serve the slushies in those cups they have at the movies.
Client: You know, the tall ones with yellow and blue on them. The ones you get at 7Eleven. That’s what I want.

I left the meeting perplexed. How would I get those? Barely a week before the event, it was impossible to order anything online. I started my search at restaurant wholesalers, then party stores, and warehouse stores. Nothing. Then an idea struck: go to the source. I walked right into the closest 7Eleven.

When I arrived at the house for setup, my client was waiting for me.

Me: Alan, I am your super event planner.
Client: You are?
Me: *proudly showing him 140 7Eleven cup, tops and straws*
Client: *BEAMING* You ARE my super event planner!

I need to get myself a super suit.



Before I launched 99 Red Balloons, I conducted extensive research to make sure that no other business had the same name. After all, what’s a business name if it can be confused with the competition, right? So I searched high and low, and couldn’t find anything. I was relieved because that name had really grown on me.

Then, in August 2010, 99 Red Balloons was live. I was ecstatic and eager to start working. Once in a while, I’d still run a quick search. And one day….BAM! there it was: 99 Red Balloons. Also an event planning company, but specializing in children parties. My throat tightened. My heart sank. How can this be? I clicked on the “About Us” section to find out where they were: South Africa! In an instant, my mind went from shock to happy surprise. How cool that someone else had the same idea as me, all the way across the globe!

Since then, I check up on my doppelganger once in a while. See what they’ve been up to, but I never thought our paths would ever cross. Until this morning.

I checked my Facebook page and noticed a Spa became a new fan. All right, that’s fun. Then, looking closer, I noticed they’d posted something on my timeline. I clicked and read that I am participating in a wedding show sponsored by the spa. Really? Hm. I clicked some more and found the words “South Africa” on the spa’s web site. Now I know what my doppelganger is doing on July 21 & 22.

How small this world has become.

Top 5 tips for your child’s next birthday

I wrote this article for a couple of Mother’s Clubs in the area. Try these out next time you’re planning a party for little guys & gals.

1) Start the planning process by chatting with your child. Let him or her pick the colors, theme or decorative items they’d like to see at their party. It’s a great way to get them excited about their party. They’ll feel special during the planning process and that’s so much more fun than being special for just one day.

2) This is crucial: Always ask your child or your child’s teacher if any children have food allergies. If you forgot to ask the teacher, take the time to email each little guest’s parents. They will appreciate your concern and you won’t have to worry about any allergic reactions to your delicious cake and snacks.

3) Make a quick plan for the duration of the party. Start by figuring out what time the cake should come out and work backwards from there. The more structured activities or games should go before the cake. After the cake, kids will be on a bit of a “sugar high” and will mostly want to run around. It’s a great time for hide-and-seek or a good ol’ fashion game of Tag.

4) Include lots of balloons in your décor. Give each little guest a balloon when they leave – you get rid of the balloons and they love their little gift!

5) Have one or two back-up activities. You may be expecting a face-painter who cancels at the last minute or you could find that you’ve misplaced that great poster you made for “pin the tail on the donkey.” Having backup activities will ensure your peace of mind.

“Tangled” Birthday Party

This is a design I created for a little girl’s 5th birthday party.

The theme: Disney’s “Tangled” (the story of Rapunzel). The colors: Pink, purple and yellow. The challenge: Unifying a huge three-part party space that included the cake room, the kitchen and the enormous garden area. The second challenge: Create a design fit for children and their parents who would also attend the party. Result: A whimsical but elegant decor. The little girl squealed in delight when she saw it; her mom was grinning from ear-to-ear and proudly welcomed her guests.

….99 Red Balloons strikes again!

La Vie en Rose

These are pictures from a birthday party I designed for a woman’s 60th birthday party.

Her favorite color: pink! The challenge: incorporating pink into an elegant design without making it look child-like. Result: success!