About the Chapters

The Art of Professional Connections:
Event Strategies for
Successful Business Entertaining


Event Strategies for Successful Business Entertaining addresses the basics of organizing business events—everything from cultural events and sporting activities to educational conferences and trade shows. You will learn what you need to know about staging, hosting, and participating in events. This book will guide you step by step from the initial planning stages to the last and most important step: the debriefing afterward.


Never planned a large event before and can’t afford a professional event planner? Not a problem! This book will help get you started.

Entertaining customers, company celebrations, and employee outings are integral parts of running a successful business, solidifying client relationships, and rewarding employees. When a company invests in entertainment, the expectation is that there will be a return on its investment. This often takes time. Consequently, it is very important that events are planned carefully, and every risk of failure is eliminated.

This chapter will help you define the purpose of the event, how to select your development team, brainstorm theme ideas, and offer tips on pacing yourself to avoid burnout. 




The behind-the-scenes people are the real stars! They help make everything work from a small retreat to a large convention.

Planning a dinner gathering, staging an event, receiving out-of-town corporate staff visits, or scheduling a special outing generates enthusiasm. The extra steps you take to make clients, prospects, and employees feel appreciated will encourage ongoing “loyalty.” The behind-the-scenes people are the real stars! It is all about making sure that everything and everybody works well together! The timing, precision, and teamwork generated is what makes it all work!

This chapter will guide you from the planning stages to the implementation and coordination of details for any size event, right down to arranging meals and diverting hazards.  




Show up! Too often time and money spent on invitations are wasted. To not show up sends an irresponsible message. As a planner, you know that there is much more involved in the invite process to assure a successful event.

You receive the invitation and it is a “go.” However, the invite says, “chic casual.” What is chic casual?” It confirms the confusion that exists in the interpretation of dress codes. Therefore, it is important to take your invitation that extra step by defining the dress expectation so that your guests easily understand it. And, it is the guest’s responsibility to “ask” when they are not sure, and then be appropriately attired. It is also about “ambience.” You want to complement the environment as well as the event.

This chapter will guide you from the invite details and how to handle extenuating circumstances to deciphering the “what to wear” dilemma.  



Don’t try and host an event all by yourself. You need a team! Plus, a successful event requires making sure that the “right” people (your event cast) are handling specific roles and, more importantly, that they have a thorough understanding of those roles. Certainly, there is a lot more involved than simply identifying the event cast. Each member of this select team comes with special considerations and duties (and some positions do overlap).

This chapter will identify the most common host and guest dilemmas that range from responding to an invitation and handling extenuating circumstances to accommodating guests with disabilities.  





Cultural events add a special touch of class to any occasion. To be successful entertaining at a cultural event, there are specific behavior rules and expectations to honor once all the planning is in place. Rock concerts are an entirely different breed of entertainment and require a different protocol; however, they are still all about music, and music is a cultural event. At-home entertaining truly embodies another type of cultural experience because it captures the essence of that person by exposing their personal interests and lifestyle. For many international visitors, it is considered the highest honor.

This chapter focuses on the theater and on concerts because the guidelines for these can be applied to any cultural event as well as to the most personal form of business social events, at-home entertainment, whether it’s a casual outdoor barbecue or a formal dinner party.  



Long-lasting relationships are built on four principles: (1) Trust (2) Shared Values (3) Accomplishment, and (4) Camaraderie. 

Whether you choose to be a spectator or participant, sports, games, and outings are opportunities to relax and enjoy clients and staff away from a work environment. Plus, they allow you to de-stress or alleviate the intense focus of serious business work. Such an event does not have to be a pre-planned outing; it can be a spontaneous board game in the employee lounge. Whatever the situation, the change of scenery can make you, your employees, and your clients feel better focused and more efficient.

This chapter focuses on the rules of play for all sporting events, games, and outings, and provides guidelines on doing business on the golf course.   




Employees (past and present) are customers too, and their influence is too often overlooked or devalued! There are scores of stories about how a company goes beyond the call of duty to make a customer feel special. But what about the employees? They have the same power of influence as the customers—sometimes more! It doesn’t always have to be about an event. Providing a work environment that is conducive to relaxation and promotes a healthy lifestyle is a powerful employee benefit.

This chapter will offer various ways to honor those who have or are serving you well and offers suggestions on how to handle sensitive guest list situations from the office to a wedding.  





Conferences, conventions, and trade shows (sometimes referred to as “destination events”) are extensions of your business day and a necessary part of an organization’s growth. Each venue offers an array of networking connections, job opportunities, and work-based training, all in one location. They represent serious business functions built on developing relationships and securing potential new business.

Whether you are the event planner or attendee, this chapter covers everything you should know to have a successful experience. Conferences are multi-sided events that takes you from making the reservation and speaker arrangements to handling event sessions and trade show details.  





Gratitude is everything … it’s a gift … and too often overlooked. Gifting is a vital part of the business world because it is an expression of goodwill and a reminder of a productive and special business relationship between the giver and the recipient. It is a way of showing appreciation for a client’s loyalty; because it makes one feel good and think about how the giver took the time to acknowledge the relationship.

This chapter will identify the tangible and intangible ways to show appreciation.  







Checklists are invaluable! They keep you on track! Every event has its own unique set of circumstances that requires specific guidelines. This book contains sample checklists to serve as your initial planning guide. They are designed to ensure that you cover everything in a logical sequence. You will need to adapt (or customize) the checklists to reflect the size of your event, level of formality, and caliber of guests (e.g., dignitaries).  








A meeting
is a gathering of people for a discussion.
An event
|is something that is planned months in advance.
An activity or exercise
involves direct experience and participation.

Whatever the goal, there are lots of details to tackle.


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