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Top 16 in 2016

Posted by Jennifer Jenkins on Dec 29, 2016 1:00:00 PM


December is a month for making lists and checking them twice. As 2016 comes to a close, JJPR has quite the portfolio of work that we’ve created this past year. Our tiny-but-mighty team worked together with the most amazing clients to create smart, resourceful campaigns that are yielding big dividends for their companies. And that warms our hearts.

So, as hard as it was to narrow the list to only 16, here are our top picks from 2016:


  1. Innovation PortAL

The Mobile Area Chamber, in their usual forward-thinking, entrepreneurial and economic-development fashion, began efforts in late 2015 for a business accelerator and incubator for the area known as Innovation PortAL. What started as a simple business plan morphed into a full scale branding project and website for this new program. And what’s even more thrilling to JJPR, this program landed national recognition with a $2.9-million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration to renovate a building on St. Louis Street in downtown Mobile to house Innovation PortAL. We couldn’t be more excited to be part of helping birth this new program for our area.



  1. Haint Blue Brewing

We love front porches and even more than that, sharing a cold one with friends on those porches. So imagine how pumped we were when our friends at Mighty contacted us to help promote Haint Blue Brewing, a new brewing company in Mobile started by Keith Sherrill whose number one objective is to make good porch-drinking beer. Haint Blue Brewing launched a crowdfunding campaign to give investors an opportunity to own a piece of this new microbrewery and build a taproom for Mobile. We had a blast helping source the porches for the video to support the campaign as well as promote Haint Blue’s story in local media outlets in the region to secure investors for a very successful campaign. We can’t wait to see what’s on tap for Haint Blue in 2017.


  1. Fuse Project

In the spring of 2016, we began working with Fuse Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping children along Alabama’s Gulf Coast through its innovation, funding and projects. We couldn’t be more honored to work with this group of young professionals who give a whole new name to movers and shakers. With events like their annual Dragon Boat Festival and their new high-stakes poker tournament, Fuse Royale, they never cease to amaze us with their innovation in raising funds for our area’s youth. We’ve thoroughly enjoyed working on these events and much more, as well as helping brand the new Fuse Factory, Mobile’s new nonprofit co-working space.


  1. Business Where You Beach

BWYB_web_screen.jpgAs a Baldwin County, Alabama-based business, we are passionate about being part of projects that help drive the local economy. So we were thrilled to have the opportunity to create a new campaign, Business Where You Beach, to help visitors think about Alabama’s beaches for more than just pleasure. We created an integrated marketing campaign including a new website, print and digital ads and social media, to help create awareness of Baldwin County not only as a premier beach-vacation destination, but as an even better place to live and work. As the nation’s eighth fastest growing MSA
(according to the U.S. Census Bureau), Baldwin County is the prime location for business, a qualified workforce and beautiful beaches to boot.


  1. Publicizing the Port

The Alabama State Port Authority is one of our state’s greatest assets and one of JJPR’s as well. Each quarter, we produce the Alabama Seaport magazine, the longest continually published Port magazine in the country. From expansions to new partnerships, the Port is working for us all - whether it is with the quality jobs it brings or the economic impact it yields for our entire region. We’ve started work on a refresh of their ad campaign, so stay tuned in 2017 for more great things from the Port. 

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  1. BASF_EmployeeNewsletter_2016_Page_01.jpgCreating Chemistry with BASF

BASF is a 150-year-old company that creates chemistry for us to enjoy many products and solutions that improve our everyday life. This past year, we’ve enjoyed telling their story and the many great things they do in our community every day, from promoting their presence at Worlds of Opportunity, to assisting with production for their Town Hall meetings, to developing sponsored content stories about their work in the community, to providing educational grants for K-12 schools in our area to enhance science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) learning. This company does so much every day for our community.




  1. A New Look for Safe Harbor

JJPR loves a good story, and the housing community in Bayou La Batre has just that. Prior to Hurricane Katrina, nearly 3,000 Bayou La Batre citizens thrived in this Gulf Coast city on the shores of Alabama, fishing its waters, building ships, and enjoying their hometown. When Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, the community was devastated, with many families left homeless or displaced. Safe Harbor was established in 2008 through a FEMA Affordable Housing Pilot Program (AHPP) grant intended to assist the Bayou La Batre community in the wake of Katrina. 

The initiative was designed to combat homelessness by meeting residents’ immediate needs, as well as by providing the opportunity for permanent, affordable housing solutions. While initially compromised, Safe Harbor has rebuilt and transformed into a reprieve for this once-struggling community. Today, Safe Harbor’s 100 beach cottage-style modular homes provide residents with affordable, safe, and community-driven housing aimed at supporting and improving the lives of Bayou La Batre’s heart and soul – its people.

We were delighted to help rebrand this community program aimed at supporting and improving the lives of those in Bayou La Batre.


  1. Perspective Eye Center

We were elated to help Dr. Stephen Gross and Dr. David Helton in their quest to create a new experience in optical care on the Eastern Shore with Perspective Eye Center. JJPR was excited to help develop the new brand for their business with a new logo, website, advertisements and establishing their social media presence. Check them out and see how their innovative care approach can help keep your life in focus.


  1. PDQ

Two words: chicken tenders. Whether they are fried or grilled, on a sandwich or by themselves, the team at PDQ creates a fresh take on fast food. PDQ stands for People Dedicated to Quality and we were ecstatic to help promote the only Alabama location of PDQ, located by the South Alabama campus in Mobile. Fresh tours of the restaurant’s kitchen, followed by a tasting, were a huge hit for local media. Our mouths water just thinking about their delicious menu and we always look forward to our next visit.


  1. City of Daphne Library The Porch

JJPR was also honored to develop a new branding and promotional campaign for the Daphne Public Library. With nearly 400 public programs and a variety of services utilized by 275,000 visitors annually, the big idea behind the More Than Books campaign is that the library is alive with so much more than just books. And because of the abundance of programs and traffic, the library needs community support to build a new multipurpose meeting space, The Porch. (Visit their GoFundMe page to get in on the action.)


  1. Baldwin County Education Coalition

In January, we began working with the Baldwin County Education Coalition, an independent nonprofit organization striving to create a compelling vision for the future of our schools and communities. With a revamped website,, monthly e-newsletters, and promotion for Coalition events throughout the year, JJPR has been honored to help elevate branding and awareness for this organization that is ensuring the future of education in Baldwin County.


  1. YMCA

As a nationally recognized organization, we have been honored to promote the YMCA of South Alabama to the community it benefits. From managing social media to promoting and planning events, we’ve gained a new love for the family-first philosophy that supports children and adults in our area. One highlight from this year was helping the wonderful fundraising committee with the second annual Gridiron Gala. Not only was the event a huge success, but we thoroughly enjoyed working as a team with the selfless staff and volunteers at the Y. Rubbing elbows with Eli Gold, Jake Coker and Phil Savage was an added bonus.


  1. Infirmary Health

We couldn’t have been more excited when Infirmary Health approached JJPR this year to help rebrand a legacy program of Mobile United. The team worked to rebrand and expand the program as Live Better Together to encompass additional counties in Southwest Alabama. With all-new branding and a revamped website, we’ve worked to help create a brand for this program that aims to positively impact the health and well-being of our region by partnering with community leaders and organizations in efforts to achieve a healthy weight and better access to care in our communities.


  1. JJ Eyes

What woman (or man) doesn’t love great eyewear? Whether sunglasses or eyeglasses, the ladies at JJPR love every minute of the research and development that goes into managing the social media for JJ Eyes each month. So if you are in Fairhope or Homewood, stop in at one of their stores to ooh and aah over their eyewear – they bring new meaning to eye candy.


  1. Eventful Year for Children’s

Boots & BBQ Barn Bash.jpg                 Boots & BBQ.jpg

Once again our work with Children’s of Alabama tops the list as one of our favorites. Helping promote and support events that benefit young patients and their families who have to travel from the Gulf Coast to Birmingham for medical treatment of serious illnesses makes this work most rewarding. From Tee Off Fore a Cure to Boots & BBQ Barn Bash and Children’s Cup Regatta to the Reel Hope Classic Fishing Tournament, we are thankful for another year and another opportunity to work with Children’s.


  1. Port City Rentals

We are in love with the new look we helped develop for this 40-year-old company. Having called on the amazing team at Port City Rentals countless times for client events, we were honored when they called on us to develop an all-new brand for Mobile's largest and oldest full-service tent and event rental company. 




We have been tremendously blessed to work with every single client and every single project this past year, not just these 16. Each one is a collaboration and we are grateful to be part of promoting their companies in Alabama and beyond. Cheers to a joyous 2016 and a Happy New Year in 2017!


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Topics: website redesign, Social Media Marketing, event promotion, event publicity, social media, event planning, Alabama public relations, PR agency, JJPR agency, Marketing, branding, website design, events, design, rebranding, print ads, advertising, advertising campaign, media relations, integrated marketing campaign, digital ads

Event Planning Best Practices: Top 5 Things Every Event Planner Should Keep in Mind

Posted by Taylor Lewis on Oct 19, 2016 12:00:00 PM

The holidays are right around the corner, and according to the Seattle Times, if this year is anything like last, 80 percent of companies nationwide will be hosting holiday parties. If you're in charge of planning your company's party, there's a lot to think about.

Whether you’re a seasoned planner or new to the “glamorous” world of events, remembering these five event planning best practices will help your next event leave a lasting impression. 


1. Make your budget work.

Working within a tight budget is one of the many difficult tasks in event planning, but it doesn’t have to hold you back. Get creative—see where you can make cuts in order to devote more resources to signature aspects of your event. It’s crucial to stick to the original budget throughout the planning process, but the best events aren’t necessarily the most expensive. Focus on what will have the most impact.

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2. Keep your focus.

Concentrate your attention on the major goals behind the event, and be sure that each of your planning decisions will help achieve those goals. Whether it’s a non-profit event fundraiser or a corporate holiday party, remembering the overall purpose of the event will help you focus your attention appropriately. 



3. Delegate, delegate, delegate.

Don’t be afraid to delegate and divvy up the responsibility—one person can’t do it all. Try to assign team members with tasks that play into their unique skills or background knowledge. You as the team leader can then focus on the big-picture goals of the event, rather than stressing about mailing invitations or hanging signage. Meeting prior to the event can help make sure everyone is on the same page with what needs to be completed and the urgency of each task at hand.



4. Preparation is key.

It’s always best to over-prepare than underprepare. You don’t want to have to worry the night of the event when you run out of the hors d’oeuvres within the first half hour or don’t have enough seats for all your guests. Always plan for more than is expected for food, seating, and gifts, and make sure you stay organized with to-do lists, vendor contracts and volunteer management. 



5. Keep your branding consistent.

Remember that everything from the initial social media graphic or poster down to the signs at the event should all have consistent branding. Invitations, table settings, and even labels—the branding should be clear to each guest throughout the entire process. Cohesive branding will build recognition for your guests and will help you market your event now and in subsequent years. 

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It can be easy for event planning rookies and gurus alike to get overwhelmed during the planning process, but following these five best practices will help you execute successful, memorable events (and avoid headaches getting there).

Learn more about how you can maximize your next event’s success in our free Event Planning Workbook.


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Topics: event promotion, event planning, eventPR

Automating Processes for Seamless Events

Posted by Jennifer Jenkins on Sep 21, 2016 12:30:00 PM

From setting the date and picking the perfect venue to selecting décor and promoting your event, there’s a lot to think about during the event planning process. As you generate interest for your event, it’s important not to forget the people who’ll make it all come to life—your volunteers and guests. How will you manage your volunteers and ensure each knows how, when and where they’ll be needed? Will your guests be able to find event details and register easily? Luckily, there’s a myriad of programs and strategies you can utilize to help make both volunteer management and event registration seamless and efficient.



Volunteer Management

Volunteers are as essential as sponsors and paid staff to making your event a success. By donating their time, they are able to execute the logistics and behind-the-scenes needs so your event can run smoothly and reach its goals. Show your appreciation by making the experience as easy as possible. Some useful volunteer management tools we’ve utilized in the past are volunteer assessments and pre-event volunteer training.

A volunteer assessment helps identify event needs and organize volunteer capabilities, assigning roles and responsibilities and listing relevant information like the date, time and location where each volunteer is needed. In addition, it should also detail where and when volunteers may be needed for relevant training, if applicable. Of course, you can organize this yourself in an Excel sheet and by keeping in close contact with your volunteers, but as events get larger, it’s often easier to use an online program like SignUpGenius or With basic, free packages and more comprehensive monthly or yearly plans, these platforms offer a variety of services including shift signups, administrator management tools, calendar syncing, email reports, reminder notifications and volunteer hour reports. Other online programs like Samaritan Technologies, InitLive, and Better Impact, offer services catering to recruitment, mobile, real-time communication and even nonprofit-specific needs.


Event Registration

Now that you’ve planned your event down to the last detail and organized your staff, how will you get your guests there? Event registration can be done in a variety of ways, but as with volunteer management, online systems can make the process smoother and more efficient for all parties involved. Popular online tools like Eventbrite allow you to create event web pages, send invitations and emails, track registration progress and even scan tickets. Guests will also appreciate the ability to pay for tickets online through their credit card or PayPal account. Check out these other popular online event registration tools: Constant Contact EventSpot, RegOnline and Brown Paper Tickets.


Learn more about planning successful, seamless events by downloading our free Event Planning Workbook. 

Happy planning!

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Topics: event promotion, event planning, eventPR, events

‘Concepting’ Your Event: How Consistent Branding Can Make Your Next Event a Success

Posted by Sarah Grube on Aug 4, 2016 12:20:40 PM

With multiple client events taking place simultaneously and lots of new projects coming in, we’ve sure been busy lately. And while some of the girls have been off gallivanting across the country for client meetings, I’ve been here plugging away at developing some exciting new brands and campaigns.

The theme lately has been event planning and what makes a good event. Part of my job as creative director is making sure all the parts of the projects we work on stay true to the brand and work in a cohesive and complementary way.

But, keeping event branding cohesive can be difficult. Once everything starts to flow, the workload can get chaotic and it’s easy to lose focus of the brand’s identity. There are so many pieces to an event that some things can get lost in the shuffle and lose the feel of the overall design. Staying consistent within all pieces of an event helps make your brand recognizable. When you see the red and white Chick-fil A-logo you know you’ll get some good chicken, salty waffle fries and a warm welcome by super cheerful employees. The Chick-fil-A brand is an integral part of every aspect of their business, from the smiling faces of the employees to the illiterate, mischievous cows on their billboards.



Recently, we worked on Fuse Project’s Dragon Boat Festival, which also has a very specific brand. The colors and imagery all needed to be consistent so people knew what they were looking at before they even read the poster or ad copy.



We started with the poster and newspaper ads, posting around town and getting the word out. Then, we translated our designs to digital. Having a strong social media presence in particular was important to our branding strategy for this event. We created social media graphics with the colors and dragon scales that would eventually become synonymous with the Dragon Boat Festival. As the day of the event drew closer, more and more signs and print pieces needed to be created—about 40 different pieces! (Seemed like 500 at the time). Parking passes, ‘do not use’ signs, tent banners, maps and handouts—you name it. The list grew, but we stayed consistent with the branding and the event became a cohesive and unique experience for those involved in the day’s event.


A brand supports, promotes and helps populate an event. Therefore, the branding for any event should be a priority. The more consistently you communicate your brand to the public, the more it will be recognized. With recognition comes more opportunities to reach people you might not have been able to reach before, setting the tone and creating an event people will remember. And having a memorable event (for the good reasons) is always what we’re working toward.

Now that you know how to craft and convey a successful brand for your next event, take a look at our Event Planning Workbook for even more event planning strategies.

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Happy planning!


Topics: event promotion, event planning, branding, design

It’s All in the Details: 4 Areas of Event Planning Where You Should Sweat the Small Stuff

Posted by Kelsey Davis on Jul 27, 2016 1:00:00 PM

With years of event planning under our belts and a summer chock-full of exciting client events, we’ve had planning top of mind lately. We’ve already dispelled a few common myths about event planning and lent some high-level advice on strategy and promotion, but the best event planners know that the details are just as important in crafting memorable, successful events.

We’d like to say, “don’t sweat the small stuff,” but the truth is that the smallest touches can make or break an event. Read on to learn more about four categories where details are key.



As an event planner, you’ll likely visit the venue at least a couple of times to map out where certain activities will be held or where decorations will go. Being so familiar with the venue, it’s sometimes easy to forget to put yourself in your guests’ shoes. Will they know which rooms they’re supposed to go to or which tables are theirs? Will they be able to easily find the restrooms?

At the 2014 Seafood, Science and Celebrity event, we even labeled which bottles of wine were paired to each course, so that employees and guests alike were guaranteed a seamless dining experience.

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With proper signage, you’ll ensure your guests feel right at home, making the event flow much more smoothly. Signage is also a great way to help brand the event—the more times your guests see your logo and messaging, the better!



In order to maximize media coverage and guest attendance, make sure you think through the details of your media outreach too. Triple-check your media lists and make sure the contacts you’re reaching out to are correct and up to date. Personalization is also key. Why do you want this specific reporter or outlet to cover your event? Why should they be interested? Think through their past work and use that to help craft the perfect pitch.

And don’t forget to stand out! A creative media kit or invitation with all the event details will stand out more than a generic digital invitation. Check out some of our favorite media kits for events we’ve done in the past below.

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Communicating with your team and event staff is just as important as communicating with the media and guests. It’s your job to ensure that all staff are knowledgeable about the timeline of the event and their exact roles and responsibilities. We suggest regular internal meetings leading up to the event to keep everyone on the same page. A run-of-play document (like the one in our Event Planning Workbook) that details the event timeline down to the minute and lists those in charge of each activity is also a useful tool.



Décor is one of the most fun parts of event planning, but it takes a lot of thought to get it just right. Different events call for different aesthetics, so before you start buying decorations and picking out table settings, think about the feel of your event—consider the venue, guests, goals, and of course, budget. Is the event a black-tie gala or a laid-back outdoor fundraiser? Once you get your aesthetic down, focus on consistency. Use your décor to help brand your event throughout the venue space and collateral materials. 

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There you have it—high-level strategy paired with an eye for detail will maximize the success of your next event. Stay tuned for our next blog, where our design maven Sarah will explain how to execute those details successfully when concepting your event designs and décor.  

In the meantime, learn more by downloading our free Event Planning Workbook

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Topics: event promotion, event planning, eventPR, events

5 Things to Consider When Planning Your Next Event

Posted by Jennifer Jenkins on Jun 29, 2016 3:26:36 PM

When we tell people we plan events as part of our agency services, we often see starry eyes and giddy faces. But for those who are event professionals, the response is usually “Bless your heart,” because they know just how much hard work and planning go into making an event successful.

While JJPR has been honored to work on events that have involved famous chefs, movie stars and award-winning entertainers, the reality is that all events aren’t glamorous and everything doesn’t always go as planned.

The Murphy’s Law adage, “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong,” certainly applies to event planning. That’s why we have put together a list of five things to consider when planning your next event, along with our just-released Event Planning Workbook to help break down your next event and ensure it’s a success.


1. Have a plan. 

With events, failing to plan ensures a plan to fail.

So often, the biggest downfall when planning an event is the tendency to rush to thinking about the theme and décor, while overlooking the more important details like the purpose and goals.

Our team starts with a simple event management framework, found in our downloadable e-book, that helps lay out the answers to these and many other important aspects in order to ensure the event achieves objectives and maximizes our client’s return on investment.

This framework helps think through every detail of the event including:

  • Purpose
  • Activities
  • Audience
  • Approvals and Permits
  • Logistics
  • Number of participants
  • Event team (volunteers or paid staff)
  • Budget
  • Tasks
  • Vendors/Suppliers
  • Registration
  • Sponsorship
  • Marketing
  • Evaluation

2. Make promotion a priority.

Marketing and publicizing your event is a critical component that shouldn’t be an afterthought.

When marketing an event, you want to make sure that you are thinking about all the details. Following are three essentials proven for a successful public relations and marketing plan for your event:

  • Set SMART goals for your event. Consider ROI from the beginning and measure after the event. When developing goals for the event, ensure they are:  
    • Specific
    • Measurable
    • Audience-Specific
    • Realistic
    • Timed

One of our clients, Children’s of Alabama, hosts a variety of events that we help coordinate, such as the Reel Hope Classic fishing tournament and the Tee Off Fore a Cure golf tournament. We help set goals for these types of events, planning out how to incorporate social media, collateral materials, copywriting, media relations and event marketing tactics to achieve those goals. Check out examples of materials we developed for past Children’s events here.



  • Be creative.

For an event to be special, you often have to think out of the box on creative ways to transform your event, especially when working on a limited budget.

One of the most exciting and fun parts of event planning is the creative development. However, creating a theme for your event may sound easy, but done right, it’s no small task.

Our team collaborates on Pinterest, pinning ideas to event boards for inspiration to help set the tone for the event.

Here are a few examples of the creative angles we’ve taken for past events like the “Yellow Day” movie premiere, Seafood, Science & Celebrity and Sunday Supper Gulf Coast.


"Yellow Day" movie premiere



Seafood, Science and Celebrity



Sunday Supper Gulf Coast


  • Use multiple touchpoints.

A marketing approach that uses multiple channels for promotion is an effective way to spread the word about your event. To be successful, events need to be promoted across multiple channels to create a cohesive marketing approach.

First, determine the audience you will be targeting for your event and their communication preferences. Once you have determined which touchpoints resonate most with your audience, plan your promotional strategy to generate the highest amount of attendees. By communicating with your audience early and often leading up to your event, you will create top-of-mind awareness for your attendees, resulting in an optimal turnout for your event.

One of the best ways to grab attention and drive attendance, especially from the media, is with a creative media kit. Check out some of our past successful ideas, such as this nautical-themed Children’s Cup Regatta media kit.



 3. Stay on budget and on task.

One of the first things we ask clients  is what is the budget for their event.

No matter how big or small the budget, developing a comprehensive budget and corresponding tactics is critical for success to ensure you plan financially and mentally for every detail of your event.

A misconception about events is that you have to have a huge budget to have an amazing event. We have planned many great events on a shoestring budget, due to careful planning of finances where items yield the most return on investment.

 Our workbook includes a sample budget and task list template to help you:

  • Work through every detail of the budget, by category
  • Assign areas of responsibility
  • List tasks within each area in the budget
  • List due dates
  • Note budget to actuals
  • Track status of all details and any comments

4. Manage logistics and the team.

As an event planner, you are responsible for managing logistics including everything from vendors to volunteers to VIPs.

Planning for activities that will happen on event day is imperative, and the small details are the ones that will catch you by surprise. We utilize a number of tools to ensure all event activities our team or vendors are responsible for are planned down to the minute. A couple of these tools include a Load-In/Load-Out Schedule and a Run of Play.

The Load-In/Load-Out Schedule is essential for ensuring vendors, volunteers, and sponsors arrive and that load-in items for the event are on time and in order, as well as to make sure that break down when the event is over runs smoothly.

In addition, preparing a Run of Play is important to ensure the event stays on time and that those involved, whether speakers, entertainers or others, are cued to help the event run smoothly.

 Our event planning e-book provides templates for both the Load-in/Load-out schedule and a Run of Play.

5. Measure your event’s success.


Selling tickets and drawing a big crowd are certainly good measurements for evaluating the success of your event, though attendance is just one of many barometers. In fact, there are a lot of post-event questions you should be asking. What was the response from attendees—positive or negative? What type of media coverage did the event generate? Did the event cause sales growth?

You should have multiple evaluation methods in mind well before the event’s planning phase even begins. Look back at your objectives and see whether your stated goals were met.

Now that you know some of our trade secrets for successful event planning, up the ante on your event planning even more and download our free Event Planning Workbook here.

Happy planning!

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Topics: event promotion, event publicity, event planning, eventPR, events