Friday, March 19, 2010

Web Site of the Week

Brownielocks and the Three Bears is a website that has been around for more than 10 years but I only bookmarked it a little more than year ago or so when my friend, Becky, talked about it at a meeting. If you are an event planner, school teacher or anyone looking for a theme for an event or school project then Brownielocks is the place to go. Pick a month -- any month -- and there are listings for holidays, weeks of or month of celebrations and awareness. For example: Did you know there was a National Hot Dog Day? (July 17th) or that May is Family Wellness Month?

The person who started Brownielocks said they did it as a fun way for older children to learn. Which means to me that listings on the site are actual days, that the illustrations are cute without being silly and the content is "G" rated.

For people like me who like to plan ahead there are listings are for all months and not just one at a time. While the current month is the centerpiece, you can still access previous months or go click to choose future months. If a day or month as a link, they are also posted.

A great site to spend some not so free time with.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Glossary Term: a la Carte

Each month I would like to share a word commonly used by professionals. The words along with their meaning will be from the APEX Industry Glossary.

The Convention Industry Council is the organization of 33 associations coming together to exchange information among the meetings, convention and exhibitions industry. One of the initiatives is APEX, Accepted Practices Exchange, to develop practices that reach industry wide. One of the practices is a glossary of terms used in the industry. The goal of the glossary is to standardize the definitions of words used by the meetings industry.

Today's term is a la Carte

According to the APEX Glossary: a la Carte is a French term meaning "from the menu." Each item is individually priced. Used in tour literature to indicate a choice of dishes will be available.

You see the term used mainly in restaurant and catering menus. These days you see the term a la Carte being used by some consultants. For example, there will be a list of services for one inclusive price, then there may be a breakout list where you can purchase only the services that you want or need.

If you are purchasing food or a service a la Carte you will see the listed on your bill one item at a time.

That's the Planner's Pointer for today

Friday, March 12, 2010

Web site of the Week

Want to learn a new word; complete a daily crossword, or just look of the spelling of a word? Then browse on over to A web site that has been around at least since I typed in my first www in the 90s, it’s a great site to go to when you are doing any sort of writing. Or just want to spend from free time doing a crossword or peruse (to read over in an attentive or leisurely manner) the Top 10 Lists. also has a children's section and an ESL(English as a second language) section

New to Toastmasters and have the "Word of the Day" responsibility in the agenda then Word of the Day is a wonderful place to go to find that unusual word. The web site also has a video section that deals with several areas on word use. I viewed the one that talked about the difference between "Affect" and "Effect."

Not all misspelled words are caught by spell check. When in doubt as to spelling and usage then is the web site that should be one of your favorites.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Budget Guidelines 5 Key Tips to Developing Your Budget

Today’s Planner's Pointers will focus on Budget Guidelines -- 5 Key tips to developing your budget.

1. Know what your goals are for the event. If it is a fund raiser do you know how much money you want to make? What part of that money goal are you willing to give over to expenses? Having very clear goals helps keep you from being distracted.

2. Don't develop the budget in a cave. Brainstorm all the aspects for the meeting and what your expenses will be. Determine what are potential income items and what are expense items. Don't guess at what things cost, do research. If your price lists are more than a year old, then get new ones. Have committee chairs work with their members to determine what they will need to spend.

3. Have you done this event before? What were the expenses, especially the unexpected ones that occurred Review your history. Was the budget realistic? If this is a new event, have you done similar events? Review those former budgets to get ideas on expenses.

4. Share the budget will all stakeholders especially the aspects that directly apply to them. Supply guidelines. When you have client meetings, have it be one of the items on the agenda. If you are working with a committee, always report out on money both taken in and spent.

5. Have a system in place to pay non recurring bills. Check request forms, receipts are always a good idea.