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Event Planning With Wendy Gladney Brooks

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Wendy Gladney Brooks
As an Event Manager, I come across a host of people that constantly want to know how to get more bang out of their events!  One of the answers is a Silent Auction!   There are many ways to have a successful silent auction.  You can organize a committee that's responsible for getting items to sale.  Another way would be to hire a consignment type of company that handles everything from A to Z regarding the auction. 

The draw back I've recognized using consignment companies is clients don't  often understand the way these companies make money.  These companies set a minimum bid that must be matched first and then everything above that fee belongs to the non-profit organization. So let's say the company has a memorabilia item that starts out at $500.00. The organization won't make a dime until it sells over the $500.00 minimum bid.

What I've realized over the years is that this system is pretty good.  The organization and/or event management company really doesn't have any real responsibility.  So if no one had the time to really pursue seeking auction items, you can still go after those that want to do straight donations to the organization.  So when you know you want something extra, but you're not sure exactly what - think of a consignment Silent Auction.  Just know your audience.  That's important.

If you have an event or community question, please email me at Wendy@personalservicesplus.com.  We thank you for supporting those that give back to our community to make it a better place!

Give your all in all that you do. Then the PLUS won't just be more, it will be the difference!


Wendy is the founder and president of Personal Services Plus, Inc., an Event Management Company.  Visit  www.personalservicesplus.com  or email her at wendy@personalservicesplus.com.  

Event Planning with Wendy Gladney

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Wendy Gladney
This week here in America we will be celebrating what's known as "Thanksgiving."   As I sit to write this article, I am also preparing to go to Belize with a group of people who through their "thanks" are "giving" back to women and children in that part of the world.  For those of you that are not aware,   I have a non-profit 501 (c ) 3  called "Forgiving For Living, Inc., www.forgivingforliving.com  that focuses on helping women and girls with rebuilding their lives who struggle with issues of abuse, abandonment, shame and low self esteem.  Although most of our work is based around Southern California,  this trip allows me to help fulfill my mission across borders.

As I thought and read about the many traditions and events that surround our Thanksgiving season, it is interesting that in the autumn of 1621 it did not start out as a holiday, but rather just a gathering by the pilgrims and the Indians for a good harvest that year.  According to most history records, it would not be looked at as a holiday until 1863 when President Lincoln declared "Thanksgiving Day" a holiday.  Over time most people have also turned it into a long holiday weekend taking Wednesday mid-day until Sunday as "Thanksgiving Weekend."

Thanksgiving is known for families getting together, as a matter of fact it is declared to be the busiest travel weekend in the entire year (yes even more than Christmas).  The food known to surround this gathering are the likes of Turkey, Dressing, Potatoes, Green Beans, Pumpkin, Sweet Potato & Pecan Pies, with all of the extras...however,  feel free to come up with a menu that fits your family and their palate.  In our home traditionally we've had most of the above, but we like to add some Greens, Banana Pudding, and now Katherine's German Chocolate Cake. 

For many this week will also include watching football games or parades.  For some it will also start their Christmas shopping excursions and enjoying the decorations that will go up bringing in Christmas.  Whatever you do, please pause for a moment and think about all of the blessings in your life, no matter what this year may have brought in your life. I know for me it is a transition, my daughter Courtney graduated from college a couple of years ago and now lives in New York and my son Freddy moved out and started college this year, (as a matter of fact as I write this article, both of my children are in Lima Peru for Thanksgiving  helping less fortunate children.  My daughter emailed me yesterday and told me she was teaching little children how to brush their teeth and basic hygiene).  Our  family also experienced the loss of a precious loved one and partners went their separate ways, but through it all, we've learned to give thanks and grow from each experience.  I encourage each of you to stop and look at what you've been able to come through, and if you're still in the storm, be still and know that it will stop raining soon.  After the rain, you too will have a harvest and hopefully give thanks.



Wendy is the founder and president of Personal Services Plus, Inc., an Event Management Company.  Visit  www.personalservicesplus.com  or email her at wendy@personalservicesplus.com

Event Planning With Wendy Gladney

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ImageThis past Thursday I had the opportunity to attend Reverend Jesse Jackson's 66th Birthday Party at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills.  This event was off the chart.  Everyone who was anyone was definitely in attendance!  Special guests included the likes of Berry Gordy, Michael Jackson, sports figures and entertainers alike.  This year's honorees included, "The Respect Me Campaign" championed by Brenda Marsh Mitchell, Athlete Don Newcombe, Larry King, Arlene Holt Baker, Judge Greg Mathis, Harry Belafonte and Monica Lozano.

The décor was simply elegant and the room was packed.  Throughout the night we were entertained by several superb performers. Jin-Jin Reeves and her "Review" were quite entertaining with their throw back to the 60's & 70's. Then Kenny Lattimore and  George Duke with  his Orchestra brought the house down.  Now as an event planner, I have to comment that although this affair was spectacular and had an audience of "who's who" the night went just way too long.  For some reason they were not able to start on time which caused the program to run way into the night.  So I recommend, do your best to start on time, stay on time and you won't lose half your audience before the night is over.  But I guess when you're Reverend Jesse Jackson you can run your program anyway you want (smile).

If you have an event or community question, please email me at Wendy@personalservicesplus.com.  We thank you for supporting those that give back to our community to make it a better place!

Give your all in all that you do. Then the PLUS won't just be more, it will be the difference!


Wendy is the founder and president of Personal Services Plus, Inc., an Event Management Company.  Visit  www.personalservicesplus.com  or email her at wendy@personalservicesplus.com.  

Event Planning With Wendy Gladney Brooks

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Wendy Gladney
With the holidays upon us everyone's planning a party or attending one!  A party is defined as a gathering for social entertainment.  They are meant to be FUN.   As I think about what helps to make a party fun, I think of good music, entertainment or a lively DJ. Depending on your purpose, audience, budget and goals would determine which one would work best for you.

Of course there are several components necessary to have a party...

  • Venue (location)
  • Invites (you can send thru email or snail mail)
  • Are you going to serve food and beverages?
  • Decorations

But at the end of the day what people will remember the most about an old fashion party was whether or not they had fun, were they able to socialize, network and dance.  As they say music soothes the savage beast...that goes for people too!  When we hear good music it brings back memories or builds new ones.  A live band that's versatile is always great, but today there are people who specialize in "spinning" also known as a "DJ."  So when you have that bash, seek out recommendations from friends and co-workers.  Make sure you get someone that comes with a good recommendation.  It's also a good idea if they can send you a sample CD!

Have fun and enjoy the festivities!

If you have an event or community question, please email me at Wendy@personalservicesplus.com.  We thank you for supporting those that give back to our community to make it a better place!

Give your all in all that you do. Then the PLUS won't just be more, it will be the difference!


Wendy is the founder and president of Personal Services Plus, Inc., an Event Management Company.  Visit  www.personalservicesplus.com or email her at wendy@personalservicesplus.com.  

Event Planning With Wendy Gladney Brooks

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Wendy Gladney
October was a crazy and fast paced month for the offices of PSP!  However, we do want to thank everyone for their continued support and business.  Last week the Black Voice News held a breakfast for their Foundation at the Hilton in San Bernardino sponsored by Southern California Edison.  I was able to attend and see  the tremendous support from the community and corporate circles.  Frank Quevdo from Southern California Edison was slated to  bring remarks, however, the fires and a cold held him back.  John Kennedy stepped to the plate and represented the company and showed their continued support for the work of the Foundation.  Thank you! 

As I reflect on the various events that we are honored to be a part of in the community, one of the subjects I think about is the budget.  As many begin to prepare for the holidays and the various events that will take place over the next several weeks, stop and think realistically about the following questions...

o             What is the main goal of your event or function?  Is it to have fun or is it to raise funds?

o             Who's your audience?  Who are you trying to attract?

o             What is your budget?  What resources do you have available to you to accomplish your desire?

This may seem like a very simple question, but you would be surprised how many times people really don't think the financial side through on their project.  Of course most people want champagne on a beer budget.  If you stop and really work through all of the avenues available to you, it might be possible to at least get a good wine.  Are you able to barter for any of the services that you need to accomplish your goals without exhausting your cash flow?  Figure out what are your fixed costs (what you absolutely need to accomplish your event) and what are variables that you can play with?  Once you are able to put all of this down on paper, you will then have a realistic view of what you are working with.

One of the most common mistakes organizations overlook when it comes to the budget is the plus plus (+ + ) that hotels charge on top of their meal fee.  For example, if the hotel says it will cost $50.00 per person ++ , that means you have to add the tax, gratuity and service fee which ends up around an additional $12.00, which means your meal is actually costing you around $62.00.  Get all the facts!

If you have an event or community question, please email me at Wendy@personalservicesplus.com.  We thank you for supporting those that give back to our community to make it a better place!

Give your all in all that you do. Then the PLUS won't just be more, it will be the difference!


Wendy is the founder and president of Personal Services Plus, Inc., an Event Management Company.  Visit  www.personalservicesplus.com  or email her at wendy@personalservicesplus.com.   

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