Born to Plan

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kt_planningAs Miley Cyrus says, “we can’t stop.” Event planners are addicted to planning. There is no end to our madness! I plan what I am going to eat, what my weekend adventures are, what I’m going to wear, my life and everything in it. I’m addicted. Like Charlie Sheen is to #winning, event planners are to #planning. We don’t know how to stop doing what we are good at. Here are some of my tips, tricks and advice for planning:

  1. You have to take time to make time. Use your calendar and schedule out your day. Break down what you need to accomplish and block out chunks of time in your day to work on those items. Our team uses Asana for our project management for client work. Some of our team is also using it for their personal tasks too.
  2. Be proactive instead of reactive. It’s a whole lot easier to accomplish goals and objectives by planning for them. Think ahead and try to consider all obstacles.
  3. Don’t get stuck always preparing and never doing. Always continue the idea with an action. Be a doer! You’ll feel more confident by accomplishing tasks as you are planning for more.
  4. Prioritize. Take time to review what needs to get done today VS what has to get done this week. Make a list and number from most important to least. Our CEO, Karen Hartline, loves to write out tasks on brightly colored post-it notes that she sticks all over her monitor and desk. As she completes a task, she crumples up the post-it and tosses it in the wastebasket. Physically tossing out the task after it’s been complete is rewarding for her. I love making lists and crossing them out as task are completed. If I don’t get to something that day, I highlight it in a bright color to remind myself to add it to tomorrow’s list.
  5. Reward yourself for GTD’ing (getting thing done). Working hard deserves a high five. Go for that mani/pedi, buy that new pair of shoes, and order that $7.99 movie OnDemand. Treat yourself.

I’ve always got a plan for everything. And if for some reason I don’t, I have the instincts to think quick on my feet and come up with one. Most of my friends look to me to figure out plans when we hang out. Paying the bill at dinner, I’m usually the one taking charge, collecting money, and making sure that there’s enough gratuity included. It’s not only out of habit, but I generally like being able to plan it out. It’s a valuable trait that I take for granted. I’m proud to be a planner.

What do you like to plan? Do you have any planning tips to share? Feel free to tweet @reinventevents or @katetheshark using #planning and share your ideas.

Katie_Signature

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I’m married, swam with sharks, and BIG NEWS!

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reading our vows.

First of all, I just tied the knot with my best friend, Patrick Klepek. Yep, we are hitched! We went back to the Chicagoland area to celebrate on Lake Geneva (the Hamptons of the Midwest). It was a fabulous celebration and I couldn’t be more thankful for all of my family and friends that could help celebrate.

Watch our vows and the rest of the ceremony. You might want a tissue.

You can check out some of our pictures on our photographer’s website: Tom Root Photography. His pictures are beautiful. Tom Root was a pleasure to work with and I would use him again in a heartbeat!

For our honeymoon, we explored the islands of Maui and Honolulu. We zip-lined across a dormant volcano, jumped into waterfalls, explored locations Lost was filmed on, fed baby hammerheads, and learned how to stand up paddle surf. But most of all, I finally made my dream come true: I swam with sharks, Galapagos sharks to be exact. It was terrifying and fun at the same time. Check it out here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=56LSjDiGDew&feature=plcp. Here’s some awesome pics to recap:

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i spy a shark in the waters.

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the sharks really liked the GoPro camera.

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growing increasingly terrified to get in the cage.

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WE DID IT! post-cage diving with the sharks.

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the waterfalls from Lost.

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Patrick is kind of the falls.

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nerding out over Lost rules!

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The Others camp!

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Where it all started. Lost pilot FTW!

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Patrick was so excited to finally get to this beach.

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the church where it all came to an end. #LOST

And my BIGGEST news is that I joined forces with my partner in crime, Karen Hartline, to start a new event production company, Reinventing Events. Karen and I have a blast together and really know how to work side-by-side to produce creative and strategic events. We are still super new and are working hard to get our brand out there. If you have event production needs for holiday parties, SXSW, conferences, launch events, receptions, or anything else, I’d love to chat! If you want to stay up-to-date with me and what’s happening at Reinventing Events, you can sign-up for our newsletter. Promise not to spam you! 😉

Hope to hear back from all of you. Thanks in advance for checking out my sweet shark video 🙂

SXSW conquered

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although i am running the event, i always rock a Lone Star.

the last few days have been quite a blur, as i have been swept up in the Austin, TX madness that is SXSW.  joining the Mashable crew for my first SXSW was quite an exciting endeavor.  we rocked a two-day party at the largest venue right outside the downtown convention center, at Buffalo Billiards.

the staff at Buffalo Billiards was one of the most hardworking crew i’ve ever seen.  they were always cheerful, no matter how many double shifts in a row they worked.   the bartenders were attentive and always seemed to know when i needed a water or a tall boy of my new favorite local beer, Lone Star.

the first night of the #MashHouse, DJ Chicken George slammed down the house with a nonstop dance party.  he was incredible!  when Prince’s “Kiss” started, i went crazy on the dance floor with my Chicago friend, Lello!

DJ Chicken George at the #SXSW #MashHouse

i loved that even though i was running the party, i had chances to chat with old and new friends, dance, and enjoy myself!

during both Sunday and Monday (3/13-3/14), Mashable took over Buffalo Billiards.  we had tons of events happening all at once including: Facebook Live interviews, the first SXSW Geek Games, Sony’s Bloggie Bootcamp, VIP Dinner and Cocktails, and a DJ house party hosted by DJ Chicken George (3/13) and Eclectic Method (3/14).

one of my favorite memories of SXSW was the Geek Games: 64 participating teams consisting of two to five players participated in a single-elimination tournament of head-to-head matches in bowling, Twister, shuffleboard, trivia and more.

@divasanddorks won the final round of Geek Games, walking away with a Sony Internet TV, 2 Sony PS3s, tons of PS3 games, and other cool schwag from Mashable's sponsors!

participants competed for all the geek glory and a sweet prize package.  a $25 team participation fee funds a full week of mentoring for a child from Big Brothers Big Sisters.  it was a good cause and a great turnout!

and let’s not forget the incredible team that i have the pleasure to work with on a daily basis…Mashable really killed it this year at SXSW.  not only did we host a two-day event from 10 AM until 2 AM, but we had extraordinary coverage. this morning, Ad Age reports that Mashable is the top-mentioned brand at SXSWihttp://bit.ly/ign8X6.

our newly formed Mashable Events team is growing and i got to meet our newest member, Rachel, for the first time. she works in the New York headquarters, while both Karen and I are in the “Best Coast,” in San Francisco.

Mashable's kickass Events Team: Karen, Kate, and Rachel.

SXSW was a blast.  i look forward to next year!  i met some incredible people, ate some delicious food, and enjoyed rides from the Uber pedicab.  lots of memories that i will cherish.

thanks Austin, Mashable, Buffalo Billiards, High Beam Events, all the Geek Gamers, all of the amazing Mashable fans, CNN, all of the inspiration women from Digitini, and everyone else I met during SXSW.

❤ the shark