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

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 🙂

let the wedding planning begin!

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This 7,200 square foot hall provides a commanding view of Geneva Lake. It handles 350-400 for sit down dinners

It’s official, Patrick Klepek and I picked a date!!! 8-10-12!

Here’s the venue: The Riviera. It’s beautiful. Right on the shores of Lake Geneva, it’s not only a venue, but is a dock for boats, a pier for tours, and has a bunch of fun shops in it. The view of the upstairs ballroom overlooks the lake and is naturally gorgeous without even decorating it. BONUS: it’s super cheap AND we can BYOB without a licensed bartender (SAVINGS $$$).

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From left to right: strawberry rhubarb, chocolate chocolate, red velvet, carrot cake, and two servings of peanut butter mousse that we tried on top of brownies!

I tried on my mom’s wedding dress, which my grandma handmade. It literally fit like a glove. I couldn’t believe it. I mean, I am going to change the neckline and upper portion of the dress (I’m thinking of a sweetheart strapless neckline), but shh…I have to keep it a secret from Patrick!

We also had time for cupcake tasting and that was a huge success. The amazing pastry chef at OMG Cupcakes came up with the idea of mini cupcake displays for each of the tables in 3-tiered stands with a floral arrangement on the first tier. Kills two birds with one stone, because no I don’t have to worry about centerpieces for the tables! On the bridal party’s table, she will do a bigger cupcake display with a cake topper on the first tier, which Patrick and I will cut into and then save the other half for our 1 year. The flavors we picked were strawberry rhubarb, carrot cake, and a chocolate brownie with peanut butter mousse! OH MY!!!

I already have a bunch of things crossed off the list from one trip home, pretty successful! I was even able to squeeze in family and friends, an engagement bonfire, and a girlie sleepover with some of my bridesmaids.

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My little sister and I at the Horticultural Hall, while venue shopping.

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My mom and sister, getting dogs in the park!

My shotguns hanging by the lake: Kristen, Emma, and I!

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I'm definitely in Wisconsin: bloody mary, little can of Miller Lite, and fried cheese curds!

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The whole Klepek gang and I taking a ride in the Jeepster. (We are definitely driving away in this after we are hitched!)

Of course, it’s only the beginning of planning. I will make sure to post along the way. But until then…

❤ the shark