Monday, March 26, 2012

Planning a Successful Event

This is an introduction to planning and executing a successful event. I will be picking one event type per edition. The first edition is on Furniture hire and rental.

So you think hiring furniture is easy? The short answer to this is yes it can be. There are however some easily made mistakes you need to take into account.

The fist of these is price; you really do need to shop around. Prices can vary supplier to supplier. The lowest price is however not always the best deal overall. As a general guideline, in London, you should be looking to pay around 90 pence - 1.20 for a standard folding chair. These are easily stack-able and therefore very easy to store 500 in a small space. A mid priced Banqueting / conference chair will set you back anything from 1.60 - 2.40. That 80 pence difference would normally be dependent on the amount that you intend to hire. Always negotiate with the supplier, you will never know until you try. One thing I have learned in my 30 odd years in this industry, everything is negotiable.

Always inquire about delivery and collection of your hire goods. It is no small thing collection 500 chairs and transporting them across London.

As a general rule you would be able to fit about 400 folding chairs into a large transit type van. The same sized van would only accommodate about 200 banqueting chairs. For this reason, delivery and collection prices can be substantial part of your order. In London a Transit van complete with driver costs over 700.00 per week to keep on the road. Each of these vehicles will only complete about 4 deliveries or collections a day. If you do the math that means each delivery actually costs the company 35.00. With that in mind anything below that figure and you have a good deal. On larger orders you can expect a 7.5 tonne lorry to turn up. A 7.5tonne vehicle generally would cost the company around 50.00 per delivery. You should now be getting an idea of what you will be paying for delivery. NEGOTIATE!

Always check with the Hire Company how long their standard rental is. You are most often offered only a minimal 24 hour rate while others will allow you 72 hours for the same fee. Always check that you will have enough time to set-up and dismantle you event without inuring extra fees.

The last thing you will need to know is how old is the furniture I am hiring? You need to know this as; there is nothing worse than dirty old event furniture. As a general rule anything over six months old will be sub standard.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Collecting And Trading Personalized Buttons

Personalized buttons make a statement, whether it is about one's business, personal history, or one's beliefs and interests. They are a way of stating "This is who I am, this is what I care about."

Though the modern use of buttons typically advertises business or group affiliations, historically they have been used for many purposes, and collecting these items has developed into a subculture and big business.

A Brief History

Buttons first came into use during the late 1700s, and for a century were used mainly during political campaigns to show party affiliation and candidate preference. Each candidate or party had buttons made up to hand out to supporters. They were a convenient and very mobile way of advertising in the days before electronic media made mass advertising possible.

Before long, marketing experts saw the potential of this medium in everyday promotion of goods, and soon buttons depicting everything from brands to businesses to cartoon characters began to appear.

Today they are a staple at trade shows, organizational meetings, carnivals, and shops. The nostalgic value of buttons has created a demand among collectors from all over the world. There are many web sites devoted to listing, valuing, and advertising buttons by their level of desirability and demand.

Buttons for Collecting and Trading

Buttons as collectibles fall into several different categories: their historic value, nostalgia factor, or personal value, though many buttons are all of these things.

Historic value:

These are typically buttons that commemorate a significant event in history, such as presidential campaigns, major events in history, and military buttons.

Nostalgia factor:

Nostalgia factor is usually relevant to a particular time period or event that is collectively remembered. A very popular example of this is the yellow smiley-face pins from the 1970s. Other examples include:

- Major festivals, such as Woodstock.
- Political conventions.
- Movie openings or art exhibits.
- Cartoon characters.
- Sporting events, such as the Olympic Games or World Series.
- Companies and brands, especially early advertisements, or companies that are no longer in business.

Personal value:

These are buttons that mean something special to the collector, whether it is a collection of buttons depicting a favorite band, a hobby, a sports team, or a cause.

How to Collect Buttons

Some people begin to collect buttons quite by accident. They see a button they like or that has meaning to them, and their collection just mushrooms from there.

If one decides to take up button collecting as a hobby, it is best to take an organized approach. This is for the purpose of display, upkeep, and ease in trading.

Here are some tips on collecting and trading buttons:

- Decide on the focus of your collection, the more specialized it is, the greater the personal and monetary value.
- A cork or foam board is best for displaying a collection. Buttons attach securely, they are light-weight and portable, and the collector can switch out and rotate the display items easily.
- Before you trade, know the value of what you have.
- Learn the etiquette of trade and swap events; Disney has an entire booklet and how, when, and where to trade their items. There are web sites that offer guidelines for the beginning trader.

Whether used to show off family and loved ones, advertise or a collection started for nostalgic purposes, personalized buttons are a fun item to keep, collect, and trade with others who share the same interests.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Top Dog Food Brands of 2012

In order for owners to select the best food for their dog, they must comprehend the differentiations between high and low quality dog foods. There is no doubt that an abundance of dog foods displays the label "complete and well balanced." However, your pet will only flourish on diets rich in quality ingredients that enhance or optimize their ancestral diets more densely.

What Makes a Good Dog Food?

Good food for dogs will consist of natural fats and oils, contains meat based protein, and is free of chemical flavors, preservatives, colors, and byproducts. In addition, it is qualified to meet your dog's nutritional requirements.

Below you will find a list of several top dog foods for 2012. These brands were chosen on how well they compare with the idyllic food for dogs. Ratings are founded on the caliber of each brand's ingredient quality, and the real experiences of those who have fed these brands to their pets.

Top Dog Food Brands 2012

Orijen receives high marks for ingredients and nutritional substance. Its foremost ingredients consist of all meals or meat, poultry or fish. For instance, their "Six Fish" formula includes walleye, fresh salmon, salmon meal, herring, and herring meal with zero byproducts. Following processing, all formulas are supplemented with pro-biotics that enhance the digestive and immune system.

-Blue Buffalo
Blue Buffalo utilizes natural ingredients including "Life Source Bits." These kibble-bits consist of dynamic antioxidants and nutrients that are "cold produced" to sustain their nutritional properties. In fact, Blue Buffalo produces multiple assortments of foods to fulfill the different requirements of each dog counting grain free foods.

The initial ingredient in the majority of their dog foods are meat proteins like chicken, turkey, or fish, ensued by standard supplies of carbohydrates consisting of barley, oatmeal, rye, and whole-ground brown rice. A few formulas contain divisive ingredients such as carrageen and canola oil; however, in minimal amounts.

-The Honest Kitchen
The Honest Kitchen dog food contains such high quality ingredients that they petitioned the FDA for a "human grade" endorsement, and it was approved! Manufactured in the United States, Honest Kitchen is a privately operated and owned company where human food is produced as well. Their food is dehydrated, and water must be applied to re-hydrate it, or it can be utilized as a food supplement. In addition, Honest Kitchen uses no fillers, and foods include an adequate sum of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Much of their dog foods contain fruits and vegetables that are beneficial to your dog's health.

Weruva "Human Style" dog food is a meat-centered, zero grain, wet product that utilizes an abundant quantity of high-quality meats as its core basis of animal protein. Void of any kind of plant supported protein enhancers; Weruva is a wet-food consisting of a rich amount of meat. Dog owners that prefer to imitate a dog's "natural ancestral diet," should select Weruva.


Other brands that meet the overall nutritional standards of a well balanced diet for your dog are Taste of the Wild, Natural Balance, Kirkland, Halo, and Acana. These all contain superb nutrition for your dog's daily diet.

Keep in mind that no dog food exist that is perfect for every stage of your dog's life. Therefore, be sure to choose wisely and check with your veterinarian if you are unsure.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Fifty Shades Of Grey Effect!

The Ripple (or Domino) Effect-- ever heard of it? An effect that is sparked by a single event or person and leads others to follow or events to take place. Fifty Shades of Grey has sparked a series of domino effects. For one, it has led stay at home moms and the traditional woman to voice their needs and desires more in the bedroom. Many mother support groups, women's online communities, and neighborhood book clubs have voiced the impact that this book has had within their own relationships and sex lives as it has stirred up a desire, a notion, a fantasy, that maybe not everything in life has to be mundane and predictable. Maybe there are aspects of one's adult life that can be new, fun, and exciting. Fifty Shades of Grey has caused a domino effect in bringing wants, desires, and voices to be heard by women in the bedroom.

Another effect that Fifty Shades of Grey has had on society is not only sparking new conversation, but bringing forth the work of other brilliant authors. Fifty Shade's of Grey sales topping over 20 million has caused a ripple effect and spoke in sales of Tallis Scholars' book from the Renaissance era, "Spem in Alium" which is a forty part motet that had very provocative and sexual scenes, themed very similar to that of the fictional characters E.L. James created-- Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey. Who would have thought that Summer 2012's most sexual and entertaining steamy series would recreate a new success and interest in a fifty part series that is over four hundred years old?

The success of this book series continues to climb. E.L. James remains to be thankful and grateful for the book's success and tweets daily about her excursions all over the world for her book signing, leaving "Laters Baby" pins at her signings and keeping track of the fans' excursions and photos with them.

While the book continues to break records, the anticipation of the movie casting continues to make us anxiously await the roles that we've read about and fantasied about for so long. E.L. James has tweeted that the movie is far from being released but we can't wait to hear the latest movie news (hopefully) end of this week. EL James never expected the book to be this popular and with the up coming movie some say it will be even bigger than the book sales. We will have to wait and see in 2013.