Archive for the ‘Alumni Events’ Category


Are signature drinks a must have?

Posted in: Adult Birthday Party, Affordable Birmingham Wedding, Alumni Events, Anniversary Party, Birmingham Class Reunions, Christmas Party Venue, Corporate Event, Engagement Party, Food At Your Wedding, Graduation Party, Holiday Party, New Years Eve Party, Party Venue, Rehearsal Dinner, Sorority and Fraternity Parties, Uncategorized, Wedding, Wedding Photographs, Wedding Receptions, Wedding Traditions, Weddings | No Comments »

If you are wanting to do a signature drink make sure it matches you as a couple. Some are to worried about it matching their wedding colors and the drink may not taste so great! Make sure it taste good and is not loaded with dyes. Also make sure that drink can be made virgin too so everyone can try it. Don’t make the signature drink the only drink available (yes I have seen this done). You can just have beer, wine and your signature drink if you are not doing a full open bar or if you are doing a full open bar,  have a few other fun cocktails. Here are plenty to think about:


Birmingham Venue Lists Details That Make Or Break An Alumni Event

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As you start your ALumni Event planning, The managers of Woodrow Hall would like you to remember some of these often forgotten issues!

Entertainment needs to be planned for early. The most sought after bands book up early. DJs do not typically need as long of a lead time, but remember to give them plenty of information about your event and assist them in planning.

Catering: Ask your venue for advice on catering. There are numerous mistakes that can cause problems but the biggest: Caterers are often understaffed at events. Make sure you insist on one attendant for every 25 people for a sit down event and one for every 40-50 for a buffet.

Alcohol is an expensive option to offer. You may wish to offer a sangria or a signature drink for free along with a cash bar for those who choose to have other types of alcohol. Close the bar about an hour prior to the end of the event to allow the people to drive home safely.

Décor: Less is better. Keep centerpieces low so people can see each other. Candles are often not allowed or must be used in special containers at many venues. Ask before you purchase these! Often the event can provide centerpieces for a much lower cost than rental companies.

Equipment for your event is typically simple. A projector, a plasma screen TV, speakers and microphones… you get it. But remember if you are using an Apple product you may need to bring an adapter for the projector. Also, it never hurts to have a backup computer and USB drive with your material on it.

Signage can be expensive. And if you do not plan well prior to the event, it will cost a LOT more. Plan ahead. Also, some events have black boards that are portable. Ask… it is a very inexpensive alternative to a printed yard (type) sign!

Nametags should be made before hand but have the necessary material available for making extra ones on site. Make sure you have a printer and computer and ask about extension cords and a power source.

Plan for parking. Walking a mile in the rain will not enamor you to your guests! Make sure the venue has sufficient nearby parking… or hire a valet service! Also make sure you hire a security person to walk the parking lot. Women will appreciate it and it will ensure an uneventful evening!

Make sure you bring your checkbook or credit card. Most events will want most of their money up front, but it is almost inevitable that you will have some last minute charges. It is easier to obtain a discount if you pay at the end of the evening… ask!

Make sure you publicly honor your volunteers. They have taken a lot of their time to assist and a few words of thanks, a bouquet for the women or a small gift for the guys will go a long way toward keeping them involved in the future.

Set up a Face Book page or a website. Have a photographer take plenty of photos and post them quickly. Ask the venue if they know a local photographer who can do this for a good price. Offering your alumni an opportunity to view photos after the party will keep them involved next year!

Woodrow Hall would love to host your next alumni event. WIth over 10,000 sq feet of space divided into several venues, we can serve both small (50-100 people) and large events (up t0 350 people). We offer VERY affordable rates and have a historic, restored venue with plenty of charm, lots of added features, a highly trained staff and a friendly atmosphere.

Call 205-243-4243 for any questions or to set up a visit! You will not be disappointed!


Alumni Events: Birmingham Venue Offers Planning Guidance

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There are literally hundreds of Birmingham Alumni Events each year in Birmingham. With numerous local colleges and universities and plenty of alumni from other universities, this city has numerous events each week!

If you are called upon to plan an alumni event, where do you start? This blog series gives you the individual steps to make your event a success!

Talk to Your Alumni Association
Remember that the Alumni Association of your college or university probably has help for you. Call them and ask for their staff liaison and see what they have to offer! They probably have specific policies you need to be aware of if you are using the name of the institution for your marketing.

Written Plan and Binder
Start by creating a filing system on your computer as well as a physical binder for the event. You will need the physical binder for signed contracts as well as a working copy of various forms etc. Both of these will contain the planning documents. The plan should contain all of the information below as well as contact numbers, copies of contracts, lists of potential attendees etc.

Start by defining your goals and objectives. What is the purpose? How would you define success? Is the local chapter or club involved and what is their view on this event?

Select a Date and Time
Remember that the event should not conflict with other community events of import. Also, it should not conflict with major college events as many alumni will attend them decreasing your attendance.

Set a Budget
Most clubs and chapters of college alumni are responsible for their own funding. The budget should be adequate enough to have a successful event. The budget should contain line items for each individual expense. Remember that some of the money will be needed up front to reserve the venue and to give deposits for various vendors. Budget items to include are: venue rental, catering, marketing, photographer, postage, web site design, printed material, parking, entertainment, equipment and décor rental, security, service and clean up fees, honorarium.

Do you plan a written or electronic invitation, if written, what type: flyer, postcard, newsletter, printed card and envelope? How many do you need? When should it arrive? Do you want to have a Save-The-Date mailing? From whom do you obtain the contact information for the mailings?

Invitations obviously come in a wide variety of forms. No matter what you choose, any invitation should contain: Name of Event, Date/place/time, Attire, Directions, RSVP information, Tax deductibility of donations, name to write donation if applicable.

Finding a Venue
Venues come in all shapes and sizes and offer numerous styles. The most important issue in choosing a venue is the expected attendance. There are plenty of venues that can hold 50 people, 350 is another story. In general venues charge in proportion to their size. You should find one that is a little bigger than you expected attendance to save money.

Also, remember that privately run venues generally have a lower operating cost than the major hotels. They also typically have much more charm, something that makes your event much more meaningful for your attendees.

Book your venue early. They book up on weekends and holidays as long as 14-16 months in advance! Great venues are in high demand. Choose carefully, but choose early!

Woodrow Hall has two separate, historic, restored banquet halls. The larger one can hold up to 350. The smaller easily seats 100. We have attempted to maintain the vintage look in the furnishings and lighting. But at the same time, we have added LCD projectors, plasma screen TVs, modern sound systems and lots of other great restoration touches! Call 205-243-4243 for more information and for an appointment to visit!


Last Minute Advice For Your Alumni Event Spoken By A Birmingham Venue Manager

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You have spent months planning an Alumni Event. The BIG day has arrived. These last minute items need to be done to get across the finish line!

Arrive early
Walk through the entire facility
Bring schedule, instructions, contact sheet, all contracts, seating and table charts, name tags, sign in sheets, walkie-talkies, first-aid supplies, camera, pens and tape, paper, extension cords, laser pointer
Check sound and equipment and make sure those manning them know how to use them
Brief your volunteers and thank them for their support privately
Set up the venue
Put out programs, handouts, donation cards, envelopes, etc
Set up your registration table
Plan for the flow of invitees:
Signs directing them to the correct floor/room
Appropriate number of check in sheets alphabetical and by table
Pertinent event information is shared or accessible to all staffers
Greet your speakers, dignitaries, honored guests
Have a suggestion box for your attendees, ask for their advice on the venue, the event and future events
Announce fire exits and rest room locations
Pay final bills

Have Fun!

With two ballrooms and over 10,000 sq feet of space, Woodrow Hall has lots of experience in running successful events. Give us a call (205-243-4243) to discuss your next event!