Virtual Celebrations With Wander/Gather's Jessica Alonso

    November 24 2020

    Virtual Celebrations With Wander/Gather's Jessica Alonso

    November 24 2020  |  Inspiration , Marketing

    PLANOLY - Blog Post - Wander Gather - Feature Image

    Among the many changes that the pandemic has thrust upon our lives, the hospitality industry underwent one of the most extreme transitions. Many businesses were forced to close and those that did not needed to pivot their focus in order to survive. We sat down with PLANOLY customer, Jessica Alonso, to discuss how she approached reinventing her business during this time.  Jessica is the founder of Wander/Gather and sister company The Ex-Box, and was not only able to keep her business alive but enabled it to thrive impressively.

    “I knew we were going to be affected, but I refused to let it be a negative thing,” Jessica said. “Initially, there was an overwhelming fear regarding not only losing my income but also this two-year project that has been such an integral part of who I am today. Eventually, I took on a fearless attitude in order to try new things in pivoting my business. Because in reality, I had nothing to lose and the situation was simply out of my control.”

    So, with nothing to lose, Jessica redesigned her business from the ground up. Wander/Gather is more than an event planning company; they curate unforgettable, socially-distanced experiences unique to their clients' vision to provide a seamless interaction for those looking to plan an escape from the recurring scenery of their homes. Wander/Gather likes to think nothing is impossible, as they are a team dedicated to coming up with creative solutions to build connections between guests.

    But what about those who aren’t fortunate enough to have a large gathering space in their home or who are unable to be with their loved ones in person? Jess saw the value that a carefully thought out gift holds, and that is how The Ex-Box was born.

    “The Ex-Box creates an irreplaceable bond between the sender and the giftee, giving you a sense of belonging from afar,” Jess told us. “This is going to be not only a new way of gifting, but more importantly, a new way of connecting. When you can't be together in person, sending a gift is a special way to show how much you care about someone.”

    The Ex-Box is coming in handy this holiday season allowing you to embrace the holiday spirit, even in the face of change. It is the perfect way to remain festive and connected with your loved ones, colleagues, and anyone who may need a holiday mood booster.

     

    Updated Planoly Video

    7 Tips to Hosting Virtual Events

    To help you pivot your holiday celebrations this year, Jessica has shared seven easy tips to make the most of your New Year's Eve celebration as we say goodbye to 2020 for good! Let’s dive in:

    1. Have steps to follow prior to, during, and after your event. 

    Having an organized list of goals for your event will help ensure seamless execution and help you make sure no key details are left out or overlooked. Whether it’s on paper or in a document on your computer, organization is so important to guarantee a successful event and will alleviate stress so you can enjoy the fruits of your labor!

    2. Make it as interactive as possible - choose your favorite virtual games or have your guests create the music playlist before the event! 

    Allowing your guests to take part in the event is a great way to make a memorable experience. This is an especially great way to help break the ice with new friends meeting for the first time. Give your guests something to do and help take the load off of you. That way you can focus on making sure the rest of the event runs smoothly.

    PLANOLY - Blog Post - Wander_Gather - Image 2
    PLANOLY - Blog Post - Wander_Gather - Image 1

    3. Have a team to help you out - everything from tech issues to handling all of the virtual guests, you should have a team to help with whatever you may need during the event. 

    As they say, it takes a village! Whether they’re your best friends, family, or coworkers, bring in your team to help you execute your event. Events, in general, can be a lot to juggle. Throw in making it virtual and you’re going to need your squad there with you to make sure it all goes smoothly and help out.

    4. Be prepared - things can arise during an in-person event, which means the same can occur virtually, so expect the unexpected!

    Be ready for anything to happen during your event. From the internet going out, to frozen screens, to guests forgetting to mute themselves, it’s going to happen. Just go with the flow! No one is expecting you to be perfect. Have fun, relax, and enjoy the time spent with those you love.

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    PLANOLY - Blog Post - Wander_Gather - Image 4

    5. Run a few tests before the event - make sure you feel comfortable using your platform of choice.

    This is another great way to implement your team. Set up a practice run-through of your event and make sure everything is running smoothly. Practice your virtual game, make sure you know how to share your screen, etc. This will help you feel comfortable during the event and able to let loose and have fun with your guests.

    6. Promote the event before, ask for feedback after

    Remind guests of your event beforehand to ensure everyone is on the same page for potential event themes and plans. This will also help you answer any questions about how things went. It’s always great to know what went well and what areas could be improved on.

    7. Encourage engagement - for example, have questions prepared to fill potential silent spaces.

    Like having virtual games or music prepared for your guests, have a few questions set aside to get the conversation going! Even if everyone knows each other, it can sometimes be strange to get used to a virtual event so asking questions will help break the ice and get the party going!

     

    A Special Offer for the PLANOLY Community

    Austin residents can use the promo code CREATEJOY for 15% off an in-home experience!

    For PLANOLY users outside of Austin, they didn’t forget about you! Use the code SENDJOY for 15% off "The Ex Box" package! Book their services for your next virtual event here.

     

    Instagram:@wander.gather
    Website: theex-box.com
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    Learn more about Evan, on PLANOLY

    Evan

    Evan Welsh is the public relations coordinator at PLANOLY. Reach out to him with any media or influencer relations questions.

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