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Monday, March 7, 2011

When Event Planning & PR Collide: Yvonne's Interview with "Three Events & PR"

This month, Yvonne's Invitations & Favors is very proud to have Maria Lago, owner of Three Events & PR, as our featured blog guest! Three Events & PR is an event planning and public relations boutique that specializes in creating beautiful and trendy special events, public relations, marketing and communication management serving the beauty, hospitality, fashion and entertainment industries.

Three is among Yvonne's Invitations
& Favors "Vendor Community"
Contact Yvonne for Marketing
& Partnership Opportunities!
We invited Three to share their inspiration behind the agency's creative vision. During this interview, Three shares their expertise of the public relations and event planning fields and offers advice to other entrepreneurs on getting their name out there.

Q: Maria, please explain to my readers what you do and what your business is about.
A: My business is two-fold, there's the event planning side and the public relations side. Event Planning is my passion, it's what I'm good at! I love every aspect of it, even the not so glamourous side, which every business has. I take events and match them to the image of the company who's playing host. I also do social events and those are handled on a more delicate canvas, they're more personal so they get a bit more TLC than the corporate events. Public Relations is the other side of my business which I also enjoy! I can be approached to help a client with a PR plan and execute their needs within that field. What I truly love is when the two collide and I need to plan an event that will need the PR.

Q: Where did your inspiration come from on starting your own pr/event company?
A: Like I said, my first love is Event Planning, but bringing in my education of the Communications and the Public Relations field I thought it complimented the Event Planning nicely. Pairing them both together only enhanced my skills and have helped me reach not only the clients who want to host events, but the ones that need the Public Relations. It allows me to reach a more broader audience and meet great people! The reason I started my own business is the good ol' 'Be Your Own Boss' reason. Who doesn't want to be the boss? Aside from the cliché reason, I get to execute my vision as I like it, the image of the company is mine, and it is something that I am very proud of. 
Join Three on May 11th for a Charity
Fundraising Event benefiting the
SPCA of Westchester, NY!
For more info visit
Three Gets Furry facbook page!

Q. What does the "three" in your company name & logo stand for?
A: Three is nothing more than my number, it's my lucky number, it's my favorite number, my beeper code number (remember those!?) it was even my soccer number in high school! It's just a number that people who know me on a personal level have always associated me with. It's a simple concept, it's neutral and can cater to any audience. Once I decided to call it Three of course I had to add the events & pr part of it since I needed to be clear about what the company's focus was. Aside from all of that I have come to imagine it as Three parts of my business, one; the event planning, two; the public relations and finally three; a fusion of both one and two.  

Q: Please explain the "pr" part of your business. What services do you offer?
A: Public Relations is needed by all kinds of businesses and individuals. Whether you're a florist, a restaurant or a singer/songwriter; public relations is something that could help anyone who has a message to send to the public. With this comes media / press coverage, press kit designs and now-a-days social media marketing. The social media spectrum is growing every day with sites like Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin being at the top. It is crucial for any business to have all three in order to keep up with the masses. It is a commitment, but it will deliver your message and most importantly it costs you nothing to use these services!

Q: What advice would you give to a small business owner or entrepreneur just starting out, on how to get their name out there?
A: Network, network, network! You want to meet anyone who is high profile and in your area. You will be surprised as to who knows who and how you can connect with people who are more than willing to help out! Everyone's been in that position at one time or another. Networking events are a great place to start! Once you connect with businesses and individuals that will help your business rise make sure to keep those relationships. Making connections is easy, keeping relationships is what counts!

Three says it on a Personalized Candy Bar By Yvonne!
Candy bars make great marketing tools.
Just like a business card except yummy.
Visit Yvonne's Etsy Shop for Candy Bars

Q: What are the 3 most common mistakes you see people do when using social media?
A: The number one common mistake is having a Facebook or Twitter and not be active on it. It says a lot about a company if you log on to their accounts and notice they haven't been active for months. People want to see your updates and what the company is up to. This can translate into whether the consumer thinks your company is "hot & happening" or not. I know if I'm researching let's say a restaurant and I see they are inactive or have a weak website, I'll be more inclined to go to the restaurant with all the tweets, status updates, promotions and nice website over the one who doesn't.
     Second is not having the respective social media buttons linked to your website. For example, I have links on my website linking the visitor to my Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin accounts, then my Facebook to my Twitter and website and so on. They should all be connected to each other on some level and don't forget to remind people where they can find you other than on the social site they are currently using.    
     Lastly, I see businesses who only use one mean of social media, and that will only connect you to one type of person who's connected to that specific site. I will find myself going on a website, finding interesting enough for a certain brand of social media that I'm using and not for another. For example, if I go on a website and they only have a Facebook when I was looking for a Twitter account I will most likely not 'like' them on Facebook because I don't feel like having my Facebook newsfeed clogged with updates from that specific company but wouldn't mind the same company on Twitter. For those who know of both sites, know that they both have a very distinct end result than the other. My advice is to have both so you can reach as many people as possible!

Q: Explain the "event planning" portion of your business and what you offer.
A: I offer event planning for both corporate clients and individuals looking to throw a social event or intimate gathering. I like the fact that this gives me a broad range of events that I can plan for a variety of clients. A corporate client could need a product launch, store opening or charity event which I would take on all the logistics of the project and execute accordingly. A social event such as a wedding or gathering for any occasion would entail in how much help the individual needed in the planning. Either way, it could be some help or helping plan the whole event. Event planners are truly indispensable to any event!

Q: What do you like most about the event planning side of your business?
A: The planning! I love to plan, set things up, make lists, organize and watch the final product come to life! An event is like one of those impossible 1,000 piece puzzles I used to try and complete when I was a kid. Each piece symbolizes one detail, and in that detail another detail is tied to it. Once all the pieces are being placed together the event is coming to life and truly completed when all the details come together to form the perfect picture puzzle. The same feeling you get of accomplishment and of witnessing your hard work is the same feeling I get when I look around one of my events. I'm just upset I can't grab that live shot and frame it like you could the puzzle, but of course that's when a great photographer comes in handy!

Q: What is the biggest advantage of hiring a professional event planning firm?
A: The biggest advantage is expertise. Event planners know all the new trends, know all the good vendors and will put together the details without stress to the client. Once an event planner has a family of vendors you can be sure they work with them on a regular basis and with that, get more discounts for the client who wouldn't get any on their own. The event planner will always have your best interest at heart. I don't know of any planner who wouldn't want to make their client's event spectacular! Not only do we get joy from the joy our clients feel to see a successful event, but the event is a reflection of our work and this is what we pride ourselves on.

Q: Where do you see your business in 5 years?
A: I see it flourished and maturing. Having the same humility and determination of greatness our roots have possessed.

Q: How do you plan to get there?
A: Honesty, trust, pleasantries and successful results for my clients.

We thank Maria Lago, Owner of Three Events & PR for stopping by and sharing with us their inspiration and expert advice. We wish Three much continued success!!  If you are interested in learning more about Three's Event Planning and/or PR services, please viist their website or facebook page and let them know Yvonne's Invitations & Favors sent you!