corporate retreat

How to Plan a Successful Corporate Retreat: Expert Tips From a Dallas Event Planner

Did you know that a corporate retreat can not only boost employee productivity, but morale as well? 

When organized in a thoughtful manner, corporate retreats can encourage collaboration, while rewarding your team for their hard work. 

What are the key benefits of hosting a corporate retreat? What is the best way to plan a retreat? Continue reading to learn more. 

Benefits of Corporate Retreats 

Before planning a corporate retreat, it is important to reflect on the goals of the retreat. Why are you hosting a retreat? What do you hope to accomplish by planning a retreat for your team members? 

As suggested above, corporate retreats have attractive benefits that can help take your business to the next level. It all starts with your employees.

Retreats are designed to provide an opportunity for your employees to grow as professionals. More so, retreats serve as enjoyable motivators. They are meant to be fun and social engagements. 

From scavenger hunts to mind games, entertaining activities can teach your employees more about teamwork, strategy, and critical thinking. Not only can retreats help with mastering essential skills, but can also encourage your team members to think more creatively.

As an example, you plan an activity in which you ask your employees to gather in small teams and dream up the next big project for your company (on the condition that money is not an object). The task excites your team and encourages them to think out of the box.

This, in turn, lets them think innovatively without the fear of failure or judgment. Not only does the activity boost employee creativity, but it also may present some great ideas to consider exploring! 

If there are certain skills you wish to address in a corporate retreat, be sure to plan activities accordingly. A company event planner can help you select activities that highlight these skills in an engaging and enjoyable way. 

Determine Who Will Be Attending 

When planning a corporate retreat, one of the first tasks to consider is determining who will be attending. Depending on the size of your company, you may wish to invite your whole team, or just a department (ex. marketing, finance, etc). Some companies may plan retreats that are strictly for company executives or leaders, such as Apple’s Top 100 retreats under co-founder Steve Jobs. 

Determining who will be attending is dependent on the goals of the retreat. If a specific department in your company has been performing well but could use some motivation, a retreat could be the perfect opportunity to show that you care. 

Knowing how many individuals are invited to attend is essential before selecting a location for the retreat. 

Be Creative with the Location

Location matters. One of the most fun aspects of planning a corporate retreat is selecting a thoughtful location.

Whether you want to host the retreat nearby your headquarters or out of state, there are plenty of options to consider. Some retreats may be held at major houses or compounds that offer seclusion. While others are hosted at hotels in major cities. 

Considering the time of year is a thoughtful perspective to selecting a location. If it is summertime, your employees may appreciate having quick access to a pool or beach.

On the other hand, if it is winter, your employees may love attending a retreat in snowy mountain terrain. During meeting breaks, they can enjoy snowboarding or skiing on the slopes! 

As with every key decision regarding the retreat, selecting a location is ultimately dependent on retreat goals. A private environment may be the perfect place for your employees to socialize, grow, and have fun. 

Plan Transportation Needs

While selecting a location is a critical step in the corporate retreat planning process, it is equally important to plan for transportation needs.

Depending on the location you choose, you may need to fly your employees to the retreat. Book tickets well in advance and see if you can get a bulk discount. 

A common retreat transportation method is bus charters. Buses can transport your team to the retreat location and to any off-site events. The benefits of charting a bus include that it is convenient, safe, and cost-effective. 

Retreats Should Reflect Company Culture 

Retreats are enjoyable getaways, but they still are business trips. Throughout the planning stages of a retreat, it is essential that all activities reflect your company’s culture. 

A retreat is an opportunity to have your team members practice company values. Through the various activities you plan, you can encourage your team members to embrace company goals. 

You may wish to have a dress code for certain events or meals and that is more than okay. Additionally, when creating banners or any other materials for the retreat, be sure that they reflect company branding. 

Staying true to company culture is imperative for a retreat to prove successful. 

Retreats Should Not Only Address Skills, But Encourage Fellowship

Fellowship is a common retreat goal and for great reason. One of the best results of a successful corporate retreat is that your employees bonded and build friendships.

Collaboration is far more effective when team members work well together and care about each other. Retreats are all about providing a safe and fun space for employees to get to know each other better. 

Plan an Engaging Corporate Retreat Today

If you are seeking to plan a corporate retreat, Total Events DFW is here to help! 

As an experienced company event planner, we have helped many companies plan thoughtful and fun retreats. Our team desires to make your vision a reality. We will guide you throughout the planning process and help you create the ultimate retreat for your team. 

To learn more about us and our event planning services, please contact a member of our team today. We look forward to serving you! 

Choose a DJ

How to Choose a DJ in Dallas-Fort Worth

When you hear a song, do you often find your mind flooded with memories? Studies show that music has a profound impact on memories and emotions.

When you ask people what they’ll remember about an event like a wedding, they’ll often say the music. This is why finding a DJ is so imperative to the success of your event.

But, how do you choose a DJ? It may feel like a difficult task to accomplish, but we’re here to help. Read our guide below to learn what to look for.

Experience and Reputation

You want to choose a DJ who has experience in performing at events similar to yours. Head to their website and online reviews to see what other clients have said about their services. A good reputation is an excellent indicator of a DJ’s skill and professionalism.

Music Selection

When planning an event, choose a DJ that has a vast music library that caters to your tastes and preferences. A solid DJ will have all sorts of genres to please diverse audiences. Discuss your favorite songs, genres, etc., to be played at your event before hiring them.

Equipment and Backup Plans

Does the DJ have the proper equipment to handle the size and acoustics of your event? You’ll want to inquire about their backup plan in case of any technical issues (sound system, laptop, etc.). Technical difficulties do happen so be sure the show can go on.

Professionalism and Communication

When searching for a professional DJ in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, you’ll want one that arrives on time, dresses appropriately, and knows how to interact with guests. Communication skills are a must and they should take the time to understand your vision for your event. A good indicator is a DJ who responds promptly to emails and calls and is easy to work with.


Always stick to your budget when you choose a DJ—especially for corporate events. Consider the DJ’s pricing structure and services included in their package.

Some DJs will charge per hour while others offer a flat rate. Know what you’re paying for (including any additional costs) before signing the contract.


Finding a DJ can be tougher closer to your event date. So, be sure to perform a search well ahead of time. 


One way to find a great DJ is through referrals from friends, family, or event planners. Ask for recommendations and follow up with those DJs to see if they are available and fit your criteria. You can also ask the DJ for references from past clients to get a sense of their work.

Personality and Style

The DJ’s personality and style can greatly impact the atmosphere of your event. Some DJs are more interactive with the crowd, while others focus on the music. Determine the type of DJ you want based on your event’s theme and the vibe you want to create.

Meeting in Person

It’s essential to meet the DJ in person before hiring them to ensure they’re the right fit. Use this opportunity to discuss your event’s details and vision, and ask any questions you may have. This can help build a rapport with the DJ and ensure they understand your expectations.

Contracts and Agreements

Before you choose a DJ for your event, be sure to review and sign a contract that outlines the terms and conditions of their service. Ensure you fully understand the terms before signing to avoid any surprises on the day of the event.

Insurance and Licenses

Check to see if the DJ has liability insurance and the necessary licenses to perform in Dallas-Fort Worth. This can protect you from any liability in case of an accident or injury during the event. Ask the DJ for proof of insurance and licenses before hiring them.

You’ll also want to ensure that the DJ has the necessary music licenses to perform at your event.

In the US, DJs need licenses to play copyrighted music at events. Make sure the DJ has a license from a reputable music licensing organization such as ASCAP, BMI, or SESAC. This can prevent any legal issues that may arise due to unlicensed music played at the event.

Lighting and Effects

Consider if you want lighting or special effects during your event. Many DJs offer additional services such as uplighting, dance floor lighting, and fog machines. Determine if these services fit your event’s theme and budget.

Testimonials and Awards

Testimonials and awards can provide additional validation of a DJ’s quality and performance.

Look for DJs who have won awards or received recognition for their services. You can also read testimonials from previous clients on the DJ’s website or social media pages. Positive testimonials and awards can give you confidence in your decision to hire a particular DJ.

Choose a DJ

Selecting the right DJ in Dallas-Fort Worth involves more than just finding someone to play music. You need to choose a DJ who can set the right mood, keep your guests engaged, and handle any unexpected issues that may arise during the event.

A reliable and professional DJ will work with you to understand your vision for the event and deliver an unforgettable experience that your guests will remember for years to come. With these tips in mind, you’re well-equipped to find the perfect DJ for your event.

The good news is that you’re already in the right place. We’ve hand-selected DJs for you. Have a look and get the party started!

corporate event planning mistakes

8 Corporate Event Planning Mistakes to Avoid for Businesses in Dallas

Did you know that the party and event planning industry in the United States is worth over $4 billion?

Planning a corporate event can come with all kinds of benefits that will propel your business ahead of the competition. However, there are lots of different pitfalls that you can face if you don’t create a detailed corporate event checklist.

Have you been stressing out about the success of an upcoming corporate event? Read on to break down eight of the most common corporate event planning mistakes so you can ensure that your event is a massive success.

1. Not Establishing Your Corporate Event Goals

Before you can get the gears turning for your corporate event plants, it’s important to ask yourself why you feel compelled to host this event in the first place. Some business owners want to connect with clients, others want to hire corporate retreat planners to reward their employees, and others want to celebrate the launch of a new product.

Identifying your goals is crucial for planning a corporate event that isn’t a waste of people’s time. With a solid goal in your sights, you can make every other decision based on whether or not it’ll help your event be more successful.

2. Not Setting a Corporate Event Budget

Sometimes corporate events can seem frivolous once people learn how much they cost. The truth is that any business owner can plan a killer corporate event with any budget as long as they have realistic expectations. Corporate events can make your employees feel more productive or increase product sales, so they’re always worthwhile.

After you have a firm budget, the next step is to figure out how much of your budget you’d like to allocate for food, entertainment, the venue, and more.

3. Choosing an Event Venue That Doesn’t Make Sense

Take a moment to close your eyes and envision what your ideal corporate event venue looks like. Is there a stage for guest speakers to perform? Is it large or small and intimate?

You should never rush the venue browsing process because you need to be sure that every guest will feel comfortable there. For example, some outdoor venues are stunning and can accommodate lots of people, but they might not make sense if you’re planning your event during the peak of summer heat.

4. Not Exploring Options for Catering for Events

Food and drinks are perhaps the most important element of any event. Even if the entertainment is lacking, people will always be in a good mood when their stomachs are satisfied.

You can have a lot of fun chatting with local restaurants to learn more about their catering options and prices. Choose a caterer who can accommodate allergies while staying within your budget. 

5. Picking an Inconvenient Time or Date

If you’re investing all of this time, energy, and money into planning an incredible corporate event, you should try to welcome as many guests as you can. If you choose a time or date that inconveniences your guests, then they’re more likely to not show up.

The biggest no-no is planning a corporate event around the holidays since this is when people travel elsewhere the most. If your event is for your employees, then you should consider taking a poll so that your guests can have the greatest say.

6. Adding Too Much or Too Little to the Agenda

When corporate events don’t have a whole lot of action going on, then there can be awkward silences that make your guests feel uncomfortable. Do your research so you can hire high-quality speakers, DJs, and other entertainers.

Be mindful of creating a schedule that’s too tight as well. If you have to rush through everything, then your guests won’t have the chance to properly appreciate each section of the event.

7. Understaffing Your Corporate Event

Your guests should feel like royalty when they’re attending your corporate event. No one should have to stand in a long line or wave down staff constantly to get a drink refill.

As a general rule of thumb, you should have at least one server for every 25 guests. It’s always better to have more staff than not enough, though.

8. Not Knowing When It’s Time to Hire an Event Planner for Companies

Planning an entire corporate event from start to finish takes a ton of work if you want the results to be fun and engaging. You may feel like you can take on this event planning role by yourself, but you’ll need a team of people from your business to band together so you can cover all of the bases. If you feel overwhelmed by this big task, then you can always hire a professional company event planner so you can be at peace knowing that they’ll be able to plan an unforgettable event.

Local corporate event planners are already familiar with possible venues, caterers, entertainment, and so much more. They’ll help you map out every detail of your dream corporate event from start to finish using these connections and talent.

You Can’t Afford to Make These Corporate Event Planning Mistakes

It’s normal to feel like the stakes are impossibly high when you’re trying to plan a corporate event. Now that you’ve taken the time to educate yourself on the most common corporate event planning mistakes, you can do everything possible to ensure that all of your guests have a blast.

Are you in need of event planning services in the Dallas or Fort Worth, Texas areas? Total Events DFW is here to support you every step of the way so you can be confident that your event will be perfect. Contact us to learn more about how our event planning services can help you succeed.

Corporate Event

10 Reasons to Work With an Event Planner for Your Next Corporate Event

Corporate functions used to be a snooze fest. When most people envision professional events they see a bunch of individuals overdressed in suits and ties mulling around with paper plates. That doesn’t exactly scream a fun time everyone in the company wants to remember. A corporate event doesn’t need to be a run-of-the-mill extension of your hard work days.

Your business might not focus on throwing events very often, but you’re not out of luck when throwing an event that doesn’t drag. This is where event planner benefits come in handy! 

A corporate function event planner is an asset to your next event. Unsure of why? Keep reading below to find out how an event planner will enhance your next gathering. 

1. Attention to All Details

You may have noticed that when you and your team build up your corporate events you’re always missing something. It isn’t easy to plan an occasion when it isn’t something you’re familiar with doing. For your next corporate function, a professional event planner has plenty of experience with articulating what you’re looking for in an event. 

When you hire someone, they have all of the available resources and planning materials to cover their basis. Unlike when you forget the specific needed assets, your next corporate event will have everything and more. 

2. Money-Saving Benefits

The cost-saving tactics are something that most planners are privy to. They know how to save you money in areas you may not even consider yet. 

Planners can help you set up your budget and stick within the parameters to maintain your event. Instead of paying top dollar for all of your supplies they generally have insider deals on all pricing. Throw your event without finding that you’re breaking the budget with every additional purchase. 

3. Ability to Handle Unique Situations

Imagine getting to the day of your event and finding out that your DJ can’t make it or that the catering has fallen through. When you work with a professional they know how to handle these situations. that panic that you feel is greatly put to ease. 

A great planner has a full resource at hand if someone backs out and cannot make it to your event at the last second. Resources and connections that you may not have come in handy for them to assure that your event is covered and to avoid emergencies. 

4. Great Business Connections 

Perhaps one of the greatest benefits to your business is having a contact you can work with or even one who can bring you, clients. When it comes to business, making connections is always an asset that can be expanded on. Using a great events planner opens doors that may not have even been considered before hiring them. 

5. The Benefits of Themes

Many corporate individuals do not believe that their events need a theme. They believe that assembling a party just means putting the music, food, and entertainment in one spot. A theme is something that is entirely negated. 

When you hire a professional, you find a planner who brings more life to your party. Your workers and guests can take the time to enjoy themselves and it adds to the morale of your company. Working out a theme is half the fun for your planners! 

6. A Hands-off Decision

The decision-making process can be a significant disaster for individuals who don’t know where to start with them. You might find yourself obsessing over every little thing because it’s out of your element to plan such an event. Take some of that stress off of your shoulders with a planner who knows what to look for and what decisions need to be made. 

7. A Great Time Saver

Time can be a factor in planning any event. When it isn’t something you do for a living you may have no idea where to start and it seems overwhelming. Instead of wasting your time, a planner knows what is going to make your next event one that is remembered and enjoyed. 

8. Cut Your Stress

Stress is a big factor when it comes to events not going according to plan. A corporate planner allows you to hand those parts off to someone who knows how to handle them. Don’t waste your work days or free time when a professional understands how to handle and plan your event best. 

9. Prepared for the Unexpected

One of the biggest issues with many corporate events is that things go wrong at the last second. No matter how prepared for the worst you are there are always things you may not have accounted for. With an event planner, the worst is always considered as part of the job. 

10. An Event to Be Enjoyed

Instead of throwing another boring event that no one remembers, your event will have life and enjoyment. You will be able to stand back and admire the work that has gone into it. An event coordinator takes the stress out of your own hands and allows you the comfort of knowing you did the right thing with your gathering. 

Make Your Next Corporate Event Memorable

Don’t throw another corporate event that happens to be a drag. Hire an event coordinator who can help you assemble the right type of event that will be remembered. Get your point across about how important your company is to you and those who embrace it. 

Okay Texas, when you’re ready to start planning your next event we’ll be waiting to hear from you. Get in touch with us sooner rather than later so we can help you to start assembling things. 

Wedding Photographer

How To Find the Perfect Wedding Photographer

Are you getting married in the coming year? Finding the right wedding photographer for the big day is a must.

We don’t have to tell you how much you’ve got to do to prepare for your wedding day, but you’d be remiss not to book your photographer far in advance. There are over 250,000 photography businesses in the country, most of which will happily do weddings.

With so many photographers out there, how on earth are you supposed to pick one for your wedding? That’s what we’re here to discuss in this post. Keep reading, and we’ll give you the complete guide on choosing a wedding photographer who’ll perfectly capture your wedding and give you something to remember for years to come.

Come Up With a Budget

Before you actually start your search for the perfect wedding photographer, you need to know how much you can spend. It helps to do a bit of research beforehand to find out how much people typically pay for wedding photography.

The difference between photographers and other wedding vendors is the price range. You can get an inexperienced photographer that wants to build a portfolio for free or a seasoned photographer that charges normal rates. Which you choose depends on how professional you want your pictures to be.

Have An Idea of Your Style

Every couple dreams of how their big day will look, and you want that to come across with the photos. If you’ve got any thoughts on the poses, setting, or look of the photos, make sure you can explain this to a photographer.

You should also make sure you’re both on the same page with what you want. A good photographer should be able to achieve whatever look you’re going for, but they aren’t mind readers, so you need to act as the de facto director.

When you’re ready, start your search by heading to Google and looking for photographers near you. This should give you a wide range of photographers in your area to start with.

If you’re in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, you may want to consult a wedding planner to help you find a great photographer. At Total Events DFW, we work with a wide variety of wedding vendors, including photographers and entertainers, so we can give you the best in the area.

Check Past Client Reviews

Whether you’re hiring a wedding planner or going it alone, it’s going to make your life easier to look at past client reviews. Testimonials and reviews tell you so much about the quality of a photographer and what it’s like to work with them.

This is important information before you hire someone. No one can tell you more about a photographer than a couple who has already worked with them, so read through the reviews and choose a few of the top-rated photographers to contact first.

Look At Their Portfolio

You’ll also be able to glean a lot of insight through a photographer’s portfolio. If you’ve got an eye for photography, you can narrow down your selection of photographers by comparing their portfolios to the style that you and your spouse-to-be came up with together.

If you can’t find a portfolio on their website – or they don’t have a website – don’t be afraid to ask them for samples. You can’t be expected to make this important decision without seeing samples of their work first.

Consider Lighting

Presumably, you’ve already booked your venue by the time you’re looking for a photographer. As you may or may not know, lighting is one of the most crucial aspects of photography, so this needs to be discussed with prospective photographers.

For instance, if you have access to an outdoor backdrop, taking advantage of daylight will be important. In terms of indoor shots, it’s good to know if they’ll be using flash or bringing their own lighting setup to the venue. This is one of those practical things that gets overlooked when you’re overwhelmed by the wedding planning process.

Do They Do Video

More and more couples want a wedding video in addition to their wedding photographs. If you can find a photographer that can do both, you’ll save yourself time and money.

It’s important to discuss their wedding photo/video packages. You don’t want to miscommunicate and not get video services when you think you are getting them. The photographer may need to bring extra equipment to accommodate your video requests, which may cost more money.

Find Out Rates

Since you spent some time coming up with a budget earlier on, the next thing you should do after you’ve narrowed the search down is asking about rates. Pick the photographer with the best-looking portfolio that also fits within your budget.

Photograph Rights

Another overlooked thing that your photographer should bring up is the rights to the pictures. Many couples just assume that with the photography fee, they obtain the rights to the photos, but this isn’t usually the case.

It’s good to tackle the legal stuff before hiring someone. Photographers will want to hold on to their rights simply to use the photos in their portfolio moving forward. This will never stop you or your family members from using them however they want.

Editing Timeline

The last thing you’ll want to think about is how long it will take to get the photos and videos back after the wedding. It’s important to get this information before hiring someone so that you aren’t strung along after the wedding day.

Of course, the photographer will need time to pare down and edit the photos for you. That said, it shouldn’t take more than a few weeks to get them back in your possession.

Find Your Dream Wedding Photographer in Dallas/Fort Worth

If you follow this guide, you’ll be able to find a great wedding photographer 100% of the time. There’s no denying that doing all of this due diligence can be time-consuming, but it’s also worth it to have great photos of your big day.

Couples in the Dallas-Fort Worth area can look no further than Total Events DFW to find high-quality photographers and videographers. To start planning your wedding, contact us, and we’ll tell you how we can help.

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