Finding the Right Location for your Event

One of the most common questions we get asked is “How do I find the right location for my event?” Choose a great location and you will be well on your way to an amazing event! Choose a poor location and you could risk putting other aspects of your event out of whack. Here are a few points of consideration that will help you make the best decision on a location for your event:


The size of a venue plays an important role in the success of an event. If a location is too small, your attendees will be uncomfortable because they will not have the freedom to move about as they wish, or worse yet, they may not even be able to get in! If the location is too large, your attendees may feel as though the event is a flop because it wasn’t well-attended, leaving them to surmise whether there was a lack of promotion or a lack of interest. In most cases, you want your event to feel “full” so that it will generate a high level of interest, energy, and excitement allowing your guests to have a great time.

Geographical Location

While it would be a perfect scenario for your venue to be centrally located to all your guests, that is not always going to be possible. Convenience and centrality are key factors when choosing a location, but if there is not a suitable location that aligns with your budget, purpose, and theme, then you need to look for the best possible option available. Keep in mind that the distance people will travel will have a very close correlation to the level of excitement that you have generated for the event. Generally speaking, people are willing to drive further for “destination” events (i.e. the wedding a close friend at a scenic location) than they would for a business workshop, banquet, or carnival.


Obviously, if the cost of your venue is higher than what your budget will allow, then you need to either look for a new venue, reallocate expected funds, or determine whether an increase of sponsorships, fees, or other sources may be necessary to ensure the success of the event. You may find that it is a good thing to reconsider your budget to allow for a higher cost venue because it could bring in a larger number of attendees, therefore covering the cost of the budget overrun. If not, keep looking for a venue that provides the environment you’re looking for at a cost that fits within your budget. The next point of consideration, amenities, can also have a significant impact on your cost, so we’ll discuss that next.


While the location of your event can have a huge effect on your budget, not just in the direct cost of renting the location, but because of the amenities included, or lack thereof. You may be able to get a great location at a low cost, but if it doesn’t have the amenities you need, then your overall cost could be significantly higher and could cause you to spend an unnecessary amount of time, frustration, and money to properly hold your event. For example, if you are deciding between two different venues and one of them seems to be a great deal, yet they don’t supply a stage, audio system, projector, screen, or other amenities that are necessary for your event and you end up having to rent or subcontract those items; you may find that a higher cost venue may be a better deal in the long run after considering the additional costs involved.


What type of environment are you trying to create at your event? This question will largely be determined by both your theme and your purpose. It is doubtful that you would want to create a carnival atmosphere in an elegant dining facility, or an elegant banquet environment in a carnival-type venue. This may seem obvious, but on many occasions we have seen the decision on a location made before any thought was ever put into the atmosphere, or “ambience”, that they were trying to create. A great way to find great locations is by doing a Google search for the type of event you are hosting, and don’t just limit the search to your own area. Sometimes looking at other cities, states, or regions may generate ideas for locations that you could consider.


Any time you are looking for a location for an event, you need to always check the ratings through third-party sources. Don’t buy into all the hype that a venue puts out in its marketing materials. They will always portray their location in the best possible light, whether it be through amazing pictures, fancy words, or vague descriptions. Be sure to read reviews from online sources such as Yelp, Facebook, etc., and take the time to contact other companies who have used the venue to see how they liked the food, service, and the type of feedback they received from their guests.

After you’ve reviewed these 6 points and you find that you’re still having a difficult time, or if you want to confirm the decision you have made regarding a location, seek the advice of an experienced event planning company to help you ensure that your event goes as desired. When you take these items into consideration, you will be able to select a great location which will set you up for a great event!

The Carey & Paul Group is one of the Midwest’s largest full service entertainment and event production agencies. Our highly trained team is ready to help you with all or parts of your event planning needs. Our entertainment and events planning team has assisted corporations, unions, clubs, summer camps, parks and recreation departments, schools, festivals, fairs, conventions, conferences and association leaders plan and create awesome and memorable events. Our goal is to put on an awesome event, offer the best in entertainment and event planning services, and make you look good! For more information, please visit

Copyright Carey and Paul Group 2017


Three Questions You Must Ask Before Hiring Entertainment for Your Event

Choosing the right entertainment may be one of the most challenging and time-consuming tasks involved in planning an event. This one task can either “make” or “break” your event, so before you even begin the search, invest some time in answering the following three questions:

What Is Your Budget?
Deciding on your budget is one of the most important steps you can take to put on a successful event, yet many fail to complete this vital task. There are a variety of tools that can help you create your budget from a simple Excel spreadsheet to more comprehensive event planning software (i.e. Planning Pod or Smartsheet). When done properly, knowing your budget can free you to focus your search process and aid your negotiations with potential entertainers. When done improperly, you risk making the costly mistake of either over-paying for entertainment or, worse yet, not paying enough. Sometimes people think that they have to bring in national or big-name entertainment in order for their event to be a success, but that may not always be the way to go. They may bring in the crowds, but if their cost is more than the amount of money you can realistically bring in, then it may not be worth it. If you have a limited budget, don’t be afraid to look for local talent, but don’t just go with the lowest cost. Regardless of the amount of your budget, be sure to spend your money wisely by getting testimonials from previous customers and finding out what type of audiences they have performed for.

What Is Your Theme?
Events that are designed around a theme can create an amazing atmosphere of excitement for your guests. Choosing entertainment that fits your theme can have a synergistic effect that brings all the elements of your event together. Think about this for a moment: what would be the reaction from your guests if you hired a country band for your 80’s theme event? Or what if you hired a heavy metal rock band for a romantic banquet? You may think these examples sound crazy but many times these types of mistakes happen because people allow their own ego or musical tastes to get in the way of their decision. Remember that not everyone one will like what you like nor will it even make sense for your particular event. So if you don’t have a theme, take the time to get together with those involved in the planning process to brainstorm some theme ideas and entertainment suggestions. You may even want to survey your attendees to find out what they like.

What Is Your Purpose?
Too often, those responsible for hiring entertainment do so without ever giving thought to what their purpose is for having entertainment at the event. Will the entertainment be the “main event”, or to create a background environment for other activities taking place? Do you want to encourage people to take action and get involved, or to just sit back and relax? Your entertainment choice may fit your budget and your theme, but if it doesn’t fit your purpose, you could be interrupting other important activities and could ultimately be wasting your money. A vision for what you are trying to accomplish must be a part of your decision-making process because your choice of entertainment can be a powerful tool that can help you achieve the desired outcome for the event.
If you want to have a great event, don’t be one of the ones who fail to take these basic questions into consideration when deciding on entertainment. When you take the time to consider each of these questions, you will be well-prepared to communicate your needs effectively as you interview and negotiate with the various entertainment representatives. The time you spend in preparation will result in your final entertainment choice being a definite hit, making the whole event a successful and memorable experience for everyone involved.

The Carey & Paul Group is one of the Midwest’s largest full service entertainment and event production agencies. Our highly trained team is ready to help you with all or parts of your event planning needs. Our entertainment and events planning team has assisted corporations, unions, clubs, summer camps, parks and recreation departments, schools, festivals, fairs, conventions, conferences and association leaders plan and create awesome and memorable events. Our goal is to put on an awesome event, offer the best in entertainment and event planning services, and make you look good! For more information, please visit


Copyright Carey and Paul Group 2017

Ideas From the MParks Breakout

I want to thank all the all the park professionals that attended my breakout session at the  MParks conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

As promised here are all the ideas we shared during session.
I also added another list of ideas from the MFEA conference this past November.

Hopefully you can all implement some of these ideas during your community events.

Feel free to print out any of these and use them to help at a Disney plus to your next event.


Thank you all,

Richard Paul


Successful Festival Event


If  you want a successful festival or fair event we suggest that you create daily themes.

We have a client we work with that created these fun themes: “Flashback Friday,” “Saddle Up Saturday” and “Nice and Easy Sunday”.

Each of these days have their own special fun entertainment and activities.

Example: “Flashback Friday” is a step into 70’s and 80’s . Each of the bands and every other entertainment including children’s tent will tie in with the theme.


Staff and volunteers will dress the part with hopes patrons will come dressed too.

The idea behind the daily themes is to inspire patrons to want to return daily to your festival or fair.

The daily theme is a great way to bring on sponsors for special activities, cookouts or national entertainment.

For more ideas contact Carey and Paul Group today…

National Acts

If your conference or event is looking for a national act we are happy to report that we have access to any act you may be looking for.

We can help you line up the act of your choice, sort out all the rider details and requirements.

If you are having a ticketed event we can also give you ticket sales averages and stats.

During these events we have two on site professionals to deal with all the green room needs and stage management.

Carey and Paul Group can do it all!

Planning the Holiday Party

The biggest mistake we can make as party planners is to wait too long to plan our events.  We have several clients that have worked with us over the years that always wait till the last minute to plan their holiday event.  Sometimes they call us a week before their party.  Because of their delinquency we can’t always  book the band they wanted or the professional Santa they saw at one of our other events.  Often times we are scrambling to give them a list of options that will fit into their team’s goals and objectives.


It is October 18, 2016 and depending on your date or day of the week you need to get started now booking the hall, the band, the comedian, the casino games, a murder mystery or what ever your team is interested in having at this year’s party.


We have clients who have been working with us for over thirty years and they are planning their holiday parties in the summer.  So if you have been dragging your feet now is the time to speed up the process by contacting the Carey and Paul Group TODAY to plan your holiday event.

Some new items this year: Journey Tribute Band, Jersey Boy’s Tribute, Circus strolling entertainment and more!!

C. Carey

Carey and Paul Group



Sticking to the Theme

When booking your entertainment for your festival/event you need to really keep your theme, goals and objectives.

Many years ago I was the entertainment provider for a Fifties Festival.  My client and I would brainstorm ideas for entertainment that would fit in with their theme.  Everything from the bands, kid’s acts and walk around entertainers had a 50’s flair to what they did.  They even required volunteers and staff to dress the in stylings from that decade.


Because of this attention to detail, attendees and participants actually felt as if they stepped back a few decades. People used to come from all over the USA and Canada to be part of this experience.

Because of the strength of the brand there was not a need to pay high dollar for national acts. Many of the head lining acts were local or from neighboring states keeping the cost down to fit within the budget.

Unfortunately new people joined the board with different thoughts, different ideas and took away the uniqueness of the event. The attention to the theme was abandoned and this eventually brought an end to the festival and all the family fun.



If you want to have a successful event that sponsors will be happy to be part of, you should create a theme and stick to it.  Walt Disney after all his success beyond Mickey Mouse warned his board that “We should never forget about the Mouse.” Every festival has a Mouse or a key component that brings your attendees back again and again.  It could be a cheeseburger, a potato or a special decade.  This should be the foundation on which your festival/event is built.

Richard Paul CEO Carey and Paul Group

Dynamic Events & Entertainment Concepts

Welcome to Carey & Paul Group Blog

This is our blog that will give you great party planning advice and ideas.

What has made our company strong over the past 40 years is our willingness to go the extra mile for our clients.

This is why most of our clients have worked with us for over 30 years.

Here’s are first tip to festival planner:

If you have a theme stick to it. Make sure your vendors and entertainers are contracted to dress the part.  The ideas is to make your event standout from all the rest.Boogie