November 19, 2009 (Miller-Ward)

Photos by Michael Kloss

Program Agenda

(click on agenda item to jump to that section)

  1. Vendor showcase
    - Classic Party Rentals table displays
    - Wine Tasting
    - Harpist
    - The Cookie Studio
  2. Welcome and Introductions (Michael Kloss)
  3. The Cookie Studio Presentation (Barbara O'Neill)
  4. Miller-Ward Alumni House Presentation (Missy Rodil)
  5. Transportation, Parking, and Community Services Presentation
  6. Holiday Parties Presentation (Michael Kloss)
  7. Events on a Budget Conversation (Exchange member-submitted ideas)
  8. Networking

Program Highlights & Notes

Vendor Showcase

Tasting: Persimmon Creek Vineyard

Cabernet Sauvignon

Seyval Blanc
Photos by Tom Brodnax

Owners: Dr. William "Sonny"  Hardman 92M, 98MR
Wines featured: Seyval Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon

Tasting: The Cookie Studio

Barbara O'Neill;, office: 404-373-8527, fax: 404-373-8528

Vendor Display: Classic Party Rentals

(jump to presentation notes)

(Shannon Pike;; office: 404-351-9222, fax: 404-351-7471, cell: 404-425-4729)

Table view with chairs (click table views to enlarge)

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Photos by Michael Kloss

Side display table (click to enlarge)

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Photo by Michael Kloss

Place Settings

(click on individual place settings to enlarge)

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Photos by Tom Brodnax

View/Download PDF contact sheet of all 8 place settings. [download PDF]


All items are interchangeable and there are many more to choose from--these are just sample settings.

Top row (from left to right):

Before Emory 15% discount.

Linen: Orange Azalea 120"rd: 28.00
Chair: Fruit wood padded chair: 3.25
China: White Square: .65
Glassware: Rigoletto: .85
Flatware: Croydon: .55

Linen: Gold Brocade 90"sq:  20.00/
Chair: Gold Chameleon chair: 10.75
China: Elegance: .75
Glassware: Napa: .80
Flatware: Vanessa: .55

Linen: 120" rd poly:  16.00
Chair: Black Samsonite: 1.00
China: Royal White: .55
Glassware: Blue Tint all purpose water goblet: .80
Flatware: Chateau SS: .50

Middle row (from left to right):

Before Emory 15% discount.

Winter Wonderland
Linen: 120" Ice Blue Pintuck: 28.00/  Royal blue pintuck napkins: 1.50
Chair: Silver Chameleon Chair with Marilyn Topper: 60.00
China: Arctic Ice: 1.50
Glassware: Venice: 1.85
Flatware: Cromwell: .60

Linen: Chocolate triple pintuck 120": 28.00
Chair: Gold chiavari: 8.00
China: Smoked Elegance Charger: 7.25/  Cream Double Gold Plate: .50
Glassware: Napa: .80
Flatware: Diplomat Gold: 1.25

Linen: Citron Satin Linen 120": 28.00/  Black Satin Napkin: 1.50
Chair: Black Padded Chair: 2.95
China: Charger: 4.00/  Black 5x5 plate: .75
Glassware: Black Onyx: 1.45
Flatware: Zen: .50

Bottom row (from left to right):

Before Emory 15% discount.

Linen: Garden Fuchsia Satin 120": 28.00
Chair: White padded chair: 2.95
China: Athens: .60
Glassware: Opus: .80
Flatware: Ariel 1.95

Linen: Ivory Bengaline 120": 28.00/   Kiwi Satin Napkin: 1.50
Chair: Natural Wood chiavari: 8.50
China: Zeus Plate: 1.00
Glassware: Pink Tulip: 1.85
Flatware: Falmouth: .55


Talent Showcase (Harpist): 

Andria Whitley
Photo by Tom Brodnax

Andria Whitley (



Presentation by Barbara O'Neill from The Cookie Studio


Photos shown during presentation
(click to enlarge)

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Photos courtesy of The Cookie Studio

Contact info: Open Monday-Friday · 9 am-5 pm · Saturday, Noon-5 pm

747-C East College Ave, Decatur, Ga. 30030
Phone: 404-373-8527 · Fax: 404-373-8528

Presentation by Missy Rodil from Miller-Ward Alumni House

House rules [download PDF]; [webpage]

Presentation by Shannon Pike from Classic Party Rentals Atlanta

Discount: 15% discount off standard rental prices for all Emory customers.  Contact Shannon for more details. 

SPECIAL: 20% off linens ordered confirmed by January 1, 2010 (event can be later in 2010).

Top 5 tips to save money on rentals:

  • Go Direct!

    • Call the rental company directly instead of going through catering company or outside production/event planner.  No mark-up!

  • Delivery/Pickup Fees

    • Pickup items instead of delivery.
    • Allow vendor to deliver within an 8-5pm window or at least 4 hours.

    • Stay away from specific time stops and after-hour fees.
  • Full-Service Rental Company (Tents, Linens, and tables/chairs, etc.)

    • Utilizing a full-service rental company will decrease your delivery fees and paperwork.  One fee, one order, and one check!

  • Linens

    • The plain white/black linens are the same price as the other colors.  You can add a touch of color increasing your look for the same price as ordering plain white.

  • Tenting
    • Check to see if vendor can stake the tents instead of weighting them (barrels) to save on install costs.

Photos shown during presentation
(click to enlarge)

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Photos courtesy of Classic Party Rentals


Presentation by Transportation, Parking and Community Services

(Lisa Underwood, Associate VP)


Parking -; 404-712-8740

Shuttles -; 404-727-1523

Click to download presentation

Download PDF of slides shown during presentation.
[download PDF]

Holiday Party Presentation (Michael Kloss)

Events on a Budget Discussion

Member submitted ideas:

Alice Tarkington

Catering – At Candler School of Theology, we consolidated our buying power (14 Program Areas with independent catering budgets) through the Candler Office of Events. We saved more than $8000 last year on catering expenses by negotiating discounts with caterers in exchange for using fewer caterers and funneling business to the caterers offering discounts.

We created a “Snack Shack” service for last minute meetings within Candler. The Office of Events offers snack foods, beverages, and paper goods purchased in bulk and at a discount. We save the Program Areas time and money by offering this in-house food service. Orders are charged back to the Program Area requesting the service

Decorations – At Candler, we will often group Admissions and Alumni gatherings around a conference or workshop in which all parties can participate over a two or three day period. We think ahead and coordinate the associated lunches and dinners so that we can recycle table decorations. Just change the linen color, the elevation of the central decorations, or add one or two new elements to the design, to come up with a different look using the same centerpieces. Instant savings!

Candler’s Office of Events created a “party closet” to save money on event decorations.  When a Program Area is planning an event, we consult with them on the look of the event. We create several centerpieces from elements out of the party closet. The Program Area selects the look they want. The Office of Events makes the centerpieces. We normally have 5 to 12 tables at a lunch or dinner, so it is not an overwhelming task to create the decorations.

We get ideas from looking at the home furnishings catalogues and interior design magazines. We tear out pictures and put them in a binder arranged by season, so we can get inspired and know what to purchase for our party closet when items go on sale.

For the party closet, we shop Michael’s and other party goods and home furnishings stores at the end of a season to purchase sale items – vases, hurricane lamps, glass pebbles, packets of silk autumn leaves, vine or moss balls, good-looking silk flowers. We have accumulated dried and organic elements that we can pair with greens and a few real flowers ($14.99 Costco bouquets are awesome) or fruits, veggies, nuts, pinecones, etc. The decorations always get raves and we spend so much less than when ordering fresh arrangements from a florist. We also have purchased fabric for table fluff that coordinates with the decorative elements we have in stock.  When using a caterer, we will ask them to bring buffet fluff that will coordinate with our color scheme. Emory Catering is great at doing this!

Of course, there are some events that require real flowers from a florist. When we have conserved with “party closet” decorations on other events, we then have money left to pay for real flowers when needed.

University Events

Tip one:  Let your guests provide the decor!  When you are doing internal events for your office or division, come up with a theme and let the guests use their creativity to make the room come alive.  Take it a step further and make it something that can later be donated to charity.  You get free decor, engaged guests, and a service project all in one. [At the meeting I'll show an example of how this can be done]

Tip two (a "more bang for the buck" idea):  This works great if you are holding a seated, plated dinner with a drinks-only reception beforehand.  Ask to have the waiters (who are standing by in the dining room waiting for dinner to start) pass wine and water during the reception.  You'll reduce the lines at the bars, add a touch of elegance to the event, and it shouldn't cost you a penny since you are already paying for the wait staff, and the wine would be served regardless.

Top Budget Tip:  Location, location, location.  Your venue dictates many of the expenses associated with the event.  Is there a catering kitchen? Are there existing tables/chairs? Will I have to pay for parking? Shuttles? Valet?  Is the room naturally beautiful, or will extensive decor be needed? What about AV? Lighting? Projection? Can I pick the caterer?  Can I buy alcohol directly?  Consider that a change in venue (even if the event "always" is held in a traditional spot) can drastically increase/decrease the budget.  If the venue is costing you money make sure that the venue is more important than the bottom line.  If a specific room or building is less important than saving money, move somewhere cheaper!

Marjorie Nunn

I’m a firm believer in offering refreshments at the appropriate festive occasions.  Consideration of the participants is key as well as the time of day.  At 2:00 or 3:00 p.m. most people didn't want the equivalent of a meal.

When ordering items, it’s usually a good idea to lower the guarantee below your expected attendance, as caterers normally provide amply and they don't want an event to look like they were skimping.  Also, depending on the situation and the guest list, not all people eat and drink.  This is especially appropriate for receptions; seated dinners should be treated differently.

Another way I’ve found to conserve funds is to limit the number of different items, just increase the amount of each item.

Offering bottled water at everything is costly and wasteful.  How about pitchers of ice water instead?

Deidre Russell

Pot Luck with Style.  We needed to host a reception for a candidate last year, but funds were running tight, so I asked all the faculty and staff to bring finger foods and hors d’oeuvres from home.  But instead of putting them out in a buffet line, I set up the tables, with various levels and décor just like the caterers do.  I also brought nice platters to plate the items on so that once all the items were arranged – you couldn't tell at all that this was a pot luck reception.  And the attendees were engaged in a way that they hadn't been before. 

[Editors' note: be careful with all potluck-type events to be aware of safe food temperatures. Caterers go to great lengths to ensure that foods are kept and served at the proper temperature and take intensive food-safety training courses.  Potlucks can be done safely, but attention is needed to ensure for proper handling of the food.]

Karen Hollins
  • Think about using plastic ware instead of china, there are many choices of plastic ware that looks exactly like china.

  • With the same aspect of not using china depending on the type of event you are hosting, GO GREEN !!!! where every item used is recycled. With recycling being a large focus in this day and time you will not only save money but also you will be doing your part to save the earth.

  • Think about hosting a reception rather than a dinner (guests tend to mingle more).

  • Ask your caterer for inclusive quote ( many times you'll save a few dollars).

  • Ask your caterer if they will meet or beat a quote you have received  (many times you can get what you want with the caterer you prefer). 

  • Give your caterer a budget, tell them what your looking for, ask them to come up with a menu (they will know how to stretch you dollar).

Upcoming Meetings

  • To be announced

  • Vendor & Venue Partners
  • Bold American

    Emory Catering

    Classic Party Rentals

    Savage Garden

    Cookie Studio

    Steel Drum

    Carlos Museum

    Emory Conference Center Hotel

    Emory Photo Video

    Tony Brewer & Company

    Canterbury Press

    * The "Vendor and Venue Partners" are local company and venue representatives who have agreed to share their knowledge and expertise with members of the Emory Events Exchange. Status as an Events Exchange Partner does not indicate University preference, or guarantee vendor status with the University, with the exception of the full-service caterers who are—at the time of participation—members in good standing on Emory's approved caterers list
    . All campus entities are cautioned to follow all purchasing policies and procedureswhen selecting and contracting with a vendor.