February 1, 2019
February 1, 2019
Happy freezing February to my followers! For those of you who live in Chicago, I hope you’ve been staying warm during this crazy polar vortex. Although it’s tough to go outside, does anyone else think it’s fun just to bundle up, turn on your fire and watch a movie? Or for the people like me who live in a tiny city apartment, we get our warmth fix from the Netflix show “Fireplace for your Home” because there’s no room for a real fireplace!
Anyways, enough about the cold! I feel like that’s all I’ve been hearing about the last week. Let’s move onto the Hawaiian value that we are incorporating this month, it’s called ho’okipa. Ho’okipa can be defined as:
Ho’okipa is so important in our industry. To be honest, I feel like this is something I value every single day with everything that I do. It’s not going to be hard to incorporate this value into Ohana Events because understanding hospitality is the backbone of hosting any type of event.
For those of you who don’t know much about me, one of my favorite things to do is entertain others. My boyfriend and I especially love to host dinner parties for friends and family. But technically this is not what ho’okipa is about. Ho’okipa includes providing hospitality for all guests including strangers. That’s why this word is so important for larger events that we host weekend after weekend. For weddings, if you join together two sides, it would be uncommon to know every single guest, especially if plus ones are invited. Therefore, embracing the exact same service and spirit towards every one of your guests truly encapsulates ho’okipa.
Giving special attention to your unfamiliar guests is a good practice. Think about dietary needs. If one of your guests has a food allergy or doesn’t eat certain foods, make sure you provide them with an excellent option so it shows you care. Are you providing transportation to/from the hotels and venue? It’s very considerate to provide transportation for all guests to make them feel welcome, rather than ordering only your closest family/friends. A final detail that I think goes a long way is place cards. If you do individual place cards, don’t forget to make a place card for the plus ones! It will bring smile to their face knowing they’re not considered “and guest”.
I planned one wedding in particular this year that went above and beyond for their guests. It started with the decor. They were married at Skyline Loft, part of Bridgeport Art Center. The ceilings are tall and it’s very large room. In order to make it more comfortable, they brought in lounge seatings that flanked the dance floor so the guests that did not want to dance the entire night still had a place to sit and watch. We scattered pictures of the family throughout the entire floor, especially in the lounge seatings so guests felt like they were at the couple’s home.
This couple was also very cognizant of their guest’s taste and drink preferences. They knew a lot of their guests were vegetarian so they offered multiple vegetarian/vegan entrees. They did not just offer a regular vegetarian meal though, they offered a very high-end selection including black truffle strigoli and a roasted tomato barley risotto cake, both provided by Limelight Catering. Then, for their specialty cocktail, they also offered a mocktail version and labeled that on the signage. Knowing many of their guests are non-drinkers, they wanted to make sure they still could taste their favorite concoction.
So moving forward, although I feel I incorporate ho’okipa into my personal life and my company, I want to instill this value into my client’s events to give every guest the best experience I can plan. I always love knowing that the guests are taken care of because I feel that means I’m doing my job!
Anyways….it’s already February. Wow! I can’t believe it but there’s only one more month that I will be sharing a Hawaiian value with my followers! Time has absolutely flown this past year! I’m sure everyone can predict what value is coming in March, stay tuned!
-Danielle Kuhn, Ohana Events