Animals aren’t just for kids. People of all ages enjoy connecting with them, and humane animal exhibitors like Tiny Tails to You often have specific packages geared toward adults. Here are five tips on how you can make any event unique and unforgettable with the addition of cute, cuddly animals.
 
1. Learn about the company you’re working with. You want to find a company that puts the animals’ safety and health first. Search review sites for customer reviews that mention the company’s treatment of the animals and guests at events. Look on the company’s website for specific information about the animals’ care and safety. Some things to look for: companies that place restrictions on the temperatures for animals to be outside and offer indoor setups for inclement weather; companies that organize events with safety in mind; companies that focus on animal well-being; and companies that offer a description of fresh food and daily enrichment activities provided for its animals.
 
2. Make sure the company has an up-to-date United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) license and carries insurance. A USDA license is mandatory for anyone exhibiting mammals and ensures approved animal safety and care standards are maintained. An active USDA license means that a company is passing surprise inspections conducted by USDA veterinarians. You can use the USDA license search tool to ensure a company is licensed: acis.aphis.edc.usda.gov/ords. Also check that the company carries general liability insurance and workers compensation (which protects you if a worker is injured on your property).
 
3. Know what to expect. Before the event, understand what the setup will look like, how big of a space you will need, and whether the company requires electricity or water access. Know how many parking spaces they will take up and how close they need to park to the event. 

4. Know whether permits are required to have animals at your location. Events with small animals don’t require permits, but permits may be necessary for events with horses, goats or other large animals depending on your location. 
 
5. Check the weather. What if it’s hot, rainy or cold outside on the day of your event? Many companies provide easy indoor setup options. Look for information on their website or call to ask. 
 
Animals are a great addition to any event. They bring joy to guests, provide a calming effect, and leave people with a sense of wonder. Some companies, like Tiny Tails to You, will curate events specifically for your event’s needs. 

It’s bluebonnet season in Texas! That time of the year when Hill Country roads are clogged with cars full of amateur photographer parents and their pint-sized Texans, jostling for position in fields of sky blue. While our love of our state flower shows no sign of ever slowing down, when it comes to the floral displays at galas and fêtes across the state, we can be a fickle bunch. So, Texas Meetings + Events magazine spoke with the experts to get the scoop on this year’s floral trends.

(Interviews have been edited for flow and clarity.)

 

From outside-the-box photo ops to elevating go-tos like balloons, planners share how they are providing their clients with new branding ideas that ‘wow.’  

 

The Power of an Event is Undeniable: An industry veteran publishes an inspired guide for event planners.