Reiman Gardens is a public botanical garden in Ames, Iowa with a butterfly wing and the worlds largest concrete gnome. They are an extension of Iowa State University on 17 acres of land. During the summer of 2015, I was their Event Intern and returned in January 2016 to act as the Interim Event Coordinator. I assisted with the planning and implementation of all public events.
Interim Event Coordinator
January – May 2016
Silver Screen Saturdays
Brown Bag Lectures
Member’s Only Events
Day of Insects
Spring Egg Hunt
Silver Screen Saturdays took place every Saturday in January. I showed a movie at 10 a.m. and again at 2 p.m. for families to enjoy. It was a simple event that encouraged families to get out of the house on a chilly winter day.
The orchid festival consisted of orchid vendors, a members only reception, and a day of crafts, live music and presentations. It was a very fun event to organize. The musicians, presenters and crafters all participated for free. The interaction added to the event and gave patrons a more meaningful experience.
Brown Bag Lectures take place every Thursday and require volunteer help, a presenter, food and set-up/clean-up.
The Spring Egg Hunt was my favorite event to plan during my spring at Reiman Gardens. I worked with the Ames Jaycee’s to plan a morning of crafts, games, and egg-hunting. We broke records in attendance with over 1,000 participants between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m.
May – August 2015
20th Anniversary Celebration
Independence Day Celebration
Garden Art Fair
Garden Quilt Show
My favorite event that I worked on during my internship was the Independence Day Celebration. The city of Ames sets off fireworks very close to Reiman Gardens on the Friday before the 4th of July and so we hosted a laid-back event at the gardens with a few local musicians, a balloon artist and reduced admission. I brought in musicians and a sound tech who agreed to entertain for free. The music fit the atmosphere perfectly and it was a beautiful evening ideal for families and locals to kick back and celebrate the country’s independence. That night went better than planned, and I have found that to be rare in event management. Here is a link to the Iowa State Dailey Article about the event.
2015 marked the twentieth year of Reiman Gardens. To celebrate, we hosted an evening reception for adults and a day of fun activities for children. I helped to plan and implement a day of crafts and various entertainment to appeal to children. I created crafts and corresponded with the numerous entertainers. We had a bit of rain throughout the day, but luckily I had ordered a tent for the previous night’s reception which we put the crafts and certain entertainers under. Attached is a Bingo game/scavenger hunt I created for the 20th Anniversary: Garden Bingo.
Reiman Gardens has numerous plant shows throughout the year and one in particular is the Lily Show. I corresponded with the society and helped set up, tear down, and advertise for the show. It was a beautiful event that brought in Lily enthusiasts from around the state.
Being an event planner in a garden, I had access to many beautiful plants and the knowledge of skilled horticulturists. All of our events had beautiful floral displays. I got to work on displays and learn practical and creative skills in floral design under one of the head horticulturists. We also did an intern rotation so I was able to experience other aspects of working in a garden (from horticulture to entomology).
Every summer, Reiman Gardens invites artists from around the Midwest to set up booths in their facilities and sell to art enthusiasts. I helped plan and organize the 12th annual Garden Art Fair at Reiman Gardens. My duties included corresponding with 50+ art vendors, a food vendor, entertainment, and our volunteer coordinator. I helped set up the gardens for the event and tended to the needs of the artists. Overall, it was a very busy day with many sales. There were a few complications with the food vendor and extreme temperatures for outdoor booths, but ultimately it was a successful event that brought artists and admirers in. The event demanded my communication with artists and vendors for months prior to and after the event. I felt like I knew all of the artists very well by the end of the summer.
During the summer, I worked on a few event proposals. One of my favorites was the Garden Open Mic. This would be a smaller, recurring event at the gardens encouraging the involvement of Iowa State Students.