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Monday, September 26, 2016

Event Report: Delivering Style on a Budget For A Good Cause

When the global philanthropic community "Women Moving Millions" called to discuss their first summit event on the West Coast we were thrilled to be a part of this worthwhile endeavor, even in a small way.
Nothing beats applying our skills to a good cause.

The Event: WMM Summit 2016
Location: St. Regis Hotel, San Francisco
The Task: Set Design and Floral Decor for the 2-day Conference

WMM members, supporters and future members came together for two days of seminars, presentations and guest speaker appearances. The subject matters covered a wide range of serious issues affecting women globally. WMM is committed to large-scale investment in women and girls.

Our manzanita turned into a Vision Tree!

The stage set up for the first day had to be very sleek and simple. We installed a white plush carpet, two chairs and a side table to create a conversational seating arrangement. The backdrop was created by the hotel's in-house drapery.

The same stage served for panel discussions on the second day. The more formal aspect of the presentations was enhanced by a custom backdrop and featured branding.
We had very little time for the setup as the room was in use until the night of Day 1 and had to be ready for breakfast on Day 2.
We brought our expert crew from Los Angeles to handle the construction setup.

We included some upgrades like the 3D letters that added texture and shadows at no extra cost.    
The added structure turned the intimate conversational stage into a more formal conference stage.

All floral was designed for multi-tasking and re-purposing. Our floral designer selected long-lasting flowers that remained fresh for the length of time. The floral pieces lent decor for the entire time. We reset the decor for each phase of the event in different configurations.      

Alisa Walsh and Max Blum were truly inspired by the event and we are looking forward to supporting Women Moving Millions again.

It is refreshing to realize how many people are committed to improving this world we live in!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Virtual Reality - We Can Bring A Custom Experience to Your Event

Exactly what we said as we read a few days ago that Cedar Fairs is bringing FearVR:5150 to three of their theme parks for Halloween.
Immersive VR experiences are everywhere these days. Until recently, these experiences were designed for long-term use to ensure return on investment. Now they are going seasonal.
So what about bringing a custom VR Experience to your corporate event? We researched and the answer is: Yes, we can!

Samsung smart phones work with Oculus' Gear VR. iPhone is catching up with iPhone matching headsets. Immerse yourself with big wave surfers, ski jump or visit fantasy worlds - everything is possible.
However, until now these experience are scripted and designed by others for you.

But is it possible to take your guests on your very own, branded, customized VR Experience?
Can it be achieved on a corporate event budget?
Yes, we can!

As we were checking out FearVR:5150, locally (in Southern California)  playing at Knotts Berry Farm, we met David Love, President and Creative Executive at Hollow Studios, the company behind FearVR.

Question: "Theme parks and the game industry are heavily invested in a future with VR. Can we bring this into the corporate event setting?"

David Love: "Yes, absolutely. FearVR's actual VR experience is only about 4 minutes long. The total experience, including the set-up, but not counting the wait time, takes about 10 minutes. The average VR experience lasts 4 to 5 minutes. We suggest a maximum of 8 to 10 minutes. That would fit well into an event setting".

Question: "How lengthy is the development and pre-production process?"

David Love: "Typically, the process will take 4 to 5 months but we can turn simple projects around in about 2 months. It depends on the script. Storyboards have to be created. We pre-visualize everything so the client gets to see it before going into the actual production. The time needed for actual filming depends on the complexity of the script and length, of course. Then we need some time for post production. It can be done in as little as 10 days. Very complicated projects can take 4 to 5 weeks."

Question: "Can this be done within the limits of a corporate event budget?"

David Love: "We can make things work. Very simple projects can cost as little as $30,000 in actual VR production. Virtual Reality production is just another tool in the tool box for us. We specialize in all forms of film making: live action, CGI animation, large format Dome and Imax screens along with expertise in Stereoscopic 3D film and animation."

Ted Bowers pioneered 360º 3D projection at conferences. He also brought custom animation/live video to the corporate event world:

"Technological innovation is great for all levels of consumer; end user to high level corporate. The best part is as technology gets more advanced, prices drop and the gear gets better. I’m always excited when I have the opportunity to introduce new technology to the event industry. Clients are looking for something new they haven’t seen before. The customized VR Experience is the next new technology to hit the event industry."    

EventWorks brought customized animation to corporate events.

  It's an exciting new world, indeed.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Kate Brack Is Taking A Baby Break

We have happy news to share:

Our Director of Floral and Event Design Kate Brack and her husband Eric are about to welcome their second baby.

Kate will be taking a well deserved break, leaving the office for a little while by the end of this week.

Obviously, we could not resist the temptation to have an in-office event this past week and threw a surprise lunchtime baby shower, complete with balloons and delicious Mexican/Guatemalan catering by our very own Edwin.
Kate confessed that she has been craving his food throughout the recent months!

Kate, we wish you a happy, healthy bundle of joy!
May he eat with delight and sleep through the night!
We will miss you!
Come back quickly!

All the very best,

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

What We Did This Summer

We are happy to share!

We all had the chance to take a little time off to relax and recharge the creative batteries.
As we return to work this week, here is our "What We Did This Summer" report.

Janet Elkins:

"Steve and I both discovered the joy of riding electric bikes this summer. Steve has been an avid biker for years, pedaling for hours. But Pasadena's topography did not seem inviting to me. Until I rented an electric bike to accompany my husband on a ride through Pasadena's canyons. What can I say? It was love at first ride! I bought a bike just days later. Steve decided to get one two weeks after that. We are happily whizzing around our town! It is a blast!"

Ted Bowers

"The Bowers enjoyed everything from Olympic Basketball to soaking in adventures on the Hawaiian Islands.  Watching USA men’s basketball scrimmage against China at Staples Center was spectacular.  It was a great version of an All Star game up close and personal.  The family also experienced Big Island excursions that included deep sea fishing, snorkeling, and night diving with the Manta Rays. Just don’t ask Celeste for any feedback on her own Titanic experience of that night. We all savored Teddy’s summer job at In N Out. Service with a smile and secret ordering tips made our dining experience a true treat!"

🐟 Max Blum met really big fish!

"I got in my aloha by taking my annual pilgrimage to visit my mother in Kauai and I unwound by getting my scuba certification, training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu at the renowned Longman Jiu Jitsu academy and spending time with friends and family.
During an island hop to the Big Island I couldn't resist the chance to go shark diving. As you can see on my Facebook you know it was an exciting and nerve tingling experience! That tiger shark came this/close!"

Kate Brack:

As you can see, Kate is "working" on a most important project!
Therefore Kate and her husband are car shopping.

"Baby Boy will arrive this fall and we need more space. I have a feeling a 5-series is in our future. Or a mini-van. 😀"

🐠 Brynne Peña encountered very little fish!

Brynne Peña returned just a few days ago from a quick and beautiful trip to Cancun.  Whereas Max was diving with the great creatures of the open sea, Brynne encountered a much smaller variety during a visit to the resort’s FISH Spa!

"The fish treatment leaves your skin smoother than ever!  The fish don't have teeth so it doesn't hurt at all but it's very ticklish at first. It mostly feels like a very strong vibration in the water, as they buzz around "kissing" your feet, which is what makes your feet so smooth.  My friend and I were kind of freaked out, but couldn't pass up the opportunity!"

Kristen Rensch:

"I really had the best business trips this year: Mexico, Montana and Miami, to name just a few. I was very happy to get some time at home!
As the newest Angeleno on the Eventworks team, one of my favorite things about living in Los Angeles is introducing my loved ones and friends to many of the iconic destinations within and just beyond our metropolis. People that haven’t spent much or any time in Los Angeles are always surprised at the diversity of experiences available here. Guests often leave downright enchanted and wanting to come back, which is great for me as a transplant to the area! My mom, my aunt and my cousins came for a family visit. It’s so much fun to see the city and it’s tourist attractions through new eyes."

Carolyn Vasi:

"I went camping and hiking with my family, dogs included. We went to Oregon. This year we camped at Silver Falls State Park before we headed to the coast. The campground is located near seven waterfalls within the park. It is really beautiful and my brother in law is great at the BBQ!"

Alisa Walsh had the best summer of all of us!

"First my boyfriend proposed! 
And for the first time in many years my dad organized a family trip.
We all live scattered between Southern California, the Bay Area and Portland, Oregon. This was the first time since we were kids that we all got to vacation together on a cruise around the Mediterranean. It was a blast and I am very thankful for the great time we had together."

🐡 Marion Renk-Rosenthal found no fish!

"My family goes on an annual fishing trip to Klamath, California, just in time for the salmon run. Due to the effects of the drought the salmon numbers are way down and the quota was set at only 550 fish. My husband could fish for one day before Fish&Game shut the river down and Dan did not get lucky. But we had great weather and we hiked in the Redwood parks and visited the beautifully restored Old Town Eureka. I miss my gorgeous river view and the scent of redwood forests." 
We hope you had an equally fun summer!

Wishing you a great 4-day week!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Janet Reports From Prevue's Chicago Visionary Summit

Strategic Meetings Summit
Hotel Allegro • The Gray • Hotel Palomar Chicago Kimpton Hotels
August 11-12, 2016

Janet was honored to be among 30 invited attendees at Prevue's Visionary Summit in Chicago.

"The summit was a chance to see longtime colleagues and friends and to exchange ideas and experiences in high-level meetings and discussions.
I came home inspired and energized!"

Just like a reunion!

Dianne Devitt from DND Partners, Barbara Scofidio, Editor at Prevue and chief organizer of the Visionary Summit, and Janet.

Prevue launched the Visionary Summit series in 2016, with previous Summits taking place in Miami and New York.
Summits are all about networking, education and thought leadership.
These unique event experiences bring together a select group of experienced, pre-qualified senior meeting planners in an intimate setting primed for collaboration and networking.
Visionary Summits are education-only events, the sessions are interactive, with rotating roundtables to ensure that you meet everyone in the room.

"I loved the fact that every aspect of the program included an educational or social consciousness angle. We started with a well-organized site visit to all three Chicago Kimpton properties. The Opening Reception took place at Hotel Allegro where a celebration of craft beer and wine featured food pairings and hands-on lessons by Kimpton Hotels’ top mixologists. The socially conscious amenity experience included Revo sunglasses and corporate gifts from Helping Hands Partners, a Chicago–based non-profit that offers high-quality goods that pair modern design and handmade craftsmanship with a socially responsible mission. Their social enterprise and fair trade partners provide jobs and programs for those who are disadvantaged, hard-to-hire, developmentally and/or physically challenged.
All of us attendees received a free pair of Revo sunglasses, with $10 from each pair going to support a U2's lead singer Bono-endorsed charity, the Brien Holden Vision Institute, to stop preventable blindness.
I immediately started to think about possibilities in Los Angeles. It is easy to find local organizations that can benefit from your events  and social conscience tie-ins in any city. In Los Angeles the organization Do Good LA does the research and connection work for you!

My friend and colleague Dianne lead a session on "SenseUp", Designing Event Experiences for the Senses. We all worked on using all of our 5 senses to retain the content of the meeting.

I was happy to participate in a meeting planner panel together with Cecile Mutch, Senior Director of Corporate Services, Kellogg, and  Lynne Tiras, President of International Meeting Planners, on the subject of Managing Internal and External Stakeholders.
Barbara Scofidio had asked us to come together for this panel as we each represent a different background and our viewpoints address various angles of the same issues.
We addressed questions such as how to deal with the constant changes at companies we collaborate with, staff retention at our companies, the way millennials have affected the ways we communicate, dealing with peaks and valleys in small companies, changing needs and demands in a large corporation, and the effects of social media on our industry. It resulted in a very lively hour of discussions!

Artist John Bukaty created this Chicago-inspired painting as a Live Art event during the opening reception at Hotel Allegro. I'm a Chicago native. I love this painting! 

The Summit was also a chance to return to Sweet Home Chicago and visit family. It was all around a great week!

I hope you are having a similarly great time.

Warm regards,

Monday, August 22, 2016

Event Decor Report: Boots To Bling - Montana Style!

We recently had the pleasure of working for a multiple day event at The Resort at Paws Up. What a wonderful change of pace for all of us and a real chance to create a Western look for an authentic, gorgeous Western location. Our Director of Event and Floral Design Kate Brack draws creative inspiration from the wild outdoors. She was in her element!

Kate Brack: “The clients wanted to create an authentic, never before seen, big sky Montana experience for their guests. No detail was overlooked from the entertainment all the way down to the napkin choice. Each detail was meticulously researched and considered. The result: three distinct evening events that attendees will cherish for a lifetime.”

Chuck Wagon Country Picnic: The Arrival and Welcome Dinner.

In keeping with the surroundings, we went upscale Western. Table top décor included voyager flannel table runners, red, white and blue bandana napkins and wooden handle silverware presented in pint mason jars. Food stations featured custom calligraphy slate menu boards. 

Boots and Bling: Creating Country Glamour in a Barn for the Gala Night.

Existing crystal chandeliers immediately set the stage for the Boots to Bling theme. Guest tables featured vintage inspired floral print linens, rustic cross back chairs and antique centerpieces accented with blush, champagne and apricot blossoms. The finer details were showcased at each place setting; genuine Tuscan napkins, platinum luster charger plates, authentic French Dot china, vintage gold flatware and custom stone place card holders. Before and after the event, guests were encouraged to take an old town keep sake photo at our big sky ranch themed photo station. 

Fond Farewell: Farm to Table Under the Stars

A 72’ imperial farm table was placed on a 12’WX120’ custom deck, contracted specifically for this one of a kind event. Mismatched farm chairs provided eclectic seating for guests and further enhanced the theme. Each place setting featured recycled olive tumbler glassware, rustic edge china and hand block printed fern patterned napkins. The imperial table was further enhanced with geometric copper containers featuring natural white and plum blossoms with foliage accents native to the region.

The chef demonstration area was backed with a custom decorative baffle wall to mask the outdoor kitchen prep area.
The biggest challenge came when the team had to make a tenting call within hours of the guest arrival time! 

We fell in love with Montana skies and the beautiful landscape.
Thank you to the amazing crew at the Resort at Paws Up
and especially to our wonderful clients! 
Yes, we did have fun!


It was truly a change of pace for us to work in a remote Western location. We love a challenge and we very much enjoyed the time we got to spend in Montana.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Music Inspired By Olympic Fever - Get Motivated!

What a blast it is to watch Michael Phelps make Olympic history and to celebrate with both Simones!
Cheering on gold medalists put some extra pep into our step - and a thought popped into our heads: let's keep this energy going!

Nothing is better than music to motivate. We tasked DJ Lee Dyson with the creation of an Olympic Fever playlist. Here is "Get Motivated".
Lee outdid himself! "Get Motivated" consists of 3 hours and 6 minutes of genre-crossing, sure-to-energize music to encourage anyone to reach for the gold! So let's get moving!

Please click the image to start the playlist.

We hope to put a smile on your face and a bounce in your feet.

Have a great week!