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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Event Report: Turning a Parking Garage into a Speakeasy.

The client: an international hotel chain.
The location: a large hotel in the Phoenix, AZ, area
The guests: 500 food and beverage executives
The purpose: to show them unusual ways to use every space of their properties.


Our task: creating an amazing fete in a never before used "event" space.

We were fortunate to have a visionary client who came to us with a concept and details in mind. Creating the event together became a very rewarding collaborative endeavor.
Event Designer Kate Brack: "The event was a secret. Guests were only told that they were going to an "evening event" and to meet in the hotel lobby. We surreptitiously took over little used level 2 of the hotel parking garage and went to work. This is where we started."


Since our guests were food and beverage executives the client came up with a theme matching the current jazz age food craze: the Speakeasy!
The concept kept the surprises coming. We created a familiar entrance: an industrial walk-in refrigerator.  The client had found a used model on Craigslist that we could dismantle and re-purpose to create an entry hall that covered the elevator exit in the parking garage.


Our client's national executives graciously acted as kitchen staff, greeting arriving guests in full kitchen costume.


 Don't worry! That is fake blood! No animals were harmed during this production! :-)

Guests were taken for a real ride - once they gained the elevators they had no idea where they were going.

Event Producer Brynne Price: "THAT look of total surprise is what we were after! We had created this hotel kitchen with the help of our host hotel's real equipment. They provided the shelving and pallets. All those boxes you see on the sides are our real packing materials. Our equipment arrived in those and after the event was over, we used those "party props" again to ship things back to Los Angeles. We love to re-use."

Guests crossed the kitchen and arrived in the jazz age speakeasy.

Moonshine, signature mixed drinks, deviled eggs are all back in fashion. The hotel provided the glassware. We created the appropriate space for a jazz age party.







We added four cocktail serving flapper girls, a 5-piece jazz band and three dancing couples.







The client's goal was achieved! The 3-hour reception was a full success and everyone left with new ideas and impressions.

"Can’t repeat the past?…Why of course you can!” (F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby)

It seems so appropriate today!








Monday, August 25, 2014

Checking in with: Sam Trego/ Imagination Entertainment As They Celebrate The Beatles

August 23, 1964: 18,700 hysterical fans packed the sold-out Hollywood Bowl to experience the very first Beatles outdoor concert in the USA. Sam Trego's iL CiRCo is celebrating the 50th anniversary with a fresh take on Beatles Mania!

After all, 50 years after the British Invasion, the Beatles songbook is as relevant as ever.  Paul McCartney is touring the world and Ringo Starr just dropped a new album.

Janet: "I absolutely LOVE Cirque de Soleil's Beatles show in Las Vegas and iL CiRCo has done a great job capturing the essence of it and bringing it to events and stages of all sizes!"

Producer Amy Gale: "This production is a work of passion for us. We all grew up listening to the Beatles. Their music truly spans the globe and generations. We have had the privilege of performing the show several times this year. Every audience was thrilled - regardless of age and geography. For us, it is so much fun to perform to this incredible music in our psychedelically colorful costumes. This show really works magic for everyone. We have done a few configurations of the show this year from a full big show in Las Vegas to General Session openers."

Sam Trego added: “The first thing we considered when writing this show was the music.  You have to tread carefully when re-imagining classics such as “Lucy In the Sky” and “Get Back”.  We are very proud of the results of writing and arranging the musical score."

Please check out the video!


"Beatles by iL CiRCo" from Imagination Entertainment on Vimeo.



Janet: "The fact that this show can be configured for so many different applications enables us to suggest it to many of our clients. The Beatles are a truly universal favorite and their music works for everyone. Combined with the currently extremely popular circus arts, it's a sure hit. In these difficult times, as we get bombarded with horrific world news, the Beatles enduring spirit of peace and love inspires me even more!"
"All you need is love, love. 
Love is all you need."
Jane

Monday, August 18, 2014

Event Report: DJ Matt Cornwall on Scott Weiland and The Wildabouts

Not that Phoenix, AZ, needs much heating up in early August but we just did! A three-day event for a hotel client culminated in a concert starring A-list rocker Scott Weiland and the Wildabouts on stage at The Venue in Scottsdale!

The Wildabouts blew the roof right off the house!

Our event producer Brynne Price Instagrammed a stage photo and commented: Rockin' out with Scott Weiland of STP. "#ilovemyjob".
DJ Matt Cornwall, who opened and closed the night at The Venue, raved about Scott Weiland on his personal Facebook!

So what made this gig so special?

DJ Matt Cornwall: "I’ve always been a big fan of STP’s brand of blended, hook laden songs, combined with just the right amount of edginess, grit , weirdness and swagger. The Wildabouts' original songs sounded great and Scott’s voice has held up flawlessly given his over extended commitment to life in the rock & roll fast lane ; )  Well played Scott Weiland!”

Scott Weiland and The Wildabouts are on tour, a solo album is announced for November 2014!

Check it out: Scott Weiland and The Wildabouts Live at the legendary Fillmore:








Monday, August 11, 2014

Saying "So Long" to Chris Gerstenblatt



Parting is such sweet sorrow...... Our executive producer Chris Gerstenblatt will leave our team this week to pursue a new professional adventure that will offer him fresh challenges.


In six and a half years together we have made many memories as a team and we have seen Chris grow from project manager upon his arrival from Orlando, Florida, to successful executive producer and loving dog owner!

We asked Chris which moments stand out the most for him.

 Chris: "I loved the Holiday Party for which we were allowed to create "Central Park" right here in Southern California.
I really had a great time working with Ted Bowers on the Auctions America where we shared our enthusiasm for classic cars and I feel very proud of our Centennial Campaign for a large university.
I am grateful that I had the opportunity to build strong relationships with our clients' event planners. They allow us to be creative and produce great, unique events. I love turning a concept into event reality."


Let's go for the Barbara Walters Moment: Chris, what will you miss the most?

 "EventWorks is a family. We work together, hand in hand as a team and I will miss all my friends here a lot!"

Chris, we will miss you and Abby, too! We wish you all the best with your new endeavor.

This is not "Farewell", just "So Long".

Your EventWorks Family!






Monday, August 4, 2014

Checking in With: Greg Holford, Just Returned From The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Osaka, Japan

Catching up with Greg Holford who just returned from nearly 5 weeks in Japan where he directed
the World Press Event and the Grand Opening of "The Wizarding World of Harry Potter" at Universal Studios Japan.

"We held two very different, distinct events for this opening. For the World Press Event on July 14th we had about 1,200 invited guests. Domestic and international media as well as Universal Studio and Warner Bros. officials attended opening night. Opening Day for the public took place the next day. We rolled out the opening as a gradual event, inviting 500 selected guests to lead the first wave of 5,000 as we opened the gates. In total, we had about 15,000 people in the park the first day.


The Monday Opening Night concept included a red carpet arrival for the attending "Harry Potter" stars Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy) and Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood. In keeping with the theme of magic and wizardry, we revealed Hogsmeade with a "Spell" - as speeches concluded we illuminated in stages, slowly growing until Hogsmeade was brought fully into light. We then immersed all guests with fireworks that surrounded the entire land. We really surprised the guests with that effect!

We also created magic for the big public Opening Day.
Early Tuesday morning, Lynch and Felton performed a mock "Revelio" spell -- a charm used to reveal concealed objects -- after which the archway entrance filled with smoke.
As it cleared, Hogsmeade village and all its characters were revealed to the masses of fans waiting to access the new attraction. 
                                                     
Once revealed, Tom and Evanna led a parade into the courtyard. We all believe that magic was involved in the opening. It had been raining for the whole month and a large typhoon ravaged the region. The rains stopped just hours before the Opening Night festivities started!"
No time to rest for Greg. He is booked up for the foreseeable future, already developing concepts for another big assignment: the 2022 World Cup in Doha, Qatar!


Monday, July 28, 2014

Checking In With: Doug Johnson from E Plus Productions

 We consider ourselves lucky to have a number of great friends and partners in the event industry with whom we have worked on many projects for many years. So we thought: let's check in with our friends and see what they are up to while much of the nation is relaxing over the summer.

First up: Douglas Johnson, owner of EPlus Productions, creative director, choreographer and entertainment producer. It turns out that it's a busy summer!

Doug: "We just closed our live show of "Maleficent" at the El Capitan a few days ago. Creating this for Disney was a wonderful opportunity to produce a spectacular show for children. I had the chance to choreograph, direct and costume the show and to retain ownership of the production."
"But closing doesn't mean that we spend the rest of the summer at the beach. Besides working on events for the rest of the year, we are already preparing for New Year's Eve. We will be back in Las Vegas, of course, but we have a total of nine shows around the world that night. That means hiring a cast and crew of 400 people. We are designing and fabricating everything. Our seamstresses are already at work. I am choreographing and working with composers. Production is already in full swing."

What really made Doug's summer, though, is the purchase of a treasure trove of costumes.
"The Palm Springs Follies closed recently and they had to get rid of their costumes in a hurry. I feel so lucky to have gotten the most spectacular, glamorous, giant costumes one can imagine! They are so much larger-than-life that we had to pack them into four trucks to take them to our warehouse in Las Vegas. I can't wait to put them back on stage!"














Monday, July 21, 2014

We Love "Word Crimes" - and We Are Happy To Announce Our ISES Esprit Awards Nomination!

Did you know that Janet started her professional life as a teacher?
We are reminded of this fact by Janet’s grammar corrections in our Monday morning meetings and around the office in general.
And we agree with Janet that English skills are lacking nowadays!

Leave it to our beloved Weird Al to sum it up musically in the most brilliant manner!



Just in case you think our blog writing is spastic - we apologize for occasional typos and grammatical errors!

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We are thrilled and grateful to be nominated for a 2014 ISES Esprit Award for "Reaching New Heights" in the 2014 BEST ENTERTAINMENT PRODUCTION $25,000 - $75,000 USD category.

We look forward to seeing colleagues and friends at the Esprit Award Presentation and Celebration on Wednesday, August 20th in the Grand Ballroom at the Westin Seattle Hotel.