Powered by EventWorks, Inc.


Monday, February 19, 2018

What We ❤️ At The Winter Games Opening Ceremony

The talk around the water cooler - well, okay, we also texted about it - at our office this week: what was your personal favorite moment of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Games Opening Ceremony?

Here is a list of the moments that moved and impressed us the most.

Brynne Peña, our in-house sports event expert and ice hockey fan:

"The Korean ice hockey players, scaling that huge flight of stairs with the Olympic Torch. Talk about a calorie burn! Go hockey!"

Ted Bowers:

"Shaun White's exuberance during the opening ceremony was infectious and reminded us that these are games. He posted really fun video clips on his social media channels. I'm also happy to see that he won the Gold medal again."

Elizabeth Brazil:

"I consider myself pretty patriotic and I loved that they used the LED lights mounted to each seat in the stands to depict each nation’s flag as the teams entered and that it traveled around with the team as they moved though the arena."

Kristen Rensch and Kate Brack agree:

"The world record setting, pre-recorded Intel drone show was absolutely stunning."

Alisa Walsh:

"It was really cool to see the stadium come alive through the video mapping and augmented reality components. A big Shout Out to ETC Audiovisuel!

Janet Elkins:

"I was truly moved by the Korean K-Pop stars' rendering of John Lennon's "Imagine". What a perfect way to start the games! Unfortunately the video has been blocked because of copyright issues."

Still hoping that we will all give Peace a Chance!

Monday, February 12, 2018

Janet and Alisa Report from The Special Event 2018

Left to right: Paul Tramonte, Alisa Walsh, our official New Orleans greeters, Janet Elkins and Douglas Johnson.
Thank you to all who attended our two seminars, Sales Strategies and Crushing It, We are happy to report that both forums generated very interesting discussions and we received wonderful feedback.
Here a quick recap for those who could not attend in person.

Sales Strategies

Thank You to all Expert Panelists, from left to right:

Kathy Miller, Total Event Resources, Chicago, IL
Dianne Budlon Devitt, Dianne Devitt, New York City, NY
Alisa Walsh, EventWorks, Los Angeles, CA
Sally Webb-Berry, The Special Event Company, Raleigh, NC
Janet Elkins, EventWorks, Los Angeles, CA

Janet Elkins: "We have presented this seminar in the past, actually for several years. However, we redesign and update Sales Strategies each and every time to remain relevant and fresh. And lots has happened in the last 12 months.
In 2018 our seminar was structured to be a lot more interactive. We are happy to report that the room was nearly at full capacity. We recognized repeat guests and we were happy and honored to welcome new ones, of all ages. 

One common issue we all share and discussed a lot: how do you control the cost of proposals? We all go to great lengths to create them to secure new business but we cannot invoice all this work and expense. A lot of discussion went into what it takes to create a great, effective proposal. We all agreed that initial research into the prospective client and the possible event does pay off. And sometimes it is better to politely turn a RFP down. Saying No at the beginning to an assignment that will not be a good fit will save money, time and your staff's mental health. It could also save a possible relationship with the client for a later time.
I want to especially thank Maggie Orchard of Total Event for taking on the laborious task of creating the extensive PowerPoint this year!"

Crushing It

Thank you to
Moderator Aaron Kaufman, CSE, Fifth Element Group, Toronto, Ontario, CAN.
and Expert Millennial Panelists
Alisa Walsh, EventWorks, Los Angeles, CA
Francesca Lombardo, Lombardo's, Boston, MA
Bobby Dutton, Groove Boston, Boston, MA

Alisa Walsh: "We presented our seminar for the very first time and were very happy to have such a multi-generational audience, The fact that we started our session with entrance music and that we handed out daiquiris to get the party going - after all it's New Orleans - may have been one of the factors of the overall success. We hoped to get millennials motivated to engage in more leadership roles in our industry and to increase synergy among all ages. I am happy to report that everyone in the room had ideas and shared generously. I think that our discussion about the generational differences with regards to work habits and changes in business communication styles was very useful. Cold phone calls are a turn-off these days. I don't like to take unsolicited calls because I am usually fully focused on a task or I am driving.  LinkedIn in-messages are a much better way to go. You can research good prospects, get a referral from someone you know already and start the conversation online. And then agree to a date and time when it's convenient for all to talk or better yet, video chat."

It was not all just work, work, work. Janet had a blast playing with Gary Bordman's VR toys from Amusement, Exhibit and Event Services, Las Vegas, NV.

Janet and Alisa both had a great time at The Special Event.

Janet: "By continuing our attendance we increase our engagement in our industry and maintain relationships with our colleagues. I always learn something new."
Alisa: "I loved the educational aspects of all the seminars and I appreciate the opportunity to network with colleagues from across the country to learn what they are doing and what is successful."
Janet: "The energy at TSE is always wonderful. Everyone is very open and the conversations are so worthwhile."

See you next year in San Diego!

Monday, February 5, 2018

Alisa Walsh Reports from 2018 Global Forum SITE&MPI

Our SITE Young Leader and Business Development Director, Alisa Walsh, was honored to be one of two winners of euromic's scholarship to attend the 2018 SITE and MPI Global Forum in Rome, Italy.

Alisa: "This was the annual forum for both SITE and MPI combined. It was a truly unique opportunity since SITE and MPI joined forces and gathered about 700 people."

Here in the photo: Alisa meets with Joe Lustenberger, Director - Americas, for Brussel, Belgium, based euromic and the other 2018 Young Leader Scholarship Winner, Sam McNeil, Creative Director from Song Division, London,UK.

Alisa: "The forum culminated with the Crystal Awards Night but there was a lot of education as well. It was actually one of the best educational conferences I ever attended since the leaders and speakers hailed from global executive levels. I learned a lot about what the future of companies looks like and how to rebrand and gain inspiration from other areas, not just the events/meeting/hospitality industry. We were encouraged to look outside and bring that into our space. And then of course, I loved the location!"

Dinner with Southern California friends Jennifer Shafer, John Ehlenfeldt, Mandy Brown and Diane Herrmann. 
"It was very fun to be in Rome. My favorite part was the opportunity to meet and network with people from all over the world. I have made new friends and connections all over Europe.
To travel with people and spend a lot of time with them is invaluable. It also was a chance to spend several days with my SITE SoCal friends.
I am very grateful for this wonderful opportunity and honor that euromic bestowed upon me. They really did everything possible to make sure that we had a great experience."
Tourism is a must-do in Rome, here actually visiting the city state of Vatican City, with Jennifer Shafer.

Hoping to return to Rome some day soon, Alisa followed a long-standing tradition and dropped a coin into the famous Fontana de Trevi.

Thank you for reading!

Monday, January 29, 2018

Event Report: Prohibition Era Theme Highlights Historical Los Angeles

Event Date: Friday, December 1. 2017
Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Location: Vibiana, Downtown Los Angeles, CA
Guest Count: 600

The Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board and Marriott International wished to highlight the rich and illustrious history of Los Angeles at THE EXCHANGE – Corporate Partnership Conference, the annual corporate meeting professionals event for Marriott International.

We were honored to create a Prohibition era event with our friends at LATCB and Marriott, applying the theme to every aspect, from beginning - the guest departures from the meeting hotel - to the surprise end of the event.

We loved this assignment! It was a wonderful opportunity to use a historic venue, Vibiana, originally constructed as the Los Angeles cathedral in 1876, in the midst of the ultra-modern Downtown neighborhood, to bring a 1920s themed event to life.
We used all indoor and outdoor areas of this completely historic but technically ultra-modern venue.

We transported the guests back in time by surrounding them with interactive period elements throughout the soiree.

Costumed characters added excitement from the start.
We placed "Newsies Paper Boys" who distributed single-sided one page special edition newspapers next to the buses that transferred guests from the meeting hotel to Vibiana.
Mobsters and Molls welcomed guests outside the venue entrance.
Guests were invited to take photos with characters in our photo op booths. We offered both a prohibition era-style jail prop for interactive photo opportunities, and an Art Deco photo booth with 1920s themed props.

Our Champagne Glass Girl greeted guests as they entered the main hall - setting the Baz Luhrmann inspired over-the-top Great Gatsby mood.

Themed entertainment enhanced the Prohibition party atmosphere. A DJ spun electro swing. Our Molls turned into Busby Berkley Dancers for a stage performance. A solo guitarist performed Django Reinhardt and 1930s jazz in the Speakeasy Garden.
Two tap dancers entertained guests with vignette appearances in the courtyard.
Gambling stations in the courtyard gave guests a chance to mingle while they played.

LATCB created a menu and specialty cocktails inspired by iconic restaurants of the era as well. Clifton's, the Polo Lounge, Musso & Frank Grill, the Original Pantry, Warner Bros Commissary and the Del Monte Speakeasy hark back to the Jazz Age and have endured through all time to this day.

"Bathtub Gin" inspired cocktails were served during the event. Guests were also offered personal flasks containing cocktail mixers as a giveaway item at the end.

LATCB and Marriott wished to end the event with a bang and on the spot to transition all guests to the after party at an adjacent location.

We created a "raid", complete with 1920s sirens, lighting effects and costumed Keystone Cops. Guests loved this surprise ending and unexpected transition to an After Party near the venue.

Thank you for reading!
Kristen Rensch and Ted Bowers

Monday, January 22, 2018

The Special Event 2018 - Come Meet Us in New Orleans!

We are getting ready for The Special Event Conference 2018.
Janet and Alisa are putting final touches on their seminars.
We look forward to meeting you at TSE 2018 next week.
We would love to see you in person.

Please email us:


Learning Objectives
1)Tips on Creating a Sales Strategy 2)Taking Control of Demanding Customers 3)Creating a winning sales presentation 4)Characteristics of a Successful Sales Person
Additional Information
CMP Approval: 
Earn 1.5 clock hour toward your CMP certification or re-certification in Domain I: Marketing

Aaron Kaufman, CSEP /  Moderator
Bobby Dutton, Director / Panelist
Alisa Walsh, Director of Business Development / Panelist

Tuesday, 01/30/2018: 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Room: 225
Session Number:   B08

Business & Professional Development
Meet some of the industry's top millennials, learn how they define success, the strategy that takes them there, and how they are shaping the future of the industry.

Learning Objectives
- Learn how modern communication can boost agility and lead to better results, faster. 
- Learn how to define your own success, and pursue it strategically. 
- How veterans can learn to work with millennials and how to can adapt their work style to match the ever changing industry 
- Creating the new RFP - reenergizing an old process 
- Importance of personal branding and breaking the barriers of expectations 
- What the future of the events industry looks like from the next generation's perspective
Additional Information
CMP Approval: 
Earn 1.5 clock hour toward your CMP certification or re-certification in Domain G: Meeting or Event Design

We are proud to be Gala Award Nominees.
Let us celebrate.

Gala Awards

Thursday, 02/01/2018: 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Room: Great Hall A

Location: Ernest N. Morial Convention Center/The Great Hall
Event Details: Awards Celebration
Event Chair: Scott Frankel, President, Animatic Media, LLC
Rate: Free Admission to All Attendees
Join us as we celebrate the industry's best who produced spectacular events over the past year. The Special Events magazine's advisory board selects events that raise the bar for innovation. Find out who takes top honors at this year's ceremony.

Thank you for reading! See you in New Orleans.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Event Report: Bringing Iconic San Francisco Landmarks Indoors. We Did It.

Los Angeles clients had been happy with the location based immersive branding we provided. We were happy to replicate the concept in San Francisco.
The Event: A Welcome Reception for 450 guests.
The Challenge: we completely transformed an existing space within a strict time limit.

We had been tasked with creating and producing the Golden Gate Park, Mission District, Haight Ashbury, Embarcadero, North Beach, Russian Hill and Chinatown for this extensive reception.

Alisa Walsh: "We decided to give the Neighborhood theme a new creative twist. Our team came up with "Snapshots", iconic images of San Francisco, that we turned into design reality.
In cooperation with the hotel's banquet department we then matched food and beverage with the neighborhoods.
We also matched the entertainment to the themes.
Our challenge: this event took place in a foyer and several breakout rooms. We produced the largest installation in the foyer and created six more distinct designs for each breakout room. Seven designs for one event.
This meant lots of moving parts for the time-restricted setup and strike. We started at midnight before the event and had returned the location to its habitual state by 6am the next day.
Our Instagram loving guests loved the real life snapshots."

Thank you for reading!