Monday, April 13, 2015

"Missed Coachellla? Listen to DJ Lee Dyson's "The Best" Right Here!"

So you decided to relax in your backyard instead of braving traffic, heat and crowds to immerse yourself in the utmost music and food festival happening this month?
We asked DJ Lee Dyson to do the hard work of selecting the must-know-artists for us. Don't get embarrassed by friends and colleagues: whip out your boombox and pretend you were there!

In the 15 years since its inception Coachella has grown from Indie Music Festival into a global power house of influence; not only in the music world but also in fashion, art, style and food! This year, a VIP dining experience, featuring top chef specialty dinners on the festival grounds, has been added!

So no wonder Los Angeles seemed kind of empty this weekend. Chefs, designers, musicians, media and celebrities are all in Indio.

Even though we were not there physically, we are doing our event homework of keeping up with the trends!

Unlike most of us, Lee Dyson can put a face or music to each and every name in the musical lineup!
Lee, we are grateful for this great Spotify List!

Bohemian gear on, craft brew in hand, we are ready.

In the early days of Coachella, I had the chance to shine as the "cool parent". Thanks to a good friend who provides a lot of the production services for the festival- you know who you are! :-) - we got All Access to the festival and my husband and I took our son plus several of his friends to what was back then just one 2-day weekend. We were the Greatest Parents Ever until Sunday early afternoon when I told everyone to get back into the van by 5pm to drive home because it was a school night after all. I hope they have forgiven me by now!

Wishing you a fabulous week!


Monday, April 6, 2015

Site Report: We Are Going "Hollywood"

We locals may not pay much attention anymore but recent requests from international contacts reminded us that "Hollywood" is our biggest iconic asset. Those white letters on the hills and the little Golden Guy they hand out annually are truly world famous.

We contacted our friend Eileen Daley, Senior Catering Sales Manager at the Loews Hollywood Hotel and arranged a visit. After all, it does not get much more "Hollywood" than Hollywood&Highland.

Eileen and Jaclyn Slifer, Public Relations Manager, welcomed us on site.

The location is hard to beat! Hollywood&Highland has become the biggest international draw in Southern California, counting 25 million visitors annually.

Loews Hollywood completed a 31-million-dollar renovation in the summer of 2014 and offers 628 luxurious guest rooms, including 113 spacious suites. Guests enjoy the pool deck with Hollywood views,, exclusive access to the 4th floor bridge in the Babylon Gate, the "exhale" spa and access to the fitness center that overlooks Hollywood. 

Jaclyn sent us the following information:

The hotel has its own Helipad:    
The 2,025 square-foot Loews Hollywood helipad rests above the hotel’s 20th floor. As part of the “Top of the World” programming, introduced in June 2014, the helipad is available for exclusive experiences, such as rooftop yoga, romantic proposals, private dinners, champagne toasts and engagement photo sessions.

Meetings & Events:    
As the home of the Oscars, Loews Hollywood is known for grand events and one-of-a-kind experiences, and features 77,000 square feet of flexible meetings space. The re-design of the meetings space includes the grand Hollywood Ballroom (7,932 square feet) as well as 14,700 square feet of additional rooms across the Mezzanine and 3rd floor levels. The aesthetic complements the gray and purple tones consistent across the lobby and guest rooms.

The new LINC (Loews Immediate Needs Coordinator) phone line was introduced to Loews Hollywood in February 2014 to quickly service any requests guests may have while attending functions in the meeting rooms. Available 24 hours per day, seven days a week, LINC representatives expedite needs ranging from audio/visual equipment requests to meeting room box delivery services, all within 15 minutes. 

An all-new banquets menu was rolled out in July 2014.

Working Out with a View of the Capitol Records Building

Suite View Overlooking Hollywood Hills and Sign

Ballroom in Classroom Setup

Ballroom setup with Rounds

Iconic Hollywood Decor

Lobby Lounge

The surrounding infrastructure is outstanding. Several floors of subterranean parking, a metro station that connects Hollywood&Highland via Redline to Universal Studios as well as Downtown and locations beyond, outdoor event space - for instance the beautiful Loews pool deck with 360 degree Hollywood views - and a center that is equipped for large scale event load-ins and group arrivals as well as discreet VIP arrivals and exits.

You may witness TV and film taping at the Loews!
Jimmy Kimmel's theatre is located across the street. They use the Loews for location shoots.
Loews also works closely with the adjacent Dolby Theatre, home of the Academy Awards and many other events.

As they say here: "Stick with me kid and you will go places".

We will be happy to make you a success in Hollywood!


Photo Credits:

Photos 1, 2, 3 on top: Marion Renk-Rosenthal / EventWorks
View from Suite/ View from Fitness Center/ Art Work:Marion Renk-Rosenthal / EventWorks

Ballroom setups and Lobby: Loews Hollywood.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Success Story from the 2015 World Floral Expo

We had the pleasure of creating floral branding and decor for a client at the 2015 World Floral Expo that took place at the Los Angeles Convention Center this year.
Our goal: to create a booth that made an impact at the expo.

We think we got it! Our client just updated their Facebook page with a cover shot of our job and raved on Facebook: "World Floral Expo booth, so beautiful!"

Thank you to our client for the compliment and the wonderful assignment!
We are sharing the details.

The Concept:

Working closely with the client, we decided to create a welcoming space by building a floral studio inside the hall, complete with furnishings and floral branding to set the booth apart from all the other vendors.
Director of Floral Design Kate Brack and Floral Designer Rebecca Motus conceptualized and created what our client and many visitors called the "best booth".

Also, visitors' reactions showed that this strategy worked!

Project Lead Floral Designer Rebecca Motus: "Originally, there were going to be four flower walls. Being the creative mind, I was oblivious to the amount of labor it would entail. Thankfully, the purchasing manager made me realize the logistical aspect of the project and we decided to do two walls. We had suggested to make the logo wall for them. The client loved the idea so the logo wall came into fruition. We decided to create the Mondrian inspired wall because of the interesting dimensions and depths. Creating these two walls took about 8000 stems and 40 hours of work!"

Rebecca recorded the process in time lapse videos.

"Kate Brack was our savior and hero --- down to the last hour, she was able to pull off the perfect furniture setting for the booth!"

We are happy to share this table top floral the client selected as his Facebook cover! 

Five production meetings, lots of emails, tons of phone calls and text messages and many hours in the floral studio is what it took.

This client flies all his flowers straight into Los Angeles instead of shipping from South America to Florida and trucking across the country to California. The freshness degree of the product was very helpful in creating floral that lasted through the whole 3-day duration of the expo.

It's just too sad that we cannot mail you the beautiful scents we all enjoyed at the expo! Thank you to Kate and Rebecca for an outstanding success!

Wishing you a week in full bloom!


Photo Credits:
All photos Marion Renk-Rosenthal/EventWorks
Except: Facebook Cover Flora / HFM

Monday, March 23, 2015

Site Report from The Fabulous Forum in Inglewood

We recently had a Fabulous Tour of the Fabulous Forum, courtesy of our friend Jill Przelenski,
Director, Special Events & Family Entertainment.

In a nutshell: the re-invented Forum deserves the media hype it received.
Eagles' Glenn Frey exclaimed: “The Forum is the best sounding large building anywhere in the world. Take my word for it, we’ve played them all.”

It also offers exquisite event space possibilities that allow us to create a VIP Experience of any size!

The legendary Forum Club serves as special entrance for private and corporate events. It's a VIP Experience from the first moment onward as this area has special parking privileges and street access. 

Painting and maintenance crews were hard at work inside and outside of  the new hall that reopened in January 2014. 
Jill Przelenski: "We don't allow any wear and tear. Paint, carpets, furnishings - everything gets lots of attention and is constantly updated." Forum Red, inspired by the California Sunset, a registered custom Pantone color, permeates every aspect of the hall.

We especially love the fact that The Madison Square Garden Company honors this iconic space in Los Angeles sports and music history. The mid-century modern exterior was beautifully restored and matched inside. This venue has history - and you feel it!
Jill: "I am an Inglewood native and have many wonderful memories at the Forum. And it dawned on me that almost every visitor has special memories attached to this sacred place. Whether it be a first concert ever, or a sporting event, someone has a special life moment here every night!"

Brynne Price was thrilled to get "this close" to JT!  "I have seen Justin Timberlake's tour here twice! It was amazing!"

We have seen many rock arenas but none so stylish! The Forum wants to make sure the stars feel at home. The green rooms have every amenity a five star hotel suite would offer. The Forum has its own workout gym and hi-speed wifi. Event production companies will be accommodated with work rooms and office space inside as well, thus eliminating the need for trailer rentals. Nikki Wilbur fancies the fluffy white pillows!

Event ideas abound! We first entered the Forum Club which can handle a large variety of event styles. Have your Cocktail Reception here, prior to a concert. The beverage concessionaire is in-house. However, food catering is usually handled by Levy Restaurant but could be contracted out. Levy offers a different menu every night on site. 
Jerry Buss's private suite - formerly used by the late Lakers owner to entertain his own VIPs - offers the possibility of setting up anything from photo ops to a media meet&greet suite to a VVIP space. 
"The Bull" - the arena itself has a built-in drapery system that allows MSG to use the space as an event floor for nearly any size event or conference. Capacities for events on the floor range from 500-1200. Events utilizing the entire venue bowl can range in size from 8,000-17,500. 

Jill: "I also love the ramp space that leads from the loading dock to the stage entrance. Every band that has played this hall has come down that walkway! All the names are written on the walls, including the number of times they have appeared here. It's a fabulous space with a real rock'n roll feel for a pre-event reception."

The Tech Sheet:
"Architecturally, the interior of the bowl is completely modernized to provide seating for 17,500 and can be converted to a half bowl to seat 8,000, enabling the venue to attract a wide variety of events. The arena has been updated with state-of-the-art, technically advanced support systems featuring a unique “sky deck” to facilitate rigging the largest touring concerts, productions and events. In addition to completely refurbished concourses, fans will enjoy approximately 8,000 square feet of new event level hospitality offerings, including food and beverage, merchandise and bathrooms. A tinted glass wall will separate this concession area from the arena floor; ensuring fans do not miss a moment of the performance. Two exclusive spaces for the Forum VIP customers will include the historic Forum Club and the new Chase Lounge.
Among the key features that have been restored in an effort to replicate the original design principle is the exterior color of the venue, which has been repainted to the 1960s “California sunset red.” The revitalization of the 40,000 square foot outdoor terrace surrounding the perimeter of the building offers upgraded food and beverage amenities to elevate the guest experience"

So Jill, what is your favorite memory?
"Oh, I love my job! I get to see so many great events. I am real Foo Fighters fan and just got to see them this past January. But the VMAs we held last year were really special. It was an amazing production we are truly proud of!"

Janet: "I have been in Los Angeles for over three decades and some of my best memories were made here. Furthermore I really love the fact that The Fabulous Forum has retained its iconic L.A. Rock'n Roll look and style. It's a special space that guests will remember! 
Jill signs her emails with a greeting that is so appropriate:
Cheers and Champagne!


Photo Credits:
Photo credit for the exterior / outside photos:  Paul Hebert / Forum Photos
Photo credit for the "Starry Night" photo:  Rebecca Taylor / MSG Photos
Photo credit for the Cal's Crowd-stage:  Cal Aurand / Forum Photos

All site visit photos:
Opening group shot: Anna-Lisa v. Heyking/EventWorks
Interior group shot, Brynne with JT shot and Red Wall backstage shot: Marion Renk-Rosenthal/EventWorks.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Saying it with Music: Happy St. Patrick's Day!

As Bono from U2 put it: “The whole thing about Lent – as any Irishman will tell you – is that it stops on St Patrick’s Day.”

Bono, you speak, we listen!

Janet Elkins' hometown is famous for dying the Chicago River green.

Even here in Southern California we celebrate the Irish holiday although the California way may not be quite conforming with the original religious holiday tradition. We are in good company, though! While 5.5 million pints of Guinness are consumed daily around the world, on St Patrick's Day that number rises to 13 million!

Another great Irish tradition is music. We asked DJ Lee Dyson to compile

The Perfect Playlist!

Lee Dyson: "Since I’m more or less ½ Irish AND a DJ I figured it’s only my responsibility to provide everyone with some festive music from Irish bands to help celebrate the day.
P.S. I didn’t forget Enya…..I just didn’t want to put anyone to sleep!"

So we got you drinking Guinness and dancing. Let's add food!
Please do not make the mistake to call corned beef and cabbage Irish Stew!
Our Irish friend and caterer Richard Mooney corrected us on that issue three years ago and shared his personal recipe for an Irish-Californian dinner:

Nuevo Irish Lamb Stew!

Wishing everyone a wonderful holiday!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Janet's Husband Steve Elkins Making Worldwide Headlines

If you have known Janet for a while you probably heard that her husband of more than three decades has spent more than two decades searching for the fabled Lost City in the jungle of Honduras. HE FOUND TWO and visited ONE.

22 years ago Steve, who graduated from Southern Illinois University with a Bachelor Degree in Earth Science and Education and never lost his passion for archeological adventure, met an adventurer and explorer named Steve Morgan. The chance encounter resulted in a documentary film project about the fabled Ciudad Blanca, or Lost City, or City of The Monkey Gods. The documentary team did not find it in 1994 but Steve's interest and curiosity were peaked!
Thus started a 22-year long project, with the aim to finally find the famous Lost City.

You may have seen the worldwide headlines this past week!
Steve's dream has come true!

His painstaking work, commitment and dedication resulted in success!

22 years of research, making contacts, combing through archives in Central America and the USA, countless hours on the internet and more on the phone finally paid off!

Steve Elkins: "When we went into the Mosquitia in 1994 we still had to have carriers bring in heavy generators for camera batteries and we carried a 28-pound Betacam. All archeological research had to be done on the ground. The whole team hiked days through rivers and over mountains to get into remote parts of the jungle. Many parts of the Mosquitia however were essentially inaccessible to humans. Looking for a specific site given the vastness of the area and difficult terrain was more problematic than finding that proverbial needle in the haystack. Modern technology changed all that!

Furthermore, archeologists who work in Honduras have come to the conclusion that there are many "lost cities" under the jungle vegetation. It's very hard to know whether there is a "White City" or which site would actually correspond with the legend.

Forward to 2012. 18 years into the project, Steve had established the most likely area in Honduras. He had also found partners willing to finance the work of a team of scientists Steve had put together to explore the area with Lidar technology. Two years ago the Lidar expedition made headlines as it clearly established the presence of structures only humans could have created.

It took another two years to organize the ground expedition needed to substantiate the Lidar data in person, the so-called "ground-truthing".

Steve: "In 2012 we found evidence of two sites in this general area. We do not know whether they are related in age and civilization or not. This February we visited one site and did establish that this is a site of a larger human settlement. Team member Oscar Neil Cruz, head archaeologist at the Honduran Instituto de Antroplogia y Historia believes the artifacts date to A.D. 1000 to 1400

The team was comprised of scientists, film makers, Honduran Special Forces soldiers for protection, British former SAS jungle specialists and support staff.

The results have made worldwide headlines!        


Bestselling author Douglas Preston wrote the first story
for National Geographic.

Media around the globe picked up!
The Twitter stream went crazy!
And there is more to come!

Steve Elkins: "The artifacts we found are definitely pre-columbian. The site we visited must have been a public plaza. One can only wonder what types of events they organized here thousands of years ago. Obviously, human nature has not changed fundamentally in its social needs."

Steve hopes to organize a second expedition.
Janet plans to travel along!

I am tremendously proud and happy for Steve!
Thank you for reading!

Warm regards,

Monday, March 2, 2015

Please Do Not Hate Us Because Our Weather Is Beautiful

As we watch the morning news here in Southern California, we cannot help but feel compassion for our friends and colleagues in the rest of the country.

If we think "oy vey" as Al Roker announces another polar vortex, YOU are probably gritting your teeth as he announces another sunny day in Southern California!

But please keep in mind: we pay a price for the great weather!
For starters, today will be cloudy with showers early this week! Yes, we know. Cool means 62 degrees. Never mind!

But we may have to deal with any of these calamities during the year!

No further comment!


Traffic! A whopping 7 out of the 10 Most Congested Freeways in the nation are right here! Including the 110 Freeway that leads to our offices!

Rent! While our rents are not quite as bad as San Francisco's or Manhattan's, we still pay a steep price for the roof over our head. $2800 for a one-bedroom in Santa Monica is an average near the beach!

And we are totally missing out on all of this fun!

But despite it all the cliche is true: we hum Randy Newman's "We Love L.A." every morning in the shower.

Because the day after the latest storm looks like this:

If it all becomes unbearable, please consider following in Nikki Wilbur's footsteps! Bring your events out West! See handy directions here!

Or hang in there! Spring is coming!
We are switching to Daylight Savings Sunday coming!

We hope we made you laugh - a good belly laugh will warm you up!