Monday, August 24, 2015

What Happens When an Event Planner Plans Her Own Wedding?

We have a happy bride in the house!

Account Executive Brynne Price recently got engaged to the love of her life, Joe Peña.

Knowing how passionate and dedicated Brynne is at work,
we were just wondering:

What happens when an event planner plans her own wedding?

   “Three days after we got engaged, I had already made a floor plan and rough timeline for the wedding day. Is that not normal?” she quipped.

We know Brynne to be organized and creative in her work as an Account Executive here at EventWorks, so it comes as no surprise that both strengths shine as she plans for the big day.

  “I live and die by my Google drive.  Everything is in one, organized cloud-based program so that Joe and I can easily access things from wherever we are.  Vendor contracts, to-do lists, budgets, schedules – you name it.  Keeping organized is a must for any planner or in this case, any bride!”

“I will confess that I am a little crazy when it comes to the design – I just can’t help it!  The look of the day is really important to me, and yes, I made myself a little proposal with all the inspirational images.  Soon I will be forced to quit Pinterest.”

"We do have fun! This was our first time visiting the wedding venue."

  "There is certainly an unspoken pressure to execute the most amazing wedding ever because I’m a “professional” but I have the great pleasure of planning events all the time – this one is just extra special and personal.”
She smiles and continues, “Which makes it the most fun event I have ever worked on. I have to admit, it is a challenge at times not to have my personal wedding planning feel like work. The tasks and designing process feel very familiar – a part of my daily work life – but Joe reminds me to stop and enjoy the process.  At the end of the day, we just want to get married.

I know I will be tempted to run around the room and tweak some tables but I have promised my bridesmaids that I will stay away.  I may have planned our wedding but I am handing the reigns over to another person to be the coordinator. I will focus on being the bride.
And we do keep priorities in mind.
Most of all, this day is about us getting married. I can't wait!"

We are all enjoying this very personal and romantic event!

Kate Brack, Kristen Rensch and Nikki Wilbur celebrated with Brynne in their favorite DTLA restaurant a few days ago.

We don't produce weddings but Wedding Fever has infected us all a bit. And just in case Buckingham Palace is reading this: we would be proud to produce Prince Harry's Royal Betrothal and put Brynne's extensive experience to work!

Warm regards,

Monday, August 17, 2015

Singing The Empty Nest Blues? DJ Lee Dyson Has Your Playlist!

We could not help but notice that many of our friends are sending their kids off to college these days - and Kleenex stock has definitely gone up!

Yes, it's hard to pack them up. It seems just like yesterday that they needed your help to put a band-aid on that scratched up knee.
Oh, how fast they grow!

Ted Bowers' son Teddy is one of the Freshmen who are very much looking forward to a new chapter in life and another important step into adulthood.

As event pros we know that music has an enormous effect on our mood - so we asked DJ Lee Dyson to compile a list of songs perfect for this moment.

Dry your tears, listen and cheer up!

Spotify Playlist

And always remember that the alternative is much worse in the long run! It's not so sweet when they still sit at your table at age 30!

Buster and his mom Lucille in Arrested Development.
I know how hard it is - we went through this Blues when our son went off to college.
I can reassure you: nothing beats the pride and happiness you feel as a parent when you see your hard work pay off and they blossom into nice, independent adults.

Warm regards,

Monday, August 10, 2015

It's a Brave New World - Robots Take Over!

We don't quite know, yet, how this may affect the hotel industry and employment chances in the tourism and event industry but Nagasaki, Japan, proudly presents the first hotel completely run by robots: Henn-Na Hotel at Huis Ten Bosch Amusement Park.
From check-in to porter services, it's all automatic and automated and multi-lingual at the push of a touch screen.
We just have one question: how do you tip a robot?

It seems that robots are everywhere these days!

Closer to home, The Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University is developing "co-robots" who can work with humans. Robot assistants for the blind and caregiver robots for the elderly will be just as common as Google's autonomous driving car soon.
Furthermore, robotic medical devices are nearly ready for implanting into human bodies to monitor health and trigger alerts for timely intervention and blood plasma based bioplastics that will revolutionize the natural healing process are already in the human clinical trial phase.

Television already shows us what the near future may hold. Halle Berry plays mom to a "humanic" boy and an alien hybrid in "Extant", cars are self-driving and daily chores at work and at home are performed by invisible high tech assistants that respond to voice command. Siri on steroids!

Actually, social, emotionally responsive robots already exist!
Jibo is the first family robot, a hands free helper who listens and talks to you! Yes, he welcomes you home and orders take-out dinner, reads you your messages and much much more.

Pepper is your guy if you need an emotionally responsive greeter with endless charm, stamina and a little more height. He stands 1m27  (50 inches) tall and became commercially available on June 20th! Yes, he can open your next annual meeting!

It seems that robots. androids, cyborgs, humanoids and humanics will be part of our lives.

But how do we feel about our new mechanical friends and helpers?

According to a two-phase study by a team of German researchers who presented test groups with videos of human - human and human - robot interaction, tender as well as violent, we feel empathy towards the machines.

“We did not find large differences in brain activation when comparing the human and robot stimuli. Even though we assumed that the robot stimuli would trigger emotional processing, we expected these processes to be considerably weaker than for human stimuli. It seems that both stimuli undergo the same emotional processing,” writes Astrid Rosenthal-von der Pütten from the University Duisburg-Essen.

This explains our sadness over the demise of HitchBOT, an adorable little hitchhiker robot, who was "killed" by vandals in Philadelphia on August 1st.

HitchBot, a simple, child-sized little fellow was developed in Port Credit, Ontario, Canada, to study the other side of the coin.
Professional Communication professor Dr. Frauke Zeller:
“Usually, we are concerned with whether we can trust robots. This project asks: can robots trust human beings?”​

HitchBOT was deliberately cute and simple. Equipped with Wellington boots and rubber gloves, its technological heart was really quaint. It needed the help of kind strangers to hitch rides on its global journey.

The immobile bot “could toss out factoids and carry limited conversation. A GPS in the robot tracked its location, and a camera randomly snapped photos about every 20 minutes to document its travels,” (Associated Press).

HitchBOT traveled across all of Canada in 2014 and safely visited Germany and the Netherlands earlier this year.
He started his American adventure on July 17 in Massachusetts, thumb up to hitch across the USA, hoping to reach San Francisco.
His journey ended just 2 weeks later in Philadelphia where vandals ripped his head and arms off and damaged the helpless bot so badly that the team had to end the social experiment.

The good news: kind strangers did find the parts and are sending the package home to Canada - after all, bots don't die. They get reassembled!

We can think of a myriad fun ways to use bots in events.
Looking forward to having those little helpers on site!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Site Report: Beach- and Waterfront at Newport Dunes Resort and Marina

They had us at Aloha!

Nikki Wilbur recently had the chance to check out Newport Dunes, a Waterfront Resort and Marina and enjoyed discovering this gorgeous event site in Newport Beach, California.

What a gem!
We have RV-traveling friends who had been raving about the 5-star resort but Newport Dunes has so much more to offer, most importantly to us: the property's 110 acres include an extremely civilized beach event space!
This is waterfront and beachfront without the inconvenience of sandstorms, waves or lack of infrastructure.

Furthermore, Newport Dunes is now partnering with Choura Events, known for their completely customizable, top tier event tent setups of literally any size.
This just took the weather risk out of the outdoor space, turning Newport Dunes into a safe, year-round location, just in case we do get any rain in Southern California.

Sales Manager Brian Moore: "We are a blank canvas. Anything is possible. A business meeting with beach barbecue for eight or a major gala for 10,000."

The new partners celebrated with a Summer Luau Lounge, the perfect theme for a balmy July late afternoon.

The Fact Sheet:


110 water-front acres around a safe, clean, protected bay in the heart of Newport Beach.
Newport Dunes neighbors the Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve.

Newport Dunes has two large entry gates, one from Back Bay Drive, one from Bayside Drive, right off Pacific Coast Highway. John Wayne Airport is a 15-minute drive away.
Parking space is ample: 800 individual parking spaces as well as large bus parking.
But the funnest way to arrive: by boat! After all, the resort has it's own marina.

Brian Moore: "We offer cottages and RV and tent spaces on site and we are working closely with the neighboring Hyatt Regency Newport Beach. They use our beach for many of their events. Guests just simply cross Back Bay Drive to get to us. We are also very close to the large business meeting and convention oriented properties in Huntington Beach and Newport Coast and we are easily accessible from Anaheim."

This is a full service, 5-star waterfront Resort and Marina and offers any water sport activity imaginable, including fully catered electric Duffy Boat Happy Hours and standup board paddling in the calm waters of the bay.
The resort operates a seasonal water park from Memorial to Labor Day weekend.
A lifeguard is on duty during daylight hours.

The beach is a tidal property, i.e. the width of the beach varies. However, the bay is free of waves and the beach area is long enough to accommodate a large size event at any time.
The beach features five permanent pavilions.
In partnership, Choura offers customized tent structures.
A restaurant is part of the property. The Back Bay Bistro features indoor and outdoor waterfront dining, seats 200 and is available for buy-outs.

A sound permit is required for amplified music.
Allowable Time:
Sunday - Thursday until 9pm
Friday, Saturday until 10pm
However, due to the privacy of the location, acoustic music or smaller speakers are allowed for later nights.

Newport Dunes Contact:
Brian J. Moore

It's the quintessential California Beach vibe!
And you may add Caribbean spice or Hawaiian flair.
We are looking forward to working here!

Aloha and Mahalo!


Photo Credits:
Photos 1-4: Marion Renk-Rosenthal/EventWorks
Video: Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort and Marina

Monday, July 27, 2015

Music to Cool Off To!

Let's celebrate summer!
This Monday, we are sending you a great
new Poolside Remix from DJ Lee Dyson
that's climbing the MixCloud's Chill Charts!

Jump in and have fun!
Or crank up the AC!


Monday, July 20, 2015

Brynne Price Named One of "25 Young Event Pros to Watch"

We are delighted to share Good News!

Account Executive Brynne Price has been included on the latest Special Events Magazine “25 Young Event Pros to Watch,” the cover story of the July-August issue. We love page 19!


Special Events writes:

Price is praised by colleagues as a professional with "amazing customer service skills but, more importantly, the creativity to make every event amazing. Her passion for cutting-edge design and technology helps create a memorable experience for all." Her role as account executive is "both sales and operations," she explains. "I work with ny clients from beginning to end, proposal to execution." Her secret to success? "I am high-energy, people- and team-oriented, positive and cheerful." she says, adding, "And I always have a "Plan B" in the back of my head." We could not agree more wholeheartedly with the accolades and we are very happy that Brynne received this well-deserved honor.
A big Thank You to the client who nominated her. You know who you are!

The whole story is available online and in the current print edition of Special Events Magazine.

Warm regards,


Monday, July 13, 2015

Drum Roll Please! Our Personal Top 5 AGT Contestants

We confess, we love America's Got Talent as a source of entertainment ideas.
Auditions concluded last week, chosen acts are moving on to perform live in New York.
Not all acts may be suitable for the corporate event world but these 5 acts blew our minds!

Freckled Sky takes multi-media dance to a new level by combining dance, water, multi-media and lighting. Creator Val Syganevich left his native Ukraine to fulfill his artistic dreams in the USA. Dancers Jaylin and Olga wowed the judges. Howard Stern hit the Golden Buzzer! 

Metal Mulisha: freestyle motocross extreme stunt team. As Howard Stern put it: "You look like real men, you look tough".
Howard Stern gave them two yesses so they got a total of 5!
It just so happens that they recently performed at one of our summer events and the guests went wild.
These guys deliver a high energy outdoor or arena performance show!

ChrisJones who insists on spelling his name as one word –  is an amazing hypnotist Almost scary good! He got germaphobic judge Howie Mandel to shake hands! Howie had not done that in years!
ChrisJones already has a thriving entertainment career in the college world and he is known for an entertaining and very interactive performance. While he is at it, he can help attendees quit smoking and lose weight!
We want to meet him!

Uzeyer Novruzov: Chaplinesque Acrobatic Act. His bio includes Bolshoi Circus, Big Apple Circus and Cirque de Soleil! He performs an outstanding free ladder act and his performance is truly iconic and perfect for global audiences! No language required - and happy emotional response guaranteed.

Sharon Irving: is a singer, songwriter, worship leader, poet, MC, actress, VO artist & spreader of holy mischief.
She's so good that Mel B. used the Golden Buzzer!
She is a native of Chicago, born and raised on the South Side, and daughter of famed jazz musician and musical director of Miles Davis, Robert Irving III

We will keep watching to see who makes it to the top but AGT 2015 has already given us great new sources for all sorts of occasions.

I'd love to hear who your favorites are!