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Monday, February 20, 2017

Event Report from Miami: Inspired by Art All Around Us

The Event: 3 days of events supporting a high profile car reveal in the Automobile Industry
Locations: Mana Wynwood and Fontainebleau, Miami, Florida
Date: January 2017
Guest Count: 750

Our Challenge: Tailoring the look and feel the client's brand prefers into the overall design, and integrating the local art-infused atmosphere into decor settings for an international VIP group. Furthermore, we were tasked with creating all events surrounding a high-impact reveal of a new car model.

Ted Bowers, Kristen Rensch, Rebecca Motus and our crew just returned from 10 days in Miami and Kristen confesses that they still have post-event blues. "We had the great fortune to be able to work with a very creative client in a wonderful environment. Despite some challenges - we had a tornado warning call waking us at 3:45am on the night AFTER our tent install, and some last minute changes - it all turned out perfectly! The client was happy. We were happy!"

Our main tasks: creating and producing decor, lighting and sound for the two nights.

Night 1 took place at Mana Wynwood. We had visited the ultra cool, artsy neighborhood during pre-production and our client and we were very inspired by the public art that infuses every wall and locale in Wynwood. We decided to bring the art inside.
We had 100,000 square feet of blank canvas event space at Mana to work with. We used about one third for the event.
We brought graffiti art and the brand's favorite hue of blue into the event.

Night 1: Welcome Reception and Car Reveal     

We selected a black-and-white decor and very linear design to highlight the artistic neighborhood.
Voile was used as perimeter treatment.
We separated the room into three spaces -
1) Reception/After Party Salon
2) Reveal
3) Production spaces
using voile wall curtains to hide the cars prior to the reveal and to hide the after-party space.

Table tops were covered with a custom-printed black-and-white graphic design.
Pillows to match and white floral to complete the modern look.

Four display cars and an art car had to be integrated in the After Party space.

The view of the After Party and what was to come was concealed during the Reception and Reveal phase of the event. 

Lighting effects highlighted the display vehicles, that were eventually revealed by the voile in the After Party.

The Entertainment: a DJ in company of a live saxophonist.

Our BIGGEST Challenges:
a) turning the reception space into the after-party space while the reveal was taking place. We made it!
On cue, we created a kabuki drop of the voile to reveal the reset space for the After Party, inviting guests to freely flow around the now combined, open space.

b) Due to logistical challenges, we had to set up our furniture before the four cars came in. We had to plan the floor plan and setup in a manner that allowed us to accommodate the last minute move-in of the cars in a fully setup space. 

Night 2: Dinner on the Lawn with Entertainment                                     

We got to work at the beautiful Fontainebleau and we are honored that hotel management allowed us to occupy both lawns to set up TWO separate 40x99 foot clear-span tents on the Ocean and La Côte Lawns. We received permission to build a new custom, wood walkway to compliment the existing walkway and connect the tents on the lawns. 

Iconic South Beach hotels and museums were the inspiration for the sophisticated beach design and decor.

Each tent received its own design treatment and seating arrangements. We alternated weathered wood and white-washed furniture, natural wood chairs and custom weathered, white-washed boxes. 

Our Floral Artist, Rebecca Motus, created signature, one-of-a-kind floral art pieces. 
Low-profile driftwood-and-orchid centerpieces were placed on all dinner tables. 
Cylindrical orchid arrangements were suspended from the tent ceiling. 

The Challenge:
a) Last minute enhancements to the floral design.
Rebecca worked miracles, sourcing the flowers and materials locally in record time. Once she found the great source, she also hired their local floral arrangers to assist with the assembly of the hanging orchid columns. 
b) did we mention the tornado warning? 😄 Thankfully, the tents survived high winds and rain. By event time, Miami had the best weather in a long time: blue skies, mild temperatures and beautiful sunshine.

Entertainment: live music, consisting of a singer and a 5-piece band. 

We are very grateful for the feedback we received from the
Fontainebleau Convention Service Team.

"The creativity and unique design presented by this talented team had transformed this space into a magical element. It was a beautiful production that left us amazed!"

We loved this production in Miami! We had a wonderful time. The locations were just beautiful and such an inspiration.
Yes, as usual, it took very long work hours and and an army, as they say.
Thank you to our Friends at TPG and our local partners!
We could not have done it without you.

Wishing everyone a Great President's Day and a good week! 

Monday, February 13, 2017

Alisa Walsh Honored to Co-Chair MPISCC 2017 (WE)CON

Our Director of Sales, Alisa Walsh, is grateful to have had the opportunity to co-chair the MPISCC 2017 (WE)CON event this past weekend.

"We had a 1:1 ratio of planners and suppliers, which was a great way to meet and connect with colleagues and build relationships, that will be really valuable to all of us. But besides the business aspects, we had a wonderful time mingling, learning and participating in great group activities.
As co-chair, I was in charge of hotel logistics, which ties in so well with my previous professional life. It was an interesting experience to work with a hotel from the "other side". I know how hard it is to impress 130 meeting and event planners and suppliers. Our host hotel did a fabulous job."

Looking swell under professional pressure!

Alisa Walsh, Co-Chair,
and Michelle Thornton,
Chair of the Weekend Education Conference,
got ready with a professional blow dry at Fashion Island.

Alisa: "We had a truly outstanding and inspiring group of Keynote Speakers.
We learned a lot about loyalty during James Kane's session on Friday morning." 
"We were thrilled to experience the high-energy presentation "The 10 K's of Personal Branding" by Kaplan Mobray." 
"Amanda Armstrong presented "Evolving Trends in 2017",
Mike Staver reminded us how to manage "Staying Calm Under Pressure".
Michael Dominguez's closing speech was the perfect match in a changing time in our industry!
"The Impact of the New Administration on Our Industry" will have everyone talking and sharing for quite some time to come!

However, it was not all hard work! We had time to play! Thanks to MGM Resort's sponsorship we experienced a SoulCycle class.

Saturday morning at 7am sharp we enjoyed an organized fitness class that was a part of the program led by Joe Martin of BDI Events. Joe is also VP of Education for MPISCC." 
 "Thank heaven for all the workout activities! We splurged on a delicious dinner and drinks at a Lego-themed party with a CSR component on Friday night."

"(WE)CON was also  great way to reconnect with friends!"

Alisa with Suzanne Alsnauer.

Here at EventWorks, we are all grateful for Alisa's endless energy! 7am workouts after a late night - now that is true dedication to her work!

Monday, February 6, 2017

Valentine Floral Design - From EventWorks with LOVE ❤

We have seven days left to turn Valentine's Day into a personal success!
We asked our Floral Artist, Rebecca Fernandez Motus, to  share easy-to-do, romantic and very personal design ideas that will amaze every Valentine!
Instructions included!

Question: What materials and flowers can our readers use that are
1) easy to find and
2) not outrageously expensive and
3) on trend and fresh ideas?

"Roses are extremely expensive as early as a few weeks before Valentine's Day.  The wholesale vendors at the flower market in downtown L.A. usually triple the pricing for the roses to all the flower shops/ florists, so, as you can imagine, the consumers buy them for four times the normal price if they get them from the flower market (which is usually a very inconvenient trip because of traffic, parking and just walking around the flower market itself) and more if they buy roses at a flower shop.

A very good substitute for roses are ranunculus. These are becoming a very popular choice of flowers, not only because of pricing, but because they look very similar to the roses when they are open. Because of the many varieties that have evolved with ranunculus, they are becoming the florists' favorite and the customers as well.  They come in all colors and sizes too… yes, the local ones are the small variety, the medium-to-large ones are from Holland and the giant, big-as-palm-of-your-hand ones are from Japan or Italy. They are a fraction of the price of a rose and they are easy to work with since they don't have thorns. An insider wholesaler trick: during the summer when the ranunculus is out of season,  cut a rose head in half and you get a ranunculus!!! That’s exactly how it looks.

Combine the ranunculus with lisianthus which is also commonly called paper roses, and you will have the perfect Valentine bouquet.

Other flowers that are a good rose substitutes would be hyacinths and sweet peas (my absolute favorite ). They have the sweet fragrance at the fraction of the price of a garden rose.

For vases and containers, be creative. There are mason jars that are cheap and available on Amazon or at your local store. But if you want to use what’s readily available at home, my first recommendation is your ceramic coffee mugs. They come in different sizes, colors and some have those witty quotes and prints. If she loves those big 3-wick scented candles in a glass container, then she must have a lot of the used ones, this can also be used as a vase.

Question: can you share any tips on how to put them together into an easy, beautiful bouquet?

1) Get organized first. Line up about 3 to 5 different coffee mugs.

2) Clean up the stems of your ranunculus and lisianthus, stripping it off greenery by hand.

3) Put together the flowers like a bridal bouquet by alternating the ranunculus and the lisianthus stems and arrange the flower heads all at the same level.

4) When you have a handful that will fit the coffee mug, measure the length of the stems to the height of the coffee mug, and with sharp scissors cut the flower stems, drop in the coffee mug and repeat.

This will make an impressive grouping of arrangements that looks like so much effort has been put into it, but it’s really a very easy and economical process for all the guys out there.

This may also be done with mason jars, pitchers, or those decorative glass candle containers.

A few bunches of hyacinth or sweet peas in a variety of colors can be cut and dropped in one of those used decorative glass candle holders and placed on her bedside table.

What is your personal favorite in Valentine floral?
This is my favorite bouquet because it contains all my favorite flowers: white sweet peas (top on my list of favorites), double pink tulips and Sarah Bernhardt peonies. These are usually very expensive flowers and a bouquet like this easily costs about $500 retail.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Get On Your Feet: EventWorks Delivers the 2017 Event Music Hot List

New Year, New Trends - we asked DJ Lee Dyson to give us his top choices of current and up-and-coming artists and music styles, that will get any event group going!

Lee created an inspiring Hot List! Take a listen!

Lee Dyson shares the names and details an event producer needs to know:

Rag N Bone Man
This guy is about to blow up....well...with his single “Human” being #1 in 27 countries, it’s safe to say he has already blown up...just not in the US yet.
Channeling Soul, Hip Hop, Blues, Dirty Rock & Electronic sounds, this Brit has a unique style sure to please almost anyone.
More to come from this guy for sure.

The XX
This band has been around a while but their 3rd album really cements them as a creative force.
Even though they are considered to be a “minimal” or “stripped down” sound...the amount of emotion and diversity the project is impressive.
The XX’s vocals are often haunting yet inviting and always on point.
The band’s producer (Jamie XX) is also earning street cred with his solo album (In Colour) as also an in-demand producer for dance music artists.

Ibibio Sound Machine
Not getting eclectic enough for you yet?
Then check out the new album dropping in March from this British singer of Nigerian descent. 70’s funk, 80’s vibe (Talking heads) Tropical, Electronic and Eurodisco all bundled in her sound.
The lyrics can get heavy but the music always makes me happy.

Colony House (Formerly Caleb)
If I had to give one description it would be “extremely listenable”
No better compliment in my book when it comes to Alt-Rock bands which can often feel bland and noisy.
Good musical sensibilities make each track on their 2nd album (partly inspired by Roy Orbison) consistent with their sound yet unique enough to stand alone.

Dua Lipa
Pop usually isn’t my thing since I play it every weekend, but Dua Lipa brings a maturity to her pop singles that is desperately needed.
Looking forward to a full album from this rising British pop star.

Matt Martians
Producer-writer-illustrator-singer of Odd Future fame steps into the spotlight for his solo album.
Anyone that pals around with Kendrick Lamar, Frank Ocean and Tyler the Creator is someone you should take seriously.
Jazz, soul, funk, electro and stripped down beats make this the perfect album to play when you drop into your cozy chair.

Gabriel Garzon-Montano
If the Beatles and Prince got together and made a trippy, breezy Alt-R & B album I imagine it would sound like this.
Smooth but slightly psychedelic tracks deeply rooted in soul and funk.
With a mother as part of the Philip Glass Ensemble, working under the same management as Mayer Hawthorne and having toured, opening for Lenny Kravitz, I think this artist is ready to break out soon.

Andy Grammer
Andy’s had a few hits and got some love from radio play but I got to see him live recently and this guy should be a superstar.
Amazing energy, stage presence from the whole band was polished and on point.
His tracks are full of super strong pop hooks with vocals you’ll find yourself humming in the office days later.
I predict he’ll be the next Adam Levine.

Things to look forward to:
Word on the street is that we can look forward to new albums this year from Lorde, Missy Elliot, Ed Sheeran , Coin and LCD Soundsystem
Yes I know....they broke up forever....but when does that ever last?

Wishing you a week full of beautiful music! 

Monday, January 23, 2017

EventWorks on the Road: Design Demonstration in Las Vegas

EventWorks Past, Present and Future: Brynne Peña and Alisa Walsh had fun working with former EventWorks colleague Kristen Radakovich in Las Vegas last week.

In town for just mere hours, Alisa and Brynne presented a client with very of-the-moment decor options for an upcoming event at The Venetian. It is all about geometry and architectural design for 2017.

A Day Trip to Las Vegas from Southern California? No problem!
Alisa Walsh: "We flew from Long Beach to Las Vegas. The flight time is actually shorter than the drive from our respective homes to the EventWorks office in our typical Southern California traffic! Our meeting lasted about 2 hours, we had time to work in the beautiful Venetian lobby - we loved the great WiFi speed - before we headed back home."

Don't have time to read any further? Brynne applied her producer skills to create a Story of the Day in 55 Seconds in a Snapshot!
Las Vegas Snapshot by Brynne and Alisa from EventWorks on Vimeo.

The task at hand for the day: demonstrating decor options for a long-term client. The event will consist of 4 separate dinners and 5 separate decor sets.

Alisa: "We loved the chance to demonstrate Kate Brack's new design ideas for our client. We had a very dynamic, creative meeting to discuss the various options and make decisions for the event. The trend in decor is heading towards geometric and architectural designs. Kate and her team created gorgeous options like the golden Starburst and Sun stands. Many of our new long-lasting design items can be enhanced and customized with added floral. We also showed more traditional table centerpiece florals."

We are excited to turn the new trends into event reality!
Thank you for reading!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Our Favorite Moments and Products from The Special Event 2017

Three Seminars - 3D Ice Pops - Cannabis Chocolate - and Drones, Drones, Drones!

We had a wonderful time last week at The Special Event Conference and Trade Show 2017 in Long Beach, meeting longtime friends and colleagues, making new friends in our industry, sharing our experience in three seminars, and learning about new and exciting developments in the event industry.

Here is our roundup.


Janet Elkins and Alisa Walsh shared their experience in Sales,
in the company of our friends Dianne Budion-Devitt, Kathy Miller, Sally Webb-Berry and Joann Roth-Oseary.

Alisa Walsh: "My favorite memory really was speaking at the sales breakout. It was an honor to be included on the panel amongst some of my industry idols and I enjoyed representing the millennials!  It was invigorating to speak to some of our attendees afterward who enjoyed our presentation, especially our Shark Tank piece, and I already have my wheels spinning for next year's TSE..."

Janet was honored to participate in two further panels, both organized and chaired by our friend and business colleague Andrea Michaels.

Janet: In "When You Are David in a World of Goliath" we spoke about how every company, no matter what size, is always looking for sales. Andrea put together a very multi-faceted panel - including Annette Gregg, Kenneth Kristoffersen, Mark Mullen and Colja Dams from Germany. The room was packed to capacity!
We presented the very last seminar of the conference on Thursday afternoon.
In "Leveraging Technology: Getting the Biggest Bang for Your Buck While Maintaining the "Wow" Factor" we explored the best new technologies for every budget. David Calzetta, Andrea Michaels, Claudia Koehler and Greg Christie all shared their ideas and experiences." 


Alisa Walsh and Brynne Peña discovered some "very California" products!

Alisa: I was gifted with "special" chocolate at the Leadership Luncheon!  Toward the end of the lunch we were all given takeaways of reusable bags (also very California of us!). Included in the giveaways was a very nicely decorated box with chocolate inside. Because I am on my New Year's 'cleanse' I decided to read the ingredients before indulging and - low and behold! - cannabis was included!  I LOL'd next to my seat partner on the bus on our way back and read the included card, which sure enough, was weed chocolate!  I wondered how many people may have missed the subtle memo...  when in Long Beach!"

Brynne loved a new, sweet product that offers so many event possibilities: pixsweet is a Los Angeles-based company that partners with clients to design their very own 3D ice pops to be made at their events! pixsweet is currently in the VIP beta launch phase and provides the custom 3D ice pops only in Southern California at this time. But they are expanding rapidly! Get your designer access code asap! They already have a waiting list!


Ted Bowers' favorite moment involves new applications of technology.
Intel and Disney have both dazzled with choreographed, world record setting, outdoors LED light drone shows.
TLC Creative brings dancing drones indoors!
Ted witnessed their display at Michael Cerbelli's The Hot List event and he can't wait to develop a custom, corporate, LED light drone show.    

TLC Creative Director Scott Anderson: ""We used eight drones and only one operator for this display. New flocks of drones are coming on the market soon. They keep getting smaller and more lightweight all the time. By summer, the technology will be even more advanced! Drones are becoming more affordable and the new technology allows one person to operate several drones at once. This makes it more affordable for corporate events. Drones will be huge this year, and the range of applications keeps growing. Indoor drone shows are taking off with creative ideas; the ceiling is the only limit.”
Kristen Rensch, very busy with a large event production this month, could only attend the Gala Award evening. "I am looking forward to TSE2018!"

We had a wonderful time celebrating our industry during the 2017 Gala Award Show and After-Party.

We are grateful for all the long hours and hard work our - mostly volunteer - friends and colleagues provided to make this Convention and Trade Show such a success.

Congratulations to the Special Honorees:

  •     Tony Conway for the Richard Carbotti Gala Award
  •     Joann Roth Oseary for the Steve Kemble Foundation 2017 Leadership     Award.
  •     Richard LoGuercio for being the 2017 recipient of TSE's Lifetime Achievement Award.

Despite the long hours of work and fun we danced late into the night at the After Party to Innovation Entertainment's "Alter Ego".

See you next year!

Monday, January 9, 2017

Ted Bowers Honored to Participate in the 2017 Rose Parade!

This image on nationwide TV set off a cell phone text barrage on Celeste Bowers' mobile and a Twitter storm on Allyson Felix's feed.
2017 started bright and early for Ted Bowers and his family!
Ted and son Ted III started January 2nd at 2am. Invited to participate in one of the most iconic American events: the annual Rose Parade in Pasadena.
Ted is happy to share the story of his very special honor.
The Grand Marshals - Greg Louganis, Janet Evans and Allyson Felix - were driven in triangle formation, Ted Bowers with Ted Bowers III and Allyson Felix on the second row right, surrounded by security detail. 

The Tournament of Roses organization invited Ted and his 1911 Pope Hartford automobile to participate in the annual Rose Parade, an incredible experience. It all started months earlier!

Ted: "My car was referred from a good friend to the director of parade entrees in early September. I didn’t want to get too excited until my car was confirmed.  I learned mid-October my car was included on the final list of confirmed entrees. I still didn't consider it confirmed until I received the formal letter from the Tournament in late October. It was also confirmed I would be carrying a Grand Marshal in the parade."

This was the beginning of many weekends and evenings of volunteer work to get the Pope ready for the special occasion.

The Tournament organizers work diligently to ensure the automobiles suitability.

They visited Ted for an inspection:
"The drivetrain of the Pope is completely original and requires frequent upkeep. I’ve always maintained the car in top running condition, however I wanted to assure I would finish the parade with a running car. I’ve spent enough time with the car to know the strengths and weaknesses of the design. In the category of “what could go wrong?” I focused on the possibility of a sticking valves. The engine is equipped with overhead valves and they tend to run hot and build up carbon. My rule of thumb is a valve job is required about every 1,000 miles to remove the carbon deposits and eliminate the possibility of sticking valves. Although the car was only at the 700 mile mark I decided a valve job would be prudent. When I removed, and inspected the valves I found one valve was working itself apart which would have caused huge damage to the engine. The fix was relatively simple and I felt comfortable that I found and fixed the potential problem. I continued to perform the usual maintenance including proper lubrication and checking each bolt and nut on the car.
In November the tournament sent a team of three inspectors to check out the car and feel comfortable it would finish the parade. They arrived in two official Tournament of Roses vehicles wearing Tournament apparel. They spent about two hours with me reviewing the mechanics and discussing my maintenance practices. The inspection included idling the car for about an hour plus a 30 minute drive at normal highway speed and finished with driving at “parade speed” of 2.5 mph. The Pope Hartford is a large powerful car and develops a top speed of 80 mph on a good day. It was not designed to run at 2.5 mph and the inspection team was well aware of this. Even in 1st gear and with the engine at idle the car moves along at a minimum of 5 mph which is too fast for the parade. To maintain the walking parade speed it requires slipping the clutch for the entire 5.5 mile trek. The Pope is equipped with a leather cone clutch and shifts like a truck. The leather clutch requires frequent treatment with neatsfoot oil to assure smooth shifting.
I proved that, with proper maintenance and skilled driving, the car could maintain walking speed. The final step of the inspection was reading the temperature of the engine to confirm it wouldn’t overheat while running at very low speed. The car past in all areas and the inspectors had confidence the car will perform well."

5 days prior to the Parade, Ted delivered the car to Pasadena where all  classic car drivers as well as Director of Floral Design, Keith White from FTD, were feted with a Reception at the Tournament of Roses House. 

             Celeste and Ted Bowers with Tournament official Rudy Castro and automobile collector friend Chris Kidd who had referred Ted.

Following the reception the cars were driven to a staging area near the Rose Bowl for preparation, the painstaking work of floral designer Keith White and his team of volunteers to decorate the cars with exquisite floral designs.

Ted and his family drove to Pasadena repeatedly to check on the Pope.

On the morning of January 2nd it was finally Showtime!

Ted: "The morning of the parade our day started around 2:00am, with a report time of 3:30 in Pasadena. My son and I only had three to four hours of sleep that night. The cars were staged at the tournament house and standing by for the riders at 7:00am. Once in position I noticed Teddy fell asleep in the seat next to me. There wasn’t much action at the moment so I decided to let him nap for a few minutes. I forgot to wake him up and about 15 minutes later he was awakened by the commotion of several volunteers and parade riders all commenting that he was their favorite participant in the parade!

Celeste Bowers and family and friends followed shortly after to reach their seats!

Ted: "It was fun to see several family and friends along the parade route. My wife Celeste had seats just ahead of TV coverage. Friends and family as far as the east coast reached out via text for updates on when they would see the “Pope”. About 10 minutes after we passed Celeste, her  cell phone blew up with texts and notifications from friends around the country who saw us live on the world wide coverage. Each friend sent pictures of their own TV big screen shots. Every photo and caption were awesome!
About half way through the parade with no end in sight you start to realize how long the route really is. Even the Olympic athletes’ endurance was tested. The car was running well but I was starting to feel a little driver fatigue, and not to mention some pain in my clutch leg. I wished there were mile markers so we had a clue how much longer the parade route was. A block later a spectator was hold a sign reading “only 4 more miles”. I couldn’t believe we had only gone about a mile! About 50 yards further along the route another spectator was holding a sign reading “JUST KIDDING! There are only three more miles”. We all had a good laugh and knew we were up to finishing the parade in spirit!
I knew with the 128 years of history the parade would be well organized, but I was very impressed how every detail was thought out to the nth degree. The positive energy from the parade directors and volunteers, who enjoy what they are doing, is wonderfully infectious.
I’ve experienced several parades and couldn’t believe we only had three or four brief pauses along the 5.5 mile route.

Driving my 1911 Pope Hartford in the Tournament of Roses Parade was an experience of a lifetime!
I felt honored to have had the opportunity to participate in the parade. And yes, despite the long and early hours, I would do it again!"

Thank you for reading!
Have a great week!