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!


Monday, July 6, 2015

#WithCompassion - Happy Birthday to the Dalai Lama!

 While it sometimes seems that the world is falling apart, we are thrilled and privileged to have a messenger of hope and peace in our midst this week.

The Dalai Lama's 80th birthday brought together 18,000 followers and a group of friends yesterday at the Honda Center in Anaheim to kick off the Southern California event series in his honor.
His one and only wish: that we all live #withcompassion.

It is impossible to imagine another personality that would be able to bring together a group of friends and admirers this diverse. Anne Curry introduced speakers that included Buddhist scholar Robert Thurman, oceanographer Walter Munk and several Peace Nobel Prize winners as well as actress Julia Ormond, comedian George Lopez, MC Hammer and American Idol's Randy Jackson! Just to name a few! But the highlight yesterday afternoon at Honda Center was His Holiness, the Dalai Lama himself. He urged us to take action since, as he put it, meditation is good but on its own will not bring about positive change.
The Dalai Lama has hope to see a more peaceful world in his lifetime, as he said jokingly, within the next 20 years.

He said: "We all come from our mother. We all have the deep experience, we all appreciate the mother's reaction. Some, also including the so-called terrorists... they also have the potential to develop compassion. Some of the people who utilize hatred... If we express (a) message of love, message of compassion, then these people... they realize peace is the only way for (the) survival of humanity."

Please participate and share his video with the hashtag #withcompassion.

In a time of political and economic turmoil he still brings us hope.
I am truly inspired.

According to our calendar, his birthday is today!

Happy Birthday, His Holiness!


Monday, June 29, 2015

Celebrating Red, White and Blue

4th of July is bringing out the Red, White and Blue in us.

So as we are getting ready to celebrate Independence Day -  and the values that make us all American: Liberty, Equality and Self-Government - we take a look back at events that included a patriotic angle.

We have had the pleasure and privilege to produce events in several iconic American locations of historical significance.

We were also tasked with bringing a patriotic element to custom produced and designed entertainment.
Thank you for having a look!

Historic Locations:

We just returned from working in the port of Alameda, CA, where we produced a series of Gala evenings aboard the USS Hornet Museum. Events took place on the flight deck and the hangar deck. In order to make this work, we installed a custom staircase inside of the aircraft elevator for our 1,600 guests.

We do ❤️ aircraft carriers!

We took our customizable Flag Set to the USS Midway for this event.
We matched furnishings in red, white and blue and hired a skydiver who has perfected the art of diving with flags! Luckily, atmospheric conditions were perfect for this dangerous performance on our event night.

Back on land we took over the Ellis Island Museum in New York Harbor.

We turned the Registry and the Baggage Rooms into Gala Event spaces.
Time was of the essence. The museum is part of the National Park System and our event could not interfere with the public's enjoyment of the space. That meant that the setup had to take place after 5pm for a 6:30pm Gala! We are still grateful to our huge crew for their speedy work!


Here the Before and After of the Registry Room and the Baggage Room.

We love to bring a patriotic element to the stage.

Ted Bowers: “We had been very tech heavy in the previous two years for this client's show openings and decided to go back to a true live performance and old-fashioned format. We chose Lee Greenwood and his iconic hit "Proud to be an American".
For the concept ‘Straight from The Heart’ we started by sending out the audio track to selected manufacturing plants, dealers and their families across the Midwest. They practiced and we visited everyone with our video crew to pre-record videos of them singing  “Proud to be An American”. We took the recordings and assembled a video chorus that we projected on the screen during the Opening Sequence of the annual sales meeting.

On opening night we start with the curtains closed. Country star Lee Greenwood kicks off his hit song – and in a very slow reveal we open the curtain and get bigger and bigger and bigger, slowly revealing a 200 piece choir, backed by the pre-recorded video chorus projected over the entire back wall of the stage.

Creative Director Greg Holford: “The performance just kept building and building and getting bigger and bigger, while being really straight on theatrical and presentational. The opening had an enormous emotional impact. The audience was on its feet, applauding. The company is a family-oriented business that has most it’s plants and stores in the heartland of America. The company and the sales force had weathered the recession and thrived again – they have reasons to be proud of their success. This was the right song for the right audience at the right time.”

I guess the approaching Independence Day brought out the nostalgia in us.

What connects these patriotic productions is the impact they have had on the guests.

The concept works, whether the event is produced for an international client who wants to provide his sales force with an unforgettable, exclusive and iconic American
experience or an American client who wants to entertain and reward his domestic crowd.

Both groups of guests took home very powerful memories that inspired, connected and motivated them in their work.

Let's celebrate this week!
Wishing you all a wonderful Independence Day!


Monday, June 22, 2015

We ❤️ Summer Parties

It's officially here: the season of picnics, beach-themed parties and outdoor BBQs. Get your white shoes out of the closet and let's go! We are celebrating the beginning of summer with a fond look at some of our recent summer events.

This Beach Party took place close to home, on a State Beach near Laguna Beach, CA.
Two challenges: ever changing tides that seemed to creep higher as it got closer to show time and floral-endangering heat.

We managed to stay dry and keep the florals fresh by keeping them in cool storage until the last possible moment.
The event was magical! It ended with full moon over the Pacific!

We produced our annual Summer Picnic just this past week. We absolutely love this event as the Summer Carnival is a family event for all. 11,000 guests, 120 event staff, 32 golf carts, and 12 carnival rides. Guests range in age from Baby to Senior and everyone really gets to partake in the fun!


We had a chance to really have fun with floral object creations! Rebecca Fernandez Motus created this floral martini, including the olive on the rim!

Our friend Corine Couwenberg came back from a trip to Bali with the best new recipe for a summer drink!

Here is the Watermelon - Coconut Water Refresher, delicious and hydrating with or without coconut infused vodka.

Ingredients: a seedless watermelon, 1 liter of coconut water, coconut infused vodka optional.
Instructions: Put watermelon chunks into the blender, liquify the melon, add equal parts of coconut water to the melon juice, pour over ice and add vodka to taste!

Trust me, we tried it yesterday during a California heat wave and it works!

Wishing you a fabulous first week of summer!


Monday, June 15, 2015

Event Report: Hip Eco Chic Work Shop in #DTLA

Date: June 6, 2015, 5:30-6:30PM

Location: Target Terrace at L.A. Live in Los Angeles, CA.

The Occasion: we were invited to participate in a "Meet Los Angeles" FAM program organized by L.A. Tourism to provide a new activity: a Flower Bar!

The Event: a Reception at L.A. Live and an Educational Roundtable.

Our Director of Floral and Scenic Design Kate Brack created "Eco Chic" - a drought friendly floral concept and matching, easy-for-everyone activity: assembling succulent terrariums that we are shipping straight to their offices as lasting souvenirs.

Kate Brack and Nikki Wilbur represented us.

The Challenge:
creating a memorable "L.A." Moment for our guests.
We eschewed the typical wine tasting or cooking class activity to present "The Flower Bar" - an Eco Chic terrarium making class.

Perched on a large roof top event space in the heart of downtown LA, we hosted an intimate affair that proved to be social, educational and savvy.

Our 8' Canopy tables paired with ghost bar stools and hanging air plant shades were used to frame the Eco Chic work stations for the terrarium arrangement class. 

A California Lounge area brought intimacy to the spectacular location. Organic Cotton decorative pillows, lanterns and succulent terrariums continued the Echo Chic theme.

Statement arrangements featuring air plants and other native California blossoms were placed on the bars for added enhancement.

Kate Brack: "This event presented us with a unique opportunity to share our tabletop design knowledge directly with the guests. The Flower Bar recipe featured in our custom menu kiosks provided participants with a visual reference while I gave verbal instruction and hands on assistance to guests. The most rewarding part of the event was how creative and enthusiastic all of our participants were!”

Each individual terrarium was packaged and sent directly to our guest’s business offices. This was a way for us to say thank you and give the participants a long-lasting, very personal L.A. souvenir.

Our Director of Business Development Nikki Wilbur noticed that this activity created a relaxed atmosphere and sense of fun that turned this business reception into a successful mixer.


It was a great pleasure and privilege to partner with our friends at L.A. Tourism and L.A. Live.

Thank you for inviting us to participate, it is always a thrill to have the opportunity to show off the amazing event spaces our city has to offer!

We wish to thank AFR Event Furnishings for providing the beautiful lounge furniture for this event.

Of course, just in time for the event light afternoon winds died down and the weather was perfect for the happy hour event.

Warm regards,