Monday, September 15, 2014

Ancillary Benefits of the Business Traveler's Life!

A big part of our job: business travel. Long hours on site but our team makes the very best of it!
We love ancillary benefits!

Like fabulous locations!
We spent the first week of the month in Boston to produce a series of events and we very much enjoyed the surroundings!
Here a shot of Brynne Price, Carolyn Vasi and Melissa Cowley on closing night at a site they loved: the Liberty Hotel.

Two nights prior, the setting was even more grandiose: The Museum of Fine Arts! We took care not to disturb Chihuly's Lime Green Icicle Tower!
To work in such exquisite surroundings is a pleasure!

The next ancillary benefit: restaurants! Event Producer Brynne Price is a self-confessed foodie and she loves to explore the new, trendy, most delectable and special places wherever she goes. Her biggest weakness: coffee drinks! We think she should write a travel guide just for coffee houses!
Until she does, you can follow her on Instagram: #hipsterfoodie! Not just Brynne's discoveries but lots of great tips from across the USA.

Here are Brynne's highlights from Boston!

Hungry travelers. I had Mark's Choice, of course �� #markymark @wahlburgers #touristbears

 Mei Mei Street Kitchen
Fantastic modern Chinese lunch at @meimeiboston #eatlocal #sustainable #hipsterfoodie

Cheers! Team dinner at one of Boston's best #eater #hipsterfoodie #eventworksla

And last but not least her favorite coffee house:

Pavement Coffeehouse
Round two. This latte is delicious #hipsterfoodie #coffeeaddict #boston

Bon Appetit!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Checking in With: Danny Bergold's New Group "ARIA" - Our Pop Opera Tenor Favorites

This was surely the most entertaining business meeting we had in recent months!

Danny Bergold, President and Managing Partner of About Entertainment, had scheduled a meeting to introduce us to some of his latest entertainment offerings and surprised us with a live performance by ARIA, his pop opera quartet.

We expected Danny with an iPad and his sizzle reel. In came Danny - with the four Australian born singers that form ARIA! Imagine our surprise! Nothing beats the real thing. We got an impromptu show  -  they sang the roof right off the building, unplugged with just a guitar for accompaniment!

Janet: "Their voices are just incredible, individually and in harmony! Once Scott Fields, Craig Hendry, Liam McLachlan and Jason Short started to sing, work all around EventWorks stopped. Everyone came out to watch the show. ARIA got a standing ovation from our seasoned event pros. These guys have exemplary talent and they clearly love what they do. The show was so much fun! Their good mood brightened everyone's day!"

Indeed, these four guys have known each other for a while, as they sang together in the Australian group The Ten Tenors.

Craig Hendry, musical director: "We coincidentally all left The Ten Tenors in 2009 and ended up moving to the United States for various reasons. I think after years of working on tour, traveling through 25 countries with a large group, we each just needed a break. Jason honed his media production and home construction skills. Liam worked for Barnes & Noble when he arrived on the West Coast, Scotty made a living as a wedding singer and I played dueling pianos in Texas. We were in touch through all of this because we are really friends. Liam was the best man at my wedding. So everyone was doing their own thing but in 2011 Jason called to ask whether we would get together for a charity singing gig in Texas. I quickly wrote some new arrangements and we performed together for the first time in several years. It was fun! And successful! We got several follow-up gigs and ended up formalizing ARIA in 2012. I moved to Los Angeles and we are making ARIA our priority. We all get on very well and working together is really enjoyable now. There is not so much pressure. We are not yet established. We can put the emphasis on a repertoire we really like. And after the concert, we all go and have a beer!"

Danny Bergold: "Their four unique voices bring a hitherto unheard blend of opera and pop, exploiting the versatility and range each of them brings to ARIA.  At ease with diverse repertoire from Puccini to Philip Philips, these boys from Oz pride themselves on delivering a musical experience that is raw and honest and, well, let’s face it – often vocally thunderous.  After all, they are from Down Under."

Please watch the video!  Jason Short applied his video production skills. These guys just know how to entertain!

ARIA EPK from ARIA on Vimeo.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Event Report: Turning a Parking Garage into a Speakeasy.

The client: an international hotel chain.
The location: a large hotel in the Phoenix, AZ, area
The guests: 500 food and beverage executives
The purpose: to show them unusual ways to use every space of their properties.

Our task: creating an amazing fete in a never before used "event" space.

We were fortunate to have a visionary client who came to us with a concept and details in mind. Creating the event together became a very rewarding collaborative endeavor.
Event Designer Kate Brack: "The event was a secret. Guests were only told that they were going to an "evening event" and to meet in the hotel lobby. We surreptitiously took over little used level 2 of the hotel parking garage and went to work. This is where we started."

Since our guests were food and beverage executives the client came up with a theme matching the current jazz age food craze: the Speakeasy!
The concept kept the surprises coming. We created a familiar entrance: an industrial walk-in refrigerator.  The client had found a used model on Craigslist that we could dismantle and re-purpose to create an entry hall that covered the elevator exit in the parking garage.

Our client's national executives graciously acted as kitchen staff, greeting arriving guests in full kitchen costume.

 Don't worry! That is fake blood! No animals were harmed during this production! :-)

Guests were taken for a real ride - once they gained the elevators they had no idea where they were going.

Event Producer Brynne Price: "THAT look of total surprise is what we were after! We had created this hotel kitchen with the help of our host hotel's real equipment. They provided the shelving and pallets. All those boxes you see on the sides are our real packing materials. Our equipment arrived in those and after the event was over, we used those "party props" again to ship things back to Los Angeles. We love to re-use."

Guests crossed the kitchen and arrived in the jazz age speakeasy.

Moonshine, signature mixed drinks, deviled eggs are all back in fashion. The hotel provided the glassware. We created the appropriate space for a jazz age party.

We added four cocktail serving flapper girls, a 5-piece jazz band and three dancing couples.

The client's goal was achieved! The 3-hour reception was a full success and everyone left with new ideas and impressions.

"Can’t repeat the past?…Why of course you can!” (F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby)

It seems so appropriate today!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Checking in with: Sam Trego/ Imagination Entertainment As They Celebrate The Beatles

August 23, 1964: 18,700 hysterical fans packed the sold-out Hollywood Bowl to experience the very first Beatles outdoor concert in the USA. Sam Trego's iL CiRCo is celebrating the 50th anniversary with a fresh take on Beatles Mania!

After all, 50 years after the British Invasion, the Beatles songbook is as relevant as ever.  Paul McCartney is touring the world and Ringo Starr just dropped a new album.

Janet: "I absolutely LOVE Cirque de Soleil's Beatles show in Las Vegas and iL CiRCo has done a great job capturing the essence of it and bringing it to events and stages of all sizes!"

Producer Amy Gale: "This production is a work of passion for us. We all grew up listening to the Beatles. Their music truly spans the globe and generations. We have had the privilege of performing the show several times this year. Every audience was thrilled - regardless of age and geography. For us, it is so much fun to perform to this incredible music in our psychedelically colorful costumes. This show really works magic for everyone. We have done a few configurations of the show this year from a full big show in Las Vegas to General Session openers."

Sam Trego added: “The first thing we considered when writing this show was the music.  You have to tread carefully when re-imagining classics such as “Lucy In the Sky” and “Get Back”.  We are very proud of the results of writing and arranging the musical score."

Please check out the video!

"Beatles by iL CiRCo" from Imagination Entertainment on Vimeo.

Janet: "The fact that this show can be configured for so many different applications enables us to suggest it to many of our clients. The Beatles are a truly universal favorite and their music works for everyone. Combined with the currently extremely popular circus arts, it's a sure hit. In these difficult times, as we get bombarded with horrific world news, the Beatles enduring spirit of peace and love inspires me even more!"
"All you need is love, love. 
Love is all you need."

Monday, August 18, 2014

Event Report: DJ Matt Cornwall on Scott Weiland and The Wildabouts

Not that Phoenix, AZ, needs much heating up in early August but we just did! A three-day event for a hotel client culminated in a concert starring A-list rocker Scott Weiland and the Wildabouts on stage at The Venue in Scottsdale!

The Wildabouts blew the roof right off the house!

Our event producer Brynne Price Instagrammed a stage photo and commented: Rockin' out with Scott Weiland of STP. "#ilovemyjob".
DJ Matt Cornwall, who opened and closed the night at The Venue, raved about Scott Weiland on his personal Facebook!

So what made this gig so special?

DJ Matt Cornwall: "I’ve always been a big fan of STP’s brand of blended, hook laden songs, combined with just the right amount of edginess, grit , weirdness and swagger. The Wildabouts' original songs sounded great and Scott’s voice has held up flawlessly given his over extended commitment to life in the rock & roll fast lane ; )  Well played Scott Weiland!”

Scott Weiland and The Wildabouts are on tour, a solo album is announced for November 2014!

Check it out: Scott Weiland and The Wildabouts Live at the legendary Fillmore:

Monday, August 11, 2014

Saying "So Long" to Chris Gerstenblatt

Parting is such sweet sorrow...... Our executive producer Chris Gerstenblatt will leave our team this week to pursue a new professional adventure that will offer him fresh challenges.

In six and a half years together we have made many memories as a team and we have seen Chris grow from project manager upon his arrival from Orlando, Florida, to successful executive producer and loving dog owner!

We asked Chris which moments stand out the most for him.

 Chris: "I loved the Holiday Party for which we were allowed to create "Central Park" right here in Southern California.
I really had a great time working with Ted Bowers on the Auctions America where we shared our enthusiasm for classic cars and I feel very proud of our Centennial Campaign for a large university.
I am grateful that I had the opportunity to build strong relationships with our clients' event planners. They allow us to be creative and produce great, unique events. I love turning a concept into event reality."

Let's go for the Barbara Walters Moment: Chris, what will you miss the most?

 "EventWorks is a family. We work together, hand in hand as a team and I will miss all my friends here a lot!"

Chris, we will miss you and Abby, too! We wish you all the best with your new endeavor.

This is not "Farewell", just "So Long".

Your EventWorks Family!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Checking in With: Greg Holford, Just Returned From The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Osaka, Japan

Catching up with Greg Holford who just returned from nearly 5 weeks in Japan where he directed
the World Press Event and the Grand Opening of "The Wizarding World of Harry Potter" at Universal Studios Japan.

"We held two very different, distinct events for this opening. For the World Press Event on July 14th we had about 1,200 invited guests. Domestic and international media as well as Universal Studio and Warner Bros. officials attended opening night. Opening Day for the public took place the next day. We rolled out the opening as a gradual event, inviting 500 selected guests to lead the first wave of 5,000 as we opened the gates. In total, we had about 15,000 people in the park the first day.

The Monday Opening Night concept included a red carpet arrival for the attending "Harry Potter" stars Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy) and Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood. In keeping with the theme of magic and wizardry, we revealed Hogsmeade with a "Spell" - as speeches concluded we illuminated in stages, slowly growing until Hogsmeade was brought fully into light. We then immersed all guests with fireworks that surrounded the entire land. We really surprised the guests with that effect!

We also created magic for the big public Opening Day.
Early Tuesday morning, Lynch and Felton performed a mock "Revelio" spell -- a charm used to reveal concealed objects -- after which the archway entrance filled with smoke.
As it cleared, Hogsmeade village and all its characters were revealed to the masses of fans waiting to access the new attraction. 
Once revealed, Tom and Evanna led a parade into the courtyard. We all believe that magic was involved in the opening. It had been raining for the whole month and a large typhoon ravaged the region. The rains stopped just hours before the Opening Night festivities started!"
No time to rest for Greg. He is booked up for the foreseeable future, already developing concepts for another big assignment: the 2022 World Cup in Doha, Qatar!