Thursday, December 17, 2009

What Happens In Vegas.....

....does not stay in Vegas! We are just amazed at Katie Rogers' hobbies!
Katie and her husband Eric have friends in Sin City. They visit regularly. They just went recently over the first December weekend. Don't worry, they do not have a gambling problem.

For fun, they jumped out of bed at 4:15AM on Sunday, December 6th and headed out to run a little marathon, that is 42.195 kilometers or
26 miles and 385 yards for those of you who like specifics.
Start time: at the crack of dawn, that means 6:15AM this time of year.

Las Vegas celebrates the marathon in fabulous style with a fireworks send-off for the runners by Mandalay Bay Resort. Characters welcome! That explains the Running Elvi.

But now honestly, Katie, how was it?
"Absolutely awful" - spoken with her throaty laugh. "It was only 39 degrees out that early in the morning. I think my muscles never really had a chance to warm up like they do during training at home. By mile marker 16 I was getting really bad muscle cramps. Eric had gotten the flu just a week before the marathon and he was not really back in top form, yet either.
There are two different kinds of races – the first when you’re going for a time. The second, is when it takes everything you have to finish. Unfortunately this race was the latter! So we decided to continue on even if we had to power walk the last 10 miles."

They did finish! Proof right here:

What happened the rest of the weekend? What's going on locally?

"It was busy since the marathon was happening. At the same time the National Finals Rodeo was going on. On the street it looked like runners to the right, cowboys to the left.
Then, to top it off, the much touted CityCenter will open the first phase this month."

Speaking of which, what do locals really think about the almost 17 million square feet large mixed-use behemoth?
"We asked our local friends what they think CityCenter will do to the city. Everyone we spoke to is really excited about it. The architecture is really amazing. It is stunning. It adds a new dimension to the Strip. It's not just another new theme casino. Everyone expects for CityCenter to renew Las Vegas and re-energize the Strip at this time.
CityCenter really takes Vegas to the next level much like the Wynn resorts designed by
Jon Jerde reinvented Las Vegas back in the 80ties.
Everybody here really feels inspired and hopeful."


Update on "green" holiday design:

Our friend, artist Rigo Maldonado, has been using recycled materials
for many different projects for several years.
Rigo: "another "green" year... this time I made my recycled Christmas tree with tubes we were throwing away from an art project. "
Here his 2009 tree:

Thursday, December 10, 2009

We Wish You Happy Holidays And A Wonderful New Year!

In keeping with our promise to go green, we decided to wish you
"All The Best"
with music instead of paper this year.
We love working with DJ Matt Cornwall who is known internationally
for his outstanding work spinning records at events for clients such as star photographer David LaChapelle, R&B star Macy Gray, Starwood Hotels, Warner Bros, Fox and - of course - EventWorks.
Matt put together this Holiday Podcast for us.

Please click our holiday logo:

Melissa Armstrong, Jennifer Okamura-Albert and Katie Rogers
will celebrate the Season of Giving
by running the SITE SoCal 5K Run/Walk at Terranea Resort
on Tuesday, December 15th to raise funds for many charities.
You can find all the information about the charity event at:

Please consider sponsoring Melissa, Jennifer and Katie.
Every dollar helps!

Please click the links:



Thank you!

We Wish You Happy Holidays and a Wonderful New Year!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Janet Elkins: Why Early Morning Mingling Is Worth The Early Start!

The alarm clock always rings early in the Elkins household but some days require a faster start than others. November 10th was one of those mornings when Janet dashed out of the house ready for action at the crack of dawn. Destination: Hard Rock Cafe in Universal CityWalk for the MPI Southern California Chapter's Breakfast Meeting. Moderated by Janet, the panel of distinguished experts included Nicole Bernardi of SME, Anthony Bolotta of Bolotta Entertainment, and Mark Howell, Entertainment Productions. Janet and all three panelists are active members of IACEP - The International Association of Corporate Entertainment Producers.

Janet explains:
"This association brings together entertainment colleagues to learn about new talent, share ideas and collaborate. Our objective was to share these concepts with the members of MPI as well as have the meeting planners learn what is important when booking talent and to work more closely with their entertainment producers. Discussions included the various entertainment disciplines as well as the importance of bringing professional lighting and sound and staging to each event. In addition, we discussed the importance of logistics which was broken down to the 4 "S"s - Size, Structure, Style - and most importantly Site Inspections! The seminar ended with the pitfalls of booking name talent. All the panelists shared "war" stories of which there were plenty - but always a useful tool to learn something from."

Are the results worth the early morning effort and extra time?
Janet: "Absolutely! I am a member of both MPI and IACEP and I highly recommend membership in both organizations. The advantages are obvious. You meet colleagues. We learn from each other and we exchange knowledge, skills and ideas. Especially in times of economic crisis, the added support is worthwhile and helpful. Get up early and join us!"

You can find the organizations on the web:

Monday, November 30, 2009

It's A Green Holiday Season!

We cannot help but notice that the 2009 Holiday season is all about "green".
More people spent "green" on Black Friday than last year - a hopeful sign for the economy.
The Grinch and Christmas trees remain green and decorations for the season are going ever more so!

One of our clients sent us this picture: store decorations made of recycled materials. Cheap and environmentally very conscious. Melissa Armstrong noticed "snow mounds" inside Anthropologie stores, made of plastic and Styrofoam cups which rendered a very texturally interesting result.

Here at EventWorks we have been making a lot of efforts to reuse props, reinvent existing items for a new use and recycle as much as we can. It's good for the environment and good for our clients' budgets.

We welcome your input! Send us your pictures of "green" Holiday decorations and we will share them on our blog. You will get credit, of course!
Please send your jpeg file and a short description to Melissa Armstrong:

Happy Holidays!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

More About Those Tricky Social Media

Allen Weiss' words of wisdom have sunk in and we actually feel more comfortable with social media now although Janet still thinks that Gen X and Gen Y will always use platforms like Facebook and Twitter more comfortably than Baby Boomers do.

No wonder considering the words of cultural critic, urban and media historian and author Norman Klein from the California Institutes Of The Arts, who is known for his insight into Zeitgeist and social development:

“Social media started over 20 years ago but we see the system accelerating. We used to leave our houses to interact publicly. Now we have brought public life into our homes. We are blurring the boundaries of public life and privacy. We have a very exaggerated sense of privacy. But in reality the lines between being alone versus being in a community will blur.
Social media only appear to be a democratic system when in fact they have a very corrosive effect. There is no control system in place.
For instance, take the economic meltdown. Social media had an enormous impact. We suffered a loss of vertical sense of power. The Internet enabled horizontal distribution of power in all systems, government and finance. Just look what it did to book publishing, newspapers and the music industry. Bernie Madoff would not have been possible without social media. Social media encourage artificial inventions. There are no stopgaps, no brokers who ensure oversight.
The whole world has become more horizontal. It is a trans-global, trans-national development. The Bush Administration’s lack of attention to the new technology did not help. We need to come up with a master plan to create insurance, protection and oversight.
This said, businesses couldn’t afford to ignore social media.
Every system eventually turns into capital. If you can get 10 seconds of someone’s attention, then there will be someone willing to pay for that attention.
Social media is a very big deal. Just take the example of that singer from Scotland (editor: Susan Boyle). All she did was carry a tune. They say about 100 million people checked her out on YouTube. What would a business do to get that many hits! How did this happen? It is a social media phenomenon.
She is the perfect example for the speed of the social media development. She rose from complete obscurity and ended with a headline-making breakdown in a time span of two months.
Obviously, the branding and marketing possibilities through social media are endless.
But we need to coordinate all systems and set up an honest broker for control. At this point it is a runaway horse.”

Our Gen-Yer Chris Gerstenblatt, Event Producer, has absorbed these dire words already.
"Obviously most of my acquaintances are using social media in some fashion. So do I. I am on LinkedIn and Facebook. I avoided MySpace as it seemed to be geared towards teens and music industry only. LinkedIn is basically just my resume online. I use it strictly as a professional communication tool. It makes it easy to market myself via the internet. I am also on Facebook but most of my posts are of a private nature. It gets complicated because the lines between private and professional life blur. I don't want to bore friends with a lot of business talk. I don't necessarily want to share all of my private posts with business contacts. The fact that some business contacts have become friends adds to the dilemma. Last but not least I want to keep some separation between work and private life because I need a break from work. Reading about it all the time makes it difficult to get away from it sometimes. We have a new company profile for EventWorks on Facebook and that has really been a positive. We all can share and comment on some of the fun and excitement on the job without crossing the lines. For instance, when Katie Rogers was stuck on the runway in Miami for hours, just to then be returned to the terminal and sent off to a hotel along the 95 Causeway for an extra night, she facebooked about her misery and we could all send her quick words of compassion and encouragement. And we all knew right away that she would not be back in the office early the next day."

We keep reading and learning. There are exciting possibilities for applications in the event world that we are investigating further.
It's getting easier. As Allen Weiss said so wisely: "All it is is a conversation."
The bottom line is, if we would not say it to anyone in person, we won't write it on Facebook neither.

Photo Credit: Norman Klein photographed by Eckhart Schmidt
Chris Gerstenblatt: provided by himself.

Monday, September 14, 2009

We Won! Best of 2009 Southern California Meetings + Events Magazine Award for Best Décor

We were nominated for the first ever

Best of 2009

Southern California

Meetings + Events Magazine

Award for Best Décor

We are very happy and grateful to announce that we won!

Janet, Katie, Melissa and Jennifer got into the festive mood by decorating themselves with cocktail attire in the offices before heading over to the Paramount Studios for the award show event on the 10th of September.

Melissa" "The dress code was cocktail attire. Let me tell you, we had quite the fashion show going on and laughed a lot while getting ready."

Katie: "The ceremony was much like the Academy Awards. They read the names of all the nominees in the category and then announced the winner. We were thrilled to hear EventWorks! The Award Certificate will go on our wall."

Janet Elkins: "We very much thank all the readers who voted for us for this honor, but we feel the award really recognizes the amazing work of our design production manager Derek Zovak who could not attend."

So where's Derek? On a well deserved short vacation, a road trip along the famous Route 66 to Chicago. We are sure he will return with new and fresh ideas.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Confused about Social Media? You Have To Read This!

It seems that everyone these days lives in Cyberspace. Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Twitter... the list goes on and on. Here at EventWorks we have had several meetings trying to figure out what to do and how to do it.
Our friend and blog contributor Marion exercised her news media chops and went to interview the most renowned expert: Allen Weiss, Professor of Marketing, Department of Marketing, Marshall School of Business, University of Southern California. Expert in online, relationship and business to business marketing. The resulting article is so interesting that Event Solutions got first rights.
Here reprinted with permission from Event Solutions,

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Starting Fall With New Ideas About "Gemuetlichkeit"!

Summer is almost over and we are back from breaks, family visits and vacations, full of new ideas and energy for fall events.
EventWorks President Janet Elkins and husband Steve went to visit their son Brad in Germany.
Brad got lucky and spent the summer in Berlin working as an intern.
Steve reported back via email during the trip that Janet definitely went local in a big way!

For those of you who know Janet personally, foot massages in Pasadena and meals of mineral water and salad -"hold the dressing, please" - come to mind. But yes, this lady on the bicycle in Berlin is Janet! Family Elkins explored the German capital on bikes just like the Germans who consider bikes the most practical mode of transportation in a city.

It got even wilder in the restaurants! Here is visual proof of Janet eating SAUSAGES!!! washed down with a brewski from the tap, of course. When in Berlin.......

One thing did not change and that is Janet's Type A personality.
Berlin and Munich in summertime gave her plenty of fun ideas.

Janet: "My husband works with many German TV stations so we have local friends. They taught us an important German proverb: Man muss die Feste feiern, wie sie fallen - you have to celebrate all occasions as they come. We were amazed how many hardworking Germans were out having fun and enjoying summer to the fullest. After all, their winters are cold, long and dreary so they transform their cities into summer fantasies as soon as the thermometer allows.
This picture here below shows a "Beach Cafe" in Berlin!
Berlin has many lakes and rivers but no ocean and most certainly no palm trees. These beach cafes are summer installations only."

During a long weekend in Munich, Bavaria, Janet experienced more local culture and partying.

"Munich really is as Bavarian as we imagine it. Oompa bands, pretzels, dirndl dresses on the women. They really do wear these traditional dresses in Bavaria in daily life.
What impressed me most was the great atmosphere.
Germans have the reputation of being stiff and somewhat standoffish.
You would never believe it seeing the easy laughter at the communal tables in the Biergartens.
We photographed constantly to remember these locations.
We have had Biergarten events before but I have learned a lot about some details that really create that feeling of being in the moment and celebrating it.
I am very inspired to bring this kind of great community energy and "Gemuetlichkeit" to events in our country.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Wishing you all to be safe and sound from the fires!

Janet Elkins' husband, Emmy-Award winning cinematographer Steven D. Elkins shot these pictures of the fire behind La Canada over the weekend.

Just a few miles from the Elkins home in Pasadena.
We very much hope all of you, your families and friends

are safe and sound!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Thank You! To The Readers Of Southern California Meetings And Events

We got a wonderful surprise this month! The readers of Southern California Meetings And Events magazine nominated us for a best of 2009 award in the decor category.

We sincerely appreciate this honor and we look forward to celebrating all nominees and the awards on September 10th, 2009 at Paramount Studios.

Thank you to all you readers!

You can find out more about the magazine on their website:

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

So What's Your Motivation?

We haven't quite figured out, yet, whether what he really wants to do is direct but considering Chris Gerstenblatt's multi-tasking and juggling capability, he probably could. After all, an event producer does direct.

Chris had a very busy Spring producing a variety of very different events in very different locations.
Starting in Los Angeles with the UCLA Day 'o9 on May 8th, 2009, then flying off to New York City to oversee the Starwood Leadership Conference 2009 at the W Hotel in Hoboken and New York Sheraton from June 17th to 19th. Chris was immersed over his ears in preparing for those two large events while handling smaller L.A. assignments as well.
Chris: "It was key for me to really listen to our clients' wishes to ensure that we fulfill their ideas for the event. Of course, collegiate events require a different approach than corporate events." Key for UCLA was to promote the university by creating a sense of community among former and current students and attracting future students into the UCLA family. "We also had to be very budget conscious! UCLA's funding, of course, goes mostly to educational programs so we keep the event very cost effective. We wanted to make it memorable for the students and alumni without being over the top. For instance, we created table center pieces from living plants in the UCLA colors that UCLA is now using as part of the landscaping of the campus."

Then, Chris entered the Purple Haze in Hoboken. The Starwood Leadership Conference is attended by 100 top company executives as well as Starwood's C.E.O.. Chris still raves about the amazing Welcome Party at the new W in Hoboken.
"We produced the Welcome party based on the New York Photo Shoot concept. As guests were water taxied over from the New York Pier 78, they were mysteriously met by a woman with the "Purple" Hat. She was an actress whose role it was to create a mysterious illusion on the evening and have the guests creatively guess her purpose. As the ferry docked at the New Jersey Pier, the Mysterious Woman escorted the group along the Hudson River walk way where "W" style vignette's were strategically placed.
The first vignette was a Break-dance group wearing custom "W Hoboken" Baseball T's. The second vignette was of a young hip couple sitting on a park bench with a purple blanket, purple picnic basket, and Fiji water as this is the new sponsor. The third vignette was a beautiful Latina Woman gazing out over the Hudson and then walking in between all the guests. The fourth vignette was a "W" Hotel dog walker. The final vignette was a New York based photographer working with a group of models wearing couture clothing designed by Luis Monge with the New York Skyline as the backdrop of the spread.

At the end of the walk, the guests were escorted upstairs into the Chandelier Room which was transformed into a New York Style Loft space. Here, our photographer continued the shoot by photographing 12 additional models who were in different sections of the room. Each model was accessorized by Monge as well as having custom "Magical" Face art to enhance the majestic event.

The room was decorated with 25 tall glass cylinders with submerged floral and candle votives.
The chandelier arms that protrude out of the walls were accented with custom glass tear drops that were filled with white water beads and purple acolytes. Overall, the guests were treated to a high end event with amazing talent to enhance the party."

Chris is especially pleased because the Starwood events allowed him to try new techniques like the florals in the chandeliers. "We came up with new lighting and floral techniques and many of them will become standards. We had to break down some resistance because the W management was hesitant to let us place candles throughout the rooms and they were particularly worried about the chandelier florals but they loved them once they were up and they left them in place for awhile after the party."

Besides the Welcome party, EventWorks produced breakout sessions at the New York Sheraton for the conference, six meals over two days, each single one themed after a Starwood brand. "We really had fun with that one. We redecorated for each meal, and each single one was different. St. Regis High Tea, The Loft Candybar and so on. The work pace was mad since we had very little time. After each meal we redecorated the room completely, wall art included, to create the next brand look. Some guests showed up early so we were working faster than ever." The run on the crafts table - sounds like a movie to us!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Congratulations to KATIE ROGERS - MPI SCC's "Supplier Of The Year"

We are very happy and proud to announce that EventWorks Director of Sales Katie Rogers won the "Supplier of The Year" award by Meeting Professionals International Southern California Chapter.
Katie received the award during the MPI SCC Installation Dinner on Friday, June 19th.
Katie's honor brought back fond memories for EventWorks President Janet Elkins: "Time flies! I won the same award in 1989 - 20 years ago!".

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Guess Who at EW Knows Most About "Numero Uno" - Boxing's Next Big Fight!

Yes, that’s Jennifer Okamura at Olvera Street’s Kiosko Stage this past Sunday during Golden Boy Promotions’ Fan Rally for Juan Manuel Marquez’s upcoming fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr., an event produced by EventWorks.
Jenni: “Floyd Mayweather is coming out of retirement to fight Marquez. He said that he would only come out of retirement to fight “the best”. Mayweather retired at 38-0 – the undisputed pound for pound champion in his league. Marquez is being touted as “Numero Uno” out of Mexico. They are calling this fight Number One – Number Uno.”

Jennifer met Golden Boy Promotions a year ago during a large press conference to promote Oscar’s fight against Steve Forbes in Carson, CA.
“We were called to help with the large media event at the Biltmore Hotel. We basically took over the hotel and put up enormous signage for the press conference. We also created a custom carpet for Oscar to walk in. I met Golden Boys’ P.R. person, Monica, and we became good friends.”

It turned out that both women share more than an unsuspected passion for boxing, they also both graduated from USC’s Annenberg School Of Communications.
Jenni: “It’s true what they say about USC. It does create a bond between us alumni.”
Jennifer has been handling all the Golden Boy Promotions press conferences and events since May 2008.
“The Fan Rally last Sunday was pretty much an anniversary.”
EventWorks took care of the stage, all video and audio for Sunday’s fan event as well as Monday’s press conference at Café Pinot in Los Angeles. Again providing stage, barricades, press riser, pool feed and other audio and video services.
“On Sunday, it was only Juan Manuel Marquez who came out to the fan
event. He took great care to sign
autographs and take photos. It was a great fiesta. There were mariachi bands. Fans told us they drove for hours to meet Marquez.
Oscar de la Hoya came to the press conference on Monday. They are moving on to New York and London to promote the fight.”

Fight time is July 18th 2009, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Need tips from Jenni? Call or email her at EventWorks.
“Oscar wins either way! Golden Boy Promotions has a stake in both fighters,”