Monday, December 22, 2014

Peace - Joy - Happiness!

As you can see we had quite the Holiday Celebration! Here Mia Brack Enjem hard at work! We had Much Fun and Merriment thanks to Project Linus.

Can't sew? Not artsy-crafty at all? Do not despair - even you could participate in this fun, rewarding activity!
During a recent staff meeting we had discussed t that we all wanted to get more involved in a community service. We all have passion for one cause or another and the desire to help - but our work rarely leaves us time to actually make it happen.

Then we heard about Project Linus, a non-profit organization with chapters all across the country, that donates home-made fleece blankets to sick or traumatized children in hospitals and shelters. It turns out that the Orange County Chapter Coordinator Patty Krause understands our hectic work place. Anyone can become a "Blanketeer"! A Project Linus Party only takes a good hour. All you have to know is how to cut fleece and tie knots! Done!
Kate Brack had purchased the fleece, masking tape and sharp scissors. The EventWorks Blanketeers just showed up.  Max served us a nice drink from the bar. Patty gave us instructions and we happily went to work! Our Holiday blankets were fun to make and they will get delivered to a local children's hospital.

Our Project Linus Party was the first part of our annual Holiday Gathering. After spending the first part of the party making blankets, we opened the door to family and friends and celebrated with raffles, a gift exchange and a real feast, cooked by our in-house experts. We hope to get the guacamole recipe soon! We know that our friends mostly come to our part of town because of the crews' amazing Latin American home cooking. 

Thank you to everyone in our EventWorks Family and to all of our local friends who came to 340 W. 131st Street.

Joy - Peace - Happiness
Our very best wishes to You!

Monday, December 15, 2014

SEARCH CABARET: Join The Party fo a Good Cause!

"Willkommen, bienvenue, welcome
Fremde, etranger, stranger
Gluklich zu sehen, je suis enchante,
Happy to see you, bleibe, reste, stay
Willkomen, bienvenue, welcome,
Im Cabaret, au Cabaret, to Cabaret"

We hope to see you at the next SEARCH Foundation Soirée, Chèrs Amis!
After all, it is our industry's foundation. We all contribute so that friends and co-workers who need assistance during a health emergency or a catastrophic event can find help.
It goes without saying that SEARCH Fundraising Events are wonderful affairs that are really fun to attend!

One such occasion is around the corner:
Please mark your calendars and get your tickets to the upcoming SEARCH CABARET!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

9:00 pm – Midnight

Sheraton Park Hotel at the Anaheim Resort

1855 South Harbor Boulevard, Anaheim CA

SEARCH is happy to share more details:

We're thrilled to announce that the highly coveted SEARCH Cabaret is returning this year to the Sheraton Park Hotel at The Special Event Conference in Anaheim and will be produced by Danny Bergold of About Entertainment.

Guests will enjoy a cocktail reception environment with a tasty drink menu and delicious desserts while being entertained by some of your event industry colleagues.

To add to the main stage fun and our fundraising efforts, we've included a competitive element to this year's show. After an online video submission process, four amateur entertainment acts will be selected by a public vote to perform live at the SEARCH Cabaret for the chance to win the grand prize. The winner will be selected by audience appreciation. However, guests will show their love, not just by applause, but also with their electronic donations. The act that inspires the highest amount of donations will walk away a winner.

The event will also feature an array of professional entertainment elements, a silent and live auction, VIP suites and a late night dance party with a live band.

Many thanks to our generous Sponsors:

Venue: Sheraton Park Hotel at the Anaheim Resort
AV, Lighting & Production: AV Masters

Catering/Desserts: Someone’s in the Kitchen

Auction Software: GiveSmart

Entertainment: The Golden Coast All Stars

Social Media Photo Booths: iTouch Booth, Inc.

Custom Designed Scarves: Splendor for Your Guests

 We are looking forward to celebrating a good cause!

"Leave your troubles outside! Life is disappointing? Forget it!"
That is our motto this week!

Monday, December 8, 2014

THE SPECIAL EVENT 2015 Preview - Take A Sneak Peak!
Until we meet at The Special Event 2015

I am honored to be one of the THE SPECIAL EVENT 2015 Ambassadors with David Merrell,  and look forward to our conference in Anaheim in January. It is a great opportunity to exchange ideas, educate ourselves about trends and creative ideas in our industry, and energize ourselves for a new year. But it's not just all business! Gala Night will be a great event, produced by colleagues for their peers. I am really looking forward to the entertainment! Our friends Peter Berliner and Nicole Bernardi from Innovative Entertainment are sponsoring entertainment for the Gala event. We are happy to say that they are bringing an amazing program to the Marquis Ballroom at the Anaheim Marriott  Here a sneak peak into the night:

The Red Hot Band
After hearing The Red Hot Band, you’ll be talking about their amazing musicianship, clever arrangements, stylized choreography, and sexy-chic look for weeks to come.  As a fixture in the LA music scene, The Red Hot Band has been raising the roof with not only sizzling Latin music, but the most current top forty hits making them LA’s hottest fusion band!
Tera Bonilla, the band leader and lead singer, brings her experience as a world-class entertainer together with the best singers and musicians in the business. If your event calls for a “Vibey-Cool” down-tempo atmosphere, a “Hollywood-Chic” soiree, or a “Smokin’-Hot” dance party, this versatile band can provide a fully customizable package with any band configuration necessary to fulfill the needs of your event.

Click to see the Sizzle Reel

The Dueling DJs
The Dueling DJ’s is an interactive, energetic and engaging live performance where the crowd becomes the main attraction! By utilizing social media, The Dueling DJ’s puts the power of picking the next track into the hands of the party goers. This incredible experience is the brainchild of DJ CoryLive from American Idol, The Voice
and Dancing with the Stars. The Dueling DJ’s team is made up of an exceptional group of DJ/MC’s featuring DJ Kelly Dlux , DJ Dre and DJ Sean Patrick along with DJ CoryLive. The Dueling DJ’s transcends the DJ/Crowd environment and creates a unique live event experience.

The Gala Night is produced by Chris Gerstenblatt, Erika Lohmar, Todd Roberts and Kate Brack with generous collaboration from Visions Lighting, Go West Creative, AFR Event Furnishings, Quest Drapes and Eventworks.

Dancing, food and drinks — a lot to celebrate as we conclude another TSE and motivate everyone as we move into 2015!

 Don't miss out! You can still REGISTER for TSE 2015!

Looking forward to seeing you at THE SPECIAL EVENT,

Monday, December 1, 2014

Bounce, Rock, Shake It Off!

©Max and Moritz/Wilhelm Busch

Yep, we know.... all driers malfunctioned over the weekend and all our clothes shrunk! Thanksgiving was wonderful! By Friday the guilt set in. In a panic, we tracked down DJ Matt Cornwall on his family holiday vacation and begged for help! Get us moving, pleeeeeaaaase! Thankfully Matt could relate and put together a super high energy mix on Spotify that will help you "Bounce, Rock,  Shake It Off!"

By the way: this playlist is guaranteed to also keep you warm on the East Coast and chase away the Winter Blues.
We hope you had a wonderful Holiday and a great start to the week.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Thank You - Gracias - 谢谢 - Dankeschön - Merci!

This is our favorite holiday! Thanksgiving is truly a win-win. No stressful gift shopping, no greeting cards, lots of wonderful food and drinks with friends and family. And time to reflect.
We have a lot to be grateful for this year and we are so aware of how lucky we are!

Lee Dyson feels the same way. He called a few days ago and shared his new Thanksgiving Song List.
It's the perfect soundtrack for your Turkey Day.

DJ Lee Dyson: "Gratitude is always a good place to go to keep perspective on your life and the world around you. Sometimes we get spun up in daily life and forget to take a pause and think about that. Of course Turkey Day is the perfect day to focus on this so I’ve put together a soundtrack to help. Gobble Gobble!"

We hope you catch planes, trains and automobiles to join your favorite group of people for a wonderful holiday!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Event Entertainment Report: Jewel Really Dazzled!

It's all about motivation, motivation, motivation - and Jewel gave 150%!

We recently produced a large fundraising event in Orange County. Our client had secured Jewel for a 60-minute set and we had included her in our overall decor in many details. Crystals adorned the floral - and we had Jewel perform in front of beaded stage backdrop to add some sparkle.

We were ready for the multiple Grammy winning artist.
The contract stipulated a 60-minute set - but Jewel delivered so much more!

Ted Bowers: "She is known for her social engagement and her real work for philanthropic causes. Our client could not have made a better choice. Jewel and her production crew were truly appreciative and committed to the purpose of the evening!

 Jewel donated a signed guitar for the silent auction and she gave her all on stage.

Ted Bowers: "Jewel was fantastic! She was contracted for a 60 minute set and performed for almost 90 minutes. She had the audience mesmerized.
Jewel relayed key moments of her life story and tied each chapter of her life to inspiration for a song."

What a gift to the audience and the cause!

This was one of those nights we will always remember as a Major Highlight and Wonderful Experience!

Please enjoy her Jimmy Kimmel Live performance of "Somewhere Over The Rainbow".

Monday, November 10, 2014

Event Report from Kate Brack: Design with a Message

Rebecca, Manuel, Ella, Kate and furry Beatrice, Melissa, Kory, Marguerite and Gayane.
We have been waiting for a chance to let you have a look behind the scenes with our Director of Floral and Event Design Kate Brack. A couple of weeks agothe whole team was hard at work in our studio for a local fundraising event we love.

The Event: a large, annual Fundraising Dinner Gala and Concert in Southern California.
Location: a Hotel Ballroom.
The Challenge: the client changes the theme and the message every year. It is our task to integrate these and create a comprehensive look and feel by tying the invitation's design into every aspect of the night.

Kate Brack: "The invitation featured a color palette of deep amethyst accented by tangerine.  Furthermore, the featured entertainer of the night was singer Jewel. We took these colors and added sparkle throughout the design. We integrated this theme in everything: the centerpieces, votives, stage backdrop and bars. The centerpieces contained crystals, as did the large display arrangements, the stage was back dropped with a bejeweled material. The votives were selected because of their sparkling glass cut design. Every space in the room was enveloped in the client's theme and message."

For Kate the process starts with the client's vision.
"I integrate the branding and event message into all event designs. Color is really the key to everything. Color affects our senses at every level. And then it's all about attention to details."

Kate works hand-in-hand with the client from initial meeting through planning and execution to ensure that expectations are met. From concept to completion, she has proven that a successful event begins with design but affirms its value with the use of symmetry and attention to detail throughout the entire process. 

Kate: "We love a challenge. Every event has a message, a mood, a specific purpose and therefor its own look. Guests should always remember it."

Here are a few florals we remember fondly:

Monday, November 3, 2014

Entertainment Report: Hot in Cleveland.

What did it take to create "The Perfect Storm" in Cleveland? We got lucky: Wonderful Client + Great Cause + Beautiful Location + the COMPANY MEN  #throwbackPOP

As one band member from the COMPANY MEN put it: "It felt like Summer Camp".

Our client is a Cleveland native and after she graciously gave us her personal city tour a while back, we fell in love with it, too. There is so much to do and see in this re-energized city that we expanded our horizons beyond the Rock'n Roll Hall of Fame and LeBron. And yes, those two are pretty fabulous, too!
So we were looking forward to returning here a few weeks ago to produce a very worthwhile event.

Event Producer Kristen Rensch: "Our client is very involved in local philanthropic endeavors, and this particular event was organized to thank the supporters of a unique local playground, that is equipped for special need families, for their participation. We hired
the COMPANY MEN to provide the entertainment. The band was tasked to perform an intimate show for a small group of guests – and the setting could not have been more lovely. Guests were engaged, and quickly fell under the spell of their music and choreography, from the start of the custom event set."

We had been impressed by
the COMPANY MEN during a showcase and we were not disappointed! Stuart, Brian, Daniel and Shawn came ready and prepared with their signature #throwbackPOP and mash-up medleys - they can seamlessly weave 16 tunes into one song. They engaged the distinguished audience throughout the performance. Due to the intimate setting, guests also had an opportunity to mingle with the group afterwards.

Kristen: "Due to flight schedules, we arrived Saturday evening and left Monday morning so we got to explore a bit more than just the airport and the event location. We even had a chance to visit the playground our event was benefiting. The guys are all talented, consummate professionals - and also just really nice guys! So, yes, it felt more like summer camp than a job. We were lucky to partner with them."

Daniel from the COMPANY MEN: "We love playing for a good cause.  EventWorks had supplied us with a lot of information about this organization and Kristen was very supportive of our work.  That allowed us to form a personal connection with the event. The playground serves families and we are all family men so we could truly relate to the audience and the foundation on that level. It really motivated us to make it even more personal and engaging. It was a great experience for us to play for this group and a pleasure to work with Kristen and everyone at EventWorks."

A few days ago some of our EventWorks' staff had the chance to experience the COMPANY MEN's record release and tour launch party. They had their full band on stage at Club Nokia in Los Angeles. The show was amazing and we wish them luck on their current tour.

TCM invited us to share their brand new video of their own material:

Janet: "I love the way they re-invent classic R&B songs, funk and pop in their mash-ups. The audience recognizes the songs but the COMPANY MEN give them such a new, very personal twist that the show is totally fresh.
We are happy to bring them to your event!"

Monday, October 27, 2014

Grand Opening: EventWorks' New Warehouse and Workshop Now Up and Running

We love to re-purpose. It makes environmental and economic sense and it allows us to offer great rates to our clients. But our extensive collection of decor elements and furniture and our fabrication studio outgrew our old warehouse space.
Repurposing in Action!
Production Manager Carolyn Vasi and her great crew needed more room. Fortunately for us, a next door neighbor moved - and we jumped on the space! We added 7500 square feet of warehouse space, now happily spreading out over 30 000 square feet total.
Carolyn Vasi: "We got the keys on Labor Day weekend and went right to work to remodel the adjacent building for our purposes. Our amazing crew did it all in just over 6 weeks. They built and installed new ceilings above the office space to create more storage, built new floor-to-ceiling shelving and re-organized it all! We doubled the work shop space! Manuel and his crew can spread out. We have better, more accessible storage. It speeds up the work process."

We can also offer better amenities. Enter the doors to Carolyn's Queendom and get greeted in the well-lit (Thank you, Larry!) arrival lounge. Take a seat on the couch! (Thank you, Selena!)
Carolyn now works out of a new office where the force is definitely with her! The warehouse expansion features a new shower for our warehouse workers, a "man cave" for off-time with a fuss ball table and a blue couch group (Thank you, Ted!)with a wall-hanging TV set for video games.

We did it all on a shoestring budget.
Carolyn: "In the process we cleaned out the old storage and found items we had not used in 20 years. We held a garage sale and used the income for the construction. The couches for the lounge and the recreation room were donated by co-workers and the chic lamps had been used in an event and were a gift from the client."

We celebrated our warehouse opening a few days ago -  with our favorite food for a lunchtime fiesta! Edwin's and Mario's families' recipes: carne asada, pollo asado, the best black beans in L.A., marinated cucumber wedges, salsa, freshly made tortillas and great guacamole!

If you would like to get the black bean recipe, please revisit our Cinco de Mayo Post:

Monday, October 20, 2014

Janet and Ted's Excellent Shanghai Adventure

Janet and Ted returned red-faced from Shanghai on Friday! Yep, our intrepid world travelers got themselves into trouble in this beautiful city - but they were saved by the incredible kindness and outstanding helpfulness of local law enforcement and hotel staff!

So what happened?
Janet: "We had some free time to explore this fascinating, cosmopolitan city. Ted and I were walking along one of the busy streets of Shanghai when four "20-something" students approached us, wanting to practice their English. They were quite friendly and charming.  So we chatted away.

They told us about a tea festival down the street. Always up for a new experience, we went along.  We entered a small tea shop and learned a lot about tea and these 20-year-olds.

We had a great time and felt, when the bill came, that we should offer to pay. That evening, over dinner, Ted and I thought about the bill and could not help but wonder whether we had been overcharged as it was somewhat confusing at the time.  Anyhow, how much could some cups of tea cost? The next morning I checked my VISA card online, and sure enough: the bill was an outrageous $1694!!!! Ted and I were duped!"

Yes, we know: DUH!

Now, this would have meant a painful financial loss and lesson in many places in the world and here in the U.S. where local authorities would consider this a price to pay for touristic gullibility - but Janet and Ted were in Shanghai, China, where hospitality and helpfulness reign.

Janet: "I informed our hotel about the incident, thinking it may help warn other guests. To our surprise, they immediately called the police. The nearest station sent a policeman within minutes! Wow, what an incredible response to assist some dumb tourists - yes, we have to admit it, we fell hook, line and sinker for one of the oldest, international scams in the world. Maybe we should read guide books! The policeman, Ted, a concierge and a hotel security staffer ventured out to try to find this obscure tea shop. Ted had a photo of us near a building that provided a landmark. We were invited to drive in a paddy wagon around the first possible police district.

No luck. We struck out in our precinct. But our policeman did not give up. He referred us to his colleagues in the neighboring precinct.

So we visited the second police station    — and now two policemen, our hotel concierge and security guard,  Ted and I walked the streets to find this obscure tea shop.

And we did!
In fact, we walked  into the same room and found the scam artists with two New Yorkers! Yes, even those hard core New Yorkers fell for the scam!

It was me living my dream - just like on Law and Order. I busted the “thieves” while shouting to the grateful New Yorkers "They stole from us! Get out!"
Yes, fabulous memories for a life time!

We then got into another paddy wagon with the crooks and we all went to the police station. After some time the tea shop owner came in and the police made him go to the ATM and return our $$$.

Moral of the Story: Even Veteran Travelers and New Yorkers can be duped - but in Shanghai the Police and hotel management went above and beyond to save us from our own mistakes.

谢谢 - Thank You for your assistance and incredible support!

Thank you to Ted Bowers for capturing our (mis)adventures with his camera!

What a week it was!


Monday, October 13, 2014

Pay Up or Face The Music! What You Need To Know About Copyrights!

If found guilty of copyright infringement, under the criminal portion of the law, or liable, under the civil portion, you may face a penalty of five years imprisonment and up to $250,000 in damages.

Did we get your attention?

What we are talking about is a specific niche in overall copyright law: the soundtrack of your event sizzle reel. You produce a gorgeous affair, Your video team is taping hours of footage. You edit an exciting few minutes,  showing decor, costumes, location, catering and entertainment to promote and demonstrate your work and place the video on your YouTube or Vimeo channel. More often than not we use the native sound, i.e. the band's stage performance audio on the reel. In some cases, we use another song on the soundtrack.

So what rights do we have to worry about?

Record companies and copyright companies have developed software that allows them to find the most obscure video and its soundtrack. And they will come after you if you violate any copyrights.
And there are different rights to worry about: Master Rights, Synchronization Rights, Publishing Rights.

A number of notions are floating around, such as "fair use", "public domain"  and "promotional use" and alike. It's confusing and possibly costly in consequences. 

So we decided to investigate the situation and bring you a comprehensive fact sheet.

We contacted the United States Copyright Office ( by telephone.
Botttomline: "fair use" is a legal argument that does not even come into play until you are standing in front of a judge!
If you use any copyrighted material, you have to figure out which copyrights apply, who owns them and negotiate the right to use it.
The fact that you paid the copyrights for the night of the performance does not include the right to copy the work on video and distribute it.

Next we contacted ASCAP and the Recording Industry Association of America to see whether the argument that we are just promoting our own work and not making money off these recordings or performances with these videos make any difference.
The answer is a resounding "No".
ASCAP published a very useful tip sheet to help everyone obtain necessary rights:
How You Can Clear Cover Songs, Samples, and Handle Public Domain Works

So what about public domain and what is an event producer to do to show off their work without landing behind bars?

We checked in with our Picture Editor Garth Grinde.

Garth: "Even with music in the public domain, published before 1923, you still have to figure out whether the recording is newer. Any public domain song recorded after 1923 is still protected by Master Rights. And if the original piece is updated and altered, it may no longer fall under public domain at all!

I suggest to my clients to compose and create! It is really easy these days to get your very own music. You can find independent composers online or find unique pieces on SoundCloud that you can obtain easily. It is your safest bet.
If you are using the event sound,  keep your video postings private and password protected. This way it is clear that you have no intention of gaining profits off the recording. Should anyone come after you, you can prove that the video is only a demonstration and you did not make money with the music.
And most importantly: when you negotiate the contract with your talent, negotiate the demonstration rights upfront so you have it in the contract that you can use their performance for any promotional purposes!"

Yes, a simple sizzle reel can cause a lot of trouble.
We recently received a warning from Vimeo - and we are now dotting "i"s and crossing "t"s.
We hope this information is helpful to you!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Bonjour from Ted Bowers! An Event Report from Paris and London

What does it take to ensure a flawless conference in two European Capitals within 4 days? Ted Bowers' nerves of steel and expertise!

Obviously, we all offered to carry his briefcase and fetch his coffee to go along on this enviable task: the technical production of a conference series in London and Paris. But Ted did not need hometown support.

Our client Dennis Maggi, Executive Director of the very prestigious American College of Trial Lawyers, has been relying on us to provide flawless technical and event support for their two annual conferences for several years. We have built a relationship of trust and we really are proud of these assignments.

Dennis Maggi: "The College has partnered with Eventworks on our production and events more than twenty years.  It is a collaborative effort and as a small staff organization we consider the team that travels with us to be an extension of our own staff. The College wouldn’t be able to do what it does without the great relationship we have with the Eventworks team."
 Ted Bowers: "These conferences need  live event audio and video support as well as a complete recording of all events for meticulous archiving. We have been working together for many years and we adhere to a strict protocol to ensure 100% secure service. Capturing top quality video and audio and preparing the material is essential to the very structured archiving. Any moment of any conference has to be retrievable from the archives easily. Providing a set technical standard is therefor paramount to this task. Recently, the College has added new technology to make the conference more interactive for the attendees. We provide support for this effort as well, especially to the attendees who have to learn how to use it."

Usually these conferences take place in North America but every few years the members travel to Europe. They chose London and Paris for this year's Fall Conference.

Ted: "We had produced this conference in Europe in the past, 8 years ago. Preparation and sourcing require more attention as formats and norms tend to be different. We sourced two great A/V vendors to support us overseas. In London we worked at Grosvenor House where the in-house A/V team is really outstanding. They were fantastic to work with and provided great service!"
 "In Paris we settled into the Great Ballroom of the newly renovated, historic Grand Hotel. I had selected a Dutch company that has a Paris branch for A/V support assistance. Once we had our teams in place, everything went very well. We only encountered one challenge in both locations: both ballrooms were used for other events just before our conference so we had to set up overnight. Starting at midnight, we had to be ready for an 8am conference start. Thankfully, everything went very well."

There was not much time for sightseeing but Ted managed to squeeze a couple of quick excursions into his schedule.
"I left a couple of days early to adapt to the time change and visit the Gloucestershire Mainline Heritage Railway,  two hours outside of London. In Paris I was walking distance to the Musée des Arts et Métiers, by far my favorite sightseeing attraction on this trip."

Wishing you "une bonne semaine"!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Sources of Inspiration: We ♥︎ Twist Is The New Twerk

We had one of those "Ohhhhh" moments recently during an event set up. The audio crew was finalizing the stage set up and running sound checks. The loudspeakers came to life - and we pricked up our ears!

Event Producer Kristen Rensch: "At first, everyone just went on with their work but after the first verse was over, there was this shared moment of surprise. We stopped and looked up, really all at once. What was this classic Doo Wop music? Somehow it sounded so familiar. And yet again so different. And finally the "wow, that is a current pop hit! But done so differently and so well that everyone wanted to know "who is that?". The sound crew was playing  Postmodern Jukebox's album "Twist is The New Twerk". Huge success! We all loved it and  several people logged on to buy the album on the spot. I guess we are all ready for something fresh and different - and Postmodern Jukebox really is."

Check out what Postmodern Jukebox did with Iggy Azalea's "Fancy"!

Postmodern Jukebox just started a weekly L.A. Residency at the Hyde Sunset this past Wednesday that will continue every Wednesday throughout the fall.
Our creative team is looking forward to experiencing their live show as part of our ongoing research - and frankly just for a great night out!

Hope you are swinging along this week!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Event Tech Report: Streaming Music. Does This Work for a DJ?

Pandora, Spotify, Amazon Music, Apple Radio, Google Music - the musical cloud is getting more crowded every day. But how does this affect our industry? Can we just put together our Spotify list and pump it into the loudspeakers?

We checked in with DJ Lee Dyson.

Lee Dyson: "There is certainly no shortage of options these days for finding new music.
Pandora first created the Music Genome Project but like all great inventions some other companies have expanded and even enhanced the idea.

Call me a romantic but I do think we are so flooded with options now that something gets a bit lost.
As someone who grew up on cassettes and records (and eventually CDs) I remember the feeling of walking out of a store after hours of browsing with a bag full of goodies that I own.

I’d spend time reading the liner notes and listening to the album or CD from start to finish in correct song order as the artist intended for me to hear it.

As a DJ I’d spend hours and hours in dingy record stores picking through bins of crap just to find that one golden nugget.
Many times early on in my career I had to decide if I was going to eat well that day or come home with 3 new albums.

We will soon be to a point where nobody actually owns anything anymore.
Everything is cloud based and streaming so you are just renting access…not owning the music or art.
So depending on your views as a consumer that can be a good thing or a bad thing.
Artists definitely don’t think streaming is a good thing….they barely get pennies per stream.

 So how does all this affect the event/DJ industry?
For now I’d say streaming is mostly relegated to personal use.
As I DJ - no matter how good a WiFi connection is - I wouldn’t trust that a stream won’t drop out in the middle of my set so I can’t imagine DJ’s giving up their laptops and hard drives anytime soon.

Then there is the issue of what a DJ really does during an event.
Room awareness and the ability to read a crowd while constantly adapting  your set list is what keeps the energy going and can make or break an event.  Streaming, much like an Ipod is unable to do this…at least not yet.

To give credit where it’s due though I’ve found streaming services very helpful in expanding my repertoire of music and in researching songs to use for specific themed events.

Streaming aside, I still think one of the most amazing music related inventions of the last decade is Shazam. Finding new music is great but thanks to Shazam no longer does anyone have to say “what IS that song!?!”

Truer words have rarely been spoken. Besides our emotional attachment to our own record collections, we have all experienced the holes in the cloud. We recently produced an event in one of the most gorgeous settings ever, Amangiri in Utah. We did not even have cell phone service. And yes, that was a challenging situation for me! Thank heaven for live music!
Very best,

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!