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,


Monday, June 8, 2015

Event Report: New and Exciting - Our First ELECTRIC JOURNEY

A week ago, we produced the first corporate Electric Run. The 1K run, The ELECTRIC JOURNEY, easily managed even in heels, culminated in an outdoors dance party with multimedia entertainment.

We are happy to report that the guests loved it!

Location: adjacent to the USS Hornet on Pier 2 in Alameda, CA.
Date: June 1, 2015, 9pm to 11:30PM
Guest Count: 1,600

The Event:
The client asked us to create a new, fresh event to cap off a Gala Evening that started with a reception and dinner on the USS Hornet.
This group of guests consisted of younger, energetic top sales associates.

This event had to serve multiple purposes:
    •    The client celebrates 20 years of company success.
    •    This evening was the highlight of a reward/incentive trip to the Bay Area
    •    And last but not least, the client introduces a new product, an energy drink, to the sales force.

Our Concept:

The client loved the idea of an Electric Color Run – the perfect fit for a young, active crowd and the launch event for an energy drink.
We incorporated the Company History by designing the run narrative and theme based on the company’s reward travel evolution.
The spaces represented the continents visited during the 20 years of Reward Travel: Asia, Oceania, Africa, Europe, culminating in North America.
Lights, costumed characters and music completed the immersive experience.

The Journey ended at the XS Party Entrance Tunnel where guests were offered a refreshing energy drink on their way to the XS Nation Dance Party, a multimedia extravaganza that provided more excitement and entertainment for a young, hip and urban crowd.

Customized and branded start gate.

The first immersive "Land": Asia
Down Under - Oceania
The third "Land": Africa
London, Paris and Germany around a courtyard
with a very Continental feel.

Welcome to America.
Entering XS Nation
More fun in XS Nation -
the multimedia, high energy Dance Party

Did we ever get lucky! This was Event 3 out of a series of 6 and our first ever Electric Run, outdoors in Alameda, CA - and after two weeks of gloomy, wet, cool conditions, we got great weather just in time. We are so happy it all turned out great.

Thank you to our creative client who trusts us to produce these events - and to Ted Bowers, Visions Lighting and a special nod to Todd Roberts and Nathan Jones, DJ Roonie G, E Plus Productions, Kristen Rensch, Brynne Price, Carolyn Vasi and our amazing EW Crew!! Great job done!

I think we had just as much fun producing it as the guest had with the experience.

very best,

Monday, June 1, 2015

DJ Matt Cornwall's Top 5 to Get'em on the Dance Floor

Looking back at our musical blog posts we noticed that DJ Matt Cornwall has an uncanny knack for recognizing fresh talent before they become huge stars. After all, he is a walking music history encyclopedia. We asked him for his Top 5 2015 Summer Hits.

Greetings from behind the decks from DJ Matt Cornwall! Summer 2015 is right around the corner and already promises to be yet another huge success for Electronic Dance Music and DJ/ music producer styled hits. I for one could not be more pleased, as this trend seems to spawn music more hopeful and uplifting in tone, lyrics and spirit as opposed to the rather meandering lack luster "Drunk in Love" from Beyonce or any Rihanna song mired in too much booze 'n bling of 2013 & 14. It's all about 90's flavored feelin' good and getting down, house music baby! Here are some songs I predict will be big this summer:

1. House music kings Disclosure have another gorgeous soulful infectious hit on their hands with "Holding On." Disclosure - Holding On (Official Audio) ft. Gregory Porter

2. Clean Bandit's "Rather Be" 2013 summer hit singer Jess Glynne goes solo with a strong contender for this summer's #1 hit "Hold My Hand." Jess Glynne - Hold My Hand [Official Video] 

 3. Breezy laid back but true summer banger from Major Lazer and DJ Snake, "Lean On." 
Major Lazer & DJ Snake - Lean On (feat. MØ) (Official Lyric Video)

4. 90's feel good flair and panache from artist "Alex Adair ": Alex Adair - Make Me Feel Better (Official Music Video)

5. It's impossible for Seattle based electronic music duo "Odesza" to do any music wrong whatsoever in my DJ world! I predict very big things for these guys! 
ODESZA - Say My Name (feat. Zyra) - Lyric Video

See you on the dance floor! ~ DJ Matt Cornwall 


Feel free to get up from your desk and dance!
This is really great infectious summer music that will get us and our guests on the dance floor.

Warm regards,