Monday, December 19, 2016

Wishing YOU Happy Holidays!

Since we are a team we always ensure that our events are completely inclusive.

This afternoon, we will celebrate our EventWorks Holiday here at 340 West 131 Street. A LOT of work went into planning our own little affair.

Should you be in the area, please come by for a clear cup of tap water.

Please watch the video to learn more.

From your Friends at EventWorks


Monday, December 12, 2016

Event Report: The Challenge of Wowing an Exhibitions and Events Trade Association in Anaheim

Standing from left to right:
Candace Bisconte, Mindy Abel, Debbie Juliani, Janet Elkins and Jessica Barganski.
Front Row: Brynne Peña and Lindsey Walker.

The Event: Expo! Expo! Opening Event
Date: December 6, 2016, 7-10:30pm
Guest Count: 1,500 - 2,000
Location: Anaheim Convention Center Grand Plaza

Event Producer Brynne Peña:
"We had the wonderful opportunity to work with our partners and friends from Visit Anaheim, ACCESS - Orange County and Aramark in Orange County, California, last week to kick off Expo! Expo!, the 2016 IAEE Conference. Our common goal: to highlight Anaheim's many facets outside of the immediate Disneyland and Convention Center area to approximately 2,000 exhibition and event professionals.

We brought the most exciting aspects of this ever more cosmopolitan city into the Grand Plaza."

It was a pleasure to produce the headline entertainment: Andy Grammer, who delivered an energized, tight set that had the crowd dancing and cheering.

Mindy Abel, CMP, CTA.
Senior Vice President, Strategy & Development, Visit Anaheim:

"Anaheim offers a variety of options to meeting, trade shows and events. 
Our dining scene continues to thrive, with unique tastes popping up 
throughout Anaheim.
Our Convention campus, which includes 4000 guest rooms footsteps from the Anaheim Convention Center, can accommodate large city wide groups to multiple meetings and events occurring simultaneously. It’s easy to navigate, convenient and it allows groups to be the main focus when here.
The IAEE guest reaction was great! All week we heard how we blew them away, best opening event ever…a lot of "I’ve been attending IAEE for over 10 years and never experienced an opening so fantastic and memorable". 
We loved the Twitter reaction!" 

Anaheim has developed into an American capital of craft beer brewing and many new, eclectic restaurants have energized the local culinary scene in recent years. On Opening Night guests could chose from a large variety of cuisines from Anaheim's best food trucks who lined the Grand Plaza as part of the event.

We added a Whisky and Cigar Bar Vignette and a Brew and Wine Grotto at the Western end of the plaza. This area provided a quieter, sophisticated seating area for networking and conversation.

The end result: Destination Anaheim really impressed our guests!

 Candace Bisconte, Partner, ACCESS - Orange County:

“It’s always a pleasure to come together as a team to create important events such as IAEE’s Welcome Reception on the Grand Plaza.
We are especially proud that we can showcase so many great event components and talent each time we design something for an engaged client."

We are very grateful to our wonderful friends and partners for this collaboration.

Mindy Abel, CMP, CTA. Senior Vice President, Strategy & Development, Visit Anaheim
Debbie Juliani, Director of Marketing, Aramark
Candace Bisconte, Partner, ACCESS - Orange County.

Photo Credits:
Event photos: many thanks to John Fitzpatrick, allure:ventures

Group Shot: Greg Bisconte/ ACCESS - Orange County 

Monday, December 5, 2016

Event Decor Report: Creating Customized Vintage Tuscany in California

The Event: A General Session
Date: November 2016
Location: Mar Vista Ballroom at The Resort at Pelican Hill
The Challenge:
Creating a Custom Vintage Tuscany Decor to Match and Enhance the Existing Look and Architecture.

Alisa Walsh was happy to manage our assignment at the gorgeous Resort at Pelican Hill in Newport Beach, CA.
"The client loves Pelican Hill and its Italian architecture and style. They contacted us to incorporate and enhance the Tuscan character for their General Session and to bring Tuscany inside the ballroom. However, they desired to go further. Pelican Hill is very modern. The client wanted to give the ballroom an authentic vintage Italian "ambiente". Our solution: our team of craftsmen build the custom pieces!" 

"We brought in top-tier audio and video technology that we wrapped and surrounded with "vintage" custom-built wrought iron screen frames and faux masonry stone texture boxes to hide the equipment. All these decor items were created and built in our workshop." 

Adding unique vintage chairs, sofas, lamps and decor items to the ballroom further enhanced the look. 

Finally, we brought the resort Tuscan ambiance indoors with florals and green foliage. 
Our craftsmen never cease to amaze us. Our clients imagine it, our crew creates it in our workshop in Los Angeles.
A big round of applause to our  team with Production Manager Carolyn Vasi. 

Monday, November 28, 2016

Event Report: All of Iconic California In One Space

The Event: An Automobile Pre-Launch Event

The Location: HNYPT in Downtown Los Angeles

Event Date: the Eve of the Opening of the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show

Guest Count: 175+

The Theme: Iconic California Road Trip

We had the pleasure of working with our dear friends from The Performance Group ( and satoriteller to turn a creative dream into a design reality.

The idea: taking a group of international guests, including many high profile VIPs and celebrities, on an iconic California road trip.

Three destinations were chosen to inspire their road trip dreams: Joshua Tree, San Diego and Lake Tahoe.
We provided each destination with themed and distinctive food and beverage stations as well as seating groups.
The challenge: bringing these incredible landscapes into an indoor event space in Downtown L.A..

Kristen Rensch: “The fun challenge of producing décor for this event – three distinct lifestyle areas that each represented the MINI brand - was ensuring every décor item in a relatively small space contributed to and impacted the story we were collectively trying to tell, and that it conveyed brand messaging. Careful thought and review went into every piece of décor or lifestyle equipment we selected."

Guests enjoyed satoriteller's custom video story experiences, visible only through MINI "polarized" windshields, the idea behind this was to simulate a real MINI road rip that adds stories to your life and expands your horizons.

Ted Bowers: "The clever way satoriteller integrated the technology was ingenious! The artful storytelling transported me from the cocktail atmosphere into each life experience."

The highlights of the evening: the reveal of the new 2017 version of the automobile, hidden in a tent that separated "San Diego" from "Lake Tahoe" and the reveal of the Dakar Rally racing version, camouflaged by photo walls in the desert area.

San Diego: Beach Life.

Lake Tahoe: Mountains and Snow.

The Desert: align your chakras in bohemian Joshua Tree and sip martinis in Mid-Century Modern Palm Springs.

Thank you to Lisa Sato and Raymond Brown for the wonderful collaboration from Kristen Rensch, Ted Bowers and Janet Elkins!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Giving Thanks!

Before you head out to celebrate Thanksgiving, please enjoy this very funny and sweet "Fugue for Turkey", starring the brilliant Broadway star Matthew Broderick and the equally wonderful James Corden.

All of us here at EventWorks are thankful
for your friendship and collaboration!
Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Taking a Moment to Honor Bob Dylan

Apple News sent us their top story this weekend: How to De-Stress! We hear you, Apple! Let's keep breathing and relax!
No artist seems better for the soul at this time than Bob Dylan, recent winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature and 60s Peace Movement icon.

Wishing everyone a wonderful week!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Janet Shares Her Laos Vacation Adventure

Janet and Steve Elkins just returned from a wonderful, adventuresome trip to Asia. The main destination: Bhutan. But since Janet was sort of "in the area" she was very happy to reconnect with her longtime friend and protegee Sompheng in Luang Prabang, Laos.
Sompheng and his family honored Janet and Steve with a traditional honor: a baci ceremony.

Janet and Steve Elkins just returned from a wonderful, adventuresome trip to Asia. The main destination: Bhutan. But since Janet was sort of "in the area" she was very happy to reconnect with her longtime friend and protegee Sompheng in Luang Prabang, Laos.
Sompheng and his family honored Janet and Steve with a traditional honor: a baci ceremony.

Sompheng learned English and entered the hotel industry.
"We are so happy to see him succeed. He is currently working as a Front Desk Manager at a luxury hotel in Luang Prabang."

Sompheng and Janet reconnect in Luang Prabang.    

"During this visit, Sompheng surprised us with a invitation to his family's home. We crossed a river by barge, then drove and walked a little further to join his family. Once we arrived we noticed that event preparations were in full swing."

"We were really overwhelmed to learn that they were honoring us with a traditional baci ceremony! This ritual is performed to celebrate happy occasions in life and in our case, we were being feted as important guests. The women were creating absolutely stunning floral centerpieces for the ceremony. Everyone was busy cooking a feast. Once everyone was ready, Sompheng gathered with the elders in his family."

"His father, an elder, started the ceremony with a prayer chant. Men and women all came together for the 32 strings ritual. The 32 strings symbolize an ancient belief in Laos that the human being is a union of 32 organs and that the kwan watch over and protect each one of them. It is of the utmost consequence that as many kwan as possible are kept together in the body at any one time. Since all kwan is often the attributed cause of an illness, the baci ceremony calls the kwan or souls from wherever they may be roaming, back to the body, secures them in place, and thus re-establishes equilibrium.
And yes, we have to admit, we googled this to learn more about it.
As we were at the center of the ceremony we were very moved by it."

"As instructed we kept our strings for 3 days! The ceremony concluded with the feast. We will never forget this wonderful, traditional Laotian honor and the pleasure of meeting Sompheng's family."

"Our visit with Sompheng was the start to our vacation and the strings protected us for our entire trip. We had a wonderful time in Luang Prabang and later in Bhutan where thanks to Facebook's "friends nearby" we bumped into friends from Pasadena! What a small world it is!"

Monday, October 31, 2016

Learn More About Sense Marketing with Dianne Devitt

Meetings and events are all about engagement and retention - but your audience only retains 10 to 15% of the information shared in speeches.

Fresh off her featured speaker appearance at IMEX 2016, we interviewed strategic event designer, consultant, author, and founder of SenseUP! Dianne Devitt to learn more about her work in sensory engagement.

Dianne Devitt on Sense Marketing by MarionRR

Dianne, how did your interest in the sense area start?

            "I have been in the events and meetings industry as an event designer and planner for nearly 30 years and whenever I speak or teach,  I always ask everyone to take out a nickel (when people carried nickels)  and advise to keep that nickel on their desk as a reminder that when planning anything, all of the senses need to be incorporated. The Art is knowing which sensory language to focus on and when,  as each situation has its own distinctiveness and speaks in its own non-verbal language.

I started doing research about seven years ago and realized that as the event industry is growing and evolving so is the marketing area of sensory communication and sense marketing. The concept of new titles such as Event Stylist or Director of Sensory Experiences are now morphing into this whole engagement and experience world that we are a part of.

I launched the first SenseUP! Summit in New York this past April and focused on the five senses with nine speakers which was a big success. The target was not only the live event industry but anyone involved in live interface, not limited to advertising, P.R., real estate, health care. My Work in the senses is targeted at sharing this awareness from a marketing viewpoint as we balance digital and the human connection – the human experience – empathy for one another. The senses are that language that links us to that emotional connection that distinguishes f2f meeting from other digital forms. Do you remember the first song that you danced to? Do you remember the scent of a specific person? Do you recall walking into an event and just knowing it was going to be a special experience?"

Could you get more specific and explore some examples in sensory communication which is part of an event planner's responsibilities.

                       "Sight is arguably the most precious of our senses. What we see in all stages of planning – pre, during, post in graphics and other visual dynamics TM  resonates with us because our recall of the visual is 80 to 90%. Sensory communication is so important because 85% of verbal communication is lost. We only retain 10 to 15% of what was said in the course of a conversation!

Taste obviously goes with the food  and the responsibility and importance of menu design which is more important than ever.   Finally, planners are educated that food affects behavior, mood, energy, learning.

Now about Sound: we retain 96% of what we hear! Deliberate music cues are always impactful.  They make the connection.  No one would connect me with a song from Texas – but there I am when New York New York plays!

Touch includes everything from that hard invitation (yep!) to the linen to the interactive elements at the event and all décor items.  Touch is involved in dancing; in hand shaking, and in how close people sit next to one another.  We process over 10,000 touch associations every second.

Smell and scent has, as the others, so many applications.  As planners, we are sensitive to allergies and fragrance effects but a balance using pure essential oils at very low degrees can make a difference.   As with all sensitivities, these may be NEW questions on post event surveys asking if anyone has any scent allergies. Effectively, scent can enhance or stimulate or support relaxing in a learning atmosphere  and just simply make people feel good."

How does technology affect sensory communication?

                    "The millennials in the DND surveys stressed Touch as one their primary senses and all the technology companies know this, the Power of Touch. Since the generation coming up has focused on touch and the sound that is equivalent with that it has  affect  verbal skills. This generation is looking for that balance. It's the law of nature. The technology revolution has created a generation that will reap the impact of the senses more than ever so that people understand what their human reactions are.

This concept was the premise of my book "What Color Is Your Event?" I used the word color as a metaphor for language and personality. We remember over 90% recall of brands and color.   - this is all connected to neuro-marketing and  neuroscience."

Are humans changing because of technology?

                  "No Question,Yes! We used to choose which technology vehicle to use, now we flip-flop being technologically centric and choose which live experience or other communication vehicle fits. Evolution will always focus on the human need to connect and find balance and that is the ultimate value of our industry in bringing people together in crafted environments."

How does this work for global events where thousands of guests come from different backgrounds, cultures and ethnicities? How do you find design, music etc. that appeals to the senses of the majority of the audience?

                       "As an event designer you define the makeup of your group ahead of time. I just recently produced an event for a client where 14 countries were represented, ranging from India, China, South America, Saudi Arabia and more. They were diverse in every aspect, a really diverse group. I had to be really careful with the menu choices. At the final night event at Ellis Island I focused on music because it is such a universal language. I featured with every course and every step of the way a unique musical experience including the top sitar player in New York as there were many  Indian people, a Chinese table harp and about five others. The reaction was amazing as people literally stopped eating to listen."

Virtual Reality is becoming customizable and more widely available for events. Can VR provide an intense sensory experience?

                      "I think so! Does it take the place of the real thing? No. But could it definitely give you that experience? Yes.   I  recently attended the IMEX  show and engaged in a VR Experience with Thailand. The visual was well done and thorough but a true VR experience would include the scent and touch of what I’m seeing accompanying the visual  and computers are evolving now in terms of their capabilities with their senses.

What I'd like to share with all planners in parting is this: just become aware of the impact of your choices.  As our roles become more intrinsic with .the overall experience, make room for new experts or members of the team to style, create, design and incorporate the theatrical element of all meetings and events for greater impact and recall.

Most important, always remember your Sense of Play and have fun!"

DIANNE BUDION DEVITT, Founder of the DND Group, has a 25-year plus track record as a dynamic industry leader in events, production, meetings. A creative strategist, Dianne is cited for her VIP management skills on hallmark events including Clinton Global Initiative, the Apollo 40th Landing Commemoration, and the Vietnam 50th Anniversary Presidential event.

The author of What Color is Your Event? The Art of Bringing People Together, Dianne has received and been nominated for industry awards including “Top 20 Industry Professionals in New York.”

Dianne is an Adjunct Professor in the Preston Robert Tisch Center at NYU and was the recipient of the NYU “Award for Teaching Excellence.”
She started her research on sensory marketing and events nearly seven years ago and presented her findings at three key conferences this year alone.
SenseUP! held its first summit and experiential marketing event in April 2016 in New York City.

It's a brave new, ever evolving world.
We hope you have time to smell the roses this week.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Event Entertainment Report: Live from Anaheim: Stevie Nicks

We were very honored and excited to work with the iconic Rock Goddess Stevie Nicks
- and it turned out to be a wonderful experience all around!

Event Date: October 22nd, 2016
Event Location: City National Grove of Anaheim
Guest Count: 650

We have been working with this client for their annual fundraising gala for several years.
Guest count and dollar amount raised have increased steadily.
In 2016 the event moved from a hotel ballroom to the Grove to accommodate the growing soiree.

This wonderful concert venue in Anaheim, CA, allowed for a larger musical entertainment headliner.
Ted Bowers: "The Grove is a great venue for concerts. The size of the showroom allows for an intimate experience combined with great acoustics and undisturbed, close up views of the stage. You’ll never find a bad seat in the house. We integrated supplemental video and lighting systems required to support the program as well as sound requirements by Stevie Nicks. The experienced production staff at the Grove makes the venue very user friendly for private corporate events.
A long-term supporter of our client made the connection with Stevie Nicks who agreed to perform for a good cause just prior to opening her own fall 2016 tour, the "24 Karat Gold Tour" which kicks off in Phoenix, AZ, on October 25th.
She gave it her all last night!

Kristen Rensch: "Stevie and her band were very aware of the primary mission of the night: raising funds for a very good cause. They were very gracious with their time and happily adapted to schedule changes!"
Stevie Nicks also donated a signed tambourine, her signature on-stage instrument, and several tickets for the attendance to the Meet-and-Greet after the concert.

Once she gained the stage she delivered 150%, greeting the audience in a warm and personal manner, thanking them for supporting a good cause. She repeatedly applauded the donors for their generous donations.

And she rocked the house. Corporate shows can be disappointing for stars as not everyone in the room may be a fan.
Not a worry for Stevie Nicks and her band. The mosh pit was packed, the room was on their feet, everyone stayed late.

We were particularly impressed with her dedication to the good cause and her patience and graciousness towards fans.

We were fans before this event, we ❤ her more now.

Click the photo below to get to her website to learn more about her tour.

Carolyn Vasi has attended every Stevie Nicks and Fleetwood Mac concert in the Southland since the 1970s. We plan on being at the Forum for the final night of the tour with her.

Wishing everyone a wonderful week!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Event Report: Brynne Peña Realizes A Mid-Century Modern Dream

The Event:
2 Receptions and 1 Final Night
Event Dates:
three consecutive days in late September
in Palm Springs.
The Event Theme: Retro Dreams
The Locations: The Parker and The Riviera Hotels

Brynne: "Putting on a series of events in Palm Springs was a dream come true.  My favorite time-period/aesthetic is Mid-Century Modern, of which Palm Springs is just oozing with!  Just walking around town and at the different hotel properties I could hardly contain my excitement at all the delicious eye candy everywhere!"

The event locations were pure Palm Springs: a croquet lawn reception, a poolside event and a Closing Night Under The Stars.

The first night's reception on the croquet lawn featured black & gold decor, black metal cocktail tables with Chevron Graphic Counters, mid-century ghost bar stools and golden pineapple decorations.

We followed up with a poolside party.
Brynne: "The retro pool party was a blast – my client and I had giggled like school girls as we stopped to pose for selfies with the Swan pool floats.  The guests followed suit and proceeded to take “Swelfies” the rest of the night!"

We added cocktail arrangements to existing high cocktail tables with yellow bar stools. 8’ White Tate Dining tables with orange geometric table runners featured a blend of orange & teal Bentwood chairs, teal and tangerine communal table
arrangements and votives completed the modernism look.

Entertainment: we added a live band to follow the DJ and a synchronized swim team as a surprise element.
Brynne: "I have always wanted to produce a true Mid-Century event and designing in the Gene Autry Suite was a hoot!  Once the event was set-up and guests had moved to the backyard for a dinner under the stars, I spent a few moments exploring the house, leaving more inspired than I entered!"

Southern California offers many great locations for a Mid-Century themed event. Call us and we will be happy to suggest many more locations!

Wishing everyone a fabulous week!