Monday, February 29, 2016

Five Ways to Sell to Millennials

I recently had the pleasure of participating in a Panel Session with my colleagues Dianne Budlon Devitt, Sally Webb Berry, Kathy Miller, Alison J. Silcoff and Christie Teller at The Special Event Conference 2016. Our topic matter: "From Millennials to Baby Boomers".
By 2025 75% of the workforce will be Millennials. I present: "Five Ways to Sell to Millennials".

Google "Millennials in the Workforce" and you will find that the generation born between the late 70s and the year 2000 now constitutes the majority workforce in the USA.
As any generational shift this causes friction, tension and misunderstandings. Gen Xers and Boomers tend to view millennials as self-entitled whiners. Millennials view their elders as misguided - and hold them accountable for the economic, political and environmental status quo.

However, the key to a successful collaboration - and a better world at large - is COMMUNICATION and the willingness to work together for a common goal. Our panel session aimed at starting a dialogue.

We found two very funny videos and Five Ways to Sell to Millennials!

This is the way Millennials view the world:
 by Stephen Parkhurst

 Older members of the workforce are puzzled:

As you can see, in working with millennials one may need to take a different approach to strategizing sales efforts.

According to my experience from a decidedly Boomer point of view these five points will achieve positive results.

      1. References!
Millennials value the opinions of others – including strangers.
They look at reviews.
Think of the successes of Yelp and Tripadvisor to name just two.

TIP: Make sure  to have multiple references for each project in  your portfolio! That could mean gathering references from various aspects of the project- not just the owner but others involved with the project. It is important to have testimonials from several people.

       2. Respect!
We have heard this but Millennials inherently desire praise, feedback, and wish to be taken seriously.  However on the flip side, they are less forthcoming with their acts of respect – until they feel you earned it.

TIP: The tip here is to ask them often about their perspective, their experiences and their preferences. Essentially Millennials want to be treated as equals even if they are interacting with a seasoned professional years older and wiser. They don’t assume experience comes with wisdom. They too want to be heard and considered.

        3.  Nimble, Flat Organizations
Millennials grew up with the ability to obtain information at lightning speed via technology.  They recognize that the global economy moves fast, demanding constant change and innovation.

TIP:  When working with Millennial decision makers describe your firm’s approach as nimble, resourceful, and efficient. You would get bonus points for offering up clever and innovative ways to eliminate  redundancies  and increase speed to completion.

         4. Unconventional Work Habits
I used to be thrilled if I exchanged home numbers with business colleagues. That meant we were getting really close!
As technology evolves and access increases  - due to cell phones, texting, email, and social  media – it becomes difficult to draw boundaries around availability. I feel compelled these days to “be there almost always” for the Millennials. The 9-5 doesn’t appeal to them. Many are comfortable with telecommuting and flex time.  It does make it easier to reach them but it’s also expected that they can reach you as well.

       5. Job Hopping
 We can expect Millennials to switch jobs many times throughout their careers.

TIP:  Of course an advantage is that your relationship with your Millennial contact will be strong enough that he/ she may take you and your firm with them wherever they move but it may also be best and prudent to carefully build multiple relationships within your client’s organization so they see you as indispensable.

I truly enjoyed the round table discussions with our guests at this session and I remain convinced that ultimately humans have many common traits. Much in business relationships boils down to my grandmother's wisdom: "Treat others the same way you wish to be treated".

Wishing you a successful week!

Respectfully yours,

Thank you to my panel associates:

Sally Webb Berry - The Special Event Company
Dianne Budlon Devitt - NYU and DND Experience Group
Kathy Miller - Total Event Resources
Alison J. Silcoff - Alison Silcoff Events
Christie Teller - Christie Teller Consulting, Inc.

Monday, February 22, 2016

6 Days, 6000 Miles, Canceled Red Eye: Alisa's Work Week!

 L.A. - Ventura - Boston - San Diego - L.A.:
Attending three conferences on West Coast and
East Coast over 6 days in January can be a challenge.
Our Director of Business Development Alisa Walsh reports.

Thankfully, Alisa loves to travel and takes a few hurdles in stride. Professional women can relate: one suitcase, 6 days, weather ranging from balmy Southern California's 70s and sunshine to blizzard conditions in Massachusetts.
Alisa laughs: "I packed pretty much everything I own and squeezed it into one big suitcase".

First leg on the 6-day journey:
Alisa hopped onto Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner to head to Ventura to attend MPI Southern California Chapter's (WE)Con at the beach fronting Crowne Plaza.

"(WE)Con offered great opportunities to learn but MPI also did an outstanding job incorporating beach activities such as Yoga on the Beach in the program.
I headed from Ventura straight to Boston to attend FICP's Winter Symposium, scheduled to start Sunday, January 24th, in the afternoon.

I was scheduled to fly on a red-eye flight via Washington, D.C. with an easy, quick connection to Logan airport. But what had to happen did happen: the Great Blizzard of 2016 was raging on the East Coast right at this time. As I arrived at the airport my scheduled flight's departure was first delayed by three hours, then it was canceled. Yes, I felt like I was experiencing 'Planes, Trains and Automobiles'."

"I was stuck! I knew that Ted Bowers has high standing with our preferred business travel airline and called for his help! Ted worked his magic! I got rerouted through Chicago. Yes, Chicago, usually one of the airports most affected by winter storms, was free and clear! I made it into Boston by late morning, just in time!"


"Yeah, we made it to the FICP Winter Symposium! We will always remember the record breaking blizzard of 2016. By the time the conference started, the skies cleared up and we had beautiful winter weather. Unfortunately a number of registered participants got stuck along the Eastern seaboard and missed it. FICP concluded on Tuesday at 11am. Having the advantage of the three hour time difference, I could make it back out West just in the nick of time to attend Southern California's SITE Vision and Installation Dinner in San Diego. 

"We landed at 4pm at Lindbergh Field, I had to be at the Installation Dinner at the Manchester Grand Hyatt by 5. I had arrived in heavy boots and my big winter coat. But there was no time to check into my room. I dashed to the airport restrooms and took the largest stall. Off came the boots and coat, on with the sandals. Ready!

I am grateful it all worked out and I cherished the opportunity to learn so much and meet so many inspiring colleagues and industry leaders. See you all soon!"

I am sure we can all relate. Winter travel has its challenges. We would love to hear your stories of 'Planes,Trains and Automobiles'! Please feel free to share on our Facebook page. 

Wishing you a Sunny Week!

Monday, February 15, 2016

Our Floral Designer Rebecca Motus featured on ABC's The Bachelor on Valentine's Day

Love was on the air last night on ABC's 20th Anniversary Valentine's Day Special of The Bachelor; also covered by People Magazine.
The floral decor was designed and created by none other than our floral designer Rebecca Fernandez Motus.

We are really proud of Rebecca Motus' achievement: designing and creating all the florals for this primetime TV event!

Rebecca: "I met the producers of the show through a friend who recommended me when they were looking for a designer to create the floral decor for this 20th anniversary extravaganza. It was a wonderful opportunity to show my work to millions of people. The special was filmed at the St. Regis Monarch Beach and as everything in television, it took many, many hours to produce this 2-hour special. I spent five days on set, building the floral decor. And those 5 nights were pretty much sleepless. Many days we worked until midnight and I had to get to the Downtown Flower Market by 3AM to get fresh flowers. However, despite the long hours, it was a great experience. The production team was like a family and the production assistants were really happy to help me put it all together. In the end, it all turned out beautifully!"

Hundreds of hours went into this work of art!
The theme for the floral décor for this televised wedding was chosen to be loose, airy and very romantic.

Drawing inspiration from the venue’s colorful and robust landscape, Rebecca used pepper berry foliage as the foundation. This was seen throughout the venue. The Vestibule was draped from the top to the base with upside down pepper berry foliage winding down the columns that were masterfully decorated with white hydrangea, white and cream roses, blush roses, white and blush peonies and white Phalaenopsis orchids. The design was completed with hanging strung white and blush peony heads from the top and the columns as well.

The intricately fabricated bridal staircase was designed with hanging pepper berry foliage, seeded eucalyptus garlands, olive branches, and silver dollar eucalyptus. Lush floral arrangements were accented on the banister with strings of peony heads hung to encompass the staircase.

Rebecca was proud to showcase her signature flower wall design to highlight her work. For this event an 8ft by 10ft flower wall was constructed, inspired by the art of Piet Mondrian. This massive wall of floral art was filled with beds of white and blush colored hydrangea, roses, peonies, cymbidium orchids, china mums and carnations.

Rebecca laughs: "I am petite so I had suggested a more customary 5x6 wall. However, the director requested the very large wall due to the outdoor location. Once I saw the location I completely agreed. The wall needed to be large. And I asked for their biggest ladder and every tall person on the crew for help!"

All the florals for the bride and the bridal party, rehearsal dinner, bridal brunch, bridal suite and reception blended seamlessly with the decor of the ceremony.

To top it off, white and blush ranunculus — the bride’s favorite flowers — were imported from Italy to make her special day even better.

Thousands of stems of hydrangea, peonies, roses, orchids, other flowers and foliage where used to make this wedding a most memorable one. Not to mention hundreds upon hundreds of feet of garlands that accented the frames, the banisters and the other areas of the wedding venue. Rebecca and her helpers spent hundreds of hours designing the wedding decor and executing the design.

Rebecca: "I am happy to say that it all came together beautifully and I am grateful for the opportunity to show off my work. This exposure already led to three more celebrity events immediately following the television assignment."

Rebecca made People Magazine!

We are really glad to be working with Rebecca. Her energy and enthusiasm are legendary and her work is really outstanding. She brings 100% commitment to every assignment.

Wishing you a pleasant President's Day and a great week!


Monday, February 8, 2016

Wishing You Happiness, Prosperity, Longevity - 福禄寿

Wishing our Chinese friends - and everyone! - a Happy, Lucky New Year!

Los Angeles is celebrating the start of the Year of the Fire Monkey with the city's 117th Golden Dragon Parade and Chinese New Year Festival this coming Saturday, February 13th, in Chinatown.
The parade will kick off at 1pm on the corner of Hill and Ord Streets and even though the American-Chinese and Chinese residential areas are for the most part located in San Gabriel Valley nowadays, the Chinatown Parade and Festival still attract tens of thousands who line the parade route.

If you are in town, this colorful, public event is well worth attending!

Meanwhile: Lucky greetings from the Golden Lion and the M Girls.

Happy New Year!

Best Wishes from Janet, Ted, Kristen, Brynne, Kate, Max and Alisa

Monday, February 1, 2016

We Are Sharing Our Very Own #Hipsterfoodie List of L.A.


Lifestyle magazine GQ just named Downtown Los Angeles the "New Capital of Cool" - due to the density of great new restaurants, lounges and bars! We could have told them so! Los Angeles is The Place To Be! We love our work because we often venture out to experience new places for research - such a hard job! 😎 We are happy to share our list of personal favorites.

Janet Elkins:

I have to say Eatalian. It is basically the EventWorks commissary as you find us here constantly. We love everything: the flatbread pizzas, the salads, the freshly made pasta. Eatalian is the hottest culinary secret in Gardena. It is Zagat rated and the food is excellent. We have taken clients who live part time in Italy. They swore it's the most authentic and best Italian food they have found in L.A. We also heard Italians rave about the espresso. You can't leave without a treat from the homemade gelato bar!
"Move over, Mario" say enthusiasts of this "fabulous" "diamond-in-the-rough" Gardena Italian, where the "thin-crust" pizzas, "fresh pastas" and "otherworldly" gelato "transport" you to Italy at "bargain prices"; an offshoot in Culver City offers similar fare plus coffee and pastries in an equally "industrial" space.
15500 South Broadway, Gardena, California 90248
Source: Zagat

Ted Bowers:

I actually have two favorites: Animal and ink.
My teenage son Teddy is a foodie and loves to cook. He watches Top Chef plus numerous other cooking shows and attempts any and everything that inspires him. He is responsible for turning me onto these restaurants. I’d pick Animal for the best food experience in a casual atmosphere. ink. provides a ‘fine dining’ experience in a fun open kitchen environment with an innovative menu.
Offering brunch and dinner, Animal offers upscale dining for the diverse and adventurous crowd. Owners and chefs Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo teamed up to provide the area with an innovative and creative selection of dishes to satisfy the adventurous diner. Animal's supreme and extensive menu is tailored to the upscale meat eater. Unique carnivore-centric dishes feature veal tongue, chicken livers and more to push the boundaries of the traditional palate. The brunch menu offers impressive egg dishes and delectable pastries, among other savory options.
435 N Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036

ink. is chef Michael Voltaggio’s first signature restaurant. Alluding to the idea of permanence, ink. endeavors to create an indelible impression with flavor profiles that are inspired by the myriad of cultures that make up the city of Los Angeles. Thusly, he describes the food at ink. as “modern los angeles cuisine” and aspires to create an experience that will repurpose the term “fine dining” for Angelenos.
8360 Melrose Avenue #101, West Hollywood, CA 90069
Max Blum:
As we discussed our favorite restaurants in the office Max shouted out "Casa Bianca in Eagle Rock", Janet immediately beamed "Oh yes, that place is awesome and always packed".

Casa Bianca is a second generation Chicago-Italian family restaurant and an absolute local favorite.
  Of all the old-time neighborhood pizza parlors out there, one of them actually has to be the best. And 22 years after I first wrote about the place for The Times, I'm pretty sure that the Casa Bianca Pizza Pie — red-checked tablecloths, wedge salad and all — is still the one. The pizzas are thin-crusted and crazy-cut like the South Side Chicago bar pies on which founder Sam Martorana modeled them, paved with fried eggplant and sweetly spiced homemade sausage if you're sensible, and speckled on the bottom with enough carbony, bubbly burnt bits to make each bite slightly different from the last. This is a controversial choice among pizza freaks, but I stand by it.
1650 Colorado Blvd., Eagle Rock
Source: Jonathan Gold, most revered food writer in Los Angeles
Kate Brack:

I absolutely love Genghis Cohen for the awesome Chinese food and great live music. They do not use any MSG in their dishes. It's one of those long-term local favorites that has been attracting the music scene since its beginnings and it's home to many singer/songwriters who all love to play the intimate music room. Better hurry though. Ownership changed recently, and the new owners may implement changes.
A large restaurant with a full bar and live music, Genghis Cohen is a place to eat New York-style Szechwan food on white tablecloths in big, black booths. One of its best-known dishes is the thick, deep-fried New York-style egg rolls, but its large menu also includes things like sizzling rice soup, Mongolian beef and shrimp with lobster sauce. Since 1990, the cozy adjoining music room, which is decorated with red lanterns and seats 60 about people, has featured singer-songwriters.
740 N. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90046
Source: LA Weekly

Rebecca Fernandez Motus:

The Nice Guy! My husband recently spoiled me for my birthday and took me to this new celebrity hot spot in West Hollywood. It deserves the great reputation. Food and signature cocktails were excellent and the atmosphere is hard to beat. Nice Guy demands a reservation so plan ahead!
Think Rat Pack Vibes: The Nice Guy's aesthetic pays homage to a decadent era of Mafia bars and restaurants, where the owners and their friends could enjoy an evening together. Upon entry the vintage marble and brass bar greets you. Its size, scale and shape invite guests to a unique social experience, encouraging conversation and camaraderie. The booths along the exterior wall command intimacy, while the larger booths flanking the room stimulate a party atmosphere throughout the night. A small, sultry performance area has been incorporated in the classic lounge setting.

Their Best Dish is Universal: The Nice Guy is known for specialty pizzas and the famous Nice Guy burger—the menu, curated by H.wood Group's Food & Beverage Specialist Adam Koral, is a modern take on light Italian dishes. (And happily, there are choices for vegan and meat eaters). The burger has become the most popular item on the menu: Chef John-Carlos Kuramoto specially prepares a sandwich brimming with maple glazed bacon, arugula, caramelized onion and house-made American cheese.

What You Should Drink: The Chairman, which is served in a flask and named after Frank Sinatra, is made up of Gentleman Whiskey, Aperol, cacao, salted Cola reduction, and cider vinegar.

Not Just A Pretty Space: The space uses an abundance of organic materials and custom cedar wall with a ceiling design that emphasizes residential architecture. Also featured: Black American walnut flooring and custom inlaid carpets, as well as classic lighting fixtures that were hand-sourced from cities across the country to add additional warmth and comfort to the space. 401 N La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90048. Phone:(310) 360-9500
Source: Nicole Adlman and Sara Kitnick, E!
Brynne Peña:

I love several Downtown restaurants but Café Gratitude tops my list. The menu consists of locally sourced, sustainably grown vegan dishes. But Gratitude takes its mission further. This is their Mission Statement:
We strive to create a menu and environment that supports health and sustainability for both our community and the planet. We practice business through a term we call “Sacred Commerce”, where we provide inspired service, honest and transparent communication, and express gratitude for the richness of our lives.
I know, many of you are now thinking: 'oh those Californians' but Chef Dreux Ellis actually spent 8 years in Italy, undertaking a traditional European apprenticeship, learning in several 5-star hotels and under two Michelin-starred chefs. That level of commitment to excellence is noticeable in the whole operation. Food and service are always outstanding and you can feel really good about being a customer.
The Arts District locale is the third for Los Angeles, with other hip Cafe Gratitude outposts in Larchmont and on Venice’s Rose Avenue.

Holding some sunny real estate at the ground floor level of the massive (and much-discussed) new One Santa Fe mixed-use community, Cafe Gratitude looks to angle in on the all-important wholesome food market that’s booming downtown. The menu is, of course, entirely plant-based and organic, with a lean towards lighter lunch fare and easygoing main dishes.

Executive chef Dreux Ellis unleashes a broad menu of dinner-specific dishes that change with the seasons, and will roll them out to the sister locations accordingly. Don’t forget about their chef-curated juice cleanse option, too.

As for the space itself, expect a clean, wood-accented room with lots of gleaming white and faux rustic touches, like painted exposed brick and brass railings. A set of corner shelves leave room for quick service to-go items, while seating inside is a mix of communal tables, a long run of two-tops and larger booths, plus wraparound seating at the bar. One Santa Fe Ave., Los Angeles
Source: L.A. Eater
Kristen Rensch:

Oh where to start? We have so many great choices. I second Brynne's opinion on Café Gratitude and I highly recommend Dreux Ellis' Mexican restaurant in West Hollywood. Gracias Madre applies the same culinary philosophy to Mexican cuisine as Gratitude - and they do serve tequila! It's located on the hip, designer-centric stretch of Melrose Avenue so you are sure to also encounter a very eclectic Hollywood crowd and quite a few celebrities.  I love to sit outside whenever possible. The courtyard patio is chic and lovely with olive trees, abundant candles and stringer lights overhead. Our mission is to celebrate and serve the presence of the mother which resides above us, within our hearts, within the earth, and in all those who nurture us. We serve cuisine inspired by the kitchens of Mexico sourced from locally grown organic ingredients. Welcome to a seat at love’s table.

The idea of Gracias Madre was first conceived while visiting the families of our employees in Mexico. We wanted to do both; offer organic Mexican food to the communities we serve as well as honor the mothers who work tirelessly in the kitchens of Mexico and often live without their husbands and children while they work side by side with us in California. Inspired by some of the recipes of these families and the love of their mothers, Gracias Madre serves organic, farm fresh, locally sourced food, full of flavor and love with a menu spearheaded by Executive Chef Chandra Gilbert and agave-based cocktail program by Beverage Director Jason Eisner.
8905 Melrose Avenue, West Hollywood, CA 90069
Source: OpenTable 
Christie Teller:

One of the advantages of my extensive business travels is the chance to explore the culinary scene in many cities. Los Angeles offers such a vast variety that it is always a pleasure to try new places. I love the beach and recently discovered Gjelina on Abbott Kinney Blvd in Venice. Since we are on the subject of GQ: they named it the “Coolest Block in America” in 2012. Gjelina offers a modern, light take on American cuisine. It gets credit for originating the communal, rustic, aesthetically pleasing, vegetable-heavy dining concept; a trend that has since spread globally. The wood-paneled room is cozy, the lighting warm and soothing and the food extraordinary.

It may not evoke the old, funky Venice that so many of the neighborhood’s residents loudly mourn. But if you’re a fan of the newer, shinier Venice, the one with beautiful, stylish people and upscale boutiques and food that skews more California-chic than hippie-dippy, there’s really no better place to revel than Gjelina, a perpetually packed, convivial restaurant on Abbot Kinney. The back patio is one of L.A.’s greatest places to eat, bursting with sun-dappled, ivy-walled, brick-paved charm. The huge menu, of charcuterie, creative veggie dishes, small plates and pizzas, is a fantastic example of the joys of Euro-California cookery. You can get a slow-cooked lamb neck with preserved orange, chili and mint, or a pizza with wild nettles and Fresno chiles, and wash it all down with a bottle of Cahors, or perhaps a Portuguese field blend from Douro. The waits are long and you may well be eating elbow-to-elbow with strangers at a communal table, but the payoff is still quite grand.
1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice
Source: Besha Rodell/ LA Weekly

Alisa Walsh:

We can't leave our readers without informing them about Bestia!
It's part of the Sprout restaurant group that comprises the most acclaimed new restaurants in Los Angeles. Bestia has made every Top Restaurant list and has received wide acclaim.
It is No 12 on Jonathan Gold's 101 Best Restaurants. You have to experience it!

Leaping flames, natural wines, a thicket of curing meats — that is Bestia. Decibel levels edge into the 90s; it is the noisiest restaurant in Los Angeles. It is also one of the most popular. Is a week from Tuesday at 5 good for you? But out of the chaos, the roar and the sea of White Negronis comes Ori Menashe's focused, masculine Italian cooking that has been so influential here in the last few years: rustic, slightly underdone pasta tossed with braised lamb and sharp goat cheese, or sea urchin and bottarga; slow-roasted lamb necks; or pizzas with fennel pollen and Menashe's version of the chile-red Calabrian sausage 'nduja. (The local 'nduja craze started here.) Also, it occasionally seems as if there are fig leaves in everything, including the ice cream. Genevieve Gergis' desserts are becoming more and more assured. Wars have been fought over lesser treasures than her butterscotch-coconut tart.
2121 E 7th Pl, Los Angeles, CA 90021
Source: Jonathan Gold - The Gold List.
We had a lot of fun discussing our favorites in the office this past week. We have a lot more recommendations up our sleeve! The fun thing about food in Los Angeles really is the range. We are such an international community that we can find any cuisine in the area. The most creative chefs combine those influences to create something totally new, innovative and surprising. And that marvel may be served from a food truck, like celebrity chef Wes Avila's Guerrilla Tacos truck, No 13 on the Gold List.

However, the best Mexican/Central American cuisine, in our modest opinion, happens right here at EventWorks when Mario from Mexico and Edwin and Wilber from Guatemala get together at the barbecue!

Wishing you a great week!