Monday, December 18, 2017

Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year!

Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year!

As 2017 draws to a close we wish you all a wonderful, peaceful time with your loved ones and we are happy to share thoughts that inspire us to look forward to 2018.

Best Wishes from all of us at EventWorks

Monday, December 11, 2017

Our Thoughts Are With Friends and Family Affected by the L.A. Fires

As we are writing this six wildfires are raging in Southern California. 200 000 people had to evacuate their homes, including our former operations manager Dee Cannella. Life in the Los Angeles area has been turned upside down for the time being. Here is a list of useful links to keep Event Pros up to date.

It seems to be the year of natural disasters in large urban areas. We watched from afar as hurricane after hurricane slammed into Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico, not to mention the neighboring Caribbean islands and Central America and Mexico and we worried about friends in Northern California when flames engulfed Napa and Sonoma Counties.
This time Southern California is making worldwide headlines. According to authorities it could take weeks to get all fires under control but as we learned from Houston and Florida, life goes on.
Our friends from the Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board sent out a very useful website link that delivers all the information to our industry on one site:

To obtain updates via Twitter, please use the following links:

As horrible as the situation is some people's actions restore our faith in humanity. Many of our Facebook friends are offering their guest rooms to evacuees. And this video by RMG News has gone viral: a man saved a rabbit from the fire along Highway 1. 
All Rights RMG News/ The Dodo

There is hope in any situation.

To all of our local friends and family: be safe.

Monday, December 4, 2017

EventWorks Is Proud to Announce Their 2018 Gala Award Nomination

Brynne, Alisa, our friend Paul, Janet and Ted.

We are happy and honored to be 2018 Gala Award co-nominees for
JW Marriott Los Angeles LA LIVE, and EventWorks, Los Angeles.

Jeff Stutts, Director of Event Planning, JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. LIVE:
“We are honored to be nominated alongside Eventworks for this award, which is a true reflection of the innovation and hard work that goes into executing such a comprehensive event. Eventworks creative staging brought the ‘character’ of each space to life, showcasing the unique capabilities of the hotel’s venues.”  

We are very grateful to all our friends at JW Marriott for the wonderful opportunity and the trust they put in our team.
Congratulations to all nominees. We will see you in New Orleans.

Here is our “California Food and Wine Festival” Event Report:

The Event: Taste of California Food  and Wine Tour

The Location: JW Marriott Hotel at L.A. Live, Los Angeles
The Client: Marriott International
Planning Partner: Marriott Meeting Planning Services
The Challenge: Giving a California Wine Tasting a Fresh, New Feel.
We conceptualized the event by looking at wine in a very different way. 

From the connoisseur who lives and breathes for the finer things in life to the novice looking for an introduction to the world of food and spirits, this evening had to deliver a grand experience that was sure to please every palette. 1,800 guests swirled, sniffed and sipped their way through an impressive array of wines and inventive dishes as they traveled from space to space in the JW Marriott.

Alisa Walsh: "We decided to give the theme a fresh spin. Instead of organizing wine and food by region - you know, Napa, Sonoma, Paso Robles - we organized and conceptualized space, food and wine by character."

Our six spaces: Vineyard, Smoky, Bold, Spicy, Vibrant and Smooth each offered a selection of outstanding wines and spirits paired with culinary offerings. 

Each space had its own, unique look.

We made use of the tall, open space by going high.

The VIBRANT room: sleek, modern, colorful and energized.

Live from Above the Vineyard.

We filled the very tall hotel lobby with a raised stage and gave the custom rigging the green treatment. 

The Elevated Lobby Platform was transformed into BOLD. We enhanced existing furnishings with bold and gold accents. Using the existing furnishings as a base allowed us to deliver a new look within budget.

Ford’s Filling Station received a SPICY makeover!
By turning existing banquettes into lounge areas, swapping out dining chairs and adding floral, lantern, and pillow styling, the lobby restaurant took on a whole new vibe. 

Again, we made use of the height.
We built a tower at the center of the bar and staffed it with Wine Angels, giving the illusion that they were flying up and down the central tower while “selecting” bottles of wine to be served. The Wine Angel feature required extra rigging within the space. 

SMOKY: not everyone loves wine. We catered to the hookah and whiskey lovers by creating this patio lounge space.

SMOOTH allowed us to create a second, relaxing outdoor space, inspired by the California wine country and traditional settings for conversation around wine. 

The complicated logistics required long overnight hours.

Event Producer Brynne Peña chuckles: "I think we may have broken our own coffee consumption record given that we had to pull this event off in a fully operationally hotel lobby, which meant overnight installs and carefully calculated logistics. For that, and the wonderful feedback from our client afterwards, I am extremely proud of the EW team."

Thank you for reading!

Monday, November 27, 2017

Event Music: Dance Off The Pounds With DJ Lee Dyson

Feeling sluggish this morning? Pants fit a little tighter than last week?
We come to the rescue. Get up and dance it off.
DJ Lee Dyson delivers this high energy, sure-to-burn-off-the-pounds music list that will have everyone jumping at their desk.

Lee Dyson: "GoGo and Be Groovy is all about shaking those hips!"

Have fun!

Monday, November 20, 2017

5 Reasons Not To: Thanksgiving

Before you head out to brave traffic jams or airport security check lines to join your family for Thanksgiving, we hope James Corden's "5 Reasons Not To: Thanksgiving" will make you smile as much as it did us.

Thank you for watching!
Wishing you a wonderful and joyous Holiday!

Monday, November 6, 2017

Event Entertainment Report: Martina McBride Supports A Good Cause

Yes, #WeLoveOurJob! Kristen Rensch, Lisa Bronitt and Ted Bowers meet and greet Martina McBride.
The country artist had been contracted months before the October 7 event. Then the Las Vegas Shooting happened a week prior.
Ted Bowers: "Country music therefore became even more relevant in the context of the event, the annual Celebration fundraiser of St. Joseph Hospital of Orange."

Emotions ran high at the 2017 Celebration, whose proceeds benefited the Heart and Vascular Center.
Ted Bowers: "The Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange had invited their friends and supporters to attend the annual event and opened the evening with a prayer for the victims and families of the Las Vegas shooting. The audience response to Martina McBride was outstanding. Martina delivered an uplifting performance and had everyone on the dance floor."
The October 7 event raised nearly half a million dollars.
We are grateful for the opportunity to support St. Joseph Hospital of Orange's annual Celebration. We love working for a good cause.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Happy Halloween - Happy to Share a Scary New Playlist.

Oh the memories! We had a blast last Friday reminiscing about our favorite Halloween moments.
Top row: Kristen with a young friend last year and an adorable Brynne as Pharaoh's Daughter a little earlier in life.
Bottom row: Muhammad Ali-sa and a devilish Elizabeth.
It feels good to be bad.

We also decided to get our very own party on this year as we individually celebrate with our friends and families.

Just in time for ghouls and ghosts:  DJ Lee Dyson delivers a fresh 2017 HALLOWEEN PLAYLIST. Click the image and turn up the sound.
Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 23, 2017

Event Report: The Elevated Open Air Board Dinner

The Challenge: We had to upgrade an exclusive event at a location that is outstandingly gorgeous and luxurious on its own.
Solution: We transformed the grounds.

The Event: The Board Dinner
Guest Count: 60
Event Date: Saturday, October 7, 2017
Location: The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay, California.

Alisa Walsh: "The guests of this dinner were very VIP, the founders and hotel owners of our hotel group client. Consequently the Ritz Carlton made many exceptions for us and allowed us to hold this event on the lawn. We were allowed to bring in our own team to transform the space. We decided to bring in Bamboo Lantern tents because they provide such a wow factor and could be seen from all over the property. We had to truck in the tents in from Los Angeles, the only place where they are available."

Alisa: "The space allows for 300 guests so we used decor and tent spacing and placing to create a more intimate feel for the 60 VIPs. One tent was a bar, one tent was a lounge. We also built a clear span tent to provide work space for a kitchen. The culinary team of the hotel did a fantastic job offering a la carte dining for the guests in this unusual location."

The reaction: "The client loved it. We also noticed that many hotel guests took photos of our setup. We love using these gorgeous tents to transform a space."

Monday, October 16, 2017

Event Report: International Impact of "La La Land"

La La Land continues to engage international event attendees. We recently brought the show into the ballroom.

The Event:
WTCF Los Angeles Fragrant Hills Tourism Summit 2017
Dates: 19-20 September 2017
Location: InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown
Guest Count: 230

Our Task: highlight and showcase iconic L.A. imagery in all decor and entertainment.

We had a blast bringing "La La Land" back on stage, for the first time indoors onto a ballroom stage.
The quintuple Oscar® winning film proves to be a wonderful entertainment concept to promote Los Angeles internationally.

Ted Bowers: "The colorful backdrops are energizing and very appealing to Asian audiences. The music has become an internationally understood and recognized soundtrack for Los Angeles. The Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board promotes filming locations to the tourism industry. La La Land's happy, upbeat tone makes it the perfect entertainment vehicle to promote our home town or bring that L.A. feel to any event. The audience loved the custom mash up version. The cast got a rousing round of applause."
We are proud of Executive Producer Kristen Rensch and Director of Sales Alisa Walsh for spearheading and realizing this production.
Janet Elkins and Doug Johnson celebrate with the artists in front of our step-and-repeat.

We are happy to provide event video upon request.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Event Location: the New Anaheim Convention Center North Is Open!

September 26, 2017: Anaheim Convention Center officially opened the addition, ACC North, at the conclusion of a 2-year expansion project.
Anaheim now offers 1,8 million square feet of convention space.

We love all the event possibilities.

Janet and Alisa report from the opening ceremony in Anaheim, California.

Congratulations to our friends in Anaheim! 
ACC North truly adds value to the meeting and event space.

Janet: "ACC North was designed to work with natural light. However, it can be blacked out. The open floor plans,100,000 square feet on the 100 level and an additional 100,000 square feet of carpeted, column-free space on the 200 level, allow us maximum flexibility. We also love the fact that Anaheim maximizes the benefits of our California climate with the 10,000 square foot outdoor balcony. Sunshine and fresh air during a meeting will make everyone happy."

What a difference 50 years make. Top, the 1967 opening, bottom the 2017 ACC North opening ceremony.
The City of Anaheim has continually invested in expanding and modernizing the convention center and bringing upscale hotel and entertainment venues into the surrounding area.

We have a long history of producing large scale events in Anaheim, just a few miles from our office. The indoor and outdoor possibilities allow any size and style event.

We are looking forward to bringing your event to Anaheim.

Wishing you a wonderful week.

Monday, October 2, 2017

We Are Excited to Be BizBash Event Style Award Finalists

BizBash Event Style Awards 2017

We are grateful and excited to be nominated in the following category:

Best Experiential Incentive Program
An Automaker's Center of Excellence 2016
Submitted by The Performance Group San Francisco and EventWorks, Inc. Los Angeles.

The Event:
A 4-Day Luxury Incentive Event
Guest Count: 51 VIPs
The Location: The Resort at Paws Up, Montana

TPG provided a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the guests for whom we created the ultimate glamping experience in this remote location.

We are thrilled to be nominated jointly with the executive producing team at TPG.

Fingers crossed and best wishes to all of our dear industry friends and colleagues.
See you at BizBash in October.

Please find more information about this event on our blog:

Monday, September 25, 2017

Event Report: Nous ❤️ Montréal!

Fall is in the air - we bring the season into the ballroom.

The Event:
The 3-day Fall Meeting of the American College of Trial Lawyers.
Guest count: 800
Our Task: Technical and Event Support.
Location: The Fairmont Queen Elizabeth in Montréal, Québec, Canada.

Our assignment started with a site visit last April. We had to wear hard hats. 
The Fairmont Queen Elizabeth was undergoing a CAN $140 million dollar renovation. Reopened in June, we reaped the benefits of working in a historic location that had received a 5-star make over just before our event. 

Ted Bowers: "The staff is truly A+ and very international. Everyone is at least bi-lingual but many staff members speak more than 2 languages. We only encountered two Quebecois drivers who spoke French. Everyone else around was happy to translate."

Our Event Manager Ben Majors:  "I guess I'd have to say interacting with the various Canadians in our labor crews, hotel, as well as in the streets will be my favorite memory. Canadians seem a bit less stressed and we all noticed that everyone was truly enjoyable to be around. My take-away from Montreal was the measure of the locals I came in contact with." 

Our Creative Producer and music aficionado Marcelo Cruz arranged a night out before the conference started and knocked one item off his personal bucket list: live Jazz in Montreal. 
"We went to the Upstairs Jazz Bar to see The Jeff Johnson Trio play a tribute to the Bill Evans Trio who recorded a live album at the renowned Village Vanguard. They played 3 awesome sets and did Bill Evans justice. I had never been there before but will definitely be going back during the Montreal Jazz Festival next summer."

We all noticed that football and baseball were not such a big topic but you better know your ice hockey! 

Marcelo: "The Montreal Canadians are gods in this city."

The hotel itself, while freshly renovated, is proud of its illustrious history.
Opened in 1958, named after the current Queen Elizabeth, it has welcomed a long list of famous guests, including four visits by Queen Elizabeth II herself,  her husband the Duke of Edinburgh, The Queen Mother and Prince Charles, Fidel Castro, who was the first head of state to visit the hotel, Charles de Gaulle, and Princess Grace of Monaco, Indira Gandhi, Jacques Chirac, Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama, Sadiq Raji, Mikhail Gorbachev, Henry Kissinger, Perry Como, Joan Crawford, John Travolta, Mikhail Baryshnikov, and two U.S. presidents: Jimmy Carter and George W. Bush. 

We were most impressed with the celebrated visit of two global super stars: John Lennon and Yoko Ono. Alas, we were a little late to join the cause, the Bed In for Peace.
 During their famous anti-war demonstration, John recorded "Give Peace a Chance", right here in Room 1742, on June 1, 1969.

Yes, we did belt out a non-recorded version as we had fun creating our Montreal memories.
It's not "adieu", just "au revoir", we will be back, Montreal.

Thank you to our dear friend and client Dennis Maggi. It is always an honor and a pleasure to work with you.

Peace out!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Update from Houston: Go Ahead and Book It! The Event & Meeting Businesses are OPEN.

The George R. Brown Convention Center served as a shelter.
Fresh in our minds: images of devastation.
We decided to check the reality of the situation and we can confirm:
Houstonians need your business to continue their overall recovery!

As you know we have strong emotional ties to Houston.
Our Creative Writer Elizabeth Brazil Dickson calls Houston home.
Account Executive Brynne Peña visits her "second home" frequently and spent a week in Houston during Hurricane Harvey.

We decided to get an update on the state of Greater Houston.
Visit Houston's President Mike Waterman was happy to grant us an interview.
 EW: Mr. Waterman, nearly four weeks after Harvey, is Houston ready for business?

Mike Waterman: "Absolutely, it actually never closed. I am happy to share a few facts. According to the Harris County Flood Authority approximately 25% of Houston was negatively impacted by the flood. That could have been flooding that came up to your door step but did not enter the house to water overflowing the first and in some cases even second floor. From a salesperson point of view that means that 75% of Houston was not directly physically impacted by the storm. Specifically the key tourism destinations which for us are the Downtown area, Galleria, Museum District and the Texas Medical Center never got flooded, never lost power, never lost water, and are currently all operating at 100% capacity."

EW: How many companies have had to alter their event & meeting plans due to the storm?

Mike Waterman: "We moved about five groups. We had a group that was due to arrive the Tuesday after Labor Day but because we had converted the George R. Brown Convention Center into an emergency center we could not physically accommodate that group. They are great friends of the Greater Houston CVB and we could reschedule their event, after numerous conversations with everyone involved, to December of this year. The other four groups were smaller groups utilizing the George R. Brown CC and all were due to arrive before the 14th of September. We are currently hosting our first major group, 650 attendees belonging to the Texas Society of Association Executives, utilizing two hotels here in the Convention District. We called them on the Monday after the storm and they responded 'we are coming no matter what. So be ready for us'. It's very "Texas", right?."

EW: Are all vendor services - catering, hotels, transportation, - available? Are there restrictions of any kind?

Mike Waterman: "None whatsoever. 98% of hotels, as far as we can tell, which is close to a thousand hotels are open and fully operating.
While many of the 10,000+ restaurants in the greater Houston area were impacted, most reopened to serve the community just a few days later. We are encouraged to see the majority of restaurants in the central districts, including areas near downtown, the Heights, the Galleria and many more, are back in business doing what they do best.
Both airports and Houston Metro are up and running. We are open for business. Sports fans know that the Astros and Mets played a 3-game series literally the weekend after the storm."

EW: We feel it is really important to let our event industry peers know that Houston is up and running and that Texas event professionals need that business to avoid further negative economic impact.

Mike Waterman: "We know that close to 100,000 homes were impacted by the storm. I don't want to make light of the fact that there are a considerable number of Houstonians who were severely impacted by Harvey. FEMA issued 57,000 hotel vouchers. There are a lot of Houstonians still displaced. But to your point: as the organization responsible for promoting Houston as a tourism and business destination we have to say, we need the business. The fastest way to get people's lives back to normal is by bringing your business to Houston. There are parts of the city that will take months if not years to recover but from a meetings and events industry perspective the best thing you can do is to bring your business to Houston and help support our 140,000 hospitality associates in the market or you can make donations to an employer relief fund that we have just stood up and you can contribute to.

The George R. Brown Convention Center was activated as an emergency center and housed at the peak 10,000 displaced Houstonians.

Mike Waterman: "We stood the CC up as an emergency shelter in 3 1/2 hours. We purchased the food, we prepared it, we cooked it, we cleaned it. We handled all services Friday through Wednesday until the American Red Cross came in."

George R. Brown Convention Center

Thank you for the conversation.

We will see you in Houston!

All Photos provided by the Greater Houston CVB.


The Louisiana Restaurant Association, the Commander’s Family of Restaurants, and the Greater New Orleans Foundation are collecting charitable contributions to help employees in the hospitality industry impacted by Hurricane Harvey. “After Hurricane Katrina, the Houston community was there for New Orleans and we’ll never forget it. Today, we are returning the favor,” says Ti Martin, Commander’s Family of Restaurants.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Summer Fun for the EventWorks Team

The sweaty EWers with PVPLC Stewardship Associate Josh Weinik

We got together for our very own team-building day and managed to combine team fun with a good cause. 

We broke out the shovels and worked in gorgeous surroundings with the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy.

We liked it to so much that we will do it again!

It had been a while since we had all gotten together just for fun as a team. Our travel and work schedules rarely place us all in town at the same time. 

Finally, August 5th turned out to be the right moment.
Since our homes are spread out over two counties in Southern California - and those of you who know Los Angeles traffic know what that means - we were looking for a location equally inconvenient for all of us to keep things fair in our search of an opportunity for our good deeds.

We found the volunteering opportunity with the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy, the perfect fit.

About PVPLC:
The Conservancy preserves undeveloped land as open space for historical, educational, ecological, recreational and scenic purposes. Since its founding in 1988, the Conservancy has successfully preserved 1,600 acres of open space on the Palos Verdes Peninsula.

The Conservancy's vision is the creation and management of large blocks of natural open space where visitors may enjoy peaceful solitude, where children and adults can learn about the natural environment, and where native plants and animals can thrive.

PVPLC needs volunteers.

So what did we actually do?

On Saturday, August 5th, from 9Am to Noon (well, not quite) the PVPLC guides and volunteers worked in the Portuguese Bend Reserve to eliminate non-native plants to make room for the restoration of native species of plants. 

The award for best wildlife spotting goes to Kristen who saved Brynne from stepping on a rattle snake.

The award for really keeping calm in the face of danger goes to Brynne who quietly replied "oh, where is it?" and then softly backed out of the brush.

We all deserve accolades for digging, pulling and weeding in the heat. We actually really enjoyed working physically in the beautiful outdoors. Guess who does not want her husband to know about her secret gardening skills. 😎

Thank you to biologist Josh Weinik for teaching us a lot about native and non-native plants in our area. We now can make the difference between the beautiful and desirable California bush sunflower and the invading Sahara mustard plant. We learned how to remove parasitical plants from hosts. We are looking forward to the replanting season when the Conservancy restores natural habitat with native plants over the winter months.

The Conservancy operates its own drought resistant native plant nursery. These plants are local to the Peninsula.
It is open to the public for purchases every 4th Saturday from 12PM to 2PM.
Address: White Point Nature Preserve, 1600 Paseo del Mar, San Pedro, CA 90731 (must enter via Western Ave.)

Learn more about the Conservancy on their website. 

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Brynne Peña weathered Hurricane Harvey in Houston. The experience changed her life. Read how Event Pros are helping now.

The reunion in full swing on August 24th, before Harvey hit.

As Brynne boarded her long-booked flight to Houston to visit her best friends, Bethany Palmer Mayott and Kimi Musser, two California transplants and current Houston residents, the forecast warned of a tropical depression in Texas counties near the Mexican border. But as we know now Harvey changed rapidly into a category 3 hurricane, made landfall repeatedly and stalled over Houston, flooding large parts of the city with record breaking rain fall. 

A weekend with Kimi and her family turned into a week in Houston that changed Brynne's outlook on life.

"By Friday night the storm moved in very quickly. The rain was pounding so hard that it was impossible to sleep. I had never heard rain that loud. By Saturday morning we started to take precautions. We checked whether we had enough water and bread to last several days. Neighbors informed Kimi and Michael that this neighborhood had never flooded in 30 years. But you just don't know. It was this feeling of uncertainty and anxiety that prevailed all weekend.

By Saturday we got tornado warnings. This was also a first for me. The official warnings included the times that we had to stay sheltered. We all piled into the walk-in closet, the innermost part of the house.

As the water was rising in streets nearby, we took all the food out of the pantry and moved it upstairs. We also carried the most treasured furniture upstairs to the second floor to save it. We left one mattress downstairs to have something to sit on to watch TV.

The scariest thing was the uncertainty of what would happen overnight, wondering whether we would get flooded."

Brynne updated family and friends of her status through social media.

"Our neighborhood turned into an island. While we were spared the flooding and the power outages, we could not get anywhere. The flood situation changed block by block. We were okay but a few streets over it was a different story. We had to stay completely indoors for 4 days. We kept up with the news on our phones so that the children would not get too frightened. Once the boys were in bed we would turn on the TV to catch the latest news."

Always the hard worker, she spent her days waiting indoors working from her guest bedroom and playing with her godsons. 

Brynne: "What will remain with me is the feeling of total loss of control. We could not go anywhere. Traveling home was completely outside of my control. Finally on Thursday, four days after my originally scheduled flight, 40 flights made it out of Houston International and I was lucky to get on one of them.

What stands out to me the most was the way the people of Houston cared for each other. Just simple actions, like neighbors sharing food without being asked, offering use of friend offered to evacuate us in his elevated truck if need be! Houston Strong! The strength and kindness of Texans will stay with me forever.
Having seen both the heroism and devastation with my own eyes, I am personally compelled to help fund raise. I am thankful to be safe, and want to give to those who were not as fortunate.

Brynne's friend, graphic design artist and owner of the Houston based and internationally successful wedding and event invitations company 
Anticipate Invitations, Michael Musser is one of these #HoustonStrong locals who does what he can to help.

He designed these three gorgeous new note card sets, available online, to raise funds. 100% of the proceeds will benefit victims of Harvey directly.

Brynne: "Kimi and Michael are working with members of their church and families from my godsons' school directly to select recipients of these funds. 
We are dedicating the initial funds raised to purchasing urgently needed school supplies for a special needs classroom.
Kimi and Michael feel blessed to have been spared. We all feel the need to help friends and families who lost so much. We are grateful for all gestures of support

We are delighted to see that our event industry colleagues are jumping into action!

SEARCH FOUNDATION will support event industry professionals victimized by Hurricane Harvey. Please click the link to learn more.

Event Pros Take Action, in collaboration with, will bring their volunteers to Houston. Please contact Susie Perelman to join EPTA's effort to rebuild Houston! 

Thank you!