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!

Monday, August 28, 2017

Event Trends: LGBT Niche Shows Are Gaining Broader Audiences

Janet Elkins:
"I had a great time seeing many friends and colleagues during BizBash Live in Los Angeles.
I was really impressed with Anthony Bollotta's new LGBT entertainment programs.
Check it out."
Photo: Dangilo Bonilla with Ross Mathews, Straight Talk with Ross cast and Bollotta crew. 

EW: "Dangilo, the LGBT niche market is booming. Please tell us more."

Dangilo Bonilla, Bollotta Entertainment’s Operations Manager:
"Right you are! The market feels like it’s really starting to take off and we are at the epicenter of it here in San Diego. I started my entertainment career in the gay nightclub scene, hosting “Bear” and “Leather” genre parties, circuit events and all sorts of other themed events. I have had the opportunity of playing every role: an entertainer, promoter, booker, host, and emcee. Getting involved early, and in a big way, allowed me to build incredible relationships with both local and national talent. And now we are really pushing these events into the public sector, in front of major audiences! Some of our most recent successes that contribute to this big boom are: 
In May, we were on the production team for a Stand-up Comedy show benefiting Trans Family Support Services here in San Diego. The show, titled “Comedy Trumps Hate,” was hosted by yours truly, and featured LGBT headliners Ian Harvie (Amazon’s "Transparent”), and New York-based, transgender comic Jaye McBride, as well as musical improv duo, Jesse Suphan and Kat Brown from Finest City Improv, and LGBT ally and former “San Diego Funniest Person,” comic, Allison Gill.
In July, we were fortunate to work with San Diego Pride, booking several main stage headlining acts for their 2017 Pride Music Festival. Among these acts were transgender recording artist, activist and NYC nightlife legend, Dina Delicious, who served as emcee in addition to performing her crowd-pleasing hits, and New York/Fire Island-based transgender DJ, Lina Bradford, who spun a set featuring Pride anthems and retro favorites.  We also booked popular hip hop recording artist and LGBT ally, Tinashe, who attracted a crowd of more than 40,000 LGBT music-loving fans!
In addition to the festival bookings, we brought entertainment reporter, TV commentator and celeb podcaster, Ross Mathews, to San Diego this last year. His podcast “Straight Talk with Ross” is a big hit within the gay community… well, within all communities, and bringing him to San Diego for live podcast tapings… not once, but twice, is testament that the LGBT event market is booming!  The fact that his performances were sponsored in part by such venerable San Diego institutions as Sycuan Casino and the Hotel del Coronado shows we are headed in the right direction."

EW: "How do you explain this growth in the market?"

"I believe the growth comes from an overall development of a more open-minded society, and the strides for equality that have been made thus far. Not only in our country but throughout the world.  

For the San Diego market, one or two major powerhouses showing up and lending support in a big way sets the standard for others to follow suit. The Hotel del Coronado, which began participating in San Diego Pride events just a few years ago, engages our diverse LGBTQIA entertainers, featuring them on their floats to honor the hotel’s prestigious history.

Theirs was one of 246 parade contingents participating in San Diego Pride, which also included such major corporations as Alaska Airlines, Uber, and Bank of America along with local nonprofits, politicians, law enforcement and more! I think this participation is a direct link to the growth of the niche market and I truly believe this market will continue to grow and prosper as we continue to support and bring quality LGBTQIA entertainment to the table.”

Thank you for the interesting conversation, Dangilo.

Wishing everyone a wonderful week.


Monday, August 21, 2017

Event Music: DJ Lee Dyson's Poolside Chill Summer Remixes

Astronomers are very excited about today's event. A total solar eclipse over the United States has not happened since 1979.
What makes today's eclipse even more special is that its path crosses the whole country and everyone has a chance to get at least a partial glimpse.
So grab your eye protection gear and "Chill".
DJ Lee Dyson sent us his 1-hour-17min, MixCloud charting list of Poolside remixes for this end-of-summer event.
Have a great late summer week!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Event Report: A Dream Come True for Our Sports Expert Brynne Peña, the UCLA Wasserman Football Center Ribbon Cutting and Reception.

Event Producer Brynne Peña was our obvious choice to produce this event:
The Ribbon Cutting and Opening Reception of UCLA's brand new Wasserman Football Center.
Brynne is happy to report.

Event Date: August 1, 2017

Location: Wasserman Football Center, UCLA, Westwood, CA.

The Task: Creating a branded, elegant event space for this very public, high profile occasion.

The stakes were high. The Opening Ceremony capped a two-year long construction project while it also served as an incentive and motivational moment for the generous supporters of the UCLA Athletics program.
The exclusive guest list included the who's who of donors and special guests and UCLA's top officials.

"We were honored to help with such an important event for UCLA.  As a sports fan I was so excited to get a behind the scenes tour of the facility and see all the advanced technology and architecture featured in the design.  Our goal was to enhance such elements and let them shine through our lighting treatment and other decorative touches.  Whenever I get to mix my love of sports and passion for events together I am one happy little producer."

Ribbon cutting by UCLA Chancellor Gene Block, Director of Athletics Dan Guerrero, Head Football Coach Jim Mora and UCLA alumnus, former sport team owner and celebrity sports agent Casey Wasserman, the Football Center's namesake. Welcome Speech by Casey Wasserman.

Go Bruins!

While we are on the subject of sports: #LA2028 seems far away but time flies - and Brynne has already put producing Olympic events on her professional bucket list.
Keep us in mind!                      

Monday, August 7, 2017

Alisa Walsh Reports from New Orleans with EPTA

Event Pros Take Action returned to New Orleans for their annual work of restoring a family home in the Lower 9th Ward. Even 12 years after Katrina there is still a lot to do in the neighborhoods that were flooded in August 2005.

Alisa Walsh was happy to join the "Wolfpack" again. Besides working in home remodeling, she also volunteered for EPTA's Carnival for Covenant House.

Event Pros Take Action invited volunteers back to make a difference in 2017.
EPTA headed to New Orleans from July 15th to July 19th, 2017, working for the seventh year with local non-profit St. Bernard Project in rebuilding the community after Hurricane Katrina devastated the gulf 12 years ago. In addition, EPTA's Youth Project Initiative partnered with Liberty's Kitchen on a hospitality seminar program. At the end of the work week, EPTA hosted the third annual Cov Carnival for the homeless youth at Covenant House New Orleans.*

Alisa: "EPTA invites us to give back and build lasting relationships with other event pros. It's only my second year but it is my very favorite "networking event". It's not just networking. We work hard together for a very worthwhile cause and become true friends.


Covenant House New Orleans on Facebook:
Thank you Event Pros Take Action and all our generous sponsors for another wonderful year. Best Carnival yet - so much joy!

EPTA: "To wrap up our experience, we partnered with Covenant House New Orleans for the third time to create a carnival for troubled youth. Led by Matthew Gonzales, our team prepped cotton candy machines, a bounce house, mechanical bull, dunk tank and so much more. The kids and the incredibly dedicated compassionate staff enjoyed a day of fun in the sun (no rain this year!). We hope the energy of the day fuels the kids on their paths to success and that the memories of happiness will provide support when overcoming obstacles along the way in the future. #payitforward #notforprofit #giveback. "

Alisa: "Everyone loved the dunk tanks! All Covenant House staff volunteer to get wet and the residents have a lot of fun doing the dunking. I was part of the cotton candy team. Let me tell you, it is not so easy to make cotton candy. It involves a lot of sticky ingredients that get stickier in the humid climate. I was covered in sugar. I even had sugar in my hair but I got the hang of it and made lots of cotton candy treats. Everyone loved it and kept coming back. We ran out by the end of the event."

Alisa: "All of us volunteers applied our professional skills to make sure that the residents and clients of Covenant House had a few stress-free hours, just having fun. And I have to admit, we had a blast "working" there."

Join the Wolfpack.
Event Pros Take Action can't do it alone. Donations and volunteers are always needed and very welcome.

Support Covenant House:
Covenant House is a nationwide non-profit organization that shelters and assists homeless and trafficked youth.
Charity Navigator gives Covenant House a Top 4-Star rating. The NPO was founded in 1973 and discloses all financial records on GuideStar.

Photo Credits: many thanks to 
Cheryl Gerber for Covenant House New Orleans. 
Both Dana and Cheryl volunteered their services for the good cause.