Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Alisa Walsh Can't Wait to Get Back to Shanghai. We Are Happy to Share Her ITB China Trip Report.

Alisa Walsh started her messages off with "Nihao, China". By Day 2 at ITB China, her message read:  #bestsalestripever.

Alisa Walsh: "I was very grateful to join the Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board group to attend the first ITB in China. We just received the 2016 visitors statistics: one MILLION Chinese visited California. The numbers are expected to grow. So this was my biggest sales mission, yet."

The Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board had a lot to celebrate during the visit to China.
The Los Angeles booth, featuring displays by EventWorks, Warner Bros., The Beverly Center, Universal Studios Hollywood, The London Hotel and the Westin Bonaventure Hotel, received a steady stream of high numbers of visitors during the trade show. 

Alisa Walsh: "We were really busy all the time. It was very exciting to participate in such a large trade show. The atmosphere was infectious."

The numbers are out:
Summing up the three-day business to business event, from 10th to 12th May, some 600 exhibiting companies from nearly 70 countries and regions met with a total of over 10,000 attendees and buyers in the 12,000 sqm area of exhibition space, which had been booked up months in advance.
Source: Travel and Tour World.

Alisa: "On a purely touristic level I did not really know what to expect from Shanghai. With a population of nearly 25 million it dwarfs even Greater Los Angeles. I was blown away by how beautiful Shanghai is. It is a gorgeous combination of historic areas and modern, energy efficient skyscrapers that were built within the last 20 years, replacing rice patties. It is also the cleanest city I have ever seen. I can't wait to get back to explore more."
Alisa: "On a purely touristic level I did not really know what to expect from Shanghai. With a population of nearly 25 million it dwarfs even Greater Los Angeles. I was blown away by how beautiful Shanghai is. It is a gorgeous combination of historic areas and modern, energy efficient skyscrapers that were built within the last 20 years, replacing rice patties. It is also the cleanest city I have ever seen. I can't wait to get back to explore more."

The whirlwind adventure did not end there.

Air China is expanding its network to offer non-stop flights from Chengdu to Los Angeles this year.
LATCB opened its fourth China office in Chengdu following ITB China. Ernest Wooden, President and CEO, welcomed local dignitaries and travel and convention professionals. 

Alisa: "This meant that we had another great opportunity to meet people and make new friends and connections. We also had one day to just be tourists. I visited a museum to learn about local history and of course, I visited the giant pandas. And did I mention that we all ate the most amazing Chinese food during the whole week?"

Besides falling in love with Shanghai and Chengdu and making lots of new contacts and friends, Alisa also learned a brand new skill.
You can now reach her on China's most popular communication app: WeChat.
Alisa: "It's like messaging, Facebook, Apple Pay, email, Yelp, Google all rolled into one app. Everyone in China seems to be using it for business. So see you on WeChat!"

Thank you for reading!
Wishing you a happy short work week.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Aloha from Lanai - Event Report from Paradise

Our lucky team members are still swooning to the sounds of ukulele music. We had the wonderful opportunity to work with a cherished client on a series of events in Paradise:

Location: The incredible Four Seasons Resort Lānaʻi

The Event: a multiple-days incentive event for 300 guests. 

We still feel Aloha in our hearts. 

Our work allows us to spend time in many beautiful locations but judging by our team members' Facebook postings, the Four Seasons Resort Lānaʻi cast a special kind of magic over our crew. We keep hearing "Paradise" and "Fantasy Island". 

Producing a series of Welcome Events, business meetings and a Grand Banquet Night for our client, who had bought out the resort for this event, allowed us to customize and brand with abandon. The island of Lānaʻi is the most undisturbed, unspoiled and remote of the inhabited Hawaiian islands. Working here was an incredible experience.

We were allowed to brand more than ever before, starting with the airport arrival area signage to our rental vehicles to the resort pool bottom. The event logo was applied to every possible aspect, from wrapping vehicles to embroidering cushions, to printing logos onto golf balls and water balls, and even applying logos to helicopters!

Our Honolulu-born Executive Producer Kristen Rensch took over the island office ahead of time to coordinate the production. Working in Paradise posed some challenges:
" Lana’i – also known as the pineapple island – is the smallest publicly accessible island in the Hawaiian island chain with a population of about 3,000 people concentrated in one small city center, Lana’I City. It is 18mi in the longest direction. Despite its small size, it contains several microclimates and diverse terrain. Since it is so small and untouched, resources on the island are very limited – one gas station, one small hardware & supply store with limited open hours. No traffic lights on the island, and most of the attractions are accessible only by dirt roads that require a four-wheel drive vehicle. No shopping malls, limited public transportation through the hotel and one privately owned company. There are only a few restaurants on the island.
The number of rental cars is very limited– we used a private agency that utilized some personal vehicles on the island. Methods are unconventional – cars are parked in overnight stalls at the airport, unlocked, keys in the ignition. Clients drop off by leaving cars unlocked with keys in cars at the airport. 
Our event location is the only large hotel on island – the Four Seasons Resort Lana'i. Another hotel under renovation – the Lodge at Koele (also a Four Seasons property) housed some of our production crew, as did the only other very small hotel on the island – Hotel Lanai, originally built by James Dole of the Hawaiian Pineapple Company in the early 1920s.
Lana'i is accessible via small aircraft from Honolulu ONLY, or ferry from nearby Maui. There are no direct flights."

"Consequently all show materials were transferred to the island inside a shipping container originating in Southern California, passing through Honolulu via an ocean container ship, and then transferred to a barge that is towed by a tugboat at a maximum speed of 8 knots to Lana’i.
The barge arrives one day a week, and departs one day a week, assuming the conditions are good. Shipping schedules are subject to change without notice. The commercial freight port on Lana’i is located on the southwestern coast of the island and access is subject to conditions of the sea. If the weather is too rough freight might be delayed up to a week or longer. Easter weekend also affected when our container could unload, so we planned movement around this holiday.
All other event materials were drop shipped via expedited carrier to the central handling facility on the island, and deliveries or return shipments had to be coordinated.
We rented linens and two 72” round tables from neighboring Maui, that were brought over on a ferry by the vendor, and returned by our crew via ferry to Maui. Special coordination for this extra cargo had to be arranged with the ferry master. Another shipment of décor was flown in from Honolulu and returned via a small air carrier.

Florals posed another challenge. All fresh floral was drop shipped directly to Lana'i, where movements had to be closely monitored and florals had to be kept in air conditioning, with limited storage space available on the resort as most was in use by the client for their event.

It’s a sleepy piece of authentic Hawaiian paradise, even though much of the island is desert-like where the hustle and bustle of the real world feels far, far away.
It was the ultimate luxury to feel transported back to a more genteel time.
The challenges were all overcome through planning - and most importantly - through the wonderful cooperation we received from all our new friends on the island."

Our client honored the history and culture of the islands throughout the event. We hired Hawaiian-born entertainers for all shows. 

Ted Bowers is equally enraptured:
"When you arrive to Lana’i the small plane touches down in a landscape of rusty earth that looks like the middle of nowhere. 
However, after spending time to explore and becoming familiar with the island, meeting some of the local residents and discovering hidden gems, including the best poke I’ve ever had, the deserted island becomes charming untouched tranquility.

The very tiny Lana’i City doesn’t have a single traffic light and that’s exactly how the people of Lanai like it. People wave to every car, residents stop to talk with their friends, fishing is considered a priority in life, and leaving the keys in your car's ignition is standard practice.

Lanai is a special place where you find serenity and adventure.

We are now certainly spoiled by the luxury of the Four Seasons Resort. You almost expect to hear "da plane, da plane" upon arrival but this fantasy island is real."
Mahalo to our wonderful client, our friends on Lana'i and Brad Kasselman for providing us with photos of this event!

Photo Credits: 
Images 2-5: Event photography by brad@coastphoto.com
Image 1: an EventWorks mobile phone snapshot.

Monday, May 8, 2017

A Mother's Day Story from EventWorks

As we all get ready to honor our moms this coming Sunday, we would like to take a moment to honor one of the hardest working moms of three amazing children we know, our floral assistant Aracely.

On her own, and as sole provider, with her three children (pictured here above with her children and nephew, EventWorks in-house artist Frankie) for over a decade, Aracely has succeeded in raising her two daughters and her son to be amazing achievers and goal-oriented, hard working young people we love. Asked what her secret is, she smiles and explains, that it was at times difficult, but that her kids all did their part. This is one tight, supportive family!

The EventWorks team is close knit and we have watched the children grow and thrive. We recently became aware how much these young people have already achieved when oldest daughter Alexxia, 22, discussed her college application progress with us.

Alexxia, 22:

Alexxia is bi-lingual English/Spanish and proficient in French. She is about to graduate from Cerritos Community College with an Associate Certificate in Business Administration this month, to go on to University this fall.

Described by her teachers and work managers as a "brilliant learner", this straight A student prepared her university admission applications last winter and sent off her letters in February to continue her education in accounting and business management in hopes of pursuing a career as CFO with a national accounting firm in the future.
The acceptance letters started to pour in quickly enough! So far, Alexxia has been accepted by California State Polytechnic Pomona, CSU Los Angeles, UC Irvine, CSU Long Beach. CSU Bakersfield,  Humboldt State, CSU Channel Islands and San Francisco State. She hopes to get accepted at her dream University: USC, which issues acceptances in June.

Alexxia pays for her education by working several jobs at the same time! She is a part time In-N-Out Burger Associate and she is also the part time accountant clerk for a roofing company while in school. During her vacation from school, she works as a full time accountant clerk at the roofing company.

Alexxia: "I hope to be financially healthy and in a career position to help my Mom retire in seven years."

Itzayana and Marco are well on their way to follow in their sister's footsteps.

Itzayana, 19,  is working a part time job at In-N-Out Burger while attending college to receive her AA in Administrative Justice. Her goal is to transfer and work as a DEA officer or as a gang unit officer.

Marco, 16, is in his junior year in High School, working to maintain his As and Bs to go to a four year college right after high school.

"Our Mom has taught us the importance of hard work. We appreciate everything our mother does for us, from working full time, to coming home to make dinner for us, and finding the energy to talk to us about our day. We thank her everyday for being such an involved mother and for always finding the time to talk to us about our goals and ambitions. Everyone who has ever meet our mother knows, that not only is she a great, loving person, but also a strong woman who always has a positive attitude, even when the day isn't going so well."

Janet: "We all know how hard it is to raise a family, but doing it so successfully, when you hail from an immigrant background and had no opportunity to access higher education, and are left to be the sole provider for three young children, really shows what an extraordinary woman and mother Aracely truly is. We have nothing but admiration for her. 

Fingers crossed for an acceptance letter from USC to Alexxia. They will be lucky to have her among their students."

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms this Sunday.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Alisa Walsh is Honored to Serve on 2017 SITE Young Leaders Committee

We are happy to announce that Alisa Walsh, our Director of Business Development, is honored to chair the 2017 SITE Young Leaders Committee.

Alisa continues a long EventWorks tradition of supporting the Society for Incentive Travel Excellence.
She is looking forward to her year of serving on the committee, in hopes of achieving several specific goals.

Alisa: "I became involved with SITE Young Leaders in January 2016 when I joined EventWorks. We, as a company, have been involved with SITE for many, many years. I am on the Young Leaders Southern California Committee as well as the Global Young Leaders Committee. The Young Leaders offer a fantastic opportunity to network and learn.
My predecessor in the role of Chair has done a great job growing membership in Southern California from nearly nothing to about 50 active members now.
My goal is to continue that growth, and also develop education and networking opportunities that are exciting and relevant and can help further engage the Young Leaders.
Furthermore I hope to get Young Leaders more involved with the Board of SITE, the mentors and elders of the organization, so that we continue to grow and learn to lead the future of the Southern California SITE Chapter.
Our local chapter is one of the largest of the 29 global chapters and as such we have the pleasure of pushing the envelope a bit to move forward in exciting trends in incentive travel. It is very motivating to be at the forefront of learning and experiencing new trends and ideas in incentive travel."

The above-mentioned predecessor who started the Young Leaders Committee is no other than 
Jamie Lee Tiffany, Senior Sales Manager at L’Auberge Del Mar,
2017 SITE Southern California, VP Young Leaders and
2017 Co-Chair Global Young Leaders Committee

"I feel so honored to have Alisa Walsh partnering with SITE Southern California Young Leaders and SITE Global Young Leaders.  Alisa stepped into her role and has quickly become active with our Young Leaders, Board of Directors and members not only in Southern California, but globally.  I look forward to seeing Alisa continue the momentum, and growing the footprint of our Young Leaders within the incentive industry."

Group Photo: ©SITE. To learn more about SITE and find a local chapter, please visit www.siteglobal.com.

Wishing everyone a great May Day - a celebration and holiday in many countries.