Monday, October 15, 2018

Event Report: Check Out Our "Action Bar"



This client loves to surprise his young guests with new, exciting aspects during the annual Closing Party. We upped the ante once again.

The Event: A Closing Night Party
Event Date: September 2018
Event Time: 6-11PM
Event Location: A Ballroom in Southern California

We have done aerial sommeliers, atmospheric acrobats and stage shows enhanced by close proximity pyrotechnics and aerial acrobats. We have taken branded decor to new immersive levels with LED Towers and synchronized 360 degree surround projection.
This last month we had to surprise the guests once again.

We had added entertainment to every aspect of the evening.

For the closing Dance Party we introduced the Action Bar: a double trampoline and five performers, surrounded by 8' long black bars to turn the central bar from gathering point into a show element.


Brynne Peña: “Our intention with the Trampoline Wall was two-fold:  entertainment and branding.  Given the large size of the wall itself, it provided the perfect application for conference-specific branding.  By placing it in the center of the room and using the double-trampoline, it meant the visuals were viewable from anywhere within the ballroom.  From there we timed out the performances in line with key moments of the evening – 15 minutes after doors to ensure enough guests were in the room, halfway through the event to keep the momentum going, and again 30 minutes from the end of the evening with a complete costume change that incorporated LED accents to the jumpers outfits.  There were even light sabers involved for a brief moment!
You know you have a hit when guests immediately pull out their phones to record!”

  Please enjoy this very short clip, edited for client anonymity and musical copyrights.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Event Design Trend: Palm Trees Warm the Winter Season



Who says you can't wear white after Labor Day?
We checked in with our Creative Director Kate Brack.
Kate loves the renaissance of all things palm tree, now trending year-round.
Here a digital rendering of our Branching Communal Table with Palm Frond enhancements.

Faithful readers may have noticed that we love working in tropical locations. Our production work frequently takes us to Hawaii, Southern Florida or Mexico. We live under palm trees and love to work under them, too.
Palm leaf motives have been popular for decades. The famous Beverly Hills Hotel introduced palm tree print wallpaper in 1942 with Don Loper's design. Tropical prints have made a fashion come back this year and even over-sized pool decor has taken the form of pineapples and pink flamingos.
They do add a sense of vacation and sunshine to any affair and Kate advises that cold weather and a winter season do not have to put an end to our love of tropical trends.

Kate Brack: "The retro palm chic trend continues to hold strong even as we dive into the holiday months. Pairing sleek sapphire blues and rose gold tones against the rich patterns helps translate this look from summer surf to tropical holiday. Hawaii in January anyone? Pair our unique branching high top communal tables with this look and you have décor gold. Adding height and excitement to the room, these tables act as a conversation starter and easy Instagram-able moment. This key enhancement gives your event a heightened look without the costly confines of rigging or floor supported truss."

Feeling warmer already?

Thank you for reading!



Monday, October 1, 2018

Event Report: Ted Bowers Reports From TEDxPasadena


Ted Bowers with Heather Heimerl Brunold | Executive Director | Licensee, Words2Action | TEDxPasadena

We absolutely loved working in our backyard, Pasadena, CA, for this inspiring, uplifting event: TEDxPasadena 2018 -
Transform Words to Action.

Date: September 22, 2018
Location: The Huntington Library
Our Task: staging, lighting and sound as part of comprehensive technical support for the one-day conference featuring 17 individual speakers.

Ted Bowers: "The tag line "a day dedicated to transforming the future, and putting words to action" captures the essence of this event. TEDxPasadena's Executive Director Heather Heimerl Brunold, M.Ed., Ed.D. has done an incredible job organizing these events since 2015. Besides the large all-day annual conference, smaller salon events take place throughout the year. Since it's inception the scope of the all volunteer-managed conference has grown considerably. For the first time this year, they decided to hire us to assist with the technical aspects. It was a pleasure to work with Heather and the TEDx Team of wonderful, motivated people."

Janet Elkins: "I was very inspired by W2A's sponsorship program for young women in the Pasadena area. W2A is Heather's non-profit organization that puts on the TEDxPasadena events. During the conference Ted and I were both particularly moved by speaker Timothy Alexander. As a student he was ranked 8th best high school football player in Alabama. Colleges from all over the country wanted him. But then a car accident in 2006 changed everything. Timothy sustained injuries that left him paralyzed from the neck on down. His bio describes best how he succeeded in life in spite of the accident."

Timothy was left to find his purpose in life while paralyzed. After the accident, he went on to graduate from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), where he double majored in Criminal Justice and Communication Management. He later earned a Master’s degree in Communication Management. Not only was he successful in his studies, but he was an inspiration to fellow students on the UAB campus. He was also the first paraplegic to receive a football scholarship.
However, his proudest moment came in July 2016. For the first time since being paralyzed, Timothy was able to stand up on his own while on the football field. This caught the eye of major news publications including ABC National News, TMZ Sports, and many others. Timothy was the recipient of an Emmy Award in January 2017 as the Sports Program Feature: for the 31st Midsouth Regional Emmy Awards of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
Timothy is a living example of his signature phrase, “We don’t need it to be easy, we just need it to be possible.”

Janet: "His session was incredible. The room was filled to capacity and the whole audience hung on to every word. Everyone was mesmerized by his incredible story of perseverance. His speech is truly unforgettable."

Ted Bowers: "As we were working we could not attend all the sessions but we witnessed the overall reaction of the attendees. The atmosphere was very upbeat and the energy was palpable. They loved the large variety in the speakers' backgrounds. While some were more spiritually encouraging and motivating, others like for instance Dr. Rene Sotelo, Dana Budzyn or Nancy Baker Cahill provided some very practical advice on putting words to action. Let's face it. Many of us have plans and good intentions but never turn that into action. TRANSFORM was very informative and motivating in that regard."

 Executive Director Heather Heimerl Brunold, M.Ed., Ed.D explains why the volunteer-work based non-profit organization hired EventWorks.

"First and foremost EventWorks offered me peace of mind. I knew from the get go of hiring them that I was in excellent hands. The guidance that Janet and Ted gave virtually before we even arrived on site, over the months of planning, was incredibly full of expertise and professionalism and wisdom that I don't have. I am essentially a spiritual guide for my community and we have to put on this huge event that is not in my wheel house. To be able to have partners like EventWorks pulled all of the lose threads together. To be able to create such a seamless production reconfirmed that we made the right decision to get professional help. The team they brought on the day of the event was masterful. I can't praise the human beings that were there enough. Their egos were never in the way of what needed to happen. They were humble and kind and patient and forgiving. They thought of things my team of volunteers could never think of. They brought knowledge to the inter-weaving of having a beautifully done production that we just don't have. You asked me for only a paragraph about the ROI but I could write a novel."

It was a pleasure to bring technical know-how to the table and to work for such a wonderful team of really skilled, creative, motivated, kind and positive people. 

Please visit their website: http://tedxpasadena.org/ 
Furthermore Heather Heimerl Brunold's non-profit organization Words2Action sponsors young women to attend educational salons and TEDxPasadena events. 

Words2Action (W2A) the producers of TEDxPasadena, provide sponsorships for girls from Pasadena and surrounding areas ages 13-18.
Sponsorships include free attendance to TEDxPasadena as well as the chance to participate in several unique Words2Action opportunities throughout the year. This includes personalized curriculum inspired by the TED Red Circle, as well as local mentorships and internships. Participants will learn to transform spoken word into tangible action, one idea at a time.



We could not resist this photo opportunity! 

Thank you for reading.


Monday, September 24, 2018

New Event Location Report: The London WeHo Roof Top Venues Will Blow Your Mind!



Mary Spellerberg, Associate Director of Sales, and Alisa Walsh 

It may be fall in most of the country but summer continues in Southern California.
Alisa Walsh recently visited the newly remodeled roof top location right off the legendary Sunset Boulevard. The London West Hollywood at Beverly Hills offers three roof top space possibilities with pools and views!  The London Penthouse is the largest suite in Los Angeles.
We can't wait to produce an event in this luxurious, hip space overlooking the L.A. skyline and Hollywood Hills. The best season for clear skies and amazing views is about to start.

Alisa Walsh: "I am accustomed to seeing impressive sites in Los Angeles. However, the London West Hollywood offers three different gorgeous roof top spaces for any size and style of event. The expanse, location and level of luxury of the newly remodeled Penthouse Suite at The London West Hollywood at Beverly Hills definitely raise the bar.
L.A. skies are the clearest from October to late April. It's the best time to use this year-round venue."



Photos don't do it justice. Please click to enjoy the PENTHOUSE Walkthrough VR Tour. You can access both levels of the penthouse, suite and rooftop pool.

PENTHOUSE SUITE
300 Reception
LA’s largest Penthouse is an extraordinary suite for relaxation, meetings or private events. Revel in over 11,000 square feet of glamorous surroundings across two floors. The personal rooftop deck takes your event to new heights, offering a complement of dedicated places for drinks, lounging, dining, reclining or relaxing by the fire pit, with LA vistas surrounding you.

The London Hotel Penthouse inspired by Vivienne Westwood 

The 10th floor Penthouse Suite has been designed to feel grand and spacious, while at the same time being intimate and personal, incorporating Vivienne Westwood fabrics, wall coverings, cushions and artwork. On entering, one is welcomed into the large Salon, a fantastic entertaining space with polished stone floors, bespoke cabinetry, large corner sofas, rich materials, feature furniture pieces and Vivienne Westwood fabrics to cushions and feature chair upholstery. The large central rug uses an iconic Westwood pattern to great effect and anchors the furniture and lighting. The salon is framed on each side by large atriums that draw light down into the space. The long back wall has a built-in bookcase, backed with verre eglomise mirror panels, that sparkle and add depth to an already atmospheric space. The Master Bedroom Suite is a series of luxurious spaces. First the bedroom, with its coffered ceiling and contemporary take on a  four poster bed, then the mirrored dressing room with Westwood wall covering to the wardrobe doors and finally the grand marble bathroom with its ceiling light slot, casting shadows down onto the central free standing bathtub with shuttered concrete feature finish to the wall behind. Also within the Suite is a media/family room, with dark fabrics and a timber lined ceiling, that has feature walls using a Westwood wall covering design, as well as several Westwood cushions to the large corner sofa, while on the opposite side is a brighter dining room and adjoining pantry. The artwork within the Penthouse is a collection of stunning Vivienne Westwood scarves that have been taken out of the archives, these radiate the vibrancy and fun of Westwood that blends perfectly with an illustrious Suite as this is. The crowning glory is a magnificent roof terrace that affords fabulous views up to the hills and across the city beyond. The terrace has a large mixed seating area, grouped around a linear fire pit with an adjoining dining and outdoor kitchen. All these design elements, when combined, make for a unique entertaining venue, for both night and day.

Source: The London Hotel

How many iconic British decor items can you spot in the media room?

The London Penthouse Suite Features

The largest suite in Los Angeles, with over 11,000 square feet of living space

5,000-square-foot rooftop deck with 360-degree views

2,000-square-foot Grand Salon

Two en-suite bedrooms

Two oversized spa-like bathrooms with soaking tub and dual shower heads

Private dressing area with mirrored closets

Oversized work desk and complimentary high-speed internet access

iHome iPod docking stations and LG flat screen televisions

Keurig coffee maker with complimentary specialty coffees and teas

Personal wet bar

Complimentary European-style continental breakfast 

Complimentary calls to London

Maximum occupancy: 4

Panorama view of the suite on the first level of the two-floor suite.

But wait, there is more!

ROOFTOP WEST
400 Reception | 180 Dinner & Dancing
Revel in 3,800 square feet of glamorous, private rooftop space with views of Beverly Hills and beyond. A custom-fit tent with retractable sidewalls complements Rooftop West November through March.

Please click to view the Walkthrough VR Tour.


Need something smaller?
ROOFTOP POOL DECK
300 Reception
The stunning rooftop pool is a chic, open-air option for movie premiere after-parties and other large-scale events. Indulge in panoramic views for the Los Angeles skyline and Hollywood Hills, plush lounge chairs with carved teak benches, white-marble fire pit, a relaxing wall sized water feature, four luxury cabanas with LCD TVs and mini refrigerators and a multi-level wooden deck.

Please click to visit the VR Walkthrough Tour.
La-La Land:

What are the chances of meeting a celebrity or two? Fairly high, judging by thelondonweho Instagram feed. The property is known to attract the A-list of Hollywood and the music industry.


Alisa Walsh: "Obviously, the site also offers indoor locations on par with this level of hip luxury. Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood has been undergoing a transformation in the most recent years. Expansion has brought new hotels. Visitors can access many bars and restaurants along a pedestrian friendly, world famous boulevard. West Hollywood is ready for its close-up."

EventWorks' Vice President Kristen Rensch lives in the neighborhood.
Call us, we will be happy to show you around.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Event Idea: Let's Play! We Visited The Happiest Place in DTLA


We put down our phones and just had fun!
Report from our visit to the new Two Bit Circus, a VR Powered micro-amusement park in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles.

Two Bit Circus invites visitors to put their electronics down and play, 21st century style and opened it's doors on September 7th.
The tech world has taken notice. TechCrunch, CNet, Bionic Buzz, Rich DeMuro and Forbes Magazine all published positive articles.
Forbes Magazine comments:
"Two Bit Circus is a multi-faceted celebration of the new wave of out-of-home entertainment: custom escape rooms called Story Rooms, VR Cabanas (private rooms), VRcades, re-imagined arcade games, free roam VR, and live interactive game shows".

We checked it out.

Alisa Walsh: "I am not a gamer by any means so I was surprised that my favorite game was a VR game that was both technical and physical and competitive on top of it. We had to dance and move as we waved our sabers to fight off objects that were flying at us. Imagine Dance Dance Revolution meets Star Wars. It was really fun.

The best aspect for the event industry: the team building! Many games are designed for groups of 6 people instead of the usual 4 players. It encourages you to meet people and communicate to get your 6 players together. It also challenges you to work together as a team. As a corporate client you have the option of pre-building your teams or just let your guests lose and let them build teams naturally. 
Catering is in-house. Two Bit Circus offers carnival food reinvented, very high-end, including vegan options.
The bartender is a robot smartly named Guillermo Del Pouro who will concoct classic and virgin drinks to perfection.
Decor: Two Bit Circus is event-ready as is." 


This must be the only photo of four EventWorkers together without a single cell phone in sight!


Kristen Rensch: “My favorite area of the micro amusement park are the group immersive Story Rooms, which are a take on escape rooms. Two of the rooms - The Lost City and Space Squad in Space - offer team-based challenges you work together to complete, and The Raft is a very fun VR multiplayer experience!”

Ted Bowers: "I enjoyed seeing the merger of the latest VR & AR technology with vintage style carnival and arcade style games. There was something playful that everyone could identify with. Every attraction had push buttons or levers that encouraged participation.
The Robot Bartender is one gizmo that is imbedded in my memory. The Rube Goldberg style contraption mixed up a super savory cocktail."



Kate Brack: "Two Bit Circus is at the crux of experiential gaming: approachable, nostalgic and just plain fun! I can’t wait to go for the full experience with friends!"




Entering the Two Bit Circus the first things that visitors see is a circular bar in the center of the converted warehouse space.

To the left is a Midway arcade that is filled with updated versions of Coney Island style classics like “Demolition Zone” where two players swing a physical wrecking ball at a virtual skyscraper to see who can cause the most damage; or “Big Top Balloon Pop” a game for up to four players where contestants have to color match balls fed to them and toss them at colored balloons in front of them to pop as many balloons as possible. Classics like skee ball are also available unadorned and timeless (really, who messes with perfection?).

Behind the Midway is a purpose built robotic bartender that banters with patrons who sidle up to watch the automated cocktail maker work its magic. Named Guillermo del Pouro, the robot behind the bar will mix up classic and virgin drinks.

As patrons head to the back of the establishment they can find the story rooms, which are virtual reality enhanced escape room-like experiences where would-be adventurers can explore secret Aztec temples, hurtle through space and explore strange new worlds in the game “Space Squad in Space”, or try to survive a trip down a haunted river in the bayous of Louisiana.

Some of the games, like Space Squad in Space rely on episodic content so players can advance through multiple levels and are rewarded with repeat game play. Others have a more discrete story line.

Owner Brent Bushnell also noted that there is an element of immersive theater that’s available for anyone who attends the park, regardless of whether they enter one of the virtual reality experiences or not. “There are clues that take you on different experiences in the park,” Bushnell said. “We want to reward the curious and provide Easter eggs for fans.”

Picking up a seemingly random phone located in the park can provide clues to a meta-game, which is the adventure of simply exploring the park itself. And through the variety of play options — from virtual reality to classic carnie games, to immersive theater within the park, Bushnell said there should be something for everyone.

Two Bit Circus also holds more traditional virtual reality and arcade gaming options for folks who don’t want their experiences quite so immersive. There’s a modular virtual reality maze, which is a six meter by four meter physical maze that players navigate wearing an HTC Vive VR headset and a backpack PC. In the maze players can either try to navigate a minotaur’s maze or battle fierce “rabbids” that are preventing a space ship from launching.

Then there are virtual reality pods which will offer an array of gaming and experiential options, while the Hologate four player virtual reality game station offers cooperative and competitive gaming. For people who want a little bit more privacy and a more bespoke virtual reality experience, there are private rooms available for rental.

A food stand offers updates on old street-and-state fair standards and there’s seating in an upstairs area to watch the crowds or by the counter where circus-goers place their orders.

Finally, there’s a section for classic arcade games and the modified games, including, amazingly, an air hockey game in which four people play simultaneously.

While the individual and group games are show-toppers, Gradman and Bushnell are hoping that their 150-seat show-starting venue, Club 01, will be another attraction for attendees of the Two Bit Circus. There, in a room equipped with 75 shared touch-screens where a master of ceremonies will lead the crowd in interactive games and quiz shows.

Source: Jonathan Shieber/TechCrunch


Learn more: A message from co-founders Brent Bushnell and Eric Gradman.

What did we take away from the experience? Games are back - and while Two Bit Circus is a fixed installation in Downtown Los Angeles, we can bring a mobile Micro-Theme-Park to your event.
Call us! Let's play!

Thank you for reading.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Event Industry Trends: How Do New California Cannabis Laws Affect Hospitality?


As of January 2018 marijuana has been legal in California - and we do notice changes in the hospitality world.
While it is definitely a niche market, we get many questions from event attendees about California cannabis. We compiled the Does and Don'ts for you.

As of January 1, 2018, "Green" has earned a whole new meaning in California.
It is no longer just associated with environmentally friendly practices in the tourism industry. "Green" is trending because the recreational use of marijuana has been legalized in California and the new law has become effective at the beginning of the year..
Celebrities have joined the ranks of growers in droves. The Coachella Valley city of Desert Hot Springs is booming. Tuff Gong, Snoop Dogg and Mike Tyson are among the local farmers.

Does cannabis play a role in tourism? Absolutely. Visitors started asking as far back as October 2017 how and where they could buy legal weed.
Some individually owned hotels offer marijuana friendly services, vending machines, smoking rooms and edibles instead of chocolates on the pillow. AirBnB lists "420 friendly" as a filter.

Here are all the facts you need to know:
Even though the purchase and consumption of marijuana is now legal in the state of California, there are still many restrictions in place.

1) Where to buy: The medical dispensaries, some of them have been around for more than 20 years, need to acquire a special recreational marijuana sales license and not many places have obtained these yet. The number of sales points will increase. The state reports that 1600 vendors have applied! So far your best bet are a few dispensaries in San Francisco, West Hollywood and Santa Ana. The list keeps growing and changing as applications get processed.
BRING CASH! Marijuana is still illegal on the federal level. Dispensaries cannot accept credit cards.
Weed cannot be sold between 10pm/22h and 6am/6h.

2) Age limit: the conditions for buying legal marijuana are the same as buying alcohol: you have to be 21 years of age and show a valid photo ID (driver license or passport).

3) Where can you smoke: the locations for use of recreational marijuana are highly restricted. You would never suspect this as the scent of marijuana permeates the air in the region.  The clouds of smoke leave you contact high. However, smoking marijuana on streets, in public parks, on beaches, etc. is ILLEGAL! Consumption is restricted to private properties. This poses a problem for tourists as hotels are not private. A number of cities will allow smoke lounges.
And a word of warning: smoking inside of a personal car is just as illegal as drinking inside of a car and driving high is a serious offense, just like driving drunk.

4) Other options: it may be easier to discreetly consume many of the products you do not need to smoke: cookies, honey, chocolate....

5) How much does it cost? Prices vary widely by potency and type of product and they will fluctuate in the coming months. According to the Cannifornian a small 20mg chocolate chip cookie will set you back $3, 12 king size pre-rolls in Anaheim cost $50, a gram of concentrated cannabis ranges from $30 to $45.

The state and each community adds a hefty tax rate! All legally sold marijuana will include a special 15% state tax, plus the customary state tax of ~ 8%, plus local community taxes that will add another 5 to 10 per cent.

6) How much can you buy: one ounce = 28 grams per adult per purchase.

7) Cannabis Events: a number of public events involve cannabis, ranging from Cannabis Yoga in Beverly Hills to High Art Friday Nights in the Bay Area and large conventions such as the annual Cannabis Expo.

Cannabis event organizers do hire event production companies. We very much enjoyed creating an art-inspired decor for Budtender Appreciation Day SoCal 2017 to match the space and the unconventional event style, as well as interactive, fun activities for this mostly young group of guests.

Gifting: companies like Beboe specialize in CBD gifts such as the Downtime and Inspired line of product


8) Cannabis Tours: three companies already offer cannabis tours:
Green Guide Tours in San Francisco, Greenline Trips in Los Angeles and MedTours in Los Angeles which offers tours of their dispensaries.
Cannabis tour buses, like traditional party buses, are considered private space and since the driver is separated from passengers consumption inside the bus is legal.


9) More Info: rules, regulations and enforcement are in flux. It is still illegal on a federal level. These two websites are great sources of information to stay up to date: the State Bureau for Cannabis Control and The Cannifornian

10) Last but not least: DO NOT TRAVEL WITH CANNABIS.
Marijuana is only legal in 6 states at this time. Do not even think of traveling to the Grand Canyon with reefers/ganja/weed/mj in your luggage. Arizona's sheriffs will welcome you to jail with open arms.

We hope the information answers some of your questions.
Thank you for reading.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Event Report: Our Favorite Snapshots from Atlanta



Brynne Peña, Alisa Walsh and Mary Leist Vandergoot
had fun adding some very inspired twists on regular aspects of a hospitality industry conference.

The Event: A 3-day conference in Atlanta, GA.
The Task:

  • Bringing "Atlanta" indoors
  • Creating a fresh feel to routine aspects of any conference.
  • Add more interactive touches to the process.

Give us a challenge and we love to work!

We redesigned the check-in and registration area to make it more interactive and welcoming. Inspired by Apple stores, we brought sleek work stations to begin the process but we added the real human touch. Guests were greeted by staff and handed their badges. Another staffed station provided information and lanyards. A third stop was designed to engage guests in a conversation as hosts explained the mission of the beneficiaries of the corporate social responsibility activity. All of this socializing will make one thirsty so we added beverage stations as well.

Alisa Walsh: "In current times of electronic overload and social isolation, we thrive to add more cozy, people-oriented aspects to encourage communication and real interaction. Besides bringing these aspects into the registration process, we had the liberty to bring in a variety of seating elements for the general sessions room on the last day. We added lots of lounge seating and one hundred bean bags to eliminate the sterile environment of a conference room."
We love to bring the neighborhood and local culture inside.
Music industry, Hip Hop and urban art inspired our custom bar treatments.
Making sure no one forgets this event: our guests were truly amazed as the desserts arrived - gently floating from the top floors into the lobby. 

Faithful readers may remember that Brynne moonlit a while back, fulfilling a childhood dream of working for a world famous award night. She managed sweet surprises on that memorable night - and updated and perfected the concept to parachute macaroons into the crowd. 
Brynne comments: "This location was just perfect for the drop and I knew that all attendees will remember this moment."



CONGRATULATIONS to producer Mary Leist Vandergoot and husband Jimmy Vandergoot who tied the knot this past Sunday.
We wish you both a lifetime of happiness together!

Thank you for reading.
Have a fabulous 4-day week.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Alisa Walsh Made Very High Tech Friends at The Sheraton Los Angeles San Gabriel


Alisa Walsh recently had the pleasure of touring a very exciting addition to local hotel and event space offerings, the Sheraton Los Angeles San Gabriel.

The 288-room Sheraton opened a little earlier this year and it has already achieved a peak occupancy rate of 85% as well as nationwide media attention due to the most modern staffers;
8 TUG robots.
The Sheraton L.A. San Gabriel is currently the only U.S. hotel to feature these high tech "staffers".
The hotel also offers a lot of extra features to accommodate Asian visitors' specific wishes and needs. We are happy to share more details.

Above: the Sheraton Los Angeles San Gabriel.

A lot of expansion is underway in the City of San Gabriel, just East of Downtown Los Angeles, and a hub for Asian communities. The Valley Boulevard Specific Plan, an urban redevelopment project for this thoroughfare, was launched in December 2006. Nearly 12 years later the area is booming. 
The new Sheraton is a cornerstone of this exciting development.

EW spoke to Debbie Vail, Senior Sales Manager.

"Debbie, what specifically has your property undertaken to accommodate Chinese guests?"

Debbie Vail: 
"We feature signage throughout the building in Mandarin as well as English so our Chinese guests can easily make their way around. We also added certain amenities for the guest rooms that are important to our guests. Every room offers slippers and a tea kettle. The signage in the rooms is also bi-lingual. All written information such as brochures and pamphlets is in English and Mandarin. We have Mandarin speaking staff in all of our departments. Furthermore we accept Ali Pay and we use We-Chat, the most popular communications and social media app in China."


One special feature generated international headlines: innovative and very advanced robots, four different robots who assist guests and staff in a variety of tasks.

Debbie Vail:
"Gabriel, our Wayfinder robot, is always stationed on the lobby floor and he can usually be found at the entrance. He is equipped with an iPad where guests can ask for directions to any location on the lobby floor. Gabriel understands English and Mandarin. he then guides the guests to the requested destination, like Starbucks or a restaurant or a ballroom. Once he gets there he opens the door and says "You have arrived". He then returns to the front lobby by himself to be available for the next guest.
We have two luggage robots. One is named after Rich DeMuro who visited our hotel."


Our Los Angeles local KTLA Channel 5 TV's Tech Guru Rich DeMuro did a great job demonstrating the different types of service robots: here the Wayfinder, the room service delivery robot and the secure luggage delivery robot.

Debbie: "Our luggage robots can be loaded with heavy luggage. They take the service elevator to deliver the luggage straight to the room. Once the luggage robot arrives at the door, he sends a signal to the in-room phone to let guests know that their luggage is delivered. The guest also receive a pin code to unlock the robot to retrieve the luggage. So en route the luggage is secure and cannot be taken by anyone else. The bellman is available to guide the guests to the their room and assist in getting them installed comfortably. Furthermore we have a room service delivery robot that works overnight to deliver food and beverage orders to the rooms. Our human staff gets a break. Last but not least we have a robot that can pick up linen and works in housekeeping to assist the housekeeping ladies. He does all the heavy lifting for them."

One group of guests in particular is delighted.
Debbie: "We have a lot of families staying with us. The kids really light up when they see the robots. We had robots deliver milk and cookies. The kids love that service."

The hotel features two high end, family friendly restaurants, EST. Prime Steakhouse and Opal, an upscale Cantonese restaurant on site. Both eateries are open for dinner. Opal just opened its doors in late July.
The hotel serves an international breakfast that features American choices as well as Dim Sum and other Chinese choices from Opal's kitchen in the Crystal Ballroom.

Debbie Vail can be reached by email.

We are very happy about the increasing great possibilities for our Chinese clients. #ChinaReady is a growing community of Los Angeles area based providers and we are proud to be a part of the community.

Thank you for reading.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Update On The Event Management Software Suite OZ APPLICATION with Carmen Tomasetti


We first wrote about OZ Application event industry specific software 5 years ago. A lot has happened since. OZ has grown and got even better to fit our industry specific needs. 
Not surprising since creator Carmen Tomasetti crowd sources development ideas and suggestions from all of us.

If you are interested in putting your business in the cloud and have all of your projects, contracts, invoices and contacts accessible to all of your team member in one application, check it out.

Worried about switching?
Carmen will travel to set you and your team up and train you.

We googled independent reviews to see how OZ fares with users.

OZ gets a top 5-Star rating on Capterra. Users love the overall ease of use and the incredible customer service.
https://www.capterra.com/p/158953/Oz-Software/#reviews
OZ achieved a whopping 4.8 out of 5 on GetApp.
https://www.getapp.com/hospitality-travel-software/a/oz-software/

Reviewers on both platforms would recommend OZ 100% to friends and colleagues.

So what does OZ help you do now and what is new since 2013?

*The whole OZ Application is now in the cloud in all content syncs immediately. All users always see the latest status of any project. 

*Integration: Quickbooks, LinkedIn, Google Suite and Microsoft Office. 

*Permissions: you retain control over content access by setting varying levels of access.

* No internet access on site?: no problem. All content is down loadable.

Carmen Tomasetti explains it best in this video overview.


Oz Application Over View from CTO Music Artists on Vimeo.

GetApp's Oz Software Overview

Oz Software is a cloud-based booking, scheduling and business management solution which helps entertainment and event professionals streamline task, scheduling and calendar management. Features include contract, invoice, and employee management, user management, Google App integration, contract creation, document management, and more.

Task management tools allow users to assign tasks and create internal task conversations, while user management functionality enables the assignment of security roles for individual users. Oz Software’s phone book gives users centralized access to important contact information, and allows users to check what jobs or tasks are associated with each contact. Users can also upload or input lead information with prospect and lead management technology.

With project, event and job management features, users can access and manage all job-related information, from bookings to payments. Other features include product and venue management, which allow users to control inventory, supplier chain and delivery point lists. Users can manage scheduling, invoicing and payments with Google Calendar synchronization tools, electronic payment management, and QuickBooks integration.

Contract creation and document management tools help users create custom customer contracts and store job-related files electronically. Reporting capabilities allow users to gain actionable insight into business performance, while activity logging technology enables users to maintain accountability by monitoring who logged in, as well as who did what and when.

Visit the website for contact and more information: http://ozapplication.com/


Thank you for reading!

Monday, August 13, 2018

Event Report: We Knocked It Out Of The AT&T Park


We love working in iconic baseball stadiums. Guests will always remember this night. However, there are challenges to conquer.

The Event:
the Closing Night of a multi-day conference.
Date: August 4, 2018
Guests: 2,600
Location: AT&T Park, San Francisco, CA
Our Assignment: Decor, Themed Entertainers and Activations


Challenge 1: The Ground

During baseball season it is all about the turf. We had gained a lot of experience working at Petco Park in 2017. The whole outfield has to be covered with special flooring to protect the turf.
It has to be put in last minute since the less time the turf is covered the better. We coordinated with park staff to return the field to its baseball ready status in record time. Our event concluded Saturday night. We started to strike immediately and park staff pulled up the flooring literally right behind us as we were removing event decor and furnishings. The Giants played a home game on Monday. The turf was as green as it should be.



Challenge 2: Creating Structure In A Large Space

How do you create structure in an outfield? We brought in a lot of multi-dimensional decor, Airstar lighting, and a large variety of furnishings. Brynne supervised the detailed setup to create an interesting, inviting event space.

Challenge 3: Lighting

A stadium typically has two basic settings: on and off. Our goal was to light the event with decorative lighting and maintain the architecture of the Stadium. As it got dark we left the stadium lights off and left half of the field dark.

We brought in a lot of event lighting, especially Airstar products, to light the décor, food and beverage stations. A series of automated moving wash lights provided the overall event lighting. Ground level lighting and internal Airstar lights were battery operated LED fixtures. Control of the decorative event lighting was programmed through wireless DMX and seamlessly integrated with the main stage lighting design. Sweeps of color and movement through the event space were choreographed with the headline artists lighting design transforming the entire stadium into a concert venue.



Entertainment:

Our "Spirit Team": six performers and three costume changes. Amazing dancers and multitaskers who greeted the guests stilt-walking and rollerskating at the opening, transformed themselves into our version of the San Francisco Giants and expertly used slingshots to send branded t-shirts into the audience as a warm up to the headliner concert. They gained the stadium again to create a transition from headliner concert to after party by rollerskating throughout the event area. Throughout the night they provided extra photo opportunities with guests.

Brynne Peña and Kristen Rensch: "Not only do we love working in iconic ballparks, it is also a location the guests will never forget. We did overhear someone comment 'WOW, this is really bucket list'. This experience is not something any of the guests would have had the privilege of experiencing if it hadn't been for the chance to be invited to this corporate event. Sharing the guests' enthusiasm is the best reward for us. We also had great luck with the weather. San Francisco is infamous for cold, windy summers. It was cold when we got there but just in time for our outdoor event we had two perfect, sunny, warm days on the bay."

Brynne adds happily: "I am a big fan of the headliner band. It was such a job perk to meet them!"


A special "Hello" to our friends Jon Adcock, Matt Barnett and Douglas Johnson/EPlus Productions. It is always a real pleasure to work with you.

Thank you for reading.

Photo Credit: Photos 1 and 7: EventWorks
Photos 2-6: Lisa Bronitt Photography

Monday, August 6, 2018

All About Summer - Event Music: The Summer 2018 TOP Party Jams


DJ Lee Dyson:

"2018 is shaping up to be a great year for music. While I don't see a slam-dunk "song of summer" track yet some of these catchy hooks are sure to keep your head bopping in the car or office.

Props go to "The Greatest Showman" soundtrack which has dominated the 2018 album charts at No.1 for 28 weeks!
It became only the second album in 30 years to spend 11 consecutive weeks at Number 1."

Turn up the volume!
Wishing you summer fun.

Monday, July 30, 2018

All About Summer - Event Floral Decor: How To Beat The Heat


Summer temperatures reach triple digits. Floral decor wilts as fast as we do. Floral Artist Rebecca Motus to the rescue!

Rebecca has created gorgeous floral design that survives tropical conditions in many indoor and outdoor locations for us.
Her experience working in Hawai'i, Mexico and the Philippines comes in handy any time the thermometer needle goes up.
We may wilt but our floral stays fresh!

Rebecca Motus: "I adjust my design and work to the season, the location and the event. Another aspect that comes into play is longevity. Does the floral have to survive several days or is this just one night? It makes all the difference in my choices of flowers and materials I will use."

Location: Quintana Roo, Mexico.

"We worked together with a local vendor. As it turned out, many aspects of floral work get handled very differently in Mexico. For starters, the flower delivery trucks don't have cooling systems. Secondly, the decor style and assembly technique are different. However, our client expected the style of design they are accustomed to. We adjusted our designs to work with gorgeous, locally sourced tropical flowers and we became a great team with our Mexican friends. It all worked out very well and the client loved the floral designs."


Rebecca: "The use of tropical flowers is actually favored during the months of June, July and August. These flowers significantly withstand the heat. Tropical flowers I like to work with include the following : Orchids like cymbidium, mokaras and vanda. I also love ginger plants. They are mostly imported from Thailand."

"Holland usually doesn’t have as much to export during the summer months as bulb season is pretty much over. The tulips , hyacinths, daffodils and cymbidium season is done so you have to source different items from the Netherlands to use. Some examples are eremurus, callas, aliums and thistle

Local flowers like dahlias and tulips will be good for events but won’t last for your weekly flowers .

Last but not least: Best advice I can give to our homemakers is to religiously give the flowers a fresh cut and change or refill the water on a daily basis. This is the only way that the flowers would withstand the summer heat."


THANK YOU FOR READING!