Monday, February 26, 2018

Large Crowds and Large Spaces - How To Conquer the Challenges

We recently had the pleasure of transforming two large, blank spaces into exciting, themed event venues. We conquered some challenges in the process.

Here is our report.

Event Location: Festival Pavilion at Fort Mason, San Francisco, CA.
Date: January 18, 2018, 6pm to 1am.
Guest Count: 1200
Event Theme: Nineties

Kristen and Alisa with client Eliza.

Kristen Rensch: "This group had experienced a number of events in the San Francisco area. The client wished to invite them to a fresh new venue. The waterfront Fort Mason, with gorgeous views of the Golden Gate Bridge, was selected.
We started with a blank space that was actually too large for this group.
Our solution: we pulled in the perimeter and created catering corridors. Next, we created intimacy through strategic placing of a variety of colorful seating areas and bringing in a central curved salon bar. Three more bars were placed on the sides to avoid lines.
Nineties themed decor and activities, such as a Bart Simpson donut wall desert station from our San Francisco based caterer and Hello Kitty food stations added ambiance and dimension. Both a DJ and live music kept the party going. The guests thoroughly enjoyed the night."


Event Location: LA LIVE Deck, Los Angeles, CA.
Date: February 6, 2018
Guest Count: 3300
Event Theme: Beach & Brew

Kristen Rensch: "Our challenge consisted of theming out such a high, large space to create the Beach & Brew event. We used all dimensions of the deck.. We brought in large, tall elements that played to the height, such as the palm trees and the photo trailers. 
How to you keep 3300 guests engaged? The LA All Stars and a DJ provided entertainment. Food and beverage stations served continuously fresh California beach fare. Furthermore interactive games and activities on the open air deck kept the attendees engaged."

"We applied detailed lighting packages in both venues to transform the blank spaces. We had the luxury of shoulder days for load-in and load-out for both events, a necessary luxury to ensure good audio. We ran numerous audio tests to make sure the levels will be perfect in a filled space. 
We love bringing trans-formative spaces alive. Our next large event will host 4500 guests. We will be happy to report about it."

Thank you for reading.

Photo Credit: LA LIVE Event photography by Lisa Bronitt.
All other photos: EventWorks

Monday, February 19, 2018

What We ❤️ At The Winter Games Opening Ceremony

The talk around the water cooler - well, okay, we also texted about it - at our office this week: what was your personal favorite moment of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Games Opening Ceremony?

Here is a list of the moments that moved and impressed us the most.

Brynne Peña, our in-house sports event expert and ice hockey fan:

"The Korean ice hockey players, scaling that huge flight of stairs with the Olympic Torch. Talk about a calorie burn! Go hockey!"

Ted Bowers:

"Shaun White's exuberance during the opening ceremony was infectious and reminded us that these are games. He posted really fun video clips on his social media channels. I'm also happy to see that he won the Gold medal again."

Elizabeth Brazil:

"I consider myself pretty patriotic and I loved that they used the LED lights mounted to each seat in the stands to depict each nation’s flag as the teams entered and that it traveled around with the team as they moved though the arena."

Kristen Rensch and Kate Brack agree:

"The world record setting, pre-recorded Intel drone show was absolutely stunning."

Alisa Walsh:

"It was really cool to see the stadium come alive through the video mapping and augmented reality components. A big Shout Out to ETC Audiovisuel!

Janet Elkins:

"I was truly moved by the Korean K-Pop stars' rendering of John Lennon's "Imagine". What a perfect way to start the games! Unfortunately the video has been blocked because of copyright issues."

Still hoping that we will all give Peace a Chance!

Monday, February 12, 2018

Janet and Alisa Report from The Special Event 2018

Left to right: Paul Tramonte, Alisa Walsh, our official New Orleans greeters, Janet Elkins and Douglas Johnson.
Thank you to all who attended our two seminars, Sales Strategies and Crushing It, We are happy to report that both forums generated very interesting discussions and we received wonderful feedback.
Here a quick recap for those who could not attend in person.

Sales Strategies

Thank You to all Expert Panelists, from left to right:

Kathy Miller, Total Event Resources, Chicago, IL
Dianne Budlon Devitt, Dianne Devitt, New York City, NY
Alisa Walsh, EventWorks, Los Angeles, CA
Sally Webb-Berry, The Special Event Company, Raleigh, NC
Janet Elkins, EventWorks, Los Angeles, CA

Janet Elkins: "We have presented this seminar in the past, actually for several years. However, we redesign and update Sales Strategies each and every time to remain relevant and fresh. And lots has happened in the last 12 months.
In 2018 our seminar was structured to be a lot more interactive. We are happy to report that the room was nearly at full capacity. We recognized repeat guests and we were happy and honored to welcome new ones, of all ages. 

One common issue we all share and discussed a lot: how do you control the cost of proposals? We all go to great lengths to create them to secure new business but we cannot invoice all this work and expense. A lot of discussion went into what it takes to create a great, effective proposal. We all agreed that initial research into the prospective client and the possible event does pay off. And sometimes it is better to politely turn a RFP down. Saying No at the beginning to an assignment that will not be a good fit will save money, time and your staff's mental health. It could also save a possible relationship with the client for a later time.
I want to especially thank Maggie Orchard of Total Event for taking on the laborious task of creating the extensive PowerPoint this year!"

Crushing It

Thank you to
Moderator Aaron Kaufman, CSE, Fifth Element Group, Toronto, Ontario, CAN.
and Expert Millennial Panelists
Alisa Walsh, EventWorks, Los Angeles, CA
Francesca Lombardo, Lombardo's, Boston, MA
Bobby Dutton, Groove Boston, Boston, MA

Alisa Walsh: "We presented our seminar for the very first time and were very happy to have such a multi-generational audience, The fact that we started our session with entrance music and that we handed out daiquiris to get the party going - after all it's New Orleans - may have been one of the factors of the overall success. We hoped to get millennials motivated to engage in more leadership roles in our industry and to increase synergy among all ages. I am happy to report that everyone in the room had ideas and shared generously. I think that our discussion about the generational differences with regards to work habits and changes in business communication styles was very useful. Cold phone calls are a turn-off these days. I don't like to take unsolicited calls because I am usually fully focused on a task or I am driving.  LinkedIn in-messages are a much better way to go. You can research good prospects, get a referral from someone you know already and start the conversation online. And then agree to a date and time when it's convenient for all to talk or better yet, video chat."

It was not all just work, work, work. Janet had a blast playing with Gary Bordman's VR toys from Amusement, Exhibit and Event Services, Las Vegas, NV.

Janet and Alisa both had a great time at The Special Event.

Janet: "By continuing our attendance we increase our engagement in our industry and maintain relationships with our colleagues. I always learn something new."
Alisa: "I loved the educational aspects of all the seminars and I appreciate the opportunity to network with colleagues from across the country to learn what they are doing and what is successful."
Janet: "The energy at TSE is always wonderful. Everyone is very open and the conversations are so worthwhile."

See you next year in San Diego!

Monday, February 5, 2018

Alisa Walsh Reports from 2018 Global Forum SITE&MPI

Our SITE Young Leader and Business Development Director, Alisa Walsh, was honored to be one of two winners of euromic's scholarship to attend the 2018 SITE and MPI Global Forum in Rome, Italy.

Alisa: "This was the annual forum for both SITE and MPI combined. It was a truly unique opportunity since SITE and MPI joined forces and gathered about 700 people."

Here in the photo: Alisa meets with Joe Lustenberger, Director - Americas, for Brussel, Belgium, based euromic and the other 2018 Young Leader Scholarship Winner, Sam McNeil, Creative Director from Song Division, London,UK.

Alisa: "The forum culminated with the Crystal Awards Night but there was a lot of education as well. It was actually one of the best educational conferences I ever attended since the leaders and speakers hailed from global executive levels. I learned a lot about what the future of companies looks like and how to rebrand and gain inspiration from other areas, not just the events/meeting/hospitality industry. We were encouraged to look outside and bring that into our space. And then of course, I loved the location!"

Dinner with Southern California friends Jennifer Shafer, John Ehlenfeldt, Mandy Brown and Diane Herrmann. 
"It was very fun to be in Rome. My favorite part was the opportunity to meet and network with people from all over the world. I have made new friends and connections all over Europe.
To travel with people and spend a lot of time with them is invaluable. It also was a chance to spend several days with my SITE SoCal friends.
I am very grateful for this wonderful opportunity and honor that euromic bestowed upon me. They really did everything possible to make sure that we had a great experience."
Tourism is a must-do in Rome, here actually visiting the city state of Vatican City, with Jennifer Shafer.

Hoping to return to Rome some day soon, Alisa followed a long-standing tradition and dropped a coin into the famous Fontana de Trevi.

Thank you for reading!