I get it. As an event producer, I am “top of funnel” for sales and people want access to my clients. I receive various invitations to new venues, restaurants, galleries, vendor offices and more EVERY…SINGLE…DAY. So let’s get more creative people! No one wants cocktails from whatever left over alcohol, or to fight for the three trays of appetizers that get spread out during the three hour “party”. We also do not want to be in a room, surrounded by our competitors, again. If you do not put effort into your networking, people will not put in the effort to attend. Here are three ideas of how you can ACTUALLY get people to experience your place or service. (These are actual ideas I have used with my restaurant/hotel consultation clients, and they work)
1. Let the person experience your venue on their own terms. Give them a complimentary dinner (with their own guest, not you) or overnight stay. Let them enjoy first and then schedule a short time to connect and give them more information.
2. Invite the person to do something you would never normally do. I once got invited to a hotel dinner, but we were actually given aprons and led to the kitchen to cook our own dinner with the executive chef. It was Epic! (And I brought them six figures in sales that year)
3. Send them a lead first. Establish the relationship as mutually beneficial before you ask them to visit you.
Trust me, these strategies work and this little bit of extra effort will increase your ROI and it decreases your disappointment of an empty party.
I get it. You are planning a corporate event and want to make sure the guests are aware of your brand. So you blow up your logo and put it everywhere! It’s on the wall, the cocktail napkins, cups, matches, and everywhere else you can think of.
But did the guests really get what your brand is? Did you properly plan and produce an event that describes what your company is about? I have learned, through the years as a corporate event planner, that by personalizing different aspects of your event, you can truly engrain your message into the guests’ experience.
Hosting a corporate event is more than logo awareness. It’s an opportunity to teach your customers and potential clients about what your company’s mission and how your products or services will transform their lives.
Get this message of transformation across during your event. Do you provide fast service, do you spend time on the details, do you spare no expense in creating the ultimate flavor? If you have a top fashion brand that uses luxe fabrics, wrap each lounge sofa in fabrics that the guests can feel. If you have a beverage with years of history, use the progression of the night’s food and drinks to tell the story. If you have a banking company that provides VIP customer service, use every interaction with the guests from the valet, to the coat check, to the night’s entertainment to personally greet and attend to each guest.
A corporate event is one of the most incredible marketing opportunities you have where you are face to face with your customers. So let us plan the experience accordingly and watch your ROI soar.
Miami has been long known for its weather and style; and we have some fabulous outdoor venues that help us earn that reputation. From gorgeous mansions by the water to modern open spaces with killer views; Miami has something for anyone looking for a safe space to hold their event within the new safety protocols. I have planned events at all of these venues over the years, and know their every pro, con, hurdle, and detail. Here are four outdoor venues that always delight the guests, and are set up in a way that will allow for a socially distant event from start to finish.
Vizcaya is a beautiful mansion on the water, once owned by the founding father of Miami, Charles Deering. Even though the inside of the mansion is gorgeously conserved, and houses an interior courtyard with a glass ceiling, it is the gardens and back terrace that most are used for events. The upper garden’s “casino and mound” seems to have been built perfectly for a wedding ceremony. The dramatic entrance is a coral flight of stairs straight to heaven. For receptions and big events, the East Terrace is two levels right on the water that can fit hundreds of guests under the stars. There is plenty of space to keep tables socially distant, and for an extra large dance floor.
Because Vizcaya is owned by the city of Miami, they do have stricter guidelines for events. Make sure to check with their venue coordinator before deciding if this can work for you.
This designer parking garage is perfect for a non-conventional client. The architecture, with it’s insanely high ceiling, and angled columns, is already all the “WOW” you need. Even so, you have a killer view to take things over the top.
The venue is large and open air. This allows for spaced out tables, and comfortable guests. I will say this venue has a lot of logistical hurdles. I highly recommend having a planner that has previously worked there before. You need to avoid some pretty serious problems that could arise if not planned for properly. Otherwise, this is one of my favorite venues in all of Miami.
No need to bring many flowers in, Fairchild already has them all. These gorgeous gardens are filled with the most interesting and stunning plants, trees, and structures. The walkways will guide your guests and give them an enchanting welcome to the venue. Even though the Lakeside Marquee is the most popular spot for events, it is the Gardenhouse’s lawn that is my favorite. The walkway to the Gardenhouse is flanked with the most gorgeous chihuly glass. And because this area is more remote from the main entrance, you feel as if it is your own piece of the garden for the night.
Fairchild has exactly what you need at this time, an array of outdoor areas to choose from, and the bountiful space that allows your guests to roam.
If you are looking for a more all-inclusive venue, the Frost museum’s rooftop terrace and observation deck could be a great choice for you. Your guests will have plenty to see and do. The rooftop has a top view of the museum’s 500,000 gallon aquarium, which is filled with stingrays, hammerhead sharks, and other sea creatures. It also has the rivergrass exhibition showcasing some of the wonderful animals and plants of the Everglades. What a wonderful way to welcome guests to Miami.
As for logistics, the Frost’s event department partners with one of Miami’s top caterers, Constellation. Their stellar team (pun intended) will take care of every details for you to make your event a complete success. A covered, outdoor area, with built in entertainment, and an amazing view of Miami’s downtown, what else could you ask for.
Need more venue options? Contact our team and ask for our venue scouting service. We will find great options for you and present you with an amazing deck with all the info you need to make your selection.
Virtual events are here to stay. Honestly, with new platforms popping up on a daily basis, it is not difficult to sign up and schedule the event with a few clicks. On the planning side, it can be easier to put together a virtual event than a physical one. The hard part is in making sure people actually show up to your virtual event. How do you make it interesting and interactive? How do you add enough of the “fun” element to it so that guests wouldn’t dare miss it? Below we present three types of virtual events that we have seen extremely successful in the percentage of attendees that actually logged in. We also give you links to our favorite platforms and tips on pulling these events off.
Everyone loves magic. Whether someone loves to be amazed, or loves trying to find out how a trick it done, a magic show appeals to a large variety of people. But what is even better than watching someone else pull off “cool” tricks, is learning how to do them yourself.
This virtual event requires a physical box of magic tools to be sent to the attendees. The box is a fantastic way to get guests excited about the virtual event. They can see that this will be an interactive event where they will feel included and learn a great new party trick. The box is also an opportunity to add a physical invitation and branded items.
For the event, have the magician or illusionist perform magic first to gain the audiences trust. Then the magician can teach the magic tricks. Finally, have choose volunteers from the attendees to show off their new tricks.
Tip: When hiring a magician, make sure they have experience performing online. This is a crucial skill to make sure their energy and enthusiasm comes through the screen and entertains your guests.
An escape room is a themed room with progressive clues in it that leads to you or your team escaping the room. They are a lot of fun in person, but here is what I love about the virtual ones; you are part of a team, and that provides accountability. That’s right. If you know that your team is depending on you to show up to the virtual event, then you will be more likely to show up.
This is also a great team building activity as the participants need to communicate and work together to figure out the clues. Also, many platforms allow you to brand or customize the rooms a bit to match whatever purpose you have for this event.
Tip: Send your guests a sign up sheet a week before the event. Allow them to sign up for a team, come up with team names, and even choose themed clothing to wear.
This one is pricey, but I bet not one invited guest will miss it! Imagine having a famous DJ or Superstar giving a live virtual concert just for your team. Even better, you have your own avatar where you can live out your roady dreams.
The draw of this type of interactive virtual event is that it gives access to the attendees to a person they would normally not have access to. And it does it in a way where the attendee still feels protected. Even the most introverted attendee will feel comfortable watching and interacting through their avatar.
Tip: You can add a fundraising element by allowing “concert goers” to make pledges in order to “vote” for the songs they artist will perform.
Can’t fathom putting together boxes for 500 attendees? Don’t know where to start to book DJ Aoki for your company bash? Send us a message and we will be happy to help you plan a successful virtual event.
As party planners, we have seen that the Havana Nights trend for corporate and social events is going strong. Guests visiting Miami love coming to Little Havana to experience the Cuban flavor. Music, cigars, and mojitos run rampant as even the shyest guest tries a couple salsa dance steps.
One of our favorite event venues is Cafe La Trova on 8th street. The warmness of the staff and cantineros (Cuban mixologist) is palpable the moment you arrive. Guest are enchanted by the decor which was inspired by the streets in Santiago, Cuba where the music movement of “Trova” was born.
And then once the meal begins, they are further enamored by the amazing cuisine by Chef and owner Michelle Bernstein. It is one of our favorite venues because we know our clients always leave with the biggest smile on their faces. They make us look great and we keep going back! Or maybe it’s the mojitos 😉
When Genesis and the brilliant team from Jackson Dawson came to us with their idea to throw a party to reveal their first Super Bowl ad, in less than one month, we went full force. We put together an all-star team of vendors to recreate the setting from the ad. Guests walked in to one event that was branded “Old Luxury” by Chrissy Teigen during the commercial, and walked out of a “Young Luxury event” complete with the new branding elements Genesis has for 2020. We were able to change the narrative by flipping the decor, food, beverages, and activations right before the new SUV was revealed to the 250 guests, including automobile press that was flown in from around the country.
Our team was so excited to collaborate with the amazing Villa Eugenie in planning and producing the 2019 Dior Men’s Fashion Show. The challenge was to make Kim Jones’s and Shawn Stussy’s design come to life. And boy, did we!
These artists were very specific on what they wanted, and it was our mission to make sure every detail aligned with their vision. From venue scouting, to fittings, staffing, production, permitting, security, and even the post-show showroom; the list goes on and on for what our team spent months on.
The show for 2,000 guests made a successful impact for the brand and included VIP guests including Bella Hadid, J Balvin, David Beckham, and Kim Kardashian, all brought to the event in vintage Cadillacs we sourced. It was truly an amazing event.
With what seems like a new event planner popping up in Miami everyday, we thought we would make it easy on you, and list out just 5 of the many reasons our team is a great fit for your next event.
1 The Proximity Principle
If you want to be the best, hang around the best. Our roster of clients speaks for itself, from planning fashion shows for Dior, to helping Trisha Yearwood launch her coffee line, we work with very discerning clients that expect attention to every detail. We have also accumulated a list of the best vendors in South Florida. We only work with vendors that are reliable, joyful, and always go above and beyond for our clients.
2 Sixteen Years of Experience
When you have seen it all, you can prepare for anything, and that is what makes a good planner. We know the traffic patterns of the city, what yearly events cause shutdowns and increased pricing, who the best vendors in town are, and who to avoid at all cost.
2. We keep it Cool
Our team is known in South Florida as “the calm planners”. Experience leads to confidence. Our team plans and plans for every single element of your event so much that we feel confident on the day of that we can handle any changes or surprises. We pass that calmness to you by showing you our process every step of the way. Our clients are confident that we our doing our job and can let go, and enjoy their event.
3. Creativity is better served personalized
While we love to push the envelope and incorporate new technologies and trends in events, our main focus is to design the event to best represent you. Personalizing an event is the best way of keeping it evergreen. Because while trends change, the essence of who you are and how you make people feel stays the same.
4. Luxury with a coupon
No matter whether your budget is $20,000 or $2,000,000 there is always room to save, and always the need for a better deal. We are extremely respectful of budgets and make sure our clients get the best event for their money. We pass on discounts, search for deals online, and get creative on executing the vision within the budget our clients are comfortable with.
5. We are here for you
We are your cheerleaders, your advocate, your organizers, your assistants, your tie breakers, and your sounding board. Planning a big event is a journey full of pressure and emotions. But after 16 years, we know that making this journey a joyful one is something that our clients never forget.
It is still all a blur. I was reached out to by one of my favorite brands to design and produce an event for one of my favorite musical artists, and I had less that one day to present a full design board to get the gig. Well about 20 hours of coffee, no-sleep, and scouring the internet led to not one, but two mood boards submitted. A couple of hours later, we got the event!!! One thing though, you have 24 hours to order all the items you need from our stores so that they can ship in time. No problem! Enter another 24 hours of coffee, a little bit of sleep, and getting very familiar with Pottery Barn, West Elm, and William Sonoma’s inventories. It was a marathon to say the least, but my team and I came through. However in hindsight, we would have never been able to pull this off if we weren’t prepared.
I’ve heard it a million times. You are supposed to continue to learn, practice, and perfect your trade so that when that opportunity shows up you are ready for the task. In this case, I had been spending the past couple of months perfecting my design boards so that I could share them on social media and properly convey what my team and I were capable of. We started using Photoshop and then learned that Keynote was much better for this (If you don’t know what Instant Alpha is yet, it will change your life!) We began being very meticulous about branding when it came to design. How do we use all senses to tell the story of the brand? What objects can we use to tell the story without resorting to the logo being plastered everywhere? How can we make an even bigger impact without breaking the bank? Our design process was (and still is) becoming more streamlined, unique, intentional, and sellable.
So when it came time to create the board for William Sonoma’s launch of Trisha Yearwood’s coffee line, we were ready. We were a well oiled machine that could have actually completed this task in half the time given to us. And I like to think that the client saw that and it gave them confidence to hire us from the other side of the country.
P.S. The Georgia Pecan coffee is to die for!!! #butfirstcoffee
Links to Shop some of the great items we used at the event:
Hand up if you are so over Valentine’s. The pressure of getting your partner the perfect gift, the over-priced and overbooked restaurants, and the magnifier in your face if you do not have a date! So when I heard of Galentine’s day, I had to learn more. Turns out it is a fake holiday started on the show Parks and Recreation, much like Festivus began on Seinfeld. The premise is that on February 13th, you get together with your girlfriends and celebrate friendship. We are in! After all, aren’t our fellow women the ones that hold us up and keep us going. So here is a gift, from our all girl team, for all you ladies that want to take an evening and celebrate with your friends. This mood board is all about love, guilty pleasures, bonding, and laughter. And of course, all the links are below for easy online shopping. MY BIGGEST guilty pleasure!