Filed under: Career, Events, Feast | Tags: Event Production, Foodies, Site Visits, Tastings
After each event, we meet with the client to debrief on all aspects of the project: the successes, the areas for improvement and the highlights.
We prepare for the debriefs by listing the ingredients to a great event.
Food has a starring role and plays an integral part in just about every event. Who is at your table is key, but what you serve on that table is just as important.
Yesterday we sampled some good old southern comfort food at Loretta’s Last Call in Boston. This tasting was significant because the event is a themed event which our guests are not all accustomed to, nor is it a popular cuisine here in the city. We asked the Chef to come up with a menu that showcased the venue’s flavors and that would appeal to the masses.
There were only two of us at this tasting so a wooden platter was presented with 4 different appetizer sized items for us to try. And of course we had to try the various moonshines to wash down all that fried yumminess.
Besides enjoying a fun afternoon with my client, we were able to make some educated decisions about what and how to serve both our food and beverage for this March event.
When doing your own tastings, make sure your menu is not only delicious but also is easy to consume (is it better passed, plated or buffet), presents or sets up well (how is it passed or will it hold up on a buffet), has enough of a variety and options for all (vegetarian items, gluten free items and/or options for any allergies etc.), represents your event theme and is pleasing to the attendees (is this something you would order yourself).
Good food is always a recipe to success.
#frontrowassociates, #NEVYs2016, #tastings, #gonecountry, #country, #comfortfood, #moonshine, #friedchicken, @LorettasLastCall, @NewEnglandvc, @cococd2014, @CDFRAEvents
Filed under: Career, Events, Feast, Friends, Personal | Tags: Baking, Labor of Love, Valentines Day
Valentine’s Day, like almost every other holiday we celebrate, is really just another event. This year I decided to bake cakes to celebrate the day.
Martha Stewart proudly posted a perfect, super styled photo of a hidden heart pound cake on Instagram. It caught my eye and I thought how fun and what a great way to bake my love and recognize this event. Plus after my self inflicted Christmas gift wrapping project, I figured I could easily tackle a ton of butter and some pink food coloring. After about two minutes of thinking how and when, I decided to make one for Mike, one for my parents and one for my in-laws and visited Amazon to see how fast they could deliver a loaf pan and heart shaped cookie cutters.
I love learning new things and always pick up a few pointers from all my events. Below is what I learned on February 14, 2016:
- I am not a baker. I love to cook, but have my own way of doing things and following recipes. Let’s just say, I am not precise. Everything else I tackle in my life has been pretty spot on, baking. . . not so much.
- Organic food coloring from Whole Foods might be slightly better for you, but does not work. You need gel food coloring when you want the colors to actually look like colors. Thanks JoeDee.
- I am a pretty determined control freak. I made 8 cakes to get it right. And micromanaged my poor Valentine and our friend Marcelene on their respective tasks. Truth be told, I didn’t really just learn this – but it is applicable here.
- Events are a labor of love. See above, I did succeed.
And last but not least. . .
- Baking is a science project.
#MarthStewart, #PieBox, #cakes, #VDay, @CDFRAEvents, @CocoCD2014, @JoeDeeHess, #FrontRowAssociates
Filed under: Blogroll, Events, Friends | Tags: Advertising, Event Production, Professional, Sports Marketing, Weekend Escape
Thirty seconds can be very expensive.
It’s recorded than more than one third of the US Population tuned in last night to watch Super Bowl 50, cheer on their teams and watch the Halftime Show.
And to watch all the ads.
Major corporations and brands spent millions of dollars for a thirty second spot to promote their goods.
This year they paid Dr. Corporate America upwards of five million dollars to be in the game. This is the most expensive it has ever been. Our ad makers had already taken over the internet with their latest and greatest. The Heinz Hot Dog Stampede commercial went viral over a week ago, Drake’s Hotline Bling is a hit again and just about everyone was humming the Nationwide Insurance ditty whether they were a fan of Peyton or not.
And then last night it kicked off with Ron Howard and the star-studded lineup to start the broadcast. There were some funny spots, but make no mistake, this year’s top ads were just as about who was starring in them as what they were selling.
Advertisers and event producers share similar skills. We capitalize on the fact that large events and star power generate awareness and encourage action. We create and promote them to build anticipation and to punctuate the goals of our carefully planned creative strategies and PR programs. And fortunately when they are done well, they can be very entertaining and very persuasive.
I was sad that I wasn’t screaming for the Pats last night. It was a great season, but just didn’t end the way we all hoped. I was more saddened by the fact that our three time MVP was booed while Ray Lewis was applauded. Come on guys this was really bad form. Haters gonna hate. It changes absolutely nothing.
I knew I wouldn’t really be paying that much attention to the actual game, so I thought it would be fun to engage in a little sport of my own – – introducing “If We Had an Extra Five Million.” Loud shout out to my husband and our friends Patti and Steve for their assist and extra points.
We rated the commercials on the following:
- Knowing the audience
- Involving the audience (emotionally, call to action, etc.)
- Current event relevancy
- Overall fun factor
- Best celebrity endorsement
- Best use of $5M
Congrats to the Denver Broncos, all the MVPs and to the agencies behind last night’s ads. We now know that Super Bowl fans seem to make a lot of babies every year and that Mountain Dew needs a new ad agency. #whatwasthat
We actually struggled last night as most of the ads failed to impress or meet more than one of our criteria. So we decided on a tie between many because we were just too tired to go into overtime. Our congrats go out to Budweiser as Amy Schumer and Seth Rogen really know how to throw a political party and invited Helen Mirren to make sure you didnt drive home drunk from it; to the candy companies for using tried and true sex appeal and rock and roll to make you want to consume sugar again (William DeFoe was classic); to Jeep for both its 75 anniversary ad and using an up and comer Morgan Dorr to write, sing and star in one of their spots (great song Morgan!); to T-Mobile for being the best spin doctors, to Hyundai for their first date and to Kia for the Walken Closet.
The ads were winners, losers and gave us something to talk about even after the closing ceremony. Sort of like your favorite home team.
Speaking of which. . . although the Patriots were not on the field, if I had an extra $5M, I would bet on them.
Filed under: Career, Events, Fashion, Style, What to Wear Where | Tags: Event Production, Professional, Weekend Escape, Work Meetings
What to Wear Where – The Overnight
One of the perks of my job is that I get to venture to many different destinations. Some people may think this is a hardship rather than a benefit, but I truly like to travel (minus the actual flights) and explore.
So far in 2016 I have been to Florida twice, NYC, Savannah and Charleston. And this week I am at it again.
What I dislike about all the travel is all the packing and worst yet, all the unpacking. I am pretty good with long trips, but sometimes the short trips aka the overnights present a bigger challenge.
Today starts my two short, back-to-back trips. I am in NYC now for an all day planning meeting with a great new client. And tonight I am attending the USO’s 75th Anniversary Event. The second trip this week is a weekend escape to the Cape to watch the Super Bowl.
If you ask my husband, or as I will refer to him for the purpose of this post “Mr. Carry-On Only,” he would tell you I am the worst packer, especially when it comes to my frequent trips to NYC. But I finally think I have the formula. Hope you read that, Mr. Carry-On Only.
I pick one piece to build my outfits from and make that piece work for both days. A good start is using a color scheme. I wear a lot of black so that always works or a very neutral palette – gray, denim, camel, white, more gray and occasionally with a pop of color.
This trip it’s centered around some off black jeans that I am currently addicted to, two tops and boots. A silk blouse is always a strong option for work and dresses up your jeans. I am thankful that my job is more creative than corporate and use that to my advantage when dressing. There are a few times I need to look more professional, but the majority of the time casual chic is appropriate.
Then it is really what my career is all about: the attention to details. The look above with the ease of the shirt and accessories complete this outfit. The shirt is what makes it though. This winner by Superfine is not your typical blouse. It has a ribbed hem and sleeves and mesh pockets, which makes it that much more interesting. And the fitted drape makes it a long term staple. Luckily my evening event is casual too so a quick change into a pair of higher, sexier shoe boots will take me well into the night.
Tomorrow is about being comfy and cozy on the train home — a cashmere turtleneck sweater will be perfect. The same sweater will then be repacked for my weekend journey. I will simply swap out a top, throw in another pair of boyfriend jeans and some work out gear and I am ready for my weekend escape.
#frontrowassociates, #worktrips, #R13, #Superfine, #Vince, @the_USO, @CDFRAEvents
Filed under: Events, Uncategorized | Tags: Event Production, Professional, Save the Dates
We have recently consulted and helped produce two Save the Dates (or STDs as we call them in the biz) for upcoming events, and I thought it was a good time to talk about their importance.
By way of background, a STD shares a lot more than just the actual date. They are a call to action and an event marketing tactic in their simplest form.
Save the Dates promote an event and build excitement and anticipation the minute they are received. And they build attendance by giving guests advance notice so they can plan their calendars accordingly. This is especially helpful in event seasons (spring, fall and holiday). As anyone in this industry understands, events jockey for position. Many times who attends your event is more important than when it is. If this is a significant factor and you want the executives or your group of besties there, get your event on their calendars early.
Advance notice is also helpful with any destination events. The added time provides better planning for hotel, travel and a variety of other logistics including what to wear — there I go bringing my post right back to fashion! But seriously, this is a key factor too.
Save the Dates also allow us as the professional planners to help our clients plan their guest lists well in advance. This gives both sides some concrete numbers to work with and aids in budget forecasting. All of this translates to less stress in the long run.
Take for example the STD featured here: this went out last night and already there is a buzz percolating about this May event. I have received a couple of emails from vendors who want the business. And at first glance of our chosen theme, I know the audience is already scouring the internet for chaps. What a great way to kick off the event.
@newenglandvc, @AFineGlance, @ SarahSherby, @jodyarose, @CDFRAEvents, #NEVYs2016, #FrontRowAssociates, #GoneCountry, #yeehaw, #chaps, #savethedate, #eventplanning
What to Wear Where – End of January
This week was all about casual comfort. From an almost snowed in weekend to a Robert Burns Supper, to working at home and a Friends and Family Dinner, I found myself looking for comfy, chic outfits that could take me from day to night with ease.
The start of the week took us to an official Robert Burns Supper at The Haven in JP. I struggled a bit in the morning with what to wear as I knew I would be coming right from a client meeting so jeans were not really an option.
Alas! Look what I found in my closet. I got these in the fall of 2014 while vacationing in Capri. I’ve worn them a few times with big chunky knits, but this Scottish dinner proved to be the best time to sport these Italian trousers. I am now claiming this tartan the marker for FRA!
The rest of the week I was supposed to be in NYC for planning meetings, but winter storm Jonas and a change in a client’s schedule allowed me to stay put and work from home. #thankful
And finally, TGIF brings us to the grand re-opening of Uni, an excellent sashimi bar. There has been much press about this reinvention, so I’m very excited to test it out tonight. Our great friend Chef Ken Oringer is simply amazing. The week is ending unseasonably warmer so a pair of tried and true fall cargoes and a cropped sweater are just right.
I am a HUGE fan of Pinterest. I pin things all the time when they catch my attention for many reasons and purposes. One of my boards is called “Caught My Eye” and I refer to it just about every day for ideas. It’s a great way of tracking what looks, trends, designers and shops I like, and it helps me streamline my style and shopping.
Here are a few other looks of the week straight from my Pinterest board. When shopping in my own closet, I find it easier to build an outfit based on one piece or accessory that I want to showcase.
Look 1: Vegan leather aka pleather pants by Zara, a Gray 2-in-1 Crew by Band of Outsiders and Bone Fur Clogs from the No. 6 Store. This outfit took me through the day to sushi at night with friends. And yes, those are open back clogs, but so warm and cozy I walked all the way home.
Look 2: AG skinnies, my long Sunburst tee from the Raquel Allegra fall collection, a Figue Pom-Pom Cardigan that both my BFF Jodi and I scored this summer in the Hamptons and my all-time favorite Shearling Boots from the No. 6 Store. Winner!
Look 3: Ulla Johnson pants, an Autumn Cashmere cropped sweater and my Barneys New York Suede Booties (worn half zipped as taught to me by one of my BFF’s Celine).
#RaquelAllegra, #Figue, #Zara, #No.6_Store, #AGJeans, #UllaJohnson, #AutumnCashmere, #BarneysNewYork, #BandofOutsiders, #fashion, #style, @kenoringer, @joedeehess, @CDFRAEvents, @CocoCD2014, #FrontRowAssociates, #WhattoWearWhere