Daily Cookie


HORSING AROUND IN MUSIC CITY
April 17, 2015, 7:21 pm
Filed under: Career, Events, Friends | Tags: ,

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Howdy from Music City, USA!

This is my 4th trip to Nashville and I discover more things that I love about this place every time. Believe me, I am not  becoming countryfied and won’t be swapping my AG’s for some Cinch (just learned these are “the” known Cowboy jeans) anytime soon, but I do enjoy some good Southern comfort food and the sights.

My job takes me to a new market every year to site, plan and produce an annual event for Microsoft US Public Sector. This is yet another reason why I love what I do. Being on the road as much as I am is tough, but it allows me to meet tons of interesting people and experience many things  that I probably would not normally do as an east coaster. For example, hot chicken! A local specialty which is basically fried chicken that has been seasoned with a secret blend of everything HOT!

This trip I have sited over 29 restaurants, coffee shops and bars looking for the perfect venues to host several dinners and parties for my client later this summer. I call these my “Retail Safaris”. I basically set up camp in a city for a day or two and absorb as much of the town possible. This entails researching or stumbling on the tourist hotspots, learn where the locals eat and hang, what is trending, where to go for live music, where is the best shopping, what is a cultural must see and so on. It can be exhausting, but super fun too. Today I visited many of the places I see on the hit show Nashville and felt like I was in the music industry sitting at a sound board at Ocean Way Recording Studios. Yee haw!oceanway

My goal in these retail safaris is to find options that provide true local flavor, fun entertainment, great food and places that are bursting with charm, energy and endless opportunities.

Past years and prior event experience has taught me how to move in and out of these places like a pro and with an eye for detail and ear for excitement. But it is always beneficial to have a local opinion as well and I find these are the most opportune times to work with a DMC (Destination Management Company). Together you will maximize your time and your client’s dollar.

Now it’s time for me to go off and do some more exploring with 3 friends who are en route from the Northeast and about to join me for a girls weekend.

Bye y’all!

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Want to be an Event Planner?
April 14, 2015, 5:33 pm
Filed under: Career, Events | Tags:

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Spring has sprung! Today, the Sox schooled the Nationals in their home opener and Newbury Street was chock-a-block. This can only mean that the cherry blossoms will imminently bloom, the first sun dress will appear and that soon-to-be-grads will be looking for what’s around life’s next corner.

Though it’s been a few years (I use the word “few” because it only seems like that) since I was a graduate, I still remember the anxiety of knowing which direction my career would take. This time of year my memory is even more pronounced because now my profession allows me to play role reversal. One of the favorite parts of my job is the chance to meet students every semester.  I love carving out time in my schedule to sit with prospective interns and applicants because that is truly how I got started.

Being a former BC Eagle and an Emerson College Lion, I tend to gravitate to those grads from my tribes, but I have hired students from many of the greater Boston schools. In Boston, we are lucky to select from a pool of great students year after year. I think that Boston’s academic excellence is unparalleled to begin with but the city keeps making a case for graduates to take up residence here. The entire start up community is burgeoning and our sports teams are delivering championship seasons like it’s their birthright. It’s difficult to imagine a hotter market to now make your home and career. Now, with a historic winter out of the way, we won’t have to go through that again for another 50 years!

While the Sox were tearing apart the Nationals at Fenway Park, I sat with a soon-to-be graduate who is considering a  move to Boston and is looking to start her career in event planning. I chose to post about this topic because it was one of the best interviews that I have conducted in memory.  This was a woman who was prepared for her interview. She researched me and FRA prior to coming in, knew the market, had some on-the-ground experience and was genuinely enthusiastic about her chosen career. I find that truly refreshing these days.

Over the past several years, I have met with some great candidates but the pool definitely seemed smaller.  In part, I think it’s because the “tech generation” approaches things a bit differently. To me, it seems like a larger percentage of the graduates are more achievement driven and not about the learning process itself. I’m not suggesting that achievements aren’t important, they are but don’t forget the route to achievement. I remember when I graduated I was told, “Forget about you learned in school. You’re playing for keeps now”.

If I have learned anything over my own career as a professional, it is this: you will only get out of something what you put in to it. I find myself saying that to many who ask me how I got started, or what is the best part of your job or what is it like to have your own small business. I think this is good life advice as much as anything.

My message to all you future class of 2015’ers. . .you want to be an event planner or any thing else today? Prepare for interviews, volunteer your time and imagine yourself in that role.

That’s how you’ll “own” the interview and your subsequent career.

 



TO THEME OR NOT TO THEME
April 8, 2015, 1:27 am
Filed under: Events, Fashion, Style | Tags:

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Last week I produced an event for New England Venture Capital Association, one of my favorite and super cool clients in Boston.

I chose to highlight this particular event because people are always asking about theme parties and if they are a draw or turn off. In my opinion, theme parties have made a big come back. Before everyone wanted to be cool and that translated to uber chic, minimalist and sleek.  That vibe still works for sure, but I feel things have loosened up a lot.

Golfing and playing poker arnevyprepe activities, not theme events.  When I say something is themed, I am not talking about your standard, run of the mill “theme” events like the overdone Casino Night.  I am referring to the types of events that guests look forward to, spend weeks scouring the internet for the best costume and fully embrace the chosen theme down to the smallest details.

They become an anticipated annual event and when done right, provide tremendous client and customer satisfaction, deliver some fantastic photo opps and offer up the best bragging rights for years or at least until the next one!

The Pre Party as we simply named this one, was a preview to a major awards show coming up in May and had two goals: to announce this year’s finalists which were also featured in Bostinno and to get everyone fired up for this year’s theme, SOLID GOLD.

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We put the midas touch on all and created a gold entrance, used the now famous Instagram-like gold sequined photo back drop, employed Manicube to paint gold and glitter flare nails and had a Tarot Card reader on site to read everyone’s golden futures. We even added a gold mobile candy bar as a special treat.

Now the real work begins, we need to top last week and most importantly top last year.

Theme parties can be a blast. Pay extra attention to the details and the promotion. The more you are excited about the them, the more your guests will be as well.

I am going to start searching for my outfit now. . .

What I wore to The Pre Party:

@AutumnCashmere black cropped sweater

@OhneTitel pleated silk and leather skirt

Zebra lame black and gold metallic @JimmyChoo pumps



Meet the ChangeMakers!
April 1, 2015, 1:34 am
Filed under: Events, Fashion | Tags: ,

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Say hello to Robinah, Peter, Patrick and Robert from Choir #43. They are four of the reasons why I love being an event producer.

In my profession, I get to meet some super special people who are doing wonders for the world. And in this case, all before they turn 11 years old.

Last night I produced a small cultivation event at the Liberty NYC to raise awareness for the tens of thousands of children they represent back home.

As you can see I had many assistants. The kids mingled with our guests and then performed four songs.  Once again, their talent and joy won the audience over.

I have been working with the African Children’s Choir (ACC) for the past four years and can tell you they are one of my all time favorite groups to support. I mentioned in my previous post that I sometimes get to help change the world. These kids do it every single day. They are ChangeMakers.ACC Helpers

The ACC has helped educate over 52,000 children to date. Their annual Gala is coming up this fall and the event we hosted last night was our planning kickoff and attempt to secure more committee members to join our efforts. I have been a committee member several times myself. It can be very rewarding especially when you become an ambassador for a cause you truly love.

We have found that adding a social networking environment to the mix is a great way to expand your reach and keep members engaged. Plus you become great friends with the people who you work with all year.

I realize it’s hard to think about what you will be doing this fall, but keep them in mind. Their Galas are not your typical rubber chicken fundraising dinners. Past guests have claimed it is the best charity event in NYC. And I got to admit – they are a blast from start to finish. Imagine my task year after year? No pressure there.

Stay tuned for more event information about the 7th Annual NYC ChangeMakers Gala. And if you happen to be looking for a great cause to support and want to get more involved, please message me.

www.africanchildrenschoir.com

CD ACCACC group

What I wore:

Crippen flares @crippen

Rag and Bone silk tee @rag_bone

Annie Costello Brown necklace @acbjewels



Rx for Life: BEST FRIENDS
October 12, 2009, 1:57 pm
Filed under: Events, Friends

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This post is late – one month exactly now.  Sorry Candy.  But lets hope I can make up for it with my tribute to a wonderful city and an even better friend.

The end of the summer and first half of  September were very trying for me.  I am the first to admit I was not myself and let my stress surface and take its toll  on all of those around me, my family, my friends and even my job. I had surgery; not the kind that is super invasive but enough to make you think. 

My surgery was scheduled for the day before we were supposed to go to Montreal for one of my oldest and bestest friends “special” birthdays.  There was really no other time I could schedule my procedure, as I liked to call it, and no other weekend to celebrate with Candy.  I had to do both.  My procedure was actually pretty quick and complete on Thursday Sept 10 at 3pm. We were on the road bandages in place, bottle of Tylenol by my side on Friday Sept 11 at 10:30 am.  The support of Mike, my parents and Aunt Jubes and knowing that I was going to spend a great weekend with my friends got me through the day and motivated to get better real fast. I am big on having something to look forward to.

I had never been to Montreal. –And sorry to say, I did not know one of my best friends in the whole wide world was born there.    I thought she had just picked Montreal as a fun destination city to visit.  I had no idea that she was going on her birth tour! 

We had an amazing weekend.  The feline phenomenon took Montreal like no other.  The  weather, the company, the cuisine, the shopping (now that got me up and on my feet pretty damn fast) and learning something new about a dear friend were exactly what the doctor ordered.

Montreal is beautiful and easy to get to for a long weekend.  I highly recommend you make the trip.  Stay in Old Montreal in one of the boutique hotels and submerge yourself in the architecture and the culture.  You swear you are in Europe.    No one seems to be in a hurry to go or do anything and the ease of long days that flow right into a nap and then great late dinner are contagious. 

Spending time with family and friends is always the best medicine whether you are sick or not. Make the time to do more of it.  I am absolutely fine now and healing quite nicely.  The only memories I will have from this experience are good ones – I am lucky for so many reasons and visiting a new place with old friends is definitely one of them.          

Montreal: It’s young, it’s old, it’s daring, it’s comfortable, it’s hip and it overflows with tradition.  It will always be there.  Just like a great friendship.

Happy Birthday Candy. xoxo Coco



SALUTE SANTA
September 24, 2009, 7:48 pm
Filed under: Events

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I do not normally blog about any of my events or clients but it has been a while and this one was just too damn fun to miss.

Yesterday, I spent the day in Washington DC sightseeing with Santa Claus.  Yes, you read correctly, Mr. Claus himself.  I might add, he was dressed in full Santa garb.  Poor thing it was so hot and stinky humid.    But unlike me, he did not have the problem of what to wear when it’s not quite fall, but not summer either.  Seasonal transitions are tough on us fashion slaves.

Santa (and entourage – he is a celebrity after all) rode the Metro, traveled all over downtown in a pedicab, passed out fun prizes and games at GW University and in front of the White House, and even got to meet and hang with Slapshot at the  Kettler Ice Rink (where the Washington Capitals practice – who knew Santa was a hockey fan?!) and sit at the news editor’s desk at WTOP.

I had never “cast” a Santa before.  And finding one in September is harder than you think.  I researched online and found a couple talent  and entertainment sites that had a few good Santas.  We picked our Santa because he had gone to Santa School (I swear I am not making that up).  Wonder what room and board is up to in the North Pole as it’s insane here in the States.

Our Santa was a true professional  – he was a joy on the phone (loved getting the message Mr. Claus is on line one), in emails (signed all of his, merrily,) and most importantly, in person.   My colleague and I were discussing how Santa manages to find the kid in everyone and he always produces a smile.

So why was Santa in DC you ask? To announce the 3rd Annual Salute to Our Troops.  I know I have blogged about this event before.  It is the program I have produced with Microsoft for the troops the past two years.  This is the first year we are hosting in DC, the past two have been in the Big Apple.  So while producing a series of super fun events with a great client and working for a such a worthy cause, I am also getting the opportunity to explore and conquer a whole new territory.

Santa thanks for being you.  Readers for more info on Salute and what I am working on in DC, check out www.Salutetoourtroops.org.

And listen up. . . it is true, he keeps a list.  But he is huge on clean slates and redemptions. It’s September, you still have time!

HO HO HO!



AND THE DEER AND THE ANTELOPE PLAY. . .
July 24, 2009, 10:37 pm
Filed under: Events, Friends

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[SING OUT LOUD] “Oh give me a home where the buffalo roam, and the deer and the antelope play.” (There is a deer playing in this picture, make sure you click on it to enlarge the photo.)

Park City = by winter, a western state luxury, destination resort for powder skiing and mountain wonderland for the avid outdoors man in the summer.  Sounds like just the kind of vacation place for this city rat.  I can run miles in heels, power shop in less than 30 minutes and organize an event for thousands blindfolded, but sad to say, I am not the outdoorsy type and I am not a good skier.  Not to mention, I have never really been out west (unless of course the Four Seasons in Vegas counts). I do not own a pair of hiking boots and my mountain bike boasts a zillion cob webs in my garage.  Yet, each time I have visited Park City,  I have had more fun than a barrel of monkeys.

My very first time was this past January – I went to see Sarah and GT’s new home and to brush up on my skills on the slopes.  My last time on skis was over 5 years ago in Vermont.  I thought I did great.  The other three on this particular trip to Twin Farms  informed me it was really a hill that I had “completely and totally mastered” and reminded me that I was on a private um,,,hill, with a private instructer and accompanied by a professional hockey player who made it all look so easy.  Anyway, out west, I too had a private instructor and was supported by my dear girlfriend Sarah.  After a half day lesson I was ready to tackle those double blues.  And in case of an emergency (ie I find myself completely out of control and/or with my tips pointing straight downhill) I can strike quite the bullfighter pose if needed. Needless to say, I was quite skilled in the apres ski rituals and loved the lodge at Deer Valley.  Big fire, yummy wine, great people watching. . . see this was my type of place.

Second time was a couple of weeks ago right after July 4th weekend – once again to see Sarah and GT but this time to  share in their wedding day! I was a bridesmaid, or as Sarah insisted on calling us, a friend of honor.  So with all my “bridal I mean friend of honor duties,” I did not get that much time to explore the mountains in the summertime (I really wanted to try zip-lining in Olympic Park. . .so maybe next time) but I did manage to see a few critters that I don’t get to see every day here in Beantown or on Cape Cod.  Every night driving home we would see a few deer and one morning I saw two elk (deer with goatees) just strolling right in front of the house.  And I swear the bunny rabbits out there are bigger than some medium size dogs.  The last day we saw a moose.  Now that was pretty cool, although poor giant creature was injured.  Don’t worry, we called highway patrol and reported, “there is a moose down on Rte 150.”  Again, not a typical call to make living in the city.

I had a blast.

The wedding was gorgeous, the bride stunning and the views breath taking.  It  truly made me want to be more of an outdoorsy type.  And even tried organizing a group one morning to take a power walk with me.  Let me tell you, you get winded out there and pretty quickly.  

But most importantly, we had a great time with the newlyweds and their friends and family.  And bonus, I got Mr. Even Less of the Outdoorsy Type to promise me that we would go back in the winter so I could once again hone up on my ski skills and so that he could wait for me by that big old inviting fire in the lodge.