Daily Cookie

Five Million Dollars
February 8, 2016, 4:02 pm
Filed under: Blogroll, Events, Friends | Tags: , , , ,


5MThirty 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:

  1. Knowing the audience
  2. Involving the audience (emotionally, call to action, etc.)
  3. Current event relevancy
  4. Overall fun factor
  5. Best celebrity endorsement
  6. 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.

#SB50, #adbowl






The Overnight

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.

Go Panthers!

#frontrowassociates, #worktrips, #R13, #Superfine, #Vince, @the_USO, @CDFRAEvents








Save the Date
February 1, 2016, 3:49 pm
Filed under: Events, Uncategorized | Tags: , ,


NEVYs_STD-26-2016_v19We 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.

Yee Haw!

@newenglandvc, @AFineGlance, @ SarahSherby, @jodyarose, @CDFRAEvents, #NEVYs2016, #FrontRowAssociates, #GoneCountry, #yeehaw, #chaps, #savethedate, #eventplanning







Happy New Year
January 27, 2016, 6:43 pm
Filed under: Events, Fashion, Style | Tags: , , , ,


Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

It has now been over 6 months since my last post. In that time, I am guilty of producing 6 major events – one in Nashville, three in Boston and two in NYC – and none made it to the Daily Cookie. Plain shameful.

With that out of the way, its time to start anew (again). And I have decided to make blogging a resolution. My strategy here is if I put it in writing I might stick to it. Plus I have a new team of interns that appear to be social media gurus so we are positioned to share a lot. That is your warning.

2016 promises to be a very busy year for Front Row. We have started working with a few new clients and look forward to executing our annual events too. Our events will take us to Washington DC, Boca Raton, Las Vegas and NYC. And we have a good amount of home grown ones here in Boston too.

When recently interviewing this semesters interns, I realized I was commenting a lot about themes (which you know by now we love) and truly embracing where you are to help maximize the destination event’s potential.

So this year many of our posts will be targeted at exactly that. And I would like to take this time of year for new opportunities to reinvent a fun category to the Daily Cookie – What to Wear Where. This will focus on either my day to day inspiration or what I choose or recommend to others to wear to a specific event.

We will put together outfits, guides, where to find the inspiration or pieces, a few treats and a hot list of the most anticipated events (produced by Front Row of course) for 2016.

The future is bright.













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


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.