Event planners wear a lot of hats. We’ve talked before about what we actually do, but event planners often take on duties that seem like they have absolutely nothing to do with events. Here are 10 unexpected jobs that get rolled up into any event planner’s job description:

1. Research Specialist

Sometimes, we find an event inspiration picture online, show it to our client, and they just have to have it. They don’t want something similar, they want that one. Exactly. Needless to say, we have to go beyond a simple google search to find what we’re looking for. Event planners may spend days searching for a chair rental that once only existed in a rendering, or a decor idea they found on Pinterest.
We don’t even want to tell you how long it took to find the wood chips we used as name cards for our event with bareMinerals – but we found them, ‘cuz that’s the way we roll.

2. Film Director

Nothing makes an event look more professional than live video introducing the event, or embedded in a PowerPoint presentation. At EOE, we don’t just do event design and floral arrangements. We put ourselves in the director’s chair to make our events look stellar with high quality video production.

3. Private Eye

It’s 5 minutes till showtime, and your special guest speaker, whom you paid thousands of dollars in advance is 30 minutes away from the venue, on a stroll through the park. This is the stuff of nightmares, people. And it once happened to us. At EOE, we know how to throw together an impromptu emergency search party every now and then.

4. Professional Wrestler

Occasionally, someone tries to crash an event. We get it – we throw some pretty bomb parties. We usually aren’t wearing capes and spandex, but we like to think our wrestler name would be “The Human Shield.” Ain’t nobody getting past registration with us on duty.

5. Delivery Driver

We bring a lot of stuff to and from events. Like, a lot. Sometimes the only way to know for sure everything’s at the right place at the right time is to drive it there yourself.

6. Travel Agent

You want an event in San Diego? How about Washington D.C.? How about NYC? The point is, we go a lot of places for our clients. Travel means planes, trains & automobiles, hotel blocks, synchronized watches, etc. No matter where in the world your next event is taking you, we’ve already got a plan.

7. Mortician

(It’s not what you think, we promise.)

Just because our event is over doesn’t mean we’re off the clock! After event-day, we get together with our clients to discuss how everything went down. We lovingly refer to these event wrap-up meetings as “post-mortems.” At East of Ellie, we’re constantly trying to get better and better. We look at what worked like a charm, what curve-balls we had to work around, and everything in between. We get the chance to work with our clients again and again, so we try to learn from the way our guests responded to the event. That way, we can get working on new ideas and strategies to make the next one even better.

8. Gym Teacher

Corporate events aren’t all about presentations and meetings. We also throw some pretty epic team building events. Does that occasionally mean renting out gyms and blowing up giant sumo wrestling rings to give our clients the adult field day of their dreams? You bet.

9. DJ

Events need music. Everything’s gotta be on-vibe and on-brand, and heaven forbid that one song our client hates shows up on shuffle. We don’t set the mood with an auto-generated playlist – no way!


Okay, we kind-of suck at card tricks. But, the things we can do with a fast-approaching deadline will amaze you. Just call us The Great Ellie-ni because we’re constantly pulling legendary events out of thin air.

Need an event planning team that does it all? Give us a call!


Here at EOE we’ve started making a list of things we thought we would never do. At the top?  Google all the words you can use for sneakers around the world. Why you ask? Because in June East of Ellie’s latest event for bareMinerals had us lacing up our “trainers,” skipping rope and picnicking on park benches.

A park? In London? As always there is a catch. We did it all indoors AND, on the historic River Thames in the amazing city of London. Hi Prince Harry – we’ve missed you <3

It’s no secret that we’re kind of obsessed with bringing the outdoors in. We had so much fun taking bareMinerals Glamping Under the Stars in New York City that we just couldn’t resist a little more sunshine and green. Keep reading to see how we transformed bareMinerals’ London conference into a gorgeous indoor park!

The Concept

The purpose of this conference was to celebrate the global launch of bareMinerals’ new Full Of Free Of campaign. Attendees came from all over the world to learn, collaborate, and enjoy a fun, relaxing day alongside the conference’s educational presentations and workshops.

When we were first briefed on this event we were asked to ensure all guests could wear their sneakers. Knowing this group as well as we do that was at first a bit perplexing. Sneakers don’t usually fall into their dress code – but hey – we love a challenge…

On go the brainstorming caps. What would you do in sneakers?  Ride bikes – not a great way to present to guests… Camping? Been there done that…  What about take a walk – IN THE PARK.

Introducing bareMinerals London Park experience.  

We love bareMinerals and everything they stand for.  Full Of the Good Stuff, Free Of the Bad Stuff. We nodded to our destination by evoking a classic English garden with a sleek, modern, oh-so-bareMinerals flair. Welcome to “Full of Fresh Air, Free of the Norm.

The Execution

Our venue, The Lower River Room at The Mermaid London was bright and airy with gorgeous dark hardwood floors and panoramic windows overlooking the Thames – perfect for grassy carpets, topiaries and lots of white decor.

Seated at authentic wooden picnic tables and white park benches, we gave guests the true park experience with themed gifts displayed in wicker picnic baskets. Branded jump ropes, sunglasses, and Full of/Free of madlibs and word scrambles tucked into their notebooks — making sure we were Full Of Fun and Free Of Another Boring Meeting. See what we did there?

How about some art in the park? We brought in a live digital muralist to illustrate our guests very own Full of/Free of statements before their eyes. It was a perfect way to give guests an extra special experience with bareMineral’s new campaign. The result? A fancy graffiti wall mural that turned everyone’s personal statements into a work of art. Cool huh?

We had all the good stuff too. A garden photobooth wall, fresh popcorn and park inspired snacks, we even had live trees. Another “never thought I would do” added to list with that one.  

You never know what we have up our sleeves when our clients ask us to come to the table with creative ideas. What’s next for EOE and bareMinerals? We’ve got some plans in mind, but you’ll have to wait and see!

Do you need a team that can dream up stunning event concepts like this? Leave us a note: rsvp@eastofellie.com


The beauty and cosmetics company, Shiseido Americas, hosted its first ever Supply Chain Summit at the Marriott East Side in New York City. There, top executives met to discuss vision, strategy, and a road-map for the future of the company’s supply chain. Find out how we gave the event it’s signature style!


If you are reading this you know how East of Ellie rolls. We are totally into the Shiseido brand because they are sleek, modern and easily recognized for its bold, bright red and white logo. They are the definition of classy.

Our job? Integrate Shiseido’s striking, contemporary style into an engaging two-day corporate summit that would allow the many moving parts of Shiseido’s supply chain to meet, learn, and collaborate as one team.  Challenge accepted.



This gets our little event planner hearts pumping. Shiseido’s Supply Chain logo is a triangle that connects the company’s main goals. So, we went bold with a design featuring the classic “Shiseido red” and gave it a little edge to reflect that angular logo using eye-catching and distinct shapes to create depth.

Of course we used this design for all the usual meeting-y stuff — table numbers, powerpoint slides and what not. But we were really excited to put these designs on a fun, interactive selfie wall, and a custom Snapchat filter (because why NOT?). No boring conference here.


So, want to hear a funny story?  We built this amazing backdrop that was missing a logo about 18 hours before the event was ready to kick off.  We got it fixed no problemo – but, with one problem out the door, another one comes right in to take its place. It’s the event-planner circle-of-life.

Now, we had to figure out how to support the TV that was supposed to be mounted to this thing. Let’s just say we may or may not have been cutting holes in a very expensive piece of fabric at 1:00am the day of the event. We couldn’t let some logistical hurdles fizzle our fire. Afterall, one of the most important aspects of any summit is the stage. It is (literally) the platform through which guests experience the event.

Here you can see our basic concept:

Despite all the craziness, the real-life thing was even better! We filled out the space with a few more screens and added a big black couch to make it a little homier. Behind the stage were elegantly displayed Shiseido products – gorgeous decor totally personalized to the Shiseido brand, plus, a great reminder of what the people in this room have done!


If you know East of Ellie, you know guest experience is kind of our thing. We love performing logistical gymnastics and making corporate conferences work and feel just as they’re supposed to, but making sure our guests enjoy themselves is our bread and butter. This time around we filled our days with a guest speakers, fun interactive (and custom) team building exercises and an interactive app that allowed guests to interact with every facet of the event.

Success! We had a blast with our late nights and weekends texting away with our clients. When we say full service, we mean it.

Want a group of event planners who know the importance of getting it right? We are here to make your event dreams come true! Send us a note: rsvp@eastofellie.com

A Company Outing for Every Brand

The sun is finally shining and everyone’s getting a little antsy. Who wants to be working when it’s so un-buh-lievably gorgeous outside? If you’re seeing beach photos on Instagram from the day your co-worker called out sick, it might be time to take everyone on a company outing.

A fun trip away from the office can be a great opportunity to reward your employees for all the hard work they do, promote networking and bonding among your team, or make a big announcement in front of the whole company. Plus, who doesn’t love a good picnic?

At East of Ellie, we live to help companies like yours take the perfect daycation. We know every company is different, so we came up with some ideas that are sure to fit your brand’s personality.


Bubble Football 03

By Ninaras [CC BY 4.0]

Water fight by Augustas Didzgalvis

By Augustas Didžgalvis [CC BY-SA 4.0]








Yes, YOU. You know who you are. We are talking to those who’s competitive spirit comes out in the places you would never expect it.  We have even seen colleagues getting competitive over who can drink the most coffee without exploding. A little healthy rivalry is great – it’s why your company is a leader in your industry – but too much of it can be bad for your workplace mojo.

So, get your employees up and moving and harness their competitive energy through a fun, fast-paced company field day!

Divide into teams, wear your company colors, and play some games. Plan a day at the beach complete with beach volleyball and a water gun fight, or, book a soccer field for some bubble ball, jousting, relay races and tug-of-war!


Your brand is the picture of elegance. You need an outing that’s flawlessly tasteful and delightfully serene. At EOE we’re no stranger to a classy dinner – we took BareMinerals and Buxom glamping under the stars so they could experience the bliss and beauty of the natural world in the heart of the city. Want a fashionable outdoor excursion? Take the company to a country club for a relaxing afternoon by the lake complete with cocktails and an upscale dinner.


Your company is on the cutting edge. No one else is doing the things you guys do, because you and your coworkers have forged your own paths. A company as unique as yours deserves a company outing to match.

Here’s something we bet you haven’t heard before – making movies! Take a break from the norm as your group gets ready for their closeups. Spend the day making movies and then host a premier party in the evening! Learning to use professional film equipment, playing dress up and telling stories are all great ways for your employees to get creative and work as a team. We got The Beaute Prestige Group Behind the Lens last year – definitely a unique outing!

Need a dinner to give your team the movie-star treatment? Check out our dinner at Paramount Studios for some ideas!


Family values are in your company’s DNA. Even if your coworkers aren’t blood relatives, you can’t even tell the difference, and that’s just the way you like it. So, make your next company outing a family one! Have your employees bring their spouses, kids, and furry friends for a picnic in the park with carnival rides, games, a moon bounce and a barbeque dinner. (Just make sure to have entertainment for all ages!)


Need help planning a company outing perfect for your company’s signature style? We got your back! Send us a note: rsvp@eastofellie.com

Meet our 2018 Summer Interns

This may just be our biggest summer ever here at EOE! Not only have our team members Karen and Cindy been killing it since their big promotions, but we have not one, not two, but THREE amazing new interns joining the team this summer. Our team is bigger and better than ever, and we really need it, because Ellie’s got a lot on her calendar this summer — you’re gonna want to stay tuned.

In the meantime, let’s meet these new party people:


Kiana Ahmadi

Junior Event Planner

Kiana is a senior at Pace University in Westchester. She’s an Advertising and Integrated Marketing Communications Major with a minor in Special Events Marketing. She started in the event planning business when she was only 16, when she worked at Star Factory in Stratford & Trumbull CT hosting children’s birthday parties. This is where her love for event planning was born! During her junior year of college she worked at Westchester Magazine as a Marketing Intern, assisting in the planning and execution of all events. She gained hands on experience by contacting vendors, promoting events, and attending/working on site at the events.

She is beyond excited to work at EOE this summer! She hopes to gain more hands on experience, channel her inner creativity, and learn more about what goes into planning legendary events.

Fun Facts:

  • She is 100% Persian! Her parents both came here from Iran when they were teenagers — she’s a first generation American!
  • Fitness & food — two of her greatest passions
  • She is obsessed with purses
  • She’s California Dreamin’ of living in Cali one day

Want to know more about Kiana? Check out her LinkedIn Profile!


Siobhan McGorty

Junior Event Planner

Siobhan is a senior at the University of Alabama. She’s majoring in Hospitality Management with a concentration in Events/Meetings Management. She previously worked at Amy Champagne Events, a wedding planning company, as a summer intern. There she worked the day of weddings by assisting in preparation, helping with the bride, transportation, and pretty much anything else that was needed to be done! She also holds a position in her sorority, Alpha Omicron Pi, as Senior/Alumnae Relations chair in which she plans senior week activities as well as various events for our alumnae to come back and visit! She cannot wait to learn about all that goes on behind the scenes with planning legendary events for EOE!

Fun Facts

  • She spends most of her time at the beach
  • She’s an aspiring globetrotter — her most recent destinations? Ireland and Italy
  • Her teams: the NY Jets and Alabama football —  Roll Tide!
  • She’s 100% Irish — if you’re wondering, yes, her name is Gaelic

Want to know more about Siobhan? Check out her LinkedIn Profile!


Nicole Andreson

Marketing & Events Associate

Nicole is a senior at Roger Williams University. She stared out as an English/Education Double major, and quickly realized that was not her destiny. Now she’s a Creative Writing Major with a double minor in Arts Management and Graphic Design Communications and loving every minute of it!

Nicole has been an Events Coordinator for the RWU Creative Writing Department for the last 2 years, and this is where she fell in love with events — from brainstorming fun and cool event ideas to keeping on top of the chaos in the time leading up to the day-of. This past spring, she was helping to coordinate events for the Rhode Island International Film Festival, and is hungry for more! Interning with East of Ellie this summer was an obvious next step for her.

She’s excited to show the world what we’ve been up to on EOE’s social media (if you aren’t following us on Instagram @eastofellie, Twitter @EASTOFELLIE, and Facebook you’re probably missing out) and use her creativity and management skills to take on the many events and marketing challenges East of Ellie has in store for her.

Fun Facts:

  • She is the Screenwriting, Events & PR Chair for the RWU Film Production Collaborative  — a fancy-sounding job that mostly consists of making everyone sit still long enough for an instagram pic
  • Her phone is filled up mostly with pictures of her two cats
  • In her freetime, you can find her at a game night with her friends, getting them all to agree on dinner plans
  • Online shopping is her greatest weakness

Want to know more about Nicole? Check out her LinkedIn Profile!

Big dreams for event planning bliss?  Send us a note, we’d love to chat.

Up – up + away. See who’s on the move at EOE.

Em here.  I haven’t been on the Ellie blog in a while, but today I am honored and excited that I get to come back and share with you all some pretty fabulous news.

Back in December of 2009 I sat on my couch in my Prospect Street apartment in Stamford Connecticut and purchased eastofellie.com. Who knew that almost 9 years later I would be sitting here in my office surrounded by pictures of Prince Harry, former VP Joe Biden, my amazing clients and some epic brands.  In that same timeframe I have seen East of Ellie continue to grow with the addition of Cindy Kapp in June of 2015 and of Karen Marin in January of 2017.

Our lives would not be the same without each other.  I can genuinely say that I have a team I adore and I hope everyone can hear me, because in reading terms, I am doing my best to shout it from the rooftops.  If you are looking for two individuals who support, coach and mentor each other and others, you do not need to look any further. They have both grown tremendously since I first met them – both as interns – and now my colleagues.

When I went out on Maternity leave these two planners stepped up their game and made us all proud.  Having outgrown their current roles both Cindy + Karen have been promoted to new, more fitting titles that truly reflect what they actually do everyday.  There is really no list that could include everything, but this at least scratches the surface.  Please join me in congratulating them both on their recent promotions.


Cindy Kapp:  

Planner,  Event Logistics + Execution

The summer social intern turned event planner extraordinaire.  Cindy has taken on greater responsibilities and will be managing key vendors and responsible for a greater amount of details on event day.  If you are a caterer, floral designer, audio visual expert or a Spotify playlist, you are in great hands with CK.



Karen Marin:

Junior Planner, Event Management + Procurement.

Karen came into this role when we were knee deep in one of our largest events in history.  She did so flawlessly and without hesitation. Karen joined us when we needed some serious administrative help (and for me a personal babysitter) but these days you will see she is a humongous part in our event execution.  She is truly the glue that holds this group together. Karen, Sharon, Sharon Sharon. Whatever her real name is we couldn’t live without her.

It’s ‘Chella’ Simple to Plan Events like a Rockstar

Unless you’ve been living under a rock this past week, you’ve probably heard a little music festival was taking place in the deserts right outside of Palm Springs. Just one year shy of it’s 20th anniversary, Coachella’s colossal presence was the talk of the town world. The event unlike any of its kind attracted the likes of A-List celebrities and any millennial willing to pay top dollar to see the hottest performances of the year by artists ranging from new-comers to the industries most timeless icons.

In the event planner world, this is without a doubt one of the most influential events that everyone has their eyes on. Coachella, and its infamous brand hosted off-site parties, set the trends for design, technology and experiential marketing in the events world for the rest of the year.

We give major credit to the team that can manage 3+ full days of planning and 300,000 people over the course 2 weekends – and while there may be many differences between Coachella and the events our agency plans, there are a surprising amount of similarities. In many ways, our boutique agency has a lot to relate to these planners:


« Invitations- EOE and Coachella planners agree that a piece of cardstock just isn’t going to cut it. Invitations are your guest’s first impression of their experience, so make it count! By shipping out boxes full of goodies pertaining to the event, attendees will be looking forward to the event until it’s time to arrive.

« We use compelling, HD visuals to captivate our audience too. At Coachella, In what has been considered quite possibly “one of the most impactful immersive experiences ever”, Obscura created the “120′ dome called The Antarctic — the largest geodesic projection dome in the world — and produced an 8-minute audiovisual program to be projected at massive scale in full 360º for audiences of 500 throughout the weekend.” While we’ve yet to wrap video 360º for our clients, one of our favorite WOW moments was creating a 3D Welcome Video to be projected at Paramount Studios for Beauty Prestige Group.

« We also illustrate custom maps when our event physically covers a lot of ground. A lost camper is not a happy camper!

« Events are inevitable to unforeseen hiccups. We are there to solve them, we learn from them, and we move on. Even on one of largest stages at Coachella, the highly anticipated performance by “Migos” started off rough with sound issues. Been there, done that.

« We share the belief that evolving is the best thing that we can do for our annual events. “Let’s just do what we did last year” is not the mindset we roll with. Coachella made big layout changes this year that made all the difference in improving guest experience from past years.

« We encourage our presenters (or performers for Coachella’s case) to be well prepared by rehearsing in advance. We ensure all A/V is loaded in properly and then allow our presenters rehearsal time to ensure they are comfortable. Beyonce took no chances reportedly logging 11 hour rehearsal days prior to her monumental performance.


The bottom line of any event, no matter the shape, size or budget, should be guest experience. With that in mind, events such as Coachella and internal meetings for Fortune 500 companies really can be similar in ways you wouldn’t expect.

Check out how we integrated “Glamping”, a popular Coachella theme, into our last event for bareMinerals in NYC.

See how we’ve been elevating guest experience from day one in our gallery.

bareMinerals and Buxom Host “Glamping Under the Stars”

East of Ellie’s latest event took us to the lush forest, where the roar of the campfire could be heard, and delicious cocktails we’re sipped out of camping style mugs. Can you guess where we were? We’ll give you a hint- it’s not what you think! More on our most recent adventure:



The purpose of this dinner event was to feature the bareMinerals and Buxom brands as part of a week long global conference being held for Shiseido Americas. We hosted 80 global executives from the all over the world to come together to enjoy a relaxing atmosphere and much deserved break from a week full of presentations and meetings.

The challenge? Seamlessly integrating two brands with completely different look and feels, together in a small venue. “Buxom is where bold, badass, statement makers and makeup risk takers, are stimulated, celebrated, and emulated.*” bareMinerals on the other hand, focuses on organic, simplistic products for women who care about their health and the environment. Two opposite twins.

So, how do we mix the essence of beauty and nature with edgy, modern-luxury? We took them “Glamping Under The Stars”. A BUXOM themed cocktail hour and bareMinerals styled dinner transported guests to a scene straight from the forest, with NYC’s stars twinkling above.



The layout at our venue, La Sirena, allowed us to create two scenes that worked cohesively- a fun cocktail hour “glampsite” and an elegant dinner space.

Guests kicked off exploring our “glampsite” around the fire enjoying speciality cocktails passed in custom campfire mugs, hand torched s’more bites, and other outdoor-themed passed hors d’oeuvres.


Now the party’s really getting started- photo opp time! A forest-themed swingset was a big hit throughout the night for memorable pictures with colleagues and friends. As part of the scene, we added a custom wooden directional sign that represented each country that guests traveled from and the miles away from NYC. From Singapore to the U.K., this statement sign was a special way to show how globally diverse this group really was.

After posing for their close ups on the swings, attendees created custom BUXOM bandanas by applying patches of their choice including their signature #BUXOMBABE hashtag. If they chose to add their name, we offered custom live monogramming to stitch it in.


Soft seating vignettes were set around the room which included brown leathers, repurposed wood, and camping style accents to tie the entire theme together. And yes, of course we had camping style chairs around a real fire.


When it came time for dinner, guests found their names on custom stitched patches attached to carabiners that were hooked on wooden boards to direct guests to their assigned table. When they arrived at their seat, their name was hand calligraphed on an authentic wood slice atop a custom designed menu card for a special touch.


We set the scene of dinner in a lush forest setting, with lattice work greenery stretched across La Sirena’s gorgeous white statement wall. bareMinerals attendees had no doubt they were in the right place when seeing the 15 foot acrylic logo with delicate fairy lighting and abundant greenery stretched across the wall. Gazing upwards, Edison bulb lighting strung along the glass ceiling that revealed the clear NYC sky to make them feel like they were truly glamping.



Now, every one of our attendees can say they’ve experienced the magic of glamping. (Well, our version at the very least!)

Need a creative concept and a team to execute every last detail flawlessly? East of Ellie has your back! Shoot us a note about what you have planned so far for your next event- rsvp@eastofellie.com


*Source: www.buxomcosmetics.com



Floral Design and Corporate Events: Better Together

February 28th is National Floral Design Day and here at East of Ellie, we celebrate this day BIG!

Floral design and event planning go together like PB&J. You’ve seen it at our events such as the BizBash award finalist Joie de Vivre Laura Mercier Dinner. We know what you’re thinking,

“these are corporate events, so why the need for flowers?”

We’re strong believers that floral decor can represent any brand identity by incorporating the client’s colors or style. Part of communicating each brand on behalf of our clients is done less literally, through decor.

When choosing florals for a corporate client, a great first step is to determine what design style the brand aligns with. Are they cutting edge, modern and sleek? Or are they better suited for traditional because they thrive on their street cred’ for being the leader in the industry from the beginning of time?

Check out some of our favorite styles of corporate floral design. Use these as a baseline and make tweaks from here to match the look and feel of your event!


Modern and sleek floral design captures the attention of the guest by bringing a sense of sophistication and style to the way the vision of a brand is executed.

We love how Revlon ditched the traditional vase, and used clear lucite boxes to showcase a bundle of fresh white florals.








We’re loving this visually appealing installation done by Bridget Vizoso for the Designer’s Co-Op. This floral design has loud expression and striking appeal to the eye by incorporating big colors and bigger style.


Does your client have a thing for that WOW factor? This may be your opportunity.







There is nothing we appreciate more than thinking outside of the box! In light of 2018 and many companies efforts to “go green,” this arrangement with topiary balls on a bed of wheatgrass is as elegant as ever.

By Eric Buterbaugh, at the Entertainment Industry Foundation’s Women’s Cancer Research Foundation luncheon.







There is beauty in sticking to the basics.

A traditional floral design communicates a company’s brand by demonstrating how a company remains integral to its roots and brand identity.

Our arrangements designed for the Nestle Waters North America reflected just that. A night to celebrate a retiring CEO who had built up the company from a small shop to a global powerhouse were represented in a beautiful yet humble arrangement.






What’s an event without a stellar backdrop? Can you say, photo opp?

Floral and greenery walls are a great way to showcase any corporate event by serving as a backdrop, room divider or display, like Veuve Clicquot did at their polo event last June in Liberty Park!

No guest can resist snapping a photo in front of a wall of beauty, so if social sharing and engagement is a goal of your event, this is a no-brainer.





At East of Ellie, we know a thing or two about how your brand can shine throughout an event. Contact us today to bring your vision to reality. 

Take a look at our pinterest feed of floral designs we are living for.


New year, new interns! It is our pleasure to welcome our two new Event Associate Interns and welcome them to the team! Get to know our latest dynamic duo Leigh Friedman and Maddie Prior-Hull:

Leigh Friedman is a senior at Quinnipiac University from Philadelphia. Pending graduation in May, she will be receiving her Bachelor’s Degree in Strategic Communications. While Quinnipiac was not where she intended on going to college, four years later it has proven to be the perfect fit through and through due to the communications school and the strong connections she has made. Leigh is a public relations major because of the many aspects that PR allows one to dabble in- whether that be her prior internship experience in nonprofit or entertainment, to now event planning at East of Ellie!

With that being said, Leigh is most looking forward to this internship experience as you can hear the positivity radiate from her voice when she talks about the East of Ellie name. Still unsure of where her path may lead, she is hopeful of ending up on the west coast, aka the best coast in the Bay Area working in Fashion PR or Event Planning. 



Fun Facts

  • Her dog is named Waldo, after the Where’s Waldo books!
  • She is a huge SoulCycle enthusiast and has ridden in over four cities.
  • She is a bigtime foodie- Leigh has her own food instagram, give @thehungryblonde_  a follow!
  • Looks can be deceiving, but she is actually a sports studies minor!
  • Leigh is extremely philanthropic and has participated in various service trips in third-world countries.


Maddie Prior-Hull is a senior at Fairfield University, originally from the Boston area. In May, she will be receiving her B.A in Marketing and Psychology. She chose Fairfield based on their academic standing and their well-known business school, The Dolan School of Business. She is still unsure of what the future holds for her, but event planning seemed like a perfect match to start her endeavors! She likes to work with people and bring happiness to others, so what better way to do that than plan fun, exciting events for people! She couldn’t be more excited to start planning and learn as much as she can in these next few months from the East Of Ellie team.


Fun Facts

  • Swimming was her favorite sport as a child and she swam into college competitively.
  • She is a huge Boston Red Sox fan, sorry Yankees fans.
  • She wants to own a Bernese Mountain dog or a Golden Retriever one day.
  • Her dream house would be on the beach in Malibu, California. Dream big, right?!
  • She loves to travel and would like to do more traveling in the future. She spent her junior year living in London, England first semester and Florence, Italy her second semester. It was quite the life!

Want to know more on the East of Ellie team? www.eastofellie.com/about


Event Planner Lingo 101

Maybe you’re thinking you can walk the walk, but can you talk the talk? Event planner talk that is. If you stood as a fly on the wall at the East of Ellie office, we might as well be speaking another language. This event #dreamteam can finish each other’s sentences with abbreviations and acronyms galore. What are we really saying? A few of our most common event planner lingo phrases below..


Plus Plus (++)

Oh how we wish this stood for extra sugar and extra cream in our coffee, but unfortunately it means more $$. If tax and gratuities are not included in the per person price meal price, venues will usually add on a (++) indicating tax and gratuity will need to be added onto that initial number.


Final Headcount

The rule with this one is, you can only go up, you can’t go down! Usually 1-2 weeks out from your event, venues and caterers require a final headcount as to how many guests you will have attending. For RSVP events, this is fairly easy, but for ticketed events, planners have to take their best guess as to how many will be attending on event day; taking into account last minute tickets sales. Once you supply this headcount number, you can always increase it by a few, but you cannot decrease.


BEO (Banquet Event Order)

Bacon Egg Omelet? Close! BEO, or Banquet Event Order, is a detailed document that provides venue instructions and a timeline for how the banquet, meeting, or event will be run. In other words, this gets the planner and venue on the exact same page about what’s going on event day to avoid any time or menu confusion.


Exclusive Vendor

This sounds super fancy, but it’s really just describing a venue’s policy on vendor use. Some venues say bring in whoever! Some say, please pick from our preferred list of different vendors, and some have exclusive vendors, meaning you have no choice but to use them for catering, a/v or rentals.


Island Display

A term that describes events only on private islands? Unfortunately no, this term applies to trade shows in which your exhibit space is all by itself, surrounded by four aisles instead of another company. We’ll keep dreaming over here in the meantime.


Air walls

No, these aren’t a technology craze or the walls of the future. Most commonly found in hotel ballrooms, air walls are movable wall panels used to partition a larger area into smaller rooms. They are most frequently used to make divide larger ballrooms into smaller spaces, and can quickly open to enlarge a space.


Room Block

Well, we’re not quite literally blocking off hotel rooms, but to avoid hearing the dreaded “sold out” or “booked up”, room blocks definitely help.  Contacting a hotel to reserve a room block from anywhere between 10 rooms or all of their rooms (otherwise known as a buyout) is the best way to preserve accommodations for your event guests before others use all the inventory.

This is only a preview to the plethora of event lingo used around the EOE office and slack channels daily. Still confused as to all this language and what we as event planners do? Check it out here. See the results of all our event planner style chat here.

Definitions sourced from Event Interface

Mastering The Last Minute Holiday Event

If there’s anything the East of Ellie team can do, its producing an event in a tight turnaround time without compromising quality. We know there are plenty of you out there RIGHT NOW freaking out because plans have changed, and now the holiday event planning has fallen all on you. Don’t panic! We have your back with some tips on how to lower your stress level, buy yourself more time, and most importantly, get sh!t done.

Delegate where you can

Don’t usually hire a cleaner? Now’s the time. Need someone to pick up the dry cleaning? Someone out there owes you a favor. The point is, you may get caught up thinking YOU need to do it all. You don’t. You’re responsible for making sure everything comes together, but not physically doing it all yourself. This is something event planners constantly remind themselves and how the East of Ellie team works our magic to turn around tight timelines!

Pick up Last Minute Decor

Unless you are the Grinch himself, your home is already sprinkled with some holiday cheer. If you’re looking around thinking it’s just not enough, run out to pick up some holiday decor from the local HomeGoods or Target to spruce up your space on a budget. (P.S. have you seen Chip and Joanna’s Magnolia Collection at Target? We are swooning and inspired.) To make sure everything visually comes together make sure you buy in the same color palette. This is super important to make your event space look aesthetically pleasing! The same color palette means opt for deep reds mixed with hunter greens, or pale greens and stark whites. Our favorite this holiday season? Silver and gold. A timeless combination where you can always add a modern twist. Check out our Pinterest board of favorite looks here.

Project Plan

We know what you’re thinking, “I don’t have time to write down my plan, I just need to put it into action!” We totally feel you here; BUT, just like getting everything done is important, not missing anything is equally as important. In fact, project planning in times of stress is more helpful since your brain will be running at 100 mph when executing your plan. Simply list out your key milestones, deadlines, and back track on how to get them done. For example, a key milestone may be – Get X a gift. Work backwards and list out what needs to be done to complete that action:

  • Set Budget
  • Determine Gift Idea or Store Location
  • Wrap Gift (Don’t forget to leave sometime for this crucial step!)
  • Place under tree before 12/24 9 p.m.

You’re good to go! We find project planning has the effect of making you less overwhelmed, since you’re taking everything out of your brain and down on paper (or screen.)

Catering is Key

One of the main components of any event is the food. After all, it’s what brings us all together. Making our way back to point number uno, delegate all or at least some of the cooking duties. If you just absolutely couldn’t have a holiday without your grandmother’s recipe for holiday ham, that’s fine! Outsource the appetizers and sides. Whole Foods has a great holiday meal options that are healthy and delicious!


That’s it! You’ve got this, and with these tips you’ll be planning like a pro. What are some of your tips to help stay organized during the holiday season? We’d love to hear them in the comments below! 

Check out our new homepage video which features events from 2017 in which we used ALL these tips at some point in the planning process. Want to know more? Shoot us a note! rsvp@eastofellie.com





In the blink of an eye, 2017 is coming to an end and 2018 is ramping up. We are proud to say that 2017 was an AMAZING year for East of Ellie for many reasons. We expanded our team, earned some industry street cred, and of course – threw some legendary events. But to really make 2018 a stellar year, we’ve got our radars on professional & personal growth at EOE.



What is the difference between and resolution and a goal? Easy.

res·o·lu·tion /ˌrezəˈlo͞oSH(ə)n /noun
a firm decision to do or not to do something.

goal / ɡōl /noun
the object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result.

Goals require you to check up on yourself and evaluate progress where as resolutions are a one and done type of thought, which to us, sounds like a recipe for failure.

An EOE tradition is to set goals for the upcoming year with meetings on the calendar every 3 months to review progress. Some goals will be achieved overtime with more work/life experience, and others will require getting out of comfort zones to make us better professionals and people (cue the deep breaths to suppress our anxieties).

If your workplace doesn’t work this way, or you are your own boss, that isn’t an excuse to avoid bettering yourself.  One of the most popular things to do in our culture at the end of every December is to set a resolution and say “In 2018 I will…” But that just isn’t enough.

Where to start:

  1. Create categories that are most important for your professional growth. Networking, Presentation Skills, Becoming a Subject Matter Expert, Management, Daily Tasks, Organization, etc. are only a few examples of buckets. Think of what applies to your job that will make you a better industry professional. Adding personal categories also helps you become more well-rounded in your goals.
  2. Set action items underneath each category to specify how you will contribute to each category. For example, clean up and organize your files to perfection once a week, make an effort to have lunch meetings strictly for networking once a month, take a class to help with public speaking in the slow season, etc. Keep in mind that these need to be tangible actions. Lose 10 pounds is not an action item, but going to the gym 3x per week is.
  3. Check up! This part is key. When all of the new year bliss rubs off at the end of February (maybe even before), schedule time for yourself to review all of your 2016 goals and what you are doing to accomplish them. Mark the calendar, and do this periodically throughout the year. Needing extra motivation? Set up these meetings with a supporter such as a spouse, mentor, or boss so you can’t just push it to the side.

What will your goals be for 2018? Comment one of them below as your first step to making a conscious choice to better yourself. Happy New Year!


BizBash Live returned to New York City this October, so the East of Ellie team took a quick trip to The Big Apple to check out new and exciting vendors!  The Javits Center was packed with innovative activations, vendors and exhibitions. The entire day was filled with inspiring new ideas and anticipation for the Event Style Awards, which East of Ellie was attending as a Finalist for our Joie de Vivre Dinner hosted by Laura Mercier.

Here are our top three favorites from that day:



Screen Shot 2017-11-22 at 9.48.06 AM

While mingling with new vendors at BizBash Live, our very own Emily Chalk and Karen Marin were able to experience a new photo booth activation. The 360 degree photo booth made them feel like celebs at the BizBash Style Awards Red Carpet. Photo booths have become so popular that we love when they are set up in a less-traditional way to make our clients and event attendees feel like true VIPs.  We love finding new ways to offer that fun selfie moment and what better way to do so than with a fun photo shoot?



IMG_5661 2

First impressions are everything, amaze your guest by turning an entrance into an experience! We find that creating a memorable entrance is crucial because it really does set the tone for any event from the moment guests walk in. Customize and brand the effects to match your event concept with Luminescence.




Having a difficult time sourcing for an event giveaway? We loved this idea of live custom T-shirt printing as a guest experience and giveaway, it’s a fun and easy way to add an activation to your next event.  

Stay tuned, you just might see these activations incorporated into our 2018 events. At EOE, the smallest details excite us, because we know how impactful they really are. The details we put into our events make the design and concept come together effortlessly and we were thrilled that BizBash recognized that for our Tabletop Design!

Let EOE handle the details, bring your inspo’ to life and execute your next event! Connect with us today at rsvp@eastofellie.com

An Intern’s Advice to the CEO

Everyone always hears about what an intern learns from the CEO (or any other manager in the company) but not many people discuss what the interns can actually teach the ones who have been in the biz for as long as they can remember.  

Sometimes, interns never get the chance to even sit in the same room as the CEO, let alone interact with them.  But for us and our fellow small businesses, it is very possible that interns interact and work with the CEO on a regular basis.

At East of Ellie, we are all about learning through all stages in our careers, so we sat down with our interns and discussed their perspectives on the industry, and what they thought would be useful for Emily, our very own CEO, to look through the lens from their point of view.


Collaborate More


Collaboration is key in a creative industry, especially when you have fresh talent (like interns) who don’t have much corporate experience, if any. Always make time to sit down and collaborate with your team on a regular basis because its is a win-win situation.  Whether it be brainstorming or status updates, including the whole team can help your small business come up with more ideas, generate better content, and grow your reach. The more perspectives, the more opportunities there are to learn for everyone- not just the interns.


Enthusiasm is Contagious

coffee-cup-working-happyOne of the most important aspects to any job is being happy where you are, and company culture is a huge contributor. One of the best parts of East of Ellie is the people- we are enthusiastic, happy, and excited about our job.  Those emotions are easily noticeable and definitely contagious in the office.  Enthusiasm is one of the most important things to instill in your employees.  If you aren’t excited about your job, how are you going to inspire your employees to be? Lead by example, always stay enthusiastic and positive even when times get tough because it means so much to the people around you.


Embrace the Walk Through

pexels-photo-355988Interns always hear “it is important to ask questions” throughout the job.  Many internships require their interns to be on the phone with other businesses and clients, and some may not know how to efficiently handle those calls.  Although it may seem excessive, managers should walk interns through how to properly handle calls in order to get the information they are seeking as quickly as possible. Help us help you! We appreciate the real life opportunities instead of just running errands, but please keep in mind, we have not been doing this for years.  Another tip is for managers/CEOs is to recommend questions for the interns to ask in similar situations that they have found effective in previous situations.


Learning is a two way street.  Interns learn from higher ups in the company, and most executives can learn a thing or two from the interns. Want to know more about our team and company culture at EOE? See more here

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