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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 CONCEPT

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 EXECUTION

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

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BIG AND BOLD

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.

 

 

 

 

 

CREATIVE VESSELS

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.

 

 

 

 

 

TRADITIONAL

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.

 

 

 

 

FLORAL OR GREENERY WALLS

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.

MEET OUR SPRING 2018 INTERNS

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

 

HAPPY HOLIDAYS! 

 

SET GOALS FOR 2018, NOT RESOLUTIONS

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.

WE DON’T MAKE RESOLUTIONS AROUND HERE, WE MAKE GOALS.

 

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!

AN INSIDE LOOK: BIZBASH LIVE NEW YORK

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:

 

360 DEGREE PHOTO BOOTH

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?

 

ENTICING ENTRANCE

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.

LIVE T-SHIRT PRINTING

IMG_8626

 

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

people-coffee-tea-meeting

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

East of Ellie’s Joie De Vivre Dinner chosen as a 2017 BizBash Event Style Award FINALIST

Have you heard the news?! Our event design has been chosen as a 2017 BizBash Event Style Award FINALIST! 

Designing this table scape was one of the most enjoyable parts of planning this event! With such a great brand identity to base our design off of, we were able to bring together elements that were not only beautiful but all tied back to our event concept.

Read more about how and why this event design came to life the way that it did! –

THE PURPOSE

The purpose of this dinner event was to feature the Laura Mercier brand as part of the three day conference being held for Beauty Prestige Group. We hosted 200 guests from the company’s sales and marketing teams, numerous C Level executives, and Laura Mercier herself.  “Joie de Vivre at the Bronson Gate” was the title of our evening and translated directly as “exuberant enjoyment of life.”  The evening was set to be a celebration, it is about the joy of conversation – of eating – of anything one might do, it is the joy of everything and is a philosophy of life that involves one’s whole being (because how could you not enjoy eating and sipping cocktails under the stars at Paramount Studios?)  We took this phrase to heart and infused it into every detail as well as the overall atmosphere of the event. Joie de Vivre is also one of Laura Mercier’s latest cosmetic color collections. (Check out the amazing-ness here. The mascara is life changing)

Hosting this portion of the event at the historic Bronson Gate at Paramount Studios was a perfect setting to bask in the history of both the Laura Mercier brand and the essence of authentic old Hollywood.

THE THEME

We themed this portion of our event and table scapes based on Provence, France. As a unique flare, instead of matching each and every element to this look and feel, we integrated unexpected touches to the table scape that would work in unison with the soft florals and rustic seating to create an edge that would still achieve an aesthetically pleasing look. To achieve this, we included a masculine green Zebra succulent plant, as well as table numbers and escort cards that featured a swipe of bold red lipstick, which is a design element you will see in a vast number of executions of Laura Mercier’s marketing. We also included ingredients that are used in Laura Mercier body cream such as fresh fruits and nuts.

Aside from what was actually set as the table scape, guests enjoyed their custom-themed signature cocktails with no typical cocktail stirrer. The stirrers for our signature drinks were real honey dippers, as this is used with Laura Mercier body souffle products.

We also set a table of chocolates in the shape of lips, lipsticks, and other cosmetics in colors of pink, red and brown displayed on custom lucite blocks to provide added drama, dimension, and frankly a dessert any cosmetic lover would love to indulge in!

THE FEEDBACK

Easily one of our most memorable moments of this event was Laura Mercier herself taking a floral arrangement off of her dinner table and back to her hotel. We had no access to her prior to the event and had fingers crossed the design and florals would match and exceed her expectations! Guests raved about the gorgeous setting of the dinner and how all of the elements came together. The CEO of Beauty Prestige Group said this was the best sales conference he had experienced in his 30 years in the industry.  It’s all in the details!

Wish us luck to win! We will find out at BizBash Live on October 25th in NYC, will you be there? Let’s connect!

BEST FEATURES OF IOS11 FOR EVENT PLANNERS

Oh, Apple. How we love your much anticipated updates to the devices that are glued to our hands 23 hours of the day. In case you missed it, the iOS 11 was released this month with a ton of new features that are making our lives easier. iOS9 was great for event planners as well, but focused more on the design of the interface, whereas iOS 11 is really lookin’ out for our productivity and easier use (yes, please.)

So, how does iOS 11 specifically improve the lives of event planners?

Customize your control center

When you swipe up from your home screen, the basics are available to you (and btw in a fancy new format than before) Buttons like airplane mode, wifi and bluetooth toggle, flashlight, calculator, etc. have been the standards for quick access through this control center, but now with iOS 11 you can swap out some of these apps for what you need quick access to. For us, Google Drive has already made its way into that spot! Having quick access to all of our files is so important when we’re on the go.

Doodle on ScreenShots

You’re an event planner. So when you look at a blank space venue, you are able to visualize exactly how you plan to transform this space during a site visit- but sharing that vision can sometimes be difficult to communicate. Screenshot your photo of the room and doodle in lines, drawings of a stage, LED Screens, etc. to easily share your vision with vendors who can make it come to life.

Pin Notes

Jot something down in your notes app during a site visit? Story of our lives. You may have a setting on that sorts your notes alphabetically, but you are now able to pin a note to the top of your list to make sure it’s easy to pull up when you’re back at the office or chatting with your client.

Scan Documents

Speaking of the notes feature, iOS 11 is making it so that scanners may be a thing of the past, say whaaaa? That’s right, use the notes app to take a photo of your document, and it will upload to your phone as a PDF, nobody will know you didn’t event use a traditional scanner! Perfect for those last minute BEOs on site to scan and upload them to your drive.

 

What are your secrets to mastering the iPhone to make your life easier? We’d love to hear them in the comments below! Looking to hand off the heavy weight of planning an event? Just call us the superheroes. Let’s get planning! rsvp@eastofellie.com

The Four Personalities of Event Clients

If you work in any type of agency working with clients on a regular basis, you know that clients are made like snowflakes, no two are exactly alike.

In fact, clients come in all different shapes, sizes and colors. Don’t get us wrong, we LOVE our clients. It’s interesting to see how over the years, our method of planning events hasn’t changed much, yet the planning process can be completely different depending on how the client ticks. We’ve talked before about tailoring your communication style to your audience, and in this case, it’s the client. It’s important to recognize the type of client you have to mold the way you proceed with the planning process. In our experience, clients can be bucketed into the following categories:

 

“SHINY THINGS” CLIENT

This client gets EXCITED about the event, no, really excited. When we whip up a presentation of proposed vendors or work with our graphic designer to create 3-D rendering of the space, their eyes just light up. This is one of our favorite types of clients, it usually means they don’t get exposed to this fun stuff often – which can also lead to a downfall – distraction. Like when you’re presenting catering options on slide 2 but they’re googly eyed over the invitation mock-ups on slide 8. When you need a decision on one aspect – less is more when showing them what’s going on. Keep them excited, absolutely, but also focused on your main objectives!

 

“LAST MINUTE” CLIENT

All clients have a bit of the “last minute” personality within, some just have a bigger presence of it than others. Let’s face it, as outside agency event planners, we are not apart of our client’s daily operations. So, it’s not anyone’s fault when the client may have to push our meetings or focus on other projects to keep afloat. This often leads to the few weeks leading up to the event as pure insanity. Rushing to get last minute requests fulfilled and working with last minute design edits to collateral that still needs to be printed. The truth is, there’s really no way to avoid the last minute client, and frankly, we totally plan in advance to accommodate these last minute changes. The best you can do is prepare everything you can in advance, keep your personal calendar wide open, because last minute requests WILL arise, and you’ll need all the time you can get.

 

“CAN’T MAKE THE DECISION” CLIENT

This may seem similar to the shiny things client, but infact they are actually very different. This client isn’t trying to find the perfect concept for a part of their event and then pulling the trigger, this client has a very hard time making the decision. This is totally fine, until it gets closer and closer to the event. They are still up in brainstorming land or need to consult with someone else on the team, but time is running out and you are starting to get worried. With this client, be extremely clear with deadlines and explain you don’t want them to lose the opportunity with a vendor or have to pay out the nose for last minute rush fees.

 

“I CAN DO THIS ON MY OWN” CLIENT

Perhaps this client has planned a few events in the past, or deems themselves as a marketing wiz – and that may all well be true! Show up to your meeting with your event objectives clearly outlined and your definition of success written in black and white? We are already in love with  you.  But it’s hard enough as outsiders to come into a company and figure out the perfect balance between not overstepping and integrating our methods so that we can get the job done.  The best thing to do here?  Over communicate.  Ask for their opinions and make them feel as involved as they would like to be at all times.  It’s hard for clients who want to do the planning themselves to second guess the process when they are knee deep in it.

 

At the end of the day our clients are truly our favorite people and we couldn’t do what we do without them!  Looking for an event team that understands the objectives of your event and can clearly outline the planning process for you?  Look no further. Email rsvp@eastofellie.com and let’s get planning!

The Experience Generation: What it Means for Corporate Events

The Experience Generation- is society catching on to the obsession that we’ve always had at East of Ellie? The answer is- yes. Millennials are valuing experiences over possessions more than ever.

In a study conducted by Eventbrite, they proved experiences help shape identity & create life-long memories. “Nearly 8 in 10 (77%) millennials say some of their best memories are from an event or live experience they attended or participated in. 69% believe attending live events and experiences make them more connected to other people, the community, and the world.”

So, what does this mean for the future of corporate events? Millennials are on their way to taking the front seat in the corporate world, as the eldest millennials turn 35 this year.  Trends point in the direction that millennials care less about their salaries and more about the perks and work-life balance that their company can provide.

How can companies keep up with the desires of top-talent millennials? We believe the answer is simple:

Keep them engaged in company related experiences and heighten the sense of community through events.

Begin this shift by improving events that your company has been hosting the same way for years, or add more to the mix. A few of our favorites ways for companies to do this:

CREATIVE SALES CONFERENCES

Don’t let your employees feel like you’re shipping them to paradise, just to lock them in a hotel for four days. Integrate on-brand experiences, team building and entertainment to fuse education with engagement at your sales conference. We took over Paramount Studios at our last sales conference for a modern hollywood style experience for guests. See more here.

GOLF OUTINGS

Get employees out of their cubicles and have them take a breath of fresh air out on the course. Invite partners, prospective customers, whatever makes sense for your business to have fun AND network. As they say, deals are done on the golf course. We broke out the drone at one of our last golf events, check the amazing footage here.

LITERAL VACATIONS

These 10 companies take their employees on vacation every year! Investing in the “reset” of your employees will increase their productivity and loyalty to your company. This also improves relationships of employees and educates them on places all over the world! If creativity and inspiration is a key part of your company, this option may be best for you.

“TOWN HALL” MEETINGS

Feel like your company just seems a little.. disconnected? Bring them out of the office for an interactive day of presentations by leaders in the company. This rare face time between the “do-ers” and the C-level exec’s will have a greater impact on employees retaining key information to improve their work. See how we’ve spiced up these meetings here.

Need a team who has a proven track record of wowing guests, and providing unique atmospheres for client’s to get down to business? Shoot us an email and Let’s Get Planning! rsvp@eastofellie.com

Facts found by Eventbrite, https://www.eventbrite.com/blog/academy/millennials-fueling-experience-economy/

Ellie’s Head to Toe Fashion Guide for Event Planners

As an event planner, one of the most important aspects to a smooth event day is to be dressed comfortably.  This may seem silly because your outfit may not directly impact the success of the event, but in our experience it does; a proper outfit is a big contributor to your overall attitude and level of service.

If you are uncomfortable or unhappy with your choice of shoes, for example, you will just have one more thing to worry about while executing an event.  We want to limit your worries at all costs, and after almost a decade in the industry, we have finally learned what works on event day, and what doesn’t.

 

Human Shield

Black is our go to color on event day- are you surprised? Probably not. It’s practical, sweat-proof, spill-proof and blends easily.  Let’s face it, on the day of your event, you could be doing anything from heavy lifting to acting as a catering waitress; our list of ad hoc duties are endless!  Wearing a black shirt will ensure that you look professional, no matter what.

 

Fake it til’ You Make It

Although we wish we could get away with wearing yoga pants, professionalism is key.  We’ve found a way to cheat the system and live by these New York and Company pants.  They look like business pants, but slip on and feel like yoga pants, so it’s the best of both worlds.  You’ll thank us when you’re going on hour 6 of running around!

 

The New Sneaker

23312_BBKWe’ve tried everything when it comes to shoes and frankly, we wish we could get away with wearing a simple Nike running shoe, but that doesn’t usually fly with the dress code.  To dress up the sneaker look but still have a certain level of comfort, Keds or Toms are a great option, and our office is split half and half on which shoe is better. Recently, Event Manager Cindy has struck gold by finding these Memory Foam Sketchers that look like flats but feel like heaven.

If you’re not sure about any of your shoe options or must wear heels, bring a few options to the site.  If one pair of feels like a cloud by your toes, but scrapes up the back of your heel, switch midway through the event to the other pair that isn’t the best on the ball of your foot, but is blister free! It’s all about picking (and switching) your battles.

 

Accessories

downloadBecause we do so much while executing an event, we like to keep track of our steps and calories burned to keep track of all the work we did on FitBits.  Competitors to the core, we even have a competition in the office for who walks the most steps on event day. At our 3 day event in March we each won a different day!

 

If you’re not about the look of having a Fitbit on your wrist, there are solutions. Many companies like Tory Burch, make Fitbit covers, so you can still monitor your activity, but appears as a regular bracelet.

Keeping jewelry to a minimum is key to being comfortable and looking professional as an event planner.  Avoid anything dangly, especially earrings and necklaces. Stick to simple studs, like pearls. An Apple watch is a great addition to keep everything you need on your wrist, and ALWAYS have extra hair ties!

 

What are the clothes or shoes that you can’t live without when executing your events? We’d love to see your comments below!

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