Ellie Gives Thanks

A few weeks ago, Emily asked us each to give three things that we’re thankful for. No explanation, no context, just a – hey – give me your first honest answer.  

The responses – although emotionally overwhelming – really put into context what it means to work with or for #TeamEllie. At East of Ellie, we give thanks on the daily that we get to create one-of-a-kind experiences and put the spotlight on some killer brands. When Ellie was just a twinkle in our #GirlBoss’s eye, we never dreamed we would be putting on events like we do. If you haven’t been paying attention to our instagram or Linkedin feed, we’ve been thinking a lot about all the things we’re thankful for – here are some of our favorites:

1. Freedom To Be Creative

From coming up with one of a kind event themes – like bareMinerals’ indoor park – to producing amazing event video content, and building fun guest experiences, we love that we get to flex our creative muscles on the reg.

2. Ellie Office Culture

At EOE, brainstorming sessions consist of floor to ceiling mood boards, writings on the walls, pink Starbursts and the occasional meme reference. We are so thankful that going to work doesn’t mean running the rat race. (If you want to join in on the fun, we’re looking for an intern, by the way.)

3. The Only Thing Constant in Our World is Change

From NYC to LA you will always find #TeamEllie on the move. It’s no secret that we event planners wear a million hats. Our job descriptions are tough to sum up, but we thrive in the daily craziness – and we wouldn’t have it any other way!

4. Never Bored

Sometimes, we go glamping on weekdays, other times, we’re taking the train to our clients’ NYC offices to show them how we’re making their next event magical. We’ve got too much going on to be bored in the boardroom!

5. Daily Inspiration

Our office is filled with event swag, awards and publications, and photos from past events blown up so big, it’s like we never left. It’s a daily reminder of what we’ve accomplished so far, and keeps our eyes on the prize of topping our last event. That’s the great thing about working with so many repeat clients – your next event has got to outdo your last one. It gives us that special spark!

6. Our Fellow Party People

You’d think that after 3 days of clocking in 15+ hours, we’d be sick of each other – but somehow you can still find us laughing with each other, swapping memes, emojis, and Starbucks orders. At East of Ellie, the people you work with are more than just co-workers, they’re family. For us, life just wouldn’t be the same without #TeamEllie!

7. Greatest Clients + Greatest Brands

Truth is, nothing on this list would have come to be if it weren’t for our clients. We work for some pretty amazing brands that trust us to get things done, and give us the freedom to play and make their events extra special. THANK YOU!

Need a team that is ready for anything your next event might throw your way? You’ll be thankful you talked to Ellie – send us a note!

Holi(YAY) Stress Relief

LET THE PARTY PEOPLE HELP YOU PLAN

Oh boy, here come the holidays. Though it is a joyous season of giving gifts and giving thanks, it can also bring a whole heap of unnecessary stress and anxiety. Even for some of the most organized people in this universe – like event planners (wink wink) – the holidays can get overwhelming. Here’s a few tips and tricks from us party people at EOE on how to achieve a stress-free(ish) holiday.

PLAN AHEAD

We’re currently recovering from a very busy event planning season and even some world travelin’ – so when it’s time to take a break from work, we take it. Take advantage of that half day of work the day before the feast and get a plan in place. If you can, take the full day off before a big holiday and give yourself time to focus. One of the biggest causes of stress is when you feel you are getting pulled in multiple directions. For your sanity, sit down and organize. You’ll thank yourself for this when you realize you actually have time to sleep before the big day.

KNOW WHEN TO SAY NO.

The word “no” doesn’t really show up in our vocabulary. So for us, this is a big statement. But sometimes, the easiest way to avoid extra stress around the holidays is to simply say “no.” “No” to allowing Aunt Susan’s Great Dane to come over, “no” to offering three turkeys cooked three ways, and certainly “NO” to that glass of Merlot on the new white living room couch. Know your limits and keep in mind that the word “no” is not only an option, but necessary.

DELEGATE

As professional event planners we rely on the help of others – audio visual experts, A+ florists, gourmet caterers – you get the idea. Without them we wouldn’t be able to pull off events like ours. And despite what Pinterest makes us believe, we are not all wizards with a glue gun. Even if you’re a party planner of one this holiday season, you can still get some help with your table decor! Grab a potted plant from your grocery store or maybe some cute place mats from our friends at Amazon Prime (or Etsy if you are ahead of yourself with time) and leave the floral arranging to the professionals.

WRITE EVERYTHING DOWN

A classic EOE best practice is to make checklists when we have a lot on our plate. It keeps us focused and leaves us with a sense of accomplishment when we complete a task. Can we all agree that nothing is better than crossing things off of your to-do list? You can also use post it notes – but if you are one of us, your whole house will be covered in them, which is a little counter-productive.

DETAILS, DETAIL, DETAILS.

As the old saying goes – but my, my, is it true – the devil is in the details. So, organize all the details you can in advance – fold napkins, place your centerpiece on the table or vacuum the spare room two days before guests arrive. It’s all this last minute stuff that will get you every time. It’s never too early to start setting up!

THINK ABOUT IT

Be thoughtful in your decisions to avoid extra work on your holiday. Simple checkpoints like not using your expensive china on the kids table will keep you from a big headache when you are in the middle of your day-of holiday tasks.

GIVE YOURSELF SOME CREDIT

At the end of the day, your family and friends will appreciate the wonderful effort you put into making each holiday feel magical. Not all superheros wear capes. Do the best you can, and if your day is filled with love and warm food, you did your job, host! At the end of the holiday when everyone has been fed and the last dish is getting cleaned remember that you cannot control everything and although you may have done things differently there is no event that goes 100% as planned. TRUST US. Take all the things you learn and apply them to the next one.  

If you need to treat your workplace family to a holiday dinner to say “thanks,” let us know

Shiseido Americas Hosts FIT 3.0

When Ellie pulls off a great event, we like to shout it from the rooftops (literally!). And since this month EOE is all about giving thanks for the clients, opportunities and bomb parties that got us where we are today, we thought we’d spotlight one of our favorite events from this year—Shiseido FIT 3.0. We’ve planned this event for three years in a row now, and we can proudly say this was the biggest and best FIT conference yet.

The Conference

We took Shiseido America’s Finance and IT team to the gorgeous blank space NYC venue, Hudson Mercantile. The venue’s industrial vibe created the perfect setting to highlight this year’s theme, building for the future. Of course, we let that message speak for itself with blueprint-inspired event graphics.

Side story about that blueprint collateral—when our name badges got delivered the evening before the event, we discovered tape marks stuck on the laminate. We didn’t have time for a reprint, so we got our hands dirty with some window cleaner and paper towels. Anything to ensure our event sparkles from every angle!

The open studio style space let us perfectly customize our event to “fit” the Shiseido brand (get it?)—we did a lot of furniture shopping to get this totally Shiseido vibe going. (If you don’t already know how Shiseido rolls, check out the Supply Chain Summit we planned for them earlier this year.)

Lunch

You know us—we’re all about guest experience. So, after a morning full of presentations, everybody got to play at lunchtime. What better way to rally everyone around the brand than to showcase their AMAZING product line? The Finance and IT crowd doesn’t work much with all this fun stuff in their day-to-day, so this was a real treat!

Here’s a tip on event planning in NYC—space is tight. We had lunch on a separate floor from our presentations, and only two elevators to move almost 200 guests. It took a lot of crowd control, but we’re proud to say we got everyone to lunch without a hitch, and everyone back in their seats just in time for presentations round 2.

The After-Party:

Okay—we saved the best for last. At the end of the day we partied on the rooftop with a classy summer bbq complete with sliders, open bar, and lawn games. Now everyone can say they’ve played mini golf seven stories up in the air!

Our rooftop party almost didn’t happen as planned—during setup the day before, we got caught in a nasty thunderstorm. Of course, we had a rain plan all set to go, but we’re super thankful the sun came out just in time.

Speaking of sunshine, when we showed our client the rooftop setup the morning of the event, we all realized it was bright. Like, really bright. Bottom line is, we know how to find 200 matching sunglasses at the drop of a hat.

At EOE, it’s the details that make our events so special. We’re so thankful that we’ve watched this event grow over the last three years, and that with each year, we get to add a little extra F-U-N. If you need a team that thinks of the little things for your next event, send us a note at rsvp@eastofellie.com!

Halloween As Told By Event Planners

Happy Plan-a-ween! You think Frankenstein is scary? Nothing is more frightening than not having a plan in place. Here at EOE even the best planned event days have their fair share of horror stories. Are you scared your pocus punch isn’t going to be goolish enough? Do you have these amazing last minute ideas but have no idea how to pull them off? You came to the right place! Keep reading to learn all about how us Ellie event planners execute in a pinch.

WHAT WOULD ELLIE DO?

Scope CREEP

First thing’s first, what are we planning here? A quick get together with friends after work? A haunted house extravaganza with all the bells and whistles? Outline what you are planning to accomplish before you get started and get lost in the beauty that is Pinterest or our favorite- Amazon Prime! It’s easy to go overboard. Trust us.

Know Whether You’ll Be Having Goblins and Ghouls or Vampires and Werewolves.

If you are just going to dress up and serve red wine because, ya know, it’s Halloween, that might not be enough to wow your guests. Understand WHO is attending and what you want their EXPERIENCE to be. If you are looking to scare some people, dressing the dog in a bat costume might not cut it!

Don’t Assume The Guest Has Their Own Crystal Ball

As fun as guessing games are, guests are horrible at it. So, if it’s a costume party, make sure your e-vite says so. If you are having a contest for the scariest monster, make sure your guests know. Nothing worse than being the only one dressed up while everyone else is in their sweatpants (which could be just as scary)

A Little Bit of Last Minute Magic

There’s something about Halloween that feels like just about everyone waits until the very last minute to prepare for. Lucky for us last minute requests are our middle name. They are so common in the events world that we have mastered (almost) every loophole. Let us introduce you to our favorite duo, Pinterest and Amazon Prime. One provides the inspiration the other makes it come to life in two quick days via some magical broomstick. Does it get better than this?

 

How to Give Your Night some Witchcraft and Wizardry

If you are anything like us, your wardrobe is a variation of a few shades of black. The issue is, not everyone is going to want to dress up in a costume or any article of clothing that isn’t orange or black.  If you know that at this party cat ears just aren’t going to cut it – what can you do?

  1. Buy fun props for people to put on. After a few creepy cocktails, your guests may be more willing to throw on that blonde wig.

  2. Make your costumes approachable. I never met a person who would say no to a solid pair of shutter shades. Maybe a wand? Red plastic lips? Do easy things that people can easily take on and off but will allow them to still feel adult
    while acting a little silly.

  3. Give out awards. One of our favorite things in event planning is a good ole competition. You would be amazed what a custom plastic engraved trophy or unlimited bragging rights will make people do. Create a runway, get score cards, and make it worth the guests while to compete with each other.

  4. After years and years of attending halloween parties, the typical red colored punch served out of a pumpkin or overdone sugary apple ciders, we are ready to step up our halloween drinks to options that are a bit more sophisticated. Some of these drinks look too spooky to drink, but we promise they are tastier than they look. (Just arrange for someone else to fly your broomstick home) Check them out here.

  5. Avoid any #partyfouls by taking 10 minutes to create your own music playlist instead of relying on a premade one. Nothing kills the vibe of a poppin’ dance floor like the Kidz Bop version of Monster Mash. Don’t get us wrong, traditional halloween songs are still great, just make sure you have consistency and songs that are upbeat to keep the party “alive”.

  6. Lighting is everything. At our events, this means overhead bistro lights and votive candles to set the scene for dinner, or ensuring a presenter is well lit on stage with a specialty installed spotlights. But for your Halloween bash, don’t let this #protip squeeze by you. If your event is lit correctly with shadow-y uplighting, mysterious glows of purple and green, and flickering yellow flames (faux please. Let’s not go there) This will set the tone of your event without having to buy so many props or decor. Simple but thoughtful lighting is the perfect way to keep it sophisticated and spooky.

Don’t let your next event scare you.  Need party people who know how to monster mash?  Drop us a note at rsvp@eastofellie.com

 

10 JOBS YOU DIDN’T KNOW AN EVENT PLANNER DOES

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!

10. MAGICIAN

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!

BARE MINERALS HOSTS GLOBAL “FULL OF, FREE OF” CONFERENCE IN LONDON

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

SHISEIDO HOSTS SUPPLY CHAIN SUMMIT 2018

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!

THE CONCEPT

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.

THE EXECUTION

THE OVERALL LOOK

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.

THE STAGE

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!

THE EXPERIENCE

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

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 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

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!

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