Monday, February 22, 2010

Helping Charities through Events

With the tragic events of the Haiti earthquake occurring, more and more people are incorporating the theme of giving back to those in need within their party planning. Recently a wedding couple decided to donate the money saved for their wedding décor and reception dinner to Haiti instead. So you don’t have to go to that extreme, but if you want to find a way to give back, here are some easy and interesting ideas on being generous to others.

1. Buying gifts that give back. Giftsthatgive.com is a website that allows you purchase items where 20% of the purchase will go towards a school or non-profit of your choice. Each month you shop, you receive a receipt to track your donations. This website is a great idea for birthday, wedding, or baby shower gifts.
2. Chocolates for charity. If you’re going to give chocolate away as a party favor or dessert, you might as well help a good cause as well! There are 2 different types of companies that allow you to enjoy chocolate and also give back: Sarah’s Box is a chocolate gift box to which all the profits go toward Autism. Sold through Romanicos Chocolates, Sarah’s Box is sold for $15 with a variety of chocolates included. Endangered Species Chocolate produces chocolate bars to which 10% of the proceeds go towards wildlife conservation such as the African Wildlife Foundation and the Ocean Conservancy. These chocolate bars are sold in packages from $25 to $75.

3. The Color of Hope. We all want to look good for our special events, especially if you’re the host. L’Oreal Paris has a collection of make-up kits for $25.00, that donates 20% towards Ovarian Cancer Research. What a beautiful way to give and receive for brides, bridemaids gifts, or just to use every day.
4. John Hardy Jewelry. This company has a new line of eco-friendly jewelry created from bamboo. The collection includes cuff links, necklaces and earrings. Proceeds are then donated to replant bamboo or other grasses in the Indonesian ecosystem. This is an awesome idea for any event to become ec0-friendly!6. Start your Own Charity event! When having a party, consider having guests bring special items for discounted tickets or just for the fun of it! And it doesn't always have to be money. You can collect old clothes to donate to charities, canned goods for local Food drives, even toys for children. You can also incorporate helping others in activities for your guests, such as making blankets for foster homes and animal shelters.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Working the Grammy's After-party

What an amazing experience to work the Grammy's this year! I have to give a big thank you to Dora Olvera for working this gig out for me. It was actually a lot of fun to see the afterparty up-close, enjoy the live singing of Ne-yo and Sam Moore, and work directly with the talented performers of Lucent Dossier, whom I happened to see at H.Wood just a few weeks ago!
OMG Ne-yo is amazing!!!! Jamie Foxx and Fabulous came out to sing as well!
It's interesting because the Grammy's actually have over 120 awards to give out, but they only show a few dozen on TV (otherwise we'd be there forever!) so while the live show was going on for the east coast, by the time it played for everyone in LA at 8pm, the afterparty hosted by Along Came Mary and Wolfgang Puck Catering, was already in full swing.
Circus theme this year. Hence the 3-ring circus stages.
I worked one of the 3 stages as the stage manager making sure that each performer was ready and prepped by the time they went on stage, and that there was a steady flow of performers the whole time. It doesn't sound too hard, but when you've got some performers running late on the other stages and a few more of them running amongst the thousands of guests that filled the LA Convention center, it becomes a bit of a challenge.
Ice bar.
It was a lot of fun though and it was amazing seeing all the crazy juggling, unicycling, game-playing, tight-rope and hoola-hoop spinning these guys could do! If you ever get a chance to see Lucent Dossier perform, they are hilarious and uber talented!Needless to say it was a long night, but I got to take home some flowers and get one fun photobooth picture in with some of my fellow stage managers and production team. Thanks Dora and Abby for the fabulous pictures!

Monday, February 8, 2010

ISES Breakfast Education Mixer

Wednesday was our ISES LA Power Breakfast Educational Session. Our breakfast team consisted of the awesome Jeff Sigler of FormDecor, newly-inducted Takowa Patterson, and myself.
The event was a smashing success, despite the starting hour of of 7:30am! I definitely felt I accomplished a lot by 7:30am though!

The venue was The Ebell of Los Angeles who provided all the yummy drinks (like Sunrise Sangria!!) and hearty breakfast; Jeremy Weinglass played a melodious piano to add to the Victorian presence of the historic Ebell.Attendees enjoyed our 2 Educational speakers Chien Wang, who spoke about better ways to network and make connections, and Sandra Sellani, who talked about branding and company differentiation. I loved that they related to all businesses in our industry but also tied really well together. Needless to say I have LOTS of notes!Afterward, books were sold by the speakers and Melissa of the Ebell offered tours of the beautiful venue, which includes the Ebell theatre next door.The event was a great success and I really enjoyed working on this event! Apparently I'll be in charge of planning the next breakfast (Yikes/Yay!!) and I'm excited to continue this growing momentum with education, breakfast, and networking!
For more information about ISES ( International Special Events Society), please click here.
Photo Credit: Melissa Allen

Monday, February 1, 2010

Get Social on Valentine's Day!

February 14th is the day couples celebrate their love and compassion for one another…and this year you may not have a significant other and find yourself single. So now what? Well first off, this doesn’t mean you can bury your head in a tub of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream and watch a “Law and Order” marathon on Valentine’s Day! What it does mean is to check out our cool and fun Valentine’s Day activities for singles!

1. Day at the Spa. Grab your single friends and make an appointment at an exclusive Spa in your area. Take the time to sit back, relax and pamper yourself. If you can’t afford a day of facials and mud baths; try planning an at-home spa party with your friends.

2. Dinner and Movie Night. Plan a special night out with your closest friends to celebrate your friendship with a dinner at a nice restaurant (make sure to book reservations!) and a fun movie. Take this time to remember and appreciate the good friendships that you have!
3. Throw a “Singles Awareness” Day party. Yes this can be cliché for the single ladies, but instead of an all night “Man-hating” party, celebrate and uplift the good relationships in your life such as your family and friends. Good food, music, and company makes for a good party all the time.

4. Game Night. Grab the snacks and gather all your fun single friends for a night of games. Don’t just stop at board games, but include card games (a la Vegas night) and video games (Rock Band, anyone?).
Photo: Ehow.com

5. Singles Night Out! Get dressed in your best outfit and grab your friends for a night out on the town. Who says that singles have to stay home and be sad? NO! Dance the night away or hangout for drinks at a bar or posh restaurant. You’ll be surprised how many other singles you might meet going solo.
Photo: Dry Icons