Your Best shot: Event Tales from the pros

EVENT PROS Q&A

Event Pro: Nicole Eckenrode

Email Address: Nickileck@yahoo.com

Company: Nicole Eckenrode Special Event Planning

Portfolio: http://www.krop.com/nickieckenrode/

 Nicole rocking the HipHolster Comcatch Flex

Nicole rocking the HipHolster Comcatch Flex

1. How long have you been planning/producing events? I have been planning/producing events for about six years, but I worked as a venue manager for five years prior to that.

2. Do you have a specialty? I really enjoy creating heavily themed events. I like to find creative ways to incorporate theme and provide that "wow" factor.

3. What’s the best part about what you do? I love to see my vision come to life especially when I am able to overcome obstacles and produce a successful event.

4. What event has been your most favorite and why? I think my favorite was a space themed holiday party that I produced for my previous employer. The party was set under the Endeavor space shuttle and the California Science Center. We incorporated fun elements such as star projections, a moon dessert table, nitrogen popcorn and upscale space themed décor. Photos can be seen on http://www.krop.com/nickieckenrode/

5. How do you manage stress leading up to an event? I keep lists and master production timelines that help me stay organized. I try to exercise to balance out the stress.

6. If you could work on ANY event in the world, what would it be? I would love to work on one of the Oscar or Grammy parties. Or maybe a big themed product launch. Anything with a big budget and a fantastic theme.

7. What do you love best about your HipHolster? I love the look and functionality of HipHolster. I work a lot of events that require me to wear cocktail or formal gowns and I don’t have pockets for all my essentials. I need to be hands free otherwise I set things down and then misplace them. I love the sophisticated design which looks good with my dress attire, but also doesn’t weigh on my shoulders like a crossbody bag does.

8. What do you keep in your HipHolster? I usually keep my cell phone, walkie talkie, a pen, a key card  and a lipstick in my HipHolster.

Looking Back While Looking Forward

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As we launch into 2018, let us give gratitude for all of the positive ways events connect us to our world and bring people together for the good of humanity.

When I reflect on 2017 and the meaningful events that I had the opportunity to produce, there is one that stands out above the others.  Over the years I have worked with many non-profit organizations to help them raise money for their cause, but I’ve never had the chance to work on something that hit so close to home.  

Two years ago, one of my son’s best friends had an accident that would forever change his life.  While going down a slide into a pool, he broke his neck and is now a quadriplegic.   This past December, I had the rare opportunity to work with my son to produce a fund-raiser for Alex, which was one of the most rewarding events ever.

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It was an amazing night of giving, friendship and music, and I’m so appreciative for all of the people who helped make this event such a success.  It took a village (and beyond) to pull this together.   Working side-by-side with my son Chris, whose band Freaks of the Sea brought everyone together for an unforgettable evening, was one of the most rewarding experiences of the year for me, and I’m grateful for this.

YOUR BEST SHOT: EVENT TALES FROM THE PROS

EVENT PROS Q&A

Event Pro: Jennifer Alyse

Email Address:  info@jenniferalyse.com

Company: Jennifer Alyse 

Company Website: www.jenniferalyse.com

Instagram: @jenniferalysephotographer

1. Tell us a bit about yourself.  My name is Jennifer Alyse, and I am an Arizona native living in the mighty Pacific NW. One of my greatest joys in life is to see people thriving

2. What is your profession?  Professional Photographer + Creative Visionary

3. Do you have a specialty? I specialize in helping people shine in their GREATNESS and be seen out in the world for what they LOVE.

4. What do you love about your job? Where do you find your inspiration?  I love connecting 1:! with people and igniting their greatest visions. I find inspiration in music, watching life and the everyday moments (shadows, light, human emotion). I find inspiration in silence too.

5. What are your favorite things to photograph? I love above all photographing women.

6. What advice or tips/ tricks do you have for someone just getting started in your field? My greatest advice is to continue to ask yourself, “what makes me feel alive?” Go for that and lean in even when it feels impossible.

7. f you could photograph any person or event in the world, what would it be? I would photograph my Grandmother Eleanor.

8. What do you love to do when you’re not busy taking beautiful photos? I spend a lot of my free time in nature, enjoying a yoga class, drinking tea or green juice, and spending one-on-one time connecting with people.

9. What do you love best about your HipHolster?  I love my HipHolster for the ease it has brought into my life, especially when shooting. I am often losing lens caps, and the HipHolster has everything I need right on my Hip:).

10. What do you keep in your HipHolster? Lens cap, phone, light meter, credit card.

EVENT RECAP: OREGON BRIDE'S URBAN UNVEILED

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Oregon Bride, the premiere wedding magazine of the Pacific Northwest, hosts Urban Unveiled, a one of a kind bridal show showcasing Portland's best wedding talent. Every year we are blown away by the creativity that our local wedding vendors showcase to the hundreds of prospective couples that attend the show. From the food and florals to the incredible fashion show, Urban Unveiled is a truly unique experience that we feel so grateful to be a part of! 

Event Theme: Enchanted Forest

Client Goal:  To showcase Portland's most elite wedding vendors while presenting the hottest trends in the wedding industry.

The Crowd: Newly engaged couples and their guests

 

 Urban Unveiled took place at the breathtaking Montgomery Park, located in NW Portland. 

Urban Unveiled took place at the breathtaking Montgomery Park, located in NW Portland. 

DETAILS THAT POP

 Unique bouquets and floral arrangements created on site by the most desired floral designers. 

Unique bouquets and floral arrangements created on site by the most desired floral designers. 

 Delicious treats from elite caterers. 

Delicious treats from elite caterers. 

 Enchanted desserts presented by the most talented bakeries in town. 

Enchanted desserts presented by the most talented bakeries in town. 

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Françoise Weeks created the most elegant jewelry and botanical couture for the fashion show. 

* All photos in this post are provided by Powers Photography Studios

EVENT RECAP: RACC FUND-RAISER IN THE GARDEN OF ARTISTIC DELIGHTS

  The Children of Chaos guided guests to dessert in their illuminated costumes

The Children of Chaos guided guests to dessert in their illuminated costumes

The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) is a non-profit whose mission is to enrich communities through arts and culture. They build support  through grants, advocacy, community
services,
public arts programs and arts education.

“In the Garden of Artistic Delights” celebrated and supported individual artists with a magical fund-raiser in one of the region’s most beloved gardens, Bella Madrona.  

A truly unique fundraiser, the event featured a paella feast served family style,
a live auction,  a paddle raise and a myriad of artistic discoveries sprinkled
throughout the beautiful garden.

Client Goal: To celebrate individual artists in the community and a
bid farewell to executive director, Eloise Damrosch.

The Crowd: The artist community and its corporate supporters.

Featured Artists: The Christopher Brown Quartet, Children of Chaos, Meshi Chavez, Elaine Falbo, Fungully, Horatio Law, Joaquin Lopez, Roger Peet, Luciana Proana, Risk of Change, Sir Cupcakes Queer Circus, Kim Stafford

DETAILS THAT POP

  Sir Cupcakes Queer Circus entertained guests with their quirky jokes and odd attire

Sir Cupcakes Queer Circus entertained guests with their quirky jokes and odd attire

  Performance artist Luciana Proana danced for attendees in her elegantly handmade costumes

Performance artist Luciana Proana danced for attendees in her elegantly handmade costumes

  The Christopher Brown Quartet sang jazzy serenades as guests were ushered to dinner

The Christopher Brown Quartet sang jazzy serenades as guests were ushered to dinner

  Crown Paella served incredible family style meal to all of the guests.

Crown Paella served incredible family style meal to all of the guests.

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Your Best Shot: Event Tales From The Pros

Event Pro: Françoise Weeks
Email address: francoise@francoiseweeks.com
Company: Françoise Weeks Floral Design
Company website: http://francoiseweeks.com
Instagram: @francoiseweeks

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  1. How long have you been a foral designer?  21 years
  2. Do you have a specialty?  I teach botanical couture, woodland and wedding workshops in my studio in Portland, OR as well as all over the US and internationally.
  3. What are your favorite botanicals to work with?  I love incorporating a lot of textures in designs: succulents, interesting foliage, seedpods, etc.  I definitely have a preference for small flowers; some of my favorite flowers are hellebores, fritillaria maleagris, muscari, columbine, lilacs, poppies.
  4. Who attends your botanical workshops? Lots of florists who want to ignite their passion for flowers again, or they want to learn the craft so they can open up a new revenue stream in their own floral business. And some are just hobbyists who love flowers!
  5. How do you teach someone to be as creative as you are? I try to teach students to look at flowers through different eyes. What speaks to you? I also share the technical mechanics so they can bring their vision all together.
  6. If you could create florals for any person or event in the world, what would it be? A botanical fashion show
  7. What do you love best about your HipHolster?  It is super convenient to have my phone and basic tools on me ( and not having to waste time to looking for them) – it looks great and is so well made (Françoise is wearing the leather Comcatch hoslter).
  8. What do you keep in your HipHolster? Clippers, wire cutters, a pen and my phone
     

Stress Management in the Event World

Most people would never guess that Event Planning is listed as one of the Top 10 most stressful jobs to have but if you do it for a living, you know it's a difficult profession to practice “Keep Calm and Carry On”.

Juggling hundreds of details and personalities is not for everyone. It's extremely fast-paced, requires quick thinking and often there is no rule book to guide your decisions.  As event planners we have to learn how to manage the stress if we wish to continue in the industry without losing years off our lives. 

Over the last three decades in event planning, I've worked hard to find ways to manage the stress and keep myself healthy.


Here are my essentials:

 

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  • Exercise:  Whether it’s a daily walk, or a yoga practice several times a week, taking a break to move our bodies is essential to keeping a level head in the midst of chaos.
  • Meditation:  This is a big one.  The hundreds of details that fill our brain at any given time don’t allow us to truly “shut down”.  I’ve recently learned that daily guided meditation (using one of the many available apps) can really clear my head and give me perspective.  Just 10 minutes a day can restore and refresh and help reduce event-related anxiety.
  • Diet:  Pre-event stress really sets in a day or two before the big day and sometimes it seems like the only thing that will get you through is more chocolate, coffee, and a glass or two of wine at night. These might provide some temporary relief and can be fine in moderation, but if we make them our go-to,  our bodies and minds will suffer. Load up on good healthy green salads and juices, and lots of energy-boosting protein.
  • Sleep:  A good night’s sleep contributes to overall well-being and staying sharp but it's often hard to relax, shut down and get the rest we need, especially as the event draws near.  I keep a notepad next to my bed and try to do a ‘brain-dump’ before I go to sleep to release all of the random event details running through my head.  Otherwise, I tend to wake up in the middle of the night with something that I’ve forgotten, and sometimes can’t get back to sleep.

One of my motivations for creating the HipHolster was to keep myself organized on-site and to do away with the stress of misplacing my phone or keys.  Having all of my event essentials on my body simplified the way I kept track of these things and in turn, reduced my stress!

Your Best Shot: Event Tales From The Pros

Event Pro: Tracy Kessler
Email address: Tracy@Tknewyork.com
Company: TK New York, Inc
Company website: www.tknewyork.com

Tracy Kessler
  1. How long have you been planning/producing events?  17 years
  2. Do you have a specialty?  Large Scale Advertising Driven Events
  3. What’s the best part about what you do?  The people that work for me and the people we work for.  TK New York, Inc. is a family mentality. 
  4. What event has been your most favorite to produce and why?   It’s a tie between the PlayBoy Mansion Halloween Party and the Maxim Super Bowl Event.   The trust my clients have in my creative vision is inspiring to really wow them each and every time!
  5. How do you manage stress leading up to an event?  Meditation and Excel Spreadsheets!
  6. If you could work on ANY event in the world, what would it be? The Olympics Opening Ceremony

  7. What do you love best about your HipHolster?  It keeps me handsfree – and all the compliments I get! (Tracy is wearing the leather Comcatch hoslter).

  8. What do you keep in your HipHolster?  My cell phone, my radio, a sharpie and sometimes my floorplans