One epic party concept, two completely different designs. What do you do when your event needs to overlook the Las Vegas Strip from a multi-level pool deck, but the hotel is concerned about ruining their recent $15 million renovation of the pool area? You build two different visions for an event whose final plans and execution are at the mercy of the hotel's approval.
One of the largest insurance brokerage companies in the world hosted their 35th Annual Enclave Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada; the first time this longstanding client of ours was coming to Vegas. In attendance were the company's top earners, who were being acknowledged for their high level of performance. The annual highlight of their conference was the dedicated costume party night, known for its outlandish themes and creative costumes that guests designed with relish, eager to continue the legacy of their predecessors. We created a "Hangover Las Vegas" theme, capturing the most famous scenes from the movie "The Hangover:" Caesar's Palace garden, the dentist's office, the bathroom tiger, and the wedding chapel. Like in the movie, this event would help people form real friendships with some quirky mayhem and surprises along the way.
Local Labor Protest: On the day of the event, it was announced that a portion of the Las Vegas Strip would be closed for a labor protest. Knowing this would severely hinder many of our suppliers, we immediately called each of them to warn them of the challenge and request that they allow extra time to get to the loading dock. This became a true challenge for one particular supplier, who was not able to get into the dock at all due to the protest. Due to our extensive experience operating programs at the hotel, we helped them find a way up to the deck just in time.
Pool Deck Preservation: Because the hotel had just completed a $15 million renovation of their pool deck, extra precaution had to be taken to ensure it was preserved for its grand opening the following morning. Prior to the load-in of our suppliers, plastic and cardboard panels had to be installed to protect the deck.
Loading Dock: The loading dock at the hotel is small and was a greater challenge than usual given the number of suppliers we were using for this over-the-top event. To combat this, load-in became a perfectly choreographed cycle of movement. The hotel also has only one elevator. This, in combination with the long distance from the dock to the pool, meant a lot of additional journey time for our suppliers.
Weather: Having the event on the pool deck introduced several new variables. The March weather in Las Vegas is uncertain, with no wind at one moment and 50-mph gusts the next. The wind can not only become destructive for the décor but cause injury to guests; it was essential that we take this into account. To ensure maximum safety, we met with our audio-visual supplier to discuss how to best secure various decorative elements. Although certain safety precautions meant we could not use particular design elements in the space, we strategically reevaluated the décor and came up with alternatives that would achieve our objectives for both safety and aesthetics. We also ensured that a main focal point of the pool area, a 10-ft Elvis Tree, was weighted down properly.
Like a literal hangover, it was time to leave the fun behind. We made sure that each supplier removed their items from the pool overnight, since the reveal was scheduled for the next day.
This particular event was one that held a lot of emotional investment for the client and a large financial stake for the hotel. As the middle man responsible for being both the voice and vision of the client, while also serving as the liaison with the hotel, we were able to provide creative solutions that went above and beyond our client's expectations. Due to the success of this program and our demonstration of commitment to the client as well as the priorities of the hotel, we earned the ability to have a repeat performance in 2019!
Creative flexibility? Check. Preservation of our hotel partner's sizeable investment into their property? Check. We have to say, this was one of the best hangovers we've had so far. Destination, Managed.
We're so proud of our teams, who have been nominated for NINE Esprit Awards by the International Live Events Association (ILEA)! Want a sneak peek at our award-worthy events before the winners are announced on Saturday, August 10? Take a look and get the inside scoop about what happened behind the scenes.
Luke Bryan's 32 Bridge Grand Opening
Nominated for: Best Event SolutionOffice: Hello! NashvilleCreative Lead: Aaron Sayre
Luke Bryan's credentials speak for themselves. His first nine albums contained 14 number-one hits, with millions of albums sold and tens of millions of singles sold worldwide. A judge on American Idol, Blake Shelton's advisor on The Voice…the promo sheet for Luke Bryan seems never-ending and his popularity only continues to grow. So what happens when Luke Bryan joins an elite group of country stars in opening their own bar/restaurant on Nashville's Lower Broadway? The celebration needed to be as grand as the man himself. After all, the entire country would be watching. What began as a simple, standard bar opening grew into a full-scale free public concert for 30,000 of his most dedicated fans.
We began by visualizing and diagraming what a street concert on Broadway would look like. We knew the Grand Opening needed to happen in the block where the 32 Bridge Bar and Restaurant was situated, which also happened to be one of the busiest cross streets on Broadway. Our team engaged the city to shut down the street in key areas as well as local law enforcement and private security to execute crowd and traffic control for safety.
Our company wanted the celebration to be highly personalized to Luke Bryan, including his history, his songs, and his favorite activities. We designed a custom photo opportunity that recreated the 32 Bridge from Luke Bryan's hometown as the step-and-repeat. The 32 Bridge is a very important part of Luke's life that he references in his songs and has a clothing line named after it as well.
Production started at 2:00 a.m. the night before the event. We began by closing one block on Broadway and coordinating with the City Works department to come in and remove an entire traffic light and pole that would obstruct the stage for the concert.
We orchestrated a press conference for Luke Bryan inside the bar that morning where he answered questions and performed three songs with just him and an acoustic guitar for the media. All of the national press outlets were in attendance, with the hype building for this much-anticipated opening celebration.
We held the ribbon cutting in front of the main entrance for the bar and we intentionally designed it with a custom camouflage ribbon since Luke loves to hunt. It was also a nod to his number one single at the time, which was "Hunting, Fishing, and Loving Every Day." Luke and his wife cut the ribbon together in a staged location for the perfect photo opportunity. At 6:30pm, it was showtime. The gates opened for 30,000 of Luke Bryan's most enthusiastic and dedicated fans. The concert ended around 11:00pm and we had everything struck by 7:00am. The Grand Opening went flawlessly, and we maintained our stellar relationship as "the" DMC to go to for A-list events.
Give Kids the World Gala: The Color of Imagination
WINNER! Best Entertainment Production $25,000-$75,000Best Non-Profit Event $75,000-$150,000Best Public EventBest Event with a Legacy
Office: Hello! Florida (Central)Creative Leads: Jordan Bickel and Cameron Rust, CSEP
In September 2018, Give Kids the World (GKTW) hosted its 30th Anniversary Black and White Gala for 1,550 attendees at the Hyatt Regency Orlando. Give Kids the World Village is a beloved Central Florida nonprofit resort that gives magical cost-free vacations to children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. For one week they are free of the worries of doctors and needles and the burden of the realities they never thought they would have to deal with. After 30 years of raising mission-critical funds and awareness, this once-humble event has grown from a simple "thank you" dinner for a few top donors into an award-winning annual event that is not only its largest annual fundraiser and a celebration of its mission, but an experience that transports its over 1,500 attendees from around the world to far off fantasy lands.
After a successful event in 2017, we wanted our 2018 gala to further connect the audience and inspire them to become activists. We developed the theme "The Color of Imagination," inspired by the colorful rainbow prismatic refraction that a diamond creates when light is pointed towards it.
In our story, we meet a man who is complacently moving through life. As he unpacks his desk, he happens upon a long-forgotten kaleidoscope. Upon turning it, we learn that this man had a sister who passed away from a life-threatening illness. As we enter this prismatic world with him, the memories of his younger self and his sister come alive all around us throughout the night, as we are transported with them to the Village. We follow them through the memories, ultimately reuniting our protagonist with his childhood joy, both teaching the audience that experiences at GKTW Village have profound effects on those that visit it long after they leave, but also to retrospectively look at their life and inspire them to use memories as a force for change and inspiration.
Amway Achievers 2018
Nominated for: Best Meeting/Conference Program Over $500,000Office: Hello! NashvilleCreative Lead: Aaron Sayre
Five-thousand guests poured into the city of Nashville in December 2018 for the Amway Achievers program; the only incentive trip our client holds in North America. Headquartered at the Gaylord Opryland, Amway took an unprecedented step for their organization by entrusting us as the singular DMC to handle the logistics and creative services for their group of well-traveled, international attendees. We made guests fall in love with Tennessee over the course of just one week as we showcased its natural Southern Charm and world-famous venues, all while successfully managing transportation, off-site tours/activities, on-site and off-site events, staffing, creative décor, entertainment, signage, tenting, and heating for thousands of their most treasured guests.
Five-hundred guests arrived first for training and we welcomed them to Tennessee with a dedicated Welcome Reception that evening. We invited guests to travel down a country road and enter a world of rustic charm at the Gaylord. The reception was designed to be casual and rustic, welcoming our guests with open arms and that famous southern hospitality.
Following their General Sessions the next day, we swept these guests away to an off-site event—a private tour of a quintessential Nashville landmark, the Country Music Hall of Fame. Guests dined beneath the glow of the city lights where the only thing that shined brighter was their excitement for the future. After a plated dinner upstairs, we guided our guests to the conservatory downstairs for a rocking after-party.
We then began welcoming the additional 4,500 guests to Music City. Airport transportation ran continuously with guests escorted to the hotel via limo, sedan, or motor coach. The program began with an on-site Welcome Reception for all 5,000 guests. To be sensitive to our group of international guests, we made the strategic decision to recognize the holidays in one non-denominational event.
To keep the 1,200 kids in attendance entertained, we designed a kids' space in the theme of a county fair. We created mock drive-in vignettes where they could watch movies and had carnival games, arcades, themed inflatable bounce houses, a DJ, and an infant area. We invited the mascots from the local sports teams—the Nashville Predators, Tennessee Titans, and Nashville Sound—to take pictures with the kids. The mascots even danced with the children to the DJ and challenged them to highly entertaining dance-offs.
Later in the week our logistical experience shined as we coordinated over 15 tours/activities with multiple time slots. We provided offerings that appealed to all tastes—from civil war tours and a Grand Ole Opry tour/concert featuring country star Toby Keith, to ziplining and Top Golf. We even had 520 guests "rollin' down the river" on the General Jackson Showboat.
Their final night reception welcomed guests to "Mystic Rhythms"—a fairytale wonderland that combined Greek mythology with inspiration from Avatar's world of Pandora. Keeping reading for more information about this event, which was amazing enough to earn its own stand-alone nomination!
Best Entertainment Production Over $75,000Best Event Solution
Office: Hello! NashvilleCreative Lead: Aaron Sayre
For the Amway Achievers 2018 closing celebration we decided on "Mystic Rhythms"—a magical fairytale environment at the Nashville Zoo that combined Greek mythology with inspiration from Avatar's world of Pandora. The storyline we wove throughout the entire program came to its dramatic conclusion as we told the "real" tale of how Nashville earned its nicknames.
The experience began immediately upon arrival at the zoo, where guests were greeted by a 10-piece African drumming group. They paused for pictures at the step-and-repeat before journeying through a giant entrance with themed décor. Attendees then walked across a foggy bridge with welcome signage in every language our international guests spoke. To prevent guests from getting lost on the zoo's expansive grounds, we blocked pathways to create a loop where guests could roam freely throughout six distinctive areas, each themed with a different lighting concept and entertainment.
Other activities throughout the event included face painting, temporary tattoos, a photo booth, guitarists, ballerinas, roaming entertainers, living gardens, and lighting displays that shined dancing lights on the ground for children to chase. Guests were guided by ambient lighting that created magical tunnels to help them traipse through the wonderland. Lollipop aisles along the way helped add to the whimsy of this fantastical place.
Among the revelry, the existing amphitheater assisted with our nod to the zoo by featuring animal shows and animal petting. While the loop inherently kept guests from getting lost, we created a custom and highly detailed map for them to reference and displayed posts with custom signage. To say the set up for this event was intense would be an understatement; it required all-day load-ins over six consecutive days, with lighting so intricate and expansive that its installation alone took four days!
While the weather decided to grace our guests with a rain storm, the wet weather couldn't dampen the spirit of our guests, who happily danced in the rain under their umbrellas and in their ponchos.
Nominated for: Best Technical ProductionOffice: Hello! ArizonaCreative Lead: Tressa Rini
Our client celebrated its 100-year anniversary as a top financial services provider with a "Celestial Centennial" celebration for 660 guests at The Phoenician in Scottsdale, Arizona. Under the night sky, the company's top-performing sales staff reflected on the past century of success while celebrating the splendor of the stars—both the ones in the heavens above and each other. With transformative décor elements, theatrical mood lighting, and a larger-than-life drone show, we used cutting-edge design and entertainment to exalt the past and inspire future success within the luminous Arizona nightscape.
Guests entered the event by descending a flight of stairs lined with constellation projections down to the main pool. We used transformative decor elements like LED twinkle light drapes to create the visual effect that the starry sky was uninterrupted. We then placed an infinity-light dance floor in front of the pool so that not only did guests feel as if the stars were above, around, and below them, but it gave us the opportunity to do so in an edgy and modern way.
We moved guests over the bridges to the adjacent Casita Lawn with an immersive tunnel of crystals and lights to simulate a shower of falling stars. Now on the lawn, guests stood in awe of our geodesic domes that anchored the space. Embracing current trends in installation art, we custom-designed and fabricated a large shadow lantern, specifically designed to include subtle Southwest motifs.
An especially impactful moment was our 12-minute synchronized drone show that was designed as if the stars themselves were inspired to do something special for our valued guests.
Like a supernova, this astronomical event reached its climactic conclusion with an unforgettable bang! An unexpected fireworks display erupted over guests' heads to create a magnificent spectacle.
It's time to plan your next incentive trip, annual conference, or teambuilding program…and you want to look good to your boss. Not just look like you can cross your t's and dot your i's…but, like,
REALLY good. Part of our passion is designing events, whether large or small, that really nail that for you. But where do you start? Keep reading for the questions you should be asking yourself that may not have made it on your event planning checklist (though feel free to add them!)
Assessing Past Events or Programs
First things first—it's hard to determine where you should go unless you pause to reflect on where you've been.
What Have You Done in the Past and How Was it Perceived by Your Attendees? What Was Their Favorite (and Least Favorite) Thing from Last Year's Event?
Hello! Florida (Central) Account Executive Melissa Germain says, "Knowing what the group did last year and why they liked it or didn't like it helps me to know what venues and activities, etc. to focus on for this year." You don't want to copy what was done previously, but if an element of the event or program resonated with your guests, we can find similar venues, activities, or entertainment that they will enjoy again. This is also a major component in gauging your guests' expectations for the future.
What Would You Have Liked to See for This Group?
There are limitations in every program—whether that's time, money, or other resources. A good DMC tries to work around those limitations; a
great DMC generates imaginative, yet realistic, options
despite the limitations. Was there something you thought would've been amazing last year, but couldn't pull it off due to some of those limitations? Our award-winning professionals have proven their ability to think outside-the-box and find options that accomplishes your objectives without going over budget.
Who Are the Decision Makers and What Are Their Demographics?
Believe it or not, demographics can often influence how we make decisions. Need help pitching an over-the-top, décor heavy welcome reception for a largely female audience to a corporate group of men? We've got you. There's an intense amount of thought into what we call "purposeful design." Everything we do—from the largest spectacle to the most minute detail—matters and serves a purpose. As part of our comprehensive process, we can put that to work for you by offering the reasoning and supporting materials to help you pitch something that may be outside of your stakeholders' comfort zone.
Planning Your Next Meeting
What are the Group's Demographics?
Evaluate things like male to female ratio, age ranges, level within the company, whether they're well-traveled or not, if they're international or domestic guests, if it's an incentive program or annual meeting, and whether children will be attending. The answers to these questions will help determine where to allocate your budget. Hello! Arizona Senior Account Executive Holly Stephens and fellow Senior Account Executive Rachel Hall agree that, "Knowing whether your group is mostly men or mostly female may dictate the direction of the décor. If it's a family-friendly incentive trip, knowing that kids will be present can change the activities," they say. The department or business area that the group is in also matters. "I would propose different events for an IT group versus a sales team, for example," Germain says.
What Is the Purpose of Your Event? What Feeling Do You Want Your Guests to Walk Away With?
Is the purpose of your event to inspire? Reward? Educate? This sounds simple, but funds may be allocated more toward activities to reward hardworking employees versus speakers and other materials to help educate. This little question makes a big difference. Hello! Las Vegas Account Executive Amy Bollington seconds this: "While a group's demographics certainly influence the program or event design, I feel a group's priorities are also heavily dependent on the takeaway experience or memory. Event planners should be asking themselves questions in the first-person singular thought…guests care most about their personal journey." By asking yourself questions in this fashion, you may come up with surprising answers that simplify a nail-biting choice.
What Is the Program Agenda?
It's more than just knowing whether you'll have a welcome and/or final night reception. Is there a lot of free time built into the schedule? If so, perhaps you can allocate funds for an official break room with games, lounge seating, etc. where guests can network comfortably. For a packed daytime schedule, your dollars may go more toward making sure the after-hours events are extraordinary, rather than focusing on daytime activities.
What Is Your Food and Beverage Minimum at the Host Hotel?
If there's little-to-no food and beverage minimum, we can evaluate offsite options to possibly save money compared to remaining on-site. If there's a substantial minimum you need to meet, we'll design on-property events that thrill your attendees and keep you on budget while ensuring you meet contractual obligations.
Wrapping It All Up
Knowing these answers is vital to developing the right style and tone for your group, and certainly helps when collaborating with your DMC. You shouldn't bear the burden of having to look through hundreds of options to try and find the right fit and itinerary for your group. That's what we're passionate about, and your reputation is safe with us. Whether your priorities are solid or if you need help developing them,
contact us to begin planning the next event that your guests (and your boss) will be talking about all year!
At Hello!, we consider professional development to be of the utmost importance. We encourage our teams to grow both personally and professionally, think outside-the-box, and push the envelope of creativity…regardless of their role. In addition to various other company programs, our annual Destination Design Summit ("Summit") is a space for our nationwide Creative Services teammates and other key Hello! employees to come together and share ideas. Now eight-years-strong, we're pulling back the curtain to explain more about what the Summit is and why it's so important.
Just a Sec…What is the Creative Services Department Again?
Creative Services is the department through which themed events, décor, and entertainment take shape, and is a differentiating strength for Hello!. We stand alone with an in-house creative department that specializes in building event experiences through innovative design and limitless imagination.
OK, Got It. Now Start from the Beginning…
We hosted the first Summit in 2011 at the JW Marriott Grande Lakes. The Creative Services department was still in its infancy, so the objective was to bring our 11 designers together to collaborate and establish a common language and processes. At this inaugural Summit, the designers gave each other new perspectives on their markets by collaboratively designing nine new events per office.
So, How Has It Grown?
The Summit has evolved into an intensive multi-day educational event filled with exploratory sessions. Our 37 Creative Services team members have expanded beyond the basics to work on deeper tactical business practices, design and storytelling principles, self-evaluation, and presentation skills.
Sounds Promising. How Does It Help the Creative Services Team?
In addition to all the tactical benefits, the Creative Services members benefit from connecting to the "community" that is their team. Each person has been painstakingly selected to be part of the Hello! family and all are extremely talented. Such talent often comes with strong opinions and intense pride; the Summit encourages the teams to find commonality and discuss different perspectives within a safe environment. This disengages the ego and enables the teams to reach out to each other for support without the fear of judgement. They also collaborate with key employees from other internal departments, enhancing communication with the people who support them. Although the scope and team count has grown, its core purpose has remained the same: to open a conduit for sharing ideas and perspectives.
But What Does That All Mean for Your Clients?
Because of the Summit, the Creative Services department has developed a synergy that allows all team members to understand each other's design perspective and get sparks of inspiration from each other. Our teammates often discover new suppliers and ideas based on what their peers have accomplished in their own destinations. This means access to a much larger pool of ideas that will satisfy our customer's goals. When 37 team members work together and for each other, Hello! can scale capacity and flex its support for our clients…regardless of which destination they travel to and what dreams they may have. The annual Destination Design Summit is a true example of T.E.A.M. (Together Everybody Accomplishes More.)
Want to put our Creative Services team to work on designing your next program?
Contact us and we'd love to begin building your next award-winning event.
Hello! can provide any transportation services for our clients, including airport arrivals and departures or off-site, tour, and specialty transfers. Custom themed events often take center stage, but transportation is actually a frequent and key part of the services we provide. Whether it's a large bus move or luxury vehicles for your VIPs, our teams provide some sort of transportation service every day for groups of all sizes—whether that's 10 or 10,000. Take the weight off your shoulders; we're happy to put it on ours.
Single Point of Contact
These are four very important and powerful words: SINGLE POINT OF CONTACT. We constantly monitor our drivers to ensure that vehicles are dispatched in a timely manner, including calling or texting us when they're ready to pick up a client as well as when they depart with them to their destination. Even though the transportation supplier's dispatch may be monitoring the situation, our account manager serves as one point of contact between the client and dispatch, rather than the client having to go through the often painful experience of a general customer service number. If the issue or need is after-hours, clients could speak to multiple people. With us, you have one point of contact who manages it all…any time, any day…no customer service lines required.
We're also in constant communication with the hotel or resort that our clients' guests are staying in, walking them through the loading process, how and where the guests will line up, where the buses will pick up, where and when the buses will stage, what other groups we will encounter, any timing issues…the list goes on and on. This kind of full communication is paramount to an easy, stress-free process. Similarly, we're also in communication with the venue on the drop-off and return locations, the bus staging areas, and the flow for the evening.
We not only select the best transportation supplier, but we also vet the luxury vehicle chauffeurs to be part of the "Hello! Dream Team." These chauffeurs are recommended by field staff that see them and work with them on a daily basis. In our Hello! Florida (Central) office, once selected, the chauffeurs even attend an orientation session where we review the expectations for being part of our dream team. Rude drivers for your VIPs? Not on our watch.
Transportation Can Be Designed, Too!
Sometimes it's not so cut-and-dry, and even if it is, there are always efficiencies to be found. We will look at the manifest as a whole and break it out in various ways to give our clients options for pricing and service. The account manager is aware of the entire program and gets familiar with the guest names on the manifest. They understand the entire scope of the program and can quickly help with any last-minute needs. Conversely, customer service lines need specific reservation numbers to assist callers and don't know the nuances of the full program.
Not only do our established relationships with transportation suppliers mean synergy between our respective teams, but they're very often willing to work with us on special pricing as one of their trusted clients.
Ready to put our expertise and supplier relationships to work for you?
Contact us and we'll be happy to start designing your next transportation experience in any of our over 35 destinations nationwide!
Give Kids the World (GKTW) was hosting its 29th annual Black and White Gala for 1,550 attendees at the Hyatt Regency Orlando. GKTW is a storybook-themed resort that provides cost-free vacations for families of children with life-threatening illnesses. Its mission is to create experiences that just lets kids be kids. It's hard to find the words to describe the feeling you get when you visit the Village, knowing that for many of the families that you see having the time of their lives, this really may be the last fun they have together. We know it's imperative for us to capture this magic for the gala attendees, not only to increase funds but to increase awareness and sentiment.
This event is custom-created from scratch every year, with a completely original show, décor design, and custom-designed video content. We really wanted our audience to feel how the Village was an escape for the families that visited it, cathartic without being overly emotional. We landed on "A Night of Dreams: Darkness to Dawn." This yielded creative freedom to literally dream up a new world in our ballroom. In our story, we meet a young girl and her mom at a routine doctor's visit that turns into every parent's worst nightmare. We see the pain and then through the power of dreams, are transported with them to a land of fantasy. We chart through the four stages of nighttime, using them as both the color palette and a metaphor for a child's visit to the Village, entering when hope and light are fading, finding joy, and the hope of a new dawn.
This event always faces very demanding logistical challenges. The production rig would easily take a week to install and rehearse, but since space is donated, we had just 1.5 days. To overcome this, we pre-rigged wherever possible and got creative in the design so we could take advantage of sections of the room we had access to prior to the full ballroom being available. We rehearsed offsite and taped out a replica of the stage to ensure our entertainment was fully prepared. The stage size and shape were also configured to allow the easiest replication.
This large-scale event serves over 1,500 attendees and has a custom show with 70 performers. There is a delicate game of focus and foot traffic. We don't ever want to have the attendees need to eat their food while asking them to look at entertainment or a speaker, nor do we want servers clearing during entertainment. Both would disrupt one another and change the guest experience. This is also a very lively group that loves to chat, and we don't want the nuanced message of a very important speaker to go unnoticed, so we make sure we position them right after entertainment that has "sacrificed" the first few moments in order to quiet down the audience. To accomplish this, we develop a very specific show flow document that listed the times of all entertainment, speakers, serve and clear, and other ancillary items, and gain buy-in from all stakeholders for feasibility.
It's not often that an event becomes synonymous with a nonprofit. But as the Village's Black and White Gala has grown from a small 20-table thank-you dinner into an event that hosts over 1,500 attendees from around the world, it has become just as influential as the nonprofit it supports. Its legacy is one of unparalleled immersion, unforgettable theatrics and an effortless, well-paced evening that guests can't help but get lost in. It's the reason that companies and individuals that buy tables almost always buy again.
A custom show with 70 performers to entertain 1,550 attendees and encourage them to open their hearts for an amazing non-profit organization? Destination, Managed.
At Hello!, we like to keep the themes of our programs hidden until the last possible moment so that when our guests are en-route to an event, they have no idea of what to expect. We want their anticipation to build and their interests to pique so that we can deliver a satisfying crescendo of overwhelming excitement. In order to manifest such positive and memorable reactions, we strategically transform every aspect of our programs into surprisingly interactive and entertaining themed-experiences. It's our "Cure for the Common Conference."
We like to immerse our attendees from the moment they step off their transport. For instance, as guests unloaded their shuttles at an Arizona program for top-performing financial advisors held at The Biltmore, they were instantly transported back to the Roaring Twenties as vintage bellhops greeted them with customized dances. The time-travel transformation was part of our overall theme that included the lavish excess of a Gatsby party with the historical luxury of the Wrigley Mansion.
To prepare attendees for a night of mystery, we surprised guests arriving at 1111 Lincoln Road in Miami with strolling, colorful Cocoon Walkers—creating a wow factor that set an "expect the unexpected" tone for the evening with their eccentric performance art.
To break up the monotony of checking-in to an event, we like to provide arriving guests with designated areas of engagement during the registration process. After their choreographed greeting from the bellhops, the guests at the above-mentioned Arizona Biltmore program were led inside to a fully-themed 1920s registration area complete with telephone operators and our hospitality staff in costumes from that era.
Bowls filled with packs of Wrigley's Gum were also placed throughout the lobby. Each of the 3,000 hand-wrapped gum packets contained custom-designed wrappers with clues that hinted at the evening's theme at Wrigley Mansion.
We've also coined our own term to help distinguish a Hello! registration area from the rest. With "regiceptions," we've transformed the registration process into a VIP reception. No more outdated easels and meeting packets! Our joint registration and reception events welcome guests to a fun and comfortable environment by integrating technology and excitement into an otherwise mundane experience.
Our visually-appealing, themed regiceptions are popular for introducing attendees to a memorable event while also connecting them with all the information they'll need during their stay.
We understand that attendees could get lost in the hustle and bustle of a busy conference while trying to navigate unfamiliar surroundings. That's why we go out of our way to clearly mark the location of each days' events with customized directional guides strategically placed throughout each venue. We often like to take it a step further by enlisting the services of others to help notify attendees of where the party's at.
To make the long walk from the Gaylord Palms’ breakfast ballroom to the general session in its Osceola Ballroom a magical one, we used the Orlando Magic Drumline to guide the parade route. Not only did it infuse an entertaining and enthusiastic feeling to the proceedings, but it also helped fill the ballroom in record time.
At an event for an international healthcare services organization in Miami, we elevated the mundane task of loading onto an elevator by playing into the mystery of the guests' unknown destination. LED Drummers escorted attendees to the elevator entrances while offering an exciting beat that foreshadowed a truly extraordinary evening. To additionally enhance the one-night-only exclusivity of the client's product launch, custom branding was positioned on all three elevators that lifted guests to a transformative and immersive event experience.
Conferences aren't complete without a general session, but at Hello!, we don't let business get in the way of comfort. Instead of going with the traditional classroom seating arrangements for general sessions, we switched-up the layout by incorporating natural elements and cozy furniture.
By incorporating individual seats, sofas, and twin-seat tables, the general session was transformed from a stuffy classroom into a cooperative think-space. The more comfortable and inviting atmosphere helped inspire open discussion, conversation, and collaboration.
While all good things must come to an end, we are determined to send our guests off in style. At the end of the program held at the Arizona Biltmore, our team created a Pan Am-inspired departure bar. Departing guests were provided with snacks, magazines, hand sanitizer, and other essentials for their journey—yet another thoughtful way to send attendees home feeling like the VIPs they are.
Want us to cure what's ailing your program?
Contact our team of event professionals with award-winning creativity!
Designed to illustrate how each individual thread weaves together to realize a singular vision, "BreakTHROUGH: Entwined Illusions" reflects connectivity through immersive sights, sounds, and experiences.
With raised ceilings, spacious accommodations, and sweeping views of Miami Beach, the seventh floor of 1111 Lincoln Road has become one of the city's premier venues for prestigious occasions. This modernist structure was designed by Swiss architects Herzog and de Meuron and provided the ideal location to showcase our BreakTHROUGH theme.
To set the tone, guests were greeted by LED drummers and strolling performance artists as they were escorted to the client-branded elevator doors. Guests were then immediately greeted with custom-cocktails and modernized décor as they stepped onto plush, circular rugs that lead to the focal point of the event: a custom-made string installation that connected each area with over 200 colorful feet of outdoor, weather-proof ribbon.
As an array of electric hues zig-zagged overhead, meticulously-placed white and neon furniture brought the space to life—transforming the raw parking structure into a lively and energetic scene where attendees could eat, mingle, and enjoy. Large, curved wind walls blocked breezy gusts while preserving the panoramic South Florida views.
Boasting an intricately-designed backbar mosaic, a semi-circle bar served guests libations while others danced under a three-tiered, LED chandelier hanging beneath an elevated DJ booth. As the sun set, vibrant projections mapped the ceilings as blacklights and LED rods slowly illuminated the installation—providing an effervescent glow that accented and softened the concrete surroundings. To engage attendees, designated areas were stationed throughout the space offering entertainment, relaxation, and creative opportunities that enhanced our vision of entwined illusion.
Our team is ready to weave you an intricate tapestry of connectivity. If you're interested in experiencing "BreakTHROUGH," either seven stories above Lincoln Road or at another venue, please
contact our team at Hello! Florida (South) for more details.
Welcome to the Golden Age of the Biltmore resort in Phoenix, Arizona. During the final night reception for this leading financial services provider, 1,000 guests were swept back in time where they lounged on the Squaw Peak Lawn alongside famous guests such as Marilyn Monroe, Chuck Berry, and James Dean. Creative attention to detail made all the difference in weaving this enchanting night with the captivating history of the Arizona Biltmore. With a 360-degree rotating stage, living mannequins performing a suprise flash dance, and an authentic drive-in, guests were enthralled with a night of fascinating elegance and excitement.
While the Squaw Peak Lawn is large, as with any grassy space, there were multiple divets and holes to consider. To overcome this, we strategically placed décor such as the cars, tables, etc. so that this was unnoticeable to our guests. The lawn is also shaped similar to an octagon, with a long narrow space at the rear. We made the space functional by developing a drive-in concept, which allowed us to place the 15-ft. raised LED screen at the furthest point, then expand the seating and cars as guests moved toward the center of the event.
Speaking of the center of the event, we wanted to create a 360-degree rotating stage to serve as its enthralling epicenter but that lawn space is occupied by a working fountain. Unwilling to part with our dream, we prepared numerous diagrams and held multiple meetings with our production company and the resort to craft and execute our vision for this custom-built stage.
A significant amount of time was required to load in the lighting and stage for this event, but we could not begin construction as early as we needed to. We negotiated a schedule and agreement with the Arizona Biltmore to start load in on the night of our guests’ arrival for their program, while they were at an off-property event. The construction had to resume very early the next morning, since the only path for the forklifts was directly through the space we were using for two other events that day. Due to our extensive professional experience, our detailed load-in schedule took this into account and allowed us to get all of our gear onto the Squaw Peak Lawn and have the rear loading dock clear in time for our other events.
The positive feedback we received from our clients and the guests themselves was overwhelming. Our client thanked us repeatedly and said she didn’t think refreshing the program and the final night event would be possible, but that she was absolutely wrong. To quote our client, “Some people look for beautiful and exciting places in the world, others make the world beautiful and exciting.”
An existing fountain where we want to build our custom 360-degree rotating stage? No sweat. A final night reception filled with elegant and intentional design with surprises at every turn? That's what our award-winning teams do. Destination, Managed.
In February 2019, we executed a program for a Fortune 500 American clinical laboratory company at Nashville’s Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center that required elaborate designs, outside-the-box ingenuity, and quite a bit of hustle.
While we had serviced this client in other destinations, they were in search of a DMC that could pull off an event that would host, feed, and entertain 1,650 guests in this new market. Needless to say, the bid for this program was highly competitive. To satisfy their requirements, we conducted extensive preparation with multiple presentations and showcases. Our persistence paid off as our confident and inventive pitch both realized their vision and helped cement Hello! Nashville as the clear choice.
One major task was to comfortably seat guests in event spaces that were not originally designed to accommodate such a large capacity. We worked closely with the hotel to design multiple seating options that would not only fit all of the attendees, but also leave room for guest mobility and food and beverage flow.
This multi-day program required us to have precise time management, since several of the events only allowed a limited time for setting up the function. We worked closely with our suppliers and the resort staff to pre-stage elements around the hotel to allow for expedited installation.
For the final night's closing event, we had planned a very elaborate and highly-designed gala celebration inside the resort's ballroom. Unfortunately, access to a portion of the ballroom would not become available until mid-day. This challenge required an all-hands-on-deck blitz to get the rest of the ballroom prepared in time. We again had to pre-stage numerous elements (while remaining cohesive and unobtrusive) and finish the room once it became fully available.
At the end of the day, all of our hustle resulted in a satisfying and memorable experience for both our client and their guests. In fact, they were so pleased with our overall performance that they not only gave us the highest marks on our post-event survey, but commented that we were the one component of the entire program that never gave them pause.
Outstanding, efficient, and worry-free guest experiences delivered in record time—proof that we won't slow down until we reach the finish line. Destination, Managed.