A leading American clinical laboratory hosted a Masquerade-themed event for 1,700 of their employees at the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center. The night's event featured luxurious décor that transformed the room into a masquerade ball and included over eight different table décor and soft seating looks with custom centerpieces. Crystal chandeliers glittered overhead while large swags of velvety drapes hung from the ceiling. Attendees were swept into a mysterious world where, for a few hours, co-workers could mask their identity and meet for the first time.
Our client wanted an opening night party that immersed guests in a theme they could connect with. We decided on a Masquerade due to its versatility, relatability, and ease of interaction. Attendees were notified of the theme weeks before the conference so they could prepare a mask or costume. But let's face it—not everyone has time to pre-plan and as we all know, sometimes "stuff" just happens. To help, we had interactive mask-fitting stations throughout the meeting space the day of the event to assist attendees in picking out their masks. Our clever planners also knew this would generate buzz and build anticipation for the evening.
We were also asked to build the design for 100% seating, but without having a sea of tables in the ballroom. Despite the size of the ballroom, it was no small task to achieve that while simultaneously making it look intimate and purposeful. Our solution was to use the furniture and tables as part of the décor. We used the columns, chandeliers, and drapes to create pockets of seating and lounge groupings while moving furniture into intimate spots that fostered casual conversation. The result was an immaculate look that was as cozy as it was grand.
Imagine preparing an event that would take two days to load in, and then being asked to strike it in a mere four hours. If you're thinking "Yikes," so were we. Always up for a challenge, we found creative ways to repurpose lighting structures that were used in other conference events, and designed with large scenic pieces of décor that could be broken down easily. We also created pathways throughout the space that would allow multiple suppliers to access their products, so items could be broken down by different teams at the same time (oh how we love efficiency.)
It was a great compliment when the client sang our praises in our post-event survey, yet it was an even bigger compliment when they returned to repeat the conference the following year. They were so pleased with our service that they chose us as their DMC without bidding the program out to others, which is the highest compliment any client can give.
Ingenuity? Check. Wiping of multiple brows after working like crazy to ensure flawless service? Check. Destination, Managed.
Predicting a trend that will dominate the special events industry is often like a shout into the dark. Rather than predict what linen or entertainment will be the most popular, we like to look at the heart of what makes an experience great: connecting guests with the story and message of our clients. Here's a look at what's new, what's now, and what's next in our toolbox to help you craft your experience.
Getting your photo taken at an event is a concept that's almost as old as the Chiavari chair, but this once-passive activity has become a way for attendees to further immerse themselves in the message and story of an event. As social media and technology continue to inspire everyone to be their own personal photographer, how we take photos and describe our daily lives becomes a part of our identity. The modern attendee has developed their own personal brand and are well-versed in lighting and composition. They crave ways to take photos and engage with others in the process.
As this continues to evolve, the lines between décor, photo opportunities, activities, and takeaways will continue to blur. Rather than having isolated areas dedicated for photos (such as a step and repeat,) consider making elements in your event as photo-friendly as possible. Create focal points that organically inspire a selfie, add a character that creates a sharable moment, or even integrate accessories that allow guests to become a character in your story.
Technology integration has taken an incredible leap forward in recent years as mobile devices become a greater part of who we are as individuals. Yet with that comes concerns about privacy and the morality of data collection. As with anything new, it can often be unsettling at first, but technology will start to feel more human in 2019 and connect guests in a tactile way like never before. Augmented reality will become a crucial way to bridge the gap between physical and digital. From wearables that track your location to facial recognition that calculates guests' level of enjoyment, real-time analytics will allow meeting planners to better personalize an event for each attendee.
Look for projection and LED screens to continue to enhance branding and immersion, while technology evolves into being a truly crucial tool in creating the guest experience. Rather than question why a piece of data is being requested, the attendee of the future will want to connect and share data as they look forward to the returns in their experience.
There's been a noticeable shift away from brands relying solely on advertisements; instead, they have a diversified mix of ads, experiences, and a social presence to project a holistic identity. Likewise, this trend has extended into the events that our clients plan for their employees. Gone are the days when a branded pillow was enough to immerse a company's attendees in its message.
In 2019, brands will fully embrace their identities at events and turn their attendees into enthusiastic brand ambassadors. Try thinking of your company's brand as a person with their own style and hobbies—what kind of event would they throw? What colors, activities, and music would they use? Consider using the product or service your company is known for and integrating it into the event in an unexpected way; whether that's a food experience, an activity, or the color palette that forms the basis of the event's design.
As our physical world continues to merge with the digital space, attendees will crave intimate, physically tactile moments. It's no longer sufficient for an event to just look good, it needs to have moments that surprise and delight and satisfy attendees' desire to physically connect. In 2019, textiles will become a key tool in telling stories, whether it's a linen with an unexpected texture or string drape that transforms an open-area furniture grouping into an intimate lounge that makes guests feel more connected to the event and their peers. As a contrast to the digital evolution, the richness of textiles will encourage attendees to open up and embrace the moment.
This year is also about throwing out the rule book when it comes to color, fabric, and functionality. Look for more exciting ways to use textiles for self-expression in everything from fabric-covered walls that surround an event to the juxtaposition of two seemingly dissonant textures like leather and linen.
Historically, art and design have heavily influenced our culture to create very distinct styles for each decade. As technology evolves and a new social group comes into prominence, so changes the mainstream look. As we continue to become a closer, more connected world, this centuries-long trend of reinvention will be turned on its head as we mix elements from different decades together to create a style all our own.
By integrating eclectic moments from multiple heritages, it allows attendees to feel both familiar and challenged by juxtaposed design and items they may or may not be familiar with. Try mixing mid-century modern furniture with a futuristic piece of art, or designing a traditional ornate dining table in grunge-worthy monochromatic colors. This helps an event feel more like a living, breathing entity that guests feel attached to; whether that comes from mixing items from different time periods, different parts of the world, or even just mixing unconventional colors.
Interested in how we can put these into practice for your next program?
Say Hello! and let’s work together to build your next experience.
The Gala Awards, presented by Special Events magazine, is one of the industry's most prestigious awards and honors excellence in event/wedding design, catering, and production. Let's take a closer look at the awe-inspiring and award-worthy events that earned us FIVE nominations!
"Sentimental Journey: A Step Back in Time"Hello! ArizonaWINNER: Best Multiple-Day Incentive Event
This financial services provider held their key annual incentive trip over seven days in Phoenix to honor their top-performing financial advisors. Their 2,000 guests expected the VIP treatment; little did they know that they were about to be swept back in time to an era when the kings of jazz reigned and people danced the Charleston to swinging tunes from big band orchestras. As we intertwined their magical journey with the captivating history of the Arizona Biltmore resort and Wrigley Mansion, mirth and merriment awaited guests with surprise and delight moments from arrival to departure.
Arrival Experience –The time-travel transformation began the moment our guests arrived at the Biltmore, where they were greeted by vintage bellhops performing custom choreographed dances that led guests to the registration area. They were greeted by our hospitality staff in costumes that emulated the look of 1920s telephone operators. Our kids' area featured a tote-bag decorating station and a "Yappy Hour" where guests played with puppies from a local shelter.
Wrigley Mansion: An Evening with the Greats – We asked ourselves, "What if the powerhouse duo of William Wrigley, Jr. and the Great Jay Gatsby threw a magnificent party?" A red carpet entrance welcomed guests to a world with secret-room surprises and hidden treasures, including a whiskey-soaked speakeasy and intimate cigar corner. We enchanted guests with vintage entertainment and showcased our innovation by creating one-of-a-kind Video Voyeur Walls.
Women's Advisor Lunch – We took inspiration from the Biltmore's iconic block motif to create an elegant and feminine women's lunch for our client's 60 female executives in attendance. We brought history to this event by incorporating frequent guest Jackie Onassis into the design. Each place setting held a velvet bag custom-embossed with Jackie O.'s quote, "I am a woman above all else."
Happy Hour: Vintage Circus – We transformed the space from the Women's Advisor Lunch into a wildly different Happy Hour before guests departed for their off-property dinners. Vibrant colors and playful music welcomed guests to a circus featuring games, light bites, and beverages, while sideshow performers seemed to come out of nowhere for ongoing pop-up performances. We used vintage suitcases/trunks to make guests feel as if the circus had just arrived in town and they had the unexpected adventure of traipsing through their makeshift home. Our expert planning and big risks paid off with an unprecedented level of attendance for this event.
Mid-Century Glam – This event was themed as if Jackie O. was hosting an elegant party with a guest list that included everyone from Audrey Hepburn to Twiggy. Keep reading for more information about this particular event, which has a stand-alone nomination for "Best Décor – Total Décor Budget $50,000 to $99,999"
Departure Bar – Determined to send our guests off in VIP-style, we designed a PanAm-inspired departure bar where guests could pick up snacks, magazines, etc. for their journey home.
"Mid-Century Glam"Hello! ArizonaNomination: Best Décor – Total Décor Budget $50,000 to $99,999
Welcome to the Golden Age of the Biltmore resort in Phoenix, Arizona. During the final night reception for this financial services provider, 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 Biltmore. With a 360-degree rotating stage, authentic drive-in, and surprising flash dance performances, guests were enthralled with a night of fascinating elegance and excitement.
"Our Magic Moment"Hello! Florida (Central) Destination ManagementNomination: Best Multiple-Day Event Program for a Corporation or Association
This annual incentive trip for a large insurance provider pushes the envelope of design and entertainment to make their VIPs feel cherished at every turn. This year, the client asked for a visually stimulating and sophisticated interpretation of their conference theme: "Our Magic Moment." Incredible creativity and extensive preparation made all the difference as 11 events were executed for 2,200 guests over the span of just three days. This program fed the frenzy of their fun-loving attendees using captivating entertainment and decor, and enthralled guests who thought they had seen it all. Magical indeed.
A Remarkable Day of Revelry: Only the company's highest sales performers earn a coveted spot in this exclusive group. Each year these VIPs arrive a day earlier to be pampered, which began with an outdoor party that showcased eyelash/makeup stations, massages, endless adult beverages, and mouth-watering food service in the adult pool area. Following this was a reception and awards dinner featuring America's Got Talent magician/comedian Piff the Magic Dragon.
The day closed with a "Smoke & Mirrors" after-party, which married the mysterious and mystical to create an unforgettable experience with mirrored furniture elements, inflated spheres, and a drummer/DJ duo raised onto a platform above the 360-degree dance floor. With a giant disco ball hanging underneath, and a clear acrylic floor beneath our entertainers, we created the illusion that guests were following in the footsteps of Lionel Richie and "Dancing on the Ceiling."
General Session (Day 1): We wanted to make the long walk from the breakfast ballroom to the General Session a magical one. We used the Orlando Magic Drumline as parade entertainment and infuse an enthusiastic feeling to the beginning of the conference.
Citrus Beer Garden: This event was developed to give guests some fresh air with a down-home Florida flair. We chose yellow and orange linens, arranged with fun pallet furniture groupings and lively pops of color. We custom-built a beer wall that featured 12 taps of ice-cold, local Florida beers. Fifty faux orange trees were placed around the lawn to enhance the citrus theme. Our in-house design team created custom graphics for the event, including branded beer coasters and corn-hole boards.
Cirque Couture: This annual costume party is both famous and fiercely competitive. Keep reading for more information about this event, which has a stand-alone nomination for "Best Décor – Total Décor Budget $100,000 to $250,000"
General Session (Day 2): We once again escorted guests from breakfast to the ballroom, but this time with branded heralding trumpets. In the style of a certain famous Boy Who Lived, each department of the organization had been designated a "House" with their own colors and custom-designed graphics. This wasn't your ordinary General Session, which featured the barons of balance, AGT's "The Russian Bar Trio," and Lyrian, whose LED suits flashed while dancing to magic-related songs (i.e. 24-Karate Magic by Bruno Mars.)
Wizardly World: We created a magical space where Quidditch towers and pumpkin pasties transported you to another world. Guests lunched at the communal tables representing each "House" before playing giant beer pong on (and through!) the Quidditch court. FloGo machines bubbled out our client's logo that floated over the event; an environmentally-safe branding opportunity that "magically" enhanced the space.
Closing Dinner: Guests enjoyed a sumptuous plated dinner before being dazzled by AGT's card-throwing act, Ricky Smith, Jr. and a pogo-stick stunt team. Additional entertainment included an ROTC Guard flag presentation, a children's performance of the national anthem, and an a capella group who crooned magic-themed songs during the transition of food courses as they sat amongst the guests (appearing as if by magic!) Top performers were then honored with an award presentation.
"Cirque Couture"Hello! Florida (Central) Destination ManagementNomination: Best Décor – Total Décor Budget $100,000 to $250,000
This large insurance provider's annual costume party isn't just an event, it's a spectacle of lavish décor, overflowing food and beverage, and captivating entertainment. This year, guests were invited to step right up into a "Cirque Couture" theme where guests didn't just attend this fashion-forward extravaganza, they were the stars of the show. Infusing the conference theme of "Our Magic Moment" at every turn, magic eight ball, leprechaun, and unicorn-costumed guests became part of the décor themselves as they traipsed through a kaleidoscope wonderland.
"Vizcaya Mansion Site Visit Invitation"Hello! Florida (South) Destination ManagementNomination: Best Invitation
In March 2018, a site visit for a financial services company annual incentive trip included a stop at the famous Vizcaya mansion in South Florida. In order to immerse the guests into the venue for the site, an elaborate backstory was created that tied into a video invitation book hand-delivered to each attendee's hotel room the day prior. The invitation featured a custom video message by the mansion's fictitious owner, elaborating on the event's theme, décor and food story.
Congratulations to our teammates at Hello! Arizona, Hello! Florida (Central), and Hello! Florida (South), as well as the other Gala Award winners and nominees!
We like to practice what we preach (we’re funny that way.) Before some of our design experts reveal our 2019 Event Trends at
The Special Event (TSE) in San Diego on January 8–10, we’re taking a look at our
Five Hottest Event Trends for 2018 and sharing how we put them into action throughout the year. We went bold, interactive, and like En Vogue, we gave our guests something they could feel.
What We Said:“…Velvet is a soft fabric that's here to stay. It's now available in many colors and brings a touch of luxe that doesn't feel over the top while elevating any setting..."
What We Did This Year: Velvet was just the start of it. Many of our designs fully immersed our guests in the looks and feels of their chosen destination. At a recent incentive program in Tennessee
(above left,) our Hello! Nashville creative designers envisioned a seating arrangement that would mimic the location's beautiful surroundings. Guests felt like they were relaxing on the gently rolling hills nearby when they took a seat on the velvety soft green couches, and they felt the strength of the local trees with wooden chairs and coffee tables. For an elegant gala dinner, Hello! Florida (Central) enveloped guests in the lap of luxury with the use of specialty linens. With mermaid sequins that magically revealed a different color as guests ran their fingertips over them, these guests’ tables just begged to be touched.
What We Said:“…You'll [see] bold uses of color, like the Pantone® 2018 color of the year, Ultraviolet, that celebrates creativity and a strong point of view…Of course, at Hello!, purple is always our color of the year, but nevertheless, 2018 is the year of being big, bright, beautiful, and emboldened."
What We Did This Year: When we said it needed to be big, bright, beautiful, and emboldened, we meant it. One of this year’s best examples was during a Hello! Florida (South) program where our teams recreated Miami’s popular Wynwood district
(below); an up-and-coming neighborhood known for its trendy art and many colorful murals. After guests walked through a literal recreation of the actual gates of Wynwood, a brightly-colored yarn-wrapped tree became a focal point for the event as lounge groupings with different patterns added to the vibrancy.
What We Said: To truly surprise and delight your guests, we suggested using interactive food and beverage entertainment, such as radio-controlled quadcopters and Napkin Ladies.
What We Did This Year: We surprised guests with an upside-down umbrella ceiling that floated down appetizers and other goodies for attendees to nosh on
(above.) We didn’t stop there though; Hello! Arizona created an amazing arrival experience for a client
(bottom right) where vintage bellhops greeted guests with custom choreographed dances to carry their bags and guide them to their one-of-a-kind registration area.
What We Said: “Geo shapes bring a print that is bold and versatile. The trend also flows into containers and furnishings, which add a playful detail to an otherwise basic item.”
What We Did This Year: This trend
shaped up to be quite popular with our clients. Twinkling centerpieces served as the perfect mood lighting during evening or inside events, while others were filled with custom florals and accents that authentically showcased the destination. We created focal points by using geo shapes in various décor
(bottom left,) and we even went big by combining some of our hottest trends, such as our Celestial Centennial event
(bottom right) that used geo shape décor as well as soft velvety seating.
What We Said: “A selfie never tasted so good! The selfie trend is expanding to become the garnish on guests' cocktails with edible photographs…”
What We Did This Year: We stayed true to our word by gathering inspiration from the local destinations, event themes, selfie booths, and more to elevate an event’s playfulness and fun (now that’s what we call lip service!)
If you’re still reading at this point, you probably like what we do and are really interested to see more. Come visit us at TSE where we’ll be speaking and sharing some insight into how we became (and remain!) the Best in the Biz. If you can't get to San Diego this year, follow us on social media to see what's happening and discover our 2019 event trends:
Tuesday, January 8: 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM Room 30A; Session Number D04 Speaker: Cameron Rust, CSEP: Senior National Asset Manager – Brand and Continuity
Bedtime or Story: A Tale of Storytelling and Immersion Transporting Attendees from Passive to Passionate
Once Upon a Time, in a world where branded pillows and custom linens don't stay top of mind past the lobby bar, a (PACKED!) room of event professionals discovered ways to immerse and transport attendees from passive guests there for the open bar into brand evangelists. And they all lived happily ever after…"
Wednesday, January 9: 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM Room 30A; Session Number D09
“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” Come behold the design styles of four up-and-coming stars! Inspiring and practical, this session has something for everyone and the means to get it.
Douglas Kahler, Executive Vice President, and Michelle Wilkie, Hello! Florida (South) Director of Operations, accept the awards
We're proud to announce that Hello! has been named a BI WORLDWIDE Inspirational Partner for 2018! A two-time recipient of this prestigious honor (2017, 2018), this designation indicates that Hello! has maintained a loyal partnership with BI WORLDWIDE and provides outstanding service in the events industry.
Hello! has been recognized in the following award categories:
Never Give Up: A partner who demonstrated tenacity and willingness to go the extra mile during difficult circumstances
In It for the Long Haul: A partner who repeatedly demonstrates a commitment to partnership
Help Each Other: A partner who gave extra consideration around financial or concession negotiations
“We’re proud to recognize Hello! as an Inspirational Partner. Their high standards help us create great experiences and deliver powerful moments for our clients. We look forward to continuing our partnership,” said Paul Bergeron, Senior Vice President of Event Solutions at BI WORLDWIDE.
We wish to express our thanks to BI WORLDWIDE, and look forward to our continued partnership for many years to come!
"I hate receiving a 'Thank You' for my hard work," said no one EVER. November is all about giving thanks, which should also be an important part of your program. Saying "Thank You" isn't just about showing appreciation; it's about making attendees
feel how much you value them. The best part is that deep appreciation doesn't have to mean deep pockets. Here are our top 5 ways you can put an extra "Thank You" in your next program.
1) Give the Gift of Choice
Pop-up shops and markets can offer great gifts, but be sure to recognize each person's individuality. Rather than create a one-size-fits-all gift bag or a shop where attendees line up to take one of each generic item, create a gift market where each person chooses their own scent of soap, color of flip flops, style of sunglasses, or type of chocolate. Each person receives the same item, but it's special to them in how and why they chose it.
Pop-up shops featuring items such as name-brand sunglasses, designer beach towels, shoes, handbags, watches, and luggage will not only "WOW" attendees, but also allows each attendee to choose what is most valuable to
them (because let's be honest, not everyone has the same affection for bright yellow handbags.
Markets have the added benefit of creating an interactive experience during registration. You can even celebrate the destination and get your attendees excited for the days ahead. For example, Hello! Arizona loves to include gifts such as authentic Native American textiles and baskets, hand-crafted pottery with traditional Southwest designs, or soaps and lotions made with natural local ingredients such as aloe, sage, wild rose, cacti, and jojoba in their pop-up shops.
2) Be Socially Responsible
Another popular option is to give a gift that shows your company's commitment to social responsibility. There's an endless array of choices, such as buying sunglasses for attendees where money from your purchase is shared with a charitable program that fights childhood blindness. Your gift markets can include items such as Sudara loungwear, which is created in fair-trade conditions by women once trapped in the sex trade. Unique full-length pants, capris, robes, and men's styles are available, with each print named after an Indian seamstress whose life was saved. You can even take your speed-painting entertainment to the next level with an artist that donates the painting to your charity of choice, or gives back a portion of their fee to charitable initiatives.
3) Shout It from the Rooftops
Looking for an easy, budget-friendly approach? Two words: Social media. People love recognition, so finding a way to recognize your guests through today's most popular networking tools is a great way to say thank you while interacting with your attendees AND your page followers. Post or tweet
specific messages of appreciation to highlight an employee's efforts, or monitor your conference hashtag (make sure you have one!) and share or retweet your guests' experiences.
4) Recognize the Best of the Best
Let's be clear…every guest at your event should feel welcome and appreciated. But kick it up a notch for employees who have gone the extra mile to demonstrate their passion and commitment to the company. Create an exclusive mini-program prior to the start of your event, or even set aside a red carpet area for your top performers during your kick-off event or final night reception.
5) A Welcome Surprise
It's been a long day of travel. You arrive at your hotel, complete registration, and then shuffle up to your room…where you're greeted by a destination-inspired gift box filled with hand-crafted items from local artisans! Room drops can be traditional (local sweets, candles, lotion, jellies, etc.) or even a little cheeky ("Hangover Kits" with all the headache, breath, and tummy essentials attendees will need to rebound from your amazing welcome reception.) The best part? Working in tandem with local artisans also supports small businesses within the community. Finding ways to say "Thank You" may seem small, but it makes a big difference in the eyes of your guests.
Contact us to talk about how to build a package that expresses the appreciation and sentiment that only you can share.
The 49 square miles of San Francisco are a colorful tapestry of steep hills, picturesque houses, clanging cable cars, Chinese pagodas, cosmopolitan cafés, and breathtaking views. Five continents and three centuries blend together on 43 hills, waiting to be discovered. A famous writer once declared, "Everyone should be allowed to love two cities—his own, and San Francisco."
Discover the exotic sights, sounds, and tastes of Asia with fascinating folklore and Chinese culture. From the towering steel and concrete of San Francisco's Financial District, pass through the historic Lion Gates and be transported into Chinatown, the "City-within-the-City." The Chinese first settled these streets during the Gold Rush and were swiftly followed by thousands of others. Today, San Francisco's Chinese population is one of the largest outside of Asia.
Prepare to be "sentenced" to a short-term stay in the notorious Alcatraz Island Federal Penitentiary. From the San Francisco waterfront, take a short ferry ride across the San Francisco Bay to "The Rock." Here, visit the cells once occupied by some of the nation's most infamous criminals, such as Al Capone and James "Whitey" Bulger. An expertly created audio tour contains interviews with former prisoners and guards, providing fascinating insight into prison life in the middle of the Bay.
Ferry Building Food Tasting Tour
The Ferry Building Marketplace is the mecca of gourmet foods in San Francisco—an elegant showcase for some of the Bay Area's best food artisans, featuring internationally acclaimed cheese, charcuterie, and chocolate. A guide will lead you through the wide aisles of abundant seasonal fruits, vegetables, flowers, herbs, and preserves. Take in the sights and sounds of the marketplace while tasting a variety of artisan and local foods, providing an authentic Bay Area food experience.
Biking Across the Golden Gate Bridge
With a distance of under 10 miles and a pace designed for the energetic beginner, a cycling tour across the Golden Gate Bridge is an ideal way to experience the spectacular sights, sounds, and sensations of San Francisco. Led by experienced professional cycling guides, feel the cool breeze as you cycle through Fisherman's Wharf, Aquatic Park, Marina Green, and then pass the historic Presidio. For a stunning view, ride to the 18th-century Fort Point and over the spectacular span of the majestic Golden Gate Bridge. An exhilarating downhill slope will sweep you into the alluring village of Sausalito. Returning to San Francisco via ferryboat offers a panoramic perspective of the beautiful Bay.
San Francisco City Hall
The epitome of elegance, City Hall is truly San Francisco's most exceptional event space and is proudly called "The Crown Jewel." As long ago as 1915, when this splendid City Hall opened, Mayor James Rolph, Jr., proclaimed, "I take pride in this building because it typifies the spirit of San Francisco. Three times she has been destroyed by fire, and each time she has risen more magnificently." In 1999, this French Renaissance-style Beaux Art landmark rose like the mythical phoenix, following five years of seismic retro-fitting and renovation. The gilded dome, gleaming with 24-karat gold, gracefully soars 360 feet above the ground. "This building has served the people of San Francisco for more than 80 years, and I am proud that it will be here for generations to come," proclaimed Mayor Willie L. Brown, Jr., at the Gala Reopening.
Ready to feel like a star? Take in an utterly unique evening at San Francisco's AT&T Park, home of the 2010, 2012, and 2014 World Series Champions—the San Francisco Giants! Opened in April 2000, AT&T Park has been hailed as "America's most beautiful ballpark." The intimate brick stadium rises at the water's edge along the Embarcadero and leaves a feeling of nostalgia that only the great game of baseball can evoke.
"California Spirit" Yacht
Enjoy the glittering city lights from a unique vantage point—cruising the San Francisco Bay aboard a glamorous private yacht! Completely renovated for the 2013 America's Cup races, the "California Spirit" yacht was in high demand during the races and features state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment, three spacious salons, luxurious fabrics, leather upholstery, and granite tables. This stunning, 100-foot motor yacht includes two climate-controlled, interior decks for group entertainment and dining, ensuring year-round cruising comfort without concern for weather. There are also several outside deck spaces to enjoy the Bay breeze, and spy a beautiful setting sun over the Golden Gate Bridge.
Interested in the unique sights and scenery of San Francisco? Contact your local Account Executive or Hello! California (Northern) Vice President Glenn Allison at
email@example.com or 415.474.2266 to begin planning your next experience.
Hello! Destination Management supports teachers' efforts to broaden the educational experience for all children. The Hello! Florida Field Trip Fund, founded by Director of Special Accounts Shannon Orme, is an ongoing program that enables Orange County Public Schools (OCPS) children who are experiencing poverty or homelessness to attend STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) focused field trips at no cost.
We recently partnered with Talk of the Town Restaurant Group for our annual benefit to raise money for the Hello! Florida Field Trip Fund. During the month of August 2018, restaurant guests were invited to round up their check to the nearest dollar to help the cause. Thanks to the support of the local community, the benefit raised over $18,300 to help classroom content become more relevant and meaningful for low-income OCPS children…an unprecedented amount and a 45% increase over the amount raised in 2017!
In the past three years the Hello! Florida Field Trip Fund has been able to send nearly 2,000 local children on fun, educational school field trips that they would not otherwise be able to afford. The funds raised from this year alone will help an estimated 900 children attend these STEM-based field trips.
For more information about the Hello! Florida Field Trip Fund or to find out how you can support its mission, please contact Shannon Orme at 321.229.1269 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Broadway is one of the most famous and busiest streets in Nashville, a tourist hot spot that boasted a record-breaking 14.5 million visitors in 2017. Known as "Lower Broad," the lower section of Broadway has attracted country and non-country music fans alike to honky-tonk bars such as Tootsie's Orchid Lounge for decades, where legendary acts such as Willie Nelson got their start. So what happens when you want to shut down one of the city's busiest and most lucrative areas for a private group of 2,000 out-of-towners? With a little blood, sweat, and yes…a few tears…you form connections with advocates, go through months' worth of pain-staking planning, revisions, and permitting to successfully produce a block party that shut down Lower Broadway for a private group for the first time in Nashville history.
A software development company wanted to host a large offsite event for 2,000 attendees of their conference and provide them with the ultimate Nashville experience; one they could only get through our client. Their ultimate dream was to shut down a portion of Nashville's busiest street – Broadway – to do a block party. They'd been told multiple times by others that it could not be done, but they knew that our culture conditions us to think outside the box and go the extra mile for our clients. The hope was that if anyone could do it, we could.
We love to hear the words, "That's impossible." We began working on the design of the block party, which centered the street portion around a large mobile bar and incorporated a variety of street games. We approached neighboring bars on either side of Broadway to create separate spaces that guests could venture into: Crazy Town, Whiskey Bent, WannaB's, and Tequila Cowboy. The client was thrilled with our direction and overjoyed that their event dreams had gone from "it can't be done" to "it's coming to life."
We worked directly with the Mayor's office and the CVB to obtain approval for our detailed street plan. To say this was an uphill battle is an understatement; closing Broadway had been done for public events but the mayor was adamantly against shutting down the street for a private group that was not from Nashville. We're extremely proud to say that we overcame all obstacles and finally received all necessary approvals and permits to move forward. On August 15, 2017, we used 35 motor coaches to transfer 2,000 elated attendees from the Gaylord Opryland resort to downtown Nashville for the first-ever private block party on the famous Lower Broadway.
Other than the pain-staking work to acquire the necessary permits and approvals, one of the largest challenges was convincing the local businesses to deviate from their very lucrative business plan that's built around leisure travel and bachelor/bachelorette parties. To add to this, the administration in the mayor's office at the time had taken a hard stance on anything that the local population might perceive as a negative. This had taken away some of the freedom to host larger events in public spaces, so as not to inconvenience the locals. The overall climate of the city made the production of this first-ever event all the more amazing.
There were also several risk management steps we needed to take, such as creating a fire lane through the event space and contracting security personnel to manage the traffic and street closure. We also needed to hire security personnel to ensure adequate public flow along the sidewalks bordering our event, while simultaneously maintaining the exclusivity of our private space.
The client was so pleased with the event that they gave us a perfect score on our post-event survey. In speaking with the client that night, they were ecstatic – saying that this was their best event ever and the most efficient transportation they had ever witnessed. We impressed the skeptical city officials as well with how smooth everything went; one city official told us that night that we could definitely do the event again based on how well it was managed. We had successfully broken down barriers to prove how our company was able to coordinate large group events such as this in a very public space both quickly and professionally.
"It can't be done," you say? We'll see about that. Destination, Managed.
Days filled with meetings, an abundance of tasks on the to-do list, and not nearly enough time to get it all done. Sound familiar? The adverse effects of stress on our health are well documented, but we still don't take the time to slow down and just…breathe. October was established as Emotional Wellness Month to help raise awareness about the importance of mental well-being. Take a break and read about some of our favorite workshops that will keep your guests energized and engaged.
Goat Yoga ("Goga")
"If you're not familiar with the goat yoga trend, you're in for a real treat," says Hello! Texas Product Development Manager Patsy Phillips. Goga is a 45-minute Vinyasa yoga session with baby dwarf goats, who act as your workout buddies for the entire session. Each class caters to the yoga novice, and attendees are encouraged to pet, play, interact, or even do yoga poses with the goats. You might be asking yourself, what do goats have to do with yoga? These adorable animals are meant to make your session even more relaxing and carefree and less intimidating for new yogis to get into the sport. It's playful, it's fun…and we'll be honest…it's just darn cute.
Small Animal Petting Zoo
Speaking of animals…did you know a study showed that having a dog in the room when you're under stress lowered blood pressure better than taking blood pressure medication? Help your guests connect with the cute by using some break time to handle puppies, bunnies, hedgehogs, chicks, and a wide variety of other animals.
Stand Up Paddle Board Yoga
Hello! California (Southern) Director of Sales Romy Linde has a way to take yoga to another level. "Come enjoy the ancient practice of yoga combined with stand up paddle boarding!" she says. These classes take the most popular yoga routines and puts them on the water. Yoga practice brings balance and restores all bodily systems by creating physical, mental, and spiritual harmony. Both yoga and stand up paddle boarding (SUP) are great for building better balance, coordination, endurance, and body strength. Certified coaches will teach paddle techniques and guide guests through a fun and safe lesson along with an eco-tour of Mission Bay.
Stay Healthy While Traveling
Your attendees' health and energy may be put to the test if they are traveling for a conference and then attending meetings all day. The stress of travel can make even the healthiest eaters run to the first fast food restaurant they see. Guests will learn simple tricks to overcome common obstacles and help them make better choices along the way that will reduce inflammation and swelling while providing a boost of energy and confidence.
Stillness is a powerful practice; it triggers a relaxation response that only happens when we stop and slow down. Meditation allows us to focus on our breath and reorganize our thoughts, which opens up space for our inner wisdom to sink in. The sense of relaxation from the experience stays with you and leads to a happier, healthier life with less stress. Self-awareness is really at the heart of mindfulness, which in turn, leads to emotional healing.
Hello! Washington, D.C. Product Development Manager Danielle Guido has seen great success with group meditation. "Regardless of its size, meditation in a group setting can be very powerful. Guests are able to come together to set positive intentions, amplify the experience through their collective energy, and even strengthen their connections," she says.
Tools and Tips for Eating Healthy in the Workplace
There are simple steps employees can take to boost their energy in a healthy way. "Hello! Florida has a great workshop that shows guests how to sleep better and make simple food changes for overall life improvement," says Jen Hosler, Hello! Florida (Central) Director of Product Development. Guests will love learning how to take control of their nutrition to help them have more energy throughout the day. Real-life success stories, myth-busting tips, and exercises with other participants make this a high-energy workshop with phenomenal "take home" tips.
"We offer an extremely popular workshop that gives guests a rejuvenating introduction to the world of pure aromatherapy," says Hello! Arizona Product Development Manager Tait Moline. Guests will be introduced to a gallery of herbs and learn how essential oils are created, the therapeutic and restorative properties of each oil, and a bit of herbal folklore. Touch the featured living plant and smell the essence of each plant's flowers, leaves, roots, and berries that are captured in the essential oil and even make a custom-blend. They may even learn economically effective and efficient ways to use essential oils for therapeutic purposes such as calming digestion, healing skin, or keeping the "bugs at bay."
Ready to start focusing on emotional wellness?
Contact us to learn more about these workshops and their availability in your next destination.