Jul 19
Destination, Managed

Destination, Managed

What keeps a client coming back to Orlando and our Hello! Florida (Central) team for eight years running? A lot of logistical prowess and dedication to excellence. Keep reading to find out how our experts successfully managed an intricate program for 25,000 guests of a major enterprise software company. 

The Event

This repeat client holds their annual conference in Orlando at the Orange County Convention Center each year. As in years past, our team handled the transportation, bus wraps, staffing, on- and off-property events, theme décor, and more. The difference? With attendance growing each year, in 2018 we managed the program for an astounding 25,000 guests over three days. 

Conference Welcome Banner

The Challenges

Transportation

With the clients' guests staying at 49 different hotels, our Hello! Florida (Central) team had their work cut out for them in developing a logistical plan that would provide direct and efficient transportation for all attendees. Collaboration and experience melded together perfectly to create a daily shuttle service that spanned 15 different routes using 106 buses and the help of 72 staff members.

Convention Center Transportation

In addition to the daily shuttle service, one of the major challenges each year is transporting all attendees to a concert at the Amway Center in the heart of busy downtown Orlando. While normally a little daunting, our team was facing an additional challenge this year: a major thoroughfare – Interstate 4 – is currently undergoing heavy construction. Multiple off-ramps were closed, which resulted in our teams having to meticulously re-route the buses from any typical paths. Overall, we were able to accomplish this massive undertaking through the use of 202 buses, 100 staff, and 11 police officers to block off multiple downtown streets.

Amway Center Transportation

Branding

Branding the bus transportation was important to the client, who asked for 99 bus wraps. Ever the go-getters, our Hello! Florida (Central) team divided and conquered all 99 buses in just 24 hours using 16 different install locations and four teams. The client was thrilled with the end result; everywhere guests looked, the company's logo and branding took center stage.

Bus Wrap

On- and Off-Property Events

Over the course of the three-day program we were tasked with operating 31 on- and off-property events – everything from a basketball networking event and off-property dinners to on-property events with theme décor. Whether it was a 770-guest reception to a lunch for 20, our 18 Account Managers and countless Sales Coordinators made sure each event was both successful and memorable.

The Result

This program is a huge undertaking each year but we couldn't be more appreciative of our client's loyalty and dedication to our partnership. The feeling is mutual, as our client followed up after the program with this note:

"We wanted you to be aware of the outstanding service we received from your entire staff…It is impressive to come here year after year and see the same team in place. That says a great deal about your management….Although no event comes without its challenges…each [member of the team] went above and beyond to make sure our event was a complete success. I am always so impressed with how quickly any request or concern was addressed by each of them. Again, we would like to express our gratitude for all the hard work. We look forward to a very successful repeat in 2019 in Orlando and to work with your fine staff once again! We know we can expect the best."

Destination, Managed. 

Jun 25
What's in My Bag? DMC Edition

Whats in My Bag DMC Edition

Did you know you can use a razor to shave the little balls off of polyester linen? Have you ever considered keeping some high heel protectors in your bag so you can walk on grass without sinking? Our 10 offices operate thousands of programs each year across the country; take it from the pros and see what our experts say are their "must-haves" at an event.

Toolin' Around

Multi-Tool

Executive Vice President Douglas Kahler says having a multi-tool on hand is a life-saver: "It's so helpful to have a multi-tool with you, either a Swiss Army Knife or Leatherman type. There are many different versions and they can save you in so many situations."

Multi-Tool

Exact-O Knife

"To open the many boxes that often arrive for event setup." —Danielle Guido, Product Development Manager, Hello! Washington, D.C.

Mini Screwdriver

"Keep both a Phillips and flat head with you…you never know when you're going to have to jump in and help!" —Amanda Flaum, Senior Account Manager, Hello! Las Vegas

Scissors

Several of our teammates recommended scissors as a "must-have." Hello! Florida (South) Executive Producer/Department Director Vanessa Lopez particularly loves miniature scissors: “I’ve used them multiple times on site!”

Measuring Tool

"A ruler or laser measurer comes in handy when you need a quick measurement or to help visualize the footprint of smaller items." —Patsy Phillips, Product Development Manager, Hello! Texas 

For a Quick Bite

SELEWARE Portable and Stackable 4-Piece Twist Lock Storage Jars

"This snack jar fits in my laptop bag and helps when I don't have time to eat." —Kathleen Michael, Producer/Event Designer, Hello! Florida (South)

Granola Bar

Hello! Florida (Central) Sales Coordinators Lexi Watts, Gaby Delgado, and Bridget LaPorte all agree that granola bars can give you a quick boost when you need it. 

Seleware Container

Keep it Tight

Zip Ties

"They're especially good for hanging signage." —Susan Saville, Senior Account Executive, Hello! Washington, D.C.

"To fix literally anything that falls apart!" —Kate Connin, Event Designer, Hello! Florida (Central)

Binder Clips, Bobby Pins, Hair Ties, Safety Pins

"Binder clips can help tie back drape." —Cameron Rust, Senior National Asset Manager – Branding and Continuity, Hello! Destination Management

"Use hair ties as a rubber band to tie things – they're so necessary!" —Eva Lau, Director of Product Development and Samantha Gonzalez, Sales Coordinator, Hello! California (Northern)

Tape and Tacky Putty

"Double-sided tape to 'hem' pants when switching from heels to flats on site." —Paige Weeber, Director of Operations, Hello! California (Southern)

"Use duct tape to hold signs in place on a windy day or to mark the placement of items, buses, signs, etc." —Kathy Turns, Director of Operations, Hello! Florida (Central)

"I use tacky putty for everything from keeping easel signs on frames outside to almost any other need." —Alison Davis, Senior Account Executive, Hello! Florida (Central)

Tacky Putty

Staying in the Digital Age

Phone Charging Cables or External Battery Banks

Nearly half of our respondents can't live without their phone charging cables or an external battery bank while they're on site. "Taking dozens of calls from suppliers seriously drains a phone battery." —Regina Brooks, Account Executive, Hello! Florida (Central)

Bluetooth Device

"So you don't miss a single call from clients or suppliers." —Kelly Truitt, Destination Services Manager, Hello! Washington, D.C.

Portable Thumb Drive

"I'm inevitably going to need to get something digital from one person to another." — Cameron Rust, Senior National Asset Manager – Branding and Continuity, Hello! Destination Management

A Strong Defense

Hand Sanitizer, Antibacterial Wipes, Emergen-C

"No one wants to get sick during Busy Season!" —Susan Saville, Senior Account Executive, Hello! Washington, D.C.

"You never know what needs to come off a table." — Kelly Truitt, Destination Services Manager, Hello! Washington, D.C.

First-Aid Kit, Band-Aids, Tylenol

"A small first-aid kit is a life-saver!" —Eva Lau, Director of Product Development and Samantha Gonzalez, Sales Coordinator, Hello! California (Northern)

Sunscreen, Extra Sunglasses, Water Bottle

"It's always sunny here in SoCal!" —Bill Yahres, General Manager, Hello! California (Southern)

Rub-Relief Stick

"Avoid those blisters!" says Kate Connin, Event Designer at Hello! Florida (Central.) Hello! Director of National Business Resources Julie Mezzina recommends foot petals' fabfeet cushions and BLISSTICK anti-friction stick.

Fab Feet Products

High Heel Protectors

"For when you're on site wearing heels and you need to walk on grass without sinking!" —Eva Lau, Director of Product Development and Samantha Gonzalez, Sales Coordinator, Hello! California Northern.

High Heel Protectors

Lookin' Good

Compact Mirror, Comb/Brush, Nail File, and Makeup Essentials

"I keep a makeup bag in general, but lipstick, concealer, and mascara are my 'musts' to look alive after an all-day install." —Vanessa Lopez, Executive Producer/Department Director, Hello! Florida (South.)

Makeup Essentials

Toothpicks and Floss

They're for more than just teeth! "You can use floss for possible cutting needs like cutting a cake into equally/evenly sized and spaced triangle portions," says Rebecca Waters, Sales Coordinator for Hello! Florida (South.) Eva Lau, Director of Product Development for Hello! California (Northern) has even used a toothpick to hold up a succulent.

Cologne/Perfume and Deodorant

"Especially on those long, hot load-ins, you've gotta keep smelling fresh!" —Aaron Tharp, Producer/Event Designer, Hello! Texas

Tide-to-Go Pen or Wipes

"For little accidents, either on yourself or on tablecloths." —Danielle Guido, Product Development Manager, Hello! Washington, D.C.

Office On-the-Go

Sharpies

"It's good for everything! Labeling, touching up furniture, etc." raves Susan Saville, Senior Account Executive at Hello! Washington, D.C. Hello! Arizona Event Designer Tressa Rini goes big: "I don't just keep black Sharpies but also wood-colored and metallic ones, too. You never know when you may need to fill in a small scratch on a table or charger."

Sharpies

Mini Stapler, Paper Clips, and Pens

"Pen, pens, and more pens! For signing contracts and making adjustments to floorplans on site…always have pens!" — Amanda Flaum, Senior Account Manager, Hello! Las Vegas


Jun 25
Program Primer: D.C. Block Party

Headline Photo

Let's take a look at our Washington, D.C. Block Party in the intimate community of National Harbor, Maryland, just outside of D.C. This casual reception-style event focuses on fun, food, and networking, allowing guests to flow between exclusive indoor and outdoor spaces to experience various menus as well as musical and interactive entertainment.

D.C. Block Party Collage

The Block Party takes place on Fleet Street, just across from the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, where we shut down a one-block section of the street and buy out all six restaurants and venues. Guests can literally party in the street with the main stage band or explore the indoor spaces, discovering a unique menu in each as well as additional musical acts and interactive entertainment. With a different surprise at every turn, the Block Party has something for everyone. Guests will find dueling pianos at Bobby McKey's, a mechanical bull at Cadillac Ranch, 100+ beers on tap at BrassTap, savory BBQ at Brother Jimmy's, and major sports of the day at Public House. There is even a quiet refuge at Irish Whisper for guests looking to escape the crowds and relax.

D.C. Block Party Collage 2

In addition to the existing amenities, our Block Party offers many optional enhancements, including engaging atmosphere entertainment and countless branding opportunities—both indoors and along the street. With this large amount of available space just steps away from all of the National Harbor hotels, it's a fantastic option for large conferences to get their guests out of a hotel setting without the need for transportation.

Stage Photo

For more information about our D.C. Block Party, please contact Hello! Washington, D.C. General Manager Danielle Kambic at dkambic@hello-dmc.com or 205.591.3080.


Jun 20
Destination, Managed: Reinvent the Night

Destination, Managed Reinvent the Night

Hello! Las Vegas produced the welcome reception for 1,600 guests of an enterprise software company at their annual conference. Over the course of the evening, three different themes came to life in front of guests' eyes; what started as a traditional Vintage Vegas-themed event morphed into a fluorescent 1980s wonderland, and finally into a techno electronic fantasyland. As each theme took over the space at The Cosmopolitan, performers captivated guests with dazzling performances and interactive elements.

The Event

When guests entered the space they were greeted with a Vintage Vegas party by themed entertainers. We began the party using a swanky, slow build with live performances from The Rat Pack, Elvis, and Marilyn Monroe. Guests enjoyed walking around and snapping selfies with the showgirls and other interactive characters while a speed-painter designed the Las Vegas skyline on a large canvas.

Vintage Vegas Collage

A DJ came over the speaker and asked the crowd if they were ready to switch up the party. As guests cheered, the lights and video graphics morphed into a crazy 80's design as our high-energy 1980s band entered. The 1980s was all about excess, so we brought its "go big or go home" attitude with break dancers, Ghostbuster characters, and oversized, custom-designed Pac-Man characters. A host of 80's impersonators, from Pee Wee Herman to Tina Turner, grooved throughout the crowd as Jane Fonda-esque exercise dancers tossed neon necklaces to the guests.

Stay in the 80s Collage

The DJ once again came on the speakers to ask the crowd if they were ready to move into the future. At this point the crowd was not just cheering, they were screaming. The DJ began to play pulsating tunes from his 3D booth, feeding into the crowd's already frenzied energy. Mood lighting and graphics once again switched up to match the new theme. Electrifying futuristic characters moved throughout the space along with a myriad of LED glowing performers.  Electronica Collage

The Challenges

We wanted to shake up the traditional event experience that uses different rooms and décor to segment themes. We began the bold challenge of transforming a single room into three different themes that would reveal themselves to guests over the course of the night. To set the foundation, we designed a plan that utilized furniture, décor, lighting, and screens that worked well with each theme. For the client's high-priority item of entertainment, we scheduled a team of over 75 performers that would each have a role in all three thematic concepts. We developed a comprehensive show flow to map out the night, clearly detailing how the performers would be cross-utilized.

The event was originally scheduled to be in the pool area of the hotel, which only allowed a two-hour window for load-in. However, a sudden, rare rainstorm approached the Las Vegas Strip. Thirty minutes into our two-hour load-in window, the hotel made the call to move the party into the Chelsea Theatre. Our already short turn time became even tighter as we had 90 minutes to mobilize over 75 performers from a dozen different companies to new green rooms and performance spaces, liaise with the client's lighting and audio provider to re-focus lighting and microphone placement, move and set all décor elements, and rehearse the transitions between the different themes. Had we been less experienced or unaccustomed to dealing with unexpected challenges, this could have spelled disaster for the entire night and set a sour tone for the beginning of the conference.

The Result

The guests thoroughly enjoyed themselves and how our themes steadily increased in color and complexity throughout the night. Guests were continually surprised, which resulted in a heightened energy that continued to build each time the performers came out for the next theme. We knew we had hit the marks of our client after they kept walking by us and giving us a thumbs up to let us know everything was going great. We made sure to meet with the client the following day to conduct a post-event feedback discussion, and they told us several times how much they loved the concept we came up with. 

1,600 guests, 90-minute set-up time, 75 performers, and 3 themes in 1 event space after a brutal, sudden rain storm. Destination, Managed. 

May 31
Destination, Managed: Electric Rodeo

Electric Rodeo

The Event

Our Hello! Texas team was asked to create an unforgettable final night reception for 600 guests of a leading educational publisher. The client was "at a loss" for what to do; the final night had always been a big hit with their attendees and coming up with a unique experience each year was a consistent challenge. With many of the venues that could accommodate groups of their size already booked, the only feasible option was the Circle R Ranch. It couldn't have worked out better—the venue was the perfect size for the group, the perfect distance from the hotel, and the perfect price based on the client's budget.

The Challenges

The Circle R Ranch is a traditional ranch that prides itself on genuine Texas hospitality, making it one of the most charming western venues in town. With it having the perfect size, proximity, and budget…where's the challenge?

The client wanted to steer clear of anything western, rustic, or Texas-inspired.

The conference theme was "MINDSET," which focused on thinking into the future, remaining innovative as a company, and shifting perspectives from the old to the new. The client felt that sticking with a country-western theme in a country-western venue was in direct conflict with the message they wanted to impress upon their guests. We needed to completely transform this western venue into a modern, edgy space that inspired creativity, challenged guests' mindsets, focused on the future, and defied the status quo. Needless to say, we had our work cut out for us.

The client had hosted one of their last conferences in Miami, and they wanted to keep that vibe for the reception. We chose the décor based on this love of bright colors and modern design, creating a hot Miami club feel. Our lighting team installed custom fabric panels to cover the rustic poles and hung over 150 lighting tubes as well as various wave panels and colorful starbursts.

Electric Rodeo Collage 1

Electric Rodeo Seating

The overall effect of all this modern lighting on a rustic canvas inspired what we now call "Cowboy Pop" or "Electric Rodeo," our twist on the everyday western event that has been tremendously popular with many other clients.

Electric Rodeo Collage 2

The Result

The client and their team were overjoyed with the transformation. As the buses unloaded you could hear the guests getting excited and pulling out their phones to capture that "Instagram-able" moment. The client was still in awe at the end of the event and raved about the success of the evening.

Venue Exterior

Country-western to Miami-modern? Destination, Managed. 

May 29
Bringing the Outside Indoors

Bringing the Outside Indoors

In recognition of "National Garden Month," we're revealing how you can soften up the indoors with a bit of the great outdoors. It's more than just adding a lot of flowers. From amazing entrances to unique décor and earthy centerpieces, here's a look at how our teams bring their green thumbs to corporate events. 

Make an Entrance

Let guests know they're not in for your traditional corporate event by creating soft and inviting entrances to welcome them. Transition hallways can even be decorated to connect guests from one space to another without breaking the organic feel. 

Make an Entrance

Use the Unique

Use unique décor to create surprise and delight moments that will bring a smile to guests' faces. Grass-covered furniture ushers in a tactile moment that puts the natural feeling at guests' fingertips…literally. High-boy covers can turn a traditional table into a one-of-a-kind piece of décor that blends into the aesthetics of its surroundings. 

Grass Seating and Log Highboy

You can also bring elements that guests would typically see outdoors into the event with a modern twist, such as living statues that double as a water fountain to create a true Instagram-worthy photo opp.

Water Fountain Statues

A recent Hello! Las Vegas client wanted a different kind of welcome reception; one that encouraged attendees to relax and network without the pressures put onto them by the traditional networking lounges or ballrooms. They wanted a respite from the hustle and bustle of the Las Vegas strip and also from the packed conference schedule. We talked through several different themes and ultimately landed on the idea of bringing the outside inside to create a park-like setting. Executive Producer/Department Director Michael Brown says, "By bringing this outdoor setting inside to the ballroom, we were able to have the best of both worlds and create the look and feel our client wanted. Oversized games brought some fun into the space to help with networking, while an ivy-wrapped, oversized adult swing helped guests feel like a kid again." 

Ivy Wrapped Adult Swing

Beautiful Backdrops

Let's be honest…bare ballroom walls and dividers can ruin the look you spend so much of your budget trying to achieve. Backdrops are helpful for fully immersing your guests into a theme, as well as creating an organic photo opp. Hello! Florida used picturesque backdrops of Tuscany, paired with accompanying drapery, hedges, and trees, during a recent event to really bring the "A Night in Tuscany" theme to life.

Tuscany Backdrop 1 

Tuscany Backdrop 2

Earthy Enhancements

Set the mood for the event with natural touches such as patterned gobo lighting. Wooden chandeliers and other wooden décor elements bring an earthy element that almost begs to be smelled.

Earthy Enhancements Collage

Hello! Nashville recently operated a program for a client that wanted an outdoor feel as well as a fun, quiet space that was separate from the musical entertainment in the ballroom. Creative Services Executive Producer/Department Director Aaron Sayre says, "To achieve the ambience our client asked for, we brought in hedge wall dividers to separate the space and turf grass carpet for an authentic lawn feel. Adirondack chairs, picnic-style tables, and traditional backyard lawn games completed the look while café lights were strung overhead for a space that felt completely different than the ballroom and gave a distinct outdoor appearance."

Traditional Backyard Lounge

Set the Table

Yes, flowers are a traditional staple for centerpieces and certainly help in creating a natural look. However, kick things up a notch by incorporating elements such as moss, twine, butterflies, and even lanterns that are reminiscent of the lightning bugs we chased and captured as children.

Table Centerpieces 1

Family-style and picnic-table seating are perfectly complimented by long centerpieces that feel as if they were freshly picked from the fields and lovingly placed for a family affair. 

Centerpiece Examples 2

Like what you see? Contact us for information about the items in these photos or for more ideas and inspiration. 

May 23
Hello! Tomorrow - Arizona Drone Show

Hello! Arizona Drone Show

A Fortune 100 financial services organization recently celebrated their 100-year anniversary at The Phoenician in Scottsdale, Arizona. In a setting that fit perfectly with their theme of "Celestial Centennial," the client chose to have their event on the lawn of the resort where they could delight in this joyous occasion under the stars.

Since this was an impressive milestone for the company, it was very important that this celebration have a "WOW!" experience for their guests. They particularly wanted an experience that would be forward-thinking and innovative, alluding to the continued bright future for the company. Our Hello! Arizona team began to brainstorm and posed the question, "What if the stars came to life in front of guests' eyes?" It became clear that a personalized drone show was the perfect solution for our client's wants and needs.

Drone Show Collage 1

The night of the event, over 20 drones launched simultaneously from a resort rooftop, in perfect view of the guests. To tease the upcoming show and capture attention, the drones hovered for a few minutes and then landed again. The drones then launched for the full show in a way that made it seem as if stars were floating toward guests from Camelback Mountain, a picturesque mountain visible behind The Phoenician. The drones then began a 12-minute, perfectly choreographed show with accompanying music. Once the amazing spectacle was complete, the drones began to descend one at a time, appearing as if they were stars falling behind the mountain.

Drone Show Collage 2

Guests' reaction was exactly what our clients had hoped for. With audible gasps, guests were on their feet (with their phones out, of course!) and mesmerized for the entire 12-minute show. To truly personalize the experience, our team even made sure that the client's conference logo – a yellow heart – was included in the show.

Drone Show Conference Logo

Our client was extremely appreciative that we were able to dream big and then make it all come true. They loved being on the forefront of something new and exciting, and were thrilled that we were able to deliver the kind of "WOW!" experience they were looking for.

Drone Show Fireworks

Sad you missed it? Don't worry! Click here to see a brief clip of the drones in action:  https://vimeo.com/271107338/811f9caba2

Apr 26
Bring Creative Branding Into Your Events

Creating Branding

Logos on pillows, logos on chairs…logos, logos everywhere! Plastering your logo on the walls or furniture isn't the only way to represent your brand or sponsors at your next meeting. Let's take a look at some innovative ways to share your company's brand, message, or conference theme a little more playfully and naturally.

Photo Opportunities

Welcome your guests with step-and-repeats or fun hedge walls to create a photo opportunity that people actually want to post to their Instagram. These décor items are popular in creating a "Wow" effect when placed at the entrance of your event, or they can become another engagement point for your guests as they enjoy the party.

Photo Opportunities

Interactive Stations

Make your event space a win-win: Entertain your guests with interactive elements while simultaneously promoting your brand, company values, or conference theme. We've seen a significant rise in demand for our String Art Signage Displays. Unity and togetherness have been a classic theme for conferences or special events, but String Art displays are bringing a fresh expression for a message as old as time. Your logo or conference theme is constructed on a wooden display board with decorative nails. Guests then use a long piece of yarn to connect the nail heads in whichever color or fashion they choose, leaving their mark on a piece of art that can double as a décor element throughout the conference. Take the art display back to your office to remind everyone of the great time they had and stretch your message back into the real world. From chalkboards to giant Light Brights, there are an endless number of ways to bring this kind of branding into your next program.


Interactive Stations

Subliminal Branding

You don't need to plaster your logo on everything in order to represent your brand; try taking a more subliminal approach. Cameron Rust, Senior National Asset Manager – Branding and Continuity, says, "The trend is moving toward targeting your internal employees like you target your customers. Rather than just putting your logo on everything, you want to represent your brand in more authentic and non-obvious way." Embody your company through the use of pictures, colors, patterns, and textures. Add to the décor by projecting catchphrases on walls, or even embody the spirit of the conference by placing relevant quotes on your tables. 


Subliminal Branding

Beverages

There's been a significant increase in ingenuity when it comes to branding your event through food and beverage. Whether you're looking for something that's poured in a mug, or artfully crafted and sipped in a glass, there are a multitude of ways to creatively display your brand. SipMi edible photographs have seen a surge in popularity recently, which allows logos or colorful pictures to float on a guest's drink as an unforgettable garnish. Why have guests stare at a bare backboard as they wait for a draft beer? Impress your guests with a draft beer ice wall sculpture that sits atop the bar, where your logo is incorporated into the ice. Take advantage of the opportunity to display your (or your sponsor's) brand in a unique way at one of the more popular areas of any event.

Beverages

Get Carried Away

The sky's the limit when it comes to branding—literally! Add an ethereal touch to your event by taking your logo aerial. Guests will feel like a kid again and look on in delight as they see their company represented in bubbles floating through the sky.

Get Carried Away

To see any of these branding opportunities come alive in your next event or explore other branding options, reach out to your Account Executive or contact us.  

Apr 26
Destination, Managed: Welcome to Wynwood Walls

Destination, Managed: Wynwood Walls

Custom shipped chandeliers from across the country? Break-dancers requested three hours before the doors open? No sweat! At least not for our Hello! Florida South team. Here's a look at a recent four-day program for a longstanding client and how we reminded them just why they love to say Hello!.

The Event

Hello! Florida South has a positive and longstanding relationship with a large financial services planning company. This particular program we were bidding on was an incentive trip for the company's highest earners – one of their top three annual events. This meant high visibility with all executives and intense pressure for us to reward their hard-working professionals with a spectacular event.

The program was a very competitive bid, and despite our great rapport, we knew this was no time for complacency – we really wanted to differentiate ourselves and show just how important they are to us. To begin, our Hello! Florida South team leveraged their relationships across the board to open a public museum on a day that they're typically closed. They then held what amounted to a mini program for the client's representatives and demonstrated our vision for their 500 VIPs. A special keepsake was made for each of the planners to remind them of all the fun. The company was thrilled with our ideas and attentiveness, awarding us the opportunity to manage their program.

The Challenges

Last Minute Change

One week before the program, a member of our client's planning team asked us to completely redesign a concept that was going to be present across all four days. Two days prior to the event, a senior member of the planning team asked for another complete redesign of the materials and presentation. Our Hello! Florida South Event Designer Olivia Velar jumped into action. Olivia came up with another concept and contacted one of our suppliers to request a rush piece. Our supplier began working on the project for us on a Saturday and created the structure for us on a Sunday, just in time for us to proceed with the installation that Monday. All in all, the supplier finished this custom piece for us within 24 hours. The client was extremely impressed with the new concept and said it was just what they were envisioning. This couldn't have happened without the great relationship we have with our supplier. Our supplier partnerships are extremely important to us and operate based on mutual respect. These relationships are integral for us when we need to go out of the "norm" and need a reliable partner during crunch time.

Transportation

With the attendees being their top earners, the client wanted to provide individual airport transportation for their incoming flights. It was important to the client that their guests feel pampered, which they felt would be present with these individual arrivals rather than large group transportation. Although this certainly presented a challenge, our team was able to accomplish it flawlessly with their logistical experience and careful, detailed planning.  

Welcome Reception

Welcome Reception

The welcome reception was extremely important to the client, who was highly impressed with the Wynwood district in Miami. Wynwood is an up-and-coming neighborhood known for its trendy art and many colorful murals. Since the client wasn't able to have two nights off-property from the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, we brought Wynwood to them! We took the time to listen to what they wanted, then showed them we could fulfill their needs by building numerous custom pieces and setting up a large amount of décor. The client loved the fabric prints, and was very pleased with our choices of bright colors and interactive elements that perfectly represented the Wynwood district.

To make guests feel like they were really in the neighborhood, we began the evening by inviting them to walk through a literal recreation of the actual gates of Wynwood. Guests were greeted with a yarn-wrapped tree in the center of our bar that became a real focal point for the event, while lounge groupings with different patterns added to the vibrancy. With all of the custom décor, one major challenge was being able to strategically place so many large pieces within a small footprint. With careful planning we made sure everyone was able to flow easily within the space and accomplished our client's goal of perfect symmetry throughout. 

Break dancers

The welcome reception was also open to the guests' families, whose children ranged in age from three to seventeen (quite a range!). Our team had to cleverly build a kids' area with fun activities that they would want to participate in, but one that also made sense within the overall style and theme of the event. To play off the artsy-feel of the night, we had a tie-dye station (a big hit with the adults as well!), a standing art station, and massive colorful bubbles the children could chase around. 

Sand Art

Final Night Reception


Final Night Reception

The final night reception at the historic public museum was to be an event to remember. It certainly was for our clients and guests, but for us as well! With so many custom pieces needing to be installed – the arbors, draping, chandeliers, and more – we rented out the museum the night before to get a head start on set up. Despite the advance work, we still experienced challenges with load-in on the day of the event since we had to split our load-in space with the catering team. Teamwork and creativity ensured that we were able to build the 48 tables we needed and transfer heavy furniture across the beautiful waterfront terraces, while catering was able to accomplish their goals in time to support our guests.

Vizcaya

Our group size traditionally wouldn't have fit within the event area. The primary space is one terrace that's required to be tented in case of inclement weather. The problem? It only fits 300 people max, with no stage…or dance floor. We were well over that capacity with 500 guests, including the need for seating. We had to figure out how to fit the extra guests comfortably to where they didn't feel disjointed from the main group (and how do we convince the museum to let us do it?). Harkening back to our site visit concept, we envisioned a romantic Tuscan night but with a modern twist. We wanted to expand the party to an area beneath the terrace and create large, custom arbor structures to play in to the Tuscan feel. But…we needed approval first. In order to make our client's dream a reality, we met with the museum's curators, security, and preservation society as well as our suppliers. There was a lot of customization and carpentry involved with the creation of these arbor structures, which would need to be built off-site and then re-assembled on the museum grounds. Our great relationships and communication once again saved the day, paving the way for a unique experience never before seen at this museum.

The Result

Comfort is key, and the program was a raging success because our teams were able to communicate well with our client, our suppliers, and the venues, as well as demonstrate great collaboration within our own organization. The program leads stayed at the hotel so they could be on site and available for the client 24 hours a day. Highly impressed with their efforts and attention to detail, the Hello! Florida South team was also invited to bid one another of the client's major programs that will be in South Florida next year.

Destination, Managed. 


Team Photo

Apr 12
We Have Some Exciting News!

Hello! California expands to San Francisco

Hello! Destination Management Opens New Location in San Francisco

Hello! launches their tenth office and expands its operations to Northern California

Orlando, FL—Hello! Destination Management, a full-service destination management company (DMC) based in Orlando, Florida, has acquired Mana, Allison & Associates ("Mana, Allison") in San Francisco, California. Mana, Allison will continue its operations as "Hello! California," providing comprehensive corporate, incentive, and association program services in the San Francisco Bay Area, Napa & Sonoma, Monterey & Carmel, Silicon Valley, Half Moon Bay, Sacramento, and Lake Tahoe.

Mana, Allison has been tailoring programs to meet their clients' specific needs and desires for over 30 years. From exclusive tours and teambuilding events to transportation and more, Mana, Alison has earned a stellar reputation for combining their experience and local expertise with a can-do attitude to produce extraordinary events. Glenn Allison, Co-Owner of Mana, Allison, says, "Joining the Hello! team is a giant step forward in the evolution of Mana, Allison & Associates. After operating as a standalone DMC for 30 years, Co-Owner Dave Mana and I, along with the rest of our team, are thrilled to play a role in the continued growth of Hello! Destination Management. We are genuinely honored and proud to plant the Hello! flag in Northern California." Allison will continue with Hello! California as Vice President, while Mana will serve as a consultant and advisor for future programs.   

Paul Mears, III, President of Hello! Destination Management, says, "We are delighted to join forces with the Mana, Allison team. Glenn Allison and Dave Mana have built the most reputable DMC in San Francisco over the last 30 years, and the tenure and expertise of their team is extraordinary. Mana, Allison is the perfect match for us; we're joining their capabilities with our premier business infrastructure to provide exceptional service to our clients in Northern California."

San Francisco marks the tenth office for Hello! Destination Management. Founded in 1986 with a handful of employees, Hello! has expanded throughout the country with over 200 full-time employees. Hello! is known nationwide for their dedication to providing outstanding guest experiences in over 35 world-class destinations coast-to-coast, such as Orlando, South Florida, Nashville, Dallas, Scottsdale, Las Vegas, Washington, D.C., Southern California, and more. For more information, visit www.hello-dmc.com or contact Jennifer Behar at jbehar@hello-dmc.com

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