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 No more outdated easels and meeting packets!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.
Connect your guests to each other with unforgettable shared experiences at our LINQ Block Party! With its expansive offerings and premiere dining, we've chosen some of the LINQ Hotel & Casino's most popular experiences to create an event that will excite even the most discerning of guests. Whether they're fulfilling their lifelong dream to fly like a superhero, being immersed in a new "reality," or taking in views of the Las Vegas Strip from the world's tallest observation wheel, even the city's famous bright lights won't be able to outshine the memories your guests will take home.
High Roller Observation Wheel
Soar 550 feet above the center of the Las Vegas Strip on the High Roller, the world's tallest observation wheel. With sweeping 360-degree views of the Las Vegas Valley and The Strip, the wheel takes 30 minutes to complete one revolution and features 28 spacious cabins to accommodate guests. A nearby space, Pre-Roll, not only gives you VIP access to High Roller, but features state-of-the-art lighting, sound, and video projection, and is conveniently located on the same level as the cabin boarding platform. Guests can also take in the gorgeous views of The Strip on the fifth floor, where the Wheelhouse offers two rooftop balconies as well as oversized windows.
What's unique about Fly LINQ? Everything! The Las Vegas Strip's only zip line, guests will experience one-of-a-kind views as they soar 12 stories above the LINQ Promenade. With 10 side-by-side ziplines that span 1,121 feet each, thrill seekers will be itching to race down to the finish line seated, backwards, or even "Superhero" style (you can now officially check "fly like Superman" off your bucket list!)
Jimmy Kimmel's Comedy Club
Climb inside the mind of comedian and late night host Jimmy Kimmel at his eponymous club, opening Spring 2019. This 8,000 square foot venue of hilarity will showcase comedians ranging from up-and-coming talent to household names curated by Kimmel and his team, in a venue designed by Jimmy and his comedian friends (did we mention the full kitchen and bar?)
Curious to experience the kind of technology that industry giants have spent billions of dollars on? Your attendees will leave this world behind when they dive into this cutting-edge, never-before-seen immersive experience. Gamers will use hand movements and walk, sidestep, or jump to explore or fly as they're plunged into a three-dimensional virtual world. Whether you feel like courageously confronting zombies or exploring the jungle on a river raft adventure, eight unique experiences are on-hand to make sure guests can pick whichever fits their fancy.
From sea to shining sea, this favorite nationwide restaurant invites you to experience innovative foods from their amazing scratch kitchen. The beer menu at Yard House features over 100 beers on tap, including a variety of craft, local, and imported beers. This two-story, indoor/outdoor space ensures plenty of room in which to enjoy their globally inspired flavors and favorite American dishes.
How's your aim? It helps, but doesn't really matter at the Brooklyn Bowl, where your guests can compete (or drink) in fierce competition on 32 bowling lanes. Two outdoor patios offer a breath of fresh air, while state-of-the-art concert capabilities allow vast opportunities for captivating and engaging entertainment.
Have you taken a liking to our LINQ Block Party?
Contact our experts at Hello! Las Vegas for more details!
we learned how some of our young professionals and working moms try to achieve their work-life balance. Yet our struggle for sanity is not just relative to where we stand in our personal life, but where we are on our professional journey as well. In our final Work-Life Balance feature, we’re talking to some of our career-driven event professionals as well as those who have recently transitioned to assume greater responsibilities. How exactly does one maintain that work-life balance when you’re moving to a new city after accepting a promotion? Let’s find out. First, let’s take a quick moment to meet this month’s panelists:
Robyn GilbertHello! Florida (South)Senior Account Executive
Robyn is a native of Palm Beach, Florida and holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Florida Atlantic University. She joined Hello!’s South Florida team in December 2009. She loves her job because she enjoys “watching what I’ve worked on from start to finish transform into a successful program.” Robyn embraces Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy: “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” Her hobbies include yoga, and traveling, and her dream is to fly over France in a hot air balloon someday.
Aaron TharpHello! TexasExecutive Producer/Department Director
Aaron joined Hello! in 2013 with nearly 10 years of event management and hotel creative sales experience, working in both the Orlando and Washington, D.C. markets. His career is marked by top-notch programs produced in a fast-paced and demanding atmosphere. Aaron is known for his dynamic and innovative approach while pairing textile and sensory impacts with entertainment experiences. In his free time, Aaron loves to go explore, try new restaurants, and meet new people, making friends every step of the way.
Janice DowlingHello! TexasGeneral Manager
As a destination management professional with over 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry, Janice has developed skills in special event program development, execution, and design. As a Hello! Florida Account Executive, Janice achieved top honors within Hello! before being promoted to the office’s Director of Creative Services in 2010. After eight years of leading a team of award-winning event designers Janice moved to Dallas in Fall 2018 to assume the role of General Manager for Hello! Texas. Away from work she enjoys reading, watching movies, exploring the outdoors, and dancing.
Kaitie ShoupHello! California (Southern)Product Development Manager
Kaitie was born and raised in Southern California, later moving to Las Vegas to attend the University of Nevada before joining Hello! Las Vegas in May 2016. She was ready to take the next step in her career, so in October 2018, Kaitie was promoted to Product Development Manager for our Hello! California (Southern) office in San Diego. Packing up her family and moving back to California has been a wonderful experience; she’s learning to manage multiple destinations and is closer to her family! In her free time Kaitie loves spending quality time with her sons, traveling, going on long runs, and visiting the beach every chance she gets.
To Our Featured Event Professionals...
How Do You Manage to Focus on Your Career While Still Maintaining a Sense of Self and Having a Personal Life?
Aaron: I try to keep them separate as best as I can. A personal goal of mine this year is to be more in the moment, both professionally and personally. If I'm working, I'm 100% focused on the needs of the business, and when I'm off the clock, I do my best to leave work at the door and be with my friends. This doesn't always happen, but in my head, I'm killing it!
Robyn: I'm a big believer in "Work Hard, Play Hard." I love to plan little "rewards" right at the end of particularly hectic stretches of time or right after a big presentation so I have something relaxing to look forward to.
Do You Ever Feel Like You Have to Choose One or the Other? Career OR Personal Life?
Robyn: This is something I'm constantly working on. With a little bit of pre-planning and setting expectations ahead of time, I'm better able to manage the two. In our busiest times of the year, it's definitely more of a struggle to keep the balance…I do find myself sacrificing some personal engagements in order to support my teammates and fulfill promises to my clients. I hate letting people down!
Aaron: There are times, but that's life, right? There's always going to be a week that requires more attention than the other.
What Part of Trying to Maintain Your Work-Life Balance Causes You the Most Stress?
Robyn: I think it's more the internal stress I put on myself to try and do it all. I definitely suffer from FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) so I end up with a packed work and personal schedule. I have a lot of days where I run from a site visit to a pre-con and then try to also squeeze in time with relatives when they're visiting from out of town or attend a friend's baby shower.
Aaron: Honestly, trying to fit it all in and making the time.
How Do You Carve out Your "Me Time?"
Aaron: It's all about balance and finding what works for you. I'm an early riser, so I tend to get to work earlier than I have to…especially if I know I'm in for a hectic day. This allows me to leave at a reasonable hour and have my evenings. I typically plan my weeks out as best as I can, knowing if I have client meetings especially, and scheduling my dates and friends around that. But, of course, it all has to be flexible since that schedule is always changing.
Robyn: Monthly massages are my way of zoning out and relaxing/recharging. I also like to ride my bike to the beach for a good mental break!
What Keeps You Motivated?
Robyn: My teammates! My office calls ourselves "framily"—the support we give each other to achieve our clients' goals keeps me motivated. I'm lucky enough to work with some of my best friends! Also, my boyfriend is incredibly support of my career. Even though it's hard for someone who is not in our crazy industry to fully understand what we do, if you don't have a great support system away from work, it's very hard to flourish!
Aaron: That sense of reward…it reminds me that all those long hours are truly worth it. "Work Hard, Play Harder," right?
For Our Recently Promoted Teammates…
What Was the Driving Force Behind Wanting to Take on This New Role?
Janice: I've had the opportunity to hold many positions successfully during my time at Hello!, and those experiences now allow me to lead a team with a deep understanding of the needs and expectations for each role. I felt ready for these new responsibilities and confident that I could succeed!
Kaitie: I was ready to advance in the company and my career. Product Development Manager was a role I was passionate about pursuing, and when the opportunity presented itself, I was excited to dive in.
Did You Find It Daunting to Move to a New Place?
Kaitie: The physical part of moving with two small children, yes! But the thought of moving to San Diego (one of my favorite cities) was not daunting at all, and we're now much closer to my parents and my twin sister's family. So it was a win-win for all!
Janice: It was as terrifying as it was exciting. I've always enjoyed new experiences and always knew in the back of my mind that I needed to work outside of Orlando, where I essentially grew up. However, since this move impacted my entire family, there were a lot of unknowns that added an element of fear!
How Did You Balance Your Current Workload with Preparing for Your Promotion?
Janice: There was no balance really, but the timing worked in my favor. We made the decision right after an especially busy time, so operationally, things were more manageable. As soon as I made the decision, I started documenting my day-to-day activities to review them with my successor. At the same time, I started getting copied on communications for Hello! Texas to start getting familiar with their world. The fact that it was a gradual transition helped as well. There's definitely been a learning curve in navigating a new city, but Hello!'s processes, workflows, and core values are familiar territory!
Kaitie: I must admit that it was a bit overwhelming at first. I began to slowly transition my work for Hello! Las Vegas and dove right into learning and working on information for the Hello! California (Southern) office.
What's Been Your Biggest Struggle in Making the Change?
Kaitie: I would say going from an office that covered one destination to an office that serves multiple ones. And in California, those destinations are massive!
Janice: Finding the right place to live. They say everything is bigger in Texas for a reason! The city and its surrounding areas are very spread out, which translates to hundreds of neighborhoods. I purchased a home in December 2018 and so far, so good!
How Do You Maintain Your Work-Life Balance Now That You're in Your New Role and a New Location?
Janice: There is no true balance; you do what you need to do in order to satisfy both your work and family requirements. I look at each day individually and work my schedule based on what's happening. Sometimes that means I have to work late, but other days it means I need to leave early to make that soccer game.
Kaitie: I make sure to unplug from time to time. When I come home at night I make sure I don't look at my computer or emails until my kids are asleep. I also try to become more familiar with the area each and every weekend, if possible. I'll take my kids to a new part of the city or try a new restaurant. It gives us quality time together and I'm slowly becoming an expert in the city we live in.
What Challenges Have You Encountered in Integrating Your Promotion with Being a Mom as Well?
Kaitie: As a mom of two sweet little boys (16 months and 4.5 years)…and maybe others can attest to this, too…we are everything to everyone and as a Product Development Manager, I feel the same way. So taking some time for myself is my biggest challenge I would say.
Janice: Since I'm the General Manager for all of Texas, that means I have to travel to Austin to support that team as well. I miss the kiddos terribly, but I make sure to keep in touch and share what I'm up to with them while I'm out of town. They both have phones so I text them pictures and my observations along the way!
Thanks for joining us as we shared some real-life insight into how our teammates navigate the struggle for work-life balance. We’re here to make things easier for our clients, which translates to less time stressing about details and more time getting back to the things (and people) you love.
Contact us to learn how we can make a great deal of effort seem effortless for you.
Scottsdale is a posh oasis for those seeking a relaxing getaway for business or pleasure. The city is best known for its many beautiful and elegant Southwestern style resorts and spas, as well as the golf courses nestled harmoniously within the desert and mountain foothills. Downtown Scottsdale also boasts a vibrant art scene with more than 100 galleries, restaurants, and upscale shopping. For those seeking a taste of the old west, the "Old Town" neighborhood in downtown Scottsdale features rustic saloons and shops. But let's take a moment to dive deeper into Scottsdale and see some of the gems it has to offer.
Tours and Activities
Get ready for some thrills as you're transported into the heart of the Tonto National Forest on the Four Peaks Trail. Feel the adrenaline as the Hummer conquers the intense desert terrain as you learn about the wildlife and plants that inhabit this majestic landscape. There are no dead ends in this Hummer!
Move 'em on, head 'em up, head 'em up, move 'em out...keep them doggies rollin' through the Sonoran Desert on a cattle drive with real cowboys! Ride your horse at the back of the pack and take in the scenery, or ride up front with the cowboys and keep those cows on the straight and narrow! Regardless of where in the group you land, you're sure to leave the trail a happy camper.
Cosanti is part art studio and part architectural experiment with the landscaping highlighting what is possible in the desert. Paolo Soleri was a colorful and passionate Italian architect who first came to Arizona in 1947 as a student of architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Soleri became known for his work on bridges, but his passion was creating frugal, self-sustaining cities. He spent his life working toward that vision and developed a concept he termed arcology (architecture + ecology). Soleri and his wife moved to Scottsdale in 1956 and founded Cosanti as their home and studio.
Cosanti—which means "Before (or Against) Things" in Italian—was a living experiment for Soleri's vision, and he resided there until his death in 2013. Soleri created earth-formed concrete structures, with domes that seem to defy gravity, and a space that has a bit of an otherworldly feel.
Soleri is probably best known for his beautiful hand-poured bronze wind-bells, and the Cosanti Foundation continues to create more than 50,000 bells each year. While wandering the grounds, you'll be mesmerized by the rhythmic sound of all the bells. There are bronze pouring's daily, which is quite the sight to see.
Taliesin West is located in the beautiful Sonoran Desert in Northeast Scottsdale. Frank Lloyd Wright began building this desert masterpiece in 1937 as his personal winter home, studio, and architectural campus. The facility currently functions as the winter homes, studios, workshops and offices of the 70 architects, staff members and students associated with the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture and Taliesin Associated Architects.
On your tour of this National Register of Historic Places site, you'll experience Wright's brilliant ability to integrate indoor and outdoor spaces first-hand. The living quarters and the dramatic Taliesin West "Garden Room" are some highlights, as well as the living room that was the social gathering place for Wright and the many famous guests he entertained. Walk through his Cabaret Theater, Music Pavilion, Seminar Theater and Wright's private office—all linked by dramatic terraces, gardens, and walkways overlooking the rugged Sonoran Desert—and see for yourself how the site amplifies the desert's natural beauty.
The Sonoran Desert boasts some of the most magnificent views and sunsets in the world; a truly unforgettable and picture-perfect experience in the middle of the desert. People from all around the world are continually in awe when viewing the beauty of the natural landscape and standing among the towering and majestic centuries-old Saguaro Cacti. The splendor of this land combined with an Arizona sunset gives a perfect mix of vibrant colors, unique landscape, and breathtaking views that sets the scene for the kind of incredible experience only Arizona can bring. From large in-ground fire pits, a dance floor, and a band-shell, this unique venue is a blank canvas for events from Western, Native American, casual, upscale, modern, and more. The possibilities are endless!
G Collection is an extraordinary venue that offers a unique entertainment and dining experience unparalleled anywhere in the world. The focal point of the venue is its classic automobile collection, which is surrounded by a fascinating array of antiques and rare, historically significant antiquities. This space serves as a full restoration shop for the collection as well as a multi-room, multi-layered event experience.
Enter the Automotive Museum, home to some of the rarest cars in history, and see your reflection in the spotless, handmade Zagato-bodied cars from the 1950s and 1960s. The Lounge area features a hand-painted bar top created by using automotive paint, high tops, and booths for guests to enjoy drinks, hors d'oeuvres, and dancing. Move through a private game room featuring classic interactive video games to the fabulous Barn Room, where a collection of all original, unrestored cars awaits you.
"The Duce" is where Prohibition meets produce...well, at least in the late 1920s it did. The building is a warehouse that once anchored a bustling produce district during the day. Yet at night, duce, vice, jazz and other not-so-clean fun would take over. Today, The Duce offers a variety of retro recreation games such as ping pong, duce bag, shuffleboard, and foosball. Though let's not forget the full boxing ring, 1915 Chicago soda fountain, and trailer-made food reminiscent of mom's 1960s kitchen—all made from scratch.
La Puesta del Sol is Spanish for "The Setting Sun," and you'll see how this space earned its name right from the start. Stunning 360-degree views from La Puesta's incomparable vantage points, perched atop a cactus-dotted mesa, provide unlimited vistas of Arizona's spectacular sunsets. Try a mouth-watering BBQ menu paired with country music and cowboy games and experience an "Arizona Luau" like no other.
Ready to discover everything the Scottsdale area has to offer? Contact our
Hello! Arizona team for more information about these and other activities, tours, off-site events, dine-arounds, transportation, on-site themed events, and more!
"Work-Life Balance" seems to be the new buzzword of the last few years, and why shouldn't it be? We all struggle to fit the puzzle pieces of career, family, friends, and personal time together. The Hello! family is no different, and we were curious as to what steps our team takes on their road to achieving work-life balance. This month, we're interviewing two of our young professionals to get their insights while also hearing from two of our working moms. First, let's take a quick moment to meet our panelists:
Melissa GermainHello! Florida (Central) Account Executive
Melissa came to us in 2012 shortly after earning her bachelor's degree in Event Management with a minor in Hospitality Management from UCF's Rosen College. An active member of the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA), she has served as a leader on the organization's student advisory board. In her free time this Florida native likes attending Orlando Magic basketball games, scrapbooking and volunteering with the Salvation Army.
Autumn HotenHello! Nashville Account Executive
Texas native Autumn Hoten graduated from Louisiana State University before joining Hello! Texas in 2016 as a Sales Coordinator. In just over a year she transferred to the Hello! Nashville office, first as an Account Manager, and later being promoted to an Account Executive. Autumn is passionate about being organized and creative, having good relationships, and communicating effectively. At home, she loves spending time with her one-eyed toy poodle named Kenzie Marie.
Romy LindeHello! California (Southern) Director of Sales
Born in San Diego, Romy brought her deep knowledge of the local scene and 15 years of experience to Hello! in 2017. Romy's wide-ranging experience gives her great insight into the hospitality industry. Her goal is to make her clients, vendors, and employees happy while also producing the best events possible. She enjoys working out and traveling with her husband, son, and daughter. A happy and outgoing member of the Hello! family, Romy has an eclectic taste in music, listening to everything from Coldplay to Justin Bieber.
Brianna MoodyHello! Arizona Senior Account Executive
Brianna brings more than 11 years of industry experience to the Account Executive role and a thorough understanding of the event management process from start to finish. Described as compassionate and determined, Brianna loves staying connected to the event community. As an Arizona native, she also loves spending time outdoors with her family in the beautiful Southwest. When she isn't busy planning awe-inspiring events, she enjoys time with her husband and four daughters, who keep her on her toes!
What Techniques Do You Use to Manage Your Stress?
Brianna (WM): When I feel things might be getting a little overly stressed, simply taking a deep breath and powering through usually does the trick for me. Stepping outside for some sunlight and fresh air helps, too.
Autumn (YP): I try to find positive outlets. I've been running cross-country since middle school, so running has always been a "go to" for me. As I got older it became a great way to let off steam. On calmer and colder days (I'm strictly a warm weather runner!) I turn to a book for a mini mental vacation and escape to somewhere else. Either activity can be as long or short as needed and majorly helps my mood.
Romy (WM): I agree with Autumn! Working out is how I let it all go.
Melissa (YP): I'm very thankful to have such an amazing Sales Coordinator and Account Manager by my side to help me through stressful times and divide up workload. When I'm with my friends outside of work, we also have a rule that we don't talk about work when we're catching up to help de-stress and not make work a constant topic. On days where I can't always see friends, a nice little run around the neighborhood always does the trick!
For the Working Moms, What Changes Have You Made to Your Work Routine After Having Children?
Romy (WM): There aren't as many Happy Hours or staying out too late, but honestly, nothing has really changed too drastically for me. I try my best to balance it all.
Brianna (WM): Adapting my schedule to work best for my family. Thankfully, a lot of people in our industry are juggling families while working, so it's great that we have the flexibility sometimes to adjust our schedules in order to make something else work. Leaving early one day or staying late another depending on our deadlines is very helpful. Formally scheduling everything on my calendar also allows me to not get sucked into something that I can't dedicate time to on that particular day.
How Do You Find Time for Yourself?
Melissa (YP): It can be hard to find time for myself during certain times of the year, but I plan yearly vacations with my close friends and that always gives me something to look forward to. We spread out planning times and get together usually every month to plan parts of our trip. I enjoy the "girl time" as well as searching for the best things to do in the country we're visiting.
Brianna (WM): Since I do commute to work on a daily basis, I use my alone time in the car for thinking and getting my mind right for the next action, whether that's on the way to work or when I'm heading home. Even though I wish I didn't have to spend quite as much time on my commute, I make the time productive by reflecting.
Romy (WM): I make it a point to try and schedule time to go out with friends, have a date night, take a wine break, etc.
Autumn (YP): I try to plan accordingly and be aware of any gaps in my schedule. I really focus on not overscheduling my down time. While spending time with friends always sounds great, sometimes knowing my own limits is a life saver. It gives me the opportunity to enjoy the time I need for some R&R since my job can be very go, go, go.
How Do You Remain Efficient During Your Day?
Brianna (WM): Trying to work smarter, not harder is very important! By keeping on track with a schedule, I can stay on top of my world with work AND homelife. One of the most important ways I remain efficient is by having a strong and skilled team by my side.
Melissa (YP): I remain efficient throughout the day by having my color-coded calendar appointments to note what tasks I need to get done versus what my meeting appointments are. Plus, having my daily checklist front and center is a driving force in my efficiency, since checking something off my list is super satisfying and pushes me to get things done!
Romy (WM): Three words: prioritizing, reprioritizing, and multitasking.
Autumn (YP): My lists and calendars help me remain efficient. I just have to make sure I use my checklists and prioritize.
Working Moms—Do You Have Any Outside Support System in Place to Help You with Managing Your Family?
Brianna (WM): My biggest support comes from my amazing husband, who does so incredibly much for me and our family. Not only does he have a full-time career himself, but he also picks up all four of the kids from their school on a daily basis, keeps them entertained, totes them all with him to activities, and gets dinner started! Our children are in pre-school, grade school, and we have a babysitter for our younger children, so there is a lot going on, but we love it!
Romy (WM): Like Brianna mentioned, a support system is crucial. I'm very lucky and grateful to have my husband, nanny, and two sets of parents by my side.
How Do You Establish Boundaries to Keep Your Work and Personal Life Separate?
Autumn (YP): They naturally stay separate unless I merge them intentionally…so not really sure there's a boundary issue there for me.
Romy (WM): I try to make plans and organize play dates with my friends and family all of the time. I like to focus on my family on the weekends, though taking some weekend trips helps, too.
Brianna (WM): In this business, it's hard to keep our two lives separate because of how dedicated we are to our careers and our clients. I try to follow through as best as I can with my expectations so when I know I need to turn off, I'll turn off.
Melissa (YP): I have a company cell phone, which means I carry around two phones at times, but it helps me to "turn things off" when I can or be able to focus on my friends and family when I'm with them. Letting my team, as well as some clients, know if I'm out of town on the weekends also helps to set the boundaries.
How Do You Prioritize Your Time?
Melissa (YP): Utilizing my resources in the office is a huge part of helping me prioritize my time. I can share program leads with my wonderful co-worker, Robyn Boyd, to make sure we're capturing business and that each client is getting the attention they need. My Sales Coordinator and I also focus on upcoming and quick deadlines first and then go through our follow-ups. There is always room for adjustment and keeping parts of the day open for any pop-ups is also key.
Brianna (WM): Being flexible with my day helps me prioritize my time. Creating a list of what NEEDS to happen vs. what I WANT to happen is a "best practice" for me. If I can push something, I'll push it to help alleviate another stress that might be coming up.
Romy (WM): I take the kids to school in the morning, focus specifically on work during the day, grab the kids again after work, and then catch up on more work after they're asleep or step out for some "me" time to destress.
Autumn (YP): I'm kind of the same as Brianna…knowing how much time I have to work with and how long specific tasks will take is huge for me. For example, if I know I have to account for a meeting during the day, I can see what items I can effectively check off the to-do list in the time I have, instead of getting started on a task and having to stop midway through. That helps me focus on each task and minimize mistakes.
What is Your Biggest Struggle?
Brianna (WM): Not having enough time in the day! If we can just add, like, five more hours I think it would make life a little easier. Or better yet, if I could just clone myself, that would help!
Romy (WM): Trying to balance a busy life full of schedules and trying to be everything for everybody.
Autumn (YP): Knowing when to let things go. Having worked in several roles, it's sometimes hard letting others take on a task instead of just doing it myself.
Melissa (YP): I would have to say my biggest struggle is setting priority timelines with my clients. I always want to say "yes" to them and make things happen for their program, but this can also mean working late nights and having a full schedule.
Brianna and Romy—Do You Have Any Tips or Tricks for the Other Working Mom Event Professionals Out There?
Brianna (WM): Finding a partner that understands our world and values your love for the job is so incredibly helpful. We would not be able to do what we do without the support from our loved ones. Being true to yourself and setting real expectations has also helped me a lot. I know I'm going to miss things, but I also know that I am doing the best that I can.
Romy (WM): It takes a village. Life is so busy…try and live in the moment!
Autumn and Melissa—Do You Have Any Tips or Tricks for the Other Young Event Professionals Out There?
Autumn (YP): Find a job you love with a great company. I might be stating the obvious, but I've come to learn that not everyone thinks this is possible. It absolutely, 100% is, and you shouldn't give up looking for it. Second, it's OK to know and communicate your limits. When I started my career, it wasn't just another job to me and I was so afraid to lose it that I thought I had to be superwoman, taking on everything that was thrown my way. You WILL get burned out (and quick!) working like that. If you have others that can help, let them.
Melissa (YP): Knowing your limits is something that will be a key tool in being successful, and not over-stressing about things. Having a release or activity outside of work helps to balance your life and keep your stress down. Definitely learn from others and ask questions about things that are new to you, so you know what to expect and how to maneuver a situation.
We hope you were able to find at least one small tidbit in there to help manage the crazy. We'll be back next month with our On the Road to Work-Life Balance: Part 2, where we'll get some tips and insight from our teammates who are well established in their position, as well as those who are finding their way through brand new roles.
In October 2017, a leading real estate franchise was hosting 5,000 guests for the closing night event at their conference in Las Vegas. After designing the event twice due to changes in the venue, Las Vegas (and the country) was rocked to its core with a mass shooting that changed thousands of lives forever. The landscape of the event morphed overnight, where real-world threats and significant last-minute changes threatened to derail months' worth of hard work.
Our client wanted their guests to enjoy an outside block party and initially decided on a space in downtown Las Vegas with a "Vintage Vegas" theme. Several months later, the client asked to switch the location to Toshiba Plaza and its next-door neighbor, The Park. They also wanted to change the experience to a "White Wedding" theme. One key piece of décor we ordered was a custom, oversized Heart Locket Sign on which guests would write love messages on a lock and attach it to a large heart (similar to what you would see on the bridges of Paris.)
Then on October 1, tragedy struck when a gunman open-fired over an outdoor concert on the Las Vegas Strip. The following day our client (understandably) asked that the event be relocated inside. The only space that would fit their 5,000 attendees was the T-Mobile Arena, meaning that the direction, planning, and execution of the event needed to be completely redesigned in less than two weeks.
We worked quickly to reconfigure the décor and entertainment to fit (figuratively and literally) in the new space. Despite the last-minute difficulties, given the heart-breaking circumstances, we were pleased that the Las Vegas business community came together to ensure a successful outcome. We were also challenged with keeping key pieces that the client loved within the design while making them work with the new direction. One of their favorite pieces—the Heart Locket Sign—now became a "Vegas Strong" standing memorial where attendees could write messages of support for the shooting victims.
It was finally time for the big night. After moving through heightened (and much appreciated) security to enter the building, guests were treated to an opening hour of music with a lively and upbeat vibe. Harkening to the original Vintage Vegas element that many still loved, we brought in a Pink Cadillac for a photo opportunity. Elvis later came on stage to sing and perform a vow renewal ceremony for guests before a surprise name-act headliner closed out the night. Once the event concluded we loaded everything out within a mere three hours so the space could be turned back into a hockey rink for the following day. Once the strike was underway, some of our team members took the Heart Locket Sign that now had hundreds of goodwill messages attached to it and placed it at the Welcome to Las Vegas sign memorial.
The biggest challenge was redesigning this event multiple times, with the added safety issue and last-minute scramble following the shooting. Being able to stay on top of the changes and successfully adapt meant a great deal of communication, coordination, resourcefulness, and most of all, the "can-do" positive attitude our clients know they can count on us for.
Other than successfully redesigning the event each time, we knew we had met the client's objectives when we received nothing but compliments and thank you's after the event for creating such a memorable night. The client mentioned several times how grateful they were to have us as a partner and couldn't imagine anyone else successfully reworking the event multiple times and then starting from scratch with less than two weeks to spare.
Evolving ideas for the night and its theme? No problem. Last-minute safety concerns? We've got you. Destination, Managed.
We want you to fall in love with our destinations and find the hotel or venue that's a perfect match. Site inspections are the gold standard for determining whether the location is a fit for your group or not, and like a parent evaluating a potential suitor for their child, there are plenty of questions that need to be asked. Whether you fancy yourself an expert or a novice at site inspections, here are some of the most important considerations when finding the space that's meant to be.
How many people are you expecting? Location options can often be narrowed down based on group size alone.
What time of year will your group be coming in? Some venues work better in the cooler months while others shine in the sun!
If the event is off-site, how far are you willing to travel from the hotel?
What are the demographics of your group? "Knowing the average age, male/female ratio, and what the attendees do for your organization helps us cater to the group as a whole," says Jennifer Janette, Senior Director of Sales for Hello! Florida (Central).
Getting to the Heart of It
Vehicle Drop Points
From the moment you arrive on site, look for vehicle drop points to see how far the walk is from arrival to the main location. Make sure you scope out all areas, including private dining rooms for restaurants and green rooms for venues. "I look at it from a sales, creative, and operations perspective and truly try to think through all aspects of the program from proposal to production," says Krista England, Director of Product Development for Hello! Las Vegas.
How many guests can the venue accommodate for a reception? What about a seated dinner? This question is always a front runner because capacities can vary. When quoted a number, always ask, "Realistically, how many would you recommend?" The number that's typically given is what the fire marshal has approved, which is higher than what we would bring in. This is one particular area where our expertise comes in handy; our seasoned teammates are able to see a space and estimate how many guests would fit comfortably. If you anticipate adding entertainment and décor, remember to factor that in as well.
If your site is a restaurant, ask about the different table configurations that can be done in the space(s). The number of guests the space can accommodate will vary depending on the style and size of the tables (i.e. kings tables versus round tables, etc.)
What (if any) furniture or tables does the venue/restaurant have? This is important for a couple of reasons: 1) If they have furniture, are you able to move or remove it? 2) If they don't have furniture, are you able to bring in your own? If you are, then the question becomes, where is the service elevator and how large is it?
From catering to entertainment and décor, we always ask if there is a preferred supplier list or if we are able to bring in our own. Our teams work hard to cultivate relationships based on excellent product and service so it's always beneficial to bring in one of our partners.
Hours of Operation
What are the normal hours of operation? If the restaurant or venue is normally closed when you're having your event, the space rental is typically less since you're not displacing regular business. Try buying out a venue during lunch or hosting a breakfast at a restaurant that is open for dinner only.
Food Preparation and Storage
It's important to understand how and where the food will be prepared. If you're looking at a venue, is there a full kitchen? Does the caterer need to bring all food fully prepared before they arrive on site? If they do, how will they keep it warm? Can the caterer store extra food items anywhere on site?
If the group is not doing a full buyout, how will that work with other patrons? If it's a venue, will there be another group nearby? If it's a restaurant, where does the group walk through in order to get to their area?
After operating thousands of programs each year, our teams have become quite adept at recommending locations that would work best for your group. Contact us to get started and we will propose (not literally!) a crafted list of options specifically for you.