Feb 08
Dining Innovation at The Phoenician

Hello! Tomorrow

Innovation. It's what excites us. It defines us as one of the leading DMCs in the country and it's at the core of our Hello! Tomorrow series. This month we're featuring our "Dining Innovation at The Phoenician" program, which is nominated for an Association of Destination Management Executives International (ADMEI) award for "Excellence in Technology Integration." 

LED Table Top 1

Hello! Arizona recently produced a dinner for members of a luxury-lifestyle magazine in the Canyon Suites at The Phoenician resort in Scottsdale, Arizona. The Canyon Suites were newly renovated, and The Phoenician wanted to showcase the new foyer and outdoor patio, highlight the on-property restaurants, and completely WOW their guests. We had to ask, "How do we create something that's never been seen or done, for VIP guests who have seen and done almost everything?"

To create a dinner for elite guests that would highlight the contemporary luxury of the Canyon Suites, we thought outside the realm of a traditional dinner. Instead of using products already available, we wanted to innovate and produce something completely new. We decided to create an eight-course interactive dining experience featuring an LED table top that would display graphics to match each course of the dinner, along with a program that synchronized the graphic changes with white glove dinner service. The table featured LED screens that linked together to create seamless graphics. We finished the astonishing display with square mirrored vases that were filled with white hydrangea and various sized succulents to tie the very modern table into the desert landscape.

LED Table Top 2

We worked with a production company and the resort to completely plan, design, and synchronize the dining experience. The opening video was The Phoenician logo and a scrolling message welcoming them to The Phoenician's Canyon Suites. Chefs presented each course, after which the servers (in unison) would place the plate on the LED table and the animation for that course would begin. The animations were based on the placement of the plates—some swirled around, some grew like flourishes, and some were themed background for that course (such as smoke and flames for steak). The video graphics were inspired by the actual menu items, such as using a fire graphic with a Phoenician logo overlay for hot soup, then turning the fire into hot coals for the grilled prawns course, making it seem as if the prawns were being grilled on the spot. Once a course was cleared the table transitioned to a black screen with The Phoenician logo, allowing for a drastic change each time the next course was set. The dinner continued until the encore: a lollipop garden that was "celebrated" with graphics of fireworks. Since each course represented a specific department or restaurant at The Phoenician, to help differentiate them we used a local musician to play four genres of music that changed with each course: Contemporary, Rock 'n Roll, Top 40, and Jazz. For the lollipop garden encore with the fireworks graphics, the musician closed with Katie Perry's "Fireworks."

LED Table Top 3

The event was an overall success. Through their ingenuity, Hello! Arizona was able to deliver something unexpected to guests who thought they'd seen everything. We're honored to be nominated for an ADMEI award, and look forward to the awards gala in Chicago on February 10! 

Jan 29
Destination, Managed: IPW

Destination Managed Header

Our passion is producing extraordinary events while ensuring a worry-free experience for our clients. But what really goes on behind closed doors? In our "Destination, Managed" series we're pulling back the curtain to show just how Hello! Destination Management overcomes obstacles to make a great deal of effort look effortless. We'll begin our series by featuring the IPW Opening Night Event, which is nominated for "Best Achievement in Logistics" and "Best Event Produced for a Corporation or Association: Budget Above $500,000" Gala Awards from Special Events Magazine, as well as an ADMEI award for "Excellence in Risk & Crisis Management."

The Event

In June 2017, Hello! Washington, D.C. produced a three-hour opening night concert at the IPW conference for 6,500 invited VIP guests and 1,500 public attendees at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. We were asked to create an experience that presented America in a way that the conference's international guests had not experienced before. To achieve our client's objectives, we worked extensively with the National Park Service (NPS) to do something that had never been done before—close the National Mall of the United States for a private event. The event overlooked the U.S. Capitol Building and included a myriad of performances that celebrated the American experience, from dance companies to a final performance by Aloe Blacc. 

The Challenges

Our client wanted to showcase America on its front yard—the National Mall. However, the NPS has deemed the National Mall strictly off-limits for private events. The solution was to make the event partially public and partially private, essentially doubling our initial proposed footprint and logistical plan. We began drawing up plans to ensure proper segmentation and security according to the requirements of the NPS. Several months later we were informed that the requirements had changed due to a shift in the NPS leadership and presidential administration. We were back to square one as all of our plans had to be re-written. 

As we drew closer to the date, we needed scale drawings of the Mall in order to properly plan for the event and mitigate any risk. Yet, since the National Mall stands between some of the most visited and secure buildings in the U.S., scale drawings of the Mall were unavailable. Not to be deterred, our teams meticulously hand-measured where every electrical box, tree, road, pathway, trash can, and bench was located in order to create our own scaled map. Every inch of the mall was covered, with all elements of the plan represented.  

With this event, we needed to have laser focus to ensure we timed everything perfectly. The National Mall has hosted events before, but they have always been public events with many days' worth of load-in time. We had exactly 48 hours from being granted access to the Mall to be completely out. This required us to be incredibly detailed in the load-in process, and many of our items could not be installed at the same time as each other. Since the barricades and fencing bordered areas that were still open to the public, including one of the Smithsonian museums, we needed to wait until a few hours before the event to install the lighting, audio, and food service equipment, as well as security sweep the area. We did not have any room, or time, for error.

IPW Stage

The Result

Overall, our teams successfully organized and managed a staggering number of security and personnel: Over one mile of barricades, nearly a mile of fence, over 20 different government agencies, 65 NPS officers, and private security. We also designed and rendered all production elements, produced the concert's audio visual, and managed the entertainment. After months of planning with a highly skilled team, we achieved what was previously thought impossible and produced the first-ever private event on the National Mall.

Destination, Managed.

Jan 26
Creative VIP Transportation

Hello! Tomorrow

Every December, college football heads to Miami, Florida for the Capital One® Orange Bowl. From 2015 to 2017, Hello! Destination Management has earned the opportunity to provide local transportation for guests' VIP experience while in town for the annual event. Our goal has been to provide a fun way to get around Miami that also showcases Capital One's reputation as an innovative leader. To achieve the perfect solution, our Hello! Florida (South) team partners with Freebee, a provider of eco-friendly, electric transportation that offers just the kind of unique, alternative way to see Miami we're looking for. 

Capital One Fleet

With these fuel-efficient vehicles, all of the energy is on the inside – bouncing music, enthusiastic drivers, and open-air views of Miami. VIP guests have the luxury of their own personal use of the rides during designated times, while the cars operate on their usual app system, offering free, clean energy rides to the general public when not in use by the VIPs. Completely branded from roof to trunk, these vehicles rolled through the streets of South Beach during one of the busiest times of the year for all to see. As a supporter of clean energy, Hello!'s innovative solution achieved the goals of our client while simultaneously contributing to local environmentally-conscious initiatives and providing guests with a memorable experience they won't soon forget. 

Car Close Up

Jan 24
Five Hottest Event Trends for 2018

Feature Photo

Our creative professionals have compiled the five hottest trends to look for in 2018. From bold and interactive to soft and trendy, here's what you'll see being featured at this year's events.

Trend #1: Textiles


Give your guests something they can feel by using textiles such as velvet or concrete. Hello! Florida (Central) Executive Producer and Department Director Janice Dowling says, "Velvet is a soft fabric that's here to stay. It's now available in many colors and brings a touch of luxe that doesn't feel over the top while elevating any setting." Looking for something a little edgy? "Concrete brings modern style to any environment and can double as a symbol of strength," Dowling explains. 

​Trend #2: Go Bold  

Last year brought a wave of change around the world that will continue to reshape our cultural zeitgeist. In this age of empowerment, brands are evolving by encouraging new customers to find their voice and this trend is trickling over to the corporate event world. Cameron Rust, National Asset Manager - Branding, says, "Expect to see disruptive new technology integrations like augmented reality that drive deeper attendee engagement. You'll also see bold uses of color, like the Pantone® 2018 color of the year, Ultraviolet, that celebrates creativity and a strong point of view." Rust continues, "Of course, at Hello!, purple is always our color of the year, but nevertheless, 2018 is the year of being big, bright, beautiful, and emboldened."

Pantone Color of the Year

Trend #3: Interactive Food and Beverage Entertainment

To truly surprise and delight your guests, Hello! Florida (South) Executive Producer and Department Director Vanessa Lopez suggests using interactive food and beverage entertainment. "A cutting edge option is to use a pair of radio-controlled quadcopters that are outfitted with 12-inch suspended silver serving trays and piloted through the event space by professional RC pilots. Guests are shocked and awed by this one-of-a-kind aerial appetizer or dessert food service," she says.

Lopez also recommends using stunning Napkin Ladies to astonish guests. "These ladies wear glamorous dresses woven completely from removable cocktail napkins. The Napkin Ladies accompany passed appetizers and strike poses that offer guests napkins from their dresses. With dresses that are fully color-customizable, Napkin Ladies can also pour wine with waiters during dining.

Trend #4: Geo Shapes

Geo shapes

Dowling also pinpoints geo shapes as the perfect way to incorporate prints into a table design. "Most of the prints out there lean toward a certain style; florals are too feminine, damask can feel too classic, and many others are way too themed," she says. Geo shapes bring a print that is bold and versatile. The trend also flows into containers and furnishings, which add a playful detail to an otherwise basic item.

Trend #5: Designer Cocktails

A selfie never tasted so good! The selfie trend is expanding to become the garnish on guests' cocktails with edible photographs. Katie Simcock, Event Designer/Producer for Hello! Washington, D.C. describes the designer cocktail trend: "A new era of mixology has arrived with designer cocktails that become part of your guests' experience for the evening. A cocktail is no longer just a cocktail, but an experience. From flower-infused ice cubes and on-site ice chipping to Frosé Bars, the traditional cocktail transforms into a unique and custom drink for your guests.”

Jan 17
Hello! Nominated for Three Gala Awards and Six ADMEI Awards!

Give Kids Header

Give Kids the World Black & White Gala

Hello! Destination Management is honored to be nominated for three Gala Awards by Special Events Magazine, as well as six awards by the Association of Destination Management Executives International (ADMEI). Here's a look at the events that snagged a nod for some of the industry's most prestigious awards. 

Give Kids the World Black & White Gala, Hello! Florida (Central)

Nominated for:

  • Gala Award: Best Theatrical Entertainment Production
  • ADMEI Achievement Award: Best Public Event

In September 2016, Give Kids the World hosted its annual fundraiser, Give Kids the World Black and White Gala, for 1,400 attendees at the Hyatt Regency Orlando in Orlando, Florida. Hello! Florida produced the black tie event, which featured a "Pirates and Princesses" theme complete with lavish food and décor with a custom show that swept guests away to a far off kingdom for the birthday party of a royal princess. Filled with sword fighting, extravagant ball gowns, and even buried treasure, this grand adventure raised much-needed funds for an amazing nonprofit where happiness inspires hope for children with life-threatening illnesses.

Give Kids the World

IPW Opening Night Event, Hello! Washington, D.C.

Nominated for:

  • Gala Award: Best Achievement in Logistics
  • Gala Award: Best Event Produced for a Corporation or Association: Budget Above $500,000
  • ADMEI Achievement Award: Best Public Event

In June 2017, Hello! Washington, D.C. produced the opening night concert of the IPW conference for 6,500 invited VIP guests and 1,500 public attendees. This event showcased Washington, D.C. and the United States in the first-ever private event held on the National Mall. With beautiful sunset views of the United States Capitol as the background, attendees were treated to a fully catered concert with Aloe Blacc and other performers. Hello! Washington, D.C. worked with 20 different departments in the U.S. government to plan and execute a secure event as they closed off one of the busiest streets in the country. IPW

A Journey Through the Desert Landscape, Hello! Arizona

Nominated for:

  • ADMEI Achievement Award: Best Innovative Events $50,001 - $100,000

In January 2017, Hello! Arizona produced the final event for a global management consulting firm's "All-Hands Meeting" for 800 international guests at The Phoenician resort in Scottsdale, Arizona. Over the course of the night, Hello! Arizona took guests on a journey through the elements that make Scottsdale an ideal destination—the hidden luxury of the desert landscape, the laid back Western charm, and the vibrant, budding local culture. From the elegant reception and dinner, to the after-party featuring Silent DJ headphones as well as a band, guests left the event with the desert warmth running through their veins.  Hello! Arizona Event

RE-INVENT the Night, Hello! Las Vegas

Nominated for:

  • ADMEI Achievement Award: Best Innovative Events $100,001 - $200,000

In May 2017, a worldwide leading provider of software solutions hosted 1,600 attendees at their "Reinvent Customer Service" conference at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. During the welcome night reception, Hello! Las Vegas brought three different themes to life in front of guests' eyes over the course of the evening. 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, performers captivated guests with dazzling performances and interactive elements. The traditional corporate event format was cast aside as Hello! Las Vegas Reinvented the Night!Re-Invent the Night

Mysterious Masquerade Ball, Hello! Texas

Nominated for:

  • ADMEI Achievement Award: Best Innovative Events $100,001 - $200,000

In February 2017, Hello! Texas produced a Masquerade-themed event for 1,700 employees of a Fortune 500 clinical laboratory services corporation at the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center. Guests chose their perfect mask at interactive stations during the day. The night's event featured luxurious décor that transformed the room into a masquerade ball and included over eight different table décor and soft seating looks with custom centerpieces. Crystal chandeliers glittered overhead while large swags of velvety drapes hung from the ceiling. Attendees were swept into a mysterious world where, for a few hours, co-workers could mask their identity and meet for the first time.  Masquerade Ball

Dining Innovation at The Phoenician, Hello! Arizona

Nominated for:

  • ADMEI Excellence Award: Excellence in Technology Integration

In December 2016, Hello! Arizona produced a dinner for 24 members of a luxury-lifestyle magazine in the Canyon Suites at The Phoenician in Scottsdale, Arizona. To create a high-end experience that was truly unique, Hello! Arizona created an eight-course interactive dining experience featuring an LED table top that displayed graphics to match each course of the dinner. From swirling animations to graphics that grew like flourishes, each was synchronized to the elegant white glove dinner service. Through their ingenuity, Hello! Arizona was able to deliver something unexpected to guests who thought they'd seen everything.Dining Innovation

We look forward to the Gala Award results on February 1 and the ADMEI Award results on February 10!

Jan 09
Hello!'s Holiday Cheer

Hello Holiday Cheer

The holiday season is all about the spirit of giving; being thankful for what you have and reaching out to help those less fortunate. Our Hello! Destination Management teams partnered with some of our favorite charitable organizations this past December to spread joy and cheer during this magical time of year. From Christmas Angels to toy drives and fun nights for at-risk youth, our Hello! family across the U.S. opened their hearts in a big way to help make dreams come true.

Hello! Arizona and The Salvation Army

The Hello! Arizona team gathered to participate in the annual Christmas Angel program, sponsored by a local Arizona television station and The Salvation Army. The team shopped for 12 children in need and fulfilled their holiday wish lists. From bicycles to Easy-Bake ovens, the team searched high and low in local Arizona stores to make every child's Santa list come true. Hello! Arizona was so excited to participate in this wonderful Phoenix/Scottsdale tradition, which has been providing children in need with Christmas smiles for over 30 years.

Hello Arizona Photo 1Hello Arizona Photo 2

Hello! Florida (Central), Mears Transportation Group, and Robert Half

Hello! Florida (Central) joined Mears Transportation Group to assist Robert Half in their Holiday Toy Drive to benefit the local Boys & Girls Clubs. Numerous team members brought new, unwrapped toy items for children ages 5-7. The children received so much support, we not only filled the box, it overflowed! Robert Half was able to hand-select 2,500 toys and fill over 200 bags for all of the children attending the Holiday Toy Celebration on Saturday, December 9 at our local Orlando Chapter of the Boys & Girls Club. Since Robert Half began working with the Boys & Girls Clubs, their annual toy drive and holiday party has touched the lives of 3,000 club members. We were overjoyed to join Robert Half in ensuring that each child's holiday was extra special.

In addition to our work with Robert Half, Mears and Hello! Florida (Central) also held a Holiday Raffle Drawing in which all proceeds went to benefit The Russell Home for Atypical Children, a non-profit organization that cares for brain-damaged children who would otherwise be institutionalized.

Hello! Florida (South) and Covenant House

Kim Davis, Hello! Florida Account Executive, and Lauren Berbusse, Hello! Florida Account Manager, participated in a December Kids' Fun Night at the Covenant House in Fort Lauderdale. Along with their location in Orlando, Covenant House Florida serves runaway, homeless, and at-risk youth under 21, including teen parents and their babies. Each year Covenant House Florida reaches hundreds of kids via street outreach, crisis shelters, transitional housing projects, and aftercare, making it one of the largest private agencies serving runaway and homeless youth in the state of Florida. The Kids' Fun Night attended by Kim and Lauren featured holiday karaoke and ornament painting. They had a fantastic time at the event and it was such a joy to see the kids escape from their challenging circumstances for a while and have fun just being a kid again.

Covenant House

Hello! Las Vegas and the "Fill-A-Bag with Cheer" Program

As part of their annual tradition, Hello! Las Vegas participated in the Las Vegas Hospitality Association's (LVHA) "Fill-A-Bag with Cheer" program. Conceived and implemented in 2008 in conjunction with the Clark County School District, each year LVHA chooses a local elementary school with a large number of underprivileged children. The chosen school then provides LVHA with a list of students who can benefit from the program. Each LVHA member has the opportunity to "adopt" one or more children from the school and provide them with holiday gifts. LVHA and its members host a party and personally deliver their "Bags of Cheer" to the children. The program has grown to support over 300 underprivileged children in its short history and truly brings the holiday spirit to all involved.

It's been our pleasure to partner with these worthy organizations this past Holiday Season and we look forward to contributing even more in the future. For more information about how you can help, please visit:

The Salvation Army: http://www.salvationarmyusa.org

Robert Half (Inquire About Their Toy Drive): https://www.roberthalf.com/

The Russell Home for Atypical Children: https://www.russellhome.org/

Covenant House Florida: http://www.covenanthousefl.org/

Las Vegas Hospitality Association: http://mylvha.org/

Dec 21
Backyard Backstories with Aaron Sayre

Aaron Sayre

It's time for some southern hospitality with a tour of "Music City" from Aaron Sayre, Hello! Nashville's Creative Services Executive Producer/Department Director.

Aaron says his deck is his sanctuary, so his "One Perfect Day" would be spent grilling out with friends and playing guitar while overlooking the river and horse pastures below. "It just can't be beat!" he says. Aaron chose to make Nashville his home because music is his passion; naturally, "Music City" just felt like home. Aaron is passionate about the live music scene there in Nashville—it's second to none and a constant source of inspiration for him.

Think Nashville only showcases country music? Think again! Aaron says one thing people might be surprised to know about Nashville is that the city has become a true culinary destination, with many top chefs opening world-class restaurants there. If you're in town and have a spice for life, Nashville Hot Chicken is a signature food item that visitors must sample.

That wraps up our Backyard Backstories! Thanks for coming along with us as we've toured some of our country's most popular destinations with the locals who know it best. We look forward to sharing even more about our company, destinations, and Hello! family in the coming year. 

Dec 08
Backyard Backstories with Rebecca Burrell

Rebecca Burrell

They say "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas," but not when you're being given a personal tour by Hello! Las Vegas Sales Coordinator Rebecca Burrell! Her definition of "One Perfect Day" in Las Vegas would be at the start of summer, in May, when it's 85 degrees with a cool breeze. She would HAVE to be at the pool with her family and closest friends, barbecuing and playing various games. "I have a total of six brothers and sisters so it's always an event when we can be together enjoying the beautiful start of summer!" she says.

Rebecca lived in Dallas after having her son, who is now two years old. She moved back to Las Vegas last year so she could be closer to her family; she especially wanted her son to have the opportunity to enjoy hanging out with his grandparents. She's absolutely passionate about the outdoors. If she could spend every day outside—whether that be swimming, hiking, working out, or playing at the park with her son—she would.

She thinks people would be surprised to know that Las Vegas offers a unique Lion Habitat Ranch just 10 minutes away from "The Strip," which gives you a behind-the-scenes tour of the facility and staff, plus the opportunity to feed some of the local lions and giraffes! In Rebecca's opinion, Spanish food is a "must sample" in Las Vegas, particularly the tapas that various restaurants offer. One restaurant—Barcelona—offers some of the best Spanish snacks and appetizers that you could imagine. "It's hidden in the southern part of the city, which makes it a little gem!" she gushes.

We appreciate the tour, Rebecca! For our final "Backyard Backstories," we'll take a trip to Nashville for a peek at "Music City" through the eyes of Aaron Sayre, Executive Producer/Department Director for Creative Services at Hello! Nashville. 

Dec 05
Hello! Florida Gives Back to Central Florida Children

Hello! Florida Field Trip Fund

Hello! Destination Management supports teachers' efforts to broaden the educational experience for all children. The Hello! Florida Field Trip Fund, founded by Director of Special Accounts Shannon Orme, is an ongoing program that enables Orange County Public Schools (OCPS) children who are experiencing poverty or homelessness to attend STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) focused field trips at no cost.

Hello! recently partnered with the Talk of the Town Restaurant Group to benefit the Hello! Florida Field Trip Fund. During the month of August 2017, guests were invited to round up their check up to the nearest dollar to support the Hello! Florida Field Trip Fund. Thanks to the support of the local community, the program raised over $12,600 to help classroom content become more relevant and meaningful for low-income OCPS children.

In the past two years, the Hello! Florida Field Trip Fund has been able to send over 1,200 local children on fun, educational school field trips that they would not otherwise be able to afford. Fundraising efforts were unprecedented in 2017, with over $32,000 raised to support OCPS children. It could not have come at a better time; Hurricanes Irma and Maria brought an influx of 3,200 new children from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to OCPS. Using funds from the Hello! Florida Field Trip Fund, administrators were recently able to send many of these relocated children to SeaWorld Orlando.

For more information about the Hello! Florida Field Trip Fund or to find out how you can support its mission, please contact Shannon Orme at 321.229.1269 or sorme@hello-dmc.com.

Nov 29
Notes of Thanks - Paul Mears, III

Paul Mears, III

Reflecting on the reasons to be thankful is healthy, and it's even better when you share. While everyone on our team’s motivations and contributions are unique, each member of our Hello! family comes day-after-day, year-after-year pouring their hearts into their work and each other. Their commitment and results inspire me to engage, learn, adjust, invest, and do my best to keep up. I am grateful for the responsibility and thankful for their trust and inspiration.

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