Oct 15
Announcing an Exclusive Partnership!

InterContinental & Hello! California

Hello! California (Southern) is honored and excited to be selected as the exclusive DMC partner for the beautiful, brand-new InterContinental San Diego. As their exclusive partner, a Hello! account executive will sit on property and work closely with InterContinental San Diego's in-house sales team on a daily basis. By thoughtfully reviewing each group's meeting objectives and parameters, we are able to maximize the guest experience from the site inspection to program execution. "Impeccable service and an intense desire to succeed are shared staples of our strategic partnership with InterContinental San Diego, and we're extremely grateful to be part of something so special!" says Hello! California (Southern) General Manager Bill Yahres, CMP, DMCP.

Hotel Features 1

InterContinental San Diego brings a unique option to the local market, featuring stunning views of San Diego Bay while nestled in an urban setting just steps from the quaint streets of Little Italy and the historic San Diego Gaslamp Quarter. Opened on August 28, 2018 the resort exudes its theme of surf, sand, and sun through its décor, architecture, and cuisine. InterContinental San Diego's floor-to-ceiling windows in each guest room and meeting room embraces the resort's waterfront location. Sitting at 18 stories high, InterContinental San Diego's 400 guestrooms all include at least a partial water view, with 24 bay-view suites.

Hotel Features 2

Whether you want your next program to be indoors or outdoors (or a little bit of both!) InterContinental San Diego boasts an impressive 95,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting space. Its four decadent dining venues source their food locally within a 150-mile radius, and uses cutting-edge techniques to ensure their food stays hot and fresh on arrival (no hot boxes allowed!) For the health-conscious, their 3,300 square foot health and wellness center features yoga and a state-of-the-art video wall with on-demand exercise classes. Along with their quiet, spacious guestrooms, InterContinental San Diego also offers an 8,500 square foot rooftop garden for a natural and relaxing respite.

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

It's official! Executives celebrate the completion of the $217 million resort

We were delighted to be a part of showcasing the property during the official ribbon cutting ceremony on September 13, 2018, assisting the resort with various entertainment and décor for the event.

Collage 1

Hello! California welcomes guests to the event's Hello! suite


Stunning entertainment

Stunning entertainment greeted guests at every turn on the rooftop terrace


Elegance

Guests were treated to first-class service and breathtaking views of the San Diego Bay

Hello! California San Diego


Ready to explore InterContinental San Diego—an enchanting, world-class oasis that redefines casual elegance? Contact our Hello! California team to revel in the excitement and adventure of being a San Diegan at the area's newest and hottest resort. 

Oct 11
Destination, Managed: Survival of the Fittest

Survival of the Fittest

Having been to Orlando, Florida numerous times, our client said they had "done and seen it all." Or so they thought. Hello! Florida (Central) was asked to create an "out of the box" teambuilding activity that would physically and mentally engage 500 attendees of a stock market index's global sales conference. We chose to host the event at Wekiva Island—a naturally picturesque area along the Wekiva River—to give guests a unique and authentic Florida experience. Everything was in place for us to deliver a flawless event, but Hurricane Irma had other plans.

The Event

We developed a custom, Survivor-inspired teambuilding activity where our client's guests would compete in five different challenges to earn beads/points:

Buddy Skis: Teams competed relay-style to get all teammates to the end of their lane and back while paired on two-person buddy skis.

Buddy Skis

Flying Frogs Slingshot: Teams had to transport a dozen frogs one-by-one in an over/under relay from one end of their lane to the other. Guests then lined up to launch the frogs for their teammates to catch with a burlap sack.

Flying Frogs

Trivia Challenge: Teams selected their best and brightest to compete in two rapid-fire, hot-seat rounds of trivia.

Trivia Challenge

Symbol Search: Each team received a tiki torch that held a laminated card with a series of symbols. Teams sent representatives, one at a time, to a central pile of rocks to find and bring back the rocks that matched the symbols on the laminated card.

Symbol Search

Black Out/Bug Out: One teammate donned a pair of blackout goggles before making their way to the other side of their lane without stepping on any of the "poisonous" bugs or snakes strewn across their path. Teammates could only shout directions to help them navigate the danger.

Black Out Bug Out

Final Relays: The top five teams were invited to continue competing in the final relays.

  • Round 1 – Tied in Knots: Tribes were given a long rope with several knots. The teams had to work together to untangle all of the knots in the rope while making sure that one teammate had a hand on the rope at all times. The first four teams to accomplish this moved on to the next round!
  • Tied in Knots
  • Round 2 – Braving the Bamboo: Tribes rushed down to the water to fill small, half-coconut shaped cups or sponges and bring them back to the "bamboo" standing upright in their lane. They poured the water into the bamboo only to discover the bamboo had holes! Tribe members had to plug the holes with their fingers to fill the bamboo with enough water to float a ball to the top. Once they retrieved the ball, they had to fling it off a bamboo mat and land it inside a basket. The first three teams to complete this challenge continued to the final round.
  • Braving the Bamboo
  • Round 3 – Canoe Race: It was the final fight to the finish! Two members from each team raced their canoes to the finish to claim victory.
  • Canoe Race

The Challenges

Our initial challenge was to organize 500 people through relay races on an island that had never been rented for a full-day, private event. After some creative designing, we found a solution that would break the group into 50 groups of 10 and rotate them through the competitions. The client loved the idea and we pushed forward in producing this highly organized, logistically challenging event.

Then Hurricane Irma set its sights on Florida, and the event had to be cancelled just one week prior to its start date. Wekiva Island flooded with over four feet of water, and our hopes of being able to continue the event were washed away. The event was rescheduled to mid-October, causing a mad scramble to redesign and produce new branding as well as reconfirm the staff, suppliers, venue, food and beverage, and more. Once we were on site, the islands unpaved roads were still extremely muddy, causing a significant problem in getting our buses to a good drop-off location. Yet experience meant our team of professionals had the knowledge to navigate the roads successfully and strategically place the buses to provide our guests with easy access.

The Result

We were able to give our client and their guests a one-of-a-kind, authentic Florida experience at one of our local hidden gems. Attendees absolutely loved it; they were still talking about it over the next few days of the program! The company's executives had a great time themselves, and our main stakeholder was incredible happy with both the venue and the event.

No hurricane was going to keep Hello! Florida (Central) from producing the program our client had envisioned. Destination, Managed.

Hello! Team

Sep 27
Get Fresh with the Latest Event Technology

Innovation Feature Story

Innovation. It's what excites us and defines us as the leading DMC in the country. Our never-ending pursuit of the latest trends featuring cutting-edge technology means your guests are awestruck with incredible experiences. Take a look at some of our favorite new ways to incorporate technology into your next program.

Elevate Your Photo Booths

Rock 'n Roll Slow-Mo Photo Booth

Hello! Texas Director of Creative Services, Aaron T. Tharp, used his ingenuity and some inspiration from the fashion world to create a slo-mo photo booth experience for one of our clients using LED lighting and rock 'n roll music. "Our goal was to reimagine a typical slo-mo photo booth and give guests an experience that made them feel like a rock star," Tharp says. While traditional photo booths are great for guests on the inside, those on the outside can feel left out or restless to see what's happening. To help with this fear of missing out, rather than use a small exterior screen, we project the excitement happening inside on the outside of the photo booth to drive attention and create a feeling of inclusion. Guests can choose to have a printed photo or a full video clip to share their experience. The end-result is a high-impact photo activation with a minimal footprint and respectable price. Take a look at our footage sample featuring Aaron T. Tharp: https://vimeo.com/291955480/e380a6090f

Aaron T. Tharp

Calligram Photo Booth

Switch it up with a photo booth that takes a picture of your guests and reconstructs it using words or a piece of text. Hello! Arizona's Director of Sales, Mark Jarrell, says "From a corporate mission statement to an inspirational quote or poem, clients can use nearly anything to put their personal spin on the old saying, 'A picture is worth a thousand words.'"

Calligram Photo

3-D Printing

Glenn Allison, Vice President of Hello! California (Northern) in San Francisco says, "The coolest technology trend lately is 3-D printing of headshots during events. Guests take a 360-degree photo, which is then fed into a 3-D printer. A photo-quality, full-color representation of the person is then carved in hard plastic." The carvings are then mailed to the guests (since they take a while to print); however, a few are created during the event so guests can see the process in action and get excited to see their own carving.

A New Kind of Art

In a new trend called Brainwave Art, guests don a state-of-the-art EEG headset that collects and analyzes their brainwave information. The information then streams wirelessly in real-time to project their emotions as abstract artwork on a digital canvas. There's no mess or artistic ability required for the session, which only takes minutes. Once the painting is complete, guests can sign their masterpiece for one of the most unique takeaway gifts.

Brainwave Art

Digital Immersion

Hello! Washington, D.C. Director of Creative Services Molly A. Hoyt, CMP loves this amazing offering at the new ARTECHOUSE museum. Opened in June 2017, ARTECHOUSE has been featured by the New York Times, BBC, USA Today, National Geographic, CNN, and more for its digitally immersive exhibits. This cutting-edge museum closes for private rentals, where the digital experience can be customized for clients and their guests. ARTECHOUSE also features an Augmented Reality (AR) bar which serves drinks activated by a free AR mobile app.

ARTECHOUSE

Hello! Florida (South) Director of Sales, Kelly Kruszewski, is also a fan of video mapping. "For a recent site visit, we used LED screens and projected video mapping on a large mask to demonstrate the possibilities for a masquerade party."

Digital Immersion Collage

Take Flight

Drone Shows

A personalized drone show is the perfect solution for clients who want an over-the-top "WOW!" experience. During a recent program by Hello! Arizona, we launched two manned drones and hovered them over the event to capture guests' attention. As the music began, the drones flew toward Camelback Mountain, a picturesque mountain visible behind The Phoenician. The drones descended behind the mountain before rising with 23 additional drones to perform a 12-minute synchronized light show. Once the amazing spectacle was complete, the drones began to descend one at a time behind the mountains as if they were falling stars. With audible gasps, guests were on their feet (with their phones out, of course!) and mesmerized for the entire show. Click here to see a brief clip of the drones in action:  https://vimeo.com/291951018/49b601d637

Drone Show Collage

Drone Cocktail Experience

The drone cocktail experience begins with one simple choice…shaken or stirred! Whichever you choose, the drone will then fly up to mix the cockail, carry it back to the bartender to pour, and then deliver the cocktail directly to the guest. To create a shareable experience, each flight starts with a picture of the guest, captures video of the event as it takes flight, and ends by delivering the cocktail with a video of the entire journey to enjoy and share.

Drone Bartender Collage

New Dining Experiences

LED Tabletop Dining

Hello! Arizona Event Designer Tressa Rini recently produced a dinner for members of a luxury-lifestyle magazine. To create a high-end experience that was truly unique, our team designed an eight-course interactive dining experience featuring an LED tabletop that displayed graphics to match each course of the dinner. From swirling animations to graphics that grew like flourishes, each one was synchronized to the elegant white glove dinner service. Through our ingenuity, we were able to deliver something unexpected to guests who thought they'd seen everything, and snag an ADMEI award for "Excellence in Technology Integration."

LED Tabletop

Tabletop Video Mapping

Guests will smile with delight as they're entertained by state-of-the-art tabletop video mapping using the latest technology. Customize your show to tell a story with mind-boggling visuals that will leave your guests mesmerized.

Tabletop Video Mapping

Intrigued about the possibilities for your next event or program? Contact us and we'll be happy to discuss how we can bring these innovative new activations to life for your guests. 


Sep 27
Hello! Arizona Wins Big at the 2018 Zonies Awards

Hello! Arizona Team

We're proud to share that Hello! Arizona recently won nine Zonies Awards, presented by the International Live Events Association (ILEA) Arizona Chapter! Event Designers Tressa Rini and Danny Trujillo took home individual awards, with seven awards going to their amazing productions. Keep reading to learn more about Danny, Tressa, and their award-winning events.

Tressa Rini

Tressa Rini, Hello! Arizona Event Designer
Winner of the "2018 President's Award"

Tressa describes herself as a quintessential Phoenician, and has spent her entire life living in the Valley of the Sun. In 2013 she graduated Magna Cum Laude from Arizona State University with her Bachelor of the Arts in History and Art History. Tressa effectively found her life's calling and dream job when she joined the Hello! Arizona team as an Event Designer in March 2015. She's known for her attention to aesthetic details and tries to bring a fresh approach every time she designs an event. Tressa loves Arizona and she wants every guest to feel the same by the end of their program. 

Danny Trujillo, Hello! Arizona Event Designer
Winner of the "ILEA Rising Star" Award

Danny Trujillo (or "Danny T,") brings over 28 years of entertainment industry experience to Hello!. He is recognized and respected for his strong leadership, creativity, and efficiency in the development and execution of entertainment productions. His specific experience as a director, choreographer, and show producer gives him a clear understanding of the many facets it takes to successfully fulfill each client’s individual expectations. A constant showman, his "show must go on" mentality is an asset for clients to have onsite.

Danny Trujillo

Desert Modernist

Best Event Design & Decor Under $50,000

This intimate dinner for a large transportation association was designed to give guests an ultra-modern interpretation of the beautiful Southwestern culture. Inspiration was taken from the subtle glamour that’s naturally present in Southwestern motifs, and then each element was magnified to mirror the elegance of a modern desert oasis. A stark black and white color palette was enhanced with tones of cool blues and purples to add an edgy and unexpected twist. The dinner tables were set with custom-printed sequin linens with a Navajo-inspired pattern, adding to an evening influenced by traditional style but alive with the light and innovation of modernity. This not only connected the guests to each other, but to the true essence of a modern Arizona.

Desert Modernist Collage

Celestial Centennial

Best Event Design & Decor Over $50,000

Best Corporate Event Over $50,000

A Fortune 100 financial services organization wanted to celebrate its 100-year anniversary with a “Celestial Centennial” beachfront celebration in Marco Island, Florida. Hurricane Irma had other plans. Storm damage forced the client to relocate their 660 guests to the Arizona desert at The Phoenician. Disappointment and tight schedules were overcome to create an innovative evening that surpassed what the client had envisioned for South Florida. Under the night sky, the company’s top-performing sales staff reflected on the past century of success while celebrating the splendor of the stars – both the ones in the heavens above and each other.

Celestial Centennial Collage

Sentimental Journey

Best Meeting/Conference Program Over $50,000

One of the nation’s largest independent broker-dealers held a key annual incentive trip in Phoenix to honor their top-performing financial advisors. Their 2,000 guests expected the VIP treatment; little did they know that they were about to be swept back in time to an era when the kings of jazz reigned and people danced the Charleston to swinging tunes from big band orchestras. As we intertwined their magical journey with the captivating history of the Arizona Biltmore resort and Wrigley Mansion, mirth and merriment awaited guests with surprise and delight moments from arrival to departure.

Sentimental Journey Collage

An Evening with the Greats

Best Entertainment Production Under $50,000

What if the powerhouse duo of William Wrigley, Jr. and the Great Jay Gatsby threw a magnificent party? Rather than transform the historic Wrigley Mansion, we enhanced the existing space to make guests feel as if they were stepping back in time. A red carpet entrance welcomed guests to a world with secret-room surprises and hidden treasures, including a whiskey-soaked speakeasy and intimate cigar corner. We enchanted guests with vintage entertainment and showcased our innovation by creating one-of-a-kind Video Voyeur Walls. These five scenic walls were strategically placed throughout the mansion and inset with TVs displaying a live feed of a different area of the event. Below each screen was a vintage telephone; when guests picked up the receiver, a themed message directed them to the location on the screen. We also had a model car building activity, hat/headband decorating station, and a custom scavenger hunt to excite the children that were in attendance.

An Evening with the Greats Collage

Mid-Century Glam

Best Entertainment Production Over $50,000

Welcome to the Golden Age of the Biltmore resort in Phoenix. During the final night reception for one of the nation’s largest independent broker-dealers, guests were swept back in time where they lounged on the Squaw Peak Lawn alongside famous guests such as Marilyn Monroe, Chuck Berry, and James Dean. Creative attention to detail made all the difference in weaving this enchanting night with the captivating history of the Biltmore. With a 360-degree rotating stage, authentic drive-in, and surprising flash dance performances, guests were enthralled with a night of fascinating elegance and excitement.

Mid-Century Glam Collage

iMorocco

Best Corporate Event Under $50,000

Over 160 top sales executives from a digital healthcare company converged in Paradise Valley for three days of inspiring education. The group’s main evening reception was to be the crown jewel of the program. Designed to transport guests directly into the epicenter of a Moroccan Bazaar, inspiration for the design was taken from Moroccan architecture and color palettes you would expect to see in a Bazaar seller’s booth. Fun and energetic, this reception was meant to juxtapose the business side of the conference agenda. Occupying one ballroom for the educational sessions, awards cabaret, and the final night celebration proved to be logistically difficult, but not impossible for our team of experienced professionals. Everything went smoothly with our highly-detailed and carefully-planned strategy, all the while making our client feel at ease and able to enjoy what they said was a very successful program.

iMorocco Collage

Considering Arizona for your next program? Contact Hello! Arizona General Manager Heather Husom, DMCP at hhusom@hello-dmc.com or 480.745.8460 for more information.

Sep 25
Destination, Managed: A Journey Through the Desert Landscape

Destination, Managed

Our client wasn't exactly thrilled about relocating their program from the Caribbean island of Dominica to Scottsdale, Arizona...at first. However, over the course of their evening reception we 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.

The Event

Hello! Arizona produced the final event for a global management consulting firm's "All-Hands Meeting" at The Phoenician resort. The 7.5-hour reception, dinner, and after-party was attended by a group of 800 international guests.

The client had originally chosen Dominica for their event, but were forced to relocate following concerns over the Zika virus. They decided on Scottsdale, Arizona and The Phoenician, where they asked for three distinct spaces throughout the evening: an elegant dinner, a raving after-party, and some relaxed space where guests could intimately network.

The Challenges

The biggest challenge was living up to guest expectations after an unexpected relocation from Dominica, a Caribbean island with natural hot springs and lush tropical rainforests. We wanted to create a completely new desert experience for them—one that appreciated their vibrant company culture and international roots. Our goal was to create a smooth transition from Dominica to Arizona that the client would look back on and be thrilled about.

For the overall design, we created a "Desert Chic" look with spaces that embraced both boldness and restraint. To achieve a desert look that deviated from the typical brown palette we used inspiration from the velvety textures and rich colors of desert plants, which often have a velvety layer on their surface to protect them from the harsh natural elements. We used a mixture of tables and furniture to create the eclectic vibe often found in classic western designs. Centerpieces included bold desert blooms and succulents set in modern terrariums and clean white vases, which were a perfect illustration of how the modern and growing cities in Arizona combine with the natural desert elements.

Collage 1

The separate after-party space meant guests would travel from one ballroom to another, so we used this opportunity to create a desert-inspired journey using desert foliage mixed with larger-than-life lighted steel cacti. Along the way guests were greeted with Silent DJ headphones, ensuring that their journey was a grand adventure that started the party before they even got to the room. The overall design was inspired by a hybrid between a hunting lodge and a modern saloon, with the vibe of a modern club.

Collage 2

A secondary space was opened after the party began to allow guests to casually relax and enjoy the cool, crisp desert night. Our team weaved local culture into the event by bringing food trucks to serve late night bites. We designed menu signs for the food trucks with graphics that put a modern twist on traditional Southwestern motifs. We then applied the same principal by using modern southwest inspired patterns throughout the space on the linens and lounge groupings.

Collage 3

The Result

Over the course of the night we took guests on a journey through all of 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. The client was thrilled with the event, which was nominated for an ADMEI 2018 "Best Innovative Events $50,001 - $100,000" award. We couldn't be prouder of our teams for exceeding our clients' expectations with an exuberant and dynamic environment that brimmed with all of the possibilities that Arizona has to offer.

Destination, Managed. 

Aug 24
Brush off the Dust with These Unique Teambuilding Activities

Teambuilding Activities

Whether your group is looking to give back or wants something a little edgier (did someone say axe throwing??), we asked our colleagues from across the country for some of the most unique and creative teambuilding activities in their area. Consider these during your next program for a truly delightful and engaging experience that forms friendships and promotes team unity.

Wine a Lot

Grape Stomp and Wine Tasting

Grape Stomp and Wine Tasting

Grgich Hills' Grape Stomp and Wine Tasting is a favorite of Samantha Gonzalez, CMP, Sales Coordinator for Hello! California (Northern) in San Francisco. Grgich Hills Winery ferments grapes that are grown at five different vineyards belonging to the Grgich estate, which has consistently produced award-winning wines that are enjoyed across America and all around the world. Their vineyards have been in full production since 2003, creating wines that are 100% estate-grown, produced, and bottled.

To begin their visit, guests are invited to jump in a barrel of freshly picked grapes and stomp away to create the very juice that may someday become wine! During the stomping, guests will sip on a complimentary glass of Grgich wine, which they can take home as a souvenir from their memorable grape stomping experience. They'll also be able to put their grape-stained feet on a white "I stomped at Grgich Hills" t-shirt for another unique keepsake.

Stomp and T-Shirt

Following the stomp, guests will experience the true essence of Grgich Hills' wide variety of wines. As one of the premier wineries in Napa Valley, this learning experience and tasting is a treat in itself.


Walk on the Wild Side

Class Axe: Dallas Axe Throwing

Axe Throwing

Remember to duck! Just kidding. Patsy Phillips, Product Development Manager for Hello! Texas, loves this exciting experience: axe throwing! After all, what's more perfect than putting co-workers in a cage and giving them axes? Prepare for 1.5 hours of high-intensity learning and pulse-pounding adrenaline as your guests battle and overcome the challenges of properly throwing an axe, and then compete in the ultimate elimination tournament! Each guest will have to dig deep and call upon their inner woodland beast to prove themselves for this team builder. Since Axe Throwing can be done by anyone of any size, everyone in the company is on an equal playing field where adaptability, quick learning, and ample amounts of confidence determines the winner.


Hit the Right Note

Team Songwriting Adventure

Team Songwriting

Led by award-winning hit songwriters, guests will have the opportunity to create and record songs that will motivate, define, and inspire your entire organization. Don't worry if you're a little tone-deaf; you don't have to be a good singer or an extrovert to participate and have a great time. Jenna Nelson, Product Development Manager for Hello! Nashville, says, "It's fascinating how each team comes up with a different melody and lyrics while still sharing the common themes of their organization." When the songs are finished, teams get together in harmony for some light-hearted performances and compete for awards.


Clue Them In

Get a Clue: A Murder Mystery Game

​A dastardly deed has been done in D.C.! This Washington, D.C. networking activity is reminiscent of the board game "Clue," where an eccentric billionaire has been murdered and it's up to the guests to figure out who did it! Did he push his butler too far – and get pushed off a building as a result? Or, was his cook tired of the insults about his stew and bubbled over for good?

A quirky costume detective will be on the scene to interact with guests and entertain them as he investigates. Guests will network organically as they interact with each other to determine who committed the crime. Danielle Guido, Product Development Manager for Washington, D.C., loves that this activity is highly customizable. The victim, suspects, and their professions can be customized for any group or industry, with the premise of the game ranging from espionage to theft (or just about anything else!)

​      Quirky Detective 

Do a Good Deed

TOMS Style Your Soles

Want to make a local AND global difference while your guests bond with each other and have a great time? Romy Linde, Director of Sales for Hello! California (South) in San Diego, suggests TOMS "Style Your Soles" teambuilding activity, in which guests decorate and provide shoes for local children in need. Guided by an energetic emcee, guests will use their creativity to sketch and design their own shoe line. A representative from the local homeless shelter will be on hand to accept the shoe donation on behalf of their community. The best part? In addition to each pair of shoes designed during the event and given to the local shelter, TOMS Shoes will match and donate an additional pair to children in Africa, Asia, or South America. Guests will walk away at the end of the day knowing they've made a real difference, literally putting shoes on the feet of people around the world who otherwise would never have them.


High-Tech Hijinks

"Get to the Point" GPS Scavenger Hunt

GPS Scavenger Hunt

What's the point of going to a great destination if your guests don't get an opportunity to really experience it? Tait Moline, Product Development Manager for Hello! Arizona, recommends the "Get to the Point" GPS Scavenger Hunt, where guests explore an area as they compete in challenges by using their team tablet to find specific points on a map. After a brief training session to ensure the team captains understand how to use their tablet, they begin their race to GPS coordinates where they can view their challenges and score points. Scoring is tracked in real time and once the hunt is over, teams meet up to learn who emerged victorious and earned the coveted award medals. But, win or lose, all will get the point of this adventure – to connect with their colleagues and enjoy a fun-filled event!


Did one of these unique teambuilding activities catch your eye? Contact us for more information or to find out about other activities in your destination!


Aug 24
Destination Deep Dive: Dallas

Dallas Skyline

Let's mosey on over to Dallas, Texas for a look at some of our most popular tours and activities. The Dallas motto of "Big Things Happen Here" certainly rings true with a multitude of unique experiences. Whether your group is looking to be immersed in presidential history, wonder at the marvels of artists such as Picasso and Warhol, get a true Western experience at an authentic ranch, or imagine themselves as a pro football star at the home of the Dallas Cowboys, visiting this popular Texas city is an absolute must.

Tours

Presidential Tour

This tour combines two well-known "Presidential" attractions in Dallas: The Sixth Floor Museum and the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum. The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza chronicles the assassination and legacy of President John F. Kennedy and presents contemporary culture within the context of presidential history. Films, historic footage, and hundreds of photographs and artifacts chronicle Kennedy's 1960 presidential campaign and his influence on current events. The George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum serves as a resource for the study of the life and career of George W. Bush while also promoting a better understanding of the Presidency, American history, and important issues of public policy. The Library and Museum preserves and provides access to Presidential records, preserves artifacts, and produces innovative museum exhibits.

Presidential Tour

Sculpture and Art Tour

Did you know that Dallas has a rather extensive art district with globally recognized collections? The Sculpture and Art tour lets guests visit two of the more popular local museums: The Dallas Museum of Art and the Nasher Sculpture Center. The Dallas Museum of Art boasts a stunning collection of more than 22,000 pieces, spanning the third millennium B.C. to the present day. Artists on display include Warhol, Renoir, Van Gogh, Cezanne, Monet, O'Keeffe, Pollock, Rothko, and more. The Nasher Sculpture Center is home to one of the finest collections of modern and contemporary sculptures in the world. The museum was a long-held dream of the late Raymond and Patsy Nasher, who together formed a comprehensive collection of masterpieces by Picasso, Matisse, Rodin, and Calder, among others, which continues to grow and evolve.

Sculpture and Art Tour

Grapevine Wine Tours

Would you believe that Texas is the fifth largest wine-producing state in the U.S.? Board the Grapevine Wine Tours and see for yourself with a unique wine-tasting experience you won't soon forget. Guests will sample vintages from three of Grapevine's most acclaimed wineries, each with its own unique history and charm. Move from one fabulous tasting room to the next in climate-controlled comfort while your tour guide recounts the history of wine-making in North Texas. You'll also visit the Historic Grapevine Township, with its rich array of art galleries, shops, and restaurants.

Wine Tour

Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden

Give your guests a "natural" break and encourage them to wander freely through the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden, which features 66 acres of lush, breathtaking display gardens that offer seasonal color all year long. Home to the Dallas Blooms, the Southwest's largest outdoor floral spring festival, the Garden provides a tranquil oasis where visitors are surrounded by the beauty of all four seasons.

Dallas Arboretum

Off-Site Activities

AT&T Stadium

Looking for a "WOW" factor? AT&T Stadium has it! One of the most expansive stadiums ever to be built, the AT&T Stadium is a modern marvel located just west of Dallas. This $1.2 billion football stadium is home to the Dallas Cowboys and is the largest domed structure in the world. No expense was spared in creating this luxurious facility with more than 300 suites, numerous clubs, and a retractable roof that can open and close in 10 minutes. More than just a football stadium, it can change surfaces to host a variety of events on many different surfaces like natural grass or hardwood. With 22 flexible event locations, the stadium is also an ideal place for meetings.

AT&T Stadium

Ford Center at The Star

Curious as to what it takes to run the Dallas Cowboys? Get a true behind-the-scenes look at The Star, where the entire team spends their days training and practicing. This 400,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art facility features over 30 flexible event spaces that include the Ford Center (a 12,000 seat indoor venue,) Grand Atrium, Tostitos Championship Plaza, and many more. Whether you're a group of 10 or 5,000, The Star provides all business amenities along with chef-crafted catering and first-class service.

Ford Center

Backyard

Come enjoy good times, great food, and cold drinks with your furry (and non-furry) friends! This 12,000 square-foot, open-air, pet-friendly space allows guests to relax in a patio scene with playful seating such as bar swings, painted picnic tables, and lounge furniture. Dozens of interactive games such as ping pong, Jenga, corn hole, shuffle board, pool, and more are available, along with a state-of-the-art light and sound system, over 30 large customizable TVs, and 2-20 ft. LED screens. To top it all off, guests will dine with delight on All-American cuisine, made from scratch, and enhanced with the ever-so-playful cocktail menu, wine, and over 45 beers to choose from.

Backyard Collage

Circle R Ranch

If you want a true Texan experience, put on your boots for an evening of western fun at the Circle R Ranch. Leave those big city worries behind and experience an authentic ranch set amidst rolling hills and green pastures, complete with picnic tables, whiskey barrel tables, beautiful Texas skies, and BBQ cuisine. Once dinner is complete, head on out to the arena for an exclusive rodeo performance featuring bull riding, bronco riding, barrel racing, and a rodeo clown. End the night with a custom firework show set to a song of your choice to put the perfect exclamation mark on your evening.

Circle R Ranch


Think Dallas would be a good fit for your next program? Contact Janice Dowling, General Manager of Hello! Texas, at jdowling@hello-dmc.com or 512.643.1170.


Aug 21
Destination, Managed: A Brand in Crisis

Destination, Managed: A Brand in Crisis

In April 2017, a major automaker held its annual dealer conference for 3,500 attendees in Las Vegas, Nevada. The brand was in crisis – the company had recently made headlines for a series of fines and litigations that had tarnished its otherwise extremely positive image. Social media enflamed the tension, ensuring the kind of word-of-mouth, nationwide coverage that would reach the company's top dealers that were attending from across the United States. That's where we come in.

The Event

The Welcome Reception was an opportunity to reconnect dealers with the brand again by celebrating both its rich history and the future success of the company. From The Heritage Lounge that honored the company's legacy to The Innovation Bar that showcased future offerings, our client's brand was the star of the experience. As guests journeyed through four uniquely designed spaces they revisited the past, connected with the present, and celebrated the future of innovation.

THE HERITAGE LOUNGE

Guests began their journey in The Heritage Lounge, a space where attention to detail and feeding into guests' subconscious would make all the difference. Working closely with the client, we procured archival, never-before-seen, black and white and sepia images to display while legacy marketing slogans were projected on the walls to provide an authentic guest experience. Aside from the imagery, we created comfortable lounge spaces that had a vintage look and feel combined with subtle branding for a cohesive look. Overall, The Heritage Lounge created a living museum that highlighted the steadfast nature of the brand along with its commitment to excellence. This great spot allowed dealers to relax and network while basking in the history that they each shared. This commonality sparked engaging conversation and an opportunity to appreciate the company in a completely immersive environment.

The Heritage Lounge


THE PASSAGEWAY

Yet the Welcome Reception was not only about where the company had been, it was also about where they were going. Connecting The Heritage Lounge and the futuristic Innovation Bar was a central hallway named The Passageway, which acted as a time warp to transport guests from the past to the future. This narrow hallway could have easily been overlooked as a pass-through space. However, using our creativity and ingenuity, we draped it with LED black drapery that immediately transformed the area with an "outer space" look and feel. Textured linens were added to clear chairs to speak to the timeless and weightless qualities of space. The Passageway created a transitional path that alluded to the change of time between the two ballrooms and allowed the group to pause and reflect on the brand's history before heading into the future.

The Passageway


THE INNOVATION BAR

After exiting The Passageway, guests moved into The Innovation Bar. This space showcased a sleek, modern design that embodied the company's commitment to the future and being on the cutting edge. In stark contrast to The Heritage Lounge, The Innovation Bar took on a lighter color palette of white with accents of blue and silver, providing a lightness and freshness to the space that complemented the overall open layout of the ballroom. Gobos were artfully placed for an updated style of brand messaging, such as "Stay Calm and Drive On," which fit with the sentiment of the event perfectly. Transforming the ballroom into The Innovation Bar provided a fresh haven and enthralled guests with a sense of enlightenment.

The Innovation Bar


The Challenges

With just one week left until the production of their event, the client became concerned that their mostly male attendees would skip the welcome reception in favor of watching the last March Madness basketball game. Rather than try to compete with one of the most well-known tournaments in sports, we were asked to develop a creative solution and design a fourth space as a company-themed sports bar. The room was a success and wound up being standing room only due to the popularity of the March Madness game. Our team was able to take what could have been a severe threat to the event's attendance and make sure our client's extremely important message was heard.

Sports Bar

We were also asked to accommodate a 75% seating requirement with just two ballrooms, which meant our teams had to get creative in how we balanced the client's wishes with event flow and décor concepts. Our creation of detailed floorplans and renderings not only helped our teams with planning, but also helped us demonstrate to the client how we were meeting their request. The last-minute addition of The Sports Bar became a blessing in disguise, as it allowed us to exceed our client's request for 75% seating.

The Result

As the program came to an end, we were overwhelmed with the amount of gratitude from our client and the hotel – it was beyond what we could have imagined. Our ability to produce an artistically inclined event was demonstrated clearly by how each space transformed and took on a personality of its own, while still keeping the same story in mind. Attendees gave rave reviews, saying that they had been inspired and energized with a memorable experience.

We intercepted the company at a crucial time in their history. Capturing the essence of their brand, with its rich history and influence on culture, carried a heavy responsibility of being inspiring, innovative, and all-encompassing. Setting the tone for the evening and creating nuances that engaged the guests made for a transformational evening that elevated the client's expectations with great value.

Brand crisis with your top dealers? Not anymore. Destination, Managed. 


Aug 16
Hello! is Nominated for Five Awards by One of the Industry’s Premier Organizations – ILEA!

Five Esprit Nominations

Update (8/17/18): Congratulations to Cameron Rust and Janice Dowling, who took home Esprit Awards for "Best Entertainment Production: $25,000 - $75,000" AND "Best Event with a Legacy" for their work on Give Kids the World's annual fundraising gala. With two award wins and three additional nominations for Hello! Las Vegas, we couldn't be prouder of our teams!

Original story below

We are incredibly honored to be nominated for 5 Esprit awards by the prestigious International Live Events Association (ILEA). Want to know what it takes to be an award-worthy event? We're giving you a closer look at what happened behind the scenes.

A Vegas Hangover

Nominated for: Best Corporate Event: $75,000 - $150,000

One epic party concept, two completely different designs. What do you do when your event needs to overlook the Las Vegas Strip from The Cosmopolitan's multi-level pool deck, but the hotel is concerned about ruining their recent $15 million renovation of the pool area? You build two different visions for an event whose final plans and execution are at the mercy of the hotel's approval.

A Vegas Hangover Crowd Overview

A large insurance provider was hosting their famous costume party night, known for its outlandish themes and creative costumes, during their conference for 2,000 guests at The Cosmopolitan Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. It was the client's first time in Vegas, so it was time to go big and give their guests an authentic Las Vegas experience with elevated events and five-star service, leaving an impression that transcended guests' expectations. We created a "Hangover Las Vegas" theme; a nod to the fun and relatable content of the movie "The Hangover," which captured the most famous scenes from the movie: Caesar's Palace garden, the dentist's office, the bathroom tiger, and the wedding chapel. Like in the movie, this event would help people form real friendships with some quirky mayhem and surprises along the way.

A Vegas Hangover 1

We began envisioning how we could bring "Hangover Las Vegas" to life. The event was originally planned for the entire fourth floor of the hotel's conference area, but discussions began about relocating the event to the Boulevard Pool; a recently renovated space that offered unobstructed, multi-level views of the Las Vegas strip. Knowing the dynamics of the group, we knew it would elevate our guests' authentic Vegas experience. Getting hotel approval to host an event with heavy foot traffic and tons of heavy décor on their $15 million newly resurfaced pool area was another story. It also meant we had to go back to the drawing board and redesign the costume party in case we were able to successfully leverage our relationships and gain that approval. We DID receive approval – just one week prior to the start of the program. Had we not been prepared appropriately for both scenarios, this would have meant a mad scramble that may not have fulfilled all of our client's wishes.

A Vegas Hangover 2

The expression for each of the vignettes depended on both the big and small details in order to bring them to life. Each vignette combined customized décor, activations, entertainment, and lighting to transport guests into each "scene." We also worked with The Cosmopolitan to design food and bar service that played into each of the themed areas for a fully immersive experience.

A Vegas Hangover 3

Guests were free to explore and create their own experience throughout the night. The musical entertainment kept the energy pumping, with attendees dancing all night. The client decided to extend the party on-site for an additional hour – something they had never done before! In speaking with the client they expressed how they had never experienced such a dynamic costume party and that we had outdone ourselves in making this an EPIC event for their company.

Give Kids the World Gala – A Night of Dreams

Nominated for:

WINNER! Best Entertainment Production: $25,000 - $75,000

WINNER! Best Event with a Legacy

In September 2017, Give Kids the World hosted its 29th annual gala for 1,550 attendees at the Hyatt Regency Orlando. The gala is just one of those events that touches you in ways you didn't expect and inspires us to do something extraordinary. Give Kids the World Village is a beloved Central Florida nonprofit resort that gives magical cost-free vacations to children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. For a brief moment – one week –  they are free of the worries of doctors and needles and the burden of the realities they never thought they would ever have to deal with. As it approaches its 30th anniversary year, this once-humble event has grown from a simple "thank you" dinner for a few top donors into an award-nominated event that is not only its largest annual fundraiser and a celebration of its mission, but an experience that transports its over 1,500 attendees from around the world to far off fantasy lands and into the intangible imagination of children.

Give Kids the World Decor

We develop and execute the overall theme and show flow of this meticulously-planned, five-hour long event, guiding its food service flow, designing the décor and table design, and producing its multi-act theatrical show. It's a highly involved process, as the logistics require us to manage an entire AV team, seating for 1550, and a completely custom show with over 70 performers. Organization is key to ensuring our product matched the creative treatment and aligned with the goals of the event and the goals of our client.

This year's event, "A Night of Dreams, Darkness to Dawn" dove deeper into the Village's mission than ever before. The show moved attendees through the realization that your child has a life-threatening illness through the progression of sunset to twilight, night and dawn through modern dance, acrobatics, music, and song.

Give Kids the World Entertainment

By developing a clear, strategic creative treatment, we were able to ensure that the Village's message was deeply present in the event. Along with strong logistical organization, we produced this event on-budget, in a very short window of time, and with new technology that our guests had not seen before. After the gala, we received great feedback from guests that were unfamiliar with the Village but were inspired to support it after their experience.

Give Kids the World Entertainment 2

GEN BLUE

Nominated for: Best ILEA Team Effort Over $150,000

In the midst of planning an already challenging event, an unspeakable tragedy strikes. Las Vegas (and the country) was rocked to its core with a mass shooting that left 58 people dead and 851 people injured. The landscape of this outdoor event for 5,000 guests changed overnight, where real-world threats and significant last-minute changes threatened to derail months' worth of hard work.

The client wanted an outside location for their 5,000 guests to enjoy a "block party." They decided on a space in downtown Las Vegas with a "Vintage Vegas" theme. Several months later, we were asked to look into relocating the party to Toshiba Plaza and The Park, this time with a "White Wedding" theme. Due to security concerns following the Las Vegas shooting, we were asked to hold the meeting inside the T-Mobile arena. However, with the arena's sports schedules and possible memorials, securing the space was anything but guaranteed. Once we received confirmation for the space, we immediately jumped into coordinating new plans with all parties , including arena representatives, production, catering, and the client. We also needed to get approval from the arena's in-house catering team to allow outside food and beverage into the arena, since contracts had already been signed with restaurants in Toshiba Plaza. Given the heart-breaking circumstances, we were touched that everyone was accommodating, understanding, and willing to pull together to ensure a successful outcome.

T-Mobile Arena Entrance

After developing a solid plan for moving forward, the scope then changed again as we were informed that the client had booked the Goo Goo Dolls. We needed to rearrange the space and include a large concert stage and appropriate AV. We redesigned the event for a fourth time, working to reconfigure all décor and entertainment.

Arena Floor

Despite being in size-restricted areas, we pulled out all the stops to make sure we still created our client's wish for a "White Wedding." During the event, guests had the opportunity to renew their vows by none other than Elvis Presley, along with chapel photo opportunities and cotton candy served in champagne flutes. Our team also ordered a custom, oversized Heart Locket Sign on which guests were initially going to write love messages to each other on a lock and attach it to the heart. With the tragic circumstances of the shooting surrounding them, the sign now became a standing memorial where attendees wrote messages of support for the shooting victims. Rather than showing their love for each other, couples and other attendees showed their love for Las Vegas.

GEN BLUE Collage 1

Once the event concluded we had to strike everything immediately so the arena could begin turning the space back into a skating rink for the following day. During the strike of the event, some of our team members took the Heart Locket Sign with the goodwill messages for the shooting victims over to the memorial at the Welcome to Las Vegas sign. While installing the heart on site, Las Vegas residents who were there paying their respects emotionally thanked us for adding this heart display to the memorial site. It was a very emotional and memorable moment our team will never forget. 

Love for Vegas Strong

Reinvent the Night

Nominated for: Best Entertainment Production Over $75,000

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 a single space at The Cosmopolitan, performers captivated guests with dazzling performances and interactive elements.

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

The lights and video graphics then 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 grooved throughout the crowd as exercise dancers tossed neon necklaces.

80s Collage

The DJ came on the speakers to ask the crowd if they were ready to move into the future. The DJ began playing 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

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. The event was originally scheduled to be in the pool area of the hotel, but a sudden, rare rainstorm approached the Las Vegas Strip. Our already short 2-hour 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, coordinate the move with our suppliers, 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. Overall, the guests thoroughly enjoyed themselves as they were continually surprised throughout the night. 


Jul 23
Top Things to Consider for Your Next Destination

Top Considerations

How do you select the perfect destination for your next program? Sure, hotel and flight availability certainly come into play, but there's so much more. See what our experts say are the important considerations that go above and beyond the basics.

How Do You Want Your Guests to Feel?

Selecting a destination that can provide that special experience is paramount. What surroundings will deliver the experience you want to give your attendees and leave a lasting impression of their time together? Mark Jarrell, Director of Sales for Hello! Arizona, loves to plan with a little contradiction in mind. "When planning a program, I especially like contrasts…a modern hotel paired with an off-property rustic ranch, or a classic resort with a modern off-property venue. Creating that special experience that people wouldn't necessarily expect presents dramatic results," he says.

The Destination's Event Calendar

Always check your proposed destination's event calendar for public events and festivals that are taking place at the same time as your desired program dates. Kelly Kruszewski, Director of Sales for Hello! Florida (South) says, "Sometimes city festivals and events can be a positive thing for your group to experience, but it can also affect your program by limiting resources and venues or increasing room rates during that time."

Variety and Flexibility with Food and Beverage

Heather Phillippe, Senior Account Executive for Hello! California (Northern) touts this as an important consideration. "In San Francisco we are able to work with numerous food vendors within our hotels and venues, which allows us to offer customized options within a budget," she reveals.

The Lay of the Land

New developments, construction, and city infrastructure are important to take notice of, since this will affect the accessibility for your guests as soon as they arrive. "Many groups are attracted to the fact that San Diego is so easy to maneuver through since the airport is close to downtown," says Romy Linde, Director of Sales for Hello! California (Southern.)

How Important Are Off-Site Events?

If taking your group off-site is an important component of your agenda, make sure your destination is venue-rich to allow plenty of options. Engaging Hello! early on is paramount so we can make sure the destination has adequate venues that can accommodate your group size during your program dates. It's also important to look at the natural surroundings and terrain, since that will serve as the backdrop for your activities and experiences.

Time of Year

It may sound like a given, but be sure to take the weather and time of year into consideration when selecting your next destination. Be open to creating back-up plans; despite perfect planning, the unexpected can happen!

Where Hello! Is

Last but not least, always ask yourself if it's one of the over 35 destinations that Hello! serves; if the answer is yes, then you know you'll be in good hands. 

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