Mar 27
The New Meeting Essentials

​Clipboard registration, greeting signs on easels, and college-style classroom seating. Sounds like a fun meeting, right? Yeah, we don't think so either. Today's events aren't your parents' old meetings. Here's a look at some of the "new meeting essentials" that will launch your next program into the diverse and digital 21st century.


Regiception 1

Regiception 2

Get creative in greeting your attendees by hosting a "regiception," a joint registration and reception event where guests register for the meeting in a fun and comfortable environment. Regiceptions bring life into what is otherwise a tedious administrative task. Our Hello! Florida team recently designed a citrus-themed regiception to give guests an introduction to Florida and register for the event alongside food and beverage service. The regiception was in the same space as the meeting's breakouts, which also allowed us to brand the breakout space for the next several days. Charging stations within the furniture guaranteed that guests could stay connected, while interactive elements such as adult coloring tables gave guests the chance to sip, dine, and unwind from their travel. 

Technology Integration

Don't saddle your guests with a bunch of papers and schedules that they need to carry around with them, or shout reminders to your guests with a microphone and hope that they remember. Begin your technological integration by investing in an event app. Event apps excite and engage attendees by building a stronger and more intimate connection to your event. Let attendees view their schedules at-a-glance while you enjoy the freedom of easily making last-minute or real-time updates.

Go a step further to really personalize your experience by pushing messages through your app based on your attendees' location. We start by placing beacons around the hotel or venue with your programmed messages. Once that beacon is pinged by your guest's location, your desired message will automatically pop up in your event app. For example, Hello! can help you place beacons by the front door to send a message welcoming your guests to the meeting. Did you negotiate a spa discount into your hotel package? Remind guests to take advantage of that offer by placing a beacon with a relevant message near the spa entrance. 

Natural Branding

Natural Branding

The easel is outdated! Welcome your guests with step-and-repeats or fun hedge walls to create a photo opportunity that people actually want to post to their Instagram. 

Cameron Rust, Senior National Asset Manager – Branding and Continuity, says, "The trend is moving toward targeting your internal employees like you target your customers. Rather than just putting your logo on everything, you want to represent your brand in more authentic and non-obvious way." Embody your company through pictures, colors, or add to the décor by using projected catchphrases on ballroom walls.  

Painless Photos

The movement toward a more consumer-oriented experience is going corporate. Everyone loves a good photo, but at events, they usually hate the process to get it. We've eased that frustration by using registration data to prepopulate and program a scannable sticker on the back of each guest's name tag. Throughout the event, photographers would take a picture and then scan the attendee's sticker, ensuring each photo was tracked quickly and accurately. Photos were then easily accessed through the event app or by visiting a website and typing in their barcode. 

Comfortable Seating

Comfortable Seating

Who says General Session seating has to be stuffy? Let guests absorb your information in an environment that is most comfortable and conducive to learning for them by offering various seating options.

"Instead of typical classroom seating with rows of long tables, at a recent event we created a General Session room with four different styles of seating: Individual seats, sofa seating, classroom-style seating, and twin-seat tables. That way guests could pick their seat based on their own favorite viewing style," said Kate Connin, Event Designer for Hello! Florida. "Movie-theater-style tiered seating also ensured everyone had a good view, rather than stretching to look over other people's heads."

Mar 27
Destination Deep Dive: San Diego

San Diego Nighttime

With miles of white, sandy beaches and its amazing, temperate climate, San Diego is the perfect location for those who want some sunshine on their face and a little breeze in their hair. Curious about the second largest city in California but unsure about what unique experiences "America's Finest City" has to offer? Let's take a deep dive and explore some of the most popular local options from our Hello! California experts.

Craft Beers and Microbreweries

Craft Beer

San Diego's craft beer culture has exploded in recent years, with micro-, craft-, and nano-breweries pouring specialty ales in over 150 locations. Whether you're in the mood to walk or
roll to your brews, Hello! California can get your taste buds dancing with a lively tour of the
San Diego suds scene.

Craft Brewery Walking Tour

Experience one of the world's leading craft beer scenes right in the heart of downtown San Diego! This progressive tour takes guests to some of the newest and most popular breweries in town. Whether you're into pale ales or strong stouts, you'll be sure to get a wonderful taste for San Diego's craft beer culture. Duration: 3.5 hours

Trolley 'N Taps Tour

Over the last several years, San Diego has surged onto the local brewing map and is now known as the beer capital of the world. This custom tour taps into San Diego's rich history and its bustling beer scene. Via their trademark vintage-style trolleys, you'll journey through San Diego's most culturally significant neighborhoods to sample some of American's finest brews! Duration: 5 hours

Farm-to-Table Tour

Farm-to-Table Tour

Today's frenzied way of life has caused a reliance on fast food but yet a craving for farm-fresh cuisine. Farm-to-Table dining experiences are all about bringing the freshness of the field to your plate while creating an inspired and elevated culinary experience.

This local, sustainable, and delicious tour focuses on offering the ultimate food and beverage experience while educating guests with tastings and sights along the way. Throughout the day, guests will get exclusive behind-the-scenes tours and tastings at some of San Diego's best-kept secrets. You'll tour organic farms, specialty coffee roasters, urban wineries, award-winning breweries and restaurants, butcher shops, and fish markets. We've searched high and low for the most inspiring, influential, and innovative local artisans around the county. Whether you're a local or a traveler, this tour is a great way to see an alternative side of America's Finest City! Duration: 3.5 hours

Electric Bike Experience

Electric Bikes

Electric bikes are on a roll! Already hugely popular in Europe, electric bikes are riding a wave of popularity as people discover the joy of exercising and getting some fresh air without breaking a sweat. This makes it perfect for meetings and events that want to break the traditional mold without leaving their guests exhausted and breathless.

Choose from one of six tours and take a ride on electric bicycles through the best sites of La Jolla, Balboa Park, Los Penasquitos Canyon, or Pacific Beach. Learn about the history of San Diego as you ride along the harbor and take in views of the Bay. Ride around Scripps Coastal Reserve and through the park where you can see kites and parasailers soaring through the sky, as well as a perfect view of the La Jolla Cove. Your tour could also take you through Balboa Park, home to gorgeous tree-lined paths, botanical and cactus gardens, and through the Spanish Art Village. Your guide can show you all the best that San Diego has to offer, regardless of which terrain suits your interests most! Duration: 2 hours

"Benvenuto" to Little Italy

Little Italy San Diego

Welcome to San Diego's "Little Italy," a lively and flourishing neighborhood packed with patio cafes, restaurants, art galleries, wineries, and fine shopping. With a wide selection of distinctive eateries and things to do, Little Italy is the perfect place to take a break from the indoors.

Experience a piece of the 147-year history of Little Italy, San Diego. Embark on a docent-led progressive dining experience that is part historical tour, part delicious experience of local Italian flavors. Experience a chef demonstration of artisanal pasta making, followed by lunch at a local restaurant, and top it off with some hand-crafted gelato. Duration: 3 hours

Sneak Peek: InterContinental San Diego

Wondering what's new in San Diego? Here's an insider's sneak peek of the InterContinental San Diego, opening in 2018!

InterContinental San Diego Outside

The InterContinental San Diego will be the city's waterfront gem where you can indulge in making memories while experiencing the highest levels of luxury. Located on San Diego's waterfront at BRIC (Broadway at Pacific Highway), one of the most prominent and visible sites in downtown, the hotel embraces guests with an exquisitely curated lifestyle resort that provides a welcome and exclusive escape.

InterContinental San Diego Inside

Redefining comfortable, casual elegance, the InterContinental's interior design and 400 guestrooms (many with expansive ocean views) embrace the resort's waterfront location, creating an enchanting world-class oasis.

InterContinental San Diego Lobby      

Host meaningful and thoughtfully crafted events in their intuitively designed meeting space, elegant sun-lit ballrooms, and unique venues totaling 90,000 square feet, to include 18 unique meeting rooms. Take joy in indulging on one of their many private outdoor sunset terraces while looking out over the ocean and toasting your decision to come to San Diego.

InterContinental San Diego Balcony

Ready to embrace the city with a laid-back lifestyle and unique, hidden treasures? Contact our Hello! California team to make your next meeting or program a true vacation and revel in the excitement and adventure of being a San Diegan. 

Mar 27
Microsoft Gives Back

Microsoft Gives Back

You may know Microsoft for their computer software, electronics, and computers, but philanthropy is near and dear to their hearts as an organization. Microsoft Philanthropies believes in a "future where every person has the skills, knowledge, and opportunity to achieve more." In February 2018, our Hello! Arizona team had the distinct honor of helping over 550 Microsoft employees with a community Give Back project during their program at The Phoenician in Scottsdale.

Microsoft Philanthropies partnered with the American Red Cross (ARC) to organize a Give Back program that provided comfort hygiene kits for the ARC's Houston, Texas location. Houston was still grappling with the devastating effects of a massive hurricane, and Microsoft wanted to do something that replenished the supplies of those who were in critical need.

American Red Cross Kits Disaster Relief

The large group of attendees were first given an overview of the project by the ARC representative during their general session. Guests were informed that they would be split up into teams, which was noted on the back of the name badges they were wearing. When the excited Microsoft teams walked outside, they found their assigned table numbers and gathered around one of the 48 tables; each of which held all of the supplies that were waiting to be packaged with care. Our emcee host kept the energy alive on the microphone as guests worked hard to get all of the comfort kits created, labeled, inspected, and packed. Overall, the impact made by this team was quite impressive – in the span of just two hours, the group built 15,360 care packages! Hello! Arizona then transported those care packages (which filled an astounding 31 pallets!) from The Phoenician to the American Red Cross in Arlington, Texas. Brianna Moody, Senior Account Executive for Hello! Arizona, says, "What an experience it was to see this come to fruition and the smiling faces of everyone that participated. The group worked so hard to make this happen!" 

Disaster Relief Kits Hello DMC Microsoft

Be sure to ask your Account Executive about how you can organize a Give Back program during your next event, or contact us for more information. 

Learn more about our featured organizations:

American Red Cross

Microsoft Philanthropies

Mar 14
Destination, Managed: Rockin' It in Music City

Nashville DMC Destination Managed

We're heading for the hills! Let's keep our "Destination, Managed" series rolling with a look at a recent program our Hello! Nashville team operated for a multinational tire manufacturing company.

The company was holding their annual conference at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center for a large group of their loyal dealers. With around 2,300 guests in attendance, it was important to the company that they showed their true appreciation for their dealers' hard work. We were competing with three other destination management companies (DMCs) for the program; one of which was the incumbent DMC that the company had a longstanding relationship with. To demonstrate the Hello! difference, we designed a custom and elaborate presentation to showcase our capabilities and dedication to achieving a highly successful (and memorable) event. After our presentation, the vote was unanimously in favor of working with Hello!.  

The Events

The program took place over four days, with four key events: A teambuilding event, welcome reception, middle night dinner and off-property show, and a final night gala. We provided all of the décor on-site for the entire conference, coordinated the off-site event at the Grand Ole Opry, and provided transportation and airport transfers. The entire program featured a very heavy emphasis on creative elements and custom décor.

Teambuilding Activity

The company wanted to begin their program with a unique teambuilding activity. Being in "Music City," what better way to welcome attendees to the area than with a "Rock 'n Roll Game Show?" 

Nashville DMC Teambuilding Activity

Welcome Night

The "Welcome Night" was a casual event on the exhibit floor where attendees were encouraged to eat, drink, relax, and mingle. Although guests would not be going downtown for any portion of the program, the company wanted to give them a little taste of the downtown Nashville experience. To achieve that goal and transform the exhibit space into something more comfortable, we created life-size replicas of some of the most famous honkey-tonks on the famous Lower Broadway in downtown Nashville. The facades were custom-built for the program, taking 4-5 months in order to fully fabricate. We also built a custom neon entrance piece to welcome guests to what was sure to be a fun-filled evening.

Nashville DMC Welcome Night

Nashville DMC Welcome Night 2

Grand Ole Opry Night

The night began with a dinner at the Opryland. The company wanted to focus on the food and entertainment, so we created custom buffet signage and used a variety of entertainers. An acoustic trio played during dinner to set the mood while country music star impersonators such as Dolly Parton, Garth Brooks, Eric Church, and more roamed throughout the space to greet guests. To build excitement for the night's main event, we also created custom signage with Grand Ole Opry facts strategically placed throughout the dinner space.

When dinner was finished, guests were invited to walk through a custom replica of the famous Grand Ole Opry barn doors and head to the buses for transportation to a private showing at the Opry. To accommodate a group of this size, we had 12 motor coaches on a continuous rotation, loading three buses simultaneously. To ensure everyone made it the Grand Ole Opry as quickly as possible, three new buses would arrive every three minutes to transport guests to the venue. Of course, who better to keep guests entertained while they waited, and welcome them to the Opry, than our highly entertaining group of impersonators?

Nashville DMC Grand Ole Opry Night

Nashville DMC Grand Ole Opry Night 2

Gala Night

After a successful few days, it was time for the farewell dinner. Traditionally a more formal event, the company wanted to close out their time together with a real WOW factor. To achieve that, we made sure that upgraded linens and chairs covered the space with soft ambient lighting for the centerpieces. To top it all off, the company brought in a famous chart-topper to perform for the group of awe-struck guests.

Nashville DMC Gala Night 1

Nashville DMC Gala Night 2

The Challenges

Given that the company was a tire manufacturer, all transportation for the program (private vehicles and large buses) needed to run on their tires. Since our transportation partner did not have a way to change the bus tires at their on-site facility, the vehicles needed to be taken out of rotation in order to have their tires changed at the company's local service center. This presented a unique challenge and required a great deal of communication between the company, our third-party client, our transportation partner, and the company's local service center in order to be successful.

In addition to the transportation challenge, hotel events took place at the Opryland's Ryman Exhibit Hall; the largest non-gaming hotel exhibit space in the world. Our teams continuously walked throughout the 260,000 square feet of space to ensure everything was being executed flawlessly. Two of the after-hours events also took place in the hall, so we had to transform the existing tradeshow arrangement into a space more suitable for relaxing and networking, with very limited time for set up.  

The Result

Our client gave us five out of five stars on our post-event survey and said it was the most well-executed conference to date for them. This was quite an accomplishment, considering we were not the favorites to win the program during the bidding process.

But what can we say? Destination, Managed. 

Feb 23
American Heart Month: Let's Get Moving!

​Your guests don't want to be bored, and that's not exactly your goal either. Be the hero of your next meeting or conference by incorporating some of these heart-healthy and unique exercises to get your guests' blood pumping and break the boredom barrier.

Heli Yoga (Hello! Las Vegas)

Hello! Las Vegas DMC Heli Yoga

Welcome to the most exclusive yoga experience you'll ever have. Guests begin their adventure by boarding a helicopter and taking in a birds-eye view of a beautiful desert valley. After landing, guests begin their 75-minute private yoga session. The session is adaptable to all skill levels and includes a custom playlist and instructions transmitted through wireless headphones. Once the session has concluded, guests are whisked away on the helicopter back to the Las Vegas terminal, but not before an aerial tour of the iconic Las Vegas Strip.

Field Day at The Star (Hello! Texas)

Hello! Texas DMC Field Day 1

A recent client wanted their guests to have a "field day" (literally!) during their visit to Dallas. This particular program was heavily focused on meetings and content, so our client wanted to give their attendees a break off-property while encouraging some friendly competition between the teams. After sourcing several venues, a perfect match came to mind—the Ford Center at The Star, where none other than the Dallas Cowboys train. What an ideal way for a group of driven and competitive sales teams to blow off some steam after a full conference day!

The official DJ and emcee for the Dallas Cowboys were waiting for our guests as they descended upon the field. "I'M IN" was the theme of their meeting, so it was also woven throughout the Field Day event. After seeing our custom "I'M IN EAST" vs. "I'M IN WEST" signage, it quickly became clear that it was GAME ON for our attendees! Guests passed, ran, sank, and outsmarted their way to achieving gold coins at each of the various sports activities.

After all was said and done, the "West" won bragging rights as the Field Day champions while our clients left that night saying it was the best program they'd ever had for their division.

Hello! Texas DMC Field Day 2

Hello! Texas Field Day 3

Yoga with the Dolphins (Hello! Las Vegas)

Hello! Las Vegas DMC Yoga with Dolphins

Find balance and harmony while doing yoga poses among the dolphins! Your guests will have exclusive use of the underwater dolphin viewing area of Sigfried and Roy's Dolphin Habitat, where they will have a private one-hour yoga session with a certified instructor. Curious dolphins will glide past and peer through the viewing windows, creating a magical background to your experience.

Beach Olympics (Hello! Florida - South)

Hello! Florida South DMC Beach Olympics

Our client wanted a fun teambuilding event with games that were not too physically challenging, but allowed their guests to get some fresh air on the beach. They selected the following five activities from a myriad of options for their afternoon fun in the sand: 

  1. Obstacle Course: Run, jump, leap over hurdles, and step in and out of inner tubes as you race to the finish line
  2. Water Bomb: Bombs away! Make sure you catch the "water bombs" from this three-person slingshot before they hit the ground
  3. Beach Scrabble: A new kind of buried treasure! Teams have one minute to search for buried letters in the sand and then make as many words as they can
  4. Dodge Ball: Who doesn't love this favorite childhood pastime?
  5. Tug of War: The two rival teams literally dug their heels in to tug it out for the ultimate bragging rights

The guests were thrilled with the opportunity to get their blood flowing while feeling the sand in their toes on a beautiful South Florida beach.

If the idea of these activities at your next event makes your heart race, be sure to contact us for more information. 

Feb 23
Program Primer: Sake 'N Shine

Hello! DMC Morimoto Asia and Homecomin'

Today we're giving a quick primer on our "Sake 'N Shine" program, a rockin' block party at two of the hottest restaurants in Orlando's Disney Springs – Morimoto Asia and Homecomin'. Featuring the fusion of Asian and Southern Homestyle cooking, guests are invited to relax with appetizers, dinner, drinks, and a variety of entertainment as East meets West.

Sake 'N Shine Outside View

Morimoto Asia is Iron Chef Morimoto's first-ever pan-Asian restaurant, showcasing a variety of mouthwatering dishes from Japan, China, Korea, and Thailand. "I'm very excited to bring this new concept to Disney, something I've always dreamed of," said Chef Morimoto. "It's a wonderful chance to share some of my favorite foods from across the Asian continent." Morimoto Asia features waterside seating, terraces, a grand hall, and a cocktail lounge.

Morimoto Asia Inside View

Just across the way is Homecomin' – the Walt Disney World's Resort's only restaurant paying homage to Florida's rich cultural heritage by highlighting local ingredients and farm-to-table cuisine. Celebrity Chef Art Smith's family has called Florida home for six generations. The name Homecomin' is actually a nod to Chef Art's return to Walt Disney World after his first cast role in The Magic Kingdom College Program in 1981 (now known as the Walt Disney World College Program). Chef Art has spent many years traveling, cooking award-winning meals for celebrities, and opening incredible restaurants across the country. But to him, Florida is home, and he's come back to share some of his favorite Florida dishes.

Homecomin' Inside View

With a maximum capacity of 1,200 guests, this block party can easily fit most groups. After a long day, attendees will arrive to hand-selected passed hors d'oeuvres and drinks, followed by robust buffets featuring such delights as shrimp and grits and fried chicken at Homecomin' along with carved Peking duck and dumplings at Morimoto Asia.

Sake 'N Shine Welcome Arrival

Sake 'N Shine Food Service

For more information on Morimoto Asia, Homecomin', or our "Sake 'N Shine" program, please contact Hello! Florida Senior Vice President/General Manager Vic Laxson at or 407.674.3002.     

Feb 23
Destination, Managed: Miami International Boat Show & Miami Yacht Show

Destination, Managed Banner

The Miami International Boat Show and Miami Yacht Show are two of the largest boat shows in the world, featuring over 1,400 new boats, yachts, catamarans, and thousands of boating accessories. For February's edition of our "Destination, Managed" series, we'll take an in-depth look at how our Hello! Florida (South) team managed the transportation and logistics for these annual events. 

The Events

Hello! Florida (South) provided all of the logistical planning, vehicles, and transportation staff for the Miami International Boat Show and Miami Yacht Show. The Miami International Boat Show was located on Virginia Key at Miami Marine Stadium Park & Basin while the Miami Yacht Show was showcased on Miami Beach's Collins Avenue. Both of these highly popular shows operated simultaneously over a five-day period.

Destination, Managed The Events

The Challenges

Our client wanted the right transportation, at the right places, with consistency between wait times across the shows (which needed to be minimal). The shows needed to not only be accessible, but convenient for their attendees. Hospitality was also a key objective—friendly, warm staff greeting their guests and providing a good customer experience. It was important to Hello! Florida and our client that their guests felt like they were getting good service from us as well as the shows. With so many people descending upon Miami, crowd control was another goal that would certainly present a challenge.

The Boat Show has been produced since 1969, yet Virginia Key was only very recently incorporated as its primary location—an island with very limited infrastructure for transportation. Since the Boat Show has the economic impact of two-and-a-half Super Bowls on the city of Miami, detailed communication and coordination between our team, the boat shows' leaders, Miami Dade Police, and other city personnel was absolutely essential.

To ensure perfect execution and service, our teams performed "dry-runs" with the drivers across all five routes and held two half-day staff briefings in order to prepare. This gave us the opportunity to pass out packets of necessary information and answer all questions about the event. To accomplish crowd control, we set up tents, formed line systems, and even used staff as human arrows. Our team also worked closely with the city police to control the traffic flow coming off of the island.

Destination, Managed The Challenges

The Result

Hello! Florida (South) operated five routes for a 10-hour period each day, transferring over 85,000 people throughout the shows from multiple lots that were spread throughout the heavily congested city of Miami. On peak days, our team managed 66 vehicles as well as 53 staff members. We received countless compliments on how efficient and organized the transportation was, as well as how helpful and knowledgeable our staff were. The team's skillful communication and coordination between our client, city leaders, local police, and event staff ensured yet another exceptional guest experience that Hello! Florida is known for.

Destination, Managed.

Hello! Destination Management Company Fun Group Photo

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

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