As the peak of coronavirus infections starts to level off in many countries, industries affected by the outbreak are starting to plan how their businesses will reopen while continuing to stay safe and practice social distancing. With the plan of reopening businesses as soon as possible, we knew we had to take action as to what measures to put in place. After carefully researching CDC, OSHA, and private organizations’ guidelines to learn best practices in the COVID-19 era, we have come up with products and services that can help you as you move to reopen your buildings, offices, and meeting and event spaces while continuing to practice safe social distancing.
Planning Safe Social Distancing
In order to have a safe social distancing plan, you’ll need to examine your space and consider your existing floorplan. Art of the Event offers safe space consultation to clients to tailor the best safety layout for a meeting space, office building, venue or other institution. We can consult on how to rearrange your existing floorplan and the elements within to maximize safety. We also offer floorplan generation services for those who need it.
Safety Instructions for Employees and Guests
To fully inform your employees and clients about best practices, we create custom table tents, pamphlets, and kits for public and private spaces. Within these, we have guidelines and directions on how to follow proper social distance, hand washing, and sneeze etiquette while at that facility or event. We can also create welcome and informational boards to display throughout the space.
Room Dividers, Screens, & Walls for Planned Social Distancing
As HR departments, building managers and other company stakeholders consider splitting shifts and some continuation of remote work to lessen congestion in the office and lower room capacities to lessen congestion in venues, Art of the Event provides permanent and temporary acrylic screens and dividers as well as splash shields for cubicles and heavily concentrated areas. These elements can help people distance even while they are together. Art of the Event also creates custom room dividers and movable walls for office spaces, meeting rooms, etc.
Other resources we are happy to provide are movable Plexi-guarded registration and medical assistant booths. These can be used for offices and meetings as well as (in the future) your meetings and special events.
Branded Social Distancing Guides
Graphic clings and stickers via floor, wall, or column wraps can guide people as they move through your space. Directional signage creates one-way “traffic” in narrower hallways, etc. Similar to these guides, we offer informational stair, elevator and escalator wraps to reinforce your protocols to everyone working in or visiting that facility.
Art of the Event has the unique ability to customize any and all of your guides, informational boards, room dividers, pamphlets, etc. Our internal graphic design team can work with you to incorporate your logo, colors, and all pertinent information.
Tools and Equipment
Safety comes first so it is important to have certain items available for everyone when they arrive. Plenty of hand sanitizer, masks, and gloves should be offered freely on-site.
No-touch hand sanitizer stands placed strategically throughout your space help to ensure everyone is sanitizing often. We also offer temperature monitoring equipment. Temperature checking facial recognition technology ensures an ill guest or employee can be flagged and sent home without infecting others. Much like metal detectors, thermal imaging booths also allow for “passive” no-touch temperature checks for larger groups entering a building or venue space. We are also currently studying other technological devices to help you keep your clients, employees, guests, and spaces safe.
Contact Art of the Event
For more information or to schedule a safe space consultation, contact us at (781)670-9292 ext. 10 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also check out the complete list of everything we have to offer for safe social distancing here.
How to Organize your Home Office: Most of us began working from home suddenly and without having an opportunity to plan properly. Temporary offices and shared offices were tossed together for, what many of us thought, would be a short time. Now that we’ve all been home for a while, I thought advice from an organizing expert could prove helpful. Fortunately for all of us, my great friend MJ. Rosenthal just happens to be a seasoned professional organizer. I interviewed her on April 10, 2019.
Interviewer: Gayle Gilberto for MPI New England
Interviewee: MJ Rosenthal, Certified Professional Organizer
Organization & Executive Function Coach: An Organized Life
GG: Are there universal rules for organizing an office?
MJ: The one big rule is to make it work for you. I share with clients that organizing is not “one style” or “one container” fits all. It’s a very personal application. One person’s order is another person’s disorder.
Some general “Good rules of organizing” which apply to most of us include:
Store Like Items Together
Keep Frequent Use Items Most Accessible
Instead of asking “Where You Should Put It?”, ask “How Will I Look For It?” How you answer the latter will help you determine the former.
When you decide to do any organizing task, make it small enough so you don’t feel overwhelmed. Break it up into segments and time block them to minimize stress.
GG: Most home offices are used for chores like family bills and mail. Are there easy ways to organize both work and personal tasks from home?
MJ: Sure. Here are some easy ways to clear the clutter and re-set for how you need to use the space today:
The first thing to do is to divide up the individual items based on the task. Group work items/tasks together; group personal items/tasks together.
When you use an item less often, or for both categories (like office supplies or technology) keep some with each grouping — or store with other like items that are less frequently used.
Once you divide up the stuff, get ready to relocate the categories to their own spaces/ surfaces.
The second step is to divide up the real estate. Decide where you will do your “work” (maybe at the desk in the office) and where you will do your “personal” (perhaps at a temporary desk in the same space or a folding table in another room of the house).
Make sure whatever area/surface you choose is devoted only to the task of “work” or “personal/home” — avoid “technical errors” (mixed categories) and co-mingling of other non-related categories.
The third step is to decide where to locate items. We answer this question based on (1) how we will use it next (2) frequency of use and (3) emotional attachment.
Items that are engaged with most often should be assigned real estate within arms reach of the task. (I.e., — computer and key board, pen/pencil, to-do list, printed paper to review, brain toy you play with all the time to help you think) — and items which are used less frequently should go to secondary storage areas (reference material, back up supplies, to be filed, charging cords, etc.)
If you love it, keep it! A picture of your family, a treasured memory, an inspiring poem— all of these items are as important as your laptop or cell phone. But keep it simple. Too much of a good thing becomes overwhelming.
Now is the time to link our space, tasks, what we have to do and our time to do it. Space Planning (how we use the space) and Time Blocking (when we do the stuff we hold onto) go hand and hand. A clutter-free space means linking “what you have to do” to a time you “have to do it.”
GG: Do you use labels to help your clients organize?
MJ: Yes. This is a hard and fast rule. Yes. Labeling does several things:
One, it reinforces your decision about location and incorporates the muscle memory of movement, cerebral decision of what to call it, and aesthetic decision of what the label looks like. All of these factors help to “set” an organizational memory.
Two, most of us respond extremely quickly to visual cues (that’s why we leave things out to jog our memories). Having clear information identifying what the item is is the easiest method for storage and retrieval. Labels can take the form of label tape, Post Its, writing on the outside of the box, etc — and labeling in our calendar via Time Blocking.
GG: For folks who did not have a home office and now need to create one: How can they take a non-separate room space and turn it into a workable office? What’s most important for making this a productive space?
MJ: Another great question. Many of us are turning spaces which have been functioning in one way into a space that can serve a different purpose, like a dedicated work from home office.
The first thing we need to do is clear out the room we are going to use. I use the SPACE Process.
Once we have cleared the stuff, we are ready to re-set with the sorted “work” items. Starting with a clear space leads to clearer, more purposeful decisions on where to locate things.
We talked about function and frequency of use above, but aesthetic choices — and space planning — is also motivating when creating a home-based office.
Consider how your desk/office at work was set up. Are you a creature of habit and do you need to set up in a similar way to create historical comfort? What does your chair feel like — can you comfortably sit for long periods? Is a stand-up desk a better fit? Merging function and feeling together creates a space of balance, peace, and productivity.
GG: For people who want more personalized, professional assistance: Do you offer Virtual organizing sessions?
MJ: Yes, I’ve been providing Virtual Organizing services to Clients who have moved away or live in a remote region, as well as Coaching Programs to Clients with ADD/ ADHD & Executive Function Coaching; the virtual structure is something we’ve had in place for many years. Now local Clients are taking advantage of the Virtual Organizing Programs because they offer a huge amount of support and productivity in a very short time frame.
GG: Thank you, MJ. This was very instructive. We can use some of these tips for organizing our home offices or just about any other space!
MJ: Thank you! Be safe, be healthy, be organized.
Photos courtesy of An Organized Life
As we can all agree, Zoom has become an invaluable tool for connecting during this pandemic. When it comes to virtually meeting with clients and colleagues, we all want to look as professional as possible, even when we are connecting from home. Fortunately, looking your best is easy online once you become familiar with a few tools of the trade!
If you haven’t yet downloaded Zoom yet, we highly suggest it! It’s the most popular free video conference tool you can download onto your computer. Zoom has many internal tools you can use to stay organized on meetings and presentations. Once you download Zoom, don’t forget about downloading a great extension called Snap Camera. Snap Camera is a highly intuitive camera filtering program (similar to the Snapchat application) offering an ever-growing assortment of filters.
Once you’ve downloaded both applications, you want to open Snap Camera first. This will make Snap Camera your Zoom camera lens and enable you to work with both simultaneously. Now open Zoom and go to the settings cog found just under your initials at the upper right of the downloaded Zoom page screen.*
In your Zoom settings, you will see a few tab options. Let’s start by observing your unaltered image. Simply click on the video icon tab and your computer camera or webcam will bring up your live image. Don’t worry if you don’t like what you see yet! No one else can see you and now you can spruce up both your backdrop and your personal image prior to any real meetings.
There are two ways to create virtual backdrops with Zoom, with a green screen and without. Let’s begin with the latter. If you don’t have a real green screen, no problem! Zoom will automatically find you and crop your actual background out. Yes, a green screen can give you better quality and you can buy them if you like but if you play with images you can find some that will do a good job. Virtual images work best with an overall consistent light.
You can make it easier for Zoom to determine where you begin and other elements end by taking notice of your clothes and what is directly behind you. For example, If you have black or dark hair and you are sitting in a black high back office chair, Zoom may blur the lines between you both, which is disconcerting to viewers. You can fix this by simply switching out your chair for another. It’s also best to avoid very dark or black tops for the same reason. You want to choose your preferred image or video background on Zoom before you use the Snap Camera filters because, as we’ve observed, the background image does change what filters look better or worse.
First, click the video icon on the settings page. Here you can choose a 16:9 widescreen ratio or the original ratio. A 16:9 is arguably better as it is the standard ratio. Enabling HD by clicking that option will make the overall image, including your background, more crisp. You can also choose “Mirror my Video” which will flip your entire image to your audience, however, keep in mind this will flip your text or written notes backwards as well.
Now go to virtual background in settings. You will find there are already a few free options offered by Zoom. There is also a small square icon with a plus symbol (+) to the right of the “Choose Virtual Background” text. This option allows you to upload and save your own images and videos to be used as your own personalized background.
Finding images online is easy and inexpensive. Some high-quality images are even royalty free. Search the web and see what meeting appropriate imagery you can use for a backdrop. We suggest searching “Free images for Zoom” and you’ll find more options than you can count! You may want to download some fun ones too for your next personal meeting. Once you select the image you want, it will automatically download into your Zoom! The image will be added to the gallery below and then you can click your image to test it out. Testing the image will help determine if an image is too fuzzy or just doesn’t look good. If you choose to remove this image from your gallery, then simply scroll over the image and a small black circle with an “x” symbol will appear. Click that icon at the top right of the image and it will vanish from your Zoom library.
If you are savvy enough to create your own media, you will need to know the correct specifications to maximize your imagery. A video background should be created as a horizontal “.MP4” or “.Mov” file at a minimum of 480 x 360 pixels with a maximum of 1820 x 1080 pixels. A still image should be a horizontal 1280 pixels x 720 pixels with a 16:9 ratio.
Using the “green screen” option on Zoom:
For those unfamiliar with the term, in TV and film production a green screen is quite literally a green-colored backdrop that goes behind talent, similar to a meteorologist on the news. The vibrant green color is used because it contrasts with skin, hair, clothing and other natural colors. Images keyed into the system will fill the green area on screen but will not interfere with the person or objects in front of it. You can buy a professional green screen kit over the internet if you have both the room and the money. However, if you have an existing solid color backdrop that is not black or white, you can use it. Being sure the solid color contrasts with you enables the use of the ‘green screen’ option on zoom. Choosing this option will clearly define you from the background creating the most optimal overall picture.
To install your own inexpensive background, take some solid color fabric and clamp it to a curtain rod or tack it up against a wall behind you. Just make sure your fabric surface is as smooth as possible for the best green-screen effect. Once your “green screen” is physically set up, start by selecting the “I have green screen” option on the Virtual Background page in your Zoom settings. You will see a bar that says to “Manually pick the color of the background if the automatically detected color is not accurate.” This means if your background is not the traditional green screen, you will have to click on the icon to the right of that description and an eyedropper tool will pop up for you to select the background color reference you want Zoom to identify and use. From this change, Zoom will automatically fill your “green screen” with your virtual background.
Choose background images based on your preference and that of your audience. Try to find appropriate images or videos that don’t overpower you or take attention away from your meeting. Skylines, bookshelves, library sets and softly textured backgrounds are all good choices for virtual meetings.
Your personal image:
Looking you best will be easy with zoom. There is a “Touch up my appearance432313” button on the Zoom video page. It will create a slight soft focus filter over your image, diminishing small problems like mild blemishes and fine lines.
But you have Snap Camera as well and that does much, much more!!
With your Snap Camera already open, select your filter before your meeting. You can change filters anytime before or during your call, but unless you are chatting with friends during a virtual social distancing-happy hour you may want to pre-set your filters and your
virtual backdrop before you start your meeting and remain consistent all the way through.
Snap Camera was created by Snap Inc. who also owns Snapchat, most of its filters are goofy and fun. You may have already seen some wild filters that turn a person into a potato or an egg yolk.
Snap Camera also offers a host of filters that can help you look your best, with or without your make up. The search magnifying glass is found just below the camera image and above the featured filters. We recommend typing in “skin” or “make-up” and try out the options. The quality of these consumer-generated filters may vary so do take the time to poke around and see what works for you on your chosen background.
Some of the makeup images are zany like a cyber blue complexion—cute and fun but not appropriate for a business meeting. Others are more realistic and you can find makeup, skin and blush lens options that look natural. Your chosen filters will change instantly by simply clicking on them. You can even save your favorites for later use by clicking the star option on the upper left-hand corner of your preferred filtered image.
You can spruce up your existing real-life background and make yourself look your best with your own makeup and good lighting. But when in a pinch, these virtual options can get you ready for your next impromptu meeting!
*Zoom is available on IPAD and IPHONE but neither can handle the virtual backdrop option particularly well as the Snap Camera lens cannot integrate with Zoom on a tablet or mobile device. The above tutorial works best with a PC or MAC computer.
Whether you’re looking for an immersive theme for your next event or just some ideas for accent decor, we’ve got you covered with the latest styles to make your event unforgettable.
1. Bring in the 2020’s with 1920’s Glam
Harkening back to the 20’s of last century, create an experience that goes from rustic speakeasy with whiskey barrels and leather decor, to Great Gatsby Glam with crystal chandeliers, golden tables, and feather centerpieces. Notorious for ﬂappers, jazz, and bootleggers, the Roaring 1920’s bring a rebellious spirit and glamorous style that still resonates with us today
2. The Golden Rules
A decadent, rich color, gold is the perfect color to make your next event shine. For a classic look, choose gold and glass furniture, or put ﬂowers in gold vases on your cocktail tables. Or make a stunning stage set or photo op with a gold-accented backdrop.
3. Mark Your Calendars
As we embark on this new decade, we look forward as we also reﬂect. Celebrate your organization’s history or personal accomplishments with interactive timeline walls. Today’s displays merge visual and interactive elements to engage guests physically and mentally in your story using 3-dimensional signage, timelines and infographics, photos, videos, and props.
4. Change It Up
Have a long event or multi-day conference? Keep your audience alert and engaged with real-time changes in decor, interactive elements, and activities. Switching out elements mid-event, especially after long days of panels and training, keeps things interesting! This can be as simple as changing w few decor pieces and lighting to go from reception to after-party, or a full room ﬂip. Using technology like A/V Projection Mapping, you can even change a stage or room dynamically as your event is happening!
5. The Shape of Things
Bold, abstract shapes add dimension and interest to backdrops and dividers, while shapely curves in your furniture helps soften up the space. Combine curved furniture and angled backdrops to create a dynamic space for your guests.
6. Are You Blue?
This year’s Pantone color of the year is classic blue, a “shade reminiscent of the sky at dusk.” In truth, all blues tones from beryl to deep navy are popular so feel free to take your pick or mix and match! Accent it with warm, natural colors and organic textures to create a chic lounge space, or pair it with white and silver for your classy gala.
7. Naturally Warm
Warm natural colors are also trending, including natural wood tones. Rustic woods make room for reﬁned lighter wood designs. Make your natural, warm tones more interesting by adding lots of organic texture.
Biophilia is described as “the passionate love of life and of all that is alive” by German psychoanalyst Erich Fromm. In design terms, this simply means to bring the outside in. Living walls, large trees and plants, running water fountains, and other outdoor elements add life to your event and engage your guests using the organic colors, textures, and even sounds of nature.
9. Opposing Elements
Two design trends merge when natural materials are combined with synthetic, contemporary ones. Upgrade that hedge wall with a neon sign. Enclose your plants in lucite cubes. These seemingly incompatible juxtapositions lead to stunning results!
10. Insta Moments
Let your guests share in the excitement with Instagram-worthy props, backdrops, and environments. Don’t just go for the traditional step-and-repeat – add props, 3D elements to interact with, or furniture to sit on for a unique experience your guests will want to share!
By Gayle Gilberto, Event Designer & CIS
Thanksgiving comes late this year, which means most holiday parties are being planned within the first two weeks in December. That’s not very far from now but it’s still not too late to plan your gathering or to add some extra spice to the existing one! If you haven’t booked your venue or suppliers yet, Kristin O’Conner, Director of Sales and Marketing of Capers Catering advises the following: “Be willing to be flexible! Thursdays in December are the quickest dates to go. If you’re willing to do a different day we can play around and make it work for you. But, we almost always can make it work for our clients.”
Get People Excited About Your Holiday Party
You may also consider moving your party into the New Year. January and February dates a offer better venue and supplier availability and your guests can relax and enjoy your celebration without their personal Holiday plans getting in the way.
Build up excitement for your upcoming celebration by advertising through your company social media. Hint at the activities to come. If you haven’t told your guests already, consider “teasing” the theme to build anticipation. For example, if you are having a carnival theme, pass out popcorn or cotton candy during lunchtime or after a company meeting. Or invite a salsa dancer into your office to perform in advance of your “Havana Nights” theme event.
Another great way to build excitement for your Holiday party is to add an awards component to the affair. Create a few fun categories for your employees to vote on to get them involved and pumped up. Or look for in-house talent and have them participate in some way. I had a CEO who leads a company sing-a-long for his employees at the end of a Holiday celebration. This quickly became the beloved company tradition guests look forward to every year!
Brainstorm Ideas With Others
Kick up your food and beverage choices by chatting with employees and don’t be shy about brainstorming fresh ideas with your catering manager
Kristin O’Connor offers this advice: “We’ve had clients collect a few family recipes that we can incorporate into a menu. This spices up an event and makes employees experience all the feels when their own holiday traditions can be represented to their colleagues. Also, say yes to all the desserts- don’t make it an afterthought. Whether it is a fun unique station, like make your own s’mores, smashed cake bar, boozy hot chocolate station, or passed cookies and milkshakes, people love to put their healthy lifestyles on hold this time of year.
Plan Fun Activities For All
More active crowds love games of all types and there are plenty of options available! From casino games to arcade and video games, space, taste, and budget are your only limitations.
AC Anders, VP of Corporate Events at Fun Enterprises recommends activities that can double as company giveaways:
“All too often we are at an event and take photos that live in our phone or on our social apps. Switch things up and get a photo program that the guest leaves with the photo in a snow globe or snowflake. Also, personalization and DYO programs give your attendees something fun to do and take home.”
The Gift That Keeps on Giving
”Gifting this year? Check out the many companies offering to buy one give one options now (Bomba socks, One World Play and Smile Squared are just a few) guests can feel great knowing their gift was also donated to someone in need. Or you can empower your employees to be even more actively involved in the spirit of the season.
AC Anders: “Some companies decide that since it is the time of year for giving back it is a perfect time to sponsor a community project. Here are a few suggestions:
- Caroling at a senior center or hospital
- Volunteering at a food bank
- Collecting coats for the Winter Season ahead
- Donating Toys for a good cause”
Finally, don’t forget to make your event sparkle— try dazzling guests with a great theme. Glitz is always popular this time of year and themes that blend well with interactive activities are particularly hot right now. Brainstorm with an event design professional to find the theme that best suits your company’s demographic and image. This is your party and you can customize it in myriad ways that will make all your attendees feel like the VIPs they are!!!
Art of the Event
Are you planning a big holiday bash? Let Art of the Event’s Production and Design team help!
By Gayle Gilberto, Event Designer & CIS
After working as a supplier in this industry for 16 years and in another for five more, I’ve had every kind of working relationship with meeting and event planners. I’ve also had the privilege of supervising others in their working relationships. From my experience, I’ve gained insight into how different clients’ techniques, systems, and working styles affect their programs from the bidding process to the final on-site results. I’ve compiled a list of some ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ that will help you get what you need and perhaps something extra from your suppliers.
Do: Take three bids, and tell your suppliers you are taking bids. The competition will drive your suppliers to sharpen those pencils and create quality proposals.
Do: Compare apples to apples! When sending out RFP’s, make sure each supplier is working with the same information. Be as transparent as possible, and let the suppliers know which elements are most important and which ones are not.
Don’t: Hedge on the budget question. I understand that there are times when you legitimately don’t know what your budget is; however, I recommend using past experience or event as your guide. Also, make sure to give each supplier the same budget range to avoid getting wildly different proposals back at various price points. Even if you have to modify the budget after receiving the bid, you’ll start with information you can use to access your three bids properly.
*Helpful Hint*: If you do know your budget, shave a bit off the top when sharing with suppliers. That leftover “padding” can be used in the future to add elements you don’t see in the initial proposal!
Do: Ask for other suggestions. You don’t have to be an expert on everything yourself. You are reaching out to experts in each of their fields. Let them share their knowledge with you by encouraging them to add suggestions and different options. You might end up liking the new ideas better than the ones you initially thought of!
Do: Be realistic with your proposal, timeframe. Try to get RFP’s in as early as possible and ask the supplier how much time they need for the turnaround. There is an old rule from my days in the film industry that equally applies to event production: “Good, Fast, Cheap!” Pick two!”
After the Bid: The Working Relationship
There are two ways to get what you need when you need it:
Be an ally
We all enjoy doing beautiful things for our friends. That’s why clients and suppliers who are “friends,” even if only in the working world, tend to get better service and extra bonuses. Being thankful, considerate, and fostering a positive relationship with someone can go a long way.
Be a ‘Squeaky Wheel’
We are all constantly busy in our industry. And although your suppliers genuinely want to give equal time to all their clients, the reality is that some clients make sure they get more attention than others. The ‘squeaky wheel’ is someone who is both present and persistent in getting what he or she needs. Clients who call consistently tend to get pushed to the head of the line.
Don’t: Be mean
Try not to confuse being ‘squeaky’ with being rude. Beating people down is not the same as being present. I’ve seen senior suppliers jump away from the phone in fear when they see a certain number come up on their cell. I’ve seen others pass on potentially lucrative projects just because their point person proved to be complicated. Suppliers can make or break your next program; keep them on your team by treating them like professionals, not servants.
Do: Feel free to ask for that extra something. Even if you’re pretty sure the answer is “no,” it never hurts to try. You’ll be surprised at how often you’re happily surprised by the outcome.
Event or Program Start Day
Do: Arrive early to make sure things are progressing smoothly. Get ahead of last-minute changes and potential snags during your set up.
Do: Act before you react. As we all know, unexpected contingencies arise on site. Elevators and trucks can break down, backups happen on loading docks, and people get sick. If your set up isn’t going as expected, find out what the challenges are, and ask for solutions.
Do: Request a walkthrough before anyone is dismissed.
Do: Request a rehearsal, run-through if AV, talent is involved.
After the Fact
Give feedback! Everyone wants to know how they are doing, and feedback is always appreciated. Suppliers should welcome constructive criticism so we can adjust and improve in the future. Leaving a review, especially when someone hits a home run, can forge a friendly feeling that will surely benefit you the next time around!
By: Cierra Dubinsky & Alanna Lynch
The positive effects of flowers are immeasurable; they can brighten up a room, someone’s mood, and promote healing. They offer vibrant colors, fragrant smells, and a small reminder of the beauty of the world around us. Flowers are a celebration, and naturally, an important part of what we do at Art of the Event Inc.
Our florists are passionate about creating arrangements that perfectly capture the essence of whatever event they are featured at. But what happens to these fresh flowers when the event is over? Most companies and venues simply discard them without a second thought. We at Art of the Event Inc. want to avoid waste and spread as much happiness as possible; that’s why we’ve partnered with the Power of Flowers Project, founded by Joyce Bellefeuille.
Located in Tewksbury MA and home to 75 volunteers, the Power of Flowers project takes lightly used flowers from events and services and delivers replenished bouquets to anyone who needs a smile. In their own words, they are “one small effort to reuse something beautiful and bring joy to others.”
Not only does this project better the lives of surrounding communities, but it is done in a sustainable fashion. The Power of Flowers “renews and refreshes gently used flowers, recycled from weddings, banquets, business conferences, memorial services—any event where flowers are left behind or tossed in the trash while they are still fresh.” By reusing flowers, they are saving land, money, and water used to grow and maintain new flowers!
Art of the Event Inc. is thrilled to be donating to this admirable project. Every time flowers or centerpieces return to our warehouse, they find new homes with Power of Flowers. Want to help the Power of Flowers flourish even more? Click here to contribute! “Making a difference, one flower at a time.”
One of the biggest trends right now is getting your guests involved in their menu choices. Skipping the plated meal or traditional hors d’oeuvres and opting for more interactive delights is a great way to make a lasting impression on your guests.
AotE has got you covered with unique interactive food displays on the market. Our one-of-a-kind food service stations create photo opportunities, conversation topics, and make food part of the fun. Most importantly, they allow your guests to customize their fare to fit their preferences, all but guaranteeing that everyone will be raving on social media about your event!
1. Bring the Refreshments Around on a Ferris wheel
Carnival and cirque themes are hot this summer! Whether you’re planning an outdoor or indoor festival or event, our working Ferris wheel will create a truly instagrammable moment for your guests!
Dimensions: 9’T with five trays to hold your snacks or merch, and a customizable base.
2. Not-Just-A-Doughnut Wall
There’s a new sweet treat dominating dessert bars everywhere: doughnut walls! Our sleek & whimsical doughnut wall will look impressive in your space, and you can customize it with a graphic, logo or monogram.
Not a fan of sweets? Display pretzels, bagels, candy canes, or any other hang-able food!
Dimensions: 8’Tx4’W, with 2’ of customizable space at the top and bottom, and 96 pegs.
3. Raise Your Glass with a Champagne Hedge Wall
Guests will have a blast choosing their glass, toasting to the night, and taking selfies in front of our elegant champagne wall! With faux hedge and custom florals, this wall is stylish, functional, and bound to be the center of attention.
Dimensions: 8’x8’ hedge wall, complete with slotted shelves that hold 96 of any size wine glass.
4. Tap the Keg Wall
Breathe new life into your bar space with our rustic & chic keg wall; A fully functional and staple decor piece, featuring your favorite brews on tap! Draft beer is also eco-friendly, with refillable kegs and less overall waste.
Dimensions: 74”Wx8’T with four beer lines.
It’s finally Summer in New England and outdoor celebrations are in full swing! Whether you’re hosting a wedding reception, BBQ, or rooftop party, AotE has got your seasonal event covered with limited time specials; our in-house designers are offering complimentary styling services & products to make your event the stand-out party of the season.
These specials won’t last long though – book by 8/31/19 to reserve yours!
Summer Style Spotlight: Lanterns
Whether your aesthetic tends towards bold colors or sparkly lights, lanterns are a simple & classic way to light up your summer night.
Summer Style Spotlight: Modern Lounge
Get your guests talking! Create a comfortable, social space at your event with specialty lounge furniture – from modern white lounge sets that match any decor to classic teak sets that never go out of style.
Summer Style Spotlight: Sun Umbrellas
Instead of baking under the hot summer sun during your next ocean-side gala, enjoy the shade under market umbrellas!
3 Landsdowne Street, Boston, MA, 02108
photo by Christopher Huang
Landsdowne Street has a new, hip brewpub on the block, and its name is Cheeky Monkey Brewing Company (CMBC). Located in-between The Landsdowne Pub and Loretta’s Last Call, CMBC prides itself on house-brewed craft beers, cross-cultural street food, and table games. The restaurant and the first level of the building occupy 10,000 square feet, with their capacity maxing out at 500 guests. A staircase within the brewery connects drinkers and baseball fans alike to Lucky Strike Social, a bowling alley and bar. Together, both places make up a multi-level, 70,000-square-foot behemoth.
Cheeky Monkey oﬀers semi and fully private event spaces in their Tap Room & XO Lounge. Each room boasts its own distinct environment equipped for corporate parties and social gatherings. They are extremely accommodating to large groups, as the restaurant seamlessly entertains the masses that attend Fenway Park, and provides top-notch services at a reasonable price.
photo by Christopher Huang
The XO Lounge is the perfect place for small gatherings and is located in the far back of the restaurant. Enjoy a quiet, secluded craft beer on their leather sofas, just steps away from the game room with billiards, darts, ping-pong or shuﬄeboard. For larger groups, CMBC has a specialty Tap Room that can host up to 60 guests. This room features a private bar with craft beers on tap and is enclosed by their state-of-the-art beer tanks.
photo by Christopher Huang
Rounding out the entertainment experience, Cheeky Monkey is fully decked out in funky, modern decor & art pieces, including some Insta-worthy neon signs. This place is one of Fenway’s hot spots for millennials after hours as well. Going far beyond your average brewery, Cheeky Monkey truly creates a one of a kind experience in Boston.
Is Cheeky Monkey Brewing Co. the venue for your next event? Give us a call or fill out our contact form to request a free estimate!
By: Cierra Dubinsky
For Gayle Gilberto, President of Art of the Event, Inc., employee appreciation is #1! In fact, she recently spoke on this topic during the Boston HR Summit at the Westin Waterfront. So, what are the best management tactics to keep employees happy and satisfied? Gilberto suggests two efforts that can be easily implemented: special events & incentive programs.
It’s Party Time!
The most common employee events are holiday parties and company outings, which are a great way to keep morale up. Gilberto describes these as a “direct give back to employees.” AotE hosts a joint client/employee appreciation event every Spring, which functions as the perfect opportunity for employees, leadership, and clients to get to know each other in a different setting. Other special events that can improve a company’s dynamic include team building programs, awards galas, or any shared experience that, “make the employees feel like they’re part of the
family.” Something as simple as a summer afternoon ice cream outing could have an overwhelmingly positive influence!
Gilberto emphasizes the importance of management attending these events as a way of opening the lines of communication between employees of all levels who may not regularly interact. She also recommends having this outside of the office or workplace. A different atmosphere will encourage employees to relax and feel more comfortable mingling with one another.
A Team Effort
Incentive programs are another great way to “drive sales and help the company achieve its goals, which is to keep employees happy.” Incentives have gained a lot of popularity within the millennial crowd, as they are “very motivated by team experiences and feelings of belonging. Incentive programs will only get more valuable as time goes on.”
Recognition systems are relatively cost-free, and the benefits can be great when implemented effectively. “For every dollar spent on incentive travel programs, the business will benefit an average of $12.50 in increased revenue, and $3.80 in increased profitability… that’s $4 to the dollar spent!” That’s a win-win for any company, on and off the paper. In addition to travel, paid time off, vacations, bonuses, and gift cards are all examples of incentives that are overwhelmingly well-received amongst employees. According to CIS.com, 87.5% of people who participate in an incentive program feel they’re appreciated, 80% said their loyalty to the company increased, and 78% said they felt an increased sense of belonging. “These are all things we want our employees to feel!”
All in all, it’s about understanding what truly motivates and drives people. AotE is currently running a spa package incentive program throughout April, and employees have already shown extra enthusiasm to exceed this month’s goals!
“That’s how you want your best employees to feel— to feel valued. To feel appreciated by you, their peers, and the company itself.” – Gayle Gilberto
What does it take to stay on the cutting-edge of the rapidly changing world of events? Fast-moving trends can leave companies, nonprofits, and individuals continually searching for the next hot theme and the newest social-media friendly craze. Whether you’re planning a gala, a product launch, or a mitzvah, staying fresh and modern is critical when crafting a memorable event. Here are three ways to navigate this constantly shifting scene without getting bogged down in the details:
1. Follow Event Companies on Social Media
Whether you’re prepping for a wedding or a corporate holiday party, inspiration is readily available on social media! Follow industry-leaders to discover photos of unique and modern events. It will also give you a sense of what themes are hot and what company can best make your vision become a reality.
Our favorite channels? Pinterest and Instagram. Two imagery-focused platforms that let you get the full visual, and provide a bread crumb trail to similar images so you can delve more deeply into your favorite theme.
2. Discover Industry-Leaders in Event Production
How to tell if a company is a cutting-edge industry trailblazer? Look for new and unique designs, furniture, and concepts. Art of the Event’s brand new Edison Tables are one-of-a-kind and made in-house. By continually imagining and crafting unique individual pieces to make clients’ dreams into reality (or just because we had a cool idea!) we ensure that the company is always oﬀering creative and modern designs that make each event one-of-a-kind!
Even if you’re re-using a past theme or going for a classic design, your event company’s capabilities shouldn’t box you in. Take a look at a company’s online catalog (see Art of the Event’s here) to see what kind of variety they have.
3. Choose an Event Company that can Customize
Does the event company you’re working with produce their graphics and builds in-house? If not, your business is being outsourced to another company, and you’re paying extra! Look for companies that employ graphics and fabrication staﬀ full-time. Not only does this save you money, but it also helps prevent confusion and allows for greater customization.
When one of Art of the Event’s producers gets a request for branded pieces, a custom build, florals, or anything else that requires a personal touch, they’re able to go right to the source. Instead of making calls to external companies, they’re able to sit down with a member of the graphics, fabrication, or floral department and figure out how to make your vision come to life. Instead of asking ‘can we do this?’ our team is able to focus on crafting your unique vision.
Bonus: Pick a Veteran Company
Another major factor to consider: How long has an event company been around? Established companies have relationships with other providers, so if they do have to outsource for a specific item, they’re able to get a deal, which is then passed along to you, the client.
It also means they have relationships with venues and are often able to work more closely with your chosen location. Art of the Event producers always oﬀer to coordinate directly with your venue, so you don’t need to worry about the load in or set-up at all. With floor plans for almost every venue in the Boston area already on file, and team members who are familiar with the load-in and strike procedures of every hotel, conference, center, and venue in Eastern MA and beyond, picking a veteran events company can take a considerable load oﬀ of your shoulders!
Trade shows provide a unique opportunity to boost your brand’s visibility, generate leads and create valuable industry and client connections Getting noticed at events saves you money and significantly benefits your business in the long run. A 2018 SpinGo data compilation showed that face-to-face meetings at trade shows are cheaper than in the office and that 77% of executive decision makers found at least one new supplier at the last show they attended. If your company hasn’t had a chance to exhibit at a trade show before, now is a great time to start!
From the planner’s perspective, there’s no room for a mistake – every detail needs to be accounted for months before an event takes place. For the design team, the biggest question is how to make your trade show booth stand out from the competition?
The great thing about trade show booths is that there’s always room for creativity. Custom booths are popular because they allow your company’s personality to shine, while also serving as a one-of-a-kind exhibit solution. When designing your custom booth, consider your brand aesthetic, target customers, and how they will interact with space. Use modular walls and a layered display to bring height and dimension to your space at any trade show.
The other key to making your mark the exhibit floor? Branding, branding, branding! Custom graphics and branding are a crucial part of your trade show booth design. Use bright colors and high-impact visuals to promote your brand and clearly display your company’s message to ensure that everyone who walks by, walks in.
Never underestimate the importance of proper lighting. Lighting can be a low cost and high impact way to accentuate key features, such as product displays and promo materials. Consider in-booth media for more interactivity and custom flooring for a fully immersive experience.
Be an observer! Take notes of the most impactful trade show booths you’ve seen before: what made them stick out? Whether it was the captivating demonstrations, the interactive elements, or out of the box graphics – be creative and think what original features can apply to your design.
Share your goals and ideas with our award-winning team of planners and designers at Art of the Event, and we can create and execute the perfect design solution for your trade show booth.
First impressions are always important, so when your guests and clients enter your office make it count! Create a positive and long-lasting impression with decor that brings the spirit of the season into your space!
Our designers recommend keeping the lobby decor elegant and simple. Remember, less is more! If you oversaturate your space with decorations, you risk making it look cluttered and distasteful. The abundance of one decor element over another may offend some groups of people. Keeping it simple helps you avoid overlooking these decorative possibilities.
During the winter season, several holidays are taking place virtually at the same time. Be sensitive to all observers, and don’t forget about incorporating elements like menorahs for Hanukkah and kinaras for Kwanzaa.
The holidays may seem like they’re far away, but time flies! The celebrations are right around the corner, and it’s crucial to start planning early. Start with planning your budget and looking for event designers and decorators.
Brightly lit trees wrapped presents, garland, and ribbon – use traditional decor to warm up your space. Try converting your lobby into a winter wonderland with white birch, sparkling faux snow, and candles to light up the room. Whatever you choose, your lobby decor should reflect your company’s aesthetic.
Even small touches make a big difference: complement your existing decor with florals or small vignettes. This will help bring a pop of color and holiday cheer to your lobby.
Need ideas for your themed lobby decor? Call Art of the Event today for a custom proposal.
Count how many weeks left until Christmas—surprise! If that’s any clue, the holiday season is approaching faster than you think. The time to start planning your holiday party is now—you’ll want enough time to secure a location, organize vendors like catering, and give employees enough time to mark it off on their calendars. Here’s what you need to keep in mind.
There’s a limited number of venues, and a limited number of desirable dates surrounding the holidays. Do you want to plan for a weekend or weekday evening? Both of these options have their pros and cons, but don’t expect your desired space to be available, even if you choose a date you believe may be unpopular. The Holiday season is short!! Rather than waiting and losing your best options, plan now and get the perfect venue for your group and budget.
Give People Time to Plan
The entire point of the holiday party is to reward employees for a year of hard work and show them that you care. If you give them notice on December 1st that the party will be December 10th, many employees may already have plans and obligations lined up. Rather than create resentment, give them as much time as possible to mark it off in their calendars.
Many employee parties today, especially for bigger companies, may make use of a number of vendors, such as design and decor companies, catering, DJs, or even show performers. Regardless of the vendor you’re looking for, it makes sense to line them up as soon as you can. Why? Not only are you competing with other holiday parties, but you’re also competing with a popular season for other types of receptions. The city’s best catering options won’t still be accepting orders two weeks before your party date.
More Time to Get Creative
It’s 2018. Does your holiday party reflect that? Coming up with creative ways to keep your holiday party engaging will have everyone talking about it for months to come. Make your event experiential — this means giving your employees something to do during the event that will not only make it memorable but will help your team bond. Also important: think of social media-friendly setups. Custom design elements will get a great deal of photo ops.
When your employees are happy, retention rates soar — and that’s something that gets everyone in the holiday spirit. To find out more about organizing your next holiday party, contact the event planning design experts at Art of the Event for additional info.
Why do corporate holiday parties matter? Most satisfaction surveys conducted by human resource departments indicate that feeling valued, and feeling like they are a part of something, are important factors in how employees rate their workplace satisfaction and overall productivity.
Holiday parties aren’t just about having a good time and celebrating another year finished (though that is a big part of it). Done right, holiday parties ensure your employees feel appreciated and happy to be a part of your company.
The planning part isn’t always easy, though. Rather than just calling it a “holiday party” and sticking a big bow on it, here are 4 fun ideas and themes you can embrace for winter 2018.
There’s often a fine line between group activities that feel like fun, and group activities that feel like torture for your employees, but there are some pretty solid winners you can choose from. Consider activities such as:
- Cookie decorating
- Gingerbread house decorating (make it a contest: which team can decorate the best in ten minutes?)
- Ornament painting
- Holiday trivia contest (example: where did the Christmas tree tradition originate?)
The key to making activities fun is to allow people to engage at their own pace, rather than forcing it. Also, remember to be inclusive of guest who do not celebrate Christmas.
Great Holiday Themes
Here’s a fact: people love themes. Don’t believe it? Test it yourself this holiday season with a theme like “winter masquerade ball” or “ugly sweater party.” Even a simple color party (everyone wear white and black, as an example) can heighten the festive mood. Other ideas:
- Victorian Holiday
- Santa’s misfit toys
- Nightmare before Christmas
Great Non-denominational Themes
Swiss Chalet gala
Fairy Tale Forest
It’s The Giving Season
Chances are, your employees are great people, and the holiday spirit gets them in that give-back mood. Why not double your holiday party as a canned food drive? Ask every guest to bring a can or other non-perishable and keep a large box (wrapped to look like a gift) by the door for collection. Also, ask a professional how to incorporate socially conscience gifting into your event as an activity!
Rather Than ANOTHER Mug…
Ditch the traditional $10 gift exchange and do something that nets more than just gag gifts. Have everyone bring a batch of cookies to share and a tupperware container—that way, everyone gets to take home some tasty treats for their families.
Planning a holiday party for your business doesn’t need to be a pain. Do it right, and your employees will be talking about it for a long time to come. Contact the event planning experts at Art of the Event for more tips and trips on organizing an amazing event.
What do you envision when you think of events? Being completely immersed in a story? An entire room transformation? A complete loss for words? Yeah, we do too. Events are our passion, and we want guests to feel transported to another world. How? By using sense engagement. Sense engagement is all about creating an immersive and stimulating experience.
Art of the Event brings your vision to life. Our production, fabrication, and design teams work together to transform your venue with full-scale props, graphics and more, so you can create your dream event!
Here are some fun themes we have done in the past!
- Enchanted Garden
- Day of the Dead
- Candyland and many more!
Create your perfect, immersive event this fall and transform your space!
Interactive floors and wall displays give your guests an engaging element. This can be integrated into any theme. Add this interactive feature to your next event!
This interactive medium will take your event to the next level! Technology is rapidly growing and always improving. With sense engagement, your guests are given that extra element of touch! Interactive walls and display floors leave them entertained for hours, setting apart your event from any other they have attended.
And if these interactive displays are not exactly what you’re looking for, try our interactive games! We have classic favorites like Connect 4, Cornhole, Basketball, Ping Pong, and so many more!
So, are you ready to impress your guests? Contact us and plan your next event with sense engagement features!
Autumn is in the air and we couldn’t be more excited for the best time of year in Boston! Fall is the perfect time to plan a corporate event; employees are no longer taking lengthy vacations and perhaps you’ve acquired some new employees that you’d like to introduce to the rest of your staff. Scheduling a corporate outing simply to celebrate the new season is also a great excuse. Whatever the case may be, Art of the Event has some great corporate outing ideas in Boston that are guaranteed to be a fun time for everyone.
Fall Corporate Outing Ideas in Boston
- Action Kitchen at Seaport Hotel. Is everyone a die-hard foodie in your office? If so, we highly recommend The Action Kitchen at The Seaport Hotel in Boston’s new hip neighborhood. Here you can either work as a team and create some delicious fall season, New England inspired cousine or work against each other (think Chopped). Art of the Event is here to do the booking for you as well as provide logistics, transportation, and other DMC services for your company.
- South End Happy Hour Tour. There’s nothing better than walking around the South End during a crisp, bright fall day. We highly recommend a South End happy hour tour if your employees are all about exploring the city and sampling some of the best food and beverages in the area. Art of the Event will contact Bites of Boston (the ones responsible for this wonderful private tour) and ensure that your group is booked and transportation is arranged for those attending. We can also reserve and set up a private event space at a restaurant of your choosing.
- Paddle Boston River Tours. The Charles River offers unobstructed views of the Fall foliage this time of year and is a great activity for companies with outdoorsy individuals. Choose from either a guided river and harbor tour or take your team out on your own exploratory adventure. Art of the Event will create custom signage to ensure that arriving employees know where to go. We can also raise a tent along the banks of the river and coordinate with a catering company to make this a picnic outing!
- Station Karaoke Bar. Located in Chinatown, this karaoke bar is perfect if you’re looking to celebrate an employee’s milestone, birthday, or retirement. This bar also offers a private room with ample space for a medium-sized group so that no one but your co-workers will be able to judge your singing voice. Art of the Event will also work with Station Karaoke Bar to provide design and decor services for the private room.
- Trapology Boston. Escape the rainy New England fall weather by booking an escape room in Boston for your next corporate event. Trapology Boston offers a variety of different themed escape rooms that will test your groups ability to work together. This is a great problem solving activity that will no doubt help bolster employee morale. We highly recommend booking a room at a nearby restaurant for some lunch, dinner, or drinks afterwards.
Whether you’re looking to book a corporate outing or you’re planning for a more formal fall corporate event, Art of the Event is here to provide professional event design and decor services. Contact us to learn more about our capabilities!
Fall and winter is a great time for both private and corporate events. Not only are there numerous holidays to incorporate into your theme, but also seasons to work with when it comes to event decor and design. The goal is to spark conversation between your guests and make the entire event an interactive one. If you’re looking to really wow your guests with an out-of-the-box theme, below are a few ideas Art of the Event has designed for past events.
2018 Fall & Winter Event Theme Ideas
Day of the Dead Themed Event.
There’s no better feeling than a family celebration. Bring that feeling of belonging and family to your next event while celebrating the past and the future with our Day of the Dead theme. With our larger than life sugar skulls and festive floral arrangements, your event’s decor is sure to stand out.
Alice In Wonderland Themed Event.
Fall down the rabbit hole and join Alice on a trip through wonderland. Art of the Event will help you shrink down to enjoy the magic of wonderland with our eye-catching florals and custom graphics
Star Wars Themed Event.
Realize your childhood dream of flying the Millennium Falcon and jumping to light-speed at your fall and winter events. Our Star Wars and galaxy themed decor will make that galaxy far far away appear at any venue. Art of the Event’s custom fabrication team can build spacecrafts and decor that will engage your guests and create an unforgettable experience.
Royal/British Themed Event.
Let’s face it, we all are obsessed with royal weddings. Why not bring that regal charm to your Fall or Winter event. Art of the Event will ensure that all of your guests get the royal treatment on their trip across the pond. Imagine dining like the cast of The Crown at the royal table or being a guest at the royal wedding-with our full service event planning company the possibilities are endless.
Contact Art of the Event, Inc. today to request more information about our event design capabilities. We provide free proposals and free estimates for all of our projects!
Corporate branding is a crucial part of any successful corporate event. It makes a lasting impression on the guests and positions your company for success. Corporate branding is the company’s public image portrayed through a company’s logos, colors and messaging and is designed to make a lasting impact on the consumer. Events are the ideal location to communicate your branding to consumers and make a lasting impression. Leading up to an event, branded social media marketing creates excitement and familiarizes the public with your company. This is important to make a positive impact as you want to build anticipation leading up to the event.
Corporate Branding: Building Anticipation
• Using count down images on Instagram and Facebook the week leading up to the event builds anticipation and can highlight different images, parts of your event, or the past year’s event.
• Publishing speaker profiles in the weeks leading up to the event attracts the speaker’s followers as well as other people interested in the topic.
• Having a range of promotional images keeps people’s attention and prevents redundancy.
Corporate Branding: At The Event
• Branded graphics placed around the venue keeps your company front and center throughout the event. Using a company’s existing logo will help with name recognition later down the line.
• Center-pieces on cocktail tables are a great place to put your company logo and add detail to the event using company colors.
• Lighting and decor colors can compliment or match a company’s logo and marketing.
Ready to work on your next event’s corporate branding? Contact Art of the Event today for graphic and marketing services, event design and event production services.