Archive for the ‘At the Event’ Category

FEAST Portland Boasts Bountiful Attendance

Night Market

FEAST Portland keeps attendees hungry for more every year. Launched in 2012 with 9,000 attendees, this year’s food festival drew over 12,500 guests. It is not only the fantastic eats that keeps foodies from near and far flocking to Portland for nationally known food festival. Feast Portland has been named among the Top 15 Food Festivals in North America, receiving recognition from affluent publications and industry professionals including the Wall Street Journal, Zagat, Food Republic, and many others. The cuisine, beer and wine pairings, celebrity appearances, and emphasis on local Oregon bounty are undoubtedly the event highlight.

“Guests are given an authentic food experience” says Festival Director, Emily Crowley, defining what sets FEAST apart from other food festivals. “Chefs at FEAST are8094517754_cfba498bbc_z still in the kitchen, serving food in their restaurants and cooking daily while maintaining their celebrity…FEAST attendees have the opportunity to talk with the owners and chefs themselves, not a marketing representative”. Over 30 wineries, 15 breweries, six distilleries, and 15 artisans participate in FEAST at iconic Portland locations including Zidell Yards, Pioneer Courthouse, and Director Park—also a distinguishing factor. These local quintessential locations help guests from around the nation engage in the Portland experience.

The food festival is almost equally known by event professionals for the immaculate organization and turnkey efficiency that has become evident in the seamless guest experience attendees and culinary participants enjoy. Only in its third year, FEAST Portland “Is done to such perfection you’d think… (FEAST) is in its 30th year” according to Fodor’s Travel North America’s Top 15 Food Festivals. The festival director shared her organization secrets with West Coast Event Productions, one of FEAST’s team members from inception, divulging that good old fashioned spreadsheets, highlighters, and in-person meetings are the key for communication and a smooth production.

FEAST Portland’s mission doesn’t end with sharing great food, the festival also helps support Partner’s for a Hunger Free Oregon and Share Our Strength. Mark your calendar and prepare your palette for next year, Feast will take place September 17 through 20, 2015.

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Photos courtesy of John Valls.

Synergistic Pairings: West Coast Event Productions & Moxie Events, Rustic & Elegant

 In the words of  Shelly Kane, founder of Moxie Events, the recent wedding Moxie produced with West Coast Event Productions was “Absolutely stunning”.

“Elizabeth’s (the bride) exact words to me were ‘Elegance, classy, rustic, but refined, super fun party, lots of lighting, did I mention a rockin’ fun party?’” said Kane, describing the vision. See how classic elegant, and charming rustic elements were combined below for a beautiful and symbiotic Moxie and WCEP design.

Elements of elegance:

  • Silver sequence table cloths and table runners lining every cocktail and guest table
  • Crystal chandeliers
  • Up-lighting on winery tower
  • Initials projected onto tower and side of tent
  • Candlelight everywhere
  • Guest book – guests signed three wine bottles to open one each year on their first three anniversary dates.

Touches of refined rustic:

  • Moss letters at the Bar
  • Beautiful rustic elegant floral arrangements
  • Table seating chart utilized wine boxes lined in moss with name cards attached to wine corks
  • Cross back chairs

“Super Fun Party”

  • Full bar
  • Top notch lounge furniture and dance floor
  • Hand passed sliders before a dazzling sparkler exit
  • Buses transported 90 percent of guests, allowing them to focus on having a great time, not transportation
Photos courtesy of Anne Nunn Photographers

Eugene-based wedding and event planning company, Moxie, makes dreams come true for mid to high-end weddings. Dedicated to every client, Moxie also dedicates time to teaching those interested in learning about the wedding and event planning industry through job-shadowing opportunities. The featured wedding is one of many affairs Moxie and West Coast Event Productions have created over the past three years of collaboration.

“I primarily used Eugene based rental companies prior, but in finding out about WCEP equipment rental options, customer experience, and design and execution services, I recommend WCEP to all my clients” said the Moxie Event founder.

Escape to a New Vineyard Venue at Saffron Fields

The Fall season is undoubtedly beautiful in wine country and a fantastic backdrop for a recent creative shoot showcasing Saffron Fields Vineyard. Owner of the new Saffron Fields Vineyard and tasting room was inspired by the nostalgia of grape leaves morphing into gorgeous golds and oranges in the fall, reminding him of Saffron fields, like a seas of marigold, in India.

The white pintuck linen, table settings, and chiavari chairs let the beautiful landscape of  Carlton/Yamhill speak for itself. Yellow accents in the florals and centerpieces conveyed the essence and inspiration for the vineyard’s name in this photo shoot debut.

West Coast Event Productions partnered with Powers Studios; Your Perfect Papery;  Bridal Bliss; The Trolley; Bella Bloom Florals; Custom Cakes; Visiting Media; Anna’s Bridal; Face Body, Beauty.

See more photos.

Bridgetown Bash! Benefits and Necessities of Hosting Annual Events in Same Location

The Vital Life Foundation held the nonprofit’s annual BridgeTown Bash event at Pure Space this summer, raising over $525,000. The foundation’s BridgeTown Bash event continues to grow in attendance and financial support, increasing guest count by over 100 and revenue by $125,000 since the inaugural BridgeTown Bash in 2012. Having held the event at Pure Space for three consecutive years and continuously improving attendance and fundraising, the bash is a combative example of how choosing a consistent host site can be an advantage—not a stagnant event “no no”.

“We combat monotony by changing up the offerings each year. Even though we’ve been at Pure Space each year and kept the Portland-style theme, we change it up with activities, entertainment, décor, food and drink. We prefer to stay at the same venue as long as we can continue to be creative in our offerings. By staying at the same venue and keeping the same date, we have built  a brand and our guests have some knowledge of what to expect” said Vital Life Foundation Marketing Coordinator, Kelsey Whittaker. This year’s new additions included shot ski; Portland Timber’s girls distributing Moonstruck boozy truffles, vodka-soaked gummy bears, and nuts; “Hangover Cure” station with an oxygen bar and more.

Hosting an annual event in the same venue over the years can have many benefits. Relationships become organically developed; venue managers, vendors, and event planners learn how to work together seamlessly, allowing more focus on creativity and bringing in new elements versus determining logistics, dimensions, and all other time consuming considerations necessary to account for in a new space. Many venues and vendors are also inclined to offer discounts, donations, and other perks to longstanding clients that accumulate over the years. Guest experience can also benefit.

“I absolutely feel that our longstanding relationship with West Coast Event Productions and Pure Space has aided in the success of the Bridgetown Bash…Our guests know where to go, where to park, and that they’ll have the chance to be indoors and outdoors. They also know that they will be surprised with new things each year. West Coast Event Productions helps us bring those “new things” to life by transforming the space each year so it does feel different, fresh, and exciting for guests that come year after year” said Whittaker.

West Coast Event Productions and Vital Life supporters are already looking forward to next year’s Bridgetown Bash. Learn more about Vital Life Foundation, their mission to “provide meaning and vitality in the lives of seniors and staff members living and working in long term care”, and other upcoming events.

Photo Credit: John Kresl

TechFestNW

“If MusicfestNW is the cool-ish, gray-haired skateboarder who has seen it all, TechFestNW is its Warby Parker-rocking little cousin who wants to be a new kind of disruptor” said Joseph Gallivan, journalist for Portland Tribune, describing the two day tech festival. Held primarily at OMSI, Tech Fest NW wrapped up their third annual event at Pure Space.

“#SiliconForest” is how NIKE Creative, David Rae, described the theme of the TFNW Official After Party to West Coast Event Productions.

“NIKE Consumer Digital Tech proudly partnered with TFNW to make Pure Space look like the best of the Northwest—trees, foliage, mountains, (and) all things Portland” said Rae. Many tech companies involved in TechFestNW leveraged the Pure Space party as a recruiting opportunity; the goal of the Northwest theme being to show potential employees that Portland is not only growing as a distinguished hub for tech companies, but is a great place to build a life.

West Coast Event Productions conveyed the Northwest theme by constructing fir tree vignettes around the venue in varying heights, along with faux rock formations as realistic bases. A 16’X30’ hand painted backdrop of a Northwest mountain mirrored a projection screen on the opposite side of the venue displaying real moving footage taken from local forests—giving guests an authentic Northwest experience.

Eight cabana lounges lined the floor to ceiling window walls on the main floors, giving TechFestNW sponsors including: Willamette Week, Yahoo!, Real Big Video, Postano, Act-On, Globe Sherpa, Elemental Technologies and Wieden + Kennedy their own real estate. Premiere event sponsor, NIKE Consumer Digital Tech, sat perched on Pure Space’s mezzanine with a branded “CODE IS KING” experience. The NIKE VIP mezzanine was highlighted with agam bars lit green and Northwest foliage centerpieces adorning tables lining the perimeter for guests to overlook the main stage.

“The design created the perfect flow for the event considering there were 800 plus guests, and all the custom Northwest elements pulled together a really cohesive look that achieved the goal of the theme. Guests were thoroughly impressed” said Rae.

“The event (TechFestNW) continues to grow each year with new innovative speakers and networking opportunities. We’re looking forward to next 2015”.

 

British Invasion Custom Theme

The PCC Foundation got groovey with a British Invasion: A Mod Gala themed event, featuring a custom “Beatles” stage backdrop created by West Coast Event Productions, an iconic London telephone booth, rotating circular stage, and British flag prints that permeated the room, including on Agam lit bars, at the Portland Marriott ballroom. The Beatles were right, in that you “Can’t Buy Me Love”, though the gala did raise $300,000 to fund life altering opportunities for students at Portland Community College.

See more images from the event

The Art of Weddings 2014

The Art of Weddings Show has been an anticipated bridal event since the beginning in 2004, when founder Alexis Turk sought out to produce a “swankier” wedding show with the “best vendors in Portland, Oregon”. This year’s Art of Wedding Show was held at the Gerding Theater. West Coast Event Productions were among the diverse array of wedding vendors, including Venus Allure Salon & Spa, August Veils, and Jennifer Alyse Photography.

Engaged couples meandered about the the Gerding Theater, making acquaintances with wedding vendors and getting their wedding wheels turning before viewing  a bridal fashion show. West Coast Event Productions provided the runway show provisions and displayed a table setting showcasing new wedding rental inventory from Beverly Hills. West Coast Event Production’s Art of Weddings table display featured bohemian gold crystal stemware, vintage flatware and china, and gold candelabras. View any wedding Pinterest board or bridal blog, and the popularity of gold adornments and tableware will be undoubtedly apparent. Wedding photographer, Jennifer Alyse, who shot The Art of Wedding Show, agrees and explains what is so desirable about the trendy, yet classic wedding color scheme

“The most aesthetic, photogenic table pieces and settings are those with dimension, different textures and the incorporation of subtle touches. I am really seeing beautiful champagne, peach and rose gold as trends for this coming wedding season” said Jennifer.

Photos courtesy of Jennifer Alyse Wedding Photography. 

Guest Experience: Time is of the Essence

Considering guest experience from entry to exit is vital in order to keep guests engaged, and achieve the driving goal set for attendees and the event. Identifying the overarching goal can help dictate many of the details that impact guest experience—from décor and menus, to music selection and event flow.

The guest goal for a wedding reception is to ensure friends and family bid farewell feeling they have shared a special experience with the bride and groom, and enjoyed themselves. For a corporate event, the goal may be to educate employees about company policies, or a new venture in the making. Nonprofits must concisely convey their mission during an event; the goal being that communicating the organization’s mission will persuade guests to support their cause. Regardless of the various guest goals that exist, there is one key element of guest experience that must be considered across the board—ensuring there are no distractions to hinder the chance of meeting goals by keeping attendees engaged.

Art of Catering staff was there to fill this Self Enhancement gala guest's glass before she knew it was empty. SEI raised over $600,000 that evening. Guests were well taken care of; keeping their attention on the program, and the auction.

What is this key consideration? Time and timeliness. These are not a new concepts, though time and time again, time is overlooked. Time of day, what time food will be served, when the program, presentation or speech begins all substantially impact guest experience, and help dictate whether guests remain engaged, or take a mind stroll. Where are your guests arriving from? Will they be hungry? How promptly will food be served? How long is the cocktail reception prior to the program beginning? Will guests retain important messages if the cocktail hour lags on, and drinks have been flowing? Was enough networking or mingling time allotted, or will guests be disgruntled and reluctant to listen when their conversations have been cut unnecessarily short for a presentation?

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A Magical Night for Self Enhancement Inc.

 Self Enhancement Inc. celebrated the nonprofit’s first annual major fundraiser, combining two events from years past, at the Pure Space and Flex Space Portland venue Saturday, February 22. The nonprofit serving local at risk youth, was the first West Coast Event Productions client to utilize both Pure Space and Flex Space venues, turning the combined 22,000 plus square foot exclusive venue into a “A Magical Night of Wonder”, complete with aerial performers, jugglers, and a man on stilts! Regal red, and gold organza dominated the color pallet throughout the linen and enchanting lighting design, though it was the Self Enhancement student performers that stole the show. The harmonious sounds of 50 plus members of the SEI choir and band, populated with students from 13 different Portland public schools, rang throughout Pure Space, and delighted guests that donated a total of 607,000.00 to the nonprofit that evening. West Coast Event Productions donated a curricular truss structure with state of the art speakers hung in the center of the 40 foot ceiling to facilitate optimal sound to every corner of the room.

Self Enhancement Inc.’s programs positively impact hundreds of kids in the Portland community. Ninety eight percent of SEI students graduate high school in four years, with 85 percent continuing on to pursue higher education. Learn more about SEI’s performing arts, educational, and family and community programs to see how you can contribute to their effort to serve Portland’s youth. WCEP took great pleasure in the opportunity to part of this event, and help support SEI’s mission.

If you’re interested in learning about holding an event in both Pure Space and Flex Space as an exclusive venue, please contact kayse.dahl@wcep.com

 

A Wedding that Hit All the High Notes- Oregon Symphony Duo

West Coast Event Productions and Jennifer Fox of Perfect Planning harmonized to orchestrate a sensational wedding for Carlos Kalmar, music director for the Oregon Symphony, and Rafaela Wahby, a violinist for the Oregon Symphony. “Fairy tale” and “dream-like” are descriptors Jennifer Fox, the couple’s wedding planner and owner of Perfect Planning, used to describe the wedding.

“When you walked in the room, it felt like a dream sequence” said Fox of the collective ambiance. “Rafaela described the wedding as ‘ethereal’. The goal was to achieve a modern romantic environment. Blush pink, light peach, soft whites, subtle metallic touches and lucite were key design elements throughout the event.

The wedding was held at The Nines Hotel, the venue selected only eight days before the wedding date as the previously chosen venue had proven to be an inappropriate setting. Perfect Planning and West Coast Event Productions were able to accommodate the last minute rearrangement, executing an exceptional and whimsical affair for the musical couple. Having changed venues in urgency, adaptions were made to convey the wedding vision, and incorporate all the floral, décor, and rental elements necessary to create the serene modern and romantic wedding. Over 200,000 orchids that had been ordered for a specific fixture in the previous venue were transformed and arranged to resemble subtle piano keys—incorporating the couple’s love of music without overstating the theme. Warm, intimate lighting illuminated the mostly white décor including white tufted bars, white dance floor, chiffon draped partitions that created a large cozy lounge area, and chrome and glass etierges.

Carlos and Rafaela’s relaxed and varied menu was composed of tapas based off of the dishes at Departure. Rafaela’s love of cocoa was apparent in the plethora of unique desserts, that included a hand-selected chocolate display created for guests to enjoy throughout the evening from elegant Belmont Silver china. Rather than a plated or buffet dinner, consider a variety of tapas for your wedding menu. This allows you and your significant other to display a spectrum of your favorite cuisines, and most guests will find at least one item that delights their palate by having a wide selection. Having various food choices is also wonderful for guests with food sensitivities or allergies.

Photos courtesy of Evrim Icoz Photography