Archive for the ‘In the News’ 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.

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”.

 

New Pure Space and Flex Space Venue Capacities

The newly determined Pure Space and Flex Space venue capacities have recently upped the ante for guest lists! With renovations made to enhance West Coast Event Production’s venues and properly accommodate a spectrum of attendance sizes, the venues now accommodate the following capacities:

  • Flex Space: 500
  • Pure Space: 1,550
  • Pure Space and Flex Space combined: 2,000

With limited venue options for events of this scale in Portland, Pure Space and Flex Space’s capability to host over 2,000 attendees invites opportunity to not only allow current clients to expand their guest lists and grow, but welcome larger events, and tap into the out of state convention market to the benefit of the local event industry, and Portland economy.

“Pure Space and Flex Space have always been valued for their versatility and ability to adapt to any layout and aesthetic vision–now the venues are more versatile as canvases for events for 100 to 2,000  people” remarked WCEP President, Duane Smith.

Get exclusive venue access to both Pure Space and Flex Space combined to welcome up to 2,000 of your friends, family, colleagues, supporters, and everyone to your event.

West Coast Event Productions Fuels Oregon’s White Hot Wedding Scene

A cause for celebration, WCEP recently received recognition for design, production, and custom fabrication builds in “Inside Weddings” magazine, featuring a wedding by renowned celebrity Wedding Planner, Mindy Weiss, titled “White Night” (P 90). Enlisted by Weiss, West Coast Event Productions executed the design and full installation in-house. West Coast Event Production’s design and fabrication team elevated the “White Night” wedding to an exquisite, romantic, and elegant level of production that West Coast Event Productions has been known for over the past 34 years.

For many Portlander’s, “locally grown” is a valued motto, and one that is becoming more pervasive in Portland’s wedding scene, to the benefit of the local economy. The recent recognition West Coast Event Productions received in “Inside Weddings” demonstrates Portland’s ability to execute the same sophisticated and elegant weddings L.A., New York, and other wedding destination cities are known for, without crossing state lines. Pick up an issue of “Inside Weddings” for more remarkable photos and see how West Coast Event Productions is raising the standard on Portland weddings.

 

Two Heads May Not be Better Than One for Event Planning

“Two heads are better than one”? True. “Ten heads are better than two?” False. While various insights and opinions are needed to ensure that all perspectives are considered for successful guest experience, event branding, and other event elements, when each decision is mulled over and pondered by too many people, the planning process can become very inefficient, and with more opinions in the mix, it is more likely that a consensus will not be met. Not only does this make for a lengthy decision making process even for trivial details, and risk diluting the event brand, it invites conflict between those involved with planning the event.

Determining what each planner’s strengths are, how those strengths are applicable to event planning, and empowering them to be decision makers in areas relevant to their skills and experience alleviates prolonged debates and keeps event planning momentum flowing. Have clear assignments as to who will be the decision maker for each portion of the event, and communicate this with the event planner and all vendors involved. This way, vendors know who their point of contact is regarding a particular question, rather than disturbing everyone on the phone-tree.

Celebrating ALL Love, Luxury Wedding Rental Specials

Browse Chandeliers, Linen, Bars, Lounge Furniture, Chameleon & Chiavari Chairs. Schedule a consultation to learn about more products for your dream wedding.

Lucky in Love Wedding Contest Finalists!

Please meet your Lucky in Love finalists! Only one couple will win. Directions on how to vote are below the finalist profiles.

The winning couple will receive a gift certificate valued at a minimum of $1,000 from each of the following vendors, with the total prize value well over $20,000!

Photographer: Krissy Allori Photography
Floral: Swoon Floral Design
Vintage Rentals and Styling: Something Borrowed Vintage Rentals
Cake: Artisan Cake Company
Videography: Moving Picture Weddings
Venue: Gerding Theater at the Armory
Hotel: Hotel Deluxe
Bartending: Mint+Mirth
Caterer: Artemis Foods
Custom Designed Gown: Michelle DeCourcy
Hair and Makeup: Jein King Hair & Makeup
Wedding Planning: Bridal Bliss
Invitations and Graphic Design: Modern Moments Designs
Custom Laser Cut Wood Favors & Decor: Nimbi Design
Transportation: PDX Pedicab
Music: John Ross Music
Photobooth: Happymatic
Rentals: West Coast Event Productions

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To vote, please leave a comment on this blog post with the couple’s names.

Really want them to win? You may go to each of the links below to vote for your favorite couple, for a total of 30 votes!

To vote via other vendor’s blogs, click each of the links below and leave a comment with the couples names.
Krissy Allori Photography
Mint + Mirth
Bridal Bliss
Modern Moments Designs
Something Borrowed
Nimbi Design
Artisan Cake Company
West Coast Event Productions
Moving Picture Weddings
The Gerding Theater at the Armory
Swoon Floral Design
Jein King Makeup

To vote via vendor’s FB pages, click each of the links below, like the vendor’s FB page, find the couple you want to win, and leave a comment on their photo (note – comments on the main album will not count, only on individual photos, and votes will only count if you have liked the vendor’s page).
Krissy Allori Photography
Mint + Mirth
Bridal Bliss
Modern Moments Designs
Michelle DeCourcy
Swoon Floral Design
Jein King Makeup
John Ross Music
Something Borrowed
Nimbi Design
Artisan Cake Company
West Coast Event Productions
Moving Picture Weddings
The Gerding Theater at the Armory
Happymatic Photo Booth
PDX Pedicab
Artemis Foods
Hotel Deluxe

Voting rules: You may vote for your favorite couple once on each of the pages for a total of 30 votes. Multiple votes from the same person on the same link will not count. For a FB vote to count, the page (not just the album) must be “liked” AND a comment must be made on the specific couple’s photo. Please direct any questions to luckyinlovepdx@gmail.com.

Art of Catering Dishes on Food Trends and Favorite WCEP Events

Smarsh Holiday event 2013, an Art of Catering favorite.

Creatively adapting to diverse dietary restrictions from a growing population of vegan, nondairy, and gluten free clients without jeopardizing taste or the Portland “foodie” experience can be a catering challenge–though Art of Catering (AOC) has developed solutions to meet these dietary standards while offering innovative menu and service trends clients are after.

Along with the influx of vegan and gluten free menu requests, Art of Catering Event Coordinator, Eric Sandstrom, is noticing clients straying from plated, seated, traditional banquet menus, and are turning to small plates and family-style menus.

“People like to share and sample” said Sandstrom, which is why so many clients are choosing to forego formality–opting for a variety of tapas, or small plates. Art of Catering recommends passed service for a menu comprised of tapas, or “composed plate” buffets; caterers prepare 7.5 to 9 inch plates with different samplings of complementary menu items, and arrange the mobile “composed plates” on a buffet table for guests to pick up and enjoy. AOC and West Coast Event Productions collaborated to select WCEP’s new new vortex and pasta plates which are perfect for small plate menus.

Hors d’oeuvres and small plates can be difficult to execute under vegan and gluten free guidelines, as so many feature a bread or starch-based vessel, though creative adaptions like using endive leaves as a base for hors d’oeuvres items like Art of Catering’s popular artichoke tapenade, is one of the many ways caterers can adapt to combine somewhat contradicting food trends.

Art of Catering and West Coast Event Productions have collaborated to deliver countless creative events over the past 15 years.

“We have a history with West Coast; it is always fun when clients give us the autonomy to be creative. I love seeing what West Coast comes up with, and we work with our staff to match the theme” said the Art of Catering Event Coordinator. “Working with West Coast on SMARSH holiday events has been among my favorite; we’ve done everything from glamorous Gatsby, to a gritty 80’s theme where our servers even wore side ponytails”.

From staff appearance to plating, Art of Catering is known for presentation and precise execution. Never scheduling more than three events in one day, “clients choose Art of Catering when they are looking for a higher level of food and service… we don’t try to be the biggest, but the best” said Sandstrom.  Attention to detail, and the ability to create any menu from authentic Asian cuisine to a dessert display that mirrors the event color palette has earned AOC’s reputation in Portland’s event industry, and positioned the company as a favorite among West Coast Event Production clients.

 

Feeling Lucky in Love?

Eighteen of Portland’s most talented wedding vendors have come together to create Lucky in Love – a uniquely Portland wedding giveaway valued at over $20,000! Only ten uniquely Portland couples who are lucky in love will be selected to participate in the promotion. Finalists will have a one in ten chance of winning!

If you, or someone you know, is engaged and interested in being considered for this once in a lifetime opportunity, send an email to luckyinlovepdx@gmail.com. Include a photo of the couple and answer the following questions with as much detail as you’d like:

1. What makes you, as a couple, unique?
2. What do you love most about Portland and why?
3. Describe your dream wedding and tell us whether your wedding date is already set or if the date is flexible.

What might a Uniquely Portland wedding look like? Well, look no further.

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Be sure to watch our teaser…
 

The winning couple will receive a gift certificate valued at a minimum of $1000 from each of the following vendors, all whom made this inspirational photoshoot happen.

Photographer: Krissy Allori Photography
Floral: Swoon Floral Design
Vintage Rentals and Styling: Something Borrowed Vintage Rentals
Cake: Artisan Cake Company
Videography: Moving Picture Weddings
Venue: Gerding Theater at the Armory
Hotel: Hotel Deluxe
Bartending: Mint+Mirth
Caterer: Artemis Foods
Custom Designed Gown: Michelle DeCourcy
Hair and Makeup: Jein King Hair & Makeup
Wedding Planning: Bridal Bliss
Invitations and Graphic Design: Modern Moments Designs
Custom Laser Cut Wood Favors & Decor: Nimbi Design
Transportation: PDX Pedicab
Music: John Ross Music
Photobooth: Happymatic
Rentals: West Coast Event Productions

Email luckyinlovepdx@gmail.com if you’re feeling lucky in love!

This promotion is open to all engaged couples residing in the greater Portland, Oregon area. Full details, terms and conditions will be shared with potential finalists. Once the final ten couples have been selected, the promotion will no longer consider additional entries, so please contact us immediately if you are interested.