Running your own company means that you often live and hopefully love what you do! We do both. Work sometimes comes home with us. Despite the fact that we have storage for our myriad of props and unique special event items, we still live amongst the madness and the fun. So do our children. They do indeed have a unique upbringing. When our kids are asked, “What do your parents do?”, their answer is always, “They just go to parties all the time”. No matter how hard we try to seperate our personal life from our business life, the two still seem to overlap. Guests often comment on our unique approach to decorating . . . . Hmmmm, very interesting furniture and decor. . . . Statue of Liberty in the entry way, Tiki in the family room, animals in the kithcen, movie lights in the living room, or the giant shark head next to the kids video screen. All taken together, that’s why we sometimes feel like we live in a zoo.
At least they can be a headache for the stuntmen, but they aren’t a headache for us. For whatever the reason, this seems to be the summer of the Wild West. At Lewis Events we provide parties and special events around most any theme, or no theme at all. Pirates, Fifties, Hollywood, International Holiday, Wild West, Sports or just plain pull out the stops, over the top fancy . . . the list goes on. However, this summer we have fielded requests for an abnormally high proportion of western themed events and entertainment. Go figure! Recently we participated in a western themed, company picnic at the beautiful Heritage Park in Santa Fe Springs. The picnic included a variety of elements: Gold panning, cowboy stunt show, Native American dance review, trick roping /bullwhip show, cowboy jail, arts and crafts, tons of great food, photo area, virtual calf roping, face painting and more. Here’s a few noteworthy snapshots from this eclectic western adventure.
In August Christy and Jay were invited to provide the pre-concert entertainment for the “Country in the City” summer concert series in Century City, sponsored by the Annenberg Foundation and KCRW Radio. They performed for three consecutive Saturdays at the beautiful Century Plaza Towers, culminating with the final concert featuring Wynonna Judd and the Noise. The series consisted of country western musicians, so they wanted the pre-show entertainment to fit the western theme. Christy spun her trickropes and cracked the bullwhip, while Jay spun guns and cracked the whip for the crowds that filled the plaza. The pre-show also featured Joel Ward, a fantastic magician that mesmerized the guests with his close up magic illusions.Jay said that they received quite a bit of attention from show attendees, as guns, whips and lariats are not a common sight in Century City. He said that the most difficult part of the entire experience was getting the guns through the security checkpoint.
On Friday July 25, 2014, Melinda and Christy Lewis were featured performing their trick roping talents on the KTLA Morning News with Gayle Anderson. They appeared to promote the Autry National Center, where the family performed on Saturday July 26th for the National Day of the Cowboy and Cowgirl. Another fun morning in front of the camera, this time at the Autry Museum. Thanks Gayle for a great time! Link to Christy and Melinda Trick Roping. The 4th and 3rd videos down in the series are Christy and Melinda’s best.
Check out Emily, Melinda, Christy and Jay spinning their ropes and cracking the whip on Fox 11’s Good Day LA, Thursday July 24, 2014! Our appearance was to promote the Autry National Center, where we appeared on Saturday July 26th for the National Day of the Cowboy and Cowgirl. We had a lot of fun taping the segment and the crew was amazing! Thanks to Mar Yvette, Fox 11’s food and fun expert for being such a wonderful host. See it here on Fox 11 Good Day LA. Be sure to scroll down the link page to the video section.Our section of the video begins at 1 minute 40 seconds. A huge thanks and photo credit to Daniel Perez for the amazing photographs included in this post.
Where did winter and spring go? This year is flying by. Time to start planning events for warmer weather. For those of you that either volunteer or are handed the daunting task of planning and carrying out a “great summer event” for your organization, there are a variety of ways to approach the task. Why not put in a little extra thought and effort, and produce something that will let you and your committee shine. There are a variety of approaches to summer social events. First question to ask is what kind of event will you hold? Part of the answer to this question will depend on your organization’s facilities, budget, time constraints, as well as the type of event employees seem to favor.
Weekend Family Event This is the traditional approach and a great way for employees to get to know each other’s families. Even though it’s the traditional solution, there are many ways that it can be taken outside of the box with a innovative, fresh and creative approach.
Lunch at the Office . . . . Anything But Boring! Maybe the budget is a bit tight this year, or the calendar won’t allow for a weekend event. Even if an event is held on a workday during lunch and at the facility, it shows the employees goodwill and creates and opportunity for the team to mix and socialize. These events can be inexpensive and relatively simple to plan. Be sure to throw in some theme decor, an activity or two and and of course some upbeat music to create a fun atmosphere.
Off-Site Adult Event For those who desire a more formal setting, a warm summer evening lends itself to an adult social gathering.
Amusement Park or AttractionThere are numerous attractions in California that can give employees a break from their normal routine. Many offer group picnic areas where the team can gather for food and company formalities (a pep talk from the boss), before they head off for the rides and entertainment. Lewis Events can help you connect with representatives from these destinations to learn about special offers and discount tickets. We can even give you tips on how to make your organization’s day in the park that much more successful.
Now The Creative Part . . . . A Few Think Outside-the-Box Ideas
Company Picnic OK, so the annual summer event is the picnic. Right? But who says it has to be typical. One habit that companies sometimes fall into, is doing the same thing each summer. Then they wonder why attendance seems to diminish for each outing. Holding a picnic each year is fine, however, one key to success is to change the picnic’s theme each year along with activities and decorations that complement the theme. A few favorites include: Pirate’s Cove, Wild West, Welcome to Hollywood, Lost on Route 66, Surf’s Up, Survivor Challenge, and the list goes on.
Sit-In-Movies There are not many drive-ins left on the landscape, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t create your own memorable movie experience. It’s lots of fun to bring the group together and catch a blockbuster on a giant screen at a nearby park, inside a company facility, the company parking lot or other open space. For an added twist, bring in a 1950’s era malt shop or drive-in snack bar complete with grilled hot dogs, buttered popcorn and root beer floats. We put a theater experience together for a company on a warehouse loading dock that was a huge success.
County Fair-Chili Cook-Off Ready for a little team competition among the employees or departments? Try a county fair style chili cook off. Prizes for the best overall chili, hottest chili, best named chili, best chili booth décor and best chili team costumes. To round out the event a variety of county fair themed games, decorative elements, activities and entertainment can be included.
Team Building Challenge and Fun Accomplish two objectives with one activity. On the day of the event, teams participate in a variety of fun, yet challenging team building activities. Some companies that do this every year, change the theme and accompanying activities to keep it fresh and exciting. Some successful themes include: Survivor, Movie Madness, Pirate Crew Challenge, Olympic Spirit, Chef’s Challenge, and more. Often, this activity can be held on site. Be sure not to forget lunch or some amazing snacks.
Social Gatherings Warm summer evenings are a great time to host an adult social event. A fifty’s sock hop, a tropical luau, a 1940’s dance club, an elegant sit down dinner, or a contemporary club lounge are a few of the many themes to get the creative ideas flowing. How about a fitness, sports themed breakfast? Whether it’s at the company’s location or unique off-site venue, a creative and well thought out blend of food, entertainment and décor can make for a memorable special event.
Specialized Company Competition Often companies will host an event, centered around a specific contest or activity. One company held a “roadeo” competition where the skills of their truck drivers were tested. How about timing the checkers in ringing up a basket of groceries or baggers. How well can the forklift drivers navigate though a designated course. How fast can the warehouse crew members fill an order of random requests. The creative sky is the limit. Kids can even pedal a car around their own junior “roadeo” course as one of the activities. Food, games and activities make it a great social gathering for the entire family.
FOOD! There are endless food options for budgets and appetites. A full service caterer can range from expensive gourmet style all the way to budget conscience comfort food. Your favorite restaurant may be able to drop off an order or allow you to do your own pick up. Another tasty option is to arrange for your favorite food truck to pay you a visit at the event. If a full meal is out of the budget, light refreshments are always appreciated.
These are a few ideas to get you and the committee thinking about some creative and out of the box ideas for your company. The key is to create something new, unique, memorable and fun.
Do these ideas sound like a lot to take on? A reputable event planner can be a big help. Lewis Events can assist you in get started and steer you in the right direction. We can even manage the event from the planning stages to the finish. Give us a call or send us an email and we’ll be happy to work with you though the entire event process or simply give you some great ideas. . . . We have a ton of more creative ideas for amazing and unforgettabele events that we’d love to share with you.
These “E-deas” are brought to you by Lewis Events, a full service event coordinating company. Lewis Events provides professional services that include full event coordination, creative planning, decorating, entertainment, rentals, locations, catering, sound & lighting, interactive attractions, and other services. Whatever your event type might be; theme parties, company events, weddings, school events, trade shows, picnics, marketing and promotions, or a variety of other types, Lewis Events is here to help.
Author Jay Lewis is co-owner of Lewis Events and can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 626-536-8091. More on Lewis Events at LewisEvents.com (you are already here), Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
We love doing food shows! SYSCO San Diego recently contacted us and asked if we would work with them on their February food exhibition at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. We have been assisting SYSCO San Diego with events for a number of years. For this round, they developed a concept to create “The Restaurant of Tomorrow” at the show. Their objective was to feature new technologies used by restaurants to streamline their processes and increase profitability, as well as to allow account managers to network with customers. Once they relayed their initial thoughts, we transferred ideas onto paper by creating a selection of concept drawing options. On custom installations, it helps the client visualize the scenes with drawings or photos. Of course they chose one of the more difficult options to fabricate. So we rolled up our sleeves and started building at the shop.
The set up began early Monday morning. The crew worked throughout the day building the restaurant façade which went as planned. First up went the walls, then the shingled roof. Later in the afternoon and into the evening we set up the details and finishing touches, including the hand painted “Restaurant of Tomorrow” sign.
Around the perimeter of the “front of house” section (customer area) of the restaurant, we built a picket fence and placed authentic wine barrels intermittently along the way. The fence was accented with flower boxes filled with colorful blooms of flowers. To further enhance the atmosphere, we also installed street lamps, hanging floral baskets, bicycles, rustic pier posts and other creative and decorative elements. We also created some vignettes in other show areas to help carry the theme throughout the exhibition.
On Tuesday morning we took care of a few finishing touches, plugged in the lights and soon the doors were opened. It was a blur of activity behind the façade with a team of chefs chopping, cooking and plating a delicious selection of menu choices. All day long, the plates were passed through the service window to a steady stream of exhibit attendees. It was a great day for the Restaurant of Tomorrow.
Ok, so coordinating and decorating weddings is just a small part of what we do at Lewis Events. However, with weddings we get some very interesting situations that make great stories. That is why they end up on the posts page. This particular client wanted their pool to be a featured part of their daughter’s wedding scenery. So after some creative thinking and a few variations, we decided to create a bridge over the pool and hold the ceremony in the very middle over the water.
We lined up a well known company for the installation that builds staging for the movie studios (we did not want to take any chances with safety). Our boys had fun swimming with the crew as they installed the bridge with supports down into the water. Flowers were to be a big part of the decor, so we contacted Suzi MacMillan at Jacob Maarse Florists in Pasadena. She did a superb job on the florals. Christy created the end-of-bridge draping and added fabrics and accent ribbon throughout the estate. We installed twinkle lights in the trees and theatrical lighting to illuminate key areas, as the event went late into the night. With all the electrical requirements we brought in hundreds of feet of super-heavy-duty electrical cords and a studio generator. A fully catered buffet was presented and finished off with wedding cake and an enormous multi tiered, self-serve-candy display. Luxury, executive rest rooms were trailered in, so the guests never had to enter the home (even the little details are important). Heres how in turned out:
At Lewis Events we love creative challenges. We also love happy endings. Give us a call with your event challenge . . . and live happily ever after.
Welcome to The Great Gatsby
So we got a call from a coordinator at a wedding location on a recent Tuesday, asking if we could provide decor for a Great Gatsby theme wedding on Saturday of the same week. On Wednesday I traveled to the location, a Southern California historical masion . A gorgeous location from the outside. As I stepped inside, things got a little more interesting . . . The interior of the masion was in the midst of a unexpected, temporary remodel and the project was only half completed. Instead of an elegant historical setting, reminiscent of the 1920’s, it was a construction zone featuring bare wires, holes in walls, unfinished wood, and lots of dust. Their unique request was to ask if we could transform the construction space into a gorgeous Great Gatsby theme on a tight budget. Of course we said yes. We got to work and here are the results.
Here’s a silly Halloween video we helped VenueMagic put together– going back a couple of years.