Beach Front Teambuilding

Blue WhaleWhat do you do with a group of company executives that have been tied up in meetings all morning?  On a beautiful southern California day?  At the beach? . . . . You take them down to the shore, divide them up into groups and encourage some competitive team building excitement.Lewis Events Team BuildingLewis Events Team Building

On a recent beautiful west coast afternoon Lewis Events hosted a group of approximately 100 company executives for an enthusiastic, loud, sand flying and lightning fast round of games and competion.  It all started with Minute-to-Win-It style games designed specifically for the occasion.  Based on how well each team competed during the games, winners were awarded bags of tools, materials and props that could be used in the next event.  I knew you would ask.  What was the next event?Lewis Events Team BuildingLewis Events Team Building

Each of the ten teams were presented with a bucket of tools and a section of beach front real estate to create their sand-sculpting masterpiece.  The clock started ticking and the sand begin to fly.  It was a blur of activity as the teams magically transformed buckets and shovel fulls of sand into their creation.  Everyone had their specific duties.  It was amazing to see the wide range of sand-sculpting designs when the teams finished.Lewis Events Team BuildingLewis Events Team Building

Each of the sculptures were judged in a variety of categories, and awards were presented at a banquet later in the evening.  A fun group of people and a great location were the ideal combination for a memorable teambuilding activity.

A Universal “City Walk-ing” Adventure

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A gorgeous Southern California evening + great people + amazing food + a fantastic location = A spectacular special occasion! Universal City Walk was the perfect destination for Club PIHRA to gather for an unsurpassed evening of food and fun with a bit of flying thrown in.  The adventure began, as office weary guests gathered at the Hard Rock Cafe for ice cold beverages and a selection of delectable appetizers.  An outside balcony overlooking City Walk and an inside balcony with a view of the dining room’s colorful collection of memorabilia, provided the ideal atmosphere for visiting and launching the evening off to a rocking start. You could spend hours at the Hard Rock Cafe, just looking at all the facinating history adorning the walls. Hard Rock Car

Next stop was iFly, Hard Rock Cafe’s neighbor. Brave adventurers in the group disappeared behind closed doors for an orientation and to suit up for their flight. Others gathered outside for more conversation and to watch the action in the vertical wind tunnel. All at once, wind roared inside the tube and one by one, the brave souls floated in mid- air, right before the eyes of the curious crowd.IFly group rsiFly Tube

Once the skydivers and the observers caught their breath, it was time to hit the road and move to the next stop on the journey. Camacho’s Cantina had prepared a scrumptious and colorful display of Latin flavors, accompanied by more mouth watering beverages for the parched lips from the skydiving excursion. A comfortable south-of-the-border cantina atmosphere was the ideal place to relax before moving onward.

Comachos

Camacho’s cozy setting made it difficlt to depart for the group’s next destination. The Bubba Gump Shrimp Company was anxiously waiting for the crowd of guests when they arrived. Also waiting and welcoming, was an amazing selection of their latest catch. Shrimp, seafood and other delacacies were were quickly consumed by the trail-weary guests, who once more took time to relax, laugh and visit, this time in the creatively casual southern ambiance.Bubba Gump rs

Once again, the group took a leisurely stroll, soaking in eclectic visions along the way.  From Bubba Gumps they passed through the main square and near the main stage.  The sky and surroundings were ablaze with color from the endless lights of City Walk.   The next stop and final destination was at  Jillian’s.  A delicious assortment of desserts was provided by Bucca di Beppo and Jillian’s.  More drinks, bowling and an inviting game parlor filled with endless choices for fun.  What an adventure!  What an amazing way to spend an evening in Southern California.  Thanks to all the amazing destinations that hosted this memorable evening . . . . Hard Rock Cafe, iFly, Camacho’s Cantina, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., Bucca di Beppo and Jillian’s.Jillians Sign rs

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Malibu Estate Wedding

Recently we were asked to coordinate and decorate a garden wedding at a beautiful and picturesque estate in Malibu.  The location was a wedding planner’s dream.Malibu wide Horiz rs 10-14 no emily  Surrounded by lush foliage and spacious grounds, the home was the perfect spot for a Bride and Groom’s special day.  Each stage of the wedding took place at a different setting on the property.  As guests arrived, they presented their gifts and signed in at the entrance, near a refreshing beverage station.  The ceremony took place in the spacious main living room.  The bride decended the staircase and entered the ceremony area accompanied by a string quartet.  Following the ceremony, guests visited with friends and family for a garden cocktail hour.  Attendees then moved to the decorated tennis court where an appetizing dinner was served.  Malibu wedding table 10-14While dining, guests were entertained with a video story and slide show featuring the newlyweds.  Following dinner, toasts were made by the bridal party and the cake was cut.  DJ Melinda played the Bride and Groom’s song selections while guests celebrated the special occasion by dancing late into the evening.  Finishing touches on the beautiful estate included accent lighting, draped fabrics and elegant florals.  The amazing menu was prepared by Shelly Moore and the floral arrangements created by Darlene Tofua.  Thanks to everyone for a great and memorable special day.

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Sometimes Our House Is Such A Zoo!

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.

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We were recently asked to create a jungle theme  for a large company picnic.  So we did, and had loads of fun in the experience.  Join us for a few shots of another exciting day on the job.Safari Tent EditedZebra EditedRed Bird EditedJunle river editedEmily Bird 2 editedLion Editedturtle editedGorilla EditedGray Bird Edited

Wild West Parties . . . Can be such a Headache!

Cowboy Headache!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. Native American Dancers Western General StoreCowboy jail.  Lewis Events.  Western theme parties.Hoop DancerTrickroper TrioNative American DancerCowboy Stuntmen

Christy and Jay Pre-Show Entertainment for Wynonna Concert

Cowgirl high rise resizeIn 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.Christy Roping Century CityJay 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.

Wynonna stage

 

Christy and Melinda Trick Roping on KTLA Morning News

Trick Roping on KTLA Morning NewsOn 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.Christy and Melinda Trick Roping KTLA Morning News

 

 

Lewis Family Trickroping on Good Day LA TV

Trick Roping Good Day LA

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.Emily Teaching Good Day LA Trick Roping

Melinda and Emily Trick RopingChristy Roping the Host
Learning to trick ropeEmily on the Good Day LA MicrophoneEmily on the Good Day LA MicrophoneLewis Family Trick Roping on Good Day LA

Summer Company Parties . . . Creative Fun or the Same Old Thing???

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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 Arcadia Field WideThis 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! Tubealoons band wideMaybe 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 AttractionAmusement GraphicThere 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 PicnicBeach scene coh wide 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 bigscreen wideThere 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 FunTeam Building Cor Wide 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 atomic diner tallWarm 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!Greek food tall 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: jay@lewisevents.com or 626-536-8091. More on Lewis Events at LewisEvents.com (you are already here), Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Building a Restaurant in a Day

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.

 

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SYSCO SD J&B roof resize 2-14The 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.

SYSCO Hand Painted Sign

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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.

SYSCO SD Brewery resize 2-14 SYSCO SD corner resize 2-14On 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.

SYSCO Restaurant far resize 2-14BFood Show Decorating