Travel the World



travel2Wanderlust…a strong desire to travel. Most of us have a severe case of it, especially during these warm summer months. If we had it our way, we would buy a one-way ticket with no end in sight. Alas, most of us have responsibilities that include jobs and families, so traveling for unknown amounts of time isn’t necessarily an option. Just because we can’t buy a one-way ticket with intentions of never coming back, vacations are a more reasonable option!

There are countless places to go and many ways to do it. First you must figure out if you want to stay within the US boundaries or if you want to go international. Once you’ve chosen your destination, figure out your budget. If you are in a position where money isn’t an issue, then choose a location, buy that plane ticket, book those hotels and go!

Unfortunately not all of us have that kind of luxury as traveling can get pricey. Let’s check out a couple budget-friendly travel options that will temporarily relieve our wanderlust symptoms.

travel 1All-inclusive hotels are the best way to get the most bang for your buck! When you book this type of vacation through a travel site, your one-time payment includes your round-trip airfare, hotel accommodations, transportation to and from the hotel, free entertainment, plus all of your meals and drinks. The only sweat to be had will be from lying in the sun! These types of deals allow you to truly relax and enjoy your vacation without worrying about your wallet since everything is included in one incredible price. A lot of times, activities booked through your hotel can be included in that one price as well. Another fantastic plus is that you don’t have to budget the way you would if you stayed at a non-inclusive hotel and you also won’t come home to stacks of credit card bills.

travel4Hostels are another amazing budget-friendly idea that doesn’t tie you down to one place if you are looking to visit multiple cities in one trip. There are over 35,000 hostels in 180 countries so you can really go anywhere! There are several websites where you can plan your stays and book your hostels for a really great price. There are also group deals, so get your friends onboard and go see the world! Speaking of friends, hostels enable you to mix and interact with other like-minded travelers who can offer local recommendations which would make your trip more authentic. Another perk of staying in a hostel is you are able to save your money for experiences and activities. Also, many hostels have a small kitchen which opens the door for purchasing fresh ingredients from local markets and cooking some of your meals, which is another money saver!

Even if you are on a budget, there are still options for traveling! Find some open days and plan a trip to somewhere you’ve never been before. Remember, jobs fill your pockets, adventures fill your soul. Happy travels!

 

Lunch on Wheels



foodtruck4Food trucks are an ever expanding trend that is hitting the event world by storm! These tasty trucks offer a wide range of options, from crepes to coffee to burgers to vegan dishes. There are food trucks for literally any and all types of food. They may not be the most formal way of sharing a meal with your guests, but it’s inexpensive and creative, which attendees will enjoy and your wallet will appreciate. Even if you choose to have a formal sit down dinner, food trucks are a great late-night treat for your guests! Let’s take a look at how they could benefit your event.

Food trucks are a great way to feed the masses. Something to keep in mind, one food truck can feed approximately 75-100 guests without creating long lines or waits for service. If you have more than 100 guests, consider hiring different types of food trucks. Both your guests and trucks will appreciate the variety. When considering hiring a food truck, think about your guests. Think about the type of audience you are feeding and what types of food will satisfy everyone. It is not uncommon for guests to not eat at events because they would rather be social than sit down to have dinner. The attendees of the event have the opportunity to mingle with this type of catering option. If you think the type of guests that will be at your event won’t appreciate having to wait in lines to get their meal, you can opt to hire servers. The servers can run the food from the trucks to the tables making it feel more formal and put together. Buffet style is also an option. Setting up a buffet that has the food from your food truck(s) allows guests to serve themselves in a more traditional way. Happy guests means successful event!foodtruck2

Worried about the budget? Hiring food trucks typically costs significantly less than traditional catering. Choosing a set menu for the food trucks can also help keep the cost down. Shop and compare truck costs and see what would best fit your budget and taste.

If you would rather have a traditionally catered main meal, try including a food truck before or after your event. Opt for a specialty truck during cocktail hour or after hours. After hours could be filled with savory tacos or crispy, loaded French fries for those who need a pick-me-up after a long night of champagne and dancing. Serving dessert from a food truck is also a fun idea! Regardless of when and where you decide to incorporate food trucks in your event, it’s important to give your guests options. Not everyone likes the same foods, some have allergies, some don’t eat meat, and some are just picky eaters. It’s crucial to pay attention and be sensitive to these types of things. Choices, Choices, Choices!

There are several ways to incorporate food trucks into your event. Always remember to consider the types of guests that will be attending your event and what style of food, style of service and style of seating would best fit their needs. Good food, happy guests, fantastic event!

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Resources:

http://www.mnn.com/lifestyle/arts-culture/stories/food-trucks-bring-something-new-to-modern-weddings

http://weddings.lovetoknow.com/wedding-reception/food-truck-wedding-catering

http://www.seattlefoodtruck.com/index.php/2013/11/these-trucks-are-ready-to-party/

Sun’s Out Fun’s Out



outdoor 2The beautiful outdoors have been calling our name this warm summer season! When the weather is warm, it’s inevitable to want to be outside in the sunshine breathing in the fresh air, so if you are going to be outside, why not party outside?! We are so incredibly blessed to be able to live in sunny California where we have the means to hold our events outdoors. Your event could be anything from a wedding to a birthday party or even a conference. No matter the type, outdoor events can be a wonderful experience for you and your guests.

There are several benefits to having your event in the great outdoors. For starters, outdoor events are typically more enjoyable for guests. What’s not to love about fresh air, natural sunlight and a beautiful sun kissed tan?! With outdoor events you are exposed to an abundance of natural sunlight and scenery, which makes for amazing photos. Guests also have more space and freedom to move around and be social. Events that are held in open outdoor spaces are a fresh change from your standard indoor event that is usually held in an impersonal hotel ballroom. Outdoor events have the personable effect of making guests feel like they are included in an experience rather than simply attending an event.outdoor

Regardless of the type of event you’re hosting, having it outdoors opens the possibilities of creating your event exactly the way you want it. It also gives you the opportunity to take advantage of the natural resources available. There aren’t the restrictions you’ll typically find with indoor venues, such as space available, number of attendees allowed, preexisting décor and a constricting list of things you can and cannot do. This is not to say there won’t be any restrictions…it truly depends on the space you choose. On that note, don’t forget to look into obtaining the appropriate permits and licenses that are required to make your event happen! In general, with outdoor events, you are able to make the space your own and are far less limited in terms of logistics and activities; you are not limited to a four-walled space. You are able to begin with a clean slate and choose all of your décor and amenities that you really want and need to transform the space and make this event a spectacular experience for you guests.

Outdoor events do involve a lot more planning and organization than those held indoors, but this can be an advantage. Naturally you will begin to take more interest and make more decisions on the details of your event. Some people will thrive from this type of freedom in planning this type of event and some might feel a bit intimidated. If this seems too overwhelming, consider hiring an event company to guide you through the process! Event companies are there to assist you in creating your ideal event and make sure every aspect has been taken care of to make your vision come to life and make your event a success.

Outdoor events are such a wonderful alternative to an indoor event. Take advantage of the beautiful weather, natural colors, sunlight and scenery and create a memorable experience for your guests!outdoorevent4

 

Resources:

https://www.qceventplanning.com/2015/03/the-risks-and-advantages-of-outdoor-events/

http://www.pattishire.com.au/blog/benefits-outdoor-event/

Spin Into The Future With POPcycle



POP1At the UCI Mind World of Tomorrow Gala on May 16, 2015, POPcycle was one of our fabulous vendors that had an awesome, interactive booth promoting their business while supporting UCI Mind. At the event, they were selling classes for $200 per bike; 100% of the proceeds went straight to UCI Mind Alzheimer’s research. The UCI Mind class took place on Thursday, June 18, 2015. The theme of the class was “Spin into the Future”.  The Elite OC Productions team participated along with several other friends and supporters.

Elite OC Productions had a blast at the “Spin into the Future” event! The second we walked into the studio, we were greeted with a warm welcome from the owner herself and a thoughtful gift bag with the POPcylce essentials. They provided towels and even offered spin shoes to those who didn’t have their own. The room where it all happens is a large open space with mirrored walls all around. When you first walk in it’s all black light and the orange POPcycle logo on the bikes are glowing. Our instructor, Megan, was very nice and helpful; she made sure that she met everyone taking her class and helped set up the bikes to fit everyone’s needs.

Before class began, Megan stressed the point to go at your own pace and not to overdo it. The class itself was so much fun! It was not your typical spin class. The speakers are blaring fun, modern upbeat remixes to all of today’s hits and the lights change with the song and the level of intensity of the workout. Sometimes it’s black light and sometimes the lights are all red. When you are “walking it out” the lights go off and when the class gets more intense, the lights pulsate different colors. It’s honestly like being in a club…the lighting and the blaring music help to keep your mind off of how intense the workout is…it almost feels like you’re dancing. Megan was so much fun! She was very energetic and kept you motivated. She made you want to push yourself out of your comfort zone. Most of the time she was on the bike spinning with you, when she was off of the bike she was dancing and cheering you on.

We all had a really amazing time and it was an all-around fantastic experience for everyone! It was a good time for a good cause. Elite OC Productions will definitely be returning to enjoy some out of the office time together and get in shape for summer! Thank you, POPcycle! POP2 POP3 POP4

CASA Celebration of Children Black & White Ball



 

11118487_952336311467692_10598545577455415_nElite OC Productions partnered up with CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) to help produce their annual CASA Celebration of Children Black & White Ball. This year marked the 30th anniversary for CASA of Orange County. 425 guests came together to participate in this wonderful celebration on April 18, 2015 at the Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel.

The evening was filled with notable names such as; Mark Sanchez, NFL quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles and former USC quarterback; Paul McDonald, former NFL and USC quarterback; and Young MC, rapper/singer. In addition to these special guests, CASA had a few of their own speak about the experiences and impact that CASA has had on them.

As guests began to arrive, they were invited to take photos in front of the step and repeat and mingle with a glass of wine or champagne. Out on the Sunset Terrace, there was a VIP party that included all of the event sponsors. Here, they were able to meet and greet with Mark Sanchez and enjoy the sunset while overlooking the ocean. Once the VIP party concluded, the main cocktail reception began. The reception included a hosted bar, a silent auction as well as various boards throughout the room where guests were able to donate $75 for a backpack for a child. The backpacks were brand new and filled with school supplies, which support their back to school program for the CASA children.

Inside the ballroom, the décor theme was modern, black, white and gold. We used a variety of different types of custom fabric tables and unique table designs.

The stage featured a custom backdrop that had white panels along the entire back of the stage and had a variety of oversized gold frames hanging along the wall with photos of CASA children. The gold frames were staggered along the wall and hung both horizontally and vertically. In front of the stage was a simple, clean white dancefloor.

The program for the evening was exciting as well as educational. Paul McDonald was the Master of Ceremonies and he was very energetic and engaging. He was able to keep the crowd focused and help them to understand CASA. Mark Sanchez, the Keynote Speaker for the evening, had spent time with some of the CASA children the day before the event so he was able to express his experience with CASA and the importance of what they do. Rick Werner, the auctioneer, and Paul McDonald worked together as a tag team during the Live Auction. They took turns describing the different items, such as a week’s stay in Phuket, a Once in a Lifetime Masters Golf Experience plus many more! The Youth Speaker, Austin, had the opportunity to share his experience as a CASA child. He is now going to college and living a successful life thanks to his CASA! At the end of the program, Young MC performed and brought everyone out of their seats! DJ Miles kept the music and fun going until the end of the night.

For the two Event Co-Chairs and the two Advisory Chairs, we created special VIP tables. There were four custom wrapped leather rectangular tables that were 20’ long and fit 24 guests created by Hire Elegance. Two of the tables were wrapped in black leather and had White Leather Milano Chairs from Hire Elegance that featured nail head details along the perimeter. On the black leather tables, we had White Croc Square Placemats with gold chargers. The centerpiece consisted of a long mirrored box down the middle of the table that featured rows of individual white roses. The other two tables were wrapped in white leather and had Black Milano Chairs from Hire Elegance that also featured nail head details along the perimeter. On these white leather tables, we had Black Croc Square Placemats with white chargers. The centerpieces were the same as the black leather tables with a long mirrored box down the center with individual white roses.

Along the perimeter of the room, there were risers that elevated the tables to ensure that all guests would have a great seat with a view. On each side of the risers, we had round tables with black linens, White Milano Leather Chairs and gold chargers. The centerpieces were three tall gold flute vases that had White Orchids spilling out with gold votives and candles surrounding. On the risers in the back center of the room, we had black leather wrapped rectangular tables with Black Milano Chairs with a white pad, gold chargers. The centerpieces were vertical white ceramic vases with Calla Lilies spilling out.

In front of the risers, we created two types of banquets that gave a club-like vibe. We alternated black leather wrapped round tables with a white banquet with clear ghost chairs and gold chargers on one side. On the other side, we alternated white leather wrapped round tables with a black banquet with clear ghost chairs and black chargers on the other side. Both banquet tables featured centerpieces with tall clear cylinders with black lamp shades on top which were held inside a bed of White Anemones that overflowed onto the table.

Throughout the ballroom there were two types of round tables with linens. One table design featured Wildflower Linen’s Rosa White Linen that had a beautiful rosette pattern, Black Milano Leather Chairs and black chargers. The centerpieces had vertical and horizontal gold metallic vases that had Calla Lilies pouring out with gold votives surrounding. The second round table design had a black linen with White Milano Leather Chairs and gold chargers. The centerpieces were the same as the first round table with vertical and horizontal gold metallic vases with Calla Lilies and gold votives.

This was a very successful event and Elite OC Productions was so thrilled to be a part of it. CASA raised more funds during the Fund-a-Mission than they ever have in the organizations history! The success of the event would not have been possible without all of the amazing vendors and sponsors that participated. Elite OC Productions loves working with CASA and is looking forward to many future events together!

 

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