There’s nothing to do in Salt Lake?

There is a perception that Salt Lake is dry and dull.   To attack those beliefs head on, Love Communications created an amazing campaign for Visit Salt Lake.

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Theresnothingtodoinsaltlake.com

They asked me to help coordinate the launch of the campaign in Detroit, Michigan.  When you have a non-traditional approach, your marketing efforts can’t be traditional.  They wanted to incorporate items like: clings,  protesters with sandwich boards , coffee cups, napkins and T-shirts.

Starting at 5:00 am the execution began at the COBO conference center.  First, with hundreds of clings on doors, elevators, escalators, walls and bathroom mirrors. Then, coffee and water stations opened with cups that only read theresnothingtodoinsaltlake.com.  And napkins were placed at all the food outlets.  When the crowd was at its largest, “protesters” wearing sandwich boards entered and happily walked around the conference center.

 

The buzz in the building was wonderful and the buzz online is even better. Sometimes it’s worth it to take a risk.

 

 

Check out other great work by

love

 

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School Spirit

I haven’t posted in soooo long but I wanted to take a minute to talk about an event that I did this past week.  Proud doesn’t begin to explain how I feel about this event and the amazing team I worked with.

UNLV chose to host their Athletics Department fundraiser at Eureka Casino Resort.  Eureka asked me to step in as the event producer. From start to finish we wanted to make sure that the guests felt welcomed. We had a billboard off the freeway as they entered town and we changed out all the property signage to welcome their group.  It was impactful but it was the tip of the iceberg.

Upon check-in at the hotel, guests enjoyed a poolside cocktail welcome where all the décor, including the flowers, were coordinated with the school colors.

Then it was time for dinner.  The President of the University, the Athletic Director, Coaches, Staff and over 150 Donors were in attendance. Guests entered through a “museum” that we created featuring UNLV memorabilia. Then the UNLV Cheer and Dance team got things going with the fight song and we had highlight videos of each sport that played on a larger-than-life screen in between each course being served.

Speaking of the food…..It was AMAZING and it was served in a beautifully choreographed fashion. The wait staff even donned white “Hey Reb” mustaches to show their school spirit.

The night continued with a quick set change so that all the coaches could take part in a discussion about the achievements and struggles they facing with their programs.   Then another set change for special guest Andre Agassi. He was inspiring. Being a 9th grade dropout, he spoke about the importance of education and had a message of being passionate and involved.

But the evening wasn’t over.  Guests were escorted into Seasons Ultra Lounge where flaming desserts, coffee and cordials were served.  A solo guitarist set the tone for the rest of the evening.  After a few cocktails, socializing and a little dancing everyone headed to their rooms where the hotel staff had done turn-down service that included all the information the guests needed for the next day.

Golf was on the agenda for the next day and the group headed to Conestoga Golf Club where the details continued.  We hired a turf painter to put the UNLV logo on the driving range and the 18th green. “Wow” was heard over and over again. The staff at Conestoga was awesome and professional. The golf tournament itself was fun and unique. Four holes featured student athletes playing basketball, football, volleyball and soccer.  The guests got to engage with these athletes in a way that normally doesn’t happen.

The event couldn’t have gone any better.  I’m a Utah girl with some UNLV spirit.

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Just like any other event – it’s all about the details

Lately I’ve been doing some production management for video and commercial shoots – which I LOVE!   Production management basically entails the behind the scenes coordination of crew, finding talent, securing locations and if you can’t tell — it takes lots and lots of planning.

The latest shoot consisted of 3 video, 5 locations, 13 crew members and 23 cast members.  Zions Bank sponsors the videos that the Governor’s Office of Economic Development and the Governor use to promote Utah across the world.  The videos will debut at the Sundance Film Festival this year.

Here’s a sneak peek.  I will post the videos when they are completed.

Rockets Over the Red Mesa

It’s been too long since my last post.  Instead of going back and talking about some of the awesome events in the last few months, I’m going to start with this year’s 4th of July and I’ll try and be better about keeping things updated.

Eureka Fireworks

Despite the fact that it was 118 degrees, the crowds came out in droves.   From the cheesecake baking contest in the morning  to the fireworks show at night, the community seemed to love the 4th of July celebration at Eureka Casino Resort in Mesquite, Nevada. I thought this letter to the editor said it best:

Thanks For Great July 4th Show

Posting Date: 07/08/2013- Mesquite Citizen Journal

WE MAY BE A SMALL CITY, BUT THE LEE FAMILY (EUREKA HOTEL/CASINO) HAVE GOT TO HAVE THE BIGGEST HEART!

If you did not attend the fireworks gala at Eureka’s northeast entrance then you missed the most magnificent display of patriotism this community has ever had the honor of experiencing. With the American flag flying at attention, fireworks like you could not have seen anywhere else in Mesquite, and the Nevada POPS Symphony playing patriotic songs setting the most spectacular mood of allegiance – well you could feel nothing less than emotional and proud to be an American.

As usual, the Ted/Greg Lee family went far above the norm. They also brought in renowned singer Lani Misalucha to entertain the audience. Her voice carried like thunder – it filled many a heart and soul with emotion as we stood and applauded her impeccable performance – big city entertainment at it’s finest!

I didn’t think they could top last year, but this year’s fireworks were exceptionally breathtaking, lasting, and Top of the Best for a small city. I left a minute or two early to miss the traffic and drive to Oasis Blvd. where I parked my car to see the finale. As I looked around I was amazed at the people standing along the sidewalks and cars backed to Highland Manor, and up Oasis Blvd. I left and passed Kitty Hawk – it too was lined with folks/cars who had just taken in the most awesome evening that could have been taking place in Mesquite.

We want to say, “THANK YOU! to the Lee Family, CEO Andre’ Carrier and his staff at the Eureka!”

Allen & Yoli Bell

Mesquite, NV

 

Special thanks to:

Eureka Casino Resort http://www.EurekaMesquite.com

The Viewfinders Group   http://www.tvfphotography.com

Nevada POPS Orchestra http://www.nevadapops.org

Lani Misalucha http://lani.eradioportal.com/

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Holiday Party Tips

The key to a stress-free holiday is finding a balance.
There is a point where doing things cheaply can actually cause more stress because they are so labor intensive. You need to find where that happy medium is for you.

I was a guest on Leesa Myers BlogTalk Radio show.  You can listen to it here and there are some tips below.

Food:

If it’s a family gathering, have each person bring a dish.
If you are doing it on your own, order one or two salads or side dishes from a local deli then make the other dishes
Always switch the serving dishes
Do one visually dramatic dish
Stick with finger foods
200 degree oven – warming drawer
Nice disposable plates and utensils
If you are doing a cocktail, mix them ahead of time so they are pourable
Proceso, Apple Juice and Goldschlager
Invest in a few solid color tablecloths – red can be used for multiple holidays
Sites like Pinterest are a great way to get ideas about setting a buffet table and decorating your house.
I wouldn’t try new recipes – stick with what you know work.

Types of parties:
I am a huge fan of themed parties because they can make the planning and decorating but NOT around the holiday. The can add more stress and expense when it isn’t necessary.

Cookie exchange parties are great. For a cookie exchange have each person bake several dozen of one kind of cookie of their choosing. At the party, snack on the cookies, exchange the recipes and have each person take some of each cookie home. You can provide little gift boxes so in the end, everyone leaves with great neighbor gifts.
All you need to serve is coffee, tea and some milk!

A Christmas pajama party will ensure a relaxed, not stuffy event. Have everyone come in their christmas PJs. The food can be breakfast food like french toast bites, eggs and fruit. Breakfast is also the most inexpensive meal.

Timing of parties:
Plan early to avoid too many conflicts
Any day after Thanksgiving will work for a party. Thurs – Sun are probably best.
Change Christmas morning. Being with friends and family is the most important thing.

Wrapping:
Make wrapping a treat not a chore
Since you have to wrap gifts anyway, give them a dual purpose.
Wrap the pictures in your house

Other tips:
Make lists and plan your shopping trips
Background music
The most important thing is to make your event personal – that is what people will remember.
Most importantly ENJOY!

 

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Pin the ‘Stache on Staci

I love a good themed party!   I especially love a mustache themed party!

When you have a theme, the party planning can be easy.

For Staci’s Dirty 30 Mustache Bash we started with a big mustache cake which looked and tasted amazing.  For the decor, we printed a backdrop that we used behind the cake and in the entryway windows.  Staples prints black and white prints up to 36” wide and they are very reasonable. We found some printed mustache balloons online and finished everything off with a touch of pink.  We created our own Pin the ‘Stache on Staci game by printing 8 X 10 pictures of Staci.
Of course no party is complete without a DJ, photo booth and a ice shot luge!

Sweet Perfection Cakes   http://www.sweetperfection.net
Ice Works Utah   http://www.iceworksutah.com

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Friday Night Frights

Friday nights in October are the perfect time to get together for scary movies.

I loved creating this spooky house for a scary movie night.   I didn’t use color or many traditional Halloween decorations, in fact, I used a lot of items that you could find around your house like books, candle holders, vases and boxes.  I also spray painted leaves and branches with black spray paint to add texture.  The easiest and most impactful thing I did was covered the couches in black sheets – it changed the entire look of the room.

For the spider webs, I used cheesecloth. I like to use cheesecloth because it’s inexpensive and easier to work with then poly fill webbing.   I soaked the cheesecloth in a pot with some tea bags to give it a dingy look, dried it,  then I used a fork to pull it to give it the texture it needed.

I hope this gives you some inspiration for your own spooky room.

 

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Marry Me, Today and Everyday

It couldn’t have been a more gorgeous Sunday morning.  

The leaves had turned up Millcreek Canyon as if they knew the wedding colors were orange and green.   A vocalist sang Marry Me as the Bride walked down the aisle with her dad who was choking back tears.  The ceremony was conducted by a friend of the couple which made it very personal – something I highly recommend.

The wedding continued with a fun-filled reception that included dancing, wine, and an impromptu Gangnam dance performance by the Bride and her friend.  If I can track down some video footage, I will post it.

The dance was VERY memorable but another highlight for me was the toasts. Don’t underestimate the ability of teenagers to make moving, dynamic speeches.  The Bride’s 17 year old sister and the Groom’s 13 year old son stole the show with their toasts, one of which included the line, “I was surprised when my dad asked me to be his best man but, then I realized he probably did it because I know nothing about the first 40 years of his life.”  Both teenagers had the guests laughing and crying.

Another special touch was in lieu of wedding favors, the Bride and Groom made a donation to the Huntsman Cancer Institute.  It was their way of honoring the Groom’s late sister.   Each guest received a card at their table setting telling them about the special gift.

Congratulations to Tom and Nicole – two people that I believe will be together forever.

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Naughty or Nice Bridal Shower

I love hosting wedding showers.
For the bride, Nicole, I did a personal shower with a naughty or nice theme.   I wanted to keep it classy so no x-rated shaped cakes or ice cubes.  Instead, thanks to Cosmo and their infinite lists of “How to Keep Your Man Happy” I made cards with a naughty “tip” on one side and a nice one on the other.  I hung them from balloons as the main decor.

Quick tip: For any type of event, you can hang pictures, memories or advice on cards from balloons.  It looks great and gets people talking.  

I also did a naughty and nice food choices like decadent cupcakes and deviled eggs or spinach salad and baked peaches.

The bride is on the Paleo diet so I did a few Paleo friendly foods.  The dish that everyone enjoyed the most was chicken salad served on celery sticks.  It was quick and easy.  Here is the recipe:

1 large can Kirkland Chicken (drained)
½ cup mayonnaise (use Paleo or regular if you want)
¼ cup champagne grapes (cut in half)
Bon Appetit seasoning to taste
2 bunches celery (cut into 3 inch pieces)

 

Mix chicken and mayonnaise in medium bowl.  Add more mayonnaise if you feel like it needs it.  Season with Bon Appetit.   If you’ve never used this seasoning, add a little at a time.  It can be slightly salty.   Fold in in grapes. You can keep the mixture in the fridge overnight if you want to make it ahead.  Spoon the mixture into the celery pieces when you are ready to serve.

It was a thoroughly enjoyable night.  21 days and counting until the big day!

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The Beach in the Backyard

This wedding was one of my favorite weddings that I have ever done.  

The bride wanted a beach wedding without the expense of going to the beach so we brought the beach to the backyard. A little work with 3 yards of sand, a dump trailer and some rakes and voile a beach.  For the morning ceremony, the chairs were set up on the sand and later for the reception, it turned into the dance floor.

Centerpieces – We did different centerpieces for the morning brunch and the evening reception.   The brunch centerpieces were simply three canisters filled with water and dyed blue with a drop of food coloring.   Then we wrapped them with jute – which is currently my favorite material – and added some river rock at the base.

For the reception, we had 10 round tables.  Instead of doing all the tables the same, we did 6 with canisters and 4 with large, flat round vases.    We filled them all with sand, shells and candles.

Guestbook – Instead of doing a traditional guest book, we had the guests leave their advice on note cards.   The bride and groom loved to see what their friends and family had to say.

Cake – The bride found a picture of a cake that she loved but had some things that made it looked cluttered. Sweet Perfection (http://sweetperfection.net) simplified it and it turned out beautiful.  I love that the cake was done without any flowers.

Cocktails  –  A signature cocktail is a good way to keep costs down and tie a drink into the theme of your wedding.  We did a lovely light blue drink that we named the Dew Drop.   It was blue Mt. Dew with Malibu Rum.   It was beachy and the color matched perfect.

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