By D. Channing Muller Posted September 8, 2009, 12:12 PM EDT
MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA With the unofficial end of summer now behind us (that would be Labor Day), event professionals are looking to the fall—a traditionally busy time—to see how the economic recovery will help the industry rebound from what has so far been a pretty slow year. We asked a group of local planners and vendors what they have in the works for the coming months. Here are some highlights.
“I think one of the cool things we have in September is at the Bimini Boatyard Bar and Grill, which opened in 1989 and is [celebrating] its 20th anniversary. They’re doing a multi-million-dollar renovation, and we have two days of events with a major '80s party on September 25 with costumed characters of everyone from Divo and Tom Cruise to Miami Vice and Ghost Busters. Then the next day we’re doing a pirate-themed kids' event for the family during the day and a more upscale nautical-themed event that night. It’s really jam-packed with all kinds of insane entertainment.”
—Meredith Lasher, producer, Sixth Star Events and Marketing
“Fortunately for us we tend to stay busy and do a lot of events in Las Vegas and New York. From September to December we have a lot of major corporate product launches, from pharmaceutical companies to computer companies. They’re back-to-back each month at locations from the Venetian to the convention center and are full-production reveals. We work with the casinos [in South Florida] as well so we’re always busy with events for them.”
—Jason Gol, president, J Entertainment and Productions Inc.
“We’re going to have lots of action in this town for Super Bowl, and with this being the first time ever for the Pro Bowl [to be in town] that should certainly generate a lot of fringe parties. It’s going to be very last-minute though since you won’t know who’s in [the game] until the end of the season, and I think that’ll generate a huge amount of business.”
—John Rosetti, owner, 2Taste Catering
“We haven’t started planning yet, but we always work with the Food Network for the South Beach Wine and Food Festival’s V.I.P. media party for all the sponsors. We’ve done it for the past three years and will be starting to talk about what we‘re doing in September. We also have some proposals out for a meeting for Bloomberg for D.C. and L.A. then internationally in London, San Paulo, and Singapore, starting in November.”
—Clover Ryan, vice president, Scenic Elementz
“IHOP has a corporate program coming in the last week of September to the Boca Raton Resort and Club and they want to do an event that highlights this new partnership they have with the NFL. We’re going to have a 75-person marching band coming from the street into the event, 25 cheerleaders, and a whole football-themed event. We’re also doing a bunch of big events for Applebee’s the next week, including a welcome reception that’ll be themed like the Garden of Eden with lots of apples everywhere.”
—Angie Nelson, partner, Koncept Events LLC
“Business is definitely looking up for the fall. For us the high-end social market has had a resurgence, which means people are starting to open their pocketbooks, and to me that’s just a precursor to the corporate starting to open up more. Super Bowl is going to be huge! We are an emerging business and preferred vendor of the NFL and we’ve been doing a lot of work with our customers to prepare for that.”
—Randee Weschler, president, Atlas Party Rental Inc.
“I’m working on the Fort Lauderdale CVB’s marketing luncheon on October 8 at the Broward County Convention Center, where the CVB will roll out its marketing campaign for the year. It usually draws about 500 people, but it’s going to be a little different this year because the Florida Lodging & Restaurant Association is doing a trade show beforehand. We’re doing the decor inside the ballroom, and it’s a water theme this year—it was sunset last year with lots of oranges—so we’re going to use a lot of blues and we’ll project lights on the walls that make it look like you’re undersea.”
—Vanessa Goyanes, sales executive, Florida Event Decor
“We have something for the Miami recognition dinner of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force at the Fontainebleau on Miami Beach on October 17. We help them out every year by donating some decor. ”
—Karen Cohen, owner, Always Flowers and Events
“I’m doing a big event on the 12th for Hope for Vision, which is a charity that raises money for people with eye diseases. They're expecting about 500 people and it’s at the InterContinental Miami. We’re doing a brand new overlay and donating a portion of our services.”
—Alan Eingold, owner, Over the Top Rental Party Linens