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My Favorite Vendors: 5 Event Profs in the U.S. Share Their Go-To Partners

Event professionals reveal their preferred vendors across AV, catering, photography, rentals, and more.

'Their inventory is stunning; their team in office and at load-in are always polite and patient; and they just stand apart from any other rental company we’ve worked with,' said Kapture Vision CEO Nilo G. Low of her preferred rental partner, Taylor Creative Inc. Pictured here are the Soren sofa, Sven chair, and Sigrid stool.
"Their inventory is stunning; their team in office and at load-in are always polite and patient; and they just stand apart from any other rental company we’ve worked with," said Kapture Vision CEO Nilo G. Low of her preferred rental partner, Taylor Creative Inc. Pictured here are the Soren sofa, Sven chair, and Sigrid stool.
Photo: Courtesy of Taylor Creative Inc.

Looking for a new catering partner or a live music act to get a crowd on its feet? Look no further. Here, we asked event industry professionals throughout the U.S. to share their go-to collaborators for events of all types. (Read our Canada version of My Favorite Vendors here.)

Austin JohnstonAustin JohnstonAustin JohnstonPhoto: Courtesy of AKJOHNSTON Group

Johnston is the founder and CEO of Anaheim, Calif.-based AKJOHNSTON Group, which has produced high-profile events for the likes of Barbie, YSL Beauty, and Hulu, just to name a few, nabbing Johnston a spot on BizBash’s 2022 Industry Innovators list.

Catering: For years, 24 Carrots has been our trusted partner in the event industry, consistently leaving us in awe with their mastery of catering. In our humble opinion, they stand as the epitome of excellence in the catering world. More than just catering, 24 Carrots goes above and beyond to astonish guests with attentive service, thoughtful culinary creations, and an inviting ambiance. Yet, what truly sets them apart is their dedication to helping you craft enduring memories.

Photo Booth: Booth by Bryant is well known in the industry, but it's impossible not to mention them because their photo strips are so loved by all guests. At every event or brand activation we collaborate, the photos become an instant obsession for the crowds. 

Graphics: For dimensional fabric structures and dye-sublimated graphic printing, Five Inc. is our go-to vendor. The Five Inc. team is always very responsive and efficient in providing excellent customer service, as well as a finalized product. While they specialize in trade show graphics, the Five Inc. team never shies away from a fully custom graphic for a one-of-a-kind AKJOHNSTON build. 

Entertainment: Haute Mobile Disco is a DJ supergroup renowned for their dynamic sets and legendary dance parties. Effortlessly mastering the art of creating an electrifying atmosphere, they consistently ensure that every gathering reaches new heights of excitement. With unparalleled expertise, Haute Mobile Disco brings contagious energy, and the party is always jumpin'. We brought them in for the FOX Sports Super Bowl party and it was an absolute blast!

Nilo G. LowNilo G. LowPhoto: Courtesy of Kapture VisionNilo G. Low

A 2023 BizBash 40 Under 40 winner, Low is the CEO of full-service event agency Kapture Vision in Orange County, Calif., which has orchestrated big-time events for the likes of Major League Soccer, Kendra Scott, and even the Dalai Lama.

Entertainment: LA-based Asher Entertainment has innovative experts in the entertainment space, offering an expansive repertoire that spans a wide range of experiences. And with that kaleidoscope of talent, we have seen it all: acrobats, aerialists, dancers, human spinners—you name it! They have consistently set the stage for unparalleled guest experiences in the form of interactive and performance entertainment.

Rentals: With an impeccable commitment to cleanliness and a remarkable inventory that never fails us, Taylor Creative Inc. has been our preferred rental vendor for many of our coast-to-coast B2B and B2C programs. Their inventory is stunning; their team in office and at load-in are always polite and patient; and they just stand apart from any other rental company we’ve worked with.

Audiovisual: From large-scale, multiday conferences to partnering together on an outdoor brand reveal for over 5,000, no show or idea is too big for our friends at Show Imaging. Their prowess in executing unique programs showcases their unique ability to translate what may seem like a “wild idea” into tangible, awe-inspiring experiences. I just love that any time I call Steve or someone else on his team, he’s ready to soak in the info, ask thoughtful questions, and get to work!

Michael KrepackMichael KrepackMichael KrepackPhoto: Lexus Gallego

Krepack founded LA-based brand representation agency For Services Of (aka F/S/O) in 2018, where he also serves as CEO and has since produced events for the likes of H&M, Amazon Studios, and Diageo, among other startups and Fortune 500 companies.

Graphics/Signage: Kurt’s team at Step and Repeat has worked with us on countless projects for signage, vinyl installs, and graphics across nearly all of our clients. They’re professional, consistent, and great on site for install and breakdown. They are always our first call when we have a big graphics-focused project. 

Photography: Lexus Gallegos is our go-to photographer for events. She has a way of capturing beautiful candid moments of the guest experience while ensuring product and event photography is highlighted. We’ve worked with her across all of our client projects—from the Tequila Don Julio DĂ­a de Muertos dinner to shooting talent for H&M at Beyoncé’s Renaissance show at SoFi and Solawave’s Solabiome launch. We trust her to perfectly capture our work. 

Rentals: Reliable and true team players, Bright Rentals is a trusted vendor we always call for event rental needs. Their teams are dedicated to ensuring your event goes perfectly, and have come through time and time again—especially in a pinch. 

Taylor Buonocore-GuthrieTaylor Buonocore-GuthriePhoto: Courtesy of The Connection SparkTaylor Buonocore-Guthrie

Buonocore-Guthrie is the owner of The Connection Spark, where she serves as a facilitator and keynote speaker at events and stages nationwide, including Meta’s Women in Analytics Conference and The Atlantic’s Progress Summit 2.0.

Photography: I recently experienced SpotMyPhotos. Their facial recognition technology enables you to instantly receive photos that event photographers snap of you! This platform makes it easy to share branded photography, encourages sharing on social media, and leaves guests with shared memories. Remembering the people I talked with by looking at a photograph of us together was helpful too.

Entertainment: I'm biased with this one (because the entertainment I'm about to mention was my wedding band), but I've seen Atomic Funk light up the dance floor at so many events that they are my go-to entertainment recommendation when someone is looking for live music.

Venues: This year, I was invited to speak at Progress 2.0, hosted by The Atlantic LIVE. The event took place at the historic event venue Revel in South Chicago. The outdoor courtyard is surrounded on all sides by red brick, which creates an intimate and quiet place to gather in a major city like Chicago. I also joined a BizBash event on the rooftop of the Hard Rock Hotel in Manhattan, which offered amazing nighttime views of the New York City skyline.

Reed WhitneyReed WhitneyPhoto: Courtesy of Invisible NorthReed Whitney

Whitney is the head of production at New York-based Invisible North, a full-service marketing and experiential agency that's completed work for Adidas, Bumble, and Under Armour—just to name a few.

Fabrication: Invisible North has really enjoyed working with Bednark for custom fabrication and is consistently impressed by their attention to detail and solution-oriented approach. They have state-of-the-art production facilities in Brooklyn and a team that consistently overdelivers on quality fabrication.

Technology: Gen City Labs has been a great partner in the creative technology space, working with our creative and production team to develop and execute cutting-edge experiential concepts using Web3 and artificial intelligence.

Staffing: We frequently work with InCast Marketing to staff brand ambassadors and other production staff for events across the country. InCast’s team is incredibly nimble, supporting our team in large and small markets with staff that always exceed expectations.

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