Thursday, September 30, 2010

GHBA - Houston's Best

Enjoy Events had the pleasure of working along side The Greater Houston Builders Association and honoring some of the best builders and developers in our great city.  The Houston's Best Awards Event includes various company sponsorships, which are a vital aspect of the event.  This year, it was all about chocolate and ice for the two prominent sponsors and we were instrumental in the design.  For one company, DLG Ice offered up a representation of a translucent post-tensioned slab. If you are familiar with the process of concrete pouring, this would be impressive.  

For the other sponsor, Trendmaker Homes, a customized chocolate river with 70 pounds of chocolate and 12 waterfalls was a the show stopper! The design was inspired by a new community developed by Trendmaker called Cross Creek Ranch.  Chef Jeff Schnitzer finished the design with customized miniature chocolate replicas of the community. 

Those three sentences do not really summarize the journey of the chocolate river.  I had a vision, a dream of something chocolate flowing.  When I woke up I quickly surrounded myself with amazing people who had the ability to bring the vision to life. Was it hard to trust the plan?  Yes, indeed.  Was it worth it?  More than you know. Did the guest ENJOY?  You better believe it!  Need it at your next event? Absolutely.  

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

CGGVeritas Company Picnic

When CGGVeritas approached Enjoy Events to plan their company picnic we immediately saw an opportunity to try to bring some sustainability aspects to the event.   Picnics are typically considered disposable events and they tend to leave a large carbon foot print.  With any event, our goal is to find ways to bring some elements of sustainability through recycling or using local foods.  Little did we know that when we presented these ideas to the client and vendors that they all embrace it 100% and the event would conclude with zero waste.

Through collaboration, two goals were outlined.  One was for the guests to have a great time with lots to do, and the other was to try to leave as low a carbon footprint as possible.   The most important aspect of the second goal is to work with vendors that have the passion to want to do something different, research alternatives, and are willing to see the event through to the end.  This last item is vital because as you near the end of an event that your guests have enjoyed, all you want to do clean up as fast as possible, find the celebratory glass of vino and your nearest bed.  Using this recipe we brought together an incredible team to execute an incredibly enjoyable event for CGGVeritas

Our first amazing ingredient was City View Catering. I cannot express the level of passion Executive Director Scott Niemeyer of City View Catering brought to this event.  He loves working with Enjoy Events because I always throw him something a little more interesting than the last event, and he is always curious to see what the next one will hold.  I love working with Scott because he always takes the challenges, researches, provides menu proposals that push the client’s expectations, is always within budget, and executes flawlessly.  This event was no exception.  He came up with a way to enjoy ice cream at a picnic in August without it melting (soft serve ice cream was the answer), and created a menu with a light flare and all natural ingredients.  The menu broke out of the traditional picnic foods with a made to order peanut butter sandwich station, which delighted the children, and tomato gazpacho, ceviche, and assorted sandwiches like roast beef gorgonzola to tempt the adults.  Everyone enjoyed a lemonade stand and spritzer station that included the flavors of blueberry, strawberry, raspberry, mango, and many others, all made from natural ingredients.  For those adults that needed a little kick, Texas Tito's Vodka was added as an accompaniment.  If you were lucky enough to take the hay ride down to the meadow, ice cold Texas watermelon welcomed you.  The efforts towards sustainability were continued by a little extra effort from the staff to ensure items were placed in the correct recycling bins, and providing disposable items made from rice and corn, which will decompose within 12 months (including the trash bags used to collect these items).  Thinking differently doesn’t have to break the bank.

The second ingredient was the venue selection.  When researching the venue the client decided that they wanted a non-profit as a way to "give back".  The Houston Arboretum and Nature Center was the perfect venue as it is considered the "coolest" spot in the city and when hosting a picnic in the middle of August, shade and keeping cool was vital.  In addition, the team of the arboretum had the resources and the passion to continue the clean up efforts at the conclusion. A little extra effort that makes a huge impact.  Finally, with educational programs and games already in place, the foundation was set to ensure that our goals were on track to being completed.   A fun twist on carnival games, such as flower ring toss, flower pot decorating, live owl and snake exhibits, a playground which included a zip line, and a nature scavenger hike were just some of the fun items the guests were able to enjoy.  Another example of selecting the correct vendors for a client’s event is their willingness to alter even some of their existing practices. The Arboretum team typically has an animal mask making activity for the children that uses foam masks.  They were able to replace the foam with paper to ensure they were recyclable.

These two players assisted in making sure about 75 gallons of food preparation and disposables were compostable and 165 gallons of water bottles and cans were recycled.  The hairs on my arms just stand up whenever I think about this mission.

Centerpieces were created by Enjoy Events. Simple garden plants wrapped in burlap for the guests to take home, plant and enjoy.  Another effort that is priceless.  The centerpieces sat on a brown fortuny linen from Elegant Beginnings emulating the bark of a tree and a green ribbon pintuck linen from Over The Top Linen representing the green foliage of the surrounding environment.

The brochure, which included the event details and a map was created by the CCGVeritas graphics team.  Signage directing guests over the vast arboretum footprint carried the graphic throughout the entire space.   

A little seasoning was added to this recipe and included the Houston Face Painting team, Bootsie the Clown, the one and only Joe with Impressive Events who can do one heck of a congo line,  strolling magician John Star, Aztec Events and Tents, and the remarkable Laura Corley Burlton with D.Jones Photography.

Alice & The White Rabbit

Madison turned 5 eight days prior to Austin turning 1, so it was decided to hold a joint birthday bash together. It was very important  for both of them have a great bash that they could remember and one not outshine by the other.  So, with really great characters and a wonderful plot I would like to welcome you to the rabbit hole as we remember Alice & Wonderland.
Wonderland was created using inspiration from the traditional movie.  To set the tone, invitation designed was to create some sense of curiouser and curiouser.

Madison wore a traditional Alice custom while Austin, the white rabbit wore a handmade red vest and vintage watch so that he wouldn't be late.

Drink Me.  Vintage tea-stained tags were a playful way to continue to theme of the story.

Eat Me.  Fun apothecary jars filled with cookies and scones along with assorted tea sandwiches created an afternoon flare of tasty treats.

Guests enjoyed painting the roses red and traditional croquet with a twist of flamingos.

The seating of wonderland was created with mix-matched chairs surrounding a long table in the garden.  The table was topped with a vibrant purple base linen from Over The Top and was accented by a sheer polka dot linen from Elegant Beginnings. Each place settings was collection of mix-matched tea cups and saucers while the centerpiece was highlighted by oversize vases  provided by Darryl & Co and accented with red roses.  

Cake Affairs and Culinary Creations provided two cake designs: one for Madison, pure chocolate and lots of it! Austin's was a simple vanilla topsy-turvy masterpiece. Cupcakes embellished the Cheshire cat, the rabbit's pocket watch, the mad hatter's hat, and miniature mushrooms were served for the little ones and adults.

Each family received their very own Alice & Wonderland golden book. I hope they enjoy the adventure as much as we did.