Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Brocade BPAC Palm Springs

I had the wonderful pleasure of working with Brocade Communications on their annual Business Partner Advisory Council again and this time we headed West, to Palm Springs.  A wonderful venue called The Parker would be the playground for three days of networking and business development.  Personally, I loved everything about the venue and before the feet even touched the desert soil, I had a feeling that the client and guests would be pleased and would have a hard time leaving. The guests for this event spend a lot of time on the road and the goal was to find a hidden gem that could accomplish the agenda but provide something unique.  With only two Parkers in the world,  a layout and atmosphere with a resort style feel, but with all the amenities needed to conduct business, it was just perfect.

The grounds offer different areas to host the multiple events with the convenience of a new experience every time.  The welcome reception, held around the fire pit, came to life with vintage furniture, colorful linens and a beautiful back drop of the mountains.  Since Palm Springs was developed by Old Hollywood and the Rat Pack, Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra tunes filled the air. Signature cocktails of Muddled Lemonades and classic cigars added a little ambiance while unique treats of miniature baked potatoes filled with blue cheese, smoked salmon, and caviar along with tuna tartar flatbreads tempted the taste buds.

With the assistance of Brandit Bandits, logo branded wine stoppers, luggage tags, water bottles, and visors created daily executive gifts.  Branded M&M's and carmel popcorn from a local Palm Springs company rounded out the packages.

Daily breakfast, lunch, and snack breaks were held on the Garden Lawn, the Croquet Lawn, and the Petanque Courts. On of my favorite menu selections (and there are many) was a surprise for my client who has a special place in her heart for lemon filled donuts.  Warm donut "holes" served with fresh blueberries and lemon filling is beyond anything one can imagine and is difficult to document with words. Something so simple had guests smiling from ear to ear.

We did escape The Parker for one night out in the desert. There are many activities to  choose from in the area, but a desert adventure through the San Andreas Fault was sure to please.  The red jeeps picked the guests up at The Parker's doorstep, took the guest on a 30 minute ride through Palm Springs and into the desert, the true desert as the locals would say. An hour ride and tour lead us to a old mining town where live music, good food, and star gazing completed the agenda.  My client and I snuck away for a little more jeeping deeper into the canyon.  Spectacular.

The final farewell was a standing ovation to experience.  A wine tasting luncheon in the Gene Autry Residence. In the late 60's, Gene purchased the Holiday Inn property, built his residence, and remodeled the property.  It moved on to two more owners before the Parker family purchased it and created it into what it is today.  His legacy still lives on and his home is in its original state.  The lunch included five stations of wonderful cuisine paired with the perfect wine for each on the back lawn.  Zucchini fritters with shaved pecorino and white truffle oil paired with Stella Pinot Grigio was hands down a favorite.  A close second was the mini coconut lobster tails paired with Estimulo Sauvignon Blanc.  In all seriousness, it was all amazing and a perfect ending for a perfect event.  It was a true honor.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Schutz Pearce Wedding

I enjoy working with Laura and David on their event day wedding execution.  She had so many little hidden details throughout the event that if you didn't know them very well you might have missed it.  Gardenia flowers in her hair representing her heritage, a Georgia Peach signature drink her Mom's home state, and a New Orleans Jazz Trio are a few examples.  Love it when the personalization has so much meaning to the family.  

The recipe:

Event Planning: Enjoy Events
Ceremony Music:  Houston String Quartet

Flowers & Linen:  Wedding Flowers by Lisa
Lighting:  Impressive Events
Reception Venue:  Crystal Ballroom
Cocktail Music:  Jazz Revisited
Photography:  Chris Wineinger
Makeup & Hair:  Hues by Heather

Thanks to Leslie from Goodlight Photography for the referral.  You rock!