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January 2014

EVNTIV PRESIDENT SPARKS DEAL FOR SAINT LOUIS FASHION WEEK AND UNION STATION

Posted on: January 23rd, 2014 by Sam Foxman

 

St. Louis Fashion Week finds home at Union Station

Read original article HERE

By Debra D. Bass Post-Dispatch Fashion Editor dbass@post-dispatch.com 314-340-8236

Photo by Chris Lee, clee@post-dispatch.com

St. Louis Fashion Week has a new home in Union Station, the city’s newest event space, and both are hoping to cash in on the cachet of the other.

The fashion week enterprise will gain stability in planning events from year to year instead of starting from scratch each season and scrambling for space around town. It doesn’t hurt that the new space opening in April boasts a $5 million renovation, part of the station and hotel’s $66.3 million makeover by its new owner Lodging Hospitality Management. Registered as a national historic landmark, Union Station was a hub of rail passenger service after it opened in 1894.

Union Station developers want to reclaim some of that prestige and see the benefits of being associated with one of the most fashionable events of the year as they woo new conventions, bridal parties and special events.

The two have agreed to a three-year collaboration that is a mix of trade, multimedia promotion and cash.

St. Louis Fashion Week creative director Sam Foxman sparked the deal after touring the space as part of his event planning business Evntiv.

“The first time I saw the space, which is a completely open long and narrow hall that’s basically an exhibit space, the possibilities were swimming in my mind, but fashion week was one of the things I saw first,” Foxman said speaking of space called the Midway, where trains were once launched.

The 50,000 square feet of space with a barrel roof has a line of windows along the ceiling for natural light, and the developers have restored many historic touches, removing all signs of the 1980s retail storefronts that occupied the space along the Market Street side of the building.

“It’s perfect for a fashion show and perfect for any number of unique events,” said Stephen O’Loughlin of Lodging Hospitality Management, which bought Union Station for $20 million in 2012. “This is absolutely a win-win, a great thing for us to come out of the gate and unveil our new space.”

Foxman said that although it’s great to host events all over the city to show that fashion is happening everywhere, it’s “enormously beneficial to have a home for a while. And the fact that it’s new, that’s got a bit of good buzz to it.”

Elizabeth Tucker, the co-founder of St. Louis Fashion Week and executive director, couldn’t agree more. She said that every year they were creating pop-up venues, which meant lots of meetings to review the space, configure seating, rework the sound system, design new runways, meet with city officials and more.

“Now we can focus more on the designers and more on enhancing the production,” Tucker said.

St. Louis Fashion Week, launched in fall 2007, hasn’t had a dedicated home since it was hosted at Lumière Place Casino and Hotel for four seasons (March 2008 to fall October 2009) in an unfinished event space above the casino floor.

Tucker said O’Loughlin was immediately on board with the idea of bolstering the fashion appeal of the city.

“We knew they’d be great partners because we’ve worked with them in the past few years for our after parties,” at the Hilton St. Louis at the BallPark’s Three Sixty Rooftop Bar, Tucker explained.

When she sat down with O’Loughlin to discuss the new venture, she said that his answer was “yes” before she even presented any details about payment.

“That’s a great feeling,” Tucker said. “He gets it, and he gets us, and both of us want to be somewhere where there’s a bubbling up of conversation around what you’re doing. Celebrity, culture and food and fashion all have that kind of cachet.”

St. Louis Fashion Week will host only one show at Union Station during its three-day run in April, but it will return in the fall, its longest schedule, with two or three days of shows in the space.

By fall, the $2.5 million renovation of the Grand Hall (previously a salon for ladies and gentlemen to wait for their trains to depart) will also be complete with an ornate digital ceiling and early 1900s style bar and lounge areas. The space will be used as a cocktail and preparty area for St. Louis Fashion Week.

“Once we saw the space it was a no-brainer. It’s as if it was built with the notion that it would be a fashion center,” Tucker said.

 

10 VITAL THINGS TO HAVE ON YOUR EVENT WEBSITE

Posted on: January 20th, 2014 by Sam Foxman

This is a fantastic article from BizBash.com by Jenny Berg. At Evntiv, we create landing pages, event registration sites and complete websites dedicated to making the event experience easy for attendees. Well said Jenny!

By Jenny Berg | Posted January 16, 2014, 7:15 AM EST    Read on BizBash site HERE

A well-planned Web site can be a highly effective tool in engaging an event’s audience, boosting ticket sales, or relaying information to those who weren’t able to attend. We asked Web design and event planning pros to share tips on Web site essentials. Here are 10 things to include on your event Web site.

1.     A clear description of the event’s purpose   It sounds basic, but don’t forget to offer a quick event overview. “Event Web sites often lack a simple and clear description of what the event is about and who would get the most value from attending,” says Eric Downs of Grain & Mortar, a strategy, branding, and design company.

2.     The basics: when and where  “The date, time, and location of the event are the most integral points of information. Don’t make people dig for this,” says Jessica Kausen, event manager at Squarespace. “Have it prominently available on the home page if you have multiple pages, and make sure it’s easy to find anywhere by adding the info to the header or the footer.” Using icons such as maps or calendars can also be helpful in relaying an event’s basic details, says Brennan McReynolds of Event Farm. And all our interviewees agreed: Make sure your contact information is clearly visible on the site.

3.     Sponsor amenities  “Make sure that you are fulfilling sponsor amenities,” says Lee Kite, the Chicago-based director of distinguished events at the American Cancer Society. “Your promises to put logos, names of sponsors, lists of sponsors, anyone who’s on the leadership committee—all of this is extremely important. And remember that this is a fluid site. As new sponsors come on board, you’ll constantly need to update your site. So make sure you have someone managing the information all the time, making sure that it’s current and updated, and that if you promised something to a sponsor or an auction donor, you give it to them.”

4.     Social media link  “No event is an island,” McReynolds says. “Nowadays, pre- and post- event engagement are just as important [as the event itself]. By adding social media aspects like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram to your Web site, you’re enabling attendees to interact with your event in their own personalized way.” Social media can also help guide guests back to the main site to pick up tickets. “We’ve had great luck posting an event’s remaining ticket count on Facebook and Twitter,” Downs says. “We’ve seen a direct spike of registrants after posting a tweet like: ‘Tickets are going fast—only 50 left!’” On the site for the American Cancer Society’s Discovery Ball, which Kite oversees, there’s also an option to share descriptions of live auction items on social media.

5.     A link to register  Have a clear place on the Web site where guests can purchase tickets or register. And don’t forget: different payment methods suit different events. For the American Cancer Society’s Skyline Soiree, put on by its associate board, tickets are around $100 and the audience is comprised largely of young professionals. “They do everything online—we don’t even send out [paper] invites,” Kite says. But for the Discovery Ball, which is sold out through sponsorships, “we’ve learned that sponsors who are buying a $25,000 table really don’t want to pay online. We do make online payment available and it’s their choice, but we also make it clear where they can send a check or reach our bookkeeper to take credit card information.”

6.    Night-of volunteer information Make it easy for volunteers to read up-to-date information on where to pick up packets, what to wear, the timeline of events, and other pertinent night-of details. “This also gives people the chance to sign up,” Lee says.

7.     A cohesive theme  If your Web site has a look that’s consistent with the event’s collateral, including invitations and programs, “it can help tremendously with your overall messaging strategy,” Kite says. “A cohesive color scheme not only tells a color story, it tells the event’s story.”

8.    Video   “With the growing availability of image-focused social platforms such as Pinterest and Vine, your audience has become increasingly responsive to images and video,” McReynolds says. “They want to be wowed instantly. Do so by replacing monotonous text with engaging images and video.” If you do add animation or videos to your site, don’t forget to make it mobile-friendly. Kite adds that showing a video of last year’s event can help get guests excited for the upcoming iteration and teach them what to expect.

9.    An F.A.Q. section   A place where guests can read up on frequently asked questions will prevent planners from having to address the same queries again and again. Consider updating this section as the event draws closer. “As we get questions, we make a decision as to whether that would be a good one to add to our F.A.Q.s,” Kite say. “Often visitors will return to an event Web site multiple times to remind themselves of the upcoming event details, and it’s important they be clearly presented with everything they need to register or become a sponsor,” Downs says.

10. Post-event information   Be sure to update the event’s site after the event has wrapped. “We post an event video montage and photos, as well as information on where people can order pictures,” Kite says. “We also post a celebratory announcement about how much was raised.”

VENUE ENVY: ST. LOUIS UNION STATION MIDWAY EXHIBIT SPACE

Posted on: January 8th, 2014 by Sam Foxman

The word is getting out about the new Midway Exhibit Space at Union Station. Once servicing more than 10,000 rail passengers each day, the iconic Midway is a beautiful location offering 30,000 sq. ft. of space for meetings, conferences, trade shows, exhibits and other large events. Whether your occasion calls for space for 300 or 3,000 guests, this unique and historic event setting in downtown St. Louis Hotel fits the bill. After producing 2 events in the space, we are big fans! The staff is professional, the catering staff is awesome and the space is perfect to transform with lighting and fabric.

Contact us for details and more photos.  info@evntiv.net

EVENT SPOTLIGHT: FIRST NIGHT ST. LOUIS

Posted on: January 7th, 2014 by Sam Foxman

 

20,000 people gathered in Grand Center to start the New Year with a bang at First Night. Or, to be precise, a bunch of bangs — fireworks are very much a part of the annual New Year’s Eve celebration held in Grand Center. This year’s event was also part of the kickoff for stl250, the yearlong observance of St. Louis’ 250th anniversary. A cultural and artistic celebration presented in cities around the country, First Night is family-friendly and alcohol-free festival. More than 60 groups performed at First Night, both inside and outside. Entertainment ranged from all different types of music, to comedy, to magicians and hypnotists, to trampoline acts and dancers- a very wide spectrum. Evntiv was proud to be the producer of outdoor entertainment at First Night and looks forward to celebrating the 250th Anniversary of our great city!

ICE ICE BABY!

Posted on: January 6th, 2014 by Sam Foxman

Looking for a different idea to decorate your tables? As an alternative to the traditional table centerpiece, designers have been using ice in various forms to accent tabletops. Ice is a great medium to work with because of it’s versatility. It can be shaped into a vessel or used as a casing for objects frozen into the ice. When illuminated, ice centerpieces can give a room that extra sparkle! Check out some of the centerpiece designs below – and don’t be afraid to try a little ice in your next design!

 

HOT ENTERTAINMENT: THREE GRACES

Posted on: January 5th, 2014 by Sam Foxman

Three Graces seamlessly blend their talents to convey the ultimate aural performance. Poised and charming, Three Graces join classical and world music influences together to create perfect harmonies in both well-known songs and much revered vocal music, while also incorporating their own works featured on their self-titled debut album, released in 2008.

Vocalists Joy, Kelly and Sarah credit their success to their varied backgrounds in music. Their range of expertise has allowed them to explore several musical avenues, and even landed Three Graces a tour with Paul Potts. Pure talent, incredible emotion, and dazzling presence: Three Graces have it all.

For more information on Three Graces, CONTACT US!

 

BETTER VISIBILITY FOR YOUR EVENT SPONSORS

Posted on: January 5th, 2014 by Sam Foxman

Giving event sponsors their due recognition is important to building, and keeping, sponsor relationships.  Let’s face it; many of the events we know and love would not exist without sponsors and their dollars! For years, event producers have resorted to the “slide show” of logos and names cobbled together in a PowerPoint format and showed on the two ever-present outboard screens flanking the stage. Uh, bohhhhrinnng. Time for a new approach!

Instead, try a customized video loop of sponsors placed strategically in a high traffic location. Our favorite spot to showcase sponsors is at the bar- especially when there is a que to get a drink. By using 60” LCD monitors or a video screen in a decorative way behind a bar, you can highlight sponsors with a vibrant “eye candy” video that matches the theme and tone of the event.

Take a look at some of the sponsor loops we have created in partnership with our sister company Vidzu Media.

 

These loops are inexpensive to create and look way more professional than a PowerPoint slide show. For more information on cost, CONTACT US!