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CASE STUDY: CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL “PLAY DATE”

Posted on: August 24th, 2016 by Sam Foxman

play Date logo

In our industry, it’s common to forget that events are a part of an organization’s marketing and communications strategy. They are more than just booking venues, ordering linens and getting a great band. Events are a great opportunity to communicate in real-time, and can be a very effective tool in the arsenal of any good marketer to change the hearts and minds of its constituents.

At Evntiv, we recognize this opportunity and rather than first discussing “venues and menus,” we focus on what the organization is trying to achieve with their event. In other words, at the end of the event, our goal is to have influenced what the attendees say, do, think and feel about the organization. Events are an opportunity to create a powerful and emotional call-to-action that can’t be achieved with the digital communications of the modern world.

In order to capitalize on what is often a missed opportunity, Evntiv has developed a proprietary method for facilitating the true objectives and outcomes that our clients want to achieve. This process is called the Core Mission Objectives (CMO). Through a series of exercises, we are able to discover what the organization wants to achieve from the event for it to be truly considered a success. Oftentimes, our clients themselves don’t even know what they are trying to achieve and through our CMO process, can discover for themselves why they may be doing an event in the first place.

One of our long-standing clients came to us with a problem… their event just wasn’t working anymore. We brought them through our CMO exercise and determined what was really important.

CHALLENGE: St. Louis Children’s Hospital Foundation hosted an annual gala event that was dwindling in attendance and had plateaued in fundraising. The event’s brand had nothing to do with what the organization was doing to help children and no longer attracted new supporters for the organization.

SOLUTION: Align the brand of the event with the mission and practice of the organization. Evntiv hosted a discovery session with key stakeholders including the President of the foundation. The hospital’s key to success was understanding how kids view the hospital environment and the staff at Children’s Hospital transform fear, anxiety and worry into a calm and playful atmosphere. We took the same approach when designing the event. In creating PLAY DATE, we proved what would happen if adults got to act like kids for one night and saw the world in a very whimsical way. Guests slid into the party on an inflatable slide, played giant jenga, drank cartoon-inspired cocktails, played vintage arcade games and decorated custom cupcakes. The dinner began with dessert first and featured tables that guests could draw on or customize. The back wall fell away to reveal a roller skating after party. Every gala should be this fun! The Evntiv team worked closely with Cheree Berry Paper to design the logo, identity and print materials.

RESULTS: The gala changed the perception of the foundation from stale and stodgy to the hottest, most innovative fundraising event in the city. The foundation grew attendance by 30% the first year and surpassed the fundraising goal set by administration by $20,000. Most importantly, the foundation attracted a new, younger demographic that they were able to convert to future patrons and donors.

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AUGMENTED REALITY PHOTO BOOTH

Posted on: August 15th, 2016 by Sam Foxman

Foto Vid

Augmented Reality Photo Booth allows your guests to appear with random 3D Virtual Props to create an extraordinary (and fun!) photo favor!

Evntiv Photo Booth
Here’s how it works… Guests stand in front of the open air photo booth and then view themselves on a large monitor. Instantly, random 3D props are loaded onto the screen and the guest is able to move and interact with the props. Guests can switch the props by raising their right hand above their head and open it. Once the guests are ready to take their photo, they pull down the virtual gesture slider and 3..2..1.. snap, a memorable augmented reality photo is printed and handed to them! An additional feature allows guests to remove the backdrop without the need of a green screen. Guests can find themselves anywhere in the world or in front of any logo or branding.

Contact us for more information at info@evntiv.net

Evntiv Photo Booth

EVNTIV BRINGS BOLD DESIGN TO OPERA THEATER

Posted on: May 4th, 2015 by Sam Foxman
Evntiv created a dramatic ceiling treatment for Opera Theater of St. Louis's 40th Anniversary Gala.

Evntiv created a dramatic ceiling treatment for Opera Theater of St. Louis’s 40th Anniversary Gala.

St. Louis-based Evntiv, offered a bold design for Opera Theater of St. Louis’s 40th Anniversary Gala appropriately titled Avante-garde! The event took place at a private estate in Town & Country, Missouri on a massive outdoor pavilion.

To bring the Avant-garde theme to life, the Evntiv team used bold, black and white linens mixed with bright pops of canary yellow and hot magenta tones. These colors were the perfect contrast to the natural, green surroundings.

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The cornerstone of the design was a massive 36ft long by 20ft wide ceiling treatment comprised of approximately 14,000 strands of iridescent white fabric. The fabric strands were hand ripped to cause imperfections and crinkling and then attached one at a time to the ceiling of the pavilion. After all the strands were hung, a team of designers hand cut a “wave” shape into the fabric strands. The result was a dramatic, abstract chandelier effect.

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Evntiv was responsible for the concept, creative design, audio, lighting, decor and event staffing for the Avante-garde! Gala.

VIDEO SPOTLIGHT: ALIVE MAGAZINE

Posted on: February 16th, 2015 by Sam Foxman

Last month, our in-house video team, Vidzu Media, created a fast-paced, informative video for Alive Magazine. The video was designed to highlight Alive’s mission, the events and the opportunities the magazine brings its readers and advertisers. This is a perfect example of how businesses are communicating their capabilities on the web and on mobile platforms. Click the picture below to view the video

INNOVATOR: PAE WHITE

Posted on: January 19th, 2015 by Sam Foxman

At Evntiv, we spend a lot of time thinking about ways to make the world more colorful. We inject just enough whimsy and weirdness into our event design to make them memorable. We idolize artists, like Pae White, who dedicate themselves to the pursuit of making the world more interesting.

Born 1963, Pasadena, California. Lives and works in L.A. Pae White studied at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena (MFA, 1991), the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine (1990), and Scripps College in Claremont, California (BA, 1985). She has been featured in solo exhibitions at venues such as The Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois (2011); Site Santa Fe, New Mexico (2011); The Power Plant, Toronto, Canada (2010); 1301PE, Los Angeles, California (2009); galleria francesca kaufmann, Milan, Italy (2008); Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC (2007); and greengrassi, London, England (2007). White has been included recently in the Whitney Biennial, New York (2010) and the 53rd La Biennale di Venezia, Italy (2009) and she is installing commissions this year in the Los Angeles International and Berlin Brandenburg Airports. White’s work is held in such prominent public collections as Museum of Modern Art, New York; Tate Modern, London; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; The Art Institute of Chicago; and the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles.
White’s installations jam-pack items of consumer culture—depicting, for example, wrapping paper, fabric swatches, food, junk mail and newspaper clippings—in flat compositions. Their humble subject matter stands in ironic contrast to their spectacular scale and to the heroic tradition of tapestry art.
Pae White’s goal is to cause viewers to stop and consider the bits and pieces of their lives that are most often overlooked, perhaps suggesting a reconsideration of the world around all of us. She want’s us all to ask ourselves, “What is important to us?”

EVENT TREND: ORIGAMI DÉCOR

Posted on: January 11th, 2015 by Sam Foxman

Origami is the ancient Japanese art of folding paper. Taken quite literally from the word ori meaning “folding”, and kami meaning “paper”, this practice of paper folding can produce very interesting and beautiful shapes. One of the most popular and recognizable shape is the paper crane.

Lately, it seems that the paper crane is making a huge comeback as a motif for weddings and events. Cranes are elegant and regal. Using the paper crane in series or as an installation is an effective way to bring drama to any environment.

Paper crane “walls” can be created by connecting the cranes vertically and then hanging in series. Chandeliers, wall hangings and other free-form installations can be created by assembling the cranes and hanging in different poses and formations.

Paper cranes can be created in a variety of sizes and by using many different colors of paper. We love any decoration that can be given away to guests, or that is easily recyclable. Using Origami is a very green way to decorate!

SOCIAL MEDIA FOR EVENTS – 5 EASY RULES

Posted on: January 5th, 2015 by Sam Foxman

CHOOSE WISELY. When you assign your social media team, look for the individuals who understand the medium and live in it every day. If you are not hiring someone from the outside to do for you, take the time to identify the end goal and who is doing what. You will need voices (the people talking about stuff) and monitors (the people watching and promoting posts). Typically there are a few levels of social media teams. The directors, who create and direct the message and the producers who engage with each community based on the message. Both need to be working in synergy to make your efforts worthwhile.

DEFINE YOUR BRAND VOICE. Create a tone, character, and persona for your team to use. This is most important if you plan to have multiple people, especially volunteers, communicating on the group’s behalf. Different organizations go for different tones in their social correspondence: some are more traditionally corporate, while others aim to be inspirational or funny.

BE AUTHENTIC. Speak as if you are speaking to a friend or family member to avoid sounding like an institution. Don’t be afraid to sound like a real person.  Keep the dialogue going by responding quickly and conversationally. Remember, being authentic does not mean speaking your mind! Keep on brand and professional no matter what other messages are being posted.

IDENTIFY INFLUENCERS. Find the influencer for the audience you are trying to reach and try to engage them with involvement in your event. Try to identify which social media channels these influencers are using and what kind of commentary they tend to make. Give them as much content as possible that will work well with their social media habits.

TWEET FIRST. Twitter is best when something is unfolding at an event in real time. This doesn’t mean you should neglect Facebook and Instagram, but tweets are the language of real-time social media conversation. Second would be Instagram and a close third is Facebook. Depending on the age of your audience, these channels may vary in popularity.

SAM FOXMAN’S 14 in 14

Posted on: December 31st, 2014 by Sam Foxman

Evntiv President shares his picks for the 14 coolest people, places and things in 2014 (in no particular order).

ASHLEY LONGSHORE

Earlier this year, my friend Cabanne told me about this amazing artist that she had been following on Twitter who was doing these irreverent portraits- kinda like a deranged Andrea Warhol. Of course, I fell in love immediately. Self taught New Orleans based Artist Sarah Ashley Long shore has a kooky style, which is specific to her, and, whilst simplistic, you cannot help but have a little smile on your face…especially when you read the titles.  Her style and art work has won her a few admirers over the years, with an impressive collector list including Hollywood stars such as Salma Hayek, Penelope Cruz, Blake Lively, Eli Manning, Director Paul Waits and Cinematographer Jimmy Muro. Although Ms. Longshore isn’t widely known outside of fashion and art circles, that is starting to change – quickly.   www.ashleylongshore.com

T-REX

Being an entrepreneur in St. Louis, it’s pretty hard to not know about T-Rex. For those who aren’t familiar, T‐REX is a world-class venue providing the startup entrepreneur with low cost & flexible enterprise space, while serving the region with quality programming and inspiring community. Two years after it’s inception, T-REX occupies 5 floors of Lammert on Washington and growing. It is now home to 100+ startups, iTEN, Capital Innovators, Cultivation Capital, SixThirty, Arch Grants and home to many other entrepreneurial activity including Startup Weekend and StartLouis. Interesting tidbit… I helped with the interior design of the 5th floor! There is a revolution happening in downtown St. Louis… the rise of the start up economy. Pay close attention as the next Google, PayPal or Netflix rises out of our city’s core.   downtowntrex.com

ST. VINCENT

Annie Clark who performs under the name St. Vincent has slowly grown to be one of the most interesting artists in the indie rock genre.  Her 2007 début album, “Marry Me”, showed her to be a fantastic guitar player, a skilled vocalist, and a collector of unidentifiable sounds. Her work lives at a distance from most rock or pop, owing to the contrast between her understated temperament and her taste for dynamic language. It is odd but accessible, detailed but not over-produced, personal but stripped of the inside banter that some artist’s relish in. Did I mention that Annie is a killer guitar player? Her uncle is Tuck Andress, from the popular Jazz duo Tuck & Patti. St. Vincent is definitely worth a listen!  ilovestvincent.com

THE VESPER

This cocktail is a “James Bond” original, actually an Ian Fleming original, but who cares. For the most part it is a variation on a Martini, and all bartenders know what Mr. Bond did to the martini world. The Vesper can hold its own in the cocktail world and quickly became my go-to cocktail this summer.

The Vesper Martini

3 oz Gin
1 oz Vodka
0.5 oz Lillet Blanc

Shake with ice and strain into a wine glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.

THE NEW PORSCHE 911 TARGA

Porsche is returning back to the 911’s roots with the new Targa edition offered in 2014. In a nicely done nostalgic approach that mimics the original 911 Targa of 1965, Porsche fitted the new 991-generation model with a roof bar, a movable front roof section, and a wraparound rear window. However, unlike the classic model, on the new 911 Targa, the roof segment can be opened and closed at the push of a button, with the top automatically stowed away behind the rear seats. Very sexy! Positioned between the traditional coupe and convertible editions of the 911 for those who want a bit of both, but are willing to make a few compromises, the Targa will be offered in two engine variants, both exclusively with AWD featuring the wider rear track and body, and the same Porsche Traction Management (PTM), found in all other 911 all-wheel-drive models. Did I mention it was sexy?   www.porsche.com

 Le LABO

I saw this place in Nolita and never went inside. Then, I read about the fantastic fragrances they were producing. Le Labor is a Niche perfume line established by Fabrice Penot and Eddie Roschi (both formerly of Giorgio Armani fragrances) in 2006. Le Labo started with 10 fragrances by well-known perfumers, and is known for blending the essential oils with alcohol and water at the time of purchase and providing customized labels for the bottles. My bottle actually says “blended for Sam Foxman”- looks awesome on the shelf! Ryan Reynolds wears Patchouli 24. Karl Lagerfeld prefers Neroli 36. I really like Santal 33 and Rose 31. In October, it was announced that Estee Lauder is acquiring them. Hope they don’t change a thing!   lelabofragrances.com

AMSTERDAM

After receiving a job offer they couldn’t refuse, our dear friends packed up their house and moved 6,000 miles away to Amsterdam. Ballsy, yes. Jealous, I am! It has been twenty years since I saw Amsterdam. err, at least what I could remember of it. Colorful, quirky and charming, Amsterdam is a fabulous old-world city lined with 17thcentury building, canals, and the constant sight of bicycles whizzing by. But it also bears all the hallmarks (and then some) of a thriving and downright lenient metropolis. While many globetrotting hipsters visit Amsterdam for the marijuana scene – and perhaps to peek at the legal prostitutes in the Red Light District – the city is teeming with high culture, from the world-class art in the Van Gogh Museum and the Rijksmuseumn to P.C. Hooftstraat, the shopping street where you can also find plenty of the contemporary, cutting-edge design that has become a source of pride in Amsterdam and the Netherlands. Not to mention, our pals Dmitry Gelfand and Evelina Domnitch- the most out-of-this-world contemporary art duo in Europe!

SAINT LOUIS FASHION FUND

This past October, I was honored to work with Susan Sherman, Jan Goldstein, Atul and Anjali Kamra (and a host of others fashion supporters) on the launch of the Saint Louis Fashion Fund. Saint Louis Fashion Fund is a new organization, led by a 25-member Board of Directors, which includes leaders in culture, fashion, higher education, law and business. The Fund will play an integral role in the development and growth of the Saint Louis fashion community. The fund is an incubator to help emerging designers build their brands and advance their career. It was a historic moment when leaders in the global fashion community stood together and proclaimed, “We are bringing the business of fashion back to St. Louis!” The fund is raising seed money to create the St. Louis Fashion Incubator housed in the former Garment District, which will open in late 2016.

NICK CAVE AT SLAM

Big props to the Saint Louis Art Museum for its exhibition ‘Currents 109: Nick Cave’. Cave (not to be confused with the Australian rocker of the same name) was born 60 years ago in Fulton, Mo. He attributes his affinity for found objects to his upbringing: poor, in a large family headed by a single mother. Cave is best known for his “Soundsuits,” costume-shaped sculptures that show a clear connection to African art, as well as the New Orleans Mardi Gras tradition. The sculptures are whimsical, but their meaning is much deeper. Galleries 249 and 250 in the East Building are filled with the suits; some of them can be viewed from all sides. On the walls are tondos, circular hangings like slices of the sky, made of satin-finished formal dresses and marked out with sequins and brocades. If you have not seen this show yet, it is a “must see”! The installation is on view until March 8, 2015.    www.slam.org

JAMES CLARK

At Evntiv, I work with a lot of non-profit organizations. This year, I was inspired by a man who lives his mission. James Clark, and his organization Better Family Life, are going into the most dangerous communities in St. Louis (and in the country) offering drug dealers, gangsters, pimps and criminals new hope. He helps them find jobs, be responsible and deal with hard situations that most people would not understand – or would ever be exposed to. In just a few short years, Clark and his team have worked in high-risk neighborhoods to decrease crime at the rate of four times compared to the rest of the City of St. Louis. If you want to help fund change… support this man.  www.betterfamilylife.org

SOHO HOUSE

The idea of joining a country club makes me gag. I don’t play golf, I don’t like pastel sweaters and I don’t like any place that is uptight. I do however like the idea of belonging to a members only club that is focused around my lifestyle. Enter Soho House. Soho House was founded in London in 1995 as a private members club targeted at globetrotting “creative types”—young fashion designers, filmmakers, writers, artists and entrepreneurs, as well as famous musicians and movie stars. Since opening the London property, Soho House has expanded to include Houses across Europe and North America, as well as restaurants, cinemas, spas and hotels. With Houses popping up in Chicago, New York, Toronto and other major cities, membership is becoming more and more attractive. Each applicant must be nominated by two existing members who can belong to any of the Houses. Upon receipt, the application will then be reviewed by the appropriate club’s Membership Committee, who meets approximately every three months.   www.sohohouse.com

MACLEOD WINE

Last year, my wife and I visited the MacLeod Family Vineyard in Sonoma California. There we met the 91-year-old George MacLeod who personally took us on a tour of his fields. I learned more about the science of winemaking in one hour than I could have in years. We felt the soil, we tasted grapes and we heard directly from the family that has been producing, in my opinion, the best Cabernet and Sauvignon Blanc in the region. This year, George MacLeod released his book entitled, “Journey to Harvest- How to Grow Grapes, Make Distinctive Wines & Live Forever”.  While visiting the vineyard, we signed up for the wine club and receive a case of MacLeod wines every quarter. We have shared the wines with friends and fellow foodies. They all want more and can’t believe this wine is $26 a bottle! If you find yourself in California wine country, pay old George a visit!   www.macleodfamilyvineyard.com

DOUGHNUT WALL

I am fascinated with any kind of “self serve” apparatus used at events and parties. Two years ago, I invented the Cocktail Wall for a dinner event at White Flag Gallery. 2014 was the year of the Doughnut. I saved the idea for a very special party for The Sharing Fund in St. Louis. Our friends at Coda Fundraising & Events were as enthusiastic as I was about this concept. Keeping with the holiday party theme, doughnuts were placed in a snowflake pattern on the wall. These weren’t just any old doughnuts… The Four Seasons in St. Louis hand made 300 doughnuts for this project – matching the icing colors to my design! The result was a fabulous new way to get a sugar high!

TOUCH OF MODERN (TOMO)

I am obsessed with the TOMO app. Touch of Modern is a curated e-commerce experience that offers daily discovery of the most fascinating and well-designed products in the world at the best possible price, for people who seek objects that tell a story. Basically, they curate the coolest tech, art, clothing, gadgets and objects that have one thing in common – amazing design. Through the app, you can browse and purchase these objects at fantastic prices. www.touchofmodern.com

PAPER FLOWER CENTERPIECES

Posted on: November 16th, 2014 by Sam Foxman

A big trend this year is the non-floral centerpiece. In this very blog, we have discussed several ideas event planners can use to dress up a table without spending money on floral design (See “Non-Floral Centerpieces” blog post). One great way to achieve a whimsical, fun look is to use paper flowers. These flowers come in all different shapes and sizes and can be constructed from different kinds of paper.

Some tissue paper variety can be fashioned into geometric shapes. Other finely cut paper flowers can create a wonderful architecture when assembling a centerpiece. The best part… totally green! That’s right, when finished you can recycle the arrangement (if your guests don’t steal them first).

Contact us for info on where to get paper flower arrangements at info@evntiv.net.

LOOPD: WEARABLE EVENT TECH

Posted on: November 16th, 2014 by Sam Foxman

As technology gets increasingly better, smaller and faster… it will permeate even further into our everyday lives. Even our wardrobes! Loopd is a system that uses Bluetooth beacons to provide a variety of location-tracking tools for event planners and attendees. Beacons placed around the event communicate with chips the attendees wear on a lanyard. As guests visit exhibitor booths, attend education sessions, and meet other attendees, the system tracks those movements and saves the information.

At any time, guests can log into the Loopd app to see a history of those interactions, as well as receive marketing materials from exhibitors they visited. Booth staff also receive traffic information and can follow up with attendees. For networking, users can tap their badges together to share their contact information; otherwise the system will automatically collect data when two people are standing near each other for a predetermined amount of time. Planners receive real-time information about traffic flow and also data regarding retention, engagement, dwell time, and amount of connections made for attendees and exhibitors.