Monday, July 30, 2012

The Things we Carry: Our Event Box

They say you can tell a lot about a woman by what she carries in her purse. I agree, considering if you looked inside Meaghan’s purse, you would find neon band-aids, some tie dye wayfarer flip-up sunglasses, packs of gum, Events North business cards and an apple at all times. Meaghan likes to think this says she is “fun, but prepared!”

Our trusty event box!

While Events North does not have a “Purse,” we consider our event box to be a huge reflection on who exactly we are. Our event box is on site with us at every event we manage and is an excellent example of the things we carry. So, we decided that devoting a blog post to our beloved event box would give you a little better look into our lives.

So, here are some of the things we carry in our event box:
Just a few of the things we have inside our event box.
·      Tic Tacs: fresh breath is a must.
·      Clippers: A.K.A. an event planner’s BFF. These snip even the toughest of materials. Zip ties, metal…our clippers can conquer.
·      Corkscrew: you never know when the bar is going to need an extra!
·      Exacto knives (in floral prints of course).
·      Lighters: We guarantee that your candles will remain lit so your event will be sure to get glowing reviews (We couldn’t resist the pun).
·      Flash light: You never know when you’re going to need that extra bit of light.
·      Tide to go: Stain free is the only way to be…plus, red wine + white wedding dresses sometimes= disaster. We have you covered.
·      Memory card: To be sure that we capture each and every moment.
·      Duct Tape: Multiple rolls. We promise things will not fall apart on our watch.
·      Tool kit: “Can we fix it?! YES WE CAN!”
·      Paper clips, tacs, safety pins, post-its, pens, pencils, sharpies, stapler: Our event box also doubles as an on-the-go office!
·      Zots: glue dots that hold things down to protect them from wind. They are one of our favorite discoveries to date. If you have not experienced Zots, please remedy this immediately.
·      Zip ties: Zip ties just hold it all together! Whether we need them to hold banners, tie together materials, etc.- Zip ties are always an excellent solution!
·      Kleenex: For both touching moments and touch ups. Yes, we do tend to cry at your wedding ceremony.
·      Rhinestones: You can never have enough sparkle!
·      Ribbon: Last minute details are no issue for us!
·      Make up: We want to make sure to look good while we make your event look great!

Our box is crucial to our event success. It’s always better to be over-prepared than to have to rush and collect materials last minute. I hope by getting a look into our event box, you have an even better idea of who Events North is and what we do!

What does your purse/prep box say about you? We’d love to know!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

What We Have Been up to Lately!

You probably noticed that the Events North Blog Post is a little late.

While we are not fans of excuses, we're going to use one anyways: We have been ridiculously busy and did not have a spare moment to write up a blog post worthy of your viewing until right now...

which is exactly how we like it!

What have we been up to you ask? Well, this blog post is going to give you a VIP peak into a few of the many events that Events North has been a part of recently/is working on currently.

A few things we just finished up:

Elena and Andrew's Wedding
The ceremony- thanks to The Floral Underground for the fabulous Chuppah!
 It was absolutely gorgeous! Elena and Andrew have been one of our favorite couples we've gotten to opportunity to work with. They're both just genuinely good people (both with an excellent sense of humor, which we LOVE!) and they know exactly what they want out of life.
The Hora! What a fun group!
 Their wedding was at the beautiful Ciccone Vineyard and Winery (The views were almost too good to be true- seriously, the sunset was simply breathtaking. We could not have asked for a more stunning location).

The Events North Crew on Wedding Day!

Events North was there for their entire wedding planning process, so this day was extra special for us since we got a chance to get to know the happy couple on a more personal level. The weather was perfect, the vendors were great and all of the guests had a spectacular time!

2.  Michigan Beer and Wine Wholesalers Association Event
We're in the final planning stages of both an opening and a closing event for the Michigan Beer and Wine Wholesalers Association. Not only has this client been simply wonderful to work with, we have had a blast planning all of the activities and themes for these two events, which both take place at the beautiful Boyne Mountain Resort.

The first event is an Olympic themed Family Event, so not only do we get to display our American pride all day long, we get the extremely fun task of facilitating Olympic games and crafts! Bonus: there will be a bounce house, exceptional food, and a "closing ceremony" where we will announce the winners of the Olympic Games. 

The closing ceremony is on the fancier side- a dinner and musical performance by the outstanding Miriam Pico. We will make sure to put up a bunch of pictures from both nights on our Facebook page so you can see how everything turned out!

3. Pigstock
It's back! We're working with another one of our favorite clients, Cherry Capitol Foods, to put on this "food mayhem" event. If you're new to the world of Pigstock, here is a little background information: Pigstock is a four day event that features an array of activities and events (learning how to slaughter a pig, finding ways to cook the entire hog instead of wasting the meat, culinary classes, etc.) Pigstock attracts attendees from all over the state and we are so excited to be a part of it again this year! We will have much more information on everything Pigstock as the event draws nearer, but for now we just wanted to give you a little background information!

4. LaBelle Family Reunion
The view from the tent- not too shabby if you ask me!
We just finished up one of our absolute favorite events to date, The LaBelle Family Reunion. The reunion took place in a giant tent (thanks American Rentals!) on site at Sugar Beach Resort. Meaghan, our event manager, was on-site the entire weekend to make sure that the LaBelle Family had the best reunion possible.
The inside of the LaBelle Family Reunion Tent- Thanks for the great banner, Signs Now!

To give you an idea of how absolutely fantastic this family was, by the end of the reunion, Meaghan was trying to find a way to snag an invite to the next one. From Family Beach Olympics to a Karaoke Dance party, the LaBelle family made it clear they knew how to have an extraordinary time. 

Meaghan and Macaila doing time at Pirates Cove
Some highlights from the weekend included a parasailing adventure with Traverse Bay Parasail, Jetsking and Water Trampoline fun compliments of J & N Watersports, a morning cruise on the Nauticat, an afternoon of mini-golf and activities at Pirates Cove, a surprise 70th Birthday dinner at Lodell's, a tear jerking speech by Grandma Labelle, and delectable meals catered by the superb Chef Joseph George at Lochenheath.

That's just a taste of what we've been working on lately! We have so much more in store for 2012 and are even beginning to plan events for 2013. While we're always keeping busy, we absolutely adore our mix of corporate, social and nonprofit clients and honestly would not have it any other way!

We hope everyone else is enjoying their summer season as much as we have been- we love what we do!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Blog Post: Rehearsal Dinner Spots with Views You Can't Resist

We at Events North are huge advocates of "keeping it local" by dining at Traverse City Restaurants. Luckily for us, there are a TON of amazing local dining options- many of them with breathtaking views. 

Many brides ask us about great local options for rehearsal dinners where their guests can both fill up on fantastic food and embrace the views that Traverse City has to offer. So, we decided to give some local shout outs to a few of the establishments that provide both group dining options and spectacular sights to see. 

The Hagerty Center, located right on the Bay. Source: MCCB
Located on the second floor of the Hagerty Center, Lobdell's is a wonderful bayside dining experience that seats up to 90 guests. If you're looking for something with a view of the bay, but is a little out of the ordinary, Lobdell's is an excellent option. Why? Well, Lobdell's is not only an exceptional Rehearsal dinner space, but also serves as a working lab for the culinary students of the Northwestern Michigan College's Great Lakes Campus. The food is delicious, the view is great, but the overall experience is what makes the trip to Lobdell's so fun!

Call 231.995.3120 to make a reservation.

Aerie Restaurant & Lounge. Source: Grand Traverse Resort and Spa 
The view from Aerie Restaurant & Lounge. Source: Grand Traverse Resort and Spa

Though it is little further outside the realms of Downtown Traverse city, Aerie Restaurant & Lounge (located on the 16th floor of Grand Traverse Resort and Spa) offers an elegant and modern group dining experience. Not only is the decor and food sophisticated and phenomenal, the view of the bay, the surrounding countryside and the Resort's golf courses is simply inspiring.

Another great feature of Aerie is that they pride themselves on focusing on regional selections that highlight local produce, breads, cheeses, wines and even micro brews on tap!

If your Rehearsal dinner group consists of less than ten people, there are intimate Private dining rooms that you can reserve!

Call 231.534.6800 to make a reservation.

Top of the Park
A glimpse into the Top of the Park. Source: Park Place Hotel
Located at the very top of the Park Place Hotel (Hence... the Top of the Park), this small dining room is a great spot to host your Rehearsal dinner. While it cannot accommodate a gigantic group, it's perfect for parties of around 50 and less. The food is great, but the view is the main attraction. The Top of the Park has giant glass windows serving as the outer walls, giving you and your guests a fantastic overlook of all of Downtown Traverse City. If you time your dinner to accommodate the sunset, you're in for a fantastic treat.

You can call 231.946.5000 to make a reservation. 

Apache Trout Grill

Private Banquet Room. Source: Apache Trout Grill
View from the Banquet Room. Source: Apache Trout Grill

If you're having a Fall or Winter wedding and are searching for a restaurant that features superb food and a spectacular view of the bay, search no further than Apache Trout Grill. They just added a new Banquet room that is available for private parties in the fall and winter seasons. One of Apache Trout Grill's three-tier group dinner menus is sure to fit your and your guests needs.
The best part? Apache Trout Grill is located right on West Bay and is around a five minute drive from downtown Traverse City- convenient location, excellent meals, and a wonderful view. What's not to love? (Their bread is TO DIE FOR...but you should probably sample some yourself, just to be sure.)
You can call Manager Chris Moses or the Director of Food and Beverage Josh Benedict, at 231.947.7079 to make a reservation.

Regardless of the views, there are still many other wonderful local options for hosting your Rehearsal Dinner or get together in Traverse City (believe us, we've tried as many as we possibly can...for both the benefit of our clients and our stomachs). We recommend paying a little visit and making sure to arrive hungry- the options are almost endless! 

Keeping it local while dining is just so much easier when the meals and views are both wonderful and plentiful!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Simple Ways to "Go Green" at Your Next Event

We here at Events North are big fans of living our lives as Green as possible. We are avid recyclers, have renewable, aseptic paper packaged water bottles to offer our guests when they're visiting in our office (they're superb! Get your own/find out more about them at H2O Spring Water), and we always recommend using Bay Area Recycling for Charities for all of our Traverse City events.

We also hear from a lot of clients that it "isn't easy being green" (I really just had to throw that reference in there... It was needed). However, while yes- putting together an event that is 100% Green does require a little bit of extra effort, there are extremely simple steps you can take to help make your event much more Earth-friendly! 

We recently had Andy from Bay Area Recycling for Charities stop by the Events North office and offer us some recycling tips and tricks that we could pass on to our clients. We gifted him with his very own Events North coozie in exchange (An excellent form of payment if you ask, it's green! How appropriate!).
Special Thanks to Sue Gresens for this spectacular photo of our Events North coozie!

Here are a few of the tips that Andy passed along to us that are simple ways to make your next event Earth Friendly:

1. Use real dishes and serviceware.  The cost of washing the dishes is less than the impact of using disposable.  Plus, this will reduce your waste 90%!

2. If it is not possible to use real dishes and silverware, then use compostable materials for everything that touches food. 

3. Get a program together to take care of all the wine, beer, and pop containers.  This is easy to do by re-casing the wine bottles and taking the beer and pop cans back to the store for redemption. Putting out separate cans for all beverage containers will encourage your guests to recycle their containers.
Source: Harvard Campus Services

4. In regards to the containers, Always group your recycling, composting, and trash right next to each other.  One bin off on its own will become just a trash can, no matter what you write on it.

How easy is that? Just a few small changes can make your event so much more Green!

There are so many other ways to be eco-friendly at events...but we'd like to hear some of your ideas! Leave a comment with a step you can take/have used in the past/plan on using in the future to make an event a little more Green. We will select a winner at Random and gift them with their very own Events North coozie! 

You have until next Sunday, July 15th to leave your comment. Ready, Set, Go Green!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Keep it Local: Things You Won't Want to Miss at the Cherry Festival!

If you happen to be in the Downtown Traverse City area between July 7th and July may notice a few more people visiting than usual.

And by a few, I mean a few...thousand.

The reason for this is our very own National Cherry Festival is coming up next week and we're extremely excited about it!

We also happen to know the lovely individuals who make this festival happen, so we thought that collecting some information and devoting a blog post to must-see events at this year's festival was needed.

So, here are a few things that you shouldn't miss at the National Cherry Festival!

1. NCF Presidential Cherry Pancake Breakfast. Let's be honest- who doesn't love breakfast?! You can join the National Cherry Festival Poobahs (aka past presidents) for pancakes, sausage, coffee, milk and juice. Proceeds from the breakfast will benefit not only the Cherry Festival Foundation, but also the Northwestern Michigan College's School of Aviation. I also heard that you'll be able to meet the Air Show Pilots if you're there between 8am-10am, which I personally think is a great way to start the day! 

2. Festival Air Show: The National Cherry Festival Air Show features the Black Diamond Jet Team, Team RV,
U.S. Coast Guard, Greg Shetterly, Joe Shetterly and other military acts as they perform their maneuvers over West Grand Traverse Bay. Watching an air show over the bay really allows you to sit back and take in all of what Traverse City has to offer. As an added bonus: if you're watching from the shores of West Grand Traverse Bay, you can listen live on WTCM AM 580 to hear air show commentators give minute to minute maneuvering. 

3. Touchstone Energy Junior Royale Parade: Not only is this one of America's only Kids Parades (Traverse City is a preeeeetty awesome place), it also features the National Cherry Festival Prince and Princess court representing our 27 local Elementary schools. This years theme is "America the Beautiful," which I think is an excellent and appropriate theme. I hear that some groups throw candy to the parade-goers, so getting to the parade earlier to secure a great spot is a definite must- perhaps in front of the Events North office (Right next to U & I really is the perfect spot).

4. Meijer Festival of Races: There are very few places that can offer a scenic running path like Traverse City.  You and thousands of other runners can enjoy the picturesque views of Grand Traverse Bay as you push yourself to reach your running goals! 

P.S. Meaghan will be running the 15k in a bright green Events North running shirt with "We Run This!" on the back (shoutout to the amazing Alfie!)- make sure to stop and say hi!

5. DTE Energy Cherry Royale Parade: Kick off the final day of the 86th National Cherry Festival with the DTE Energy Cherry Royale Parade! The parade really shows off Traverse City's community involvement and has such a diverse array of floats and participants. There will be royalty, marching bands, Prince and Princess floats, clowns, specialty entries...the list goes on and on. This is a National Cherry Festival staple and also a great way to spend the day with your family!

6. Bayside Music Stage: The National Cherry Festival has a variety of wonderful talent at this year's music stage! What's better than enjoying the beautiful Traverse City weather while listening to tunes with your family and friends? Check out the line-up over at the event page, purchase your tickets and then head over and enjoy the music!

Those are just a few highlights- there are just way too many events to mention, but you can find a complete line up right here at the Event Schedule. We'll see you there!