Monday, March 25, 2013

Allow us to Introduce Rachel Jarosz, Our New Meeting & Event Manager

We cannot contain our excitement as we announce that we officially have three (count 'em -- three!) full-time employees here at the Events North office. Our newest member is the lovely Rachel Jarosz, who is coming on board as our Meetings and Events Manager. We could sit here and tell you all of the reasons why Rachel is completely perfect for the position and how she's been here almost a month and is already fitting in seamlessly, but instead we decided to provide Rachel with some questions to answer for us. So, here is Rachel Jarosz in ten questions or less!

1. What are you most looking forward to while working at Events North?  I am looking forward to having fun, while doing what I love, and that is planning and executing events.  I am in an environment that allows me to be myself; creative, fun and detailed.

2. How did you end up in Traverse City?  I was lucky enough to marry a native of TC.  Moving to TC from metro-Detroit was part of our "5-year plan" and when the opportunity presented itself, it turned into our 5-month plan. So,within a few months, we had a baby boy, new careers, a new home in a new town and here we are!  And, yes, we are still sane and we love it all!

3. What is your favorite part of the event/meeting planning business?  I really enjoy seeing the finished product, including the smiles on the clients' and attendees' faces.  Hours and days can be long, but it is always worth it in the end and that is what keeps me going.

4. Please describe yourself in 5 words. Creative, witty, courageous, honest, and compassionate

5. Tell us a bit about your family!  My husband, Brent, is my best friend and we share a love for sports and outdoor activities.  We enjoy everything outdoors and appreciate all that Northern Michigan has to offer.  We can't wait to share our love for the outdoors with our son, Aiden.  He will be one year old in late spring, so he'll be hiking and camping with us this summer!  We will save fishing for when he is a little older.  Oh, and we can't forget Maine, our English Pointer.  She loves all of the above too!  

6. If you could be any movie character who would you be and why?  I would happily be any female character that plays opposite of Hugh Jackman.  Yep, it would have to be a romantic comedy or an X-men movie for sure.

7. Sum up your experience at Events North thus far -  One wordawesome.  It's a perfect fit for me, personally and professionally.  I work with great clients that laugh with me on a daily basis and the same goes for the Events North team, we get the job done and have fun doing it.  

8. Tell us a random fact about yourself.  My first concert was ZZ TopI was in 6th grade and I am fairly certain I was the youngest one there, but still sang along to every song with my Dad and brother.  Oh yeah, I also hope to one day be on Wheel of Fortune.

9. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?  Ireland, it's where the Hennessey's originated (my maiden name).  And yes, I do fit well into the EN team of Beers and Jameson.

10. Last but not least: tell us a joke. Knock knock...(who's there) Boo! (boo who?) Don't cry!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Social Media: Not Just a Fad

How many times do you hear "Social Media is not that important, I'm sure it will eventually phase out" on a weekly basis? Personally, I hear it often. When I mention to anyone that an aspect of my job is to handle all of the Facebook, Twitter, Blogging, etc. for Events North, there is a 75% chance that a comment about how social media will probably not be as huge of an impact in the future.

Then our Events Coordinator, Rachel, sent me this youtube video, produced by TheTotalProfit . I loved it. It embodied so many of my thoughts in regards to social media and how important it is to businesses. Take five minutes out of your day to take a peak at this video -- you won't regret it (and Hey! Maybe you'll learn something new in the process.)

Here is a direct link to the video.

I hope that you got as much out of that video as I did. Now whenever you overhear someone say that social media is "just a fad," you can throw a bit of knowledge their way.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Local Venue Spotlight: The Hagerty Center

Traverse City has many venues to choose from when planning an event, but we want to give a shout out to one of our favorite local venues: The Hagerty Center. 

The Hagerty Center is outstanding for many reasons: it is a great setting for anything from a meeting to a networking luncheon to a wedding (In fact, Events North owner Allison Beers had her wedding was the "Moore Beers" wedding. No, we're not joking.).

Outside of The Hagerty Center via NMC

We've held a plethora of events at The Hagerty Center, and Nate Glidden and his staff are always superb to work with. They are on top of their game, are extremely attentive to details, and let's just be honest here...they have the best food.

In case you're not familiar with The Hagerty Center, here are a few fun facts for you:
1. Readers of Michigan Meetings + Events magazine have named the Hagerty Conference Center Michigan's Best Meeting/Event Venue (no hotel) outside metro Detroit for 2012 and 2011. Voted runner-up for Michigan's Best Meeting/Event Venue (no hotel) outside metro Detroit for 2009.
2. The conference center offers views of the Grand Traverse Bay -- there really is not a bad seat in the room.
3. Provides seating for up to 400 in their flexible meeting space (they can also accommodate smaller parties. They're very flexible.
4. All rooms feature the latest audio and visual technology.
5. 2012 the conference center was awarded the three star designation as a Certified Recycler by the Michigan Recycling Coalition by following a comprehensive recycling plan that leads to virtually waste-free events. (As avid recyclers ourselves, we say: Go Green! Go Hagerty Center!)
     The Hagerty Conference Center is the first conference center and first community college based center to earn the award.
     During their busy time they are recycling around 1,500 to 1,800 pounds of waste each week.
     This new recycling program has reduced their waste that will end up in landfills by 70 percent. 

A snippit of The Hagerty Center's amazing view via NMC
We recently utilized The Hagerty Center for the 20% Breakfast and will be back again next Wednesday for The Junior Achievement Youth Summit for Future Entrepreneurs.

Book your next event at The Hagerty Center and make sure to tell Nate and his staff that we say hello!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Canstruction Zone!

One of the best parts of our job is that we get to work with some amazing organizations. Not only do we get to work with these organizations, we get to help them collect donations to make sure that the cause they are striving for is supported.

We want to dedicate this week's blog post to the latest event we got the opportunity to execute, Canstruction Traverse City 2013 benefitting The Father Fred Foundation. We were fortunate enough to work on all aspects of this event -- from securing teams and sponsors to watching the very last can be loaded onto the Meijer semi-truck.

For those of you who do not know, Canstruction is a fantastic food-raising event where teams use canned goods to create giant structures. The structures stay on display at a local venue (in our case, the Grand Traverse Mall) for around a week and then they are "De-canstructed," packed into boxes, loaded onto a giant semi-truck (Meijer donated the use of a huge heated semi for us) and taken to the local food pantry (The Father Fred Foundation Food Pantry!).

This year we had 14 teams competing, ranging from corporations to middle school aged students. We collected around 25,000 cans, aka 17.66 pallets of food, aka 3/4 of a semi-truck, aka almost $30,000 worth of food! We were overjoyed to see what an amazing turn out we had for this event. Especially since all of the cans raised are going to help members of the Traverse City community.

It was an amazing event that supported an even more amazing cause. We are so blessed to have been a part of it! Check out some of the photos from the event:

A Helicopter by The Coast Guard and Coast Guard Spouses
Michigan -- note the cherry to represent TC! -- by Save-A-Lot
A light bulb by Consumers Energy

A film reel by Grand Traverse Academy

There are photos of all the structures on The Father Fred Facebook Page -- check them out!

Monday, February 11, 2013

How Technology is Changing Events

We've mentioned this in quite a few posts, but times...they are a-changing. Gone are the days when paper brochures and traveling all over the State/Country/World to attend meetings and seminars. Now, there is basically an app for everything (seriously -- I recently downloaded an app where I can plug in three items sitting in my fridge and it will tell me what meals I can create. Ridiculous...but still pretty fantastic) and we can simply attend "webinars" from the comfort of our own offices, saving us both time and mileage.

When we stumbled across this infographic from Event Manager Blog, we had to share. It's a really easy and accurate look into exactly how much technology is changing in the world of event management.

What are your thoughts? Are you excited for these changes or are you still clinging to the old-standards?

Monday, February 4, 2013

Local Vendor Spotlight: Aunt B's Cakes & Desserts

So, we have a confession...

we love cake. Not just any cake, however. We love a gorgeously decorated cake that tastes as phenomenal as it looks. We are also lucky enough to have a vendor in Traverse City who is able to fulfill all of our (and our client's) cake dreams. Ever. Single. Time.

We would like to dedicate this blog post to a woman who is always fabulous, always professional, and always able to provide mouth-watering desserts: Ann Barraclough, owner of Aunt B's Cakes & Desserts. We asked Ann a couple of questions and also asked her to provide some examples of her absolute favorite cakes. Enjoy!

1. How long have you been in business? 
I have had my commercial kitchen since 2006, but have been making cakes and desserts for as long as I can remember. I have always loved to be in the kitchen creating baked goods as well yummy dinners.
A Cheetah-licious Purse Cake. Purrrr-fect!
2. What is your favorite flavor of wedding cake?
I love all cakes, but I would have to say that if I were going to pick a favorite it would be almond white with fresh berries and vanilla bean buttercream. (editor's note: uhhhh....yum. I had to stop typing for a quick minute so I could focus on making my mouth stop watering in the office)
Every Cake is Unique!
3. What makes Aunt B's Cakes unique?
Aunt B's is unique in the fact that I try to make each special occasion cake personalized and sculpting is one of my favorite things to do. As for wedding cakes, I like to meet with the couple and figure out what there inspiration points are for their wedding and try to make a cake that they and their guests will remember for the beauty as well as taste.

Elegant and Fun.

4. Your favorite cakes you ever created?
As far as some of my favorite creations, I think I have done some truly gorgeous wedding cakes with the help of the bride and groom in creating a great design. For birthday cakes I think some of my favorites would be the frog prince, yellow submarine and Captain Morgan girl.

The Frog Prince!
5. What made you start a Cake company in Traverse City?
I love working with clients here in the Traverse City area. We have so many local weddings as well as destination weddings. I also really enjoy getting to know locals here in the TC area.
The cake "leaves" us breathless...get it?
6. you make your own Birthday cakes?
Our family chooses to have pies for our birthday's. We are fortunate enough to be able to eat cake almost everyday.

It's a girl...and an adorable cake!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Ladies in the Business

As ladies in the hospitality business, we know that as hard as we work, sometimes we need to sit back and have a night of networking and relaxing with women who can relate.

So, we created a group called "Ladies in the Business" and we are very glad that we did. We've had successful turn outs at past Happy Hour events and we want to use this blog post to give you a bit of information about the first Ladies in the Business Happy Hour of 2013!

Happy Hour will be taking place from 5-8pm (or whenever you want to go home, really...we plan on arriving a bit early to sample the wine. What are friends for, right?) on Wednesday, April 10th at Left Foot Charley Winery located in The Village at the Grand Traverse Commons. Come join us for an amazing night of delicious food, fabulous wine, and of course a fantastic night of socialization!

As with any good event the more the merrier! Feel free to bring along your lady-friends in the Hospitality industry.

Check out our Facebook invitation for more information, but we hope to see you all there and are looking forward to another great Ladies in the Business Happy Hour!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Meet our New Events Coordinator, Rachel!

We are very glad to introduce Rachel, our new Events Coordinator. Rachel will be working with us until August, so hopefully you get the chance to get to know her! We already love her and she's only been here since the beginning of the year.

Take it away, Rachel!

1. Give us a little background information! Where are you currently enrolled? What is your major? Any other details?
            I am originally from Midland, MI and graduated from Midland High School in 2006. I spent the first two years after high school enrolled in community college with plans to transfer to a university to major in Athletic Training. After taking all my medical prerequisites and transferring into Central Michigan University's Athletic Training program I discovered that the medical field was definitely not for me. My roommates at the time were majoring in Recreation and couldn't stop talking about how much they loved all their classes and what they were learning. After taking a few classes in recreation I feel in love with the field, particularly the event planning side of  recreation. This fall I finished my course work for my Bachelors of Applied Arts with a major in Recreation, Parks, and Leisure Services with a concentration in Commercial Recreation (which for any who don't know is any form of recreation that is for profit) and Facility Management. I minored in Event Management and Hospitality. This 30 week internship is the last step I need to complete before graduating in August 2013.

2. How did you find Events North and what captured your attention and made you apply?
            My boyfriend is from Northern Michigan and loves the Traverse City area. We had been living together for almost a year and he was looking at jobs in this area. I decided to do some research on event companies that I could possibly fulfill my internship at in Traverse City. I came across Events North on their website. Looking through all the event planning services that they provided that ranged from weddings, corporate events, fundraising, and non-profit really caught my attention. I haven't narrowed down what area of event planning, if any, I would prefer to work in as of now and felt that working with a company that had experience working in all areas would be a great experience. The testimonials from clients and all the achievements Allison and Events North have achieved helped solidify my opinion that I could learn so much from working with this company. I had no idea if Events North even accepted interns until I emailed Allison about any type of learning experience that they offered to students. After interviewing with Allison and Meaghan I was even more excited about the possibility of working for Events North.

3. What are you most excited about?
            I am most excited about all the great opportunities I will have to work on events and take what I have learned through my college course and apply it to the real world. I am also excited for all the amazing people I will be networking with. One of my professors always said "It's not what you know but who you know". After the first week I have already met so many amazing people who love their jobs and are fantastic at them. I can't wait to see what I can learn from them and apply it to my work in the future.

4. How was your first week?
            My first week has flown by. I can't believe that it is already Friday. I was a little worried starting this week on how I would adjust to working a nine to five job (even though there will be nights and weekend events and meetings that I will have to attend) as I have spent the last six years working at restaurants and late night shifts. But surprisingly I haven't had a problem adjusting. I think it has something to do with how much I actually enjoy coming into work. Every day is different and very hands-on, which for me as a hands-on learner is fantastic. Being included in meetings and having my own projects to work on has really helped me to feel a part of the company. I am looking forward to what the next twenty nine weeks will bring.

5. What are your favorite hobbies? 
            I love to read! Everything from Harry Potter to Chelsea Handler to Fifty Shades of Grey. I bought a Kindle Fire last year and it has made my love of reading so much easier. I also love to spend time outdoors. I recently starting snowboarding and love spending the day out on the slope even though I am still learning and fall very often. Now that I am living in Northern Michigan I am hoping my snowboarding skills will improve. Once the weather starts to warm up I plan to spend a lot of my time disc golfing, which is another skill that I hope will improve because as of now I really am not that good  but it is a great way to get outside. Like most women I love to lay on the beach sipping a cold drink and soaking up the sun.

6. Favorite movie? Color? Food?
            My favorite color is blue and in all shades especially the bright ones. I love Italian food. Making some sort of pasta is always my go-to meal. Favorite movie is a little more difficult to narrow down. I would have to say my top movies are Moulin Rouge, Dirty Dancing, Grown Ups,  and the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

7. Tell us a random fact about yourself!
            I am the oldest out of six children. There Lisa (22), Evan (18), Kathryn (10), Marissa (7), and Emily (3). So I am used to having lots of people around and more often than not a little bit of chaos. It took me a while to adjust to living on my own, it was very empty and quite at first.


Monday, January 14, 2013

Events North New Office!

A new year is a great time to bring about new things, people, and places...which is why we are very excited to give you a virtual tour of our brand new Events North Head Quarters!

While we loved our office space right above U & I Lounge, we needed to expand and find somewhere that was slightly roomier. That's why when we found this fantastic office space in the Chase bank building (right next door to our friends at The National Cherry Festival), we could not pass it up. We're making big moves over here and we are very happy to share them with you!

So, without further ado, I present to you some photos of the Events North office space.

We have a conference room! 

Meaghan no longer has to be suffocated by boxes during event weeks! We now have an entire workspace -- so much more room to store our materials and create decor for our clients.

Allison has her own office space -- including a huge bulletin board to help keep us up to date on current Traverse City happenings. 

Meaghan and Rachel's workspace. This is what you will see if you step into our main room. We will be introducing Rachel to everyone next week.

Most importantly... our gum ball machine full of Skittles. You're welcome.

Make sure to stop by to our new office and say hello -- we love guests! Also, be on the lookout for next week's blog post when we interview our new Events Coordinator, Rachel.