The escort card is a very commonplace event management tool that most of us in the industry are only all too familiar with. Serving the simple function at a more formal dining event of letting a guest know at which table they will be seated, the......

In recognition of World AIDS Day and the work that valued partners such as Chevron are doing at the local, national, and international levels to fight HIV and support those people living with HIV. Learn more about today and some of this work below. World AIDS......

The start of the New Year generally signals a bigger list of things to do along with new resolutions to make us better, faster, leaner. I’m starting my new year with a “less is more” frame of mind by whittling away at the old. I’m......

There are advantages to living in San Francisco—and then there are advantages. I love this city for a million reasons, but here’s just one: for the past few weeks, I’ve been driving over to North Beach to meet with a seamstress who’s making me a......

It’s simple and powerful: Social impact initiatives help build brands, create and build relationships, and drive sales — all of which are desirable outcomes for every event investment.  I hope you will take a moment to read my latest article published in Conscious Company, with some practical tips......

The first day back in the office after the holidays is usually a bit slow going. As we settle back in and pick up where we left off, we gear up to launch new strategies to bring about change, growth, and success in the new year. I was......

A few weeks ago, we produced an event in Silicon Valley for executives, clients, and guests of Samsung Ventures America. The audience was a mix of venture capital partners, executives from Samsung North America and Korea, as well as other members of the venture community.......

Summer is well upon us. If you haven’t attended a summer wedding by now, you’ve attended three. And if you’re like me, you’ve wondered what similarities there are between wedding planning and strategic event planning. I’ve recently gotten to know a wonderful young wedding planner......

What’s the difference between a corporate event marketing vendor and partner? How do your customers refer to you and how do you refer to those whom you hire to provide goods and services for your company? Language matters. When your customer places you in the partner......

A topic of particular importance to us here at Wilsonwest is the business value of social impact and the concept of a values based business. In this excellent video, Martin Whittaker, CEO of JUST Capital, talks about how inequality shapes today’s financial markets, and argues that capitalism......

What is the one key Food and Beverage item that is included in nearly every single corporate event Banquet Event Order? Water. That’s right, Water. The most basic of beverages is a necessity and, as I was reminded at a recent event, an expensive necessity......

This month we introduce the newest member of our production team who debuts her regular blog feature: Trend Topic… Watch out Silicon Valley! There’s a new rising company on the horizon and its product is designed specifically to help streamline the jobs of event planners,......

This is what we work for here at Wilsonwest: notes like this from our customers… It is rare that I am WOW’d by a vendor but, whew, you did it! Your professionalism, organization, and solution-based thinking made a complex event a massive success. Thank you for......

In this digital age, how often do those of us in the special event planning world send or receive a hand-written messages? Admittedly I am still a fan, so when a beautifully addressed letter or card arrives I take note. My children, both college students, will......

By Cindy Wilson, Mattingly Messina Meet the New Disruptors: Social Innovators. As a company whose mission is to do good work that matters, we’re always searching for ways to achieve and maintain a lasting impact in the worlds of both social innovation and corporate social......

Roses, irises or daffodils? In our last blog, we mentioned weaving edible plants from the menu into centerpieces. In this blog, we wanted to expand on the impact of florals when designing an environment. Though flowers may seem as ubiquitous as wallpaper at corporate events,......

We produced an event in Silicon Valley for executives, clients, and guests of Samsung Ventures America, with an audience a mix of venture capital partners, executives from Samsung North America and Korea, and members of the venture community. The afternoon event afforded Samsung Ventures an opportunity to......

Our business has been successfully built on referrals. Much of our P.R. has been relegated to the realm of our great clients and their networks. For me, Marketing is not only a foreign word but a little bit of a scary one at that. Do......

In the event world, environments are really important. You know: that feeling you get when you’re in a great restaurant, the lighting is perfect, the service unobtrusive, and the space well designed. All of these things support conversation and put your guests at ease. I......

Why do people attend events? If you read my entry last week, you will have learned that the primary reasons are to network and to learn. Using what I refer to as facilitated networking, I shared some strategies to help ensure that the event design......

The number one reason we attend conferences and events is to network and build relationships. As event producers, we need to look for ways to make it easier for our guests to do both. Facilitated networking should be part of our strategy. Over the next 2......

Whether you lead a team, run a company, or manage a project, these simple but effective leadership lessons are both powerful and humbling: 1) Lead with Love 2) Low Ego = High Impact 3) Move at the Speed of Trust As you continue to plan......

It’s busy season at Wilsonwest. We typically do about 60% of our business in late Q3 and early Q4 – and I’d estimate that this year is running about 30% busier than last year. What’s predictable about this time of year is the pace and that’s......

I love everything about Seth Godin’s recent post below and the Thanksgiving holiday! We invite you to share these gorgeous images and words with friends and family at your holiday table: A Thanksgiving Reader by Seth Godin “I’ve always loved Thanksgiving (no gifts, no guilt) and my favorite......

This is simple, powerful, and important advice for speakers to help them share their message and truly connect with the audience. For those of you who are managing content and speakers for conferences and events, please share this. If the designated speaker can’t deliver the......

Here’s what’s on my list. What’s on yours? For the beach/lake/plane I plan to re-read some of Wallace Stegner’s work, beginning with Pulitzer Prize-winning Angle of Repose. If you haven’t read Stegner, dubbed “Dean of Western Writers”, begin with this one. Stegner is considered one of the premier chroniclers of......

As a parent of two teenagers I often approach summer longing to share their “summer camp schedules.” Filled with learning, sports, travel, and leisure and combined with a more relaxed schedule, it is a clear departure from the routine. Well, what’s stopping us from creating......

For corporate social responsibility (CSR) to be successful, it needs to be strategic. [Tweet this!] Companies that incorporate social impact as an integral part of their business strategy build stronger brands, attract more committed employees and develop more durable connections with customers. And as corporate......

Bespoke is a term employed in a variety of situations to mean an item custom-made to the buyer’s specifications. In this age of recession, cutbacks, and the absence (or rejection) of luxury, I challenge you to think of the term bespoke in a different way......

The next time you visit a museum, pay close attention to how the environment has been designed to shape your experience and behavior. So says Jeff Hurt, meetings guru and expert on audience engagement for conferences and events. I heard him speak a few weeks......

Each year at this time, as I count my blessings, I count among them the most wonderful invitation I receive each year: Thanksgiving brunch at Thomas Keller’s Manhattan restaurant Per Se – complete with the best indoor seats for viewing Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Does......

Best practices for C-level events can be broken into three categories: tailoring the event to your audience, strategic event marketing, and aligning the event with the corporate mission. In this post, the second in a series, I’ll start to drill down on the latter. At......

Is corporate social responsibility a line item in your corporate event marketing budget? Or is it an afterthought? Companies that incorporate social impact as an integral part of their business strategy build stronger brands, attract more committed employees and develop deeper connections with customers. It’s smart business.......

I snapped a “photo of this photo” earlier this week as it just made me smile. The image also offered a nod to the upcoming July 4th holiday. I was reminded of the Corona beer commercials where the airplane passengers grab a bottle, close their......

Each year we produce a conference in an intimate location for a group of Fortune 500 CEO’s and Investment Bankers. The client loves the venue and has committed to holding the event there through 2017. As the popularity and attendance grows in the coming years,......

Cindy was recently asked by The Women’s Book  to contribute to In Her View, their regular blog, which shares candid insights and inspiration from a diverse range of women in business. It was a challenge that she eagerly accepted and one which sent her back to......

Baked into our values here at Wilsonwest is the strong belief that companies which incorporate social impact as part of their business strategy (not as a separate department or initiative) will build a stronger brand, attract more committed employees, and develop stronger partnerships with customers.......

How do you design an event for people used to having the “best of the best?” Who’ve seen it all, done it all? Recently, we faced just this challenge. And we knew we weren’t going to bowl over this sophisticated guest list with “wow” stuff.......

We are often tasked with finding unique gifts for our conferences and special events, so we are always on the hunt for something special. We quickly recycle those promotional catalogues filled with lots of cheap plastic things. Frankly, people just don’t want that stuff. When choosing a giveaway, think about providing......

I absolutely love this little poem and hope you will too. Here’s to the 4th of July, barbecues, friends, a nap in the hammock and to total disregard of to-do lists, goals and behaving. Have fun. Today Today I will not live up to my......

One of the core values of Wilsonwest you all hear about on this blog is “doing good work”. This goes beyond how we align many of our projects to support this value to various causes that could be described broadly as philanthropy. Our most recent......

When I started my business, I was strongly cautioned to keep my personal and business lives separate. As a new parent: that made no sense to me. I simply bucked that notion, knowing that I would draw from the same resources in order to thrive......

Those of us in the event world understand the acronym F&B as “Food & Beverage”, a key component of event planning. The standard menu planning for a seated lunch or dinner involves selecting 3 or 4 courses, with the hope of selecting a meal that appeals to just......

It’s hard to believe 21 years have gone by since I first started working with David Eiland at Just For Fun. But when you’re just starting out in corporate event management—as I was—and when you find a talented local resource for your printed invitations and......

Look closely at the inside cover of Seth Godin’s new book Linchpin and you will find a picture of me and my colleague Nick Rossi. Imagine how excited we were to discover this when the book arrived! How did this happen? Well, unbeknownst to us,......

Event producers rely on a team to pull off an extraordinary meeting or event. At Wilsonwest, we hold members of this team in a very high place. Call them trusted partners, collaborators, friends –  but never vendors. Vendors sell you something. Trusted partners give and keep on giving – great inspiration, extraordinary service, value, respect, and much more. Working with these......

“C Suite” Etymology From C in chief + suite (management) The group of officers of a business organization, who have the word “chief” in their titles. (management) Senior headquarters executives. I started my career in the C Suite as I traveled around the world for......

Be Remarkable… Do Good Work That Matters… And Imagine The Possibilities! Willard, the Wilson Family Garden Gnome, under the juniper trees in Shasta County...

For this week’s entry, we spent some time with our Associate Producer Tim Landherr discussing some of the challenges that he faces in his event support role and how he has been taking advantage of technology trends to meet these demands. What are some of......

Making things happen, and making them happen quickly and perfectly is part of the universal job description for event producers. I was fortunate to be thrown into high-level corporate event planning very early in my career and I learned from pros like Ellen Proxmire. Ellen......

Making things happen, and making them happen quickly and perfectly is part of the universal job description for event producers. I was very fortunate to be thrown into high-level corporate event planning very early in my career and I learned from pros like Ellen Proxmire......

One of my commandments here at Wilsonwest is… NEVER RUN We are event producers. We deal with change, challenges, drama, divas, surprises, and even crises. What sets our firm apart is how we handle these challenges. When you walk around with your hair on fire,......

We have been making great strides on the Green Events Front over the past year and are excited to be founding members of the Northern California Chapter of the Green Meetings Industry Council. Oracle is clearly a thought leader in this arena as is evidenced......

In the late nineties, Mary and I were involved in a Financial Services Conference in Paris, where Margaret Thatcher spoke about Britain’s position on the Euro.  We were tasked with managing her arrangements – from greeting Baroness Thatcher upon arrival, to finding her a Parisian......

You’ve just been tasked with hosting or managing your firm’s annual partner meeting. Your team has settled on some dates and it’s time to select a hotel and book the golf. That’s it. “Golf? Why golf,” you wonder. “Less than a dozen guests played golf......

Event professionals are in the busy season of conferences, meetings and events with a main focus of taking these events into the Operations phase. When the dust settles, remember to stay focused on capturing and measuring the return on your event investment through careful analysis of the event......

A few weeks ago, my colleague Mary Sullivan and I served dinner to a group of teenagers at the Larkin Street Youth Facility. It was an extraordinary experience in many ways. From the minute we walked in the door until the last meatball sub was......

Aptera – from the Greek word for wingless flight. Wow…what fun I had this week visiting the Southern California offices of Aptera, creators of the soon to be released all-electric car. What struck me most about the visit, beyond their space-age looking vehicle, was the......

As the Industrial Revolution took hold of the nation, the average American in the late-1800s worked 12-hour days, seven days a week in order to make a basic living. Children were also working, providing cheap labor to employers as laws against child labor were weak......

The annual event calendar is overflowing and people continue to get invited to conferences and events every day. How do you make sure you get the right people to your event? Simply filling the seats is not the answer. In the words of business guru......

This is one of the underlying principals in what we call The WILSONWEST Way: our approach to the design, development, and execution of corporate event services. By following this powerful and simple corporate event planning strategy: we listen to our clients, ask lots of questions,......

OK. You have mapped your event strategy along with your desired outcomes, created a solid project plan, and engaged a great team. Now, the BIG work is underway! Robust timelines and key milestones capture all the important stuff that is critical to the event, but......

It’s not my party. This simple statement is at the heart of the event management and marketing work we do here at Wilsonwest. Yes it sounds simple, but it is a challenge as much as it is a mantra. I am reminded of this today as I......

Generally our summer plans include a trip out of the country, and the experiences of discovering new people and places offer a good dose of adventure and inspiration. We all benefit from the opportunity to step away from our routines and return home with fresh ideas.......

As we bring innovative solutions to the table to modernize events and meetings, it’s important to keep something simple in mind: shape and size. If you’re looking to maximize engagement and cooperation, then placement and positioning are key. The shape and structure of the oval have......

“If You Don’t Know Where You’re Going, Any Road Will Get You There.” – The Cheshire Cat, Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland Measuring the return on investment (ROI) of corporate event marketing can be a challenge. Too often, ROI feels nebulous, intangible. But it doesn’t have......

Cindy Wilson, Mattingly Messina We recently wrote about the need for more conversation around social impact in event management, and we called on “social innovators” to continue disrupting their industries through social impact practices. We highlighted Deloitte as a leader in this space, and their......

Every event marketing agency seems to have an instinctive understanding of the importance of corporate social responsibility. But how can you incorporate it into your next event—and, for that matter, every event that follows? Some would say it’s enough to donate the leftover flowers from......

The word “innovation” seems overused these days. Everyone wants to be innovative, but when it comes to corporate event marketing, what does it really mean? At Wilsonwest, we believe creativity in special event planning should be rooted in your goals and your audience. When Stag’s Leap Wine......

M.F.K. Fisher‘s How to Cook a Wolf spoke to a nation at war and in the throes of rationing during WW II: a time when many felt the proverbial wolf at the door. But its central message, extolling the virtues of simplicity, still resonates today.......

If you are having trouble with your New Year’s Resolutions and your To Do List, tune into Peter Bregman for some advice. Peter’s blog is a must read for me and his simple, smart, no-nonsense advice is golden. Check out this quick video and then visit his site......

Our firm is proud to be featured in this month’s issue of Convene, the online magazine published by the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA). The source of our pride is not only the recognition itself but for what the article is calling out: social impact as a......

In addition to the expected planning meetings and re-focus on work that takes place over the first couple of weeks in the new year, we have a tradition of taking one last look at all of the cards that we have received over the holiday......

Ingrained in the culture here at Wilsonwest is the strong emphasis we put on our vendor partners. We are fortunate to work with some of the best in the business all throughout the year and it is in December that we pause not only to......

Those of us on the west coast are already enjoying a wet and cold winter. After the past few years, it is hard to convey how grateful we are for that! We here at Wilsonwest are also filled with gratitude for another successful year filled with great events, great......

Spring has sprung here in San Francisco, albeit a few weeks on the early side. Regardless, this means that the first pitch of baseball season is not far away: 20 days and counting. We typically work with AT&T Park (home of the World Champion San......

Hopefully, you are getting to recharge this summer season and find some work/life balance. We believe a balanced approach by our team members directly results in excellent work. Stated Simply: Quality of Life = Quality of Work. In this spirit, we took a “dip” into......

While planning a recent event at a popular Bay Area Four Seasons property, we encountered something we haven’t seen in the past. The hotel venue, was requiring us to guarantee 100% of the expected audience for ALL meal functions –  including coffee breaks! This requirement,......

I have found this short list of tips to be very helpful when establishing and accomplishing goals each year. These guidelines are also relevant for defining meeting and event frameworks and goals. I start by asking: what will make the most difference to the company’s......

Our production team had the very fortunate opportunity last week to help one of our longtime clients build a significant CSR component into their annual association event. On behalf of ACG San Francisco, event producer Tim Landherr challenged our vendor partner The Palace Hotel to......

A Millennial Perspective by Annie Wilson The concept of corporate social responsibility (CSR) has been a highly discussed and researched business decision in the last decade, but do most companies really know where its theories come from? Corporate social responsibility is defined as the economic, legal, ethical and discretionary expectations that......

How do you create events that build relationships? In my last post, I discussed the importance of creating a comfortable environment with the right speaker, so guests can open up and dialogue. But there’s another route as well – taking guests out of their comfort......

Here’s a common scenario. Linda is a salesperson for a business software company. One day, she arrives at an industry conference and starts mingling with her peers. The first lady she meets looks her right in the eye and gives her an enthusiastic handshake with......

In my last post, I spoke of the chaos that enveloped me while in India.  I could write for days about what I observed there and even though it’s been over a month since my last journey, I am reminded of the experiences almost daily.  ......

I took a quick trip to New York City last week, and while dining in some great spots I was reminded of a favorite guru of mine in the hospitality industry: Danny Meyer. Danny is CEO of the Union Square Hospitality Group and owner of famed restaurants such as......

The Fruits: This Summer, the Wilsonwest team worked to launch a music program at Gateway High School: a distinguished San Francisco public charter school. Through community outreach, we outfitted the music room with drums, keyboards, a guitar, a sound system, music stands, and more. During......

In the proper environment and with the right direction, students can be some of your hardest working volunteers as well as the most enthusiastic ambassadors of your event. They can also add a different kind of excitement and energy that can rarely be matched by......

It’s easy to go back to school these days given the amazingly rich content available to all of us on the web. I schedule a class a couple of times a week and tune into TED Talks, webinars, and conferences from the comfort of my......

Our team just returned from a site visit in Tuscon, Arizona for an upcoming program. The trip made me realize how both editing and reinterpreting are a big part of a designer’s skill set. We have to be the eyes, ears, and mouths of our......

A few weeks ago, I participated in a webcast hosted by the Washington Speaker’s Bureau. It was a great opportunity to see a live presentation by one of their featured speakers, Tom Morris. Morris has become one of the most active public philosophers in the......

It’s been a busy fall of event operations at Wilsonwest and while it’s tempting to push on to the next project and fall right back into operations mode, the critical Post-Event Strategy should get just as much attention as the pre-event work. Our recommendation to......

For the past few months I have had the opportunity to work with the good people of the San Francisco City Academy, a small school located in the Tenderloin District of San Francisco. Locals know the Tenderloin mainly as a place to avoid, with drug deals, crime, and poverty on......

Today, I remember to be grateful.  These words sit at the top of my daily To Do List. Should we need a reminder? Probably not, but it’s easy to get caught up in the daily nonsense and distractions of a busy place like San Francisco. So what......

A company’s mission statement is a clear, memorable, and concise statement describing why your company exists. It energizes a sense of purpose, guides your decisions, builds strong cultures, gives meaning and inspiration to your team, fuels employee retention, engagement and innovation, and ultimately heightens customer satisfaction. This......

We interviewed Andrew Cambouris, Creative Director at Silverlign Group, about how they work to design effective communication for C-level events, such as Cisco’s CIO Summit. Silverlign is an integrated marketing and design agency based in Silicon Valley and part of the eBay family of companies.......

People often ask me what’s been my favorite event.  The Merrill Lynch launch party in Jakarta, Indonesia had all the corporate event marketing elements I love: corporate social responsibility (CSR), a terrific social media story, and some interesting lessons on branding.  The year was 1999,......

The big guys use this language: Corporate Social Responsibility. A commitment to behave ethically and contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life of our workforce and their families as well as the local community at large. The little guys (like us) call it Giving......

When producing corporate events, you rely heavily on time-lines, production schedules, and endless checklists.  It’s all in the details. These tools are logical, built on research and with precision, and are the foundation of successful corporate event planning. Long before the “doors open”, I rely......

This season marks the 20th anniversary of Wilsonwest, and to celebrate, we’re giving back to the corporate event planning community.  Want to learn more?  Then read on! Over the last twenty years, we’ve come to operate as a team and our core values are deeply......

  You’ve just been tasked with managing your firm’s annual limited partner meeting. Your CEO has offered some dates, and asked you to book the hotel and golf. That’s it. “Golf? Why golf,” you wonder. “Less than a dozen guests played golf last year. Is......

In the throes of corporate event planning for the Merrill Lynch launch in Jakarta, Indonesia, I found myself searching the skies.  It was monsoon season, and the city in the grip of a storm causing the worst flooding in the history of Jakarta.  Rain was......

Fire.  It was an event manager’s nightmare.  The exclusive wine and lunch pairing that we’d so meticulously planned for Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars went up in smoke two days before the event, when the Per Se kitchen caught fire. Disasters of that magnitude are, by......

I just returned from India, and am still processing all the typical western reactions to the country: the chaos, the traffic, the crowds. But one thing that stuck with me was a brass plaque in my hotel’s elevator. It quoted Benjamin Franklin: “Never confuse motion......

“I arise in the morning torn between a desire to save the world and a desire to savor the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.” – Elwyn Brooks “E. B.” White E.B. White penned, among other books, Charlotte’s Web – one of......

One of the top reasons we attend conferences is for the education. Extraordinarily good content delivered by exceptional speakers leaves us inspired, informed, enlightened, and energized. Think about all the Salesforce photos we’ve seen where conference attendees are celebrating and engaged around dynamic keynote presentations and......

In our last blog, we discussed how table settings can impact your goals and the atmosphere at your corporate event. When corporate event planning, the menu you choose can do the same, especially when designed around building a “sense of place.” At a recent corporate......

What other event gets teenagers out of bed at the crack of dawn during summer vacation, prompts grown men to cry, and brings together 204 nations in fair-minded competition? With 715 million people are expected to tune into the final World Cup match (compared to......

As the first in what will be a series of posts, I’ll share tips to consider when planning events for a C-level audience. C-level or the C-suite, refers to the 3-letter initials starting with “C” and ending with “O”, such as Chief Executive Officer (CEO),......

Last week, we were dining at Flour and Water here in San Francisco (it only took me a month to get a reservation) and in walked Ruth Reichl, Editor of Gourmet magazine, author, and food critic. I recognized her immediately and was excited to have......

I recently read Who’s got your Back? by Keith Ferrazi in which he extols the virtues and value of forming deep relationships with a core group of trusted advisors, peers and mentors. While I have always understood the power of what he calls “lifeline relationships”......

Longtime, regular readers will undoubtedly know of my admiration of Seth Godin. Another marketing guru who I think very highly of is Jeff Hurt. Interestingly, both recently published articles that focused on sponsorships. Each authors weighs in on different aspects for consideration and the result......

As we begin this new year, we look to measure ourselves differently than we had in years past. By focusing on a broader theme and not a specific metric or fiscal goal, we seek to deliver on the promise we set out to fulfill when......

Green is everywhere these days, especially on this coast. When we started down the path of greening our events, we were quickly overwhelmed by the amount of information and no clear, trusted path to “green-ness.” We decided early-on that our commitment would be to learn......

As I write this I am headed out for a 2 week South African holiday adventure with my family. This marks the first time we will break the traditions of the tree, ornaments, lights, presents, and all that has been etched into my thinking and......

“If workplaces had nap rooms, multitasking was frowned upon, and meetings were held during walks, we’d be vastly more productive”, says Dr. John Medina, a developmental molecular biologist, research consultant, and author of Brain Rules. Taking brain science to our world of conferences and meetings, he......

I was on the phone with a client last week where she took the time to share with me some of the many things she has “learned” from us over the ten years we’ve been working together. This is what she had to say about Mary......

It seems to me that there are those of us who LOVE to celebrate our birthdays (probably in the same camp as those of us who like to dress up at Halloween) and those who just prefer the day to slip by like any other. Today, my daughter......

The Super Bowl 50 Host Committee set out to do what most Bay Area start-up and tech companies set out to do, disrupt the current model and set a new standard moving forward. The Committee’s goal is to redefine how we celebrate the Super Bowl by being the most giving Super......

There’s a lot of talk these days about Big Data. But how does the term apply to meeting planners and event marketers? Taking it a step further, how does it come into play for high-touch C-level events? In last week’s blog, I talked about designing......

When it’s time to start the food and beverage planning with a hotel catering team, event producers are most likely to be handed a big file of “banquet menus” presented with fancy wording and packaging. Buffets, plated dinners, themed events, and food stations – you know......

Most successful companies thrive by staying true to their core values. These values serve as a compass for how they conduct their work, hire, and retain employees – but most importantly, how they serve their customers. Core values shape, brand, and define company culture. They serve as the foundation......

  Benjamin Franklin said, “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I may remember. Involve me and I learn.” The wisdom of our Founding Fathers remains timeless and relevant in today’s world – and, yes, even in the event world. In our industry, everyone......

Moneyball may work for baseball,  however… It’s far from Moneyball when it comes to Event Marketing explain Frank Cespedes and Pankaj Prasad in this valuable Harvard Business Review piece on assessing ROI for your event spend throughout the experience. This HBR article is well worth the read as it......

No more boring ballrooms! As the economy is on the rise and advancements in technology are making basic audio/visual equipment more affordable than ever, non-traditional venues are now grabbing the attention of meeting planners. The new trend and hot topic on the meeting planning circuit is......

  I recently heard Gloria Steinem speak here in San Francisco as she launched a new book entitled My Life on the Road. The intimate setting combined with Ms. Steinem’s openness and candor allowed for me, as an audience member, to feel like I was part......

Designing the invitation is an exciting and creative aspect of planning an event. By hiring a graphic designer, you open the door to fresh visual ideas, innovative paper selections, and a professionally finished piece. Customized invitations set a unique tone for any social or business occasion; their individuality and style......

Ad libitum is Latin for “at one’s pleasure” (at liberty); it is often shortened to “ad lib” (as an adjective or adverb) or “ad-lib” (as a verb or noun). Last night I had the pleasure of dining at Ad Lib, Thomas Keller’s pop-up restaurant at......

So goes the mantra of Gateway High School, a San Francisco public charter school that educates 400 kids from around our city. This week Gateway is celebrating the opening of their shiny, brand-new fitness center and it rivals that of a swanky 5-star resort club. Well, not entirely......

I am a fan of Seth Godin and I read his blog daily. His wisdom transcends the marketing world in which he lives and breathes. He understands how little things matter and how important it is to pay attention to the details. I’ve attended a conference hosted by him and I know......

A good portion of the work that we do here at Wilsonwest involves selecting – or helping our clients to select – just the right place for a meeting, special event, or conference. Place plays a central role to the experience and relationship building that......

Jeff Briggs  The twist? Drop the pretension and keep the focus on the food and the experience. No rules of etiquette, starched white table linens, or over the top dining room décor. I recently had the pleasure of spending an evening with Phillip Foss and......

Do you know yourself? Last week I was fortunate to attend the United State of Women Summit in Washington, D.C. The Summit, convened by The White House, featured a rock star list of speakers and content that surpassed any event I have ever attended or produced. I came away with......

The idea behind one of our core values here at Wilsonwest is that a focus on Quality of Life for our employees will help us to deliver a higher Quality of Work for our customers. Since our team spends a lot of time in airplanes and......

One of my favorite thinkers, bloggers, authors, marketers, and…well…just plain brilliant people is Seth Godin. A recent post inspired me to dream a little bigger. Go ahead, click on the link. Take a moment to read it. Thanks for the inspiration Seth. Ever since, I’ve......

Jeff Briggs  If this were a joke the next line would be “walk into a bar”. In this case the next line is “what’s the common thread between them?” How do you stand out in in a sea of folding banquet tables draped with the......

Big badges, small badges, badges with advertising, scannable badges, paper badges, plastic badges… If you do an internet search on conference badges you find thousands of products along with many strong blog opinions about how your badges should look. Here at Wilsonwest we prefer to......

We were fortunate to participate in this year’s USA Science and Engineering Festival as part of Chevron’s sponsorship of the event. The event was a resounding success, well attended, surpassing the goals set by the Festival organizers and sponsors. Sponsors are a key ingredient in......

March Madness in our house is not limited to basketball, as we wait for the college admissions letters to arrive for our son Charlie. During the college search, we spent a good amount of time talking to Charlie about finding the right school based on......

Zappos. Not only do they A) deliver shoes quickly, but they B) offer free shipping in addition to C) no-hassle returns. By every indication, this company has a soul. Here are 10 more reasons to love Zappos, which are also 10 really great reminders for......

When I read LinkedIn’s #IfIwere22 posts, I was inspired to share my thoughts as the number 22 has a special meaning for my family. Those who know me well often hear me say that my firm Wilsonwest is as old as my son Charlie as I......

I found myself in the ER last week (with my son) and after a few wrong turns, ended up in the loading dock rather than the Emergency Room doors. I left the car and ran in with my son (he’s ok). Once I had him checked-in......

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Jeff Briggs  The twist? Drop the pretension and keep the focus on the food and the experience. No rules of etiquette, starched white table linens,...