Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Event recap and awesome vendors

Several weeks ago, I wrote about a work event I was planning at the InterContinental Hotel in Chicago. The event went very well. I, and my colleagues who planned the event, could take all of the credit for this. But that credit is not all ours to take, and doing so would leave out a tremendous group of people: our vendors.

One of the most important things you can do to have a successful event is to choose great vendors: the photographer, venue staff, florist, graphic designer and everyone else has to be top-notch. When you have top-notch vendors, you can trust them to do a terrific job, so you can focus on the point of your event (getting married, fundraising, movie premiere, whatever). And in this case, I had top-notch vendors who were absolutely amazing.

Monika Lee does all of our photography. Monika is one of my favorite vendors to work with, as she strikes the delicate balance between professional and fun. And how she works is just incredible. One minute, she is seated for dinner. The next, she is hanging off the balcony to get a perfect shot. And the thing is, none of the guests ever even notice her hanging from the chandelier. Monika gets the picture but never gets in the way of the event. And that is much appreciated by everyone.

Kehoe Designs does our centerpieces for the dinner tables. They make amazing creations, and they can work with any budget.

This year I brought a new vendor, Jean, into the mix. Jean is a graphic designer and we are quasi-related. I had seen several samples of her work in the form of the awesome announcements and invitations she's made for her family over the years. Jean is even in the process of starting her own company, Purple Door Press. So when I asked her to do the invitation and program for the event, I knew she'd do a good job.

But Jean didn't do a good job. She did a SPECTACULAR job by creating original and unique materials for our event. One guest purchased tickets based on the invitation design alone. So, not only is Jean a super-awesome gal pal, but she is an amazing talent. And super-wonderful to work with. Thanks, Jean!

Our event was at the InterContinental Hotel. I've worked with Leonardo (Catering Sales Manager) for several years and he is a pleasure to work with. In fact, everyone at the InterContinental is a pleasure to work with. The setting is beautiful, the food is delish, and the service is beyond. Beyond!

Our banquet manager, Tomasz, manages the event from start to finish. He manages it so well that once the event begins, I am largely free to enjoy it, rather than run all over the place making sure people are on schedule and doing their jobs. During the cocktail hour, I expressed my appreciation to Tomasz.

When dessert was served, Tomasz returned the favor.

When you give love to your top-notch vendors, they often give it right back. In the form of "Chocolate Decadence Cake." It might be the yummiest love there is.


Chicagolandia said...

The dessert looks too amazing for words, problably because my mouth would be full! Glad the event went smoothly.

Allison Toth-Beasley said...

fabulous!!!! This sounds like a spectacular event!

Jean K. Lahm said...

I'm blushing! Gosh, it was an incredible evening, with your elegant taste written all over it! You have such an amazing eye for detail. And for those of you who haven't seen her in action, Amanda can work a room like NO other! :)