August 23, 2014

Event Planning

Show & Sell

Hoopla is still big, but Florida's meeting planners say corporate branding events and philanthropic fund-raisers are more focused -- and more expense-conscious.

Art Levy | 10/1/2008

Corporate ‘Razzmatazz’

Event Show Productions
Dorene Collier (center), owner of Event Show Productions in Tampa, specializes in corporate events. [Photo: Jeffrey Camp]
When Delray Beach event planner Elaine Meier needs someone to perform at one of her events painted blue or dressed up like a fairy, she gets on the phone with Dorene Collier. Collier, owner of Event Show Productions in Tampa, is one of the state’s leading providers of corporate-event entertainment. She says corporate gatherings are evolving from the days when it was enough to put a CEO on stage with a PowerPoint presentation. Now, she says, there’s more stagecraft — but with a corporate communications twist. That can mean a 15-minute “jam session,” with the company’s CEO joining a band on stage to play a conga drum or an elaborate Cirque du Soleil-type production with rhythmic gymnasts, acrobats, dramatic lighting, changing visuals and loud music — all pounding home whatever message the company wants to make. “A little more razzmatazz is needed today,” Collier says.

Painted models
Human bodies were the canvas for the artwork exhibited at an International Sales Group Marketing Reception in Miami. Andrea Sherman Events in Miami was the event planner. [Photo: Andrea Sherman]
Event Amenities

Fog machine: $100 to $150

Bartender: $85 to $150

Costumed (or painted) actor to greet and mingle: $250 to $400

Hors d’oeuvres for 100 guests: $2,000 to $2,500


A Gimmick for Every Occasion

After 25 years as an event planner in south Florida, Andrea Sherman has seen just about everything. Airbrush-painted naked women? She’s seen hundreds. Human centerpieces? Old hat. Live animals? No big deal — usually. “We did a party in South Beach, and we had flamingos and then we had fireworks — and that’s when we learned that flamingos don’t like fireworks,” she says. The weirdest act she has seen recently was a woman dressed up like a fountain. “She’s literally a working water fountain,” Sherman says.

Painted models
Orlando-based 2nd Nature Productions puts on Living Garden performances with human water fountains. [Photo: 2nd Nature Productions]

Super Opportunity

The state’s event planners are jockeying for a big payday Feb. 1, when Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium hosts Super Bowl XLIII. The last Super Bowl in the state — Super Bowl XLI in Miami — saw big parties that included 2,000 people in Miami’s American Airlines Arena for a Playboy magazine-hosted gathering. The NFL, which sponsors many of the events, “likes to partner with local businesses,” says Heather Wilson, an Orlando-based event planner.

Tags: Business Services

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