Eventique - April 2022

Working With Celebrities It’s Not as Glamorous as You Think!

knew he’d have my back if anything went south with my internet connection. On the big day, I holed up in his toolshed to produce and direct the show with my laptop, iPad and cellphone, ready for action. Pretty glamorous, right? Meanwhile, Rob and his wife, Marisol Maldonado, tuned in from their Westchester home. They were the gala’s MCs, ready to walk an audience of 120,000+ people through the night’s event from their iPad, which was being streamed to Facebook, YouTube, and Twitch. We’d never done an event quite like this before with so many pieces of the live show joining from different locations around the country, but we’d taken every reasonable step to ensure it went smoothly. Mere hours before the gala began the weather turned against us. A tremendous rainstorm swept into the mountains, pounding the roof of my tool shed hideout and soaking Rob’s house in Westchester. I checked and rechecked my internet connection and it looked just fine.

When people find out that I plan high-profile events for a living, one of the questions they always ask is, “Have you met any celebrities?” After I say yes, the next question is inevitably, “What were they like, really?” The truthful answer isn’t what you’d think. To explain it, I like to tell a story about Rob Thomas, the lead singer of Matchbox Twenty. Back in 2020, Rob and I worked together on the To the Rescue! gala for The Humane Society of the United States. It’s a massive annual event and was one of the first major gatherings to go virtual due to COVID-19. As you might imagine, the setup was … unconventional, especially on my end. At the time due to the Pandemic, I was renting a home in the Pocono Mountains with my family and before the show, I made the trip to my cousin’s house nearby. The Wi-Fi in the rental house was not great and he’s a Wi-Fi guru, so I

Then, eight minutes before the gala started, Rob’s internet started tweaking. The connection dipped and spiked repeatedly. We couldn’t get his bandwidth high enough to keep him consistently online! At the last second, we made a daring decision: Until the storm passed, we’d concentrate every bit of bandwidth we had on sharing Rob’s video and audio, cutting off the playback to his iPad. That meant our 120,000-strong audience could see and hear him, but he was emceeing and performing to silence and a black iPad screen! All he had for guidance was my voice in his earpod directing him through every line of the script and show. It was a tense, adrenaline-filled moment, but Rob and Marisol stayed cool, calm, and collected. Together, we flew by the seat of our pants and managed to produce a perfect start to the show. Twenty minutes later, the Wi-Fi recovered. I could have done a victory dance! In that moment, Rob and I were teammates and we’d just won the Super Bowl. I share this story because as exciting as working with celebrities might seem, at the end of the day they’re just human beings with the same ups and downs, emotions, and challenges that all of us have to overcome. Rob’s star power couldn’t keep his internet connection strong! He was just another guy on our team, and we were working side by side to make the magic happen. It’s the same with other performers I’ve worked down in the ditches planned several of Matt Damon’s birthday parties, and he’s much more humble, sweet, and laid-back than his macho persona on screen. Robert De Niro, too, needs an iconic character to bring him to life. In person, he’s a nice, quiet guy who just wants to enjoy a cocktail and plate of appetizers. with like Jerry O’Connell and Rebecca Romijn-Stamos. I’ve

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I’ve only been truly starstruck twice. The first time, I was orchestrating a party for the CEO of Motown Records with hip-hop star Joe at a private mansion, and a friend of his asked me to head downstairs to welcome a special guest. I opened the door and, no joke, out came Stevie Wonder singing “Happy Birthday”! The other interaction that floored me was meeting John Starks of the New York Knicks as an adult. As a kid, I put the entire Knicks team on a pedestal, begging for autographs so often that they started to recognize me. Considering that history, it was a bucket list moment to meet John, Charles Oakley, and Patrick Ewing while working on their Madison Square Garden fan engagement events. With stars in my eyes, I told them how much they impacted my childhood and why the work they’re doing today still matters. No matter how much I grow up from the basketball-loving kid, those celebrity encounters will always feel like magic. Ultimately, what I enjoy most about working with celebrities isn’t their star power. It’s meeting and working with people like The Chainsmokers, The Weeknd, and Sebastian Maniscalco early in their careers and watching their popularity explode. Even if they were only “on my team” once, cheering them on feels like cheering on a friend. - Liron David

“Master of Experience is how I describe Liron and his Eventique team. I hired Eventique to help me transform a rooftop venue in Las Vegas for my company’s meetings and VIP party during ICSC RECon. From conception to completion, I was impressed with their attention to detail, agile creative problem solving, and strive to deliver wow for our attendees and guests. It wound up to be one of our best industry events. If you are looking for an event partner who delivers, the team at Eventique is who I’d recommend hands down and hope to work together again.” —Jerry W. “I have had the pleasure of working with Eventique and their terrific staff at a fundraising event at the [Marlene Meyerson] JCC on Amsterdam Avenue [in Manhattan]. From start to finish, their staff were professional, curious, and very prompt with their email replies. The day of the event, Eventique’s members greeted me and treated myself and my team with the utmost sense of professionalism there is. We collaborated on the event together, and it was a huge success! I highly recommend this company and will be using them in the future on a personal and professional level. Thank you guys again for making work seem so much fun!” —Conrad’s Concessions Events

Case Study


Inside Eventique’s Best Lighting Moments B efore you dive into this article, do yourself a favor: Look around the room you’re in and switch your favorite light on. Maybe it’s a lamp with an amber glow that you love or a quirky overhead fixture. Either way, odds are you enjoy it because it sets the perfect mood in your office or living room.

The Best of the Best Over the last 10-plus years, Eventique has produced a thick portfolio of creative lighting designs. Sometimes they’re subtle — like the grid of old-fashioned bulbs glowing at the Carolina Herrera Good Girl Launch in New York City, or the flickering fireplace at Philosophy’s House of Philosophy event — and other times, they’re the life of the party. The Humane Society of the United States’ To the Rescue! New York event, for example, wouldn’t have been the same without the animals silhouetted in neon at every dinner table — a choice that reinforced their beauty, fleetingness, and importance. Similarly, JCC’s White Hot Saturday Night Gala wouldn’t have been as memorable without its enormous white globe light feature surrounded by a dripping crown of neon spirals. Asked about their all-time favorite lighting designs, Eventique’s team pointed to the walkway made of triangular LED frames at IPsoft’s 20th Anniversary Celebration; the gorgeous green- accented NFT displays and cage of dramatic spotlights at Metapurse’s Dreamverse event; the colorful beer pong tables

In fact, it may be the detail that makes or breaks that mood.

The same thing is true on a larger scale for private parties and corporate events. Lighting is just as important as the food, florals, theme, and music, but it’s often underappreciated and overlooked. Like straight teeth, in many cases, good lighting is something you only notice when it’s absent. “As event producers, lighting tends to be one of the last items we work through because we need the rest of the environment to fall into place. But it’s far from an afterthought; it’s one of the most vital aspects of production,” says Eric Wielander, Eventique’s vice president of creative and strategy. “We lean on our designers to be constantly thinking about the outcome that they will never see until the event day, and then our lighting team brings in the polish within hours.”

Eventique creative director Zied Zouari agrees. “Light; it sounds breezy and light, but in fact, it holds a vital role in our perception of both the real and virtual worlds. Light is the only element that brings our designs to life, delivers sensations through visuals and completely changes our appreciation of a space or an object. As the saying goes, ‘I see the light,’ but I say, ‘The light makes you see.’” Strategy Wins Out Fantastic lighting takes trial and error to achieve, but when the pieces come together, it not only brings out the best of the event, but it also puts the guests at ease and produces compelling, high-quality photos and videos. Martin Jenoff, Eventique’s technical director, discovered that himself while directing shows. He found that bright, overhead lights were giving performers “dry eyes and headaches” and turning out poor videos. “Turning off the overheads and adding some subtle colored back lights, LED desk lights, and small lamps helped the team all around. No more headaches [or] dry eyes, and we had a better and more accurate view of the video feeds,” he says. Ultimately, light is one of the most important tools in a creative’s arsenal. Just as your favorite lamp can set the mood at home, a well-placed fire, strobe, or screen can transform an event. “To light something is to creatively manipulate the space around it,” says Andy Cancel, Eventique’s technical director. “It is an experience; with just the right amount, you can turn something ordinary into something extraordinary.”

lit from the inside at Taboola’s Holiday Party; and the elegant green-and-black disco theme at Spotify’s City of Love. To stage these events, Eventique’s team used everything at their disposal, from spotlights, neon, and strobes, to screens and real fire. “This has always been one of my favorite examples of how to incorporate a brand’s signature color into an event through lighting and design,” Wielander says, recalling the 2018 Spotify event. “The second we walked into the room and noticed the three lines of railing along the balcony — mirroring the three sound bars of the Spotify mark — that was it, that anchored everything else.” The team lit the railings up bright green and scattered candles on black-draped tables, bringing both cool and warm Creative and strategic lighting is always key, even in virtual environments like TikTok’s 2021 virtual End of Year Celebration, Sephora’s SEPHORiA: Virtual House of Beauty event, and Eventique’s design for Apple TV+. The latter included the glowering rendering of a tree surrounded by a band of what appears to be bushes flickering with string lights. It’s a warm, mysterious, inviting scene that draws the viewer forward. “This render would be completely different if the lighting was cold or if we [added] more light to it,” explains Eventique 3D Designer Melanie Alvarez. “The great thing about 3D lighting is that we can mold the lighting to focus the viewer’s mood without logistical efforts. We can fake it as much as we want without having a physical light source.” light into the space. Virtual Glow

Like Father, Like Daughter MEET ANGELA Eventique’s Logistical Mastermind “I called my dad and said, ‘I have a tarp, if I use it to cover the dance floor, will that be fine?’ He said, ‘No, you have to put something in the middle, and you have to sandbag it …’” With her dad’s help, Angela pulled off a logistical miracle and saved the dance party. It was just one of many moments of her internship that impressed the Eventique team. After finishing her stint as an intern and graduating with a major in communication and a minor in emerging media, Angela worked as a freelancer for Eventique. She earned her MBA and joined the company full time in 2021 as a production assistant, and her research and communication skills continued to impress. In 2022, she was promoted to senior production coordinator. Looking back now, Angela still cites her dad as one of her biggest sources of inspiration. Following him around on childhood camping trips as he set up their campsite got her hooked on the satisfaction of planning, execution, and a job well done. In high school, she explored that interest by helping her older sister run their town’s Relay For Life event. “I was on the committee my freshman year, and as a sophomore, I jumped on as co-lead, taking charge leading the event with my sister who was a senior. [When she graduated] I took over as event lead, planning this massive thousand-person Relay For Life in my town,” Angela says. “I loved the craziness of planning the logistics of this massive one-day event. It was 12 hours, and there were so many components involved in it. I was on-site working 24 hours straight,

It’s the summer of 2019, and Angela Dipasquale is fresh in her position as an Eventique intern. She’s part of the team handling a high-powered IPSoft event at sea that includes a dance floor on the roof of a yacht. The prep work is smooth sailing (pun intended) — but then, challenge strikes. “All of a sudden, the weather forecast changed, and they said it was going to rain,” Angela recalls. “Amelia [Eventique’s production coordinator] looked at me and said, ‘Okay, it’s your job to figure out what to do so that the dance floor won’t get wet.’” Angela sped off to the hardware store and bought the biggest tarp she could find. Then, on the way back, she used her trump card. She called the best logistical mind she knew: her dad.

JUST WRAPPED Welcome to “Just Wrapped,” a monthly summary of what our team has been up to. Every year, we plan events such as corporate parties, virtual experiences, concerts, and charity galas. This list is just a small peek behind the curtain. CREF22 – This winter, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) held CREF22: a four-day, in-person gathering at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego. Eventique planned the event’s key luncheon, a thank-you to more than 500 of MBA’s lenders and event attendees. The luncheon included fantastic food, networking opportunities, and a creative MetaMeridian theme crafted by our team, which used sci-fi touches to integrate MBA’s markets into the event. Brickworks Design Studio: New York City Launch – Renowned brick maker Glen-Gery joined forces with Eventique this winter to launch a New York City outpost of Brickworks Design Studio, a gorgeous showroom displaying luxury finishes like colored bricks and Venetian glass. The launch was open to the public but targeted at interior designers, decorators, and architects, whom we welcomed into the space for the launch. Want your upcoming event to be next on our list? Request a proposal from our all-star team at Eventique.com. 2 EventsWe’ve Checked OffOur To-Do List

and at the end of the day, I was exhausted, but it was a good exhaustion because I just had so much fun.” That experience convinced Angela event planning was the career path for her, and as an Eventique intern, she got the same feeling working at events like eCore and eCap. “The Eventique team are my coworkers, but they’re also my family,” she says. “We’re a family that goes through the craziness together, in the office and also on-site.” Eventique isn’t the only team Angela plays for. In college and grad school, she spent five years as a lacrosse goalie, and for the last eight years, she has worked weekends coaching her high school club team. “I’m busy, but I think that’s why I’m able to be successful with Eventique. I’m used to being busy, so I’m able to juggle a million things at a time. That’s when I do my best work. It’s the perfect balance for me,” she says. Once again, this passion goes back to Angela’s dad, who’s a retired gym teacher and coach. He taught her everything he knows about teamwork, logistics, and playing to win. “He’s my inspiration,” she says. “My dad has no sons, so I feel like he has bestowed that information on to me to help me out in my career.”

Angela at a Glance All-Time Favorite Netflix Show: “Schitt’s Creek” Most Recently Binged: “Jane the Virgin” Most Listened-To Album: “30” by Adele Relaxation Hack: Netflix and TikTok in bed Favorite Weekend Activity: Wine-tasting with friends Secret Weapon: Her “big, crazy Italian family”


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4 2 Inside

Working With Celebrities: It’s Not as Glamorous as You Think!

The Mind-Altering Power of Lighting

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Meet Angela: Senior Production Coordinator Extraordinaire

Our Monthly Event Rundown

TAKE SOCIAL MEDIA PHOTOS LIKE A PRO With Tips From Eventique’s Video Master

3 Avoid unnecessary shadows. Play close attention to where shadows fall when you’re setting up your photo. Sometimes a dark shadow can be artistic, but usually, it’s just distracting. Consider adding another light source or using a ring light to diffuse unnecessary shadows. 4 Use reflected light strategically. In one memorable product shoot, Joel used light reflected in a glass case to give perfume bottles an elegant, dramatic look. If there is a reflective surface in your photo, play around with the reflections to level up your results. Of course, once you’ve mastered these rules you can break them! Joel says that even he sometimes ignores his second suggestion and shoots “shadow side” — into the light, which casts subjects in shadow. “Shooting shadow side, you’re able to see the dimensions of a person’s face more clearly and it gives the photo a dramatic look,” he says. To see the Eventique team’s photo skills in action, follow us on Instagram @eventique.

If your social media photos aren’t as polished and compelling as those of the influencers on your feed, here’s a quick fix: better lighting. As Eventique’s senior video producer Joel Nunez explains, bright, strategically placed light is key for high-quality photos and videos. “You want to provide a clear image. You don’t want it looking grainy, and you want yourself — or your product — to look good,” he says. “That means you need the lighting to look natural.” Joel has been expertly illuminating sets for photos and videos for years. Before joining Eventique he was a “one-man band” directing, producing, lighting, and shooting projects. This gave him the skills to take incredible social media snapshots. Here are his top tips. 1 There’s no such thing as too much light. Instead of taking away some of the light you have, try shaping and manipulating it to achieve the look and feel you want. 2 Don’t shoot into the light. Whether you’re photographing food or taking a selfie, try to position yourself/your light source so it’s behind your camera rather than in front of it. This will give you bright colors and crisp lines.

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