From Crawl to Stand to Walk

Just over 1 year ago, I took that big leap of faith and entered the realm of self-employment – thus introducing Renatta Emerson Events to the world.

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I’m likening that first year to a child’s progression from crawling to beginning to stand her own. There was a tremendous amount of learning, discovery of the world and discovery of myself. It was exciting and – like standing on weak, wobbly legs – it was terrifying. Yet, by the end of 2013, I’d taken my first steps.

This year I will walk.

That means several things:

  1. Actively seeking and strengthening relationships. Not only do our relationships make what we do worthwhile, they strengthen and enable us to do what we do. But only a baby can expect the people they need to come to them. A mature adult goes and seeks out those relationships.
  2. Defining the brand. Also like a child, a company will grown into its own identity, separate from that of the parent. The goal is to realize and communicate that identity with consistency. In 2014, that will mean a new company name, logo and website, which will all reflect this emerging identity.
  3. Strategically building visibility. One of my desires for even starting this business was to benefit the workplaces and communities around me. In order to do that, my company needs to be visible and recognizable.


I’m so excited for what this year holds. Stay tuned for more announcements and discovery.

Walk with me.

UFOs, Flash mobs, Candy & Aliens

What do these things have in common?

They represent the awesome events I had the privilege of working on last weekend!
CandyBuffetEventPlanningThe first was a wonderful launch party for a brand new children’s book at the Children’s Museum of Tacoma. More than a book launch and signing, this fun-filled evening had an agenda built specifically with the children in mind. There was story time, games, dancing, and a self serve candy buffet designed by Renatta Emerson Events (aka Immersion Events).

I had so much fun putting this together and am honored to have had the opportunity to be a part. Photos from the event can be found at the Ike & Tash Photography in Motion blog.

Just two days later – on April Fool’s Day – I got to stage a UFO crash in the unsuspecting town of Burien.

Not only did nearly 300 people come out and party with us, they came donning tinfoil hats or in full on costume, they danced, they got hit by flying broccoli, and after all that, some of them went home $500 richer. (That’s what happens when you win a costume contest in B-Town.)

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See the complete photo gallery that the Highline Times on the Burien UFO Crash event.

Read the B-Town Blog’s post-event report

Watch what KOMO news had to say about the occurrence here:

Scavenger Hunt Delight

lululemonTeamBuildingEventIn the past two months I’ve had the honor of coordinating two very different company scavenger hunts. These were my first encounters with company events and they were so much fun!

Hunt #1

Hunt Type: City Scramble (think Amazing Race)
Location: Around the streets of Melbourne, Australia
Participants: 25
Duration: 4 hours

The manager of a distribution center wanted to build camaraderie among the staff and help them to function more like a team. The result was a wild race where teams had to solve riddles, decode puzzles and successfully complete challenges while navigating through the city on the public Tram. Since I would not be traveling to Melbourne for the event, I created a course (with the help of Google Maps), Team Kits as well as Facilitator Kits complete with full script and answer keys to guide the on-site facilitators.

Hunt #2

Hunt Type: Puzzle Hunt
Location: Inside local mall near Seattle, WA
Participants: 5
Duration: 45 minutes

The goal of this event was to provide a unique company Christmas party for a small staff. This hunt was every man for himself where they were lead by puzzles to different locations in the mall. I had a great time facilitating the event and bringing the party atmosphere to the small group.

My eyes have been opened to a new category of events!

Venue Review: Century Ballroom

So last weekend I celebrated my 30th birthday. It was an event I began planning about 1-year in advance – a Masquerade Ball. For the first time, I rented out a venue and everything (this was the real deal).

Here is my review of the space in question: Century Ballroom, West Hall in Seattle, WA (Capitol Hill area).

Pre-Event

CenturyBallroomSeattle_WHallI actually searched for some time before deciding on this venue. But the size, feel and price of the West Hall was pretty much a perfect fit. The entire process was as great as I could have asked for. From the very beginning, Justin, my venue contact, was on the ball and answered my many questions whenever they came up.

The last month before the event, he called me three times just to check in on certain details, make sure things were coming along and answer my new questions which (inevitably) came up.

I stopped in the day before the event to work out some last minute set-up details and Justin walked me around and introduced me to the bar manager (since they would be setting up a private bar for my event). The bar manager then set me down to pick out which wines & beers I wanted available – went through the whole menu with me. This was totally unexpected and was the extra “wow” for me.

During Event

I brought in my own decorations and set up the space to match my masquerade ball theme (pics to come). The staff set up the tables, chairs and linens for me and offered to help with my decorations. I had a few videos and a slideshows on a DVD which they set up for me.

The bar staff was amazing! Incredibly friendly and just willing to do whatever needed to help make the night fun. They even wore masks the entire night to be a part of the theme! 

All-in-all, I am so glad I chose the West Hall at Century Ballroom. The space itself was everything I wanted and completely captured the feel I was going for. The staff was great to work with; they were easy to communicate with, helpful and made me feel like they actually wanted to work with me (not a given, these days).

Bottom line:

I loved the venue, enjoyed the staff and would be happy to do another event there in the future. I’d give it an enthusiastic 4.5 stars!

Caution

The only warning I must note is that, being in Capitol Hill, it goes without saying that parking can be an issue. There are a number of paid lots nearby, but if your guests are looking for free parking, they may be looking (and walking) for a while.