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JR Dasilva is our newest event producer at AOO Events. JR, was born in Minas Gerais Brazil as the oldest sibling in a family of six. After acquiring a Bachelor of Science degree in animal science with a minor in business, from the The Federal University of Viçosa, JR relocated to the United States where he began a career in operations and logistics, as Assistant Manager of operations at The Gap.

Since then JR has expanded his expertise in organization and customer service, serving as the executive assistant to the Vice President at Ann Taylor. At Ann Taylor, JR assisted with the planning and execution of local, regional and national meetings. After deciding to develop his passion for event design and production, JR recently joined the AOO Events team as an in-house producer.

With an enthusiasm to create meaningful experiences, JR strives for perfection by paying close attention to detail and maintaining seamless communication with his clients. In his free time, JR enjoys traveling and hopes to apply his well-rounded worldview to his upcoming productions.

JR Dasilva

We recently caught up with JR where he answered our signature Ten Questions, giving us insights into his hard-working and passionate personality.

How did you get started in the special events industry?
In my previous job I was asked to join the event production team to plan national meetings thanks to my operational skills. In my first production meeting I fell in love with event planning,
and from then on I knew it was a matter of time until I would become a producer.

What is your favorite sports team in LA?
I train regularly but I am not a sports fan.

Favorite museum in LA?
The Getty Center, it offers an amazing collection plus the museum itself is pure art, the gardens and surroundings are gorgeous.

Rooftop pool or indoor pool?
Rooftop.

What is your favorite brunch spot in LA?
Headley’s on Robertson, amazing food, best blueberry pancakes on earth!

Favorite cocktail trend of all time?
Mezcal cocktails are the best.

What is your favorite annual event in LA?
Summer season at the Hollywood Bowl.

What destination would you recommend for a nearby staycation?
Palm Springs, tranquility at its best.

What is your favorite venue in LA?
The Hollywood Bowl.

If you could work on any special event in the world, which one would it be and why?
The Super Bowl half time show, massive exposure, no room for mistakes, I work well under pressure.

To schedule a consultation with AOO Events, email at info@aooevents.com.


Anil Pacheco is one of the newest members of our team at AOO Events. Born and raised in Orange County, CA, to a Latin-American family, Anil is a visionary floral /event designer known for his one of a kind arrangements and innovative design. After graduating high school in Garden Grove, Anil embarked on becoming a teacher. During his college days, he worked full-time in a bucket shop, which is where he began to realize his true passion was art. Anil decided he would change course and pursue his dream of becoming a full-time floral and event designer.

Anil gained experience working on several high-profile events in the entertainment industry. He began to work with some of the industry’s most renowned floral decorators, including Mark’s Garden. This is where he developed a holistic perspective of design and became inspired to create arrangements that would not only stay true to his client’s vision but also reflect the myriad of new ideas he gained from working on major productions. Anil also won the hearts of many viewers as a contestant on Logo TV’s The Arrangement, a high-end floral design competition.

Most recently, Anil’s versatility can be seen at AOO Events, where he is the Creative Director of AOO’s in-house floral studio, AOO Floral. With an eye for what’s trending and an emerging voice in forward-thinking design, Anil consistently creates cutting-edge products that set him apart as an artist who truly understands the industry’s rapid development and modern aesthetic.

Anil Pacheco

Anil recently answered our signature Ten Questions, which has given us a lot of insight into his fun, creative and artistic personality.

How did you get started in the special events industry?

I got started with a part time job in college. A little flower shop on a corner where I’d meet people daily buying a little something for their loved ones. It allowed me to be social and had a place to do my homework on my breaks. I was in school doing general education with thoughts on becoming a teacher. But if wasn’t stimulating. I knew I’d have a career that involved shapes and textures. When I was a kid I was FASCINATED  with pinatas(as odd as that sounds). I found them so interesting. They were in bold colors and had great textures … plus they were filled with candy. So I look at floral design the same way. Floral sculptures if you will. My floral background has really helped me expand my skills in the overall event industry.

What is your favorite sports team in LA?

I don’t watch sports. If anything, I avoid them at all costs.

Favorite thing to do in LA?

Theres so much to do! Ummm, probably a nice dinner out with my friends.

Rooftop pool or indoor pool?

ROOFTOP!

What is your favorite brunch spot in LA?

Pump in West Hollywood. The drinks are amazing.

Favorite cocktail trend of all time?

I’m a martini guy. Dirty martini with Titos vodka and 3 olives please.

What is your favorite annual event in LA?

SUMMER! The summers here are so memorable and full of great activities.

What destination would you recommend for a nearby staycation?

Laguna Beach, The beaches are the nicest. It’s a small town vibe with a lot of great restaurants.

What is your favorite venue in LA?

 I like the staples center. All of my favorite concerts have taken place there.

If you could work on any special event in the world, which one would it be and why?

Any awards show with a ton of press and celebrities.

To schedule a consultation with Anil email AOO Events at info@aooevents.com.


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A calm moment before the afternoon ceremony.

Nestled in the hills of the Santa Monica mountains is Calamigos Ranch, the venue of our latest wedding story, featuring Josh and Danielle Miller. Also considered Malibu Wine Country, the natural aesthetic of the venue provides a stunning backdrop for the quintessential California Wedding. In the fall of last year, Clarence Mulligan the father of the bride, approached our CEO David E. Merrell to produce a dream wedding for his daughter Danielle Mulligan and her fiance Josh Miller. Going back to college days when the two shared a dormitory and bonded over pastrami sandwiches, studies and college football, Merrell graciously accepted the responsibility to create a special day Danielle and Josh could cherish for a lifetime. Mulligan originally reached out to Merrell for not only his expertise in design, but he also wanted suggestions on which venue would be the best choice for Danielle’s dream day. Off the top of his head, Merrell suggested a few options and also did some research based on a “rustic-chic ambiance with lots of trees and California sunshine.” After narrowing it down, the Mulligans and Millers decided Calamigos would be the perfect spot to complement their love and exchange their vows.

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The newlyweds Danielle and Josh Miller. Image courtesy of Danielle’s Facebook page.

Danielle Mulligan met Josh Miller through a mutual friend. On their first date Josh took Danielle to a steakhouse and told her after dinner if she has ordered the only vegetarian option he didn’t plan on calling her again. Danielle impressed Josh with her selection and he was sold on inviting her out for a second time. According to Danielle’s mother Jeanette, “It’s silly but my son-in-law hates vegetables and loves to cook, so this was a priority.” The couple got engaged in the fall of 2016 and set a date of March 4, 2017 to exchange vows in front of an intimate group of family and friends.

Installation began on the morning of the March 4, with a call time of 8 am. AOO Events lead producer Jimmy Surace, worked together with our day-of coordinator, Kelly Melo, to ensure vendors would arrive on time and know where to set up once on site. There were two areas that needed to be detailed at the venue’s Pavilion at North Point, a lush green garden area, with a historic oak tree set in the center. In addition, the team decorated the Pavilion’s reception area, more than a few feet away from the site of the ceremony.

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A string trio set the mood for the afternoon wedding, which took place at 4:30 pm on a clear day in the mountains. As guests began to arrive they took seat in front of the iconic California oak tree. There were four bridesmaids and groomsmen who stood on either side of Danielle and Josh as they officially became Mr. and Mrs. Miller in front of 100 close friends and family.

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The ceremony took place at Calamigos Ranch, under their historic oak tree.

During the design process, lead designer David E. Merrell decided it would be best to include focal points of both the ceremony and reception in order to maximize the client’s budget. Merrell decided to suggest a chandelier that would hang on the venue’s wise old oak tree, in order to enhance the intimate feel. The chandelier concept would then be carried over to the reception to adorn the couple’s custom made reclaimed-wood sweetheart table.

Danielle and Josh worked with Merrell to provide images that would convey exactly how they envisioned their special day. Merrell suggested creating a private Pinterest board where everyone could share inspirational pictures to tell the story of Danielle and Josh’s special day. Following the final walk through at Calamigos, Danielle, Josh and Danielle’s parents visited the AOO Events warehouse, where they chose furniture vignettes from AOO’s signature Stone line, that would create intimate lounges on an open deck of the reception. The group also selected linens and final floral designs for not only Danielle, but the wedding party, and table centerpieces.

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The sweetheart table was the prime focus of the reception which began after cocktail hour at 6:30 in the evening. The table became the center of attention not only for the design, but it also served as the backdrop for a first meal as man and wife for the happy couple. Set against a customized backdrop, the table was constructed in our on-site warehouse and chiseled from reclaimed wood. We adorned the table with a custom made floral runner, designed by AOO Floral’s new lead floral designer Anil Pacheco. The runner was a special take on Pantone’s Color of The Year, incorporating Seeded and Silver Dollar Eucalyptus sprinkled in with ruffled white roses and hydrangea. The centerpieces were placed around lanterns with glowing candle votives that really set a celebratory mood for the bride and grooms special evening.

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Several heartfelt speeches throughout the evening, solidified Danielle and Josh’s brand new union. Perhaps the most memorable was Clarence Mulligan’s salute to his new son in law for his exceptional military service over the years. Guests observed a moment of silence, not only for Josh but for countless veterans in the United States armed services. Also a bit of a bittersweet moment, as Danielle and Josh will head to Japan for the next three years as Josh will be stationed overseas. It was an emotional evening for the family, as they say goodbye while the newlyweds embark on a new chapter in their life.

 

Cheers to newlyweds Danielle and Josh Miller, we are wishing them a lifetime of happiness. View more photos of their special day here.

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AOO Events lead floral designer Anil Pacheco worked closely with Danielle and Josh to create arrangements that would be exactly how they envisioned it for their special day.

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Newly engaged or planning your dream wedding? Contact us at info@aooevents.com for customized designs, consultation and planning perfect for your special day.


Leading up to the Oscars is a busy time for several event planners in Los Angeles. Besides the main event, which usually takes place in late February or early March, there are many high-profile events surrounding the Academy Awards. One such event, is Alfre Woodard’s “Oscars Sistahs Soiree,” which has been produced and designed, by AOO Events since March 2014. This year, the event was held in The Royal Suite at The Beverly Wilshire, in Beverly Hills, CA.

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 22: Back Row (L-R): LaTanya Richardson, Chandra Wilson, Lorraine Toussaint, Tessa Mae-Thompson, Emayatzy Corinealdi, Yolanda Ross, Tracee Ellis Ross, Kim Wayans, Rashida Jones and Loretta Devine Front Row (L-R): Beverly Todd, Alfre Woodard, Octavia Spencer, Edwina Findley, Viola Davis, Diahann Carroll, Aja Naomi King, Ruth Negga, Cynthia Erivo, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Rosario Dawson and Adepero Oduye attend the 8th Annual Oscar's Sistahs Soiree Presented by Alfre Woodard and Farfetch at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on February 22, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Todd Williamson/WireImage)

BEVERLY HILLS, CA – FEBRUARY 22: Back Row (L-R): LaTanya Richardson, Chandra Wilson, Lorraine Toussaint, Tessa Mae-Thompson, Emayatzy Corinealdi, Yolanda Ross, Tracee Ellis Ross, Kim Wayans, Rashida Jones and Loretta Devine Front Row (L-R): Beverly Todd, Alfre Woodard, Octavia Spencer, Edwina Findley, Viola Davis, Diahann Carroll, Aja Naomi King, Ruth Negga, Cynthia Erivo, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Rosario Dawson and Adepero Oduye attend the 8th Annual Oscar’s Sistahs Soiree Presented by Alfre Woodard and Farfetch at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on February 22, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Todd Williamson/WireImage)

The “Oscars Sistahs Soiree” is unique because of the noble meaning behind it. Alfre Woodard started the event over eight years ago, as a way to unite African American actresses in film and come together to celebrate their outstanding work in film. The intention of the design is to incorporate the client’s favorite colors, which were orange, pink and yellow and provide an atmosphere, where the group will be comfortable conversing and catching up with each other. While the attendees gather, the background is set with inspirational images of past and present African American women that have been honored throughout the years.

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 22: Atmosphere at the 8th Annual Oscar's Sistahs Soiree Presented by Alfre Woodard and Farfetch at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on February 22, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Todd Williamson/WireImage)

BEVERLY HILLS, CA – FEBRUARY 22: Atmosphere at the 8th Annual Oscar’s Sistahs Soiree Presented by Alfre Woodard and Farfetch at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on February 22, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Todd Williamson/WireImage)

Installation begins eight hours before the event, where a professional art curator comes in and sets up iconic shots of African American women in film throughout the suite. The theme is one of celebration and honor, providing an open format for the invited guests to bask in a special moment for not only themselves but also their peers. For this year’s event, our production team supervised vendors on site, designed and sectioned the draping that would provide a private area for invited media guests as well as kitchen staff and placed several ruffled rose and orchid flower arrangements throughout the room. Framed artwork placement was done on site and it all fit perfectly as as if part of the existing décor in the suite. We incorporated gold, silver and mercury votives, which went well with the design of the suite also giving off a warm amber glow. Pinspots, uplighting and tea lights gave the perfect ambiance at night once the sun was set.

We caught up Jaka Jaiteh, AOO Events producer, to get a recap of the special evening. “The client loved the flowers and décor the most. They were very pleased with how the iconic black Hollywood posters looked and were placed and tight into the room. This was our third year working with the client and we were able to draw on our past experience to anticipate some of the needs, which ensured the event ran smoothly,” says Jaiteh.

View more photos from Alfre Woodard’s annual “Oscars Sistahs Soiree” below;

Octavia Spencer and Yolanda Ross at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on February 22, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Todd Williamson/WireImage)

Alfre Woodard and Farfetch Present the 8th Annual Oscar's Sistahs Soiree

Edwina Findley and Ruth Negga (Photo by Todd Williamson/WireImage)

Alfre Woodard's Oscars Sistahs Soiree

Kim Wayans and Lorraine Toussaint (Photo by Todd Williamson/WireImage)

Diahann Carroll and Alfre Woodard (Photo by Todd Williamson/WireImage)

Alfre Woodard's Oscars Sistahs Soiree

Archway into The Royal Suite at The Beverly Wilshire. The mirrors created a larger illusion of the foyer at this annual pre-Oscar dinner.

Framed artwork showcased iconic African American actresses throughout the decades.

The floral arrangements were designed by our in-house florist at AOO Floral.

Alfrw Woodard's Oscars Sistahs Soiree

The living room in The Royal Suite at The Beverly Wilshire.

Alfre Woodard's Oscars Sistahs Soiree

Candles provided a warm glow throughout the celebratory evening.

Alfre Woodard's Oscars Sistahs Soiree

The buffet stations were highlighted with ruffled orange roses, ruffled ti leaves and pink orchids to match the color scheme of the event.

Alfre Woodard's Oscars Sistahs Soiree

Alfre Woodard's Oscars Sistahs Soiree

Contact us at info@aooevents.com for your next special event.


During this year’s Super Bowl festivities, our team worked around the clock to complete several customized designs for various events. These series of events serves as a great example of how clients can be inspired with customized suggestions that really bring their event to life. The unique designs become signature elements of their events and the level of satisfaction is exactly what we strive for at AOO Events. While one half of our team headed to Houston, the official Super Bowl city, the other half was on the ground at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas. This production was spearheaded by AOO Events producer Jimmy Surace, under the guidance of our creative director, David E. Merrell. The events, which took place over SuperBowl weekend, were executed simultaneously. We caught up with Jimmy Surace and AOO Events sales executive, Rheana Coon to discuss how it all came together at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Graffiti Art

4’x8′ panels mounted on corrugated steel.

The client originally wanted an urban football theme, which could incorporate colorful “splatter art.” Together with the design team, Rheana and Jimmy suggested a graffiti artist that would come in and recreate original artwork based on colorful sports inspired prints that were specifically designed for this event. “What they wanted was an urban party, which one of the client’s coordinators came up with as she was inspired by the industrial space, so we had to figure out a way to add pops of color to a gray, drab, feel, which is when we decided to present using Graffiti art since it’s been on trend,” says Surace. “Initially the client wanted just perimeter décor but they also talked about needing directional signs which is why we ended up numbering the tables in graffiti. When they requested urban and graffiti, it was our intention to combine the perimeter décor with hanging graffiti art, but they were also functional so guests could find their seating,” says Coon. The design team incorporated iconic football imagery which was painted ahead of time by a local graffiti artist in Los Angeles. The panel was then packaged and transported to Las Vegas, which was supervised by AOO Events production manager, Erick Badillo.

Graffiti Art

Graffiti Art

Graffiti Art

The floral design played up the urban contemporary feel inspired by flowers found in the big city.

In order to accomplish functionality while incorporating the design, we used cinder blocks that would serve as floral vases and table numbers as well as accentuate the theme of the contemporary design. “Using the cinder block tied everything into one, it was more cost effective for the client to spray paint the number on the block and luckily we had all the guys there to help with the heavy lifting.” The blocks weighed about 30 lbs each, which gave the team an impromptu workout while on site. The inception of the cinder block design was also quite interesting as the graffiti artist decided to stack all the blocks as a giant wall, spray paint it and then take them piece by piece so the cinder blocks would resemble a deconstructed wall.

Graffiti Art

Originally the design team planned to do a different entrance piece that would sit behind the DJ booth, but we wanted to present a unique backdrop that could also include the urban design aesthetic. ‘We used a custom built 24′ x 12’ canvas and added The Cosmopolitan logo, which was a way to keep the client’s branding but also highlight the decor pieces. “It was our mission to find a graffiti artist that could also do digital renderings, so what we needed was an artist as well as graphic designer.” During the process, the design wasn’t quite urban and gritty enough so the team went back to the drawing board to incorporate more artistry from the graffiti work. Eventually they constructed graffiti prints attached to corrugated steel, which served as both the entrance piece and the DJ backdrop. “The client loved the DJ backdrop so much, they ended up purchasing the piece and as a thank you we included the branded artwork as well,” says Surace

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This 12′ x 24′ back bar was constructed in our warehouse with luan, foam board and illuminated with LED strips.

Graphic printing

The back bar took center stage at this event, for it’s larger than life boom box back drop. “We originally designed some other bars and in that time the client saw a photo of a giant boom box bar that was also a stage, we were able to switch gears and design it from the clients expectations which were met above and beyond,” says Coon. The design team created the drawing and then contacted Creative Graphic Services (CGS), which assisted with printing the boom box design. Our production team then worked together to get the boom box mounted and lit, while keeping in mind the piece would need to be broken down in our warehouse and then transported to the event in Las Vegas.

After all the elements were revealed and the client did the final walk through, they were amazed with the level of detail that our design team used to build the customized pieces. “We try to keep the client involved as much as possible through the creation phase just so there’s no complete shock during the final reveal,” says Surace. One thing, Surace and Coon both acknowledged after the installation was the fluid teamwork that went into the event. “You’re only as good as your crew at the end of the day, and we have an amazing crew that really comes together especially for custom builds. There’s a lot of communication, it’s one team one dream here.” says Surace. “The client was really satisfied with how it all came together in the end and they truly loved working with our team and vice versa.” says Coon.

Contact us for your next special event at info@aooevents.com

 

 

 


As the 2017 event season is in full swing, the event design world is in constant search of new rental items to spice up their events, here at AOO Events we have a different mantra: “Custom build it and it will come!” These signature elements can produce focal points for special events, engage corporate or conference messaging and branding, or simply enhance the natural surroundings of existing spaces.

Super Bowl marks a busy and favorite time of year for AOO Events as we produce several Super Bowl related programs nationwide that want to incorporate that custom build infusion to their parties. We take a look below at Super bowl LI event in Houston, where custom designs were used to enhance the contemporary aesthetic of the venue, The Dunlavy in Houston Texas while also adding in an industrial chic brand representation.

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Custom branded back bar chiseled in our warehouse using reclaimed wood.

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Since The Dunlavy already has a contemporary ambiance, along with great windows overlooking the banks of Buffalo Bayou and Lost Lake; the AOO Events design team suggested using reclaimed wood, with recycled material for the custom builds, that would not only highlight the venue’s existing decor but also make the event as unique as possible. In addition to hosting a signature event, the reclaimed wood design would also diminish our carbon footprint for an environmentally friendly affair.

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This is something we take into consideration when brainstorming designs from an RFP. It’s always a top priority to make sure the client’s concept and design will come to life the way they have envisioned, while also making an effort to save money when suggesting materials for custom builds. Custom builds serve not only as a way to make the event as unique as possible with enhanced branding that can really send the messaging home.

View more images from this Super Bowl 2017 event below 

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Our custom made reclaimed wood bar and back bar enhanced the rustic ambience at The Dunlavy.

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These partitions were constructed in our warehouse, broke down and transported to the event to provide private spaces for VIP attendees.

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Contact us at info@aooevents.com for all your custom designs.

 

 


DM inspired

David E. Merrell’s 2017 Event Design Trends seminar included commentary by Party Mosaic Inc.’s Susie Perelman, The Event Nerd’s J. Damany Daniel and Cerbelli Creative’s Michael Cerbelli (not pictured).

The 2017 Hot List

David E. Merrell was also featured in Michael Cerbelli’s 2017 “The Hot List”.

The Special Event Trade Show and Conference is something we look forward to each January. For our team, it has become a tradition for us to attend. This year marked our CEO, David E. Merrell’s 9th annual design trends showcase, even though he has been speaking on other subjects and in other seminars prior to his first trends showcase. This year, Merrell broke it down into three major categories; technology, entertainment and design. He also debuted his new hashtag #DMinspired. “To be completely transparent, yes I felt I needed to keep up with the times but most importantly, I needed to create a way to file what inspires me on social media and beyond. #DMinspired is simply meant to be a conversation of what inspires all of us,” says Merrell.

For those that missed The Special Event this year, here is a quick recap from Merrell’s seminar, with the top five trends to look out for in 2017.

Virtual Technology

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This year. Merrell was joined on stage by J. Damany Daniel of The Event Nerd. Daniel spoke on Virtual Reality technology and its impending use at events in the future. “VR gives us the ability to ‘transport’ people to another place (and time) and allows them to interact with the environment that we create,” says Daniel. “This can happen through full VR, where we fully immerse people in an alternate reality that they can look around and navigate through or AR, where we layer different imagery on top of the real world we’re interacting with.” Some ways VR can be used in events are enhanced General Sessions, to give people a vision of the cause of a non profit or let people interact with a brand and the brand’s products. Some brand’s currently using VR technology are Patron, Glade, Dos Equis, Chase, Bosch and more. According to Merrell “Virtual Reality photographs subjects in 3D so it’s possible to take you on a journey and experience new surroundings in any environment. It’s something that was talked about for years and now we are seeing how it’s being applied to the special events industry with the various brands that are using it at their events.”

Virtual Reality

Mixed Patterns

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Susie Perelman or Party Mosaic Inc. spoke on design trends to look out for this year. One trend making waves, or should we say patterns is the trend of mixing patterns together. According to Perelman, mixing patterns is hotter than ever in 2017. “Taking a lead from fashion runways like the sizzling-chic Gucci shows, finding ways to incorporate multiple patterns into one event space (and even one table!) can set your event apart from the pack. While it’s great to mix geometric prints and floral fabrics, take caution. Some component of the combination must “match” in order to pull the look off effectively. Mixed patterns in one color palette is a great way to experiment with the concept.  In so many ways, event design is a reflection of what is going on in society.  In today’s complicated world, lines are blurred including  views about politics, cultural concerns and our environment.  But the rich weave of multiple perspectives and opinions on life is the fabric of our society. So why not, take inspiration from it? Mix and match away!” Merrell also says, “Mixed patterns is a trend we are seeing on the runways right now and it’s a direct reflection of all of the geo-political unrest that we are experiencing in the world right now.”

Mixed patterns

Mixed Patterns

The RedBliss Collection

RedBliss Collection

Presented in Merrell’s seminar by Michael Cerbelli, RedBliss is a new and unique company offering customized chargers, coasters and napkin rings for special events. Their unique tabletop collection burst onto the scene approximately just a little over one year ago. The collection is inspired by the company’s custom invitation work, as they have been designing invitations for over 15 years. “The RedBliss collection is a great alternative to chargers, it’s a great way to add some bling to your affair and you can customize it to make it tie into your invitations, logos or anything else,” says Merrell. According to Cerbelli, “This is a great decor idea, Besides being incredible and an amazing invitation designer – RedBliss has an amazing home collection, and has introduced a wow to the events industry. Bergdorf just picked up the line.” Indeed, the line was recently picked up by Bergdorf Goodman. Browse more looks below.

RedBliss Fall Dinner

RedBliss Fall Dinner

RedBliss Wedding (1280x901)

RedBliss Wedding Design

RedBliss FEED Supper

Supper Design

The Gastro Garage

Fill R' Up Gastro Garage

The Gastro Garage has made a splash onto the events scene this year. Their unique concept is to deconstruct classic dishes and reconstruct them into Gastr Tanks. A Gastro Tank is an unsweetened brioche style donut, injected with a nitrous foam and topped with their signature ingredients and then blow torched. Yes blow torched. Not only are the treats delicious, The Gastro Garage puts on an entertaining show as they banter back and forth about many things, including the stunning reactions when guests take their first bite. According to Merrell, “The Gastro Garage is a take on a Gastro Grub trend that has been surging through the United States for a couple of years now. This is a really cool way to do an action, exhibition statement and this is a service that can come to you anywhere in the world.” Watch the video below to get a feel for how it’s done, also referred to as Gastromechanics.

ArtZenGraving by EventTable Decor

ArtZen Graving

EventTable Decor has been one of the industry’s best kept secrets for the past 2 years. The company is now bringing unique and innovative accessories to event tables nationwide, under their ArtZenGraving service. Using acrylic, laser engraving and LED to create customized items for events including place cards bar/menu signs, centerpieces, logo  signage, card boxes and what ever you can dream. The illuminated products run on a 9 volt battery which has been tested to go beyond 10 hrs. They then use strip LED, in custom crafted bases, which illuminates the acrylic more evenly versus a bulb LED base. This LED offers 7 colors: white, amber, green, blue, purple, red and pink. EventTable Decor can also add custom color with acetate color strips. “ArtZenGraving is  a unique find. This company used to only be on Etsy. They do acrylic and plastic engraving and have found a unique way to offer inexpensive, customizable table numbers and menus at a reasonable price,” says Merrell.

ArtZen Graving

ArtZen Graving

Stay tuned in the next few months as David E. Merrell will be updating his next event design trends to watch in 2017. Stay connected by hashtagging #DMinspired! We look forward to sharing the inspiration with you.


The Pantone Color Institute has decreed its 2017 “Color of The Year” as Pantone 15-0343, or simply put, “Greenery.” Year after year, event professionals have looked forward to Pantone’s fall declaration as an indicator as to what is coming, style wise, in the next few months. Designers are always excited to bring their events to life, keeping in mind the designated look of the times.

AOO Events recently designed an elegant corporate dinner in line with Pantone’s new 2017 color of the year. Inspired by natural elements and nature, this event’s design and decor created additional spacing, at Vibiana in downtown, Los Angeles.

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Meet AOO Events COO Mark Sheldon!

Mark utilizes 30 years of professional event experience to partner in managing and operating AOO Events. Having occupied almost every niche of the special events industry, Mark has a unique talent for getting to the source of any challenge and quickly implementing the solution.

With a know how for operations and management, Mark understands that the keystones of successful execution require detailed planning and decisive problem solving capabilities. He has spent much of his time perfecting systems and procedures specifically geared toward special events. Assembling and honing a professional team has been Mark’s focus and his leadership is paramount in pumping the oil that keeps the AOO machine running.

Mark 1 (533x800) (2)

We recently caught up with Mark to ask him our signature ten questions and we’re thrilled to share his answers here:

How did you get started in the special events industry?
I fell down and could not get back up

What is your favorite sports team in LA?
West Hollywood cheerleaders

What is your favorite museum in LA?
LACMA

Rooftop pool or indoor pool?
Roof top (even if is raining)

What is your favorite brunch spot in LA?
Anywhere with an outside patio

Favorite cocktail trend of all time?
Tequila silver chilled or frozen, up with half salted rim

What is your favorite annual event in LA?
Hmmmm, can’t think of one

What destination would you recommend for a nearby staycation?
Big Bear or Lake Arrowhead or Death Valley (too far away?)

What is your favorite special event venue of all time?
South Beach Miami (on the beach) for fun, Saddle Rock Ranch for serene, Chicago Central Station for awesome

If you could work on any special event in the world, which one would it be and why?
Special Olympics because it brings out the best in everyone and gives the opportunity to highlight diversity in every way.

Contact us at info@aooevents.com.for your next special event.


“Last year I had the honor of creating the first ever CovCarnival. This was a carnival specifically created for homeless and underprivileged youth that utilize the services of Covenant House in New Orleans. This carnival was just a small part of a “give back” program entitled “Event Pros Take Action” or EPTA. EPTA was started in 2005 after the devastation that occurred from Hurricane Katrina, that allows event professionals to give back to those in need. Founded by my good friend Susie Perelman of Mosaic Linens, I have been in awe at the huge group of event professionals that year after year have made a difference not only in New Orleans, but also in San Marcos, Texas, helping the flood victims of that community. I was not able to be part of the EPTA this year, but my heart will always be with all the event professionals that tirelessly and generously give of their time and talent, as well as the victims of these devastating weather anomalies. Here is an inspiring report of what occurred this summer in New Olreans for EPTA and the second annual CovCarnival.” – David Merrell

Event Pros Take Action (EPTA) returned for the sixth time to NOLA this summer to help a community in need. 11 years after Katrina Swept through the Gulf destroying everything in its’ path including parts of NOLA, remarkably there is still work to be done. EPTA has been happy to assist in the recovery, sending hundreds of event industry volunteers over the years from around the country to lend a hand. Each year we work on homes being rebuilt by St. Bernard Project, and this year was no different. After contributing $25,000 toward the rebuild of the Dregory Family home, we spent hours sanding their interior. We left the home each day with sore arms from all the sanding and a fine white dust covering our bodies, clothes and eyes.

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Meeting Lisa and her three young children who have never in their lives resided in their house, we felt rewarded to know that in September this family will be moving home.

EPTA 2

Each year in our Designing Digs program, we create some magic for a few special homeowners. This year was no different! Our Design Angel, Lenny Talarico CSEP, Executive Director of Events at MGM Resorts Event Productions, led our team for three days to put the finishing touches on the Baham home. One of our lead sponsors, AFR Event Furnishings, donated so much product this year that the large truck couldn’t get down their small street for the delivery. We had to pinch hit and off load the furniture into smaller vehicles in the pouring rain to finish the transfer! Thankfully E Freight Solution was there to ease the process for us!

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The EPTA team got to work assembling furniture, hanging artwork and curtains, filling the cabinets with china, glass and silver, and preparing for the big welcome home party! With lots of labor (and 18 bags of mulch), we transformed a mud pit of a back yard into a relaxing yard for the family to enjoy lazy summer evenings. Tragically, the Bahams have been living in their destroyed home since the hurricane.

EPTA 3 EPTA 7

How exciting for them to cut the ribbon, and get their first gorgeous new home. Needless to say we were all in tears. With lead support from Rentals- Unlimited and Mosaic, Inc., and with the endless hours of labor from all our volunteers, Etta was speechless as she toured her new digs. Wheelchair bound, she pronounced “I feel so happy that my legs may just lift me up to dance with joy!”

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For one final surprise, Groove Boston arranged for a full surround sound of SONOS system to be installed. Bobby Dutton instructed Etta and her grandkids to push “play” on the iPod he presented to them. Within an instant, the music played, laughter erupted and the kids started to groove as the rhythms of Drake filled their home.Event Pros Take Action
Event Pros Take Action

Beyond helping out with rebuilds, EPTA was very busy with their Youth Project Initiative. While many parents struggled for years to rebuild their lives, those that were young children when Katrina hit are now faced with serious issues as troubled teens. Without proper support, these kids really need some help getting back on their feet as young adults and EPTA was there to assist. For the second year in a row, EPTA worked as mentors for Liberty’s Kitchen with David Lombardo of Lombardo’s spearheading our efforts. Several of our seasoned volunteers were leaders of round table discussions for students enrolled in the program. The program aims to teach skills which will help them get jobs in the hospitality world, so who better to teach them about the industry than our EPTA’ers? Discussions focused on mental and physical well-being, how to interview and handle the responsibilities of a job, and how to identify interests and chase professional dreams.

Event Pros Take Action

For the second year in a row, EPTA partnered with Covenant House NOLA on a fun filled afternoon we created called Cov Carnival. Covenant House is an organization that provides a safe haven to homeless, runaway and at-risk youth providing food, clothing, shelter and comprehensive health services to upwards of 700 youth per year. Sunshine Woodyard of Hello! Florida led the planning of the day, working with over 2 dozen sponsors in our industry who underwrote the activities for the teens and the staff of Covenant House. From a DJ and Mechanical Bull to a dunk tank and bounce around, the young adults (and many of their small children) had a chance to laugh and play and forget about some of their troubles.

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As Rich Arnold, Director of Development and Communications, commented, “The best success for these kids occurs when strong bonds are formed with their case workers. Cov Carnival provides a platform for building trust through joyous activities. Moving forward, these bonds enable the kids to seek guidance and make better life decisions.”

EPTA

In the end, we left NOLA exhausted and a bit wet and sticky (it was hot, humid and it rained quite a bit this year). But more than that, we returned to our homes enriched and fulfilled from our collective experiences. We are expecting to return next July, so mark your calendar now if you want to join in the best giveback EVER!

EPTA