Forward Thinking

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

In this day and age, it's not good enough to be exceptional 'in the moment'. To stay competitive, you have to have the intelligence and wisdom to think ahead. If you or your business remain stagnant, your competitors will surely outrun you sooner and later. These days, it's usually sooner than you think.

Many of you reading this blog are probably small business owners like us. We don't have the luxury to have a whole team of professionals behind us strategizing all the time. At times, we barely have enough hours in the day to finish our most immediate projects! But we must realize how important it is to set aside time to do some forward thinking, to help our businesses grow and flourish.

Last year, I attended a class by Sean Low, and two of his powerpoint slides that remained in my head until today was a slide of a gumball machine, followed by a slide with just lots of gumballs. To Sean's point with those slides, if we are constantly always deep into the gumballs counting them one by one, we are unable to pull ourselves out to see the bigger picture. In order to grow our businesses, we need to be able to see the bigger picture.

Sean inspired us to create a 'Forward Thinking' session as a part of The Academy. For this, we have invited Abby and Tait Larson of the blog that everyone knows and love, Style Me Pretty, to share with us their vision for the new decade. What do they see for the future of blogs, and what comes next after DIY? Style Me Pretty has just joined a new partnership with Google, and this is just one way that shows how Abby and Tait have the amazing wisdom and intelligence to always think forward for their business!

The second part of our Forward Thinking session will be a presentation by the two brilliant ladies behind Two Bright Lights. For those of you who are not familiar yet with Two Bright Lights, it is going to be the 'next best thing' in the wedding industry! It is an extremely powerful networking tool, and takes social networking to a new level. I really believe they are going to revolutionize the way we do one on one marketing in the wedding industry. Rosalind and Siri, the two masterminds behind this company, understands that "it’s not enough to simply be a social butterfly. You need to be smart and reach for the stars."

If you are always complaining that you never get professional images from the photographer after an event, you will love the way this software easily enables photographers to share images with the entire team that worked on the same wedding! This is just one of the many benefits and feature of this amazing product, and we will get to hear Siri and Rosalind's insight on social networking at The Academy!

Welcome David Beahm!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

We're really honored that David Beahm is able to take time out of his incredibly busy schedule to teach at The Academy. For those who have been following him on twitter, you must know that lots of exciting things have been happening at his studio! New website, new partnership with Flora2000, and a fabulous write up in the recent Wall Street Journal. Even with so much going on, it still doesn't stop David from putting a lot of thought into the topic that he will teach at The Academy next month. We so admire that about him, amongst many other things!

David will be teaching the following class for us:

'Lifestyle Weddings Design Techniques Master Class'
Designing for visual volume and perceived value in the new economy. 

The first half of the class will be devoted to looking behind the scenes at specific lifestyle wedding and event design conundrums; dissecting the options (venue, story, color, botanicals, lighting, props, draping, budget); and then seeing how the problems were assuaged and alleviated as shown through a series of before and after images.  The second half of the session will open up the floor to the participants inviting them to present their design challenges from current weddings they are designing.  David will, on the spot, collaborate with the participant to explore possible solutions thereby creating a visual resolution that is viable for them and their client.

We really encourage you to come prepared with your 'design challenges', or with questions for David as this is a very unique opportunity to learn from a seasoned pro like him!

When Food Meets Design

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Six years ago, Componere Fine Catering was one of the best kept secrets in the San Francisco Bay Area. As we all know though, good things travel fast, and today, they are recognized as one of the premiere caterers in Northern California. Anyone who has experienced an event catered by Componere will tell you that their culinary creations are extraordinary. Anyone who has worked with Ethan Mantle, the Owner and Chef of Componere, will tell you that they fell in love with his charming, down to earth personality.

Prior to founding Componere Fine Catering, Ethan worked in several of the world’s top restaurant kitchens and graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in New York, where he received the Wine Spectator's Award for Excellence, the Williams-Sonoma Award and was the class graduation speaker. Following graduation he worked as a stagiare at the world renowned restaurant Georges Blanc in France and then at the French Laundry in Yountville. After that he went on to Fleur de Lys, when it was the top rated restaurant in San Francisco, and also worked at Farallon restaurant and the five star Erna’s Elderberry House at the Chateua du Sureau.

We are honored to have Ethan as one of our speakers at The Academy! The topics that he will teach on includes:

*Selecting a world class caterer
*Successful collaboration on event theme development
*How food presentation can compliment event design
*The art of food and wine pairing
*Trends that will shape catering in the next decade (with edible samples!).

Componere has been a leader in developing an organic vegetable garden that grows produce for their events and has been featured in many print publications and blogs. San Francisco magazine said Componere is “on the cutting edge...ahead of the culinary curve” and highlighted their “beautiful cuisine made from sustainably grown ingredients.”

Invest in the Best

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Yes, times are tough. Business may be down. But there's no better time than now, to invest in your business, by learning from some of the most innovative and brilliant minds in the industry. Give yourself a competitive edge by attending The Academy for Planners + Designers!

The photos above show some of the amazing speakers that you will get to meet and learn from at The Academy. Each of them are creating a brand new presentation for this event, with content that is incredibly tailored to event planners and event designers, so you will not have heard the content elsewhere!

Besides the education, we want to invite you to come and have fun with us! You are so use to taking care of your clients, and creating exceptional events and experiences for them. Now, you deserve a chance to be a guest, under our care! Your investment of $975 not only includes the abundance of education and inspiration, but also all meals, an autographed copy of Tara Guerard's beautiful new book, and a chance to meet and connect with creative professionals from across the country, Canada, and Mexico!

We have special room rates at The St. Regis ($280 per night) and the Palace Hotel ($175 per night)

You can register here, or email us at to ask about a 2 part payment plan. We look forward to welcoming you to one of the most beautiful city in the world!