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What I Learned from My First Week of Work

Hello world!  My name is Phoebe Allen, the most recent addition to the AE Events team and I could not be happier about it.

Since my graduation in 2015, I have been working part-time jobs and trying to figure out this thing called life. When I accepted the offer to join the team at AE Events, it was my first full time ‘big girl’ job…and I knew my life was changing for the better.

I grew up in Brookline, right in Washington Square.  I went to Skidmore College, and graduated with a major in economics and a minor in business and management. What you would not know about me from my resume is that I have an English springer spaniel whose name is Tucker who may or may not be my best friend.

 

Other interesting facts about me are that my favorite color is light pink, mint green, or olive green depending on the day, and I have a major sweet tooth.

I had been in the job hunt for a very long time, so when the position at AE Events worked out, I was through the roof and decided to take some time to reflect on my first week here.  The first thing that made me smile when I walked through the door was that I had my very own desk!  As you can tell this was very exciting for me.  After the paperwork was signed I got to work; and I was actually already busy, which I didn’t mind one bit.  I definitely thrive off of a busy schedule with many projects going on at once.  I went to Paper Source and bought a planner that came with stickers, which genuinely made me so happy.

I also created this list of tips to help me navigate my first week:

8 Tips for Your First Week of Work:

1 – Dress so you feel like the best version of yourself

2 – Get to work early no matter what

3 – Pack a really good lunch, you’ll look forward to it, and bring snacks

 

4 – Get a cool water bottle and drink up

 

5 – Don’t be afraid to dive in

6 – Buy things for your desk that make you smile and excited to be here. It could be as small as a fun stapler!

7 – Re-read your first couple of emails more times than normal

8 – Breathe, everyone was new at one point in their lives

My main message to anyone out there trying to figure out your career, is that there is no straight path.  You make a road for yourself and follow it.  Never compare yourself to your friends.  Always be willing to try new experiences, and give yourself time to reflect and understand what you like and don’t like; because at the end of the day this is your life.

Five months ago I was so miserable trying to find a job, that at Thanksgiving my cousin asked me why I looked so droopy…but everyone has to go through those low moments to catapult them into a new direction.

Go find your catapult and trust it.

 


How to be the Best

From the desk of Christine Altieri… 

How to be the Best was the theme of the 21st Marketing to the High End Bride breakfast at the Harvard Club on Commonwealth Ave.   Hosted by Arlene Cronk, owner of Invitations & Company, and in collaboration with Boston Magazine, the breakfast topic was about being the best at what you do in a highly competitive market. What traits do Boston’s best wedding professionals share? And how do you convince others you are the best?

It was my great pleasure to serve on the panel, along with Boston Weddings editor Brittany Jasnoff, Ben Elliott of Saltbox Farm and Saltbox Kitchen, Stacey Kuehn of Stacey Kuehn Hair, and Jenny Williamson of Jenny’s Wedding Cakes. We were charged with answering some of these challenging questions, and to find ways to inspire others to be the best.

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What is being the best? Everyone strives to achieve this, but I think this quote sums up my philosophy: “It’s not about being the best, but it’s about being better then you were yesterday.” As a company we are always striving to be better, to find better ideas and approaches, and to bring our clients the best that the market has to offer.

I thought I would share a few of the questions from the panel, and my answers.

 

Do you always look for the best people to help you? Or do other factors play a more important role in the success of an event?

We work with the people that are knowledgeable about their product, who are willing to think outside the box to help create a memory. We often refer to events as puzzles, and each piece is vital to creating the final product. For that reason we like to work with vendors that are clearly the expert we need and can be that important piece of the puzzle.

 

What do you think high-end wedding clients in general look for in a great event planner? Is it possible to generalize?

Brides are looking for a planner who has knowledge of the industry…venues, trends, etiquette…and who can help navigate the process and advise on how to best allocate the budget in order to achieve their dream wedding. For most couples, this is the first big event they are hosting, and it is a lot of pressure. Most couples have full time jobs and look to a planner to be their voice. They need to trust this planner to communicate their vision, on what clearly is one of the most important days in their lives. Our goal is to listen, understand what they are looking for, and then keep them on track, help them to stay focused, alleviate some of their wedding nightmares, and create a memory that they will share for years to come.

 

Creating the Breakfast for the High End Bride

As a company we were charged with gathering the best teammates to help design and execute the HEB breakfast. We are so fortunate to have such great friends in the industry, so it was easy to form a team of professionals who donated their time, equipment and services, to create a WOW moment for the attendees while giving each of them a chance to showcase their products and services. As a team we laid down a foundation, a starting point to build from.

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Weddings are no longer just spring or summer, but all seasons. That became our foundation, and we used that to think about how we could create a room that would take the guests through each season at a wedding of their dreams.

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The theme was expressed in subtle ways…we used color and texture to evoke the feeling of each season, and it was the little details that share the story simply. We shied away from the expected: snow, leaves, heavy colors, and furniture, and instead worked to create a room design that flowed together.

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It was an honor to participate in Marketing to the High End Bride, and I look forward to attending future events, and continuing to grow our wedding business.

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This is Our Place

From the desks of Jana & Christine…

“Rosie’s Place will always be my family, no matter what.  If it wasn’t for them, I would not be the person I am today.” – Norma O., Rosie’s Place Guest

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Our partnership at AE Events began nearly 10 years ago, and one of our first shared clients was Rosie’s Place. Ever since then, we have both been continually inspired, motivated, moved and humbled by their work. Rosie’s Place is in the trenches changing the lives of poor and homeless women.  As two women businesses owners, who are mothers and sisters and daughters, who believe that every person matters…this work resonates with us.

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Our early experience with Rosie’s Place is a great example of how we took our mission statement and worked it into our daily practice in producing events. We are committed to doing meaningful work in a meaningful way…all focused on our clients.  Rosie’s Place is laser focused on their guests.  They meet them where they are in their journeys.  They see them as a sum of their assets, not their deficits.  They help them find their voices.

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This year’s theme for the annual FWSB luncheon was “This is Our Place…This is Rosie’s Place.” Guest stories like Norma’s were shared by media women and by the guests themselves in video clips. The audience of 1700 heard why Rosie’s Place is their place, giving women the community and acceptance they need.

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At the end of the luncheon every year, we shop at the Women’s Craft Cooperative jewelry booth to support the wonderful opportunity that this creative microenterprise offers Rosie’s Place guests as employment. As we approached the table, who should greet us but…Norma herself! Of course we recognized her from her video, and she went on to tell us about her job and her gratitude for her friends at Rosie’s Place.

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We would not be the company we are today without Rosie’s Place. It is our hope that we help our clients tell their own important stories in every event we produce.

This is our place. This is Rosie’s Place.


Meet Ronnie!

 

We are thrilled to introduce you to our newest team member – Event Assistant, Ronnie Ayers! 

What was your life like before AE?

I am originally from Seattle, WA (Go Seahawks!) and attended Boston College. After graduation I began working in Human Resources at a Financial Firm in Boston while occasionally flying to Seattle to help with weddings. Best way to compile frequent flyer miles!

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What was it about AE Events that appealed to you most?

I appreciate the wide spectrum of events that AE covers. I have planned weddings and smaller non-profit fundraisers in Seattle, so I saw this as an amazing learning opportunity to expand my experience and soak up all the knowledge of the Boston event-planning world.

If you could plan any event in the world- what would it be and why?

A Royal wedding – it is the perfect balance of tradition, romance and extravagance. There are limited events in which the whole world is on the guest list! Plus – who wouldn’t want to be a part of a real life fairytale?

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 29: TRH Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge smile following their marriage at Westminster Abbey on April 29, 2011 in London, England. The marriage of the second in line to the British throne was led by the Archbishop of Canterbury and was attended by 1900 guests, including foreign Royal family members and heads of state. Thousands of well-wishers from around the world have also flocked to London to witness the spectacle and pageantry of the Royal Wedding. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

What are your hobbies outside of AE Events?

I enjoy finding difficult hikes with rewarding views at the top, cooking, taking a spin class, or relaxing with a nice Netflix binge.

What are three words to describe AE Events?

Innovative, reliable, passionate

What is your favorite thing to do in Boston?

Strolling through the Public Garden and down Newbury Street. There is always something new to see.

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What is the #1 thing you can’t go into work without?

Coffee. Coffee. Coffee. When in doubt, there is always a cup of coffee glued to my hand. I also must have a rockin’ playlist to start my day off right on my commute into work! One go-to song: Geronimo by Sheppard.

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Our Olympians

From the desk of Event Manager Elaina Pires…

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Summer is the PERFECT time to tackle a personal goal you’ve been wanting to achieve. With the Pan Mass Challenge this past weekend, I wanted to reflect on my own personal goal from this summer – completing the Bike MS Cape Cod Getaway. At the end of June, my brother and I participated in a 150+ mile bike ride from Boston to Provincetown to benefit the National MS Society. We TOTALLY underestimated how much fun, challenging, and incredibly rewarding the ride would be.

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Each day of the two days we biked 75+ miles with over 2,000 other riders. Boston’s own pedicab drivers even made the trek, alternating who rode with the pedicab in tow and working as a team to push the cart up each hill. The teamwork and energy that they had was so undeniable, we stuck close to them throughout the course for inspiration. Plus, they all had bike radios blasting awesome tunes the whole way there. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of their bike crew?!

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Naturally, I was also curious how the ride would play out from an event planner’s perspective. With plenty of police detail and road assistance, the ride was seamless from start to finish. From having rest stops every 10 miles, to making sure we were well fed and well hydrated, to being greeted by an AWESOME welcome party at the halfway point, we were well supported throughout the entire ride. Despite some of the difficulties – a 3:30AM wakeup call, leg cramps galore, and dozens of never-ending hills – the experience was totally worth it. As an event, I give it an A+!

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Crossing both physical and mental hurdles this summer left me feeling inspired and motivated to continue that energy into the fall season. Just like events, it felt amazing to be a part of a cause and purpose so much bigger than myself, and have a great time while doing so. From this ride, I’m proud to say that my brother and I raised a combined $2,800+ for the National MS Society New England Chapter, and we look forward to our next challenge – whatever it may be!


Welcome Back, Catherine!

Introducing our newest official team member, Event and Office Assistant Catherine Doherty!

 

What was your life like before AE Events?

Life before AE consisted mainly of school. I attended Emmanuel College and graduated this past May. I spent my time after graduation relaxing with friends and family and trying not to stress about finding a job!
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What was it about AE Events that appealed to you the most?

I was introduced to AE Events when I was looking for an internship this past spring. What appealed to me most about AE was the range of events they produced. I was looking to learn more about the industry and knew a company that does everything from weddings to conferences would have the knowledge I was looking for. Through my internship with AE, I found that I really enjoyed this kind of work and discovered that this was a career I could see myself in. Timing was on my side and a month after I finished my internship and graduated, I joined AE full-time as the Event and Office Assistant.

If you could plan any event in the world, what would it be and why?

A Post-Oscar’s party—I think the Hollywood glitz and glamour mixed with everyone feeling free of the Pre-Oscar jitters would make for a fabulous night. Plus, who knows, I may get to meet Leonardo DiCaprio!
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What are your hobbies outside of AE Events?

When I’m not at work, I’m usually at dance. I have been Irish dancing for 18 years, so it takes up the majority of my time. But when I do have a spare moment free, I like to read a good book or go on a little Netflix binge. Some of my favorite shows are Parks and Recreation and Saturday Night Live—Big Amy Poehler fan!

 What are three words to describe AE Events?

Dynamic, Thriving, Genuine

What’s your favorite thing to do in Boston?

I love grabbing a coffee and just wandering around with friends. Walking around without a specific destination in mind is a great way to get to know the city and find unexpected, hidden gems.
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What’s the number one thing you can’t go into work without?

As a native of Massachusetts, the two things I can’t leave the house without are my iced coffee and my umbrella. You will almost never see me without a Dunkin Donuts iced coffee in my hand, hot cup included of course. And as for the umbrella—New England weather has a mind of its own so I try to be as prepared as possible!

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I’m very excited for my first summer post-grad. It’s going to be great mix of working at AE and getting to the beach!

 


CHRISSY KRATZ – WHAT’S IN A NAME

Our new Senior Event Manager

SENIOR: DEFINED
sen·ior /ˈsēnyər/

adjective
– of a more advanced age
– holding a high and authoritative position

noun
– a person that is a specific number of years older then someone else

We’re sure Christine (whom we dubbed Chrissy for obvious reasons) would love the definition of “Senior,” ha. She is far from advanced age, but now does hold a high and authoritative position. Five years ago we held our first interview via skype with Chrissy, and immediately knew that she is someone who has it all…smart, creative, detailed oriented, thoughtful, etc, etc! So as luck would have it, she packed her things, headed back east, settled in Boston, and has grown into an event manager extraordinaire.

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Whether the event is a non-profit gala, a corporate anniversary or a wedding on the ocean, she does it all. In her new role she will have the ability to do more, and create more fun.. she is not afraid to have fun.

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Chrissy works hard, but she has many passions outside her job. Running, she plans on tackling a marathon this October, Rock climbing…and always a great team member.

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Along with Chrissy’s passion for events, a little known fact, she also is a wine connoisseur.

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Cheers to Chrissy as she takes on her new title. We look forward to what her future holds, it certainly looks very bright. Right now she is studying away for her CMP test. We know she will give it her all, that’s just the ways she rolls!

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MINDY HOME – WHAT’S IN A NAME

Our new Creative Event Director

CREATIVE: DEFINED
cre·a·tive \krē-ˈā-tiv, ˈkrē-

adjective
-having or showing an ability to make new things or think of new ideas
-using the ability to make or think of new things : involving the
process by which new ideas, stories, etc., are created

noun
-one who is creative

So when we started thinking about Mindy and her role at AE Events…the word “creative” definitely came to mind. Six years ago, and in one of our best moves as a company, we hired Mindy (Melinda) Home. She came to us after meeting a friend at a baby shower, and the rest is history. With little to no event experience, but a RISD degree, a desire to learn and a keen eye for style…she took off!

Planning weddings in the DR, working on fundraisers in DC, and taking the time to design events that speak to our clients, Mindy understood our mission from the very beginning, and continues to make it her own.

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We pride ourselves as a company that we do whatever it takes to get the work done. Nothing is ever too much for Mindy, a team player…packing up 3000 toys…no problem!

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Pouring the LARGE bottle of wine for guests, no problem…

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We look forward to what this new adventure holds for Mindy, and supporting her every inch of the way. We hope she will always stop to smell the flowers, and keep her sense of humor and lightness that helps all of us smile!

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A Final Toast to 2015

As we close the book on 2015 and open the first few pages for 2016, there’s so much to reflect on here at AE Events. We are so grateful for our clients and industry partners, who keep us on our toes and make the work that we do rewarding and fun. What a year it was! Here is just a taste of what 2015 brought for us…

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If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that 2015 featured as much snow as we have seen in quite some time!  Covered up to our ears (and growing!), the promise of spring seemed nowhere in sight.

Even in the depths of winter, we were able to bring warmth and elegance to the Boston Ballet’s Camellia Ball. This is the gala not to miss, and a little snow was not going to get in the way of this special night.

Chandeliers decked the halls and a tables design of whites and grays brought a renewed sense of vibrancy to this snowy winter night. The evening was designed with candlelight and beautiful florals from our friends at Winston Flowers, the entertainment was by the dynamic “subway quartet” which dazzled guests with their modern interpretation of songs old and new. And of course, the Boston Ballet dancers performance was the show stopper of the evening, leaving guests in awe of their beauty and whimsy.

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SPRING 2015

After thawing out from the winter cold, we gladly jumped into planning a premier Boston asset management firm’s June client conference. Held at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel and the Institute of Contemporary Art, this two-day conference set the standard for success with their “Art of Innovation” theme.

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For the Opening Dinner which kicked off the conference, we created a energy that would become apparent throughout the conference that this event was all about innovation! We used vibrant aqua, white, and coral to create an entirely new look and feel and as we took the room from an elegant evening back to a conference space the next day.

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After the conference sessions came to a close, guests were happy to retreat to the Institute of Contemporary Art for their last evening together – a celebration by the sea. Thanks to our friends at Be Our Guest for supplying the gorgeous décor for their final sendoff!

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SUMMER 2015

While most Bostonians abandon the city in the summertime, we were hard at work preparing for one of our favorite celebrations – weddings! This summer we were lucky to be a part of that very special day for some incredible couples.

In late June we celebrated the coming together of two families at the Institute of Contemporary Art. The Boston Harbor created a gorgeous, natural backdrop for the ceremony.

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Guests were invited into the museum lobby and on the outside patio where which we transformed the space into a celebration that was reflective of this couple. The “Dodson-Cornell Bunch” danced the night away alongside their family and closest friends.

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In the lazy summer days of late August, we celebrated a couple whose  wedding was structured around the moon. This rustic, outdoor wedding was set at a private residence in Concord, MA. From details like a “Just Married” canoe, to choreographing the start of the ceremony to the exact moment when the moon began to rise – this wedding went down in AE history as one to remember for years to come.

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FALL 2015

With the coming of fall came a burst of celebrations of all kinds. Just before Thanksgiving we planned a tribute dinner for the outgoing CEO of South Shore Hospital.

Guests arrived at the fabulous Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the U.S. Senate for a 360 experience around the museum. Passing through all four surrounds, guests enjoyed views of the replica Senate chamber and Ted Kennedy’s office, with sounds of a Jimmy Buffet tribute singer welcoming guests into the cocktail reception.

Décor for the evening married the guest of honor’s two loves: football and golf.  Collaborating again with our friends at Winston Flowers, we incorporated Patriots football helmets, golf balls, and miniature flags into the evening’s floral designs.

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During dinner, guests were serenaded by the world-renowned Three Waiters. If you aren’t already familiar, the Three Waiters are professional singers who disguise themselves as wait staff and delight guests with surprise performances throughout the evening. Everyone had a ball, and by the end of the night were yelling for more and throwing their napkins in the air.

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In October, we celebrated the 20th anniversary of The Spofford Group at Davios. To tie in the anniversary year, guests enjoyed signature cocktails named “Spofford Group’s 20 Year Old Fashioned” and “The Spofford 20.” The celebratory anniversary logo marked even the tiniest touches: from cocktail napkins to guest favors. On top of fabulous food, drink, and company, we had roaming magicians, a live jazz trio, and even a scotch expert. What better way to celebrate 20 years?

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With so much success in 2015, we raise a glass and toast each and every one of our clients and fabulous partners with whom we could not do this work without.

Now onto 2016 – we can’t wait to see what this next year has in store!


Meet Kayla!

 

Introducing our newest team member, Event Assistant Kayla Gentile!

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What was your life like before AE Events?

I graduated from The University of Rhode Island in 2013 and one week later started working for Textron Inc. as a Marketing Coordinator.  As a native Rhode Islander, you can always find me somewhere on our beautiful coastline in the summertime.

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What was it about AE Events that appealed to you the most?

I love that this company touches upon all facets of event planning, so I felt that I would learn the most by being able to dabble in different types of events.

 If you could plan any event in the world, what would it be and why?

Kate Middleton’s wedding! Incorporating the old-world royal elements in an event would be a dream. Maybe they’ll call me for Harry’s?

 What are your hobbies outside of AE Events?

Learning to cook more than grilled chicken and eggs! Trying out new “foodie” restaurants…Toro is my favorite in the city. I also love baking.  I’ll bake anything from churros to cheesecake! 

 

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 What are three words to describe AE Events?

Differentiated, accessible and vivacious.

 What’s your favorite thing to do in Boston?

Since I’m new to the Boston scene, taking the time to explore the city as a whole and discovering new places while it’s still nice out!

What’s the number one thing you can’t go into work without?

My two must haves: iced coffee and my iPhone!

 

 

 

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