IN 2017 "DATA" IS THE KEY WORD IN EVENT MARKETING
"[Cindy] added, 'For example, if I start to notice that at the same time frame the number of attendees are registering less than the past few years, I dig deeper to figure out if we are doing something different with our marketing or is the audience losing interest in the event?'"
40 UNDER 40
"Jason Sick, 35, works in Austin, Texas, as program manager at Red Velvet Events. As a 2017 40 Under 40 honoree, Sick discusses his passion for the events industry."
MY NEW FAVORITE APP: LASTPASS
"LastPass has lived up to the challenge of requiring just one ﬁnal, last password. I remember my LastPass password (which is complicated!), then use the Chrome extension or iPhone app to one-click in my saved proﬁles for any site. It’s sleek and simple and uncomplicated."
GLOBAL DMC PARTNERS MEMBER DAVID ROME COMPLETES NOTABLE TERM AS ADMEI BOARD PRESIDENT
"ADMEI’s current Board of Directors also features Global DMC Partners Members, Cindy Y. Lo from Austin-based Red Velvet Events, and Robert Lee, DMCP from Spaintacular. "
EVENT EXPERTS PREDICT 2017'S TOP EVENT TRENDS
"More apps/programs that are about simplifying tasks that have in the past been very manual. For example, Waldo uses face recognition to quickly identify which photos have guest attendees in them after they submit their selfie. This is a great tool for city-wide events, large attendance based events, etc."
AUSTIN LIVE 365!
"Austin LIVE 365! featured the city’s year-round festival culture all in one night. More than 4,000 people entered the center through Austin’s iconic Trail of Lights tunnel. The evening included front-row access to the Austin City Limits Music Festival, as well as an immersive, interactive experience by the South by Southwest Conference and Festivals. As you’d expect, live music was front and center with acts on three different stages."
I would like to recognize Red Velvet as being not only amongst the best I have worked with in the industry, but as trend setters, and makers of magic.Paul T., Senior Manager, Meeting Planning Services, Marriott International
Everything was FANTASTIC…Red Velvet should probably change their name to “Red Carpet,” because they definitely supply V.I.P. service.Dominique H., Project Manager for an Automotive-focused Experiential Events Agency
I just wanted to say, thanks so much for making this event amazing, and taking so much work off of my shoulders….This is my baby, and I want to make sure that this is an amazing event…Thank you!Gillian W., Founder of a National Non-Profit
I simply wanted to thank you again for helping with some of the final details in executing our client dinner in the UK. As always, your team was professional, pleasant to work with, and executed flawlessly. Thank you!Susan L., Head of Marketing for a Global Software Company
Using Red Velvet Events Design services is like having an in house designer on staff. RVE Creative takes strides to understand our complicated business and make sure that our brand and creative work matches our style. Finding good designers can be hard. Decribing design work is very hard. Somehow RVE's creative team has found the ability to decode our design needs and hits the nail on the head almost all of the time. This saves us a ton of time in back and forth with a creative agency. Krista W., Director of Product Marketing for a Software Services Company
A HUGE thank you to each and every one of you for all of your spectacular work on our annual event!! The event was such a success and I have yet to hear anything but positive feedback from all of our guests. I am absolutely thrilled with how everything turned out and it was such a pleasure working with your team.Hannah G., Events Manager for an Association
I couldn't have done it with out you...in fact, I almost didn't!Sam D., Serial Entrepreneur
The weekend was an huge success measured not necessarily by our numbers, but certainly by the quality of feedback I received from attendees, sponsors and Hackathon entrants. This list goes on to include our media attendees and our and exhibitors. Never before have I witnessed such overall satisfaction with any event. When I hear the quip "you can't please all the people..." my new retort is "but you can come very close!" Our success would not have been possible without the excellent support of Red Velvet registration team! Red Velvet was in a word......Great! Its just that simple.Linda S., Planning Committee for a Technology Conference
Ladies, I can't say enough about the great job you both did in making this our best conference yet. You both put in a ton of hard work into making our 3rd conference the smoothest we've had so far. The feedback I got from sponsors and attendees was terrific and I wanted to personally thank you both for the awesome job you did for program. We couldn't have done this without you!Paul P., Planning Committee for a Technology Conference
The launch and the event was a complete success. Thank you all for your professional support during the preparation and on site.Sascha D., Project Manager for an International Creative/Event Agency
…you’ve completely understood what we wanted and have come back with a proposal that fits the brief – a surprisingly rare commodity! I just wanted to let you know, and say thanks!Elliott G., Business Development Director with an International Marketing Agency
I’ve been involved with numerous personal and corporate events Red Velvet Events has produced and each one stands out as best in class. RVE events are the ones that people talk about for YEARS afterwards. Whether I gave them a big budget or a small one, they pinched every penny and negotiated every possible advantage on my behalf. And then they executed like crazy. Cindy Lo takes ‘detail oriented’ to an entirely new level.Josh B., Austinpreneur
Sarah, you made this whole experience wonderful and were such a fabulous source of information, guidance, and planning! Everyone had a blast (including my very surprised husband) and I haven’t had such a fun, relaxed evening in a million years! We have heard back from all our guests that they loved the restaurant, decorations, food, the Hummer, etc. – everything was a big hit! Thanks to you the evening came off without a ‘hitch’ and I am a real believer in you and Red Velvet Events! Everybody commented over all the special touches and it seemed everywhere I looked, there was something even more wonderful. Thank you so much for all of your hard work and expertise!Janice B., Client
What we love about Red Velvet Events is that you always know what you’re going to get. They tell us what they are bringing to the table and follow through 100% on it. The only time we have surprises is when they make it even better than what was expected and 110% has become the normal result of their work.Sara L., Client
6 TIPS FOR OPTIMIZING YOUR DMC EXPERIENCE
"Red Velvet Events owner and event strategist Cindy Y. Lo, DMCP doesn't do anything cookie-cutter. Her award-winning full-service destination management company brings 100+ years of combined experience to Austin event, meeting and conference planning."
NIKKI SMITH – ISES ESPRIT AWARD WINNER
"Red Velvet Events, a Global DMC Partner, is thrilled to share the news that Nikki Armesto Smith, Sr. Program Manager, just received another ISES Esprit Award in the category of Best Marketing & Event Collateral. The award was presented by the International Special Events Society (ISES) at the ISES Live Award Ceremony, held in New Orleans, Louisiana on August 22nd, 2015."
BEST PLACES TO WORK IN THE MEETINGS INDUSTRY
"Small companies often lack attractive benefits, but that doesn't apply here. One big perk: Every five years of service earns you a full month's paid sabbatical."
THE 3 BEST RESOURCES FOR SELECTING DESTINATION MANAGEMENT COMPANIES
As Cindy Y. Lo ... tells PlanAnEvent.org: "The added value of partnering with a professional DMC is their inside knowledge of the city permits and regulations..."
GALA AWARD NOMINEE
"At a shopping mall, a "magic mirror" helped women see their true worth, an appearance at the BlogHer conference brought YouTube views, and a sticker campaign across four major cities in two weeks carried the hashtag #imenough. The three-part campaign reached more than 10,000 people in person and almost 20,000 online."
NIKKI ARMESTO – ISES ESPRIT AWARD WINNER
"Nikki Armesto, senior meeting planner at Red Velvet Events, Inc. (RVE), a Global DMC Partner, won the International Special Events Society's (ISES) 2014 Esprit Award® for Best Meeting/Conference Program with a Budget Over $250,000 USD..." Read more
GLOBAL DMC PARTNERS SELECTS RED VELVET EVENTS AS ITS EXCLUSIVE AUSTIN PARTNER
"Red Velvet Events (RVE) is excited to announce it has partnered with Global DMC Partners, an international network of independent destination management companies and sales advisors serving planners worldwide. This collaboration distinguishes RVE as a globally-focused event planner and underscores its position as Austin’s premier destination management company..." Read more
STORMI BOYD – RECOGNITION PLAQUE
"As director of professional services for Red Velvet Events, Boyd will oversee a team of seasoned meeting planners and event producers. She will also be in charge of the management of Red Velvet Events' larger productions worldwide." Read more
UT ALUMNA FOUNDS HIGH-PROFILE EVENT PLANNING COMPANY
By Sarah Montgomery
"Cindy Lo’s days start early and end late. Between taking her children to and from field trips and meeting with CEOs of major companies to plan their next events, she squeezes in out-of-state-trips. After graduating in 1998 with a degree in management information systems and business honors, Lo went into the work force doing consulting and project management work for a software company. Five years later, Lo traded a steady paycheck for a job in events planning..." Read more
MEET THE 'GOOGLEBUSTERS'
Article by Colin Pope, Excerpt by Cindy Lo
"Reward Loyality in a Big Way: For every employee who makes it to their five-year work anniversary, they are given a full month paid time off to reward them for all their hard work. I recognize this business is not for the faint of heart, and I want to show my appreciation." Read more on Page 6
SARAH LO – PEOPLE ON THE MOVE
"As vice president of operations, Lo will continue to oversee all of accounts payable, payroll, accounts receivable, internship program, operations team, and ensuring the company provides quality event partner services to all those involved with our programs." Read more
NETWORKS, NOT PCs, TO REIGN AT DELL WORLD
By Christopher Calnan
"At Dell Inc. it’s not just about computers anymore. The strongest evidence of that may be next month’s first companywide user conference. Instead of desktops and laptops, the three-day event in Austin is scheduled to focus more on Dell’s network management products and services... 'The number of company-based technology user conferences has increased during the last 18 months because they can fuel additional revenue for companies if targeted correctly,' said Cindy Lo, owner of Austin-based Red Velvet Events..."
35 SIMPLE WAYS TO STRETCH YOUR BUDGET
"As a planner who focuses mostly on corporate events, Cindy Lo says she was hit harder by the recent AIG scandal than by budget cuts in the past year. 'Event clients that were always fiscally responsible with their money didn't want to spend as much because they didn't wan to end up on the front page,' she says.
So she had to scale back and find ways to host quality events without the extras they may have included in the past. The silver lining? 'Budget cuts can make you think harder and be more creative,' she says..."
PRESSURE TO IMPRESS IS HIGHER THAN EVER
By Cindy Y. Lo
"Let's face reality — it's 2009 and we're in a slump, but the pressure is still there to host a successful fundraiser or have that client-appreciation dinner that everyone is still talking about. So what to do when budgets have been slashed, but the need to be the talk of the town is still there? Here are just a few concepts we've seen crop up in our own backyard as solutions to the current economy. And regardless of the economy, remember to always plan with value in mind, and stay on target with the message..."
THE ART OF PLANNING EXECUTIVE RETREATS
By Kristin Casey Sanders
"...Cindy Y. Lo...says instead of getting six months to a year’s notice, she’s now being asked to plan retreats six weeks out. '[Clients] don’t even know themselves if they’re going to get approval or have the funds to pay for it. ...if they’re really on a budget, [the organization] won’t allow spouses... [and] individuals often are asked to pick up their own golf or spa tabs. Another trend, Lo says, is that groups don’t want the same old-same old... they want to experience what’s authentic and unique to that destination..."
A DAY IN THE LIFE OF CINDY LO
As Told to Marilyn McCray
"From high-tech corporate road warrior to one of Austin’s most successful event planners, Cindy Lo started Red Velvet Events with the mission to out-plan, out-play and out-party the competition... Red Velvet Events has evolved into a full-service events management and consulting company that has produced hundreds of major events...and has received national and international acclaim. Pulling off flawless events has been her driving passion since she founded the company. Her schedule would exhaust the Energizer bunny..."
THERE'S BIG VALUE IN SPECIAL EVENTS
By Terah Shelton
"Cindy Lo...of Red Velvet Events...knows the importance of holding special events, the value they offer attendees and how to be creative on a limited budget. Because of this, Lo has received numerous awards for her productions... 'Receiving these awards has definitely reminded all of us...why we're in this business – we love producing unforgettable events for our clients and their guests,' Lo said. 'And, most importantly, we enjoy meeting the challenges of remaining on target with our client's message, purpose and budget.'..."
RVE EVENT PHOTO ON THE COVER
"Austin, Texas-based Red Velvet Events Inc. planned this private New Year’s Eve bash last year, which featured a vodka luge, a personal chef, a hip hop dancing contest and champagne bottles customized with wax crests bearing the host’s name. This year, the economy hasn’t reduced business, but it has reduced budgets, says Julia Mercado, who managed the event. Spectacular events are 'still doable,' she explains. 'We just have to be more creative!' "
RED HOT CATERING
By Diana Smith
" '...Fine-dining stations are another take on the carving station, but one level up,' says Cindy Lo... 'Examples of these include caviar stations, or imported cheese stations,' she explains. 'For clients who like the idea of fine-dining stations, but have limited budgets, we can get very creative in the presentation. For example, an elaborate (but relatively inexpensive) ice display can feature ice sculptures and a bed of shaved ice holding a fabulous array of clam shells with caviar on top.'..."
By Sue Durio
“ 'Making people happy is what makes me happy,' says event planner Cindy Lo. Judging from her growing list of satisfied clients, the award-winning planner must be very happy these days. Her company, Red Velvet Events, founded in 2002, has grown from a one-woman operation in a tiny space, to a team of four full-time and three part-time employees... Soon after launching, she attended ISES Event World. 'That’s when I realized I love this work. I love the problems, the challenges, taking an idea to reality...' "
BEYOND THE PAPER RESUME: HOW TO STAFF YOUR COMPANY WITH ROCK-STAR INTERNS
by Cindy Y. Lo
“As owners of a boutique event management firm based in Austin, Texas, we have to get creative when it comes to staffing... Our answer has been using interns. I'm the first to admit that the goal here is not to hire just any intern or to saturate a team with interns. Instead, it's pinning down rock-star interns. For employers, here's help with identifying the rock stars from the duds, and for interns-to-be, here's the information on passing that crucial interview and rising to the top..."
GET REAL, THIS ISN'T REALITY TV
By Cindy Y. Lo
“My 'pet peeve' is this: I wish that people who are applying into the industry fresh out of school or who are changing industries, those who have never seen the back end of the business, would understand that we do more than what the reality shows represent. I love my job. But the reality is, I was working until 1 a.m. last night. I work as hard as I do because I love giving my clients what they envision. ...[When] I...find a vendor who gives me what I want, who shares my vision and keeps an eye on the budget, that's huge..."
PROFILES: CINDY LO
“For an example of a person in constant movement, follow around Cindy Lo for a few days. You better have your running shoes on—and be ready for a real workout. She just never stops... Founded in October 2002, Red Velvet Events has quickly become one of Austin’s premier meeting and event planning companies. The company specializes in coordinating meetings, conferences, weddings and corporate or personal parties..."
PLANNER'S PERSPECTIVE WITH CINDY LO
“...As an independent meeting planner, I plan a variety of events. The most memorable event from 2004 was a statewide event benefiting the Texas Federation of Asian American Chambers of Commerce, which welcomed more than 500 attendees to Austin's Renaissance Austin Hotel. What made this meeting unique was the short time frame for pulling it all together, in just 12 short weeks. The event was a huge success in attendance, fundraising goals and local presence. Guest speakers included Gov. Rick Perry, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and Austin's mayor, Will Wynn..."
EXCERPTS FROM MEMORABLE MEETINGS START WITH EARLY PLANNING...
“ 'Defining a successful outcome can help you focus on the important points, whether you are planning for a quick team meeting in the office, an off-site teambuilding exercise or a holiday party,' says Cindy Lo, founder of Red Velvet Events, an Austin-based meeting and event planning company. Lo says the most memorable events begin with creative communication..."
MEETING PROFESSIONALS TO WATCH IN 2005
“As President and owner of Red Velvet Events Inc. in Austin Texas, Cindy Lo organizes, plans and executes conferences, sales meetings and training seminars while also attending to business matters such as accounting, marketing, sales and administration... 'If you are new to the industry and have the burning desire to really get to know this industry, you can do it. Just believe in yourself and continue to work hard. My first two years as an independent have been the toughest of my career, but I am surpassing my goals and loving what I have accomplished for my clients.' ..."
HITTING THE GROUND RUNNING
“Cindy Lo, a new independent meeting planner in Austin says, 'I’ve seen quite a bit in the 14 months I’ve been in the business. One of the things I’ve noticed is that my clients sometimes don’t seem to realize that I don’t [work] for just one customer. If they think theirs is the only event, it’s challenging.' [Previously] Lo worked corporately, although not as a meeting planner. But, she says, 'I was reliable and the people planning meetings often asked me to help out, which I would, and I now have 20 years of experience.' ..."
ASK THE EXPERTS
“Reserve your space early if you are not planning to host your party at a personal home or the office. This gives you negotiating leverage. Since everyone celebrates their holidays differently, companies should keep their holiday parties generic but with a festive theme. Have a professional coordinator assist you with planning so you can actually mingle among your guests and not worry about the logistics. They can also help you negotiate contracts and make sure you are getting the best for you dollars. If using a restaurant or hotel, ask who might be hosting a party before or after you, because you may be able to split the cost."
ASK THE EXPERTS
“If the meeting is simply meant to get people together and meet, I would advise keeping the food simple. If the event is a conference, choose days that typically are not peak business times for hotels and event venues, such as Sundays or Mondays. Have a professional meeting planner review all contracts so you know exactly what you have agreed to pay, especially if the meeting has a low turnout. Guaranteed minimums can be avoided or reduced if negotiated properly. Be creative when planning the menu. For example, forget the dessert during lunch and serve it during your afternoon break; use smaller coffee mugs during breakfast and breaks; and if serving alcohol, limit the selection to only beer and wine."