Hello Productions

Pittsburgh Wedding and Event Planners

Kick Off Your Annual Meeting in Style! February 27, 2012

It’s that time of year again when we’re gearing up to help our clients plan their annual meetings – expertly balancing engaging content, superior venues and high-quality, exciting entertainment for the attendees. As our clients are realizing more and more the value in providing not only a great meeting, full of important content for their employees, but also in providing them with an experience that will help to energize them through the next year and beyond, it is becoming imperative that we find the most creative, cost-effective and fresh entertainment and outing ideas possible to include as part of the overall concept.


So as you look to find that delicate balance of fresh entertainment with HR-friendly material, what kinds of options do you have? Try the following on for size:


Lee Terbosic - Professional Comedy Magician

Treasure Hunt: Get everyone bonding and learning all about the city the meeting is being held in with a distinctive treasure hunt…the winning team could be recognized at the opening dinner.


Lunch Cruise: If you live near the water, provide your staff with a fabulous cruise including lunch, musical acts and networking activities…consider adding a private wine or beer tasting by a local winery or brewery to the itinerary if this fits within your budget and corporate culture.


Comedy Troupe: An array of acts can be found within the comedy world…consider asking them to do some creative improvisation with ideas from the audience, or impersonations of your top-level executives to get everyone laughing (or laughing at themselves!).


Invite the Circus: If you’re kicking off your event in a large auditorium or banquet room, hire stilt walkers, gymnasts, trapeze artists, fire eaters and more to wow your guests and get everyone feeling like a kid again! If your CEO is up for it, ask them to conduct the dinner or opening discussion dressed as the Maestro of the Circus. If this happens in the afternoon or early evening, have cotton candy, Cracker Jack and lemonade vendors circling the crowd.


Murder Mystery Dinner: Hire a professional team to perform a murder mystery while your guests enjoy their meal. This will engage your attendees, get them working together and also entertain them.


Tradeshow Floor Fun: Since many vendors and attendees have been at their fair share of boring and/or lengthy tradeshows, make yours “pop” with strolling entertainment! Invite a magician to do card tricks, a mentalist to read the minds of attendees, position living statues at strategic points on the floor, and celebrity impersonators to mingle with the crowd. The possibilities are endless, and can be tailored to your specific tradeshow theme.


As always, the entertainment and outings created for your guests can and should be tailored to your company’s culture, the message of the overall event and the “look and feel” you’re looking to convey to your employees about the company for the upcoming year. In many cases, the annual meeting is a way for your company to show your appreciation for your employees. If that is the case, keep in mind that you’ll want to balance presentations and executive messages with engaging activities of all types to suit the makeup of your audience.


Hello Productions would love to help you create your best annual meeting to-date in 2012! Contact Lindsey Bradley, lindseyb@helloproductions.com, today to learn more about our services and to see what kinds of killer events we have up our sleeves for you!


Five Creative Places to Have a Pittsburgh Wedding February 24, 2012

Filed under: Hello Details — Hello Productions @ 5:44 pm
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We love the blog I heart PGH and recently they posted creative places to have your wedding. Below, we are sharing our five favorite venues from their list, as well as a few comments of our own.



I heart PGH: 1000 Indiana Road Verona, PA info@springwood.org 412-793-7453 About: Sixty acres of wooded Pennsylvania hills, walking trails and wildflower meadows with a glass atrium, gazebo, and walking trails.


Hello Productions: Don’t be fooled by this conference center – Springwood feels like a remote retreat surrounded by an abundance of lush, natural landscape. New for 2012 is a 55 foot waterfall, several ponds and a stone-lined stream.


Oak Lodge

I heart PGH: 693 Donegal Lake Road Stahlstown, PA info@oaklodgepa.com 724-593-2913 About: Have an entire three-day wedding weekend at the Oak Lodge. There’s indoor seating at the chapel for up to 120 guests, tables and chairs provided for 150 people, and tiki torches. Main Lodge accommodations for bridal party up to 15 and a luxurious bridal suite with a Jacuzzi, fireplace, views, and a waterfall.


Hello Productions: The Oak Lodge is perfect for the outdoorsy couple who want to spend their whole weekend enjoying the Laurel Highlands region. And what better idea than giving their half-pints of their maple syrup as your favors – love really can be sweet!


Lingrow Farm

I heart PGH: 188 Forks Church Road Leechburg, PA info@lingrowfarm.com 724-472-1305 About: A two-story, fully renovated, 1850′s barn, complete with two oversized, covered decks, situated on 40 peaceful acres. The barn is heated and air-conditioned and if you book an April wedding, you will receive 30% off venue cost.


Hello Productions: With plenty of 2012 dates available (and a 30% discount offer on its website), the historic Lingrow Farm is worth considering. Ask about their charming farmhouse that can accommodate up to eight guests – perfect for the bride and bridesmaids the night before the wedding or the bride and groom on their wedding night!


The Barn at Fallingwater

I heart PGH: 1491 Mill Run Road Mill Run, PA kandyjohn@paconserve.org 724-329-7802 About: With four different spaces to choose from, The Barn at Falling Water will make for an unforgettable wedding.


Hello Productions: Stepping into the renovated barn, you would never know it was once an active dairy farm. The barn has been restored to preserved the integrity of the space but includes modern features such as high-speed internet connection and full a/v capability. Make sure to walk through the courtyard space, perfect for a ceremony or cocktails. And don’t let your guests leave without visiting the famous Fallingwater!


The University Club

I heart PGH: 123 University Place Pittsburgh, PA uclub@pitt.edu 412-648-8213 About: Complimentary wedding night accommodations for the bride and groom, linens and napkins, candlelit mirror centerpieces, personalized service from their event planner.


Hello Productions: Their rooms are elaborately decorated with lavish chandeliers and soaring ceilings, making it an ideal place for a wedding reception or grand event. However, don’t forget to ask about the rooftop space – perfect for an afternoon ceremony or evening cocktails!


Read the entire post here.


For more unique venue ideas, be sure to check out Hello Productions Website!


Corporate Event Venues: We’re looking out for you in 2012! February 20, 2012

As we look to find the perfect venues for our corporate clients in 2012, we always need to keep in mind the objectives of the event, the overall budget, and the “look and feel” of the venue to provide the perfect meeting place. There are also several other things that drive us when looking for those extraordinary properties:



Easy Access

It might seem like this is a no-brainer, but especially in an age when all attendees and companies are looking for ways to cut costs, it is imperative that this is kept in mind when planning an event. It doesn’t make sense for our clients, much less the attendees they hope to attract, to have to come by plane, train AND automobile! While we used to think of an airport hotel, or one located within the immediate vicinity, as a negative, it is becoming more of an asset for our clients if they can just hop on a shuttle to their event property after a long flight. Also, consider the time of year you host your meeting and in what part of the country. If you’re really tight on budget, it can at times make sense for us to look into venues during a time that is considered “non-peak” for an area (think Chicago or New York -snow!- for a February conference, or Miami -hurricane season!- in October.) Just understand that there could be delays or other issues involved for your guests in getting to and from the venue, not to mention the airport, on time or with minimal effort.


A Real Sense of Place

Have you ever attended a meeting or conference in a desirable city, only to leave feeling that you never actually got to “see” or “feel” the city at all? This can go back to what I referred to in point #1, especially if it is a venue adjacent to an airport. If we are able to secure a metropolitan location for an event, it is in your best interest as the client to showcase, at some point, what a great area you’ve secured and that you thought about your attendees’ needs at the event. This could be done through a simple but chic cocktail party at the hotel’s rooftop bar, or if that’s not possible, perhaps in a beautiful, enclosed ballroom with panoramic views of the surrounding city. Special touches during this event could include featuring locally-brewed beer or spirits, as well as making sure that the staff on-hand is prepared to answer questions about the city’s great landmarks.


Keep It Local

Just as serving locally-brewed beverages during a cocktail party is a great idea, perhaps you could theme this year’s luncheons to reflect locally-grown or sourced products, as well as traditional local fare? The worst thing for your travel-weary attendees is to feel as if they’ve “seen this before” at other conferences. It will really make your event stand out if you serve a meal consisting of local favorites, while providing your guests with a menu pointing out all of the farm sources for today’s meal. As planners, it is our job to work with the venue to provide your guests with the best experience possible, and food can be a big part of that experience.


Tech Savvy

In our digital age, no matter where you plan to host your event, no doubt your attendees will want to not only see that you’re using the newest technologies, but that they can still adequately access the technology that they need throughout their stay. As we explore venues for our clients, we want to ensure that they are wired for all attendees to have wireless internet access, strong connections (so that attendees aren’t missing and dropping calls, and so you are never interrupted during a presentation), capabilities for all types of presentation formats, and a strong technical staff onsite to assist with your every need throughout the event. And there is nothing worse than not having a back-up (or better yet, a back-up for your back-up!) when it comes to things like wireless mics, projectors or the internet connections. And, most hotels are becoming more negotiable on in-room or meeting room internet access, as this is no longer on the “nice to have” list, but is on the “must have” list for any event or meeting.


If you have questions on any of the above, or want to talk to Hello Productions more about your next corporate meeting or event, please contact Lindsey Bradley at lindseyb@helloproductions. We’d love to talk to you about all the ways that we can make your next event extraordinary!


Great Date Ideas for your Sweetheart this Valentine’s Day February 5, 2012

As St. Valentine’s day approaches, it often conjures up feelings of love and anticipation, as well as some stress in thinking of the best ways to “wow” your sweetheart year after year. Sure, you’ve tried the requisite roses and box of chocolates, but we’d like to offer you a few ideas on making this year’s BIG date night a hit, whether you’ve got a little or a lot to spend.

Ride in style! Depending on where you’re located, try taking an unusual form of transportation to your date-night destination. This can include a horse and carriage, a motorcycle (make sure to have a license and helmets!), a classic car or even a boat/water taxi. Pre-plant a small gift or bottle of champagne (if you’re not driving, of course!) in whatever mode of transportation you choose for an added surprise. Just mix it up a bit!

Locally: www.caustelotfarms.com, www.gatewayclipper.com


Take it back! This can be a tricky one if you’ve only been dating a short time, but it can still work to your advantage. Try to recreate some of your most fond memories together in one evening, or spread it out through a whole day together. Perhaps it’s a meal at a favorite pizza place from college, then going for some suds at your local watering hole and finally ending with a long walk where you had your first kiss. Or, maybe it’s igniting that fire again by recreating the way you proposed with rose petals, candles and “your song” at home after a nice dinner at your favorite sushi bar. You know the memories that mean the most to you both, so rack your brain for the best moments and it can lead to a fabulous evening!

Locally: www.urbanspoon.com/c/23/Pittsburgh-restaurants, www.yelp.com/pittsburgh


Get outdoors! For some, a little physical activity is all it takes to get the fires of love burning between them. Get creative on your usual bike excursion by packing a backpack with a picnic blanket, a bottle of bubbly (or Gatorade, if that’s your taste), plastic glasses and some delicious but easy-to-carry snacks. Plan to unveil them at a picturesque or secluded place along the trail. Another great option is to re-route your usual activity to make sure you pass by a great art museum, conservatory or library that has an interesting exhibit or tour that you can both take together. On your way home, make sure to stop at a local bakery or gelato stand for a small but tempting treat!

Locally: www.carnegiemuseums.org, phipps.conservatory.org, www.vanillapastry.com, lagourmandinebakery.com


Taste of the good life! In most regions around the country, you can find some local wineries or breweries that offer great tours and tastings. Many of these spots also try to partner with a local B&B so that you can enjoy plenty of tasting and not have to worry about a long drive home. If you’re a wine couple, find out what’s close to you and what varietals they offer, and make a day of going from tasting room to tasting room trying all the best the purveyors have to offer. Make sure to start with a hearty lunch ahead of time at a local hot spot. If beer is more your style, you may find that there are some smaller, local breweries (even those that operate out of a local bar) that offer samplings and food pairings. Some larger breweries even offer tours of their facilities. What a great way to try something new with your partner while enjoying a great mug of brew!

Locally: www.visitpittsburgh.com/countryside/wineries, www.eastendbrewing.com, www.pennbrew.com, www.myrivertowne.com


Surprise them! So, your sweetheart has the misfortune to be working on Valentine’s Day, or worse, is on a business trip for the whole week. Don’t despair! Surprise them with something special at work or at their hotel when they arrive. A handmade card and a custom gift basket of their favorite things (small candles, candies and mini bottles of their favorite libation), a bunch of their favorite flowers and a singing telegram, or even showing up yourself to their destination (within reason, of course!) with a smile, a small gift and a “leading,” romantic card to when they’re able to make it home- these are all great ways to make Valentine’s Day special even if you aren’t able to really go all-out this year.

Locally: www.wackyjacktelegrams.com, billchisnellproductions.com, Michael Whitlinger Designs 412-343-3450


And really, the best advice is to think outside of the box, be thoughtful, and remember that it’s just one day out of the year where you can express your love for your partner. Who says you can’t celebrate one another all year long? Have fun and Happy Valentine’s Day!