Set the Right Stage

Alright, Sassies, Spring has officially sprung and with its arrival we’re seeing a return for certain in-person events – yay! Like always, my friends at CORT Events are ready to help you – and your clients – come back to their corporate meetings and events in the safest way possible this season.

Set the Right Stage

In 2020, as we all found ways to adapt and learn new ways to remain flexible, one thing that was learned is that when it comes to planning events, it’s best to take a “both/and” mindset. I say all of this as initial face-to-face meetings in 2021 are expected to be smaller than the past, regionally focused, and in a hybrid format.

With a small percentage of attendees live and in-person and the rest at home, this is a great opportunity to plan staging so things look as good to the folks tuning in virtually as it does to those in person is a must.

Instead of speaking in front of a screen or a presentation, encourage your clients to think of their meeting like a production set with elements like side tables or greenery from CORT Events that can help make things appear more visually compelling while filling the 6′ space between speakers on stage.

Bring the Connection

There’s no question that everyone is looking forward to meeting again face-to-face as soon as it’s safe to do so. After months apart, in-person attendees will crave that meaningful connection and interaction that was missed in 2020. There are ways to create the warm environment we once knew while keeping physical distancing in mind.

Lean into unique elements like drape, high back seating, and clear dividers to create spaces for safe conversations during networking sessions or break times.

Another approach could be to group teams together by row with CORT Events 30″ tables that come in multiple colors. Not only will they add a bit of visual interests, but color-coded seating can also designate smaller groups to be called on individually for breaks and meals. That’s a win-win!

Put FOMO Back into In-Person – and Hybrid!

Okay, Sassies, let’s be honest for a moment. In the past, it was all about planning the live experience. Creating an equally compelling time for a digital audience wasn’t a focus point. But now, as we begin to incorporate in-person elements back into our planning, we’ll have to think of our guests – including those attending virtually – as more than just attendees. Everyone should feel like an event is for them which is why engagement is so important.

Consider allowing both in-person and virtual attendees to earn points for asking questions during sessions, taking quizzes, and engaging. At the end of the meeting “door” prizes can be given out to the individual that’s earned the most points. This point system will also allow you to measure engagement and offer this data back to your clients so they can adjust the content of future events.

There’s no time like the present to start planning the next meeting. Lean on my friends at CORT Events to build the foundation for a safe event and support. To learn more about CORT’s event rental collections, visit www.cortevents.com

How to Make a Wedding a Share-Worthy Experience™

From the proposal, to engagement party, onto the bridal shower, then finally –  the big day! That’s right, Sassies, winter is almost over and spring is nearly here, which means wedding season is almost in full bloom. My friends at CORT Events want to help you – and your client – say “I Do” in the most memorable way in 2021.

Say “I Do” to Photoshoots

Y’all, who doesn’t love a good photoshoot? But we all know, the perfect setting for an engagement photoshoot may not always be within range. That doesn’t mean your client has to say no to their concept, instead, help them take matters into their own hands and design one perfectly suited for the enamored couple. Let’s also not forget about selfie stations. I mean, if guests don’t take photos for their social media, did the wedding even happen? I kid! But in all seriousness, break away from the mold and design. Cardboard and plastic props are cute and fun but try out designing a unique, luxe, setting that will make the happy couple – and their guests – want to strike a pose – or 3!

The Main Event

Love may be the star of the day (or night), but a jaw-dropping setting is sure to keep guests talking long after the sealing kiss. Sassies, whether the wedding is taking place in a backyard or at an established venue, what you add to the mix sets the tone for the experience. Frame the wedding party in dramatic flair with CORT Events drape, or go minimal in furnishings to showcase the venue’s existing elements. 

Time to Party!

Now, there’s no denying that 2020 was an unprecedented year and we’ve all held out hope that this year things will get back to some state of “normal.” And while we’ve learned to come to terms with the pandemic to some extent, we’ve also started to accept that post-COVID events simply won’t look the same. Many are opting for smaller guest lists even after restrictions are lifted. Buffets and passed finger foods are likely going to remain in a distant memory, and reception seating will be more generously spaced out.

For bar service, try out bar-top plexiglass dividers with a serving slot with enough stations so lines are short for guests. Don’t forget to Incorporate beautiful soft seating and bar table options to create lounge spaces when those dancing feet need to rest.  

My friends at CORT Events are here to support you and your client on their big day. To learn more about CORT’s event rental collections, visit www.cortevents.com.

An Open Letter From CORT Events

To Our Friends and Colleagues,

Needless to say, it’s been an extraordinarily challenging year. Some have found this year to be the perfect canvas for reflection and growth, but most have found it to be the source of the most severe personal and professional struggles in their lifetime. And for others – it’s been both!

We at CORT Events want to take this moment to acknowledge your resilience, your open minds and hearts, and your dedication towards coming back stronger than ever. If nothing else, your passion for our industry and its recovery has proven this saying true: “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” 

As we inch towards 2021, here are some things we’re asking Santa for:

  • Strength to guide our ongoing fight to recovery.
  • Our colleagues’, friends’ and loved ones’ well-being.
  • Not a comeback, but the brilliant evolution of our industry.
  • Continued solidarity amongst us all.

Regardless of what the near future holds, please trust us to be open ears to your hopes and concerns. We’re fortunate to have the Berkshire Hathaway name behind us to grant us the stability and reliability necessary to be your steady partner and willing resource as we heal together. We look forward to serving you in the new year.

Have a safe, love-filled holiday season,

Damon Ross & The CORT Events Family

PS. Season’s greetings directly from some of our team members!

Classic Never Goes Out of Style

I can always rely on CORT Events to deliver the daring and bold style trends, but their classic collections are my go-to no matter the occasion! If you’re looking to create gorgeous and safe events, check out these tried and true collections:  

Safety First, Sassies!

Y’all already know attendee’s comfort and safety is our top priority. The Safety Collection is heaven sent for every event planner! This collection includes everything y’all need to help attendees feel at ease. From clear dividers to wayfinding decals, these offerings provide both form and function. Pro tip: Elevate your next event with personalized options that match your spectacular style and brand.

“Wow” with Ottomans

I’m going to let y’all in on my best kept secret for maximizing space without compromising style…CORT Events’ Beverly Ottoman collection! This modular collection is available in 11 fabulous colors, so there’s a perfect option no matter the size or color scheme. To create owned seating, pair the Beverly Oasis pieces with individual charging hubs, so attendees can power up their devices and remain in one seat for the duration of the event.

Stylin’ Soft Seating Options

The possibilities are endless when you start a design with classic black and white furnishings. Luckily, CORT Events has a variety of neutral soft seating options, like the antimicrobial Baja collection or the timeless Naples Sofa. Just because we’re taking extra precautions with owned seating doesn’t mean we have to give up larger seating options. Pair a clear divider with a loveseat or sofa to encourage safe socialization. Don’t forget to add C-shaped tables between individual seats so guests understand where to sit!

Remember sassies, my friends at CORT Events are available to support you through your next event with safety and health top of mind. To learn more about CORT’s event rental collections, visit www.cortevents.com.

Safety and Comfort: All about the Attendees

I’ve been so impressed by the creativity and tenacity the events industry has shown while we work together to safely bring people back together. From virtual cocktail hours to micro-weddings, we’ve seen a major shift in how we plan events as a result of COVID-19. I know all my planner and designer friends out there are up to date on the latest protocols, but I’m not sure how attendees are feeling when it comes to in-person events. I know with thoughtful planning and reinventive designs, we can help attendees feel safe and comfortable returning to live events! My friends at CORT Events are  sharing some more of their terrific tips to ensure every attendee feels comfortable, safe and fabulous while attending in-person events.

Loud and Clear Communication

Y’all, communication with attendees is key – especially in this crazy new world!  Attendees will expect all the details to make sure their health is a top priority, specifically on distancing guidelines, PPE regulations, safety precautions and cleaning procedures. Addressing attendees’ concerns in advance and on-site will help eliminate confusion and stress so everyone can have the best time! To pull off a successful and safe event, be sure to directly communicate the steps you’re taking to assure attendee safety before, during and after the event.

Design with Safety in Mind

Sassies, I want to get back to safe, in-person events just as much as y’all, so that means we have to be considerate of every guests’ comfort level. Some attendees might be as eager as me to get back on the social scene, while others may be more hesitant. With safety-focused designs that facilitate movement and promote distancing, like freestanding clear dividers,  stanchions, and floor decals, we can provide the peace of mind each attendee needs. Take this opportunity to let your personality and brand shine by creating personalized dividers featuring your logo or custom artwork! 

Prioritize Wellbeing

It’s no secret I like to accessorize wherever I can – that’s why I’m so excited to create a calm and warm environment for my attendees! With distanced seating and dividers, we must incorporate natural elements like greenery, florals and uplighting to maximize comfort and familiarity. Pro tip: Don’t forget to provide individual tables with charging capabilities to complete attendees’ individual spaces!

Sassies, making sure every person is comfortable will be key to throwing fabulous in-person events, meetings, and shows. My friends at CORT Events are here to lend their expertise when it comes to designing spaces your attendees will remember, while keeping them safe!  

You can schedule a consultation with on a CORT design expert! To learn more about CORT’s event rental collections, visit www.CORTevents.com.  

Reconnect with Hybrid Meetings & Events

By Steve Kemble

Hey, Sassies! I’ll tell you what, this COVID-19 pandemic has really had an impact on the events industry over the last several months. I don’t know about you, but I am ready to get back to business, even if that means smaller hybrid events for now!

Current guidelines say we must reduce in-person attendee capacity, so supplementing with a robust virtual experience is a must to keep everyone involved and engaged. With this approach, we can get back to the business of creating unique experiences, all while keeping attendees safe! My friends at CORT Events always have great ideas when it comes to planning the perfect event, even during a pandemic. Here are some of their tips and best practices to ensure your upcoming hybrid events keep all attendees excited, engaged, and most importantly, safe.

One Event, Two Audiences

When designing a hybrid meeting, consider not only how the layout, design and format of the space will impact in-person attendees, but also attendees participating remotely.  Sassies, lighting, audio and colorful stage sets will have a tremendous impact on the virtual attendees’ overall experience. I’m excited to start networking and collaborating again with all of you, and CORT Events’ modern and practical options for furnishing your event space, such as large sectionals, individual chairs or ottoman configurations, can allow us to do that safely! Be sure to interact with virtual attendees in real time via their mobile devices. You know I love a good swag bag, so if you are giving away goodies to in-person guests, be sure to mail a bag to your remote attendees too!

Set the Stage

Forget mingling, guest speakers and presenters will need to practice healthy distancing while on the meeting stage. Why not envision the stage as a set rather than a classroom? CORT offers beautiful drapes, customizable dividers and greenery to create a warm and inviting atmosphere even as we all practice social distancing. Communal microphones are a big no-no in the COVID-19 world – instead, ensure each speaker is individually connected to a microphone. If your event features simultaneous activities across multiple stages, be sure to broadcast the event in a way so virtual attendees can have a holistic experience, as opposed to a singular perspective.

Out-of-the-Box Engagement

Y’all, digital capabilities will be so important with hybrid events and will involve an added layer of creativity to improve engagement all around! For in-person attendees, be sure to provide large and ample displays throughout the meeting space to limit crowding. Connect attendees together by integrating live chat features for comments, questions and polls. Acknowledge and interact with virtual attendees via livestream to recognize their contributions to the conversation. Be sure to record and distribute the broadcast after the meeting to further promote conversation among those in attendance, either in-person or remote. Technology can also be used when it comes to providing food and beverages for in-person attendees. Consider making timed reservations when attendees register to eliminate lines or assign attendees a group number and broadcast via mobile devices when it’s time for them to pick up their food items.

Sassies, it is time to safely restart events, while making health and well-being a top priority. See you soon!

To learn more about CORT’s event rental collections, visit www.CORTevents.com.  

Biophilic-Inspired Trends from CORT Events

Warmer weather has us all craving for some fun in the sun – from a safe distance, of course. That’s why it’s time to pump up the outdoor party with biophilic-inspired trends! Mixing style with sustainability, biophilic design is the perfect way to make your next event feel more connected with nature. My friends at CORT Events are sharing the top biophilic trends to create a dazzling outdoor event, all while maintain safe distancing.

Multipurpose Décor

Ya’ll already know we’ve had to step up our creativity game to meet safety guidelines. To promote appropriate spacing between attendees while staying on theme, consider using natural design elements as both decor and physical barriers! A large floral arrangement draped over a dining table serves as a gorgeous center piece, all while dividing the table into individual sections. Use a living plant wall as both a backdrop and a separator in a larger space. For events with both indoor and outdoor spaces, potted plants are your BFF!

Eco-Friendly Chic

Sassies, we all know our attendees value an eco-friendly lifestyle, so sustainability should be top of mind when planning your next event. Don’t worry – with CORT Events you can be both eco-conscious and stylish with your furniture design! Featuring linen fabric, the Beverly Oasis ottoman system is the perfect choice for a biophilic-inspired event. The earthy & sustainable fabric will ring true with any outdoor event. Not to mention the ottoman system can be configured to promote appropriate social distance seating!

Now Trending: Organic Elements

Create a fresh and whimsical atmosphere for your attendees with naturalistic elements throughout the event space. Use greenery and botanicals to enhance the natural look and incorporate wooden elements to center and ground the space. Ya’ll, I just love the Geo Cocktail Table, featuring a rustic wood top with a contemporary base for a modern-rustic flair. Accessorize with a Fiddle Leaf Tree for a pop of green, or the Kendra Table Lamp for a warm, sun-drenched affect.

Remember sassies, my friends at CORT Events are available to support you through your next event with safety and health top of mind. To learn more about CORT’s event rental collections, visit www.cortevents.com.

Steve Kemble, Cort Events Endorsements

The Future of Events: How to Design in a Post-COVID World

Wow, what a whirlwind it’s been for the events industry over the past couple months. I’m amazed at how the event community has come together to support one another. Sassies, we will get through this – and we’ll be stronger than ever!

Looking forward, we know events will be radically different as a result of COVID-19. With the help of technology, modularity and a little creativity, you’ll be able to create trendy designs that center around safety and social distancing. My friends at CORT Events are sharing spectacular guidelines and trends to follow for events in the future.

Enable Movement

Sassies, be prepared to step out of the box! There will be hurdles as we plan events with social distancing, but don’t worry because we can do it! When you begin designing, use a 6-by-6 food grid to make sure each attendee has enough space to mingle. Hint: access Social Tables from cortevents.com for free access! They have the grids built in for your space planns. Give your guests both physical and mental cues so they remember to safely distance. CORT Events’ C-shaped tables can be placed between seats so guests sit in every other spot.

Power Up with Technology

Y’all already know technology is my BFF when I need to create a next-level event. In this new normal, we’re going to see smaller events, with more virtual attendees. To make sure virtual attendees are having just as much fun as in-person guests, utilize live chats and polls so everyone can participate. If you’re planning a meeting, CORT Events’ Powered Naples Chair is the perfect choice to provide individual power for each attendee! Don’t forget to keep the tunes at a low volume so attendees can hear each other over the music from a safe distance. 

Rethink Food & Beverage

We’ll also need to be especially creative and cautious about designing dining areas. To ensure a safe distance between attendees, opt to use a communal table with two seats at each end of the table. To divide the space, accessorize with bright floral arrangements or fabulously themed centerpieces. The behind-the-scenes design matters just as much – remember to provide plenty of food and drink stations to limit line traffic. To help guests navigate the room, use floor markers to indicate one-way tracker. Buffets and finger foods are so yesterday.  Instead, consider plated or boxed meals to feed guests. It may seem like a lot of work, but you and your guests will feel at ease knowing you are putting health and safety first!  

Remember sassies, my friends at CORT Events are available to support you through your next event with safety and health top of mind. To learn more about CORT’s event rental collections, visit www.cortevents.com.

Fabulous Designs with Modularity in Mind!

Fabulous Designs with Modularity in Mind!

Sassies, when it comes to creating an unforgettable design, “trendy” and “colorful” aren’t enough on their own! A stylish, but uncomfortable space won’t make your event the life of the party. Don’t worry y’all – I’ve got the best kept secret for maximizing space and function without compromising style. My friends at CORT Events have the most amazing modular pieces to make sure you’re creating the best attendee experience.

Get Cozy with Casual Seating

Whether you’re throwing an intimate birthday party or an extravagant corporate celebration, comfort is key. With CORT Events’ new Beverly Oasis Ottomans, planners can create small, medium, or large casual lounge seating areas for guests to mix and mingle. Featuring on-trend channel stitching, this modular collection is available in 11 fabulous colors, so there’s a perfect option no matter the size or color scheme. Pair with “C”-shaped tables, like the Taos or Sedona, which perfectly tuck into the ottomans to provide additional surface area for drinks or laptops!

Maximize the Moment

With CORT Event’s Munich collection, it’s easy to create a seamless design foundation with multiple seating arrangements. I love to create pockets of privacy throughout an event space with the Munich Corner Chair, but then open up larger spaces with the Munich Sectional to promote socialization. Pro-tip: Pair the Munich collection with the Village Charging Hub, so attendees can keep their phones charged all night long!

“Endless” Options with Modular Seating

Y’all already know I’m obsessed with the Endless Collection from CORT Events. The soft feminine curves and gorgeous fabric options, like White Vinyl and Emerald Green Velvet, allow planners to create beautiful spaces with functionality in mind. The Endless Collection is literally limitless when it comes to finding the right seating arrangement for your next event. Don’t forget – with so many fun accessory options, you can truly bring any theme to life.

Remember sassies, no matter the venue, you can create a fabulous gathering with functional, flexible and stylish furnishings from CORT Events.

To learn more about CORT’s event rental collections, visit www.cortevents.com.