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Let There Be Light

Lighting is a huge part of event design and production. The proper lighting, while often times in the background of your overall design, illuminates the room and the atmosphere of your event and often sets the tone for your function. As an event planner, you spend ample time designing and preparing the decor for your event and if the room is not lit properly, the details in your design can go unnoticed and unappreciated. Likewise, if you've hired an important speaker for your event, the appropriate lighting is a must to captivate your audience. We'd like to focus on three types of event lighting and offer you examples of each.

First, to the left is an example of backdrop lighting. Backdrops come on various shapes and sizes and can effectively carry out a theme for your event. Often large in scale, these backdrops are true works of art that need to be light properly to show their incredible detail and design.

In these two examples, the backdrops are lit from the bottom. The first is lit with clear bulbs, while the second is lit with bulbs and colored gels. Our eyes are trained to follow light, and by illuminating these backdrops from the bottom, our eyes naturally focus on them and help us embrace the ambiance of the design.

Second, up-lighting can also be applied to smaller details, such as florals, ice sculptures, decorations and so forth. Any interior designer will vow to the importance of lighting, and as an event planner, you also act as an interior designer for your venue space.

Good lighting design can awake the magic in spaces; the right lighting can change a mood or improve productivity. It can transform flat and unappealing spaces into an entirely new dimensional arena.

Nowadays, event decor is synonymous with art. And just as design is art, so is lighting design. Arie Louie, an award winning lighting designer and principal of Arie Lighting Designs says: "Just as the artist fills a canvas with brush strokes of paint, the lighting designer fills a space with light. Using composition, imagination, inspiration, creativity, vision and passion. A lighting designer also knows equipment, technology and science to make the art happen."

Lastly, a stage lighting designer must understand style, composition, balance, esthetics and human emotions. He must also understand the science of light, optics, vision, the psychology of perception and lighting technology. Using these tools the lighting designer must learn to think, feel and create with his heart. If other lighting elements have been properly applied, the result is a specific mood, created by the lighting design.

Is your mood set for your next event? Talk to a lighting specialist and start setting the right mood.

Top: Robinsons Designs and PJ Hummel & Co.
Second: Aria Style and Seattle Ice Sculptures
Third: Designs by PJ Hummel & Co.
Last: Hollywood Lighting Services Inc., and Event Experience


Inspiration From Art

Looking for a unique theme for your next event? Inspiration can come in many forms and we'd like to suggest you start with art. Here are a few pieces we found inspiration from.

The Valentine & Birthday Flapper

Pair this theme with a night of Murder Mystery. Have your guests dress the part and you'll notice the mood of the party completely change.

Chocolate Lovers Dream

Any chocolate lover would love a whole night just devoted to this delicacy. Talk to your caterer about hosting a dessert bar for your next event. Sample dozens of cakes, candies, cupcakes, fudge and more. But just be aware of the sugar rush that may come from your guests by the end of the evening.

You could also consider throwing a chocolate and wine pairing event. Bring in a wine connoisseur to teach your guests about the pairing of wine and chocolate - an education your guests are sure to enjoy.

Little Italy

Invite your guests to a night with the Italian Mafia. Fuh-Geddaboudit! An Interactive Mafia Musical boasts an extremely unique and original script and music. There is no other show in town like it! Loaded with tons of audience participation and interaction, improvisation and music you'll feel like you just left New York's Little Italy district.


Tips from

Hear from experts on the best ways to utilize online registration for your upcoming event or conference.


Wines of the Northwest

The Northwest, specifically Washington State and Oregon, is home to some of the best wines in the world. With such excellence in your very own backyard why not use some of the area's finest to wow your guests' tastebuds at your next event. Here is a guide to some of our favorites...

The Prestigious Award Goes To...Chateau Ste MIchelle, WA
The Chateau Ste Michelle Winery is one of the oldest and most award winning wineries in Washington State. With its large cellar of reds and whites alike, Chateau Ste Michelle's wines represent the varietal character of the Columbia Valley.

The Best Wine For Your Buck Award Goes To...Hogue Cellars, WA
Hogue Cellars™ is located in Eastern Washington's Columbia Valley, the premiere grape growing region of the state. The climate and soils of the Columbia Valley produce grapes with intense fruit flavors and high natural acidity. The wines have a liveliness and ripe, zesty fruit flavors that make them ideal complements to a wide range of food. What makes their bottles unique are the screw tops rather than corks.

The Most Surprising It Came From Washington and Not Italy Award Goes To...Tsillan Cellars, WA
Tsillan Cellars (pronounced "Chelan") brings a taste of Tuscany to the Northwest. Their meticulous attention to detail has allowed Tsillan Cellars to establish itself as the premiere, award-winning winery in the valley; with varietals such as the Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah winning gold medals, and the Estate Pinot Grigio, and Estate Gewurztraminer winning double gold and platinum medals in both regional and national wine competitions.

Best Female Winemaker Award Goes To...Penner-Ash Wine Cellars, OR
Oregon’s northern latitude brings long hours of summer sunshine and cool nights to the Penner-Ash vineyard which helps fully ripen the grapes and retain natural acidity. Their unique growing season allows for the development of complex fruit flavors, aromatics and nuances associated with world-class wines.

More Spice and Less Sugar Award Goes To...Panther Creek Cellars
For the connoisseur who likes to spice it up, we recommend Panther Creek Cellars. Known for their Pinot Noirs, Panther Creek's wines almost have a pepper taste in the background which is sure to spice up any dining experience. This wine is not for the faint, with its bold tannins and fragrant aroma, but pairs surprising well with ethnic foods also rich in flavor.


Cash in the bag?

With United Airlines announcing that they will now begin charging economy class fliers $25 for a second bag and a $125 for three bags, the question arises, will other airlines be following suit? This charge is said to offset rising fuel charges, but didn't airlines raise their ticket prices already to cover this increase? As a meeting planner, planning destination events, how will this affect you? We'd like to hear from you. Weigh in below!

Learn more about this increase here.



When you go to a restaurant and order an item off the menu, do you sometimes find yourself looking at your neighbors food and then ordering what they had just based on what you saw? It is true, our eyes certainly do a lot of the thinking for us and often we want what we see.

Well say hello to iMenus and Digital Dining Table Service!

About iMenus: Based out of New York, MenuLogic has developed the iMENU® platform solution to improve hospitality operations and create brand awareness. The iMenu is a a digital tabletop interactive menu solution for the hospitality industry which increases impulse sales and decreases labor costs at restaurants and hotels, enables customers to order and pay for food, beverages and other guest services, and serves as a powerful point-of-purchase medium for brand marketers and retailers alike. The iMenu is designed to provide convenient self-service access to food and drink ordering, display pictures of menu items to help customers decide what to order, provide pay at the table functions, and enhance guest experience by providing entertaining content such as weather, sports scores and flight information provided at the table. iMenus are installed directly at the dining table.

Do you like this idea? Or do think it will take away from the customer service of the wait-staff?


Feed Others, Feed Your Soul

Register now for "The Falls Come to Life" at Salish Lodge & Spa

This second annual celebrity chef dinner and auction to help raise funds for Food Lifeline - one of the largest hunger relief organizations in western Washington – will be proudly hosted again at the Salish Lodge & Spa. Mingle with local celebrities as you participate in this exclusive auction for an incredible cause. Give to others while delighting in your own dining experience – a multi-course, wine-paired menu prepared by Seattle's most celebrated chefs.
Featured image: Crush

Enjoy cuisine from the following local Chefs...
Chef Armandino Batali, Salumi
Chef Holly Smith, Cafe Juanita
Chef Jason Wilson, Crush
Chef Roy Breiman, Salish Lodge & Spa
Chef Johnathan Sundstrom, Lark
Chef Matt Costello, The Inn at Langley

Featured image: Cafe Juanita

Friday, March 28, 2008
Reception at 6 p.m.
Dinner at 7:30 p.m.
The Dining Room at Salish Lodge & Spa
$195 per person
*125 people maximum*

Live Auction
Festivities will include a limited-item live auction with all proceeds going to Food Lifeline.

Advance reservations are required and may be made by phone (425) 831-6554