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May 10th, 2015 The Patchwork Festival came to Jack London Square inviting the general public to shop wares from local merchants and designers. We went to do a bit of recon for the upcomming Oakland Indie Awards Party as it was in the same venue.

We talk often about how you have to grab your guests/attendees into your event experience as soon as possible when they arrive. This means any and all interactions before the guest walks into the event are just as important as once they are inside. Registration/checkin/entry ways are essential to pulling in the attendee to the experience you have designed for them. We love seeing good examples of this, even on a budget. This example is for sure on brand!


Thanks to our amazing team that is a blast to work with and B Corp for recognizing our true greatness.

Our friends at BizBash have been posting a collection of sustainable venues from around the USA.
Here are all the articles listed by city. Happy Earth Day 2015!


Los Angeles

Miami/South Florida

New York City

San Francisco

Washigton DC

Day 4, May 4: What do you get when you take a whole lot of creativity, high end furnishings, sunshine, bright colors, kids entertainment, great food, & a Health Fair? You get a crazy fun AND educational atmosphere that the community could really get behind. Each of the four tents, and all of the furnishings used for the gala were repurposed to create health fair that broke the mold for all future health fairs. Entertainment started with giant bubbles as they headed up to the new hospital. Each guest was given a guide and tickets for hosted food that was healthy and delicious, then they entered through a field of giant flowers. Carefully thought out interactive educational booths were set in style on lounge type furnishings. The CPR booth was set to music with “staying alive”, healthy eating education featured bike powered blenders, and then there was the teddy bear clinic… oh teddy. The teddy bear clinic was so rich with activity, that it warranted its own tent. Kids of all ages could bring their bears for consultation, diagnosis, and surgery to fix the wounded. Kids without their bears could adopt a new friend, complete with paperwork. To keep within the healthy theme, no sugary beverages were served, only naturally flavored waters, served in bulk to reduce the footprint of the event. Then there was the red tent.. 77 disco balls, a black and white dance floor, soft pillows and bean bags, and.. and .. Lauren from the Reading Bug, the Alphabet Rockers, and Fairies doing facepainting. It really was a haven for the under 11 set.

Day 3, May 3: The Gala celebration for the Sequoia Hospital Foundation took on new meaning this year, as the star of the night was the building itself. With playful hearts, our friends at the Foundation tasked Twirl with surprises, twists, and even secret happenings that would keep their supporters talking about this event for years. Twirl engaged Robert Fountain International to design the look of the event to create an atmosphere that most had not previously enjoyed.

VIP Guests were hosted in the new hospital, in the new lobby overlooking the main event. There they mingled with the hospital’s biggest supporters, and delighted in delectable morsels. Guests were invited to gather at the doors to into the four impeccably appointed tents, for one last (here it comes) Ribbon Cutting, with the amazing JoAnn Kemist, then president of the foundation, and the fabulous Gloria Kennett, one of the hospitals longest standing supporter, and board members, doing the cutting. The ribbon was held by our fantastically beautiful human chandeliers. This was the kick off into the evening!

The tents were designed in bold colors, with modern appointments and striking furnishings. Each room had its own atmosphere, complete with full bars, specialty cocktails prepared by Best Beverage Catering, and amazing cuisine stations by Foxtail Catering designed to be independently amazingly designed plates that were visually and gastronomically perfect. PERFECT. From the EMERALD room, to ROYAL PURPLE gallery, to the CANARY YELLOW gallery complete with bird cages, and finally CRIMSON tent, the stage was set for an amazing event. As guests reveled in the excitement, and the night grew dark, something unexpected began to come to life, the building! Twirl engaged Elevate Productions to digitally map the building, and the show rolled and built up throughout the event, and this all happened in “secret planning” only a select few knew about this and… the entertainment… Twirl had more than a few surprises in store for the attendees. In one room, the music changed, a spotlight came up, and there, an opera singer, captivating guests. In another, a ballerina performed to Giselle bringing tears to the eye. Here a flamenco guitar, there a Jazz singer, everywhere a sense of awe and inspiration. When it was time to dance, guests had made their way into a sea of 80 disco balls glistening with light, as the 415’s band swept them onto the dance floor. This party was so great, the neighbors were trying to crash it!


Employee Appreciation
Day 2, May 2: The day begins early, as do the wonderful staff that makes Sequoia Hospital an award winning facility. It is important to note that almost no one that works in the hospital has even seen the new space. Throughout the day Staff was invited to partake in self guided tours and meals carefully timed around breaks, so that patients in their care did not feel their absence. Staff made their way to the new cafeteria’s patio, where they were treated to a farmers market style gourmet breakfast, with fresh healthy options prepared with care. The day continued to build with excitement as the buzz about the beautiful new hospital space, and as the next shift started their breaks, they too headed down for a tour and a fantastic farmers market style lunch.

Doctors Appreciation
There was yet another group that the Hospital wanted to recognize for their support in the years of construction, the Doctors. Knowing that they may not be able to leave to take the tours, an appreciation lunch was set up in their lounge, with a special gift for them to take home…. But wait, there’s more, still more…

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
Day 2 just kept on, kept on going! How can you open a hospital without a Ribbon Cutting? You can’t. Its against the rules. Set under the new porte-cochère, with a lovely stage, seating, and well, lots of fans and umbrellas due to the ‘heat wave of 2014’, we welcomed about 250 attendees to celebrate the “Official” ribbon cutting ceremony! Hospital dignitaries took the stage, joined by Dignity Health’s CEO Lloyd Dean, and Hospital President Glenna Vaskelis, speaking with words of kindness, relating the stories that made the journey to this historic day to the attendees. Our prestigious group gathered behind the ribbon for a photo, then ceremoniously cut the ribbon to open the “doors to human kindness”, and as they did, suddenly, a trumpet sounded from within the crowd, then another a trombone, a drum, finally a tuba.. playing the Beatles “When I’m 64” to celebrate the history of the 64 year old hospital! With the crowd in a jovial mood, the New Orleans style band moves into “Saints Go Marching In” and leads the crowd into the tent for lunch…

Ribbon Cutting Luncheon
Well you knew this was coming, lunch. Twirl does not do anything without amazing cuisine… despite the heat wave. Yes, the temperature had dropped, but we were still battling, really trying to ensure that the attendees stayed as cool as possible. Guests were treated to wine, bubbly, and refreshing tropical iced tea, with a lovely light, flavorful three course meal. This was truly a time for celebration and acknowledgement of the hard work and dedication that was the fabric of the last 10 years…
…And you know at the end of the day what they say… “Ain’t no party like a Twirl Ribbon Cutting Party, cause a Twirl Ribbon Cutting Party just don’t stop”

Day 1, May 1: Major Donors were hosted inside the new building, the first to tour the four floors of the new hospital pavillion. Coordinating 40 individually designed tours over the course of 8 hours was a feat in itself. Each Donor was met by valet, escorted down the Dignity Health Orange Carpet to be welcomed into the new lobby. Each donor was met by a carefully selected tour host, and escorted on a private tour of the areas of the hospital of most interest to them. Signage was strategically placed throughout the tour to ensure the guides ease as they talked excitedly about all the new features of the pavilion. The final location of the tour was their naming location, where they were met by a hospital dignitary for an official ribbon cutting and photo. As the flash went off, waitstaff gracefully appeared with sparkling champagne & gorgeous hors d’ oeuvres.
Shampoo, rinse, repeat, forty times…

Our friends at Elevate Productions put together this stunning video of the installation and evening of Sequoia Hospitals Grand Opening Celebration Gala that took place on May 5, 2015. The goal was to make the true star of the evening, the new pavilion, shine! We worked with an amazing group of vendors to coordinate the 4 day celebration series.
Event Planner & Producer: Twirl Management
Gala Event Designer: Robert Fountain International
Caterer: Foxtail Catering, BBC
Florist: SoulFlower Design Studio
Event Decor: Classic Party Rentals, Blueprint Studios, Hartmann
Audio/Visual: Saier Services, Elevate Productions
Entertainment: Entire Productions

On November 19th, 2015 we hosted the East Bay BCorp community for a mixer at our loft. We had a great time and were able to do some great things as well. 21st Amendment provided delicious beer and Clif Family Wines poured some of their tasty vitners. Sprouts provided a cooking demo served by one of their kids and we were able to present them with a donation that evening – one of our favorite requirements to be a B. Below are some of the photos taken that evening by Abby Wilcox photography.

The western part of the United States is experiencing massive drought happening throughout the region. Lakes, resevoirs, rain fall, and snow pack are at all time record lows. This impacting everything from food supplies to winter recreation.

If you are planning a meeting in the western US puting in place some basic conservation practices for your attendees would be a wise and considerate choice. We’ve compiled a short list of water saving tips to plan & produce a drough tolerant meeting.

1. Really, no more individual plastic bottles of water

It can take up to seven times the amount of water in a bottle of water to make the actual bottle. From sourcing, production, shipping, labeling, to sanitizing each step involves more and more water. I bet you could wash a reuseable bottle in half of what you can fill it with.  Let’s just all agree to stop with the plastic bottle waters. Please.

2. Set up incentives to limit housekeeping

I got to stay at the lovely Westin St. Francis in San Franisco thanks to GMIC Northern California and a program I was teaching for them on the APEX/ASTM Sustainable Meeting Standards. They had the best program to keep me from getting my room cleaned while I stayed: I got $5 a day on a card to use at their lobby cafe (Hello, Latte) each day I didn’t have the room cleaned. On their end this can translate to thousands of gallons saved in laundry. Their Green Choice program outlines just how much it can be.

3. Do not pre-fil water glasses

Not everyone one wants water. Some of should have some more water then we actually drink, but still don’t drink it. I see the same issue with pre-plating courses when you aren’t sure if you will get all your numbers. Is it really *that* efficient?

4. Incorprate drought tollerant or succulent plants for decor


5. Edible Centerpieces


6. Ask your venue about High Efficiency Fixtures and water plans

As a planner, each time you ask about sustainability the more vendors will adopt the practices. So when you go into your meeting venues ask them, “What are your water conservation plans? How are you adapting to the drought? Do you have addtional conservation policies we can communiacte to our attendees?”

Key words to ask about: Low flow toilets, low flow aerators, low flow shower heads, automatic sensor faucets, water conservation plan, rain guage meters, no power-washing policy, water reclamation systems

When you are planning meetings west of Denver, think about incorporating these 6 practices (and many more!!) to support drought policies for the region.