NJSBA Hosts 2000 Guests in the Palace at Somerset Park: Another Signature Event Collaboration from Jason Jani and Marcello Pedalino

The Palace At Somerset Park

Last month I teamed up again with my good friend and Signature Event partner, Jason Jani, for another exceptional portfolio piece.  Our client, Pomptonian Food Service, was celebrating 50 years of excellence in conjunction with the New Jersey School Board Association’s 2010 Convention and Member Appreciation Gala.

Throughout the day, upwards of 2000 attendees were shuttled back and forth from The Palace at Somerset Park to attend educational seminars and informational symposiums.  Topics included; social media, energy efficiency plans, public relations, health benefits and the effects of nutrition and wellness for students.  Speaking of nutrition, the Pomptonian currently provides staffing, high quality lunches, and innovative culinary concepts to over 70 school districts in NJ.

Guests enjoy the festivities at the V.I.P Lounge

After a long day of taking notes and networking, the Pomptonian and the NJSBA wanted the remaining attendees to return to the Palace to relax, enjoy a nice dinner and have some well deserved fun!

In addition to several other performance and specialty interactives that were taking place simultaneously throughout the colossal Palace, Jason and I were given 1/2 of the West Ballroom to create the Pomptionian V.I.P Lounge. Since most attendees registered in groups of 3 to 5 people, we were told we’d be catering to intimate crowds of 10 to 30 guests at a time who would stop by and leave as they wished, have a drink or two, grab a bite to eat, and maybe even bust out a few of their favorite dance moves. No problem!  🙂

Jason Jani, Marcello Pedalino and the Signature Event Team

Jason’s vision for the production layout was on point as always.  From the luminescent projection of Pomptonian’s signature logo on the cathedral ceiling, to the L.E.D decor lightscaping to the surround coverage of 4 plasma screens displaying custom visuals, retro music videos and guest candids, word spread quickly throughout the Palace that this was a cool place to stop by and enjoy life for awhile.   Of course Jason, as one of the top DJ/Remix artists in the country, manned the DJ booth all night and dropped a masterfully-blended soundtrack of lounge, pop, classic funk and current musical audience pleasers.     I handled the on-site logistics, client relations, hospitality and interactive Emcee hosting.

Marcello entertains the guests with an interactive game from Minute To Win It

Over the course of the four hour reception, we had several occasions where a select group of guests were either enjoying the evening’s soundtrack with a nice glass of chardonnay, dancing to their requests with colleagues or competing in an impromptu challenge from our Minute to Win It repertoire.  We were very pleased with the feedback from the NJSBA, The Palace and the happy guests.

Special thanks to the Palace team; Stacie DeMicco, Senior Conference Planning Manager, Kristie Pappas, Senior Corporate Sales Manager, Anthony Panchery, Banquet Manager and Richard McConney, Director of Banquets as well as Erik Endress, Director of Association and Meeting Development and Marcia Lavingne, County Activities Coordinator from the NJSBA for their professionalism and coordination assistance.

If your company is planning a convention, team building workshop or a holiday gala and you’d like to take it to the Signature Event level, contact us to schedule an on-site consultation and design session. Our client portfolio includes The Allen & Co. Media Summit in Sun Valley Idaho, Macy’s, The Borgata, Samsung Electronics, Bank of America, Pathmark, LG Electronics, David Tutera, Synchronoss Technologies and AnnTaylor.    -mp

Weddings of Distinction: Marcello Attends Premier Tour of The Ashford Estate

Chances are if you haven’t heard about The Ashford Estate yet, it’s only a matter of time.   Exclusive venues like Bonnet Island Estate, Pleasantdale Chateau and Mallard Island Yacht Club have gotten most of the attention from discerning brides looking for private locations that feature tasteful opulence and exquisite attention to detail… Now, courtesy of visionary founder Chris Vernon’s latest masterpiece, The Ashford Estate is being offered to those fortunate enough to experience its grandeur.

The Weddings of Distinction Team with Marcello Pedalino (Center) in the library of The Ashford Estate: Ginny Connolly, Maggie McSorley, Meghan Jacobs and Steve Babbitt

Through the majestic gates upon entry yesterday afternoon, guests drove up the tree-lined pasture of the Allentown multi-acre estate enjoying the beautiful fall foliage that NJ natives cherish.   After a stroll though the grounds including a stop at the Conservatory, Reflections Pool, Library, English Gardens and Floating Gazebo, Vernon welcomed his guests in the Chapel. He moderated a brief creative counsel and officially introduced Weddings of Distinction to the V.I.P wedding professionals in attendance. Among the many industry notables were Kathi Evans from All The Best Celebrations and Erik Kent from NjWedding.com.

Like our Signature Event level offerings with entertainment and event productionWeddings of Distinction is a concept that encompasses the finest in locations, hospitality and customer service that New Jersey has to offer. Stay tuned for the recap of the Signature Corporate Event that Jason Jani and I produced for the New Jersey School Board Association at The Palace at Somerset Park which took place on Tuesday.

The Ashford Estate

The tour continued with a delectable dinner social back in the Conservatory with stations from Main Street, passed hors d’oeuvres by Merri-Makers and some refreshing mixology courtesy of Marsilios. We made our way up and throughout the tri-level mansion to get a sneak peak at the well-appointed guest rooms and simply divine bridal suite.  Each room features its own unique decor and personal touch of design pleasure.  Our excursion’s denouement took place at The Ashford’s Grand Ballroom.   From the graceful lines of the chiavari chairs to the well-thought out floor plan to the customized Fennelli lighting,  it’s a visually stunning combination of sophistication and luxury.

Naturally, The Ashford Estate, or a Wedding of Distinction at Bonnet Island is not an inexpensive proposition. Expect to invest upwards of $25,000 for the property rental alone in peak season.

Photo by: John Arcara www.JohnArcara.com

For those who appreciate cachet, beauty, talent, experience, rarity or historical significance, you already know about  investments deemed priceless. Most brides and readers of this blog agree that a once- in- a-lifetime event falls under that category.

Ashford’s official website and facebook page will launch at years end.  Until then, for additional photos or to set up a private tour and design session at the Ashford, Bonnet or any of the Weddings of Distinction properties, contact me at your earliest convenience @ 732-547-1677 and we’ll set it up with the WD team.

Special thanks to Chris, Kathi, Ginny, Steve, Maggie and Meghan for their genuine warmth and hospitality.   The possibilities for future collaborations are very exciting.   -mp


The Knot Brings A Touch Of Elegance To The Palace At Somerset Park

I thought I was competitive…  Then I met Carley Roney, editor in chief and co-founder of The Knot and realized that I need to step up my game.  After proudly listing about 10 things that The Knot was #1 at during her brief presentation (like wedding websites & iPhone apps) etc., Carley proceeded to tell the packed room the only area  where The Knot is number #2 and  said, “this is the only thing we’re not number 1 at…. YET!”   Love it.  🙂

Michael & Lisa from A Touch of Elegance, Rachael & Heather from Glass Slipper, Carley Roney from The Knot, and Melissa Hylan from Invitation Bar

This competitive spirit is  part of the reason why out of the 45,000 weddings that are happening in NJ for 2010,  The Knot had 44,000 brides register with their network. The other 1000 are out of state brides getting married in NJ!   Even if your not a bride who is checking out the blog today…  as a business owner or entrepreneur, you have to respect and appreciate that impressive stat.  So whether you are a consumer or a professional, it’s no exaggeration that Carley and her team have a wedding planning resource and go-to bridal network for the industry that is second to none.

Last night, I was a guest of my good friend Alan Berg, Vice President of local client solutions for The Knot.   Both he and Carley were among the bridal-rockstars who were speaking last week at the Wedding MBA in Las Vegas.  The Knot hosted a comfortably-chic networking soiree  for some of NJ’s finest wedding professionals in the Palace at Somerset Park.

Among the notables were Lisa and Michael Plociniak from A Touch of Elegance who supplied the gorgeous decor and floral arrangements. I also reconnected with in-demand wedding planners, Kathi Evans, from All the Best and Rachael Citron & Heather Balczarek from Glass Slipper Weddings– who made it out to Vegas last week also.

A quick mention of photographer Jeff Tisman who Kathi introduced me to during the cocktail hour.  After a cool exchange about “putting your trust in the professionals you hire” he handed me one of his eye-catching over-sized business cards.

Jackie Marko ISES Pres., Altair Rasco ISES DAH, Marcello Pedalino & Christine Brower, ISES Pres. elect

I loved the photo he featured on the back-side.  Jeff said he was working with a stunning bride, Stephanie Sarmiento, in the city when they came across this construction site and decided to capture some images. I’ve seen a lot of great wedding photos in my career and you know from reading this blog that I get to work with some of the area’s finest… this shot makes my top ten list of all time. Joy, beauty and spontaneity. That’s what an artist can capture.  Great stuff.

The North Jersey Chapter of ISES was also represented by the lovely Jacqueline Marco, President, Christine Brower, President Elect and Altair Rasco, Director of Administrative History.  The chapter has a fantastic Halloween-themed event coming up on October 13th at the Lambert Castle called “Nightmare on Event Street.”   $35 for members and $45 for non members.

Kathi Evans, Marcello Pedalino, Rachael Citron, Alan Berg & Heather Balczarek

I chatted briefly with Christine and Jackie about possibly setting up an encore performance here in New Jersey of the Take Care Of Yourself seminar that Mike Walter and I presented last week at the Wedding MBA in Vegas. As always, I’ll keep you posted.

Not only was The Knot event a great networking opportunity and a fun-filled evening, I was also able to do a site survey at the venue for an upcoming Signature Event.

Pomptonian Food Services, in conjunction with the New Jersey School Board Association has contracted us to provide the entertainment, multi-media features and lightscaping for their convention gala on October 19th at the Palace.   It is sure to be an exceptional evening.

Special thanks to Carley, Alan and The Knot Team for their hospitality.  I’m looking forward to a future collaboration.   -mp

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